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How good is your current resume or CV? The first stage you need to go through in order to secure a new job is resume selection. Without a powerful resume that has been properly formatted, presented and written to effectively target your key skills and achievements, your job search may take a lot longer than you first anticipated. Remember your resume is a marketing document, a compelling reason to interview you. Find below 15 resume questions: Let's find out where your resume rates: • Does your resume flow, enabling a reader to easily understand your career history? • Have you provided achievements throughout your resume? • Are your achievements backed up with evidence? • Have you included your Key Skills? • Is your resume written in chronological order - complete with dates, job titles, job positions etc? • Is your resume targeted toward the job you are applying for? • Is your resume the right length? (Or is it too short or too long?) • Have you matched your skills and achievements to the job you are applying for? • Have you used Keywords? • If a hiring manager was to read your resume would they be inspired to want to interview you? • Is your resume correctly structured and formatted? • Is your current resume visually appealing? • Do you believe that your current resume will stand out from the competition and give you the greatest opportunity of getting the job? • Does your cover letter introduce and compliment your resume? • If you apply for an online job that typically can attract between 100-300 applications, will your resume be in the top 10%? Give yourself a point for every time you answered "yes". Did you receive a score above 12? A score of 12 or above will put your resume in the top 20%, and gives you a good chance of finding employment. But don't forget that typically your resume needs to be better than just the top 20% - it needs to be in the top 10%
Behaviour job interview questions
Job interviewing
Interview questions and answers
"Past behaviour is a better predictor of future behaviour" It is estimated that 80% of the interview is made up of behavioural questions. In order to understand how to answer behaviour questions we need to first define what a behavioural question is. This type of interviewing is based on the philosophy that your past actions and behaviours will be a good indicator of your future behaviours. Therefore, how you acted to certain circumstances in your previous job is a reliable indicator of how you will act in your new job. As there are literally thousands of behaviour type questions, you can best prepare for this type of questioning by researching the culture of the company to get an understanding of the behavioural traits that are essential to working at that particular organisation. Behavioural questions differ to standard interview questions as they focus more on experiences, behaviours, knowledge, skills and abilities. Rather than the standard question of "Do you have leadership skills" a behavioural question is more likely to be "Give me an example of your previous role when you displayed leadership abilities." As the interviewer has already determined which skills are necessary for the role it is important that you are prepared for these questions. The best way to begin studying for these questions is to look at the job description! The list of skills that they require are the skills they will more than likely focus on. When the job description mentions they require a person with good teamwork skills or negotiation skills, it is more than likely that this will be turned into a behavioural question to see if you really do possess these skills. In good news, behavioural questions are not to be feared. When prepared properly, these questions can be easily answered. How to Answer Behaviour Job Interview Questions The best way to answer a behavioural question is to use the STAR Format. S ituation The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenge and situation in which you found yourself. T ask What did you have to achieve? The interviewer will be looking to see what you were trying to achieve from the situation. A ction What did you do? The interviewer will be looking for information on what you did, why you did it and what were the alternatives. R esults What were the outcomes of your actions? What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your objectives. What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?
Instant resume killers
Resume writing
Resume mistakes
Want to cause a recruiter to toss your resume instantly? When an employer is faced with several - possibly hundreds - of applications, he or she will try to narrow this list down quickly. Making one of the following mistakes can get your resume tossed in just a matter of seconds. No cover letter attached This is not a good start to any job application. Failing to include a cover letter instantly means that you have failed to put in that extra 10 minutes of effort, and this is never a good thing. A lot of recruiters delete their first round of applicants simply because they have not included a cover letter. Applying for the wrong job It happens all the time - candidates get so caught up in applying to as many jobs as possible that they accidentally send their resume sand cover letters to the wrong people. When a recruiter sees that a cover letter has been accidentally addressed to the wrong company, it will get tossed immediately. A bad picture on a resume (especially an inappropriate one) It's true that different resume standards apply to different countries. That being said, some countries are more accepting (and encouraging) of pictures on resumes than others, however please stick to professional-looking photos only - you are applying for a job after all. There is no need to include a picture of yourself posing in a tank top or drinking with friends. Better to stick to no picture at all. Providing little to no details about your work experience Employers want you to be as specific as possible with regards to your qualifications, and therefore you should provide an adequate amount of information. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people list their job titles ONLY under "work experience", and that will just not cut it. Once an employer sees that you've provided little to no detail on your experience, they will immediately delete your resume.
Finding a job in tough economic times
Job search
Time for a new job
What can you do to be competitive when looking for a new job? Writing a quick resume late at night and applying for random jobs is NOT going to get you the job you are looking for. Is there an educational or university course being offered which could help you now or in the long term? What skills do you have to shine above and beyond other candidates. Make a portfolio of your accomplishments you have achieved in your academic or professional life. In the current economic climate employers want to know what YOU have to offer them. You need to sell yourself! And sell your success. Below are some further ideas and suggestions to find yourself a new job Learn new skills It's never too late to try to learn a foreign language, or a new piece of computer software. (Best example was a senior archaeologist of 10 years who came to me wanting to change life direction. After 6 months learning Spanish then travelling through Spain for another 6 months, The senior archaeologist is now a junior English/Spanish translator) Research: Find out where the demand is. While many industries are having trouble in this recession and laying off employees other areas are increasing employment Sell yourself : Take time writing your resume, and tailor your resume specifically to each job you are applying. Do not send out the same resume to every job advert you see. Remember if you're sending out generic resumes then you will get the same generic responses Use your social network . Don't be embarrassed about looking for work. Tell your friends and family. You never know who may be looking at hiring staff with your set of skills Use free networking sites to advertise yourself and your skills. Promote yourself via sites like LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/ Use a recruitment agency that specialises in your particular area. Get to know the recruitment consultant, and follow them up weekly. The more you appear visible, the more they will remember you Share with friends: Brainstorm ideas and share experiences with friends that are also looking for jobs. Exchange advice, strategies, and plans Act straight away: When you get a lead or hear about a job opening apply immediately. There is no need to wait. Prepare your resume and send it immediately. The longer you wait the more likely another candidate will apply ahead of you Don't let a lack of experience discourage you from applying for jobs: When tailoring your resume towards the job you are applying for, concentrate on the skills and abilities you have to match that certain job Most importantly: Don't give up - Never stop looking. While you're searching for your new job is there something else in the meantime you could be doing. Do you have skills to freelance? Maybe you can sell goods online. Keeping yourself occupied helps you to stay positive and upbeat rather than moping around the house feeling sorry for yourself
Listing salary requirements
Job search
Job seeking tips
Some job advertisements ask you to include your desired salary, and if they ask for this, it usually means that you can't avoid doing so. Listing salary requirements is always tricky because it's hard to "guess" what the employer will think about your preference. Asking for too much can rule out your chances right away because you might appear unrealistic, but asking for too little can signal a red flag and tell the hiring manager that you don't value your skills and experience. So the question is - what do you say? My advice is to always include a range because you give yourself a little bit of breathing room. A range not only eliminates you from this potential scrutiny, but it could also tell the hiring manager that you need a little more information before you give them a definite answer. In other words, you leave yourself some option, and you also put yourself in a good position to negotiate. Chances are that full details of the job haven't already been provided, so if you make it to the interview and hear more about the job's requirements, you can then argue why you are qualified to receive the higher end of your salary range. So how do you determine this range? Try to search for similar positions and what they offer in terms of salary. Look up job search websites and try to ballpark a range that most of the positions fit into, and then use this range when you're writing your cover letter. The range you include is entirely dependent on what you find, but I would probably suggest not making it any larger than $10,000 - it may be too general otherwise. All in all, it's always best to keep your options open.
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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
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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