Tag: savannah

first day on the job

Your first day on the job can be exciting and nerve-wracking. Even if you’ve worked in a similar position before, there are bound to be differences between how your previous company operated compared to the new one. Make sure you ask these important questions to make your transition and smooth and successful one.

1. Who do I report to?

No matter what your role or the company’s purpose, there will be some form of a chain of command. Make sure you understand your place and who you should report to with questions and completed tasks. Make sure you ask who you report to if your direct supervisor it out, too.

2. What are the key things you want me to focus on this week?

You may already have experience in your new role, but it’s best to ask what your supervisor wants you to focus on to make sure you are working towards the same goal.

3. Where is the bathroom?

It’s a natural need, we know. Don’t get lost on your first day because you’re embarrassed to ask where the bathroom is. If you don’t want to ask your supervisor, ask a coworker.

4. When (and how long) is lunch?

Don’t assume that because you’ve always had an hour for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. that this company operates the same way. Ask before you’re starving when lunch time is.

5. What’s your name?

Get to know the people you will be working around. Find out who handles what aspects of the business and who you will need to contact for what information. Your coworkers should be your team, so make an effort to connect with them.

For interview tips to get you to that first day on the job, check out these 2 great blog posts.

How to Calm Interview Nerves in 2 Easy Steps

The Key to a Successful Interview: Leave Something Behind

calm interview nerves

I wish there was a superfood or magical drink I could recommend that would calm your nerves during an interview. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t invented it yet. However, there is one sure fire way to walk into an interview with confidence and walk out of it feeling even better – PREPARE.

I can GUARANTEE that if you adequately prepare more than just the day before the interview, you will exude confidence and leave those pre-interview nerves in the trash. But telling you to prepare is kind of vague, so let me break it down for you.

Research

PLEASE. I beg you. Do NOT go into an interview without researching the company and its employees. Here are some ways you can research any company.

  • Website – Read the company’s website. I don’t mean look at it or check out the home page. I mean READ the website. Go to every page and read the content from top to bottom. Look at their most recent blog posts and think of ways you can mention them in the interview.
  • Search – Do a Google or Bing search of the company and look for articles written about them recently. Identify achievements or groundbreaking work they are doing. These are great things to bring up in the interview and will show your genuine interest in the company, not just the job.
  • Social Media – Find the company on social media and look at what they post about. You can go one step further and engage with some of the posts. You never know, the social media manager may be present during the interview and recognize your name from the notifications.
  • LinkedIn I separate this from social media because LinkedIn allows you to see who the employees are for a company and connect with them. If you really want to show interest in joining the company, send connection requests with the employees listed on LinkedIn. If they accept your connection, scroll through the content they’ve shared. These could be great icebreakers.

Practice

Doing your research isn’t enough. Just like with anything you want to excel at, you need to practice. But practice what? Here are some things to frequently practice at least a week before you interview.

  • Answers – All interviews are intended to gather information, so most of the questions are similar no matter the position. Practice your answers to some of the most common interview questions (Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why did you leave a previous position? How will you be an asset for our company? What makes you different than other applicants?) There is nothing more nerve-wracking than being asked a question and sitting there in silence for minutes while you try and pull together an answer.
  • Questions – You may think that an interview is a chance for the recruiter to interrogate you, but it is a chance for them to get to know you and you to get to know the company better. Prepare some questions about the company and the position you are interviewing for.
    • How would you describe the office environment here?
    • Why is this position available (Is this a new position or did someone leave it? Why did they leave?)
    • How will you measure success in this position?
    • What opportunities are there for growth within the company?
  • Basics – This may seem childish, but practice introducing yourself and your handshake. From the moment the recruiter calls you back to the conference room for the interview, you can show confidence. Your handshake is a sure-fire way to start the interview with confidence. Practice standing up and shaking someone’s hand. Get your friends and family to help you. Don’t wait for them to extend their hand to you. Reach your hand out first and show that you mean business.

If you want to add an extra WOW factor during your interview, put together a leave behind. Learn more about that by clicking here to read last week’s blog post!

interview leave-behind

You probably go into an interview with very little in your hands. Your phone is in the car, keys in your pocket, and your resume is tucked inside a notebook you will use to take notes during the interview. What if I told you that you’ve forgotten something? Not sure what it is? Let me help you. You need a leave-behind.

What is a leave-behind? I can hear your panicked voice already. You’ve been preparing for this interview, and you want it to be as successful as possible. That’s why you want to put together a folder with content that you plan to leave with the interviewer at the end of the interview.

You more than likely submitted samples of your work when you applied, but the interviewers may not have seen them or might not remember what was your work. For that reason, you want to pick some of your best samples. Showcase your writing skills or graphic design experience. If you’ve managed social media, bring some analytics that highlights your talent to reach an audience. All of these should be found in your online portfolio, but it is much more convenient for the interviewer if you have physical copies to show them and discuss during the interview.

Here are some key things you should include in your leave-behind.

  1. Folder – Don’t ever leave a stack of loose papers. Head over to Walmart and get yourself a cheap folder with prongs and a pack of plastic paper cover dividers. You won’t impress them by buying the most expensive folder and professionally laminating each paper. Something cheap will do.
  2. Resume – ALWAYS have a copy of your resume. ALWAYS. When you go into the interview, they will likely have a copy of your resume already. Bring several copies anyways. Some interviews are conducted with panels, and nothing is more inconveniencing than having several people lean over one sheet of paper. Print several copies, and put them in the front pouch of the folder.
  3. References – As you know, your references should not be on your resume, so print out your references and put them as the first page in your leave-behind.
  4. Writing samples – If you have a lot of experience writing, or the position you’re applying for requires a skilled writer, you NEED to provide proof of your writing skills. Pick 2-3 of your best writing samples, and include them in your leave-behind.
  5. Graphic Design – Graphic design is a sought after skill these days. Many positions require applicants to have some knowledge of graphic design programs like Photoshop and InDesign. Show the interviewer that you have the skills they’re looking for by including 3-4 samples of graphic design work that you have done.
  6. Analytics – Creating compelling social media posts is impressive, but to impress, even more, provide analytics of social media accounts you’ve managed. Include the following and engagement when you started compared to when you left.

What NOT to include in your leave-behind

  1. Your selfie – You may think that having your picture in your leave-behind will help the recruiters remember you, but it can cause more harm than good. Including your image can open up the door for the interviewers to make a decision based on bias. You want them to call you back because of your qualifications, not your face, so focus on your skills and experience instead of your appearance.
  2. Your address – No interviewer on the earth needs to know your full home address. While it’s fine to provide the area that you live in to assure the interviewer that you can make the commute to the office, they don’t need to know exactly where you rest your head at night.
  3. Bad samples – Your goal is to impress the interviewer. Providing samples with grammatical errors or poor design will only guarantee that you don’t get a callback.
  4. Plagiarized work – While it may impress them in the interview, the truth will come out, and let me just tell you – recruiters talk with other recruiters.
  5. Group work without attribution – This falls under plagiarism, technically, but it needs to be stated separately. If you were not the sole author or creator of a piece of work, you need to attribute it to all contributors to the project. It is okay to provide group work in your leave-behind, but make sure you highlight the portions that you worked on the most.

Do you include something in your leave-behind that didn’t make our list? Put it in the comments below!

10 ways to win at any job fair

A job fair is a great opportunity for you to get your resume to several employers at one time, but it can be an overwhelming situation if you don’t prepare properly.

1. Do your research

Job fairs are an opportunity for many employers to attract job seekers at the same time, meaning there will be several companies looking to hire new employees. Before you go, research what companies will be at the job fair and what kinds of positions they offer. Having knowledge of who will be there and what kind of positions they are looking for will give your more confidence. Job recruiters want people who are enthusiastic and serious about getting hired, and your preparation will be an indicator of your commitment to your job search.

2. Give yourself time – Come early

Most job fairs last for several hours, but you don’t want to wait until the last minute to show up. Getting their early will not only show the recruiters that you are serious about getting hired, but it will also give you plenty of time to speak with everyone you would like to. It will also allow you to go back to tables to ask more questions and make yourself more memorable to the recruiters.

3. Create an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a quick summary of who you are and what you are looking for. It needs to be so quick, that you could give the whole thing to someone while riding in an elevator. Highlight your job interests and experience. Make sure you keep it relevant to the positions you are looking for. If you are trying to get hired as a daycare teacher, you won’t want to talk about your experience as a bartender. Mention positions that will highlight your relevant skills for the open position.

4. Bring copies of your resume

Your resume is a snapshot of you. It should allow recruiters to quickly see your skills and experience to determine if you have what they are looking for in their open positions. Bring several copies of your resume to leave with the recruiters. Not only will they be able to see then what experience you have, but they will also have something to take back to their office that will remind them of their conversation with you. Recruiters speak with many people during a job fair, so it is hard for them to remember each person. By giving them your resume to keep, you are making it harder for them to forget you.

5. Be open

Even though you probably have a certain company or position you are looking for, be open to other opportunities. Visit each table to see what positions they are looking to fill. You may be surprised by the types of positions some companies are hiring for. Even warehouses and construction companies need administrative personnel and clerical staff. Even though the company may specialize in one field, they may be hiring for a variety of positions across many fields.

6. Dress for success

You want to dress as if you are going to an interview because essentially a job fair is a massive group interview. Dress in a way that presents yourself professionally. Wear clean, fitted, and appropriate clothing with no holes or tears. Ladies, make sure your dresses and skirts are no more than 4 inches above your knee and that your clothes are not too tight. Gentlemen, wear slacks with a nice button-up shirt or collared shirt. Stay away from jeans, flip-flops, tank-tops, and t-shirts.

7. Be professional

You want recruiters to take you seriously as a potential employee, so you should show them that you can be professional in your behavior. Avoid slang and profanity. Make sure you are still being yourself, just your most professional self. Remain calm if you are denied a position.

8. Stay calm and confident

Interviewing is always nerve-wracking, but it is important to stay calm. You want to show that you are confident in yourself and your ability to perform in the position you are applying for. Avoid biting your nails or fidgeting with your hands. If you need to, put your hands in your pockets or fold your hands in front by your waist. Practice your elevator pitch and talking about yourself before you go to the job fair. The more you practice what you will say, the more confident you will be in your delivery.

9. Take notes

You are going to talk with a lot of people in a short amount of time. There is no way you will remember everything that is said and who it is said by. Take a notepad and pen so you can take notes while you are talking with recruiters. Some may require follow-up steps, and it is important that you get all the important information correct. Being prepared in this way will also impress the recruiters and show them that you are reliable, detail-oriented, and committed to finding a job.

10. Ask for business cards/contact information

Before you leave each table at a job fair, ask for a business card or the contact information of the recruiter that you speak with. Go ahead and input that information into your phone’s contacts. This will ensure that you can contact them easily for any follow-up steps they require. It will also ensure that you don’t decline an important phone call simply because you do not recognize the number. This way, if you get a call for an interview, you will know who you are answering the phone for and be able to greet them personally.

Do you have any advice on how to stand out at job fairs? Share it in the comments below!

how to call out of work in 3 easy steps

We all get sick or have an emergency at some point in our adult lives. It is inevitable. Any time you are unable to be at work on time, you need to notify your employer. Many employers have strict policies regarding a no-call-no-show, an individual who didn’t show up for their shift but didn’t notify their supervisor beforehand and may call for immediate termination. Avoid losing your job over a situation you could have easily prevented, and follow these easy steps to make sure you’re covered when you have to call out from work.

Call your supervisor

It seems obvious, but I want to say it. If you are going to be late or need to miss time at work, call your supervisor. Let them know as soon as possible about the delay or issue so they can prepare their day accordingly. If you wait until the last minute before your shift, or even worse, after your shift has started, to let your supervisor know you are having an issue, you create an unnecessary inconvenience for them and your coworkers. By notifying ahead of time, your supervisor has time to find someone to fill your position while you are unavailable.

Be prepared to answer “Why?”

If you’re going to miss work, your supervisor is going to want to know why. It is a common and justified question, so be prepared to answer it honestly. Are you sick? Did your car break down? Did your sitter just call and tell you she quit? Whatever the reason, keep your supervisor informed. Explaining why you will be late or absent can help your supervisor understand your situation and save you from consequences.

Plan to return

When you speak with your supervisor, plan with them on when you will return to work. If you came outside to a flat tire, let them know how long until you’ll have the tire changed and be on your way. A doctor’s note may be required in order to return to work if you are sick or injured. If you’ve lost a loved one and need time off for the services, tell your supervisor when you will be back in town.

By providing a return day or time, you are showing your supervisor that you still value your position and intend to return to work. If you don’t call or provide a plan for returning back to work, your supervisor may assume you resigned and fill your position with someone new. If you don’t know when you can come back, be honest. Let your supervisor know ahead of time and keep in contact with them until you can return.