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Three Simple Rules For Emailing Potential Employers
By Peter Weddle A recent survey found that over a third of HR professionals have visitedsocial networking sites to look for information about employment candidates. Personal info and videos posted on Facebook, Twitter,YouTube and other sites are now considered fair game when employers conduct "background checks" on job seekers. With concerns about office security, employee theft and malicious behavior on the rise, companies want to learn as much as they can about the character of a job seeker, in addition to their capabilities on-the-job. However, this assessment isn't limited to social media, but also applies to every interaction you have with a company online. To put it another way, your evaluation begins with the first email you send, and continues through every communication you have with HR and the company as a whole. From an employer's perspective, you are what you write. This has been true for years, as employers have long judged job applicants by evaluating their resume, cover letterand other interactions with HR. But with the increased frequency and casual nature of online interaction, it's far easier for job seekers to get trapped into careless - and potentially damaging - mistakes. So to help make sure you always write at your best, follow these three simple rules for how to email a prospective employer: Rule 1: Be Business-Like in Employment-Related E-Mail Always assume that all online correspondence you have with an employer is of a business nature. Email may be a casual medium, but trying to get a job is a serious activity, and should be treated that way.
When initiating a correspondence, err on the side of formality.
Begin your message with a standard business greeting that uses the recipient's last name. For example, you might write: "Dear Mr. Brown."
When replying to an employer's email, follow their lead on what greeting to use.
For example, if they begin with an informal "Hi Joseph" or "Hello Joseph," your response can do the same. But if they begin with the more formal "Dear Joseph" or "Dear Mr. Brown," then you should reply with a more formal greeting.
Also follow HR's lead on whether to use a first or last name in your greeting.
If a hiring manager signs their message with their first name, then you should use it in your greeting. If, on the other hand, they used their full name or some variation of their last name (Mr. Jones, Ms. Kay or Steven Jones, for example), then you should greet them using their last name. Rule 2: Watch Your Tone The tone of online communication can be easily misunderstood. In fact, one study found that nearly 50% of all emails imply an unintended (and potentially harmful) tone. How does that happen?
Watch out for the case you use when writing messages.
Just as nobody would like it if you shouted constantly during a conversation, over-using caps in your emails won't go down well, either.
Tone is also conveyed, although more subtly, by word choice and syntax.
Make sure you select terms and phrases that can't be read more than one way, and avoid anything that might be misunderstood if a person isn't familiar with your way of speaking.
Stay away from ambiguity.
The longer and more complex your sentences get. Rule 3: Represent Yourself Well in Your Writing Job seekers often make a bad impression by failing to pay enough attention to their correspondence. No one believes that a resume fully conveys all of your potential value to a company. the key to the front door. Employers are most impressed with e-mails that are articulate and to-the-point. It is. Conventional wisdom becomes conventional because generally it's correct. the easier it is for them to be misinterpreted. Your online messages. employers see them as a candid snapshot of who you are . and particularly for those whose resume reflects a progressively-responsible linear career path. Certified Master Coach You all know the rules: your resume should not burden the reader. however. most resume-writing guidelines reflect principles that work well for the majority of job seekers. Since emails are typically less formal. And if you can't be bothered to double-check something as important as an email to HR. Richardson. Your resume tells an employer what you can do. And in a highly-competitive job market. Even the shortest. In fact. where the resume is called upon to do the heavy lifting of persuasion rather than the initial tap-dancing of simply piquing a potential employer's interest. job seekers who are well along in their careers or who have made many employment shifts may feel constrained by that two-page limit: there is just too much information to cram in there. uncharitable screener. If your resume doesn't open the door and get you invited in for an interview. For example. Does that make them more important than your resume? Of course not. The same is true with your online communication. Multi-syllable words and complex thoughts don't influence them as much as clearly expressed answers and simple. you'll never have a chance to expand on what you've written.and potentially how you will act as an employee. It should never exceed two pages. grammatical errors and misspellings. Carefully compose every message. This makes it look like you don't pay attention to detail. It should hit the high points. Employers don't like bad punctuation. accurate explanations. however. When to Break the Rules Yet there are exceptional cases where these resume-writing ground rules do not apply. tell them who you are. and must be easy to scan during that first 30-second once-over by an overburdened. That is. that doesn't say anything good about the potential quality of your work. So keep things short and precise. how you handle emails and what you post online can mean the difference between a job offer and a rejection letter. . and then proofread what you've written even more carefully before hitting send. in some cases these can have more impact on your evaluation than your cover letter and resume. The Long Resume: Pushing the SelfMarketing Envelope By Douglas B. seemingly insignificant email between you and HR becomes a part of your record. set the hook and leave elaboration of the fine points to your face-to-face interviews.
sighs at its heft and drops it immediately into the round file. such as: When you've already survived an initial screening and are positioned as an attractive candidate When you're a big dog in your field or your skill-sets and experience are esoteric or unique When the details of your accomplishments are relevant in distinguishing you from competing candidates When those interviewing you further along in the selection process need to get the fullest understanding of whom they'll be talking to When the position in question has many diverse functions and responsibilities and your resume must prove many things Long Means Just Long Enough How long is a long resume? Just long enough to get the job done. Reverse Chron Forever I remain convinced that the reverse-chronological resume format is the only acceptable way for senior. etc. So. it's important to be mindful of the distinction between being comprehensive and being dauntingly verbose. Similarly." he said. But there are situations where it's a safe bet that your resume – regardless of its length – is going to receive a careful and courteous reading. Having a lengthy resume that breaches the brevity rule is not a good idea when your resume is one of hundreds in a stack that will be scanned at hyper-speed by a jaded reader. Someone once asked Abe Lincoln how long a man's legs should be. the best approach may be (play ominous organ chord here)…The Long Resume. tricks and techniques one can use that keep your self-marketing tool from looking like an Encyclopedia Britannica entry. That is. logical learning sequence: Okay. sophisticated job seekers to present their bona fides. three or even four pages may be acceptable. moreover. what's the product? What "deliverables" are you selling? (The Profile or Summary of Qualifications) Who has trusted you before? (Past employer) How long did they trust you? (Duration of employment) What's the biggest thing they trusted you with? (Job title) What were the nature and scope of your responsibilities? (General position description) Did you DO anything with those responsibilities? (Selected accomplishments addressing each assigned functional responsibility) Who trusted you before that? How long did they trust you? Etc.All the venues and all the accomplishments begin pushing the margins outward and shrinking the font size until the resume looks so dense and so cramped that Sam (or Suzy) the Screener lifts it off the pile of 100 resumes. "Long enough to reach the ground. for multifaceted people in their 40's or 50's with a broad variety of employment experience.. Sixteen pages of single-spaced verbiage will exhaust any reader's patience. job seekers whose "product profile" contains a lot of diverse elements and skills may find it difficult to summarize their diverse gifts without leaving out a lot of sexy selling points. going backward Where did you go to school? (Educational summary) . "Reverse-chrons" answer the reader's natural questions in a natural. There are. But for a senior executive or professional. particularly if the formatting preserves a lot of "white" on each page and encourages easy reading and retention.
the more those space-consuming accomplishments naturally mount up. Accomplishments Whether the resume is short or long. title and position responsibilities (this way the reader knows you are observing the reverse-chron format rule and are not trying to wing a functional resume by him/her). etc. certifications." after you've gone over the basic reverse-chron sections. but a separate item completely – with name. called "Selected Accomplishments" or "Relevant Career Achievements. Ramona. This approach allows you to write about more things without bogging the reader down. relevant interests. you must leave enough space on page one to list your most recent employer. Tell Me a Story Each such accomplishment should take the form of a mini-case study that tells a nice. presentations.) Responsibilities vs. if it would be of interest. Six is about the max here: that's all the categories an average reader can handle. They may or may not deliver it at the same time as the core resume: "Yes. Accomplishments – always described in the past tense – are examples of what you already have done. for example. is "here is additional information that expands on my basic pitch points. professional activities. I do have a resume with me. Would you be interested in seeing that too?" And there may be times when this separate accomplishments document should be handed out without the resume. what you're saying. tight little story. Interestingly. the shorter the recitation of responsibilities may need to be (Job Title: President and CEO. you can pull the accomplishments out and stick them someplace else. This supporting document can be perhaps two pages long (I think longer than that is risky). which summarizes my basic career path. What to do? While maintaining the basic reverse-chron format. directly following your "Profile" or "Career Summary. with accountability for everything)." With this approach. mushing them together in a common stew. etc. think of the acronym "SSAR": . the stakes. articles. patents. One option is to summarize your greatest hits in a section headed "Selected Career Accomplishments" near the front of the resume. in essence. address and contact information up top. some long resume writers have formatted this supplemental document as if it's not an extension of their resume. risks and outcomes of this position. professional activities. awards. the higher one rises in an organization. (See an example Selected Accomplishments Resume) You may want to label this ancillary document an "Addendum. The Long Resume: Pushing the Self-Marketing Envelope Page 2 Another approach is to pull the selected accomplishments out of the body of the resume and create a whole new document. and it should be organized around basic topical headings keyed to your experience or functional expertise. Anything else I should know about you? (Affiliations.Responsibilities: Ran the place. They are different: responsibilities describe the nature and scope of your duties. articles. For each entry." By doing so. Also. you choose one "selected accomplishment" for each major functional strength you've listed in your product profile. relevant community/volunteer activity. inept resume-writers frequently confuse responsibilities and accomplishments. they are your performance proofs. Yet the older and more experienced you get. when the recipient already knows the candidate's career history and is interested in learning more about some particular area of his/her experience or accomplishment. books. dates. I've listed some relevant career accomplishments in greater detail on a separate document. Besides. but you don't have to read all this to get a basic feel for the product." Addenda also are great vehicles for listing impressive but tedious credentials: patents. (See an example Resume Addendum) On the other hand. board memberships.
for an experienced. if there are a variety of roles or settings where you might be productive and happy. If you're at a stage in your career where you have a lot to sell or where your marketability is shaped by a lot of factors." Should I Use an Objective? A lot of resume readers abhor objective statements on resumes. use that. The word "objective" basically means. On occasion. "Significantly improved productivity" just doesn't have the impact of "reduced operating costs 22% in six months while increasing top-line revenue by more than 18%. if you can do so without breaching client or employer confidences. it's useful to add plenty of cold. To Survive the Recession." Furthermore. name names.") or was impacted by external events ("following the industry downturn in 2008. Become a Career Athlete .. senior-level employee. policies and procedures – including Sarbanes-Oxley controls – for three of the largest property and casualty insurance companies in the U. If a short. during a period when industry revenues for similar lines declined an average of 35%. 2003. In summary..."). Functions and Setting in which the candidate's skills and abilities would find fullest expression. you may want to provide a couple of interpretative phrases to clarify the waters [see an example]. "I want. On the other hand." Similarly. use a format that delivers all the goods. When readers are interested in specifics. 4. rah-rah verbiage. if you know exactly what you want to do. hard data on the page." making it clear what kinds of positions and employers are inappropriate. remember that resumes are intended to be helpful. as Director of New Product Development for an emerging mid-cap company.1. hard numbers to quantify your accomplishments. What was the Situation? What were the Stakes? What Activities did you do? What was the Result? For example: From 1999 to 2003. It's more impressive to talk about your work with Hewlett-Packard than to say you were employed by "a major technology company. abilities. say so – and an objective is an acceptable way to do this.. concise resume will be most helpful. 3. In short." The employer thinks. 2. "I don't care what you want. Furthermore. On the other hand. On the other hand. never explain. don't draw too tight a box around your product statement. Need more info on how to create your own successful long resume? Check out our examples for a complete guide to language and formatting. I care what I want.S. such a statement can provide a sort of "rule-out diagnosis. "never apologize." and I agree that attempting spin-control in a resume can weaken your case. concrete objective statement can help pinpoint the precise Level. add details. Or: As an external consultant. the resume world is replete with vapid. As our first long resume example illustrates. if your corporate structure or titling is confusing. interests and aptitudes – and let them decide what kind of meal they want. if your company was acquired ("merged with ABC Corp in Spring. no matter what your age. Provide the reader with a "Chinese menu" of your diverse skills. launched three new biochemical product lines and grew revenues from zero to $22 million. Please avoid such empty. Roles. Henry Ford II once said. a little extra explanation is necessary to help the reader interpret the cold. not generalities. I'm the one doing the buying here. have implemented comprehensive litigation management and risk management programs. prove-nothing objective statements: I want a challenging position with a dynamic company that will draw on my skills and abilities and contribute to the goals of the company. a focused.
a career athlete's work can actually create a pleasurable physiological response-what is sometimes called "flow"-that replenishes the spirit as well as the body. but they determine the content and duration of their activity. Sure. but rather. All of us have a mind. exhilarates and rewards them. so all of us have the inherent ability to engage in and enjoy physical activity. . They are passionate about their sport They love the doing of it and are energized and fulfilled by that activity. and leaves them with a pervasive sense of mental and emotional well-being. Worker-champions are the workplace version of Olympians. but they determine the content and duration of their activity. they are career activists. It might be jogging around the neighborhood or playing in a tennis tournament. They can be anyone Athletics are a democratic activity. Our model is not that of the athletes engaged in professional sports. the athletes who are most like us. and all of us can reach for and attain the peaks of our own personal excellence. It strengthens and conditions them. Sure. They are passionate about their field of work They love the doing of it and are energized and fulfilled by it. but all of us can be career athletes. Indeed. they are athletic activists. Their attributes are identical to those of athletes engaged in sports: They are independent Career athletes decide where and when they will work and under what conditions. some of us will perform better than others. There is no end to their effort because they believe there is no limit to what they can achieve.By Peter Weddle In order to achieve true career security in today's tough times. athletic endeavor can actually create a pleasurable physiological response-what is sometimes called a "runner's high"-that replenishes the spirit as well as the body. It might be for one employer rather than another or as an independent contractor. exhilarates and rewards their personal growth. craft or trade A successful career athlete continuously strives to excel and then extend the limits of their performance. and leaves them with a pervasive sense of physical and psychological well-being. so all of us have the inherent ability to engage in and enjoy the work we do with it. It strengthens and conditions their self-expression. Their goal is to be the best they can be in their chosen sport A successful athlete continuously strives to excel and then extend the limits of their performance. There is no end to their effort because they believe there is no limit to what they can achieve. They can be anyone Career development is a democratic activity." We must see ourselves as a new breed of worker-champion. Career athletes are also not amateurs. at least Olympians as they were originally envisioned. some of us will perform better than others. Indeed. but all of us can be athletes. we must re-imagine ourselves as "career athletes. and all of us can reach for and attain the peaks of our own personal excellence. Their goal is to be the best they can be in their profession. All of us have a body. Such athletes have a number of special attributes: They are independent They decide where and when they will exercise their physical abilities and under what conditions. These champions are not amateurs.
Ultimately. the same facts of life apply to our careers as well: st Each of us is individually responsible for the well-being of our own career We must work at strengthening and protecting the health of our career every single day. From our earliest days as a child. We won't transform ourselves into career activists by wishful thinking or by being loyal and dependable and showing up for work every day. confidently and succinctly. when the marbles are down. Certified Master Coach Informal research conducted over the course of three decades of career counseling suggests that over 87. however. There is only one sure way to establish ourselves as genuine career athletes. even the most talented people find it hard describe their strengths clearly. we better our lives. tell me about yourself. the stakes are high and the stress is surging. It alters the possibility in our lives from simple survival to prosperity and fulfillment. by simply stating our intention to do so. Career Fitness will restore us – it will give us back what many of us have lost: our belief in the American Dreambut it will not recreate the past. Yep. and we certainly can't look to our employers to make it happen. Career Fitness gives us the vision and the tools to transform our work into a personal and potent pursuit of happiness. It liberates us to claim our right to full citizenship in the American workplace as well as in the American polity. As a country we have no trouble shouting "look at me!" in every imaginable media outlet. In the 21 Century workplace. Career Fitness enables us to re-set the conditions of our future. and when we accept them. When we ignore them. This concept is based on two lessons all of us have learned about our physical health. Instead. Brag Your Way to Job Interview Success By Douglas B. Career Fitness enables us to become career athletes and face down the bullies among our employers. These responsibilities are also nontransferable and nonnegotiable. parched mouth. we harm ourselves. and that's to practice Career Fitness." "What are your greatest strengths?" "Why should I hire you?" The same research suggests that at this moment. we harm our standard of living. It's a Drag to Brag . It gives us a new vision for our work and the fortitude and self-confidence with which to redesign the nature of our employment.6% of all job interviews begin with one of three queries: "So. It empowers us to end the abusive behavior of bad employers and to reach for the extraordinary occupational goals that each and every one of us is naturally capable of achieving. Richardson. We also can't rely on serendipity or depend on fate or good fortune. in a job interview – we suddenly go all shy. and when we accept them. These responsibilities are nontransferable and nonnegotiable. but when it's time to sing our own praises up close and personal – say. we better the quality of our lives.5% of all interviewees experience involuntarily-dilated pupils. we are taught that: Each of us is individually responsible for the well-being of our own bodies We must work at strengthening and protecting our physical well-being every single day.We can't become successful career athletes. It will not bring back the gold watch or a workplace built on (seemingly stable) career ladders. When we ignore them. sweaty palms and an incipient case of brain freeze. 87. It transforms the reality of our workplace experience.
planned. Conceived. employers want to know what you have already done. isn't it?)." If your personal vocabulary is short on action verbs." "I have always performed best in situations that required strong project management abilities." This is unsupported self-praise – it's not true just because you say it is. If you drop in a bunch of high-level words and phrases not used in everyday speech. if you've prepared carefully for the interview and planed for possible questions. In addition to all these "Do's. At least you're not alone. as well as simply conveying meaning: "struck a balance among competing interests" instead of "mediated controversy. and the interviewer knows it. abilities. Consider these two sentences: "I am a very good project manager." Don't answer questions with "I am. But just because everyone suffers the same out-of-body experience when asked to extol their virtues ("Is this me saying this stuff?") doesn't mean that you can't master some basic techniques to quiet yourself down. even if it's true." See the difference? Use those past-tense verbs! Wrote this. They're not buying abstract virtues. Planned C." or "I am a great project manager" or "I am able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Equally important. Eschew erudite multi-syllabic confirmations of your innate intelligence and concomitant facility to translate definitive denotation into awe-inspiring obfuscation (annoying. Maybe it's lack of basic ego strength. To put a finer point on it. To Be or Not to Be Let's start with one general principle: When most people are asked about their strengths. clean. they crave stories about you in action. cool your delivery and calmly blow prospective employers away. but what you can do ." or " forged a powerful management team" rather than "hired skilled managers. trustworthy." here is one very important "Don't": Don't use overly-fancy words. the belief that your most earnest expressions sound like worthless babble. reverent and wholesome. most of us feel squeamish uttering generalized self-praise. Recruited and trained them. accomplishments and personal strengths. potential employers tend to be most impressed when you list your skills inpast-tense action verbs. We're afraid it sounds arrogant." but instead find alternate forms of expression to keep things interesting. why is it so hard to hit the 'play' button and start promoting your achievements? When the spotlight's on you. The average college-educated worker naturally speaks at about an eighth-grade level of written expression. It further helps to use verbs that create a visual picture of you in action. they naturally start to answer with "I am" – as in "I am intelligent. Implemented and trouble-shot that innovative initiative. Planned B. Or maybe it's simply the worry that aninterview might spin out of control the moment the gate opens. Cut to the Chase Remember that employers aren't interested in who you are. The next principle is that you need to learn how to brag in the past tense. brave. the interviewer will likely think that your answers are rehearsed. or lacks self-awareness. perhaps.Why are we so bad at bragging? If you've done a candid self-assessment. The higher the stakes – I really want this job! – the tighter the tug." One of the most important things NOT to say in a job interview is a form of the verb "to be" followed by some high-flown adjectives: "I am creative. . and you'll fail to generate any rapport or chemistry whatsoever. tallied your skills. Therefore. find a list online. Directed that. humiliation or outright scorn. innovative. or the fear that you're missing crucial signals about what the interviewer really wants. And remember to have variety – don't fall into "Planned A. practical. bottom-line oriented. why do you feel like you're on the verge of a Napoleon Dynamite imitation? Psychologists can probably tell us what the problem is – fear of rejection. action that addresses their company's needs and wants. The fact that you've already accomplished something is evidence that you can do it again – for the next employer. Everybody feels that same strange tug around the diaphragm when it's time to sell themselves. kind.
" or it can be official: "I was named Salesman of the Year in 2005." "Of all the different things that are part of my job. Consider these two statements: "I am an excellent trainer. such as "My mommy tells me I'm adorable.. I enjoy training the most. none of which speak the same language. As this example shows. When asked if you can fix a failing sales force in 16 countries. The source of such praise can be informal. successful boasting relies on the skilled use of understatement. Interviewers are constantly looking out for BS. Anything that suggests your answers are not spontaneous makes it look like you're trying to trick the interviewer. try a few specific techniques on for size." "I really go for situations that require me to. I was able to assemble a new project team and revise the whole design in six weeks with no down time. they say. listen to their point of view. and say quietly. Practice a few variations on this theme: "The kind of challenge I like best is. Continue Reading Brag Your Way to Job Interview Success Brag Your Way to Job Interview Success . "I'd be completely comfortable with that. you could shout "I have every confidence that I can achieve that goal!" Or you can pause." . but looking like you've rehearsed stock answers and impressivesounding words is definitely bad. I'm fair.. and it sounds like this: Well. while the second implies that you're motivated and enthusiastic – and people usually don't like things they do badly. because they suggest a strong drive to repeat the satisfaction: When the crisis hit. and I'm proud of the outcome.Page 2 Preferential Treatment Another low-stress approach to talking about your strengths is to state them in terms of preferences. 2007 and 2008. One comfortable way to sing your own praises is to let other people do it for you. and provide clear performance values and feedback. You're simply passing on what other people have said – or would say if asked. and asking "is this conversation I'm having real?" Being prepared for an interview is good. utterly different impact." This technique has been battle-tested in interviews.. The first is a boast and will be discounted as such. This is a deal breaker for most prospective employers. make eye contact with the interviewer." The awkwardness of self-serving praise is avoided by this technique because you're not the author of the favorable judgment about you. and is unquestionably the easiest and most effective way to brag. I was proud of my people... Practical Tactics Once you've learned how to brag in the past tense.This is not good. my staff tells me they like working for me more than any of their prior supervisors because. This could be called the "other people tell me" approach. Another version of this "I love to do it" approach is the "I'm really proud of it" approach." Same content.. Let your enthusiasm do the bragging for you. Statements of pride in past accomplishments can be powerful." "There's nothing that gives me more satisfaction than.
Now." Tailoring your content to the buyer's perspective pertains both to job-related requirements. it will hold you back. What are your weaknesses?" What Is Your Greatest Weakness? April 20. "I do not hire people to self-actualize. Even if you don’t choose to give me a straight answer on this question.” “She’s a great . This strategy can be summed up by three words: Match.company is looking for. “He’s a great welder but he can’t get along with people. your glaring deficiencies should be on the top of your mind. and the style the interviewer's personality. and I want value for my buck. Stay alert for signals about the interviewer is looking for. than you aren’t preparing yourself for the other stupid questions that will come your way. instead of what you want to offer. If you are the best number cruncher in the government but you can’t speak to other people without stuttering. When important people in your organization are talking about you. I'm a lot more interested in what I want than in what you want. why we’re asking or what we’re supposed to get out of this question. I know all of the cool people in HR think the question is bogus. it will hold you back. but don't try to cover too much territory too soon. If you are a great speaker but you can’t ever execute a plan. If you can’t answer the question quickly or you give me some bullshit response. let me apologize. it will hold you back. If you are the best salesperson in the company yet you neglect your spouse. we'll explore the flip-side of bragging skills – answering the other most commonly paralyzing question: "I understand your strengths. you’re either ill-prepared. To succeed in a job interview. It is easily one of the more common questions still asked today. You can get into more detail after that. candidates are usually so poorly prepared for this question that it usually defeats the purpose of asking it in the first place. and play your cards off those "tells. the most important thing is establishing your fundamental compatibility with the employer." So your interview priorities are these: Find out what the other party perceives as his greatest (and that usually meansmost immediate) needs and interests. Needs. Furthermore. Show how you can meet the company's needs. they are using “but” statements. both in terms of your skill set and building a basic chemistry – the elusive "good fit" interviewers are always looking for. No matter how good you become at anything. your weaknesses will hold you back. 2009 by Lance Haun | 18 Comments Have you ever received that question in an interview? First. Well. maybe even in a second interview. Sales professionals know all about this: it's called "qualifying the lead. I'm the one who will be paying the money. you’re probably all liars when it comes to this question which is why I don’t ask the question much. They have a point but there are thousands of bogus questions getting asked daily that we never address. Next time. not at all self-aware or a liar. Then highlight your skills and abilities that are relevant to those needs. you are either well rehearsed or you are extremely self-aware. Here’s what I’ve figured out from asking this question (or being in interviews where this question is asked): If you answered the question quickly. Most of us in HR who ask this question don’t even know what we’re asking." As one HR expert once said. If you aren’t preparing yourself for this stupid question.
” Those “but” statements point to your perceived weakness. My weaknesses are pretty simple ones: Impatient – If you tell me I can’t do something now. At my first job. I said I was good on detail orientation and simply made it happen. Being approachable helps in HR but it is a pain when it is time to lay down the law and people don’t understand why the attitude has disappeared. I have to work twice as hard on it but I can make the big picture stuff happen more quickly to make up for it. Lacking detail orientation – Terrible weakness for a HR person in the current legal climate right? Absolutely. Getting married has helped this immensely but I am sure my wife would say it still needs improvement. you know. I either figure out a way around you or I lose interest in it completely.I couldn’t ever say this in an interview (because it would sound like BS) but my laid back attitude has definitely impacted my career negatively. sounds corny. What I can say is that working on all three of these has made me not only a better employee but a better person. Laid back . What’s your greatest weakness and what are you doing to improve it? . Unless you are wildly successful (like top 0. Some people have advocated just focusing on your strengths and letting them compensate for your weaknesses.CEO butshe is a liability with the press. Which. focusing on your strengths to compensate for your weaknesses isn’t going to get you anywhere. Maintain (or slowly build your strengths) and focus your energy on your deficiencies instead.01%). Yes.
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