MBA Career News
Volume 3 Issue 3 :: October 11, 2010
When You Need A Completely New Career
Susan Adams, 09.21.10, 06:00 PM EDT
Figure out what you love and how your skills can translate, and start networking.
Constance Dierickx hated her job as a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch in Asheville, N.C., so she started looking at her daily grind and asking herself a series of questions: "What do I hate? What do I love? What do I never want to do again?" she recalls. "If I could do only one thing all day, what would it be?"
"My answer was, I would talk to people in small groups," she says, "I would facilitate their achieving some goal."
Dierickx (her name is Belgian) went back to school, got a Ph.D. in psychology and for the last two decades has thrived in a career as a corporate psychologist. She works at a consulting firm called RHR International in Atlanta. Her basic advice for career changers: Take a long, hard look at where your passions lie, and follow them.
Of course that's easier said than done in these days of ramped-up job loss and meager hiring. But Dierickx and a half dozen other experts we interviewed offer some helpful tips on how to find a job in a whole new field.
Top 10 Careless Resume Update Mistakes
September 15, 2010 (10:30AM) by Brianna Raymond, CPRW
When we get anxious about looking for a new job, we tend to overlook obvious details in our resumes. Example: A man who'd been working overseas had a great resume, but forgot to update his contact information when he returned to the States. That meant every potential employer got an overseas mailing address and phone number. Guess how many of them called him for an interview. Can you say "woops"?
You might think you'd never make such an obvious mistake, but it happens all the time, especially if you haven't so much as glanced at your resume in several years.
So here are the top 10 careless mistakes to avoid when you update your own resume:
1. Inactive e-mail address. Make sure it's the one you use today, not the one you disabled five years ago. And triple-check the spelling!
2. Old phone numbers, or no number at all!
3. Old mailing address. Even if you just moved, sending a resume with your old mailing address is inexcusable. This is especially critical if you've made a long distance move. Let's say you moved from South Carolina to Utah but didn't update your resume. Employers in Utah could easily dismiss your resume, assuming you live on the other side of the country and might expect relocation reimbursements.
4. Missing experience. The resume that got you a job five years ago is not going to impress today's employers if you forget to add your most recent job to the list, complete with experience and accomplishments.
5. Confusing abbreviations and acronyms. Every company has internal lingo and acronyms, but that's exactly what they are—internal. Maybe your old boss knew what "NIOSH 582 Method 7400," "AOR," or "IBS-CMM" stood for, but the person reading your resume might have no idea. Explain and spell out anything questionable.
6. Nondescript company names. Wow, you did some great work for SmallCo., but who are they and what do they do? Unless your employer was a household name like Dell, Amazon.com, Apple, or IBM, always include a very brief description of the type and size of the business.
7. Outdated and irrelevant jobs. Don't just add new experience to your resume, subtract old positions, too! That daycare job in high school might have helped get you into an entry-level retail position, but now that you have a few years of relevant experience behind you, take out the stuff that no longer matters. (While you're at it, take out anything that goes beyond the last 10-15 years.)
8. References included. One word: NO! Do not include references on your resume, and don't even say "References available upon request." That's sooooo 2000.
9. Bad filename. What you name your resume is more important than you think. Nondescript or out-of date names like "MyResume2004," or names that include typos or another company's name will all put a bad taste in the employer's mouth. (Get more on this topic in the links below.)
10. Unnecessary education info. When you were looking for your first post-college job, it may have been a good idea to state your class ranking, GPA, leadership roles you held on campus, and academic honors you received. But if it's been at least five years since you graduated, you should list nothing more than the name of your school; the degree, diploma, or certification you received; and the year of completion.
Sometimes it's the most obvious issues that are hardest to see. Avoiding these 10 mistakes won't guarantee you'll have a perfect resume, but they will guarantee you don't get posted on the employer's bulletin board as a bad example.
Google Interview Questions: Product Marketing Manager
Google is known for asking very tough interview questions. My logic is that if you are ready for Google, you are ready for any interview. Think about how you'd answer these:
* Why do you want to join Google?
* What do you know about Google's product and technology?
* If you are Product Manager for Google's Adwords, how do you plan to market this?
* What would you say during an AdWords or AdSense product seminar?
* Who are Google's competitors, and how does Google compete with them?
* Have you ever used Google's products? Gmail?
* What's a creative way of marketing Google's brand name and product?
* If you are the product marketing manager for Google's Gmail product, how do you plan to market it so as to achieve 100 million customers in 6 months?
* How much money you think Google makes daily from Gmail ads?
* Name a piece of technology you’ve read about recently. Now tell me your own creative execution for an ad for that product.
* Say an advertiser makes $0.10 every time someone clicks on their ad. Only 20% of people who visit the site click on their ad. How many people need to visit the site for the advertiser to make $20?
* Estimate the number of students who are college seniors, attend four-year schools, and graduate with a job in the United States every year.
And, for an additional 128 questions that are purported to be asked, depending which position you are interviewing for, click here.
Are you leaving money on the table?
One of your professors, Don Saxon, is fond of saying that if you aren't taking advantage of the Career Center at Westminster College, you are leaving money on the table. Why? You are paying for this service as part of your tuition. Let me help you shine! Contact me - Polly Unruh - at any time through e-mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call 801-832-2597.
Conquering Salary Question Fears
Learn How to Get an Offer on Your Next Job Interview
by: Michael R. Neece, CEO, InterviewMastery.com
Today we're discussing how to confidently handle the most-feared job interview question: “The Salary Question.” In this segment, I'll give you several different ways to respond to this question and tell you what to do if Podcast Iconinterviewers ask multiple times. By giving you several options, you'll be able to create a response that feels comfortable and effective for you. I'll also describe what to do before you're asked “The Salary Question” and provide specific examples of what to say. I'll not only give you the strategy, I'll give you some examples.
Career advisers generally agree that it is best to not be the one to first provide or mention a salary number. The job-seeker risk is high when replying too early to the salary question because the salary number is used to screen candidates from further consideration. Stating your salary requirements before you know the company's salary range is risky.
Your overall strategy is to delay stating a specific salary number until the company has decided to hire you. Any discussion of compensation before this time runs a high risk of eliminating you from further consideration. Companies ask “The Salary Question” to ensure that your compensation is compatible with what they are willing to pay someone for a specific job. The problem is that when this discussion occurs too early in the interview process, the interviewers do not know how your compensation requirements compare to the value you can deliver. In the end, it is all about paying for results. Through the interview process, you have the opportunity to discuss the results you can deliver. At the end of the process, you are in a much stronger position to discuss compensation because the hiring manager understands the value you can deliver. It is in your best interest to delay the salary discussion until the company has decided it really wants to hire you.
Companies are much less aggressive using “The Salary Question” when the job market is strong for the job applicants. Job markets favoring the applicant force hiring managers to focus on getting the best value from an employee. During a weak job market, companies feel they have the upper hand and can be more aggressive screening job seekers regarding salary.
Know the Salary Range Before They Ask You
Before the interview or phone screen, research the salary range for your occupation. Salary.com and Payscale.com are two web sites that provide salary range data. You can find out what companies are paying for your occupation in your industry and location. Corporations use data from these web sites to compare internal salary ranges against what other companies are paying for similar positions. When using the sites I just mentioned, you are researching salary ranges from many companies. The salary range for a specific company may be quite different, but it is likely to be similar to the broader salary ranges for your locale.
Your Strategy for Handling “The Salary Question”
When you are asked “The Salary Question,” your response strategy is as follows:
1. Don't give them a salary number
2. State your interest in the position
3. Express your openness to discuss salary later
Here is an example of how this strategy might sound when the interviewer asks, “What are your salary requirements?”
You smile and confidently say:
“I'd rather not give you a specific salary number right now. I am very interested in this opportunity with your firm, and I'll be thrilled to discuss salary after we've mutually concluded I'm a strong fit for your company.”
I can hear you saying to me, “Hmm, that might work some of the time, Michael, but I'm not comfortable saying those words to avoid giving them a number.” All right! Let's try another approach.
Second Time They Ask: Salary Range
Sometimes interviewers ask about salary a second time or in a different way. They often ask, “What is your current or most recent salary?” This question is more specific and feels more difficult to handle without providing a salary number.
Your response strategy remains the same; you don't want to state a number first. So your response to their second inquiry about your salary might sound like the following:
“I understand that you need to make sure my salary requirements and your salary range are aligned. Please share with me the salary range, and I'll tell how my salary fits in your range.”
This second response almost always works, and the company representative reveals the salary range. Then you respond by saying approximately where your salary requirements are within their range.
You're not going to let me off the hook this easy. You're probably asking, “What do I say if they ask me again to give them a salary number?”
Third Time They Ask: Multiple Job Factors
If the interviewer or phone screener asks you a third time about your salary your strategy remains the same and you can say the following:
“When deciding on a position, I consider the following factors: quality of the opportunity; quality of the company and the people I'd be working with; growth potential; location; and finally compensation.
Compensation is the least important criteria I use to evaluate a position. So far, I'm impressed with what I have learned about this opportunity and remain very interested. What is the salary range you have established for this role?”
Remember that the first person to give a salary number is at a disadvantage. You want to discuss salary only when they are absolutely convinced they can't live without you. It is at this point that you have negotiating leverage…and not until then.
Craft a response that feels comfortable for you and practice saying it. Decide right now that you are not going to discuss salary until you are ready. Using this response strategy and the examples I've just given you could make the difference between you getting a job or being eliminated from further consideration. Your response to this frequent question will definitely influence the salary you are offered. You are worth it! So get ready to confidently handle “The Salary Question” and a few other difficult questions and you will secure a great job.
Hot Job Opportunity
Executive Director, Hope Alliance
The Hope Alliance, an established international humanitarian organization is seeking an Executive Director.
Job Description: The Board of Directors seeks a strong leader possessing organizational and administrative skills, ability to oversee a variety of projects overseas and ensure timely and cost effective completion of all projects. The successful ED candidate will be capable of strategizing and directing fund raising efforts, personable with donors, staffers, and volunteers. The ED will manage two employees, interns and volunteers. Spanish is helpful but not required. Send resumes to email@example.com
Job ID: 22292
Financial Planner I, State of Utah (Note: they are seeking accounting graduates, preferably those seeking their MBA or MAcc)
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Management Analyst, US Department of Justice
Find out more information about these positions and others in Employment Wizard, Westminster's online jobs database