Allison Cheston, Career Connector

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Career Connector Blog

Posts in Moving Up
Tell Me About Yourself: Talk Your Skills Up in an Interview

Most interviews are in a behavioral format, meaning the interviewer not only wants you to share that you have a particular skill, they want to hear about how you used that skill in past jobs. Practicing your skill story ahead of time will allow you to share it strategically, building it seamlessly into The Story of YOU.

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Tell Me About Yourself: Examples of Narratives That Work

Telling the Story of YOU should be a great experience. It should make you feel like you’ve just had a 5-mile run or a great cup of coffee, or both. Instead, if it feels tortured, nervous-making or rambling, just imagine how the listener feels.

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The Story of YOU Part 2: Tutorial on Narratives that Work

Last time we discussed the basic principles behind engaging listeners with your story. Today we are going to get downright specific – I’m going to share specific instructions for creating narratives that work well to open doors for all types of job seekers. First, some general principles for developing your narrative.

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The Story of YOU: The Most Fascinating Story Ever Told

When you talk about yourself, do people listen? Do their eyes glaze over in boredom? Something in between? Knowing what to say, how to say it and, even more importantly, what NOT to say about yourself, is an art, and an important one. Telling your story in a compelling way is one of the most important things you can get right – not only in the job search process and on the job but also in, well, life.

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What Can Informational Interviews Do For Me?

Over the years there’s been loads written about the value of “informational interviews,” the meetings you, the job-seeker, procure to find out more about an organization you’re interested in, while sort of pretending you’re not actually interested in a job there. These “interviews,” constitute a tricky dance between candidates and prospective employers, prompting many candidates to just throw in the towel and avoid them altogether. But that’s a mistake.

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Low Response Rate from Online Job Applications? Try This!

A reader emailed me recently with a question about the low response rate to his online applications – a universal problem! For some people, online applications are the bane of their existence, yet others have success. Here is how I look at the virtual application market based on your level, and type of, experience:

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Want More Interviews? Build Your Career Brand in 4 Steps

So you want a job that pays you to do your best work. You want to be appreciated for your experience, your special abilities and your creativity. You want to work for an organization that aligns with your personal values, a place you can feel proud to call home.

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Get the Feedback You Need to Get Better at Your Job

I have a 23-year old client who is doing a one year, post-graduate fellowship. During our call this morning he told me that while he enjoys his work it can be slow and that his bosses don’t give him as much work as he’d like. In fact, they expect him to take initiative and suggest work he thinks needs to be done. While he has some ideas for new projects he struggles with how to initiate conversations with his boss who seems so busy with more important work.

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Engineer Your Career: Make Big Career Decisions Using this Simple Process

Try applying “the engineering design process” detailed in Charles Duhigg’s excellent book and you will learn to make better, less binary and more creative decisions. This “methodical approach to problem solving” removes the emotion so we can view our problems more objectively. It’s an excellent tool for defining career problems and coming up with potentially novel solutions.

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Want a Mentor? Don’t Make these Rookie Mistakes

I was listening to one of Tim Ferriss’s excellent podcasts the other day, and he made the comment that the best way to guarantee someone won’t mentor you is to ask them directly to be your mentor.

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Anxiety and Your Job Search: Getting the Treatment You Need

A client of mine, an engineer with a PhD from a top school, had an easy time getting interviews. But during every meeting he became nervous and hesitant, stuttering and sweating as he was asked to respond to the most basic interview questions.

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There’s No Such Thing as a Dream Job

Do you, or have you ever had, a “dream job”? Do you have any friends, former classmates or colleagues who describe their job as a dream? Do you believe them?

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5 Ways to Develop Yourself as a Leader Early in Your Career

Leadership is one of those terms that is so ubiquitous it’s hard to define. Everyone aspires to be a leader, feels pressure to be a leader, is building their leadership capabilities. Every company is looking for leaders. Sure there are natural leaders, those with charisma to burn whose disciples will follow them anywhere. But leadership is not just the purview of those with rare talents; most people can become leaders if they take an interest and a methodical approach.

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