10 Ways Social Media Can Help You Land a Job

Improve your chances of being the selected job candidate by using social media.

Companies are checking you out online, so why not use social media to enhance your qualifications? A 2015 CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals revealed that 52 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. In fact, about one-third of those employers have found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate. Here’s how to build a positive, professional online presence to help you stand out.

Show your personality.

Almost 40 percent of those surveyed said that a candidate’s personality on social media seemed like a good fit with company culture. How often have you thought: “If only I could get in front of someone and prove I am a good fit?” With social media, you can inject your style in status updates and even your LinkedIn summary. Sure, your skills and experience qualify you for jobs, but your personality is one more way to seal the deal.

Be who you say you are.​

When employers see how your background information supports your qualifications for the job, you look like the real deal. Forty-two percent of employers liked the idea of being able to validate a candidate’s experience by checking him or her out on social media. Make sure your LinkedIn and other social network profiles are consistent and match your résumé.

Project a professional image.​

What you say in your bio and on social profiles provides hiring managers with a glimpse of your professionalism. Thirty-eight percent of employers were impressed with the professional image presented by a candidate’s site. Use a high-quality photo (preferably a headshot) with a neutral background that’s free of distractions, such as pets or people. Wear work-appropriate clothes – no prom pictures or beach shots. And pay attention to small details, such as grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spacing.

Demonstrate great communication skills.

You say you have excellent communication skills, but how can you further provide proof? Thirty-seven percent of employers said social network profiles and status updates offered evidence of great communication skills. As with your profile, punctuation, spelling and grammar are important in tweets, too. And remember to behave appropriately online. Avoid arguments, profanity and negative rants.

Present a wide range of interests.​

In a similar CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 hiring and HR managers last year, 40 percent of employers selected candidates who seemed well-rounded on their profiles and social media updates. Share your volunteer involvement and other activities that show how you enjoy spending your free time. However, avoid mentioning controversial or extreme interests.

Show your creativity.​

Employers often seek candidates who can think outside the box. Thirty-six percent of the employers in last year’s survey said a candidate’s creativity on social media made a difference in the hiring decision. Show off your creative abilities online by displaying an infographic résumé, using new technology or posting clever status updates.

Post great references.​

Thirty percent of companies liked seeing references posted about a candidate, according to the 2014 survey. Unsolicited or nonreciprocal recommendations are powerful. LinkedIn allows you to display recommendations within your profile, so be sure to ask a boss or happy customer to write one for you. You can make it even easier for them when you provide suggestions or key points you believe are worth mentioning.

Display awards and accolades.​

In your cover letter or résumé, you may have said you were a top performer or gained recognition for your stellar accomplishments. In the 2014 survey, 31 percent of employers found proof of such recognition online and said it worked in the candidates’ favor. Snap a photo or grab a screenshot to capture your success. Then share it for all to see, and embed it in your LinkedIn profile.

Interact with the potential employer.​

Companies with social media accounts want to engage in conversation. Twenty-four percent of the employers in last year’s survey said they liked it when a candidate interacted with one of their social media accounts. Check the company’s website to see which social networks are listed, especially the accounts related to careers. Always be positive and complimentary, and ask questions beyond: “Did you get my application?”

Build a large following.

Fourteen percent of employers see a large following or subscriber base as a positive, according to the 2014 survey. If people are following you, then you might just have something interesting or valuable to say. Thought leadership and community engagement can benefit the company. Build your following organically by providing information that is valuable to your target audience. Interact with like-minded professionals online. Gaining a following isn’t easy. But, if you are a good social community citizen, it could be an asset to your future employer.

How to Deal With a Co-Worker Who Won’t Stop Talking

Here’s one of the questions I hear over and over from people: “How can I get my long-winded co-worker to stop talking to me?” Our workplaces are apparently rife with co-workers who prattle on about their relationship troubles, diet challenges, wedding plans, the movie they saw last weekend, work complaints – anything and everything – without realizing that other people are trying to work.

Co-workers who won’t stop talking aren’t just annoying; they can also impact your productivity when you can’t get them to leave you in peace. And they can strain relationships by making you feel like there’s no way to tell them you need them to be quiet without you being the one who comes across as rude.

The good news is that you can politely assert boundaries with chatty co-workers, as long as you’re willing to be reasonably direct. Here’s how:

1. Explain you’re busy. If it sounds obvious, that’s because it is – but surprisingly few people try just speaking up and letting a talkative co-worker know that now is a bad time. If you haven’t done this already, it’s the first thing to try. Say: “I’m on deadline, so I can’t talk now,” or “I’m right in the middle of finishing something. Sorry I can’t chat!” or “I need to get back to this report.” It’s also perfectly fine to use a white lie, like: “I’m about to get a call that I need to prepare for.”

2. Be straightforward about the problem. If your co-worker doesn’t start to get the hint after you’ve tried to address it in the moment a few times, move on to addressing the bigger-picture pattern. That means explaining to your co-worker that this is happening regularly and making it tough for you to focus on your work. For example, you might say: “I’ve noticed you like to chat during the workday, but it’s really hard for me to do that. I’m often on deadline, and it’s hard for me to take a break to talk.” Or you could say: “I’m finding that I’m having trouble focusing on my work because of how often we’re talking during the day, so I’m going to try to be better about resisting socializing when you come by. I hope you understand!”

If your co-worker rambles more about work topics than social ones, you could instead say: “I’m finding that it’s tough for me to focus when I have too many unscheduled interruptions. Could we schedule a time to meet each week and save up the items we need to discuss for then?”

3. If you’re willing to, offer to connect with your co-worker on your own terms. If you do enjoy talking with your co-worker (perhaps in more limited doses), suggest an alternative, such as occasionally grabbing coffee or getting lunch together. You don’t need to do this if you don’t want to, but if you like your co-worker and just want to funnel the interactions into a different form, this can be a good way to do that.

4. Keep reinforcing the message. If the problem continues after you’ve had that big-picture conversation, realize that it may take some time to “retrain” your co-worker, but it can be done. If she drops by to chat, say: “Sorry, I’m on deadline” or “Remember how I’m trying to be better about not chit-chatting during the day? I’ve got to shoo you out and return to this report.”

5. If all else fails, consider talking to your co-worker’s manager. If none of the above works, and your co-worker is significantly impacting your productivity, it’s time to consider giving your colleague’s manager a heads up about what’s going on. Depending on the manager and the dynamics in your office, that may or may not make sense, but know that it’s an option and that a lot of managers would want to know that an employee was spending so much time distracting others. And if you do decide to say something, be sure to mention that you’ve tried to address it directly with the co-worker yourself, which will likely be the manager’s first question to you otherwise.

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog, where she dispenses advice on career, job search and management issues. She’s the author of “How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager,” co-author of “Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager’s Guide to Getting Results” and the former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management.

How to leverage your smartphone for the job search

Have you noticed how just about everything in our world has gone mobile? You can deposit your checks without going to the bank, chat face-to-face with loved ones far away, and read books and magazines on-the-go without harming a single tree. Even the most brick-and-mortar businesses have developed mobile websites (and perhaps an app or two) to compete in today’s market.

As job seekers, it’s important to embrace the mobile job search or get lost among the competition. Here are five tips to make the most of your smartphone for the job search.

Search and vet job listings

If you’re using a website to search for job listings, download its accompanying app so you can access and vet job postings on-the-go. For instance, TheLadders’ app, “Ladders by TheLadders,” allows job seekers to identify job matches on-the-go, discover new job opportunities and retrieve information on your competition. Instead of searching by keyword, this app delivers tailored matches based on your profile, experience and career goals. The listings refresh every time you open the app, ensuring you’re looking at the newest job posts.

Beat the 72-hour window

A recent study by TheLadders found that the longer you wait to apply to a job, the less likely it is to receive a call back. If you are a good fit for a role, apply to the position within the first 72 hours of the job’s posting. Your smart phone is a great way to help you stay ahead of this 72-hour deadline.

Research your network

You can also access your social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn to determine if you know someone from a target employer. Use these apps on your smartphone to do the research and reach out to your connections. Your contact can provide valuable insight in to the company, helping you determine if the job is worth an application. Additionally, studies have shown you’re 10 times more likely to land an interview when your application is accompanied by an employee referral.

Begin the application process

You can save yourself a lot of time by sifting through opportunities while on-the-go and flagging the ones that merit an application. You can then craft the perfect cover letter and tweak your resume appropriately when you’re in front of a computer. Additionally, many positions allow you to begin the application process by passing along your profile. In fact, with TheLadders app you can save the position for later or tap an icon to “like” the position, which immediately sends an alert to the hiring manager with your profile.

Be resume-ready

Bring your important job-search documents wherever you go. Use services like iCloud or Dropbox to store your resume, references or portfolio of work on multiple devices, including your smartphone or tablet. If a recruiter reaches out requesting your resume in the middle of the day, you can respond right away. You no longer have to wait until you’re back at home and in front of a computer.

Take advantage of your smart devices to search on-the-go and during the workday, and never miss a beat in your job search.

Ready to make a career move? Join TheLadders today for free.

 

3 Things to Consider if You Want to Be a Financial Advisor

Employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 27 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary for financial advisors was $81,060 in 2014, and as the population ages, demand for financial planning services should increase. For college students and new graduates considering a career in wealth management, here are some pointers to ponder:

First, take your finance education in college seriously. A critical part of advising clients on how to manage their money is actually understanding finance and being comfortable with numbers. When surveying successful professionals in the field, paying attention in school came up as a great way to excel in the field (or a missed opportunity for late bloomers in the industry). You don’t need a degree in accounting or finance, but a strong grasp on business, knowing how wealth is accumulated and understanding various investment tools definitely makes a positive impact on career development and building client trust.

Second, it is ideal if you want to help people. William Wang, a client service specialist with a leading investment services firm, realized in college that a career in wealth advising was right for him because it combined his natural strength with numbers, his interest in solving complex problems and his desire to help people. He started as an intern in college selling insurance and eventually moved to representing a variety of investment tools.

Although the products and services offered may change, great advisors recognize that their recommendations have a significant impact on their clients’ abilities to navigate through major life decisions, such as buying a house, sending a child to college or retiring with a nest egg. Advisors who start and end with a “client-first” (versus a “profit-first”) mentality tend to build longer-term client relationships and benefit from referrals due to their ethics.

Thin-skinned applicants need not apply. No one can predict what will happen in the investment markets, and no advisor will be right all of the time. However, your clients will never want to lose money. And they will always worry that someone else may be making more money than they are. If you advise individuals on their wealth, be prepared to be blamed when things are not going as well as expected. Of course, if you set reasonable expectations, build strong relationships, research options as much as possible and really try to match your recommendations to each investor’s individual goals, you will fare better than your peers who overpromise.

Not ready to stand behind more volatile investments? You may want to stick with representing more conservative long-term products. If you can handle higher stakes and you have experience with complex investment tools, you may be ready for riskier portfolio management. In summary, be sure to match the amount of pressure you can handle with appropriate client communities.

Finally, be selective about your employer. There are many different types of financial services firms looking to hire. Before jumping at the first offer, consider these things: products, prospects, pressure and paths.

  • What products would you like to represent? Options range from insurance to mutual funds to stocks to international investments and more. In general, newbies start with a more limited product range and may progress to a wider and more complex range of tools and services later.
  • Who will be your prospects? Do you need to contact your own personal network, or will you be given a list of potential customers? When starting out, an employer may want you to rely on your own connections as the source for your first deals. Other firms may have a list of leads or previous clients for prospecting. Be sure to understand how your sales will be generated.
  • Assess the pressure of various roles. Are you ready for a highly competitive, highly volatile environment, or are you better suited for a more controlled and steady pace? In any revenue creation role, there will always be some pressure. However, there is a wide range of pressure to sell among firms. Making a match is key to wanting to stick around long enough to be successful.
  • What is the path for a specific role? Titles and responsibilities vary within the financial services industry, from financial advisor to client services representative to investment advisor to wealth manager and more. Each position and company has a different progression path. Savvy advisors investigate the differences in options, consider brand image of employers and factor in who will provide training and offer mentorship.

Whether you are a new graduate looking to launch a career or a more experienced employee desiring a change in professions, financial planning is a rapidly growing employment option. It is expected that more than 60,000 new jobs will be created between 2012 and 2020. There is ample room to develop a gratifying and lucrative career.

Going to a Job Fair? Here Are Some Tips

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GoingtoanInsuranceJobFairHereAreSomeTipsThere is lots of competition at a job fair. Be should to put on your best performance to increase your odds.

There is more competition in the job market than there was a few years ago, so it pays to get out there. Attending a job fair beats sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. If nothing else, it’s a place to schmooze and find out what’s happening. Your approach to the fair may make a huge difference in whether you achieve satisfactory results.

Joe received his layoff notice on a Friday. After a week at home, he knew he had to get out and make some contacts. He found and landed his last job at a job fair, and soon discovered on the Internet there was a tech fair in his area the following week.

Armed with several copies of his resume, Joe set out with an air of confidence. His confidence got a blow when he arrived at the site and saw the long line of people waiting to get in. This was going to be a very different experience than his last job search. As he walked down the line, he met friends and former coworkers. He tried to find out what was going on inside and how to deal with it. Some of his friends were veterans of the system and were glad to share some survival tips with him. Here are 10 of those tips:

1. Once inside, get a list of participating companies and choose which companies interest you. Spend your energies on them rather than wandering from booth to booth.

2. Check out job openings for each company of interest, typically found on a listing sheet. Or use a computer, if provided, to look up individual companies.

3. Get a floor plan map — usually at the entrance or information table. Plan a route to move around the floor quickly, visiting your companies of interest.

4. Stay upbeat and energized. Try to make an impression through your enthusiasm about the work. Also try to engage the company representative in conversation about the company, and listen to what the rep has to say.

5. Try to talk to the hiring manager or senior member of the team, if possible. Recruiters can be helpful regarding the company and what they are seeking, and human resources personnel can give you information on the hiring process and the company, but the hiring manager is the one with the clout.

6. Let the person you talk to know what you have to bring to the company. Be prepared with a short statement about yourself and your background — less than two minutes. Try to hook the interviewer’s interest with something unique about you.

7. Try to get a name or business card from anyone you talk to so you can use the name as a reference when you follow up.

8. Follow up by sending a letter and another copy of your resume to human resources and the hiring manager. Mention that you talked with them, or a company representative, at the fair. Tell them how excited you are about the position. Let them know you are the solution to their problem — you can make a difference and add value.

9. Follow up in a week or so with a phone call, inquiring about the position and the hiring status.

10. Use the insurance job fair as one of many sources in planning your job search. Do further research on participating companies by visiting their Web sites and checking for additional openings and opportunities.

Try not to be overwhelmed by the size of the job fair or the number of job seekers in attendance. Keep focused on the companies you want to interview with. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t go home with a job offer or formal interview lined up. This should be just one step in your research and networking process.

Consider any new contacts you meet or information gathered at the job fair as a positive addition to your resources. Be persistent in your endeavors — job opportunities sometimes come from the least expected sources at the most unexpected times.

Seven Tips to Leverage Long-Term Employment on Your Resume

We get a lot of questions on the Resume Tips Forum from job seekers asking how to handle job-hopping and long periods of unemployment on their resumes. But occasionally, someone asks the flip side: how to handle long-term employment with one company. With so much disruption in the labor force and many workers eager to jump at better jobs, employees who stay with one company for a significant amount of time may wonder, “Am I a dinosaur?”

The answer, of course, is no. The key is to present your long-term work history as a positive attribute, proof you’re in for the long haul. Recruiting a new employee is an expensive endeavor — companies are always looking for ways to promote long-term tenure — so demonstrate you are a worthwhile investment. If you would like to use your solid work history as a selling point, here are seven ways to enhance your resume:

1. Keep Learning

Some employers might view your long-term employment as an indication that your skills have stagnated. Prove them wrong by constantly refreshing your skills through formal education and self-study. Participate in professional-development courses sponsored by your employer or paid for out-of-pocket. Create a Professional Development section on your resume to list your ongoing education.

2. Remove Outdated Skills and Credentials

Obsolete skills are a sure sign of a dinosaur, so omit them. If you aren’t sure, ask a trusted colleague or potential hiring manager whether a particular skill is still current. You can also glean this information by scouring job ads; if the skill isn’t included in job postings, you should probably take it out.

3. List Different Positions Separately

Promotions illustrate that your company realized your worth and offered you more responsibility. Even lateral moves indicate your employer recognized your diverse talents. Instead of grouping all of your positions under one heading, give your positions individual descriptions along with distinct time periods. Reinforce your internal mobility with terms such as “promoted to” or “selected by CEO to assist with a new department startup.”

If you’ve been in the same position for your entire tenure, show how you’ve grown in this position and made a difference to the organization. To jog your memory, think about how your current job duties differ from when you first started.

4. Display Accomplishments

Your employment description should go beyond merely listing job duties. To get noticed in a competitive job market, your resume should feature a track record of accomplishments. If you feel stifled in your current position, volunteer for a project outside your core competency to experience new challenges and develop new skills.

5. Use Your Employment History to Your Advantage

Use longevity, dedication, commitment, loyalty and perseverance as selling points, both on your resume and in interviews. You also have the advantage of having seen your accomplishments through from beginning to end.

6. Highlight Experiences Related to Your Goal

If you’ve been with a company for many years, chances are that you boast a long list of achievements. However, your resume should present only the experience, skills and training related to your current goal. Since a resume is a marketing piece rather than a career history, don’t feel that your resume must cover every detail of your career. Edit your experience so your resume is tailored to your current job target.

7. Create a Career Summary Section

A well-written qualifications summary at the beginning of your resume will present your career in a positive light. The summary provides an initial hard sell, demonstrating you are highly qualified for your stated goal.

Conducting a job search after a long period with one company can seem daunting, but realize that your experience provides you with skills that your next employer will value.

Why You Should Never Walk Into a Job Interview Empty-Handed

First impressions matter. A job interview is indeed your first opportunity to impress upon a prospective employer just how amazing you are. And yet many people make one really simple, easy-to-fix mistake that sets the tone for the entire thing: They walk in empty-handed.

I know what you’re thinking: What the heck should I take with me? They already have my résumé and cover letter. They didn’t request anything additional! What else do they need?

Well, before we get to that, let’s talk about why you want to bring anything at all. And, to be clear, a purse or a briefcase storing your everyday things – keys, cellphone and so on – doesn’t count, and neither does an application or background check agreement form the employer requested.

Why Bother?

When you walk in with a set of actual interview materials, you immediately look professional and prepared. You show your interviewer that you really thought about the meeting and put some effort into gathering your support documentation – things that will help him or her make a decision on your candidacy. The interviewer will immediately see you as proactive. If this is how you prepare for meetings, that’s a great sign of things to come!

Plus, when you have the materials with you, it serves as a nice reminder of things you’d like to talk about. It can be a bit of a crutch to help you stay focused on key accomplishments you want to share – the ones that perfectly demonstrate you’re an ideal match for this role.

What Should I Take?

So, what kind of materials should you bring? There’s a slew of possibilities:

  • Any paperwork the prospective employer specifically requested (obviously)
  • Additional copies of your résumé (You never know how many people you’ll meet with, and you want to make sure everyone has a paper copy to view while you chat.)
  • Your full reference list with contact information, just in case
  • Examples of your past work, if possible, such as writing samples, project plans and so on (Basically, you can use anything that provides “evidence” of your work capabilities; just be sure not to share confidential information.)
  • Past performance reviews that show an outstanding evaluation, certificates of achievement or special accolades you’ve received in writing
  • Letters of recommendation from former superiors
  • Printouts of your LinkedIn recommendations (Unless someone is already connected with you on LinkedIn, it’s likely they haven’t seen them.)
  • A competency comparison table (This is a simple table that outlines what the prospective employer is seeking, per the job posting or description, and what you specifically offer that directly matches up to these items.)

Place your materials in a nice folder, and create a personal contact card to insert into the card slot at the front. Think of this as your marketing toolkit. Make sure the items are all copies rather than originals, since you’ll want to leave it behind for their review later on.

When Should I Share My Materials?

Your interview materials should be left behind as something that will remain in the hands of the interviewer to be reviewed in depth once you’re gone. These items can help speak for you even after the actual interview is over, so make sure they’re self-explanatory.

However, it’s a good idea to introduce the items organically during the conversation as well. Reference the materials inside as you discuss your past work experience. Use them as visual aides that help you tell the story of your achievements. Remember: Interviewers always want to know what you’ve done – not just who you are. Show them the evidence, and they’re much more likely to really get it.

Take this advice to heart. Next time you walk into an interview, keep one hand free for shaking, but make sure that other hand holds your incredibly professional-looking personal marketing toolkit.

Chrissy Scivicque, the founder of EatYourCareer.com, believes work can be a delicious, nourishing life experience. As a corporate trainer and public speaker, she helps professionals of all levels unlock their true potential and discover long-lasting career fulfillment.

5 Dream Jobs You Probably Didn’t Know Exist

Having a dream job means different things to different people.

It could be the job you’ve been working towards throughout your career—something you’ll hopefully reach in the future. It could be a fantasy of a life that’s completely different from your current job, doing something extraordinary. Or it could be turning something you love to do into a job and making a living out of it.

If you’re searching for inspiration for that fantasy life with an extraordinarily cool job, here are some passions we never thought of turning into a job:

Tiny House Builder

Not to be confused with house builders who are small in stature, tiny house builders design and construct small homes that are often less than 1,000 square feet. Designers behind businesses like Tumbleweed Tiny House Company help people get back to simpler, environmentally conscious living and lower mortgages by either building ready-made and deliverable homes for customers or teaching workshops all over the country on how to build tiny homes.

Units can cost less than $20,000. Jay Shafer, who started building tiny houses in the late ’90s and is often cited as the father of the tiny house movement, explained to National Geographic what he considers a huge pro: “When you live in a tiny house you only have room for the things that truly matter. You have to choose what’s essential.”

YouTube Star

Imagine earning more than $1 million a year by doing something you already love to do—like playing video games. That’s essentially what Felix Arvid Ulf Kjelberg does with his ultra popular YouTube channel, PewDiePie, where he shares videos of him playing video games and reacting to what happens. The Wall Street Journal estimates he earns $4 million a year from his videos, which currently have more than 28 million subscribers.

Professional Drone Photographer

Rather than having to climb to terrifyingly great heights, hoisting oneself off the sides of buildings and cliffs alike, photographers can now get an aerial view with the help of drones and GoPros. Shooting from a drone isn’t as easy as it may appear, though; as photographer Eric Cheng told Popular Photography, when the drones fail, “they fail catastrophically.” (If you need visual proof of a drone failing catastrophically, check out Fast Company‘s Drone Vs. series.) The trick to making it work? “It’s about being able to project yourself into the aircraft, as if you’re sitting in it.”

Panda Nanny

The Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in China’s Sichuan province recently announced the winner of their worldwide search for panda cub caretakers. According to ipanda.com, a division of CNTV, Wei Cunming, a graduate of the Tongji University in Shanghai, faced several elimination rounds including a top 500 list, top 50 list, top 10 list, and a final media event competition before getting the gig. He will spend a year at the Panda Base, where he will be trained how to properly take care of pandas. “Your work has only one mission: spending 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows,” Chinadaily.com reported organizers explaining.

Water-Slide Tester

Judging water slides on characteristics like “biggest splash” and “adrenaline factor” seems like hard work—that is, if you hate fun. According to ABC News, SplashWorld resorts sought a new slide tester last year after the previous tester “hung up his shorts and decided to look for a new challenge.” (I’m as baffled as you are.)

After Seb Smith landed the job, he tested slides and flumes in places like Majorca, Turkey, and Makadi Bay, Egypt, and he was compensated with more than $30,000, free travel, and a seven-night stay for two at a First Choice All Inclusive resort for his “hard work.”

Does an Interview Scare You?

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DoesanInterviewScareYouDo not let the interview send you into shock. Follow these tips to help calm your fears.

Your heart is beating faster than usual, your hands feel clammy, your mouth is so dry it feels like you have cotton inside — and you’re supposed to feel confident. Are you going to an interview or a torture session? The answer is –”it’s all in your perspective.”

Ideally you would sit poised thumbing through a magazine, feeling relaxed as you wait your turn to have a conversation with the interviewer for the company. Think about it — what do you have to lose here? What’s the worst thing that can happen? What if you don’t get this job — is the world going to stop turning? I realize of course, that bills must be paid, but you are taking the wrong approach if you are going to come across as desperate — “Please, please, hire me.” Interviewers smell fear.

A change in thinking

The first, and most important step is to change the way that you view the interview. This is not an appointment with the dentist who may inflict pain. It is a conversation with another person. What is the worst thing that can happen as a result of the interview? You won’t get the job, which may not have been the right job for you anyway.

Secondly, this is a conversation — a two-way process. You will be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Is there a good fit here — both ways? What looks good on paper may not be what it appears — for either party. It will be part of your job during the interview to investigate whether this a good place for you, and whether you want to invest a significant part of your life here. When you are not checking them out and what they have to offer you are missing an opportunity that you may regret later.

Calming techniques

One of the best techniques to handle stress is through breathing. Take deliberate, shallow breaths. Take air in through the nostrils and exhale quietly through your mouth. This is a technique that should be practiced as a relaxation technique before the interview so that your body gets used to slowing down the breathing process and relaxing.

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, and meditation classes, are recommended for anyone who has an extreme case of “interview fright.” The interview can cause panic attacks if the fear is strong enough. Pre-conditioning will do wonders for this type of anxiety.

Preparation before the interview

These are competitive times and you should steel yourself to expect some rejection. Think about it this way, “Did you get a marriage proposal after every date?” Well, you probably aren’t going to get a job offer after every interview.

For every job you apply for there are more than likely three to four equally qualified candidates in line for the same job. Whether you stand out from “the crowd” will depend on your preparation and ability to show confidence in yourself — believing that you are the “best candidate for this job.” How can you possibly sell anyone anything if you don’t believe in it yourself?

Preparation will make you feel more confident and less anxious. Can you imagine giving a performance without some practice and preparation? “Winging” the interview in today’s market is a big mistake.

Fear of Rejection

You may have had a number of interviews with no offer. You may be feeling defeated, and it’s beginning to affect your-self esteem.

This would be true of anyone. But it is a mistake to take it personally. There are so many factors that could be affecting the offer that it is impossible to say what is happening. There may be internal candidates, relatives promised jobs, a competitor who is a perfect match for the job, a lack of chemistry between you and the new boss, a mismatch in salary needs, etc., etc.

Let it go

Give yourself credit for getting an interview — only a small percentage of people get this far in the process. Give yourself credit for going out there and putting yourself on the line, even though it is painful for you. Give yourself permission to not get job offers. Believe that an offer will come through when it is the right offer — the right fit for the company and for you. Take the control back and reject the feeling of fear.

When you have done everything to prepare for the interview, and you are satisfied that you can present yourself in the best light possible, the next step is for you to let it go. You can learn something from each interview. Learn to enjoy meeting new people and having new experiences. Who knows you may even grow to like interviewing.

Don’t Worry About the “One-Page Resume Rule”

Contrary to what your college professor said, the one-page resume rule is a myth.

Contrary to what your college professor said, the one-page resume rule is a myth. Unfortunately, many listen to this outdated advice and devise ways to cram a complete professional history into one sheet. So much so that most job seekers expand the margins of the documents, use a small font size, and skimp on accomplishments rather than risk exceeding one page.

With today’s standards in resume writing, it is impossible to gain a full picture of a professional candidate in one 8-1/2″x11″ sheet of paper. Let’s break down the introduction of a resume and how it has changed over the years.

Objectives Have Been Replaced with Profile Statements: In the past, resumes started with only one sentence: “Seeking a challenging position where there is an opportunity for growth.” Now, resume introductions are more comprehensive, usually up to five sentences. As such, the profile statement takes up more room on the resume.

Keyword Section: Due to the advent of the Internet and resume data banks, all resumes need a list of core competencies that demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and abilities you have acquired throughout your work history. The keyword section alone adds three to five lines.

As you can see, where the beginning of the resume used to be only one sentence, it has grown to ten.

Professional History: Long ago professionals stayed at the same company for ten-plus years. As such, the work history section of the resume consisted of only one or two jobs. Nowadays, many job seekers have six jobs within that same ten-year span. The addition of more jobs usually translates into at least a two-page resume.

Education Section: With a lot more certifications available and many companies investing in employee professional-development courses, the education section has expanded as well.

There is only one rule you should follow in terms of resume length: your resume should be as long as it needs to be to sell your qualifications. That may mean your resume can be one, two, or even three pages.

When you insist on limiting your resume based on the number of pages, the reader won’t get the full breadth of your experience. This isn’t to say that you should include every last detail of your history; however, it should flesh out all the important aspects of your career–especially those all-important accomplishments.

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Certified in all three areas of the job search – Certified Interview Coach (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) – Linda Matias is qualified to assist you in your career transition, whether it be a complete career makeover, interview preparation, or resume assistance. Linda is the former president of the National Resume Writers’ Association who is the author of two books: 201 Knockout Answers to Tough Interview Questions and How to Say It: Job Interviews. Both books can be found at Amazon.com or your local bookstore. You can contact Linda Matias at linda@careerstrides.com or visit her website www.careerstrides.com for additional career advice and to view resume samples.