Archive for June 2010

How Do I Negotiate a Salary?

June 29, 2010

The SALARY question is among the most common the Career Guy gets.  Probably few college graduates have ever had the opportunity (or confidence) to deal with this matter, and almost all are starting from a position of total ignorance.

This article has some helpful tips on how to prepare, and how to handle the salary question if it comes up in an interview. At a minimum, you want to get what you need. Even during economic down times like today there are ways to get much more.

How to Get the Salary You Want by Joe Light of the Wall Street Journal Online.


Big Blunders Job Hunters Make

June 29, 2010

I have no doubt that these stories are not typical of TMC graduates.  These goof-balls are not your competition, but they do make for remarkable and memorable reading.

The resume gets the interview and the interview gets the job.  Your resume can be among the top 10 but your interview must be #1.  If you have doubts about your interview skills, come and visit the Career Guy.

Big Blunders Job Hunters Make by Sarah Needleman of the Wall Street Journal Online.

Resume: Chronological or Functional?

June 10, 2010

A TMC graduate messaged the Career Guy with a question on resumes. She had seen references to a skills-based resume, and wondered about my thoughts.

There are two primary forms of resume–chronological, where experience is listed most recent to oldest; and functional (or skills), which emphasizes strengths and accomplishments in a separate section and lists experience briefly at the bottom.

Here is what I told her:

I researched this in the past and suggestions vary. (There are not many hard facts in careering, but lots of differing opinions). My own conclusion is that employers prefer to see a chronological resume. However, that is hard to do if you have NO prior relevant experience. In that case, one must do the best they can with a functional/skills resume.

Functional might also be helpful if one has many smaller jobs, each with some relevant input. Chronologically, it’s hard to get strengths to stand out in a long list. Instead, strengths/qualifications can be gathered together in a skills section, followed by some chronological history. It’s what I call a hybrid resume.

Some have said that a cover letter can be a powerful introduction to a resume, and can be more helpful if the resume is weaker.

There is also something called a Q Letter, which one grad has found to be very effective. It starts out as a cover letter, then branches into two columns: Your Requirements and My Qualifications. If you meet or exceed the important job requirements, this highlights your strengths. It’s also eye-catching because it’s different, short and to the point.

The Career Guy is available throughout the summer to help anyone–students, graduates, family & friends of TMC–with job-related advice or helps.

Grads surprised to find professionalism a requirement in work

June 1, 2010

A TMC graduate expressed his appreciation for sage advice proffered by the Career Guy as he left the confines of the campus to enter the real world of work. He sent this link to an article (and recording) of the importance of professional demeanor in the workplace, and what one college is doing to promote it to liberal arts undergraduates.

Study: College Grads Unprepared For Workplace