It’s that time of year…..when you try to find thoughtful gifts that don’t break the bank. But what to do for the folks you know who are in transition? The holidays are a tough time for them and there are many ways to show you are thinking of them that are both thoughtful and constructive.
Top ten gift for job seekers:
- Resume editing gift certificate – everyone’s resume needs a brush up
- Lunch date – either with you or better yet, with you and someone who might be a good connector for the job seeker
- Introduction – to a key hiring manager
- Invitation to a members only networking event
- Free haircut or manicure – by a professional – no DIY here
- New shirt – interviews always feel better in new clothes
- Mixed tape of power songs – or today’s equivalent from iTunes
- Lunch box – for their first day
- Coffee gift cards – a free coffee is always a treat
There you have it. Be a pal and have some cheer- help someone find a job next year.
Let me lay this out plainly for you: If you are about to graduate from university, you need a profile on LinkedIn.
People want to see who you are and you don’t want them going to Facebook to do it. LinkedIn is a professional place where professional folks hang out and get known.
- Start with a head shot of you –not your dog, not your boyfriend, not you driving your hot car. Just you smiling confidently at the camera. It should look like you might actually be able to hold down a job.
- Make sure you include your degree, specialties and volunteer work. If you were involved in campus clubs or teams, those can be included too. Just be careful about the message you send when you mention the Hangover Club and the “I only go to school on Tuesdays” club.
- If you did a thesis or special projects, those can be listed too. They might, for example, contain a lot of keywords that people like me look for.
- Make sure that you profile states clearly what you are looking for – whether it’s an internship, summer job or a permanent position.
- Finally, make it easy for us to contact you. Either include your email address in the contact section or, at the very least, hook your account up to an email address you actually check. Otherwise it’s a bit of a waste of time.
So get out there and get found. You never know – maybe someone is looking for you right now!
Salary negotiations at the end of the interview process can be tricky. They shouldn’t be, but they usually are.
The problem, I think, lies in when they happen. Usually, it’s the very last step. The candidate has met the whole team and is in love with everyone. The hiring manager is already filling that person’s name in on the Holiday Party seating chart and then bam! Everything grinds to a halt when some mentions base salary.
Whether you are the candidate or the hiring manager, salary should be among the first things to discuss. Once you think there is some skill crossover and a bit of chemistry, get money on the table.
There is no point in going through an extensive interview process only to discover that there is a $40K gap in what you want and what they have. It is crushing for both sides.
If you are in a first interview with a hiring manager or a recruiter and the subject of compensation has not come up, ask the question. Don’t just wait for it to come up later. This is especially true if you are near the top of the market or are pretty senior. Take the bull by the horns and bring it forward.
“This sounds like a very interesting role. What kind of salary range do you have?”
“I work in a large company now with a lot of perks. What kind of package does this job come with?”
If the answer is hedgy or not clear, be wary. You don’t have to run for the hills, just make sure to keep it on the list for the next conversation.
I know that money is not everything but let’s face it: If there is a big gap in base salary expectations, it can be problematic. Psychologically, we know what we are used to and what we have nurtured and developed over our careers. Taking a big haircut is not always in the cards and if it is possible, better to know if up front so we can start rationalizing the offsets.
It’s like looking at the dessert menu before you order your main course. It just makes sense.
Here’s what they don’t you tell in networking classes: you have to be ready to ask for what you need. Say you are wrapping up a call with someone and they say “Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.”
Your response should start with “Well, as a matter of fact…..I was wondering if you know…”
When you are offering your expertise, it is perfectly fair to ask for something in return but usually, we are so flattered to have been asked that we forget.
When someone thanks me for helping with their resume, I could put on my business development hat and ask if their company is hiring. Or I could ask if they might be willing to put a recommendation on linkedin.
When someone asks to borrow my French press coffee maker, I usually ask if I could have a cup, too.
This is not to say that everything has to be reciprocated. Life should not be one negotiation after another. Just be on the lookout for ways other people can help you and don’t be shy about it.
People want to help. It makes them feel good but they can’t read your mind. You have to spell out what you need even when you think it should be dead obvious.
So put it out there. Keep thinking and keep asking. You’ll be surprised at what can happen.