Friday, October 17, 2014

How To Boost Your Job Interview Chances


The interview is one of the most decisive steps in the job-hunting process. If you ace the interview, your chances of getting the job undoubtedly increase. But in order to secure your shot at an interview, it’s not enough that you’ve done well in the exams and presented an impressive resume. 

Here are three pre-interview pitfalls you need to look out for so you can improve your chances at an actual interview:

A Dirty Online Presence

These days, it is common HR practice to conduct an online “reputation check” with their applicants before they invite them for interviews. So, to be on the safe side, clean your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts by removing all negative material – posts, blog entries, and especially compromising pictures. And by “negative,” we mean anything from statements that are derogatory towards another person, group, or entity; words that have double meaning or sexually suggestive.

It is therefore recommended that you delete these materials and not just change your privacy settings because social media security settings these days are not safe bets. What you may have tagged as “private” may still be searchable by more savvy users, including your potential employers.

After scrubbing your social media accounts clean, it’s time to expand to the entire World Wide Web. Run a search of yourself in various search engines. In other words, Google (or Bing) yourself. You may have cleaned your social media accounts of defamatory material, but there might be blogs, websites, and social media material of other people that put you in a bad light. If there are, find ways to take them down. Reach out and talk to the people who have posted these negative comments. Not only will you clean your online reputation, you may even get the chance to mend broken relationships and settle old scores.

Rudeness To The Office Staff

You might have given the stink eye to the security guard, the cold shoulder to the janitor, rolled your eyes at the receptionist, and even yawned aloud when the test administrator gave boring instructions. But once someone who looks like a manager or supervisor appears, you’re all friendly and charming, flashing that winning smile you’ve been practicing in front of the mirror for months. It may be too late, though.

Warning: Offices have CCTV cameras that record your body language the moment you step inside the building. It’s also not rare for interviewer to ask everyone, from the security guard to the receptionist, on how you behaved during the initial stages of your application. Step up your game the moment you enter the building and don’t spare anyone from noticing your irresistible charms.

Arriving Late 

Nothing can spoil a job hunt more than a candidate arriving late. Here’s why:
  1. You are applying for a job, not attending a party.  Only socialites and celebrities can get away with being late. So, unless you are applying to be Paris Hilton’s next BFF, be on time.
  2. Assuming that tardiness is okay because you got away with it in the past is dangerous.  Two misconceptions come to mind with this: (a) “We’re all on Filipino time anyway.” (b) “I usually wait for half an hour before the HR sees me.” These perceptions are mostly generalizations that can cost you a successful job application if you're too stubborn to hold on to them. One, not all Filipino companies practice Filipino time, i.e, starting late. Two, not all companies make applicants wait.
  3. The excuses you'll end up using are lame and will only show your weaknesses. Excuses like "I got lost," "I got stuck in traffic," and "The building elevator got stuck," among others, have been used countless times. Also, they show your lack of planning and preparedness. Avoid having to use these excuses by giving yourself, at the very least, a thirty-minute allowance. So, for example, if it takes you an hour to get from your place to the office, leave home an hour and a half before your scheduled time.  The bottom line is, being late is a big no-no. You wouldn't have time to collect and compose yourself, so you may be sweaty, uncomfortable, and flushed during the test or activity. You may have to deal with irritated HR personnel who had to wait for you. Worst of all, the HR may have already crossed you off the list of candidates for being late.
By avoiding these job-hunting boo-boos, not only will you strengthen your chances of getting the job, you will actually see yourself improve as a person.

JobStreet.com is a leading online job site presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, and Vietnam. The Group currently services over 230,000 corporate customers and over 13 million job seekers in its database.

Monday, October 13, 2014

How To Plan Your Promotion


In a conservative country like the Philippines, asking for a promotion seems to be a no-no. We tend to wait for the opportunity to come. But career growth doesn’t come to the faint-hearted. Be on top of your career by planning your promotion - NOW!

1. Ask for additional responsibility
Getting a promotion means you are ready to take on more responsibility, and by asking for additional tasks/projects, you can show you are capable of handling a bigger role. Volunteering to look over your team or be OIC while your boss is away is a perfect example of an additional task. Going the extra mile on reports and projects (like submitting them ahead of schedule) will also be good for you.

2. Excel in everything you do
Remember: the average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top. And where would you want to go? To the top, of course! Excellence is something that should come from you. Give great ideas. Execute your projects flawlessly. Come to work on time. Think of things you can do better. Your boss should notice your efforts in no time.

3. Evaluate your accomplishments
Once you think the time is right, position yourself for the promotion you know you deserve. Evaluate your accomplishments. Aside from believing that you are ready, you need to be backed up by numbers, such as Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. Your KPIs are a concrete measure of what you’ve done so far for the company, and something you can present to your boss when you lobby your case.

4. Find a good time and grab it
There is no right or wrong time to ask for a promotion. There is, however, a good time for it. If your company conducts performance reviews, use that as an opportunity to raise the topic of promotion. Request for a meeting with your manager and make it clear that you want to discuss your performance and the potential of getting promoted. By giving a heads up, your boss will have ample time to review your performance.

5. Don’t be shy to emphasize your contributions
You have to prove that you are capable of stepping up. During your meeting, emphasize your contributions and milestones. Present your performance reviews in the last year or so, especially if they are stellar. Know the job description you are aspiring for and give concrete examples to prove that you are the best person for the job.

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get promoted now. Your manager might offer instead to give you more responsibilities, as promotions can take time. Your boss might need to adjust the team structure to make way for your bigger role, for one. Discuss the timeline – 3 months? 6 months? – and agree on it. Prove yourself worthy of that promotion. At the very least, be assured that your manager has a career development plan for you.

Remember: as long as you do your job well and you continue to grow and learn new skills, a promotion shouldn’t be far from reach.



About JobStreet.com
JobStreet.com is a leading online job site presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, and Vietnam. The Group currently services over 230,000 corporate customers and over 13 million job seekers in its database.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why Saying Thank You is Not Enough During a Presentation

While parents, teachers and even Barney the dinosaur tells us that saying 'please' and 'thank you' are magic words that can really create wonders in relationships, expert speakers and authorities in public speaking and presentations tells us to drop it for a more effective and powerful delivery.

Majority of speakers are guilty of over-using the word Thank You during a presentation.  Usually after an introduction, in an opening statement and mostly as a conclusion.  Well, it's understandable since the use of thank you is not only a nice way to acknowledge the importance of each individual in the crowd but is also a short polite statement that speakers often used as fillers or as a default statement to open or to end a speech or presentation. 

However, there's a much better way.

Instead of saying Thank You as an opening statement, why not start with a story, a short anecdote, a nice fun factoid or some mind boggling trivia or activity to get the attention of your audience.

There's absolutely no need to thank the person who gave you an introduction in front of the audience, you may thank the person personally and immediately after the introduction and shake his or her hands.  The gestures are enough.

Concluding a presentation or a speech should be equally strong or even stronger than your opening statement.  Aside from the opening statement, the closing is always the part of the presentation that audiences brings home with them after.  Make it a close worth remembering and plainly saying Thank You is not really a knock-out ending.  Your closing must contain the core message of the whole speech or presentation and make it quick, concise and creatively powerful.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The 5 Killer Habits of Highly Unproductive People


UNPRODUCTIVITY is defined as the quality, state, or fact of not being able to generate, create, enhance, or produce.  It is often used to refer to objects or people that generates inferior, sub-standard or even mediocre output or results.

Of course, people will choose to be productive than unproductive but in real life and due to bad habits and wrong orientation, we tend to embrace unproductivity more without us knowing it.

The best way to avoid this, is to observe the daily habits of highly unproductive people and make it our personal mission to make certain changes in our lives so that we will not get caught in the same web that they got themselves into.

5 Killer Habits of Highly Unproductive People

1. No Game Plan
No plan-No game!  It's as simple as that.  Like what Benjamin Franklin said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".  If productivity is linked to achieving worthwhile planned goals that leads to where you want to go then highly unproductive people start their day confused.  It's not that they don't see the importance of planning, it's just that they don't like doing it.  Because they have no plan, they see everything as a pile of unavoidable things-to-do and their sense of accomplishment comes in getting rid of these so called daily duties without really moving forward and getting anywhere.  This happen quite often to people who are always caught up with work - they list down their things-to-do for the day and are happy after seeing that the list has diminished in number at the end of the day.  But the bigger picture -which is, asking themselves the questions WHAT IT IS THAT YOU WANT IN LIFE? and, HOW DO I GET FROM WHERE I AM NOW TO WHERE I WANT TO BE? ...are matters that they seem to have no time at all.  They only work on the the tasks that each day presents them probably because they fear failure, they are afraid that if they set higher goals that they will not be able to meet them.  So they go on with their lives living inside their comfort zones not knowing that, that too is also a big risk since nothing is constant in this world and those that they see as fortresses may turn out to be their own self-made prisons.
     

2. Loves the Rush
Speaking of time, unproductivity is largely linked to a person's use of time. Highly unproductive people has mastered the skill of procrastination.  What they can delay to a later date, they would.  Usually they only attend to things that are often urgent and unimportant.  WHY?  Because time has run out.  The reason for this can be traced to habit number 1 but more importantly it is deeply rooted in the attitude of the person.  Highly unproductive people loses a great amount of time on the urgent and unimportant matters which seems to be the bulk of their daily tasks.  Life coach Stephen Covey presented a time management matrix and concludes that people who are highly productive focuses on matters which are not urgent but very important - for example, exercise and planning.  Opposite to what highly unproductive people are doing.
        
3. More Talk Less Action
People who are often unproductive, inefficient and incompetent hide behind long talks and time-consuming meetings and discussions.  They are vampires.  They borrow strengths from other people and drain them to the pulp so that they themselves become unproductive.  Those who talks too much usually has nothing to say.  Productivity stands by the Pareto Principle which teaches people to devote only 20% of time to tasks that will yield 80% of productive results. By prioritizing with the 80/20 principle productive people develops time management skills that boost their effectiveness.
You won't see Henry Sy and all the other business tycoons engaged in long conversations or phone calls longer than 5 minutes (except if it was his grandchildren) or stay on meetings longer than 45 minutes. To these highly productive successful people, TIME is worth more than GOLD and wasting it would be a serious crime. Now, why do highly unproductive people love long talks? There's probably two main reasons for that:

  1. First, it's like a form of an ego-trip to hide their insecurities. Talking gives them a sense of power, purpose and the appearance that they are doing something. 
  2. Second, they probably are clueless and engaging themselves in long conversations provides them some leverages and time to figure out what they have to do or even boost their self confidence.
Whatever the reasons are, they are still highly unproductive reasons.

4. No Plan B
We all have to make a lot of risky decisions and activities on a daily basis.  It is and will always be a part of life.  Growth is not achieve without taking risks and dreams are nothing without venturing towards it.  We make mistakes, learn from it and move forward.  Highly unproductive people are no exception but the difference between those that are productive and unproductive is a 'Plan B.'  A contingency.  A projected corrective measure. Heck, highly unproductive people doesn't have a Plan A so what would you expect.  The importance of a Plan B is to minimize loses when facing a risky situation.  A Plan B allows productive people to accept and adapt to the situations while unproductive people goes to another unwarranted skill which is BLAMING.  Those who often blame other people or situations are those that usually doesn't have a Plan B.  Because they lack the foresight, they do the next possible action which is to find fault.  Blaming and fault-finding are highly unproductive behaviors.
      

5. No Downtime Schedules
Lastly, highly unproductive people usually work themselves to death - and sometimes literally.  That may appear to sound like they are very responsible and hard-working but the truth is, they just are unproductive.  Like I said earlier, productivity is equated with time.  The more TIME you have, TIME for the things that you love to do or TIME spent with the people that you love, that is the actual measuring stick of how productive a person is.  Highly unproductive people have spent their time unwisely so that leaves them nothing for those that are really important.  While productive people have downtimes scheduled with their priorities such exercise, vacation, reading a book, family dates and almost every other activities that enriches them.
So, those are the 5 killer habits of highly unproductive people.  If you feel you have been offended in some way and on any part of this list, that might be a gentle productive nudge to remind you that it's never too late to be a more productive person.  You are not dead yet.      

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Introduction to PLANNING

Planning for organizational effectiveness or planning for personal success?  Well, whatever the case may be there are some effective tools that you can use to help guide you in planning your new year!

I am pretty sure that most business organizations are already done planning their 2014, but for those who have not yet started - always remember that It is never too late to plan.

Planning is an essential ingredient to success if not the most important and like the old saying goes:


"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." - Benjamin Franklin

But how do we define effective planning?

Effective planning according to the Seven Habits book of Stephen Covey is,


"To start with a clear understanding of your destination, to know where you are going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction."

Let us begin.

First you must remember that there is a Planning Framework that you must adhere to, to be able to maximize the effectiveness of all your efforts to plan.  In organizational planning, there are seven (7):

VISION
MISSION
GOALS
STRATEGY
PROGRAMS
PROJECTS
ACTIVITIES

For personal planning you may cut down the STRATEGY, PROGRAMS and PROJECTS on the steps and go straight from GOALS to the ACTIVITIES.  The essence of this framework is to chop down your VISION or your definition of SUCCESS to doable daily activities that will move you closer to achieving your goals.  Accomplishing daily goals gives you more satisfaction and takes away the pressure brought about by bigger goals.

For example, let's say that your goal is to have a monthly savings of 10,000 pesos, wouldn't it be nicer if we set a daily goal like - 'take the bus to and from work to save 30 Pesos worth of daily gas expense and put that on the piggy bank' instead?  At the end of the Month, you'll be surprise at how you've managed to meet your savings goal.

In organizations, there are three types of planning:

STRATEGIC PLANNING
PROGRAM PLANNING 
TACTICAL PLANNING

Strategic Planning is often called Long-Term Planning.  It focuses on the general direction of the organization for the period of 6 to 10 years.  Program Planning on the other hand is called Medium-Term Planning.  It focuses on more concrete projects and programs set by the organization that will be implemented for the next 3 to 5 years.  While Tactical Planning is called the Short-Term Plan which focuses on activities set for 6 Months to 1 Year.
Organizational Planning Matrix
What people do during the start of the year, like setting up resolutions and jotting down birthdays, holidays and special occasions may be considered as a form of Tactical Planning.

Now that you've gotten acquainted with the planning framework and matrix, it's now time to get to the details.  Your initial task before the start of the planning process is to set your very own DEFINITION OF SUCCESS!  And that's what we're going to talk about next time.