Mar 202017

When you’re interviewing for an internship, knowing how to put your best foot forward is a key part of getting hired. As CEO of WayUp, I often get asked by students about what they can do to stand out from the crowd. Here are my top four tips for nailing any interview. You can remember them through the acronym, REAF :

1. R: Do your research.

Having a great interview experience begins with doing your research on three things: the company, the position and the person you’re interviewing with. Start by taking a look at the company’s website and social media pages and learning everything you can about the company culture and its mission. To really impress the interviewer, you’ll want to make note of any unique things you find out and mention those during your interview. For example, if you’re interviewing for a marketing role and you find out a cool fact about one of the company’s branding campaigns, be sure to bring this up and to explain why it’s important. This will show the interviewer that you care about the company and that you’re passionate about their work.

Once you have a sense of what the company is all about, it’s time to learn about the role. A great place to start is the job listing. This will give you an overview of the position as well as highlighting key responsibilities. You can also take a look at the company’s career page and make note of any team members who are currently in that position and who may have specific projects listed in their bios.

Last but not least, if you get the interviewer’s name ahead of time (it never hurts to ask!), it’s important to research the person you’ll be meeting with. In addition to reading the person’s bio on the company page, I recommend looking at their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to learn more about who they are as a person. This is also a good way to identify whether you have anything in common with them which might help you establish a connection during the interview.

Continue reading »

Mar 132017
Personal connection is the key to a successful job search.

When it comes to finding jobs or internships, most applicants limit themselves to the positions only advertised online. Instead, it is more effective to build relationships and arranging conversations with others.

Through these premier interactions, you gain advice about the application process, insider information about the culture of organizations and personal endorsements that enhance the status of your applications. As Undercover Recruiter highlighted, these referrals are the most effective strategy employers rely on to source talent. If nothing else, these discussions permit you to practice professional communication and interview skills.

How to you land these valuable conversations? You simply ask.

Continue reading »

Mar 082017

It happens all the time—an employer makes a hiring decision that I don’t understand. I’m the one who set up the interviews, but the hiring manager can’t tell me the exact reasons why one candidate was hired and another turned down. They just can’t describe what it was that was so impressive. When pushed, their reasoning sounds really wishy-washy.

That missing piece is sometimes described as the “it” factor. A client will say, “Although Joe is a better fit technically for the role, I think that we need to hire Angela. She has it—you know, what we’re looking for.” This isn’t helpful. It just sounds like a vague, catch-all phrase, and I’m as much in the dark as I was before.

But, after 30 years as a recruiter, I’ve come to recognize some of the elements of the “it” factor—and how you can capitalize on them to optimize it for yourself.

Continue reading »

Feb 272017

Sending an unsolicited request for information over email, or what’s called a cold email, to a hiring manager is an effective way for Ph.D’.s to be proactive in the job search and get an edge for a job they really want. Making personal contact with a hiring manager increases the chances that your application will carefully considered when you apply for a position. That personal contact also grows your network in an organization for which you want to work.

But some cold emails are much more effective than others. Before I applied for my current position working with graduate students at University of Texas at Arlington, I looked up my current boss and sent her an email to indicate my interest in the position. She never responded, but I was interviewed and hired about a month later. I assumed that my cold email must have worked. Fast-forward six months: while preparing materials for a workshop on networking, I decided to ask my boss if she recalled my email and whether it helped me land the job. In fact, she hardly remembered receiving the email, but she pulled it out of her saved mailbox and looked it over in front of me.

“Oh yeah, I remember receiving this,” she said.

Awkward pause.

Continue reading »

Feb 202017
The moment they decide they want you is the best time to find out just how much.

A coaching client of mine was negotiating a contract with a new employer, a large pension fund. It was a big job and she really wanted it. But there were long periods of silence from the company as they went back and forth on terms. Every time they’d go silent, she worried she might’ve pressed too far and that they were rethinking the whole thing.

They weren’t. They just had other things going on. The process of hammering out an agreement between the business and HR is often drawn out and cumbersome, and that often throws job candidates into a quiet panic. They worry they’ve been too aggressive in negotiations and fear an offer might slip through their fingers at the eleventh hour.

More often than not, those agonizing silences are just about process. And in fact, they may even be your biggest point of leverage. Here’s why, and how to use it.


Continue reading »

Feb 132017

When searching for work, it is important to remember that employers are evaluating you on all aspects of the job search process. From the application to the interview, you always need to put your best foot forward. New research, however, shows that all too often, job candidates make myriad blunders that damage their chances of finding work.

The study, from the staffing firm Accountemps, revealed that there are a variety of mistakes job seekers regularly make on their applications and resumes. The most common error candidates make is not customizing their materials to the job they’re applying to, the study found.

Other application and resume mistakes executives see on a regular basis include not proofreading for typos or poor grammar, focusing on job duties and not accomplishments, and including irrelevant information.

Continue reading »

Feb 062017

A company found Jane’s resume online and contacted her, offering a pathway to the career she coveted.

Jane went to the company’s local office. The “counselor” asked for $4,500 up front to help her tweak her resume and get access to unpublished job openings.

Jane left. Smart Jane.

I repeatedly hear from job hunters, many of them professionals seeking high-powered positions, who — too late — regret paying big money up front to an organization that promised access to the “hidden” job market.

Their egos had been massaged, and their wallets had been drained. In return, they got little more job-search assistance than what they could have done on their own.

Legitimate headhunters — who are paid by employers to submit qualified candidates for consideration — do not ask job hunters to pay for their services.

Repeat: You shouldn’t be asked to pay to find a job.

Continue reading »

Jan 302017
Make an impression without being a nuisance.

Use a company event as a networking opportunity to meet people in your field.

If you know anything about sports, you know that follow through is key to success. No good golfer stops the swing as the club hits the ball, no baseball batter freezes at the split second when the bat hits the ball, and the lesson carries through in sport after sport.

[See: How to Follow Up on a Job Application Without Being Annoying.]

Similarly, in your job search it is important to follow up at every stage if you expect to be the stellar candidate who gets the job offer. Here are some key things you need to do to keep your job search up to date and moving forward.

Continue reading »

Jan 232017
You need to showcase the higher-order thinking skills computers haven’t mastered and your peers aren’t highlighting.

This 60-Year-Old Theory

Day by day, year by year, machines are taking over basic tasks like data collection and processing, leaving the higher-order stuff to humans. The more automation eats away at the edges of our jobs, the more we’ll need to show we’re still masters of the type of thinking skills robots can’t yet do.

That trend is pushing a framework developed more than six decades ago back into the fore. In 1956, the education theorist Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues developed what’s since become known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, a hierarchy of six types of cognitive goals they believed education should address. In 2017, it’s looking more relevant than ever.

Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Take Bloom On Your Next Job Interview

The framework makes it easy to identify the differences between knowing, understanding, and applying information—and, subsequently, to pinpointing the type of contribution that’s most important to companies and hiring managers. Get your head around Bloom’s Taxonomy, in other words, and you’ll stand a better shot at discussing your skills and experience on a job interview in terms that can set you apart.


Continue reading »

Jan 172017

The Leadership Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question, “How do you turn an internship into a full-time job?” is written by Samantha Subar, global public relations manager at Spredfast.

On the first day of my internship, I was handed a laptop, emailed a contract, and shown to my desk. That’s all—no new-hire orientation, no manual. The rest was up to me.

That was nearly three years ago. The trajectory of my eight-month internship relied entirely on my own ambition, and quite frankly, my desire to land a job. I found that there are three basic practices that interns should adopt in order to land a full-time offer:

Follow the leader

It won’t be difficult to identify the individuals you admire at your company. Do some calendar stalking and you will find the leaders—their schedules will be packed with meetings. Ask to join those meetings—as many as they will allow you to attend—and then sit in and listen. Try to absorb the dialogue taking place inside the room, understand what’s working, and note what isn’t.

Continue reading »