My wife has been trying to get a career in corporate social responsibility for over two years. She has a certificate in it, and is passionate about strengthening communities, tackling social challenges and solving complex problems. Do you have any suggestions on how to land a job in this field?
She sounds like a wonderful person, given her passion for making the world a better place, and you sound like her biggest fan. Congratulations to you both. Two years is a long time to be looking for a job, I have to admit, so we need to change something up to see if we can get a different result. Certificates are less important than how one presents oneself, and general work experience. However, institutions that award certifications usually have job-placement help, too. Has your wife tried that route? Is she being realistic about what level job she’d be qualified for and seeking anything to break into the field? Human Resources is generally the department through which most company hiring occurs, but that doesn’t mean you should apply only through that department. Your wife may benefit from some career-coaching advice to assess all of the components that go into a job search to see what needs to be done to change the outcome. You can help by continuing to be her cheerleader, because a positive attitude is important when looking for a job.
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I read your recent column on how to answer some specific interview questions, but there are an infinite number of questions. How do you prepare?
Maybe by reading the new book, “How to Memorize Answers to the Infinite Number of Interview Questions,” updated from the previous version of “How to Answer 1001 Interview Questions”? Or, you can just think logically about what the interview is for. It is designed to learn four things about you: what you know about the industry, the company and the job, and who you are. So if you come prepared to have a conversation about those subjects, highlighting with examples of what you’ve done and how you think, you can go into any interview fully prepared without needing a cheat sheet.
Gregory Giangrande is a chief human resources and communications officer in the media industry. E-mail your career questions to email@example.com. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande. His Go to Greg podcast series is available on iTunes