Want to climb the career ladder?

Take initiative.

Today’s career requirements are highly developed and require much more than someone who won’t take risks. In today’s competitive career landscape, employers are looking for individuals who can bring fresh ideas to the table and take initiative, start new projects, pitch new solutions and create new opportunities for the business.

Be your own evaluator.

One of the best ways to achieve career success is to keep assessing your performance. Don’t wait for your annual appraisal – do it yourself. An ideal way to do this would be to identify quantifiable goals and set a timeline for achieving them. Start with setting short-term goals when you’re new to a job. Create a detailed plan to achieve these goals. Break the tasks down into weekly or even daily tasks and fill out a small form at the end of the week to assess where you’re headed and whether you need to change your strategy. You can even show your own performance report to your managers at some point to show how you’ve progressed. This will show that you understand the importance of constant self-evaluation and improvement.

Be ready to learn.

To excel in your career, you have to be willing to learn. No matter what university you graduated from or what grades you had, professional life will be very different from college. Be prepared to have a million questions pop up every day regarding what you’re doing. It might take you days to get a hang of your duties at your new job, so show management that you are coachable, paying attention and always willing to learn new things.

Anticipate needs.

To succeed in your new job and achieve career success, you will have to be well aware of what your manager needs. Stay a step ahead of your boss by asking yourself, “If I were my boss, what would I want done next?” By making sure you get things efficiently done in time, and take the initiative to do them yourself, you will be showing a positive, go-getter attitude to higher management.

Bellevue Recruiter tells you how to answer a few tricky questions

What is your greatest accomplishment?”

Although the interviewer is asking you about your greatest accomplishment, you still have to choose one that is more professionally relevant. This is a good time to illustrate how you can contribute to the company if you are successfully recruited, so it will be to your advantage if you mention an achievement that applies to the position.

Let’s say you are applying for a position that requires a significant amount of problem solving and troubleshooting. You might want to talk about a time when you resolved a persistent problem that had plagued your company for years. You can explain how you initiated some research and made a useful suggestion that was eventually implemented to all departments. If possible, quantify your results in terms of savings made and increased productivity for instance.

Why did you apply for this position?”

Even if it’s true to a large extent, don’t give them the vibe that you applied for this job because you were retrenched from your previous company. Or for that matter, don’t give the impression that you are here because you need to make a living. Any company wants someone who is committed to the organization and eventually developed a sense of belonging with it. It doesn’t help claiming that you’re here for the monthly paycheck.

In fact, the best way to answer this question is to spend some time examining what you like or would like about your work and the company. It is likely you will find something, such as the culture, work environment, meaning of your work, etc. If you didn’t find anything, then you should seriously consider if this is the right job for you.

Once you know why you want this job, you can then answer them in a manner that’ll relate how well you fit with the position. For example, if you like the customer service work involved because you enjoy communicating with people, bring up that sociable personality of yours. Convince them that you’ll fit in very well here, and you’ll in turn convince the interviewer that you’ll be an asset to the company.

Why should I hire you?”

This is the part where you link your skills, experience, education and your personality to the job itself. This is why you need to be utterly familiar with the job description as well as the company culture. Remember though, it’s best to back them up with actual examples of say, how you are a good team player.

It is possible that you may not have as much skills, experience or qualifications as the other candidates. What then, will set you apart from the rest? Energy and passion might. People are attracted to someone who is charismatic, who show immense amount of energy when they talk, and who love what it is that they do. As you explain your compatibility with the job and company, be sure to portray yourself as that motivated, confident and energetic person, ever-ready to commit to the cause of the company.

I want to land a real job in sales. Where should I start?

If you want to be a salesperson and don’t want to get wrapped up in direct sales, the best option is to find something you know a lot about and try to get a job selling it at the entry level. If you understand financial products, apply at banks. If you know cars, apply at car dealerships. If you know jewelry, apply at jewelers. Anywhere that sells something you understand and offers commission is a great starting point.

Once you have a proven track record, even if it’s just selling inexpensive used cars at a local lot or basic banking products at a local branch, you can use that as a jumping-off point for scoring higher-commission sales jobs. Learning to utilize social media marketing, online research and customer relationship management systems can also boost your marketability in the legitimate sales world.

Come see us at Career Paths NW, we specialize in placing people in Sales Jobs, call today or email us your resume.

Job Search in 2019

Determine What Job You Want and Are Eligible For

Before you start looking for a job, you have to figure out what position you want. Have a specific job title in mind, and then do some research to determine the keywords you’ll use when you start looking for jobs.

When you start job searching, the job description, responsibilities, and requirements will tell you more than the title alone, as titles and roles tend to vary between companies. It can also be a helpful exercise to write a sample job description outlining your ideal position.

Although it’s acceptable to apply to several “reach” positions, don’t waste your time searching for or applying to jobs that you are clearly unqualified for. Figure out in advance how you’re going to decide which jobs to apply to, then actively keep these parameters in mind when you’re job hunting.

What to put in your Resume in 2019

1. Don’t Put Everything on There

Your resume should not have every work experience you’ve ever had listed on it. Think of your resume not as a comprehensive list of your career history, but as a marketing document selling you as the perfect person for the job. For each resume you send out, you’ll want to highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job at hand (even if that means you don’t include all of your experience).

2. But Keep a Master List of All Jobs

Since you’ll want to be swapping different information in and out depending on the job you’re applying to, keep a resume master list on your computer where you keep any information you’ve ever included on a resume: old positions, bullet points tailored for different applications, special projects that only sometimes make sense to include. Then, when you’re crafting each resume, it’s just a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information together. Think of this as your brag file.

3. Put the Best Stuff “Above the Fold”

In marketing speak, “above the fold” refers to what you see on the front half of a folded newspaper (or, in the digital age, before you scroll down on a website), but basically it’s your first impression of a document. In resume speak, it means you should make sure your best experiences and accomplishments are visible on the top third of your resume. This top section is what the hiring manager is going to see first—and what will serve as a hook for someone to keep on reading. So focus on putting your best, most relevant experiences first—and then check out these five other marketing tricks to get your resume noticed.

Networking for 2019

1. Stop Saying Networking

Reconfigure what you think when you hear the word “networking.” In fact, scratch that word altogether, and think of your next networking event as an “open exchange”—one with no pressure and plenty of opportunity. At an “open exchange,” you’re free to share ideas, contacts, information, and resources with tons of interesting people. The prospects that inspires are boundless, and it doesn’t cost much more than a conversation. Already sounds better, right?

2. Choose Non-Lame Events

Don’t just go to any old event—choose events where you know you’ll have something in common with people, like conferences that relate specifically to your industry or happy hours put on by your alumni association. It’s much easier to make conversation in these groups than it is at more general events.

3. Or, Host Your Own!

Email 10 of your friends, suggest a place and date, and ask each person to bring someone new. To keep the event more professional, you could plan a structured conversation about everyone’s career goals, status of their job satisfaction, or even current industry trends.

4. Volunteer

Instead of just attending an event, “volunteer to help with raffles or name tags. It’ll give you an excuse to talk to people, and that makes it much easier to follow through and be social. Plus you never know whom you’ll meet.” 

5. Think Outside the Networking Event

Remember, not all networking has to happen at cocktail hour types of events. In fact, some of the most interesting relationship-building can happen elsewhere. See if there’s a conference you can attend, a hackathon you can participate in, or even a project you can help with. These sorts of events will put you in a much more collaborative environment that will allow you to get to know people in a different way than by simply drilling them with questions.

Stay Connected while working remotely

So what’s the secret to staying relevant in a company when you’re not physically in the office? Here are 15 ways to stay present at work when you work from home:

1. Check in regularly. Since you can’t pop into a nearby office or chat in the elevator, constant communication is key.

2. Announce news often. Make an effort to frequently update your team so your role isn’t forgotten. Met with a new client? Made new strides in a project? Email everyone on your team when new events happen.

3. Identify your team’s busiest time of day. Some offices buzz early. Some really get rolling at 4 pm. Figure out that peak time of work at your office and then make sure you’re responding to any correspondence in real time.

4. Carve out a time when you answer calls and emails. Get more done and ditch distractions by sticking to that schedule.

5. Add your coworkers on your social media feed. “If you share your profiles on social media with your coworkers, pop on there occasionally to like, comment, and share, especially work-related items. Take part in the virtual celebrations of your colleagues, and share your own wins as appropriate.

6. Don’t forget to pick up the phone. With so many digital ways to stay connected, it can be hard to remember that the old-fashioned phone call could also be the most effective during critical times.

7. Set up video-conferencing equipment. Set up a Zoom account or other video conferencing platform and use it to connect with your team.

8. Attend company functions. If you’re local, attend big team meetings, holiday parties, or annual meetings.

Know what you want before you start your 2019 job search.

Identify your ideal job target before commencing a search.

If you don’t know what your ideal job looks like you won’t know how to find it or execute a clear strategy with well-aligned tools (resume, LinkedIn profile, etc.).
Start by identifying the job title and work requirements that interest you.

Consider the type of work environment you perform best in (team-based, independent, or a combination of both). Ponder preferred company size, industry, culture, location, and structure. Now create a target list of companies that align with these requirements and start researching opportunities.

If opportunities don’t yet exist, strategize on how to create them. Leverage your network and the power of internal referrals to support your search execution. Let people know who you are, the value you have to offer, and exactly what you are looking for. Aim to make contact with decision-makers.

Finally, develop strong, relevant career tools that speak to, and address, the pain points of your ideal job and unique audience.

These combined efforts will prevent you from spinning your wheels and relying on an outdated ‘spray and pray’ job search approach. Targeted efforts are what will increase job search success in 2019.

Advanced Tips for 2019 Job Search

Tip 1: Establish your career goals! Take this time to reflect on where you are now and where you want to go next. Having clear goals and objectives will get you there.

Tip 2: Update your resume! What have you accomplished in 2018? Review your year’s achievements and projects you’ve finished and include them in your resume.

Tip 3: Brush up on your interview skills! Whether you have an interview scheduled or not, you should always be able to answer The “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question. Review the most common interview questions so that you’ll always be ready whenever opportunities arise.

Tip 4: Polish up your social media profiles! Potential business partners or other key players in your industry may be searching for you right now. Social media can play a huge role in your reputation so keep it professional and build a strong online presence.

Tip 5: Activate your network! The people you meet can have a lasting effect on your career. Stay in touch with your previous colleagues and learn How to Network to create mutually beneficial relationships with new ones.

Questions Interviewers ask to test your personality.

What was the last new task or skill you learned, and how did you go about it?

Employers ask this question to evaluate how a candidate views their own professional development.

Answer with details on how you learn new skills. Emphasize that you’re curious and continually learning new things about your profession.

Tell me about a time that you did more than what was required on the job

Your interviewer wants to make sure that you’re committed to excelling.

Give an example of a time where you went above and beyond the call of duty. This will also help show that you care about the quality of your work.

If your best friend was sitting here, what would they say is the best part about being your friend?

The purpose of this question is to bring out a sense of honesty and candor in a candidate.

Learning about what makes an applicant a good friend allows employers to get a better feel for whether or not they would fit in with the company culture.

If you could change one thing about the way you approach challenges, what would it be?

This question puts candidates on the spot, and allows hiring managers to evaluate a candidate’s self-awareness and ability to admit there are some aspects of their professional life they would like to improve.

Since humility is an important quality to many employers, a response to this question is something they listen closely to.