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Got an interview coming up?

Posted By GAIN STAFF, Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Ever wonder how to prepare besides doing your research? Not sure about following up?

Check out these three tips:

1 - Build a rapport with the people in the interview - engage in a little bit of small talk at the beginning - they want to know if your personality will be a good fit with other people on the campaign or at the organization.

2 - Make it clear you are interested in the position and the organization and don't focus on "What’s in it for me?” They want someone who is passionate about the candidate/mission/goals. Remember, it’s about them… they want to know how you can make their lives better!

3 - Send personalized thank you letters to every person that was in the interview - thank them again for taking the time to speak with you, and reaffirm why you will be a good fit for the position and note a few things you discussed in the interview.

Want some more great tips to do before, during and after your interview? Check out this article!

Tags:  career development  interview advice  interview tips  interviews 

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Job Interview Questions- Don’t Get Stumped

Posted By Sara Swezy, GAIN Intern, Thursday, February 9, 2012

Preparation is the number one tool for job interviews. Ever wonder what the most common questions are that interviewers ask, and the best ways to respond?

Check it out:

5 Common Interview Questions:
-Tell me about yourself
-Why do you think you are the best fit for this job?
-Why would you be an asset to this company?
-Why are you interested in our company?
-Elaborate on your experiences- what were some key takeaways?

How to answer them and stand out as a star candidate:
-Don’t ramble on with your life story, keep it short and highlight what makes you interesting and talented.
-Briefly describe your best skills and how your experience relates to the position and how you could apply your experiences to the duties of this new position.
-Emphasize your personality traits, such as: dedication, loyalty, passion for this type of work, detail-oriented, organized, etc.
-Research the organization or company thoroughly. Be able to cite specific projects, the company’s success and your knowledge and interest in the particular field.
-Don’t read off of your resume word for word, but pick out one or two things from each experience to highlight. And always quantify your experiences. For example, if you handled a budget of $5,000 for an event, state it.

Finally, be sure to ask thoughtful questions of your own! Remain calm and confident, show them that you are the best person for this job and you’ll be well on your way to the top of the candidate list. Don’t forget to send a handwritten thank you note to the people you interviewed with and follow up with the company if you haven’t heard anything back within a week.

For more information on job interviews, check out these articles from New Grad Life and The Ladders.

Tags:  career development  interview advice  interview tips  interviews  job advice 

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Hoping to Hop on the Campaign Trail? The DCCC Needs YOU!

Posted By Cathy Johnson, GAIN Staff, Wednesday, June 1, 2011
It’s about that season again--no we’re not talking about swimsuit season--we’re talking about campaign season!  The 2012 elections are right around the corner and we’ve got some great news for those of you out there interested in campaign work.  The DCCC is still in great need of skilled finance directors, deputy finance directors, call time managers and more!  

So update that resume and print out a bunch of copies because the DCCC is hosting an awesome Speed Networking event! This is your chance to meet one-on-one with DCCC staff to discuss opportunities on campaigns. The details are below but even if you can’t make the event don’t let that stop you from contacting the DCCC, they still need you!  

DCCC Speed-Networking
Thursday, June 2, 2011
4:00pm – 6:00pm Please
RSVP to Ashley McNeil at
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee 430 South Capitol Street SE Washington, DC 20003
(1st Floor Wasserman Conference Room)  

**Don’t forget your resume!**

Tags:  employers  events  field  fundraising  get a job  interviews  job seeking  networking  networking event 

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Jumping In With A Resume Workshop!

Posted By GAIN STAFF, Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Hello GAIN!
I'm thrilled to be on board with Democratic GAIN! I'm very excited to be working with Alexandra to help lessen the stress of job searching and to help create events and programs to help you build your new and already existing skills.
To start things off, I wanted to make sure you're all aware of the upcoming Resume Workshop this Friday February 19th from 12 PM to 1:30 PM here in our DC office. If you haven't registered, there's still time.
Not sure if this workshop is for you? If you want to make sure your resume is making the biggest impact on those that see it, and want to know the best words and tips for making your resume stand out, then YES this workshop is for you!
We'll go over tips to get your resume noticed, how to write a good cover letter, things to keep in mind when interviewing and advice on how to use and continue to build your network to help it work for you.
This is an informal discussion and Al and I will finish up with some one-on-one time to help answer any personal career questions.
We hope to see you Friday!

Tags:  career advice  interview tips  interviews  job advice  job tips  resume advice  workshop 

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Interview with Alan Lindquist

Posted By Nikki Enfield, Thursday, September 17, 2009
This is our first interview of the fall as we begin to look at various career paths in politics and ask professionals to share their career advice.  Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.

Alan Lindquist has been working on political campaigns for over a decade.  He currently lives in Maine and is a fundraiser for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.  We asked him a little bit about how he got started working in politics and his advice for those looking to work on campaigns.  

1)      Please give us a quick biography. Touch on how you got your first job in politics and why you decided to stick with politics as a profession.  

I have worked on the campaign end of politics since 1997, when I went from volunteering to getting paid to work for my first campaign (Kehoe for Congress in San Diego).  I literally begged my way into the job, working for $800 a month and doing whatever they wanted me to whenever it was needed.  I ended the campaign as the GOTV Coordinator and organized 500 people on election day in the closest Congressional election that cycle.  I worked my way up from there, as Finance Director on my first winning campaign (Susan Davis for Congress in 2000), managed an underdog race that won (Donna Frye for City Council in San Diego) and eventually made my way to DC, where I worked for the DCCC.  I now live in a small town in Northern Maine with my partner and do the fundraising for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.

2)      Did you begin your career thinking campaigning was where you wanted to end up?  

I loved campaigning from early.  I volunteered on my first race when I was in Junior High School and never stopped.  I never really thought I could make it as a professional, but I'm glad that when I saw my chance I jumped at it.

3)      What do you like most and hate most about it?   

I love working for people that I know want to make a difference and are willing to put themselves out there to do it.  I've seen people running for office go through a lot (rumors, being followed by private detectives, death threats) and I believe it takes a special person to run for office today, either motivated by power - or motivated by an ability to see a big picture and want to make it happen.  I try to find the latter to work for.  What I dislike at this point of my life is being "on the job" 24 hours a day.  In politics you are always on call, because things happen on their own timeline.  If you're looking for 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, this isn't the job for you.

4)      What is the thing you are most proud of in your career?  OR What is your funniest campaign story?  

I am most proud of seeing people that have worked for me move up the career ladder.  I remember when I started out worrying about my next job, or if I would get one.  I have worked hard in my career to mentor people that have worked with me, or have shown an interest in breaking into politics.  Now I can count dozens of people that I have been able to help get into or move up in politics.

5)      What advice do you have for someone who would like to begin their career in campaigns? 

Start out in field.  If you really want to know how campaigns are won and lost and have a pulse on the race, you have to start out in the field.  Communications and fundraising sound much more glamorous, but you can move into those areas.  Knowing how to find and count votes, recruit volunteers, and get out the vote are crucial to any part of campaigning you work in.

6)      What type of person generally does well with this career choice?  What types of people generally don’t excel in campaigns?  

People that are willing to go anywhere on a moments notice and do anything - I guess adventurous, energetic people - do best in this area.  People that are looking at a "career path" early on are going to be in trouble.  Campaigning doesn't work that way, and in some ways it tends to shut down people that are too aggressive in one direction.

7)      What is the one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you were first starting out in your political career?
 I wish I had been in a better place emotionally. I made it through campaigns with no personal life, but if I had been more centered from the beginning I would have been able to find a bit of a work/life balance.

8)      Do you have any parting thoughts that haven’t been covered?  
Don't go into campaigns expecting glamour and access to power.  Its a lot of time in small towns in states you've never been to, in offices that are put together MacGyver style, and very little money.  That said, I wouldn't change the path I took for the world.

Tags:  career advice  career development  interviews  learn from pros 

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