An App To Help You Ace Your Job Interview?

Application For InterviewWe’re humans who are always looking for ways to make our lives easier and more productive. These days that means apps (unless your spending your time on Angry Birds, then your productivity definitely comes into question).

There are apps for everything and job searching is no exception. The latest app I’ve run across that’s designed to help you in landing your next position is InterviewPrep. It’s free and that’s always a bonus. It’s designed to work like a flip card (remember index cards?), with an interview question on one side and guidance on the proper approach to answering the question on the other.

Overall, the questions are good ones that are often asked in interviews and the suggested response strategies are also insightful. However, to appeal to the masses, the app deals in vague generalities. While helpful in preparing for an interview, the app doesn’t and can’t give you feedback on several things.

For instance, it can’t give you feedback on the way you specifically are answering questions and whether your answers are raising red flags for the interviewer. The app also can’t help you deal with unique problems or liabilities you might have in your background and how to address them.

While I think the app is a great primer, especially for those of you just starting out your careers, nothing replaces the insight and advice of an experienced career coach who can listen to your answers and then instruct you on how to make them better and more polished.

I’ve worked with hundreds of executives and professionals, many of whom think they are great at interviewing because they’ve conducted so many interviews themselves. But, there’s a big difference being on the other side of the table. After leading some role-playing with even the most seasoned executives and professionals, there’s always been room for improvement (in some cases, a lot of room).

So don’t worry if you haven’t downloaded the latest app, sometimes nothing beats some good old fashioned coaching. In other words, on your next job interview you won’t be hapless if you’re app-less, that is if you engage the services of a professional, because there will always be some things that require the human touch.


The Evolution of the Resume

The Evolution Of The ResumeIn the beginning there was man . . . and man had a job, to be fruitful and multiply . . . and it was good. Finding a job was easy. Of course you had to be appealing to the opposite sex in order to fulfill your responsibilities, but while you may have needed to interview well, you didn’t need a resume. As humanity evolved, merely being fruitful and multiplying wasn’t sufficient. As the earth became more populated, the competition increased, to be fruitful and multiply one had to become more appealing and develop new talents to attract a mate, thus great hunters and gatherers were born. Again, the fruits of your labor were apparent without the need of a resume.

Still the world continued to transform and to survive in the ever changing landscape, men and women adapted. Merely hauling a bison body on your back or gathering grains and bearing berries would no longer suffice, now people needed to do more to compete for mates, they needed good jobs with benefits, that meant acquiring more modern skills and oftentimes an education.

Since the fruits of their labor were less obvious and it would be difficult and unwieldy to take your cave drawings to a potential employer, the resume was born. Evolving from a document written on parchment with a reed or quill pen, we advanced to paper, typewriters and white-out. We started with an objective statement and we sent out mass mailings.  Oh, but we have come a long, long way in the evolution of the resume. Objective statements (what I want) are passé and have evolved into marketing statements (what you, the employer wants that I have) and we’ve learned that mass mailings don’t work, we need to use our caveman instincts with a focused target to win in today’s job hunt.

The resume has transformed to the point that not only do we not put pen to paper, we may not even print to paper. With the advent of email and the Internet, sometimes your well-crafted, beautifully formulated document never gets printed at all. It’s created, sent and viewed entirely online. It has also transformed beyond a mere resume into an online presence on LinkedIn, where hiring managers, executives and recruiters can find it instantly. And most recently, the resume has also entered a new evolutionary phase, becoming an online presence in and of itself in the form of a cutting-edge web portfolio.

Do we still need resumes? Absolutely! They’re the basis for your online presence; some people have not gone entirely paperless, and you should print your resume (and if you’re an executive, your bio) and bring it with you on your interviews. But, if you want to truly demonstrate that you’re progressing and growing with the changing world, you need to leave your caveman days behind and join Gen Z in a competition that’s morphed from earthbound hunting grounds to cyberspace and the World Wide Web.

~ Linda

Web Portfolios: The Cutting Edge in Executive Job Search

Web PortfolioEven the most accomplished executives need help branding and packaging themselves for today’s competitive market. Besides a well-written, attention grabbing resume that tells your stories and highlights your skills and achievements, you also need an online presence in the form of a web portfolio. Why a web portfolio?

Logistics. A web portfolio designed with HTML5 enables hiring managers and executives to see your background even when they’re on the go. By including the URL to your web portfolio in your signature line or sending a link via email, the recipient can open an impressive display about you on any tablet, iphone, android or mobile device anywhere they have Internet access. You can also include the link on your LinkedIn profile.

Beyond the resume. A web portfolio allows you to go beyond the resume, enabling you to add sections on successful projects, accolades, articles, patents or any other achievements that will sell you and your brand to the decision maker.

Tech savvy and very “today”. Web portfolios aren’t just for creative types, techies and recent graduates. They show you’ve not only embraced our Internet age, you’ve mastered it. This can be very important for more experienced and shall we say mature executives.

Marketing magic. An expertly written, attractive web portfolio turns you into a cutting-edge candidate who truly stands out. Having a sophisticated, polished web presence gives you a leg up on the competition. You can get that leg up at The Imagemakers, Ink!™ LLC with one of our exceptional web portfolios.

A well-written resume and well-designed web portfolio is the one-two punch you need to knock-out the competition and should be a part of every executive and professional career campaign.