Getting the Interview

A proactive approach to your job search can improve your chances of landing interviews. Listed below are six tips to maximize your success.

  1. Make Contact Before Sending Your Resume
    Unless you’re responding to an ad that requests “no phone calls,” try to contact the hiring manager before you send your resume. Even if you don’t know the name of the person handling the search,

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How to Catch Common Grammatical Errors

Know What to Watch For

Christopher Simmons, president of Send2Press Newswire, a Redondo Beach, California-based news distribution service, has been proofreading copy for more than 23 years on a daily basis. The most common mistakes he finds in business releases include:

It’s vs. Its: “It’s” is short for “it is” or “it has” (“it’s raining”), whereas “its” is a possessive pronoun, as in … [ Read more ]

Job Acceptance Letter

Writing an acceptance letter is a good policy for any job seeker who’s decided to take a job offer. For one thing, it reinforces your professional approach. It also gives you the chance to document a few key things about your new job, such as your title, supervisor, salary and benefits. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll never need to rely on this documentation. … [ Read more ]

Will You Get Ahead?

True or false?

  • You add more value to your organization than most of your coworkers.
  • Colleagues often seek your counsel.
  • Your department is well-regarded.
  • Your boss is well-regarded.
  • You do important work.
  • You’re upgrading your skills.
  • You’ve cultivated important allies in and outside your organization.
  • If you were the boss, you would hire yourself.

The more true answers you gave, the more likely it is you’ll move up.

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Which Font Should I Use?

For resumes in electronic format that will be emailed, select a font that’s standard on most computer systems. Good choices include Arial, Book Antiqua, Century Schoolbook, Garamond, Tahoma, Times New Roman and Verdana.

What Tense Should I Write My Resume In?

Write previous jobs in past tense. For your current job, write accomplishments in past tense and job responsibilities in present tense.

Should I Include Salary Information on My Resume?

No, unless you are writing a federal resume. Indicating your salary history or requirements could eliminate you from consideration. If the employer requests salary requirements, acknowledge the request in your cover letter with a line like: “I would be happy to discuss my salary requirements after mutual interest has been established.” If you feel pressed to give a number, provide a wide range to give … [ Read more ]

Sell Yourself

Interviewing is about selling. Keep these three points in mind:

  1. The product you’re selling is you. Give them reasons to buy.
  2. Tell them what you can do for them. Emphasize what you can bring to the company‚ department and position.
  3. Convince them that your product is better than the competition’s.

Interviewers’ Pet Peeves

Here are seven of the most common peeves provided by experienced interviewers, along with some tips on how to avoid them:

  1. Smells: Too Much of a Good Smell Can Be Bad
    Pat Riley, author of Secrets of Breaking into Pharmaceutical Sales, has a pet peeve story to relate: “Preparing for an interview is not like preparing for a date. I had one interview with a

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And What Questions Do You Have?

At some point during most interviews, the potential employer turns the reins over to you, and asks if you have any questions. What you ask can help you land the job. The right questions are like a self-portrait showing you’re a smart, savvy, think-ahead kind of person. Here’s how to paint that picture:

  • Ask the interviewer to talk about everyone’s favorite subject: him or

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Handling Problem Interviewer Types

Here are three different problem interviewer types you may encounter and how to handle them.

  1. The Harried Interviewer
    Problem: This kind of hiring manager is late, completely unprepared, forgets your resume and maybe even spaces out that today is the interview.

    Solution: “Give the person time to

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Six Rules to Follow When Asking for Feedback

  1. Be sure to relay your disappointment in not getting the offer and say that you would be interested in interviewing if anything opens up. Emphasize that this company is still your top choice.
  2. Politely ask if there is any feedback that would help you improve your chances in your next interview. Was there anything in particular that could

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Asking About Company Culture

Digging up facts about company culture doesn’t have to be an altogether clandestine effort. You can simply ask questions about organizational culture. Here are a few to consider:

  • What three words or phrases would you use to describe the company or department culture?
  • How does the company (team) handle conflict or differing opinions?
  • How does

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5 Areas You Should be Sure to Address in an Interview

Here are the five areas you should be sure to address in an interview:

  1. Job Description
    It is very important to ask for a written job description. The job description defines the parameters of the job. Without a written job description, there are no boundaries, and the job can be a set up for failure. If you

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6 Species of Interviewers

  1. The Absentee
    His Style: Sometimes an interviewer isn’t mentally in the room. Maybe his boss dropped a big project on him earlier that day, or maybe he’s completely unprepared.

    Your Best Approach: It’s almost impossible to make a strong impression on someone so distracted, so keep

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6 Answers Interviewers Need to Hire You

  1. Do You Have the Skills to Do the Job?
  2. Do You Fit?
  3. Do You Understand the Company and Its Purpose?
  4. How Do You Stack Up Against the Competition?
  5. Do You Have the Right Mind-Set for the Job and Company?
  6. Do You Want the Job?

Job Offer Evaluation Checklist

  • Compensation: Does the offer provide a level of income that will at least enable you to maintain your present standard of living? Is the offer at least 10 percent to 15 percent higher than your most recent salary?
  • General Benefits: Be sure to ask what the benefit package includes, assuming the prospective employer hasn’t already made it clear.

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Job Expectations Questions

Ask the following questions to determine your priorities and what you expect from a job.

  • Job Training
    Will you receive the training you need soon after being hired and in the first year or two with the organization? The type of training varies with each job, so during the recruiting process, you should ask about the initial

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Talking Salary – Quick Tip

Timing is everything in the interview. Let them bring up the subject of money. If you are asked what your salary expectations are too early in the process‚ just say you would rather postpone that discussion until you have more information about the position. Ask‚ “Could you tell me the range budgeted for the position?”

Salary Requirements: How to Respond with Confidence

It’s the question many job applicants dread: What are your salary requirements? If you’re responding to an ad that asks for this information up front, what should you do?

  • Offer a Salary Range
    Instead of giving a specific number, provide a salary range, suggests Mike Worthington of Remember that it’s impossible to give an accurate answer before

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