Getting a Job Offer – Social Media Job Seeking Tips!

Getting a Job Offer – Social Media Job Seeking Tips!

If you have one or more social media pages/profiles (LinkedInFacebook

The picture you DON'T want to be part of your job-seeking process!

The picture you DON’T want to be part of your job-seeking process!

Twitter – etc.) two very important pieces of advice from an expert….when it comes to getting a job offer.

1.    Review very carefully what you have posted and who else impacts what appears on your profile.

2.    Be sure they are all in sync AND match your resume – no inconsistencies.

Let’s review both.

First – take a close look with a critical eye as to what is there for a prospective employer to see. Many an employment opportunity has ended abruptly when a prospective employer’s recruiter/interviewer saw things on a social media site that concerned them sufficiently to conclude that the candidate would not be a good fit for the organization and hence no longer a viable candidate for the job.

After all, the person that screens and interviews for open positions is the “gate-keeper” and empowered to screen out those that are not a good fit in terms of organizational culture.

And don’t “friend” with those whose social media content is inappropriate in any way – it can adversely impact you!

Secondly – be sure your resume and LinkedIn profile “mirror” each other; you don’t want a prospective employer trying to reconcile inconsistencies between the two.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account/profile – you need to create one posthaste… just be sure it mirrors your resume!

You can be sure that the process of reviewing your application will include a Google search of your name – you and only you can control what is found! Getting a job offer requires a little work on your end…

Here are some more great tips about how your social media can hurt your job search:

These guidelines – and others – about how to get the job you want can be found in “The Ultimate Job-Seeker’s Guide”.

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Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

Interviewing to be Hired – What is the Interviewer Looking for?

Interviewing to be Hired – What is the Interviewer Looking for?

Interviewing – as noted as a chapter title in my book – is “The Bridge Between You and Your Next Job”. You can never be too well prepared to interview.

Interviewing cPart of being prepared is to put yourself in the shoes of those who will interview you – what is it they are trying to learn about you and then evaluate whether you are a good match or not.

I am part of an advisory team assisting a group of students at American University in Washington, DC. My role is to facilitate discussions that will help prepare them for life after graduation, including career planning and finding that first “real” job after college.

In doing so I have been looking at the material provide by AU’s career center and I find it to be really good informaton – much better than I have seen at other colleges and universities.

In particulalr, I really like their piece on Interviewing – “Key Considerations”. It breaks the interview process into four parts with suggested questions to be prepared to answer or ask as follows:

  • Likelihood For Success
  • Willingness To Perform
  • Organizational Fit
  • Your Turn (you get to ask questions here)

As noted in my book and elsewhere in this blog, to successfully interview… you need to be prepared. Really well prepared!

You need to be prepared to answer any and every possible question you might be asked by an interviewer. You also need to be prepared to ask questions to flesh out full knowledge of both the job and of the organization.

Write out the answers … and rehearse

If you are going to do anything a multiple number of times, it makes great sense to figure out the very best way to do so and then “cookbook” the process. Interviewing falls into this category.

You will be interviewed multiple times, often by different people at the same organization. You really need to nail the answers—every time. And the only way to do that is to draft—in writing—what you want to say as an answer. Then speak it aloud and then revise the answer to fit the spoken word. Ideally, have a friend or relative ask the questions, you speak out loud the answers in return, and have him or her critique your answers. You can read your answers for this exercise and then again edit the written responses. Is it time consuming? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes again!

The point is that you should never “wing it” answering a question. Your response needs to appear to be natural, an extension of your thought process. Yet you want to put the absolute correct spin on it—to convey the thoughts, ideas, and image putting you in the best possible light. And if you prepare properly, you should virtually never have to answer a question for the “first” time in an interview! You have answered it before in rehearsal and honed your answer to be the best possible answer.

Have you essentially memorized the meat of each answer? Yup, you sure have! To not do so is to risk not doing your best. Actors commit their lines to memory because they understand that without sticking 100% to the script, the story line will not be as clear and vivid as the producer and writers intended. Your interviews are no different.

It really isn’t that hard. The process of modifying your answers and then rehearsing them will result in you remembering them.

OK.. back to AU’s four areas of focus. I really like their recommended list of possible questions to be prepared to answer… I am going to list them here…with full accreditation to American University’s Career Center:

  • Likelihood For Success – To convince an employer that your are the person it needs, you must first artulate your unique qualifications and outperform other interviewees. Be prepared to answer questions such as:
    • What do you know about our organization?
    • What led you to choose your college major?
    • What is your greatest strength and weakness?
    • What do you consider your greatest accomplishments and why?
    • Why should this organization hire you?
  • Willingness To Perform – Before investing heavily in you, an employer assesses your level of commitment to the position and organization. To convey your enthusiasm for the role and support of the organization’s mission, prepare genuine responses to these common questions:
    • Why are you applying for this position?
    • What are your most looking forward to in this role and why?
    • What activity do you believe will be the most challenging and why?
    • What contributions can you make to our organization?
    • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Organizational Fit –  An employer asks questions  like the ones below to measure your compatibility with its mission, goals, workplace values, procedures, and people. In the interest of both you and the employer, answer honestly.
    • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
    • What qualities do you seek in a manager?
    • In what type of work environment are you most satisfied?
    • How would a colleague or professional reference describe you?
    • What situations are most stressful for you and how do you cope?
  • Your Turn – An employer always reserves time toward the end of an interview to answer your questions. Take the opportunity to learn more in order to determine if the position and organization are right for you. If you are not prepared to ask questions, an employer may doubt your intention, so use the samples below as a starting point.
    • What would a typical day be like for me?
    • How will my performance be evaluated?
    • How do employees advance within the organization?
    • What do employees most enjoy about working here?
    • What significant changes or challenges to the job, department or organization do your foresee in the short or long-term?

In closing – to “make the cut’ when interviewing – you MUST be prepared. Use this list of the four factors interviewers are exploring and the sample questions to aid in that preparation!!

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Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved



Organizational Culture – You Must Understand it for Career Success!

Organizational Culture – You Must Understand it for Career Success!

As your career expands you may well play a role in developing the orgnaizational culture of your employer or perhaps a subset (division, department, etc) of it. If you are an entrepreneur, you ARE the determining factor of your venture’s orgainizational culture. If your job title starts with a “C”, then you have a responsibility to orgcultmaintain and mold the existing organnizational culture. Any way you look at it, organizational culture (or OC for this discussion)  is a deteremining factor for success of all organizations whether they be corporations, law firms, educational institutions, etc.

Lest you doubt that, hear the thoughts of Isadore Sharp, CEO of the Four Seasons Hotel chain: “If you don’t understand the culture of the company, even your most brilliant strategies will fail. Your vision will be resisited, plans won’t get executed properly, and all kinds of things will start going wrong.”

A study by the Econimist Intelligence Unit found: “56% or U.S. executives felt the single greatest obstacle to growth was corporate culture”.

Given its imporatnce to success, let’s examine just what OC is and its impact. The conclusions of those who have studied it are:

1. OC is the basic pattern of shared assumptions, values and beliefs considered to be the correct way of thinking about and acting on problems and opportunities facing the organization. OC is the philosophy that guides the organization’s policies towards employees and customers.

2. OC represents certain predefined policies that guide employees and give them a sense of direction in the workplace. It determines how employees interact in the workplace; it puts them on a common platform of thinking and decision-making.

3. An organization’s culture is the “lens” through which its employees view the world; the “logic” which defines roles and actions; the “grammar” which brings order and makes sense of things. In other words, OC is central to what people see , how they make sense of what they see and how they in turn express themselves.

4. Organizations will ultimately get only as far as their OC will take them

David A. Thomas from the Harvard Business School and Robin J. Ely from Columbia University have extensively studied OC and found the following components to be present in most of the successful organizations they studied:

  • The OC creates expectations of high standards of performance from everyone.
  • The OC encourages debate and constructive conflict.
  • The OC is such that training and education programs nurture personal development.
  • Employees feel valued and are encouraged to apply their background and skills in creative ways to improve the work of the organization.
  • The mission and goals of the organization are well articulated and widely understood, which keeps discussions about differences focused on the organization’s work.
  • The OC and structure are such that people are encouraged to be themselves,      unencumbered by unnecessary bureaucratic systems that control and limit the activities of people within the organization.

Some indicators that the OC requires more than just passing attention would be:

  • Higher than normal turnover and/or unexpected turnover.
  • Such simple indicators as unhappy, unmotivated  and/or disgruntled staff.
  • Projects and plans that sound good initially just don’t progress; people are not taking ownership of them and seeing them through to completion.
  • Staff can’t articulate the organization’s mission and values.
  • Staff senses conflicting messages from senior management.

Very few organizations can’t use a little tune-up to improve their Organizational Culture to; it is of benefit to all if the common values, assumptions and beliefs are shared by all and used as a bias for action. Constant attention is always needed to fine tune and maintain an organization’s culture.

As you evaluate prospective employers, do your best to determine what their OC is and how healthy is it. Successful organizations have healthy OC; those that are not one of the leaders in their segment probably have an unhealthy OC and are to be avoided as a career choice.

And regardless of what your job is today, analyze the OC of your organization and do what you can to strengthen it.

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Leadership – Critical for Success – How to Excel in Your Job

Leadership – Critical for Success – How to Excel in Your Job

Peter Drucker said it all when he said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”. *

leadershipBoth are necessary for success… but leadership is harder to pursue and harder to attain.

Any road map for dynamic leadership will include:

1. Seeing the big picture. Picture in your “mind’s eye” the objectives of the organization (or your team, department or business unit). Don’t engage in or permit others to engage in any activity that doesn’t get you closer to achieving those objectives. Sure – every now and then a re-grouping is called for to get back on track… and every now and then some “pro bono” effort is needed….but don’t let extraneous “things” get in the way of pursuing the organization’s objectives.

2. Making sure subordinates are fully informed as to the objective(s) and buy into them. This often involves a discussion of “why”, “how” and “target numbers”.  Give them the parameters of action that can – and can’t – be taken; budgetary limits on spending and any other broad guidelines. Communicate clear and concise expectations of results.

3. Monitoring progress – but not hovering. Let staff do their thing… your monitoring is to prevent disaster, not minor mistakes or errors. “Doing things their own way” may well result in minor errors or mistakes. Make any mistake or error a learning process; risk-taking is inherent in the pursuit of success.  Remember – “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs!”

4. Measuring progress regularly. Benchmark progress against targets, and charge staff with developing plans to address shortfalls or to capitalize on above-target results. Guide their problem solving…but don’t do it for them.

5. Making sure every team member “sweats the small stuff”. One of John Wooden’s maxims for success is, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen”. Every team member needs to acknowledge that each and every task or action needs to be on-target, on-time and error-free. Sloppy execution is a sign of sloppy management. Sloppy management is a sign of poor leadership.

6. Recognizing and rewarding performance…publicly.  People like to be winners. The incremental achievement of targeted objectives determines who the winners are; it is the job of leadership to recognize and reward those individuals and teams. Create programs and mechanisms to regularly and publicly recognize those who achieve and set the standard for others.

OK… six components of effective leadership. Rate yourself on a 1-5 scale for each:

One or two points – I haven’t a clue where to begin

Three points – I am progressing but I have a ways to go

Four points – I am doing well!! Now it’s time to fine-tune

Five points –  Ain’t no such thing as a five… always room to improve.. give yourself a 4.7 or 4.8

Now – add up your points – maximum of 30 possible (6 x 5). Anything less than a twenty means you have your work cut out for yourself. Twenty-five or better – congratulations – Drucker would be proud of you. But don’t rest… keeping it going requires constant attention. Good luck!!

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