worker-doing-a-research-work_1012-221

“What kind of career is right for me?” This could be among the most common question crossed a fresh graduate’s mind. In fact, such thought even comes up when they have not graduated yet. It is not without reason that many people think about their future career, as landing on your first job could determine your future direction in life. Getting a good job in a reputable company could be your ticket to better life, while on the opposite, choosing the wrong job could make your life going downhill instead.

Choosing the right job is not easy, as you have to consider many aspects. Not to mention, being a fresh graduate means that you have no prior experience about the professional world. Some fresh graduates end up regretting their first job after realising that they have chosen the wrong job. To prevent similar case, you should avoid some common mistakes fresh graduates do when choosing their first job. Here they are:

Listening to your family too much

When it comes to your future, many people around you might think that they should have a say about what you should do in your life. Your parents or relatives might tell you to choose this job or avoid that job. While it is good to take their sayings into account, it is not a good idea to swallow them all. It does not matter when the suggestions align with your values and passions, but inner turmoil will arise when they say the opposite. Rather than working in a company you do not really fancy and work half-heartedly only to please your family, you should follow your heart instead.

Following someone else’s steps

You know one of your friends earns big salary by working in a particular company whose job is much different from your skills and passions. However, seeing their successes makes you possessed to force yourself pursuing the related job. The truth is, you should keep in mind that every person has different passion and capacity. Instead of merely following someone else’s steps and being unhappy, you should not forget to be just yourself and set your own goals.

Ignoring the environment

Finally you land the job of your dream, but the office is located far from your home and is difficult to reach by public transportation. After deciding to live in a boarding house around the office area, you feel uncomfortable with the surrounding environment, expensive living cost, as well as isolated location that makes you unable to meet your family or friends too often. While this might sound trivial, you should not underestimate the location and environment aspect when choosing a job.

Going only for money

Many fresh graduates are often blinded with the idea of earning their own money, without considering whether they will enjoy the job or not. It is worth noted that considering the salary before picking the job is a must, but it should not be the only reason to choose certain job. Forcing yourself to work in the office that does not match with your basic education and passion is not good for your mental health.

Next read: Where Did All the Money Go? Smart Guide to Manage Your Salary

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

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

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

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

1. Learn essential skills

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

2. Make yourself unique

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

3. Be open to change

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

Article first appeared at Talentvis.

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

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

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

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

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

  1.    Being inconsistent

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

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

  1.    Stuck in the same position

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

  1.    Being too reckless

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

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

  1.    Losing focus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bewildered jobseeker

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

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

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

Determined jobseeker

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

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

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

Frivolous job seeker

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

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

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

Passive jobseeker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1.    They don’t practice unnecessary gestures

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

  1.    They blink normally and not too often or fast

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

  1.    They have a steady voice and breathing

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

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

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.

What contributes the most to your success in career and business? Is it strong educational background? Years of experience? Or great deal of money? While it is undeniable that those variables are crucial, but there’s one thing behind every successful story: The power of networking.

When it comes to business, networking is the key for efficacious practices. Be it job hunting, working on a new project, promotion, or any other professional achievements, getting to know the right people who can leverage on your skills, is more important than talent in itself.

It doesn’t matter if you have all the required qualifications for your dream job. Unless you meet someone who can ‘bridge’ you to the potential job, you will end up going nowhere in your career.

Then what does the word ‘networking’ actually mean? In general, networking is simply the way you exchange information with other people in the professional world. The truth is, you can build network with everyone, everywhere. It could be someone you just met on the subway, someone within your field of expertise, or someone outside your industry. The wider your network is, you can gain better business perspectives, expand reach and get more career opportunities along the way.

While this might sound simple, networking is always easier said than done. Due to many reasons, some people might find it difficult to build and broaden their networks. In fact, networking is not merely achieved. Rather, it is seized through real, genuine efforts. Be it formal or informal networks, every time you reach out and communicate to others, there is always a chance that they can form a part of your growing network circle.

So, how do you harness the power of networking in your next job search? Here’s how:

  1.    Change your mindset

Before taking to the streets and meeting new people, it is crucial to change your mindset and garner new approaches or views about networking. Networking is not just about how addition of new people in your networks and reaching out can help you in your next job search. Rather, it is a game of give and take.

If you want to be helped, then you should be willing to lend a helping hand, too. To make the networks work, you should be able to build upon a healthy relationship formed by trust and faith.

  1.    Develop a strategy

Every successful action always comes from a well-thought strategy. And it applies to networking as well. To help you make a concrete move, you will need to prepare a tangible strategy. Such as for example, you can schedule to attend networking events such as job fair at least two or three times in a month. Or, you can prepare yourself by sharpening your communication skills.

  1.    Prepare your weapon

While networking is not necessarily about professional relationship, you should always be ready to seize on an opportunity to meet people along your life’s journey and build on your connections. If you are on a job hunting spree, then leveraging on your connections with a well-drafted resume should help you land the job of your dreams.

  1.    Be proactive

Networking is not given. Rather, you should put efforts to gain it. Therefore, you should be proactive in your job hunting process. Internet might have everything you need without much hurdles and painstaking efforts. However, nothing beats the ingenuity of getting out and meeting the real people.

You can take advantage of social groups and professional events such as seminars, job fairs, or discussions to find networks.

  1.    Leverage on social media

In-person meetings strengthen relationships, and social media helps build and maintain it. You can leverage on social media channel to flourish professional networking. Using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter could be a great way to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, or someone you’ve just met. You never know who might turn up to you with a lucrative business deal or a job offer in store.

  1.    Stay positive

Getting rejected from companies you have always dreamt of working, might impact your morale and self-esteem. However, don’t lose out on your zest for life. Rather, stay positive and face tough times with a smile. Don’t be afraid to grab every opportunity that knocks on your door and embrace change with positivity.

Next read: Should You Say Goodbye to Rigid Career Plans and Go with the Flow?

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