Imagine a scenario where your boss delegate you to be the leader of your dream project. Despite all the time, energy, and efforts you devoted for the project, at the end of the day your supervisor still criticise it and give you negative feedbacks. Trapped in such situation, you might feel both upset and anxious. But relax! Getting negative feedbacks does not mean the end of the world. Rather than letting yourself down feeling defeated and angry, this is the right time for you to wake up and get motivated.

Dealing with the fact that you get negative feedbacks despite all your efforts is not an easy thing to deal with. This becomes more difficult to cope with when you think that you have given the best performance, so such undesirable review will discourage you from striving to do bettter instead.

However, getting negative feedbacks does not mean that you are a poor performer, or your career is going downhill. Everyone has their ups and downs in their job, so do you. Rather than blaming yourself (or maybe others) for the bad review, you should alter the perspective and let the criticisms sink in your mind. Manage the negative reviews the right way and it will turn you to be a better employee.

Here are some ways you can get motivated from negative feedbacks that will encourage you during down times:

Stay calm and listen carefully

It is crucial to not lose your calm when you hear a negative feedback from your boss. The first thing you have to do is take a deep breath and relax. When the feedback is delivered face-to-face, calmly wait until your supervisor finish and focus on what they are telling you. Do not build up a defensive attitude because this will only backfire you. If the feedback is delivered in written form, take some time to pause and digest the words. When you have calmed down, write your boss back and kindly say thank for the feedback. For both oral and written, ask your boss to not only provide negative feedbacks, but also the solution for your shortcomings by providing constructive ones as well.

Act only as needed

Do not be caught off guard and let your emotion mounts up, or else you will lose control of the whole situation. You might want to to defend yourself, but it is important to act sensibly by refraining yourself from doing anything excessive. If you are given an opportunity to present your reasons or refute your boss, do it politely so there will no prolonged problem in the future. Instead of showing defiance and make your boss upset, it would be tactful if you comply with them for the moment.

Make a plan

When you have stayed calm and acted sensibly, the next step is to make a plan. When you get negative feedback, something might be wrong with your job. You are not always right, so is your boss. That being said, this is the right time for you to evaluate your working method. Make a reachable plan that will help you become a better employee. Sketch out an attainable plan that will help you achieve the goal. Observe the root problems that lead you to the negative feedbacks and see the room for improvement. Only when you know what the real problem is, you can think of the way out.

Follow up

Learn from the past mistakes. When you have discovered the root problems and collected the tools that will help you improve your self-development, all that is left now is how you get to make it work. You should evaluate your own performance to assess whether you have been running on the right track or not.

Receiving thumbs down from your boss never comes as a pleasant experience. However, it does provide you opportunity to gauge your own quality and make improvements on it. The main hack to handle this situation is by changing your perspective and turn the negative reviews into positive ones in the future.

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.

Have you ever caught yourself yawning after having that chicken sandwich for lunch? Or do you find it quite a struggle to get through the rest of the day without having a caffeine intake? Well, you are not alone.

Blood sugar levels will rise as your body start processing your lunch. But when those levels eventually fall an hour or two afterwards, your energy levels tend to drop to its minimum point too. When this happens, it comes as no surprise that you often feel tired and sleepy. While it is natural and understandable for human body to call out a rest after awakened for seven hours, being at the workplace requires you to stay awake and efficient after lunch.

What should you do to beat the sleepiness and remain productive while putting in the remaining hours? Read on the following tips on how you can minimise post-lunch dip and preserve your power through the afternoon.

  1. Start your day the right way

The way you start your morning will set the mood for your entire day. It is always a good idea to wake up early in the morning and have light exercise. Not only this will keep you healthy, such habits will help prepare your body and mind. Before going to work, you should have a proper breakfast that will give you the energy to seize the day.

  1. Eat healthy during lunch

While you might need some heavy foods to refill your energy, you should make it as healthy as possible. Avoid unhealthy foods that contain too much oil, sugar, salts, or preservatives such as junk food. Containing lots of calories and less of nutrients, these foods will make you drowsy.

  1. Get some light exercise

Physical activity will help you stay awake because it improves blood flow and thus increases energy. The moment you catch yourself yawning, you should get up and have some light exercise. Be it some stretching on your desk or walking around your office, simple workout will wipe out your stupor and refresh up your spirit.

  1. Listen to your favourite music

Study has proven that listening to music can be a good productivity booster. Put on your headphone and tune in your favourite music to keep you company while completing your tasks.

  1. Start a conversation

When one feels bored of their routine, it tends to be easier for them to get sleepy during work hours. Therefore, instead of talking only to the computer all day, it is crucial for you to get social and start a conversation with your co-workers. Take some time to catch up and engage with your colleagues, and then you can find new nerve to work on your projects.

  1. Take a power nap

While not every company allows their employees to take nap at work, you might be able to sneak a quick 10 or 15 minutes nap during break hours. Taking power nap will help you stay focused even after lunch.

  1. Change your sleep habit

Lack of sleep often becomes the main culprit behind one’s sleepiness at work. Owing to which, you should make sure that you have healthy sleeping habit of at least seven to eight hours a night.

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

Building and sustaining talent pipeline remains major challenge among business leaders. Consequently, job hopping might be a nightmare for most employers. When an employee leave the team after a year or two, it means that the organisation will waste the training and development invested in the individual. Not only financial loss, employee voluntary turnover does affect the entire team morale and productivity as well. However, as daunting as it might be, Millennials might see job hopping differently from the other older generations.

Recent Gallup survey finds that Millennial is the most likely generation to switch jobs, as 60 percent Millennial respondents stating that they are open to a new job opportunity while having one already. Owing to this trend, the study estimates that millennial turnover might cost the economy $30.5 billion annually. Having reputation as the least engaged generation in the workplace, how can multinational companies (MNCs) ensure their talent retention?

As the first generation of digital natives, Millennials have more formal education than the previous generations, as well as mastering multitasking skills through ample exposure of media and technology. They are known for distinctive characteristics compared to Generation X and Baby Boomers, including their attitudes in the workplace. Robert Walters study reveals that 91 percent Millennials want rapid career progression. To achieve this ambition, 52 percent respondents are willing to grow their career abroad and find a fulfilling job.

Competition for global talent is heating up. To win this intensifying war for the best talent, multinational companies need to come up with a well-arranged strategy. As multinationals seek to grow bigger and stronger in the global stage, they need to attract potential talents and improve employee retention. Given that Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, it is imperative for leaders to observe and identify the best method to attract and engage them.

Below are 5 tips to engage and ensure Millennial talent retention in MNCs:

  1.    Enhance the employer brand

Good reputation and strong employer brand are must-haves for global organisations to thrive and succeed in the global talent marketplace. Having reputed and recognised brand will help you attract potential local talents who seek to scale up their career.

  1.    Provide clear career path

More than just a stable job and competitive salary, Millennials want career progression. According to Robert Walters study, 69 percent Millennials believe that clear path for progression in the business field is among the most important factor in keeping them engaged and motivated.

  1.    Leverage new technology

As multinational companies, you need to leverage the power of new technology not only to run the business smoothly, but also to keep your top performers. For example, you can use big data and analytics to enhance employee experience and improve satisfaction.

  1.    Offer flexibility

Work-life balance is among the most-sought perks for Millennials. Therefore, you can offer flexible work arrangement for your employees, such as letting them arrange their own schedule, provide an option to remote working, and give them freedom to work on certain project. Through this method, your employees in branch office will not feel as if they are being mere puppets for the headquarters.

  1.    Break down cultural barriers

Cultural and language barriers often become great challenge for both local leaders and employees. To solve this problem, you should help them develop cross-cultural understanding and improve their communication skills in interacting with each other effectively.

Next read: How to Find Jobs that Suit Your Personality Type and Innate Skills

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.