Should I have a One page resume?

Given the fact that recruiters only spend 6 seconds on a resume before they decide , it can be challenging for job seekers to figure out the best approach to make that first impression! We often get candidates asking : What is the ideal size of a resume? What does a perfect CV look like? Should I cut short my resume to one page?

As a Recruiter , here’s why I am NOT in favour of one page resumes.

  • A good cv should be keyword optimized which means adding the relevant skill generously through out your resume. However with the pressure of squeezing all the content in one page , this can be challenging. (unless you are a fresh graduate or entry level)

  • Heavy formatting is a NO GO for ATS compliant resumes, however in order for one page resumes to look more organized I have seen most candidates adding tables, graphics and heavy formatting on the resumes.

  • Make sure to have all the relevant information on the first page along with your achievements stating how you immediately add value to the job you are applying to. Once you succeed in making that first impression, a recruiter would definitely be happy to turn to the next page and look at your experience before they connect in person.

    An ideal resume in my opinion is personalized according to the JD , clearly states your key accomplishments & how you stand out from the competition , has all the important information ( contact details ) on the first page . A two page resume is a good one for mid career to senior level professionals with maximum 3 pages !

    Author – Saleha Surti
    Manging Director & Founder of Women Talent Connect

    Saleha is a certified HR and Recruitment Professional with 12 + years of industry knowledge globally.

How to integrate competency-based hiring in recruitment

Business situation, job interview concept.

Hiring processes are usually tricky, primarily because it involves human resources at both the ends (interviewer & candidate), both with varied personalities, perceptions, attitudes & behaviors. It becomes even more complex when we have vague answers or no answers to questions like what is needed, why it’s needed, when it’s needed and how to go about it. Here are a few reasons why traditional hiring processes fail to deliver desired results: 

  • Lack of proper competency profile for a role
  • Hiring for perceptions rather than competencies
  • Unclear expectations from the role/resource
  • Inability to match candidate profile with competency profile

Thus, having a structured competency-based hiring process in place helps hiring the best candidate for available roles. It should then come as no surprise that most global organizations have a competency-based hiring model in place that supports a robust recruitment process. 

Creating Competency Profiles

Creating competency profiles for a role includes mapping various competencies required for a candidate to successfully perform that role. It includes:

  1. Identifying key competencies
  2. Identifying the importance of each competency for a particular role

In order to understand this better, let’s consider the competency profiles of a manager and a coordinator. For a managerial role, ‘leadership skills’ might hold a very high importance; however, the same competency is absolutely not needed for a coordinator role. Similarly, for a coordinator role, ‘understanding & translating instructions for task accomplishment’ might hold a very high importance; however the same competency is not needed for a coordinator role.

It’s crucial to understand that every role has a different competency profile, and hence, also has a different interview assessment criterion. This necessitates the need for preparing a well thought of competency profile for any role before starting the hiring process. We must remember that there are no tailor-made candidates; however, someone with the relevant competencies can always be trained to become a perfect fit.

Designing competency-based interview questions 

Assessing on competencies can be tricky but it’s really worthwhile to train the hiring managers on acquiring this skill for effective hiring. One of the key lessons here to understand that past behavior is the best indicator of future performance. Competency-based interview questions are designed to let the candidate talk; they are open-ended and they invite a response that tells the employer about a real-life challenge that candidate has faced and how they reacted. It’s easy for a trained hiring manager to distinguish between a rehearsed answer and a genuine answer.

The key to designing competency-based interview questions is to interpret the responses properly and match the responses with the requirement of the role. Questions that encourage the candidate to probe and reflect are usually used to understand the candidate and determine if they are a right fit. You can use the STAR approach to design competency-based questions:

S/T- Create a Situation or a Task

A- Seek the action taken in that situation by the candidate

R- Seek the final outcome/result of that action & candidate’s reaction to it.

Here are some examples of competency-based questions to assess different skills in a candidate:

Evaluating competency-based interviews

Interpretation of answers to competency-based questions goes beyond understanding the meaning of plain words. The use of the probing technique can help undertake the best assessment of a candidate’s reaction. For example, for a question such as “Describe a time when you had to deal with pressure”, the positive and negative indicators may be as follows:

Structured interviews: Eliminating perceptual bias 

Structured Interviews- Each candidate for a role is evaluated against the exactly same functional, technical & behavioral competencies that are essentially decided in the competency-profile of the role with the same importance. Interview Questions mostly remain similar for every candidate. For example, interviewers can rate the same candidate in the following manner and derive at the average:

Assessment profiles like the one shown above can be created for all the candidates, and the ones with the best rating can be selected for the next round. These can then be tallied with the functional or technical competencies (which are based on more factual information) to take the final decision. Since we are keeping the behavioral skills constant for each competing candidate and the final score is arrived at by considering 3 different evaluations, chances of perception-based short-listing are largely eliminated. 

At the end of the day, misfits are bound to be hired, and the right fits are bound to become misfits if we do not do the groundwork properly. Resources employed with confused expectations from the hiring managers are bound to fail. Hence it becomes critical that have a concrete answer to deciding how and why we choose which candidate and a replicable strategy to implement it.

Source :

Author : Shruti Verma

Tips to AI proof your resume

We live in an era of technology, so it only makes sense for recruiters to use AI to make processes more efficient and therefore more and more companies are using Application Tracking System to screen the resume for an efficient hiring process.

For Jobseekers this means that you have to first work on getting bots to approve your cv before it reaches a human eye.

Our Managing Director , Saleha Surti who is a certified Recruitment Expert shares these quick tips to AI proof your resume to ensure that it lands in a human hand.

Avoid Including your contact details in Header or Footer

Some Application Tracking systems are unable to extract the data from Headers/ Footers and therefore that last thing you would want is for your important details such as contact number, email id etc to be lost in the process.

Ensure to have key skills relevant to the job description all over your resume

Recruiters use keywords and keyskills to screen resumes and therefore AI searches for these keyskills in your resume to put together a shortlist for the recruiters. Using generic resumes without customizing them to the Job you are applying to can mean that your cv just doesn’t have sufficient keywords for it to be picked by ATS .

Keywords are usually hinted in the job descriptions itself and most of the time this is what an ATS would use to screen. If you possess relevant experience, ensure that your resume generously has all the keywords throughout the cv.

For eg: If you are applying for an Accounts job which requires the candidates to have experience on Tally software , then the recruiter will use “Tally” as of the keywords to search your resume. If you have used “Tally” working for different companies then the best is to mention this under every job responsibilities in your resume rather than just specifying it one place.

Avoid tables, charts or other heavy graphics in the resume

While you maybe tempted to have a pretty looking resume, using tables, images , graphics etc can be harmful for your resume as the algorithms are unable to read the information from these. Once the resume is passed through an ATS this information will be completely omitted from your resume only leaving the text behind which will result in a crumbled messy format of your cv .

Best ATS compliant cv formats are simple with straight forwards bullet points.

Upload your resume in word format

Standard word-file resumes are the most ATS compliant as Algorithms can easily read and extract data from these. Avoid submitting your cv in PDF or any other complicated file formats which confuses ATS.

All the best!

How Hashtags Can Help Your Job Search

Are you using hashtags to expedite your job hunt? Hashtags are a useful tool for networking, finding job opportunities, and sharing your own job search to get noticed by employers who are using social media to recruit.

How do hashtags work, and what’s the best way to use them? If you use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you are probably familiar with hashtags. A hashtag is the pound sign (#) followed by a word or phrase. When you click on a hashtag (or search for a hashtag), you can see all the posts on the platform that have included that hashtag. It is a way to identify and group messages on a similar topic.

Learn the do’s and don’ts of using hashtags to job search. If you use hashtags in a creative and thoughtful way, you can give your job search a boost and impress hiring managers.

Ways to Use Hashtags to Help Your Job Search

Learn About a Company

If you want to know more about what it is like working at a company, you can use hashtags to get insider information. Many companies have a hashtag that employees use to share stories about life at the company. For example, Target launched a #TargetVolunteers hashtag to allow employees to share photos and information on their volunteering experiences. Searching this hashtag can help potential employees learn about how Target encourages employees to give back to local communities. If there is a company you are interested in working for, check to see if they have a company-wide hashtag.

Find Available Jobs

Many employers use Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram to post jobs. Often, they will include various hashtags related to the position or the job search in these posts. Search on social media sites for particular hashtags related to job listings (including #jobs and #jobsearch). To get more specific, you might search for exact job titles (#teachers or #teacherjobs) and locations (#NewYorkCity or #Ohio). Twitter also has a #HireFriday hashtag that some employers use. On Fridays, some companies will post job listings and include the #HireFriday hashtag.

Promote Your Job Search

Help recruiters find you on your social media and LinkedIn pages by using hashtags that promote your job search. For example, if you are posting something related to your job search (such as a message about your work experience, or a link to your resume), you can include a relevant hashtag, such as #jobhunt, #employment, or #resume.

How to Use Hashtags to Network

General Networking: Whether or not you are actively looking for a job, you can always use hashtags to find people in your industry to network with. First, you can use hashtags to participate in conversations related to your field. Look up key people in your field on social media and see what hashtags they use. When appropriate, include these same hashtags when you post things on social media that are related to your job search or your work. This is a great way to join an online conversation with people in your career network.

Helpful Conversations: You can use hashtags to converse with people in your field and find and participate in Twitter chats. Twitter chats are regular (usually weekly) conversations that take place on Twitter. Each chat is about a particular topic and is designated by a particular hashtag. By finding and participating in Twitter chats related to your industry, you can connect with people in your field.

Professional Events: Another way to use hashtags when networking is to use them when you attend a professional conference. Most conferences and networking events have a hashtag that you can use when posting pictures and sharing information about the event on social media. You can use the hashtag to share your thoughts on the conference, learn about conference events, and connect with other conference attendees.

Tips for Using Hashtags for Job Searching

Use hashtags that are already common. Don’t create new hashtags and hope that people start to use them. Make sure to use hashtags that are already popular among the groups you are interested in getting to know. To know which hashtags are popular, check out what influential people in your industry are using on their social media platforms. Ask colleagues which hashtags they use or follow, and whether they participate in any Twitter chats.

Be careful which hashtags you use. Similarly, make sure you use hashtags that are not only in use, but are used by people you want to be associated with.

For example, if you include the hashtag #hunt to try and convey that you are job searching, you will link your post with hunting enthusiasts rather than employment recruiters! Before adding a hashtag, do a quick search to see who else tends to use the hashtag.

Use hashtags to share professional content. Make sure that, when you include a hashtag related to your job search on a social media post, your post is professional. Do not include a hashtag like #jobsearching on a post about your pets, for example. Keep both your hashtags and your content professional.

Use hashtags sparingly. While hashtags are a useful new tool for job seeking, don’t go overboard. You don’t want to include dozens of hashtags in every LinkedIn article you post or every tweet you write. Select two or three hashtags that will be particularly useful for your specific job search needs. Similarly, remember to continue to use more traditional job search methods (such as using job search engines and participating in face-to-face networking events).

Best Hashtags for a Job Search

Here are some popular hashtags that you might consider either using in your own social media posts, or searching for on your various social media platforms.

Hashtags for Job Searching

  • #Jobs
  • #JobSearch
  • #JobSearching
  • #JobSearchTips
  • #Resume
  • #HireMe

Hashtags for Recruiting

  • #JobOpening
  • #Hiring
  • #JoinOurTeam
  • #NowHiring
  • #Recruiting
  • #Employment
  • #TweetMyJobs

Hashtags for Career Advice

  • #Careers
  • #CareerSuccess
  • #PersonalBranding
  • #PersonalDevelopment
  • #ResumeTips

Article originally published on by Alison Doyle.


How to Brand (or Rebrand) Yourself for the Job You Want

When you’re starting a job search, your goal is to make your credentials strong enough to get you selected for a job interview. Once you get to a job interview, you can sell yourself to the interviewer by confidently making the case that you’re an exceptional candidate. Before that though, what’s on your resume and cover letter is going to be the pitch that gets you picked for an interview.

One of the best ways to achieve that goal is to brand (or rebrand) yourself if necessary, so you’re a close match for the jobs you’re targeting. What does this mean? And how do you do it?

What’s in a Brand?

Branding (if you haven’t worked on creating a brand yet) or rebranding (if you’re considering a job or career shift), means deciding what professional path you’re on and tailoring your credentials, expertise, and what’s visible to network connections and prospective employees, to match that brand.

How to Get Started

The first step in creating or reinventing your brand is to determine what you want that brand to represent. What type of job would you love to have? Would you like a new job in a similar role or the same job in a different industry? If so, that’s a relatively easy brand update. If you’re looking for a career change, you’ll need to invest more time and energy into rebranding yourself.

  • Check yourself out. Google yourself and check the results before you start making any changes. You will want to see how the current information available about you reflects your professional persona, and ensure that it clearly reflects where you are in your career and where you want to go next. Look at it from the viewpoint of a hiring manager to see what narrative you are sharing about your achievements and aspirations.
  • Make a plan. It’s important to figure out how you’re going to get to where you want to be. Does your career need a makeover? Do you need new skills or certifications? Or can you tweak your brand and update it so it’s a fit for where you want to go next? Make a list of what you need to do before you get started. There are things you can do at your current job to position yourself for success in the next one. If your career needs a major overhaul, it will require more planning and a bigger investment of time.
  • Upgrade your credentials. Are you short on the skills you need to make a successful brand switch? If you can carve out some time, it can be easy to gain the skills you need to bolster your qualifications. There are many free and low-cost classes you can take to get the career skills you need. Once you’ve upgraded your skill set, take on some freelance projects to create a portfolio of skills related to your rebranding objective. You can add those skills to your resume and LinkedIn, and refer to them in your cover letters.
  • Be careful. As with a job search when you’re currently employed, be careful about the changes you make that are visible to your current employer. For example, if you’re working in sales, you don’t want your Twitter feed to be all about product development. Gradually mix in the new topics if you’re using social media for business purposes. Make sure “Share with network” is turned off while you’re updating your LinkedIn profile if you’re connected to current colleagues. If you make changes slowly and carefully, it’s easier to stay under the radar.

Create a Branding Statement

A branding statement is a short and catchy statement that encompasses what makes you a strong candidate for a job. Writing a branding statement can help you to capture the essence of what you want to accomplish in the next phase of your career. Taking time to write your own statement will help you to focus on what you want to accomplish with your branding or rebranding.

Add a Branding Statement to Your Resume

Adding a branding statement to your resume is a way to show employers how you can add value to the organization if you were to be hired. Don’t use the same branding statement every time you use your resume to apply for a job. If your branding statement isn’t a perfect match for the job, take the time to tweak it so it reflects the attributes the employer is seeking. As with all job search materials, it’s important to show the employer how you’re among the best-qualified candidates for the job.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Also, update your LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t have to match your resume exactly, but it should be close enough to pass scrutiny because employers will check it. Take time to write a summary that’s informative, reflects your career interests, and will grab hiring managers’ attention. 

Check Your Other Social Accounts Too

Is the message you’re sending to recruiters and networking connections consistent? When they look at each of your various public social media accounts will they get the same impression? Consistency is important when you’re using social media for career development. Using the same professional photo across platforms will help to build your brand.

Rebrand Yourself (Carefully)

When you’re thinking about a major job shift or a career change, rebranding might be in order. Rebranding is something you should do slowly and carefully if you’re currently employed. You don’t want to advertise to your current manager, other employees of the company, or clients that you’re rebranding your credentials and seeking new opportunities. That way you won’t jeopardize the job you have, and you can move on when you’re ready.

GRADUALLY CHANGE YOUR LINKEDIN PAGEMaking small changes over time will be less noticeable. For example, you could gradually change your LinkedIn profile by reworking some of your job descriptions to fit better the brand you’re aiming for. They should still reflect what you did at each job, but the focus can shift.

UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN HEADLINEThe headline section of LinkedIn is designed for short, descriptive text. Use that to highlight the skills you have that match your goals. Again, don’t get too far off-base from your current role if you’re employed. If you’re not currently working, you’ve got some more flexibility in how you write your headline.

REWORK YOUR RESUMEAnother option is to keep your LinkedIn job descriptions brief and vague. Instead of changing LinkedIn, you can tweak your resume to match better with each position you’re applying for. There won’t be a noticeable difference to current or prospective employers. There are small and simple, but very powerful changes that you can make that can have a big positive impact.

Use Your Cover Letter to Explain

What’s in your cover letter is between you and the hiring manager reading it. Employ your cover letter to tell the story of your career pivot. Write a targeted cover letterthat highlights your strongest accomplishments and assets that qualify you for the job, helping to convince the hiring manager that you’re well worth interviewing.

Start All Over Again

Rebranding your career isn’t a one-time deal. Technology changes, the economy goes up – or down, in-demand skills change over time, and most people’s career aspirations change along the way. The average person changes jobs 10 -15 timesover their career. Your career will most likely shift over time too.

As you gain additional work experience, take a course, or otherwise learn new skills, add them to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Tweak your job descriptions as you move forward so they reflect where you are going, as well as where you’ve been.

By making some slow and steady changes your rebranding will be a work in progress, and you’ll be able to use your brand successfully to boost your career. 

Article source:

Author: Alison Doyle

Why Your Job Search Should Start With Companies, Not Roles—and What That Looks Like

company first job search

When Kate Gardner was laid off from her job as a magazine editor, she wasn’t sure what to do next. She tried freelancing for a month or so, but the instability of it ultimately made her want to hop back into a full-time job at a company she really liked (and could see herself at for a while).

So she started job searching—but this time she tackled it differently than she had in the past. She decided to take a company-first approach.

“Doing this allows me to be more specific in what I’m looking for,” Gardner says. “I can look for the positions I want and am qualified for at companies I already know I like.” And it worked out for her—she recently landed a job at one of her dream nonprofits.

“I’m so grateful to have found this work I’m so deeply passionate about,” she adds. “For years I’ve been searching for something that’s made me feel alive and like I have a purpose, and I finally have.”

As a career coach, I recommend the company-first approach to almost every client I work with. I believe more people will end up finding great jobs they love, like Gardner, this way as opposed to spending hours and hours scrolling through a job board.

Here’s why you should try it—and how you can get started doing it today.

Why Adopt a Company-First Mindset

The biggest benefit of a company-first job search is that it’s more likely to land you a gig that you’ll want to stay in for a very long time. This can be especially important for those who are making a career change (and want the effort they’re putting into transitioning to be worthwhile), those who are tired of job hopping and are looking for a more fulfilling career, and those who just want a job they can see themselves in for years to come.

“With the majority of people leaving a company because of culture or people,” says Jena Viviano, a Muse master career coach, “finding the company you want to work for first has a higher chance of working out in the long-term.”

The idea is that when you pursue a company rather than a job, you’re looking for a more holistic experience. You don’t just care about the day-to-day responsibilities—you care about the mission behind your work, your growth, and your work-life balance. All these factors contribute to a happier (and ultimately more successful) career.

And by showcasing when you apply for a job that these things matter to you, you set yourself up to be a better fit for the company—which makes them more likely to hire you.

Another point Viviano makes is that companies are calling jobs all different sorts of things these days, so company-first job searching is just strategically more efficient.

“No longer can you just type in ‘HR generalist’ and find all the HR positions available,” she says. “Some companies call it ‘culture’ or ‘people’ or ‘happiness department.’ So it’s smarter to see what companies align to your goals and then to dive into their career pages to find specific roles” to ensure you’re actually applying to positions that you’d be happy in and qualified for.

How to Approach Your Job Search Company-First

By no means is company-first job searching an “easy way out.” It takes true inner reflection and time to pull off effectively. But because it’ll likely produce better results, it’s well worth the effort.

1. Figure Out What You Care About Most

The whole goal here is to get you into a job you love that fits not only your interests and experience, but your priorities. In order to do that, you need to know what’s important to you.

Reflect on past experience and examine what you liked and didn’t like about each position you held and company you worked for (and write them down). If you’re fresh out of college, this part might be a little harder—so you may consider including volunteer and internship experiences in this exercise to broaden your scope.

Here are some possible things you might consider or jot down:

  • Size: The number of people at your company or in your department can affect how much your voice is heard, the amount of work that falls onto your plate, communication between teams, and more.
  • Location: Do you have a geographic preference, or will you go anywhere? Also, what are your feelings on a company that has offices all over the country (or world)?
  • Stage: At what stage of growth is your ideal company? A startup environment is going to be much different than that of a company that’s been around for decades. (And even “startup” can encompass anything from five people in one room to a nine-figure-revenue, about-to-go-public behemoth.)
  • Mission: Is connecting with the purpose of the company important to you? If the answer is yes, you’ll want to dig to find out what each company’s detailed mission is and if the work they’re doing actually aligns with it, as well as decide if you want to work for a specific kind of mission (for example, healthcare or climate change).
  • Values: Are there values outside the company’s direct mission that matter to you, such as social responsibility? The Muse, for example, has a strict “no assholes” policy, which is such a core value that it’s included in every job description.
  • Culture: Do you prefer working collaboratively or independently? Do you like strict rules and guidelines or more flexibility to rethink processes? Do you like dressing business formal or business casual (or have no preference)? Do you want to hang out with your co-workers after hours or be able to leave work on time to be with your family? There’s no right or wrong answer for the type of culture you believe you’d thrive in.
  • Diversity and inclusion efforts: How important is it to you that the company you work for invests in diversity and inclusion? What does that look like to you?
  • Benefits: What types of benefits do you care about most? Some things you could think about are: learning and development budget, health insurance, parental leave, PTO, flexible hours, and remote opportunities.

2. Make a List of Companies That Interest You

OK, you have your list of things that you care about most. Now, how do you find companies to consider? Here are some ideas:

  • Search for the “top” or “best” companies to work for. You can narrow it down further by specifically highlighting the qualities that matter to you, such as “best companies for working parents” or “top organizations to work for as a remote employee.” The Muse actually creates several lists like this for different locations that may help you identify some good companies in your area.
  • Check out B Corporation and Idealist. If you want social responsibility to be a core value of the company you work for, then these are two great resources. Idealist is a site that specifically highlights organizations that want to make the world a better place, and Certified B Corporations “are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”
  • Browse social media and recent news. We interact with companies day in and day out as consumers, so consider what brands you love and what’s being said about them online. Maybe you found out that a tech company you follow on Twitter recently instituted four weeks of PTO for its employees, or a retail store you constantly shop at invests in volunteer efforts. Those could be great places to apply to because you already know, believe in, and follow them.
  • Leverage your network. You most likely know plenty of people who work or have worked at a variety of awesome companies. Ask them about their experience! You may be surprised which companies you’re drawn to.

3. Evaluate Whether or Not They Meet Your Criteria

Once you make a list of say, 10 to 20 companies of interest, double check to make sure they align with the attributes you highlighted in the first step.

This will require some more research. You can start with The Muse, of course, as well as the company’s own website, and social media and news coverage can fill in everything in between.

But your network should be your biggest asset in this step. Lean on old colleagues, friends of friends, or extended family to understand what working at these companies is really like and to ask any and all relevant questions about the things that you care about most.

The important thing to note is that you have to learn to let go when a company doesn’t resonate with you. It can be difficult to turn away from a popular brand or flashy corporation when everyone around you is dying to work there. But even a well-known name on your resume can’t make up for a work environment where you won’t be happy or feel challenged.

4. Keep an Eye Out for Job Openings (and Apply When You See a Real Match)

Once you’ve narrowed down and fact-checked your list, make it a point to check in consistently for job openings at those companies. (Pro tip: Set a weekly calendar reminder.)

This is a long game. Because you’re looking at the company first, you may not immediately see a position that works for you—but remember that companies are always hiring and talent is constantly shifting. So as roles start to pop up, note the ones that seem most interesting to you and apply as soon as you can.

As a reminder, you don’t want to just pick any job you’d remotely be a fit for and apply (putting your name out there too much at one company has its consequences). Rather, choose only the ones you’re truly excited about and that align with your experience and skill set.

Here’s some advice on writing a killer cover letter and tailoring your resume to show you’re the perfect fit. The key to applying with a company-first approach isn’t just to highlight how great you are for the role—you’ll also want to emphasize your passion for the company and what they’re doing.

5. Find an “In” at the Company

It’s no secret that networking is key to landing a job these days. But networking isn’t just a reactive thing—basically, don’t wait around for it to come to you. You need to be proactive if you want it to reap rewards.

So why should you be reaching out to people who work at a company, even if you’ve already applied to a job there? First, you can learn even more valuable information about the company, its culture, and its hiring process. And you might learn that there’s a job open that isn’t posted to the public that would be great for you.

Just as important (if not more so), networking gives you that extra boost you’ll need to make it to the next round. You’re much more likely to stand out from the pile and get your application in front of a hiring manager if someone (especially someone internal) refers you.

If you don’t have any contacts at the company and decide to reach out to a second or third degree connection, you could connect with them and shoot them the following note on LinkedIn:

Hi James—I hope you’re having a great day. I saw you work in product design and I’m looking to transition into this field. I’m reaching out because I’m extremely interested in the junior designer role at Fun Company. Would you mind hopping on the phone with me to chat about your experience? Thanks! Abby

A few minutes talking on the phone is plenty of time to forge a meaningful connection (here’s how to make that informational interview go off without a hitch—and get one step closer to a job).

For more advice, read this article on finding an “in” at your dream company and this one on leveraging your network to get through your job search, as well as these email templates to ask your network for a job.

As I said, this isn’t necessarily an easy process, and it requires a lot of time and patience. But if you’re looking to find a job and company you love, this strategy is your best shot.

Author: Abby is a writer, career coach, and health educator living in Portland, Maine. When she’s not trying to make the world a happier and healthier place, you can find her cuddling with her cats, hunting down the city’s best coffee and grilled cheese, or dipping her toes in the Atlantic. Say hi on  Twitter .

Article source :


Coping Skills for Anxious Job Seekers

Job searching can be stressful, even for the most confident person. It can be more challenging if you’re anxious and worried about the hiring process, as well as about when you will be hired for a new position. If you’re unemployed, the stress can be compounded with concern about how long it’s going to take to find a new job, and how you’re going to pay the bills until you line up a new position.

There are many factors in a job hunt that can cause anxiety, but there are ways to reduce stress and take control. You might never consider job searching fun, but at least you might be able to turn it into a positive experience rather than a difficult one.

The Reasons for Job Search Anxiety

“People are anxious for different reasons,” said Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, psychologist, career counselor, and founder of “It helps to identify the thoughts and situations that are causing the most distress, and address them one by one.” Some of the most common reasons for job-search anxiety, and strategies for handling them, include:

  • Getting overwhelmed by how big a project it seems to land a new job

Strategy: To conduct an effective job search, break the overall project into manageable tasks. Each one completed will bring you closer to the job offer that you seek.

  • Disliking the feeling of uncertainty about how long the job search will take

Strategy: Shift the emphasis away from the outcome and focus on the part that you can control i.e. the specific actions you will take.

  • Telling yourself scary stories (“No one will want to hire me” or “There are no good jobs”)

Strategy: Find inspiration by reading success stories about people who have overcome obstacles to land employment. You can also redirect your energy toward concrete steps that increase your odds of landing a job. Two of the best activities are meeting new people and developing new professional skills.

Take Care of the Details First

Another way to alleviate some of the stress involved in job hunting is to take care of everything that needs to be done in a timely manner. If you’ve been laid off, apply for unemployment. Know what will happen to your employee benefits when you move on. When you have a 401(k) to roll over, review your options for handling it. Once you’ve checked it off your list, it’s one less thing to worry about.

Create a basic resume and cover letter that you can customize each time you apply for a job. Review your LinkedIn profile and give it a makeover if there is need. Line up some references who will attest to your skills and qualifications.

Get Organized

Your search will be less stressful if you organize it and treat it like a job. If you’re out of work, consider it your full-time job. If you’re employed, schedule part-time hours to spend job hunting. Choose one of these easy ways to organize your job search, and keep track of your applications, networking outreach, and the career events you’re planning to attend.

When you have a plan in place, it will help minimize the anxiety because you’ll be keeping track of what you’ve done and what you need to do next. You won’t have to think about the task until it’s time to handle it.

Practice and Prepare

Spend some time job hunting, even when you’re happy in your current position and you don’t have to. With this approach, you’ll keep your resume up-to-date, your interview skills polished, and your confidence level high.

If you see an interesting job, apply for it. It’s good practice, and it may be a better opportunity than you expected. You’ll be less anxious if you’re going after a role that isn’t your dream job, and you’ll be more prepared when that perfect position comes along. And you never know—that job you weren’t that excited about could be your next terrific career move.

The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be during an interview. Knowing what type of position you’re seeking, and being able to articulate why you’re qualified for the role, will help you ace the interview.

Practice responding to the most common interview questions employers ask, and have a few questions of your own ready. Spend time researching the company, so you’re informed about the company’s products, people, mission and objectives. The more you know, the easier it will be to have a conversation with the interviewer.

Take time to try on what you’re going to wear, and get it ready the evening before your interview. That will save you from stressing over last-minute attire decisions.

Create an elevator pitch that describes who you are and what you have to offer. Practice saying it in front of a family member, make a video of yourself to see how you did, or say it in front of a mirror. The more comfortable you are talking about yourself, the more confident you’ll feel during the interview.

Know What to Expect

Don’t expect to find a new job overnight, though that can happen. For most job seekers, it’s a process, not a one-shot deal. You might not get the first position you apply for, but that most likely means that it wasn’t the job for you. There will be plenty of other positions to consider.

Even though it sounds like it might create more anxiety, it can be helpful if you have a lot going on. When you’re busy sending out resumes, networking, attending career events and interviewing, you’ll have less time to obsess about every little detail.

Don’t count on one single opportunity. The more jobs you are pursuing, the more chances you’ll have to make the best impression and get an offer. Don’t stop applying until you’ve committed to a new job.

Remember that it’s not just about the company hiring you. It’s also about whether the employer is the best fit for the next step on your career ladder. That’s as important for you as it is for the company, and if you feel like it’s not the right job for you, you can politely decline if you get an offer. If it’s earlier in the process, another option is to withdraw your application.

Take a Break

Thanks to smartphones and the internet, it’s almost too easy to stay connected. But, it’s vitally important not to spend every waking hour focused on how you’re going to get hired for your next job. The more you think about it, the higher your anxiety level will be. Instead, stick to your schedule and take breaks. Exercise, yoga, reading a book, walking your dog, turning off your computer and ignoring your phone when you’re not in job-hunting mode can help reduce anxiety.

“You will find a job. It may take longer than you’d hope, but you’ll find something,” said Erin Kennedy, president of Professional Resume Services. “It sometimes takes companies time during the vetting and interviewing process. Patience isn’t easy when you are out of a job, but perhaps go for a 30-minute walk every day, try yoga (you can do a class on YouTube or online for free!), call a friend, or clean out the drawer/closet/room you’ve been meaning to get to. Feeling productive while unemployed really helps.”

Get Support

One of the best ways to reduce your anxiety is to talk with others. You may be surprised to learn that almost everyone you know has been in this position at one time or another. You can get some words of wisdom and support if you share your anxiousness with a career support group, friends or family.

If your anxiety is overwhelming, remember that you’re not the first person who is having a difficult time. A career coach or counselor can help you focus on your goals, get your resume and cover letter in order, target your job search, and help you with coping skills for interview stress. If you need more help, your career counselor or primary care physician likely can provide a referral to a therapist who can assist.

Consider it an Opportunity

One of the best ways to look at a job search from a positive perspective is to consider your job search an opportunity to pursue the next stage of your career, rather than as an ordeal you have to struggle through.

“Your career is about more than one opportunity, interview or company,” said Jonathan Carter, organizer of Leap2HR, a LinkedIn group for new and transitioning HR professionals. “So stop worrying about ‘landing the right one,’ and just embrace the opportunity for change. Meet people. Explore different organizations. Look outside of the places you’d expect to find your next role. Don’t focus on changing your job. Focus on changing your life for the better—and the job will come.”



Four-day week: trial finds lower stress and increased productivity

Study of pilot at New Zealand firm finds staff were happier and 20% more productive

The founder of one of the first big companies to switch to a four-day working week has called on others to follow, claiming it has resulted in a 20% rise in productivity, appeared to have helped increase profits and improved staff wellbeing.

Analysis of one of the biggest trials yet of the four-day working week has revealed no fall in output, reduced stress and increased staff engagement, fuelling hopes that a better work-life balance for millions could be in sight.

Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand financial services company, switched its 240 staff from a five-day to a four-day week last November and maintained their pay. Productivity increased in the four days they worked so there was no drop in the total amount of work done, a study of the trial released on Tuesday has revealed.

The trial was monitored by academics at the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology. Among the Perpetual Guardian staff they found scores given by workers about leadership, stimulation, empowerment and commitment all increased compared with a 2017 survey.

Details of an earlier trial showed the biggest increases were in commitment and empowerment. Staff stress levels were down from 45% to 38%. Work-life balance scores increased from 54% to 78%.

“This is an idea whose time has come,” said Andrew Barnes, Perpetual Guardian’s founder and chief executive. “We need to get more companies to give it a go. They will be surprised at the improvement in their company, their staff and in their wider community.”

He has this week released a how-to-guide for other organisations, including findings from the trial and implementation.

“We’ve been treated like adults and I think as a result everyone is behaving like adults,” said Tammy Barker, a branch manager who was part of the trial that cut the working week from from 37.5 hours to 30.

The eight-week experiment was closely watched by employers and policymakers around the world.

In the UK, the Wellcome Trust science funding body is considering switchingits 800 head office staff to a four-day week, and Perpetual Guardian has been inundated with more than 350 requests for information about the trial from 28 countries. Most have come from organisations in the UK, followed by Australia, the US and Germany.

The Labour party has commissioned a study of the possibilities of a four-day week. However, early research points to the complexity of achieving productivity gains in major industries such as retail, where being present is a key part of the job.

In the UK, average working hours have been increasing since the financial crisis, and questions have been raised about how far people working in frontline occupations such as nursing or the police could cut their hours without reducing the public service they provide.

Smaller companies experimenting with the four-day week have found performance has been better in the first few weeks as excitement about the project took hold, before falling slightly.

“The biggest concern from an employer point of view is ensuring that the full-time introduction of the policy doesn’t lead to complacency, with the risk that people’s productivity will slip back,” Barker said.

“To guard against this happening we’ve spent a lot of time making sure every person in every team has their own plan as to how they’re going to maintain and even improve their productivity.”

She said she had personally found that working less increased her focus on tasks, and she was no longer jumping from one thing to the next.

“I was actually finishing projects before moving on to the next one, and by the end of the day found I was accomplishing more than trying to multitask everything,” she said.

“I did find that my productivity increased purely by being more aware of my work processes and thinking about how I was doing things and why I was doing them. At the same time, I didn’t feel any more stressed at work probably because I was really focusing on the tasks at hand and because I had the extra day off to compensate for the increased work rate.”

People used the additional day off for some of the same leisure activity they would have done at the weekend, such as golf or watching Netflix, but new activities emerged too, according to Jarrod Haar, a professor of human resource management at Auckland University of Technology.

These included “spending time with parents”, “spending much-needed time studying”, and “cleaning the house on a Wednesday and then having the weekend free”.

“Managers reported their teams were more creative after the trial,” he said. “It involved them finding solutions to doing their work in four days, so this reflected well. Importantly, they rated their teams as giving better customer service – they were more engaging and focused when clients and customers called.”

He said significantly lower job stress and burnout was reported, with work-life balance levels achieving record highs.

“Beyond wellbeing, employees reported their teams were stronger and functioned better together, more satisfied with their jobs, more engaged and they felt their work had greater meaning,” he said. “They also reported being more committed to the organisation and less likely to look elsewhere for a job.”

Barnes said: “Having implemented the four-day week on an opt-in basis we are continuing to identify ways to raise productivity and improve engagement, wellbeing and job satisfaction within this groundbreaking model of flexibility.”


Women in tech_resources1-large

Career: 7 tips on how women can succeed in a tech job

When one woman helps another, amazing things can happen. And Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector at Amazon Web Services is all about helping women.

Here she shares some of her top tips for women working in the tech industry and how they can succeed in this male dominated field.

1. Find your mentors

Early in your career it is important to find individuals that you respect and admire to act as mentors. I still have mentors, and I still ask questions. You need to remember that the onus is on you to use your mentor’s time. You need to be prescriptive when it comes to asking for their help. Come to them with specific questions and give them perspective on where you need guidance. Approaching a mentor with a clear understanding of where you need guidance is key to respecting their time and getting the most of yours.

2.  Take the advice

Finding a quality mentor and coming to them with the right questions is only half the battle. Trusting the advice that is given can often be a trial as well. When you ask for help, you have to accept it and not dismiss it. Feedback can be hard to take, but you cannot get upset and dismiss the guidance you have been given.

3. Emulate Others

I also like to seek out and watch people that I respect to learn how they get things done. You can begin to emulate behaviors when you see how these people have utilized a certain technique.

4. Stay fresh

IT is known for its rapidly changing landscape. Anyone working in the IT space will have to refresh their skills numerous times during their career. Be proactive when learning. Learn something new once per month that could add to your work portfolio. For more complex topics, divide your learning into smaller sections, and master one section each month. Learning something new is like building a muscle. You build muscle through practice.

5. Make your power

Women in traditionally male-dominated spaces can often feel pushed to the wayside – particularly when it comes to high-level discussions. You have to have authority in a respectful way, so that people understand you have an important seat at the table. You have to have a voice, and practice how you get into that conversation.

6. Find a hole and fill it

Oftentimes, problems at work will go ignored if no one takes ownership. If you find a hole, fill it. If you see a problem at work, call it an opportunity. Don’t wait for someone to assign you to fix the issue. Show people that you have capabilities that they didn’t know you had. People will come to you as a problem solver, not a problem maker.

7. Embrace ownership

While working as a team is often essential to a project, some tasks are best owned by individuals. Women tend to assign tasks and deadlines using language like “We need to get this done” when they really mean “you” or “your team.” Sometimes you need single threaded owners to make things happen. If an individual needs to be responsible for a task, make that clear by using “you” instead of “we” when delivering an assignment, or delegating responsibility.