Resume and Interview Tips by Julie Street from Life Path Career Coaching and Clarity Career Management. Guest blogger Julie Street provides assistance for you to prepare a job application. This document offers concise and invaluable tips on writing a great resume, creating a powerful application, using the STAR method in preparation for writing these documents as well as for an interview, and finally a checklist to ensure that you have not forgotten anything important in your job application.
This informative Powerpoint was presented by Lee Rainie at the Boomers Business Summit in Washington DC, March 28 2012.
I’ve been asked a lot lately about whether age is the reason that a person isn’t getting the jobs they apply for. I know I should know the answer, but frankly I don’t think anyone does.
Anecdotally it is easy to jump on the ageism bandwagon. If an older person applies for a job, but they don’t even get to interview it is easy for them to presume that they were discarded because of age. If they are interviewed but are unsuccessful in obtaining the position it is again very easy to make the same presumption.
Is that definitely age discrimination? It feels good to blame that demon…The media often jumps to that conclusion so it must be right! Age discrimination in the workforce is something that we all hear about often, and so most people will be sympathetic if you claim that is the reason you didn’t get a job you wanted.
What if the real reason was nothing at all to do with your age? Would that tell you a different story? Might you stop blaming your age and start looking at your job search strategies?
The reasons why people don’t get jobs that they have applied for are complex at any age. These five reasons are often far more damaging of job search success than any age discrimination, real or imagined.
Let’s start with numbers. If you apply for an advertised position chances are that you will be up against over 200 other candidates. If there is only one job, only one person is going to be successful.
Your resume has to show, concisely and effectively, that you already have relevant achievements, outstanding skills and enough experience to be extremely successful in this role. They are looking for someone for this exact job. Does your personal marketing, resume and LinkedIn profile in particular, match what they are looking for?
We all have our own distinct ways of doing things. I know it is a challenging thought, but you may not be the sort of person they wanted in that job. It wouldn’t matter what you had done, if you aren’t the sort of person they want then they won’t want you.
Recruiters are human. So are interviewers. So are employers. Each have their own distinctive ideas about what constitutes a great candidate for a job. The resume that one person loves may not appeal to another recruiter. Your style in an interview may be exactly what one interviewer wants, but another favours a different candidate. You can only do what is true to you.
Attitude shows on your face and in your body language. If you believe that you deserve a job simply because you have been around for a long time then that attitude will show itself in some way. I think of that as reverse ageism…People who believe they should be prefered because of their years of experience rather than their achievements. Life just doesn’t work that way, and neither does recruitment.
We aren’t discussing face creams and botox here, nor borrowing clothes from your ‘twenty-something” kids. Age shows by not being contemporary in your skills and attitudes. “I’m not very good with technology” is a statement that almost guarantees that you will not be taken seriously in a contemporary workplace. Submitting a dated style of resume or dressing in an old-fashioned way immediately suggests that you will not have contemporary practices at work.
If you make the presumption that you will face age discrimination during your job search you are probably right. If you put that aside and aim to be the best candidate for the job, regardless of age, you may be amazed at what you will achieve.
By Jenni Proctor
Over the last few years many people have been affected by severe career shifts caused by redundancy or problems within the company that employed them.
Redundancy brings with it many profound emotions. There is the initial shock. Even if you have warning that staff cuts were coming, few people presume that they will be the one to go. There is the worry that this causes for the individual and their family, sometimes compounded by the grief of leaving friends and perceived security. For some people there is a sense of anger at the company or at the individual who has made this decision, and indignation expressed as ‘Why me? Why not someone else who didn’t work as hard?”
In contrast there is often a sense of relief that the deed has finally been done and that you now know where you stand. I’ve known situations where redundancy was a cause for celebration, a granting of freedom.
Of course there is no emotional value in redundancy. It is how you react to it that counts!
At the same time, many who haven’t had career shift thrust upon them have wanted to make a change in their working life because the changes around them made them feel discontent or anxious that they’d be the next to go.
After some time in the same job, same role or with the same organization it is natural to feel like it is time for a change. But for those of us who are identified as being part of the baby boomer generation it may also be an age-related career shift. You know you have so much more to offer, so many things to do, so many experiences still to have and they aren’t going to happen where you are currently working!
My clients express their disappointment at their current working life, realizing that perhaps this is a good as it gets. Some just put up with the current situation for years, quietly resigned that they have to keep working to a particular age when they will be free of work. Many feel that they are not valued in their work environment, while others recognize that they have changed and what they are doing is no longer the right sort of work for them.
Whilst some people are making a career shift away from what is making them unhappy, overwhelmed and uncomfortable, others choose to make a career shift to a better situation. It may be a job that they have always wanted. For many other people it is an entrepreneurial experience that they are seeking, an expression of something they really want to try in their lives.
A phrase I hear often from my career coaching clients is “It’s my time now and I want to do the things that I love to do, not just the things I’ve been doing for years.” They are looking for the right fit, where their work is congruent with who they know themselves to be. Fulfillment and purpose is the magic combination that they are seeking, packaged with an appropriate salary and good conditions.
So if you are in this situation, seeking a career shift but not sure how to achieve it, subscribe to our RSS feed over the next few weeks I’ll be guiding you through the best way to make a career change in this current employment climate. We will be looking at how you can make a major career decision with confidence and how to market yourself effectively through your resume, cover letters, interviews and LinkedIn. I’ll share how you can tap into the hidden job market successfully and how to handle your own mindset during your time of career uncertainty.
By Jenni Proctor
Trying to secure a job as an executive is a much more difficult process than applying for non-executive positions. The level of aptitude and proof of the necessary experience to cut the mustard at the lofty end of the corporate ladder is naturally higher and the required skill set has to be of a level commensurate with the position applied for.
Individuals applying for executive jobs may not have ever done so before, either due to the fact they were promoted to this level internally at a previous organisation or they have never worked at this level before.
Either way, with specific executive job searches available on websites such as Jobs Today, the task is becoming more straightforward than in days gone by. Here are a few tips to set you on your way:
Be clear on what you want
Don’t just rush into your job search before you’ve become clear on what it is you really want. Take some time and reflect on your goals. Think about what kind of organisation you want to work for. Analyse the criteria your new position must meet. Take into account any potential constraints that may exist.
Don’t just apply for advertised jobs
At this level, the notion that only a certain level of jobs are actually advertised starts to appear more true. So, don’t just limit your applications to advertised jobs. Look for hidden job opportunities by sending speculative letters to organisations which you’ve decided to target, connect with their employees through their LinkedIn company profile, and contact trade journalists through social media networks like Twitter – ask them if they know who’s hiring at executive level.
Think about your existing network of contacts
Networking can be one of the most valuable tools to bag yourself an executive job, so don’t ignore your existing network of contacts. Have a think about people you have worked with previously who might be able to help you out. Call up a contact you haven’t spoken to in a while, ask about their news and tell them about your job hunting. You’ll be surprised with the solutions and opportunities they may come up with.
Do your research fully
After you’ve identified the job vacancies you want to apply for, now comes the time when you have to start the actual application process. Don’t rush straight in on the applications; take some time to research the companies you’re applying to. The better you understand the business, the more informed and targeted your application will be. Check out the company website, explore the brand’s social media and investigate any press coverage it may have had.
Employers are not willing to admit it, but discrimination happens all the time during the search for a candidate to fill an open position. Most candidates don’t realize that there are clues that they provide every step of the way to employers that can ‘tip’ off prospective employers about personal attributes.
Sometimes, employers don’t like what they see based on a variety of personal biases, and this can lead to the callous ’round-filing’ of a resume that puts your career document at the bottom of the heap or worse yet, in the garbage can. Some employers shrug off dumping of resumes in this fashion by saying, “What? I never received anything from you… sorry…”
This kind of discrimination is difficult to prove indeed.
Recently, I met one-on-one with nearly 50 members at WEC in Vancouver, BC to discuss their resumes, and a common refrain included concerns about their age. Seems that many people, for a wide array of reasons, are finding the card deck stacked against them, and what they didn’t know is that what they are saying in their resume is what is holding them back from the next level of the screening process.
It takes a little time, but you’ll need to ‘neutralize’ your resume of those red flags to remove those obstacles. Here are some key tips to take into consideration to help dodge age or any kind of concerns that employers might have in reading your resume before you are selected for an interview:
1) Beware of the ‘silly’ email address. Got a social email address? Great. Feel free to keep it, but make your job search email address PROFESSIONAL (and remember to check it often if you have to create a new one). Use your name and don’t include numbers that might include your age, what year you were born, or what year you graduated high school. Don’t include any information about your personal interests which can also tip off employers. Keep it professional and simple. And if you have a common name like Sue Smith, then create an email like suesmith12345 at your email provider address. It’ll make a world of difference on the employer’s perception of your professionalism!
2) Only list up to 15 (no more than 20) years of work experience. Fifteen years experience is actually your sweet spot, so if you can find some kind of ‘break point’ either in a different position within the same employer, or at a different company altogether, then you want to cut off your experience at that job record. And let’s face it, employers aren’t so concerned with what your sales numbers were in 1984, right?
3) Don’t list your graduation year from school. That’s like broadcasting your exact age… although employees who have work experience and are now encore students out there would LOVE to be thought of as newly minted 21-year-old college student!
4) Watch your words. Words like “Seasoned” (an over-used resume word) and “Mature” are not your friends. Think about it… you want an employer focusing on what you can do, not how long you’ve been doing it.
5) Volunteering / Affiliations can help you… and they can hurt you. Most people who volunteer or belong to organizations carry a great deal of respect for those groups and feel that this specific involvement has helped them or fulfills a desire to contribute to a community. But what if you are proudly volunteering for a political group and the employer reading the resume sees this notation, and their affinities fall on the exact opposite end of the spectrum?
6) Show traction and career progress by aggressively pursuing professional development. When you stop being a learner, you’ve left yourself dead in the water. Show your engagement in your career and industry by taking advantage of the many professional development opportunities out there that can enhance your job-specific knowledge.
Uh oh… there goes your resume into the round-file!
Resumes are PROFESSIONAL. The usual suspects that can lead to discrimination including factors such as religion, political affiliations, age, race, ethnicity, and gender preference should be kept out of this document… even health! Here’s a specific example: one of my clients volunteered at Lance Armstrong “LiveStrong”, and also at the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure… both noble causes, right? Well, from an employer standpoint, seeing one listed would be okay, but TWO cancer-related organizations could give them pause… does this mean that the candidate is motivated by a personal bout of cancer? Whoa, thinks the employer. That could be a huge health care liability I don’t want to handle…
…and the resume is then tossed into the garbage.
The point is that employers make wrongful yet personal assumptions about candidates all the time based on what people tell them in their resume… these biases are not fair; they are illegal yet extremely difficult to prove.
Keep things out of your resume that have nothing to do with your ability to the job… unless they are specifically relevant to the job for which you are applying. Why? You never know what an employer is thinking and what might set them off, so keeping groups and organizations that you belong to or volunteer with limited to being RELEVANT to your line of work is your best bet to getting to the next level of the screening process.
Dawn Rasmussen – CTP, CMP President Pathfinder Writing and Career Services PO Box 20536 Portland OR 97294 503-539-3954 phone 503-408-4894 fax http://pathfindercareers.com/
Advance your career with a professionally-written resume! – Proud member of the National Resume Writers Association
Your organization steps do not end at that point. It is critical for the escalation of your career that you continuously build a database of prospective jobs, consisting of contacts at recruiting firms and companies where you would like to work. If you do this, you will be way ahead of the game, during this job search and any future career changes.
You may also want to add a folder for Job Leads. In this folder, you can place all e-mail posts that come from other sources.
In Hotmail, there is a tab in the middle of the screen labeled “Address Book”. When you click on this button, it will take you to a different screen with additional options. This is the area where you can delete and send mail, view and edit messages, and create a new address book. You should create a new group, instead of adding just an individual address. Each group should contain a set of related addresses.
The purpose of creating the separate groups is that they can be used in this job search or any future job search. Generally the groups should fall under the following categories: recruiters, companies, professional colleagues, and networking prospects. By creating an address book group for each of the categories, you are creating a database for your work life. An address book of your professional colleagues will aid you in staying in touch with your immediate professional neighborhood in a more effective way, for now and in the future.
The additions that you make to the groups don’t have to be based on direct contact, interviews, or job offers. If you see recruiters with positions available in your field of interest, put the addresses in that address book. When you start putting the word out that you are looking for new employment, you will have there contact information ready and waiting. The point of this is to create a spring form, from which you can launch a colossal career blitz when you are ready. If you organize properly now, you will be able to gather information today that can be used throughout your entire working life.
If you remain registered on job boards during employment, you will always be aware of the skills that companies are looking for. This information will help you to stay acquainted with the skills that you will need to maintain for future ability to get employment.
People frequently abandon applying to job posting that don’t lead to anything, or don’t seem suitable for any other reason. You shouldn’t do this; a company that is hiring sales reps now is just as likely to be hiring them two years from now. Knowing about the company and its contact information will give you an edge the next time that you are looking for a job. This career management/ job search database is a tool that will help for your entire employed life. It will put you in control of your professional future.
James Crocker is the Owner and CEO of Casual Robot Media, LLC. He currently writes articles relating to how to tips, what is information, why is information, and best information articles for http://employmentgenius.com/.
Third-party recruiters and staffing firms normally charge the hiring company, not job seekers, for their services. This means that it’s not their role to “find you a job” – their focus is to find candidates for their client companies. Are you that candidate? That’s what they want to know.
Partnering with a good recruiter or two in your job search could be the key to a successful move, and, in most cases, nurturing these relationships will make a difference to your career over the long-term.
So, how do you work with them to get optimal consideration for positions with their clients? Here are my seven best tips on working with recruiters:
– Don’t sign up with everybody because you a) don’t want to work with so many it’s hard to maintenance relationships and b) don’t want to tie their hands and/or de-motivate them, which will happen if they feel you’ve already saturated the market.
– If you use too many recruiters, you run the risk of criss-crossing opportunities, and you want to be sure you’re not being presented multiple times for the same position. Not only can this lead hiring managers to believe you’re desperate (which will undercut you in the salary negotiation stage), but it might also be perceived that you lack loyalty and will play the field for your own self-interest. Even if these scenarios are unintentional, they’re simply not good messages to chance sending to potential employers.
2. Telling a recruiter where you are interviewing and what stages you’re in with prospective opportunities can be helpful and is advisable, but be aware that this can backfire if you don’t trust each other. If you’re working with a recruiter you know has your best interests at heart, you’ll want to have a lot of two-way disclosure. A good recruiter will leverage such information to effectively nudge and encourage the hiring company through the process. If you can’t trust the recruiter, then you should be moving on anyway. Also, if they can’t trust you to keep quiet about a confidential job you’re working on together, then they will definitely move on down the road, too. Bottom line… be sure you’re both on the same page.
3. If you’re not hearing back from the recruiter it means that they don’t have anything for you at the moment. However, they’re like anyone else in your network, and they can forget about you if you don’t stay in touch. So many people complain about recruiters not calling them when, in my opinion, it goes both ways. While your job search is probably not the only thing on their minds, remember, the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease. Just don’t be pushy about it… just like you wouldn’t be pushy to anyone else in your network.
4. Don’t only think about what your recruiter can do for you. Also think about what you can do for your recruiter. They’ll remember you, love you and will work on your behalf more enthusiastically. Written and emailed thank you notes go a long way as well. Referrals are even better!
5. Be responsive. Give immediate feedback to them and be open in your communication. If they don’t know about it, they can’t help you. Ask for feedback too.
6. Help them to help you. A written summary of your strengths or a job-duty analysis for a certain opportunity is very useful. Be open to changing your resume as needed, or provide an addendum to reflect specific qualifications/accomplishments they think will be pertinent. Another thing they’ll appreciate is if you alert your references to their possible call.
7. Respect the boundaries with their client companies. If you want to make a direct contact, e.g. a thank you note after an interview, be sure to ask about it and then copy them as well. Better yet, ask them to help you proofread it – they’ll not only appreciate it, they’ll very likely provide some great advice since they know their clients best.
Angela Loëb is a published author, speaker and career/personal development consultant who facilitates workshops and works with individuals one-on-one. She’s been dedicated to helping people bring who they are to what they do for two decades. She’s written hundreds of articles and co-hosts an internet radio show. In addition to owning her own firm, InSync Resources, she is a partner at Great Occupations. Learn more at http://www.insyncresources.com
RELEVANCE: Do not bother to look at our industry specialism. Just because we are experts in business resilience recruitment and you are an HGV driver, should not concern you. Our day is much longer than yours and we like nothing better than to spend it wading through irrelevant CVs
SUBJECT: Don’t tell us what you are looking for in your cover email. We are good at guessing and it gives us something to do in the quiet moments
TAILORED CVs: When you respond to a specific vacancy don’t bother to amend your CV to include all of the relevant experience you have for this job. We use magic and crystal balls as standard procedure and we will ‘know’ that you have spent the last year doing this exact thing our client wants, even though you haven’t told us
SALARY: Don’t tell us what you are currently earning. That is top secret classified information and we are going to use it to get you a lower paid job. The fact that we get a percentage of what we get you, is not relevant to this equation. We are always trying to make you move for less money than you want
REJECTION: If we send you a polite ‘thanks but no thanks’ email because your skills don’t match our area of expertise (even after consulting the ball) and we inform you that we will not be looking for vacancies that will be right for you, sending us an insistent angry reply will change our mind and will inspire us to want to represent you to our clients
PUNCTUATION: We have spent so many years reading and editing CVs, you don’t need to punctuate or edit yours. Don’t bother to spell check it, put it in chronological order or try to make it presentable in any way. You deprive us of an hours fun trying to decipher what you meant
PROFESSIONALLY WRITTEN CVs: Even better is to send your misspelt, higgledy piggledy CV as a PDF. It would be silly to allow us to edit your CV. You never know what we will do with it after all our years in the field. You on the other hand, the creator or your one document, are right to try to protect it, because you know better than us what our clients want to see
SPECIFIC ROLES: If you spot us advertising a vacancy you’ve already applied to via another agency do make sure you send us your CV and lie about your previous application. Clients love getting the same CV multiple times and they can see how keen you really are as a result. Never does it indicate desperation on your part or unprofessionalism on ours
SUMMARY: Above all, don’t treat us like people who would like to be on your side and get you the job of your dreams. Treat us like the enemy at all times. We love helping people who don’t like us. We feel really confident that you will be polite and personable at interview, when you have demonstrated nothing but rudeness and indifference to everyone in our office.
Writing these guidelines has given me a chance to take a humorous trip down memory lane. I hope they give you a small insight to why recruiters can be delete key happy with your prized document
The truth is that the Internet age has made it better and worse for recruiters. Here is a good rule of thumb. If you had to write your CV by hand, would you be sending it to this agency and for this position? If the answer is no, the fact it is just a click of the mouse and infinitely easier send, shouldn’t make you tempted to do it. Focus and relevance are key!
Julie Holmwood: Author of ‘Get That Interview‘ and ‘Click Your Way to Career Success by WORD OF MOUSE‘, Julie is the Lead Career Coach at Churchill Brook. She works with clients to develop their personal branding, promote themselves via social media and to find their passion, both in the work they are doing and the work that they want to do. Her approach is that of part coach, part mentor and part consultant. She is available to work with limited clients on a one-to-one basis OR via our executive CV and LinkedIn product options (check out ‘what we offer’).
Before joining Churchill Brook in 2009, she spent twelve years as an international headhunter, where she successfully helped her clients to recruit exceptional people. She is an expert at getting candidates noticed by companies and had one of the highest success ratios for CV submission to hire that we know of within the recruitment industry
Talk to her on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Churchill Brook International Career Coaches lead career professionals to greater success and higher personal incomes through laser coaching, mentoring and personal branding. We teach you how to create your success and achieve your career dreams. To get your free ebook and career articles go to http://www.churchillbrook.co.uk
Make your job hunt work and help you find the right job as quickly as possible.
With the economy struggling, the working and tax environment going forward covered in fog; there is no doubt the employers are more reluctant than ever to take on new hires. And the recent drop in unemployment numbers turns out to probably be a government accounting gimmick.
Overall with this hiring backdrop looking for a new job or new career will not be easy. But searching for a job after 50 has never been the easiest thing in the world.
Hunting for a new job after 50 can be a significant challenge but it’s no reason to panic or give up looking for employment without giving it your best effort.
There are still some evergreen tactics that never go out of style. A well written resume spotlighting your accomplishments, one of kind focused resume cover letters, total preparation for all interviews, positive follow-up on all contacts and a robust system of keeping track of all your job search efforts will always pay proper dividends.
With the current shrinking job market your competition for prospective open positions will increase so in addition to working full-time at finding the right job you will have to use your experience to work smarter. Another important factor in the success of your job search after 50 is to frequently access what is working and discarding what is not. Flexibility will keep your job search fresh and focused and keep you from spending too much time in unprofitable activities.
Don’t make the job search alone, get help along the way. Use the expertise of friends and members of your network to analyze your overall job hunt and to guide you in specific aspects of your job search.
Here are five ideas to help you in your job search after 50:
1. Get out and about: You can’t make your best impression through the phone or emails. Go to networking events, take people to lunch, and have short meetings after working hours. Do what you can to personally interact with as many people as possible.
2. Work your job search plan: If you expect your ship to come in, you have to put a lot of ships on a stormy ocean. Build your job hunting plan, with daily and weekly activity. Work smart and constantly look for ways to do it better and faster with more job hunting activity. Eliminate just sitting in front of you computer, when you could be doing some other job search activity that could be more productive.
3. Consider all offers: Don’t reject an offer for work just because it may be part-time, or work as a contractor on a specific project or maybe at a lower salary. Carefully consider where you might be in a month or two. Is it experience that will add to your resume? Or qualify you for a wider universe of possible jobs? Or if part-time will it allow you to continue your job hunt? Is it possible it might lead to a full-time position?
4. Network your way to job openings: Today with so many chasing so few announced job openings employers are overrun with resumes and job applications. This adds to the overall cost of recruiting, adds additional time to the process and with the possibility of missing an otherwise qualified candidate.
So it’s even more important to get your resume in front of a hiring official along with a referral or introduction from someone in your network. Also, in your job and career research you’ll uncover possible jobs with employers and with some digging will find someone who can introduce you to an official with the company.
5. Use geography to your advantage: Even though you have no interest in leaving you current area, why restrict your job hunting universe? Many good things can happen if you expand your job hunting area.
You’ll get more interviews. More experience in this stressful activity will only make you better prepared for the next interview. Interview preparation for one interview is transferable to future interviews.
You will meet more people, and if you ask for referrals you expand your network.
If offered a job outside your area you can then consider all the facts before you say “no.” Further, you are in a great negotiating position: maybe working at home one day a week or a week a month, the new employer paying some of your additional expenses, maybe your employer is considering expansion into your home area and you could move back home after a temporary move, or the new job requires travel which you could return home on the weekends at company expense. The list is almost endless-stay flexible and don’t turn down a job until one is offered.
These five tips should get you moving into a well thought out, flexible job search plan after 50. Remember when you do get a job, keep working and building your network. You’ll now be in a great position to help someone else in their job search after 50.
John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers and career planning at http://careersafter50.com. Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right careers by career planning after 50.
Facing interviews is an important and crucial part of job application process as this will allow your potential employers to check out if you are as impressive as your resume. of course, the fact that you are called for an interview, your resume must have impressed or caught their attention.
The burden now is on how you can ace your interview and how you can be smart enough in answering interview questions. Although there is no right or wrong in answering interview questions, your answers will often create another impression in your potential employer and of course, they will also determine if you will be getting that job you have applied for.
If you want to ace your job interview, there are some tips that you can learn right before you send yourself for scrutiny of your potential employers. Here are a few things that you may want to learn and keep in mind.
– Answer interview questions direct to the point. Do not try to tell a long story and divert the attention of your interviewer to another story. Of course, unless you are asked to elaborate, learn how to emphasize important points in your answer. Avoid lengthy answers that are pointless.
– Establish eye contact when answering questions. This will help you connect to the person interviewing you and is also a good way to show professionalism as well. Make sure to also shake hands before and after the interview.
– Avoid expressions that can make you appear nervous and unsure. talk straight. Avoid expressions such as;ummm’, ‘ahh’, ‘like’ and other expressions that may not only be a distraction but can also make you look like you are unsure.
– Think positive. Sometimes there are interview questions that are tricky and in fact, potential employers may delve into your past employment records and digging into some negative things. If you encounter such, think positive. You also have to answer such questions with extra care and even if there are negative points that are being raised, find ways to answer it in a positive way. You don’t have to lie though. Lying during the interview can be disastrous. Keep in mind that employers are also having their background checks, so don’t put yourself in a bad position by lying as well.
– When asked about previous bosses, it is always important not to make negative remarks of about your previous employers. You can answer the question professionally by being honest but don’t make it sound too negative that it might appear that you have a bad working relationship with your previous bosses or might even make you appear that you are a troublemaker.
Aside from these tips in answering interview questions, it is always important to look at your self before going to the interview as well. It helps a lot to prepare your appearance before you face your potential employers. Even before you open your mouth to answer questions, your appearance speaks for yourself, thus make sure you are well-groomed and presentable during interviews.
Carolyn Anderson use to conduct job interviews being part of an HR team. If you want to become a police officer, check out how you can pass your police oral interview. Also check out Killer Interview Secrets to get the best tips on how to ace your interview and get that dream job.
Being out of work can be a lonely time. It is important to spend time with other people in both business and social environments. Networking events are a great way to achieve both of these and could include Business Link, IIB, Institute of Directors, Chamber of Commerce and many other local business groups. You can even use groups such as Toastmasters which help senior people to develop their public speaking skills as well as providing a forum for both social and business networking. I know many managing directors and chief executives that have been members of Toastmasters!
Visit trade shows and exhibitions
These are another great may to continue to remain in touch with a business and industry environment. What better way to keep up to date with the latest developments and products in an industry where suppliers will give you “free” education about their latest products? Most industry leaders will either have a presence or will visit the main exhibitions in their field. Once again, be aware of who you might meet in the coffee lounge!
Speak to your old customers and suppliers
Whether you have been employed or self employed in the past you will always have business contacts that you have had some connection with among suppliers and customers. Don’t be shy to contact these people and ask them if they have or know of job opportunities in their own company or outside. A huge proportion of vacancies are filled in this way and most of them never reach the open job market or recruitment agents.
Prepare well for any interviews and ask relevant questions
If you have not been to an interview for a long time it can be really difficult to should fluent and coherent when difficult questions are thrown at you. Prepare for your interview in exactly the same way as you would advise a youngster to prepare for their first ever interview. if you have a friend or colleague that you can practise with, so much the better. Many interviewers will also judge you on the questions you ask them. Do your research and use your own questions as an opportunity to demonstrate that you have really thought about the role and how it would operate in practise. In summary, prepare well – it will prove to be time well spent.
Make sure your resume or CV are up to date and well written
CV styles have changed a little in recent years and more emphasis is put on the actual skills you have developed rather than just the list of previous job titles and experience. Write an eye-catching paragraph at the top of the first page which describes your skills, interests and aspirations. Make them want to read more……
Ensure your public profile on networking sites does you justice
I have met many people who have used social media sites for fun and now regret this because prospective employers are also looking at the rude jokes and pranks that seem to keep coming back to the surface. It has been said that 75% of employers will look up a candidates profile before offering a job. In many cases they are looking to see who your network of friends or connections are, in order to build up an image of who you are. You have been warned!
This may sound too obvious to mention but it can never be overemphasised. Try to look the part and to fit in with the environment that you are visiting. I would always encourage you to dress slightly smarter than you would expect to be if you are successful in winning the job. And remember your hair, makeup, shoes and hygiene, as well as your clothes. Remember you may get caught in traffic or on a hot sweaty train beforehand. If you allow plenty of time, you won’t have to get hot and flustered if this happens. And when you meet your interviewer, don’t forget to SMILE
Know your strengths
Many of us are shy about discussing our strengths and as a result we never actually think about them. These days employers are looking for clear thinking decisive people who may be able to help their company through the recession. Once you know your strengths, you will be better positioned to apply them to this cause and this will come across at interview.
Being out of work can have a dramatic effect on one’s self esteem and confidence. Try to make sure you stay positive by reading inspirational books and biographies, taking proper breaks (preferably outdoors), and don’t ignore your social life just because you may have temporarily hit hard times.
Become a freelancer
An increasing number of people are turning to freelance work because it suits their lifestyle and work preferences. There are unlimited opportunities in this area, including writing and editing jobs, customer support, technical support, proof reading, article writing, accounting, HR, training, and many more. It is well worth registering with a freelance organisation such as GoFreelance.com just to keep you in the loop and expose you to the risk of finding something you really enjoy!
By Joe Nathan. If you would like more information on work, business and job opportunities for over 40s please visit http://jobsforover40s.info/about/