Three Good Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

September 5th, 2012

As a job candidate, you probably prepare for answering tough job interview questions. However, do you also prepare for what you ask the job interviewer? Your questions can be just as much of a “fit” indicator to potential employers as your answers are to their questions.

Never ask the interviewer anything about their company that you could have learned through research, e.g., the company’s website, LinkedIn, your library’s resources, etc. Companies want to feel special – that you have taken the time to determine if you are pursuing their opening because your interest is piqued based on your research, or if you’re just desperate for a job. Do your due diligence!

Here are three good questions to ask:

1) Why is this position open? (Is it a new one, or did someone leave? Why did they leave? Is there an internal candidate?)

This question tells the company that you’re serious about wanting this position. It also tells them that you are trying to assess your fit for the position, which you are. It’s important for you to know who the ideal candidate is for this job, based on who’s held the job before. If it’s a new position, then you may have some input into how the job is defined, if you’re hired. If there’s an internal candidate, then that raises many more questions in your mind, e.g.,  will the internal person have an edge among the competition? (Not good news for you.)

2) What is the most important (or biggest) problem you have that you want someone in this position to tackle?

This question tells the company that you’re already…

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Busting Free from the Control of Email

August 20th, 2012

Remember the 1980s movie, “Ghostbusters?” The plot involves a trio of ghost exterminators who try to save New York from supernatural doom when a river of slime grows unchecked under the city, threatening to obliterate humanity.

After 13 years of working in my virtual career coaching business, I admit that I’ve been “slimed” by the over abundance of emails – email drives my business and I am tired of it!

When I boot up my computer in the morning, the first thing I do is check my email. I get invigorated from the thrill of never knowing what awaits me. It might be a potential client’s inquiry, it might be a sign-up for my newsletter, or it might even be a new client contract! More likely, though, hiding behind cloaked headers are unwanted solicitations for anything from male sexual enhancement drugs to how to get my Santa letters addressed from the North Pole.

After reviewing 50 or more email headers in my inbox, deleting what I perceive as junk mail, saving my subscription newsletters for future reading, handling requests for information about my career services, and responding to clients who have emailed me overnight, whew! – I feel like I’ve worked a full day and it’s only 8 AM!

At this point, I’d probably be OK having invested only an hour or so into my email management. However,

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How a Resume Writer Writes the Best Resumes

August 10th, 2012

So you think it costs too much to hire a professional resume writer? After all, why should you pay a few hundred dollars for a quick typing job that you could do you yourself, right? If this is your belief, then I beg to differ with you. Let me show you why.

Anyone who has written his or her own resume will tell you that the process takes hours to produce a document that will get you a job interview. No, it is NOT a typing job – that’s the easiest part. Preceding the typing is the assembly of your employment, education, and other resume data; organizing it; selecting impactful action words and phrases to articulate it; choosing which accomplishments merit bulleted statements; designing the format and style (oh, you’re just going to use a Word template? Hmm..); rewriting it to fit into two or three pages (depending on certain factors); and so much more.

I’m sure you’ve heard that tons of people are searching for jobs these days. Without attention to the necessary details, your resume won’t pass the 10-second glance - the time a recruiter or HR person takes to look at your resume to see if it deserves further scrutiny. What does your resume say – and how is it said – to draw in the reader? Will your resume get picked to go to the second round? Mind you, we’re not talking about job interview here, only resume screening.

Here’s how a professional resume writer approaches the resume writing process after you hire him/her:

1) Gathering the resume data

Whether the resume writer provides you a questionnaire to complete, interviews you verbally, or does a combination of both, the goal is to extract so much information about your career and education that there is much more data than could possibly be included in a resume. What’s the purpose? A resume writer needs to know your job target and the supporting background you have to document it. A resume writer uses an objective eye to tie your experience

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Boost Your Job Search Effectiveness

August 6th, 2012

Has a state of exhaustion overcome your good intentions to stay focused on a job search? Many job seekers have been unemployed for months, if not years. Many are burned out, burned up and just plain tired. If that fits you, now is the time to re-examine your job search strategy and kick it up a few notches! Imagine a tired long-distance runner nearing the finish line. What does he do? Fall out of the race or dig deeper for the extra spurt of energy needed to cross that finish line?

Let’s look at some ways to enhance a job search that will help speed up your reemployment.

Boost Your Activity

How do you track your job search activities? Do you have a system in place to keep your contacts organized so you can methodically follow up on a regular basis? Do you set goals and reward yourself when you meet them? Organization is the only way to stay on top of all the activity surrounding a professional job search. Utilizing technology can save time and the support of a Career Coach can keep you on track.

Challenge yourself to increase the weekly contacts you make. If you currently reach out to three per day, raise it to ten. For anyone with sales experience, this tactic should be familiar. You up your chances for success by increasing your calls – it’s a numbers game. Track your average rate of return…you will need to collect your “no’s” to get a “yes,” but it only takes one “yes” to get a job!

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Career Coaching: The Core of All Career Services

August 4th, 2012

As the phone rings, I set my timer for the career coaching session that is about to begin. Sally is always on time for her weekly career coaching calls, and I tell her how much I appreciate her promptness. Once we exchange pleasantries, I ask her what issue she wishes to focus on today. Although I had offered her fieldwork to complete after last week’s session, I ask her what issue is most important – perhaps the fieldwork will have to wait, as the client always drives the career coaching agenda and I let her do that.

Sally decides to discuss the fieldwork, an exercise on clarifying her work values and determining how they align with her company’s culture. It so happens that Sally is unhappy at her current company, or maybe it’s just her current position, or her boss. She’s not sure, and that’s why she has hired me. She needs a sounding board, a personal career trainer who will ask her the tough questions to help her figure it all out and determine which career changes she needs to make. She needs a career coach!

When Sally first contacted me she thought she just needed a new resume as she felt her only option was to enter a job search. Upon initial discussion with her, I quickly learned that she couldn’t define her job target, wasn’t sure of her skills, and was overall very confused. I explained the career coaching process and how it could help her…

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CNC Repair Technician

May 3rd, 2012

Recruiter wants to fill position for a leading worldwide supplier of high-quality laser cutting systems, waterjet cutting systems, press brake systems, software and material handling solutions for the processing of metal and other sheet materials. Position will be based in Kansas City. Attitude is key.  Seeking customer centric, get-the-job-done type candidates. All Service candidates must be troubleshooters with a road warrior mentality. Experience with field service on capital equipment is fine – doesn’t have to be laser equipment.  Recent graduates who are passionate, energetic, dynamic will also be considered.

Candidates should have AA Degree or Certification in machining, CNC, or similar background and have hands on experience installing, maintaining, and/or repairing heavy machinery/capital equipment.

Compensation is $22-$25/hour, depending on experience.  There is quite a bit of overtime also (currently averaging about 500 hours/year).  Company offers a phenomenal benefits and expense package (per diem, phone, laptop, mileage reimbursement, etc.

If interested and qualified, contact recruiter directly:

Tony Young, Managing Director
Global Recruiters of Chicago NW
224.858.4663 Office
224.858.4047 Fax
tyoung@grnchicagonw.com

My Top 5 Business Email No-no’s

April 19th, 2012

Some people say that email is going the way of old-fashioned letter writing, soon to be forgotten. Instead, we will all be communicating only with smartphones or some other technology not even yet developed. This frightens me as communication isn’t always about speed, but also about messaging. Complete, easily understood messages are the next best thing to phone calls or in-person conversations.

Doing business is a human interaction, not an exercise in technology. For now, many businesses have employees relate to each other through emails even if the recipient is a stone’s throw away from your cubicle. It is conceivable that you could be working on a project with a co-worker in the same building and never meet face-to-face!

This is all the more reason for thorough, but succinct, emails between workers. Business depends on your message being understood by all recipients – and so does your career! As humans, a few of us can read the same message but comprehend it differently. Be careful in not only what you say, but how you say it. Limit your use of emoticons.

Here are my top five email no-no’s to avoid in business:

1) Using any short-cut spellings associated with texting.

2) Misspelling names of colleagues and managers.

3) Assuming recipient(s) know what you’re talking about – explain.

4) Forgetting your manners – be polite.

5) Sending too quickly – do you really want to reply to all?

Interested in more email tips? Check out: 101 Email Etiquette Tips.

Your comments are welcome, especially if you have more email no-no’s to add to my list.

Wishing you career success in 2012!

Meg

Using LinkedIn For Local Job Search

March 17th, 2012

Assuming you have a LinkedIn profile (if not, WHY?), the next step is “working” it. Join professional groups where you ask and answer questions to spotlight your expertise. But more than that, join local LinkedIn groups where you may also find opportunities for face-to-face meetings. Some local groups even offer regular meet-ups where you may network in person with those whom you have met online.

As a Kansas City Career Coach, I recommend the following LinkedIn Groups for relationship-building online and in person in the Greater Kansas City Area. Contact me if you know of others:

* Kansas City Live Networking

* Linked to KC

* Kansas City Networking Society

If you want to relocate to another part of the country, look for online LinkedIn Groups to join in that area. Get job recommendations from Group members to pave the path to your new job before you physically relocate. When you make LinkedIn a part of your everyday social networking, you’ll be surprised at the rewards you reap.

Wishing you career success in 2012!

Meg

Kansas City Area Job Lead

February 1st, 2012

Merchandising Specialist – Lawrence, KS – 1200242

Job Description:

DESCRIPTION/RESPONSIBILITIES: SUMMARY STATEMENT: The Part Time Merchandising Specialist is responsible for stocking and zoning product, maintaining account aesthetics and may involve processing product returns. Daily communication and follow-up with the Sales Representative is expected. TYPE OF SUPERVISION RECEIVED: This Part Time position is under the supervision of the District Sales Manager and is given direction from the Sales Representative. JOB REQUIREMENTS AND DUTIES: including but not limited to the following: * Maintain account aesthetics (zoning, alphabetizing, maintain modular integrity). * Responsible  for setting product to plan-o-gram, perform resets, POP placement, inventory counts, and moving product from the stock room to the Sales floor. * Maintain excellent rapport with store personnel. * Communicate to the Sales Representative on a daily basis as to all activities accomplished as well as any Sales opportunities. * Work flexible Shifts (am or pm) based on store requirements and needs. * Work a minimum of one 4-hour weekend Shift based on store requirements. * Other duties as assigned.

Specific Skill Requirements and Essential Job Functions:

REQUIRED SKILLS: PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: including, but not limited to the following: * Must be able to lift objects and product up to a maximum of 50 lbs with frequent lifting and/or carrying of objects/products up to 35 lbs. * Work could be performed while sitting, standing or walking. * Work performed will entail fine manipulation of hands and/or fingers, as well as repetitive had action. It will additionally entail bending, twisting, squatting and climbing, as well as upper and lower body mobility. * Work is based on store requirements and could include flexible Shifts (am or pm). * A minimum of one 4-hour weekend Shift as based on store requirements is expected to be worked. * Valid driver’s License is required as travel to additional locations may be necessary * Automobile liability insurance is required to be maintained. COMPETENCIES: * To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies to perform the essential functions of this position: * Problem solving – the individual identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner, gathers and analyzes information skillfully and maintains confidentiality. * Interpersonal skills – the individual maintains confidentiality, remains open to others’ ideas and exhibits willingness to try new things * Oral Communication

- the individual speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations. * Written Communication – the individual edits work for spelling and grammar, presents numerical data effectively and is able to read and interpret written information. * Quality Control – the individual demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness and monitors own work to ensure quality. * Planning/Organizing – the individual prioritizes and plans work activities and uses time efficiently. * Adaptability – the individual adapts to changes in the work environment, manages competing demands and is able to deal with frequent change, delays or unexpected events. * Dependability – the individual is consistently at work and on time, follows instructions, responds to management direction and solicits feedback to improve.

Anderson Merchandisers:

Find out why Walmart, the nation’s leading retailer, partners with Anderson Merchandisers to connect their brands to America’s shoppers. Anderson Merchandisers  delivers more than a merchandising service; it delivers the best entertainment experiences for America’s shoppers to help your product stand out from the crowd in an ever-changing marketplace. If you need a merchandising or marketing plan for distribution, marketing, and sales built on solid experience in preparation, execution, and analysis, you need Anderson Merchandisers.

Job Information Created                                 January 28, 2012

Last Updated                                 January 29, 2012

Job Order ID Number: 8624229

Job Location                                 lawrence, KS 66044

Type of Employment                               Regular, Part-time Shift                                 Rotating

Hours per Week: 10-19

Overtime Available                                 No

Overtime Mandatory                               No Available

01/28/2012

Education Required                                 No Educational Requirement

Experience Required                               No experience

CDL Required                                 Class C Endorsements                                 No Info Provided Restrictions                                 No Info Provided

Other Details

Transportation                                Not Accessible by Public Transit

Temporary Position                          No

Travel Required                                No

Relocation                                No

On Job Training                                Not Available

Other Benefits

How to Apply For This Position

To apply for this job, contact KANSASWORKS.com, your local One-Stop or Workforce Center.

Kansas City Area Job Leads (January 2012)

January 31st, 2012

As a service to all Kansas City area job seekers, I will post any job leads I receive from local Human Resources, recruiters, and other reputable sources. Please send contributions to info@kansascitycareerservices.com. Let’s get everyone back to work!

Meg Montford, Executive Career Coach

City of Olathe – 1-30-2012

Police Officers (Job ID:  201200013) – Police – The City of Olathe, Kansas is seeking qualified individuals for employment to enforce local, state and federal laws, to aid citizens, investigate crimes, and enforce traffic regulations.  Qualified candidates must have above average written and verbal communication skills; a High Diploma/GED; be at least 21 years of age; correctable vision to 20/20; and have no commissions/convictions of any felony.  Must pass a written test, physical agility test, oral board interview, polygraph, in depth background investigation, Chief of Police interview, a psychological evaluation, and a pre-employment physical and drug screen. Applicants must reside within a 45 mile radius of the Olathe Police Department within one year of employment date.  Starting Salary:  No previous experience: $38,417; Lateral Officer Starting range: $39,956 – $45,822 based on years of patrol experience.  Top out salary:  $65,228.   Please visit our website at for additional information regarding the hiring process.  Apply online at www.olatheks.org or in Human Resources, City of Olathe, 100 East Santa Fe, Olathe, KS  66061. Application Deadline: 2-24-2012

Aquatic Facility Maintenance Technician (Job ID:  201200012) – Parks & Recreations – Perform scheduled maintenance, installation and repair of complex aquatic electrical, pump/motor and plumbing systems.  Maintain, repair Parks & Recreation infrastructure, support city’s snow removal plan.  Requires four years experience in the maintenance of equipment associated with aquatic systems or similar field.  High school diploma or GED.  Aquatic Facility Operator Certification, or the ability to obtain one within six months of employment. Basic knowledge test will be administered.  Must have a valid driver’s license with a favorable driving record.  Successfully pass a background investigation, pre-employment physical and drug screen.  Salary:  $35,412/yr – $45,400/yr DOQ.  Apply online at www.olatheks.org or in Human Resources, City of Olathe, 100 East Santa Fe, Olathe, Kansas, 66061.  Application Deadline:  2-3-2012

Maintenance Worker II (Job ID:  201200008) – Parks & Recreation – Perform construction, operation, repair and preventative maintenance on park infrastructure.  Ability to operate a variety of equipment and tools such as:  trucks, snowplows, salt spreader, hand tools, power tools, lawn equipment, electronic test meters, pumps, and various other vehicles and equipment.  Requires one year maintenance worker experience, high school diploma or GED.  Basic knowledge test will be administered.  Must have a valid commercial driver’s (CDL) license, class B within six months of employment and able to pass a background investigation, pre-employment physical and drug screen.  Salary:  $30,264/yr – $38,800/yr DOQ.  Apply online at www.olatheks.org or in Human Resources, City of Olathe, 100 East Santa Fe, Olathe, Kansas, 66061.  Application Deadline:  2-3-2012

Division Manager (Job ID:  201100137)  – Fire (Building Codes) – To plan, direct, manage, supervise and oversee the activities and operations of the Building Codes Division of the Fire Department and act as the Chief Building Official for the City of Olathe.  Manage the Codes Administration functions of the City of Olathe, including development of policies and procedures and budget management.  Monitor and evaluate efficiency and effectiveness of the Codes Division’s work plan including assigned projects and programmatic areas.  Requires 8 – 10 yrs of progressive experience in the design, construction and inspection of public, commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, 3 – 5 yrs administrative and supervisory responsibility.  Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.  Major course work in engineering, architecture, construction management, business administration, public administration, or related field.  Possession of Internal Code Council certification as a Certified Building Official.  Master Code Professional, or the ability to obtain this designation once hired.  Salary Range:  $62,556/yr – $80,200/yr DOQ.  Must have a valid driver’s license and able to successfully pass a background investigation, pre-employment physical and drug screen.  Apply online at www.olatheks.org or in Human Resources, City of Olathe, 100 East Santa Fe, Olathe, Kansas, 66061.  Application Deadline:  2-3-2012

Process Engineer (Wastewater) (Job ID:  201100131) – Public Works – Responsible for understanding the cause and effect of wastewater treatment processes and providing engineering expertise and technical guidance to staff. Utilize knowledge of treatment operations and maintenance, process optimization and control, regulatory compliance, and systems to evaluate and develop standard operating procedures and process controls for both water and wastewater treatment facilities. Oversee wastewater treatment processes to ensure federal, state, and local regulatory compliance. Communicate effectively with all levels of staff.  Six or more years of progressive experience in process analyses, operational troubleshooting, and design of water and wastewater treatment processes.  Strong understanding of treatment operations and maintenance, process optimization and control, and regulatory compliance. Hands-on experience with BNR Wastewater Treatment Plant Facilities preferred.  Bachelor of Science degree with major course work in Civil, Mechanical, Chemical, or Environmental Engineering; Master of Science degree preferred.  Possession of a Kansas Professional Engineer Registration.  Salary:  DOQ.  Must have a valid driver’s license and able to pass a background investigation, pre-employment physical, and drug screen.  Apply online at www.olatheks.org or in Human Resources, City of Olathe, 100 East Santa Fe, Olathe, Kansas, 66061.  Application Deadline: Open until filled

Process Engineer (Water Production) (Job ID:  201100133) – Public Works – Responsible for understanding the cause and effect of water treatment processes and providing engineering expertise and technical guidance to staff.  Utilize knowledge of treatment operations and maintenance, process optimization and control, regulatory compliance, and systems to evaluate and develop standard operating procedures and process controls for both water and wastewater treatment facilities. Oversee water treatment processes to ensure federal, state, and local regulatory compliance.  Communicate effectively with all levels of staff.  Six or more years of progressive experience in process analyses, operational troubleshooting, and design of water and wastewater treatment processes.  Strong understanding of treatment operations and maintenance, process optimization and control, and regulatory compliance. Hands-on experience with Membrane Filtration Water Plant Facilities and conventional filtration facilities preferred.  Bachelor of Science degree with major course work in Civil, Mechanical, Chemical, or Environmental Engineering; Master of Science degree preferred. Possession of a Kansas Professional Engineer Registration.  Salary:  DOQ.  Must have a valid driver’s license and able to pass a background investigation, pre-employment physical, and drug screen.  Apply online at www.olatheks.org or in Human Resources, City of Olathe, 100 East Santa Fe, Olathe, Kansas, 66061.  Application Deadline: Open until filled