Career Tips For Job seekers

I. How to set a career setback

At some point or another, most of us have experienced setbacks in our career. These setbacks might instantly make you feel nervous about your interview, but it is important to remember that you have been invited for interview, so the employer obviously liked something about your resume. The main way to deal with career setbacks is to be positive and confident about the path you are taking and to be prepared to explain yourself. These are some types of career setbacks and how to discuss them during an interview.

Career Change

If you have been on a certain career path and this is a completely new job, it may seem like a setback but it can also be viewed in a positive way. It may be that you just wanted a new challenge and this can be a good thing, rather than a negative. As long as you can explain your reasons for a career change, there should not be any reason for the employer to be concerned.

Being Fired

If you have been fired from your job, this can be difficult to explain during an interview. It is important though, that you are completely honest as the employer will respect this. Don't be tempted to lie, as they might find out when they obtain your reference and this will just make you look worse. There may be all kinds of reasons for being fired; sickness, not enjoying the job or working environment. You should always be able to offer an explanation and an honest one at that.

Employment Gaps

There can be all kinds of explanations for employment gaps and the employer will just be looking for you to explain them. The employer may be concerned about large employment gaps, as they will worry about how you will be able to fit into the workplace and the routine of going to work. However, this doesn't mean that you don't have a chance of getting offered the job. It is imperative that you can explain what you did during the time you were not employed. Whether it was looking after your children, doing a training course or volunteering, these are all good ways to explain the employment gap. Employers just want to be sure that you are proactive and that you haven't just spent the time procrastinating.

Be Enthusiastic

When discussing any setbacks in your career, you should aim to be enthusiastic. For example, if you are explaining a career gap, you should talk about how keen you are to get back into the working environment and how the time you spent off has given you fresh motivation. If it's a career change, explain why you have changed course and be as enthusiastic about the employer and role as possible. It is important to remember that the employer just wants to know that you will be a good employee and you can make this clear to them, no matter what setback you have encountered.

II. Understanding Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Understanding Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Key to Achieve Success

If you are struggling to determine your career path, you are not alone. A lot of people do not know which way to take as a result of not understanding their fortes and failings well enough. But why is it important for us to know our strengths and weaknesses?

First, knowing yourself better will help to eliminate your options in finding a suitable career that matches your personality. For example, if you know that you are not comfortable interacting with a lot of people, you will avoid customer service or sales jobs.

Second, it will make you a good team player as you understand which tasks you can do well and which you should pass to others who are more capable. If you know that you are good at presenting but not at writing report, it would be good to for you to have a co-worker to do the paperwork and have yourself give the presentation.

Third, operating within your areas of strength enables you to laser point your energy on work that will give you the best results for your effort. You will avoid frustrating yourself and others if you know your stronger and weaker areas and thus resulting in a more efficient career progression.

One simple way to get to know yourself better is by taking a personality test. By understanding your own personal traits, you’ll get a clearer picture of what suits you and what does not. One of the personality tests that we would recommend is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, where you will find out your 4-letter personality type that represents your strengths and weaknesses as an individual. Don’t let the lack of self-understanding hinders you from achieving your career goals. Discover your true self, discover success.

III. Interview tips: Making a great first impression

It’s said that body language makes the biggest impact on the meaning of the message, followed by the tone of voice, and finally, by the words itself. This holds true particularly in the interview, where the first few minutes you spend with a potential employer can spell the success or failure of your application. If this were not so, employers would be hiring applicants merely on the strength of their resumes or test results. It’s thus vital to make a favorable first impression. To do that:

1. Be punctual.

You might as well kiss the job goodbye if you come in late for the interview, clothes drenched in sweat and hair sticking out in different places. Give extra time for traffic, parking, bad weather and slow elevators. However, if you’re 15 to 20 minutes ahead of schedule, don’t go straight to the reception lady to announce your presence-this might put undue pressure on the interviewer. Instead, catch your breath and freshen up in the restroom, or get some coffee at the cafeteria.

2. Dress neatly and appropriately.

Let the hiring manager see you in the job by dressing for the part. Pants, skirts and shirts should be pressed, while shoes should be shined. If not sure what attire is required for the interview, dress on the conservative side. If possible, call the company and ask.

3. Observe moderation.

Practicing restraint is a virtue when it comes to the interview. Too much of anything-no matter how good-can be distracting or annoying to the interviewer. So keep these in mind.

4. Project rapport and confidence.

While it may seem unfair to be judged solely from that brief meeting, it’s a reality that 80% of hiring decisions are made on the candidate’s personality, and only 20% on skills. So project a hirable persona by following these guidelines:

IV. How to Protect Your Privacy When Job Hunting

With the advances in technology, it is very easy for employers to find out all about you, simply by looking on social media platforms or at your resume. When job hunting, we also tend to put a lot of personal information on our applications, which could quite easily get into the wrong hands. It is important, therefore, to take care when job hunting and ensure your privacy is as protected as possible.

The Right Contact

It is important to be aware of who you are actually sending your resume to and whether it is a legitimate job. There are many free job posting sites and bogus employers will often advertise roles which don't actually exist; before you know it, they have all your contact details. Take a bit of time to find out more about the employer and whether they actually exist or not. Also, try to send your resume to a specific contact in the company. If you don't have this information to hand, you can usually find it out by using social media platforms such as LinkedIn.

Privacy Settings

Employers often check social media accounts to find out more information on candidates, so try to keep it as restrictive as possible. If there are inappropriate photos or offensive comments on your social media account, it might prevent you from being progressed to the next stage. If in doubt, check your privacy settings and make sure only your friends can view your content.

Limit Contact Information

Some social media platforms such as Facebook ask for personal details which include your telephone number. There is no need to have personal details like this on social media so try and stick to only the necessary contact information. The same applies to your resume; there is no need to put your date of birth, family member names or in fact, your full address. Employers don't really need to know exactly where you stay until they hire you, so stick to the minimum information such as the state.

Be Selective

Job hunting is a monotonous task and as tempting as it is to allow job sites to distribute your resume everywhere, this can put your privacy at risk. Only apply for jobs on sites that you know and trust; even then make sure your settings restrict where your resume can be posted. It is also a good idea to keep a note of the jobs you have applied for. In doing this, you will know it's not quite right if you get an unexpected call about a job you know nothing about.

Stay Safe

If you are job hunting and the job site asks for your passport number, bank account details or anything which there is no need for them to know, don't give it out! An employer will, of course, need to know these details if they hire you but they don't and shouldn't ask for them during the application process. If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't, so be aware and safe with your privacy at all times.

V. How to Search for a Job Online

Most people don't particularly enjoy the process of job hunting, however, it is necessary if you are looking for work. These days, we have a lot of different resources available to assist us with our job search, making the process a lot easier. It is important to ensure you have a good CV before applying for a job and that you tailor it to suit the job you are applying for. You should also send a cover letter with each application. These are some methods to use when searching for a job online.

Job Sites

Although we have many more options available to us, job sites still have a place in the process. There are many different job sites online and using the search facility can help you find the one which suits your experience and skills. If you search for the job title and location on Google, you will obtain a list of job sites which are relevant to you. Job sites also provide an option for registering your CV and your details, so you receive an email when any relevant opportunities come up. This saves you the time searching for opportunities on a daily basis.

Register with Agencies

Recruitment agencies can be an effective source for job hunting and many have the option for registering online, rather than physically going to the office. The more agencies you register with, the greater your options, so it is well worth taking the time to broaden your options.

Social Media

Social media can offer a wide range of options when it comes to searching for a job online. There is a job searching facility on LinkedIn for instance, but you can also let your connections know that you are currently seeking work. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter also allow you to search for keywords, so you can find relevant jobs which suit your skills and experience. Many headhunters use social media to find candidates, so make sure your profile contains as much information as possible on what you can offer.

Networking

When it comes to searching for a job online, you need to be pro-active with your search. You can use platforms such as LinkedIn to find useful connections, such as recruiters or business owners and ask them if they have any opportunities. Advertising jobs via job sites can be costly, so many employers choose to headhunt instead. You never know what opportunities you might discover if you broaden your network and you will also show employers that you are pro-active in your job search.

Company Websites

Many businesses will only advertise on their own website, due to the cost of advertising elsewhere. It is a good idea to make a list of potential employers in your field and search via their website to find out if they have any relevant opportunities.

Government Websites

Most government websites provide employers with an option for free advertising, so this can be a useful resource to try when searching for a job online. You can also register on the website so that you receive alerts when any relevant opportunities arise.

VI. How to Find Recruiters in your Niche

Job searching can be challenging; particularly if you work in a specialized niche. It is important to be as pro-active as you can when looking for work and one way to do this is by finding recruiters who work in your niche. If you build strong relationships with recruiters, you can really maximize your efforts as they tend to have access to jobs that you may never find online. Many headhunters won't advertise jobs; they will identify suitable candidates by searching online, such as through social media platforms. Recruiters may have an opportunity which is ideal for you but if you don't track them down, you may never find out about it. It is important to find recruiters in your niche who will be able to support your job search.

Use Your Connections

We tend to build connections both in the workplace and online, which can prove to be useful when trying to find recruiters in your niche. It is worthwhile making contact with your connections to find out if they have any recommendations. You may find that some senior managers you have in your network will be able to provide you with a list of recruiters who will be useful for your search. You might also obtain some recommendations of the best recruiters to use, which will mean you can implement a more targeted approach with your job hunting.

Online Search

If you use specific keywords top search online, you should be able to find recruiters who are hiring in your niche. LinkedIn is useful for this as you can search using specific keywords and job titles. Job sites are also worth employing for this purpose, as you can search via your niche and make contact with any relevant recruiters.

Compile a List

There are hundreds of recruitment agencies out there and they all have specific niches which they specialize in. In order to get as much information on recruiters in your niche, you could always compile a list of recruitment agencies and contact them to find out if they are recruiting in your niche. If in doubt, contact the recruiters directly and ask if they specialize in your niche or if you know which recruiters can help with your search.

Contact Companies

You can always pick up the phone and ask businesses in your niche who their recruiters are. Most businesses will either have in-house recruiters, which will make it a lot easier or they will probably be willing to give you information on recruiters they use.

Visit Career Fairs

Career fairs have companies from a range of niches and as the representatives will usually play a part in recruitment, you will be getting right to the source by attending these. Career fairs are usually held throughout the year, so it is worth keeping an eye out for the next one close to you. You can find out a lot of information from recruiters at career fairs so this is the best place to get yourself noticed.

VII. How to Identify Industries That Are Hiring

Whether you are struggling to find suitable opportunities in your current industry or you are looking for a career change, it can be difficult to gain an understanding of which industries are the most common for recruitment. Every industry is different; some rarely recruit while others are constantly recruiting, so it is important to understand what these are. These are some ways to identify industries that are hiring.

Identify Skill set

The first point to consider is what sort of skills you have and what industries these may be suitable for. You should also think about what areas you are interested in. If you are looking for a change, you might want to think about the industries where your skills will be transferable. For example, there are some skills quantity surveyors possess which may be transferable to the financial industry; including managing budgets and saving money. If the industry you currently work in are not recruiting and you are looking for an alternative or you just want to change career, you will find that some of your skills are suitable for other industries.

Search Online

When you have identified industries you would like to work in, you can search job sites to find out which of these are hiring. There are many job sites online and this can give you a better understanding of the number of opportunities in specific industries.

Recruitment Agencies

If in doubt, ask the experts. Recruitment agencies deal with a number of vacancies at any given time and will be able to advise you on which industries are hiring. They may also offer advice on which industries are suitable based on your experience and will be able to assist in your job search. It is important not to rely purely on recruitment agencies though, as they deal with a number of candidates, so won't be able to focus on your search alone. When looking for suitable roles, you should be proactive and also make use of as many sources as possible.

Connections

You might be able to obtain a better idea of which industries are hiring by speaking to your connections. LinkedIn is a good source for this and by speaking to those who work in the fields you are interested in, you will be able to find out more about those which are hiring. If you don't currently have connections in this field, you may want to try and identify these and aim to speak to those who are involved in the hiring process, including hiring managers or recruiters.

Career Fairs

Career fairs have employers from all different industries, so these are a good place to look to find out which are hiring. The representatives at career fairs will usually be involved in recruitment in some way, so they will be able to offer advice on what sorts of roles they are hiring for. The more information you can find at career fairs, the better prepared you will be when applying for jobs and looking for a suitable career.

VIII. How Would My Work Benefit Me Or Other People?

Work has formed an important part of our lives, allowing us to gain useful experiences and skills. In addition, completing tasks successfully will bring about a greater sense of pride and satisfaction. However, how exactly does work benefit you?

Well, there are various benefits such as:

1. Building on Skills, Knowledge & Confidence

Working experiences equip you with hard and soft skills such as team building and communication skills, which are important factors that contribute to greater work efficiency and cohesiveness between colleagues. These skills not only help you in the workplace, but also outside of work where you can be more confident when speaking to others. In addition, work gives you the means to develop and challenge yourselves. As a result, it gives you a sense of pride, identity and personal achievement which further fuels your passion for your job.

2. Foster Better Relationship, Creativity and Learning

Undoubtedly, there will be new and challenging tasks or projects assigned to you, which creates an enthusiasm for learning and creativity that solitary work usually lacks. Additionally, teamwork encourages sharing of knowledge in the workplace. It would not only help you build on your creativity and problem solving skills, but also allow you to learn new skills that might be useful for the rest of your career path. Thus, work allows you to build on your creativity skills, foster greater learning and improve communication and teamwork between you, your colleagues and your bosses.

3. Exploring Potential Career Options

Indeed, work experiences aren’t entirely about impressing your customers or bosses, but also about personal development. With more work experiences, it allows you to explore various available career options and find out what you are truly passionate in. At the same time, you are learning valuable skills in your current career, enhancing your marketability while exploring the different possible career options. The different skills picked up from work will make you a versatile worker that is adaptable in any working condition. For example, a Recruitment Consultant working in an Employment Agency would have acquired communication and convincing skills which can be brought over to a completely different industry such as Sales. Even though these two jobs are from different industries, the skills learnt from the previous jobs will help you to work better in your next career path. 

All in all, it is important to adopt a work-life balance while achieving your goals in life. The only way to attain success is through hard work, perseverance and learning from failure.

IX. How to Find Companies with Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible working is important to many people for different reasons, but it is something that can be difficult to broach during a job interview. If flexible working arrangements are important to you, it is worth taking time to consider why and what you are looking for. In doing this, you are then prepared for finding out which companies offer these kinds of arrangements. These are some ways of finding companies with flexible work arrangements.

Company Website

If you take a look at the company website, you might find some information on flexible working arrangements and whether these are in place. If you look at the careers section and the job descriptions, you will probably find out more about the working arrangements. Some companies will mention whether they allow working from home or other flexible working, while others may not, as they might not want to encourage it.

Online Research

You can find out more about companies with flexible working arrangements by searching online. If 'flexible working' is mentioned in the job description or the advert, this should pull through by searching on Google.

Ask Connections

It may also be worth asking current employees at the company for more information on their working hour's arrangement, if you have connections. If not, you may want to use LinkedIn and ask one of your connections to introduce you, if there is a link between the two. Many companies won't actively promote flexible working, but will be willing to consider it if means getting you on board.

Subtle Questions

There is always the chance to ask subtle questions during the application process. If there are set hours, you may want to ask the recruiter if there is any flexibility. If the working arrangements are rigid and it doesn't suit you, there is no point in going through the rest of the process. If there is some flexibility, this is something you can explore later at the interview stage. It is important that you don't just focus on flexible working during the initial call as it may seem that it is the only aspect you care about. Try to be subtle about it, as much as you can.

X. What Would Be The Description of My “Perfect Job”?

Whenever people hear the phrase “the perfect job”, it automatically links to their dreams, passions, interests or even their hobbies. Most people would think of what they love, what they are good at and at the same time providing them with financial stability. However, does a perfect job really exist? In life, it is almost impossible to find a balance between these three because we might not be good at what we love and vice versa. Even though the chances of landing the perfect job are slim, there are some ways to find a job that we can be happy in.

Some considerations include:

1. The Working Environment

A comfortable and conducive environment sometimes comes with a compatible corporate culture. If the corporate culture does not fit you, then you will have to adapt and be open to changes if you plan to stay in that company. Alternatively, you may also find another company that suits you better.

2. Pay

The job must be able to provide financial stability that comes with a reasonable salary suitable to the work responsibilities, title, qualifications and relevant experience.

3. Job Scope

Job responsibilities should be within our capabilities. Though many people complain about being stressed at work, stress is a good motivator for us to work harder and better. Although stress is part and parcel of a working life, it should not be too overwhelming as it might affect the work quality.

4. Relationship with Bosses and Colleagues

The relationships that you share with the people you work with play a huge role in the overall working environment. This is not just limited to your colleagues but your bosses too. Having a good relationship with your bosses could mean greater learning opportunities. In addition, it allows you to gain the trust of your bosses and they may want to assign greater responsibilities to you. It is also vital to have good working relationships with your colleagues as this would make it easier to help and support each other when problems arise. It also ensures co-operation and cohesive work during projects and proposals.

At the end of the day, you have to be make the effort to ensure that the job is perfect for you.

XI. Things to Consider Before Quitting Your Job

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT JOBS AND CAREERS, we may feel that the grass is always greener on the other side. However, starting a new job is a major, risky move and brings about many consequences and effects, and there is no guaranteed that things will work out as expected. There are a lot of factors to consider before making such a big decision, so quitting your job may not always be the best solution.

The best approach is to take some time to consider the potential ramifications before making your decision.

So why not try asking yourself these questions:

1. What specifically about your current situation is frustrating you?

Pinpointing the issue is the first step towards solving it. Learn how to identify how your job is failing you. Is the problem the people, the environment or the work itself? Or could the problem lie within you (for example, not open to new ideas, not willing to try new things, etc)after you’ve defined the frustration, consider the scope.

2. Is your current work environment abusive or unbearable?

You need to be honest about how bad the situation really is. If your issue slants toward irritation rather than mistreatment, decide if you can tolerate the job while looking elsewhere or working toward your future goals from within the company. However, you should also self-reflect and examine yourself and make sure the problem doesn’t lie with your inability to adapt into the work environment and new challenges.

3. Have you taken every action possible to make your current job workable?

As mentioned above, if you realize your situation is not abusive and could be manageable, you may consider how to improve it. Try taking a positive attitude, setting career goals in your company, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, improving your time management or work habits, and communicating more clearly and more often with your manager and colleagues, as well as expose yourself to new responsibilities and experiences on the job.

4. Ultimately, what do you want for your job, career and life?

Define your priorities. If you’d like to make a career change, think about all the consequences (both good and bad) they may bring. They may include further education, a massive pay cut or working your way up from the bottom – again. Once you know exactly what you want, you may want to ask yourself: How much do I want it? Is it really worthwhile?

5. Do you have a thoughtful, realistic plan for attaining your next job?

You may need to pursue more education, take a voluntary position or start positioning yourself for the next job while in your current job. Also, think about the industry or company you hope to move to in relation to your timeline. Are your goals realistic, or do you harbour not so realistic ambitions such as, landing a job at influential multinational firms such as IBM, or one of the Big 4 Auditing Firms or prestigious financial institutions such as Barclays or Citibank when you may not have the proper qualifications or experience? You should also question yourself what your goals and reasons for changing jobs are. Are you seeking for a promotion, or a change in industry to seek out new challenges?

After asking you these questions, give yourself some time to consolidate and consider these factors. Finally once again, ask yourself – is quitting your job really the best solution for you? 

XII. 3 Reasons Why You Should Stop Job-Hopping

Some people may think that frequent job changes will give them more working experience and therefore, it will be easier for them to secure a new job. If you have ever thought the same way, ask yourself this question: Wouldn’t your loyalty and staying power become questionable to the employers?

Workers nowadays should understand that they can gain new experience without having to jump ship to a different company. We would advise today’s employees to stick with their jobs for at least 3 years. But why should you stay loyal for so long? Find out more.

1.It takes time to settle in a new environment

Every company have different corporate culture and a whole new set of people that you will have to learn to get along with, even if the new company is of the same industry as the previous one.  We still need time to adapt to new environments and the process is not always a smooth sailing. You may end up regretting your decision and it might turn out to be an environment you do not actually want to be in. So why take the risk?

2.Frequent job hoppers lose chances of getting another job

You may get a better salary each time you change jobs, but you will probably pay a higher price in the future. Employers often screen out chronic job hoppers as they would not want to invest money in training a person who will not be around for long enough. As employ turnover is very expensive, organisations really value someone whose resume shows staying power. Having said that, job seekers who can show a high level of commitment will definitely have an advantage when looking for job opportunities and even promotions.

3.You can’t learn anything substantial

In any role you are playing, you will need to make efforts to learn the new skills required to excel at a job. If you are learning valuable skills in your current role but decide to leave before you can master them, you could be losing a valuable opportunity to enhance your marketability.  In addition, you will not be able to pick up much work experience. Now imagine you are the one who’s making the hiring decision: Would you give the opportunity to someone who’s more loyal, or someone who has changed jobs quite often in the past?

All in all, we would advise today’s employees to stick with their jobs for at least 3 years. This way you will be giving yourself an opportunity to climb up your career ladder – earning a higher title and salary in the long term. As what Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.”

 

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