Category: Interview Prep


Can Finding a Job Be Like Finding Love?

Can finding a job be like finding love?

With today’s job market, it can be tough to find a good job. Almost as tough as it is to find a good companion.

But the way you approach finding a job is not so different than the approach you might take when finding a mate.

While it’s true that opposites attract, most people seek out a mate with common interests and values.

You’ve also probably heard you have to know and love yourself before you can know and love another person. The same is true when determining what career field you should enter into.

What Are Your “Must-Haves”?

First, you need to know enough about yourself to know what you like and what you don’t like. Do you prefer an outdoorsy, adventurous job to a nice, quiet desk job?

You also need to determine what you value most in an employer. Are you looking for an employer that’s honest and caring? Do you want one that’s going to spend a lot of money on you in salary and benefits?

If you recoil at the idea of a long distance relationship, location and commute may be important factors in determining what kind of job is right for you.

So the first step to a job search is self-reflection and self-assessment. Career assessments are similar to tests used in online matchmaking. They measure your interests and values to determine what career fields may be a good match for you.

However, these assessments should not be taken too seriously. The results of your career assessments don’t mean you can’t succeed in other career fields. Just like the results of your matchmaking test don’t mean you can only date those people who fall into your “perfect match” category.

Many times, potential mates come along when you least expect them, and so do other career opportunities.

Put Yourself Out There

Once you know what kind of job is right for you, now you have to go out and find it!

There are several ways to find a job, and it’s important to exhaust all possibilities.

First, there are online job boards which are similar in function to online dating sites and dating apps. However, keep in mind you can’t just post your resume to a 100 job ads and sit back and expect employers to call. Just like the ladies can’t expect to give out their phone number to every man they meet and sit at home waiting for them to call.

Instead, the most effective and successful way to find a job is through networking.

Networking is important because, just like the fact that not every person has a personal ad posted online, not every job is advertised online.

In fact, over half of all jobs go unadvertised.

Networking can be very intimidating (check out my post 7 Easy Networking Tips for Introverts). It can even make some people nervous because it’s very similar to being “fixed” up on a date.

Or it can be like trying to get up the nerve to approach an attractive member of the opposite sex at a party. Although in the case of networking, you usually don’t have any liquid courage to make it easier.

Networking also yields better results than attending a massive job fair, the singles bar of the working world.

But leave no job lead un-turned.

Even if the lead doesn’t turn out to be your dream job, the contacts you make from it could lead you to a more compatible job.

This is kind of like going on a blind date and instead end up falling for your date’s roommate instead.

Time to Flirt!

Once you’ve searched and found job openings that are right for you, it’s now time for the seduction scene.

You must spend some time fixing up your resume to make it more attractive to potential employers.

A resume is the occupational equivalent to flirting in the dating world.

The purpose of a resume is not to get a job, but to land a first-round interview. Just like the purpose of flirting is not to get a marriage commitment, but to land a first date.

Your resume should target the position for which you are applying.

For instance, instead of listing every job you’ve had since babysitter or lifeguard, list only the most relevant jobs. Or those where you developed strong transferable skills necessary to be successful in the available position.

If the “flirting” works, the seduction game continues with the first interview (i.e. the first date).

Do Your Research

If you’re being fixed up with someone, usually before the date you try to get the low-down from your friend the matchmaker on what the other person is really like.

It’s necessary to know a little background information about the potential match before meeting them. This helps you determine if the person has any of the qualities you’re looking for in a mate.

You want to do the same before meeting a recruiter or potential employer for the first time. In fact, your research should be even more thorough when it comes to preparing for your screening interview.

The research you do on the company before the interview not only will impress the interviewer, but will also help you determine if it’s a close match to your interests and values. (And, unlike in dating, it won’t be seen as stalking.)

Ask Lots of Questions!

Once you get past the whole “What am I going to wear?!” dilemma (which can be stressful since first impressions count, both on a first date and in a job interview), it’s time to see if the chemistry is there!

Both a first date and an interview is the time to determine if your personalities click with each other.

Questions help in determining if there’s a connection.

Keep in mind that the interview is a two-way street.

You must ask thoughtful questions to decide if this is a job you want to pursue further.

Not having questions about the job or the company would indicate a lack of interest in the job.

You wouldn’t go on a date and not ask the other person any questions about themselves, would you?

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

We all know that men and women communicate differently when interacting with each other. They also perform differently from each other in job interviews.

Men are more confident (and sometimes overly confident) when talking about themselves in the interview. Maybe it’s because they get a lot of practice from dating since men often treat a first date like a job interview.

They tend to talk about themselves because, since women ask their dates many questions, men think women want to hear all about them and hope they will impress the women in the process.

Many times, women are asking questions because they want to be asked the same questions by their dates.

Women feel it’s impolite to just initiate a conversation about themselves.

Some women aren’t as confident as men are in an interview because they don’t feel comfortable tooting their own horn.

During the job interview, women should highlight their skills and accomplishments by giving specific examples and relaying that into how they can make a contribution to the company.

Men should do the same while also asking more questions about what would be expected of them in the job.

Say “Thank You”

Hopefully, if the chemistry is there, your screening interview will lead to a second-round interview.

It’s important to follow-up the first interview with a thank you letter. This is the same as the “I had a great time last night” phone call or text after an amazing date.

Make sure you send a thank you letter within 24 to 48 hours. In it be sure to reiterate your skills and your continued interest in the job.

Once you’ve done that, move on with your job search.

Continue interviewing with other companies because it may take weeks to get a call back from the first company. Just like it may take weeks to get a call back from last night’s amazing date.

Ready to Go Steady?

After going through several rounds of increasingly intensive interviews, you finally get a job offer, the equivalent to the question of “Want to be exclusive?”

If you look around, you can tell some people put more thought into which job they’ll take than into which person they’ll spend the rest of their lives and procreate with.

And yes, there are factors of a new job that need consideration over a few days to a couple of weeks before giving an answer.

But keep in mind the high-paying, high-profile job that lacks challenge and opportunities for advancement is the same as the tall, dark and handsome or beautiful, blonde and buxom prospect. Although sexy, it won’t necessarily make you happy in the long run.

You need to ask yourself if you’ll love at least 60% of the day-to-day tasks of the job. If so, you could have a keeper on your hands!

For more career advice and job search tips, click here to subscribe to my newsletter.

finding love

paNASH’s Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017

Check it out! Below are paNASH’s top 10 most popular blog posts of 2017. They include topics such as such as pursuing your passions, career and life advice, interview tips and more.

This past year I’ve been posting my blog entries not only here on the paNASH web site but also to the awesome platform Medium. This has allowed for more reach and therefore the ability to accomplish my 2017 goal of using my business to help more people get unstuck in their careers. 

Please remember to “clap” on Medium for the articles you find most interesting. Doing so allows me to continue sharing my content with you and other readers!

paNASH’s Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017:

  1. The One Surprising Tip That Guarantees a Good Interview
  2. 8 Simple Hacks to a More Passionate Life and Career
  3. 7 Comfortable and Easy Networking Tips for Introverts
  4. 5 Books That Will Make a Huge Impact On Your Life and Career
  5. What NOT To Do In a Job Interview
  6. Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From the Competition
  7. How to Think Like an Entrepreneur (Even When You’re Not One)
  8. 10 Lessons I’ve Learned From 10 Years of Freelancing
  9. The Secret to Answering Behavioral Interview Questions
  10. Career Advice No One Will Ever Share With You

Note: If you have trouble with any of the above links, you can view the same articles here on the paNASH blog.

7 Things You Need to Know About Recruiters

Attention job seekers: it’s important to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!

This is true for anyone (i.e. an artist, a freelancer, etc.). And it’s also true for those hoping to land the job of their dreams.

But one of the biggest mistakes I see job seekers make is not putting themselves in the recruiter’s shoes.

Below I want to teach you what you need to know about recruiters. I want to help you get in their minds so you can succeed in your next interview.

Disclaimer:  the following does not apply to all recruiters.

Let’s jump right in!

Recruiters are not looking for reasons to keep your resume. They’re looking for reasons to throw out your resume.

I always share this whenever I do a resume workshop. I also speak to this in my video guide Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed. Recruiters will make decisions about your resume based on some of the most nit-picky things.

For example, they might throw your resume out if your bullets from one section of your resume aren’t lined up with the bullets in another section of your resume. This may be especially true if you’re applying for a job that requires you to be detail-oriented. The inconsistency reveals you’re actually NOT detail-oriented.

Other inconsistencies such as not having all your headings in the same font size and format give them a reason to throw out your resume. And of course, so do misspellings and grammatical errors.

Why do recruiters do this? With the volume of resumes received for each job, recruiters have to narrow down their options to something more manageable given all their additional job responsibilities.

How to respond:

Do everything you can to ensure your resume is the best it can be. This means leaving off the things you shouldn’t include and emphasizing the things you should.

To learn more, check out my video guide Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed.

Sometimes recruiters will make decisions regarding your resume just based on your contact info.

As a result of the above, it’s quicker for a recruiter to just look at your contact info at the top of your resume and make a quick decision.

If your address shows you’re out-of-state, they’ll assume you’ll need relocation expenses covered. And the company may want to try to avoid that added expense if at all possible. So your resume gets tossed.

If you’re address indicates you’re local, this too can sometimes be a liability. For instance, if the recruiter recognizes your street name as part of a more well to-do area of town, the assumption could be the company won’t be able to afford your salary requirements.

How to respond:

It’s no longer required or necessary to have your address on your resume as long as you have your phone number and an email address (one with a professional-sounding handle!).

If you still want to put your mailing address on your resume, I suggest moving your contact info to the bottom of your resume.

Recruiters are no longer as concerned with what looks like “job hopping” on your resume as they once were.

Or at least they shouldn’t be.

But old habits are hard to break, so I’m sure there are some recruiters who still frown upon job hopping.

However, recruiters are now told they need to be more flexible when considering job hopping.

Why? There are a couple of valid reasons.

One, after the economy tanked in 2008, many people who lost their jobs took whatever jobs they could get at the time to survive. As soon as they were able to find better work, they left what they considered to be temporary work. This created some short-term job situations that were not always within the candidate’s control.

Two, most millennials who are now a vibrant part of the workforce don’t typically stay with a job they view as “dead-end” for very long (whether for good or bad).

One recruiter recently told me the average millennial will leave their job within 8-12 months if they’re not happy. (Brett Cenkus might be onto the reason why in his article “Millennials Will Work Hard, Just Not for Your Crappy Job“.)

How to respond:

Relax if you’re concerned about being seen as a job-hopper. It’s not going to be as big of a deal as you think.

And remember, you don’t have to include every job you’ve ever had on your resume. You can just include the ones that are relevant to the position under a heading called “Relevant Experience”

Recruiters can be just as nervous in the interview as you are.

I discussed this in my previous post when I gave a critique of the real interviews featured on CNBC’s new show, The Job Interview.

Recruiters are nervous because they know you’re also nervous. They’re nervous for you because they want you to do a good job. They’re rooting for you.

And they’re nervous they’ll make a costly mistake and hire the wrong person. They’re job performance could be dependent upon their hiring decision.

How to respond:

Acknowledge that recruiters can also be nervous. Doing so will help calm your own nerves too.

Approach the interview in a way that assures them you can do the job and solve the problem they need the candidate to solve in the job. You can do this by providing specific examples of how you’ve solved similar problems in the past.

I teach you the method for doing this in my video guides Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety and The 3 Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers: Stand Out Above Your Competition.

Recruiters don’t see your over-qualifications as an asset. Instead, they see them as a liability.

Don’t assume that if the job only requires a bachelor’s degree your MBA will give you the competitive edge.

And if they’re seeking someone with 10 years of experience and you have 15, that’s not going to give you a competitive edge either.

Instead, both of the above will often be viewed by the recruiter as liabilities. They’ll assume they won’t be able to afford you and will move on to the next applicant.

How to respond:

If the job you really want doesn’t either require or prefer an advanced degree, leave it off your resume. Just like you don’t have to include every job you’ve ever had on your resume, you also don’t have to include every degree or certification.

If you have a few more years of experience than what’s required, just say you have, for example, 10+ years for a 10 year experience requirement.

Neither of these responses is considered lying. The goal is to get your resume through the resume filtering software and to secure the job interview. Once you do that, then you can further explain why you’re interested in the job and why you’re willing to work at a lower level to achieve your career goals.

Recruiters will assume you’re not interested in the job or the company if you don’t ask them any questions during the interview.

I’ve said this time and time again, but it’s always worth repeating.

You MUST have questions of your own prepared in an interview. This is necessary for two main reasons:

  1. You have to show you’re genuinely interested in the job. Not asking questions shows you couldn’t care less about it. The offer will always go to the person who’s enthusiastic about the company and the position.
  2. You have to get the answers you need to determine if the job is a good fit for you. Remember interviewing is a two way street!

How to respond:

You can actually WIN the interview by asking the right kind of questions instead of the same old ones other candidates ask. Click here to know what questions you should ask to secure the job offer.

Recruiters do use LinkedIn to find candidates.

People often ask me, do people really find jobs on LinkedIn? The answer is yes. And recruiters often find YOU on LinkedIn because they’re using it daily to search for qualified candidates.

Therefore, the real question is, do you show up in the recruiters’ searches for the type of job you want?

If you’re like most people and all you’ve ever done on LinkedIn is create a profile with limited info and did nothing else with it, your answer is probably no.

How to respond:

You need to fill out your profile in full and make it keyword-rich. Use every field as a potential place to include the keywords you think the recruiter will be searching. (Here’s a hint:  you’ll find those keywords in the job ads of your preferred job.)

But there are other things you can do with LinkedIn to increase your chances of being seen by the right recruiters and finding the job you want. Too many things to cover in this post.

I typically spend a good hour to an hour and a half one-on-one with my clients showing them all they can do with the LinkedIn platform. They’re usually amazed at what all they can do with it.

If interested in learning more about how to use LinkedIn, fill out my intake form at http://bit.ly/paNASHintake.

Related Posts:

Receive a complimentary copy of the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan when you subscribe to the paNASH newsletter.

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16 Embarrassing Job Interview Mistakes That Will Make You Look Unprofessional

CNBC has a new show called The Job Interview. It exhibits real people interviewing for real jobs with real employers. There are 20 cameras capturing all the nerve-wracking nuances of an interview. And all the mistakes. Those of which you can learn from and not make in your own interviews.

However, if you don’t have the trained eye of a career coach, you probably won’t pick up on many of the mistakes just by watching the show. So, I’ve taken the first episode and broken it down for you to see the little things most job candidates don’t know they’re doing wrong. And to be fair, I’m also pointing out some of the things they’re doing right.

Here’s the 20-minute episode, along with my commentary at various time markers. See if you pick up on the same things I’m noticing. What can you learn from what you see?

job interview

(Sorry, the full episode is no longer available on YouTube. Here’s the link to the on-demand version of the episode.)

What NOT to Overlook (3:06)

One of the qualifications for the job is someone who is detail-oriented. You’ll notice how the interviewers are pouring over the resumes, looking for the smallest of mistakes to determine if each candidate is indeed detail-oriented or not. One interviewer noticed how on one resume the text was off just half a space.

My clients wonder why I knit-pick their resumes. This is a perfect example of why I do. As I’ve said in previous blogs and in my video guides, employers are looking for reasons to throw out your resume. Not reasons to keep it.

What NOT to Wear (4:27)

For the type of job this woman is interviewing, she should really be wearing a blazer over her sleeveless top. Always dress professionally and in a way that is customary to the particular industry.

How NOT to Shake Hands (4:48)

While this candidate is dressed appropriately, he did not give a good handshake. Always give a firm handshake. Anything too limp or too strong leaves a bad impression, as the interviewer indicates.

What NOT to Assume (4:58)

The candidate’s response as to why he gave the female interviewer a gentle handshake compared to the firm one he gave to the male interviewer shows his lack of understanding of business etiquette. In business, gender is neutral.

The other thing this candidate did wrong when beginning the interview is he swiveled and rocked in his chair. You’ll see this mistake a lot throughout the episode from many of the other candidates as well.

If you’re ever offered a seat in a swivel chair in an interview, resist the urge to swivel!

What NOT to Say (5:10)

This candidate starts off strong with her response to “Tell us about yourself,” but almost crosses the line with a little too much personal information.

You want to avoid discussing marital status, children, and other personal matters since it is illegal for the interviewer to ask you for this type of personal information. While her sharing of this info didn’t seem to cause a problem in this case, it could very well be a turn-off for other interviewers because they may fear being accused of making hiring decisions based on the personal information the candidate provided.

What NOT to Ask (5:35)

This candidate says she did her research (like all candidates should), but if you listen to the first thing she said she knew about the company, you’ll see she made her answer all about herself. She talked about how convenient it is for her that the company is located close to her house. You’ll soon see too just how poor of a job she actually did on researching the company!

Another faux pas committed by this candidate is she came out and asked a very personal question of the interviewers. Just like interviewers should avoid asking candidates personal questions, so should candidates avoid asking the interviewers personal questions!

What NOT to Avoid (7:05)

This candidate did a good job of establishing rapport with the interviewers early in her interview.

Be yourself without getting too personal with the interviewer. If it becomes clear in the interview you have some of the same interests in common, feel free to use that as common ground to build rapport with the interviewer.

How NOT to Answer “What do you feel is your greatest strength?” (7:22)

Do you know what each candidate did wrong in answering this question?

None of them gave an example of how they’ve previously demonstrated their strength. Always answer with specific examples, never in generalities. Providing examples makes you stand out in a positive way and makes you more memorable to the interviewers.

How NOT to Answer “What would be your greatest weakness?” (7:30)

So what did all the candidates do wrong in their answers to this question?

They all listed a personality trait as their weakness instead of a skill. Why should you never answer this question with a personality trait? Because personality traits are more ingrained in us, and therefore take a long time to unlearn, if ever. However, a skill is something that can be quickly learned or improved upon.

There are several other ways screw up your answer to this question, and several ways to answer it well. Click here to learn more about how to answer “What’s your greatest weakness?”

How NOT to Behave (8:24)

We’re now about to see how the candidate who said she’d done her research actually did NOT do a good job on her research. She said she doesn’t have the desire to go back into accounting, ALL WHILE INTERVIEWING FOR AN ACCOUNTING POSITION! (REALLY?!!). She didn’t have a clue that the company or the position was related to accounting.

Plus her negative, flippant attitude about the industry and her inappropriate laughter about leaving a previous job were completely out of place and a turn-off to the interviewers.

What NOT to Judge (13:20)

As shown here, interviewers aren’t perfect and they too can make embarrassing mistakes in interviews. Remember they’re human just like you are, so don’t let them intimidate you to the point that you can’t perform and sell yourself to the best of your ability.

In fact, I notice how my clients become less nervous about an interview when I remind them that the interviewers are also nervous. Interviewers are typically nervous about making a wrong decision and therefore costing the company a lot of money, unintentionally letting an illegal or inappropriate question slip out, and making you feel more nervous than you probably are.

Remember that it’s an awkward situation for all involved. Instead, it should be treated as a meeting where the interview is a two-way street (you’re there to ask your own questions too to determine if the job is a right fit for you). Approaching it this way can help you relax.

How NOT to Fail the Test (14:13)

Here you’ll see the third or fourth test the interviewers have given the candidates. Always be prepared for potential tests.

For example, if you’re going into sales, you’ll probably have to sell something to the interviewer. If you’re going into a job that will require you to give presentations on a regular basis, you may be asked to prepare a presentation for your interview.

Years ago, I had a day-long interview where in one part of the afternoon I was given 45 minutes and certain parameters to come up with an idea for a new program that could be implemented throughout the organization. I then had to present on my idea and why it would be a good program for the organization.

I didn’t get the job, and later found out that no one got the job. It made all of us candidates wonder if the company held interviews just to get ideas without having to pay a salary for them. This can and has happened before, which is a very unethical practice on the part of a company. If you ever sense this is what’s going on in one of your interviews, consider it a red flag!

What NOT to Include (14:39)

When given a test, never say, “I don’t like being put on the spot,” like this candidate did.

What NOT to Leave Out (17:04)

This candidate gave a good response to the question of “What would this job mean to you?”

So did the candidate at the 17:15 mark. I liked that she said, “I have a lot to give,” instead of “I feel like I have a lot to give.” “I have” shows more confidence than “I feel like I have.”

However, as the interviewer I would want to know how has she given a lot and been an asset in her past experience? What are some examples of her giving her all and being an asset to her previous company? I’d want to hear stories about times when she’s demonstrated these qualities. Again, these stories are what makes a candidate memorable.

What NOT to Forget (18:18)

Here are the things the interviewers were most attracted to:

  • Positive attitude
  • Someone who “gets it”
  • Someone who “wants it”

No matter how negative of an experience your last job was or your current job search is, leave all negativity at the door. Interviewers can sense a negative attitude very quickly so do what you can to improve your attitude before walking into an interview.

Be the person who gets what the job is about, what the company stands for, and what they’re trying to accomplish. This comes with doing your research and understanding what problem they need the new person in this role to help solve.

Always indicate you want the job you’re interviewing for by coming out and saying so. However, if you don’t really want the job and you’re just interviewing to gain interview practice, this is an unethical practice (just like the one on the interviewer’s part in my personal example above), and therefore you shouldn’t be there.

This may sound harsh, but as you saw, interviewers can be harsh about very small things. I’m trying to help you get into the mind of the interviewer so you can be successful in your next job interview!

How NOT to Overreact (20:26)

Even if you don’t get the job offer, you never know what still may come of your experience. Here, because this candidate showed such a positive attitude, another door has been opened to him. The interviewers are setting him up for an interview with another company they think he’ll be a good fit for.

A friend of mine interviewed for a job and didn’t get the offer. Six weeks later, she got a call from the company asking if she was still interested in the job because the person they originally hired didn’t work out.

Things like this happen all the time which is why it’s important to stay positive, send your thank you notes after your interviews, and be gracious even when rejected. You never know how things might turn around down the road.

More Job Interview Tips

Based on the little edited snippets we saw of the actual interview, they hired the candidate I would’ve hired. However, in episode 2, they chose a different candidate than the one I would’ve chosen. Can you figure out why, based on what you learned above? Watch here and let me know!

For more interview preparation tips, check out the video guides in the Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety on-demand program.

Related Resources: 

job interview

paNASH is Hiring a Social Media Intern

paNASH is seeking a social media intern who can assist with social media and social marketing efforts. Specifically, we are seeking someone who is well-versed in social media advertising, especially Facebook advertising.

The ideal intern will be able to work independently with the ability to work from home much of the time, but will also receive regular guidance, feedback, and instruction. He or she will also have access to occasional complimentary career coaching for his or her own professional and career development at no charge. The successful intern may also earn a small commission from the business he or she brings in through his or her social media advertising efforts.

Duties designed to help you build your resume:

  • Facebook advertising: create target audiences, help determine what type of ads to promote, and create ads (opportunity to earn a commission for business generated from ads).
  • Occasional LinkedIn advertisement/opportunity to learn LinkedIn advertisement.
  • Promote paNASH’s on-demand programs and one-on-one coaching services via social media.
  • Help re-evaluate paNASH’s social media presence and make suggestions for improvement.
  • Maintain each of paNASH’s social media accounts, including Pinterest and LinkedIn.
  • Promote weekly blog posts via social media.
  • Assist with writing and/or editing weekly blog posts.

Requirements:

  • Must be enrolled in an accredited university and registered to earn academic credit for the internship.
  • Experience in creating Facebook ads and proficient knowledge of Facebook Ads Manager and Audience Insights required.
  • Experience in creating LinkedIn ads preferred but not required.
  • Proven ability to leverage various social media platforms for marketing purposes.
  • Good grammar and written communication skills required.

About paNASH

paNASH is a Nashville-based career coaching service that focuses on helping people discover and pursue their passions through their work. We work primarily with people currently going through career transitions (i.e. post-grad job search, career change, downsize/lay-off, leaving corporate to start their own business, etc.).

paNASH’s ideal clients are those with a creative and teachable spirit needing encouragement and a strategy to step out of their comfort zone and overcome their fear of change. We work with people who feel stuck in or are fed up with the rat race and want to do something more authentically-related to their passions and purpose in life.

How to Apply

Send a cover letter and resume with past examples of proven ability to lorib@yourpassioninlife.com. Deadline to apply is November 15th. Position begins at the beginning of the spring semester.