What Are Some Great Jobs for Your Personality Type?

Is there a way that your personality can determine your dream job for you? The folks at CollegeMatchUp.net seem to think so. These crafty creatives have brought the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to life with the below infographic.

And if you’re thinking to yourself “the Myers-Brigss WHAT?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you! The MBTI was created by a mother-daughter team some years ago to make the theory of psychological types understandable and useful in people’s lives, the key word being “useful.” Once you’ve determined your personality type, you can apply that to job industries where those characteristics might be most fitting. So if you’re an admin assistant that secretly yearns to be a nurse, there may be more method to that madness than you think!

Find out what your personality type is here and then see what careers CollegeMatchUp.net thinks might be best for you:

The Best Jobs for your Personality Type
Source: CollegeMatchup.net

Being Emotional Intelligent Benefits Your Work

Thanks to Brighton School of Business and Management for these awesome statistics! Find out more about the great work this school is doing at www.brightonsbm.com!

Dear DFS: How Do I Look for Work During the Holidays?

Dear DFS, 

I was laid off last month and have been tirelessly searching for a new position in my field, but unfortunately, no luck yet. I am starting to get concerned that I will not have a job before the New Year and I know companies aren’t focused on hiring during the holidays. How can I continue to be productive in my job search over the next couple months?  

Thank you for your help, 

Alexis

Nashville, TN

Dear Alexis,

We wish you much SUCCESS on your job search and know how difficult this transition can be.  It sounds like you have a goal to find a job by December 31st!  You are already motivating yourself to stay focused and move forward!  It’s easy to say you are searching for a new job, but by giving yourself a deadline – it will keep you motivated in trying to find a new career.

Here are just a few tips to stay focused and motivated to move yourself forward:

Make a plan.

Have you researched area companies you are interested in working with?   Are there any job fairs coming up in your area?  Are there any corporations expanding or looking for new employees?  Retailers, restaurants and hotels are currently hiring for temporary holiday employees. It may open a door to something new, keep you busy during this time of year and/or lead you to new connections in your community or industry. Here is a recent article regarding the upcoming 2014 4th Quarter: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2014/10/02/seasonal-hiring-full-time-jobs-boost/

Do your research.

Companies may look great on paper or sound great to talk about – but have you actually talked to employees that work there?  Find out what the culture is like within the organization.  Are you focused on staying in Nashville or are you open to moving to a new community in Tennessee or outside of Tennessee?

Sometimes a foot in the door is well… a foot in the door. One of my first jobs out of college was working as a receptionist at a financial institution.  I then found other opportunities available within the company.  By year two, I had moved up to the cashier position: balancing and depositing incoming checks and stock certificates for client accounts. By year three, I had been offered a position as a sales associate: working with the brokers and clients and preparing portfolios for account reviews. Year four, I studied for and passed my Series 7 test and became a registered sales associate. Year five, I moved over to a new company and found a job I absolutely loved and looked forward to everyday. I loved working with the broker and the clients.

I eventually “retired” from the corporate world and became a stay-at-home mom.  While looking for a place to donate my suits, I found Dress for Success and Des Moines was a targeted area to launch an affiliate. Four years later, I am glad I had the opportunity to find a new passion and be surrounded by so many dedicated people in the community.  When one door closes another one is opening.

Stay connected and have your elevator speech ready.

Are you using LinkedIn?  Have you attended any networking groups in your area (Chamber meetings, Business Networking and Referrals, Referral Leaders International groups)?  Have you been invited to any parties, fundraisers or other events?  When you were employed at your last position, did you have contacts with other companies?  Do you have friends or family at companies you are interested in applying for positions?  Do you volunteer with any local organizations?  It looks like a local Dress for Success in Nashville is in the start-up phase.  Feel free to reach out to them to see how you can help get the doors open. It will show your next employer you are helping in your community during this transition period and staying engaged. Or find another organization to help volunteer with. Many organizations love a commitment of just a few hours a week; it will keep you motivated and give you something to look forward to while you are searching for your new job.

Any time you are networking or at an event and people ask what you do, be ready to respond with a 30-second pitch!  Sell yourself!  And be specific!  Connections may open the door for you, but they need to know what you are looking for. They may know of a position opening at their company and/or have some good contacts for you.  Make sure to thank them for taking the time to listen and remind them to keep you posted on any new opportunities (by email is great and keep it brief!).

Social media.

If you are using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to make connections – remember – your future employer may also use these tools as well.  Do not post things on social media you would not want your future boss to know about you.

Being laid-off from a position is a difficult transition, but stay positive!  This could be just the break you need to find a new passion, to meet new people and to open a new door.

To your SUCCESS,

 Jody White

Executive Director, Founding Partner

Dress for Success Des Moines

Writing is the Most Marketable Skill to Master

In college, I had a roommate who chose her major, speech pathology, to avoid writing papers.  As a journalism student, not only was I confused by her attempt to avoid learning a vital communication skill by selecting major with “speech” in the title, but I also knew she would be severely limiting her job opportunities with this approach.  Yes, I know, this seems biased coming from a journalist, but even the most analytical, left-brained individuals would have a hard time communicating using only numbers and symbols.

Today, business and social media are intertwined, and sites like Facebook, which previously only existed for personal use, have now become the leading marketing and advertising tools for companies.  For those of us who have grown up saturated in these hybrid media platforms, the lines have blurred between business and casual, fragmenting our communication.

Although the mediums have changed, writing is still a foundational skill that is more important in today’s workplace than it was prior to new technology. Whether you’re composing a resume, cover letter or just sending a follow-up email, written communication is likely the first impression you will make on an employer in our digital age.

After I graduated from college, I took an internship with a magazine in my home city that quickly segued to a permanent position.  Much to my parents’ surprise, a journalism degree had actually yielded a full-time job, even more unheard of in the wake of the creeping, post-recession economy. But the relief that I had become a successful return on their college investment was short lived when I accepted an unpaid internship in New York City with no friends, relatives or living accommodations attached. When the internship ended without a full-time offer, I was forced to search for a new position and explain in many cover letters why I chose to leave a secure, full-time position in my field to accept new titles like unpaid desk clerk and hostess or “editorial intern” and “hospitality specialist,” as they appeared on my resume. Writing allowed me to explain to future employers why I took what appeared to be a step down to diversify my experience and open myself to more opportunities in a larger market. Ultimately, it got my foot in the door for interviews and allowed for upward career mobility.

However, this skill is applicable across the board. Regardless of what field you enter, you will be expected to interact with the public, clients or at the very least co-workers. Beyond the communication industry, writing is an indicator to any employer of an applicant’s ability to problem solve and reason. In the era of information overload and constant self-expression on social media, employers look for personal work samples outside of the classroom and previous positions as indicators of key skills they desire in applicants such as initiative and ambition. One way to display your work is to create a blog.  If you thought the only people who contribute to the blogosphere today are suburban moms looking to expand their recipe box, think again. According to a survey by Career Builder, 43% of employers research their candidates on social media before hiring them.  A clear demonstration of writing ability, a blog is also looked at as insight into personality, interests and entrepreneurship that can help set you apart from other candidates in the hiring process.

If you’re not a writer but still want to boost your application, try consulting a beginner’s guide to blogging like this one from The SITS girls.  As much as a polished blog can enhance your resume, a disorganized or poorly written one will have the exact opposite effect. So if you can’t quite remember where to put a semi-colon, sites like Grammar Girl provide quick tips to keep your writing in check.

Blogging is just one way to boost online presence, but honing your writing skills in all your professional communication is essential to scoring an interview.  Before employers get a chance to meet you in person, your application materials need to speak for you. This is where writing will help you “fake it till you make it.”  Your resume and portfolio should make the connections between your current skills set and those necessary for the job. A strategically written cover letter can help explain gaps in employment or other inconsistencies on your resume that may be a red flag to employers. Just as important as your application materials is your follow-up with prospective employers, which should be viewed as another chance to display your professionalism and personality outside the limited bounds of your resume.  Whether you’re typing, texting, emailing or physically picking up a pen, writing is one of the most marketable skills to master.  If you can communicate successfully, you can sell yourself to any employer.

How Do I Make A Better First Impression During Phone Interviews?

Dear DFS,

I’ve been job searching for two months now, and every interview I’ve had has been via telephone. I always prepare before the interview, but somehow, I still end up drawing a blank when I’m asked certain questions. I would consider myself a very social person, but I don’t think I come off well on the phone. Do you have any tips for how to make a better first impression during a phone interview?

Thanks for your help, 

Charlotte, Leeds, UK

Dear Charlotte,

First let me say congratulations on obtaining a telephone interview. To reach this point is an accomplishment! You must have a great CV to have made it this far.

A telephone interview brings a CV to life – giving the pages blood, bones and a personality. And believe it or not, the interviewer can tell a lot about a person just from their voice and energy levels.

However, phone screening is also a time saver for the scrutinizer, especially if there are many applicants. So you do need to be ultra-prepared.

Amazingly, only seven percent of the entire communications model comprises words. That leaves 38 percent for “how you say things” – tone, pitch, emphasis, voice quality etc., and 55 percent for body language – which of course you cannot use. Therefore you need to magnify your verbal skills to make an impact!

Think of the phone interview as good practice – perhaps recording the next one so you can self-listen – maybe with a friend or colleague – and assess the parts you think need improving. I am wondering what the questions are where you say you draw a blank – these are precisely the ones you need to address so that next time you will have a ready answer.

Your primary mission in any interview is to identify the employer’s needs and to positively address them, relating your experience and interest to the specific job. Research both the company, its customers and its competitors.

Here are a few tips which may help:

  • Harness your nervous tension by taking a few deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth before you begin. We all talk too quickly when nervous.
  • Present yourself in an appropriate way – making the best use of your social skills rather than trying to be right, clever or funny
  • Don’t rush into an answer before thinking about it. Silence can be misconstrued, but do give yourself time to think. You can always add “mmmm” or “ah hah” to break the silence
  • Don’t speak too quickly and try to pause for emphasis
  • Visualise yourself in the interview room, exuding your own social personality
  • Anticipate the employer’s questions about your experience, training, history, expectations and formulate short, positive responses beforehand
  • Develop a list of promotional statements to highlight your strengths. Write them down and rehearse them. In other words, sell yourself.
  • Don’t pretend to know everything, but hopefully you will have researched the company, and can show your knowledge and enthusiasm by asking relevant questions
  • Remember the name of the interviewer and use it
  • The more you can get the interviewer to share their needs, expectations or problems, the better THEY will feel about the interview. People like talking about themselves
  • Be assertive yet courteous, don’t let yourself be intimidated and above all, be honest.

Most hiring decisions are based on intangibles – intuition, like-mindedness, feelings, rather than on qualifications, experience and training. And remember – the hiring manager has much more at stake than you!

I hope these tips help you in your next job interview Charlotte, and that you will indeed acquire the job of your dreams.

Our very best wishes,

Sue Scott-Gould

Board member

Wellington affiliate

New Zealand

 

An Impervious Guide to Networking

You go to school, learn a skill set, build a resume, intern, even consult a career coach, yet, 70% of all jobs today are found through networking.  Reflectively, 70% of those jobs are also never advertised.

It’s true, industries have become more competitive and companies more selective.  As we rebound from the recession, an influx of new talent is flooding the workforce. However, along with an increase in workers, we have also seen a rise in job creation. These are normal fluctuations in the economy that repeat over the years, but what has changed is how we view the job search.

Today, the rapid expansion of technology is responsible for a dramatic shift in the landscape of the job market. We are inundated with online job boards, search tools, and social networking sites, and it appears that networking has become more important than ever. Two of the most popular sites, LinkedIn and Facebook, boast their average users have 150 or more connections.

Despite being more “socially” active, we are generally less engaged with our contacts than ever before. The constant connectivity and number of different networking hosts can have an adverse effect that makes us less present in our face-to-face interactions with co-workers and even friends. Social media has the ability to create the appearance of bonds and fuels a competition that values quantity over quality. These social platforms have also placed our previously personal connections into an increasingly more public sphere and deeply convoluted our basic understanding of relationships. Still, if done correctly, the fundamentals of networking and their importance have not changed.

As companies are increasingly relying on employee referrals to bypass the headache of weeding through online applications, it’s important to know how to create a meaningful connection before you even start your job search.  A powerful tool, social networking requires some thoughtful reflection on the user’s part to yield any positive results. Sites like LinkedIn can make networking seem deceptively easy. You can “connect” with the CEO of your favorite company with one click, but it’s not as simple to turn those connections into actual relationships. It’s the steps in between, which cannot be achieved virtually, that make it possible to segue a connection into a recommendation and, from there, a lasting professional relationship.

In a hyper connected world, networking is like casting a fishing line into a sea of nets.  So how do we forge genuine connections amidst a multitude of cyber acquaintances?

• Treat the job hunt as a job

-Do your homework. Hiring managers look to their current employee’s networks to ensure that candidates are a proper fit and a secure investment for the company. As a potential employee, you need to vet companies just as carefully to ensure they align with your personal goals and aspirations.

• Networking doesn’t have to just mean building new relationships

-It can also be about learning from the relationships you already have. Don’t just look to colleagues or past employers, also pick the brains of your friends, family and neighbors. Even if they’re not in your field, they may have contacts that are helpful to you.

• Be genuine for you and your connections sake

-Have an elevator pitch, but be true to yourself. Learn about your skill set and your interests before you start the actual job hunt.  It’s important to do some research first to ensure the field you’re pursuing would be a good fit. This way you’re not only prepared to land the job but you save both you and your employer the burden of searching for a replacement if you decide the position is not a good fit.

You shouldn’t only be networking when you’re looking for a job

– It’s an ongoing process of relationship building that requires attention and care to cultivate. If you make a connection, you should make some form of contact every month whether it’s getting together for coffee, sending a holiday card or even a short email just to check in.

Use social networks as the follow-up tool not the initiator

-Social networks should serve as leverage not the groundwork for your connections.  First call or send a personal email to suggest a face-to-face meeting. Even if the person is too busy, they will appreciate your effort to make a genuine connection. After you have formed a relationship and established a rapport you can follow-up on LinkedIn to further the conversation and offer some tangible evidence of your skills and accomplishments.

Why Professional Motivation Matters So Much

By: Reesa Staten of Robert Half

Nike made the phrase “Just Do It” a part of the American lexicon. Nike’s goal was to inspire us to channel our inner athlete and embrace physical challenges. I would like to encourage you to push yourself in the same way — but this time, in the context of your work.

If you’re reading this, you’ve already displayed professional motivation and taken the first step toward your next career move. Dress for Success gives you the foundation wardrobe, moral support and confidence boost to shine brightly in job interviews and throughout your career. I hope you take advantage of the career resources available to you as a Dress for Success client.

Taking your first steps

It’s possible to change just about anything about your job or your career — if you take action. Your dream job or promotion doesn’t have to be just a dream. You can make it a reality. Your first steps don’t have to be big ones. Even small strides, like updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, or getting in touch with an old classmate or colleague in a field that interests you, can start the momentum. These actions require just a little effort and professional motivation — consider it the warm-up.

From there, you’re more likely to take further steps, like reviewing the job boards to see if an employer may already be advertising your dream job. Most major job search websites let you set up alerts to receive emails when a job matching your search criteria is posted.

Overcoming doubt

It’s at this point that you have to decide how serious you are about your pursuits because once you start looking, you will find jobs that appeal to you. This is often when the doubt kicks in and professional motivation stalls. All elite athletes will tell you they had to overcome the fear of failure at some point in their career. They succeeded by not letting these fears shake their confidence. Instead, they carefully prepared so that when the time came to compete, they were ready.

The same is true in your job search. Preparation will give you confidence. That means making sure you know enough about the position and the company to submit a targeted resume. It also means dressing the part, interviewing well and having good references who can attest to your abilities. If the job you want requires additional training or certification, preparation may involve gaining that added knowledge. Depending on the level of training or education, this may be the marathon portion of your journey and where your professional motivation is put to the test.

Applying professional motivation to your current job

If you’re not ready to look for a new job but instead want to advance with your current employer, ask your manager what steps you need to take to be considered for a promotion. Many people lack the confidence to talk to their boss about career growth, when, in fact, most good managers welcome these conversations. The conversation they don’t like having is the one in which a good employee resigns without ever having let on he or she longed for more responsibility. It can be a lost opportunity for both the employer and employee.

To paraphrase Isaac Newton, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Likewise, a body at rest stays at rest. It’s easy to become complacent, either because you lack confidence or you don’t know where to begin. But even a few steps toward looking for a new job can give you the professional motivation you need to keep the search going. Small victories will empower you to take on even bigger challenges and, from there, it’s a sprint to the finish.


Reesa Staten is senior vice president of Corporate Communications and director of workplace research for
Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. Staten has been writing job search advice for more than 15 years and oversees Robert Half’s extensive workplace research program. Write to her at reesa@roberthalf.com.

 

Dear DFS: Should I Volunteer While Searching for a Job?

Dear DFS:

I was let go from my job about a month ago, and haven’t been able to find many opportunities for work since. It seems like everyone is looking for work this time year. So, in the spirit of the holidays, I’ve decided to volunteer in between job searching. I’ve heard volunteering can be a great way to fill gaps in your resume, so I’m hoping to find something where I can give back to my community and walk away with a valuable experience. I just don’t know where to look. Do you have any ideas?

Hopeful for the holidays!

Amy, Seattle

 

Dear Amy,

Kudos on keeping your spirits high during your search for a new career! Volunteering is an amazing way to give back to your community, learn new skills, and help maintain a positive outlook as you embark on a new journey. Volunteering demonstrates to potential employers that you are passionate about something and that you care for your community, in addition to showing them you are a person of character and integrity. This would be someone I would want to hire!

When deciding on possible volunteer opportunities, you will want to consider a couple of factors: your schedule availability, personal interests and your values. Finding a volunteer position that fulfills these will help make volunteering a more valuable experience for both yourself and the organization you want to impact. For example, if you had a passion for shopping and wanted to promote the economic independence of low-income women, then volunteering for a local Dress for Success affiliate would be a perfect fit.

There are many different avenues to seek out volunteer opportunities including: MeetUp, SignUpGenius, VolunteerMatch, and NationalService. Internet searches can be very overwhelming, however, many of these sites will help identify an area that interests you or you feel most passionate about. You can also check your local community council for opportunities.

Volunteering should always be fun and rewarding, which is how you should feel about your career. You may want to consider seeking a volunteer position that is closely aligned to the type of employment you wish to secure. For example, if you hope to secure employment as an accountant, you could search for non-profit organizations that are in need of assistance with book-keeping.

Throughout our life, we are all faced with challenging times and it is how we respond to these challenges that reflect who we are as a person. Not allowing the transition between jobs to dampen your spirit speaks wonders of your character and this will shine through as you make strides in your volunteer search and as your career path takes shape.

Good Luck and Blessings,

Kathy Lambert

CEO

Dress for Success Midwest & Dress for Success Kansas City

Tips on Hand Writing Your Thank You Notes!

Guest Post from Pilot Pen

You’ve created your resume, customized your cover letter, and had a successful interview. Now what? You write a personalized thank you note. Thank you notes are necessary to write because it is just one more way for you to stand out among all the other potential candidates your company of interest is considering; especially in a world dominated by follow up emails!

Legible, clear handwriting shows you pay attention to detail and it gives you the opportunity to thank your potential employer in your own words. Think about it this way, would you consider a handwritten holiday card more valuable than a holiday e-card? This serves as a tangible reminder that you go the extra mile. Here are several key elements to consider when writing a thank you note.

  1. Thank the interviewer for their time. This is a great way to start your note. It also serves as a great place to transition into the main points of what you want to say.
  2. Consider including details discussed during your interview. Take the opportunity to remind your potential employer about a skill you relayed or a project you are interested in.
  3. Keep it simple and sincere. Be clear and concise with your words. Wordier does not always mean better.
  4. Draft your message before writing the final version to ensure the card looks exactly the way you want it to.
  5. Finish the card with a special touch, a message stating that you would love to be a part of the team.
  6. Be selective with your writing instruments and stationary. Pilot recommends selecting a pen known for a smooth, skip-free writing experience like the Precise. Or use a modern take on the classic fountain pen, which delivers smooth, expressive writing, like the striking MR Animal Collection or pre-filled Varsity.