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Back on Track

October 15, 2009

You may have noticed our number of posts dwindling lately. But have no fear, loyal readers. Jane Doe is in the process of revamping our site so we can offer even better content for you. Be on the look out for a refreshed Jane, and feel free to comment with any questions or topics you would like to see us cover in the future.

Ten Interview No-No’s

July 1, 2009

I found this list of big time DON’T’s on the internet recently and wanted to share with all of you.  Although everybody figures they know the basics of interviewing, I found some of these to be surprising!

1.) DON’T  Dress Inappropriately (It is ALWAYS better to be overdressed than underdressed)

2.) DON’T Fidget (shake foot/play with hair/wring hands) Look comfortable!

3.) DON’T show up late (No need for further explanation..)

4.) DON’T insert your political views or  religion into answers given in response to an interviewer’s questions

5.) DON’T indicate disinterest or boredom with th einterview process

6.) NEVER trash your former employer/company in a job interview (This is classless ladies and tells of things to come!)

7.) Make sure your cell phone ringer is OFF!  (Vibrate doesn’t cut it!)

8.) Maintain eye contact with the interviewer to exude confidence

9.) Raise a smile!  You will stand out in a crowd of nervous interviewees.  but don’t get too chummy, or else you’ll branded as the-girl-who-tries-too-hard.

10.) Prepare some questions of your own to ask THEM.  this will show that you did your homework on the company and you are truly interested in them.  employment interest must be a two way street, obviously!

I Hope you all find these tips helpful as you prepare for interviews in the near future.  Good luck!

Why did you take so long in the bathroom? Oh! You got a business card . .

June 11, 2009

business-card-exchangeYou are talking to a professional who you really think has a lot of potential in helping you with your career search. You want to ask for his/her business card so you will have contact information, but do not know how to request it. It just feels pushy asking for his/her card at this time. What do you do to get the business card without asking? Well, a wise professor I had suggested a trick on how get this person’s business card. 

When you meet someone and go to shake their hand, what do they usually do? They reciprocate by shaking your hand. When you give someone money for a purchase, they usually give you change. When you hand a professional your business card, many times they will give you their own business card in return. If you are at an event where you are gathering a lot of business cards, it is easy to forget the details of the person the card came from. This wise professor of mine told me how to handle this situation. You politely excuse yourself to use the restroom or go to some other discrete location. Once you are in this quiet place, take the business card you received and write down every important detail regarding your conversation that you can remember on the back of their business card for later reference. 

When you hand them your business card, you never know if they are going to contact you or not. This is why it is always a plus to get their contact information.  You can take control. Good luck!

Organization is a MUST

June 9, 2009

organized_shirtsWhen was the last time I was in contact with Mr. Smith? What did we talk about? Did he send me any contact information or job postings? I hope this e-mail that I am sending him is not repetitive. I do not want to give him the impression that I am not on top of my game.” Sound familiar? When you are looking for a job, it is easy to  forget the specifics of conversations you have had with previous contacts. Here is a hint about how not to forget the details: Keep records of everything! Remember those three ringed binders you used to use to hold your school notes? They can come in handy again in organizing your contacts and past e-mails.

The way I keep my binder organized is by placing the name of the people or companies in alphabetical order. I print all e-mails that have been exchanged and keep them together. I also have a section to keep copious notes. In this space I record the dates I have been in contact with the person, what form of communication had taken place and what was discussed. This has made it very easy to reference back to old materials and to make sure that I am not being repetitive. I keep a spreadsheet for the positions for which I have applied. The spreadsheet includes the company name, contacts, when I applied for the position and follow up notes. 

It is not hard to keep a binder, it just takes a little time, patience and organization. So take out that old binder, dust it off and get going!

The How-To Guide to Getting Respect (Without Getting Hated)

June 5, 2009


bossFor years, the workplace was considered a location in which the man was the “alpha dog”.  The big rigs were the men and the woman’s role was far less present within corporate America.  However, in the words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin’.  However, the road for women within the business world is still not always an easy one.  To be assertive is often interpreted as being a bitch.  Anyone who has had a lousy boss at one point or another knows that the amount of resentment they may have held toward their superior is nothing they would ever want others to feel toward them.  Therefore, it’s important to find the ability to be assertive without being aggressive.  Clarity is key, yet talking down to others or being overly demanding is a surefire way to produce a group of disgruntled employees.  I recently fell upon a book that I found to be highly beneficial to Generation Y and its developing leaders: The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch) by Kimberly Yorio and Caitlin Friedman.  It is a great way to find out where you currently land along the scale between being a complete shrew and being a complete wuss, as well as the steps you can take in an effort to change negative traits that are prohibiting you from being a good leader.

Not hiring? Still ask for an informational interview

June 5, 2009

NotHiringFrom my past experience, I have learned, even if there are no available positions at a company you are interested in, still ask for an informational interview.

Last summer when I was applying for internships, I landed an interview with a non-profit company. I did not get the position, however, the person with whom I interviewed, really liked me. She went out of her way to connect me with a colleague  of hers who was also looking to hire an intern. Fortunately, I was hired for this other internship!

Since graduation, I have been setting up appointments for interviews. Not long ago, I had lunch with a woman who works in social media. While having lunch with her, she helped me get a better understanding of the field. Later that week, I also had an informational interview with a branding company. I learned a great deal from meeting with these public relations professionals regarding how their companies work as well as what I could offer to them or a similar company. This has helped me gain insight into how to present myself to stand out from others. Since graduation, I have learned a lot about my potential and I am better prepared to share that in an interview. Nothing has changed about me, I have just learned more about myself through these meetings and informational interviews.

So, even if there are no positions available, ask for an informational interview anyway. You will make connections, learn a bit more about the field you will be entering and feel more confident for future interviewing. Who knows? Perhaps if you made a really good impression, when a position does open up, they might even give you a call!

So connected that you are disconnected

June 4, 2009

modis_wonderglobe_lrg  Social Media outlets these days are endless. One can spend an entire day updating one’s accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, WordPress, FriendFeed, Lunch, DopplrYouTube, Ustream, Flickr … I could go on and on. You must think about how you will utilize all of the different kinds of media outlets and which ones you are going to use daily. Personally, I use Twitter more than any other social media. I have used Twitter to gain insight from professionals, to network, to find excellent articles, to discover interesting blogs and to promote my professionalism. I use Facebook to connect with friends that I do not see very often. With all of these social media outlets at hand, it is easy to spend countless hours online. One could spend all day online looking for a job. Is it effective to only use social media outlets to find a job? I have seen quite a few people use this approach. I think in order to be successful in finding a job, in many cases, there must be a happy medium between personal and internet connections.

My personal tactics in networking have been quite diverse. Through my use of Twitter, professionals in my field have requested my resume. At a friend’s barbeque, when a friend discovered I was looking for a job, he offered to put me in contact with the public relations department at his agency. Through his connection I was able to set up a successful informational interview. My point is, get connected through the internet and through socializing… in person! Being solely connected on the  World Wide Web can make you disconnected with the real world.