Tag Archives: marketing

Career Etiquette: DOA?

Fact: Job postings are presented because hiring managers want YOU to be the right candidate for an open position.

DSC_0001Are you (or your student base) delivering or destroying on arrival? Before responding, take a look at what’s going on now… really… now.

Currently seeking a writer/office associate for our Longwood, Florida headquarters; for those interested in working with a team of professional writers and partnering with academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and individuals seeking career transitions, send cover letter and resume to dhuffman@edu-cs.com.

The above posting remains active, unfortunately.

Our management team is in the initial phasing-out stage and what is going on is rather disturbing: When it comes to candidates seeking employment, professionalism and career etiquette are an ignored strategy.

Let’s begin with a showing of several email responses in their uncut, uncensored form to the job posting mentioned a few moments ago:

1. “im interested.Evaluation: Grammar aside, responding to a job posting with two words is a slap in the face. By the way, no cover letter, resume, or sample was attached. Result: Not a chance to be part of our organization.

2. (No text at all) Evaluation: The prospective applicant submitted a dat. file which could not be viewed. No words were stated in the subject line; no words in the email at all. Our team replied with a Word of pdf format copy but a second dat. file was generously returned an hour later.  Result: Do I really need to say?

3. (No introduction or attachments—simply copied and pasted a resume to the open field) Evaluation: Without a cover letter or introduction, the resume lacked a reason to read… not to mention the disfigured display. Result: Another easy no even though this applicant did appear to offer a few positive attributes which may benefit ECS. Unfortunately the lack of professionalism forced a quick and negative reaction.

4. Four candidates did not submit a copy of their resume… is this really happening?

Our team could continue highlighting what not to do but I believe you know where this is going without further confirmation.

Over all, over 35 candidates responded to the writing position thus far. A slight majority (63%) did not supply a cover letter or formal introduction;
meaning most simply pasted their resume without forethought or intent to be called for an interview.

A total of one candidate appeared to perform research on our organization and the position (company name and contact was clearly stated within the posting). I say one because only one mentioned our company mission and/or products/services we offer.

Career etiquette means a brief introduction as to the value, contribution, and support as to why the candidate makes a good fit.

Career etiquette means designing a resume specific to the job posting, organization, and industry.

Career etiquette means letting the hiring manager know you really want the position… by way of following up.

5. Speaking of following up, NOT one of the 35 candidates submitted a follow up note, call, letter, telegraph, smoke signal, or message by pigeon.

Evaluation: Hiring managers know nothing about the candidate other than the job posting response. By not displaying professional courtesy (providing a tailored cover letter, resume, and follow up), you place yourself at a distinct disadvantage instantly.

With so much on the line, it would be a pity a few moments of diligence got in the way between an ideal/dream job and reality.

As a rule:
*
Compile a cover letter based upon the job posting and company research
* Send the resume as an attachment, Word or pdf
* Create the belief that you want the position by sending a follow up note, phone call, or both
* Professional courtesy will lift you above the many too busy on Twitter to show career etiquette

In regards to the open writing position, if you know of a writer in the Orlando area, send him or her my way. Before you do, make sure he or she follows proper career etiquette… or is that too much to ask?

Fact: Hiring managers desire the right information delivered in the right package and in the right way.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

For those interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters. Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. You may also contact our staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Ready to give Job Shadowing a Try?

What’s it take to be a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker? What are the real, day-to-day physical and mental demands? What are the emotional pitfalls and rewards you couldn’t anticipate without actually doing the job? How do you find out?

Dr. Kathryn Broyles, Ph.D., Program Director of General Studies at American Public University/American Military University, details an effective technique to “find out:”

A great strategy for answering all of these questions and more, and putting some “real” experience on your resume to boot, is to shadow a professional. Not as involved as an internship, but a chance to make professional connections and really get a glimpse of a job from the inside, job shadowing puts you in a better position when interviewing with potential employers. You’ll be able to point to your willingness to tackle new experiences, your willingness to network and learn, and you’ll also likely be able to ask a few savvy questions in the interview that you might not have had the insight to ask otherwise, if you had not shadowed a real professional.

Job shadowing is also a great way to explore a career you think you might be interested in before committing any substantial time or money into preparing for such a career. It’s a great way to get your questions answered about what it takes to be successful in that position or that field. It’s also an excellent way to gain first-hand knowledge of the culture of a company or field you might be interested in being associated with in the future.

Finding Job Shadowing Opportunities:

Locating opportunities to shadow professionals active in a field you’re contemplating entering may be easier than you think. The first place to look for opportunities is to visit your college’s Alumni Association or Career Services Office. In addition to frequently providing formal shadowing opportunities, they might also be able to put you in touch with fellow alumni who could provide you relevant connections. Does the field your interested in require some sort of professional membership, accreditation or certification? If so, the accrediting or certifying body or other related professional organizations could be a resource for you. Through such organizations you might connect with professionals who have already indicated they are interested in mentoring or hosting a particular period of job-shadowing.

If you’re not sure yet what sort of career you want, virtual shadowing can help you decide where to focus your “real time” shadowing. One website dedicated to virtual shadowing [jobshadow.com] provides a long list of interview with professionals in the field and can help you decide if a career interests you. The University of Chicago is another resource providing virtual glimpses into various career fields with their web page, Snapshots: Interviews with Professionals, providing multiple, downloadable pdf transcripts of interviews in more than 18 different job categories. [https://caps.uchicago.edu/resourcecenter/snapshots.html]

Making the most of Job Shadowing Opportunities:

Once you’ve arranged a shadowing opportunity, approach it like you would an important interview and your first day at a new job. Do your homework. Understand the basics about the job and the professional you’ll be shadowing as well as the company, school, or agency he or she works for. Do the research you would to be prepared for a real job interview for a similar position, and dress the part. Remember that not only are you the guest of a professional during your “shadow time” but you’re also making an impression on everyone you encounter and you want that impression to be a good one. You never know what opportunities could turn into job opportunities.

To help you get more out of the experience and to establish the best possible relationship with your host, Texas State University’s Career Services office has developed the following set of questions:

20 Questions To Ask To Better Know Your Host:

  1. What is your job title?
  2. What level of education is needed for this job? Is an advanced degree necessary?
  3. What were your interests in school? How did that lead to your career choice?
  4. What has your career path been?
  5. Why did you select this type of work?
  6. How long have you been in this position?
  7. What are your responsibilities?
  8. How would you categorize your work environment? Is it fast-paced? Do you have daily routine tasks?
  9. What is a typical day like for you?
  10. What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?
  11. How have you seen your career interest change?
  12. What skills do you think are required for this career that you think I should know? Are there any specific classes you would recommend that would prepare me for this type of job?
  13. How did your previous work experience or schooling relate to your career?
  14.  What is the path for advancement in your field?
  15.  What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your job?
  16.  What have you learned from some of the jobs you have had?
  17.  What kind of career advice would you give to a student who is interested in a similar career?
  18.  How has your job and your career field changed over the years?
  19.  Is there anything that you would do differently, if given the chance?
  20.  If you had only one piece of advice to give me, what would it be?

[http://www.careerservices.txstate.edu/Students/Internships-Experiential Learning/JobShadowing/Tips.html]

Now that you know what Job Shadowing is, how it can benefit you, how to arrange it, and how to prepare to make the most of it, go for it!  The experience may prove pivotal to your future.

Thanks Kathryn, your advice is greatly appreciated. For those interested in learning more about American Public University/American Military University, where they are expanding access to higher education with more than 100 affordable degrees and certificates to prepare students for service and leadership in a diverse and global society, visit their website at www.apus.edu.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @DannyatECS

Career Breakout: Shy? DON’T PANIC

We recently received a question from Keith who is having issues getting the word out. He is worried that his introverted nature is holding him back from a professional career. Granted, shielding yourself in the background can be detrimental to your progression, but it’s not the end all. Besides, there are ways to get noticed even the shyest can overcome.

“I’m an admitted introvert who has trouble speaking and acting natural, am I out of luck?”
Keith Mazoni

First step in any direction is defining key terms and then finding solutions to the any blocking issues. With that in mind, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), introverts:

  • Enjoy time alone
  • Consider only deep relationships as friends
  • Feel drained after outside activities, even if they were fun
  • Are often good listeners
  • Appear calm and self-contained
  • Think then speak or act

Looking at the list and you probably see yourself having many (or all) of the characteristics. After all, who doesn’t think before speaking or acting out (Dwight Howard excluding) or consider themselves to be a good listener? Guess, by definition, we are all introverts (to an extent).

Now let’s take a quick moment and look at the list below. Do you recognize any of the people on it. Make sure to keep count for yourself…

  • Albert Einstein
  • Al Gore
  • Bill Gates
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Warren Buffett 

The above are all famous introverts, so there’s no reason to feel like you have no chance at owning a successful, professional career; unless, of course, you limit yourself from having one.

While introverts are just as hirable as extroverts, the latter are more inclined to the two most important aspects of a career search: networking and interviewing. Because both are intended to be highly social activities, you may feel uncomfortable or even frightened to participate in either.

It’s not easy, speaking to people you don’t know. Come to think of it, I must also be a classic introvert… Look for me at the next networking event; I’ll be the one standing alone in the corner, hiding.

I won’t beat around the bush, you have to make networking and interviewing two of your chief skill sets, especially considering they may make you nervous or frightened. I won’t lie; it’s going to take a lot of work and practice on your end, so let’s get started.

Career Tip: You need to participate in networking.

Networking involves creating and maintaining a list of contacts with other career professionals in your industry. Ideally, these professionals who can (and will) help you identify job opportunities, keep up-to-date with current trends and changes in your industry, and even be used as references. As an introvert, this may seem like a daunting task, but the key is to start small and build up.

Social/electronic networking is ideal for the introvert. With sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, the ability to meet and introduce your skills and many valuable contributions can be done without leaving the house.

Career Tip: When going the electronic route, professional courtesy rules.

As for interviewing, it’s all about being prepared and having plenty of practice. When in doubt, practice answering basic interview questions in front of the mirror or with family members. One of the most important interview questions that set the stage is: “Tell me about yourself.” Here’s a clue, the person asking does not want to hear about your personal life, he or she wants to know the many benefits you offer.

Candidates tend to get nervous during interviews because they go in unprepared. Research the company, any competing companies, the products, and always know the company mission statement. Knowing the basics proves you done your work… a great advantage over the majority of candidates forgetting the research step.

Going back to practicing and being prepared, ask a friend or family to conduct a mock interview with you, asking questions directly related to the job posting and company. During your mock interview session, don’t just think about what you would say… say it. The human brain works in such a way that routine activities are recalled more naturally than foreign ones (ever heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect?”).

To directly get back to Keith, you’re not at a disadvantage at all by being an introvert. Think of it as a challenge that will better ground you as a career professional. Are you ready to put the work in? Besides, look at the crowd you happen to be in… a crowd of extremely successful introverts who are forever remembered for their many contributions.

For more articles on how to handle networking and the interview process, visit Education Career Services at edu-cs.com, search Amazon (Danny at ECS), or follow us on Twitter @dannyatecs.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Education Career Services

Career Breakout: Ready or Not, Here YOU are

(Missed) Opportunities often come and go at the oddest of times and the most peculiar places. When it comes to networking, are you prepared?

While sitting in a reception area waiting my turn for a cut, the silence amongst the group of four was deafening. Thinking as a career coach and author, I wondered why no one was taking advantage of a perfect networking environment. After too-much silence, I took the first step and broke the ice by asking a young lady sitting next to me about the cause of a minor leg injury (her left ankle wrap was a giveaway).

Conversation lacked reciprocation and so I pushed it a bit further with questions regarding her many tattoos. I quickly learned she and her friend, sitting directly across, were recently in Virginia. I then asked what it is they do:

I am an unemployed call center supervisor, ”stated one while the other stated she was also unemployed. Here’s where the “Ready or Not, Here YOU are” comes full circle as the remainder of this discussion was directed toward the “other” unemployed individual (we’ll call Irma):

You’re unemployed. How long have you been unemployed?” I asked
Since January, but I really need to find a job.” Irma replied.
What is it that you are looking for?”
It doesn’t really matter, I just need a job.”
What were you doing?” I asked knowing this lady needed to understand the value of an introductory statement/elevator speech.
An administrative assistant.” Irma responded with nothing more to share.
Seeing an opening, I pounced with “why would someone want to hire you?”
I’m a hard worker and good at what I do.”

Not satisfied with rhetoric, I then asked her what I typically ask all applicants during the interview process: “I have two other applicants also claiming to be hard workers and good at what they do, why should I consider you and not the other two?”
I am a hard worker,” she repeated and added “I offer the total package.”
Not knowing what that meant, I asked her to give me an example of a situation requiring her action, what she did, and what was the result.

Thrown back a bit, more non-specific, non-quantifiable verbiage flowed from her mouth.
“These are nice qualities just about EVERYONE will say, but I need more… I need examples, confirmation, something believable giving you an advantage.”

After a short pause, I informed the two that I own a career management and publishing company and know how difficult it is to locate and secure jobs. Without pause, Irma asked “can I have a job.” I responded that “nothing was available but one never knows what will happen next month or perhaps someone else I know has a need for an administrative assistant possessing the total package.”

I then asked for her card just in case, Irma had no card.

Once my hair succumbed to butchery, I politely paid the receptionist and, as I was leaving the establishment, gave the unemployed a card with my email address and website information. Three days later, still no word, no email, no connection from Irma.

Taking advantages of golden opportunities means being prepared at all places and at all times. After all, no matter where you are, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.

Reviewing Irma’s missed opportunity, what went wrong?
●   An initial reluctance to begin or take part in a conversation
●   Lacked an elevator speech or 30-second commercial
●   No true professional objective
●   The inability to quantify value in the workplace
●   Too much talk, not enough action
●   No introductory or business card
●   Asking for a job
●   Neglecting to follow-up

No doubt the above does not reflect all of the things that went wrong but it is enough for now.

Let’s place you in Irma’s shoes… Are you prepared? Before answering if you are Ready or not, take a few moments and respond to the following
●   What distinguishes you from the other two finalists (be specific and offer examples)?
●   Do you have a business or introductory cared with you at ALL times?
●   Do you know what you are looking for in a job, really?
●   Why should I hire you?

The next time you are standing in line, waiting for your appointment, or even riding an elevator, take a deep breath and put yourself out there.

After all, no matter where you are, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.

ECS offers cutting-edge books and workbooks designed to give you a competitive edge. Throughout the pages, prepare yourself with hard hitting questions, truths, activities, samples, and proven strategies to improve your career station. For additional information, go to our storefront page on our website (www.edu-cs.com) or go to Amazon (simply search Danny at ECS).

For additional information or assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email me directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.educationcareerservices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs