Tag: jobipedia

Redeem Your Lunch Hour

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the HR Policy Foundation.

“That was a productive lunch…interesting. I should do this more often”

At some point during your work day (especially if you’re in a more traditional 9-to-5 setting), you’re going to take a break to eat. You have this chunk of time in the middle of your day called “lunch hour”… so how can you make the most of it? Sure, you need to eat. That’s a given. But that lunch hour can be used for so much more too.

Use your lunch hour for networking. There is no better way to make connections that could help you in either your current career or the career you hope to have. Use your lunch hour to have a networking meeting and start building those relationships in a casual and relaxed setting. Nicole, a hiring expert from ManpowerGroup, says:

“Most professionals would be happy to sit down with you. You should be ready to pick up the bill though as that would be the proper etiquette for this type of situation.” (View Nicole’s full response)

Create space to take a break and relax. Not every lunch hour needs to be full of meetings—sometimes, you need to just step away to recharge before getting back to work. That’s okay! Cassandra, a hiring expert from Verizon, addresses this:

“Many of us work in high stress, high volume roles that require a great deal from us personally and every now and then a break is needed during the course of the day.”

Take time for personal reflection. It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of a busy work week. Take a few minutes during your lunch hour to make note of any successes or wins you’ve had lately, any progress you’ve made, and any areas you think you can improve. Write them down in a journal or in a note on your phone so you can revisit them and see how far you’ve come.

Get a change of scenery. Sitting at your desk for eight hours or staying at your same station for an entire work day is not ideal. Make an effort to get up and move during your lunch hour, even if it’s just for a quick lap around the parking lot or your building.

“If you’re talking about a professional job in an office environment then breaks can be looked upon as being critical to optimum productivity, as long as they’re not excessive,” Stephanie from AT&T says. (View Stephanie’s full response).

Exercise your mental muscles. Your lunch hour is a great time to work on your personal growth and development! Listen to a podcast while you’re eating, read a chapter of a book related to your personal or professional interests, read the latest Fast Company articles, or catch up on the latest news headlines. Remember to adhere to your company’s guidelines on what’s allowed and acceptable in the workplace. If browsing online or streaming podcasts isn’t okay, try taking your lunch to a local restaurant, park, or coffee shop periodically.

Your lunch hour can be used for so much more than just chowing down—fuel your body, your mind, and your relationships and your whole workday will improve.
Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. The contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

Ready to make your next career move? Search over 2 million job opportunities on My.jobs!

Why You Make Your Salary

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the HR Policy Foundation.

photo of Paris at dusk

“I don’t make much now, but my dream vacation in Paris will be possible soon!”

Everyone in the working world knows that salaries are important—money makes the world go around whether we like that fact or not. What you may not know, however, is why exactly you make the salary that you make. Different positions have different salary rates, but why is that?

One main component is who you are personally.

“A lot of factors come into play including geographic location, skills required for the position, education level, experience required, type of work, etc,” says Ashley from Cardinal Health. (View Ashley’s full response)

Another component is supply and demand when it comes to specific skills or traits needed for certain positions.

“If you have a skill that not many people have and there is a demand for a role that requires that skill, you will most likely receive a higher salary to attract and then retain your services at a company,” Lori from Cigna says.

Another main component is the position itself. It’s an understood fact that entry-level positions make less than management positions which make less than executive level positions. “Do some research on what the going rate is for the type of job you are seeking in your location and industry,” Sara from American Express says. (View Sara’s full response)

Location is also a crucial component to setting salaries. Cost of living plays a large role—the same job will pay more in NYC or LA than it would in Oklahoma City or Austin, TX. Do research to find out what is common across the board for your field, as well as more specifically what is common in your area, because both pieces of information will help you in your negotiating.

Companies sometimes leave room for you (and your salary) to grow over time. Most positions tend to have a salary range, and you may be discouraged or disappointed to find that the offered salary is at the lower end. Don’t let this be an instant disqualifier though. Cassie from The Hershey Company says,

“They typically also give room for merit increases each year so there is room to grow within the pay range based on performance.”

Know that typically, companies bring their best offer to the table when it comes to salaries, but there may be room for potential negotiation. Research thoroughly so you can understand your field, the job market, what your skills and experience are worth, and what the company is working with as well. There might not be much wiggle room at first, but working hard and proving yourself over time always has the potential to bring bonuses and raises to boost that salary even more.

Ready to explore a new career? Visit My.jobs and search over 1 million job opportunities!

The Trait Which Makes You Most Promotable

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the HR Policy Foundation.

“If I can dream it, then I can make it happen.”

It’s difficult to find a person who doesn’t want a promotion. A bigger office, better pay, and higher levels of responsibility are all desirable. Is there a common character trait of people who are highly promotable? And if there is what is it? Curiosity is the trait that will catapult you into promotion after promotion.

Curiosity keeps you humble

The curious person understands their knowledge base is finite. There is more beyond their experience. If you’re curious you address each problem with questions, instead of answers. Humility is especially helpful to entry-level job seekers, because it moves you to interact with more established individuals in your field in a way that builds relationships. A quick way to be seen as a bit immature, and ignorant about your ignorance is to believe you’ve got it all figured out. (View full segment on Jobpedia)

Curiosity leads to new ways of doing things

The toddler who asks why the sky is blue is on to something. When you ask, “Why?” you create a space for something new to exist. Curious people aren’t satisfied with doing things the same way they’ve always been done. They search for new innovative ways of thinking and acting to best optimize the world they live in. (View full segment on Jobpedia)

Curiosity creates large networks

A curious person is not fearful of rejection. If you can maintain your curiosity it will lead to asking questions like, “I wonder if Bill would introduce me to Sally…who happens to know Bill Gates?” For the non-curious individual the question seems absurd, but to the curious anything is possible. An expert from Hospira, Ellen, summed it up like this, “Network, network, network – even when you are not looking for your next opportunity. Cultivating relations with alumni associates, friends of friends, and business partners can help advance your career. Those that master the art of networking no matter the circumstances generally will always have the advantage.”

If you’re looking to advance your career curiosity will most certainly get you there. Whether it’s keeping you humble, inspiring new ways of achieving goals, or expanding your network of connections—curiosity will take you far.

Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. The contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

How to Change Careers

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the site.

young man gazing to his right

“Why did I major in finance?? I realize now that my passion is advertising.”

 

Changing careers is common for many people. Whether you’ve simply discovered you actually hate your current career path or your industry has made it impossible for you to continue being employed. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your twenties or fifties, when you change careers it often means starting over.

How do you transition careers successfully?

Changing jobs is difficult, but changing careers can be an overwhelming undertaking. We wanted to know what our hiring experts believed about switching careers—namely how to transition careers well.

Sara, a hiring expert from American Express, gave this very insightful take on career change, “First, focus on building your knowledge of your areas of interest by networking with individuals in your company to learn more about the work that they do. If Marketing [for example] is a focus for you, then seek out people in that area to learn about their projects, the day to day, core skill sets and talent attributes.

Once you have determined this is where you want to focus, analyze your current and previous work and role to see where the alignment of skills and experience are with Marketing or your chosen focus area. Be sure to recognize gaps and either be prepared to address them in an interview or find ways to build these skills and experience.”

(View Sara’s full response)

Following Sara’s advice is important to understanding some on the job realities that no classroom or book will accurately communicate. The point is to gather as much information as possible and learn at an accelerated rate so you can put yourself in line with other individuals in that field.

How do you put a resume together for your newly desired career, when most of your experience is in a completely unrelated field?

Steve, an expert from Caterpillar, gave this advice when it comes to tailoring your resume for a career change, “Any time that you are applying for a position for which you do not possess a great deal of on-the-job experience, it is critical for you to structure your resume in a way that emphasizes the other aspects of your background. Next, you should focus on your leadership experience and other types of activities in which you participate on campus, in the community, at church, etc. In particular, focus on any leadership roles that you have assumed in these activities.  These activities are important to list, in my opinion, as they speak to your character and the type of person that you are. This is what could differentiate you from other candidates.”

(View Steve’s full response)

Changing careers can be challenging, and it can cause a great amount of anxiety. However, it can also be exhilarating and life changing. The keys to making the change will be allowing yourself enough time to gather the kind of knowledge necessary to make the jump, and utilizing your existing network to get where you want to go. And if you feel like making a career change is impossible, just remember what Walt Disney once said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

 

Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. The contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

How To Work With People You Genuinely Dislike

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the site.

two girls on bench reviewing offensive email

“Can you believe she sent me that email!?!?”

The workspace can be a place of inspiration and joy, filled with people who you deeply appreciate. Your office can also be a drudgery littered with various individuals who you’d rather not see twice let alone every day. The harsh reality of working with someone you don’t like on a regular basis can be difficult to navigate.

We wanted to get advice from our experts on how to handle these types of situations. Here are a few bits of advice to help you discern how to alleviate any kind of unpleasant workspace union.

Chris from The Schwan Food Company said, “Conflicts with co-workers are not uncommon. The best way to handle these is between you and that person. If you feel that you are unable or do not feel comfortable confronting that person then you should bring your supervisor into the situation. It is in their best interest to resolve the problem as quickly as possible and find a solution.

(Read Chris’s full response here >>)

Chris gives great advice. Nell at Pitney Bowes offered additional insight, “The good news is you are not alone. Many people face this same struggle at their work. With so many different personality types, deadlines and overtime, it is inevitable that personalities will clash. My advice to you is to avoid the “grass is greener” mentality. There is no guarantee that you will like everyone at another job. I have some thoughts for you on this topic:

  • Surround yourself with the people that you do like. This will help you enjoy your time better at work.
  • Try to find a common ground with the person that you dislike, maybe you have different views professionally but you may have a common love for a sports team or hobby. This could help build a foundation to help the working relationship.
  • Avoid ever talking bad or gossiping about this person. This will create an even more toxic environment.
  • Do occasional acts of kindness for this person. This can also be a bridge to a relationship that can go a long way professionally.”

(Read Nell’s full response here>>)

At some point in time you will inevitably work with someone who you don’t get along with. The key is to work through your disagreements, communicate and find common ground. You both probably want to keep your jobs, so at the very least try to find some sense of unity in the workplace. Overcoming your dislike won’t be easy, but you’ll earn the respect of your coworkers and learn how to engage someone who’s difficult. And while confrontation is never easy, it’s better to deal with it professionally than let it linger.

Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. Our contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

Does Your Job Interview Really Hinge On The First Impression?

The following post originally appeared on the Jobipedia blog and is being shared with permission from the site.
man with face against glass

If you only had seconds to convince a hiring manager to hire you, what would you say? What would you do? Depending upon what study you read you’ll get differing time frames of how quickly a hiring manager makes a decision to hire you or not, but it seems the general consensus is under 15 seconds. We wanted to know if that same highly publicized time table was accurate for our experts.

Stephanie from AT&T said, “An interviewer can’t know that you’re the right candidate in 15 seconds, however he or she could feel like they know you’re *not* the right candidate in that amount of time. Meaning, it’s easy to blow it early on by dressing inappropriately, being late, not being prepared with copies of your resume, failing to exude energy and interest, and overall portraying mannerisms that are not a match for the job. Assuming you’ve mastered all of those points, it should take the entire interview length (plus several more interviews in some cases) to evaluate your qualifications against other good candidates.”

(Read the full response  and more on Jobipedia.org)

Here are some general rules that will help you master the first impression and set you up for a successful interview:

  • Smile. When you meet the individual who is going to be hiring you smile. Smiling communicates that you are warm and personable.
  • Firm Handshake. It’s cliché, but a firm handshake lets the hiring manager know you are confident.
  • Eye Contact. Keeping good eye contact is also a great indicator that you are sure of yourself.
  • Dress professionally. Be sure and dress the part. It’s better to show up over dressed than under dressed.
  • Shower. Make sure you’ve showered recently, there’s nothing worse than smelling bad when you’re initially meeting someone.
  • Speak Clearly. Articulate your greeting and don’t address the interviewer with slang. Really, avoid using any slang throughout your entire interview unless it’s somehow related to the position you’re interviewing for.

Your first impression is vital because you can ruin your chances of getting hired in the first few seconds, but you’re not going to win the job in that limited timeframe. As always, prepare thoroughly and the initial greeting will be a footnote of the interview.

Jobipedia.org is a free career advice website that was developed specifically for entry-level job seekers. The website offers unparalleled access to hiring and recruiting managers from Fortune 500 companies. Our contributing hiring experts personally write every answer to user-submitted questions. Their advice is invaluable because they interact with prospective hires on a daily basis, review resumes, conduct interviews and are involved in the process of deciding which candidates to hire.

What advice would you share for making a good first impression?

Should You Change Your Cover Letter for Every Job You Apply For?

Cover letters commonly supplement resumes as a way to reflect your interest in a particular organization and further elaborate on relevant skills and experience. If you’re applying for several jobs, modifying your cover letter can become very time consuming. Is it really worth changing your cover letter for every job you apply for?

In response to a job seeker looking for feedback on this issue, experts from companies like Gap Inc., Textron, Merck and Praxair agree that customizing your cover letter is definitely the way to go.

A hiring expert from Textron shared the following advice:

I definitely think it is a good idea to tailor your cover letter for the jobs you apply for. Doing so gives the employer the impression that you are specifically interested in their company and not just mass-marketing your resume. It shows that you are investing time and effort into your career and into the opportunity. A good cover letter will include the following paragraphs:

  • Where you heard about the job and what interested / inspired you to apply  – this helps the employer see a connection between you and the job that they will want to explore further on your resume.
  • Specific details about your knowledge, skills, abilities and accomplishments – while this content can be used for different employers, you will want to make sure you are highlighting those directly related to this job and company.
  • Summary/conclusion of how your background will benefit the position and the company – again, this will intrigue the employer to find out more.

This and hundreds of job seeker questions have been addressed on the website jobipedia.org by individuals who actually recruit and make hiring decisions. One of the unique aspects of the website is that all questions have a minimum of three answers to reflect different perspectives and industries. Please visit jobipedia.org for the full post with all of the employer responses.

Jobipedia.org is a public service provided by the HR Policy Association to bring together career service professionals and top tier recruiters to help first-time job seekers and recent graduates get hired and succeed in the first steps of their professional careers. The site was developed to be a highly credible resource where candidates can safely ask questions and quickly receive the most honest, useful and timely information from hiring experts at some of America’s largest companies.

Internship Advice: How to Land an Internship & Maximize Your Experience

By now, most students realize the importance of an internship. Whether it’s a college requirement or a choice of your own, internships can help even the savviest student develop their professional skill-set and gain the experience needed to land a full-time job. See our tips below to differentiate yourself from the crowd and excel from start to finish.

When Searching for that “Perfect Internship”

Always choose experience over money. As you read this, you are probably shaking your head thinking, “How can I take an unpaid internship and still have spending money?” Regardless of the pay, the purpose of the internship is to provide you with experience. If you shy away from unpaid or lower wage internships you could be missing out on an opportunity that could help you grow professionally and personally.

Use the connections and resources you have available. Your professors, family and friends want to help you succeed. Reach out to your network and inquire about internship openings or even if you can use them as a reference to attest to your work ethic. Also, take time to speak with your career services department. Not only can they help you tailor your resume, but they can direct you to your school’s online job resources and possibly introduce you to recruiters from companies you are interested in interning with.

Take advantage of online resources. Almost all employers have a career page on their website that links directly to open positions with their company. However, if you are unsure of a company that you’d like to work for, visit sites like <a href=”http://internships.jobs” target=”_blank”>Internships.jobs; that provide you with vetted and reliable internship opportunities from companies around the nation.

During Your Interview

Take time to showcase your personal brand. An interview is all about selling yourself and your skills to an interviewer. Use this opportunity to show how and why you’d be well suited for the position. Your interviewer will be listening for not only your skills, but to see if your personality would be well matched with the company’s culture.

Engage and connect with your interviewer. You want your interviewer to connect with you during conversation and remember you afterwards, bottom line. Turn your interview into a conversation, not a back-to-back round of question, answer, question, answer. By turning your interview into a conversation you are actively engaging your interviewer and providing he/she with meaningful points to remember about you.

Ask Questions. At the end of every interview, you have the opportunity to ask your interviewer questions. This is the part of the interview that allows you to see if this company would be a good fit for you. Make sure to have meaningful and unique questions prepared. Ask questions like, “What made you choose a career with this company? What is the culture of this company? Why do you enjoy your job?”

For the Duration of Your Internship

Ask questions— a lot of them. Rule number one of any internship: never be afraid to ask questions. You are there to learn after all, and if you don’t understand something, just ask. Your employer doesn’t expect you to know how to do everything. So if you encounter a task that is unfamiliar to you, ask questions.

Tackle your tasks with positivity and enthusiasm. Let’s face it, not every task you are given at work is going to be fun. While you may be given some “go-fer” tasks, exhibit the same amount of professionalism for small and large projects. You never know when you could receive a full-time job offer after all.

Get to Know the Industry. Jump on every opportunity available to learn more about the industry you are working in. Attend meetings, conferences and events with your team. After your internship is completed, you may not stay in the industry, but you will have done your best to educate yourself on the inner workings and may meet some great people to add to your network along the way.

Make Mistakes. While you may not want to make mistakes, you are going to. It’s human nature. At the end of the day, it’s how you learn and move forward. If you make a mistake, take ownership for your actions and your employer will appreciate your honesty and willingness to fix your mistakes.

Network and get to know fellow interns and full-timers. One of the biggest components of a job search is your network. Have you heard the phrase, “It’s all about who you know”? When job searching, that couldn’t be more correct. Build a professional relationship with full-time employees and your fellow interns. The people around you are a great source for job advice and tips that may help you land your next job.

Follow the tips above to increase your chances for success at a great internship experience. Keep in mind, even though you are there to work, you need to have fun along the way. After all, your internship may ultimately lead you to a career that you love!

Ready to search for an internship? Visit Internships.jobs. For additional advice and resources, check out our Pinterest board for job seekers, the Social Jobs Partnership page and Jobipedia.org.

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