Midwest Professional Woman's Group Blog

Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group

Posts Tagged ‘Career’

5 Steps to Preparing for a Succesful Interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 3, 2010

Congratulations, you have made it to the second stage of the employment search. Now that you have landed an interview, what do you do?

1.  Do your Research

The first thing you want to do after you have been asked to come for an in person interview is research the company. You can do this  by checking out the company’s website. Read the company’s history, vision and mission statements. Search for  any information about the department that you are seeking  a position in. You can also check Sorkin’s directory in the library or read St. Louis business journal or search other , local publications for information about the company.

2. Create your Interview Questions and Answers

Next search on-line and  for sample interview questions or go to the library and check out some books about interviewing.  Select some questions and prepare your answers. Then practice interviewing in front of the mirror, set up a  mock interview session with a friend or family member. You can even recorder it with a camcorder.

3. Dress the part

Pick out a professional outfit. If you are in a creative industry you can show a little personality with your attire. For men select a suit and tie preferably in dark colors. Women  have more choices a dress, pants ,or suit with skirt preferably in dark colors. Leave your jewelry at home (wear minimum jewelry). No body jewelry. Women should decide to take a purse or portfolio. Make sure you have plenty of copies of your resume

4. Know before you go

Make sure you have a way to the interview. Remember to keep up the maintenance on your vehicle during your job search. The day of your interview is  a bad time to have flat or break down.  Before you go to the interview make sure you know where place is. Drive the route if necessary. Get directions if you need then from yahoo or google maps. Consult a street guide or call the company for directions, if you do not have internet access. If you are a parent arrange for childcare.

5. Ready, Set, Action

Arrive at the interview alone, no more than 10 to 15 minutes early. If you  are going to be late , call and let the interviewer know. Do not smoke before the interview. Turn off your cell phone. Once you arrive greet the receptionist. Ask for the rest room and check your appearance in the mirror, and take care of any other concerns. Get rid of any gum or candy.

Reprinted from the The People’s Employment Journal

Advertisements

Posted in business, self improvement, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Top Tips to Step Beyond a Layoff – An Emergency Survival Kit by Dawn Ramussen

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on July 2, 2010

It’s probably a fair thing to say that many of us have arrived at our current or most recent career destination through connections, chance postings, and sometimes, sheer, dumb luck with the perfect alignment of the stars, moon, and the sun… basically happening through a series of circumstances. It’s a rare thing to find someone these days that can draw a straight line from their education right into their vocation.

But what happens when circumstances turn against you, and the unexpected occurs? Companies struggle financially, then suddenly shut their doors, leaving bewildered workers with nowhere to turn.

Or perhaps, an employer stealthily plans layoffs behind closed doors then suddenly swoops down upon unsuspecting workers, handing out pink slips. And before the person even knows what is happening, they are escorted out the door. The world, it seems, has just collapsed.

Regardless as to whether this sounds familiar to you or not, you should always have your ‘insurance policy’ ready to go at a moment’s notice. The worst thing that can happen is that you are caught unaware and unprepared.

Mind you, this policy isn’t one you can purchase. Instead, it’s called career management and involves strategically planning your “A” game while having your “B” game back-up plan constantly running in the background in case the nightmare scenario becomes a reality.

The “A” game involves making yourself as indispensable as possible where you are working now with this in mind: the job may be eliminated, but you won’t be.

The “B” game is your ultimate insurance policy: making preparations either for future job transitions we can’t control or being ready to respond nimbly to new opportunities.

Here are the top tips that you should follow to survive a layoff or be the first in line for a new opportunity:

1) Keep your résumé updated. Don’t be caught unawares with a career document that hasn’t been touched in five years. You should update your résumé every six months. If it isn’t relevant to you, how can you expect an employer to take it seriously either?

2) Showcase your accomplishments in your resume. Employers care about what you accomplished at each company where you worked so they can make a decision of what you might be able to do for them. Dumping in your job duties with a quick cut and paste is actually doing yourself a disservice. Why wouldn’t you want to showcase your value by showing what you did, how you did it, and what the end result positively impacted the employer?

3) Build your network. The power of your Rolodex (or these days, your LinkedIn contact base) could be the source of your next job. Or, they can be an important support group if you get laid off. The point is that you need to actively cultivate your friends, professional colleagues, and people that you meet and treat them as valued connections. DON’T be a ‘user’ – only contacting a person once, using them, and then throwing them away. No one ever wants to be used by someone else.

4) Identify your next career targets, and move towards them. Where do you want to go? Is it an easy next step, or are there some obstacles between where you are now and where you want to go? Someone once said, “Success means knowing where the hockey puck is going to be.” If you can see your next career destination on the horizon, then chart your professional course in that direction. Figure out who you need to know, what skills you need, and what other things you might need to make a landing on your new career beachhead.

5) Build your knowledge base. Do everything you can to increase your knowledge and understanding of a specific field. Becoming a subject matter expert can help catapult you into the arena as a top industry talent, and become a highly sought-after commodity. Any employer hiring right now is looking for the best value for the position that they are going to fill. If you offer cutting edge expertise, you’ve just upped your hiring quotient significantly.

6) Demonstrate your leadership. By volunteering and being a member of the right industry organizations will establish your professionalism. Additionally, leaders give back, and that hits a home run with employers, as they like to leverage the leadership within the communities that their employees offer as an indirect benefit to the employer.

Managing all of these aspects of your career will ensure that you are moving your “A” plan forward while managing your backup “B” plan. You should never be caught unaware, and should always be ready to go at a moment’s notice. In addition to positioning yourself effectively, this can also give you peace of mind.

Dawn Rasmussen – CTP, CMP
President
Pathfinder Writing and Career Services
PO Box 20536

http://pathfindercareers.com/

Advance your career with a professionally-written resume!

Proud member of the National Resume Writers Association

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dawn_Rasmussen

Posted in business, self improvement | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »