Your Course Through Life

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Your Course Through Life

Post  Regina on Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:09 am

How to Create a Vision for Your Career

Was last year cruel or kind to you, professionally speaking? Even if your career didn't take a hit, the tumult of the last few months may have you quaking in your boots over the future.
Career coach Deborah Brown-Volkman reminds fearful workers, "Your career is long! Some people work for 40, 50, or 60 years. Don't get stuck in the here and now when what is happening at this moment is just a small span in a long career. Instead, create a vision to help you move forward."

Claim What You Want...
Deciding what you want to do doesn't happen overnight, but, according to Brown-Volkman, founder of a members-only coaching group to help people reinvent themselves professionally, the process can be simple. She says, "All of life's journeys begin with the phrase, 'I want... .' It's a very powerful phrase, and without it, it's hard to go very far." The career coach likens your professional journey to a trip, revealing that if you didn't decide where you wanted to go on vacation, you'd likely wind up at a destination you don't enjoy.

...Or What You Don't Want
It's hard to say what you want when you're not sure of it. She points out, "The reason certain people can't answer that question is it that it's too overwhelming. But most folks can say what they DON'T want. They can say, 'I don't want to work for a large company,' or 'I don't want a lengthy commute.' The flip side of what you don't want is what you do want."

Fight the Fear...
If creating a vision is so simple, why don't more people do it? Brown-Volkman reveals, "People are lost and afraid now, and they're scared to say what they want because they're afraid of not getting it. When it comes to vision, sometimes people won't even say what they want unless they know they will get there or how to get there. But you have to create what you want first and then live into it. It's like a declaration. It takes courage -- and a bit of faith."

Ask Yourself...
Are you ready to build a vision for your desired professional destination? Begin by getting it down on paper. She advises, "I believe if you write down your vision and look at it on a daily basis, it's more likely it will happen. Either consciously or subconsciously, you'll take steps to make it a reality." Start with the following 10 questions. Adds the New York-based career expert, "Don't forget to allow yourself to dream a little bit; it's OK to do that!"

1. If anything were possible, what would I want to be different in my career?
2. What type of job would I want?
3. What would I want to be responsible for?
4. What type of boss/coworkers/team would I want?
5. What kind of hours would I want to work?
6. What type of company would I want work for?
7. What sort of culture would I want the company have?
8. What city would I want to live in?
9. What salary would I want to earn?
10. What would I want my approach to stress, my workload, and deadlines be?

Get in the Game...
Once you have a vision, start acting on it. Brown-Volkman urges professionals, "Everybody needs a game to play. If you don't have a game, you get stuck in the day to day. The only way out is to say, 'This is what I want next.' You need momentum and action to move ahead this year!"


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Re: Your Course Through Life

Post  Regina on Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:17 am

Why Your Resume Gets Tossed

The average recruiter sees 5,000 resumes a year. Any legitimate reason she finds to make one disappear makes her life that much easier -- and yours that much harder. Here, top-level recruiters reveal how candidates blow their chances to get a foot in the door.

Numbers Don't Add Up

If accomplishments can be quantified, do it -- but use discretion. Brandishing borderline performance numbers signals a lack of experience and bad judgment. "Phrases like 'managed a budget of $500,000' or 'led a team of two' might catch my eye in a bad way," warns Olaf Weckesser, a former recruiter for McKinsey & Co. Better to spin it as "managed company's largest budget."

Adds Alexandra DeMarino, a Citigroup recruiter: "If a small number is impressive, you absolutely have to put it in context." Because you can't provide context for academic numbers, don't include GMAT scores below 650 if you're targeting a top firm. DeMarino suggests bragging about nothing less than a 3.7 GPA.

Formality Takes a Vacation

Don't succumb to the informality of email. "If you send a cover letter by email that starts with 'Hi,' it and your resume will probably end up in the trash," says Cynthia Shore, an assistant dean at the University at Buffalo School of Management and former director of its career-resource center. Treat an email as you would a proper letter: Instead of "Hi," write "Dear Mr. Case." Instead of "Thanks," conclude with "Sincerely."

Keywords Are Overused

It's true that recruiters sometimes use scanners to sort through resumes looking for certain keywords. But resumes appear contrived when candidates consciously try to include them. Describing a business-development position using such terms as "needs assessment" and "contract analysis" in order to squeeze in more keywords is a misguided strategy. Assume that a human being -- not a computer -- will be reading the resume. After all, these days fewer than 25 percent of all recruiters even use scanners.

Things Get Too Personal

"If you mention your age, we have to trash your resume," says Jeremy Eskenazi, vice president of talent acquisition at Idealab!, the California incubator firm. Since it's illegal for a company to solicit a candidate's age, race, or marital status during the hiring process, firms have adopted a "don't tell" policy to avoid potential bias suits. Many won't risk even having it handed to them.

It Looks Too Fancy

"A recruiter who receives resumes in pretty plastic folders will likely toss them," says Dave Opton, CEO and founder of ExecuNet, an online executive recruiting service. "I don't have time to take the damn things apart." Another faux pas: Folding a resume so that it fits into a standard business envelope. Heavy-stock paper that retains its crease can be a nuisance. Says Opton: "They're easier to store and photocopy if they're flat."

Also, don't try to differentiate your resume with boxes or ornate lettering. When recruiters see a resume that's designed differently, they think the person's trying to hide something. Instead, focus on content. Your resume will rise to the top of the pile.


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Re: Your Course Through Life

Post  fnoo on Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:04 am

Thank you Regina!

essential info. really

& since you spoke about CV's, there are many many websites that help in writing it...some take charge for it and others don't...generally speaking, everyone needs to read the basic tips before sending the resume and perhaps letting a freind or relative read and asses your work...

I would sincerly hope Regina to read also about job interviews since they are the next step in the ladder

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Re: Your Course Through Life

Post  Regina on Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:47 pm

A job interview for fnoo coming right up ... Wink

~Common Interview Questions~

Being interviewed you get a chance to prove yourself. That is why it is necessary to be well prepared. Preparation increases your chances of being selected.

Be confident and positive
One of the best ways to get confidence before a job interview is to formulate answers to the common questions and practice many times before interview.

Different types of questions
There are different types of interview questions that you can expect at the time of interview. However, becoming familiar with various types of categories will help you to understand what the interviewer is looking for. Different types of questions are: Behavioral questions, Hypothetical questions and Stress questions.
Behavioral questions determine if you have desired skills for the job. Hypothetical questions require handling different types of situations. Stress questions are designed to test your sense of humor.

Most common interview questions

Here are a few job interview questions you might want to rehearse:

1. Why have you applied for this job?
Think carefully and mention the positive aspects that have attracted you to joining the company. Tell them about your relevant qualifications and experiences you have already possessed for this job. You can also explain that how this position and company suit your needs and expectations. You could say:

?I am looking for a role that helps utilizing my skills, work experience and knowledge to make a difference. ?

2. Can you talk through your resume?
Use this opportunity to give your professional experience in detail. Grab the chance and present the employer list of your achievements, greatest talents and accomplishments. Remember never say negative about your past companies or bosses.

3. Where would you like to see yourself five years down the line?
In this question the interviewer is looking to see that how dedicated you are to the job and the company. Even if you really do not know where would you be in five years, never say, I don't know. You could say: ?I exactly don't know but I hope that the skills and experience gained will help the company reach its goals. ?

4. What are your strengths?
This is your chance to sell yourself. Stress on skills and experience that are relevant to the post. Tell them your ability to work under pressure, inquisitiveness to learn new things, quick learning ability and good interpersonal skills.
Give examples to prove you to be meticulous, cooperative and result oriented.

5. What is your weakness?
This is a very popular question. Be confident while answering this question and turn your weakness into your strength. Pick a weakness that is harmless to your job. For example emotional nature, never want to be a loser, highly ambitious, etc.

6. What do you look for in a job?
You can frame your answer like:
I am looking for opportunities that helps me to grow as a professional and enables me to serve the organization.

7. Cite an example when you have had to take initiative?
This is an opportunity to prove that you have quick learning abilities, make the best impression in all conditions and work effectively with staff members for achieving goals.

8. How do you get along with your colleagues?
In this question the interviewer wants to know your compatibility with your co-workers. Stress on points that show you are able to build strong working relationships and strong teams to meet goals.

9. How would your coworkers describe you?
This is a chance to use encouraging and praising words to describe you. Use words like a good team leader, excellent communication skills, truthful, decisive and sensible.

10. How reliable you were?
The interviewer wants to know that how you work on deadlines and how you come up with new ideas in a limited time to solve a specific problem.

11. What are your salary requirements?
Be careful to answer this question you should know market value of the job you have applied. You could also say that you are expecting a salary based on your job responsibilities, work experience, skills and market value. But if you have a specific salary package in your mind go for it.

12. Why do you want to work for this company?
Stress the positive aspects of the target company. It is always good to research the company in depth before interview. Talk about company turnover, products, policies, services, etc.

13. What do you know about this company?
You would be surprised at the number of candidates who turn up for interviews with very less or no information about the company. It is important that you should gather information about the company. Collect all information on company's share, turnover, etc.

14. Have you been interviewing for other jobs?
Say yes but also add: ?I have given first choice to your company.?

15. What has been your greatest professional achievement so far?
Use this question as an opportunity to explain your most rewarding achievement.
Talk about substantial contribution, team achievement, unique expertise, etc.

16. How do you prioritize various activities?
Often you might be in a position to decide on which activity to accomplish first. Respond this question by saying how you set priorities between urgent and important.

17. What motivates you to give your best?
This is not the time to say money, even if it is. You could be motivated by recognition for a good job done.

18. What do you think of your boss?
Tell them about your boss good points. If you do not like your boss even though don't say negative, find something good to say.

19. What is your code of conduct?
You must be aware of the sense of rightness, fairness and goodness that are defined within the company. Instead of defining guidelines for conduct, you should define yourself as an all rounder candidate who loves to work and enjoys the challenges.

20. When would you start work?
No hard and fast rule in your answer. Ask for 1 or 2 weeks grace period before starting your new job so that you would start your work without any hurdles.

21. Can you tell me something about yourself?
It is the most common question. Be prepared to answer this question in about two minutes. Stress on the relevant facts about your education, career, work experience, skills and personal and professional life. Don't forget to answer briefly and honestly.

22. Why do you think this job is good for you?
This is your chance to prove yourself. Tell about additional experiences and qualifications you have possessed which are relevant to the job.
You can also say: ?I would like a role that gives me an opportunity to serve the company, the society and above all, my nation.?

23. Do you have any questions for me?
Don't forget to ask a question because it shows that you are interested in this job. You may ask anything about company and job you are applying for.

24. Why do you want to leave your current job?
Be very careful to answer this tricky question. Don't mention anything negative about your current company or employer and not to sound angry or rude.
For example instead of saying ?I do get more challenges in my current job? respond, ?I am keen to get more challenges and chances to prove myself?.

25. What experience do you have?
Tell them your experience related to the company's concerns. Try to give examples to describe your job responsibilities. If you do not have relevant experience, you can mention about your training programs, skills and show them how customer service experience can be applied to management positions.

Final. ?Telephonic interview

Many companies have started short listing candidates by conducting starting rounds of interview by telephone. It is always best to be prepared for a telephonic interview. The most important step is to make sure that your phone is in proper order. Be confident and positive whatever you say on phone. Do not show any sign of nervousness. Try not to speak quickly or sound uninterested on the phone. If possible, keep some important notes ready about your strengths, achievements, work experience and future plans. Always remember to end the telephonic interview with appropriate compliments.

Wish you LUCK Exclamation

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