Career Tips by Fisher Investments

Whether you’re interested in an opportunity at Fisher Investments, or simply looking to further develop your current career path, our career tips can help you stand out from your peers.

Interviews and First Impressions

By, 02/29/2012

Never underestimate the power of first impressions.  A job interview is just that, a chance for a potential employer to meet you, talk to you and get a general idea of your personality, interests and whether you’d be a good fit for the company. Unfortunately, many candidates tend to get nervous before an interview, which is understandable, but the nervousness may sabotage the chances of making a good impression.

Monster.com recently published a list of tips for job seekers looking to improve their interview skills. Many of the tips are common sense (like dressing appropriately and using professional language) while others offer advice on how to answer questions (don’t talk too much) and explain the importance of eye contact when meeting the interviewer.

We’ve all been there before, and we all know job interviews are rarely ever completely stress-free. But with a little preparation and some common sense, you can increase your chances of making a great first impression—and landing that job.

Focusing in a Busy Environment

By, 02/28/2012

Focusing intently and being productive throughout a normal workday can be a challenge for many people—from fresh recruit to the 25-year veteran. But there’s an easy trick to increasing your focus and productivity that you can start using today: Understand your work habits.

The ability to focus in the workplace or classroom (or anywhere for that matter) is a product of understanding your own work habits. And figuring out your work habits is something that only comes with practice. But that doesn’t just mean “working.” It means working cognizant-ly. That’s to say, in order to understand your habits, you’ll have to figure out when you’re being your most productive and be cognizant of the conditions that led to that. From there, create the same conditions and repeat.

Here are some helpful questions to help identify the conditions that help you focus and make you the most productive:

  • What time of the day do I feel the most energized?
  • What time of the day do I feel like I’m the most productive?
  • Do I prefer to take a few long breaks or several shorter ones?
  • How do I organize my tasks and day-to-day responsibilities?

Try keeping these questions in mind throughout your next work or school week—you might be surprised to discover some interesting, and perhaps beneficial, patterns.

Questing for Questions

By, 02/22/2012

 

When you’re on a job interview, do you ever blank when asked if you have any questions? (I know I sure have!)

It’s actually fairly common. When preparing for an interview, job-seekers spend a lot of time preparing pithy answers to any and all potential questions, but they don’t always think to come armed with intelligent questions to ask their interviewers. If that sounds like you, check out this recent piece from US News & World Report: 5 Questions to Ask on Your Next Interview.

Of the five listed, the most helpful might be the first: “What happened to the last guy?” Others, like “What do you like about working here?” and “How do people typically work together here?” will give you some insight into the company’s culture, but the first one gives you the best sense of whether the company presents a good long-term opportunity for you. Did the previous job holder quit after a short time? Or did they get promoted? If it’s the latter, it’s likely the company likes to identify and develop talent, helping people build long-term careers. And if you ask me, that’s a much better sign than if the last person got burnt out after a while.

Fisher Investments Day At UO

By, 02/14/2012

Fisher Investments will be hosting "Fisher Investments Day" at the University of Oregon on Wednesday, February 15, 2011. 

How to Be a Writer

By, 02/14/2012

Do you like to write? If so, do you want to write for a living?

Some folks who answer “yes” to the first question might say “no” to the second, thinking the only options are being a journalist or writing novels—fields in which many find the odds stacked against them. But as this article in the British Guardian shows, opportunities abound in business and technical writing. Many firms have teams of dedicated writers, and the range of projects they work on may surprise you—corporate newsletters, website content, contracts, correspondence, grant proposals and social media are just a few. Corporations are increasingly present on Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere, and the content they publish isn’t written by robots.

So what are some practical tips for getting your foot in the door as a writer? The article offers four suggestions

  • Increase your online presence—through blogging and tweeting, you’ll have a portfolio of work to show potential employers, and they’ll get a feel for your voice, style and talent.
  • Network—join groups of fellow writers, either online or in the real world.
  • If you’re presently working, seek out writing projects—the more you write, the more you’ll get noticed.
  • Volunteer—many communities have writing tutorial centers for children and adults. Joining one of these organizations lets you show your writing experience on your resume.

Presentation

By, 02/09/2012

Getting ready for a job hunt? Time has a helpful list of traits executives look for in a candidate.

The list covers the entire job-seeking process—resume drafting, pre-interview communication and the interview—and the tips are simple and easy to apply. For example, remember to proofread your resume! And don’t rely on spellcheck. That may catch some misspellings, but if your typo resulted in something that’s actually a word, it’ll slip through the cracks, perhaps to embarrassing effect.

Here’s another easy one: When you email your resume to a hiring manager, don’t forget to attach the document. Failing to attach it gives the impression you’re not detail-oriented, which is listed as executives’ primary criteria. Also, make sure the accompanying email sounds professional and respectful—and keep that mindset in all your pre-interview emails and phone calls. An abundance of slang, or loud music or chatter in the background, might tell your interviewer you’re not a serious candidate.

Finally, make sure you’re prepared for the interview. Take the time to learn about the company, and make sure you know the little things, like your interviewer’s name. And don’t be late!

Having all the right information on your resume and all the right answers in your interview is important, but how you present yourself could make or break your chances. With these helpful tips, you can show the poise and professionalism necessary to separate yourself from the competition.

Be Smart About Social Networking

By, 02/07/2012

We’ve all heard or read about the importance of networking when it comes to landing a job or even an interview—and yes, networking many times plays a part in career success. Networking comes in many forms, from somewhat formal interviews at a job fair to informal get-togethers at a friend’s house. After all, you never know if the guy sitting next to you on the plane is a recruiter or manager looking to fill several positions at his company.

With the advent of social networking, however, job seekers should exercise caution when it comes to what they post on the internet. According to a study by executive search firm ExecuNet, up to 77% of recruiters take a look at applicants’ social networking pages—which means your social networking profile may be your first chance at making a good first impression. 

Social networking can be immensely useful to job seekers, but using common sense is also important in this case.

Narrowing Your Search

By, 02/02/2012

When you’re on the job hunt, trying to find open positions that fit your skill set can be daunting. Internet job sites might seem to simplify your search, but a study conducted last year suggests they might not be the most effective source.

Online job boards can be helpful: They aggregate thousands and thousands of postings nationwide, and then let users narrow the field by category, location and other factors. However, because of the sheer volume of job seekers using them, firms tend to receive an overwhelming number of submissions for each post—around 219 per single hire, according to the study—which may make it difficult to stand out from the crowd.

How can you improve your chances of getting noticed? The same study found that candidates who apply directly through a firm’s website enter a much smaller applicant pool—around 33 applications per hire. So if you’re not getting much traction from the major job sites, try visiting career pages of companies you find interesting, or perhaps run an Internet search on a specific job title.

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