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Your Weekly Inspiration

New Year, New Job: Your First Year on the Job

Meeting

As January comes to an end so does our series New Year, New Job.  We hope that you were able to gain insight into the process of looking for a new job, from interview to securing an offer. Today’s post focusing on your first year on the job and the steps to take to make it a success. How you conduct yourself during the first year can determine your success in the years to come within the company.

Think of your first few months on the job as an extended interview. Think back to the interview process, what were the characteristic about yourself that impressed your interviewer? These traits and skills should be demonstrated regularly. If you come to work on a daily basis demonstrating your ability to work hard you will make a great impression on your boss and coworkers. Once you display that you have a good attitude and are willing to work hard, people will be more open to involve you in high-level projects and assignments. The good habits that you establish early on will serve you well in the days and years ahead. These should include:

  • Make an effort to be a few minutes early in the mornings and get yourself organized.
  • Learn other functions in the company besides what you and your department do.
  • Ask for and schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your boss to make sure you are on track with their expectations.
  • Invest time and energy into your appearance, look good and feel good!
  • Keep a journal of what you do, it will serve as a record of your professional growth and achievements.
  • Get to know your co-workers and some background information on what makes them who they are.

Our recruiters are always here to help guide you through the process of advancing your career and helping you meet your goals.  At PCG we hope that 2014 is a year of personal and professional success for you!

New Year, New Job: Getting the Job Offer

Hired

Congratulations, you are on your way to getting that new job! The goal should be to leave the final interview with all your questions answered and all your concerns addressed.

One of the many perks of working with a recruiter is that they are able to guide you through every step. It is important to be upfront in the beginning of the job search, it makes the end of the process go so much smoother. Telling your recruiter your salary requirements, location preferences and company benefits help set you up for success. A salary range should be established from the beginning but if the scope of the job has changed, adjustments can be made to reflect that in your salary request. As part of your research on salary, you should look at the industry average. Make sure you are looking in the same geographical location; a job will and should pay differently in New York City than compared to Small Town, USA. After you have a new salary range in mind, check with your recruiter and see if this is a realistic request.

You should also have an established start date. Are you available immediately once the offer is made or do you need to give your current job notice? Knowing all of these details up front can make the offer stage so much easier, it also makes you much more appealing as a candidate. If the company knows you need four weeks to wrap up your current job they can prepare for that.

During your final interview you should also bring up any questions you may have about benefits, flextime, retirement plans and vacation. Also, what kind of growth opportunities are they able to offer? You want to get all the details you can from the company prior to receiving the job offer.

At PCG the goal is for us to make the job offer an easy yes. We want to make sure you are getting what you need and clear picture of what the company is able to provide. Hopefully this series “New Year, New Job” has been a helpful guide for finding a new job. As always we are here to help, please contact us with any questions or leave a comment below and we will respond. Thursday we will talk about what you should do your first year on the job!

Your Weekly Inspiration

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New Year, New Job: Your Post Interview Check List

Waiting

You’ve aced the interview…Now what?! PCG has put together a list of what you should do after the interview to continue boosting your candidacy. We hope these help in making your dream job a reality.

√ End the Interview with a Statement of Intent
You should leave no doubt in the interview’s mind of your interest in the company and the position. By saying things such as, “I’m excited about this opportunity and all that I could bring to the company.” or “After hearing more about the company I am confident that I would be a great fit for this position.”  It’s also a good idea to get a clear idea of what the next steps are in their hiring process before you leave.

√ Follow Through
If you ended the interview and they have asked you to submit references, project or a portfolio, make sure you do it. By following through on their requests in a timely manner shows them the type of employee you might be.

√ Wait Patiently
When you left the interview, they may have said to follow up in a week or only by email. You should respect his or her request. Emailing or calling in the next day to ask for an update may been seen as assertive or disrespectful.

√ Sending a Thank You Note
A great way to express your interest in the position and mentioning anything you may have left out is in a thank you note. This will help you stay fresh in their mind and the chance to remind them of why you are the best fit for the job. Our recruiters recommend emailing one within 24 hours of the interview.

√ Networking and References
You should never stop networking, especially after the interview. You may have connections that already work at the company, or have colleagues at the company that may be able put in a good word for you. Also it’s a great time to alert your references that you had an interview. You should summarize the job and any areas you feel make you a stand out candidate. You want to give them the all the information you can so they are best equipped to speak to your strengths for this position.

Want to learn more about looking for a new job? Check out our past blog posts, New Year: New Job, our series on taking you from interview to your first year on the job.

New Year, New Job: The Questions You Should be Asking at an Interview

Questions

Last week we reviewed one of the most crucial parts of an interview the question and answer portion. Below is a list we have put together of the best questions to ask to assist you in this area.

What are the top qualities you are looking for in the person would like to hire?
The goal of the interview is showing them you are the person that they want.  By finding out what they are looking for you can highlight certain past experience or skills that would match their top qualities.

What opportunity is there for personal development at the company?
By asking this you are showing the hiring manager you are someone who is ambitious and looking to move your career forward. It will not only show that you are driven but that you have the desire to grow with the company, not just use it as a stepping stone. This also proves to them you are looking for a career not just a job.

How has this position evolved since it was created?
By getting background information on the role it will help you see if the role has grown over the years. It’s also helpful for you to have an understating of the details of the work.

What have past employees done in the past to succeed in this role?
Knowing how the company measures achievements will help you understand what the expectations will be and if you have the skills to meet them. It’s crucial to understand their expectations upfront.

What should be the top priority for the person in this position in the first few months?
Without a clear expectation you won’t know what to accomplish or how to make the right impression during your first days on the job. The answer to this question will help you set yourself up for success once you are offered the job.

Can you describe your company culture?
Every company is different and some will be more suited to you and your lifestyle. Find out what their culture is and their answer to this question will be a big indicator whether you will feel comfortable working for them.

What are the next steps in the interview process?
Taking initiative to know what the next steps consist of is helpful for your peace of mind and what to look forward to.

Hopefully with this list of questions you will be able to show your interviewer your passion and desire for the company and the position. Our next blog post will focus on what to do once the interview is over. Come back on Thursday to check it out!

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New Year, New Job: How to Prepare for an Interview

Job interview

Being the most prepared applicant in an interview can greatly increase your odds of landing your dream position.  Win them over not only with your skills, but with your passion and knowledge for the job and company. Here is our checklist of how to prepare for an interview.

√ Research the Company

The best place to start is on the company’s website. Look at the company history, future goals, annual reports, and current campaigns. You can also view the background of potential people you will meet by viewing their profile on LinkedIn.

√ Know Your Resume

You should be able to talk about every point, date and company on your resume without reading off of it. Be prepared to discuss everything! Job moves, how many people you supervised, past challenges you faced, these are all standard questions that will be asked. You should also be comfortable talking about your experience and how it relates to the role with specific examples. Another piece of advice we like to give is bring multiple copies of your resume to the interview, in case you meet additional people.

√ Asking Questions

The question portion of the interview is very important, as it is a great time to bring up any areas of the job requirements that you may not be clear on. By having 2-3 relevant questions ready to ask shows your interviewer that you are committed to the role.

√ Practice

Ask a friend or family member to help you practice speaking about your resume and the job/company. One question that always comes up is “Tell me about yourself.” By practicing answering this, it will flow smoothly and set the tune for the interview.

√ What to Wear

Before you decide what you are going to wear think about the company culture. If you are interviewing with a finance company wearing jeans would probably not be appropriate. On the other hand, if you were interviewing for a company with a very relaxed culture showing up in a suit will show them you don’t really “get” them. Once you figure out what would be appropriate, try it on the night before to make sure it looks great!

√ Know Your Route

You should print out directions or upload them to your smartphone and always anticipate traffic. Bring the phone number of the company or even the person you are meeting with incase you get lost. We recommend arriving 10 minutes early. Any earlier and your interviewer may not be ready for you. It’s always a good idea to bring along your photo ID, some buildings require it for entry.

Hopefully with this checklist you will feel confident and prepared for your interview. There is no greater feeling than leaving an interview knowing that you were the best you could be.  Next week we will tell you the best questions to ask during an interview – come back and check it out on Tuesday!

New Year, New Job: Updating Your Resume

Closeup of resume with glasses and pencil on blue background

Even if you are pursuing a new job or even a whole new career path you may not need to write an entirely new resume. You should update it though, and it doesn’t have to be too time-consuming or painful, trust us!

Update, Update & Edit

Begin with your most current job; make sure it’s updated with all your responsibilities. Even if you haven’t received a promotion you should add any trainings or certificates completed. Also, make sure it reflects your career goals and specifically the job you are applying for. You contact information should also be updated with your working phone number, a professional email address and even a Skype username, especially if you are apply for jobs outside the area you live in.

Look at past jobs; these should get less attention than your current job. These should also be in past tense, we see this a lot! Make sure current jobs are in present tense and past jobs in past tense. Only highlight the best and most impressive things from these past jobs, no need to go overboard if it’s not relevant.

Resume Makeover

A fresh new format may be what your dated resume needs. You shouldn’t be using the same format from your first resume after graduation. Update it to something more appropriate for the position or industry you are in. There are templates galore out there – even in Microsoft Word!

Proofread and then Proofread Again!

Whenever you are making changes to your resume you should proofread the WHOLE thing again, not just the section you have changed. Have a friend of family member read it; there may be an error that you have been looking over. It’s not just typos, look at dates, titles and contact information make sure these are all correct.

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