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4 Salary Negotiation Tips To Help You Get A Better Offer

Posted by | August 15, 2017 | Graduate Article

Having the best salary negotiation tips at your fingertips is as important a preparation as any other things a job seeker should know when they are readying themselves for an interview. This is because not all employers reveal the salary offer when they go out seeking for individuals to fill a vacant position.

“In the interview room, any employer who knows about your previous salary always has a figure for you in their minds. Salary negotiation skills are a mind game that you as the job seeker should acquaint with if you really want to end up with a better offer in the job,” Carolyne Kariuki, Recruitment Manager at Corporate Staffing Services says.

According to Ms Kariuki, it is important for a job seeker to have a figure concerning their expected salary at the ready so as to know how to handle the salary negotiation in the event that it comes up during an interview.

This said, what are the salary negotiation tips when you are looking to get a new job?

Salary Negotiation Tips During the Interview

As you look to gain experience in your new job, remember that the salary you get at the end of the day determines your motivation to work hard and even grow in your career.

Possessing some of these salary negotiation tips therefore will go a long way to ensure that you start the job, satisfied with the package that you are offered, and in a way that does not make your employer feel wasted.

1. Match your salary to your skills

Best put, you need to match your negotiation to what you are able to offer to the organization.

“Ask yourself whether your level of experience is what your prospective employer would wag their tongues over. Consider if you have the right skills that are able to benefit the organization. This acts as a strong negotiating ground for you,” Ms Kariuki advises.

In short, don’t bargain if you have so little to offer that the recruiter won’t feel the pinch if they decide to let you go. In this case, you end up losing the job on offence of negotiating for a better pay.

2. Ask in terms of other benefits

Your salary may be meager as compared to the figure you had in your mind but if packaged with other benefits, you realize a good offer.

Ask whether you can get allowances including house allowances, travel and medical cover. Ms Kariuki finds fault in job seekers who downplay the magnitude of such benefits forgetting they could be the best salary negotiation tips to go by.

“Such benefits including allowances exist in most companies. Not many candidates ask for them however during the salary negotiation. If you do not ask for them, only a few recruiters will give them to you,” she says.

3. Wait until you are asked

Don’t make it the first thing that comes out of your mind when you are asked whether or not you have any questions to the recruiting panel. The worst thing is, you are not sure whether or not you will get the job.

The salary interview question may be phased in several ways for instance, ‘What are you looking for in terms of salary’ and so on. Wait until you are asked. Only then can you approach the topic according to the advice we gave you concerning salaries.

4. ‘I am open to negotiation’

It shows you are flexible and thus an answer that many job seekers looking to get favour of the recruiter will give. According to Ms Kariuki, you ought to choose such an answer with total caution.

“When you say that you are open to salary negotiation, you should already know where the recruiter should get and not cross the line. Any recruiter would be glad to get employees willing to get as little as possible to favour their own budget,” she says.

You should therefore be armed with information on what the job is bound to reward you in terms of salary. Know what you are moving from too so that you do not end up with an offer that is way below your previous salary.

As much as it is courteous to go slow with money matters in the interview room, always remember that you have a right to ensure you make the most of what the recruiter is willing to offer. With the above salary negotiation tips, know how to stand your ground when bargaining for a better pay.

All the best in your interview preparation.

 

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8 Ways Smart Fresh Graduates Negotiate For Higher Salaries

Posted by | August 3, 2017 | Graduate Article

While I was still in my first year of university, I was lucky enough to secure an internship at a PR firm. This was an exciting moment for me as it not only meant that I was getting the experience to build a career while still in school but being a paid internship I would always have something in my pocket at the end of the day.

The internship was what I wanted but I failed to negotiate the salary before I started working. I was so excited to be offered 3,000 as stipend that I never stopped to think about the expenses I would incur daily. Well, to cut the long story short I completed my 3 month internship but at the end of it I was up to my neck in debt.

The transport fee ended up taking the entire salary and I had to add an extra 1,500 on top to cover it all and not factoring in other expenses. Why am I telling you this? If at that time I had someone tell me that it’s okay to negotiate a salary, I would probably have had enough for expenses and even for a savings account.

You may be starting a new job or have been invited for a job interview and deep down you know the salary they are offering is mere peanuts but you can’t dare say anything because let’s face it, you have tasted the bitter pill of joblessness for far too long.

Take it from me, at the end of the day, that job won’t mean anything if you can’t cover your expenses. Here are great tips on how to negotiate a salary if you are an entry level job seeker that I wish I knew then

1. Know your Value

You can never be good at salary negotiation if you don’t know what you are worth. This means that you need to understand the job market at the moment. Do your research; what do your fellow entry level job seekers in the same position earn in that industry?

For instance if you are applying for an Accounts Assistant job, find out the starting salary of a CPA holder in Kenya. You can get salary ranges at Glassdoor.com.

2. Talk about what you can do

Before you start talking about numbers show the employer what you can do or what you have already done and that way they are likely to take you serious. I knew what I was capable of accomplishing which gave me a very good recommendation letter at the end, but had I stated this from the beginning, I would have gotten a better offer.

3. Focus on the future not the present

It is very common for the employer to ask you what you are currently earning or your last salary in an interview.

When prompted with this question, the best thing to do is to be honest. If you are unemployed, just say so and then go ahead to talk about what you are looking for, your capabilities and the market value for someone in that position.

4. Consider the other person

When negotiation salaries, it is natural to just put ourselves in the picture not considering that your employer matters. Think about it.

Is the company capable of paying you the salary you want? Are the roles you will be undertaking worth the salary you are looking for?

5. Stay positive, not pushy

Negotiating a salary is scary and one of those conversations we all dread having with our prospective employers.

However, you should always try to keep the discussion as positive as possible.

For instance you can say something like “This is a position I would enjoy doing as it is in line with my career goals. However I do believe that I will do a superb job and a little something on my compensation is all I desire.”

With this the employer is more likely to consider your request.

6. Don’t mention personal needs

This is probably your first job which means that you are finally leaving the nest that is your parent’s care. However talking about how you need a good salary to afford rent and transport is a no go zone.

The truth is that other employees are also dealing with the same problems. Therefore stick it out the first few months, do a good job and then talk about a raise.

7. Negotiate a salary only if you have something to show for it

You won’t make it in the job market if you are a greedy job seeker who only wants to take without giving anything in return.

When offered a job, consider taking on the role first and from then on after you have something tangible to show for it, sit down and have that salary discussion with your employer.

8. Never Fear Moving On

Finally, if you know your value and that the company can offer more than what they are giving you but they are adamant, no need stretching yourself for a job that’s not worth it. It probably means that that was not the right job for you. Rejection may be the door to something better.

If however you have the means of supplementing your salary, maybe with the support of your parents, go on and take the job.

In the end, negotiation a salary is something you will find yourself doing in the course of your career. The goal is to understand your value and have something to show for your demands.

And by the way never be afraid to ask for better pay just because you are an entry level job seeker and feel you are not entitled to such a request.

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Best Interview Advice: To Shake Hands With The Interviewer Or Not?

Posted by | July 12, 2017 | Graduate Article

For a long time John Achogo has been attending interviews but he always gets confused on whether to shake hands with the interviewers or not.

“I have always felt the need to shake hands in an interview but when I get to the room I stand there and do nothing. My introduction is usually verbal. The few times I have tried handshakes always ended up awkward. Could I be losing out on jobs because of a handshake? In the case of a panel interview should I shake hands with everyone? What is the right way to introduce myself?” he writes in an email.

Handshakes are not everyone’s cup of tea. During an interview, most candidates opt not to shake hands because they are uncertain of how to go about it.

This being the case, should you shake hands with the interviewer or not?

The best way is to let the interviewer guide you. There are some who are not comfortable shaking hands while some will even stand up and stretch their hand to you. Once you enter into an interview room, read the interviewers actions and take it from there.

Don Varney from Expert Village says that after making eye contact with the interviewer the next important step is to give a handshake.

“Most people sometimes feel that if they have a very strong handshake they would be well noticed by the interviewer. But this is not the case,” he remarks.

Mr. Varney advises that. “You need a firm handshake. Firm does not mean that I’m going to squeeze your hand and break it but it also doesn’t mean that it is limp and soft. It’s a nice firm handshake.”

According to him the perfect handshake can be described as one done with dry palms, a firm grip, two to three shakes, eye contact and a smile.

What if it is a panel interview ? Do you enter the room and stretch your hand to each one of them?

It is not wise to enter the room and greet everyone depending on the time of day.

After that the panel will let the interview continue as planned. They are conscious about time so allowing you to shake everyone’s hand will not save on time. For example enter the room and say ‘Good Morning’ wait for the response and follow their lead.

Giving a handshake does not present an opportunity to get personal with the interviewer or narrating everything that happened before you got to the interview.

In conclusion, one goes into an interview room without knowing the type of personalities to expect. So, if you are planning to offer a firm handshake, ensure your hands are dry and your nails are clean.

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6 Best Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

Posted by | July 10, 2017 | Graduate Article

At some point during a job interview, it’s your turn. You’ve answered a number of questions (possibly even some of the 27 most common job interview questions.) Now you get to ask the interviewer a few questions.

Some job candidates don’t actually care about the answers to the questions they ask; they are just trying to look good by asking what they hope are great questions.

Others genuinely care about the answers — because they’re still trying to decide whether they actually want the job. (And, of course, as a secondary benefit they hope the interviewer will be impressed by the quality of those questions.)

So if that’s you — if you hope to ask the interviewer questions that you really want answered, and you want to make a good impression in the process — here are some of the best questions you can ask during a job interview.

1. “What top skills and qualities do all of your top performers have in common?”

Great people want to be great employees. They know every organization is different — and so are the key qualities of top performers in those organizations.

Maybe the top performers work longer hours. Maybe creativity is more important than methodology. Maybe constantly landing new customers in new markets is more important than building long-term customer relationships. Maybe being willing to spend the same amount of time educating an entry-level customer as helping an enthusiast who wants high-end equipment is what really makes a difference..

Ultimately, you 1) want to know if you will fit in, and 2) if you do fit in, how you can be a top performer.

2. “What is the key driver of results in this job?”

Employees are investments, and employers expect employees to generate a positive return on their salaries. (Otherwise why have them on the payroll?)

In every job, some activities make a bigger difference than others. Maybe you need your HR team to fill job openings, but what you really want is for them to find the right candidates, because that results in higher retention rates, lower training costs, and better overall productivity. Maybe you need your service techs to perform effective repairs, but what you really want is for those techs to identify ways to solve problems and provide other benefits — in short, to build customers relationships and even generate additional sales.

You want to know what truly makes a difference and drives results, because you know that helping the company succeed means you will succeed as well.

3. “What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 90 days?”

You want to hit the ground running. You don’t want to spend weeks or months “getting to know the organization.” You don’t want to spend huge chunks of time in orientation, in training, or in the futile pursuit of getting your feet wet.

You want to make a difference — and you want to make that difference right now.

4. “What are the company’s highest priority goals this year, and how would my role contribute?”

Is the job you will fill important? Does it matter?

You want a job with meaning, with a larger purpose — and you want to work with people who approach their jobs the same way.

Otherwise a job… is just a job.

5. “What percentage of your employees were ‘recruited’ by existing employees?”

Employees who love their jobs naturally recommend their company to their friends and peers.

The same is true for people in leadership positions — people naturally try to bring on board talented people they previously worked with. They’ve built relationships, developed trust, and shown a level of competence that made someone go out of their way to follow them to a new organization.

And all of that speaks incredibly well to the quality of the workplace and the culture.

6. “What do employees do in their spare time?”

Happy employees 1) like what they do, and 2) like the people they work with.

Granted, this can be a tough question to answer. Unless the company is really small, all the interviewer can do is speak in generalities. Or he or she can pick out a few people and describe what they do outside of work — and if they can’t even do that, they don’t know your employees nearly well enough.

(And of course what people do outside of work may not reflect how they are to work with. I’ve known people who were supremely driven and focused on achieving goals outside of work… and totally lazy while at work. But still.)

You want to be sure of having a reasonable chance of fitting in on a personal level as well as a professional level, because to many people, cultural fit is extremely important.

And even if it’s not important to you, it does help to know what you’re getting into.

Credit : Inc.com

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5 Common Online Job Application Mistakes You Are Making

Posted by | July 6, 2017 | Graduate Article

Most jobs nowadays require one to make online applications because it is more convenient and it enables some organisations to electronically weed out applications without having to go through thousands of them.

However, most people make very silly mistakes when it comes to sending online applications and as such end up ruining their chances of landing the job.

1. Failing to add a subject/ref

So many people forget to include a reference/ref when applying for jobs via email. This is a huge mistake because your email will not be opened.

Hiring managers do not have time to guess what your email is about and they receive hundreds if not thousands of them. Therefore, it is up to you as a job seeker to make sure the subject of your email is easily known.

The next time you apply for a job via email please ensure you indicate what the email entails. For example, REF: Application For Communication Officer Job.

2. Copying every organisation

Although not as common this is still a mistake job applicants make. You need to remember that if you copy any other person on that email the recipients will be able to see.

Today I received an email from someone applying for a job. The problem is that this person had copied over 5 other organisations in the email. I can see all the companies she applied to and so can whoever received her email.

This means that in all those organisations her application will not be considered because employers don’t want to see that you are applying for jobs in other organisations.

3. Fail to follow instructions

Most organisations will give you specific instructions on how to apply for the position. For example, they can say that one needs to quote the title of the position you’re applying for as the reference.

Some also specify how many attachments you need to send while others strictly ask for your CV only.

Now as a job seeker, it is important that you adhere to these rules and failure to do so will lead to automatic disqualification.

So before applying for any job ensure you understand what is required from you and follow the instructions given if any.

4. Attaching poorly formatted documents

I once saw an application by someone where their CV was upside down. Now this might seem like a trivial thing but the hiring manager does not have time to start rotating your documents.

Most recruiters take at most 3 minutes to go through application and upon opening your email if the documents are not properly formatted they move on to the next.

They have more than enough applications and throwing yours away will not hurt them in any way. What this means is that before hitting send on your email you need to ensure that all the documents are okay and do not have any mistakes.

5. Applying in the wrong place

This is also a very common mistakes, when a job is posted even on job sites like JobWebGhana, applying in the comment section does not mean you have applied for the position. Neither dose sending any of us your application count.

It is always advisable to apply where the advert tells you to be it via email or on the company website. This is because job sites do not go through applications for those positions all they do is advertise them.

Making online applications may make the process easier but it is also important that you follow instructions provided and avoid silly mistakes that could cost you opportunities.

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7 Sure Ways Of Identifying A Job Scam

Posted by | July 5, 2017 | Graduate Article

Following a recent job scam doing rounds by a company calling themselves JobWebLTD purporting to be JobWebGhana, we have taken it upon ourselves help you identify a job scam, to escape snare of having to deal with scammers and fraudulent advertisers.

The rate of unemployment in Ghana is very high with close to 50% of eligible candidates for jobs remaining unemployed. That said, we know that many of you are desperate to get a job in order to earn a living and survive.

But it is also crucial that you remain sober and alert so as not to fall for a scam. That said, here are 7 ways of identifying a job scam.

1.The ‘employers’ always ask for money

Isn’t it strange for an employer to ask you to pay them to give you a job? Being asked to pay some money, as little as GH₵ 50.00 is questionable.

Never pay money up front to an employer.

No genuine employer will ask you for money to get hired. Most of those who do should be suspects of job scamming.

2.They ask you for your valuables

As I mentioned earlier, I fell for a job scam years ago. The advertiser of this job invited me for an interview and asked me to carry my laptop, for him to install a software, that was needed for the job. (It was a data entry job).

In very rare occasions will an employer invite you for an interview asking you to carry your laptop. Unless the interview includes a power point presentation. But even then, it’s important that you do your research on this company to ensure that it’s a genuine company.

3.The process of getting the job is full of twists and turns.

First, they tell you to meet them at a particular place. As soon as you arrive and call them, they make you travel to a different location.

In my case, the scammer had told me he worked for DHL Company and he needed help with data entry. I was to meet him at the DHL Offices. On the day of the interview, however, he said that he had left for lunch, and suggested that I meet him at the restaurant he was having lunch.

Scammers keep changing stories. You can tell by how they handle the process unprofessionally.

If you come across a case where instructions keep changing, it’s a clear indicator of a job scam.

4.The location of the interview

Hotels, a small room with a desk a chair,  a few files or a house are not standard locations for any legitimate interview in Kenya.

Very few scammers have decent offices or any at all.

5.The job description and the salary does not match

The job might read “no experience required” which is not necessarily bad, but then the salary indicated is 70K or 100K.

When the deal is too good, think twice.

6. Opportunity to work from home jobs

Scammers know that work from home jobs such as online writing are very common and the preferred choice for some, and they target people looking to work from home.

Beware then, of jobs that offer you an opportunity to work from home. Ideally, in the Kenyan job market, only CEO’s have the privilege of dashing home or opting to work from home one day of the week.

That said, most work from home jobs should be put under careful scrutiny.

7.Too many job responsibilities for a very junior role

Have you come across a job that had too many responsibilities for a simple sales job? That could be a scam.

Scammers always want to appear professional and legit, by posting job ads that look standard, but often go overboard with the responsibilities.

Lastly, most scammers don’t have websites and even if they do, those websites don’t look professional and the information on the website is not coherent, in that is it’s not logically connected.

 

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7 Things To Check Before Sending Your Cover Letter

Posted by | June 30, 2017 | Graduate Article

So you have written a beautiful Cover Letter and you cannot wait to send it to potential employers. Before you do there are a few things that you need to double check to ensure you got them right.

In this article see some of the things you need to double check before sending out your job application.

1. The Hiring Manager’s Name

Yes, before you send that beautifully written cover letter you need to double check that you have used the right name. You do not want to address your letter to the wrong person.

It is important to use the person’s name as opposed to writing Dear Sir/Madam or to whom it may concern. This will make the hiring manager know that you spent the time to research on the organisation.

It is equally important that you do not misspell the name of the person you are addressing the Cover Letter to. You also need to ensure that you use the right title. You do not want to call someone MS when she is a Mrs. If you are not sure about the correct title it is better to avoid using it all together.

2. The Organisation’s Name

The one thing you have to ensure you get right is the company name. Before you send out your application it is important that you check that the company name you have used is correct.

You need to ensure that the spelling is correct and that you have used the full name of the company. For example, if it has a Ltd at the end.

Otherwise, how can someone hire you when you cannot even spell their name correctly?

3. Your Contact Information

Surprisingly, most people get this wrong. If your contact details are not correct it will be very difficult for the hiring manager to get back to you when it comes to inviting you for an interview. This means they will move on to the next person.

You need to ensure that you have used the correct telephone number and email and that you have access to both. Your number needs to be working and your email should not be one you forgot the password to.

4. Dates

You might be wondering how one gets the date wrong but you would be surprised how many people send out applications with the wrong dates. This mostly happens when you have used the same Cover Letter for every job you apply for which is not a good thing.

Something that might seem small like having 3/6/2016 instead of 6/3/2016 can prevent you from getting the job. This shows the recruiter that you are careless and no one wants to hire a careless person.

5. Length

Most organisations have a limit as to how many words your letter can have and as such you should ensure that your Cover Letter is not too long.

You do not want to bore the hiring manager. Ideally, a cover letter is supposed to be short. Try and have only information that is relevant to the job in the cover letter you send.

6. Formatting

If your cover letter is illegible and looks terrible you should be very sure that the hiring manager will throw your application out.

This is because no one wants to struggle reading something that has been poorly formatted. Therefore, it is important that you keep you Cover Letter clean and simple to read.

7. Spelling and Grammar

This is a very important part of checking your Cover Letter. You should never send out an application with poor grammar and spelling mistakes. This will automatically disqualify you for the position.

Having spelling and grammar mistakes will show the hiring manager that you have a poor command of the language and that you are careless because you failed to rectify those mistakes.

Always proofread your Cover Letter before sending or better yet give it to someone else to double check.

Doing this might not guarantee you the position but it will ensure your application is at least considered which is what every job seeker wants. So the next time you send a cover letter to be sure to double check the following.

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4 Terrible Mistakes People Make In A Job Interview

Posted by | June 30, 2017 | Graduate Article

It can be frustrating to attend a job interview and not get the job. And when you don’t know what you did wrong, the mistakes you made or what you should have done differently, the frustration can get worse.

In some cases, recruiters will mention the mistakes they made. But with others, you have to keep guessing, consult an interview coaching service or rely on information available on job interview mistakes.

Learn the top mistakes that people make during a job interview in this new post.

1. Lack of proper preparation before the interview

Let’s explain using a common scenario.

Jack receives a phone call inviting him to an interview. Unfortunately, he isn’t sure what position he is going to interview for. He also doesn’t want to ask the recruiter because he’s afraid he might ruin his chances.

Hoping all will be well, he walks into the interview room with crossed fingers. As the interviewer asks common interview questions, like “Tell me about yourself” and “Walk me through your typical day at Company X”, everything seems to be going on well.

But that’s until the interviewer asks, “What motivated you to apply for this position?” At that moment, Jack becomes anxious, starts to sweat and the rest of the interview becomes a nightmare. Like you would guess, the interviewer decides Jack is not the best candidate for the role.

This kind of scenario happens a lot. But you can salvage it by revisiting your sent emails and scanning all recent applications. This way, you will find all the positions you have applied to, and pick out the winner.

If for one reason or another you still don’t comprehend the position, you can always ask politely.

2. Being rude and having a bad attitude

The way you treat the security guard, talk to the receptionist or employee who attends to you, and your interaction with interviewers acts as a huge determining factor. If you are rude to these people or have a bad attitude, it is unlikely the job will be yours.

Employers and hiring managers use your personality to decide. This means that in addition to technical expertise, you will also need a likable personality to get the job.

So, make sure you are not rude to anyone in the moments leading to your interview. And avoid portraying a bad attitude. These two are a guarantee for a failed job interview.

Rudeness and a bad attitude have never worked well for anyone. In fact, purpose to be a polite person at all times. And always remain positive.

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10 Reasons Your CV Is Not Getting You There (Part 1)

Posted by | June 28, 2017 | Graduate Article

A CV is a proposal or a pitch that goes before you to sell you to a potential employer. It is meant to speak for you and present you as a professional absolutely capable in carrying out the job you are applying for.

For the CV to act as the perfect pitch, it needs to present the picture of a perfectly capable professional with unmatchable experience and expertise.

An unimpeachable CV needs to foot the ability of being professional bringing out meaningful and relevant information regarding your career such as your education background, experience in your area of specialization and the track record of accomplishments you have acquired.

Very few CVs meet these criteria. The mistakes a candidate makes on the CV are what make a potential employer think twice about calling you for that interview.

1. Having a peculiar email address

There is nothing that screams unprofessionalism than having an email address that looks funny. The email addresses outlined in the contact details on your CV or ones used to send out applications need to be professional. An email like [email protected] or [email protected] is definitely not professional.

Seek to use your official names for email addresses with dots and commas and numbers to make it more unique. An email like [email protected] is a lot better.

2. Obvious spelling mistakes

There is nothing as off putting as a CV that has obvious spelling and grammatical mistakes that can be easily avoided. It is important to read and reread your CV to rid it of these errors as such present you as careless and one who cannot take keen interest on the little things. As such you might miss out on job opportunities.

3. Using unusual styling

Thinking that one needs to make the CV stand out by all means, there are candidates who add all sorts of colors to the template of the CV and use very unprofessional font types when doing it complete with images.

It is important to use a very professional font like Times New Roman, Calibri or Palatino Linotype and corporate colors like Blue or Purple can be used subtly be used to kill the monotony to present you as a serious and professional candidate.

4. Being to brief on the CV

In a bid to make the CV short and ‘concise’, there are people who think that doing away with important elements like duties and responsibilities and only having the position, the place of work and duration of work is what makes it more presentable.

On the contrary, this presents you as a laid back individual who is not serious about what he or she is looking for.

It is very important to have the duties and responsibilities clearly outlined. However, there is a catch. Not all roles need to be outlined in the CV.

Instead, capitalize on the most specific duties relevant to the career you are in as opposed to including even the most general ones like “Offering help to my team members when required to.

5. Having an overly long CV

Individuals with over 10 years of experience and have worked for more than 5 organizations tend to have a longer CV than those who possess an experience of between 1 to 9 years. In most cases, these CVs go to over 5 pages which are very unnecessary.

Most employers tend to look at the three most recent experiences and ignore the rest. What one has the most recent experience in is what is considered to be an expert in.

Avoid the mistakes above and your CV will most definitely land you the interview that will edge you closer to that dream job.

Comments Off on The Worst Mistakes People Make in a Job Interview

The Worst Mistakes People Make in a Job Interview

Posted by | June 24, 2017 | Graduate Article

It can be frustrating to attend a job interview and not get the job. And when you don’t know what you did wrong, the mistakes you made or what you should have done differently, the frustration can get worse.

It can be frustrating to attend a job interview and not get the job. And when you don’t know what you did wrong, the mistakes you made or what you should have done differently, the frustration can get worse.

In some cases, recruiters will mention the mistakes they made. But with others, you have to keep guessing, consult an interview coaching service or rely on information available on job interview mistakes.

Learn the top mistakes that people make during a job interview in this new post.

1. Lack of proper preparation before the interview

Let’s explain using a common scenario.

Jack receives a phone call inviting him to an interview. Unfortunately, he isn’t sure what position he is going to interview for. He also doesn’t want to ask the recruiter because he’s afraid he might ruin his chances.

Hoping all will be well, he walks into the interview room with crossed fingers. As the interviewer asks common interview questions, like “Tell me about yourself” and “Walk me through your typical day at Company X”, everything seems to be going on well.

But that’s until the interviewer asks, “What motivated you to apply for this position?” At that moment, Jack becomes anxious, starts to sweat and the rest of the interview becomes a nightmare. Like you would guess, the interviewer decides Jack is not the best candidate for the role.

This kind of scenario happens a lot. But you can salvage it by revisiting your sent emails and scanning all recent applications. This way, you will find all the positions you have applied to, and pick out the winner.

If for one reason or another you still don’t comprehend the position, you can always ask politely.

2. Being rude and having a bad attitude

The way you treat the security guard, talk to the receptionist or employee who attends to you, and your interaction with interviewers acts as a huge determining factor. If you are rude to these people or have a bad attitude, it is unlikely the job will be yours.

Employers and hiring managers use your personality to decide. This means that in addition to technical expertise, you will also need a likable personality to get the job.

So, make sure you are not rude to anyone in the moments leading to your interview. And avoid portraying a bad attitude. These two are a guarantee for a failed job interview.

Rudeness and a bad attitude have never worked well for anyone. In fact, purpose to be a polite person at all times. And always remain positive.

3. Trying too hard to be someone you are not

You may have tried too hard to impress and completely failed in efforts to prove that you are the best candidate for the job.

Let’s say you are highly energetic and like to joke around a lot. Because you don’t want to hurt your chances of getting hired, you try your best to keep your energy levels down and avoid any jokes. Unfortunately, the interviewer sees you as superficial and does not hire you.

If you are an energetic person, don’t hide it. If you are a happy person, let it show. And if you don’t like wearing make-up, don’t wear it at all. You know why?

There are only two ways your plan can go, both of which are negative. You will either not get the job at all, or you’ll get hired and lose the job a few months later. Remember that employers believe in hiring someone who will easily fit into the company culture.

So, always be yourself. Let the interviewer connect with you as an individual, and not just another applicant.

4. Too much complaining during the interview

So you hate your current boss or former boss. You dislike your coworkers and believe they are incompetent. Or you think your boss is unfair to you, treats employees badly and does not take up your wonderful ideas. The interviewer does not need to know this.

The more you complain about your boss or former boss, talk negatively about that job you quit or badmouth your coworkers, the more the interviewer shakes their head (internally). You may not see it at the time as the interviewer(s) is trying his or her best to be professional. But it happens.

If you find yourself in such a scenario where everything about your current job, coworkers or boss angers you, try and conceal your feelings. You don’t need to sing praises if there are none, you only need to strategically leave them out of your interview. Focus on yourself, the job you are interviewing for and the company.

In the End

An obvious blunder, like in point 1 above, is easy to identify and correct. But in general, mistakes during a job interview are easier to notice when someone points them out to you.

If you have been attending interviews without getting the job, consider consulting with an interview coach before your next one. A coach will take you through a mock interview where you can identify common problem areas, know what employers are looking for and prepare extensively for your next job interview.

Comments Off on 4 Sections You Should Remove From Your CV To Start Getting Interviews

4 Sections You Should Remove From Your CV To Start Getting Interviews

Posted by | June 24, 2017 | Graduate Article

By Lilian Wamaitha

An employer has only 20 seconds to go through your CV  so you need to convince them within that time frame that you are the right candidate. This therefore means only one thing.

If your CV doesn’t meet their standards, it’s just going to be thrown out. This translates to a lot of unnecessary sections that people often include when writing a CV.

Here are 4 sections that you need to remove from your CV if you are to get any interviews.

Sections You Need To Get Rid Of In A CV

1. Photos

Unless you are applying for a job that requires you to showcase your attractiveness, photos are not necessary in a CV.

They are not going to make you earn that job more than that candidate who doesn’t have a photo.

And again, people are different and you never know – someone might just use your looks as a way to discriminate you.

And again, the employer is only interested in your achievements and experience and not how you look.

2. Unnecessary personal information

You would be surprised how much unnecessary information people put on their CVs. Information about your religious affiliation can serve as grounds to discriminate you, same as tribe and marital status.

You also don’t also have to include unnecessary hobbies that are in no way related to the job you are applying for, like watching movies or dancing.

The secret to writing a great CV that gets you interviews is to really think about every detail you want to add. Is adding that you were a bell ringer back in primary school going to help you case? Are you going to be given the job based on some mere achievement more than a decade ago?

You can make your work easy by having a professional go through CV and advice on what you need to change. Click here to speak to a professional CV writer.

3. Reasons for leaving your former job

If you are not a recent graduate there are high chances that you have held one or more jobs before. The job you are applying for is not therefore your first.

There is no law that says that you are required to reveal your reasons for leaving your previous jobs to your potential employer. That is not necessary in the application stage. If the employer is interested in such information it will come up in the interview stage.

4. Irrelevant Work Experience

So many CVs I have come across have a lot of unnecessary work history. You will not impress the recruiter by including every job position you have ever held on your CV. For some especially fresh graduates, they do it to make their CV appear longer since they do have much in terms of work experience.

HR advices that you should only include jobs that are related to the position you are applying for. For fresh graduates, include those internships and volunteer positions you have held. Remove unnecessary work experience, like “Working as an IEBC Polling Clerk.”

When it comes to writing a compelling CV, you have to be very careful about the kind of information you put in.

Remember, the recruiter has thousands of CVs to go through and if they don’t find what they are looking for in the first few seconds, chances are that you won’t be getting an interview call.

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5 Career Lessons Most People Learn Too Late In Life

Posted by | June 22, 2017 | Graduate Article

By Selipha Kihagi

Do you ever wonder how you’ll age? Whether you’ll still be in the career you are in today as when you turn 60? Or what career lessons you’ll pass on to your children and grandchildren? Well, I do, and I’m sure most of you do. If not, take a moment and think about it.

Today, you may be trying hard to get a job. You apply for a position you think you meet qualifications for, only for you not to get the interview. Or maybe you do get invited for the job interview, but someone else gets the job. It’s a frustrating feeling.

Tomorrow, all this bad luck could change. You could get that job you’ve always wanted, that interview you were looking forward to, that promotion you wanted, or that raise you have been chasing. It all starts with evaluating your mistakes, taking responsibility and learning from those who have succeeded before you.

This post is about learning from those who have been there before you. It details 5 lessons that people learn about their careers when it’s too late to do something about it. Luckily for you, it’s not too late.

1. You’ll Never be Ready to Make an Important Career Decision

When you are contemplating saying yes to a new opportunity, quitting your job, asking for a raise or taking up that promotion, the first thing that probably comes to mind is “am I ready? You want to wait until you are ready to leave your job. You want to wait until the day you feel ready to start looking for a new job.

Well, you know what? There is never really a good time to make an important decision in your career. You will never be truly ready to do it. Most people make decisions after having an epiphany, weighing all their options or talking to God about it.

So don’t wait for when you are ready because that day might never come. Learn to take chances, to take risks and to go for what you want.

2. Negativity Leads To a Very Frustrating Life

Have you ever taken the time to evaluate if you are a negative person? Observed your friends and the people around you, to see if they are a negative lot? And how that negatively affects your well-being and career?

If you never have, do so today. Being negative affects the way you look at things. For instance, when your boss tells you congratulations for good work done, you fail to see his or her genuine appreciation. You assume they are faking it, or that they are up to something.

When you are given more responsibilities, you only see more work. You don’t see the side that you are probably being groomed for a promotion. And when you don’t get a job you applied for, you see the bad in recruiters and employers. You don’t think about what you probably did wrong.

Until when shall you be negative? Consider taking a positive approach in your career and see where it leads you.

3. Fear and Worry only Slows Down Your Career 

Are you the employee that is always afraid of going into their boss’ office to ask something? Do you see your boss in the corridors and run as far as your legs will take you? Or are you a job seeker who is too afraid to talk to a recruiter or potential employer about a job?

You are not alone. Most people today are afraid to ask their bosses for a raise because they are worried they’ll lose their jobs. Unfortunately, worrying and being afraid does not do any justice to your career. It only leaves you poorly paid, unappreciated and stuck in a job you hate.

Ask yourself this; what would I do if I weren’t afraid? Write down all the things that come to mind, then go ahead and do them. You may feel anxious at first but the reward will be greater.

4. You Can Enjoy Your Job if You really Want to

You are probably smirking at this wondering how it’s even possible. Well, very many people today are in jobs they actually love. And you too can join this happy lot. How? By applying for positions you are really passionate about.

Instead of making an application for whatever jobs comes along in your inbox or appears that day on a job board, focus on those you’d love. Consider what you love doing, what an ideal job would look like for you, and then search for exactly that. You’ll be surprised what you find.

5. Success is Contagious

We all want to be successful, but are the people you are hanging out with going to lead you to success? Like the old adage goes, ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with’. You probably hate hearing this quote, like I did some years back.

But that was until I realized the truth that quote holds. If you hang around negative people, you absorb negativity. If you hang around positive people, you lead a positive life. And if you hang around ambitious people, ambition starts to rub off on you.

So make it your new mission to hang around successful people. If you don’t have any in your circles, start following them on social media, subscribe to their blogs if they have any, and attend events where they are. With time, you’ll find success starting to follow you.

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Best Job Interview Answer: “Why Do You Want To Change Careers?”

Posted by | June 21, 2017 | Graduate Article

Once you have gone through all the pointers necessary when making a career change, it is important that you consider what you will say about the change in a job interview. Being sure about the decision to change careers is one thing, but convincing new employers why it’s another story.

Potential employers will want to know why you decided to change your career path before they hire you, and if you have made such a move before, then it’s even more important that you have a good explanation.

So, what do you say when the interviewer asks the career change question?

How To Answer; Why Do You Want To Change Careers?

This question should not be hard to answer if you are sure of what you want and believe the job you are interviewing for is what you are looking for.

Your answer should focus on the transferrable skills you have. Ask yourself, what skills do you possess from your previous job that will be valuable in this new role? Once you are able to identify the key skills, tie them to your career goals and passion for this new job.

Employers will only hire you if they are convinced that your intended move will be of benefit to their company, not because you think it is right for you. This means that what you say in response to this question should address how your skills, passion and career goals relate to the open position.

If you are now moving into Accounting, an example of a good answer would be; “I have always been passionate about numbers and after doing research and talking to successful people in this field, I believe my analytical skills as well as my uptake of CPA classes will enable me to do well in this job. I have also volunteered in the Accounting department at XYZ organization and found the job fulfilling.”

Depending on what your driving force for this new career  is, the answer you give should be focused on demonstrating your current expertise and what you are willing to do to become a good fit for the position.

Avoid quoting boredom or salary as the reason you are leaving your former career, even if this happens to be true. Also, do not say you are trying your luck in a new career or you think the new move is best for you, this only puts you across as being unsure of what you want in life.

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