Quote

“There is no elevator to success…you have to take the stairs.”

via | Ziglar.

Advertisements

Key Phrases that Resolve Workplace Conflict

I like these suggestions for phrases that diffuse tension in the workplace. “Don’t make your workplace a battleground” is excellent advice.

Ellie Parvin

 110802-biz-workhappy-1124a_grid-6x2

Choose your words carefully, as the choices you make have the power to ignite an inferno or damper a flame.

Employee #1 “YOU WERE SUPPOSE TO DO [insert task here]!” “I SENT YOU AN EMAIL TO DO IT. DIDN’T YOU READ MY EMAIL?”

Employee #2. “I DON’T HAVE TO DO WHAT YOU SAY; YOU ARE NOT MY MANGER AND I DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER TO YOU!”

The two employees’ argument echoed through the building. Employee #2 stormed outside to collect her thoughts, get some fresh air and calm down. Later she came back inside and apologized for raising her voice and the comments she made and why. In turn, the Employee #1 did the same and thus the issue was resolved and today I can honestly say, Employee #2 still adores and respects Employee #1 and still feels terrible for losing her cool and yelling back. She even wishes she…

View original post 802 more words

Turning the table on the interviewer

As a big fan of interviewing the interviewer, I recommend preparing carefully constructed questions for the end of the discussion that demonstrate your knowledge, interest in the position and critical thinking.  Find sample questions in my FAQ page.

Many job applicants squirm at the thought of the dreaded behavioral interview. Turning the table by asking the recruiter to give you examples of various scenarios enables you to probe and evaluate key information about the potential opportunity. These questions also send the message that you are an active participant in the process rather than someone who is meekly waiting in the wings for a job offer. The decision-making process works both ways.

Share your comments after you read the examples of reverse behavioral questions suggested in 7 Lies Employers Use To Trick You Into Working For Them.

 

 

Keep your resume updated even after you land a job

Congratulations! You landed the job of your dreams, or perhaps a stepping stone in the right direction. Now you’re thinking, If I never write another resume again, it will be too soon. I know how you feel, but don’t be so quick to bury this job search tool in the bottom of a dusty drawer.

Though some believe the resume is dead, buried by LinkedIn and other sites that offer online profiles, traditional resumes still have value. They are requested by hiring managers for prospective employees as well as internal promotions even if you post your entire work history online. Updating it while details are fresh on your mind is the easiest way to keep it current. You never know when opportunity will strike, either within or outside the company.

The best resumes go beyond generic job functions, delineating key achievements. Add a section to your resume if not already present, entitled Key Achievements or Highlights. Then, when you are assigned to a special project or task team, earn an award for top customer service or sales results, or initiate an idea that improves processes or saves the company money, add a statement or two in that section. Also, remember to add a section for professional affiliations, industry-related enrichment courses and certifications.

An additional benefit to updating a resume is to ensure that career track changes are reflected on paper. For example, if you are a human resources practitioner who started out in recruiting, but veered off into the benefits function, add that dimension to your profile statement and work experience. Depending on your next career step, tweak the resume to place more emphasis on the portion of your job history that correlates with your targeted role.

Save the document to your desktop or a career folder, so it’s handy and not easily forgotten. Even if you hire a professional to develop it, having all the descriptions and dates recorded will expedite the process. Not only will documenting newly acquired knowledge, experiences and successes enhance your resume in real time, but it’s like giving yourself a pat on the back. We could all use a little reminder now and then of what we have accomplished.

Interview jitters

fingers pointing to a man
Image courtesy of 89studio/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

During an interview some time ago, George Clooney told a story about his climb to fame. It stuck with me because it can easily be applied to any type of job interview or audition.

Clooney explained the disappointment of losing one audition after another; how he traveled long bus trips to auditions only to be rejected. One day he had an epiphany while riding the bus. He realized that the casting director had a job to do. If Clooney didn’t get the role, he would simply get back on the bus and return home; then do it again the next day. But the casting director was left with a problem – he or she still needed to find an actor for the part, mostly likely under a tight deadline. Thinking in those terms, Clooney relaxed and that was the day he landed a role. The rest, as they say, is history.

What is the moral of the story? Relax and you will get a job offer? Not necessarily. But it may help to remember that the interviewer’s mission is to fill the position with a qualified candidate. They have no reason to derive pleasure from rejecting a prospect who meets the need. So make their job easier by showing them you are their solution. Listen. Feel their pain. Detect the void they must fill. Then connect the dots between the position criteria and your qualifications.

Don’t give up. George Clooney didn’t.

Email cover letters

Two facing laptops with an arm emerging from each screen and shaking hands on a white background
Image courtesy of Garfield Anderssen/flickr.com

Imagine screening hundreds of resumes, searching for the one that will make your job easier. Pressed for time and bleary-eyed, all you want is for the right words and phrases to pop out and yell, Here I am – the one you’ve been looking for.

A well-written cover letter can help both the candidate and hiring manager because it serves as a quick snapshot of a potential match. If written poorly, it will make the screener’s job easier, but not in a good way.

An impactful cover letter focuses on the reader’s objectives rather than the writer’s agenda. Here are a few ideas to accomplish that.

1. Avoid using “I” throughout the letter. This is tricky because, of course, your purpose is to pursue an opportunity; however, the letter needs to convey what the candidate brings to the organization to fill their need.

Example: Rather than I am very interested in this position, state As a graduate of _____ College with a ______ Degree, my knowledge and skills closely align to the requirements of this position.

2. Extract the components, action words and phrases from your resume that highlight your qualifications to the targeted position/ industry. Use bullet points.

Example:

  • Expertise in _________

  • Knowledge of ________

  • Proficiency in ________

  • Experience with ______

3. Structure the letter around three essential components:

Source: How did you hear about the position?

Qualifications: What school/work experience have you had that fills the company’s need?

Call to action: Include multiple ways to contact you.

4. Methodically check for grammatical and spelling errors. Don’t rely on the spell-check function as it does not pick up everything. A correctly spelled word may not make contextual sense.

5. Proofread carefully, being mindful that the letter is more than a cover for the resume. It is a demonstration of your email communication skills and attention to detail. Texting may have replaced email socially, but in the corporate world email is alive and well.

6. Close with an emphasis on your desire to apply your knowledge and skills to make a contribution to the organization.

Example: The opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills to support your organization’s goals would be an exciting challenge.