Monday, August 30, 2021

Please Stop Using This Jargon


It's often the little things that get on our last nerve at work. The guy who heats up his stinky lunch in the office microwave. The boss who sends emails after 5 p.m. on Friday.

But according to a new study, one of the most annoying things is business jargon. According to MyPerfectResume, the most annoying jargon is:

"Giving" -- 59 percent

"I'll ping you" -- 59 percent

"Think outside the box" -- 56 percent

"Low-hanging fruit" -- 54 percent

"Reinvent the wheel" -- 53 percent

"Synergy" -- 52 percent

"Take it to the next level" -- 50 percent

"Blue sky thinking" -- 49 percent

"Bring to the table" -- 49 percent

"Touch base" -- 49 percent

"Move the needle" -- 48 percent

"Kudos" -- 47 percent

"Circle back" -- 47 percent

"Take ownership" -- 47 percent

"Raise the bar" -- 46 percent

"Win-win" -- 46 percent

"Core competency" -- 45 percent

"Empower" -- 43 percent

"Strategic partnership" -- 42 percent

"Take offline: -- 42 percent

So, if you don't want to further annoy a boss, co-worker or customer, try to use such words sparingly. If not, they may not want to circle back with you to form a strategic partnership, will not be pinging you, won't want you to move the needle and it certainly won't be a win-win.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Working Moms Should Feel Good About Their Choices

Being a working mother is no cakewalk. The multitasking and juggling required to raise children — with or without a partner — while also maintaining a career can be daunting at times. But perhaps one of the most challenging aspects for some women is their guilt when others criticize them for working instead of devoting themselves full-time to their children.

That criticism even comes from other women, who may hint that a nanny is the "real parent" or that moms should be at home while their children are young.

However, working moms may feel better about their choices when looking at Harvard Business School and Mount Holyoke College research, which shows that when women work, their daughters are likely to have jobs, hold supervisory duties, and earn bigger paychecks than those whose moms stayed at home.

In addition, the sons of working moms are more likely to become men that pitch in with household chores and help with caring for family members.

Courtney Henderson, 37, of Auburn, Alabama, says that when she was growing up, her father's paycheck could support the family, but her mother chose to work. Her mother worked (read more here)

Monday, August 16, 2021

3 Ways to Tailor Your Resume for an Employer

If you're not tailoring your resume to a specific job, it could be why you're not getting any responses to your application.

It's long been said that hiring managers don't spend more than seconds looking at a resume, and if they don't see details that match their needs, they move on.

But how do you tailor a resume for a specific job?

Here are some things to consider:

1. Use keywords. These are often the qualifications listed in a job posting, such as a "team player," or "proficient in Excel." Since many companies now use applicant tracking software (ATS) to initially screen resumes, leaving out these terms could get your resume eliminated by a computer. Also remember that hiring managers are much more likely to be receptive to your resume when you're using language that is familiar to them -- such as the qualifications posted in the job ad.

2. Show your knowledge of the company's culture. If you know, for example, that the company is pushing sustainability efforts or dedication to the arts, try to include skills or experience that highlight your own abilities in this area. You might include community volunteer efforts to clean up waterways or that you teach an art class to inner-city youth on the weekends. Most companies post about their culture through their websites or their online social media feeds.

3. Tap your network. It makes much more sense to find a connection to an employer through your network than just hitting "send" and hoping your resume gets seen by someone at the company. Look at your LinkedIn connections and type in the company's name -- does anyone pop up? Maybe someone's brother-in-law works at the company or a former classmate now works there or knows someone who does? Mine Facebook and Twitter to see if you've got any connections.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Tips for Preparing for a Job Interview

The worst mistake you can make in a job interview is trying to "wing it." Whatever you do, don't walk into the room unprepared. No matter your level of experience or the skills you possess, interviewing well requires preparation and practice, and those who are willing to do the work are much more likely to receive a job offer.

While there is no "best" way to handle interview preparation, we can distill our advice into two core ways to get into the interview mindset (read more here) 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Are You Ready for This Job Market?

Many workers are looking into new careers or new jobs, spurred by changes in their industry or simply a desire to do something else.

If you're one of those people, it helps to be aware of recruiting trends so you know what to expect.

1. Target a specific employer. Even if you're applying for only sales jobs, you need to tailor your resume to a specific employer. That means carefully reading the job ad and making sure you're including as many of the key words as you can from that employer. This doesn't mean you have to rewrite you entire resume for each job application, but know that an applicant tracking system (ATS) or an overburdened hiring manager is going to toss your resume if it doesn't seem like a really, really good match. 

2. Be flexible. There has been a lot in the news about employees who claim they will absolutely quit their jobs if they're not allowed to continue working from home, or they won't consider a job offer unless they can work remotely. While employers are certainly trying to accommodate workers in this uncertain climate, they're not going to upend their business just so everyone can work from home. So, unless you can really walk away from a job or a good job offer, don't completely discount a "hybrid" work arrangement -- be willing to prove your worth and then negotiate for a more flexible work deal if you still want it.

3. Embrace video. While Zoom fatigue is certainly real, it's not something that's going away even after the pandemic. Since chances are good you may initially be interviewed via video, make sure you're prepared with the proper equipment and background and are dressed professionally. If you can't handle a video interview, the hiring manager may worry you won't be able to handle Zoom meetings.

4. Clean up social media. It's surprising how many people decide to improve their social media presence after they begin job hunting. This is something you want to take care of before you send out a resume or let your network know you're interested in new jobs. It might take you a while to clean up (remember your frat brothers still have your drunken photos on Instagram) and you want to make sure you do a thorough job.