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Career and Interview Tips

How The​ ‘Tell Me About Yourself' Question Can Set You Apart

By Carroll Welch - Originally posted on iRelaunch

No matter how it's worded or where you hear it, if you're relaunching, you'll be asked by someone to tell about yourself. It may be at a barbecue, an informational interview, a college reunion, a screening interview or a conference. Depending on the context, this question could be asked as:

  • What should I know about you?
  • What's your background?
  • How can I help you today?
  • Do you work outside the home?
  • Tell me in your own words, who is [your name]?
  • Tell me about yourself.

Whether formally or casually asked, 'Tell me about yourself' is an opportunity. When you have an articulate, confidently delivered response that takes into account what the listener wants to know, you can distinguish yourself and make a positive impression.

Here are three points to help you prepare. (For convenience sake, all forms of Tell Me About Yourself will be referred to as TMAY.)

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1. Prepare. Don't wing this. Your response to TMAY is an important part of how you market yourself, just as your resume and Linked In profile are. It's hard to come up with a good response to this deceptively difficult question on the fly. By preparing bullet points in advance that you've committed to memory and can tweak and integrate into conversations as appropriate, you'll be ready.

2. Consider Your Audience. What a prospective employer wants to know about you is not the same as what your best friend's spouse wants to know at the neighborhood holiday party. Don't reflexively tell the person what you want to tell them. Instead, think about what they might want to know and make it part of your response.

  • Strengths. For job interviews, make sure that the beginning of your response includes 2-3 key features about you that would be compelling to that employer. Here's an example:

Q. Tell me about yourself.

A. I'm a career relauncher and project manager with 10 years of experience in pharmaceutical marketing. I've always loved project management work because I can use my excellent organizational and technological skills to make sure that all the moving parts of a project sync. During my 7 year career break, I became a trustee for my local public library and chaired our technology committee so I've been able to continue to use and hone those skills. Also, I was a four year DI college athlete, and when I worked at Rose & Whitney as a project manager, I was consistently recognized for my strong team orientation, and how I coordinated and communicated well with all team members, regardless of seniority.

  • Relauncher Status. It may be okay in some circumstances to explain that you're exploring, researching or considering more than one relaunch career path. Usually, this will likely be in a social or casual situation or in informational interviews, but not in job interviews. An example of how to explain your 'undecided' status as part of a TMAY response to a networking or social contact who might be able to help you is:

I'm a relauncher and before my 10 year career break, I practiced as a health law attorney at a large law firm for 5 years. I'm planning to return to work as a practicing attorney. I'm currently exploring either a path to a hospital legal department position or practicing elder law at a small firm. I've always been interested in health care and was pre-med in college. I became interested in elder law when I helped my parents navigate some challenging long term care, Medicare and estate planning issues.

  • No Chronologies. Your response to TMAY should never be a chronological story that starts with where you were born or what you did after grad school. Instead, it should highlight who you are now and what your strengths, 'value adds' and/or career relaunch plans are.
  • Mind the Time. Your TMAY response should be between 30 seconds and 90 seconds long -- at the most. You'll lose your listener's interest and attention after that.
  • Fluid Not Static. Your TMAY response will change over time, as your goals and targets do. Check in on your TMAY response periodically to be sure that it's still doing the job of conveying an accurate picture of you.

3. Practice Delivering with Confidence. Your listener in some cases may remember how you delivered your TMAY response more than what you've actually said! Practice with a friend, in front of a mirror and/or with the recording feature on your phone. If you're not feeling particularly confident about your TMAY response at first, pretend! With repeated delivery, you'll get better.

Many job searchers and relaunchers flounder when asked to tell about themselves. By nailing this question and making it a positive part of how you market yourself, you'll become more memorable and compelling as a relaunch candidate.

This article originally appeared on the iRelaunch blog. iRelaunch is the pioneering company in the career re-entry space with a global community of over 65,000 individuals who are in all stages of returning to work after a career break. We also work directly with more than 55 blue chip companies to create career re-entry programs. Sign up to learn more about how we can help you return to a rewarding career.

Deloitte

Deloitte + PowerToFly: An Exclusive Evening With Women Finance Leaders

Join Deloitte M&A and PowerToFly (a women-run organization that introduces select women to executives at major corporations) for an invite-only event on February 28th. The evening will kick off with a panel discussion featuring Deloitte's women financial leaders, and will conclude with an opportunity to network with your peers and the Deloitte team over food and drinks.

The event will be held on Thursday, February 28th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at 30 Rockefeller Center, 32nd Floor, New York, NY.

Agenda (Subject to Change):

  • 6:00pm - Check-In & Networking over cocktails and light food
  • 6:20pm - Kick-Off from PowerToFly
  • 6:25pm - Welcome & Introduction from Susan Dettmar, M&A Consultative Services Practice Leader at Deloitte
  • 6:35pm - A Behind the Scenes Look at Deloitte with Nadia Orawski, Principal, Deloitte Consulting
  • 6:45pm - Panel Discussion featuring Deloitte's Women Leaders in Finance
  • 7:00pm - Audience Q&A
  • 7:20pm - Networking continues over beverages and light food

Deloitte is hiring, however, you don't need to be looking for new opportunities to attend.

About our Events: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age. If you require accommodation to fully participate in this event, please email hi@powertofly.com, and we will contact you to discuss your specific needs.

Unfortunately, PowerToFly and Deloitte cannot admit outside recruiters to this particular event. Please email hi@powertofly.com if you have any questions about this policy.

About Deloitte: Deloitte is committed to recruiting, developing, and promoting a diverse workforce while providing unique opportunities across our businesses. Deloitte has been recognized by Working Mothers as one of the 100 best companies for multicultural women. Their benefits include up to 16 weeks of Paid Family Leave, pension plans, and gym & health subsidies.

Event Audience: This event is a great fit for a number of roles including Finance Managers, Integration and Execution Managers, and M&A Strategists.

Better Companies

Audible, Microsoft & HomeAway Leaders On Building Diverse Talent Pipelines

Presented by PowerToFly and Glassdoor

Register today to join this FREE webinar we are co-hosting with Glassdoor!

PowerToFly and Glassdoor have partnered to present a webinar on February 6th, where top talent leaders will share how they're building diverse talent pipelines.

Join leaders from Audible, HomeAway and Microsoft, who will discuss their current D&I strategies and share advice on how you can build your own diverse pipelines.

Moderated by Katharine Zaleski, PowerToFly's CoFounder & President, speakers will include:

  • Jamy Barton, Sr. Director, Tech Diversity at Audible
  • Lyndsi McNaughton, Sr. Global Sourcing Programs Lead - D&I at HomeAway
  • Luci Gomes, Global Director of Talent Acquisition Americas & Commercial, Marketing & Consumer Teams at Microsoft

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, February 6th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EST.

The second half of this webinar will be dedicated to audience Q&A, and our panel is looking forward to taking your questions. If you have a particular question or topic you'd like us to explore, let us know on the registration form and we'll be taking questions in real time on the webinar too!

About our webinars: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age.

Should You Start Looking for a New Job?

Take this quiz from our career coach to find out!

I'm 26 and I'm already on my fourth job. My dad is 60... and he's on his second. Clearly, we both fit the Boomer and Millennial stereotypes rather well. Thankfully, though, he's never judged me for "job hopping."

Instead, we've discussed our experiences and realized that he's as scared to quit his job as I am to stay at mine. No matter how old you are, deciding whether you should stick things out or move on isn't easy.

So, to help you organize your thoughts, we put together a "Should I quit my job?" quiz with the help of our career coach, Heather Coll (a member of the much less controversial Gen X).

These questions will help you figure out if it's time to move on - from your current role, company, or both. Because no matter what point you're at in your career, or which generation you're from, you deserve to be happy at the place where you spend most of your waking hours!!!



How'd you do? If you're ready to start job hunting and need help putting your best foot forward, Heather can help you with everything from crafting the perfect cover letter to nailing your interview. Or, if you're still not sure about your next steps, she can help you figure out how much longer you should stay where you are, and how to start looking for the perfect job once you decide to leave. Just don't feel like you have to decide by yourself, and don't let anyone judge you for your decisions - whether they're a cranky Baby Boomer, an entitled millennial, or part of some generation no one's even heard of anyway. You do you!

Microsoft Corporation

Meet Microsoft’s Women Tech Leaders

If you are a Dallas based woman in tech and you'd like to attend our event, please contact us at hi@powertofly.com to be considered for an invite.

Microsoft has partnered with PowerToFly to present a one-night-only evening for women in tech. The night will include a discussion with several of Microsoft's leaders, many of whom are Modern Apps Consultants, Secure Infrastructure Consultants, and Premiere Field Engineers. There will also be plenty of time to network with Microsoft leaders and top women in your field.

The event will take place on Tuesday, February 5th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar Street, Dallas.

Agenda (Subject to Change)

  • 5:30pm - Check-In and Networking over Food & Drinks
  • 6:10pm - Introduction by PowerToFly
  • 6:15pm - Keynote Address
  • 6:25pm - Panel Discussion featuring from Microsoft's women leaders including Luci Gomes - Global Director of Talent Acquisition Americas, Services, Commercial, Marketing & Consumer Teams
  • 6:35pm - Audience Q&A
  • 6:45pm - Networking Continues

If you are interested and available, Microsoft will be asking some attendees to interview for open roles on Wednesday, February 6th, the day after the event. Follow up interviews will take between three to four hours of your time and will be comprised of two technical interviews and one hiring manager interview. Let us know when you register if you are available and if so, if you'd prefer the morning or the afternoon. If you are not available on 2/6, Microsoft and PowerToFly will work with you to find an alternate follow up date.

Microsoft is invested in women-focused organizations and providing support to women once they are employees at Microsoft. Their employee network Women@Microsoft reaches over twenty thousand people worldwide. Microsoft's ongoing diversity partnerships include the Anita Borg Institute, National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), and MentorNet.

Visit Microsoft's page on PowerToFly to learn more about their open roles, benefits and diversity initiatives.

About our Events: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age. If you require assistance to fully participate in this event, please email hi@powertofly.com, and we will contact you to discuss your specific needs.

Unfortunately, PowerToFly and Microsoft cannot admit outside recruiters to this particular event. Please email hi@powertofly.com if you have any questions about this policy.

Women & Diversity in Hollywood: A Look at 2018

In Spite of #MeToo, Women Directed Fewer Films in 2018 than in 2017

2018 was a banner year for women in politics, with more first-time congresswomen elected than ever before and the most women in Congress ever. Unfortunately, in spite of #MeToo and Time's Up, it wasn't a similarly good year for women in Hollywood. A study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative shows that women actually directed less films in 2018 than they did in 2017.

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