What are you going to say when a hiring manager asks "Why are you leaving (or have left) your job?" or "Why were you fired?" - do you have an answer ready? If not, you should. In fact, you should be ready to answer most of the typical interview questions you'll be asked.
Taking the time to prepare answers will save you from fumbling around trying to figure out what to say, and will prevent that awkward moment or two of silence while you try and gather your thoughts.
It's also important to be prepared to respond to "What can I answer for you?" Have interview questions of your own ready to ask. You aren't simply trying to get this job - you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.
- Job Interview Questions
- IT Interview Questions
- Tough Interview Questions
- Questions to Ask the Interviewer
- Interview Questions A - Z
Photo Copyright Getty Images David Gould
When I first wrote about wearing pantyhose to job interviews, I never thought pantyhose would generate so much interest and so many comments. Regardless of what you decide, one way or the other, the next question is what to do once you have the job?
Women - and men - on both sides of the pantyhose fence have lots of opinions on when it's appropriate to work pantyhose to work and to interviews, and when bare legs work just fine.
Image Copyright Alexander Oshvintsev
Do you need to start a job search, but aren't sure how to get going? The easiest way to start searching for a job is to take one step at a time. Don't try to do everything at once or you'll get overwhelmed.
Here's all the information you need to start a job search including how to write resumes and cover letters, where to look for jobs, how to conduct a job search, and the best way to use social networking to job search.
Image Copyright Johnny Lye
There are several types of recommendation letters you can use for job searching including academic recommendations from teachers or professors, references from employers, character references, and online recommendations on professional networking site LinkedIn.
It's always a good idea to have recommendations on hand, even if you aren't actively job seeking. Plan ahead and get your references in order, before you need them. It will save time scrambling to put together recommendations at the last minute.
Keep in mind that good references can help you clinch a job offer, so, be sure to have recommenders ready who are willing to attest to your qualifications and capabilities.
Here is information on the different types of recommendation letters you can use including employment, academic, personal, character, student and more sample recommendation letters.
Image Copyright Getty Images
Interested in teaching abroad? It's one of the ways many Americans who want to spend time abroad get to travel overseas and get paid while they are there.
The most common subject taught by Americans is English as a second language. However, there are many other teaching opportunities in a wide range of subjects at international schools which serve the children of English speaking diplomats, business people and other expatriates.
There are different ways to find a job. You can work with an agency which will help place you or you can apply directly to schools. Positions typically require certification or the equivalent background in teacher training and some experience.
If you would like to spend time teaching abroad, plan ahead because the applicant process can be lengthy. You will also need to obtain a visa and permission to work in the country where you're going to be.
Here's information on how to find a job teaching abroad from Guest Author Mike Profita.
Image Copyright Getty Images Arthur Tilley
I'm always thrilled when someone thanks me for helping them or for giving them advice. I'm not the only one who likes being appreciated - employers like being thanked, too.
The job applicants who make the best impression are the candidates who take the time to say thank you after a job interview. It doesn't take much time to send a quick thank you letter, thank you note, or email. In addition to being polite, a thank you letter is a good way to reiterate your interest in the job and to remind the hiring manager of why you would be an asset to the company.
It's important to say thank you after a job interview and after a second interview as well. It's also important to thank everyone you interviewed with and everyone who assisted with your job search. Here's information on thank you letters including who you should thank and the best way to thank them.
If you're not sure what to write, review a sample thank you letter or two to get some ideas and suggestions.
Photo Copyright Carlos Arranz
Update March 7, 2014: Republican Senators have introduced legislation (S. 2097) that would extend unemployment insurance benefits for the more than 2 million workers who have run out of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired in December. If passed, the legislation would extend federal unemployment insurance benefits for five months, allowing for retroactive benefits.
Update March 4, 2014: Legislation which would extend federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits which expired at the end of December, 2013 for six months was filed today. The legislation (S. 2077, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014) is for a 6 month retroactive extension that would restore unemployment benefits for the 2 million unemployed workers who have run out. News reports indicate there may be a vote next week.
In addition, President Obama has announced an initiative to encourage hiring of the long term jobless. Here's a list of companies that have pledged to encourage the hiring of unemployed workers.
If you are out, or running out, of unemployment benefits here's a list of resources where you can get assistance. President Obama has announced an initiative to encourage hiring of the long term jobless. Here's a list of companies that have pledged to encourage the hiring of unemployed workers.
Check back frequently for updates - I will post as soon as there is news.
Contact Congress: Here's how to contact Congress to urge them to renew federal unemployment benefits.
More News & Information: I will post updates as soon as there is news on what will be happening with unemployment. Also, follow me on Twitter, add me to your Google+ Circles and like About Job Search on Facebook for more news and information.
Important: Some states have advised claimants to continue filing, others say they will file for you if EUC is extended, and others won't let you file. Your state unemployment office may provide notification saying no further extension benefits can be paid. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a chance of benefits being continued for 2014. Check your State Unemployment Office for details.
Update February 27, 2014: News reports indicate that Senator Harry Reid is working on legislation that would provide for a six month retroactive extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired at the end of December. However, the Senate has adjourned until Monday, March 3 at 2 pm, so the earliest possible action will be next week.
Update February 12, 2014: Legislation to renew expired Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) was voted down in the Senate last week. Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the Democrats would continue pushing to extend the benefits, and it will be voted on again: "When the Senate returns, we will revisit the issue of extending unemployment insurance benefits. I want to be absolutely clear: This issue is not going away. We are one Republican vote away from restoring this lifeline." The Senate will be back in session on February 24th.
Update January 29, 2014: Democrats are continuing to call for a renewal of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits which expired at the end of last year. Senator Sander Levin (D-MI) said "The President spoke forcefully of the value of the 1.6 million unemployed millions whose insurance has been cut off and the urgent need for Congress to re-start the federal unemployment insurance program that is a vital lifeline during their job search."
Update January 28, 2014: President Obama's State of the Union address discussed renewing expired He said "I'm also convinced we can help Americans return to the workforce faster by reforming unemployment insurance so that it's more effective in today's economy. But first, this Congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1.6 million people."
Update January 23, 2014: Legislation to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired at the end of December 2013 has been voted down in the Senate. A motion to reconsider was approved.
In addition, the Responsible Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014, S. 1931, has been introduced by U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Dan Coats (R-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and John Hoeven (R-ND). This legislation would pay for an extension of unemployment insurance benefits for three months. The bill also repeals recent cuts in the military retiree cost-of-living adjustment included in December's budget agreement.
Update January 13, 2014: A vote on legislation to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired at the end of December 2013, has been delayed until tomorrow. Negotiations are continuing, so hopefully legislation will be passed in the Senate tomorrow. If approved, it will then go to the House for a vote there.
From a news release from Senator Dean Heller: "We continue to negotiate in good faith, and we are all encouraged that we are making progress on a package that could pass with bipartisan support. The proposal includes (1) a three-month extension of the temporary federal long-term unemployment insurance program; (2) a repeal of the recent cuts in the military retiree cost-of-living adjustment included in December's budget agreement; and (3) offsets to pay for the unemployment extension and restoring military retiree benefits within the budget window."
Update January 9, 2014: A Senate vote on extending expired unemployment benefits has been postponed until Monday, January 13. News reports indicate that the legislation could contain a 9 month extension of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) through November 15, 2014. However, what is included in the legislation could change. Reuters reported that "Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, one of the negotiators, late on Thursday declared on the Senate floor that "We are still trying to find a bipartisan approach" that can pass the Senate and House of Representatives."
Important: Unemployment benefits vary from state to state, so check your State Unemployment Office website for details on who qualifies for extended benefits and when and how benefits will be paid or check this list of state unemployment extension websites to go directly to the information for your location.
In some cases, job seekers are required to register and to build an employment profile. Once you've built your profile, you can apply for jobs and set up job search agents to email you when new jobs are added to the system.
On other sites, rather than entering all the information a section at a time, you will be able to upload an existing resume with the click of a button or you can copy and paste or use a resume builder that is built into the application system.
Once they are in the system, applicants can then apply online for specific positions at any time that is convenient for them, with just a few mouse clicks. At larger employers, and on many job sites, job seekers can keep track of the positions they have applied for.
Regardless of how you apply, it's important to follow the company's application instructions, to submit all the required materials, and to carefully proofread your application before you click the Submit button.
Image Copyright Palio Rao
CareerBuilder has released a new survey that reports "54% of employers currently have open positions for which they can't find qualified candidates - and 35% of all employers have positions that stay open for 12 weeks or longer."
Which positions are the hardest to fill? Employers who are hiring in 2014 said that among the areas in which they are experiencing the most difficulty in filling open positions are:
- Computer and Mathematical Occupations - 71%
- Architecture and Engineering Occupations - 70%
- Management Occupations - 66%
- Health Care Practitioners and Technical Occupations - 56%
- Installation, Maintenance and Repair Occupations - 55%
- Legal Occupations - 53%
- Business and Financial Operations - 52%
- Personal Care and Services Occupations - 50%
- Sales and Related Occupations - 47%
- Production Occupations - 41%
Why are some jobs so hard to fill? Here's what employers report as the causes of the skills gap:
- Education gap - 37%
- Gaps in expectations around wages - 37%
- Job requirements that are above entry requirements - 35%
- New/shifting technologies - 32 %
Image Copyright Peter Dazeley / Getty Images
Are you having a tough time getting your resume to look good? It isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially when you want to make yours perfect enough to get you an interview.
Taking a look at resume examples is a good way to get ideas for your own resume. Here is a selection of great resume examples which will give you some ideas you can use to create your own resume.
When reviewing examples, pick and choose from among the different templates and styles to create documents that work well for your background and skills. Do be sure to customize your resume, so it is specifically targeted to each job you apply to. You can add a headline and/or a profile to help it stand out from the crowd. Here's how to add a headline to your resume and what to include in a resume profile.
I received an email from a site visitor who shared the automated correspondence he received from a company where he had applied for a job.
He received a nice automated response saying that his resume would be forwarded to the recruiting team to review. Four minutes later he received an automated rejection letter from the same email account stating that he wasn't going to be considered for the position.
My guess is that the "recruiting team" was actually the company's recruiting software which determined he wasn't a match, but, a four minute rejection was painful for him. As he said in his email message: "I can not believe, nor will anyone else believe, that a true evaluation of my resume was performed in four minutes. It was despicable to receive a rejection that quickly from your automated system. Your company didn't have the decency to wait a day before rejecting me as a candidate."
On the plus side, I suppose he should be thankful that he received a rejection letter at all. In our poll, 16% of the respondents said they never receive a rejection letter and 25% rarely receive one. A lucky 19% of respondents always hears back from employers.
Image Copyright Peter Dazeley / Getty Images
A personal webpage is a key way to enhance your job search, while also a good way to start building your personal brand. However, designing a personal site can tricky, making it difficult for busy job seekers to set aside time to dedicate time to the task.
Two Way Resume is a relatively new service that makes it surprisingly easy to create a personal webpage - all you need to know is how to copy and paste. Marketed to college students, it can also be used by established professionals looking to build an online presence.
In under an hour, you can take information from your paper resume to create your personal website, complete with a personalized domain (for example, www.yourname.com) and the option to choose between different themes.
The service also allows unlimited picture uploads, perfect for a multimedia portfolio, as well as embedded YouTube and Vimeo videos, for those who want to showcase film projects or include a video introduction. You can also add downloadable documents for your writing samples or recommendations.
Two Way Resume costs $39.99 a year, with the cost for the domain name included. Although this might seem like a lot of money for a recent grad, it's a relatively inexpensive way to score a URL with your name, which is key to creating online visibility, and certainly not a bad way to spend forty bucks.
All in all, whether you're just starting your job search or if you've been at it for awhile, Two Way Resume will likely be an investment that will expand your job search potential.
Image Copyright Two Way Resume
As a job interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you will probably be asked is "What can I answer for you?"
Have interview questions of your own ready to ask. You aren't simply trying to get this job - you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.
Here are interview questions to ask the employer so you can ensure the company is a good match for your qualifications and interests.
Image Copyright Steve Cole
What's the best way to resign? When writing an employee resignation letter, it's important to keep your resignation letter short and sweet. There is no need to include anything more than the fact that you are resigning and when your employment will end.
The best way for an employee to resign is to write a formal resignation letter, so it can be placed in your employment file. Here's a simple sample resignation letter and more sample resignation letters for a variety of reasons for terminating employment to get some ideas of what to include in your letter.
Here are guidelines for writing professional resignation letters that will help you resign gracefully from your job.
Need to resign via email? It's not the best way to resign, if you can help it, but here's how to send a resignation email message, along with resignation email samples you can edit to fit your personal circumstances. A phone call is another option - here's how to quit your job on the phone.
Image Copyright Yagi Studio / Getty Images
I heard from a job seeker the other day who was working with a career coach who wanted her to move outside her comfort zone and focus on jobs in a career field where she would need to be a people person. The coach was encouraging her to seek employment in jobs where she could work with people, when she simply didn't want to.
She knew that forcing herself to be outgoing wasn't going to work and made a decision to move on. She's now working with a different coach who is helping her find a job that's a good fit. She's shy and doesn't want to be center stage - or on stage at all.
For those of us who are shy - and are happy to stay that way - there are some jobs that are a better fit than others. CareerCast has compiled a list of the best jobs for people who are shy. Here are the top 10:
- Animal Care And Service Workers
- Court Reporter
- Film/Video Editor
- Financial Clerk
- Industrial Machine Repairer
- Medical Records Technician
- Social Media Manager
Image Copyright CareerCast