Simple Tips on How to work with Recruiters

Knowing the best way to work with recruiters is crucial for any professional looking for their next opportunity. Working with a recruiter is one of the best ways to fast-forward your career.  It is your opportunity for a one-on-one relationship with a career professional who is dedicated to serving your interests. You may also benefit from the skills of a recruiter to advise you about your unique career development needs.

Here are  some reminders  that will help you get in good with the people who can get you in the door.

 Help recruiters find you.

It’s very important to have a professional online presence so it’s easier for recruiters to find you when they’re searching for candidates. Set up a public online profile that reflects your career goals and resume. This is where you can show off your skill sets and give recruiters a sense of what you’re looking for in your next opportunity Make sure all your contact information is on your resume, as well as in all your communication.

Be Proactive.

Begin by sending your resume & calling your recruiter and getting to know each other. You may not be looking for a job right now, but it will be to your advantage to have your resume on file with them. You never know when they might have available that ideal job opportunity that would be an improvement over the job you currently have

Be Honest.

Truthfully report your qualifications, experience and job-search efforts and results. Your recruiter shares your interest in placing you in a career that could improve your life. Be honest so they can be effective.  Ask your recruiter every question that is important to you because they want your questions answered too. Don’t be concerned about forming the perfect questions; just speak your mind

Be Professional.

How you work with a recruiter is usually a good indication of how you will likely work with your boss and colleagues. A good recruiter will understand that your style of relating to them is one of your qualifications, so they will report their impressions to the prospective hiring company. Follow through with what you agree to. Be committed to knowing what you want, saying what you mean, and doing what you say.

 Keep the recruiter in the loop.

Stay in touch.  If a recruiter calls you, get back with them in a timely fashion.  If a recruiter helps you land an interview, be sure to contact them after the interview is over to let them know how it went. Not only will this keep the recruiter happily informed and keep you on their radar, but he or she might also have some insight on how you should follow up with the company or tips for round two. 

If you do land a job on your own, let the recruiter know, so they can inform their clients.  Don’t just ignore the recruiter, now that you no longer need them.  You never know when your situation may change again.  Recruiters have long memories!

Be Enthusiastic

Recruiters are stimulated to do their very best by enthusiastic candidates. They know that enthusiastic candidates get hired more often than not. And companies tend to value enthusiasm highly because they know it is often contagious in the workplace.

Pay it forward.

If a recruiter sends you a job that’s not an ideal match for you, refer a talented friend or colleague that might be a better fit. Not only will you be in the recruiter’s good graces but you’ll also show them that you’re smart enough to understand not to apply to jobs that aren’t right for you. It’s a surefire way to make yourself more memorable so you’ll be the first one to spring to mind the next time an opportunity in your field comes up.

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Heaven versus Hell

Several years ago I was sent this short story called Heaven Versus Hell.  Everyone I shared it with always got a good laugh, because I think everyone can relate to what it talked about.  We’ve all been there, wondering why the new job looked so ‘rosy’ or ‘glamorous’ while we interviewed, and then we discovered the grass wasn’t really that much greener on the other side of the fence.  What happened?  Well, all too often we forget that the interview is a two-way street, that as a candidate, we need to be prepared and ask questions as well.  The candidate is trying to ‘sell‘ themselves as well as possible to the company; but the company too, is trying to put their best foot forward to impress the potential hire.  With the company doing all this “posturing or selling”, sometimes we may not see the ‘warts‘….  So, the motto is, do your homework, research the company, ask around,  about them and the managers; then, show up to the interview prepared, and have a list of questions ready to ask!  It’s okay to have them see the list, you can pull it out to review, they will be impressed that you took the time to do your homework!  Obvious questions you should cover include : (a) How will this position be reviewed? (b) What is the department/corporate structure, and how will I fit in there? (c) Opportunities for advancement/career path?  … ask yourself this, “what do I wish I would have asked before I accepted my current or last job?”

Here is the story that makes this point; and hopefully will make you smile:

One day while walking down the street a highly successful Human Resources Director was hit by a bus and she died. Her soul was met at the Pearly gates by St. Peter himself. “Welcome to Heaven,” said St. Peter. “Before you get settled in, it seems we have a problem. You see, we’ve never had a Human Resources Director make it this far and we’re not really sure what to do with you.” “No problem, just let me in,” said the woman.  “Well, I’d like to, but I have higher orders. What we are going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in.”   “Actually, I think I’ve made up my mind, I prefer to stay in Heaven,” said the woman. “Sorry, we have rules… ” And with that St. Peter put the executive in an elevator and it went down to hell.  

The doors opened and she found herself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club and standing in front of her were all her friends – fellow executives that she had worked with and they were all cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and talked about old times. They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the country club where she enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner. She met the Devil who was actually a really nice guy (kinda cute too) and she had a great time telling jokes and dancing. Everybody shook her hand and waved good-bye as she got in the elevator. The elevator opened at the Pearly gates and she found St. Peter waiting for her.

 She spent the next 24 hours lounging around on the clouds and playing the harp and singing. She had a great time and before she knew it her 24 hours were up and St. Peter came and got her. “So you have spent a day in hell, and a day in Heaven. Now choose your eternity,” he said. The woman replied: “Well I never thought I would say this, I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in Hell.” So St. Peter escorted her to the elevator and again she went back to Hell.

 When the doors opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends were dressed in rags and were picking up the garbage and putting it in sacks. The Devil came up to her and put his arm around her. “I don’t understand,” stammered the woman, “yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a country club and we ate lobster and we danced and had a great time. Now all there is are wastelands and garbage and all my friends look miserable.” The Devil looked at her and smiled. “Yesterday we were recruiting you. Today, you’re staff.”

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50 Resume Killer Mistakes

Does your resume pass the Six Second Screen Test?  All to often, that is how much time your resume has to get you through the initial screening.  HR resume ‘screeners’ are give the task to create two piles: One In & One OUT; basically, they are looking for any reason NOT to consider a candidate for any given position. They will give your resume a quick initial scan, looking for any “knock-outs” or reasons to move on to the next step.

Here are 50 common resume killers that could send your resume to the ‘OUT’ pile faster than you can say delete.   Does your resume include any of these problems:


  1. Exotic fonts or poor use of capitalization. Non-standard or special fonts may not correctly translate on the reader’s computer, or may just look strange. This can also cause problems when a resume gets digitally scanned for inclusion onto a database. Use standard fonts to avoid this. Also, some people do not capitalize their emailed cover letters or their resumes. This is inappropriate for a business communication.
  2. Formatting issues such as the use of columns that may not translate to the Screener’s browser or laptop screen size. A resume can get ugly when tabbing or format issues make it hard to read. The Screener will simply move on the next rather than try to sort it out.
  3. Functional resumes as opposed to Chronological, or resumes that look like they are cover-ups. (Note: A Functional resume lists the various functions a person has performed without regard to the order or time frame in which they were accomplished) The Image Marketer’s use of interactive Infobytes and highlighting resolves the issues that a Functional resume tries to address.
  4. Any lack of pertinent information. Some people leave off titles, dates or names of employers, but this will usually kill your resume in an instant. The Screener will assume that you are either trying to cover something up or there is something negative that you would rather not reveal. Your resume is considered incomplete without this necessary information.
  5. Overly cute or inappropriate business language. This may be viewed as being unprofessional. Sometimes an inappropriate email address will also do this. Keep it formal.
  6. Misspellings or poor language. This is an instant killer. Always have your resume proofread. Spellcheckers are great, but the human touch is also needed.
  7. Lengthy resumes over 3 pages or resumes sent via snail mail (These days, snail mailed resumes may not get scanned or screened at all.) Many Screeners view them as too much trouble and too low tech.
  8. Mislabeling it as a CV or Curriculum Vitae when it is for a non-academic, scientific or medical position. It should be called a resume, which is a summary as opposed to a CV, which is an exhaustive review of what you’ve studied, taught, researched and published.
  9. Overuse of acronyms or inside language that is internal to a prior employer organization. Do not assume that the Screener will know what you are referring to. Rather than try to figure it out, they may assume that you are not a good communicator or are specific to a different industry or range of technology.|
  10. Inconsistencies such as when the past title and responsibilities do not match up, or the date ranges are broken. If you were in sales but talk about finance, confusion and questions will ensue.
  11. Title cover-ups when applying for a position that does not exactly match your past title. If your responsibilities do not match your title, this needs to be explained. For instance, if you were a Director applying for a Manager position, the explanation may be that you were working for a much smaller company.
  12. Buzz word lists or lists that are blatantly added to a resume to get a hit by a search engine can be a killer. This does not include listings of technical exposures or specific lists of qualifications. We recommend adding keywords, but having them embedded in the resume body where appropriate.


  1. Use of nickname like Buck or Missy is inappropriate. If you prefer to have yourself called that, mention that once you get hired.
  2. First name as initials only, like J.R., or an attempt to hide identity or gender is viewed as suspect and this should be avoided. The full formal name is required.
  3. Name missing or listed as “confidential”. This is usually not well received especially when the resume is sent for a specific opening or to a specific individual. Ask for confidentiality and take a little risk.
  4. Absence of address The screener requires this basic information, especially when only considering applicants from a specific locale or region. If you desire to relocate yourself, then mention this. But don’t fail to include your address if you think you’d be overlooked when applying for a non-local position.
  5. Absence of phone numbers/other contact information may be understandable if you would not want to be called at the office or at home, but this information is crucial. You can always field the call and offer to return it at a more convenient time. Voice mail or an answering machine is a requirement. A Recruiter will assume that someone is no longer in the job market if they do not have voice mail.
  6. Use of Dr. (if non medical) or MBA with name. Certifications like CPA are great, however be careful not to overdo it by using that in the name header.


  1. Long and wordy summaries of more than a short paragraph are suspect and will likely not be read. Make your point move on quickly. This is your opportunity to set the stage for what is to follow, so don’t lose them before you get started.
  2. Platitudes without the specifics to support them will be viewed as suspect and as overcompensating. As long as the specifics are within the resume that can support the claim, then it will be fine. Measurable tangible achievements should be spot lighted, not fluff about what a great catch you would be or how you are constantly recruited. It is not what you do, but how well you do it.
  3. Irrelevant information or filler should be avoided. The fact that you belong to a certain church, volunteer for a given charity, belonged to a fraternity or referee for a soccer team could be viewed negatively.
  4. Written in the first person, or constantly refers to the candidate as “I”, or “Mr. Anyname” is inappropriate and seems self-centered. A resume needs to convey the facts as though an independent and objective party were writing it. Referring to yourself in the body by your formal name (Mr., Ms., etc.) is awkward.


  1. Inconsistent objective or an objective not applicable to an employer’s needs such as “I want to eventually have my own company”, “I want to earn more money”, or “I want to build on my experiences” may not be well accepted. The objective needs to be well thought out and crafted to the general type of positions you are applying for, and it needs to fit into what an employer’s needs may be.
  2. Overused objective such as “A challenging position offering an opportunity for growth, yadda, yadda, yadda.” If it is way too general it may be viewed as pie-in-the-sky, or if too specific then you could be an impossible fit for the job at hand. Try to make it fresh.
  3. Closed Objective or an objective to work for a very specific type or size of company may rule you out for a great position. Keep yourself open to any opportunity that may arise. If you have a preference for the type of company to work for, great, but keep an open mind. This will be viewed as more positive by all.
  4. Too lengthy and too many words to wade through. The fewer words the better. The best business communications are concise yet brief.


  1. No dates or incomplete dates are met with great suspicion, and also means that any Functional resume is suspect. Be as specific as possible, and avoid any suspicion.
  2. Current employer listed as “confidential”, or names of past companies not listed. This is critical information and must be included. If you are concerned about this confidentiality, then seek another means for resume distribution.
  3. Unemployed for an extremely long period without explanation. If you are in a tight job market and looking for the right opportunity rather than jumping on something, this needs to be communicated.
  4. No titles, or titles that don’t apply to the general marketplace (e.g. Ideas Expert, or Wealth Advisor). Titles are very important and need to be conveyed honestly, but can be communicated functionally as long as the reader is aware of this. Explain your function by inserting a functional title if it differs from your actual title.
  5. Non-quantified accomplishments without specifics/numbers or information. Again, it is not just what you do, but how well you do it.
  6. Job hopping – more than one job per year, or generally bad tenure can be a big killer unless dealt with on the resume. The reasoning for the moves or explanations should be communicated to lessen the negative impact of this. The reader will ask, “Is this a problem, or a trend, or is this person sincerely looking for something long term?” Employers seek loyalty and stability.
  7. Lengthy lapses in employment not addressed can bring up questions and objections when they are very reasonable.
  8. Career change such as from self-employment or consulting especially if long term is often a showstopper depending on position. A Screener may view a former consultant or self employed entrepreneur as using the position at hand as a stop gap until another independent opportunity can be found. This needs to be addressed in the objective section and/or in the cover letter.
  9. Perceived excuses such as, “Left company when I was passed up for a promotion.” or anything that can be construed as blaming the former employer is a killer. Any criticism of a former employer is almost always a killer, especially in an interview.
  10. Downward trend of responsibilities often may indicate a problem if someone is on the downside of their career unless clearly explained. Often what may look like a lesser title or job was in fact a greater one, and this needs to be communicated. The story needs to be told and reasons given for lessening responsibilities.
  11. Former jobs that do not apply, such as, “Sold real estate as an interim job”, or “Bartender while attending graduate school” may have helped you get by or pay for tuition, but may be better left out or said as “Earned or financed 100% of education costs”. If you changed careers, explain why you did that. An off-track career history needs to be clearly communicated.
  12. Freelancing or moonlighting work may be a killer. The employer may want you 100%, and could raise a concern that they would be competing for your time. This all depends on what you are applying for, but if it is a full time permanent position, be careful in revealing your independent endeavors.


  1. Lack thereof or failure to become formally trained despite having reached a high level of job proficiency can be a killer. Ways to overcome this are plentiful, to include statements from references, actual job performance demonstrations, and indications of future intentions to complete a degree or training.
  2. Obscure unknown schools, specialized schools, correspondence schools should be noted as such and explained in case the Screener questions the validity. Overcome an objection before it occurs. Describe the school and why you attended. Provide a link.
  3. Inappropriate degrees, e.g. B.S. Animal Husbandry when applying for a Systems Analyst job should probably not be listed since it would detract from the job at hand and may give the impression that this person is off-track.
  4. Average or below GPA can be a killer with some companies. A GPA of 2.5 at one school may be the equivalent of a 3.5 at another. Do not expect the Screener to know this. Avoid listing a GPA unless it is 3.0 or above and identify what the scale is.
  5. Future graduation date of 2+ years from now is often viewed as too speculative and overcompensating.  Instead, it is okay to list complete hours of study; for instance: “completed 100 or 120 hours towards degree”
  6. Listing many college courses attended or courses that do not apply may not be beneficial. If an employer wants this information, they will ask for transcripts. Also, unless you are entry level or an intern, the education section should follow the experience section.
  7. Perceived Excuses such as “Did not graduate for family reasons….”, or “Changed majors when the job market dried up for accountants” are better left unsaid, or dealt with in a more positive manner. You may want to say, “Received lucrative career opportunity prior to completion of education that could not be passed up”, or “Changed majors to concentrate on a higher demand job segment”.
  8. Lack of dates for graduation may be a knock out factor with some companies. A note on age discrimination: The general trend is to leave off the college graduation date and to avoid the possibility of age discrimination, and this is now acceptable, however most Screeners appreciate this information to see how many years in the workforce. We suggest including it and it will be appreciated.
  9. DO list continuing education, and professional courses that is relevant towards your professional field, list the class, date complete, and what school/training center gave the course.
  10. Also, do list  the certifications you received, that is relevant to your profession, and if the certification is active or not.


  1. Non-business references are inappropriate and a waste of print.
  2. Specific professional references such as prior superiors and peers SHOULD be listed if there is room to include them. This is a powerful tool, especially when used with the Image Marketers Infobyte that could present such reference statements as, “Highly recommend!” Your references could be your most powerful sales tool.


  1. Personal activity that doesn’t contribute to your business image should NOT be included such as:
    • Enjoys listening to music
    • Extreme sports enthusiast
    • Plays in a rock band on the weekends
  2. Any overly personal statement or reference anywhere on the resume is best left unsaid. Examples may include “Left company because of death in family”, or “Deacon of church and attends every Sunday.” or “Became divorced because job required too much travel” is inappropriate.

Additional Note:

This list of 50 resume killers is a partial list and there are many other factors that can render your resume overlooked unless it is well thought out and well written. Obviously nobody is perfect but maximizing advantages while minimizing faults is expected in a resume. Even once the resume passes the screening it needs to keep working for you by emphasizing strengths and selling your skills.

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The Power of a Simple Thank-You Note

Very often, as recruiters, we hear from mangers about the one thing that a candidate does that separates them from all the others; they remembered a seemingly small step during the interviewing process;  they sent a thank you note after the interview.

It seems amazing, but it’s true: A simple thank you note after a job interview can wield considerable power and influence, and reflect very favorably on your candidacy for the position.

Why? Several reasons:

By sending a thank you note, you show your interviewer common courtesy and respect.

Unfortunately, in our busy and often impolite world, we simply don’t acknowledge each other’s time, efforts and commitments. So in sending a thank you note, you tell your interviewer in no uncertain terms that you appreciate the time he has given you. After all, he had to give up part or all of the day to be with you, and expend effort learning more about you and what you have to offer.

So few job applicants send thank you notes that you automatically stand out if you do.

It’s shocking, but the majority of job applicants fail to send thank you notes after their interviews. Why? Who knows? But the bottom line is that you wind up in a position to shine simply by putting forth the effort of sending a note. Strange, but true.

A thank you note gives you an opportunity to reiterate points you made during your interview.

Have you ever left an interview wishing you’d more strongly emphasized a certain skill or experience the employer seemed to be looking for? A thank you note gives you the chance to do just that. After using the first paragraph of your note to thank your interviewer, you can use a brief second paragraph to touch again upon the key points you made in your interview. You can also use a similar strategy to clean up any interview rough spots you might have had — i.e., to expand upon or clarify responses you felt were weak or shaky.

A thank you note lets you make points you forgot to make in your interview.

Sometimes after an interview, as you walk out to your car, you smack yourself on the forehead and say to yourself, “Why didn’t I talk about _____?” Frustrating? You bet. But you can take care of the problem to some degree in your thank you note. Again, perhaps in the second paragraph, you can say something to the effect of “After our discussion, it occurred to me that I forgot to tell you about _________.”

A thank you note demonstrates your written communication skills.

In receiving and reading your thank you notes, your interviewer will see firsthand how you handle yourself on paper. You’ll be using similar skills every day with the company’s potential clients, customers and vendors — so the interviewer will be reading carefully to see how you come across in print.

Writing thank you notes isn’t terribly difficult or time-consuming. It can make a much bigger difference than you might think — perhaps even the difference between the job going to you or someone else.

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Basic Principles for Employment Negotiations

Taking into consideration those things that make employment negotiations unique, together with generally applicable negotiating principles, here are a set of basic principles, which apply in every employment negotiation:

Be Prepared

Preparation is critical when negotiating the terms of your employment. The more information you have, the more successful you will be. This is s the most important single thing you can do to ensure that you get the best deal possible.

Recognize That Employment Negotiations Are Unique

Employment negotiations are different from other types of negotiations. They are not a one-shot deal like buying a house or a car. When the employment negotiations are over, you will have to work with your former “adversary” on a daily basis; more important, your career success may depend on the person with whom you have just finished negotiating. Therefore, even though you want to negotiate the best possible deal, you need to proceed in a way that doesn’t tarnish your image. By the same token, your future boss will want you to feel good about joining the company. Once an employer has decided that you are the person for the job, the primary concern-will not be to negotiate the least expensive compensation package the company can. get away with. Rather, the main focus will be on getting you to accept the job. As a result, employment negotiations are unusual in that both sides share that same basic goal.

Understand Your Needs and Those of Your Prospective Employer

Any employment negotiation is going to involve trade-offs. To be successful in this type of negotiation, you need to examine your own priorities:

  1. What is it that you want?
  2. Are comfortable with a low salary and a large equity stake?
  3. Do you feel confident that you can meet the requisite criteria to earn a bonus?
  4. Are you able to handle dramatic-swings-in income from year to year?
  5. How Important Is job security to you?

Understanding your needs will also help you determine what type of company you want to work for. (For example, a family-owned company might offer a larger salary than start-up company, but the same start-up company will offer stock or stock options that a family owned company typically will not.) Regardless of the type of company you are considering, an employer may not be able to give you exactly what you want. There are numerous institutional constraints on how much a company can pay for a given position or what kinds of benefits it can offer.

Understanding what you want and what a company can do within its own organizational and budgetary constraints will enable you to determine what trade-offs are possible-in-order to maximize what you get. This knowledge will also enable you to walk away from a job when a company cannot offer the type of compensation package that suits your needs.

Understand the Dynamics of the Particular Negotiations

Sometimes you will have skills or experience for which there is a great demand. You may be the only qualified candidate to have made it through the interview process and the-company would like to hire someone quickly. Similarly, If you have been able to defer discussing compensation until the company has determined you are the best candidate for the job, your bargaining position will be greatly strengthened. These are enviable positions to be in. On the other hand, you may in fact be one of several candidates the company is considering, any one of whom it would be happy to hire. Under those circumstances, compensation may be the key factor in determining who gets the job. Sizing up-the situation and understanding the relative position of each of the parties to the negotiations will help you determine when to press your advantage and when to back off.

Never Lie, but Use the Truth to Your Advantage Honesty Is Important.

If you lie during the negotiations, sooner or later you are likely to be caught. Once you are caught lying, you lose all credibility. Even if you don’t lose the job, you will be placed at a tremendous disadvantage, and your future credibility on the job will be undermined. On the other hand, total candor will not be rewarded. You are not required to answer a specific question directly unless the answer helps your position. You can determine what you want to say and how you want to say it. One element of preparation is to understand those areas which may be problematic so you can rehearse how you will handle them when they come up.

Understand the Role That Fairness Plays in the Process

The guiding principle for most employers in determining what they will agree to is fairness. Within the constraints of their budget and organization structure, employers will usually agree to anything that is fair and reasonable in order to hire someone they want. Appeals to fairness are the most powerful weapon available in employment negotiations. Sometimes such an appeal may even convince an employer of the need to adjust its salary-structure or increase the amount of money budgeted for a position.

You should be able to justify every request in terms of fairness. If the cost of living is higher where you’re going, it is only fair to have your salary increased sufficiently to-compensate. If comparable executives in similar companies are given one percent of the company’s-stock, you should be treated no differently. Your prospective employer will want you to accept its offer and to feel that you have been treated fairly. Understanding the importance of fairness as a negotiating principle can make the difference between success and failure.

Use Uncertainty to Your Advantage

If an employer is not certain what it will take to recruit you, its initial offer is likely to be close to its best offer. If you have divulged too much information, it will likely not offer you as much as it might have otherwise. By not disclosing exactly what your compensation package is or exactly what it would take to get you to leave your current job, you will force a potential employer to give you its best offer.

Be Creative

You may not be able to get everything you want, but you want to be sure to get everything you can. Focus on the value of the total package. Look for different ways to achieve your objectives. Be willing to make trade-offs to increase the total value of the deal. Limit your “requirements.” When you lock yourself into a position, you limit your ability to be creative. If you are creative, you can package what you want in ways that are acceptable to the company. You will also be able to find creative “trade” that allow you to withdraw requests that might be problematic to the company in return for Improvements In areas where the company has more flexibility. In the end, however, you still must get the company to agree to those elements of the deal that are critical to you. If you are not able to do so, or if have to give up too much to get what you need, perhaps this is the wrong job for you. However, before you insist on any particular term in your employment package, be sure that it Is really essential. By insisting on a particular term you may be giving up something of greater value; you may even be giving up your chance to get the job altogether.

Focus on Your Goals, Not on Winning

Too often in negotiations winning becomes more important than the actual goals that are achieved. This tendency is particularly problematic in employment negotiations. Not only is it important to focus on achieving your goals; it is also Important not to make your future boss feel like a loser In the negotiations. Remember, that this person will control you future career. You will have gained little by negotiating a good deal if you alienate your future-boss in the process.

Know When to Quit Bargaining

There comes a point in every negotiation when you have achieved everything that you could gave reasonably expected to achieve. At that point you should thank the person you are dealing with and accept the offer. If you don’t recognize when to stop negotiating, you run the risk of having the company decide that it made a mistake by offering you the job in the first place. Most companies will want to treat you fairly and make you happy, but few companies want to hire a prima donna. Being perceived as greedy or unreasonable may cause the deal to fall apart. Even if it does not, you will have done immeasurable harm to your career with your new employer.

Never Forget That Employment Is an Ongoing Relationship

This is the most important commandment and cannot be overemphasized. Employment negotiations are the starting point far your career with the company. They set the tone for your employment relationship. Get too little and you are disadvantaged throughout your career; push too hard and you can sour the relationship before it even begins. How you handle the initial negotiations can have an impact, for better or worse, on how successful your tenure with a company will be. Following the negotiating strategies described will enable you to effectively negotiate the terms of your new employment. Once you have done so, you will be able to start your new job confident that you have achieved the best possible result.

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Heard, But Not Seen

Participating in an interview over the phone is an entirely different beast than a face-to-face encounter; what you say and how you say it become even more important. With that in mind, here are some quick tips for mastering the phone interview:

1. Pay attention

First things first – shut down your computer and turn off your cell phone, TV, radio, etc…

 Be sure you are in a private room, away from screaming children, barking dogs, etc…  You shouldn’t have any distractions.

 Have a copy of your resume in front of you, and a pen and pad of paper to make notes on.

Pay complete, total and full attention to the person on the other end of the line as if you were staring them in the eye,” says Karen, a communications coach,  “People can read and feel your body language across the miles, so, act as if they were in the room with you so they can feel your energy, presence and attention.”

Further, she claims that standing up while you participate in the interview will help you stay focused.”It will give you more energy in your voice if you stand,” and  “Also, smile while you talk so that you sound friendly and enthused.”

2. Be clear

Since you’re on the phone, you’ll need to speak as clearly as possible. “Pronounce your words clearly and don’t trail off at the end of a sentence,” says Karen. “You want to make sure you are heard and understood. Additionally, pause to give the person on the other end of the line a chance to digest what you are saying and to participate in the conversation.”

3. Be prepared

Since the telephone interview is most commonly a screening, you’ll need to go the extra mile to connect with the interviewer. In order to do this, be sure to decide in advance which questions you might ask when prompted by your interviewer.
Think about what you want the other person to know so you don’t spend the entire interview simply answering questions,” says Karen, “By only answering questions, you miss opportunities to deliver key points if the other person on the other end of the phone doesn’t ask you a question to trigger one of these points.”

You should also prepare by having examples to highlight your strengths.   “Be warm and personal by backing it up with examples, stories and anecdotes that the person on the other end of the phone can relate to and understand,” says Karen.   She adds that you should be sure to tell them you are looking forward to meeting them.
They are trying to screen you out, so don’t give them a reason to put you in the ‘no’ pile,” she says. “Stay upbeat, positive and attentive.”

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