Tag: get hired

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!

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!

Career Services: Your new best friend

Nearly every college and university in the United States and Canada has a career services center – make the most of your tuition dollars and utilize it! It’s never too soon to walk in or schedule an appointment, so learn about the resources available to you as early in your college career as possible.

Normally, you won’t even need to know what you want to do after college, so don’t be intimidated. As a matter of fact, that’s what the career counselors are paid to help you figure out! Many centers offer tests that assess your interests and suggest careers, libraries with books about job selection, and counselors to talk everything through with. They can also help you find internships and summer jobs to test out your interests and see if your potential field is a good fit.

If you do know what you want to do, career services can help you get there! Get help formatting your resume, practice interviewing, and get advice on how to break into the industry you’re interested in. Career counselors have advised hundreds of students before you, so they know what they’re doing and can offer you time-tested strategies and techniques. They also probably know alumni with careers and interests similar to your own and can teach you how to network.

Campus career centers also offer tangible support as well, including rooms you can use for skype or phone interviews, printers and paper for printing your resume, and a library full of career-related books. Even if you don’t want to talk to somebody, it’s worth a visit to check out the resources and information available to you.

Thinking about continuing your education after college? The career center can even help you with that! Make an appointment to discuss entrance exam preparation and develop a list of target schools and programs. In most cases, they will also offer advice for alumni of the university – if you’ve been out of school for several years, you can still get help.

No matter what you’re doing after college, your campus career center can be crucial in helping you along the way. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until your senior year to make your first visit – visit or call today!

It’s not me, it’s you

When you walk into an interview you are usually so focused on your performance you forget to think about the interviewer. They take on this omni-potent, authoritative presence in your mind that it is difficult to see them as people. The thing to remember is that an interview is really a dialogue between you and the other person. You shouldn’t see it as a grilling session or an interrogation, it is a chance for the company to access you, and for you to access them.

Just because the job looked ideal on paper, as the interview progresses you may discover that it’s not for you. The thing to do is to conduct the interview like you still really want the job – it is good practice and excellent experience for you. Don’t be disheartened, sometimes things are just not a good fit.

However the problem may be the interviewer. Everyone talks about candidates and the mistakes they make, but what do you do when you get an inexperienced interviewer?

If you find the interviewer is talking to much don’t assume that this is because the job is in the bag and they are trying to sell you on the position, it could be a result of their nerves. It is up to you to assert yourself and try to promote yourself as best you can. Think about the answers that you’ve been preparing and when you can gently interrupt the interviewer by offering to tell them about yourself.

If the interviewer does not seem to have read your CV or be prepared to question you this can feel very disheartening. In this case offer to tell them about yourself. You have the opportunity to highlight your positive attributes and sell yourself directly to the interviewer without them having formed preconceptions about you.

Language can express more than people intend and certain phrases or tenses can give away someones intent. If you think the interviewer has set their mind on someone else or is just viewing the interview as a formality you need to stay positive. Highlight what you would offer if you got the job, and what experience and skills you have that make you an ideal candidate. By speaking confidently you may change their mind and draw focus back to yourself.

The interview is your chance to shine so don’t let anyone spoil it for you, even the interviewer.

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.

To lie or not to lie?

Lying on your CV or job application may help you get hired, but it could also get you fired. The pressure to succeed in getting the interview, getting the job etc can cause you to think that you are not good enough and make you feel like embellishing the truth but try not to.

Employers are looking for honesty and integrity in their employees and any signs that you have been less than truthful in your application will only reflect badly on you. Lying on your application is easy to do, but it is more difficult to keep up the lies in the interview stages and you are sure to be found out. Inconsistencies in you responses will be picked up by the interviewer, and facts may be checked at a later date so there is a good chance that they will be found out.

 

Instead think about what it is you want to lie about on your application and find a way to really change it. If you find you want to lie about your qualification, think about any more study you can do, to show improvement. If you find yourself padding out your experience consider taking up volunteering, part time employment or internships. If you find yourself inventing skills you don’t have take community classes to add new ones, hobbies such as sport, computing and writing classes offer highly prized skills in a fun environment.

Honesty is the best policy, so if you want to tell a lie on your CV what you really need to do is find a way to make it true.

 

What to put in your cover letter

Your cover letter is a short letter of introduction that you should send with any CV, whether you are applying for a specific position or approaching companies for work. The cover letter should be no longer than one page long and specific to the position and company that you are applying to. You should always write a new cover letter for each position you apply for as that is the best way to ensure you are tailoring directly for that position.

The cover letter is a chance for you to expand on the information in your CV, and for the reader to hear your voice and get to know you as person not just a list of grades and skills. Start by introducing yourself, state whether you are a student, recent graduate, what degree you have and any recent experience you have the area. Remember that you only have one page so get straight to the point and be specific.

“My name is Claire Fields and I am an English graduate from the York University. I have just completed a 3 month internship at  Life magazine and am very interested in the assistant editor position at the New York Times.”

Next highlight your skills and achievements that you feel directly qualify you for that position. Don’t be shy, it can be uncomfortable writing about how great you are, but it is essential in order to promote yourself. You need to demonstrate to the employer that you understand the job requirements so read the job description very carefully and highlight the skill and requirements that they list. Include them and examples of how you’ve demonstrated them in your letter.

It is important that the letter expresses your interest in the position, what you are will bring to the role – passion, dedication etc, and what you are hopping to achieve. Do your research about the company, what they are known for, what their reputation is especially towards their employers, as this information may be useful and will impress the reader.

Include your availability for interview and when you can start, particularly if you are available straight away. If the letter is not a response to a job posting you can request a meeting, interview or to be considered for future positions. Direct the reader to your enclosed CV, and by thanking them for their time and consideration and that you look forward to hearing from them.

The letter is a chance for you to introduce yourself. Where ever possible it should be addressed to a specific person, so find out who will be receiving the letter. Remember that you are writing an important and formal letter, so proofread and check your spelling and grammar, avoid colloquialisms, slang and contractions e.g. I have instead of I’ve. Whether your CV is read will be based on this letter, so make sure you get it right.

Skills you have to offer

Every job requires different technical skills the good news is that employers value certain skills and attributes in the work place. Whilst the technical aspects can be taught being able to claim and demonstrate certain skills and personality traits are beneficial. Here are some ideas of what to include in your CV and mention in the interview.

1. Communication

No matter what job you are applying for, you will have to communicate with others. This not only applies to talking and expressing yourself, but also written communication skills including good grammar, writing experience, proof-reading and report writing. Confidence with presentations and public speaking is also important and highly prized, as is familiarity with communication software such as Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, email as well as social networking sites. Competence in these areas as well as examples of giving presentations, or being part of the debate team will show employers that you are a good communicator.

2. Leadership and Management

Whilst you won’t be expected to take over the company straight away it is still worthwhile to show that you have experience leading, or managing a team of people. This can be as part of a sports team, music ensemble or president of a club. This will show employers that you can be trusted to carry out your responsibilities and help them foresee your future within the company.

3. Teamwork

Being able to work well in a team, negotiating, compromising and supporting other people to see a task through is a much valued skill in the work place. Even if you will be working on your own, your work will be part of the whole business and you need to be relied on to help achieve a common goal.

4. Organisation

From tidiness to punctuality, to keeping good records, always saving your work and working to and meeting all deadlines, good organisation is essential in the work place. This is a skill that shows employers you are reliable and dependable.

5. Reliability

This is not just about punctuality or showing up everyday, employers want to know that you are loyal. This is best demonstrated by showing you have been loyal in other roles. This could be previous jobs, or being part of a club for a number of years to evidence that you show up regularly at a hobby. Whilst it is good to show diverse interests, being dedicated to a few causes show employers that you are a loyal and reliable character.

Other skills that you may want to consider are;

Creativity, Problem Solving, Research, Adaptability, Hard working, Passionate, Dedicated, Self- motivation, Confidence, Quick to learn, Negotiation, Professionalism, Work well under pressure and Positive attitude.

 

It is also beneficial to mention any computer, literary, numeracy and language skills you possess.

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.