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What you can do besides a CV and cover letter?

Say what you will about recruiters, but you can’t accuse them of not moving with the times. A recent survey by JobVite, for instance, shows that 73% of recruiters or hiring managers have hired a candidate via social media.

In an ever more competitive job market, there’s more than one way to get yourself noticed. While no one is suggesting we do away with CVs or covering letters any time soon, it may be worth looking at some of the different ways you can add to your professional profile and branding.

1. The tried and tested
A LinkedIn profile is a no-brainer for any discerning job seeker, with a whopping 87% of recruiters now using the networking site to scour for candidates. The same goes for business cards – a little formal perhaps, but perfectly designed for distributing at events such as careers fairs.

2. Other networking tools
Beyond LinkedIn lies a plethora of other platforms, all of which can add something extra to your personal brand. Instagram is a great resource for professionals in more creative industries who want to showcase portfolios or recent projects. Pinterest is a slightly quirkier version of the same.

3. Websites and blogs
A personal website or blog takes this messaging one step further and will allow recruiters and hiring managers a deeper insight into your personality. They are also a great platform for demonstrating your understanding around a particular industry or sector.

4. Twitter
Twitter is one of few social networks that successfully straddle both the personal and the professional arenas. Tweeting your insights on a particular industry or updating others on the work you’re doing is a great way to get noticed by the people who matter, however be careful not to merge your personal and professional identities.

5. For the more adventurous
An infographic CV can be a fun addition to your professional brand and looks great on your LinkedIn page or personal site. However, to really stand out you may need to go where few others dare – video CVs are starting to take off in the creative industries and are also popular among sales professionals.

6. For future reference…
Big things are expected of Mark Zuckerberg’s latest brainchild, Facebook Live, which allows individuals and organisations to broadcast their thoughts live to the world. It’s early days for the platform but watch this space.

When it comes to boosting your personal brand it’s really a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained. At the same time it’s important to do things properly – half finished profiles and abandoned blogs are as likely to detract from your professional image as to add to it. With the right energy and commitment these ideas could prove the gateway to that dream job.

Abintegro – News

Reference: WiseBread; Business Insider; Sell Inbound
21 Apr 2016

Why am I still unemployed? Here are 10 possible reasons

You may be an experienced professional, struggling in the job market or the one in every 10 graduates still without a job six months after leaving university. Either way, there are probably one or more good reasons why you haven’t found a company to call home. Here are some of the most common issues and how to begin rectifying them.

1. You aren’t operating in the right channels
Limiting your search to job boards and online listings means discounting the estimated 70% of positions that aren’t advertised. Start making contact with potential employers through email and whatever means necessary.

2. You’re not working your connections
You might feel uncomfortable hitting up friends or relatives for favours. Don’t be. There’s nothing wrong with leaning on people you know, especially given the current level of competition for jobs,

3. You’re not targeted enough
Wheeling out the same tired CV for each application might save time, but it’s unlikely to be pressing the right buttons for the HR manager screening your application. Make sure to tailor your resume to the specifications of each role.

4. You’re spreading yourself too thin
If you are applying for anything and everything, you are probably expending energy where you shouldn’t. Don’t click the ‘apply’ button unless you have at least 60% of the qualifications listed on the job spec.

5. You’re overqualified
Equally, being seriously overqualified for a position can prove just as much of a turn-off for potential employers. Managers may be wary of hiring someone whose career ambitions extend far beyond the role, believing they are likely to jump ship at the drop of the hat.

6. You’re not prepared
With an average of five employees interviewing for each role, you need to do everything you can to swing the odds in your favour. That means rehearsing for every aspect of the interview, from researching your interviewer to preparing a list of questions to ask.

7. You don’t present well
Inappropriate clothing or poor personal hygiene may be creating a negative first impression on the people sitting opposite you. Ask a friend to give you the once over to help iron out any flaws.

8. Your communication skills need work
Having the best CV on the planet will only get so far if you aren’t able to clearly express what the interviewer wants to hear. What can you bring to the role that others can’t? Practise your spiel on friends and family.

9. Your attitude is wrong
Employers are looking for people that are enthusiastic about working for them. They want positive people in their organisation that are willing to take on challenges, make an effort with new colleagues and bring some real value to the team. If you’re too shy to smile or too jaded to engage they may not see past it.

10. Your body language is off-putting
You know the drill, but slouching, crossing your arms, not making eye contact, giving a limp handshake all give the impression that you are not bothered about connecting with the hiring manager, so why should they bother hiring you?

Of course, there is an element of luck in every application process and sometimes things just don’t work out for reasons we can’t explain. Nevertheless, controlling as many of the factors in play as possible can help narrow the margins for disappointment.

 

Reference: Ere.net; Spot Bridge Global; Abintegro

20 Apr 2016

How to text your new boss communication, new role Fact: 8.3 trillion texts are sent every year. That works out as nearly 23 billion messages a day, or 16 million every minute. Time-crunched profess…

Source: How to text your new boss

How to text your new boss

Fact: 8.3 trillion texts are sent every year. That works out as nearly 23 billion messages a day, or 16 million every minute.

Time-crunched professionals have been gradually adding to this tally as they’ve come to appreciate the advantages of texting over other methods of communication. A handful of characters quickly punched into a keypad can often be just as effective as a 10-minute phone call when it comes to getting the key messages across.

Business texting comes with its fair share of pitfalls, however, and it’s important that you equip yourself with some basic etiquette before you begin communicating with a new boss or client.

Here are our top dos and don’ts for texting in a professional environment.

DO
Clear it with them first

Don’t assume your new boss/client is necessarily comfortable with texting as a communication tool. Double check that they’re happy for you to text rather than call or email, or wait for them to make the first move.

Be selective
Texting is best reserved for imparting simple chunks of information rather than complex ideas. Keep it short and sweet and avoid relaying important developments, especially if it’s bad news.

Keep it professional
The basic rules of formal correspondence still apply. Start your message by addressing the recipient by name and always sign off with a “regards” or “many thanks” followed by your own name. Although if you are responding to their text starting with a ‘Hi” and finishing with your name is fine; if you are mid-text conversation you can probably get away without both – follow their lead. But do use proper punctuation and spelling throughout.

DON’T:
Get lazy

As mentioned, there are certain situations where a phone call or email is more appropriate. If the situation does require a call and you reach their voicemail leave a voice message – it is generally considered more polite.

Fall into old habits
It’s tempting to slip into everyday text slang and abbreviations, but avoid doing this at all costs…and unless they do, don’t use emojis. Read the message back to yourself before sending it to hear how it sounds, or get a friend or colleague to look over it.

While certainly more commonplace than it was, business texting is still very much in the experimental stage. Truth be told, it’s probably something you should be using quite sparingly and you may want to reserve it for managers or clients with whom you have a solid relationship. Use your intuition and handle with care.

 

Reference: Little Things Matter; Skill Crush; Teckst.com

21 Apr 2016

The 7 questions you need to ask yourself before you start your job search

It’s the start of a new year so, before you leap into your job search, why not take a fresh look at yourself and what you want from your next job.

Transitioning to a new position or going for your first professional role can be an exciting (or pressing) time and you could be forgiven for wanting to throw caution to the wind and jump right in. However, it’s important you take some time to really reflect on the type of person you are and what you want from your next role.

Here are the key questions you should be asking yourself:

1. Why am I looking?
First on the list is why you’re looking for a job in the first place. If you’re switching employers you should determine whether it’s the opportunity to progress that excites you or rather the desire to escape your current setup.

2. What kind of work do I enjoy?
This is an obvious question, but it can often be overshadowed by the lure of a particular profession or employer. For example, are you a problem-solver who enjoys putting their mind to work or do you thrive in a client-focused environment? Consider what really turns you off as well.

3. What motivates me?
You also need to think clearly about what you want to get out of your next role. It could be money, career advancement or perhaps the opportunity to work with major clients. Regardless, you need to stay faithful to your core objectives and not let yourself be distracted by other perks on offer.

4. What kind of culture would I thrive in?
Work is where you’re going to be spending the majority of your waking hours, so you need to feel comfortable and that you’re surrounded by like-minded people. Do you thrive in a large corporate environment, or perhaps prefer the more flexible setting of a start-up?

5. Where can I be flexible?
Would you move location? Can you compromise on pay for the right opportunity? What hours are you prepared to do? Think about the things that you need versus the things that you’d like to have. Get your list together and prioritise it.

6. What do I ultimately want to be?
Although this job might not be ‘the dream job’, does it provide a stepping stone towards it? Look for roles within your desired industry, choose a reputable employer and think about the big picture. Some stepping-stones may be better than others, for example, offering graduate or return-to-work schemes that could boost your skill levels while you earn.

7. What can I offer?
Having established what you want it’s up to you to figure out how to get it. Understanding exactly what you bring to an organisation will give you a better sense of how to position yourself during the application process and at interview. Make a list of your core strengths as well as any weakness you could be working on.

Your choice of employer may come down to a myriad of different factors and no small amount of luck. However, having a clear idea of your motivations and your professional attributes will leave you much better placed to make those important career decisions and convince your dream employer that you’re the person for the job.

Reference: Enterprise Alive; Careers in Food; Career Builder

07 Jan 2016

Job hunting: the basics in 9 steps

Job seeking is tough. Everyone knows that. It’s time consuming and it can be gut-wrenchingly disappointing. Armed with that knowledge we do our very best to avoid it even whilst telling our nearest and dearest that we are “currently looking for a job”. So the first thing to be aware of, if you’re serious about finding a job, is your tendency to procrastinate – just because you’re sitting at a computer doesn’t mean you’re any closer to your dream role. You need to be doing the right things.

Find somewhere to conduct your job search that is free from distractions and then do the following, roughly in this order:

1. Make yourself a realistic job hunting schedule and stick to it: a routine will stop you wasting your day and make your job search as efficient as possible.

2. Sort your CV out: rework the format so that pertinent skills leap out at you ; create different versions for different roles; use key words often that are in the job descriptions.

3. Create a cover letter template: convey your fit for the role and how much you want the job; make different versions with wording relevant to each role/employer.

4. Search both large and niche job boards: it’ll give you the biggest variety of job listings. Take advantage of alerts to find out about jobs as soon as they are posted.

5. Organise and professionalise: ensure your voicemail message and email address are professional; get a list ready of references with relevant details and contact information; create folders for all your files and emails.

6. Use Social Media: follow specific companies to find out about job openings and the culture of the company; try to track down your interviewers.

7. Check your online presence: google yourself and check for any inappropriate or inaccurate information; remove or correct anything that would be difficult to explain in an interview.

8. Make good use of LinkedIn: check for inconsistencies between your CV and your profile; join professional groups; ask for recommendations from your managers; check to see if you’re connected to someone in the industry or the organisations you’re applying to.

9. Prepare for your interview: research the industry and company; find out about the type of interview you’ll be facing; be able to talk about your skills and back them up with evidence; practise answers to all types of interview questions.

There will be challenges so don’t give up, think positively and manage your own expectations.

Reference: Glassdoor; abintegro
13 Jan 2016

Will a computer be taking your future job?

At the start of each brand new year it’s always a good idea to do a bit of personal SWOT analysis. But have you really considered the threat of technology? Are your strengths going to future-proof your career? Will you need to work on your weaknesses to find a role within a world of automation?

It’s more than 30 years since Time magazine famously named the computer as its ‘Man of the Year’. Our square-faced companions have been encroaching further into our working lives ever since.

Technological unemployment, as it’s known, has long been key issue in the word’s industrialised nations. Between 1900 and 2000 the percentage of Americans employed in agriculture decreased from 41% to just 2%, while the number of US manufacturing workers has fallen by two thirds since World War II.

American employees are by no means alone in their predicament: according to a joint study by Oxford University and Deloitte, about 35% of UK jobs are at high risk of being taken over by computers during the next 20 years. The study ranked around 400 professions against a series of key skills, including social perceptiveness, negotiation and persuasion, to see which were most under threat.

The roles of financial officer, bookkeeper and legal secretary came top, with a 97-99% risk of being automated over the next two decades. Meanwhile, social workers, teachers and therapists can rest easy, with the chance of these roles being ceded to a machine calculated at around 1% or less.

Most roles fall between these two extremes, but the good news here is that there are plenty of ways you can future-proof your career against the inexorable march of the machines.

To start with, you can position yourself in an industry where there is expansion and therefore less need for cost-cutting and automation. Areas such as health and nutrition, sustainability and clean energy are likely to be important sources of job creation going forward.

You should also think about the kind of soft skills you need to be developing alongside your core professional competencies. Think problem-solving, adaptability, and communication, in particular, listening and negotiation skills.

Then of course there is the ‘can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ argument: as long as there’s technology, there will be a need for people who can harness and interpret that technology. It’s never too late to start picking up basic skills in areas such as coding and website design. Codeacademy.com is just one of a number of free, online platforms that can help get you started.

As history has shown us, professions and entire industries will come and go over time. However, by embracing this technological shift and maintaining a broad skill set, you can stay one step ahead of the curve.

Reference: Bcdwire; NPR; BBC; Huffington Post

07 Jan 2016
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