Archive for July, 2014

Hard skills got you the interview; these soft skills will get you the job.

job interview

Technical Workers, use these soft skills in your interviews as well as on the job. You’ll win over your interviewer, co-workers, boss, and customers.

Empathy.  Empathy is a skill that can be honed. If you understand how to incorporate empathy into your interview, you can form better connections with your interviewer. Not only that, but he or she will envision you as a team player, as well as capable of having insight about customers – both highly desirable traits. To be empathetic, simply take the time to tune in to your interviewer and the people around you. The added benefit is that when you take the focus off of yourself a little, you diminish any nerves about the interview.

Curiosity.  Curious people innovate, learn quickly, grow, and work well with others. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in the interview, as you aren’t expected to know everything. Go into the interview hungry to learn about the person and organization you’re interviewing with.

Listening.  Before you give your spiel about why you’re the best candidate for the job, listen carefully to what the interview is asking of you. Pay attention to what the organization needs. Repeat to the interviewer what you heard, to make sure you’re on the same page. Then provide a truly thoughtful answer that comes across as honest and custom, rather than a prepared speech. Interviewers know that good listening skills translate well into the work environment.

Use these skills in your interviews to land the job; then use them on the job to succeed at it.

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Career Mistakes You Can Avoid

urlMistakes are part of the path to success. It’s just that simple. Still, the more you know, the more you can circumvent. So borrowing from the wisdom of others who’ve been down this path, let us save you a bit of trouble. Here are a few common career mistakes that you can avoid.

  1. Not continuing your skills training. Especially in the rapidly changing tech fields, you’ve got to stay current. Attend seminars or presentations from leaders in your industry. Convince your employer to invest in training. Take a class. Join a meet-up. Subscribe to an online publication. Or, if you’re self-motivated enough, browse the internet or the book store and teach yourself. If your specialization is on (even the early stages of) the path to irrelevancy, make sure you’re getting experience in other, upward trending areas.
  1. Following money. Never take a job solely for the money. If you’re following your passion, money will come. Take a job for money, and you may get stuck there while true opportunities to become great pass you by.
  1. Standing still for too long. It’s easy to become comfortable where you are. But there’s an opportunity cost to not being challenged. This is especially true for STEM careers.
  1. Losing sight of your dream. Each job can potentially take you off in a different direction, introducing you to new skills, people, and responsibilities you didn’t know existed. That’s part of the journey, and it’s important to remain open to new possibilities. However, if you’re getting swept up instead of steering the course, you may end up far from where you intended. So enjoy the ride, all the while keeping your eye on your long-term goals.

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Honesty Really is the Best Policy for Attracting Talent

honesty is the best policyThe top three characteristics workers desire in an employer? Honesty, reliability, and work-life balance. This is according to a new study by staffing solutions provider Randstad. The study ranked the top 50 global employers by attractiveness based on a survey of more than 200,000 workers.

The winner? Auto manufacturer BMW. Sony and Samsung took second and third place.

Of course, obvious offerings such as high pay and great benefits are very important and desirable to workers. Yet provided the pay is fair, simple values – honesty, reliability, and good work-life balance ranked higher in importance.

This finding suggests the playing field for attracting talent might be more level than one might think. A smaller company might not be able to offer the same types of perks as a global one; yet it can surely offer workers a leader with integrity.

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Cities With the Most STEM Openings

washington dcFor job seekers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), job opportunities abound.  But 10 cities, according to Forbes, offer an edge when it comes to job seekers searching for a plethora of job openings with $50K-and-up salaries.

Here they are – the top 10 cities with the most STEM job openings listed right now:

  1. Washington, D.C.: 45,289 positions
  2. San Jose, California: 39,233 positions
  3. San Francisco, California: 30,627 positions
  4. New York, New York: 28,039 positions
  5. Boston, Massachusetts: 17,568 positions
  6. Chicago, Illinois: 17,567 positions
  7. Los Angeles, California: 15,818 positions
  8. Seattle, Washington: 12,597 positions
  9. Dallas, Texas: 10,522 positions
  10. Houston, Texas: 10,278 positions

By the way. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM jobs account for over 10% of jobs in the U.S., and their salaries are almost double the national average.

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