Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why you are not Getting Job Interview Invitations

The fundamental function of a resume is to get you invited for interviews. Have you been sending your resume for positions that you know you are qualified for, but nothing in the mail box for you and the phone remains silent? If so, you sure need to take a critical look your resume. Following are possible reasons and a framework to revise it against:
1. Including an objective statement that tells the reader what you want.
Have you ever heard of customer-orientation? If there is one major rule to keep in mind as you write your resume, it is that all of the content should be written to be employer-centered. Objective statements that tell the reader what you want are inherently self-centered. The more modern way of providing focus for your resume is to include a summary or profile section. A profile is fundamentally different from an objective in that it is employer-centered, conveying to the reader what you offer them, rather than what you want from them.
2. Writing your resume to be intentionally broad in scope.
Many people will write a broad resume out of fear that focusing too precisely will exclude them from certain opportunities. Unfortunately, this strategy almost always backfires. Resume readers are notoriously lazy or under pressure of time. They give your resume only a few seconds at most before making the decision to screen it out or screen it in. If résumé is ambiguous and you haven't made it crystal clear how you will fit in the company, you certainly expect the reader to make the effort to figure it out. Often he does no have the time or inclination
3. Including a generic profile/summary statement.
The reasons are close to the one immediately above. While it has become common and even expected that your resume will include a profile/summary statement, far too often they are just generic statements that do nothing to differentiate the individual from their competition in the job market. Like they say in marketing, differentiate or perish! What is it that differentiates you and make your contributions to the companies you have worked for better and unique than your peers? What is the value proposition that you are making to the reader of your resume? What sets you apart from the competition and what uniquely qualifies you to meet the needs and solves the problems of the employer?
4. Describing your job scope and responsibilities in detail.
Think about it: Being “responsible for” doing something certainly doesn’t mean a person does it. What a person is supposed to do and what they actually do are two different things. Many people make the mistake of selling features (responsibilities) rather than benefits (achievements/results) in their resume. Always remember, you won’t get hired for what you know how to do, you will get hired for what you do with what you know how to do.
5. Focusing solely on the achievement and forgetting about the results.
Just telling the reader that you have achievements isn’t very effective unless you present them in terms of the results and benefits they have produced for past employers. You should always try to think in terms of the “so what” of your achievement. What did you improve, save, increase, enhance, etc? What impact did the work you do have on the companies? At the root, every single job is designed to solve a problem, save money, make money, or improve efficiency. It is crucial that you understand and be able to communicate the impact of your performance. Whenever you can do so, you should use numbers to illustrate your results, but even if you are unable to quantify achievements, the emphasis should still be on the results/benefits of your work.
6. Writing an autobiographical style resume.
Your resume is a marketing document. It is not an autobiography. Always think in terms of relevance and impact. Does a particular piece of data or achievement support your personal brand and value proposition? Does it help promote your qualifications in relation to your current career goals? If not, you probably should not include it. In fact, by including irrelevant data, you dilute your focus and make the recipient wonder if you truly understand the position you are targeting.
7. Using a template design for your resume.
Avoid using resume template, if you can. Your resume should be uniquely designed to highlight your unique qualifications and selling point and to set you apart from other candidates. If you use a template (or a format that looks like a template), you ensure that your resume will simply blend in with all the rest. To really compel action, your resume MUST attract immediate attention and present an unquestionably professional appearance. Create an eye-catching design, but forego the templates!
8. Using old and obsolete structure and resume writing techniques of eon years ago.
A common error made by experienced professionals is overemphasis of education. As an experienced professional your history of accomplishments and proven ability to produce and deliver results is far more important than your degrees. The most important thing is that you prioritize and organize your selling points, listing categories of primary importance first. The best structure in almost all circumstances is a combination reverse chronological order.
9. Listing all your achievements in a section separate from your career history.
It is critical to show progression and a consistent, repeated ability to produce results. By listing your achievements separately from your career history, you lose this. Go ahead and use specific achievements to illustrate the value proposition and personal branding that you convey in your profile. In fact, it is crucial that you do so. But, for the most part, the majority of your achievements are best presented within the chronological and situational context in which they happened. In other words, go ahead and include a SUMMARY of achievements that are selected to illustrate your value proposition and brand, but the body of your resume should also include achievements and results that illustrate your impact in each company or each position.

How to Avoid writing Dumb Resumes

In the next few lines, I will be attempting to take you through the complete process of writing an effective résumé that will boost your chances of nailing a great job.

Most resumes are usually written in either of these two formats:

? The chronological format… and
? The Skills-based format.

Don’t bother your head over the second one because that is not the type you will be writing.


A one-page resume is OK… if and only if you have not omitted any vital qualification or experience, skill or experience that is relevant to the kind of appointment you are seeking tin that company. Otherwise make it a two page resume.

But please note that your resume should not exceed two pages except you are an academic where you will be required to present an extensive list of your publications.


Use a word processor instead of a manual typewriter. At least you should be able to use a computer with a word processor like Microsoft Word. Typewritten resumes have outlived their relevance and therefore no longer acceptable.

Do not use fonts of more than two families. Let me give you a couple of ideas:

? A single serif font family (such as Times New Roman) throughout, with the body set at 11 or 12 points and bold centered headings at 13 or 14 points.
? A single sans-serif font (like Arial) throughout with the body at 10 or 11 points and bold centered headings at 12 or 13 points.
? A serif font for the body at 11 or 12 points, with bold sans-serif font for centered headings at 13 or 14 points.

Use Bulleted statements rather than long paragraphs. Don’t let your statements exceed 3 lines … because at this point it becomes difficult to read. Instead make things easier for the reader by using bullets.



This helps you to indicate to the reader that you are focused. Your job statement sets a positive tone for your credibility. The fact that you are presenting a proposal with it makes it extremely necessary. Let your job objective match the proposal you are presenting. This largely tells on whether or not you know what you are doing.


Use four to six bulleted phrases. A good qualifications section should include the following;

? Education
? Interpersonal skills
? Foreign language skills
? Specific computer skills


For each job described state title, employer’s name, city, and state, and the period of your employment. Particularly the years you began and ended.

E.g. Job Title, Employer, City, State 1995-present

Never use a pronoun like “I”.

Related tips:
? Briefly summarize the scope of your responsibilities
? Give preference to accomplishment statements over general duties and responsibilities in bulleted verse phrases. Avoid stating responsibilities in general terms.
? Keep phrases short and concise
? Avoid weak constructions.
E.g. Instead of saying, ‘responsible for handling the slitting section’ say ‘supervises the slitting section’.
Instead of, ‘Perform analysis of year-end reports’. Substitute ‘Analyze year-end reports’

The key here is saying a lot with a few words.

? Use accomplishment statements that are result oriented. Explain benefits of each relevant accomplishment you had I the past. Express them in quantified forms… like impressive number of items processed, percentage increases in productivity.
? Do not rely solely on your initial ideas.

For each degree, include a line similar to:

B. Sc, Sociology, 2004. University of Benin, Edo state.

If you attended a programme without finishing, use a line like:
NIM program, 2005-2006. NIM, Lagos.


The number one skill you should indicate here is computer literacy. No company will tolerate computer illiteracy for any reason. But the good news is that no matter how limited your knowledge of computer is, you are a computer literate as much as you can boot a system and familiar with the basic Microsoft packages.


? Use your word processing tools to spell-check your document before printing.
? Always proofread the printed version. If you have friends or family members who have good verbal skills, you can let the go through your printed copy before printing the final one. It is sometimes easier to spot errors on a monitor.
? Get someone else to proofread your printed copy. And like I said earlier, your success in this job-hunting bid is largely dependent on the quality of your writing.


Print the originals or final copies of your resume with high quality paper. Don’t be tempted to go for cheap and substandard materials that may end up speaking ill of you to the reader.

By following the above stated tips I’m sure you will present a resume that will procure an invitation in no time.

The Job Interview: A Quick Guide to Basic Principles and Strategy

The objective of job interview is for the employer to evaluate and assess the job seeker to determine whether his is suitable for the job. The employer uses the interview to verify the claims the job hunter made in his Resume/CV and / or other communications made earlier. The other side is for the candidate to evaluate whether the employer meets his own specifications.

• There are three important keys to success at job interview
o Preparation
o Adequate Preparation
o Thorough Preparation
• Preparation tips for you:
o Gather all information and document you may need for the
o Research the job, the company and the industry
o Rehearse and practice. Acquire and/or formulate possible questions, prepare answers (better in writing) before the interview date.
• Keep these at the back of your mind:
1. Observe the 50: 50 rule. The rule says that you share the talking time with the employer equally.
2. Observe the 20 sec – 2 min rule. This rule says that your response to any question should last between 20 seconds and 2 mins, and not longer.
3. Be seeing as part of the solution not a contributor to his many problems
4. Employers think the way you conduct you job search is the way you do your work
5. Go with evidence, if you can.
6. Determine not to ‘bad – mouth’ your previous employer or boss.
7. Employers are scared too
8. You must not put off employer by failure or indiscretion in the areas of appearance and etiquettes.

• Non – verbal communication is vital if not more important that verbal communications.
o manage your points of contact – your eyes and hands. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer(s).
o understand and manage body language. You send signals with your body, and receive non-verbal feedback from the interviewer(s) on your own part,

• At the end of the interview If you want the job, say so: ask for the job, directly.

• When you get home Evaluate the interview. What went well? How can you improve?

Friday, December 12, 2008

8 Toughest Interview Questions

Interviews can be nerve-wracking. With our help you'll be ready for anything

Interviews are designed to do just one thing: identify the best possible candidate for the advertised job. And sometimes it may feel that the questions being asked have been designed to deliberately catch you out or make you question whether you are up to the job or not.

But that's not their intention. Some questions aim to establish how well you cope under pressure, others will be to reveal your personality or to see what your career aspirations are. Just remember that there is no need to draw a blank or clam up if you have done your research and preparation beforehand.

If you want to avoid an interview disaster, here are some of the toughest interview questions and their suggested responses.

Q: "Tell me about yourself"

This is perhaps the most open-ended question of them all and is typically used by interviewers as a warm-up question to give you the opportunity to shine. But resist the temptation to start talking about your life history. What your interviewer is looking for is a quick two or three minute snapshot of who you are and why you are the best candidate for the job. So keep your response relevant to the position you are applying for. For example:

A: I started my media sales career five years ago as a telesales representative, rising through the ranks before gaining promotion to sales manager three years later. I am now responsible for training and developing a team of 15 sales consultants that are currently the company's best performing sales team.

Q: "What are your salary expectations?"

You should have done some research into the average salary and remuneration that this type of position will pay. Try to deflect the question by turning it around and asking the interviewer about the salary on offer. Typically, they will start with a lower figure than they are prepared to offer because they want to keep their costs down. So if you are pressed to give a number, its best to give a range to avoid pricing yourself out of contention. For example:

A: I'm sure whatever salary you're paying is consistent with the rest of the market average of £23,000 to £25,000.

Q: "Why should we hire you"

This can be a killer question and can make or break your chances of winning the job. And how you answer will depend on how well you have probed your interviewer about their requirements and expectations. So what the interviewer is really asking you is, What can you do for my business? Your response needs to answer that question. For example:

A: As I understand your needs, you are first and foremost looking for someone who can increase your advertising sales and has experience of managing a sales team. I have a proven track record in successfully managing and developing my territory within this sector, having increased my sales from £150,000 to £210,000 over the last two years alone.

Q: "If you were a car ... tree ... animal what would you be?"

Baffling though it may seem, some interviewers still insist on asking silly questions, such as If you were a car, what type of car would you be and why? There are no right or wrong answers. The interviewer is simply testing your reactions under pressure to see how you will cope with the unexpected in an attempt to gain an insight into your personality and how you view yourself. Don't get hung up on the implications of what type of car you say you would be, just be mindful that you will be expected to explain your choice. For example:

A: I would probably be a 1962 Alpha Romeo Spider -- classy, stylish, driven and fast off the mark.

Q: "Why did you leave your last job?"

You know this question will be asked at some stage, so have your answer ready in advance. The rule of thumb is to always remain positive about your current and previous employers because you never know when your paths may cross again. Besides, who are you going to turn to for a reference? For example:

A: I learned a lot from my previous employer and enjoyed my time there. However, promotional opportunities were few and far between and I am keen to advance my career sooner rather than later.

Q: "What are your weaknesses?"

Career manuals abound with ways to tackle this question. And most of them seem to suggest that you should take one of your strengths and portray it as a weakness. For instance, I work too much. But this will actually work against rather than work for you because it may imply that you do not organize your workload effectively, or that you have poor time management skills. Instead, opt for a genuine weakness. For example:

A: I used to struggle to plan and prioritorise my workload. However, I have taken steps to resolve this and now I have started using a planning tool and diary system on my laptop.

Q: "What motivates you?"

Short of telling your interviewer that you are motivated by the prospect of earning a footballer's salary, driving a Bentley or having a holiday home in St Tropez, try and give a constructive answer that will excite your interviewer into understanding what benefit you will bring to his business. For example:

A: I get a real kick out of seeing my team exceed their sales targets and completing the project on time and within budget.

Q: "How would your former colleagues describe you?"

This is a sure sign that the interviewer likes you and is already thinking about contacting your previous employer for a reference. And this is the time when you realize how important it is to choose your referees carefully. So answer this question in the way that you would like to think your employer would respond. For example:

A: I have an excellent working relationship with my manager and we have mutual respect for each other. He considers me to be hard working, dedicated, reliable and able to work well using my own initiative.

Source: http://careers.sky.com/career_tips/eight_toughest_interview_questions/



As a career counselor, I am often called upon to give advice regarding the best way to undertake a job search. After 30 years of experience, I can tell you that job hunting is one of those tasks in life that can cause a great deal of stress. If a rating scale of major stress producers existed, job hunting would certainly be third on the list after the death of a loved one or divorce from a spouse.

The main cause of this stress is the fact that you have to sell yourself to others, usually strangers, with little or no training in how to sell yourself. This situation is similar to asking someone out on a date - if the answer is no, it's rejection and that's painful. As a result, many people do as little as possible when attempting to find employment hoping that, through some miracle, a job will fall into their laps. This failing strategy is often used even though these same job seekers fully understand the importance of work in their life.

If this sounds familiar, take heart, there's good news! The process of searching for employment can be made more bearable and your chances of success increased if you approach the task correctly by using proven job hunting techniques. Finding employment is a task that requires certain knowledge and skills in order to complete successfully - knowledge and skills that you can easily develop.


The purpose of this article is to introduce you to 10 “tried and true” techniques that through the test of time have helped millions of people secure employment. While no job hunting strategy is right for everyone, by adopting these techniques you can improve your chances of finding the job that you want. Techniques are presented in sequential order, you should learn and complete each technique in the order presented.


It is expected that you may have some questions, or difficulty, as conduct your job search - this is normal. If you do, you should seek assistance from a professional career counselor. Naturally, you are invited to“Discover How to Quickly And Easily
Get The Job You Want -- Fast -- Without Struggling To Write Another Resume!” . Email profokor@yahoo.com for more information on this.GUARANTEED:.“You WILL Get More Job Interviews,And You WILL Get Hired In 90 Days -- Or Less -- with the information that will be mailed to you.

Also, please feel free to print out a copy of this article for your own personal use.


It's not good luck that will get you a job, it's your talent and the use of good job hunting techniques!

So, here's my advice...

Step 1: Get your head on straight

Step 2: Conduct a self-assessment

Step 3: Determine your job hunting objectives

Step 4: Prepare your career portfolio

Step 5: Organize a support group

Step 6: Identify target employers

Step 7: Apply for employment

Step 8: Interview for employment

Step 9: Accept or reject the offer

Step 10: Evaluate the process
Culled from Careerbuilders

Succeeding at an Interview

When you go for interview you can assume the company interviewing you wants to offer you the job and are very much hoping that you match their requirements. Companies rarely find exactly what they're after, but are looking for the closest match. So, it is up to you to convince them that you are the best match they will find.

Following the basic guidelines below should help ensure you avoid disappointing both yourself and the interviewer. Although most should be obvious, it is definitely worth taking 5 minutes to run through and check. Ignore these basic guidelines at your peril!

It is said that the interviewer makes up their mind about you the minute you walk through the door - the way you look, the way you say hello, shake their hand, the politeness you display. They then spend the rest of the interview confirming their initial impressions.

1. Be on time - not too early - definitely not late. Present yourself at reception 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled. This allows you time to sign in and gather your thoughts before commencing the interview. It's a good idea to briefly visit the bathroom before the interview starts both for any last minute call of nature and, importantly, to check your appearance - hair's not blown all over the place - no food in the teeth - clothes sitting right etc.

2. Prepare Review the job description - consider how closely your CV matches and be prepared to discuss shortfalls. Know in advance how you're going to describe your work experience in a succinct and positive way that relates to the requirements of the job.

3. Know something of the company interviewing you. You should have some basic understanding of their line of business, how that industry is doing currently, how big this company is, how they're doing generally in the marketplace and whether there's been anything about them in the press recently. Their annual report, a quick review of their website or a search on Google should give you the necessary information.

4. Dress appropriately. Look smart - no jeans, t-shirts or trainers. For men - shirt and trousers - possibly a tie and lounge jacket depending on the company. Polished shoes.

5. Present yourself appropriately. Neat hair. Clean fingernails, clean teeth and fresh breath (no heavy garlic meals the night before!).

6. Don't fidget. This will distract the interviewer. Sit calm and relaxed (or appear to do so anyway).

7. Smile Show a positive and confident style. Make sure you have some degree of eye contact with the interviewer.

8. Don't use the interviewer's first name without being invited to do so.

9. Listen carefully to questions - do not interrupt - think before you speak - then make sure you answer the question and only the question ...speak clearly and calmly. Do not waffle - quality, not quantity. If you do not understand the question, then say so.

10. Have some prepared questions. Know/note down in advance the questions you want answers to such as work space, training, promotion prospects, review intervals, holiday entitlement etc Leave these questions until the end or when asked by the interviewer whether you've anything to ask that's not been covered.

11. Appear keen. Have a notepad and pen available to you should you need to make any important notes

12. Thank the interviewer for their time and interest at the end of the interview and ask if they could advise you what the next steps are. This reaffirms your definite interest in the job.

Culled from gosservices.com

8 worst things to say in an interview

When talking with a potential employer, sounding like you're following a script can prevent a good conversation.

Interviews are nothing if not opportunities to drive you crazy.

Just remind yourself to look good, appear confident, say all the right things and don't say any of the wrong ones.

It shouldn't be so hard to follow these guidelines except you'll be on the receiving end of an endless line of questions. Factor in your nerves and you'll be lucky to remember your own name.

Don't fret.

If you walk into the interview prepared, you can make sure you know what right things to say, and you can stop yourself from saying the following wrong things.

1. "I hated my last boss." Your last boss was a miserable person whose main concern was making your life miserable. Of course you don't have a lot of nice things to say; however, don't mistake honesty, which is admirable, for trash-talking, which is despicable.

"If you truly did hate your last boss, I would be prepared to articulate why your last organization and relationship was not right for you," says Greg Moran, director of industry sales and partnerships for Talent Technology Corp. "Then be prepared to explain what type of organization is right for you and what type of management style you best respond to."
Don't Miss

2. "I don't know anything about the company." Chances are the interviewer will ask what you know about the company. If you say you don't know anything about it, the interviewer will wonder why you're applying for the job and will probably conclude you're after money, not a career.

"With today's technology," Moran says, "there is no excuse for having no knowledge of a company except laziness and/or poor planning -- neither of which are attributes [of potential employees] sought by many organizations."

3. "No, I don't have any questions for you." Much like telling the interviewer that you don't know anything about the company, saying you don't have any questions to ask also signals a lack of interest. Perhaps the interviewer answered every question or concern you had about the position, but if you're interested in a future with this employer, you can probably think of a few things to ask.

"Research the company before you showup," Moran advises. "Understand the business strategy, goals and people. Having this type of knowledge will give you some questions to keep in your pocket if the conversation is not flowing naturally."

4. "I'm going to need to take these days off." "We all have lives and commitments and any employer that you would even consider working for understands this. If you progress to an offer stage, this is the time for a discussion regarding personal obligations," Moran suggests. "Just don't bring it up prior to the salary negotiation/offer stage."

Why? By mentioning the days you need off too early in the interview, you risk coming off presumptuous as if you know you'll get the job.

5. "How long until I get a promotion?" While you want to show that you're goal-oriented, be certain you don't come off as entitled or ready to leave behind a job you don't even have yet.

"There are many tactful ways to ask this question that will show an employer that you are ambitious and looking at the big picture," Moran offers. "For example, asking the interviewer to explain the typical career path for the position is fine."

Another option is to ask the interviewer why the position is open, Moran adds. You might find out it's due to a promotion and can use that information to learn more about career opportunities.

6. "Are you an active member in your church?" As you attempt to make small talk with an interviewer, don't cross the line into inappropriate chitchat. Avoid topics that are controversial or that veer too much from work.

"This sounds obvious but many times I have been interviewing candidates and been asked about my personal hobbies, family obligations, et cetera," Moran says. "Attempting to develop a rapport is essential but taking it too far can bring you into some uncomfortable territory."

7. "As Lady Macbeth so eloquently put it..." Scripted answers, although accurate, don't impress interviewers. Not only do they make you sound rehearsed and stiff, they also prevent you from engaging in a dialogue.

"This is a conversation between a couple humans that are trying to get a good understanding of one another. Act accordingly," Moran reminds.

8. "And another thing I hate..." Save your rants for your blog. When you're angry, you don't sway anybody's opinion about a topic, but you do make them like you less. For one thing, they might disagree with you. They also won't take kindly to your bad attitude.

"If you are bitter, keep it inside and show optimism. Start complaining and you will be rejected immediately," Moran warns. "Do you like working with a complainer? Neither will the interviewer."

# Story Highlights
# Research the company beforehand to avoid looking unprepared or uninterested
# Talking about what days off you'll need should wait until after you get the job
# Ask about the typical career path rather than when you'll get a promotion
# Don't cross the line into too personal subjects when talking with an employer

By Anthony Balderrama

10 Ways to Blow the Interview

Information abounds regarding what you should say in an interview. But it can be just as important to realize what not to say. It is also imperative to note that what you say can be communicated through both your words and actions.

1. You arrive late to the interview.
What it means: "I really don't care about getting this position."

Arrive a healthy 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to give you time to collect your thoughts, review your notes and make a good first impression.

2. You're rude to the receptionist.
What it means: "I'm difficult to get along with."

Receptionists are the gate keepers and it's their job to be the eyes and ears of the company," cautions Lauren Milligan, founder and CEO of ResuMAYDAY, Inc. Besides, if hired, you may need their cooperation one day.

3. You answer questions with trite or cliché responses.
What it means: "I'm just one of the crowd."

Telling the interviewer you are a perfectionist and expect too much of yourself is sure to elicit a yawn, if not a discreet roll of the eyes, Milligan warns. Prepare potential responses ahead of time to avoid relying on the usuals.

4. You don't ask questions.
What it means: "I'm not that interested in your company."

The interview should be a two-way conversation "to determine if you are the right fit for the company, and if the company is the right fit for you," Milligan says. Use the interview to gather as much information about your potential new position as possible.

5. You answer the standard "Tell us about yourself," with "What would you like to know?"
What it means: "I have nothing special to offer this company."

This is your opportunity to steer the conversation into areas where you truly shine. Don't waste this chance by appearing to lack any outstanding qualities you want to share. And please don't start with where you were born. Focus on your career unless your birthplace is relevant to the job.

6. You use inappropriate language.
What it means: "I'm unprofessional and if it shows in the short span of an interview, imagine what I'll be like in the office."

Even if they're only mild and somewhat acceptable words, there still is no place for them in the interview.

7. You trash-talk your former boss.
What it means: "I have no discretion; I'll blab any inside information."

"If you left your prior job on poor terms, you need to put this relationship in a positive light for the interview," Milligan advises. "Even if your boss was to blame." You never want to bring negativity or antagonistic emotions into the interview. Keep it positive and upbeat.

8. You ask the interviewer to not contact your former employer.
What it means: "I have something to hide."

Even if you do not get along with your boss, you can always name someone else in the organization as a reference.

9. You exaggerate your accomplishments or credentials.
What it means: "I'm not good enough on my own merits, so I need to lie to make myself look good."

A skilled interviewer can easily identify fabrications in your background or experience. State your qualifications with confidence. You don't have to be Superman to get hired; you just have to be right for the job.

10. You don't thank the interviewer.
What it means: "I have no manners."

Forgetting to thank your interviewers for their time can take the luster from even the most stellar interviewee.

courtesy of Career Builder.com

The 25 most difficult questions you'll be asked on a job interview

Being prepared is half the battle।If you are one of those executive types unhappy at your present post and embarking on a New Year's resolution to find a new one, here's a helping hand. The job interview is considered to be the most critical aspect of every expedition that brings you face-to- face with the future boss. One must prepare for it with the same tenacity and quickness as one does for a fencing tournament or a chess match. This article has been excerpted from "PARTING COMPANY: How to Survive the Loss of a Job and Find Another Successfully" by William J. Morin and James C. Cabrera. Copyright by Drake Beam Morin, inc. Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Morin is chairman and Cabrera is president of New York-based Drake Beam Morin, nation's major outplacement firm, which has opened offices in Philadelphia.
1. Tell me about yourself?
Since this is often the opening question in an interview, be extra careful that you don't run off at the mouth। Keep your answer to a minute or two at most। Cover four topics: early years, education, work history, and recent career experience. Emphasize this last subject. Remember that this is likely to be a warm-up question. Don't waste your best points on it.
2. What do you know about our organization?
You should be able to discuss products or services, revenues, reputation, image, goals, problems, management style, people, history and philosophy. But don't act as if you know everything about the place. Let your answer show that you have taken the time to do some research, but don't overwhelm the interviewer, and make it clear that you wish to learn more. You might start your answer in this manner: "In my job search, I've investigated a number of companies. Yours is one of the few that interests me, for these reasons..." Give your answer a positive tone. Don't say, "Well, everyone tells me that you're in all sorts of trouble, and that's why I'm here", even if that is why you're there.
3. Why do you want to work for us?
The deadliest answer you can give is "Because I like people." What else would you like-animals? Here, and throughout the interview, a good answer comes from having done your homework so that you can speak in terms of the company's needs. You might say that your research has shown that the company is doing things you would like to be involved with, and that it's doing them in ways that greatly interest you. For example, if the organization is known for strong management, your answer should mention that fact and show that you would like to be a part of that team. If the company places a great deal of emphasis on research and development, emphasize the fact that you want to create new things and that you know this is a place in which such activity is encouraged. If the organization stresses financial controls, your answer should mention a reverence for numbers. If you feel that you have to concoct an answer to this question - if, for example, the company stresses research, and you feel that you should mention it even though it really doesn't interest you- then you probably should not be taking that interview, because you probably shouldn't be considering a job with that organization. Your homework should include learning enough about the company to avoid approaching places where you wouldn't be able -or wouldn't want- to function. Since most of us are poor liars, it's difficult to con anyone in an interview. But even if you should succeed at it, your prize is a job you don't really want.
4. What can you do for us that someone else can't?
Here you have every right, and perhaps an obligation, to toot your own horn and be a bit egotistical. Talk about your record of getting things done, and mention specifics from your resume or list of career accomplishments. Say that your skills and interests, combined with this history of getting results, make you valuable. Mention your ability to set priorities, identify problems, and use your experience and energy to solve them.
5. What do you find most attractive about this position?
What seems least attractive about it?List three or four attractive factors of the job, and mention a single, minor, unattractive item.
6. Why should we hire you?
Create your answer by thinking in terms of your ability, your experience, and your energy. (See question 4.)
7. What do you look for in a job?
Keep your answer oriented to opportunities at this organization. Talk about your desire to perform and be recognized for your contributions. Make your answer oriented toward opportunity rather than personal security.
8. Please give me your definition of [the position for which you are being interviewed].
Keep your answer brief and task oriented. Think in in terms of responsibilities and accountability. Make sure that you really do understand what the position involves before you attempt an answer. If you are not certain. Ask the interviewer; he or she may answer the question for you.
9. How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm?
Be realistic. Say that, while you would expect to meet pressing demands and pull your own weight from the first day, it might take six months to a year before you could expect to know the organization and its needs well enough to make a major contribution.
10. How long would you stay with us?
Say that you are interested in a career with the organization, but admit that you would have to continue to feel challenged to remain with any organization. Think in terms of, "As long as we both feel achievement-oriented."
11. Your resume suggests that you may be over-qualified or too experienced for this position. What's Your opinion?
Emphasize your interest in establishing a long-term association with the organization, and say that you assume that if you perform well in his job, new opportunities will open up for you. Mention that a strong company needs a strong staff. Observe that experienced executives are always at a premium. Suggest that since you are so wellqualified, the employer will get a fast return on his investment. Say that a growing, energetic company can never have too much talent.
12. What is your management style?
You should know enough about the company's style to know that your management style will complement it. Possible styles include: task oriented (I'll enjoy problem-solving identifying what's wrong, choosing a solution and implementing it"), results-oriented ("Every management decision I make is determined by how it will affect the bottom line"), or even paternalistic ("I'm committed to taking care of my subordinates and pointing them in the right direction"). A participative style is currently quite popular: an open-door method of managing in which you get things done by motivating people and delegating responsibility. As you consider this question, think about whether your style will let you work happily and effectively within the organization.
13. Are you a good manager?
Can you give me some examples? Do you feel that you have top managerial potential?Keep your answer achievement and ask-oriented. Rely on examples from your career to buttress your argument. Stress your experience and your energy.
14. What do you look for when you hire people?
Think in terms of skills, initiative, and the adaptability to be able to work comfortably and effectively with others. Mention that you like to hire people who appear capable of moving up in the organization.
15. Have you ever had to fire people?
What were the reasons, and how did you handle the situation?Admit that the situation was not easy, but say that it worked out well, both for the company and, you think, for the individual. Show that, like anyone else, you don't enjoy unpleasant tasks but that you can resolve them efficiently and -in the case of firing someone- humanely.
16. What do you think is the most difficult thing about being a manager or executive?Mention planning, execution, and cost-control. The most difficult task is to motivate and manage employees to get something planned and completed on time and within the budget.
17. What important trends do you see in our industry?
Be prepared with two or three trends that illustrate how well you understand your industry. You might consider technological challenges or opportunities, economic conditions, or even regulatory demands as you collect your thoughts about the direction in which your business is heading.
18. Why are you leaving (did you leave) your present (last) job?
Be brief, to the point, and as honest as you can without hurting yourself. Refer back to the planning phase of your job search. where you considered this topic as you set your reference statements. If you were laid off in an across-the-board cutback, say so; otherwise, indicate that the move was your decision, the result of your action. Do not mention personality conflicts. The interviewer may spend some time probing you on this issue, particularly if it is clear that you were terminated. The "We agreed to disagree" approach may be useful. Remember hat your references are likely to be checked, so don't concoct a story for an interview.
19. How do you feel about leaving all your benefits to find a new job?
Mention that you are concerned, naturally, but not panicked. You are willing to accept some risk to find the right job for yourself. Don't suggest that security might interest you more than getting the job done successfully.
20. In your current (last) position, what features do (did) you like the most?
The least?Be careful and be positive. Describe more features that you liked than disliked. Don't cite personality problems. If you make your last job sound terrible, an interviewer may wonder why you remained there until now.
21. What do you think of your boss?
Be as positive as you can. A potential boss is likely to wonder if you might talk about him in similar terms at some point in the future.
22. Why aren't you earning more at your age?
Say that this is one reason that you are conducting this job search. Don't be defensive.
23. What do you feel this position should pay?
Salary is a delicate topic. We suggest that you defer tying yourself to a precise figure for as long as you can do so politely. You might say, "I understand that the range for this job is between N______ and N______. That seems appropriate for the job as I understand it." You might answer the question with a question: "Perhaps you can help me on this one. Can you tell me if there is a range for similar jobs in the organization?" If you are asked the question during an initial screening interview, you might say that you feel you need to know more about the position's responsibilities before you could give a meaningful answer to that question. Here, too, either by asking the interviewer or search executive (if one is involved), or in research done as part of your homework, you can try to find out whether there is a salary grade attached to the job. If there is, and if you can live with it, say that the range seems right to you. If the interviewer continues to probe, you might say, "You know that I'm making N______ now. Like everyone else, I'd like to improve on that figure, but my major interest is with the job itself." Remember that the act of taking a new job does not, in and of itself, make you worth more money. If a search firm is involved, your contact there may be able to help with the salary question. He or she may even be able to run interference for you. If, for instance, he tells you what the position pays, and you tell him that you are earning that amount now and would Like to do a bit better, he might go back to the employer and propose that you be offered an additional 10%. If no price range is attached to the job, and the interviewer continues to press the subject, then you will have to restpond with a number. You cannot leave the impression that it does not really matter, that you'll accept whatever is offered. If you've been making $80,000 a year, you can't say that a $35,000 figure would be fine without sounding as if you've given up on yourself. (If you are making a radical career change, however, this kind of disparity may be more reasonable and understandable.) Don't sell yourself short, but continue to stress the fact that the job itself is the most important thing in your mind. The interviewer may be trying to determine just how much you want the job. Don't leave the impression that money is the only thing that is important to you. Link questions of salary to the work itself. But whenever possible, say as little as you can about salary until you reach the "final" stage of the interview process. At that point, you know that the company is genuinely interested in you and that it is likely to be flexible in salary negotiations.
24. What are your long-range goals?
Refer back to the planning phase of your job search. Don't answer, "I want the job you've advertised." Relate your goals to the company you are interviewing: 'in a firm like yours, I would like to..."
25. How successful do you you've been so far?
Say that, all-in-all, you're happy with the way your career has progressed so far. Given the normal ups and downs of life, you feel that you've done quite well and have no complaints. Present a positive and confident picture of yourself, but don't overstate your case. An answer like, "Everything's wonderful! I can't think of a time when things were going better! I'm overjoyed!" is likely to make an interviewer wonder whether you're trying to fool him . . . or yourself. The most convincing confidence is usually quiet confidence.

As Reprinted from FOCUS Magazine -- January 5, 1983 The 25 most difficult questions you'll be asked on a job interview

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Seven Steps to your new career

What a terrible time to make life-affecting decisions the twenties are! Who to marry? How should we know, at age twenty they all look alike to us. Where to live? Well, we only know one town, the place we grew up, so how should we know if other places are better? What should we do for a career? Search us!

But apparently, many of us pick the wrong career. You know because you hear so many forty-year-olds groaning: "This isn't what I wanted to do!" "Boy, if I knew then what I know now!" "If I had it to do over again, I would have stuck to plumbing like Dad told me to!" and my favorite, "I'm getting too old for this!” at age 42.

Well, here's yet another quick career guide. Maybe it will help you, and maybe it won't. But given how every other method for determining the outcome of your life seems to have the same odds as a coin toss, maybe it won't be any worse than any other method.

Step One: Completely eliminate this self defeating phrase from your vocabulary: "It is too late". Live with how good it feels to change your life perspective. It is never too late to have your own dream career. It might be difficult for you to go after it. It might be one of the greatest challenges of your time, but if you desire it, that is when it is never too late.

Step Two: Dare to dream, dream big, and dream deep. You do have a dream to call your own? Do you imagine yourself pursuing some other path and working in a brand new career or field? What is it that you see? How do you want to spend your days and weeks? If you already enjoy your career, how could you make it that much better? Brainstorm your ideas on a sheet of paper and think about these questions. If you are spending an inordinate amount of time dreaming about another, different way to work, it is time to do

Something deterministic about it. You do not have to run right out and quit your current job; in fact, please do not. But there is no harm in investigating the many possibilities.

Step Three: Take a few moments to design your ideal career life. Now match it with your real life which you have around you. Doing the "wheel of life" exercise is great for this test. With this exercise you can visibly see how much closer your ideal and actual life really is, and determines how comfortable or uncomfortable you are with this new match. Now, design your perfect, ideal day. What would have to change in your life so that you could live more of your dream days? What are you willing to do, how far are you willing to stretch to make it a promising reality?

Speak with those closest to you about your career ideas and dreams. Ask them to come on the journey of discovery with you, but be sure to listen to and validate their concerns and fears. If you choose to change careers it is likely that you will not be the only one who is impacted. Talk about the other possibilities. Anticipate the obstacles and leave the discussion wide open. Allow your partner the chance to sit with it for a while, and then realize that although you may have spent the past six months or ten years or so wishing you were doing something else, this may come as somewhat of a surprise to this person and you have to let him or her absorb all of it.

Step Four: Listen to your inner intuition. What do you do better than anybody else? What comes the most naturally to you? What is effortless for you to do? What is the one thing or many things, you can do today to let your unique gifts and talents shine? What can you do today that will make your heart sing with joy? What is holding you back from it? If you feel some fear about changing your secure situation, what is behind the prohibiting fear? What is the worst that could happen if you decided to make just one single, solitary small change? Choose to do something today that would move you ever closer to your dream day or ideal life and see how that feels to accomplish it. If it works for you, then take another step.

Step Five: Now that you have asked a lot of these tough questions, answer this for yourself. Where do you want to be in terms of your career in another five or ten years? If you were to fully live your life's true purpose, what changes would you then have to make? If you were doing the same thing in five years that you are doing now, how would you feel then? What regrets would you have about your path? Is that all right with you? If it is not, do something about it. Step Six: Evaluate the barriers that might be getting in the way of your making a defining change. Think about the role that money, expectations, time, confidence, and guilt all play into what you expect of yourself. Now take those factors away and what do you hear that remains? Imagine that you have decided to pursue your inner passions. What is the first step in your journey? Who could you talk to that could help illuminate your goal forward? What does it feel like to live in that personal space for a while? Pay attention to how that dream feels; the more you want it, the more determined you will be to get it!

Step Seven: Do like they teach in business school, only this time working for yourself, and create an action plan. If you have decided to stay in your current career position, speak with your boss or supervisor and come up with a plan to help you get more skill invested in your work. Maybe you could ask to work on a special project? Or ask to find a way to use your strengths and experience in a new way to pick up new responsibilities. If you have decided to pursue a different career path, identify the necessary steps you need to take to make your dream a reality.

Did it work? Well, if it did, glad to help, and if it didn't, what did you expect from an online article?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J_Stone

Career tests are just tool to help you find the ideal Career

Career tests are amongst many different related tools that can help make the early part of your job-search manageable, and thus set you on a shorter path to your ultimate goals. Career tests are essential tools in opening up new possibilities and helping you to make important career decisions at key points in your life. Most of these tests are used to provide an indication of which jobs match your personality type and which will provide maximum job satisfaction.

Whilst there is a wide variety of tests available, some are proven and some are not, so you may need to take some 'with a pinch of salt'.

By completing a variety of different career tests, many of which will give you a free report, you'll get a wider profile of potential career options. You can follow up with buying reports only when they appear really relevant to your understanding. Career tests have one simple purpose: to provide ideas you might not have considered and suggestions that may be worth following up. The twist is that personality tests can give you ideas about what you should do rather than you simply pondering what you want to do. There are many types of assessments and career tests that all seem to be put under the same title of "Career Tests".

Personality tests assess your traits, values and attitudes that describe your character or personality profile. These are the type of tests employers typically use to screen candidates for employment. If nothing else, you will gain information on potential careers that you can explore to see if they really are a good fit. The other important aspect of this is you gain a better ability to talk about and describe your own personality - how many people have been floored by the question "what sort of person are you?" or "describe your personality for me"?

Whereas aptitude career tests try to determine how well you are likely to perform a role in future, that is one of the reasons that more and more businesses are using personality tests before hiring their new employees. It eases the burden of decision-making.

Career tests can be fun for some and agonizing for others but all in all, they are good springboards for future possibilities. On-line personality and career tests are useful tools to help you evaluate your interests, values, skills, personality, and then match these characteristics with careers that fit the above criteria.

Peter Fisher is an expert Author, Career Coach and Publisher of Tests: How To Pass Them

Career- How to do your Career Analysis

We all must do analysis of vital factors that shape our work life. Let us do a quick analysis of your career and find out if major changes are needed.


Chronic stress over a period of time may make you feel totally helpless and unable to cope up with demands of life. This can cause burn out. When in a job, you feel that you are overburdened, and under appreciated, that the demands of the job are increasing and despite all your efforts you are not able to manage the work and get blames for not performing, stress becomes chronic and one loses interest in work and many other activities in life. This is burnout. Absolute helplessness is experienced during burn out and one finds that one can simply not continue.


Are you feeling that you are getting a raw deal in your job? Do you feel that you are being blamed wrongly? That you are being given more responsibilities than you can handle? That no body bothers about your comfort? You do not get any appreciation? That your smallest mistake is being blown out of proportion and you are made to feel bad? You may be getting emotionally abused? Are you getting a strong sense of discomfort? Then you are being victimized.

Right Seat-

We all have a chair that designates a position in our career. For most of us the position, the responsibilities, the growth prospects and many such factors decide if we are happy in our seat? Sometimes, we may be unaware that another seat may send us much higher in the hierarchy and satisfaction level. Sometimes we are frustrated with our job for no easily identifiable reason. There are many such factors that determine if we are on the right seat. Find out if you are on the right seat.

How Career ambitions can be achieved

Are your career ambitions to be in a job that provides you with a sense of security challenges you and ultimately makes you happy? But closely linked to the education one gets, the environment one grows up in, the people you interact with, career ambitions are complex and multi-dimensional. With a career change being necessary, for whatever the reason, job interest, performance capability and career ambitions are not necessarily aligned

Do you struggle with poor job choices, bad employment options, and frustrated career ambitions? Women often perfect their skills in larger corporations, but leave when their career ambitions are not fulfilled. A major setback for women in terms of careers is having children and part time or flexible working can mean career ambitions are curtailed.

It's almost unbelievable that 30 years after the Sex Discrimination Act came into force, that half the population (no minority group here then) are being short changed and under represented in the most powerful positions

What Can You Do About It?

Keep yourself motivated and learning with a fresh professional challenge. Keep on the course that you have already set for yourself.

If you do poorly in an interview and do not receive an offer, it could be because of one or more of these common interview faults:

  • Insufficient ability to describe your career direction;
  • Failure to project your qualifications for the position;
  • Apparent absence of personal initiative;
  • Need for greater self-confidence;
  • Inappropriate personal appearance or dress;
  • Lack of knowledge of the company or firm;
  • Inability to express yourself clearly;
  • Failure to ask relevant questions

It is your responsibility to ensure the interviewer gets the information needed to make an employment decision in your favour. At the end of the interview you have the opportunity to ask questions covering new information and clarifying previous points such as: “How long is the training program?” or “Is this a new position?”

Finding Opportunities

Look at the internet every other day and join as many "jobs by email" lists as possible. Go for any job remotely connected to what you want to do, even if they ask for something you haven't got; you can find out about skills in demand and if you get an interview then you can demonstrate your abilities to learn. The goal of the interview is to get to know you so that you can be evaluated for a job you will be able to thrive in and where you can do your best.

After all, for a successful company to continue to succeed, you must share a sense of purpose and motivation. This is because an employee's ability to make a good first impression is a definite asset to the individual and the firm/company he or she represents.

Peter Fisher is an expert Author and webmaster for Career Consulting Limited

Interviewing tips to get you that Job

During an interview, there will probably be discussions on topics such as job performance, experience, education, strength and weaknesses and operating style. You can also expect to be asked these three most popular questions: Tell me a little about yourself? What are your weaknesses? Why did you leave your last job? Be prepared to give winning answers to these and other questions.

Here are samples of questions and winning answers.

When asked to talk about yourself, some people may start by saying: “I’m Mary, I was born in Texas, reared d in North Carolina, finished high school and went to college. I am now looking for a job so that I can get a piece of the American Dream.” They can see that you have a story, but this is not what they are looking for at this time. An example is to elaborate on what you can offer the company to help the organization meet its goals.

When asked to talk about your weaknesses, some people may start by saying: “I can only lift the five-pound dumb bells when I exercise. I am trying to get to the next level which is the ten-pound bell.” They can see that you have been exercising, but they are not looking for answers to exercising problems. Try elaborating on weaknesses that are real, understandable and work-related. An example: “I used to have a tendency of always being late for meetings. Now I keep everything on a daily calendar on my computer with a program that plays music to remind me of my meetings ahead of time so that I will not miss them.” To find the answer to this question, look back over your work experiences for challenges you conquered in the past such as learning new computer software, public speaking, research, writing a report and dealing with a difficult employee.

When they ask why did you leave your last job, some people may start by saying: “My boss was a jerk and he hired a group of losers.” They can see that you want to vent about past frustrations, but this is not the time to trash your boss and coworkers. During the interview it is important to be honest and to stay positive. Try elaborating on your desire for growth and new opportunities on the job. An example: “My company downsized and laid off our department, and because of it, I am seeking a higher level of responsibility to enhance my career.”

Always be prepared to discuss topics such as job benefits, salary, travel, promotion and working hours. Be prepared to answer the “Why” questions such as the ones listed below: Why did you decide to apply for a position at this company? Why should we hire you? To answer these questions, you will have to speak about your abilities, strong work ethics, integrity, honesty and goals. The winning answers to these and other questions will help you to get that job.

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The 10 Worst Answer To Job Interview Questions

Let me start by saying that these might not be the ten worst answers to job interview questions of all time. They are, however, among the ten worst responses that I have ever heard. That’s right - these are all true.

Some of these responses I heard from students in career development classes and others actually came from people who were interviewing with me for real jobs. Hopefully you won’t recognize yourself in any of these examples.

1. What interests you in this job?
Answer: I don’t know. I couldn’t possibly afford to work here for the amount of money you are paying.

2. How would you respond if a student asked you XYZ?
Answer: You’ve got to be kidding. No one would ever ask me anything that stupid.

3. Why are you interested in working in sales? (Note: It was a sales job.)
Answer: Oh, I’m not. I hate sales. I would never work in sales.

4. Are the hours of this job convenient for you?
Answer: Oh yes. I’ll just get my boyfriend to drop the kids off here when he picks them up after school.

5. Why did you leave your last job?
Answer: Everybody there hated me. They accused me of stealing and I got sick of it so I walked out and never went back.

6. How would your last boss describe you?
Answer: Lazy

7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Answer: I don’t understand the question.

8. What did you like best about your last job?
Answer: It sure wasn’t my boss. I hated her. I don’t know who she thought she was, firing me.

9. How would you handle an irate customer?
Answer: Come get you to deal with it. Stuff like that isn’t my job.

10. What’s the most important thing to you in a job:
Answer: Plenty of sick time. I’ve got three kids who are always sick and nobody to help me.

While this list may make you chuckle, the point here is that people actually chose to answer job interview questions in this manner. It really isn’t funny when people don’t know better than to talk themselves out of even being considered for jobs they might otherwise be qualified for.

The people who were my students just kept answering the same questions over again until they came up with acceptable responses. The other ones? I hope that at some point they figured out better ways to respond in job interview situations

Courtesy Mary Gormandy

Always an Interview Never a Job Offer

Have you been on more interviews than you can count lately? While it is very encouraging to get called and invited to interview for a job that interests you, it can become very frustrating when the interviews never evolve into job offers. While many people tend to blame their resumes when they don’t get the jobs they want, their resumes aren’t always the problem. If you are getting invited to interview on the basis of your resume, the document isn’t likely to be the culprit. After all, you are getting called in for the interviews, the resume itself must look pretty good.

It is important to understand that you aren’t likely to get every single job for which you interview. Some jobs are meant for you and some jobs are not. However, when you habitually get overlooked when it comes to job offers, or even second interviews, it is a good time to step back and try to figure out where you have room to improve. You might just be having a string of bad luck, but there might be something going on that you can fix pretty easily.

In such situations, the problem typically is either a function of (a) your interviewing skills or (b) inconsistency between what your resume says and what you are saying in the interview.

Interviewing Skills.
The best way to assess your interviewing skills is to seek out the assistance of someone you can trust to give you an honest opinion of how you come across in an interview. Set up a mock-interview situation with a friend that you trust to be honest with you.

Better yet, apply with an employment agency or visit your local one-stop career center. Let the recruiter or job developer you meet with know that you are concerned with how you are coming across to prospective employers. A good recruiter or job developer will gladly work with you to polish your interviewing techniques. After all, their goal is to help match applicants with jobs. Getting you placed will be their victory just as much as it is yours.

Inconsistency between Resume and Responses.
Do not lose sight of the fact that your resume is getting interviews for you. Something that your resume is “saying” appeals to prospective employers. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t be inviting you to interview. Take a look at your resume, and think abut how it consistently it reflects what you tell employers in an interview.

If your resume states that your career objective is to seek an entry-level sales position, and you proceed to tell the interviewer that you have no interest in working in sales and that you are terrified at the prospect of making a cold call, you can bet that this type of inconsistency is going to keep you from getting the job offer. Further, it is likely to keep you from ever getting any type of offer from the company because the recruiter will not be happy that you wasted his or her time applying for a job that you did not want to start with.

Another common problem occurs when what your resume says about your work experience contradicts what you say in an interview. Recent graduates often put internships and volunteer work on their resumes as documentation of experience, yet tell interviewers they don’t have any experience in the field. Does your resume show that you completed an internship in a doctor’s office and list the tasks that you performed during your internship? If so, when a recruiter asks you if you have experience, are you going to say “no” just because it wasn’t paid experience? If so, you are quite literally shooting yourself in the foot.

Fixing the Problem.
When you keep getting interviews, but you never seem to get the job offers that you want, it is time to reflect on how prepared you are for your interviews. Preparing for an interview is homework. In order to do well in a job interview, you need to research the company and the requirements of the job and figure out how you are coming across to interviewers.

Make a list of the questions you were asked on your last interview, and really put some thought into how the questions should be answered. Get feedback from other people about your answers. This will help you figure out the best way to respond to similar questions in the future.

Remember that getting a job offer as the result of an interview is like closing the sale. You resume got you the appointment. Now you have to figure out what it is that you have to do differently during the appointments to get the end result that you want.

Mary gormandy: White is a career and training expert who specializes in customer service, management, communication, and career development training at Mobile Technical Institute

Appearance Matters In Job Interviewing

You’ve heard the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” many times during your life. While this concept rings true in every aspect of life, perhaps the most important time to stop and consider what this means is when preparing for a job interview.

The overall impression that you make begins, and in some cases ends, with your appearance. The moment you are introduced to a job interviewer, he or she forms an initial impression based on your appearance. When you have a chance to interview for a job that you want, it is important that you do everything that you can to make a positive impression on the interviewer.

When it comes to job interviews, appearance matters. If your overall appearance conveys a favorable impression, the interview is off to a positive start. However, if your appearance sends the wrong message, the interviewer will probably decide then and there that you are not the right candidate for the job.

The clothes that you wear to your job interview play a major role in the first impression you make on the interviewer. You should always wear professional attire to an interview for a professional job, even if the office observes a more casual dress code. In addition to being professional in style, your attire must also be clean and pressed.

Your grooming also sends a message to the job interviewer. Women should wear makeup to job interviews so their appearance looks “finished”. However, it is important not to wear too much makeup. Hair should be clean and well-groomed. If you need a hair cut, get one before you go on your interview. Unkempt hair is often interpreted as an indication of disorganization and laziness.

The accessories that complete your interview outfit also contribute to the overall impression you will make on the interviewer. Your shoes should not be scuffed or have worn down heels. You should not wear flashy jewelry or excessive amounts of jewelry.

Don’t exclude yourself from consideration for a great job because your appearance doesn’t send the right message. When an interviewer looks at you, he or she should see a well put together professional who looks ready to go to work the same day. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that skills are all you need to land the job of your dreams. Appearance matters in job interviewing!

Mary Gormandy White is a career and training expert who specializes in customer service, management, and career development training at Mobile Technical Institute http://www.mobiletechwebsite.com

Dream Job - A Reality Check

In life the quest for the perfect career is a challenging experience. This is a dream almost all of us have in common. To quantify this success, we need to have clarity of thought and persistence in finding our potential.

Many of us tend to develop a laid back attitude, or are indecisive and wait, hoping for something better, letting go of the best opportunities. We don’t recognize the goose that is here to lay a golden egg in our backyard.

There is an endless need for people in every industry and along with it are the competitions to reach to the top. When this big picture is cut into tiny pieces then it is easy to proceed in an organized and systematic manner. But if you are uncertain, then this same picture will appear jumbled like a jigsaw puzzle. You will be struggling with every piece, trying to match with the right shape and size.

As a college fresher, I had met with a guidance counselor for suggestions.

“So what kind of a job are you looking for?” she asked.

“A job with a lot of money,” I replied with confidence.

“And what are you willing to do for this?”

“As little work as possible.”

The rib-tickling laughter of the counselor still echoes in my mind.

First you need to know the expectations that you have from your career. The number one priority could be money. We all have to eat and pay bills.

The second could be job satisfaction. You need that to wake up in the morning, feel refreshed and be enthusiastic to start a new day. Besides these there are other factors that affect this decision like peer and family pressure. You may want to remain with that close circle of friends and pursue what they are doing or do what your parents want to you do, just to make them feel proud. In this process, you ignore the inner voice and suppress your aspirations.

Learn to diversify your skills and knowledge, keeping in mind the job descriptions. For example: If you are a person who loves to talk and enjoys making new friends. Then you can convert this trait into a profession. You can seek employment in a customer service department, public relations or guest relations of an organization. Going an extra mile to make people feel at home and developing a bond with them, fulfills your passion. And believe me, people do acknowledge this gesture. This also acts as a good recommendation for your future placements.

Skills never get wasted; it is their quality that diminishes because of our failure to consider them worthwhile. At many interviews a frequently asked question is, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”

Can you truthfully answer this question without taking a minute to think? If you are able to, then you have made the right career choice. But if you are not sure and need to think of a diplomatic answer then you will have to reorganize your priorities. So strike a balance with the market trends and your interests, widen and highlight your skills. Reword your resume and get the dream job that you are so passionate about.

Success is always at your fingertips, it just knows the right skill to grab it.

Nayna Chakrabarty, a talented writer has many popular articles published on http://www.nayna.in

How to create a CV

The abbreviation CV stands for Curriculum Vitae, which literally means Life List. The purpose of writing a CV is to sell you and your unique skills to get an interview. It refers to what you have done in your career so far and specific information regarding your qualifications. The aim is to provide evidence of your skills, but not to tell your life story.

A good CV will add value to your job searching. The quality of your CV will determine whether or not you get an opportunity to sell yourself at an interview. Remember, your CV is the first impression a prospective employer gets of you, so don’t make it the last.

Your CV should be developed as a standard, organized document, but you will need to tailor it to individual jobs. This would normally be based on information in the advertisement, and the job description and person specification requirements.

There are many ways to develop and lay out your CV, but generally speaking, the following areas will be covered:

1. Personal details – your name, address, telephone number, mobile number, email address. Your potential employer needs to know how to get hold of you.

2. Personal profile – a summary paragraph about you, your experience, and your aspirations for your future career.

3. Your work history – this should cover a brief, but precise background about your career to date. This will include the job you have currently and those you have had in the past. Ideally, this will include your job title, the company name, dates of employment and a summary of your job and responsibilities.

4. Formal qualifications and professional development – this will include a list of your qualifications, and the name of the institutes where these were obtained.

5. Interests and hobbies – in this section you can summarize what you enjoy doing outside of work, which may set you apart from people with a similar background.

6. References – this will be the last section of your CV, and will normally detail that references can be made available on request.

When you are developing your CV, there are some other vital points you should remember:

• Your CV should ideally be no more than 2 pages long and never be more than 3 pages.

• Your CV should be typed and printed on good white quality paper, and not photocopied.

• Don’t use abbreviations in your CV. The person that reads it may not understand the jargon and you risk your CV being rejected.

• Ensure it looks professional, which easy to read type and layout. Ideally the font size should be point 12.

• Don’t lie on your CV and you will only be found out. Make yourself look as good as possible but you don’t need to lie to do that.

• And lastly, ensure your CV is free from errors। Check and double check the content, spelling, and grammar or ask someone to do this for you.

Copyright Karen Williams 2007. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Layout of Your Resume

Layout of Your Resume

On this site we aim to bring you all the Resume writing tips, facts and secrets of the experts so that you won't make the common mistakes and let yourself down when it comes to writing your Resume or CV.

We are going to show you exactly what you need to do and how to write a Resume and win your dream job.
Don't be put off by the task, it will be worthwhile. With the information provided for you on this site you will be able to write a Resume that you will be proud to send out any prospective employer. In fact it will be so good that you will want to show it to everybody you know!
LayoutA good layout will have plenty of relevant detail but still shows lots of white space so it is not too off-putting to the reader. Notice that the most prominent item is the NAME helping it to be remembered.
Take a look at this as a recommended style of 2-page Resume layout.

Street address, telephone and email contact details all at the top.
An introductory paragraph helps the reader to know about your level of work, your sectors and highlights your key skills.
Career section clearly starts with previous employer and job title on the left with dates on the right margin.Follow this with a section of 'Achievements' focused on your outputs and value-added.

Repeat for each of your previous employments, reducing the level of detail. But aim for no more than two pages. Page two continues to go further back into your history, but anything older than say 10 years becomes less relevant other than as a record. Older employments can just be entered with name and dates for the record.
Now enter your Professional Qualifications and Memberships with appropriate dates.
A summary of specialist skills such as Operating Systems, foreign or computer languages or other areas that bring depth to your Resume can be added at this point.
If you can achieve a clear layout like this you are on the way to an interview-winning Resumé and getting the dream job you desire.

Getting Started on Your Resume

Getting Started on Your Resume
It’s not always possible to get it onto two pages but it really is worth the effort to do so. Be ruthless with your editing - you’re not trying to include everything you’ve ever done; in fact if you do then you’ll probably end up disguising the very things they need to see. So keep it to as few words as possible.
What you see in the Resume detail on this page is a very clear two-page layout; there’s plenty of detail but it is not packed so tight that it becomes an effort to read.
What you are also seeing is a real CV which I produced for a client in January. Only the name has been changed to protect the innocent!
He admitted to being sceptical about the value of having his Resume professionally prepared but wanted to 'give it a go' because his own Resume was getting him nowhere.
Within two days this new professionally prepared Resume produced a stream of interviews and he is now considering offers.
Let’s Get Started

The Resume starts with your name written very clearly and prominently at the top of the page using Arial and 16 to 20 point font size. Follow this with ALL of your contact details so they don't have to search for them, if they can’t see how to reach you right away they might not bother. Include all your phone numbers; any email addresses where you can be reached and your street address. A quick call or email may be needed to clarify a point and could influence whether they want to see you. I suggest you use Arial size 10 or 11 point font. Never go smaller than 10 as it gets too hard for some people to read.
Make sure there is plenty of white space on the page. Then insert a three to four line summary statement about your level of work, sectors and key skills.

As an example a Project Supply Manager's statement could read:
“Qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) highly experienced in managing people, the associated professional services, suppliers and technology for multiple national and international large-scale projects in the telecoms, engineering and public sectors. Excellent financial budgeting analysis and management; business case and business plan development.”

An Engineer might write:
"Chartered Professional Engineer, with strategic and operational achievement in Engineering, Production and Quality management roles; Excellent track record in blue chip international organization and in FMCG, Food and Manufacturing environments."
More examples follow:

An Accounts Assistant could say:
"Experienced accounts assistant capable of handling both the Purchase ledger and the Sales ledger duties in an international trading company. Regular liaison with customers and suppliers; always hard working, adaptable and enjoys a challenge."

An IT Manager:
"Senior IT Manager experienced in formulating and negotiating commercially sound solutions for a large number and range of projects, services and technologies; well developed inter-personal skills, motivation and team building, with an analytical and investigative approach to work."
A Commercial Manager could write:
"An experienced commercial manager with a broad European business background; skilled in development areas such as new start-ups and joint ventures. Fully accountable and responsible to Board for both regulated and non-regulated businesses where risk management and cost control are critical."
Identify your (most recent or current) employer with dates. Don’t bother about the months unless it’s just a short period. Use the same font and point size as above but make it bold. Employers check dates so make sure they add up.

Job TitleShow your job title on a separate line and make that bold as well.
Side Note If your actual job title is one of those wonderful but meaningless titles, change it to something that everyone will understand for the CV. You can explain at interview "my real job title was..."

See u on top reall soon!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You and your dream job

Getting a dream job is the desire of many,still many dont know how to get this done.Below are a list of this you should or shouldn't do.Wishing you all the luck in your job hunt.Congrats in advance and would love to hear from you when that job comes.

No matter how many firms I apply to, I constantly get rejections despite being on track to get a good degree and from a good university. What am I doing wrong?

Cover letters
Graduate recruiters will pass over your application unless you tell them why they should employ you; this is best done in the cover letter. Bullet points make good reading as they show clarity of thought, break down the job description by bullet points and match each one with your suitability. Explain why you have decided to apply for this particular job, why you will be good at it and the reason you want to work for them and not their competitors.

Vague job descriptions - my qualifications aren't up to it, should I apply anyway?

Cover letters

Anything expressed as a minimum in a job description means just that, so if a minimum grade or qualification is required it means that recruiters are unlikely to consider candidates that don't have exactly what's specified. However, an overlap of skills, experience, qualifications and attributes is normal. This means that if you have a lower grade of qualification than the one advertised but some related experience it may still be worth applying. In all cases list what your relevant attributes are and they match the minimum requirements high up in your cover letter starting with your strongest. If you're really unsure as to what the recruiter is looking for, email them and ask for further information.

A lot of people tell me I have to exaggerate the truth in my CV to get on, and that everybody else is doing it anyway so I'd be daft not to join in.

Concentrate on writing a compelling profile (description of your attributes) at the start of your CV and you won't have to lie about your qualifications, skills or grades. It's fine to promote why you'd be a good hire, but you don't need to lie to do that; just think of your job application or CV from the recruiter's perspective.

Can potential employers demand that I take a drugs test?

Yes employers can demand that you take a drugs test, but they need to publish or inform candidates that this is a requirement. It is common to test for drugs in industries where candidates work with pharmaceutical or biochemical products, finances or with young or vulnerable people. The armed and emergency forces and the prison service are also increasingly using drugs tests.

I was too busy studying and then went travelling after uni. Everybody bangs on about work experience - what can I do?

Checking your work experience is an easy way for employers to figure out what you'll be like as an employee. However, you can get around having limited or no work experience by describing yourself from an employer's perspective. The best way to do this is in the 'profile' section of your CV. If you've been travelling you may well be adventurous, independent and self-motivated, if you travelled in a group perhaps you are also sociable and a good team player. Employers recognise that many of the skills you develop whilst travelling can easily be transferred to the workplace. For more advice on gap year travel see To gap or not to gap.

How long should my CV be?

On average recruiters take 8 seconds to decide whether to screen a CV in or out. Keep your CV punchy and stick to the job of selling your abilities. Ideally it should be no more than two sides of A4 paper long. If you have recently graduated highlight your subject and course grades, also detail your dissertation or final year project describing its focus and how you went about completing it. Caroline Buckingham, Pro-Active Resourcer at Microsoft UK has the following tips: "As you can imagine we get hundreds of CVs submitted to Microsoft every day, therefore it's very important for a candidate to really think about their CV before they submit it. Keep it clear, to the point and highlight all the relevant skills needed for the job you are applying for. You may need to change each CV for every position you apply for as this will ensure you are tailoring your CV to the needs of the job.

"Should I include a photo or personal details in my CV?

There is no requirement to include marital status (this may not be the case for Nigerian employers), your vital statistics, or a photo in your CV as it's not relevant to your suitability for jobs. The exception are jobs where you wouldn't be considered unless you have certain attributes e.g. appearing on a reality TV singles show! Any unusual requests should be stated and explained in the job description. You don't have to justify life style choices; suitability for the role in question is all that a recruiter should be interested in.

How do I get good work references if I've been at university and don't have work experience?

If this is your first job references from tutors, mentors, or friends (preferably those that work in business) are fine. You don't need to stipulate who your referees are on your CV or job application, just put at the bottom of your CV that you do have referees available to be contacted if necessary. If your future employer (or college) wants to take up references, warn your referees and find out how they would prefer to be contacted. If your prospective employer wants to call your referees agree a time. You don't want your referee to get called mid-way through their weekly shop!

Qualified but lacking in experience?

If you have the qualifications, but lack the experience, consider advising or working (part-time) with local businesses to build up your experience. Diversity or breadth of experience matters more than length of time. You will demonstrate enthusiasm and perseverance to your prospective employer and these personality facets add value to an organisation.

Best wishes and get that dream job soon.