Posts tagged #job search

How Words Affect Your Chances Of Getting A Job

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Imagine that you are sitting in a job interview and they ask you “why do you want this job?” You can say one of three things in response:

A. Your company sounds really cool and I am looking for a change.

B. Your company has values I appreciate and I want to move into a position like what you have described.

C. I have admired your company and how you successfully execute your mission. Your emphasis to ______ aligns with my career goals and qualifications.

Which do you think is the best response to that interview question?

Hopefully, you chose “C” as your answer. If you didn’t, that’s OK. Let’s dive into why the other phrases are not optimal responses:

A. Your company sounds really cool and I am looking for a change.

This is a great example of a bad response. Saying their company “sounds cool” makes the interviewer feel like you are looking for a buddy and not a future coworker. Your goal is to put your best foot forward, so aim to keep your language formal and professional. It’s may be OK to use that language within the company culture, but during an interview, you want to present yourself in the best, most professional light.

B. Your company has values I appreciate and I want to move into a position like what you have listed.

This is response is OK, but just OK. It shows that you have knowledge of the company and the position. The issue is that you aren’t selling yourself in this response. Instead, you are just stating that would you like the job. Of course you do! That’s why you applied.

C. I have admired your company and how you successfully execute your mission. Your emphasis to ______ aligns with my career goals and qualifications.

Not only does answer C the question using professional, formal language, it clearly identifies why you want the position by connecting their specific company mission to your career goals. You are selling yourself and painting the picture for the interviewer of how and why you are a great fit. The interviewer will remember the personal and professional connection you made to their company.

Real Life Case Study: Chick-Fil-A

A great real life example of using formal, professional language is Chick-Fil-A. They are known for responding to “thank you” with “my pleasure.” According to a Taste of Home article, Chick-Fil-A’s employees are instructed to use elevated language in order to send a unique message to the customer that they are taking extra care. Even though it’s a fast food restaurant, the customer experience is leagues above their competition. They even close one day a week and are still have a strong market share for their industry.

How does this apply to your interview? Using their philosophy of sending a unique message to who you are communicating with will put you leagues above the competition, just as it does for Chick-Fil-A. In your interview, send a message that you are professional and care about the position in a personal way.

Mock Interview

Are you nervous about an upcoming interview? We’d love to help you with prepare so you walk in with confidence and leave with a job offer! The Wilbanks Consulting Group has a Mock Interview Package to help you elevate your language and land your dream job. Contact us to learn more!

Posted on July 24, 2018 and filed under Search Strategy.

How to Prepare for a Video Interview

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Do you remember the clip that went viral of a professor being interviewed by a BBC news reporter? If you haven’t seen it, watch it here. It’s hilarious! Thankfully, this family has a good sense of humor and were met with mostly understanding supporters after this happened. However, as a job interviewer, you don’t want something like this to happen. If you plan ahead of time, scenes like this are (mostly) preventable.

Why Did You Secure a Video Interview?

You’re likely to secure a video interview if you live out of town from the job to which you are applying. Many companies conduct phone interviewers, but video interviews are becoming more popular since they are free and easily accessible to most. Technology has transformed the hiring process - interviews included!

A video interview provides insight into a candidate that a phone interview cannot: Does the candidate dress professionally? Does the candidate’s body language communicate confidence? How well does the candidate hold eye contact? Stay focused? From your perspective as a candidate, video interviews provide a connection between you and your resume. In other words, it “puts a face to the name,” which will help you stand out in their memory. If you’ve landed a video interview, you have a great opportunity before you!

How to Prepare For A Video Interview

Preparing for a video interview is a bit different than preparing for a traditional interview or a phone interview.

Here are a few tips to put your best foot forward during a video interview:

  • Location, location, location!

    • Choose a quiet location to sit for the interview. You don’t want dogs barking or kids barging into your interview! You also don’t want the loud hum of a coffee shop that will make it hard for you to hear the interviewer. Brainstorm your options and take the needed steps to ensure you won’t be interrupted during your interview.

    • Choose a location with strong internet connection. The best case scenario is for you to hardwire your computer or phone so that you have the best, strongest signal. If that’s not an option, sit as close to the router as possible!

    • Choose a location that has a great background. Make sure your webcam doesn’t face an open closet door, a trash can, or your unmade bed. The best background is a wall (blank or with tasteful artwork), bookcase, or an arrangement of houseplants. You can always choose the best location and then temporarily decorate the background for the interview.

    • Choose a location with the best lighting. You want light that shines on your face, not the back of your head. Trust us, this will make you look your best and most professional! If the room doesn’t have the best light, sit a lamp in front of you, but still out of sight of the webcam.

  • Dress professionally from your head to your toe. While the chances that you need to stand up during an interview are slim, you never know what might happen. Wearing a dress shirt with pajama pants (or no pants) is a very BAD idea!

  • Wear headphones. This will prevent a distracting echo or other audio feedback that might happen during the interview. And while your giant, over the ear headphones might sound better for your music, they are distracting in an interview setting. Grab a pair of small, discreet earbuds instead.

  • Have a cup of water next to you. There is nothing worse than a tickle in your thought or uncontrollable coughing!

  • Test your audio and visual with a friend ahead of time. That will give you plenty of time to troubleshoot any problems on your end before the important interview!

  • Finally, remember to smile! Everyone wants to work with friendly, smiling people. It’s easy to forget to smile when you’re nervous, so practice answering interview questions while looking friendly prior to your call.

If you’re interested in even more great job search tips, contact one of our qualified career coaches for personalized service and successful results.

Posted on February 7, 2018 and filed under Interviewing.

Getting your LinkedIn Profile ready for the New Year

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LinkedIn is the top social network for working professionals. In fact, this recent LinkedIn article published the following statistics:

  • There are 467 million users on LinkedIn across the globe

  • There are 3 million active job listings on LinkedIn

Which means...

...If you are looking for a job, it’s essential to have a LinkedIn profile.

...If you are a working professional, it’s smart to have an updated LinkedIn profile.

...If you are looking to switch careers, it’s critical  to have a strategically built LinkedIn profile.

Resume and cover letter still reign supreme in the job search world, but a LinkedIn profile comes in at a very, very close third. The network provides an interactive, more visual way to show your skills and experience while allowing others to weigh in through on-profile reference recommendations and skill endorsement. It also provides amazing networking opportunities that were impossible before its existence.

With the New Year comes a refresh of many projects and budgets, opening doors for many companies to hire and shake things up a bit with lateral moves and promotions. This is the perfect time of year to give your profile a facelift. If you don’t have an account, sign up at www.linkedin.com.

Here are a few basic tips for updating your profile:

  1. Make sure your profile picture is professional and taken with good lighting.

  2. Update your current position description to be accurate. Include any of the new skills and projects you are currently working on!

  3. Eliminate generic descriptor words and instead opt for words that are dynamic and not over used (like motivate, help, work with, etc.)

  4. If you have new references, send a request asking if they can write up a recommendation to include on your profile.

  5. Look at other professionals in your industry to see if they have included something on their profile that you are currently lacking. Determine if adding a similar element to your profile would help your profile stand out.

Want to dig deeper? We are so passionate and about helping our clients build the perfect LinkedIn profile, we offer 3 different service packages, but our most popular service is Level 3:

Level 3 (the most popular LinkedIn service) - all Level 1 & 2 services plus:

  • After the initial consultation, we conduct keyword research for appropriate industry-specific and position-relevant keywords to include for optimal search visibility.

  • Following keyword approval, we complete a full draft of your tailored LinkedIn profile.

  • The same procedure is then followed as with Level 2 service, with emphasis on the industry-specific and position-relevant customization of your profile.

Contact us to build the perfect LinkedIn profile today!

Posted on December 15, 2017 and filed under Search Strategy, Career.

Being Thankful When Looking for Work

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It’s almost Thanksgiving! Lots of family, friends, good food, and entertainment are in the forecast for many of us. If you’re looking for a job, however, you might have a difficult time shaking the dark cloud that’s casting a shadow on your holiday festivities. It’s hard to be thankful when you don’t have a secure income and job you love.

But there is much to be thankful for, even when you are looking for work!  Here’s a list to help keep things in perspective:

5 Reasons To Be Thankful While Looking For A Job:

  1. Looking for a job can be fun! The sky's the limit with the new opportunities you have to explore. Securing a job is one way to make a positive change in your life by finding a position that will bring fulfillment, satisfaction, and good work/life balance. What better time to be “picky” about what you are looking for and find the perfect fit.

  2. You aren’t alone! Everyone has been in your shoes at one time or another. It’s rare to meet someone who was handed their job without having to search, create a resume, cover letter, apply, and interview for it. Take advantage of the wisdom and insight your friends and family can provide by asking for their thoughts and advice over turkey and pumpkin pie.

  3. There are FREE resources available to you! You can google virtually anything you need help with and someone will have posted about it online. Just make sure you are finding quality, professional resources and advice! This blog is a great, free resource to glean tips and best practices. In fact, here’s a few you might want to bookmark:

  1. You don’t have to pound the pavement like you would have 20 years ago. Before the internet was prevalent, job seekers had to print a copy of their resume and either mail it to an employer, or physically drive to their office and drop it off with a secretary. Now, you can apply for dozens of jobs a day from the comfort of your own home. You also don’t have to scour newspapers and circle job openings with a highlighter. Job search engines make it incredibly easy to find opportunities!

  2. Caring professionals at The Wilbanks Consulting Group want to help you! Our team would love to partner with you to make your job search result in a fun, fulfilling career for you. We offer one-on-one in-person and virtual career coaching and many other job search services. Contact us today and let us help you find your dream job.

Happy Thanksgiving!

How the Holiday Season Affects your Job Search

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Finding a job is tough no matter the time of year. Job applications, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, networking, interviews - there is so much to consider and work on while finding the right fit for your career aspirations. It’s overwhelming!

When the holidays roll around, you can’t put your job search on hold just because you want to enjoy the season. You need a job! To minimize the stress, here are a few things to keep in mind as you press onward towards securing a position:

  • Employer response times will be slow - Many people take time off around the holidays. In fact, some companies close their office for the entire week between Christmas and New Year. Expect to wait two to three weeks to receive a response during this time of year...maybe even longer.

  • Adjust your follow-up strategy - If you find the perfect job opening between Thanksgiving and Christmas, add an extra follow up to your typical routine. While people are away from the office or buried in end-of-year project wrap-ups, your application or follow-ups can get lost in email. Don’t barrage them with daily check ins, but one extra follow up will be a good reminder if you haven’t heard anything.

  • Get creative with networking -  This is a popular time for companies to give back to the community, so do your research and see if you can help! For example, around Thanksgiving many corporate teams will coordinate a work day to volunteer at a local food bank. If you use your networking skills to learn of events like that, you may be able to volunteer with them, or get on the volunteer schedule at the same time. You’ll be able to introduce yourself to people at the company and demonstrate your work ethic on site.

  • Take advantage of temporary openings - Seasonal job openings are in abundance during the holidays, so take advantage of opportunities. While these openings may not be the perfect job you’re looking for, they will provide income for you during your transition and can be good resume fillers for any gap you may have in employment.

Looking for additional resources for finding a job that’s perfect for you? We’d love to help! Our team offers many career coaching and career exploration packages that are customized to your needs and career goals. Contact us to set up a consultation.

Posted on November 15, 2017 and filed under Search Strategy.

Why Don’t You Like Your Job?

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It’s not really work if you love what you do.

This phrase is said by the “luckiest” among us, who have a passion for their work and are content and happy in their profession. If this isn’t you...what if you found out that it isn’t luck that makes these people happy at work...it’s strategy.  

Dig Deep To Figure Out What You Love & What You Don’t

Spend time figuring out what it is about your current job that you don’t like. Don’t leave anything out - you are only holding yourself back if you aren’t honest with yourself. You need to also figure out what it is that you love about your job (or would love in a job).

Here are some reflection questions that will give your think-session a jump start:

  • What specific things make me dread going to work every day?

  • What do I do at work that makes me upset or angry?

  • What do I find really boring about my job?

  • Are the things I dislike correlated in some way? Are they are relational issues? Task-oriented? Related to workplace culture?

  • What do I like about my current job?

  • What would I like in a job that I’m currently not doing/receiving?

Put Together A Strategy

Once you have a good idea of the specific likes/dislikes of your job, it’s time to put together a strategy. You CAN find and secure a job that you love with a little motivation and effort.

Here are a few things to consider as you are putting together a strategy to find a great job:

  • Brainstorm a list of jobs with descriptions that leave out as many dislikes and include as many likes that you came up with in the above activity. Google is a good tool here - do some research!

  • Do you have the skills and experience to secure one of these positions? If not, make a plan to gain the requirements. If you are completely switching career fields, you may need more school, training, to learn a new skill, start volunteering, etc. Is the investment worth it to have a job that you love? (We say YES!)

  • Start networking in the industry or with specific people/companies that fit with what you are looking for.

  • Find a mentor that can provide trustworthy tips and advice in the field. There is nothing more valuable than wisdom from those who have gone before you!

Find Your Dream Job

Once you’ve done all of the above, finding your dream job is only a matter of time. You can get your dream job as long as you are willing to put in the work to get it.

If this seems daunting, we’d love to help you sort through it all. We offer career coaching services that will put you on the path to successfully landing your dream job!

Posted on November 8, 2017 and filed under Career, Search Strategy.

5 Reasons Why "Networking" Isn't Just Corporate Jargon

If you’ve done any research on job search strategies, you’ve likely heard some version of “network, network, network” or “it’s all about who you know.” Have you shrugged it off as being corporate jargon? It’s easy to dismiss suggestions that you don’t understand or that you think aren’t relevant to your particular situation. This tip is one that you should implement into your job search strategy no matter your background or career trajectory. Here’s why:

  1. Networking is easy. It’s essentially staying in touch, and in good standing, with those that you have crossed paths with throughout your journey to get where you are. The engineer that you babysat for in your neighborhood, your high school teachers, college professors, program advisors, extra-curricular club leaders, that scientist you met at a charity dinner, the journalist who allowed you to conduct an informational interview - all of these are examples of people in your network. 
  2. It can be all about who you know. While it isn’t always all about who you know, it most certainly can be. An introduction or recommendation from the right person may just be the extra bump your application needs to get the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. 
  3. References can make, or break, your job search/advancement progress. There are some references that are just no good: those that are so generic it’s obvious that they don’t know the applicant and those that simply don’t have anything good to say. To ensure a good reference, make sure your network knows you well enough to personalize their recommendation to your strengths. And, of course, make sure they don’t have any bad experiences to share.
  4. Your network is a gold mine of knowledge. Even if your connections consist of a seemingly random assortment of professions, industries and management levels, you have years and years of experience and skill at your fingertips. Ask to hear their stories. Ask questions. Ask for advice. If you’ve built a good relationship with them, they will be more than happy to support you in your endeavors. 
  5. There are always networking opportunities available to you. Networking can be as formal as attending a professional networking event or as informal as meeting new people at the local baseball game. It can take some time to become aware of the opportunities around you, but once you’ve made an effort it will be well worth your time.

What are your networking success stories? Have you faced networking obstacles? We’d love to hear from you!

Posted on September 28, 2016 .

Social Media Do’s And Don’ts When On The Job Hunt

The internet has truly changed the game for job seekers and job hunters alike. As a job seeker, information and resources to improve your skillset that were formerly difficult to obtain are now at your fingertips. Job postings are no longer restricted to window fronts and newspaper ads but easily shared and searched online. With these positive changes to the job hunt environment come areas of caution as well, and social media is one of the biggest. The good news when searching for a job is that there are ways you can prevent it from turning into a major obstacle. Here’s a quick, easily implementable list to get started:

  • Google yourself. Whatever shows up in the results is what potential employers can see too. If there is content, especially photos, that are less than professional, take them down. On the flip side, if you have a really common name and there is nothing about you on the first page of the search results, you should work to build a positive, professional online presence. Here are some great tips from Entrepreneur about building your personal brand.

  • Make your personal social accounts private. If your account is private, employers will only see minimal information and not your recent family vacation photos and all of the other personal information you share there.

  • Ensure your profile photos are professional. Even if you make your account private, your profile photos are still usually viewable. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a suit-and-tie headshot, but it most certainly should not be a bikini pose or party night selfie.

  • Scrub your accounts for embarrassing content & be cautious when posting new content. The loophole in some social media accounts is that the security settings are not always obvious or clear. Friends of friends may still view your profile even if it’s set to private. Take the tactic of “better to be safe than sorry” and filter your posts while on the job search. Remove old, incriminating content. And if you wouldn’t show or tell a potential employer what you are about to post, then don’t. 

  • Be upfront and honest. If your employer finds something that you missed and asks you about it, don’t deny the truth. Be honest and respectable in your response. Honesty is always the best policy.

Want even more social media do’s and don’ts? Check out these online resources:

Facebook Do’s and Don’ts for Job Seekers from CBS News
How Social Media Can Help (or Hurt) You in Your Job Search from Forbes

Posted on September 14, 2016 .