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Category Archives: Interview Strategies

Jobsearch 101: How to use voicemail more effectively

Jobsearch 101: How to use voicemail more effectively

How to use voicemail more effectivelyWhy should you use voicemail in job search? There are multiple options to communicate today but don’t ignore voicemail.

Today many young people use text for messages but this only works when you are communicating with cell phones.

HINT: Everyone doesn’t text and not everyone uses it regularly so if you try to text when you should just leave a message, you may not be heard.

Why voicemail is important

You should never assume that just because you get voicemail that you should stop trying to speak with that person. When I am in a client meeting, I don’t answer calls most of the time because it disrupts the flow of the meeting.

Like many people, I rarely have the same schedule day-to-day, people get my voicemail. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk to them.

If I call a client and get voicemail, I always leave a message. I know my clients are busy and they will call back as soon as they are able.

What kind of message should I leave?

One way to avoid playing tag and be an effective communicator is state your reason for calling, then find 2 or 3 best times to call even if they are on the next day. State your name clearly and slowly say your phone number twice.

Why should I leave voicemail?

With caller ID systems, you may think they should just call you if they are interested. Many landlines and even cell phones today are targeted by telemarketers and spam callers. Robocalls seem the norm. Most people will only return a call to an unknown number if they get a message.

What if they don’t want to talk to me? So many job seekers are afraid to use the phone. The phone is your best friend in your job search. Don’t be afraid to make a call and prepare a message for voicemail or an administrative assistant that sounds professional. Be specific and direct:

Hello, my name is Sandy Jones. I would like to speak to you  to learn more about the position of IT Project Manager and how my experience with Lockheed Martin can be an asset to the Boeing organization. If you are able to call me at 111-333-5555 between 1pm and 3pm today or 8am to 5pm tomorrow, I would enjoy speaking with you. Again my number is 111-333-5555.

You will be more successful in your job search if you use the phone and if you get voicemail, leave a message!

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How to follow up after a tough interview

How to follow up after a tough interview

How to follow up after a tough interviewYou interviewed and you are really worried. It was a tough interview and you think maybe you blew it.

Will they pick me after that tough interview?

Thoughts are whirling around in your head and you keep replaying the sound bites over and over. Did you really say the wrong thing?

Even if you think you blew the tough interview, don’t worry

Keep proceeding as if you didn’t. In fact, proceed as if it was the best interview of your life.

STEP ONE – Write a thank you note to everyone in the interview!

  • Perhaps even change up the thank you to acknowledge the different aspects that each person asked you about in the interview. Individualized responses carry more weight than generic replies to the group of interviewers.
  • Clarify the challenges that you think you blew in the tough interview.
  • Reiterate how you would solve the problem or restate the qualifications that you failed to mention.

Don’t be afraid to use the phone

STEP TWO – Call the interviewer in a few days.

  • Most people hate to make the call but when you do, you show them that you are interested in the job.
  • I see people who say that they got an auto rejection. Follow that up too by calling the company.
  • Example: One person accidentally checked a wrong box when applying, it caused auto elimination. But he followed up with a phone call and corrected the error. He was hired. He wouldn’t even have known the reason he was eliminated if he hadn’t called.
  • Stop determining that they don’t want you. If you are qualified and know you can do the job, let them know you want the job and you care enough to make an extra contact.

Even when you get the NO, send a thank you for the NO

Things change. I wrote a detailed post about the thank you for the NO here and in this very popular post, How to reply to job rejection with astonishing grace. Some of the tips included are reasons you might still qualify, such as the other candidate bowed out.

The main point is keep your chin up and follow-up. A client called today to say I was right. I didn’t even understand why until he reminded me that I had told him that just because he didn’t hear from someone in two weeks didn’t mean he was eliminated from consideration. He has another interview in a few days, the CEO called him to let him know. Don’t assume!

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Land your next role! I am the pioneer of unique resume writing services and strategy. I use interactive live writing and coaching sessions to capture your value. This positions you for success in your resume, on LinkedIn, and throughout your job search. I help bring out your passion and stories to dig deep into your experiences with you. Learn more here

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How to improve success in online meetings

How to improve success in online meetings

How to improve success in online meetingsAre your online meetings successful? Is your concentration slipping? Today’s world provides many distractions that can cause you to lose focus or concentration. Many articles have been written about the electronic technology that disrupts normal conversation.

Do you lose focus in online meetings?

My business model is a live and interactive process for writing and coaching frequently conducted in online meetings over video technology. Since my clients meet with me anywhere from three or four meetings for a simple beginner resume to 20+ meetings for one of my more complex packages, we have varying degrees of concentration. I have learned that most of the time, I have to keep the client focused and at the same time keep me focused. They may only have the one meeting with me during a day but I can easily have four client online meetings.

You may find that job interviews, coaching sessions, and business meetings are also conducted in online meetings with remote video technology. You will need to stay focused on the topic at hand and minimize distractions.

Perhaps you haven’t given much thought to things that can easily make an online meeting (or an in-person meeting) go bad or become nonproductive, let me point out a few of them:

  • Phone calls
  • Texts and Facebook Messages
  • Dogs Barking
  • Babies Crying
  • Eating during meetings
  • Television
  • Multiple monitors
  • Family members interrupting
  • Music
  • Fidgeting
  • Bunny trailing
  • Life stories

What you can do to improve concentration during online meetings

  1. Turn off or mute technology (Phones, tablets, televisions, and radios, or even extra monitors if they are not part of the session)
  2. Make sure your dog is settle or out of the room (As someone who has a German Shepherd as an office companion, I know that can be easier said than done. Most of the time Buddy is quiet during client appointments but sometimes squirrels seem to keep bugging him or he is extra hungry)
  3. If you are in a client meeting, have someone else watch your child. There may still be background noise but just having someone else there to meet their needs helps.
  4. Train other family members to stay out of the room when you are in a meeting or interview.
  5. Learn to relax. When video is being used, the people on the other end of the call see and hear everything. Don’t bite your nails, click pens, or tap your feet.
  6. Eating should be obvious. I eat before or after client sessions. I may have water or coffee with me but overall, you are better off to eat before or after meetings.
  7. If you are a storyteller, rein it in. Keep the meeting on topic.
Land your next role! I can help you win new positions by using my interactive coaching style of resume writing to create your new resume and help you use multiple tools such as LinkedIn to propel you to success in your job search! Learn more here
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Social cues: The key to improving networking success

Social cues: The key to improving networking success

Social CuesSocial cues are key to career success, networking success, and job search success but it isn’t a topic many people think about or act on when in the midst of trying to find that success.

What are social cues?

Social cues are the signals that people send through body language and expressions. Many people understand social cues inherently but people who may not have high level social skills often miss social cues and they misunderstand people and situations. You need to understand social cues to read other people and react appropriately. The four times of social cues are:

  • Facial Expressions
  • Body Language
  • Voice Pitch and Tone
  • Personal Space

All of these social cues are there to help us when we are in situations where we need to succeed. However, if you never develop the ability to read social cues, you run the risk of wondering why you often feel left out of the conversation or you think no one is listening to you. Developing the ability to read social cues and act on them will save you from embarrassment and make you more successful in social situations and interviews.

3 examples of what happens people fail to read social cues

  • The off topic socializer — often this person failed to develop the ability to read social cues as a child. They don’t pay attention to facial expressions and their listening skills are very low. When this person is in a gathering, he or she tries to be part of the conversation but he has his own agenda so he changes the topic to fit what he or she wants to talk about and doesn’t listen to the others. He or she never notices the facial expressions from others or their body language. If they did, they would recognize that they are not giving anyone else a chance to talk and they are not talking about what the group was discussing.
  • The life story-teller — This person also has an agenda. They feel that for people to understand them, they need to tell them the story from their first job to today. Whenever they meet someone, they tell their life story even in the grocery store or at the Chamber meeting. Their listening skills are also very low and they don’t notice when people are shifting from foot to foot hoping to get away.
  • The personal space invader — This person does not understand personal space and often crowds into other people’s personal space. Personal boundaries are invisible but when someone invades the personal space of others, they often miss other social cues such as facial expressions or body language too that would remind them to back up or move away.

If you recognize that this is a problem and can find ways to change, you will find yourself much more accepted and happy in social situations.

Land your next role! I can help you win new positions by using my interactive coaching style of resume writing to create your new resume and help you use multiple tools such as LinkedIn to propel you to success in your job search! Learn more here
Do you want to be on the cutting-edge of your career and job search? Read More Posts Like This One!

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