Here are some questions that you should get answered first and foremost. Many of these are not things that you can ask during your interview. So before you finally sign the appointment letter, check with your HR about the following things:
What type of work will I be doing?
Ask about the team members?
What are the pay, benefits etc?
How many casual and sick leaves do I get?
What are the promotion opportunities?
How is the working culture of the company?
By asking for the above details you not only satisfy your job quests but also prepare yourself for the excitement that’s coming with the new job offer. Once you’re contented with everything, the workplace will be a fun place to be. This will help you work with sheer dedication and passion.
8 Things To Remove From Your Resume
As workplaces become more innovative and skill set requirements change swiftly, job seekers need to upgrade their skills, and more importantly present themselves accordingly. A resume is any job seeker’s first impression, and this too needs to be changed – rather revamped timely –when applying for a job.
With the workplace strategies evolving, it’s important to refurbish our resumes also. Knowing what to include in your resume is just as important, as it is to know what to exclude. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t have time to read through every resume minutely. TimesJobs presents a simple check-list that one can apply to the resume as a final check, just before sending it out to the recruiters.
The word “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae” or “CV” at the top of the resume
When you are applying for a job it goes without saying that you are including your resume. So do you really have to spell it out for them? Including this in heading adds no value to your application. So, first thing first, delete the heading which reads “Resume” and replace it with your name.
Does your resume have a generic objective statement or a rambling quote on top of it? While you think that it will add depth to your resume, the reality is that the recruiters are very well aware that your resume is written to target their jobs and that you have the skills and experience for that particular role. Stand out of the crowd by replacing the objective statement with a qualifications-based statement or introduction that highlights to the reader what you have to offer to their organisation.
A big no to this one! Don’t mention your interest and hobbies if it has no relevance to your applied job. Space on a resume is at premium, so save the space for pertinent information and use it wisely.
A gap in work history creates a negative reflection about your work – at least in India. While there may be valid reasons for the gap, the tendency is to think otherwise. A shorter work gap can always be discussed during the course of face-to-face interview. It’s always safe, to be honest during a one-on-one conversation.
Every job you have ever had
The past experiences of your career can be collated with one line per job showing employer name, job title and dates. Try not to display every job you have ever you have done. There are chances that the last five work experiences may only be considered while shortlisting your resume. Remember, not the quantity but the quality of work done is all that matters.
A pre-hand salary demand or expectation on the resume can be seen as too pesky by the employer and could be rejected on that basis. Some things can always be done off the record with smart communication.
Too much contact information
You need not display a lot of personal information. The recruiter has nothing to do with your marital status, number of kids, religion, race, country of birth, passport details etc. Your name, email address, contact number and address is all you need to share initially. For a better understanding of your professional profile, you can share the LinkedIn profile link.
It’s important to have references from your previous job and these are checked only after you have been shortlisted for an interview. The business references do not belong on the resume unless specifically asked by the employer.
Signs You’re Doing a Great Job
When starting a new job, there’s this inevitable roller coaster of emotions.
At first, you feel like you have zero idea what you’re doing. You’re lost trying to figure out how to work the company’s software, where to find the information you need, and what exactly the protocol is for the break room microwave.
But soon, you get your feet under you. You gain more confidence in your position—and, as a result, you’re on the receiving end of praise from your boss and colleagues about what a great job you’re doing.
From there, everything seems to be going fine—until you reflect on the past few weeks (or maybe even months). When’s the last time your boss commended you for a job well done? Or called you a lifesaver? He used to brag about you all the time, but now you can’t think of a single recent instance.
Cue the panic and the dip in that roller coaster ride. We all experience something like this. Getting comfortable in your job usually results in fewer compliments from your superiors—which, unfortunately, can make you feel like you’re failing or stagnating.
But, rest assured, that’s likely not the case. Here are six key signs you’re still an awesome employee—even if your boss doesn’t say so as often.
You’re Receiving More Feedback
This first point seems counter intuitive. Shouldn’t you be receiving more praise and less feedback if you’re really doing well?
But, think about it this way: You’re performing so well that now your boss wants to give you the tools, resources, and constructive criticism you need to become even better. You’ve set the bar high for yourself, and now it’s your manager’s job to continue challenging you.
So, don’t automatically assume that increased feedback is a bad thing. It can actually be an indicator that you’re exceeding expectations.
You’re the Go-To Resource for Questions
When your colleagues have questions or run into problems, you’re typically the first person they turn to for help and guidance.
Why? Well, because people trust you. You’ve established yourself as an expert resource, and your co-workers are comfortable approaching you for assistance in sticky situations.
Would they do that if you weren’t a capable employee who seems to have a strong handle on all that your position entails? Probably not.
You’re Asked for Your Opinions
Similarly to establishing yourself as the go-to for questions, being asked to provide your input during discussions and meetings is another indicator that you’re making a positive impression.
If you’re given a seat at the table for big decisions and important conversations, that means that your colleagues and superiors see the value in your thoughts and ideas. And, remember, they wouldn’t feel that way if you were digressing in your position (like that voice of self-doubt in your head keeps telling you).
You’re the One Your Boss Depends on
“Can you handle this for me?” is a question you hear a few times each week. When your manager needs something taken care of, you’re the first one she turns to. And, let’s not forget to mention the fact that you’re always listed as her alternative contact in her out-of-office messages.
So, no, maybe your boss isn’t doling out the praise like she used to. But, the fact that she trusts you enough to rely on you without so much as a second thought is a good sign that your manager still views you as an awesome asset to the team.
You’re in Charge of Your Own Work
But, when’s the last time that happened? If your manager is now letting you take ownership of your projects—without an ounce of micromanagement—you can feel good about the fact that you’ve proven yourself enough to earn his unquestioning trust.
You’re Asked to Represent Your Company
You’re sent to a speaking engagement to talk on behalf of your employer. You’re asked to head to a meeting with external partners. When a press opportunity arises, you’re one of the employees that’s quoted.
Regardless of the specific situation, the message remains the same: You’re doing such an awesome job that your boss is comfortable having you act as an ambassador for your company. And, that means a lot—arguably even more than a compliment said in passing.
When you become more comfortable in your role, the praise tends to slow down. It’s natural, but it’s still enough to plant plenty of seeds of self-doubt in your mind.
Instead of obsessing over what your boss might be thinking, keep your eyes peeled for these six signs. Chances are, you’re still knocking things out of the park.
Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers
When you’re not looking for a job, it can be easy to ignore your LinkedIn profile. Sure, you add people you meet at networking events as contacts and accept requests as they come in, but everything else? While we definitely don’t recommend this approach, we get that there are times you need a total LinkedIn profile overhaul. And for those times? We’ve got you covered!
Here, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about tricking out your LinkedIn profile—from crafting a stunning summary to selling your accomplishments, projects, and skills—in one place. Read on for expert-backed ways to make your profile seriously shine—and start getting noticed by recruiters.
Put in the Time to Make it Awesome
Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the odds that recruiters will find you in the first place. So, completeness is important from that standpoint. It’s also important after a recruiter has found you and decided to click on your profile: He or she wants to know what your skills are, where you’ve worked, and what people think of you. So, don’t get lazy—fill out every single section of your profile. The good news? LinkedIn will actually measure the “completeness” of your profile as you work and offer suggestions on how to make it stronger.
Get a Custom URL
It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL (ideally linkedin.com/yourname), rather than the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up. How to get one? On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.
Choose a Great Photo
Choose a clear, friendly, and appropriately professional image, and pop that baby up there. Not sure what “appropriately professional” means? Take a look around at what the people in your target company, industry sector, or business level are wearing. Match that. “A photo can go a long way to convey passion, energy, charisma, empathy, and other soft skills that are hard to write about.”
Write a Headline That Rocks
Your headline doesn’t have to be your job title and company—in fact, especially if you’re looking for jobs, it shouldn’t be. Instead, use that space to succinctly showcase your specialty, value proposition, or your “so what?” The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.
Use Your Target Job Descriptions to Your Advantage
Take a look at the job descriptions of the positions you’re after, and dump them into a word cloud tool like Wordle. See those words that stand out? They’re likely what recruiters are searching for when they’re looking for people like you. Make sure those words and phrases are sprinkled throughout your summary and experience.
Don’t Waste the Summary Space
“Ideally, your summary should be around 3–5 short paragraphs long, preferably with a bulleted section in the middle. It should walk the reader through your work passions, key skills, unique qualifications, and a list of the various industries you’ve had exposure to over the years.”
Be Warm and Welcoming
“The summary section is your prime opportunity to showcase the good stuff about you, with your target audience in mind. Give ’em a little chance to get to know you. So what do you think the first impression is going to be if you craft your summary like some long, pompous speech? Or worse, craft it in the third person? They’re going to think you’re pretentious. And it’s going to be hard for that reviewer to get a feel for your personality and style. Be you here. Keep the brand message in line with all of your other professional marketing materials, but realize that LinkedIn is a platform designed for interaction.”
Avoid Buzzwords Like the Plague
What do the words responsible, creative, effective, analytical, strategic, patient, expert, organizational, driven, and innovative have in common? They’re the most overused buzzwords on all of LinkedIn. Come on—we know you can be more creative!
Treat Your Profile Like Your Resume
Your resume isn’t just a list of job duties (or, at least, it shouldn’t be)—it’s a place to highlight your best accomplishments. Same goes for your LinkedIn profile: Make sure your experience section is fleshed out with bullet points that describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.
But Use the First Person
You shouldn’t use the first person on your resume, but it’s actually fine to do so on LinkedIn (think “I’m a passionate development officer who raised $400,000 for cancer charities last year,” not (“Jackie Stevens is a passionate development officer…”).
“Your profile is not a resume or CV. Write as if you are having a conversation with someone. Inject your personality. Let people know your values and passions. In your summary, discuss what you do outside of work. You want people to want to know you.”
Show Your Achievements
Recruiters spend countless hours scouring LinkedIn in search of the high performers. And when they find them, they contact said high performers. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a high performer in your summary and experience section (think action words, accomplishments, talking about times you’ve been promoted or hand-picked for projects).
Include a Current Job Entry, Even When Unemployed
“If you’ve only listed the past positions you’ve held in the experience section but show nothing current, you’ll probably get missed in most searches. Why? Because most recruiting professionals exclusively use the current title box to search for candidates; otherwise they’d have to sort through thousands of candidates who held a certain role (for example, graphic designer) as far back as 20 or more years ago. The simple workaround, if you’re unemployed, is to create a dummy job listing in the current section that includes the job title(s) you’re targeting—‘Full-Time Student/Financial Analyst in Training’—followed by a phrase like ‘In Transition’ or ‘Seeking New Opportunity’ in the Company Name box.”
Add Multimedia to Your Summary
“A picture truly is worth a 1,000 words, especially when it comes to showcasing your work. LinkedIn lets you add photos, videos, and slideshow presentations to your profile summary. So instead of just talking about your work, you can show examples. Or show yourself in action. Or share a presentation. Click ‘Edit profile,’ scroll down to your summary, then click on the box symbol, then ‘add file.’”
You can do the same thing for each of your work experiences. So, use this to your advantage: Add your company websites, projects you’ve worked on, articles you’ve drafted, or anything else that can provide a more multimedia look at your work.
Add Projects, Volunteer Experiences, or Languages
Do you speak Mandarin? Have a project management certification? Volunteer for Dress for Success every weekend? Adding these “additional” profile features (listed on the left when you’re editing your profile) is a great way to showcase your unique skills and experiences and stand out from the crowd.
Request One LinkedIn Recommendation a Month
When someone says, “You did a great job on that project!” ask him or her to take a snapshot of that success by writing a recommendation on LinkedIn. And don’t be afraid to specify what you’d like the recommender to focus on. Getting generic recommendations that say, “Lea was great to work with” aren’t very helpful—but something specific, like “Lea’s contributions on the project enabled us to increase forecasted savings by 5% over our original plan” will really showcase your strengths.
“Make a strategic plan for your recommendations,” says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert. “Approach different people and suggest particular skills or experiences you would like them to highlight.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Cut a Recommendation
“Ever get a recommendation you didn’t ask for? Or one that isn’t something you’d want to showcase on your LinkedIn profile? If you get a recommendation that’s poorly written or is unsolicited and don’t feel comfortable reaching out to the writer and asking for some revisions, no biggie. You can easily hide the recommendation instead. Select Profile > Edit Profile and go to the position with which the recommendation is associated. Click Manage. Uncheck the box next to the recommendation that you want to hide, and click Save Changes.”
Manage Your Endorsements
Endorsements can be a great way to show off your skills—as long as your profile isn’t overloaded with too many to really send the right message. The secret to making them work for you is keeping your skills updated: As you transition between careers, develop new skills, or take on new responsibilities, drop outdated skills from your profile and add the ones you really want to be known for. Now, when connections land on your page, they’ll only see the most relevant skills.
Update Your Status
Just like on Facebook, you can update your LinkedIn status as often as you wish. So, do! Update it professionally and strategically (share the article you just wrote, not what you ate for lunch today), ideally once a week. Your entire network will see your updates, both in their news feeds and in the weekly LinkedIn network updates emails they receive.
Become an Author
LinkedIn’s newest feature? Allowing all users to write and publish their work on the platform. Share your perspective about what’s going on in your field, weigh in on a recent industry development, or show off your skills as a writer. It’s a great way to get noticed.
“If you have a WordPress blog, we highly recommend feeding your blog into your LinkedIn profile (unless, of course, the content isn’t appropriate for a LinkedIn page.) To enable this setting, Select More in the main nav bar and Select Applications. From there, choose the WordPress application and enter the link to your feed. The blog will then appear in your profile and will update each time a new post is added.”
Be a Groupie
LinkedIn Groups are an incredible resource—and they can do wonders for your job search. By joining groups relevant to your profession or industry, you’ll show that you’re engaged in your field. But more importantly, you’ll instantly be connected to people and part of relevant discussions in your field—kind of like an ongoing, online networking event.
Have at Least 50 Connections
Having 50 or fewer connections on LinkedIn tells recruiters one of three things: 1) You are a recluse who knows very few people, 2) You’re paranoid about connecting with others, or 3) Technology and social media are scary to you. None of these are good. We’re certainly not suggesting you need to be one of those weirdos who wears your “abnormally large number of connections” like a badge of honor, but you really should have at least 50-100 people with whom you’re connected as a starting point.
If enough people reject your request and say they don’t know you, LinkedIn can shut down your account.
Don’t Go Overboard
With all the bells and whistles LinkedIn has to offer, and without being limited by the 8.5×11″ confines of your resume, it can be tempting to, well, go nuts. And while details are good, there’s certainly a thing as too much. Step back, take a look at your profile, and see how it looks to an outside person. Is it enticing—or overwhelming? Edit accordingly.
Keep Your Job Search Under Wraps
“Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn does have privacy settings—for a reason. ‘When you’re out looking for a new job, and are actively engaged in your current job, you want to be discreet,” Williams explains. ‘A telltale sign to an employer that you’re leaving is that you overhaul your profile, connect with recruiters, and have an influx of new people. You can tailor your settings so that your boss doesn’t see that you’re looking for opportunities.’ The privacy settings are easy to find: Just sign in, and then select ‘settings’ from the drop-down menu, where your name appears in the upper right-hand corner.”
Make Sure People Can Find You
Don’t forget to add your email address (or blog, or Twitter handle, or anywhere else you’d like to be found) to the contact information section of your resume. You’d be surprised how many people leave this off!
Be Excited About Your Career
At the end of the day, the most exciting people to hire are the people who are the most excited about what they do. So, make sure your LinkedIn profile shows your enthusiasm. Join and participate in groups related to your field of expertise. Use your status line to announce stuff you’re doing related to your field. Share interesting articles or news. Connect with the leaders in your industry. Fly your cheerleader flag.
5 Impressive Things All Smart People Do When They Start a New Job
Everyone knows first impressions are important, but it’s less obvious that the “first impression” for a new job can take 60, 90, or even 180 days to make. Why? In large companies, it can take that long just to meet all of the important business partners and customers with whom you will be working. Every initial exchange, meeting, or discussion contributes to the first impression people have of you. In smaller companies, where meeting everyone takes less time, new hires tend to feel more watched and evaluated. The term “under the microscope” becomes their mantra.
During the first 90 days of your new position, you’re establishing credibility so that you can actually do your job. Here’s how smart people use that time:
1. They View Starting a New Job as an Exercise in Personal Branding
Make no mistake, you will be judged based on how you show up at work. Your work is your brand—as is your general demeanor, reliability in showing up for meetings or completing projects on time, and the way you dress.
Even more important, but more subtle, is how appropriately you open up to your new co-workers. Do you undershare, omitting valuable feedback because you’re uncomfortable saying anything that isn’t complimentary? Do you overshare as a way to try and build connections? All of these things combine to make up how you’re perceived by your new colleagues.
Smart people work to be known as a person who is interesting and easy to talk to, but who can also buckle down and get to work.
2. They Chill Out
News flash: You got the job! Studies have proven that anxiety is contagious. Starting a new job is exciting for you, but it’s just another day at the office for everyone else. Be calm and strive to match the energy and pace of the office environment, even if it’s different than yours. Once you are known, you can go at your own pace, but until then, don’t be the hyper-anxious person everyone intuitively wants to avoid.
Smart people take a deep breath when they’re feeling overwhelmed and make a composed, can-do impression at their new job.
3. They Use the 70/30 Rule
Are you familiar with the 70/30 rule? It suggests that 70% of the time you ask questions and inquire about how things work. Then, the other 30% of the time, share background on yourself so people get to know you and how you think. If you monopolize the conversation by talking about yourself too much, people may mistake it for arrogance, or alternatively for trying too hard.
Smart people learn to ask incisive (but not invasive) questions about the organization. That way your interviews and discussions with people will have value for them as well as for you.
4. They Do Their Homework
By the time they show up on day one, people who want to hit the ground running have already done the preliminary research to understand the bigger context of what their new organization does, why, and how prior events informed the current practices. In between being hired and starting a new job, they find someone at the organization—often a hiring manager or a peer who reports to the same person—to exchange a few emails with to get up to speed.
By doing their homework ahead of time, smart people are able to engage their co-workers in conversations that are deeper and more valuable than just “catching up.”
5. They Pay Attention to Company Culture
What are the assumptions and beliefs that drive people’s behaviors and actions? Collectively, these define the culture of the organization. You can neither buck nor support it until you get it. For those who are immersed in it, culture becomes innate, and because of this, some of the people who epitomize it (the fish in the proverbial water) can’t tell you about it.
Smart people learn about the environment not by what people say they are going to do, or what they say they value, but by watching what people actually do. How are customers treated? How does the company engage the hearts and minds of the employees? Are policies implemented and enforced consistently, and if not—why not?
Starting a new job is a high-stakes transition. You will never be more ignorant about how to fit in than when you start; but on the other hand, you will be making lasting first impressions from the very beginning. Do what smart people do and find the balance. Be yourself, but be “on.” Relax, but listen and ask great questions. Finally, understand the big picture and tap into the culture.