Posts tagged #Professional

Decorating Your Office Space Professionally

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About 8 hours of your day is spent in your office space. Whether you have your own office, share an office, work in a cubicle, or work in an open-concept office, adding personal touches gives you a feeling of ownership and a chance to share your personal style with your colleagues. A work space that reflects your personality can positively affect your mood because it brings what you love to your desk.

So, what are some easy ways to customize your work space? Start by writing down things that you really love. Here are a few ideas:

  • If you love traveling: Bring in photos from your favorite trips or bring a souvenir from your adventures.

  • If you love spending time with your family: Bring in a drawing from a child,  mementos from a recent family event, or pictures of your family.

  • If you love a specific color: Choose office supplies like a stapler, tape dispenser, or trash can to match your favorite color.

Whatever you bring in, make sure that it adds a sense of joy to your workspace. Adding joy where you work does wonders for morale.

The trick to successfully decorating your office space is to not make your co-workers cringe. How can you ensure your office decor is professional and respectful? Start by evaluating your work space with the following questions...

  • Are you in your own office, cubicle, or shared space?

  • Do you host clients in your space?

  • Do you frequently have team meetings in your office?

If you share a space with someone that cringes at the color orange, then painting an entire wall orange is probably a no-go. If you host clients or have meetings in your space, don’t decorate with a cool modern chair that looks great but is uncomfortable to sit in. And while you may love scented candles or your essential oil diffuser, those should be left at home. Some people are allergic or may be repelled by a strong scent.

Ultimately, decorating your office space professionally comes down to expressing your personal style within the boundaries of respecting the other people who will be using your space.

Have you decorated your office space? If so, how would you describe your style?

Posted on June 12, 2018 and filed under Career.

5 Tips For Preparing For A Phone Interview

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Many companies conduct phone interviews before bringing in candidates for a face-to-face meeting. These “screen interviews” save time and money from the company's’ perspective, providing an opportunity to weed out candidates who aren’t a good match quickly without much investment.

Practice phone etiquette in every conversation you have so that it comes naturally. How you say hello, how you say goodbye, and your manners throughout the conversation speak volumes about your professionalism. Some questions a phone interviewer will be asking themselves are:

  • Are they courteous and polite or do they come across gruff and cold?

  • Do they talk over me or interrupt frequently?

  • Did they make the effort to make this call a priority by finding a quiet place to talk?

  • Did they miss the initial call? What does their voicemail portray about their professionalism?

To knock your upcoming phone interview out of the park, these five tips will set you up for success:

  1. Treat it just like a face-to-face interview. One of the biggest mistakes candidates make is to think they “just” have a phone interview. Even if the phone interview is an HR screening, the person on the other side of the line has the power to immediately take you out of the running for the position. Take a phone interview just as seriously as you would a face-to-face interview.

  2. Find a quiet space with no distractions. If possible, get out or range of your dog barking, your kids playing, turn off the TV, etc. If you aren’t able to be in a completely quiet space, give a heads up to the interviewer that there may be some background noise. It will be less distracting if they know to expect it.

  3. Make sure phone service is reliable. There are many places in buildings, and maybe even your home, where phone service may cut in and out. Don’t walk around during your interview to avoid static or dropped calls. A good way to test the best place to have the phone interview is to call a friend from the spot before hand and ask them how you sound.

  4. Check your email several times in the minutes leading up to your interview. You never know when something might come up or if someone is running behind. Any last minute updates will be sent to your email, keeping you in the loop.

  5. Be ready to take notes. Being on the phone is a bit more challenging than face-to-face because it’s easier to get distracted. Taking notes will help you to focus on what the interviewer is saying and provides something for you to reference afterwards.

Phone interviews are important and you can secure a face-to-face interview with the proper preparation. If you have specific questions about the interview process, we’d love to help!

Posted on January 31, 2018 and filed under Interviewing, Search Strategy.

Stand Out While Being Professional: Proper Thank You Notes

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The art of the thank you note has lost it’s popularity over the decades. Today, thank you notes are typically reserved for wedding and graduation gifts. Even those have become generic, often missing the personal notes that make them meaningful. If you start writing hand written thank you notes, personally and professionally, you will make a lasting, positive impression!

In the workplace, thank you notes should be given for many reasons: thanks for a great first year, thanks for being a great boss, thanks for going out of your way to help me. A thank you note should always be sent to interviewers. Most people don’t send thank you notes. If they do, they usually send thank you emails. YOU should send a handwritten thank you note, personalized to your experience and the interviewer.  You’ll stand out among the other applicants if you do.

How to Write a Thank You Note

Hallmark provides a great structure for writing thank you notes here. We’ve adapted it for the interview process below.

#1: Greeting - Write the name of the person as they introduced themselves. “Dear Mr. Smith” or “Dear Larry”

#2: Give thanks - Say thank you immediately and clearly. “Thank you for the interview yesterday…”

#3: Specific, personalized details - If you learned something beneficial, are more excited about the position, found a common interest between you and the interview, say so!

#4: Look ahead - State that you are looking forward to hearing from them, seeing them at the second interview, or whatever timeframe was set when you were interviewed.

#5: Say thanks again - Add a little something new so you aren’t repeating what you’ve already said but expressing your gratitude. Something simple such as, “Thanks again for your time. You’ve solidified that XYZ would be a great place to call my work home!”

#6: Regards - “Sincerely” is the most appropriate in most situations, unless you know the interviewer well.

After you’ve written your note, you can put it in the mail or drop it off at the business you interviewed with (leave it with the front desk or secretary, if possible). You’re well on your way to standing out from the other interviewees. Even if you don’t get the job, there is a great chance they will remember you for other opportunities that may arise.

Posted on October 4, 2017 and filed under Interviewing.