When interviewing for a new position, we want to do everything possible to ensure it goes well. Breath mints? Check. Resumes? Check. Firm handshake? Check.
But a great job interview starts days before you ever arrive at the office. Follow these simple steps to prepare yourself to have your best job interview ever:
1. Research the company
Make sure you know as much as possible about the company before you go into any interview. Start with the company’s website and read their mission statement, goals, and values and think about how those apply to the position you’re applying for. What key words could you use during the interview that would resonate? Look at any news or press pages to see what’s news and noteworthy for the company recently, and use that information to form intelligent questions to ask. You can also check LinkedIn for any connections you may have within the company who might be able to put in a good word or advise you. Finally, you can usually get a feel for the company culture from their website, which can influence how you dress.
2. Research the job
Once you’ve got the interview, make absolutely sure you know everything you can about the position and what the job is all about. This kind of research can help you pinpoint places your skills and personality will set you apart from the crowd. Carefully reread the qualifications in the job listing and think about how your experience fits in. Understanding what the average salary range for the position is can help with that dreaded question, “What kind of salary are you looking for?”
3. Prepare answers that highlight your skills and experience
This question can have many forms, but being able to demonstrate with your answers and anecdotes that you understand the key skills, expertise and experience required for the job and that you possess them will go a very long way to a winning interview.
4. Prepare answers that show your enthusiasm and interest
Often, when recruiters are faced with choosing between equally qualified candidates, the candidate who exhibited the most enthusiasm and interest in the job will win out. A perfect way to do this is to think about how your personal goals and ambitions tie into the success of the company.
5. Prepare answers that show how you will fit in with the company culture
Because you did your research in step 1, you will understand something about the company culture and be able to demonstrate how you will fit in. For example, if you know the company has strong ties with charity or values of giving back, you could mention your own volunteer work during the interview. When you get asked seemingly random questions like, “If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?” think about your answer in terms of the kind of animal the company needs or wants.
6. Plan your journey so you arrive stress free and on time
The stress of unexpected traffic, getting lost, and other delays can derail an otherwise promising interview, so take steps to ensure that you don’t have to stress. Prepare your outfit the night before to look for rips, stains, the right shoes, etc. Print extra copies of your resume ahead of time. Research your route to the interview, and practice it if you have time to account for any map errors. Check the traffic early and have alternate routes in mind. And give yourself some extra time; even if you arrive early and end up sitting in your car or the lobby for a few minutes, you will be less stressed than if you arrive late.
It may seem like common sense, but taking the time to do your research, prepare your answers, and plan your journey will have a huge impact on how well you perform at your next interview.
Looking for a job is a full-time job. It’s time-consuming and often frustrating. You can spend hours, days, or even weeks searching for a job that’s just the right fit. Then one day you find the “perfect” job. You fire off your resume. And you never hear a word. There are numerous reasons you don’t even get contacted for an interview. Some reasons are in your control, like triple-checking your resume for typos, but others are not.
Over the years, I’ve been both a jobseeker and a recruiter. I’ve talked to a bunch of recruiters and hiring managers as well. These are four common reasons why recruiters don’t call you.
You’re not qualified
Every day recruiters get resumes from people who are not even remotely qualified for the position for which they’re applying. While you don’t need to meet every single requirement to apply you should have a substantial amount. If you don’t have most, if not all, of the “must haves” or “requirements” it’s unlikely you’ll get a call. No matter how much of a “quick learner” you may be if the employer is asking for five years of experience they won’t be hiring a recent grad. Even one with a few internships under his or her belt. When an ad reads “SEO Manager” search engine optimization should appear on your resume.
Your salary is too high (or too low)
Jobs have a salary range and if your salary is way too high the recruiter is not going to call you. No matter how awesome you may be it’s highly unlikely they’re going to pay you $140K if the top of their range is $100K. On the flip side if your salary is too low they may think you’re under qualified. While the reason may be that you’re undervaluing yourself you may not get a call. It may not happen as often but it does happen. To help prevent these issues do your research with industry publications and salary calculators. Consider your financial situation and decide on your bottom line. You don’t want to price yourself out of the game.
Your social media profile doesn’t match your resume
After a recruiter reads your resume you can bet he or she will look you up online. When you’re looking for a job consistency is essential. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t line up with your resume the recruiter is, at the least, going to wonder why. Many recruiters will also look at your Twitter feed or Facebook page so think before you post. A picture of you having a glass of wine on your birthday shouldn’t be a problem, but constant negativity, like ranting about your boss and/or colleagues, can hurt your chances of being hired.
They’re already pursuing someone else
Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a case of bad timing. While the job may not be filled yet they may have collected several promising resumes or the hiring manager may already be down to a few strong candidates. If you apply for a position once they are well into the hiring process you may just be too late. This is one of the prime reasons it pays to network – it can help you find out about jobs before they are posted.
Whether you’re out of work or currently employed it’s not easy to find a new job. If it were no one would be unemployed or stay in a job they hate, ever. When it comes to finding a new position do your best with everything that’s under your control, like preventing resume typos, and try not to obsess about the rest, like if they already have a front-runner. Remember you can’t lose a job you didn’t have in the first place.
Marketing automation has only been around for a few years, but I've already heard plenty of horror stories. Most of them concern organisations that have gone too far, too fast and found themselves saddled with a bunch of expensive licences, some of which they may never need.
Frankly, we were close to going the same way. We certainly made mistakes when we started on the journey with marketing automation. But we found effective workarounds and now we've got a marketing automation deployment that is delivering real value.
I can summarise the key lessons we learned under the title of the new 4 Ps of marketing automation. Yes there’s still Product-Place-Price-Promotion, but the Ps that matter in an automated marketing world are People, Process, Platforms and Performance.
We recognised that the structure of the department would have to change. We had good people, but they didn't necessarily have all the skills they would need, and they were not always in the right roles. We invested in training and put the right people where we needed them
Our marketing team is now divided into two clear functions: content and execution. We have a dedicated data specialist who works closely with our marketing agency to feed Eloqua with clean, current data. The content team works closely with the product and sales teams to align our propositions with our strongest opportunities to develop business. And the execution team creates and operates the campaigns that run on Eloqua.
The first key lesson: Get the right people, with the right skills, in the right positions – your success will depend on it.
Marketing automation takes no prisoners. If there are any weaknesses in your process it will magnify them to the point of embarrassment.
For us, rolling out marketing automation was a great opportunity to review things from end to end and tighten up our planning, process and campaign delivery. We looked at the entire marketing workflow:
Who initiates a project? Who briefs who? Who needs to be part of the approval process? Who is maintaining brand and legal compliance? Who defines the timescales and SLAs? How is success measured?
The last point, of course, is one of the key benefits of a marketing automation deployment – you see very quickly what's working and where improvements can be made.
So the second key lesson is: Make and take the time to think through in detail how your department will function – there’s no avoiding it.
With your People and Process in place, it's time to lift the lid. I mentioned that we appointed a data specialist and she lost no time in digging down into what, for too many marketers, is a nemesis: the silos of data that we needed to bring together and feed into the marketing automation engine.
It's a never-ending commitment – a virtuous cycle of cleaning and segmentation that makes every campaign better targeted than the last. But it works because we have clear ownership and properly defined responsibilities.
The other key consideration under this P is the marketing automation platform itself. We use Salesforce for our data management, pipeline reporting and sales opportunity handover and management.
We then selected the Eloqua platform and used this for building marketing emails and landing pages, deploying campaigns, generating management reports and measuring ROI.
The third key lesson: It all starts with a clear data strategy, then careful consideration of the marketing automation platform. It's a decision that might live with you for a very long time.
Finally, there's the great benefit of marketing automation: the fact that you can measure performance in so many ways and on so many levels. It means you can test at every stage, allowing your deployment to scale as you get more confident with it and can see where it will deliver value.
You can start with a phased launch approach, perhaps trialling it around a particular event or campaign – something marketing automation is ideally suited for. As you scale up, always focus on the end-to-end functionality, from planning and content creation through to campaign deployment and reporting.
The final lesson: This is a marathon, not a sprint. A phased launch approach allows you to review, adapt and enhance with each new process you automate.
This is an age-old question that's been the subject of countless books, articles, and debates. Heck, I even started a "leadership readiness group" at a company I worked at, hoping I could mold future leaders earlier in their career. And, I have seen umpteen number of "Leadership Development" efforts at companies that have not produced the leaders they hoped for (they have produced managers).
And, the question remains - are leaders born, or are they made?
My answer is...
Leaders emerge. They are born out of circumstances, enlightenment, purpose, drive, ambition, etc. More importantly, born out of their own passion or drive, and not because they attended a one-week seminar on how to be a great leader, or read a self-improvement book. Nor, are they created because they were thrown into a scenario. And, they are definitely not born with special genes.
The easiest comparison I can think of is charity. One can't make someone to be charitable, that drive has to come from within, and for the greater good.
Self-awareness is key
To be a leader, you need to be self-aware of your leadership abilities. Not simply the confidence, but the belief in the common goal you are taking your team to. And that can happen only out of one's own volition, passion, self-awareness, and enlightenment.
And, for this to happen, you need leaders to have a purpose that came about on its own, and not artificially created.
The important thing to understand is leadership is a trait, and not a skill.
So, how do you build leaders?
This leads to an interesting question - how do companies then "build" leaders? While leadership should still come from within an individual, you can increase the probability of successful leaders emerging in your workplace by a few simple things.
Start with culture. Often times, people's leadership abilities are wasted simply because they are not recognized, rewarded, or simply acknowledged. Create a culture where leadership is treated as a special trait given the short and long term benefits to the company.
Create a purpose that you want people to lead in - purpose drives leaders to emerge, and if you create or demonstrate a larger purpose, you will encourage leaders to emerge.
Create messages and actions consistent with culture - whether these are implicit or explicit, send messages that are consistent with how you identify, recognize and reward leadership. Your actions should also reflect this, whether in policies, rewards, promotions, and so on.
Reward and not punishment - coming forward as a leader, especially an unproven one, is a risky proposition. For those who take this risk, send a message that failure is not punished. Else, you risk potential leaders not coming forward.
Autonomy and not bureaucracy - contributing with leadership is similar to contributing with charity. Bureaucracy easily stifles both. Autonomy, on the other hand, enables leaders to be creative in their own way.
In today’s world, hiring is becoming more of an art form rather than a run-of-the-mill activity performed by an HR Rep. There are metrics that determine what makes a viable candidate, a team of personalities who will be a part of the decision making process and more tests than you ever took in High School Geometry just to determine if you are the right employee for them. For every one job being advertised, there are close to hundreds of candidates who are fighting for that same spot and while you may think you are the perfect fit for that position, those other applicants have the same opinion. Although your resume may be ideal, it’s hard to tell the difference when it’s sitting in the middle of a pile a mile long. You need something to set yourself aside; something that puts you in front of that hiring manager and says “Here I am, when do I start?” Having a recruiter who has direct access to that hiring manager is the key.
Below I highlight 6 reasons why working with a recruiter will put you at the head of the class:
1) Direct contact with hiring manager:
Recruiters spend days, if not weeks, working to build relationships with the person who will ultimately decide the fate of your future employment. Recruiters devote that time to learning what not only makes someone a good fit technically but also culturally and by the time your first phone call with a recruiter is over, you already know if you are one step closer to being that company’s next employee.
2) They know the ins and outs of the job description:
When you are reviewing a job description what are you doing first? Identifying if you match with the bullet points being advertised. You read the first seven bullet points and you think “well I match 5 of the 7 so I should be perfect!” What if what you didn’t know was that the two you don’t match are the two that are the most important to the hiring manager, and without it they won’t consider you? The Recruiter knows that. A good recruiter will know what areas of the job description are most important and which ones are secondary. By knowing this ahead of time you automatically can get yourself to the front of the line.
3) Provide career advice:
The recruiter’s job is to interact with thousands of job seekers a year. Recruiting is much like a batting average in baseball. Unfortunately success is determined by failing more than winning. They know what a bad interview looks like, and how it can be prevented. If you are an average job seeker chances are you are only interviewing a few times a year. Which means you only get a few shots at getting things right. Working with the recruiter allows you a chance to learn from others mistakes. If you can spend even 10 minutes with a recruiter finding out what makes a job applicant attractive to hiring managers, it can save you hours of wasted interviewing time.
4) Up-front honesty:
Unfortunately the true fact is that companies do not want to tell you why you are not a fit for them. They would like to have you believe “there was a better applicant”. And while that may be true, that still begs the question: what made them better? More experience? Better aptitude to do the job? Would they accept a lower salary? Hiring managers aren’t afraid to tell recruiters these answers because they know they do not have to tell the applicant themselves. So, as such, there is no fear of backlash by sharing this information with a recruiter. On the flipside the recruiter is not afraid to tell the applicant this information because ultimately they are not the ones who feel this way, it comes from someone else. When you are working with a recruiter you can get the black and white truth, no matter how harmful it may be.
5) Interview preparation:
To go back to point 3, the average job seeker is no expert at interviewing – at least you probably should not be (if you have job security). The recruiter, on the other hand, is. They know if the hiring manager prefers someone who dresses down, shows up 15 minutes early or has a firm handshake. These things are important in this day and age. Personally, I have had a candidate be declined a VP of Human Resources job because they did not send a proper thank you note. If you are interviewing on your own, how are you supposed to know that? Working with the recruiter allows you to know what will set you apart from the rest of the applicants. Maybe this hiring manager will only hire a team player, and while the candidate before you was unaware of that you walked in prepared to talk all about how you were part of a 10 person team that had to work together, and you brought examples to prove it.
6) Resume assistance:
Whilst you may be an excellent writer, unfortunately you cannot have 15 different versions of your resume on hand to fit every job you apply for. And if you are like most professionals you have acquired a multitude of different skill sets throughout your career. Although it would be nice to label all of it, there just isn’t enough room. The recruiter knows what is most important to that hiring manager and what they look for first on a resume and they will ensure that the first thing the hiring manager reads is the same things that he/she is looking for.
Ultimately working with a recruiter will get you closer to that dream job you’ve been trying to land more than you could think, by separating yourself from the herd. Knowing what a hiring manager wants to see on a resume and what will set you apart once you land that interview will put you that much closer to acing the test. But don’t just work with the first recruiter who calls. Understand their market, clients and industry. If you are an IT Director looking for that executive level position it makes no sense working with the Financial Recruiter who specializes in tax accountants. The recruiter/ candidate relationship should be one of understanding what the two of you can do for one another. After all, this is your life were talking about.
Should you accept that job or not? 5 questions to know for sure
During my career as a marketer in the recruitment industry, I was contacted by many job seekers agonizing over finding work. They often asked whether to take a second-best offer or wait for anything better. These are not easy questions to answer, however, there are five questions to help with such a complex decision making process. These questions will ensure that your important decision is the right choice.
1. Can you do the job?
Are the company’s expectations for the position in line with your expertise and are they realistic, determined and attainable? Before considering your gut feelings, emotions and family’s views, you might want to ask yourself the vital screening question, “can I do this job”?
If the answer is no, run away before the salary and other job-related benefits start clouding your thoughts. Remember to consider the essence of this job, any expertise a company is expecting of you (not minor tasks such as the corporate tools everyone learns upon joining).
Expectations should be concrete and attainable. Clarity at this stage will ensure you avoid a highly undesirable result later.
2. Are you well-suited to the company and will you enjoy your day-to-day duties?
This one is tricky, as the ability to judge how you will fit-in with the company usually comes with experience. Unless you somehow have great insight into the company, it is unlikely you can judge their corporate culture during brief interviews.
Do not underestimate the importance of fitting-in. This is among the top three most important determining factors in a longstanding and successful career with a company. If in doubt, do not hesitate to discuss with your recruiter more than once.
The same goes for job tasks. Days can be very l-o-n-g if you are overqualified for a job, or if tasks are not well-suited to you. Terrible frustration or boredom may result.
3. If you care about career progression, is there a future for you at the company?
It is critical to understand a clear career path (or lack thereof) at the company at this point. Do not be shy about this, ask your prospective boss directly if you place priority on developing yourself. Also ask: is the company solvent or healthy financially? Whilst this is definitely not a question for your interviewer, you can always research at prospective employer -- so, do your homework.
If your goal is to progress, accepting a good job at the wrong salary level may not satisfy you in the long run. This is particularly true for mid-level to senior positions.
4. What is your gut saying?
Have the confidence to quiet your mind and then listen to your gut feelings. If you already know in your heart that you will hate the job – don’t just settle for this opportunity right away.
I have seen many successful careers born from someone having listened to a positive feeling in their gut from the very start.
5. Is the commute bearable and does family support?
This is a classic. Do you enjoy commuting and is the job in an area you really want to live or work at? If not, I wouldn't recommend accepting this job unless you want to start looking for a new position again soon. Since your decision will impact the lives of your family members as well as yours, I strongly recommend discussing any career changes with those members of your family who will be affected. Yes, at the end of the day it will be your decision, however request their opinions and ask yourself whether their concerns - if any - are reasonable.
Likely, you cannot answer positively for every question mentioned above, because no company or position is perfect. Nonetheless, if you weren’t able to answer most of the questions optimistically while honestly, then you need to seriously reconsider accepting your job opportunity. As a marketer with many years of experience within the headhunting industry, I always recommend discussing your doubts with the role’s recruiting consultant.
First and foremost congratulations if you have an interview! That in itself is commendable, so now you just want to make sure you come across in the best possible light. I have been asked numerous times what to do in preparation for interviews. Whilst there is no way of predicting exactly what you will be asked, here are 20 common questions that tend to come up. This is by no means an exhaustive list. The purpose is to illustrate the importance of preparation and refreshing your memory regarding specific projects and situations.
1- Tell me about yourself. This is probably the most asked question in an interview. It breaks the ice and gets you to talk about something you should be fairly comfortable with. Have something prepared that doesn’t sound rehearsed. It’s not about you telling your life story and quite frankly the interviewer just isn’t interested. Unless asked to do so, stick to your education, career and current situation. Work through it chronologically from the furthest back to the present.
2- Why are you looking for another job (or why did you leave your previous job)? On the surface this appears to be a simple question, yet it is easy to slip. I would suggest not mentioning money at this stage as you may come across as totally mercenary. If you are currently in employment you can say it’s about developing your career and yourself as an individual. If you are in the unfortunate position of having been downsized stay positive and keep it brief. If you were fired you should have a solid explanation. Whatever your circumstances do not go into the drama and detail and stay positive.
3- What do you know about this organisation? Do your homework prior to the interview. Doing the background work will help you stand out. Find out who the main players are, have they been in the news recently? You’re not expected to know every date and individual yet you need to have a solid understanding of the company as a whole.
4- Why do you want this job? This questions typically follows on from the previous one. Here is where your research will come in handy. You may want to say that you want to work for a company that is x, y, z, (market leader, innovator, provides a vital service, whatever it may be). Put some thought into this beforehand, be specific and link the company’s values and mission statement to your own goals and career plans.
5- Who are our main competitors? This shows you really understand the industry and the main players. Think about a few and say how you think they compare; similarities, differences. This is a good opportunity to highlight what you think are the company’s key strengths.
6- What would your previous co-workers say about you? This is not the arena for full disclosure. You want to stay positive and add a few specific statements or paraphrase. Something like “Joe Blogs always mentioned how reliable and hard working I was” is enough.
7- How do you handle stressful situations and working under pressure? There are several ways of addressing this one. You may be the sort of person that works well under pressure; you may even thrive under pressure. Whatever the case may be just make sure you don’t say you panic. You want to give specific examples of stressful situations and how well you dealt with them. You may also want to list a few tools you use to help you, such as to do lists etc. It is alright to say that if you feel you are way over your head you will ask for assistance. It is equally acceptable to say that you work best under pressure if this is indeed the case and relevant to the particular role.
8- Are you applying for other jobs? If you are serious about changing jobs then it is likely that you are applying to other positions. It is also a way of showing that you are in demand. Be honest but don’t go into too much detail, you don’t want to spend a great deal of time on this. If asked about names of who you have spoken to it is absolutely legitimate to say you prefer not to disclose that information at this stage.
9- What are you like working in a team? Your answer is of course that you are an excellent team player; there really is no other valid answer here as you will not function in an organisation as a loner. You may want to mention what type of role you tend to adopt in a team, especially if you want to emphasis key skills such as leadership. Be prepared to give specific examples in a very matter of fact sort of way.
10- What sort of person do you not like to work with? This is not an easy one as you have no idea whom you would be working with. Even if you can immediately think of a long list of people you don’t like to work with, you could take some time to think and say that it’s a difficult question as you have always gotten on fine with your colleagues.
11- What is your greatest strength? This is your time to shine. Just remember the interviewer is looking for work related strengths. Mention a number of them such as being a good motivator, problem solver, performing well under pressure, loyal, positive attitude, eager to learn, taking the initiative, attention to detail. Whichever you go for, be prepared to give examples that illustrate this particular skill.
12- What is your biggest weakness? A challenging one, as if you so you have no weaknesses you are obviously lying! Be realistic and mention a small work related flaw. Many people will suggest answering this using a positive trait disguised as a flaw such as “I’m a perfectionist” or “I expect others to be as committed as I am”. I would advocate a certain degree of honesty and list a true weakness. Emphasize what you’ve done to overcome it and improve. This question is all about how you perceive and evaluate yourself.
13- What has been your biggest professional disappointment/achievement so far? If asked about disappointments mention something that was beyond your control. Stay positive by showing how you accepted the situation and have no lingering negative feelings. If asked about your greatest achievement chose an example that was important to you as well as the company. Specify what you did, how you did it and what the results were. Ideally pick an example that can relate to the positions you are applying for.
14- What kind of decisions do you find most difficult to take? There is no right or wrong here. The logic behind this type of question is that your past behaviour is likely to predict what you will do in the future. What the interviewer is looking for is to understand what you find difficult.
15- Tell me about a suggestion that you have made that has been successfully implemented. Here the emphasis is on the implemented. You may have had many brilliant ideas, but what the interview is looking for is something that has actually materialised. Be prepared to briefly describe how it went from an idea to implementation stage.
16- Have you ever had to bend the rules in order to achieve a goal? Beware of this type of question! Under no circumstances is it necessary to break company policy to achieve something. Resist the temptation to answer and give examples, as what the interviewer is looking for is to determine how ethical you are and if you will remain true to company policy.
17- Are you willing to travel or relocate if necessary? This is something you need to have very clear in your mind prior to the meeting, if you think there is any chance this may come up. There is no point in saying yes just to get the job if the real answer is actually no. Just be honest as this can save you problems arising in the future.
18- Why should we hire you? This is an important question that you will need to answer carefully. It is your chance to stand out and draw attention to your skills, especially those that haven’t already been addressed. Saying “because I need a job” or “I’m really good” just won’t cut it. Don’t speculate about other candidates and their possible strengths or flaws. Make sure you focus on you. Explain why you make a good employee, why you are a good fit for the job and the company and what you can offer. Keep it succinct and highlight your achievements.
19- Regarding salary, what are your expectations? Always a tricky one and a dangerous game to play in an interview. It is a common mistake to discuss salary before you have sold yourself and like in any negotiation knowledge is power. Do your homework and make sure you have an idea of what this job is offering. You can try asking them what the salary range. If you want to avoid the question altogether you could say that at the moment you are looking to advance in your career and money isn’t your main motivator. If you do have a specific figure in mind and you are confident you can get it, then it may be worth going for it.
20- Do you have any questions for us? This one tends to come up every time. Have some questions prepared. This will show you have done some research and are eager to know and learn as much as possible. You probably don’t want to ask more than 3 or 4 questions. Try and use questions that focus on you becoming an asset to the company. A generic one might be “how soon can I start if I were to get the job”. Another idea is to ask what you would be working on and how quickly they expect you to be able to be productive. Remember to ask about next steps and when you can expect to hear back.
Bare in mind that the interview starts from the minute you walk into the building until you leave and are out of sight. Don’t think that just because you have left the meeting room, you are “off the hook”. You need to maintain an image of confidence, enthusiasm, competence, reliability and professionalism throughout.
Too many business owners throw money at marketing without taking the time to figure out what they're getting for those dollars spent and without directing the investment to their customer targets. If you can't tie the expense to a specific result, and you can't reach your potential customers, you may be wasting your money.
Most entrepreneurs or small companies are understandably eager to see a return on the investment of time and money they have made in their business. Ready to start cashing in, they either hit the pavement running or hire a salesperson to do it for them. But a business trying to sell a service or product, without first creating a marketing plan, is much like a marathon runner with no finish line. Remember; a marketing plan provides the specific details needed to increase visibility, expand your customer base, and provide quantifiable methods to measure your return on investment (ROI).
Rejection letters that is. The job search is more competitive than it has ever been. Employers are bombarded by hundreds of applications and by-pass many qualified candidates for open positions in their companies. Many qualified candidates applications do not make it past the pre-screening phase. This is especially true in companies where electronic scanners are used to perform keyword searches to match applicants to the requirements for open positions.
After weeks, sometimes months, of anxiously waiting for a response to your application, an email arrives that says,
"Thank you for your response and interest in our recently posted position. We received expressions of interest from many well qualified persons and are unfortunately unable to offer you the position at this time. We wish you well in seeking a new position."
Let's face it, a rejection letter can be painful, but do not take it personally. Put the rejection letter in perspective; use it as an opportunity to reflect on your job search strategy -- did your resume clearly communicate your accomplishments and potential, did you target a position that was right for your skills, etc. These and other questions must be carefully considered before moving forward with your job search.
Respond positively to the rejection letter -- thank the employer for his response, and ask to be considered for future positions with the company. The employer will keep you in mind (or at least in the company's employment database) should future positions arise that are a match for your skills.
A rejection letter can be painful, but by using it as an opportunity for reflection, growth, and to refine your job search, you will be steps closer to landing the job that is right for you.
When you lose your job, it seems like one of the most devastating life experiences.
There's the worry of finding another one; the loss of income and benefit; there's a big gaping hole left where you once had peace of mind and security.
There is a particular year that I remembered the most. It was in early 2003. That was months after Hewlett Packard has acquired Compaq Computer for USD25 billion in 2002. In any merger and acquisition, there is always a fear that looms in people's hearts, and that is restructuring and layoff. No doubt, an announcement was made in the internal mail that they will be laying off thousands of employees.
Being in the sales team, there is always less worry if you have been meeting the sales target (safer zone) in any merger and acquisition. I was able to meet and over achieve my sales quota for the past two years, so thought it will be safe.
The Coffee Session
And then one morning, my sales manager asked me for a coffee. Two things in my mind. It's either the good news or the bad news. And of course, I was thinking about the good news. We sat down in a cafe. She began to speak in a soft yet firm voice 'Ngee Key, how are things with you? Hope everything is fine." My response is good, always positive. And then she break the news to me "You know about the merger between Compaq and Hewlett Packard. They just released the list of employees to be layoff. I'm sorry, you are one of them".
Wow, what a piece of news I got first thing in the morning. Stunned and speechless is how I described myself. I didn't finish my coffee as my mind went blank for a while. My boss is nice and offer all the help to me during this transition. I have seen some of my friends who got retrenched. Never felt how it is till I experienced myself.
Told myself, what's done cannot be undone. Instead of focusing "Why me", I focus on what I can do about it. It is a challenging moment. I took a break, went for a vocation, revitalize myself and reflect in my life what will be my next chapter. After I got back from my break, I created a plan and follow through. Self drive and determination are important attributes in the entire job search process.
If the Door has Closed, Use the Window
There are many self-made individuals who have used the opening of "the window" to actually move on to bigger and better careers. There are so many people who get stuck in a rut when it comes to their employment. They have a job, steady income, but not necessary liking and enjoying their current situation. They just have the thought of "If the rice bowl is not broken, why fix it". And they never pursue their dream job.
Losing your job, as hard as it may seem at the time, can end up being one of the best things that ever happens to you; it is a motivation to stop and look at your life, and a chance to make a positive and higher income change. There are people who simply don't have the courage to pursue their dream job on their own; they have to be forced into it, and a job loss can be what stimulates their move toward a better situation.
What to do When You Lose Your Job?
1. Contact a career or job search coach/specialist. Many career coaches or specialists offer brief complimentary initial consultations, and it will give you a chance to discuss and brainstorm about your future. It will boost your morale and your confidence to have someone to consult with who is knowledgeable in this area.
2. Make yourself visible. The natural thing for many people is to mope alone and secluded in their depression, but a job isn't going to come knocking at your door. Get out and about, talk to people, network and let people know you are job hunting. Arrange informational interviewing with experts to know more in depth about their roles and industry. Don't just ask for a job, but advice that will be useful for you.
3. Consider continuing to upgrade your knowledge based on today’s demands.Perhaps a short course or there are some certificates or development courses that would enhance your resume. If you are worried about finances, explore the possibility of financial aid, and not just federal aid, either. Many community colleges offer tuition incentives for older adults, some even include books and supplies. There are even free online courses offered by Coursera, Udacity, and edX, which provide university-level content, and Khan Academy, which largely targets K-12 education.
4. Update your resume and other personal marketing tools such as your portfolio.Have your mentor or career coach review it and make suggestions for improvement.
5. Don't feel obligated to stay in the same industry or profession. Be willing to adapt; if there are no jobs in your field, consider other options, even if it is a climb down the ladder rather than up. Any job can be better than no job, and it can be only temporary. Besides, many people have actually found something they liked better by being willing to make a career change.
6. Consider a part time job, bridge job or freelancing rather than full time. You can use the extra time to write a book or start your own home business. This is a path many have taken to find wealth and success working from home.
Whatever you do, think positive. You have some extra time on your hands, so use it constructively. Believe in yourself, and know there is real power in positive thinking.