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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Great Job Search Tips

1. Did you know Tuesday is the most productive day of the week? What does this mean to you as a job seeker? You can plan Tuesday as the day to network, to make appointments, reorganize job search files, or possibly re-touch on older leads. However you decide to spend your Tuesdays, make sure you take advantage of its’ natural productiveness in the work week.

2. Did you know that as many as 35% of employers are now using your credit report history as a means of judging personal responsibility, especially in occupations dealing directly with money? Something to think about and get in order before you begin your job search or at the least make sure you are aware of what others are finding when checking your credit history. Conducting a credit check on yourself might be a good idea.

3. Did you know you could research the current earnings rate for your new position using pay comparison internet sites and increase your negotiating power by being prepared and aware? A couple of helpful sites to search and compare pay per job, industry, or location include www.salary.com, www.salarysearch.com or www.payscale.com.

4. Did you know 65 to 70% of jobs are gained through personal referrals or networking connections? So get networking! Make a long list of all your friends, family, past co-workers, bosses, work associates, teachers, and professors. Also include contacts from associations, church or volunteer activities, hobbies, and your children’s schools and activities. Once you have a strong list start making your way through them to let them know what type of job you are interested in.

5. Did you know only an average of 36% of those job hunters interviewed regularly send thank-you notes while 75% of employers appreciate or expect the notes? Not only is it polite but it is a great chance to touch on something specific you talked about during the interview that will help you be remembered.

6. Did you know that over 90% of employers seek their assistant’s opinion when interviewing and making hiring decisions? When calling or visiting in person for an interview make sure to be polite and friendly to the assistants and secretaries in the office. Their impression of you might just get you the job or get you passed by.

7. Did you know business cards are a great way to network? Using a plain and simple card or with a photo works best. They are another great way to be remembered and are a quick and inexpensive career tool. Business cards work especially well when you have your resume posted online and can include the website on your card.

8. Did you know having a mentor can also be another great way to network? I know from experience that having someone more experienced in your industry and field to discuss ideas and questions with can be really valuable. They are also a great networking source as well since they are familiar with your skills, experience, and current objectives and goals.

9. Did you know 60% of large companies do salary planning in the fall? What does this mean to you? First, it is a great time to ask for a raise! If you are already working for a large company a fall raise while budge planning is going on might be easier to work into a budget then at some other time of the year. Secondly, knowing the hiring managers mind is on budgets and hiring needs for the following year they will be more interested in resumes coming in that fit their needs because it might save them money to not include your hire into next years budget.

10. Did you also know that 40% of job cuts announced are in the fall? This may be a great time to have your resume updated and ready – just in case. You will be ahead of the rest of your coworkers with an updated resume if layoffs occur and you need to look for work.

 

Prepare for The Job Interview

Day One

Key Factors

The first step is to get a copy of the job posting and study it. Read it first for content, the second time for words, and the third time for the factors that are needed to do this job – reading between the lines.

By doing this exercise you will be able to identify the “Key Factors” needed for the job. For example, if there are many references to “deadlines and pressure,” you will need good “Time Management Skills.” That will become one of the factors that you will prepare to discuss and how you work well with deadlines and pressure.

How Do You Fit The Requirements?

Next, do a quick exercise comparing what they are looking for against what you have to offer. This is a simple two-column exercise – one side of a sheet of paper list what “They Want” and the other side of the sheet what “You Have to Offer.” How do you size up? Where are you strong? Where will you have to stretch?

You will also want to research the company; the industry, and the competition. The Internet is full of easy-to-get-to information. Be sure and look at the company’s website and “google” the company to find out any current information.

Day Two

Begin to focus on what you have to offer and how you will let the interviewer what you have to offer.

Your Personal Statement – You will want to prepare a personal statement that you will be able to say in two minutes or less. This personal statement will be used to answer questions such as: “Tell me about yourself,” or “What experience do you have that qualifies you for this position?”

Your statement should be focused and include your education, and experience; your expertise or areas of knowledge; your strengths; and something about your work style or work ethic – what other’s might say about you. Lastly, end with something of interest – maybe a hobby that is job related or something that makes you a good fit for the position.

Your personal statement is very important because it is a summary of you and your experiences and what you have to offer. It is worth spending some time writing it in a concise manner, trying to include as much as possible so that the interviewer has a good image of who you are and what you’ve done. This statement will also assist you if you are asked, “Walk me through your resume,” because you will have already flushed out what you want the interviewer to know about you.

Your Examples – Success Stories.

You may find it helpful if you write out at least five success stories to answer any questions that ask for examples (known as behavioral interview questions). Your stories will give specific examples to answer such questions as: “Can you tell me about a time when you …,” or “Describe a situation when you….” Look at the key factors that you identified earlier to focus your stories on what they are seeking.

These stories should be written with a beginning – where and when; a middle – what action took place; and an end – the result. The importance of the story is not the story itself, but what the interviewer hears from the story about your past behavior as an indicator of your future behavior. In other words, if you did it before, you could do it again – bad or good.

The Most Common Interview Questions

While there is no way of predicting what will be asked in an interview, you can prepare for general questions often asked in interviews. Why did you leave/are you leaving your last position? What do you know about this company? What are your goals? What are your strengths/weaknesses? Why do you want to work for this company? What has been your most significant achievement? How would your last boss/colleagues describe you? Why should we hire you? Scripting your answers before the interview will assist you when you are under pressure during the interview.

Prepare To Ask Questions

At some point in the interview, the interviewer usually asks you if you have any questions. The wrong answer to say, “No, I don’t have any questions as this point.” It is important for you to ask questions.

You can write a list of questions that are important to you. Do not ask questions regarding salary, benefits, or time-off until you are sure that there is some interest in you. In other words, “sell yourself first.”

Some good questions to ask will come as a result of the things you discuss or the questions asked during the interview. If, for example, they have been talking a great deal about a subject such as “customer service.” It would be appropriate for you to ask about customer service. You might say, “We’ve been talking about customer service, could you tell me about the biggest problem in this area?”

If you can get them to tell you about “their” problems or challenges in this job, you can sell yourself as a “solution to their problem.” Someone who understands the problem and can come in and make things better.

Day Three

Salary Information and References

One of the most dreaded questions asked in any interview is, “What is your salary expectation?”

By doing some research on salaries and what the “going rate” for this type of position is before the interview you won’t be caught “off guard” if they ask you for a number or a range. You should know your salary needs, based on your living expenses and your bottom line or walk away point – when you can’t afford to take this job.

This is a good time to put your reference sheet together as well. Be sure to get permission from your references to use their names. Make up a sheet of names and contact information in the event that you are asked for references during or after the interview. .

Appearance Counts

Make sure your interview outfit is in good order – clean and wrinkle-free. Remember, you are selling yourself and first impressions stick. Stay away from trendy clothes unless you are going for a job in the fashion industry. It is best to be conservative in everything about you – hair, jewelry, handbag/briefcase, shoes.

Items To Carry To The Interview

Several copies of your resume on good paper Copy of your reference sheet Pad of paper to take notes (notes are optional) Directions/map to the interview site

That’s it. You did it! Prepared for the interview in three days.

Should you have the luxury of more days to prepare, use that additional time to put more time and practice into the preparation. Preparation will make a huge difference in your confidence, and confidence will make a big difference in the impression you make, and making a good impression will make you a more serious candidate to consider for a job offer!

Things not To Do In Your Interview For Construction Jobs

Do not arrive late for your interview. Always allow enough time for traffic or train delays, as these mishaps cannot be avoided. It is better to turn up early and wait in a cafe than to be 10 minutes late.

Do not speak too quickly, mumble or be too quiet. You must speak clearly and project your voice to show you are confident and to ensure they can understand you. Your construction job search will not last long if this cannot be done properly.

Do not lie or hide information from them. If you get caught out, you will look bad and the construction recruiters will be able to spot you are lying.

Do not fidget or fiddle with anything on the desk, in your hands or play with your hair too much. This shows nerves and that you are not able to concentrate on the task in hand.

Do not slouch back in your chair and display a sense of aloofness. At the same time do not sit too far towards the interviewer and speak in their face. This negative body language will convey inappropriate aspects of your character and could ruin your chances of any construction jobs you apply for.

Do not mention negative things about your previous employer or those you used to work with in your previous construction industry jobs.

Do not brag and be overly confident in the interview.

Do not be ignorant to the companies you are applying to or indeed the actually work you will be doing. Make sure you do your research prior to the interview so you are able to respond to any questions you are asked.

Do not bring up the topic of salary, benefits or holiday – this is something that should be discussed and decided at a later date.

Do not use slang words, make jokes or chew chewing gum. You want to try to remain professional at this stage of your construction job search.

By taking these very straightforward points into consideration, you will be sure to make your interview positive and effective. If you can perform well at this stage of the process, you will be sure to be offered the construction work you have applied for.

Using The BIG Job Boards, Pros and Cons

Pros

Generalist job boards are a great place to begin the job search for a new job in accounting. Although they do cater for all industries, you do have the facility to search solely within accountancy. They provide many opportunities from a broad range of recruitment agencies and direct clients and allow you to compare the differences between the jobs all on one site. The beauty of these sites is there are so many opportunities to look through and compare.

Accounting Job Alerts
They let you set up job alerts for relevant accounting jobs so they can let you know about new opportunities as soon as they are registered online.

CV Database
Because the generalist job boards are larger than the niche sites, more recruiters will use the CV database and being registered will increase your chances of being contacted about potential accounting job opportunities.

Locations
They provide you with a wide range of locations, especially of interest if you are looking to re-locate. You can search through the various accounting jobs online in different locations comparing the salaries on offer and opportunities available.

Career Advice
Most generalist sites can also help you with career advice. They provide career articles on their websites that can help with writing CV’s and cover letters and can help you deal with interviews and other career related issues.

Cons

Not specialist
When using generalist job boards, more often than not the jobs will be more general accounting jobs rather than specialist.

Outdated / fake
Some jobs on the very large job boards can end up being fake or outdated. Because the job boards are so big they do not keep such a close eye on the accounting jobs being registered. Some vacancies are fake jobs and can be scams. Some are get rich quick schemes or pyramid schemes, which are obviously not real jobs.

Difficult to find named people
When you are applying for a new accounting job, it is advisable to contact a named person. Using these generalist job boards can prove hard to find a named contact to follow up the application made. It tends to be more impersonal than applying to a company directly.

Open to everyone
When you register onto a generalist job board you are putting yourself in front of a whole host of recruiters and become a target for those who have jobs that don’t necessarily match what you’re looking for. Big generalist job boards are used by recruitment agencies, headhunters and executive search firms.

Less chance of a response
Because these large job boards are inundated with candidates and jobs get receive many applications, recruiters are less likely to respond to the applications made, especially when they are no good. If you do not hear back from the recruiter, it is a good idea to follow up the application.

Spam
By being registered on a generalist job board, you become a target for spam from recruiters. Many recruiters will use the service to contact candidates registered on the database about get rich quick schemes, scams and other services they wish to sell to the candidates. These are totally irrelevant to the accounting job you wish for!