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.

Interview Mistakes

By, 08/28/2012

Congratulations! You just received a call back from a company to set up a job interview. Here are some tips from a recent Monster.com article about what not to do when meeting a potential employer:

  1. Don’t confuse an interview with an interrogation. Although you are the person being considered for the position, don’t let the conversation turn into a one-sided question and answer. Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions, too!
  2. Turning a weakness into a positive may not be the right answer. The question “what are your weaknesses” is not meant to highlight faults, but to see how you handle the question. Instead of turning a weakness into a positive, describe something you wish to improve upon and how you are going about doing so.
  3. Don’t just sit around and wait for a call back. Show the interviewer or hiring manager how interested you really are in the position­ by sending a thank-you note, or additional information about you, and follow up a few days later.

Goal Setting

By, 08/24/2012

Setting and working towards goals can be an important part of your career development. Ever since elementary school (or even before), we’ve learned about goals and the importance of working to achieve objectives. After all, your productivity should increase if you are working towards something specific, right?

Goal setting is outlining how you’d like your future, either short or long term, to look.  Anyone who has ever set a goal and reached it will tell you how rewarding it can be.

Here are a few tips for drawing your own roadmap to success:

  1. Visualize attaining your goal. If a promotion or a dream job is what you’re after, imagine yourself doing that job.
  2. Map out the steps to reaching each goal. How will you get there? What things can you do to make sure you stick to your plan?

Make sure your goal is ultimately attainable. It’s a lot easier to work toward something when you know the end result is possible

Phone Interviews 101

By, 08/21/2012

Phone interviews are a common component of the initial hiring and recruiting process today. Although it’s not a face-to-face interview, it’s important to prepare for these just as you would for a meeting in person.

The potential employer will contact you in advance to set up a time to speak, either by phone or by email. Before the phone interview begins, make sure there are no distractions around you (i.e. find a quiet place to speak) and you have a glass of water close by. Having notes and your resume nearby will help when speaking about your qualifications and experience.

However, prior to the interview, it’s also important to take a few additional steps to demonstrate your professionalism to the employer:

  • This is the first opportunity for a recruiter or hiring manager to hear your voice, so don’t start out on the wrong foot. Have your voicemail reflect a concise message indicating your name, asking them to leave a message and letting them know you will return the call at your earliest availability.
  • Email communication is just as common as phone communication, so keep your email address professional with something like your first initial and last name.

Internships and the Exponential Benefits

By, 08/15/2012

These days, it’s typical for students to step into the corporate world before graduating, sometimes by way of an internship. Internships—both paid and unpaid—can be incredibly rewarding experiences for students and companies alike. Students get valuable on-the-job experience and companies get a first look at promising future graduates.

During my last year of college, I had the opportunity to be an intern at a nearby organization. In addition to the on-the-job experience, I also had a chance to hone my communication skills, learn how to prioritize and develop critical teamwork skills. By the time I graduated, I felt more prepared to meet the challenges of the working world head-on, as I fully knew what to expect.

Another benefit of internships sometimes overlooked—students may also be able to earn college credit for their time on the job. Given rising college tuition costs, additional college credit through an internship can be an added bonus that gets you in that cap and gown sooner.

[Re]Org

By, 08/13/2012

Whether starting a new job, a new position or looking to boost job performance, fine-tuning organization skills is almost always beneficial. A well-organized desk may help de-clutter your mind (as well as those too-full drawers you’re afraid to open), and the task of organizing itself can give you distance from a stressful situation or a task you’re too focused on.

Personally, I find email organization (or disarray) greatly affects how I feel and go about my work day. For example, I have multiple levels of folders set up to store previously read items, even if I still need to act on them. I find the more specific levels of organization, the better I can navigate current and past work. Furthermore, just about any email system nowadays provides various flags and reminders for marking messages, so storing emails can help keep your inbox folder clear for newer, incoming items, with less risk of losing previous work.

Whether email, hard drive or desk, sometimes organization develops along the way, but I suggest taking a few minutes to think about what works best for you (and your colleagues, if applicable) and why—sometimes simply reaffirming your methods is just as helpful as reorganizing.

On the Job Hunt

By, 08/08/2012

A recent New York Times article outlined a few helpful hints to market yourself and your background when applying for jobs.

In recent years, the job market has been fiercely competitive. It’s imperative to “bring your ‘A’ game” when submitting resumes and cover letters for consideration. These documents are the only items representing you, so being able to clearly articulate your value and how your experience or skill make you qualified for a role are key.

Additional tips the article gives to job seekers include:

  • Take full advantage of your school’s job placement office and alumni network
  • If you aren’t sure what you want to do, don’t be afraid to look for learning opportunities or take risks, and always be open to new opportunities

Find a Mentor

By, 08/01/2012

Over the course of my career, I’ve been the fortunate beneficiary of many mentor relationships. Mentors in your own organization can provide critical insight and guidance in your day-to-day job responsibilities and career progress. Other mentors can provide valuable perspective and insight you might not get otherwise.

To use an oversimplified analogy, imagine two runners in a footrace. One runner has a running coach, a conditioning coach and a nutritionist on the sidelines—giving her feedback and advice as she races around the track. The other runner is alone, forced to make adjustments along the way and unaware of how he’s doing until the end of the race. Who does best? Difficult to say, but it’s likely the runner with the coaching felt a lot better about her experience along the way—better informed and more capable of accomplishing the outcome she desired. And that’s the value of mentors. Although they can’t run the race for you, mentors provide valuable perspective and advice along the way that better enable you to achieve your goals.

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