Bring clarity about your value to your prospective employer.

Clarify your “selling points” and the reasons you want the job.

Prepare to go into every interview with three to five key selling points in mind, such as what makes you the best candidate for the position. Have an example of each selling point prepared (“I have good communication skills. For example, I persuaded an entire group to …”). And be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want that job – including what interests you about it, what rewards it offers that you find valuable, and what abilities it requires that you possess. If an interviewer doesn’t think you’re really, really interested in the job, he or she won’t give you an offer – no matter how good you are!

Words to banish from your corporate communications

Touchbase (and other corporate jargon)

We need to remove corporate jargon from the world’s vocabulary.

“Touchbase”, “connect”, “take offline”, and the like are all passive phrases. Instead of asking someone to touch base on something, or if they have time to connect, or if they want to take something offline, propose a date, time, and place for you to actually have the conversation you’re emailing them about. It’s likely they will respond with either an acceptance or proposal for a new time. Regardless of the outcome, you’re a lot further along than if you kept it ambiguous.

Measure your own success.

How do you define success? Is it the size of your paycheck or having the corner office? Is it the feeling you get when you know you did a great job on a project (praise from the boss doesn’t hurt) or the one you get when you know you helped someone? Perhaps you feel successful after putting in a day at work and coming home at a reasonable hour to spend time with your family. Since each of us measures success differently, you are the only one who can decide what it means to you. Your satisfaction with your career is strongly linked to whether you feel you have met your own, and not anyone else’s, definition of it.

Network with Everyone

Network With Everyone — Not Just the Bigwigs

I think the most effective networking includes the informal kind which happens in daily life — at your kid’s soccer game, at the dentist’s office, at parties, etc. If someone says, ‘What do you do for work?’ you can say something like ‘I’m a project manager at a large industrial manufacturer but I’m looking to make a move to XYZ, do you know anyone in that industry?’ It may smack of the ‘putting it out into the universe’ kind of advice but you honestly never know who will have a connection for you, so I’m a firm believer in working any and all angles…

Bellevue Career Tips

“Diversify your skill set.”

It’s good to master your usual set of skills, but don’t get stagnant. Continue to develop your love of learning. If your job has tuition reimbursement perks, take advantage of it! Set out to learn a new skill. If you’re worried about time, it’s not about becoming a full-time student all over again. Take a couple courses at a time, earn some new certifications — become a wearer of many hats. It will set yourself apart professionally and who knows? It may help place you on the fast-track to your next promotion.

Get Help

Utilize free or inexpensive services that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as college career offices, state Department of Labor offices or your local public library. Many libraries provide workshops, programs, classes, computers and printers you can use, and other resources to help you with your job search. Here’s more on getting job search help at the library.

Questions to ask at the interview

There are many questions you can ask at your interview, these are pertinent to your performance.

Understanding how your potential new manager will measure your success is key in both understanding the company priorities, as well as their managerial style.

  1. What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job
  2. What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
  3. What is the performance review process like here? How often would I be formally reviewed?
  4. What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?

Going to a networking event?

You are going to need a few conversation starters…

“What do you think about [insert relevant topic germane to the event or person here]?”

“Wow, I just can’t believe all the crazy news headlines today. What a week!”

“Any chance you read the news today? I missed it, and I’m dying to know what’s happening with [insert news topic here].”

“So, was it a pain for you to get here?” The mode of transportation and location in the city are always on peoples’ minds.

“Did you catch the game last night?” It’s a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason.

Numbers, numbers and more numbers…

Putting together a resume? Give ’Em the Numbers

Use as many facts, figures, and numbers as you can in your bullet points. How many people were impacted by your work? By what percentage did you exceed your goals? By quantifying your accomplishments, you really allow the hiring manager to picture the level of work or responsibility you needed to achieve them.

Kicking it in reverse…

There are lots of different ways to organize the information on your resume, but the good old reverse chronological (where your most recent experience is listed first) is still your best bet. Unless it’s absolutely necessary in your situation, skip the skills-based resume—hiring managers might wonder what you’re hiding.