September 6, 2013
Check out the next post in Ellen’s “Career Cheat Code” series:
Once your resume makes it past the scanners, you enter the boss level arena. Here, to win the round and unlock the job offer, arm yourself with the most powerful weapon in your arsenal, confidence.
Confidence is key in the interviewing process. Why? Because the boss is looking at more than your qualifications and GPA – he/she is evaluating your professionalism. Part of being a professional is exuding confidence in your ability to do the job. You need to be confident and comfortable in the work environment.
How can you be confident during a job interview? Here are five things that will help:
1) Dress to impress. The cardinal rule here is to wear a suit. Even if the daily dress code is business casual, wear a suit. By doing so, you show your interviewers that you are professional and take this seriously.
2) Shake hands firmly, make eye-contact, and say, “Nice to meet you,” when you are introduced to someone, whether it’s your initial introduction to the interviewers or others you meet in the environment (sometimes they will walk you around the office to meet your potential co-workers). This is a sign of respect and shows that you are friendly and not intimidated by meeting new people.
3) During the interview, speak clearly, directly, and confidently. Nothing says you’re unsure of yourself like a meek, soft voice or an incoherent mumble. You should use the same volume level and clarity that you would use when speaking with someone you know and are comfortable around. Continue Reading →
September 3, 2013
As I wrote last week, we’re trying some new things in the LPDC this fall. Our newest blog feature is Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday, we’ll post a communication tip that you can put to into practice in your courses and in your future career, so check back regularly!
This week’s tip is courtesy of the LMAS program’s Director of Leadership Development, Jeff Carroll. Jeff found a great article about email communication on Harvard Business Review. In “The Art of Irresistible Email,” Katie Smith Milway provides helpful suggestions on how to get your audience to read and respond to the emails you send. Here’s a quick nugget:
“Before you start typing, consider:
The objective. What do you want to achieve with this email? Is your purpose to inform? Request input? Ask for help?
What-who-when. Your objective will inform the message, including what to write, who should receive it and when to send it. Also think about whether it should come from you, or someone with more seniority.
Visual logic. Clear structure and typographical signalling will boost the odds that your reader will get your message quickly and respond in ways that meet your goal.”
Ultimately, an email is useless if it doesn’t accomplish your goal, so I encourage you to read Smith Milway’s article and give her recommendations a try. A quick caveat: don’t be afraid to follow up with a phone call if you haven’t gotten a response to your email and a deadline is looming.
August 30, 2013
Here’s a post from Ellen on resume writing:
Before your resume makes it to the desk of your future boss, it has to defeat the dreaded gauntlet of “scanners.” Yes, scanners. First, the robots. Then, the poor sap in HR (the intern). Then, the HR manager in charge of recruiting. And finally, the boss. So, how do you conquer the beast?
Keywords. Keywords. Keywords. Yes, there are magic words that give you the power to defeat the scanners and make it to the next level.
When you submit your resume to a large firm or company, it is first “scanned” by resume scanning software (aka, Applicant Tracking Systems or Automated Resume Screeners), which score resumes on relevancy to keywords and experience. The resumes with the highest scores are then reviewed by a series of humans. The more relevant keywords your resume contains, the better your chances of making it through to the boss.
Throwing keywords in willy-nilly, however, does not help. It is important to tailor your resume to the position you are applying for; use the terms they use. For example, if you are applying for a job as a “staff accountant,” you should use the term, “staff accountant” on your resume; if the position involves “income tax planning,” you need to reference “income tax planning” on your resume. Also be sure to address ALL of the requirements of the position; if they ask for “years of experience,” include it; if they want to know what “software” you are familiar with, list it.
What are the relevant keywords? There is no specific list of words that are relevant to all accounting positions. The best way to find them is to look at the terms used in similar postings. If you review several job listings for “staff accountant,” you will start to notice which terms are used over and over – those are the magic words.
August 28, 2013
I hope that your semester is off to a great start! Jen, Ellen, Jerry, and I are excited to work with you all this semester.
We’ve had a few changes in the center. This fall, the LPDC will be open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Here’s a breakdown of what services are available to you during these hours:
From 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., the LPDC will be available to you as an open study space. During these hours, you can come to the center to work on individual and group projects in a quiet space just for LMAS students. You can also stop by to have a walk-in consultation with me or to chat informally about any aspect of professional communication. We’ve got a new Keurig that you are welcome to use (no coffee can leave the LPDC), so we hope to see you during these hours for some coffee and conversation!
From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the LPDC will have regular consultation hours with our new consultant, Ellen Stuart. Ellen is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department at NIU, and she has several years of experience teaching writing and working one-on-one with students to help them become better communicators. To schedule a consultation with Ellen, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Consultation Availability
We know that sometimes scheduling a consultation during normal consultation hours is not possible, so you now have the option of scheduling a consultation outside of normal consultation hours. These additional consultations (Monday through Wednesday from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. with me) are by appointment only and must be scheduled in advance, so send us an e-mail if you’d like to come in.
So these are the new things that are brewing in the LPDC this semester, but some things haven’t changed. We are still here to help you with papers, presentations, resumes, debates, memos, e-mails, interview preparation, and much more. If there is anything you need help with this semester, just let us know!
August 27, 2013
by Jen Ellis