The Roll-out

A blog by the staff of MJ Morgan Group


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Interview Tips to Get Noticed and Get Hired

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Your resume got noticed- that’s great! Now, go the next step and get ready to ace that interview. We have plenty of tips to make sure you stand out from the crowd and make an impression (in a good way).

Research, research and more research: You most likely know what the organization does and why you want to work there, but what else do you know? What awards and achievements have they accomplished lately? Who are their key players? What about knowing who their competition is? An easy Google search should help you find more than enough info about the company, and the hiring manager will be impressed when you drop your new knowledge appropriately in the interview. You will also want to know as much as possible about any management with whom you may be interviewing. Where did they go to college? What is their job history? Do they volunteer or sit on any important boards? You can never know too much so research away!

And then practice, practice, and more practice: Once you feel like a genius with all of your new knowledge about the company and its leaders, now you need to put yourself in front of the mirror (or better yet- a video camera) and practice until it feels perfect. This will help you feel more confident, improve your interview skills, and sharpen your skills. The mirror or camera will help you focus on other aspects of the job interview like hand gestures, energy level, and posture. The more you rehearse answers, the less anxiety you will have when the real interview comes along. And if you are still nervous, find a coach or mentor who can help you preform mock interviews.

Dress for success: This one always seems so obvious, but in today’s casual world, what you wear does matter.  It goes without saying that you get one chance to make a good impression. Avoid loud colors or distracting patterns. Your clothing should be clean and pressed. Skirts should not be too short and pants shouldn’t be too tight. The days of wearing a suit and tie to work every day may be over or limited to certain professions, but you can never be overdressed for a job interview so do your best to dress as appropriately for the position you are applying for or for the field you are hoping to enter. Remember- before you even answer a question, you are already being judged so take good care to dress for success.

Ask away:  It’s going to happen. In fact, it’s inevitable. The “do you have any questions for us” part of the interview is often the one for which job applicants forget to prepare. Not only is it a good time to make sure the job is right for you, it also presents you as a thoughtful potential employee. Have at least 5-7 questions ready for the end of the interview. The internet is full of great questions so if you can’t think of any, Google is your friend. Don’t be afraid to ask more unique questions. It will be a refreshing way to see the hiring managers as they tend to go off “script” when faced with a question outside the normal.

Be thankful: Always say thank you after an interview and always send a thank you letter or e-mail as a follow-up. It is the right thing to do and it shows the hiring manager that you are seriously interested in the job. The thank you follow-up also allows you to once again state your case for why you are the best candidate for the position. You can never go wrong sending a thank you (unless you don’t review it for mistakes or send more than one).  Send your thank-you within 24 to 48 hours after the interview. Timing is everything.

Now you should be set to go out and get that job! Of course, if you need some additional assistance, our tenured staff knows all about interviewing and finding the right position for you.  They are more than willing to help you along the way. And they will always point you in the right direction.


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A Little Advice for Changing Careers

 

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You spent four years studying a major you thought you loved only to graduate and realize you would much rather do something else. Or maybe you’ve been in a career for several years that you just aren’t passionate about. Now what?

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Career change statistics suggest that the average person will make 5-7 career changes during their working life. That’s a lot of change. Here are some tips that will make the transition easier.

Ask Yourself Why: It’s important for you to reflect and examine why you want a change. While it may seem simple, you need to understand why you are unhappy in your current job.  If the answer is more about something happening internal at your job (you can’t stand your boss or co-workers), the solution may be less about changing careers and more about finding a better environment or talking to your manager.

Ask for Help: Once you decide you truly want to make a change, learn to ask for help. Change is hard and entering a new field can be even more difficult without assistance. Use your network to connect with new people and decision makers who may help you get your foot in the door. Use social media and networking groups to spread the word about your talents and what you are looking in your next career. You will find people willing to advocate for you.

Be Practical and Patient: Take it one day at a time. If you need more education to change careers, take one class at a time. You don’t want to overspend or overcommit while looking to make a change. Depending where you are in your current career, making a big change also takes patience. You might have to enter into an entry level role to get more experience before finally getting to where you want to be. Take it slow or you will find yourself discouraged.

Take a Break:  It takes a lot of hustle to make a change. Give yourself time to enjoy the journey. When it gets frustrating, turn your attention to hobbies or family members. Take a trip. Take a time-out. Do whatever necessary to stay energized and happy.

Don’t Give Up: A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, as they say. Keep focused on your goal, check-in with yourself to make sure it still feels right, and enjoy the journey. You will have set-backs, but that just means you are doing something right. If the change is important enough, you will find ways to stick with it.

And remember, if you need some additional assistance, our tenured staff is more than willing to help you along the way. We are driven by the desire to help you reach your full potential

 


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All I Want for Christmas is…A New Job!

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The holidays are here! Time for celebrating with loved ones, eating entirely too much, and reflecting on the success of another year gone by. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year…unless of course, you are feeling completely stuck in your career. If the only thing on your Christmas list this year is a new job, these tips can help you land right where you want to be before Valentine’s Day cards hit the market.

 

  1. Get Clear: Maybe this is the first time you’ve been in this spot or maybe it’s the 15th, either way, before you make a move, get clear. What do you like about your job? What drives you crazy? What industry appeals to you? What type of culture? The more you are able to set specific goals and understand what you want, the better chance you have of finding it. Take the time to write it all out and think it through. It will pay off in the end.

 

  1. Reach Out: Once you are clear (see above), make a list of companies where you would want to work, figure out who heads the department you want to target at each, and then start writing. Personalize each letter specific to that company and introduce yourself. Include bullet points of your skills and achievements. The more the letters you send, the more likelihood of getting a response. You should follow-up with a phone call to make sure they received your note.

 

  1. Network: One of the best things about the holiday season, parties! Use this time to reconnect with former colleagues or old friends who may be able to open some doors for you. Let people know you are thinking of making a change in the New Year and see if they have thoughts or ideas that may help. You never know where your next lead is going to come from so keeps ears and eyes open.

 

  1. Volunteer: Did you know that studies have shown that volunteering for even an hour a week has been linked with a greater chance of finding a job? Use the holiday to spread good cheer while also learning a new skill or meeting new people. Volunteering also offers more fuel for your resume. Employers will be impressed with your character as well as your ability to bring value to a new situation.

 

  1. Wait: You may be anxious, but remember, most businesses begin to shut it down a few weeks before Christmas. As hard as it may be, wait until the 2nd or 3rd week in January to start sending letters and making calls.

 

Of course, if you are doing all of the above but still feel stuck, MJM is here to assist you in finding the perfect job in companies you will love. Browse the openings on our website or give us a call today!

 


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4 Tips to Get Hired as a College Grad

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Graduating college is exciting, but entering the job market post-grad can be daunting. Don’t worry! Whether you are graduating this December or May, we have 4 tips that will help you stand out in the job search and break into any industry.

  1. Don’t Underestimate or Undersell Yourself- You may find yourself thinking, “I don’t know if I have enough experience for that job” or “I’m not sure if I am qualified…” Stop it! Don’t spend any time selling yourself short. Instead focus on all the skills that do make you the right candidate. Read the job description carefully and then use the same language to describe your knowledge and skills. Be confident and draw parallels between your course work and the job requirements.

 

  1. Clean up Those Online Accounts- It’s best to just assume that any potential employers will be researching you online. Even if you think it is private, don’t take any chances on losing a great opportunity over a silly college photo. Use your social media accounts as way to showcase your experience, talents, and skills. Post about internships and volunteer work as well as articles that relate to your interests.  Your online presence is your personal brand so make sure it reflects the very best about you.

 

  1. Do Your Homework- So often, recent grads just assume they have everything they need in the job description. Not true. You need to dig to learn as much as possible about any potential employer. Imagine how impressed the hiring manager will be when can comment on a recent transaction or achievement of the company. Show them your passion and ability to go the next step.

 

  1. Network, Network, Network- The fastest way to get an interview is to have someone send a recommendation or referral on your behalf to the hiring manager. That means you need to get out there to meet as many people as possible.  Use your alumni network, meet with your friend’s parents, and reach out to people on LinkedIn. The more you are proactive in starting the conversation, the better your chances at getting an interview.

And remember, if you are doing all of the above but still feel stuck, MJM is here to assist you in finding the perfect entry level job in companies you will love. Contact us today!


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Stand Out In Your Job Search

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Okay! You know you are the very best person for the position. So how do you get them to know that too? We have 4 tidbits of advice for those who want to stand out from the crowd when searching for a job.

  1. Referrals– The fastest way to get an interview is to have someone send a recommendation or referral on your behalf to the hiring manager. If you have contacts that have an “in” with your dream company- it’s worth the time and energy it takes to ask them to make an introduction for you.
  1. A Winning Resume- Use as many facts and examples to quantify your achievements on your resume. How many people were impacted by your work and who were they? Make a connection between a company’s needs and your skills and accomplishments. The more you can spell it out for the hiring manager in your resume, the more likely you are to get a second look.
  1. The Right Person- When writing a cover letter and sending a resume, do your research. It’s always more powerful if you address the hiring manager specifically. Companies want to meet candidates who prove they have done some homework and know a little something about the organization. Go the extra step to get the name of the hiring manager. It might be what’s gets you the call to interview.
  1. Online Presence- Hiring managers are sure to take a look at your LinkedIn page so make sure it’s stellar. Your picture should be professional and your accomplishments should be well noted. Be sure to ask for recommendations from former co-workers and colleagues as those will help you differentiate yourself from the crowd. Also, pay attention to your word choices when describing your accomplishments. Use strong adjectives and specific examples to grab the attention of any potential page visitors.

And finally, if you are doing all the above and still wondering you’re not getting the call back, MJM is ready to assist you in finding the perfect job in companies you will love. Contact us today!


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6 Things You Can Do Today to Advance Your Career

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  1. Say Yes– Learn to take on new responsibilities and to accept opportunities that come your way. If your office has a special project that needs support, agree to participate. And do it with confidence. You will soon catch the eye of those in charge and you will be rewarded.
  1. Don’t get Caught Up on Titles– It’s easy to get caught up in what your business card says and when the promotion is coming, but remember, you are the CEO of you. Focus on doing the best job possible in the role that you are in and eventually your rise up the ladder will come organically.
  1. Admit Mistakes – Strength of character doesn’t come easy, but you must learn to own mistakes when you make them. When you truthfully do the best you can do on any given project, you will still make a positive impression even if things don’t go smoothly.
  1. Be Proactive– Show up on time and always be a step ahead of your projects. If you are waiting on approval for something, don’t sit idle until the answer comes. Find something else to work on or prepare for a new project. Being on time and proactive will always serve you well in any workplace.
  1. Think Outside the Box (or Job description) – Find ways to improve things even if it’s not in your job description. You are part of a team so always look for things that can make your company better. Maybe you can improve on a product or perhaps there is a procedure that could use adjustments. You will gain more responsibility and more trust and both of those will lead to advancement.
  1. Give Credit when Due Always– Give praise often and give it with gusto. Always thank your mentors and others who help you along the way. And remember to always pay it forward.

And finally, if you are doing all the above and still feel like you’re not being noticed, MJM is ready to assist you in finding the perfect job in companies you will love. Contact us today!


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5 Things You Wish You’d Known Before You Took The Job

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We all wish for magic glasses that would help us see the future before it happens – especially when it comes to accepting a new position. Until that day comes, we have a little advice that will help you find happiness in your next job.

  1. Written Job Description– always ask for a written document that outlines your responsibilities and deliverables in your first year on the job. This will give you something useful for your performance review meetings and it will that ensure you and your potential future company are on the same page. No one likes surprise responsibilities.
  1. Know the History– Why is the position open? How many people have held the position in the last few years? How long did people stay? Why did they leave? Answers to these questions will help you understand reasons for the turnover and they will give you insight on what you might expect if you take the job. If it’s a brand new position, ask how it will be funded.
  1. People, people, people– Get to know as many people in the new company as possible- especially your boss and your boss’s direct reports. Be sure you ask them questions about their management style as well as their definition of success. It is okay to ask them about their strengths and weaknesses too- a good leader should be open and respect your desire to get to know them.
  1. Read the news– Do your research. Google as much as you can about the company and see what consumers and the media might have to say about it. While you can’t believe everything you read, you will get a good idea about a company’s reputation based on what the online community is saying.
  1. Financials– This one can be tricky, but it’s especially important if you are offered a job at a start-up. If that’s the case, you will want to inquire about the business model and the plan for the future. Does the company have cash on hand or do they still need investors? If you are offered a job by a public company, you should be able to access their filing statements online. A company’s financial condition should be a deciding factor.

And finally, if you want to take out all this guesswork, MJM is ready to assist you in finding the perfect job in companies you will love. Contact us today!