Archive / March, 2014

Ultimate Tips to Ace Any Job Interview

job-interview

If you have an awesome resume or professionally written and active LinkedIn profile, you are getting tons of interview calls. Then, how do you ace that interview? According to a hiring manager, candidates aren’t judged on how well they do their jobs; they’re judged on how well they describe how they do their jobs.

Therefore, if you’re a candidate looking for a job, even a passive candidate, remember that how you present yourself matters. First, understand that all interviewers are attempting to evaluate the following:

  • How skilled you are and how you applied these skills on the job
  • If what you have accomplished is comparable to what needs to be accomplished
  • How you would fit with the team, work well with the hiring manager, and fit with the company “culture”
  • Your level of drive, initiative, and motivation
  • Your upside potential

While all of these factors are important, how they’re measured is pretty unscientific. Techies overvalue the depth of a person’s technical brilliance. Just about all non-techies overvalue the candidate’s first impression, appearance, warmth, and friendliness. Most managers overvalue their intuition and gut feel. Just about everyone has their own pet questions and private techniques they swear by to decide yay or nay. And right or wrong, everyone makes their assessment on all of these things based on how well you communicate your answers. Given this state of affairs, here’s some advice on how to not blow the interview. It starts by communicating better.

Talk in paragraphs, not sentences

The big idea is to talk for 2-3 minutes in response to any question. Short one or two sentence answers are deal-breakers. In these cases, the interviewer has to work too hard to pry the information out of the candidate, and since they don’t know what information they need pry out, it will likely be wrong. So talk more than less, but also remember to give no more than 2-3 minutes per answer; otherwise you’re considered boring, ego-centric, and insensitive.

You should practice the multi-paragraph response approach using the SAFW structure below. Then use the SMARTTe or STAR acronym to clarify the example.

  • SAFW – just Say A Few Words. To format your basic answers start by making a general opening Statement, Amplify or clarify this opening with a few sentences, then provide a Few examples to prove your opening point. End your answer with a summary Wrap-up and some hooks to get the interviewer to ask a logical follow-up question.
  • Give SMARTT Examples. For the example chosen, describe the Specific task; throw in some Metrics to add color, scope, and scale; add Action verbs describing what you Actually did; define the Result as a deliverable; put a Timeframe around the task, describing when it took place and how long it took; describe the Team involved; and then describe the environment including the pace, the resources available, the challenges involved, and role your boss played.
  • Use STAR. This is an alternative approach for interviewers asking behavioral questions. When they ask you to give an example of when you used some behavior, skill, or competency, they’ll follow up by asking about the Situation, Task, Action taken, and the Result achieved. You can beat them to the punch by framing your responses the STAR way.
  • End with a Hook. Don’t spill everything out at once. You only have 2-3 minutes, so leave a few key details unanswered. This will prompt the interviewer to follow up with some logical questions. A forced hook is something like, “Is this type of project relevant to what you need done?”
  • Remember the Big E for Example. If you forget all of this, don’t forget to give lots of examples of actual accomplishments to prove every strength and neutralize every weakness.

Interviewers really like it when they don’t have to work too hard to figure out if you’re any good. Well-constructed answers provide insight into your intelligence and potential, your enthusiasm and motivation, your ability to deal with people, and of course how competent you are. Most important of all: your ability to influence others to make important decisions starts by influencing them to hire you.

Get interviewed for your dream job

Before worrying about the interview, first you have to think how you could get the interview! One of the best ways to get a lot of interview calls from the right company is to submit an excellent resume, tailored to the position you are applying for. Sometimes, crafting a resume might be even harder than mastering the art of interview, so why not leave it in the hands of professionals?

Med-Final

A creative resume could also help you during the interview. When you submit a creative resume, you have stolen the interviewer’s attention from the beginning. Then, the interviewer will be much more enthusiastic about your prospects at the company when he/she is interviewing you.

At Style Resumes, we are well-equipped with the skills to craft a perfect resume that will get you the right job. Get one step closer to your dream job by checking out our products now!

Should You Quit Your Job?

Everyone has bad days at work when they swear they would quit. But how do you know the difference between ordinary, occasional dissatisfaction and a genuine mismatch?

Quitting a job can have negative impact on your career and disrupt your personal life, but staying in an undesirable situation can be worse. Here are some tips to help you decide whether it is time to quit your job.

job dissatisfaction

Watch for signals

Start by figuring out whether you lack excitement about the bigger picture or the day-to-day activities. For example, one of the most obvious signals is that you keep promising yourself you’ll quit but never do. It is often an indication of a much bigger problem. Another signal is that you don’t want your boss’s job. If you can’t stand the idea of having your manager’s job, you need to think hard about what’s next. Chances are that your hungrier peers will soon pass you, creating more job dissatisfaction.

You might also find yourself consistently underperforming. If you keep trying to get better but you’re not seeing results, it may be time to consider whether you have what it takes, or if your boss and colleagues value what you have to offer. It might be the sign that you’re up against an impossible task — the job is too big, the politics are too tricky, there aren’t enough resources, or you don’t have the required skills and experience.

If you notice one or more of these signs, pay attention and ask yourself whether the costs of staying in the job are reasonable and acceptable to you.

Know the risks

Before handing in your 30 days notice, make sure you’ve assessed the downsides. Even if you’re certain you’re in the wrong job, there are risks to leaving, such as damaging existing relationships, losing needed income, or blemishing your resume. Quitting your job too often might result in an unpleasant stereotype of job hopper. This could hurt your professional reputation and your chances of getting jobs in the future.

idea-plan-action 

Always leave toward something

You can mitigate some of the risks by deciding what’s next before you leave. It’s always best to have a plan, or at least an inkling of what you want to do. If you truly hate what you’re doing, you should absolutely leave but not before you identify something that you have a good chance of loving in the future.

You can start by questioning yourself of what you need your job to do; what you want to achieve through your job. If you don’t find it in your current job, leave it; but make sure your new career choice can provide it to you. For example, you might want a job that would prepare you to someday lead a start-up venture, so you need a job which trains your operational and leadership capabilities. If your current job does not provide it, leave it for a job that will give you what you want for your future.

Get better opportunities with Style Resumes

If you have found your reason to leave your current job and move on, the first step you have to do now is to update your resume and begin the exhausting job search all over again. You might have impressive track record but don’t know how to put it on paper. Or, you may want a major career change and you have no idea how to edit your resume accordingly.

Worry not! Simply hire a professional resume writer that is capable to revamp your resume and adjust it to your new career objective. When it comes to resumes, Style Resumes is the expert. You can choose to invest in a conventional professional resume, the eye catching graphic resume, the technologically advanced mobile resume, or other types of resume.

Get ready for better opportunities now!

The Do’s and Don’ts in Calling to Check Your Job Application

telephone

In this tough job market, it makes sense to call your potential employer after you submit your job application to increase your chance of getting hired. However, this can backfire if you don’t do it right. Check out how you can make your call successful instead of annoying.

The Do’s

  1. Give it time. Although a good percentage of companies do have human resource departments that focus on nothing but employee management and hiring, other companies do not. For example, if you are applying for a job as a full-time cashier at a local grocery store, chances are your application will be reviewed by the store manager who has a million other tasks to complete. Your application will not be reviewed as soon as it is received. Wait at least three or five days before calling to check the status of your application.
  2. Consider your options for making contact, along with their pros and cons. You can check the status of your application via phone, email, or in person. Each option has their pros and cons. For example, you don’t want to interrupt a hiring manager while they are busy. So if you show up in person to check the status of your resume; you get personalized contact, but you also have the option to leave and come back later if you notice the place you’re applying to is filled with customers.
  3. Show that you are excited and hopeful that you will get a job interview, but don’t show desperation. You might be surprised how many job seekers call daily. After the second or third time, desperation sets in. Regardless of how much you need to have a job, don’t let this desperation show. It is okay to mention that you would love the chance to land a job interview, as the company seems like a great place to work. It is not okay to mention that you really need the job because your bills are piling up.

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t make contact when you know the manager will be busy. You should also take into account the business when calling to check the status of your job application. For example, if you are looking to work in a restaurant, do not call in the middle of the breakfast, lunch, and dinner rushes. Sometimes it is hard to know when the best time to make contact is, but you don’t want to cause a fuss or interrupt a busy day.
  2. Don’t demand a job interview. When calling to check the status of your job application, tread carefully. You don’t want to imply that you expect to get a job interview. Not all applicants do. Instead of saying “when can I come in for an interview,” opt for “My name is Joe Smith; I applied for the full-time bartender position on (date). Have you had the opportunity to review my resume?”
  3. Don’t keep pestering the supervisor or hiring manager. It is okay to call on the status of an application once, and possibly twice if they ask you to call back again later. With that said, you do not want to become the job seeker who goes from casually calling to check the status of your job application to the job seeker who calls everyday looking for a job interview. This approach will create a bad impression; it does not make you standout in a good way and it often backfires.

Increase your chance with a powerful resume

It is no secret that finding employment in this tough economy is very difficult, so you must always put your best foot forward in order to get noticed and hired. Before start calling the company you’re applying to, make sure that you send them the highest quality resume possible!

Writing resume is a tricky job. You think you are well-versed in crafting the perfect resume, but more often than not, you are not. So, it is always better to leave it to professional resume writers who know exactly what they’re doing. At Style Resumes, we are equipped with the skills and knowledge to write you various types of resume and cover letter. With our trained eye, your resume will be error free. Let’s craft that perfect resume!

Med-Final

What to Do When You’re Overqualified for a Job

During job hunt, being told that they won’t hire you because you’re “too overqualified” for the job can be very frustrating. Logically, being overqualified should be a good thing rather than a deal breaker, right?

Unfortunately, hiring managers have other considerations. For example, they are afraid they cannot afford to pay you because they assume that someone who has high qualifications like you must have high salary expectations too. They are also afraid you will get bored doing the job and jump ship as soon as a new, more challenging opportunity comes along.

So what should you do in this situation? What if you really want the job despite being overqualified?

big fish little pond

Address their concerns

Having understood the possible reasons why they are afraid to hire you, put yourself in their shoes so that you can fully understand their concerns. Then, address their concerns in your cover letter or during the interview.

Explain why you are genuinely interested in the position despite being able to grab greater opportunities. You might relate it to your life changes and shift of priorities. For example, you want to find a job with stable work hours because you want to devote more time in taking care of your household and children. Or, you want the job because of the short commute, or you have been a big fan of the company and always wanted to work there regardless of the position. Remember that the key is to say whatever that is true to you – don’t make things up. Offer a commitment and ensure that you have no plans of leaving the job because this is what you want.

Besides that, if you know hiring managers are likely to worry about your salary expectations, you can also say explicitly that you’re clear about the lower pay that comes with the position, and that it’s fine with you. However, be careful about how you say it so as not to offend the employer.

thinking-woman_12

Alter your resume

Overstating some parts of the resume in order to make the person look better qualified is a common practice amongst job seekers. However, if you are already overqualified for the job, you might need to do the opposite. Tone down some parts of the resume so that the hiring manager will call you for an interview. Look for areas in which you can trim down some of your previous experience so that you are still qualified for the position, but not overqualified. However, be careful not to make yourself underqualified instead.

Not sure how to do that? Let a professional resume writer do it for you and you are guaranteed to get your dream job despite being “overqualified”!

Med-Final

5 Ultimate, Quick Job Search Tips

post-unemployment

How long have you been in the job search pit? By now, you might’ve learned the traditional ways of job searching don’t work anymore. So here are 5 things you can easily do that will quickly improve your job search results.

1. Scan your resume for 15 seconds – what message does it send?

That’s exactly what an employer will do. So, if you don’t get a clear message about what you can do for them, then it is not a good resume. Since this is the most important document in your career, make the investment and have a good resume professionally prepared.

2. Focus on the high-return job efforts.

Job boards have less than a 5% effectiveness rate while networking has over a 50% effectiveness rate. Start by selecting 10 to 30 companies where you would love to work. Do a company search on LinkedIn and identify the decision makers and their staff. Then see who you know who might know someone who can make an introduction for you. Follow the company and people on LinkedIn and Facebook, join their groups and conversations, comment on their blogs and become known. This is how you move from a passive wait for the right job to appear on the job boards to an active job seeker targeting the kinds of positions you really want.

3. Optimize your LinkedIn Profile.

If a recruiter was searching through LinkedIn to find people for the position you are seeking, would you show up? Try it and if you are not on the first or second page, go back to your profile and pepper it with the right keywords to get yourself a higher ranking. A simple trick is to look at the profiles of the people who rank well and follow some of the things they did. Or, you can get your LinkedIn profile done professionally.

4. Review your Online Presence.

88% of employers will Google your name to see more about you. Make sure you look good on LinkedIn (100% complete profile), review your activity in Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and any other online account. Take down or change any comments that reflect poorly upon you. Use your own blog, online exchanges and testimonials to showcase your professional knowledge.

5. Create measurable goals.

Searching for a job is like any other project and you must stay disciplined, so set firm goals for yourself. For example, “I will make 10 networking calls and have 2 meetings per week”. Make sure you are focusing on high-impact efforts like networking versus job board submissions. Keep a record of you efforts so if an employer calls, you can quickly determine when and how they were contacted.

Leave it to the professional

When it comes to job hunting, resume plays a crucial role. Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

Med-Final