Writing An Effective Follow-Up Email

Whether an interview goes well or not, you can still impress a recruiter, human resource representative, or a hiring manager by sending an effective follow-up email. In the past, sending a formal letter to the person you interviewed with was an effective way to give yourself a boost. However, in today’s technology-filled world, writing an effective follow-up email is a great way to get noticed.

Writing a follow-up email needs to go beyond sending one or two sentences saying how it was nice to meet and/or speak with the person you interviewed with. To be effective, the email needs to be in depth and specific about the position for which you applied, your qualifications, and the interview itself. Here are a few tips:

Greetings

When you start your email, be as personable as possible. If you used the person’s first name in the interview or they informed you it was okay to do so, then you should address them that way in the email. If you know their first or last name, then avoid addressing the email with a general greeting such as, “to whom it may concern.”

Be Thankful

One of the first few sentences of your email should include a thank-you to the person who took time out of their schedule to meet with you or speak with you. This does not need to be an elaborate thank-you, but a sentence or two about how you appreciated them taking time to speak with you and how nice it was to meet them.

Be Specific

After thanking the person who interviewed you, talk about what you are specifically excited about in regards to the position and how your specific qualifications and experiences make you a great fit for the position. The more specific you are, the better it will be. By doing this, you not only touch base on the conversation you had, but you also create another opportunity to show the interviewer why you are such a great candidate.

Close With Enthusiasm

As you close out your email, be sure you sound enthusiastic about the interview and the potential job opportunity. This is another great place for you to thank your interviewer. Thank them for their time spent discussing the position with you, but also for taking the time to read your email. Be sure as you close the email to let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them soon.

How to Get a Raise in 2015

For many people, the new year includes resolutions and oftentimes, those resolutions revolve around career changes. Some will be looking to add value to their career and to add value to their paycheck. If you are looking to get a raise in 2015, there are a few key things you need to do:

1. Show Your Value

If you are seriously committed to getting a raise in 2015, then you have to be seriously committed to your job.  It is not enough to simply want a raise; you have to earn it. Your employer will not just hand you an increase in pay. Instead, start working harder, dedicate more time to your job, ask for additional projects, and help out your coworkers when you can. By doing these things, your manager is more likely to notice that you have taken more interest in your work and recognize that you add real value to the company.

2. Research Salaries

Before you schedule a meeting or start thinking about numbers, you should research your position and see what others in your field make. Knowing these numbers and knowing your worth at work go a long way in negotiating a new salary. Researching salaries is not as complicated as it may sound. There are several salary comparison websites that will help you determine how much money to ask for.

3. Schedule a Meeting

After working on adding value to your company and taking the time to research salaries, you can schedule a meeting with the person you directly report to. When you schedule this meeting, inform your manager that you would like to discuss your performance and your career growth.

4. Ask for Endorsements

When you know that you have a meeting scheduled, it would not hurt your chances to ask for endorsements from coworkers and anyone else whom you have a working relationship with that is higher in the company than you. It’s important for your manager to know that others recognize your value.

5. During the Meeting

While you are meeting with your manager, be sure to make a strong case but do not come off as aggressive or forceful. By presenting your case, you can show your manager just how committed you are to the company and your job. There is a chance they do not know what your goals and ambitions are. This is a great time to discuss your career growth and exactly what you are looking to get out of your job.

Do you have any suggestions for getting raise? What has worked for you in the past? Leave us your stories and suggestions in the comments below!

Career Goals for 2015

As you begin the new year, it’s a great time to set some career goals for 2015. Whether you want to find a new job or get a promotion within your organization, career goals can help you achieve those objectives. But, how do you go about setting goals and sticking to them? Just like with New Year’s resolutions, it can be difficult to stick to your career aspirations. Here are a few steps you can take to set your goals and stick to them:

Define Your Goals

As you begin thinking about what you want to accomplish professionally, in 2015, it helps to actually define those career goals. If you want to find a new job in 2015, then you need to set that as your career goal. If you simply want to get better at you current job or want a promotion in your current organization, then define that as your career goal for 2015. No matter what you hope to achieve, define that as your goal and share that goal with someone who can help you stay on track.

Create a Strategy

Now that you have defined your career goal for 2015, you need a strategy to accomplish the goal. For example, if your goal is to get a new job, then your strategy should revolve around making the best resume and applying to a certain number of jobs on a weekly or monthly basis. Remember, as you’re filling out application and submitting your resume, don’t just apply to any job. Only apply to jobs that you’re qualified for and actually can see yourself taking in the future.

Set Deadlines

The only way to really stick with your goal and strategy is to set deadlines for yourself. In the example above, applying to so many jobs a week or month is a great deadline to set for yourself. If you need to update your resume, then include deadlines to have certain parts of your resume edited until you are completely finished updating the whole document. When you have deadlines, you are able to keep yourself accountable and reach your goals.

What are your career goals for 2015? How do you plan to achieve them? Let us know in the comments section below!

Staying Productive in the Winter

It’s certainly no secret that when winter hits most of us just want to hibernate. There is less sunlight and the days can just be downright dreary. For most, those things can make staying productive in the winter rather difficult. In order to stay productive during the cold days of winter, you may want to try a few of these things:

Stay Active

When you’re at work it can be difficult to stay active, but by doing this you can keep energy levels up, help yourself stay in a better mood, and stay healthy. Obviously you can’t take a break in the middle of the day to run a 5K, but you can get up from your desk, stretch, walk to the water cooler, or even do a quick cubicle workout. When you stay active, you stay productive.

Keep Warm

Depending on where you sit in the office, it could be hard to stay warm during the winter. Whether you’re next to window or far from the heat vent, staying warm just may not be an option. However, staying warm is necessary for staying productive. When you’re cold, you’ll lose motivation to stay busy. So, how do you keep warm? One way to keep warm is to stay active (as mentioned above), but you can also wear heavier clothing or layers, bring in a small space heater, or even ask to switch seats.

Watch What You Eat

Because it’s cold out, you probably want to eat heavy and warm meals, but often these types of meals are filled with sugars and carbohydrates. These foods aren’t necessarily bad, but too much of them will make you groggy and just want to nap. When this happens, you’ll be less motivated to stay focused and get your work done. Instead of eating heavy meals at work, pack well-balanced meals and opt for a cup of tea rather than that sugary snack.

Make Plans

What kind of plans? Well, that’s really up to you. Having plans at the end of a work day or work week can help provide the motivation you need to stay focused and accomplish the tasks you have that day or week. But, also have plans for your life (i.e. goals) can really help you make it through the winter and stay productive. These types of plans provide motivation to stay active, be social, accomplish things, and provide you with a list of things to do.

How do you stay productive during the winter months? We’d love to hear your stories and suggestions in the comments section below!

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

When you’re on the hunt for a new job, it can be difficult to stand out. Through your networking efforts and your job applications, you need to be rising above the crowd. But in today’s job market, how do you do that? How do you get employers to notice you and be impressed with what you have to offer? The answer is simple: optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Continue reading “Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile”

Positioning for Success: Develop a Process

Last week we talked about how you need to create purpose in order to better position yourself for success, but it doesn’t stop there. In order to really achieve that success, you have to go beyond the purpose and develop a process for success. While it sounds like a lot of work, you need to put in the time and effort to create the self you want to be.

While this could be applied to your personal life, it also greatly applies to who you are as an employee. When trying to get a new job or start a new career, having a developed process will help. Here are a few things you need in order to position yourself for success:

Passion

We talked about the need for passion when it comes to creating purpose, but it’s also a vital step in developing your process. Without passion, it’s going to be extremely difficult for you to find a job. In fact, if you don’t have passion for what you do, then you need to consider a career change. What are you passionate about? Can you turn that into a career? These are the types of questions to ask yourself before beginning.

Expectations

Do you want to be successful in life and your career? Then don’t expect perfection. Should you always do your best work and work your hardest? Yes, but perfection is impossible. When you set yourself up for perfection, you will fail. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have high standards, but you need to know your limits and set your expectations within those limitations.

Belief

Above most things, you need to believe in yourself. You need to believe that you will succeed. In order to better position yourself for success, you need to believe that you will be successful. As a step in the process for achieving success, belief is a foundation that you must have. If you don’t believe in yourself, then no one else will and you’ll find the process of getting a job much more difficult.

Self-Evaluation

If you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then it can be difficult to shift your focus on pursing a new career. Instead of allowing projects, other people, and hobbies to take all of your time, schedule some “me” time. When you schedule time for yourself, you’re able to better focus and think about how to position yourself.

Relationships

When you are starting a new career, looking for a new job, or simply need some professional advice, it helps to have genuine relationships with established professionals. These people can be in your network, they could be your friends or mentors. No matter what, you need to foster genuine relationships and work at keeping them strong because in the professional world, it pays to have friends.

Positioning for Success: Creating Purpose

When you feel like you’re down on your luck and having trouble finding your next job opportunity, it can be hard to find purpose in anything. From filling out job applications to filing unemployment, you may be pretty discouraged. One of the best ways to combat this feeling is to position yourself for success. It’s easy to give up and settle, but you won’t find success by doing that.

Positioning yourself for success can be difficult and is certainly a journey. However, by creating purpose you may just find the success you are looking for. Even if you are currently unemployed, that doesn’t mean you have to be purposeless. Here are a few ways to position yourself for success by creating purpose:

Brand Yourself

No matter what type of career or industry you work in, knowing who you are is important. Branding yourself can be broken down into just that. While companies use brands to tell consumers and customers about their products and services, you need to create a personal brand that tells potential employers about you. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a logo or a website. It does however mean you need to evaluate your goals, lifestyle, and your professional persona.

Develop Passion

Without passion, much of life will seem pointless and purposeless. If you aren’t excited about what you do for a living, then you’ll have a much harder time finding a job. You need passion in order to make a difference, make a change, or improve your career. Without passion, you are far more likely to remain stagnant in life. By making conscious choices and decisions to develop a passion for what you do, you’ll find increased results in your job search.

If you want change to happen in your life—if you want to find a new or better job—then you need to focus on these factors:

  • Your mind
  • Your attitude
  • Your appearance
  • Your words
  • Your follow-up

When you focus on these things and make efforts to improve them, then you’ll start to see positive changes happening in your life.

Do you have any suggestions for creating purpose in your life or career? Leave your stories and suggestions in the comments section below!

How to Handle Job Rejection

Being rejected for the job you really wanted can be difficult. You worked hard on crafting a great cover letter and updating your resume. No matter where you were in the interview process—just finished a third interview or didn’t even make it to the first round of interviewing—getting that rejection letter can be difficult. However, there is a right way to handle job rejection.

Continue reading “How to Handle Job Rejection”

7 Things That Lead to Career Development

Whether you have a job or are currently looking for a job, you as the employee are in charge of your career development. If you already have a job, you might think you don’t need to develop anymore, but that attitude is a sure fire way to find yourself without a job. As an employee, you constantly have to be learning and seeking to be a better employee.

Continue reading “7 Things That Lead to Career Development”

10 Ways to Make Career Gaps Positive

When you apply for a new job, potential employers are going to look at your resume and they may notice a few career gaps. These gaps occur when you go through a period of unemployment. While this happens to almost everyone, it’s what you do with those gaps that matters.

Employers are going to ask you about career gaps and how you spent your time. You want to project that you working towards improving yourself during those times you were out of work. Did you spend your time learning? Traveling? Volunteering? Moping around? Turning these career gaps into a positive experience will not only help you personally, but will increase your chances of landing your next job. Below, you’ll find 10 ways to turn your career gaps into something positive:

Take a Class
More than likely, your field of work is constantly changing; using this gap period to enhance your knowledge or learn new things can give you a competitive advantage when it comes to finding your next job.

Volunteer
Whether you decide to help out at a local animal shelter or tutor kids, being able to place volunteer experiences on your resume is a real differentiator. Potential employers will see this and recognize you as having empathy and a strong work ethic.

Join a Professional Organization
Go beyond being a “member” of a professional organization. Be engaged in activities and take initiative to be a leader. Not only with this help you branch out and expand your network, it will give you valuable skills for your future job.

Network
Mentioned above, your career gap can be a great time to meet new people and expand your professional network. By doing this, you can make great connections that could end up helping you both personally and professionally.

Become an Intern
No matter where you are at in your career, an internship can be a great experience. This could be your chance to learn a new skill, humble yourself, or just ensure that you are building your resume experiences.

Teach
Do you have a lot of experience in your field? Take this opportunity to teach others about what you do. Maybe you just want to share one of your hobbies with others- no matter what, a teaching experience can help you become a better communicator, establish yourself as a leader, and allow you to meet new people.

Start a Business
Have you always dreamed of owning your own business? Do you have an original idea or innovation? This gap period could be exactly what you need to start your business. Take a chance and see what happens. Just make sure you think everything through first.

Freelance
If you don’t want to start a business, but need to keep working, then you should consider freelancing or consulting. As an expert in your field, businesses may be looking for your expertise. Start small and build your way up. Be sure to use your professional network to get a few accounts.

Travel
If you have money saved up, you can use this time to travel to a new place. Doing this may not seem like it has much impact on your career, but when you travel somewhere new you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, being independent, and being detail-oriented.

Relax and Refresh
Sometimes, these resume gaps are the perfect opportunities to relax and refresh. Maybe you feel a little burnt out and you need to recover. Take this time to do that. Rediscover why you love your field of work and get your passion back.

Remember, career gaps don’t have to be a negative thing on your resume. In fact, you can make career gaps into a positive and rewarding situation. Instead of moping around because you don’t have a job, you can do something to better yourself, your community, and your career.

What have you done to fill in your career gaps? Leave your stories and advice in the comments section below!

 

Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net