How to Survive a Stress Interview

May 24th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Stress interviews are a job-seeker’s nightmare—unless you’re prepared.

Everything is going smoothly in your job interview. But then you’re asked why a tennis ball has fuzz.

In another interview, your questioner treats you rudely before asking, “How do you think this interview is going?”

Should you run for the hills? Not necessarily. You’re likely experiencing a torturous technique called the stress interview. This method involves making an interviewee uncomfortable to see how he or she can perform under pressure. It’s especially prevalent in the tech industry.

Creative companies like Google and Facebook are famous for using stress questions. They want to see if potential hires are flexible and confident.

The bad news: stress interviews are increasingly common. The good news: the five tips below should help you keep cool.

Don’t sweat the details. Your interviewer cares less about how you answer a stress question than about whether you can stay confident. So concentrate on your attitude, not on the specifics.

Listen. Take time to listen to the question and fully understand it before you start talking. A question like “Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?” is easier if you don’t rush. (Answer: Mt. Everest.)

Do your research. If you can, set up an informational interview with a contact inside the company to learn about the interview process and the company in general.

Be honest. Some stress questions test your honesty, such as “What interests you least about this job?” You can answer tactfully without lying: “I’m sure this job will have some menial tasks I won’t enjoy, like paperwork. But that’s part of any job.”

Own it. Even if your answer is a complete disaster, stay confident and secure in your choice. Your composure will make an impression.

Good luck!

5 Ways to Survive the World’s Worst Job Interview | Rose Cahalan via The Alcalde.

Keys to a Successful Sales Resume

May 10th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

If you’re looking to enter the sales industry, or move up the ranks, or land a job with a great new company, your first task will be effectively “selling yourself” in your resume.

After all, if you can’t submit a convincing pitch or create an effective sales document, employers probably won’t take you seriously for even an entry-level sales job.

As great sales jobs are highly competitive, you will want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward. Here are a few tips for crafting a sales resume that will maximize your chances of landing an interview:

Show them the numbers

If you’re in sales, you know your numbers and how important they are. As you’re hitting your monthly quota and improving your company’s revenue, you understand the importance of impacting the bottom line. Don’t distract hiring managers with needless jargon. Instead, show them hard facts and numbers that tell a clear story about what you have achieved in your career.

Salespeople operate in quantifiable results, so make sure your resume reads the same way. For example, don’t say you generated $100,000 without saying whether that figure was above or below your target goal. While you need to use your numbers, you also need to be able to show them why those numbers are important.

If you’re entry-level, or simply new to sales, you may not have sales numbers to speak to, but you can still tell a story that resonates with the hiring managers. Focus on showcasing yourself as a numbers and results-driven professional by quantifying your past successes as much as possible. As an aspiring salesperson, your potential employer wants to know that you can bring the numbers, so show them that you’ve done this in your past roles and can do it again.

What makes you unique?

When you apply for any job, you need to make sure you shine. Mention any awards, certifications, selling techniques you’ve mastered, and experiences that make you uniquely qualified for the job. Instead of listing various achievements at the bottom of your resume for a sales position, be sure that the most relevant successes are front and center. Sales is about survival of the fittest and being the best man or woman for the job—don’t be afraid to show-off a little bit.

Keep it clean, clear, and accurate

Clean up your resume. Just as you’ll need to get straight to the point by showing recruiters your sales statistics and results, you also want to make your resume clear and concise. Cut out irrelevant details. Typos or formatting issues highlight an inattention to detail that could cost you a job. Meanwhile, you shouldn’t leave any inconsistencies or wide gaps in employment in your experience section. Even if you weren’t working in sales, include your volunteer work or jobs that could be relevant for the position you are applying for.

The pressure may be high, but be careful to showcase your best work without exaggerating your contributions. Results from a recent CareerBuilder survey of 2,500 hiring managers around the country showed that 56 percent of participants caught candidates lying on their resumes. Gray areas that qualify as lying include: inflated titles, incorrect attribution, and incorrect working dates. All of these inaccuracies could ruin your chances of landing the job so that you can begin closing sales at a new company.

Think outside of the box

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box while drafting your resume. Sales is about going with your gut and taking risks—feel free to be bold. Tailor your resume based on each individual role that you apply for. Imagine you are the hiring manager as you’re finalizing your first draft. Be honest when you look it over and think about whether you would take the time to give it a second look. Of course, you should share it with mentors, former coworkers, and friends who can offer a fresh, critical perspective. Just as you’ll try to sell your clients on new products or services, you want to discover the best way to sell your own skills and experience to your next hiring manager.

One final thing to keep in mind: confidentiality. Many companies consider their sales strategies and performances confidential information. The threat of competitors finding out about company success strategies is very real, so be sure not to include any information that would compromise your current or past employers’ confidential information. You certainly can include information that is available to the general public (for example, stats found in an annual report or on the company Web site).

Good luck!

6 Résumé Tips to Help You Land a Great Sales Gig | Dave Yourgrau via Startup Institute.

“Accomplishments” to Leave off Your Resume

April 26th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

In the perpetually competitive job market, you need to show hiring managers that you can make an immediate contribution. As we all should know by now, including your biggest professional successes in the “Accomplishments” section of your resume is an effective way to do just that.

But keep in mind that any achievement you cite should be a) truly noteworthy, b) relevant to your current career goals and c) relatively recent. Far too often, job seekers miss the mark. For instance, you’re unlikely to impress prospective employers by highlighting the fact that you were a finalist in a local pageant held in 1982.

And even something that would normally qualify as a solid accomplishment is not as impressive when it happened over thirty years ago… there is often a “what have you done for me lately” mentality at work.

The following are more examples from resumes that feature “accomplishments” that aren’t worth mentioning in your resume, as well as advice for crafting statements that will catch a hiring manager’s attention:

The Unquantifiable Accomplishment

· “I am the most talented employee my company has ever had.”

· “I am the best and most awesome employee in New York City.”

· “My last client called me a god.”

Whenever possible, quantify your achievements by noting how you helped previous employers increase revenue, cut expenses, or improve productivity. (Example: “Increased territory sales by 150 percent within one year of being named district sales director.”) Boldly heralding vague, unverifiable accomplishments is less compelling and often comes across as arrogant.

The Not-So-Notable Accomplishment

· “Maintained a 2.0 GPA.”

· “I get along with coworkers.”

· “Overcame procrastination.”

Make sure any accomplishments you place on your resume will impress a potential employer. Your ability to do average or even below-average work, or fulfill the most basic requirements of a job, does not warrant special mention.

The Offbeat Accomplishment

· “Set record for eating 45 eggs in two minutes.”

· “Raised over $6,000 for an organization by sitting on a commode.”

· “To be honest, the only thing I have ever won was a Cabbage Patch Kid. This doll was the result of a school raffle, and I was hated by many children for it.”

Honors and awards received from professional associations, industry publications and educational institutions hold weight. But being overly playful and mentioning odd accolades as a vehicle to showcase your wacky sense of humor could cause employers to question your professionalism.

The Mistake-Ridden Accomplishment

· “I have successed in all my endeavors.”

· “Dum major with my high school band.”

· “I continually receive complaints on the high quality of work I perform.”

As with every other section of your resume, remember to carefully proofread the descriptions of your accomplishments. Don’t undermine your achievements by misspelling them. Hiring managers are looking for applicants who demonstrate attention to detail. Research indicates that just one resume error can sink a job seeker’s chances of landing a job interview.

While it’s important to have accomplishments on your resume, that doesn’t mean you should lie, or add items that are irrelevant, just to fill the space. Consider carefully what you have achieved so far in your career, and be sure to track these efforts over time so you can keep your resume up-to-date. Remember: recent, quantifiable, and relevant accomplishments are the key to impressing hiring managers and landing job interviews no matter what field you are in.

Good luck!

“Accomplishments” to Leave off Your Resume | Doug White via CareerUSA.

How to Get Over Imposter Syndrome

April 12th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Recently landed a new promotion? Finally got that manager position you’ve been working towards for years? Been recruited by some top companies for great new roles (maybe even that dream job you’ve been waiting for)? Feel like you don’t deserve any of it?

Yes? Welcome to the club! You’re experiencing the often crippling effects of “imposter syndrome.” It happens to the best of us, even the most famous and successful people out there.

Imposter syndrome occurs when we feel like a fraud—when we feel that our successes are undeserved. We convince ourselves they’re based on luck, timing, or other factors outside of our control, instead of embracing the fact that we’re actually responsible for having made those successes happen. Imposter syndrome makes us think irrationally about our aptitudes and performance: We don’t believe we’ve excelled, and we don’t believe we deserve the rewards that come along with our success.

The irony is that the further you go in your career, the more opportunities there are for imposter syndrome to rear its ugly head. You didn’t get that promotion because you earned it, you got it because you were lucky. You didn’t get to lead that project because you had the most experience on the team—you got it because timing worked out. That dream job wasn’t offered because of your stellar resume—maybe you’re just a diversity hire.

The bad news is: It’s not likely you’ll ever be able to fully rid yourself of imposter syndrome. But the good news is: There are ways to combat it! You can train yourself to quickly identify it, manage it, and live to rise again.

Identify What’s Shaking Your Confidence

Is it your new job title? Is it a certain senior-level meeting you’ve been invited to attend? Is it a high-stakes project you’ve been asked to lead? What is it that’s making you feel doubtful?

In most cases, the answer will be obvious: I don’t deserve to lead this project because so-and-so is more experienced than I am. I haven’t worked at the company long enough. I only aced my last project out of luck or good timing. That spot where you’re underselling yourself is likely the root of the problem.

Once You’ve Identified the Confidence Culprit, Tell Someone

Pick someone you trust to talk about your waning self-confidence. If it’s a work problem, make sure to confide in someone who isn’t your co-worker or manager. Choose someone who sees you outside of that environment: He or she can identify when those feelings of fear are irrational and remind you of your strengths.

Remind Yourself of All of Your Achievements

If you don’t have an accomplishments box, start now by recounting your most recent accomplishments (or even better, get those achievements on your resume). Take a look at everything you’ve achieved, and reflect on all the hard work you’ve put in to get to where you are now. Embrace the fact that you got yourself to where you are. You’ve earned your spot—your accomplishments are proof of that.

Remind Yourself That the People Who Got You Here Are Incredibly Competent and They Did Not Make a Mistake

You did not pull a fast one on anyone. Your boss or hiring manager—who you may believe didn’t see the many gaps in your resume—is not an idiot. Don’t doubt the intelligence of those who have promoted you, hired you, or offered you opportunities. They have made deliberate choices based on your experience and potential. You really do deserve to be there.

Take a Risk

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Write it down, say it out loud, tell someone else, and do it. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work. So what? Do the work and keep going. Don’t let imposter syndrome derail you from what’s rightfully yours.

Take a Hard Look at Your Language and Update It

Do you say “I feel” a lot? How about using “I think” to start your sentences? Have you been pitching ideas prefaced with “It might just be me, but?” Rein in that doubt! Update your language with more confident, assertive phrases, and you’ll start to believe in what you’re saying. Assume your questions are valid, and that you’re probably not the only one to have them. Try: “I have a question—and I’m sure I’m not the only one.” Champion your ideas through more assertive language.

Reframe Your Story by Writing it Down

Imagine you’re speaking at a conference and that you have to provide an introductory bio for the panelist moderator. What would you say, and how would you say it? Would you tout your accomplishments or brush them off as if they were insignificant? Take an afternoon to write out your personal story. Who are you and how did you get to where you are? Let yourself shine on paper. Then, accept that it’s all true.

Try Mentoring

Guess what, imposter syndrome sufferer? You have expertise to share. Share it with someone who needs it. Not only will you realize how much knowledge you really do have, you’ll also likely uncover new strengths in the process. Mentoring can reveal skills you took for granted or mistakenly assumed came from luck. It’s empowering to know you are helping someone in their journey.

Take Solace in the Truth That Imposter Syndrome Is a Symptom of Success

Famous actors, authors, artists, CEOs—the most successful people are those most likely to have imposter syndrome. If you’re feeling like a fraud, believe it or not, you are doing something right. So play your pump up jams. Say your personal mantra. Do your power pose. You’ve got this.

No matter how successful someone is or has been, no one is free from lingering doubts regarding their own abilities. It’s easy to get sidelined by worry about your own competency, concerned that everything you have earned is due to luck, deception, or blindness on the part of managers, rather than your own talent. But whenever your confidence wanes, keep that list of accomplishments on your resume firmly in your mind… let the successes of the past serve as the foundation for your future success, not as excuses to fall short or reasons to doubt.

Good luck!

How to Banish Imposter Syndrome and Embrace Everything You Deserve | Ximena Vengoechea via The Muse.

Do You Need a Resume in the LinkedIn Era?

March 29th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Now that LinkedIn (alongside numerous other online portals) has become the standard place to present your professional history and credentials — not to mention the fastest way to check somebody else’s — the humble resume has lost its once-hallowed position as the canonical version of your professional identity. Your LinkedIn profile should be the most-viewed and most current version of your professional life. But that has many people asking: Do I even need an old-fashioned resume anymore?

The answer is a highly qualified, but definite, “yes”.

The Value of LinkedIn

In the past, resumes have served several functions:

  1. Applying for a job: When you’re applying for an advertised position, you almost certainly need to submit a resume as part of the application process.
  2. Job hunting: Even if you’re not applying for a specific job, you may still use a resume as part of your search process, as a way of introducing yourself to people who may be interested in your skills.
  3. Professional credentialing: Resumes act as a way of establishing your professional credentials in many circumstances, like grant applications, requests for proposals, and conference or speaker submissions.
  4. Professional memory: Your resume is your own professional memory. Keeping it up-to-date is a way of ensuring you don’t forget the professional accomplishments or qualifications you may want to highlight during your next job hunt.

In the world of LinkedIn, blogs, and professional landing pages (a.k.a. “nameplate” sites), however, most of these functions can be better accomplished through your online presence. If you are job hunting, send people to your LinkedIn page instead of sending a PDF of your resume. (Unlike a resume, a solid LinkedIn profile includes not only your self-proclaimed qualifications, but testimonials from colleagues, clients, and employers.) If you need to establish your professional credentials, sending someone a link to your LinkedIn page will often be the most efficient way to convey your relevant experience. And for maintaining a professional memory, LinkedIn is unbeatable, precisely because it’s easy to update, and because you’re likely visiting the site on a regular basis.

To serve any of these purposes, however, your LinkedIn presence must be well-crafted and up-to-date. Even if you aren’t sending people to your LinkedIn page, it is likely to be one of the first results for anyone who Googles you to find out about your professional qualifications and experience. That’s why you need to ensure it’s accurate, compelling, and current; unless you’re updating your LinkedIn profile monthly or at least quarterly, you’re not putting your best foot forward. Setting up a memorable short URL for your LinkedIn profile, and including that URL in your email signature line, is a good way to remind yourself that this is something people are going to look at regularly.

Blogs, Websites, and Landing Pages

For all its merit, LinkedIn has limitations: you have to fit your career story into its structure, and you have only minimal control over formatting. That’s why many professionals use their own blog, personal website, or professional landing page to craft a more strategic online presence. For many professionals, the best bet is to maintain several presences, customized to different purposes, so that you can point people to the presence that is relevant to each specific scenario. For example, you might maintain:

  • A speaking profile: Professionals who do a lot of speaking or conference submissions would do well to create a specialized presence on a speaker directory like ExpertFile (formerly Speakerfile), a nameplate site like about.me, or even on Slideshare.
  • A services profile: If you offer services as a independent contractor, whether that’s as a web developer, a designer, a coach or an accountant, setting up a landing page for your contract work can be an efficient place to point potential clients.
  • An author profile: If you have a book, blog, or publication file, you will want to profile yourself for readers or future writing assignments with an author page on Amazon, a writing marketplace like MediaBistro, or a web presence for your book.

Why You Still Need a Resume

When you are actually applying for a job, however, neither LinkedIn nor a professional landing page can replace the resume. A strong resume is still the gateway to an interview, and with more and more employers relying on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) — software that screens resumes to determine which applications warrant human review — you need a resume that you can upload to those systems. Nor can it be the same resume for every application; since an ATS typically screens for specific qualifications and keywords, you need to customize your resume for each job (or type of job) that you apply for, and optimize it for ATS screenings.

If anything, though, LinkedIn will be helpful at least as a reminder for keeping your resume as updated as possible. The standard wisdom — treat your resume as a living document that you update anytime you have a new accomplishment to record — applies to LinkedIn as well, and the two should be kept updated in parallel.

Technology and social media have transformed our daily lives in innumerable ways, with networking and job searching being just two areas where we regularly experience this constant change. But there are still ways in which the old-fashioned, the tried-and-true, remain relevant, and such it is with the humble resume. Don’t count it out yet.

Good luck!

Do You Need a Résumé in the LinkedIn Era? | Alexandra Samuel via Harvard Business Review.

How to Know if You’re Under-Qualified or Unqualified for a Job

March 15th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

At some point in your life, you’ve probably passed up the opportunity to apply for a job because you didn’t think you were an exact match. You’ve also, at one time or another, probably thrown your hat in the ring for a role that you thought you’d be able to learn on the clock, even though the qualifications were way above where you were in your career.

These are somewhat extreme examples, but both illustrate the challenge of knowing when you’re just a little under-qualified and when you should say, “This is great, but probably for someone else” because you are not at all qualified.

Here are a few signs to look for when you’re unsure if you should apply, to help clear things up:

You’re Probably Not Qualified at all if…

You Only Have One Qualification

Most of us have made this mistake plenty of times early on in our careers. You identify the one requirement on a job listing that you have and say to yourself, “Hey, this is perfect for me. I’m smart and can learn the rest as I go.” However, as much as employers understand that candidates won’t know everything there is to know about a role, there is an expectation that they’ll know a majority of the things they need to do it well. If you’re on the other side of the equation and don’t have experience in most of the bullet points of a description, roll up your sleeves and get the experience you need before getting your hopes up too high.

The Company Wants Someone to Hit the Ground Running

The truth is that sometimes, companies just need someone who is (mostly) qualified to do a job and hit the ground running. It’s not illegal to source this way, and when the need is intense enough, it’s perfectly understandable for a company not to be as willing to take on someone more junior. When I was recruiting, we’d make it clear when we just could not support someone who didn’t have the experience we needed. If you notice a job posting that’s very clear about this, don’t spend too much time debating whether or not to apply.

The Gig is a Senior Level Role in a New Field

I’m all for pursuing a career change. I’ve done in a handful of times, and it took a couple of tries to get it just right. However, let’s say you want to switch from a finance role to a marketing role. That’s great, especially if you’ve done your research and understand what that’ll take. However, if you’re in a manager-level finance position and are looking exclusively at manager-level marketing jobs, you’ll quickly discover that being a more senior person in one industry doesn’t automatically qualify you for the same level in another.


You Might Only be a Little Under-Qualified if…

There Are Only One or Two Qualifications You Don’t Have

I’d argue that you’d be hard-pressed to find a recruiter who only interviews candidates who check off every single bullet point on a job listing. If you find your dream job and notice that you don’t have experience in an obscure technology (that you’re sure you can learn), this is not something that should keep you from applying. In fact, a candidate who has just one missing qualification makes many recruiters say, “Oh thank goodness. This person’s learning curve will be incredibly small.” So, go ahead and submit an application.

The Company Prefers Lifelong Learners

All of the things that you should consider before applying for a job that you’re slightly under-qualified for still apply, but many companies make it a point to explicitly state that they support people who seek out learning opportunities. If you find a job that you aren’t an exact match for at a company that encourages perpetual learning, don’t be afraid to throw your hat in the ring. And when you do, make it clear in your cover letter that you’re up to the task of learning as much as necessary—plus some—starting on day one.

The Only Thing Holding You Back is You

At the end of the day, it’s impossible not to look at a job that sounds amazing and think, “No matter how many qualifications I have, I’m nothing but an impostor.” And sure, there will be jobs at every point in your career that you’re just not qualified for yet. But in a lot of cases, the only thing holding you back is you—and mostly because you’re just convinced that you’re not qualified to do any job. If you’ve looked at a handful of gigs that sound incredible, only to pass out of a fear of being rejected, take the leap and throw your hat in the ring.

Of course, no matter how explicit the job description is, or how much you know about the company and your own capabilities, it’s not possible to know for sure, in advance, where you stand with a stretch role. Sometimes you find what looks like your dream job, and when you do, it’s hard not to send your resume and cover letter immediately. However, it can also be deflating to get your hopes up, only to get no response from the company.

So be bold, but also be smart when you’re applying for jobs when you don’t check all the boxes. And as difficult as some of these points might be to hear now, you’ll eventually get the idea when you should go ahead and submit an application.

Good luck!

How to Know if You’re Under-Qualified or Unqualified for a Job (There’s a Difference) | Richard Moy via The Muse.

What To Do When You Think You’re Underpaid

March 1st, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Sometimes your job search starts because of positives: a desire for a better role, looking for career advancement, or relocation to a new city. Other times, though, what initiates your search is something far less pleasant: retrenchment, a terrible boss, or, as in the case of our article today, being underpaid.

Finding out that you’re the lowest paid person on your team even though you do the same (or more!) work than your colleagues can be a pretty discouraging discovery. Before you decide to jump ship, of course, you should definitely bring the issue up to your manager. How you do it, however, is what makes the difference between getting a raise or getting fired. Thankfully, it’s not as difficult as it may seem.

If you’ve “discovered” that you’re underpaid, it’s likely either because someone else you work with let it slip, or because you did the research yourself at a site like Glassdoor and found that the average salary for your role at your company—or in the industry as a whole—is higher than what you’re making. Now it’s time to do a little homework.

Are You Really Underpaid, or Is It Perception?

The first thing you shouldn’t do with this information is assume that because you’re making less than your colleagues that you’re underpaid. You’ll need more evidence than that if you go to your manager, so before you get too angry or go off half-cocked, do a little digging. Glassdoor is a great resource for salaries, but it’s also a good resource for information on what different roles are like at various companies. Read the reviews there, and while some of them are undoubtedly people looking for a place to vent about their misgivings, the reviews can shed some light on what the day-to-day responsibilities are at a given company.

Head over to the company’s website and see if there are any open positions for the job you currently have. Usually a job description is included, and you’ll be able to see how similar another company’s “systems analyst,” for example, is to the same title where you work. It’s possible they’re very different, and have different required skills and responsibilities. Do the same digging with your current position—if you did find out something you weren’t intended to learn from a coworker, let them know you don’t want to talk money, but you do want to talk about your day-to-day. Bounce your daily responsibilities back and forth, and see if there are discrepancies that might account for the salary differential—your colleague may be working on special projects, or have skills you don’t. To be fair, the opposite may be true—you may discover they do less than you do, and get paid more. All of this is good evidence to help your case when you approach your manager.

2. Be Diplomatic

Armed with this information, hold a scheduled meeting with your manager to discuss your “career path,” in an informal—but private—discussion. Without tipping your hand that you learned from your coworkers that they’re making more money than you are and avoiding direct comparisons between you and your colleagues, instead present the evidence you’ve collected that proves that your boss should reconsider your salary.

Show them the Glassdoor salary numbers, and let them know that you’ve taken the time to investigate how your position differs from others in your industry. Let them know that you understand how your work differs from your colleagues and highlight some of the ways you’re indispensable to your coworkers, either because you have special skills that no one else has or because everyone comes to you for help or guidance. Point out some of the high-profile and critical projects and duties you have on your shoulders because you’re the best person for the job—or because no one else can do the work the way you can.

Finally, let your boss know that you’re open to understanding if there’s some reason why you’re paid less (a good feint, even if you’re really raging inside) by comparison even with all of this evidence on the table. Your manager may not be able to explain it right away, or they may not even have the power to set salaries in the first place—it’s possible there are other circumstances that have nothing to do with your work or your boss (for example, your other colleagues came from different departments, there’s something about their work history or education that tips the scales in their favor that’s confidential, etc,) but they should at least be willing to hear you out, especially since you’ve collected the evidence needed to make your case, and as long as you’re diplomatic about the way you present it. With luck, they may be able to make an adjustment to your salary to address the discrepancy. Even if it’s not as much as you hoped, it may be something.

3. Don’t Expect the World

A case study of how this strategy can pay off (for better or for worse):

“I’ve seen this method work—one of my best friends was an assistant to our old CIO, and when she discovered that she was underpaid by about 20% compared to other assistants that did less than she did, she wasn’t too happy about it. She collected personal stories, job descriptions, and even drew up a list of those ‘other duties as assigned’ she wound up getting that she never bargained for. When she put it all in front of him, he was taken aback, but he gave her a raise. The tradeoff was that her next scheduled raise would be off of her old base pay, but she got the money, and the recognition for the additional work she had been doing.”

This won’t work for everyone, and at the end of the day, if your manager isn’t receptive to this type of conversation, you may not want to bring it up in the first place—especially if you’re worried your company may use the conversation as a way to find out that you’ve been talking about your salary to other employees, which can be enough to get you fired in many places. You’ll have to make the call as to whether it’s worth bringing it up, or looking for one of those other positions with a higher average salary instead—but if you like your company and your job, or just don’t want to go to the hassle of leaving, a little negotiation may be worth a try before you do something drastic. It will be a difficult conversation, but it can be worthwhile.

4. Move On

After all of this, if your boss and your current company seem unwilling to offer a raise, then it might very well be time to move on to a new position. Of course, salary isn’t the only reason to work at a particular company but if you feel you’re being underpaid, it can be difficult to remain motivated at work. And unless your manager provides a solid reason behind it, you may be justified in assuming your value to the company is not appreciated.

But you’re already ahead of the game in regards to your job search because you’ve already researched salary information for your industry and roles at other companies. You’ve also done a thorough investigation of your own responsibilities and accomplishments so you can effectively update your resume to better reflect your background. Time to reach out to your network (which you’ve hopefully been cultivating) to see where the grass is greener.

Negotiating a raise can be nerve-wracking. Sometimes, it feels like your employer has all the power and fear of losing what you have can make you reticent to demand more. And if you already lack confidence, it can feel very much like Oliver Twist asking, “please sir, may I have some more?”

So it’s important to keep in mind those valuable contributions you’ve made – the objectives you clinched, those impossible deadlines you met, that money you saved the company – and remember your value. Even if your employer doesn’t appreciate those things, you should.

Good luck!

What To Do When You Think You’re Underpaid | Alan Henry via Lifehacker.

5 Things That Keep PhDs From Getting Jobs

February 15th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

So we’re venturing out into a bit of an esoteric topic this week, covering a rare but difficult job seeker, trapped halfway between academia and the real world: the PhD graduate looking to leverage their background into a career in business.

Starting a new career can be a confusing process for any professional, especially if you’re transferring into a new industry. The path is especially difficult for PhDs trying to transition into a career in business. This is because the worlds of academia and business are very different. It’s also because most Universities offer little or no career training for graduate students. As a result, newly minted PhDs who opt out of academia are tossed into the business world with no clue how to navigate it. They’re given a few networking tips and told to send out resumes over and over again. But nothing happens. In fact, the number of PhDs who will have a business job at or soon after graduation is below 40%. And the number of Life Sciences PhDs who will have a business job at graduation is below 20%. The truth is most PhDs will never get a job in business even though they’re doing all the right things. The problem is they’re doing the wrong things too. The key to starting a great career in business learning what not to do. Here are 5 things to avoid:

1. Networking with your competitors only.

Most PhDs network exclusively with other PhDs. That’s like dressing up as a needle and jumping into the middle of a haystack. You’re never going to be noticed at these events. You’ll never stand out. Everyone is just like you. Not only that, the people at these events want the exact same jobs as you. You’re not going to hear about any job opportunities because the other PhDs are going to keep those job opportunities to themselves. Now, consider going to a networking event outside of your direct field of interest. Let’s say you go to a meet-up for architects, lawyers, business executives, painters, real estate agents, etc. First, the people you meet are going to be impressed that you have a PhD. “Wow, a PhD, I haven’t met another doctor here before.” When’s the last time you heard that? You’ll never hear it in a crowd full of PhDs.

Second, because you’re different, you’ll be memorable. If someone at that event hears of a PhD-specific opportunity or knows of one already, they’re going to tell you. They have no reason not to tell you because their interests are different than your own. When networking, go to events where you’ll stand out and where you won’t be seen as a threat. As a side note, this is also one of the biggest reasons you should learn how to network in graduate school. When you’re student, no one sees you as a threat. But as soon as you enter the job market, you get a target put on your forehead. Now, no one wants to share information with you. Now, information comes at a price.

2. Inflating your title and your attitude.

A lot of PhDs think playing up certain things on their resume or CV will help them connect with people at networking events and get a job. But it won’t. It just turns people off. Besides, if you have a PhD, it’s not a lack of hard skills or credibility that will keep you from getting a job in business. It’s a lack of communication skills and a limited network that will keep you from getting a job. Instead of inflating your title or acting defensive about what you’ve accomplished, be real. Talk about the real people and companies you’ve worked with or the real learning experiences you’ve had. Then talk about what you really want and what you’re willing to do to get it.

3. Waiting for other people to contact you.

No one is going to chase you down to get a job. This might happen later on in your career but not when you’re in graduate school or doing a postdoc. The ball is always in your court. It’s up to you and you alone to drive the hiring process forward. No one will do it for you. Especially if you’re trying to transition from academia to business. The fact that you’re changing industries adds a new, extra-heavy layer of inertia to the process. This means you’ll have to follow up with people you meet at networking events, follow up with hiring managers before interviews, follow up with them afterwards, follow up, follow up, follow up. Following up is the only activity that people in business respect. And it’s the only activity that will remove the many barriers standing between you and the job you want.

4. Be an interviewee and not an interviewer.

Most PhDs prepare for interviews like they’re preparing for a test. They study up on potential questions they might get asked or they practice a short chalk talk, obsessing over formal inquiries they think they’ll get from the audience. The problem is that employers of top companies don’t care how you handle their questions as much as they care about how you handle yourself. No one is going to sit across from you with a big red buzzer waiting for you to give a wrong answer to some technical question. Employers don’t want to know if you can recite information, they want to know if you can you find problems, find solutions, and communicate them both effectively.

Getting an interview is an invitation to interview a company, not an invitation for you to be interviewed. The best way to show you can find the problems and solutions is to turn the tables on the interviewer. Don’t let them interview you. Interview them. Investigate them. Ask them about their company and the position you’re up for like you’re digging for gold. Seek out everything there is to know and really determine whether or not this job is right for you—not the other way around.

5. Undervaluing yourself.

If you don’t see yourself as valuable, why should anyone else see you as valuable? A lot of graduate students and postdocs go into interviews ready to accept anything that’s offered to them. This is a mistake. Employers can always tell if you’re desperate. They’re going to assume you’re desperate by default because you’ve been working for almost nothing in academia for years. It’s up to you to prove to them, and yourself, that you’re not desperate. You have to know your own value. Remember, you’re highly trained. You’re in the top 2% of the world in terms of education and academic training. The key is being confident in yourself and your worth without acting defensive or like you’re entitled to anything. This can be hard. Especially if you’ve been mistreated by your academic advisor or beat down by the academic system in anyway.

Put some time into understanding you’re worth and showing it in the right way. Start thinking and acting differently than most of the other PhDs who are trying to get a job in business. Go to networking events outside your field, follow up with people consistently, prepare for interviews as the interviewer—not the interviewee—and, most importantly, be yourself.

Good luck!

If You’re A PhD And Do This, You’ll Never Get A Job | Isaiah Hankel, Ph.D. via Cheeky Scientist.

5 Tips for Getting a Job After You’ve Been Fired

February 1st, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

A lot of the advice on this site is committed to cultivating proactive job seeking skills, so that you are in as much control of your career as possible. It’s always better to plan ahead, having your resume ready and interview skills finely tuned, so when great jobs come along you’re ready. That way, you can positively navigate your career path rather than suffer at the mercy of fortune.

Sometimes, unfortunately, even with the best laid plans, circumstances end up outside of your control. Getting fired can feel like the end of the world, and a complete derailment of everything you’ve worked towards, but it doesn’t have to mean you’ll never work again. Take a deep breath, remind yourself it was just a job, and use these five tips to help you land your next gig.

1. Try to get a reference.

Depending on why you were fired and who gave you the axe, you may want to see if you can still get a reference from your former employer. Being gracious and taking full responsibility for the reason of your termination, whether or not you agree with the reason, will go a long way.

To take it a step further, follow up with a thank-you note post-termination thanking the employer for the time you were employed, restating that you understand their decision and that business is business and you hope you two can keep in touch going forward. Whenever possible, it’s important to keep things businesslike and polite. Your employer will be less inclined to speak negatively if you leave on a positive note.

2. Look for outside references.

It’s more likely that you won’t be able to get a reference from the employer who fired you, so it’s important to develop your network. You need other people who know your abilities and can confidently recommend you.

Make use of your new-found free time in ways that will make you more appealing to employers and help you network with new people. For example, join a professional development group, volunteer in the community, and intern at a company in your chosen career field. Having current references who can talk about your skills will help you as you start your search for a new job.

3. Keep your head in the game.

You may want to take a break and nurse your wounds, but it’s important to keep busy and not let the gap in your resume grow.

Immediately enroll in a course, preferably an academic or technical course, to help eliminate complete gaps in employment. Also, develop a list of professionals who you can trust, with a solid knowledge of your work ethic, who can connect you to opportunities without judging the fact that you’ve been fired.

4. Choose your words carefully.

As you search for a new job, be careful about how you talk about having been fired. Comments such as ‘differences in opinion,’ ‘differences in working philosophies’ or ‘differences in creative direction’ or ‘downsizing’ or ‘were made redundant’ are all explanatory when you have been terminated from a previous job. After all, you were fired for some reason.

Whatever you do, though, don’t attack your supervisor. If you had differences with your supervisor, that’s okay. If you couldn’t deal with them, that may have been okay, too, depending on the circumstances. But personal attacks? They’re a no-no.

5. Reassess and reinvent.

Getting fired can shake your very identity, so it’s important to reassess yourself and your goals. Take the time to evaluate where your success has been in the past, and reinvent your job search to look for a whole new change of focus. Don’t be afraid of looking at education or certification in the new path.

You may have to ask yourself some hard questions about your expectations and what you’re looking for, as well. Really take the time to look within yourself and determine why the job didn’t work. This will provide an opportunity during your next interview for you to discuss why the job was not a fit for you or the company, and how you feel your strengths can be better served in the new area. Essentially, look to take the negative of a termination and use it as a positive for your next position.

So being fired isn’t the end of the world… it might even be an opportunity in disguise. But however you choose to look at things, don’t panic and make sure you effectively position yourself for your next job.

Good luck!

5 Tips for Getting a Job After You’ve Been Fired | Catherine Conlan via Monster

Resume Guide for 2017

January 18th, 2017 by Tyrone Norwood CPRW

Another year has arrived, and with it comes the obligatory style guides and fashionable advice for your resume. Though the overall trends usually stay the same, and most advice remains constant, there are always a few new tweaks when the calendar changes, as the warped and twisted realm of HR and human capital belches out new gimmicks that go viral and then are quickly discarded (to be picked up and recycled again in a later generation).

But though it might be easier to ignore the hype guides and the ceaseless barrage of “helpful” advice, you really don’t have the luxury. With each recruiter or hiring manager giving your resume maybe six to ten seconds these days at a first glance, even a subtle mistake can be enough to land your resume in the trash. With so little time to make a first impression, it certainly doesn’t pay to stick with an outdated and ineffective resume.

So here are a few tips you need to remember before sending out your resume in 2017:

The robots are dead (or dying)

One of the main tips that has become canon in recent years is the need to include keywords and buzzwords. This was to get past the infamous ATS (or applicant tracking software), which scan the many resumes that reach the inbox of the HR manager and let only ‘specific’ ones pass through. So, the probability of a worthy candidate’s resume being rejected because of the lack of keywords was high. However, most companies are now moving away from such systems as they have identified its numerous shortcomings. So be honest and precise about your skills in your resume. A skills section is still helpful for readability, of course, but don’t be as worried about the robots ditching your resume because you didn’t pad it enough.

Make it visually appealing

Given that the scare of robots does not apply anymore, it’s safe to make your resume as visual as possible. Infographic and multimedia resumes seem to be the new rage now, with candidates in creative fields like design, film, creative writing, and digital marketing embracing it. They showcase your creative skills, personality and experience all in one go. While there are many recruiters who feel that such resumes should not be the primary one you use to reach out to employers, others encourage using it if it fits the job role you are applying for. It is logically more likely for a quirky startup to be interested in a creative resume. If you are from a field that does not encourage extreme creativity, just add some color to your resume to liven it up.

Ditch the objective

It’s 2017, and no one has the time to care what you have regurgitated in the form of ‘career objectives’. Recruiters have realized the pointlessness of these objectives after hearing every candidate state that they want to “use their skills to contribute meaningfully to personal growth as well as that of the organization”. Instead, what they want to see upfront in your resume is a summary of your experience and skills. Keep it short and precise. Writing it in bullet points is even better. It should convey the number of years of experience you have, your job history and your big career achievements. This is all the information that an employer needs to have before he or she decides whether to read your resume further or not. So, include all the relevant information, but remember that this is just a summary of your profile.

Easily accessible contact information

We would suggest that you start off your resume providing relevant contact information. Don’t make hiring managers hunt your resume for your contact in case they need to call you for an interview. On an online resume, make sure that you hyperlink your email id and, it goes without saying, include all social media profiles that are relevant to the application. LinkedIn is the first on this list, followed by Twitter and the rest. However, resist the temptation of including all your profiles, because while creative designers may need to include their Instagram and Behance profiles, accountants and engineers may not. As we warned you earlier about dying ATS, what is replacing them are such social media profiles. So keep these profiles up-to-date and be active on them. And please, for the love of God, don’t be that person who tries to be cute by not including an email address at all… do you really want to make it harder for potential employers to reach you?!

Titles and fonts

Your resume may not get read word to word by the employer so make sure you have highlighted what you don’t want them to miss out on in case they choose only to scan or skim through it. Keep such position titles or phrases in bold, so that even someone who glances at your resume gets a full picture without having to read what is written under every point. Ditch traditional fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and Courier for more modern and chic fonts like Garamond, Cambria and Calibri. The standard font size can vary from 10 to 12 point for the body, with larger sizes acceptable for headings or subheadings. Always remember that different people may have different font settings on their computers, so it’s best to send a resume that has uncommon fonts in PDF format so that the appearance is not tampered with.

So what does it all mean? That infographics and social media resumes are the wave of the future (remember the video resume)? Probably not but it pays to keep apprised of what everyone else is doing. In the long run, though, it’s always best to have an easy to read, targeted, honest, and consistent resume ready at hand for when that dream job finally does come along.

Good luck!

How Your Resume Should Look in 2017 | Monty Majeed via Your Story