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job search

3 Reasons Why Companies Aren’t Taking You Seriously

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3 Reasons Why Companies Aren’t Taking You Seriously

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WhyCompaniesArent To my friends with plenty of experience who find themselves filling out endless numbers of applications and receiving no call-backs: it might be time to audit yourself. There's nothing more frustrating than the feeling of not being taken seriously as a job candidate, as usually this comes with no explanation. Companies that don't call back for interviews or even after interviews aren't likely to give you any feedback on how to improve, so before you go further in that next application, there are some things to consider:

 

You don’t take yourself seriously

How do you carry yourself? This is a serious question. Do you walk with an air of confidence? Do you sit up straight? Do you feel confident? If you answered no to any of the above questions, get to work! Confidence in yourself reflects confidence in your ability to do your job. If you don't appear confident (notice I only said appear), then why would a company be happy to bring yo on board? Fake it until you make it, smile big and stand tall. That's half of the battle.

People say this over and over again, but it's because we clearly don't hear it enough. A professional brand image is a MAJOR key. Clearly, entering a field just out of college, it's going to be hard to have an established name in a given industry. But what are you known for? Think of three pillars that define your personal and professional brand and do the best you can to represent them on paper and in-person.

You don’t have #Goals

If you don't know what the hell you want to do with your life then what is a company supposed to do with you? I'm not just talking about what you want to achieve in your career, but in your lifetime! In an interview a hiring manager once asked me about my 1 and 5 year plans. I was speechless, I laughed, and I somehow thought of those on the fly. Don't be like Tati. Having a plan filled with attainable goals helps you get to where you want to go faster. So think long and hard about goals for yourself, and don't be afraid to share them with a potential employer when they ask. It shows that you've got some kind of plan going and that a career is an integral part of that.

You don't do your research

This last one is a simple task that can have a huge negative impact on your chances with an employer. Research. Before you speak to anyone in a potential company you need to understand what they do, who they do it for, why they do it, and how they get it done. Consider a company's "About Us" page to be your personal cheat sheet. What's their mission? Vision for the next 10 years? What are their core values? Most importantly, do all of these align with your personal perspective? A big consideration in hiring folks is how they "fit", so knowing and aligning with this important information about a company can complement your skills and experience. Not knowing what a company does can be the biggest insult to a hiring manager. It simply shows that you don't care...and thus they aren't taking you seriously.

 

So if you came to this post wondering why companies aren't taking you seriously, I hope you take away this much:

  • Learn to take yourself seriously
  • Have some goals
  • Do your research

Good luck! I appreciate feedback of any kind in the comments!

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9 Very Important Factors Besides Salary to Consider When Taking a Job

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9 Very Important Factors Besides Salary to Consider When Taking a Job

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This evening sitting in a sushi bar in Northern England I couldn't help but be thankful. I was grinning ear to ear, and while I'm sure it was creepy to the waitress, I was happy. Dinner tonight was the first opportunity I had since arriving to reflect on the first 4 months of my big girl job and and think about what great things are to come in 2016. Being able to sit here, eat delicious salmon, and blog after work is a perk for a traveling consultant, and to me, an important privilege. When we consider going to work for company we immediately think of salary as the end-all-be-all. In making the decision to take a new job, we have to consider a combination of factors:

  1.  Insurance - This is probably the most important factor to consider when taking a job, no matter where your priorities lie. Here in the US, employers must offer insurance options, but making sure they're competitive in price and benefits is huge!
  2. Office amenities - If you're like most people, you're going to be spending 40 or more hours a week in this place. Is the coffee free? Will you be sitting in an office or a cube? Is there a gym, child care, or other free services that will save you time and money? Make sure to ask, and take a tour if possible.
  3. Discounts - Companies of all sizes have great discount programs they've created to incentivize employees. Saving money on gym memberships, travel, attractions, and merchandise really adds up. Make sure your company is helping you save those hard earned coins...
  4. Commute and Location - If you're living in a large metropolitan are you're likely not going to want to sit in 2.5 hours a day of traffic. It's a waste of gas and time. Make sure that commute is somewhat manageable from where you live, and if you don't want to commute, consider one of these companies (my company made #2 on this list!).
  5. Travel - For some, travel is a blessing, others a curse. If a job has travel time at 20%, consider that a little under a week per month. If you're looking forward to traveling (like me, yay) then make sure the company knows you're open to it and sign up for those frequent flyer miles and hotel points ASAP.
  6. Vacation and Leave - In a dream world, we get unlimited vacation, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave. Depending upon the company, you can reap those benefits! Make sure your future workplace offers a fair share of vacation and other paid time off to its employees.
  7. Growth Opportunity - Today's most successful companies are led by Baby Boomers who are looking to retire in the near future. This large shift toward retirement means more room at the top for everyone else! Closely examine the opportunities for promotion (and education) at your future employer. Do they place value on continuing education and career development?
  8. Bonus Compensation - Depending on your position, a large portion of your income can come from annual or one-time bonuses. Consider a sign-on bonus or the opportunity for a sales/growth bonus as part of your income as well. You never know how big it could be! See here.
  9. Balance and Culture - Sometimes a high-paying job simply isn't worth it if it comes with too much stress and not enough time spent with the ones you love. Check anonymous online reviews about the work culture and see what kind of balance they offer for employees so there aren't any surprises on the first day.

Ultimately, and always, what's good for you isn't necessarily good for someone else. For you, living comfortably may be your biggest priority. For someone else, it may be getting to spend more time with their family and friends. No matter what you choose, take a more holistic approach to choosing a job and watch it blossom beautifully into a career. As always, best of luck!

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The 8-Step Concentrated Job Search

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The 8-Step Concentrated Job Search

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For many of my friends, finals are creeping up, and most importantly...graduation. If you're graduating in May, you probably want to have a job offer or two to choose from by then. That means you need to think about what you want to do and who you want to do it for, like yesterday. First off: Don't fret! If you're reading this in December and even January, you're still on the right track.

The "concentrated job search" (as I preach to my friends) will get you through this trying time in 8 simple steps.

  1. The "List"
    • List out your top 20 companies or organizations that you'd like to work for (I realize this sounds like a lot, but the more you have in mind, the better).
    • Be ambitious with your list! Similar to our college search, we have reach, match, and safety companies.
    • Have some variety in your list! Different industries, different cities, and different things to offer. It's all about you.
  2. The Search
    • Use websites like Indeed, Monster, Career Builder, and Glassdoor to get started with your search.
    • Don't be afraid of titles like "assistant" or even "intern"
      • It's better to start at the bottom of your dream company than have the "perfect job" at somewhere you don't want to be, IMHO.
    • Do look for titles with "entry level" in them. They are suited to folks just graduating college or people with minimal experience.
    • Don't be scared of the "requirements". If you qualify for even 80% of the required skills or experience, I say go for it! The worst that happens is...nothing!
    • Keep these job position links in an spreadsheet or doc for easy tracking <--- this is what I mean by a "concentrated" job search.
  3. Reach in your pockets then reach out!
    • Empty your suit jacket pockets and purses, and reach out to those business card contacts! All those networking events happened for a reason...
    • Before you start applying, double check to see if you have any possible references! Job referrals mean you may be more likely to get the job; some companies swear by referrals!
    • Got a friend who's interned or works at a company you'd like to be at? Reach out! You never know how helpful they can be!
      • Now is the time to ask for help.
  4. Spruce up that resume!
    • I'm amazed at how many "final" resumes I see that are littered with typos and information that isn't up-to-date!
      • Check it twice and have a friend check it too!
  5. Write cover letters
    • I know we hate these, but if you want the job that badly, you'll write one. It means you took the time to express your desire to work for X Company.
    • If you and someone else with the exact same education and experience as you apply for a job, but the other applicant attached the "optional" cover letter, who do you think is going to get the interview/the job?
  6. Apply!
    • Finally, apply to the positions that are posted earliest FIRST, because you're closing in on an application cut-off
    • Track your applications! I track where I've applied in a spreadsheet (that I may post here later, if you all want it!)
    • Follow up. This isn't a part-time job, this is your career!
      • Don't be afraid to reach out after applying if you feel like too much time has passed.
  7. Interviews
    • See here for tips on nailing that interview.
    • Follow up again!
  8. Get the offer? Come back here and tell me if you did below! If you didn't, try these steps again. Don't give up and reach out for help!

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In all things, hustle.

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