Do you often find it difficult to focus and concentrate in your workplace? Phone calls, incoming chats or emails, loud noise, everything seems to distract your attention while you are trying work. Whether it has something to do with the business or not, distractions never come comfortable for anyone. Not only distraction from outside but the inner distractions that arise from yourself such as sleepiness or hunger might also decrease your productivity as well. How should you counter them to keep your sanity? This piece will share with you some insightful tips!

  1.   Personal Mobile Phone

Unwanted phone calls and notifications from apps always cause a huge distraction at work. Just imagine being engulfed in deep concentration and your phone rings out of sudden. Annoying, isn’t it? A simple way to solve the problem is to put away your phone while you are working on something! Should there be urgent matters that family or working partners need to reach you for, they can call the office. Next, you can always view the updates on your social media or other apps during lunch or break times.

  1.    Emails

It is true that some emails turn out to be important ones while the rest are merely spams or daily notifications from your favourite blogger. Thus, you need to arrange your mail directory smartly. Set the email preference and make specified folders to sort out different types of emails. This way, you can manage your time better.

  1.    Sleepy

The clock shows 2 P.M, and you have just taken your lunch.  Feeling sated, drowsiness could eventually come to you. To avoid this kind of distraction, it is recommended not to overeat during lunch. After lunch hour, it is when your body starts to get tired, so you need to be cautious of what you eat to avoid dozing off during work.

  1.    Hunger

While getting sleepy due to a full lunch will distract your concentration, hunger will give the same impact. Working on an empty stomach will make you unable to focus and could cause you health issues in the long run. Get some healthy snacks to prevent hunger pangs!

  1.    Loud noise

Some people find their focus in a noisy environment, while some do not. If you find this loud noise disturbing your concentration, you can always plug in your earphone and listen to some calming music to allow better focus.

  1.    Visitors

There are times when your clients or customers pay unexpected visits when you have a tight schedule. Since you cannot neglect them either, welcome them with utmost hospitality, and let them know you are on a tight schedule so that they know to make their visit a quick one.

Article first appeared at Talentvis.

“Do what you love, the money will follow” – Marsha Sinetar

For fresh graduates who have just their education, this could be an inspiring quote that will spur on their zest to follow their passion and stay true to their idealism in pursuing a career. The problem lies in the fact that, unfortunately, sometimes in life things do not go as planned.

Upon graduating from university or college, you have to prepare yourself for the ‘real world’. This is the time where you are expected to turn the theory you have learnt at school into real and impactful practices. While everyone might desire to follow their dream and land on their ideal job, not everyone gets the privilege to live up their passion. More often than not, fresh grads have to choose between pay and passion.

On one hand, if they opt to work for high-paying jobs, they are required to bury their passion and just go with the flow. Meanwhile, if they decide to do what they love, they must be willing to go with minimum compensation. When you are faced with such dilemmatic options, which one is more worth pursuing? It is true that working on something you do not fancy sounds like a boring and unfavourable option. However, is it really wise to accept low-paying job for exchange of pursuing your passion either?

Everyone will agree that doing something we love will keep you eager to give and do the best. When people have passion in a particular field, they tend to be more creative, productive, and resourceful. Willing to go the extra miles, passion towards particular subject will help you get further in your career as well. Nevertheless, does it mean that you should overlook the compensation amount to follow your passion? Here are several things you should consider before taking the path:

  •         Do you have financial responsibilities that keep you from taking the risk?

If you are a fresh grad who are still single and living with your parents, this might not be a big problem. However, it will be different if you are married or live independently. You should consider whether the paycheck you receive is enough to cover you and your family’s life cost. While you might feel happy when working, financial incapacity could probably be another source of stress for you.

  •         Do you have support from people around you?

Make sure that people around you such as your parents, spouse, or partner understand your passion and support your choice. Before taking the job, invite them for a discussion and ask their feedbacks about it. Moral support will be crucial if one day things do not go as planned.

  •         Are you willing to take low salary?

There are times when following your passion comes with sacrifices, including your lifestyle. When you were in school and fully funded by parents, you might not have to worry about money and thus live a leisurely life. However, when you step into professional world and live independently, you should make sure whether your new job could support your lifestyle or not.

  •         Is your dream realistic?

Do you have a future in the job? Even if you love what you do, when you cannot see any prospects in the field, it is best to consider other options. Instead of making speculation about the future, you should come up with a concrete and attainable plan. Make sure that your dream is realistic by honing your skills in that field. Only then, there will be no remorse in the future.

Next read: Switching Careers Mid-Life: Things to Remember

”Don’t confuse having a career with having a life. They are not the same.” Hillary Clinton

Despite stable job and high-paying income, there are good chances that adults will face midlife crisis. At some point of life, there comes a time when you feel bored and worn-out of the tedious routines and stagnant working environments that you probably have lived for decades. Within such scenario, there comes a desire to step out of the comfort zone and try something new.

Are you thinking of switching career in your mid-life? Relax, you’re not alone.

While mid-life career change might sound like an exciting idea, it can be a daunting business. It is true that you know you want to do something different and fresh. The problem lies in the fact that sometimes you are still unsure of what kind of new career you want to pursue. Do you want to follow your passion and navigate to whole new career path? Do you want to aim for better opportunities in the same industry? Or do you want to begin your journey as entrepreneur? Regardless of what you want to achieve, mid-life career is a great way to realign your career goal and life direction.

Nonetheless, the decision to switch careers during mid-life does come with several obstacles. Be it resistance from family or partner, concerns over future financial security, or even the fear of failure itself, one should take everything into account before taking the risk. Owing to which, it is crucial to prepare a tangible plan before making the big decision to take the plunge.

If you are considering of switching career in your mid-life, below are several things to take note that will help you achieve greater success and lead fulfilling life in the future:

  1.    Discover your true passions and interests

Only when you are passionate about what you are doing, you will be motivated to give your best. If previously you work at something that has nothing to do with your passion or expertise, now is the time to discover your interests. Focus on things that make you happy and turn it into valuable career.

  1.    Know your strengths and values

The key to excel at something is knowing your strengths and self-quality. Identify fields or skills that you are good at and learn how to translate it into potential career. For example, if you think that you enjoy interacting with people and helping them, you might want to move from working behind the desk to the front desk.

  1.    Understand your priorities

What do you want to achieve for your future career? Before making any career moves, it is important to always understand your priorities first. Make thorough consideration and list out your priorities in life. This method will help determine what steps you should take next.

  1.    Set realistic career goals

There is nothing wrong with dreaming high. However, you should always make it realistic and reachable. Rather than taking all the risk only to find failure and sorrow, it would be better to aim realistic goals and enjoy the happiness it brings when you succeed.

  1.    Come up with a financial plan

Switching careers mid-life could threaten your financial condition, when you are unable to handle it carefully. Therefore, before jumping into decision, you should set a financial plan to ensure that everything is under control while you are on the job search.

Next read: Pathways to Success: What Type of Jobseeker Are You?

Are you thinking of switching career? Do you plan to re-navigate your career path and choose whole new and different profession from your current job? Watch your steps! If you are not careful enough, your next job moves might hurt your established personal brand today.

If there’s anything you need to pay attention to, during a job search is your personal brand. Whether you consciously build it or not, each person carries their own brand. A personal brand is something that will tell who you are and what you do. That being said, a brand does matter because it reflects your persona.

And if you are unable to demonstrate strong and appealing brand value, it might cost you an opportunity to land your dream job. Needless to say, developing a positive individual brand is imperative for everyone who wants to establish their position and enhance their bargaining power in the industry.

The problem, however, lies in the fact that building personal brand can be difficult to maintain. Given that building a personal brand is not something that you can do overnight, it can be difficult to change once it is established. Therefore, it becomes crucial for you to identify whether or not your current brand aligns with your career goals and values.

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, your job moves end up making your personal brand fall apart and lead you to nowhere when you are not vigilant enough. Learn from the following job moves that can hurt your personal brand to avoid making such grave mistakes:

  1.    Being inconsistent

Take a look at the job history on your resume. Have you always been walking on the same career path over years? Or have you been job-hopping from one company to another within short span of time? Be careful. Inconsistency will kill your personal brand.

Your future employers want to know who you are by looking at your track record, such that they know what to expect from you. If you show some inconsistent moves and behaviours, this will kill your job opportunity.

  1.    Stuck in the same position

While severe inconsistency will harm your brand, being stuck in the same position for years is not good for you as well. At some point on your professional journey, you need to step out of your comfort zone and move on. By exploring other opportunities in the industry, you will demonstrate that you are not afraid of challenges and always ready for better change.

  1.    Being too reckless

Think of the consequences before you take any actions. Make sure that before making any decisions that put your career at stake, you have taken everything into account.

You should bear on mind that being too reckless in making job moves will only undermine your personal brand. Therefore, you need to be thoughtful in choosing your words, initiating actions, and noticing the impact they bring.

  1.    Losing focus

Getting distracted easily will weaken the power of your personal brand. Rather than doing many things at once, it will be wiser to stand for one thing and focus yourself on it. You need to represent yourself as a determined individual who knows exactly what he is doing.

However, while you need to focus on one thing, you should never be close minded. Instead of limiting your horizon, you need to always open up to new opportunities and achieve personal growth.

When it comes to using social media to build professional personal brand, most people will agree that LinkedIn is the best platform that can be harnessed to serve that purpose. Unlike Facebook or Twitter wherein you can use made-up names and casual photo profiles, LinkedIn encourages users to build a professional official brand on their account. You can even upload your resume online, network and market yourself to attract potential employers.

In this increasingly digitised world where everything has become virtual, social media accounts such as LinkedIn often becomes your first medium to meet employers and hiring managers. Owing to which, you have to make sure that you deliver positive first impression through your profile.

When someone checks on your LinkedIn page, they want to learn more information about you, especially regards your professional skills and experience. Therefore, in order to spark people’s interests towards your profile, it becomes crucial for job seekers to build a powerful and impressive LinkedIn profile.

If you need some advice on how to create an impactful LinkedIn account, here are the 8 things that you should not miss out on your profile:

  1.    A profile photo with a smile

While you do not have to get professional photographer to take your picture, it is important to put on high-quality and recent photo. Do not use old pictures of yourself on LinkedIn, taken way back when you were in college. Your profile pic should be recent to reflect your current maturity, age and style. Additionally, it is highly recommended to wear a smile but not those that flash your pearly whites. A smiling photo profile will make you look more friendly and approachable.

  1.    Customise headline on our LinkedIn profile

Other than your photo, name, and current job position, your profile headline is the first thing that shows up on your LinkedIn profile and attracts employers attention. Therefore, work on unique catchy headlines that describe your personality in a brief. While, every time you update your position or company, LinkedIn automatically updates your headline to suit your professional bio.  It is advisable to customise your headline using certain keywords that are regularly searched on Google to draw visitor traffic to your profile.

  1.    Detailed work history

LinkedIn profile might not be a resume, but it is similar to one. To complete your profile, you are required to fill in your work history to include job experiences, skills, past employers, as well as current position and company. Make sure that you provide detailed information on your profile, such that employers will know your qualifications better.

  1.    Updated information

Do not leave your page in cobwebs. Even if you are employed and not actively looking for a job, it is good to keep your LinkedIn updated. If you are pursuing a higher degree while working, you might want to update your master’s degree qualification on your educational information. Such as when recruiters are searching for candidates with particular degrees, your name will pop up in the search.

  1.    Credible recommendations

Recommendations are powerful tools to validate the information stated on your profile, and thus makes you professional profile more credible. It is good to build a positive personal brand. You can ask for recommendations and endorsements from someone who knows you well about your key strengths and qualities. Such as for example, you can ask for your coworkers or supervisors to add you to their professional networks and offer recommendations.

  1.    Compelling summary

Before going on to read your whole information, people will check out your profile summary first. Therefore, your summary should clearly tell people who you are, and what makes you different from other talents with same qualifications in the market. Create a compelling summary that will enforce your bargaining power in the job market.

  1.    Relevant connections

Just like other social media platforms, you can follow influential leaders and respected players in the industry who are your source of inspiration. This strategy will not only allow you to stay updated with the latest news, but will also give you relevant information on your newsfeed.

Hence, it is imperative to pay attention to your circle of connections. While you should not easily discredit somebody just because you do not know much about them, you need to be careful on how you connect on LinkedIn.

  1.    Personalised profile URL

Basically, LinkedIn will give you long, random, and impersonal profile URL. However, you can always personalise this URL to reflect your professional self. Pick out the best name that bears your name, such that people can easily associate the URL with you.

Do you have any other ideas that will enhance LinkedIn profile? Share with us!

When it comes to job search, there is no one-size-fits-all advice that can be applied by all job seekers. You might have known that the basic formula includes updating your resume, creating online profile, building professional network, and looking for job openings.

The thing however is, each person holds different perceptions and ideas towards what you call an “ideal job search”. Given the fact that each of us exhibit different personality traits and habits, it becomes but natural that everyone’s approach towards job search is uniquely different as well.

Rapid advancements in technology and Internet has opened up new ways of communication and provided myriad sources to look for jobs. However, despite the ease and comfort of accessing job vacancies on-the-go, landing your dream job continues to remain a challenge for most jobseekers. Even with plentiful advices available online, sometimes you find that these information does not fit your current situation. When this happens, not only should you rearrange your current job search strategy, but also take long to achieve your goals.

More or less, our personality will affect the way you perceive something, including the job search process. Only when you understand your own character, can you figure out the best methods you should adopt in the job search journey. If you are wondering which type of jobseeker you belong to, check out the following points and discover the one that describes you the best:

Bewildered jobseeker

If you ever think of something like this, “I don’t know where or how to start the search. I don’t even have any idea of what I want to do for a living,” then probably you are a bewildered jobseeker.

There are good chances that most fresh-graduates belong to this type. It can be overwhelming to think that everyone else knows exactly what they want as a career, while you do not even have one. Relax! You are not alone.

At some point in life, even the most confident individual was once uncertain about their own ability. All you have to do is look inside yourself and figure out what your true calling is. What is your passion? What keeps you motivated? Identify what makes you happy and start your job search from that point. Believe in yourself and eventually you will discover the job that best fits your personality.

Determined jobseeker

If you ever think of something like this, “I can picture what I want to be for the next five years. But, I don’t know how to get there,” then you are determined jobseeker.

The problem however is, while you might know what you want to achieve in the future, you still have no idea of how to realise it. Although you might feel determined when applying for a particular job role, actually you are terrified with the ongoing process or the outcomes.

If you doubt your own capability, then all you have to do is hone your skills and sharpen your knowledge. If you feel lack of adequate experience or education is impeding your progress to work in your dream job, then you should get necessary training, take up some skills certification programs, or even go back to school and pursue higher degree. Through this method, you can gain more insights on how to achieve your career goals.

Frivolous job seeker

If you ever think of something like this, “This job seems interesting, I’ll try apply for this. Wait! This one looks promising, too. Maybe I’ll just apply for this as well. All I ever need is to click ‘Submit’, right?” then you are at a risk of being a frivolous jobseeker. This type of jobseeker might know that they need a job, but do not do much to pursue it.

When it comes to browsing and applying for jobs, they always take the easy route. Upon receiving flashy job advertisements, they tend to randomly send across their resumes. They do not bother to check on the detail requirements, let alone proofread their cover letter and CV.

You should be careful if you find that these statements describe yourself. Do not take things too casually because it will send negative impression to potential employers. Hiring managers will know the difference between genuine and random applicants. Therefore, you do not want to make negative impression by carelessly sending across your resumes.

Passive jobseeker

If you ever think of something like this, “I love my current job. But I am always open to better opportunities,” then you belong to passive jobseeker. While this type is not really actively looking for job, they are flexible to any new opportunities. Passionate in their work, they are keen for bigger challenge and ready to make progress.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

Does this quote sound familiar to you? While most of us fancy the idea of making money doing what we love doing the most. After all, who does not want to get paid for being a professional gamer? Or earn your living for travelling across destinations as a part of your job role? However, the core of the problem lies in, how do you find a job that aligns with your inner passion, innate skills, and most importantly personality type?

Upon graduating from college or university, fresh grads are required to prepare themselves to meet requirements of the professional world. While they might have qualified with specific majors that showcase their interests, it does not necessarily determine their future career pathway.

You probably might have heard about Rowan Atkinson, renowned British comedian who acted as comical Mr. Bean. With his humorous character and lengthy career in the comedy industry, some people were amazed to find out that he holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering.

Everyone wants a job that makes them happy. A job that does not just pay the bills at the end of the month, but also a job that gives them purposeful meaning for life. People tend to find more enjoyment when they work for something that suits their personality type. For example, a shy introvert individual might not make for a great customer service officer, but he could be a great writer. On the contrary, a social individual could fail as being behind-the-desk employee, but they could be a great marketing person.

When people are happy and satisfied with their job, they will always seek to deliver better performance and achieve their goals. This, in turn, will result in increased productivity and higher engagement. While this might sound like a great idea, choosing the right career pathway that fits with your character is not an easy feat.

You do not want to end up choosing a wrong career that costs your serenity. And yet, you do not want to get stuck in high-paying job that contradicts with your nature, too. Whether you are a newbie in job hunting or an experienced professional who seeks to switch careers, below are five questions that will help you find your ideal job:

  1.    What do you really want to do?

Be specific about both your career and personal goals. Before stepping further to build on your career, it is crucial to find out what you really want from life and how you want to achieve it. What means a lot to you? Figuring out your passion can be the first step towards discovering what you really want to realise in life.

  1.    How much do you know yourself?

Take some time to write down and enlist your key strengths and weaknesses. Evaluate your best and worst characters that might elevate or ruin your chances of landing your dream job. How do you define yourself?

When you acknowledge your own personality, you can determine what kind of job is suitable for you. And then, you should assess whether your qualifications (education, skills, and experience) are adequate to meet the desired requirements for the job role.

  1.    What are you good at?

Find out what makes you unique and distinctive from your counterparts. Do you have any particular skills that differentiate you from other candidates? Is there anything that you can do better than anyone else? By knowing your own qualities, you can highlight them to ‘sell’ yourself to the potential employer.

  1.    What do people think about you?

Take advice from people around you. Ask for their opinion about your personality, and what kind of occupation they think will suit you best. However, you should bear in mind that you do not have the obligation to follow all of their advices. Asking advice from others is a great way to discover your true self, but only if you take control and not blindly take whatever they suggest to you.

  1.    Are you willing to take risks?

Keep your options open to new opportunities that lie ahead. Sometimes, it is okay to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and take the risk. Rather than locking up yourself in one particular job role, you should take time to explore your interests.

Good luck with your job search!

Next read: Landing a Job in a Fast-Growing Start-up

If there’s anything stronger than your resume to secure an interview call, it is your cover letter that creates an impression on the minds of the employer. A brilliant resume might showcase to your future employer, that you possess the required educational background and promising potential. However the truth is a resume in itself is not enough.

Among other equally qualified and talented candidates, why should the company choose you instead? What could make them believe that you are the best fit for the job role? Relax! A well-written cover letter is the answer to these questions.

If the process of job searching can be pictured literally to draw comparisons with ‘hunting’ experience, then you do need resilient weapons to bring the game home. If a resume can be said to be an arrow, then cover letter is the bow that will help the arrow to hit the target right.

This creative example applies in job seeking too, wherein a cover letter is meant to complement the resume. But can’t you just rely on a resume? Not all of it. It’s important to remember that, the arrow released from the bow will work more effectively than those arrows that are thrown away with empty hands.

Going by the parable, we can say that cover letter is a complementary tool to confirm and empower what’s being stated in the resume. It is an efficient way to demonstrate your skills and experiences. Therefore, the writing process of a cover letter should not be taken lightly.

In just a few paragraphs, you should be able to explain your qualifications and experiences in the right professional tone and retain the hiring manager’s attention to be thereafter called for an interview. No wonder, writing a perfect cover letter requires extra efforts and commitment.

Then the real question is, how should you write a compelling and meaningful cover letter, instead of a cliché one? To help you stay off the damaging cover letter pitfalls, here are 9 things you should never state:

  1.       Wrong or false information

Well, this might be obvious. But actually, to find candidates telling lies in their resume is not something uncommon. Don’t risk your reputation by putting wrong or false information in the cover letter as well. Always pay attention to minute details, usage of words and phrases, and double check if you have written the name, address, job title, and other information correctly.

  1.       Spelling or grammatical errors

Your friend might just shrug his shoulder when you make typos during a friendly chat. However, if such typo errors are found in your cover letter, it will impact your chances of getting called for an interview, not sure if hired later either. Therefore, after penning down your cover letter, check for  grammatical and spelling mistakes or punctuation errors. To avoid making silly mistakes, you can perhaps ask your friend to proofread the cover letter as well.

  1.       Cliché language

There are hundreds of resumes and cover letters piling up on employer’s desk everyday for a certain job role. If you bore them in your cover letter using cliché and generic language, then you fail to position yourself differently and unique than anyone else. This could make the recruiter to simply lose interest in your candidature. Therefore, showcase your efforts by crafting the cover letter carefully to eliminate usage of cliché phrases, and by replacing them with unique expressions that reflect your true personality.

  1.       Revealing your weaknesses

A cover letter is all about telling what you can offer, if selected for the position. So, do not mention any skills and qualifications that you do not possess at this point in time, because it will only reveal your weaknesses instead. Focus on how you can make most of this opportunity to retain the hiring manager’s attention, impress the potential employer with your skills and knowledge to be shortlisted and called for interview rounds.

  1.       Negative remarks

Maybe you left your last job in awkward situations and not really amicable terms with your past employer. However, this does not mean that you can talk negatively about them, criticise or badmouth the former organisation. Such attitude is not only unethical, but your potential employer could also perceive it as a sign of attitude or performance issues.

  1.       Personal information

Cover letter is about you on what you can offer to the company and how. Therefore, it is crucial to always appear professional in a cover letter. You should not mention any personal information that has nothing to do with the job or the company. If you want to talk about your personal issues or challenges, you can wait until you get selected for a personal round of interview.

  1.       Overselling yourself

Yes, it is important to emphasise your pluses rather than minuses. But there’s a thin line of difference to be followed as your sell your skills to the future employer – do not sound conceited, egoistic, closed minded or over proud of your achievements. While you need to highlight your accomplishments positively, make sure to not make it sound exaggerated.

  1.       Excessive flattery

Do not sugar-coat your cover letter with excessive praise and flattery, just for the sake of gaining attention. People can easily tell the difference between genuine remarks and the empty sweet talks.

  1.       Talking about salary

While we all know that every hiring process will come down to the money-talk. There is always a time right for discussing salary and compensations later, but not to state the same far ahead of time on your cover letter. This is one big mistake. Unless you are asked to mention and clearly state your salary expectations in the cover letter, you should rather keep such discussions until you are called for a personal interview.

Cover letter can help you unlock doors to the best job opportunity and get your candidature shortlisted for the interview. Going beyond traditional resume, a cover letter allows you the opportunity to highlight your strengths and key selling points. Therefore, craft it right in a good, professional tone to empower your resume, and make the interview feel it’s worth the time and energy invested to meet you in person for an interview.

Have you always been passionate in making real impact and being the agent of change? If the answer is an absolute yes, then working for a startup should be your next call. Startups are looking for talented and ardent individuals who demonstrate a strong entrepreneurial zest and great teamwork skill.

In a small office with small team members, it becomes but obvious that everyone is expected to give their best and participate actively in achieving the business goals and objectives. Do you have what it takes to secure a startup job?

One of the biggest attraction for people to work at a startup is the unconventional perks offered. If you are tired of a corporate life which is tedious mundane routine, then working for a startup could bring colours to your life with fun challenges. If you are bored of wearing formal attire, then startup will give you a total authority of deciding the casual or semi-casual look to don today.

What makes it even better is, in a startup environment you get chance to do the real work and get recognised by the team. Owing to small team size, even the slightest achievement will be highly regarded and rewarded.

On the flip side of it, you should bear in mind that not everyone is suited for a startup life. Working for startup can be best described as riding a roller-coaster. There will be ‘down times’ where you have to sacrifice your sleep for completing a tough project. However, there will be ‘up times’ as well, where you can take a break and play ping-pong with your co-workers.

While we know that startup has different working vibes as in comparison to a corporate job, it turns out that landing a job at a startup requires much alike strategies commonly used for winning any other types of job. However, there are significant differences that you should note even before shooting out to your CV to growing startups, that you aspire to work for.

Here are 7 useful tips to grab the best deal and tread career growing on fast track from fast-growing start-up:

  1.       Be passionate about the company’s vision

Every startup is established on a solid ground of passionate vision. And that explains why entrepreneurs care so much about finding individuals who share the same passion to grow the business. That being said, it becomes crucial to demonstrate the reasons why you’re passionate and interested in joining the team.

  1.       Try the products or services

You should know what the startup actually does for a living. If it is possible, you can try their products or use their services and gain valuable information about them. Not only giving you authentic experience of being real user, this strategy will help you nail the interview.

  1.       Learn about the company culture

First of all, you should bear in mind that startups adopt much different culture from big corporates. Being part of the team means that you have to adapt yourself to fit into their fast-paced working environment that undergoes a continuous change. Be prepared for surprises (both good and bad ones) and so you will be ready to join the unicorn team.

  1.       Show genuine interests

You can tell if someone is genuinely interested or not, only through their cover letter or gesture during the interview. If you want to draw employer’s attention, it is imperative that you must show you’re genuinely interested with the job and the company. Only then, can they trust you to be the new hire.

  1.       Know the industry

The truth is, most startups fail in their first year. Owing to their competitive nature of workings, you need to know what kind of battle you will face ahead. Therefore, before coming to an interview, you should learn about the industry, the startup’s position in it, as well the competitors.

Do your research well, and this will showcase you’re serious about joining (and eventually growing) the team.

  1.       Demonstrate a reliable personality

Reliability is one of the most sought-after characteristics of a startup employee. With limited resources and plentiful tasks, everyone is expected to take ownership for their work and be fully responsible for their job.

  1.       Be true to yourself

Nobody wants to hire a phoney individual. So do not pretend to be someone you’re not, just for the sake of getting hired. Be true to yourself first and this does reflect in your workings, behaviour, passion and zest for excellence to deliver great business results.

What is your professional resolution for 2017? Is ‘moving up the leadership ladder’, ‘finding a new job’, or ‘switching career path’ included in the list? If you nod affirmatively to all of this, then stay alert!

The latest report compiled by ILO (International Labour Organization) suggests that global unemployment rate is expected to rise by 3.4 million in 2017. While this might come as saddening forecast, there remains greater opportunities for you to shine this year. But only if you pay attention to the current job market trends.

Despite ILO’s findings regards the rising global unemployment, in general we can see positive employment trends, such as pay rise, increase in number of job vacancies, as well as reduced job seekers in the talent pools.

While it is stated that the unemployment rate will rise modestly from 5.7 to 5.8 percent, in fact you do not need to be discouraged because there are still wide open opportunities for you. Moreover, if you hold a bachelor or higher degree, then you will have higher chances to land the job more quickly than others.

But before you dive into the street, it would be better if you learn what is hot in the professional world. Thus, you can equip yourself with the skills, knowledge, and attitude in accordance with the market demand. Here are 7 job market trends you should know in 2017:

  1.    Millennials will make up for most of the talent pool

By 2020, we will see an influx of Millennials entering the talent market. More Baby Boomers are entering retirement phase, leaving vacant job positions that need to be occupied by younger generations.

  1.    Gig economy is on the rise

Nowadays, more people are seeking flexibility in working. With advancements in technology, gig economy offers the privilege of managing your own working hours and workplace without having to be tied to a particular company.

If freelancing was often associated with an uncertain and gloomy future, now freelancing becomes one of the most profitable employment type. In the recent years, we have seen many platforms driving the gig economy, such as Uber and AirBnB. Not to mention the proliferation of businesses in need for skilled contingent workforce, driving the gig economy which is here to stay.

  1.    HR will focus on data-driven recruitment

Data science will transform how HR recruitment and hiring decision making process. Not only will this data help optimise the process, it will also help recruiters fetch better and more qualified candidates, through streamlined methods and practices.

  1.    Automation will change the work landscape

Along with continuous invention of new technologies, the world will undergo a phenomenal change in the automation culture. On one hand, the use of automation and machines in the business is proven to be highly profitable and effective, because it can improve efficiency and reduce the impact of human error.

If you do not want to lose your job and be replaced by a robot, then the key lies in continuous training and development to hone your skills and abilities, such that you can adapt to the changing landscape.

  1.    Tech jobs are in high demand

Do you hold a degree in computer science or information technology? Then, this year is going to be a great year for you. Tech skills are on high demand, considering how digital transformation has sparked change throughout the world. Especially if you possess skills in software engineering and data analytics, then there will be copious job openings for you.

  1.    Closing the gender pay disparities

With increasing demand for more transparent approach to employee compensation and benefits, it is predicted that 2017 will see more employers taking actions to close the gender pay gap. With the issue been debated for long, it is time business leaders take proactive steps to build better employer brands.

  1.    Return to traditional benefits package

Unless you plan to work for startups, most corporates will return to traditional benefits package rather than flashy perks. Rather than offering game pods, yoga class after work, and free lunch vouchers, employers will be more in favor of healthcare investment and pension plans.