Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Resume formatting rules

Bold and enlarge your name at the top.
Keep the sections lined up and consistent.
Use an Arial or Times New Roman font (or similar).
Font size shouldn't be smaller than 11pt or larger than 12pt, except for your Name and Headings.
Do not include pronouns such as "I," company street addresses, salary, or reasons for leaving.
Two-page resume: be sure to fill the second page at least halfway down the page.
Place “Continued” at the bottom of page one, and your name and “Page 2” at the top of page two.
Use graphics sparingly unless you are in a creative field. It is safe to use a border and shading.
Leave out personal data, photos, and unrelated hobbies, unless you are an actor/actress or model.
If you spell out the state in your address, such as New York, spell out the states for your jobs.
Proof, proof, and proof again!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ways to make your profile better than the rest

In the world of hourly and part-time jobs, you’ll rarely have to write a resume, which is a short and snappy document you create by listing all of your employment experiences, skills and references. Resumes are usually reserved for upper-level jobs and careers, depending on the field and employer.

As a job seeker looking for hourly jobs, you’ll be asked to make a job seeker profile. This is an easy online process in which you answer several questions about your work experience, availability, skills, interests and more. The best thing about having an online profile is that it saves you from having to fill out the same information again and again. Once you have a profile, you can apply to multiple jobs with just a few clicks. Some employers may ask a few additional questions once you’ve applied for a job.

Of course, if you go into a store, you’ll still find the familiar paper application. Here are some tips that apply to resumes, applications and online profiles:

Be complete.
Be accurate.
Be professional
Stay fresh.

A Job seeker's profile

A super smart dandruff shampoo commercial once stated, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

In your hourly job search, when you might be competing with dozens of people for the same job, sometimes you’re fortunate even to get that first chance. And the first impression you make will more than likely be your job application or online profile.

A lot of job seekers fill out their profile in a hurry. But did you know that when you apply to a job, all your profile information is included in your job application? If your job seeker profile is neat and complete, employers will notice you. We’ll tell you how to stand out in the crowd! Read up, and you won’t need a second chance to make a great first impression.

So read up, and you won’t need a second chance to make a great first impression.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What contributions could you make in this organization that would help you to stand out from other applicants?

In previous internships, my industriousness and ability to teach myself have been valuable assets to the company. My self-teaching abilities will minimize overhead costs, and my industriousness at targeting needs without prompting will set me apart from others. Additionally, one thing that has always set me apart from my scientific/engineering peers are my broad interests and strong writing abilities. I am not your typical "left-brained" engineer, and with my broad talents, I am likely to provide diverse viewpoints.

Commonly asked interview questions

Why Should We Hire You?

This is often the last question you will be asked in an interview. Prepare for it. This is your chance to restate the skills you possess that are most relevant to the position and to summarize your other qualities that make you the perfect person for the job. Outline your answer before you go in, so that you can answer clearly, concisely, and with confidence.

In formulating your answer, be sure to address these areas:

Determine their goals for the position. 
Show you have the skills needed for the job.
Articulate shared values.
State your interest in the position. 
The most important aspect of this exercise is to make you comfortable in identifying and articulating the skills you possess. Even with a prepared answer, it is important to be flexible within the script itself. You may need to modify the specifics based on the situation.

If an important issue comes up during the interview, be prepared to adapt your answer accordingly. For instance, if the interviewer stresses the need for a certain skill, you will want to address that, even if it was not one of the skills that you included in your original script.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tips for telephonic interview

In this age of globalisation and with recruiters having no time to send interview letters by snail mail, you need to be prepared for an impromptu interview over the phone anytime a company may want. You may have forgotten when you applied for a position in a particular company, or you may just be hunted down by a recruitment company – no matter what it is, always be prepared to face telephonic interviews. The first round of the interview is often a HR round and if time and distance are genuine constraints, then the following rounds may be conducted over phone as well. While it is difficult to assess or judge your interviewer on the opposite side of the phone as you cannot see him, you would need to give your best effort to impress the person on the other side. A few tips that may help you to achieve your goal:
1. After you come to know the purpose of the call, be polite, expressing your interest in the position.
2. Don't forget to address the other person with short greetings.
3. Be articulate and confident during the conversations - don't project overconfidence.
4. Listen very carefully to the questions that are directed at you.
5. Understand the question, if you are confident enough, then elaborate.
6. If you do not know the answer, do not waste time dilly-dallying. Decline politely and apologise for not knowing. The truth has a positive effect on your interviewer.
7. Give to the point answers.
8. Do not exaggerate. Know where to stop.
9. Give proper information regarding your present position. Be brief in your delivery and mention your current job role in a nutshell.
10. Make queries about the organisation, once you have the opportunity. Do not start negotiation on pay packages or benefits at the very beginning.
11. Avoid going into arguments, be formal in your language delivery – do not aggravate your interviewer.
12. Avoid discussing controversial issues.
13. Show your interest only if you are really interested. An endnote like “I would like to hear from you again” will definitely explain your interests.
14. After the interview, don't forget to say, “Thanks for your time.”
15. If you manage to impress your interviewer enough to get the job, be courteous and express your gratitude by saying “Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work for your esteem organization and I will always try to deliver my best.”
16. If you are not hired, don't be disappointed. Learn from your mistakes and try to overcome the problems the next time around.
17. Last but not the least, Be Positive.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tips for success

What is Success?

Simply put, it is happiness or satisfaction derived from a goal accomplished or a purpose realized. It can be of a personal nature, such as losing weight or giving up smoking, or it can be of a professional nature, as in winning an election or securing a job promotion. It can be small, or big, something as palpable as becoming a millionaire or as intangible as waking up happy every morning.

Learn From Your Mistakes

The first common thread in the fabric of failure is that failures almost never learn from their mistakes. They repeat them again and again. People who land on their feet even when they stumble are those who learn from mistakes, make positive changes, and succeed in avoiding subsequent calamities.

Be Willing to Take Advice

A second common trait in failures, related to the first, is that failures refuse to take advice. When circumstances warrant, being able to solicit counsel and listen to what others have to say is important. A willingness to listen to others, and being humble enough to take advice, is important for success.

Don't Delay

Procrastination is a common attribute of failures. Deliberation is fine, but in chronic delay are the seeds of failure. First, a task becomes more difficult to undertake with each successive postponement. Second, in this world, real opportunity often has a shelf life.

Finish What You Start

Related to the advice on delay is the admonition to finish what you start. Successful people will see tasks through to completion, even through difficult times. They are not short-termers, they keep their eyes on the goal even though they have to suffer some temporary pain to get to it.

Stop Running Around in Circles

One common trait of failures is that they are almost always inefficient.

Don't Be a Victim

Chronic whining wastes productive time and underscores one's impotence. It's a fairly common trait among failures--the focus on assigning blame rather than rectifying the situation.

How to improve your relationships at work

The relationship you have with your colleagues or team members is important. Not only does it often define your emotional condition, it can guide your effectiveness, career growth and long-term success. Here are a few tips which can help you improve your relations at work:

Weigh your words

How one says something counts for far more than what one says. When confronted with a difficult situation, one must always say less than one thinks. Curbing one’s tongue in a stressful situation is critical to avoid unnecessary disputes or misunderstandings.

Keep your word

Whenever you make a promise, no matter what the cost, be prepared to keep it. The easiest way to lose the respect of others is by promising things/ facilities that cannot be delivered.

Be supportive and encouraging

Never let an opportunity to show kindness or encouragement to others to pass by. Praise good work, regardless of who did it. Sometimes, one can turn even the most hardened of fellow workers into real softies once they realise that you are not afraid to compliment them or be encouraging.

Know people

Learn about others’ interests, their homes and families and their problems. Gaining the confidence of fellow workers is made much easier when you demonstrate that you care. Make everyone feel important.

Be positive

Learn to be positive ‘magnet’ with your attitude towards yourself and others. Maintaining a cheerful attitude at all times will not only make others more comfortable in your presence, but you will feel better as well. Develop your attitude, which clearly says ‘I care about you and want to get along.’

How to deal with your mistakes at work

Everyone make mistakes at work. Learning from mistakes leads to growth and to greater understanding. If you make a mistake of a more serious nature, consider these suggested steps:

1. Admit responsibility.
2. Determine who needs to know.
3. Communicate the error to the appropriate person(s)
4. Give only the facts.
5. Don’t make excuses. Only offer the person an explanation.
6. State how you fixed the problem – or how you plan to fix the problem.
7. Plan and communicate to the employer how you will prevent the mistake from occurring again.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Career Counseling - Research Your Options

After compiling a list of possible career options worth exploring, it is time for you to research those very options. This is important because before you can make a decision on a career, you have to ask yourself how much you know about each option. Once you have information on each of the options, you can then use your criteria to evaluate the options and choose a career goal. Some of the questions you may wish to ask during the research process include:
How much do I know about each career?
Will there be a demand for such careers in today’s and tomorrow’s job market?
What does a typical workday entail with each career?
What special skill or field-knowledge is required for each career?
What are the training and education requirements?
What is the salary potential for each option?

How do I begin to generate and explore career options?

BrainstormingWith the help of your Career Counsellor, you can expand your career options by brainstorming about various potentially appealing occupations. These occupations will be related to your previously stated interests, skills, and values.
Reviewing Strong Interest Inventory and Myers Briggs Type Indicator resultsDiscussing test results with a Career Counsellor may assist you in creating a list of potentially satisfying career options that match your interest areas and your personality type.
Utilizing Counselling and Development’s Career Resource CenterYou can obtain a number of books, periodicals, and newsletters outlining career options linked to your area of study as well as related career options.
Searching CHOICES’ Occupational DatabasesYou can access CHOICES’ Occupational Databases. It contains descriptions of close to 1,000 occupational fields in Canada. You can find information on occupational fields of interest as well as related fields.
Researching OnlineThere are numerous credible websites that can help you research the various career options linked to your major. For example, "What can I do with my studies?"
provides career options connected to your particular program of study. Your Career Counsellor can also give you more websites to assist you in your search.
Attending Career FairsCheck out dates and locations of Career Fairs offered by your Faculty (e.g. Arts and Science, Fine Arts) to expand your knowledge of career opportunities in your field.