How do you handle an unexpected FaceTime call with a recruiter?

I was recently asked: “For my interview, the recruiter set up a phone call. I was prepared to answer all her questions but instead of calling, she FaceTimes me instead. I was not expecting it and my hair was a mess and I was wearing a rock concert t-shirt. What should I do if it happens again?”   My answer is simple, if someone FaceTimes you and you weren’t expecting it…don’t answer. Call them back directly and tell them you are sorry but are not able to FaceTime at this moment and need to just make it a phone call. Let them know that you will be happy to set up FaceTime for the next discussion. Remember, always be prepared and stay in control of the job search process.   Susan Caplan is the go-to MARKETING YOURSELF expert. She is an inspiring keynote speaker, consultant, teacher and author of the Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ book series.  Hire: keynote speaker, resume writing, career coach Purchase Books: Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ Follow: Facebook, BLOG Contact:  info@SusanCaplan.com... read more

IS MY HANDSHAKE RIGHT?

The handshake is the first impression you will make when you meet someone. Whether you are at a career fair, social event or interview, shake hands with everyone you meet. A handshake can share a lot about an individual’s confidence and professionalism, so take time to practice. Clean your hand of any food or moisture before you extend it. Extend your right hand straight out, keeping your four fingers together. Firmly take the other persons hand (don’t squeeze too tightly, but don’t be too soft). Keep your elbow close to your body and shake from the elbow…not the shoulder. Your whole arm shouldn’t move. Stand up straight, look the other person in the eye and smile. A handshake should not be replaced with a high five or a fist... read more

INTERNSHIPS …and other experiential education

Today, internships and other experiential education opportunities have become an integral part of a career path. And many companies are offering opportunities for individuals that have recently graduated. These opportunities allow you to:   Gain real work experience Develop your professional image and build confidence Learn new skills Create a network of connections Build your resume Explore new opportunities Land a full-time job Gain school credit Make extra money Learn more about an industry Be competitive in today’s marketplace.   There are different ways to gain experience so do your research. If you are a student, utilize your school career center for more information as some schools have specific requirements. Cooperative education: Instead of a one-time assignment with a company, a co-op provides multiple periods of work. These assignments usually alternate between school, study and work and are typically related to a specific major or career. Public sector: Typically this term refers to companies that are for profit and can range from small to large businesses. Non-profit sector: Working in a non-profit sector usually allows you to dedicate your time to helping others or a cause. Start-ups: Being part of a start-up organization can be very exhilarating. However, understand that they are usually working on a tighter budget, so expect to wear many hats during your internship. Virtual internships: These internships allow you to work from your dorm or house using a computer. Paid or unpaid: Some companies pay, while others don’t. There are new laws concerning unpaid internships, so you will need to do your research. The issue of pay is determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act.... read more

Do I need a special email address for job search?

Part of your professional toolkit should include a professional email address. While a nickname may work in your personal life, a response to a potential employer from FunGuy@gmail.com may send the wrong message in your job search.   If possible, incorporate your whole name into an email address to continually brand yourself. EXAMPLE: If your name is Mary Smith, then make your email address Mary@MarySmith.com or MarySmith@gmail.com. Another bonus of having a separate email address is that it will allow you to keep job-related messages from getting lost among your other... read more

Top Campus Resources

Building your career doesn’t wait until after graduation or when you decide to leave a job. Every new experience you have, every new skill you learn, every time you are part of a team, sets you apart from the competition and one step closer to a job.   Time goes very quickly while you are in school so take advantage of all the resources you have at your fingertips WHILE you are on campus. Even if you’ve already graduated, these resources are usually available to alum. Clubs, Associations, Student Groups: While you are in school, becoming part of something outside your regular class schedule. Being part of a group helps to build relationships, showcase your talents, and build new experiences for your resume. If you’ve graduated, remain involved with these groups to continue relationship building. Career and Internship Fairs: A great place to meet with companies that WANT to hire from your school. Most schools are open to Alumni attending these also. Career Center: Current students and Alumni can speak with career center professionals to get assistance on career direction. Library: Check out an abundance of resources including company information, job descriptions, and speakers. Professors: Build relationships with your professors as they can provide valuable input on your area of concentration, letters of recommendation, and potential referrals. Join the Alumni Association: Build early relationships with individuals that WANT to help each other. Joining as a student may be free or offer a discounted rate. School Job Sites: Many schools have a job site portal that lists jobs and internships from outside businesses. Like career fairs, you should take advantage... read more

Where Do Employers Find Candidates?

Finding the right job means meeting and talking to as many people in your ‘target audience’ group as possible. Keep your name ‘top of mind’ so when someone hears of a job opportunity they think of you first.   Today, the top places where employers find qualified job candidates are: Referral from a friend or colleague Referral though a trusted organization or association Online job posting, typically from the company website LinkedIn, Twitter Promote or hire someone whose work they already know School job sites or alumni... read more

5 Things To Do Before Your Internship Ends

Remember, the good-bye is as important as the hello. So here are the top 5 things to remember before your internship ends:   Set up time with your immediate supervisor for a final review. Thank them for all their help, provide a written review of all projects,  review the different departments you worked with, let them know if you are interested in returning in the future, ask what you can do for the company after you return to school. Reach out to all other individuals you worked with and say thank you. If there are individuals who were particularly important in your professional development, send a hand written note. Thank the recruiters who worked with you from day one on getting this internship. Send LinkedIn invitations to everyone you worked with or met. Leave a positive lasting impression so maintain your work ethic to the end. Think through how you’ll be telling your story to summarize your... read more

NO ‘DO-OVERS’ ON FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I’ve heard some recruiters say that they make a decision about a candidate in less than five minutes. They go on to say that they are surprised how many people come in for interviews or internships and are unprepared.   Keep in mind that everything you say and do shows an employer who you are and what value you bring to a company. Marketing yourself early in the process means exhibiting confidence and consistency in how people perceive you.   One way to be prepared is to review a company website prior to any interactions.  Learn critical key messages that are repeated on that website so you can ‘speak the language’. Go into the meeting understanding the corporate mission, vision and goals.  Most of all, understand who the customer is and incorporate that into your conversation. Exhibiting how quickly you can fit into an organization will better allow you to seize... read more

BUILD YOUR JOB SEARCH TOOLKIT

    Building your career doesn’t wait until after graduation or when you decide to leave a job. Every new experience you have, every new skill you learn, every time you are part of a team, sets you apart from the competition and one step closer to a job.   A construction worker can’t go to a job site without his toolkit. A football player can’t go on the field to play without the proper equipment and gear. The job search process works better when you have all the tools you may need completed ahead of time.   Listed below are the minimum tools you will need to help portray a professional impression to  your targeted audience. Remember, each ‘tool’ represents your professional brand so they should tell your story in a consistent way. Put time aside each day to work on your toolkit so you can hit the ground running.   Resume: Make sure your resume is read online and in person. Is it up to date with all the current activities, skills, keywords, and experiences? Cover Letter Template: Do you have the right format and information to encourage recruiters to read your resume? LinkedIn Profile: Is your profile aligned with your resume? Is your picture professional? Have you invited everyone you know to join you on LinkedIn? Portfolio: Have you gathered all relevant examples of your work and links to your digital footprint? Your Story: Can you tell your story clearly? Have you practiced it outload so it flows easily and confidently when networking and interviewing? It is critical to be able to explain what you’re looking... read more

PHONE NUMBER ON YOUR RESUME

It’s not important whether you put your home phone number or cell number on your resume. What is important is to put the number where you are the only one checking messages. You can’t expect your family or roommates to make the right impression. Check your messages frequently and get bck to anyone who leaves a message within a few hours — 24 hours maximum.   TIP: The professional impression you give when you answer your phone should be aligned with your voicemail message. You may want to record your voice and listen to it over and over to see how others hear you and make changes accordingly.  Remember, branding yourself is in every area of of how you present yourself.... read more