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.

Are you a fresh graduate in the process of job hunting? Every job seeker can imagine the strenuous process and experience of landing a job the regular way: graduating from reputed university, searching for job openings, applying for the job, going through tests and interview, and finally, the job offer from one of the companies.

The problem however is, sometimes reality bites. Regardless of how meticulously you plan out everything, unexpected things do happen and scatter your plans away. Should you just go with the flow, then?

Upon finishing your education, you might start thinking of what the future brings to you. After the graduation day, you create a career plan as a guide along your journey to the professional world. However, you should bear in mind that everything doesn’t always turn out as anticipated. Since, life is not merely a checklist that follows your instincts and will to succeed, there are times when you have to compromise and negotiate with the current circumstances.

Professional world is full of uncertainty. As the old adage goes, ‘Man proposes, but God disposes.’ It means, no matter how prudently you have arranged everything in your life (including charting out a professional career pathway), there is no solid guarantee that your life will function smoothly as you initially wished for.

Here are reasons why you should say goodbye to your rigid career plans and just go with the flow:

  1.    It releases you from limiting beliefs

Have you ever thought of something similar like this, ‘Oh, I can never be a leader, as I don’t have supporting leadership skills’? Such negative thoughts are formed from limiting career beliefs that comes within yourself.

Fear of failure and criticism is one of the most common limiting beliefs, that stops you from trying something new. When you decide to go with the flow, you will be freed from your limiting beliefs and ready to seize every challenge that lies ahead.

  1.    It helps you trust yourself

Before you can trust anyone else, it is critical to trust yourself first. Going with the flow will help you have faith on your own ability, to deal with everyday problems. When something is out of your control, you might be anxious about the future.

However, when it turns out to be fine towards the end, it will give you a greater sense of confidence. You will be convinced that you can handle everything better than you might have thought.

  1.    It helps you focus

When you create a list of everything, sometimes it makes you pay attention to trivial details more than the important ones. For example, when you are preparing for a job interview, you might list everything out, so you should bring from A to Z.

But you forget to bring the most important thing: your heart and passion at work. When you go with the flow, you can focus on something that matters in your life, more than anything else.

  1.    It makes you enjoy life

What is the joy of living out of scripted life? You can enjoy life more when you just go with the flow. No matter if you have to start your career right from the scratch you will find that every job is meaningful. Job search is hard. It becomes even harder when you feel that you have no idea of what you would do for longevity in career.

However, no matter what you do for living as a job or nurturing a silent dream and passion for life, you should think of the job as an experience that will enrich your soul. The trick is to see something things from different point of view, and you will find the job more enjoyable.

Rather than getting stressed up and anxious about the future, all you have to do is to accept what life brings and go with the flow. Take a deep breath and relax, because towards the end, everything will happen naturally.

Next read: Unconventional Ways to Land Your Dream Job

How far have you put in efforts to get noticed and land a job? Sending out resumes, attending interviews, and visiting job fairs could be the most common answers given by job seekers. Have you ever thought, that beyond all these means of reaching out to your future employers, there are some unconventional (and even unique) ways that will bring you to your dream job?

While the way people conduct hiring process has changed dramatically in the recent few years. However, the principle and process of job hunting hasn’t changed through time. The traditional formula is to search for job openings, apply for them, get interviewed, and if you meet the requirements, you will eventually secure the job.

Nevertheless, more and more people are realising that a stable job which pays off their bills at the end of the month is not enough. More than this, it is crucial to have a fulfilling career that will keep you engaged and committed for personal growth.

In today’s highly competitive era, job seekers are required to employ their creativity in order to stand out from the crowd. Even for the most optimistic individuals, days, weeks, and even months of job hunting to no avail can seem as an intimidating experience. Sometimes, all you need to do is open your mind and think outside the box.

Rather than letting yourself feeling frustrated and discouraged, it is time for you to plan a better job hunting strategy. If you want to land the job of your dreams, here are a few unconventional ideas for you:

  1. Advertise yourself

Advertising yourself in mass media is a great way to let potential employers know about your existence. You will need to demonstrate that you are a highly qualified individual who is keen on pursuing their dream job. You can print out your name, skills, and contact in public ad spaces such as local newspaper, billboard, poster, or online portals.

  1. Don’t trust your resume

You might possess all the competencies required for your dream job. The problem is, dozens of other applicants offer the same thing too. It is true that a resume will be your first weapon to set out on the company’s door. However, relying on your resume in itself is not enough to convince them your qualities.

Creating a portfolio will be helpful to showcase your capabilities as well as describe what you have achieved in the past.

  1. Apply for unlisted jobs

Have you ever found ‘candy taster job’ advertisement? While everyone will fancy the idea of getting paid for tasting delicious candies every day, chances are, such job ads can be hardly found. If you want to land on cool and extra-ordinary job like this, you should start applying for unlisted jobs. Remember, not all type of jobs are publicly advertised. Hence, it is time to be proactive.

  1. Go blogging

If you think that writing a blog is a great way to pass time, then perhaps you should re-think the idea. Going blogging is not only a great way to invest your spare time, but also can help you connect with your future employer.

To keep engaged with the blog, you should write on something that you like. When you have set up a blog, avoid radio silent and keep it updated. You might never know who will show up with a prospective job offer.

  1. Make a video resume

Amidst the competition for job, a written resume is no longer enough. To get noticed by top organisations, you need to get creative. Creating a personalised video resume can help you realise this goal. You don’t have to make it complicated. Instead, you can create a brief but attractive video resume that enlists your key strengths and previous experiences.

  1. Volunteer yourself

Volunteering yourself to work for free on projects could be an unconventional approach that will help you to eventually land the job of your dreams. To prove yourself to potential employers, you can participate actively in voluntary or freelance project that is related to your field of expertise.

Don’t focus primarily on how to make money out of the job. Rather, you should focus on how the experience will enrich your soul. Not to mention, volunteering is an effective way to build networking.

Everyone else might have equal skills and qualifications that you possess. However, unless you have something distinctive to offer, sending out resumes and cover letters will not guarantee you your dream job. Therefore, a dash of creativity is the key to grab employer’s attention. Let your creativity shine and soon you will fetch a dream offer your way, by treading the unconventional route to success. Sometimes looking beyond is the key to tap into bright future prospects.

Next read: Tips to Transform Your Hobbies to a Winning Career for Life

Are you active on social media platforms? How do you manage your social media accounts? How often do you monitor your postings and home page? When was the last time you updated your information? Chances are, most fresh graduates today have at least one social media account online.

Be careful on the path to harnessing social media reach and networking with new people. Use of social media has its share of downsides as well. Social media today, is no longer merely used to connect with the world at large. If you are not vigilant enough in filtering through your social media posts, it could perhaps cost you a missed job opportunity.

Candidate’s social media ‘cleanness’ increasingly becomes one of the major consideration for employers as well. Jobvite survey notes that 92 percent employers use social media as a part of their hiring strategy.

Based on the latest Careerbuilder survey in 2016, 60 percent employers use social networking sites to research whether the candidates are professionally fit for the job role or not. Meanwhile, previous Careerbuilder survey in 2013 found 43 percent hiring managers stated that they do not hire a candidate due to the information they found on the candidate’s social media account.

As pointed out by the survey, there are several social media channels that might cost your candidacy, such as provocative or inappropriate photos (50 percent), drinking or using drugs (48 percent), and bad-mouthed previous employer (33 percent).

On the other hand, social media might improve your candidacy as well, as long as you convey a professional image (57 percent), showcase good personality (50 percent), and demonstrate a wide range of interests (50 percent). If you are a fresh graduate seeking to improve employment opportunity during the job search, you should pay attention to these social media dos and don’ts:

Dos

Google your name. Type your name on the search engine and see what it gives you. If the results give you negative pieces of content that originate from social media accounts, you should trace down the roots and fix them right away. This way, you can keep your personal brand clean and appealing.

Be consistent. Consistency is crucial for your personal brand. Your online information on social media should be in line with the ones you write in your resume. So, you have to double check if you have provided consistent name, education, work experience, and other personal information.

Clean up your profile. Make sure that your profile picture represents your professional side, especially on LinkedIn. If you intend to create a good impression for future employers, you should change your physically-flaunting pictures with more proper and casual ones. Not only your current posts, should you also take down all tactless posts from the past.

Pay attention to details. Your friends or followers might not make a big deal when you mistakenly spell ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. However, your future employer will. Therefore, make sure that you pay attention to details and avoid ambiguity in your posts.

Be social. It is social media, after all. You should make your online presence counted by joining and actively participating in groups related to your fields of expertise. Interact with people from the same network, you will gain deeper insights about the professional world and perhaps even find a new job opportunity.

DON’T

Be offensive. Refrain your emotions from publishing offensive comments or status updates on your social media accounts. When you want to get ahead in your career, it is important to keep your professionalism by circumventing such profanity.

Complain about previous employers. Not only unethical, complaining and bad-mouthing your previous employers will only leave negative impression about you.

Spread negative issues. Hoax and provocative news are easily spread over the internet. Don’t sacrifice your integrity by sharing such news on your social media accounts. Before posting and sharing sensitive issues, do research to find out the truth first.

Post inappropriate photos and videos. Think twice before you post anything online. Because once posted, you never know the effects they could bring in the future. Hence, never post questionable photos and inappropriate videos that can ruin your credibility.

Tell lies. This might be obvious, but many fresh grads fall for this mistake nonetheless. While it is important to keep your profile attractive with relevant qualification mentions, do not over exaggerate your achievements as you will only end up telling lies.

When it comes to social media, there are always two sides to the same coin. While social media can help boost your employment opportunity, if you let your guard down, then social media could impact your personal branding to affect any incoming job offers in the near and long term as well.

Next read: Top 10 User-Friendly Job Search Apps Every Jobseeker Should Possess

Work-life balance seems to be one of the most popular buzzwords among HR leaders and employees alike. As the demands keep growing, employees are often required to sacrifice their personal lives to meet business goals. This condition leads to imbalance between professional and personal lives. And apparently, Singaporeans face similar issue.

Singapore, being one of the world’s leading economy, is known for its longest working hours in Southeast Asia. The latest report from Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Labour Market Statistical Information in 2016 notes that an average Singaporean works 45.6 hours per week.

This figure is even higher than OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) finding on global working hours. OECD report in 2016 finds that Mexico holds the longest working hours among other surveyed countries, with ‘only’ 42.8 hours per week, followed by Costa Rica and South Korea.

Singapore government through MOM has advocated a policy to limit the long working hours to 44 hours per week. One of the primary reasons is to achieve work-life balance and create better working culture. However, given the latest stats showing exceeding number of working hours than the ministry’s initial recommendation, it seems that work-life balance is a need of the hour among Singaporean workers.

In 2016, Randstad Award survey reveals 47 percent Singaporean workers continue to work more than stipulated working hours. When we breakdown the percentage, the overtime workers consist of 52 percent men and 41 percent women.

However, employers are not the only ones to be blamed for the difficult realisation of work-life balance in Singapore. Employees are actually fully aware of the consequences of this long working hours. The survey notes that despite heavy work schedules, only 7 percent respondents state they would prefer to work less and 47 percent respondents seem to be contented with their current schedule.

So the question remains: What makes Singaporeans willing to work overtime?

Randstad reveals that the prospect of earning more is the key motivator, with 80 percent respondents stating that money is the major factor. The other factors, why Singaporeans choose working more than spending time at home are career progression and promotion (41 percent) as well as personal development (33 percent).

Interestingly, the same survey also highlights that work-life balance is actually gaining more attention among Singaporean workers. While salary and benefits remain the first factor for choosing an employer, work-life balance takes the second place of most important consideration before Singaporean accepts a job offer. In 2012, only 32 percent respondents see the importance of work-life balance. However, the percentage keeps increasing each year, as in 2016 it becomes 52 percent.

These statistics indicate that while the concept of work-life balance is popular among Singaporeans, it is less put to practice by Gen X, Y and Baby boomers who choose to work overtime. However Millennials in particular prioritise work-life balance, with 71 percent respondents showing strong preference to work more flexibly.

This phenomenon makes Singapore case interesting. While they want to keep their professional and personal lives healthy, they are willing to work more for better income and career progression.

To overcome this issue, the Singapore government has fostered the significance of work-life balance through several policies. Besides working hour limitations, MOM has also launched Strategies for work-life harmony which includes flexible work arrangements, leave schemes, and employee support schemes.

Next read: Happiness at Work. Pleasure or Fulfilment?

Human beings are meant to grow. Not only physically, but mentally as well. Just like your body needs food to grow, your brain needs new knowledge to develop as well. To support personal growth, each person should realise the importance of lifelong learning.

Are you a fresh graduate struggling to find a job but have not managed to land one? Or, are you a veteran employee stuck in a dead-end position? Whatever be the case, it is time to start embracing learning once again. However, going to school is only among the various options where you can learn new skills and abilities.

Lifelong learning is not limited to formal education. You do not have to go back to school and invest more money to learn new things. If your employer cannot provide funds for personal learning and skills development, you can always log into the Internet and find thousands of online and offline courses to keep improving your qualities.

While some of them cost you zero bucks such as Coursera and EdX, you can invest some money to obtain verified certificates at the end of the training programs. If you need to be convinced before starting off your journey of lifelong learning, here are five advantages:

Improves Self-Confidence

Whether you are a fresh grad or a veteran employee, self-confidence is a must-have valuable quality that every employer desires to find in their next potential hire. The problem however is, self-confidence is not something that can be obtained easily. You cannot be confident unless you trust your own capabilities first.

In order to be successful in getting a particular job done on time, you should believe in your competence. This sense of self-belief will only come to you, when you have sufficient experience, knowledge, and skills for the job.

When you pursue lifelong learning, you are focused for growth through continuous upgradation of your knowledge and skills. Thus, attending weekend batches or signing up for an online course will eventually boost your self-confidence.

Keep Current and Up to Date

Lifelong learning encourages you to keep thinking and provides new information. If you have graduated a long time ago, you might be surprised with the latest developments, advancements in technology that  has changed the world of work. In order to stay abreast of these new developments, and make informed decisions for a growing career – continuous learning holds the key.

Committed to lifelong learning will help reduce the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as learning will keep the brain cells active, increase vitality and promote new cell development as well.

Fight boredom

Being stagnated at the same position in your career brings monotony to growth. Don’t let your soul stuck into dull routines. Refresh your mind and challenge yourself by learning something new. It does not have to be something related to your current job. Instead, you can learn anything that draws your interest, as long as it is positive and meaningful.

Learn practical skills

Formal education helps you to join the workforce and get started. However, besides theoretical knowledge acquired at school, you need to also improve upon your practical skills. While you might have good grade and GPA in academics, but today employers value soft-skills as much as hard-skills needed for the job.

Identify your weaknesses and, quantify on your strengths. For example, if you think you are not digitally literate, you can join a computer class to develop the digital skills. There are also countless websites available online that offer free courses with flexible time arrangements to suit your busy life schedules.

Achieve self-fulfillment

Define yourself with something other than your job. Lifelong learning will enable you to achieve self-fulfillment. Whether it is photography, hand-lettering, or cooking, bring your hobbies to a different level. Not only will this expand your viewpoints, but you can also perhaps to seek a new career from it.

It is never too old to learn. Lifelong learning will help you stay competitive in the job market. So don’t be afraid of starting from the scratch and learning new things. Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Next read: Why and How to Stay Up-to-Date with the Job Market?

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Gotten laid off recently? Whatever the reasons -corporate reorganisation, restructuring, economic budget constraints- layoffs mostly bring misery and sorrow to employees.

Some of you might be in a panic and scurry to look for possible job opportunities (well, you have to survive and pay all the bills!). However, finding similar jobs with benefits and attractive salary package is not that easy! Today’s workforce are pretty competitive and could hinder you in getting your dream job.

If you haven’t got any opportunities right now, it could be you, yourself causing it. Scroll down and see if the following describes the current you.

  1. Being Negative

It is impossible to change the situation, but keep in mind that it is still POSSIBLE to seek other career opportunities, even the BETTER ones! Don’t let your emotions creep out when doing an interview with your future employers and avoid disfiguring your previous bosses/company.

Instead, focus on your strengths, experiences and capabilities. Be confident so that you are able to convince your future employers your outstanding deliverables if they are to offer you the job.

  1. Blaming Yourself

Blaming yourself is not going to improve the crisis you are facing. It is wise to do a self-reflection of what you have done (mistakes and errors) in the previous company, but don’t chide yourself too badly! Rather, be more focus on your future advancement and improvement. Instead of wallowing in regrets of what you could have done to previous situations, focus on the future that awaits you!

  1. Not Knowing What You Want

Before applying for a job, it is better for you to do a self-assessment about what are the job roles you are really interested in, what roles you are capable at and weaknesses that you want to improve. This assessment will help you to pinpoint jobs that suits you totally.

If you are dissatisfied and unhappy with your previous job, it’s time for you to be selectively in your options of job roles you should be in.

  1. Being Distant

Never keep to yourself or wallow in depression due to the layoff. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest are great sources of networking you can use to gain much information about job opportunities that matches your skill sets and interests. You can also connect with former colleagues and alumnus pals to get some references about companies currently looking for talents to hire (in your area of capabilities, of course!)

  1. Sending Resumes Blindly

One positive thing you can gain from being laid off is that you have the opportunity to sit down and reflect. Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur and start something on your own? Startups are growing rapidly nowadays, especially if you are passionate enough to make it work, with the right expertises and adequate capital, it could jolly well happen!

Or have you ever thought of a career change or want to do something drastically different from what you have always been doing?

Therefore, just because you lost your job and feeling panic-stricken doesn’t mean you should be throwing your resumes blindly. Sit down and reflect.

Being upset and disappointed is common, as the layoff could be something you had never expected before. However, layoffs can be the turning point for you to build a future you have never imagined before!  

Do not waste time on your emotional response. Rise and continue your life with much courage and optimism!

Next read: How to Avoid Looking Like a Job Hopper on Your Resume

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At a certain point in everyone’s career, there could be times when they felt stuck. Especially when they have been working for years in the same company, holding the same job title and perhaps even, very or no pay increment. As your job experiences increase, there must be a desire to advance your career. That is, you are looking for a promotion.

When you want a promotion, you would need to justify on why you should have a promotion. Thus, put some strategies in place for your justification during your appraisal period. Of course, these plans would require a period to show results!

Here are some that you can adopt:

Willingness in Taking On More Tasks

Accomplishing your primary duties is what you are expected to do, but if you can expand your duties when the opportunities arise, take it. Though, you need to understand your capabilities and also to manage your time effectively.

Simply by accepting more challenges, you are showing employers you are maximising your capabilities and pro-activeness. This is how your boss or superior will take notice of you.

Be Confident and Optimistic

Not everyone is lucky to work in a positive and helpful workplace where everyone gets along and an understanding boss. If you happen to work in a negative working environment, where people are often burnout and also with a demanding boss, you need to train yourself to be optimistic and confident regardless of the situation you might be facing. Be a great neutralizer and at the same time, encourage people around you to maintain a positive energy.

Dress for success

If you usually don’t care about how you dress up and represent yourself, you should change that. Also, when you dress up for work, it naturally makes you more confident.

The difference between a ironed shirt and a shirt that is wrinkled. Do you get it? It gives a different impression to others. While you are trying to earn that promotion, you need to look the part too!

Working Overtime

Doing overtime is not always a bad idea. Not saying that you need to do it everyday but always make sure you get your tasks done and there is no backlogs waiting for you or allow procrastination to happen.

If you need, then stay on to complete your tasks. If you do manage your time well and has been able to finish your work on the dot, take 1 or 2 days a week and spend time in the office to broaden your knowledge or explore other sites for inspirations in regards to your work and for the company.

In time to come, employers will take notice of the efforts that an employee puts in. One crucial thing to remember is that you have to be yourself and not faking a front. The above tips if not for trying to get a promotion, it is self-improvement too. One can never stop learning and achieving greater heights. Enhance your capabilities so as to give your best to the company.

Next read: Think Twice: Are You Ready to be a Remote Worker?