Friday, May 27, 2011

Latest CJC News

Great jobs and job hunting ideas in our latest newsletter.  Click to view.

Friday, February 4, 2011

In a Job Interview, Put Your Interviewer at Ease

You are worried about the job interview. You have gone through a rehearsal with a savvy friend, reviewed your answers to the most likely questions, and picked out the right clothing. You have done all of these things, in part, to put yourself at ease. You know that the less you have to worry about, the better your performance will be. There is, however, at least one other person you should seek to relax: the interviewer.

You may think, "Why should I worry about that? The interviewer has the power, and I don't." That is precisely why you should strive to make that powerful person feel comfortable, even happy, in your presence. A great many interviewers hate interviewing. They know they're not good at it, and they are dealing with strangers and asking questions to fill a job with which they are unfamiliar.

So what should you do? Be friendly. Pay attention to eye contact. Listen carefully to what is said and, if a question is unclear, seek clarification. If some glitch arises, laugh it off. Be wary of challenging a question unless it is patently offensive. Stress your ability to work with others. Let your body language signal that you are both professional and amiable. Don't ask any questions that might put the interviewer on the defensive.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tips to Surviving Your Job Search

Career consultants say that 90% of a job search is learning to manage your emotions. Everyone suffers some stress during their job search. The key is to never let it get the best of you! Searching for a job can evoke a range of emotions - but there are ways that you can control the twists and turns.

Try to look for value in your emotions. This will help put the situation in perspective, and you will be able to think clearly. Fear is another emotion that most job seekers face. Fear can often make you feel that the situation is out of control. To get out of this mind-trap, you can make and keep promises to yourself. Set goals that will empower your mind and get you into action mode. Start writing a journal or blog and register all your fears and the possible steps that you can take to overcome them.

Another very good way of beating job search stress is to participate in a support group. The most important thing to remember when facing the stress of looking for a job is to remain positive and active. By not letting your mind become idle, you can stop negative thoughts and fears from taking hold in the first place.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blow Your Own Horn

Start boasting.

Most of us have real difficulty telling other people about how good we are.

We consider it bad form, impolite and evidence of a conceited and self-absorbed personality. That’s true in many situations, but the interview is an exception.

Here your success lies in your ability to communicate your strengths and the belief that you are probably a better candidate than the others, while not sounding stricken with delusions of grandeur.

Find the right way to express your strengths and get comfortable with a little horn tooting.

Done well, it demonstrates confidence, not conceit.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cover Letter Tips

A well written cover letter has one purpose and one purpose only, to get a potential employer to turn the page and read the resume. It will not get you a job; it may get you an interview. But most importantly, it will wet the company's appetite to want to learn more about you.  Here are some tips for writing an effective cover lette

  1. KISS - Keep It Short & Sweet
  2. Be specific about the job you're applying for
  3. Always personalize it to the company
  4. Highlight your past accomplishments
  5. Write to a specific person
  6. Use action words and be positive
  7. Don't include salary information unless it's requested
  8. Spelling and grammar are more important than formatting
  9. ASK for an interview  

Monday, January 31, 2011

Toughest Interview Question

"So, tell me about yourself." What is it about this question that causes so much trouble and strikes fear into the hearts of otherwise competent interviewees? Simple: it's a big open-ended question, the first question, and not many candidates think to prepare for it... so they wing it. Please, everyone, read my lips: you can not afford to wing this question! The interview is on and they are listening! Here are some great DOs and DON'Ts to answer the question:

  • DON'T wing it ... prepare for it and practice it
  • DON'T just list a boring chronology of your work history
  • DON'T use your elevator speech (30-second commercial), it should sound spontaneous, not rehearsed
  • DO summarize your work history or expertise
  • DO mention any relevant credentials or education
  • DO highlight some special qualifications or value you bring
  • DO keep it to about 20-30 seconds max (you can always ask if that answers the question at the end)
Think about it this way...if you had only 20-30 seconds to impress someone of your suitability, what might you say about yourself? Jot down some ideas, practice articulating it so that it sounds natural, and you'll be all set to start the interview well and make a great first impression.

Become a More Confident Job Seeker

Self-confidence can make or break a job or career search. It allows you to have a positive yet realistic view of yourself. With it, you trust your own abilities and have a general sense of control in your life. Without it, you're frustrated and stuck - until you learn that having and keeping it - is really within your own control.

Many job seekers who lack confidence depend excessively on the 'approval' of others in order to feel good about themselves. They tend to avoid taking risks because they fear failure, and generally do not expect to be successful. By contrast, self-confident job seekers are willing to risk the disapproval of others because they generally trust their own abilities. They tend to accept themselves; they don't feel they have to conform in order to be accepted.

Develop personal standards and values that are meaningful to you and do not be dependent on the 'approval' of others. Similarly, if you wallow in "the past has done me wrong", consider that you can become aware of those influences and make a choice to move beyond them.

Are you a Job Hopper?

Changing jobs frequently is a reality of working today. Companies conduct layoffs with higher frequency than ever before. Most employees are not laid off for poor performance. Department consolidation, company relocation, merger and improved profit are just a few of the more common reasons for layoffs.

Changing jobs frequently is a common condition in the 21st century, but interviewers still question candidates about why they left jobs. Your response to this interviewer issue must provide information about why you left a previous position and assurances that you're seeking a long-term opportunity. Whether you changed by choice or layoff, you'll need to provide a reason for leaving each previous job. Candidates often include the reason for leaving a position in their resume so they do not get screened out prior to the interview. Your reason for leaving must be concise and reasonable.

Describe the reasons for your departure directly and succinctly. The longer you speak on the subject the more suspicious the interviewer will become. It is important to express that you've always sought and are still seeking a company where you can make a long-term commitment. Tell the interviewer that this opportunity appears to be a place where you can contribute in the short-term and long-term.

Ten Questions to Ask in an Interview

Asking the right questions to your prospective employer will show them that you are serious in your efforts to work for their company, and that you are organized.
You should stay away from asking personal questions or questions that aren't job related.
Here are some questions you can use:

  1. Why is the position available right now?

  2. How many times has the position been filled in the last 5 years?

  3. What should the new person do differently from the last person?

  4. What would you most like to see done in the next 6 months?

  5. What are the most difficult problems this job entails?

  6. How much freedom do I have in the decision making process?

  7. What are my options for advancement?

  8. How has this company succeeded in the past?

  9. What changes do you envision in the near future for this company?

  10. What do you think constitutes success in this job?