Blog Posts by The Daily Muse

  • Is a Two-Page Resume Ever OK?

    You've been there. You're up late one night trolling job boards and in between travel ads the perfect job opportunity appears. You hear the heavenly hosts cheering you on and rush to update your resume.

    But before you add your latest and greatest skills and accomplishments, your brain interrupts with the job seeker debate: Should your resume be one page or two? The answer, dear job seeker, is-it's all subjective.

    Google this topic and you'll get 100 different sources with 400 different pieces of advice. The truth is, we've been conditioned by the old-school tradition of the one page resume. But the current digital age (where resumes aren't always submitted on paper anyway!) has blazed a trail of new opinions.

    That said, there are a few good rules of thumb to consider when deciding if a +1 should accompany your resume.


    When Quantity Equals Quality

    As you evolve in your career, you'll find that things that were once relevant on your resume aren't anymore. For example, if you've beenRead More »from Is a Two-Page Resume Ever OK?
  • Get an Answer Already! How to Deal with People Who Won't Respond

    Get an answer

    Do you ever feel like you're shouting into a black hole when you send an email or leave a voicemail for someone? You put your request out into the universe-and then sit at your desk with your fingers crossed, hoping for a timely response.

    Thanks to my job in the PR world, I've seen it all when it comes to unanswered messages. I've managed correspondence with CEO clients (a.k.a. the perpetually busy ones), the executives and legal teams of my clients' clients (a.k.a. the ones who think I'm not important), and the media (a.k.a. the ones who don't want to deal with PR people). And along the way, I've learned a lot about how to get answers when you need them.

    No matter the cause for the delay, here are some tips for getting those busy (and yes, annoying) slow responders to pay attention.


    Make the Connection

    First and foremost, when you connect with another person, you must give him or her a reason to want to help you.

    Start by avoiding mistakes that instantly disconnect

    Read More »from Get an Answer Already! How to Deal with People Who Won't Respond
  • How to (Really) Help a Friend Job Search

    When you find out that one of your friends or family members is job hunting, your first instinct is to leap in and save the day. Whether that means proofreading cover letters, conducting mock interviews, or just checking in to make sure she isn't getting discouraged, you want to be as supportive as possible. But while your heart is in the right place, your constant help and advice may not be exactly what she needs right now. After all, job searching can be incredibly frustrating and tiring-especially if advice is coming at her from every direction. So how can you support your friends and family without being overbearing? From the way you act on a daily basis to the general advice and assistance you offer, here are a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind.


    Don't: Always Offer Advice

    Your first inclination, of course, will be to offer any and every piece of advice you have for finding the best job listings, writing awesome resumes, and nailing every interview. After all, if you already Read More »from How to (Really) Help a Friend Job Search
  • Stay-At-Home Parent? How to Kill it on Your Comeback Resume

    You've been busting your rear for the last several years. Your multi-tasking skills? Second-to-none. Ability to handle adversity and problem solve? Top notch. Project management capabilities? Exceptional. You've got a gazillion amazing skills-this is indisputable. The problem? Many of your talents have been refined over the past few years through your most recent job as a stay-at-home parent. And while no one is going to argue that your job is among the hardest on the planet, your "at home" time can present serious challenges as you prepare to venture back into the 9-to-5 workforce. How the heck do you market yourself when you've not held a "real job" for several years? How do you hide the gaps in your career chronology? How do you convince a corporate employer that, in spite of your hiatus, you're excited and ready to work-and that you're the ideal candidate for that position? Don't panic. People jump back into the workforce all the time, and you can, too. Are you kidding me? You can

    Read More »from Stay-At-Home Parent? How to Kill it on Your Comeback Resume
  • How to Ask Stupid Questions (Without Sounding Stupid)

    Ask stupid questions

    Ten months.

    That's how long I evaded making coffee at my first corporate job. Until that point, I'd been riding on the coffee-making coattails of my co-workers, making sure I was never the one who emptied the last few drops from the industrial-sized carafe.

    Then, one day, the spout sputtered into my empty mug, and I had to suck it up and ask an embarrassingly easy question: "So, how do you brew a new pot of coffee?"

    And no matter your level of experience, you're bound to encounter a similar situation at some point. Whether you never learned how to use a mainstream program, you don't quite understand something your co-workers can do effortlessly, or you've just entered a completely unfamiliar industry, you'll have to ask some "stupid" questions, too.

    But while everyone will tell you "there's no such thing as a stupid question," you still want to phrase your inquiries in a way that helps you come across as capable and confident. So if you've been holding back on your

    Read More »from How to Ask Stupid Questions (Without Sounding Stupid)
  • 3 Strategies for Keeping Your Cool at Work

    Level-headed at work

    You get a rude email from a co-worker.

    You read it once and start to feel annoyed, then you read it again, just to make sure. Yes: It's obnoxious. So, you hit "reply" and start dashing out a response to set the record straight, feeling your blood rise with every keyboard stroke.

    Sound familiar? Whether it's getting angry with an annoying colleague, getting frazzled by a problem in a project, or just getting frustrated by little speed bumps in the day, there will be times when something minor grates on you in the office. And, like me, your first instinct may be to get angry, to snap, or to react.

    But there's a better way to handle these moments. First-of course-don't send emails when you're upset. But more importantly, you have to relentlessly remind yourself to keep a level-headed perspective on the job.

    I know-easier said than done. But next time something gets to you, try one of these three simple techniques for staying cool, calm, and collected.


    1. Ask Yourself How

    Read More »from 3 Strategies for Keeping Your Cool at Work
  • The 7 People You Should Befriend at Work

    People to befriend at work

    When you don't quite know your way around the office-or heck, even if you do-it's good to know people in high places.

    But by "high places," I don't necessarily mean the executive suite. While buddying up with the CEO probably wouldn't hurt, there are a few other well-known office archetypes who can really help you out.

    So, when you're kicking off a new job, seek out these seven officemates-stat.

    1. The Human Snack Machine

    You know the feeling: It's 3 PM, you're starting to get the "maybe that rice cake wasn't enough for lunch" shakes (or the "a client just yelled at me for 20 minutes straight" need for stress-relieving indulgence), and you're a quarter short for anything in the snack machine.

    This is precisely when it pays to know that guy in the marketing department who keeps a drawer full of candy-and is willing to share in exchange for a few minutes of office chit-chat. (Just make sure to occasionally offer treats in return or contribute to the snack fund!)

    2. The Socialite

    If

    Read More »from The 7 People You Should Befriend at Work
  • 4 Sneaky Ways to Determine Company Culture in an Interview

    When you're looking for a new job, you don't just want the right position-you want the right culture fit: An office that matches your laid-back vibe, your work-hard-play-hard attitude, or your uber-creative personality. A team that supports your love for collaboration, your do-it-yourself spirit, or your desire to have a great mentor. Sure, you could do good work anywhere-but if the attitudes and predispositions of the workplace feel like second nature, you're more likely to hit the ground running (and to be happy there for the long haul). But unfortunately, you can't just ask "Can you tell me about the company culture?" and consider yourself covered. Much like you tout your best self in an interview, the person you're interviewing with is putting his or her best foot forward-and you may hear a canned response that gives you very little insight. So, your best bet is to ask questions that (okay, sneakily) give you the real details about what it's like to work there. Try these four to

    Read More »from 4 Sneaky Ways to Determine Company Culture in an Interview
  • Moving On: How to Quit Your Job with Grace

    Quit Job With Grace

    You've finally decided to quit your job-congratulations!

    Maybe you landed a great new gig and you're moving on to greener pastures. Or, maybe you hate your boss and-let's be honest-can't wait to stick it to him with your two weeks' notice.

    But whatever the situation, quitting your job can be awkward and uncomfortable-and if you don't have a clear plan of action, you might end up burning bridges and sacrificing valuable references down the road.

    So whatever's pushing you out the door, exit the right way: with grace, class, and preparedness. If you're not sure how to make the big announcement or navigate your last two weeks, don't worry-I've created an easy three-step plan to guide you through it.

    Step #1: The Set-Up

    First, set a firm date for your last day of work. Make sure to give yourself enough time to tie up any loose ends and train your replacement, if necessary. In most states, you're not required to give two full weeks' notice-but as a professional courtesy to your co-workers

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  • 4 Ways to Go Above and Beyond at Your Job

    Above and beyond at job

    Every classroom had one. First hand raised, the right answer to every question, and a perfectly painted solar system science project to top it all off-the token overachiever.

    And while you may have scoffed at his or her overreaching ways, let's be honest: Whenever the teacher had a special assignment, reward, or treat to give out, it usually went to that one kid who always went above and beyond.

    Turns out, the office isn't much different. When you want to prove your worth (e.g., during your first week on the job or while you're gunning for a promotion) you'll want to be that person. Of course, you don't want to be that annoying person, drawing attention to yourself for the sake of showing off-you want to demonstrate your value by making a genuine impact on your team.

    So, how do you do it? To get you started, here are four ways to go above and beyond at work-without going over the top.


    1. Put Feedback Into Action

    One of the most impressive things you can do in your job

    Read More »from 4 Ways to Go Above and Beyond at Your Job

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