All posts tagged professional

Seven Steady Tips to Acing The Phone Interview

The job market is tough these days. There are so many experienced applicants, many with degrees; recruiters find themselves inundated with qualified candidates. If you are lucky enough to receive a positive response to your application, you might be selected for a phone interview. These ten or fifteen minutes are all about deciding if you are worth a recruiter’s time and if you deserve an in-person interview. That is not much time to get your foot in the door, so it is important to use those few minutes to your advantage. Consider the tips below the next time you are scheduled for a phone interview, and show your interviewer how your experience, skills, and attitude qualify you for a second interview. Once you’ve gotten the in-person interview, take a look at our tips here.

Be ready. Do not skimp on the research. Learn all you can about the company and the requirements of the position you’ve applied for. Read over the job description and be ready with concise points that demonstrate that you’re the best candidate for the position. Remember that fitting within the company’s culture is critical to your success in the position. Be clear about your ability, and willingness, to fit into the culture.

Be professional. This is not just a chat. It is an opportunity. Take on that opportunity with professionalism. It might be tempting to get comfortable on your couch in your pajamas while you take the phone interview. Resist that urge. Dress as if you are going to an in-person interview, sit at a desk, and put on your “game face.”  Have your resume handy and be prepared to speak to every aspect of your career, and every transition between jobs.

Mind your energy. Put a smile in your voice and convey your enthusiasm about the job. Demonstrate through your energy and attitude that you really want the position and that you are easy to communicate with. If you sound timid, the interviewer is going to think you are timid, or not very interested in the position.

Stay focused. Do not look in a mirror while you hold the conversation – you will be focusing on yourself when you need to be focusing on the interviewer. Visualize the person you are talking to and develop a more personal connection by looking at a picture of the interviewer. Odds are good you can find an image on their LinkedIn or other social profile. Keep that picture in view and remember that you are talking to a real person. One who could impact your future.

Listen before you talk. Be sure to listen carefully to questions posed and construct your responses so they clearly answer the interviewer’s inquiries. When you are nervous, you might blurt things out or talk too much. Pause before answering questions. Demonstrate your thoughtful consideration, rather than a rush to speak. Keep your responses simple. If you are not sure that you have given the interviewer the answer they were looking for ask something like, “Is that what you were after? Would you like me to clarify that in more detail?”

Ask questions. There is always a place in an interview where the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” Never say “No” to that question. Be prepared with thoughtful questions generated from your research, and use this opportunity to show your enthusiasm or ask about specific aspects of the job. Your questions should clarify the responsibilities of the job, aspects of company culture or simply demonstrate that you are serious about putting your experience to work. At this point, it is not appropriate to ask about processes, salary, benefits or start dates. Those questions come after you have secured the in-person interview. Rather than asking what the company will do for you, stay focused on what you will do for them.

Figure out what comes next. The last thing to cover in a phone interview is, “What’s next?” Ask the interviewer if there is more information you can provide and if they can confirm what the next steps are. Should you provide references? Will there be another interview? Do not be shy about asking how to continue the process. If you are serious about the job, you will naturally be curious about what comes next. The recruiter will expect no less.

When a company offers you a phone interview, they are really giving you a window of opportunity. Prepare to do your best with that opportunity. With solid research, a professional demeanor, and clear communication about what you bring to the table, you can help the interviewer feel like you are a good use of their time. In the end, your preparation could get you what you really want; an in-person interview.

Good luck!

You Have an Interview, Now the Question is How Should You Dress?

You Have an Interview, Now the Question is How Should You Dress?

Shenia Ivey MBA, CPC, Ivey Concepts & Solutions ( | © 2017


What you wear to the interview will demonstrate how serious you are about the position.  It does not matter if this is the recruiter, hiring manager, or the CEO that has called you in for the initial interview  it is your immediate job to get off to a great start.  Here are some key elements that will not let you down.

  • Be on time
  • Be prepared
  • Take notes
  • Ask Questions
  • Have done your homework about the company
  • Know how you are going to be instrumental
  • Dress professionally

Just because the employer set an interview does not mean you have the job in the bag.  Remember you never get a second chance to make that first impression. So now you need to impress the decision maker with what you know, and basically you should treat your interview as if it is an audition.  What are you auditioning for you might ask? The interview or job audition is usually to determine if you are a good fit for the culture of the organization, the office, the team or all the above.  It could be the first of many, so take a deep breath and be yourself. loans on centrelink

  • Do Not over dress.
  • Do Not wear jeans.
  • Do Not wear flip flops.
  • Do not wear shorts.
  • Do Not wear anything with holes in it.
  • Do Not wear tennis shoes or sneakers.
  • Do Not wear tank tops.
  • Do Not wear anything too revealing.
  • Do Not wear strong cologne or perfume as it may offend the decision maker.

Have you ever heard the saying “Dress for the position you want, not the position you have?”

Keep in mind that being called in for an interview is wonderful and gives the decision maker a great deal of power and being successful in the outcome of an interview requires that you feel confident with yourself. Confidence is portrayed in a number of methods, knowledge, communication skills, and appearance.  Allow your confidence to give you back some of the power.

  • Do choose attire that is clean.
  • Do choose slacks that are not too tight.
  • Do choose a dress or skirt that is of appropriate length.
  • Do choose wrinkle free clothing.
  • Do choose a nice shirt (possibly a button down collared shirt).
  • Do choose closed-toe shoes.
  • Do wear appropriate make-up.
  • Do manicure nails and or facial hair.
  • Do try to cover up body parts that have been tattooed.

Women do not have to wear a dress to an interview, however a nice pair of slacks that fit appropriately will do.  Do not wear anything too low cut or revealing as you do not want to offend anyone.  If you have body piercings or tattoos you may want to keep them covered (if possible) until you understand the climate of the organization.  Men: a tie is not always necessary; however, it does provide the professional look that most corporations are looking towards.

Keep in mind that you may be given leverage to wear more casual attire once hired and tattoos or body piercings may not be against company dress code.  What we are talking about is how you should dress for is the interview.  It is about the initial impression you are sending to your potential new company when asking them to embark on a journey with you.



When to Call a Professional Resume Writer

When to Call a Professional Resume Writer

Roberta Gamza, Career Ink ( | © 2016

It’s time to call in a professional when:

  • You don’t have the knowledge, desire, or time to write your resume or LinkedIn profile.
  • You’re frustrated and confused by all conflicting advice you’ve received and found on your own.
  • You’ve spent hours upon hours on your resume or LinkedIn profile and you are still not happy.
  • Your resume hasn’t produced any responses or interviews.
  • You have employment gaps or an eclectic career history.

Do you have the knowledge, desire, and time to write your resume or LinkedIn profile?

So, what does it take to create a professional quality resume or LinkedIn profile?

Knowledge: Resume and LinkedIn profile writing is much more than sitting down to write your career history. It is presenting your career history in a powerful, concise, and compelling way that captivates employers by predicting future performance.

Both the resume and LinkedIn profile require a strategy to position you as the most qualified candidate. The content must be meaningful and relevant to the position and use the language of the job you seek. This kind of writing uses a combination of technical writing, marketing, and sales skills. And simultaneously you need to optimize the resume for applicant tracking systems with keywords, language, and formatting that ensure your resume is not rejected by a computer and your LinkedIn profile is found by recruiters and hiring managers.

Desire: Do you really want to write your resume and LinkedIn profile? Are you excited about it and really looking forward to doing it this weekend? Or, is it that you just can’t put it off any longer and now it’s become a chore like cleaning out the garage? You set aside 4 hours on Saturday morning and come what may, you are getting it done! If that’s the case, you lost sight of the goal. The goal isn’t to get a resume written, the goal is to land that new position. The resume and LinkedIn profile are tools to help you win the job.

Time: Are you a writer? Does it excite you to find the perfect word to convey the exact meaning? Do you frequently look for alternative words in a dictionary or thesaurus? It takes much more time to write tight, concise, and targeted content than longer content. As the saying goes, if I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. Are you willing to put in hours needed to tighten and perfect the content?

How about Microsoft Word? Are you an expert or merely proficient in Word? Can you format a visually appealing document? Do you know how to support your message with formatting? Do you know when and how to use emphasis, tables, and graphics? That’s where technical writing skills come into play. Are you aware of good resume writing practices?

Impact on your livelihood, potential income, and job satisfaction!

It takes specialized knowledge, precise skills, a deliberate strategy, and commitment to excellence to create a powerful and compelling resume. Your resume and LinkedIn profile are your calling card and brochure. They enable your network to be your champion when opportunities arise.

These powerful documents have a direct impact on your livelihood, potential income, and job satisfaction. Do you really want to rely on well-meaning amateurs for these critical documents? Maybe, it is time to consider a professional resume and LinkedIn writer who spent years honing their knowledge and skills, developing their intrinsic writing talents, and is committed to excellence in their field.

A professionally written resume is an investment, not an expense. The most expensive resume you will ever have is the one that does not get responses.

Written By: Roberta Gamiza (


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