How to Leverage Your Resume to Negotiate Salary

Leverage Resume to Negotiate Salary

Negotiating salary can be a challenge for many people.  It is the topic of many books, seminars, blogs, etc.  You can give yourself an immediate advantage right out of the gate however by having an excellent resume and by being prepared.  Of course, the resume is only a part of the hiring process, knowing how to interview is the other part, which is a topic for another day.

Your resume gives the reader a first impression of who you are and what you can bring to the organization.  This first impression can act as an anchor, framing the mind of the reader to think you are at the low, mid, or high end of the performance and professionalism spectrum.  Obviously, you want to anchor the mind of the reader to think that you are on the top performing end of the spectrum.  This is where you can have leverage.

So how do you make a strong first impression with your resume?  Let’s look at some key components.

 

Demonstrate your achievements and the value you bring

It is very important to highlight the career achievements that are most relevant, relatable to your target job, and that they are clear to understand.  In many cases we include a “career highlights” or “notable achievements” section near the top of a resume so it grabs the readers attention.  Further, you need to clearly understand and define your bottom line message of how you can help the organization you are wanting to work for.  Answer this question: “What can you do, and what can you offer an organization that no other candidate can?”  In order to answer this you need to know yourself well and clearly understand your target job positions.

 

Move beyond the job descriptions

It is important to create context in your resume by letting the reader know what you did in your past or current role.  But what is critical to this is that you explain to the reader what the results were of your efforts.  In other words, you want to provide statements about what actions you performed and what the positive results were for the organization.  Knowing how your actions impacted the organization you work(ed) for will also communicate to the reader that you are not just in it for yourself but for the good of the organization as well.  Resumes that are only a job description will give you no leverage for negotiating salary.

 

Showing your experience

Before writing your resume, you want to completely understand the job positions you are targeting.  This may be no big deal if you are making a lateral job change, but if you are making a vertical jump, you need to be prepared.  A key part of being prepared is by understanding the experience that the hiring manager will be looking for and effectively communicating that you have that experience in your resume.  One suggestion is to read the job postings of your target job, make a list of the key areas of experience the organization is looking for, and then write down some examples of relatable experience.  Do this before you write your resume to give yourself some framework.

If you can concisely capture your accomplishments, define your value, show the results of your work, and relate your experience in your resume in an eye-catching document you will have a leg up.  Your resume will now be working for you.  During an interview or salary negotiation you can reference your resume, for example: “As you have read in my resume I have extensive experience managing ABC while improving XYZ to accomplish LMNOP, this combined with my ability to EFG is why I feel I am the top candidate for this position.”

 

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Phone Interview Tips for Job Seekers

Phone Interview Tips

For many applicants the phone interview is what stands between you and the in-person interview you need to seal the deal for the new job you are after.  There are some great phone interview tips to help you get a step closer to you where you want to be in your career.

REMEMBER THESE TIPS AND YOU’LL DO BETTER THAN 95% OF YOUR JOB SEEKING COMPETITORS WHO RECEIVE CALLS…

 

  1. Be informed about the company and its products. This means do homework (research) on target companies BEFORE they call for an interview.
  2. Be enthusiastic and positive. “I’m glad you called. XYZ is the best medical facility in the County, and I’m excited about the chance to be a part of your team!”
  3. Ask questions in a proactive manner without waiting until the end of the interview to be asked if you have any questions. “What do you see as the major challenge facing your department?” or “What are the most important attributes the person you plan to hire should possess?”
  4. Do not ramble. Stay within a few clear and descriptive sentences that address the topic.
  5. Provide answers that tell a vivid story, not just vague descriptors of your value. Always try to give a concrete example or proof with items like who, what, where, when, how, and with what result.

HANDLING THE FIRST 5 MINUTES OF THE CALL

  1. Answer the phone with a happy, upbeat voice. Don’t answer sleepy-sounding or grumpy and perk up upon learning it’s someone calling about a job. Too late, you already turned the caller off.
  2. Be in a quiet place with time to talk. Sound composed, confident, and enthusiastic with knowledge of the company.
  3. Take the lead in the conversation. Open with a sincere appreciation – “so glad you called,” etc. Show enthusiasm for the company, what you’ve heard, seen, used, etc.
  4. Continue to take the initiative after being told who/why is calling. Don’t sit and wait for the assault. Ask questions first to avoid rambling on about details of yourself or sounding desperate. “Before I start telling you about myself, could you describe to me your ideal candidate for the position?”…“What are you looking for this person to achieve?”…“What is the long-term focus of the company?”…”What are your biggest challenges?”…“Is this a growth position?”
  5. Be sure to have a notepad, the resume/letter you sent, and the job description at hand from the start.

 ENDING THE CALL

  1. Ask if there is anything else they would like to know that you did not provide with your answers.
  2. Ask what happens next and what you might expect.
  3. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and reiterate your interest in the opportunity.

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    Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

5 Ways to Woo Hiring Managers During The Interview Process

Interview Advice

Preparation is key to having a successful interview.  Making a strong impression and giving the proper consideration to those who are interviewing you, including hiring managers, will go a long way.  Here are some great tips to help you prepare.   

Original article click here.

 

While it’s easy to think you’re the center of attention during a job search or interview, you’re actually wrong.

Although 92 percent of job seekers fear something about the interview process, hiring managers have a lot of pressure, too. Hiring managers are expected to select candidates who possess strong skills and experience while also making a great cultural fit.

As you prepare for your upcoming job interview, here are five things to keep in mind that will help the hiring manager make a decision in your favor:

1. Think ahead and be prepared.

Landing a job interview is like striking gold. After weeks of searching for jobs, submitting applications, and networking with employers, securing a job interview is a rewarding feeling.

When the interview process begins, the hiring manager may follow up with you before the job interview itself. Whether it’s via phone or email, be prepared for this communication. This initial contact is a chance for the hiring manager to screen you prior to the interview.

If the hiring manager schedules a phone call before your interview, have all of your bases covered. Thoroughly research the company, have your resume in front of you, and a list of references available. You should also have a few questions prepared just in case because this shows the hiring manager you are eager to land the job and will be prepared for the upcoming interview.

2. Relax and be yourself.

During every job interview, hiring managers want to learn about the real you. Sure, while they don’t care about the fact you love watching Netflix on the weekends, they do care about what makes you unique.

When you enter the job interview, think of it as another networking opportunity. The only difference is you need to market your best qualities and skills to the interviewer. Tell the interviewer about your work-related interests, relevant experience, and things you enjoy most about your career.

3. Demonstrate why you love the company.

Hiring managers love talking to candidates who’ve invested their time in getting to know the company and develop a relationship with it. During the interview, explain to the interviewer how you genuinely care about the growth of the company and how you plan to contribute to its success.

Take a look at any unique challenges the organization faces and come up with some solutions to the problem. This shows hiring managers you’ve done your research and you’re enthusiastic about working for their organization.

4. Prove your interpersonal communication skills.

Anyone can say they’re a team player or they are good listeners. However, to help hiring managers make a good decision, you need to be able to prove these interpersonal communication skills.

To prove your interpersonal communication skills, be ready to answer any question regarding your experience working in a team or making decisions. Bring plenty of accomplishment stories relating to your communication skills that demonstrate your success working in a team, too. This will show the hiring manager what you can accomplish and the strength of your communication skills.

5. Follow up with what you learned from the interview.

Every job seeker knows you need to follow up with a thank you letter after the interview. However, to make a sincere first impression, you should share what you learned from the interview in your thank you note. This shows the hiring manager you paid attention to details during the interview and were genuinely invested in the opportunity.

When job seekers understand what hiring managers expect out of a job interview, it can make the interview run more smoothly and work in your favor. Always remember to do your homework on the employer, prepare relevant accomplishment stories, and remember to ask thoughtful questions. This will give you the opportunity to help the hiring manager make a better decision and choose you for the position.

What tips do you have for helping the interviewer during the hiring process?

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Your Resume is Only the Start, Do You Know How to Interview?

Interview

Having a professionally written resume, personalized cover letter, and updated LinkedIn profile may get you callbacks and interviews, but will these things actually get you the job?  No!  You must also excel at your interview to be considered for the job and to negotiate a salary.  There is huge amount of interview prep material available online, in libraries or through the help of a professional interview coach so we are going to narrow this article down to a few key points for you to consider while you prepare for your interview.

Preparation is Key

You’ve probably heard this a million times over but there’s a reason why.  Preparation makes a huge difference.  While preparing for an interview seems like a fundamentally easy thing to do, it can be a huge challenge.  Time and attention are 2 major factors that can derail your preparation ambitions.  So here is a suggestion:

  • Write out what specifically you need to prepare for or practice. This could mean a specific question like “what is a weakness of yours?”, or brushing up on metrics and achievements you haven’t given recent thought to.  Make a checklist if it helps.
  • Work backwards and schedule time each day to practice and prepare. If your interview is in a couple weeks, or even in a week, 15 minutes a day may be enough. But DO IT EVERY DAY.
  • Mark off the consecutive days on a wall calendar that you prepare. You will start a chain, don’t break the chain!
Do your Research

Learn as much about the company and the position you are applying for so you can be prepared with the right questions.  You need to make sure that the position is a good fit for you.  You may be able to find some insider information or previous employee reviews on websites like glassdoor.com.  Also, doing this type of research will prime you to think about how your current position and accomplishments relate to the job you are applying for.  You may be able to anticipate some questions that could arise in the interview.

Invest in Yourself

You are worth investing in.  You may be considering a job that requires a certification.  Get that certification!  You will impress yourself with your ability to learn, you will gain knowledge others within your future organization may rely on, and it could mean a higher salary.  Engage in self-improvement, travel adventures, books, and hobbies.  Doing interesting things outside of work gives you something interesting to talk about with coworkers or hiring managers and helps boost your image of being a dynamic and rounded individual.

Feel Confident

Do things to help you feel more confident.  For some this may include going to the gym, excersicing to gain strength or endurance, and for others this may mean freshening up your image with new clothes and hairstyle.  Challenging yourself with obtaining a new certification or college course can give you a big boost.  This confidence will roll over into your interview and greatly improve your odds.  We aren’t talking about being a braggart, just a steady, smiling confidence.  This also comes back to preparation.  The more you prepare the more confident your will feel in your interview.

Get Help

If you are unsure about how to prepare for an interview, ask for help.  Even if this means you hire an interview coach, you are worth it.  Competition is heating up in the job market and you owe it to yourself to help yourself anyway you can to land the job you want.  We believe in you, you should believe in yourself too!  Best of luck!

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Executive Interview Tips

Executive Interview

There is a plethora of resources that exist for how to prepare for an executive level interview including books, online articles such as this, interview coaches, seminars, YouTube video.  We are sharing a few points we feel are important to your interview success.  

Be Prepared to answer unstructured questions

When open ended questions are inevitably asked such as “Tell us about yourself”, be prepared to seize the moment and offer some positive insight, open up about your career trajectory, and focus on your strengths. Be careful though, accordingly to Fast Company There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?”  You are better off considering the type of information a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for.  Think about the qualities they want in a candidate and apply your strengths to answer this common question.

Let your accomplishments be known

It’s no surprise that interviewers and hiring managers are looking for someone effective to bring on board their organization. Prepare in advance to hit on a few key accomplishments that truly demonstrate how effective you can be.  Capture your opportunities by listening closely to the interviewers and interject with a relevant accomplishment.  Use the CAR (challenge, action, response) to paint a picture of the situation, how you acted, and what the outcome was. Entertain your listeners as best you can with a brief but powerful story.  Remember to finish your accomplishment example with how your decision positively affected other people involved, whether it was a satisfied client, a boost in office morale, increase in stock price etc.  Also, keep in mind that demonstrating your accomplishments should not come across as bragging, but offering insightful information about how you handle adversity.

Be human, mention a weakness

Give time for self-reflection in advance of your interview and offer your interviewers and hiring manager a genuine response about a weakness you feel you have.  According to the Harvard Business Review “When leaders showcase their own personal growth, they legitimize the growth and learning of others; by admitting to their own imperfections, they make it okay for others to be fallible, too.”  Don’t stop there, explain what you are actively doing to turn your weakness into a strength.

Tips for Discussing your last position
  1. Explain perceived “job-hopping”.  Perhaps on paper it looks like you’ve bounced around a little too much in the past 5 years.  Or perhaps a company you worked for was acquired.  Be honest and forthcoming with your transitions, following up with a statement explaining where you want to land.
  2. Leaving your last position. You may be asked why you left your last job.  Give an honest answer, even if there was conflict, and keep the mood and the tempo of the interview upbeat.  Perhaps you can explain your decision in a way that you wanted to make a move to grow and develop, or were looking for a new or different kind of challenge.

 

Do your research

Whether you are changing industries or are looking for a new position within the same industry, do your research.  Not only about the company but industry trends.  Offer up some insights and your perceptions of the industry to your interviewers.  An interviewer may ask how you would handle a company or industry specific issue and you will need to be prepared.

 

Closing the Interview

You are essentially selling yourself in an interview, right?  Treat an interview the same as a sales opportunity and be prepared to close the deal if you think it is a good fit.  BlueSteps suggests you close with “I’m very excited about this opportunity. What’s our next step?”  Clearly let the interviewers know that you are interested (if you are) and remember to be enthusiastic and smile.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

 

Interview Tips to Help You Land the Job You’re After

Interview Tips

Being aware of the most current job interview tips and best practices is valuable, but so is knowing what not to do. Recognizing some of the most common interviewing “don’ts” can help you present a favorable and honest picture of your skills and experience.

Here are some job interview tips regarding frequent mistakes and how to avoid them.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

This may seem like the most obvious of job interview tips, but some candidates don’t give preparation the attention it deserves. Prepare by mentally rehearsing your answers to common job interview questions (such as “Why do you want to work here?”), but also ask yourself what you’d like to know if you were the interviewer. Doing so can help you respond with confident answers.

Be flexible and confident

Preparation includes being ready for anything. Rather than thinking of off-the-wall questions or an unexpected turn to the conversation as intimidating, go into the interview with the attitude that no matter what you’re asked, you’ll be getting the chance to show that you can think on your feet.

Understand interview question types

In addition to being ready for the possibility of off-the-wall questions, be aware that the interviewer could employ four other types of questions: closed-ended, open-ended, hypothetical and leading. Understand that while short answers are fine when answering closed-ended questions, your answers to other types of questions will likely need to be a little more detailed and expansive.

Learn seven more common interview mistakes to avoid to increase your chances of making a favorable impression.

Research your target company

A survey from our company found the biggest mistake applicants make in interviews is not knowing enough about the firm. Do some digging on the Web, tap members of your network for their insights and work with a recruiter who can offer additional information about the firm.

Master your communication skills

Keep your responses to interview questions concise. When asked a question, take a deep breath, pause and collect your thoughts before you begin to speak. Avoid verbal crutches (such as um, like and uh) and refrain from making jokes or discussing controversial subjects.

Manage your emotions

Not exaggerating your interest or qualifications is one of our most important job interview tips. While it’s necessary to express enthusiasm for the position, candidates who answer every question with upbeat eagerness may come across as insincere. It’s also important to avoid overstating your qualifications.

Be positive

No list of job interview tips would be complete without this advice. Avoid disparaging comments regarding former employers, colleagues and companies. Also stay away from self-deprecating comments, which do not support a positive image or demonstrate competence.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Tell me about yourself—Ways to answer this interview question

interview questions

This ice-breaking yet important interview question has a way of making candidates blurt out their life stories. But is that what potential employers want to hear?

Original article click here.

It’s one of the most frequently asked interview questions: Tell me about yourself. Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview. For some, this is the most challenging question to answer, as they wonder what the interviewer really wants to know and what information they should include.

When an interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself,” the interviewer wants information that is pertinent to the job you’re interviewing for.

Eleanor dreaded this question. When it was the first one asked at her interview, she fumbled her way through a vague answer, not focusing on what she could bring to the job.

“I’m happily married and originally from Denver,” she began. “My husband was transferred here three months ago, and I’ve been getting us settled in our new home. I’m now ready to go back to work. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, usually customer service-related. I’m looking for a company that offers growth opportunities.”

The interview went downhill after that. She had started with personal information and gave the interviewer reason to doubt whether she was an employee who would stay for very long.

  • She’s married, and when her husband gets transferred that means she has to leave; she did it once and can do it again.
  • She has some work experience with customers but didn’t emphasize what she did.
  • She is looking to grow. What about the job she is applying for? Will she stay content for long?

The secret to responding to this free-form request successfully is to focus, script and practice. You cannot afford to wing this answer, as it will affect the rest of the interview. Begin to think about what you want the interviewer to know about you.

Focus

List five strengths you have that are pertinent to this job (experiences, traits, skills, etc.). What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave?

Eleanor is strong in communications and connecting with people. She has a strong background and proven success with customer relationships. Her real strength is her follow-through. She prides herself on her reputation for meeting deadlines.

Follow your script

Prepare a script that includes the information you want to convey. Begin by talking about past experiences and proven success:

“I have been in the customer service industry for the past five years. My most recent experience has been handling incoming calls in the high tech industry. One reason I particularly enjoy this business, and the challenges that go along with it, is the opportunity to connect with people. In my last job, I formed some significant customer relationships resulting in a 30 percent increase in sales in a matter of months.”

Next, mention your strengths and abilities:

“My real strength is my attention to detail. I pride myself on my reputation for following through and meeting deadlines. When I commit to doing something, I make sure it gets done, and on time.”

Conclude with a statement about your current situation:

“What I am looking for now is a company that values customer relations, where I can join a strong team and have a positive impact on customer retention and sales.”

Practice

Practice with your script until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement. Your script should help you stay on track, but you shouldn’t memorize it—you don’t want to sound stiff and rehearsed. It should sound natural and conversational.

Even if you are not asked this type of question to begin the interview, this preparation will help you focus on what you have to offer. You will also find that you can use the information in this exercise to assist you in answering other questions. The more you can talk about your product—you—the better chance you will have at selling it.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

7 Steps to Prepare for Your Job Interview

Job Interview Prep

There is a bevy of resources out there on how to prepare for your job interview.  Practice and preparation are a repeating theme among almost all articles, and it’s true.  Read these 7 pointers on how you can prepare for your interview.  Best of luck! 

Original article click here.

Now that you have an interview, there are certain things you will want to do in advance to prepare for it. This article will provide practical tips on how to prepare for a job interview. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, so you’ll want to do you best on preparing for your interview in advance.

1. Pick out what you are going to wear on your job interview:

What you wear on your interview is an absolutely crucial part of how to prepare for a job interview. After you choose your outfit, make sure it is cleaned and pressed and you have the appropriate accessories and shoes to go with it. It doesn’t hurt to try the outfit on ahead of time, just to make sure everything fits and you look great. Then put your outfit aside for day of your interview and have it ready to go. Now that you have this crucial step out of the way, you can concentrate on the rest.

2. Practice greeting your interviewer:

You should always greet your interview with friendly smile and firm handshake. If you do this right, you will set off the right energy and the chances of the interview going well will increase. This is a small and simple step that you should always to do to prepare for your interview.

3. Study your resume and know everything on it:

Any work experience or skills you have listed on your resume are fair game to talk about during the interview. Your resume is all the interviewer has to go by in order to get to know you. They may pick things out from it and ask you to elaborate. Even though you may have a previous job listed that was many years ago, the interviewer may ask you to explain what you did at that job and your are responsible for providing an answer. This is one step you absolutely won’t want to skip on how to prepare for a job interview.

4. Practice your answers to the most common interview questions:

If you don’t know what these are, do your research and find out or see one of my other articles. You’ll want to have your answers ready and practice them. You should always be able to answer “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you think you would be great for this job?” The employer doesn’t know, so it’s up to you to sell it.

Don’t completely memorize your answers so they come out rehearsed, but have a clear idea of what you are going to say. When you are asked, you want your answer to come out intelligently and natural. Be open to other questions as well and really know what you can offer to the company.

5. Research the company and the job position you are applying for:

Write down any questions you may have about either so you can ask during the interview. If there any requirement of the job that you are unsure of, you should definitely ask during the interview. It always looks nice when you go into an interview with intelligent questions. It shows you put effort in preparing for the interview. However, never ask questions just to ask questions. The interviewer will see right through that. Your questions should be genuine and relevant.

6. Find out the type of interview you will be going on:

There are several common types of interviews such as one on one, group, and behavioral. You shouldn’t assume you will get a certain one. Don’t be afraid to ask your recruiter what kind of interview will have if you don’t know – the interview will be more beneficial to both parties if you are prepared.

 

7. Print out the directions to the interview and be on time:

Allow enough time to get there and anticipate traffic. It’s ok to be up to 10 minutes early, but no more than that. Otherwise, the interviewer may not be ready for you. Bring the phone number of your interviewer just in case you get lost or are going to be late. If you are going to be late, call to let the interviewer know.

Follow these tips and you will successfully know how to prepare for a job interview. Interviewers can tell whether or not a candidate has prepared for it or not and they will appreciate it if you did.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

10 Awesome Interview Tips from Actual Hiring Managers

Resume and Interview

This is a great article that provides some insight on the interview process from the people who know it best, and that offer up some stellar interview tips that will increase your odds of landing your new job. 

Original article click here.

When you’re aggressively searching for a job, don’t you wish you had some insight into what the interviewer really wants from you – and doesn’t want?

We’ve found pure, unadulterated comments, complaints and advice from actual recruiters, hiring managers, and HR professionals that they wish job seekers knew.

Take a look at what they had to say, and pay attention. What you see may help you land that job!

Caveat: all hiring managers are different, and what works for one may not work for another. If you can learn from their LinkedIn profile about the person you’ll be meeting with, you may be able to judge which of these tips may work best for them.

1) Know when to be quiet!

  • “It’s OK to stop talking. I’ve interviewed far too many people who just don’t know when to shut up. Some people are nervous. Some people are unsure. Some people don’t think for a second before they start blabbing, and they’re STILL trying to talk over the interviewer as they try steer them towards the next question.” – Reddit
  • One recruiter concurred, saying an otherwise-qualified candidate may dash their chances by being too long-winded during an interview as it may indicate he or she may not be good at picking up on conversational cues and may raise doubts ability the candidate’s ability to organize their thoughts.  – US News
  • Another recruiter said that a candidate who kept silent after being asked a difficult question scored bonus points for not answering too quickly. The interviewer said that the silence indicated that the candidate was mature and confident enough to deal with the pressure appropriately. Silence may indeed be golden. – Pongo Resume

2) Write a unique, well-prepared cover letter!

  • “Cover letters really are important. Oh my god they are so important. Yes, you are repeating much of the same information as your resume, but it’s your chance to show me why it’s relevant to this opportunity. Selling yourself in this manner is a great skill. And so much easier to read than a list. And so much easier to dismiss you if you call the company or the job by the wrong name.” – Reddit 
  • A recruiter stated that a small fraction of applicants take the time to produce a unique cover letter, allowing that candidate to stand out and worthy of consideration even when the resume may not be the best.  – US News
  • Another was blunt in saying that most cover letter “stink,” and that candidates should endeavor to create a brilliant one. When a great cover letter crosses this recruiter’s desk, it influences his or her interest in the author. – The Muse

3) Yes, good manners count!

  • “Don’t interrupt the question being asked, by trying to finish it off yourself as if you and I are on the same wavelength. It’s rude, downright annoying, and honestly it’s pretty cheesy thinking that you are finishing my sentences.” – Reddit
  • “Always be nice to the receptionist/anyone you come in contact with when you show up for the interview. If you’re a jerk to the person at the front desk, there’s a good chance they’ll say something to the person you’re there to see. Plus, it’s never too early to start making friends with support staff.” – Reddit 

4) Be punctual – but don’t arrive too early!

  • One recruiter suggests that a candidate arrive no more than five or ten minutes early. Showing up too long before a scheduled appointment may make an interviewer feel rushed, creating an unfavorable impression even before they’ve set eyes on each other. – US News
  • “Don’t be late either. And if you are, ‘I couldn’t find the building’ or ‘I didn’t think it would take so long to get here’ are terrible excuses. Makes me think you have no research skills and can’t plan ahead.” – Reddit

5) Be prepared!

  • “For goodness sake, do a little research beforehand and have a few questions about the job and or employer lined up. At the end of an interview if I ask the candidate if they have any questions for me (which I always do) and they just sit there slack jawed, it really feels like they don’t really want the job. The interview process is your opportunity to figure out if the job is right for you, use it.” – Reddit 

6) Prove you’re unique!

  • “The most important thing to remember in an interview is that you are competing with other applicants and want to set yourself apart from them. Everyone is qualified for the position, the entire point of the interview is to find out if you can present yourself in real life as well as you do on paper. (And to see if your personality is a good fit for the office.) Your entire job is making them remember you.”  – Reddit

7) Be honest!

  • “Don’t lie…just don’t do it. You will be found out. It might not happen immediately but the truth will come out and what might seem like a small lie will snowball into something out of control.”– Reddit
  • Another recruiter recommended avoiding using “perfectionism” as the answer to the question, “what’s you greatest weakness?” You may come off as disingenuous and may even look like you’re avoiding the question. Not being realistic may make the interviewer think you can’t or won’t come up with a realistic assessment of areas for improvement. – US News

8) Speak up!

  • “It seems so basic, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people – even at senior level – don’t bother to do their homework properly about the companies and people they are being interviewed by. There really is no excuse for it in the age of the internet, and it makes us think ‘why should we employ you when you can’t even be bothered to find out how we work?’” – Career Structure
  • “For goodness sake, do a little research beforehand and have a few questions about the job and or employer lined up. At the end of an interview if I ask the candidate if they have any questions for me (which I always do) and they just sit there slack jawed, it really feels like they don’t really want the job. The interview process is your opportunity to figure out if the job is right for you, use it.” – Reddit 

9) Follow up!

  • An interviewer stated that a thank-you note sent as a follow-up to a meeting isn’t just good manners. More than one in five hiring managers surveyed by CareerBuilder say they are less likely to hire a candidate who didn’t send a thank-you note. – Career Builder
  • “Follow up is huge, in my experience. I don’t see this enough from candidates I interview. Getting an email or a letter from someone I interviewed would make them stand out from the other people applying for the job – both because it’s rare, and because it shows they are actually interested in the position. The follow up shows you’re actually interested in the employer, and that they’re not just one of a hundred employers you’re sending resumes to.”  – Reddit 
  • “Even if you think an offer is in the bag, you can always improve your chances of getting the job if you send a thank-you letter.” – Fast Company 

10) But be patient!

  • “Please don’t follow up every day. It doesn’t show that you’re more dedicated or enthusiastic. At best it will come off as annoying, at worst it will feel like you don’t respect the person’s time. You have to remember that the hiring managers/interview team are making these decisions on top of their regular responsibilities, so don’t get too discouraged if you don’t hear back right away.” – Reddit 
  • “My advice? Send thank you emails after each interview and then wait. If you get another offer in the interim and are going to accept, inform the recruiter. I think every recruiter on the planet wants to give their candidates a first-class experience, but we have limited resources. If you’re too aggressive or unpolished during the interview process, companies will think, ‘Wow, this person is going to be really high maintenance if we do hire them. Pass!’” – Brazen 

Again, every interviewer is different and not all will agree with every single one of the above tips. But we found many hiring professionals each of whom expressed the same opinion on the above topics. Paying attention to these tips may very well help distinguish you from your competitors and help you get the job. Author: Lewis Lustman

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

5 Expert Tips for Interview Success

Interview Success

Having a well prepared resume and getting callbacks for interviews can be a big enough challenge in and of itself.  When you do get the opportunity for a job interview you want to give yourself the best chance possible to land your new job, right?.  Interview success comes with a lot of preparation, practice, and positive thinking.  You can increase your chances of success with these 5 expert tips.  Best of luck!

Original article click here.  Image credit (Robert Daly/ Getty Images)

While it is important to be qualified, it is even more important to create the right impression.

Americans will have at least 10 jobs before retirement, based on current Bureau of Labor Statistics research that shows average job tenure in 2016 was a little over four years. Companies often conduct two or more interviews of a potential candidate before deciding to hire them. This means, at best, most of us must interview at least 20 (and likely 30 to 40) more times before we retire. Like it or not, acing the interview is a must for long-term career growth. Here are five tips for interview success:

1. Dress to gain trust and command respect. In her book “Presence,” Harvard professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy reports that humans are judged on two primary factors – trustworthiness and respectability. Creating an ideal image does not require expensive outfits. It means selecting clothing, accessories, makeup and a hairstyle that command respect in your targeted industry. To portray this image, you have to think about the fit of the clothes, make sure they are wrinkle- and stain-free, look modern and are both age- and profession-appropriate.

2. Show up in the office five minutes before your appointment time. Although that sentence looks simple enough, it has two powerful and often overlooked components: “in the office” and “five minutes.” This does not mean park five minutes before the interview or get in the building security line with five minutes to spare. It means walk through the office or suite door five minutes before your appointment.

While it is clear why running late or cutting it close are not good strategies, the same goes for walking into the office more than five minutes early. Not every company has a huge lobby or waiting area. Arriving too early may mean that you are staring at the person who will interview you and have now obligated him or her to start your meeting earlier than planned.

If you arrive earlier than intended, hang outside the building or even in the bathroom before your ideal time. The extra few minutes will give you time to prepare and ensure that you don’t impose on your interviewer.

3. Arrive prepared. Bring a pen, notebook or portfolio with paper, several resume copies and a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer. Many interviews start first with a request for your resume. Removing a neat, unfolded version from your notebook is an excellent first step.

Next, all interviewers like to know that they have said something useful enough for you to write it down. Jot notes throughout the meeting, no matter how positive you are that you will remember everything. Writing not only tells the interviewer you value her input, but it also gives both of you a break from staring at one another. Furthermore, it can give you a chance to glance at the notes you prepared before the meeting regarding key strengths you want to reference or questions you want to ask.

Finally, remember to look up at least as much as you look at the paper. Writing notes is important, but active eye contact tells the hiring authority you are paying attention.

4. Select real-life examples that display key hiring traits. One of the biggest complaints made by hiring managers is when a candidate seems “all talk.” Candidates who prove they have the desired skills fair better in the interview process. Identify the top desired traits for a role and prepare examples that clearly demonstrate your experience and abilities.

 5. Have a conversation. The best interviews are a give and take. Come prepared to discuss the company, the role, your background, current trends in the industry, the reason for the opening and any recent business events that may impact the interviewer, role, company or industry. Companies want to hire engaged employees who have taken the time to learn about the company and role for which they are applying.

Without this critical preparation, most interviews are merely one-sided exchanges in which the interviewer asks questions and the candidate responds to the question but cannot expand beyond it. The ability to have fluid conversation conveys preparation, intelligence, people skills, active listening and a commitment to your career. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to display these traits in the meeting.

Interview success is more about how the interviewer feels about you than about how well you can do the job. That is not to say that you don’t need to be qualified – you do need to be in the ballpark. However, many highly qualified people get rejected because they do not clearly convey how they are an ideal (and likable) match for the role. While it is important to display your business qualifications, it is even more important to create the right impression.

Securing an interview is a significant accomplishment. Make the most of the opportunity by factoring in these tips for an instant boost in your next interview.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!