Job Interview Strategy: Employment and Facebook Privacy.

Employment and Facebook Privacy.∗

There have been recent reports that companies are asking prospective candidates for their username and passwords to their social media content. This is in direct violation of the terms of service agreement that a user has made with the social media provider and compromises not only their information but also compromises the privacy that is expected by all of the connections/users.

How do your respond to such a request? Example: “While I respect the fact that you would like access to my account; unfortunately, I must adhere to the Terms of Service Agreement presented by (insert social media provider, i.e.Facebook) for the privacy and safety of my account and those connected to my account and therefore will be unable to do so. As you can imagine, I would also not provide the username and passwords that would be issued by this company, in the event I am hired, and I hope you can appreciate my integrity in this matter.”

Also consider, this could be a test to see how trusted you would be in situations that could compromise the security and policies of the organization. How? Well if you are too quick to give up your Facebook username and password, not to mention violating the Rights and Responsibilities as a Facebook user, would you do the same with their company information too? Something to think about.

Ethics and Integrity in the workplace are valued commodities and you would want to question the ethics and integrity of an organization that would choose not to hire you in the event you stood firm on your commitment to avoid relinquishing or compromising your privacy and the privacy of other Facebook users.

DO NOT relinquish your Facebook or social media username and passwords to a prospective employer as a precondition of hire , in this case, you would be violating your agreement to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and compromising the privacy of your connections. Even if you feel you have “nothing to hide”, this is not only about you, but the expectations of privacy on behalf of your connections as well.


Registration and Account Security∗∗

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way.  Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1.  You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
2.  You will not create more than one personal profile.
3.  If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
4.  You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
5.  You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
6.  You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
7.  You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
8.  You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
9.  You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
10.  If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).

∗Disclaimer: This is strictly the opinion of Denise Anne Taylor and should not constitute legal advice, if you question your rights please seek legal counsel.

∗∗Extracted from the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Job Interview Strategy: Tell Me About Yourself…Solved.

jobinterview-70292-largeThis is NOT a trick question…

…many candidates appear bewildered and befuddled because silently they are thinking, “Well, what do you want to know?” or “Where do I begin?” or “Why don’t you just ask me specifically what you want to hear?” so let’s review what this question really reveals…

#1. Your Communication Style. If you are unable to clearly communicate about who you are, where you have been and your key skills and abilities in an effective manner; how can the interviewer expect you to clearly communicate about their products or services effectively once you are hired?

#2. Organized Communication. When you can communicate in an organized, easy to follow manner, then this demonstrates your ability to communicate in that same capacity once you are hired.

#3. Confidence. An individual that can exhibit a confident demeanor while expressing their work history will make a more significant first impression.

#4. Extended Conversation. It allows for the interview to take on a greater depth, and allows you to expand on accomplishments that correspond with the job posting. In other words, you get to sell yourself.

Most candidates self-sabotage their ability for success in this all important area by saying too much or saying too little or providing information that is of little value.

One of the most asked questions during the job interview is “Tell me about yourself…”, and it is the single greatest question posed when looking for a job, networking, and when meeting new people.

Maintain a chronological format and keep your reply under two minutes, practice, practice, practice, and continually evolve shorter versions for career fairs and networking events (also known as a 30-second commercial or sometimes called the “elevator pitch”).

Step 1: Start with your most recent position/role, state company name, your title, and job responsibility overview (one or two sentences) and a key accomplishment. Be brief.  Your goal is to generate interest and you can expand further as the job interview progresses.

Step 2: Next, take the job interviewer back to the beginning of your career history (How I began my career…) and walk them forward (chronologically) back to your current position/role; (dates in this statement are not required) stating company name, position and job responsibility overviews, add a key accomplishment, here and there, that applies to directly to the job posting.  Tip:  Bring a copy of the job posting with you to the job interview and use it for reference.

Make  Connections For The Interviewer.  “I accomplished…..and saw that you were looking for someone with this particular skill, expertise, etc., in the job posting…” or “This is where I gained the experience noted in your job posting.”

Step 3: Speak with confidence, enthusiasm, and practice so that you sound as though you actually did the work; avoid sounding as though you are uncertain as this will create a “red flag” for the hiring manager, recruiter, or job interviewer.

Avoid talking about hobbies, family matters, where you were in kindergarten etc., keep it professional. If you left the workplace for personal reasons (stay at home mom, caregiver, health, etc.) state something like; “I made a personal decision to leave the workplace to attend to family matters ( to further my education, care for my mother, etc.) .” Keep it simple.  Focus on your skill and abilities and the job role.  If you are confident about your choice; they will remain confident.

Good luck!

The Interview Lunch: Mind Your Manners.

During the job interview process many prospective candidates are invited to a job interview over a meal. It is important to recognize that many individuals have failed miserably at this task and have compromised the promise of a career opportunity and a paycheck by demonstrating poor table manners.

Tips for a successful interview dining experience:

Show up on time and at the correct location. Be sure to map out your route if going to an unfamiliar location. It is up to the host to choose the venue.

Avoid gum. Use mints, as gum chewing is seen as a sign of bad breeding in many parts of the world and becomes an issue when you do not know what to do with that sticky glob once you begin to dine.

Avoid waving, pointing, or flailing the silver. When engaged in conversation do not wield the knife and fork around as you are speaking. This creates a distraction and is unprofessional.

Avoid the use of salt or pepper prior to tasting the meal. Many individuals will salt or pepper their meal without first sampling. This sends a non-verbal message of making hasty or rash decisions and can compromise the ability to move forward in the hiring process.

You were not invited to a meal because you are hungry. Avoid ordering expensive menu items, finger foods and difficult to manage items (ribs, lobster, fried chicken, spaghetti, etc.). If a food item is difficult to manage, you spend more effort on eating the meal and less on building rapport with emphasis on the main mission; getting hired. It is not about the food; it is about the relationship building process.

Order menu items that allow you to focus on the interview. Safe items to order when on an interview lunch or dinner include; soup, a main entree’ featuring poultry, fish, meat, starch and vegetable. A salad may be cumbersome as not all leafy greens are cut into bite size pieces.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol inhibits the ability to recall important details, impairs the ability to remember names (especially in a networking setting), may cause improper conversations to emerge, and is not advisable when being considered for hire.

The purpose of the interview lunch/dinner is to determine the social savvy of the job seeker. Many times this form interview is the determining factor in hiring as it sets apart candidates for hire that are closely matched in skill and technical ability. You are an extension of the organization you represent, and table manners demonstrate your ability to be an ambassador for that potential hiring organization. Good luck!

Always Speak Kindness.

Just a reminder to avoid the tailspin of gossip and harsh words by being deliberate with feedback and communication with others; demonstrate the willingness to exhibit a kind pleasing nature. Now…go take on the world!

Career Transition: Where do I go from here?

 

boss-fight-free-high-quality-stock-images-photos-photography-woman-map-960x641Are you ready to move out of your current job or industry and not sure how to start?  Have you been a victim of a job layoff or recent graduate frustrated while looking for a job?  Are you struggling with a recent disability diagnosis and can no longer do the work you have been doing? 

There are several steps you can take to transition yourself in the jobs marketplace.

First, begin by creating a list of all connections, contacts and previous colleagues;  LinkedIn the world’s largest professional networking site, is a good place to find people you may want to contact and reconnect and outreach to schedule a brief phone call or meet over a coffee to discuss options, possibilities and to gather information for job potential opportunities or referrals. Note: This is strictly to gather information and for no other purpose, do not ask to provide your resume at this point, unless it is requested.

“Someone you know; knows someone; looking for someone; just like you.”-Denise Anne Taylor, Career Coach

Next, tell everyone and anyone you are looking for work or moving in a different direction; they will be your extended “eyes and ears”. This will keep you top of mind. 

Additionally, create eye-catching and  affordable business cards for your job search to use at job interviews, networking events, and when meeting new people.

Also, your resume will reflect your specialized field, however, in the cover letter you can separate your transferable skills and abilities, that apply across industries, and that  can transition to another role utilizing the job posting as a guide.

Remember, do not hesitate to outreach through networking events and engagements in your area through a local chamber of commerce or trade association. Research shows 80% of your success will be due in part to your circle of influence also known as your network.

In addition, have you considered going back to school to brush up on skills and bring them current for the jobs marketplace?  For example, do you want to master and explore new skills in coding, design, marketing, technology, and data — online or at their campuses around the world?  If so, try General Assembly.  There many possibilities for acquiring and learning new skills and many can be from the comfort of your home and online.

If you graduated from a local university, community college or trade school, contact or visit their career services department and they will have available resources to guide and assist you in your transition.  Campus career services departments are a valuable resource to current students and alumni.  Many alumni fail to use their connections and support that can be found through their alma mater, and it does not matter when you graduated; it just matters that you need help and support, now.  Career service representatives are employed and paid to service their student populations and alumni on all facets of their career pathway.

Finally, as you move forward, be sure to send a letter of thanks to those that have supported your efforts during your transition and update them on your successful landing of a new job opportunity.

Begin with these steps and good luck with your search! 

Updated 02/11/17.

How Rude! Managing Workplace Conflict.

Conflict_Orange_BGSo you think that your co-worker has it in for you; or that a particular colleague specifically wakes up each morning determining how to make your life more difficult? Well, fortunately… they are not that smart. The real issue boils down to communication or lack of communication.

75% of most conflict is petty and small. Someone forgot to replace copy paper in the copy machine when needed, or talking too loud on the phone in the next cubicle, interrupting during meetings, gossip, taking the last cup of coffee from the coffee maker and not replenishing and the list goes on and on…..

Most people confuse personalities with issues, the conflict is not dealt with early on, and that most people do not stay to the facts when addressing the conflict.

Avoid addressing the personality and stay focused on the issue. “Sally didn’t put more copy paper in the copier, she’s stupid.” The fact is she failed to refill the copier. When personality comes into the framework of conflict it breeds more conflict. It will force the person to get defensive and justify they are “right” or “should” or disregard the actual offense.

FOCUS ON THE ISSUE!

Deal with the situation, immediately. Avoid letting the irritation or conflict build and build until you finally explode! Be sure to take the person aside, privately. Ask for a specific time and location to meet and indicate what you want to address, collect all the FACTS, and be prepared to control the meeting.

The biggest failure in addressing conflict is the ability to stay with the facts. Step 1: State the facts of the situation (I went to use the copier, you were the last person to make copies, and the copy paper tray was empty.), Step 2: State the impact it had on you and only you, not everyone in the office. Avoid generalities. (When copy paper is not in the machine it disrupts my productivity and is frustrating to me.), Step 3: Respect their decision. (I can appreciate you are busy and may have overlooked using the last of the copy paper.) Step 4: Request an action. (However, in the future would you please double check the supply before leaving the copy machine?)

The above formula is useful in addressing conflict that is big or small it allows you to stay with the facts and avoids bringing personality issues into the conversation.

It is true, that some conflict may never be resolved but it can be managed. However, it is important to address the situation immediately to ensure the ability to move forward.

The pitfalls of not dealing with conflict is costly! Lack of trust, lack of respect, impact on productivity, not feeling valued are just a few of the affects of poorly managed conflict in the workplace.

Why do we “Clink” Glasses during a Toast? Solved.

 

boss-fight-free-stock-high-resolution-images-photos-photography-two-drinks-beach

Etiquette 101:  The idea was to involve all five senses; sight, taste, touch, smell, and the only thing missing was sound/hearing and as a result a “clink” of the glass was established…