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.

Dressing for Success

By, 12/29/2011

Need to update your business wardrobe? Career Builder recently surveyed over 500 executives about their personal style and published the results in a handy infographic.

Those preparing for job interviews may find it useful to know most female executives prefer black suits, while men opt for navy blue. Grey is a suitable alternative for anyone looking to mix things up a bit.

For everyday career wear, business casual was the most popular choice. For men, that typically means neatly pressed trousers and collared shirts, perhaps with a sweater on a cold day. Ties are optional, but always a nice touch. Ladies have a broader range of options: Modest skirts and trousers are equally suitable, as are blouses and button-downs. Blazers and sweaters can help keep you warm when the office air conditioner is cranked up. If you don’t feel like wearing heels, dressy flats can be perfectly acceptable too.

With just a bit of effort, you can dress professionally, stylishly and comfortably.

Interviewing Your Interviewers

By, 12/27/2011

Interviewing your interviewers may seem like a novel idea. But it’s likely more important than you realize. If you’re on the job hunt, especially your first job hunt, it’s important to remember an interview is a two-way street. Just as a company wants to get to know you, you should get to know the company you might be working for. Finding the right fit, for the company and yourself, can be a critical component to career success. Here are some thoughtful questions you might consider asking:

  • What’s your company culture like?
  • How are workdays structured?
  • What’s the office setup like?
  • How do employees and managers typically communicate?
  • How do performance assessments work?
  • How are vacation and sick day benefits structured?
  • How has the company grown over the past few years?
  • What are the firm’s goals for the next few years?
  • What are some things the firm could be doing better right now or try to improve?

First Impressions

By, 12/20/2011

When job seekers prepare for interviews, they rightly focus on making a great first impression—an appropriate outfit, good eye contact and a firm handshake can set a good tone right off the bat. In this day and age though, many firms conduct phone interviews before bringing candidates on-site. As a result, setting a good verbal impression is just as important as presenting a good visual image.

How can you do this? This New York Times piece has some practical tips. Do:

  • Use a landline. It's more reliable than a cell phone, and the line will be clearer.
  • Keep a glass of water handy.
  • Have your resume or a list of your accomplishments in reach—that way, if your mind blanks, you can reference this and avoid the dreaded awkward pause.
  • Be friendly. Smiling always helps; even though your interviewer can't see you, smiling can make your tone of voice more engaging.

Don't:

  • Try to tell jokes or laugh too loudly. A friendly chuckle may be appropriate depending on the conversation, but avoid guffawing.
  • Take long pauses or deliver halting responses. Your interviewer may think you haven't prepared, and it could keep you from moving to the next step.
  • Conduct the call in a room where family members, pets can interrupt you. Similarly, avoid any location with background noise or any other distractions.

And here's one more tip: Don't talk too quickly! Keeping a steady, even pace will ensure your interviewer hears all of the great things you have to say.

 

Standing Out

By, 12/13/2011

Updating your résumé over the holidays? Career Builder has some handy advice: 10 Useless Résumé Words (and 10 Eye-Catching Ones).

Firms receive dozens of resumes, so it’s important to make yours stand out. One way is to avoid over-used adjectives like outstanding, energetic and strong. Many applicants describe themselves like this, yet most probably don’t include any evidence of their greatness. Skip the generalizations, and go straight to your accomplishments. Verbs like created, improved and developed are useful here. And if you’ve won an award in school or a previous job, say so! If you concisely describe the things you’ve done, chances are you’ll impress a hiring manager much more than if you provide broad generalizations. And that probably increases the chances you get a call back.

So when you’re updating your résumé, remember: Don’t just say you’re great; show why you’re great.

Collective Career Wisdom

By, 12/08/2011

Over the course of my career at Fisher Investments, I’ve always found it helpful to seek guidance, advice or even just chat with different people across our organization. And that’s something I recommend everyone, no matter where they are in a career, to do on a regular basis. The insights and wisdom others can share, often even unknowingly, provides me with better perspective on my role, allows me to see “the bigger picture” of what we’re all here to do and provides me with areas I might change in my own life. I also read a fair deal of wisdom online and in career management books, and to that end, I thought I’d share a few notable things I’ve read recently:

  • They say attitude is everything, and this recent post from the staff at Slate helps put your mind in the right place, whether you’re starting your career or well into the twilight years of it.
  • It might be unique to American culture (although I suspect not,) but sleeping is oft neglected by many. But developing better sleeping habits can be one of the most productivity-enhancing things you can do. When you’re asleep, your brain and body is able to rest and recuperate—essentials to sustained peak performance.
  • “By using simple, clear, precise language—and following a few other basic writing rules—you can become a better communicator and improve the prospects for your career.” Words to write by.
  • You don’t have to be an ultra marathoner, but simple and regular exercise too can pay dividends in the workplace.

Look for more “Collective Wisdom” in the coming days. And of course, feel free to pass along any you might find useful as well! 

Please reference Blog Commenting Guidelines found here.