The ins and outs of why people get hired

interviewingIt’s very important for graduates to submit an eye-catching application, which reflects their skills, qualifications and interests. Here’s how to do so…

Understand what the organisation needs

Have a clear understanding of what is required by the organisation you are applying to. Check carefully that you have submitted everything they have asked for, such as a cover letter, resume and any accompanying documents.

Next, carry out your own research into how the organisation handles the recruitment process. For example, do they schedule video-based interviews or conduct their assessments in person? Also try to find out what kind of questions they ask, for example do they use using case studies, IQ-based questions or behavioural analyses?

Once you know all this, you will be able to prepare yourself and work on your presentation skills, critical thinking and analytical techniques.

Work on your skills

Work on your skills to find out what you can really do and how you can shine. Also see how you can match your skills up with your previous work experience, both in university and in any internships you may have completed.

Remember, skills learnt through solid work experience mean a lot. Work experience can be gained from academic activities or in a business-based role. Don’t just rely on academic qualifications, as these may not be enough in the face of more pro-active competition.

Make your resume both accurate and precise

A well written resume shows that you are good at planning and presenting your case. Your cover letter should be the first point of evidence showing your effective planning and presentation skills, not to mention your ability to organise data. You can further emphaises your strengths in these areas by highlighting the points in your CV that reveal your communication and research abilities.

Show how you are unique by describing specific accomplishments and personality traits. It’s important to do this because employers have to sift through hundreds of applications and you want yours to stand out amongst all the others.

How to behave in your interview

Even the most confident people can get nervous during interviews. Relax and trust in your abilities. Find out what the company culture is like by paying close attention to what’s happening around you while you are sitting in the lobby. Never be afraid of losing out – if you are meant to get the job you will, and knowing this will help you remain confident and calm.

Always follow up after an interview

Follow up the interview by sending a short thank you email. Communicate in a professional manner and make sure they know you are still keen to be considered for the job.

In conclusion, you can improve your interview performance  by looking for new challenges and skills to add to your resume and by staying positive and happy. Never lose hope; success usually comes to those who are not afraid of hard work.

How to dress for success

These days, there are no hard and fast rules for choosing office wear. There was a time when women had to wear stockings, even in the height of summer, with no bare legs. It used to be mandatory for men to wear a jacket whenever they left the office building for lunch.

However, what you wear still holds a lot of importance, despite the fact that business attire has become much more relaxed over time. Whether you are going for an interview or are already an employee somewhere, you have to pay attention to what you are wearing.  Observing the correct professional dress code during an interview is the first step but after then, adhering to the organizational dress culture afterwards will help you be successful in your career in the longer term.

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So what should you choose?

For an interview

First, find out what the dress code is. Now make an effort to look even better. But make sure you don’t over-dress so that you feel uncomfortable or awkward. If you arrive over-dressed in a casual environment then could jeopardise you chances of selection. In this case, wear something smart; e.g. men should go for a decent pair of trousers and open neck shirt. Ladies should choosefor a nice skirt and top. It’s always better to avoid denim and t-shirts.

For the office

A wardrobe full of expensive clothes is not always possible to begin with. If you have just entered the corporate world, start from scratch and build up your wardrobe gradually , choosing good quality basics and classic attire.  If you have limited funds or time, start with a small, capsule wardrobe instead.

  • Do not pick clothes solely on the basis of fashion – select classic that will last.
  • Look out for bargains. There are many shops which offer great clothes at lower prices. Do your research before shopping and always check the good brands, since they often hold sales. Also, read instructions for washing before buying to make sure they are not too costly to maintain.
  • Girls may smarten up with scarves, a little bit of jewellery and an embellished top. Men can achieve a professional look for less by wearing good quailty ties with less expensive shirts.
  • If your clothes do not fit properly, they can look cheap. So always invest in alterations.
  • Go for natural fabrics such as wool, cotton, linen and silk and not man-made fabrics. Avoid polyester.
  • Choose dresses which can be worn in different seasons.

You need to put effort in other things as well as good clothing. Women should choose  ‘moderate’ shoes without overly-long, spiky heels. Jewellery should not be over the top. Hair should be neat and tidy and you should never look as if you are on your way to a party. Wear make-up and perfume but keep it restrained and always have manicured nails.

Men should go for dark socks, decent, polished shoes, a well-groomed hairstyle, mild aftershave and clean, trimmed nails.

Healthy Conflict at Work

resolving conflict at workAvoiding conflict at work is not always a good idea, and it could even damage your career. Many career experts seem to agree on this point.

People who say ‘’yes’’ to everything are not always the best kind of colleague. Managers believe that such passive employees kill productivity, innovation and creativity. Workplace cultures normally do not welcome personality traits such as unhappiness or anger, nor people who love to spread gossip. But workers who challenge the status quo are always good to have around to keep things fresh in the workplace.

When conflict is healthy, it sparks competition, drives innovation and facilitates change. A culture where individuals regularly challenge the norm helps everyone get ahead in their careers.

So when can one have conflict and be justified?

A healthy debate:

Suppose, you do not agree when someone has recommended something. First see if you’re in a position to disagree with them. If you are, then make sure your argument has logic. Also listen to what other people are saying; listen to them and the pros and cons of thier point of view. In response, you can then present how you think about things. This whole situation then turns into a healthy debate, which is good for business.

Prevention of major quarrels:

It’s not appropriate to stick stubbornly to your argument when the other party is also not flexible enough to change theirs. It’s extremely important that a solution is found and the conflict managed in the right way without any quarrels. So just take a step back and see if you could be in the wrong and think about the differences you have with the other party. Do so before it’s too late and before they take more aggressive steps against you.

To strengthen collaboration:

When you challenge people’s thoughts and ideas, you should explore what they think and why, as well as why they act the way they do. If you can overcome the difficulty via a valuable discussion, you can strengthen the working relationship, along with presenting a solution for the project or task in hand. So you need to pro-actively manage the disagreement. A team which successfully resolves disagreements and disparity can actually become more productive and stronger than before.

Providing opportunities:

It’s rare for one individual to have all the answers. In business, it’s not possible for one employee to foresee all the challenges and issues that the organisation will encounter. Conflict helps mitigate against the drawbacks and to work towards the right solution. The whole process is very effective for one’s growth  too, as one develops new opinions, thoughts and ideas.

Do not fear conflict

Accept the fact that conflict is a normal part of the working day. Respect to other people’s feelings and thoughts. Control your emotions and maintain professionalism. Concentrate on the facts while you present your argument and  give full recognition to other people’s contributions and opinions. Watch your words and body language too.

Achieving a Work/Life Balance

work life balanceIf you are not committed and determined in life, you won’t be able to compete and survive in the long run. Therefore, its important to meet challenges and energise oneself.

If you have your own business, you can enjoy the flexibility of having time to spend with family, as well as the space to develop your business. However, it is not always easy to stop the work, and business owners can end up working harder and longer than average employees. It’s a challenge to balance your work and life. But it is a very important thing to achieve, and with just little effort, one can easily distribute one’s time and enjoy both working life and leisure time effectively.

Here are some tips to ensure a healthy work/life balance and to be an achiever and not a go-getter.

Decide your priorities:

Decide what is most important to you. If you work less, it will affect productivity. However, if you neglect your leisure time, your family and health can suffer. So you must allocate your time wisely. Make a list of tasks and see what you should be doing first and what can wait. Then, delete the stuff which is unnecessary and just a pointless distraction.

Set boundaries

Decide and structure your working hours. Make a schedule, which includes regular exercise, such as a brisk walk  at a set time every day. Unplanned events will, of course crop up, but by planning for known workm commitments and including time for walking, you will be able to work out a rough timetable and still have space to relax. Also make sure, your friends and family do not disturb you during your working hours – let them know when you are free to spend time with them instead, and make sure you stick to it so they don’t feel second best to your work..

Reduce usage of gadgets

Reduce your usage of your mobile phone, laptop and tablet. Focus time on your personal relationships when you are at home, rather than constantly going online. Try to practice this every day and switch off all gadgets while you are taking your family meals. This will make other people feel good around you and relish your undivided attention.

Track your time

Review how much time you spend doing each task on your list. This will help you to save time on a daily basis. Eliminate things which are not productive, or work out how you can achieve them in a more time-efficient way. We often fall into a routine and never alter it or realising that some things are no longer all that important.

Set free time

Take ‘’time off’’ for yourself. If you give your all to your work during the week, reward yourself at the weekends. This ndoesn’t necessarily mean booking expensive holidays; you can go for staycations, visiting places in your local area. The change of routine will help you stay productive, healthy and motivated.

Consider Change

If you believe it’s totally impossible to balance your work and leisure time, perhaps it’s time to consider a change in career. LIfe is too short for regrets!

Caution! Facebook Users Must Not Damage their Careers

The world is connected through the internet and no business can survive without using it. Employers are normal people who may want to find out about an employee or job candidate through his/her social media profile.

In Germany, it is now banned to short-list candidates based on their social networking profiles. However, despite this law, it’s not impossible for employers to check profiles privately whenever they want.

So if you are a Facebook user and searching for a job, then you should be extra aware of what you are posting online. Here are few tips for you.

Comments

Commenting is an adventure in itself because you feel you are in the limelight all the time. So comments can easily get out of control, especially when you are having fun with your friend, discussing his/her new post or picture. Suppose you have posted 4 comments a day since you joined Facebook in 2007. Now you can imagine that you have been published in all kinds of different places over all those years. Make sure, you have presented yourself in as best a light as possible to retain other people’s respect.

Likes & Interests

If you have liked the page, ‘’I hate my boss’’ then either keep your interests and likes completely private or just do not add anybody from your organization as a friend. When you like something, it shows a lot about who you are a person. So make sure you do not like something offensive that will put a prospective employer off.

Profile Picture

Your profile must be inoffensive and modest. Your profile must not look too professional, but it should not be too crazy either.

Photo Albums

If you love posting photos after every party of you posing with beer kegs, then select the highest privacy levels possible. If your photos are based on bikini shots, muscle shots in the bathroom, or anything which is a red flag to a recruiter, then you will never get a positive response from an employer.

Photos of Me 

These are the photos in which your friends have tagged you. If you feel you have been depicted in a way which is damaging to your identity, remove the tag straight away.

Religion/Politics

Do not risk giving too many details about your religion or politics; this could be highly damanging. Don’t give hiring managers an easy way to eliminate you because of your opinions – feelings can run high on these matters.

Keep your private affairs private 

Go to your Facebook page.

  • Go to your profile
  • Click on ‘settings’ in the top right corner of your screen
  • Click on ‘privacy’ from the list of options on the right hand side
  • You will see plenty of options for setting your privacy.

How Good Resume Designs Outperform The Bad Ones!

resume 1

This is the CV format which has extensively been used by graduates worldwide and is extemely conventional. Its a clear message to the employer that graduate must have downloaded the template, simply put his own information and emailed the resume. Using this one, also shows that graduate did not put any effort is making it successful.

resume 2

This one is different because of the picture added but still it follows the same design. The CV-maker only has increased the font size which does not have any strong impacts to impress the CV-examiner.

resume 3

The prominent part of the CV are as follows:

1. Thick borders added with professional color.
2. To convince the employer of candidate’s know-how of latest technological networks and participation,  the candidate has disclosed information about his social media accounts and put them right on the top of the CV. This is something of a great significance which gives an opporunity to the employer to explore more about the candidate in a realistic manner.
3. Further, the CV is covering everything on a single page with elegance and grace.

resume 4

Though the candidate tried to make it well by changing the background and adding social media accounts at the bottom but still this has not been handled effectively. Therefore, usage of the design is also an important factor while making the CV.

resume 6This is certainly one of the best designs. The colors are making it so interesting that employer won’t reject it without giving it a thorough read.

Each of the element e.g. About Me, Experience, Contact details are represented in a meaning-ful way.

How To Develope Interpersonal Skills

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Interpersonal Skills are the organic set of skills which are naturally blessed to a human. Everyone of us use them in our daily settings; the only difference is the amount of using them. Sometimes to use them effectively, or to develop them as per the situation and environment is very important.

Specifically, the interpersonal skills include — how you negotiate, how much is your listening ability, how you evaluate the options to make the right decision, how much you express yourself, what you talk and how you do it, how you use body language to say it.

Following are the few ways highlighted which can be considered to polish your Interpersonal Skills

How To Enhance Your Listening Skills:

Listening-Effectively comes with the technique of focusing the content which has been said rather than your silence to let the other person speak. While you listen; obviously the natural way of your perceiving and understanding would affect your evaluation of what has been said. What really matters is whether you evaluate a person negatively or positively and the meaningful reasoning for doing so. If you believe you are excessively negative evaluator; you may want to read how to be positive in life.

Support and Motivate

There is science of receiving and understanding things while the other person speak to you. Giving them respect, saying sentences which appreciate them as who they really are and noticing any positive things they said and encouraging them on the same will make people feel worthy and valuable. Some people might take this point wrong, supporting and motivating others does not really mean you have to support them for wrong things they say to you; it actually means how you indirectly make them question their negative actions. For example, your primary focus would be on indirect feedback rather than direct feedback — indirectly clarifying yourself would involve respecting and disagreement at the same time.

Making An Eye Contact With Selective People

The new research by Frances S. Chen of the University of British Columbia in Canada suggests that ”Making an Eye Contact May Not Be Such A Good Idea”. The study further says that eye contact signifies dominance and may provoke resistance to persuasion. Therefore, making an eye contact in individualistic cultures may be more welcoming, however in collective cultures — people could have tendencies to grasp it as something opposite to respect, love and care.

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