The 10-Step Plan for Career Change !!

How does it happen? Perhaps you just begin to lose interest. Perhaps you find something that interests you more. Perhaps your company is downsizing. These are just some of the numerous reasons people find themselves on that precipitous cliff looking back on their career just as the dirt begins to crumble beneath them.

Are you facing that career change plunge? Do you wish you were? Take it slowly and make sure what you really want to do is change careers. Then use this 10-step plan, and you will be on much more sure footing — and on a path toward career change success.

Finally, remember that career change is a natural life progression; most studies show that the average job-seeker will change careers (not jobs) several times over the course of his or her lifetime.

Step 1: Assessment of Likes and Dislikes:

A lot of people change careers because they dislike their job, their boss, their company. So, identifying the dislikes is often the easier part of this step; however, you will not know what direction to change your career unless you examine your likes. What do you really like doing when you’re at work, when you’re at home – in your spare time. What excites you and energizes you? What’s your passion? If you’re really unsure, consider taking one of more of these career assessments. The key is spending some time rediscovering yourself — and using your self-assessment to direct your new career search.

Step 2: Researching New Careers:

Once you’ve discovered (or rediscovered) your passion, spend some time researching the types of careers that center around your passions. Don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit unsure or insecure — it’s a natural part of the career change process. How much research you do also partly depends on how much of a change you’re making.

Step 3: Transferable Skills:

Leverage some of your current skills and experiences to your new career. There are many skills (such as communications, leadership, planning, and others) that are transferable and applicable to what you want to do in your new career. You may be surprised to see that you already have a solid amount of experience for your new career.

Step 4: Training and Education:

You may find it necessary to update your skills and broaden your knowledge. Take it slowly. If the skill you need to learn is one you could use in your current job, see if your current employer would be willing to pick up the tab. And start slowly. Take a course or two to ensure you really like the subject matter. If you are going for a new degree or certification, make sure you check the accreditation of the school, and get some information about placement successes.

Step 5: Networking: 

One of the real keys to successfully changing careers will be your networking abilities. People in your network may be able to give you job leads, offer you advice and information about a particular company or industry, and introduce you to others so that you can expand your network. Even if you don’t think you already have a network, you probably do – consider colleagues, friends, and family members. You can broaden your network through joining professional organizations in your new field and contacting alumni from your college who are working in the field you want to enter. A key tool of networking is conducting informational interviews.

Step 6: Gaining Experience:

Remember that, in a sense, you are starting your career again from square one. Obtaining a part-time job or volunteering in your new career field not only can solidify your decision, but give you much needed experience in your new career. You might also want to consider temping in your new field. Work weekends, nights, whatever it takes to gain the experience.

Step 7: Find a Mentor:

Changing careers is a major life decision that can get overwhelming at times. Find a mentor who can help you through the rough patches. Your mentor may also be able to help you by taking advantage of his or her network. A mentor doesn’t have to be a highly placed individual, though the more powerful the mentor, the more success you may have in using that power to your advantage.

Step 8: Changing In or Out:

Some people change careers, but never change employers. Unfortunately, only the very progressive employers recognize that once happy employees can be happy and productive again – in a different capacity. It’s more than likely that you will need to switch employers to change fields, but don’t overlook your current employer. Remember not to start asking about a job switch until you are completely ready to do so.

Step 9: Job-Hunting Basics:

If it’s been a while since you’ve had to use your job-hunting tools and skills, now is the time for a refresher course. Consider spending some time with one or more of our tutorials.

Step 10: Be Flexible: 

You’ll need to be flexible about nearly everything – from your employment status to relocation and salary. Set positive goals for yourself, but expect setbacks and change – and don’t let these things get you down. Besides totally new careers, you might also consider a lateral move that could serve as a springboard for a bigger career change. You might also consider starting your own business or consulting as other avenues.

Resumes That Work !!!

Do you believe that having a strong resume is important in landing a job or an interview? If you answered yes, then it’s time to rework your resume.

Although this post is geared toward job seekers, I believe that everyone would benefit from a resume redo once a year. Whether you are looking for a job or are content in your current position, it’s always a good idea to go through the exercise of writing your resume. Why? Because it’s important to you have a clear understanding of what you have to offer, what your expertise is, what successes need to be highlighted, and how to best represent yourself to others.

In reworking your resume think of yourself as the Product. And if that’s the case then your resume, along with your collateral materials, have to reflect your product’s personal brand. Gone are the days when your resume used words such as:

  • responsible for
  • managed
  • handled
  • led

Instead, your resume should be much more focused on your major accomplishments and the value you add for your employer. It should be skills focused and success oriented with quantitative results used whenever possible that demonstrate your impact on revenue generation, cost reduction, team building, problem solving, and relationship building.

Hard skills (years of experience, education) are what get you in the game. It’s the soft skills (accomplishments, how you work) that provide the differentiating factors when decisions are made between who to bring in for an interview and which resumes to delete.

Think of how you can “show” rather than “tell” your story. For example, if you led a team through a particular project, rather than state that you led a team on Project A, start with the result, the impact, and the benefit to your company.

A strong resume speaks to an employer’s needs and demonstrates how you can help them.

When putting together your branded resume, try to answer the following questions:

  • What are my assets? Hard and soft skills, job and life experiences, education, extra-curriculars.
  • What are my greatest successes? Quantitative examples should be used here to validate.
  • How am I different/better than my competitors? For example: language skills, international experience, awards, promotions, education.
  • What do I bring to the job/company that is unique? Brainstorm with others: co-workers, coach, managers, mentors.
  • What are the prospective employer’s greatest needs and how does what I offer help them? This is a great place to “show” by using examples.
  • What weaknesses or shortcomings do I have that might prevent me from getting the interview/job? How can I ameliorate them?

Your resume should be geared to the particular job for which you are applying. The more tailored your resume, the more time you spend customizing it, the better your chances at getting that call you’re waiting for.

5 Ways to Enter an Industry Without Prior Experience !!

Finding a job in an industry you have no previous experience of is one of the hardest career challenges there is. Employers can demand that job candidates have prior experience in their industry because the market allows them to. You’ve got to be really up for the challenge if you’re going to succeed. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible.

Here are 5 ways to make the path to success a little easier.

1. Examine Your Motives:

Examine your motives and look harder at the purpose behind what it is you’re trying to do. People’s reasons for changing to a new industry are often related to the purpose of that industry. For example, many people are now interested in working in the “green” industries and it’s often the purpose behind those industries that lead people to them.

2. Be Clear on What the Appeal Is:

For you to be committed to breaking into a different industry, it must really appeal to you. Do your research to understand well what it is that this industry gives you that the others don’t.

3. Look for Shared Values:

Check out what values you share with your industry of choice. Different industries have different value-sets. For example, in certain industries the issue of safety is paramount. For engineers to be able to work in the environments they do, they must accept that the most important thing is not to endanger human life.

4. Understand What it is You Offer:

You need to be clear on the experience, drive and ambition that you have. At this stage you have no experience; you have no track record. What is it about you that’s going to make you more appealing than the other candidates?

5. Use Relevant Contacts: 

How can you use the people in this industry who you know? Use them to find out what the industry is like and also to arrange introductions to the right person. What you seek is honest, objective answers to your questions. You don’t want to go and enter an industry you have no experience of until you’ve done this sort of homework. At worst you will find out what you need to do to be more viable as a job candidate in this industry.

Top 3 Interviewing Essentials For Hiring Teams

Whether you recruit chemical engineers, HR generalists, or salespeople, the right candidate possesses three qualities: competence, cultural fit, and the potential for growth. If you are looking to improve your hiring practices, consider the following interviewing essentials for competency, growth potential, and culture fit:

1. Competency:

Assessing an applicant’s competency involves determining whether or not he or she has the fundamental skills to do the job well. You can evaluate competency in a number of ways, including analyzing past experiences for tasks that align with potential duties, or asking his or her references about the candidate’s specific skills and abilities. You can also simulate a job task that the applicant then completes as part of the interview process, or you can contract him or her for a trial period to see how he or she performs and interacts with your existing team members. Evaluating how the candidate performs on one or more job-related tasks can reveal strengths or deficiencies beyond what can be determined in an interview. Research studies have even shown that this use of sample tasks is one of the best predictors of a candidate’s success.

2. Growth potential:

This question – “Does the candidate demonstrate the potential for professional growth, and can he or she help your company grow as well?” – can be invaluable for recruiters across industries to ask themselves. Team members who are willing and able to grow with your business, and who can contribute to your personal sphere of knowledge, can enable your company to pursue various short- and long-term objectives. To assess an applicant’s growth potential, consider examining his or her educational background and work experience, paying particular attention to accomplishments and career milestones. Has the candidate been promoted before? Has the candidate managed different projects? Has he or she helped a business or department grow and become more sophisticated in the past? The candidate’s external projects (if applicable) can also assist you in answering these questions. For example, does the candidate hold leadership roles outside of work, such as serving on a volunteer board, captaining a sports team, or other.

3. Culture fit:

An applicant can best contribute to your company’s growth if he or she is a great cultural fit. As this industry survey demonstrates, the third-most common reason that team members voluntarily leave their companies is a lack of fit with the job. You can avoid this turnover by defining your company culture before you begin to recruit new staff members. When you do begin to recruit, weigh the candidate’s preferences and past work experience. For instance, if your business is very fast-paced, does the applicant thrive in unpredictable environments?

Successful recruiting practices are ultimately the result of consciously seeking those characteristics that benefit your business model and your growth potential. Developing a hiring system that ties your recruitment questions and processes to job-relevant criteria can help you ensure that you hire the best people for your company.

10 Ways to Re-Discover Your Career Passions !!

Are you bored at work? Do you often think about what else you could be doing but don’t really know where to start? If you are one of the many people at work who do not truly enjoy what they are doing and wish that they were doing something they were passionate about, read on.

It can often be difficult to identify precisely what you are passionate about and then once you know what this is, how to turn this passion into a viable, sustaining career. That’s why we’ve put together an easy-to-follow workbook on Identifying my career passions. You can also get more tools and advice to help you explore this further with our Career Passions toolkit.

To get you started, however, here are 10 ways for you to re-discover your passions now:

1. Use Employer Perks:

A great way of finding your passion is to try out new activities and experiences. The opportunity to do so could be right under your nose. Depending on the size of your current employer, it may organize lunchtime activities or weekend outings for its employees. Maybe staff members get vouchers for certain external activities or venues as part of their compensation package. Even smaller organisations may have informal special interest groups run for and by staff. Look into what’s available to you—you never know, your current job could indirectly lead you down a new career path.

2. Join a Club:

Just as there were plenty of clubs and societies to join at your school or university, there are also many such groups out there in the ‘real’ world now we’re grown up. In fact, there’s a club or group for every activity or interest area you can think of so there is plenty of scope for experimenting with different clubs to find something you’re passionate about. The majority of these groups are open to all ages. To find out what’s on offer in your area, check the local print and online press, look at notice boards in the supermarket or library, or ask neighbours and nearby friends.

3. Stop Being Passive:

Perhaps your passive interests could be turned into active passions. It could be that you’ve been fascinated by a certain subject or issue for a long time, but you’ve never involved yourself in any actual activities to do with it. Consider doing so, because it really could inspire you in coming up with new career ideas. For instance, if you love history but have only ever read about it in books, try volunteering at a historical museum or interviewing veterans about the War. This will give you a taste of what it’s like to involve yourself deeper in a subject you‘re interested in. Explore this article on Discover what your dream is.

4. Go on Holiday:

When we travel to somewhere we’ve never been before, we’re often inspired by the newness of our surroundings to try an activity we’d never do at home, or to go to a museum, historic place or conservation area that focuses on an issue we’ve never fully explored previously. Book a trip somewhere where there’s plenty of opportunity to try new things. If you enjoy something in particular whilst you’re away, look for ways to keep up your new hobby upon your return home, and see what it leads to. Think also about what you have enjoyed doing or visiting on previous holidays.

5. Revisit Your Childhood:

What did you enjoy doing as a child that you no longer do? A major reason for giving up childhood hobbies is no longer having the time for them once we go off to university or start full-time work. But if we can combine our old passions with our work, we get the best of both worlds, so think back to your childhood activities and reflect on how they could translate to grown-up careers. If you’re finding this difficult or want to explore this in more detail, why not go on a self discovery journey to re-discover what’s really important to you and what you really enjoy? See our self discovery toolkit for more advice and tools on this.

6. Get Feedback:

The people in our life know more about our passions than we realize. When we get passionate about something, our appearance and attitude both change. Our face lights up and our body language is more positive. The people who know us really well—such as close friends, immediate family and long-term colleagues—notice these changes. Over time they’ll also start noticing what triggers the changes. So if you don’t know, ask them. It might sound silly to have to ask someone else what you like, but if you ask, “what do you think I’d really enjoy doing as a career?” it sounds very natural.

7. Seek Professional Guidance:

Feedback from a career coach or guide can be just as valuable as that from our personal contacts. A career professional worth their salt will ask you pertinent questions and listen to the answers, before giving you constructive feedback. They  will discuss your whole life with you, which helps you to recall any hobbies, strengths and interests from different stages in your life that you may have forgotten about. To find a decent career professional, ask people you know who’ve recently made a career transition if they used a good guide as part of the process. You may also want to explore getting career guidance and advice through online communities and clubs.

8. Do Voluntary Work:

If you’ve found something you enjoy doing in your spare time but you’re wondering if you could turn it into a career and stick at it for the long haul, try it out in a work context. Look for volunteering opportunities around your chosen activity or interest and volunteer frequently over a substantial period of time so you get a taste of what it’d be like as a regular full-time job. Other ways to gain work experience in a new field is to work shadow someone who’s already in the profession you’re considering or to do pro bono work for your friends and family.

9. Return to School:

There may be something you’ve always wanted to study at college or university but couldn’t because you didn’t have enough money for the fees or you came under pressure from parents or teachers to study something else or pursue a particular vocation. Now you’re exploring the possibility of a new career, this could be the ideal time to do a weekend course or evening class in the subject that interested you in the first place and see where it takes you. Get in touch with your local further education college to find out what it has to offer or consider distance learning.

10. Experiment at Work:

Try doing different things in your current job. Your present line of work may not excite you but in most workplaces there’s always the opportunity to switch up your tasks and duties.  Speak to your boss about doing different types of work on a temporary basis or for just a few hours a week. If you enjoy the change, you may be able to pursue a new position within your current company where you’re doing this new kind of work all the time. There are many benefits to finding a new job in your old company in this way.


Thinking about getting a new job?

 The shift from your current job that you may be comfortable in, to a brand new job is a significant transition. Once settled into one working environment, with colleagues you know and a working routine that you’re accustomed to, breaking out of that and making a change can be daunting.  That next, new job could be better or worse! It’s a bit of a risk but it can also be really exciting.

There are new colleagues to meet and get to know, a new working environment, structure and hierarchy.  The role is different and your responsibilities now for a different organization and in a different setting to the one before.  It’s a chance to start fresh and to break out of any moulds or pigeon hole that you may have been placed in before. It’s also a learning opportunity where you can gain new skills, develop and grow.

Before making the move, get clear about why you are moving and what you are looking for. Try to understand what your motivations are and what you want from your next job.  If you are leaving your first role because you are bored, it’s useful to think about what you found boring about it and how to continue your learning and growth in your career.

Many people shift from job to job without really thinking about what they are after – so they jump into a new role thinking that they’ll learn more and normally they do learn something, but whether it’s taking them in the right direction and down the most efficient path to where they want to ultimately end up – who knows! Usually they haven’t thought about it and so we meander in a longwinded kind of way before reaching anywhere near where we want to get to.  Whether it’s a specialist in a certain area, starting your own business or getting to the top of the corporate tree – think about what you want, why you want it and how you’re going to get it.

Make sure that your next job is a stepping stone and that it is taking you in the right direction.  Hopping around from job to job without any career plan can work for a while but then one day you’ll wake up, wonder where all the years have gone and ask yourself why you haven’t really moved anywhere useful!

10 Ways to Build Your Reputation at Work !!

If only having a good reputation at work was as simple as keeping your nose to the grindstone and working hard. In reality, the complexities of office politics means that a lot of factors contribute to what kind of reputation you have amongst your colleagues and bosses. That’s not to say that you can’t influence what others think of you in the workplace.

 Check out these 10 ways to build a positive reputation at work.

1) Fit in With Company Culture:

Each organisation has its own culture, its own way of doing things. Boost your reputation by making sure your words and behaviour align with what is deemed culturally acceptable within the company. If you’re seen to be inappropriate within the context of your employer’s culture, this won’t do your reputation any favours at all.

2) Give People What They Want:

It’s very important to know what your colleagues want from you, because if you give them what they want you’ll earn both their gratitude and respect. The way to find out how your co-workers want you to help and support them is to communicate with them regularly, clearly and willingly.

3) Be Smart But Comfortable:

To build a reputation as a professional you need to dress like a professional. However, you want whatever you’re wearing to be comfortable as well as smart. You don’t want to be known in the workplace as the person who’s always fiddling with their clothes because said clothes are too tight, itchy or whatever.

4) Look After Yourself:

Just turning up for work isn’t enough to get you a good reputation. You have to be present in mind as well as in body. The best way to be on the ball and performing well at work is to look after your health and wellbeing by getting plenty of sleep, keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day, eating nutritionally-balanced meals and exercising regularly.

5) Be Easy to Work With: 

People have to deal with enough problems at work without their colleagues being a hassle. If you’re known for having an easy-going personality you’ll be seen as an asset to the company by everyone who works there. Being easy-going doesn’t mean being a pushover; it’s more about having a positive attitude whatever you’re doing and whoever you’re working with.

6) Be Interested in Others: 

In the spirit of the saying “Be interested to be interesting”, you’ll do your reputation the world of good if you’re seen to be showing a genuine interest in your colleagues, managers, customers and anyone else who’s around you at work. Listen to people when they’re talking to you, ask them questions and acknowledge that you’ve heard them by responding to what they’ve said rather than trotting out stock answers.

7) Love Who You Are: 

If you’re comfortable in your own skin and like yourself, other people will like you too. In this context “loving yourself” isn’t about arrogance or narcissism but about having an attitude towards yourself that helps you allow other people to like you. Also, if you’re nice to yourself you’ll find it easier to be nice to other people – something that always helps your reputation.

 8) Be Reliable:

You want a reputation as someone who does what they say their going to do, at the time they say they’re going to do it. The only way to get this reputation is to be that person. Always under-promise so that you can over-deliver instead of letting people down because you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

9) Mind Your Manners:

You can have a good reputation even with people you barely interact with at work if you’re polite and remember the basics of civility whenever you do interact with them. It’s true what they say – “please” and “thank you” will take you a long way.

10) Become the “Go-To” Person:

Few people have a better reputation in your company than the “go-to” person. You yourself can become the person that everyone knows they can go to for anything. Make yourself available to help out on an ad-hoc basis and directly ask people if you can help them if they seem to be struggling with something or have a need that you can meet. You can do all this while still maintaining boundaries and not turning into the person that everyone dumps their stuff on – for example, if you’re a line manager you may want to operate an “open door” policy with your team but only during certain hours.

10 Tips for Leaving A Great Impression In An Interview

There are some individuals who seem to go through life charming everyone they meet and getting on with all kinds of people. There’s something magnetic about them that draws a crowd. This doesn’t happen by accident – people who have this kind of effect on others know how to leave a great impression wherever they go.

 Here are 10 of their most valuable secrets to help you leave a similar impression with everyone you come across in your career.

1. Always Be On Time:

You don’t want someone to have a bad impression of you before you’ve even turned up, but that’s exactly what will happen if you leave them waiting. Always arrive when you say you’re going to arrive. You’re more likely to be able to do this if you always aim to be five minutes early, so if something does go wrong on your journey you still have little bit of leeway because you left for your destination before you actually had to.

2. Give a Proper Handshake:

The first interaction you might have with someone when meeting them is to shake hands with them, so the handshake plays a vital role in the impression you initially give. Shake hands properly by using your full hand to shake the other person’s hand firmly, but without crushing any bones.

3.Speak Clearly:

If people think you have a great speaking voice, they’ll remember you for this and have a positive opinion of you. It’ll be something that stands out and that people refer to when they talk about you. Regardless of what accent you have, you can be known for having a great voice if you speak clearly. Speaking clearly is made easier if you protect your throat by avoiding fried foods, caffeine, alcohol and dairy.

4.Make Your Answers An Appropriate Length:

Impressing someone with your conversational skills involves getting the balance right with the length of your answers. You don’t want to give monosyllabic responses to every question you’re asked but you don’t want to ramble on every time either.

5. Be Good With Names:

If you make the effort to correctly remember someone’s name, they’ll feel valued by you and will warm towards you in an instant. If you’re not naturally good with names, here’s a secret hack that can help you become good with them – address people by their name when you’re first introduced to them: “Hi Jo; it’s a pleasure to meet you”. This will help you remember their name so you can use it again when you’re saying goodbye – “Bye Jo. It was great meeting you”.

6. Offer to Help Out:

You can leave a good impression wherever you go if you become known as a helper. Volunteer to help with ad hoc tasks and projects at work. When you meet people at networking events, ask them what you can do for them.

7. Be Prepared:

Do the necessary preparation for every interaction you have with other people. Prepare for job interviews by researching the employer beforehand and thinking about what questions you might be asked. Prepare for work meetings by locating and bringing any relevant documents with you, be they hard copies or on a digital device such as a laptop or tablet. No one leaves a worse impression than the colleague who holds up a meeting by scratching around for information they don’t even have because they forgot to bring it with them, or the job candidate who stares blankly back at the interviewer when asked what they know about the company.

8. Follow Up:

After each meeting or interaction with somebody, follow up with them to show that you care and are genuinely appreciative of whatever involvement they’ve had in your life, however small. Send a thank you note to the interviewer after a job interview. After you finish working on a project with someone, give them a recommendation on LinkedIn. After a networking event, send an email to each person you exchanged business cards with to say how nice it was to meet them.

9. Practice Damage Limitation:

No matter how hard we try to make a good impression, things sometimes go wrong anyway. Something might happen on our way to a meeting that leaves us running late even if we left early. You might drop the ball and give someone a limp handshake even if you’ve firmly shaken hundreds of hands before. All is not lost – you can still leave a great impression by practising a little damage limitation. If you’re running late, phone the person you’re meant to be meeting to let them know. If you gave someone a limp handshake when greeting them, give them a proper one when parting ways.

10. Be Consistent:

To leave someone with a great impression not just the first time you meet them but every time they encounter you, you have to be consistent in practising the behaviours we’ve discussed above. Don’t just be on time for the job interview; after you get the job, be consistently punctual for work. Make a point of always remembering and using someone’s name whenever you meet up with them, not just during your initial meeting.

How To Spot Problem Candidates

Candidates can look so good on paper that they trick you into thinking they are the perfect fit for the job. It’s important that you spot the basic warning signs during the interview to prevent yourself from taking on a problem candidate. There are lots of factors that you need to take into consideration; Will they get on with the rest of your team? Are they reliable? Are they capable? Most importantly, Are they telling the truth? Even if they aren’t lying, there may be a couple of things that they say or do that may put you off.

Here are 5 things worth looking out for before they become problem employees

1. Money Orientated:

Although candidates are entitled to ask about salary, this shouldn’t be their only concern. You can spot a candidate who is only interested in the money by how salary appears to be their main reason for moving on. This goes for perks too, if their only interests are in relation to holidays, perks and money then it’s more than likely they don’t want to work for your company, they just want a job. 

Some companies benefits play a huge part in the hiring process and it’s perfectly normal for the candidate to be inquisitive about these perks but there are many downfalls to this approach. You need to make sure that their passion lies in the role and not just what you can give to them. Candidates come across as less of a risk if they choose the job based on what it entails, it shows they will get great job satisfaction from this role and not just salary satisfaction. By hiring a candidate who only displays interest in the Salary, you should expect regular pay rise requests and potentially, a higher staff turnover – avoid!

2. Bad Mouthing:

During the interview, you may ask questions about the candidates previous roles. Strangely, some candidates see this an opportunity to bad-mouth their ex-employersAlarm bells should be ringing by this point. If they left their job due to not getting on with their manager or colleagues, it’s likely they will cause trouble in their next position. Their openness to talk badly about them during an interview clearly displays their lack of professionalism. They have just met you and yet they are gossiping about their ex-employer, lack of trust springs to mind.

If they blame the termination of their previous job on someone else, this signifies how easy it is for them to blame others and this may cause issues in the future. Candidates should refer to previous jobs and employers in a professional and polite manner, avoid those who cannot adopt professionalism.

3. Self-Criticism:

You may notice from some of the answers that you receive that your candidate struggles to criticise themselves. This immediately signifies a problem candidate. When candidates are able to criticise themselves, it shows that they are clearly aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and by personally recognising them, they can work on their weaknesses as well as focusing on their strengths. The candidate may inform you that their only weakness is that they are a ‘perfectionist’ – how very cliche. 

Candidates who fail to recognise their own weaknesses are often quicker to push the blame on to others to overcome their imperfections. Problems may arise in the future and their inability to accept criticism may cause further issues – avoid!

4. Lack of Knowledge:

Now, this one seems pretty obvious but it is a definite red alert. They may be an ideal candidate in terms of skills and experience but if they know nothing about your company or the role, it’s probably best to avoid. All candidates should do their research before the interview, not only to display their interest but to make sure that the company and the role are right for them.

They may not be familiar with the size of your company, what services you provide or what the role consists of. By showing no interest or knowledge, it suggests that they are only thinking of themselves and not passionate or motivated towards the role or your company – avoid! 

5. Me, Myself & I:

You can often spot when someone isn’t a team player by their desire to talk about themselves and no-one else. All the success they have earned, by themselves and not a mention of anyone else along the way. This is often the same person who competes against their colleagues and doesn’t do a thing wrong themselves.

Failure to work as a team can result in bad tension within the office and cause unnecessary problems and distractions from work itself. You want to hire an employee who wants to help others and someone who looks to others for inspiration, not the mirror. If your office is a place that encourages teamwork and collaboration, it’s probably best to avoid this employee.

7 Ways To Stand Out During Your Summer Internship !!

Internships are a fantastic way to put the skills you’ve learned in the classroom into good use. An internship will boost your CV, give you the chance to build lasting professional connections, and could potentially lead you into an incredible full-time job offer.

If you’re hoping to get the foot firmly in the door of your chosen industry, you need to do everything in your power to stand out and make a lasting impression. So how do you do it?

  1. Do your research:

This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of interns who show up to their new role knowing very little about the company they are interning for. Be sure to clue-up on the company’s key elements and culture, as this will not only impress your employer, but it will make you feel more confident and able to join in on conversations in the office. Showing that you are genuinely interested in the role is key.

  1. Network, network, network:

One of the most valuable aspects of an internship is the fact that you get the chance to build lasting connections with professionals in your industry. Make the effort to get to know people and learn from them. These individuals will see first-hand how you work and what you are capable of, and so can be the ones to support you on your way to landing a full-time role.

  1. Become a real member of the team:

If there is one thing you should avoid, it is treating your internship like an internship. If you want to be taken seriously, you must take the job seriously as if it were a real, full-time role. The most important thing to understand is that your contributions to the company will have an effect on other people – therefore, your mistakes will too.

  1. Challenge yourself:

An internship is your greatest opportunity to develop as a professional individual and step out of your comfort zone – and although it may seem like a daunting prospect, it’s the best way to learn. This will ultimately enrich your professional portfolio.

  1. Approach tasks with optimism and enthusiasm:

Whether you are asked to take on a big project or are simply asked to make photo-copies, get coffee or do other menial work – you should approach each and every task with optimism and enthusiasm. This way, your employer will begin to put their trust in you and will want to remember your name.

  1. Ask questions:

Never be afraid to ask questions about something you’re unsure of. Your employer will be more than willing to take the time to explain something in detail to avoid mistakes being made. Just be sure to listen carefully when a process is being explained, to prevent someone having to explain themselves repeatedly.

  1. Ask for feedback:

One of the best chances to learn during an internship arises from receiving feedback. It is likely that you will receive some form of formal feedback when your internship comes to an end, however don’t be afraid to ask for more regular feedback. For example, if you complete a big task, ask your employer how they think you did, what you could have done better, etc. Be prepared to take constructive criticism on board – your willingness to continually learn and improve will always impress your employer.