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5 Knock Out Factors That Could Cost You the Job

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 28, 2010

These 5 things are reasons the interviewer could decide not to hire you without you even saying a word. Actions speak louder than words.  If you display these wrong actions at an interview, you are telling the interviewer not to hire you.

Poor or inappropriate appearance– Can prevent you from getting the job you want. Look professional at your interview remove any body jewelry( No piercings). Don’t wear too much cologne or perfume. Don’t show up to the interview drunk or high. Most employers have policies that prohibit drug use of their employees.  Men should wear a shirt and tie with dress slacks. Women have a few more choices if your wear a dress or skirt wear pantyhose. Your shoes should be polished. Get a good night’s rest don’t show up looking sleepy or tired. Wear a smile when you greet people at the company.

Weak or ” wet fish” handshake- This gesture is important because it officially signals the beginning of the interview. You want your handshake to be firm and not over powering.

Being late for the interview- You should always arrive at an interview 10-15 minutes before time. There are a lot of things you can do to avoid this from happening. Drive the route the day before, so you will know how long it takes to get.  Getting lost is no excuse, print out the directions from yahoo or google driving directions. You can even send the directions to your cell phone depending you your carrier. Buy a GPS or call ahead and ask for directions.

Failure to look directly at the interviewer- If you do not maintain eye contact with the interview it could be perceived as you  are not interested in the job or dishonest. Good eye contact shows that you are actively listening to what is said.

Lack of Maturity– Failure to be prepared for the interview demonstrates a  lack of maturity, simply meaning you are not ready for the job you applied for. Failure to be ready is being late for the interview.  Not researching the company culture and showing up for the interview with poor or inappropriate appearance,  displays a lack of maturity.

Based on the List for “Why Qualified Applicants Don’t Get Hired – Knock Out Factors” from SLATE Missouri Career Center, Career Success Strategies

Reprinted from The People’s Employment Journal


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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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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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How to Write a Good Introduction (Cover) Letter

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

A cover letter is your introduction, it’s the first thing the person who screens your resume looks at.  It’s your chance to make a good first impression.

A cover letter as with any other business letter  has letterhead or your contact information typed at the top. Your contact information is  your: name, street address, phone number, and email address.

Include the date you are writing the letter and keep track of where and when you apply for positional for your personal record.

In business letters you always include the company you are writing address, If you have a contact person use  his /her name, and their job title should go under the name of the company.


Name, Job title

Street address

City, State, zip code

The hello for a letter is the dear and since a cover letter is a formal introduction there should be a colon(:) after the person who the letter is addressed to name.  If  you don’t know the name of the contact person use some general title like sir/madam, hiring  manger or human resources.

The first paragraph of your letter should state your purpose.  The purpose of your cover  letter is to express your interest in the position and  get more information about a specific job by securing an interview. A focused  cover letter engages the reader and draws attention to key aspects of your resume.  Use this opportunity to show  your knowledge about the company and  it’s industry.

The focus of the second paragraph should contain the answer to the question “Why should I hire you?” Discuss your qualifications.  Promote yourself, write about your career highlights.  This section of the your letter gives you  a chance to explain work history issues such as: gaps in employment  and  lack of direct experience.

In the third paragraph let them know you want the interview, and are looking for a follow-up response from the company.

Don’t forget to close your letter, not closing is like hanging up the phone and not letting the other party know the conversation has ended. In  business correspondence closing word are : Sincerely, Thank you, Very truly yours.   Be sure and capitalize the first letter in the first word only and end with a coma.

Like homework when you were in school you don’t want to turn in your cover letter without your name on it. Type your name . Leave room to sign your name. There are always four spaces between the close and your signature line. If you print your cover letter and mail or fax it sign  it. If you are sending e-mail a signature is not required.

Don’t forget to proof read and spell check before send  snail mail ( postal service or electronically ( fax and email).

Reprinted from The People’s Employment Journal

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Top Social Networking Sites–Applications For Job Seekers

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 16, 2010

If you’re looking to make the most of the Internet in your job search, make sure to check out the following websites and applications:


You can raise your visibility as a job seeker or expert in your field by using Twitter to participate in discussions on topics that you are well versed in. This will position you as a knowledgeable professional. Job seekers need to be on Twitter because recruiters are using it to source candidates by searching for keywords in their bios. I suggest that job seekers put a link to their LinkedIn profiles or web resumes so that recruiters can go to another site for more in-depth information since Twitter’s strength is its brevity.


You can expand your network by finding thought leaders and other professionals in your field using Twellow.com. Twellow has many different categories that you can search for people by. Since you don’t need anyone’s permission to follow them (unless their tweets are protected), you can follow anyone that you like, and most people will follow you back. You can also check to see who the people you are following are retweeting. Those people may be good for you to follow as well.


To find open positions I recommend that job seekers use tweetmyjobs.com. It is a service that provides instant notification of jobs to job seekers via text message, and it takes about eight seconds to apply for a position. Job seekers can subscribe to as many of the more than 7,500 channels as they like, specifying job titles and geographic locations. You can follow TweetMyJobs on Twitter at @TweetMyJOBS.


Many recruiters are searching social media sites for candidates instead of posting positions on job boards. They check out potential candidates’ profiles on LinkedIn before contacting them. In addition to creating a profile on LinkedIn, job seekers can raise their visibility on LinkedIn by participating in groups and answering questions on the Answers section on LinkedIn. Recruiters have a favorable view of candidates who earn Best Answer by providing thoughtful answers to questions posed on the Answers section.

Also, I recommend that job seekers use the Jobs section on LinkedIn to find open positions. LinkedIn will automatically notify you of any connections that you have to the company that has the job vacancy. This is a very useful feature since it’s always helpful to try to network your way in to a company.


You can join groups on Facebook that are based on topics that interest you as a job seeker. Once you are a member of a group you can then identify people in the group who you want to friend. Group members are likely to be very open to friending you because you already have the group in common. You might say something like, “I see that we are both members of the Accountants in Government group. I am very interested in connecting with other professionals in the field, and I would like for you to join my network.” This is a great way to grow your network and find out about job opportunities.

Easy CV

You can use this application on Facebook to post a mini version of your resume on your Facebook profile.

Brave New Talent

This is a social networking application that allows you to connect with employers directly and join employers’ online communities.

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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What’s Holding You Back? Surround Yourself with Supporters

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

Starting and growing a successful business isn’t easy.  You need to surround yourself with like-minded people.  And that means people who encourage and support you in starting and maintaining a business.

As hard as this is to say, you may have to minimize connections with family and friends who are not supportive of you in a positive way. It is detrimental to the health of your business to be in the company of anyone who will encourage you to, ‘get a real job’, or insinuates that your job is less important or not making a contribution to the family finances.  This can really chew away at your resolve and determination to own your own business.  You have to maintain a positive attitude and only like-minded friends, family, and peers will keep you on your game.

That’s why making time to continue growing and learning whether by reading, participating in seminars and groups are so important to continual business success.

Make the commitment to surround yourself with positive supportive people as you start and grow your business.  Join one or more industry associations and get involved by volunteering or participating regularly in forums.

Join several well respected social networking groups and set aside a minimal amount of time each day or week that you’ll participate in these forums.  This will increase your network of ‘positive’ support and help you strengthen your resolve to grow a profitable business.

Jeannine Clontz, is a successful entrepreneur, author, speaker, and trainer. Clontz teaches a 7-week business start-up class in conjunction with Connections to Success and the St. Charles Community College, as well as a 10-week Teleclass for start-up and established Virtual Assistants. Learn more about Time Management for Virtual Assistants by downloading her FREE report “A Fresh Look at Time Management for Virtual Assistants”, or request her FREE audio CD “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?”,  and more by visiting:  http://www.VAbizcoach.com; or contact her at: coach@VAbizcoach.com.

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3 degress of Giving Through Networking

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on July 31, 2010

Based on a presentation at Dare to Soar by Karen Hoffman and Donna Gamanche.
women networking Pictures, Images and Photos

Networking can be done anywhere. You can network at the grocery store, church, gym and mall. Networking is about building a relationship with others. Relationship networking begins where you are and grows as you concentrate on others first.

The first tool you need to network is a common interest. So ask questions about the other person. It can be something as simple as ” Hello, how can I help you today?” This opens the doors of conversation and gives you the opportunity to help others.

Here some example questions to ask.

* What is your favorite color and why?
* If you were a candy bar, what kind would you be and why?
* Where were you born?

Here are some suggestions on how to introduce yourself.

* Tell your name
* Tell what you do

Here is something powerful to think about: Statistics show that most people know 250 other people.

Adapted From Worksheet and Exercise at Connections to Success Dare to Soar ( 2nd annual Women’s Conference)

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The Day of the Interview…(Interview tips pt 3)

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on July 7, 2010

Go light on the perfume. If you , try not to do so right before the interview.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the hiring manager’s office. Aim to arrive 10 minutes early. If you arrive earlier than that, take a walk or wait outside.

If you feel nervous, take a deep breath, counting to 10 as you do so. Then, exhale slowly to the same count.

Once inside, observe your surrounding to get a feel for the workplace. Do you like what you see?

Turn off your cell phone, pager or anything else that beeps. The interview is too important to be interrupted.

Remember , the interview starts as soon as you step inside the building. Be courteous to everyone you meet because you never know who has a say in the hiring decision.

After the interview…

graur razvan ionut

Send the interviewer a thank-you note within 48 hours of the your interview. Use the opportunity to restate your qualifications and interest in the position.

Stay positive ! Interviewing can be lengthy process, especially if a company wants to conduct a second interview with addition staff  members.

Need help? Contact your local Dress for Success or visit http://www.dressforsuccess.org for additional job search resources!

This was reprinted from a brochure created by Robert Half International, the exclusive staffing services partner of Dress for Success.

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