Career Tips

SandForest Consulting’s Career Tips

Figure it out as you go!

You don’t have to be the Subject Matter Expert.
If you know enough, you just need to have
1) the confidence
2) work ethic
3) tenacity
to learn on the job.


Say ‘yes’ to that task you know only a little about.

Apply for that job or the promotion you want but think you are not qualified for.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Socrates

Accepting you could be wrong is the hardest. But once you do, a whole new world will open up! The world of listening and learning, and seeing things from different angles.

An open mind is one of those factors that will help you succeed in your career in the long run.


Weekly Tip for the week of January 15, 2018:
Interview Question: Given that we are hoping you have plans to stay with us long-term, how do you see yourself developing within this role in the next 3 to 5 years? What development steps do you plan to take?

Common response “I would like to be a supervisor or manager”.

Interviewer will ask you, “Why? Why do you want to be a supervisor or manager?”

Knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, will help you answer this question.

Do you have what it takes to be:

a leader? Leaders are those who do something that is worth following. They are visionaries, they are charismatic, they are leaders.

a manager/ supervisor? Supervisors and managers must be able to coach, train, and encourage. They must be comfortable providing commentary, critique, and criticism. They are responsible for the success and well-being of their team and to get the tasks completed on time.

If you think being a leader or a supervisor/ manager is not for you, there is nothing wrong with avoiding the supervisory/management track. Many extremely successful people progressed via a technical track and found therein both personal and professional satisfaction.

What’s CRITICAL here is to tell the interviewers what you really feel, not what you think they want to hear.

If you are not sure of yourself yet, it’s perfectly fine to tell them

“I’m just getting my career started so I don’t know what all of my strengths are just yet…I want to master this role first and see where it takes me.”

By SandForest Consulting Team
Weekly Tip for the week of January 8, 2018:
Interview Question: ‘WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?

How do you answer if you are still new to the work force and you don’t even know what your weaknesses are yet?

If you are still in the process of becoming who you will be some day, then you have a chance now to identify the value system that you want to hold to.

Talk about the type of person you want to be, such as, knowledgeable, helpful, a leader, a supporter, a collaborator, a challenger, independent, resilient, etc.

Do you want to develop resilience? The following is an example of how you will approach it.

Can you think of a time when you faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle or task? How did you feel? Helpless, angry, frustrated, lonely? How did you cope? Did you ask for help or did you go it alone? Did you have support? How did it work out for you? If you had to do it again what would you do differently?

And as you look back on this time, can you say that you have learned and grown from the experience? If so, then this is part of your story, and if you can translate that to the future workplace, you have a story the hiring manager wants to hear.

-SandForest Consulting Team

Weekly Tip for the week of Dec 18, 2017:

Interview Question: ‘WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?’
THE TYPICAL ANSWER is one that turns a weakness into a bonus for the company.

For example, “I don’t know how to say ‘no’ so I take on too much work… and then I feel so committed that I stay late to finish everything” or “I’m a workaholic, because I love what I do so much.”

The risk is that the employer may take advantage of your good nature.

BUT what in fact do the hiring managers look for when they ask this question?

We asked Betty, a hiring manager, what she looks for when she asks the candidates this question.
Betty’s response:

“What I’m looking for is a demonstration of your self-awareness and the ability to critically evaluate your own life and make positive, enriching changes. Have you taken the time to get to know yourself and to work through some of your challenges? Have you worked through your weaknesses? Are you working through your weaknesses? Do you recognize how far you’ve come and how far you have yet to go?

Tell me a story that demonstrates that you know yourself and are honest enough to recognize the good and the bad.”

Next week, we will follow up with “what happens if you are still new to the work force and you don’t even know what your weaknesses are yet.” Stay tuned!

By SandForest Consulting


Weekly Tip for the week of Dec 11, 2017:


Beware of Resume Formats that Hide Your Talents



There are 2 extremes in the Technical Resume Formats: The first one is Functional Resume format in which all tasks are grouped into a general paragraph, followed by a list of Job Titles and Timelines with no other details. The second one is Chronological Resume format in which each job is listed chronologically with Title, Timeline, and an extensive list of tasks performed.

From the employer’s perspective, Chronological Resume is used for more junior people, who’ve had only one or two jobs, and so have the space to be more descriptive, while the Functional Resume format style is sometimes used to hide gaps in experience.

Problem: Both styles can hide your talents. The Chronological Resume format does not highlight your talent, the employer has to look for it. The Functional Resume format does not highlight the years of experience, that you have 10 years of experience performing a certain task, and it’s not mentioned anywhere in the resume.

Solution: Blend the styles. Provide a summary of experience and then give job titles and timelines, with a supplementary description under each job to clearly describe which experience was accrued in which job.

By SandForest Consulting


Weekly Tip for the week of Dec 4, 2017:
Your resume file name should be Your-Name_Resume_Job-Title (i.e Jane-Patel-Costello_Resume_QC-Technician)



The reason for this? Let’s imagine that you have taken the time to apply, and you have managed to get through to the hiring manager to highlight your application.
Now, the hiring manager goes to their company resume database and searches for your name…but nothing comes up. If the title on your resume is “QC-Tech-Nov-2017” it is likely that a search of your name will come up empty.
Always make sure that you can be located. Identify yourself.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this!
By SandForest Consulting