Depending on More Than LUCK for Your Next Interview

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Have you ever gone into something thinking, “I’ll just wing it?” Flashbacks to my college exams are going through my mind right now. In the hiring industry, we see candidates going into an interview with that mentality. Even though they failed to research the company, the duties and responsibilities of the role or dress in appropriate interview attire, they think they will receive a job offer. Preparation is in my opinion the most important step in landing a job. Rather than relying on luck for your next interview, here are several tips to consider when preparing for your next interview:

Do Your Research Beforehand

  • Research the company including checking the company website and googling them. This will not only make you feel more comfortable during the interview, but it will also prepare you to show genuine interest in the company.
  • Research the Interviewer: You can Google your interviewer’s name or use LinkedIn to find out their background. It is helpful to know how they started their career, their educational background, and what they do in their current role.
  • Make sure you know where the company is located before the interview. If you have enough time, plan out a route to the company a day or two prior to make sure there are no high traffic areas or road blocks. I’ve even heard taking a screen shot of the directions in case your phone has trouble pulling up directions.
  • Review your resume and work experiences the night before. Be ready to explain past career accomplishments with specific information targeted toward this company’s job description. Think of 2-3 examples of when you went above and beyond on the job.  Know your strengths!

Present Yourself in the Best Light

  • Dress appropriately and plan your wardrobe choice the evening before the interview. Remember that there is only one chance to make a good first impression. Even though many companies have a “business casual” dress code, be conservative in your attire. I suggest a conservative business suit (dark colors are best) with clean/polished dress shoes and a well-groomed hairstyle.  Nails should be clean and trimmed, with minimal cologne or perfume, and empty pockets.  I would highly recommend no gum, candy, or smoking cigarettes before the interview.  There should be no visible body piercing (nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.). Cell phone or watch alarms should be turned off before entering the building.
  • Allow sufficient time for the interview. Plan to arrive exactly ten minutes before your actual appointment (too early is inconvenient for the interviewer) and being late can show lack of discipline.

Practice Makes Perfect

  • Practice interviewing with someone you know closely before an interview. Practice maintaining eye, giving a firm handshake, and smiling.
  • Check your posture and make sure you’re sitting up straight with a professional demeanor.
  • Practice placing your hands on your lap or on the table – not fidgeting or picking at anything.
  • Prepare how you will present your past employment. Avoid negative comments about past employers.
  • Be careful not to bare your soul and tell tales that are personal, inappropriate, or beyond the scope of the interview.
  • State your previous experience in positive terms. Even if you disagreed with a former employer, express enthusiasm for earlier jobs as much as you can.

Prepare Questions

  • Be prepared to ask questions during the interview. Your questions allow the hiring manager to evaluate your priorities and interest. Insightful questions help both of you determine if your relationship will be mutually rewarding. In the first interview state your interests, but avoid questions that relate to salary, benefits, vacations, and retirement.
  • Bring a portfolio with your written questions. It shows preparation and interest.  Good questions to ask may revolve around training, tenure of employees, the company’s future growth, etc.

Take Control of the Interview

  • Again, practice with someone you know closely. Companies want to hire candidates that are interested in working for them, not just those who want a job. Rehearse showing your interest in the job!  Don’t be afraid to ask for the job at the conclusion of the interview. “What is the next step?”  “When will a decision be made?”

Now go land that job!

 

Written By: Shawn Kinard

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What do you ❤️ about your job?

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It’s very rare to hear people say, “I absolutely love my job.” In fact, I’ve probably only heard it once or twice since entering the workforce. Most of the conversations we have in the recruiting field are talking about how much one hates their job and how they can’t wait to leave. I’d like to put a spin on things for this month of LOVE and share with you the reasons I love my job!

 

I ❤️ MY COWORKERS!

To say I LOVE my coworkers is a complete understatement. I’ve worked with them for over 5 years now and honestly can say I look at them as my family. Our team is set up kind of like a “bull pin” area and it really helps us work more collaboratively and handle stress better when it comes. This group of people really appreciates one another and are always there to help carry the burdens and anxieties of the day. It’s one thing to work with people you love; it’s even better when you work with people who love you/appreciate you back!

I ❤️ MY BOSSES!

Both my manager and the owner of the company have personally invested time and energy into helping me be the best I can be. I’ve experienced managers in the past that only cared about themselves and growing their career. That’s the exact opposite of mine. They have used their time to help me grow and mature into the business person I am today.

I ❤️ WHAT I DO!

Please don’t hate me. I know it’s rare to love your job and I know I’ve been blessed! It took me a long time to get to a point where I truly love my job. If you’ve recently graduated, your first job probably isn’t going to make your heart flutter. Mine didn’t. And my first job was at the same company I’m at now! I started out a receptionist answering phones and greeting candidates. Was it a great job for a new college grad looking to get into the HR field? Of course! Was it my dream job? No. But I was told this position had room to grow and guess what? I grew. It took time and my patience grew 😊, but it was honestly worth it! I do a mix of marketing and HR which is exactly what my degrees were in. It’s challenging, it’s something different every day, and its positively impacting those around us!

Jobs aren’t perfect, and neither is mine. But instead of always focusing on the negative, I’m choosing to focus on the things I love and I’m thankful for. And I’m sure if you looked at yours closely, you could find some things too!

Share below what you ❤️ about your job!

Written by: Shawn Kinard

New Day, New Resume

It’s a new day and time to make a new resume! As recruiters we see hundreds of resumes a day. On average, a hiring manager spends between 5-7 seconds reviewing a resume so it’s critical your resume stands out. Whether you’re looking to jump start your career or change careers, here are some of our top tips for building a new resume in 2018.

Beginning of Resume


DON’T: We don’t need every demographic detail about you at the top of your resume. Please no marital status, race, number of children, or religion. And we definitely don’t need to know your social security number or date of birth. This is just setting yourself up for identity theft and is not professional.
DO: Put your full name at the top of the resume. Believe it or not, we have received resumes with no name. Make sure to also add the best way for you to be contacted, preferably a phone number and email address.

DON’T: But first, let’s NOT take a selfie. Don’t put a selfie or any kind of picture on your resume. I don’t care how professional it is; that just opens the door for a hiring manager to discriminate against you.
DO: If you want to make use of your professional picture (still not the selfie), you can use it as your profile picture on LinkedIn or Facebook. Hiring managers are now more than ever considering candidate’s social media accounts when making hiring decisions.
Objective Statement/Summary

DON’T: Don’t start your resume with a clichéd objective. Objective statements are so last year (plus like 10 years). We all know you are seeking a job where you can utilize your excellent communication, organizational, and leadership skills.
DO: Start your resume with a summary of your industry background, relevant experience, and goals pertaining to the job you are applying for.

Education


DON’T: Don’t list that you received a bachelor’s degree if you didn’t receive a bachelor’s degree. Simple enough. I would also caution you on putting the dates on your education if they’re over 15 years ago. This can open the door to discriminate because of your age. We also don’t need to know you had a GPA of 3.7 back in ‘02. As hard as you worked to receive it, it is unfortunately no longer relevant.
DO: If you didn’t graduate, you could list courses taken towards the degree you were trying to obtain. If you did graduate, make sure you spell your degree correctly. It’s Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts along with the official degree; not bachelors of science. Regarding GPA, if it’s been less than 5 years and your GPA was over 3.5, it’s still relevant to list it. You can also add the dates with your degree especially if you just graduated.

Skills/Accomplishments


DON’T: Even though you think it’s an accomplishment that you were Mr. 7th grade at your middle school in ’86, we don’t….. Any awards you received in middle school/high school can just be kept to yourself. Under skills, don’t list you’re fluent in a foreign language if you’re not. Don’t list proficiency in MS Office and not bullet or format your resume properly.
DO: Do list relevant accomplishments of previous positions that would be relevant to the position you’re applying for. List any type of software skills you have especially if you know the company you’re applying to uses them.

Work Experience


DON’T: If you’ve been in the workforce for 20+ years, we don’t need to know you worked at the ice cream parlor when you were 15. We also don’t want to see your oldest job first.
DO: List your work experience starting with your most recent position first. List the company name, your position, and the dates you’ve been there. Bullet your duties and use past tense for previous jobs.

DON’T: We don’t need to know your entire story for each position. Don’t use first or third person either. Example (I would open at 8am and close the store at 5pm; I was in charge of counting the cash drawer; I answered all incoming calls and transferred to the person that was requested)
DO: Do list relevant duties in a clear yet concise format. (Responsible for opening/closing store; counted cash drawer; answered incoming calls)

DON’T: Last, but certainly not least, don’t send in a resume with misspelled words! Nothing says you’re not qualified for the job like misspelling qualified 😊.
DO. Spellcheck. Spellcheck. Spellcheck. Have someone else review your resume too. Sometimes we read what we we’re wanting to say versus what is actually on the page.

Do you have any other tips to share?

 

Written by: Shawn Kinard

 

🎄It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like I Need a New Job!🎄

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Contemplating a new job can leave you anxious and disheartened. It’s not something I think any of us are excited to do. It’s time consuming and a little intimidating; however, it is sometimes a must. If you’re wondering whether you’re in that boat or not, here are some key signs you need to start updating that resume:

  1. You’re getting passed over for promotions by less qualified peers. Now if you’re that millennial thinking you need to be promoted to manager after only being there for 6 months, slow your roll. I’m talking about promotions that you are qualified for and deserving of. If you’ve asked to be considered for promotions that you know are a logical progression of your skills and abilities but they keep passing over you, it might be time to start looking elsewhere. Especially if they never give you a true reason as to why they won’t consider you. A healthy and blossoming work environment will see your value, your hard work, and find joy in promoting you to a well-deserved role.
  2. You haven’t been given a raise or merit increase in over 18 months. This kind of falls into  the same philosophy as above. Many companies give at least a 3% raise annually to match inflation and honor your loyalty. Managers can see the hard work you’re making for the company. If you’re not receiving at least a cost of living increase, you need to start questioning whether you are part of a company that will allow you to grow professionally and financially. A healthy work environment and management team will recognize your hard work and want to reward you for it.
  3. Your company is hanging by a thread. One of the reasons you might not be receiving those annual increases could be because the company can’t afford it! If you’re being called by your vendors continuously for unpaid invoices, that’s a bad sign.
  4. Turnover is high. Do you have a new co-worker every 6 months? Is your manager doing anything to stop the bleeding? Unfortunately, high turnover is a reflection on company’s management and it’s not a pretty one. If this is the case where you work, it’s time to start looking.
  5. You notice the company is downsizing. Downsizing can happen for numerous reasons in a company: poor economic conditions, cost reduction, consolidation, outsourcing, etc. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to be included in layoffs, but it’s definitely a good idea to start updating your resume just in case.
  6. You’re being asked to do unethical tasks. This one is an obvious sign. You never want to be asked to do things that go against your moral values or put you in risk of breaking the law.
  7. You’re thinking about your lunch break before you even go into work. Do you dread Sunday nights and look forward to Friday at 5 every single week? As a millennial myself, I feel like I must call out my peers and mention it does take a while to find what you’re passionate about  and what you truly enjoy in life. Your first job out of college is not going to be your dream job. And you might not enjoy every second of every day you’re at work. That’s just a part of life.  That being said, if you’ve been at your company for at least a year and you dread work every single day, it’s time to turn on those alerts on the job boards.

Looking for a new job can be frightening, but sometimes necessary for the well-being of you and your career. If you have any other signs I didn’t mention, share them below! 

Shawn 2016 croppedWritten by: Shawn Kinard

Shawn is the Recruiting and Branding Specialist at Godshall. She has been at Godshall for over 5 years now. She graduated from Anderson University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. She enjoys biking on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, hot yoga, and trying new recipes when she’s not in the office.