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Interview question: ‘Why did you leave your last job?’

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If you quit your previous job, it’s normal for potential employers to be curious about why you left. Asking this question can help them determine if your decision was well thought out and if you’re on good terms with your previous employer. Your answer will say a lot about you as a potential candidate.

Don’t bad-mouth your former employer
Even if you left your previous job because of poor working conditions or tense professio¬nal relationships, never blame your former boss. Instead, be diplomatic and use the first-person plural. For example, you could say, “we didn’t see eye to eye.”

Showing that you respect your former employer will give your interviewer a good idea as to what kind of relationships you’ll cultivate with your future managers and colleagues.

Reassure your interviewer
Although most interviewers won’t directly ask you how you left your former job, this question is usually implied. Consequently, stating that your departure was amicable will reassure the interviewer that you aren’t impulsive or confrontational.

It’s a good idea to indicate that you carefully considered your decision and left your position in a responsible and professional manner. If things didn’t go well at your last job, admit that you mishandled the situation and emphasize that you’ve learned from your mistakes. This will let the interviewer know that you won’t repeat these actions in the future.

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Job Market

5 inexcusable résumé mistakes

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Do you want to make a career change? Before sending your résumé to potential employers, make sure you haven’t made any of the following errors.

1. It’s not up to date. If you haven’t updated your CV in a while, make sure it isn’t missing relevant employment information. Think about the position you’re applying for and trim any extraneous details that could take away from your skills.

2. It mentions incomplete knowledge. Don’t exaggerate your skills by saying you gained experience working with specific technologies in your studies or a previous job if you didn’t.

3. It lacks precision. Does your CV say you worked for a company from 2021 to 2022? This is ambiguous and could mean the job lasted two years or two months. Therefore, include the months for each job you list to avoid misunderstandings.

4. It misrepresents your abilities. Don’t try to make yourself look better by including false information in your CV. If the manager finds out you lied, this could potentially harm your reputation.

5. It doesn’t include contact information. In addition to your email address, your CV must include your mailing address and telephone number. This makes it easier for recruiters to contact you. It also gives them an idea of the distance between your home and the office.

Do you need help updating your CV? Consider hiring a résumé writing and editing service near you.

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How to minimize job-interview stress

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Job interviews can be stressful. However, simply changing the way you think about them can help calm your nerves.

Think of the interview process as a discussion between equals. If you believe the employer has a lot to offer, know that you do too. Consequently, you shouldn’t be shy about showcasing your skills and talents.

Furthermore, stop perceiving job interviews as interrogations. Doing this will only make you feel inferior, undermine your confidence, increase your stress and prevent you from being yourself.

Instead, think of the exchange as two potential business partners getting to know each other.

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Explore the hidden job market

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If you applied for several jobs that were posted online and weren’t successful, you might want to consider exploring the hidden job market. Here’s what you should know.

What’s the hidden job market?
Not all employers immediately turn to online recruitment services to fill their needs. In fact, many jobs never get posted online, and there are companies that don’t have the time or resources to advertise jobs to the public. Additionally, many employers rely on recommendations from their staff to find the perfect candidate.

Why target this market?
If you apply for a job that hasn’t been advertised, you may be one of the few candidates in the running. This can improve your chances of landing the position.

How do you find jobs?
Leverage your connections by making calls, sending emails, and submitting your application package to various employers.

Keep in mind, you may have to step out of your comfort zone to find an unadvertised position.

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A brief guide to networking

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Networking is a great way to let potential employers know you’re open to new opportunities. Here are a few tips for developing your professional network during the pandemic.

Involve the people you know
Let your friends, acquaintances, former colleagues, and classmates know that you’re looking for work. Specify the type of position you’re interested in, and ask them to let you know if they hear about any suitable job openings.

Be proactive on LinkedIn
Simply creating a LinkedIn profile won’t get you noticed by potential employers. You need to make contacts, join discussions and proactively promote yourself.

Participate in local events
Keep up to date with online job fairs, and actively participate in ones that are in your area. Additionally, you can attend conferences, seminars, and symposiums to meet new people.

Remember, networking can increase your chances of being successful in your job search.

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3 golden rules for future entrepreneurs

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Do you want to start a business? If so, here are three principles to help increase your chances of success.

1. Have realistic expectations
It’s important to understand that you may not immediately make a profit. In fact, it can take years to build a reputation and establish a market share. Being patient is key.

2. Take care of yourself
It’s not uncommon to hear stories of entrepreneurs who work 60, 70, or even 80 hours a week. Although commendable, remember that your mental and physical well-being are crucial assets. If getting your business off the ground compromises your health or personal relationships, it’s probably not worth it.

3. Learn how to fail
No entrepreneur is perfect, and making mistakes is an essential part of the learning process. Slips and blunders develop character and allow you to improve your business. Learn from your mistakes rather than letting them hold you back.

For help launching your business, contact an entrepreneurial support service in your area.

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3 things to consider when negotiating your working conditions

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In a job interview, discussing salary and benefits can be uncomfortable. However, if you’re looking for a position that fulfills your needs, you must be prepared to broach the topic. Here are three things to keep in mind when you do.

1. Industry standards
First and foremost, you must have realistic expectations. Do some research and talk to other professionals in your industry to determine the average salary and benefits for your level of experience and the position you hope to fill. This will help you avoid making unreasonable demands or accepting an offer that’s not in line with current standards.

2. Benefits and perks
If the employer can’t offer you the salary you want, you can negotiate for other benefits. After all, the amount you’re paid is just one factor in cultivating a good quality of life. For example, you could negotiate to have flexible hours, work from home or use a company cellphone.

3. Your worth
Rather than looking at what you can gain, put yourself in the employer’s shoes and think about what you can offer the organization. Knowing what you bring to the table can help show the emplo¬yer you care about the success of their business. This could make them more willing to meet your expectations.

Most importantly, be confident and don’t undersell yourself.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Family Preservation Services

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Examiner

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

May
21
Sat
9:00 am Kids’ Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
Kids’ Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
May 21 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Kids' Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
Held in the picnic area by the river. 2 prize categories: biggest catch and most unique catch Children ages 15 years and younger are eligible to compete Check in with the ranger at Shelter 1[...]
10:00 am Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail Join Shenandoah Chapter Master Naturalist Margaret Wester and explore the habitat of birds and the woodland wonders utilized for their survival. Discover the diverse stories of the Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow, Wood[...]
11:00 am National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 21 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Children’s Discovery Area This National Kids to Parks Day, join us for fun-filled activities and music at our interactive discovery stations. Kids, pick up a scavenger hunt brochure and hike on the Track Trail or[...]
May
22
Sun
2:00 pm Common Scents: Historic Perfume ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Common Scents: Historic Perfume ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 22 @ 2:00 pm – May 23 @ 4:00 pm
Common Scents: Historic Perfume Making Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Have you ever wondered how to harvest the fragrance of a flower or capture the irresistible aroma of sandalwood? Then this hands-on workshop is for you! Join us and learn how people in[...]
5:00 pm Let’s Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
Let’s Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
May 22 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Let's Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
A Night of Prayer and Worship, All are Welcome Prayers led by Pastor John Miller of Abundant Life Church and other Local Pastors DoubleTree by Hilton 111 Hospitality Dr. Front Royal, VA Sunday, May 22[...]
May
25
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
May 25 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
May
28
Sat
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 28 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion[...]
May
30
Mon
7:00 pm 2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
May 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2022 Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Concert by Front Royal Community Band Monday, May 30, 2022, 7pm, at the Gazebo on Main St. (sponsored by American Legion Post #53)
Jun
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]