3 Tips for Starting a New Job

3 Tips for Starting a New Job

The job search time has been invested.  The efforts are now paid-in-full. Your first day on the job is scheduled. Sweet victory! Now it’s time to focus on exceeding expectations after you join the company. Here are 3 Tips for starting a new job.

1. Make relationships your number one priority.

The first month in a job is an important time to meet new colleagues, both inside and outside of your team. It’s important to continue cultivating those relationships in the months that follow. 

Do this in ways that feel natural to you. If you’re a fan of formal feedback, schedule in periodic feedback chats with your manager and colleagues. If you’d prefer a more casual approach, put in the effort to organize coffee or drinks with coworkers.

Importantly, be sure these efforts are not just focused on your manager or people above you. While it is important to be on the radar of higher-ups, it’s equally critical that others get fair attention. This includes those you work with and who work under you.

Spending all your effort on people above you can be perceived as sucking up—which means you’ll not only not build relationships with other colleagues, but potentially that they’ll distrust your motives. 

2. Write down your goals, and get feedback on them

Your manager might have a very defined set of goals for you, particularly if you’re in a role like sales which typically has very measurable and predetermined targets. If this isn’t the case, however, it’s important to give yourself some goals to work towards. 

Think about it like this: If you haven’t set yourself a target, how will you be able to measure whether you’ve done a good job after six months?

Putting tangible deliverables on paper—even if they change—is a good way to both stay on track as well as to create evidence for your manager and colleagues that you can deliver. This is no doubt helpful for formal reviews but can be equally as useful as a reflection tool to make sure you’re prioritizing the right things. 

You might write your goals in collaboration with your manager and/or colleagues. If you come up with them on your own, however, be sure to seek feedback from (at least) your manager, as you’re still new to the role and want to be sure you’re focusing on the right things. 

Lastly, remember that goals aren’t useful if you simply write them down and forget about them. Schedule yourself reminders to review your progress, either alone or with others, which can give you a chance to re-adjust if things aren’t going as planned. 

3. Keep an open mind and ask questions

While starting a new job can be daunting. There’s a lot to learn, being new to the company also gives you a fresh perspective—and one that can be invaluable to the rest of the team. Since you’re coming in without preconceptions or biases, you may well identify areas for improvement that others have overlooked. 

It’s therefore important that you ask questions when you don’t understand why things are a certain way. Rather than accepting them at face value. Just because a process, standing meeting or team structure exists in a certain way, that doesn’t mean that it’s a big picture ideal.

As a new hire, you’re in a unique place to be able to identify inefficiencies and broken processes. 

That said, approach areas for improvement with curiosity. There’s no room for judgment since there may well be a reason that something is done a certain way. It’s better to appear curious and learn something new than to assume you know the right answer. And potentially be proven wrong.

We hope these 3 Tips for starting a new job help. This can be a very playful time to relax, be yourself and get to know your new work environment.

If you wanted to take it a step further, check our previous entry on Setting Career Goals. We’ve put together 7 helpful tips here: https://powerwritersusa.com/7-success-tips-to-setting-career-goals/

Career Breaks and The Comeback

Career breaks and the comeback

Career breaks occur for all sorts of reasons.  Some may choose to take a step back in favor of dedicated family time.  Others come by a career break following redundancy in the company.  Perhaps you’ve decided to enjoy different experiences, such as traveling or to rediscover your interests. Whatever the reasoning, here are 6 tips on navigating career breaks and the comeback.

Whatever motives got you there, the time may come when you decide to jump back onto the career ladder.

Getting a job can be daunting enough, but it can be even more unnerving once you’ve taken a break from work. You may feel anxious about starting a new job or you may worry that your skills are a little rusty because a lot has changed since you’ve been away from the workplace.

If you feel you’re in this situation, below are six effective tips to help increase your chances of getting hired following a career break.

Six Tips to The Comeback

1. Assess your situation

Many people make the mistake of jumping straight back into the first job they can find. Firstly, if you’re not sure about a job, the interviewer may sense your uncertainty and will be unlikely to take you further in the hiring process.

Secondly, if you secure a job that isn’t suitable for you, you could even find yourself job hopping frequently before you find the right one. It’s therefore important to take some time to assess your situation first and decide what you want to do. Open your mind and remember, what was right for you before your career break, may not be what the best fit is for you now.

2. Update your resume with your career break.

It’s common for a candidate to believe that a gap in their resume will ruin their career.

However, instead of seeing it as a handicap, see it as something positive that can differentiate you from other candidates. If you haven’t been working for a long period of time, don’t hide it. A break can provide lots of benefits that can make you just as, if not more hireable, even if it’s just been a chance for you to take a step back and re-evaluate your future career.

Add all the new skills you may have developed during your break, and explain how these can relate to the job you’re now applying for. 

For example:

Did you take a diploma course specializing in new technology?

Did you do volunteer work and develop your leadership skills, which will help you to lead a team more effectively? 

Or perhaps traveling the world helped to give you a much-needed confidence boost?

3. Network

When looking for your first job after a career break, don’t forget to use your existing connections. Spend some time reaching out to your previous colleagues, clients, friends, and family. Let them know that you’re seeking a new position.

They may have the perfect job for you or be able to point you in the right direction. This is also a good opportunity to prepare any potential references that could support your new job applications.

4. Be prepared for your interview

Before you attend your first interview, make sure you’re prepared to answer questions about your career break. You may be asked why you have a career gap and what you did with your time. Honesty is the first step. Make it clear what you did during your break and why you decided it was the right thing for you to do.

You could tailor your answers to demonstrate how your break will benefit the role you are now applying for. Think critically about some of the concerns an interviewer may have. They may wonder whether you’re ready to get back on the career ladder for example. In this case, explain why you have decided to re-join the workforce, whilst emphasizing your passion, drive, and focus.

5. Look for career returner programs

As well as using job boards to search for jobs, research the various career returner programs that may be available. Deloitte is just one example of an organization that runs this kind of scheme. Their return to work program lasts for 20 weeks and is aimed at men and women who have taken a career break. Whether the break has been for family or other reasons, the scheme provides tailored support and experience to help you readjust to being back at work.

JP Morgan is another business offering a similar scheme. Their global ReEntry Program provides networking and mentorship opportunities to senior executives who are looking to re-join corporate life after taking a career break.

6. Be confident

Whether you’ve been away from work for 12 months or 2 years, getting back into the hiring pool can be nerve-racking. However, the most important thing is that you remain confident in your abilities.

Without confidence, you can easily undervalue what you can offer an employer. Write down your skills and strengths on a piece of paper. Refer to this during your job search, to help give you a boost of energy.

If you’re uncertain, ask friends and family to share their feedback on where your strengths lie. They may offer some suggestions that you had not previously considered.

If you’re concerned that your skills are no longer up-to-date, take a refresher course. Make sure you do your research too. Look at the employer’s website and social media channels.

You should also look at their competitors, read the latest industry news and research industry trends. Knowing you have all the information you need, will help you to be much more confident, especially during interviews.

Everyone has their own career path

Taking a career break is more common than you may think, despite the stigma that is sometimes attached behind how potential candidates will fill that void. Everyone has different career ladders they climb at their own pace depending on what their goals are in life.

So if you’re feeling apprehensive about jumping back into the workforce after a career break, remember these tips to put you on the right path with renewed confidence.

Need to get ready for job search success?  Our team at PWU is here to help.

We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Optimization, Recruiter Services, and Professional Career Coaching.

Book a free 15-min consult here https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

How To Negotiate Salary and Benefits

how to negotiate salary and benefits

When it comes to hiring negotiations employers rarely make their best offer first. Like all business practices, the negotiation process is strategic. Additionally, candidates who intentionally negotiate salary and benefits generally earn more than those who don’t.

Plus, a well-thought-out negotiation shows the strength of your character which, in turn, portrays the powerhouse employee you plan to be.

Prior to the interview, make time to do research. Know the industry salary standards and learn about the company’s current salary and benefits ranges. These understandings will be valuable when asked for your ideal salary.

During the interview, hold off on the money talk.

Honestly, discussing financials too early can be a major cooling point. The time to talk about money is when they’ve fallen in love with you. Once the employer has decided you’re right for the job, then all focus can move to the big money.

Inevitably, of course, you will be asked about salary expectations. It’s a common tendency for people to lowball their salary range. We get it.  Everyone wants to stay in the game when this question comes into play. It helps to specifically know in advance what you want from the position.

Know your worth and consider not just your short-range salary goals but also your long-term career momentum.

The Offer Is On The Table: 3 Tips for Next Steps

Don’t Commit Too Quickly: Employers often offer the job and salary simultaneously. Never say yes right away — even if you like the offer. Tell them you’ll give them an answer within a certain time frame. There is nothing wrong with coming back to try and get more.

Articulate Your Expectations: Consider whatever has a perceived value to you.  This could be time off, flexibility about where you work, autonomy or ownership over a specific area or the basics of job title. Tell the employer what you want from the job, in terms of salary, benefits, and opportunity.

Negotiate Extras: If the employer can’t offer you the salary you want, think about other valuable options that might not cost as much. Remember, education is a great benefit which not only costs employers less to offer but can make a big difference in your long-term marketability.

You also can add a few contingencies showing your confidence in your performance.

You could ask the employer to give you a salary review after six months rather than a year. You could open the discussion for a year-end bonus if you achieve certain goals. It shows that you believe in yourself and are committed to bringing significant value to the organization.

Now, the first step is to get yourself out there! Whether you’re needing a Resume update, Cover Letter, Recruitment Services or LinkedIn optimization, our team at PWU has what you need.

Follow the link for a free resume review and consultation. https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

The Importance of Career Networking

Career Networking

The importance of career networking shouldn’t be discounted when you are in the midst of a job search. In fact, career networking should become a part of your daily work and career-related endeavors.

Your career network should be in place for when you need it, both for job searching and for moving along the career ladder. Since you never know when you might need it, it makes sense to have an active career network, even if you don’t need it today.

What is Career Networking?

Career networking, or “professional” networking, involves using personal, professional, academic or familial contacts to assist with a job search, achieve career goals, or learn more about your field, or another field you’d like to work in.

Networking can be a good way to hear about job opportunities or get an “in” at the company you’d like to work in.

Why Spend Time on Career Networking?

Networking can help you get hired and help you grow your career. LinkedIn reports:

  • 70 percent of people in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection.
  • 80 percent of professionals consider professional networking to be important to career success.
  • 35 percent of surveyed professional say that a casual conversation on LinkedIn Messaging has led to a new opportunity.
  • 61 percent of professionals agree that regular online interaction with their professional network can lead to the way in to possible job opportunities.

Who You Can Network With

You might network with:

  • Past or present coworkers, colleagues, managers, supervisors or employees
  • Past or present clients and customers
  • Business associates
  • Alumni of your undergraduate or graduate alma mater
  • Acquaintances you know from your personal life
  • Acquaintances you know through your spouse or your family
  • People from your church, gym, yoga studio, or community organization
  • Past or present teachers or professors
  • Anyone you meet and have a productive, professional conversation about your career path!


Top 7 Career Networking Tips

1. Include the right people
Your career network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move. It can include past and present co-workers, bosses, friends with similar interests, colleagues from business associations, alumni from your university, or acquaintances you have met via online networking services. Your network can also include family, neighbors, and anyone who might have a connection that will help.

2. Know what your career network can do for you
Over 80% of job seekers say that their network has helped with their job search. Networking contacts can help with more than job leads. They can provide referrals to or insider information about companies you might be interested in working for. They can provide information on career fields you might want to explore or what the job market is like on the other side of the country. Your network can give you advice on where to look for jobs or review your resume.

3. Keep in touch – work your network
Don’t just contact those who can help when you have just been laid-off from your job or decide you want to look for a new position. Keep in touch with your network regularly – even if it’s just a brief email to say hello and to ask how they are doing. People are more willing to help when they know who you are.

4. Give to get – what can you do for your career network?
Networking shouldn’t be a one-way street. If you come across an interesting article or a relevant job listing, share it with your network. The point of having a career network is to have resources who can help, but you should reciprocate whenever you can.

5. Keep track of your network
Keep track of your personal career network somewhere. Whether it’s electronically or on paper, make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to get in touch.

6. Network online 
Online job searching networking does work. Sites like LinkedInFacebook, and a variety of other online networking websites can help you get in touch with other networkers at specific companies, with college affiliations or in a certain geographic area. In addition, if you’re a college graduate, your institute may have an alumni career network you can access.

When networking with people you don’t know, make sure that you know what you want. Are you looking for company information? Do you want to know about job opportunities? Be specific in what you ask for.

7. Attend networking events
Networking in person works, too. If you belong to a professional association, attend a meeting or a mixer. You’ll find that many of the participants have the same goals you do and will be glad to exchange business cards. If your college alma mater holds alumni networking events (many schools hold them at locations across the country) be sure to attend. There are many different types of networking events you can attend.

Career Networking Examples

Here are some examples of how career networking can help:

  • Susan noticed a help-wanted ad for a job at a local veterinary clinic. She called a friend who happened to use that vet. Her friend called the vet and recommended Susan. Susan got an interview and got the job. The vet was glad to hire someone who came highly recommended by a good client.
  • John was interested in pursuing a career in medicine. He mentioned his interest to a family friend who happened to be a doctor. The doctor arranged for John to spend a day shadowing him at the hospital and provided an excellent recommendation for medical school.
  • Angela was interested in changing careers and moving from public relations to publishing. Even though she graduated more than a few years ago, she tapped her college career network and came up with a contact at a top New York publishing firm. In addition to being sent new job postings, her resume was hand-delivered to Human Resources when she found a position she wanted to apply for.
  • In casual conversation at the orthodontist’s office, Jeannie, the assistant, just happened to mention to a patient’s mom that she was interested in horses and in a part-time job working with them. The mom had horses and a bunch of contacts. Jeannie had a part-time job working on a local horse farm by the end of the week!.

Why Career Networking Works

As you can see, career networking really does work and it’s importance to have a viable network in place throughout your career and to use your network to your advantage when job searching or exploring career options.

Original article click here.


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!

12 Things Successful People Do In The First Week Of A New Job

Successful at new job

Stepping into a new position can seem intimidating but it doesn’t have to be.  We’ve all been through it but we do know ways to make it easier.  Here is a list of 12 things successful people do in the first week of a new job to make their first impression a good one. 

Original article click here.

Thousands of workers will be heading to a new job this month, excited and nervous to prove they’ve got what it takes.

After the flurry of hiring that typically happens in the first quarter, the fall tends to be the second-biggest hiring period of the year, according to career coach Kathleen Brady, author of “Get a Job!” and the director of career development at Georgian Court University. Employers refocus on their top initiatives and capitalize on any remaining budget for new hires.

For all those newbs hanging their coats on a new office chair, that means it’s time to get to work. “The first three months of any new job are an extension of the interview process,” says Amanda Augustine, career expert at TheLadders, an online job-matching service for professionals. “From the first day, you need to be on your game.”

With a decade of experience advising high-level professionals, Augustine details what the most successful people do that first week in a new job:

1. Be a geek about introducing yourself.

Take the initiative to meet people. Say hello in the elevator, kitchen, or bathroom. It will pay off in the end. “It could be a fast-paced culture, and they don’t have time to come to you,” Augustine says. “Start with the group that’s closest to you, the people you’re directly working with.” It will be in their best interest to get you started on the right foot, because your work will directly affect theirs.

2. Befriend a veteran who can help you navigate politics (and find the pencils).

Learn who the players are, and who’s been at your company awhile, she advises. Find the seasoned veteran who has a good handle on what works and doesn’t and can show you around. “Companies have their own language and inside jokes,” she says. “Look for the one person to help you decode the acronyms and office politics.” Plus, you’ll need someone to go to for the silly things. Asking your boss where to find the pencils is a bit below their pay grade.

3. Set expectations with your boss and employees.

“Get on your boss’s calendar,” Augustine says. Use that initial meeting to establish what they believe success will look like in the first week, month, and three months. At the same time, if you’re in a managerial position, it’s important to begin setting expectations with your direct reports. From communication style to office hours, that first week sets the tone.

4. Analyze the makeup of your new team.

Pay attention to the subtle cues you receive from those in your group. Chances are, there may be one or more people who were vying for your role — so watch your back, Augustine warns. Look for opportunities to befriend and leverage the talents of your new colleagues to avoid any resentment from building up.

5. Figure out the coffee situation. 

Learning where the coffee is will always be a good strategy for success. It’s also important to figure out the unwritten rules of the office that, if violated, make people go ballistic. Who washes the dishes? Which shelves are communal? “In our office, there are several refrigerators, and people get upset if you use the wrong one,” she says. “Be a sponge, and watch how people are doing things. There’s nothing wrong with asking how to use the coffeemaker.”

6. Start demonstrating and documenting what you sold the company on. 

“Whatever you sold them on in the interview, make it your mission to demonstrate that you’re going to do it,” Augustine recommends. If you said you were a social media whiz or good with numbers, immediately start revamping the social accounts or making sense of the company’s analytics. And start a brag sheet. Keep track of all your accomplishments, major contributions, and when you get positive feedback. You want to get in the habit early and have the information at the ready for future performance reviews and salary negotiations.

7. Ask tons of questions to learn the ropes.

Soak in as much as possible in that first week. If you plan on making any big changes, you need to first understand how things are usually done, and you need to earn the team’s trust. “Win them over by taking the time in the beginning to learn how things are done and why, so when you want to make changes, you can build a strong argument that your team will support,” she advises.

8. Get organized to set good habits.

Especially because a lot of new information is coming your way, setting good habits and being organized from the start will make your life easier down the line. It’s also a good time to improve your bad habits. “It’s a great opportunity to overcome any challenges or weaknesses from your past,” Augustine says. If you’ve struggled with time management, for example, use that first week to map out how you’ll spend each day and begin putting it into practice.

9. Show your face as much as possible.

Sit in on as many meetings as you can, she suggests, and don’t be afraid to speak up. Not only will you get a feel for what and who’s important in the company, but others will start to get used to seeing you around. Establish yourself in your expert area, and they’ll know whom to come to in the future. Make sure you’re visible in your new role.

10. Reinforce your new connections on social media. 

Once you’re officially on the job, it’s important to update your title across your own social media platforms and also start following your new company and colleagues. As you meet new people, cement the relationships by finding them on Twitter or LinkedIn. Augustine suggests identifying the platform that makes the most sense. Facebook, for instance, is viewed by many as personal, so use discretion.

11. Reconnect with former colleagues.

Perhaps counterintuitively, she says the first week of a new job is the perfect time to reach out to colleagues from your previous jobs. “Go back and reconnect with people at your old company, and ask for LinkedIn recommendations,” she suggests. The best time to get referrals is when you’re not looking for a new job, she says.

12. Find your go-to pharmacy and take-out lunch spot. 

Learn your new neighborhood. Do you know where the nearest CVS is? What about where to get a sandwich, take people for coffee, or have a nice business lunch? “Logistically, you need to know where to go get a Band-Aid when you need one,” Augustine says.


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!

How To Negotiate Your Salary Like a Pro

Negotiate Salary

You’ve read our other blog posts and are prepared to have a great interview.  You nail the interview and are made a  job offer.  You should take advantage of the timing to negotiate a higher salary.  Your next opportunity may not be for a long time and you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.  This article shares some professional advice for how to best approach the situation.  Also read “The Careful Art of Negotiating Your First Salary”.

Original article click here.

You got the job! But the salary stinks. Sound familiar?

Negotiating your salary can be challenging, but it’s especially important for young professionals. Your first 10 years in the work force will likely determine your earnings for your entire life, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

 Here’s how to ask a potential employer for the money you want.
1. Stop worrying

Talking about money with a future boss can be nerve-wracking. That could be why nearly half of Americans don’t negotiate their salaries, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.

“A lot of people are just happy to have a job offer in an uncertain job market and don’t want to rock the boat,” explains Angela Smith, the founder of career coaching firm Loft Consulting.

It can help to put the conversation in perspective.

“I’ve never heard of a hiring manager who has retracted an offer because a candidate wanted to negotiate a salary,” Smith says.

Many employers actually offer slightly less than they can afford to pay because they expect candidates to negotiate, adds career coach Maggie Mistal.

2. Schedule a meeting

Experts generally recommend discussing salary after you’ve been handed a written offer.

“After they offer you the job, they’re not thinking of anyone else but you,” explains career coach Robert Hellmann of Robert Hellmann Career Consulting. “Suddenly you have all the leverage.”

Hellmann suggests reviewing the offer with your prospective manager a few days after receiving it. This way, you have the opportunity to devise a game plan.

3. Do your research

There’s a time and place for feelings, and the negotiating table isn’t one of them.

Take those few days before meeting with your prospective manager to research the job and determine your value based on facts, says Hellmann.

Career sites like Glassdoor and PayScale can help you figure out the salary range for the position based on your industry and geographic location, adds Smith. You might also weigh your education and experience level when determining your desired figure.

Entrepreneur Molly Hayward once asked a prospective manager for 50% more than she was offered — and got it.

“There’s no black and white answer” when it comes to how much more you should ask for, says Hayward, who is now the founder and CEO of organic tampon company Cora. Still, Hayward says young professionals should only ask for what is reasonable.

Once you know your market value, you can decide whether the salary you’ve been offered is fair. Be sure to examine the entire offer, including any bonuses and 401K benefits, says Hellmann.

If you’re not sure whether the benefits package you’re offered is fair, Mistal recommends talking to employees at the company to get details about common packages.

4. Be a team player

When making the case for a higher salary, remember to be sensitive and thank the employer for offering you the job.

“You don’t want to come across as entitled” explains Mistal. You might also approach the conversation as a team effort.

“You always want to try to make it about we want, not about what I want,” says Hellman. Ask, “What can we do to bridge this gap?”

If a hiring manager asks how much you made at your old job, you may not need to answer.

New York, Massachusetts and Philadelphia have all passed laws barring employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history. More than 20 states are considering similar legislation.

These laws are designed to help combat the gender pay gap by giving applicants the chance to reset their salaries at a new job.

Experts also recommend negotiating terms in addition to salary, such as stock options or the ability to work from home.

“This way, if you don’t get one thing, there are other levers you can pull to improve the overall offer,” Smith explains.

5. Be prepared to back down

You made a case based on facts, but your prospective boss just wouldn’t budge. Now what?

“If you’re being offered far below industry standards, make a decision about whether you’re willing to take the cut in pay [in exchange] for a good experience,” says Smith.

You could also ask for a salary review in six months, says Mistal.

If you do decide to walk away, be careful not to burn a bridge with the employer.

“You may be able to help each other down the road,” says Hellmann.


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.


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!

Here’s how to get that job, even if you’re underqualified

Unqualified to qualified

Don’t let yourself be discouraged when dreaming of taking that next step in your career.  You may think you are unqualified for a position but you may be more qualified than you think!  As we’ve talked about in previous posts there is a lot you can do to prepare for making a successful job transition.  This article highlights some ideas to keep in mind during your job search.  Best of luck!

Original article click here.

Typical job search wisdom says you shouldn’t send off resumes to jobs you know you just don’t have the qualifications to land. But there are some circumstances, especially in tech, where a job might be just beyond your reach, but still attainable if you know how to work what you have to its full potential.

Here are a few strategies to help you craft a job-seeking persona that will help you shoot beyond your experience level. After all, if you’re trying to break into a new field, how is it possible for you to have 3-5 years experience anyway? Try these tips instead of writing off your ideal job as a lost cause.

Showcase the skills you do have

You might not tick every box they seek, but it’s possible that you tick some boxes with more gusto than anybody else applying. Play up what you do have, and then take the focus away from their list and make your own list—you might have skills they didn’t realize they needed for their open position. Make a case that your unique combination of skills is actually even better suited for the job, and then go on to explain how and why.

Focus on your potential

Even if you don’t have a specific knowledge base or set of skills, show you have the desire and potential to learn whatever you’ll need to know. Play up your motivation and drive. Emphasize the speed of your learning curve, and explain how quickly you acquired expertise in something previously. Don’t just tell them you’ll hit the ground running and pick up what you don’t have on the fly. Show them how you’ve done this throughout your career.

Fill in your gaps

Use your cover letter to provide context for whatever skills and experience you lack, and as a way of smoothing over the holes they might see in your resume. Make an upbeat, short-but-sweet case for why they ought to give your resume, despite its holes, a second look. Be honest. You’re not a perfect candidate, but you might just be the perfect person for the job.

Hold the recruiter’s hand

Don’t just slap down the bare facts of your skills and experience and hope whoever reads your resume is trained to read between the lines and construct your ideal candidacy for you. Connect the dots for them. Synthesize everything into one big picture for them. Make it clear—in your cover letter, on your resume, and in the interview.

Stay positive

In your honesty, stay away from negative language like “I don’t know…” “I’m not qualified to…” or “I’ve never done…” Frame things with a bit more optimism, like: “I’m eager to explore…” “I’d love to work on…” etc. Be aware of what you don’t know and don’t have going for you right now, but also make it clear that you are conscious of what you lack and are eager to do what needs to be done to get up to speed.

When in doubt, ask

If you’re on the fence and not sure whether to throw your application into the pile, send a quick email off to the recruiter asking them to clarify what they mean by “proficiency in _____.” It will save both parties time and energy in the end.

Give them what they don’t even realize they want

If you want it badly enough and have the drive and guts to go for it, you’re halfway there. Concentrate on showing your passion and tenacity. The rest, unless you’re way off the requirements mark, can usually be learned on the job with enough work behind the scenes. Show the proper level of excitement, demonstrate how close you are to being their ideal, and let them see just how hard you’ll work to get up to speed.

Bonus tip: If you really want that job, prepare, prepare, prepare!  Conduct some informational interviews with people in your target position, see what they really do and what skills are actually needed for the position.  Learn as much as you can and run with it!


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!

Seven Tips For New C-Level Executives

Successful new exec

We write resumes for a lot of C-level executives and wanted to share some great tips for those professionals who are in a C-level position for the first time to help make sure you are successful.

Original article click here.

Becoming a C-level executive can be one of the most rewarding moments of your career. It can also be terrifying — there’s a bigger spotlight to go with the bigger title and paycheck, meaning that the stakes are that much higher for you to get it right. There’s no manual for being an executive, which means that you should prepare for a bit of a “feeling out” period as you become more accustomed to your new responsibilities. The following tips can help out during those early days as you get your new executive feet under you.

1. Find a mentor.

Just because you’re in a position of power doesn’t mean you have all the answers. Having someone to talk to about your challenges and bounce ideas off of will keep you sane. Smart leaders surround themselves with people they can lean on and trust. You’ve made it this far because of things you’ve proven: good decisions, a strong vision and excellent insight. But this is not all you need to excel in the next phase of your career. It’s important to get input from people who have also been on the C-level journey, so choose who you get advice from wisely. The question I ask is, “Have they done the thing I wish to do?”

It’s also important to understand that the business world moves fast, particularly in a technology field, so tactics that have worked before may no longer apply. Strategy, on the other hand, often holds the test of time. A quality mentor will help you identify the best thought process that will help you through difficult situations, while also acknowledging that their methods may be outdated.

2. Keep your word.

When you’re working your way up through the ranks of an industry or a corporation, there are many practical lessons you’ll learn along the way. One of those lessons is the importance of keeping your word — not just in the way we’re taught as young children (“don’t fib”), but to maintain a high standard of integrity regarding appointments, agreements and information. Commitments are critical in business, and as a C-level exec, not only are your decisions and actions magnified; they help define the culture of your company. Being a person of integrity and reliability translates to your reputation and the identity of your company.

3. Be humble.

Think you’ve done a good job? It’s great to feel pride, but it’s not about you. It’s about your team and all the people that have made the project a success. Find ways to praise and acknowledge them for their hard work. Any sort of urge to brag about yourself should be stifled. It’s obnoxious and will win you more enemies than friends. Instead, let the results speak for you. This is generally a good philosophy for life, not just C-level management. However, in the executive microscope, every move tends to be heightened, so always give praise and appreciation without talking yourself up. It will make your team feel special and appreciated.

4. Get enough sleep.

In today’s modern business culture, sleep deprivation is almost considered a badge of honor. Unfortunately, these types of things shouldn’t be celebrated as they lead to (at best) burnout or (at worst) severe health issues. C-level executives define company culture, so if they want their workers to be healthy and balanced, they must demonstrate self-care principles by getting proper rest, emphasizing the importance of off-the-grid time (no phones, emails or social media) and striving for a healthy work-life balance.

5. Learn constantly.

You may have worked your way up the corporate ladder with your industry knowledge, but just because you’ve attained an executive position doesn’t mean you know it all. In reality, learning is more important than ever before. C-level executives are driving the direction of the company, which means that they need to look at both micro and macro issues. For example, C-level executives need to learn about areas of the company they may not have necessarily worked in before to get a better perspective of company decisions. On the other hand, they should look at processes and strategies outside of their own industry for outside-the-box points of view. Every day offers new lessons, and each can be a new tool in your executive toolbox.

6. Understand your reach.

When you’re the boss, your choices go beyond immediate task decisions. They ripple outward and impact people’s lives and their livelihoods. That means that your mood, your words, your actions and your reputation carry far more weight than in your previous position. Your responses must always be thoughtful, especially when situations escalate. That doesn’t mean you should roll over every time. In fact, it’s fine to be upset as long as it’s expressed in a respectful way that encourages problem-solving and teamwork. Otherwise, you’ll begin to lose the trust of your staff quickly.

 7. Be straightforward with problem-solving.

Once you’ve reached a certain level of power within your company, there may be others that want to take it from you. This can manifest itself through territorial battles, undercutting your suggestions or even working around you through other executives. When facing these types of situations, it can knock you off balance at first. You will find your own style, but a few things I have found helpful is to always stay calm and focused, and remember that you are the leader and others are looking to you. Making assumptions about others’ intentions will make you feel crazy. Instead, get curious and start asking questions about behavior.

Management on an executive level is unlike anything you may have encountered in business before. It’s a unique journey, which means that you’ll need to take some time to find your style and voice. However, using the above tips can get you off to a good start. And remember: Stay true to yourself while you discover what kind of executive you’ll be.

Article written by: Tiana Laurence


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!

6 Tips for Making a Great Impression at Your New Job

Good Impression

I think it is easy to say that we all want to make a good impression and get off on the right foot with our new coworkers and boss as we step into our new job.  This can be intimidating at first; you likely know nobody expect who interviewed you, your surroundings are new and will probably have to ask the embarrassing question of ‘where’s the bathroom?’, company policies are new as are established business connections.  This below will help you make a good impression at your new job and will get you started in the right direction.  Best of luck!


Plan for Success

You will likely have researched the company that hired you during the interview process and you probably have a good idea of how you would like your career growth path to continue.  Combine both of these elements into a plan for success.  I recommend a short term plan and a long term plan.  Your short term plan may be 30, 60, or 90 days depending on what it is you do but the point will be for you to take time to think and write out what you want to accomplish within the company and being sure to include personal goals.  For example your plan may include learning 15 people’s names and pitching 5 new sales ideas for consideration.  Make a long term plan to map out where you want to be in the next 1, 2, or 5 years and keep it handy as a refresher.


Learn Names

Learning your coworker’s names and using them frequently will show people you respect them and are making efforts to establish a connection.  Studies show that if you use a person’s name several times within the first 1-2 conversations that your retention of their name will be much greater.  I also recommend that you write down their name after your first conversation along with highlights and important details of the conversation.  This can be things like whether they’re married, if they’d been on vacation recently and where they went, what their interests are, and also what their job role entails.


Don’t Rock the Boat

It can be easy for people starting a new position to be overly ambitious as a way to impress their coworkers and boss but keep yourself in check.  Facetime with your boss may help you better gauge what exactly is expected of you.  I encourage asking a lot of questions and engaging in regular dialogue with your boss to get as much feedback as possible.  Look towards your coworkers too.  Some may be more helpful than others and provide you some insight.  Ask them about what’s made them successful and what they like about the job and the company they work for.  If you are trying to make a good impression it will be important to refrain from making your coworkers look bad by too strongly asserting your own efforts.  Save it for later!



People who smile regularly are typically easier to approach and provide reassurance that a situation is a positive one.  Keeping a smile on your face, even when you are having a rough day or are feeling overwhelmed with your new responsibilities is important.  It reflect well on your demeanor and send a message to your boss and coworkers that you are strong.


Do Your Homework

You will be bombarded with loads of information when stepping into a new role.  Write it all down and review it at home to help you better retain what you’ve learned.  Do it when you first get home so it is fresh in your mind and then make sure to budget 5-10 minutes in your morning routine to scan through your notes to get your head in the game for the day.


Make Friends

You won’t get along with everyone you meet or work with but to make strong efforts to establish genuine friendships with some of your coworkers.  Meeting for breakfast before work, or grabbing a coffee together at a break can be a good way to make connections.  Don’t be shy!


Keep positive and remember this list and you will make a great first impression. You will make mistakes, everyone does, and you will have successes.  You are going to do great at your new job! 

This article was written by Scott Nichols, CPRW, a contributor to Power Writers USA


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!