Friday 28 September 2012

How An Internship Could Affect Your Career

A good number of college and university students are nowadays competing for an internship. Working for ‘free’ is now seen as an opportunity that gives students a heads-up/start to their career. 
Muovo would like to share with you the following four points, which were listed by as the main reasons why you should seriously consider doing an internship:
1) Extends Your Education.
Many employers see internships as an extension of higher education. The effort it takes to become an intern and to be successful at learning an industry is widely noted and appreciated by prospective employers. Ample employers do take internships very seriously. When two applicants apply with similar qualifications, the internship will be usually a deciding factor, as the employer will see that the applicant has previous experience in the direct field. Internships give the applicant needed entry-level experience in order to succeed with in the first years of work.

2) Companies Hire From Within.
Several companies tend to look to hire from within. Internships provide this opportunity for the company. Since interns go through an entry level training which costs the company resources, they need to understand that this training is an investment in them for the future. Putting forth an equal effort will result in a very real chance at a promising career.

3) Adds To Your Professional Resume.
Building your resume properly is imperative. You should dedicate ample time and effort to make your resume the best possible it could be. Having an internships will certainly aid you when it comes to listing related experience and knowledge of the field. Employers will recognize this extra effort and reward accordingly. Having a solid resume will most certainly help get a foot in the door at most companies looking for quality help.

Have you heard of Muovo’s BridgeDGap Internship Scheme?

Related articles from this blog:
Why an Internship Might be Good for You
The Graduate Guide to Getting that Job!

 Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 19 September 2012

5 Ways To Make Your Boss Happy

It's 8.15 a.m. The office is quiet. There are only a few of your colleagues in, typing softly, sleepily on their keyboards, checking their emails drowsily, sipping their coffee serenely. Music is playing softly in the background. It's Wednesday morning, mid-week, not so bad as the weekend is approaching by.

Suddenly, a door slams. Your heart skips a beat as you check where the noise came from and see, to your horror, your boss's sullen face. Your heart starts thumping faster, and your head starts swelling like a stuffed mushroom as your inbox gets flooded with mails...and demands.

It's not unusual to have an unhappy boss in the mornings. In the economy we're living in these days, it is only natural and very reasonable for bosses not to be able to put on a happy face all the time knowing they have to face the many burdens and stress upon their shoulders. Of course, the responsibility to maintain their company productive despite some layoffs and hiring freezes is not one to be dealt with lightly. It's your job, then, to try and change your boss's sullen mood to a lighter one.

Muovo would like to share with you HRcareers' listing of 5 ways that could help you make your boss happy:

1. Be a go-getter. You’re good at following orders? Good for you. However, when dealing with a stressed and overburdened boss, it’s even better to taken some actions without them. This is done by anticipating your supervisor’s needs and fulfill them. Identify company problems and find solutions. Speak up in meetings when no one else will. Put in extra hours when no one else can. Your boss will appreciate not having to babysit your progress or productivity.

2. Ask for more. Bosses love employees who are willing to step up and take on more than required: ask for more work (if you can handle it) or increased responsibility. You’ll prove your worth and become someone he or she can count on in a pinch. It might even lead to a nice salary increase or promotion down the line.

3. Perform to the new standards. What does your boss need most from his or her employees right now? Ask, and then make sure you deliver well. If he really needs people to put in overtime, do it. If she places the most value on employees who keep a positive attitude, maintain one. Showing up on time and going through the motions may be enough to keep you from being fired, but it is usually not enough to make your boss truly happy.

4. Adapt your style. Everyone has a preferred communication style. Identify your supervisor’s style and adapt your own to it. If her office is right down the hall but she always sends emails, don’t pop in to ask a question. If he always responds to emails by stopping by your office, start stopping by his. If she frequently asks for hard copies of emailed reports, start printing them. If he frequently asks what you’re working on, keep him informed.

5. Be happy. Just as unhappy bosses beget unhappy employees, happy employees can generate happy bosses. So be happy while you work (and if you’re not, fake it). Leave family, relationship and money troubles at home. Don’t complain about your workload, your compensation or your coworkers. Don’t demand constant praise or attention. Do your job (and more if possible), do it well and do it cheerfully.

The next time your boss is unhappy, don’t dwell on how his or her mood affects you. Instead, implement the above suggestions and consider what else you can do to alleviate the stress or fear that is likely at the root of the problem.

Courtesy of Hcareers

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Saturday 15 September 2012

7 Questions You Should Ask Employers Before Accepting A Job

Three rules of thumb that every job seeker should know are:

1) Have something to ask for the interviewer
2) Be prepared for 'tough' questions like 'Where do you see yourself in five years' time?' and 'What are you strengths and weaknesses?'
3) Ask the interviewer questions through every step of the hiring process.

Muovo has found the following incisive questions from Career Builder and would like to share them with you:

When you receive the first call before the in-person interview:
1) Whom will I be interviewing with?
It is always helpful to know the name of your interviewer. You can look up the interviewer on the company's website (and perhaps on other social networks) to get an idea of who the person is and to prepare yourself well with some insightful questions. Of course, this also comes in handy when you are faced with the receptionist asking you about your interviewer.

2) Could you tell me more about the opportunity?
Nobody wants to waste time going for an interview only to find out that the vacancy on offer is not something you would be ever interested in. Ask your interviewer or the person who has called you  to brief you in on the job post on offer.

During the interview:
3) What are your short- and long-term goals?
Employers will probably ask about your career goals, but you should ask them what they want the person in this position to achieve. This will help you both to find out whether you are on the same wavelength and, really, whether you are on the right track. And of course, you want to know that they have a purpose for this position and aren’t just looking for a temporary solution.

4) Who are the primary people I’ll be working with on a daily basis?
Where does this role fit in the overall structure of the team and the business? Will you interact with people who can help your career? Will you spend most of your days in silence, typing on a computer? All that matters is that you receive an answer that appeals to you. This can also be the right time for you to ask whether the company offers training programs. Read Good Training and Your Success article.

5) What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the person taking this role?
No position is perfect. In fact, some jobs are created to address a problem that needs to be solved. That could very well be what attracted you to the job. An honest employer will tell you what struggles lie ahead. That’s your opportunity to turn the answer around as a challenge you’re happy to accept and present some ideas of how you would tackle the obstacles. If the employer makes it sound too good to be true, it probably is.

6) Do you have any doubts about my fit for the position? 
If you see that the interviewer is still rather uncertain with how your interview went, this is your time to 'save yourself'. Some interviewers might ask you direct questions and say what they're struggling with as regards your interview, others however might not. This is where you might have to prompt them to tell you what their concerns are. Now is the only chance you have to clarify anything, so make sure you leave no question unanswered.

After the interview:
7)  Have you made a decision? (If the given deadline has passed)
If the hiring manager says it will be a week before you hear back and after two weeks you still haven't heard anything, then it would be wise to follow up to see if a decision has been made. This being said, don't pester her or him or show up at the office — that won’t win you any brownie points. A quick email to ask how the process is going is more than sufficient.

Related articles from this blog:
Good Training and Your Career Success
A Job Seeker's Guide to Employment
Are You Prepared For Your Interview?
How to Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Good Training and Your Career Success

When you are on the lookout for a good company too join, there is something that you should really make sure is included in the employment package: a good training program.

Having placed a number of candidates in new jobs, Muovo well understands how a good training program can benefit the new hire (and hirer) in insurmountable ways.

Indeed, it is no news that the training you receive in your first six months on the job can either ‘make or break you’. You need good guidance, support, and someone (or some people) who will monitor your progress and give appropriate feedback. However, given the fast-paced, stressful work environment that most of us have, it would be yet another utopic ideal if you had to find all such things in your work environment.

As Cici Mattiuzzi rightly states in her article entitled Why Training is Important for your Career Success, apart from a good training program, good companies will also provide you with a mentor to whom you can consult or ask questions if needed. This should be a person who is designated as your ‘answer person’. They will be simply doing their job to help you and you will not (or should not rather) feel as if you are breathing down their neck (although at times it will still feel like that!).

So, what is a good training program?
Mattiuzzi says that 'a good training program is one that includes an intensive training sessions with seasoned professionals or professional trainers and an opportunity to follow-up with on-the-job activities related to the lessons learned in the training. Usually it means going for training for a week or two, then working in the office for anywhere from a week to a month to practice what you have learned, then back to the classroom for more in depth training'.

She goes on by saying that good training also can mean access to on-line training with continuous feedback.

The training you need can include anything from government regulations,  to sessions on software applications and project management,  to the latest computer design techniques. The training might include a seminar on the software that you will be using in the performance of your daily job. You should also expect to receive training in non-technical areas such as corporate policy and culture, ethics, leadership, and sexual harassment issues.

The following are Mattiuzzi's tips on how you should go about asking about training programs. What you should do first is to ask your potential employer what their policy is. Ask during your informational interview or in your actual job interview.

Do they have a training program? What is offered?
Do they only offer training only to the leads, or will YOU be able to get training?
Do they have a policy that gives all of the new employees the training they need to be successful?

Training is not just a nice perk to look for in your career plan, it is an absolute requirement,  just like air and water, a desk and a computer.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 9 September 2012

Why you should have an e-resume

What is an online e-resume?

An online resume, also known as an electronic resume, or e-resume for short, is designed for computer use and to upload it on the Internet. 

This means that both the font and the format of your resume must be adapted both for scanning and for printing. 

You should also think of how to maximize the use of keywords so that search engines and employers can find your resume on the Internet easily.

Why go online?
As you well know, nowadays everything can be found online. Every individual, regardless of his job or social standing seems to have a personal website. Having a website is, of course, not a luxury anymore. It is a must.

Muovo well understands how candidates could improve their chances of landing themselves an interview, and eventually, a good job by transferring their skills and resume online.

Although a number of candidates have already been doing this for quite some time, a lot seem to fail to understand that an electronic resume should be properly prepared for storing, distributing, tracking and searching electronically via the software tools, employers and recruiters use these days.

The following tips should help you design a good, high quality e-resume that is bound to impress your potential employer.

1. Maximize use of keywords
You need to target your keywords appropriately, which means that you need to choose those main words (key words) that highlight your characteristics while matching the specifics of the job that you are applying for.

For example, if you want to work as a marketing officer and got a degree in Marketing and perhaps some experience, apt keywords would be, (of course), 'marketing', 'market', 'office', 'office work', industrial relations', and so on.

2. Keep your e-resume short. Unless you are applying for a post, which has it's own unique resume standards (i.e. teacher or a scientist), a resume should not be longer than one page.

3. Use headings. The most headings are, as follows:

- a short sentence detailing the type of job you are seeking.

Work Experience
- job list with impressive details demonstrating your value to the organization you worked for.

- information such as computer skills, languages, and any memberships of professional organizations and so on.

- A brief list of your education as far back as an undergraduate degree. Mention the institution(s) attended, the degree(s) and dates of attendance.

Note: Pull all work experience and educational background in reverse chronological order - Put the most recent information at the top and work backwards.

4. Always remember to proofread before forwarding your resume. Check your spelling and grammar, then ask a friend to read it in case they notice errors that you missed.

Find out more by reading How to post online by Andrew Kucheriavy  in Resumark. 

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Turn ‘Failure’ into Success: Do a Failure Analysis!

'The great question is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure.'
 Chinese Proverb
Michael Jordan once said that his reason for success lies behind his many futile attempts at success, what can be termed as ‘failure’. Theodore Roosevelt states that although it is hard to fail, it is worse if you have never tried to succeed. 
If you browse 'Success Quotes' on Google you will find ample key quotations like these from well-known inspirational entities...but the question remains, What do you really do when you feel that you have ‘failed’?
The answer should really be quite simple, which entails you to assess the situation.
Muovo has found the following article by Cici Mattiuzzi in The Serious Job Seeker Blog an interesting read. In this article, Mattiuzzi writes about the need for a failure analysis if you feel that you are still struggling with your career or your job search.

Sometimes, people tend to keep on repeating the same mistakes, blaming perhaps the economic situation they are in, or the recession, without taking a closer look at what they are really doing (or not). 
Recessions, says Mattiuzzi, teach us several things. These include important survival skills, namely, frugality, self-sufficiency, saving, resilience, creativity, and most importantly – a reassessment of what is really important in life. Many people have found different paths to their life purpose during the recession. They started choosing majors more carefully, started graduating from schools, stayed in school longer, found internships, volunteered, reconnected with family and friends, and generally found meaning wherever possible. 
Several people stayed longer in jobs that are not completely satisfying but provided a paycheck.
It is now time for a complete failure analysis. Mattiuzzi starts by asking the following questions: What are you doing to thwart your success?What can you do to change the direction of your life path to a more satisfying one? What are the action steps you need to take to improve your life?

Go positive. 
Make a list of all that you have accomplished over the past three years. What are you proud of? What are you thankful for?
Stop thinking about what could have been. Think about what you are going to make happen now. What are you passionate about? Write it down!

Get organized. 
List your goals and set priorities - What do you want to accomplish over the next 6 months? What do you want to accomplish over the next 3-5 years? Select your most important goals and develop a plan.
Make a daily “to do” list and work on the most productive tasks – the ones that will yield the highest returns.

Get connected.

Join a social network like Linkedin and connect with other professionals in your field.
Join professional organizations and attend conferences and workshops where you will connect with other people with your same passion.
Network with professionals. Do 5 informational interviews every week. You will find you know more people than you think. Hang around employed people and you are going to know who is hiring.
Use Google’s job search engine daily to find jobs.

Get moving!
Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Don’t let that stop you. Never stop trying.
Get help from a professional. Find a career coach.
Take a career planning workshop or career planning class.

Make your best to turn your ‘failures’ into successes! Impossible is nothing.
Would you like to share an experience with us? Muovo would be glad to hear from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Monday 3 September 2012

Stressed at Work? You're Not Alone!

If you think that you were the only employee who feels stressed, fatigued, and overwhelmed by how quickly the weekend passes by - think again!

A study shows that the Americans work many more hours now than they did before. This is at the detriment of their health, happiness, and even productivity. Although the idea in many companies is that the best employee is she or he who arrives the first one and leaves the last from the workplace, it turns out that employees are working many more hours than they were required to ten years ago. But putting in 60 hours of work each week may do more harm than good in achieving end results.

Muovo would like to share with you this infographic below, which examines some of the lesser-known statistics regarding overtime work and its effects in America. This however can be easily applied to our own country, whereby a lot of local employees put in up to 60 hours of work each week.

Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week Infographic

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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