• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • 4 Ways to Win at Salary Negotiation

    Everyone wants to get paid more. Often, that means learning how to win at salary negotiation.

    It pays to be savvy at salary negotiation. Depending on experience level, a job seeker who can effectively negotiate salary will make roughly $100 – $500 more weekly than their counterparts.

    Below, you’ll find four winning salary negotiation strategies that will help you increase pay, further your career, and advance at work.

    1. Forget About Salary Negotiation

    It sounds ironic. However, the best way to be able to negotiate a higher salary is to not think about salary until it comes time to.

    First, focus on giving the employer what they want: a qualified, upbeat job candidate who answers questions thoroughly and is responsive and cooperative.

    The more a company sees value in you, the more they will be receptive to your requests. Candidates who are overly concerned with how much they are going to be offered from the get-go usually don’t get the job.

    Their attitude makes them come across as rigid, less likable, and out of sync with the company’s core values.

    2. Shift the Focus From Past Pay to Future Potential

    Many companies will use your past salaries as a benchmark for what you should be paid. It’s only natural. Although there are laws in certain locations which prevent an employer from asking, those regulations are few and far between.

    Regardless, there are tactics you can use to have the hiring manager focus more on what you can do now and in the future as opposed to judging you based on your past pay. Take their mind out of the past and put it in the future. (In fact, the only statute currently on the books covering all public and private sector employers is for New York City.)

    Our recruiters recommended that you cite the salary of other jobs you are currently interviewing for and what you expect to be making in six months.

    3. Be Polite

    Negotiation does not have to be confrontational. One of the worst things that a candidate can do to bolster the case is to demand a higher salary rather than politely request it.

    Sometimes the most effective way to find out if the firm you’re interviewing with has wiggle room with salary is to ask politely but assertively.

    Assertive communication is delivered in a firm, smoothly flowing, well-modulated voice. It is a voice that conveys sincerity and the willingness to work towards a win-win solution.

    Remember, when you want to persuade, it’s best to dial up friendliness and make a case that puts the interviewer in control rather than forcing the individual to do bend.

    4. Don’t Get Emotional — Get Creative

    What if the offer is lower than expected or what if you are not able to negotiate salary, but want the job?

    Salary negotiation doesn’t have to only be about salary. Instead, widen your options and use your imagination. One tactic is to ask for the ability to renegotiate after a certain time period of being with the firm.

    Just because you can’t negotiate your salary now, doesn’t mean that you can’t negotiate the ability to renegotiate your contract in six months (and have that be part of the job offer).

    With salary, it’s more than just a “yes” or “no.” Rather, it’s the individual who is able to remain level-headed and creative who comes out ahead in the end.

    Stay in control of your emotions. Don’t react immediately, giving you time to think calmly and clearly.

    In the End

    Focus on interviewing well. Focus on negotiating the job offer second. The more a company wants to hire you, the more salary negotiation leverage you have.

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    Posted in Career Development, Career Resources, Job Search, Success Strategies

    Create a Successful Content Marketing Plan for Your Personal Brand

    Content marketing is an important element for your personal brand in which your business can establish itself as a trusted expert in your niche. It’s important to reach your target market in an authentic and helpful way.

    There are several strategies that can work well for your brand, which can bring more subscribers who can be converted into sales. Knowing the needs of your community enables your business to know how to best communicate with them, and encourages people to recommend your articles.

    Building the right content marketing plan involves a steady, consistent flow of remarkable information. Here are several tips on how to make this a success in the coming year ahead:

    • Consistency is key – Put into your content calendar to publish at least once or twice a week. Write articles to not only build more subscribers, but to also keep your readers active and engaged with valuable information they can truly use. Remember that what you are writing is also shared on social media, the search engines, and through a growing mobile audience.
    • Communicate with your subscribers – Get past the one way style of communication — nurture your relationships by reaching out to them and inviting them to your social groups, webinars, Facebook Live events, ect. Ask them questions that can help your brand to better understand how to best serve your community.
    • Promote on other websites -Cross promote your articles on places like Medium and LinkedIn, which both have a high number of readership.  You can gain even more traction by turning older content into videos or an eBook that can be offered as an exclusive sign up for your current subscribers.
    • Be active online and offline – Social media is the obvious choice for sharing your content and communicating with others. It is equally important to nurture relationships outside of the Internet, such as an event or meeting. The more influencers you connect with and create meaningful relationships the better for your personal brand. Make it easy for them to contact you on social media and at your company when you’re not online.

    Publishing regular content throughout each month will keep your personal brand in the forefront of your readers online. This method will help you create more visibility, and shows your audience that you can offer them information that they can use and share.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    Soft Skills in the Age of Automation

    For my first post of 2018 I wanted to start you off with three things that will help you more in your career than possibly anything else you’ve read in the past five years that I’ve been writing these posts.

    Let’s talk about soft skills.

    Soft Skills are critical for career success in the Age of Automation.

    You’ll have to decide if these three things are better than the last 250+ posts I’ve written. (Let me know know in the comments)

    Expertise is Hard Earned

    Everyone has their expertise in something.  Whether you are a technical wiz or an accounting mastermind or an amazing designer.

    These are hard skills. These are skills that you worked very hard to attain. And, kudos to you and congratulations.

    Let’s shift the conversation to talk about soft skills.

    Soft skills are those things that a lot of people know we need and we might think we are pretty good at them too. If you are already a master of Soft Skills … GREAT! Please teach them to others. If not, or if you want to enhance your Soft Skills, read on.

    Request – Share your favorite Soft Skill in the comments

    There is no single set of soft skills that encapsulate everything. But, these three are critical to the your success in a couple of different ways.

    As the world shift towards more of an automated and autonomous society these are skills that humans (currently) exhibit that automatons have yet to reproduce successfully.

    Don’t get me wrong – robots are really “smart” and artificial intelligence is getting smarter all the time. We will get to the point were “thinking machines” can match (and ultimately outpace) their human counterparts. That day will arrive. We need to be ready.

    However, that’s not gonna happen in the next five or 10 years at least on a global scale. Learning to be effective with these three skills can help set you apart and keep you employed as automation continues to surround and infiltrate every job at every level.

    What are these Three Soft Skills?

    1. Critical Thinking
    2. Communication 
    3. Collaboration Abilities

    These are the three skills. Just knowing what they are is a start.

    Developing them is not easy, but it can be done.

    • Critical Thinking – You won’t be able to compete with the raw data access and processing capabilities of a computer. But, you can apply a layer that surrounds that vast amount of data and processing power. This is where your critical thinking skills come into play.
    • Communication – Again, you can’t match the sheer “communications” capabilities of an automated system. But, your ability to infer and realize (or expand) avenues of communication is something that computers haven’t met yet mastered.
    • Collaboration AbilitiesWhat happens if you put a bunch of computers in a room? Well, the semi obvious answer is nothing! What happens if you put a bunch of humans in a room? Well, the semi obvious answer could be nothing. But, people that focus on improving the ability for humans to communicate with other humans can make a significant difference. When combined with the massive amounts of data from computers and automated systems … it creates something that is uniquely human.

    Augmented Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration is a wave of the future

    By focusing on and honing your soft skills … especially these three … you will have a leg up on your role being consumed by automation. However, I do not recommend taking on a Luddite mentality. Keep your eyes open and your mind open to new possibilities. Computer systems continue to advance. Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing will continue to make vast leaps in the coming years. When combined with robotics there will be smart assistants (think Alexa, Siri, and Cortana) that will take on physical forms to assist and augment human behavior and activities.

    These three Soft Skills can set you apart from those automated systems. And, they might open up jobs too.

    You might find business opportunities within these three Soft Skills. While there will be a time when computer systems program and build themselves … that time will not be here for a decade or so. In the interim you may find a great business opportunity in creating the future.

    Building Your Soft Skills

    While there are tons of books and blog posts that have been written to help people build their soft skills there’s nothing quite like just being human.

    In the application of these three skills there will be some that have a natural ability and affinity towards one, two or perhaps all three.

    Those that want to be employed in the future – whether that means self-employed or working for a small or large corporation or working for a governmental agency – will need these three skills.

    Here are a few ideas and areas where you can build your soft skills:

    1. The Soft Skills That Will Get You Hired – Hand written notes, using the <gasp> telephone, and interpreting nuance.
    2. Soft Skills Make a Hard Difference – Taking time to humanize yourself goes a long way.
    3. 6 Steps To Improving Your Current Employees’ Soft Skills – For managers and employees to polish their soft skills.

    Are Soft Skills hard to learn? No. But, they do take practice and they often require slight tweaks. This is one of these areas that sets us apart as humans. We have the ability to apply critical thinking to adjust and adapt our communication and collaboration capabilities.

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    Posted in Career Development, Personal Branding, Reputation Management, Success Strategies

    Gender Difference When Negotiating Salary

    For both genders, anxiety before the interview may be present, but studies show that women handle it better. Women adapt more proactively than men do. Women seek social support from colleagues and friends more than men do. And women are more prone to do mock interviews with those colleagues and friends more than men are. Men are more prone to ignore such communication by instead watching TV or doing things to relieve stress, but those things hinder their interview performance later.

    There’s also a difference between men and women in general communication style, which needs to be understood as a part of the job interview. On one hand, men start with the headlines and then elaborate on them and provide specifics. They like to deal with the big picture. On the other hand, women’s ideas are almost the opposite of that. Women feel context is essential for understanding. Many women, before telling you the headlines, will want to preface the situation by setting up the context.

    In terms of interviewing, remember that when women communicate, they’re concerned with building connections. When men communicate, they’re concerned with establishing status and presenting accomplishments up front to establish their credentials. Women think a bit differently. Boasting and bragging are not their preferred styles, although the interview is indeed about selling yourself. Women communicate in order to build connections. In the middle of a conversation, one woman might say to another, “I love your shawl.” The other woman might respond with, “Oh, my sister-in-law bought it for me in London for my birthday.” This is an example of establishing connections. Men don’t typically feel comfortable giving such compliments to each other, because such an exchange would consist of personal information.

    Salary negotiation

    Men and women do use the same mechanics, but they differ in their strategy. Their personality, style, and culture are all contributing factors that influence the outcome of the conversation. Women appreciate relationships over outcomes and therefore are willing to compromise. They do not like confrontation, and many women associate salary negotiation with conflict. Men ask for a particular salary with less compromise and are concerned with outcomes. They worry less about how their negotiations affect the relationship.

    Women may make salary decisions on what they feel they need rather than on what the job should pay. Therefore, they’re at risk of receiving less-competitive packages than their male counterparts do. Men are more direct when negotiating salary. Historically, it’s been acceptable for men to be assertive in the business world, while women who are assertive tend to be viewed as aggressive or difficult to work with. Before any salary negotiations take place, job seekers are advised to find out their market value. There are Web sites that can assist in finding such information. Some of them are www.salary.com, www.payscale.com, and www.glassdoor.com.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    How Being a Lifelong Learner Will Boost Your Career

    Technology and industrial practices are continually evolving, so why should your education end the moment you walk across the stage and grab your diploma? Continuing to learn in the years following college can accelerate your career and separate you as an industry leader. Here’s why it’s important to keep your natural curiosity alive even outside of the workplace!

    You’ll Earn More Money

    More education translates to more money. On average, college graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn nearly half a million dollars more in their careers than those with just a high school diploma. That doesn’t mean you need to sign up for graduate school or an MBA program to reap more benefits. Educational opportunities come in all forms, including personal development courses, podcasts, books, seminars and webinars.

    Learning doesn’t need to be expensive, either. While a degree can cost upwards of $100,000 over the course of four years, many podcasts are free. Multiple companies also offer educational dollars that can be used for attending conferences or purchasing extra educational materials. Some workplaces keep past material on hand in libraries or online sites. Check in with your employer to see what they have on hand or if they’d be willing to cover the expenses for your next learning endeavor.

    Even if your workplace doesn’t offer these kinds of opportunities, just getting the conversation started can be hugely beneficial. On one hand, most employers will be impressed by an employee looking to grow their industry knowledge on their off hours.

    Additionally, perhaps you will be the one to get something new started in your workplace! Wouldn’t it be cool to be the employee to lay a groundwork for outside learning opportunities at your company? Not only do you possibly have a chance to benefit your fellow employees and your company’s success, but you’ll also always get to hold the esteem of being the one to establish something new and dare to be a trailblazer!

    You’ll Be Healthier

    Expanding your knowledge base can make you a healthier person. Studies show reading can lower stress levels, even if you only read for a short period. High levels of stress are linked to weight gain, high blood pressure and anxiety. Reducing your stress levels will make you more relaxed and help you maintain a clear mind when facing challenging situations. Stimulating your brain can also help put your life into perspective, which in turn can lower feelings of anxiety and help you feel calmer.

    Learning can make you a happier person. Healthier and happier people tend to be more productive. Along with increased productivity, you’ll also feel more secure in your job. By establishing yourself as a curious, dedicated employee, your employer will be less likely to consider you for a layoff. As you learn more skills, you can make yourself essential to the organization — and that promotes more job security. This is another reason to be happy.

    You’ll Be an Industry Leader

    Technology is constantly changing. Industries are taking advantage of this and quickly evolving. Take a hard look at your field. How were they doing things 20 years ago? In all likelihood, employees used technology you might be unfamiliar with or processes that are now considered outdated and inefficient. To stay ahead of the competition, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date on new advancements in your field. This way, you’ll be able to offer your clients the best service possible.

    Remaining current in your field will also help you develop more efficient means of accomplishing your daily tasks. This can help propel you forward as your coworkers and supervisors will look to you to share your knowledge with the rest of your organization. Over time, you’ll increase your value to the company and be considered a stronger asset, which may lead to more opportunities over time.

    You’ll Be More Engaging

    Attending conferences and seminars in different locations will introduce you to others in your industry with similar interests and joy of learning. You’ll expand your social network over time and potentially gain new friends with whom you can have engaging conversations and interactions. The individuals you meet will likely have different skills sets and experiences that can help you achieve a new perspective or learn even more.

    As you invest more in yourself and career growth, you’ll be in a better position to contribute more to society and your community. You can use your specialized skills for pro-bono work or for helping charitable organizations. Giving back to your community can also make you happier and feel more fulfilled.

    The benefits of lifelong learning extend far beyond the classroom and can have a profound impact on your career. Even if you’re a recent college graduate and feeling a little burnt out on the learning front, try to keep that learning groove going as you start off in your career. It will help your health, happiness and career path in the long run!

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    Posted in Career Development, Education, Skill Development

    3 Simple Ways to Increase Empathy at Work

    If you want to move up the career ladder, it is not enough to have great technical abilities or know how. You need to have personal skills as well. Think about a manager who is great at technical details but cannot get along with his/her team, then how can this manager manage a project if s/he cannot even manage his/her team? For this reason, if you want to become a better manager or a just a better coworker, you should work on improving empathy. Below are 3 simple ways of doing this.

    • Listen to Them: Listen to others very carefully. Don’t just listen for the sake of listening. Listen with an open heart and mind. Only in this way, you can understand the entire message the other party is trying to communicate. Pay attention to their tone of voice and body language. Really try to feel what the other person is talking to you. What is important for them? Step outside for a minute and try to understand their perspectives. This can be very helpful for you especially, if you are discussing a divisive topic. You don’t need to agree on everything the other person says but it is important to see their points.
    • Treat Others Nicely: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated”. Be nice to people and smile at them. Don’t forget that good manners and kindness always win in relationships. If you treat others nicely, you will soon notice that they will also treat you the same way. In this way, you can build a healthy relationship with your coworkers. For example; if you are going to give a birthday gift or bring a gift to the Yankee swap game, think about whether the person receiving this gift likes it or not. Rather than picking out something you like, try to think the feelings of the other party and shop accordingly.
    • Turn the Tables: Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before criticizing them. First, try to understand their actions by turning the tables and then, decide. The best example for this is the interview process. When you are interviewing someone, think about the interviewee. Put yourself in his/her shoes and try to remember the last time you went for an interview. Do you remember how excited and nervous you were? Then, it is normal for the person you are interviewing with to have the same feelings. Therefore, in order to calm him/her down, you can start with simple and expected questions like “Tell me about yourself” and then, move onto more difficult and/or technical ones.
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    Posted in People, Personal Branding, Skill Development, Success Strategies, Workplace Success

    How to Push Back Effectively

    The best way to choose your words when you need to push back is to clearly know what you need to say and then say it to the other person the way you would like it said to you. It’s a big differentiator for you to pause, consider if you were in that person’s Cole Haans how you would like to be talked to, and then weigh your words and harness your tone of voice, facial expression, and comportment.

    Use an even tone of voice, square your shoulders, look ’em in the eye, and give a comfortable smile.

    Negative response need not be given in a negative way: “You were right on target when you said . . . and to follow your lead, I did some research on my own that you’ll want to see as we define and refine our position,” will be better received than, “You’re wrong. I don’t know how you came up with that, but I found out the truth, and it’s totally different from what you said. The only way it can go is . . . . It’s stupid any other way.”

    Instead of just being good at following your managers ideas and directions, have your own that you contribute. Give valid reasons for your recommendations. Have knowledge and information that out-details and out-facts them. Clearly put your evaluation, opinion, and options out there with candor, directness, objectivity, and respect.

    ___

    Debra Benton and Kylie Wright-Ford, co-authors of The Leadership Mind Switch (McGraw-Hill, 2017)

     

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    7 Tips to Improve Job Interviewing

    Job interviewing is an act. Yes, you are the actor, and both sides know the rules: You, who are one of the candidates for the position, are doing your best to convince the interviewer you are the ideal candidate. The interviewer, who is the audience, has choices, is an independent thinker and often skeptic, and needs evidence and proof before buying everything you want to sell. (Please pardon the mixed metaphor.)

    The winner in this competition is not only the individual who, on the positive side, has good answers but also the one who, on the negative side, does not make mistakes. So let’s look at both of those issues.

    What are positive factors in an interview?

    • Without being specific, an interviewer’s number one concern is whether you’d fit into the company’s culture. This is a loaded subject because the decision is subjective. The candidate should attempt to find out as much as possible about the company’s culture by talking to present and past employees and should then display to the extent possible the traits for a good fit into the culture.
    • The other factor weighing heavily on the interviewer’s mind is the image you create. A candidate who exhibits a great deal of passion and excitement as well as specific knowledge about the company seems very attractive.
    • More ways to give a positive impression are via general appearance, attire, and, above all, a natural smile. Regardless of geographic location, language, or culture, a smile means the same thing around the globe.

    What are negative factors in an interview?

    • Lack of confidence is an interview killer. If you’re not sure of yourself, or you don’t have specific examples, or you’re winging many of your answers, the interviewer will probably not be very impressed. Your body language will instantly reveal the truth, and both parties are thinking the same thing without talking about it.
    • Certain things are universally considered gauche and should be strictly avoided—for example, being late or smelling of nicotine or strong perfume, dressing improperly, chewing gum, or the ringing of your cell phone in the middle of the interview. Any of those could be detrimental.
    • And there are other ways a candidate can disenchant the interviewer—for example, denigrating a previous employer, voicing strong opinions, being caught lying, pointing out where the interviewer is wrong about something, or making the interviewer feel bad—about anything.

    So, in summary, what is the holy grail of the interview process? The answer is, it depends, because a large portion of the decision-making process is subjective and hinges on the interviewer’s consciousness, past experiences, personal culture, and intellectual world. What I’ve learned from performing job interview coaching for several years is that the most important success factors are extensive preparation via mock interviewing the building of self-confidence. Both of those are instantly evident to an interviewer.

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    How to Avoid Overcommunicating Your Brand

    How can up-and-comers steer clear of overcommunicating when trying to gain traction as they launch a new brand?

    These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launchedBusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

    1. Create Original, Useful Content

    Promotion is a major part of launching a new brand, but you also want to establish your new brand as an authority. Publishing a unique case study, infographic or white paper on your website is a great way to get people in your industry talking about your brand and linking to its website. Focus on delivering quality over quantity. It may seem like a snail, but there’s a higher ROI in the end. – Kristopher JonesLSEO.com

    2. Focus Your Energy on Growing the Whole Audience

    If you’re launching a new brand, you should be focused on finding new audiences in different places, not re-communicating to the same group of people who have already shown a small amount of interest. People will convert when they’re ready, so spend your time talking to new people and be graceful about how you re-engage with that existing audience. – Baruch LabunskiRank Secure

    3. Don’t Be Afraid to Edit

    A big part of quality communication is editing. Brevity is an admirable skill and the more concise you can be, the more it will be appreciated by your peers. Focus on quality communication of volume. Yes, there are 10 great points, but are there three amazing points that people must know. Focus on necessity, not wordiness. – Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now

    4. Empathize and Ask Your Customers Questions

    Put yourself in your customer’s shoes to understand the type and amount of communication they’re looking for. Apply the same rigor to designing your communications as you did to designing your product – the same principles of solving customer pain points apply. When you get the chance, test that design by asking customers if you’re communicating too much (or not enough). They will tell you. – Kevin BretthauerFuelCloud

    5. Shake Up Your Ads Often

    For maximum exposure without overcommunication, make sure that you shake up your marketing efforts every few weeks. You don’t have to retire the old ads, just put them on rotation later on. Users often filter out ads that they’ve seen after a couple times, so an added benefit of this is some fresh attention from people you no longer reach. – Adam SteeleLoganix

    6. Carefully Select and Engage Influencers

    You can convincingly communicate your brand’s value and do it well, but you will eventually hit a point of diminishing returns. An excellent supplemental strategy, then, is to sway the most trusted voices in your market to make your case for you. Even a small handful of the right names vouching for your brand can be wildly more impactful than yet another email blast or media campaign. – Ryan WilsonFiveFifty

    7. Minimize Text, Maximize Visuals

    One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is communicating their message using text-heavy media. It’s like giving a prospective customer a reading assignment — and you don’t want your marketing materials to feel like homework. Instead, use visually driven media — from motion graphics to interactive web pages — to pique their interest, encourage sharing and make learning about your brand fun. – Amy BalliettKiller Infographics

    8. Answer Your Target Audience’s Questions

    When launching a new brand, it’s so easy to just blog about your brand, but this way of blogging may not get your brand noticed. Instead, look to craft blog posts that answer your potential customer’s questions using tools like AnswerThePublic.com and Quora. Once customers are on your site reading your blog, give them a free resource in exchange for their email address to nurture the relationship. – Syed BalkhiOptinMonster

    9. Keep Email to a Minimum

    Keep email communications to a minimum, and only send them out when you have something relevant to say. Adopt the same approach with social media postings. Your blog posts should also be scheduled but not overdone. It can be easy to overcommunicate in your zest to launch your brand, but taking a more conservative approach is probably a better option. – Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

    10. Say the Same Message in Different Ways

    Many times, when companies and people overcommunicate it’s because they keep saying the same exact thing over and over again. Instead of saying the same thing, think of ways you could communicate the message in different ways. Everyone is different, so you have to approach people from different angles to understand your message. – Jared AtchisonWPForms

    11. Make Sure Your Content Makes Sense

    To avoid over communication, take a moment and make sure that all the content you are pushing makes sense for your brand and is something that your core user wants to see. Don’t just share something to share something, make sure what you are saying is in alignment with your brand. – Jayna CookeEVENTup

    12. Respect People’s Time

    Some startups overcommunicate by sharing every detail of every single feature update with their mailing list. You may have worked hard to add a new feature, it may improve your product’s functionality, but you probably don’t need to share the nuts and bolts with your busy customers. Respect people’s time. Keep the information you share relevant and high-level. – Karl KangurMRR Media

    13. Don’t Communicate in the Wrong Way

    There really isn’t a danger of over-communicating when you’re trying to gain traction with a new brand. But there is a danger of communicating in the wrong way. Take the time to really strategize your content and be intentional about sharing value and being present for others across different channels. The more you can offer value and benefit, the more likely others will start seeking you out. –Nathalie LussierAmbitionAlly

    14. You Can’t Over-Communicate

    Part of starting a new brand is convincing people that there is a need for what you are doing. People tend to have a presumption that what you are doing will not work. It is better to overcommunicate and risk divulging too much — but succeed in convincing them of your value proposition — than to safeguard too much and have everyone write you off. – Joel ButterlyInGenius Prep

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    Posted in Personal Branding

    The Do’s and Don’ts of Working With Recruiters

    In order to work effectively with a recruiter, you need to know how to communicate with them.

    Many job seekers discuss networking as being a critical component to a successful job search. While the majority recognizes the importance of building the right relationships, few know how to establish a rapport with a key group: headhunters.

    The ability to form ongoing relationships with influential recruiters can prove more critical to your career success than any other networking outlet. In order to influence a headhunter, you must know how to interact with them. Working with recruiters can have a wide variety of benefits.

    To assist you, we’ve listed important communication do’s and don’ts of working with a recruiter.

    Understanding the importance of recruiter relationships.

    Why is it so beneficial to learn how to speak with executive search professionals and work with recruiters effectively? Over time, alliances with the right staffing agents can aid you in several different ways. Competent recruiters can do the following:

    • Open up additional job opportunities you didn’t know about.
    • Provide key insight into the job market.
    • Help negotiate higher compensation packages.
    • Provide critical resume and job-search advice.

    The do’s and don’ts of recruiter communication.

    Since your goal is to have lasting relationships with headhunters, it’s imperative to understand how to work with recruiters effectively and communicate well. Here is what you should be doing:

    Do clearly convey your career goals.

    Often, job seekers complain about being pressured to interview for jobs that they are not interested in nor qualified for. This results in them making a bad impression during the interview which, in turn, hurts their ongoing relationship with that recruiting agent.

    However, you can prevent this by clearly conveying your professional goals to the recruiter. When a headhunter knows exactly what you’re looking for, they can more accurately make career suggestions without putting you in an awkward spot.

    If you are approached for a job you are not interested in, it’s best that you politely decline, thank the recruiter for their consideration, and tell them what interests you.

    Don’t be indecisive.

    Don’t interview just to get in the recruiter’s good graces. Doing so will not strengthen the relationship, and will ultimately come back to hurt you. Whether you interview well and don’t accept a job, or don’t receive an offer, it’s a lose-lose situation.

    Do allow the recruiter to call the shots.

    One of the best ways to get on the good side of a recruiter is to simply allow them to do their job. On occasion, job applicants have trouble not being in control of the hiring process. Anxiousness forces them to take certain actions which can be perceived as stepping on the toes of the recruiter.

    For instance, when working with an executive recruiter, it’s in your best interest to ask them permission (as well as their opinion), or keep them in the loop with any client contact. This includes sending thank you notes to interviewers with the individual cc’d, all the way to negotiating salary through the headhunter unless directed otherwise.

    The rule of thumb is if you don’t know the way a staffing professional likes to work, it’s best to ask. Inquiring about their preferences and being compliant with those requests builds trust and fosters long-term relationships.

    Do remain cordial and professional even if you do not get the job.

    Another great way to get into a recruiter’s good graces is to be gracious upon losing an offer. Sometimes, applicants will bad mouth the hiring manager which makes them look petty and unprofessional. This is not to mention that they are talking poorly about the recruiters’ clients. How you behave when things don’t go your way is just as important as how you behave when they do.

    By thanking the recruiter for their time and informing them you’d be interested in anything similar that comes along leaves the door open to you working again with the individual.

    Don’t be a sore loser.

    Recruiters find the sour grapes mentality very off-putting and complaining has no benefit to you. Sometimes you get the job, sometimes you don’t. However, never lose your composure when things don’t go your way.

    In the end.

    If played correctly, working with a recruiter will do nothing but benefit your career. Whether or not you end up a taking a job today is not as important as whether or not you’ll be considered in the future.

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