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Secrets to Researching Your Next Career Move 

You all know that great research is a critical step in your job search process. Duh, right? So, why do career coaches, like me, continue to talk about it? It is because we are continuously surprised at the lack of research performed by job seekers every day.  

I believe there are two main triggers to inadequately researching your next career move: 

  • One: It’s easy to skip. No one will know, right? Wrong! It shows in your application, your networking, and your interview (if you are fortunate to earn an interview).  
  • Two: Job seekers are overwhelmed with the amount of research available and the hours it takes to find the right research. So, it’s too easy to say: “I’ll do the research later, once I get the interview.” Sound familiar?  

News flash: To compete for your next great career move, conducting up–front research on potential employers is mandatory. Therefore, I want to help you be more efficient, so you learn to conduct research early and often.  

Research Tricks  

With so much content and information available on the internet, there is no excuse for not researching before applying for a position and before an interview. The challenge is to create and follow a research process for both applications and interviews that is effective. I have two tried and true tricks for conducting job search and interview research:  

  • Trick #1: Organize the research. Over time, many job seekers will apply to more than one position within a single company. Organize the research by individual position but keep a separate file of the entire company that can be re-used each time a position is applied for. Copy over the same company research into the file and add the research about each specific job.  
  • Trick #2: During the research, take notes, highlight key points, and don’t rely on memory. Write down at least three key points for every company or specific job. Collect information such as: the overall industry, the major competitors in that space, trends, company structure, etc. Then refer to these three points in the application or bring them into the interview, or both. 
Mistakes and Excuses 

I have observed many mistakes and excuses that job seekers make when it comes to research.  

  • Mistake #1: Doing nothing at all. Not doing research prior to critical meetings such as phone screenings, conversations with a networker, phone interviews, or face–to–face interviews. Research must be done at every step of the way.  
  • Mistake #2: Not taking notes. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am going to repeat it because it’s so important: Take notes during research and interviews.  
  • Mistake #3: Researching the wrong information. For example, when interviewing with a company like, General Electric, it’s not enough to say GE builds solutions in energy health and home transportation and finance. That’s right from that company’s overview page and doesn’t show research effort. Spend hours, not minutes, conducting research. 

Do not make the excuse that there is no time to research. The company and the hiring manager are taking the time to write the job description, identify the skills they’re looking for, and interview candidates. To win the job and show respect for their offer of employment, you can make the time.  

What to Research  

Now that you know how important research is, start by looking up information related to the industry at large, customer types, and competitors. Then delve into the company; look up their corporate structure, and divisions, their culture and values, and their products. Research online for top executive speeches, announcements, press releases issued, and articles written about this company. 

As you research the organization’s structure and its people, go to LinkedIn to read about the hiring manager or any of the interviewers that you may with whom you may have contact. Every little bit of information helps.  

In summary, the purpose of all of this is, of course, to ace the interview and land the job. So, whether it’s a phone interview, face–to–face, or video call, be prepared by doing the upfront research. Go get ‘em!  

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive online job search system available! 

The post Secrets to Researching Your Next Career Move appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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Build a Tribe and Shrink the Gender Pay Gap 

Do you think a company with more women in leadership positions is more likely to offer employees equal pay and have less issues with the gender pay gap? It seems like a natural assumption, right? However, researchers at Oxford University found the opposite to be true in a recent study.  

The researchers believe one reason this discrepancy exists is because many company cultures still make it hard for women to feel powerful enough to affect change – something most women likely have anecdotal evidence to back up.

My colleague, Vicki Brackett, author of The Leadership Toolbox, has spent over twenty years helping organizations overhaul company structures and toxic cultures that are poisoning their leadership and preventing growth. Neither of us are surprised by the Oxford study, because it is something that we both have witnessed in organizations and hope to change.  

There is Power in Numbers  

In order to make equal pay a priority in an organization, Brackett says female leaders need to adopt an “old boys club” mentality, without the negative attributes. “If you are a woman in a leadership position and you are making changes, don’t go it alone.” She recommends collaborating with other women, especially in other divisions. “Create a think tank where you can all come together and brainstorm ideas that will improve the company.” 

“Identify gaps in the organization and develop a game plan for addressing and plugging the gaps,” shares Brackett. “By developing a systematic approach to problem solving and building visibility and momentum, your team will become known in the organization as a catalyst for change.” 

Women, Stand Up and Stand Out  

Vicki and I violently agree that one of the best ways to gain recognition and be paid equitably for performance is to be recognized as a problem solver. Additionally, positively impacting revenue, products, services, productivity gains, customer satisfaction, and loyalty will help women gain visibility and elevate their positions of power. As more women move up in the organization, they can impact the upward mobility and compensation for other women. 

Building a safety net of support by enlisting the endorsement of other leaders in the company is key to becoming a change agent. One recommended technique is to approach the Chief of People or SVP of Human Resources to get backing for programs that will build personal visibility and benefit the company. Brackett suggests, “You can pitch a newsletter or blog that recognizes both men and women who are adding to the success of the organization or suggest hosting speakers on trending topics that are important to the company.”  

Change the Culture  

Women can demand more compensation but if the company system doesn’t support equal pay, then building a collaborative, productive and sustainable group that helps identify and plug gaps within the organization will help with visibility. Building an internal community with a significant number of people who support women’s initiatives can help perpetuate change.  

In close, don’t expect change overnight. Women are powerful – especially in numbers. So, take time to build your tribe. And, remember: Any kind of change takes determination and a thick skin. Leadership is not for the faint of heart. 

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive online job search system available! 

The post Build a Tribe and Shrink the Gender Pay Gap appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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4 Reasons You May Not Be Getting Traction as a Leader 

 Even with billions of dollars of corporate investment in training, leaders at all levels can still find themselves in ‘leadership traps’ that only come to light once key performance indicators, revenue or bottom–line contribution start trending in the wrong direction. 

I recently learned about leadership from Vicki Brackett, author of The Leadership Toolbox and consultant for businesses facing leadership challenges. She has identified four reasons that cause leaders to fail and provided suggestions on how to fix these issues.  

Living in an Ego Cloud 

Hiding behind an ego is an easy way for a leader to make problems someone else’s fault. Instead of pointing the finger and blaming a lack of results on employees or the economy, Brackett says a good leader can face the pain of self-failure.  She says, “A good leader will take ego out of the picture and ask himself or herself how he or she may be contributing to the problem. Once a realistic view of the situation is seen in the mirror, and the ego cloud is wiped away, the steps that need to be taken to rectify the situation become clear.”   

Rallying the Wrong Troops 

When something goes wrong at work it is natural to share the experience with friends and family. Whipping them into a defensive frenzy, however, does nothing to bring clarity to the situation. It just perpetuates the problems a leader is facing. Instead of searching for a biased, ‘on my side’ response from family and friends, Brackett recommends giving a neutral overview of the situation when calm. She warns against getting caught under the cozy ego blanket that loved ones can provide because it will suffocate true leadership. 

Going Solo 

Over and over again Brackett says she comes across people in leadership roles at companies who define leadership as always having the answer to every question and every problem. This is a mistake. “Your job as a leader is never to have all the answers,” says Brackett. “Your job is to know who on your team to go to get the answers. Your team will always be able to identify the gaps better than you because they are the ones on the ground executing.” 

Planning Without Input 

Brackett’s final tip ties into using team members to identify gaps. Once the gaps are identified, the team can help create a plan for resolving them. “If your team creates the plan, they own the plan and they will get better results,” Brackett states.  

It is important to recognize that being a great leader takes hard work. It is all about elevating team members to perform at their best, not about the leader’s ego. By showing leaders where they can go wrong and suggesting ways to mitigate those mistakes makes the whole team stronger.  

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive online job search system available! 

The post 4 Reasons You May Not Be Getting Traction as a Leader appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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Clean Up Your Social Media for Future Employers 

While conducting your job search, it is imperative to set yourself up for success. Just as you want to know all that you can about your potential new employers, they are also eager to learn about who you are. One way for them to find out more about you is your public social media accounts.  

A 2018 survey done by CareerBuilder, showed that 70% of employers screen job candidates through their social media, while 43% of employers use social media to check out current employees. I worked with Brent Scott at Norton & LifeLock to compile some tips and tricks on where to look, what to change, and how to improve your professional social media presence.  

Start with Google   

Googling yourself is important as it will most likely be the first thing employers do once they know your full name, gender and age. If you think you have a private identity online, think again. As you scroll through page one of Google, see what social media accounts appear under your name and what other information is listed underneath.  

For example, if your Twitter name is @jerrylovesbeer that will show up next to Twitter. If your Facebook page is public your profile will also show up on page one as well as Instagram and so on. We recommend changing your usernames if they are anything other than your name. While being fun and funny is okay, it is important to ensure that you are being painted in a good light.  

Scrub Your Social Media  

While scanning through your social media, be on the hunt for content that might be related to drugs, alcohol, politics, religion, or anything disrespectful or degrading. Employers will be looking for how you interact with others, how you portray yourself, and what kinds of things are a main focus in your life. If your Instagram is public, go through your pictures and captions to make sure nothing is offensive, risqué, or inappropriate. Delete anything you wouldn’t want them, or your grandmother, to see.  

Be sure to review your LinkedIn posts, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, and Instagram photos.  

If you want to keep your pictures but make them hidden from the public, Instagram has an archive feature that allows you to do just that. Make sure to screen comments as well. If your friends are writing swear words or telling stories about you in the comments, it may be important to shut those down, since they can be seen by other people.  

Update Yourself Online  

When you start the job search, it is essential that your online personal information matches what your future employer knows about you. Of course, not everything has to be disclosed, but the basic information should always be the same.  

Update your LinkedIn profile accordingly to make sure your page mirrors your résumé without any alarming questions. Keep your primary e–mail public and always have an appropriate profile photo. If you use other social media accounts as job hunting tools, take the time to curate your profile to accurately represent you and what you are looking for in the professional world.  

In summary, the same CareerBuilder survey referenced above also found that 54% of employers found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate. With the number of employers and recruiters actively using social media as a tool to screen candidates increasing, it’s important to educate everyone conducting job searches today—from college students just entering the job force to executives changing jobs or careers—about the importance of protecting and cleaning up their digital presence.  

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive online job search system available! 

The post Clean Up Your Social Media for Future Employers appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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Three Steps to Building a Successful Job Search Plan

Looking for a job isn’t what it used to be. Today’s job search is an activity that requires organization, planning and scheduling. In fact, one of the most important building blocks of any job search is effective planning. The challenge is that while serious job searchers are committed to the job search, they often have trouble with the job search schedule and can’t get organized or find the time.   

In order to execute a job search plan successfully, it is vital to commit to three actions:  

  1. Block out a certain amount of time 
  2. Complete a set of activities in the right order  
  3. Track your progress every day   
Block Out Time  

This does not mean that you have to schedule time each and every day for job searching; do what is feasible in your life and current workload. However, it is important to commit to, and stick with, how much time you will spend on your job search. The more effort and time you can spend on job search will likely result in better outcomes faster!  

Carve out specific blocks of time for job search activities and put them on your calendar. Whatever the commitment is, make appointments with yourself in your calendar. Whether you use online schedulers or a paper calendar, be sure you stick to your schedule.   

Complete a Set of Activities  

Specific activities are the heart of your job search. They include things like researching potential companies and submitting applications, and they have to be repeated over and over until you land that new job. The specific activities and their order include:  

  • Preparing to Job Search – This includes organizing your technology, job search tools, communication methods, and documents.  
  • Researching – You should be reading up on industry news, conducing internet or library searches, researching potential companies, and preparing for interviews.  
  • Networking – Find out if there are industry events or external meetings to attend, or groups you can join. Spend time on LinkedIn connecting with old colleagues or new ones.  
  • Applying or Cold Calling – Build and refine your network list, contact your network list via phone or e-mail, or send out ‘candidate packets.’  
  • Following Up – Be sure to follow up by sending thank you notes (via e-mail) or contact hiring managers. You actually need to follow up three times after making the initial contact.  
  • Rehearsing – Build and refine interview questions, draft scripts for phone calls, write draft e-mails before sending. Practice interviews by role playing.  

For the best results, specify which activity you will do in a given hour and stay in that activity. When you schedule an hour or two–hour block don’t just say ‘job search.’ Pick a particular activity to focus on and write it down. For example, you might say, ‘build my professional network list’ or ‘update my LinkedIn profile.’ Then that’s what you do for that blocked off amount of time.  

Track Your Progress  

Regular tracking of job search activities reinforces that job search is your number one priority. It prevents wasting time and ensures effectiveness and efficiency. It will also help to accelerate the speed in which you get to the finish line, which is landing your new job.  

Be comfortable with the type of calendar technology you use. Whatever you normally use for calendaring, use that for job search. Document every activity you do and what you need to do to follow up. For example, if you go to an evening network event where you’ve collecting business cards, you need to follow up with these contacts the next morning and that activity goes on the calendar. The calendar serves as a record of all the things you have done and all the things yet to do.  

In summary, finding a new job should be treated like a job, which means committing to a schedule and completing the activities that make up a successful job search. By getting into a routine to conduct the job search steps of preparation, research, networking, and completing applications, you can avoid falling back in that old job search pattern of random tasks and frustration. 

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive online job search system available! 

The post Three Steps to Building a Successful Job Search Plan appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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8 Tips to Up Your Small Talk Game 

Smartphones help us avoid face-to-face conversations. While technology can help people connect with one another, face-to-face conversations are still as important as ever. One often overlooked, but essential, conversation style is small talk. While it isn’t always easy, people really can improve and avoid the awkward silences.  

 I reached out across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbara Davidson in the United Kingdom and she shared the following about the importance of getting better at making small talk. “Small talk is a fact of life. And while some people are naturals, the rest of us struggle to know what to say during casual chit-chat. Those awkward silences grow painful, and leave you feeling like a social failure!” 

So, the next time your mind runs blank, consider following these pointed techniques to keep yourself engaged and present in conversational small talk.  

  1. Make eye contact. This helps build a sense of trust, which makes it easier to talk to each other. Even if you’re shy, try looking your small talk partner in the eye, and varying your look to their other eye and mouth every few moments.  
  2. Come up with alternative ways to ask classic questions. Rather than saying: “What do you do for a living?” say something like: “What’s keeping you busy these days?” 
  3. Look for non-confrontational conversation topics and stay away from hot-button topics like politics or religion. Think FORD: Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams. Try to keep your questions to those four general topics.  
  4. Listen carefully and ask for details about what the other person is saying instead of searching your mind for the next new topic to bring up. Conversations are easier when you ramp-up the empathy as you listen. 
  5. Repeat or restate something the other person has said in your own words. This indicates you are paying attention and engaged in what the other person is saying.  
  6. Communicate with positive body language. Be sure to face the other person, keep your arms uncrossed and your sides, and lean in slightly.  
  7. Discuss where you are. Obviously, you are both in the same physical space; use this as a conversation starter and ask about any music that might be playing or food they are serving.  
  8. Exit gracefully. When the encounter is over, incorporate the phrase “I need.” This places the burden on ending the conversation on you and shows you aren’t leaving because of boredom.  

Barbara Davidson’s full article and accompanying infographic further details the tips to help improve your small talk game.  

Small talk is a learned skill like any other. Learning how to do it better can have positive benefits for your career, social life, and the way you feel inside. Once you’ve mastered these tips you will be more comfortable with small talk and can leave talking about the weather to the weather reporters.  

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive job search system available! 

The post 8 Tips to Up Your Small Talk Game appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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Embracing Employment Gaps and Career Changes in Your Résumé

Working for one company for a long period of time or having gaps in employment history does not have to be a deal breaker when seeking a new job or career change. People move in and out of the workforce for many reasons. It does not mean you can’t jump back in or leap over to another employer; just make sure that your résumé tells the story.   

I recently held a Job Search Master Class® webinar where I received a lot of questions from attendees about how to handle gaps in their résumé and how to diversify their experience if they worked for the same employer for many years. So, I know it’s on the minds of many job seekers today.  

To start, it’s important to note that all résumés should follow three major principles of résumé excellence. While these principles apply to all résumés, those re-entering the workforce or seeking to break out of a long career trajectory, will need them to rise to the top.  

  • Searchability—Optimize the key word search, to be found by the robots (e.g., applicant tracking systems, email systems, job boards, résumé databases, social media and web search engines). Find out the key words and key phrases that trigger you to be found in your desired job area.  
  • Easy to Read—Ensure the résumé is well-formatted online and in print so it reads clearly. Make sure you have a lot of white space, bulleted text, and easy-to-scan headings. Use a limited number of fonts-no more than two.  
  • Quantitative—Insert numbers or percentages and quantify experiences wherever possible. Quantification can mean how close you were to top managers or what percentage of code you wrote this year over last year.  

The following highlights scenarios for job seekers who have had the same employer for many years or have gaps in employment.  

Scenario:  Same employer for many years   
  • When the majority of your job experience comes from one employer, break out your experiences and job responsibilities as separate activities. 
  • If you changed positions within the company, list the different titles and break out experiences as bullets underneath.  
  • One of my clients sought a new job after 22 years with the same employer. She landed a CFO position at a new company because she was able to represent her years of experience independently. She broke out her specific skills and used the important keywords for her new job on her résumé.  
Scenario: Gaps in employment   
  • Gaps in employment history are very common. I work with many military spouses who have huge gaps because they have been overseas and could not work. Sometimes, they have been raising kids or caring for older parents for years.  
  • Taking time off from work to pursue education creates an employment gap. There are many life circumstances that lead to gaps.  
  • Treat the reason for your gap as the job description. Describe the activities you did as caregiving for a child or parent, returning to school for a graduate degree, or travelling the world. Be sure to list any and all volunteer work, whether it’s helping out at your child’s school, working with seniors at community center, or volunteering at the library or food bank; volunteer tasks can translate well to job qualifications.  
  • I recently helped a client who raised three children for 18 years and who didn’t think she would qualify for a job. We included the skills she has as a result of caregiving, volunteering and her hobby of photography on her résumé. She landed a job as a college recruiter for a big company, where she didn’t need technical skills to start.  
  • You don’t need to call them gaps, either! 

There are many jobs and positions where your background will shine, and where your skills and experience are perfect for the right employer. Create a résumé that shows how you embrace your life chapters and aren’t afraid to get back into the workforce or start over at a new company.  

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive job search system available! 

The post Embracing Employment Gaps and Career Changes in Your Résumé appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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Mom’s Thank-you Notes and Follow Up

Turns out, your mother was right! Sending thank you notes is the right thing to do. However, in the job search process it is also required. The benefit in conducting good job search follow up is that it shows great persistence and professionalism. You can use the opportunity to expand, reinforce or clarify something that you discussed in the interview. Finally, it prevents the interviewers from forgetting about you (which they may) and it shows that you really want their job. 

As a former hiring manager, I can tell you, with certainty, that one of the weakest parts of candidates’ job search steps is their follow up. So, now that you know better, there’s no excuse for inadequate follow up.  

Start by sending your thank you note via e-mail 24-48 hours after your interview. You want the interview to be fresh in your mind and in the company’s! Address a note to each person with whom you met; no group e-mails. Be sure you have spelled everyone’s names correctly and write every e-mail with perfect grammar and a full signature with your full name, phone number and e-mail.  

The Flow of a Well-crafted Thank You Note Includes: 
  • Thank them for the opportunity to meet and acknowledge that they took the time to do so. 
  • Using bullets, highlight between one and three reasons why you’re the best fit for the role. Your goal here is to remind them why you would be a good fit.  
  • Close by hitting these three points: Express your interest, commit to following up again within a specified timeframe (ideally in a week), and thank them, again, for their time and consideration.  

Now, you cannot sit back and wait for a response. Unless and until you hear definitively about the job, you will send up to three follow up e-mails. Yes, three.  

Space them seven days apart. Each follow up note should begin with pleasantries, then contain a sentence explaining where you left off in your last communication with them. Something like: “You had indicated to me that you’d be making your final decision during the week of, and I just wanted to follow up to see where you are in that decision.” Then, rather than continue to pester them about when the decision will be made, take the opportunity to include something of value about you; mention training you just completed, discuss a deal you closed, or highlight a project you finished. Close the thank you note by indicating that you intend to follow up again in another week.  

3 Tricks to Great Follow Up: 
  1. Always appear gracious, positive, patient, and interested. Minimize the use of “I, me and my.” 
  2. When following up via e-mail, always attached the prior e-mail you are referring to.  
  3. Match your communications medium to the one the interviewer has been using; return e-mails with e-mails, but if they call you, return their call.  

Practice writing thank you note e–mails and get a friend to read them for feedback. It may not be second nature to send up to four thank you and follow up notes to a prospective employer, but this could be the difference between being forgotten and standing out.

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive job search system available! 

The post Mom’s Thank You Notes and Follow Up appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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7 Questions to Ask in Your Next Job Interview  

Ok, you landed an interview at one of your top companies to work for! Great job. Now, I’d like to share one of my tried and true interview tips before you get to the meeting—ask strong questions in the interview. Believe it or not, the questions you ask in an interview can help you OR knock you out of the running for the job.   

Before he became my client, Joseph had an interview with the hiring manager for a position he really wanted. He researched the company, re–read the job description, and brushed up on his top strengths and weaknesses. He was on time and did well during the interview…until the last 15 minutes. When the manager asked, “Joseph, what questions do you have for me?” he wasn’t prepared to answer this question and he sabotaged his odds of winning this job.  

When I started working with Joseph, I developed scenarios to get him thinking differently. These apply to anyone headed into a job interview.   

  • Scenario #1: Joseph didn’t have any questions prepared. Mistake! Solution #1: Prepare your questions, write them down, and bring them with you to the interview. As a matter of fact, show your interviewer that you have them written down and they will be impressed with your preparation.  
  • Scenario #2: Joseph asked, “What is the starting salary?” Mistake! Solution #2: Never talk salary, even in ranges. As a matter of fact, don’t ask anything financial in nature, such as benefits. Your mission is to get an offer in hand. Once you do, you can ask questions and possibly negotiate, but not before.  
  • Scenario #3: Joseph asked, “Is there a training program or structured on-boarding process?” Mistake! Solution #3: Think about the perception you are creating with your questions. In this case, the interviewer may think: “He needs hand-holding and may be too high maintenance for me. I need someone who knows how to do this.” If a training program is mentioned in the job description or on the company website, then it is appropriate to ask for more insights about the structure, length, etc.  
  • Scenario #4: Joseph asked, “What does your division or company do?” Really big mistake! Solution #4: It is still shocking how many job seekers ask this question. With the web, calling people you know, social media, and many other resources, there is no excuse for not knowing what a company does. Research what their department or division does, as well. Tip: One of my favorite resources is your local city’s Business Journal, both their online resources and the printed publication. Find your city’s resource here  

Ok, so what are good questions to ask in an interview? Below are my top 7 questions for you to ask in your next interview. You won’t get to all seven, and you need to pick the right questions for the right audience, so read carefully and choose the ones that are right for you.  

  1. I’m very self-motivated. How will you measure my success in this position after one full year?  
  2. The first 30 days are very important for me to meet as many team members as possible. How will you recommend I do that?  
  3. What are the top three skills or experiences you are looking for that may not be mentioned in the job description?  
  4. Of all the people who have worked for you, what are the characteristics of those who have stood out as great performers? 
  5. I have to admit I’m a perfectionist in some areas. What are the aspects of this position that absolutely require precision and attention to detail? 
  6. Of all the criteria you have outlined for this position, what are the top three in stack rank order?  
  7. The position we are discussing is something I am very excited about. Do I have your support to proceed to the next level of the hiring process? (This is called “going for the close” or “asking for the order” in sales.)  

As an experienced hiring manager and interviewer, I am impressed when a candidate brings out a piece of paper with their questions written out. It means they are prepared, thoughtful and thorough. It’s even better when they write down the answers I gave under each question! I know that’s the type of employee I want on my team and most hiring managers would feel the same.  

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive job search system available! 

The post 7 Questions to Ask in Your Next Job Interview appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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Get Results from Career or Job Fairs! 

If you have ever been to a career or job fair, you know that standing out and making a good impression are keys to success. Following my basic, but important, rules of what to do before, during and after a career or job fair will prepare you for success and boost your confidence. And while job offers will not be made at the job fair, if you follow through with these steps, you could be on your way toward a successful interview at the company of your choice! 

Before the Career or Job Fair 
  • Map out your plan of attack.  
  • Secure a list of companies attending the job fair.  
  • Pick your top ten companies to target so you can move to those booths or tables at the beginning.  
  • Research; find positions you want on each company’s website and bring copies of the job descriptions to the fair! 

Script your answers to the two questions you be asked frequently: “Tell me about yourself” and “What are you looking for?” Prepare concise answers to each and be ready to give the recruiter a clear sense of your background and the specific positions you are targeting.  

At the Career or Job Fair  

Keep in mind that your main objective at the fair is to get the name, title and e-mail of the primary contact within the company who hires in your field.  

Arrive early! Walk around to get a feel for the layout and where each of your targeted employers is located. Decide with whom you want to speak and in what order. Approach the company table and introduce yourself with a strong handshake and eye contact. Pick up any of their literature, job listings and other material. Take notes on what you learn from the company representative. Show that you are alert, enthusiastic and confident. State your specific job goals and communicate how your goals fit with the needs of the company. 

If you created a personal business card, which I recommend, give it to the recruiter. Do not use a business card from your current employer with your work phone and e–mail. Be sure to collect business cards from the company representatives and write down everything you learn from each employer.  

If there is a company that you really want to work for, but they are not hiring for your field, approach the recruiter and ask: “Who should I contact in your company for a position in my field (e.g., computer programming)?” They might invite you to send your résumé to them and forward it.   

Before you leave, go back to the companies you really want to work for. Wait until the recruiter is free. Walk up and thank him or her for their time. This lasting impression is very important for future contact. Remember, they may be talking to 50 -100 people, and it is best if they can remember your name and face over all the other candidates!  

After the Career or Job Fair  

Connect with the company representatives you met 24 to 48 hours after the event! Send a thank you e-mail referencing your meeting at the fair. Examples: 

  • Here are the qualifications and experience I bring to the position…<3 bullet points.>  
  • I would appreciate the opportunity to speak to you further in an interview.  
  • I will e-mail you next week to arrange a time when we can further discuss how my skills can benefit your organization.   

Connect via LinkedIn by writing a personal connection message from your computer and not via the LinkedIn mobile app. Today, the app makes it very hard to write a professional connection request.  

Finally, after the event, be sure write down your notes about the day: whom you met, what you learned, additional research to be done, networking opportunities, etc. Keeping track of all this information will come in handy when you get the call to come in for an interview!  

Join Dana Manciagli’s Job Search Master Class® now and get the most comprehensive job search system available! 

The post Get Results from Career or Job Fairs! appeared first on Job Search Master Class®.

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