27Apr/110

Using Action Verbs To Dress Up Your Resume

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

Once there was a little sentence that no one noticed. It was bland and boring and sort of sad. It lay on a resume just hoping to be noticed. People read it and then went on with their lives, never remembering what it said or even who wrote it. It was a lonely little sentence and when it finally admitted it needed help (for admitting you need help is the first step) it went looking for an active verb or two to turn its life around.  It discovered an active verb list in the land of Internet and began to add them to itself.  It ventured out and invited more active verbs to join it.

5Apr/112

Does Your Resume Bore Even You?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

How’s your resume? Have you read it, really read, it in the past month? If not, open it up and dust it off. A resume is a living document and should be reevaluated regularly. And if you're not getting the responses you expect from it this is definitely the time to examine the content.

Read it carefully and think about what you’ve learned in your job search since you created it, asking yourself these questions:

21Feb/110

Would You Ask Employer to Plan Your Career?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

I think there’s a saying somewhere that trying to be all things to all people results in being no things to no people. I probably (undoubtedly) have that all wrong but you get the point.  When I was recruiting for an ad agency I would frequently get resumes with covers that read, “I’m open to whatever you think I’d be qualified for.” Or something to that effect.  I could only guess that their strategy was to be flexible and willing to help with whatever need that I might have.

This is wrong on about fifty-nine levels.

15Feb/110

Working for Smaller Companies Can Pay Off Big

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

As you get closer to graduation and sourcing your first job consider the small company. Employees at large companies stay away from the front doors in June to avoid the stampede of new grads that would flatten them like a herd of wildebeest.  And if you do manage to land a spot you may find yourself one of many, with very defined job duties and little room for growth within the position. Yay.

So consider the small company, the mom and pop, the start-up or the up-start. Do your homework and target the organizations with 50, 25 or even fewer employees.  Why?

22Dec/100

Mastering the Bad Interview

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

We’ve all read some great advice on how to ace an interview and get hired (if you're a hiring manager here are a couple of tips for you, too) but we sometimes make the mistake of thinking we’re interviewing in a perfect world. Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible you’ll meet with someone who doesn’t actually know how to conduct an interview. 

7Sep/100

Volunteer to be Hired

Were you a volunteer on every committee for your sorority, fraternity, student paper, glee club, forestry club or World of Warcraft bake sale? Are you missing your days of planning, hitting on people to help or setting up the tables for the Q and A? Well grieve not young person; this is a great way to network for your first job without feeling like you’re in a room full of strangers in your underwear.

17Jun/100

Eleven Tips on Job Hunting During a Recession

By Lisa Correu Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

I'm sure you’re hearing about how crappy the employment situation is for recent grads. The sandwich board of doom says something like 20% aren’t getting employed and the number of grads with job offers before graduation is half what it was in 2007. But if you put some work into it, mix in a little creativity and stay focused you can get that job. Here are eleven tips to get you going.

1Jun/100

Ten Ways to Conduct a Successful Interview

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

There's a lot of advice out there about how to succeed at a job interview (just read the previous post) but not as much on how to sit at the other side of the table. A great candidate may be lost simply because the interviewer has never been taught how to conduct an interview. They just hang out in a room with a total stranger, make small talk, and then recommend or reject based solely on if they liked them. That’s unfair and ridiculous. So here are some pointers. I’m not addressing specific interview questions as much as the vital peripheral details that can make an interview productive and result in a great hire.

17May/100

Top Ten Job Interview Tips (Or why it’s not a good idea to hug the hiring manager)

By  Lisa Correu and Kathryn Lorenzen, The CareerMongers.

Let’s be honest, interviewing for a new job can be a nerve-wracking and intimidating experience. You’re nervous, anxious, vulnerable and one step away from running for the door. On the other hand, if you are prepared and confident it can be a positive encounter with a potential new boss or co-worker. These tips can take some of the anxiety out of the interview process and make the experience suck a little bit less.

21Apr/100

Just an Old-Fashioned Interview If You Please

By Guest Blogger Phil Bressler, Owner/Partner at Muller Bressler Brown

In our business, one driven so much by people and talent, it makes sense to always be on the lookout for creative and passionate candidates. Not that we don't have an incredibly talented team at the agency (we do!), but it just makes sense to be prepared for little things like the next big account win or normal changes that life brings.

As a partner in the agency, I also feel that it's my responsibility to give back in a small way by meeting with students and those starting out in the business as much as I can. I'm pretty sure by now I've mastered the art of the "informational interview." However, what strikes me these days, and I feel this way a lot, is either how old-fashioned I am when it comes to interviewing skills or how unprepared a large number of these kids really are. Believe it or not, by doing what I always thought were the normal and expected things in an interview, you'll actually stand out these days if you pay attention to the basics. Several things that always stand out:

  1. Be on time. In my book, early is the new on time. Sit in your car if you have to. Text your mom and tell her how pumped you are for the interview. Read a newspaper before they're extinct. Do anything. Just don't be late.
  2. Dress professionally. It's advertising. We wear jeans, we wear black, we often times don't even really match. But don't forget, you're still interviewing. Dress for success and make a great first impression.
  3. Sit up tall. I can't tell you how many interviewees slouch down in the chair and talk like we're just hangin' at Starbucks. Is this how you'll be with our clients?
  4. Have questions ready. Think on your feet and come up with related questions during the interview. How about, "where do you see this company in five years?" Anything. Please! The number one response I get to "So, do you have any questions for me?" "No, not really. I found out everything I need to know on your website." There's a buzz kill.
  5. Curiosity. Maybe my own pet peeve, but to succeed in advertising, I believe it's critical to know a lot about a lot of things. I'm not saying you have to be Einstein in any of them, but be aware, know what's going on in the world, play Trivial Pursuit. It will make you smarter.
  6. Send a handwritten thank you note. OK, I know that's the most old-fashioned idea of all, but it matters and it makes a difference. Most people have lost the art of thank you notes so if you do send one, you'll be that much further ahead. Say thanks, but also remind me what makes you special and why I should hire you.

I could go on, but attention spans are short these days. Perhaps these six suggestions will make a difference to someone. They do to me.

If the rules of interviewing have changed, and I've just become a grumpy old man without knowing it, someone please enlighten me. I'm all ears.