Cupid boy with red lipstick stamp on his cheeks and foreheadIt’s Valentine’s Day; who doesn’t want to be madly in love? And I’m not just talking about your relationship with that special someone, but your employer (or desired employer).

It may sound creepy, but think about it: What job seeker wouldn’t want a prospective employer to fall head over heels for him or her? And what worker doesn’t want to see “stars” in his or her boss’ eyes because the employee is such an asset to the company?

While many today will be buying and giving roses, chocolate kisses and cute and cuddly teddy bears with “I love You” plastered across their chests, why not also make an effort to give yourself some love—the professional kind that a business offers to a valuable job candidate and worker?

To get you started, Thought Leader Dr. Tracey Wilen has offered some tips and career advice to make employers fall in love with you. Whether you’re interviewing for a job or already an employee, read on to discover what Wilen has to say about making sure this year Cupid shoots an arrow for you and your career progression:

5 Tips when Interviewing

1. Research the firm and people you are interviewing with before the interview so that you are prepared. People like to hire people who have done their homework, are prepared and they can establish rapport with.  Look for threads of commonality in your backgrounds, such as similar firms, similar hobbies, and overlaps in your professional lives.

Look at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles and Google people in advance so you have a good sense of what the person is about before you meet them.

2. Prepare answers to key questions you will be asked. There are a number of websites that publish commonly asked interview questions (Monster, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, etc.); review them in advance and prepare factual short answers with metrics of your success with concrete examples.

For example, if the question was, “Tell me about your sales achievements?” Your response could be, “I increased sales for my current firm over 15 percent in the first quarter of this year. I did this by developing a contact management system and process that kept me highly visible and top of mind for my clients without being intrusive. In fact, one client quoted, ‘You are always there when I need you but not invasive and that is why I appreciate working with you.’ I can do this for your company as well.”

You can also practice answering questions in the mirror or with another person on the phone or in person. Tape yourself so you can hear how you respond to questions.

3. Show up on time (a little early) and dress professionally. If you do not know where you are going, drive to the location a day or two in advance so there are no issues on the day of your interview. On the day of the interview go early (target 15 minutes before your scheduled time); if you are too early, find a coffee shop to spend time reviewing your notes.

You can also use this time to walk around the lobby of the building, look at company videos and displays in the lobby, and read plaques and notices so you can get a sense of the firm and culture before you meet people. Observe people walking in and out, what they talk about, the pace, clothing, etc. Tracey Wilen

4. Ask relevant questions to the job at hand.A general rule of thumb is not to ask any question you can find the answer on the firm’s website, earnings calls or through a general search. The expectation is that you have done this prep work before the interview.

Ask key questions that will help you understand if this is the right firm for you. Frame your questions around how work gets done, determine how fast you can ramp up by asking about resources, key process for moving key initiatives ahead, budget you have to work with, upper level engagement in projects, etc.

5. Express your interest in the position and ask about next steps. Many people forget to ask for the job. Before you leave make sure you express your interest in the position, summarizing three key points in how you can add value to the organization and ask what the next steps are.

5 Tips for Employees on the Job

1. Show up on time every day.According to the BLS (2013), 16 percent of employees show up for work late at least once a week.

2. Have a great attitude.Studies have indicated that the top reason that new hires fail is not due to the lack of skills and aptitude but rather to poor attitude.

3. Support your teammates.Being a proactive team player is highly desired in today’s complex, connected world.

4. Raise your hand for special assignments and projects. What boss won’t fall for a go-getter?

5. Be prepared for meetings. Treat every meeting as an important session. Be prepared and ready to contribute.



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