Tag Archives: Mari Brooks

Friend of a Friend

DSC_0130So you are on the hunt for a job and you have all the basics to land an interview, but you aren’t getting many responses.  Submitting resumes and applying on large job sites can be discouraging and make you feel like you are falling into the cracks of a very large database.  After scratching your head, you begin brainstorming as to what else you can do to have that extra push to land an interview.  The answer is simple: ask for job referrals.

Common sense and statistics make one thing clear: companies are hiring based on employee referrals and will typically give a person with a referral more of a chance to land an interview.  According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, applicants are twice as likely to get interviews and 40 percent more likely to get hired if they have a referral.  But how do you get these great referrals?

Career Success Tip of the Day:  Networking is the way to go.

Social Media

Social media is at an all-time high and if you want to land a dream job, networking is a crucial building block to obtain referrals.  Sites such as LinkedIn, CareerCloud, and even Facebook and Twitter can be effective ways to network and gain contacts.  The best thing about social media networking is that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to find your way into the company.

In Person Networking

There is no better way to network than in person.  People remember faces and have a harder time saying no when they are face to face.  It can be as simple as running into a former coworker at the grocery store or making a new connection while watching your son’s football game.  The secret to in person networking is to be sociable.  Truth is, people refer people that they like.

Then What?

So you used your resources and found out that you have connections into companies you would like to work for.  How do you ask?  Well, unless it is someone who knows you well, it is best to ask if they feel they know your work enough to refer you.  If they don’t, but still would like to refer you, give them a copy of your resume.  That way they are knowledgeable of your qualifications and work experience.  They can then provide you with a referral letter or a contact within the company’s Human Resource department.

Just Remember…

More and more companies actively take advantage of referral programs. Employees are also taking advantage of referral program rewards and would be enthused to meet a “great match” for the position.

When searching for your dream career, take advantage of all the resources out there to assist with obtaining a referral and make sure you act professionally in public.  You never know, the person waiting in the checkout line next to you could be your next business contact.

Looking forward to our next career meeting, I am.

Mari Brooks
Your CC Connection

Show Me the Money, But WHEN!

DSC_0005Looking for employment can be intimidating and tedious.  The interview process can be nerve racking whether looking for a “dream job” or just looking for something to gain experience.  Whatever the reason for the search, there is always a common goal: money.

Let’s get real: Do you believe people dream about making just enough to get by?  Truth is, we all want to make enough to live comfortably and securely but most would feel better with a cushion.  With so much stress going on, how does one approach salary compensation during the interview process?

Postpone the Talk

Most career experts suggest you let the company approach the subject.  Don’t walk in to an interview and automatically say “I want this much,” especially during the initial meeting.  Try to leave negotiations for a second interview.  Bringing up pay rate too early in an interview can be a major turn off and may turn uncomfortable into disaster.  If the company brings it up, let them know you are interested in a mutually rewarding career and try to leave it at that until later in the interview process.

Know the Going Rate

When approaching any interview, research the industry, job posting, and the company.  Learn as much information possible in general as well as position duties and requirements.  Research what the average salary is for a person with the same title in the area and experience.  Use websites such as Payscale.com and Salary.com.  Onetonline.org can be a good salary staring point.  But remember these sites offer a general scale; the company you are interviewing for may be higher or lower.  Being prepared can better the negotiation process.

Know Your Worth

Use your skills and prior achievements to your advantage.  Sell the company on the skills that will be useful to them and advise them of how you plan on using your skills to better the company.  Let the employer know you are there to help the company succeed and back it up with the abilities you possess and how they will be useful to the company’s productivity.  You have to sell yourself to prove why you are worth more than the person waiting in the waiting room for the next interview.  If you sell yourself as an over achiever and one who can positively affect the bottom-line, the company will be more prone to pay top dollar.

Consider All Benefit Factors

Most companies have a specific salary range and rarely go beyond the maximum.  It is important to not just consider salary, but all benefits the company has to offer.  If the employer isn’t willing to pay the specific salary you were hoping for, you may be able to negotiate for items such as bonuses or extra sick time or added vacation days.  For many positions, you can even request the company to pick up your cell phone or Internet bill.


Before the interview process begins, research the company, position duties, and salary expectations. Remember to consider all benefit factors and don’t shortchange yourself or let being unemployed make you settle for less than what you are worth.

Until our next career chat, I am

Mari Brooks