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The 5 P’s of Job Hunting – Part 2

job hunt

In the previous blog post, we have discussed two initial steps in job hunting – plan and prepare. In this post, check out the next two steps: practice and perform.

Step 3: Practice

You might have heard that “practice makes perfect”, and this is a very important step in job hunting. An athlete would practice a lot for an important competition. Likewise, you have to practice your interview techniques a lot in order to beat the job competition.

Practicing can take place with a friend, family member or a counsellor. There are many books available that provide sample questions and sample answers. Feedback on your interview skills may involve peers, general comments, and/or videotape. Here are some sample questions for you to use:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you look for in a job?
  • How long would it take for you to make a meaningful contribution?
  • Why are you looking for a new career?
  • How would your boss describe you?
  • How would your colleagues describe you?
  • What were the five most significant accomplishments in your last position?
  • What are your strong points?
  • What are your weak points?

A videotape is an excellent way for you to see yourself as an employer would see you. You can dress as you would for an interview and have someone you know act as the interviewer. You will then be able to notice how you handle yourself, how you sit, and how you respond to questions. For instance, did you give enough information or too much information. You can also note if you have any habits you are unaware of. This will help you become comfortable in presenting your skills to an employer.

Step 4: Perform

Think of your interview as a performance. You must prepare for it (research the employer, practice interview questions), dress appropriately (dress for the job you are applying for), and have the proper equipment (copy of resume, references, portfolio, and pen) to show that you are ready to do the job.

The first two to three minutes of your interview are the most important. An employer usually makes a decision based on your appearance and your opening presentation. It is important that you make the most of these precious minutes.

A smile is a big part of your wardrobe. If smiling doesn’t come naturally to you, practice in front of a mirror until it feels comfortable. Ensure that your body language doesn’t send the wrong message. Don’t cross your arms across your chest, or keep checking the clock. Check your appearance, both standing and seated, in a mirror. It is important to try to relax, but do not slouch in your chair. Don’t chew gum during your interview, and if you are a smoker, try to have your last cigarette at least 10 minutes before your interview and freshen your breath with a breath mint.

Another important point is to never say anything negative about your previous employer. It may make the employer wonder what you would say about them, and you never know who is related to whom.

Make sure that you have some questions to ask the employer. Not “how much money will I make and how long do I get for vacation?”, but questions that show you have researched the employer and have some knowledge of their company. Make a list of potential questions to ask. If the interviewer has been very thorough and you can’t think of any questions, at least find out when they will be making a decision and ask if it is OK to follow up.

Here are some sample questions you can ask.

  • Why is this position open?
  • What are some of the more difficult problems one would have to face in this position?
  • What significant changes do you forsee in the near future?
  • What are some of the objectives you would like to see accomplished in this job?
  • What are some of the long-term objectives you would like to see completed?
  • How is one evaluated in this position?
  • What accounts for success within the company?

If you think you can sit back and relax after your “performance”, you are wrong. There is still one final step which is as important as the previous steps. Wait for our next blog post for the final step!

The Advantages of Having a Web Portfolio

The web portfolio, like many other online resumes, will take over the traditional paper resume one day.

The Internet today plays a very integral role in facilitating job searching processes for candidates and decision making processes for hiring managers. In a recent survey targeting resume writing experts, traditional paper resumes are considered outdated and its function may become obsolete one day.

Web portfolios are the perfect alternative of such boring, mundane paper resume in this technologically-driven economy, whereby companies today require necessary IT skills. Furthermore, there are many online resume distribution and writing services that make it very simple for candidates to own their very own web resumes.

With the advent of technology, job portals and networking sites have made job sourcing mush easier online instead of relying on newspapers or cold calling activities. Sites such as LinkedIn have become very famous for networking and job searching. Workopolis.com and Monster.ca allow candidates to submit their resumes online, and such processes are the reason why the paper resumes might be irrelevant in the near future.

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Display Your Abilities

Web portfolios are not only environmentally friendly, crafting them is not as time consuming and it allows you to take advantage of today’s technology. Hiring managers are able to view your web resume as an awesome web portfolio!

You will definitely be able to make a lasting first impression by showcasing your IT skills through a web portfolio. Such expertise and qualities cannot be effectively shown on the traditional paper resume. A web resume that is professional and beautifully designed is able set you apart from the rest of the job hungry candidates because you will be viewed as someone who is creative and unconventional, for all the right reasons!

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Convenience

The function of a web portfolio is similar to that of a traditional paper resume; they have to show relevant skills and explain what the candidate can do to contribute to the company.

Hiring managers take only 15 seconds to look thorough a paper resume before deciding whether it is in or out. This is the same for a web resume. As such, it is important to grab the reader’s attention.

When presenting a portfolio, it is extremely crucial to be efficient and straight-to-the-point. However, do take note that the hiring manager should be interested with your skills and qualities, not the overwhelmingly fanciful design and animation on your portfolio.

Web resumes are a hit with creative professionals because such resumes are convenient to create. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or waste money crafting a paper resume and having to print it over and over again to constantly perfect it. With a web resume, you can work on your resume from the comfort of your home and design something professional yet unique. In terms of updating your resume, all you have to do is to re-upload it after making changes. Which paper resume allows you to do this?

Create the Perfect Web Resume with Style Resumes

If you have never created a web portfolio before, worry no more. At Style Resumes, we will create your very own personal portfolio! Not only will it be able to direct your hiring managers to your professional web resume, they will definitely be impressed by your tech-saviness and seen as one who is willing to invest your time and energy to come up with an innovative resume!

So don’t hesitate; let Style Resumes help you get called up for that job interview that you have always wanted!

Fahariah Yeo
Style Resumes

10 Forbidden Things to Say in Interview Room

interview

Job interviews are really tricky. Without adequate preparations, you can easily make a mistake or two and dampen your chances of getting the coveted job. Regardless of how confident you feel about bagging the job, there is always the risk of saying something during the interview that can spoil your chances. So, what not to say in a job interview?

  1. Do not bad mouth your former boss. Keep your past and personal misgivings to yourself as trash-talking your former employer can show your non-professionalism.
  2. Do not ask about the salary at the time of an interview. The interviewer will bring this topic at the time he or she feels to be right.
  3. Do not talk too much about your talents and hobbies as your hiring manager will view them as a possible distraction that can keep you from working properly.
  4. Do not fumble at the time of interview and tell your interviewer that you are nervous. He will likely reject you for being unable to control your own emotions.
  5. Do not say that you are desperate to get the job and are in a bad financial situation. This can be a red flag for your hiring manager, and he will think that you need the job only to improve your finances and nothing more.
  6. Do not at any point tell that you are looking at this job as only a stepping stone to better jobs.
  7. Never say that the boss fired you. This can shift his focus to your possible bad attributes and the interviewer may read too much in even your casual statements.
  8. Do not discuss problems in the previous organization unless it is to display you in a better light and show how you overcame the challenges.
  9. Unless asked, do not talk about diseases that you may be suffering from. Stay away from any topic that would make the interviewer think that you are trying to draw his or her sympathy.
  10. Do not appreciate the appearance of the interviewer. You may be seen as a sycophant even if you are a simple person who likes to give compliments.

Get That Interview Call First!

Before worrying about the interview, first you have to think how you could get the interview! One of the best ways to get a lot of interview calls from the right company is to submit an excellent resume, tailored to the position you are applying for. For fresh graduates, sometimes crafting a resume might be even harder than mastering the art of interview, so why not leave it in the hands of professionals?

A creative resume could also help you during the interview. When you submit a creative resume, you have stolen the interviewer’s attention from the beginning. Then, the interviewer will be much more enthusiastic about your prospects at the company when he/she is interviewing you.

At Style Resumes, we are well-equipped with the skills to craft a perfect resume that will get you the right job. Get one step closer to your dream job by checking out our products now!

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Building a Professional Online Presence

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In the era when people go to online search engine to look for all sorts of information, it is not unusual for potential employers to research their job candidates online.

Now, how would your potential employers feel if they found tons of drunken pictures and offensive rants on social media when researching online about you? Even though you try to convince them that you are able to keep business and personal life separated, unprofessional online presence can prevent you to get your dream job.

So, here are some tips to build a professional online presence to smooth your way in snatching away that dream job.

Google yourself

Most people have tried googling their name at some point in their life, but have you done it lately? What did you find? Check not only the first page, but all the way to the next pages. Also, check regularly ever few months or so. When googling, position yourself as a hiring manager and note the findings that are inappropriate. Next, edit or remove the items/pages that show yourself in a negative way. For example, delete the post when you were swearing at your ex and remove photo tags of your “crazy night out” with your buddies.

Manage a Twitter account

Twitter can be a powerful tool to create a professional presence online, but it can also damage a reputation if used carelessly. So, rather than tweeting where you got your last cup of coffee or ranting about random issues or celebrities, use it to share articles you like about your field or industry. Discuss related business trends and retweet other related news or pieces of information that add value for your career.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile

One of the most likely search results for anyone is their LinkedIn profile as it often comes up on the first page. In addition, many recruiters and employers often use LinkedIn to help them decide which people to shortlist for an interview. Therefore, creating a complete and compelling LinkedIn profile is one of the best ways to create a positive impression for an employer.

Start a blog

Creating a blog relevant to your field can be a very effective way to build a professional presence online. Writing about topics relevant to your career shows that you care about your field and can communicate effectively. Once you start your blog, post regularly and consistently, because an abandoned blog may show that you are undetermined and unreliable.

Create a Web portfolio

If you are a freelance writer, photographer, or designer, having a web portfolio to showcase your work is a must. In addition, having an impressive web portfolio or web resume is also advantageous for non-freelance workers! If you have a web portfolio, your prospective employers will be directed to it instead of some partying photos of you by merely Googling your name. It makes a positive impression and will definitely give you an edge over the others as you will be seen as one who is willing to invest your time and energy well to come up with a very innovative resume.

Build a professional online presence with Style Resumes

Having understood the importance of building a professional online presence, you want to get started but do not have enough time to build all the online profiles and uncertain of how to craft powerful ones. Worry not, because we at Style Resumes can create a LinkedIn profile that reflects the best that you have to offer. We would also be more than happy to craft an impressive web portfolio for you.

Let us help you build a powerful professional online presence and wait for those interview messages and calls!

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2015 Job Search Resolutions

new-year-resolution

A new year normally signifies change, or the desire to change. People resolve to quit smoking, lose weight, or do something else to improve the quality of their lives. It’s not uncommon, as January rolls around, to consider searching for a new career.

Is finding a new job on your new year’s resolution? If so, here are some things you should do.

Revise Your Resume

Did you look for work last year, and receive few to no bites? Make your first job search resolution a complete resume makeover. What have you done noteworthy in the last year that should be added? What skills and positions are too stale to keep listed? Especially if you work in technology or marketing, it’s important to stay current because trends change quickly. Consider hiring a professional resume writer – it’s worth the investment.

Consider More Education

Do you think you need to brush up on basic skills? Perhaps you need to learn new technologies in order to get noticed. You don’t necessarily have to go back for a degree, but if you are looking for specific positions in design, Internet development, or even marketing you will be required to stay updated on new trends and platforms. As you check the classifieds, double up your research by consulting local community colleges and education centers for relevant classes.

Approach More References

Believe this, when recruiters ask for references, you can be certain they will call the list you give them. If you have had the same people on your reference list for years and years – particularly former supervisors you haven’t seen in a while – there’s a possibility these seemingly helpful folks can hinder your job search. An old boss might not realize your growth in certain fields, whereas somebody closer to you know can present a more rounded picture of what you bring to the table. Go over your reference list and consider rotating a few names.

Create Opportunities

Undecided about what you want to do, or maybe nobody is hiring for what you seek? If you’re able to get by, you may wish to try “creating” an opportunity that could turn into a job. Volunteerism is a great way to network, so why not offer your time and skills to a local organization supported by your dream company, or seek an internship at your workplace of choice and see what develops. It’s not uncommon for temporary work to become a career.

Get Connected

Finding the job you want means being accessible at all times. If you have a great resume, there is a good chance employers will start contacting you. Do not ignore calls, especially during working hours because it might be your future boss. Check if your voice mail sounds professional. Other than that, it’s time to use your smartphone smartly; download a good job hunting app and start using it properly.

Get Professional Help

When you are looking for job, your resume and cover letter are your most powerful weapons to score that dream job of yours. Most people think that writing resume and cover letter is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume and cover letter get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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