Getting your first interview can be a daunting experience, let alone when you have to do it online. Yes, the internet has been much of a game changer in employee recruitment, including in how hiring managers conducting a job interview.

Nowadays, conducting virtual interview becomes increasingly popular among employers. Embracing video and web-based technologies for screening interview with prospective candidates has been an alternative besides the traditional in-person meeting. Not only time-saving and cost-effective, conducting video job interview allows employers to widen the talent scope across the world.

However, the problem is quite classical. Not everyone is ready for video job interview. While many people are perfectly comfortable with the idea of talking in front of webcam, there are others who are totally webcam-phobic. The later type, webcam-shy person, usually displays symptoms such as being overly-nervous, stiff, and awkward when talking to the interviewers thorugh their laptops.

If you belong to the second type and need some advices for your next meeting, here are seven ways to ace in video job interview.

Prepare your devices

It might be quite obvious, but you have to make sure that you have everything you need for video job interview. Before the interview takes place, you have to ensure that all functions you need are running smoothly.

Turn on the computer at least 15 minutes before the scheduled, such you can check once again that all is well. It will include testing out your webcam, turning on the audio recorder, charging the battery, as well as checking the internet connection. If you are required to use certain video call software, make sure that you have installed and tried it out before the day.

Set the scene

You want the interviewers to keep their eyes only on you, not your surroundings. To help you get their full attention, you have to set proper background for video job interview.

Make sure that the lighting is good so it will not cast undesirable black shadow of your face. As for the room, make sure that it is quiet enough to do a conversation. If needed, you can put on ‘do not disturb’ or some notes about the interview on your door to prevent any unwanted visitor. People get distracted easily. Hence, ensure that nothing bizarre fills your background. Conservative white and plain background is the best option for it. You want the interviewers to assess your qualifications, not wondering who the funky singer poster on your wall is.

Pick up the right attire

While it is true that most video job interview do not require you to show full body, do not risk your employment opportunity by wearing casual bottom. Wear something dense and professional from head to toe, not only for the waist-up. You don’t want the interviewers to accidentally sneak peek your worn-out pajamas, right?

Avoid wearing clothes with busy prints, as it does not look good on screen. Instead, pick something plain in light colours. If you want, you can choose colours that you think you look good in it. Not only the attire, you also need to pay attention to your hair and face as well. Make sure that you have the look of their next hire.

Maintain eye contact

Most common mistake done in video job interview is that candidates tend to look out at the screen. However, you should stop doing so. Eye contact is not only applicable in face-to-face interview, but also in video job interview as well. Just pretend that the webcam is the interviewer sitting in front you. Hence, looking at it is like looking directly at the interviewer.

Stay calm all the time

Human makes mistakes, so do you. Don’t be thrown off by small errors you might make along the interview. When you realise providing wrong answers and would like to correct it, admit the mistake and re-state the answer calmly.

Be honest. If you think you cannot find a proper answer to particular question, just say so. Rather than rambling about something else, interviewers will appreciate your honesty. Focus on your answer, state it clearly and confidently, such that will make the interviewers nod their heads and thinks, ‘This is the talent I have been looking for’.

Start practicing

Just like the old mantra saying, ‘practice makes perfect’. To prepare for tackling questions, take advantage of various interview practice hacks scattered on the internet. Make sure to do your research about the company and everything related to the job you are applying.

Video job interview is an effective medium to demonstrate your proficiencies to the hiring managers. Although you might do it at your home, bear in mind that video job interview is no different from usual interview. So keep smile and be confident!

Next read: Should You Announce that You’re Seeking New Opportunities on LinkedIn?

When it comes to using social media for professional purposes, most people would agree that LinkedIn is a good place for jobseekers to connect with potential employers and find a job. If you are on the position of actively seeking for new employment, you can take advantage of the network you have built and get in touch with recruiters who search for talents in your field of expertise.

Among other features, the headline is probably the most crucial element of your LinkedIn profile. Headline is a 120-character descriptive column that will appear in search results along with your name, photo, and location. This section is the key if you want potential employers to visit your profile and find out more detailed information about you. To spark their interest to click on your profile, you should create a memorable and appealing headline by describing what you do and what you have to offer.

To let recruiters know that they are on job hunting, some people might put phrases such as ‘seeking new opportunities’, ‘looking for new challenges,’ ‘open for new roles’, or ‘considering new employment’ on their LinkedIn headline. By using such phrases, your profile will show up on the search results when recruiters type these keywords on LinkedIn search. The aim is to directly tell them that you are keen to explore new opportunities.

While it is obvious that you should make the most of your headline to entice recruiters and land a job, do you really need to state and indicate that you are seeking new opportunities on your LinkedIn profile?

On the positive note, advertise your availability on your headline could be a direct signal for recruiters that you are open for new employment. This will help them to find the right candidates who are really looking for job, instead of just guessing and meeting those who are not really interested in moving on from their current companies. Not mention, some recruiters do source for active and available candidates by typing related keywords on LinkedIn search.

However, announcing on LinkedIn headline that you are seeking new opportunities could also mean that you are currently unemployed. Some recruiters and hiring managers could interpret such statement as someone being too desperate about getting employed. Some other might tend to avoid candidates who put similar phrases on their profile, because they might not be interested in hiring someone who have been laid off from their job.

Additionally, using such phrases on your headline will not help your profile stand out from the crowd as it does not communicate specifically about your skills, work experience, career goals, or even the industry itself. Oftentimes, recruiters end up wasting their time for nothing when finding that candidate’s resume is not relevant with the roles they are seeking.

If you are currently employed, announcing that you are open to new opportunities is not a wise move, too. When your employer knows about this, they might wonder why, how, and when you want to intend to leave the company. Such presumption could create awkward relationship between you and your boss, even when you are still working there.

Towards the end, either you are currently employed or unemployed, it will be better to avoid putting such phrase on your LinkedIn headline. Instead, you can activate LinkedIn’s Open Candidate feature to let recruiters know your availability for job offerings. If you are on incognito search, your current employer will not find out this because LinkedIn will hide such information from your boss and only premium recruiters can see this availability.

Read also: 5 Healthy Work Habits for Healthier Office Life

Radical advances of science and technology have become the game changers in almost every aspect of today’s modern life. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to talk to chatting bots instead of real customer service officer, or see robots employed as factory worker in manufacturing company. With the automated machine, robotics, and artificial intelligence have grown to be more sophisticated than ever, how would their existence affect the world of work and change the future of jobs?

Slowly but surely, robots are taking over human’s positions in the workforce. For some industries, machines are employed to improve productivity such as in manufacturing and automotive companies, while some others are used to take care of dull administrative tasks. Additionally, robotic machines are also increasingly used to accomplish particular missions that are highly dangerous in nature, such as investigating and exploring the outer space.  However, on top of helping make our life easier, experts are grappling with the question over how robots might affect the workforce.

Some jobs are more vulnerable to be replaced by robots than the others. According to a recent report from consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), automated machine could take nearly four in ten (38 percent) jobs in the U.S by 2030. Across the globe, it is predicted to take 30 percent of jobs in the United Kingdom, 35 percent in Germany, and 21 percent in Japan. The study found that among the jobs at the greater risk of replaced by robots include those in the transportation and storage (56 percent) sectors, as well as manufacturing (46 percent) and retail (44 percent).

Given how the rise of robots could be a threat for taking over human employment in the workforce, how should talents do to survive and thrive in the automated age? Take a look at the following tips on how you should deal with this matter:

1. Learn essential skills

While Millennials are known to be the most educated generation throughout history, they might not be learning the right skills to succeed in the future. Too many people are leaving school or college without learning basic skills to compete in the automated workforce. If talents want to stay relevant with current job trends, they need to stay abreast of new technology while committing themselves to learn essential skills.

2. Make yourself unique

You can choose either be the first, or be different. Amidst today’s changing job market, creativity is a crucial element that helps you stand out from the crowd. Unleash your imagination and bring something out of the box. The ability to create something unique is something that robots cannot do. Machines only have ability to do or produce something that is uniform, monotonous, and lack of authenticity. Meanwhile, you can do more than just that, by showing your uniqueness.

3. Be open to change

Most employers would agree that hiring for attitude and aptitude is way more important than hiring for skills. Rather than hiring experienced talents with rigid character, employers would be more interested in bringing in someone who demonstrates willingness to learn and is open to change. That being said, it is time for you to keep your mind open and embrace what life might bring.

Article first appeared at Talentvis.

So you have applied successfully for your dream job. After few weeks, you find an email in your inbox with the subject ‘Interview Invitation’. You open it up immediately with a happy feeling, only to be shocked reading those dreaded words: Group Interview. The solo interview can be quite unnerving in itself, how do you prepare to survive the group rounds?

Different from traditional kinds of interviews (conducted especially when there are many applicants for a job role that requires working in groups and public speaking skills), group interviews require applicants to gather in a single room at the same point in time.

While candidates often find this as an unsettling experience, employers view this kind of job interview setting as an effective method to screen out promising talents. Group interviews are highly efficient when a company is keen on hiring in large numbers, for many vacant positions, in a single time-frame thus reducing costs incurred on recruitment efforts.

The main goal of conducting group interviews is to test candidates’ demonstrative abilities of being able to work well in a team, be self-driven to take responsibilities for incorrect executions of the team, how they respond to each other, and if they are able to perform under pressure. By putting everyone in the same boat, employers are keen on understanding potentials of key talent and interpersonal skills.

In these few allocated hours on a single working day, hiring managers are able to decide if you are a thoughtful leader, a goal-driven worker, or an ambitious employee who is willing to throw someone under the bus.

During group interviews, applicants are posed with particular case scenarios to test their engagement levels with other members in a team to address certain issues and resolve the problem at hand in minimal time effectively. Here are some tips for applicants to stand out in a group interview:

First, dress up distinctively. Wearing something different will help the interviewer notice and remember you. This doesn’t mean you sport casuals for a formal setting or wear something too daring or extremes. Stick to simplicity and elegant dressing, this works well in most cases.

Second, make friends with other candidates. Make sure that you come early such that you can prepare yourself. Before entering the interview room, look around and greet other candidates. Introduce yourself and have a nice chat with them. Not only will this help you relax, but it will also help build positive vibes and perhaps derive more information about the competition and competitors.

Third, be a volunteer. In a large group interview, it could be difficult for interviewers to pick candidates one by one to speak up. So, they would like to see initiatives through volunteering to answer first. Use this as a chance to get noticed by the interviewer. This could be done either by raising your hand and leading the answer.

Fourth, involve everyone. Remember that it is not your own interview. Even if you do know a lot about the issue discussed, draw cautious restraints from talking too much, while allowing others the opportunity to speak.

Do not go overboard and overly aggressive because this can make you look like, you are putting everyone else down. Instead, showcase your good leadership and interpersonal skills, by inviting the most silent participant in the room to share their thoughts and voice their opinions on an issue.

Fifth, stay focused. In a group interview when everyone is keen to express and talk fast, it becomes extremely important for you to listen carefully to what others have to say. While it is important to deliver purposeful statements, do not get too busy with your own thoughts.

Rather, engage in the conversation and pay attention to minute details that others divulge. Write down the ideas you choose to convey for clarity in expression. So when your turn comes to speak up, you have lot more to say in brief using appropriate words.

Sixth, prepare questions. There could be a point when the interviewer invites questions from candidates. Make sure that you have done your research well about the company, before coming for an interview. This could help you bring many meaningful insights and relevant questions to be posed to the interviewer for discussion.

Most important advice to stand out in a group interview is practice. Be prepared for any possible situation that might arise during a group discussion, such as sometimes you might speak out of turn or the discussion might take a whole new direction leading to verbal debate. Do remember to always hold onto your stance on the issue and never let your guard down.

Article first appeared in 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 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.

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.

When it comes to job interviews, is honesty the best policy? While majority will say a definite yes as their reply, some others might think the other way around. But seriously, with elevated background screening practices now followed by employers, why do people risk their reputation by lying about their past experiences during the job hunting process?

Well, the obvious need we see is definitely to secure a great job offer from reputed companies and pave inroads into the industry they aspire to work for. The need to lie also stems from the fact that employers only recruit candidates with exceptional skills and unique set of experiences working for specific industries, thus driving away the passionately driven employees who perhaps never got lucky with great opportunities, go unnoticed.

So to seek employer’s attention and get selected for interviews with companies, the job applicants are compelled with the need to lie and draft their resumes with industry-specific keywords to pass through ATS filtering, and make it to the top of recruiter’s list .

According to a CareerBuilder survey, the pressure to stand out among the crowd has made job seekers to embellish their skills and qualifications in a CV. The survey further reveals that as much as 58 percent employers said, they have caught lies on a resume.

Jobvite 2015 Jobseeker Nation findings reveal an astonishing insight that 31 percent Twitter respondents have inflated their skills, while 27 percent Facebook users fabricated job references on their social media accounts.

Given that resume is the first medium to create brilliant impression on the minds of employers to understand candidate’s skills, qualification and experiences to be called upon for rounds of interviews before landing the job. But what happens when resume represent inaccurate employment dates or discrepancies in job roles held? Recruiters are then left to prod and re-evaluate their decisions, since they immediately recognise that the applicant has been lying about their tenure for an employer or job roles held in their career. This also creates vacuum of distrust and makes recruiters to probe and delve deeper to discover the real truth.

On screening through piles of resumes, employers would like to design an interview as a section to test and find out what candidates can really do for the organisation. However, no matter how careful the interview is planned and carried out, there are ways to make little whoppers or exaggerations during the session.

Have you ever found yourself growing suspicion towards particular candidates, but unsure of how to figure out for yourself if they are speaking the truth? Below are some useful tips to decode the body language during interviews, which will indirectly or sometimes directly confirm the authenticity of the candidate’s statements:

  1.    If you find them smiling too often, trying to impress

You can feel if someone’s being honest from their smile and laugh. If you notice that the interviewee is smiling too often or faking a smile to create impression on minds of interviewers, then perhaps you need to pause a bit and get cautious – while decoding the silent behaviours and body language as the interviewee smiles.

  1.    They don’t stare at you all the time

Eyes speak more than words do, which could include someone telling the truth or faking it as a clear lie. You just see it and eyes do speak a language different from what the words utter – if you find dichotomy practiced between words and gestures, then perhaps you need to be watchful before selecting this applicant for further rounds of interview or handing over a job offer.

There is a popular misconception that liars generally tend to avoid eye contacts. However, the opposite is true: when someone is lying, they will maintain more deliberate eye contact that could mean staring at you or looking right in the eye for long. So if you find the interviewees holding onto eye contact for a bit longer than the normal, and not followed by glances away from you in between, then it clearly means they are lying and dishonest.

  1.    They don’t practice unnecessary gestures

While listening to their answers, pay attention to the interviewee’s hands. Have you caught them touching their nose, or covering their throat when they speak? Touching nose and covering particular body parts can be silent indicators of  some people speaking lies. Therefore, if your applicants do not show these signs, then they might be telling the truth.

  1.    They blink normally and not too often or fast

People who speak truth will maintain consistent rate and rhythm of blinking, when they are speaking. On the other hand, liars will blink their eyes from slow to faster speed, when they are fibbing. Hence, hiring managers should notice even the slightest detail of the candidates’ eye movement and blinking rate during the interview.

  1.    They have a steady voice and breathing

Someone who is telling lies might unconsciously breathe more heavily than the normal person. Lying can make some people feel nervous, and this contributes to increase in heart rate and blood flow, which makes it difficult for them to breathe and speak in a steady voice.

However, if you find the candidates appearing for an interview are speaking with unchanging unwavering tonalities during the Q&A session, then it is a clear affirmation of the truths and facts stated during the interview.