14 May, 2013

INFOGRAPHIC: The History of the CV

Here is an interesting infographic on the history of the résumé. Have a look at how it has developed and what is expected of your résumé.

22 April, 2013

Career Video: Animator

I thought this was an interesting video on what it is like to be an animator. It was also listed as Best Youth Video category in the 2011 MyFuture video competition. You can see more career profile videos and career profiles (including duties and tasks, relevant courses and potential earnings) at the myfuture website or YouTube channel, myfutureAustralia.


15 April, 2013

INFOGRAPHIC: Anatomy of a Job Interview

Here is an interesting infographic on the types of interview questions asked, both common and most uncommon. As well as some useful tips that you can apply to your interviews. Please share this and tell others about this blog.

How to impress future employers with interview skills.

10 April, 2013

Inexperienced Graduate

Graduating with no experience can be a very daunting time. Almost all the jobs you apply for will ask for your resume and knowing what to put on it and what to not put on it may make the difference between getting to an interview or being dumped on the heap with other applications. Most companies that are hiring graduates will understand that you will not of had much 'real-world' experience, but its what you did whilst studying that is important. They are looking for your qualities and skills that you have developed whilst studying. Four things that will help you to stand out from the crowd include internships and work experience, volunteer work, extracurricular activities and your interests. It is not only important to identify these in your resume but also in writing a good cover letter.

Internships and work experience

By completing work experience and other internships you are demonstrating a real drive and desire to enter the industry. However it is not only the fact that you did them it is also the skills that you developed from that. No matter what you have done if you cannot walk away saying I have learnt or developed this skill from this activity then may as well not bother mentioning it.
Some key things to include here are:
  1. Where you interned and for which company?
  2. How long you were there.
  3. The skills you developed.
  4. Who you reported to.
  5. Any changes you needed to overcome.

Volunteer work

This type of work can be good in developing skills in communication, but also demonstrate to an employer that you are a committed, caring and responsible member of the community. As with internships always identify the relevant skills that you developed from the work and how you can use these to help the company. List the volunteer work that you did, how long you were doing (be it a one day event or a series of activities) and highlight those key skills that you developed. It not only shows you are committed by that you are hard working and willing to give back to the community.

Extracurricular activities

These type of activities show that you are willing to commit to something and follow it through for the long haul. This can identify also to the company how well of an organisational fit you will be in terms of the organisation culture. You do develop skills from these that may also help you in the work force, such as commitment, responsibility, leadership, creativity and motivation. When you list these skills put a little example of where you had to use these skills and the outcome of the situation.

Interests

Similar to extracurricular activities you can show you motivation and creativity through these, as well as express your personal brand. Before listing your interests always think about your audience, will you need to know how to water ski for the job you are apply for or will you need a vast knowledge of Facebook for this job? Whatever you interests cater to what the employer wants to know, and back it up with relevant examples and, you guessed, the skills you got whilst executing these activities.

02 April, 2013

Apps for Education

I thought it might be good to let you all know about some apps that I have found very useful in my studies. But most of these I run off an iPad so may appear different on an android, the only app that is exclusive to the apple store is iStudiez pro.

iStudiez Pro

iStudiez app for iPad weekly appearance The iStudiez Pro is a calendar app that you can add you classes, timetable and assignments. It is integrated into the calendar app so any event you put in the calendar will appear in iStudiez, in either a weekly or daily view. I have found this app really good because all I need for uni is in one location, it notifies me when I have a test or assignment and it syncs between all devices through a cloud account. Highly recommended if you use apple.


Evernote

Evernote app for iPadAlthough I have only started using this app I don't know how I did without. Some basic features are creating checklists, recording audio, sorting notes into folders, places and tags, and syncing between devices. What is excellent about this is that it is on all devices, apple and android, just set up an account and it can all be synced between devices. The app has a very easy to use layout.




DropBox 

Dropbox view from iPad.Never use solid state again!! Particularly good for me as I keep forgetting my thumb drive. It is good for storing documents, there is an app that can be downloaded onto the computer or smart device. I use it to transfer files from one computer to another. You can set up a dropbox account, if you don't have on already, by clicking on DropBox. All you need is an email account.


Google Drive

Similar to dropbox, only there is online editing available, making drive a little better than dropbox in my opinion. I use both dropbox and drive, uploading and sharing documents on drive that need to be able to be edited online and transferring documents from one computer to another through dropbox. If you have set up a gmail account then you already have access to drive.

Adobe Reader

Adobe reader for iPad view
Adobe reader also has syncing capabilities between devices. I prefer Adobe reader from the app store for this reason and because I can organise my PDFs into folders, rename them and see the recent files I have viewed. It can be downloaded for free onto your computer or smart device if you don't already have a PDF reader. I use it on all my devices, including my android phone.


25 March, 2013

How to build your resume

Here is another free resume template to meet your job hunting needs. This template uses three columns to help sort your experience and skills into an easy to read document. This will help to provide you with a one page resume, only if the employer specifies that they require a one page resume. The key to a successful resume is relevance, providing relevant, up-to-date and important information on skills is how you get your point across to employers. It is all about what you can offer the employer, not what they can offer you (although this is important to consider when applying for jobs).

Cater you resume to the job. If it is a graduate job, where there are specific education requirements put education first, if the job requires an experienced marketer put experience first. Your transferable skills are the skills that are relevant to most (if not all) of the jobs you apply for, e.g. written communication, public speaking, fast learning, active listener. Your technological skills are the IT skills that you gain from working in various jobs, e.g. CMS, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft word, Sprout social etc.

Any projects or other volunteer work does add value to your resume through supporting skills and professional development. Achievements let the employer see that you are dedicated to what you do, you have interests and that you are open to new challenges.

20 March, 2013

Left and Right brain

The left and right brain functions. Left brain creativity and right brain analytical.There is a left and right side of the brain. These sides determine whether we are analytical (left) or creative (right). You can discover whether you use your left or right sided brain by doing a simple "brain test". Look at the video below: if the dancer is turning clockwise you use the right side if your brain; if the dancer is turning counter clockwise you use the left side of your brain more.

The Left Brain

  • uses logic
  • detail oriented
  • facts rule
  • words and language
  • present and past
  • math and science
  • can comprehend
  • knowing
  • acknowledges
  • order/pattern perception
  • knows object name
  • reality based
  • forms strategies
  • practical
  • safe

The Right Brain

  • uses feeling
  • "big picture" oriented
  • imagination rules
  • symbols and images
  • present and future
  • philosophy and religion
  • can "get it"
  • believes
  • appreciates spatial perception
  • knows object function
  • presents possibilities
  • impetuous
  • risk taking

13 March, 2013

Improving Memory

Do you have a problem remembering facts? Does that one answer just elude you for minutes, hours, days, weeks? You get into the exam and are so worried that you forget everything. Although you know it you may just be stressed out causing your memory to cloud. Here are a few simple tips for you to do in an exam or any situation to recall the facts.

Tip #1: Relax

When we are stressed out our bodies release a hormone that will affect our ability to recall facts, figures or memories. This hormone acts like a cloud on our memory, slowing down recall which will frustrate us even more making the recall process harder. There are a few simple things you can do to relax yourself:

  1. Deep breathing: focus on each breath, holding for about 3-5 seconds. Repeat this until you feel that you can focus and that the stress hormone has lowered.
  2. Stretching: this will disperse the hormones around your body, loosen muscles and getting you ready for some serious writing. In an exam close your eyes, stretch your arms up right above your head and bring them down behind your ears, pushing your shoulders right back.


Tip #2: Cast your mind back, picturing any details your remember

Warm your brain up. I know this sounds a bit strange but it works, think back to when you were writing your study notes, try and recall what you wrote, drew etc. Think how you felt when you were writing up your notes and the examples that you were thinking about and any acronyms that may of thought of for recall. This will prepare you for writing the major facts to answer your exam questions.

Tip #3: Pretend to be an onlooker

Think that you were listening to yourself read out the notes. Memory can be blocked by strong emotions, such as stress or fear. Watch yourself in your mind writing the notes, remember the paper and any sample questions that your given.

Tip #4: Be flexible with your memory

You can think backwards, forwards, above, below or freeze frame. Let your memory recall the facts the way it needs to, don't restrict yourself to exactly how your notes or the order of your readings were done in. Simply try and recall what was written and how it applies to the question.

Tip #5: Don't Rush yourself

Yes this is hard to say in an exam situation, but set your time limits before you go into the exam. Know that for Part A you will spend 20 minutes per questions, for example. Do the administrative tasks of an exam before your even get to the exam, such as setting time limits and having your student card 
pre-signed to save time, giving you more time to focus on your exam questions. If you feel that you can't answer a question leave it and come back later. Write and highlight yourself a note of the questions you need to come back to so you do not forget about them, make sure it is somewhere you will see when you finish the other questions, such as the front cover of the exam paper.

I hope you will find these tips. Good luck with exams and study.

09 March, 2013

Applying for Professional Placements

Some of you will be in university others may be still in school, but a lot of courses and programs now require you to complete a set amount of professional development, business placement or work experience. There are a number of skills and qualities that you should be aiming to develop when doing a placement to improve your employability. Some of the major skills are communication, writing, public speaking and computer or technical skills.

It is important to get some industry experience or professional development experience. This shows to employers that you are dedicated to succeeding in your chosen industry and are willing to work for career progression.

When applying for an internship or requesting work experience from an employer there are some things that you should be researching before sending off your application, including:
  • Who the recruiting manager or business owner (for small businesses) is; name, contact details and address.
  • The full name of the business and why you are interested in applying there.
  • What are the requirements of the course for your work placement, e.g. 70 hours of placement, need to work on a project or required to gain office experience.
  • The dates that you are available for the placement.
  • The insurance costs; who covers insurance, does the employer need to pay for insurance and OH&S requirements.
In your application you should include:

  • Covering letter: Outlining who you are, why you are requesting work experience with their firm, the requirements of the placement and available dates. This letter should be addressed to the recruiting manager of business manager, addressed correctly and with correct titles and departments (if applicable).
  • Insurance information: If you are at a university, college or high school the insurance is covered by the institute. Talk to the career or course coordinator to get these details before you send the application off.
  • Resume: Let the employer know that although this a course requirement that you are willing to work well for the firm and that you have skills that will benefit the firm whilst you are there.
  • Current transcript or report card: This is not essential but it does help to let the employer see what you are capable off and it will act as a sort of reference to your application. Remember to only include this if you feel that it will help your application.
Referees are not required when applying for professional placement, but have them ready in case the employer asks for them in reviewing your application. You can see some sample covering letters and how to write a good covering letter here. The key to these covering letters is being clear and concise and outlining key skills that will benefit the employer whilst you are completing your placement.

06 March, 2013

Interview technique

Recently I had a job interview with a marketing company. This was the second interview I had had with the firm and so was prepared for the questions they were going to ask. I decided to write this post for those of you that may be asked the same style question so that you may be more prepared for a job interview.


Some of these questions included:
  1. If I were to run into a friend of yours at a cafe how would they describe you?
  2. The theme for a fancy dress party is fantasy, fear and fairytale, what character would you go as?
  3. Why did you leave your last job?
  4. Describe a time where you showed your leadership skills, teamwork skills and organisation skills?
  5. Do you have any major commitments that may affect your ability to perform well when you are working for us?
  6. Are you available for a follow up interview between [Date] and [Date]?
A lot of the question are very much personality based, the employer wants to know that you will fit in with their company culture can get jobs done and have the personality to work under the job conditions, e.g. if the job has a tendency to be stressful or requires long hours. 

Preparation

Before going into a job interview look at the job advertisement again, pick out keyword, think of how you best match these keywords and think of examples where you have displayed these attributes. This will prepare you for any questions that require you to back-up what you have said in your resume or cover letter.

You need to feel comfortable with what you are going to say in the interview. Have a friend or relative prep you on some questions before the day of the interview. The interviewer knows that you are going to be nervous and that you want the job over the other 50 applicants, but also know that they have to pick the best person for the job. You need to make yourself memorable. This means you need to pick appropriate clothing, say the right thing and do not do something inappropriate during the interview.
  1. When picking what cloths the wear looking at the company colours. Research has shown that if you go to an interview dresses in company colours the interviewer subconsciously looks at you as fitting in with company culture, putting you in a better position than other applicants. Wear something smart, be a little more formal. Suit pants and a shirt if you are a man, or a business skirt or suit pants and a shirt if you are a woman.
  2. As mentioned earlier, be prepared for some of the interview questions that the interviewer may ask. Get a friend to help you go over some of the questions, write your answers down and go over them on your own. This will improve your speaking skills during the interview and make you more memorable to the interview, which is what you want when they submit their report.
  3. DO NOT DO SOMETHING INAPPROPRIATE: this category includes not texting during the interview or taking a phone call, turn your phone off before you go in. Don't ask the interviewer on a date, yes they may be good looking but in the end you will only appear to be forward and too keen, not putting you in the probable list, probably just in the bin.

Arrival

Find out where the interview is, how long it'll take you to get there and decide on the most appropriate route. You will then know when to leave home, how your going to get there and how long it will take you to get there. Punctuality is key when arriving for the interview, you may not be remembered for it but you will be if you are late. Also remember to thank the interviewer for their time and hope that you hear from them soon.

Follow up

So you have been to the interview, come back and time goes by you hear nothing. Not an email, not a call, nothing. It may only be a couple of days but remember that they will have a lot of applicants to get through. Follow up with an email asking how it is going and where you application is.

Sample emails could be:

Dear [interviewer name],

I had an interview with you on the [date and time]. I was just following up on how the application is going.

From [name]

Clear, simple and to the point.