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