Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Are you good on the phone?

A lot of job seekers think that I am an employment agency so they call me with job enquiries very often. What I have learnt from dozens of these phone converstions is that people CANNOT TALK ON THE PHONE. They think I am a prospective employer and yet they sound unprepared, unprofessional and lost. The ability to lead a professional phone conversation is an important skill and IT IS NOT THE SAME AS CHATTING WITH YOUR MATES! It is important because in your job search you will have to make many calls to your networking contacts or prospective employers to get information about a position. A lot of companies hold phone interviews before they invite you to a face-to-face one. If you screw up on the phone there is no way to recover so here are some tips I can give you from employer point of view:

1. If you call and no one answers - leave a voice mail! I am never calling back if I see a missed call without a voice mail. For what I know you might be an annoying sales person and I am not going to spend my time and money calling you back if this conversation was not important enough for you to bother leaving me a voice mail.

2. When you leave a voice mail, briefly but clearly indicate the purpose of your call. This may seem obvious but more often than not I receive voice mails that sound as follows: "Hello, I am Pete Smith, please call me back". For what I know Pete Smith can be an annoying sales person and you already know what I do when I think that's the case.

3. When we finally get a chance to talk do not start the conversation by asking what I do. Your goal is not to interview me but to find a job. Introduce yourself, explain what you are looking for and I will give you answers to your questions tailored to your needs.

4. When I explain something to you - LISTEN. Do not just wait for me to finish, it offends people. It is very easy to figure out whether a person paid attention to what you were saying or not by asking a couple of questions regarding what was just discussed.

5. Most of the people loose interest when they think that the person on the other end of the line cannot help them with the very specific problem they have in mind. They try to wrap up the conversation as soon as possible. I might not be able to help you with this specific job enquiry but I might know someone who can or I might be helpful in another job search avenue. The point of networking is not getting help right there, on the spot but to get support from people who will lead you to your goal step by step.

6. Please, do not call from a car, or a restaurant or a noisy street or generally on the go. This shows to me that this converstaion was not important enough for you to put aside 10 min on your schedule to talk form a quiet room without doing anything else on the background. Treat a phone conversation as a face-to-face meeting.

7. PREPARE! Write down what exactly you want to find out. Play out a worst case scenario: I am not able to help you at all, you are upset but you need to find a way to learn where I CAN help you vs. where I CANNOT help you. Do not concentrate on negative, find the positive.

8. Finish a conversation on such a note so that next time when I see your caller ID I will be glad to pick up the phone and talk to you again.

Chicago Job Fair

Attend the Chicago South job fair on Tuesday, September 28 and take this opportunity to meet face to face and stand out from the crowd!

Career experts onsite will provide FREE Resume Reviews!

Over 200 positions will be available at this event!

For a list of attending companies, click the link below and fill out the brief registration form: http://chicago.localhires.com/job_fairs/view/1318/Chicago+South+Job+Fair+September+28%2C+2010utm_source=30day_iContact&utm_medium=iContact_email&utm_campaign=Chicago_South_9_28_2010_iContact-30day

Free to Attend!

Date: Tuesday, September 28
Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Holiday Inn Select & Convention Center - Tinley Park
Address: 18501 S. Harlem Ave, Tinley Park, IL 60477

Can't attend the job fair? No problem- add your resume to the ChicagoHires database on the website above so recruiters can find you.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

U.S. cultural guide

I have recently published my 1st book from the "Unforgettable Christmas" project - "Unforgettable Christmas: Activities, Events and Resources Guide to 25 Days of Christmas". And guess what? - it turned out to be an excellent cultural reference guide to living in the U.S.

If you are an expat living in the U.S., especially if you have a family with children, this book is a must have. There is so much going on in America in December, the variety of events and activities is amazing, which is sure to please anybody and everybody. Participation in these events have several benefits:
1. You will learn a lot about the culture and the country you live in
2. It's a great opportunity to network in a casual atmosphere (CEOs take their children to a Breakfast with Santa too!)
3. FUN!

Here is a link where you can learn more about "Unforgettable Christmas" guide and purchase it if you like it: http://www.unforgettable-christmas.com/Unforgettable-Christmas.html

Chicago job fair

Attend the Chicago job fair on Friday, August 20 and take this opportunity to meet face to face and stand out from the crowd!

Career experts onsite will provide FREE Resume Reviews!

Over 200 positions will be available at this event!

For a list of attending companies, click the link below and fill out the brief registration form: http://chicago.localhires.com/job_fairs/view/1288

Date: Friday, August 20
Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: The Allerton Hotel
Address: 701 N. Michigan Avenue , Chicago, IL 60611
This is a FREE event!

Can't attend the job fair? No problem- add your resume to the database so recruiters can find you. Click here to upload your resume to ChicagoHires: http://chicago.localhires.com/job_fairs/view/1288! Right now there are thousands of jobs available in Chicago- and ChicagoHires brings them all to you in one simple search! There is no need to spend time searching on multiple job sites- ChicagoHires has postings from newspapers, corporate sites, local boards and big job boards all in one place.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Website for expats

Today I would like to share with you are useful website for expats relocating to the U.S. It will not only be helpful to people relocating to Chicago, it actually has information about 7 major cities in addition to the Windy City: New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, Hartford, Boston and San Francisco.

Here is Chicago page: http://www.expatarrivals.com/the-usa/chicago/moving-to-chicago (from which you can navigate to other destinations).

The site provides you with a wide variety of information: cost of living, education, safety, healthcare, working, taxes, etc. It also has a forum for expacts to interact and share experiences while helping each other.

If you dread a networking call, read this article

Today I received an interesting newsletter article from TheLadders.com website and I want to share it with you:
"Even if you're a sociable, gregarious, people-loving person, the "networking" phone call can be a dreaded task in the job search. You feel like you're imposing, and it feels awkward to ring up your friends, former colleagues, and college buddies to ask for a favor from such a helpless position.

So here's how to stop worrying and learn to love the networking call.

The tip, which I picked up from John Lucht in his book "Rites of Passage", is this:

"Don't ask for a job, ask for a reference."

Asking someone to be a reference is an easy way to make networking a positive experience.

You see, everybody hates to say "no" to a request from somebody they know. And when you call your contacts and ask if they know of any jobs out there, you're putting them in the position where they have to say "no" to you. Because, as you've found out in your job search, digging up information on where the jobs are is tough (that, by the way, is why I invented TheLadders seven years ago). And it's pretty unlikely that your friend has been spending as much time as you have hunting high and low to find out about new openings.

So asking for job information or job leads makes networking uncomfortable for both of you.

To make it easy for them to say "yes", you need to ask them for something that is easy to say "yes" to.

So when you call your old colleague or contact, ask them if, when the time is right in your job search, it would be possible to use them as a reference.

It doesn't cost them anything to say "yes" to that request, it's an easy way for them to feel like they are being helpful, and it makes the call much more comfortable for both of you.

And now that you've turned the networking call from a negative conversation to a positive one, both you and your contact will feel better about the interaction.

That's important, because positive interactions make your contacts more inclined to help you. They may even feel a little bit honored that you think highly enough of their opinion to ask them to be a reference.

So now, as they go about their business, they'll not be screening your calls to avoid further awkward interactions, but instead they'll be a little bit more inclined to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities that might make sense for you.

If they overhear something at the club, if their cousin mentions a corporate expansion, if there's some trade rag gossip on positions opening up, they're much more likely to want to reach out to let you know that there might be an opportunity for you.

So my best advice, handed down to me from an expert with forty years of recruiting experience, is this: don't ask for a job, ask for a reference.

And you may never dread a networking call again."

Hope it helps!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another career fair

Attend a National Career Fair and Meet Face to Face with over 30 local hiring managers. Register now and get access to the company list. Click here to Register

Meet face-to-face with hiring managers at the Chicago Career Fair on Thursday, July 15. Applying online to jobs can get frustrating- meeting face-to-face is your chance to stand out from the crowd!

Date: Thursday, July 15

Marriott Chicago - Oak Brook
1401 West 22nd Street
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free to attend!
Over 200 positions will be available at this event!

Career experts onsite will provide FREE Resume Reviews!

For a list of attending companies, click the link below and fill out the brief registration form:


Bring at least 25 resumes to the event!
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