5 Common Resume Errors You’re Probably Making

5 Common Resume Errors You're Probably Making

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. And when it comes to your resume, the act of being careless with grammar and spelling screams: I’M NOT REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THIS JOB.

You have plenty of time to ensure that your resume truly represents your best professional self. Use that time!

For starters, quadruple – nay — quintuple check that resume for grammar and spelling mistakes, or a prospective employer may be a bit confused when you boast that you are  “experienced in allfaucets of Adobe CS6.”

Hiring managers see grammar goofs like that all the time!

Laura Cruz, operations support specialist at Dogtopia, says she once encountered a resume with five grammar and spelling mistakes – from someone claiming to be a “strong proofreader.”

A resume like that earns a one-way ticket to the “no” pile (aka the wastebasket).

To catalog the grammar problems most commonly seen on resumes, automated proofreading service Grammarly analyzed 50 randomly selected resumes. The results: The average job seeker makes 1.5 grammar mistakes on a resume.

Here are the mistakes that occurred most often:

1. HYPHEN USE

Here’s a classic hyphen test. Take the words you are thinking about hyphenating and omit one in your sentence. Would the sentence still make sense?  For instance, in the sentence “Looking for an entry-level role,” neither the term “entry role” nor “level role” would make sense without each other. Therefore, entry-level is hyphenated.

2. VERB TENSE

Lots of folks get confused on whether or not their verbs should be past or present tense. It’s pretty simple: your work history should all be in past tense ( led vs. leads) and if you are employed, your current work description should be in the present tense. Check for consistency!

3. FORMATTING

Attention to detail is huge on this. Your resume should be clean, consistent and easy to read. “Make sure your fonts and bullets are the same throughout the resume,” says Brad Hoover, CEO of Grammarly. If it’s visually way too busy or inconsistent, employers will immediately feel put off.

4. EDUCATION INFO

When it comes to your education info, be consistent with your titles. “Bachelors Degree in Economics” is not correct. It should be either: “bachelor’s degree” or “Bachelor of Arts.” There is no apostrophe in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science.

“Avoid abbreviations such as B.A., M.A. and Ph.D,” Hoover says, “They are most useful when you are listing several people and their degrees and need to conserve space.”

Writing out the legitimate title will look cleaner. Also, there’s no need to mention your high school diploma if you have a college degree!

5. SPELLING MISTAKES

The most commonly misspelled words in our research included were simple words such as “and,” “planned” and “materials.” In other words, probably “words that the job seeker likely knows how to spell, but finalized in the resume too quickly to proof,” Hoover says.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at CareerBliss.

About the Author: Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. Research salaries, check out companies and find your happiest job ever. Connect with CareerBliss on Facebook and Twitter.

How To Motivate Your Best Recruiting Tools

ID-100182079

Have you ever done a simple search on Twitter using the terms “‘my company’ hiring”? If not, take a look at just how many people have tweeted from their personal account about their company’s open positions.

The social nature of today’s employees are making employee referrals more important, and relevant, than ever. And there’s no doubt that employees should be among your top sources for recruiting.

A study by CareerXRoads examined 185,000 hires in 2012 and found that, for every approximately 100,000 external hires, nearly 25,000 of the openings were filled through an employee referral program. Additionally, SilkRoad found employee referrals to be the top source of interviews (57 percent) and hires (61 percent).

Employee referrals and specialized job posting tools have made recruiting strategies much more effective and efficient. Here are some ways to make sure you’re utilizing and motivating one of your best recruiting tools:

Give your employees access to social media at the office. According to a study by global law firm Proskauer, 36 percent of employers actively block access to social media sites. With 90 percent of companies now using social media for business purposes, this seems completely counterintuitive. Allow access to social media sites during work hours — work will still get done and you’ll have happy, referral-driven employees.

Keep employees aware of job openings and provide short, concise wording for them to share the job posting on their social channels or via email. It is also a good idea to provide something simple like a whiteboard in a visible area where job openings can be posted for employees to see.

Develop employee referral programs that provide something other than cash incentives. Consider building a “refer for the team” culture, recognize employees for bringing on strong team members, or offer non-cash rewards like mini vacations. Or, you can let them choose from a list of different options to make it a little more personal.

Develop employee referral programs that provide cash incentives. Providing bonuses in the form of cash, gift cards or prepaid debit cards can be a big motivator for some employees to bring in highly qualified candidates for open positions. If this suits your culture better than non-cash incentives, give it a try.

Take a data-based approach to determine what motivates your employees to refer good candidates.Rather than guessing what the most effective way is, survey a sample of employees who make referrals and those who don’t to understand motivators and barriers to participation. Benchmarking your efforts against other firms is also a great way to pick up other tips.

Make the referral purposeful by giving perspective of what it means to bring in someone you know. Working with a friend can make life more enjoyable for your employees because they are bringing in people they choose to spend time with outside of work. These two worlds coming together are exciting and refreshing.

By keeping your best recruiting tools motivated to continue bringing in great candidates, and using the best tools to source for additional qualified candidates, you’ll be well on your way to a more effective and efficient recruiting strategy.

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

 

9 Real Reasons You’re Not Getting Promoted

 

bigstock-Isolated-young-business-couple-42461467-300x211

Have you ever felt stuck at your job? You know, when you feel like you aren’t moving forward in your current position, but you know you’d excel if awarded a promotion.

When promotion season enters your office, it can be an exciting yet stressful time. You personally feel like you have a lot of potential and are worthy of a promotion, but you continuously see your coworkers pass you by. When this happens, you can feel discouraged about your job and lose the motivation to keep trying.

It’s fair to say most people desire the opportunity to receive a promotion at least once in their careers. However, when that promotion doesn’t happen, it can feel pretty painful — especially when one of your coworkers becomes your new boss.

When you don’t receive a promotion, the first thing you need to do is re-evaluate your qualities as an employee. If you’re trying to figure where you went wrong in your position, here are nine reasons you were probably overlooked for a promotion:

1. You lack strong leadership skills.

Not everyone is a born leader, but it is possible to possess traits of a strong leader. When it comes to awarding promotions, the No. 1 quality employers look for is the ability to lead. Those who aspire to be leaders in their company are the ones who are most likely to receive the promotions. However, the goal isn’t enough — you must understand what it takes to be an effective leader.

To be a strong leader, you need to inspire people to accomplish goals, have effective communication skills, and understand the bigger picture. If you can develop these three qualities, you’ll have a better chance of landing a promotion. Good leaders are never stuck in their jobs. They’re always moving forward and finding new ways to improve and succeed.

2. Working hard isn’t enough.

If you think working hard is going to get you promoted, you might want to think again. You can spend countless hours in the office and be the most efficient worker, but this doesn’t mean you’ll be a candidate for a promotion. Employees often get stuck in the mindset that working harder will bring them more results. But what if your hard work doesn’t achieve results? What if your character or attitude is preventing you from being successful? When you’re trying to receive a promotion, you need to look at the bigger picture. The best employees are the complete package. Not only are they dedicated and hard working, but also they have the compassion, positive attitude, and leadership skills needed to be successful.

3. You have a sucky attitude.

No one wants to promote a Negative Nancy or a Betty Brown-noser. If you continuously complain about your workload, coworkers, or the company itself, chances are you won’t be a candidate for a promotion. Employees who receive promotions are typically those who have positive attitudes, work well in a team, and are all around kind and considerate people. If you don’t think of others or the needs of your employer before yourself, you’re probably not going to receive a promotion. You need to have an attitude that makes work a great place to be and gets work done.

4. Your soft skills aren’t up to par.

When it comes down to receiving a promotion, your soft skills will be the difference between you and the other candidate. Sixty-nine percent of employers look at soft skills when making a hiring decision. To make sure you are worthy of a promotion, make sure your soft skills are some of your strongest skills. You need to be an effective communicator, strong team player, reliable, and have motivation. Sure, while you might be an expert in your field, you can’t always depend on your hard skills to take you further. You need to have a balance between your hard and soft skills that will make you the perfect candidate for a promotion.

5. Your initiative took a hike.

Job promotions don’t magically fall into your lap by sitting and waiting. You need to have initiative and motivation if you plan on getting ahead in your career. If you sit at your desk all day pushing papers without a care in the world, you’re definitely not a candidate worthy of a promotion. Promotions are awarded to those who push themselves outside of their comfort zones to accomplish the goals for their company. You have to be willing to take some risks and try new things in order to be noticed by your employer. Drive is huge when it comes to being successful, and if it took a hike a year ago when you first started your job, it’s definitely not going to get you further up the ladder.

6. You don’t think like a boss.

Employers don’t give promotions to people they don’t see as future leaders. If you’re only showing up to work to get paid, how do you expect them to view you as a leader? Most people are passive in their careers and wait for opportunities to happen.

Even if you aren’t in a management position right now, this shouldn’t keep you from thinking like a boss. Great employees look for challenges and opportunities, even when it isn’t required of them. Going the extra mile in your position without seeking reward is what will get you noticed by your employer. You need to be driven, creative, and willing to do anything to bring success to your company. When you think like a boss, you’re able to develop the leadership mindset needed to manage and inspire others. This will help your employer see you are serious about making a difference in the company, thus making them more likely to see you has a candidate for a promotion.

7. You haven’t brought any results to the table. 

Results, results, results! This is the key to success for every company. If you aren’t making improvements or increasing sales for your employer, what’s the point of you moving up in the company? Even if you can’t guarantee results 100 percent of the time (after all, no one can), you still need to make the effort to accomplish goals. Employers want employees who genuinely care about their company’s goals. If you want to stop feeling stuck in your current position, you need to find new ways you can bring results to the table.

8. You’re lacking passion for your job.

Inspiring leaders are incredibly passionate. When you have passion for your work, you put all your energy and time into your projects. Passionate employees also embody the vision and mission of their companies and will go to the ends of the earth to make success happen. This type of passion is exactly what management is looking for when promoting an employee. Passion is infectious and can have a huge impact on your company. Chances are, if you’re going to receive a promotion, you’ll need passion that will inspire others. If you’re lacking this passion, your boss will definitely search for it elsewhere within your company.

9. You have high hopes.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been with the same company for six months or five years. If you don’t have the qualities your employer desires when looking to promote someone, you’re not going to receive the promotion. Just because you were a loyal employee doesn’t mean you were the best employee. For all we know, you could have sat at your desk for five years allowing minutes to pass you by. People who receive promotions deserve it because of their drive, results, and passion. If you don’t have these qualities, you need to start figuring out how you can become a better employee before expecting a promotion.

Just because you were overlooked for a promotion doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. In fact, missing out on a promotion can provide you with a great opportunity to learn new skills and improve as a professional. If you strongly desire a promotion, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and see how you can improve from there. This will guide you in the right direction for receiving a promotion.

Have you ever been turned down for a promotion? What helped you improve as an employee?

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Come Recommended.

Employee Retention: Is Offering More Time Off the Answer?

Out of office

Losing an employee can have negative impacts on an organization, even if the separation was initiated by the employer. Despite terminating an employee for poor performance or something else unsavory, the cost of replacing them can add up. From recruiting costs, time and lack of productivity due to being short-staffed, employers need to consider all that goes into this. But what about voluntary turnover? How can this unexpected disruption in the company’s workforce make a difference?

Regardless of the situation, human resources professionals understand the importance of employee retention and are consistently considering ways to make their offerings, benefits and perks better to stay competitive and attractive to their employees and future hires. Offering things like free lunch, tuition reimbursement, bonuses/incentives, training and development or flexible work schedule have all been things companies incorporated into their offerings, but what happens if that’s not enough?

All of these things can cater to different employees’ needs, but truth be told, employers can’t always offer everything that matters to employees. As we discuss the importance of work/life balance, employees are consistently encouraged to take their vacation time but with a capped amount of paid time off, many employees have actually taken less time off despite having it. This could be due to various reasons, ranging from: stress from getting behind in work and/or coming back to a large workload; determining what’s worth taking time off for; or worries something important will come up after all paid time off (PTO) has been used. I know I’ve even been guilty of saving vacation time only to reach the end of the year and realize I have a ton of days left that will be lost. So what can employers do? Remove the limit.

In my career, I’ve come across many companies that have removed the limitations of PTO. Some of the most interesting concepts I’ve come across are as follows:

  • Breaks for learning: A little over a year ago, I came across a few technology companies that offered their employees several weeks off a year for learning. I thought this was brilliant and felt the employer most likely would progress because employees are bringing back outside learning and applying to their work. Employees are given the freedom to learn about the things that truly inspire and interest them without the stress of having to take time off to do it. And the employer benefits because these new insights can help the organization progress in a way they wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Sabbaticals: A company I interviewed with about 3 years ago offered month long sabbaticals for every three years of employment. Throughout my career, I’ve had many coworkers quit their jobs to take time off to travel, find their calling or soul search. Perhaps this is more common in younger generations before they have the responsibility of taking care of children, pets and mortgages, but with the influx of generation Y coming into the workforce, it’s something employers need to be prepared for more and more. Rather than lose employees due to their wanderlust or desire to get involved in personal projects, employers offer these sabbaticals to allow them to do the things they want to do without losing their key employees. Pair this with good workforce planning, and employers would be likely to incur less costs than if an employee quit.
  • Unlimited vacation time: Another company I’ve interviewed with also offered unlimited vacation time. I asked them how this affected productivity if employees took time off constantly but learned that it didn’t make much of a difference as if they were capped. The reason was because this structure led to accountability and reward. Employees are able to take unlimited time off if they finished projects and completed work on time. This offered them a little more flexibility in their schedules to get their work done and the reward for finishing projects early or on time was something that kept the team motivated.

Are these options feasible for every employer? Of course not. But in the pursuit to find retention initiatives, this should be considered. Employees can’t get everything they want out of life from their employer and may occasionally come to a crossroad between work and personal desires. Employers offering better PTO benefits might help mediate a person’s individual work/life balance needs.

Photo Source

Guide to Investment Banking: Part 1of 3

freedigitalphotos.com

freedigitalphotos.net

A job in investment banking remains one of the most enduring and sought after positions within the financial sector due to the potentially eye-popping financial rewards for key players.

But, those long-term rewards combined with recent banking industry changes have also made investment banking one of the toughest and most fiercely competitive fields to crack into within the financial services sector.

“They’re definitely unique jobs,” says Richard Deosingh, the regional manager in the New York office of Robert Half, the giant professional staffing agency. “It’s very fast-paced, and it’s not at all your typical 9-to-5 position. It’s long, long hours with big returns, if you can get into it.”

And that “if” is the biggest hurdle for those who have their hearts set on a career in investment banking.

What Is Investment Banking?

Investment banking is non-retail banking that generally serves corporate clients, governments and major institutional investors.

Household checking accounts and handy sidewalk ATMs are not the norm for these financial firms and clients, thank you.

Over the years, due to major regulatory changes and global market forces, the investment banking sector has changed a lot — so much so that someone who started out in investment banking in the 1970s, 1980s and even the 1990s can barely recognize the industry that it’s evolved into today.

Before major regulatory changes in the late 1990s, investment banks were usually smaller partnerships that were more associated with raising capital for IPOs, private placements, bonds, and giant merger and acquisition deals, among other things. As a result of these regulatory changes, today’s investment banking units are often housed inside giant banks that have separate retail banking operations.

In the modern era, investment banks are often huge publicly traded institutions that provide a host of investments services, including corporate finance, trading and research analysis.

However, the “core” of investment banking, strictly speaking, is still associated with raising capital and providing advice on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) — and that’s precisely the field many young investment banker wannabes often want to crack into when they think of careers in this lucrative sector.

A Day in the Life of an Investment Banker

Every job within an investment bank varies, usually depending on the seniority and specialties of individual personnel.

But if they’re all rowing together, the collective goal is to find and raise capital for clients, as well as come up with strategies and solutions to secure capital under the best terms possible for major IPOs, private placements, bond issuances, and M&A deals.

And all those deals are usually, at minimum, measured in the multimillion- and multibillion-dollar ranges. They most definitely don’t fall into the category of routine retail or small-business loans.

The jobs entail long, grueling hours of research into individual companies, industries, markets and even the entire economies of countries and continents, as investment bankers and their small armies of researchers try to measure the potential value and sizes of various transactions.

Investment bankers and their team members will also spend long hours on:

  • Courting potential clients
  • Traveling across the country and globe to research and secure deals

Ultimately, investment bankers are not only savvy about negotiating mergers and acquisitions and raising capital, but they must also be good with clients. In the end, they are salesmen and compete fiercely against each other for very high-stakes corporate business.

One important consideration: Investment bankers are on call 24/7. If a company makes a sudden move over a weekend to buy another firm, all members of an investment banking team had better be ready — on any day, at any time.

“It is a great business for the right person,” says F. Mark D’Annolfo, a former investment banker who’s now managing director of the Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance at Babson College. “It is very entrepreneurial, and the work is often highly interesting and intellectually challenging. However, since these jobs often involve a great deal of travel and long hours, they are not for everyone.”

About the AuthorJay Fitzgerald is a business journalist based in Boston. Over the years, his articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, the Boston Business Journal, the Boston Herald and other publications.

When, and How, To Bring Up Salary in an Interview

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

There’s no telling when the salary discussion may come up in an interview, but bringing up your desired salary too soon could be a risky move. It’s important that your are able to present yourself, your abilities, and what you can contribute to the company before your price tag.

Employers want to get a sense of your salary expectations as early in the job interview process as possible. They will often press you to name a specific salary number or salary range. Avoid this for several reasons:

1.If you name a figure in response to a question about your salary expectations, it could be well above what the employer had in mind, and your interviewer’s thoughts will shift to another candidate.
2. If the figure is too low, you’ll be stuck with less than what the employer was planning to pay—and you may even come off as less qualified to boot.
3. The employer knows the responsibilities of the job better than you and therefore is better qualified to assign it a dollar amount. Once that happens, you are in an excellent position to discuss why you could bring more to the position than someone else.
Here is an example of how to avoid naming the salary first—even when explicitly challenged by the employer to do so:
EMPLOYER: Do you have a minimum salary figure in mind?
CANDIDATE: I have several opportunities I’m considering, and each one is a little bit different, so I’m taking all of the circumstances into account. Would you mind giving me some idea of the salary range for this position?

In most cases, a hiring manager isn’t going to drop you from consideration just because you dodge the initial salary question successfully. In fact, you may have a better chance at getting the job offer in the end because you had the opportunity to go through your value-increasing presentation first; other candidates who name a salary early in the interview process may never get the chance to present themselves fully, because the manager may be turned off after hearing their asking price.

Small Business Or Big Corporation? How To Know What’s Best For You

ID-10024928

As you go through the job searching process, you will find that there are all types of company sizes within every industry. Although you may be completely confident on the exact industry you want to pursue, you may find yourself wondering whether a large or small company is best. The answer really lies with you and your preferences, strengths, and personality.

Whether you’re looking for your first job or your fifth job, your colleagues and the environment you’ll be in everyday is crucial to the long-term career path you will take. So therein lies the question, “What’s the right company size for me?”

To answer that question, check out some of the job factors below and determine what seems to best suit you overall:

Culture and Processes

In a large company, there are a lot of team members that may be dispersed through different parts of the country and even the world. For this reason, the culture and processes in larger companies tend to be more rigid and defined to ensure everyone stays on the same page. Individuals that excel in this type of culture appreciate following processes and clear expectations.

In a small company, teams will be more agile and less defined. You will get to know team members in the company very closely in a relaxed culture that has likely been built organically. Personalities may be strong and opinionated, but each individual will undoubtedly be working toward the same clear goals of the company. For this reason, strict internal processes will be less important and are many times somewhat lax.

Management

In a large company, you will have a dedicated team that works directly with one or two managers who are in charge of all the team members. It is unlikely that you will interact with, or talk to, management that is above your direct manager(s). The company’s vertical hierarchy helps keep those in high-level positions focused on the bigger picture for the company, and the managers focused on making sure the big picture is delivered.

In a small company, upper-level management, all the way up to the CEO, will often interact and even collaborate with all levels of the team. This can provide an invaluable experience that will help you gain knowledge and skills from top leadership in the company.

Personal Growth

In a large company, by focusing strictly on your major tasks each day, you can easily become an expert in whatever you’re doing. This type of expertise can provide great opportunities later on in your career. Advancing within a larger company generally has defined process, which makes it easy to know what you’re expected to do in order to advance.

In a small company, career advancement does not generally follow a defined process, but naturally happens over time. Because all of the team members work with you on a daily basis, upper management is able to see your growth firsthand. Advancements may come in all different forms — increased responsibility, a new title, or a pay increase.

The opportunity to shift your career focus may also be something that can happen in a smaller company. Because of the agility and flexibility a small company requires, you may happen to stumble upon something that interests you more than your current job and find yourself shifting your career focus.

This is your career path, so choose your steps carefully. There is no right or wrong answer for working in specific company size; you may excel in one and not the other based on your personality, strengths, and preferences. Regardless of which fit is best, choosing the path and environment that’s right for you will ultimately help you advance in your desired career path.

What do you think? Do you prefer a small or large company? Why?

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

 

8 Ways to Bomb Your Interview

 

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

1. Go Casual

 You have this interview in the bag- who cares if you’re wearing jeans! You’re Gen Y! Steve Jobs doesn’t wear suits!

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”  – Mark Twain

I’m not suggesting you show up to your interview naked (although that would certainly end your interviewing excursion. Mission accomplished!) Ask the recruiter ahead of time, on the phone or email, about the company dress code. If asking is uncomfortable for you, play it safe with dress pants or slacks and a nice shirt and tie; or skirt and blouse. Even at a “laid back” start-up would be impressed with your professionalism. Better to be over dressed than…well, naked.

2. Arrive Unprepared

 You emailed your resume – certainly the hiring manager had time to memorize it, or at least to print it and bring copies with him. Right?

Bring copies of your resume to the interview. And having a quality notebook or leather-bound portfolio in which to take interview notes will add to the impression that you’re a professional. The more you know about the company and industry before the interview, the better. Do your research to learn the company’s history, major competitors, market niche, products, etc.

3. The Weak Handshake

This is a time-honored first impression killer. The interviewer enters the room. They greet you warmly, smiling, and extend their hand to grasp yours…this can be an awkward moment if you over-think it. Will your hands meet correctly? Will they land slightly askew, resulting in that quasi-handshake, half high-five event?

Use a firm handshake to indicate confidence and potential strength of character.  And definitely make solid eye contact with the interviewer! That will display some competence and social ability.

4.  Your Cell Phone Rings 

This is an easy one to forget since most of us are so completely tied to this little electronic second brain. Turn your phone off (completely off!) before the interview.  If you forget and it does ring, DO NOT answer it, or even consider sending a quick text while the interviewer’s head is turned. This is more inappropriate and annoying than couples who hold hands at the gym! The hiring manager will definitely notice your lack of social etiquette.

5. Your Eyes Glaze Over, Your Shoulders Hunch, You Yawn…

Your body language communicates loudly. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Sit forward- it shows active interest with your full body. Nod your head at appropriate times and ask questions throughout the interview. An interview should be a two-way conversation. Give your interviewer time to explain the opening and the company culture, but jump in with quality questions. By “quality questions” I don’t mean: “How long is lunch in this office?” or “I have a vacation with my boyfriend coming up soon. Is that ok?”

6. Show Me The Money!

You’re just starting out in your career – you’ve already earned a big salary! You should bring that up right away, right? Wrong.

Discuss the position first and foremost. Sure, being paid for your time and skills is how capitalism works! But focus on the job details first- discuss compensation afterward, once you and the recruiter agree that you’re the right fit.

Before the interview, research your industry’s salary rates and the cost of living for the area.  You’ll be prepared to negotiate a salary that will cover your living expenses and enable you to set aside savings for emergencies. Having a job is only great when you can afford to pay your bills. Being underemployed is just as hard as being unemployed.

7. Be Really Un-Friendly

With the exception of very technical positions, employers interview for skills, but they hire for personality. Most entry level skills can be learned through on the job training. The interview reveals if you will be a good fit with the manager and their team. (I once got a job where the interviewer was a big golf nut. I play golf, so we talked about golf the entire interview).

Don’t use polite manners, smile or have an engaging and articulate conversation with the interviewer – avoid these as they will most certainly encourage the hiring manager to consider you further.

8. The Follow Up

Your best chance of not being hired is to blend in with the tens, or sometimes hundreds of other applicants… like job seeking camouflage! Don’t fall into the forgotten pile- send a follow up letter after the interview; at the very least an email to thank the interviewer for their time and add a few memorable points from your discussion (maybe even a question or two that you thought of after the interview). Better yet, send an old-school hand-written letter.

Most interviewees send resumes and wait… or interview and hope. If you don’t want to get hired… don’t stand out.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at YouTern.

About the Author: Dave Ellis, is an original member of the YouTern team and instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals.

How to Ask Your Boss for a Promotion

bigstock-job-interview-isolated-on-whi-10384142-300x199

Asking for a promotion is a terrifying, nerve-wracking experience that everyone should do at least once in their career.

The mere thought of approaching an intimidating boss and asking them to give you more responsibility is enough to give any person goosebumps.

“What if my boss says no?”

“What if my boss fires me for asking?”

“What if my boss thinks less of me for asking?”

What if? What if? What if? You can think about hypothetical scenarios until you’re blue in the face, but you’ll never know what will really happen until you actually do it.

When you finally do gather the courage to take the next step, here are some helpful tips about asking your boss for a promotion:

Asking for a promotion is a terrifying, nerve-wracking experience that everyone should do at least once in their career.

The mere thought of approaching an intimidating boss and asking them to give you more responsibility is enough to give any person goosebumps.

“What if my boss says no?”

“What if my boss fires me for asking?”

“What if my boss thinks less of me for asking?”

What if? What if? What if? You can think about hypothetical scenarios until you’re blue in the face, but you’ll never know what will really happen until you actually do it.

When you finally do gather the courage to take the next step, here are some helpful tips about asking your boss for a promotion:

Be Knowledgable

You can’t build the nerve to ask your boss for a promotion and then walk into their office without a plan — if you want a better job, you have to prove you’re ready to take it on.

Do some research on the job you’re looking to get and tell your boss why you think you’d be a better asset in that position. Know your previous accomplishments and the contributions you’ve made to better the company up until this point, and show you’ve done work that has gone beyond the tasks of your current position. Giving examples of how, in your current position, you’ve demonstrated the skills needed for the job you’re trying to be promoted to is a fantastic way to show your boss you’re the right person for the promotion.

And even though you shouldn’t be talking about negotiating salary until after you get offered the job, you should still research the pay you’re looking to get from websites such as Salary.com, lest the conversation should turn to that and you’re totally unprepared.

Set Up The Meeting Ahead Of Time

Many businesses have annual performance reviews where employees have the chance to talk about their future with the company, but if your company doesn’t offer one or you want to ask before that time comes, it’s best to set up a meeting with your boss in advance rather than ask them the question on a whim.

Setting up the meeting beforehand not only lets your boss properly prepare to talk with you about future opportunities, but also it shows you still respect their authority enough to not just barge in and blindside them.

When you do set up the meeting, either through your boss’ assistant or directly, make sure you’re transparent in your intentions so as not to catch them off guard — tell them you want to meet with them to discuss your role and potential with the company, or something along those lines.

Follow-Up

Even though you see your boss every day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still follow-up with her after the meeting. Treat your consideration for promotion just like any other job you have to interview for.

If you don’t get the promotion, tell your boss you’re still interested in the position, and ask if they have any advice for you. Make sure you don’t burn any bridges; in fact, use this opportunity to reinforce the ones you’ve already built. Now that you’ve shown initiative, your boss may be more inclined to give you more responsibility.

It may have just been you weren’t in their eyesight before, but now that they know you’re serious about progressing in the company, they’ll take more notice

Be Knowledgable

You can’t build the nerve to ask your boss for a promotion and then walk into their office without a plan — if you want a better job, you have to prove you’re ready to take it on.

Do some research on the job you’re looking to get and tell your boss why you think you’d be a better asset in that position. Know your previous accomplishments and the contributions you’ve made to better the company up until this point, and show you’ve done work that has gone beyond the tasks of your current position. Giving examples of how, in your current position, you’ve demonstrated the skills needed for the job you’re trying to be promoted to is a fantastic way to show your boss you’re the right person for the promotion.

And even though you shouldn’t be talking about negotiating salary until after you get offered the job, you should still research the pay you’re looking to get from websites such as Salary.com, lest the conversation should turn to that and you’re totally unprepared.

Set Up The Meeting Ahead Of Time

Many businesses have annual performance reviews where employees have the chance to talk about their future with the company, but if your company doesn’t offer one or you want to ask before that time comes, it’s best to set up a meeting with your boss in advance rather than ask them the question on a whim.

Setting up the meeting beforehand not only lets your boss properly prepare to talk with you about future opportunities, but also it shows you still respect their authority enough to not just barge in and blindside them.

When you do set up the meeting, either through your boss’ assistant or directly, make sure you’re transparent in your intentions so as not to catch them off guard — tell them you want to meet with them to discuss your role and potential with the company, or something along those lines.

Follow-Up

Even though you see your boss every day doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still follow-up with her after the meeting. Treat your consideration for promotion just like any other job you have to interview for.

If you don’t get the promotion, tell your boss you’re still interested in the position, and ask if they have any advice for you. Make sure you don’t burn any bridges; in fact, use this opportunity to reinforce the ones you’ve already built. Now that you’ve shown initiative, your boss may be more inclined to give you more responsibility.

It may have just been you weren’t in their eyesight before, but now that they know you’re serious about progressing in the company, they’ll take more notice of your performance and consider you early on for the next promotion.

What tips do you recommend when asking your boss for a promotion?

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Come Recommended.

3 Ways to Build Your Career Path

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

As you continue to move forward in your career, it is important to take a step back and look at the “big picture.” With 70 percent of U.S. workers emotionally disconnected from their workplace, keeping your eye on what you want in your career can help keep you on track and outside of that statistic.

Whether you’re looking at what next steps to take within your company, or within your industry, it is important to think about what you’re working toward — doing what you love to do and what you’re good at doing.

Here are some ways to make sure your career path is headed in the right direction:

Identify and cater to your natural talents

Your natural talents are the positive traits that you are born with. As opposed to your strengths, which are skills that you build up overtime, your talents are things you do often — most of the time without even being aware of it.

For this reason, it can be tricky to determine what your natural talents are. Take a day or two and pay close attention to what you do. Note what seems to come more naturally versus the things that you tend to struggle with or don’t enjoy as much. There are also courses available that can help you to uncover your natural talents.

Once you’ve identified your natural talents, use that knowledge to find ways to cater to those talents in your career path. Whether it is at your current job or networking at events, show off your talents and demonstrate to others your capabilities. If you start to focus on fostering these natural talents, your career path will naturally progress in a positive direction.

Never stop looking for outside inspiration

As you progress in your career, you will undoubtedly meet plenty of people, read a lot of articles, and attend a number of industry events. For those individuals that leave an impression on you, do not lose touch with them — consider making them a mentor. For those articles that inspire you, bookmark them, share them, and integrate them into your daily life. For those events that leave you inspired to do so much more within your industry and job, continue attending and find other events like it. 

Inspiration is an important part of any successful career — it’s what motivates you to go above and beyond your job description. In the end, your career is not about the quantitative, but qualitative. It is about the quality relationships you build, the people that inspire you, and the actions that you learn from. The things that inspire you most will guide your career path in a less noticeable but very impactful way.

Take a look at where you are right now

Take a moment to step back and look at your current professional situation. Two important things you should ask yourself are: “Do the people I’m surrounded by everyday continually inspire me to be better?” and “Does the prospect of getting further in a career similar to what I’m in excite me?”

Moving ahead in your career is exciting, but remember to slow down now and then, take a step back, and see the big picture. Consider if you’re in a place that you enjoy spending your days and see a future in. If you’re doing what you love, and it is catering to your natural talents and strengths, it is likely you’re on the right path and it will naturally guide your career in the right direction.

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.