How can I avoid employment scams?

Always properly research a company. A quick Google search can save you a life time of troubles. Google the company’s name followed by the word review to see what other people are saying about the company.  Also try and see if any past employees have left reviews.

Do I have to give 2 weeks notice?

This largely depends on your company’s rules and regulations, always check and adhere to those. However the polite and courteous thing to do is give notice that you will be leaving. Usually a week or two weeks notice is good but try and notify your employer as soon as you have your other job confirmed.

How do I stay positive during long periods of unemployment?

During this phase the most important thing to remember is hard work pays off. If you stop your search and stop working hard towards getting a job you never will get one. The important part is sticking to your search so that you can reach your goals. Making a personal objective is a good way to know if you are staying on track and also makes you feel accountable if you don’t get it done.

How do I handle a demotion?

The quickest and easiest way to let your demotion affect your work and personal life is by showing it in your attitude and body language. If you happened to be demoted it is important to first acknowledge the situation and then after reflecting work on staying positive.   If you have been demoted you need to do some thinking of your own, you may find areas in which you can improve in. Look as a demotion as a chance to improve, don’t quit your job simply because you were demoted.

How do I write a cover letter that will get noticed?

Being clear on your objective will help you make a solid cover letter. Organize the skills and accomplishments that you want to highlight and condense them in to a letter.

How do I create a professional resume?

Using a resume template will help you get off to a smoother start. Begin by listing all your accomplishments, education, volunteer experience and general skills.

How long should I wait before following up?

When you are faced with this question trust your gut. If you feel it is appropriate to follow up right after the interview then do so, base your decision on the overall feel of the interview and the body language. Don’t wait too long to follow up, you should follow up within a week of an interview.

How do I stand out from other candidates?

It’s important that before every interview you conduct intensive research on the company your going to be meeting with.  During this research make a list of things that the company needs, you can do this by studying their goals and the general goals of the industryAlign your skills with these needs.  Walk in to the interview confident in your industry related knowledge and show them how you can help solve their problems.

Should I write a thank you letter by hand or in an email?

If you want to stand out a hand written letter will help make an impression. However emails are more practical and much faster than letters. Again use your judgment depending on the situation. Sometimes an email may be more useful than a letter for a person that is very busy.

How do I answer – why are you looking for (or why did you leave you last job)?

When this question comes up, give a straight forward answer.  It seems easy but most people make mistakes here.  Some general things to mention is that you are looking for employment that allows you to advance their career and get a position that allows personal and professional growth.  Stay away from mentioning money here; this is something employers already understand.  If you are coming out of a tough position such as being downsized or fired, try and stay positive and brief about it.  If you were fired from your last position you’ll need to craft a good explanation.