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.

The Importance of Good Marketing

By, 03/28/2012

If you’re a new or soon-to-be graduate, don’t underestimate the importance of good marketing during the job search. The job market for college graduates is steadily improving and is indeed much better than it was three years ago. Still, there is much competition out there, which makes it important that you stand out from the horde of eager graduates all doing the same as you: Searching for that first job.

As we all know, there are many different majors out there, ranging from software engineering to English Literature. Some degrees have more practical uses than others. But your degree shouldn’t negatively affect your chances of landing a job as long as you market yourself successfully, such as structuring your resume to highlight your strengths and how they would benefit the company.

As a New York Times article advised, “You need to be able to articulate the value of your degree.” For example, many companies realize the importance of effective, concise communications. So, for instance, if you were an English major, it is recommended you tailor your resume to address strengths like the ability “to write and speak clearly.”

Above all, preparation, practice, and confidence can go a long way toward helping land that first job.

How To Be Creative

By, 03/26/2012

Creativity is valued in every organization and useful in almost every job function. Business leaders seek employees who demonstrate the trait and employees exhibiting the trait seem to excel at certain tasks. As a result, psychologists have tried for years to figure out what makes some people more creative than others—whether it’s innate, learned, luck, or brought about by some unseen process. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, author Jonah Lehrer describes new research that reveals creativity is actually just a blanket term for different mental tools, each of which is coaxed into action in different ways.

 As Lehrer lays out, different creativity tools are required to solve different types of creative problems. Some problems may require prolonged, focused rumination to derive a solution. Others are better served by “zoning out” and spending time on unrelated tasks, which gives the brain a chance to connect previously unrelated thoughts or borrow solutions from different disciplines. So, when considering how to best approach a creativity challenge, be sure to consider both the types of problems you regularly face and which type of solution (orthodox or unconventional) would provide the best impact.

Tricky Questions

By, 03/22/2012

When I interviewed for jobs at the beginning of my career, one question always threw me: “Tell me about yourself.” I was pretty sure they didn’t want to know my favorite books, hobbies, likes and dislikes. But I had no idea what they did want—the question seemed too open ended to concisely answer on the spot.

Have you been similarly stumped at an interview? If so, check out “Handling Tricky Interview Questions,” published by one of the UK’s leading career advisers. Not only will you learn how to answer the question above (sell yourself!), but you’ll receive handy tips on several tough queries. Among the highlights:

  • Find out how to answer, “What are your weaknesses?” without hurting your chance of getting hired.
  • “Tell me about an achievement you are proud of” really means “tell me how you made a quantifiable difference in a previous job.”

And perhaps most important, what’s the best way to answer “What are your career goals?” It’s probably tempting to tell the interviewer your dream job, like owning your own business, and why this role is a good “stepping stone.” However, that answer could give the impression you wouldn’t be committed to the role, and most hiring managers are looking for a long-term fit. So, make sure your answer demonstrates why you’re excited about the role’s long-term prospects.  

Using Creativity

By, 03/20/2012

Everyone who’s been through it knows. Job searching is time-consuming, tedious, and sometimes downright discouraging—particularly during recessions when it seems as though hundreds, if not thousands, of people are competing for one job. Often, a resume is a company’s first glimpse of a potential candidate. Many job seekers are faced with a common dilemma: How can they make themselves stand out from all the other candidates?

A recent CNN article gave some examples of how some job seekers caught the attention of hiring managers and got the job. One candidate photoshopped a picture of her head atop a ninja when responding to a job posting for a “marketing ninja.” Another put together a cover letter that looked like an eBay listing.

What the candidates all had in common was in taking unique steps to differentiate themselves from others who had applied. They thought outside the box and used their creativity to make themselves stand out from the stack of resumes sitting on a desk. Searching for employment can be one of the toughest things anyone has to face—but sometimes a little creativity can go a long way.

 

Auditioning for a Job

By, 03/16/2012

Here’s a new way for job seekers to think about job interviews: Think of it like an audition. And like any audition in Hollywood, it’ll take more than a few tries before you land the role. And also just like any Hollywood audition, sometimes you simply don’t fit the role or aren’t what they’re looking for—but don’t let that discourage you.

A recent Forbes article outlined some pretty unbelievable blunders committed in job interviews—such as answering a call or texting while in the middle of a question. Other blunders are less obvious, like bad-mouthing former employers. But one important thing many job seekers forget to do is practice for the interview. Remember, this is an audition. In Hollywood, actors and actresses practice a good amount before showing up for an audition. And who knows? Perhaps with enough practice, your audition (i.e., interview) might just make you the best candidate for the job.

 

Time Management In Your New Job

By, 03/13/2012

Adjusting to a new work schedule can be difficult, especially if it’s your first job. I recall my first days feeling overwhelmed and exhausted trying to stay on top of everything. However, I began to examine how I was actually spending my time and realized I wasn’t being as efficient as I thought. A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Are You As Busy As You Think?” highlighted the reality that many of us aren’t nearly as busy as we think. The article provides three key tips to becoming more efficient with your time:

  • Keep a time log, showing how you’re spending  your time in a given day. After aggregating your data, it’s easier to see where you’re wasting time and how you might be able to make changes to fit more things into your week.
  • Every week, set goals to do the things that are important to you and make it a point to accomplish them, no matter what else you might have going on.
  • Rephrase how you approach new tasks by giving them a priority instead of a blanket, “I don’t have time” denial. Prioritizing gives you better perspective on the actual importance of a given task.

Acing Your Job Interview

By, 03/07/2012

US News recently ran an insightful article on some (perhaps not so secret) tips to acing your next job interview. Of course, the list isn’t exhaustive and many of the points may seem like common sense, but they’re frequently forgotten maxims. To summarize the major theme, it’s about preparation. Prepare before the interview by familiarizing yourself with the company and the role you’re applying for.

Prepare for the interview by knowing your key strategic attributes and how you can help the company. And lastly, prepare for the period after the interview by having a list of smart follow-up questions to ask. Of course, a successful job interview may not always lead to a job offer, but following the aforementioned rules (and avoiding these mistakes) may just improve your chances.

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