Recommended Reading
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People
    How To Win Friends and Influence People
    by Dale Carnegie
  • Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)
    Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)
    by Robert B. Cialdini
  • The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)
    The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)
    by Peter F. Drucker
  • Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
    Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
    by Jeffrey Gitomer
  • The 48 Laws of Power
    The 48 Laws of Power
    by Robert Greene
  • In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)
    In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)
    by Thomas J. Peters, Robert H. Waterman
  • The Art Of War
    The Art Of War
    by Sun Tzu
About this Blog

Debra Wheatman, President of Careers Done Write, provides expert insight to the job search process that puts your career in gear with tips for interviewing, networking, job search strategies and how to create a winning résumé and cover letter.

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Resume and advice blog from Debra Wheatman


Networking at the Interview

Always think of the bigger picture when you are in job search mode.  Rather than focus on one particular job posting at a time, keep your eyes open, so you don’t miss other opportunities. Continuously expanding your horizon allows you to meet valuable contacts, learn about new companies, and identify new industry trends.  With this mindset, enter your next interview open to the possibility of expanding your network.  Here are three networking-at-the-interview opportunities to consider.

Fellow Candidates

Why not get to know fellow candidates that you meet in the lobby at an interview?  You share a common career goal and most likely a very similar background.  Yes, they may be your competition today, but tomorrow they could be someone who recommends you for a job or hires you.  Like any networking situation, this is not about drilling someone for information. It is about being open to getting to know someone with whom you may interact down the road.

Job Shadowing

Often in a later stage of the interview process, you will be given a chance to job shadow.  You want to make a strong impression while in the work group so you have a better chance at the job opportunity.  It is also important to form relationships with the work group as you may run into these individuals again at industry conferences and other events. Building rapport should be a natural part of the job shadowing process.  Don’t push too hard or be distracted from the actual job shadowing activities.

Hiring Managers

Many candidates interview for a particular job at a company and don’t get selected, but, later they are called for another job at that same company.  Often hiring managers will keep track of a candidate that they like, even if they were not a perfect fit for that initial job.  Sometimes a manager will call a candidate a year or more later. Or, they may suggest the candidate to a peer at another company where the candidate may be a better fit.  The lesson here is to be gracious.  If you see the interview is a dead-end, don’t burn the bridge with the interviewer.

Just because you are at the interview does not mean that you deactivate your networking radar.  Always be open to new professional relationships. In your city and within your industry, you will encounter people time and again.  We are all connected, so take the time to develop relationships and make positive impressions that may lead to productive relationships.


Working with a Career Coach

We hire professionals to improve our golf game, professional trainers to transform our bodies, and we budget for expenses for professional hair stylists, tax accountants, interior designers, and attorneys. Despite a lifetime of earnings and ongoing job satisfaction on the line, many forge ahead without assistance from a professional career coach.  A career coach can be of significant value.  Many have not engaged a coach simply because they are not familiar with the process. We’ll break it down for you.

Who Hires a Career Coach?

Individuals, who want to make a change in their career, seek career coaches. Also, professionals who wish to improve skills, such as leadership, organizational, interpersonal, or communication skills come to coaches for help.  Coaches also help clients with job searching, interviewing, and compensation negotiation. Coaches are also excellent resources for many other career-related challenges.

Expectations of Coach and Client

At the beginning of the engagement, clients will communicate their expectations. Together, the coach and client will design a plan. As a coaching client, your role is to be forthright when interacting with the coach. It is also important that you prepare for each session.  Your personal commitment will ensure the success of the engagement.  The role of the coach is to guide clients through short- and long-term goals, coaching them through the process of career advancement. Coaches use tools to help clients understand their skills so the client can make informed career choices. Coaches provide expertise on career subjects. 

The Logistics of Coaching

Coaching sessions are conducted face-to-face, via Skype, or through phone interaction. Terms of the coaching engagement are determined, and a timeline is established.  Often clients will complete coaching in phases, such as skills assessment, career exploration, job searching, interviewing, salary negotiation and professional development. 

If you are facing a career challenge, desiring a career change or hoping to take your career to a higher level, you would likely benefit from a career coach.  Select a credentialed coach with experience in your field. Open yourself to the coaching experience, which will require a commitment of your time and dedication to working toward your goal.  The guidance of a professional career coach can elevate your lifelong earnings and enhance your career satisfaction.


A+ Internship Interviews

It is time to apply for a summer internships.  The most dreaded part of the process for most candidates is the interview.  Interviewing causes anxiety for almost everyone. However, with some practice, interviewing becomes easier. Here are five simple suggestions to help you ace the interview for your dream internship.

Be Authentic

The interviewer wants to get to know you.  They read your resume, so they know your key statistics and history. This is a chance to make yourself memorable; show what motivates you.  Some candidates make the mistake of trying to present an image they think the interviewer wants to hire.  Most good interviewers can sense when someone is putting on a false front. Be the best version of you.  Do not try to present yourself as someone or something you are not. To do this, make talking points of your selling points; this will boost your confidence.   Get a good night’s sleep, eat a small healthy meal, and listen to music to adjust your mood in a positive way.  Then, enter the interview and be yourself.

Keep Your Answers Brief

Each answer should take less than 60 seconds.  Share your concise answer and allow the interviewer to ask you to expand.  Avoid talking too long and drifting off topic.  Answering in a succinct and straight-forward manner is a skill that most people must practice to attain.  Create mock questions and practice interviewing with a friend. You’ll find that you get better with each practice session.

Prove Why You Will Succeed

Point to your past accomplishments from all aspects of your life, including school, work, campus organizations, and community service. Accomplishments go beyond awards and scholarships. Leading projects or attending a professional conference are two examples of accomplishments that may boost you above other intern candidates. Past achievements are the best indicator of your future success. 

Show That You Are Easy to Manage

Many hiring managers have nightmare stories of difficult-to-manage interns.  Through examples of your accomplishments, demonstrate that you are a quick-learner, conscientious, able to work independently, and collaborate well with others.  Also, it is worth sharing that you are happy to perform any task given and that you are grateful for the opportunity. 

Close Strong

Conclude by stating the reasons for applying to the internship. Take time to share why you are interested in this internship and this employer.  Explain the connection between your chosen field of study and this intern opportunity. Thank the interviewer for their consideration.

Prepare well for your internship interview, and you will make a positive impression.  Research the company. Create interview study cards with predictable questions. Find a colleague and practice mock interviews until you feel sure of your skills.  Review and adopt the suggestion above to enhance your interview performance. In no time at all you will have a few opportunities from which to choose!