Monthly Archives: November 2014

Changing Jobs: How to Explain Your Last Job In An Interview

Posted: November 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Explain Qutting in An Interview

Relationships can be awkward, and this includes those with employers. Just as in our personal lives, we may move from one employment situation to another under the full range of good or bad circumstances. Therefore, it’s always helpful to be prepared to respond appropriately to that important job interview question: “Why did you quit your last job?” Here are three tips to help you explain.

#1: Be Honest

The worst thing you can do in response to a question about why you left your last position is lie. Employers have quite a bit of freedom and ability to run background checks and to seek out information about past jobs. The reason you gave the past employer for quitting should be the same one you share during your interview.

However, you can express that reason in a way that is more conducive to getting hired. For example, let’s say you quit a job because the organization changed, and you didn’t like working there anymore. It would be fine to share with the interviewer that “The company changed, and I no longer felt like it offered me the same opportunities as when I started. Therefore, I quit to seek out new opportunities such as this job.” If you gave proper notice, mention that as well to reassure the hiring manager that you didn’t just abandon the job.

It’s not unusual for professionals and employers to part ways, so state this relationship confidently and honestly.

#2: Be Human

When answering a question about why you quit a former job, it’s also fine to be human. Potential employers can’t ask personal questions, but you can concisely offer an honest response: “I quit to move closer to my elderly parents so I could help them more.” or “My children were younger, and I needed to focus on being a good parent.”

The key is to make your response one or two direct statements. Then clarify that the issue has been resolved and that it made you better prepared for a return to the workplace. For example, did being a caregiver for your parents inspire you to the profession you’re now interviewing for? Did raising children make you better at time management or problem solving?

Directly sharing a personal reason for quitting that you connect to your professional life will not only give you the opportunity to market a skill you developed after quitting, but it will also show that you are a person worthy of becoming a part of the team.

#3: Be Positive

Both tips above lead to the best advice of all: Be positive. Even if the past employer was horrible, do not criticize or make negative statements about the organization. Present yourself as a busy, upwardly mobile professional who was smart enough to understand things weren’t working out well for either of you with the past employer, so you quit. You have no hard feelings. It was just time to take the next step in your professional growth. Give an example or two of what you learned during that stage of your career growth, or why you appreciate the time you worked for the previous employer.

Keep in mind that a hiring manager will want to feel comfortable with whomever is offered the position. By being sincere and positive, you will present yourself not only as qualified for the job, but also as a likeable person anyone would be happy to have as a co-worker.

Main Difference between Working for a Startup and Working for a Large Corporation

Posted: November 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Working for Large Company Vs. StartupOne of the great aspects of working is all the exciting options and opportunities that exist in today’s job market. A great example is the difference between working for a startup company versus a large corporation.

Startups

As new companies with big dreams, startups can easily be the exciting choice for those seeking a dynamic career option. Being in on the ground floor of a business can give you more flexibility with the work you do, allowing you to help define your role and discover your talents. Typically, startups have a better sense of community. There’s a greater atmosphere of “we’re all in this together,” so employees at a startup tend to be close friends and inspirational team players.

The potential for great benefit or failure is also an ever-present risk. For example, if a startup takes off, you may leap ahead on your career path to being company CEO and raking in a huge salary. The spotlight will be on you, which is great if you and the startup are successful. On the other hand, if the startup does not do well, your income may take a huge hit, and you may be marked with the failure. Future employers may be hesitant to offer you jobs, and you may need to work your way up a much steeper career path.

Corporations

A large corporation also has advantages. You would be joining a well-established organization that has positive name recognition and a solid reputation. It may take a bit longer, but this path of less resistance should lead you to a successful career and gradually increasing salary with benefits from your first day on the job.

The more difficult adjustment will most likely be fitting in with the existing corporate culture. Organizations, like people, have personalities. Some of these characteristics will be favorable to you, but others may make you a bit uncomfortable. For instance, maybe you enjoy the opportunities provided by the dynamic culture of change at the large corporation; however, the top down, micromanagement of your role may make you want to rebel.

Entrepreneur or Intrapreneur?

Both of these contexts can be excellent experiences for an up and coming professional. There is also no reason why you can’t get some experience in both, maybe enjoying the entrepreneurial experience of working for a startup as a college intern or part-time outside of your regular position while enjoying the stability a large corporation may provide. Often within a large corporation you can carefully distinguish yourself with an intrapreneurial approach to your role. Most organizations appreciate employees who can not only perform their daily job duties, but who can also innovate and promote new ideas.

Understanding the distinction between working for a startup and working for a large corporation can help you make a wise decision about which approach is right for you. Whatever path you choose, enjoy the opportunities presented to you.

Diversity in The Workplace: Reasons Women Are Having Trouble Landing Executive Roles

Posted: November 21, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Women in Executive Roles - Diversity in the Workplace“You’ve come along way baby”, or at least that’s what the classic Virginia Slims cigarette advertisements used to read. Over the last two decades, things have been getting better for many professional women who now make up around 47 percent of the adult workforce in the USA.  (Source: US Census) Women also account for 51 percent of management and professional level jobs, according to workforce statistics.

Men Still Out Earn Women in Many Careers

But women are still not earning as much as their male counterparts, nor are they offered the same upward mobility that enables them to go into executive careers. Many women are earning $.78 for every dollar that men earn in similar roles, based on data from the US Census Bureau. This, despite being the primary breadwinners much of the time, makes it critical that more women get into executive level careers sooner in life.

Lacking Diversity Hurts Businesses

Large companies such as General Motors and Yahoo have made the bold move to include more diversity in their hiring practices, by hiring women to fill their CEO positions. However, a vast number of Fortune 500 companies do not consider women for the positions where critical decision-making takes place. Research figures show that women only account for 17 percent of board members, 15 percent of executive C-Suite roles, and a paltry 5 percent of CEOs. It seems as if the “boys club” philosophy still prevails in terms of executive level jobs.​

There are some reasons why women are having trouble securing executive level jobs, and how this lack of diversity hurts the bottom line for businesses.

First, there is an overall attitude from male leaders that women cannot handle the rigors of executive level positions. Men often see women as mothers, wives, and support people before they see them as leaders. This hurts business because it removes opportunities for women and men to advance into rewarding careers that are worthy of their unique talents.

Second, a lot of women fear going into executive level positions (when they become available) because they will be viewed as less feminine by their female colleagues, friends and family. Women leaders are growing in popularity, but this personal attack on their values still causes many to steer clear of leadership jobs.

Research from consulting firms like Deloitte and McKinsey have shown how a more diverse team at the executive level can lead to long-term business success. Companies that focus on diversity at all levels actually help create more innovation and collaboration amongst teams at all levels. Without the encouragement, many women simply accept lower positions in the company and they are not satisfied with their careers.

Landing Executive Jobs for Women

Fortunately, women can go after the executive level jobs that they desire, to become part of the 5 percent and grow this trend. Executive level jobs for women can be found on My Job Helper and by doing a great deal of networking across industries. Women can rise to positions of influence and change the face of the business world, one job at a time.

What to Include in The Perfect Email Subject Line For Job Hunting

Posted: November 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Email Subject Line for Job SearchSending out resume after resume to job prospects is made easier by the use of email. Yet, emails can easily be ignored or sent directly to the spam folder if there is a poorly written subject line. For this reason, your job is to craft a nearly perfect email subject before sending your resume into email oblivion.

Is there such a thing as the “perfect” email subject line when job hunting?

It’s been estimated that there are some 144.8 billion business emails sent out daily around the world. That figure is compounded by the fact that human resource managers and recruiters get a huge volume of emails, as many as 100 a day for single job posting. You need to make your email subject line count so that your email doesn’t end up getting deleted before the recipient has had a chance to read through your qualifications.

Tips to Write an Outstanding Job Seeker Email Subject Line

There is a foolproof way to draft an email subject line as a job seeker that will produce positive results. Here are some steps you can take to write an eye-catching email subject line that will leave the hiring manager wanting to know more about you.

Get to the point, fast.

When you are getting down to the business of writing an email to express interest in a particular job or company, start out by knowing what your objective is. Make this known in both your email note and the subject line. HR people appreciate it when a candidate makes their point known immediately. An example could be “Technical Sales Professional Ready to Serve Your Clients”, which is direct but not pushy. Besides, you do not want to exceed 15 words in your email subject line.

Include the job title.

With the influx of emails coming in for every job advertisement, HR and recruitment folks often organize messages by each job title. Use this in your email subject line to help them auto-sort you into the right inbox folder. Note: It’s always a good practice to read through the job advertisement carefully for any special instructions as to what should be included in the email subject line (job ID, title, skills, etc.).

Add local search words.

If the company is only considering local candidates, you will grab their attention sooner if you include a local search word in your email subject line. This tells them you are established and ready to go to work for them long term – not some drifter. For example, if you are looking for a job in South Carolina, you could use “Low Country Native Seeking Long Term Employment as Sales Manager”.

Leave the sales pitch out.

If there’s one thing that will annoy a hiring manager faster than a fly on a horse’s back, it’s the use of sales pitches in an email subject line. In fact, this will increase the odds your email will end up on the spam list, which eliminates you from every future application. Just don’t do it.

Don’t brag or tell stories.

The email subject line is also the wrong space to elaborate on your greatness. It may seem like great fun to do this, but it will get your email ignored. Avoid saying things like “Best Person for the Job” or “If You Don’t Hire Me You Will Regret It”, that hiring managers have heard many times before.

Be professional, but clever.

As you write your job seeker email subject line, consider how you would like to read an email and what would prompt you to open one from a complete stranger? Use a professional stance at all times, but you can inject a little bit of cleverness too. HR people do like a good sense of humor.

Use capital letters for each word.

Marketing studies have shown that when email subject lines start each word with a capital letter, they tend to get opened more. Think of your subject line as an actual subject to a greater piece of content that tells your story. This is proper writing format for any email subject line, even for a job seeker.

In closing, as you write your email subject line as a job seeker, keep the above tips in mind. You can even test a few out on friends and family to see what they open, before sending off a real one to a hiring company.

 

What Should You Do If You Can’t Find Any Job Openings In Your Area?

Posted: November 14, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Unable to find job openingsAs a job seeker, you may not happen to live in a bustling urban landscape where job opportunities yell from every street corner. The area where you reside may not produce frequent job openings in your area of interest or experience. What can you do to launch a successful career without having to relocate halfway across the country?

There are several steps you can take now:

#1 – Look for hidden local jobs in the right places

If you are not finding many local jobs posted in the newspaper or on some of the major career search boards, it’s because you wont find hidden job leads there. Very often, a vast number of job openings are never advertised on big brand career portals or newspapers. However, they are to be found a-plenty on local job search engines like My Job Helper that’s designed for companies looking to hire now from the local community.

#2 – Get active with local business networks

Along with the great local job postings you will find on My Job Helper, other positive sources for finding jobs in your area include business networking groups and industry associations. You can mingle with other job seekers as well as business owners and recruiters who are looking for great people. This is time consuming, so plan ahead by bringing copies of your resume to hand out.

#3 – Volunteer while you search local careers

While you are trying to find a local job opening, you don’t want to sit around and let your skills get rusty. Use your talents to volunteer for local civic groups, religious organizations, and charities. You can find these opportunities very rewarding, you can add this experience to your resume, and it can put you in the right place at the right time to be spotted by a recruiter in your area.

#4 – Boost your social profiles with local terms

You may be having it difficult finding a local job because your social profile is not aligned well with online searches. Take a moment to clean up your social network profiles with a better headshot photo, and include local search terms in your description. For example, instead of saying you are looking for a job in aerospace; mention that you are seeking aerospace careers in [insert state name] for better results.

#5 – Take a local part time job (or two)

While you are not finding a full time job in your local area, chances are there are many part time local jobs available immediately. Employers often hire part time workers to fill gaps in their skillsets and cover busy seasons, and then they offer more permanent and full time jobs once you have proven yourself. Luckily, you can find local part time jobs on My Job Helper to get started.

#6 – Leverage your skills to start a business

Looking for a local job does take a great deal of effort, but in the meantime you can use your skills and experience to earn money with a home business. Consider all the things you can do or make that others may be willing to pay for. Then brand yourself, create a selling platform, and get out there to let others know you have a business they need.

By using the above tips, you can stay productive and earn some cash while you search for a local job in your field. Use My Job Helper to get your local job search underway.

The Fastest Growing Jobs in the US in 2014

Posted: November 11, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Although the American economy and labor market suffered dramatically during the recession, both have been on the incline over the past few years. Millions of new jobs have become available, creating opportunities for individuals across numerous fields. This article and the corresponding infographic outline the fastest growing jobs in the US in 2014.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists are expected to have the highest occupational growth rate in the US from 2012-2022, with a predicted employment increase of 53.4%. However, the actual amount of jobs is only predicted to increase by about 900, leaving the overall size of this field fairly small. This profession usually requires a master’s degree or higher and will earn an individual an average annual salary of around $83,000.

Personal Care and Home Health Aides

Home health service workers are also predicted to experience a dramatic increase in jobs in the decade leading up to 2022. Personal care aides are expected to see a 48.8% increase in employment. While this increase is predicted to create over 580,000 jobs, the average annual salary remains at only around $19,000. It is also anticipated that the amount of jobs for home health aides will increase by roughly 48.5% from 2012-2022. Home health aides tend to make about $20,000 per year, a slightly higher annual salary than personal cares aides. However, both professions require minimal education (less than high school).

Mechanical Insulation Workers

It is predicted that jobs in mechanical insulation will increase by 46.7% from 2012 to 2022, creating roughly 13,500 opportunities for workers in this field. This occupation generally requires at least a high school diploma, if not further educational degrees. A mechanical insulation job will provide a worker with a salary of nearly $40,000 per year, on average.

Interpreters and Translators

Finally, job opportunities for interpreters and translators are expected to grow approximately 46.1% by 2022, making it the 5th fastest growing job. By 2022, it is anticipated that approximately 93,000 workers will be employed as interpreters and translators, an increase of 30,000 jobs from 2012. This job requires an educational background of at least a bachelor’s degree and will earn workers an average yearly income of $45,000.

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10 Jobs That May be Replaced by Technology in the Next Few Years

Posted: November 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Future Jobs Replaced by Technology

Jobs may be replaced by technology in coming years

The year is 2114 and a robot is serving breakfast to customers in a busy downtown restaurant. Nearby, a robotic taxi car is picking up passengers for their daily commute to the office, no driver needed. A software enabled security camera checks each employee into the attendance system via a quick eye scan as they walk to their cubicles. A meeting space helps the work team to share a virtual reality presentation with a client on the other side of the world.

When one thinks about the future of work, it’s not hard to imagine how new technology and innovation will transform things. Someday, the way people work, share information and ideas will be vastly different than the way they are now. Yet, one thing to consider is how much of this technology will replace the jobs that humans complete now.

Let’s take a step into the near future and uncover 10 jobs that could very well be replaced by technology in just a few years.

#1 – Receptionists and Operators

You know that friendly voice that politely answers the phone when you call your doctor’s office, the local bank, and your favorite bookstore? Well, you can say “goodbye” to Ernestine, the telephone operator with the nasally voice from Saturday Night Live comedy fame. These friendly folks are quickly being replaced by automated telephone systems that respond to human voice prompts.

#2 – Librarians

“What did books look like?, will be a conversation you will have with your grandkids someday. Print books, especially hard backs, are quickly being replaced with electronic versions. Soon libraries will be replaced by e-readers that will eliminate the need for librarians and their looks over their glasses as they say “shhh” to everyone.

#3 – Travel Agents

As websites like Orbitz and Expedia emerged on the scene, more consumers starting finding this more useful for making travel plans. According to a Forbes article, over the last 12 years, travel agent jobs have declined by 34 percent, losing around 38,000 jobs. Oh well, travel agents will have to start selling timeshares now.

#4 – Newspaper Delivery Person

Back in the 1950s, starting the day without coffee and the freshly printed newspaper in hand was unthinkable. Now, the printed newspaper is going the way of the dinosaur, along with newspaper delivery people.

#5 – Cashiers

As soon as the Internet was invented, retailers were looking at ways to market their products to the worldwide consumer market. According to figures from eMarketer, the total retail sales in the USA topped $4.53 trillion as of 2013, with ecommerce increasing by $40 million from the previous year. Consumers are increasingly shopping for their needs via mobile devices online, leaving the need for human cashiers in brick and mortar stores dwindling.

#6 – Manufacturing Worker

A Huffington Post article advised that the past three decades have signaled the replacement of manufacturing workers with various automated systems. Robots controlled by computers now handle tasks that people used to do, reducing both costs and risks. This means less jobs for manufacturing professionals across multiple industries. In the future, nearly everything you buy will be made by a robot somewhere in the world

#7 – Data Entry Professional

For years, people have had to manually enter large amounts of information into computer databases, with the hopes that something useful would spit out on the other side. However, data scanning and integration systems now automate this process, with very little human connection. Data entry pros may want to use their skills as analysts and developers if they want to stay employed.

#8 – Transcriptionist

The same goes for general, legal and medical transcriptionists who transform recording information into text formats. Computer aided dictation software is more accurate than ever before, leaving less work for these skilled folks.

#9 – Filing Clerks

Along with the digitization of records, such as those in the health care and government industries, the need for paper filling systems is becoming obsolete. File Clerks can find other jobs in administrative functions once the old metal filing cabinet makes its last appearance.

#10 – Classroom Teachers

Education and learning is changing in leaps and bounds. Traditional classroom educators are finding it tougher to secure contracts with schools and colleges, due to the movement towards distance eLearning methods. Teachers can parlay their experience into careers in Instructional Design and Online Tutoring.

What Companies Offer Part-Time Jobs with Perks?

Posted: November 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm
Jobs With Company Perks Comic

Jobs With Company Perks Comic

Looking for a job that offers above board compensation and career growth opportunity, but without all the long work hours? A part time job that offers perks may be the ticket to your success!

Part Time Employees a Significant Part of the Workforce

According to 2014 figures from the US Department of Labor, nearly 7.1 million people are employed in part time jobs. The reasons to work part time vary from desiring a flexible work schedule to being underemployed while looking for a full time gig. Many use part time jobs for secondary incomes or to pay for financial goals. In any case, employers want to attract the best people to come work for them — it’s what makes for a winning business. But, oftentimes benefits, like health insurance offered to full time workers, are not the same for part timers.

5 Companies Offering Perks and Benefits to Part Time Employees

The good news is that there are a growing number of companies who are focusing on engaging their employees by offering perks to their part timers too. Here’s a rundown of some of the companies that give their part time employees something to look forward to.

Starbucks, the most well known brand in the coffee retail market, gives it’s employees unlimited free beverages while they are on the clock. Part time Starbucks employees also enjoy generous 30 percent discounts on food, drinks, and all merchandise sold by this massive chain of coffee shops.

YMCA, the center for recreation in many communities, gives all employees free memberships to their family-friendly fitness centers. In fact, some employees are eligible for free or low cost on-site child care too. Part time jobs at YMCA are focused on helping promote health and wellness.

Staples, a large chain of office supplies and services, has a large number of part time employees. Therefore, after 90 days on the job, Staples offers part time perks such as access to affordable medical, dental, life, vision, and disability insurance for employees and their dependents. Additionally, Staples part time employees have incentives such as discounts on wireless products and services, as well as theater tickets and sporting events.

Trader Joe’s has some of the happiest employees on the planet, including part timers. Once they work at least 20 hours a week for three months, part time employees at Trader Joe’s gain access to health insurance benefits, including coverage for dependents. Trader Joe’s also offers a 10 percent discount to all crew members, so they can take advantage of the delicious foods, and the outstanding merchandise this grocery and whole foods store has to offer.

Nike, one of the world’s most recognizable brands in athletic shoes and clothing, gives their part time employees some incredible perks. Part timers who work 20 to 30 hours each week can qualify for health coverage once they have worked a year. Nike also gives part time perks such as discounts at Nike stores, auto insurance, home insurance, matching charitable donations, and even generous scholarships for the children of employees.

While this is not an exhaustive list, there will be more companies that will offer perks to part time employees as more move to hiring only part timers to reduce having the buy health insurance under Obamacare. In the meantime, look for great part time jobs with perks on My Job Helper.

How to Explain a Low GPA during a Job Interview

Posted: November 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm

shutterstock_126648725You finally landed a job interview with a great organization for a position you really want. However, you’re worried that at some point you’ll be asked the dreaded question: “Can you explain this low Grade Point Average (GPA) on your transcript?”

Focus on the Facts

If you’re worried about being asked this question, that’s a good thing. You always want to think ahead about what an interviewer may ask. Then prepare yourself with a concise, professional response. So the first tip is to check your facts.

Most transcripts provide a cumulative GPA, or the average of all your classes combined. Transcripts often contain a subject specific GPA as well. For most people, the subject specific GPA is higher because it represents the field you’re interested in and probably pursing with the job interview. If this describes you, clarify in the interview that the subject specific GPA is higher. Calculate your subject specific GPA if your transcript doesn’t show it.

Having a clear head about exactly what type of low GPA may be discussed will help you clarify your response.

Share a Positive Outlook

One skill employers will be impressed with is being able to redirect a problem into a more favorable direction. Use the low GPA to share a positive outlook you have toward life, learning, and work.

For example, you might explain that you thought you wanted to be an accountant before you realized it was not the career choice for you. Therefore, the low GPA represented the need to choose a different career, the one you’re interviewing for now.

Or you might explain that learning to balance adult responsibilities or the pressures of school, family, and work took a semester or two. Acknowledge the low GPA, but clarify you learned a lot about how to better balance your life and priorities so that you can focus on getting the job done.

Sharing the positive outlook you have in relation to a negative outcome will demonstrate to the potential employer how you will handle disappointments related to your job, such as a project that doesn’t have the expected outcome. You’ll be able to proceed in a positive direction for their organization.

Never Let Them See You Sweat

Employers only interview candidates they have handpicked from a much larger pool of applicants. They are interested in you, but they also want to see how you’ll handle difficult situations. Be confident and professional. Make no excuses. No sweating or stammering either.

It may be best for you simply to acknowledge you messed up. Maybe you were young and enjoyed the social scene in college or the freedom of being away from home a bit too much. Maybe you thought the ten years of success you’ve had in sales would allow you to sail right through a marketing class.

The low GPA was a reality check for you, and you now know what you would do differently to have a better outcome. Maybe you would say no to those partying roommates or swallow your pride and ask for help. This sort of approach shows that you’re human, and having a personality may actually help you during the interview.

The above approaches may be combined, too. Whatever you do, stay focused, stay positive, and stay cool. You learned from your mistakes, and you will be a better employee because of the experience.