Tuesday 28 January 2014

Have you Heard of the Chocolate Bar Resume?

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'You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper' - Edward de Bono

As I was browsing through some articles online, on resume writing and interviewing, I came across this innovative and inspirational resume - one that has flourished into great success - the mouthwatering Chocolate Resume!

The above photo displays a chocolate bar with a difference: the label reads 'Resume Bar: Nicholas'. At the bottom we can read 'Experienced Marketing Professional'. Yes, that's right - it's a resume!

This is not all. At the back of the chocolate bar, we don't have any nutritional facts - instead we have ingredients that any business would love to consume: 100% leadership, creativity, motivation, versatility, and business acumen.

Nick Begley, the maker of this chocolate resume bar, soon became an internet sensation with his innovative resume. In his own words, 'This version of the candy bar resume was used for a 2009 job search when the economy was crashing, so I knew I had to differentiate myself from other applicants'. He continues by saying that, '[i]t was a way to (hopefully) showcase my creativity, create a bit of a buzz in the department that was hiring and—most importantly—help me stand out in a competitive job market'. And so right he was!

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Undeniably, he got the job. This is what his future employer said: 'We must repeatedly review your resume before making a choice. Please send more copies of your resume'.

Mr Begley added to ABC News: ‘People are either going to love it or hate it. My focus was to find an organization that would embrace it because if they weren’t open to that kind of out-of-the-box thinking, that wouldn’t be a company that I would fit in well with anyways.’

To revert back to the epigraph of this article, 'You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper', Mr Berger has wittingly changed direction instead of trying hard - harder - in the same direction. Sadly, effort in the same direction or approach will not necessarily succeed.

The main source for these quotations was CNBC Social Media Producer Eli Langer, who is a personal friend of Mr Begley.

Have you heard of any other innovative resumes? Send us your comments!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday 23 January 2014

Preparing for the Interview: Things to do Before and After the Interview

What should I do
BEFORE  the interview?

1. Conduct a mock interview with a friend, colleague or family member. Remember, just like riding a bicycle, practice make perfect!

2. Prepare a list of names and telephone numbers of at least three individuals who have agreed to be your personal references.

3. Research the company with whom you are interviewing well in order to have a general understanding of both the company history and its position in the industry.

4. Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer.

5. Get detailed instructions to the office and make transportation arrangements to arrive at the interview easily and promptly.

6. Research salaries in order to have a clear expectation of how much you may be offered.

7. Prepare a 'closing' for the interview that expresses your desire for the job and inquires about the next step in the interview process.

8. Finally, relax and be yourself!

What should I do
After the interview?
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  • Remember that only 15% of the success of an interview is out of your control – that means 85% is within your control.
  • Take some time to reflect: - Overall, how well did I do?   - What went well? - How can I improve for the next interview?
Best wishes for your next interview!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday 21 January 2014

10 Words to Avoid Using on Your Resume

'I am a very patient, creative and efficient individual.'

The good news is: these are all commendable qualities that a potential candidate should possess.

The bad news is: your potential employer has probably heard these adjectives and read sentences like this millions of times.

Muovo would like to share with you the article below, which evaluates LinkedIn's release of their annual list of the most overused buzzwords on their 187 million profile pages this week, with 'creative' taking the dubious honour for the second year in a row.

Words commonly used on LinkedIn are also likely to appear on resumes. This means that the list outlines the buzzwords that you should be avoiding when formatting and writing your own resume. LinkedIn's top 10 repetitive words for the profiles of U.S. professionals were as follows (with some helpful translations):

1. Creative
2. Organizational
3. Effective
4. Motivated
5. Extensive experience
6. Track record
7. Innovative
8. Responsible
9. Analytical
10. Problem solving

The word 'creative' in itself implies a lack of creativity in describing yourself in a resume or covering letter.

Watch this short clip on How to Write an Interesting Cover Letter
Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Saturday 18 January 2014

Making Friends at Work

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Starting a new job? One thing that might be on your mind is, essentially, how to make friends with co-workers.

Sometimes you get along immediately with your co-workers, with whom you might become life-long friends, there might be other instances where you cannot get head nor tails of how to break the ice with that new colleague you have been trying to talk to for so long. Both are reasonable and very real scenarios. Muovo would like to share with you the article below, relating an interview from BrazenLife with the life cocah Shasta Nelson, CEO of GirlfriendCircles.com and author of the book Friendships Don’t Just Happen. In this interview, Nelson tells us everything we need to know about making new friends at the office - including who should you pursue and who should you stay away from.

Question 1. If you really feel a connection with a coworker, is it a good idea to try to deepen that relationship? Or should “office life” and “real life” be kept separate?
No! I don’t think they should be separate at all! In fact, work really is one of the places to make friends where we have one of the biggest friendship challenges taken care of for us — consistency. That’s why it felt easy in school — we saw each other every day. In 'real life', it’s actually much more difficult to see each other regularly enough to build up that familiarity and comfortableness.

The office is perfect, since you both have to spend so much time there. I’d definitely try to deepen that relationship, so much so that I’d encourage you to practice being friends outside of work, too, so that when one of you leaves the job, you already have other structures in place for your friendship to continue.

Question 2. How concerned should you be about making friends in the office, even at the basic level of casual friendship?
People who have friends at work are way more inclined to report job satisfaction, and companies recognize that that’s one of the best ways to retain employees. We will put up with a lot of stress and non-ideal job descriptions if we like the people we work with, so I’d say it’s worth being a pretty high priority at work. Plus, this is where you spend most of your time, so it make sense that at minimum, you want to be surrounded by people you’re friendly with, even if they don’t all turn into consequential friendships.

Question 3. Are there any “rules” to making friends in the office?
I’d say two good principles are: to 1) take it slow, and 2) don’t let your friendship ever make others feel excluded in the office.

The first one is super important. Don’t over-share with someone. Vulnerability — sharing more about yourself with less of a filter — is one of the actions that develops a friendship, but I encourage everyone to engage in it step by step so that, really, you’re never taking a big risk as much as you are many, many small ones. But that’s even more important at work, where you don’t want to share too much with someone before you’ve co-created a trusting relationship with each other.

And the second rule speaks more to making sure your friendship is adding to the office dynamics, not excluding others or making people feel wary, left out or suspicious. While at work, invite more people to join in your friendly relationship, invite others to sit with you at lunch and try to do more of your eventual secret-sharing outside of the office.

Question 4. What are some good ways to explore deepening a relationship with a co-worker?
It probably starts with friendliness and chit-chat, talking about the weekend and what TV shows you’re watching. Then the next goal is to find a way to spend more substantial time together, so usually an invitation to grab lunch together, attend an event together or meet for drinks after work will help make that happen.

And this is where it may stay for a while: friendliness in the office, friendship for an hour here and there outside the office. In fact, if this is as far as it goes, it’s an incredibly valuable relationship that will increase your happiness at work. In some cases, you may want to grow it to the next step, and that means eventually starting to get together when it’s completely unattached to work, such as brunch on the weekend, a double-date with the boyfriends on a Friday night or getting together to watch your favorite TV shows one night.

Question 5. Can you — or should you — ever be friends with your manager? (Or, if you’re a manager, friends with your subordinate?)
This one can be tricky, because there is not a “one size fits all” answer. Our personalities, company culture and individual job descriptions will inform the decision. But in theory, I’d say yes. We can be friends with people even if we have different roles at work. Obviously, it requires both people respecting the other so much that neither one shares confidential information or asks for favors at work.

Question 6. Fights among friends are inevitable and can become even more hot-button if that friend is also a co-worker. What is your advice for dealing with conflicts with friends in the office?
This goes back to the second rule: Don’t let your friendship make others uncomfortable in the office. That means they shouldn’t know you’re fighting. You don’t gossip about each other, talk about other or take it out on each other.

Question 7. Is it appropriate to get into a friendship with someone who’s in a romantic relationship? Should you pursue a friendship with a co-worker if it could be misconstrued by their significant other?
Again, though, this is not an easy answer. Cross-gender relationships are a wholly different animal in this setting.

If the friendship could hurt people — in the office or in either of your lives — then one has to ask whether there are other feelings or motives at work. Because mature friends wouldn’t want to jeopardize their friends’ other relationships. At the least, recognize this relationship has a whole different level of complication and drama that may best be avoided simply by fostering other friendships, even if there isn’t as much chemistry.

Question 8. What should you do if you don’t feel a connection with coworkers, on even the most basic level? (Assuming that you enjoy your job.)
Bonds can always, always be developed in some form or another. The best place to start is with having enough conversations that you can start seeing where you both have similarities or where you “get” each other.

We all have more things in common than we realize, even if we have a 40-year age gap, opposite political views or are in completely different life stages. I believe that those who seek, find. Which means that if we say to ourselves, “I am choosing to like you; now I’m going to keep looking for the reasons,” we will always find them!

Happy work bonding!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday 16 January 2014

5 Questions To Ask At The End Of Your Interview

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By the end of the interview, you should leave some time to ask questions - this is necessary!

Question 1. Why is this position vacant? 
Normally, a job position is either filled internally, or within a reasonable time-frame. However, if the job has been open for several months, it would be wise for you to ask why. For instance, did a previous candidate turn it down? If so, you need to know what was the reason behind his termination - did he resign or was he dismissed? Also, evaluate the expectations of the job - are they realistic? Or is too much being expected from the new employee.

Question 2. What have your most successful candidates brought to the company? 
This question is a statement of intent about your determination to join the company's elite performers. You may wish to emphasize your skills and achievements relevant to the role prior to posing this question. The answer will also give you an indication of the company culture and help you to decide whether this job is the one for you or not.

Question 3. What does success look like in the first 90 days?
Ambitious candidates are eager to hit the ground running, and this question puts you among that group. Again, it will reveal the type of company you may be joining. If expectations for the first 90 days are unrealistic, what will the role look like after six months?

Question 4. What challenges will the candidate face in the first 90 days?
Potential challenges may prevent you from achieving your agreed objectives in the first few months, so you need to be aware of them. Again, this question indicates your determination to succeed. It also gives the hiring manager the chance to come clean about the potential for internal conflict (and provides further insight into company culture).

Question 5. What challenges is the company currently facing? 
Is the company making money? Has it had major lay-offs in the past five years? How does it respond to a constantly evolving economic climate? How does it adapt to technological change? All of these issues are important to you as a potential new employee. If you were released from a recent job due to downsizing, you need to be confident that any company you move to is financially secure.

This article is courtesy of Aol Jobs

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 15 January 2014

What's the Key to a Successful Career Change?

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Are you interested in changing your career? 

Don't worry - probably you are not alone! Before you head out of the office, ready to embark on your new ambition, do some well-grounded research!

Muovo has found the article below, which was first published by The Guardian, a most interesting read. Your comments are welcome!

The are two ways of finding a better career, says Harry Freedman in The Guardian. One is a reactive approach, the other is proactive.

In a reactive search, you look at every job advert you possibly can, pick out opportunities that you think you might enjoy and that you have some chance of being offered and you fire off your applications. In other words, you react to whatever opportunities come your way. Although you might get lucky, and end up with the job of your dreams, there is no guarantee that you will find a more rewarding or satisfying job than the one you just had.

In a proactive search, you take a step back to look at your skills, experience, interests and anything else relevant to your career. You have in-depth conversations with friends, your partner or even career professionals, trying to work out which career will be right for you. Then, when you have made a decision, you concentrate your job search in that area. If you do this systematically and thoroughly you stand a better chance of finding a more satisfying career. But, again, it is only a chance – there is still a possibility that your new career may be little better than your old one.

The missing ingredient in both these approaches is REsearch. Without good research you will never know if you're making the right decision.

Career research operates on many levels.

It first start with searching job titles and sectors.

If you are moving into a new industry, or if you are hoping to do a completely different job, it's essential to fully understand what the change might involve.

You need to look at the tasks you'll be expected to do, the knowledge you'll need, the shape of your working day, the sort of people you'll be working with, and the reputation and prospects of the sector.

Good luck with your job REsearch!
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Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 8 January 2014

5 Timeless Lessons from Benjamin Franklin: How to Get What You Want From Life

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Do you think the goldfish is aspiring too much?

Not if you follow Benjamin Franklin's advice, where, 'Energy and persistence conquer all things'.

It is undeniable that Benjamin Franklin is a man of action. Throughout his life, his energy, persistence and motivation fuelled much of his wide range of interests. He was a writer, a publisher, an inventor, a diplomat, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.

The following are some lessons that we should learn from Benjamin Franklin to achieve all our life's purposes.

LESSON 1: Don't procrastinate.
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'Never leave till tomorrow what you can do today'. This is probably one of the first quotes you will remember from Benjamin Franklin. He surely was not a man fond of procrastination. He worked hard to put his dreams into reality, keeping a clear goal (or goals) in view. What are you putting off till
tomorrow instead of doing today?

LESSON 2: Be prepared.
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Preparation, whether for an exam, a presentation at work, or for class is key to success. You also need to plan, however, on what you would like your end result to be. You cannot, says Franklin, walk through life without knowing where you're going. Instead, you should think like a boy scout. Have a realistic plan of attack and a systematic approach to get where you need to be.

LESSON 3: Avoid busywork.

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'Don't confuse motion with action', Franklin remarks.

Many of us can be seen during the day rushing around doing numerous things, ending up totally washed out and exhausted. At the end of the day, however, how much of our running around has really improved anyone's life (including ours) for the better? Make your motion mean something.

LESSON 4: Act quickly on opportunities.

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'To succeed, jump as quickly on opportunities as you do at conclusions.'

Opportunities are everywhere, and emerge at times in places where we are not even aware of. However, the trick is being quick and smart enough to recognize an opportunity and seize it when as soon as they arise. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that it will probably fail, why don't you allow yourself the freedom to ask 'What if?'

LESSON 5: Continue to grow.
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'Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let every New Year find you a better man.'

We all have vices. The key is to be aware of our vices, and keep them under control. Be kind to those around you, whether they are neighbours, family, co-workers, or friends. Never say that you have developed or matured enough as a person.

Adapted from Lessons from Benjamin Franklin 

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 5 January 2014

10 Habits That Could Just Cost You Your Work

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Being a hard-working and competent employee is, of course, a must. However, it is also imperative to stay in your boss's good books throughout your employment. Read these 10 things that could be driving your boss - or your other colleagues - crazy.

1. You show up late
Sure, everyone has been stuck in traffic or overslept once or twice. Being late a couple times won’t hurt you. But habitual tardiness could cause you trouble. It also emits the idea that you are not very serious about and committed to your job, or that you're just downright lazy.

2. You’re a Negative Nancy
If you find yourself complaining about everyone and everything in the office, break the habit immediately. Workplaces with a positive atmosphere are the most conducive to productivity.

Your boss knows your complaining can be contagious and could bring your whole office down. Next time you have something negative to say, save it for your journal.

3. You need too much handholding
Your boss hired you because you seemed like you could get the job done. Presenting them with every little problem about each task demonstrates the exact opposite of why you were hired in the first place.

Your boss doesn’t have time to oversee every one of your tasks. Put on your problem-solving cap and figure it out. If you come off as incompetent, don’t expect to keep your job for much longer.

4. Your meeting etiquette sucks
While some meetings may be less relevant or interesting than others, maintain a professional demeanor no matter how long the meeting drags on.

Your boss will notice if you aren’t taking notes, if you’re disinterestedly scrolling on your laptop (i.e. checking Facebook) or if you don’t contribute when you should. Follow along. Don’t be caught off guard and make it obvious you weren’t paying attention when someone asks you a question.

5. You have a new excuse for everything
Whether you were late to work, forgot to send an important email or did a project incorrectly, don’t make excuses.

Your boss hates when you can’t take ownership of your mistake. It shows your lack of honesty and professionalism. Own up. It’s better to apologize (but don’t overdo it) and fix your mistake.

6. You’re just lazy
Nothing infuriates a boss more than a lazy employee. It shows you don’t care about your job or your company, making your boss wonder why they hired you in the first place.

Try to be diligent and prove to your boss that you value your job by working hard.

7. Your work BFF is your cell phone
While it’s commonplace to keep your phone on your desk or send a quick text during a break, don’t make it a habit. Your boss will notice if you’re preoccupied with your phone when you’re supposed to be working.

Keep your cell phone use to a minimum, and please turn off your obnoxious Miley Cyrus ringtone. Your officemates don’t care if you came in like a wrecking ball.

8. You’re a broken record of other people’s ideas
When you’re in a meeting or having a discussion, your boss wants to hear fresh, innovative ideas and opinions. If an idea was stated once, repeating it won’t make it sound any more new or different.

Your boss will notice if you consistently copy your coworkers’ ideas. It’s certainly something you don’t want a reputation for. Instead, try to think of a relevant new perspective or build on someone else’s ideas.

9. You smack gum like it’s your job
Your office is not the place for Bubble Yum unless you work alone or at home where no one will see or hear you. Gum chewing can be loud, gross and unprofessional.

If you interact with people, whether you’re speaking at a meeting or sitting in a quiet office, stick with a breath mint.

10. You’re a tattletale
If you can think of no other way to get ahead than to throw others under the bus, beware. Your boss can tell the difference between a concerned employee and a snitch. If you resemble the latter, your middle-school behavior won’t be tolerated for long.

Instead of being the one to bring bad news to your boss about someone else’s screw-up, turn it into a problem-solving opportunity.

Your daily actions could be ticking off your boss without you even knowing. Constant laziness, tardiness and even gum chewing could result in a pink slip with your name all over it. Be aware of habits and actions that could rock the boat at work — and avoid them at all costs — to improve your job security.

This article was courtesy of Brazen Life

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday 2 January 2014

4 Best Job Interview Tips

From preparing how to confirm your interview appointment, to getting the most suitable attire for the interview, to answering the toughest interview questions, we have prepared for you a round-up of the best job interview advice we could offer in 2013!

1. Don't make this mistakes when writing an application form.
(Yes, this was on purpose!). Remember, first impressions count. You interviewing process starts just when you submit the application form. Proofread your work to avoid common mistakes in spelling, punctuation and other mechanical errors. Read this article by Muovo on the mistakes that you should avoid when filling in or writing the application form.

2. Make your answers shine.
Yes, just like a star. Remember, you need to stand out during the interview, so make sure you add that little something to your answers that make your interviewers smile or nod in genuine approval - and perhaps admiration - of what you say. These are the 100 potential interview questions that you can have during your interview.

3. Avoid asking these questions.
Although an interview should always be a conversation, rather than a monologue (either from you or from your interviewer(s)), some questions are not suitable to ask during the interview, or at least not in the first stages of the interview. In fact, the type of questions that you ask during the interview can affect the success or failure of your interview. Read this article on 8 questions you should never ask during the interview.

4. An essential checklist.
Take a look at this article which guides you to what you should do before the interview right up to after the interview. Read this article on Job interview preparation: An essential checklist.

If you are on the lookout for a job this year, make sure you read through our advice! Best wishes!

Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below. Muovo would like to hear from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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