Tag: employment

Secrets to Marketing Yourself Via Video Resume

Video resumes are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to the standard paper resume.

As a recent graduate and someone employed in the field of recruitment, I am always seeking out new and unique ways to make myself stand out. I recently came across an article by Eugene Lim, a Marketing Intern for a website called Software Advice, in which she breaks down the secrets to marketing your talents via video resume.

While a creative means to grab the attention of recruiters, a video resume must be executed correctly in order to truly be an effective selling point. Lim speaks from personal experience when sharing secrets she has discovered to creating a stellar video resume:

1) Communicate a different side of you that cannot be captured on paper.
As Lim explains, “since actions speak louder than words, show yourself working on your latest achievement. Walk them through a past project with screenshot visuals, or show quick snapshots of you volunteering in a job-related field.”
It is important to take advantage of the opportunity to humanize yourself and physically show the employer what you have produced. Make sure it is something that a paper resume just does not do justice.

2) Identify and relate to your audience.
Make sure your video resume is tailored to the industry in which you are seeking a job. Be professional and approach the video resume as if it were an in-person meeting. Use the recruitment requirements as a guideline to really send home why you would be a perfect fit.

3) Sell yourself.
The purpose of a video resume is to stand out, so really emphasize what qualifies you to move further along in the hiring process. As Lim states, “The hiring manager should be able to summarize what they learned about you after watching your video. Make sure your content is substantive, focused and relevant. It should accentuate why you are perfect for this job.” At the end of your video, make sure to include a closing remark that makes a clear, succinct, and strong argument as to why the employer should pursue you further as a candidate.

4) Understand that a video resume is not a golden ticket.
While a video resume will make you stand out and show that you are conscientious, it must be understood that it will not secure you the position, or even guarantee you an interview for that matter. If you are not qualified for the job, a video resume will not magically change that.

One must also realize that a video resume is not for everyone. Some people may feel shy or awkward in front of a camera (I’m probably one of those people), which could end up being a recipe for disaster as it could make or break your chances of landing an interview. A video resume may be irrelevant to the position you are applying. From my own experience, video resumes work wonders for web designers, artists, and anyone pursuing positions in creative fields as it physically displays what you have produced. On the other hand, it may not be the best approach for someone in a more technical industry, but I’ll leave that discretion up to you.

For those of you who think a video resume is the way to set your application apart, grab your camera and creativity and get started!

Special thanks to Eugene Lim for her invaluable advice! Remember to check out her blog post for video resume examples and more suggestions on how to create a killer video resume!

5 Things to do if you don’t have a summer internship

“So what are you doing this summer?” If you dread this question and are out of creative ways to respond, you’re not alone. Although it may seem like everyone else has a super exciting and impressive-sounding internship, many college students don’t for a variety of reasons. Maybe you applied for 100 but didn’t get a single offer, maybe you can’t afford to work unpaid, maybe you just need your summer to be a break from pressure and stress. Whatever the reason, a summer without an internship doesn’t have to be a waste! Here are several ways to stay active and productive until classes start in the fall:

1) Get a paid job. Who doesn’t like having a little extra money? Save up for a fun trip at the end of the summer, textbooks next semester, or just for the sake of saving. Many places like to hire extra help in the busy summer months, so ask around and fill out applications! And don’t worry about not having a swanky company name to add to your resume; any job can be beneficial in the long run.

2) Volunteer. Give back to a cause you care about! You’ll meet new friends with similar interests, help your community, and have a great experience to talk about in future job interviews. The beauty of volunteering is that you can choose who you help and how often you do it, so choose something you’re passionate about and give it a try!

3) Study. Probably the last thing you want to do after spending finals week pulling all-nighters in the library, but think of it this way: anything you can take care of now will lighten your load for future semesters. Can you make up bad grades or get ahead on requirements by taking classes at your university? Also consider your local community college – if your school will accept the transfer credit, you may even save money in the long run by taking classes there. If you know you want to go to graduate school, why not consider studying for admissions tests now? By taking the initiative and signing up for a prep course or studying on your own, you’ll save the headache of trying to juggle studying on top of your normal schoolwork.

4) Choose a personal goal. Everyone has a list of things they’d love to do “if they had time”. Well guess what? Now you have time! Take advantage of it while you can and work through that reading list, reorganize your bedroom, or learn to cook. If you’ve been meaning to get in shape, summer is the perfect time! Get out and enjoy the warm weather by running, biking, or swimming. It’s impossible to not feel great about yourself when you finally accomplish something you’ve been intending to for a long time.

5) Get ahead on finding a fall internship. Summer isn’t the only time to have an internship! In fact, there are many benefits to interning during the school year. Highly competitive positions may be easier to secure because of fewer applicants and, if your school allows it, you may even get course credit. Start looking around now to maximize your opportunities!

How to make the most of any job

You can’t get hired because you need experience, yet you won’t get experience until you have a job – does this vicious cycle sound familiar? Networking and filling out applications becomes frustratingly fruitless, and you’re beginning to wonder if you’re destined to be unemployed forever. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many students and recent graduates. When you’re first getting started it can be hard to find any job, let alone one related to your major or desired career. Eventually your pressing need to pay rent, nagging parents, and desire to do something productive with your time lead you to accept any offer that comes your way. Sound less than ideal? Not necessarily.

Any job, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can offer something valuable to add to your resume. Accepting even a minimum wage waitressing job is a step in the right direction! Working anywhere is good experience collaborating with others. You’ll learn how to problem solve with a group, communicate with your boss and co-workers, and work together to achieve company and individual goals. Depending on your specific position, you may also become a pro at customer service, a computer program, working with children… the list goes on and on. Believe it or not, these are all skills that translate well to your future career. Include them on your resume and you’ll be sure to impress future employers with what you’ve learned.

It’s no secret that networking can help tremendously in the job search process. Use every job to branch out and meet people; you never know who or what can help you in the future. Talk to your co-workers and boss – what have they done to find jobs in the past? Who do they know that could potentially help you? This is also the time to build a solid network of references. Impress everyone with your hard work, initiative and positive attitude and you’ll ensure that people will eagerly vouch for you as you apply for new jobs in the future.

Think of every job you take as a stepping stone to a more rewarding career in the future. Everyone has to work their way up from the bottom, so stay optimistic and motivated!

Tips for turning your internship into a Job

You get out what you put in, so it is up to you to make the most of your internship. Just because you got the post doesn’t mean that they have to employ you so here is a guide to making sure you bag the job at the end.

Dress the part

Approach the internship as if you are already working there. You should behave as if you are depending on them for a salary and act accordingly. So don’t be too casual in your dress or attitude, just because no one told you not to wear flip flops doesn’t mean that you should. If everyone else wears a 3 piece suit you should too not just a tie and jacket. You need to demonstrate that you can fit in.

Use your time wisely

Turn up early, stay til the end of the day, be prompt at lunchtimes and breaks, all of these are obvious but you need to go the extra mile. Ask if you can sit in on meetings, offer to do extra work, shadow in other departments if possible, take an interest in the projects going on. Don’t just wait to be told what to do, find out what is going on and how you can be part of it. Demonstrate that you are pro-active and keen, your enthusiasm will be noticed and appreciated.

Network

This is your opportunity to make contacts in the industry you interested in so don’t waste it. Get to know as many people as you can, introduce yourself, be polite and ask about their role in the company, how they got there and if they need any help. Try to exchange contact details and stay in touch. Try to make friends with as many people as possible, but don’t intrude on peoples personal lives. If people like you they will want to work with you, so even if there are no available positions now they will keep you in mind.

Assert yourself

When you start it is a good idea to sit down with your supervisor and let them know what you hope to achieve from the experience. Let them know if you are after immediate employment, or whether you’re still studying but would be interested in coming back. You should have frequent feedback sessions with them, use it wisely. Let them know what you have been working on, what you have learned, what you have enjoyed, if this has clarified the your future path and where you see a place for you in the company. Be bold but respectful, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Smile

Not ever task you get will be pleasant but if you do it well and with a positive attitude you can gain trust and work your way up. People will respond well to and remember you well if you are enthusiastic and have positive energy in what you do.

Stay in touch

If the internship ends and there is no available position or you have to go back to school. It is important that you stay in touch with the company. Ask for feedback on how it went, this will give you an idea of whether they would be interested in hiring you in the future. You could also ask for a written reference as well. Send a thank you email after leave, highlight what you’ve gained from the experience, what you enjoyed and what your future plans are. You can be asked to be kept in mind for future positions, to be notified about events, or if other internship opportunities become available. If you feel the relationship you have built is strong you can send progress reports on how you are doing in your studies on career development. This will show the company that you are serious and really interested in working for them and make you a much stronger candidate for employment.

Advice on graduate schemes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduate schemes are getting increasing competitive. With graduate unemployment rising, recent graduates are finding themselves competing with graduates from 2010 and 2011. With this fierce job marketing how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd.

First of all persistence is key, just because you don’t get the first job doesn’t mean you won’t get the 10th or even 50th, keep applying. It can be disheartening but keep trying. If you’re not getting to the interview stage use your university career service to help you review your CV and application, they may be able to give you advice on where you are going wrong.

You need to keep an open mind. Be diverse in the positions you are applying for, don’t limit yourself. Most graduate schemes do not require specific degree disciplines so think about other areas you may be interested in, you could surprise yourself. Use all the resources available to you at University. It is very easy to ignore notifications about career fairs, career seminars and career counseling services but make time to go. They offer great opportunities to network, get advice, make contacts in companies and businesses you have an interested in and generally become more aware of how the job market works. At the very least you’ll get some free pens to help you fill out those application forms.

If you are still at University, fitting in online applications with academic studies and your social life can be very difficult. The key is planning. Most Universities have their career fairs during the autumn and companies tend to begin accepting applications around then. It is important to take your time researching the companies and the job description, make sure it is something you are interested in and somewhere you will be happy and comfortable. Most deadlines are in December, but some companies have deadlines in the spring so it is important to do your research so you have plenty of time to apply.

If you get through the initial application process and get an interview, you need to start thinking about how you present yourself. Use your career service, they often offer mock interviews and can give you more information about the company and possibly put you in touch with contacts who have first hand experience in that area. Your CV will have provided them with your background information, and all the interviewer will be looking for is an insight into your personality, so be yourself.

Other hoops you may have to jump through are psychometric, numeracy and literacy tests. These usually can’t be prepared for, but it is a good idea to brush up on chart interpretation, percentages and ratios. In the psychometric test you will be asked to rate a number of statements in how important they are to you, don’t try and guess what the employer is looking for, just be honest. These tests will be timed but don’t worry if you don’t finish within the set time, as some tests are designed so you won’t. You may also be invited to an assessment day. This is normally a whole day of activities, group problem solving exercises, interviews and presentations. Your teamwork, listening, reasoning and leadership abilities are being tested so enjoy it, but be conscious of how you are interacting with the team.

If you have already graduated and are applying for schemes use the alumni services at your university. The careers service will also be willing to help you finding schemes, review your CV and application, as well as offer advice on how to proceed. Just because you have left university doesn’t mean you are on your own, it’s never too late to take advantage of your university resources.

Job hunting survival kit

Job hunting can be frustrating, depressing and seem like the end of the world. From online applications filled with the same question phrased in 20 different ways all requiring 500 plus word answers to unanswered applications, letters of enquiries and even interviews with no feed back. For some graduates it feels like their future is an infinity spent living with their parents in their childhood bedroom whilst friends just seem to go from success to success in their careers.

Staying positive and motivated can be difficult so we’ve put together a survival plan to help you whether this period in your life.

Get out of bed

Get up everyday before 9 am. This is a good habit to get into because when you do find work, waking up at 6a will be so much more painful. Sleeping too much, or spending all day in bed is a sign of depression and really just self indulgent. Get up, get dressed, try and leave the house for at least an hour ever day, eat well and exercise. Set your self tasks and goals to accomplish each day, from feeling out at least 3 application forms, to spending out 5 letters of enquiries. Push yourself but set achievable goals to keep you positive when you meet them. If you are actively job hunting, you will have nothing to feel bad about.

Get off facebook and start a blog

Facebook is great for procrastination, but seeing your friends post about commuting to work, or early morning meetings can only make you feel worse. Instead start a blog. This is a productive use of your time and will help you keep in touch with what you’re passionate about, and it makes a good entry on the old CV.

Get out there

You’ve been researching job positions, companies, CV help and interview techniques but have you actually spoken to anyone? Get some names and phone numbers and call people. Ask to interview people in the industry and find out from them how they did it. Even though it’s not a job interview, take a CV, by meeting you they may be impressed and recommend you for future positions. Try and find out about networking events, these are often advertised in industry magazines. Go t talks, seminars, anything that puts you in same place as the people you want to work with, is an opportunity not to be missed.

Make yourself useful

Intern, volunteer, temp (temporarily), do something that is useful and productive with your time. This will give you working experience that you can put on your CV, as well as something worthwhile to do. Most importantly, you never know where it may lead employment wise.

Think long term

A lot will have changed since you started your degree and the job market is not what it once was. Look at where job opportunities are now and think of quick ways you might be able to get into them. Think about doing a post graduate degree, retraining in another field learning a new skill.

You may also want to consider traveling. Opportunities you are interested in may exist in other Countries, so look into it. Taking a gap year will give you a new prospective on life and is a chance for you to learn a new language, volunteer and experience a new culture, all of which can only impress prospective employers.

Be patient

Whilst days of unemployment can seem to stretch into infinity, they soon end and that dream job will hopefully, one day become a reality.

 

Body Language


When it comes to interview preparation its great to spend time practicing what you’re going but you also need to spend some time practicing your non verbal communication as well. Body language is just as important in communication, according to experts over 80% of your message is conveyed non verbally. Non verbal cues given off by you will help the interviewer form an impression of you, either positive such as confident and passionate, or negative such as bored and deceptive. Here are some techniques to keep in mind when preparing for the interview.

Handshake

A strong, firm handshake is the way to begin establishing a rapport with the interviewer. Don’t be weak and limp or overly aggressive with your handshake as it can be off putting. Remember you’re trying to convey respect and inspire trust.

Eye contact

Eye contact is essential in establishing a rapport with the interviewer. It shows you are listening and engaged in the conversation. Maintaining eye contact makes you appear confident, the key is to act natural and smile. Don’t be to intense or stare down the interviewer and try to avoid staring at the floor or the ceiling as it can come across as evasive or uncertain.

Crossed Arm

It may be tempting to try and comfort yourself or create a protective barrier during the interview, but crossing your arms makes you appear defensive and unapproachable. Similarly when talking, try not to gesticulate too widely, it appears erratic and can be very distracting. Instead loosely lace you fingers together and place them in your lap. This wills stop you fidgeting and also shows you are calm and attentive.

Legs

Often you forget about your lower body but it is just as important to control fidgeting in your legs. Tapping your feet, kicking your legs, bouncing your knee can be very distracting and can make you seem impatient or bored. Try to keep your feet firmly on the floor or cross your legs at the ankles.

Posture

Think confidence and try to walk and sit in a way that shows you are calm and at ease. Sit up straight, it show attentiveness and alertness. Do not sit at the edge of your seat as it can seem nervous and do not sit too far back in your chair as you can appear disinterested. Sit squarely in the chair and lean forward slightly when the interviewer is talking to show you are listening and actively participating in the conversation.

Practice these techniques in front of a mirror but don’t try too hard, the idea is to look naturally confident not stiff and studied. The important thing is to be aware of your body and what messages you might be sending.

 

 

 

 

Interview research

Everyone tells you to research thoroughly before your job interview but what and how much you research can often be a mystery. Here is a guide on what information you should have and how to find it.

1. Job Description

It sounds obvious, after all you have already applied for the job, but do you really know what you’ll be doing? Read the job description carefully, look out for skills and qualities they are looking for, it is often a good idea to cite these during the interview to reinforce your application to the interviewer. Think of ways you can demonstrate these skills as this may be something that comes up in the interview. Think of what the role entails, and what skills you will need to fulfill your duties.If you can find someone who does a similar job it is a good idea to talk to them find out what you can about the role.

2. Read up on the company

Use the internet, newspapers, press, facebook, twitter, anything you can to find out about the company. What do they do, what are their strengths, goals, aims? What is the companies reputation, what will the working atmosphere be like, what is the departmental break down of the company, is there room for growth, promotion, will you be working in a specific department or will you take on many roles? Is the company expanding, are there any new projects etc. This will allow you to tailor your responses better during the interview. So you can promote your self as focused in a relevant skill set, or whether you have more broader skills that make you suitable for multitasking. You can also ask about career paths within the department to show you are serious about growing with the company, or you can ask about working with other departments or projects to show you have a good knowledge of what the company does and are keen to get involved.

3. Re-read your CV

You wrote it, so you should know what is on it. Re-read it with the interview in mind. What aspects of the CV are they likely to pick out and ask you about, how can you use what you’ve said about yourself to show why you are the most suitable candidate for the job.

Interviews can be nerve racking, but research and preparation will mean you shouldn’t have to struggle for answers to questions, and the interviewer can only be impressed by your preparation.

 

References and Recommendations

Reference letters can often feel like secret information being passed on from one employer to the next, but they are not. Employers must follow strict guidelines when writing the letters.

The reference must be accurate and can not be deliberately misleading, otherwise it can be seen as defamation of character and used to claim for libel. The reference will contain your job title and job description, duration of employment, verification of your qualifications and skills acquired, your professional ability and aptitude , any reason for employment termination as well as some lines of recommendation.

It is important to note that a Reference letter is different from a letter of Recommendation. A letter of recommendation contains information specific to the subjects skills and qualifications. It is more personal in nature and the objective is to promote and highlight positive aspects of the subject to increase their chances of acceptance. Where as a Reference letter is more general and refers to the overall character of the subject, both positive and negative and is specific to their performance in a particular role or job.

Whilst Reference letters usually come from previous employers and in some cases previous tutor, letters of recommendations can be written by teachers, past employers, professionals that know you well, e.g. family doctor, family lawyer, etc. It is best to avoid letters written by your parents or close family members as they can be seen as biased.

References will usually be sent directly from one employer to the other so you will not have a chance to read it before your new employer receives it. However once you have started working for your new employer you can ask them for a copy and they must give it to you under the data protection law.

Whilst it is impossible to have a good relationship with ever employer, it is your responsibility to make sure you have a professional one. Employers remain objective when writing References and will not put their own personal opinions of you, so if your not best friends with your boss this is not a problem. However any reason for leaving your job will be mentioned, so employers will know if you have been fired.

Overall references are just a standard way for employers to better understand how you performed in your last job and how you will perform for them. They are a positive thing that highlight your strengths from your employers point of view.

Professional Networking

Searching for a Job as a graduate requires a lot more than a newspaper or a trip to the job centre. In this economy you need to be imaginative and creative in the way you find and apply for jobs.  Rather than think of yourself as unemployed, become a professional networker. Ever relationship, friendship and new meeting, provides the opportunity to promote yourself and increase your chances of employment.

It sounds obvious but actually telling people about what you want to do and what area you want to be in makes it easier for them to help you. This is the difference between saying you want a job in Finance and expecting people to realize that you want to do accounting for a small company and not managing hedge funds for a large London bank. Tell your friends, families, teachers etc, talk in detail about what you want, what experience you have and what you´re doing to achieve your goals, this will help them understand and better associate contacts that they have with what you are looking for, as well as promote you to them. Keeping in touch with your teacher  within your field of interest can be prove to be invaluable. They can put you in contact with potential employers, past students working in the industry and inside sources. Your fellow students can also tell you about their job search, where and how they found their employment and any openings they have at their company.

You´ve probably signed up and created profiles on a number of recruitment web sites and that is great but the internet can provide other avenues for job hunting. LinkedIn is already a well known networking tool, but more and more companies are increasing their social networking and blogging profiles. Use the hours spent social networking to good use and search for companies you might want to work for on facebook, twitter etc. You can gain a real insight into the type of people that work there, the company atmosphere and even upcoming job opportunities (a friend recently found their new job by seeing a leaving party event and applying for that position). This can also be useful in preparing for interviews, finding out more about what the company does and what your role may be, knowledge like this will impress the interviewer and show you have a keen interest in the position.

We know that employers are using facebook as a way to screen future employees and privacy settings are a good way of managing what people see. A clever alternative is to consider creating a second professional account. This can allow you to project the image of yourself that you want potential employers to see, not the party animal image that your friends see. Make sure to provide this email address on your CV, that way if employers want to do a little facebook stalking you can use it to your advantage. Tailor this account to highlight your professional interests, show aspects of your social life that you feel are positives such as travel, hobbies interests etc, and also like the companies brand page and show you are following other companies within that area of interest.

The key to job hunting is to be persistent, know what you want to achieve and devise ways to raise your profile. Assess every opportunity that presents itself and think of ways that you can promote yourself or gain further insight in the area that you want. The important things to remember are not to be afraid to ask for help and always be alert because connections can be made in the unlikeliest of places. You never know,that old lady sat next to you in the hair salon may be the mother of your future boss.

Alex Kearns spent an hour on top of a plinth in Trafalgar square as part of Sculptor Antony Gormley`s One & Other Project and took the opportunity to make his CV stand out.

For more creative ways people have found to promote themselves, check out

http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/index.php/2009/01/27/creative-job-hunt-new-ways-to-find-employment/