NO ‘DO-OVERS’ ON FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I’ve heard some recruiters say that they make a decision about a candidate in less than five minutes. They go on to say that they are surprised how many people come in for interviews or internships and are unprepared.   Whether you are about to go on a job interview, or begin an internship, everything you say and do shows an employer who you are and what value you bring to a company. Marketing you early in the process means exhibiting confidence and commitment and being prepared.   One way to be prepared is to review a company website prior to a meeting.  Learn critical key messages that are repeated on that website so you can ‘speak the language’. Go into the meeting understanding the corporate mission, vision and goals.  Most of all understand who the customer is and incorporate that into your conversation. Exhibiting how quickly you can fit into an organization will better allow you to seize...

BUILD YOUR JOB SEARCH TOOLKIT

Before you even start your job search, create a toolkit with the right items needed to hit the ground running. A construction worker wouldn’t go to a job without bringing the right tools to build a specific structure. It’s the same concept for you.   In addition to your resume and cover letter, here are some other critical basic tools you need: Business Card: Your business card is your first introduction of you as a professional. Hand them out to EVERYONE you meet. Phone Number: Use a phone number where you are the only one checking messages. You can’t expect your family or roommates to make the right impression. Email Address: Create an email address that sounds professional. If you can, set up a special email address with your name. Elevator Pitch: It is critical to be able to explain what you’re looking for in a few succinct sentences. Therefore, prepare a clear, easily understood statement about who you are, what you’re looking for and what your competitive edge is.   Other tools may include multiple cover letters for different areas, a BLOG, Twitter account, website, brochure, organization affiliation, LinkedIn page, etc. Utilizing multiple tools to market/brand yourself will help you portray a consistent, professional, sophisticated impression to your targeted...

PHONE NUMBER ON YOUR RESUME

It’s not important whether you put your home phone number or cell number on your resume. The important thing is to put the number where you are the only one checking messages. You can’t expect your family or roommates to make the right impression.   And make sure the impression you give is started with the way you answer your calls as well as your voicemail. It’s important to sound professional.  You may even want to record your voice and listen to it over and over to see how you sound and make changes accordingly.  Remember, branding yourself is in every area of your presentation.   Make sure to check your voicemail or answering machine frequently and get back to anyone who leaves a message within in a few hours — 24 hours...

Do you tattoo?

I am asked if it’s important to cover up tattoos or remove piercings when going on a job interview. The key to interviewing is to eliminate distractions and keep the interviewers attention on you and what you are saying! I’ve had recruiters tell me that while they are not against tattoos and piercings, but they can be a distraction.  And since you have so little time to make an impression and to sell yourself in an interview, it would be unfortunate if the interviewer never really heard what you were saying because they were distracted in any way. Some industries, such as artists, musicians, graphics, are more open and less distracted by them. But if you are not sure, then I’d suggest going toward the conservative...