On Careers

January 2011


How to Answer 'What are your weaknesses?'

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“So, what’s your biggest weakness?”

If you’re job-searching, you’re probably prepared to hear this question, but you might not be prepared for interviewers who increasingly refuse to accept old clichés like “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist.”

Since most career guides recommend using ...

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The Benefits of Thinking Like a Beginner

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Like most people, you’re likely to find yourself stuck from time to time. Really stuck. The kind of stuck where you’re mired down with mud flying from spinning wheels that are only digging you in deeper. Sometimes it happens in your career, sometimes in other aspects of your life, and occasionally ...

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5 Job-Hunting Ideas You Haven’t Tried

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One of the most frustrating aspects of job hunting is believing you’re doing everything you can and still finding yourself out of work. That’s why it’s empowering to realize you haven’t tried everything, and that new, assertive approaches will help you expand your network and land a job.

Here are ...

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Tell a Story That Will Get You Hired

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Great stories draw us in. They help us become fully engaged in a topic. They include important context and background so we better appreciate what happens at the end. And best of all, a great story is often shared with others.

But many of us struggle telling stories, especially when the topic is our ...

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Career Lessons Inspired By “The Fighter”

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Nominated for six Golden Globe awards and likely to get several Oscars nods later this week, The Fighter is a brisk-paced movie about Micky Ward, the one-time boxing champion.

Actor Mark Wahlberg plays Ward in the lead role; Christian Bale steals the show as the boxer's colorful brother Dickie.

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The 10 Most Common Job Interview Questions

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The absolute best thing you can do to prepare for a job interview is to practice your answers to the questions you’re most likely to be asked.

Saying your answers out loud over and over—or even writing them down, which might ingrain them more deeply in your brain—will significantly improve how well ...

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How to Work with a Bad Boss

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At some point in our careers, we all face having to work for a bad boss.

Unfortunately, just because we think they’re bad doesn’t mean everyone else does. No matter how much they frustrate us, bad bosses don’t always get called out and replacing them can be difficult. That means it’s important to ...

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How Perfectionism Hurts Your Career

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One of the most common obstacles to success is our own quest for perfection. As a recovering—and oft-relapsing—perfectionist myself, I know all too well the allure of seeking out that elusive 100 percent performance.

If you have perfectionist tendencies, you probably see perfection as a worthy goal.

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Where Job Seekers Should Be Online

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In-person networking is an important part of any job search. But equally important in today's job market is finding your place online and becoming visible to employers who seek an employee with your skill set. Even if you aren't actively engaged in a job search, it's wise to build your online ...

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How to Tailor Your Resume for an Employer

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With five candidates for every job, competition is fierce. Your online profile affects your chances to win interviews, but your resume is still the most crucial element of your job-search strategy. And tailoring your resume for each specific employer is one way to make sure you’ll stand out.

Here ...

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18 Common Work E-mail Mistakes

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Most of us rely on e-mail as one of our primary communication tools. And given the number of messages we send and receive, we do it with remarkable success.

But as with anything, the more e-mails we send, the more likely we are to screw one up. And simple e-mail mistakes can be disastrous. They can ...

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Unleash Your Inner Networker

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Success in networking requires you to unleash a part of yourself—the part keeping you at home when you should be out and about. That social trait could be hurting you professionally, even if you don’t realize it.

But why does in-person networking matter? Can’t we just stay home and meet people by ...

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10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Internship

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Internships have become a must for college students; without the work experience they provide, the post-graduation job search is significantly more difficult. But it’s not enough to simply get an internship. You also need to impress the employer during your time there.

Here are 10 ways to get the ...

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Preparing for Your Next Career Move

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The best time to think about a career change is before you think you need it. If you’re presented with a job opportunity or forced into making a career decision unexpectedly, and you haven’t prepared, you run the risk of making the wrong decision. Especially in this employment market, it’s vitally ...

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How to Stop Feeling Angry Over a Layoff

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Are you feeling angry and frustrated about being laid off? Over the way you were laid off? The timing? How that has changed the trajectory of your career? Or maybe you’re angry that you’ve been out of work so long, and afraid it will be months or years before you find another much-needed job.

If so,

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How Managers Can Improve the Hiring Process

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Hiring for your company is an important responsibility. We often focus on how the candidate can earn the respect of the company and land the job, but it’s just as important to look at the interview process from the other side.

How effective is your hiring team's approach to selecting new employees?

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Don’t Look for a Job—Make the Job Come to You

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It may be unexpected advice from a job-search coach, but ideally, you should not be looking for a job. Instead, you should be looking for problems to solve and letting the jobs come to you.

Confused?

Here’s why you need to get off those job boards and readjust your approach:

1. Looking for a problem ...

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Why You Should Hire Interns for Your Office

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When it comes to internships, we often focus on how the work experience benefits the student. But in most situations, it works out in the employer’s favor, too. Sure, a college-age intern is likely cheaper to hire than a full-time employee. But working with interns is about more than saving money.

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How to Convince a Manager to Hire You

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Hiring managers are in a tough spot. With smaller budgets and fewer hiring opportunities, every job offer counts. And the pressure builds when several people have their hands in a hiring decision and department executives focus heavily on significant ROI for new hires. A poor hiring decision is ...

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Is That Interview Question Legal?

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You’re sitting in a job interview and your interviewer asks you:

“So, do you have children?”

“What church do you go to?”

“What an unusual last name. Is it Japanese?”

Interviewers aren’t supposed to ask these sorts of questions. But what do you do when one asks anyway?

First, let’s get the law out of the ...

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Keys to Nailing Your Next Performance Review

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A performance review isn’t just a formality—it’s an opportunity to further the growth of your career. But it’s up to you to make sure it’s a positive experience. Whether you received a good or bad review last year, you can take steps to improve the process in 2011.

Rather than allowing the feedback ...

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Tips for Evading the Salary Question

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It's hard not to panic when asked about salary during a job interview—and it will inevitably come up during the interview process. This can be especially difficult when switching industries or moving to a new city.

But how you respond to questions about how much you want to make will directly affect ...

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Avoid These Career Mistakes in 2011

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It’s a new year, and for most people that means looking at ways to make the coming year better than the last. If one of your goals for 2011 includes loving your work more, here are six mistakes to avoid:

Don’t make today’s fear your long-term reality.

It’s stressful out there right now. People are ...

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How to Rock Your Next Job Interview

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It’s easy to get nervous before a job interview, especially if you haven’t had one for a while. And if you’ve been out of work for an extended period of time, each opportunity to interview becomes increasingly important, adding to the pressure.

But with a new year comes a fresh start. And your next ...

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