Clean Up Your Online Presence

It’s more important than ever to brush up on your social media do’s and don’ts when it comes to job searching. Prospective employers may be Googling your name and looking you up on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

It is generally advisable to keep all social media profiles as private as possible while you are job searching. The one exception, however, is LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile should include a professional head shot and be up-to-date with your most recent experience and qualifications. Take the time to write an engaging summary that will catch the attention of hiring managers.

Learn How to Cancel a Job Interview

When you have an appointment for a job interview and you can’t make it, what should you do? Sometimes life happens – a child or other family member may become ill, you may have a suddenly conflicting work obligation at your current job, or your car might have decided to break down the morning of the interview. The answer depends on whether you have decided you don’t want the job after all and want to cancel completely, or if you want to simply reschedule for another date and time.

How to Cancel a Job Interview

In either case, it’s important to let the employer know as soon as possible that you’re not going to be able to make it to your interview appointment. If at all possible, don’t wait until the last minute. Let the employer know as soon as you’re aware you can’t make it.

The interviewer’s time is valuable, and another applicant can be scheduled in the time slot you’re giving up. You also want to stay on good terms with the employer in case you want to reschedule or if another job opens up with the company that’s a better fit for you.

When You Don’t Want to Reschedule

If you have decided that you’re truly not interested in the position after all, and you don’t want to go to the interview, it is common courtesy to let the interviewer know that you have withdrawn your candidacy for the position. Think carefully, though, about your reasons for declining the interview – if you aren’t 100% sure whether or not you’d want the job, it’s generally better to attend the interview as a “fact finding” mission.

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7 Secrets to Staying Positive While Job Searching

Secrets to staying positive when your job search has you ready to ugly cry in front of what feels like the gazzilionth job application on your laptop. Job Search Tips | Jobs | Career Advice | Interviewing | Interview Tips | Job Search Tricks | Resumes | Cover Letter | Job Interview | Interview Questions | Motivation | Inspiration

Let’s be real, looking for a job can be downright draining. It can be tough to stay positive while job searching when you’ve reached your breaking point and are ready to throw in the towel. You’re firing away cover letters left and right and all you hear is crickets. Or, you feel like you nailed an interview, but you just got word that you didn’t quite make the cut.

The whole experience can feel a little defeating. Or, have you ugly crying in front of your laptop. The truth is, there are a lot of factors why your job search might not be going as seamlessly as you would have liked. But, there are ways to keep your spirits up amongst the rollercoaster of applications and interviews.

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What Not to Bring to a Job Interview

What you shouldn’t bring to a job interview is important. Believe it or not, there are stories of applicants for internships and entry-level jobs bringing their mom or dad to the interview! Don’t do it. It is both awkward and unprofessional to have a third party in the room.

In fact, it will probably cost you a job offer. You need to be able to interview on your own merits, and the company wants to interview you, not your parent.

Some other interview don’ts:

Don’t chew gum or suck on candy.  Throw out the gum or candy before you enter the office.

Don’t carry in your morning coffee or protein shake.

Don’t walk into the office talking on your phone or texting. Turn off your phone or ringer before you walk into the building. Don’t even have your phone out!!!

Don’t wear a hat or cap, leave it at home.

Don’t overwhelm the interviewer with your piercings or tattoos. If you have a lot of piercings or earrings, take out a majority of them, so they aren’t a distraction (one pair of earrings, is a good rule). Do your best to cover your tattoos.

Don’t put on any strong perfumes or colognes; you never know if someone is allergic in the office.

Don’t bring your parents!  Leave your parent(s), friends or anyone else at home or in the car, if you needed a ride.


What to Bring to a Job Interview

What should you bring to a job interview? It’s important to enter an interview prepared with everything you physically and mentally need, organized and ready to go. There are also some things that you shouldn’t walk into an interview with.

What to Bring to an Interview

Directions. If you’re not sure where you’re going, bring directions and any instructions the hiring manager may have given you. If you have an email confirmation of the appointment, bring that too.

If you can, do a test drive to the location to see how long the drive is, you do not want to be late. Try to arrive 10-15 minutes early.

Identification. If the building has security, you may be asked to show identification, or you may need it to complete a job application. Bring your driver’s license or another form of identification with you.

Notepad and Pen. There is nothing worse than searching for a pen or asking to borrow a pen, during the interview, so make sure to bring your own.  Also bring a notepad so you can jot down names, company information, or questions you come up during the interview. Bringing a pen and notepad shows you came to the interview prepared.

Names of Contacts. Write down the name of the person you’re interviewing with on your notepad. It can be easy to forget a name, and you don’t want to be embarrassed. Also bring the name of the person who arranged the interview, if it’s a different person.

List of Questions to Ask. Have a list of questions to ask the interviewer when they ask you at the end if you have any questions for them. You will be thankful you prepared some questions ahead of time, sometimes trying to come up with a meaningful question off the top of your head can be challenging and stressful.

Extra Copies of Your Resume. Bring several copies of your resume to give out upon request. Your resume will also give you the details, like dates of previous employment, which you may need if you have to fill out a paper job application.

Reference List. Bring a printed list of references to give to the hiring manager. Include at least three professional references and their contact information.  Choose references that can attest to your ability to perform the job you are applying for.

Work Samples. Depending on the type of job you’re interviewing for, you may need to bring samples of your work. If they don’t lend themselves to print, consider bringing your iPad or laptop.

A Portfolio. A portfolio is a great way to package all the items you’re bringing with you to the interview in a neat and orderly fashion. That way, you’re organized, and everything you need will be readily accessible.


Des Moines top 5 in Forbes’ “Best Places for Business and Careers”

Iowa’s capital and largest city is ranked fifth in Forbes’ 19th annual ranking of “Best Places for Business and Careers.” Des Moines performed especially well for its business costs, which Forbes says are 15 percent below the national average.

This ranking compares the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas and divisions in the U.S. on 14 metrics relating to job growth, business and living costs, income growth, educational attainment, projected economic growth, net migration patterns, cultural and recreational opportunities and highly ranked colleges in the area. Forbes places the most weight on business costs and educational attainment.

This is the latest in a number of recent recognitions for Iowa’s quality of life. Check them out below:

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