Jumat, 17 September 2010

Eight Tough Interview Questions and the Answers that Land Jobs

The really difficult job interview questions you're likely to be asked during an interview are often very simple open-ended questions without right or wrong answers.

These tough interview questions require thoughtful responses. How you answer says a great deal about who you are, so it's important to think about these likely questions before your job interview.

Tough Interview Questions and Great Answers

1. Tell me about yourself

Talk about personal characteristics and skills that reflect your career strengths. The hiring manager wants you to tell him or her why you are the best person to hire. Talk about what you have done to make yourself the best candidate for this job. Three minutes max.

Opening questions about you are common so check out these other answers to job interview questions about YOU.

2. What are your greatest strengths?

Talk about qualities you have that all employers value, such as commitment, drive, initiative, flexibility, communication skills, motivation, pleasant personality, etc. Focus on ones that directly match the job requirements.

3. What is your greatest weakness?

A generation ago interviewees were urged to present a strength as a weakness - "My greatest weakness is that I work too hard." That's deceptive and won't work anymore. What you need to do is talk about a work-related weakness that you are actively trying to overcome. For example, you get nervous before important meetings so you are learning relaxation techniques you can use at work.

Tough interview questions nos. 2 and 3 cause many candidates the most worry. If you're one of them, check out our guide to answering job interview strength and weakness questions.

4. Where do you plan to be in your career in five years?

Employers like employees who set goals and work toward achieving them. If you're asked this tough interview question talk about achievable objectives and the steps you are taking to reach them. Put them in terms of the Company. For example, "in five years I would like to be the best sales manager in your Company. To reach that point I'm taking a management skills course at the local college."

And here are 3 more answers to tough interview questions about your ambitions.

5. Why do you want to work for this Company?

If you researched the Company while preparing for your interview, this is where it pays off. Identify something specific about the Company, such as its products, services or management style that turns you on.

6. Why should we hire you over other strong candidates?

The top tough interview question! Don't be afraid to say they should hire you because you are the best person for the job. Then back up your statement with specifics. What do you have that is special?

7. What motivates you?

Answer honestly, but don't say money. Most workers are motivated by challenging or interesting work, the opportunity to make a difference, contributing to a team effort - things like that.

8. What are your salary requirements?

Interview experts recommend not bringing up salary at a first job interview. But if the interviewer brings it up, you have to be ready to answer. Try to be vague - say that salary isn't your primary consideration and you'd be open to any reasonable offer. Leave the next step in this dance to the interviewer.

If he or she presses with this tough interview question, give an answer based on your research on the job market. Giving a salary range is fine, but set the minimum slightly higher than the lowest salary you'd accept, since it might be the lower figure they offer. If you feel confident, give an actual figure based on what you think you are worth.

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Five Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Tired of sending out resume after resume with no results? You may be making some major resume mistakes and not even know it. For every 10 resumes that you send out, you should be getting at least one interview. Not happening for you? You probably need to learn what mistakes to avoid. Here are the top five resume "uh oh's" that many jobseekers make:

1. It's nothing special
Not knocking your skills here, but rather the appearance of your resume. Recruiters and employers see A LOT of resumes and if yours looks like the rest of them, they're probably just going to skip it before their eyes glaze over again. BUT, if you use a less common resume color (not hot pink or bright green, something muted and professional!) then you'll make them curious and they'll want to read more. Try a light purple or yellow, even a very light gray can be eye catching. If your resume is nothing special to look at, you're probably not either- so show them how unique and different you are by changing it up a little.

2. You're using snail mail
Regular mail gets your resume where it needs to be, but in this day and age most people email. BUT, if you really want to stand out, you've got to step it up and demand some attention be paid to your resume. Try sending your resume to a few places that you truly want to work as certified mail. Usually, when an important package arrives, it doesn't go through the normal avenues and you won't be grouped in with a bunch of other resumes. You'll probably ensure that your resume goes straight to the hiring manager.

3. You're not networking enough or using your connections
Think about who you know in the industry that you're trying to get a job in. Do you know anyone on the inside? If not, you better start making friends. Join groups on social networking websites like Facebook to meet people who do what you want to- and who ultimately might be able to get you a job. Already know someone? Ask them if they can put in a good word for you and give them a copy of your resume. You should still send it to the hiring manager, but knowing someone in the business or company always helps.

4. You're not being creative enough
Resume.... Blah blah blah... resume... Blah blah blah... Oh, a pizza with a resume taped to the top of the box! How many times do you think an employer comes across something like this? Odds are, not too often, so getting a little creative with your resume delivery, perhaps in the form of a gift, is going to get you noticed and make you memorable. So be creative and send a little gift with your resume that is going to make them not only remember you, but actually read your resume and hopefully call you!

5. You're not singing yourself praises, discreetly
Of course your resume and possible cover letter are supposed to do this. But that's in your face advertising about what kind of skills you have and the usual 411. And it's coming from you. Trying something a little sneaky, like tacking a post-it that says something positive like "What a great find!" onto the front of your resume could help you stand out. Because most resumes travel through a few different hands before landing in the right ones, it will most likely look like someone saw your goodies and was compelled to point you out to the rest.

If you're guilty of making these common resume mistakes, don't beat yourself up too much. Just change your approach and put these tips into action. Then, rather than wondering what went wrong, you will know what you did right!

Landon Long is the founder of and a recognized expert on the topic of psychology-based job interview tips for job seekers all over the world. If you are jobless and want to learn more about writing a good resume, here are 3 Savvy Tricks Most Candidates Miss!

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The Bright Side of Getting Fired

Written by Tim Bryce,

People get fired from their jobs for a lot of reasons, such as a company struggling in today's economy, poor job performance, corporate politics, or even petty jealousies. Being fired is a real shot to the ego regardless of the reason. The first question one asks is, "Why?" Unfortunately, we don't always get the answer, maybe because companies are afraid of possible litigation resulting from the dismissal or they believe they are trying to let the worker down easily. Consequently, employees are dumbfounded as to why they were fired or are left with a fabricated excuse, which, to me, can be more damaging than the actual firing itself.

Years ago, my father had to fire someone who had risen above his level of competency (aka "The Peter Principle"). He pulled the man aside, explained what he had done wrong and let him go. Years later, my father bumped into the man who was now working at another company. My father wasn't sure how the man would react to their meeting. Actually, the man was quite warm to my father and confided to him that getting fired was the best thing that happened to him as he realized he was on a collision course with disaster in his old job and my father's advice helped point him in the right direction. In other words, the firing had ultimately benefited the man in the long run and proved the point that keeping a poor performer does a disservice to both the company and the person.

Aside from economic downturns, employees typically get fired for a variety of reasons: incompetence, inability to grow and assume responsibility, failure to adapt to the corporate culture, excessive tardiness and absenteeism, bad attitude towards work, illegal acts, etc. In this situation, it is about you, the employee, and highlights a character flaw you may or may not be conscious of. In this situation, you should resist the temptation to become bitter, and try to learn from it instead. It must be something you have done (or not done), or the perception of what you have done. Either way, try to find the truth. If it is something concrete, that's easy, but if it is a problem of perception, try to determine what the cause of the perception is and try to correct it. For example, maybe you were the victim of gossip or something misreported. Then again, maybe there is something in your character that causes people to perceive you as something that you are not. In other words, it's time for some retrospection and soul searching. Regardless, do not dismiss the firing as just the ravings of a nut job. Remember, it is either something you have done, or the perception of what you have done.

This is why I'm a big believer of regularly scheduled employee performance reviews, which many people avoid as they feel uncomfortable talking about a person's character. These reviews should not be taken lightly by either the manager or the employee. They are invaluable for pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the employee, clearing up misconceptions, and formulating a course of action to improve the employee. Some companies have a policy of performing such a review 30 days from the first day of work, others wait 60 or 90 days. They are then reviewed either on an annual or semiannual basis. The point is, don't take your evaluation lightly, try to understand what the manager is telling you and ask questions. Otherwise you might find yourself totally surprised when the boss fires you.

Hopefully, the person doing the firing will do it professionally. I have seen too many people stumble clumsily through it thereby turning it into an ugly affair, benefiting no one. This is why I wrote the paper "Firing Employees isn't for Sissies" some time ago.

Bottom-line: Don't be bitter about firings and reviews. You might not like them, but you should definitely learn from them.

ryce. All rights reserved.

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Finding a mentor

Written by Clarke Simmons,

Few people know what they want to do with their life when they are at school, in fact even when you have left school or gone to college it’s very difficult to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life.

The problem is that most people don’t want to make a decision now that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Many people are quite content just meandering along in dead end jobs. However if you really want to make something of yourself then you will need to spend time coming up with a good plan to land a good career.

Planning your career

Whether you’re just starting your very first full time job, or whether you’re in university or college, or even if you already have a job you should consider finding a mentor to help you with your career. Career advisors are experienced people who have specialist experience of your industry. They are in a position to share this information with you so that you can avoid making the same mistakes that they did. If you find the right mentor then it can work wonders with your career, before you can find a mentor however you have to do some planning and make sure that you’re ready.

Spend some time deciding exactly what it is you want to do for a living, of course this isn’t cast in stone and you can change it later on if you like.

Finding a great mentor

Traditionally finding a mentor was a very difficult affair, but thanks to brilliant sites like CareerSavant you can easily find trustworthy mentors to guide you through your chosen career path.

CareerSavant can be found at and is a site devoted to matching mentors and people together. You can search the site for mentors that are experienced with your chosen industry so that you can get relevant advice.

Of course you can ask people for help, but the chances of rejection are much higher. By using CareerSavant you stand a much better chance of landing a great mentor that will be able to do you proud. This may seem expensive, however when you bear in mind that it’s more of an investment than a cost then it should be slightly easier to manage.

The site covers most of the big cities throughout Australia which should make it fairly easy to find a mentor close to you. If not then you can always phone up and talk over the phone. Talking with your mentor over the phone will work much better than through email because he will be able to reassure you much better.

CareerSavant also has experts in most of the popular industries in Australia including Telecom, Financial Services, Airline and also government. There are experts that can show everyone what it is they need to do to improve.

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The Top Notch Executive Assistant Manages Her Team Well

Written by Adrian Jefferson-Cho
The art of communication is the language of leadership Author, James Humes

An effective communicator is vital for a Top-Notch Executive Assistant. She must be a good listener, an exceptional speaker, and discerning of the emotional language, which is often spoken louder than words. She will provide clear and concise instruction to her staff and lucidly report information to the Executive sometimes with brevity due to the hectic pace of the Executive’s office and schedule commitments.

The Executive Assistant knows she is accountable to the Executive, she in turn, delegates responsibility unto her staff but all parties should possess the quality of ownership or accountability for personal mistakes. As Executive Assistant, your staff will report their progress to you and you will make them aware of what other team members are doing to increase accountability to the group. Accountability helps to keep control in the office.
The Top-Notch Executive is assertive, self-confident, and driven but she is not egotistical or narcissistic. Her objective is to make the Executive shine and keep the office running smoothly. If she has staff to manage she should be generous with praise and if possible, with Executive’s favor, dole out rewards for those staff’s contributions and achievements. The Top-Notch Executive is an exceptional Office Manager and keen observer, therefore she knows her staff’s interests and encourages them to develop and pursue professional goals. She gives them positive feedback with specific points that will encourage and motivate. She will be N.I.C.E.:
Neutral: A Top-Notch Executive Assistant does not indulge in office gossip, however her ears and eyes are perpetually open but her mouth stays shut! She keeps an open-door policy (a candy dish filled with sweets wouldn’t hurt either) and greets with a warm smile. She upholds(and readily defends) her reputation of discretion and prudence.

Influence: She will use the finely tuned art of persuasion and encouragement to influence her staff to reach greater goals and meet the needs of the Company.

Cultivate: She will nurture relationships by assessing the skills and talents of her staff and assist in the development of their professional careers.

Enhance: Ameliorate the Company by evaluating the unique skills of the best and brightest on your staff and seek ways to promote their professional careers within the Company.

The Top-Notch Executive Assistant shares the vision of the Executive, in turn, she shares the vision with her staff. She must present to them not only the long-term vision, but she must possess the ability to see how the fine details of the workday come together to form the bigger picture and be able to relate that to the staff if needed. This is especially needed when a staff member(s) may be experiencing low morale due to a shifting economy.

Remember, to stay positive and help to keep a pleasant work environment.

The 5 steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation,demonstration, observation, and supervision. - Author, Bruce Bonds

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Kamis, 16 September 2010

How to Assess Working in a Call Center

These are the motivations for those who plan to work in a call center.

Better than average income - investors are quite gratuitous in compensation policies and promotion schemes. This is largely due to the wage difference had the same jobs been given in the country of origin. In most cases these investors actually save anywhere from $2 - $5 an hour per day per agent. They can therefore locally implement bigger base salaries, night-shift differentials, holiday and overtime remunerations, and performance bonuses. An additional 30% to 50% to the take-home pay is quite commonly expected.

Job satisfaction as part of an "elite" group - only about 2.5% to 3.5% of all applicants is ever accepted. English as a second language requires exposure and habitual use, a trait apparently quite common in the upwardly mobile generation that is young, smart, articulate, and yes, sexy. This is regardless of age, education, religion, skin color, physical disability, gender or orientation - the perfect Equal Opportunity Employment.

Economic uplift on a personal, family, and national level - it proved to be a considerable hedge against the recent recession felt in many nations. As a matter of fact, in no other area of the economy was the outlook brighter than in this industry, and coupled with government support, also unbeatably secure.

Only one real requirement. - being conversational in English is all that is needed, imperatively. It is in High School where most students learn the rudiments and complexities of this language: correct grammar, correct syntax, and correct sentence structure. People are English speakers before they become professionals in their respective fields. The ability to express extemporaneously in English has been lost simply because it is not used every day. It is therefore fairly easy to hone the ability back by using it daily, in all circumstances, in all situations, at all times.

The following are considered negative aspects of the job, not to be overlooked:

Safety considerations. - This is of utmost concern, especially for women. The bulk of call center jobs are in the evening to coincide with normal work hours in the United States, where the majority of clientele are. For this reason, it may be necessary to come in, or go home, anytime in between 8:00 in the evening to 4:00 in the morning. This is why the better call centers would (and should!) provide so-called quiet rooms or sleep rooms where agents may catch up some winks while waiting for less fearful conditions on the road. The dangers include over speeding transportation, snatchers, hold uppers, muggers, rapists, and, cases have been reported, killers.

Self-abusive habits. - Entirely the agent's own undoing, if he so chooses, should he develop behavior detrimental to his health. He could be chain-smoking instead of resting during his long mid-shift break or, as soon as he gets home, be imbibing alcoholic beverage to coax him to sleep.

Disruption of sleep cycle. - It is almost impossible to have a continuous eight hours of sleep regularly; either it has to be shorter or taken in parts, perhaps due to demands of family life or due to the diurnal nature of humans. Some energy may be recovered if a nap is pulled during the one-hour night lunch break or on the two-day weekend.

Change in the eating cycle. - This may be a welcome development, since the stomach is fed when it should be dozing and asleep when it should be growling. No wonder many call center agents readily gain weight.

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Career Advice For 6th Form Students

Deciding to take A Levels, and deciding which A levels to take, can be an exciting, involved and sometimes challenging process. While you are looking into possible university courses and considering the pre-requisites required, it is the perfect time to think about the types of jobs that you would be happy doing.

Many Different Jobs

In previous eras, people tended to stick with one job for a very, very long time. While this may be still true today, there is a greater tendency for people to change careers and move from industry to industry. Although it is important to have clearly defined career goals, you should try not to limit yourself. When deciding on which subjects to choose, think carefully about the types of jobs you may be interested in, and consider the skills and abilities that you may require. A bit of research is vitally important, so that you can make sure that you are heading in the right direction.

Money Is Not Everything

Some people spend many, many years working in jobs they dislike because they choose their career path based on money and potential earnings. While financial stability is important for everyone, it should not be the only thing that you think of when choosing a job. Where do your interests lie? What are you good at? What are you passionate about? These are important questions that you should ask yourself before embarking on further study and training.

Experience Counts

Keep in mind that employers care about experience and value it very highly. While you are studying for A levels, make sure that you get as much work experience as possible. Similarly, when you are at university or college, try to ensure that you engage with volunteer work opportunities, work experience programmes and projects.

Make the World A Better Place

Many people find that they are happy if they make the decision to work for socially and ethically responsible companies and organisations. If you can't find a company that you like, create your own business. A job that you love, and are good at, will give you a sense of purpose and achievement and enrich your life.

Author Mark Woodcock

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Strategies For Successful Career Networking

Written by Bob Stanley,

Some of the best jobs aren't listed anywhere but filled through word-of-mouth or networking. Networking means developing a broad list of contacts and using them to your advantage when you are looking for a job. There are many career networking opportunities every day. It's done at parties, dinners, events, small gatherings, birthdays, volunteer activities, ceremonies and online via social media. It happens at the gym, the grocery store, and the garage. Talk to anyone and everyone including those new to an industry and old pros, those in school and those overseas. They all matter.

Here are some strategies for a successful job networking:

1. Develop Contacts

Contact everyone you know. You meet people who might have insight into your job search. You talk to people who know people who could help you out. You talk about it with strangers at parties. Don't limit yourself to people who could clearly help you out.

2. Places to Find Contacts

The best place to start developing your network is with your family, friends, and neighbours -- and with their family, friends, and neighbours, but don't stop there. Talk to co-workers, colleagues in your industry, and those you meet at industry gatherings, such as trade shows and conferences.

3. Be Prepared

You should approach networking opportunities with a game plan. Find out who will be at certain places and activities, or do your best to list who you think will probably be present. Then, decide who you would most like to meet. When you have your list of potential contacts, thoroughly research their work and their backgrounds and then make up some questions and conversational statements that reflect your research. And finally, think critically about what your goals are for your networking function.

4. Networking Knows No Boundaries

Business conferences, informational interviews, college reunions, and cocktail parties are obvious networking opportunities - you expect to walk away with a few business cards and some recommendations for potential employers. Good networkers are flexible people who approach connection-making as a fluid enterprise that extends far beyond hotel conference room walls. Don't let these opportunities pass you by. Always be ready to make a contact and exchange business cards. Prepare also a powerful resume and cover letter. Resumes can serve as detailed business cards, reminding contacts of you and your accomplishments. Create a version of your resume and cover letter for networking alone, one that can be pulled out on short notice.

5. Follow Up

The key is keeping your network informed of your situation. Never take your network for granted. It's important to keep them updated without being imposing or invasive. And, of course, if you get that new job, be sure to tell them and thank them again for their help.

6. Follow the Golden Rule

If you want to be treated with respect, treat others with respect. If you want your phone calls and emails returned, call and write back to the people who contact you. If you want big-wigs to make time for you, make yourself available to others whom you might be able to help out. It's that simple.

7. Make It Easy For Your Contacts

When you call, meet with, or write to a potential contact, make it as easy as possible for them to help you. Explain what you specifically want, and ask detail-oriented questions.

8. Be Organized

This is crucial to your success. Keep a record of your networking. Make sure your system has plenty of room for contacts' names, addresses, phone numbers, companies, job titles, how you met them, and subsequent conversations you've had with them.

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Negotiation For Pay: Effective Ways To Negotiate Your Salary

Written by Bob Stanley,

Almost half of the jobseekers and employees are embarrassed to be the first to raise the pay issue even though in reality they are unhappy with the salary they are offered or salary they are currently receiving. But, negotiating your salary is not that difficult as long as you tackle it professionally. Nowadays, salary negotiation is generally discussed during job interviews.

Ideally, the first person to raise this sensitive issue is the employer (interviewer). Before laying your cards on the table of what you are willing to accept, ask the employer how much he/she is willing to offer. But, if that is not the case, do your homework. Ask around for the salary range of employees with the same position and industry you are applying to. You should be familiar with how much employees carrying out similar roles and responsibilities are being paid. The culture and attitude of different employers vary, but at least you have an idea of the prevailing market rates so in the end you will never feel like you are the injured party.

It is also essential to find out as much information as you can about the company's financial situation and capabilities. Of course, if you are applying in major companies, you can demand or ask for a higher salary. But, if you are thinking of applying to positions in charitable institutions or small and medium enterprises, then your chances of getting a higher compensation is not that great.

If asked about how much you are currently earning, politely avoid answering the question. I always believed I was paid fairly and I was happy with my compensation, but at this point in my career I'm looking for new challenges. It is a good idea to be honest, but no need to limit yourself by telling the interviewee your existing one.

In many cases, if you will be asked what sort of salary you are looking for, you could tell your prospective employer that you need more detail of the role you are going to engage in the company. If pressed with time, it is fine to tell the interviewer that you need time to think about the ideal salary range, and then move the conversation along.

Most importantly, when you negotiate about the pay, negotiate for a win-win situation with your employer. A good negotiation is a discussion in which both parties understand and respect each other's position and responsibilities. It ends when all parties feel that their concerns are heard and their needs have been addressed well.

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Becoming A Flight Attendant

Written by Gen Wright,

The job as a flight attendant may be a dream job for some. If you are looking to become a fully qualified flight attendant, perhaps it's a good idea to start with some preparations. Here is more information on how to become a flight attendant.

Knowing the job and understanding responsibilities.

Like all jobs, there are challenges for flight attendants. Many job applicants simply focus on the fun aspects of the job - the opportunity to travel, and huge salaries. They forget that just like any other job, there are responsibilities to be fulfilled. So what are the responsibilities of a flight attendant.

The first thing that you should understand, is that although the job appears glamorous upfront, it's actually a serving job. Do a reality check. Do you really like to serve people? Is smiling a natural thing for you to do? What makes you want to become a flight attendant?

Answering these important questions will help you understand yourself better, and at the same time, also help you to prepare for the Interview. The Interview is where most people get hung up. But before we even go there, you have to be shortlisted as an interview candidate first.

Applying for the job as a flight attendant.

When you send in your application, your resume and CV is actually your marketing tool. You are there to market yourself. The function of the resume is to convince whoever is reading the resume to shortlist you for the job. Therefore, in every aspect, it should send out the right messages. For example, the photograph that is attached to your resume is very important. If possible, grab a makeover package, and take some really professional photographs. Send your best photograph in.

Also, first impression counts. Flight attendants are supposed to be sensitive about other people's needs. So your resume should reflect your sensitivity as well. Check for mistakes. The last thing you want is the interviewer to think that you are a careless person!

Preparing for the interview.

There are tons of self help books available in the market on this subject - preparing for interviews. You can browse through some of these materials if you like. But the most important thing is to be honest with yourself. Prepare for the interview by running through some of the toughest questions in your head. The toughest question is perhaps, "Why do you want this job?" If you can't answer that to your own satisfaction, you may very well waver during the interview. Make up your mind about what you want. That way, during the interview, you will sound confident no matter what happens.

And it's every employer's dream to hire confident people. When you sound confident, you have a much greater chance of being selected for training.

And one last thing - be humble during the interview. It's alright to remind the interviewers of your past accomplishments, but it's how you say it that matters. You want to come across as someone who is teachable.

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I'M Too Old: Dealing With Age On A Job Hunt

Written by alan darling,

How do you deal with being too old?

You don't.

If you raise it, it becomes an issue.

If you leave dates and the early part of your career off your resume, you've just brought attention to your age. (You're clearly trying to hide something by doing this - either your age or a choppy job record - so you've automatically made your age an issue.)? If you say something that is designed to make your age look like an asset, like "I bring lots of experience that a 38-year-old won't have", or worse, "I'm in great shape - my doctor told me I have the body of a 45-year-old ...", you've just made your age an issue. Don't do any apologizing.

If you feel you must, mention some physically active hobbies and drop the inactive ones from your resume.? But mostly, you should concentrate on what you've done and what you can do for a company during your interview, just like any other candidate.

Not that age discrimination doesn't exist - it does. But it is becoming significantly less of an issue as our population ages.? I do only a handful of searches a year, and in the last two years a 57-year-old and a 59-year-old beat out younger candidates and got the job.? On one of my partner's searches to find someone to run a 30-attorney law firm, the client hired a 69-year-old woman who displayed some real spunk.? She stayed for 10 years.?

As you move into the more senior positions, being age 38 or 43 can be perceived as being too young - the candidate is viewed as not having enough experience.? Few companies will balk at a 50-year-old candidate for a senior position today, and some consider that the ideal age. Some people feel that people over 50 bring more stability, and are far less likely to turn over than are younger candidates.

Some people simply won't hire you if you're older; but think about this: if someone is going to be so short-sighted that they won't hire you because you're 57, you probably don't want to work for them anyway.

You can help yourself, however, by not looking or acting old. If you have a trademark beard or moustache that has grayed before your hair has, shave it off.? If you're grossly overweight and look 70, people are going to be far less likely to hire you than if you look trim and energetic (remember, the fear is that the older you get, the less energy you'll have).? Losing weight and exercising so you look fit is something you have complete control over, unlike the vagaries of searching for a job (I lost 35 pounds in a 3-month period when I decided it was finally time to do so, and after I did so, people mentioned that I looked significantly younger).

As long as you're still willing to put in a 55-hour week, you're not too old.

Copyright 2008 by Job Magician

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Some Reminders Before Accepting A Job Offer

Written by Mela,

In this day when unemployment rate is very high, one is very lucky to get a job offer. But since the profession/career you will pursue will play a big part in your future, it is also wise if you will allow yourself some time to think before accepting a job offer. The following are some things to examine before taking on a new job:

Scrutinize the job description. Review the responsibilities, basic tasks and requirements associated with the job that is being offered to you to get a glimpse of what you can expect from this employer.

Assess yourself. It is not wise to just plunge into something that you don't think will work for you so allow some time to ask yourself some questions. Will you be comfortable with the work schedules or routines? This is because some job requires you to wok at night or even on weekends. Will the work set up allow you to show your skills and be challenged? You may get bored and be an underachiever if the job is too easy or monotonous.

Do you think you can meet the standards and perform the tasks required? The job may be so demanding that your work experiences and skills may not be enough and you end up feeling frustrated.

Will the job simplify or make your life more difficult. Consider the office location; it might be too far that you will spend too much on transportation fares. You may also be required to dress in business attire all the time that you will end up using all your salary to buy clothes. Consider whether your salary will mostly go to work expenses or take too much time away from you and your loved ones.

Will you be comfortable in your new company? If you are someone that dislikes formalities and prefer to be very casual, you may not be able to function well in a very conservative or formal company setting. Consider the people in the company you are applying for. Will your personality and lifestyle blend well with the people you will be working with?

Work Salary and Benefits. Take a look at the compensation package. Is it at par with what other companies offer to people that have the same experience and skills as yours? Aside from the salary, consider also the benefits. Sometimes great work benefits can be more important than salary.

Are there opportunities for growth? Opportunities for advancement must be present in long term jobs so your job performance improved in time and you feel happy and satisfied.


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Rabu, 15 September 2010

Is Online Privacy at Work a Myth?

by Tom Musbach, Yahoo! HotJobs

Looking for a job while you're currently employed should not be the only reason to pay attention to your online privacy at work.

Three out of four employers monitor the Internet usage of employees, and just over half of U.S. companies review and retain employee email messages, according to a 2005 survey by the American Management Association.

Big Brother is no fiction.

Employers are allowed to monitor what employees do on workplace computers, and many do not notify workers about the monitoring, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC). In fact, there are very few laws regulating employee monitoring, and the PRC advises all employees to assume that their workplace activities and communications are being monitored.

Nancy Flynn, the executive director of the ePolicy Institute in Columbus, Ohio, agrees that employees should expect to be monitored, adding they should "comply 100 percent with the employer's computer usage and content policies."

Protecting Your Online Privacy

Flynn also offers the following tips for people concerned about their online privacy in the workplace:

  • Understand that your employer is obligated to retain and archive electronic business records. In workplace lawsuits, email creates the electronic equivalent of DNA evidence.
  • Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by personal email accounts, public IM tools, or anonymous blog postings. In many cases, it is possible for an employer to track email messages that are sent via personal email accounts, and IM chatting via free tools like Yahoo! Messenger can be intercepted on the web.
  • Recognize that the easiest way to control electronic risk is to control written content. In other words, watch your language. That means no obscene, pornographic, sexual, harassing, defamatory, or menacing messages

Tips for Posting Resumes Online

When you post a resume online, you must protect yourself against identity theft and avoid giving strangers access to you and those who are close to you. Never list your Social Security number or names and contact information for your references.

In addition, Flynn urges job-seekers to avoid posting the following information in resumes:

  • Business email address and phone number at your current place of employment.
  • Birthdate.
  • Home address. "You don't want to seem elusive, but you want to protect your privacy and identity," Flynn says. Consider using a line like, "Home address available on request."
  • Personal phone number that is shared with others. "Use a cell phone that no one else has access to if you live with your parents," Flynn says, "or if there is a chance your kid brother might answer the phone and forget to write down a message."
  • Your blog address. "Employers are taking time to review prospective employees' personal blogs," she says. A blog with questionable content, including rants from readers, could turn away potential employers.

Following the simple guidelines above will keep Big Brother out of your cubicle and keep your online job search free from concerns about identity theft, spam, and unwanted access from strangers.

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Fashion Designer - Do You Have What it Takes to Get Into Fashion?

For an artist, the world of fashion can seem more like a business than a world of creative fashion design. Aspiring fashion designers need to understand that this is all necessary. Business is the life blood of fashion and the fashion itself is only the soul. Fashion simply wouldn't be able to see mass production if it were any other way. So you may be a 'creative' but as a fashion designer you must develop a passion for not only design but manufacturing challenges, the excitement of marketing and overcoming competition.

In the professional world of fashion, you'll spend less than 10 percent of your time designing your collections and the rest of the time working out money management issues, and executing marketing strategies. These are the only things that will give life to your creative work and allow you to survive as a fashion designer so your garment designs will hit the store shelves and not just remain the beautiful figments of your creative imagination.

You want to become well acquainted with the business aspect of fashion. Don't even think of starting out on you own. Work for any designer, design house or clothing manufacturer first so you can become well versed in how the fashion industry works on a daily basis and carefully climb up the ladder from there. Study how other fashion designers made their way to the top. Most of the biggest name designers worked under other designers for years before they started their own labels. They often worked for more than one fashion designer or fashion house. Having different positions and seeing different ways of how business was handled, they gained hands on knowledge, experience, confidence and acquired indispensable assets of credibility and reputation at the same time.

So if you're getting into fashion design you've got to plan on being a lifer if you're going to one day own your own line. Here is a list of characteristics you need to either have already or acquire as you go along in order to become a successful fashion designer:

- A hard edge against negative feedback and rejection.

- You need a very competitive spirit.

- You need the ability to be organized and be able to function under extreme stress of dealing with difficult people, multiple deadlines and responsibilities.

- You need to love or learn to love the marketing, negotiating and networking game in the world of fashion.

- And you need the willingness to keep your mind open to learning new things as a fashion designer.

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Follow Through on Your Job Resolutions

by Carla-Krystin Andrade

The New Year brings a flurry of activity in the job market. It's also the time to get your job search into high gear so that you can make the most of these new opportunities. So, dust off your resume and use these four steps to get your job search off to a good start.

Clear Your Workspace

Before you try to tackle your job search, take a quick look around you. Are you surrounded by clutter? Excessive clutter can add to the sense of confusion that often plagues job hunters. So clear enough space to be able to sit and compose your thoughts. If necessary, take yourself out to a clean, quiet spot, such as your local library.

Focus Your Search

If you don't know where you are headed, you can waste a lot of time and energy on unimportant tasks. Or worse, you can end up drifting aimlessly and doing nothing at all. You can prevent this from happening to you by using goals to guide your job search. Now we're not talking about New Year's resolutions that you discard within a month. Goals that are vaguely worded, or overly ambitious, are doomed to failure as soon as you write them. Set a goal for your job search as a whole. Then set smaller goals that you can work on each day of your job search. Make sure that your goals are within your reach by asking yourself if they are:

* Specific and measurable
* Within your power to achieve
* Realistic
* Timely
* Positive
* Gratifying to you.

For example, "Email resumes to 15 companies by the end of the day" is an achievable goal, based on these standards. On the other hand, "Stop blowing interview questions" is not.

Choose a Starting Point

It's natural to feel overwhelmed when you have dozens of tasks to work on. Yet, this can also happen when you're just starting out and aren't certain where to begin. Fight the urge to either admit defeat or tackle all areas at once. Begin by selecting a single area of your job search as a starting point. It's more effective to start with smaller tasks that are stepping stones to larger tasks. Here are some examples:

* Update your resume
* Find new job leads in a single area
* Update and prioritize your list of contacts
* Make a list of interview questions to practice

Get the Ball Rolling

Don't be surprised if you find it hard to get started on job search tasks or keep making excuses to take breaks. Now is the time to focus on taking action -- any action -- rather than on completing a task perfectly. Build your sense of success by completing one daily goal every day. You'll soon find that your motivation increases and your job search gains momentum. Before you know it, you'll be on your way to job search success.

Since 1989, Dr. Carla-Krystin Andrade has helped job hunters in North America, Europe, and Asia win jobs and achieve their career goals through her books and seminars. Her latest books are "How to Win the Job Search Game" and "Kick Start Your Job Search, Now! How to Outperform Your Competition and Win the Job You Want."

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Selasa, 14 September 2010

How to Work Without Walls

by Caroline Levchuck, Yahoo! HotJobs

Just because you work your way up the corporate ladder doesn't mean there's a corner office waiting for you. In fact, there may not be any office at all. Open floor plans are all the rage in big businesses these days, encouraging teamwork and communication among employees.

If you're coming from a company where you had an office, or your current employer is transitioning to open-space seating, there will be a period of adjustment. Use these tips to survive and thrive no matter where you sit.

1. Tune in to tune out.

Listening to music at work has become more acceptable in recent years. Take your mp3 player or iPod to work and tune out the noise around you with your favorite music and some headphones. If you find that most music is distracting, try some classical selections. If that doesn't work, opt for noise-cancelling headphones. Just be sure you're not tuning out so much that you're not aware when your phone rings.

2. Good fences make good neighbors.

It's normal to feel a bit self-aware and uncomfortable in your new seating arrangement, particularly if you're "thisclose" to your new neighbor. If you can't move past it, try to create a soft border using a carefully placed bulletin board or a stack of books. If that isn't possible, play around with repositioning your computer monitor to give you the most privacy possible.

3. Conference rooms aren't just for conferences.

If you're working in an open-space environment, there's probably more than one conference room. Utilize these private spaces to have sensitive conversations and to take very personal phone calls (your neighbors really don't want to hear you discussing medical conditions with your physician, for example). A conference room can also be used if you need to work on something that requires extreme concentration and quiet. If this isn't possible where you work, speak with your supervisor about working off-site or at home on the days you're tackling such projects.

4. Give it time.

The first few days and even weeks of sitting at a workstation may seem bizarre, frustrating, and impossible. However, you will get used to it. You'll become less aware of your fellow workers' phone conversations and foibles and more focused on yourself and your work. You also may find that you enjoy having immediate access to members of your team. As a result, you may start to build new friendships and create fun workplace routines.

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Put Your Career Change in Motion

by Jane Allen,

Changing careers can be like taking a train trip. You plan it, start at one location and go to your ultimate destination, with stops in between. (Sorry, there are no non-stop career trains.) The basics for getting started are scheduling your departure time and showing up at the station. Here's how to get moving.

Decide when you are leaving.
There are many reasons to procrastinate about changing careers. Procrastination is not laziness; it is a decision to do nothing. Fear is the main reason for procrastination -- fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake. What is your fear? Identify it, acknowledge it and accept that you are afraid. Then decide what first step (even a small one) you will take within the next week to get around that roadblock.

Pack your bag.
A key to success is what you will take along with you. Make sure your luggage includes optimism, enthusiasm and determination. Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" was interviewed recently on CBS's "60 Minutes." When asked what his big break had been, he said, "Deciding that -- come hell or high water, no turning back -- I am going to do [comedy] and get as good as I can get."

Who's seeing you off at the station?
There may be both cheerleaders and detractors. Listen to each of them, but choose carefully which advice you are going to take with you. Jerome Lemelson invented the camcorder. His first patent application (in 1977) was rejected because the patent examiner decided that video recorders could not possibly be reduced to a portable size. Mr. Lemelson was not discouraged.

Are you going to enjoy the ride?
A career change involves many steps. Enjoy each accomplishment and the feelings of exhilaration, satisfaction and self-approval that come with it. Without that enjoyment, can there be true feelings of progress? Successful people enjoy both the journey and the arrival.

Who's on the train with you?
Don't stay in your compartment. There will be interesting and valuable people to talk to on your journey. Think of it like a scavenger hunt. They have information for you; your mission is to meet them and ask questions.

What if you find yourself on the wrong train?
It happens. Winners make the most mistakes because they take the most risks. If you have to change trains, think of it as a course correction and keep moving.

What if there's no one to meet you at your destination?
OK, you've chosen your new career path and started sending out resumes, but no one is showing up to welcome you. What's next? Be persistent and believe in yourself. Rod Serling (creator of "The Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery" TV shows) received 40 rejection slips in a row while he was waiting for his big break. He kept his day job and, despite the rejections, never stopped writing or submitting his stories.

Make this your success strategy for the month: Get going and keep moving. Starting with just one tiny step each week is still a beginning. As Will Rogers said, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." is the Internet's leading destination for career advice and insider company information. Vault offers continually updated "insider" information with its exclusive employee surveys on over 5,000 companies.

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Avoiding Isolation When You're the Only Minority

by Denene Brox, for Yahoo! HotJobs

Despite advances in corporate diversity initiatives, there are times when minority employees have that "Lone Ranger" feeling on the job.

Make Connections

According to Sondra Thiederman, author of "Making Diversity Work," the key to avoiding feelings of alienation, whether at a small or large company, is to find ways to connect with your coworkers.

"Begin to focus on what you share with your colleagues, rather than how you differ. Race and gender are just one aspect of who we are," explains Thiederman.

"We all have dozens of interests, values, and priorities which are very likely held by others in the organization. Reach out to people, have conversations and be open with what you care about. Sitting next to you just might be a colleague of any color with whom you can form a genuine friendship."

Avoid Speaking for All

Another key in avoiding isolation is to resist any urge to be the "spokesperson" for your race or gender even if you feel pressure to act as one.

"Individuals who represent a minority group on a team or in an organization run the risk of being seen as symbols of their particular category rather than as individuals," says Robert Rodriguez, assistant dean of the Graduate School of Management at Kaplan University. "That is why minority employees should resist any pressure to be an 'expert' on all issues related to their race or ethnic group. Don't make educating others about the unique aspects of your cultural or ethnic heritage or overcoming stereotypes your sole focus."

Address Incidents With Professionalism

Even if you've made your best effort to be seen as an individual, discrimination may still rear its ugly head. If a situation arises that you feel is inappropriate, you need to address it with professionalism -- not heated emotions.

"The first step is to take a beat so that emotions can settle down," says Thiederman. "Even a couple of hours will give you a chance to collect your thoughts so you can recount the incident accurately."

"Second, find out who is the appropriate person to approach, such as a manager or someone in human resources," she says. "Talk to someone who is trained to handle such situations with confidentiality, tact, and fairness for all concerned."

"Your main concern should be delivering superior results to quench any doubts about your ability," says Rodriguez.

Check Your Perspective

A lack of diversity isn't necessarily a bad reflection on the company. A number of factors could be at play, such as a small staff.

Precious Kirk, vice president of creative affairs at Emerson Consulting Group in Everett, Massachusetts, is the only African American female on a staff of 10.

"Working within this company I do not have a problem being the only minority. We work so closely together that it becomes a situation in which I really don't think about it too much," says Kirk.

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Using Tact With a Rude Interviewer

by Carla-Krystin Andrade, for Yahoo! HotJobs

"Be courteous" is a fundamental rule of interviewing. But what do you do when the interviewer's behavior is offensive? You want to ace the interview and leave with your self-respect intact. Here are some strategies for responding tactfully to a discourteous interviewer.

Do a Reality Check

Sometimes we read more into a remark than the interviewer intended because of the pressure and heightened emotions of an interview. Before you take action, ask yourself: "Was that really disrespectful?" Some issues are clear-cut, such as age, religion, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Others, unfortunately, are not. If the interviewer's behavior is clearly disrespectful, then respond with the strategies outlined below. If you're unsure, then put it aside and continue with your interview.

Decide Whether to Salvage It

You worked hard to land your interview. Your priority is to keep the interview focused on what you have to offer the company. Take a deep breath and briefly consider some reasons to make the best of this challenging situation.

* You can decide about the company after you complete the interview.
* The interviewer doesn't represent the entire company.
* The job may not involve working with the interviewer.
* This behavior could be part of a "stress interview" in which they test your response to high-pressure situations.

Get Back on Track

Sure, it's a challenge to stay polite when you're dealing with less-than-polite behavior. Yet, there's a lot you can do to get your interview back on track.

* Be open-minded. The interviewer may recognize the problem with her behavior and try to fix it.
* Ignore the disrespectful comment and talk about your skills.
* Ask the interviewer a question that will shift the focus to an area of interest to him.
* Keep your sense of humor and make a light remark.
* Ask for feedback or clarification if the interviewer repeatedly contradicts or interrupts you.
* Use "I" statements and be polite when you give the interviewer your opinion.

Know When to Exit

Sometimes a graceful exit is a necessary last resort when you've done everything you can to save the interview. Thank the interviewer for her time. Then, politely excuse yourself from the interview without commenting on her behavior. If you must say something, be courteous.

Learn from Your Experience

Before you put this encounter behind you, identify what you've learned about this potential coworker. Then use this experience to improve how you respond to difficult people.

The final step is to practice dealing with negative interview situations with someone who'll give you honest feedback. In this way, you'll be ready to act with composure if you ever encounter another disrespectful interviewer.

Since 1989, Dr. Carla-Krystin Andrade has helped job hunters worldwide win jobs and achieve their career goals through her website,, books, and seminars. Her latest books are "Kick Start Your Job Search, Now!" and "How to Win the Job Search Game."

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How to Change Jobs Without Changing Employers

by Caroline Levchuck, Yahoo! HotJobs

A bad boss, boredom, or a lack of opportunity -- each of these factors can prompt you to want to change jobs. But what if you're loathe to leave an employer you love?

The answer is simple, but the process may not be: Try to arrange a transfer to another position. Follow these steps to make sure you don't make a misstep when making your move.

Don't Jump the Gun

It's no secret that breaking into a particular industry may require you to accept one position and ultimately transfer to another that will put you on your intended career track. Employers are well aware of this, but typically an employee is expected to remain in a job for a minimum of six months to two years. Find out what your employer's expectation or policy is and honor it.

Investigate Your Opportunities

Many large companies prefer to promote from within and will keep a comprehensive internal job board. Consult it regularly to determine if there are positions that interest you and whether or not you're qualified for them.

If you're desperate to transfer but there aren't openings you're qualified for, find out if there are any hard-to-fill positions that your employer may be more than willing to train you for.

Follow in Someone Else's Footsteps

Sure, some people like to boldly go where no man or woman has been, but it's so much easier to follow in someone else's footsteps, particularly where a transfer is concerned.

Ask around and find a few folks who have transferred to different positions and ask them for advice about dealing with your boss, your human resources representative, and the transition.

Find Your Replacement

Your supervisor may not be amenable to a transfer because she values your knowledge and work -- and she dreads the process of trying to fill your shoes.

As soon as you know you're serious about transferring, start scouting around the company for someone who may be interested in your position. Tap your extended network as well. If there's talent waiting in the wings, your boss will be more supportive of you moving on and up.

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Senin, 13 September 2010

Is it Time For a New Career Change?

Career change is one of the most important decision and the most important step in ones life. This career change can alter ones life completely and change it for ever. People change careers because they find their current careers boring, monotonies, and unchallenging. There are people who change their careers because they want to try out something new. There are many career changing options available. The industries have become more flexible and are welcoming multi tasking individuals. There are many examples of people who have changed their careers and have been successful at it.

A few important things that one should consider before changing one career are that The fore most thing is to identify the correct reason for which you are changing your a career. There can be many things like friend's influence, monotonous job, lack of growth opportunities, lack of passion, lack of incentives, etc. Once you understand the basic reason why you want to change your career then you will be in a position to think of the new career options.

The second most important thing is to choose a new career. The choice of the new career should be made according to the job opportunities, the growth option, and the pay packages and last but not the least your passion for the new career. There is no point in changing ones career just for the sake of changing it. One should have a strong enough to change his or her career and then also should be confident of doing well in the new career. Then one should also check out the courses that are on offer for the new career. Taking these courses will help you get a better job in that field and will also be helpful for your growth.

There are many part time courses that are available and can help you change your profession. For, example if an IT professional undergoes a part time course for fashion designing and if he is good at it, then he can change is career and become a fashion designer. If there is commerce graduate and he undertakes computer language courses then he can turn into an IT professional. There are no limitations on which course you can undertake or which sector you can work in, each and every career has some pros and cons. There are also career options like modeling, acting singing, drawing, carpentry, sports, business, stock brokers, etc.

While making a career change decision, you must ensure that you have some financial back up, in case you have to wait for a while before you land the new job. This financial savings back up will also allow you some time to deliberate over the various options and will not force you into making a decision in a hurry. After all, your first career choice may have been influenced by peer pressure, parental insistence or simply something random you thought you would like to try. A career change may be a way to correct some such mistakes or simply a way to experience something new.

James Copper 

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