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Showing posts from May, 2021

Types of Background Checks

Be prepared for background checks at all phases of a job  interview. Employers might ask job candidates to sign off on credit and background checks prior to their resume screenings. While not all employers thoroughly screen their job candidates, due to the rise in negligence in the workplace, more companies are starting to invest their time and resources into verifying the background of those who are being hired into  the organization. Job offers may also be contingent upon drug testing as part of background checks, depending on company specific policies.  

Is it Time to Resign?

Submit all information requested to ensure that the job offer is finalized in a timely fashion. This permits the hired talent to coordinate the logistics of starting their new position on a set date. If they’re employed elsewhere, they can resign once  they’re cleared for hire by their prospective employer.   It’s wise to not resign from your existing job until the background check is conducted, in case there are open-ended  issues that might create a conflict for the employer hiring you for the new position. No one wants to retract their resignation letter under duress, in circumstances where a candidate had to suddenly “change their mind” due to an emergency.  Applicants should maintain their integrity at all times during the  hiring and transitioning process. 

Decisions Can Change Your Future

 Decide. No one has to suffer silently. What is the worst that can happen if you attempt to renegotiate  your job offer? You’ll be told “No.” But perhaps that really  means “Not at this moment in time.” You can at least request that they reconsider your package ninety days into your  employment, following a review. If they agree to this  proposition, make sure you receive this agreement in writing.  While most employers mean well, and want to get an  employee on board, they may not necessarily follow through and keep their word. If you’re a business person, this is the  moment to apply your negotiation skills to make sure your best efforts are rewarded. Sometimes not negotiating can work to your advantage later in time once you've proved your ability to work your role exceedingly well with grace and results. If you're needs aren't met, you can walk without remorse and any lingering doubts. You clearly know where you stand with the third party.

Negotiations - Speak Up. Don't Complain.

Speak up. It’s more common for men to negotiate their job offers and compensation packages than it is for women. I’ve  seen this myself along my career path. Having had experience sitting on both sides of the table, I’ve observed that women are more likely to stop their job search the moment they’re offered a job. They’re grateful for the opportunity. At the same time, some women feel that if they speak up and ask for more, it may come across as inappropriate, and they fear that the job offer will be withdrawn.   We must speak up to get what we want in life. The same concept pertains when we’re striving to reap our career karma. Seeking an opportunity to possibly renegotiate a job offer isn’t a bad thing. Job candidates should question their job offer, understand their job offer, and negotiate a better package if they can justify their request for a better offer.  It is possible the events leading up to a job offer can present many distractions and pressures that cause job candidates t

Counteroffers - Show Me How Badly You Want Me

Counteroffers. Occasionally, counteroffers can entice job candidates to reconsider new job offers from other employers. If employed, there’s a chance the job candidate may receive a counteroffer from their current employer if the employer feels strongly about retaining a valuable employee.   While a counteroffer may stroke your professional ego by making you feel important, it’s critical to remember why you are seeking new, rewarding opportunities in the first place. If  the counteroffer is entertained, you must question how long  this renewed relationship with your employer will last before you feel the need to once again search for better opportunities.     Ask yourself: Could a possible counteroffer make you reconsider your need to seek a new job elsewhere? Maintain focus and reflect within on why you choose to remain at your current workplace before turning down a new job offer elsewhere. 

Keep Applying Until You Receive a Yes

Waiting for the right job offer can be an ordeal when employers take their time interviewing qualified job candidates. Until a job offer comes your way, you’re expected to continue applying and interviewing in the marketplace. You do not have a new job until you receive a job offer and both parties have signed the working agreement. Job candidates tend to fixate on opportunities they “really” want, prompting them to cease applying for additional opportunities that meet their interests. Until you’re contacted to finalize a job offer, you must continue forward with your job hunting. Even very promising opportunities can fall through due to last-minute changes behind closed doors at the company. 

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game

Seek perspective. Rejection grants us a reality check by forcing us to evaluate whether we wanted the opportunity for  the right reasons. Let those rejection letters flood your inbox:  it’s a good sign. It’s a sign that people are actually screening  your applications, and that it’s only a matter of time before the right job leads will respond with favorable feedback. View job hunting as a game. As an associate of mine would say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” We can’t control what happens to us, but we can nevertheless control how we react  to things, including rejection. Chin up! Keep marching forward. 

The Beauty of Rejection

Rejections are a part of life. While it’s useful to know why we’re  rejected from an opportunity, so that we can better understand  how to pursue our goals, sometimes we’re rejected without a reason, and that’s okay. Seriously, it’s okay.   Life is full of risks, and I commend you for taking these risks. Allow the rejection to steer you in the right direction, onto paths where you will encounter better opportunities. We live in times when we want things fast. We don’t question the long-term benefits of the things we crave in the present, because we’re living in the moment. It’s only a matter of time before the ramifications of our decisions make us realize that rejection  isn’t so bad after all. Do you want to be stuck in a crappy job years down the road because it was the first 'yes' that came your way when you initially signed that offer? Live outside your comfort zone, take healthy risks and set your goals high. 

Money Talks Louder than ???

Be prepared to discuss money. Money is a tool that allows us  to buy a degree of comfort and security. Money is a funny topic  that many people avoid discussing openly. When seeking new  job opportunities in the market, it’s inevitable that conversations about money will surface sooner or later during  interviews. Be prepared to discuss your compensation  expectations, but wait for the right moment. Some employers  may approach this topic first, before scheduling any interviews with candidates, while other employers may entertain compensation discussions only with selected job candidates.     Interviewees can get ahead of themselves by discussing money first. This can be off-putting for potential employers, because they need to know that candidates are truly taking an interest in their organization, rather than solely chasing the money in the market. Hard-working job candidates shouldn’t be ashamed or intimidated by what others think, although mature candidates understand there is a pr

Thank You Notes Matter

Say thank you. Send a thank you note by email or letter as a follow-up to attending scheduled interviews. Focus on the interview itself; refrain from asking about money or other questions related to the job opportunity, unless the company asks you to contact them with follow-up questions after the interview. Send the notes within 24 - 72 hours if possible. Timeliness matters - always!

Interviews: A Moment of Silence, Please

Don’t be intimidated by “dead air.” Whether we’re speaking to  our boss or presenting our work to a client, there will be instances when we need to pace ourselves and pause.  Silence is not a bad thing. Not every second of conversation needs to be filled with words to avoid the possibility of awkwardness. Being comfortable with a moment of silence proves you’re confident in your own presence, as well as in the presence of strangers. It’s a sign of positive emotional intelligence.   A moment of silence or a brief pause to reflect on a thought  before speaking is normal. Interviewees at times start to fidget when they encounter an awkward moment of silence, or just a  pause in a conversation. Such behaviors communicate anxiety and can raise flags, suggesting the interviewee is withholding information that should be disclosed. People want  to know how candidates react in real-time situations.  

First Impressions Work Both Ways

First impressions work both ways. Look and feel your best  when getting ready to interview. Whether it’s a phone, Skype, Zoom, or live in-person interview, it’s important to nurture yourself with positive thoughts. When we look our best, we feel our  best, and when we feel our best we tend to perform better.  You’re a walking, talking brand that others want to hire. As comedian Steve Martin says, “Be so good that they can’t ignore you.” Interviews also serve as opportunities for employers to showcase their accomplishments, in order to lure  you into their corporate culture. With so much competition in the marketplace, even employers feel the need to try harder to attract and retain talent. 

Lights, Camera, Action -- Let's Interview!

Be open to different types of interviews. There are phone screenings, formal phone interviews, Skype interviews, live in person interviews, group interviews, panel interviews, and a few other forms of interviews where job candidates and employers engage in creative dialogues.   Interviews consist of a dialogue. You must communicate  through your demeanor, language, and overall presentation why you’re an ideal candidate for the position. Job candidates often perceive the interview strictly as a question-and-answer  session. Interviews can take many forms, though, from  entertaining to serious, and the job candidate can take the initiative to prove they can hold up an engaging conversation while displaying their personality and intellect at the same time. If you encounter a difficult personality during the  interview, do your best to navigate through the interaction. You’re there for a purpose; it’s to close a job deal. 

Cover Letters - Does Length Matter?

If a cover letter is mandatory and no directions are given, keep  the cover letter between 350 and 500 words. The employer critiques the applicant’s thought process, organizational skills, language skills, etc. Applicants should view this as a supplementary opportunity to enhance their presentation.   When closing your letter, it’s acceptable to share your email and phone number so the prospective employer can contact  you for further screening. 

Maintain a Perspective

Do not plead or beg for a job! Employers do not want to see or sense desperation in your letter.  They don't want to hear it on the phone, see it on video, see it in person, read it in the mail and they definitely don't want to witness you 'popping up' in their path out of the blue. It's not interpreted to be cute, ambitious or noteworthy. Park the desperation, focus on the big picture. Maintain your self respect and remind yourself that opportunities are created in due time. Keep seeking the positive solution instead of turning into a problem. Desperation leads to regret.

The World Belongs to the Articulate

The cover letter is a formal letter introducing yourself and your interest(s) in a job opportunity. Keep the tone professional and articulate your thoughts in an organized manner. Avoid verbose and flamboyant responses to make a great impression;  articulate responses will ultimately garner attention.  Keep it simple. Keep it respectful. Keep it on point. Remember why you’re submitting the letter in the first place. The letter  should briefly address your career background, why you’re interested in a particular position, and what qualities you bring that can enhance your contribution to this position and your prospective employer. 

The Significance of Cover Letters

“Well, it depends.” Cover letters aren’t mandatory for resume submissions, although a handful of employers list them as a requirement to screen resumes. Job candidates often ask how long a cover letter should be. The answer is: “Well, it  depends.” Some classifieds require a cover letter to learn more about job candidates in addition to scanning their  resumes.   Cover letters might also be required to address a few specific questions presented by the employer. These questions may range through a broad spectrum, intended to capture the  applicant’s personality, creativity, and technical knowledge  through their responses.  

Tone Matters - Keep It Light

Refrain from using any negative language on the resume.   Keep the tone positive; the resume is your opportunity to make a great first impression.  Remember the KISS strategy. Keep it simple stupid. 👌

Present Only What You Know

Avoid using jargon or listing skills that appear foreign to you. Listing items for the sake of appearing marketable is a double edged sword. Desperate times may lure you into engaging in desperate schemes. Don’t do it. List skills that you can comfortably discuss and demonstrate during a live job interview.   Present only what you know. You'll be responsible for knowing, discussing and explaining concepts that you've mastered during your evolving career journey.

Focus on the Present Not the Future

Don’t list skill sets that you’re planning to acquire later. Focus on the skill sets that you have now. Some employers will test their job candidates to assess their skill-set competencies.  

List Your Credentials and Own It

Don’t lie about your education. Many employers today verify educational credentials through private sources to ensure they are hiring qualified individuals. If an employer learns that your credentials were misrepresented during the screening  process, they have the right to terminate your employment. While they may be guilty of negligence for not screening candidates properly, the employee bears the greater risk of  losing their position. 

References Will Follow - If Needed

Don’t waste white space by listing references. If an employer wants references, they will ask.   A healthy degree of white space on a resume is a good thing. It's similar to a pause taken during a conversation. Learn to be confident with healthy space. There's no need to bombard the reader with extra information that doesn't serve the greater purpose of the resume. Refrain from listing 'references available upon request'. Apply good sense.  They, your prospective employers , know references will follow if they want to extend an offer. Sometimes less is more. This is one of those moments.

Invest Smart in Resume Writing Services

Don’t spend a ridiculous amount of money on resume writing. Some people think spending $500 on a resume guarantees them a job.   First, there are no guarantees in life.   Second, a resume can mask only so much; you must eventually interview live.   Third, resumes are constantly evolving over time, requiring changes and edits to reflect the job candidate’s professional  growth.  

Quantify Your Achievements and Results

Quantify your productivity results. Use an estimate if needed.     E.g. Decreased operations cost by 25% in a twelve month period   E.g. Managed a team of nine sales representatives among three territories   E.g. Improved quarterly sales by 15% compared to previous year   Remember that productivity in the business world is measured in numbers. 

Leverage Your Foreign Language Skills

Share your knowledge of and proficiency with foreign languages. These skill sets matter more now than ever in the global marketplace whether you're engaging in e-commerce platforms, freelancing, or working for third party organizations. Thanks to globalization the world is becoming a smaller community where foreign languages are greatly valued among the masses on all continents. 

Don't Be a Dick. Don't Plagiarize.

Don’t plagiarize another person’s resume. It’s only a matter of time before the resume owner will surface to claim their work. Professionals can tell when the writer only invested 10% of their effort into their resume. Employers can run searches on candidates in the screening process. Simply, don’t plagiarize.  I've seen plagiarized content from resumes travel through the circles. The truth always comes out. It's a matter of a phone call being made to the appropriate employer hosting the fraud(s). Refrain from misrepresenting whom you've worked with if you're not wanting to get fired. This message goes out to the two specific subjects who lied about their association with me. The husband and wife duo will reap their karma. Karma Trucks is on it!!  Be good folks, do your best. Doing your best will take you further in life rather than stealing other peoples' work and taking credit for work you've never done. If you're busy stealing other peoples' work and

Omit Job Descriptions from Display

Explain how your position ties into the company’s overall operations. Be specific about your work responsibilities, goals, and achievements. Refrain from copying your job description from the company handbook.  

Focus on Quality than Quantity

There’s no specific word count for resumes. Those writing their own resumes should focus on sharing their work experiences in a fluid and articulate manner that allows screeners to connect the dots. Keep it simple.   Show the dates of employment   Show the title of positions you have worked   Share what you achieved when working in those positions 

Applying Resume Templates in Moderation

Be careful using resume templates. If you’re new to resume writing, apply the template to organize your content, but over time, try to ween yourself away from this tool. It’s a reliable tool available in most writing programs, but it can misrepresent those whose rich content needs a respectable amount of page space to communicate their career experiences.   Most people who apply resume templates are restricted to rigid formatting guidelines that prevent them from presenting their work experiences in a consistent fashion. At times people go overboard in word count, making the resume appear so dense that live screeners spend more time squinting at the content than reading it. Don’t let your resume get canned.  Other times the resume is so barren that screeners are left wondering if you forgot to attach additional submissions. Don’t allow a template to dictate how well you present your professional history.  

Withstanding Pressure at All Times

When they feel under pressure, job candidates cling to the tiniest seed of hope, thinking an ambiguous opportunity may actually be real. It might be, but maybe not. Apply the common-sense rule. Remain sensible. People tend to play with fire when they are desperate to secure an income ASAP. 

'Too Good To Be True' Job Prospects

Job seekers don’t have to pay in order to secure jobs. Think about it: do college students pay for scholarship opportunities in order to land scholarships? 99.99% of the time, no. Be wary of “too good to be true” promises if you receive an email or phone call regarding a “great” opportunity that guarantees job placement for a fee. Regardless of how desperate you may be to find a job, don’t allow strangers to take advantage of your vulnerability. Don’t allow anxiety and fear to override sound judgement.