Telling All the Right Reasons

Have you ever found yourself so frustrated over your current job that the first thing out of your mouth at an interview is about how unfair you were treated compared to another employee or something similar? You might want to consider the fact that you will not be receiving a call back or an interview. No one is assuming that you did not have an awful experience, it just is not exactly the first thing a prospective employer likes to hear. The small irritability that you held onto for such a long time grew over the two years you had to experience it on a daily basis. As such, there is probably something you will not like about your prospective job and your prospective boss does not want to hear that it might already bother you, during barely your first encounter.

Here are reasons you should be avoiding and others you should definitely consider using:

As you can tell, most of the green lit jobs are related to issues outside of your control. It’s highly likely that the red lit explanations will also happen without your expecting them to. The main difference is how you handled yourself in an unfortunate situation. If you want to be honest, it’s always a good idea to explain what you learned from the experience, mistakes you plan on never repeating again and how in this new company you will work your hardest to avoid them.

Everyone knows that you can be fired, be stuck somewhere underpaid or with some terrible coworkers. Just like you wouldn’t introduce yourself to a possible friend by telling them how terrible one of your last friends treated you, no one planning to build a lasting business relationship with you wants to be left with a bitter taste upon first meeting. As always, smile, be positive and explain how you plan on your past negatives to creative positives and you will undoubtedly ever again be in a red light situation.

Socially Unemployable

We all know them. They fill up our social feeds with the awesome time they had last night, talk about how great it is to not get up until noon at earliest. They post pictures of their Xbox GamrTags and those funny things most of us can only refer to as Mee-Mees. In the end, they ask why they’re not employed, and they ask it across all of the social media sites they are on. In general, these friends/follows/instagramers/gamers we know, fall roughly into the same categories and are unemployed for these exact social media reasons. As following:

1. The Juicer/Socialite

How could he possibly be sending out his resume if he needs to get pumped to go out later? Which means right now he needs to go to the gym and he wants to make sure you know about it. On his way over to the gym, he will post a facebook status. Then, he will ask for a retweet from everyone who is also currently driving and tweeting on their way to a gym. Once in the gym, he will post a picture of his protein shake on instagram. Just so you don’t forget that he’s been working out this past week (and how could you, ever), he will also post several pictures that he took of himself looking into a mirror.

Why Unemployed: Because he liked his prospective employer’s company page, which the head of HR checks regularly to see the profiles of those who have sent in their resumes. Upon further clicking, the HR coordinator found a bunch of half-naked pictures of Juicehead (how else are people going to see his killer abs?). And with interests including, pumping iron and kicking a$# who could resist hiring Juicehead? Everyone, that’s who.

Recommendations: All Juicehead has to do, besides make his profile private, is diversify. Include other interests, Like pages that relate to the job skills you claim to have on his resume. The best advice I can offer? Remove the pictures of yourself in the mirror with the flash reflecting back into the camera. Not only is that very “Myspace” and five years ago, it is also very tacky. More importantly, it won’t get anyone the kind of attention they deserve: girls will only be interested in the picture, not the man and companies could care less about the picture, so they won’t be interested at all.

2. The Cat/Dog/Cartoon or Video Game character

While Mr. Whiskers does make for the most adorable model laying there on your windowsill, Whiskers in not looking for a job. Neither is Spots and, frankly, Mario already has one—he’s in the business of princess rescuing. While I completely understand the need to keep yourself protected online and camera shyness makes the best of us, try to avoid it if you are looking for a job currently.

Why Unemployed: Because while an employer does get a glimpse of your personality (it seems like you might be a dog person) the information you’re willing to put out is not valuable to any employer. In addition, it makes it seem like you are trying to hide something. I’m not saying good employers should make assumptions about your work ethic based on your being attractive/unattractive—they should never. However, who are you more likely to want to speak to? Someone smiling back in their profile picture, just being their best self, or Mario, the pleasantly plump plumber with an aversion to turtles? Why stick around someone introverted and dig around to find anything viable, if you can just move onto the extrovert on the next page, who looks like they want to talk to you?

Recommendations: Go to your settings and re-check what you’ve made public knowledge. Better yet, have a good friend take a picture that you would be happy with. Put it up for the time being across your social media, until you get employed. Then you can once again retreat to your comfort zone of relative anonymity. There’s another piece of advice here in store for you: Fake confidence—this little tid bit brings you a long way, fake it enough and you’ll soon realize the world of communication that you’ve been missing out on. Good news is, you are still doing better impression-wise than the next person.

3. The Absentee

You might think it keeps you incognito, and you’re keeping yourself safe. Other companies think that you have something to hide. Considering there is a 90 percent chance that your friends are socially active and have had you in their pictures, you are already online. Now, it’s just a matter of you accepting the 21st century and coming in or being scared and avoiding it like the plague.

Why Unemployed: This situation is similar to cat person’s above.  But why not have a facebook page that is set to be entirely private, except for a picture? You take pride in the fact that you did not succumb to the temptations of the internet, but what about those who tell you they are not even on facebook? Do you rejoice in finding a kindred spirit or do you worry that they have alternate reasons for keeping offline?

Recommendation: At least create a LinkedIn account until you get employed. This way you stay professional, but there’s a name to a face and your achievements are exactly how you want them to look—not crowded by pictures of you with a pint. It’s like back in the day, when having your name and picture in the paper meant you’ve made it. If you’re not in any paper and completely off the board, it writes you off the competition. Come on, this way you will have something other than reddit to get your news off of.

Finally, all of us have archetypal tendencies, so just make sure yours does’t make you look bad.

Google Fiber For Your Business?

Google is nowhere done growing. Neither was Skynet in 2029 when it sent back the Terminator. Much like the number of zeros the number googol has, Google’s abilities run into hundreds. At this point, it’s passed pandemic proportions and moved into worldwide contagion. Much like with Apple products, you can completely Google yourself out. Chromium powered laptops, Andriod phones and tablets are a techie’s open source dream. Recently, tech companies have begun to press the power of wireless internet. Apple discontinued Ethernet ports in their new MacBook Pros and Chrome Books’ OS Chromium relies heavily on the internet to power and store your information.

The next step for Google is only natural: make internet better. Google’s next great, multi-million, multi-year venture is called Google Fiber. Fiber is going to be doing what so far only Verizon Quantum has attempted to do, for quite a bit of cash. Verizon services can offer you up to 300 Mbps speeds (2.2 min to download an HD movie) for 89.99 per month, and so far no major cable companies can compete. That is until Google came in with its Wal-Mart sized competition. Google is trying to do to basic home internet what Wal-Mart did to retail store prices.

Fiber offers a wide range of pricing from 0$ per month (that’s no typo) to 120$ for TV and high speed internet. For every business owner and tech nerd with at least three devices, this is a dream come true. And the three people whom I have pointed in the direction of Fiber have gotten excited all over for the mere prospect.

Cons: Getting closer to the possibility of having Skynet cyborg overlords. But seriously, let’s clarify some information. In order to use the free internet, a person needs to be part of the set up installation process that costs a 10$ when Fiber makes it to your city and a 300$ installation fee or 25$ a month, after which your internet is maintained at no cost. On all the other plans the installation fee is waived.  Will there be another catch? Possibly, in this case the large corporation will not be seeking to suck money from us, but something far more valuable—our consumer habits.

 

For your business, Google Fiber is an excellent prospect. Just consider the value of the product you could be receiving! For the time being, Fiber is not available for businesses even in Kansas City, as Google is keeping it residential during development.

It’s also important to note that several important addendums may need to take place before Fiber comes to your town, not to mention, your business. First, Fiber just launched in Kansas City in July. And the first tests have not brought the best results. Just as well, after initial testing, Google could realize the true cost of maintaining a 1Gbps speed and charge a lot more. Still, Google’s idea is truly noble: make internet a must have easy access tool for everyone and raise the bar in speed while they are doing it. Perhaps just seeing the competition heat up with make cable companies reconsider their current rates.

Dress Your Mind and Yourself For the Part

Don’t dress for the part you are given, dress for the part you want. Working at a dead end? There’s something you need to remember. A suit, is a suit, is a suit, is a suit. You don’t have to buy an Armani Suit if you can’t afford it because any suit is a…you get it.

Wouldn’t you hire snazzy Bradley Cooper?

Presentation for both yourself and your resume is extremely important. Competition is stiff now more than ever, and it might be that you have to do some psychological conditioning to get a paycheck. To get the job, you need to follow some natural human interaction rules.

1. Are you looking for a promotion? Start dressing for your new role.

Herein lay your number one key to success. Are you working at the front desk but wish you could get a raise up to HR or perhaps over to the sales team? Scoop out how the majority of the coveted department are dressing and start to mimic their clothing. It might sound ridicules. You don’t want to seem like one of those boys who gets Justin Beiber’s haircut to attract girls, but consider this. Do you remember what your high school cafeteria looked like? The Goths sat together, drama nerds sat in their little group? An office is not much different. There might not be a Mean Girl like Regina Gorge in your office but there are certainly divisions that happen naturally. Accountants just have more to talk about with other accountants. Now put all of that together and you’ll understand exactly how important it is to be the part you want. If you don’t fit in right away, edge yourself in, make yourself acquainted with the right people and express the reasons for your interest, explain why you know you are a fit. You have certainly envisioned yourself there, so don’t be afraid to explain your ideas. You have to really see yourself in that role so that others can see you in it. Of course once you get comfortable you can relax and show your uniqueness, but if you are not willing to initially put forward the effort fit into a group, perhaps it’s not the best idea to try to move up there.

2. Don’t come under-dressed for your first impression….ever.

With the short exception of retail jobs, it’s really easy to come underdressed to an interview. I am not trying to undermine retail; I am just referring to the easy to spot uniform most retail stores expect their employees to wear. If you’re looking for a waterslide in Target you look for someone in a red polo and khakis, and if you’re looking to get a deal on a printer at Best Buy you look for a blue shirt and khakis.

If you are going to discuss your finances with an investment banker, you will expect to see suit or at least a button up shirt, tie and slacks when you get to his office. Consider yourself the same way. It’s the association game. Picture the position you want, then consider the most relevant clothing—dress like that, but better.

 

Creative role? Same applies here, picture a graphic designer, now remove the tee and messy hair, add hair gel and a button up at least until you’ve made the perfect impression and viola! You got yourself the graphic designer the employer is expecting. Archetypes might be frustrating for some to deal with, but tell me the first image that pops into your head when I say Wicked Witch to prove me otherwise.

 

 

 

Guess which one gets the Green Light?

3. Make Sure Your Resume does the same thing for you.

Now that you’ve made sure you have a great image off paper, make sure your paper (or digital resume) looks fitting as well. Make sure its language and appearance, much like you in person, corresponds to the company you are applying to. Funny pictures applied to your resume and sarcastic remarks will only be appreciated by other companies that are known for liking funny pictures and sarcastic remarks. There is still a thin line here, don’t make inappropriate jokes: just because the company seems to make a lot of them, doesn’t mean their HR department will appreciate it.  For example, sending over a picture of Nick Cage titled Resume to work as a teller in a major bank will sent you right into the recycling bin.

Same goes when sending a boring resume with just your qualifications and no bacon over to a place like CollegeHumor.com. When countless advisors say, make your resume stand out, they don’t mean just put pretty borders on it. They mean, know what your boring competition is likely to put on their resume (Word, Quark experience) and change it up to make it more interesting (in addition to knowing Word and Quark, I can write at lighting fast speeds in a language that is quickly dying—proper English). Again, consider where you are sending it and make sure that it’s not a prim corporation where they will certainly not appreciate your splendorous skills).

Bottom Line:

Do we want to admit that appearance means a lot? That everyone is a tad shallow and based on a majority of Youtube comments, extremely judgmental? No. But is it the truth? Please comment and let me know when it’s worked otherwise.

Two Ways to Know You Got the Job

When interviewing for a company, you might be running up against some stiff competition. Other than making sure you follow the tips posted earlier, there is a fairly reliable way to deduct whether or not the employer would like to see you again.

1. Did you Stack up to the Competition?

If you are applying to a corporate job through Monster or Indeed, the website will usually give you a basic statistic of who else applied for the job, average level of education, years of experience, etc. If you found out about the job through a connection, the task gets easier. If you got the interview with the help of a staffing company, ask your recruiter what he knows about others applying and how many other recruiters were put to the task to his knowledge. If your interview was set up by a friend, make sure you ask them who else is coming in and how they received their opportunity. Moreover, it’s always easy to spot someone who came to interview before you. He will be dressed to the 9s (such as you should be) and look just as nervous. Don’t be afraid to size them up to yourself.

2. Did you Do Your Research?

Have you figured out that the other guy looks the part more than you do? Trouble doesn’t end there. If you find yourself stumbling over the question: “why do you think you would make a great addition to XYZ?” –you didn’t do your research and it’s about to become obvious. You can be positive someone is going to come in right after you and know the exact answer to that question. Another thing: no matter how terrible your name memory is, and most of us admit having a pretty bad one, one thing should be engraved into your memory. If the receptionist asks you and you don’t know the name of the person you are interviewing with, stumbling or saying the wrong name is going to make you seem careless. If you know names are not your specialty, write this one on your hand and prepare jokes in case you forget somehow anyway. Finally, do not forget the simple task of Googling. I cannot begin to describe how many people have came back from an interview with positive feedback just because they knew about a merger the company had five years ago. Google will also answer the question: “do you know what XYZ company does?”

Knowing that you can answer both of those criteria successfully will be the difference between success and continuing to search for work. It will boost your confidence enough to a) believe in yourself enough to avoid jitters and b)actually get the job because you’ve done your best to deserve it.

TIPS AND IDEAS TO ACE YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW

Tips from WinstonTIPS AND IDEAS TO ACE YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW

Just So You Know:

When hiring managers were asked to name the most common and damaging interview mistakes a candidate can make, 51% listed dressing inappropriately. 49% cited badmouthing a former boss as the worst offense, while 48% said appearing disinterested. Arrogance (44%), insufficient answers (30%) and not asking good questions (29%) were also top answers.

You Should:

  •  Dress appropriately for the industry. It doesn’t hurt to be extra conservative.
  •  Arrive at least 10 minutes early (or earlier if the employer instructs for you to do so).
  •  Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. You never know who is asked for an opinion when the hiring decision is made.
  •  Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.
  •  Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question. Don’t lie: If the conversation drifts to a topic you’re not knowledgeable about. Admit you don’t know the answer and then explain how you would go about finding a solution. Displaying your problem-solving skills is better than babbling about something you don’t understand.
  •  Exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
  •  After the interview, make notes right away so you don’t forget important details.
  •  Collect business cards, so that you can connect with the interviewer on professional social networking sites.
  •  Draft a Thank-You letter promptly and email a copy of it to your recruiter for an extra set of proof-reading eyes.
  •  Don’t make negative comments about previous employers (or others).
  •  Don’t chew gum, smell like smoke or wear too much perfume.
  •  Turn your phone off before the interview. Checking a text or silencing your phone during the interview looks unprofessional.
  •  Do some research: knowing small details about the company you want to work for shows your commitment and preparedness.
  •  Keep it professional: although interviewers often try to create a comfortable setting to ease the job seeker’s nerves, you shouldn’t forget you’re trying to get the job not make friends.
  •  Expect to hear questions such as “What’s your biggest weakness?” “Why do you want to work here?” “Tell me about yourself.” “Why did you leave your last job?” These open-ended questions are harder to answer than they sound, so think about your responses before the interview.
  • Don’t take your parents or your pet (an assistance animal is not a pet in this circumstance), to an interview.

Make Sure to Ask Questions. Such As:

  •  What do you consider to be your firm’s most important assets?
  •   What can you tell me about your new product or plans for growth?
  •  What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?
  •  What types of skills do you not already have onboard that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
  •  What is the overall structure of the company?
  •  What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?
  •  What are the skills and attributes you value most for someone being hired for this position?
  •  Could you describe a typical day or week in this position?
  •  What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first three months?
  •  How will I be evaluated and how often?
  •  What are the next steps in the interview process?

Good Luck and find us on facebook! facebook.com/winstonstaffnj for more tips, ideas, funny stories and more importantly, job postings.

Who Cares About Your Life Experience?

Well you should, because who knows who else will. Truth is, the world, specifically, the corporate world, is a cold, lonely place. When I decided to take on the debt of college I thought it would certainly be worth it, considering the payoff is a BA degree. While that can now be easily debated because of the economy, I am still pretty sure that I was right. That being said, I did get a job. But it certainly didn’t land in my lap like I felt my new BA would guarantee.

I started my search in December, around the time that I finished my senior thesis. Along with the BA degree entitlement, I expected that my two internships, student-faculty research, etc. etc. would speak for me and that any company I applied to would want  someone with such an extensive background. Based on the 100 emails I sent each week–wrong. I used every resource I could: LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, my college counselors, Simplyhired, Mediabistro you name the site, I was on it. Not to mention that I was still in school and all of those profiles needed to be kept updated to avoid disappearing from feeds into the resume oblivion the internet powers. Between the obsessive compulsive habits that soon accompanied every evening I had just a bit less homework to do, I soon turned my entitlement into anger/anxiety, which was just up the road from fear and more anger. Finally, my emotions settled down into exhaustion and exasperation. Why not me? I will go for any job you have, I have experience in a corporate and small business environment, I am peppy and I paid 60K for my college degree?

The truth was the following, there are bazillions more like me, who would also take any job they possibly could and who might have had a pretty great background. The deeper truth was no matter how great I thought I was, I still made mistakes. From the moment I applied for my first retail job at 16 to the last resume I sent. I write here to explain these mistakes and just spread knowledge. Knowing where the nail is sticking out in the floor might help you not stub your toe on it. Are there still going to be times, when you know that the nail is there, but for the split second you are distracted and stub your toe anyway? Absolutely. I am going to start from the beginning of my working career and move up. Feel free to distract me and ask about something else, because I don’t mind stubbing my toe. I would appreciate feedback, condolences, questions for advice and comments for that reason.