If you’ve worked in an office environment for a few years, chances are you’ve had to participate in a team-building activity at some point. Whether you built a house out of Tinker Toys or did trust falls, one thing is for sure: you were probably horribly embarrassed the whole time. This is true even if you’re not someone who prides themselves on being cool and above this sort of thing. There’s something about most team-building exercises that brings out everyone’s inner disaffected teenager.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this week’s roundup, we look at activities that won’t make everyone wish they’d called in sick on team-building day, plus what recruiters really want to see on your LinkedIn profile and the five things you should do before you go on a job interview.
“The concept is a good one,” Giltner writes. “Get people together in non-work environments and have non-work activities that will ‘force’ them to work together. The problem is this: the same tired, old, and, quite frankly, boring activities are planned—thus, the eye rolls.”
If you’re a manager looking for better options, you might consider some of these. (My personal vote: community service or trivia. One gives everyone the chance to feel better about themselves, while the other gives everyone the chance to pretend they’re at their favorite pub.)
Want to know what recruiters are looking for on LinkedIn? Ask a (former) recruiter. Jaime at The Prepary has worked as a recruiter in fashion and finance, and has some thoughts about what your LinkedIn profile should be showing recruiters (instead of what it probably is showing them).
Her advice: dish up the facts — where you’ve worked, which job titles you’ve held, what those titles mean — and don’t forget to provide a clear career story that explains your path. Find more suggestions at her post.
“When I interviewed candidates the first question I would ask is ‘What do you know about us?’” writes Don Goodman. “If I received a token answer, like ‘I looked you up on the web,’ then I knew I was not looking at a go-getter, and the interview went down from there.”
What’s the alternative? Well, Goodman describes a sales person who called the company as if she were a potential customer, essentially “mystery-shopping” the organization. She then provided her findings — good information for the hiring manager, and a fun way to get a genuine conversation rolling.
Even if that’s not your speed, the bottom line is that it’s important to prepare for a job interview, and that means doing more than practicing some interview questions and pressing your interview outfit. To find out what else you could add to your pre-interview prep, see this post.
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What’s the best career advice you’ve read this week? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.
Jen Hubley Luckwaldt writes about work-life balance, stress management, and other topics relating to what makes us happy at work. A full-time freelancer, she deals with stress by blurring the lines between life and work to the point where the two spheres are barely separate. The happiest day of her career was when scientists proved that looking at pictures of cute animals makes us more productive.