Larry's Blog

Take these things off your resume ASAP

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This is excellent advice via the Courier-Post on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018:

BY ERIC TITNER

THEJOBNETWORK.COM

We’re not telling you anything you don’t know when we say that today’s job market is intense, across industries and professions, every job opening is met with a rush of talented and qualified applicants from around the country, all vying for the same spot.

With hundreds of people applying for open positions, you’d better be sure that every aspect of your job-hunting game is razor sharp, including your resume.

If you’re sending out resumes with any of the following things on them, stop what you’re doing and make some changes — fast.

Salary requirements

Unless you’re responding to a job ad that specifically asks for your salary history and requirements (and if it does, include it in your cover letter), save the salary talk for the negotiation once you’re offered the job. Your first impression and your resume should be all about what you can offer a prospective employer, not what you require from them.

Personal social media links Save your limited resume real estate for professional accomplishments and experience, not your social media activities. In fact, it’s much more likely that there are things on your social media pages that could dissuade potential employers from hiring you than convince them that you’re the perfect person for the job.

“Creative” fonts and images

Sure, it makes sense that you want to stand out from the job-hunting crowd and make a lasting impression on prospective employers, but using a magenta-colored font or embedding photos of you and your dog won’t bring you the kind of attention you’relooking for.

Hiring managers are busy people with limited time, and won’t sift through a maze of creative flourishes to get to the heart of your resume and figure out whether you have what it takes to handle the job. Help them by making your resume as professional and easy-to-follow as possible. A boilerplate objective statement A generic, objective statement is typically a waste of space on your resume, as it likely just repeats the messaging you have in your cover letter, and often is full of tired clichés (more on that later). Besides, hiring personnel know that your primary objective is to get this particular job, or you wouldn’t be applying for it.

Outdated skills

Are you proud of your Word-Perfect wizardry or your ability to operate a fax machine?

That’s great, but keep it to yourself — shining a light on your mastery of outdated office technology will not only fail to impress potential employers, it will make you seem out of date.

Also, don’t bother talking about your skills with obvious office tools like Microsoft Word, telephones or email. In today’s job market, your ability to navigate basic office technology is a given, not a bonus.

Resume clichés

Are you a “team player,” your office’s “go-to person,” or a “passionate self-starter”?

While these may all be true, these tired and worn phrases come off as weak and meaningless on resumes — they’re simply overused, generic clichés that have long since lost their ability to impress hiring personnel and make you stand out from the crowd.

Save your bullet points for targeted, measurable, resultsdriven facts that drive home your perceived value as a prospective employee.

Typos

This one seems obvious, right? Well, you’d be surprised by how many people think that too, and then send out resumes with glaring typos on them. A nationwide survey released by CareerBuilder found that 58 percent of resumes received by those polled had typos. Sloppiness is not a good way to introduce yourself to prospective employers!

After crafting your resume until it’s just right, be sure to check it carefully for errors — and then check it again. Better still, have someone you trust review it as well. Only when you’re absolutely, positively sure that your resume is free from typos and mistakes should you even think about sending it out.

Along with your cover letter, your resume is going to serve as your first impression, so there’s simply no room for error. Make sure that the things mentioned here are as far from your resume as possible, and you’ll be sure to make a better impression on hiring managers and prospective employers.

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

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How exercise can boost work performance

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This is excellent advice via the Courier-Post on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018:

BY ERIC TITNER

THEJOBNETWORK.COM

We’re all familiar with the obvious benefits of exercise — regular physical activity can keep us looking and feeling fit and healthy, increase our energy levels and confidence and help us maintain high levels of self-esteem. Staying active can also help us fight off a wealth of potentially life-threatening illnesses.

If you’re still not sold, perhaps this will help seal the deal — exercise helps fuel and maintain a healthy body, and it can actually improve your ability to think and retain information.

WHAT EXERCISE DOES

Recent studies have shown the following cognitive benefits of exercise:

Boosts brainpower: If you’re looking to take your brain’s ability to the next level, you can’t do much better than regular exercise. Studies have shown that exercise can actually increase the volume of key areas in your brain.

Enhances thinking ability: Regular workouts will help kick away the dreaded “brain fog” that keeps you from thinking clearly and keep your mind and thoughts razor sharp all day long.

Helps you process and remember new information more effectively: If you’re trying to acquire a new skill or task, like learning a new language or tackling a new job responsibility, combining it with regular exercise can help. New research suggests that physical activity can increase the size of the medial temporal and pre-frontal cortex of your brain, key areas that regulate and control thinking and memory, so you’ll be able to master that new skill faster.

Improves ability on cognitive tasks: Do you have an important test for work or school coming up? Whatever your mental goals are, exercise will help you succeed on all sorts of cognitive tasks that test your intelligence and brainpower.

Keeps away the negatives: Regular exercise will help keep your mood positive and upbeat, help you achieve more restful sleep at night and help reduce anxiety and stress, ensuring your brain works at its best.

WHEN, WHAT AND HOW MUCH?

Now that you know it works, let’s explore how you can make it work for you.

Although there’s some debate regarding the type of exercise that best serves to promote brain function, according to a recent article by Harvard Medical School, “researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.”

Research also suggests that although you’ll receive a brain benefit regardless of when you decide to exercise, the most promising results typically occur when you do your workout before or even during a cognitive task.

Another big question you might be wondering about is how much exercise you should do in order to receive a cognitive benefit. The same Harvard Medical School report suggests that “standard recommendations advise half an hour of moderate physical activity most days of the week, or 150 minutes a week.”

If you’re worried that you’re simply too busy to exercise or find the very idea of exercise daunting, a great way to take a step forward toward a regular active lifestyle is to start small. Try taking a brief yet brisk walk for 10 to 15 minutes each day, and gradually increase your workout in both length and intensity as time passes.

Now that you know all about the many benefits that exercise will bring to your life, put the excuses aside and get up and get moving toward yoursuccessful future!

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

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Happy NewS Year

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Thank you,

mariannaledonne.kwrealty.com where …
Home Ownership Matters
Wishing you a bright and prosperous New Year!

Top 10 New Year’s resolutions:

Lose weight
Getting organized
Spend less, save more
Enjoy life to the fullest
Staying fit and healthy
Learn something exciting
Quit smoking
Help others in their dreams
Fall in love
Spend more time with family

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‘Teaching Naked’

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This was first published in 2012. It rings true today and into the future. 

 Larry Litwin, APR

Larry Litwin, APR

“Teaching naked.” It’s not what you think. It’s an innovative and legitimate, but far from new, teaching philosophy. It’s a look at the recent past — a throwback. It challenges everything we’ve come to believe about technology in the classroom. It simply means stripping computers from the classroom, reducing the number of lectures and “forcing” students to participate in intellectual conversation about the day’s topic.

‘Planned Spontaneity’

If there is any question about the advantages of teaching naked, Rowan University public relations major Rhyan Truett has the answer. “While its name may elicit an immature giggle, raise eyebrows or make a student wonder just what they’ve signed up for, Professor Litwin’s teaching naked approach is spontaneous, as if he has no agenda,” Truett said. “However, we all know better. He always has a plan.”

“The ability to apply material to real life and to teach students what they are curious about at the moment makes Litwin’s classes relevant and intriguing,” she said. “Unless someone promises you flawless notes, don’t miss a class. What you’ve missed won’t easily be found in a textbook because of the spontaneity.”

‘Inverting’ the Traditional Teaching Model

The teaching naked philosophy originated at Southern Methodist University with professor and dean of its Meadows School of the Arts, Jose Bowen. Dr. Bowen is quick to assure anyone who will listen that it’s a “clean” approach to “invert the traditional [teaching] model” and bring excitement to the classroom.

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The concept is contrary to the newest classroom approaches and teaching methods because it replaces both the “smart classroom” as we know it and today’s college teaching model — one-way lectures. However, it does not shy away from technology, completely. It combines computers with classroom time. The strategy challenges students to use technology on their own — at home, in a library, at Starbucks or McDonald’s, or some other Wi-Fi location — so that valuable classroom time is spent on face-to-face discussion. Not only does this approach help them better understand the topic, it also forces students to speak (rather than text). It helps hone their oral communication skills, along with their thinking and research skills. Students are expected to show up well-prepared for discussion — with attribution. Those using the approach say it is a win-win for both teacher and student.

‘Buying Into’ the Approach

Rowan students, like those at SMU, not only appreciate and enjoy the approach, but have endorsed the “naked classroom,” as they are quick to register for these classes at both schools. Once they understand the philosophy, challenges and its accomplishments, students buy into it and spread the word.

“This is the most motivational style of learning I’ve experienced, because we aren’t confined to a set-in-stone curriculum,’ said Rowan PR major Tyler Mulvey. “I look forward to coming to class after surfing the net looking at videos and illustrations and listening to podcasts, and then being able to ask anything, talk about it, debate with other students and even challenge the professor.”

“While it sounds like it’s an anti-technology position,” SMU’s Bowen said on the National Public Radio Weekend Edition, “really what I’m doing is using technology like podcasts and online games so that students have first contact with the material before they come to class.”

Another Rowan public relations major, Michael Baratta, offered this observation: “Professor Litwin throws the typical lesson plan out the window and covers real-life examples, which teach students what to expect once they enter the workforce. From firsthand experience, students seem to retain more of what is taught rather than with a classic from-the-book lecture.”

As an example, Baratta cited classroom discussions during the early days of the Penn State sexual abuse scandal. “All of us agreed, through emotional and passionate discussions and what we had learned about communication, that Penn State earned an ‘F’ in crisis communication,” he said. “Dr. Bowen and Professor Litwin truly believe students want to be there,” said Truett. “Because we are ready to learn, they incorporate whatever inventiveness is needed to teach us and engage us.”

Focusing on Critical Thinking and Discussion

On the college or high school level — even middle and lower grades — Dr. Bowen’s teaching naked approach can and does work. Whether in a large lecture hall or smaller classroom, the fact presentation-regurgitation method just doesn’t cut it any longer. Teaching naked encourages students to think critically and strategically, improves their problem-solving skills and engages them. Students’ term papers and their new-found desire for classroom participation prove that the latest technology still has a place in the teaching process, but so does interpersonal, verbal communication.

Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA, is associate professor of public relations/advertising in Rowan University’s graduate School Public Relations program. He has served two school districts as public information director and spent 10 years at CBS-owned KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia as its education reporter. He is the author of NSPRA’s resource book, The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook, which is available for purchase on the NSPRA website at www.nspra.org.

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11 Experts Predict the Future of Content Marketing in 2018

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From Inc.
 
Reaching the members of your audience through a content-cluttered landscape — and their ad blockers — will be harder than ever in 2018. Fortunately, there are new technologies and techniques that can help.

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11 ways to manage year-end stress

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From Dale Carnegie’s Anita Zinsmeister comes this:
 
Knowing the holidays are a busy time, be prepared for the madness and take the time for self-care.  Dale Carnegie has compiled a series of scientifically proven tips to help manage stress as you approach the end of the year.
Here are 11 ways to manage that year-end stress: 

1.  Plan – With so much going on during the holidays, it is best to get what you need to do out of your head and into a task list.  It may be helpful to create two itineraries — one for work tasks and another for home tasks.  Make use of your calendar to schedule blocks of time for upcoming events.   

2. Be Realistic – Understand and accept that the pace of the holidays is different than the rest of the year.  Chances are, projects will not run as smoothly or efficiently around this time.  As a result, adjust your expectations and plan ahead.  Be realistic when developing timetables for projects.   

3.  Prioritize – While you want to scale back your expectations on deadlines, you will want to step up your level of efficiency.  With so many obligations, you will need to prioritize your tasks to ensure that you accomplish what you need to.   

4.  Socialize – Although you want to be efficient with your time, don’t forget to share some time with your co-workers.  Likely, they too will be in the throes of holiday stress.  Share holiday plans and consider doing something fun like a holiday gift exchange or luncheon.

5.  Budget – People often cite money as a main stressor during the holidays.  Plan in advance for the additional expenses that come around this time, such as gifts, lunches, and dinners.  If you have a handle on your holiday finances, you can avoid one of the biggest holiday pitfalls. 

6.  Keep Active – With the days getting shorter and so much going on, it is easy to cut out physical activity.  Not only will staying active keep the holiday pounds off, walking just 15 minutes a day has been shown to reduce stress.

7.  Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle – People have the tendency to burn the midnight oil during the holidays.  Overextending oneself often leads to poor eating habits and a lack of sleep.  Eat right as often as you can and get at least seven hours of sleep.   

8.  Laugh – The holidays can be overwhelming, but they really should be enjoyable. Try not to take things too seriously by keeping lighthearted.  If you find yourself getting too worked up, search the web for some jokes or watch a funny movie.

9.  Volunteer – Sometimes it can help reduce stress to do something for others.  Being charitable with your time or making a donation is a chance to give to others who might not have opportunities during the holidays otherwise.

10.  Reflect – Take time to reflect on how you feel.  Between finishing projects and wrapping gifts, you might feel burned out.  This is natural, and it may help you deal with stress to share your feelings with friends, family, or co-workers. 

11.  Relax – Everyone has different ways to unwind and relax.  Take the time to meditate, read, or do yoga to calm your nerves at the end of the day.
 
Executive Summary:  The holidays are an especially stressful time. For most of us, the clock is ticking to complete year-end projects at work and accomplish all those last-minute holiday tasks at home.  To combat holiday anxiety, we have compiled a list of tips to stay happy and healthy during this time. 
 
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5 rare public speaking tricks the best presenters use

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Inc.s Janice Tomich wrote this article, first published on Jun. 25, 2016:

When you’re giving a speech, you need to be different, like Mary Meeker was when she recently delivered her presentation at the 2016 Code Conference.

She challenged the trend of using an image-heavy presentation style delivering 213 data-dense slides in 24 minutes and 40 seconds while sharing her 2016 Trends Report.

Rather than speaking at great length to her slides, Ms. Meeker moved at lightning speed spending about seven seconds on each one.

Image-heavy presentations aren’t the only traditional trends you should avoid. A few more examples:

  • Talk about yourself and your authority ad nauseam
  • Blatantly repeat your key message three or more times
  • Always use a slidedeck — no matter the circumstances
  • Count the number of ums and ahs that pass your lips
  • Sell from the stage

If you fall into the trap of misguided techniques, you’ll be lost in the sea of noise and no different than every other speaker.

How do I know? Whenever it’s possible, I attend my client’s presentations. I sit near the front, close to a wall, so I’m able to do an inconspicuous 180 to evaluate audience reactions. My eyes and ears are listening and watching for the nuances of persuasiveness — those that are connecting and the ones that aren’t.

Here are five things you can do instead of following old-school public speaking instructions if you want to excite your audience:

Provide a skinny version of your CV

I’m talking really skinny. Three or four lines that tell the story of why you are the person who is best suited to speak.

Have someone introduce you and be dogged about having them repeat your short bio word for word. If you’re not able to have someone introduce you with a delicate hand, thread your credentials throughout your speech in places where it aligns conceptually to illustrate your experience.

Be stealth-like when using repetition

What do you think when someone constantly repeats themself to try to persuade you? I think they’re either “a dog with a bone” and are in desperation mode to sell me, or they underestimate my intelligence.

You need to be savvy when building in repetition to have your key message stick into hearts and minds. Use a variety of learning methods or phrase your key message in different ways.

For example, you can ask a question to draw out what you want to be remembered, use the power of gestures to illuminate your point, or switch up every fifth image (the keystones) for contrast in your PowerPoint decks.

There are times you shouldn’t use a PowerPoint deck

We’ve been conditioned to believe that every presentation needs to use a slidedeck and that everyone who can turn on a computer is a graphic design pro.

Ask yourself, “Do I really need slides to support my ideas and can I make it look professional in the time I have?” Consider how you’ll stand out while being different than most presenters when you’re front and center and simply speaking of what you know.

No one is counting your verbal ticks

Toastmasters is a fantastic venue for practicing. It’s a low cost opportunity to create a habitual practice for improving your pubic speaking skills.

There is one aspect of Toastmasters I have issue with. It’s the counting of verbal ticks such as ums and ahs. If I had someone counting the number of times I say “right” it would stress me out.

That aside, you have your unique tics and nuances that make you, you, and without them, you’d come across as predictable and over polished. I do draw a line, though. When verbal ticks are distracting, work to alleviate them so you’ll communicate with easy flow.

It’s not OK to sell from the stage

If you’ve provided a stream of helpful information, those who see you as the one to solve their problem will reach out to you. Whether people contact you or not is one of the strongest indicators of a successful presentation.

You’ve been warned. Old tired techniques will  irritate your audience and put up a barrier to winning them over. Excite them instead. 

Read the original article on Inc.. Copyright 2016. Follow Inc. on Twitter.

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10 ways to identify a fake job posting

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From the Dec. 10, 2017 issue of the Courier-Post comes this important advice from thejobnetwork.com:

BY PETER JONES

THEJOBNETWORK

The job market is hard enough to navigate without having to worry about a job posting that turns out to be a scam — or even just a dead end. Save your precious time and energy by being on the lookout for these simple signs that something just

isn’t right:

1. The company has no online presence.

You do your due diligence and try to verify the person, the company and the job listing and nothing is turning up in your online search. You can stop right there and step away. Legit jobs always have some sort of online trail.

2. The recruiter’s email doesn’t match their company.

You get an email from a recruiter who claims to represent a fabulous and well-known company. The company logo might even be at the bottom of the email. Look closely — does the email they want you to send materials to not end in the official company name (theircompany.com)? If the email associated with the posting or the invitation is a personal one (think Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.), you might want to take a pass. And don’t respond and attach any personal documents unless you’re sure you’re dealing with the real deal.

3. You found it via a random social media post.

While it is possible to land a great job you found through social media, chances are if it’s just posted there — or sponsored or advertised — it’s probably not as sweet a deal as it seems.

Remember that the overwhelming majority of jobs are referral based, come through legitimate channels or are posted on vetted job boards. Resist the idea that you can just surf Facebook and get hired.

4. They claim “No experience necessary.”

Sure, maybe the job they’re offering is entry level. Maybe they offer training. But if the posting leads with “No Experience Necessary,” you can be almost certain there’s a catch you won’t like. Most employers want you to come equipped with some skills.

5. The language is sloppy.

If the ad isn’t well written, contains spelling or grammatical errors, is sloppily punctuated or IN ALL CAPS, consider it a red flag. A real job posting will be professional and polished.

6. They ask for an interview via chat or text.

You should be wary if your first interview is scheduled on some type of text messaging service. While remote interviews are becoming increasingly common, that means phone calls andSkype, not a typed conversation in a chat window.

7. Anything about it is too good to be true.

You’re hired immediately! The salary is crazy high! They contacted you out of the blue! When can you start? (Hint: If a job seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.) 8. Everything about it is vague.

If you can’t tell from the posting exactly what your role would be at the company, that’s a problem. A bigger problem is when you can’t really tell what the company does and get a sense of its mission or history. If all of this is very vague, leave this one in the “no” pile.

9. They want money.

If you’re asked to pay anything — such as a fee to apply or for a software program to send in your application materials — consider the job a scam. A general rule of thumb: Never give your money away to total strangers.

10. Your gut says no.

The bottom line: Keep an eye out for these and other warning signs, but your best alarm system is your own gut instinct. Does something seem off to you? If so, let it go. There are other jobs out there.

Peter Jones is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

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How to describe yourself in a job interview

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From THEJOBNETWORD, the Courier-Post (on Nov. 12, 2017) and writer Peter Jones come these “tips.”

BY PETER JONES

THEJOBNETWORK

You know you’re going to be asked about yourself in a job interview, so don’t get caught tongue-tied.

It’s smart to have a small collection of adjectives that describe you well and show you off in your best light — bonus points if they aren’t the same old tired words everybody else is using.

Often the best strategy here is to think of action verbs, then modify them into adjective form. Think about how you would sincerely describe yourself, both personally and at the office, then put together a list and memorize it for ultimate interview success.

Here are eight powerful examples interviewers are sure

to love:

  1. Communicative

Communication is one of the skills most highly valued by employers, so this is a shrewd word to use. It suggests that you’re a people person, you are effective at disseminating information, you care about connecting with your clients and coworkers and you are intelligent enough to do so clearly and professionally.

Plus, you can segue this into concrete examples of how you used your communication skills to problem solve.

  1. Reliable“Consistent” or “accountable” are also good ones. You’re in it for the team — you don’t just show up for you. You realize that your work is part of an ecosystem of other people’s projects and you don’t let anybody down. You’re not late for work or meetings. You can be relied upon to do your job, do it well and deliver whatever needs to be done.

      3. Driven

If you’d rather, “ambitious” works here, as well — any adjective that shows you are not just showing up for the paycheck and free coffee is great. These words prove that you are in it to win it — both to advance yourself in your career and, in the meantime, to advance the company and its most important goals. Subtext: no one is going to need to hound or micromanage you to keep you motivated. You’re “self-motivating.”

  1. Meticulous

This word hints at your attention to detail, your precision, your organizational skills, your ability to prioritize and the fact that you hate letting anything slip through any cracks.

If you’re meticulous, you’re thorough and self-managing and trustworthy. See how much work this kind of word can do?

  1. Impactful

Go ahead and say what a difference you made at your last gig. Go ahead and gloat.

You come on the job and get things done. You can totally brag here at this point, and throw in a mention of any accomplishments or awards you may have earned along the way. This word shows you don’t just make promises, you get results.

  1. Persistent

You don’t quit until the job is done (and done well). What’s more, you’ll get the project done on time. You’ll put in the extra work until the solution is found. This conveys that you’re “results-oriented,” as well.

  1. Flexible

You’re not rigid. You think outside the box. You’re able to adapt to challenging circumstances and find the workaround that no one else can see. You adapt on the go and keep adapting. You’re the kind of employee everybody wants because you’re willing to do things outside the purview of your job description — provided it makes sense for the company and for the goals of your team.

  1. Team player

It’s always good to round off a list of descriptors of yourself with something that conveys a bit of humility — your willingness to sacrifice your own time and ambitions now and then for the good of the group.

“Team player” transitions easily enough to a description of how you’re also a “leader” … for those of you who want to score that last bonus point.

Peter Jones is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

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3 tips to soothe your interview jitters

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Thanks to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, we have these interview tips from Jon Simmons, Monster contributor.

Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. Why? Either you’re Eminem about to rap battle your opponent, or you’re about to go to a job interview.

If the thought of standing in front of a stranger, asking to be judged on your professional merits makes you want to vomit, you’re not alone—according to a study by Everest College and Harris Interactive, 92% of people say they get nervous at some point before a job interview.

Nerves are natural, but if your high stress level makes you appear less capable than you really are, that could be a big problem during your job search.

Take a deep breath and try to relax. Monster talked with some experts who shared their top tips for staying calm and focused, so you can conquer job interview jitters and land your next job.

  1. Practice your pitch

One of the questions you’re most likely to trip over is also one of the simplest: “What can you tell us about yourself?”

It should come as no surprise that practicing talking about your skills and accomplishments will help you stay calm. But what exactly should you focus on, and how should you practice?

“Your pitch should include your most recent job, two accomplishments, key skills, length of experience, education and languages you speak,” says Amy Geffen, founder of Geffen Careers, a career coaching business in New York City. “Write down your pitch, and practice it in front of the mirror and with a friend. After you have it memorized and you become comfortable, say it in a conversational tone.”

It’s that easy familiarity that can help calm you down when you feel the pressure building in the real-life scenario.

  1. Do your homework

You’re probably familiar with the feeling of taking an exam that you were underprepared for. It’s not a good feeling, obviously, and it’s also a total recipe for a stress attack. But on the flipside, you probably also know the opposite feeling—sitting down for a test that you know you’re going to crush since you took the time to prepare. That same recipe for success applies to heading into interviews.

Google the company to see if they’ve been made any news headlines in the past year. Of course, scouring a company’s website and social media accounts other ways to do your homework. What is their mission? What are their values? What are their future goals? What’s on their radar right now? Familiarize yourself as much as possible with the company.

Company homework aside, your research should also include preparing answers to some of the interview questions recruiters are most likely to ask.

  1. Take your time responding to questions (and take notes!)

Which do you think hiring managers prefer: a candidate who fires off a quick response right after the question (and doesn’t answer particularly well), or a candidate who takes a moment to gather her thoughts before replying with a concise, detailed response?

“Applicants are often nervous and feel they have to provide an immediate response as soon as the question ends,” says Susan Hosage, senior manager, human resources at CTE, Inc.,a PA-based construction services company. “Unfortunately, this practice often results in applicants not understanding what information is being requested or the required level of detail.”

So if you’re asked something you aren’t 100% sure about, stay calm, knowing that hiring managers prefer to wait for the right answer than listen to something that’s tossed back quickly and nervously.

“Listen to the question—even take notes if it’s a long one—and provide a thoughtful response,” Hosage says. That way, you’ll be able to calmly respond, which is half the battle when it comes to looking like you know what you’re talking about.

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[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]