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.

Why Work With A Recruiter

As you begin the job search process, you may find that it can be overwhelming. From filling out multiple applications to undergoing extensive interview processes, searching for a job can easily become a full-time job. Instead of wasting energy, you can work with a recruiter who will help you find a job that fits your needs and your career goals. Whether you work in the manufacturing industry or as an executive, recruiters can make the entire job search process less strenuous.

One Application

When you work with a recruiter, there is only one application to fill out. Because the recruiter will be submitting you to various jobs, they are the only one who needs an application. Instead of spending all your time filling out job applications for various positions at different companies, you can focus on interviewing, preparing a resume, and making sure you actually get the job.

Interview Help

Your recruiter wants you to succeed, which means they will work with you to make sure you are prepared for any interview. From giving detailed job descriptions to helping you come up with great interview responses, your recruiter is there to help. If you have questions about an interview or a job, you only have to ask!

Your Fallback

Worried about a job interview? Cannot decide what to wear? Are things not going well at your new job? Your recruiter is there to help you. Even after you have started your placement, you can rely on your recruiter for help. Aside from frequent check-ins, you can contact your recruiter about any issues you may be experiencing at your placement

Long-Term Relationship

Your recruiter’s job is to help you find a job, which means at any given time, they may have multiple job opportunities for you. Your recruiter will always be on the job hunt for you. This person will use their network of job openings and clients to find the right job fit for you!

Back to Work Safety

Being away from work allows us to recharge and refocus. However, before you head back to work, you need to prepare yourself. Back to work safety should be one of your first priorities as you return from time off. You might have gotten used to sleeping in or a brand new routine. Whether you were off for the weekend, a vacation or a holiday, it is important to prepare yourself for getting back into the swing of things. Statistics show that it does not take much time away from work for us to lose our good safety habits that we have worked so hard to develop. So before you head back to work, make sure you take care of a few things:

  1. Get the proper amount of sleep.
  2. Clear your head of any off-job issues and remember your work routine.
  3. Play this memory game to get you focused: envision putting on your seatbelt, the drive to work, and then the parking space you normally use.
  4. It’s helpful to san your path of travel for hazards. When we are away from work, we tend to forget about even the small things that we are used to seeing or avoiding on a daily basis. Also, when we are away, things can change so make sure your safe areas haven’t changed and walkways are still the same.
  5. Be sure to review the critical steps of your job and the specific things you have to do in order to stay safe.
  6. Take the time to settle back in to your work area and make sure everything is where you need it to be.

When you return to work, it’s important to guard yourself from distractions. No matter what mood you are in, the gears on your machines still turn, gravity is still in force, chemicals are still hazardous, and certain areas are still loud. As you prepare to return to work, no matter the environment, be on the lookout for any changes that may been made and allow yourself the time to settle back in and take in your surroundings.

Staying Positive While Job Seraching

The job search process can be time-consuming and frustrating. As you sift through job postings and send your resume to various employers, you may find that your spirits start sinking. It’s easy to become frustrated and negative during this time. Whether you are not getting called for interviews or simply miss the target after a couple of interviews, staying positive during the job search process can be hard.

However, staying positive can greatly increase your chances of actually landing a job. When you are negative, this attitude can seep into the rest of your life and eventually provide you with a poor outlook on things. Many recruiters, employers, and managers will notice this and decide not to work with you because of that attitude. Instead, it’s crucial to stay positive during the job search. Here are a few ways to do that:

Volunteer

It may seem like an odd suggestion when you are struggling to find work, but volunteering can give you purpose. Whether you are tutoring, helping in a soup kitchen, or planting some trees, volunteering gets you out of the house and gets you active. Staying active can help you stay positive during this time.

Spend Time with Friends and Family

When you are feeling down or negative, you need something to cheer you up. Spending time with your friends and/or your family could just be what you need. From a good laugh to a long conversation, friends and family are going to be there for you during this time. Spend some quality time with the people who care about you in order to lift your spirits.

Create a Routine

Routines may not be much fun, but when you are trying to find a job, they can keep you on track. In this routine, you need to outline how many jobs you will apply to on a daily or weekly basis, and how long you will spend every day working on your resume/applying to jobs. Make sure that the schedule you set includes time away from the job search process. If you spend all of your time job hunting, you are more likely to become frustrated by the process.

Network

A great way to land a new job or get your foot in the door at a specific company is to network. Who do you know that would be willing to help you find a new job? Do you know someone at a company that is hiring? Use your contacts to help boost your chances at finding a job. Plus, the social interaction will help you stay positive.

Shake It Off

Being rejected after an interview can be tough to deal with. Never getting a call about a job you are excited about is discouraging. Instead of dwelling on these things, do your best to shake it off. Make a plan to apply to two jobs for ever rejection. Use rejection as motivation to keep going. Staying positive will help you find the right job, in the long run.

Tips for Starting a New Job

Starting a new job can be an intimidating process. From filling out forms to reading employee handbooks to knowing what to do during your lunch break, there are a lot of roads to navigate. And the first day isn’t the only thing you are probably worried about.

At many companies and organizations, the first 90 days are like a trial run. You will not receive your full benefits until those 90 days are over and you will more than likely have a review. Starting a new job does not need to be all doom and gloom. If you go into the process with the right attitude and the right tools, you can quickly start to own your job and your new environment.

Come Prepared

No matter how many times you start a new job, there will always be forms to fill out. Before you head in that first day, be sure you bring the right paperwork, numbers, and forms you need to fill out tax information and other work-related documents. For example, if your new employer supports direct deposit, then you should bring a blank check, so you can provide your routing and account number.

Make Work Friends

That first day can be overwhelming. Introducing yourself to new coworkers can really ease that tension and loosen you up a little bit. If you are invited out for lunch, take advantage of the opportunity to meet people and learn more about the company. If no one is going out, be sure you sit with new coworkers at lunch and start to gain an understanding for how the office works.

Engage in Your Work

It can be difficult to just jump into the work on your first day, but if you have a chance to, then do it. Engaging in your work on the first day and every day will give you a sense or purpose and ownership. The quicker you get to what you are there to do, the quicker you will lose that tension associated with the first day.

Pay Attention to Details

In life and in work, details are incredibly important. There is absolutely no doubt about that. However, at work you need to pay attention to your orientations, your work, and your coworkers so that you can do more than just survive those 90 days. When you pay attention to details, you pick up on the nuances of the office and your tasks.

Starting a new job does not need to be an intimidating experience. Will there still be nerves? Yes, but those nerves should not keep you from doing an amazing job. When you commit yourself to your work and to success, you will come through the process for the better.

How to Impress a Recruiter

Last week we discussed some of the things you can do to not impress a recruiter. While it important to know what not to do when meeting with a recruiter, it is equally, if not more so, important to know how to impress a recruiter. While you could just do the opposite of the things discussed last week that will not be enough to really impress a recruiter. To impress a recruiter, you need to go above and beyond what you think might work. You need to be prepared for questions, for tests, and for a quick process. Here are a few things you can do to impress a recruiter:

Prepare a Resume

While the position you are applying for may not require a resume, it is still a great idea to have one with you when you meet a recruiter. Even if you filled out an application online and uploaded a version of your resume, bringing a paper copy with you shows that you are dedicated and thorough. Impress your recruiter by being prepared with a resume and show that you care about the opportunity.

Dress Appropriately

The way you dress says a lot about you and your career/job goals. While you do not necessarily need to wear your best clothes (like a suit), you do want to make sure you are dressed appropriately for the job and for your interview. When considering what to wear, make sure that your clothing is free of holes, offensive language, and excessive wrinkles. When you dress appropriately for an interview, you convey that you are highly interested in the position and that you are professional.

Have Questions

If you are going into an interview, it is important to know that you will be asked questions. Practice answering interview questions with a friend or relative before your interview so that you can answer the questions the recruiter has well and completely. However, if you really want to impress a recruiter, have your own questions ready. What do you need to know about the position? What is the work environment like? Remember, by asking questions you show your interest and you will also learn more about the company and position.

Be Punctual

One of the best ways to impress a recruiter is to actually show up on time. Just because you may be applying for and interviewing for temporary positions does not mean it is okay to show up late. When you do show up late, you waste the recruiter’s time, your time, and ultimately the time of the organization trying to hire you. Do yourself a favor and show up on time. Not only does it show you are a punctual and dedicated person, but it will impress the recruiter and could increase your chances of being hired.

How Not to Impress a Recruiter

Maybe you’re applying to a temporary job. Maybe a recruiter has reached out to you about a position. Regardless of the situation, there are certain things you can do as a candidate to most definitely disappoint a recruiter. For passive and active candidates, if you are trying to land a job, it is important to know what works and does not work when interacting with a recruiter. Here are a few things that will not impress a recruiter:

Showing Up Late

If you have set an appointment to meet with a recruiter or with someone at the organization you are trying to be placed at, show up and show up on time. Recruiters will not want to work with you if you have poor attendance and leave them waiting.

Exaggerating Qualifications

If you have experience as an executive administrator, then you should not apply to a position that involves operating a forklift. Know what skills you have and go after jobs that will allow you to showcase the skills you have.

No Enthusiasm

If you are not excited about the potential of a new job, then a recruiter will not be excited about placing you in a new job. Show enthusiasm for the potential of a job and convey excitement when you are interacting with your recruiter.

Talking Too Much

If you are doing the majority of the talking when you meet a recruiter, you may be doing it wrong. Be sure to listen to what the recruiter has to say about the position and organization you are applying to. Show that you can listen and follow instructions.

Before you meet or speak with a recruiter, make sure you know what they are looking for and be sure you make the right impression.

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!

The Difference Between Cover Letters and Resumes

With 2015 upon us, you may start looking for a new job. Whether you’re actively or casually looking, you need to have a solid resume and cover letter. While many job seekers don’t see the importance of cover letters, others don’t understand the difference between the two. Occasionally, you may notice that, when apply for a job, a cover letter is not required, but you should still provide one.

It can be confusing knowing what you are supposed to put on a cover letter versus what goes on your resume. However, it is important to know the difference. Here is some basic information on cover letters and resumes to help you get started:

Cover Letters

When it comes to your cover letter, it’s best to think of it as an introduction to who you are personally and professionally. This is the place where you can make a connection with the person reviewing your resume and explain why you would be such a great fit. Here are some things to include:

A Connection

Making a connection will allow a resume reviewer to get a better sense of who you are. Whether it’s mentioning a person of reference, something specific about the company you are applying to, or even the position you are apply for, a connection can go a long way. By making a connection through your cover letter, you will also show that you’ve research the company or position, which shows how much you are interested in the job.

A Pitch

Your cover letter is a great place to make a pitch of why you would make a great employee. Why are your skills so great for the position? How will you make the company better? What can you provide that other job candidates cannot? This is your opportunity to sell yourself to whomever may be reviewing your resume.

A Thank You

Before finishing your letter, you can make a great impression by thanking the person who is reviewing your resume and cover letter. Thank them for the time spent reviewing/reading and thank them for their consideration, even if you haven’t personally talked to them.

Resumes

Resumes often get over-complicated with an overload of information. It is easy to confuse a resume reader with the information you put on your resume, which is why it is so important to know what information needs to be on your resume:

Your Contact Information

This one is pretty simple and should be fairly obvious. Place your contact information at the top of your resume. Include your name, phone number, email address, and physical address so that hiring managers have multiple ways to contact you.

Your Education

Always include your education. Don’t list every school you have ever been to though. Instead, list the most recent completed degree. For example, if you have a college degree, then you should list only that degree and not your high school. If high school is your highest education level, then list where you went, the year you graduated, and any special diplomas you have received.

Your Work History

This should be the bulk of your resume. By listing your work history, potential employers will see where you have worked, the positions you’ve held, and the skills you have developed. Do not just list the jobs you have held- describe the skills needed to complete your work and the tasks you did. Also, if you completed any specialized projects at a particular job, then list those too.

Do you have any questions about the difference between cover letters and resumes? Leave your questions in the comments section below and we will be sure to answer them!