5 Simply Positive Things You Can Do to Get Results During Your Job Search

bright flowers

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Job search, akin to moving to a new town often is unfamiliar, disconcerting and frightening. In fact, it can turn confidence into insecurity, and polished poise into rough edges. It also can shift calmness into anger and patience into pushiness.

Ways to positively channel this anxiety and energy abound and can be used to propel your search—and attitude—forward. Five such tips follow:

1. Create a resume that is a mash of both marketing muscle and humility. Create this by teasing out a story rich, not only in the measurable results you achieved as an army of one, but also in the colorful and harmonious relationship threads you wove throughout your career. If written well, you hook the reader with a relatable, yet exhilarating theme and win them over with your likeability and problem solving finesse. You prove yourself as both a decisive leader and a collaborative partner.

2. Join the conversation on social media. When you read someone’s blog, you comment, and then personally tweet or share their content. You add value and positivity to the conversation and humbly admit that you learned something you did not know before.

You don’t permit your overwhelm with and anxiety from job search to spill over into anger, negativity, insults and/or know-it-all attitudes on blogging sites, Twitter conversations or Facebook exchanges. If you find yourself swaying toward off-putting online sharing, you seek out a healthier outlet, such as exercise or spending time with good friends who will be private sounding boards for your angst.

To read the full post, please visit: 5 Ways to Get Results During Your Job Search Through Positivity.



Job Seeker: Be Patient Even When You Think You Can’t


By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

It is amazing the patience you learn when you don’t want to be patient.

Buying a house and landing a new job are two life-altering events where your patience is tested, sometimes to exhaustion.

  • Buying a house requires you create a financial resume to support you through the extensive approval process. This means amassing a volume of personal documents that are assessed by critical eyes. Your history of financial achievements and perhaps even a few missteps are splayed out for the financial interviewer to review.
  • Similarly, in job search, you are required to deep-dive into your past achievements and other career stories that put a spotlight on what you did well, and what you didn’t do so well at your current and past jobs. You create a resume story that, if polished and buffed, will make your accomplishments take center stage and downplay flaws, job gaps or other inconsistencies in your track record.
  • Buying a house requires you to be interviewed by financial institutions to a level of scrutiny you may not have endured for years, or ever, if you are a first-time home purchaser. Your ability to be authentic and truthful without over-sharing (i.e., inviting concern) about your own areas of insecurity are vital to build confidence with your home lender while also keeping the interview process chugging along. Even so, you may not be successful in the first round of interviews. You may even realize you need to take more time to shore up resources and your financial portfolio before you invest in your home transition.
  • Similarly, job seekers undergo an often grueling interview process, being hammered by unusual and mind-splitting questions that will make even the most confident cool person squirm. An interviewer’s knack for asking you about job details that you haven’t thought about in months, or even years, may spur beads of sweat on your normally coiffed brow. You may even leave the interview wondering what the heck happened and feeling that you are so under-qualified for the opportunity that you may as well give up. Instead, though, a rough interview patch often is just a clear signal to adjust your sails and plot out a new course.
  • Buying a house requires you to interview homes, and once you’ve found a fit, to negotiate an offer. This back-and-forth dance is expected, but stressful. The seller wants to feel he is getting what the house is worth; the buyer doesn’t want to pay more than it’s worth. If either the buyer or seller feels their needs are not met, they walk. If this happens, the grueling house interview process begins anew.
  • Once a job seeker has encountered a mutually amenable job opportunity, a salary offer is made. If done well, the negotiation tango begins and concludes with just the right finesse to ensure both the job seeker and hiring decision maker feel they won, or that they at least were treated fairly and gained needed value in the end. If this balance isn’t struck, generally the two parties part ways and begin their searches anew.
  • When buying a home, even after the offer is made and accepted, a third-party lender must reference check the purchase through a rigorous appraisal and surveying process. So, even when the buyer and seller have decided this is a marriage made in heaven, the deal could still be squelched. Alternatively, this arm of the process may serve to propel the process forward.
  • Similarly, job seekers and hiring decision makers may determine a durable connection that they are eager to act upon only to be impeded by those pesky background and reference checks that have a reputation for being able to turn a “yes” into a “no,” or vice versa, reinforcing the decision to go forward.
  • Buying a house requires patience that often is tested once, tested twice and tested multiply until the buyer feels he can be tested no more. But then you awake, feeling anew, and continue tilling the soil aspiring to create the home garden of your dreams, with hope and determination. Eventually, with tenacity and a bit of patience, you achieve your ultimate goal. What you initially thought would be a one- or two-month house-purchasing journey may have turned into several months, or even a year or more to arrive at your new destination. 
  • Similarly, job seekers often go feet-first into the job-change process without a full understanding of the complexity and rough seas you may encounter. What may seem like it should be a straight course from shore to new shore is wrought with storms, winds and navigational challenges like none you have ever faced. Even if you are not initially prepared for the choppy waters of job search, respond to the storms with a tenacious attitude, weave in a bit of positivity and move ahead, with as much grace and calm as you can. Despite the storms, you WILL reach your new job-search shore!

3 Tips for New Grads Navigating the Murky Sea of Interview Rules

3 business people

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

For college students or recent grads applying for internships, the sea of interview rules often appears murky. However, whether meeting with a recruiter, hiring manager or human resources professional, and whether meeting face to face, by Skype or phone, there are three things you clearly must NOT do.

1. Wear jeans and a wrinkled shirt. While it may sound absurd, the fact is, many candidates do arrive to the interview dressed inappropriately. It may be an infraction as minor as unkempt shoes or a more serious error such as showing up in ripped jeans and tattered t-shirt.

If a recruiter has beckoned you, you may feel more relaxed than you would if it were the hiring decision maker. You may falsely sense that you and he are on the same level, and that he doesn’t command the same respect as a hiring decision maker. As such, you dress casually, as if you were running an errand to the grocery store for bread and milk. You unknowingly treat this interview as a casual conversation leading to the “real interview.”

Wrong. Recruiters are hired by the corporate decision makers and are granted many hiring and interviewing powers. This means if prompted, they will easily wield the hatchet on your candidacy. If you present yourself sloppily and disrespectfully, then they quickly lose interest in you and will not pass your name along.  As such, present your best self whether you are interviewing with a recruiter, HR representative or directly with the hiring decision maker.

Moreover, dress properly, whether interviewing face to face, via Skype or phone. Ensure your hair, nails, shoes and everything in between are coiffed. This includes dressing one notch up from the company’s standard dress code. Even if the corporate culture is highly casual, you should not don jeans and tennis shoes. Instead, press your shirt, your pants and/or skirt and ensure you are wearing shoes that are shiny and clean. While tattoos may be the office norm, the interview isn’t the time to showcase your fresh ink. Facial hair and makeup, haircuts and hairstyles should be conservative, and instead, your words and presentation should take center stage, exhibiting your differentiating value.

To continue reading this post, please click, 3 Things Not to Do When Interviewing for an Internship.

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