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Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Using Power Words

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 22, 2010

I worked with a really talented guy who I thought would never leave the company we worked for … not because he didn’t want to leave … he did. I thought he would never leave because he sold himself so short in his resume, no one would hire him.

He didn’t want to overstate his qualifications, so instead he painted a picture to prospective employers that he wasn’t as good as he really was.

I encouraged him to use power words in his resume and to take ownership of his many successes.

Instead of writing in his resume, “I helped edit magazine articles.” I encouraged him to write something like, “Managed the award-winning editorial content of Blank magazine, the flagship publication of XYZ Company, the largest widget company in the world.” Both statements were true, but the revised version captured the essence of his important contributions.

It’s also important to include quantifiable statements about the contributions you have made at various companies. Such statements could involve how your efforts:
• increased sales or donations by XX dollars or percent.
• brought about significant cost savings due to improved processes.
• trained XX number of employees in a new program, which resulted in a XX% increase in customer satisfaction, etc.

How can power words and quantifiable statements about your contributions at former companies improve your job-application messaging?

Career Overview provides an excellent list of resume power words on its site.
http://www.professional-resume-example.com features examples for how to write strong quantifiable statements in your resume.

Sell yourself well … after all … it can help you Get a Job!

The Get a Job! Tips blog is authored by Kathy Bernard, a corporate communications leader based in St. Louis, Missouri. She is also a blogger, career coach and workshop leader in support of job seekers. She wants to help you … Get a Job! Connect with Kathy on LinkedIn — http://www.linkedin.com/in/kathybernardcommunicator, follow her on Twitter — http://twitter.com/kathybernardmkt, or e-mail her at kathybernard.mktg@yahoo.com. Subscribe to the Get a Job! Tips blog at http://getajob-tips-for-getting-hired.blogspot.com.


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Questions you might be asked in an Interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 15, 2010

Why are you looking for a new position?

Before you go for a job interview it is important to understand why you are putting your name forward for a new position. Career growth, short or long term goals, personal aspiration? The company is going to want to know what you have to offer their organisation, it is suggested it be in line with your own personal goals.

Do not view the interview as an interrogation session; use the interview as an opportunity for you to demonstrate to the employer why you could be the best candidate for the position. If you have not already covered the below in your CV, there is a potential these questions might come up as discussion points.

Gaps in CVs

Don’t have gaps in time periods on your CV, even if you worked in a temporary position, point it out.

Reasons for leaving

Be positive about why you left a position. People move on for a better opportunity, if it was involuntary, state the reasons, keep it brief and be honest.

What is the employer looking for?

To put it simply, the employer wants to know the following
1) If you have the required skills and knowledge for the position
2) If you fit the organisational culture of the business
3) If your compensation is fair compared to the task at hand
4) Your career path is in line with the short and long term goals of the company

What is required of you?

You need to want this position, chasing something that is not in line with your own goals is going to land you in the same position of looking for a job sooner rather than later.

Demonstrate to the employer that you are right for the job. Have the answers to the following questions.

  • Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
  • When you start a project will you be able to see it through till completion.
  • How do you handle pressure?
  • Are you easy to work with?
  • Why do you want to work for this organization?
  • Are you enthusiastic and easy to work with?
  • Can you manage your time effectively?
  • What type of structure do you require to perform at your peak for an organization?
  • Are you able to be solution orientated with challenges that arise?

They say luck favors the prepared! Good luck for the job interview.

Lianne du Toit

TalentFusion is a partnership fused together by the desire to develop a platform for businesses to find top talent and candidates to cement their career paths.

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Sparkman’s Job Talk Radio

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 9, 2010

According to Fired Up, “this year Missouri’s unemployment rate is the highest it’s been in 25 years”, because of this fact Sparkman Christian Classified Publication started The Sparkman Job Talk Radio Show nearly a year ago. Each broadcast is hosted by Marilyn Parker Sparkman’s editor and publisher . Every the show features guest that share information about job opening or job readiness programs. Minister Charles Roach of Trinity Mt. Carmel church gives the inspirational thought for the day where he takes about biblical principles that can help job seekers refine adaptive skills for the workplace.

Parker states that the Sparkman Christian Classified Publication started with an emphasis on employment classified ads. She states,” we started sponsoring job fairs for the community about 8 years ago”. According to Parker employment ministry is a tool for evangelism, it gives us an opportunity to bring people in who can share resources, information about jobs and the good news about Jesus. Sparkman Christian Classifieds is focused on employment ministry, that is the reason they have a career guide in each issue of the publication. Sparkman publication started a lecture series, “How to Succeed on your job according to Biblical principles” about five years ago. At first different area pastors wrote a column each month eventually Pastor Charles Roach of Trinity Mt. Carmel Baptist Church became the featured columnist. Roach will also be featured on the Sparkman Job Talk Radio Show.

Roach explained, “Employment ministry is essential because having a relationship with God helps us to deal with difficulties on the job and having a spiritual foundation assist employees with skills to provide better interaction between, managers, co-workers and everyone in the work place”. Roach states that are two books in the bible that contain stories that provide answers for people dealing with work place issues. Those stories are Joseph in the thirteen chapter of Genesis and the book of Daniel. Roach states Joseph faced a lot of difficult work place situations but he handled them with integrity.

Parker states, “On the radio show we deal with topics for the diverse group of unemployed people that make up the workforce. She states , ” We have guest on the show that help ex-offenders re-entry into workplace to agency that assist the disabled with job training. Parker said, “We are trying to answer questions about all the concerns people have with employment issues including transportation”.

For assistance with employment check out the career guide in Sparkman Christian Classified publication or tune in to KXEN 1010am on Tuesday from 3:30-4:00 for The Sparkman Job talk radio show.

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Overcoming Potential Obstacles in the Interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 8, 2010

Do you think there are any potential obstacles that could stand between you and your next position? Here are some suggestions for handling some common obstacles:


Obviously you can’t change your age, but you can overcome a perception that you may not be up to the job. You can project yourself as energetic with a lot to give. I suggest that job candidates give some thought ahead of time to stories that illustrate that they are able to handle the stresses and strains of the job. They should also convey subtly in the interview that they plan to be in the workforce for a while.

For example, an interviewee can mention in the beginning of the interview what type of physical activity he or she did over the weekend. The interviewee can work this in during the ice breaking period which comes before the interviewer gets into the tough questions.


Job candidates need to determine beforehand what their bottom line is in terms of the compensation package. This should of course factor in current economic conditions. They should be armed with information about what they are worth and negotiate accordingly. But they should also show the interviewer that they are worth more than their salaries. In other words, they should demonstrate to the potential employer that the employer will get a return on investment that more than compensates for what they will be paying out in salary and benefits. Stories about past accomplishments can make the business case for appropriate salaries.


If you look fit, that will go a long way towards dispelling any thoughts that the interviewer may have that you will be costly (in terms of health benefits) to the company if you are hired. If you’re not fit, it’s something you should start working on since this is a part of that first good impression that you want to make.

Personality Mismatches

You should do your due diligence prior to the interview to find out what the company’s mission/values statement is and what the culture of the company is to determine if this is a good match for both parties. If it is, you need to allay any fears that the interviewer may have that you might not be a good fit by connecting the dots for the employer. Speak convincingly about the alignment you see between your values and the company’s. Talk about what you know about the company’s culture and how you see yourself fitting in.

Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed. is a career coach and a certified professional resume writer. She is the founder of Call to Career, a career coaching firm that assists people in finding their niche or calling in life.

Combining her professional status as a career coach with her love of writing, Ms. Palmer has written articles such as “Thank God It’s Monday! which was published in Message magazine and “Finding a Job That Fits You Like a Glove” which was published in Community Jobs. Both articles were well received and have given her additional visibility in her field.

Cheryl Palmer has also been a guest on a radio show entitled Insight on Coaching hosted by Tom Floyd where she discussed the needs of Generation X in the workplace and how managers from other generations can get the best out of this segment of the workforce.

In an article on HotJobs website entitled The Art of Being Assertive, Ms. Palmer was quoted as a subject matter expert on how assertiveness can help a person advance in his or her career.

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

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Your Next Employer Is Calling

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 5, 2010

Finally. You got a response from an employer asking you for a phone interview.

Here are a few tips for a stellar interview:

Preparation is key. Preparation includes not just preparing for commonly asked questions, but also preparing your environment for the interview. Job seekers should ensure that they have a quiet place for the phone interview with no interruptions. That means making sure that everyone in your household keeps all noise away from the place where you will be conducting your interview. You will come across as very unprofessional if the interviewer can hear the dog barking and the children screaming.

It’s also best to use a landline phone instead of a cell phone for your phone interview. You don’t want your call to drop while you are being interviewed. The other issue with cell phones is that reception can be poor in some areas. If you have to use a cell phone, try to find a spot where the sound comes through clearly.

Be likable. The recruiter has already determined from your resume that you have the qualifications for the job. What is most important at this point is that you confirm the recruiter’s positive impression of you. Your smile will come through over the phone even though the interviewer cannot see you. It’s also a good idea to say, “Hmm,” or “Yes” when the interviewer is speaking so that the person knows that you are paying attention.

Do your salary research before the face to face interview. Even though you as a job seeker don’t want to discuss salary prematurely (before an offer is made), it is very common for interviewers to screen potential candidates over the phone and find out if the two parties are in the same ballpark as far as salary is concerned. If the interviewer presses you for an answer about what salary you are looking for, give a salary range based on the research that you have done. That will still give you room to negotiate once you have made an offer. If you give a specific dollar amount, you then lock yourself in and don’t leave much room for negotiation.

Take advantage of http://www.salary.com and find salary surveys done by professional associations so that you know what the going rate is for your profession in the geographic location that you are interested in.

Practice your answers before the actual phone interview. As is commonly said, “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.” With the competition being so stiff for jobs in a period of high unemployment, you want to make the best of any interview that you get, so it is to your advantage to practice your answers to commonly asked interview questions. This will give you more confidence and decrease your nervousness in the interview itself.

*Send an email to admin@calltocareer.com today to schedule an appointment with an executive career coach so that you can ace your next interview.

Cheryl Palmer is a certified executive career coach and a certified professional resume writer and is President of Call to Career, a career coaching and resume writing firm. She has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MarketWatch, The Ladders, ExecuNet, and Yahoo HotJobs. Cheryl was also a guest on a radio show entitled How to Find a Job Fast hosted by Chris Russell of Secrets of the Job Hunt where she discussed tips for finding employment more quickly in this economic downturn. In addition, she was a guest on WMOV where she discussed networking for your career with host Greg Gack on the radio.

Cheryl has a social media program for executives to aid them with reducing the amount of time it takes to land a new position. She also conducts webinars on social networking. You can sign up for a free webinar at http://www.calltocareer.com.

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

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Networking Events Are Great Places To Generate Referrals

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 4, 2010

Most of my business comes from word of mouth referrals and savvy networking. Clients recommend me to their friends and colleagues. Vendors contact me with names of customers who can use my expertise. And people who have heard me speak or read my articles often pass on my name to their business contacts – something called “second hand referrals.”

These referrals don’t come about by accident. I constantly cultivate relations. If clients are pleased with a service we’ve provided, for example, I always make it a point to not only thank them for the compliment but also tell them that the best form of appreciation is to mention my name to their contacts. In return, I look for ways to refer business to clients – and I always let them know that I’m out there scouting business on their behalf. In a similar vein, if a vendor thanks me for my business, I never fail to mention that I appreciate referrals. I also offer an incentive to anyone who refers business: a free PR consultation or social media review.

The key to the success of this approach is to think of these people as conduits to clients. By networking with the sole purpose of helping others and developing relationships, it takes the pressure off you and the people you interact with. After all, what’s more valuable — a pocket crammed full of business cards or an informal sales force that’s out there helping you generate new business?

Iris Salsman has been in the public relations field since 1984. A native Bostonian, she began her PR career at the second largest nonprofit organization in St. Louis, before leaving to co-found Salsman Lundgren Public Relations. One of the most recognized and respected agencies in the St. Louis area, SLPR provided marketing and PR services to clients in a wide range of industries including accounting, architecture, construction, education, engineering, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, interior design, real estate and retail.

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The Basics: Advice on getting the Interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 27, 2010

Getting an interview for a position you have applied for is not as easy as it sounds. Below are a few basics to increase your chances of getting a call back from the company you would like to work for

Courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn

.1) Keep your CV updated and concise. Mention the critical learning’s from each job and how long the position was held for.

2) Spelling and Grammar are important. Use spell check, proof read your CV, get a second opinion. Make your first impression a lasting one and increase your chances of getting that interview.

3) Resume formatting does not have to be stayed. You can keep your individuality and still make your CV look professional. The norm is to keep it chronological, informative without being too drawn out.

4) Do not embellish your CV. You can elaborate on your experiences but you must be able to substantiate your experiences and skills.

5) When sending your CV to apply for a position, personalize the company and contact name for each application you send through. The employer will not look kindly on generic blanket applications.

6) The reality is that you can be under or over qualified for a position. If you are under qualified do not feel offended if the company does not want to spend resources on training you, there will be another opportunity down the road. Be realistic about your skill set and target positions where there could be a potential match. Being overqualified also has it challenges. A company could be concerned with whether you will be satisfied with the position and stay for a long term. Be honest with yourself. Jumping around on your CV makes employers nervous.

7) Follow up. Make the call; companies could not be getting back to you because they have been sidetracked. There is nothing wrong following up and finding out additional information on the position.

8) Be patient, finding a job takes time in the current market. Do not get despondent.

9) Register your CV updated on job portals. Agency and companies use this resource to find candidates from the current talent pool.

10) Use a litmus test in the back of your mind when applying for a position, is this a position you could really see yourself in day in and day out? Be true to yourself.

Good Luck with you Job Search, hopefully the above puts you ahead of the game.

Lianne du Toit

TalentFusion is a partnership fused together by the desire to develop a platform for businesses to find top talent and candidates to cement their career paths.

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Handle yourself on an job interview like you would if you were on TV

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 25, 2010

If you were on a guest on a television talk show you would want to present yourself as intelligent, articulate,  and seem enthusiastic.  You want to display those same characters for a job interview.

On television interviews, it matters what you wear. People have been known to undress  for both television and job interviews. You want to wear what’s appropriate for your job. Do your research find out  what is  right for that company’s culture. If you are a man wear a dark  suit or at least a tie and slacks. If you are a woman  you can wear a dress or pants suit. It’s important that you feel like yourself, and not feel as though you’re  wearing a costume.

Women should be careful with accessories, select accessories that allow for a statement of personal style, but don’t overwhelm the interviewer. Don’t wear piercings, expect earrings.  Be careful with applying make up, for television more make up is better.  For a job interview less is best.

The secret to success with television  and job interviews is  not to get too comfortable. Being in an interview situation can drain your energy. You have to counter that by being less relaxed and more animated. Body language and good posture are important.  Become less comfortable  by sitting straight on the edge of  the chair with your hands placed loosely in your lap and not leaning back in the chair, draping your arms over the arms. Smile as you extend your hand to shake the interviewers hand. Provide a firm 3 second handshake.

Use the interview’s name. Do not use their first name unless they suggest it. Do not talk too fast, it will make you seem nervous. It’s hard for the interviewer to concentrate on what you are saying when you are talking too fast. Speak clearly and use a friendly conversational tone.

Keep your responses brief while saying what you need to say. Avoid one word answers such as yes or no. Give elaborate answers.   Never share personal information. Unlike being  a guest on the television show it is okay and encouraged to use industry jargon so you can show your expertise.

Help the interviewer understand what is  the most important point by saying so. Use the” tell me about yourself” question to do just that.  Sell yourself, share your skills and strengths with the interviewer. Do ask questions about the job and / or the company.

Never go off the record. Do not say anything you wouldn’t want to see in print or hear on the news. Speak with the understanding that what you are saying will be used. Do not chew gum or bring food to the interview. No background noise. Never use profanity. Don’t talk bad about your former employer or managers. That will give the interviewer a bad impression. Do not talk about salary or benefits.

Correct inaccuracies or mis- perceptions. Always be polite and use good manners. Do not interrupt the interviewer while they are talking. Do express appreciation for the the interviewer’s time. Do not answer illegal questions, politely re-direct.  The interviewer is prohibited by law to ask about your age, sex, ethnic background, marital status, and religion.

When the interviewer ask if you’d like to add anything, provide additional important information, use this opportunity to express your interest in the job. Summarize your strengths and skills again. Thank the interview again for their time.

Reprinted From The People’s Employment Journal

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Connections to Employment

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 23, 2010

The unemployment rate in St. Charles County is currently at ten (10%) percent. Recently Charlie Gitto opened a new restaurant and over 4,000 applicants applied. Since the pool of potential job seekers is so high, they will need to be well prepared. Connections to Success Employment Specialist Jason Cleveland, assist job seekers in learning how to eliminate barriers to employment in a four (4) week employment workshop series. The series covers everything from job search strategy to the actual interview. Participants learn that they can use these strategies to search for employment positions regardless of experience level or industry. The class provides information for online employment search as well.

The next session, “Resume Refinement” will explain the two types of resumes and assist the job seeker in deciding which resume would best suit their needs. The last sessions will discuss interview techniques. This session covers professional dress, researching the company, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. They also participate in mock interviews in order to receive feed back regarding their strengths and weakness in an interview setting. The employment workshop series is open to the community. Contact Connections to Success to register for classes at (636)940-8027.

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39 Steps of Job Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 18, 2010

  • Do take a practice run to the location where you are having the interview be sure you know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there.
  • Do prepare and practice for the interview, but don’t memorize or over-rehearse your answers.
  • Do dress the part for the job, the company, the industry. And do err on the side of conservatism.
  • Do plan to arrive about 10 minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable . If you are running late, do phone the company.
  • Do greet the receptionist or assistant with courstey and respect. This is where you make your first impression.
  • Don’t chew gum during the interview.
  • Do fill out an application neatly, completely, accurately.
  • Do bring extra resumes to the interview.
  • Don’t rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer.
  • Do greet the interviewer by title ( Ms. , Mr. , Dr.) and  the last name if you are sure of the pronunciations. ( If you are not sure , do ask the receptionist  about the pronunciation before going into the  interview).
  • Do shake hands firmly. Don’t have a limp or clammy handshake!
  • Do wait until  you are offered a chair before sitting . And do remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested at all times. Don;t fidget or slouch.
  • Don’t tell jokes during the interview.
  •  Do make good eye contact with your interviewer(s).
  • Do show enthusiasm in the position and the company.
  •  Don’t smoke beforehand so that you smell like smoke. And do brush your teeth, use mouthwash, or have  breath mint before the interview.
  • Do avoid using poor language , slang , and pause words ( such as like , uh, and um).
  •  Don’t be soft-spoken. A forceful voice project  confidence.
  • Do have high confidence and energy level, but don’t be overly aggressive.
  • Don’t act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Do avoid controversial topics.
  • Don’t say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
  • Do make sure that your good points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.
  • Don’t ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly. And don’t over-answer questions.
  • Do stress your achievements . And don’t offer any negative informatin about yourslef.
  •  Don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or ” no”. Explaining whenever posible. Describe those things about yourself tha showcase your talents, skills an determination. Give examples.
  • Do show off the research you have done on the company  and  industry when responding to questions.
  •  Don’t bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.
  •  Do remember that the interview is also an important time for you to evaluate the inter interviewer and the company she represents.
  • Do always conduct yourself  as if you are determined to get the job you  are discussing. Never close the door on an opportunity until you are sure about it.
  • Don’t answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn  off ( or set to silent ) your cell phone and /or pager.
  •  Do show what you can do for the company rather than what the company can do for you.
  • Don’t inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses , retirement , or other benefits until after you’ve received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try to delay salary talk until you have an offer.
  • Do ask intelligent questions about the job, the company, or industry. Don’t ever not ask ay questions – it shows a lack of interest.
  • Do close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that you want the job an asking about the next step in the process.
  • Do try to get business cards from each person you interviewed with or at least the correct spelling of their first and last names. And don’t make assumptions about simple names was it Jon or John- get the spelling.
  • Do immediately take down notes after the interview concludes so you don’t forget crucial details.
  • Do write thank you letters with on 24 hours to each person who interview you.

Reprinted with permission  from copyrighted material used in Employment  Training class at Connections for Success.

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