10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters 

If you are in the process of negotiation with a potential employer and have achieved some deals for salary, don’t stop there – you could be leaving a lot on the table.

Many job seekers – including you, maybe – are looking for a new job for a bigger paycheck. However, your salary might have a limit based on your industry and experience level. No amount of negotiation will raise the offer from the average market salary. 

While your salary could not go up from the maximum market salary, you could ask for more non-financial perks from your recruiters, such as a flexible schedule and higher education tuition help. All you have to do is to bravely ask. Do not be afraid to negotiate no matter what the position or level of the job you apply. Negotiating this during an interview will also make you feel better because there is a great chance you’ll receive something more and become an engaged employee when the deal is finally made. 

See also: What To Expect during a Job Interview?

Here are 10 hidden perks and benefits you should be asking during your interview: 

1- Paid time off 

Paid time off could give you both full salary and time to rest. This is a perk most job seekers often forget to ask as they only focus on a bigger number on paycheck. 

2- Professional training 

These days no job is guaranteed or stable. You need to think less about pension and more about training opportunities that will help you scale in your expertise. 

3- Continuing education and licensing 

If the position requires continuing education credits to maintain your professional license, you can ask whether  the company will cover the expenses incurred. This might include travel budget. 

4- Stock options 

If the employer you’ll work for offers stock options to employees, you might want to ask for some stock option when starting to compensate for an offer with a lower starting salary. But before you negotiate this, make sure you do your due diligence. 

5- Unpaid vacation days 

Many companies have moved to the unlimited vacation policy. In this case, you should ask for a guaranteed number of vacation days. 

6- Offer a choice to the recruiter 

“Or” is the best word to use when you are thinking about what will make you happy at your new job. For instance, I want a 10K more salary or work from home on Fridays and Thursdays. I want a more flexible work schedule or more unpaid vacation leave. A successful negotiation is when both sides win. 

7- Student loan repayment 

If you are a new grad and salary is not as high as anticipated, you might not be able to pay off that debt looming over your head. Ask your employer if they are willing to offer student loan repayment assistance. This could be a good negotiation because you might not only have to ask for extra dollars per month, rather than a bulk increase in your salary. 

8- Transportation stipend 

If you have a competing offer closer to your home, you might have the leverage to negotiate for some commuting funds. 

9- Work lunch and/or dinner 

Some companies offer daily or weekly food stipends. Other companies might offer lunch or dinner packages that will save you tons of money and time which would otherwise be spent on meal preparation. 

10- Exercise stipend 

Your employer satisfaction is important, but your wellbeing is also important. Therefore, ask for what is important for you to improve your wellbeing. For some, it might be flex hours, a stipend for exercise, or gym membership. These benefits could help you stay healthy which means less sick days and less risk of long-term injury for employers. It’s a win-win negotiation for both. 

Read also: 6 Reasons Why Recruiters Avoid Hiring Candidates with Employment Gap

6 Reasons Why Recruiters Avoid Hiring Candidates with Employment Gap 

Are you a dedicated job seeker but have an employment gap in your resume? Here’s what you need to know.

Job candidates with years of employment gap are often perceived as an inadequate candidate by recruiters. Difficulty of job placement is cited to be the number one reason why recruiters avoid employment gaps in resumes. Another reason is that individuals who work freelance or are out of work to pursue their own ventures are often seen as having a lack of responsibility. Here are some other reasons why employers avoid hiring candidates with years of employment gap in the resume. 

  • More training – Recruiters often avoid hiring a person with a gap in resume for a senior-level position because they might require training which could add more work for HR and teams. Higher position needs professionals to do the job, so talents with a gap might have a lower chance of getting hired here. 
  • Employment gap means a hard time to verify employment background and it will be an extra task for a hiring manager. 
  • Recruiters often perceive that when you are out of work, your skills might not be good enough. 
  • If you quit the job to build your own business and fail, a recruiter might think that you are not good enough on your own and it could be a weak point because an organisation would prefer hiring a reliable person. 
  • Hiring qualified talents with a gap in their resume is more costly than hiring freshers. Fresh graduates can be paid less because they have no work experience, while qualified individuals with gaps might demand higher pay.  
  • Recruiters often fear low performance, instability, or unreliability at work if they hire someone with years of an employment gap. 

See also: What To Expect during a Job Interview?

Don’t be discouraged just yet – how to handle employment gap 

There is a way for job seekers to get employed even when they stop working for years. One way to hide employment gaps without lying is to use a Functional Resume. Concentrate on your skills and accomplishments and downplay when and where you did them. However, there are times when employers or headhunters ask you for a chronological resume or a separate work history. If this is the case, jump to trick number two. 

If employers or recruiters ask for work history, the chance for you to showcase your skills on paper might be low. But you can always showcase it in realtime. Thus, make sure you complete a project or certification before applying for the new job. This will help sell your skills again after years of no career advancement in the workplace. But remember, with those years of gap, applying for senior-level might be tricky even when you have completed some of certifications. It will be wiser to apply at a lower level and scale through time when you are employed. 

Once you have addressed the gap and explained what you did during that time but the conversation continues in a direction you are not comfortable with, you have the option of saying, “I’d prefer not to go into more detail. I am very interested in sharing details of my work experience, however.” From there, you can supply another anecdote from your work history that makes you qualified for the position. 

If the conversation continues to make you feel uncomfortable, you might want to consider ending the interview by saying, “I’m not comfortable with where our conversation is headed so this might not be the right fit. Thank you for your time.” This will not only show that you appreciate recruiter’s opportunity given to you for an interview but also show that you respect both of your time and recruiter’s. 

Ending a job interview unilaterally might decrease your chance to be hired. But it is better than explaining yourself in a way that the recruiter could not understand. If you are looking for a job that fits you best, check here and you might find a better employment opportunity than the one you are applying for now. 

Read also: 5 Things Recruiters Know that Job Seekers Don’t 

What To Expect during a Job Interview? 

If it is your first time to come to a job interview, it is normal if you think that interview is nerve-wracking. In such a case, knowing a few best practices can calm your nerves and keep you sharp. The first step is getting familiar with types of questions you’ll be asked, which include:

  • Background questions – These questions help hiring managers get an overview of your experience, goals and why you’re interested in the company. 
  • Behavioural questions – These are designed to uncover your past “behaviours” in different work situations. These questions also help employers decide whether you will fit company culture. 
  • Situational questions – Your answers to these questions should demonstrate your ability to overcome challenging workplace scenarios. 

See also: The Power of Informational Interviews

It will be all about you.

Besides the interview questions above, you can expect that a job interview will be all about you – as a job seeker. Therefore, set aside shyness or reticence and prepare to explain yourself thoroughly. First impressions always count, especially on particular occasions like job interviews. Practice and school yourself on what to do when employers ask illegal questions, such as queries about your marital status, children, or health issues. Understanding what you should disclose and what should be kept as secret will leave a good impression to recruiters. 

If you have an employment gap, explain it.

It is always a good policy to be honest about employment gaps, especially if it is lengthy. Having an employment gap will not decrease your employment chance if you know how to communicate it. Thus, be honest on why you take the gap, is it because you are working to find a new job, volunteering, becoming a parent or caregiver, or travelling? These reasons might be viewed in your favour. When explaining this, remember to emphasise the skills you’ve gained during employment gaps that will put value to the company if they hire you.

Be ready to discuss salary. 

When it comes to salary discussion, don’t disclose exactly what you expected. What you need to do is to prepare yourself by knowing what you are worth based on your qualifications and your salary history. You can also consult authoritative sources, such as Payscale. Once again, don’t feel it is your role to bring up specific numbers, but if you are asked, be prepared with salary ranges, based on your research. 

You are also required to ask questions. 

As the interview is winding up, the hiring manager might turn the table and ask if you have questions for them. When the time comes, make sure you take the chance to dig the company deeper, such as understanding the work hours, company culture, etc. Check here to know what questions you should ask. Nonetheless, it can be totally okay to finish with a non-question grace note, such as expressing that you’ve enjoyed the discussion and look forward to the next step in the hiring process. 

Read also: 3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

5 Things Recruiters Know that Job Seekers Don’t 

Do you often find that recruiters and hiring managers are intimidating? Don’t worry, they are not. They simply want to give you the best hiring experience in their own way. What you should pay more attention to is the secret behind their actions, because there are certain things that hiring managers do not want to reveal in front of their candidates. According to Dandan Zhu, Founder and CEO at DG Recruit, here are a few things recruiters and hiring managers know that job seekers don’t. 

#1 – All basic qualifications having been met 

“The smartest people do not actually end up succeeding the most in real life, while the dumbest people also have just as good as a chance to survive, if not thrive.” 

It means that B or C level students might be as good as A+ students in real life.  In other words, when it comes to the workplace, this means that the most talented and technically savvy engineer doesn’t always become the CTO. Most of the time, it is usually the politically admired and personally connected talent who wins and progresses into the C-suite. Basic qualifications are important to be considered as a feasible candidate, but success is dedicated more by one’s ability to influence, actively listen and respond appropriately, level of social etiquette, and general accentedness by their peers and superiors than one’s technical scores. 

See also: Job vs. Career: Life-long Adventure after Graduation

#2 – HR people are not that important in the hiring hierarchy 

“As you become a serious professional, you can utilise LinkedIn to directly approach hiring managers.” 

Most graduates might think that HR people deserve the utmost respect as they were the gateway to their future career prospects. Yet, Zhu emphasised that it is the hiring manager that makes the utmost decision, while HR is the service and administrative function in the process. Hiring manager dictates everything, including who to interview, what price to pay them, who to hire, and which headhunters to utilise. 

#3 – Job applicants can negotiate and leverage other offers to great effect 

“In today’s world, it is all about the etiquette and manner in which you communicate.” 

As a job applicant, you might be scared of upsetting prospective employers about disclosing where else you are going for job interviews and how much money you actually want. Yet, if a high-demand labour market where the supply of jobs outstrips candidates available, you actually hold a lot more power than employers do. 

Therefore, it is vital for you to research your niche and whether the position you are applying for is currently in the high demand labour market or not. Only then, you know your worth to negotiate and be transparent about offers. If handled appropriately, this will increase employers’ desire for you, not penalise you for looking greedy or not interested. Communication is the mother of all success when it comes to negotiation, thus master it. 

#4 – Interview your interviewers harder 

“Don’t be scared to say what’s on your mind. If something important to you does not align with your future employer, things won’t work out anyways, so it is better to know before you take the job to begin with.” 

Commonly, candidates are so scared of losing job offers or being looked at as needy or demanding so they don’t actually say what’s on their mind. This, however, could hurt your success on the job even if you manage to get a great salary and offer. Chances are, you probably agreed to something that you did not fully understand or align with.

That’s why it’s your prerogative to be a strong communicator. Get the answers you truly need during interviews by asking tough questions that are detailed and specific. This is where you’ll be spending your next few years; you better be aggressive in how you get it out!

#5 – Interview even if you don’t need to 

“Go out and interview even if you don’t need to.” 

Due to loyalty, fear, laziness, and/or arrogance, most candidates refuse to proactively learn about what opportunities are available. Don’t be like these most candidates. No matter if you need to look or not, once you hit a certain amount of experience in your role, it is time to take your head out of the sand and start interviewing, even if just for your own education. 

Read also: What to Do When You Hear Nothing from a Job Application?

Job vs. Career: Life-long Adventure after Graduation 

Congratulations on your graduation! So you have finished college, earned a degree, and now it is time to practice what you have learnt at school in the world of working. Whether you are dabbling with ideas or searching furiously for that first big gig, there are small steps you can take to ensure your first job works in lock-step with your long-term career goals.

What is a job and what is a career? 

A job and a career are usually used in the same context but serve different functions. Both are focused on how an individual earns money, but there are some differences you might never realise. 

See also: How to Answer Behavioural Questions

A job – is short-term oriented and tends to focus on earning money. 

Jobs have a small impact on future resumes because they aren’t typically related to what an individual career is or will be. Jobs also offer less networking opportunities because coworkers often won’t be continuing on the same field in the future career. In addition, most jobs consist of hourly wages, are more short-term, and focus on getting a task done. 

A career – is a series of related employment in one field that provides experience for your future and helps you earn better paychecks and living status. 

Career is all about building up skills through various employment opportunities, strengthening ability to move on to higher paying or more prestigious jobs. Careers provide a foundation of experiences that help fuel professional life for many years. In addition, careers are more long-term focused on learning, gaining experiences, building connections, and putting yourself in the right position for promotions and raises.

Creating professional life with purpose 

As a graduate, you might now look for an opportunity that can both help you earn money and earn dignity through skill advancement. If this is exactly what you are pursuing, ensuring that your job and career goals are aligned is important. Here are three tricks you can use. 

  • Overcome pressure – At times, you might feel immense pressure. It is natural, but don’t let it stop you. Work hard, learn and develop a lasting relationship and soon enough the pressure will pass. 
  • Be proactive - Employees, especially millennials, often get bored easily but do nothing about it. If you are among these people, make sure to turn your boredom into opportunity by getting proactive. Get creative and seek solutions. Young professionals who solve problems move up faster. 
  • Set simple goals – Workplace can be wonderful, yet confusing at the same time due to tight deadlines, ungrateful bosses, etc. Shadow talented co-workers. Gain control by getting simple goals. Make a list of skills you want to learn and get senior professionals around you to weigh in. Keep a checklist and hold yourself accountable. 

Read also: What to Do When You Hear Nothing from a Job Application? 

3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

Being a suitable job candidate for a specific position in a company requires more than a well-written CV. While having confidence could be one of the biggest advantages to being a candidate of choice, it might not be enough to secure a job offer. Job seekers must go beyond just well-written resumes by showcasing their personality.

See also: 4 Tips to Find a Job that Fits and Suits You

According to Heckman et al., personality has been a scientifically-proven predictor of job performance and assessing a candidate’s behavioural tendencies in a work environment. This allows recruiters to determine whether a candidate will be a top performer and if he/she will fit the culture of the company. Recruiter Experts cited there are three more advantages for job seekers when showcasing their personality during an interview: 

1- Your personality is a success indicator 

Personality is the driving force behind how one thinks, feels, acts, adapts and works. The stories you share in a job interview regarding past experiences can be an indicator of how you will deal with adversity and opportunity. Potential employers want a glimpse into your future successes and failures. Often, the simplest indicator is your personality. 

2- Skills can be taught, personality cannot 

More and more companies are realising that skills and knowledge can be gained on the job. However, personality is hardwired. If you come to the table with a personality that matches with a company’s culture, other technical skills can be learned over time. 

3- Culture is king 

Your personality can indicate that you will build good culture in a company which will create a healthy place to work, not only for yourself but also for others. 

Using insights from personality assessments and your past experiences to really understand what an ideal environment looks like will lead you to the right career path. Remember, it needs to be a fit on both sides. There is no use in denying your personality. 

Read also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators

5 Types of People to Include in Your LIFE Circle

Networking has always been the top ingredient of success. In many cases, having a network will help in your job search, expand your knowledge, and improve your expertise. Yet, networking is not all about growing your list of contacts. You cannot just pick random individuals, ask their email or phone number and add them to your contact list, then contact them when you need help. More than that, networking is all about knowing someone at a deeper level that could help improve yourself as an individual.

With that in mind, it is essential to be selective when making new connections. Why? Because getting in a wrong networking circle could hamper your life. Meanwhile, getting yourself surrounded by the right individuals can give you a boost as you will get advice and feedback from a hand-picked group of strategic advisors who truly tip the scales in your favour. 

See also: 4 Tips to Find a Job that Fits and Suits You

So, who should be in your circle? Here are five types of people to include. 

The advocate 

The advocate individuals know you on a personal level, acts as a trusted sounding board, and likely a close friend or family member. When you ask a question such as “how can my first few jobs line up with my personal values?” to your advocate circle, they can help you by giving true answers because they know your ins and outs. 

The strategic “In” 

The strategic “In” is more like a connection of the outside. They are well-connected individuals, demonstrate a willingness to make connections on your behalf, and likely alumni, past internship advisors, or your professors. When you ask your strategic “In” circle about a new job in X company, they will happily connect you with the current employees of C-suites. 

The subject matter expert 

As the name suggests, subject matter expert networks are those who can offer you superior insight on a specific industry, give you an unbiased opinion, likely an alumni contact, professors, or family members. This circle can widen your skills and knowledge about the outside worlds, especially the professional ones. In addition, they can give you advice on how to develop yourself and always push you to grow. Usually, these people are those who will make you uncomfortable in your comfort zone. 

The financial guru 

We know that money is one of the most powerful weapons in today’s industry and being financially illiterate can usher you to more difficulties, such as debt, loan, credit, etc. That is one of the reasons why many employees demand financial programs within their organisations. In this case, you should find one network who can be a financial guru. This network is usually those who live to observe stocks and might work around numbers daily. They can be anyone, like your family member, advocates, friends, or project buddy. 

The social butterfly 

Last but not least, the social butterfly individual is someone who can encourage you to connect with others. They are very person-centred and love being the centre of attention. Having one or two social butterflies around will help you get out of your comfort zone and can teach you how to network better. This is especially good for a very introverted or shy individual. 

Read also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators 

Tips to Find a Job that Fits and Suits You 

Chester Elton, an executive coach and author, said that too many people (job seekers) get caught up in the company’s reputation and brand. The truth is, working in a high-value company is not always a good fit for everyone. Elton suggested that if job seekers want to find a job that fits their personality, they should question more about whether their own brand and personality align with the company values, not their reputation or brand. 

Here are 4 tips from Elton for job seekers who yearn to work in a job that suits and fits them. 

1- Create a mentor network 

Having a mentor network is not only a good place to get advice, but also where you can turn to when it’s time to find a new job. You can include a mix of friends, family, classmates, professors and other advisors in your network. As your professional and personal networks expand, make sure to connect with people both in-person and online to develop a mentor network that is right for you. You should also expand your circle and select a diverse network. Be proactive about who you choose as a mentor because different people can be helpful at various stages of your career. 

See also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators 

2- Take a personality assessment 

Your personality is your biggest asset. It can certainly tip the scale in your favour during an interview process. You can use the assessment result of the personality test to target companies and roles that match your values and personality, thus you can work in a field that you enjoy the most. Here is one of the best and free personality tests you can try. 

3- Research company culture 

Matching your value to a company is key to success. When the company culture aligns with your needs and values as an employee, you will likely have better performance, engagement, and better teamwork organisation. Company culture is also the key to your own wellbeing, thus keep in mind to conduct research on the culture of the firm you want to work at. 

4- Get out fast if it does not fit 

While your first job is important, do not be afraid to make a change if it does not work as you expected. You should be your biggest advocate and adviser because a job that irritates you will only result negatively to your own personal and professional life. For instance, if you stay longer in a job that you do not enjoy, your stress level might increase significantly. Consequently, not only will you have lower productivity, but it will also affect the relationship with the people around you. Another alternative, you can speak to your manager about reshaping the position and if it does not work, you might need to seek a new opportunity elsewhere. 

Read also: Pros and Cons of Working in the Journalism Industry 

Pros and Cons of Working in the Journalism Industry 

Every profession has its own pros and cons, including those working in the journalism industry. As one of the oldest professions in the world, journalism has changed monumentally owing to a staggering growth of technology. This means that the skeletal structure of this career remains the same, yet the responsibility and the view might differ. Compelling storytelling and fact-based are still its strongest pillar, however.

See also: Job Search Tips in Time of Crisis 

So, if you are interested in joining this industry, you better aid yourself with this information of working as a journalist. 

Pros of being a journalist 

  • In journalism, you are working with ever-changing expectations. For example, you can work in a very confidential matter but the next day, you might be asked to cover funny nerve-wracking news. 
  • You will always have a new challenge and demand, thus this job is great for you who can work under pressure. 
  • You get to meet and talk to a variety of people from all walks of life. You might also have a chance to cover and interview highly influential people like a minister. 
  • Your name will be published in print and on websites. This is a great way for you who seek professional identity. 
  • Lastly, you have a better chance to be invited to cover various events, such as theatre performance or restaurant meal reviews for FREE. 

Cons of being a journalist 

  • Whilst the job is challenging, this role is among the lowest salary rate. Unless you reach the highest and most popular level of a journalist, do not expect a fat paycheck. Reported by payscale, an average annual salary of a journalist is $40,839 with an hourly rate of $14.81. However, if you have editing skills, you can expect a slightly higher salary. Yet, even with years of experience (5-9 years) in journalism, the average annual salary is $44,384. 
  • Being a journalist is also a long and often unsociable journey which might demand you to work on weekends and public holidays. 
  • As a journalist, you have a greater risk of death or injury for covering a riot, war zone or other violent disturbance. 
  • Lastly, the peril of being a journalist is you might be blamed for bad news or being seen as the enemy by members of the public when covering sensitive news or events.

Read also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators

10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators 

Everyone has their own characteristics, skills, and preferences. Some people love crowded places, parties, and to be the centre of attention. Owing to their good communication skills, such people might find it relatively easy to get a job and maintain social status. Meanwhile, some others prefer to spend time alone, away from crowded places, and maintain a low-key life. Generally, these people would love to work in a quiet place since they don’t like to be involved in small talks and are not good communicators.

Which one are you? If you belong to the second group and are currently looking for a job that does not require much talking or good communication skills, here are 10 jobs that require low communication skills. 

See also: Job Search Tips in Time of Crisis 

Note: All the salary cited in this article is calculated by Payscale. Your salary can be lower or higher depending on your skills, education, and job experiences. 

  1. Locomotive engineers 

Do you like trains? If you like trains and have bad communication skills, this job will be perfect. This job requires zero speaking duties and you do not need to deal with a lot of people unless you need to, such as co-workers to report on some important stuff. 

The average salary for this job is $92,321 annually with bonuses and profit sharing. 

  1. Forest fire lookout (tower watcher) 

Working with less than 5 people. Sit and watch nature. Sometimes, you can even hear the birds chirping. What a dream job for someone who loves serenity and nature. Being a tower watcher requires far less communicating with others but you need to have high alertness.  

The average salary for this job is $41,067 annually. 

  1. Freelancer 

If you have some skills but do not want to work in the cubicle office, this will be perfect for you. Although you might be required to communicate with your clients, working as a freelancer gives you more freedom in terms of flexible hours and you can choose with whom you want to work with. 

The average salary for this job depends on the type of freelance job you do. Generally, a freelance writer is paid $24.07 hourly, while a freelance consultant is at an average $30.52 hourly pay rates. 

  1. Quality Assurance tester

Quality Assurance (QA) tester is a fun work to do that does not require much talking. Basically, you are responsible for playing video games, applications or other projects and write reports about it, such as if there are any bugs or glitches. 

The average salary for this job is $55,520 annually with bonuses and profit sharing. 

  1. Mail delivery service  

Although you have to walk or drive a long road, this job is still worth it for those who love to work alone with no boss looking over your shoulder. But there might be occasional customer contact that you must handle. This should not discourage you from taking the job if you are keen to work as a delivery service person. 

The average salary for this job is $60,000 annually.

  1. Editor 

You will work with a deadline but not around many people. This job also requires far less communication with others. You can be an editor for online publishers like Kindle Unlimited or you can edit papers submitted for research journals. You do not need to know the subjects. All you need is excellent target language skills (English, Portuguese, Spanish, etc.) 

The average salary for this job is $52,058 annually with bonuses, profit sharing, and commission.

  1. Night security 

If you are a night owl, you can be night security. Watch over dangers and enjoy the breeze of nightlife.

The average salary for this job is $12.06 hourly with bonuses, profit sharing, and commission. 

  1. Truckers

Another job that requires almost zero communication is becoming a trucker. You can travel far and drop goods in other cities. Being a trucker, however, will require you to travel a lot and you need to be physically and emotionally ready for the long trips. The good part is you can do the trip with your dog or your best friends to make it less lonely. 

A commercial truck driver can make $19.75 per hour with bonuses, profit sharing, and commission. 

  1. Podiatrists 

This job is responsible for diagnosing and treating a disease of the foot. Working in this job requires less communication but you might need to create a report in writing form. 

The average salary for this job is $130,142 annually with bonuses, profit sharing, and commission. 

  1. Database administrator 

The nature of this work largely focuses on an in-house job. Making communication with outsiders and public speaking is unimportant to this work. Work responsibilities include administering and managing computer databases. 

The average salary for this job is $73,765 annually with bonuses, profit sharing, and commission. 

Read also: 10+ Suitable Careers for Psychology Graduates