Tag Archives: linkedin

Interview like a Star – Don’t make these Mistakes

I polled a couple of colleagues today and was surprised at the rapid pile of responses I got to “biggest interview mistakes”.

These are real life examples.  I am not making them up.  Promise.

  • leaving your phone on during an interview
  • taking a call on that phone while you are in an interview
  • forgetting to do up your middle button
  • having lettuce in your teeth
  • arriving late
  • not knowing who you are meeting
  • wearing clothes that don’t fit
  • being drunk
  • interrupting the interviewer
  • sweaty palms
  • speaking too quickly
  • rambling – if you can’t remember the question, you have talked too long
  • offensive jokes
  • asking about other possible roles in the company
  • using LinkedIn to connect with the hiring manager or president before the interview

All of these can be avoided with two simple steps.  Prepare the day before and do a 360 review with a mirror before you get to the interview location.

In fact, these steps are pretty sensible for any meeting   Go ahead and practice.  You will be happy you did.

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Reducing the Deflation Potential in Job Searches

Looking for a new job has a lot of ups and downs….no that’s not true.  There are mostly downs.  Nothing is more depressing than sitting down to look at postings on LinkedIn and realizing that they are the exact same ones you looked at yesterday.

It can be tough to stay motivated with that staring you in the face.  And motivation is what you need to get to a better place in the world of work.arrow

Here is a suggestion:  rather than picking through postings in a random lets-see-whats-new approach, make a plan instead.

Identify four or five different types of possible next steps for your career.  You might be interested in several different industries, corporate or consulting, stepping sideways or stretching up or maybe you are considering something completely different.

The idea is that you explore one of these tracts each day.  This allows you to really pay attention and give that direction some serious research and thought.  Maybe after two sessions, you realize that it’s not an appropriate choice.  That’s okay.  Better to know than to wonder about it later.

This also makes sure you are looking at fresh material every time you sit down.  There is a greater chance of seeing the interesting new roles and not just the same old stuff.

So consider adding a little more rigour and structure to your search.  It will be well worth the planning time.  It will reduce the deflation potential – that feeling of wanting to throw your laptop against the wall because it all looks the same as yesterday.

 

 

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Filed under career change, Job Search, Resume

So…..are we exclusive?

I was talking about LinkedIn with a group of people on Monday evening.  One of the big questions seemed to be about invitations. When someone invites you to connect, should you accept?

Some people only accept invites from people they know. Others, like people in my profession, accept all invitations.

The answer lies in why you got on LinkedIn in the first place. Is it a place to hang out with former colleagues?  A place to develop your consulting reputation?  Maybe you want to grow your community of influence, so that when you throw a highly pithy comment out there – you get lots of feedback.

Most of us keep our profiles current and polished so we can get noticed. We want prospective employers or clients to find us and look us over. The way we get “found” is by broadening our networks either by accepting invitations or joining groups.

Here’s a possible strategy:

  • Take a look at your invites once every week or so. You don’t have to do it right away. They will not evaporate.
  • If you don’t know the person, click on their name. Maybe that will jog your memory or you will realize that they know a lot of the same people you do.
  • Decide if you want to accept, ignore or procrastinate a little longer.

So, when you are deciding whether your network is going small and exclusive or open and diverse, think about how you want to be treated. When you reach out to someone, you want to be acknowledged, right?

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Filed under Job Search, Networking, social media

The Itch to Switch

It is spring.  Green things are growing like crazy.  For me, it’s mostly weeds but still, you can see the changes every day. This weekend, I’m going to be content to negotiate with worms as big as my finger where I can plant my veggies.  Others though, are feeling the itch to switch more than just their landscaping.

Like starting a new garden, thinking about a job change can be overwhelming.  Where to start?  There is so much to do.

Grab a shovel and let’s dig in.

  1.  Your resume.  No one will even interview you these days without a resume.  Pull out the last version that you can find.  Print it, make some notes about what needs to be changed and then start a whole new document.  Microsoft Office has some great templates to get you started.  Don’t expect to finish it in one go.  Get as far as you can and then go outside and do something else.  Come back to it in a day or so.  Allowing time for it to percolate in your brain will result in some shifting and probably some catchy phrases that you did not think of in the first go.
  2. Brush up your profile on linkedin.  You can buy stock in linkedin too, but that’s another blog entry for another day.  Connect to some people with whom you used to work, go to school or volunteer. Make sure you check off all the boxes in the “Contact Settings” area of your profile and put in either a work or personal email address.  That way, people can contact you directly.  This activity puts your profile front and centre with your network.  That’s when sparks start to fly.
  3. Think of three people that you want to connect or reconnect with and set up coffee or lunch with them.  This is not a “please help me find a job” meeting.  It’s a “what’s happening in your world” meeting.  This is how you a) learn about other avenues for growth and b) let people know what you have been doing.

And there you have it:  three simple things to get the seeds sown for your next chapter.

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