Tuesday 26 February 2013

Use Twitter Effectively for Your Job Search

Twitter is often bypassed when considering a useful social networking site that could prove beneficial for your job search. However, Twitter possesses quite a few advantages over the other social platforms that seem somehow to be neglected.

First of all, Twitter’s openness makes it a useful platform for showcasing your talents, personality, style, and interests. Recruiters can get an idea of who you are, and if you would be a good fit at their company. It’s not just transparency of candidates, but companies as well.

It is great for connecting meaningfully with people and companies you don’t already know, which is much more difficult to do on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You can develop a rapport with people you may not have access to in real life.

It’s easier and more convenient for a recruiter to reply to your tweet than to pick up the phone. Twitter facilitates quicker responses.

Muovo would like to share with you the following advice, which has been retrieved from Mashable.

How to Be an Engaging Candidate on Twitter.
1) Just having a Twitter handle isn't enough to attract the attention of recruiters. They’re going to be looking at what kind of content you share on your account. You want to share a good mix of interesting and thought-provoking content, as well as tweets that give a taste of your personality.

2) Show what you are passionate about, give recruiters an idea of your personality and interests outside of your career.

3) Recruiters know that if they hire you, they also inherit your network. So make sure to build a solid network of people both inside and outside your industry.

4) Interact and respond to the people in your networks. Add value to your community.

How to Network Effectively on Twitter.
There are best practices of use with any social media platform, and they become even more important when you're looking for a job. Schmidt elaborated on this issue:

'Use social media to help others and to contribute your expertise to the communities where you work. If you do that, you'll be building up a lot of capital in those networks. So when you need a favor, people will be much more apt to help you out — because they know that you've contributed a lot to that network. You're not going to build a very good network if you just promote yourself.'

1) First impressions are just as important on social media. Make sure you have a great online description and photo. Be professional but interesting.

2) Don’t simply use your Twitter as a means of self-promotion — be interested in what other people are doing and engage with them. Share others' stuff before your share your own.

3) Network! Build lists of people across different disciplines. Join chats. Interact and start conversations. Initiate discussions with people who inspire you. It’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone.

4) Share content that is valuable. The more relevant contributions you make, the more others will want to continue to follow you.

If you have any ideas, leave a comment below. Muovo would like to hear from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 24 February 2013

LinkedIn Your Way To Job Prospects

This article is courtesy of LinkedIn Blog.

Your LinkedIn profile should, in some ways, mirror your resume. This includes of course factual information, such as your job titles, dates of employment and educational credentials. Also, your overall skill set, experience level and areas of professional focus need to remain consistent so you don’t appear to be two completely different job candidates.

However, remember that unlike your resume, your LinkedIn profile is completely customisable. To make your profile most appealing to employers, first try to think of a catchy keyword-rich headline, such as “Ambitious Salesperson with Track Record of Success in the Construction Sector.” Not sure what to say? Gather inspiration by researching the LinkedIn profile headlines of some successful people who have the type of job you want.

Next, add a professional photograph to your profile to help recruiters match your name with your face when they meet you in person. Then, make sure that the rest of your profile acts as a more comprehensive version of your resume, including all of your experience, unique accomplishments, measurable results (e.g., “decreased average customer service call wait time by over 2 minutes”) and recommendations from former colleagues and managers.

Once you feel your profile is the best it can be, tap a few trusted friends or family members to review it with a critical eye. Specifically, ask them two questions:

Is it clear from my profile what kind of job opportunities would be a good fit?
Is it clear what makes me unique and valuable?
If your friends can’t answer these questions, or their answers are not what you’re hoping for, then go back to the drawing board.

One last point: remember that your LinkedIn profile is a living, breathing representation of you, so regularly revisit your profile to make sure it’s up-to-date with new achievements or skills. You can also keep your profile fresh and appealing to recruiters by frequently sharing interesting articles or noting some brief commentaries about topics that matter to you. These shares appear right at the top (or bottom) of your profile in the “Activity” section, so they will keep your profile looking active and compelling.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 20 February 2013

What You Should Do To Reach Your Goals

While there are some goals that you have managed to reach (and well done for that!), there could still be others that you can't stop struggling with. An 'intuitive' answer is, really, that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others - which is sustained by research on achievement that suggests how successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

The following are 9 tips that are typical traits of successful people, who somehow always manage to get whatever it is they would be striving for. This article is courtesy of the HBR blog.

1. Get specific.
When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. "Lose 5 pounds" is a better goal than "lose some weight," because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you'll "eat less" or "sleep more" is too vague — be clear and precise. "I'll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights" leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you've actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it's not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., "If it's Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I'll work out for 30 minutes before work.") Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go.Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don't know how well you are doing, you can't adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist.
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren't particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don't have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking .... well, there's no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control "muscle" is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn't get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you'd honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don't. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur ("If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.") It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that's the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don't tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don't put yourself in harm's way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won't do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., "Don't think about white bears!") has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like "If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down." By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don't need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It's never what you are, but what you do.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 17 February 2013

4 Habits of Highly Successful Job Seekers

Developing  a positive mental attitude is key to landing yourself the job you desire. Always strive to pursue your dreams, and never give up, regardless of what the circumstances may seem like. Muovo would like to share with you the following four habits that you should be incorporating into your own job seeking strategy.

These tips are courtesy of Recruiter.com.

1. Be Proactive.
Successful job seekers are not successful because they are bestowed by more opportunities. They are successful because they make it a point to get out there and find chances to make things happen. They are also ever-prepared for the next good thing to come along. For instance, their online professional profiles, personal websites, and resumes are kept perpetually updated. Their wallets are always full of business cards just in case they run into someone to give them to while out and about (you get the idea).

2. Be Outgoing.
Successful job seekers never turn down an opportunity to network or rub elbows with other people in their field. Instead of sitting at home in front of the television, they accept with a charming smile those invites to corporate get-togethers and attending local events where great contacts are likely to be found. They’re also outgoing once they get there, making it a point to introduce themselves to people and engage potential business contacts.

3. Be a Team Player.
Whether you are working in a highly social environment or working remotely with clients and customers who live overseas, it is important not to underestimate the value of people skills and the ability to connect when it comes to those you work with. No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t work well with others or who’s going to have too much trouble being engaging and pleasant when they have to. Successful job seekers take advantage of opportunities to get to know new people or to contribute something to the team.

4. Step Out of your Comfort Zones.
On some level, just about every one of us would prefer to play it safe and be comfortable than take risks and possibly step into the 'Unknown'. However, those who are successful at what they do take the 'bull by the horns' and seek to find ways to welcome new experiences as new adventures. They welcome chances to try new things, meet new people, work on different projects, and pick up new skills. They realize that every time they do, they grow as people and have even more to offer than they did the day, week, or month before. The more varied and experienced you can become in regards to different things related to your field, the more attractive you’re ultimately going to be as a job candidate.

Do you have any comments? Muovo would like to hear from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Can We Make Our Own Luck?

Some people seem to be born lucky - they meet their soul mates at a young age, achieve their ambitions, find the perfect jobs, and live happy lives....does this sound familiar?

Dr Richard Wiseman, a British psychologist, has conducted a lot of research in his attempt to find out why some people are 'luckier' than others. After interviewing hundreds of people, Wiseman came to the conclusion that people who THINK they are lucky achieve more success than those who don't. Without realizing it, they are creating good fortune in their lives. In other words, you are what you think.

Muovo would like to share with you Dr Wiseman's four techniques below in his attempt to justify why some people tend to be so lucky. Use these techniques to increase your own good fortune and possibly enhance your job prospects!

1. Lucky people make the most of their opportunities.
Be open to new experiences and vary your routine. For example, if you normally wake up at 8.00 a.m. and rush off to work, without having a decent breakfast and time to wash your face, try to sleep in 30 minutes earlier and wake up at 7.30 a.m. instead.
Tip: Make a list of five new experience you would like to try. For instance, a new restaurant or cafeteria, watching your favourite sport game live, learning a new language, and so on. Number the experiences 1-5. Throw a dice and whatever experience is chosen, go out and do it.

2. Lucky people trust their instinct.
When you are trying to decide what to do, first make an effort to relax. Then when your mind is clear, listen to what it is telling you and act on it.
Tip: If you are trying to decided between two options, write one of them down in the form of a letter. For example, if you are unhappy in a relationship, try to write down and explain to your partner why you would like to end the relationship. Leave it in a safe place somewhere (be careful here!) and read it again a day or two later. If something doesn't feel quite right, don't send it.

3. Lucky people expect to be lucky.
Convince yourself that your future will bring you happiness and luck. Set realistic but high goals; be ambitious but not over-ambitious - know where your boundaries are. If you don't succeed at once, don't give up, but try, try again.
Tip: Make a list of your goals and ambitions. List all the advantages you would get if you achieved your goals, and the disadvantages. Compare the advantages and disadvantages, weighing all your options carefully, and then you will identify the goals that are really worth trying to achieve.

4. Lucky people use bad luck to their advantage.
If something bad happens, as it is bound to from time to time, imagine how things could have been WORSE. You will soon realise how things aren't as bad as you might have thought. Compare your situation with other people who are in an even worse situation. Learn from your past mistakes and think of new ways of solving your problems.
Tip: When you experience bad luck, first cry or scream for a couple of minutes (or hours if need be). Then put your bad luck behind you. Do something instead to make the situation better; for instance, ask friends for advice and focus on a solution to the problem. Others, however, might prefer to go for a long, relaxing walk or listen to music. Find your best method to release all your negative emotions!

We wish you the best of luck!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Friday 8 February 2013

The 'Growing Pains' of Career Success

If there is one thing that is certain in life, it is this: life has growing pains. Whether it has to do with our relationships, academic endeavours or physical pains, at some point we all have to experience 'difficulties' as we grow to reach a certain level of maturity in the different areas of our lives. Our career, of course, is no exception.

Muovo has found the article below an incisive reading, courtesy of Recruiter.com.

Everyone has goals and desires to achieve them; we all have our own definition of success. And as we work to fulfill this definition it is then that we inevitably experience the many growing pains of success. Below are just five common “growing pains” people encounter on the road to success and tips on how to handle them once you cross their paths:

1. Disrespect

Signs & Symptoms: People “talking down” to you on the job; exclusion of your thoughts and ideas due to your age or years of experience (especially if both are low numbers); total disregard for your credentials and/or accomplishments, e.g. questioning the validity of your online degree or training; insults to your intelligence, competence and capabilities, especially due to age, sex, disability and/or religion.

Treatments: Remember that people will only treat you how you allow them to. If you do not demand respect, many people you encounter won’t be so willing to offer it. Take pride in who you are, your skills sets and accomplishments on the job. If you’re 22 and a recent college grad, do not be intimidated by older workers or those with a longer tenure. Likewise, if you’re a woman working on a team full of men, don’t be nervous. You have your position for a reason and bring something unique to the table, just like every other employee. Share your ideas, be firm with your demands and address anything you feel discriminates or disrespects you as a worker and individual.

2. Solitude

Signs & Symptoms:
Friends and coworkers going down a different career path than your own; new job in a new city; unsupportive friends or colleagues pertaining to your goals; decreasing or lack of resources.

Sometimes our chosen career path becomes lonely, especially if you’re hopes and dreams are different from the “norm.” You may be met with adversity and naysayers telling you “Your dreams are too big,” “It will never happen,” and/or “You don’t have what it takes.” This point in your life may feel lonely and isolated as you head in a direction no one else is willing to go, but keep pressing forward. Remember, eagles fly alone.

3.      Relationships

Signs & Symptoms:
Difficult to meet people at work; unable to relate to coworkers because of age and lifestyle differences; non-sociable, feeling awkward, uncomfortable and lonely in new settings; moving away from friends/family for work-related opportunities.

As we grow, people will enter and leave our lives; some will stay for the entire course. Creating professional relationships with your coworkers may feel uneasy at first, especially if you’re on the shy side, but it is essential to getting over this growing pain. Not only will it make this stage in your life easier to deal with, you may come out with some invaluable connections and new friends.

4. Adapting

Signs & Symptoms:Plan “A” fails; nothing is going according to plan; feelings of inadequacy as you question your ability to succeed; facing obstacles, setbacks and roadblocks

One thing we all know is that life never goes according to plan. The obstacles you face on the path to success are certainly growing pains, but it’s how you react to them that is key. Being able to adapt when life throws you a curve ball is dire to your future success. You failed the MCAT and won’t be attending medical school this year, now what? Your first attempt at opening a new business didn’t work out; what will you do now? Try alternative routes, retake exams, apply for that opening again next year: Whatever you have to do to keep pursuing your goals, do it even if it’s not what you’d planned.

5. Transition

Signs & Symptoms:
Finding your job unfulfilling; desire a new position/career development; discriminated against in workplace; unethical work place; draining, stressful, toxic work environment

Knowing when to leave your job on your path to success can be difficult. Some workers find themselves in very toxic and unhappy working situations, but have not decided to leave due to financial reasons, lack of future employment, or just plain old fear of consequences.

Evaluate your current work situation and the pros and cons of leaving and staying. Be honest in your assessment and consider your values. A part of advancement is knowing when to close the door on one experience to open the door for the next.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 3 February 2013

5 Top Tips to Develop Your Career Branding

An effective career or personal branding is an important tool for career advancement. It helps to promote your skills, experience, and positive personal attributes that will make you employable. Just like marketers, who promote and flaunt their brand to make it 'sellable', so must you and I work on our brand to make ourselves worth employing.

Muovo has found the following are five tips, adapted from QuintessentialCareers, useful in that they should give you the necessary tools to start or continue developing your personal brand. This being said, personal branding can be a useful tool to anyone – regardless of whether you have over thirty years of experience, or a fresh newly graduate. Always work on what you have, and accentuate your most marketable skills.

1. LinkedIn profile.
Whether you are a professional in the field, or a yearning professional, you should have a profile on LinkedIn. On joining, you can create your own business profile that can serve as both a resume and an introduction to your career brand. Once you complete your profile, you can then start building connections with other members and get introduced to new people through other people from your network.

2. Personal Website. 
A good way to showcase your projects, achievements, and skills is by developing a professional website. At a minimum, try to buy a domain name based on your name and publish your resume. You can also publish your career-portfolio, content-rich article, and other other keyword-filled materials are likely to attract potential employers to land on your website.

3. Twitter account. 
Every day, more and more individuals and businesses are tweeting information, ideas, links, and more - all in under 140 characters per tweet (message). Twitter, a networking and micro-blogging site, enables people to connect and communicate, developing both a following of people as well as following the tweets of others. Tweeting key information, resources, and other professional advice while building up your followers and following is a great relatively easy way to start your career brand.

4. Professional blog. 
If you are a decent writer and can commit to writing on a regular basis, then creating a professional blog would be a good and useful tool for you to promote your career brand. You can opt to make your job specialized, and therefore write and post content that is explicitly related to your area of expertise, or you can decide to leave it general. Also invite guest bloggers, that is, other bloggers who will post (preferably original content) on your own blog if you run short of time.

5. Create (at least) two social networking profiles.
Consider joining at least two social-networking sites. One should be a general social-networking site, such as Facebook, and one should be career-specific (which you can find by searching Google; keep in mind that most professions have multiple networking sites). Networking with others (whether online or offline) is one of the most powerful tools of job-hunting as the majority of jobs are filled through referrals, not through responses to job postings.

In sum, the most important elements to consider are: gaining experience, tracking your accomplishments, promoting yourself (wisely) to co-workers, bosses, etc., developing a web presence for Googlability, and finally, building professional and sound relationships (rather than just casual networking).

Your future job-search success largely depends on building and developing your online career brand. Instead of wasting hours posting your resume on the major job boards and applying to jobs that may not even exist, use that time instead to focus your energies on following the advice in this article to build your online career brand - even simply starting with one of these tools and moving to the others as you have more time.

Best wishes!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Friday 1 February 2013

The Power of Clothes

Perception has long been seen as an important component of human interaction. How we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us is imperative. In her article, Cici Mattiuzzi draws on a scientific research that has been conducted recently showing how what you wear can actually change your performance - practically in all fields of life. 

The following article is courtesy of JobSeeker.com

The first impressions people have of us are most likely formed by visual presentation- how we look. Soldier, scientist, nurse, doctor, dentist, construction worker, teacher, secretary, painter, policeman, fireman, banker, and lawyer – we see someone dressed in a particular way and we know who they are and what they do.

It is common to think that your qualifications- experience, knowledge, and skills - matter most - but new research reported in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology indicates that clothes have tremendous power over others and ourselves. The conclusion of the research is that what you wear has significant power over your performance.

Researchers Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky of Northwestern University argue that “the experience of wearing clothes triggers associated abstract concepts and their symbolic meanings”- in other words, “wearing clothes causes people to “embody” the clothing and its symbolic meaning.”

According to Adam and Galinsky, “the psychological process depends on both the symbolic meaning of the clothes and whether people are actually wearing the clothes.” They found that clothing has a deep psychological impact on your performance.

In their study they tested the performance of students assigned randomly to wearing a doctor’s lab coat or wearing an artistic painter’s coat and a third group with a doctor’s coat just in view. The coats were actually identical coats but the subjects of the study were told it was either a doctor’s coat or a painter’s coat.

What they found was that wearing a “doctor’s” coat had a huge impact in the performance of the person wearing it – creating a “connection between the coat and the self” – “the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them.” The results: students who were told they were wearing a doctor’s coat performed better.

Perception is how people judge whether you have the “right stuff”. It is also now understood that it is important how you perceive yourself. Your performance depends on it.  In the journey to your career, there is a turning point. It is the point at which you start looking and feeling like a professional.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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