When it comes to building a career, what we "know" can be as dangerous as what we don't know. That's because a lot of what we assume about succeeding the workplace isn't true. In this week's roundup, we look at what you need to unlearn in order to build the career you deserve, plus how to tame your to-do list, and what you should never, ever say in a job interview.
If you're interested in work-life balance issues, you've probably read your fair share of articles exhorting you to live in the moment and be here now and so on. There's just one problem: professional life demands that we live in the moment, and also live in next week, and also in six months from now. Take, for example, the problem of planning vacation time. To get it approved and not irritate your co-workers, you have to submit your request for summer fun while snow's still on the ground. Of course, even if you do that, there's no guarantee that you'll get what you asked for. For instance, your evil co-worker might get in ahead of you and scoop up all the good days. In this week's roundup, we look at advice for coping with that situation, plus job search tools you're probably overlooking, and how to grow your professional network without ignoring your personal life.
All of us, at one point in our life, have interviewed for a bad job. You know that gut-sinking feeling you get when you realize 10 seconds into the interview that this job definitely isn't a good fit for you. You ultimately leave with nothing but wasted time and a bad taste in your mouth. To avoid taking a job you'll regret, and to save yourself some time, take note of these dead giveaways that the gig you're interviewing for might be a bad job.
Strange as it might seem to most of us, there are people out there who love various parts of the job search process. Some like meeting new people, or feel energized by the interview process; others see exciting new potential in every networking connection or job posting. But even those job-searching Pollyannas would be hard-pressed to find an upside to one part of the process: writing a cover letter that grabs readers' attention, expresses their qualifications, and doesn't mindlessly repeat the same material as their resume. In this week's roundup, we look at one expert's advice on writing a cover letter that reads as if it's written by a human, plus a few reasons why your job hunt is stalled, and tips to make your resume stand out ... even when the hiring manager only takes eight seconds to skim it.
Even if you're the best employee in the history of paid work, you might get fired at some point in your career. Sometimes, it's no one's fault: you turned out to be a bad fit for the role and vice versa. Other times, you might have made a mistake, and paid a steep price for it. But the worst scenario is the one that's not your fault at all – but that still potentially haunts your job search afterward. In this week's round-up, we look at what one career expert advises job seekers who've been fired, plus how to repair a damaged professional relationship and how to give tough feedback.
First things first: anyone who tells you that you can always dodge the salary history question is probably trying to sell you something. The reality of the situation is that sometimes, you just can't wriggle out of answering this question – not if you want to stay a viable candidate for the job. But, that doesn't mean that you should name your price right away. You might be able to get the hiring manager to focus on the future, not the past, and that's what you're hoping for.
What's the worst part about networking? All the horrifyingly dull questions you have to ask and answer, in order to establish new relationships with your fellow humans. But, there's no law that says we have to stick to the same old, same old. Mixing things up might actually get some better answers, build stronger connections, and bore everyone a lot less. In this week's roundup, we look at 27 questions to ask instead of "What do you do?," plus the housekeeping questions you must ask at your next job interview, and the best ways to get motivated when you're feeling uninspired.
If you do a quick Google search for "career consultant," you can easily end up in a digital swamp of information overload. If you're unemployed and find yourself in this position, look no further than Mark Dyson – a.k.a., "The Voice of Job Seekers." Here's the skinny on Mark, and how he can help you in your job search.
If you've been interviewing for a while, and not getting anywhere – not even to the first phone screen – the problem might be that your resume isn't making the first cut. In this week's roundup, we look at advice on how to fix that, plus a better way to say "I'm passionate" in a job market full of passionate job seekers, and the seven critical skills you're probably leaving off your resume.
Keeping a job search secret is more complicated these days than not getting busted looking at a job search site on the company time. Part of the problem is that personal brand is so important for job seekers; to show hiring managers and recruiters what you have to offer, you have to keep on top of your social media presence. Of course, nothing tells an employer that you're looking like a freshly updated LinkedIn. So how can you keep your profiles fresh, without making things awkward with your current boss? This week's roundup looks at ways to manage that, plus how to handle rejection during a job search and how to deal with arguably the worst thing about working as a team.
Although it doesn't always feel this way, job interviews are a two-way street. When you're interviewing for a job, it's not just about what the company thinks about you – it's also how you feel about the company. A good cultural fit can mean the difference between skipping off to work with a song in your heart and dragging yourself to the office like you're headed to the DMV. Not a seasoned interviewer? Never fear. You can learn to recognize the red flags that indicate this job isn't for you – during the interview process and before you take that job offer.
Before your resume ever reaches human eyes, it has to make it through the Applicant Tracking System, the software program that scans your CV and decides whether you make it to the people part of the hiring process. Understanding how these Applicant Tracking Systems work might mean the difference between getting that first interview and twiddling your thumbs while your resume languishes in the depths of a database. In this week's roundup, we get an inside look at these resume robots, plus learn about time management personality types and find out one reason why your last meeting was a bust.
The employee/boss relationship is a tricky thing to nail down. You might think that everything's friendly, but things could change on a dime once you announce that you've got one foot out the door. What should you do to keep that friendly vibe going (and ensure you get a good recommendation in the end)? Think about it, before you blab to your boss that you're outtie-5000.
Getting word that you have an interview is an exciting thing ... so much so that you might just lose your head a bit. What you need to do is be prepared, so that if an interview comes up at a moment's notice, all you have to do is grab your "interview go bag" and it'll have everything that you need to make a great impression and get that job.