Wednesday, September 29, 2010


In an extremely competitive job market, neglecting your cover letter is a big mistake. Why? A cover letter is your first opportunity to tell a prospective employer about yourself, and to do so in your own words. Make sure your cover letter is an asset, not a barrier, by following the steps below.

Do personalize your letter.

Cover letters that begin with phrases like "To Whom it May Concern," sound like random junk or bulk mail, rather than an important correspondence. You expect the company to take the time to read through your material, so you too need to take some time to research the correct addressee. Call the company, look on its Web site or talk to others to find the correct contact.

Do address the specific position advertised.

Companies that post openings are making your life easier by telling you the qualities they are seeking. Show the company that you paid attention. If a company advertises that it is looking for medical experience, make sure you address your medical experience. One way to do this is by making a table for yourself before writing your letter. List the company's stated needs in one column, and your corresponding experience and qualifications in another column. Then use that information to write a letter that tells them exactly what they want to know.

Do get to the point.
Hiring managers receive letters and resumes from dozens and even hundreds of applicants, and often just don't have the time to read lengthy, wordy letters. Be direct. In the first paragraph, include the title of the position you are interested in and then move on to your specific qualifications immediately.

Do write and edit your letter with great care.

Nothing says "I don't really want this job" like a cover letter with typos, incorrect information, or spelling errors. Make sure the company's name is spelled correctly. Check to see if the contact is a male or female. And, while it sounds almost too obvious to mention, be sure to sign your letter.

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Monday, September 27, 2010


Friday, September 24, 2010

How Skype Is Changing the Job Interview

Get ready for a closeup: your next job interview might be on webcam. Looking to save time and money, companies are turning to video-chat software as a cheap, low-hassle way to vet job candidates. That means a growing number of people looking for work are meeting their prospective new bosses not at the office but in the comfort of their own home.

Naturally, the transition from in-person to online isn't without its hiccups. Fuzzy transmissions, dropped calls (especially on wireless networks) and unusual disruptions are all par for the course. Tip No. 1: Get your dog out of barking range before you start the interview. (We'll return to the pointers in a bit.)

What's the draw? Largely money. Last year, as executives at online retailer looked to cut expenses, they noticed how much the firm spent on travel. In HR alone, it easily cost $1,000 a pop to fly out job candidates and put them up for the night. The firm had used Skype internally, so about six months ago, recruiters started trying it for interviews. (Watch TIME's video "How to Ace a Job Interview on Skype.")

Their opinion: a video link does a pretty good job of replacing an in-person meeting — and in a way that a phone call can't. "If you see facial expressions and body language, you have a different sense of what a person is saying," says recruiting manager Christa Foley. Now, instead of flying out 20 finalists for a job, the company first screens with Skype and then brings in only the best two or three candidates.

Job seekers are hopping on board too. Last spring, after Stephen Bhadran got laid off, he quickly realized there were more openings for computer programmers in Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles than in South Florida, where he lived. So he cast a wide net — and got a bite from the University of California, Los Angeles. The university wanted to interview him but wouldn't pay the airfare. "I was laid off and running out of funds," says Bhadran. "I couldn't fly on my own dime." He suggested interviewing by Skype. He got his request — and the job.

Things don't always run smoothly. Bobby Fitzgerald, a restaurateur who has been interviewing job candidates by Skype since March, has had his share of amusements. For instance: the candidate who leaned forward while he spoke, giving Fitzgerald an intimate view of his nose. Another, a college senior, didn't bother cleaning up his dorm room before the interview; the mess was painfully visible in the background.

And then there was the dog that wouldn't stop barking. Fitzgerald cut the interview short and said he'd have to reschedule. Did the disruption influence his decision? "Well," he says, "a big part of management is handling problems as they arise."

Still, webcam interviews are entirely worth it, he says. Fitzgerald runs restaurants in four states and likes to hire from the nation's top culinary and hospitality schools. It's rare that he, the job candidate and the job are all in the same time zone. And the benefit of video-interviewing for him isn't just saved money — it's also saved time. "More than once, I've flown someone in and within an hour, I realize it's not a fit," he says. "But I'm stuck with that person for six more hours."

So what should you do if you're asked to interview by Skype — or even brave enough to suggest it yourself?

First off, realize that we perceive people differently through a camera than we do in person. Bill McGowan, a former news anchor who now trains people to go on TV, starts his list of pointers with lighting: whether you're sitting in your kitchen or an office borrowed from a friend, make sure there's no bright light (like from a window) behind you. That will only darken your face. When your interviewer is talking, it's fine to look at his image on the screen, but when you answer, look at the camera. That's how to make "eye contact." Avoid wearing patterns and the color white, since we notice white spots on a screen first — you want your interviewer drawn to your teeth and eyes, not to your shirt. And don't forget that what's behind you is visible too. "It's best to put away the Mad Men bar," says McGowan.

Next, think about framing. Sitting flush with a plain white wall will make you look like you're in a police lineup, so angle your knees to the corner of your computer screen, and then turn your head slightly back to look at the camera. Sit tall in your chair, but not too close to the camera: the first three buttons of your shirt should be visible, or else you risk looking like a floating head, counsels Priscilla Shanks, a coach for broadcast journalists and public speakers. Most important, do a dry run with a friend to check your color, sound and facial expressions — neutral often comes off as glum onscreen.

After all that, don't forget that this is still a job interview. Even though you're not meeting face to face, dress as though you are. When you "walk in," have your résumé ready — this time, as an e-mail attachment. And don't forget to do all the standard prep work. Are you ready to talk about your greatest weakness? "This adds another layer, but people will still expect you to be prepared to have a conversation with them," says career counselor Judith Gerberg.

Though that's not to say you can't acknowledge the medium. This past summer, Deanna Reed, principal of the Marie Murphy School in suburban Chicago, started doing Skype interviews and has already considered candidates from as far away as Asia. "The time difference was so great, it was like 1 in the morning for him," she says about a teacher in Japan. "I said, 'Oh, you had to get on your suit in the middle of the night?' And he said, 'No, I have my pajamas on the bottom.' He was fun — he had a real sense of humor." Even over video, it's possible to make a great first impression.

Read more:,8599,1930838,00.html#ixzz10SIY9Tvt

Thursday, September 23, 2010

13 Networking Mistakes


Many people start networking only after they've lost their jobs. Effective networking means creating contacts and relationships while you're still employed.

Being Clueless

If you're heading to a networking event, make sure you know why you're going. Do you want a job? If so, are you seeking something specific, or will anything do? Are you looking for contacts or a mentor to provide guidance? As soon as someone starts talking with you, you have to hold up your end of the conversation. If you don't know what you want, you can't do that.

Being Unprepared

Thinking you know what you want is not the same as knowing it. Treat networking the same way you would an appearance at Carnegie Hall. Practice your pitch as well as your answers to questions about your career goals that might arise.

Forgetting Business Cards

There is nothing more embarrassing than establishing a good relationship with someone, extracting a pledge of help and then searching around for a cocktail napkin to write on. Spend a few extra bucks to print professional-looking cards on good-quality paper.

Using a Silly-Sounding Email Name

Sure, your friends know you as "SexyMama4U" or "TimeForHemp," but when looking for work, stick to a serious email address, such as your real name.

Being Pompous

While you're networking, you need to listen to what everyone else is saying. People help by offering advice. They are not interested in hearing how much you already know.

Monopolizing Someone's Time

At a networking event, everyone wants to mingle. And if you're networking over the phone or by email, understand that the person you're speaking with has a life that extends beyond you.

Dressing Down

Look sharp at networking events. Mind your manners, shake hands firmly, stand up straight, make eye contact and show respect in any way you can. A networking event can be a dress rehearsal for a job interview, but no one will help you get your foot in the door if you give the impression that you'll slouch through it once it's open.

Being a Wallflower

Men and women with contacts and power meet many people; they remember only those who stand out from the crowd. Be assertive, and act like a leader. But don't go overboard. You want to convey self-assurance, not obnoxiousness.

Being Passive

If someone says, "Sorry, we don't have anything right now," take a minute or two to ask follow-up questions: "Well, what's the outlook for future possibilities? Do you know anyone else in the industry who might have something? Any thoughts on what my next step should be?" Persistence shows true interest on your part and may help the person you're networking with come up with ideas he might otherwise overlook.


It's tempting to say, "So-and-So gave me your name and told me to call." It might even get you a meeting. But eventually Such-and-Such will learn that So-and-So did not tell you to call. And you'll have burned not one, but two bridges.

Treating Your Networking Relationships as Short-Term Flings

No one likes to be used. Follow up every conversation with a thank-you note, email or call. Let your contact know whether his suggestions panned out or not. When your job search ends -- for whatever reason -- inform the person who has helped you. You may think your networking is over, but your paths may cross again.

Forgetting Where You Came From

Anyone who has ever networked, whether successfully or not, owes an obligation to all those who will network in the future. Return the favor and help someone else.

By Dan Woog, Monster Contributing Writer

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Choosing the right colors

Prepping for an important interview means researching the company and making sure you have smart responses to anticipated questions. It also means being strategic about what to wear to an interview. Specifically, you want to choose job interview clothes -- and colors -- that will put you in the best light and may give you an advantage.

Research has shown that 85 percent of communication is nonverbal, so choosing what to wear to an interview is clearly an important part of your overall presentation. It won’t make up for weak answers, but it can communicate some positive things about your personality and what you might be like to work with.

Here's what some common colors convey so you can put them to best use when getting dressed for the job interview:

Blue: You can't go wrong with darker shades of blue, especially navy. Choosing from this powerful spectrum will project an image of someone who is in control. From the interviewer's point of view, the color blue conjures up calm, stability, trust, truth, confidence and security. These are all great messages to send without saying a word.

Gray: After blue, gray is the second most popular color to wear for an interview. Like darker blue, it’s not a distracting color to the interviewer, which means they’ll be focused more on what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Gray denotes sophistication, so use it to your advantage.

Black: This is a commanding color and represents authority. Black also connotes drama, so use it carefully when putting together your interview outfit. You may want to use it as an accent -- like in a scarf or tie, for instance -- rather than as the primary color.

Red: This is an extremely powerful color. It's so strong you should only use it as an accent color. Reds are associated with energy, passion, desire, power and aggression. People think of intensity and passion when they see the color red, so use it sparingly, or it could send the wrong message to the interviewer.

White: White shirts and blouses are always a safe bet. It sends the message of simplicity, cleanliness, precision and goodness.

In this very competitive job market, give yourself every opportunity to shine in the interview. Knowing what job interview clothes to wear makes a statement about who you are. Choosing the right colors will reinforce that positive impression.

By Gladys Stone & Fred Whelan, Monster Contributing Writers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cover Letter Don'ts

Your cover letter is the first thing employers see when they open your materials. Avoid these 10 mistakes, and make your first impression a good and lasting one.

Mistake #1: Overusing "I"

Your cover letter is not your autobiography. The focus should be on how you meet an employer's needs, not on your life story. Avoid the perception of being self-centered by minimizing your use of the word "I," especially at the beginning of your sentences.

Mistake #2: Using a Weak Opening

When writing a cover letter, job seekers frequently struggle with how to begin. This often results in a feeble introduction lacking punch and failing to grab the reader's interest. Consider this example:

  • Weak: Please consider me for your sales representative opening.
  • Better: Your need for a top-performing sales representative is an excellent match to my three-year history as a #1-ranked, multimillion-dollar producer.

Mistake #3: Omitting Your Top Selling Points

A cover letter is a sales letter that sells you as a candidate. Just like the resume, it should be compelling and give the main reasons you should be called for an interview. Winning cover letter tips include emphasizing your top accomplishments or creating subheadings culled from the job posting. For example:

Your Ad Specifies: Communication skills

I Offer: Five years of public speaking experience and an extensive background in executive-level report.

Your Ad Specifies: The need for a strong computer background.

I Offer: Proficiency in all MS Office applications with additional expertise in Web site development and design.

Mistake #4: Making It Too Long

If your cover letter exceeds one page, you may be putting readers to sleep. A great cover letter is concise but compelling, and respects the reader's time.

Mistake #5: Repeating Your Resume Word for Word

Your cover letter shouldn't regurgitate what's on your resume. Reword your cover letter statements to avoid dulling your resume's impact. Consider using the letter to tell a brief story, such as "My Toughest Sale" or "My Biggest Technical Challenge."

Mistake #6: Being Vague

If you're replying to an advertised opening, reference the specific job title in your cover letter. The person reading your letter may be reviewing hundreds of letters for dozens of different jobs. Make sure all the content in your letter supports how you will meet the employer's specific needs.

Mistake #7: Forgetting to Customize

If you're applying to a number of similar positions, chances are you're tweaking one letter and using it for multiple openings. That's fine, as long as you customize each letter. Don't forget to update the company, job and contact information -- if Mr. Jones is addressed as Mrs. Smith, he won't be impressed.

Mistake #8: Ending on a Passive Note

When possible, put your future in your own hands with a promise to follow up. Instead of asking readers to call you, try a statement like this: I will follow up with you in a few days to answer any preliminary questions you may have. In the meantime, you may reach me at (555) 555-5555.

Mistake #9: Being Rude

Your cover letter should thank the reader for his time and consideration.

Mistake #10: Forgetting to Sign the Letter

It is proper business etiquette (and shows attention to detail) to sign your letter. However, if you are sending your cover letter and resume via email or the Web, a signature isn't necessary.

Article on

Friday, September 10, 2010

Upcoming Career Fairs

Women For Hire

Thursday September 23, 2010

Hilton New York
1335 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019

10AM - 2PM


New York Career Fair

Thursday October 14, 2010

Radisson Martinique on Broadway
49 West 32nd Street
New York, NY 10001

10:30AM - 2:00PM


Career Fair

Upcoming Career Fair at the
Jacob Javits Center

Thursday October 21, 2010

Jacob Javits Center
655 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001

9:30AM - 2:30PM

Event Exhibitors Include:
All Care/Onward Healthcare, Beth Abraham Family of Services, Better Healthcare, Continuum Health Partners, Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, Enigma Laboratory, Greater New York Home Care, Hartford Hospital, Hospital for Joint Diseases, Lutheran Medical Center, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Maimonides Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, North Shore LIJ and many more...

You MUST register for this event. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hiring Managers and Generation Y

Landing a job when you're starting your career can be difficult, especially as hiring managers are still skeptical of Gen Y hires and their independent-mindedness when it comes to work. As a millennial it's important to understand that not all hiring managers share your values of independence explains, Rusty Rueff, a career expert who has worked in human resources. To convince them that you're a fit, "you are going to have to speak their language if you want them to hear you," Rueff says.Here's how to diffuse common hiring manager concerns regarding millennial attitudes:

Lax work ethics
With different priorities, workers who were born from 1979 to 2000 can be perceived as unmotivated when it comes to succeeding on the job. Many Gen Y workers value their activities outside of work, which can make hiring managers hesitant to bring one on board. To counteract such perceptions, attend an interview prepared with specifics about how you've managed to show dedication, like on a long-term work or school project. "The examples may be those of areas that are not directly related to work, but hiring managers need to see self-motivation, initiative, perseverance and commitment," Rueff says.

High maintenance
Some hiring managers shy away from millennials because of the constant need for attention throughout their work. Many did not have constant communication with their own managers and are not used to giving so much feedback. To combat any misconceptions, it's important to be upfront about how much feedback you'll need, suggests Lisa Orrell, a leadership coach for Gen Y. Let them know that keeping up a constant dialogue will help make you a successful employee.

The fact that millennials don't plan to stay at a company for decades like their predecessors is one of the biggest hesitations hiring managers have when bringing a younger employee on board. However, Orrell points out that it's just the opposite, "what I've found is that [Gen Y] are very loyal by nature, but they expect a lot from their employers; if an employer is willing to treat them right, they will stay." To combat employer concerns, stress the importance of the ties that you already have in the company, or any specifics about why this position is the right fit, she says.

Being off-task is another common complaint that companies have when it comes to hiring the newest generation of workers. Many Gen Y'ers come across as bored when they're actually just eager to take on new projects, says Orrell. To combat misconceptions, take time to explain that you're interested in having responsibilities outside of your direct role. There's a "lower tolerance for work responsibilities and part of that is boomer parents don't want you to make the same mistakes we did," Orrell explains. "If you are not feeling respected or challenged you'll switch jobs -- that value system came from the boomers."

Flexible work hours
Many recent grads expect companies to honor their need for a flexible schedule, but hiring managers who are used to more regimented workweeks are skeptical. When explaining your needs to work from home or for more flexible hours, it's important to reiterate that this can sometimes help you get work done, Orrell says. "Statistics show that people who are able to work from home at least part time are more productive," she says.

Whatever you do when it comes to easing hiring manager concerns, it's important to understand that it's not one size fits all, Rueff says. Assuming that older hiring managers won't appreciate your needs as a Gen Y applicant can cause tension in a relationship from the get go. "Pay close attention to who you are talking to and know the company's values and principles very well before you go into the conversation," Rueff says.

--, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

6 Ways You May Be Making a Bad Job Worse

The truth is, you may be stuck in that less-than-ideal job for a while.

Though jobs are being added to the economy, the U.S. unemployment rate is holding strong at almost 10 percent and new jobs are still hard to come by.

Being stuck in a job that is below your skill level and outside of your career path can be as stressful as not being employed at all.

As bad as the job is, however, you may be making it harder on yourself.

Any of these behaviors sound familiar? If so, don't worry. Simple changes to your attitude will get you back on track.

1. Complaining constantly: Let's face it, it feels good to talk about how much you don't like something, so you do. A lot. But pointless complaining can also reinforce negative feelings instead of helping you find a solution.

Instead: Turn your lamenting into solution-oriented conversations. Talking positively about issues can help ease stress and lead you to find ways to make your workdays better.

2. Doing your job badly: To save yourself from the stress of doing what you don't like doing, you may simply slack off or not do it at all. That kind of passive-aggressive rebellion may feel good in the moment, but it will only create resentment toward you, extra work for co-workers and a higher likelihood that you won't have that much-needed job much longer.

Instead: Keep up with your work. Working efficiently and professionally will make you more eligible for a better job when your company expands again.

3. Avoiding company functions: If you're already bummed to be there, why not skip out on group lunch, the weekend retreat or the nonmandatory meeting?

Because being absent sends a message that you are not interested in the company, and that won't win you any favors. You also miss out on valuable time with the boss where you can show your support and petition for a better situation.

Instead: Make it to some company events, even if you attend for only a little while. Be friendly and chat with as many people as possible to boost your reputation and keep you abreast of better opportunities.

4. No longer looking for new employment: It can be discouraging to keep looking for a new job when you're just not getting what you need, so you decide to take a break for a month or two.

Instead: Keep looking for work (not in front of your boss, of course) in a variety of ways. Apply online, send your résumé to friends and family, attend alumni or special interest events -- basically network, network, network.

5. Not enjoying your time off: You just want out of this job, so you devote every second off the clock to looking for a better position. Too bad all work and no play make Jane or Joe Jobseeker very dull indeed.

Instead: Enjoy yourself when you're not at work. A weekend away, a relaxing night with movies or indulging in a hobby can fill your soul while you work to fill your wallet. This will make you more relaxed and give you more energy to face your workweek.

6. Getting fired: As much as you don't want to be doing it, you need this job. If you didn't, you wouldn't still be there.

Instead: Do what you can to keep your job. Show up on time, do the work required of you, don't burn a statue of your boss in effigy. With a firing on your record, it may be difficult or impossible for you to collect unemployment compensation or get another job. You will also lose out on contacts and a good reference.

Being underemployed or stuck in a job that's sucking you dry is difficult. But you can work to make the most of it and make yourself ready for when the right opportunity comes along.

Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.


Home Care Coordinator position available with growing Healthcare Agency in Coney Island, Brooklyn. This position will be working from their corporate office and will be responsible for coordinating and scheduling Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides for assignments throughout the city.

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