Tuesday, November 25, 2014

(from Google) You don’t know what you don’t know: How our unconscious minds undermine the workplace

When YouTube launched their video upload app for iOS, between 5 and 10 percent of videos uploaded by users were upside-down. Were people shooting videos incorrectly? No. Our early design was the problem. It was designed for right-handed users, but phones are usually rotated 180 degrees when held in left hands. Without realizing it, we’d created an app that worked best for our almost exclusively right-handed developer team.

This is just one example of how unconscious biases influence our actions every day, even when—by definition—we don’t notice them. These biases are shaped by our experiences and by cultural norms, and allow us to filter information and make quick decisions. We’ve evolved to trust our guts. But sometimes these mental shortcuts can lead us astray, especially when they cause us to misjudge people. In the workplace, for example, the halo effect can cause us to inflate performance ratings or in-group bias can lead us to overlook great talent.

Combatting our unconscious biases is hard, because they don’t feel wrong; they feel right. But it’s necessary to fight against bias in order to create a work environment that supports and encourages diverse perspectives and people. Not only is that the right thing to do, but without a diverse workforce, there’s a pretty good chance that our products—just like that early YouTube app—won’t work for everyone. That means we need to make the unconscious, conscious.

The first step is education; we need to help people identify and understand their biases so that they can start to combat them. So we developed a workshop, Unconscious Bias @ Work, in which more than 26,000 Googlers have taken part. And it’s made an impact: Participants were significantly more aware, had greater understanding, and were more motivated to overcome bias.

In addition to our workshop, we’re partnering with organizations like the Clayman Institute and the Ada Initiative to further research and awareness. We’re also taking action to ensure that the decisions we make at work—from promoting employees to marketing products—are objective and fair. Here are four ways we’re working to reduce the influence of bias:

  • Gather facts. It’s hard to know you’re improving if you’re not measuring. We collect data on things like gender representation in our doodles and at our conferences.

  • Create a structure for making decisions. Define clear criteria to evaluate the merits of each option, and use them consistently. Using the same standards to evaluate all options can reduce bias. This is why we use structured interviews in hiring, applying the same selection and evaluation methods for all.

  • Be mindful of subtle cues. Who’s included and who’s excluded? In 2013, Googlers pointed out that of the dozens of conference rooms named after famous scientists, only a few were female. Was this our vision for the future? No. So we changed Ferdinand von Zeppelin to Florence Nightingale—along with many others—to create more balanced representation. Seemingly small changes can have big effects.

  • Foster awareness. Hold yourself—and your colleagues—accountable. We’re encouraging Googlers to call out bias. For example, we share a “bias busting checklist” at performance reviews, encouraging managers to examine their own biases and call out those of others.

As we shared back in May, we’re not where we should be when it comes to diversity. But in order to get there, we need to have this conversation. We have to figure out where our biases lie, and we have to combat them. Tackling unconscious bias at work is just one piece of making Google a diverse workplace, but it’s absolutely essential if we’re going to live up to our promise to build technology that makes life better for as many people as possible.

via Official Google Blog: You don’t know what you don’t know: How our unconscious minds undermine the workplace.

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(from Google) You don’t know what you don’t know: How our unconscious minds undermine the workplace

3 Ways to Stay Cool in Interviews and Get Your Dream Job

As an experienced counselor with a fairly deep understanding of human nature, I can say this with total confidence: job interviews freak people out!

In my time as a therapist, I’ve interacted with some truly capable people. I’ve coached business professionals who wield a great deal of influence, I’ve counseled semi-professional athletes ready to take their game to the next level, and I’ve mentored bright-eyed college grads who had a lot of ambition and very big dreams.

And no matter who I talk to, I’m always amazed to find that all of them (and I mean, all of them!) experienced a great deal of anxiety at the thought of being interviewed.

From a psychological perspective, the fear is totally reasonable. The dynamics of a interview are wildly unsettling, and play on our innate fear of rejection.

Think about it: an interview is a time-limited interaction with a total stranger, who will judge every single word you say, and analyze every action you make. He or she will openly scrutinize you. A few days or weeks after your meeting with the stranger, you will receive a phone call or an email, and be notified whether you have been rejected or not.

Not fun. Pretty terrifying, really.

So, as I noticed each of my clients was experiencing the same emotion regarding the same event, I put together an intervention to help them relax, focus, and make the most of every interview they find themselves on. The techniques I used are listed below, and each one is simple, actionable, and, most importantly, backed up with a lot of research! Use them to your advantage:

1) Envision your success before you start:

Visualization is frequently used in the sports world, and many public figures (notably Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey) have sworn by the principle’s powers. The idea is simple: condition yourself for the goal you want to achieve by imagining it clearly in your mind.

It sounds simple, but the research backs up the idea. One study showed that “mental practice” is almost as effective as actual, physical practice, and that doing mental practice and physical practice is more effective than either practice alone.

So how does it work? Visualization activities must follow a very specific path. First, find a quiet place and relax. Then begin to imagine yourself with the person or the people interviewing you: what do they ask you? How do you answer some of the tough questions they ask? How do you calm yourself when you begin to feel nervous? The clearer your visualization, the better the technique works.

In truth, visualization is really a form of preparation: you imagine the obstacles you’ll face, and you creative find ways to meet and overcome them.

2) Use social proof to your advantage:

We are intrinsically social creatures, and we are constantly reading the emotional cues of the people around us. It is nature’s most effective way of learning about danger and learning about opportunity, and it is deeply engrained into our psyches.

So how does that affect your job search?

Almost 65% of all new employees at any given company attained their interview through someone they know. There are plenty of conclusions you can draw from this (the most obvious being – if you’re looking for a job, you’re most likely to get it through someone you know, so tap into your contacts), but the important idea is that your interviewer will be more likely to hire you if someone can vouch for you. If you use your network to get your job interview, you are providing powerful social proof, and your interviewer already knows that someone values you.

Unfortunately, many people interpret the 65% statistic to mean that the odds are against them if they’re going into an interview without a connection to the interviewer. Luckily, you can provide social proof in your interview discussion. There are two ways to do this:

  1. During your interview, talk about people you know, and share stories about working with your bosses and interacting with decision-makers are your previous company. Don’t be boastful and don’t be a name-dropper, but make sure that your interviewer gets the feeling that others liked working with you and valued your efforts.

  2. Provide your own social proof. The trend is to include the words “References available upon request” somewhere near the end of your resume, which is thoughtful – after all, you don’t don’t want to deluge your interviewer with paper (especially before they’re interested in you). But if you’ve made it to the interview stage, do not leave your interviewer’s office without handing him a letter of recommendation. The letter can be from a former employer, an old professor that you’ve worked with, or a community leader that you’ve volunteered for, but make sure it’s a person with recognizable authority, and make sure it details you as competent, motivated, and easy to work with.

3) Give yourself a 24/7 pep talk:

A researcher at the University of Pennsylvania found that personal success was almost invariably related to that person’s “explanatory style”. That is, the most reliable way to tell whether a person will succeed or fail is to see whether they interpret their life in an optimistic or a pessimistic way.

The research makes sense: how you interpret your circumstances determines how you feel, and how you feel determines how well you perform.

So be nice to yourself! When you think about your job hunt, interpret your efforts in an uplifting way that makes the situation seem positive. If you’ve recently been laid off and you’re looking for work, don’t interpret your job loss as a negative: think of the new adventures you’ll have at your next place of employment, and how you’re about to take the next step of your professional career. If you’re looking for your first job out of college, don’t see yourself as inexperienced, but rather as a blank slate ready to dive in and learn all you can at your new job.

Chances are that even though you’re speaking nicely to yourself, you’ll still feel nervous, and that’s normal – expected, even. But you have a choice: you can speak kindly to yourself and foster positive feelings, or you can beat yourself up and feel awful. Not all choices are easy, but this seems simple.

Go get ‘em!

Remember, job interviews can be daunting, but you’ve got some pretty powerful tools to use: you can see the outcome you want, you can use social proof to display your value, and you can get psyched, because the job you want is almost yours!

3 Ways to Stay Cool in Interviews and Get Your Dream Job.

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3 Ways to Stay Cool in Interviews and Get Your Dream Job

CIOs: Be the author of your own disruption

We are in the midst of a perfect storm of technological change. The user experience has been transformed for the first time since the graphical user interface was introduced more than 20 years ago. Now it’s all about the touchscreen interface.

IT delivery is changing, too, and is happening increasingly via browsers and mobile apps. The rapid growth in tablet computing means there is no doubt that the tablet will eclipse the PC by 2015, if not sooner. And we’re seeing most CIOs taking mobility from somewhere in their top 10 to their number one most pressing issue, as executives and the rest of the business demand service delivery on these devices.

When user experience and IT delivery change together, then the ways we design and deliver IT must change, too. For example, if your IT isn’t extremely easy to use, or requires training to be able to engage with it, then you’re in big trouble.

Yet the real issue we’re facing is not with mobile devices, but mobile data. App stores are creating a new conduit for users that is disintermediating corporate IT. This is probably one of the most disruptive threats: users get access to an unlimited number of tools in seconds, use them for work and then discard them (and the information they contain) when they’re no longer needed. It’s hard for traditional IT to compete with that speed of delivery and keep track of how those apps are being propagated outwards.

“Every CIO has to look at how to stay relevant. It’s time they disrupted themselves before the world does it for them.”

But smart mobile is about much more than just devices. Today’s models are bristling with functions such as microphones, video, GPS, gyroscopes and accelerometers, which are enabling some very interesting business applications. So smart mobile is also a way to revolutionize how we do things in our companies. At many organizations, however, there’s still this attitude: “We didn’t invent these technologies. They’re being imposed upon us from outside. They’re not designed by us, for us. This isn’t how we do IT.”

But technologies are now being designed elsewhere for consumers and then brought into the enterprise — and that’s how we need to do IT from now on.

For example, the CIO of a large US media company realized he had a major challenge with consumerization. Employees were going out, getting their own IT, doing their own outsourcing and implementing their own “bring your own device” policies.

He said to them, “Look, I want to be a solution provider. I understand our organization and our architecture best, and I understand you users better than anyone on the outside. So I want you to let me bid on everything you need in terms of IT, but I also want you to go out and see if you can find anyone that can provide it better. If you do, and I can’t match them, then I’ll work with that service provider and make it work for you.”

What we see here is an IT leader placing himself directly in competition with the whole world — a trend that is happening anyway — and making an opportunity out of it. Like him, every CIO has to look at how to stay relevant and avoid being completely disintermediated from the service delivery process.

It’s a challenging time for IT leaders, but it’s also a time filled with opportunity. They can do more than they ever could before, but they’ve got to move forward and respond differently. It’s time they disrupted themselves before the world does it for them.

via CIOs: Be the author of your own disruption – I-CIO | I-CIO.

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CIOs: Be the author of your own disruption

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How To Get a Job at Google, Facebook or Apple [INFOGRAPHIC]

Jobs at Google, Facebook and Apple are the most sought-after careers in the Silicon Valley. 1 in 4 young professionals want to work at Google, but fewer than 1 in 250 applicants will ever work at the company. Knowing what types of skills and expertise these companies are looking for will somehow give you an idea whether you stand a chance to enjoy the perks that these companies provide to its employees.

In an infographic published by Masters Degree, aspiring applicants may now have an idea on how to land a job at these tech giants. It also highlights the best paying tech jobs, the biggest tech hotspots in the US, the top in demand developer skills, and reveals the current openings. Furthermore, it provides jobseekers tips on what some subjects you can study to help you land a job with one of them. Since Google, Facebook and Apple use recruiters, the infographic also shows how you can better optimize your resume.

With the country still deep in recession, the jobs situation seems to be worsening with each passing day. Americans are seriously hurting, and with through-the-roof unemployment combined with stagnant wages, large-scale economic recovery seems a long ways off. A few industries, however, seem impervious to decline, and tech is one of those industries.

via How To Get a Job at Google, Facebook or Apple [INFOGRAPHIC].

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How To Get a Job at Google, Facebook or Apple [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Glassdoor Gives Candidates an Inside Look at Employers

Many different integrated apps have tried to introduce recruiting and job finding into Facebook, but none have been entirely successful. I was invited to one I had not heard of before – Glassdoor – and it seemed interesting so I tried it. I will now review this app and website – a new way to find jobs and leave feedback on past and current employers, anonymously.

Glassdoor was voted the ‘Best Employment Site 2012’ by the Webby Awards, and is touted as ‘a free inside look at jobs and companies’. Employees can leave anonymous salary information, reviews, interview questions and photographs from current and past employees. Think TripAdvisor for jobs – if you are considering a job offer from a particular company you probably want to check out what others think of it.


Whether you are invited to join Glassdoor (as I was) or you search for the app via Facebook, a connection page first appears, where you can alter profile visibility. As with all apps, you can set the visibility as ‘Public’, ‘Friends’ or ‘Me’ – which may be useful if you have current employers or colleagues in your ‘Friends’ list. This automatic connection to your Facebook profile allows Glassdoor to use your original Facebook profile information (such as schooling and jobs) to create a separate Glassdoor profile (you can change/delete this information later on).

A typical Glassdoor profile lists only ‘Work Experience’, ‘Education’ and ‘Connections’ with current job title under your name and uses your current Facebook profile picture (so make sure it’s a good one, as you can’t change it!). The profile information is linked back to Facebook-type pages for each company (to be discussed later).

Profile Completion

Once signed up, I had a 60% complete profile with a ‘Basic’ membership. The first important step was to complete my profile with Glassdoor giving me a list of tasks to do, each with a percentage that would total 100% when all three were done. My three tasks were ‘Add current city’, ‘Invite 3 friends’ and “‘Like’ or ‘+1’”. The ‘Add current city’ was an easy option in the Profile, with drop down suggestions for town names and locations.

The ‘Invite 3 friends’ option was annoying. This is done through a page where you are invited to ‘Include’ a certain amount of Facebook friends (either ALL of your Facebook friends, or all of your colleagues from school, University or a workplace), with the idea that the more friends you have, the more connections you will have. The invite window (a “private” request) is not very helpful either – you cannot remove people – so you cannot choose specific people to invite to the app.

The Like or +1 element of the profile is a clever marketing tool for the company’s social pages. You have to complete both elements – liking the Facebook page and +1 the company on Google+ to gain the added 10%. Once you ‘Like’ the company, it will appear on your profile page, enticing your friends to sign up. This will allow Glassdoor’s presence on both sites to increase.

You are then asked to write a review/salary/interview post or upload a workplace photograph to grant yourself an ‘Unlimited’ membership. There are two types of membership on the Glassdoor website – the ‘Basic’ membership and the ‘Unlimited’ membership.

The website states that “all new members automatically get a Basic Membership with 1-month of access to everything posted by our community.”  However, no payment is needed for unlimited membership (as the site is financed by large ads on every page), as it “only takes a minute” to upgrade. “Simply give back to the community by posting an anonymous inside look of your own — remember, your posts are anonymous.”

The wording is extremely casual and friendly, and shows a sense of applying to a younger generation – maybe graduates or people looking for their first job. It is also a crucial point that everything is anonymous – no matter whether you are posting a positive/negative report, you will never be found out.


The front page of Glassdoor boasts the bold sentence: “Most jobs are found through an inside connection. Each friend that joins Glassdoor allows you to see more connections at more companies”. The main aspect of Glassdoor is the more people you add (who then accept), the more connections you will have, and also access to a higher number of companies will be granted. However, people have been getting annoyed at the app requests on Facebook (as a simple Twitter search of ‘Glassdoor Facebook’ will show), as not everyone may be looking for a job at the time you invite them!

Writing a Review

When you write a ‘Company Review’ or post a Salary, you are asked to select between Current or Former Employer. If your employer is not yet listed, you are asked to enter some details (website, type and number of employees (from drop down menus), and the Headquarters City).

Once submitted, a new form appears (with again a reminder that it is anonymous at the top) and the user can rate a number of elements of the job, as well as give ‘Pros’, ‘Cons’ and ‘Advice to Management’ as well as whether you would recommend this employer to a friend, and where your job prospects are looking for the next 6 months (up or down). Next to each submission form is an important ‘Message to Our Community’, a sign that fairness and good quality is crucial to Glassdoor.

When submitting a photo, the rules outline that a “behind-the-scenes look” is needed and the user is informed that they may upload 10 photos. All content is reviewed before being posted on the site – a simple way to ensure that people cannot tarnish a company or the website itself.

The website is then split into four sections – ‘Jobs’, ‘Companies & Reviews’, ‘Salaries’ and ‘Interviews’, with a separate blog.


‘Jobs’ lists available Jobs in a certain area, with change range and date posted. Each job links to the Company Overview, Reviews, Salaries and Interviews of the company posting the job – and these elements are extremely detailed (the Review has an average rating from all posts).

Companies & Reviews

Under this section, there are the ‘Featured Companies’, with the ‘Most Popular Companies’, ‘Best Places To Work’ and ‘Companies and Reviews By Industry’. Each company is given its own page on the site (which they can edit to describe the company’s missions/morals and other details), and a link to its Facebook and Twitter feed. Everything about this website is based around sharing – sharing information on companies, sharing connections with your Facebook ‘friends’, and sharing your use of the site.


The ‘Salaries’ part of the website is the one which may be the most problematic – for two main reasons. Firstly, people may lie about their salaries, either directly (to sound as if they earn/have earned more) or indirectly (mistakenly inputting the wrong salary).

Secondly, current employees of the company could use it to look up other people’s salaries (either for the same job title or the same company), and this could cause friction in the workplace and even complaints (if someone was secretly earning more than you, but doing the same job). This is the section that Glassdoor have to take care with the most, to ensure it does not cause more harm than good.


Interviews are listed by job and company, with the most popular from both in separate tables. Interviews are also tagged, with the most used tags in a chart at the bottom of the page. When an interview question is clicked on, it can be answered, tagged or commented upon. This is useful for interviewees (to prepare) and interviewers alike (as they can change the questions they ask, in case it becomes a very popular post on the website).

Is Glassdoor useful for job seekers?

Yes. It is an extremely handy tool which people can use to choose the right company and job to apply for (by using the reviews and salaries section). However, it needs to be handled with caution – rogue posts (both positive and negative) may have passed through the system, and it should be used with a pinch of salt.

Is Glassdoor useful for employers?

It is more necessary than useful for employers. Again, the posts should be taken with a pinch of salt, but may be needed to improve work ethics at the company, and fairness in terms of salaries, as well as changing interviews to make sure that every candidate passes the interview easily.


There are many different pros for Glassdoor:

  • This website is one of a kind – there is no other major site where you can review your company, post your salary, photos and interview questions, all anonymously.

  • Reviews are always checked before they are posted to ensure for a fairness, with guidelines clearly set out so as not to allow any malicious posts.

  • Glassdoor uses prizes to get people to write anonymous reviews or salary posts – in this case I was offered the chance to win a free iPad in return for a post – so you may receive a really good prize for writing 100 words.

  • It is extremely difficult to find negative reviews – there is no lowest rated company chart etc. This makes it fairer to companies to ensure that they are not brought down or trash talked.

  • It has a clear layout, with easy navigation and titles, and an interesting design.


  • The ‘include’/invite friends element is the main con. Sometimes with these apps, you don’t want to include all your friends (such as bosses/fellow colleagues which you may have in your Facebook friends). A quick Twitter search of ‘Glassdoor Facebook’ brings up a lot of frustration about the app requests sent by friends.

  • You cannot change your picture (say if you want a different photo to your Facebook profile picture).

  • The website is coded in HTML, and could be made to look slicker and smoother.


In conclusion, Glassdoor is an interesting website with many pros and cons. It works in terms of ‘connections’, so is extremely similar to LinkedIn. Is it trying to be a better LinkedIn or just a simpler LinkedIn (that anyone can connect to), with the added anonymous review elements? I feel that Glassdoor is extremely useful for first-time job seekers (as well as employers), but is more aimed towards the Facebook generation, who like to share a vast amount of information – as it easy to use with its casual language, prizes and large graphics.

via How Glassdoor Gives Candidates an Inside Look at Employers.

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How Glassdoor Gives Candidates an Inside Look at Employers

Monday, November 17, 2014

10 Characteristics Of A Bad Software Engineer

1) The StackOverflow bot: This person ran into an error, did a quick Google search, and applied the first solution they found. The problem here is not that of copying from Stackoverflow. I think there are more solutions on Stackoverflow than any reference guide or manual. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful resource, if not the best. The problem is the robotic application of it without understanding the consequences. The problem is the application of it without fully understanding the context of it and whether it really applies to the current problem at hand. More often than not, I have seen people believe more of what they see on online forums than the code/system in front of them.

2) The I-am-not-a-tester: I don’t need to test the code, that is the job of the testers. I don’t think that even in this age of mature Agile methodologies, this attitude has waned. There is still an inertia against testing their code. Part of it comes from lacking the interest to set up a testing environment and partly from lack of coherent knowledge of testing. (Is it also partly due to an unspoken stigma against testers in the developer community.)

3) The I-hate-documentation: Some people believe that code documentation must be poetic and hence they lack the skill to do it, ergo not their job. In my opinion, these are the #1 foes of sustainable software. Good software is not software that provides a million cool features. Good software is one that has a few good features that are used consistently by many people and read/updated/modified by a thousand. This brand of developers who believes less in technical communication and precise and detailed documentation is the greatest weed to a company’s success.

4) The ugly: My code works, but:

  • I have variables named x, flag, str, arr, etc.

  • Most of what I write is in one giant method.

  • There is no indentation.

  • No consistent coding convention or style.

  • Global variables spewed all over the place, etc.

This is the most annoying thing for me personally. It’s not the issue that the code is bad. It could potentially be the greatest piece of code written. But if a diamond necklace is buried in the debris of the Titanic, nobody will find it, and nobody will want to clean it, wear it, use it.

5) The short-term investor: He codes. He deploys. He moves on. No attempt to learn the problem. No interest in the domain. Just give this guy a piece of code, he will slog on it overnight and hand it over. You got a fix/working software. Nothing more achieved from it. Sometimes, it’s important that you have certain selfishness in the developer, one who not only cares about the deadline, but also cares about what he/she got to learn from it.

6) The protester: “I didn’t do this”. “This looks bad”. “Not my problem”. “This isn’t related really to my fix, but someone way over there made a mistake”. “I hate this (loop this sentence 10 times a day)”, “I can’t fix this, get the person who made this code to fix it”.

The person who coded that mistake has moved on, when will you?

7) The dictator: My way or the highway is their motto. It’s their “ideas” vs “your ideas”, not “project ideas”. It’s their solution vs your solution. I bet there will be an argument for sure. Somehow they will keep coming back to a part of code that you implemented. It somehow discomforts them even if it works, tests, and looks perfectly fine. This person is a big bottleneck to productivity and will be the first person to crumble under pressure and start pointing fingers. This person is not good for the team, however experienced/good a developer he may be.

8) The overcautious: The Java developer who just froze when he learned that he would have to write a Python script. The developer who panicked on learning that something in the registry needs changing. The developer who cringes at having to input things in the database. These people will do anything to avoid getting out of their comfort zone. They have weird superstitions related to having to touch certain parts of the system. I have learned, from personal experience, that this phenomenon is common with new developers. Good developers show a tendency to slowly/swiftly move out of their comfort zone in exploration.

9) The careless: Forgets to take a backup, snapshots, has multiple working directories of code, leaves system out, prints in production code, etc. Again, this is a newbie tendency and gets better with more professional exposure.

10) The lazy pseudo-hacker: They pride themselves at being able to trick the system into working. They find magical solutions to seemingly complex problems. My experience says that 9 out of 10 times, it’s just a facade. The hack is bad and will crash sooner or later and will cost much more than having to deal with it, with extra time right now.

via 10 Characteristics Of A Bad Software Engineer.

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10 Characteristics Of A Bad Software Engineer

12 Things You Wish You’d Known Before Taking the Job [INFOGRAPHIC]

You’ve been offered a job, and you want to take it – but what do you need to check before you take it?

This infographic by Donna Svei outlines 12 things you need to note before taking a position.


  • How many of the employees are on LinkedIn with phone numbers? They might want out!

  • Google the company’s name and see what the media is saying under ‘News’.

  • Ask how many people have held the position in the last five years – maybe look for reasons for a quick turnover!


via 12 Things You Wish You’d Known Before Taking the Job [INFOGRAPHIC].

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12 Things You Wish You’d Known Before Taking the Job [INFOGRAPHIC]

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What are the Most Annoying Characteristics of a Horrible Boss? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Bosses can either be nice or nasty, a joy or horrible. They can make you hate your job, or love it.

In this infographic (courtesy of OfficeVibe) below we look at the 12 most annoying characteristics of a horrible boss – are there any you recognize?


  • The worst leaders take all the credit, but pass the blame for mistakes.

  • These bad bosses are led by fear and think that it is an effective way of managing it.

  • They are resistant to change and fail to understand that change is sometimes good.

  • Horrible bosses need to take control over everything, and having a problem with giving that up.

  • Good leaders need to be able to make decisions quickly – indecisiveness shows a weakness.


via What are the Most Annoying Characteristics of a Horrible Boss? [INFOGRAPHIC].

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What are the Most Annoying Characteristics of a Horrible Boss? [INFOGRAPHIC]

What NOT to Do in a Job Interview [INFOGRAPHIC]

Going to a job interview is probably one of life’s greatest ordeals, where you have less than an hour to sell yourself and get the job that may well change your life.

Being under pressure can change the way we behave, think, speak. Don’t despair, recruiters are used to see people feeling stressed out and it is not dramatic as long as dealing with pressure is not at the nexus of the job you’re applying for.

As you can imagine, a lot of weird stories have happened in the recruiter’s office and the infographic below, courtesy of Talener, presents some tips, horror stories as well as trends from hiring managers.


  • Don’t bring your parents to the interview. Yes, some people really do!

  • Remember that the 1st impression is key.

  • Pay a close attention to the way you write your thank you note. Keep it professional and short.


via What NOT to Do in a Job Interview [INFOGRAPHIC].

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What NOT to Do in a Job Interview [INFOGRAPHIC]

Exposing Hidden Bias at Google

Google, like many tech companies, is a man’s world.

Started by a pair of men, its executive team is overwhelmingly male, and its work force is dominated by men. Over all, seven out of 10 people who work at Google are male.

Men make up 83 percent of Google’s engineering employees and 79 percent of its managers. In a report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year, Google said that of its 36 executives and top-ranking managers, just three are women.

Google’s leaders say they are unhappy about the firm’s poor gender diversity, and about the severe underrepresentation of blacks and Hispanics among its work force.

And so they are undertaking a long-term effort to improve these numbers, the centerpiece of which is a series of workshops aimed at making Google’s culture more accepting of diversity.

There’s just one problem: The company has no solid evidence that the workshops, or many of its other efforts to improve diversity, are actually working.

In some ways Google’s plan to fix its diversity issues resembles many of its most ambitious product ideas, from self-driving cars to wiring the country for superfast Internet.


Credit Stuart Goldenberg

As in those efforts, it has set a high goal in this case: to fight deep-set cultural biases and an insidious frat-house attitude that pervades the tech business. Tech luminaries make sexist comments so often that it has ceased to be news when they do.

Google is attacking the problem with its considerable resources and creativity. But it does not have a timeline for when the company’s work force might become representative of the population, or whether it will ever get there.

“I think it’s terrific that they’re doing this,” said Freada Kapor Klein, an entrepreneur who has long studied workplace diversity, and who is the co-chairwoman of the Kapor Center for Social Impact. “But it’s going to be important that Google not just give a lecture about the science, but that there be active strategies on how to mitigate bias. A one-shot intervention against a lifetime of biased messages is unlikely to be successful.”

Google says its plan isn’t one-shot. It points out that it has been trying to improve its diversity for years by sponsoring programs to increase the number of women and minorities who go into tech, and meticulously studying the way it hires people in an effort to reduce bias.

In May after pressure from civil rights leaders, the company published a report documenting the sex and race of its employees “to be candid about the issues,” Laszlo Bock, Google’s executive in charge of human resources, wrote at the time.

Google’s disclosure prompted a wave of similar reports across the industry, with Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and other tech giants issuing similarly dismal numbers about their work forces.

Continue reading the main story

A Man’s World

The tech industry has a reputation for being a boys’ club, and recent diversity reports from several companies illustrate how men dominate their global work forces.


CompanyTotal EmployeesPct. Male Employees

Google’s diversity training workshops, which began last year and which more than half of Google’s nearly 49,000 employees have attended, are based on an emerging field of research in social psychology known as unconscious bias. These are the hidden, reflexive preferences that shape most people’s worldviews, and that can profoundly affect how welcoming and open a workplace is to different people and ideas.

Google’s interest in hidden biases was sparked in 2012, when Mr. Bock read an article in The New York Times about a study that showed systematic discrimination against female applicants for scientific jobs in academia. The effect was so pervasive that researchers theorized the discrimination must be governed by unconscious cultural biases rather than overt sexism.

Mr. Bock wondered how such unconscious biases were playing out at Google. “This is a pretty genteel environment, and you don’t usually see outright manifestations of bias,” he said. “Occasionally you’ll have some idiot do something stupid and hurtful, and I like to fire those people.”

But Mr. Bock suspected that the more pernicious bias was most likely pervasive and hidden, a deep-set part of the culture rather than the work of a few loudmouth sexists.

Improving diversity wasn’t just a feel-good goal for Google. Citing research that shows diverse teams can be more creative than homogeneous ones, Mr. Bock argued that a diverse work force could be good for Google’s business. Could Google investigate how biases were affecting people’s work — and, more important, could it change its own culture?

via Exposing Hidden Bias at Google – NYTimes.com.

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Exposing Hidden Bias at Google

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

17 Tips to Impressing Your Interviewer [INFOGRAPHIC]

Interviewing is the key to exploring a candidate in depth for a hiring manager. A candidate must know some basics before entering the interview room to maximize their probability of being selected!

This infographic by en world lists the necessary tips to impressing interviewers.


  • Preparation: Prepare yourself with important information, such as the time slot for the interview, the venue and a little knowledge about the interviewer as well.

  • Show up early: Nervousness is very common in job interviews, and if by chance a candidate is delayed while traveling to the interview venue, stress builds further. So be sure to leave early so that you can absorb the surroundings and remain calm!

  • Be confident about your resume: Know every detail about things you have written on your resume, especially profiles and achievements. You may also carry a copy with you.



via 17 Tips to Impressing Your Interviewer [INFOGRAPHIC].

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17 Tips to Impressing Your Interviewer [INFOGRAPHIC]

The State of Social Recruiting [INFOGRAPHIC]

Our friends at Jobvite have just announced the results of its annual Social Recruiting Survey. Now in its sixth year, the Jobvite annual Social Recruiting Survey is the most comprehensive of its kind. The survey was completed in July 2013 by more than 1,600 recruiting and human resources professionals.

This year’s data underscores that social recruiting is an essential HR practice used by 94% of surveyed recruiters across industries, up from 78% in 2008, the first year the survey was conducted. In an indication of the increasingly competitive hiring environment, only 1.5% of respondents predict that hiring will become less competitive in the coming year.

The report affirms the ROI social recruiting, with 60% of recruiters estimating the value of their social media hires as greater than $20,000 per year, and 20% estimating the value as greater than $90,000 per year. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter continue to be the most used channels by recruiters, with an increase in adoption of emerging, specialized and localized social networks including GitHub, Yammer, Stackoverflow, Pinterest and Instagram.

Recruiters Use Multiple Channels to Build their Hiring Funnel

With 9 out of 10 surveyed companies using social media in their recruiting strategy, candidates and companies are now in direct communication, all the time.

  • Recruiters use LinkedIn 93% of the time to search, contact, and keep tabs on candidates in the hiring process.

  • Facebook and Twitter are the main channels that recruiters use to showcase employer brand – 65% of recruiters surveyed use Facebook and 47% of recruiters use Twitter to post about company culture.

  • Recruiters continue to use social media even after sourcing and contacting candidates — a reported 18% use Twitter and 25% use Facebook to vet candidates after the interview process.


Law of Attraction: The Best Attract The Best

The best employees tend to attract the best candidates. Whether there is an overlap from college or at a previous job, every employee contact is also a potential candidate. Social media has opened candidate networks far larger than recruiters have ever used before.

  • 1 in 3 recruiters report that social media recruiting improved both the quantity and quality of candidates.

  • Referrals represent the highest quality source of candidates (64%); social networks and corporate career sites have also jumped in significance (59%).

  • 43% of employees from referrals and company career pages stay longer than 3 years, while only 14% of job board hires stay longer than three years.

  • Referrals are the highest-rated source of new hires, and it’s far easier for employees to share jobs through social networks. A reported 73% of recruiters report they will increase their investment in social networks in 2013, while 62% report they will increase their referral incentives.

Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Don’t Share Exploits Publicly

Qualified job seekers should note the increasing importance of their total social presence beyond LinkedIn. 93% of recruiters report reviewing candidates’ social profile in the hiring process. 42% have reconsidered a candidate based on content from social profiles.

  • Illegal drug usage meets with the most universal disapproval, with 83% of recruiters reporting a negative reaction to such posts.

  • Sexual posts (70%) and profanity (65%) are also frowned upon by recruiters – a 5% jump from the 2012 survey.

  • In a year of numerous high-profile gun-related incidents, gun references trigger negative reactions among 50% of recruiters. However, a majority of recruiters (65%) remain neutral toward overtly political posts.


via The State of Social Recruiting in 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC].

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The State of Social Recruiting [INFOGRAPHIC]

People Like The Idea Of Workplace Diversity More Than Actual Diversity

Diversity in the workplace is often something employees say they want, but it turns out workers may actually prefer a homogeneous environment. That’s the finding of a new study on gender diversity in the workplace.

So does diversity in the workplace matter?

In short, yes. The study also found that gender diversity can help a company’s bottom line and lead to more revenue.

According to MIT economist Sara Ellison, who co-authored the study, “Having a more diverse set of employees means you have a more diverse set of skills” which “could result in an office that functions better.”

The researchers focused on answering two questions: How does diversity affect the “social capital” (cooperation, trust and workplace satisfaction) of employees? And how does diversity affect the company’s performance?For the study, the researchers looked at eight years of employee surveys and revenue data from a Boston-based company with offices in the U.S. and abroad. The company’s offices ranged in size from just a few employees to nearly 100 at their headquarters. The gender makeup of the company’s offices also varied — some offices were all male or all female and some offices had both men and women. The company administered anonymous employee satisfaction surveys each year from 1995 to 2002, which gave the researchers data on office satisfaction, cooperation and morale.

Though the data is now more than a decade old, Ellison believes the findings would still hold up today.

A new study found that while gender diversity in the workplace leads to greater productivity, employees report higher levels of satisfaction when in homogeneous settings. (Phil Whitehouse/Flickr)

According to Ellison:

“The more homogeneous offices have higher levels of social capital. But the interesting twist is that … higher levels of social capital are not important enough to cause those offices to perform better. The employees might be happier, they might be more comfortable, and these might be cooperative places, but they seem to perform less well.”

The study also found that shifting from an all male or all female office to one that is evenly split along gender lines could increase revenue by about 41 percent.

In addition to looking at the effects of workplace diversity, researchers also looked at the perception workplace diversity.

“In offices where people thought the firm was accepting of diversity, they were happier and more cooperative,” Ellison said. “But that didn’t translate into any effect on office performance. People may like the idea of a diverse workplace more than they like actual diversity in the workplace.”

But some people believe that finding paints with too broad a brush.

“It is a pretty broad statement to say that people prefer a gender-homogeneous environment,”said Linda Moulton, the former CEO of Tru Corporation, a technology product manufacturing company based in Peabody. “Everybody gravitates to a comfort zone of familiarity, but my view would be that that’s quite superficial.”

Moulton said she believes the gender preference issues highlighted in the study may be generational.

“I think [the gender preference] probably disappears fairly quickly in the generation coming along,” Moulton said. “You look at work environments like Google, PayPal, and others that are diverse by gender, language, color … I would guess that if a study was done in those environments that people would have no particular bias and no particular preference because they are no longer accustomed, as that older generation is, to having a gender distinction being made in all facets of life.”

Moulton, who also spent several years working in financial services, said she never experienced any gender-related issues in the mostly male-dominated offices she worked in during her career. She said she would also like to see how company type, education levels and income levels play a role in in employees’ workplace preferences.

Since the researchers focused on a single company, the scope of the study is limited. Researcher Ellison said she welcomes more research on the topic. In an email, she said she “would love to see whether the results on improved financial performance in gender-diverse groups would hold up at other firms and in other settings.”

via Study: People Like The Idea Of Workplace Diversity More Than Actual Diversity | WBUR.

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People Like The Idea Of Workplace Diversity More Than Actual Diversity

How Job Seekers Use Social Media and Mobile in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Our friends at Jobvite recently conducted a nationwide online omnibus survey of 1,303 U.S. job seekers who are currently in employment. Here are some of the main takeaways (scroll down for the infographic).

Social job seekers

86% of job seekers have an account on at least one of the six online social networks included with this study; Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. Social job seekers are younger, more highly educated and more likely to be employed full-time.


76% of social job seekers found their current position through Facebook. Three most popular activities on Facebook:

  • 27% contact shared a job opportunity

  • 25% contact provided an employee’s perspective on a company

  • 22% shared a job opportunity with a contact

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 16.26.57










LinkedIn is where they do most of their job-seeking activity

  • 40% contact referred me for a job

  • 34% contact shared a job opportunity

  • 32% made a new professional connection

  • 32% contact provided an employee’s perspective on a company


  • Twitter is the most popular place to ask others for help and advice:

Next three most popular activities on Twitter:

  • 29% shared a job opportunity with a contact

  • 28% contact provided an employee’s perspective on a company

  • 28% contact shared a job opportunity


46% of job seekers have modified their privacy settings. Job seekers are as likely to delete their account completely as they are to remove specific content from their profiles. And recruiters are looking:

  • 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile.

  • 42% have reconsidered a candidate based on content viewed in a social profile, leading to both positive and negative re-assessments


The college educated are also 4x as likely to update their LinkedIn with professional info than those who are high-school educated or less, and almost 2x as likely to do so on a mobile device.

Most popular social networks

While job seekers flock to Facebook, recruiters prefer Linkedin when searching for candidates. Most popular social networks for…

Job seekers:

  • Facebook 83%

  • Twitter 40%

  • Google+ 37%

  • LinkedIn 36%

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 16.27.28


  • LinkedIn 94%

  • Facebook 65%

  • Twitter 55%

  • Google + 18%

While 94% of recruiters are active on Linkedin, only 36% of job seekers are.

The mobile job seeker

Frequent job-changers are more likely than average to have searched for jobs or had contact with a potential employer on their mobile device: 64% of adults who change jobs every 1-5 years vs. 43% overall.

43% of job seekers have used their mobile device to engage in job-seeking activity

  • 27% of job seekers expect to be able to apply for a job from their mobile device.

  • 37% of millennial job seekers expect career websites to be optimized for mobile.

Percentage of job seekers rating the following “important” in their job search:

  • 55% ability to see job openings or listings without having to register

  • 27% ability to apply for jobs from a mobile device

  • 23% website optimized for mobile devices

  • 11% ability to use Linkedin profile or online resume to apply for a job

Mobile and social

Mobile job seekers are more likely to turn to Facebook than Linkedin in their job search. Percentage of job seekers who have done the following on a mobile device:

Updated their profile with professional information:

  • 15% Facebook

  • 11% Twitter

  • 6% Linkedin

Searched for a job:

  • 12% Facebook

  • 7% Linkedin

  • 6% Twitter



via How Job Seekers Use Social Media and Mobile in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC].

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How Job Seekers Use Social Media and Mobile in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Make-or-Break Factor for Smarter Hiring Decisions

The most important and expensive decisions an entrepreneur makes are hiring decisions. There are many things to consider, but one attribute ultimately matters more than education, experience, credentials, references, or anything else.

When given feedback, how does this person react? Do they bristle, or are they open and receptive? In a word, are they coachable?

Coachability determines if a hire goes from good to great, or good to mediocre.

A smart hire can learn skills

The importance of coachability holds true across all functions of a business, but most of all in Sales. With the right training, a smart hire can learn almost anything needed for their role. Each sales job and each sales cycle will be different. It’s one thing to be very successful selling cosmetics for Chanel, a household name; if you transition to a new indie brand, you first have to position and sell that brand before selling any of its products. Yes, you’re still selling cosmetics, but following the exact same process will not get you the same results.

In this situation, a coachable salesperson can learn to adapt and succeed. A non-coachable person will fail. It’s why I’ve known financial brokers who were excellent salespeople and came from a background in pharmaceutical sales, while MBAs in the same position were awful.

One person may excel at establishing rapport with customers. Another person may be a cold-calling queen, and someone else a data whiz. A coachable employee can learn to tailor her style to the job; a non-coachable employee gets stuck.

Use interviews to assess a candidate’s coachability

An approachable, cooperative demeanor doesn’t automatically mean someone is coachable. Personality alone doesn’t tell you anything about how coachable a person is.

Coachability can and should be tested real-time in an interview environment. Require candidates to prepare a short presentation relevant to the position. Have them send in materials ahead of time, and let them know that they will be presenting this to you during the interview. Then, following their presentation, give corrections and suggestions and have them present the material again.

This second presentation will put them on the spot, and that’s the point. They will be more nervous, and they will probably make some errors, which is to be expected. What to watch for is how receptive they were to your feedback (or not). Did they take notes? Did they incorporate your comments? Did they take constructive criticism in stride, or totally freeze up?

Your process and what makes your company unique are things that can be learned. But the ability to learn content is not helpful without the ability to use feedback and override the natural reaction of defensiveness to criticism. If someone is defensive rather than receptive to feedback, in my experience that is not something that can be coached away–that is a red flag that signals a toxic hire.

Good hires become great employees when they accept your input, remain agile, and use the feedback they are given in order to grow.

via The Make-or-Break Factor for Smarter Hiring Decisions | Inc.com.

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The Make-or-Break Factor for Smarter Hiring Decisions

Top 10 Things to Bring to a Job Interview

So you’ve got the interview. You’ve got through the resume stage and you’re ready to go meet your possible future employer.

You’ve decided what you’re going to wear, the questions you’re going to ask – but what should you take with you on the day?

JobCluster has the answer with their infographic below – take a look!


  • Always remember to take a pen. Why? You might need to write something down!

  • Keep a snack or some food on your person, just incase you’re delayed and get hungry!

  • Make sure you take all the important documents with you – a copy of your resume etc…

  • It will probably be stuck to your side, but don’t forget your phone – you can let the interviewer know if you’re running late!

  • Carefully write down the details of the interview – the name of the person you’re meeting, location etc.



via Top 10 Things to Bring to a Job Interview.

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Top 10 Things to Bring to a Job Interview

Becoming Conscious of Unconscious Bias in High Tech

The percentage of underrepresented minorities who work for tech giants is in the single digits.

The lack of diversity isn’t just harmful for underrepresented minorities themselves. It actually hurts the bottom line.

Diverse organizations make better decisions. People from varied backgrounds and experiences bring different perspectives to the table on everything, from which products and services to develop to how to market them across the world.

And the lack of minorities in tech companies puts them out of step with their own users.

With the United States heading to a majority-minority position by 2043, diverse views are more integral to businesses decisions than ever.

So what’s lurking behind these abysmal numbers and what can companies do about it?

The cause is more hidden and therefore more difficult to solve. It’s an unconscious partiality that we all have toward those who are similar to us, called an affinity bias.

Unconscious affinity bias has an evolutionary purpose. It’s hard-wired into us as part of our survival instinct.

At earlier times in our history, if an object coming up the path looked like you there was less chance that it was a hostile animal or tribe member who might kill you.

But, in the present day, the bias has enormously harmful consequences.

Reports demonstrating the exclusionary effect on employment practices abound.

A telling example is a 2004 study published in the American Economic Review finding that applicants with white-sounding names received 50% more callback interviews than those with African-American-sounding names.

Even if you’re only slightly, subtly biased, over time the effect compounds and eventually you end up with a closed caste.

You hire people who are like you, they do the same, and so on. Ultimately, your organization looks just like Google and other technology companies, with very few employees from outsider groups.

What can be done to counter a bias that we don’t even know exists?

The answer lies in making the unconscious conscious. We need to convince people the bias is happening and that it has consequences that are counter to their interests.

Easier said than done, though.

Bias carries a serious stigma in our society. That’s why education and outside pressure must be applied to bring the issue into the forefront of public discourse and convince companies to take preventative measures.

The truth is you need both positive and negative pressure, inside and outside organizations, to make change.

Rev. Jesse Jackson’s recent Silicon Valley initiative is a great example of the external stick.

In March 2014, Jackson called on the top tech companies to release their employment demographics. By the end of July, most of them caved to the pressure and publicly exposed the lack of diversity in their ranks.

And in September, Google announced Unconscious Bias at Work, an internal education program designed to create a “more aware” Google.

The entire workshop is available for viewing on YouTube, and Google says that more than 26,000 employees have attended a session. Hopefully, Google’s competitors and collaborators will follow suit.

But awareness is only the first step.

Next, you must employ tactics to ensure that employees hire without regard to color, gender, age, sexual orientation, appearance, class, or any other non-merit-based characteristic.

But how do you get rid of a bias that isn’t conscious?

Utilize a blind review process. Human resources should white label each incoming resume so that hiring managers only see: Applicant A, Applicant B, and so forth, ensuring that non-white-sounding names don’t work against applicants.

Blind review can even extend to the in-person interview stage. Transcripts can be made of recorded interviews and parties that didn’t attend the interview can review the transcripts in a blind fashion similar to the resume review.

Another tactic is to employ a consistent questioning framework in every interview. Asking the same questions in the same way of every candidate enables the reviewer to evaluate answers objectively.

In addition, cronyism must be combated throughout the hiring process.

According to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, 75 percent of white Americans have “entirely white social networks.”

Before you start reviewing applications, you have to make sure you have a diverse pool of potential candidates. And companies should mandate that multiple employees be involved in every stage of review so that favoritism doesn’t pollute the process.

The road to eliminating unconscious bias from hiring and making the tech giants resemble their users is a long one. There isn’t a singular magic solution.

But keep in mind that just a few years ago, there was zero conversation about the issue. Now, initiatives like Jackson’s and Google’s are bringing people together to discuss and shed light on the topic.

Change is in the air. And that’s good for everyone — minorities, majorities, consumers, businesses, and society at large.​

via Becoming conscious of unconscious bias in high tech.

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Becoming Conscious of Unconscious Bias in High Tech

Friday, November 7, 2014

This Is Exactly How Recruiters Go Through Your Resume In 6 Seconds

In many cases, your resume is the first thing a hiring manager sees from your job application. It serves as their first impression of you. Therefore, it is without a doubt that your resume is a large determining factor of whether you’ll get that call for an interview or not. Assuming you meet the job qualifications, the next thing you want to focus on is how your resume is presented.

Your might fill up your resume with all the amazing things you’ve done since you were born, but in actuality it only take six seconds (that’s right, you heard me) for a recruiter to look through your resume. So what exactly are they looking at in those six seconds? Surely that’s not enough time to read through all of your duties from your previous job or the loads of volunteer work you’ve done? Well, you’re right, it isn’t. Check out the video below to find out exactly what recruiters look for when reading your resume. That way you’ll know precisely what to highlight.


As the video suggests, remember to keep your resume concise and make sure that your current and previous work experience, your education, and your name are clearly and logically located on the page.

This Is Exactly How Recruiters Go Through Your Resume In 6 Seconds.

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This Is Exactly How Recruiters Go Through Your Resume In 6 Seconds

Absolutely Everything You Need To Find a Job [INFOGRAPHIC]

You want to find a job, so what do you need?

College Atlas have all the answers in their infographic below!


  • Make sure you resume is up to date.

  • Clean up your Facebook profile – remove offensive and add good quality postings.

  • For every 100 resumes you submit, on average, you’ll get 10 interview opportunities.


via Absolutely Everything You Need To Find a Job [INFOGRAPHIC].

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Absolutely Everything You Need To Find a Job [INFOGRAPHIC]

How to Prevent a Bad Interview [Top 5 Ways]

Interviews are a stressful process. Sometimes, this stress can cause you to fall into common traps and even make wacky mistakes during your job search. For instance, just because you were too nervous to eat before the interview doesn’t mean you should empty the interviewer’s candy dish into your pocket. Employers tend not to hire people who steal their candy! This is just one example of some over-the-top ways job seekers have bombed interviews from a recent CareerBuilder survey.

The truth is, mistakes aren’t usually as dramatic as getting on the phone with your current employer to fake an illness while your interviewer looks on in horror. In fact, you’re probably good at the broad outlines of the interview process. You know to be polite, show up on time, and avoid candy theft. It’s the more subtle aspects of the interview process you might be getting wrong.

Interview success is only around the corner…if you know to avoid common mistakes. Prevention is key and knowledge is power. Here are five ways to prevent a job interview from going south and nab your dream job instead:

1) Create a Relationship with Your Interviewer

It’s important to build a rapport with your interviewer right away. This process can start early, before you’re even sitting across the desk in the interview. Make sure all communication with your interviewer (whether through email or over the phone) is professional, polite, and friendly.

Do not, however, take this friendliness too far. One of the outrageous examples cited in the CareerBuilder survey involved a job seeker hugging the interviewer. Be sure you act professionally at all times, and do not hound potential employers.

2) Do Your Research

Before you step foot into the office, you need to do your homework. What is the company all about? What challenges does the company face? How do they stack up against their competitors? What is the company culture like? These are all questions you should spend time researching. Their career page and social media channels can provide some answers, but cast the net wider to look at news articles and maybe even contact current or former employees for insights. By thoroughly researching the company, you’ll be able to give the interviewer a concrete idea of how your particular skills and abilities can impact the organization.

In fact, 34 percent of interviewers cite lack of specific examples as the reason they passed on a candidate. By doing your homework and researching the company, you will be in a better position to get specific about the value you can bring to the organization.

3) Hit Silent

There’s nothing worse during an interview than the chirp of a text message, the ring of a phone, or the persistent buzzing of your electronic device on vibrate. Forgetting to switch off your phone is a simple mistake that can cost you dearly.

A survey of recruiters and hiring managers showed 91 percent would disqualify a candidate with a talkative mobile device. So before walking into your interview, turn your phone off or put it on silent. You can always take the call, answer the text, or scan your email after you’ve impressed your future employer.

4) Mind Your (Body) Language

In an interview, what you say is extremely important. But it’s not just your words doing the talking. Body language is a huge part of how we judge and understand each other. In fact, a UCLA study found up to 93 percent of communication is provided by nonverbal cues – this means you need to watch your words and what your body language is telling a prospective employer.

Pay attention to your posture in the interview. Slouching can make you appear lazy and unmotivated, even if your words are saying the opposite. Make good eye contact in order to build a more personal connection with the interviewer. Practice a firm handshake with friends and family before walking through the office doors. Judging by a handshake might seem old school, but many employers still take this nonverbal cue into consideration.

And remember, sincere passion is the key to convincing employers you really want the job. If you’re motivated and have true passion for the opportunity, don’t be afraid to let it show!

5) Ask The Right Questions

If the interview is going well, it might be easy to get ahead of yourself in the process. In addition to using the interview to show employers what value you’ll bring to the company, you might start wondering what the company can do for you. While interviews are a two-way street and you should absolutely come into the meeting with questions prepared, it’s important to be careful what these questions contain.

Bad interview questions will be all about what the organization can do for you. For instance, 85 percent of recruiters think the interview isn’t the right place to ask salary questions. Talking money is something that happens further down the line in the hiring process, and if you jump the gun, you might never make it to the next step.

You also want to avoid asking questions about vacation time, according to 69 percent of recruiters. Asking about vacation before you’ve even gotten the job will make it appear as though you’re already looking forward to escaping the office. Instead, use your interview questions to show off what you know about the company and how well you would fit into the organization’s culture.

Having a successful interview is far from impossible. Your dream job is within your grasp if you avoid common pitfalls and focus on showing employers you’re the perfect candidate.

via How to Prevent a Bad Interview [Top 5 Ways].

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How to Prevent a Bad Interview [Top 5 Ways]

Win at Negotiations With These Simple Tricks

Negotiations are often associated with strategies, and this comparison seems to be justified at first sight. However, it would mean that a negotiation is a great talent consisting of gamesmanship and other various skills rather than of hard work and investigation abilities. Even though the business world involves some gaming elements, they’re usually related only to transactions and achievements.

Smart strategies may not be always that smart

The last period has been driven by the idea that a thriving negotiation cannot be achieved without gamesmanship, but this belief is not always true, especially nowadays, when business people have to deal with a weakened economy. Supposing that a negotiation will end with excellent results only by applying proper regulations and strategies is wrong, since most strategies can be useful with a certain deal and completely useless with others.

Never take things personally

A business person is usually gifted with negotiation skills, and this means that you should never feel offended by your counterparts’ statements. Some of them use smooth techniques that are not very hard to swallow, while others turn to more aggressive and intimidating ones.  Regardless of what you are dealing with, try to remember that business individuals should never be very sensitive during business negotiations. After all, business is business.

Everything is negotiable

Even though deals may be difficult to negotiate every now and then, they’re never impossible. As a result, you are advised to think of every situation as a challenge, and try to use your smartest skills. Start by communicating with other participants, express your demands, agree with what they say, be tolerant, and last but not least, never back down! Good negotiators can close a deal even without having the advantage.

Do your homework

Don’t start negotiating without making sure that you’ve learned everything you could about your counterparts. You cannot understand their needs without becoming familiar with their points of view. As a result, you should try to learn as many details as you can about the other party’s business so that you can understand their perspective.

Be patient

Patience is one of the most important qualities that a negotiator should have. Those who think only about getting their job done will never win, because a negotiator should at least pretend to be sympathizing with their associates, as well as listen carefully to what they have to say. Express your demands but make sure that you don’t cross the line. If you are aware of how important patience is, you will definitely identify when your counterpart loses focus, and you will take advantage of the situation.

Aim higher and never settle for less

Good negotiators should never agree to close a deal that offers them less than they deserve. As a result, you should always aim high, without coming up with outrageous offers. If you are reasonable throughout the negotiation, you will definitely achieve in closing the deal you have dreamed of.

Assess your position

Every business negotiation features a party whose position is stronger. In case you want to have an advantage from the beginning of the negotiation, you are advised to surprise your counterpart by speaking your mind first. Describe your terms and make sure that you don’t let yourself intimidated, regardless of what happens.

Get ready to compromise

When nothing else works, compromise is the last choice. There are situations in which the two parties cannot reach an agreement unless one of them decides to compromise. Negotiations are not about who gets better advantages, but about coming up with a win-win solution that can benefit both parties.

Become a good listener

A good negotiator knows that being a good listener is very important nowadays. You don’t have to care about the personal opinions of your opponent, because you will have to support them anyway. Always act as if you were interested and ask as many questions as possible, in order to convince him of your good intentions. This way, your counterpart will feel encouraged to accept the offer that you’ve made, even if you’ve exaggerated.

Keep things professional

Business negotiations should always end politely, regardless of what happens. Therefore, try not to turn your negotiations into scandals. Many people tend to impose authority by raising their voice, but this strategy is unacceptable. If your counterpart uses it, try to inform them in a very polite manner that your deal is off the table.

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Win at Negotiations With These Simple Tricks