YOU’VE LANDED AN INTERVIEW – NOW WHAT?

Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview with what you believe to be your dream job. For many, this may seem like the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the process. Unfortunately, landing an interview is just the beginning.

Here are a few things you should do before, during and after your interview to show your potential employer that you deserve to be in the position that you’re in.

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW

1. Complete Research on the Company you will be Interviewing for

You never want to go to an interview without digging in and finding out more information on the company. Think of this exploratory phase as a way for you to understand the company and the industry that they are in and whether or not the position truly is a good fit for you. Completing in-depth research before you even apply to the job would be in your best interest (but let’s just assume you have done so already).

During this discovery phase you should make an effort to find information such as press that the company has been included in (good or bad), individuals that work for the company and even past employees who previously worked there and finding out from what they liked/disliked most about the company and their position. All this information will be integral in one of the upcoming steps that I have outlined below for you to be successful in the interviewing process. Also note, if a company does not have a digital presence (ummm, it’s 2017), I would be wary in moving forward as it may turn out to be a scam or a position that is no longer desirable once you are on board due to false advertising (which is never fun to get involved with). Check out this article on The Balance on how to not get scammed.

All in all, it is never a bad thing to go into an interview with having an overabundance of knowledge. Not only does the hiring manager need to know that you have an interest in the company, but knowing information as if you are already an employee will let the hiring manager see that you could be a really good fit.

2. Find out who is doing the Interviewing

This is usually outlined to you when a recruiter or executive assistant is scheduling an interview with you. Knowing who will be conducting your interview beforehand may put your mind at ease. Additionally, this is a great opportunity to inquire about the person on a personal and professional level. I realize that interviews have the stigma to always be about you, however, splitting up the interview to learn more about the interviewer can transform your nerve-wrecking interview into an actual conversation. The interviewer is doing research on you, so why not do the same and make the most out of small talk.

Lastly, all of your interview answers should be polished, direct and to the point. However, depending on the title of the person conducting your interview, you should prepare a variety of questions. Questions directed towards HR, a manger or CEO could be vastly different and you want to make sure you know who your audience is to tailor the right questions for the right person.

3. Prepare a List of Questions

As explained in the previous step, this will be very crucial during your interview. It’s considered to be one of the most important steps. When the employer asks you if you have any questions, never say no. Not coming prepared with questions shows that you are not really interested in working at said company. It also makes you look unprepared and that you are just looking for a job to have a job (which I know that’s not the case because you are a motivated and an inquisitive person)! Below is a document that can be used in an interview to guide your discussion with a potential employer.

4. Practice, Practice, PRACTICE

According to U.S. News most candidates don’t practice for interviews… and it shows. I for one have had my fair share of unfortunate interviews, but you live, learn and move on with your new learnings to have an exceptional interview in the future. When candidates do practice interview questions they seem to be more polished and poised in their answers which results in a very effective interview.

Ensure that you are prepared for your next interview by thinking about the questions you are most likely to be asked or practice the answers to questions that you stuttered through in previous interviews. Make sure that you are writing out your answers and practicing them out loud in the mirror or to someone you know and trust. You want to make sure that you get really familiar with the job description and highlight skills that you know are your strengths and that the employer is looking for within the position you applied to.

One final thing you should most likely do, but is not entirely required is to do a dress rehearsal a couple of days prior to the interview. Make sure that the attire that you plan to wear is dry cleaned, pressed and without stains or holes. For the ladies, always stick with a skirt or dress that is finger tip length (yes, I’m going back to grade school). Basically, if you sit down and your skirt or dress is essentially a mini skirt, you should not wear it. As for dress type, business appropriate clothing never goes out of style, however, with the surge of startup companies and businesses that have more of a casual everyday work attire, I would strongly suggest conforming to business casual. Although a business suit never goes out of style, the potential employer wants to also make sure you will make a good fit into their company culture. If you are unsure what to wear, always resort to business, but if you know someone who works there or has worked there, I would strongly recommend asking them about the dress code. When preparing what you wear, always ensure that you feel comfortable and confident.

5. Research the Salary Range

All the above are very crucial, and since we have student debt to pay off and bills, it is key to know that you will be taken care of by the company that you potentially will commit a lot of time, money and resources to. Knowing an estimate of what you could potentially make is always a plus, but do not make that the centerpiece of conversation. It may leave a bad taste in the hiring managers mouth. In my experience you should never bring up how much you could make or negotiate a salary until you know for sure they are interested in hiring you. The only exception would be is if they ask you what your salary expectations are. In any case, you want to make sure you are prepared to answer that question as well.

I will say this – know your worth. If you have had a previous job prior to the one you’re applying to, great! At least you have a baseline of what your salary expectations are especially depending on what industry you’re in. However, if you are unsure what you should be making there are plenty of resources you can use such as other professionals in your network, your previous professors, advisors or mentors and websites such as Pay Scale, Glassdoor and Salary.

DURING THE INTERVIEW

6. The Face-to-Face Interview

Now that you have done all the above. You should be ready for your interview! Its time to show off your hard work. The challenge is to articulate all that you have practiced into short, meaningful sound bites to the interviewer. The Boss Group calls this, “30-second commercials… quick, concise, verbal snapshots of your skills and talents and how they match the job requirements.” All employers are looking for the same—the most qualified candidate at the most reasonable pay rate who will be highly motivated to contribute to the success of the company, department or project. Something about you has piqued their interest. And that’s all it takes to open doors. Here are a few helpful tips once you’re inside:

  • Arrive at least 5 minutes early.
  • Be well-groomed, clean and modest in your appearance.
  • Shake hands firmly and make immediate eye contact with a smile.
  • Be articulate, but don’t try too hard to impress . . . be yourself.
  • Look the person in the eye and show interest, even if you’re bored.
  • Try to get the employer to talk about himself/herself. The best interviews follow the 50-50 Rule . . . half the time you talk, the other half they talk.
  • Bring at least three clean copies of your resume, a list of your references, and a business card if you have one. More and more of today’s job candidates are also leaving behind professional portfolios containing artifacts of their achievements.
  • Bring a pad of paper to take notes.
  • Ask for business cards from each of the people with whom you interviewed.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW

7. Always say “Thank You”

Always send a thank you note within 24 hours to all of your interviewers. The thank you note shows that you are considerate. It also helps the employer to remember you, gives you an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position, and to add anything you forgot to tell them that you want them to know. The deliver can either be via email or snail mail – personally, I like to send a hand-written thank you note which shows I put in the extra effort.

8. Follow-up

Not only is it just good manners to follow-up an interview with a thank you note. While you can send notes in the form of an email, make sure to send them separately to each individual who was present during your interview. This more personal approach will stand out.

On the contrary, if the employer goes cold after your interview, it is appropriate to follow-up via email or phone call at a minimum of seven (7) days after your interview took place. Not only will this show that you are willing to take initiative, but you’ll also be clear on where your application stands. Should you not hear back from the employer, it is appropriate to follow-up at least three (3) times until it’s time to turn in the towel. Realize that individuals are very busy and may be up against deadlines or are traveling for work, so always keep that in mind!

It can be hard to let go, but if an employer fails to get back to you when they said they would follow-up, do some major evaluation on whether you think the company is the right fit. Just think, if you consistently do not follow-up with someone, do you think they would want to work with you? Same goes for an employer not following up with you. Make the decision that is in the best interest of you!

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DON’T WORRY, YOU’RE IN YOUR 20s!

When something doesn’t go your way, you can get a tinge of disappointment. It may also seem like you may not have it together because it feels as if you aren’t worthy. The good thing is, you’re in your 20s and probably have made more mistakes than you could count. What’s even better is that you’re only in your 20s and that’s the beauty of it. A contributing writer from Advice from a 20 Something blog, Chelsea Becker, gives an inside into what not to worry about in your career in your 20s.

A TITLE

Sure, having “manager” next to your name or some other fancy word feels good, but titles aren’t always the truest indicators of salary or responsibilities. Focus on the details behind the title. If you’re happy with those, don’t throw a fit over the name of your role. You may even come to find that roles without heavy titles are the best.

STAYING IN THE SAME FIELD

There’s a lot of pressure in college to choose a major or degree that you want to spend your career doing. And there’s a lot of stress about finding a job that correlates with your skills. The thing is, you can easily bounce around in your 20s to see how different roles and fields feel to you—no matter your degree or resume. You can’t necessarily do this your whole career, but that’s exactly what your 20s are for.

HOW “COOL” THE COMPANY IS

Living in the Bay Area, I hear of the insane perks that come with companies like Facebook, Pinterest, and Google. It can start to feel like a normal company isn’t cool enough. But before chasing a popular company, think back about your actual role and happiness. If you’re enjoying where you’re at, settle with the smaller, less-known company. The grass isn’t always greener!

BEING BFFS WITH COWORKERS

My first job out of college, I became friends with everyone I worked with. We’d go out after work and I even spent some weekend time with them. Then layoffs and drama happened and it was hard to draw the line between coworker and friend. Being pleasant to the people you work with is crucial, but don’t feel like you need to attend every Happy Hour or know all the office gossip. Your main priority is your job.

COMPENSATION

Like I said before, this is your time to experiment! You want to make enough money to pay bills and save a little, but if a job that you’re pumped about is offering less than something you’re not pumped about, take the pay cut. Learn to manage your finances and create a budget—make the money work. Your salary will eventually increase. This may be the only time in life we can afford to not worry about a mortgage or other financial responsibilities that come with age.

Have fun testing the field!

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20 THINGS NOBODY TELLS YOU WILL HAPPEN AFTER YOU GRADUATE COLLEGE

I am beyond excited to be graduating from college. I have been here for 5 years and after all the adversity I had to overcome during my time here, it makes me feel that much more ready to face the real world. Some soon-to-be-grads may find that graduating is daunting but John Acuff, a bestselling author of five books, including his latest, Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work & Never Get Stuck, gives us some reassuring advice for those scared out of their mind to graduate college.

  1. The real world is more fun than grumpy adults have ever told you.

Don’t listen to people in their 40s who act like the best part of your life ends the minute you get your diploma. Is the real world all cotton candy and unicorn rides? No. But neither is college. Misery loves company and recruits it too. When you start a new job there will inevitably be a group of people there who don’t like their job and don’t like being an adult. Avoid those people like the plague. They’ve brought into the cultural lie that a “job is just a job” and that you should only work for the weekend. Nonsense. Your job can be meaningful. Your weekdays can matter.

2. One of your friends will be instantly successful.

This does not necessarily have to be a close friend, but rather an acquaintance that you use to call on for a study buddy. You just know each other because you either took a really hard class together or you both are enrolled in the same major. They may move to New York City or San Francisco and make finding a job seem easy. They will earn the kind of money that allows you to pay for your own HBOGo pass instead of stealing your parents’. You will hate them for a little bit because watching their meteoric rise through the filtered window of social media will make you feel like it will never happen for you. Don’t get caught in the trap of comparison… as long as you continue to set goals for yourself you will be able to achieve just as much as your envied friend.

3. Your first job might not involve your major in a major way.

This is only a minor problem. You have 40+ years to reunite your job with your major – or you find that your major does not have major bearing on what you do in life and that’s fine. For me personally, I have found a job that complements my major but it I’ve realized that it’s alright if I go outside of the box. I want to be multi-faceted and so should you!

4. Your 20s are lonelier than you think they’ll be.

With the exception of your 21st birthday, arguably the last milestone that one could say is the most exciting. They’re glamorized in culture, presented as the time of your life. As you binge watch an entire season of House of Cards on Netflix, you will wonder, is every other person my age at an amazing party right now that I didn’t know about? They’re not. The truth is, when you leave college, you leave the tightest largest concentration of people who are your age. Suddenly, you’re scattered around the country and community won’t involve walking out onto the quad. You’ll have to fight for it. That’s not failure, that’s reality. Seek it out. It’s not easy to make friends as an adult but it’s definitely possible if you’re brave enough.

In addition, you may not be able to get together with your friends from college as often as you’d like because of your work schedules or you guys are not geographically close to one another. That’s an opportunity for you to plan with them and set a date to meet up or go on a mini vacation. Setting a date give you something to look forward to!

5. Being an adult comes with an obscene amount of paperwork.

Stay on top of it. Taxes, 401K enrollment, healthcare, apartment contracts… Prepare to be awash in forms that make the Apple iTunes agreement seem pleasant. Don’t ignore the paperwork. I once did and assumed the company I worked for would handle a healthcare issue I had. (I thought I had kidney stones; turns out it was just an ultimate Frisbee injury. What an adult I was!) I threw the paperwork in the trash. I didn’t think anything of it until years later when a collection agency came after me for $81 and my credit was garbage.

6. Your generation gets unfairly labeled for entitlement. Don’t accept that. 

Be humble at work. Show up with questions and a willingness to learn. Don’t act like you know everything already. You don’t, but you know what? Neither do we. People my age and the generations older than I am are a little afraid of you sometimes. We’re scared of the technologies you might know about that we’ve never even heard of. We don’t want to look dumb when we ask, “What is YikYak?” The truth is, we need you, just like you need us.

7. Pay attention in meetings.

Roughly 93 percent of your job depends on your ability to do this. You might have been able to tune out in a class of 400 people for an hour but if you try that in a meeting at work, people are going to notice. Don’t text under the table with your phone either. We can see you.

8. Treat email like it matters.

The other 7 percent of your job will be managing email. I sure wish it wasn’t because I hate email. (In fact, if you want to give me feedback about this article, just tweet me @JonAcuff instead. Feel free to say, “@JonAcuff your commencement tips are awesome/suck” depending on how you think it’s going.) You have to communicate clearly in your emails. You need to respond to your managers and coworkers quickly. You need to stay out of stupid passive-aggressive traps, like CCing someone’s superior, as a veiled threat. Work your inbox like it’s your job. Because it is.

9. Take risks.

You don’t have mortgages or kids or other responsibilities yet. Want to go abroad for a year and make a micro-salary teaching English? Want to start a business specializing in a heritage breed of rabbits for hipsters who are tired of suburban chickens already? Go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? You try it for a year, it fails and now you’re 23. You’ve got the rest of your life to play it safe.

10. Don’t put off your college loans.

The 9,000-pound elephant/gorilla/large scary animal in the corner is your student loans. Sallie Mae doesn’t mess around. Ignoring that you owe money doesn’t make them go away. Paying them back does.

11. Hold your money with an open hand.

Money is a something that pretends to be an Everything. It’s perfectly fine to take a job for a few years just to pay the bills and get by. There’s nobility in that. As your career progresses though, be careful that you don’t chase money at the exclusion of everything else. The amount of cash that will make you perfectly happy is always a “little more.” It’s a never-ending chase that has hollowed our many a 40-year-old.

12. If you move home, make sure you bring an exit strategy with you. 

Pay rent to your parents. Do your own laundry. Buy your own food. Have a deadline for how long you’re going to stay there. Home is comfortable but the distance between comfortable and complacent is surprisingly short.Just because you’re sleeping in the same room you had in middle school doesn’t mean you have to act like an adolescent. And if anyone tries to make you feel ashamed to be living at home with your parents, don’t listen to them.

13. Don’t spend all your time with idiots and then wonder why it’s hard to meet someone great to date.

If you moved to the desert and then told me the kayaking there is terrible, I would agree. Then I’d ask why you expected sand dunes to offer optimal water sports. “Become the kind of person you want to be with” might be cliched advice best suited to Hallmark cards, but “Go where the people you want to be like are” isn’t.

14. Don’t ask to work from home the first week of your new job.

Though more companies are offering that option, it’s still a privilege, not a right.

15. Jump into the wild west of side jobs.

The days of having the same job for 40 years and then getting a gold watch when you retire are over. Hooray! Your job won’t be limited or defined by geography. The internet has leveled the playing field. Anyone can connect with anyone. You don’t need a physical storefront or even a physical product to start a business. Your ability to make money will only be limited by your ability to hustle.

16. Figure out which part of your career needs the most work.

The best careers and biggest adventures are determined by our ability to invest in four distinct things: Relationships, Skills, Character and Hustle.

17. Don’t become a dinosaur.

Just because your formal education might have ended doesn’t mean you should stop learning. If you don’t keep old skills sharp and continue learning new ones your career will become obselete.

18. Don’t burn many bridges.

Every industry is smaller than you think. Do your best as many relationships intact at every job you have. Chances are, you’ll work with a lot of the same people again during your career.

19. Put your phone down when you’re talking to someone.

Nothing says “this job doesn’t matter to me” like staring into your phone when you’re having a face-to-face conversation with a coworker. Want a simple way to build the kind of character that will serve you for a lifetime? Ignore your phone instead of the people you’re with.

20. Drake was right.

You are going to start at the bottom. That’s OK. Put your pride aside and recognize this as a starting point. This isn’t your final job, it’s your first job. You’ve got one foot on the ladder and now you get to climb it. Give yourself time and be patient.

Welcome to the real world, where people who are almost 40 reference Drake in a thinly veiled attempt to seem hip. I’m not. I need you to teach me about what’s coming next. So does everyone else.

Congratulations on finishing college.

Congratulations on joining the real world.

We’ve been waiting for you.

Jon Acuff is the author of five books, including the recent Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work & Never Get Stuck, which focuses on building a long-lasting career by investing in a “Career Savings Account.”

 

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SOCIAL MEDIA: JOB HUNTING FRIEND OR FOE?

If you fit into the category of the notorious “millennial,” it’s happening to you. Scrolling through your Twitter or Facebook feed when suddenly a name you’ve never seen before pops up. You click on their picture and quickly realize it’s actually one of your friend’s who has gone rogue during a job hunt. They changed their name to their middle name or shortened their last name. In fact, you may have done it yourself.

“But, Jen, obviously changed her name. Why would I want future employers to see all of these pictures of me drinking or partying and that one time I passed out with only my shoes on?”

Tisk, tisk. According to Time magazine, a whopping 95 percent  of employers check a potential employee’s social media before making a hiring decision. So, it’s understandable that you would want to hide that information.

But what if you reversed your thinking? Instead of hiding from your employer, market yourself! Make yourself easier to find and make the content on your social media work to your advantage.

Most of what makes marketing yourself properly on social media is based on things you SHOULDN’T do, rather than things you SHOULD do. So, let’s go over those first. Untag yourself in any inappropriate pictures. Anything that has anything to do with illegal activity. If you’re underage and there are photos of you with a drink here and there, you can probably leave it since employers aren’t allowed to ask your age (The only exception to this rule are teachers. I have heard some pretty horrific things in regards to teachers having pictures of them holding a red solo cup or beer in a picture — tread lightly). That being said, if every picture shows you doing keg stands, maybe untag a few of those. Go through your past year’s of photos and posts and make sure there’s nothing there to do with drugs. And yes, technically marijuana is still illegal in most states. Live in a state where it’s legal? You may want to hold off on the 420 posts as the stoner stigma could still be lingering. Guns and alcohol? Though neither of these are illegal for most adults, be wary about excessive posts. Employers aren’t concerned with employees shown with drinks in their hands at outings, but a plethora of pics playing pong or posting that meme about needing to get drunk to deal with humanity can come off the wrong way.

Basically, use common sense. Keep your stuff clean and classy. Always use spell check! According to Jobvite, 66 percent of hiring managers say they would use poor spelling and grammar against a candidate. Oh, and unsurprisingly so, political affiliation and posts can also be held against you. There’s another route you can go… place your accounts on private.

You know what not to do. So, what can you do? Definitely keep your posts clean and appropriate. On Facebook and Instagram, post things about your personal life – you know those accomplishment updates that always get hundreds of likes? Or post pictures of family outings or date nights! You most likely want to share articles related to your interests and industry. It’s totally fine to Instagram a humble selfie (but not too often!) Recruiters use social media for a number of reasons, including to measure what they call a “cultural fit.” Show off who you are! If you volunteer, you should absolutely post content relating to that. Even if you donate regularly to an important cause, humbly post why you feel strongly about them and why others should consider donating. About 65 percent of recruiters say that seeing candidates’ volunteer experience gives them a serious ups.

Now, what about the ever-elusive LinkedIn? Maybe you made one last year and never kept up with it or you’ve had a steady job so you haven’t updated it in a while. Either way, update that profile picture and add all of your experience (Check out a previous post on how to get the perfect LinkedIn). List what school(s) you went to and any big projects you worked on. Just under 80 percent of hiring managers have hired through LinkedIn, so use it to your advantage! Oh, and do look at the LinkedIn profiles of your interviewer, if you know who it will be with. It reminds you of them and shows them that you’re interested and committed. But don’t connect with them until after the interview, and only do so if you think it went really well!

Last but not least: Twitter and Snapchat. They aren’t on a hiring manager’s radar unless you’ve been in the public eye. A regular Jane Doe doesn’t need to worry too much about these two. That being said, never post things on either platform (or any platform) that may come back to haunt you. We’ve all seen horror stories of people losing their jobs for sexist or otherwise off-color tweets coming back to haunt them years later.

Professional vs. Personal

There have been many debates on whether a professional should have a personal and professional Twitter accounts. Many will create a new profile across the many social platforms to cover up things they may be ashamed of employers seeing. However, I’m here to tell you why I decided to create two Twitters and not for the reasons that you might think:

  • I wanted a space where I could separate my thoughts professionally and personally. On my personal account, it is more of a place where I share information with my friends and teammates. My professional Twitter has been a place for me to connect with individuals in the industry I plan to be in as well as share industry news without being intrusive to my followers on my personal account.
  • I wanted to show the flexibility of my personal brand. My professional brand is what has shaped my personal brand and vice versa. I did not want to intermingle the two, but show that they complement each other in some way shape or form.
  • It helps me with time management and to practice with managing more than one brand online at a time.

It’s okay to have two different accounts for the right reasons. However, if you do it for the wrong reasons, it will show through the lack of followers you have. When making the commitment to develop multiple social profiles, be sure to have a plan and know what content you’re going to put out there.

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THE INs AND OUTs OF INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWING

The term “informational interview” will become quite common once you enter the search for a big girl job. To be totally transparent with you I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when going into one of these “informational interviews”. My main issue being; why would someone high up in my desired industry want to take the time to get coffee and talk to little old me if they aren’t hiring?

Well here’s the thing, if you are a good person and have people who genuinely care about you chances are they are on your team and want you to succeed. These people will connect you with individuals who have pull in the field you are looking to work in. Thus putting their face on the line to help you out, aka don’t look like an idiot when it comes time to meet the connection make the best possible impression you can.

It’s important to remember who ever you end up meeting with was once in your shoes. They understand that the struggle is so real and if you have a good head on your shoulders and show genuine desire to get your feet on the ground somewhere they will want to help you out the best they can.

Informational interviews are great opportunities to network and practice speaking to experienced professionals in your field. You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to meet and talk with you once you start to reach out. So if someone goes out of their way to set you up with a person of influence in your field (even if you already have a job) don’t skip the opportunity. Take sometime out of your schedule to talk to this person.

This is different from an actual job interview, and you should approach it as such. I’m not saying come in sweats and un-prepared, but be ready to have an organic conversation. This is not sorority recruitment where you need to banter off everything you were ever involved in, it’s a person taking the time out of their day to try and help you on your journey.

The fact that these types of conversations are different from a formal job interview, doesn’t mean that there isn’t appropriate etiquette, here are some tips to get you started:

  • When reaching out don’t be shy, say who connected you and reach out more than once if you have to. Attach your resume and give the person a brief description of who you are, who you understand them to be and why you want to talk to them.
  • Be professional, be on time, look nice, do your research.
  • Come ready for formal interview style questions, this isn’t always the case, completely depends on who you talk with, but much better to be over prepared than underprepared.
  • Tell them your story, but keep if brief, this person is meeting with you on his/ her own time so don’t bore them with the things no one cares about.
  • Ask meaningful questions, determine the top three or four things you want to know about a company.
  • Know the industry. This goes back to do your research, if you are looking in to marketing agencies in Chicago, know the marketing agencies and Chicago… Chances are if the person you talk with likes you they can connect you with others it’s a domino effect that works in your favor.
  • Be tactful, it’s pretty much considered rude to ask for a job at an informational interview. Feel out the situation, if things are going really well and this is a company you could see yourself working for ask what the hiring process is. But be VERY careful if this person thinks you would make a good fit there, they will likely connect you with the right people.
  • Always send a follow up thank you email. Time is valuable, and connections are always good to have, you never know what could come out of these little chats and sending a thank you note will only benefit you.

HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES AT WORK

Working in any working environment, specifically, in an office setting means that you will or have dealt with a diverse group of people and getting along with all of them can pose a challenge. We all know that when people are hard to get along with that may mean missed deadlines and lower productivity.

Different people need to be dealt with in different ways and as human beings; you would work differently with a touch-feely person versus a no-nonsense type of person.

Find out how other people work and adapt accordingly

I will be starting a new (full-time) job out of college come this June and I will be on a probationary period for the first three months. If you are in the same situation as me, beginning a new position, take that time to get to the know the office. What I like most about the place that I will be working is that it is so diverse. You have graphic designers, web designers, and a plethora of other departments! You have to take it upon yourself to find out if someone would rather be emailed than have you drop by his or her office, or vice versa, take notes. Do your best in keeping from interrupting other people’s processes and you will be looked at as a team player. Find out what personality types people have, and adapt your behavior towards them accordingly.

Everything is not a battle

When you make the decision to engage in a workplace conflict, it delays productivity and people become stressed. You need to decide what your priorities are, and let all the other things go. Not everything has to be a battle or conflict. Being smart when deciding to fight your battles.

Realize when everyone is in this together

A variety of workplace personalities can be great! It allows for the flow of different opinions, ideas and points of view. It is very important to remember that everyone is working towards making the company’s mission come to light. When people are passionate and express their opinions, it means they care.

Be Prepared

For the most part, individuals are cyclical in the workplace. They get into the groove of things. Make it a point to prepare yourself to a certain behavior, you’ve won half the battle already. Play out the situation in your mind, with a friend or in the mirror, and come up with a solution that will resolve the issue in a mature and rational way.

Don’t take it to heart

I find that removing my emotions from any workplace situations helps with being more productive and not getting my feelings hurt. This doesn’t mean I become a robot, it simply means that you are mature enough to understand that this is a business and without emotional maturity, you may be the weakest link that is letting everyone down. More often than not, people act the wya they do because of something personal that is going on with them. The same thing goes for difficult co-workers. It likely doesn’t have much to do with you, even though it may feel that way. It doesn’t excuse bad behavior, but it can help to explain why it may be happening. Find some common ground somewhere in there. At the very least help you exist together civilly.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Above all, people just want to make sure they are being heard. People have different areas of expertise, that’s the value of working on a team. One person can’t know it all or do it all, so everyone needs to respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Some Common Problem Personalities in the Workplace

The Egomaniac

These individuals resist direction, they think they are always right and know what’s best and they ignore even the nicest of advice or suggestions. Not only do they do not need to improve, they think everyone should consider themselves lucky to work with them.

How to Deal:

  • Check your own ego at the door; having a head to head with them is usually not worth the time and energy.
  • Be assertive; don’t let a bully win.
  • Distance yourself; deal with them in small amounts then walk away.

The Gossiper

It can be hard to deal with gossiping co-workers, as you can’t really control what people talk about. But gossip is bad for the work environments (it’s also just bad outside of work as well, I digress); it leads to distrust and hurt feelings.

How to Deal:

  • If someone comes to you with a juicy bit of info, don’t bite. Lead by example.
  • Deal with the specific offenders, not the entire office as a whole. Maybe ask the offender to lunch to talk things over.
  • If it is gossip about you, you must say something, in a professional manner, of course.

The Grumpy Gus

Hearing someone complain Monday through Friday can be very exhausting for anyone, and can crush the office morale.

How to Deal:

  • Provide constructive suggestions to their specific complaints. If they are complaining about something in particular, say, “well, we can solve that by…”
  • Confront them in private to have a discussion about their attitude. Maybe they truly don’t realize they complain so much, or how much it affects everyone else in the office.

You’re bound to have a variety of personality types in the workplace, there are always going to be people that don’t get along or individuals that are much harder for you to deal with. But arming yourself with some of these strategies, hopefully, can help you deal with any difficult coworker that comes your way.

A majority of the information provided has been through my own personal experiences in the workplace, but to fill in to form complete ideas I used todaymagazine.com

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5 TIPS FOR WHAT YOUR RESUME SHOULD LOOK LIKE IN 2016

In today’s working world, if your resume does not immediately stand out, it most likely will land itself in the trash can. Hiring managers attention spans are short and with the many daily tasks that are required of them, looking over an ill-written resume is the last thing they want to be wasting their time with. According to research done by TheLadders, an online job search service (Check them out! They provide a free resume review online), hiring managers spend just six seconds looking at a resume before deciding whether the applicant is deemed worthy of further consideration (That’s if a human looks at it all; before your application even reaches a hiring manager, it usually has to make it past an automated applicant tracking system.)

As hiring continues to increase, job seekers will face some stiff competition this year. Follow the tips below to make your resume stand out in 2016!

what your resume should look like

Like this resume? Click here for a downloadable template. (Resume courtesy of Wendy Enelow)

1. Enhance your contact information.

Recently, I attended a ‘Life After Athletics’ event on Sunday and my friends from Northwestern Mutual (an official partner of the NCAA) suggested that putting down your campus address and home address would be wise. “Putting down both your home and college campus address allows me to see where we could put you. Since there are multiple branches in the state, I can then put you in contact with people that you could possibly work for in the summer making it easier for you to commute everyday,” Andy (Managing Director) of Northwestern Mutual said.

In addition, make it easy on the hiring manager by hyperlinking your email address so that you’re only one click away, says Wendy Enelow, co-author of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired. Keep in mind that you expose yourself to identity theft if you you include your full mailing address, says Enelow, so only put your city, state, and zip code on your resume. Also, use active links to your LinkedIn profile and any other social media accounts that are fit for recruiters.

2. Make the page “pop.”

Depending on the industry or field you are going into, you can distinguish your resume by punching up the design, but exercise with caution: a graphic artist, for example, has more creative leeway than say, an accountant.

Enelow’s co-author Louise Kursmark recommends using color to make your resume unique. To stay professional, consider making only section headers blue, for example, and leaving the rest in black, Kursmark suggests. And replace the outdated Times New Roman with a more modern font such as Cambria, Calibri, or Georgia, Enelow says. (As standard typefaces, they translate well between operating systems.)

In addition, if you do have creative leeway to make your resume more exciting, I highly suggest using Creative Market. It is a site where you can buy templates of resumes, CV’s and lots more! If you sign up to join their mailing list, you will receive discount codes for a percentage off particular items! My resume below is a template from Creative Market that I changed around to make it my own. I purchased it for only $4!

kiaranewresume

 

3. Ditch the objective statement…

Today’s hiring managers aren’t concerned with what it is you’re looking for–they’re focus is on finding the right hire. Thus, “the objective statement has become obsolete,” says Tiffani Murray, an HR professional and resume writer at Atlanta-based Personality On a Page.

…and lead with a professional summary

To capture the hiring manager’s attention, start your resume with a short professional synopsis that states your years of experience, job history, and big career achievements. Instead of labeling the section “summary,” use the header to highlight your area of expertise, says Enelow.

4. Keep it short and simple

There has been much debate on how long or short your resume should be, and again, it goes back to your industry. A two-page resume may be appropriate for someone with 30 years’ experience–not for a recent college graduate. As a college student putting down your “Career Experience” will be more than enough.

To ensure that you can fit everything onto the page be sure to decrease your margins to “narrow” giving you more white space to work with. Also, you do not need to list job duties for each job on your resume, that is what your cover letter is for! Start date, end date, position, company and city in which you completed the job should suffice.

To conserve space use bullet points, active verbs and industry-specific acronyms, and DO NOT state the obvious (e.g., including “references available upon request”).

5. Maximize your real estate.

You’re probably wondering, “Well, what about my volunteer experience and other extracurricular activities I am involved in?” Make room for what you want employers to see that you have accomplished. If you have not completed many internships, adding in your volunteering work can substitute for the lack of career experience you don’t have.

Your cover letter is important, too. If you feel like you either don’t have enough room on your resume or would like to expound upon something a little more, a cover letter is a great idea. See an example of mine below.

Kiaranewcv

In a cover letter, you want to open with how you found the job position and express your excitement for applying. TELL YOUR STORY. Make it worthwhile. A cover letter is an opportunity for you to brag about your accomplishments, otherwise how will the hiring manager know that they would like you in for an interview?

 

Happy resume writing!

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OUTSHINE YOUR COMPETITION

Even if you have less than a day to prepare for a big interview, although I recommend preparing more than a day before, you can use these tips to outshine your competition. For some, this may be common sense, but for others that may not be the case. Obviously, if you’ve applied for a job, you want to land the gig with flying colors. The following tasks will, hopefully, help you land the job of your dreams.

1. Make Sure You’ve Cleaned up Your Online Personal Brand.

Your personal brand is how you present or “package” yourself. Unfortunately, many employers go to the internet to get an idea of who you are before they decide to bring you in for an interview. For many employers the first place they look will be LinkedIn to see if you have an online presence. The following infographic from linkedhumans.com gives a glimpse at a good profile:

linkedin

2. Research the Company.

This is a given. If you are really interested in a particular company, you generally want  to know more about them. Same goes for an employer. If they are really interested in a potential employer, they will do their research on you. The following information are just a few things that you should be looking up to get started:

  • What is the company’s mission statement, goals, and values?
  • What does the company say about its products or services?
  • What has the company accomplished? Have the won any awards?
  • What recent news (such as a new product, a press release, an interview with the CEO) can you discuss?
  • If the company is public, the boilerplate at the bottom of its press releases will tell you a lot about them.

3. Think of What you Will say.

Be ready to answer your typical interview questions (i.e. tell me about yourself; which should be your elevator pitch, why should we hire you for this job, etc). But more importantly, you want to be able to tell a story. You may be asked to talk about a time you felt really proud of an achievement at work or school. These stories demonstrate all those hard-to-measure qualities like judgement, initiative, teamwork or leadership. Whatever you do, make sure you can quantify what you’ve done, e.g., “increased engagement by 20% on Twitter,” “cut customer call wait time in half,” etc.

Achievement stories make you memorable, which is what you want.

4. Organize What you Need for the day of the Interview the Night Before.

Lay out your interview outfit the night before, get a good night’s rest, and always get an early start. Not only that, but make sure you pack your bag with your portfolio and always bring additional resumes so you look prepared and can follow along with the individual who is interviewing you.

The takeaway from this piece is RESEARCH. Make sure that you do a good bit of it to make you dangerous. It also doesn’t hurt to practice what you’re going to say in the mirror. Practice makes better! Happy job hunting!

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10 MISTAKES YOU SHOULD AVOID IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Being on the hunt for a job or your career is never fun. Searching for your ‘dream’ position can be a full-time job in and of itself! Here’s a little secret, you have something that every hiring employer and recruiter want. Each resume that ends up on a recruiters desk, they are hoping and praying it’s you that they’re looking for. From what I have been told by previous employers, professors, family and friends, hiring managers look at countless resumes a day, depending on the company’s size, human resources are the ones in charge; here are some things to absolutely never do on your resume; and once they realize you may be the perfect fit, in your interview.

1. Writing Sentences Like This. This Is Not How You Write Sentences Unless It Is a Title. This is an example of a normal sentence. This Is Not. See the difference? Can we please act like or at lease pretend (that’s what Google is for) that we have it together like we are a hirable individual that has a bachelor’s degree? Thanks.

2. Not using spell check. I can’t tell you how many times I have not used spell check, printed out my finished “master piece” just find that their is a type… errr several typos. I mean, did you even graduate from high school? C’mon this is basic knowledge. I mean, we even have computers to do it for us now-a-days.

3. Not writing a CREATIVE cover letter. It is the basic knowledge of the professional world. I know, you’re probably thinking, “but this is how they taught me in college.” College is there to teach you the basics, it is up to you to seek more and want to be creative so that you stand out among the rest. The formulaic method of writing a cover letter: “I am so and so and I am applying for XYZ job…” is so mundane. Just think, if a hiring manager or recruiter is responsible for looking over numerous cover letters imagine how many others decided to write it the same way you did, get it now? Good. While it is important to communicate what job you are applying for, there are plenty of ways to communicate creatively. Now, I’m not saying that this will come naturally, well maybe to some, but having your peers, professors or even family look over it will allow for you to make edits accordingly. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) employers seek potential hires with strong written communication skills which attributes to 73.4 percent of who employers hire with that particular skill. The employer wants to know more about YOU and what you have to offer the company based off of your past experiences rather than reading about the company and how much you’ve researched them (which is great too, but keep it to a minimum, this is all about you!) A cover letter is your time to show off that impressive resume you’ve continuously built throughout college.

4. Not using a professional email. What do you think this is? The time AIM and aol addresses? That time is lonnnngggg gone (thank GOD). That cute little email address your mom created for you when you were 10-years old doesn’t work in the working world any longer (lets be honest, it never did). Employers are judging you and the way you communicate because that is all they can go by. Make it professional.

5. Showcasing your hobbies. Unless you can tie in your hobbies to your work ethic and how it has contributed to your success as a student or young professional, leave it out. They don’t care. Keep it simple. Don’t use big words when small ones will do.

6. You’re still putting “references upon request.” Employers are well aware that you’ll provide them with references, should they ask for them during the interview process. There’s no reason to waste this valuable space on your resume by stating the obvious. Remember, you only have one to two pages worth of resume white space to work with–save it for info that is most compelling.

7. Your resume has an objective instead of a professional summary. There is a lot of controversy with this one. However, I have always been taught by professors that a professional summary ties in your experience. Now, the difference between an ‘objective’ and ‘professional summary’ is that an objective statement describes your needs, rather trhan how you’ll meet the needs of an employer. Use the space to sell your job candidacy by giving the reader your elevator pitch. In three to five sentences, explain what you’re best at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer. In a resume, this is called your professional summary.

8. You haven’t included the URL to your professional profile. According to Jobvite survey, 93 percent of recruiters are likely to look at a job candidate’s social profile. Include the URLs to your online professional profiles, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, so recruiters don’t have to guess or mistake you for someone else. Make sure your online profiles tell the same story.

9. Failure to match social cues. Making a great first impression is easier to do when you communicate effectively with your interviewer. The best way to do this is by mirroring his or her communication style. Allowing your interviewer to set the tone for the conversation works best from my experience.

If the interviewer seems all business, don’t attempt to loosen him or her up with a joke or story. Be succinct and businesslike.

If the interviewer is personable, try discussing his or her interests.

If asked a direst question, answer directly.

10. Failing to take the opportunity to ask questions. Interviews are a two-way street, so be ready with your questions at the end of the discussion. Prepare a few in advance and write down any additional issues that arise as the conversation progresses.

Make certain you ask specific questions about a company’s mission and business practice and expectations to determine whether they are realistic and in line with your own preferences. Also, find out about the organization’s long-term priorities and how your contributions would impact those plans.

Occasionally, things may not go according to plan, but look at each interview that you have as a test-run to an interview to the job of your dreams!

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10 REASONS WHY EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A SIDE HUSTLE

Am I the only person to think of the song ‘Everyday I’m Hustlin’ by Rick Ross every time I see the word ‘hustlin’? Ahhh such a good throwback song. But seriously, it seems like everyone has a side hustle these days. For good reason too. Check out my 10  reasons why a side hustle is an essential for just about anyone.

  1. Feeds Your Creative Side

During the short time that I have had the pleasure of writing for this blog, I have found myself thinking outside of the box to put out not just any content to my audience. Even if I don’t have a large audience now, I may later. You never know. Having a side hustle whether it be selling items on eBay, making YouTube videos, or blogging you know that you have got to find what makes your account, channel, or website special so that people keep coming back for more.

  1. Connections, Connections, Connections!

For many, this may seem foreign but for me I am all to familiar with the idea of networking for a purpose. When you first start off with your side hustle you may or may not know what you want out of life or maybe you’re just doing it to make a little bit of money on the side. Either way, you will meet new fascinating people in your own country and maybe even across the world. As my public relations professor and mentor always makes her students recite the definition of public relations; “it is mutually beneficial relationships…” There’s more to that, but you get the point. When you connect with people over the web it’s for both parties not just one. Always keep that in mind.

  1. Become A Pro Problem Solving

I can’t tell you how many problems I have ran into where I had to find a solution to the problem. For example: When I first started my blog a couple of days ago I didn’t realize that I would virtually be building my own site. Yes, WordPress is the host, but if you don’t know what RSS feed is or SEO, you’ve practically got to learn it on your own. I had an idea of what those two marketing tactics were, but I had never put them to practice. You have got to be willing to learn new things and be a self-starter. Oh, and don’t forget time management. So if you have a full-time gig that you do during the day, know that you will have to come up with solutions on how to get your side hustle on.

  1. Make Some Extra Money For Doing What You Love

For those lucky enough to have our hard work pay off and reap the benefits of putting in so much time with our side hustles, hopefully you’re making money to do it. I mean, you don’t always have to make money to do what you love, but ya girl gotta pay her bills! Whether it be a couple hundred dollars or thousands, it’s always nice to get a ROI (return on investment) on all the work that you’ve put in.

  1. It Could Be The Beginning Of A Business

I know that many of us may not want to have a side hustle for the rest of our lives, but just think about… with most side hustles you can literally do what you love from the comfort of your own bed. Who doesn’t want to work from home every day and make their own hours? I know I do. Count me in! If you work hard enough you may even be able to hire other people to do the work for you while you manage the backend things like the strategic direction of the company. I believe that’s called a CEO. That has a ring to it ;).

  1. Being Able To Add New Skills to Your Resume

What’s so cool about being a blogger (yes, I consider myself a blogger after just one week) is that I get to show myself off in a more creative way. Now, when I go into an interview I get to show myself off and tell people that I have a blog. Many are impressed by that because in addition to this blog I am also a full-time undergraduate student, a collegiate athlete, a part of campus clubs, and volunteering. That is pretty impressive albeit a successful blog. It’s a win-win in my book. Work hard now, so you don’t have to later.

  1. Gives You A Purpose In Life

Waking up every morning to see how many likes, views or followers I have gotten gives me such an adrenaline rush because it makes me want to keep striving to do better. Not just with my blog, but also in other aspects of my life. Also, the topics that I write about allow me to see certain situations in a different light.

  1. You Get To Spend As Much Or As Little Time With It

The good thing about a side hustle is that if you don’t go into ‘work’ that day, you won’t get fired. YOU ARE YOUR OWN BOSS. If I want to do a blog post every day, I’m gonna do a blog post every day. If I don’t, I don’t. Some side hustles require a little bit more TLC than others, but at the end of the day you’re the boss. You get the final say.

  1. If You’re In That Post-Grad Trying-To-Find-A-Job-Life Lull

Everyone has been through or are going through it right now. It’s okay! As I was saying in my last point, “you can spend as little or as much time with your side hustle as you would like, just like you would your side jawn with no commitment” haha. This holds true for those individuals who are applying for job after job or you just can’t seem to find the job that you want. Maybe you don’t feel challenged enough at the current job that you’re at right now. A side hustle will give you that extra motivation for all aspects of your life. Not feeling inspired or motivated? Try out a side hustle for size.

  1. It Is An Extension Of Your Life

As I was saying in my blog 7 Things We Could All Learn From The Kardashians, the Kardashians are making millions off of just living their life. Why can’t we do the same? In preparation of content for my blog, my day-to-day experiences and lessons have led me here. I would not have much to write if I didn’t have other things going on in my life to write about.

Make sure you do what you love. I know from my experiences, I have worked in customer service and even the meanest people wouldn’t break me. I always remained happy and confident in selling the product. Along with solving customer problems with urgency. I did all of those things because I loved what I was doing. Though I couldn’t see myself in customer service all of my life, it definitely had some life lessons strung along with it.

We need more people in this world who love what they do so that going to work isn’t so bad after all.

What are some things that you would love to pursue but have been holding back? Do you currently have a side hustle? If you do, leave a comment so that I can check it out!

Thanks for reading and click here to see where I got the inspiration to write this blog!

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