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Resource: Featured Articles
How to Explain Being Fired to Your Interviewer
Monday, January 28, 2013

Losing a job is tough. Getting fired from one, though, can feel like a death sentence. This is just one of those things in life that are hard to control. That doesn't mean it's impossible to recover from, however. One of the biggest obstacles of overcoming this career mishap is when you have to explain the your termination to a potential employer.

Interviewers will inevitably ask for details which makes it all the more important to have a well-scripted answer. With strategic wording, you can minimize the damage and give yourself a fighting chance. The following tips will help you handle the situation and talk yourself out of an unfavorable circumstance:

Plan and prepare.
Getting yourself ready for, not only this interview, but this particular question is the key to successfully pulling off a good interview. You shouldn't wait for the interviewer to ask you the question hoping that they might forget to ask and then think about your answer in that case. Think the incident through and verbally practice your explanation. Listening to your answer repeatedly beforehand gives you time to modify it until perfect.

Be on the same page as your references.
Finding references can be especially difficult after being fired. Reach out to those you know will positively vouch for you and get an idea for what they plan on saying about you. Ask them what they have in mind when the interviewer contacts them and be sure to have them focus on your qualifications, performance, and overall character. If you can muster up the will to do so, reach out to your previous manager and try to come to copacetic terms with them. As difficult as it may be, it can help prevent past employers from costing you future jobs.

Be straight-forward and transparent.
Lying about or attempting to cover up areas of the truth will only backfire. If possible, steer clear of the incident itself and instead direct the attention to where you've gotten to since. Give them examples for what that experience taught you and how it helped you grow. You want to emphasize that you were able to turn a negative into a positive. The interviewer needs to see that you appreciate their willingness to hear your side of the story by maintaining your integrity. A little honestly will go a long way.

Write it down and memorize it.
As you put your answer together, continue going over it until it's time for the interview. Frequently editing it will let you catch things that you think could use improving. You want to prepare yourself enough so that by the time you walk in through the office doors, you'll have the confidence to manage this question without a hiccup. Be sure that nothing you say will reflect any bitterness, anger, or hard feelings. Showing the interviewer that you were able to pick yourself up from such a fall will let them see you as a resilient person and a strong team player.

Job Search Success Tips for Baby Boomers
Friday, January 11, 2013

The baby boomer generation holds a special group of individuals who have been around long enough to see and experience how our society has changed over the years. As employees, they are some of the most resilient around being able to adapt to how different the job market is now from the one they grew up in. Their adaptability has been especially tested in recent times with competition being tough across all industries.

This has caused many to feel pushed into retirement as if the towel is being thrown in for them. Your career is a major defining aspect of your identity and unless you're ready to redefine yourself, you shouldn't have to. As a baby boomer conducting a job search, sometimes all it takes is some revitalization to get back in the game and pick up speed.

A good starting place is making sure that your job skills and experience are updated. Baby boomers can feel at a disadvantage because to them the technological world we live in now seems to have sprung up overnight. Meanwhile, younger generations were practically raised by technology.

Potential employers take the technological skills on your resume into consideration before generational gaps. If circumstance hasn't made you as technologically savvy over the years as you hoped (through previous on-the-job training, for example) then it's a good idea to take matters into your own hand. Getting caught up through books or by taking a course can familiarize you with the skills that younger generations have been bred to learn. Another benefit of taking skills courses is being able to earn certification.

Getting your skills updated and perhaps earning additional certifications are just the first step. Showing off these improvements and new developments in your resume is key to order to catching the hiring manager's eye. Imagine doing a side-by-side comparison of your resume and that of a recent college graduate. In what ways would they resemble one another? Anything come to mind?

Your resume is most competitive when it has as much to offer the job market as someone with recent education while retaining the advantage of being a seasoned working professional. Browse through your LinkedIn networks and connections and take a look at some of your younger colleagues' profiles. Check out their resumes, and any other links available, and use this research material as inspiration when giving your resume a makeover.

Another useful tip is to leave out dates that age you. Make sure that the experience you include is relevant to your field and the positions you apply to. You might want to show off an extensive history but you don't want to seem out of touch. Resumes today tend to be short and sweet so make sure that yours can still be distinctly impressive without having to say as much. Remember, less is more!

The last tip has to do with an update to your appearance. You don't have to make any drastic changes but  taking some measures to look well-kept will help keep you from sticking out of the crowd in the wrong way. Often times, people will blame their age as the reason for why they've lost the zest in their life when really it's their confidence level. Don't let your age make you feel less confident.

Whether it be eliminating the grey in your hair with some dye or getting back in the gym, a few lifestyle improvements here and there can do wonders in boosting your confidence level. This rejuvenation of life can help you conquer your job search and continue on the path to the success you deserve.