resources

How to Work with a Recruiter 
 
Top 10 Questions to Ask an Employer 
 
How to Answer These Tricky Interview Questions 
 
10 Words to Avoid Using During Your Job Search 
 
12 Crucial Tips for Interview Looks 
 
10 Tips for Being the New Employee 
 
Starting a New Job? 7 Tips to Ensure Your Success


How to Work with a Recruiter

 
As a recruiter, it’s my job to find qualified candidates to fill our clients’ open positions, move them through the interview process, and (hopefully) get them hired. However, I realize there is some level of confusion from many jobseekers on just how this process works. A few key pieces of advice that can help make the process of trying to work with a recruiter more effective are as follows: 
 
1. Improve your LinkedIn profile. 
I often get asked how I find candidates for the the jobs I recruit for, and my number one answer is LinkedIn. I use the networking site to identify profiles of candidates who could be a fit based on their backgrounds. So, if you’re in the market for a new job, be sure that your LinkedIn profile is as comprehensive and up-to-date as possible. 
 
Include any potential qualifications you possess like foreign language skills, experience with certain types of software and knowledge of a specific industry, as this will ensure your profile shows up in a keyword search. Additionally, make sure that your current privacy settings allow your public profile to be seen by everyone and that you are currently open to receiving InMail, as that is often the method a recruiter will use to contact you. 
 
2. Return phone calls and emails. 
I respect the fact that candidates are not necessarily sitting by the phone waiting for my call when I reach out to them. However, if someone I contact for a position is constantly unresponsive, it’s likely I won’t be moving that candidate forward in the interview process. My job is to get quality candidates over to my client in a timely manner. If someone does not respond to my emails and voicemails, i have to assume that there’s not enough interest int he position. Also, when the candidates reach out to follow up about a position, ti shows me that they’re interested. However, when they call me about it multiple times a day, it definitely comes off as more desperate than driven, which is not a good thing. 
 
3. Use the recruiter as a resource. 
Don’t be afraid to pick a recruiter’s brain. As a liaison between you and the employer, recruiters can help provide you with valuable information including the responsibilities of the position, the company culture, etc. As a candidate, you have a great opportunity to take advantage of the recruiter’s knowledge to determine whether or not the position is something you’d be interested in pursuing. A recruiter can also provide insight on what the steps int he interview process will look like, along with what you can do to stand out to the hiring manager – so don’t be afraid to ask! 
 
4. Always be honest. 
If a recruiter reaches out to you about a role that’s not the right match for your skillset or career goals, start a conversation about what types of positions you would be interested in. I appreciate when candidates are upfront with me so I can keep them in mind for future openings or other jobs that my colleagues may be working on. 
 
Additionally, my job is to ask candidates the tough questions, and that includes discussing compensation expectations. Don’t be vague or dishonest about your current salary or the salary you’d expect in a new position, as that wastes everyone’s time. Finally, don’t let a recruiter set up an interview for you if you know that you can’t make it or don’t have a genuine interest in the position. Nothing is more frustrating to a me than a candidate canceling an interview at the last minute, or worse, not showing up at all. 
 
5. Trust the recruiter’s word. 
The worst part about my job is calling people to let them know they weren’t chosen for a position. However, I am more likely to consider these candidates for future opportunities when they take the news gracefully. More often than not, the candidate didn’t do anything wrong; there was just someone else in the process that aligned more closely with the client’s needs. Also, I may not receive detailed feedback on why someone was not selected, so don’t assume the recruiter is being intentionally vague if you don’t receive specific reasons for why you’re not moving forward in the interview process. Finally, if you do get rejected, don’t go around the recruiter’s back and reach out to the company directly. You’ll only make yourself look worse by trying to go over the recruiter’s head and get back into the process. 
 
My goal as a recruiter is to create a win-win situation in which I find my client outstanding talent and help candidates land new positions that align with their career goals. If you’re currently working with a recruiter, respecting the process and acting professionally will go a long way to ensure a successful outcome.


Top 10 Questions to Ask an Employer

 
When your interviewer wraps up your job interview by asking if you have any questions, you might think that he or she is finished assessing you, but that’s not quite the case. Interviewers draw conclusions about you based on the questions you ask – or don’t ask. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re not very interested in the job, or that you’re only concerned about the compensation. Instead, ask about the work, company, and team. 
 
Here are 10 great questions for your interviewer: 
 
1. What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face? 
This question shows that you don’t have blinders on in the excitement about a new job; you recognize that every job has difficult elements and that you’re being thoughtful about what it will take to succeed in the position. 
 
2. Can you describe a typical day or week in the position? 
This question shows that you’re thinking beyond the interview and that you’re visualizing what it will be like to do the work itself. This is different from many candidates, who appear to be focused solely on getting the job offer without thinking about what will come after that. 
 
3. What would a successful first year in the position look like? 
Asking this shows that you’re thinking in the same terms that a manager does–about what the position needs to contribute to the team or company to be worthwhile. You’ll also sound like someone who isn’t seeking to simply do the bare minimum, but rather to truly achieve in the role. 
 
4. How will the success of the person in this position be measured? 
This question is similar to the previous one, but it will also give you more insight into what the manager really values. You may discover that while the job description emphasizes skill A or responsibility B, the manager actually cares most about skill C or responsibility D. 
 
5. How long did the previous person in the role hold the position? What has turnover in the role generally been like? 
If no one has stayed in the position very long, it might be a red flag about a difficult manager, unrealistic expectations, or some other land mine. 
 
6. How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive, and what type don’t do as well? 
If the culture is very formal and structured and you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment, or if it’s an aggressive, competitive environment and you are more low-key and reserved, this job might not be a comfortable fit for you. You’ll spend a large portion of your waking life at your job, so it’s crucial to make sure you know what you’re signing up for. 
 
7. How would you describe your management style? 
Your boss will have an enormous impact on your quality of life at work. While you can’t always trust managers to accurately self-assess, you’ll at least get some insight into their style by what things they choose to emphasize in response to this question. 
 
8. Thinking back to the person who you’ve seen do this job best, what made their performance so outstanding? 
Most managers’ ears will perk up at this question, because it signals that you care not just about being average or even good, but truly great. This is the question managers wish all their employees would ask. 
 
9. Are there any reservations you have about my fit for the position that I could try to address? 
This is a great way to give yourself the chance to tackle any doubts the interviewer might have about you, as well as for you to consider whether those doubts might be reasonable and point to a bad fit. 
 
10. What is your time line for getting back to candidates about the next steps? 
Always wrap up with this question, so that when you go home you know what to expect next. That way, you won’t be sitting around wondering when you’ll hear something. 
 
This article is from Yahoo! Finance.


How to Answer These Tricky Interview Questions

 
Does the thought of going on a job interview cause your palms to sweat and your body to break out in hives? Stop itching; you’re not alone. The vast majority of job seekers admit to emotions ranging from mild uneasiness to downright panic leading up to their interviews. The good news is there have been no reported cases of job seekers who died of nervousness during a job interview. So relax and follow these simple tips for keeping your anxiety at bay before and during your interview. 
 
First, take the proper amount of time to prepare for your interview. Being well-prepared will boost your confidence and lower your anxiety. Experts recommend that you spend at least three hours preparing for each interview. 
 
You should draft answers to the most common interview questions and practice speaking them out loud. You also should read up on the company with which you will be interviewing and prepare some questions of your own. This lets the interviewer know that you are truly interested in the company and the position. 
 
As a final step in your preparation, make sure you have good directions to the interview site. Some job seekers make a dry run to the interview site to ensure the directions are correct and to estimate the amount of time they will need to get to the interview on time. 
 
Going into a job interview is often like entering the great unknown. Although every interviewer is different and questions vary from industry to industry, there are some questions that are common across the board. Reading through the following questions and developing your own answers is a good place to start in your preparation. Once you have done that, remember practice makes perfect! Nothing impresses a potential employer like being ready for whatever is thrown your way. 
 
Why should we hire you? 
Here’s the chance to really sell yourself. You need to briefly and succinctly lay out your strengths, qualifications and what you can bring to the table. Be careful not to answer this question too generically, however. Nearly everyone says they are hardworking and motivated. Set yourself apart by telling the interviewer about qualities that are unique to you. 
 
Why do you want to work here? 
This is one tool interviewers use to see if you have done your homework. You should never attend an interview unless you know about the company, its direction and the industry in which it plays. If you have done your research, this question gives you an opportunity to show initiative and demonstrate how your experience and qualifications match the company’s needs. 
 
What are your greatest weaknesses? 
The secret to answering this question is being honest about a weakness, but demonstrating how you have turned it into a strength. For example, if you had a problem with organization in the past, demonstrate the steps you took to more effectively keep yourself on track. This will show that you have the ability to recognize aspects of yourself that need improvement, and the initiative to make yourself better. 
 
Why did you leave your last job? 
Even if your last job ended badly, be careful about being negative in answering this question. Be as diplomatic as possible. If you do point out negative aspects of your last job, find some positives to mention as well. Complaining endlessly about your last company will not say much for your attitude. 
 
Describe a problem situation and how you solved it. 
Sometimes it is hard to come up with a response to this request, particularly if you are coming straight from college and do not have professional experience. Interviewers want to see that you can think critically and develop solutions, regardless of what kind of issue you faced. Even if your problem was not having enough time to study, describe the steps you took to prioritize your schedule. This will demonstrate that you are responsible and can think through situations on your own. 
 
What accomplishment are you most proud of? 
The secret to this question is being specific and selecting an accomplishment that relates to the position. Even if your greatest accomplishment is being on a championship high school basketball team, opt for a more professionally relevant accomplishment. Think of the qualities the company is looking for and develop an example that demonstrates how you can meet the company’s needs. 
 
What are your salary expectations? 
This is one of the hardest questions, particularly for those with little experience. The first thing to do before going to your interview is to research the salary range in your field to get an idea of what you should be making. Steer clear of discussing salary specifics before receiving a job offer. Let the interviewer know that you will be open to discussing fair compensation when the time comes. If pressed for a more specific answer, always give a range, rather than a specific number. 
 
Tell me about yourself. 
While this query seems like a piece of cake, it is difficult to answer because it is so broad. The important thing to know is that the interviewer typically does not want to know about your hometown or what you do on the weekends. He or she is trying to figure you out professionally. Pick a couple of points about yourself, your professional experience and your career goals and stick to those points. Wrap up your answer by bringing up your desire to be a part of the company. If you have a solid response prepared for this question, it can lead your conversation in a direction that allows you to elaborate on your qualifications. 
 
This article is by Kate Lorenz


10 Words to Avoid Using During Your Job Search

 
Imagine you’ve sent in your cover letter and resume to the job of your dreams. However, weeks go by and you haven’t heard a peep from the employer. Are you not qualified for the position? Or was it something you said? 
 
Today’s job market is highly competitive, which is why job seekers must avoid using words that could cost them a job. Whether you’ve just applied for a job or you’re preparing for an interview, here are 10 of the worst words you can say during your job search: 
 
1. “No.” 
Using “no” in any shape or form can negatively impact your job search. Use positive words during your jobs search and interviews because you want to show your enthusiasm and confidence to employers. 
 
2. “Um…” 
Whether you’re in an interview or on the phone with a hiring manager, avoid using “um” at all costs. Although most people don’t realize they use filler words, it’s essential to stop using “um” so you don’t distract the person you’re talking to. 
 
3. “Kinda” 
This is another word job seekers must avoid at all costs. First, “kinda” is not a word and hiring managers will be caught of guard when you use it in a sentence. 
 
For example, when a hiring manager asks if you have some type of experience, you don’t want to say “I kinda know how to use Microsoft Office.” You either want to say “Yes” or “No, but I’m willing to learn.” 
 
4. “And what not” or “you know” 
These are more filler words job seekers should avoid during their job search. These are empty words and in no way do they help you communicate your skills or experience to a hiring manager. To avoid using these words, simply be concise in your answers and say exactly what you mean. 
 
5. “Hate” 
Whatever you do, never use the word “hate” during your job search. Regardless of whether you had a bad boss or working experience, you should never, ever say this word. Not only is this a negative word to say, but it’s likely you’ll make a very bad impression when you use it. For example, when referring to a negative experience such as “I hated it when my boss gave me extra work”, this might send a red flag to the hiring manager. 
 
6. “Sorry” 
Never say I’m sorry during a job interview unless you accidentally bump into the interviewer. Most interviewers don’t want to hear, “I’m sorry about running late” or “Sorry, I couldn’t find my reference’s phone number” because it shows unprofessionalism. To avoid this word, always be prepared for any interaction with an employer. 
 
7. “I don’t know” 
This is another phrase job seekers must avoid using because it shows a lack of confidence. Even when an interviewer asks you a question that you feel clueless about, it’s crucial you are prepared to give some type of answer — whether it’s right or wrong. 
 
8. “What?” 
You never want to say “what” during a job interview because it shows hiring managers and recruiters either you weren’t prepared or listening. 
 
You also don’t want to ask an interviewer questions such as “What does your company do?” or “What is the best part of this job?” Instead, you should say, “Can you tell me more about what I’d accomplish in this position?” This shows you are actively engaged in the interview and interested in learning more about the job. 
 
9. “Obsessed” 
Job seekers may use “obsessed” when expressing their passion for what they do, but this adjective can have a negative connotation. Instead, say you are passionate about a particular project or you are captivated by something specific in your field. These are much more positive words that show hiring managers your enthusiasm for your career. 
 
10. Curse words. 
This might seem like common sense, but it’s absolutely necessary to avoid saying curse words during a job interview. Not only are they inappropriate, but they will also cost you a job. 
 
This article is by Heather Huhman


12 Crucial Tips for Interview Looks

 
Two applicants have similar resumes and credentials. One gets the job over the other. 
 
According to Barbara Glass, image and wardrobe consultant, “It’s how you wrap yourself.” A candidate’s appearance can make or break a decision to extend an offer. 
 
Most people don’t have a clue that small details can affect the way an interview goes. You need to package yourself appropriately. “The idea here is to keep the focus on you, not what you’re wearing,” Glass explains. “It’s about blending in with the culture you’re interviewing for, not setting trends. Impress the interviewer with your ability, not with your clothing.” 
 
Here are 10 crucial tips to keep in mind when dressing for the interview. 
 
1. Avoid trends. 
Stick to classic looks. “You’re not on a runway,” she says. “If you want to walk around with funky outfits, go into advertising! But if you want to be considered for a position in a corporate setting, it’s not going to fly.” 
 
2. Suit up. 
Invest in one good suit. Keep it neutral — black, navy or grays always work. “ When you’re the CEO, you can wear whatever you want. Until then, follow what the culture does.” A simple shirt with a classic collar under your suit is appropriate. 
 
3. Your clothes need to be tailored to fit. 
Don’t wear short skirts or roll up your hems! “If you have to think about it, don’t wear it. Go with your instincts.” 
 
4. Don’t be a distraction. 
Keep the noise level down. Avoid bangles that clank, backless shoes that clunk or earrings that dangle. “Pearls may sound boring, but there is a reason they still sell at Tiffany’s.” 
 
5. Consider your coif. 
Groomed, healthy hair is important. “if you have long hair, keep your hair off your face in a knot or French twist. The point is, when you are talking to someone and want to be taken seriously, you must look the part. You can wear your hair down in the evening.” 
 
6. Get a manicure. 
Nails should be clean and clear, at a reasonable length. Remember, bright or trendy nail polish can be a no-no for some companies. Go with clear or pale colors if in doubt. 
 
7. Be natural, or at least fake it. 
Keep makeup minimal. No heavy mascara or eyeshadow. Neutral lipstick is fine. 
 
8. No heavy perfume! 
It’s offensive to the interviewer and you never know what allergies they may have. 
 
9. Arrive 15 minutes early. 
Before the appointment, check yourself out in the bathroom. You can make sure there are no last minute surprises and it will give you a chance to relax.” 
 
10. Have a good attitude. 
“People forget to smile. No one wants to work with people who are unpleasant. This is as elementary as shaking someone’s hand firmly or looking them in the eyes when you speak. They may be old rules, but they sure haven’t changed for most people!” 
 
This article is by Maria Akl


10 Tips for Being the New Employee

 
You thought finding a place to sit in the cafeteria as the new kid or struggling to make friends in a new environment was over when you graduated high school–boy, were you wrong. Kids might grow up, but there are still cliques: mean girls, bullies, the cool lunch table. As the new kid on the block, joining a new department or company can be challenging, and not just because you have a brand new job to do. You also need to find your stride amongst your peers while also making a positive impact on the bosses. 
 
And you thought middle school was tough. 
 
Fortunately, you’re older now, presumably wiser, and a lot more confident than you were as a bumbling teen. While every job environment is different, there are some hacks to adapting and fitting in from the start. It doesn’t matter if you’re naturally a social butterfly, nearly a recluse, or somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Try out these 10 tips for new employees and make the transition as easy as possible. 
 
1. Research your environment before diving in. 
Sometimes you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of what to expect–for example, companies like Google (and other major corporations) are pretty transparent about the company culture. You might be able to find company videos, YouTube channels. or helpful blogs and forums to prepare you for your first day. You can also glean tips from what employees write on glassdoor.com. Knowing how relaxed (or not) a company is, what the “average worker” is like in your department, or the general dress code can help you prep for fitting in. 
 
2. Smile, ask questions, and be interested. 
It might sound like advice for a first date, but these three things can go a long way. You’re going to enjoy punching the clock much more if you genuinely like the people around you. Get started on the right foot by being friendly. People like people who are curious about them. (In other words, everyone’s a narcissist). Like it or not, “making friends” can be just as important as doing your job well. 
 
3. Practice saying yes. 
You might feel overwhelmed, but as a newbie always say yes if someone asks you for coffee, to lunch, to volunteer on a project or just about anything else. Being agreeable comes before being a pushover. You have to prove yourself before you can say no. 
 
4. Don’t complain. 
In your first few weeks, you have no room for complaint. Take initiative, look into why things are done the way they are, and take everything as a learning experience. You need to master the field before you start making suggestions. 
 
5. Respect everyone. 
It doesn’t matter where you are in the pecking order or where anyone else is. Treat everyone with the same high level of respect, from the entry-level employee to the CEO. You never know who could have your back, do you a favor–or even be your undoing. 
 
6. Give 110 percent. 
Or 120. Or 150. The point is, as a newbie you need to work harder than anyone else. You need to prove you want to be there, you like to be there, and you’ll give it your all. 
 
7. Repeat everyone’s name after being introduced. 
You’re overwhelmed, but forgetting someone’s name can be one of the biggest blunders you make. Make it a point to repeat everyone’s name after introductions, and address them by name whenever possible. You need to drill those monikers into your head. 
 
8. Appreciate company quirks. 
You might not “get” the weird birthday song yet or why Friday night happy hours are always at the same bar, but go along with it. Traditions are important, and giving them a fair shot can help you get integrated. 
 
9. The SOP is your bible. 
Chances are your predecessor spent a long time putting together that handbook of Standard Operator Procedures. Learn it, memorize it, and live it. It’s your cheat sheet. Why would you ignore it? 
 
10. Offer to help. 
It doesn’t matter if it’s carrying files to storage or helping a co-workers with a spreadsheet. If you can help in any way, do so. That’s where teamwork is born. 
 
This article is from Inc.com


Starting a New Job? 7 Tips to Ensure Your Success

 
50% professionalism + 50% office culture = 100% new job success. 
 
Starting a new job is scary. Whether you’re straight out of college or have been in the workforce for 20 years, entering into a new work environment can make you feel as if you’ve stepped foot on another planet. In order to succeed, both socially and professionally, you’re expected to learn the lingo, follow the dress code, and pick up on the acceptable behaviors. That’s a whole lot to do without help. 
 
When it comes to feeling comfortable in a new job, comprehensive onboarding is essential. In fact, the consulting firm BCG found that, of the 21 human resource programs it looked at, onboarding had the second most significant business impact. This is not surprising, but organizations often fall short on helping new hires assimilate to their new office environments. New hire orientation programs are frequently too brief. Ideally, they should include more than the common one-off meeting. 
 
However, while it’s the company’s job to help you learn about the office culture, much of your success at a new job rides on you. 
 
Below are seven tips to help you succeed at your new job from day one. 
 
1. Don’t forget about your personal brand. 
You’ve heard it time and time again during the interview process — from the moment you step foot into the office, you are representing yourself and your personal brand. 
 
Now that you’re starting your first day as an employee, don’t downplay the importance of first impressions. Your first 90 days on the job are often treated as an extension of the interview. That means you should use every interaction to prove that you’re a respectful, professional, and diligent worker, but also that you’re someone who your colleagues will enjoy spending eight hours a day with. 
 
From a conversation with your manager to your first department meeting to your first company happy hour, every office task is an opportunity to learn, grow, and represent yourself in a positive light. 
 
2. Be careful with early demands – trust and rewards are earned. 
Some new hires come to work with demands their first week of work, from how they want their schedules handled to how they’ll handle their work, and more. Tread lightly here. Trust is earned. When you prove yourself by showing up and doing your work well, you will be given much more leniency on how you handle your schedule and work in general. 
 
3. Set healthy boundaries early on. 
This career tip is one that can take some time to understand, but it’s worth mentioning so you’re aware of the importance of setting healthy boundaries in regards to work. When you set healthy boundaries, you are clarifying what is acceptable and unacceptable to you in regards to how late you’re willing to work, the total number of hours you’re willing to work, how you’ll deal with saying “no” when needed, and how personal you’re willing to allow your work relationships to be. Once you set the example that you’re willing to do certain things, it’s hard to go back. In other words, if your manager sends you emails over the weekend, and you respond, then you may unknowingly set the expectation that you will always be willing to work on weekends. 
 
4. Mind your own business. 
Plenty of employees make themselves look bad by trying to involve themselves in work matters that are none of their business. Work environments can be quite the tangled web of ‘frenemies,’ cliques, and gossip, all of which the savvy and wise new hire will avoid. Unless you are a supervisor, your work is the only work you’re responsible for. 
 
The exception to this rule is if someone is doing something unethical, creating an unsafe work environment due to harassment or bullying, is doing something unsafe, or is negatively impacting your ability to do your job. These scenarios warrant further action on your part by bringing the concern to the attention of your supervisor or HR. 
 
5. Choose your work battles wisely. 
With the numerous people you will interact with in the work world, you likely will encounter plenty of frustrations, concerns, and conundrums. To maintain your sanity and productivity at work, it will be helpful for you to discern between challenges you need to deal with vs. the ones you can overlook and move on from. 
 
6. Create good time management skills at work from the start. 
When starting work in the corporate world, it doesn’t take long for the volume of work and projects to pile up. These items, combined with the personal items you need to address on a regular basis, can become overwhelming if you don’t find a way to put good time management skills into practice while at work. Some common time management techniques include setting priorities, maintaining lists of items to be addressed daily, and scheduling blocks of time to address certain items. 
 
It’s also okay to say “no.” The goal here is saying “no” without really saying “no.” If you are asked to complete a project or do a task, you can share your current obligations and then negotiate the completion due date. You are essentially saying “yes,” while also managing expectations. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your manager to help you set priorities if you find the requests piling up. 
 
If you’re constantly being asked to do items that are not within your work scope, you may need to find a way to politely say “no” to these items, as well. Helping someone out at work is one thing, but don’t allow yourself to be a doormat or become overwhelmed or stressed by such requests. Finally, give yourself permission to let go of some non-vital items or look for alternative ways to get an activity covered, such as hiring someone to clean your apartment for you. 
 
7. Ask a lot of questions (most of the time). 
There is a lot to learn as a new hire — from how to do your job effectively to how the organization works. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by all the items you will need to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to gain clarity when you need it. It’s better to get the information to handle things correctly vs. learning the hard way that you’re doing something incorrectly. No one expects you to be a pro when you are new to a job, and no one expects you to know everything about the organization right away, either. Chances are that others have similar questions to you, so don’t be afraid to ask. 
 
At the same time, show initiative by doing your own research. Take time to learn about your position and the organization before you begin commenting or making suggestions that might be interpreted as not understanding your position or the organization or could be perceived as argumentative or condescending. If you’ve been provided answers to questions, be sure to listen so you don’t have to ask the same questions over and over again, as well. 
 
We all need a little help sometimes, but with these tips, you’re sure to start off your new job on the right foot. 
 
This article is from TopResume.com