A Quick Dose of Career News for the Week of 01/09/17…
A Quick Dose of Career News for the Week of 01/09/17…
An instant career killer that may cost you a paycheck? Inappropriate behaviors that may be deal-breakers during a job interview over lunch.
In a highly competitive job market many job seekers are invited to an interview lunch; the interview is actually conducted over a meal. This tactic separates equally matched candidates from the competition and may come at a high price; getting hired.
Useful tips to kick-start a successful job interview over lunch:
Show up on time and at the correct location. Be sure to map out your route if going to an unfamiliar location. BE ON TIME. Heads up! Some hiring managers select a difficult location and have used this tactic to challenge and determine the ability of a job seeker to navigate effectively.
Tip: When possible, drive by the restaurant the night before and scope out the area; avoid getting “lost” and have a plan for parking, projected mishaps or construction delays.
Unable to resist that piece of gum? Gum chewing becomes an issue when you do not know what to do with that sticky glob once seated at the table before serious discussion. Additionally, the hiring manager or recruiter may face Chiclephobia (The fear of chewing gum.), just ask Oprah Winfrey, no one was allowed to chew gum in her studio when she was a talk show host.
Tip: Opt for mints.
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 seen as unprofessional.
Tip: Never, never, never, lick the last bits of mashed potato or other delight from the blade of the knife, at the table, during the job interview (or any other time, for that matter…).
Do you salt or pepper your meal before taking a bite? Think again. This action has been known to send a non-verbal message of making hasty or rash decisions and could cost you that job. Why? You “assumed” the meal needed salt or pepper prior to tasting.
Tip: Always sample a small bite before adding salt or pepper. In addition, use caution when dousing ketchup, dipping sauces or other condiments to a meal, it may send off a “red flag” and can be seen as an insult to the chef.
Remember, you were not invited to the meal because you are hungry! Avoid ordering expensive menu items, finger foods and difficult to manage items (ribs, lobster, fried chicken, spaghetti, etc.). Also, if a food item is difficult to eat, you spend more effort on eating the meal and less on building rapport with emphasis on the main mission; GETTING HIRED.
Tip: A salad may be cumbersome, not all leafy greens are cut into bite size pieces; opt for the soup instead.
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 a job.
Tip: Sparking water and a lime make a good substitute.
The purpose of the interview lunch? To determine your social savvy. Many times this form of interview is one of THE determining factors in hiring.
Tip: You are an extension of the company brand when hired; demonstrating good manners set you apart from the competition. It is NOT about the food; it is about the relationship building process and “how to be” may determine “cultural fit” depending on the industry and/or position you are seeking.
These are just a few dining etiquette fundamentals and if traveling abroad be sure to research each culture and the differences when conducting business or a job interview over a lunch or a meal. Good luck!
Is it a lack of qualified candidates or is it a lack of talented and skilled labor? As of today, there is no shortage of talent in the jobs marketplace. However, there is a shortage of conversations centered around a resolution. Who is to blame? the employer? the job seeker? This question demonstrates today’s struggle employers and job seekers are experiencing when engaged in the masterful shell game; hiring and getting hired.
What can be done? Businesses and organizations need to effectively employ legacy or institutional knowledge transfer of more seasoned workers onto new and emerging talent within their organizations, construction and other skilled trades need to amp up apprenticeships to leverage the ability for knowledge transfer before it is too late, and educational institutions need to begin forging new concepts for career planning by offering coursework and learning that supports a brighter future for great possibilities with marketable skills that are in demand, now and in the future.
With an onslaught of retiring workers on the move, it is imperative that businesses create strategies to bolster continued growth into the next decade and that job seekers plan for a career path versus a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke).
Individual responsibility is a necessary requirement to defining a career pathway and seeking out resources, in the local community and remotely, that offer training and apprenticeships to prepare for future careers with emphasis in technology, skilled trades and beyond.
HR executives and hiring managers claim it is the lack of qualified candidates. Job seekers claim it is a lack of good paying jobs and difficulty uncovering viable opportunities. Both are correct and in most cases, the employer and the job seeker, are to blame.
10 Reasons Employers and Job Seekers Stand in Their Own Way:
1. Candidates applying for job opportunities that they are clearly NOT qualified to execute.
Tip: Technology is used to process online job applications. Robots “read” resumes. If your resume does not feature specific required qualifications you will receive a rejection email in your inbox.
2. Resume’s that do not build value or demonstrate the ability to fulfill the requirements featured in the job posting.
Tip: Make the investment and hire a qualified career coach or use online resources to ensure your resume is properly read by the software “robots” used to filter resumes in online application tools and that is easily read when sharing or supplying manually through email or other channels.
3. Failing to use a cover letter that connects the resume and work history to the job qualifications and requirements in the job description.
Tip: Less than 30% of job postings require a cover letter, however, that doesn’t mean you should not have a cover letter. What you should know…keep a cover letter to one page, focus on three to four key skills/abilities featured in the job description and match to your qualifications. Be specific and avoid oversharing personal information, many people have talked themselves OUT of a job by revealing too many personal details.
4. Candidates with “one size fits all” generic degrees or a background with no specific direction or focus.
Tip: If you don’t know what you want to do or where you are going on your career pathway; how can an employer understand your value and where you fit?
5. Employers in need of candidates with Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) skills or skilled trade background and the selection of qualified individuals is limited.
Tip: Attract motivated, reliable, and dependable candidates with the possibility of learning new skills or a trade by investing and spending the monies necessary for engaging potential new hires.
6. Candidates not engaging the necessary planning and preparation for job interview success; “just showing up” is NOT enough.
Tip: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Behavioral interviews are most common and understanding how to respond to job interview questions using the proper formula, with practice, will help hiring managers understand your ability to do the job.
7. Employers looking for “Superman” when “Robin” will do.
Tip: Is there potential? Potential is a key factor when evaluating talent. Does the candidate have the POTENTIAL with existing abilities to be “upskilled” into a role versus waiting for the perfect hire?
8. Candidates failing to execute a resume that is adaptive for upload and filtering by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) and the lack of keywords sprinkled throughout the document in order to “get found” to “get hired”.
Tip: Follow directions. If a job description REQUIRES a Bachelor’s degree, your resume must meet the qualification. If a job description PREFERS a Bachelor’s degree and you have an Associate’s degree, you can apply for that job. REQUIRES vs. PREFERS.
9. Employers failing to be specific and clear as to required and preferred skills in the job description.
10. Employers poorly trained on appropriate interview techniques and strategies to uncover qualified candidates for hire.
These are just a few examples that stand in the way of good employers finding good employees that are eager to be of value and purpose in your organization. Good luck!