Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting Great Letters of Recommendation from Professors

By Susan Gainen

Best letters

The best letter of recommendation speak to intellect, work ethic, personality, and why you are particularly well-suited for a job. It also gives an employer a sense of who you are, and what it might be like to work with you. Speaking up in class last year (or five years ago) with no further contact makes it impossible for anyone to write an effective letter on your behalf. 
You can't begin too soon to get to know the people on your faculty whose work intrigues you and whose minds challenge you.

How do I get to know a professor?

 See tips here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Men's Guide to Buying Dress Shoes & Caring for Them

Interviewing soon or want to add to your professional wardrobe?  Some tips on what type of shoes are appropriate and how to buy a quality pair of shoes that will last many years.

If your budget won't allow for a more expensive pair of shoes, at least polish the best pair you have before an interview!

Shoe Basics

1 The Laces

It’s an inescapable fact that a lace-up still looks better with a suit than a slip-on.
2 The Color
Black will always be dressier than brown. If you’re suiting up for a board meeting or a formal event, go with the former. If necessary, however, you can pair brown lace-ups with suits – especially navy or charcoal – as long as they’re scuff-free.
3 The Material
Glossy leather is the fail-safe choice, but you should feel free to experiment with suede – starting with a pair of classic bucks and progressing to exotic materials like alligator and ostrich or the growing number of antiqued leathers.
4 The Toe
An elongated toe is unequivocally classier than a square. That doesn’t mean all your lace-ups should be pointy – lots of elegant cap toes have squared-off tips – but unless you’re aiming for mid-nineties nostalgia, no shoes you wear should have a blunt, squared-off toe. I suggest staying away from them.
5 The Welt
Well-made lace-ups should have a close welt – the seam where the upper meets the sole and creates the outer edge of the shoe. It should be visible, but it shouldn’t extend so far past the edge of the shoe that it creates a ledge.
6 The Sole
A thin sole is the hallmark of a cheap shoe – plus, it not only looks cut-rate, it wears out more quickly. Yours should be at least a quarter-of-an-inch thick and preferably leather, not rubber.
7 The Broguing
Traditionalists will tell you that the more broguing – decorative stitching and perforated and serrated edges – a shoe has, the less dressy it is. But while it’s true that heavily embellished bucks look better with sport jackets and tweed than with pinstripe suits, this rule is flexible.

See full article here.

Shoe Care Tips

How to polish shoes:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tweet your way to your dream job

By Amy Levin-Epstein
(MoneyWatch) Twitter isn't only a great way to research your dream company before a job interview, it might even help you land a meeting. (Don't believe it? Read these success stories.) Here are some things to Tweet at a company you're interested in, from career and social media expert Heather R. Huhman, founder of the consulting firm Come Recommended.

Ask for an informational interview
Emailing is still an effective way to score a coveted "get in the door" interview, but if you can fit your request into 140 characters, Twitter can also work, says Huhman. Just be sure to mention something that draws you to the company, so they'll see that you're focused on their company, not just any company in the Twittersphere.

See full article here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

10 Habits of Remarkably Charismatic People

By Jeff Haden

Charisma isn't something you have. It's something you earn. Here's how.

Some people instantly make us feel important. Some people instantly make us feel special. Some people light up a room just by walking in.

We can't always define it, but some people have it: They're naturally charismatic.

Unfortunately, natural charisma quickly loses its impact. Familiarity breeds, well, familiarity.

But some people are remarkably charismatic: They build and maintain great relationships, consistently influence (in a good way) the people around them, consistently make people feel better about themselves--they're the kind of people everyone wants to be around...and wants to be.

Fortunately we can, because being remarkably charismatic isn't about our level of success or our presentation skills or how we dress or the image we project--it's about what we do.

Here are the 10 habits of remarkably charismatic people:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nontraditional Career Paths at Law Firms

By Hillary Mantis

Did you know there are positions in large, prestigious law firms for lawyers seeking career alternatives — with no brief writing, contract reviews, or billable hours required?

There are several career paths for lawyers seeking non legal positions in law firms these days. Here are a few of the more popular options:

Legal Recruiting:
This position may be all too familiar to you — these are the staffers in law firms who coordinate the firm’s on campus recruitment program, summer associate program, and often manage the firm’s lateral hiring needs. If you were jealous of the people running the summer associate program at your firm, rather than practicing law, this may be a good future option for you. Skills needed: excellent people skills, management skills, attention to detail, and problem solving skills. This is not a career for someone who would like to be left alone in the office.

Marketing/Business Development:
As competition to attract clients and develop business has grown significantly, law firms have continued to develop marketing departments. Often staffed by lawyers, the marketing team assists lawyers with finding client development, speaking and writing opportunities, as well as preparing for client pitches. Skills needed: business and marketing skills and background, excellent writing skills, knowledge of the legal market.

See full article here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

5 Ways to Maximize the New LinkedIn Profile Layout


If you haven’t heard, your LinkedIn profile is about to get a face-lift – if it hasn’t already. LinkedIn announced in mid-October that it would be rolling out a new look to profile pages aiming to make it easier to showcase your experience and connect with others. To see examples of the new page, click here for an interactive example or click here to see my full profile in the new format (click the link on the right to view the Full Profile).

With the new layout, it is becoming more important than ever for you to complete your LinkedIn profile so that recruiters can gain better insight into your skills, experience and talents. Here are five tips to prepare your LinkedIn profile for the updated look.

1) Add a Professional Photo of Yourself

The new profile page has a prominent placeholder for a photo of you. As you seek to build relationships on LinkedIn, people will want to see who you are – just like on Facebook or Google+. Remember to use a professional-looking head shot and not your favorite pic from last year’s summer vacation.

2) Make Your Headline Meaningful

Use the title or headline as an opportunity to grab your page visitor’s attention. Rather than simply list yourself as a “student,” use industry buzz words to show your ambition and career potential. Perhaps you are a “Rising Culinary Expert” or an “Aspiring Writer.” Or, you could use this space to cite your own personal branding statement – citing your career goals. And, in your contact info, don’t forget to list your personal website, Twitter and/or blog URLs.

See full article here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Think Before You Reject a Job Offer


I had my first candidate rescind their acceptance of an employment offer. The candidate received an offer of employment, considered the offer, accepted the offer, and almost four weeks later called to tell me that they had changed their mind and was taking back their acceptance.

Rescinding your acceptance is an act that is difficult for a recruiter to forgive. In fact it’s very likely that because of this action, “we are never, ever, ever getting back together.”

See full article here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Acing the "What's Your Biggest Weakness" Interview Question

This post originally appeared on For more articles on answering common interview questions, click here.

When you Google how to answer this question there are a lot of mixed opinions, but they generally fall into one of three camps:

1. Spin a negative into a positive. Such as, “Sometimes I spend too much time checking my work because I want to make sure it is perfect.”
2. Deny having any weaknesses. This one is the least common, and pretty obviously not the way to go.
3. Give an honest answer. Such as, “An area I am trying to work on is public speaking. It is not naturally something I’ve been able to master.”
I firmly believe in option 3. Answer the question honestly… without shooting yourself in the foot. Why?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Congrats! You’ve Landed a Job Interview… Now What?

Interviews are arguably one of the most intimidating and important aspects of job hunting. A bad interview could quickly land you in the “No” pile, while a good interview could give you that final push you need to land the job. So what can you do to prepare for a big interview?

For starters, it’s best to research the organization and develop your own sense of why you want the position. The Forbes Career blog recently posted an article stating that most common interview questions stem from “the only 3 true job interview questions:
Acing your response to an interview question requires pivoting off your basic answer to reinforce your strengths, motivation or fit – depending upon the true underlying question. If you don’t answer the question, you get an F. If you simply answer it, you get a C or maybe a B. An A, and ultimately getting the job in most cases, requires more.
As I’ve articulated previously, there are only three true job interview questions:
  • Can you do the job?
  • Will you love the job?
  • Can we tolerate working with you?
(Strengths, motivation, and fit.)
But what happens when you’re responding to questions from someone who hasn’t been trained in interviewing? Take charge in a way that makes them feel good about themselves and what they uncover about you. To do this successfully, follow three simple steps: Think – Answer – Bridge
  1. Think before opening your mouth.
  2. Answer the question asked.
  3. Bridge to answer the true underlying question.
Career blog The Ladders also recently wrote about one of the most-asked questions during interviews: the dreaded “Tell me a little bit about yourself?”:
The Wrong Response
There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?” That tells me you have not prepared properly for the interview and are likely to be equally unprepared on the job. You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it and be able to deliver it with poise and confidence.
The Right Response
To help you prepare, I spoke to a number of career coaches on how best to respond when faced with this question. Heed the career advice that follows to ace this opener:
The consensus of the coaches with whom I spoke:
  • Focus on what most interests the interviewer
  • Highlight your most important accomplishments
Click here to read the entire Forbes Career article, and click here for the article on The Ladders.

Friday, February 1, 2013

How to answer 7 of the most common interview questions

Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff 
“Tell me about yourself.” While this isn’t exactly a question, answering this the wrong way could really hurt your chances of getting a job, Teach says. “I was once told by an HR executive that this can actually be a trick question. Hiring managers can’t ask you certain questions legally but if you go off on a tangent when answering, you may tell them some things about you that are better left unsaid.” The worst way to approach this request is to tell them your life story, which is something they’re definitely not interested in. The best way to approach this is to only discuss what your interests are relating to the job and why your background makes you a great candidate.

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?” It’s easy to talk about your strengths; you’re detail oriented, hard working, a team player, etc.–but it’s also easy to get tripped up when discussing your weaknesses, Teach says. Never talk about a real weakness unless it’s something you’ve defeated. “Many hiring managers are hip to the overused responses, such as, ‘Well, my biggest weakness is that I work too hard so I need try to take it easy once in a while.’ The best answer is to discuss a weakness that you’ve turned around, such as, you used to come in late to work a lot but after your supervisor explained why it was necessary for you to come in on time, you were never late again.”

See full article here.