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Never lie on your resume!

How long should you stay at a job you hate?

Everyone goes into a new job with a sense of optimism. New place, new coworkers, new responsibilities — what’s not to be optimistic about? After that initial buzz, however, you suddenly realize: I hate my job. It’s rarely in your interest to quit on the spot when you have that revelation, so how long should you stay? Let’s look at a few of different scenarios:

When seriously bad things are happening.
If you’ve discovered that there are illegal or harmful things going on at work, or your work is causing you serious physical issues, then you should definitely consider getting out now. It’s a safety issue.

When you hate your boss, and your work is starting to suffer.

If your work is making you miserable and you just can’t seem to get along with your boss, then it’s time to start thinking hard about your exit strategy.

But if you can hold on for a few weeks or months while you start putting out feelers about a new job, then you should delay handing in that resignation letter.

When you’re bored or mildly unhappy.

If your job isn’t challenging you like it should or you have a general diagnosis of Over It-itis, then definitely start thinking about your next steps. Don’t quit just yet.! Because this isn’t an emergency, you have time to do some soul searching about why you’re unhappy at work and what you can do to fix that. You may find that adjusting your workload or taking on different projects could make you happier and more fulfilled.

Before you quit, talk with your boss (without issuing any ultimatums) and let him know you’re interested in taking on more opportunities, or changing up your role. If he’s receptive, then give these new responsibilities a try. If he’s not, or you’ve tried out this new regime and you’re still unhappy, then step up your efforts to find another job before you quit this one. Remember that fairly or not, it’s almost always easier to find a job while you already have one.

Here’s what you need to consider before you quit, under an! y of these scenarios:

What is my financial situation? Do I have enough savings to cover a potentially months-long job search?

Do I have some good potential job leads lined up, or an interim plan (like freelancing or consulting)?

Are there any skills I will need to build before I try to get a comparable job (or a step-up job)?

Is there anything that I could do or ask of my boss that would make my job bearable again?

It’s best to have a plan here; the last thing you want to do is quit your job in a huff, and then realize that you’ve made a mistake. Sometimes leaving is the right thing to do, and quitting ! can push you to move your career forward. But if you take that step before you’re ready, you could be opening yourself up to a period of stress and career upheaval unnecessarily.

Kate Lopaze is a career advice journalist for where this article was originally published. She investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

The best way to answer, ‘Why should I hire you?’


It’s the moment of truth: You’re on the job hunt, have landed an interview and it’s going well. You’re making a great impression on the person you’re meeting with, and it really feels as if you have this locked up. Then all of a sudden, you’re hit with the big question: "Why should I hire you?"

On its face, it may seem like an easy question, but that can be deceptive. There’s a lot riding on your answer (namely a new job), and the way in which you answer the question may reveal a great deal to the person who’s making the hiring decision.

Don’t worry — there are some effective strategies for how to handle this question that can help turn a good interview into a great one, ensure that you leave a positive, lasting impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of getting hired. The Balance, a personal finance website, published an article highlighting proven strategies for handling the, "Why should I hire you?" question. Consider taking advantage of the following tips: Build your pitch

Your answer to the question should reflect a deep awareness of the requirements of the position that you’re interviewing for, the needs of the company and the personality traits, skills and experience that make you an ideal candidate.

This means that you should always do your homework before getting to the interview, and you should be ready to confidently connect the dots between you, the employer and their needs. It never hurts to take a look at the keywords in the job posting and incorporate some of them into your answer. Still, you should always be ready to tweak your answer to reflect any new information you get during the interview.

Keep it brief

A good answer to the question should not be an endless soliloquy. Keep it short, simple and to the point.

Your one goal is to succinctly encapsulate why you bridge the gap between the position you’re vying for and the needs of the company.

Think a minute or two, tops.

Anything longer may exhaust the listener.

What makes you stand out?

It’s always smart to keep in mind that for every good answer you have for every interview question that arises, there’ll be a pack of other qualified candidates who are prepared with good answers, too. Make sure your response separates you from the crowd. Anything that makes you unique and could be viewed as a potential check mark in the "pro" column when hiring personnel are deciding about you is fair game.

Perhaps the interviewer mentioned that the company is seeking to expand its business internationally and you speak the language of a country that they may be looking to do business in — that could be a potential game changer.

Try to have your own game changer in mind when facing this question. Not only will you seem well-suited for the job, but it will also show that you’ve done your homework and know what the company is all about.

"Why should I hire you?" is a question that has the potential to leave you rambling while not saying much of anything.

Don’t waste your opportunity to create a powerful, pointed answer. Your interviewer will be impressed with your ability to summarize all you have to offer in a focused soundbite — you’ll look prepared, confident and responsible, all traits that are key to getting the job.

Eric Titner has been an editor and content creator for more than a decade. His primary professional focus has been on education- and career-related topics. He currently lives in New York City.

Candidate Q&A - Can I refuse to share my personal information?

Question: We are a small company. The owners want us to include personal information on their social media pages and be part of a monthly newsletter to clients. For example, information about what we’ve been doing with our families or favorite recipes. This makes me uncomfortable, as I want to keep my personal and professional lives separate. The owners are making this mandatory. Can I say no? — Michele L.

A: Yes, you can say no. But let me suggest another approach that involves conversation and compromise.  How about asking the owners to talk more about what they hope to accomplish by sharing such information?

Many businesses are eager to take advantage of the personal engagement that can be developed through social media or newsletters. However, sometimes they haven’t thought about the risks associated with putting such information out there.  Listen to their thoughts about why and how they want to use the information. Then share your concerns.

You might mention that publishing employee photographs or personal family information could potentially expose an employee or her family to security risks. Remind them that once photos and info are public, the company has little control over where they may end up.

You could suggest your company prepare an employee authorization/release to help owners understand they really should get your permission before sharing any personal information.
Now comes the compromise part. If your employer insists all employees participate, consider a middle ground. You could agree to post a favorite recipe, a photo of the family pet or other information that has less risk of revealing personal information than your picture.This could help your company meet its digital engagement goals and still keep most of your personal business offline.

Q: A recruiter requested that we FaceTime or Google Hangout as part of the interview process. This request made me uncomfortable. I pushed to meet in person, but the recruiter opted for a phone call. It didn’t go well. I feel the use of video is a way to potentially discriminate. (I’m in my 50s and African-American.) When I declined the video chat, it seemed as if the recruiter felt I was hiding something. What do you think about video interviews? Should I have said yes? — David L.

A: If you are unfamiliar with a new technology, it is understandable that it may feel uncomfortable, especially in the high-stakes context of a job search. But inevitably, the hiring process will reveal the candidate’s gender, race and age, so video interviewing doesn’t really present a significant additional risk.

Video interviewing is a growing technology used by employers in recruiting and hiring, and it is not going away. Not only can video help job seekers make a connection with a company earlier in the process without the added expense and disruption of an on-site interview, it allows recruiters to interview more candidates face to face earlier in the process.

Don’t let your discomfort with the technology be a barrier to using it. The secret to successful video interviewing is practice.  Try out different systems and setups. Watch how-to videos on YouTube for guidance on lighting and camera angle. Get comfortable chatting with friends on free video platforms such as Zoom and Skype.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., a human-resources expert, is tackling your questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management.

9 things young job seekers say that wanna make me scream!

Just came across this fantastic, biting piece from Ted Williams of CharlotteAgenda:

Recently, I’ve been talking to more and more college students and recent graduates looking for jobs in advertising, marketing, media and communications. When I give job search advice, they look at me like I’ve got three eyes. Ugh.

Somebody is giving creative students awful job seeking advice. It’s likely somebody who’s never actually hired a young creative.
The stuff I hear from creative students drives me insane.
It makes me so mad that I want to join a university and develop programs that spit out highly employable, skill-rich graduates ready to dominate — instead of deer-in-headlight creatives unprepared and $120,000 poorer.

If you’re a creative employer, please join me in trying to rid these 9 things that young creative job seekers say.

Keep in mind that these thoughts are only for 20-something job seekers looking for creative careers. It’s different for people beginning careers in industries like finance and engineering, which have much more established career tracks.
uptown skyline sunset from wework

“I just applied for the social media manager position on the website, but I haven’t heard anything back. Weird, right?”

If a creative job has been posted online, you’re too late.
Job postings on creative roles from companies you’ve heard of receive anywhere from 300-500 applicants on average. If you’re just randomly sending your resume into an online job posting, you’re screwed. Stop it.

“I’m definitely not interested in a sales role, I’m looking for something in digital strategy.”

If you think sales is just for Michael Scott types, you’re wrong.
If you can’t sell, you’re limiting your creative career. Go sell something.
Some of the best experience you can get as a young person is software sales. Look at growing software startups like Passport, MapAnything and AvidXchange.

“There are no open job postings, so I didn’t reach out.”

Creative companies are ALWAYS hiring smart people that can solve problems.
Hiring you just isn’t that expensive. You likely cost between $30k-$50k. That’s just not material to most employers IF they’ve got a shot at landing their next superstar employee.
If a company has under 200 employees, go directly to the owner/CEO and tell them how you’re going to solve their problems and grow their business. “But that’s hard to do,” you say. Exactly.

“I don’t want to meet with the CEO and pitch ideas on how I’d grow her business.”

Let me guess, you want to grab coffee and “pick her brain on the industry.”
It’s exhausting for a creative leader to spend 60 minutes in small talk at the Starbucks on East Blvd in a brain picking session — all the time knowing that you’re just thinking, “Can you hand me a perfect job without me doing anything?”
Don’t put them through this torture. Don’t take, give. Add value by pitching solutions to the CEO’s problems.

“I’m not looking for a freelance, contract or internship position — I’m only looking for a full-time job.”

And I’m looking to only fly private.
Whether you like it or not, without a track record, many top tier employers will test you with project work. Always get paid (don’t do unpaid stuff), but take it seriously — creative leaders are always watching everything.

“I think my resume is perfectly polished”

Oh cool, you have your 3.5 GPA, college involvement and industry-specific internship showcased on your resume. Guess what? So does EVERYBODY.
The best way to get hired is to have a reputation, not a resume. And the best way to develop a reputation as a young person is to go launch stuff.
There’s just no excuse for creatives who haven’t brought an idea to market. Go launch an Instagram handle dedicated to local fashion and grow it to 10,000 followers. Go run an ad campaign for your favorite pizza joint that drove 50 customers on a Monday night. Go shoot 15-second Facebook food videos that never get under 5,000 views on Facebook. Go sell social media services to 5 small businesses.

“Haha, no I didn’t put Snapchat on my resume, but of course I know how to snap.”

But let me guess, you put “Proficient in Microsoft Office” on the bottom of your resume?
Keep in mind, you’re a subject matter experience on how communication works in the 18-25 demo. Act like one. It’s valuable.

“I don’t want to keep reaching out with good ideas because I’m scared of being annoying.”

Deleting emails is easy. It’s really not annoying. Management at creative companies and high-growth startups probably delete 200 emails each day from somebody pitching something.
“I’m not interested in this candidate because they send too many good ideas and they’re too ambitious,” said no employer, ever.
Be persistent.

“I’m just really eager to learn.”

Wait, that’s your pitch?
Your pitch is that you want an employer to pay you so that you can learn from them? I give up.

Older Workers Should Watch for these Trends

by Eric Titner

Attention baby boomers — not all trends are created equal. Each year, we see a variety of new workplace trends take hold, which often vary by industry, geography and even individual demographics. One of these factors is age — simply put, there are factors in the job world that affect older individuals differently, based on their level of experience, personal needs, comfort level in a rapidly changing work environment and longevity in the job market.

Baby boomers (individuals born between 1946 and 1964), face some unique issues and challenges in the work world. This aging population possesses a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise, but is growing older in a workplace that increasingly prizes youth and vitality, and many are approaching the age where retirement is a consideration. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, approximately 29 percent of the workforce in the United States — which represents approximately 45 million workers — is part of the baby boomer generation. Although this number continues to shrink each year, it’s still a significant amount of people. Therefore, it’s worth taking a closer look at the trends these older workers can expect to encounter in today’s workplace.

More flexible work arrangements

Although this may not seem like much of a departure from the norm for younger workers, older workers who are typica! lly more used to the traditional Monday to Friday, 9-to-5 office arrangement may need some time to get used to the changing notion of what it means to be "at work." Advances in technology have made it easier than ever before to work remotely and telecommute — and older workers will get the opportunity to take advantage of the flexibility this allows.

Baby boomers who work in fields in which telecommuting is a viable option and possess the technical knowhow can expect to encounter more flexible work arrangements. This is often a good thing, allowing for a faster, easier and less expensive commute to the office — which might just mean walking into another room in your house.

Rise in contract employment

Another trend that may hit baby boomers harder than their younger counterparts is the change in how employers are hiring individuals to meet their needs. Many companies are embracing leaner approaches to staffing by using technology to get more work done with less people on their payrolls.
Companies are also increasingly relying on unorthodox work arrangements, relying more on contract, freelance and part-time workers to get things done.

These new workplace arrangements typically don’t include benefits like medical and dental insurance, which usually become more essential as workers get older, so workers are going to have to get creative and seek out alternative means for coverage. Another element missing from most forms of contract employment is retirement benefits, which will impact how workers prepare and save for retirement in the future.

Delaying retirement

A growing trend that many older workers are facing is the notion of having to delay exiting the workforce for as long as possible.

According to a recent article by U.S. News & World Report, this can be attributable to a wide range of factors, including older workers not having enough money saved, needing health insurance, desiring to stay active and productive and simply enjoying working and passing on their knowledge and skills to a new generation of employees.

These are the biggest trends older workers can expect to encounter in 2018. Those employees who will prove most successful in coping with a rapidly evolving workplace will stay one step ahead of these shifts and strategize accordingly.

Greenville Receives Top Honors from National Geographic!

National Geographic Travel is the latest to honor Greenville.

The travel magazine released its list of the best small cities in the U.S. this week, naming 29 "Cities on the Rise.

The list was sorted into 10 categories that the magazine said influence both residents and visitors.
Those categories are:

Most Hipster Friendly (coffee shops, tattoo parlors, record shops, vintage stores)
Musically Grooviest (music venues, live music, instrument stores)
Most Instagrammed (hashtags) 
Most Artsy (art galleries, art supply stores, art schools)
Best Groomed (barber shops, hair salons, hair removal services, cosmetic dentists)
Meatiest (butchers, delis, steakhouses) 
Sudsiest (breweries)
Most Dog Friendly (pet sitting, pet stores, pet groomers, dog friendly restaurants) (breweries)
Most Caffeinated (coffee shops) 
Greenest (parks) Greenville earned its spot as! one of the "meatiest" locales.

The city’s feature in the magazine notes Greenville’s number of butchers, delis and steakhouses, with a shout-out to Halls Chophouse.

Naturally, the feature also highlights Greenville’s Falls Park, the downtown spot that has become the face of the city.

See the full list at 

What NOT to include on your Resume...

We’re not telling you anything you don’t know when we say that today’s job market is intense, across industries and professions, every job opening is met with a rush of talented and qualified applicants from around the country, all vying for the same spot.

With hundreds of people applying for open positions, you’d better be sure that every aspect of your job-hunting game is razor sharp, including your resume.

If you’re sending out resumes with any of the following things on them, stop what you’re doing and make some changes — fast.

Salary requirements
Unless you’re responding to a job ad that specifically asks for your salary history and requirements (and if it does, include it in your cover letter), save the salary talk for the negotiation once you’re offered the job. Your first impression and your resume should be all about what you can offer a prospective employer, not what you require from them.

Personal social media links
Save your limited resume real estate for professional accomplishments and experience, not your social media activities. In fact, it’s much more likely that there are things on your social media pages that could dissuade potential employers from hiring you than convince them that you’re the perfect person for the job.

"Creative" fonts and images
Sure, it makes sense that you want to stand out from the job-hunting crowd and make a lasting impression on prospective employers, but using a magenta-colored font or embedding photos of you and your dog won’t bring you the kind of attention you’re looking for.

Hiring managers are busy people with limited time, and won’t sift through a maze of creative flourishes to get to the heart of your resume and figure out whether you have what it takes to handle the job. Help them by making your resume as professional and easy-to-follow as possible.

A boilerplate objective statement
A generic, objective statement is typically a waste of space on your resume, as it likely just repeats the messaging you have in your cover letter, and often is full of tired clichés (more on that later).
Besides, hiring personnel know that your primary objective is to get this particular job, or you wouldn’t be applying for it.

Outdated skills
Are you proud of your Word-Perfect wizardry or your ability to operate a fax machine?
That’s great, but keep it to yourself — shining a light on your mastery of outdated office technology will not only fail to impress potential employers, it will make you seem out of date.

Also, don’t bother talking about your skills with obvious office tools like Microsoft Word, telephones or email.

In today’s job market, your ability to navigate basic office technology is a given, not a bonus.

Resume clichés
Are you a "team player," your office’s "go-to person," or a "passionate self-starter"?

While these may all be true, these tired and worn phrases come off as weak and meaningless on resumes — they’re simply overused, generic clichés that have long since lost their ability to impress hiring personnel and make you stand out from the crowd.

Save your bullet points for targeted, measurable, results driven facts that drive home your perceived value as a prospective employee.

This one seems obvious, right? Well, you’d be surprised by how many people think that too, and then send out resumes with glaring typos on them. A nationwide survey released by CareerBuilder found that 58 percent of resumes received by those polled had typos. Sloppiness is not a good way to introduce yourself! to prospective employers!

After crafting your resume until it’s just right, be sure to check it carefully for errors — and then check it again.

Better still, have someone you trust review it as well. Only when you’re absolutely, positively sure that your resume is free from typos and mistakes should you even think about sending it out.

Along with your cover letter, your resume is going to serve as your first impression, so there’s simply no room for error. Make sure that the things mentioned here are as far from your resume as possible, and you’ll be sure to make a better impression on hiring managers and prospective employers.

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

How to Best Answer the top 4 Phone Interview Questions


You’ve submitted your resume for a job opening, and now you’ve got your first bite — a phone interview. You might encounter the phone interview for two reasons: You’re currently far away from the hiring company, or the company wants to do a preliminary screening.

Either way, it’s likely a precursor to some kind of physical meeting. The main goal is usually to see if you meet certain requirements and would likely be a good fit for the job. If a company has a lot of great-on-paper applicants for a single position, phone interviews are a way to narrow the candidate pool.

How do phone and sitdown interviews differ?

There’s the obvious format difference, for starters. Instead of physically sitting face-to-face and being able to read body language cues, you’re sitting by yourself. That can be a benefit, but also a drawback. You’re in a bit of a void, counting on your conversational skills to get you through to the next round.

Also, while an in-person interview is usually with the hiring manager, you may be talking to a human resources representative or a recruiter for a phone interview. It’s important to know who the interviewer is upfront. If it’s a recruiter or HR person, you can be a little more general.
If it’s the hiring manager, you should be more detailed about your qualifications.

How to prepare

Make sure your voice is calm, confident and conversational. It may help to to dress up in your normal interview clothes and call a friend or family member right before the interview to get into a conversational mode.

You want to come across as friendly and competent. Make sure you’re allowing the person to finish speaking before you answer, and don’t feel like you need to fill in any brief silences with nervous chatter.

Do your homework on the company, the job and the interviewer. The beauty of the phone interview is that you can have notes right in front of you, without the interviewer knowing you’ve got a crib sheet, or the talking points about your resume that you want to emphasize.

Lastly, make sure you’re settled in a quiet spot where you can conduct your interview in peace.
Here are some common phone interview questions, and how to approach them:

"Tell me about yourself."

Limit your answer to a few highlights about your career, especially those relevant to the job for which you’re interviewing. An elevator pitch comes in very handy here.
"What interested you about this job?"

This is where your preinterview research comes in handy. Talk about one of your goals that this job would help you achieve or mention something you like about the company.
Make it clear that this job is an opportunity you didn’t want to miss. The more specific and authentic your answer, the better.

"Tell me about your current/most recent job."

The interviewer isn’t necessarily interested in every one of your daily tasks, thoughts and opinions about the work.

Instead, focus on the parts of your job that relate most directly to the job you want, and highlight the accomplishments.

"Why are you leaving your job?"

Part of the phone interview process is weeding out people who aren’t a good fit. They want to know you’re not a flight risk or unable to work as a member of a team. The answer shouldn’t focus too much on what dissatisfies you about your current job. Instead, emphasize your goals and this new job.

A phone interview may not be the main interview in your hiring process, but it’s such an important first step that it should be treated every bit as seriously as any other kind of interview. Being prepared will help you be read! y to answer any question that comes your way.

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

Questions You Should Ask in an Interview

It's game time — the interview is here. You prepped well. You aced the handshake. anticipated the questions they asked and wowed them with your smooth, competent demeanor and relevant work anecdotes.

Or maybe it wasn’t your best interview (it happens) and you need a way to salvage the whole thing. Either way, as the interview is wrapping up, it’s time to close strong. This is your chance to leave a valuable impression on your way out.

At this point, most interviewers will open the floor to you by asking if you have any other questions. Before you simply shake hands and say "thank you for your time," consider asking these four questions! to finish strong: 

1. "How would you describe the culture here in the office?’* This question shows that you’re already thinking about how you can fit in and add value to this company. It also gives you an unofficial glimpse into what the company is like — information that you can’t necessarily get from online research.

The interviewer is unlikely to tell you the "warts and all" version, but it’s a good way to get an initial feel for whether the job will truly be a good fit for you.

2. "What’s been your favorite part about working for this company?"
This engages the interviewer’s personal side, letting them give an opinion that isn’t necessarily based on the c! ompany motto or the job description. The answer can be even m! ore revealing about the day-to-day life at the company than asking, "What’s the dayto-day like here?"

For example, at one interview I asked this question and was pleasantly surprised to find out that once a month the company throws a pizza party for employees and holds regular events like employee bake-offs and craft fairs. That told me that the company valued employee morale, and was a deciding factor when I accepted the job.

If the interviewer seems stumped by this question and has to think a while before answering, that may be a red flag, which is also good information to have.

3. "What experience best prepared you for working here?"
Again, this engages with th! e interviewer and gets him or her respond candidly without being too intrusive or personal. It also tells you about the kinds of skills that will serve you best in this role, regardless of what’s in the job description.

For example, if the interviewer tells you that working for a chaotic small company prepared her for the "all hands on deck' attitude of this place, it tells you that teamwork is prized here. You can respond by saying something like, "I thrive in that kind of atmosphere too. Working at a small mom-and-pop store taught me how valuable it is for everyone to pitch in to get the job done."

4. "How would you describe the leadership style here?"
Up to this point, it’s likely that the interview was focused on the job itself and your qualifications. This question opens it up a bit and tells you more about t! he expectations of the company for this job — whether it’s a hands! -on management kind of company (or potentially micromanaging), or a leadership style that relies on employees being more independent.

It also tells the interviewer that you’re thinking about creating a productive, in-tune relationship with your potential manager.

As with all interview questions, it’s important to read the flow of the interview. If you’ve covered any of these topics earlier, no need to rehash them at the end — it could look like you weren’t paying attention.

But making sure you have a potential list of thoughtful, engaged questions ready to go will help you finish the interview in a polished, professional way.

Kate Lopaze is a career advice journalist for, where this article was originally publishe! d. She investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one's career.

Effective Networking Skills Key in Today's Job Market!

Here's a Summary of the Event Ever wondered how you could make yourself more comfortable with the mechanics of networking? Or if there was a way to strengthen the connection with your network contacts? Speaker Elizabeth Kunze's topics included:
  • Increase your comfort level in networking
  • Explore ways to make authentic connections with network contacts;
  • Examine your network strategically to determine if, where and how you may want to take proactive action to modify your network.
Speaker is Elizabeth A. Kunze, an Executive Coach and Corporate Trainer with more than 15 years’ of leadership development experience working with clients ranging from hourly employees and plant managers to senior leaders and CXOs. In her role as Executive Coach and Corporate Trainer, she has facilitated many seminars and workshops on Executive Presence, Networking, Entrepreneurship and Career Navigation. 
Elizabeth Kunze
Her Leadership Development practice entails working closely with leaders and organizations competing on a global scale in manufacturing, research, engineering, and technology. Prior to her current role, she spent more than 20 years in strategic marketing and business intelligence across a wide range of industries and organizations, mostly technical or engineering based. 
Elizabeth combines broad-based analytical and strategic thinking skill with extensive cross-cultural experience – including working with expatriate leaders on global and domestic assignments – as part of her Leadership Development practice.
UWIT is held monthly at City Range on Haywood Road.  Networking starts at 11:30 and lunch is served at 12:00.  Please register online  for future gatherings at   Walks-ins welcomed with cash or check payment of $20.  Contact Jill Rose at 864-908-0105 or for more information. 

That Salary Question!

Without a doubt, the "What is your desired salary?" question is one of the hardest to answer — either on a job application or in an interview situation. An online application doesn’t usually offer a box to tick for "I’d be willing to negotiate, within reason."

Don’t just make something up.

If you’re faced with a dropdown application box, remember that you have two tools available to you. First, do your research. Find out what the industry standard would be for that role in that geographical area, and ask for that (or a little higher or lower depending on your particular skills and experience). This is vital for not being weeded out based on asking for far too little or far too much.

Most companies have hiring policies that dictate they will pay new hires the midpoint of the stated salary range they are prepared to offer. Negotiation technique would suggest you ask for just a bit higher than the midpoint, in order not to be offered less than policy would get you.
Use your application to explain your reasoning.

A good use of your cover letter is to justify the number you selected. This is where you can add in that important sentence about being open to negotiation. Or explain, with numbers, why you feel a percentage increase from your former salary is called for — based on performance appraisals, market trends, new skills or experience, etc.

How to figure out and verbalize what you want.

There are different ways to go about this. You can ask for a flat salary number per year, which is usually negotiated and standard across a wide variety of industries and careers. Or, you might be looking for a job where you’re asked to state what you would expect to make per hour. In both cases, it’s important to ask for just a little more than you expect to be offered — usually 10-15 percent above what you really need to make.

In the case of hourly pay, make sure you’ve done the calculations to figure out exactly how much you need to make per hour to make ends meet. Most workers can expect to work about 2,000 hours per year. Don’t forget to factor in sick days and vacation time — for which you will often not be compensated in an hourly wage job. Don’t accept a job for less unless you absolutely have to!  And don’t forget to ask about overtime and bonus pay, if applicable, so you can factor that into your calculations as well.

Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where you don’t particularly care what you make for salary, as this number might be standard or nonnegotiable in your industry, but there are specific benefits you’d like to negotiate towards. If there are any deal breakers for you in the benefits package, make sure to focus on these when asked about your salary requirements.

The bottom line.

Make sure you know the minimum you need to make. You can always use that as your answer, "I can’t accept this position for anything less than [AMOUNT]." And be prepared to hold to it. (These calculations are important and should be done with care.) If you prefer a softer touch, you can always answer, "I think [AMOUNT] would be a fair salary for this position."

Peter Jones is a career advice journalist for, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

UWIT Lunch and Learn a Success

PMO’s – The Future, According to Gartner
Jennie Fowler, a Project Management expert, presented her view of the PMO looking ahead several years at the Upstate Women in Technology learning lunch on September 28th.  It was an eye-opening presentation on the IT Project Management Office and its future.
Did you know that Gartner predicts by 2020 that 60% of current IT Project Managers will be replaced by other roles outside of IT? 

Some questions that were covered in this luncheon were:
•  Where is project management headed by 2020?
•  Why are some current project management practices insufficient?
•  What new PM skills and capabilities are critical for your future?

UWIT president Jill Rose with Jennie Fowler
UWIT is held monthly at City Range on Haywood Road.  Networking starts at 11:30 and lunch is served at 12:00.  Please register online  for future gatherings at   Walks-ins welcomed with cash or check payment of $20.  Contact Jill Rose at 864-908-0105 or for more information. 

180 Day Onboarding Timeline Ideas For New Employees

Please include attribution to with this graphic.
180-Day Onboarding Timeline

12 Recruiting Statistics Recruiters Need To Know!

12 Recruiting Statistics That Will Change The Way Your HireThis infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the employee engagement survey software to help companies improve morale.

Perceptive Recruiting Featured in GSA Business Report

How to "Crush" your Phone Interview


So you have followed all the best resume tips and land yourself a job interview. You’re prepared to interview, you’re just not prepared to do it on the phone.

Here are nine ways to adapt your interviewing strategy to the phone format, without losing your cool.

1. Be ready
Sometimes you’ll be notified to schedule. Sometimes the call will come straight out of the blue. If you’re not somewhere where it would be convenient or possible for you to chat, ask the interviewer if it would be possible to fin! d a mutually suitable time. If not, don’t panic: You can do it. Once you’ve applied for a job — any job, make sure you start mentally preparing for the interview in case you find yourself thrown into one just by picking up the phone.

2. Be organized
Have a copy of the job description and whatever information you’ve gathered about the company at your fingertips before the call begins. While you’re at it, make sure to also have a copy of your resume and your application materials as well. Otherwise, the interviewer will be able to hear that frantic stalling and rustling around.

3. Be prepared
The phone interview is just like any other interview. You should be well versed in your answers to common interview questions, or questions you think will b! e likely to come up for that particular position.

The only difference is you’ll have to be charming without your knockout smile and friendly face. Try compensating with more vivid answers.
And cut the rambling and verbal fillers like "um," which will stand out more over the phone.

4. Smile
Seriously. Not only can people hear the difference when someone is smiling over the phone, smiling will have a massive effect on your demeanor. You’ll sound much more upbeat and confident.
Keep a mirror by the phone if you need reminding.

5. Use the Internet
If it would be too compli cated to explain something, or you want to be able to provide a visual! , try directing your interviewer to your website, portfolio or LinkedIn page.
That way, you can talk them through it during your actual interview, narrating each accomplishment for them.

6. Be easygoing
Initial interviews, par ticularly over the phone, are not the time to start making demands or asking very particular questions about personal time off, benefits packages or job duties. Make them want to talk to you again; hopefully that will score you a proper faceto-face interview where you can proceed with your usual interview protocol.

7. Be smooth
Just like in any other conversation, try and match the tone and speed and volume of your interviewer. Ask a friend to assess your telephone voice for you in a! dvance and give you feedback.

8. Be firm
Don’t let your interviewer off the phone without scheduling another interview. Or the name and contact information of someone you can be in touch with at the company to follow up.

9. Say thank you
Even though it’s a phone interview, the normal rules apply. That means a written thank-you, emailed or handwritten. Don’t be too pushy, but it’s always OK to subtly remind them of your strengths in your thank-you note.

Peter Jones is a career advice journalist for, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

Thought Leaders in Executive Recruiting

Our fearless leader Jill Rose was recently asked to participate in a roundtable discussion of executive recruiting trends and challenges:

Whether you  are a company seeking an executive or an executive looking for a new work environment, it is important to find the right match.  To do that, you can trust your instinct or you can find a professional firm that specializes in making that connection.  Here, we get insights on the world of executive recruiting from four industry experts in the Upstate. Their insight includes the challenges to executive recruiting in the Upstate as well as company trends when seeking the right fit.

Pick up a copy of the June 12th issue of GSA Business Report for the "rest of the story"!

Join a Talent Network!

I saw this article by Deanna Hartley of CareerBuilder in the Greenville News over the weekend, and found it a worthwhile read...

If you want to work for a company but can’t find open positions, or have been rejected for a position at your dream company, it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. You may be the right candidate for the company you’re applying to, but not the best fit for any open positions right now. That means the right fit for you is still out there — and you can get closer to it by joining a talent network.

Talent networks are automated platforms where job seekers can enter their information into a company’s database with the goal of being notified of new job opportunities. It’s beneficial for the company because it allows employer! s to create a talent pipeline, and there are many ways job hunters can benefit from talent networks as well.

Here are a few:

1. It will give you a chance to understand the company better.

Companies today are increasingly leaning toward building and nurturing relationships with job seekers over time versus just looking to fill positions that may be open right now. Subscribing to a talent network opens the door to enabling employers to engage with you — and other candidates who have opted in to a talent network — more so than they would with other job seekers who don’t opt in. It will give you an opportunity to get to know the company, its culture and the expectations that are set for employees.

And you can leverage this additional insight when applying for future positions at the company.

2. It will save you time.

One pet peeve many job seekers complain about is that they’re forced to re-enter or resubmit the same information over and over again. With a talent network, you won’t need to re-enter your information because it already lives in the database.

Also, since you will be alerted to new relevant opportunities that will open up down the road, you won’t have to keep checking back in.

3. It will keep you top of mind for employers.

Even if your dream employer or employers don’t have any job openings at the moment, you don’t need to feel like you have to sit on the sidelines and wait. You can take a proactive step that could get you closer to landing that dream job when i! t becomes available. You’ll have a better chance of remaining on a company’s radar if you’re in their pipeline.

"It can’t hurt if it’s a company you’ve always wanted to work at," says Christy Hopkins, a human resources consultant and writer at Fit Small Business who also maintains an HR consulting and recruiting firm with small business clients. "If there are no open roles we are looking for that fit you, you can still submit your résumé to the general database. This is useful for us in that when a client comes to us for an urgent need — we can search our database and see if anyone fits their criteria by setting parameters around keywords and locations."

4. The talent network can do some of the work for you. 

We get it — you’re a motivated job seeker and you want to get out there and do the hard work of! finding the right job. But don’t be afraid to get a little help from! your friends — and in this case, a company’s talent network can be your best friend.

Some companies will go so far as to send you personalized alerts with jobs that best match your experience and interests. You will be able to make the most of tailored job recommendations and customized messages coming directly from the company itself.

Deanna Hartley is a writer for the Advice & Resources section on
She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

You Gotta Sell It!

I came across a salient commentary on the state of hiring by Paul Davidson in USA Today.  One that business owners and managers should at least peruse...

The Good, a small e-commerce firm based in Portland, Ore., has been besieged by an armada of Silicon Valley tech giants including and Airbnb that have invaded the region in the past year or two and are cherry-picking skilled job candidates.

As a result, it’s taking the company — with seven full-time workers and another seven part-timers — about three months to fill openings, up from two months a year ago, company President Jon MacDonald says.

"There are lots of people just looking to move to higher-paying employers," he says.  At 4.7%, the unemployment rate was near its 10-year low in February, down from 4.9% a year ago, supplying employers a smaller pool of available workers. The tight labor market is making hiring a struggle for most companies, but small businesses face an especially daunting task. While some add or sweeten benefits and salaries, they typically can’t compete with packages offered by larger firms.

Thirty-two percent of small businesses had openings they weren’t able to fill in February, the largest share since 2001, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ monthly survey, which mostly covers companies with fewer than 50 employees. Seventeen percent of firms cited "quality of labor" as their biggest problem, a 10-year high. And 85% of those seeking workers said there were no, or few, qualified applicants.

"The big firms skim the better-skilled people," says William Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist. That, he says, can contribute to more modest sales growth as key positions stay vacant longer.  The Good, which helps e-commerce companies optimize sales, vies for analysts, strategists and software developers against Salesforce, Airbnb and Ebay. All have opened satellite offices in Portland. In response, The Good has increased starting salaries by 5% to 10% over the past year and plans to offer paid maternity leave this year, MacDonald says.

Thornhill and Associates, a Los Angeles-based insurance firm, also trumpets its less tangible worker benefits. But company President Neal Thornhill says his best drawing card is that he lets employees work at home and set their own hours.

"We may not have benefit packages as competitive as the larger companies, but we provide a better quality of life," he says.

Why it’s crucial to use keywords in your résumé

I recently came across this article by Deanna Hartley of CareerBuilder.  It's worth a read...
When it comes to finding a new job, there’s a crucial step in the résumé-writing process you may not have heard about to improve your chances of making it past the initial round of screening.
“With … more and more recruitment services transitioning to being solely online, HR departments are using different computer programs to scan through résumés and pull out documents based on the frequency of certain words and acronyms,” says Valerie Streif, senior advisor at Mentat, an organization that hires, manages and mentors prospective job candidates.
While you painstakingly perfect your résumé, remember that a hiring manager potentially has to sift through dozens of other résumés and use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to cut through the clutter.
“An ATS scores résumés based on how well their content matches the keywords input by a hiring manager — this is why it’s imperative to incorporate relevant keywords and phrases throughout your résumé,” says Andrew Pearl, partner at Precision Resumes, Inc., a career management services firm. “Without those keywords, you won’t make it past the first gatekeeper in the hiring process. You can have the best qualifications, but if you’re not framing them right and using the most relevant keywords, you’ll miss out on opportunities.”
Keep these tips in mind when writing your résumé to help you get your foot in the door.
Research and identify other keywords to highlight.
Don’t be afraid to borrow language from the job description.
“Recruiters are comparing you against the job description, and often times they’re looking for buzzwords,” says Cristina Lara, manager of global diversity programs at Amazon, and a former national diversity manager for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “It’s still a good best practice to reframe your work experiences using the language of the job description. This will make it easier for recruiters to mentally align your background with the job, and you’ll increase your chances of having your résumé sent up to the hiring manager.”
Examples of keywords you’ll want to integrate include job title, technical skills and academic requirements, according to Pearl. “Evaluate the posting you’re applying to, line by line, and highlight what appear to be the most fundamental terms,” he says.
“If the job posting is sparse, find other similar job descriptions online and use those as a guide for determining keywords and phrases. Focus particularly on similar jobs in similar industries to make sure the jargon you incorporate in your résumé is on track.”
Master the art of sprinkling keywords throughout your résumé.
Cheryl E. Palmer, owner of executive career coaching firm Call to Career, recommends including a section at the top titled “Core Competencies” where the keywords could be highlighted prominently.
“That way, the keywords are at the top of the résumé and are easily found, [and] you can also judiciously sprinkle keywords in the ‘Professional Experience’ section,” she says.
Remember that context is key.
“Keywords should also be in context with the content — plugging in a list of skill sets in a bulleted list and not actually relaying how you know the skill, or what you did with it, is useless,” says Dawn D.
Boyer, résumé writer and CEO of D. Boyer Consulting.
For example, instead of merely listing “business development,” “marketing,” or “sales,” Boyer advises that you say “Responsible for business development and marketing to 25 Fortune 500 clients, with contract sales resulting in $500 million in revenue within six months of hire.”
Palmer agrees it is more effective to show rather than to tell. “For soft skills, I recommend demonstrating a result rather than simply listing these types of skills,” Palmer says. “Instead of saying: ‘good people skills,’ it’s more impactful to say, ‘Improved staff relations through regular meetings where staff members could clearly define expectations for upcoming projects.’”
Deanna Hartley is a writer for the Advice & Resources section on researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Happy Birthday Jill Rose!!

Looking to break into a new role?

Sarah Sipek of CareerBuilder published an excellent column in last Sunday's Greenville News (check it out).  I gleaned several nuggets of wisdom, one of which I thought I'd mention here.

One of the "search hacks" Sarah points out is building a relationship with select recruitment companies.  Here's her take:

"Recruiters are the gatekeepers to many jobs.  Karla Jobling, director at London-based recruiting firm Beecher-Madden, recommends reaching out and making a personal connection.  "Build relationships with one or two select recruitment companies that specialize in the area you work in," Jobling says.  "Take the time to meet with them.  They will approach you with suitable roles when they come up.  Many of these aren't even advertised, and you don't have to do anything - just wait for the calls to come in.""

Our "favorite candidates" are ones who have taken the time to come by our offices, introduced themselves and described their desired career paths.  So, come by and see us.  We'd love to get to know you.

Having "THAT" Conversation...Drama Free Advice!

How do you handle conflict or a challenging relationship in the workplace?  Dealing with a difficult person’s behavior can really feel like a waste of time and zap your energy.  However, conflicts are an inevitable aspect of people working together. 

When conflict surfaces, you need to know how to identify and deal with it so that it doesn’t drain your energy, infect your whole life, and sabotage your effectiveness at work or in life In short, you need to know how to have THATconversation. 

Amy L. Robinson presented her "Learn how to communicate with an accountable and drama free message" to the UWIT group today at City Range restaurant.  Amy, headquartered in Greenville, is an executive coach and organizational consultant for high performing individuals, teams, and organizations. She is founder of Aspire Higher, women’s leadership development group coaching program for female talent in the workplace. Aspire Higher prepares participants for leadership and career development by accessing each women’s authentic strengths and hone essential leadership skills including negotiating, communicating, creating vision and strategy, and influencing. In addition to individual and group coaching, Amy is a facilitator and keynote speaker on professional development topics. She is passionate about creating gender-partnered leadership cultures within organizations. For more information about Amy and her services, visit

UWIT President Jill Rose (l) with Amy L. Robinson

UWIT is held monthly at City Range on Haywood Road.  Networking starts at 11:30 and lunch is served at 12:00.  Please register online  for future gatherings at   Walks-ins welcomed with cash or check payment of $20.  Contact Jill Rose at 864-908-0105 or for more information. 

Interview Tips

By asking only a few questions an interviewer can get a good idea of whether or not you are suitable for the position.

The information you receive from us about the company and the work will help you to understand the background of the position for which you are being considered. Even more important is knowing yourself and being able to present that information to the client, your past achievements and your present strengths. The interviewer wants to understand these areas so he can determine how you will fit into the orginganization. Your manners, social sense, and ability to speak clearly and directly count. In interviewing in person, you should dress appropriately and neatly, and pay attention to grooming.

Above all, listen carefully to the interviewer's questions and take your time in answering. Don't feel you have to be talking constantly. From time to time ask questions yourself to clarify the meaning of a question or to show appropriate interest.

Here are some basic questions that might be asked of you. The interviewer wants to get a sense not only of what you CAN do, but also what you WILL do. In answering any questions, look for ways to giving a correct but positive impression of yourself.

Read more »

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11/27/2017 11:20:00 AM
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11/13/2017 11:10:00 AM
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11/06/2017 08:46:00 AM
That Salary Question!

10/04/2017 01:12:00 PM
UWIT Lunch and Learn a Success

09/29/2017 10:08:00 AM
180 Day Onboarding Timeline Ideas For New Employees

09/26/2017 09:01:00 AM
12 Recruiting Statistics Recruiters Need To Know!

09/15/2017 03:45:00 PM
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09/05/2017 11:15:00 AM
How to "Crush" your Phone Interview

06/14/2017 10:32:00 AM
Thought Leaders in Executive Recruiting

05/08/2017 08:58:00 AM
Join a Talent Network!

03/31/2017 08:25:00 AM
You Gotta Sell It!

03/20/2017 10:10:00 AM
Why it’s crucial to use keywords in your résumé

03/14/2017 11:02:00 AM
Happy Birthday Jill Rose!!

03/09/2017 08:26:00 AM
Looking to break into a new role?

02/24/2017 01:38:00 PM
Having "THAT" Conversation...Drama Free Advice!

02/16/2017 11:05:00 AM
Interview Tips