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. 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 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.