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Research Research Research
Job interviewing
Preparing for the job interview
Rule number 1: Research: Congratulations! You have been invited for the interview. Now what do you do? The first step is beginning to research the company. Once you have done this you will be ready to prep for the interview questions, learn how to improve your interviewing skills and begin to think about what you're going to wear to the interview. In order to succeed in the interview you need to do your homework on the company. There is no set of rules to how to do your research but preparing yourself as much as possible will greatly enhance your chances of getting hired. Make sure you use every available resource to help you with your preparation. By doing a basic Google on the company you can easily learn important facts about the company. Publically listed companies are easier to prepare your background research than privately listed companies as public companies are legally required to make certain information available. In the 21st century the Internet has made a lot of the pre interview research more available and easier to find. Don't forget that you can also use other sources of information like public libraries or bookstores. Many magazines and journals can provide important and up to date information on your company and also provide you with information that your competitors who are also applying for the same job won't know. A true story… A candidate of mine was applying for a job at one of the large investment banks. Out of 150 candidates the hiring manager had selected the top 10 best resumes to perform first round interviews. Every interview was 15-20 minutes long. The final question the hiring manager asked to each of the candidates was "Tell me something about the company." Nine out of ten of the candidates rattled off information they had read from the company's "about us page", but one candidate stood out. After reading about the company's strategic purchase of a new acquisition, the candidate was able to impress the hiring manager with his (somewhat different) knowledge. The hiring manager later offered this candidate the role not because he was the smartest candidate, but because he showed his dedication by going the extra step in his interview preparation. Your research for the job interview preparation should give you a better insight on: • The history of the business • How old the business is • The types of services the business offers • The hierarchy structure • How many offices/locations the business has • Number of employees • Career progression • The business culture • Competitors • Benefits Check out the Competitors websites as well - they are also a good source of information for your job preparation.
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202
Writing a resume with no content to include
Students and grads
Resume preparation
Writing your first resume can be very daunting, especially if you have little to no work experience to speak of. This is a common problem for students, and a lot of them go about addressing this problem the wrong way - they either apply for jobs that do not require a resume, or they turn in a resume with little to no content. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR RESUME BLANK!!! Every person, including you, has skills and knowledge that you can show off, even if you have never worked a day in your life. The challenge is for you to discover and transcribe these skills and knowledge into words. Students, for example, can look to relevant courses and educational achievements - what skills did you pick up from some of your classes? Did you strengthen your written communication skills, for example? Did you increase your knowledge of marketing principles and practices? Students can also write about relevant courses in the same way they would write about a past job. They can provide a brief description of the course, for example, along with "key roles" undertaken and "achievements" that resulted because of their work. I would highly advise catering each resume toward the job you are applying for. Take a look at the job description - does it list qualifications or skills that they are looking for in a candidate? Try to include these somewhere in your resume. Most job seekers are qualified for the positions they apply for, whether they have years of professional experience or not - the challenge is to figure out where you've picked up these skills and to transfer that knowledge onto paper.
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Job interview killers
Job interviewing
How to ace the interview
When it comes to your job interview, you want to leave it with nothing but positive energy. You want to leave the interviewer thinking that you will most certainly be a positive addition to his or her company. The last thing you want to do is to kill your chances with a simple mistake or two. While there are a number of ways to prepare for a successful interview, there are also a number of ways to quickly end your chances of getting hired. Below are some simple things to avoid during an interview: Showing up late This is not only rude, but it also reflects poorly on your work ethic. Do you routinely show up late? Are you someone who can't be counted on? Don't disqualify yourself before even meeting the interviewer. Forgetting to turn your cell phone off (or keeping it on silent) Having a cell phone ring during an interview is not only disruptive - it's also disrespectful. While it may not be an automatic interview-killer, it certainly won't improve your chances. Chewing gum This looks/sounds unprofessional and tacky. No employer appreciates someone talking to them with a mouthful of gum. It's even worse if you're someone who chews loudly without even realizing. Using "I don't know" as a response to questions The purpose of an interview is to provide the interviewer with more information about you. The more you give them, the better. Using slang or profanity This is never a positive in the workplace. Speak professionally. Bringing up personal problems An interview is about the job in question and about your specific qualifications, not about your personal life. While you will almost always be asked to talk a little bit about yourself, try to keep the personal talk to a minimum. Certainly don't bring up any "issues" that will raise red flags. These "killers" may seem a little obvious, but they happen all the time. Avoid these mistakes and you're already ahead of a large part of the competition.
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Have you ever sat in a job interview and been sweating uncontrollably as you stumble through the interview questions? Have you found yourself shaking hands with the hiring manager on the way out of the job interview and thinking to yourself how you just completely messed up the entire interview? Of course you have. Who hasn't! Why does this happen? Do you remember back in school or university before an exam you would study hard to make sure you were well prepared and ready to answer any question that could come your way. When you buy an expensive item such as a car or house you don't just wake up one day and go to the dealership and purchase a car. You do your research. You study and become knowledgeable on the subject. Only once you have done your research and preparation do you get ready to make your purchase. The same is true for your job interview. How many times have you walked into a job interview having done 5-10 minutes of preparation? Let me guess you scrolled through the company's website and re-read the job description a couple of times. Finding your dream job is no game. We spend on average 40 hours a week in the office. Over the course of a single year that is 2080 hours per year. (Minus vacation, holiday time and few more "personal days") When an opportunity arises to seek new employment and you are invited to the job interview you have one opportunity to shine and stand out above the other job competitors who are all vying for that one vacant position. You need to ensure that you are 100% prepared for the interview and have answers ready for every question that may come your way. To quote William Wallace in Braveheart - you have "just one chance" So how do we know what questions are going to be asked in the interview? The answer is we don't. There are thousands of different interview questions that may be asked. However, by planning for the interview we can be in a situation where we already have our answers ready for any type of question that a hiring manger may ask. Here is my tip: The key to interviewing success is simply preparing a mental outline to follow when responding to each question. When you are sitting at home preparing for the interview, write a list of achievements, stories and examples that illustrate how you solved a particular problem or how you performed in an outstanding way. That way rather than going to the interview and thinking of your answers on the spot you will already have your mental list of answers ready to go. Here is a very basic example to prove my point. "In my previous job I was promoted to manager after 6 months because of my hard work and dedication on a particular project …." With this example in mind I am ready to answer any interview question that is related to my success and I have a story to emphasise my point. Every person brings unique characteristics and value added skills to a job and as the interviewee; you need to be ready to demonstrate all the great qualities and achievements in order to succeed in your job interview.
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281
The process of Career Management
Career management
Manage your career
Career management refers to the planning, supervising, controlling, handling, coping and administrating one's professional life. It comprehensively covers a detailed view of what you want to be, where you want to go, how you will get there and ultimately how long you intend to stay. All the answers are directly related to one's personal goals and targets. Being able to handle changes in your career will best enable you to avoid mistakes of the past, prepare a confident approach to the present and a implement a positive direction for the future. Overall, managing your career will help maintain and develop your professional growth, development and direction. When should I begin to manage my career? Successful career management can start as early as the first day you walk into school or college. One should clearly identify their goals before enrolling in a particular degree or course and preparing for a lifelong career. (This saves a lot of money and time later on down the track!) Be specific with what are you good at and what you enjoy doing; most importantly what you can see yourself doing every day going forward. Being able to answer these questions will help you in understanding yourself better and what areas you are most likely to succeed. If you find that you have made a mistake don't panic. Exhaust your options, understand the value added skills that you have and how best you can utilise these existing skills. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask yourself if you are capable of performing the task or if you see yourself progressing in a certain area. If the answer is yes, then begin your quest to achieving your targets. Never forget to network and seek out as many people and opinions as possible. You just never know where the next door will open. How long does career management last for? Career management is a lifelong exercise. Balancing your work and social life is a juggling act. It is not just confined to one period in your life or a particular profession. In life many things change so don't be afraid to change with the times. It is all about adaptability and learning. The ability to learn from every setback will make you smarter in making your next career move. The employment market may seem crowded and not promising, but being open to change will help you survive during those dark months. The changing times are not moments of despair, but rather moments of opportunity.
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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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