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Top 3 Ways Get Along With the Boss

Unless you work for yourself or run your own business there will always be one person that you have in your life who will be very important; your boss. No matter what you do, whether it’s digging ditches or rocket science, your boss is the man or woman who will ultimately help you or hinder you in your career. Getting along with your boss is thus very important and can mean the difference between loving your job and being promoted and praised and dreading going to work every morning.

There are many different things you can and should do to nurture your relationship with any boss that you may have, but the following 3 will help you the most.

1. Remember that your boss, no matter how old they are or how much (or little) experience they have, is human just like you and makes mistakes just like you. The trick is to never point out those mistakes in front of others, and if you do find the need to point them out make sure you do it with a lot of tact. If you can fix their mistake first and then point it out to them tactfully you will make a strong ally with them which may come in very handy at promotion time.

2. Praise your boss when they do something excellent (or even just OK), but don’t overdo it. Everyone likes to hear that what they have done is appreciated and bosses are no different, but on the other hand nobody like’s an ask-kisser, at least not for very long.  Your boss probably got to where they are by being very astute, and they will know right away if you’re the king of BS or really giving praise because you mean it.

3. Ask your boss how you’re doing and what it is that they think you can do better. There isn’t a boss in the world that won’t be impressed by this because it takes real initiative to ask this question and nearly nobody does it. If your boss points out something make sure to get on it and change it (if possible) and let them know in a subtle but firm way that you did. If they point out something they like make sure to keep doing it and do it more often if you can.

Bonus- Dis-agreeing with your boss is OK but never in front of other people unless you’re dead sure that you are 100% correct and the boss will agree with you. If you do need to disagree with something they said or did do it in private and, as I mentioned above, and do it very tactfully.

If you can follow these rules and tips you are sure to get ahead and, one day, maybe even be the boss yourself.  When you get there make sure to be a good, fair boss and treat your people the way you liked to be treated when you were just a worker-bee. Good luck!

5 Things That Should Not Be In Your Resume

As the economy is still weak, many people are still losing their jobs and not being able to find another really quick. So when looking for a job in this weak economy, you must know how to represent yourself in a very strong light. Though your positivity can decrease after not being called back for an interview. You can change all that on your own. Your resume honestly says a lot about you and can be what is standing between you and that interview for that new job you want. Having a great resume is very important for landing any job. It has to simply state your professional background. But there are things that you should never include in your resume.

Don’t have a crazy or relatively outlandish objective. Keep it simple, state what you want to do with your life without being overly confident. The objective statement is the part of a resume that can either make or break a deal. So always keep it highly professional, no matter what type of job you are seeking. Irrelevant job experience is also another thing that you can leave of your new resume. So keep it simple and relevant to this particular job and you will more than likely get a call back for an interview.

Any type of novelty achievements you may have received over the years, do not need to go in your resume. Don’t include things such as eating contests you’ve won or if you were prom queen or best smile. These things may make you proud and happy, but they don’t really showcase your skills. Those things don’t really matter much in the professional world. So always keep your resume professional and neat.

Having spelling and grammar errors should not be included in your resume either. It may change the hiring manager’s outlook on the whole resume. Too many spelling errors may make your potential boss think you may be sloppy or not care about the quality of your work. So always proofread and use spellchecker and if you can then get a friend or family member to check it over as well.

If your resume is visually unappealing it may affect your chances of getting called back for that interview as well. Always lay your resume out in a very professional manner. If your resume is sloppy and disorganized then they may feel as if you are disorganized as well. And they may also think you have problems properly setting up documents and spreadsheets.

Also never include too much information, don’t lists paragraphs about how you enjoy spending your summers. A resume is suppose to highlight your attributes and strong points that would make you good for a particular job. If you include too much information the hiring manager may feel as if you love to talk about yourself. So just highlight your experiences and skills that make you the best suitable potential employee.

Once you have revised and tailored your resume using those points, then you are more than likely to get a call back. Landing the interview and impressing the hiring manager will assure you have a great chance at getting the job.

3 Key Attributes That Every Hiring Manager is Looking For

Welcome to the job market! Whether you’re just out of school or if you’ve been working for many years the qualities that companies and their hiring managers are looking for will always be the same. They want someone that they can rely on, that will produce, and that won’t become a problem down the road.  It seems straightforward enough, but during the job interview there are certain attributes that hiring managers look for (and answers they wish to hear) that you should know if you want to get that job. Here, in no particular order, are the top 3.

1) Communication. Maybe the most important, the ability to communicate well is an attribute that all hiring managers appreciate. Great communication skills are important in almost any line of work, and make the lives of the people above you much easier. If you can show that you are an effective communicator during the job interview you will score a lot of points. Think before you answer, don’t give up too much info, and don’t talk too much.  Most of all, when the hiring manager is speaking make sure to listen attentively. Most hiring managers are primadonnas and, if they think you’re ignoring them or otherwise not completely enthralled by their every word, you’re toast.

2) Professionalism. This is one that many people get wrong during the interview. Professionalism means that you don’t trash-talk your old boss, that you are courteous, and that you dress well.  If you show up in a wrinkled shirt and mismatched tie, talking about how your last boss was a ‘stupid SOB that thought he knew everything’ you’re done before you even start.  Also, when the hiring manager introduces him or herself, don’t answer with ‘Yo, wassup’ but instead ‘Hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you’. Even if you’re interviewing for the night watchman position being professional during your interview will impress, and sometimes that what it takes to get the job.

3) Enthusiasm. If you really want to wow the hiring manager do a little studying before you go into the interview and find out about the company. Being able to ask some interesting questions about what they do or make will help you should like you have a genuine interest and enthusiasm about going to work there. Even if it’s a job at McDonald’s statements like ‘I’ve always been amazed at how you guys can put out such great tasting food so fast. I can’t wait to see how it’s done!’ will have the hiring manager swooning.

If you can master these 3 key points and make them 3 great attributes about you I believe that your job search will be short and prosperous. Good luck!

How to Get Your Resume Past Resume Screening Software

Nowadays, employers have the ability to weed out applicants and find the perfect employee in record time, thanks to software screening. Software screening has the ability to make the hiring process run smoothly for the employer and can save a job seeker valuable time.

No one enjoys sitting through an entire interview only to find out that the employer wants to hire someone who can travel at least three months out of the year, and you specifically checked no on your application that you were not willing to travel.

It takes time to screen through each application and an employer’s time is often limited. Employers can get bombarded with hundreds of applications and who has time to read through all of them. That is why software screening has become so important. It does the foot work for employers, it makes hiring an applicant easier than ever before.

These programs are designed to search the applications and/or resumes for particular keywords. For instance it might search all incoming applications for the words: bachelor’s degree, flexible, 10-key experience, Microsoft Word, etc. The employer can program what they want and the software program will match those keywords up with their stacks of applications, and narrow down the top ten applicants.

It sounds wonderful and it makes a lot of sense. The programs not only narrow down applicants using optimal keywords, but they also offer online tests that help to measure an applicant’s skills. These software programs can also provide online personality assessments, do behavioral assessments and even offer a managerial assessment.

The advantages are endless, but there are also a few disadvantages to online screening. This screening process can only measure concrete information, it doesn’t measure everything.

You’ve heard of individuals who are great test takers, but not quite as good once they’ve been hired. There is something to be said about the human element. There are some personalities that do not come through on paper or on line, as they do in person. Some individuals might not have the experience firsthand, however they might poses a magnificent “can do” attitude and are able to adapt quickly.

Since these software programs are not flawless, there are a few things that an applicant can do to work this to their advantage. The first thing an applicant should do when searching for a job, is to carefully scan the job description to see if it is a good match. If it sounds like the job might be a perfect fit, then here is your chance to sell yourself.

If the job description indicates that the employer is looking for a candidate with a specific skill or skills, and you have those skills, include those in your resume. If you resume doesn’t already list them by name go in and add them. Don’t assume that the employer knows that just because you are a carpenter that you know how to use a jigsaw and don’t assume they know that you are a whiz with the jigsaw, if you have a certification in that area now is the time to flaunt it. If the job description says they are looking for ‘that’, make certain your resume reflect ‘that’.

Next, be prepared to allow a few extra minutes when you are going on line to submit your resume, if the company asks for you to take a quick personality test or managerial test, you’ll score better if you are not rushing through it.

Remember the software program is looking for concrete information. The better prepared for these online software programs that you are will help to ensure that you will get that face to face interview.

Between having a great resume that sends you to the top, and having an award winning attitude when you show up for your interview, no matter the outcome you will definitely shine.

Face it, it is a tough market out there, but if you are serious about finding a job and you are persistent, you will eventually find something that you love. Take software screening seriously and use it to your advantage.

4 Things You Can Do to Make Your Resume Stand Out

1. Tailor your resume to the job description

When you tailor your resume to the job description, you have a better chance of securing the position you are vying for. Tailoring your resume to the job description means listing your experience and other bullet points on your resume that directly relate to the job you are looking to get. For instance, if you are looking to get a job in the computer industry, don’t list your experience in the restaurant industry. It is not relevant and will not help you get your desired position. List skills and other things that are within the job description you are applying for, if necessary, create a different resume for each job application; this will ensure you the ultimate success in your job search.

2. List your achievements

There are many things that will make an employer want to hire you and showcasing your achievements is the easiest and best way to paint yourself in a good light to a prospective employer or company. Your achievements are what contribute to you being a good employee and an employer wants to see these achievements stated as clearly as possible listed on your resume. There is no need to point out anything that puts you in a negative light for a prospective employer. Listing your achievements, such as awards, certificates, degrees, and other things similar will make you the most viable candidate for the job.

3. Use action verbs and phrases

The reality is that employers read countless resumes when searching for the right employee. You want to make sure your resume stands out among the rest. One of the most beneficial ways to make your resume stand out is by utilizing action verbs and phrases on your resume. Use action verbs such as; applied, encouraged, verified, and taught. Use action verbs and phrases as much as possible in your resume to make your resume have a more interesting readability to prospective employers. Along with keeping the interest of employers reading your resume, using action verbs and phrases will make you seem like a more active and interesting employee in general.

4. Make sure your resume has a clean layout

Sometimes the smallest details are the most important. There are many resumes that have great content and perfect execution, but the layout is completely sloppy and hard to read. When you are preparing your resume for prospective employers, make sure you layout your resume in a very professional and easy to read fashion. Every section should have a heading and the layout should present you as a tidy, detail-oriented employee. Sometimes, there is no telling why certain employees get the job over another candidate, and more often than not, it has to do with the first impression clean layout of the resume that set them apart.

5 Things You Can Do to Increase Your Chances of Getting an Interview

In this competitive job market, everyone is looking for that edge to help to help them land a good job, and the first step you take is getting your resume to the right person at the right time.  Though this can seem very challenging, it’s more about research and patience and less about luck.  Here are 5 things that you can do right now that will increase your chance of getting an interview.

  1.  Networking leads to potential employment.  Your very first step is to get the word out that you are looking for employment and what kind of job you want, what you are uniquely qualified for, and see what your circle of family, friends, and colleagues can help connect you to.  In this economy, more and more people are getting hired through networking versus an advertisement for a job that you randomly apply to.  And you stand to face less competition for the potential position this way.
  2. Fine tune your resume.  Everyone has a resume, but your needs to be concise, specific, and focused more on your accomplishments and less on your job responsibilities.  Many job titles and industries carry with it the same job requirements – in your resume put more focus on what you have accomplished – let a potential employer see what you have done, not what you were required to do.  This difference can be a make it or break it – and you want to make it to the interview portion of the job search.
  3. Multiple copies of your resume and how this can work for you.  If you are apply to jobs that are similar but have a few key differences, this is when having multiple resumes can work for you.  If your last job was as some type of administrative support staff, you might want to tailor your resume to the different industries you are targeting for future employment.  What goes over well at a doctor’s office might need to be tailored if you apply to work at a distribution center.  Always make you resume relevant to the place you apply to.
  4. Send out your resume to every job you qualify for.  Know your limits, but apply often and early.  Often times a job can be filled in less than one to two weeks so your odds of being considered are better the sooner you apply.  Also, even if you apply for a job and get the interview, you can still keep looking for something better, but the biggest challenge here is to get the interview, speak with a person regarding a potential job, and also, after the interview, get feedback on how well you interviewed.
  5. Be professional.  This is aimed at everyone, but being professional from everything from how you dress to your manners, this is one of the first things to get your resume moved to the top of the pile – or to land it in the trash.  Many administrators ask whoever received the resume to rate the candidate that came in, and if you were less than polite and well mannered – you just cost yourself an interview and potential job.

How to Negotiate Your Salary And Benefits at Your New Job

If you scored the job interview of your dreams and got them to choose you out of the many eligible candidates who wanted the same job, you did something right. You impressed them with your resume, your personality, and your job skills, now you have to impress them with your negotiation skills at your second interview. When you are negotiating your salary and benefits, you are actually negotiating for the job. You don’t want to sell yourself too short, but you don’t want to come across like you’re selling yourself too high. What do you do to ensure that you get the best salary and benefits you deserve for your hard work, skills, and knowledge?

On your application, do not fill in what you want for a salary in the place where it is asked. This will render your negotiations null and void if they already know what you will settle on. Avoid putting any sort of information in your cover letter as well. Here’s what you want to do: You know you are getting a job so you can get paid. Your prospective employer is aware of this as well- but you want to convince them, even for a split second, that it isn’t about the money, it’s about the position, maybe even the prestige. Once you have done so, you can talk yourself up and get yourself a higher salary.

In order to know how much you should ask for, you’re going to need to do a bit of research. Not only will you want to see the median salary for people doing your job, you will want to look at the pay ranges of that particular company. If the company has employees that work for a union, you might have restrictions placed on how much you can earn no matter your level of expertise.

Your research notes should start with how much (or in this case, how little) you are willing to work for, and then work up from there. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time, especially your own, by applying for a job that will pay you far less than you are willing to work for.

It is also important to know how much you are worth. If you are holding the ball in your court because you are a hot commodity in the workforce, you can afford to use your reputation as a bargaining chip. If you’re certain you can be used in numerous places, or if you have employers fighting over you, don’t ever be afraid to bring it up. Don’t be cocky about it, just be confident and sure of both yourself and what you deserve for your hard work.

Last but not least, when negotiating salary and benefits – don’t be the person to bring it up. Let the company bring up finances. When they do, let them know that you want to work out an arrangement that benefits everyone. If they don’t bring it up and you have no choice, you can let them know the range in which you expect to be compensated and let them know you are willing to talk it out. Say only what you need to say and then let them do the rest.

5 Most Common Interview Questions

So you have the skills and knowledge that you need to do a great job in your selected field. You studied hard, got great grades, and you know your stuff. In fact, you think you’re a great candidate for any job. Well, not to burst you bubble but guess what; none of that matters.

What matters the most is; can you get through a job interview in one piece and make a good enough impression on your possible new boss that they decide to hire you out of all the other candidates that applied. The fact is, all the book smarts and great grades in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t make a good impression at the job interview.

To that end here are the 5 most commonly asked questions that you will be asked at most job interviews.  Consider it a ‘cheat sheet’ for your interview and study them well.

1- What is your dream job?  I find this question the most ridiculous. The fact is, MY dream job would be ‘lottery winner who has to count money’.  Of course you can’t tell the truth, so be prepared to explain why their company is your dream job and be prepared to back it up with some research that you’ve done about the company.

2- What makes you the best fit for this job?  You need to nail this so be prepared with some real-world skills and experience (if possible) that actually are useful for the position. If the job is sorting mail in the mail room let them know that you’re super organized and like a challenge. Your skills need to match the job.

3- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Another silly question, but interviewers love this one.  Are there really people that look 5 years ahead and know what they want to be doing?!  I’d love to meet them.  Anyway, make sure you have an answer that doesn’t seem too pat, and if you indeed have researched the company use that to make it sound like you have thought long-term about them.

4- Why did you choose this career?  This is a good one, so be ready for it with more than the usual BS.  If you say ‘because I love to help people’ when you interview for the morgue technician job you might not sound qualified.  Or sane.

5- Why should I hire you?  My very favorite.  The dead honest answer, of course, is the worst. Never say ‘because I desperately need a job so that I can move out of my folk’s basement and have some money to go on dates and maybe get laid’. Bosses hate that for some reason.  Instead, have a list of qualities ready that define a little bit about who you are and what you bring to the table. Again, research beforehand about the company here would serve you well.

Finally, if you know you don’t interview well, practice. That’s right; find a partner and get serious. Practice being interviewed with a partner until you know what you’re going to say and can say it with ease. This is big, and a new job will change your life, so put some time in and get it done.

Job Search Tips for Older Workers

Finding work during a recession is tough, to be sure, but finding work during a recession when you are 55 and older can be even tougher. The fact is, in our youth obsessed culture young pups will always have an advantage over grey wolves, no matter the experience level.

A  Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder poll found that, among workers 55 and older who had lost their job since the recession started, only 28% had found employment within a year as opposed to 71% of 25-34 year olds. Those are disheartening stats to say the least.

If you’re a grey wolf don’t feel like you have to give up on catching the lamb just yet however. Many folks in the same ‘too young to retire’ situation are indeed finding work, and they’re using the tips below to do it. Read on, and let’s see if we can give you something to keep those pups at bay.

Firstly, look for companies who have an older core of executives, people that realize the value of real-world experience.  Steer clear of companies being run by execs in their 30’s though, unless you like heaving your pride hurt by a guy 20+ years younger than you.

‘Streamline’ your resume.  If an employer sees that you were on Moses’ team when he parted the Dead Sea, you might want to consider dropping that bit and going with something a little more recent. It also helps your cause if you don’t look smarter than the boss. In this case, less is better.

If you don’t have a computer you should get one ASAP. (What the heck took you this long anyway?!) A smart-phone would be a smart idea too.  These days it’s all about being ‘tech savvy’. Taking a basic computer course wouldn’t hurt either.

List your capabilities more than your achievements.  If you were Valedictorian of the Class of ’65 you don’t look smart, you look ancient. Put down what you can do now, not what you did then.

Renn Zaphiropoulos, the founder of Versatec , had this advice for the older job seeker-  “Don’t tell me how hard you worked, don’t tell me how long you worked, tell me what you accomplished. Tell me what you can do for me. Don’t tell me you’re a self-starter or creative. Show me what you did to demonstrate these characteristics. Let the data speak for you.”

Finally, use the facts about your age to your advantage without playing up the actual years that you’ve been in the field. Emphasize that you’re stable, always on time, hardworking and dependable. Employers, no matter your age, are always seeking people they can depend on.

Top 4 Reasons Why You Have Not Landed A Job

The main reason you have not landed a job in an improving but still sluggish economy is you. This does not mean you as a person but rather your tactics in networking, your resume, your interview techniques and skills, and your use of social networks like Linkedin that can aid you in your job search.

The tired old adage “doing the same thing and expecting different results” may be just where you are in your job search. The top reasons why you have not landed a job are your management of networking, your resume, and your interview skills.

Your primary and only objective in answering ads for open positions is to get an interview. The more face time you have with potential employers the more likely you are to land a job if not the job of your dreams. Dream jobs are scarce these days

Your primary weapon in opening the doors to a face to face interview is your resume. A well done resume is putting your best foot forward in your first contact with a potential employer.

A great resume makes you stand out from the herd. Your resume should be concise, have perfect punctuation and grammar, and above all present your accomplishments. A laundry list of former job duties is meaningless to a potential employer. Accomplishments that saved or made money for former employers is what a potential employer wants to see. A cover letter briefly stating your qualifications and some of your major accomplishments make you a viable candidate for a new job.

An interview is the best way for you to stand out from the rest of the pack that is hungry for the same job you are. Dress like you would for a funeral. Overdressing is an indication you understand the seriousness of the situation and indicates that you are flexible even in job environments that do not have a formal dress code.

Do not attempt to make yourself better than you are. With all the background information available to a potential employer for a few dollars any fabrications will eliminate you from consideration.

Networking your old job associates is a very useful tool in finding a new job. If you are just beginning a career or are “of a certain age” your network may be small to nonexistent.

Linkedin can be an invaluable networking resource for the job seeker. Linkedin is a social network of business people. You can connect with former employers and coworkers, find direct contacts with potential employers in your field, and get tips from pros about what jobs are hot. You can use Linkedin as a marketing tool for the product you are selling. That product is your experience, ability, and accomplishments. The majority of Linkedin’s services are free

If you have not landed a job you need to look at your networking methods, perfect your resume, and practice you interview skills. Landing a job is work. Work is what you are looking for anyway so do the work that gets you what you want and need.

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