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The Lonely Job Search

THE LONELY JOB SEARCH

Most Job Searches Start A Little Something Like This...

You’re a talented candidate with competitive experience. You figure you’ll get interviews quickly. Maybe you even delay starting your search because you’re so confident. You brush up your resume, maybe even add a cover letter. 

On day one of your search, you don’t find anything exciting posted but you apply to a few posts anyway. 

Day two is the same. 

Day five you find something exciting and customize your cover letter a bit for the job. 

Day ten, you start to wonder when the calls will start coming in. 

Day 14, you’re DMing hiring managers on LinkedIn and getting no responses. 

Day 43 arrives and you’re wondering what the *&’@# is going on. 

You Are Not Alone, My Friend!

According to Glassdoor and my friend, Bart Turczynski,
“On average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, 4 to 6 will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job.” 

As far as job searches go, candidates are battling it out in a competitive marketplace!

If your job search is taking longer than you expected, don’t watch the clock tick. The worst case scenario is that you lose confidence and it taints your future applications. 

Instead, accept the reality that you are not alone. Great candidates get missed for many reasons. 

It happens all. the. time.

 The most critical thing you can (and should) do is get more information….

The Job Search Sounding Board

Have any recruiter friends? Know people in HR? Have a buddy that just found a new job?

Don’t be shy to reach out to the people you know. Ask them about their experiences and recommendations. Many schools and communities have career centers that offer free help. Most resources are a simple Google search away. 

If you’ve got some money to invest or time is of the essence, reach out to a job coach. You don’t know what you don’t know. Perfecting your resume and correcting course early can save you weeks (or worse, months) of lost income and make you thousands in new compensation. 

The sooner you find the job you’re looking for, the sooner you get a return on your investment. 

There’s nothing wrong with some good old elbow grease. But if your own resourcefulness or network fails you, there is no shame in getting professional help. 

Career Counselling Is Common Among The Elite

Professional career support is most common among high performers. From CEOs to politicians, having an advisor throughout your career is a hallmark of successful people. 

If you want to be at the top of your profession and perform at your best, working with someone skilled at career growth is a brilliant step. 

Wondering where to start? 

Wondering Where To Start?

Contact the Job Camp team and let’s chat.

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What Is Your Biggest Weakness?

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST WEAKNESS?

It Can Be Tough To Talk About Your Weaknesses

Being asked to comment on your biggest weakness is an interview tactic that is as old as time. Interviewers are really just asking you to promptly switch gears –from showcasing your abilities to offering up one of your failings for discussion. How you choose to respond to this question may be more memorable than how well you present your competencies. Conventional wisdom has taught us that the candidate should spin one of their weaknesses into their strength. That type of response,has, however,worn out its welcome with interviewers. Indirectly alluding to your strength doesn’t do anything to build your character. It simply proves to the interviewer that you can successfully evade a question. Remember,you have the bulk of the interview to demonstrate your potential for the role so don’t be afraid to give interviewers what they’ve asked for.

Possible Answer: Offer A Weakness That Is Inconsequential To The Job

“My spelling is horrible. I have to spell check any document I send out.”

Let’s pretend that this answer was used by someone interviewing for the position of Sales Manager. The point is that the individual has done little to diminish his or her suitability for the role. In fact,they have done little to speak to the role at all.  Regardless of the question,you should never stray from the overarching purpose of the interview,which is to utilize every opportunity to refer back to the position up for grabs.  Interviewers will become disinterested if your responses move away from the main topic.

Possible Answer: Deny, Deny, Deny

“I don’t believe I have any weaknesses that would preclude me from fulfilling the duties of the role.”

Ruling out any possibility of your personal and professional limitations will undoubtedly arouse suspicion in the interviewer. After all,everyone makes mistakes. Sticking steadfast to your claim of infallibility diminishes your credibility. There is always room for improvement and you are not a perfect worker. Deeming yourself exempt from what is inherently human may give off an air of arrogance and land you with a big,immovable chip on your shoulder.

Best Answer: Discuss A Weakness That You Have Tried To Improve On

“I tend to be a perfectionist who has had trouble delegating tasks to others,but I’ve come to see that teamwork and capitalizing on everyone’s strengths is (much more effective in getting) the job done than trying to do it all by myself.”

Rather than conveniently framing your answer to point to a strength,answer with an example illustrating your professional growth. It should be honest,revealing of your character and a great predictor of future behaviour. Although the question does not ask for how you’ve improved upon the weakness,it is wise to discuss ways in which you’ve progressed. Showing marked improvements bolsters the employer’s confidence and also lets the employer know that you have enough self-awareness to identify professional sore spots. When it comes to our career aspirations,we are all a work in progress. Employers simply want to see that you are proactive about achieving your professional best self.

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Interview Questions

What is the biggest misconception your co-workers have about you?

What is the biggest misconception your co-workers have about you?

One Of The Most Common Questions You Want To Answer Well

Behavioral interviews use probing questions to illuminate your past behaviors and to identify your similar future performances. This question pierces right to the core. It may be difficult to maneuver your way around as you strive to remain genuine and honest in your answer. To strip it down to its barest parts,the interviewer is basically asking whether or not you are liked by your co-workers,and if you behave in ways that disrupt productivity.

Possible Answer: Give It A Positive Spin

“The biggest misconception about me was that I was a workaholic. My co-workers often joked that I had virtually no social life and (that I) took work home with me on a nightly basis.”

If this was a “misconception” do you mean to say that you don’t work very hard at all? The interviewer is guessing what kind of person you really are or if you even have a clear perception of yourself. It never looks good to have a discrepancy in perception between you and your coworkers. Anytime you try to paint a picture of what you are not, you are left trying to play catch up as to portraying what exactly you are. Answers like this put you in damage control mode,making you scramble for an appropriate answer.

Possible Answer: Avoid Touchy Topics To Avoid Speculation

“My coworkers probably think I spend a lot of money on my wardrobe. Really I spend a lot of time looking for deals at outlet malls. I think that looking professional is really important and I (try to) find a way to make it work even on a tight budget. ”

Unless you’re applying for a job in the fashion industry,you’ve said nothing to impress me. Your first interview may be your only chance to close the deal. You need to make every answer work to your advantage. In fact,unless you distract me with something I actually care about,I’m going to start thinking something else like “This person is boring,” or “You sound like a shallow person,I don’t care about your wardrobe.” If you don’t tell the interviewer what to think about you,they will form their own opinions that you cannot control.

Best Answer: Practice What You Preach

“I don’t believe there are any misconceptions about me. I’m very direct,respectful and honest. I am open about my accomplishments and weaknesses. I always welcome feedback because it gives me an opportunity to grow. Because I try to be objective and open-minded,my colleagues usually ask (for) my advice and confide in me. This approach helps me make decisions on their merits instead of getting caught up in unproductive exercises.”

This answer builds the interviewer’s confidence and confirms your role as a positive influence for the company in question. Taking it a bit further with details or examples makes your answer all the more believable. If people who work with you every day have misconceptions about you,how can an interviewer be confident that he or she is going to figure you out in an hour? Employers usually value transparency in their employees – under no circumstances do they want to be left guessing.

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Can You Tell Me About Yourself?

Can you tell me about yourself?

This Is How Almost Every Job Interview Starts

It’s a simple question and it is often the first thing asked at the beginning of most interviews: “Can you tell me about yourself?” can put a lot of pressure on a candidate. You need to learn to embrace this opportunity to say deliver your general elevator pitch. Remember that you want to inject the right elements of your work and a touch of personal content to help personalize the experience.

Sample Answer

“I’m a very active person. I’m always trying to learn new things. I enjoy the part of my job that involves implementation,after work I like to jog and play the electric guitar, and I’m also a big fan of digital video and photography.”

Keep in mind that the answer to this question is meant to act as a general overview of how your skills and experience are relevant to the position you are applying for. To answer this question, you should start off by describing your relevant education and subsequently move on to two or three professional experiences, making sure to highlight your outstanding achievements for at least one position. Try to include hard data when describing accomplishments whenever possible (for example,“ At ABC Company, I increased sales by 20% in my first month by implementing a new marketing strategy”). In closing, make sure to mention that you are interested in this new company that you are applying to and how you would be a good fit for the position.

In Canada, employers focus on what you can bring to the job and to the company overall. While your answer is positive, employers are not looking for personal details when asking this question. Remember to focus on points about yourself that are relevant to the position you are applying for.

Example Template

“In terms of my education, I have a degree in____________ and have taken many business courses and I am always upgrading my skills. I have over 5 years experience in ____, _______. I have worked in teams of____ and managed________. In my last job I worked on _________, ________, and achieved________. I believe I can contribute to Canadian companies by bringing my international expertise and innovative ideas. In terms of my personal attributes I have been told by my former manager that I have excellent people skills, I am a self starter who likes new challenges, hard working, analytical, and a very enthusiastic person. I make sure deadlines are met yet I have a strong attention to detail”. I really feel I am the right person for this job.”

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Why Should I Hire You Over Other Candidates?

Why Should I Hire You Over Other Candidates?

One Of The Most Common Questions You Want To Answer Well

This is a very straightforward question that will either build on or detract from the opinions your interviewer has already formed about you. As the candidate, your answer to this question could very well determine if you get the job because who knows better than you the nuances of your character that serve to make you a good choice for the job? This question gives you an opportunity to demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the position. Offer an honest assessment of your ability to contribute to the company as a productive team member.

Possible Answer: Feelings are Fickle

“You should hire me because I’ll be great at this job. I feel like I can really help the company and I’m excited at the prospect of working here.”

When it comes to job performance,it matters very little how you feel. So don’t offer answers that are subjectively based. While confidence is a great asset and passion for the work is a valuable impetus for getting things done,nobody really cares what your feelings say. The only things that truly matter are the measurable results you’ve experienced in the past and how you’ll maintain or improve on your previous performance in the future. When you say things like,“I feel,” you offer me no hard facts on which to base my decision. If I don’t feel the way that you feel about your potential,you’ve done nothing to persuade me otherwise. One of the key detractors to maintaining your professionalism is being led by your emotions.

Possible Answer: Pointing the Finger

“You should hire me over the other candidates because you’re not going to find anyone else with my experience and skill set. Frankly,they’re not as sharp as I am and not as driven. I’m motivated and I can add value to your company.”

Arrogance is never the impression you want to leave with an interviewer of hiring manager. The question posed was about you and you should limit your response to what you know for sure about you. If you forego an opportunity to highlight your achievements in favor of a chance to degrade your competitors,you will likely be seen as arrogant,petty,and self-serving. No one wants a team member who is arrogant, petty and self-serving. Possessing those qualities is a surefire way to get you to the top of a prospective employer’s Do Not Call list.

Best Answer: I Understand The Mission

“Your company has a reputation for being innovative and building great products. The challenge you face is in getting the word out and making sales. I have been working in Business Development for 11 years. Over the course of my career I’ve had the opportunity to really cultivate a skill set that helps me to plan and achieve objectives that result in increased sales. As a Consultant with Jersey,Inc.,I was responsible for increasing traffic on the company’s website by 280% in fewer than 60 days. When I handled Development for Lipide Corporation,I was appointed by my peers to head a team that was able to create three separate streams of income that increased revenue by 24% without adding a dime to the company’s overhead. I’ve worked with dozens of people from various different backgrounds and I’ve learned to make team-building a habit. I recognize that I’m not the only person you’ve called who is qualified to do this job,but my commitment is to this company’s vision and you should hire me because I will leverage my experience and expertise to accomplish your immediate and long-term goals.”

This is your chance to line up your qualifications with the position description. You want to make sure that your answer speaks honestly about your skills and the abilities you possess that make you the right choice for the job. Your answer should highlight your achievements and strengthen the interviewer’s confidence in your ability to perform the required duties. You want your interviewer to walk away absolutely convinced that you are the person for the job.

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