Monthly Archives

December 2011

Career Tools, LinkedIn

2011 List of Words to Remove from your Profile

If you are like me and actively read the LinkedIn articles of the day, you have seen the 2011 list blah_blah_blahof most over used LinkedIn profile words.  While I appreciate this list and the insight I gained regarding what words or phrases to eliminate so to avoid sounding like everyone else, it is always helpful to have suggestions to replace the clichéd words.  This article from Opportunity Knocks.org provides useful suggestions to spruce up your LinkedIn profile with the main point being show what you have done by listing quantifiable accomplishments rather than summarizing your work with an overdone phrase.

Career Tools

Color Career Counselor

A fun tool from careerpath.com (a division of Career Builder) that uses colors to Careerpathpredict personality traits and then builds best occupational categories. Click here to learn more

Career Tools

Twitter Resume – Twesume

Are you an avid twitter user and cognizant of using 140 characters or less to make your point? twitter-resume-360If so, you will excel at Twesume – it is a new trend where one has to condense the resume in to 140 characters or less. Can you imagine using 140 characters or less to talk about your professional life? Even worse, I found it so hard to fit my resume in one page – which is supposedly the standard in U.S. unless you are an executive and every detail is worthy of being on the paper.

As I was reading this article from Mashable, more than the evolution of Twesume, I was interested to see how in the world can one fit their career in 140 characters. One professional that is talked about a lot during the holiday season is Santa Claus and here is his Twesume – ” World traveler and toy expert. 300+ years management experience. Looking for position in entertainment industry. http://tinyurl.com/c9ursdp #twesume”. 

Cyber tool of the day – RezScore, a web application that reads, analyzes and grades resumes instantly. Click here to check your score.

All MBAs, Career Tools, Interview, Personal Development

Reflections on Interviewing

As I take a look back at the interviews I have had over the past decade of my professional Interviewingcareer, I have predominantly positive feelings about all of them.  That isn’t to say I have landed every job I was considered for.  I haven’t; but I do feel that I have learned a lot about interviewing along the way.  Some experiences have been great conversations where I was sure I would land the job, others were a little shaky at best in which I vividly remember lamenting not doing due diligence to the whole research the company aspect.  All in all, each interview opportunity has helped me grow professionally and taught me a great deal about myself, specifically my strengths, weaknesses, and values.

Many times when I meet with students and the topic of interviewing comes up students often ask how to answer a specific question.  I typically rattle off a way to tackle the proposed query and students say, “Well, you make it look easy.”  The thing is interviewing isn’t easy, but it should be.  Here are some tips on making the interviewing process less nerve racking and more of a professional development process.

1.)    Practice:  Yes, this is redundant and on every interviewing prep article you will read, but it really does help in the process.  Don’t practice to sound rehearsed, just be mindful of what questions might be asked and have personal work scenarios ready to share that showcase your experience.

2.)    Research: I mentioned earlier that I recall an interview I had where I didn’t do the research I should have and this was definitely evident during the interview.  This lack of prep hurt me on two levels.  One, I couldn’t answer a question about the company mission in the manner that a serious applicant should.  Two, it diminished my confidence and allowed my mind to wander to “should have’s” instead of staying present in the conversation at hand.

3.)    Interview the Company:  Ask yourself do you want to work here?  Is this a culture you feel would match your values and style?  Look around.  Watch how employees work and collaborate.  How is the office set up? What is the structure?  Ask questions about professional development opportunities during the interview.  Listen to the pronouns used when talking about team dynamics.  Is it a “my” or “we” culture?  Having this approach in your interviewing style will show the company that you are also taking them in.  Yes you are interested but you are also valuable and you want this to be mutually beneficial to both parties.

4.)    BE YOURSELF:  Be yourself only a bit better.  Be polished, be professional but by all means don’t be somebody you are not just to fit into what you think the employer may or may not want.  If you are offered this job and accept, you will spend 40 hours a week (on a good week) in this role, with these people, working in this culture.  You want to feel free to be authentic.  Start that authenticity during the interview.  Plus, a good hiring manager or HR professional can spot a phony pretty early on in an interview dialogue.

5.)    Have a Conversation: Interviews feel natural and honest when you approach them as a conversation with the style and nature that feels comfortable and easy.  Make an effort to converse before and after the standard questions are asked and actively listen to your interviewer.  Show that you also want to learn about him or her and you care about what he or she is telling you.

Take each interview opportunity seriously, do your research, and approach the interviewing table with a good deal of ease.  This approach will allow you to feel good about the interview and learn from it, whether you land the job or not.

Career Tools

Good Boss? How to Tell in an Interview.

Job satisfaction is known to have a huge impact on individuals’ psychological editor-choice[1]well being,  physical health, and relationships.  A direct supervisor shapes an employee’s experience at work, impacts job responsibilities, and can affect work load and office culture.  Therefore it is a safe conclusion that a boss can make or break  your attitude towards your career and, in turn, your happiness in life.  It is wise to find out what type of boss you will have before he or she is actually in that role.  The best way to do this is to spot tell-tale “bad-boss” indicators during the interview process.

In a recent Forbes article Stephanie Taylor Christensen gives 5 tips for discerning whether your potential new boss is someone you want to be reporting to or not.