Friday, November 18, 2011

Career Change Tips

If you're considering a career change think carefully about what really drives you. At first, you might find it hard to get past thinking about “what pays the most” or “what’s the most secure”, especially in today’s economy.

Step # 1: Evaluate your strengths and skills

Once you know where your personal interests lie, take the time to figure out what skills you have and what skills you need. Remember, you’re not starting from scratch – you can often use the skills you already have as a starting point.

Skills, such as a flair for managing others, are called “transferable skills” and they can be applied to almost any field. When weighing up your expertise, don’t limit your skills and experiences to your work environment. And don’t only rely on yourself to help you find them. Brainstorm with trusted friends, colleagues or mentors. They might remind you of transferable skills you’ve forgotten about and help you think of how you could use them in the future.

Step #2: Don’t take on too much at once

A career change won’t happen overnight, you may need to learn new skills or brush up on existing ones to pursue your dream job. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the steps to successfully change careers. So break down large goals into smaller ones and accomplish at least one small thing a day to keep your momentum going.

Step #3: Ease slowly into your new job

Take time to network, volunteer and, if you can, even work part-time in your new field before fully committing to it. Not only will doing this make the transition easier, but you’ll be able to make sure you’re on the right path and make any necessary changes before you’re working in your new field. Don’t risk rushing into a change just because you’re unhappy in your current job. If you don’t take the time to make the right choice, you could end up in an even worse position than before.

Step #4: Don’t let these obstacles stand in your way

It’s always challenging to make a huge change and there may be many reasons why you may think changing careers later in life isn’t possible.

Here are some common obstacles and how to overcome them:

· It’s too much work to change careers: If you sit down and map out a rough plan of attack, breaking down larger tasks into smaller ones, it’ll be a lot more manageable than you think.

· I’m too old to change jobs: Remember, the more you’ve worked, the more likely you are to have skills you can transfer to a new career. You’re never too old to change your path.

· In this economy, I’m lucky to have a job. I don’t want to rock the boat: In today’s climate, it might feel like too much of a risk to consider changing careers. But if you’re unhappy in your current job, doing research on other options will only benefit you in the long run. You may discover a career with a more stable long-term outlook than your current career.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Use Mental Rehearsal to Get a Job Fast

School: Students and Fresh graduates Jobs

If you have made an application for a job and you have an interview coming up, plan for the interview in advance. Go over in your mind all the various job interview questions that are likely to be asked. Think about the job interview answers you are going to give, then rehearse the interview in your mind. Even if none of the job interview questions you have rehearsed come up, the rehearsal practice will still work. It will give you confidence and help you react spontaneously to whatever situation you find yourself in, because you would have practiced reacting spontaneously. In a job interview, you are selling yourself. You are the product and its sales representative. For most interviews you have the luxury of time, to research,  plan and prepare, so use the time to your advantage by using your imagination to construct and rehearse the perfect job interview, so that when the actual interview take place, you will be relaxed, confident and comfortable. To learn more about how to prepare for interviews visit:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Job Interview Questions, CV & Cover Letter Writing Tips to find a job fast

The purpose of this guide is to serve as supplementary assistance to those people starting their careers or looking to change careers. Success at getting called for an interview and actually being hired has a lot more to do with understanding the real secrets of how to write dynamic covering letters, effective CVs and how to answer interview questions – and little to do with sending hundreds of application letters for hundreds of vacancies.

Your Resume and Covering Letter should Emphasis your Key Skills

Students spend a lot of money studying at university and yet the most important aspect of finding a job is not addressed adequately by the educational institutions. Students are guided on fields of study and careers they could follow but are not taught what curriculum vitae should contain how it should be compiled and what to do in order to find a job. It is no wonder so many students cannot find work.

Often recruiters are overworked and are under pressure to fill vacancies. The pressure compels them to scan resumes as quickly as possible to have the vacancy filled as soon as possible.  During the process of selection it is sometimes difficult to identify the right candidates because the recruiter may look for candidates that fulfils the exact requirements rather than looking at transferable and portable skills or potential talent. Any recruiter who reads your application letter should be able to grasp from your cover letter whether it is worth her while continuing reading the rest of your resume. If your CV and covering letter does not emphasis your key skills when preparing your details for entry into the marketplace, you will lose out on the interview.

 Carefully edit out any boring and self-serving tired expressions, such as;

Ø ‘Responsible for…’

Ø ‘Highly motivated…’  

Ø ‘Seasoned MBA with 20 years’ experience…’

Ø 'Dynamic, results-oriented team player who 'think outside the box ';  

 Say what’s different, exciting, vital, and strategic about you. Be bold and courageous. If you’re great, say it, and prove it.

 The fact is, if you’re only looking for a job using one way, sending hundreds of resumes in the old fashion way, you’re likely leaving many effective opportunities you could be using to find a job. The methods of finding a job you will learn in this book will help you attract prospective employers and increase your chances to get a job fast. Written in a straightforward and accessible style, What They Didn’t Teach You In School: Life Long Learning Tips To Land A Job Straight Out Of School” offer you a detailed look at many of today’s most important job search strategies, tips and tricks–explaining how each one works. Page by page, you’ll become familiar with a variety of job hunting approaches, including:

·        writing dynamic covering letters- sample cover letters provided

·        writing effective CVs - resumes examples & formats provided

·        Interview questions and tips

·        Complementary skills such as your transferable and portable skills

·        Job skills assessment and more.

Whether you are a student with a high school certificate looking for a job, an undergraduate seeking temporary employment, or a graduate starting off in search of a career, or you just want to change careers, you will find easy-to-follow strategies and cover letter samples which will help and guide you step-by-step on your way to finding a job. It does not matter whether you have held jobs elsewhere before; you have to treat your job hunt as if you are looking for a job for the first time. After all, you are looking for a job for the first time in a different industry or organization every time you write a letter of application for a vacancy where you have not held a job before. It is obvious therefore that these guidelines are relevant to everyone.

If you’re ready to find a job fast, adopting a multi-channel approach to your career search today will guarantee you success tomorrow. And with this book as your guide, you’ll quickly discover how using multiple job hunting methods can help develop and deepen your knowledge as well as improve your chances of winning the interviews and finding a job fast.

How to Write a Covering Letter?

The first step to actually getting a job interview is to create an attention-getting cover letter. Your cover letter is a piece of information that lets’ a potential employer know what your skills are and whether you would make a perfect fit for the available position. Many people think that cover letters are merely a concise summary of what is in your resume, or at least a list of signposts that point to what they’ll read about later. Effective cover letters however are more than that. Cover letters are a platform to sell your application, to brand yourself using differentiating attributes and strengths and merging these with your qualifications and experience. A cover letter helps you to clarify and communicate differences and specialties and how to use those qualities to guide your career. It also helps you to highlight your strengths, skills, passions and values and to separate yourself from other candidates. If you have 3 years’ experience in a sales environment, and you have applied for a position elsewhere for a senior position in a related field, you have not only acquired experience in selling but you have also learned a skill in selling. In order for your resume not to be rejected for a senior managerial position, you have to highlight this transferable skill clearly in your covering letter. That is why your covering letter must contain concise relevant information that catches the eye of the recruiter.  It is in your application letter where you have to use persuasive writing that creates a professional identity or profile about yourself. Your cover letter must be as detailed and informative as possible, without going beyond a one-page limit.

Whether you have experience or not this guide will provide you with sample covering letters to enable you to write your own cover letters that will grab the attention of hiring managers. Remember getting noticed for vacancies amongst hundreds of resumes is the only way to get a job.

How to Write a CV?

 Much advice has been given and numerous books have been written on how to write CVs or resumes. You may have read statements such as “resumes should never be more than two pages,” or “don’t choose a coloured paper.” The fact is, there is no universal format, but there are some guidelines to follow, whenever you are writing your resume. The most important factor to keep in mind when writing curriculum vitaes is that it should get the immediate attention of the hiring manager and land you an interview. Often jobseekers feel it is necessary to give dissertations on their work experiences. Unfortunately, all what that does is burden the hiring manager with unnecessary information that can later provide reasons for disqualifying you as a candidate. The average solicited job posting generates up to 200 resumes per day. Human Resources personnel spend approximately 15 seconds looking at each resume. Within that time frame, a decision will be made to place you either in the “yes” pile or the “no” pile. It’s critical therefore, that specific accomplishments and skills are emphasized on any resume. Your CV must speak loudly on what you can do for that prospective employer!

Those who “screen” resumes will be looking at the overall appearance, format, and key areas of strength or competency. Once you have survived this preliminary screening, your resume will enter into the next stage. Here, a thorough review will be done on your resume. If you are successful through this process, the contents of your resume will become the outline of your interview. In other words, a good CV will land you the job interview. Your performance in that interview is what will determine if you will get the job or not.

This guide will show you how to apply for vacancies and find a job fast by providing you with resume templates and detailed strategies you need to follow when writing curriculum vitae.

Job Interview Questions and Answers

Individuals facing a job interview often find the process itself to be more challenging than finding the job itself. A job interview is an employer’s opportunity to assess you and your opportunity to evaluate the employer. In reality, you both want to know if you and the job’s requirements match, if you are motivated to succeed in this position, and if you and the employer’s values and styles match. When you are invited for an interview, be prepared to give the best interview you can. The interview is one of the key elements of the job search process. As with any skill, we can get better at it with preparation and practice. In this guide you will explore how to prepare for an interview and become familiar with interview questions and tips and how to answer to those questions.

 You will;

  • Understand the different types of interview questions and tips and how to prepare to answer them
  • Learn the most effective ways to prepare for an interview, including interview research and practice  
  • Develop expertise at expressing yourself effectively, i.e. what to say and how to say it and the questions to ask in an interview

Complementary skills and Transferable skills

Transferable skills are skills you have managed to develop in your life. It is not limited to a job, but encompasses a multitude of areas: positions held in organizations, your hobbies, sports, personal interests, class projects, or even responsibilities at home or church. Any skill that you have acquired from these familiar tasks that can be applied to a position you are interested in as a transferable skill. Everyone has transferable skills. Think about it: we all enjoy doing something; even the blandest person has a hobby, and no matter how hard we try to escape it, nearly everyone has chores. By recognizing the roles we have undertaken and breaking them down, we can easily identify which skills we have become “experts” in and how these can translate into personal strengths and aid us in the positions we aspire to hold.

By listing your activities, and breaking them down into specific tasks, you can identify key complementary skills that can apply to a specific field of work. One way of identifying these skills is to compare your skill set to the ones required for an advertised vacancy or job. No more excuses that you have no experience or skills. This book will serve as a valuable guide in this regard.
  Job skills assessment

In today’s economy employers focus on employee skills. But most of these employers who make these decisions have to factor in other elements. Employers realize that the performance of their employees will depend as much on personal qualities as on raw physical and mental talent. Is this employee committed? What is his value system? Is she trainable? Will he be a team player? Will she be able to overcome her shortcomings? Will he choke? Does she quit? Has he established sound quality habits needed by the company? Employees are hired based on the answers to these kinds of questions. Companies use some form of job-skills testing and personality testing. They have realized how important it is to make sure that job candidates are a good fit. These days, a company can't afford to make a big mistake with a bad hire. Employers take the insights learned from industrial psychologists and adjust jobs to the strengths of candidates.  That way, a "good" fit can be identified.

In this section, you will learn how job skill assessment has become another tool in the hiring and selection process.  You will learn why job skills assessment is important when applying for a job in today’s job search climate.

 Justice Mandhla is the author of Job Search Guide and Job Promotion Tips. To learn more about these job hunting strategies and promotion tips visit:

Monday, July 5, 2010

How to write Effective Resumes & Cover Letters

Your resume is probably the most important document in any job search process. Most people think that because they have a qualification, skill and experience they can sell themselves to hiring managers and ignore the resume. What they do not realize is that a resume is the first document that will attract the hiring manager to consider to shortlist them for interview. Ignoring and neglecting to provide an effective resume will nullify your chances of been shortlisted. Hiring managers scan through hundreds of resume looking for the exact qualifications, skills and experience required to fill the vacancy. If your resume is badly written recruiters will find it difficult to select such candidates. It must be remembered that hiring managers are also under pressure to fill vacancies and will not have time to read every resume thoroughly to understand if potential candidates fulfils the exact requirements of the post. Why make it difficult for them to select your resume? The hiring managers will only scan and select a resume that present the most concise information with the relevant and informative text that will catch his eye. Your resume can open doors for you to be selected and hopefully shortlisted for the position you have applied for.

The content of your resume and how you have arranged your career history will improve your chances of getting into the interview. Anybody who reads your resume should be able to understand your resume without meeting you or reading your cover letter. Besides, that is what happens in real life – hiring managers peruse your resume long before you are called for interview. The final decision to finally call you for interview will ultimately rest on your resume. Your resume is the only key that will get you through the door of the company you wish to work for

Create a dynamic cover letter

The second step to actually getting a job interview is to create an attention-getting cover letter. Your cover letter is a piece of information that lets’ a potential employer know what your skills are and whether you would make a perfect fit for the available position. Your cover letter must be as detailed and informative as possible, without going beyond a one-page limit. Write a cover letter that will be attractive and draw as much attraction as possible. Remember getting noticed amongst hundreds of resume is the only way to get a job. Take time to compile a compelling cover letter that sells your skills.

Branding and Objective Statement

Many people think that cover letters are merely a concise summary of what is in your resume, or at least a list of signposts that point to what they’ll read about later. Effective cover letters however are more than that. They are a platform to sell your application, to brand yourself using differentiating attributes and strengths and merging these with your experience and skills. It helps you to clarify and communicate differences and specialties and how to use those qualities to guide your career. It also helps you to highlight your strengths, skills, passions and values and to separate yourself from your competitors. Use persuasive writing that creates a professional identity about yourself. Place your brand on top of the front page of your resume and cover letter like a catchy headline on the front page of a newspaper grabs the attention of the reader.
In the book, we provide you with examples of how can you craft a winning objective statement which can help your resume, and your accomplishments, stand out in a crowd. Typically, the objective statement is meant to provide a brief summary of the position you seek and the main skills you can offer an employer; the provided information forms a first impression with the reader.
Professional or Executive Summary
A professional or executive summary is similar to an objective statement, but it focuses more on what you offer a potential employer versus what you seek in a position. The summary also provides an opportunity to highlight your skills upfront. A professional summary is, in essence, an executive review of your career. If a recruiter or hiring manager reviewed your resume, what are the top three or four points you’d want to stand out? These highlights should serve as the basis of your statement.

Discuss your soft skills because employers desire candidates who can do more than just apply their trained skills to a job. Qualities such as teamwork, leadership, interpersonal and critical thinking skills are just as important. Make use of the professional summary area on your resume to highlight these less technical or taught attributes. A professional summary does not have to be “one size fits all.” Create a general professional summary that will be attractive to many types of employers. If you plan to target your search to a particular employer or position, create a customized summary that specifically addresses what you have to offer and how those qualities match what the company seeks in a new employee.

While your resume and cover letter form a first impression of your skills and accomplishments to a future employer, the important take-away is that you don’t always have to follow rigid practices in formatting a resume. Being creative in your approach to introducing your value to a new employer will often win you more call backs than sticking to an old-fashioned template. In this case, instead of limiting yourself by including only objective statements, ensure your resume stands out and provides a future employer a rich and clear view of your experience by using a professional summary.

If you can take time and write an executive summary of your strongest skills, you have the edge over other contenders who skip this important step.

Here are other things you need to note regarding your resume and cover letter;
• Prove that you are the right person for the job. In one sentence tell the employer what you can do.
• Tailor your resume and cover letter to suit the advert you're replying to.
• Delete the all details that are not relevant to the job you're applying for.
• Show the employer how your skills will help him. Emphasize your suitability by repeating keywords appropriate for the job you're applying for.
• Describe what your achievements have taught you. Quantify your achievements with numbers, volumes and values.
• Create an instant impact. Use action words to describe your achievements e.g. "increased", "achieved", "succeeded”, “developed”. Avoid words like "assisted", and "participated in". Instead use words like: "co-wrote", "co-designed", "as a member of the team".
• Focus on the needs of the employer.
• Add a "PS" to your cover letter. Use it to highlight the key benefit for the employer when he recruits you.
The reason a "PS" is so effective is, after reading your cover letter; most recruiters go straight to the signature and the name to see who sent the letter to them. They won't be able to avoid a clear "PS" with an irresistible promise.
Your cover letter has to sell you and your skills faster than a TV advertisement. Most interviewers decide to chuck your resume or invite you to an interview within one minute of reading your cover letter. So to land that job fast, grab the hiring manager's attention straight away with a compelling cover letter.

See more at

Monday, June 28, 2010

Succession Planning Helps to Cultivate Talent

While organisations know about the value of succession planning as a tool to sustain their business models and to retain talent, many organisations still end up needing to find outside talent to fill senior positions. Lack of proper and thought out succession planning is one of the biggest challenges facing organisations. The other reason is job-hopping that put succession planning into disarray for many organisations. Circumstances change more than anticipated and whatever talent was previously identified is no longer adequate. Effective succession management is the result of cultivating the talent to populate a succession plan that works when actually applied. For this reason, it is essential that the effort is invested in cultivating talent and not merely in populating plans. The plans will be weak if the actual cultivating or growth of talented people is not strong. Organisations need to make an effort to actively cultivate talent to ensure that future talent gaps are avoided. In most organisations the immediate talent requirements cannot be adequately met from within. This creates a time demand operationally on line managers and the human resources teams supporting them to constantly be focused on external recruitment, which can be very time consuming. In addition, external placements require intensive induction and training for their new organisation and take time to become productive. Recruitment agencies offer more flexibility and can help organisations when they are pressed for time. It is time that recruiters were placed in a relationship more central to the succession planning process rather than on the margins. Most organisations leave recruiters entirely out of the succession planning process, bringing them in only at the last moment to fill urgent positions. Recruiters can help in the succession planning by; contributing to the overall talent plan and projections on a variety of possible staffing scenarios and create and maintain flexible talent pools. In a typical organisation, the cultivation period to grow talent to a first-line supervisory or specialist levels roughly takes three to five years, depending on the sector and excluding any prior formal qualifications required. So the failure to have readily available internal talent to meet current requirements is a failure of the leadership of the organisation to have identified talent with the potential to cultivate and prepare this talent for future requirements. Organisations then find themselves with limited staff and they are even less likely to begin the cultivation process. In this way the vicious cycle is perpetuated. Another concern is that the morale of employees can be affected when outside appointments are made. Organisations should strive to source and select entry-level staff that has the potential to move up the ranks of the organisation and use them as a key talent pool from where talent can be grown and cultivated.

See more at