The Career Services Department offers a variety of career planning services, resources, and access to information for individuals (students, graduates and community members) seeking to get better jobs, starting new careers, or re-entering the workforce. Our staff is committed to helping you prepare for career options that match your individual skills, values, interests and goals. We strive to promote your professional development by offering career support services and resources.
Career Services Office
Our offices are currently under renovation. During construction we will be located in the D-Building, Rooms D-115 & D116.
A Building, Room A-204
(708) 456-0300, Ext. 3619
Fall/Spring Hours: Mon.-Thurs.: 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Friday: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Summer Hours: Mon.-Thurs.: 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Friday: Closed
Career Services Calendar
Career Services provides a calendar that posts job opportunities through regular job fairs, industry specific job fairs, and internship information tables. View our calendar often for upcoming events.
No fairs scheduled at this time.
- On-campus job fairs
- Internship/cooperative education assistance
- Personalized assistance with resume and cover letter writing
- Mock interview sessions
- Access to online part-time and full-time job listings
- Access to online interest and skills inventories
Career assessments are tools that can be used to help identify your interests and skills to assist in selecting a major and career choice. The results are meant to be used to help in the decision-making process. The results can also assist a career advisor on how best to guide you, so please feel free to bring the information with you when you meet with one.
There are a number of tools that can help with self-assessment. One that's particularly good is called Career Cruising.
To access Career Cruising, go to www.careercruising.com and login with the following:
Career Cruising can help you:
- Find the Right Career - Find careers that match your interests using Career Matchmaker by going through an interactive survey and find out what careers match up with your interests. After answering questions, Career Matchmaker provides suggested career clusters or career pathways.
- Explore Careers - Learn about hundreds of different careers – everything from accountant to zookeeper - and get the inside story on careers by checking out multimedia interviews with real people.
- Explore Schools and Financial Aid - Search for schools that offer the education and training needed.
- Build your own Portfolio - Keep track of your career exploration, activities and begin to develop your resume.
Triton defines an internship/cooperative work study as a class outside of your classroom. Internships are time-limited job experiences that are related to your academic major. You may participate in an internship during either semester or in the summer. Certain programs include internships as part of their requirements. The Career Services staff will manage students' internship placements, however, you are also expected to look for an internship as well. The collaboration between you and the Career Services staff should ensure a successful and satisfying placement. It is highly recommended that you begin your search for an internship as soon as possible.
- Work in a job related to your major
- Receive college credit
- Meet professionals in your field
- Apply for paid internship opportunities
- Possibly turn your internship into a full-time job
Thank you for considering a partnership with Triton College! Our students come to you with energy and enthusiasm to integrate classroom learning with hands-on experience. Students need to complete 240 hours in order to receive class credit and must meet with a faculty advisor to work out three measurable learning objectives for the position. These learning objectives are spelled out in the contract. The student must have his/her signature, the faculty advisor signature and your signature on the contract and returned to our office before they can be enrolled.
- Receive reimbursement of up to $1,200 for a paid internship opportunity
- Experience a possible source of new ideas and a fresh perspective
- Contribute to the professional development of our students
- Preview potential full-time employees
- Earn free attendance to our job fairs
Since 1983, the Triton College Retraining Assistance Center (TRAC) has successfully served communities and residents of western Cook County. TRAC helps participants find jobs that lead to self-sufficiency wages and career management skills in high-growth sectors in the Cook County and Illinois economies. Over the past decades, TRAC and its staff have been responsible for providing quality service assistance to more than 5,000 workers in the area.
Recently, Triton College has received funding for training programs from the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (CCW). The funding allows Triton to provide training to dislocated workers and assist with their placement in sustainable wage employment upon completion of their training period. Triton College currently serves dislocated workers who come from a plant closing or have been laid off from their job and are currently collecting unemployment benefits or have recently exhausted them.
Both credit and non-credit certificate programs are represented in the menu of training programs offered. Training programs are available in healthcare, technology, and hospitality among other fields. Assessment will help applicants identify training areas that align with their needs and career interests. All interested individuals must attend an orientation, take a test and provide eligibility documentation.
For more information, call the Triton College TRAC Office at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3149.
TRAC is located within the Triton College Career Services Center in Room A-204 of the A Building.
The Career Services Department appreciates our employer partnerships. Companies have a variety of ways to market their brand on campus and recruit individuals for internships, seasonal, part-time, and full-time job opportunities.
We welcome you to:
- Participate in our job fairs
- Participate in our Internship Program
- Participate in our Employer Spotlight Program, to conduct on-campus individual recruiting
- Visit classes to conduct presentations about your company
- Participate in activities such as mock interviews and our "Prep for Professional" event
- Post a position at www.collegecentral.com/triton or have a member of the Career Service’s Staff post it for you.
Triton College is part of a consortium of 11 Northern Illinois Community College Career Centers that share job postings and was designed with the philosophy of employer choice.
For Job Seekers
All students, alumni and community members are welcome to use the Triton College online job board after completing the following registration process through a site that has been specially designed by College Central Network. Please complete all requested information on the registration form. Employers will search this information to choose candidates, so be as thorough as possible.
Note: some pdfs may be over 100 pages, please print selected pages only.
Are you looking to expand career opportunities? Then follow the Eight Steps to a Successful Job Search and you should be off to a good start.
Step One: Find Yourself and Your New Career
The job search process begins with an identification of your values, interests, skills, accomplishments, experience and goals. Whether you’re entering the job market for the first time or you’ve decided to change fields after years and years of hard work, you need to get a sense of what you are good at, what your interests are, and, as necessary, where you can receive the training to be an effective and happy employee.
There are a number of tools that can help with self-assessment. One that’s particularly good is called Career Cruising.
To access Career Cruising, go to CareerCruising.com and login with.
User Name: triton2000
This is what Career Cruising can do for you:
Find the Right Career
- Find careers that match your interests using Career Matchmaker by going through an interactive survey and find out what careers match up with your interests. After answering questions, Career Matchmaker provides suggested career clusters or career pathways.
- Learn about hundreds of different careers – everything from accountant to zookeeper.
- Get the inside story on careers by checking out multimedia interviews with real people. Explore Schools and Financial Aid
Search for schools that offer the education and training needed. Build your own Portfolio
Keep track of your career exploration, activities and begin to develop your resume.
Step Two: Write Your Resume
Your resume, if effective, will quickly identify:
- Who you are
- What you know
- What you have accomplished
- What you would like to do
- What you can offer an employer
Design your resume so that it emphasizes the job qualifications and personal strengths that will serve the employer’s needs.
Remember, there is no "right" way to develop a resume. Regardless of what resume format or style you choose, it still should be:
- Typed and spaced properly
- Free of grammatical and typing errors
- Limited to one or two pages in length
- Brief and to the point, incorporating phrases rather than prose and complete sentences
- Complete, containing all information relevant to your education, work experience and career objective
Types Of Resumes
Chronological resumes are the easiest to prepare and, therefore, appear to be the more popular style. In this style, you identify information in descending order, with the most recent events listed first under each heading.
Functional resumes enable the candidate to focus on skills, aptitude and qualities that can be applied to a number of situations. This style of resume de-emphasizes chronological listings and emphasizes qualifications, skills and related accomplishments. Skills are organized into categories that tell employers what you will be able to do for them.
Items that appear on resumes:
- Identification and Contact Information
- Summary of Experience, Skills or Qualifications
- Educational Background
- Work Experience
- Relevant Course Work (if necessary)
- Internship Experience
- Extracurricular Activities
- Professional Associations, etc.
Important Resume Tips:
- Prepare to customize your resume for each opportunity.
- Read through job descriptions thoroughly and pick up on key phrases and terms.
- Use these key phrases and terms in your resume!
- Try to limit your resume to one page if you have less than 10 years of experience. Some companies will only review one page, so pertinent information needs to be first. If you have an extensive work history, all of which is relevant, then limit it to two pages.
- Use clear, concise descriptions of work experiences.
- Be sure your resume has at least a .7 inch margin all around the page; leave space for employers to write notes.
- Use action verbs to begin each statement.
- Avoid the repetition of words, which could distract your reader.
- Avoid the use of personal pronouns such as “I,” “He,” “She,” etc.
- Proofread carefully. Check dates, names, locations, spelling and structure. Read it several times and have several other people read it before printing a final copy.
- Resumes should be written and printed using a computer and laser printer.
- Font size of 10 to 12 is recommended.
- Use 8.5 x 11 quality white paper.
Anatomy Of A Resume
City, State, Zip Code
(Ideally at top, can be center, left, or right)
- Listing statement of what the employer is looking for in the order that the employer lists it in their ad. If unsolicited, then this is a list of solid years of experience and hard skills that employers are looking for.
Example: Seeking a responsible position as a Forklift Driver or CNC Operator, where my knowledge and work experience will have valuable application within your company.
Summary of Skills
- Certified forklift driver (gas, electric, sit-down, stand-up and swing)
- Ability to operate CNC machines
- Familiar with manufacturing and production schedules with date-sensitive products
- Certified to use a fire extinguisher
- Expert knowledge of safety procedures
- Outstanding work ethic and excellent multi-tasking abilities
- Bilingual in English and Spanish
Employment History (If company website is available, add it)
Example: Robert C. Weisheit Company, Franklin Park, IL 3/2008 – Present
- Perform CNC machine operations, assembly work and grinding
- Determine part accuracy and measurements using height gauges
- Handle machine maintenance, including checking oil levels and temperature
Grot Tool and Manufacturing, Inc., Skokie, IL 03/2007 – 10/2007 (Month and year preferred format unless very short time)
- Operated a number of machines, including CNC and “TORNO” equipment
Quebec World, Bensenville, IL 11/1990 – 01/2007
- Operated “TORNO” machine
- Handled “Burn Operator” production and assembly work, as well as bagging and packing
- Provided safe and accurate handling of incoming materials
- Followed detailed instructions and operated all types of material handling equipment
- Performed loading and unloading of trucks
- Ensured that all materials were handled with care and placed in proper storage
Education (New graduates and current students put education at top) Proviso West High School, Hillside, IL Received diploma
Which Email Should I Use To Send My Resume?
Does your email address matter? Your email address is often the very first impression you make as you apply for a job and the first establishment of your personal brand.
It’s often the first thing a hiring manager looks at when deciding whether to open an email.
A strong email address can also help employers and recruiters find you. If an HR staffer, recruiter or hiring manager can’t find you easily, they are not likely to spend much time searching, when they have a huge universe of applicants. Instead, they will likely find another candidate.
I’m continually amazed at the email addresses candidates use to send resumes and communicate with hiring managers and recruiters.
Here are the major types of email address mistakes I’ve seen as a Career Coach, recruiter and Hiring Manager:
Drinking/Drug Reference (Example: PartyDude26@aol.com) Unless PartyDude is applying for a job as a bar manager, this isn’t the first impression the Dude wants to make.
Sexual Reference (Example: Hottie22@gmail.com …or much more explicit) This isn’t the impression she wants to make, regardless of where you are applying. And don’t ever use the number 69 in your email address, even if that’s your birth or graduation year. Assume readers will think the worst.
Professional (Example: firstname.lastname@example.org) Engineer will be impossible to search for. If I’m having a continuing conversation with you, I’ll remember your name. Unfortunately, unless your name is communicated on the header of the email, most systems search just by the email address. Who’s going to remember this one?
Hobby (Example: email@example.com) Again…impossible to search for. Let’s say I got Marathon Runner’s resume last week, and talked to them. Marathon Runner is a left-handed PHP programmer with design skills, writing skills, strong English communication skills, fluent in Japanese, and has an intimate knowledge of the Andes. Next week, I get a call from someone needing that exact combination of skills and they are having a tough time finding this unusual combination (any wonder?). I’ll know I talked to someone a few weeks ago, but I can’t remember their email address, just their name. How will I find you in order to refer you, marathon runner?
Shortened name (Example: firstname.lastname@example.org) I may have a better chance of finding this email, I may not. Do you want to risk that a recruiter can’t find you when they have a job they think you are qualified for?
Desperation – (Example: SearchingForWork@gmail.com) – Searching, will you appear desperate in an interview?
Sports (Example: CubsFan1908@gmail.com)
City (Example: NYCGuy2001@gmail.com)
State (Example: CaliGirl75@gmail.com)
School Mascot (Example: Dawgs83@gmail.com)
Music (Example: DeadHead340@gmail.com)
Nickname (Example: Zippy83@gmail.com)
Pet’s Name (Example: Elwood22@gmail.com)
Car (Example: Mustang67@gmail.com)
Children’s Names (Example: Matthew&Daniel@gmail.com)
... all tough to find in an email search
Birth Year or Graduation Year (Example: email@example.com) Subjects you to ageism, which can work against younger as well as older candidates.
Ethnicity or Religion (Example: MachoLatino82@gmail.com) Subjects you to potential hiring bias.
Current Employer (Example: firstname.lastname@example.org) Does Bob not realize that the people who run the network at IBM now know that Bob is looking for a job? If you want your boss to know that you’re looking for a job, use a company email address. That way, when your boss fires you and a recruiter or hiring manager wants to send you a job description, your email can bounce…because you’re no longer at IBM.
Instead, try these 5 strong examples of email addresses to use to send your resume:
- Firstlast: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. If none of these combinations are available, put a number that’s not your birth or graduation year after your name.
- Use one of the free services from Gmail, Apple, or Microsoft: It doesn’t expire when you change internet or cell phone providers.
- Forward this email to your personal Outlook (at home), cell phone or main personal email account, so you’ll see interest from hiring managers and recruiters quickly. You’d be surprised how seldom job seekers check secondary email addresses and can miss opportunities.
- Different name variation in header: Most emails allow you to set up the owner’s first and last name which also displays (and is searchable) in many, but not all email systems (Example: Bob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> so that both the name as well as the email can be searchable).
- I recommend to my clients that they set up a separate email specifically for their job search. Even after they get a new job, they can collect emails from recruiters and employers that still contact them. This provides an easy starting point the next time they have to search for a job.
Note – These suggestions are even more relevant when applying to smaller firms and when sending to contacts, and when trying to apply directly to the hiring manager. When information is entered correctly into an Applicant Tracking System used at larger companies and recruiters, they are organized by name. But when humans enter information into databases, errors happen and misspellings occur. Email addresses and email inboxes are secondary searches used to find “lost” candidates.
Will you change your email address, "PartyDude?"
Step Three: Craft a Cover Letter
Cover letters are a critical component of your job search process and a necessary companion to your resume. Effective letters are as important in the job search process as an effective resume, as employers often read the cover letter before they read the enclosed resume.
Usually, the first paragraph is why you are writing to them and addresses the position or type of position you are applying for. The second details your skills, experiences, and training that matches their needs. The final paragraph indicated your contact and follow-up information.
Other important tips for cover letter writing:
- Always include a cover letter with your resume!
- Each letter needs to be tailored to the position for which you are applying!
- Be certain to explain how your past experience qualifies you for the position.
- Always proofread your cover letters to make sure there are no typing mistakes or grammatical errors.
- It is strongly recommended that you have someone review your letter prior to sending it to an employer.
- Make a copy of the letter for your personal files and keep it with the position advertisement.
- Single-space the body, double space between paragraphs.
- Avoid beginning your cover letter with the word “I.” Also, avoid using the word “I” repetitiously at the beginning of your sentences throughout your letter.
- If you fax or e-mail a resume, include a formal cover letter in addition to the fax cover sheet. It also is wise to send hard copies of your cover letter and resume after you fax them.
Cover Letter/Email Message Formula
Name (Create "personal stationery" for all paper correspondence) Address City, State, zip E-mail, Phone Number
Date (Date on all written correspondence)
Contact Name, Job Title Company Name Address City, State, Zip Code
Dear Hiring Manager: (Salutation needed for both written and email)
Please accept this letter and the attached resume as my application for ______ I learned of the position through ___. (In both letters and emails, this paragraph says why you are writing and how you heard about the position)
During the last twelve years, my experience has been concentrated in working with a variety of people and addressing their needs and concerns. For the past eight years, I have worked in the furniture industry doing both office support and customer service. At these companies, my strong organizational skills have allowed me to efficiently manage a large variety of tasks. In addition, I am a great listener who is empathetic and dedicated to providing outstanding service to customers. Please take a moment to review my resume which details my qualifications in more detail.(In both letters and email, this paragraph states why you are qualified)
I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss how my experience would be an asset to your organization. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Please feel free to contact me at: (phone number). (In both letters and emails, this paragraph asks for the interview and states how to get in touch with you)
Sincerely, (Always add closing and name) Your Name
Alternative Cover Letter
Jayne Dough 123 Parkside Drive Des Plaines, Illinois 60016 (847) 555-1506 email@example.com
August 7, 2007
Ms. Michelle Ditka Amazon Youth Services 123 Amazon Lane Amazon, IL 123456
Dear Ms. Ditka,
Please accept this e-mail and the attached resume as my application for Youth Services Clerical Assistant. I learned of the job through Jerry Jones, who works in your shipping department.
I am very interested in this position because it will allow me to use my training in business and accounting in a work setting. My qualifications include:
• A background in data entry and accounting with a typing speed of 25 wpm • An ability to work with a wide range of people • An ability to speak fluent English and Polish, and an understanding of some Russian • Working knowledge of accounting procedures • Basic knowledge of QuickBooks, MS Excel, MS Word
As someone trying to successfully make a career change, I will work very hard for you so that I build a firm foundation in this field. Please take a moment to review my resume for more information about my background. I look forward to the chance to interview with you. The best way to reach me is through my home telephone, 847-555-1506.
Sincerely, Jayne Dough
Step Four: Put Together a Portfolio
A portfolio is a showcase for your achievements and talents, which can be used to show samples of your work, certificates, diplomas, awards, letters of commendation, and so on. It is most often presented in a good quality, three-ring binder and many of the items it contains are inserted in plastic sheet protectors.
Think of it as a sophisticated scrapbook.
What goes into a portfolio:
- Extra resumes
- Letters of reference or recommendations from previous employers, from volunteer work, from work-study programs, internships, summer jobs, peer tutoring, etc.
- Academic awards
- Copies of educational certificates, diplomas or degrees
- Positive performance appraisals
- E-mails, thank you letters, even handwritten notes complimenting you for a job well done
- Company announcements of promotions, awards and achievements
- Documents you may have written or designed, such as brochures, flyers, pamphlets, reports
- Photographs representing projects you have been involved in
- Videos highlighting special projects
- Anything that will give evidence that you are a good worker and supports “your story”
Step Five: Start Your Search with Research
What’s the best way to kick-start your job search? Research! This is the step where you learn as much as possible about all the opportunities out there to get a job. And, this step usually starts by making a number of detailed lists, which include:
- Friends, Colleagues, Neighbors, “Frenemies” (Anyone can help!): These are the people who can point you in the right direction and introduce you to the right people. Don’t be afraid to call on people you haven’t seen in a while. Reach out to those who know the contacts that are important for your search.
- Employers: What companies or organizations do you want to work with? Which ones look the most appealing? Who has the most opportunities? Jot them down. A good way to create your own list of employers is to first look at those that already exist. Crain’s Chicago Business, a local publication, and Forbes, a national business-oriented magazine, routinely publish lists of companies by specific industry, such as manufacturing, marketing, healthcare, etc. Crain’s, which can be found in libraries throughout Chicagoland, is the better go-to resource since its focus is local.
- Job Sites: definitely include big job sites, such as CareerBuilder and Monster among other favorites. But what about all the other job sites that are more specific to your industry? Whether you work in the medical field, accounting or zoology, there’s bound to be a micro job-site for you.
- Other Favorite Job Sites:
- Linkedin.com (see next bullet)
- Networking Sites: Don’t forget about networking sites that help forge bonds and build connections. LinkedIn, a particularly helpful business-oriented social networking site, is a great “place” to meet key contacts, create relationships and learn about great job opportunities.
Now, that you have done initial research and created invaluable lists, it’s time to look for a job, which includes: looking at current job openings, reaching out to relevant employers to generate interest, and of course, network actively, to identify as many opportunities as possible.
HOW TO FIND JOBS ON TRITON COLLEGE’S ONLINE JOB POSTING SERVICE: COLLEGE CENTRAL NETWORK All students, alumni and community members are welcome to use the Triton College online job board after completing the following registration process through a site that has been specially designed by College Central Network:
- Go to: www.collegecentral.com/triton
- Select the Student [or Alumni] icon, and read the information and announcements on the next page (Community Members: please use the Student icon)
- Go to the Register Now link
- Create an Access ID and a Password that you will remember (do not use your Soc. Sec. #)
- Then click Continue Registration
- Please complete all requested information on the registration form. Employers will search this information to choose candidates, so be as thorough as possible.
- Be sure to select the degree and major and/or career interest that you are pursuing so that the Job Agent can notify you of jobs posted that match your interests.
- From your homepage, select Search for Jobs/Opportunities Posted to My School, enter criteria specific to the type of job you are seeking, and then click Begin Search. You may also Search for Jobs in CCN’s Jobs Central, our national job database.
Note: It’s better to use a couple of search terms instead of many. When conducting a job search using CCN, by selecting several search criteria you are narrowing your search and therefore generating fewer job leads. - To monitor your job search, select View My Job Search History from your homepage. - From your homepage, complete the Report Offers/Hires when you are offered a job. - Review the Career Advice Video Library to get additional job search tips and company info. - It is important to post your resume. Recruiters regularly review resumes posted on the College Central Network. - On your homepage, select Upload a Resume and follow the instructions. Acceptable formats are listed. If you do not post a resume, employers will not be able to find you when they search for candidates and you may miss out on job opportunities. - When a new resume is uploaded it takes the place of the current resume. Resumes that have not been updated in 18 months will be purged from the database.
You can visit the website 24/7. To login, after selecting the Student icon from the homepage, select Student Central on the next screen. Enter your Access ID and Password. It is important to keep your info updated.
Step Six: Network Network Network
Networking is a way to actively seek out jobs through contacts with friends, relatives and professionals. It is a great way to get ahead of the competition when you are finishing school or changing jobs. It can be done through in-person meetings, phone calls or e-mails.
The process of networking enables you to gather information about job leads; it is one of the most effective methods of gathering information about job opportunities and gaining access to employers. Remember, however, that your networking objective should be to gain support in your on-going job search, not just to get a job.
Meeting with professionals from your field is the best way to explore career options, gather information and better understand how your strengths can be used in the job market.
Basic Networking Tips
- Prepare a list of networking contacts, starting with the people you know.
- Get organized and prepared to take notes as you meet with people.
- Prepare yourself by identifying your skills, interests and the type of career you desire.
- Contact each person on your list and request an informational interview with them (informational interviews also can be conducted over the phone). Remember to be polite and friendly.
- Always provide your network a copy of your resume prior to the informational meeting.
- Gather information about job openings in your field and/or referrals to other contacts.
- Remember to thank each person for his/her time by sending them a thank you note or letter.
- Until you have obtained a position, frequently remind people that you are still in the job market.
- Join online networking sites such as: linkedin.com, meetup.com/Chicago to meet more people and learn about events where contacts will go.
- Attend relevant conferences, meetings, seminars and events to meet even more contacts.
10 Commandments for Better Networking
Do you suffer from “Butterfly-itis” at the very mention of networking at business functions? If you answered yes, you are not alone! Many business people and entrepreneurs get a bit uncomfortable when it comes right down to walking up to someone and starting a conversation. Many others are concerned about getting effective results from the time they spend networking.
The process doesn’t have to be traumatic, scary, or a waste of time. When done properly, it can truly make a difference in the amount of business your company generates. With the right approach, you can use it to build a wealth of resources and contacts that will help to make your business very successful.
Use the following Ten Commandments to help you network your way through your next business networking event:
Have the tools to network with you at all times: These include an informative name badge, your business cards (I’m amazed at how many people forget to bring these to networking events – really critical for people to be able to contact you), somewhere to write notes (I use the cool, free tool at http://repocketmod.com/), something to write with and a way to refer other professionals to those you meet (such as a card file, smartphone, etc.).
Set a goal for the number of people you’ll meet: Identify a reachable goal based on attendance and the type of group. If you feel inspired, set a goal to meet fifteen to twenty people and make sure you get all their cards. If you don’t feel so hot, shoot for less. In either case, don’t leave until you’ve met your goal.
Act like a host, not a guest: A host is expected to do things for others, while a guest sits back and relaxes. Volunteer to help greet people. If you see visitors sitting, introduce yourself and ask if they would like to meet others. Act as a connector.
Listen and ask questions: Remember that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately. After you’ve learned what another person does, tell them what you do. Be specific, but brief. Don’t assume they know how to help you.
You’re not there to close a deal: These events are not meant to be a vehicle to hit on business people to buy your products or services. Networking is about developing relationships with other professionals. Meeting people at events should be the beginning of that process, not the end of it.
Give referrals whenever possible: The best networkers believe in the givers gain philosophy (what goes around, comes around). If I help you, you’ll help me and we’ll both do better as a result of it. In other words, if you don’t genuinely attempt to help the people you meet, then you are not networking effectively. If you can’t give someone a bona fide referral, offer some information that might be of interest to them (such as details about an upcoming event).
Exchange business cards: Ask each person you meet for two cards - one to pass on to someone else and one to keep. This sets the stage for networking to happen.
Manage your time efficiently: Spend ten minutes or less with each person you meet and don’t linger with friends or associates (you already know them!). If your goal is to meet a given number of people, be careful not to spend too much time with any one person – and don’t spend too little time only focusing on gathering business cards. When you meet someone interesting with whom you’d like to speak further, set up an appointment for a later date.
Write notes on the backs of business cards you collect: Record anything you think may be useful in remembering each person more clearly on the back of their business card (or remember the repocketmod.com). This will come in handy when you follow up on each contact.
Follow up!: You can obey the previous nine commandments religiously, but if you don’t follow up effectively, you will have wasted your time. Drop a note or give a call to each person you’ve met. Be sure to fulfill any promises you’ve made.
7 Secrets to Get a Job Using Social Media - Do you know them? Between current economic conditions and the technological evolution of the Internet, the traditional approach most job seekers have taken in the past is no longer viable.
The approach — developing a resume and cover letter, locating jobs on and submitting your resume to corporate sites and job banks and crossing your fingers in hopes of receiving a call from a hiring manager — is, for the most part, a thing of the past. The new approach is far different. It boils down to the fact that there are fewer jobs available, more competition for those jobs and more touch points for recruiters and seekers to interact.
The Current Environment There will be 1.5 million college graduates this year, yet the job growth rate is at a six year low, at 1.3%! The amount of jobs posted online is decreasing at over 13%, which has all led to the ratio of 3.3 job seekers per each job.
Social networks are starting to become part of the criteria that both hiring managers and college admissions officers are using to weed out applicants. One in five hiring managers conduct background checks using social networks (primarily Facebook), while one in ten college admissions officers do the same.
It’s time for you to be open-minded and think differently about how you’re going to get your next job and keep it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t submit your resume to job banks, corporate websites, vertical job agents (Simply Hired/Indeed) or attend job fairs, but these should only consume 10% of your time. The other 90% should be concentrated on the following seven social media secrets, which will not only get you a job, but help you create your own dream job!
Conduct a people search instead of a job search The majority of jobs aren’t posted online. Hiring managers get a list of employee referral candidates before they even bother to view resumes from those who submit them online. Sometimes the listed jobs aren’t available or never existed in the first place. Many studies have noted that 80% of jobs are taken through networking, but few have sought to use the web to search and locate people they would actually enjoy working for at companies that they get excited about. The 3-Step People Search:
- Identify the top five companies that you would like to work for.
- Use a focused approach instead of flooding thousands of inboxes with spam. You want to brand yourself, not just as the person of best fit for a job, but as someone who is eager and ecstatic to work for the company.
- Use search engines to track employees that currently work there.
- There are over 130 million blogs in Technorati and you can search through them to possibly find someone who works at one of your top five companies. You can search through corporate groups, pages and people on Facebook. You can even do the same on Twitter. Then there are people search engines such as pipl, peek you and wink. Once you find a contact name, try googling it to see if there is any additional information about that person.
- Connect with the person directly.
- Social media has broken down barriers, to a point where you can message someone you aren’t friends with and don’t have contact information for, without any hassles. Before you message a target employee, realize that they receive messages from people asking for jobs all the time and that they might not want to be bothered on Facebook, where their true friends are. As long as you’ve done your homework on the company and them, tailor a message that states who you are and your interest, without asking for a job at first. Get to know them and then by the 3rd or 4th messages, ask if there is an available opportunity.
Use attraction-based marketing to get job offers The traditional way of searching for a job was proactive, forcing you to start a job that you might not have enjoyed. The new approach is about building a powerful personal brand and attracting job opportunities directly into your doorstep. How do you do this? You become a content producer instead of just a consumer and the number one way to do that on the web is to launch a blog that centers around both your expertise and passions.
You need to be passionate to be committed to this project because it requires a lot of writing, creativity and consistency in order for it to actually help you. A blog is a non-intrusive, harmless and generous way of getting recruiters interested in your brand, without you even asking for a job! Make the recruiters fall in love with you and only send you opportunities that are related to your blog content, so you end up happy in the end.
This works a lot and is expected for new-age marketing jobs that require experience in social media and can even help you jump-start a new business off of your blog platform. By pulling recruiters into your world, you are able to impress them with what you want them to see and they can make a quick decision whether to hire you or not, without you hearing about rejection. Start a blog today using Wordpress.com (for beginners) or install Wordpress.org onto your own host (such as GoDaddy or Bluehost).
Be proactive on Twitter Twitter has become the ultimate utility to connect directly with recruiters and employees at companies you want to work for. By conducting Twitter searches, following recruiters on your account and using the “@” sign to communicate with them on occasion, you will start to learn a lot about them and their companies.
Before you follow anyone on Twitter, you HAVE TO have a completed profile. This means, you should have a short bio, the location where you’re from, a link to a site that recruiters can go to for more information (I recommend your blog or your LinkedIn profile) and an avatar of yourself (not a clown or Homer Simpson please). This way, you stand a better chance of securing an opportunity or a relationship with people who care enough to read your profile.
Most people get jobs on Twitter by already having hundreds or thousands of followers. For example, I’ve heard of at least ten people getting a job by tweeting “just got laid off, looking for a job in finance” and then receiving a few direct messages with people who want to help them. Of course, these individuals had built trust, credibility and relationships with their followers over time, so they were more inclined to come to their rescue. You can do the same, just start right now!
Capitalize on LinkedIn It’s no surprise that LinkedIn has been extremely profitable and successful as of late. Recruiters are starting to use LinkedIn as the main place for sourcing candidates because it’s free and the top professionals are on there. Many people don’t use LinkedIn to the best of their ability and fail to complete their entire profile, such that it says “100% complete.”
Just like any other search engine recruiters are using, keywords are extremely important. You want to fill out your entire profile, just like you would a resume, but include the same avatar you are using on Twitter (see above) and ensure that the summary section is complete. You’ll also want to get at least one recommendation from a supervisor or friend, which will give you a “1″ next to a “thumbs up” graphic when people search for you.
Then, you should import all your contacts from Outlook, Gmail, etc, so that you can start to build your network or grow your existing network. The more people you’re connected to the better because you’re only able to reach other people in your network (1st, 2nd & 3rd degrees) by having these connections. You may want to pay for a premium account, so you can contact other recruiters that may help you. Finally, you should conduct searches on there for jobs that you may be interested in and reach out to those individuals that may supply you with an interview or referral.
Advertise your brand using AdWords and Facebook Social Ads Google AdWords is Google’s advertising platform, which offers CPC (cost-per-click) and CPI (cost-per-impression) pricing for advertisements on Google and partner sites. Some of their partner sites are newspapers, radio and TV.
Before running your advertisement, you need a landing page. If you have a website or blog, then use the resume page within it to display through advertising. This works beautifully because recruiters can see that single resume page and notice all the other pages/options on your website, to get a better sense of your brand. Here’s how to create your ad:
- Title: When you create your ad, label yourself as a specialist, expert or guru on the title tag. You might want to state the fact that it’s your resume first. What is the ad for? The title is the most important piece of your ad because it has the most “text” emphasis. I would say “I want to work for” or “Resume for.” Try and be as specific as you can.
- Description: In the next two description tags, pull out your biggest achievements in 6 words or less and list your personal brand statement or a few descriptors.
- URL: For your URL, don’t use the URL for your resume page. Instead use yourname.com for personal branding purposes. Drop the “www” from the domain you want to promote because it’s unnecessary.
- Picture: Just like your Facebook picture, don’t use a picture that you wouldn’t want shown to your future employer. I would go for a professional yet personal picture.
- Description: Don’t write your resume, but instead give the viewer a quick description of who you are, what you do and what job you want in 25 words.
Facebook Social Ads allow businesses and individuals to advertise using Facebook’s news feed or left rail (will change to 2 ad spots on the right when the new interface swaps over). This program works similar to Google’s but you can use a picture and it’s more “word-of-mouth friendly” because ads travel through the news feed of friends.
Once you create your ad, either link it to your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or blog/website. These ads are all about targeting a specific group that would care about your resume or hiring you for that matter. When you select your target audience, keep your major in mind, as well as the company and location.
Construct a video resume and upload it to YouTube A search for “video resume” on YouTube will give you over 1,700 results. Many video resumes are good, while others are so amateur and rehearsed that they subtract from a given candidates marketing program. The key with a video resume is that very few people have actually created one, so they serve as a differentiator in the recruiting process.
A good video resume is short, describes the value you can contribute to a given position, explains why you’re the best person for the job and talks about your background in a story-like format. If you aren’t a person with an outgoing and lively personality, then don’t bother creating one. Since you’re filming yourself, don’t rush because you can always try it a hundred times before you upload the final version to YouTube.
Subscribe to blogs that have job listings We all subscribe to blogs to receive information based on our interests, at least I hope. Over time we rely on these sources for information to keep us updated on what is happening in certain industries or different trends that are developing. In the past few years, the larger blogs have started to integrate job banks into their own websites, using software/hosting from companies such as Job-a-matic.
Blogs that have taken this approach include Guy Kawasaki’s blog, GigaOM, and Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategy Blog.
Other blogs, such as Darren Rowse’s Problogger Blog offer blogging jobs, and Mashable has a job board highlighting jobs in social media and tech.
This targeting will save you from hours searching and help escort you to jobs that you’d actually want.
Integrate the traditional and social media approach.
These seven secrets are extremely important in your next job search. The most successful job searches come from those who have already built up strong networks, both online and off. You need to integrate this new-age approach with the traditional approach you’ve already been using, in order to be consistent, so there are no surprises from the recruiter’s perspective. They want the candidate they see on paper or online.
I would recommend that you use a link to your blog, LinkedIn profile and YouTube video resume on your traditional resume. You’ll also want to link your existence on all social networks together. You need to be where recruiters are searching, as well as become a content producer so you can attract them directly to you. That is how you have a successful job search and stand out for years to come.
Step Seven: Interview Like a Rockstar
We have all heard the expression, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to interviewing for a job, the very first impression made is usually based on appearance. Before you even say hello and offer your firm handshake, the interviewer already has made a decision about how well you fit with the organization. You may not be able to respond to all interview questions with a perfect answer or have the exact qualifications the position requires. You can, however, be well-prepared to market yourself to a prospective employer and ensure that you are appropriately dressed for the interview. Here are some tips to assist you as you prepare:
- Thoroughly research the company or organization before the interview. Go on the company’s Web site and learn as much as you can about the company and position. Know the company’s business, target clients, market and direction.
- Prepare your “script.” Pick three talking points about yourself and stick to them. Read the job description in advance and make sure these three talking points are completely relevant to the position. If you stick to your talking points, you’ll avoid one of the most common errors people make in job interviews: talking about themselves without a real purpose.
- Dress up and wear a suit, even if the atmosphere is casual.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
- Greet the first-line contact politely and write down his/her name.
- Greet the interviewer(s) with a firm handshake.
- Maintain a professional posture as well as good eye contact with the interviewer(s).
- Watch your nonverbal communication. Pay attention to your posture and hand gestures.
- Don’t exaggerate or be dishonest about your background, experience or credentials.
- Expect to spend some time building rapport because personal chemistry is a main ingredient in the hiring process.
- Pay attention to the timing of your answers. And, keep your responses to questions relevant to the position to which you are applying.
- NEVER speak negatively about a former employer, colleague, teacher or institution. The employer may assume that you will someday do the same to him/her.
- If you catch yourself making an error or contradiction, correct yourself.
- Show enthusiasm. It usually will make up for less-than-perfect qualifications.
- BE YOURSELF! You don’t want to get hired on the basis of something you are not. You want to be hired for who you are and what you have to offer.
- Write a thank you note to everyone for whom you interview (See the next step for more details).
Tips On Dressing For An Interview
In the age of corporate casual, many people are uncertain of how to dress for an interview. Here is a simple response: 90 percent of employers say that a dark suit is still the preferred attire for an interview. A general rule is to dress one step higher than what people wear daily in that setting. According to Kim Zoller of Image Dynamics, 55% of another person's perception of you is based on how you look. Her dressing for success formula gives some tips on how to look your best, without necessarily spending a lot of money. Here's a quick look at the basics: - Prepare your clothes the day before the interview in case there is a problem with them. Make sure your clothes are clean, pressed and professional. - If you have a visible tattoo, try to wear something that covers it. - Wear clean/polished shoes. - Keep jewelry to a minimum (no jewelry in areas with nontraditional body piercing, such as earrings in your tongue, nose, etc.). - Have a briefcase or professional-looking portfolio to carry your resumes, reference list, notepad, pen and any literature from the company. - If you are a smoker, avoid smoking immediately before your interview; the scent of cigarette smoke may offend some interviewers. - Avoid wearing cologne or perfume. - Carry a neutral-colored umbrella if there is a chance it will rain. Women Should Wear: - A solid color, conservative suit - Coordinated blouse - Moderate shoes - Limited jewelry - Neat, professional hairstyle - Tan or light hosiery - Sparse make-up & perfume - Manicured nails - Portfolio or briefcase Men Should Wear: - Solid color, conservative suit - White, long-sleeve shirt - Conservative tie - Dark socks, professional shoes - Very limited jewelry - Neat, professional hairstyle - Go easy on the aftershave - Neatly trimmed nails - Portfolio or briefcase
THE MOST COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Traditional Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Tell me something about yourself that is not on your resume.
- What are your greatest strengths?
- What are your greatest weaknesses?
- Why should I hire you?
- What are your short and long term career goals?
- Why did you select Triton College (or other school, if appropriate)?
- What led you to choose your major?
- How do you handle rejection?
- Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Why?
- With what kinds of people do you most enjoy working with?
- What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
- What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you to make?
- What two or three things are most important to you in a job?
- What do you know about our company?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
- How has your college (or high school) experience prepared you for your career?
- In what kind of environment are you most comfortable?
- What have you learned from participating in extracurricular activities?
- Do you have any questions?
- Describe your ideal job.
- Did you get good grades in school?
- Why have you been out of work for so long?
- What skills do you want to improve at this time?
- Are you willing to take calculated risks when necessary?
- Why have you changed jobs so frequently?
- With what kinds of people do you find it difficult to work? How have you successfully worked with this kind of person?
- Tell me about a time when you had to overcome an obstacle at work.
Behavioral Style Interview Questions
A popular trend in job interviewing is behavioral interviews. Behavioral-based questions ask for specific examples of how you handled a situation in the past in order to predict future performance. Typical behavioral-based questions are similar to the following:
- Describe a time when you had multiple tasks to accomplish and deadlines were approaching. How did you prioritize what needed to be accomplished first?
- We all experience difficult situations. Tell me about a time you had to deal with conflict. How did you handle it?
- Working with people from different backgrounds or cultures can be a real challenge. Have you had this experience?
- Have you ever faced an ethical or value conflict in your job? Explain.
- In what skill areas are you most proficient? Give an example of a project you have worked on that shows your expertise. What skills do you see as needing improvement?
- Give me a recent example that best shows your ability to communicate effectively?
- Give me an example of a time when you did more than what was required in your job.
- How do you define leadership? Describe the most recent time when you displayed leadership on the job.
- Listening is a valuable tool. Describe a time when good listening skills helped you overcome a communication problem.
Questions You May Want To Ask
You should always have two or three questions in mind to ask the interviewer. This will show him/her that you are enthusiastic about the position. It will also give you a clearer picture of what the company is all about.
- What kind of training can I expect?
- How do you motivate people?
- How would you describe your ideal employer?
- How are new ideas sought? Acted upon? Rewarded?
- What is the next step in the selection process?
- What type of feedback can I expect?
- What are the company’s long-term growth plans?
- Why is this position open?
- What would be my initial duties and responsibilities?
- What is the turnover rate among company personnel?
- What is your management style (if talking with your manager-to-be)?
- How does this position fit in with the company’s long-term plans?
- What would a typical working day be like in this position?
- What is the biggest challenge I’ll face in this position?
- Will I be expected to resolve issues independently, or will there be opportunities to consult with others?
- What is an example of a typical career path beginning with this position?
- What exactly will I be expected to accomplish in the next year?
- Will there be opportunities for advancement?
Is Your “Elevator Pitch” Taking You UP or DOWN? (or How to Answer the Question: “Tell Me About Yourself.”)
Not too long ago, I overheard a job-seeker deliver an “Elevator Pitch” to a prospective hiring manager. After about 3 or 4 minutes, the manager stopped the speaker and said: “Is this your ‘Elevator Pitch’? … because if so we must be on a skyscraper – I think we’ve just reached the 40th floor and we’re still going up!” How embarrassing! Clearly that job-seeker had droned on way too long and was boring the manager. Most listeners would simply shut down at that point and say nothing … but this particular manager (an HR professional who was actually trying to help the job-seeker) decided to offer some blunt but much needed feedback. Needless to say, the lesson was learned! That job-seeker went home, re-worked the Elevator Pitch, and was much more effective the next time!
Every job-seeker should know what an “Elevator Pitch” is. Put simply, it’s a short introductory speech designed to be given in the time span of an elevator ride – approximately 30 seconds to 2 minutes. It’s a standard tool in the world of sales, where people want to interest someone else in their product quickly, without sounding too pushy or intrusive.
The fact is that a job-seeker IS a salesperson … and the product is YOU! The basic idea is that you never know when or where you’ll run into someone who might be a prospect for you – a potential customer, a networking partner, a key contact or decision-maker at one of your target companies, or an actual potential employer.
Being able to instantly deliver your Elevator Pitch to anyone, anywhere and at any time is something every job-seeker should be prepared to do.
Elevator Pitches can be quite versatile. In interviews, a well-written Elevator Pitch can be the response to the common opener: “So, tell me about yourself.” In social situations, a shortened version can be the quick answer to that often-heard question: “So, what do you do?” Elevator Pitches can also easily be adapted for use as either an email or a voice-mail message.
So what are the important elements of an effective Elevator Pitch?
Here are the key components, broken down from the perspective of a job-seeker:
Keep It Short!
The entire speech should be no longer than 2 minutes – the accepted rule of thumb is between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Shorter is better, but not so short that you fail to get your main points across. Too long, and you risk overwhelming your listener with too much information and they’ll tune you out.
You might even consider having a couple of different versions of the speech – one complete version and another shorter, more abbreviated version for situations where your time is more limited. Either way, what you say in the first 15 seconds is the most important part.
Why? Because the sad truth is that most people have incredibly short attention spans. As a result, they need to be “hooked” by what you say right up front. Any listener should know exactly what you do within the first sentence or two.
An effective Elevator Pitch should give your audience just enough information so that they will understand who you are and what you are looking for, and want to know more.
Keep It Simple! Use Language Your Grandmother Would Understand. Describe what you do, and what your target goals are in simple, everyday language. After saying your name, start with a simple statement of what you’ve done (job title, industry niche, etc.) the fact that you are “in transition,” and what type of position you are now seeking as a next step in your career.
Don’t use industry-speak, technical jargon, or cute marketing catch-phrases. Ask yourself this question: Would my grandmother, my mother or my kids understand exactly what I do if they heard the first few lines of my speech?
I heard one job-seeker start his Elevator Pitch this way: “I’ve done many things over the years, but mostly I’m known as a Problem Solver. I’m looking for an opportunity to use that unique skill to help another company overcome obstacles and grow its bottom line.”
Well guess what, Mr. “Problem Solver” … I have a problem – and that is that I have NO idea what you actually do! What is that person’s job title and function? What industry is he experienced in? Exactly what type of job is he looking for? None of the information he followed that opener with zeroed in on those critical questions. By the time he got around to being more specific, he was way past the point where he lost his audience’s interest! Keep it simple!
Make It Compelling. Once you’ve established exactly what you do, and what you are looking for, you need to sell yourself. Talk about your successes. Highlight what you’ve done – your concrete accomplishments or skills, rather than intangible concepts. What differentiates you from others who do what you do? What is your specific area of expertise? Put yourself in the listener’s shoes and realize that most decision-makers are thinking of that famous marketing acronym: “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?)
Explain as briefly as possible why you are someone who could help a future employer. How can you identify and then solve their problems. Why should someone hire you? The trick here is to not go overboard or sound self-centered – and you certainly don’t want to seem overly pushy like a used-car salesperson.
Your goal is not to “close the deal” … rather, you simply want to “set the hook,” start a conversation, and create just enough interest to pique the listener’s curiosity and make them want to hear more about you.
There’s no way to make a generic “template” for an Elevator Pitch, since each one is so unique. Specific job areas, industry types, levels of experience, and target goals require different types of speeches. This isn’t a “one size fits all” situation. However, at the risk of sounding self-serving, following is an example of an Elevator Pitch I’ve used for myself.
Compare this speech to the above-mentioned components to see how it was constructed. I’ve timed this out to well under two minutes. Feel free to use this as an starting point, and adjust or re-write it to fit your own situation:
“Hi, my name is Michael Spiro and I am an experienced Recruiter with 9 years of success in the third party, agency-based staffing world. I’m in transition right now, and my current focus is to shift away from outside agency work, and move into a “Corporate Recruiter” role inside a company somewhere in Northeast Ohio.
"I’ve worked for two of the largest search firms in North America – MRI for six years and Kforce for three years. At those agencies I recruited and placed very hard-to-find candidates in many different industries.
"Most of those were for jobs in Information Technology, as well as in Sales and Finance. When our client companies had difficult searches where they simply couldn’t find the top talent they were looking for – I’m the guy they’d come to for help … and I won several awards for those recruiting successes.
"My real expertise is in the use of creative methods to locate candidates, including extensive networking, advanced internet searches, and most importantly – using all the latest online Social Media (like LinkedIn and Facebook) to find passive, non-job-seeking candidates.
"By moving over to an internal corporate position, I’m hoping to be able to continue recruiting top talent, but to do it from the inside of a company so I can also concentrate on my passion for building and maintaining relationships with internal business partners and decision-makers.
"Again, my name is Michael Spiro.”
Now here’s a shorter, 30-second version of that same speech for use in situations where time is more limited:
“Hi, my name is Michael Spiro, and I am an experienced Recruiter with nine years of success in the third party, agency-based staffing world. I’m in transition right now, and my current focus is to shift away from outside agency work and move into a “Corporate Recruiter” role inside a company.
"My expertise is in the use of creative recruiting methods to locate hard-to-find top talent, which I plan to continue to do from the inside of an organization.
"Again, my name is Michael Spiro.”
By the way … it’s often effective to repeat your name a second time at the end of the speech – especially when speaking in a more formal group situation. The reasoning is that people don’t remember names the first they hear them … but after the speech is delivered, a second hearing of your name will be more likely to sink in.
You can eliminate that second repeating of your name when you meet someone in a more personal, one-on-one setting.
Sound Natural. Practice Your Delivery. Nothing is worse than sounding like you are reading a script. By all means, write your speech down and memorize it … but then try practicing it out loud.
Practice to yourself in a mirror. Practice into a recording device or a video camera and listen back to yourself. Practice on your family and friends. Practice in job-seeker networking groups and ask for feedback.
As you hear yourself reciting your speech, ask yourself: does this sound like my natural speaking voice? Are these words I use in everyday conversations? Could someone from outside of my industry who hears this easily figure out what I do and what I’m looking for?
If not, change it! Use your own natural language. Use words that sound natural coming from your mouth. Sound conversational and comfortable. And sound enthusiastic and excited!
When you deliver your Elevator Pitch, if you sound natural and upbeat, and you truly believe in what you are saying … chances are so will the listener! Interview Questions & Answers for Older Workers Here are some sticky questions that older job candidates often encounter—with several appropriate responses to each:
- "You appear to be overqualified for this position. Won't you get bored?"
- "You are an excellent company. You deserve excellence in employees."
- "Experience is a great premium today."
- "There is a greater return on your money if I hit the ground running. Less training time."
- "This company is on the fast track. Do you think that you can keep up?"
- "I have stayed on top of the industry and am computer literate." (Use this opportunity to showcase any training classes or courses you have taken)
- Consider hitting this question head-on by stating politely that you have not noticed any slowdown or stagnancy in attitude or energy.
- "This is a completely different industry than you were in before. Can you tell us how you will transfer your skills?"
- "I have accessed your website and have read everything about your company.” (Then, draw some analogy to a previous area of expertise, and relate it to the new company's product or service)
- "I have noticed that you have been out of work for over six months. Can you explain this break in employment?"
- "I tried retirement, and it's not for me. I am a do-er and like to be active. I feel I have many more years of productivity left."
- "I am looking for something different. I am fortunate to be in a position to take time to make sure this job is right for both of us."
- "I have used this time to brush up (or learn) a new skill, and now I am ready to contribute my knowledge and expertise to a viable company such as yours."
- "Why do you think you are qualified for this job? I don't see where you have experience that would match our business needs."
- "My excitement at learning new things never diminishes. With my work experience, I know I will be a quick learner."
- Take this opportunity to point out any skills you have added to your repertoire.
- Identify a skill you have, and align it to something you would need to do on the new job.
- "Your resume indicates you have worked at a lot of different places. Can you comment on that?"
- "Each of those positions broadened my knowledge and skill base. Each was a promotion."
- "It does appear that way, but, in the last 10 years, the economy has been such that mergers have forced a number of us to realize our potential in various environments." (Always turn a perceived negative into a real positive!)
- "You were with your last company for 19 years. Can you change the way you did things?"
- "I am looking for change!"
- "My last company underwent many changes during that time, and I enjoyed trying new things and ideas." (Show examples whenever possible)
- "We are on the cutting edge of technology. Can you keep up?"
- Again reinforce skills, classes/courses and upgrades you have had. You may need to mention this several times and in as many different ways as possible to overcome their doubt.
- "I see you have been a consultant. Does that just mean you were out of work?"
- "My old company brought me back on contract to complete several projects, which I did — and now I want to see if there is something more exciting out there."
- "I understand lots of people are calling themselves consultants while they look for a new position." (Laugh — sometimes, it's OK to insert a little bit of levity) "What do you think you are worth since you have been in the work world so long?"
- Never respond with a specific dollar amount. Affirm that you have vast skills and experience. Indicate that you are either willing to start over to show them what you bring to the table or deserving of top dollar. Either way, be confident.
- Ask them what dollar amount is allocated for the position in this year's budget.
- Ask if they are offering you the job!
Step Eight: Follow Up and Be Persistent
Job searching is hard work and there are times when you will get discouraged. But if you keep up with it, you can avoid feeling anxious and you will actually have more energy.
If your search is not producing the results that you would like, avoid blaming yourself and try a new strategy. In addition, do not be reluctant to submit your credentials on more than one occasion to an organization for which you would like to work. This attitude demonstrates your enthusiasm and interest.
It is important to write thank you notes and follow-up with the employer every few weeks. Thank-you letters are a great way to strengthen your chances of landing a job.
You should write a thank-you note to each person you interview with as soon as possible after each interview is completed. It makes you stand out among candidates and leaves the employer with a lasting good impression about you.
It is best if you send a handwritten or typed note through the post office mail. An email thank-you should only be sent as a last resort. There is nothing complicated about writing a thank-you note. So strip away your concerns and follow this simple formula:
- The first paragraph should open by thanking the employer for his/her time. Mention the date of the interview along with something he/she might have said during the interview that made you more excited or interested in the position.
- The second paragraph should refer to something about your strengths or qualifications that were discussed in the interview. Also mention any additional skills, strengths or experiences that you want to emphasize to strengthen your candidacy. If there are any issues that need further clarification, this is the place to do it.
- Close the letter by restating your interest in the position and the company. State your excitement upon hearing from him/her and offer to provide any additional information. You may wish to include your phone number and general times that you are available.
- Make sure that you sound sincere. You can sound insincere by gushing (“I just love your company.”) or by being overly generic (“Thank you for your consideration”).
JANET KAY LEMON 123 S. Keller Street Apt. #208 River Grove, IL. 60171 Cell: (708) 222-2222 Home (708) 333-333 JDoe@hotmail.com
November 21, 2007
Ms. Jennifer Elliot Recruiter American Pharmacy Stores 185 Broadway Street River Grove, IL. 60171
Dear Ms. Elliot:
Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the Management Trainee position at your American Pharmacy Stores. I enjoyed learning more about this exciting opportunity and the company’s recent acquisition of Foxgrove Pharmacy Stores.
As you recall from our interview, I have experience in management and customer service. In addition, I have taken advance computer classes that complement my degree in Management. I greatly enjoy this career field and wish to apply my interest and knowledge to American Pharmacy Stores.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to interview with you. If you have any further questions, you may reach me at (218) 822-0500. I look forward to speaking with you again soon
Sincerely, Janet Kay Lemon
Step Nine: Use Professional References
Almost all employers will request a list of references. References are people who can attest to your ability to perform the job you are seeking. Do not send the list of references with your resume unless it is requested that you do so. Bring it to the job interview. Be sure to ask permission from each reference before putting his/her name on your reference sheet. Below are some additional tips.
- Use a list of three to five professional references.
- Give each reference a copy of your resume and some information on the job for which you are applying.
- Always include the reference’s title and professional contact information.
- Do not use friends or family members as references. Examples of references include former employers, professors, co-workers, coaches or advisors.
- If your references would prefer to be reached via e-mail, list their e-mail addresses. Be sure they check their e-mail frequently.
- If an employer asks if they can call your references, let your references know that they will be called. Tell them the name of the person who will be contacting them and the job for which you applied. If possible, give your references a copy of the job description.
A sample Reference Page looks something like this:
Mr. James R. Doe
1234 South Keller Street
River Grove, Illinois 60171
Home: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Cell: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Mr. Raymond Franny
Professional Accounting Services
555 North Elm Avenue
Franklin, Illinois 60601
Dr. Mary Smith
Professor of Management
2000 Fifth Avenue
River Grove, Illinois 60171
Mr. Ed Martin
1266 West Adams Street
Flossmoor, Illinois 60611