Job Seeker Blog

How To Get Noticed, Get Hired, And Get Just About Anything Else You Want Too

When I was 20 years old, I went to work at Citi for a summer internship. I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, but I went to the office every day and worked on a basic scenario analysis project. I knew I could spend my summer half-assing my work or really, actually try to learn something.

I chose the latter. I went to all the speaker events, every lunch meeting, and all of those happy hours. I had lunch with different co-workers and senior leaders every day. I emailed and followed up with everyone I met.

All that persistence paid off — by summer’s end, I had one-on-one meetings with the CFO of Citi, the Chief Diversity Officer of Citi and more than 10 Managing Directors. Me! A 20-year-old intern! Some decade-long employees at Citi said they’d NEVER talked to that many senior leaders.

At the end of the summer, my Managing Director, Jaidev Iyer, announced “Erica, somehow you’ve been able to get noticed everywhere you go.”

I didn’t realize this was a gift until much later in life. When I was 27 and on stage at the World Economic Forum at Davos 2012, activist Desmond Tutu told our group of 70 Millennial leaders that we can lead a revolution in the world. That’s when it clicked for me.

But this blog post isn’t about me. Its about YOU. It’s about the fact that I’m not the only suburban-born, Indian-American girl who can get noticed. The truth is getting noticed isn’t much about me either. It’s about how I translate my gifts to others.

When we share ourselves in a genuine way, we build real relationships and create ways for others to help us grow.

Here are my top six tips on how to get noticed, get hired, or get just about anything you want:

Every time you meet someone, focus on how you can support them first. Give, give, get is a mantra that has helped me build deeper connections with others.
Be self-aware. Don’t ask for too much of someone at the beginning. Build the relationship and understand where they’re coming from.

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posted in: Blogging, National, News

10 Unconventional Career Tips from an Unlikely CEO

1. Expose Yourself
People entering the business world today are a commodity. They’ve gone to the same schools, taken the same courses, read the same books, and watched the same movies. Meanwhile, companies like mine are desperately seeking fresh minds to help them navigate massive cultural and technological changes. Where are they going to find them?

Growing up in a small town in Indiana, I led the middle-class life of Beaver Cleaver, until I was kicked off the high school tennis team. Then my real education began with a new curriculum of hustling, drinking, smoking, cruising, fighting, and sex. (I mostly examined the latter.)

Think of your life as a big magazine rack. When you’re standing in front of it deciding what to choose, resist the normal impulse to reach for People or Cosmopolitan. Instead, grab a copy of Game Informer, Inked, Guns and Ammo, or Bass Fisherman. Apply the same approach to movies, books, and people. You need to expose yourself. Whether you’re looking for your first job or your fifth, you’ll benefit from exploring unusual ideas and engaging unconventional individuals. If you experiment with your life, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and the rest of the human race.

2. Hit the Road
Americans are a sedentary lot. Only one out of three have a passport. When they travel, their favorite destination is Las Vegas, where they can photograph the Eiffel Tower, float in a gondola, and visit the pyramids. Less than 5 percent of US citizens travel overseas each year. As a result, they know less about the rest of the world than the rest of the world. This is a problem when every cell phone is made in China and every service call is answered in India.

Selling expensive leather wallets to unsuspecting tourists in Florence, Italy, I learned why Americans are afraid to travel. Foreign businessmen like my boss Enzo were just waiting to rip them off. In two-thirds of the world, bribery is an accepted business practice and bargaining is an art. You need to learn the regional ropes by studying or working abroad, because every employer is banking on international sales to fuel their future. If you want to compete in the global economy, especially in a melting pot like Miami, you’ve got to hit the road.

3. Ask the Captain
Knocking on a captain’s door opened a new world for me. While my contemporaries were graduating from college, I talked my way into a job as a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker bound for Asian destinations I’d never imagined. In your career you will encounter “ships” that can transport you to unexpected places. You just have to figure out how to ask the captain.

Senior executives are intimidating to those just starting out. But they’re the ones who can have a real impact on your career. Stalk them in the hallways. Corner them at events. Drill them with smart questions. Ask for their help. If you want to be a captain tomorrow, you should start by asking one a question today.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, National, News

Planting New Seeds in Your Career

In the book, The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn, he uses the seasons as a metaphor for how we live our lives. In life, if the farmer doesn’t plant seeds in the spring, come fall, there won’t be a harvest. And so it is with careers, if employees do not take the time to plant new seeds, their careers may flounder and not flourish. Are you feeling like your career is stuck-in-a-rut? Perhaps it is the right time to plant new seeds.

Seeds take time to grow: When you plant a seed, the plant doesn’t appear the next day. And there are instances when the time between planting the seed and it breaking ground is so long that you think nothing is happening because it is not visible to the naked eye. For you, planting new seeds could be taking courses to give you more employment options, it could be letting your boss know that you are interested in a new role, it could be letting people in your network know that you are interested in new employment opportunities, or it could be tweaking your online social media profiles and becoming more active. In all of these instances, you are taking action, you are planting new seeds, but you have to realize that some of these seeds you have planted will take time to bear fruit, and some may not bear fruit at all.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Reference-Checking Your Future Boss

During an employment interview, an employer is checking out job candidates to find the best one for the organization, but it should also be a time when job seekers are checking out prospective employers to decide if they are the best fit for them. As a job seeker, you already know the situations and environments in which you thrive, therefore, you want to make the best choice in employment. The last thing you want to do is accept a job and later discover that you cannot work with your boss. One of the best ways to discover if a job is really the best fit for you, is to reference-check your future boss.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Creating a Killer Elevator Pitch

At networking events and job interviews, a common ice breaker is, “Tell me about yourself.” To respond confidently, it’s vital to have a practiced elevator pitch that sounds impressive, authentic and engages others so they want to learn more about you.

There is a basic formula that works all the time.

Background/Branding Statement/Target Position: State what you do and how long you have been doing it. Include what you are best known for – your keys strengths, unique selling proposition and the value that you bring.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

7 Interviewing tips to help you get the job you want

The job interview is probably one of the most important parts of getting the job you want. It’s your opportunity to show off your skills and impress your future boss.

However, it’s easy to get nervous, which can cause you to fumble over words – and possibly even forget how to answer an easy question.

So here are 7 ways to knock the socks off the interviewer – and get the job you want:

1. Research the Company
One surefire way to impress your employer is do research on the company. Learn about the company’s mission, its customers, its competition, the industry, and read any current press releases. Visit the company’s website and learn everything you can. The more you know, the more likely you may impress your future employer.

2. Memorize Some Company Facts
Make flash cards with some key points you learned about the company. Memorize any important details you could mention in your interview to show the interviewer that you have done your research.

3. Dress to Impress
Make sure you walk into your interview dressed very well. It’s better to be over-dressed than to look like just a regular employee. You want people to see you and think you are a top-notch consultant.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Get people to say “yes” with one simple conversational trick

There are lots of techniques for becoming more persuasive, but perhaps the simplest, most practical technique is the “But You Are Free” method. A review of 42 psychology studies (on 22,000 people) suggests this technique could double the chances someone would say “yes” to you. Read on to see how this works. If you want to, that is.

See what I did there? That’s the “But You Are Free” technique, basically: Make a request, but acknowledge the other person has a choice. PsyBlog explains that this persuasion technique reaffirms the person’s freedom of choice and indirectly tells the other person that you’re not threatening his/her ability right to say no.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

Tidy or Messy Desk: Which is Best For The Mind?

And yet the messy desk can attract smirks and even censure in the office.

So, how to solve the great messy/tidy desk debate? Who is right?

Well, new research has found that order and disorder in the environment have different psychological consequences.

In their first experiment participants were asked to fill out some questionnaires in an office (Vohs et al., 2013). Some did it while the office was clean and tidy and others did so when it was messy, with office supplies and papers strewn about.

Afterwards they had the chance to donate to charity and choose a healthy or unhealthy snack. The results showed that:

“Being in a clean room seemed to encourage people to do what was expected of them. Compared with participants in the messy room, they donated more of their own money to charity and were more likely to choose the apple over the candy bar.”

So the workplace that wants compliance and good behaviour is probably right to put a premium on tidy desks.

What, though, if you want creativity?

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, National, News

How to Know When Your Personal Brand Isn’t Working

You’ve taken all the right steps. You’ve come up with your personal brand, made business cards, customized your resume, wrote cover letters, accumulated recommendations, compiled a portfolio/blog/website, completed your social media profiles, and set up your professional, brand-compatible e-mail account. You’ve networked, applied for jobs, and put yourself out there.

But after all that work, you’re still sitting at home, twiddling your thumbs and drumming your fingers. Why?

Maybe your social media profiles aren’t presenting your brand the way you want, or your resume doesn’t accurately reflect your top skills. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: your personal brand isn’t working.

So what can you do?

Review your resume. Look over it again. Make sure your experience is up to date and all your responsibilities from each position are clear. Eliminate wordiness and try to avoid padding your resume. Get rid of summer jobs and leadership positions from high school. If you’re more than five years out of college, toss out your freshman and sophomore years of college as well. Unless the experience really highlights something essential, drop it off the resume. While resume pruning can be scary and seem unnecessary, future employers will thank you when they don’t have to weed through padding and extraneous information.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

My proven question for getting the job

Sometimes the career advice business is about finding what works and sticking with it. This week’s newsletter is about the best question for you to ask in interviews.

Over the past decade, I’ve tried a lot of different thoughts, tricks and tips for getting you the job. But the one which I’ve found has been the most consistently successful for people is to ask their future or prospective bosses:

“How do I help you get a gold star on your review next year?”

This bit of advice has helped more people in more interviews than any other bit of advice I’ve shared over the years.

Why?

Well, the interview process lends itself to our being self-absorbed bores. You’re asked so many questions and do so much of the talking that you can end up coming across as self-interested and selfish, to the detriment of showcasing your teamwork and thoughtfulness in the best light.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

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