If there are two questions I can almost guarantee you’ll be asked in every interview, it’s the ones asking you to describe your greatest strengths and weaknesses. If you’re actively interviewing, you shouldn’t even have to think about your answers; they should roll off the tongue as readily as your own name. That said, there are ways to answer these questions that are better than others. Read More
When was the last time you read – or wrote – a job posting without “X years of experience” as one of the qualifications?
Length of experience is the absolute worst measure of a candidate’s qualification for a job. Which is strange, when it’s so ubiquitous. How could something so pointless become so common?
In my opinion (which is sure to be unpopular with some), it’s laziness. It’s there because it’s easy. Read More
One of my least favourite interview questions is, “tell me about yourself”. I don’t like it, so I don’t ask it. To me, it’s always felt like a ‘gotcha’ setup, because there are no parameters, there’s no direction. You could start by saying where and when you were born (almost certainly missing the recruiter’s meaning by at least a couple of decades) and technically you’d be answering the question.
And yet, you will be asked this question in an interview, if you haven’t already. So – to appease those people who (ugh) insist on asking it – what’s the right approach? The answer is: the elevator pitch. Read More
There are many ways a person might stand out from the crowd. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Depending on the way you choose to stand out, though, sometimes it’s not. When you’re a candidate competing for a job, your experience and qualifications are the things that should differentiate you from your competition. Not gimmicks.
Far too often, I’ve read well-intentioned pieces of advice about creative and unique ways to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs, and today I’d like to tell you why you shouldn’t follow any of them. Read More
I can be a broken record when it comes to cover letters, but if I am, it’s only because I want you to know where they fit into the hiring process – particularly at the screening stage. I will probably only read your cover letter if I’ve read your resume and already decided that I’m probably going to interview you.
It’s an important principle, because most people write a cover letter with the mindset that it’s going to convince me to read their resume. It’s not. Your cover letter will do one of two things: reaffirm my decision to interview you, or change my mind and decide not to. This changes how you write them, and I’m writing this to help yours do more of the former than the latter. Read More
New job regrets? Throughout my professional career, I’ve seen a great many people struggle with a recent job change, wanting to make an immediate U-turn. Candidates I’ve recruited and placed have called me in near-panic a few weeks afterwards, warning me that they were probably going to leave their new job. Several former employees have called me after leaving the organization I managed, asking whether their job was still open and whether they could come back. I’ve experienced it myself – feeling like a deer caught in headlights, asking myself, “Oh, no … what have I done?”
Why is this so incredibly common, when a new job should be positive and exciting? Read More
To a certain extent, a job search is a numbers game. Statistically speaking, the more applications you send out, the more likely that one of them will materialize into a job. This assumes, of course, that the applications are well put-together, and that your experience is a reasonably good fit for the job you’re applying for. But when it comes to fit, how good is good enough? Here’s why you should use the 75% rule when applying for a job. Read More
During a job search – possibly many times in succession – you’ll almost certainly face the rejection and disappointment of being passed over for a job. Heck, ‘disappointment’ sometimes doesn’t even come close to describing how that feels. If you’ve been through interviews where you felt like you and the other people just clicked, if you’ve started to imagine working in that job, if you’ve started to picture a long-term future with that company, it can feel like you’ve just been crushed. Compound that many times over if you’re unemployed, already feeling down, and really need the job. Read More
As if today’s job applicants didn’t have enough to worry about. You’ve got the quality of your applications, making sure your resume is up to snuff. You’ve got the hiring managers who are doing their best to screen out as many people as possible before interviewing anyone. You’ve got competition from other job seekers – possibly hundreds of them.
There’s another adversary you might be hearing a lot about. Artificial intelligence. Spoiler alert: it’s not your adversary. Read More