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The dreaded job interview
Job interviewing
Interview time
After you have constructed the perfect resume and applied for the perfect job you will hopefully receive that favourite phone call congratulating you on receiving an interview request. Typically when you apply for a job you can expect your competition to share similar skills, education and experiences as yourself. This is why you need to demonstrate to the interviewer that you not only possess the right skills, and that you are also the right fit for the company. Considering the importance of your job interview, there are a few key factors you need to do to ensure that you give yourself the greatest opportunity of finding success. Conduct Research Researching the company that you are interviewing for is a great way to acquire a sense of knowledge about your potential future career. When you show that you have done a good amount of research, an employer will see the enthusiasm that you have about the particular position as well for the company and this will aid you in developing a good first impression. When you are performing your research, don't just use the company website for information. Use your imagination and look at anything from past market shares to any philanthropy or humanitarian involvement that the company is currently engaged. Practice Makes Perfect The days before your interview you should research popular-asked interview questions. This way you can rehearse your answers, which can help you to phrase them in the most beneficial way. The more practice you put into your interviewing, the greater your answers will flow when it comes time for the main event! If you bring forth a comfortable aura to the interview, your potential employer will see how relaxed and confident you are. Contact Your References Prior to going into the interview, it is a good idea to contact the people that you have placed on your reference sheet. More often than not you will be asked to bring in your resume and a copy of your references and so it is imperative that these people know that they may be receiving a phone call. Prepare Your Outfit in Advance Don't wait until the day of the interview to determine what you are wearing. Keep in mind that you will want to pre-plan your travelling route in order to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes early. Arriving late is the greatest mistake you can make! Planning your outfit the day before your interview gives you time to wash, iron, and hang up your clothes so that they are in pristine condition for your interview. Preparing correctly for the job interview will give you the greatest opportunity of getting the job. If you are hoping to succeed in your interview, you must ensure that you are sufficiently prepared in advance. Do not let yourself down. Leave no stone unturned in your interview preparation.
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246
Key ingredients to preparing an Aussie resume
Australian job market
Australian resume writing
I decided this week to bake a double chocolate chip cake. It was so delicious and cooked to perfection that I only managed one piece before my friends had collectively finished off the rest of the cake. Before I baked the cake, I prepared the ingredients and even added in a few "extra" items to make my cake as tasty as possible. When it comes to resume writing the exact same process is required: Key Ingredients: Strategic Keywords Using strategic keywords throughout your resume is imperative for a number of reasons. Recent reports suggest 80% of companies use some kind of software or scanning program to search for candidate resumes. In today's society it is no longer good enough to target your job toward the role you are applying for - you also need to target your resume toward software programs that are now performing first rounds of candidate selections. In this technological world where applying for a job can literally take a couple of clicks of a button, hiring managers are seeing hundreds of resumes (sometimes thousands) for one particular job. As much as we would like a hiring manager or recruiter to read through our entire resume, this rarely happens. As such, using strategic keywords will help your resume rank higher and ensure that it passes the first test of being read by either a recruiter or hiring manager. Highlighting Achievements Resume writing and job seeking has changed a lot over the past couple of years. With new online networking sites such as LinkedIn being available and making it easier for a job seeker to network with a potential boss, highlighting your achievements on your resume and cover letter is more important than ever. When a boss or hiring manger decides to employ a new person to their staff, the first thing they want to know is how this person is going to add value to their organisation. Including basic duties and responsibilities is not enough to make you stand out as the perfect person for the job. You need to prove that you are the best person by highlighting your skills and achievements. Presentation and Format Your resume is the first impression a hiring manager will make about you. A well presented and structured resume that is written in a clean font will portray your resume in a professional manner and immediately give your resume application a higher ranking. Alternatively, a resume application that has spelling and grammar errors, different sized fonts, long sentences (as opposed to bullet points) and a lack of headings will not portray a positive image to the reader, and you won't look like the right person for the job. A lack of professionalism may even lead to your resume being deleted without even being read. No matter how good your skills and experience may be, once your resume is deleted, it will never be read again. In order to prepare the perfect resume follow these three main ingredients. Take time to prepare your resume and ensure that you give yourself every opportunity to succeed!
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529
How to succeed when working from home
Career management
In the work place
As a resume writer there are often days where I can work from home in the luxury of my lounge room without having to step foot outside my house. I save money and time on transport and what is best is that I can work all day in whatever clothes I desire. If I want to sit in my brand new matching pyjama pants and shirt, well I can because these are just some of the advantages of working from home. This sounds wonderful doesn't it? Sitting all day in your pyjamas working on your own schedule? This sounds great in theory, but in reality I strongly suggest against this type of approach. Always Dress for Success When I am dressed for success and feeling professional, I find that I am more productive and produce far greater work. Sitting at my desk in my corporate attire puts me in a work mood as opposed to making my day feel like a casual day. I obviously don't suggest putting on your best suit and tie when working from home, but a nice clean and pressed shirt and trousers will certainly put you in the work mode. Find an area of your house to make into "an office" Although you're at home, try to find a small space that you can work from. Setting up a small area of your house or apartment to make a working space will put you in the working mood. Have you ever tried working from bed? This is almost impossible, and the amount of work you can do while in bed is not nearly as productive as the work you can do from your desk. Is working at home for you? Working at home is not for everyone, and many people find that they get too distracted and are not able to be productive. Having good discipline is a major factor in being able to work from home. There are many temptations surrounding you and maintaining motivation can be a challenge. And although it's nice to have a day outside the traditional office, working from home can be lonely, and with limited social interaction it can often be hard to share ideas. Conclusion Working from home can be extremely productive and beneficial. Without having the sound of telephones ringing and co-workers talking around you, there is opportunity to get a lot of work completed that you would not have been able to do in the office environment. My advice is simple. When working from home, dress professionally and set up a workspace where you can best get in the grove to perform your work as best as possible. I personally feel more switched on when I am in my work clothes rather than my casual clothes. Looking like a professional makes me feel like a professional.
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58
How important is your resume?
Students and grads
Resume preparation
When the time comes to looking for a job, your resume is by far the most important link between you and your potential new job. Once you interview and are given the two greatest words of "you're hired," your resume becomes a worthless document. That is, until years later when you decide you want a new challenge, and you reach back into the drawer, dust off the resume and start again. In a recent college poll, over 90% of college students said they had no idea about how to write a good resume. Even more alarming was that 95% of the students interviewed did not list achievements on their resumes. In the current economic climate, it is imperative that your resume is not only structured and formatted correctly, but that it is also easy to read and pleasing to the eye. For every single job you apply for, there are potentially 100, 200, and maybe even 300 other people with similar skills who are applying for the very same position. With so many applications it's no wonder that a candidate who has written an incorrect resume is not getting the interview requests. In my experience, the main reason candidates finds their applications continually rejected has nothing to do with their skills or experience (or even with the lack of skills or experience) - it is because their resumes are just not good enough to get them an interview. Don't let this happen to you. If writing your resume is stressing you out, think about using a professional resume writer. Many applicants these days use professionals to help them get a leg in front of their competition. Remember - your resume is the most important tool you have to get a job. A professional writer knows how to highlight your strengths and portray this on your resume. In the competitive world we live in, you need to be one step ahead of your competition. A professional writer can help take your resume to the top of the pile.
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30
Best tips on how to get that pay raise you deserve
Career management
In the work place
Waiting on that raise that never seems to come… A friend recently told me that he was expecting a raise soon simply because "I haven't gotten one in the last 2 years." There was no direct reason - no one had told him about this supposed upcoming raise, and he hadn't done anything major in the last few months to expect one. He simply expected that one would come, particularly because he hadn't received one in his entire 2 years there. I always wonder about this kind of thinking because, from the way I see it, employers are never lining up to give people more money. If you're waiting around for your boss to give you a raise for no specific reason, you're going to be waiting for a long time. A raise doesn't come simply because you've worked somewhere for a specific amount of time or because you haven't received one - you have to earn a raise and, even when you do, you probably still have to ask for it. It's no secret that an employer is going to try to pay you as little as possible. I don't mean this in a mean way - I'm just saying that they aren't going to go out of their way to pay you more than they have to, simple as that. This especially applies to those of you waiting on that raise you haven't received yet. Think about it - why would your boss give you more money to do the same exact job? What would be in it for them? Whether you're deserving of a raise or not, it's not going to come at the drop of a hat. Employers are not looking to give away money that they don't have to, so if you continue to wait for them to offer you one, you may be waiting a while. If you think you deserve a raise, let your boss know and give your specific reasons. This can include examples where you have increased productivity, saved them money or even how you trained new employees. Providing specific reasons is the key to getting your pay increase. Remember everyone wants more pay and greater benefits. A pay rise is just like a negotiation. You have to provide something in return to receiving something. If you can prove to your employer that you are worthy of a pay increase your employee is more likely to give you one. One last thing. If you feel you deserve a pay rise and have evidence to support your argument, don't be afraid to ask for it. A lot of people sit quietly and say nothing to avoid "rocking the boat," and they have the mindset that a pay rise will eventually happen on its own. Don't let this happen to you. You deserve to get paid as much as you can.
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This month's top rated article
How to handle the telephone interview (and reach the face-to-face interview stage)

So you've found an ad for your dream job and submitted a thorough and thoughtful application. What's next?

If your application makes it through the screening round, the process of securing the job is likely to involve a series of interviews, initially on the telephone, followed by a number of in-person, face-to-face meetings. Many people underestimate the importance of the initial telephone conversation: the recruiter's goal is to determine your suitability for the role, so if you don't make a great first impression, you're unlikely to proceed to the next round of interviews.

Most of the time, you'll receive a phone call from the advertiser (this could be a Recruitment Consultant or someone from the company's HR/Recruitment team). There's usually no warning of the call, so be prepared to shift into interview mode quickly. If you happen to miss the call, it is common courtesy to return the call promptly (which is also likely to help your application).

While the phone interview is relatively informal, this is still an interview. A few points to consider:

1. Be proactive. You could consider contacting the advertiser proactively - either from the details in the advertisement or through your own research into the company. This leaves no doubt about how keen you are about the role. Not all advertisers encourage this approach, particularly for roles which are likely to attract a large volume of applicants. Be prepared to be told to apply online and don't be overly pushy if this is the case.

2. Don't rush. You won't be judged for taking the time to consider the question and answer it properly. Stay calm, composed and think your answers through. If you've reached this stage, it means the recruiter genuinely wants to understand who you are and discover why you're suitable for the role. This means that even if you have a lot to say, the recruiter is unlikely to hang up on you and you don't need to worry that you're wasting their time.

3. Be direct in your answers. Being cagey or not giving the full answer doesn't help your cause. Remember that you are competing with other candidates and will likely to be asked the same questions as they are. Listen carefully for clues about whether your answer is on the right track. For example, if the recruiter needs more detail or is confused about your response, she may try to ask the same question in a different way.

4. Listen. As the saying goes: "You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice more than you speak."

The conclusion of the call will usually be close when the questions end, and either a description of the role or being asked if you have any questions comes up. Simply enquiring about the next stage or a couple of questions about the role itself (team size, how this position fits into the team, etc.) will also be a good way for the interviewer to determine how keen you are and serve to leave them with a good impression. Both of which are key in hopefully securing your first stage interview.

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Popular questions
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Should I have an objective statement on my resume? Are there other ways to make my resume stand out from the crowd?

Replacing the Objective Statement with a Qualifications Profile on your resume

Does your current resume begin with a generic objective statement telling the reader what type of jobs you are looking for? Let me guess that it reads something similar to this:

"I am seeking the opportunity to expand my skills, knowledge and experience in a challenging professional environment. I am honest, reliable, eager to learn and open to tackling a range of tasks. I am a strong and empathetic team player and always complete tasks to a high degree of quality and to deadlines"

If this is how your resume begins, it's time to make changes. In the competitive job environment where hiring managers may receive upwards of 500 applications for a single position, an objective statement is more likely going to lead to your resume being deleted. From a hiring manager's perspective, they are not interested in a non-specific, all-purpose statement that adds no value to the resume and provides them with no reason to want to hire you. You may have the best skills and be the perfect fit for the job however, you may never get this opportunity because your resume has already been deleted.

What is a Qualifications Profile?

A great way to introduce yourself on your resume is by creating a qualifications summary or career summary. Rather than telling the reader you are seeking an opportunity to expand your skills, rather promote what skills you actually can bring to this specific role. A targeted resume including a targeted profile will encourage the reader to continue reading the resume as opposed to pressing the delete button. For example, if you are applying for an IT job that requires programming skills, list you're programming skills within your introductory profile. That way, the reader will straight away be interested to read on as they know that you have skills that are required for this position.

How long should my Qualifications Profile be?

The last thing you want to do is turn your qualifications profile into an essay! Statistically, a hiring manager will only spend between 15 to 20 seconds when initially reading your resume. If they open your resume and see a half page profile they are more likely to be turned off as they won't be bothered to read all this information. A well written profile should be no longer than 2-4 sentences. It needs to be targeted and present value.

Final thought:

When you begin to write your new resume, don't forget the number one rule. Your resume is a marketing document. The more you can showcase your skills and achievements the greater chance you will have of being selected for the interview stage.

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