Sunday 26 May 2013

Job-Seeking Tips for College Graduates

Looking for a new job is often seen as a most intimidating experience...we've all been there though! If you have recently graduated or just about to finish your final year at college, then you must be already sending out the endless CVs and might have already attended some interviews. Muovo has found an article, published by New Talent Times,  a most interesting read...

The following are some excellent tips provided for college grads based on first hand interviews with many college grads who, maybe like you, are currently on the lookout for a job.

1. Go after “foundational” roles, and know why you’re seeking them.
A foundational role is exactly what it sounds like: a job that lays the foundation for your career by teaching you the fundamentals of professionalism. In a foundational role, you learn lessons that you’ll carry with you to any job afterward.

These roles are often rigorous and very difficult, but the knowledge of how to behave and interact with others in the professional world is invaluable -- and thus, worth it. Tell an interviewer you understand this and that you’re more than willing to do whatever it takes, and you’ll leave a good impression. 2. Why not turn your personal story into an “elevator pitch”? Interviewers have a relatively brief amount of time to find out everything they need to know about you. Everyone has a story to tell, and yours should highlight specific examples of where, when, and how you obtained specific skills that are valuable to this employer.

You also want show a bit of your personality - identifying your strengths as not only an employee, but as a human being as well. And, of course, if you do have any relevant job experience, you’ll share that.

So how do you accomplish all of this in what could be a 30-minute interview? Create an “elevator pitch”. In other words, take all of this information and pack it down to a concise story that you could tell in the time it would take an elevator to transport you from the 1st floor to your destination.
3. Make sure your online reputation represents you - appropriately!
In addition to the obvious (i.e. refraining from posting unprofessional content and images on your social profiles), you should be mindful of other details and what they say about you. For example, if there are consistent grammar and/or punctuation errors on your pages, then recruiters may think you lack attention to detail. You should try to anticipate the qualities, traits and skills an employer is seeking for a particular role, then ensure your profiles reflect those traits. For example, if you’re applying for a writing position, you’ll want to make sure you cross T’s and dot I’s. If you’re applying for a sales role, try to show off your outgoing personality through relevant photos.
For more tips to the college grad searching for a job, visit Software Advice’s New Talent Times.
Good luck!

Courtesy of Aundraya Ruse

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday 21 May 2013

The Excellent Job Candidate. When Good is not Enough.

Competition is rift. There are no arguments against that - we already know! It is not an unusual sight to see candidates queuing up (sometimes literally) for their interview, eager to get themselves among the shortlisted!

But what characteristics typically pertain to and perhaps define a good candidate? If you happen to be asked this question by one of your interviewers, a feasible reply would be to mention most of the requirements listed in the job posting and how you will be able to meet these expectations if given the opportunity. do not just want to be a good candidate. You want to be an excellent candidate!

Muovo would like to share with you the video below which clearly depicts how you can distinguish a good candidate from an excellent one. Make sure you tick all the advice given!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday 16 May 2013

Compassion Marks an Effective Leader at Work

Relationships are built on interactions which are in turn built from specific 'moments'. A critical moment in an interaction occurs when one person wants somethings from someone else. 'Wants' include wishes, needs, desires, hopes and longings. The want could range from something simple and concrete. For instance, 'Please pass me the salt'. Otherwise it could be complex and intangible, such as 'Please love me like a romantic partner' (perhaps more discreetly put).

Communication however if most often transmitted in other ways than words. Words constitute only a small part of communication (less than 20%). Most of the remaining (around 80%) modes of communication is imparted through use of tone, facial expressions, gestures and the like. This shows just how important a holistic type of communication is when we interact with others on a daily basis.

According to research, compassionate leaders are seen to be the most effective leaders. In Thupten Jinpa's words, a prominent Tibetan scholar, 'Compassion is a mental state endowed with a sense of concern for the suffering of others and aspiration to see that suffering relieved'.

He defines compassion as having three main components. These are listed below:

1) A cognitive component
'I understand you'.

2) An affective component
'I feel for you'

3) A motivated component
'I want to help you'.

It seems that the most compelling benefit of compassion in a work-related context is that compassion is bound to create highly effective leaders. It truly takes a strong leader to move from goodness to greatness yet remaining level-headed and compassionate towards those considered 'inferior' to him or her.

In his book entitled Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't, Jim Collins (2001) outlines the traits possessed by a truly great leader. Interestingly, he classified these as Level 5 leaders who are endowed with qualities like humility and ambition in the context of the three components of compassion (cognitive, affective, motivational). He states that the cognitive and affective components of compassion (understanding people and empathizing with them) minimize the obsession that we might have within ourselves and hence create conditions for humility.

Meanwhile, the motivational component of compassion, particularly that of wanting to help people, creates spaces for greater deeds.This is what marks a Level 5 leadership and is one compelling benefit at work.

Adapted from Greater Good Blog

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 12 May 2013

How To Manage Your Career Life

Life at times can get hard. We have so many things to think of, so many errands to run, so much work to do...that every things outside these sphere of 'work' may seem just a little too much. At other times, we might  get stuck so much on our daunting daily tasks that we tend to neglect the overall state of our career. We seem to forget at times that we are, in essence, the architects of our career. We need to nourish our daily lives with the right vitamins that will boost our career life later on. 

Although you may have thought that by doing your job well, you are also taking good care of your career, this may just not always be the case. In many ways, your job and your career stand poles apart in that they require different skills and tasks.
Below are some key strategies that Muovo have found of brilliant help when it comes to managing your career:

1. Demonstrate your upward mobility.
Try to imagine how your boss might describe you to someone. If the description is less than fabulous, consider why and then kick your butt quickly into gear.

Start going to meetings with big, bold ideas, give your full attention to projects, volunteer for new assignments or stuff your boss is too busy for—and then knock it out of the park. Get a new haircut and a couple of great outfits to signal that you have your mojo back.

And don’t be afraid to verbalize your intentions to your boss. I got a note from a staffer after she received a promotion, and she ended it with the phrase, “Someday I want to be you.” It was the first time I realized how fiercely ambitious she was—and I liked that.

2. Be ready!
If you don’t have the right skills (public speaking, social media, whatever) for the next big job in your sights, get them.

Also, check out online the jobs you think you want. What are the full descriptions and necessary requirements? How can you position yourself to be a better candidate for those jobs?

3. Get out there—in person.
When you’re starting out, you network out of necessity to find a job. But further along in your career, it’s easy to let networking fall off because of time constraints. You need to keep it going at full throttle.

Ahead of any event, research key people who might be there. Approach them with specific talking points. (For instance, start with “Your article in X trade publication was terrific” and then ask a question about it.) Join conversations by first listening to what’s being talked about and then being inquisitive. Later, send new contacts links to info relating to what you discussed.

4. Volunteer to be on panels at events.
This is a great way to show people how much you know. (But be super-prepared and get media trained.)

5. Think “sponsor,” not just “mentor.”
A mentor gives you advice. A sponsor opens doors.

A mentor can also be a sponsor, but the bottom line is that you need to cultivate relationships with people who will make key introductions for you and not just dispense wisdom. (Studies, by the way, have shown that men are more likely to have sponsors than women.)

And you can’t wait for a sponsor to drop into your life. You need to cultivate these relationships. And you then have to be gutsy enough to ask for help—such as requesting an email introduction to a potential boss.

6. Take on one thing a week that nurtures your success.
For instance, attend a speech by someone in your industry or write a blog about your field. Go on YouTube to hear a motivational speech by someone wickedly successful, like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. And use this kind of time, too, to develop your “Big Mouth list” (all the people you email with important professional news about yourself).

7. Do the math—and then be strategic.
In many fields, there are points when you need to reach a certain level of achievement, or it’s not gonna happen. As a senior editor in my early 30s, I did the math and began to see that in the magazine field, if you didn’t make it to an editor-in-chief job by your late 30s or early 40s, the chances got really slim. That helped me start focusing on how much time I had and laying the foundation for it to happen.

8. Tap into your envy.
Let’s pretend for a second: A colleague just got offered a great job somewhere else. How irritated are you, really?

If you’re still thriving at your job, you probably will not be bothered by the person’s departure. But if you find yourself hating the person, it’s a warning. Allow your envy to point you to the fact that you’re overdue for a change.

9. Go for it.
When the right job comes up, you must ferociously go after it—even if it’s in your company. Tell them why you want it and what you will do for them.

Best wishes!

Adapted from Brazen Life's blog. 

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Job Interview Preparation - An Essential Checklist

When you finally go for that interview, don't rush through it! Make sure you form your answers well and elaborate when necessary. Don't fret too much about making mistakes, but do keep in mind that some good preparation will lead you to your success.

Muovo has found the checklist below extremely useful in that it highlights the main areas that you need to address. Although some of it may be obvious for you  - especially if you are well acquainted with the job interviewing process - it is still worth reading to remind yourself of these points. This article was first published by Guardian Careers.

1) Plan ahead as much as possible.
Work on answers to the most common interview questions. The 'tell me about yourself' or 'talk me through your CV' questions are normally asked to ease you in, so make sure you're ready for them.

Have a short, two or three minute response that you can give comfortably. Start with a strong statement, such as: 'I am a project manager with 15 years' experience of technology projects in the media sector'. Then follow this with a summarised chronological story showing how you got to your current career position. No career history is perfect, but if you have gaps in your CV – or lots of short jobs – have a way of telling the story around them without becoming defensive.

Read carefully through the job and person specification, identifying your experiences that demonstrate the skills or knowledge gained. Again, try to articulate each one. Writing down an answer is a good way to do this — reading it aloud, recording yourself or having a mock interview is even better.

Now think about how you're going to address the more tricky questions, such as, 'where would you like to be in five years' time?' or 'what are your weaknesses?'.

If it's not explicit in the invite, find out the format of the interview and the number of people involved beforehand. It's not that you have to prepare particularly differently, but if you're expecting a relaxed chat with a HR person and you get five senior people grilling you, it's likely to throw you.

Research the company, paying attention to news stories, their website and strategic plans. See if you can also speak to someone in your network who works or has worked there.

2. Before the interview
Prepare your interview outfit: shine the shoes and plan grooming things like getting a haircut. Dressing well can increase your confidence as well as boosting your professional image.

Work out where you're going, travelling times and transport options. If you can factor in more time and locate a coffee shop nearby, it may help to reduce travelling anxiety. Have a copy of the job description and the person specification on you and a couple of copies of your CV, all in a neat folder or portfolio case. Read through them again before you head in.

3. During the interview
It's very easy to be so intently focused on giving a good interview that you forget that it's a two-way process. Notice how the reception feels, how people behave towards each other, how the interview is run, and what sense you get from the interviewer. You may even want to ask: 'How do you find working here?'

Don't be afraid to pause and think. You don't need to fire back an answer in the first millisecond — and sometimes it's good to acknowledge that you'll need a few moments for consideration. In general, people speak too quickly in interviews because they're nervous, so slow down if you notice yourself racing.

Make sure you're clear about the next steps following the interview. Many organisations take a lot longer than they say to get back to you, so it may be worth saying: 'So you'll let me know by next Monday? If I don't hear by Wednesday is it okay to drop you a line?'

4. After the interview
As soon after the interview as you can, find a quiet place and write down as many of the questions that you were asked as you can remember. Rank how you answered them on a scale of one to ten. Work on the answers in order from lowest to highest so that you can improve for future interviews.

The next day, you could drop a line to the interviewers thanking them for the opportunity, and asking any questions that may be outstanding. But don't pester or stalk: some companies prefer a defined process where you don't contact people directly. If you don't hear by the allotted time, follow up.

Whether or not you are successful in securing the role, look at is as a good opportunity to engage people, grow your network and get better for next time round. If you're not successful then ask for feedback, although many organisations are coy in case feedback is used against them.

If you're successful, WELL DONE. Now it's time to start thinking about the second round of interviews.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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