Sunday, January 25, 2015

How to Give a Reference (When You're Least Expecting It)

You get a call from a hiring manager who would like to know if you’ll provide a reference for a former intern or employee. But this isn’t your typical reference call, and to be honest, you’re not sure how to answer—because you’ve been totally blindsided.

For starters, you didn’t know you that you were being listed as a reference. Heck, you didn’t even know your connection was looking to change jobs, or volunteer—or whatever it is the person on the other side of the phone is calling to inquire about.

Of course, someone shouldn’t just assume you’ll serve as a reference. What if she misjudged the relationship, and you would have turned her down? Not to mention she’s missing her chance to really prepare you.

But it happens: It’s happened to me, it’s happened to managers I know, and someday it may happen to you. And while you may be thinking, “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” you’ll probably want to say something more diplomatic to the person on the line. Here’s how to handle this situation based on your relationship with the applicant.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Right (and Wrong) Way to Ask Questions When You're Applying for a Job

It’s one thing to prepare questions to ask at the end of your interview. You want to look thoughtful; you want to show that you’ve listened; and you may have a few burning questions about the way things are done around there.

But it’s a completely different story when you have a question before the interview even begins. For example, what should you do when the hiring manager asks for your availability on Tuesday, and then sends a calendar request for Thursday? Or what if you aren’t sure if a supplemental part of your application was received?

Not to make you (even more) nervous, but this can be a hit-or-miss situation. If you ask the question diplomatically, it will demonstrate that you could handle a tricky professional situation with ease. But if your email seems superfluous, over-eager, or condescending it will—not surprisingly—put a damper on your candidacy.

Read on for the dos and don’ts of asking a question during the application process.

To read more click here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Got Rejected From a Job—But Turned it Into Another Offer

Having managed a fellowship program, I know what it’s like to meet an applicant and think she’s awesome—but not quite as qualified as someone else. Often, I would go out of my way to help these candidates—pointing them toward other resources or, if they really impressed me, introducing them to the manager of another program or someone at Career Services.

Turns out, this can happen in the real world, as well.

Many would say that, when you interview for a job and find out you don’t get it, that’s the end of the story. But think about it: If you’ve made it to the final rounds of an interview process, you’ve clearly impressed the hiring manager. And, having spent several hours discussing your work experience, skills, and goals, you’ve built a professional (albeit new) relationship. So, why not use this person as a tool in your ongoing job hunt?

Recently, I did just that. After a great (but not so great that it landed me the job) interview process, I networked with my interviewer and asked him to connect me to other positions. And it worked.

Read on for my story and the steps to take if you want to try this approach for yourself.

To read more click here.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Best Way to Get a New Job in Your Old Field

You wanted to try something new. Or perhaps you took time off to travel or to stay home and raise your children.

There are tons of reasons why you might step off your career path for a year (or three). But you can always go back—right?

That’s actually a trick question—one with a “yes” as well as a “no” answer. Yes, you can get back to your old career, but no one said it would be easy.

Even if you have an incredible comeback resume, you may face some hiring managers who look at you the same way Apple store employees viewed my 2009 laptop: front of the pack—six years ago, that is.

Getting a job in your field the second time around can be just as challenging as it was the first. But there’s one key difference (a.k.a. secret weapon), and that’s your network. Read on to learn why (and how) your prior professional contacts can help you get back to your desired field.

To read more click here.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Look Back, Not Forward: The Surprising Way to Hire the Best People

Before the applications are reviewed, before the job opening is even posted, you know you need a special candidate. Why? Well, because of whatever previously happened with the position.

I’m not suggesting you need a miracle worker to rescue a program after a prior hiring fail (though, that does happen). Sometimes you need to revamp an earlier version of the job description because of a fabulous employee who doubled the scope of responsibilities. Or perhaps it’s an inaugural position, so you need someone who can work without a roadmap.

There are three instances when a position’s history can be just as important as other job requirements. Read on to learn how you can incorporate it into the hiring process and find the best applicant for the role.