April 2012 Archives

Thursday April 26, 2012

Dealing With Education On Your Resume

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Countless jobseekers ask us the question of how to portray education on a resume if they have not finished their degree. One of the most common pain points for a job seeker is the feeling of going up against myriad other job seekers with more degrees, more professional training, more completed courses - you name it.

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In fact, our 30+ years have taught us that when it comes down to the finish line, practical, hands-on, on-the-ground experience trumps theory every time. Does that mean that education isn't valuable? Absolutely not! Your degree will give you just one more rung on the belt, especially if it is in your field.

Having said this, here are some tips to keep in mind when discussing your education - both on and off your resume.

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Tuesday April 17, 2012

Economy More Stable This Year Than Last

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As reported by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the economy seems more stable this year than it did last year. Company and household balance sheets are stronger, and retail sales are rising. "The recovery seems more broad-based in the U.S.," says Jonas Prising, president of the Americas at ManpowerGroup. "I see it across industries and I see it across geographies." Risk also is lower, he notes. "The external environment and the factors that affected it last year are a lot less severe this year."

Consumer-loan delinquencies fell across the board in the fourth quarter, the first time that's happened in eight years, according to the American Bankers Association in Washington. Banks have reduced leverage, with financial-institution debt as share of the economy at its lowest level in a decade. And corporations are flush with cash: The ratio of liquid assets to short-term liabilities is the highest since 1954, based on data compiled by the Federal Reserve.

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Wednesday April 11, 2012

To Tell or Not to Tell

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We all know what you need to do to get ready for your next interview. You need to research the job and the hiring company, be prepared for those behavioral interview questions, job skills etc. Now, there's another thing you need to be prepared for and this question is coming up more and more. Interviewers are actually asking for your Facebook login information. Facebook.gif

For years, employers have used background checks and even credit checks as screening tools. But now, as social media has become such in integral part of our daily life, employers are aggressively searching the internet for information on prospective employees as a means of protecting themselves. Employers are not obligated for the most part to explain why a candidate gets rejected. Any red flags that come up in their searches could wind up being the reason the applicant gets passed over. It could be any number of things: age, lifestyle, politics, affiliations, to name just a few. Are you comfortable with what they'll find? Try doing a Google search on your name and see what comes up in the search results. Good? Bad? Ugly?

So what do you do if you have a Facebook profile and are asked for your password? The real question is whether or not you want to work for a company the demands to look through the window into your private life. It would be easy to say of course not, but what if you really need the job financially? If you are worried this could happen to you, take another look at what you have posted from an outside point of view and look for things that might trip up your chances of getting hired or be potentially embarrassing to friends or family. A possible alternative is if you have not already done so, create a LinkedIn account. This is the largest professional network and a great way to connect with other members in your field. You can suggest the interviewer take a look at this profile instead.

This is an on-going discussion and some states and organizations are trying to put legislation in place banning this practice including the ACLU.

- Jean Vosler

Jean is the Director of Marketing and Communication for www.net-temps.com, a leading online job board.

Tuesday April 3, 2012

Conversational Interviews and Interrogations

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Most people have the wrong concept of job interviews. They falsely believe that a job interview is an event where the interviewers ask all the questions and the applicant only provides answers. This type of event is not an interview. It is an interrogation. During an interrogation, one person asks the questions while the other person provides responses. Do you really think people get hired by going on interrogations? I don't think so.

Think back to your best interview experience, and you'll discover that your meeting was a two-way conversation. The interviewer asked you questions; you thoughtfully responded and then asked your own questions. The interview flowed effortlessly as two professional peers exchanged information and work perspectives. It felt like you were in a groove, spontaneous, and in the zone where everything came easily and comfortably. You were confident and felt like the job was yours for the taking.

This Podcast describes how to facilitate that kind of interview every time. Well, maybe not every time, but most of the time. If your interviewer is a real jerk, you can only do so much. How to deal with jerks in the interview process is covered in a separate Podcast. Most interviewers are wonderful, nice people, but there are a few assholes who are real jerks trying to hide their own insecurity.

The Typical Job Interview

Let's imagine we are observing a typical job interview where the candidate does not ask questions. The interviewer begins by saying, "Tell me about yourself." The applicant provides an excellent response with a 60-second overview of his/her skills that relates directly to the position. After the response, the applicant sits quietly waiting for the next question. The interviewer asks the next question which is followed by a nice response from the applicant and then more silence. This one-way interrogation ritual continues for 40 minutes. The last 5 minutes of the interview are reserved for applicant questions. The interviewer begins this phase by asking, "Do you have any questions?" The candidate says, "No, I have no questions at this time. You have done an excellent job of telling me about the position and the company." Read the full article