Things You Can Do In Your Daily Life That Will Help You During Your Next Job Interview

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Are there areas of your interview game that you want to shape up? Here are four things you can do throughout your day that will help you ace your next interview.

Practice Making Good Eye Contact with Friends

Do you find it difficult to make good eye contact? One of the best ways to improve this is to practice with people you know, and then move onto people who you deal with in low stress situations. Next time you are out with friends, make it a habit to look them in the eye when they are talking to you. Once you feel more comfortable with people you know, start making better eye contact with baristas, waiters, attendants, and other people that you may say a few words to. A week of doing this will yield results, as you’ll start to default to making eye contact without having to think about it.

Improve Your Posture

Many people have a tendency to slouch and they may not even realize they’re doing it. This can undermine your professionalism in an interview, so it’s worth practicing your posture. Start by noting your posture throughout the day, and give yourself reminders throughout the day to sit up straight and straighten your spine. Give people around you the okay to tell you when your posture starts to slip. While it may seem odd when you see it in the movies, walking around your room with a book on your head will help you get in the habit of standing up straight. Working on this won’t just make you look more professional at interviews, it will also help you stretch your body better, meaning you’ll get the extra bonus of getting rid of that stress building up around your neck and shoulders.

Achieve the Perfect Speaking Pace

Being a fast or slow talker is not necessarily a bad thing when you are around your friends, but when it comes to your job interview, you want to find a pace that is appropriate for your region and for the speaking patterns of your interviewer. Start with recording yourself (with the other persons permission, of course) while having a conversation. When you listen back, you’ll be able to note not only how fast you are speaking, but also when you speed up or slow down. Next, get yourself into the habit of matching your pace to the way the people around you are speaking. Finally, take a second before you start speaking, especially when answering a question, as it gives yourself a moment to collect your thoughts so you know what you are going to say before you start saying it.

In the Waiting Room? Use Your Time to Fight Your Fidgeting Habit

Are you a natural fidgeter? Whether you do it out of stress or you simply can’t sit still, it’s a habit that’s worth breaking before you start going in for interviews. You only get one chance to make a first impression with a hiring manager, and you want to present yourself as cool, calm, and collected as you wait in the waiting room. It will take some work, but the key to acing the waiting room is to put your phone away, and don’t give into the temptation to adjust your clothing and hair. Try this next time you are in a waiting room at the dentist, DMV, or wherever else your day takes you. Sit upright in your chair, with your hands in your lap, and a pleasant smile on your face. There is no need to make this a ‘mannequin challenge’, just be in the moment and remind yourself that you are going to ace this interview.

 

These Four Tips Will Help You Get Your Friend a Job

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Referring a friend to a new job may sound easy enough, but some referrals are more effective than others. Sure, you could just forward a resume and maybe include a nice note endorsing your friend, but what else can you do to give your friend the best shot at getting the job? These four steps will help you to help your friend, and if you’re looking for work yourself, consider forwarding this to friends who want to help you!

Know What Your Friend Has Accomplished and What They Want to Accomplish

You know that your friend wants a job, but is there a department or job they are specifically targeting? What are your friends’ big career accomplishments that you can use to pre-sell them to your contacts within the company? Knowing more about your friend’s goals will help you better present them to management, and allow you to know which jobs you should push them towards.

Find the Right Person in Your Company to Talk To

To ensure that your friend’s resume doesn’t just end up in a pile of candidates somewhere, take the time to find the right person in your company to refer them to. Maybe you eat lunch with someone in HR, or a hiring manager that would be receptive to your pitch? How about a department head that you know well, or a manager that you know is looking to grow their team? Stay away from situations where the resume will be put through the same process as every other candidate (including the dreaded ATS). Instead, look for opportunities where you can present your friend at the beginning of a process, or even before it “officially” opens. Also, make sure that you either hand your connection the resume, or send it to their personal email address. No matter how well-intentioned their interests might be, sending it to general email addresses may get it lost in the crowd.

Follow-Up with Both Sides after the Interview

In some situations the hiring manager may seek you out to tell you how great your friend was and to thank you for saving them weeks of resumes and interviews. In the other cases, though, you may need to follow up with both the hiring manager and the candidate to see how it went. Just because you didn’t immediately hear back does not mean that the interview didn’t go well. People are busy and they may not have had a chance to talk to you. Getting feedback from both parties will allow you to get an idea of a next step. If your friend did not get hired, does the hiring manager think they may be a fit for another job in another department, and does the friend even want to proceed to another opportunity within the company?

Refer Your Friends to a Staffing Company like AppleOne

If you have a great friend looking for work and know a Hiring Advisor at AppleOne, you can do your friend and your AppleOne contact a huge favor by making an introduction. AppleOne has connections to companies that are looking to hire immediately, and by hooking your friend up with a Hiring Advisor, they will get an additional, powerful resource for their job search.

Four Tips for Getting the Most from Your Hiring Advisor

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Want to get the most out of your relationship with your AppleOne Hiring Advisors and take the next step on your career path? We asked superstar Hiring Advisors from branches around the country what candidates can do to get the most out of the experience, and these are the four top items almost all could agree on:

Be Open and Honest about Your Job History

Being open about your past will allow you to succeed in the future. When a Hiring Advisor asks you about your past employment, the more detail you can give, the better they can promote your strengths to employers. Every employee makes a difference where they work; share your achievements and talk about situations where you either saved or made the company money. As Lindsay from the AppleOne Charleston, SC, branch stated, candidates who come ready to talk about their past achievements will help Hiring Advisors “create a billboard” to promote them to employers looking for a specific type of employee.

Get Paperwork Done In a Timely Manner

Nearly every Hiring Advisor surveyed made a point that getting “paperwork” done in a timely manner makes a difference in the overall employment process. Not only does it help speed things along, but, as Laura from the AppleOne West Des Moines, IA, branch states, it helps show that the candidate has “initiative” in the process. Whether it’s an application that needs to be filled out, or a skills assessment activity that will help promote you to employers, completing it quickly will be beneficial to everyone involved.

Be Forthcoming About Your Desired Career Path

While you may not have a long-term idea of where you want your career to go, you no doubt have goals on what you want to achieve and where you would like to achieve it. Being honest with your Hiring Advisor allows them to have a better idea of the types of companies you want to work for, and what types of positions to look for.

Follow Up With Your Hiring Advisor

Communication with your Hiring Advisor is important, and while they will be calling you when opportunities come up, it’s important that you communicate with them as well. Hiring Advisors may be able to help you get the inside track on a job opening you find during your own search, as they may have a contact within the company that could give you a better shot at getting an interview.

Cultivate Your Career: Plant Seeds that Will Allow a Garden of Opportunities to Grow

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Spring is here, and in addition to planting your garden, it’s time to grow your career. It takes preparation and consistent care to get a bountiful harvest, and the same can be said about nourishing a flourishing career. What you do today will help you get the job you want tomorrow. Here is a four step plan watch your career goals blossom.

Layout Your Garden 

A successful garden is one that is properly designed and prepped. Doing the same for your career goals will allow you to define a career path that is easy to follow. Identify the steps you need to take to get to your ultimate goals, and lay out a plan as to how you are going to achieve them.  Your garden will grow with some simple planning, and so will your career.

Plant, and Water, Your Seeds 

Seeds don’t grow overnight; it takes time and some dedicated watering to help them sprout. While you may have a basic professional network in place on LinkedIn, putting some time into growing and cultivating it to your specific needs will pay dividends. Reach out to new people in your target industry, and look for those who have positions in your target companies. The more time you put into your network, the better results it will yield when it is time for harvest.

Prune Dead or Dying Branches

If a particular career path isn’t bearing fruit any longer, then it may be time to start cultivating some new shoots so you can stop pouring your valuable energy and time into a path that won’t take you where you need to go. Even if your current career path is bearing some meager fruit, you may still be better off looking for opportunities with the potential for larger or more desirable harvests down the line.

Harvest at the Right Time 

All the prep and care you’ve put into the garden will yield a wonderful bounty of fruits and vegetables when it is time to harvest, just as all the hard work you put into your network will pay dividends when it is time for a new job. Communicate with your network and outline what you are looking for. At the very least they will be able to direct you to job openings that may not be public yet, and they may even be able to get you into interviews before the job ad even goes public.

Want To Find Your Dream Job? Here Are Three Questions You Must Ask Yourself

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What’s your idea of a “dream job?” If you have that itch to try something new, it’s a question worth pondering before launching a job search.  Because your wants and needs evolve, what you considered your ultimate career goals may have changed over time. One of the best ways to pin down what you really want from your job is to ask yourself the following questions:

“What Do I Love About My Current/Past Jobs and What Would I Change?”

There is no doubt that while you love certain parts of your job, there are other aspects that you would change. When thinking about your dream job, break down both the positives and negatives of your job to get at what you actually like and dislike about it. This is especially important when it comes to things you would like to change, as it can show you hidden aspects of the job you may actually like. For example, you may dread working with other departments on a certain project because of an overall lack of communication between management. This means that you may actually love the idea of collaboration as long as there is full communication.

“What Would You Do If You Weren’t Being Paid?”

If money wasn’t a factor, what would you do with your life? Would you travel, read, volunteer, or spend most of your time building things in your garage? Of course, money is going to be a factor in any career decisions, but thinking about what you would like to do without salary concerns is a window into what you actually want to do. Consider jobs that involve these items that you love doing. If you love helping people, look for a job where you can make an impact.

“What Am I Good At?”

Leave your humbleness at the door for a second and consider the tasks that allow you to shine. Consider the types of duties that people specifically earmark for you at work, and the types of skills that your friends and family members turn to you for. Things you do exceptionally well tend to be the areas where you get the most satisfaction, meaning that they are a window into what will drive you in a new job.

AppleOne’s Internship Program Focuses on Experience for the Real World

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AppleOne is excited to announce the launch of its official Internship program which will give students the opportunity to learn skills that are relevant to not only staffing, but to any future career. Opportunities are now open for the Southern California region, with plans to roll out nationwide for future classes. Apply today at www.appleone.com/Students/Internships/Default.aspx.

In the spirit of putting your best foot forward for your internship, here are three ways to make a great first impression at internship interviews:

Dress to Impress

Don’t let your clothing do the talking for you during an interview; make sure your interviewer remembers what you said, not what you wore. Dressing professionally and conservatively, always works for an interview. While a company may have a “casual” dress code for employees and interns alike, this should not apply to interviews. You can find additional guidance on what to wear to your interview at http://appleone.com/Career_Seekers/nhp/.

Know What You Want Out of the Internship

Companies with internships want to know that the time they invest in you will be truly meaningful and helpful to you. During your interview, convey what you are looking to get out of the position. Highlight specific points from the internship description, and talk about what you hope to learn by the end of your time there. In addition, mention coursework or other campus activities you took part in to highlight qualifications that will allow you to immediately make an impact in the position.

Leave a Thank-You Note with the Receptionist Before You Leave

Thank-you notes may seem old-fashioned, but they really work. While there may be circumstances such as phone interviews or off-site interviews where you may have to send the card via mail, you can make a big impact by leaving a card with the receptionist as you’re leaving the interview. Have the card written before you go to the meeting so the hiring manager can see it ASAP, but be sure to leave a little room to reference something from your interview to better personalize it.

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Battle the Bot: How to get Your Resume Read by a Real Human Being

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Did you know that nearly 75% of resumes are never seen by human eyes? An increasing number of companies are adding an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) each year, as it can sort through hundreds (if not thousands) of resumes in the time it takes a hiring manager to get through a handful. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to get through the system and have your resume seen by an actual human being, as long as you follow these four tips:

Include Relevant Keywords Throughout Your Resume

An ATS will scan the entirety of your resume and check to make sure you included specific keywords from the Job Ad. These keywords can include everything from required skills and experience, to specific job titles and certifications. It’s worth noting that modern ATS also pay attention to how each keyword is used in the flow of the resume (and cover letter), so if a keyword seems out of place it may be rejected. Each keyword should belong where it is written, so sprinkling them randomly throughout your resume will send out a red flag.

Stick to Traditional Font and Layout Choices

While new fonts and layouts are being added all the times, the classics work the best when it comes to your resume getting through the system. Fonts like Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, and Verdana in 10 to 12-point size are all ATS-friendly, as are traditional resume layouts that come standard on most word processing programs. A quick note on bullet points: avoid using special characters or accents on bullets. Most tracking systems have a problem reading them, and they may introduce line breaks or coding that will confuse it.

Avoid Graphs and Tables

While adding charts, graphs, or tables to your resume may seem like a way to add clarity to your resume, Applicant Tracking Systems are not good at reading them. In fact, they tend to read them as stray words or symbols, which can cause the system to automatically reject it. Stick with “standard” resume designs with simple formatting to ensure it is machine readable.

Avoid Slang and Overly Uncommon Abbreviation

Applicant Tracking Systems aren’t very good at recognizing slang, so resist the urge to use acronyms you used around the office for a task and instead try and use a description that can be easily understood. This is especially true if you are referring to a keyword used in the Job Ad itself. If you are highlighting a skill, use the words that were used in the ad, and if in doubt, go with the actual name of the item you are highlighting, such as using “Microsoft Word” instead of just putting “Word.” In addition, avoid uncommon abbreviations, and if something is commonly abbreviated list both the full word and the abbreviation. For instance: Certified Public Accountant (CPA).