Month: July 2016

5 Signs You Might Be Ready For A Promotion

Have you ever wondered what it might take to get a promotion? Here are five signs that might help you decide if you’re ready.

Are you a master at your job?

Do you know you your job backwards and forwards? Are you considered a subject matter expert in your job such that people are coming to you to ask questions? If so and you’re actually getting bored with your work it might be time for you to take on another challenge and progress to the next level in your job or perhaps even consider a new position.

Are you mentoring other workers?

Have you taken the responsibility for training new team members away from your boss? Or even taken on other projects to help your boss? Once you start taking on additional job duties, especially taking work away from your boss, it might be time for that promotion. You’re showing your boss you’re capable of doing more.

Do you see a bigger picture?

When you start a new job you’re so concerned about learning it that you don’t really focus on how your job fits into the bigger picture. But once you’ve been working for a few years then you do start seeing the bigger picture and have an understanding of how you’re contributing. If you’re at a point where you’re offering up ways to improve processes that effect the bigger picture, it might mean it’s time for that promotion.

You are consistently rated as a high performer.

If your boss continually rates you as a high performer on your annual performance reviews, what they’re really saying is that you’re a valued member of the team and they can’t afford to lose you. It’s time to start talking to your boss regarding what’s next.

You have a reputation of being a team player.

If your peers and co-workers all feel that you’re a great person to work with and that you’re consistently doing what it takes to help the team succeed it also could be time to take on more responsibility. More responsibility normally means the need to partner with other members in the organization. If you’re already seen as being a nice person to work with then you’re setting yourself up to succeed in the new job.

The best way to find out if you’re ready for the next step is to have a conversation with your boss. Your boss can give you pointers on possible promotion opportunities and what skills you’ll still need to acquire, or if they think you’re ready now.

Keep in mind that sometimes being promoted might mean moving to a different department inside the company or don’t overlook the fact that you might need to leave the company.

Promotions are a good way to continue to grow and learn more skills as you progress in your career. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to move up to be promoted either. Sometimes taking a lateral promotion can be just as rewarding.

Can A Smile Get You The Job?

There’s a lot of evidence that suggests when you smile you’re releasing dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, all neurotransmitters that affect your ability to feel good. So if you happen to be nervous during your interview remember to flash a smile and kick those endorphins into gear to help you relax. When you’re more relaxed you’ll be better able to impress the interviewers with your responses.

It’s no secret you get back what you give. If you don’t believe this to be true, the next time you’re in an interview smile and see how many smiles you get back in return. A sincere smile can work magic to lighten the tension among strangers. Suddenly you’re in a room among friends.

When you’re on a phone interview don’t forget to break out your smile. You can hear the difference in someone’s voice over the phone if they’re smiling, or not. When you talk and smile the pitch of your voice changes. You sound interested and engaged. Recruiters conduct hundreds of phone interviews and get very good at being able to tell if you’re smiling. You stand a better chance of getting screened out if you aren’t smiling.

From the time you walk in the door to an interview, you’re being judged. The company wants to know that you’re going to fit in and work as a member of the team. Of course asking good questions and engaging with the team are important, too. But sometimes, a smile is worth a thousand words.

Smiling is a good tool to have in your back pocket when you’re negotiating your offer, too, especially if it’s face-to-face. A smile portrays a positive attitude and helps the recruiter want to work with you.

If you ask me, I believe a smile can definitely help you get the job.

Take The Phone Interview With The Recruiter Serious

The goal of any job search is to get the job, right? But in order to get the job you’re going to spend a good bit of time interviewing. You’ve told yourself if you could just get in front of someone and they can see you, you know they’ll love you and will want to hire you. Only before you can get in front of someone you have to first pass the phone interview.

Normally your first contact with any company will be the phone interview with the recruiter. It should be your goal to help the recruiter understand why you’re the best qualified for the position. Because the goal of the phone interview for the recruiter is to narrow the pool of resumes they pass along to the hiring manager.

Take the phone interview serious or you’ll never get the opportunity to meet anyone face-to-face.

Here’s how to prepare:

Review the Job Description

Make sure you have a good understanding of the duties of the job. Then write down examples from you own experience that reflect what you’ve done that matches what the company is looking for a person to do.

Know Something About the Company

Even if you’re just reading from the company website, know what the company does. I can’t tell you how many times during a phone interview candidates would ask me to tell them about the company. Here’s a little secret, companies want to hire individuals who want to work for them. How you convey your enthusiasm for working at the company is by doing your homework and being able to answer the question, ‘what do you know about our company’ when asked.

Schedule the Call When You Can Focus

Don’t schedule a phone interview right before a meeting or right after a meeting. You’ll be distracted and you won’t be able to focus on the recruiter’s questions. Likewise, don’t schedule the call when you’re at home watching your child. Schedule the call when you can focus your attention on the questions you’re being asked so that you can provide well thought out responses.

Video Interviews

If the recruiter wants to conduct a video interview make sure your system is working before the call. Recruiters normally have anywhere from 3 – 6 phone interviews scheduled during the day with a mixture of on-site interviews thrown in. The recruiter may not have the time to wait while you try to get the camera and/or audio working. The more time you take trying to get the system set up, the less time you’re going to have to communicate why you’re the best qualified.

If you succeed in passing the phone interview with the recruiter, you’ll most likely be scheduled for a phone interview with the hiring manager next. Again, take the time to prepare because the hiring manager will be deciding if you have the technical skills to fill the position and if they want to invite you on-site. You know for that face-to-face interview you’ve been wanting.

Take the time to prepare for any interview because with each interview you pass, you’re one step closer to getting the job!

3 Reasons Why A Professional Association Can Get You Your Next Job

What I’ve learned over the twenty years I’ve been in recruiting is that there is an association for just about any profession. If you do a little internet research I have little doubt you’ll find a professional association or society that meets you needs.

Why should you care?

Because if you’re looking for a job there’s a high probability you’ll find it if you get involved with a professional association.

Here’s why:

Members Have Similar Skills

Associations normally consist of professionals with skill sets that are equivalent to your own. What better way to network than with a group of your peers. In addition, these professionals are in the know regarding the availability of jobs within their companies and can get your resume in front of a hiring manager.

Recruiters Target Professional Associations

Recruiters are always on the hunt for places where professionals with similar skills hang out in order to advertise their positions. You’ll often find recruiters attending professional association meetings looking for you.

Association Job Boards

Many professional associations host their own job board. Reviewing these boards is a great time saver in searching for jobs in your profession.

Even if you’re not searching for a job right now, professional associations can also be a way for you to stay-up-to-date with what’s going on in your profession, pick-up some continuing education in your field, and help you get that certification you’ve been missing in order to get that promotion.

You’re dream job might be waiting for you in a professional association.

Could Your Resume Be the Reason You Didn’t Get the Job?

I’ve seen thousands of resumes over the years and sometimes I just wanted to call a person and ask if they really even read their resume before they sent it in.

Here are some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen:

Plenty of Misspelled Words

With the availability of spell checkers today on computers there shouldn’t be any misspelled words on resumes. It’s a matter of taking the time to use the spell checker. I know we all get in a hurry. I’ve been guilty of this myself. Only had I taken the time to run a spell check I would have discovered my spelling errors. Some recruiters and hiring managers will let one or two misspelled words go but more than that and you’ll be screened out.

Poor Use of Grammar

No, you don’t need to be a wordsmith but you do need to make sure that you’ve used the correct tense of verbs and that your sentences sound right. One of the best ways to catch grammar errors is to read your resume out loud. Chances are if you stumble on a sentence, the recruiter and hiring manager will too.

No Experience Related to the Job

If you’re not qualified to do the job, then don’t apply. But if you have experience related to what’s required on the job description, make sure your resume reflects that experience. Take off any experience that isn’t applicable to that job. Yes, that means you’ll need to match your resume to each job that you apply to. If the recruiter can’t tell if you have the experience, you’re going to get screened out.

Long Gaps in Employment

If you have gaps in your employment you’ll want to make sure you address them either in the cover letter or the resume. Just because there are gaps doesn’t mean you’ll get screened out as long as there’s an explanation. If you don’t provide an explanation, you will get screened out.

The Novel Resume

Resumes that are five or more pages will get screened out. Even if you have that much experience, hiring managers want to see that you can convey your experience in a more concise manner. Not only that, but recruiters spend on average about five minutes looking at your resume. For the more experienced worker, keep your resume to three pages.

No Contact Information

I’m always amazed when I see a good resume that doesn’t include any contact information. Remember, you want to make it easy for the recruiter to call you. You might have a good resume but if there’s another candidate with an equally good resume and with contact information who do you think will get the call.

Keep in mind that your resume is your marketing tool. It’s the first thing a recruiter is going to see that will sell you as being qualified to do the job. A little more time and effort up front might just mean that you’ll get the offer.

4 Reasons To Keep Your Resume Up-to-Date

If you haven’t seen your resume in the last few months it’s time to get it out and dust it off. Okay, so you might say something like ‘Why? I’m not looking for another job.’

You don’t have to be looking for a job in order to keep your resume up-to-date. The worst time to be working on your resume is when you need it. The best time to work on your resume is when you already have a job and here’s why.

You’ll have a better idea of the projects you’re working on and their results.

How many times have you gone to update your resume when you really needed to and you spent hours trying to figure out what you accomplished at your last job? If this hasn’t happened to you yet – it will! Pop those projects and accomplishments on your resume as soon as you complete them and you’ll thank yourself later.

You never know when that dream job will come along.

What if tomorrow you hear about this really great job? You know the job that you’ve ALWAYS wanted. There’s just one catch. You only have a couple of days to get your resume in. Will you be ready? You will if you’re taking the time to keep your resume up-to-date while you’re working.

For your own benefit of knowing how much you do.

You may decide never to apply to another job because you’re already in your dream job. That’s great. You still need to keep your resume up-to-date for those times when you ask yourself, ‘Am I really making a difference?’ Pull that resume out and look at all your accomplishments. You’ll probably be amazed at everything you’ve done.

Use as justification for that next raise or promotion.

When it’s performance appraisal time and your boss asks what you’ve accomplished since the last review, all you’ll need to do is pull out your resume. Your boss might be so impressed with everything you’ve done, he/she might give you that big raise or promotion you’ve been eyeing.

Don’t worry about formatting, fonts, spelling or punctuation. Just take the time to add a one liner description related to the project and then don’t forget to go back and add the corresponding result. Later, when you’re working on the final resume, you’ll at least have information already listed to jog your memory.

So get that resume out and get it up-to-date but maybe not on work time.

Best Months to Look for a Job

Over the 20 years that I’ve been in recruiting, I’ve noticed there’s a pattern to when companies tend to hire and when they tend to slow down.

Here’s what I’ve found to be true:

January

A new year has begun and recruiters and hiring managers are fresh off vacations and ready to move. If you were interviewing at the end of the year, prepare for the company to move fast with final decisions. If you were thinking about changing jobs, now would be a great time to make a move.

February

Companies are finalizing projects to work on for the year and are busy analyzing available resources. Don’t slack on the job hunt now because companies are adding additional headcount to make sure they meet their deadlines.

March

For companies that do business on a calendar year, March signifies the end of the first quarter. Hiring managers are quick to use up the remaining funding they’ve budgeted for personnel so keep pressing forward with your job search.

April

Companies will slow the hiring a bit to wait for first quarter earnings to be reported. If earnings are good, hiring will pick up again toward the end of the month. If earnings are marginal, hiring could be kept to only essential personnel.

May

Hiring managers will want to get their positions filled before summer. This is great news for you. So step up your job search and polish those interviewing skills.

June

Except for hospitality and tourist related jobs, overall hiring will start to slow down toward mid to end of the month. If you’ve already interviewed, this is a great time for you to follow-up with the recruiter on the status of the position. They might let you know the hiring manager won’t make a decision until after they return from vacation.

July

This seems to be the month for vacations. Don’t get down if you leave messages and don’t hear back. Plan to take a break yourself. You’ve been working hard looking for a job up to this point. Reward yourself with a mini vacation. You’ll be refreshed for when that call comes.

August

Once kids return to school and hiring managers settle back into their work routine, hiring will pick up. Managers will want to get new personnel on board and trained for fall projects.

September

This is one of the busiest months for hiring. Hiring managers are back from vacations, rested, and ready for the push to complete those projects before the end of the year. You’ll be glad that you hit the job search hard during this month.

October

Don’t let up now because October is another busy month for hiring. There’s a push to get new personnel on board before the end of the year. Hiring managers definitely want to spend any remaining budget they had allocated for personnel. This is a good time to network with those professional associations for job openings.

November

The first part of November is still busy, but hiring will slow down toward the end of the month. Depending on whether the company is on track to meet projected earnings, hiring could come to a halt. The one exception will be retail. They’ll be a surge in hiring in retail based on projections for Holiday shopping.

December

They’ll be a final push to get positions filled during the first couple of weeks of December. Toward the end of the month hiring will slow down. Some companies even shut down operations during the last week of the month. This is a perfect time for you to start planning the companies you’re going to target at the first of the year.

That dream job is waiting for you!