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  • "What is the Ideal Length of a CV?"

    I remember reading a lot of novels and articles during my college days. Subsequently, it was research work, but by default, I had to look at the size of the material before reading it. My immediate thoughts in almost all cases were "Gosh, it's too long". But since I had to read it, I was hardly left with any choice. Hiring managers and HR team members have a choice. They receive hundreds of job applications every day. I know the same applies even with recruiters. Long CVs can be "put-off". I will not say that CVs 3 or more pages are not read. It finally depends on the reader and what attracts him or her to your CV - its design and contents. So how long must your CV be? After extensively researching hiring manager and human resource department preferences and feedback, CVs three or more pages tend to receive 10%-20% attention by default for review as compared to one page CVs which is 50%-60% and 2 pages CVs which is 30-40% attention assuming correct applications. This does not mean that all one-page CVs are read. Your CV can be two pages, but most should be one page especially if you have less than 5-7 years experience. After having worked for 20 years, I still have a 1 page CV and a separate single page list of accomplishments and achievements. Is a 2 page cv template a recommended length? Less than 5-7 years of experience - ONE Page - Perfect More than 5-7 years experience - 2 page cv template - Very Good (assuming you have detailed skills, attended training and seminars, highlighted achievements) THREE PAGES - Suitable or passable, depending on engaging contents More than THREE Pages - Risky and may (or may not) be recommended. Remember, the use of infographics, pie charts, statistics is always more engaging and attractive, especially on 3 pages CVs. It'll depend on the reader's experience. You want our CV to be considered for an immediate job opportunity or at least kept for a future vacancy, but not rejected because the hiring manager was put off from reading a mini-novel. If you have missed the importance of writing a CV headline, then you can read it here or if you want to catch up on career synopsis or work experience, I am confident you will get a lot of insights. If you have been applying for jobs and your CV is getting rejected or you are not getting a response, then here's probably why?

  • Powerful Action Verbs To Make Your Resume Awesome

    Developed... Managed…Responsible for… Most resume bullet points start with the same words. It gets far too boring not to envision or create new words and make it more attractive for the reader. Hiring managers get bored having to read the same old words over and over again—to the point where they have lost a lot of their meaning and does not show off your achievements. So let us get a little more creative. Whether you are designing your resume from scratch or simply updating it, switch to strong, compelling action verbs that will catch the hiring managers’ attention and impart a new word technology into the brain.. No matter what duty or accomplishment you are trying to show off, the list below, will make your resume way more exciting. When you Led from the Front If you were in charge of a project or initiative from start to finish, skip “led” and instead try: Chaired Controlled Coordinated Executed Headed Operated Orchestrated Organized Oversaw Planned Produced Programmed When You Developed or Created from the Beginning And if you actually developed, created, or introduced that project into your company? Try: Administered Built Charted Created Designed Developed Devised Founded Engineered Established Formalized Formed Formulated Implemented Incorporated Initiated Instituted Introduced Launched Pioneered Spearheaded When You Saved the Company Money or Time Hiring managers love candidates who’ve helped a team operate more efficiently or cost-effectively. To show just how much you saved, try: Conserved Consolidated Decreased Deducted Diagnosed Lessened Reconciled Reduced Yielded When You Increased Sales Volume, Revenue or Customer Satisfaction Along similar lines, if you can show that your work boosted the company’s numbers in some way, you’re bound to impress. In these cases, consider: Accelerated Achieved Advanced Amplified Boosted Capitalized Delivered Enhanced Expanded Expedited Furthered Gained Generated Improved Lifted Maximized Outpaced Stimulated Sustained When You Changed or Improved Something So, you brought your department’s invoicing system out of the Stone Age into the age of digital technology an artificial intelligence. Talk about the amazing changes you made at your office with these words: Centralized Clarified Converted Customized Influenced Integrated Merged Modified Overhauled Redesigned Refined Refocused Rehabilitated Remodeled Reorganized Replaced Restructured Revamped Revitalized Simplified Standardized Streamlined Strengthened Updated Upgraded Transformed When You Managed a Team Instead of reciting your management duties, like “Led a team…” or “Managed employees…” show what an inspirational leader you were with terms like: Aligned Cultivated Directed Enabled Facilitated Fostered Guided Hired Inspired Mentored Mobilized Motivated Recruited Regulated Shaped Supervised Taught Trained Unified United When You brought in Partners, Funding or Business Were you “responsible for” a great new partner, sponsor, or source of funding? Try: Acquired Forged Navigated Negotiated Partnered Secured When You Supported Customers Because manning the phones or answering questions really means you’re advising customers and meeting their needs, use: Advised Advocated Arbitrated Coached Consulted Educated Fielded Informed Resolved When You Did a lot of Research and Analysis Did your job include research, analysis, or fact-finding? Mix up your verbiage with these words: Analyzed Assembled Assessed Audited Calculated Discovered Evaluated Examined Explored Forecasted Identified Interpreted Investigated Mapped Measured Qualified Quantified Surveyed Tested Tracked When You Wrote or Communicated Was writing, speaking, lobbying, or otherwise communicating part of your gig? You can explain just how compelling you were with words like: Authored Briefed Campaigned Co-authored Composed Conveyed Convinced Corresponded Counseled Critiqued Defined Documented Edited Illustrated Lobbied Persuaded Promoted Publicized Reviewed When You Oversaw or Regulated Whether you enforced protocol or managed your department’s requests, describe what you really did, better, with these words: Authorized Blocked Delegated Dispatched Enforced Ensured Inspected Itemized Monitored Screened Scrutinized Verified When You Achieved Something Did you hit your goals? Win a coveted department award? Don’t forget to include that on your resume, with words like: Attained Awarded Completed Demonstrated Earned Exceeded Outperformed Reached Showcased Succeeded Surpassed Targeted

  • Slam - Dunk at Each Interview Stage

    You nailed your walk in interview in Dubai. You answered “tell me about yourself” perfectly, discussed your relevant experience with ease, and established a great rapport with the hiring manager. You hear you made it to the next round of the process. But after all of the excitement, you start to wonder what on earth you have left to talk about. Should you just repeat what you’ve already said? Or, is the hiring manager looking for something new? Well, as the rounds of interviews continue, you’ll do some repackaging of old stories and introduce some new information. But the secret is not to go overboard either way. Here’s how to find the balance that’s just right. Don’t Give All New Information You might be thinking that the interviewer has already heard everything you said once, so none of it’s worth repeating and you should come up with all new information. That’s not really the case. More often than not, you’ll be meeting with new or additional team members who weren’t present in the first round. They’ve never heard your pitch, and while they may have seen your resume or heard a quick overview from the interviewer, the best person to sell you is, well, you. Not only that, but odds are the person you spoke with only remembers the highlights of your talk. He/She might have had meetings or only taken notes on the discussion. So, if you don’t repeat anything the interviewer may not remember the really relevant skills you shared in your last meeting. But rather than quoting yourself exactly, make sure to connect any new information back to what you said last time. That way you’ll know you’re not skipping over any of the big selling points of your candidacy. If you’re asked (again) to “Tell me why you’re drawn to this role?” you can say, “Last time, we discussed the strong management component, which is still something I’m very enthusiastic about. Additionally, the information you shared about the collaborative nature of the team is very appealing to me.” This way you added something new, but you still led with your most relevant skill. Don’t Share Too Much of the Same Information Of course, some people mistakenly assume that you must ensure your share the same information without any distortion. While fabricating stories could get you caught, and definitely not encouraged, it’s nice to share additional examples and connect with each interviewer so the overall feedback during the review is positive with everyone. Moreover, if someone asks you back it’s because he still wants to learn more. This is the time to dive deeper into your skills and experience. So, if you catch your answers mirroring what you said before, try a transition like this: “As I shared previously with [name of the first interviewer], my current role is very sales-heavy. Another example of my work in client-facing roles would be my first job, where I learned…” By peppering in some new and different stores, you’re reinforcing the idea that you’ll bring even more than what you shared on your resume. Give Consistent Answers With New Examples Well, before you even start the interview process, you should give yourself a slogan that describes yourself as a candidate. What would you want the hiring manager to remember about you. Let’s say your focus is on how you love (and excel at) working with people and that you’re creative. What you’ll keep the same in all rounds of interviews is that theme: You’ll want to make sure that some of your answers tie back to those qualities. Now what you’ll change are the specific examples. So, maybe in the first interview, you list working with others as your greatest strength and give an example from your current job. The second time, you might mention working with the company’s demographic as something you’re excited about. Similarly, in the first interview, you might talk about a time you had to be creative to solve a problem in your side gig, and in the next round, you might discuss how creative thinking is a key attribute of someone who inspires you. Keeping your slogan in mind will help guide you as far as if you should answer a question similarly or differently than you did the time before. It can be daunting to have to make a good impression—yet again, but remember, being called back for an additional interview is often a strong sign that you’re moving forward in the hiring process. Use the tips above to keep selling your strengths and make your answers fresh and interesting.

  • Ace Your Interview by Practicing These Interview Questions

    Job Searching is hard. Let alone jobs, sometimes getting an interview call itself can be a miracle in these tough pandemic times. That is why every bit of preparation is essential. Re-reviewing and updating your CV with new skills, more knowledge, and probably even approaching a professional CV writer can help give you the edge. Interviews are divided into 3 stages. Stage 1: Preparation and Research Stage 2: Interview Questions and Answers Stage 3: Follow-up and Decision or Closure Let's say you have been one of those blessed candidates or job seekers to be shortlisted for an interview. You will go through stage 1 and get ready. You can read about stage 1 here. Your interview can be a Phone Interview, An online Zoom, Teams, Webex interview, or a face-to-face personal interview. Imagine you are seated across the interviewer's desk and after the initial introductions some of the below questions are thrown at you. Here's a good idea of what the interviewer may be looking for and how to answer some of the common interview questions. 1. How Did You Find This Role? Reason to Ask The interviewer is curious to understand why you applied and how you ended up in front of them. If you uniquely came across the job, like through a personal connection, this can be especially important information for the interviewer to know. How to Answer It You may want to say you found the job (on a job portal, through LinkedIn, or a networking contact) and a little bit about what made you apply. For example, “I heard about an opening in [department] through a friend of a friend, [Name], and since I’m a big fan of your work and have been following you for a while I decided it would be a great role for me to apply for.” (you would have done your research about the interviewer). If your contact is within the company that introduced you to the job, check with him/her before you can mention the name. 2. Can You Tell Me About Yourself. Reason to Ask This question, helps the interviewer connect the dots between you and the position. Sometimes the person interviewing you may not be the direct hiring manager but an agency recruiter or someone in HR who has little background in your field. In that case, they may have zero context as to what makes your resume a good fit. How to Answer It What the interviewer is really asking is: “Tell me about yourself as relevant to the role.” Focus on the areas of experiences, qualifications, or training and skills that are most suitable. Explain where you are and what you do now, moving towards what you have done in the past, and end with a brief explanation of what you are looking forward to doing in the future. Keep the future growth of the position in mind 3. What Do You Know About Our Company? Reason to Ask The interviewer wants to know if you have done your research. The right candidate will be passionate about the company itself, its background, achievements, team, etc. How to Answer It Do not just read their website details. See key points that stand out for you such as their mission, their product, their brand, their company culture. Explain why you admire them and provide an example of how they tie back to you. For example, you could say: “I’ve been reading your career advice articles for years, and I love your mission of helping people build careers. I spent the past 10 years in roles I did not enjoy before finally finding my interest in sales, and I think it would be an amazing experience to help others avoid the path I took and find their dream career.” 4. Why Are You looking for a change from your previous job? Reason to Ask The interviewer is not digging for flaws in your current or previous company but wants to find out if the reasons are not in sync for this role. Be honest even if you were terminated for whatever reason. Being laid off or fired isn’t something to be ashamed about, nor is it always entirely your fault. A person who can falter is better equipped to have a better plan of action the next time. The interviewer will be impressed by your honesty. How to Answer It No need to get deep into details if you were let go or fired. The interviewer is more interested to understand what you have learned from the experience. Simply say “I was let go for [reason]” and explain how this has made you a better and stronger employee. If you’re moving on for another reason, whether you’re no longer growing, dislike your boss, or want to try something new, avoid badmouthing your past employer and focus instead on what you’re looking forward to accomplishing in your next role. 5. Describe What You Do in Your Current Role. Reason to Ask The interviewer is trying to understand your skillset and expertise. It also shows whether or not you can effectively communicate your value proposition. In short, the interviewer is questioning — “If you can’t describe how you contribute on a daily basis, why should I hire you?” How to Answer It Don’t just focus on the “what” of your job emphasize the bigger picture. How do your responsibilities contribute to your team or company goals? How does your work make things more efficient or effective? What skills have you developed over time in this role, and how are they an asset to your company? 6. What Are You Looking for in Your Next Job? Reason to Ask This question, “sets the terms of what this person’s going to come in here and do for us and what they want to do for us.” Ideally, your goals and the roles should be aligned. Your answer also says a lot to an interviewer about whether or not you’d be a good long-term hire. For example, you may be looking for a job where you can grow and move up in the next couple of years, while this role leaves little room for mobility. Hashing this out now helps both you and the hiring manager avoid a bad fit. How to Answer It If you already have a job and you’re looking for a different one, it’s because there’s something missing, there’s something lacking in your current position. And I think it’s okay to be honest about that. And there’s a way of doing it without badmouthing anybody or speaking poorly of your current employer. Take the approach of: “I’m at a point in my career where I’m really looking for more X.” Or you could say, “I believe I’ve really honed X skill, and as a result am excited to pursue Y.” 7. Why Are You Interested in This Role?/What Attracted You to This Company? Reason to Ask Similar to some of the questions above, the interviewer asks this because they want to see if you did your research and actually care about who they are and what they do. What they don’t want to hear is, “I need a job and this one seemed cool.” How to Answer It There must be something that drew you to the role or company (besides money or perks)—focus on that. “Take a minute to go back and look at the company’s website or press releases or look at the job description again and be able to pull out a couple of specific things to the company...something that can personalize it for their recruiter a little bit so that it’s not super generic”. Then, connect that to your experience, career trajectory, and goals. 8. What Are Your Salary Requirements? Reason to Ask While it may seem presumptuous, a lot of times interviewers will ask this in phone interviews to quickly eliminate anyone who’s out of their budget. Oftentimes recruiters are given a certain amount per position, and rather than bring a candidate all the way through the process only to get stuck on salary, they want to ensure the person is comfortable with what they can offer upfront. How to Answer It This is not meant to be a trick question, nor will shooting high necessarily put you out of the running. However, you’ll want to do your research to make sure you provide an accurate number or range that’s appropriate for the role and that you can back up with evidence of your value. “Find out what the market bears for your particular area, and then figure out where you fit into that based on your experience and your education so that when you go into the interview and you’re asked that question you’re prepared to say, ‘Based on experience, based on this data, based on the ideal salary would be in the range of X to Y”. Talking salary depends heavily on where you are in the process. If this is an initial phone screen, you might have better luck keeping your answer vague, such as “Right now I’m really interested in finding the right fit and am open to negotiating on salary.” Then, if they press you for a more specific answer you can give your range (this is why preparing ahead of time e is so important!). Regardless, don’t bring up money unless they do—you’ll be in a better position to get the salary you want later on. 9. What Type of Manager Do You Work Best With? Reason to Ask This question, like many others, comes down to fit. The manager-employee relationship is crucial for success, and the interviewer wants to be sure you’d get along and work well with your potential boss. And don’t we all want to work for a manager we jibe with? “If I know that the manager tends to be maybe a little bit more hands-on and someone comes in and says that they don’t like micromanagers or that they like a manager to just trust them to do their job and back off, that might not work so well.” She adds that this won’t necessarily sway their decision to not bring you back—rather, “it’s just another data point that I can share with whoever’s making the final decision.” How to Answer It “Don’t try to answer the question the way that you think they want to hear it. Just be honest”. If it helps you craft a good answer, offer some examples of past good managers you’ve had or management styles you’ve come across that you’ve liked. And avoid mentioning any negative feedback or stories about old bosses or leaders. 10. Why Are You the Best Candidate for the Job? Reason to Ask Plenty of people are qualified on paper for a single job. Interviewers want to narrow down their pool to those who stand out from the pack—and asking this question helps them do so. How to Answer It What’s great about this question is that it allows you an opportunity to really showcase what makes you special outside your application. So run with it! What’s one thing no one else would bring to the table that you have? It could be past experience, a certain passion or skill, alignment with the company’s culture, or merely your grit and determination to solve a specific problem. You can also take this approach to the question, “Why should we hire you?” 11. Are You Willing to Relocate? Reason to Ask This is a logistical question for interviewers to weed out anyone who’s immediately not a good fit purely based on where they’re located. This doesn’t mean they won’t consider letting you work remotely or paying for you to relocate if they really want you and can make it work—but it certainly gets considered when choosing between two great candidates. How to Answer It Simple: If you’re not in the area, tell them whether or not you’d move for the role. If it’s a bit more complicated, explain your situation succinctly and with an emphasis on how much you want the job. For example: “My kids just started school so we wouldn’t be able to relocate until their year is up. I’m really excited about this role, and I’d be more than willing to make it work remotely if you see that as a possibility.” 12. When Can You Start? Reason to Ask Sometimes a hiring manager needs to fill a position right away. In that case, they’d probably only consider you if you can start immediately. But when there’s no rush, they still ask this to strategize internally as to how long they’re willing to wait for the right hire. How to Answer It “If you’re not working, obviously [you] can say, ‘I’m free to start whenever you need me,’ and that’s always a great answer,”. But if you need to give notice at your current job, have a vacation planned, or have some other time constraint you’re working with, you can say something along the lines of, “I would be available X days/weeks after getting the offer” or “I can start anytime after [date].” 13. Do You Have Any Questions for Me? Reason to Ask With this question, the interviewer genuinely wants to offer you the chance to get your questions and concerns addressed. Because after all, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you! But the questions you ask also give them insight into your values and expertise—so make sure they’re thoughtful and tailored to the role, company, and person you’re speaking with. How to Answer It Prepare two to three questions ahead of time around the company or role’s goals, the team dynamic, your future manager, or the company culture. Even better, jot down any questions that pop into your head as you’re talking with them—this will show you’re paying attention and tailoring your responses accordingly. As you’re wrapping up the phone call, “it’s always a good idea to find out what the next steps are” if the interviewer doesn’t bring it up. This can be as simple as asking, “What is the next step in this process?” or “When can I expect to hear from you next?” The best way to nail these questions at the moment is to prepare as much as possible beforehand. When you take the time to do your research into the company and interviewer, compile notes, and practice your responses, it becomes that much easier to answer with confidence. Often “you don’t know when you’re going into the phone interview what type of interview it's going to be unless they’ve told you upfront.” This could be just a first-round screening call, or the only interview you’ll have. It could be with a third-party recruiter or the direct hiring manager. Either way, you’ll want to make a great impression—and you can do so by following these phone interview tips and best practices.

  • Laid Off Due to Downsizing? Here’s What You Can Do Now

    During an economic downturn, one of the first things companies do to cut costs is reducing staff. The financial impact can be felt globally across industries as many companies and small businesses are forced to close either temporarily or permanently. If you’ve been laid off, you’re not alone. So in addition to concerns about your job search, you’re most likely experiencing additional financial stress worrying about how to make ends meet after your sudden loss of income. Again, though it’s little comfort, you’ve got plenty of company. After you take a deep breath, consider the following tips to help you navigate your next steps, in the middle of an unprecedented crisis. Do Something About Your Current Expenses While you wait for your benefits to begin, I recommend that those who are out of work, contact all of their service providers, from landlords or mortgage companies to utilities, and let them know they have been either laid off or had their hours reduced. Banks and other service providers will work with you through this time. A few banks could offer assistance to their customers, that they can have monthly service fees waived and won’t be penalized if they need to withdraw from an account before it matures or may even have certain other services for such customers Recognizing that staying connected is crucial. While these may offer a bit of relief, it’s still wise to consider cutting expenses where possible during times of financial uncertainty. If you can cancel non-essential bills, such as subscription boxes or any services that aren’t crucial, that will allow you to save money for other important items, like groceries. Take Care of Yourself “The initial anxiety and panic are natural,” says a certified personal development coach, and organizational development consultant. “Recognize it and give yourself a couple of days to let it process and to collect yourself. There is no need to rush into problem-solving and creating more stress immediately after the life-changing event occurs.” Taking care of yourself and managing the stress that comes from coping with unemployment amid a global health crisis is key. “Now is a great time to get your exercise routine in line,” Johnson says. “Do a few squats while watching Netflix, run on a treadmill if you have one at home, whatever it is, get moving to feel better. Do the things you love to do. Rediscover your passions. Find new hobbies,” he adds. “The more action you take that makes you feel good, the more prone you will be to identifying opportunities.” Consider Your Next Move Once you’ve taken a moment or two to process this event, consider where you are and where you want to be. Sit down and create a list of both what you like/loved about your job, and the things you disliked/hated about it. This will give insight into what your next move could be. You want to find more of those positive experiences in your next career move. Especially in light of world events, some days you might not feel inspired, and that’s OK. Do what you must to get through the hard days. On those days you feel good...carpe diem!” Get Some Help Millions of people are following stay-at-home mandates. Just because they’re not in their office environments, that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready and willing to help or offer career advice to someone in need. Find a mentor. Right now a large portion of the population has downtime. Reach out. You will find that people are much more willing to help than we typically assume. Ask your [former] employer if they have any formal or informal outplacement or job coaching resources available. This could be in the areas of resume development, interviewing, and negotiating an offer. Follow the Demand If you know you could be facing a long stretch before securing a full-time position in your previous industry, you may be considering a temporary job to make ends meet in the meantime. . Other new opportunities such as IT, and virtual operations support, which are expanding quickly may arise. In the medical industry, look for jobs related to health care, emergency services, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment. Depending on trends, as time goes by, some government agencies could seek an overwhelming amount of new workers. But Also Keep Up Your Search for Your Ideal Role Employers are still hiring—even in the markets that look uncertain right now, such as the finance, hospitality, construction, and retail industries—which is why continuing to apply and network online throughout the coronavirus crisis. Looking for companies that are still actively hiring? Trying to gain employment in your core occupation may be tough, but you should still keep your resume fresh and circulating, and devote a portion of each day to job seeking. Of course, in light of social distancing, the job search process is changing, so be prepared for the hiring process to look a bit different from what you’ve previously experienced. For example, you’re likely to have to do more phone and video interviews so you can also start preparing and practicing to present your best self in those mediums. Boost Your Skills If you find that you have a skill gap or you’d like to move in a different direction, take advantage of this downtime to gain what you need through online learning. There are hundreds of free courses online. You can also take advantage of YouTube. No matter what your short- and long-term plans are, gaining new skills can help. It will make you a stronger candidate if you’re looking for a role in your previous industry. And, if you’re looking to make a switch and have a background in fields related to those that are in higher demand, you can boost your skills through online learning and may be able to find a new position more quickly than you anticipated. Though finding yourself un- or underemployed is never easy, it can feel all the more stressful amid a global health crisis. Once you’ve taken a beat to process your new situation, use these tips to help you file for your benefits, assess your skills, and job search—and look forward to finding your footing in a new position.

  • Answering Interview Questions You May Not Know

    Preparing for interviews is serious business. You can no longer walk into an interview expecting to explain your job responsibilities and hoping to get selected because of the work you do. Even though you prepare hard through research and practice, you could still get a question that stumps you and leaves you a bit confused as to how to answer it. Try one of these approaches. 1. Take Your Time To Answer the Interview Question You must first acknowledge that the question was asked and that you are thinking about it. Something as simple as, “That’s a great question. Let me think about how I would handle the situation or what I would do,” will suffice as you take some time to work through your first thoughts on how to approach the question. It is important to inform the interviewer of your strategy rather than not speak and leave an awkward silence. Be calm, gather your thoughts, prepare your answer, and then reply. This shows your ability to remain composed, think of a solution, and share a decisive answer. 2. Think Aloud Hiring managers ask out-of-the-box questions. They want to ascertain how tactfully you answer. They are not interested in how quickly you answer. You can share the options that you could do, the possible outcomes with each option, your final decision, and your reason behind the final answer. The interviewer has understood how you think and your reasoning behind the answer. This reasoning is very important. For example, if you get asked something like, “Tell me about your SEO strategy? A good approach would be to imagine that you’re starting off as an SEO Specialist. Add transitional adverbs like “first,” “then,” and “lastly” to give your answer some structure. You can also finish off with a qualifying statement that “the process varies depending on the situation,” which shows that you’re flexible even if your answer isn’t what the hiring manager would do. 3. Redirect The Question To Your Strenght If you are asked a question that you may not have direct experience with, try redirecting to an area you are familiar with. For example, you applied for a position that requires social media marketing (SMM) experience and you are asked about your experience in SMM. If you do not have the required experience, try redirecting the answer to your experience in SEO and link building and how you worked closely with the social media marketing team to develop a strategy to generate big leads and better results. You can also share your knowledge in social media marketing since you would have already researched the requirements before your interview. You can reiterate "That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about this position, I would get to be hands-on in SMM since I am already good with SEO and this combination can be a huge advantage if I am selected." Do not share a plain and simple answer like "I do not have experience in Social Media Marketing. It shows poor approach and attitude. 4. Have a Positive Researched Answer You might get a question that no amount of stalling, thinking aloud, or redirecting can help with. Questions that call for definitions or understanding of concepts that you do not know cannot just be worked through on the spot. For these questions, lean on the research you have done about the company and industry, the position is in. Say you are applying for a mergers and acquisitions position in finance and are asked, “What is working capital?”—and you just have no idea. Be prepared with a fail-safe answer that focuses on your enthusiasm for the position and knowledge of the industry. Something like, “That is not a concept I am familiar with yet, but finance is something I am excited about, and I have been actively trying to learn more. I have been keeping up with deals and have read about a few that your company has been involved in. I have also learned a lot about the industries that you advise. I think the consolidation that is going on in the auto industry is going to create a lot of interesting opportunities going forward, and it will be an opportunity to learn a great deal about the M&A business.” Interviewers and hiring managers are not always interested in someone who has the experience and qualifications. They also look at practical people / who have the right attitude / honest candidates who are not a "yes, I can do" to every interview question and in every situation. Consider facing hiring managers as "building your own experience in attending interviews". You may not be able to answer the actual question asked, but if you can figure out what the hiring manager is trying to learn with the question, you have already done well.

  • 7 tips for dealing with a Toxic Boss

    When I sat down for what I expected to be a normal meeting with my boss, she surprised me by saying, "You seem unhappy here, and we don’t want unhappy people. I can help you find another job if you want." Even though I wasn't unhappy, her words hurt. I thought she meant well but just didn't express herself properly. A couple of months later, we had another online meeting, and it didn't go well either. She said, "I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I don't need advice. Watch your tone." That's when I realized it wasn't just a one-time thing. My boss was toxic. So, what exactly is a toxic boss and why are they such a problem? A toxic boss is someone who makes the people working under them feel bad. They behave in ways that make employees lose interest, feel disconnected, and lose control over their work. "Toxic bosses cause burnout," says Peter Ronayne, who knows a lot about leadership. Burnout happens when people feel worried, stressed, sad, or angry at work. There are five main reasons people get burnt out: Unfair treatment. Too much work. Unclear instructions. Lack of support from managers. Unrealistic deadlines. And guess what? All of these come from having a bad boss. So, how do you know if your boss is toxic? Here are six signs: They don’t listen to you. They control everything you do. They won’t let you grow in your job. They act differently when other people are watching. They make you feel insecure. They expect too much from you. If you realize your boss is toxic, what can you do about it? Tell them how you feel. Try to understand why they act that way. Build relationships with other people. Take care of yourself. Ask for help from someone you trust. Talk to other people who are dealing with the same problem. If nothing works, think about leaving. And if you do decide to leave, make sure to explain why. That way, the company can learn from your experience. But remember to do it respectfully.

  • Established Recruitment Agencies in Dubai Can Supercharge Your Career

    In today's competitive job market, finding the perfect job can be a daunting task. Whether you're a recent graduate looking to kickstart your career or an experienced professional seeking a new opportunity, the job search process can be overwhelming. However, there's a hidden gem that can help you navigate this complex terrain – established recruitment agencies. These agencies have been around for years and have honed their expertise in connecting their clients with the right job seekers. In this blog, we will explore the secrets behind how recruitment agencies in Dubai can supercharge your job search. Industry Expertise: One of the most significant advantages of partnering with an established recruitment agency is their in-depth industry knowledge. These agencies have spent years building relationships and understanding the ins and outs of various sectors. Whether you're looking for a position in IT, healthcare, finance, or any other field, a well-established recruitment agency will have a team of experts who can guide you through the job market. They can offer valuable insights into current trends, job openings, and the skills and qualifications that employers are seeking. This knowledge can be a game-changer in your job search, helping you target the right opportunities and stand out from the competition. Extensive Network: Recruitment agencies have an extensive network of employers and job seekers. They have built relationships with top companies in your industry and have access to job openings that may not be publicly advertised. By working with an established agency, you can tap into this hidden job market. They can connect you with employers who are actively seeking candidates with your skills and experience, increasing your chances of finding the perfect job. Additionally, your recruiter can leverage their network to put in a good word for you, making your application more appealing to potential employers. Tailored Job Matching: One of the key secrets behind the success of established recruitment agencies is their ability to match the right candidate with the right job. They take the time to get to know you, your career goals, and your unique skills and experiences. This personalized approach allows them to present you with job opportunities that align with your aspirations and qualifications. Instead of sifting through countless job listings on your own, an agency can save you time by presenting you with tailored options that are more likely to lead to a successful match. Resume and Interview Assistance: Recruitment agencies offer valuable support throughout the application process. They can help you fine-tune your resume, ensuring it highlights your strengths and aligns with the expectations of potential employers. Furthermore, they can provide interview preparation tips and even conduct mock interviews to help you feel confident and well-prepared. This guidance can be invaluable in presenting yourself as the best candidate for the job. Negotiation Skills: Salary negotiation can be a daunting task, but established recruitment agencies have experts who can help you secure the best compensation package. They have experience in negotiating on behalf of candidates, ensuring you receive a fair and competitive offer. This expertise can be especially helpful if you're not comfortable with salary negotiations or if you're transitioning to a new role that requires a different compensation structure. Feedback and Continuous Support: The support from a recruitment agency doesn't end once you've accepted a job offer. They often maintain contact with you during your onboarding process and even after you've started your new position. This continuous support ensures that you're settling in well and can address any issues or concerns that may arise in your new role. Moreover, agencies may provide feedback from employers, allowing you to learn from your interviews and refine your job-seeking strategy. Confidentiality: Sometimes, job seekers prefer to keep their job search discreet. Recruitment agencies can offer the benefit of confidentiality. They can represent you to potential employers without revealing your identity until you're ready to move forward with an opportunity. This added layer of privacy can be essential for individuals currently employed who wish to explore new opportunities without jeopardizing their current job. Common Questions and Answers Regarding Recruitment Agencies How to approach recruitment agencies in Dubai? You can use online job portals, professional networking platforms, and recommendations from friends or colleagues to find suitable agencies. Tailor Your Resume/CV: Customize your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to highlight your skills, qualifications, and experience relevant to the job market in Dubai How much do recruitment agencies charge in Dubai? The UAE law prohibits recruitment agencies for charging a fee from candidates and job seekers. This includes fees paid for a successful or unsuccessful interview or employment offer. A placement fee is paid only by their client. If a recruitment agency in the UAE asks you for any kind of fee, you need to refuse and contact the relevant authorities. How to approach recruitment agencies in Dubai? You can use online job portals, professional networking platforms, and recommendations from friends or colleagues to find suitable agencies. Tailor Your Resume/CV: Customize your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to highlight your skills, qualifications, and experience relevant to the job market in Dubai. Recruitment agencies and executive search companies hold the key to supercharging your job search. Their industry expertise, extensive network, tailored job matching, resume and interview assistance, negotiation skills, continuous support, and confidentiality make them invaluable partners in your quest for the perfect job. Instead of navigating the competitive job market on your own, consider enlisting the help of a well-established recruitment agency to unlock the secrets to a successful job search. With their guidance, you can increase your chances of finding the job of your dreams and advancing your career.

  • Answering About Strengths and Weaknesses in a Job Interview

    Why do interviewers ask about your strengths and weaknesses in job interviews? Interviewers want to get to know you as much as they can and in the limited time that they have. There are very specific preplanned or spontaneous questions that they will ask you. This is important because, if they don't know who you are, how you respond in situations, how much do you know about yourself? can you take responsibility? How do you handle criticism etc... the less the chance they will employ you. In short, they’re trying to understand what kind of employee you’d be and how you’d perform in the role. How you answer these question tells them so much about you. It is not about the end result but more about behavior, your responses and your thought processes. Some tips about how you should answer a strengths and weaknesses question in an interview 1. Be Honest. An honest and genuine answer will impress, while one that sounds, exaggerated, or braggy or unknown will not go down well. Your interviewer or hiring manager wants to hire someone who knows his/her strengths and weaknesses and lessons learnt from failures. 2. Narrate Incidents Words without facts are plain words, but when you narrate actual events as examples, it becomes a realistic story to listen to. Describe how you have used personal traits that have helped you achieve something or narrate shortfalls that you have learnt from. For example, if you’re talking about how you buckled under pressure when you were asked to deliver a last minute presentation to a management team, explain how you got so nervous presenting your plan that you weren’t able to effectively convey your approach and your boss had to step in and help get the plan approved. Explain what you learnt and how you convinced your manager for another chance that went well and what you actually learnt form the first instance. Not only will sharing a real example make your answer stand out, but it’ll also make it sound credible and honest, characteristics interviewers are actually looking for. 3. Give Insights When you’re talking about a strength, your answer should meet whatever skill or trait is required by the company or in the job description. Tell the interviewer how that strength would be useful in this job at this company. It’ll help the interviewer understand how you’d problem solve when such situations arose. 4. Be Brief Keep your answer brief and focused on one or two strengths and/or weaknesses. Think quality, not quantity. There is no need to explain several strengths and weaknesses, instead chose the highest quality ones essential to the job role and then describe in fair detail. What are some example strengths and weaknesses you could use in an interview? Here are some possible strengths and weaknesses you can use. Example strengths for job interviews Being adaptable - Being proactive - Building relationships - Being willing to go above and beyond to help others - Coming up with innovative solutions - Delegating - Displaying emotional intelligence - Having experience with a problem that the company is currently facing - Figuring out how to effectively use a piece of software - Giving or receiving constructive feedback - Handling conflicts - Managing projects - Motivating employees - Noticing small details - Prioritizing - Public speaking - Setting deadlines - Self-motivating - Critical thinking - Working well under pressure. Example weaknesses for job interviews Being too hard on yourself - Getting too caught up in small details - Getting nervous about speaking to groups or on the phone - Ignoring or rationalizing away constructive feedback - Locking in on a certain idea or way of doing things - Losing track of deadlines, tasks, or work products - Maintaining work-life balance - Not being comfortable with vague instructions - Not being willing to change your mind - Not knowing when to ask for clarification - Missing deadlines - Overlooking small details - Procrastinating - Struggling with time management - Taking on too much work rather than delegating or saying no How to answer “What are your strengths?” in an interview Use this opportunity to emphasize the most important qualities you’d bring to the role, team, and company. Read the job description carefully and learn as much as you can about what the company requires. The company website and media should give you a good indication. Use what you’ve learned to identify which of your strengths is most relevant and how it will allow you to contribute. Then make the connection. Give a confident and honest assessment that does your skills justice, but don’t over brag. Example answers for “What is your greatest strength?” “I think that my greatest strength is changing up design styles to match different campaigns or brands. I love the challenge of being creative within different rules, such as brand guidelines or just a mood that a client is going for. I love to expose myself to a lot of different artists and art styles so that I always have new ideas and don’t get stuck in one groove. At my current job, I’ve designed campaign graphics and templates for medications being explained to doctors and pharmacists, exercise equipment being advertised to teenagers and young adults, and more—all with great results." How to answer “What is your greatest weakness?” in an interview You don’t necessarily want them associating a weakness with what is essential for the job role. For example, if the job description for a sales role lists excellent verbal communication skills, you shouldn’t say one of your weaknesses is English, even if you’ve worked hard to improve and feel more than competent now. Make sure you admit the weakness from a list of weaknesses you have and chose wisely. Don’t pick a “weakness” like, “I’m such a hard worker,” or, “I’m too much of a perfectionist.” It comes off as fake, or immature—and one that will not help get you the job. Example answers for “What is your greatest weakness?” “My greatest weakness would probably be waiting too long to ask questions to clarify the goals of a project and to make sure I’m on the right path. I noticed in one of my first coding jobs I assumed I should be able to work independently, I’d waste time going down a particular road that didn’t 100% align with the ultimate goal and then would have to spend additional time making changes. After it happened once or twice, I started asking my manager more questions about why we were adding a particular feature, who it was intended for, what about the previous functionality had made for a poor experience, etc. And especially for bigger projects, I would reach out when I needed a gut check to ask follow-up questions as well as to share the work I’d done so far and what I was planning to do next. In the long run, it meant I could finish projects faster and do better work.”

  • 5 Most Common CV Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

    CV Writing is not to be taken lightly. It is not about googling CV formats and filling up the required details or even just writing down data that you want to pen down. We review hundreds of applications every day and I have put down 5 basic recommendations that you need to look into it immediately. Make sure that your curriculum vitae creates the right impression immediately with the reader and does not contain CV writing mistakes. Breaks in your Work Experience The Problem: A lot of us go through periods of unemployment because we are neither able to get a job, or even get interviews. Some of us would like to take a break and travel or study further while others need to attend to family situations that take us away from our work. Some of us may even be ill and have been advised some sort of rest. While this is all-natural, do not let suspicions be aroused in the recruiter's mind. The Answer: Meet the gap head-on and provide a short (and not too negative) brief about the reasons. If possible, incorporate any further training, certifications, and literary works that you may have done that could be directly or indirectly related to your career, but fill the employment gap or reasons. Your CV Maybe Too Long The problem: I read resumes which are 3, 4, or even 5 pages long and I know from experience that my mind deters me from reading long resumes. Probably time or maybe just the same material over and over again with just different resumes. The Answer: I would recommend preparing a curriculum vitae of a maximum of 2 pages. A one-page CV is ideal if you have less than 5 years of experience while a two-page CV is more than 5 years of experience. Read more about how long your CV should be? No Work Experience The problem: A lot of fresh graduates I have spoken to tell me that “if I do not get a job, how can I show work experience?”. And that is absolutely correct. The Answer: You cannot show work experience but you can share a lot of determination, a willingness to learn and grow, and of course your knowledge, skills, and most importantly your attitude. You can share a bio instead. Always start with areas of your strength. In this casework, the experience is not your strength, but the person you are, your skills, your objectives, your education, and training, etc are very important. Prepare a good work experience structure in your CV by reading this. A bio is about you, who you are, what motivates you, your personality, the challenges you like – A curriculum vitae is about your work experience, education, skills, etc. Use the combination of a bio and/or in your CV, with your education, training, and career goals to influence the recruiter. Lots of Short Roles The Problem: The biggest difficulties faced are constant job-hopping, or pure temporary roles or your position has been made redundant far too often. Recruiters looking at your CV will get the impression that you are not a long-term committed applicant for their client and hence risky to consider. The Answer: Providing a valid reason in your CV when this does appear is important. Be sincere. The recruiter knows that there is always a reason but would want clarity before making a decision. This increases your chances rather than not taking ownership of these short stints in your CV. Poor CV Formatting The Problem: Fashionable CVs don’t work. It must be professional and simple. I have been a witness and read a CV that spells "Dubai" as "Dubia". While this may be just a simple mistake, why take a chance. ​ The Answers: CV Font – Keep a simple font – Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, Time Roman are some examples – Avoid “handwriting” fonts. A font size of 10,11,12 is most suitable, a font size of 11 and 12 being best. Keep the standard font size for all text. Titles and headings can be a font size higher. ​ Bullet Points - It is good to be brief and incorporate bullet points or numbering in your job responsibilities. One bullet point per line is perfect (two lines max). Keep 8 to 10 points per responsibility. Highlight keywords specific to your role. Words like "balance sheet" or "financial analysis" for accounting roles and "targets", or "sales figures" for sales roles, etc. – Avoid bunching your responsibilities into a paragraph – it makes it look “too much text”. ​ Spell Checks - Incorrect spellings create a poor impression, hence a CV spell check is mandatory. You do not want to give the impression that you cannot spell or have not taken the time and effort to check your work. Grammar – Use short sentences. This makes it easier for the reader. Do not use jargon or high-end words to show off. If the recruiter does not understand the work or feels you are using too many complicated words, then how would you work with the rest of the team. Solution: Grammarly is a free tool I use to do spell checks and grammar usage. You can read more about the reasons why your CV is getting rejected.

  • Contact These 5 People Immediately if You Have Lost Your Job

    Losing a job can be one of the most challenging experiences in life. Whether it's due to company downsizing, economic downturns, or personal reasons, the sudden loss of employment can leave you feeling vulnerable and uncertain about the future. However, during such times, it's essential to remember that you're not alone. There are people and resources available to help you navigate this difficult period and find your way forward. In this blog post, we'll discuss five individuals you should contact immediately if you've lost your job, each playing a crucial role in providing support, guidance, and opportunities for your next steps. However, before reaching out, it's important to know what you want. Take some time for self-reflection to determine the kind of role you're seeking. Craft a concise message that communicates your needs when contacting people. Now, you might be wondering who to reach out to. Here are five types of people to connect with after a job loss and how they can aid your job search: Former managers who can vouch for your work: Managers who respect your work can provide references and may advocate for you within their company or network. They can also offer mentorship and guidance. Former coworkers who know you professionally or personally: Reconnecting with past coworkers expands your network and allows input from a diverse group. Even casual colleagues can be willing to help. Career Counsellors / Outplacement Service through recruitment agencies in your industry: One of the first individuals you should reach out to after losing your job is a career counselor or coach. These professionals specialize in helping individuals assess their skills, interests, and goals, and develop strategies for finding new employment opportunities. A career counselor can provide valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses, assist with resume and cover letter writing, and offer guidance on networking and job search techniques. Additionally, they can help you explore alternative career paths or further education options if necessary. By working with a career counselor, you can gain clarity and direction in your job search efforts, increasing your chances of finding a fulfilling new role. Former clients or contractors you trust: Clients or contractors from previous projects can serve as references and may have connections in companies or fields you're interested in. Your online network (LinkedIn or social connections): Miscellaneous professional contacts, such as people from conferences or events, can be valuable resources. Posting about your situation online can attract attention, but ensure your profile is up to date. Networking can be intimidating, but if you want to speed up your job search and land a role that excites you, it's a surefire way to make the process smoother. There's no specific order to contact people during your job search. Start with what feels comfortable and gradually take bigger chances. Practice what you plan to say to convey confidence and clarity, making others more willing to help. By reaching out to the right people and resources, you can get the support and guidance you need to navigate this challenging period and move forward with confidence. Whether it's seeking help from a career counselor, leveraging your professional network, addressing financial concerns, prioritizing your mental health, or accessing government employment services, there are avenues available to help you find your next opportunity. Stay resilient, stay proactive, and remember that brighter days are ahead.

  • 6 Things to Do to Increase Your Job Security

    There’s a lot of uncertainty in a world that’s changing before our eyes... The good news is there are steps you can take to prove your worth, help you keep the job you have, and thrive even during difficult periods. Of course, there are no guarantees and you can’t control if your entire team gets laid off. But by taking these steps you’d also be making yourself a more appealing candidate in case you do need to search for something new. Here are 6things you can do to help you increase your job security during uncertain times. 1. Be Resilient, Adaptable, Flexible, and Thoughtful These are the four skills companies value most, (R)esilience: Bouncing back in tough times (A)daptability: Adjusting to novel environments (F)lexibility: Being able and willing to wear different hats (T)houghtfulness: Being respectful, intentional, and communicative with colleagues Of all of these, "resilience" is the most critical trait at this time. That means doing whatever it takes to stay afloat and handle the unknown, she says. If RAFT is all about keeping the boat moving, resilience is the force that will motivate you to pull on the oars. Beyond maintaining that momentum, you’ll also need to evolve. Specifically, you should be paying attention to what’s happening at your company. Take on the tasks and projects that need to be tackled in this new reality to help your employer succeed right now—whether that’s running virtual meetings or taking on a different role or additional responsibilities within a smaller company. In other words, go with the flow if someone asks you to do something that’s outside of your original job description. Think about where else you could jump in to help. Being open to filling in where needed, identifying opportunities on your own, and developing the discipline to follow through will require time and dedication. But it can be the thing that sets you apart. You’ll become known as someone who can take on anything as well as an excellent colleague no one would want to part with. 2. Demonstrate Inventive Thinking It’s not just about being flexible and adaptable when it comes to your own role; you also want to use your creativity to benefit the entire organization. Bring new ideas to the table to help your company make it through the unforeseen obstacles of the present moment and those still ahead. A sentiment shared by Vivian Chen, CEO of Rising a flexible work platform for women. “Now more than ever, employers are looking for people who can solve their pain points,” she says. It’s great if your suggestions can help your company bring in more business or cut expenses—something that can translate to jobs saved, yours included—but even if your ideas don’t directly help increase revenue or bring savings, your creative and resourceful ideas can still make you a valuable employee your company will want to hang on to. 3. Be a Lifelong Learner Even before the global pandemic, there’s always been “some hot marketing skill, new sales tactic, or the latest tech stack to master. know how to learn and get up to speed quickly,” she says. “As the world changes, we have to adopt the mindset that we are students for life.” Reflecting on skills you haven’t yet developed but may need—and then focusing on acquiring them, even for just one hour a week may be very important. For instance, if you’re a social media marketer on a team that’s gotten smaller and scrappier, you might decide to bolster your data skills so that you can better analyze performance and increase engagement by taking an online course and reaching out to fellow marketers in the industry who can share their insights about what’s been helpful for them. Whatever your situation is, the key is to “start with small, focused, and consistent steps”. As you go about picking up new skills and knowledge, you’ll start to figure out the ways you like to learn. You’ll notice what format makes it easiest for you to retain new information, what time of day is most productive for you, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie, all of which will also make you a better employee. You’ll gain a reputation as a self-starter who takes the initiative to step up when needed. 4. Get Things Done Having a strategic vision was the most important skill , but now the same feels like creating a “pretty PowerPoint deck” without being able to execute it. Employers need team members to be solutions-oriented—and execute. Even better are problem solvers who tackle challenges without being asked. What companies need—while they pivot to adopt new business models and revenue streams and while unemployment skyrockets—are employees who “can get things done, fast” . In other words: People who can roll up their sleeves and do the task at hand, no matter how small or “not-so-glamorous.” Those who will succeed now are “the hardest workers with the greatest tenacity,” Telling says. “Now more than ever, those people who have grit, determination, and dedication will stand out from their peers.” 5. Keep Networking Whether you’re looking for new opportunities or not, networking is a skill that’s valuable to develop, especially in times of uncertainty. We all crave connections. And you never know when this might open doors for you. Looking for webinars to attend, setting up virtual meetings, and reaching out to former colleagues to check-in. It’s OK to be vulnerable and share your experiences—we are all in this together. Now maybe the time you can help others currently affected by job loss and become known as a generous team player. “People love to help, and you might even make someone’s day by giving them a chance to make a positive impact.” 6. Bring Empathy to Everything Soft skills such as empathy are in great demand among employers. Not only will the people you work with feel good being around you, but you’re also more likely to keep your job. Those candidates who bring empathy to their people and clients are the ones who we consistently see rising to the top, and who are, in general, just a real joy to work with. People often avoid practicing empathy because of the mental effort involved, suggests research from the American Psychological Association—but when they believe they are good at being empathetic, they are more likely to do it. A great place to start to boost your confidence in your empathy skills—especially at this moment when many within your company are likely struggling—is simply by reaching out to your colleagues and asking how they’re doing. Then actively listen as they share, offer to help in whatever small way you can, and open up in return. With daily life in a state of flux, it’s natural to crave stability and security. While there are no guarantees, these steps will help you strengthen your position within your current company and bolster your skillset in case you need, or decide, to explore new opportunities.

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