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Make your next interview a success with these three things

Interviewing is hard work. If you’re currently looking for something new, you know that finding a job is a job. From preparing your favorite suit to revising your resume to networking and rounds of interviews – there are times it feels like it will never end. It can be tough to keep your head above water with your existing role while you’re balancing your life and your job search. To ensure you’re making the most out of every interview, do these three things.

Research. The best part about job searching in the age of the internet is transparency. This is something that has never existed in the same way in the past. Take advantage of it. Use websites like Glassdoor, Salary.com, and Indeed to find out how much companies are paying. Look up company reviews to find out what employees think of their workplace. Read through the common interview questions for the company you’re interested in. Search on Google and the company website to learn what new changes the company has recently undergone. And, use LinkedIn to learn more about the hiring manager– or better yet, use it to find the hiring manager’s name. The internet is an invaluable tool to job seekers.

Customize your application materials. If you’ve been working to crank out a high volume of applications every day, it’s something you may not have thought of. The more you target your application materials to the company (and the particular job), the more you increase the likelihood a company will be interested in you. And, it’s not hard to do. Start with your resume. Read the job description closely and ensure you’re highlighting the skills the employer is looking for. Customize your objective statement to include both the job title and the company name. Use a similar approach with your cover letter. Specifically mention the job title and company name — and ensure you explain why you’re a perfect fit for this particular role.

Don’t take it personally. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get every job you interview for. The higher you climb the ladder and the more specialized your skills are, the truer this becomes. Just because you weren’t hired doesn’t mean the hiring manager doesn’t like you. There are a number of reasons you might have been overlooked that have nothing to do with your skills. For example, an internal candidate may have been preselected. The job may have been put on hold. The hiring manager may have left the company. None of these reasons are about you.

When you’re rejected, you can either choose to walk away unhappy. Or you can choose to build a relationship with the company. Very often, when you first interview with a company, they’re just getting to know you. If you stay in touch, you will increase your odds of being hired the next time they’re looking for someone with your skillset.

Doing your research, customizing your application, and moving through rejection are three keys to making your job search a success.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

Key To Winning Job Candidate’s Heart? Flexibility

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas to meet a number of folks who work at the job website Indeed.com. If you’ve looked for a job in the last ten years, there’s a good chance you’ve visited Indeed. In 2010, they passed Monster to become the highest trafficked job site in the United States. In May, a report from SilkRoad found that Indeed helps people get more jobs than all other sites combined. According to SilkRoad, the site delivered 72% of interviews and 65% of new hires in 2016. That’s powerful stuff.

I spoke with Paul Wolfe, Indeed’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources. I wanted to get his take on what job seekers are looking for in a future employer. Not only does Paul lead the charge on Indeed’s hiring, but he has insight into the hiring process at companies around the world.

As you might expect, one of the key things employees are looking for is flexibility. Since 2014, job searches including words related to flexible work arrangements (think ‘work from home’ jobs) has been on the rise globally. “Flexibility is a big thing,” said Paul. “With the advances of technology, you can do your job from any place really.”

Student debt is also on the minds of job seekers. 25% of students say that loan assistance is a high priority for them, while just 3% of employers are offering it. “In some cases, it takes twenty-one years just to pay off your four-year degree. You’re in a hole before you even start your career, which is tough.” For the companies that do offer this benefit, some structure it around specific performance goals similar to a bonus payout, while for other companies, it’s a fixed amount.

Paul is an advocate of unlimited paid time off too. I’ll admit – I find this concept a little hard to picture at first. Paul explained, “I want our employees to be happy. I want them to continue to nurture relationships outside of the company – with family and a significant other, friends, colleagues.” Paul says he wants his employees to take time off before they hit a wall. “As a HR leader, I know that when you hit the wall, productivity is not great. Your work product suffers. You have probably become a little disengaged at that point.”

Paul also observes other trends related to flexibility, such as expanded maternity and paternity care plans that offer longer leave periods.

Indeed’s employee tagline is, “We care about what you care about.” Ultimately, if a company wants to capture the hearts and minds of their employees, they need to find out what’s important to them. I speak with job seekers every day who would give up a portion of their paycheck in exchange for flexibility, respect, and fulfillment. It seems that Indeed is finding the same to be true within their organization.

For my entire interview with Paul Wolfe and to learn more about Indeed, watch for the upcoming podcast episode on iTunes.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

136 | Indeed Interactive – Paul Wolfe, Austin, TX

Episode 136 is live! This week, we talk with Paul Wolfe in Austin, TX.

Paul is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Indeed.com. He oversees all global human resource functions, including talent acquisition, employee retention, compensation, benefits, and employee development. Paul has over 15 years of experience as a human resources executive having served as a VP and SVP at number of well-known companies, including Match.com, Orbitz, Conde Nast and Ticketmaster.

On today’s episode, Paul shares what benefits employees want, including unlimited paid time off, loan assistance, and increased parental leave.

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on iTunes or Stitcher.

To learn more about Paul or Indeed, visit the Indeed website at www.indeed.com.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on iTunes and leave me a review!

The scoop about my trip to Indeed.com

You may have noticed on my social media. I took a trip to Austin, Texas in May. But, it wasn’t any ordinary trip. Indeed.com invited me to come as a member of the press to their annual Indeed Interactive conference.

As far as conferences go, this one was awesome for me. It was like a job nerd’s dream. I had the opportunity to interview Paul Wolfe, the SVP of HR at Indeed for my podcast and for my Career Corner newspaper column. Indeed employees presented on all sorts of job search related topics, including the economics of hiring and what job seekers are looking for in a new job. They brought in outside speakers too, including my very favorite author, Malcom Gladwell. If you wondered what was going on with my crazy Twitter feed, this was it!

I will be releasing my entire interview with Paul Wolfe soon, and you should check out my Career Corner Column about him this Wednesday. We talked about everything from employee benefits to why employers “ghost” employees during the job search to the supply and demand of job seekers (and how it can impact your search).

Here’s me with Paul.

I can’t possibly include all the excitement in one newsletter, but I do want to share a few facts and photos from my trip.

First, did you know that career decisions are one of the most stressful life decisions? Of course you did! But, here’s a slide with the data to back up that feeling. Dismissal from work is rated as more stressful than foreclosure on your home!

And, here are some of the top (stressful) issues reported by job seekers.
#1 – Waiting to hear back from the prospective employer.
#2 – Finding the right jobs I want to apply to.
#3 – Circumstances that triggered the initial decision to begin my job search
Can you relate? Of course you can! The job search process can be very, very frustrating.

Speaking of #3 above (“Circumstances that triggered the initial decision to begin my job search”), Indeed found that people often start looking for a new job after a trigger event. For example, you were thinking of maybe, possibly one day getting a new job. Then, your boss acted like a real jerk and yelled at you for no reason. Suddenly, one day just became today. Your job search has started – now.

The conference was geared toward the Human Resources departments at companies across the U.S. It makes me excited to think that HR teams were exposed to so much great information about the factors impacting the job seeker, and the job seeker’s perspective. Here’s one last photo. This is Malcom Gladwell explaining what it is that we (as hiring managers) are getting all wrong about the job search process — and what we can do to make it a little more fair for everyone. Exciting, right?

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Get Inside the Head of the Job Seeker

Typically, this column is targeted toward the job seeker. Today, I’m going to take a slightly different approach. I’ve received the same question from multiple different employers in the past week, “How can I hire better candidates?”

Although this sounds like a straightforward question, the answer isn’t so easy. But, I’m going to try to share a few observations with you that I’ve seen working with job seekers.

The internet has changed the job search game. In particular, candidates are studying employer reviews. Sites such as Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com both give employees a way to leave a company reviews in the same way that they’d leave restaurant reviews on Yelp. If you’re hiring, check yours and do what you can to improve it.

Beyond online reviews, job seekers are looking for fulfillment and flexibility. Rarely are candidates looking for money alone. They want to be able to work from home on Friday or to have more vacation time with their families. They want to be able to take leave when their children are born. They’ve been down the road of being worked to the bone and they want to get closer to happiness and balance. Although they value money, they’d often give up some to feel happy at work.

Last, but not least, the job seeker wants to feel like a respected human being during the job search process. It makes them uncomfortable to be forced to divulge too much sensitive information such as their entire pay history. It’s upsetting when a company asks them to do extensive homework in early stages of the interview, such as building a portfolio or completing other paperwork beyond a normal application. Job seekers understand why this type of information gathering can be helpful, but wait to ask it of them until they’ve made it to the final stages of the interview process.

And, when you make a promise to the job seeker, keep it. You expect them to keep their promises to you. They expect you to do the same. When you tell the job seeker that you’ll let them know something by Friday, let them know something by Friday. If you haven’t been able to come to a decision for one reason or another, let them know that. They’ll understand. But, what they won’t understand is radio silence.

If you’ve spent hours interviewing a candidate and then decide not to move forward, send them a personal email to let them know. If they email you after the interview, respond. Don’t ignore them or send an automated email. If the candidate asks why they weren’t selected, consider giving them feedback. Candidates are left reeling after a great interview when they aren’t selected. Perhaps there was nothing wrong with the candidate, they were just second in line. Let them know. You may want to hire them for another job one day.

In summary, job seekers want to be treated with honesty and respect. If you value them, they will value your company.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.