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    7 Interview Questions You Never Have to Answer (& How You Should Respond)

    When you’re interviewing for a job — and particularly one you really want — it can be tempting to tell your interviewer everything they want to hear. But some seemingly innocent questions can actually be inappropriate (and often illegal). 

    First things first: An interview is about your qualifications for the job

    Understanding whether a candidate fits a certain position and the company culture is a primary task of employers throughout an interview. Along with aptitude assessments, screening, and testing, questions are a key evaluation tool for HR teams and hiring managers. Yet, there are some fine legal lines between what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to job interviews. The general rule of thumb is anything you’re asked should relate to your qualifications for the job in question.

    At a high level, regulations around interview questions and employment decisions are designed to protect potential employees from discrimination unrelated to their ability to do the job. Some jobs have mandatory qualifications, referred to as Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQs). These may initially seem out of line but are valid in the context of a certain employer or role. 

    Asking someone’s age, for example, is generally off-limits. However, it may be permissible to ask airline pilots as broader safety regulations exist around this. BFOQs are related to hiring based on age, sex, race, national origin, or religion. Most tech roles, however, shouldn’t come with any BFOQs so a feeling of discomfort is more than likely signals an inappropriate ask.

    What’s actually off-limits?

    Companies are not allowed to make hiring decisions based on any of the following (excluding in the case of BFOQs): 

    AgeMarital and family statusDisabilitiesRace or colorGenderReligionBirthplace, nationality, or ancestrySalary history (in some places—check your state and city regulations)

    While many seemingly innocent questions appear to be the interviewer’s attempt to get to know you (and may well be!), answering questions about your family status, religion, etc. may unfairly bias your interviewer and distract them from the real topic at hand: whether you’re the best candidate for this role.

    Be prepared to answer questions related to education, work experience, motivation, personal qualities, and future career plans. Be wary of questions violating personal boundaries. Employers are actually not entitled to ask such questions, and you do not need to answer them. As a jobseeker, this right is protected by the law.

    Whether you’re being asked maliciously or not, here’s your guide to handling inappropriate questions if they come up in an interview.

    1. Are you married?

    It’s unlikely you will come across such a direct question. In fact, all questions related to a candidate’s marital status are technically illegal. However, some employers might overstep boundaries and ask about plans for marriage or work after the birth of children. This could be in an attempt to tease out answers about a candidate’s commitment to the company in the future. 

    According to research, only 12% of respondents said they were asked in an interview about their future plans for marriage. As many as 28% reported the interviewer asked about their marital status. 

    How to respond

    In order to shift the conversation back to a work-related topic, you can respond with:

    “I’m not quite ready yet for this discussion, but I’m very interested in career development in your company. Could you tell me more about this?” 

    This will demonstrate your motivation and commitment to career growth, while simultaneously setting boundaries.

    2. Do you have children? If not, do you plan on it? 

    Often, employers ask probing questions about family in a misled attempt to understand the candidate as a potential employee. Women, for example, receive questions about having children amid a common stereotype about employees with small children taking more time off and sick leave. 

    Studies show 25% of interviewers asked women if they had children. Since, in the modern world, a man can also go on maternity leave, such questions are invalid, inappropriate, and even meaningless. 

    To some candidates, this question is unacceptable and discourages them from working with a team where personal boundaries are violated.

    How to respond

    One of the possible answers:

    “Yes, I do. However, I’d prefer to keep this conversation focused on my professional skills”, or “I know it can be challenging to find the right work-life balance. However, I can assure you I do not allow my personal life to interfere with my professional duties.”

    3. What was your salary in your last job?

    A potential employer can discuss with the candidate financial issues relating exclusively to salary expectations for the position the company is interviewing. 

    The employer does not have the right to share information about wages at the previous place of work. Currently, it’s illegal for some or all employers to ask you about your payment history in several cities and states. It’s called a salary ban.

    What is a salary ban?

    Salary history bans are policies preventing employers from asking about a candidate’s previous salary. The bans aim to reduce pay discrimination in hiring decisions and are a step toward promoting equal pay. 

    Jobseekers may rephrase the question regarding salary expectations into a current salary negotiation. Candidates can also share a figure of their expectations if they think it will work in their favor. 

    How to respond

    For instance: 

    “I’m not comfortable discussing my salary history, but I do know my target salary for this position is X amount” or “My previous employer was very strict about privacy and security. Thus, I’m not entitled to disclose information about the salaries they offer.”

    4. How would you handle managing a team of all men/women?

    Unfortunately, gender discrimination is still far too common in the labor market. It’s especially visible through wage inequality. While there are myths and stereotypes related to “male” and “female” professions, and the ability to perform certain jobs, interview questions related to these matters remain taboo. 

    During interviews, employers may ask candidates to prove their ability to perform tasks they believe are appropriate for members of the opposite sex. In this case, candidates should focus all attention on their achievements and results.

    How to respond

    In this case, we advise dropping the gender aspect and focusing on your managerial skills in an answer. For example: 

    “I’m very comfortable in a management role. In fact, in my last position, I managed these responsibilities well for over a year.”

    5. What country are you originally from?

    Many employers may have trouble hiring employees who are legally prohibited from working in the country. This has led companies to take tougher measures in finding out more about the origin of future employees. 

    But the only legal way to find out is to ask directly: “Are you legally allowed to work in this country?” Phrasing the question as “Where were you born?” or “Where are you from?” and making citizenship inquiries are illegal. 

    According to a CareerBuilder and Harris Poll survey of more than 2,100 hiring and Human Resources managers, about 20% unwittingly asked candidates illegal questions in an interview. 

    How to respond

    Candidates can gracefully evade this by saying: “I have lived in different places, but by law, I have the right to work in this country.”

    6. What religion do you practice?

    The employer does not have the right to demand an answer about which church you go to or whether you go at all. 

    If you do decide to answer this question, pay attention to how important it is to the interviewer. Ardent adherence to a certain idea may indicate an unhealthy atmosphere in the company.

    How to respond

    You can note you have your religion, but also respect that of others. To eliminate the abusive effect of this question, you can say: “I’m certain I’ll be able to work the schedule you need for this position, so no worries.”

    7. Do you have any physical impairments or disabilities?

    Some companies require future employees to submit medical certificates about their health status. It can be a measure of concern for potential employees. 

    But employers cannot be interested in your well-being and chronic health problems in the interview out of idle interest — to estimate how often you will take sick leave, for example. This information is confidential and only applies to you and your doctor.

    Candidates can disclose their disabilities in advance if they feel comfortable doing so. If you are curious about disclosing a disability in the job search, read this guide. 

    How to respond

    For instance: 

    “I believe I have all the necessary skills and abilities to fulfill the responsibilities related to the role.”

    Moving Forward

    At the end of the day, innocent-enough intentions are behind most interview questions. However, illegal or inappropriate questions may be a red flag in regard to the company’s HR professionalism and culture as a whole. Directly answering them can violate your personal boundaries and/or lead to discrimination. Don’t feel obligated to answer questions that detract from what matters: your qualifications, interest in, and ability to do the job.  More

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    From Opera Singer to Analyst: Find Your Dream Job with Springboard

    What are you supposed to do when the career you’ve been working your whole life for is no longer an option? For Hastings Reeves, this was a very real circumstance when quarantine hit.

    Having received his bachelor’s degree in music performance and his master’s in vocal pedagogy, Hastings had all intentions of becoming an opera singer. However, with performance venues and theaters shuddered due to the pandemic, that was no longer a possibility. Additionally, Hastings had a three-year-old daughter to take care of which made this a situation where he needed a certain kind of job. But first, he needed the know-how.

    When Hastings came across Springboard, a virtual learning platform that offers comprehensive, mentor-led boot camps in software engineering, data science, UI/UX design, cybersecurity, tech sales, and more, he knew that it was his ticket to a thriving career.

    Today, Hastings works as a Business Intelligence Analyst at a company that suits him perfectly. Recently, we got to chat with Hastings regarding his experience at Springboard and how it helped him get to where he is today.

    The Circumstances

    When Hastings came to terms with the career transition he needed to make, he knew what he wanted to do but not necessarily where to do it.

    With a natural affinity for math, Hastings was drawn to coding and knew he wanted to do something with data and numbers. Additionally, Hastings needed something that would allow him to take care of his daughter when needed.

    Naturally, the Data Science boot camp with its advanced curriculum and flexible hours was a perfect fit.

    The Curriculum & Coaching

    Powered by some of the leading schools of thought and professionals across the industry, the curriculum and coaching at Springboard rivals that which you might find at universities. 

    During his time with Springboard, Hastings learned how to build machine-learning models, explored new and complex coding techniques, and began to gain skills that are being employed at some of the highest levels of the data science industry today. As Hastings said, “pivoting from standing in front of a panel and singing arias to a career in data science is not an easy transition.” 

    Luckily, the curriculum at Springboard was backed up by incredible coaching to help make that transition possible. In our conversation, Hastings reflected back on the relationship he had with his mentor, AJ Sanchez.

    The Contract

    One of the biggest draws at Springboard is their job guarantee. After Hastings completed his boot camp and earned his Data Science Fellow accreditation, he was paired with a career coach who helped him locate a job.

    Hastings met with his career coach bi-weekly after graduation all the way up to the point where he signed a contract. While Hastings got several offers, he chose to wait for the one he really wanted. One that paid well, allowed him to work remote, and enabled him to grow within the company.

    Eventually, after 18 months of hard work doing something he had never done before, Hastings finally got an offer he liked from a company called Velocity Global. It was a day that will stay with him forever.

    Quarantine wasn’t kind to anyone but when it came to Hastings’ situation, things were certainly dire. Luckily, Springboard offered the lifeboat he needed to learn a new trade and find a new career path. This January, Hastings will be celebrating the one-year anniversary for the business analyst role he found through Springboard. 

    If you’ve been waiting to break into an industry, make 2023 the year you do it. Start browsing all of Springboard’s boot camps today and start building your career toward success. More

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    Meet Hired’s Candidate Experience Team: Supporting Jobseekers Every Step of the Way

    A top resource for jobseekers looking for Tech & Sales roles  

    A positive candidate experience is an essential part of a successful hiring process, so we have a team dedicated to supporting jobseekers on the Hired platform. 

    Get to know the Candidate Experience Team

    The Candidate Experience (CX) Team currently consists of six members whose responsibilities include: 

    Profile polishing at the onboarding stageCareer coaching and providing resources for navigating the job searchInterview check-ins and interview requests (IVRs) helpGeneral support using the Hired platform

    While the CX team is available to Hired jobseekers at any stage, we typically assign a dedicated CX team member after a jobseeker accepts their first IVR to ensure smooth sailing during the interview process. 

    CX helps bridge the gap between candidates and employers to create a streamlined process. For instance, if a candidate has not heard back from a company, CX can work with the organization’s account manager to get them back in touch with the candidate. The team advocates for transparency on both ends and encourages jobseekers to maintain clear communication with potential employers too.

    If candidates receive an offer, CX checks in again to congratulate them of course, and see if they can provide further support. This could be advice for an offer negotiation or to act as a sounding board to weigh opportunities. From coaching to even some much-needed encouragement (the job search is tough!), CX is here for candidates. 

    Here to help every candidate have a great experience

    First, the Candidate Experience Team is a resource for you. They’re here to help and they work hard behind the scenes too, constantly collaborating with every team across Hired to find ways to improve the candidate experience and help you land your dream job. 

    Second, are you subscribed to The Hired Download email newsletter? They’re the folks sending it! Third, have you attended a How Hired Helps: Ask Me Anything Webinar to get your job search questions answered? They help make those events happen too! 

    Speaking of Hired resources for candidates, we asked team members to share their favorite items to support jobseekers. Here’s what they recommend: 

    “My experience with Hired was great! I landed a job interview offer almost immediately and at the end of the day managed to land a new job via Hired! I also had some great assistance in both the form of website popups as well as regular emails from the team. I would be happy to use Hired again if I need to change my job.”

    Mykola Y., Hired User

    5 of the CX Team’s top tips to find new tech & sales roles on Hired

    Respond to interview requests quickly! Even if you aren’t available to interview for several weeks, you can always accept the interview request and schedule the interview in advance. Being responsive shows you’re interested and proactive. Employers respond well to quick communication.Be courteous when interviewing. Likewise, send thank you notes after interviews and follow up if you haven’t heard back from a company. Displaying a genuine interest in the opportunity and putting your best foot forward in the interview process is as important as any other skill you bring to the table!Be transparent and keep your profile and resume up-to-date. Include all relevant experience and make sure the information on your resume aligns with your profile and LinkedIn – employers check for consistency.Make sure to polish your profile so employers have all the information they need – any extra information is always a bonus! Use the “Must-Have,” “Nice To Have,” & “Do not Want” sections of your profile. Employers also love it when they’re able to get a glimpse of your personality through your profile. It helps them understand if you like working in specific environments, like pair programming. It also helps them personalize their IVRs to you if something in your profile (even interests and hobbies!) aligns with their team. Another reason is if they feel certain benefits or projects would resonate with you.Focus on hard skills when completing the “Primary Area of Expertise” section. Using skills as keywords helps us match you for available roles. Plus, most recruiters search this way using keywords as filters.

    Related: Get more guidance in this blog featuring a video presentation: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 5 Key Tips! 

    Why the Candidate Experience Team loves what they do

    We’ve shared lots of reasons for you to love the CX Team so let’s wrap up with what the team loves about working with jobseekers: 

    “The CX role is a rewarding one. Navigating a candidate to a destination ‘dream job’ is what we do best!”“It’s an extremely rewarding experience helping people get jobs they’re excited about! A lot goes into the interview process and it can be tiring, so seeing candidates overcome that tall task to get a role they love makes it all worth it!”“It’s brilliant speaking to candidates daily to ensure they’re doing well on the platform and helping them where they need it. I think it really helps to have someone on the platform solely to support them and to assist where needed! It’s a great moment (and truly rewarding) when they secure a role and are thrilled about their new venture. That’s what Hired is all about: connecting great candidates to great employers!”

    A note from the team: We welcome feedback about our candidates’ experiences using Hired. That includes what works and what doesn’t. We encourage you to share your experience with us! We appreciate it and use it to continuously improve the platform.

    Get personalized job search support

    To conclude, the CX Team is ready to partner with you, so use them to navigate the job search process. In addition, Hired partners with organizations to support jobseekers with resume enhancement, technical interview prep, upskilling, and more. Discover organizations to fit your career advancement needs. Plus, many offer discounts on their services to Hired platform candidates!

    The Hired Summit

    Lastly, mark your calendar for April 26th, 2023, for Hired’s Summit. It’s a free one-day virtual event to share job search tips and tricks and connect top talent to companies. The Summit offers tech and sales talent a variety of workshops, panel discussions, networking rooms, and so much more. 

    Discover upcoming events to get job search guidance and connect with top employers. More

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    Thinking About a Career Transition? General Assembly’s 4 Immersive Tech Programs to Help You Pivot

    Have you ever considered a career change? Perhaps, you’ve daydreamed about making a transition into a field entirely different from what you do now. 

    The idea is not so far out of reach and making a bold shift in profession is more common than you may think. Last year, nearly 53% of employed Americans who quit their job switched to a different occupation or field of work. 

    If you are ready to take a leap into tech but feel unprepared, General Assembly specializes in equipping professionals with the in-demand skills they need to pursue a job they truly love. Your career transformation starts here. Keep reading for insights into programs to help you pivot into Software Engineering, Data Science/Analytics, or UI/UX Design. 

    What is General Assembly?

    General Assembly (GA) is a reskilling provider helping professionals at any experience level transition to or upskill in technical roles, enabling them to pursue a path toward higher paying salaries and more engaging work. 

    GA is a sister company of Hired, meaning both companies fall under The Adecco Group – the world’s leading HR solutions company. General Assembly and Hired partnered to create a mutually beneficial relationship supporting graduates of the Immersive Programs and the clients looking to hire them. Since the start of GA and Hired’s partnership, employers on Hired have sent more than 800 interview requests to GA grads.

    GA offers courses to suit the needs of any schedule. The full-time courses, referred to as the “Immersive Programs” or “bootcamps,” are 10-13 week learning experiences. Think of these as a comprehensive career transformation. For part-time professionals looking to learn in-demand skills in their spare time, GA provides evening, weekend, and 1-week accelerated courses. Remote individuals can participate in GA’s full-time and part-time online classes. 

    In this blog, we will take a deeper dive into GA’s Immersive Programs. Since 2011, the digital education pioneer has helped more than 670,000 learners gain the skills they need to be successful in today’s digital economy. It’s safe to say you’d be in good company!

    About GA Immersive Programs 

    General Assembly’s 12-week Immersive programs, built and taught by industry experts, are designed to equip students with job-ready tech skills in UX Design, Software Engineering, and Data. All Immersive programs include career coaching for extra guidance and support. Participants also have access to the expansive alumni network for opportunities to build and grow their own professional networking circles.  

    Now, let’s dig into why thousands of students trust General Assembly and Hired to help them make their next big career move. We’ll explore what students can expect from the different Immersive programs and how Hired supports students in finding their dream job.

    Why should jobseekers participate in a GA program?

    Immersive Programs are a great way to show employers you’ve got what it takes. These programs condense comprehensive learning into 12 to 24 weeks of study. Each course costs $15,950 USD with financing options available. 

    While they are a bigger investment, they take less time than traditional degree programs and come at a lesser cost. They are more hands-on than what you would have access to in school and have the outcomes and career support to help career changers land their first jobs in tech. 

    To ensure job-readiness, GA has systems in place to enroll students who are 100% committed to the challenge of transitioning their careers into the tech sector. The admissions process is thorough as GA produces the most graduates that go to household name tech companies. Although somewhat competitive, GA encourages applicants from non-traditional backgrounds and experiences. The admissions process includes:

    Phone Interview: Once your application is reviewed, the admissions team will interview you to understand your career goals and motivations, and assess course fit.Technical Assessment: You will complete a technical task-based assessment to ensure aptitude. Behavioral Interview: The admissions producer will review your technical project and interview you to further assess your motivation, commitment, and willingness to practice. Pre-Work Assignment: You will receive a pre-work assignment to ensure you are prepared for the Immersive course you choose. 

    All Immersives include:

    Exploration into new concepts and tools through expert-led lectures and discussions.A deep dive into topics and techniques via independent, pair, and group projectsIndividualized feedback and support from your expert instructional team.The opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to homework assignments and unit projects, building out a professional portfolio to show off job-ready skills.

    Let’s review General Assembly’s four Immersive Programs: Software Engineering, Data Analytics, Data Science, and UI/UX Design. 

    The Software Engineering Immersive

    Get a solid base of fundamental programming and computer science knowledge, as well as experience with languages, frameworks, and libraries employers demand.

    Throughout the course you’ll learn to: 

    Explore programming and computer science fundamentals, as well as software engineering best practices.  Create a front-end web application with modern JavaScript frameworks such as Angular or React. Develop and deploy full-stack applications with in-demand technologies such as Ruby on Rails, Python with Django, and Express with Node.js. Build secure full-stack applications by leveraging common design and architectural patterns like model–view–controller (MVC) and Representational State Transfer (REST). Practice version control and collaborative software development with Git and GitHub.Safely model and store data in SQL and NoSQL databases. Consume and integrate third-party application programming interfaces (APIs) in an application. 

    Curious about the student experience? Hear from a General Assembly grad who soon landed a role using Hired after completing the Software Engineering Immersive: 

    “GA was a chance to make a career change. Although [the course] was a lot to take on, it allowed me to learn so much in a short time frame. [GA] really helped prepare me for my current position, giving me the confidence to learn quickly and efficiently.” 

    As for the job search, “Hired was very easy to navigate and use. I particularly enjoyed how it alleviated the grind of sending out many applications. I could see my profile getting views and soon I was invited to interview for several companies… Hired gave us the platform to communicate and made the experience so simple. This process was also relatively quick for me — I got a job offer within two months of finishing the course!”

    The Data Science & Data Analytics Immersives

    Be poised to succeed in a variety of data science and advanced analytics roles, creating predictive models that drive decision-making and strategy throughout organizations of all kinds.

    Throughout the courses you’ll learn to: 

    Collect, extract, query, clean, and aggregate data for analysis. Gather, store and organize data using SQL and Git. Perform visual and statistical analysis on data using Python and its associated libraries and tools. Craft and share compelling narratives through data visualization. Build and implement appropriate machine learning models and algorithms to evaluate data science problems spanning finance, public policy, and more.Compile clear stakeholder reports to communicate the nuances of your analyses. Apply question, modeling, and validation problem-solving processes to data sets from various industries to provide insight into real-world problems and solutions. 

    The UI/UX Design Immersive

    Learn to approach problems with creative and technical acumen and design the next generation of successful apps, websites, and digital products.

    Throughout the course you’ll learn to: 

    Identify and implement the most effective methods of user research to gain a deeper understanding of what users want and need. Use interaction and visual design techniques to craft a dynamic digital product that brings delight and function to users. Conduct usability testing to make product experiences more accessible for diverse user populations and environments. Learn best practices for working within a product team, employing product management techniques and evaluating technical constraints to better collaborate with developers. Produce polished design documentation, including wireframes and prototypes, to articulate design decisions to clients and stakeholders. Touch on the basics of hot topics like service design, design operations, and design leadership. Engage in real client work to execute the UX design process from start to finish with sketches, user research, and prototypes.

    Where does Hired come in? 

    Simplifying the sourcing process

    When a graduate finishes the program, Hired and General Assembly have a specific process to connect companies with talent in the respective Immersive sectors. Here is insight from Outcomes Partnerships Manager, Lupe Colangelo, on the process:

    “When a student is close to graduating, their Career Coach outlines the Hired platform to the class and shares the signup process using materials GA and Hired have collaborated on to make the process easy!

    GA and Hired have created onboarding materials to make the signup process seamless for students. We communicate closely when students have questions and have held quarterly Ask Me Anythings where we walk through the Hired platform and have the Hired team join to answer student questions live.

    We recommend that all of our graduates sign up for Hired so they can take advantage of the platform and showcase their skills in this way.”

    Connecting employers to non-traditional talent

    At Hired, we encourage organizations on our platform to search for and connect with General Assembly graduates. Employers can do this easily by searching, “General Assembly Immersive” in the keyword search. GA students get interview requests from top organizations and these employers take advantage of focusing on skills-based hiring and diversifying their teams with non-traditional talent.

    Caroline Sequeira, HR Coordinator from OpenAsset was impressed by high-quality candidates with unconventional backgrounds:

    “I was blown away by how prepared Nell was overall. Because she comes from a non-traditional background as a former nurse, I was very impressed with her ability to walk me through some of her projects she worked on at GA, the way she talked about different technical skills that she learned at GA and how she used them in her projects. Overall I was impressed by her ability to incorporate her skills and experience in the healthcare industry into being a successful Support Engineer on our team at OpenAsset.

    She came prepared to discuss her background and did a great job talking about her experience as a nurse and her experience at GA, and how both of those experiences have led her to where she is today.

    Nell has been an absolute pleasure to work with and we are very happy to have her. For future opportunities, it is a no brainer I will be reaching out to GA grads on Hired. I really enjoy using the Hired platform – it’s straightforward, organized, and sends reminders for scheduling interviews. Plus, there are definitely a lot of highly intentional candidates on the platform – just like Nell!”

    Empowering companies to build their teams

    Marc Fischer, CEO of Dogtown Media, and General Assembly go way back. He considers access to General Assembly grads on Hired a fundamental part of building his business: 

    “General Assembly has been a fantastic partner since the early days of founding our mobile tech studio, Dogtown Media. In fact our first UX design hire was a graduate of GA’s first ever UX Immersive cohort. We’ve found GA’s emphasis on training UX designers, product, and engineering talent to address real world problems via user-centric technology has been a huge contributor to our team’s success in the mobile app development space. Whenever we have talent needs, our partners at Hired and GA have been there to support us and I’d recommend them to any company looking to supercharge their growth.”  

    Ready to make your career transition?

    As an Immersive student, you’ll receive dedicated support from career coaches who will help you set goals, make a roadmap for success, and stay on track with your job search.

    With a GA course, you’ll:

    Get an inside look at the industry through day-in-the-life talks, hiring panel discussions, guest speakers, and more.Cultivate a competitive candidate mindset, learning to assess your skill set against job descriptions, track progress, and recognize opportunities.Develop your professional brand: Polish your online and in-person presence, and build confidence to set yourself apart in interviews.Tap into an exclusive global network of experts, influencers, and peers, plus learn strategies for leveraging your existing connections, in person and online.Become an active contributor to the General Assembly alumni community.After graduation, you’ll also gain access to resources to help fuel a lifetime of learning. Dive into new topics or continue honing your new skills with discounts on a suite of tools, passes, and packages to premier events, and more.

    Regardless of where you are in your career right now, this is your reminder that it’s not too late to make a change to do the work you love. The Hired and General Assembly partnership was designed to guide professionals like you toward their dream job.

    See a GA Immersive Program you’re interested in? Get more information and see if you’re eligible for a discount. More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Phillip Chan, Senior Software Engineer

    Can you share a little bit about your educational background and what has made the biggest impact on your tech career?

    I have a traditional degree from UC-Berkeley. However, it’s not in Computer Science, but Applied Mathematics and Statistics. Later, I got an online Master’s degree in Computer Science to support my career from Georgia Tech.

    I don’t think my educational opportunities made as measurable of an impact on my career compared to industry experience. That is what has been really valuable for launching my tech career.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I want to learn more about tech-related topics to enhance my career and understand industry trends. For non-tech topics, I’m interested in topics related to general career growth.

    Related: Check our blog for insights into tech career growth.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    Compensation! Compared to any high compensation jobs, Software Engineering was easier for me to get into. [I think] there is no [better] way to make a good compensation than Software Engineering.

    Related: Use our Salary Calculator to see how companies value your experience.

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    I studied a lot of different Software Engineering courses for my Master’s Computer Science degree. I don’t think the knowledge from those  courses evolved my skillset by very much but it laid a foundation for my understanding of the basic concepts.

    What is the one area you would specialize in?

    I would pick Machine Learning. It’s something I am interested in and should polish my skills in more!

    Related: How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer: Tech Career Guide (Video) 

    Is your new role different from previous ones? 

    Yes, I’m now in an entirely different industry. I went from a banking and ATM services company to an advertisement technology company.

    What excites you about this new role?

    I feel most excited about the new team I get to work with. It’s a great workplace atmosphere and the projects they are working on are top-notch in the industry! Also, the employee benefits they have are great perks.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    Before joining Hired, I got LinkedIn messages or emails from different recruiters. I think the difference between joining Hired and messages from different recruiters, Hired has a central place for me to schedule everything.

    So it was more efficient and organized for you – great! What’s your best advice for jobseekers registered on the Hired platform? 

    Get ready for interview requests from recruiters in advance. I recommend starting to prepare on the first day you register on the Hired platform. I received at least four interview requests within just a few hours. However, I was not well prepared for them [yet]. Don’t make that same mistake!

    Related: Resources for interview preparation: 

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    It’s easy to use, and it’s REAL. I got many interview requests and ultimately a job offer using Hired.

    Congrats on the job, Phillip! Interested in landing a great Engineering role like Phillip did? Complete your free profile on Hired today!

    About LiveRamp

    LiveRamp is data enablement platform helping companies and their partners better connect, control, and activate data to transform customer experiences. Founded in 2012, LiveRamp has between 1,001-1,500 employees and is headquartered in San Francisco.

    Tech Stack

    Java, Go, Ruby, Hadoop, Kafka, Kubernetes, Google Cloud Platform, React, Ruby on Rails, Scala

    Benefits

    Life/health/dental/vision/disability insurance, 401k matching, work-from-home flexibility, unlimited time off, remote first, tuition reimbursement, management training, and more. More

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    How Bloomberg’s Early Career Programs Prepare You for Success in Business

    Early career programs are designed to empower students with the invaluable skills and resources needed to succeed in the workplace. These programs enable participants to develop the professional know-how they don’t always receive in a classroom setting, while also providing exposure to various job and networking opportunities.

    Bloomberg, a financial technology company, offers a range of career-readiness programs for underrepresented college students and recent graduates who are interested in business and finance. The content is targeted to all years, with the ultimate goal of providing participants with career coaching, insight into Bloomberg’s workplace and culture, and access to company leadership.

    One example is the First-Year Insights Series, a career workshop aimed at diverse first-year and/or first-generation college students. In this program, students are introduced to professional skills they can use to gain a headstart when launching their careers. By attending a session, students become eligible for tailored developmental opportunities including one-on-one coaching and resume review with a Bloomberg recruiter. 

    The company also offers hands-on professional learning experiences for students further along in their college journeys. Sophomores can apply for business externships, short-term programs that provide firsthand exposure to the daily demands of a role with the company. In addition to gaining insight into a potential career, externs also receive early access to apply and secure an internship for the following summer.

    Bloomberg internships are generally available to juniors and offer more in-depth project work, skills training, and networking opportunities. Unlike the First-Year Insights and externship programs, which occur over a few days, most internships last ten weeks, thereby giving students more time to develop their skills and knowledge, forge a professional network, and make a positive impression that could lead to a full-time job offer after graduation.

    Bloomberg has further demonstrated its commitment to nurturing diverse talent through its flagship Discover Bloomberg: Accelerate and program. An all-expense-paid, three-day immersion event at the company’s New York City headquarters, Discover Bloomberg allows upper-level students and recent graduates to learn more about company culture and gain deeper insight into the day-in-the-life of their desired roles. The event concludes with participants interviewing for either a business internship or an entry-level position.

    We interviewed a few Bloomberg employees who participated in these early career programs to better understand how those experiences have impacted their careers. During these conversations, we learned that the mentorship and skills training received during these programs has positively contributed to their professional development and success.

    Reliable Support Networks

    Finding a supportive network of mentors is a critical part of growing a successful career, especially for young professionals who often lack extensive professional experience and a network. Underrepresented talent doesn’t have as many opportunities to build those valuable connections that could be a source of encouragement, career planning, and perspective. Bloomberg’s early career programs help close that gap.During his externship, Robert Ashamole, an Account Manager, formed an important relationship with a Bloomberg executive who encouraged him to accept a full-time role at the company.

    Robert’s experience is just one example of the peer-to-peer support that exists at Bloomberg. Daniela Arias, an Account Manager, participated in both Bloomberg’s externship and internship programs, through which she also received strong professional support.

    Daniela stated that, at Bloomberg, she would always have someone who she can count on for support. When it comes to advancing your career, this type of network is invaluable.

    Opening Doors to Careers in Finance

    Bloomberg employees work with some of the most innovative technologies used in the financial markets. Participants in these early career programs receive early exposure to these tools, like the Bloomberg Terminal, which gives them a leg up on transitioning more smoothly into full-time roles at Bloomberg or across the finance industry.Laneika Lyons, a Data Engineer and Analyst, credits her participation in these programs as part of her seamless transition into Bloomberg.

    Start Your Journey

    There’s no doubt that Rob, Daniela, and Laneika all gained incredible insight and experience during their participation in Bloomberg’s early-career programs. From skills development to networking, these programs have formed the foundation of their successful tenures at Bloomberg. 

    If you’re curious about what Bloomberg does and what business career opportunities are available with the company, explore its Discovery and Diversity programs for underrepresented talent.

    Your road of accomplishments is right ahead of you. You just need to start walking.

    Check out all of Bloomberg’s current opportunities on its profile and get your journey started. More

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    What Makes Lockton Such an Uncommon Insurance Agency?

    When you think of insurance, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s broken windows and flooded basements. Or maybe you think of Jake from State Farm and their auto and car offerings. But what a lot of people don’t think of when it comes to insurance are all the unique businesses that require coverage and the exciting ways in which brokers and agents can offer it.

    Lockton Insurance, the world’s largest privately held brokerage firm, is constantly redefining the role that insurance companies play in the world of business. Simultaneously, they are also turning preconceptions regarding insurance companies on their head.

    Recently, we spoke with two executives at Lockton about what makes their firm such a unicorn in the industry. What we learned was that their approach to insurance, their clientele, the impact they have on businesses, and the opportunities they provide for employees are all factors that set them apart from every other insurance company in the game.

    Approach – Consulting Not Selling

    One of the most unique characteristics of Lockton is its approach to selling insurance. First of all, they don’t sell insurance. Rather, Lockton is filled with brokers and agents who act as consultants that play an active role in the facilitation of a business. This differs from what people normally consider brokers and agents – salesmen who are simply selling a product.

    The takeaway here is that working at Lockton as a broker isn’t a sales role and it’s nowhere near a typical insurance agent position. At Lockton, the consultant approach is what makes the job exciting and keeps it fresh.

    This consultant-forward and creative-minded approach is why Lockton stands out in the insurance industry and makes it such a popular place to work.

    Clients from Every Industry

    From cannabis farms to deep-sea drilling operations, the clients that Lockton works with aren’t who you’d expect. The diversity and range of the companies that Lockton works with are part of the reason why working at the one-of-a-kind firm is so enjoyable.

    As mentioned previously, Lockton’s consulting-led approach really allows them to be embedded within a company and understand the nuances of its particular business operations. 

    During Josh Luther’s time at Lockton, he worked with a chocolate candy manufacturer and got to see how chocolate-covered almonds are made. He worked with a bakery and got to see all the different bread being made. Josh even had a client that was a packaging company that did the Capri Sun juice boxes all the way to garbage bags and medical supplies. He exclaimed how fascinating it was to watch something start from raw material and get built into a final product that people everywhere will use. 

    At Lockton, you’re not just working in the insurance industry. You’re working in all the different industries that your clients are a part of.

    Real-life Insurance Impacts

    While it can be exciting to work with unique companies and be immersed in their operations, what really lights the fire of Lockton employees is making an actual impact on a business. Not only does it mean you’re doing your job right, but it’s incredibly gratifying and provides a massive feeling of self-worth.

    When we asked Lauren Carson about what her favorite project was during her 14 years at Lockton she spoke about a time when she saved a company $1,000,000. After offering the company a full evaluation of their program, engaging in a deep conversation about their business, and understanding where they wanted to take things, Lauren and her team came back with a bunch of creative ideas that projected to save the company a massive amount of money.

    On the flip side of that, not providing a company with the right support as an insurance firm can spell disaster for businesses. Josh Luther mentioned that without the services Lockton provides, “businesses could slow down, it could mean a company doesn’t earn revenue. It means a construction team couldn’t get on site do their work and they might shut the job down or slow it down,” for example.

    The bottom line is that brokers at Lockton play a larger role in the success or failure of a business than you think, something that makes the job particularly rewarding.

    A Wealth of Opportunities

    In addition to Lockton’s approach, clientele, and impact, we felt that one of the most important features of their firm, especially as it pertains to students and young professionals looking for a job in insurance, is the opportunities they bestow on their employees.

    When we were speaking with Josh Luther he celebrated the fact that the firm grows by double digits every year and how that creates opportunities for their people – both vertically and horizontally.  

    Josh explained that if you can become a subject matter expert in a particular field, your opportunities to explore other areas within the firm open up. Not only that, Josh mentioned that they even provide employees with training and education to help them make that move.

    Whether it’s the skills you learn or the experiences you have, Lockton has incredible opportunities that are just waiting for you to explore. So if you’re looking to join a revolutionary organization that is changing the way the world sees insurance and the manner in which businesses use it, take a look at some of Lockton’s open roles. More

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    Common FAQs from Jobseekers: Answers to Help You Craft a Professional Resume (VIDEO)

    Have questions about building your resume as you navigate the job search? We shared the answers in our AMA-style discussion (now on-demand!) to address FAQs about resume optimization for the job search. Keep reading for an inside look into what the experts had to say. 

    You’ll hear from these Hired team members:

    Sophia Koehl, PartnershipsJules Grondin, RecruitingNate Becker, Candidate Experience

    Read the beginning of the conversation here and scroll down to access the full webinar. 

    Do recruiters look at resumes?

    Jules

    Simple answer for me – we absolutely look at resumes. A resume is what’s going to get you to an interview and you really want it to pop. We’ll definitely talk more about that in the next few slides but overall keeping your resume concise and straight to the point. Recruiters don’t want to read through something lengthy, but a resume really is what’s going to make you stand out and move on to the interview process. We see what your job background is in your career and if you’re going to be qualified for a role.

    Nate

    I would say absolutely as well. When you create a Hired profile we encourage you to upload your resume the moment you sign up so companies have a full picture of your professional background. The employers on our platform want to see your resume in addition to your profile. They love to go check out that resume and corroborate your experience. We find that candidates who do upload a resume get more attention on the platform and see more interview requests. It’s really great to note that recruiters and employers are looking at the resume. This leads me to wonder how long they look at it. I’d be curious about what our attendees think about that. 

    Sophia

    Nate, I think you are right on par. Let’s go ahead and start a poll. How long is it that the average recruiter spends looking at a resume? Is it less than 10 seconds, 30 seconds, one minute, or two minutes?

    Looks like the winner of the poll is 30 seconds. Well, we’ve got an answer for you on how long it really is. On average, employers and recruiters look at resumes for just 6 to 7 seconds. However, the amount of time varies from company to company. A lot of times, these are humans looking at resumes but there is a consistency to call out. The study, done by Ladders, points out resumes with a simple layout and clear sections and titles performed better mostly every time. That’s an important takeaway.

    Other key topics from the conversation include: 

    Explaining resume gapsMaking a resume stand out for a remote jobHighlighting transferable and technical skillsHow to know if an ATS can read your resumeAnd more!  More