Sunday, 31 March 2013

Avoid These 2 Silly Grammar Mistakes


It’s no news that spelling and grammar mistakes on your CV could greatly thwart your chances of landing that job interview. However, many candidates still continue to send in their CVs with at times trivial grammar and or spelling mistakes. 

Showing your resume to someone else would be apt in making your resume error-free, in that he or she would be able to see typos, grammar mistakes or any inconsistencies that simply skipped through you. If you would like a more professional review of your CV however, then you could always send it to some recruiting agencies (like Muovo) who will review your CV and offer some suggestions for improvement. Otherwise, you could get your CV checked by a certified proofreader.

Also, while you may know your past work experience and the dates and employer’s (or employers’) name(s), whoever is going to read your resume might not – and probably does not – know it. Make sure that you are crystal clear and provide full details to get the most out of your limited space. Read Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A CV.

The following are two of the most common grammar mistakes that abound in CVs, relating to (mis)use of apostrophes!

Mistake 1: Your vs You’re
Let’s set something straight: You should never write contractions in your CV.  A contraction is an abbreviation (= short for) and is typical of informal writing. A CV is considered to be a more formal type of writing. ‘You’re’ is an abbreviation for ‘You are’. This is a tip that may help you in avoiding making the Your vs You’re mistake!

However, it is good to be able to distinguish the difference between the two...which is easy!

Your
This is a possessive pronoun, which demonstrates ownership or (as the name suggests) possession.
Example: Is this your mobile phone? No, it’s not mine. (the mobile does not belong to me).

Other examples:

1. Incorrect: I will call you on Friday if your in the office.
The office might be yours but the right word here is you’re (= you are).

1. Correct: I will call you on Friday if you are (you’re) in the office.

2. Incorrect: Please find my CV attached for you’re job posted last Friday on Muovo.eu.
The job posted ‘belongs’ to the one who listed it. Muovo is not the job post. It has listed the job and posted it on its blogs and so on.

2. Correct: Please find my CV attached for your job posted last Friday on Muovo.eu.

3. Incorrect: I look forward to you’re reply.
You may be the one who is going to answer my email (yes, you are!). But it is your reply that I am waiting for!

3. Correct: I look forward to your reply.

Mistake 2: Its vs It’s (that evil apostrophe again!)
The apostrophe is seen as that punctuation mark which people often make mistakes with. It is easy to confuse between the two (Its and It’s) but similar to Your and You’re above, there is really a simple explanation.

It’s is a contraction (abbreviation), and it stands for It is or It has.
It’s = It is (It’s [it is] a beautify day today...and it’s [it is] Easter!).
It’s = It has (It’s [ it has] been a great day so far, hasn’t it?).

Its shows possession. 
My mother’s car is huge and its colour is red.

A simple trick:
If the sentence still makes sense when you replace Its with His or Hers then you know that you have got the right word – Congratulations!

Look at the following examples:

1. Incorrect: Its been a rewarding experience working at ABC company.

Think...can we replace its with his?
His been a rewarding experience working at ABC company.

No, we cannot. So the answer is wrong. It should be written as:

1. Correct: It’s (or preferably It has) been a rewarding experience working at ABC company.

2. Correct: With so many job ads, it’s (=it is) not surprising that you have to be really careful about how and what you put down on your CV.

3. Correct: A qualification won’t guarantee you the job. It’s (It is) the attitude that really counts.
We will be posting more posts on grammar mistakes that you should avoid having on your CV soon!

Happy Easter!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

What's The Right Career For Me?


The time will come, eventually, when you have to choose what many call as 'the right path' that will lead you to your desired, professional career. Of course, many of us would like to opt for a career that matches our interests and skills, and preferably, this would be something we enjoy doing. For others however, the financial remuneration might be the top priority - this is why they will not be happy with their jobs unless they feel that they are well-paid. Therefore, we can say that it is most inevitable that different people will have varying criteria for choosing a career that they want to pursue. Nonetheless, there are some general basic questions that you could ask yourself if you are mulling over the best career that could take up most of your next couple of years.

First: What are your interests....really?
Take a look at yourself and see what you find browsing for the most and enjoy reading and or otherwise watching during your spare time. Also, ask yourself whether you prefer working on your own or in a team.

Second: What are the financial rewards that you can gain from this career? Are you satisfied with them?
Even though you may not be pursuing your dream career for the money, do make sure that your job will be able to keep you in a good financial shape, to meet your needs, accommodate your lifestyle and leisure activities.

Third: Does the career provide room for progression? Where do you envision yourself in a couple of years' time?
If you are not the type who likes being stuck in a rut, repeating the same job for decades, then try to look for a career that could give you all the flexibility and variety that you need.

Fourth: How much time will you dedicate for your job?
Do consider the hours spent at work, or if you are working from home, the hours that you need to put in daily and weekly. While you might enjoy doing the work (and this is indeed a blessing!), ask yourself whether this comes at the forfeit of your private and or family life, friends and so on. If this is the case, then you might want to balance the pros and the cons for accepting such a job.

The following links might help you in choosing your best career:
Finding the Right Career

Muovo wishes you the best of luck! Remember that...where there's a will, there's a way!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Spring Clean Your CV

Clean your CV. Don't put any of your potential employers off!

Hiring managers and interviewers are not impressed by extremely content-laden and  a never-ending CV. They have little time to review all the applications closely, so make yours stand out.


Muovo would like to share with you the following tips, which will help you spruce up your CV:

1. Declutter the content.
Omit information that no longer supports your career goals, reclaiming valuable space. Old or irrelevant roles can be deleted or grouped together in an "additional experience" section to take up less room. It is a pity that sometimes an applicant loses his or her chance for an interview simple because the long career history listed shows that the individual is not as focused on the career line as the interviewer would like him or her to be.

2. Prune your education section. If you're a graduate, your degree eclipses your school qualifications, which can be relegated to one line in most cases. Recent training and upskilling might even be more relevant than a degree in some cases.

3. sure your CV contains the information necessary to market you for a role.
Examine the job description to check you're including appropriate keywords. Use a range of strong, positive vocabulary, but avoid clich̩s. Focus instead on facts Рnumbers and results prove your strengths much more effectively.

Remember, your CV is not a complete account of your life to date, but a carefully worded summary. Weed out the day-to-day details of job responsibilities to create a bigger picture: the scope of your role and your most important results.

For example:

ABC Publishing Ltd, Marketing Manager 2007 – 2011
I revitalised marketing campaigns in key regions to increase sales by 25% in six months:
• Renegotiated partnership terms with distributors to double profit margins
• Cut promotion costs by 35% through internet and mobile campaigns

4. Smarten up the layout.
Tidy up your contact details. If you've got four lines for your street address, town and postcode, phone number, email and LinkedIn profile, adapt your format so it takes up less space. You can also save space by summarising company details, such as turnover and staff numbers etc, on to one line (see the example above).

Use the beginning of your CV to reel in your reader. Instead of a long paragraph in a personal profile section, use the title of the job as a heading, and then summarise your main selling points in one or two lines under that. These can include your areas of expertise, length of experience in the sector, a branding statement, or other information that furthers your application.

Choose a font that is easily read on screen, avoiding fonts such as Times New Roman, which look dated. You could experiment with font sizes (smaller for company details, for example) and use bold to highlight key information, such as numbers. Two pages of easy-to-read and visually appealing text is preferable to one page of densely packed paragraphs with key information buried.

Long lists of bullet points are not easy on the eye, so limit yourself to three or four in any one place and split up long paragraphs. Plenty of white space will enhance the readability of your CV. Section headings can also help break up the text. To keep things tidy, try to avoid orphans and widows where possible – paying attention to space-saving will help you focus on making every word count.

Courtesy of Guardian Career.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Never Burn Bridges

'Never burn any bridges' is one of the oldest professional advice given to date. Undoubtedly, this advice is true even today.

Muovo has found and adapted this article from Hyatt Careers Blog which lists two important pieces of advice that should not go unnoticed:

First: Respect Everyone at all Levels.
It is undeniable that at some point in our lives, we will meet individuals whom we had met or befriended in our childhood, or later on in life at high school, college, or in our of our previous work places. This is why we should respect everyone, no matter what the person's role is and how connected or not he or she appears to be to your future. Treating someone with respect, saying hellp when you pass a person, learning his or her name, is always a good idea. This also makes it easier for you when you are later paired to work with them on a group project or have to reach out to them for assistance.

Second: No Goodbye is Final.
Each day we make decisions. Sometimes our decisions are small, such as what to have for lunch, and other times our decisions are much larger, including for instance a change in career or ending a long-term relationship, business or otherwise. However, the decisions we make and how we handle those decisions may eventually come back to haunt us. The world is too small to think that changing careers, jobs, or even relocating could mean that we will never run into or have to deal with an ex-boss or employee ever again.

This powerful video clip features Greg Ballard, a successful CEO, who describes the necessity to treat everyone in your organisation well. He shows how this often comes back to you in insurmountable ways.


This video is courtesy of eCorner: Stanford's University Entrepreneurship Corner.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Why Should I Hire You?


Considered as one of the most difficult questions to answer, 'Why should I hire you?' is often one of the questions that is almost always asked at the interview. Perhaps a good way to know how you go about answering this unnerving question, is to understand why most employers continue to ask it, and break it down into three phrases.

First.
The employer wants to know whether you have a solid grasp of the required skills or not. This is usually what the employer is most worried about. He wants to know, of course, whether you would be able to perform your duties well.

How to answer: Check the most critical requirements for the position and evaluate ways in which you meet them. Do your background study on the job concerned in order to make sure that you know what they are likely to be looking for.

"Let me start off by saying that I have a complete understanding of the major requirements of this position and can guarantee you that I meet them as well as offer additional skills and experience. You need someone who can implement and write your monthly newsletter. I wrote my former company’s newsletter and was successful in increasing readership, drawing in more customers, and making the company look very good for six prosperous years."

Continue to list more of the requirements that you fulfill. Do not exaggerate as this could only work against you.

Second.
The employer wants to know if you’re committed to doing the job. In other words, if hired for the position will you work hard, or will you slack off after your probation period? Will you be motivated? Are you dedicated, or do you simply want a job, any job?

How you answer: This is where you can answer another question you might be asked, “Why do you want to work here?” This second part of the three-part question is where you extol the company’s overall mission, praise it for the outstanding products it develops/services it provides, and show your admiration for its fine reputation in the industry.

"My desire to work at ABC company and make it better is fueled by the fact that you and your staff believe in producing software that is designed by the best engineers. I want to contribute to the success of this company with my ability to take a concept and see it through delivery. I’m motivated (use this word) to live up to the outstanding reputation Miranda, Inc. has developed and sustains in the social media industry."

Third.
The employer wants to know if you'll be a good fit. Will you play well with others and be easy to manage? Surprisingly this turns out to be a large issue even if you’re a top performer.

How you answer: You are a team player (ouch on that cliché) and even more important a person who has adapted to all situations and changes. Your record of getting along with colleagues and supervisors can’t be touched, not even by the best.

"If you ask my former supervisors and colleagues how I worked with them, they’d tell you I was very hard-working in a team-oriented environment. I always adapted to the demands of any company".

Knowing the three major areas of concern of the employer could solve a lot of trouble when it comes to answering such daunting questions during the interview. Take your time to answer and construct your thoughts carefully. Remember that this really is a three-part question that deserves at least two minutes to answer. If you can’t answer this question, you shouldn’t be applying for the job…should you?

The following clip from Heineken: The Candidate experience shows just how much being innovative and researching your company well prior to the interview are essential key points to getting yourself the job!
Watch this amazing video featuring unusual job interview techniques. Over 1,700 applicants were interviewed for a job with Heineken's even and sponsorship department. One of the applicants, Guy Luchting, won a job where he had to go to the UEFA Champion's League Trophy as it makes its way around the world, before arriving at Wembley for the Final on May 25th.


This article was adapted from Recruiting Blogs. Find out more about Heineken - The Candidate experience.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Be Happy to Be Successful!

Psychologists have long established a link between happiness and success. Happier people tend to earn more money, perform better and are more helpful towards their coworkers. Most people yet assume that this link exists because people feel happy when they are more successful. However, it seems to be the other way round. People who are HAPPY will always find ways to make themselves SUCCESSFUL.

Of course, happiness is not the only, or even the most important, factor when it comes to achieving greatness. Muovo would like to share with you the points below where scientific evidence shows that people who rise to greatness tend to have five things in common:

1. They practice hard, in a really specific way.
If you want to be successful, you need to practice. By practice, researchers often mean those people who devote hours of work to reach their goal.

2. They practice consistently.
K. Anders Ericsson, author of a landmark study on this topic, says that 'elite performers in many diverse domains have been found to practice, on the average, roughly the same amount every day, including weekends'. Knocking out a bucket of balls on the weekend isn't going to make you a great golfer but doing it every day might.

3. They gain experience over the long haul.
Researchers call it the 10-year-rule. Most successful people average ten years of practice and experience before becoming truly accomplished. Even child-prodigies generally work at it for a decade or more. Bobby Fischer became a chess grandmaster at 16 years old, but he'd been studying since he was 7. Tiger Woods had been working on his golf game for 15 years when he became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship.

4. They have had significant failures–but did not give up.
J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishers. Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school varsity basketball team. The great receiver Jerry Rice was judged as slow, and was passed up by 15 teams. But all three of these people became known for their perseverance and hard work. (Rowling delivered an incredibly moving commencement speech about embracing failure at Harvard; watch it here if you haven't seen it already!)

5. They have believed that their persistent effort will lead to success.
Researchers call this self-efficacy. Parents and teachers can build self-efficacy in their children by giving them effective encouragement (vs. empty praise), by helping them find effective strategies for mastering an activity, and by helping kids model their practices on the behavior of others who have succeeded.
Will stunning success bring your children true happiness? Probably not. But knowing that it is practice that makes a person successful rather than innate talent can help children take the risks they need to in order to rise to the top of their field. More than that, though, research shows that seeing effort as the key to success helps children enjoy their activities a whole lot more than they do when they are worried about proving their special talent to the world.

This article is courtesy of Greater Good

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday, 14 March 2013

How to do a Self-Assessment on Your Skills

Upon looking for a new role, updating your CV may not be the best thing to do. Instead, opt for a self-assessment test to help you identify all the key information about yourself. This will enable you to provide valuable content for your CV and interviews, as you will uncover examples that illustrate well your capabilities. A self-assessment can prepare you to run an effective job search campaign.
Now comes the big question: how do you do a careers self-assessment?!
Muovo has found the following tips from Career Guardian of most benefit:

1. Assess your skills.
Think about the skills that are required to do your job effectively. You might find it helpful to think about the difference in skills between someone who would do your job well and someone who would do it poorly. Add to this list any other key skills you have deployed elsewhere. What do you do especially well and which skills do you enjoy using?
 Are these skills transferable to other roles? Are there areas you need to develop? How will you do this? Can you step straight into your target role, or will a stepping-stone role be more realistic?

2. What do you know?Your expertise can prove beneficial to your employer and fundamental to the business development in ways that you cannot possibly imagine. Keep yourself updated with the level of understanding that is required for your next role.

3. Can you add value?
How have you helped your organisation generate income, reduce costs, solve problems and improve the quality of its service? Your contribution may have been as an individual or as part of a team, but include it all. Have you met or exceeded your individual and or team targets at work? Do you have access to people, information and resources that could be of benefit to a potential employer? Prove that an investment in you is likely to reap a return.
4. What do you want?This will include the salary level, of course, but what else is important to you? How do you want your next job to be different from your current one? What are the things you would like to keep the same? You might want to take a look at your day-to-day work activities, personal values and work environment, as well as logistics such as commute time or working hours. Write down your wish list and prioritise it so that you have your decision criteria for considering future opportunities.

5. Ask for feedback.
Supplement your careers self-assessment with feedback from others who know you in a professional context, such as your manager, colleagues, business contacts or a career coach. Ask them what you do well and any areas that you need to develop. Where appropriate, also tell them what you are looking for next.

Once your assessment is completed, you should have a much more detailed idea about what it is you have to offer prospective employers and you can now start writing your CV.

Best wishes!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Reach Your Career Goals

Professionals who have chosen their careers and are currently working in it, are likely to change their job at some point or other, perhaps much more frequently than in previous generations. This means that you, as the professional in-between jobs, need to be proactive in managing your career. This does not mean that you should sacrifice areas in your life in your attempt to balance your work and family or hobbies.

Muovo has found the following tips, offered by Mashable.com, great in helping you realise solid strategies that might actually aid you in achieving your career goals. 

1. Maintain your resume and LinkedIn profile well.
Write down your accomplishments from the past year. This will help you identify your market worth. Keeping track of these accomplishments will help you in review and bonus time. You probably already know this, but always keep your resume and LinkedIn profile up to date. This will keep you visible in the job market with recruiters or hiring managers.

2. Set up lunches with people who might get you somewhere.Connect with the shakers and movers within your organisation to develop mutual relationships; if a special project or a higher position opens up, they will be more likely to think of you. Your internal company network is important to your career success. Remember, it is not what you know, but who you know, that will help you get ahead.

3. Network.
Muovo has published several articles all unveiling the importance of networking in your jub hunting process. Network face-to-face with one to three people each month outside the company to stay connected to your industry and to develop your networking skills. Identify at least five or six people whom you lost touch with and with whom you would like to reconnect. Reach out to them, perhaps indicating that one of your 2013 goals is to keep your network active. When you meet with the people in your network, bring something to the table and be sure you are offering value. Also, always be willing to ask them to connect you to others they know.

4. Keep a professional image.Initial impressions are always key to forming and maintaining business relations. Update your look with the right accessories, clothes hair style, eyeglasses and so forth. Just one new piece of apparel can give you a polished, sophisticated and professional look, so you do not need to go on a shopping spree every week.

Do you have any other tips on how you can reach your career goals? Muovo would like to hear from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Improve Your Job Search Performance


In Muovo's previous blog post, we have discussed mistakes that you might be making and which might be hindering your job hunting success (See '6 Mistakes To Avoid When Seeking A New Job'). If you want to enhance the performance of your job search, and therefore, its success, follow these 4 tips offered by Mashable.com.

1. The Early Bird Catches the Worm.
The sooner you get your job application in, the better are the chances of you having your resume seen. However, if you tend to hesitate and ponder upon sending or replying to a job listing, you are likely to lose your shot at being considered. Stay up-to-date on new listings as they arise.

2. Get a Jump-Start.
Even better than being one of the first to apply for an open position - seek a job post before it is posted. Research the companies you are interested in working for and try to envisage any future posts. Interact with the company on LinkedIn or other social media. Join the same local trade organisations the company attends and find out where their staff members might be speaking publicly. Consider volunteering at events the company may be involved with to start to acquaint yourself with both the staff and the company culture.

3. Tailor Your Information.
Narrowed down that job post listing to those that best suit you. Hence make sure you customise your resume and cover letter for each position you apply for. Though you should try to be one of the first to apply, don't be in such a rush that you neglect to list those skills that will match the job and the company's requirements. Not showing that you are a fit candidate is likely to end your chances of being considered.

4. Follow Up.
Always try to send a follow-up email if you do not get a response within a couple of days. In other words, confirm that the interviewer received your information and in the meantime, take this opportunity to repeat why you think you are a suitable candidate for the job. Once you have landed the interview, always make sure that you follow up with your interviewers through a thank-you note, again expressing your interest in the company and thejob.

Re-evaluate your job search if you feel that it has come to a standstill. There might just be a few things that you are not doing right!

If you have any suggestions or queries, kindly leave us a message below. Best wishes!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Monday, 4 March 2013

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Seeking A New Job



Searching for a job can be a tedious process, mind-boggling and at times, not at all pleasant. A small mistake  can doom your efforts immaterial of your strong experience and excellent qualifications. Below are some tips that Muovo would like to share with you which you should equip yourself with on your job-hunting.

# 1. Using unprofessional email addresses.
Although this may sound obvious, several candidates still choose to send their CVs with emails like 'cutiesexychick89@hotmail.com', or 'dragonmaster0001@gmail.com' and so on. Although this may be humorous and might conjure up a smile on one of your friend's faces, it definitely will not amuse a potential employer.

# 2. Having an unprofessional telephone greeting.
The same could be said to your voicemail greeting. All you need to say is that you're unavailable and perhaps you could excuse yourself for not being able to answer the phone. Do not say that you're out partying or indisposed because of personal reasons. This will only make your interviewer raise an eyebrow and possibly cross you off the list.

# 3. Sending a cover letter or resume rift with spelling mistakes.
Cover letters are the first impression that you will make on your future employer or interviewer. Be careful to spell check your letter carefully to avoid any typos that might ruin your chances of landing a great job!
Read Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A CV

# 4. Failing to write a post-interview thank you letter.
A lot of people are surprise upon hearing that they should write a thank you letter following their interview. This is not only interview etiquette, but it also goes to show that you are really interested in the post, and therefore make yourself seem as a good candidate for the job.

# 5. Omitting your accomplishments from your resume.
Although it is good to be humble, it does not mean that you should omit your accomplishments from your resume. For instance, instead of saying, 'Wrote programs in [name of language]', say, 'Developed system that reduced order entry processing time by x%'.

# 6. Arriving at the interview late.
We have discussed this issue over several other blog posts. It is vital that if you are running late - as could happen to anyone (road accidents, traffic, missing the bus, losing your way, running over your grandma...and so on!) - do let someone know that you might not be able to make it on time. Make sure that you take the reception or the interviewer's telephone number prior to leaving for the interview.

We hope that you have found some of these tips useful. Do let us know of any other mistakes that you should avoid as a job seeker!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

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