10 Things Every Employee Should Know About Their Position

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For employees, keeping up with the latest company objectives and news can sometimes become burdensome when information isn’t properly communicated through the various channels. That is why it is up to those in charge of internal communications to not only promote a positive, communicative work culture but also ensure that each employee is well equipped with the information that they need to succeed.      

In order for employees to be truly productive and engaged, they must understand certain fundamental things about their work. It’s an essential part of the onboarding process as well as key to overall employee performance. So, every employee should be equipped with the following information once they take their position:   

  1. What products and services does the company offer? How does the company positively impact the customer?

  2. How can the company’s vision be summarized? 

  3. What is the organization’s mission? How do we implement this vision? 

  4. Who are our main competitors? How are we different from them?

  5. How does my job specifically contribute to the company’s overall success?

  6. Who does my boss answer to? What are the responsibilities of my boss and his/her boss?  

  7. Who is my HR contact?

  8. Does the company offer any growth and training opportunities?

  9. Which techniques and tools are available to me to make my work more effective?

  10. Are there ways to get more involved with the company? Are there company events, initiatives, etc.?

Ensuring that employees can align their efforts behind shared business objectives means that certain avenues for communication must be in place to make the necessary information clearly available to those employees who it effects. By providing the answers to these ten questions, employees will be well on their way to fully understanding their positions and experiencing fulfilling work lives. 

5 Things That Great Employers Do That Others Don't

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The question of whether or not there is a single recipe for creating a happy, high performing, engaged workforce is one that employers constantly ask themselves. But, it’s the great employers who actually turn this question into action and a reality that can carry an entire workforce. While there is no one magic tip for inspiring a workplace, there are a few key elements that do spark employee engagement and overall accomplishment.

Great employers all share several common key elements. Let’s take a look at a five:

  1. Great employers keep involved, curious leaders on their team who constantly seek self-improvement. Leadership set the example and tone of a company. It’s their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that trickle down through an organization and directly affect work culture.

  2. Great employers have stellar HR teams. The best HR people have a knack for influencing, teaching and holding leadership accountable. They help managers learn to bring out the best in their employees’ natural capabilities.  

  3. Great employers ensure their employees are equipped with all of the necessary resources they need to succeed. An employee will commit to almost anything a company aims to accomplish so long as they know exactly what is expected of them, have all of the information and tools that they need to do their job, have been well placed in their position, and know that their managers have their backs.

  4. Great employers support their leadership teams and hold them accountable. The best companies inspire and encourage their mangers by relentlessly providing support, building up their capabilities and resilience, and holding them and their teams accountable for the cultures they create.

  5. Great employers have a decisive, straightforward approach. The companies that see the highest engagement achieve that because their leaders know how to use recognition as a powerful incentive.

It’s not enough to simply prioritize the easy, sugar-coated toppings of a company, like having a hip office space or providing beer and a free gym. The elements that really strengthen a workplace are those that build emotional ties and connect employees to their teams on a deeper level.

 

Keywords Recruiters Look for When Seeking Top Talent

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As job seekers strive to perfect their resumes, it's important to know just what recruiters are looking for and how they spot top talent. Often recruiters, in their initial skim of resumes, are looking for certain keywords and phrases. If job seekers match their experiences with these types of sought-after skills and experiences, recruiters are more likely to take notice and continue reading.

So, just what are some of the most sought-after keywords that can set one candidate apart from the next? They include:

Problem-Solving – This keyword displays great strength in a resume because it illustrates a candidate’s ability to approach challenges and solve them. No matter what level position you are applying for, problem-solving is a skill that absolutely every employee will use in the workplace.

Written Communication – Many job seekers underestimate this skill, but it’s actually one of the strongest skills that recruiters look for. Strong writing abilities give you a better chance of getting the job that you want, because most of the communication between employees and management will be through writing. This skill therefore shows that a candidate is prepared to communicate with upper management.   

Leadership – Recruiters always look for leadership experience on resumes because they want to fill positions with candidates who possess the skills associated with good leaders. This demonstrates confidence in decision making, listening skills and an ability to be a team leader.

Team Building – Companies ultimately achieve their goals through strong team efforts. So, when a job seeker can show their ability to work in a team and collaborate, recruiters take notice.

Job seekers who are able to demonstrate keywords such as these and provide examples with experience will stand out among other candidates. Recruiters make a point to look for these types of skills on resumes, so make the most of this first impression.

How to Identify and Compete for Your Industry’s Most Promising Candidates

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Employers know that there's a world of difference between an employee who's correctly matched to their job and one who isn’t. But, how do you identify the most promising candidates, then compete for and match them to the right jobs? Simple – by creating a comprehensive search strategy and having a well-structured selection process.

Follow a proven step-by-step process for the competitive positions you want to fill. But, don’t take shortcuts because in the end you will be left with undesirable results.

Here's what you should do:

  • Develop accurate job descriptions. You must have an effective job description for each position. These should reflect careful thought as to the skillsets a candidate must possess, including personality attributes that are important to fulfilling and succeeding in certain positions.

  • Create a "success profile." Profile the ideal employee for key positions in your company that are critical to the execution of your business plan. In other words, who is most likely to succeed in a given position? Remember, you can't tell if you've found a match if you're not matching candidates against a specific profile.

  • Advertise within your industry. Draft your ad describing the position and key qualifications you’re looking to match, then advertise in the mediums most likely to reach your potential candidates. Also, send your ad to recruiters who can look into qualified individuals who already fill similar roles at competing companies.

  • Assess candidates. After receiving resumes, conducting phone interviews and deciding on potential candidates to move forward with, assess their core behavioral traits and cognitive reasoning speed with a proven assessment tool. This can provide excellent insight as to which behavioral traits are important for a given position and whether or not a candidate is naturally suited to succeed in that position.

Once you’ve gone through all of the steps, make a competitive offer to the best candidates, and soon you’ll be working alongside your industry’s top professionals.  

How to Get on a Headhunter’s Radar

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When competing in a marketplace of millions of job seekers, how can you make yourself stand out as a prime candidate to contact for a position? Well, this is where a headhunter or recruiter might come in handy. They look for potential candidates they feel would be a great fit for a role they’re looking to fill. The key here, of course, is to make yourself stand out to catch their attention. So, let’s take a look at a few key ways you can get on their radar:  

  • Be specific on your candidate profile. Headhunters are looking for candidates with the exact skills and experience that a company has requested. So, you must be specific and detailed when constructing your professional profile. Include your exact qualifications, industries you’ve operated in, exposure to different technologies, clients you’ve worked with, the size of your network, etc.

  • Include company profiles for each employer. Headhunters sometimes seek out candidates who have worked with or within certain companies. This gives them a clearer idea of the type of environment and structure you’ve worked within. You might also want to include a few sentences describing each employer in your work history as an overview including what the company does, who their customer base is, whether they have local reach, national, international, etc.    

  • Engage in conversation. Find ways to join in the conversation. Headhunters want to see that you’re engaged in your community, and it sparks their curiosity to investigate you as a candidate further. Take part in speaking engagements, seminars, events, fundraisers, engage in online group discussions, publish your own blog – anything that will help to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

  • Network – Headhunters are always asking for referrals, so make sure your name is in the game, and don’t stop networking!    

Start taking steps to be noticed by headhunters. If you don’t, you’re missing out on opportunities in your industry that could propel your career into a new dimension.  

What Do Candidates Look for in a New Job?

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Jobs are in high demand, and candidates are very selective about what they look for. As we mentioned in our previous article, it’s easier than ever for candidates to compare companies of interest through the use of our vast online resources. What exactly are candidates looking for in a company, though?  A little research tells us that most are looking for the following key elements:

  • Track Record – Does the company have a good reputation and successful track records.
  • Benefits – Does the company offer generous contributions to pension plans, annual leave, PTO, etc. in addition to competitive pay?
  • Technology – Does the company employ the latest technologies in-office? Do they provide laptops or smartphones for remote working?  
  • Prospects – Is the company well-positioned for the future? Is there job security and career advancement in sight?
  • Health Care – Does the company provide good health benefits and incentives like gym memberships, healthcare, childcare, etc.?
  • Flexibility – Does the company provide flexible working hours? Do they promote a proper work-life balance?
  • Reward – Does the company reward employees for meeting or exceeding their potential in the form of bonuses, extra time off, social events or early leave?
  • Location – Is the company in a good location? Do they provide opportunities to work remotely?
  • Office Environment – Does the company offer the right tools to succeed in a nice work space? Is the environment stimulating?
  • Compensation – Is the company offering a fair pay package? How much will your employee benefits contribute to the annual salary packet?
  • Values – Are your values aligned with the company’s values? Does the company care for the wellbeing of their employees? Do they create a caring culture?
  • Company Culture – Will you feel like part of a team working towards the same goals?
  • Supportive Networks – Is there a network of support in the form of mentors, regular check-ins, etc.?
  • Development – Will you feel challenged in the position and within the company?

Candidates are attracted to companies who ultimately look out for their best interest and can provide a competitive, secure and healthy work-life balance. So, when you’re reviewing your culture and compensation in 2018, keep these points in mind!

The 2018 Job Market is Hotter Than Ever!

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The dynamic that exists between supply and demand is the very heart of everything you know about economics, but have you applied those principles to your own place in the workforce? Now, more employers than ever are looking for top talent to fill key roles in their organizations (especially in tech industries), but there just doesn’t seem to be enough human capital to go around. With that high demand and such a scarce supply of workers, wages are about to be on the rise. Here are some stats you should know:

  • As of November 2017, American companies had some 6 million job openings to fill
  • Unemployment rates dropped 4% from November 2017 to December 2017, and they’re on their way to being the lowest we’ve seen in decades.
  • The top 9 industries in U.S. markets (in descending order) were: management, architecture/engineering, education/training, healthcare practitioners, legal, science, computers and math, community/social service, business/finance. All of these industries featured an unemployment rate of less than 3%.

In addition to rising wages and lower unemployment rates, the market is also responding by adjusting its requirements. That is, employers are lowering lofty standards in order to open the door for more candidates. They’re eliminating unnecessary application specs, no longer asking for the same advanced degrees, and seem to be placing a higher emphasis on other areas, like hands-on experience.

In short, job applicants today are able to be a lot more selective about the job offers they accept, and employers are challenged to ask for less and offer more. What a great time to be in the workforce!

Source: https://www.scribd.com/article/369570093/Ready-Set-Jump

Why Safety is Important in the Workplace

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To no one’s surprise, workplace safety is incredibly important. But, why exactly? Well, because the implementation of an effective safety program in any workplace is one of the best decisions a company can make, both for its employees and for its bottom line. Here’s why:

  • Workplace safety programs create productive work environments. A properly managed safety program shows real commitment to the safety and well-being of staff by management. This in turn creates a positive safety (and work) culture where everyone ‘wants’ to be safe.

  • Effective safety programs ensure a drop in absenteeism. Everyone wants to work in a safe environment. So, with the implementation of an effective program, absenteeism drops.

  • Work premises are kept to higher standards with safety programs in place. Environments are kept to higher safety standards, including, cleanliness and general housekeeping.

  • Safer work environments produce happier employees. A safe work environment automatically lends to happier employees, because everyone wants to go home safe at the end of the day.

  • Insurance claims decrease when safety programs are in place. A safe environment means fewer worker compensation insurance claims as well as lower WCB rates. This is huge if your company has to pre-qualify to work, as a lower rate gives you a better grade with clients.

  • Safety programs create environments where safety improvements are not only considered but encouraged and implemented. This makes employees feel like they are part of the solution.

  • Safe work environments enhance your brand’s value and goodwill. This image helps to win and retain business simply because people want to work with companies that are held to higher standards.

  • Safe work environments reduce business costs and disruption. Any reduction in business costs creates a more productive work environment with little down-time.

Finally, safety is important in the workplace simply because a good safety program protects a company’s most valuable assets – its people.

Benefits of Letting a Third-Party Agency Make Your Hiring Decisions

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Even with growing competition from job boards, social networking and internal recruitment teams, the industry for third-party hiring agencies continues to grow. These firms are the eyes and ears in the marketplace who focus all of their efforts on attracting great candidates from endless pools of competition. The benefits of letting a third-party agency handle your hiring decisions are endless.

Here are just a few key reasons why you should let a professional agency take the wheel:

  • Knowledge of the Market - The best recruiters are dialed in on the pulse of their specialist markets. They already know the available talent, where they are, how to reach out to them, their salary rates, career expectations, available skill-sets and current hiring complexities.

  • Extended Reach - Sometimes, the right candidates are hard to find. But, a third-party agency has the network in place to find them. Even if those candidates aren't actively seeking employment, the best agencies know who they are and how to reach them. Each consultant, candidate, client and collaborator on their team can leverage their networks to help connect you to people with a range of skills and experiences, many of who would be off the radar of an in-house team or hiring manager.

  • Access to Key Strategic Skills – A third-party agency can help you gain access to key strategic skills. They offer the opportunity to bring in qualified, experienced talent at a moment’s notice.

  • Budgeting and Resources – Most organizations lack extensive resources to cast a wide recruitment net for any period of time. They face certain restraints when it comes to performing a thorough search, so it is easier for managers to interview from an agency shortlist.

Working with a third-party agency will save you time and money, while offering up the most in-demand, strong talent for positions that an in-house team might miss out on.

Body Language Do's and Don'ts During an Interview

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When it comes to going on job interviews, your body language can have a significant impact on how you’re perceived. You have to be aware of it from the moment you step through the door to the moment you step out, as you’re being judged even before you say your first word. So, here are some do’s and don’ts to help you make your best first impression:

Don’t

  • Slouch – Don’t sit hunched forward or lounge with your arms and legs everywhere. You don’t want to look too casual and relaxed. It might give off an “I just can’t be bothered” impression.

  • Touch Your face – Often, people who play with their hair or excessively touch or rub their faces can seem dishonest or untrustworthy. It can also give off the impression of being uncomfortable, unapproachable or simply bored.

  • Move About – Try not to fidget about so much. This includes tapping your fingers on the arm rest or jiggling your leg up or down. It’s a sign of boredom and impatience. So, keep both feet planted firmly on the floor to avoid the temptation.

Do

  • Make Eye Contact – Making eye contact is the best way to show that you’re actually paying attention and engaged in the situation. If there’s more than one interviewer in the room

  • Be sure to make eye contact with everyone.

  • Smile – A smile shows that you’re both friendly and confident. So, smile and nod whenever appropriate. It’s even ok to laugh when appropriate. You want to show that you have a personality and that you’re paying attention to what’s being said.

Your goal should be to always keep the focus on the conversation. So, keep your expression interested, your posture confident and your head high from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave.

Success Tips for First-Time Managers

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As a new manager, you definitely have your work cut out for you. Not only do you have to learn the duties and responsibilities of your job, but you also have to earn the trust of the team that you will be managing. It's no small task - we get it - but you also don't want to overcomplicate the situation for yourself.

Here are some simple but very useful snippets that will help you get through the learning curve as you take on this exciting new chapter in your career!

  • Practice what you preach. This is a matter of both personal and professional integrity. Don't be a "do as I say, not as I do" type of manager. You'll never be effective in your role with that mindset.

  • Employee retention should be a priority. You don't want to spend the rest of your career repeating the same phrase over and over, but that's what you'll be doing if you have to train a new team member every week. You, your team, and your business will perform better if you find and keep the right staff.

  • The only way to learn something new is by actually attempting to do it. Obviously, you should read the manual or listen to a mentor, but nothing replaces hands-on learning.

  • Always think two steps ahead. If someone calls out from a shift, you don't want to spend hours scrambling to fill that spot. Always have a backup for your processes, a plan B, and someone you can call on a moment's notice.

  • Consistency is everything. Be consistent in your behavior, your policies, your methods, and your treatment of your team members. This will earn their trust faster than anything else.

Taking on a manager's role for the first time can be a little overwhelming, but remember that everyone has to start somewhere. Stick with it, and before you know it, you will be a seasoned human resources pro.

How to Find Information About a Company Before Your Interview

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When it comes to job interviews, candidates are no longer the only ones in the hotseat. Today, companies have to compete, too, and they all want the cream of the crop. If you know you're a top-notch candidate, then there's certainly no harm in letting potential employers compete for you. Of course, that's going to require a little work on your end, as well, because you'll need to research the companies in order to compare the pros and cons of each.

Here are some tips for researching a company before your first meeting:

  • Become acquainted with the company's financial situation using public reports, Crunchbase, and even a simple Google search.

  • Check out the company's social media profiles. Are they young and hip and energetic, or is the vibe a little more formal than that?

  • Call the company and pretend to be a prospective customer. Ask questions, and pay attention to their sales pitch.

  • Learn about who their competitors are and what sets this company apart.

  • Read online reviews from current and former customers.

Any chance to gather information about the company is one you should take! A career move is a big decision, and you certainly don't want to let anything sneak up on you.

When to Keep Your Thoughts and Opinions to Yourself at Work

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In our last article, we talked about when to speak up for whatever is on your mind at work. Sometimes, however, it may just be best to keep it to yourself. Granted, it's not always the easiest thing to keep your mouth shut when something is eating you. Depending on the situation, though, you may want to let it slide. Here are a few examples of when you should just let it go:

  • It's only a small disagreement. When it comes to agreeing with someone or everyone, it isn’t always going to happen. Having a small disagreement is something that does happen and can be let go.

  • You know you’re particular moody. If something happened and it just made you angry or upset then you might want to wait a bit before saying anything. Whatever it was needs some rational thought and you may not be giving it that.

  • Someone hurt your feelings a bit. Sometimes we can be a bit sensitive at times and when this happens, don’t go running and tattle on them. You wouldn’t want them to do the same if the situation was switched due to a small joke.

It is always good to know when to speak up and when to let it slide. Whatever situation you're faced with, exercise good judgement and try to keep a level head. Think objectively, not subjectively, and you will usually be able to get it all sorted out with very little trouble at all.

When to Speak Up at Work

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The workplace is undoubtedly one of the most diverse areas you’re going to encounter. With so many opinions and views, not everyone is going to be on the same page the entire time. That's actually a good thing, but when something happens or when things go too far, when should you speak up and when should you just let it slide?

When it comes to your job being in jeopardy because you do not speak up, then you may want to consider speaking up and doing so quickly.

  • Any form of harassment in the workplace - This is unacceptable on all levels and someone should know about it. This is not something to keep to yourself, no matter how silly it may sound. The same goes if you’re just someone that witnessed the harassment and didn’t experience it firsthand.

  • If you don’t understand something - Hey, it’s okay to ask questions every now and again! You need to be able to understand what you should be doing and asking is the only way to know!

  • When brainstorming - If you’re in a meeting and there are a lot of ideas being thrown around or if there are none, but you have one, let them know!

  • If you witness something illegal or wrong - When this happens, you definitely do not want to keep it to yourself. Not only is this something good for the workplace, but also for your conscious.

  • If someone takes credit for your work - Don’t let them take credit for something that you did. Make sure to speak up and let them know that you were the one that did it.

Don't miss our next installment when we discuss the opposite side of this coin: when to let it go.

Best Practices for Onboarding Seasonal Staff

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Businesses in all industries and of all sizes depend on seasonal workers to maximize revenues and meet customer expectations, especially during the holiday season.

Although seasonal hires are only temporary, it is still important to implement a formal onboarding process in order to ensure that all compliance obligations are met, standards are achieved and new hires are oriented.

Unfortunately, when you ignore the onboarding process, you increase your odds of running into performance issues as well as excessive turnover or worse. So, avoid common pitfalls, and take note of these best practices for onboarding seasonal hires:   

  • Have a set orientation process – Seasonal workers have to transition into their positions very quickly. But, this doesn’t mean that you can overlook an orientation process. All workers, temporary or not, must be briefed on health and safety expectations, compliance obligations, reporting requirements and more in order to fully succeed on the job.

  • Engage new hires with first impressions – Because of the fast-paced nature of seasonal hiring, it’s easy to skip over certain “optional” elements of the onboarding process. This includes things like making proper introductions and giving company tours. But, this is still necessary to engage seasonal hires from the start.

  • Provide the necessary tools – Just like full-time employees, seasonal hires need to be given all of the proper and necessary tools in order to do their jobs. This includes any safety equipment, technology devices, login credentials, etc.

  • Pair seasonal hires with mentors - To optimize onboarding and to minimize risks and costs, assign all temporary hires a mentor. They can help new hires get the lay of the land faster, walk them through processes and answer any questions that they may have.

By following these onboarding best practices, your seasonal workers will be able to make a smooth transition, quickly, and you will have peace of mind in knowing that they are prepared to get the job done right.

Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers During the Holidays

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With the closing of the year and the holiday season in full swing, we’re entering the busiest time of the year. And for many businesses, this means that it’s time to hire seasonal workers to help alleviate the intense workload.

After all, you want your business to thrive during the busy season and not just survive. So, the key here is hiring the right temporary workers.

Let’s take a look at a few tips that can help you hire the right staff:

  • Have a plan for your hiring process – Due to the quick onset and turnaround of the holiday season, planning is everything. You don’t want to hire too soon because then you might not have enough work for temporary staff. But, you also don’t want to hire too late because then you run the risk of hiring from a more limited pool of experienced candidates, as many seeking seasonal work may have already taken positions.

  • Seek employee referrals – Employee referrals are incredibly valuable and an easy way to tap into a network of experienced professionals. Referrals also save you time. If an employee already has a lead and knows of a potential candidate that would be a great seasonal hire, you don’t have to do the extra legwork to source staff on your own.

  • Extend the offer to former seasonal staff – The holiday season passes in the blink of an eye, so it can be difficult to bring on an entirely new staff and train them in time. That’s why you should consider reaching out to former seasonal staff workers. They already know your processes and are familiar with your company which will save you precious time.

Going into the holiday season, you must have a clear plan and understanding of what kind of seasonal staff you’re looking to hire for a smooth, stress-free holiday season. Use these tips to guide your hiring process.

5 Soft Skills Employers are Looking For

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Employers always seek out employees with specific skills for each position and organization, but even though these skills are important, there are other “soft skills” that are equally important to hiring managers.

In fact, many hiring managers believe that a person’s “soft skills” are just as much an indicator of on-the-job success as hard skills.

So, just what are soft skills?

Soft skills are those skills that an individual might possess that ultimately make them good employee no matter their position. These skills include a positive attitude, verbal and nonverbal behaviors as well as personal habits, all of which make a person easy and pleasant to work with and therefore a valuable member of any team. Soft skills also include things like confidence, manners, empathy, fairness, compassion, flexibility and more. Essentially, these skills are deeply rooted in an individual’s character.

Let’s take a look at five of the most coveted soft skills employers are looking for:

  1. A Positive Attitude – A positive attitude is contagious and can work wonders in turning department morale around. For managers, it’s important to have this kind of positive energy flowing, because it just takes a couple of negative employees to bring an entire organization down.

  2. A Strong Work Ethic – A strong work ethic is key to the success of any position and is not something that can be taught. Those who have it will thrive no matter what’s thrown their way.

  3. Time Management Skills – Employees who are results-oriented will also possess excellent time management skills which are key to completing assignments on time and accomplishing goals.

  4. Outstanding Communication and Interpersonal Skills – To succeed in any position, communication is absolutely key. A great employee needs to be able to communicate clearly as well as listen to work effectively within a given organization.

  5. Problem-Solving Skills – An individual who isn’t afraid to jump in and work to find a solution will make for a most trusted and competent employee.

Learn to hone your soft skills, and you will be able to succeed in any interview or position that comes your way.

The Differences Between a Resume and a CV

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When it comes to preparing for job applications, usually the first thing that comes to mind is writing a resume. But, what about a CV? Should you also be writing a CV? What is a CV? And, what’s the difference between a CV and a resume? Let’s take a closer look:

The Resume

The key goal of a resume is to make an individual stand out among their competition. It is typically a concise one page document that highlights your most recent and relevant experience and is highly adaptable to any position being applied for. In fact, a resume should always be tailored to the specifics of each job position. You should use a resume to:  

  • Emphasize skills

  • Apply for a position in industry, non-profit and public sector

  • Highlight experience and skills in no more than two pages, with an additional page for publications and/or poster presentations when relevant

  • Apply after one year of industry experience. (Then, lead with your work experience and place the education section at or near the end, depending on your qualifications)

The CV

A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is an in-depth document that is usually laid out over two or more pages. They are extremely detailed about achievements (after all, Curriculum Vitae does mean ‘course of life’). A CV covers your education as well as all other accomplishments, like awards, honors, publications, etc.

 

These documents tend to be organized chronologically to provide an overview of an individual’s full working career. A CV is static unlike a resume; it does not change for different positions. Rather, differences are tailored in the cover letter. A CV is used to:   

Emphasize academic accomplishments

  • Apply for positions in academia, fellowships and grants

  • Give a chronological overview, beginning with education, and can include names of advisors and your dissertation title or summary.

  • Evaluate merit/tenure review and sabbatical leave

Your chosen industry, career track or specific position will ultimately help you determine which format is necessary for a given application, but it’s never a bad idea to have both prepared ahead of time.

How to Discuss Your Weaknesses During an Interview

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You’re in the interview and all is going well. You’ve talked about your skills, your best attributes and your greatest strengths. Then, they ask that most dreaded question – What are your biggest weaknesses?

This is a question that hiring managers always ask and one that is the most difficult to answer. But, know that it’s not a trick question. Hiring managers are simply looking for examples of how you faced and overcame obstacles in the past.

So, how can you best answer this question? Here are a few tips to help you gather your thoughts and talk about weaknesses during an interview:  

  • Know your weaknesses – If you don’t know your weaknesses, then you may not really know your strengths. So, take some time for self-reflection before you go into an interview.

  • Don’t mention an essential skill – Be honest in your response, but don’t mention that your weakness is one of the very skills that they are hiring for. Read the job description carefully so that you don’t make this mistake. For example, if you’re being hired for detailed work, you probably shouldn’t say that your weakness is getting too hung up on details.  

  • Talk about how you overcome your weaknesses – Be prepared with examples of how you conquered a previous short-coming that you were able to successfully turn around into a strength.

  • Only talk about work-related weaknesses – Don’t use personal drama as a situational example of a weakness. Only discuss weaknesses that you’ve overcome while on the job.

  • Don’t use go-to answers, like you’re a perfectionist or you work too hard – These common responses are almost always dismissed, so don’t blow this opportunity to discuss how you’ve overcome professional challenges. Managers want to hear how they made you better.

Hiring managers understand that people make mistakes, but they want to know how you handle yours. Being aware of your weaknesses and able to discuss them is a great sign that you know your boundaries, abilities and strengths.

Leadership Skills Employers are Looking For

13. Leadership Skills Employers are Looki.jpeg

When it comes to leadership in the workplace, being identified as a “leader” or as a “potential leader” in any organization is a key indicator that you’re highly valued as an employee.

Not all leadership skills and abilities are seen in the same light, however. In fact, there are some that are more highly regarded than others.

These are the five considered most important:   

  1. The ability to inspire and motivate others – To be a great leader, you must be able to motivate and inspire those around you. These acts are what will essentially bring your, and your company’s, vision to life. A great leader makes their team feel invested in the accomplishments.

  2. Acting with honesty and integrity – Strong leaders set an example for their team, as they conduct themselves, always with honesty and integrity. This includes displaying these core characteristics in upholding company values and beliefs, promoting honest and ethical behavior, promoting a healthy work environment and encouraging others to following suit.  

  3. The ability to communicate clearly – Being able to clearly and succinctly explain what you want done is extremely important for anyone in a leadership position. Communication is key for relating your vision to your team so that everyone remains on the same page, working towards the same goal.

  4. The ability to problem solve and analyze situations – The true test of a good leader is in their ability to problem solve. In the workplace, you must be able to find ways to overcome obstacles. This includes clearly identifying problems, generating solutions and determining the best means of implementation.

  5. Acting with emotional intelligence – A great leader must be able to recognize, hold accountable and manage their own emotions as well as those around them. This helps to develop meaningful relationships as well as to help manage external stressors that may hinder forward movement.

While there are many skills that make a great leader, these are the most common that employers recognize.