Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

“So Tell Me about Yourself”

May 3, 2017

 

How many times have you walked into an interview where this is the opening statement by a potential boss? We all imagine that this might come up as the lead-in to gathering information about us as the candidate for a position, but all too often we aren’t prepared to answer it in a way that makes us look good to our prospective employer. In her April 28, 2017 piece in US News and World Report, Chrissy Scivicque writes about how being prepared for this seemingly innocuous statement can either make or break the interview.
She discusses how to respond, as well as some of the mistakes that are made while trying to give a well thought out answer. Candidates should remember that they need to make a good first impression without either talking too long, giving too much personal information or getting off track and rambling on.  Being well prepared for this question is key to a successful interview. A few suggestions which she makes are:
• Create a well-crafted answer. Remember, this is about you as a professional. Your response gives the interviewer an idea of who you are and sets up the rest of the interview.
• Build Rapport. You may be nervous but you still need to be friendly and show enthusiasm. Show the interviewer you are excited to be there!
• Frame your Professional History Cohesively. Think about your entire body of work and highlight those areas you are passionate about and which will make you stand out to a prospective employer. You have a resume, so there is no need to go into too much detail – just a cohesive outline about your career. Fill in any gaps that may have occurred along the way.
If you take the time to think of how to respond to this question, you can feel good about the possibilities.
To read more of this article, please click on the following link:
http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2017-04-28/how-to-answer-the-tell-me-about-yourself-interview-question

The Benefits of Volunteering

April 26, 2017

Often times the search for a new career seems like a full time job in itself, so why would volunteering your time be helpful? Alison Doyle at thebalance.com, Mariliza Karrera with careeraddict.com, and self-help site helpguide.org offer compelling reasons why volunteer activity can benefit your career outlook and search process.

  • Volunteering is an easy way to explore career fields and interests without long term commitments or an intense career pivot. You may love animals and have an interest in veterinary work, but be unaware of the sometimes messy requirements of the job. Volunteering your time with a local clinic can provide you with valuable perspective that will assist your decision making process.
  • Volunteering helps you establish connections within an organization or industry. Consider the previous example: working with the full-time staff of a veterinary clinic provides access to tacit knowledge, potential references, and access to opportunities that might otherwise be closed or unknown. Offering your time and effort helps establish social capital.
  • Volunteering provides access to new skills. You can gain firsthand experience with translatable best practices and skills, some of which could be applicable to your current skill set or career.
  • Volunteering provides resume continuity. Minimizing gaps in your work history shows potential employers that you have remained engaged in your career pursuits. A volunteer opportunity can be an excellent gap filler that also provides the above mentioned benefits.
  • Volunteering helps you stay busy. Sometimes the career search process can be daunting or even disheartening. Rather than wait for an email or phone call from a potential employer, engage your mind with new, enriching tasks that help reduce the stress of the waiting game.
  • Volunteering within a career is an excellent way to help others. Legal and medical professionals provide volunteer time in the form of pro-bono work, but you don’t have to be a lawyer or doctor to help others. We all possess knowledge and skills that can help others. Charities, civic organizations, and social services can all use your help, and in the process you can reap both personal and professional benefits.
  • Volunteering may be the “foot in the door” that leads to a long term career. There’s no guarantee that a future job in the cards, but you can make a positive impression while making real change at a firm or an organization.

Whether you have a job, are exploring a change in your career arc, or are currently searching, remember that volunteering is more than just giving your time; volunteering is an opportunity to explore, learn, connect, and grow.