9 questions to ask during an informational interview (and 1 to avoid)

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 30, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

Arrive at your next informational interview prepared to gain valuable insights for your next career move.

informational_interview

It’s nearly impossible to discuss job-search tactics without mentioning the value of networking. Smart job seekers not only invest in developing their professional networks; they also tap into these connections for introductions, job leads and other valuable insights. However, one networking technique is often overlooked by even the savviest of job seekers: informational interviewing. [TWEET]

The concept of the informational interview (also known as an informational conversation) was first introduced by Richard N. Bolles, author of the popular job-search book, What Color is Your Parachute? Bolles believes that job seekers should speak with professionals in their field of interest to gather more information before choosing a particular career path.

I couldn’t agree more.

Whether you’re new to the workforce or you’re considering changing careers, informational interviews are a great way explore various career options and clarify your job goals.  Furthermore, they can be an effective way to gather insight into a particular company when you’re preparing for an interview.

Below are nine questions you can ask during your next informational interview – and one to avoid – to make the most of this valuable opportunity.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Job Goals, New to the Workforce, Career Transition

Don’t overlook these job-search necessities

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 28, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

How setting specific goals and reading job descriptions can save you hardship in your career search.

By Ken Sundheim 

Can you think of people in your personal life who seem to be their own worst enemies? You know the ones -- you may even be one. They're the folks who have grand plans that never seem to come through… and for whom failure feels like a mystery or bad luck. But looking in from the outside, you have a pretty clear view that it's actually due to their own personal failings and lack of knowledge on what needed to be done.

When it comes to finding a job, plenty of people carry over that same unproductive tendency. When job searches simply don't gain steam, most recruiters can tell you that it often boils down to one thing: the bad habit of never setting a firm, specific job goal. 

Topics: Job Application & Follow Up, Job Goals

How to target top employers in your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

April 01, 2014 @ 02:03 PM

Land a job with the right employer by building a strong target company list.

Target_Company_List_iPadEven when you start your job search with a very strong “in” at an organization, landing a new job will likely require you to pursue multiple job opportunities at the same time. In fact, I recommend that job seekers continue pursuing new job leads even as they’re entering the final interview round of another opportunity. To help you streamline this process and ensure you land a job with the right company, I encourage you to develop a target company list based upon your job goals.

Below are tips on how to research and vet prospective employers as you build a strong target company list.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Search, Job Goals

Recommit to your career resolution: Here’s how

Posted by Amanda Augustine

February 06, 2014 @ 05:53 PM

Learn how to stick to your New Year’s resolution to change your career this year.

Goals_iPadCan you believe it’s already February? It seems like only last week we were sending out season’s greetings and declaring our New Year's resolutions.

If you’re like many people out there, you may have already lost sight of the goals you set at the beginning of January. If your career resolutions have been usurped by work deadlines and children’s play dates, it’s time to recommit to your goals. Use these tips to get your job search back on track.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Search, Professional Development, Job Goals

Three steps to writing your professional WILL

Posted by Amanda Augustine

December 30, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Create a career “I WILL” list so your dreams will never die.

WILL_bucketlist_notepadFact: I am a huge fan of the television series NCIS. In a recent episode, one of the characters unearthed an “I WILL” list she wrote when she was a young child. It contained the kinds of dreams you’d expect a young girl to have: “I WILL be a ballerina, ride a horse, live in a castle, have a boy and a girl…”

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development, Job Goals, New to the Workforce

How to discover a new career path

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 08, 2013 @ 07:30 AM

Become an explorer to reevaluate your job goals and create a new career map.

Dollar_Search

A while back when I was asked to provide advice to recent college graduates, I recommended that they become explorers in the workforce.  However, exploration shouldn’t be restricted to the entry-level professional. In fact, I think it’s healthy to reevaluate your career goals every few years. What you desired in your twenties may not hold true a decade or two later.

With Columbus Day just around the corner, there’s no better time to talk about career exploration. Maybe you will also start down one path just to land on another far greater career, finding your own “America.”

Here are five ways to help you explore new career paths and identify your dream job. 

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Goals, New to the Workforce, Career Transition

4 job goals that are destined to fail

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 05, 2013 @ 01:49 PM

Reevaluate your job goals to set yourself up for success.

Missed-Bullseye

Goal-setting an essential component to long-term success, whether you want to improve your public speaking skills, ask for a raise or promotion at work, or find a new job. However, many people struggle to set the right objectives and see them through to the end. If you find yourself struggling to achieve your job goal, the goal may need to be reevaluated. Here are four types of goals the will work against your job search – and what you can do to get back on track.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Search, Job Goals

Are your career blinders on?

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 01, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

Learn when to wear your blinders to benefit your career.

TheLadders talks about when to put on career blindersThis coming weekend, all eyes will turn to Louisville, Kentucky for “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” the Kentucky Derby. Nearly twenty Thoroughbreds will race down one-and–a-quarter miles of track, each vying for a piece of the $2.18 million purse and a shot at becoming the next Triple Crown winner. As you can imagine, many measures are taken to prepare each horse for its top performance.  

Oftentimes, this preparation entails fitting race horses with blinders that stop horses from seeing to the rear and, in some instances, to the side. It’s believed that blinders prevent the horses from becoming distracted and help them stay focused on the race.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development, Job Goals

How to find a career you love

Posted by Amanda Augustine

April 29, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

My interview with Successfully Unemployed’s Alan Sherwood about career transitions.

Find_out_what_you_like_doing_best_and_get_someone_to_pay_you_for_doing_it

Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Alan G. Sherwood, MBA, host of the radio talk show, Successfully Unemployed, on Toginet radio.

In addition to his radio show, Alan owns and operates two small successful businesses: a consulting firm that specializes in capital and endowment campaigns, planned giving programs, executive search and career coaching; and a real estate investing and property management firm. He is the author of the book, “Successfully Unemployed,” that teaches the suddenly unemployed how to turn what appears to be a tragedy into a personal and professional triumph.

During the radio show we covered a wide range of topics, from job goals to career transition to turning your passion into a profitable business. Click on the following link to download the podcast. Below are some of the questions I fielded and links to more information on the topics. Enjoy!

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Goals, Career Transition

Stop the madness with the right job-search strategy

Posted by Amanda Augustine

March 27, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

Carefully prepare your job-search strategy and you’ll be one step closer to success. 

Stop the MadnessA survey conducted by TheLadders found that nearly 70% of its members considered their job search to be “top priority” right now. However, after carefully reviewing the survey responses, it became clear that not everyone is as prepared for the search as they need to be in today’s marketplace.

This got me thinking. For the last week or so, our office has seen a flurry of emails going back and forth about March Madness. Folks are standing around the water cooler (literally) discussing their picks for the NCAA basketball tournaments. In fact, I found dozens of articles online that explain different strategies for building a winning March Madness Bracket.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Networking, Job Search, Working with Recruiters, Job Application & Follow Up, Job Goals