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More than just a piece of written resume, winning your dream job is all about making a perfect first impression and putting your best foot forward. You might look great on paper and get shortlisted because your resume is perfectly and neatly crafted. But not every employer will love you, let alone hire you just based on your resume.

Often times, employers look at other traits on their potential candidates. They examine your behaviours and personalities as well. Without further ado, in the end of this year, make sure a Cupid arrow is landed up for you and your career progression. Read on the listed tips below to make yourself appealing to employers.

Craft a professional social media presence – You should be aware that employers will stalk their potential candidates even before calling them for a job interview. In this case, social media can serve as an unplanned resume because it can tell a lot about you. Bad social media attitude, often means bad candidates. Of course you do not want your recruiter to think that way. So, ensure that your social profiles are up-to-date, appropriate for business matters, and have something exciting to tell recruiters about your personality.

Highlight your accomplishments – Your resume tells a lot about you, so is the way you answer your interview questions. When employers ask about your accomplishments that you already highlight in your resume, you should answer it certainly and accordingly. Show the potential employers that you do not embellish those acts and that your achievements can help you when you are hired for the position.

Ask relevant questions – Oftentimes, employers do not only assess your candidacy merely from how best your answers are, but how good and relevant is your questions regarding the job you are applying. The general rule here is to never ask questions that you can easily find in company’s website or Google search. Show them that you are well-prepared.

You can ask questions that will help you understand if this job if the right job for you. For example, ask about resources, budget you have to work with, upper level engagement in projects, or role that you should contribute in workplace.

Express your interest and ask the next steps – Many interviews end with only formal thanks and good-byes but it should not happen to you too. To make employers fall head over heels to you, you should show that you are genuinely interested about the job and position you are applying. Show them that you are the right candidate. Also, add key points in how you can be valuable for company and ask them the next step. Employers love to hire hardworking and smart working candidates.

Read also: 7 Things You Should Do Before Starting a Job Hunting

 

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Upon graduating from college or university, you might think that excellent grades and academic achievements will help make your job search easier. However, not as easy as it sounds, job hunting is always challenging. You have to compete with hundreds, if not thousands, candidates before actually get the job you want.

Looking for a job is not an exact mathematical science that is as simple as 1 + 1 = 2, but there are more factors that come into play. Those factors will determine whether you are the best candidate who can fill the position or not. A survey conducted by Future Workplace shows that there is a gap between job hunter’s perception of recruiting process and the company’s human resources department’s expectations. This means that sometimes, you can only wonder what hiring managers want and go through with the hiring process without knowing exactly what they are looking for from a candidate.

Here are seven important things you should do before starting your search:

Clean your social media presence – Recruiters are increasingly using social media to ‘stalk’ potential candidates’ personality and determine whether they will be culturally fit the existing company culture. That being said, it is better to spring clean your social media profiles from any sensitive or embarrassing posts and unnecessary information. If potential employers find something that they think negative such as posts containing bad words or controversial issues, it might lessen your chances of getting the job offer.

Find referrals – Most HR professionals would agree that employee referrals can be the best method for finding top candidates. It was said that applicants that are hired form referral start their work faster that those who apply via job boards or career sites. So, before landing a job, it will be better if you get in touch with someone who has been working in the company or other professionals in your expertise who can give you recommendation.

Learn technical skills – According to U.S. News, a quarter of employers rank technical skills as the most skills they are looking for in their candidates because nowadays. By learning technical skills, it will greater your chance to land a job in a position you want. Moreover, developing skills you are lack will boost your self-confidence and candidacy.

Find out the most wanted skills and highlight it – If technical skill is crucial, then so are other skills such as communication, adaptability, or result-driven. These are soft-skills that a hiring manager seek in their candidates. Other top skills company usually look for are leadership and teamwork. Therefore, you better highlight one of those skills so your resume can grab employer’s interest.

Highlight your internship, not GPA – If you are a recent graduate, you probably think that good grades are what employers seek most in candidates’ resume. The truth is, employers are more interested in applicants working experience such as internships and social achievements like volunteering. So, do not just highlight in what you have achieved because experience wins most attention.

Prepare yourself for a sudden test – In some interviews, the hiring manager might want to give you a sudden test because they want to see how prepared you are. Therefore, you should always be ready and prepare yourself for it. As best as possible, try to find out what the test will be about.

Learn the company’s background and history – This is the very last and crucial thing you should always keep in mind before pressing the ‘Apply’ button. Lack of information can cost you your job application. Recruiter might think that you are not serious with the application or you just want to test yourself. So better to prepare rather than regret later.

Read also: Maximize Your Job Search with Matrix Decision

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Finishing your study and graduating from university can be both exciting and daunting. Now that you have gained necessary skills and knowledge at school, it is time to implement the theories into practices in the workforce. During your study, you might have good GPA, actively participate in student organisations, and achieve recognition from the university for your contribution. However, the working world is different from school. With the burgeoning talent pools, you might find it more competitive and fiercer to land a job.

What should you do, then?

One of the easiest way to help you get out of the overwhelming job hunting is to keep moving and change your strategy. Searching for jobs via job platform or ads on newspapers is effective, but it might drain up your energy as you need to scroll through so many jobs and companies. Not to mention, not everything you find is the one you are actually looking for. However, a method called “matrix decision” can help you simplify your job search while still receiving the best result.

Using matrix isn’t something new. It is a decision making process people often use when making other decisions, such as deciding where school to go or evaluating which car to buy. It’s not a rocket science but doing what comes natural in a rigorous way can improve your career assessments. Matrix decision is useful when you have several choices of jobs and it can actually give a satisfactory result. There are more advantages you can get by using matrix, such as identifying new job opportunities faster while helping you think clearly and use time efficiently.

Without further ado, here are 3 easy steps you can do to create your own matrix decision.

Mainly, you should set objectives. Objectives will help you determine how successful your matrix will be. For example, you graduated with a BA degree in literature. After knowing your qualification, you should decide which objectives are the most important. There are five factors of objectives you should consider in your future career: field you want to take, role you want in the workplace, impact on your future such as salary or job status, personal growth, and what kind of organisation you want to work in.

Secondly, you decide from the most important to the less ones. At this point, you should be able to rate your decision either as high, low, or medium. To make your choice obvious, you can rate it from 1 to 5. To help you in making better decision, you can ask your friends or family members to share their thoughts and give suggestions to your career matrix because sometimes, close family or friends can see your quality better.

Remember, when rating your objectives, you should also be able to evaluate alternative against objectives. Your objectives are the primary concern in this decision. Therefore, judge how each alternative meets each category and think how it might affect your future. Also, consider what you might do if things do not work out. If possible, jot down the reasons of picking up certain job in each relevant box of matrix.

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Lastly, you can interpret the result. Your matrix structure is a stepping rock to lead you for a brighter career, but it is not the final answer. You must understand and figure out what it tells you. Matrix decision is as good as you want it to be and by using it, you’ll likely to know what job would be better and know what questions to ask in future career.

It is hard to decide what’s best for your future. But by assessing your career objectives and defining which are most important, you can make decisions with confidence as structured plan such as matrix decision can help you ease all your doubt in one place.

 Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

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Just like a resume, a cover letter is a weapon to “sell yourself” to the hiring managers. What differs between the two are the format and content. Resume is a brief description of your cover letter. In cover letter, you should write in detail about personal information and professional quality in order to attract recruiters to shortlist your job application.

Tim Windhof, an executive resume writer at Windhof Career Services in Columbus, Ohio, advices that your cover letter should address the following: how you learn about the opportunity, how your qualifications match the job requirements, your possible availability in the area and how you can be contacted. In brief, your cover letter must describe “why it should be you and not others”.

Take a look at the following tips on how to write an appealing cover letter for successful job search:

01 Choose wording that mirror the ad language  

Before writing a cover letter, you should review the job ads carefully and underline the main points. If your cover letter will be read by hiring managers, they are more likely to skim brief at first to see whether you are a good fit or not. You can increase your chance of getting shortlisted when your cover letter matches most requirements listed in the job ads.

Don’t embellish your qualifications if you don’t really meet the requirements. Only write down real information and present yourself in the best manner by describing as many qualities as you can. You never know which qualifications employers value most.

02 Pay attention to readability

This is important as a cover letter written in readable format will likely to win employer’s heart. In a cover letter, you should only use business letter format. This will make the recruiter to only focus on your content rather than on the writing style. Business letter format usually comes along with 1” – 1.5” margins, 12-point font, professional font, uniform alignment (justify).

03 Address it to specific person

Do your homework and find out who will be responsible to receive and check your job application. Calling or sending email to the contact person provided in the job ads can be an effective way to get such information. You can also ask questions or confirm certain information related to the job opportunity to the right source instead of wondering around.

If you are sending the cover letter via post mail, make sure to write both the employer’s and your address. It usually contains first and last name, street address, city, state zip, and postal code, phone and email for applicant.

Example:

Your Name

Address

City, State, ZIP code

Your phone number

Your email address

 

Date

 

Name of Hiring Manager

Name of Company or Organization

Street Address

City, State, Zip Code

On the other hand, if you send the cover letter via email, you can simply start by writing the hiring manager’s name. This is much better than writing with to whom it may concern. Yet, in a situation where you can’t find the name of the hiring manager or head of HRD, you can address your letter to “Dear Hiring Manager.” It’s a better choice than starting with Dear Sir/Madam.

04 Brief introduction

In this part, you should start with when and where you find the job opening. Make sure to specify job position that you want to apply, especially when the company post multiple job positions. Make it into a paragraph that contains two to four sentences.

05 Compelling content

To grab the hiring manager’s attention, you should start by writing your educational background, followed by your achievements such as related training or internships you have completed and work experiences. However, if you are a fresh graduate with no job or internship experience, you can emphasise other skills such as organisational, leadership, or even time management skill, etc.

You can write it in two to three paragraphs for the content. However, you should not be wordy or  spill too much information. Sometimes, giving too much information can hinder you from getting the job offer.

06 A-Okay closing

Always finish your cover letter by asking for an interview and reiterating how much you want to proceed to the next step of hiring process. Also, do not forget to always provide your phone number so the recruiter can contact you with ease.

07 Signature

Always give signature to either written or email cover letter. Use complimentary closing sentence such as best regards, regards, sincerely, yours respectfully, etc. In a written letter, just simply write your full name. Meanwhile in an email, always type your name followed by contact information.

Example:

Sincerely,

(your signature)

Your full name

Mobile: (66) 987-98787

Email: andie@andiejone.com

08 Proofread, proofread, and proofread

Lastly, you should give the right amount of time to proofread your work – in this case, your cover letter, maybe two or three times proofreading. Find out spelling or grammar errors that might lessen your chance from getting shortlisted. Again and again, cut out the flowery words as too much description or information will make your cover letter look unprofessional. As best as possible, keep your cover letter only in one page.

Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

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You have graduated from uni with an excellent GPA. Now, you need to prepare yourself to enter the workforce and land a job in your dream company. Before applying for a job, first you have to ensure that you already have the most important weapon in a job hunt: an attractive resume.

A good resume should be more than just a dull list of your academic achievements and personal information. That being said, to write a resume that will get shortlisted by recruiter is not the same as writing a caption for your Instagram updates. There are things you should consider such as the template, opening statement, and career overview. You must put all the best qualities on a single paper to sell yourself because usually a recruiter only give a brief 10 seconds looking at each resume.

Therefore, you should be smart enough to write only relevant qualifications or else you will lose the opportunity to catch the hiring manager’s interest. If you are a fresh graduate seeking to get that dream job, here is a guide to write your first professional resume:

1. Know the audience

Resume is a marketing tool to sell your ability, experience, and accomplishment in order to snatch a job. You should make sure that its message is targeted to right recipients: employer and recruiter. Therefore, before writing a resume for job application, you should consider:

  • The company: including its history, products, services, culture, and recent developments.
  • The specific requirements: skills and experience.  

2. Choose the right style  

You should choose the best style for your resume. There are 3 styles of resumes in general: chronological, functional, and combination. Chronological resumes focus on work experience and list of professional experience from the most to the least recent. Functional style focuses on skills more. Yet, normally, a combination of both styles will work on your first resume. You can point out your professional experience while still draw attention on your skills.

Moreover, you should not forget to certain format on your resume. Normally, resumes have header, career objectives, statement, skills and abilities, work experience, education, and interest. Don’t forget to always highlight the skills and abilities that are relevant to the job.

3. Start with the basic

Before we move to the more complicated task, let’s start by writing the most basic information that should be written on a resume: name, address, phone number, and email address. Make sure to give a professional email address. An email address like mixblond113@gmail.com will not work and the recruiter might think that you are just joking around. Therefore, you should create a professional email right away if you don’t have any.

4. Personal statemen

Recruiters are not only interested in why you are applying for the position and what you can do. They are also curious in who you are as a person. Therefore, providing a personal professional statement on your resume is always a good start to let them know who you are. You can use these questions as a guide to write your statement:

  • Do you fit the company culture?
  • Is your personality and attitude a good match for the company and team?
  • What makes you believe you will land a job in that company?
  • What is so interesting about your life?

5. Job posting as a guide

The best way to summarise your skill and experience is to tailor it with job description. Many recruiters use applicant tracking system (ATS) to shortlist resume, especially if there are so many jobseekers applying. Therefore, you should be able to keep it simple and make sure to include some ‘keywords’ in your resume so the ATS can scan it. Usually, the keywords recruiters use are: hard skills and soft skills. The more you can match with those skills in the job description, the more chances you can get that job.

6. Keep it one page

The average duration recruiters spend to review a resume is 10 seconds. You should make it concise and lean by getting rid of all the fluff. As your first resume should fit in one page, you can only write relevant information in it. For example, if you are applying for a design graphic programmer but you have worked at a McDonalds for 1 year, it will be better if you don’t include that experience in your resume unless it is relevant.

7. Professional look

To impress the recruiter, you should give it a professional look. Make sure that your resume is easy to read by using: common font styles (cambria, calibri, or helvetica styles), give 12 to 14 font size, use appropriate spacing, no more than six highlight and bullet points, margins 1” all around, and left aligned format. However, if you are a graphic designer, you can impress recruiters by designing your resume as creative and unique as possible.

8. Use action and power words

Recruiters are more interested in reviewing resumes that are really dynamic and impressive in action. In order to give that impression, you should use the right action verbs and powerful words. Few examples of those words are achieved, created, generated, initiated, organized, introduced, identified, improved, resolved, launched.

9. Proofread your resume

Finally, never submitted raw resumes that have not been proofread. Before submitting your resume, make sure to always double check or ask your friend to review it. This process will give you clues whether your resume is A-okay to be read by recruiter or not. Also, you can be aware of the misspelling words that will make your resume look unprofessional.

Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

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“Follow your passion when you look up for a job.”

There are two different responses people usually give upon hearing this advice. Jobseekers and fresh graduates with more ideals and less work experiences are more likely to accept and follow the idea. Meanwhile, those who have been in the workforce long enough might be rolling their eyes when hearing the same advice.

Then the question pops up: is following your passion a bad advice? What about working following our skills? Is it better?

Before judging whether it is right or wrong, let’s see what passion and skill actually are:

Passion is something that you love doing or spend time doing it.

Probably you are wondering why your friends can work in a prestigious company with flashy job title and it seems that they really enjoy their jobs, despite the fact that the job does not match their true passion. But believe it or not, there are chances that they might feel restless inside as if something is ‘missing’ from them.

Needless to say, working while following your passion gives you more satisfaction and happiness because you really love what you are doing ‘at that time’. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, believed that passion is the key to satisfaction. He also mentioned that we need to pursue our passion first but never settle. When you find a job you are passionate about, you feel amazing and satisfied but after long months of dealing with the same routine, you might feel tired and want something new.

Another downside of working according to your passion is that it might get you nowhere because it limits your choice. For instance, you are interested in literature, it is easy to think that being a writer will give you a satisfying career, and thus you ignore other options such as being an accountant or teacher. That being said, rather than having a single passion, you can be more than what you expected to be because your interest grows from time to time.

Skill is an ability that you can acquire or learn after lots of practice or hard work.

Focusing on your skill can give you a rewarding career given that skilled talents are highly sought-after. Yet, it might feel like you are lack of happiness when the job does not suit your interests. You can receive fat paycheck for the skills that you contribute to the job, but is that all you want? No satisfaction or happiness in your job?

For example, you are working as a writer because you have great communication and English skills. However, you do not find any meaning or pleasure in your job. In this case, you might consider to choose passion over skill when it comes to finding a job.

All in all, you can see that passion and skill occupy different parts of your life. You can find a professional work according to your skills, but you can also explore your passion freely if it gives you satisfaction in the workforce. Caro F., a team leader for Tech Companies 3YOURMIND and a coach, suggests that instead of giving confusion to yourself whether you should follow your passion or skill, you can answer these questions to help clearing the confusion.

  • What do you want out of job?
  • Do you want financial security to travel the world or maybe you want provide for your family?
  • Do you want a challenge, something that makes you grow? Or something that comes easily to you, routinely and that you can predict?
  • Do you value working environment as a contributing factor for your happiness, working with amazing people? Or do you value own space or progression more?

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong in choosing your career path because it is all up to you. Just the same as when you go to career advisors, they will only give you options and you need to choose one. The best thing you can do now is explore which one is the most suitable for your own career personality and characteristics.

Next read: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

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Finding yourself trapped in a toxic work environment can be a stressful experience. You cannot even fake a smile as you need to struggle and survive when working under negative atmosphere at work. As stifling as it might be, leaving the job is not an option as well, given that you might be working with certain contract system that makes you unable to leave any time or you find it difficult to land a new job in today’s tough economic conditions. At the end of the day, you have no choice but to brace yourself and stay in the company until you can find better solution .

Maintaining professionalism in the toxic workplace is a challenge. Cheri Torres, a business leadership coach and an author, says that employees cannot work at their best in a distasteful workplace, while their mental health and wellbeing is at risk as well. So how to minimise such risk and stay productive in a toxic work environment?

Here are some tips to help you cope with a stressful life at the workplace:

01 Set boundaries

Limit yourself when interacting with the toxic people or environment around you. You might not realise it but if you still find yourself hanging around in an environment with negative vibes, eventually you will turn to be one of them as the environment you are living in can shape your personality and behaviour.

Of course, you don’t want to change who you truly are, let alone becoming one of those toxic employees. In this case, you should surround yourself with positive energy and if possible, stay far away from or limit your interaction with negative environment as well as the people who create it.

02 Don’t expect people to be nice

You cannot control what people say or do to you. You can, however, control how you react to such action. You should find a way out of that situation by accepting people’s behaviour around you. The sooner you accept that, then the better you can adapt and know where you should stand within the setting. This realisation will help empower you to improve your wellbeing at work. The point is, if you cannot control people, then learn how to control yourself because anger cannot solve anything, it will only give you regret.

03 Self-talk to yourself

Have you ever tried to talk to yourself?

Well, many people already did this and the impact is amazing. Self-talk can be either good or bad for your mental health because the source of this talk is yourself. Doing a self-talk can increase your mental well-being as you can try to spend few hours motivating yourself and let the positive attitudes come in your way. You can also take a walk around the office space and observe the good things by yourself; this will regain the positive energy in your mind. Besides, this simple practice can affect your daily life and can be your mood booster at work.

04 Reach out for help

Another thing you can do when stuck in a toxic work environment is to reach out for help. You might feel embarrassed to admit that but by asking for other’s opinion, you can find another way out from someone else’s perspective. It is good to talk to trusted colleague or friends even though they aren’t working in the same company as you. You can either get solutions for your problem or at least get someone to listen to your problems.

05 Take it as a lesson  

See your current condition as a part of learning experience. If you cannot deal with the toxic environment anymore, you can take it as a good learning experience. People say “the struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow”, meaning that personal strength can be built from difficult situations. Pay close attention to the situation, for instance you can learn from the bad management that you never want to do twice or your leader’s behaviour that you don’t want to imitate when you become a leader someday. Take as much necessary as the lesson you can and utilise it to achieve your own self-growth.

Next read: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

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Finally, you get the opportunity to take one step closer to your dream job: an interview. Coming to the company building with all confidence you could muster, suddenly you find your palms producing excessive sweat while your breathing gets heavier. You get anxious as you study the questions and answers you have prepared last night, over and over again. To calm down, you try to convince yourself by whispering these sentences, I have prepared everything, I know everything about this company, I am qualified for this job, and My resume is good enough.

You finally overcome your anxiety, but is that enough to get you ready for the interview?

Maybe, because the fact that the hiring manager invites you for an interview means that your resume has caught his interest. However, more than good resume and excellent hard skills on paper, you need to demonstrate great soft skills too. In that case, you should get rid of these 9 behaviours in order to get accepted in the job you have always wanted:

 

  • Come late

It goes without saying that arriving late to a job interview can lessen your points in front of your employer’s eyes. Therefore, if you realise that you have a morning interview scheduled in the next day, you should prepare yourself by setting the alarm, waking up early, and getting ready for it.

Also, it is so important to not skip your breakfast. Why? Because, Lisa De Fazio, a healthy-lifestyle expert, said that breakfast is an important meal of the day. When you skip your breakfast, your blood-sugar level will go lower and it will affect your attention span which later will lessen your focus. As consequent, you cannot do your best during the interview.

 

  • Ignore the body language

During a job interview, putting your hands on the table is okay but not recommended; as it is better to put your hands on your lap to look more professionals. You should also mind other body language such as eye contact, heads, facial expressions, body postures, and handshakes. Poor body language can reduce your chance of getting the job as the interviewers pay attention to all your moves.

Aside from that, according to Gillett in Business Insider, among the biggest mistake people do during an interview is that they tend to “wishing that the job interview will end soon.” That being said, frequently checking your watch or looking at the clock will make it seem like you are eager to leave the interview room soon.

 

  • Poor word choices

Don’t use foul language! You might be excited because getting a job interview for the position you always want is a rare opportunity and you blurt out saying some foul words. Accidentally saying swearing words can indicate that you are a careless person and unable to calmly and thoughtfully deal with a situation. Therefore, you should be careful when you speak.

 

  • Showing boredom

Waiting for your name to be called and interviewed is boring. Everybody can relate to this. So how will you overcome the boredom while waiting? Checking your phone? Play online game? Or texting?

Most people will do the things mentioned above. Why? Because those activities help them overcome their boredom and pass the time. However, doing those things above will only make you look unprofessional and the recruiter might think that it is a good idea to remove you from their candidates’ list.

What else can you do, then? Show that you are genuinely interested to work for the company by reading the magazine or brochure commonly provided in the waiting room.

 

  • Being too informal

Let’s talk about the dress-code. You should not choose a “too formal” or “too informal” dress because your attire will tell a lot about whether you want to be taken seriously or not.

Dressing too informal will tell the recruiter that you have less interest in the company. On the other hand, wearing too formal clothes tells the employer that you do not research the company’s custom well enough so you might not be a good fit for the job.

 

  • Bringing too much stuffs

Bring only what the recruiter asks you to bring, most will only ask you to carry a copy of your resume and portfolio. Bringing too much stuff in your hands to the room can tell the recruiter that you are an unorganized person. So, leave everything else such as your water bottle or handphone in the car so you can be free to shake hands with potential employers.

 

  • Speaking too much

Stop being over confident! Naturally, people tend to talk more than needed because they want to impress the recruiters that they have certain skills and talent. Well, that is not a good thing to do as the interviewer might see you as long-winded candidate. Owing to which, it is crucial to always think before you speak, just keep it simple, give the interviewer an opportunity to ask you questions and only answer with relevant responses.

 

  • Being too grueling

Asking questions during an interview is important as it will show that you are interested in actually landing the job. However, only ask certain questions that will help you increase your employment opportunity such as, “How do you measure success in this company?” For that reason, you can list questions based on the job position you are applying before attending the interview.

 

  • Being shy

Lastly, you should swipe away your shyness. Being nervous 15 minutes before interview is normal. However, you should not show that shyness during the interview. Shyness can indicate that you are insecure and incompetence. A Harvard Business School professor, Amy Cuddy, suggested that if you are a shy person, you can use that to take your time before answering. She said “slowing down and pausing signals indicate that you feel comfortable, that you are deserve to be there, that you respect this interaction, that you are engaged, and that you are interested.”

Read also: Reality Bites: What to Do When Things Don’t Go as Planned

 

 

 

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As Albert Einstein once said, “Failure is success in progress.” How many times have you faced failure in your life? Be it in your personal or professional life, there are times when failure is something you cannot avoid. As painful as it might be, you keep trying and doing it all over again. However, at the end of the day, you cannot help feeling tired of doing the same things to no avail. Finally you choose to stop trying, forget the goals, and create a new target. But alas, the luck is not on your side. What should you do, then?

People with whom you share this story might respond and say, “Do not give up” or “Learn from your past mistake.” They might not understand your struggle but at least it can cheer you up. However, you remain feeling stuck and do not know whether you should continue or take a break from your career. When everything do not go as planned, you can relax for a bit and apply this simple plan to keep you going:

Plan A: Take a deep breath

This is the very first yet simple plan you should always have on top of your list. To always breathe everything out, you should have relaxed and peaceful mind before starting everything. By doing so, you will be able to think more clearly, such that it can help you come up with a better career plan and find the way out of all the failed plans that you have done.

Plan B: Stop being such a procrastinator

Let’s be frank. If you are an acute procrastinator and unwilling to leave your comfort zone, you better stop reading BUT if you do want to change, now is the time. While people procrastinate from time to time, you should know that turning procrastination into a permanent habit is not a good thing for your productivity. While you are lazily lying down, people are busy chasing their dreams. Time waits for none, so start your move NOW.

Plan C: Stop being Sluggish

If you want to work things out but you do not want to work towards it, your plans will fail EVERY TIME. Here is the golden principle: when you plan to change a behaviour, you should do it on repeat for 2 weeks or a month. During those times, you will get used to the new custom and it will grow to be a habit. It goes the same as when you want to reach certain goals, you should persistently work on but you should be flexible regarding how to achieve it.

Plan D: Be flexible

Being flexible means you should be able to adapt and adjust yourself in every situation. If you have set certain target in your career journey, you should prepare more than two plans to achieve it. For example, when you apply for your dream job but receives no calls or notification emails for weeks, should you just apply to different company? Maybe. But what if the same things happen again? Will you just wait and do nothing, or should you change the strategy?

Well, the key is to be flexible. Find any potential gap that fails you, such as maybe your CV is not appealing or your skills do not match with the position you are applying apply. Here, you should either learn a new skill in order to achieve your dream role or change your career destination altogether.

Plan E: Stop expecting too much

There is a phrase saying, “Stop expecting, expectation always hurts.” Well, this could be true. Here is an example, your boss asks you to give a presentation about a new product. Feeling anxious about the responsibility, you tell your trusted workmates what you feel but instead of giving words of support, you hear them talking about how incompetent you are and that you do not deserve to be in your position now. As consequences, now you feel worse because the one you trust betrays you.

In this case, you should not always expect too much. Yet, from this experience you gain good lesson regarding your coworker’s personality and learn that you can not depend on anyone but yourself. The only thing that you can do is that you should stop being emotional about the unexpected situation and be responsible of the decision that you make. Also, you should always think positively and do not let negativity consumes you.

Plan F: Write more plans  

As mentioned earlier, you should have more than one plan in order to achieve your goals. In this case, you should sit quietly, think clearly, and write everything in your mind. Do not spend too much thinking whether A is possible or B is impossible. Then, you will need to sort out your plans from easy to difficult or vice versa so you can manage your next step wisely and adjust yourself with it.

Towards the end, the most important advice is that you should DO your plans. Best of luck.

Read also: Brainstorm Your Way to Your Destination Dream Job

 

Where and how should I start to build my career? Should I chase my passion and only find job that fits with it, or should I just be realistic and take on any job to pay the bills? How do I know that this is the right career path for me?

We often ask these questions to find out what our true career goals are and what we can do to improve it and achieve better. You might have sought for copious job-related advices from watching your favourite motivator on YouTube, or reading those stacks of self-improvement books. However, all those theoretical advices will not bring you much significant effects to you if you still find yourself baffled about your own definition of career.

Owing to this reason, first thing you need to do is know the definition of career in itself, and thus jot down your goals and create a career roadmap. Here are 4 tips to know what a career means for you:

What exactly a passion is?

For most individuals, having a job that is in line with their passion must sound like a dream job. The problem is, not every individual can actually describe what passion is for them. Many people are still struggling in finding what they are passionate about and this affects their decision in choosing what kind of career path they should pursue. Therefore, in order to know what passion is for you, you should find something or a job you are most curious about, something that you have huge desire to learn about. Additionally, passion should be something that can fulfil yourself and somehow energise you when doing it.

See career as a jungle gym

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandber said, “Career is not a ladder. It is a jungle gym.” This mean that we should see having a career is not just about how you can get best positions, big salary, or being titled. Instead, every individual should consider a career as an opportunity to learn something new, challenge themselves over and over, do meaningful exploration and experiment, as well as build a sense of belonging in the role. That being said, job is not just a job, but something that helps you grow up, develop your skill, and most importantly, it makes you happy and contented.

Define your level of success

We often define a success with some influences from others, such as how big you company is, how important your position is, how much you earn, or how long it takes to buy that flashy car. You should understand that success is not about how others see your achievement. Instead, the most valuable level of success is what you genuinely want to achieve as an individual. With that kind of mindset, you will have the capability to manage your inner self in order to gain the best results that align with your own level of success.

Measure your ability

By understanding your own quality (both personally and professionally), you will know your best skills and be able to develop them as a strength for you. There are three aspects that you should measure. First, how much you can use your brain to give the best performance in certain fields. Second, what is the best way to upgrade and improve your soft and hard skills. Last, how good you are in communicating, interacting and collaborating with others. When you can figure out where you are best at, it will help you choose what career path you can pursue to reach your best potentials.

Read also : To Work at Full Throttle: How to Find Enjoyment in Your Job