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.

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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

6 tips for getting your job search started

Posted by Guest Contributor

September 15, 2014 @ 09:05 AM

By Robert Jones of Money Crashers

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Whether you're looking for your first job, or you've been in the game for a while and are considering a change in careers, you may have better opportunities now than in the recent past. According to Gallup, the National Jobs Creation Index recently reached its highest point in the last six years. Instead of just basking in the good news and hoping the market does the work for you, adopt a proactive attitude in order to beat the competition. To help get on the company dime faster, check out these six job-search tips.

Topics: Job Search, New to the Workforce

Email secrets of successful professionals

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 09, 2014 @ 09:12 PM

Never have an email go unanswered again. Get your emails read with these simple rules.

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It’s a constant battle to keep up with the deluge of emails inundating my inbox on a regular basis. Between my online publications, social media alerts, and the god-forsaken spam email, it’s a wonder I’m ever able to find and respond to the emails that matter most.

Sound familiar?

I’m not surprised. According to Outlook, 144.8 billion – that’s billion with a b – are sent every day worldwide. Sadly, a report by McKinsey Global Institute and International Data Corp found that workers only consider a mere 14 percent of the emails in their inbox to be important. [TWEET]

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

The 3-stage approach to the job hunt

Posted by Amanda Augustine

July 08, 2014 @ 04:43 PM

Simplify your job search by dividing it into manageable phases.

Over the weekend, an estimated 2.5 million spectators lined the route of the 2014 Tour de France to cheer on the cyclists as they completed the first stage of this famous competition. The 101st Tour de France is composed of 21 different stages, covering a total distance of 3,664 kilometers over the course of 23 days. The athletes will be taken through all sorts of terrains, from relatively easy, flat stages, to hill and mountain stages in high altitude.

If you’re currently searching for a new position, you can probably relate to the cyclists competing in ‘Le Tour.’ As a job seeker, you will also be taken on a journey that is sure to produce some highs and lows along the way. To help you navigate this process smoothly, I’d like to show you how I break down the job search into three main phases: (1) Prepare, (2) Search, and (3) Close.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Search, New to the Workforce

4 things every college graduate must do

Posted by Guest Contributor

June 13, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

By Daniel Burrus

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Graduation is the prime time to think about your future—about the things you want to accomplish and the kind of person you want to become. After reflecting back to when I was 22, here are a few things I have learned over the years that would have helped me then, and might help you now.

Think big

As you make your future plans, many people will tell you to “think big.” Well, I want to tell you that however “big” you’re thinking right now, it’s probably too small. There’s always a bigger big. Success can be defined in many ways, and I’m not telling you how to define it. I’m simply saying to take your definition of success and raise the bar on it. Ask yourself, “What is even bigger than what I’m thinking, because that’s what I really want to do?” If you can’t imagine it, you will never achieve it.

Topics: New to the Workforce

Professional job-search tips every recent college grad should know

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 13, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Everything college graduates need to know about entering the “real world.”

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Graduation season is upon us! Approximately 1.6 million U.S. college students are expected to graduate this month and enter the “real world.” According to AfterCollege, Inc., only 17 percent of graduating seniors reported having a job lined up as of April.

If you find yourself among the 83 percent still looking for a job, it’s time to get serious about your search. Use the tips below and the accompanying articles to kick your job hunt into high gear.

Become a professional explorer.

Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Never fear!  This is the perfect time to explore various career paths. Consider your first few positions to be part of this discovery process. Use these roles to learn about different industries and decide which type of work you like most. Remember, even the worst job has a silver lining.

Topics: Ask Amanda, New to the Workforce

Tips from a recruiter: How to stand out at your next career fair

Posted by Mike Deissig

April 15, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Make a splash at your next career fair with advice from TheLadders’ recruiter.

TheLadders_Job_FairIt’s easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond when you’re at a career fair. With hundreds of candidates all vying for the attention of the same recruiters and employers, you feel like you don’t stand out. 

And I’m going to let you in on a secret: You probably don’t. As a recruiter, I can easily talk to more than one hundred different job seekers at a career event. At the end of the day, the names, faces, and occupations all blur together. The most important thing you can do at a career fair is take steps to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

After years of recruiting quality hires from these events, I’m giving you the top ways to distinguish yourself from the other candidates. They’re surprisingly simple.

Topics: Networking, Working with Recruiters, New to the Workforce

25 things every young professional should know by age 25

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

January 30, 2014 @ 05:05 PM

Danny Rubin shares his favorite leadership skills and practical tips all 20-somethings should know to succeed in the workplace.

Interview_SkippyLast year, Kirk McDonald wrote a popular op-ed in The Wall Street Journal called “Sorry, College Grads, I Probably Won’t Hire You.” McDonald, the president of a tech company in Manhattan, believes most young adults don’t have the one skill that’s in high demand: computer programming.

McDonald’s argument got me thinking. What else should 20-somethings know once they are out in the real world? The result is a comprehensive list of leadership skills and practical tips all Millennials should know. Below are five of my favorite items from this list.

Topics: Job Search, Professional Development, New to the Workforce

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

5 reasons to be thankful for your thankless job

Posted by Amanda Augustine

November 26, 2013 @ 04:33 PM

That job you despise may be a blessing in disguise.

If you’re having trouble finding the silver lining in your work these days, now’s the perfect time to look a little closer. Whether your job is plagued by boring tasks, low pay, long hours or a tyrant of a boss, there is always a reason to be thankful for your role. Below are five reasons to be grateful this season.

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