Your Resume Only Has 5 Seconds To Make an Impression. Here’s What you Should Do.

resumeAuthor: Jack Kelly
Source: Forbes

I’d like to offer you some counterintuitive advice: don’t spend too much time worrying or stressing out over your résumé. Yes, I know everyone else tells you to spend an inordinate amount of time writing, rewriting, correcting, asking people to proofread it and offer their comments and advice to absolutely seek out a professional résumé writer. They’re all wrong and misleading you. I’ll make this part of your job search really easy.

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Interview Question: Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

new-jobAuthor: Alexis Perrotta
Source: Idealist Careers

No matter why you left your last job (or why you’re planning to leave your current job), the most important thing to remember when answering this question in an interview is, stay positive.

Below, you’ll find a few general categories that your response to this particular question may fall into, and based on that, further advice on how to answer in an honest, productive, and positive way.

You left your last job because of work-related issues

There are plenty of reasons why you may have left your last job. Perhaps you’re escaping a toxic workplace, you no longer feel connected to the mission of the organization, or you feel that you’ve plateaued professionally.

To answer this question in a positive way while also staying true to yourself, take the opportunity to highlight your professional needs (and how they went unmet at your previous job) without getting caught up in the specifics. Here is an example of what you could say:

“Communication is incredibly important to me and while I really enjoyed my last job, after [X YEARS], the quality of communication with my former supervisor was never quite what I wanted it to be.”

Once you have broached the subject, be prepared for a follow-up question; a good interviewer will go after some details. If you left your last job only after trying to address the issue that led to your ultimate resignation, highlight that in your follow-up. This is a great chance to show your interviewer that while you may have been dissatisfied, you didn’t throw in the towel too soon, nor were you complacent.

For example:

“The biggest pain point was communication between me and my supervisor. While I did try to address the issue by scheduling a formal meeting and suggesting a new weekly check-in format for us as well as inviting his feedback on how I can improve my own communication style, it didn’t improve. Ideally, I would like to have a mentor and a champion in my supervisor. I decided that for me, the issue was a dealbreaker.”

Pro Tip: Not only should you strive for honesty and authenticity in your interview because it’s the right thing to do, it’s also in your best interest. You should take every reasonable opportunity to truthfully represent what you’re looking for in a job, a team, and an organization.

You left your last job because of personal issues

If something came up in your personal life that made your last job untenable—schedule change, relocation, illness, or an ill relative—be honest. You don’t want to hide the truth until the 11th hour only to learn that whatever obstacle caused you to leave your last job—no remote work, inflexible hours, etc.—is also an issue at this new job.

In addition to honesty, it’s important that you make a connection to the organization. After all, if an interviewer asks, “Why do you want to work here?” you wouldn’t say, “To pay my bills.” Similarly, when an interviewer asks, “Why are you looking for a new job?” you don’t want to answer, “Because I hate my commute.” Instead, remember to speak to the specific job or organization. Here’s an example of what you could say:

“Later this year, I’ll be moving further from the city. While I really love the work and the mission, after [X YEARS] at my last job, I decided that I needed to find something that I love just as much, but that doesn’t require such a grueling commute. While it was bittersweet to leave, I’m also looking at my move as a great opportunity to connect with a new mission and reenergize my interest in, and commitment to the sector.”

In other words, you don’t want to say that you’re looking for a new job strictly for the sake of convenience. Don’t forget to let the interviewer know that you’re interested in this specific job.

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Your Complete Guide to the Interview Process

interviewSource: The Muse

Between the 20 or so of us, The Muse team has probably been on several hundred interviews in our day.

(We know. We cringe thinking about it, too.)

In other words, we’ve been through all of those OMG-what-should-I-wear panic attacks and bathroom-mirror rehearsals of the perfect answer to “What’s your biggest weakness?” that you’re probably dealing with as you prepare for your big day.

But all those pantsuits and practiced answers weren’t for naught. In the interest of sharing our hard-won job search expertise, we’ve put together a list of the biggest job interview questions we had going in—and answers that will help you go into yours totally prepared.

Consider it everything you ever wanted to know about interviewing—answered.

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3 Benefits to Using a Staffing Firm in Your Job Search

staffingfirmAuthor: Debra Auerbach
Source: CareerBuilder.com

Three key advantages of using a staffing firm are experience, insights and confidential opportunities.

Sometimes a job search can feel isolating. You’re spending hours upon hours searching for opportunities, working on your resume and applying to job openings, often without having any outside feedback about what you’re doing right or wrong. That isolation can add a lot of emotional stress to an already nerve-wracking experience.

What you may not realize is that you don’t have to go it alone. “Psychologists tell us that next to death of a spouse, death of a child and death of a parent, the fourth most emotional experience we have, coupled with divorce, is searching for a job. It is emotionally stressful,” says Tony Beshara, owner and president of Babich & Associates, the oldest placement and recruitment service in Texas. “A professional staffing firm can help eliminate that emotional stress. Staffing firms are in the trenches on a daily basis with candidates and employers.”

Beshara says the three key advantages of using a staffing firm are experience, insights and confidential opportunities. Read on to learn more about these benefits and how staffing firms can play a crucial role in helping you find your next career:

1. Experience
According to Beshara, the average U.S. professional changes jobs every two and a half to three years. So that means a worker may go a long stretch of time before needing to engage in a job search. Staffing firm recruiters, on the other hand, live and breathe the job-search process daily.

Beshara points out that within the period of time between job searches, the job market can change – sometimes drastically. “The staffing professional is current on exactly what is going on in the immediate market. They have a unique perspective that the job seeker will not have. The market for a particular skill or experience is never the same as it was three years ago. It isn’t likely any job candidate is going to be aware of that change. So, the ‘new’ candidate may think that finding a job is going to be like ‘last time,’ but it’s not.”

A knowledgeable staffing professional can help navigate a job seeker through the market changes, so the job seeker is less likely to encounter any surprises or challenges along the way. “The experienced staffing pro doesn’t give theoretical or abstract advice, but practical ‘this is the way it is … this is what you should expect … this is what we should do’ advice,” Beshara says.

2. Insights
One of the often frustrating parts about job searching is not getting any feedback from employers as to why you aren’t the right fit for a role. When working with a staffing firm, you get access to that kind of information, which can help improve your search now and down the line.

“Staffing professionals have insights that candidates can’t get anywhere else,” Beshara says. “Since the majority of us work the same clients and the same hiring mangers over many years, we know what they like and how they like it, what they will hire and what they won’t. Since we get to know them personally, we not only understand the job they are trying to fill but we know their personalities and personal likes and dislikes. We give those insights to our candidates to be sure both parties have the best chance of success not in just getting a job, but [in having] a long, solid employment relationship.”

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Job Search Like a Pro Even With No Experience

Job SearchAuthor: Faizan Patankar
Source: Career Geek

About to start on your job search or are you already looking for a job, but getting nowhere? Work experience is key and if you are lacking that, people have told you that’s the end of your job search? Well, it doesn’t have to be. I will tell you how to job search like a pro – with no work experience.

Firstly, work experience is important. If you have a chance to do work experience – i.e., if you are at university or planning to take a year out, do so. If you have graduated or are a young job seeker, then let’s move on from the fact that you do not have work experience.

So, how do you job search without work experience? Here are 5 steps to help you prepare well and polish up your personal brand to offer a high value to employers.

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5 Tips for Getting a Job After College Fast

now-whatAuthor: Meghan Ivarsson
Source: WorkAwesome

Getting a job after graduation is not very hard, but finding the one you really want will take some extra effort.

Of course you want a well-written resume, but there are several way ways you can ensure your success in landing a better job when you graduate.

Here are five tips, why you should try them and where you should start when you do.

1. Get involved with social media

LinkedIn is the place you should start if you want to enter the professional working world. The social media platform is nothing special, but it is well-known. It allows other members to see your profile, view your resume and check out credentials without having to “Friend” you.

Why? It is not actually about the magical effects of LinkedIn — it is about the people who use it. Corporate HR staff have to research into you as fully as possible via means other than your resume if they want to put you forward to be hired. LinkedIn is the biggest cheat that human resources can use since the invention of Google.

Starting point: Make sure every resume and email you send has a reference to your LinkedIn profile. Spend some time filling out your profile and make as many meaningful connections on there as possible.

2. Start blogging

Do not start a blog about your favorite Kardashian; start it about your chosen discipline. Show the world just how much you know. Post at least twice per month, but it needs to be a good one. You cannot afford to draft any old bunk. Your work needs to be high quality so that your potential employer can click on any one of them and see how great you are.

Why? It allows you to show the world that your qualifications actually mean something. It can be used to demonstrate your expertise and show that the information on your resume is correct. It may even pop up during the HR staff’s Google search, which will work heavily in your favor. HR staff love an Internet trail.

Starting point: You have files and files of school/college/university essays that are just sitting there. Edit them to make them perfect and publish them. If they’re long, break them into 500 word posts and publish them as a series.

3. Become an intern

An internship can be a good baby step into a future career. Some students want to have three or more internships prior to graduating.

Why? It does offer you a valuable bit of experience, but part of the reason is that it is an American tradition. Almost all career people have their intern stories. Unless you are entering a discipline such as the medical field, an internship is not needed, but it is still beneficial.

Starting point: Consult your guidance counselor and discuss your options. Check in with a favorite teacher who might have some ideas as well. Otherwise discuss it with an independent guidance company. They will put you on the right track for your chosen career, for the internships in your area and for your state.

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5 Job Seekers Who Struggle to Land Interviews, and How to Help

struggle-job-seeker

Author: Natalie Severt
Source: Undercover Recruiter

Job hunt not going according to plan? Can’t figure out why you aren’t getting called in for interviews? Perhaps you’re one of five types of job seekers whose resumes just seem to tank with hiring managers.

Think about it. Maybe you change jobs a lot? Or have gaps in your career history? Some very commonplace things can raise red flags for employers. The good news is that there are a few easy solutions that can get your resume back on track.

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