job seekers

So you’ve aced your resume and now it’s time for the interview.  Instead of feeling doubtful – get prepared!  From what the employer has read about you, they have liked – they have already got an inside scoop from you!  Now it’s your turn to get some information from them – make the interview a two way communication pathway and you will be amazed at the outcomes.  You will feel empowered and they will be impressed that you had the confidence to dig deeper than most people do.  Read on for some tips on which questions you should ask at your next job interview.  

There are standard questions to ask during a job interview, and then you’ve got the ones you really should avoid.

It’s obviously important to ask your potential future employer the basics, but don’t bore them with the same old lines without throwing in a few things they actually really want to be asked.

Here are some ideas for shaking up the interview and keeping both you and your interviewer on your toes. These will help you stand out and get remembered the next time you’re job searching.

1. What’s the one quality you hope for your employees to have?

This simple question begs a concise, definitive answer from your interviewer. It also is a great way to really get a feel for what the company you’re interviewing with is looking for — and to see if it’s the right fit for you.

For instance, if you’re a people person and love working with a team, and the “one thing” your interviewer is looking for is someone who is self-directed and can work well alone, then that may already mean the position isn’t what you’re looking for.

2. How does the company define and measure success?

Future employers like it when you know your professional goals and are impressed when you can be assertive about personal and team success within the company.

By asking for more information about how the company measures success and recognizes accomplishments, you’re subtly saying that you already plan on being a model of success in your role.

3. What is the company culture like?

Company culture is crucial. It can make or break a job for many people, so getting a feel for what the people are like at your potential place of work is must-know information. Interviewers will see that you understand the importance of office relationships and company culture by asking this question in your interview in anticipation of being hired.

It’s also an indicator that getting along with co-workers is important to you, and this implies that you’re a team player.

4. What do you enjoy most about working here?

Asking someone who knows firsthand about a company is the best way to get an idea of what it’s really like — so ask your interviewer! It’s a polite and professional way of asking someone in an interview situation personal information, without crossing the line.

It gives your interviewer a chance to talk a little bit about themselves, and it’s also a great way to figure out if the position is really what you want.

5. How can I add value to the team?

Instead of asking “what is expected of me?” in an interview, it’s better to phrase the question in a way that emphasizes your consideration of the company and the future potential team you’ll be a part of. Ask what the vision is for the role, and then elaborate on how you think you embody that vision.

6. What is one challenge that comes along with this role?

Again, asking for one definitive answer is something that benefits both you as an interviewee but also helps the interviewer. It allows them to focus their answers in order to provide succinct details about the position, and it gives you a single, solid idea of what would be expected of you in the role.

7. What is a fun fact about this company?

Interviews, depending on the position you’re going for, can be pretty dry. While you should never delve into extremely personal information, one way to make things a little more interesting is to ask for a fun anecdote or fact about the company you hope to work for. This gives the interviewer a break from the same old questions, while still giving you more background on the company.

Source: Hilary White

Read the original article on POPSUGAR Smart Living. Copyright 2016. Follow POPSUGAR Smart Living on Twitter.

Editor’s Note: In a field that evolves as rapidly as geospatial information science and technologies, the idea of “getting a GIS job” may not be as straight-forward as it sounds. What are employers looking for, and how do you know that your training and education will get you there? Join Directions Magazine as we begin a short series of articles examining these topics.

Was there really ever a time when all you needed to know to get a GIS job was how to do a few software tasks and design a map or two, or is that as overly idealistic and unrealistic as the image of every 1950s household having an apple pie cooling on an open window sill?

If you did manage to get a job on that “lick, spit and promise,” are you still in that position? What daily tasks are expected of you now that didn’t even exist 15 years ago?

New GIS degree and certificate programs continue to launch each year. Keeping curricula current, and instructors both confident and competent, is a perpetual challenge. There are also more numerous and diverse approaches to professional development than ever before. Is there validity in the Monday-morning-quarterback statement that what employers want, what degree programs provide, and what students actually learn are always out of synch?

In an effort to understand distinctions and requirements of GIS jobs, Jung Eun (Jessie) Hong, an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of West Georgia, recently completed a content analysis of GIS job advertisements. She compiled almost 1000 GIS job postings, spanning 2007 – 2014, from GIScareers.com, GISjobs.com and the GIS Jobs Clearinghouse. The titles of the jobs were used to sort the positions into five different job categories:

  • Analysts (27.4% of job postings)
  • Programmers/developers/engineers (29.8%)
  • Specialists (14.0%)
  • echnicians (11.2%)
  • Other (17.7%).

Though programmers, developers and engineers differ in training and expectations, their primary job tasks are similar enough to be grouped at this scale. The “Other” category included GIS coordinators, instructors and the like.

Then, individual skills specified in each ad — such as data mining, web mapping, programming or project management, for example — were all coded into four technical areas:

  • Analysis/modeling
  • Cartography/visualization
  • Data processing/management
  • Software/application development

and three general skill areas:

  • Analytical
  • Management
  • Personal/social

Hong then used this coded information in NVivo, a product designed for analyzing text-based content.

What were the similarities and differences in skills among the five job categories? The most requested skill set across all jobs involved analysis and modeling, with over 56% of all job ads specifically referencing such needs. This includes such tasks as aerial image interpretation, data analysis, database development, data mining, network analysis and/or the use of spatial statistics. The second most requested skill set was a general one: communication, interpersonal skills, and self-motivation and independence.

Within job categories, the similarities were more interesting than the differences. Not surprisingly, the number one most requested skill for a programmer/developer/engineer was web or mobile application development; 57.4% of all job postings within that group identified that skill. But what was the most frequently expected skills for the other four categories of GIS jobs positions? Communication skills, above all other technical or more job-specific needs, with up to 45.9% of the postings specifying that skill set.

Another revealing result from within each job category was that database development was ranked as the second most frequently desired skill across all five job type categories. Within the domain of GIS&T, “database development” can have a specific meaning for a specific use case, but those two words are also common and important on their own within the fields of computer science and information technology. Their high frequency designation as a skill across all of these GIS job postings may reflect diverse and different interpretations of what “database development” actually means in a given scenario…which makes us wonder about the myriad ways that “communication” itself plays out in the world of GIS&T.

In practice, communication skills can include everything from accurately representing one’s self on a resume to finding out during an interview that everyone is interpreting “database development” in distinctive ways. In the Venn diagram world of database development, surely there is overlap with data manipulation, programming, and/or database design. Are you ready for that? Or, does the new boss really just need someone to populate an Excel spreadsheet and join it to a shapefile? Either way, whether you are a wise boss or an eager job seeker, are you prepared to listen carefully enough to the other person so you could tactfully, professionally and courteously adjust and address the miscommunications? Voila, now you get points for interpersonal skills as well!

If the ubiquity of “database development” may reflect instances of commission, Hong’s research also illustrates an example of omission with the absence of the term “geocomputation” in any of the job ads. She had been prepared to code the term as an example of a required or desired skill within the analysis and modeling set, based on the fact that geocomputation had been identified as an entire knowledge area in the 2006 GIS&T Body of Knowledge, one of the sources for her coding information. Geocomputation had been described in the BoK as the “development and application of computationally intensive approaches to the study of complex spatial-temporal problems.” The complete absence of the term from job ads does not mean that those complex spatial-temporal problems are no longer an issue! Instead, I would suggest that the high performance computing, cellular-automata and agent-based models, and simulation modeling that once differentiated a geocomputational approach have now become expected and necessary, and thus have been integrated into analytical approaches in general. Perhaps “Big Data analytics” is more likely to be the nom du jour in a job ad of today, but these are of the same ilk.

Overall, Hong’s findings confirm what many of us have experienced over time: that technical skills will always be critical on a particular day for a particular task, but those must be complemented with a life-long ability to unravel problems. When the Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model was revised in 2014, the bulk of the changes were specific technical competencies in Tier 4 and above. Personal effectiveness, academic and workplace competencies, largely the “general” skills in Hong’s study, have remained as solid and important as ever.

In psychological and human resources parlance, skills are things which we can acquire and learn, while abilities are things that we have naturally. Importantly, both can be refined through training and education. To increase your employability, hone your skills as well as your abilities, and develop your competence and confidence to communicate about them both. Consider these 20 Challenging GIS Interview Questions, which are as relevant today across all types of GIS positions as when they were first published; effective communication is central to them all.

By Diana S. Sinton

http://www.directionsmag.com/entry/gis-jobs-skills-in-demand/471742

Photograph by Getty Images

An employer’s first impression of you is usually your Resume.  Here are some tips to consider.

Job seekers, give yourself an edge with some modern touches.

“In today’s job market, your resume needs to immediately stand out,” says Dawn Bugni, a professional resume writer in Wilmington, N.C. Attention spans are at an all-time short, with hiring managers spending just six seconds looking at a resume before deciding whether the applicant is worth further consideration, a recent study by TheLadders found. (That’s if a human looks at it at all; before your application even reaches a hiring manager, it usually has to make it past an automated applicant tracking system.)

As hiring continues to increase, job seekers will face stiff competition this year. Follow the tips below to make your resume shine in 2016.

010716_resume_rules3

Like this resume? Click here for a downloadable template.(Resume courtesy of Wendy Enelow.)

1. Enhance your contact information.

Put simply: hiring managers are busy; make their job easier by hyperlinking your email address so that you’re only one click away, says Wendy Enelow, co-author of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired. Bear in mind that you expose yourself to identify theft if you include your full mailing address, says Enelow, so only put your city, state, and zip code on your resume. Also, use active links to your LinkedIn profile and any other social media accounts that are fit for recruiters.

2. Make the page “pop.”

Depending on the industry, you can distinguish your resume by punching up the design, but exercise caution: a graphic artist, for example, has more creative leeway than an accountant.

Enelow’s co-author Louise Kursmark recommends using color to make your resume unique. To stay professional, consider making only section headers blue, for example, and leaving the rest in black, Kursmark suggests. And replace the outdated Times New Roman with a more modern font such as Cambria, Calibri, or Georgia, Enelow says. (As standard typefaces, they translate well between operating systems.)

3. Ditch the objective statement…

Today’s hiring managers aren’t concerned with what is it you’re looking for—they’re focused on finding the right hire. Thus, “the objective statement has become obsolete,” says Tiffani Murray, an HR professional and resume writer at Atlanta-based Personality On a Page.

…and lead with a summary.

To capture the hiring manager’s attention, start your resume with a short professional synopsis that states your years of experience, job history, and big career achievements. Instead of labeling the section a “summary,” use the header to highlight your area of expertise, says Enelow.

4. Guide the reader’s eye.

The Internet has changed reading behavior, says Kursmark: “People don’t read top to bottom anymore. They’re constantly skimming and looking at different parts of the page, and if you don’t structure your resume to appeal to that, a lot of good material will get overlooked.” Therefore, use bolded text to ensure your achievements stand out.

5. Beat the robots.

Many medium and large companies use software to weed out candidates. Your resume will need the right keywords to get through, so mirror the language of the job posting, advises Bugni, and pay attention to detail. “Changing something as simple as ‘customer service’ to ‘client relations’ can get your resume approved or rejected,” she says.

6. Forgo a “skills” section.

Weave your talents into your work experience. “Employers are looking for more than a list of skills,” says Murray. “They want to know how you’ve applied them.” The exception: It’s beneficial to have a designated section when applying for a skills-based job that requires specific qualifications, such as an IT specialist.

7. Maximize your real estate.

Despite what you may have heard, you don’t necessarily need to limit your resume to one page. “A resume is as long as it needs to be to convey value. And not one word more,” says Bugni. That said, a two-page resume may be appropriate for someone with 30 years’ experience—not for a recent college graduate. To conserve space use bullet points, active verbs, and industry-specific acronyms, and don’t state the obvious (e.g., including “references available upon request”).

Source: Fortune.com by Daniel Bortz, Money

The US state of New York has passed legislation that will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15, bringing it level with the rate in California.

Rising global inequality has made minimum wages a hot topic in countries around the world, as governments attempt to ensure low-paid workers have the chance to escape relative poverty. For example, the UK has also recently introduced aNational Living Wage of £7.20 ($10.25) for workers aged over 25.

So what does the minimum wage look like around the world?

On top Down Under.

Click here to view the chart that shows the situation in 27 countries across the globe (based on data from 2013). The figures have been adjusted to their post-tax rate and for purchasing power parity, in US dollars.

Australia has the most generous minimum wage, with workers earning a minimum of US$9.54 an hour. Next is Luxembourg, where workers can expect to take home at least $9.24 after tax. The top three is completed by Belgium. Here, the post-tax minimum wage sits just above $8.50.

Several other European nations feature high up the list, with Ireland, France and the Netherlands following Belgium. There are also places in the top half for New Zealand, Canada and the United States, among others.

The minimum wage and inclusive growth

Last year’s ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report’ from the World Economic Forum highlights the link between minimum wage policies and inclusive growth.

The report argues that “data shows that inequality often starts in the labour market.” Therefore a broad package of coherent labour market policies, including minimum wages, is vital to tackle inequality and ensure that economic growth benefits everyone.

The report points to International Labour Organisation data showing that changes in the distribution of wages and job losses accounted for 140% of the increase in US inequality between 2006 and 2010.

“Ensuring that the benefits of growth reach the many rather than the few is one of the great challenges of our time, and rising wages are clearly a key driver of inclusive growth. When wages remain stagnant, imposing a minimum wage is one vehicle for driving them higher,” explains Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist at the World Economic Forum.

“This of course leads to higher wages for those with jobs, but the potential downside is that employers cut jobs, leading to higher unemployment. History has shown that minimum wages that are not ‘too high’ have a benign effect on unemployment, and can be an effective lever (although the threshold is of course difficult to determine). Recent efforts to impose much higher minimum wages are experiments that will provide us with a better understanding of how and under what conditions they work best.”

Written by Joe Myers

Sourced from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/where-are-the-world-s-highest-minimum-wages?utm_content=buffer0fdcf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Going Back to Work

 Just as you’re getting used to being home with your baby and your work life feels like a distant memory, you realize that your maternity leave is coming to an end. The thought of waking up at 6 a.m. and racing off to a job after being up all night with a crying baby seems impossible. And then there’s the guilt: How can you spend so much time away from your infant?

No matter how long and hard you’ve thought about your decision to return to work, and how sure you are that it’s the right choice, you need to be prepared for mixed emotions. “You might feel guilty about leaving your baby in someone else’s care — or you might feel guilty about being eager to go back to your old life,” says Karol Ladd, coauthor of The Frazzled Factor: Relief for Working Moms. Although you’ll inevitably encounter a few bumps along the way, these five tips will make heading back to work a little less stressful.

Practice Your New Routine

It’s bound to take a while to learn to balance your new roles — and you’ll do so more quickly if your daily routine is efficient and well organized. The best way to make sure your new schedule will work? Do a couple of practice runs the week before you’re due back at the office. If possible, arrange for your child care to start a week or so early so that you can try out your routine — and get used to parting with your baby. Make sure you set your alarm extra early your first week back to give yourself time to work out any kinks in your schedule. And don’t forget to come up with a good backup plan for days when your baby (or your babysitter) is sick.

Get as Much Rest as You Can

One of the biggest complaints of working moms is sheer exhaustion — and when you’re overtired it’s much easier to fall to pieces. Your own sleep needs should take priority over doing another load of laundry or cleaning up the kitchen. And have your husband pitch in whenever possible. Because you’ll be getting up so early, you should aim to get to bed earlier too. Sticking to a 9 p.m. bedtime helped Heather Hill, of DeWitt, Michigan, get enough rest before her son Connor was sleeping through the night. “I woke up for the 2 a.m. feeding, and by that time, I’d had about five hours of sleep with a few more hours still ahead,” says the mother of Sean, 6 years, and Connor, 10 months.

Keeping It Together

Set Aside Time for Your “Mommy Life”

You’ve probably made a handful of new “mom friends” while on leave. Don’t put those friendships on the back burner once you start working. “Relationships with other moms are vital,” says Ladd. “You need them for emotional support.” Aim for regular weekend get-togethers. Gina Yager, mother of 5-month-old Mia, made it a point not to lose touch with her new friends when she went back to work. “On Saturdays, I’ll meet the girls and their babies at a coffee shop, and I’ve also joined a ‘mom and baby’ yoga class,” says the mom from Henderson, Nevada. “And I stay in touch during the week through our online support group.”

Keep It Together at the Office

Although you might feel like an absolute wreck when you’re at your desk — worrying about your baby, feeling physically and mentally exhausted, being daunted by the piles of work that have built up in your absence — don’t let your boss think you’re off your game. Keep your concerns to yourself, and avoid venting to your coworkers. Remember, your new juggling act might even make you more productive. “I’m a better boss now that I’m a mom,” says Sue Hermann, of Denver, mother of Sarah, 3, and Sophie, 10 months. “I’m more willing to delegate, more able to think outside of the box, and definitely better able to multitask.”

Hang in There

In your first few months back on the job, you will undoubtedly encounter days when you decide that you can’t manage and need to quit. But stick with it — at least for a while. Experts say most moms need time to get used to a new routine. If after a few months you’re still unable to cope, think about asking your boss for a flex schedule that lets you work from home one or two days a week, or for a part-time arrangement. Come up with a concrete plan before approaching your boss. “But be prepared for the possibility that your boss will reject your proposal and give you an all-or-nothing ultimatum,” warns Donna Lenhoff, JD, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who specializes in work-family issues. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to consider whether this job is right for you. “Your goal,” says Ladd, “is to find a healthy balance that works for you, your career, and your family.”

Nursing at Work

A Working Mom’s Guide to Breastfeeding

If you’re planning to continue nursing, you’ll need to get the pumping routine down well before your return to work.

Start pumping and freezing the milk a month before you’re due back on the job. You’ll get in the habit of pumping and build up an emergency supply.

Let someone else bottle-feed your baby. “He needs to get used to being fed by someone besides his mother,” says Kathy Baker, Peer Counselor Program training administrator at La Leche League International.

Talk to your boss to come up with a pumping schedule that works for both of you. You might suggest dividing your lunch hour into pumping sessions: You’ll need to take 15- or 20-minute breaks two to three times a day.

Find a private location. “If your company doesn’t have a designated lactation room, perhaps there’s an empty office or conference room that you could use to pump,” suggests Baker. “Some women get creative and hang a curtain around the outside of their cubicle when no privacy is available.”

Having Second Thoughts?

“Unless you have a contract that specifically states you’ll return to work on a set date — which can happen in some union or high-profile jobs — you can decide to quit whenever you choose,” says attorney Donna Lenhoff of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Though your employer does have the right to take you to court to get back the health-insurance premiums and wages paid during your maternity leave, Lenhoff says that this rarely happens. As for the best time to give your boss notice, the sooner, the better.

By Amy Capetta

Sourced from http://www.parents.com/parenting/work/life-balance/going-back-to-work-after-baby/