Today’s post is your guide to answering yet another one of the most common (and most critical) job interview questions: Why do you want to work here?
Actually, we want to cover this question from two important angles.
- Why are you interested in the company?
- Why are you interested in the job?
You must be able to answer both of these questions to ace your interview.
Answering the Question — Why Do You Want to Work Here?
The interviewer is looking for similar things whether asking about company or position. The hiring manager wants to:
- Learn about your career goals and how this position fits into your plan
- Make sure that you are sincerely interested in the job and will be motivated to perform if hired
- Find out what you know about the company, industry, position (and if you took the time to research)
- Understand your priorities and preferences — which aspects of the company and/or job are appealing to you and why?
However, you must approach each part of the question differently.
I. What do you like about this company?
The hiring manager is looking for someone who will fit in at the company and enjoy working there.
A good answer will demonstrate a knowledge of the company and industry. That means you must do your homework so that you can identify specific reasons for wanting to work for the firm.
These reasons could include one or several of the following:
- Company general reputation
- Reputation of key leaders
- Admiration of products/services
- Admiration of other company initiatives (marketing campaign, community involvement, training programs)
- Company awards
- Company management philosophy
- Company values
- Company positioning in market
- Company growth/success
You can probably think of other reasons that would also work. Please note: “It’s close to my house” is not a good reason.
Common Mistakes: What Do You Like About This Company?
- A too-general answer that could apply to any company. Most of my interview coaching clients make this mistake. They say something like,“It’s a great company and I’d love to work there.”That’s nice, but it’s also not very memorable or believable.
- An uninformed answer that shows you haven’t done any research. The worst thing you can do is demonstrate that you don’t even know what the company does — or that you only have a vague idea and expect the interviewer to fill you in.
- An unenthusiastic answer that makes the interviewer wonder if you really want the job. You want to convince the interviewer that you are excited about the idea of working for his company. Avoid an answer like, “I heard there were some open positions, so here I am.”
Sample Answer 1: What Do You Like About This Company?
“Well, the JP Morgan reputation is certainly a factor. I would be proud to work for a company with such a long history of leadership in the industry.
Also, a good friend of the family has been working in corporate finance at JP Morgan for the last two years and he told me that the culture supports learning and development on the job – and really rewards hard work.”
Why We Like It: In this case, the candidate is interviewing for a very well-known firm. In a situation like this, the tendency for many candidates is to basically answer, “Well, it’s JP Morgan. Duh.” In today’s job market, that’s not going to be enough to set you apart from other candidates, even if your resume is stellar.
This sample answer addresses the company’s brand and history, but also demonstrates that the candidate took the time to do some additional research through his network (read on for some tips on how to research companies before you interview). The answer goes on to emphasize the candidate’s interest in working hard and developing on the job.
Sample Answer 2: What Do You Like About This Company?
“I saw an article in Business Week about your new CEO John Jacobs and the firm’s renewed focus on technology innovation.
I consider myself an innovator and I would love to work for an organization that’s leading the future of the industry.”
Why We Like It: It’s smart to seek out recent press on any company that interviews you. In this case, the candidate found an article about the firm’s new CEO and quoting it makes her sound smart, prepared, and interested.
She also singles out the bit from the article about innovation and articulates that this is a shared value. It doesn’t hurt that she compliments the firm as a leader in the industry. A little flattery can be effective — just be careful not to cross the line into pathetic kissing up.
II. Why are you interested in the job?
So you love the company and you can prove it. Think you’re all set? Not so fast. You must also be prepared to speak about the position. You must prove that you are the perfect fit for THIS JOB at THIS COMPANY.
So ask yourself: What is appealing about this job? Why did you respond to this job description?
You must be able to discuss what excites you about the work. After all, every manager wants to hire someone who will love the work required and be committed to doing a great job.
A great answer will also allow you to sneak in information about how good you are at the work required (after all, it’s much easier to love your work when you’re good at it). While the interviewer wants to know why you are attracted to the job, he’ll be even more interested in hearing about why your experience has prepared you to excel in the position.
Bottom line: Companies like to hire people who will be good at the job – and enjoy what they do. Clearly communicate both your interest and ability.
Common Mistakes: Why Are You Interested in This Job?
- A too-general answer that could apply to any position. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re only interested in this job because it’s available. I often compare job interviewing to dating (hopefully, dating is at least a little bit more fun for you). No date wants to hear, “You were the only one who would go out with me.” It’s the same with job interviewing. You have to woo the company and talk about why the position was made for you.
- An uninformed answer that shows you don’t understand the job. If you don’t comprehend every word on that job description, take some time to research.
- An unenthusiastic answer that makes the interviewer wonder if you really want the job. If you can’t provide details about why you’re into the job, the interviewer will likely assume that you’re NOT.
Sample Answer: Why Are You Interested in This Job?
“I feel that my proven track record leading multi-functional teams makes me an excellent match for the job requirements. Also, the role excites me because I love the idea of helping to develop cutting-edge software products and I know I could start delivering results from Day 1.”
Why We Like It: This answer manages to sell the candidate while addressing what she likes about the job. She leads with the fact that her experience makes her a great fit for the job requirements. She continues by stating that the role excites her. This is good. Don’t be coy about whether you want the job or not. Show some enthusiasm. And finally, our candidate wraps by promising that she can deliver results immediately.
Sample Answer: Putting It All Together — Company + Role
“Well, I have great respect for your company’s software products and I would welcome the opportunity to work with the best in the business. At the same time, I have friends in the industry who have told me about your company’s respect for employees and how you create a great environment for rewarding innovation. I think my proactive style would fit in really well here — especially in this particular role.”
Why We Like It: This sample answer addresses both the organization and the role. He compliments the products, the employees, and the work environment (companies do love to say they are innovative, don’t they?). He then talks about how his style would fit in well. If this were my client, I would advise him to add one last line about WHY his style would benefit this role in particular.
How to Research the Company
Now you know the best practices for answering, “Why do you want to work here?” To apply them to your own next job interview, you’ll probably need to do a bit of research.
If you already know all about the company and why it’s a good match for you, you can skip this part and go practice your answer. For everyone else, here are some tips for researching any company.
The Company Web Site
Start with the company web site. This may seem like an obvious approach, but you have to take the time to actually do it.
A good company web site covers everything from firm history to mission statement to product lines to latest awards and accomplishments. Read all of the About Us stuff and spend some time in the Press Room, where you’ll usually find the latest press releases and media mentions.
Read the company blog if they have one. Next, sign up for any newsletter offered and check out the company’s social media presence (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.)
You’ll also want to spend some time in the site’s Careers section. Some firms provide extensive information about the hiring process on their sites — including job profiles and sample interview questions in some cases.
Depending on the size of the company and whether it’s public or private, you may even be able to access financial statements, annual reports, and executive biographies.
Although company web sites can tell you a lot, you can learn even more with a broader Google search.
Look for recent articles about the company in the mainstream press and industry publications. These articles can also provide useful information about the latest trends in the industry and how the company compares with competitors. If you are aware of an influential publication that covers the industry, go to the publication web site and conduct a search.
You can also find articles and other company information through services like LexisNexis® and Hoovers™. While these are pricey subscription-based services, many public libraries offer free access.
Your network may be your most valuable research source. Reach out to trusted contacts in your network for information. A search on LinkedIn can quickly reveal who you know at the hiring company (or who you know that knows somebody). Look for those currently at the firm and those who worked there in the past.
An “inside contact” can provide priceless data and can even serve as an advocate (if you’re lucky and have been nurturing your relationships).
Don’t just rely on LinkedIn. You can also ask around to determine if any trusted contacts (former colleagues, professors, etc.) have a connection to the firm.
Just be careful about name-dropping in the interview if you don’t know your contact’s internal reputation.
By Pamela Skillings
Pamela Skillings is co-founder of Big Interview. As an interview coach, she has helped her clients land dream jobs at companies including Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase. She also has more than 15 years of experience training and advising managers at organizations from American Express to the City of New York. She is an adjunct professor at New York University and an instructor at the American Management Association.
Today, we are tackling another critical job interview question: What are your strengths?
This is a commonly-asked question in job interviews for all levels of positions in all industries.
Even when this question is not asked, you must be able to answer it in order to land the job. After all, from the employer’s perspective, the main point of a job interview is to understand what you could do for the organization and why she should hire you instead of someone else.
You must be prepared to talk about your strengths. Many candidates don’t do it well, so there is an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd if you can speak about your strengths in an authentic and compelling way.
Let’s start by talking about how to respond when an interviewer asks you specifically, “What are your strengths?” (or “What are your three greatest strengths?” or similar)
Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?
It’s the interviewer’s job to find someone who will perform in the position and get along with the team. With this question, the interviewer seeks to find out if:
• Your strengths align with the company’s needs
• You can do the job and perform like a rock star
• You are the best person for the job — no need to hold out for someone better
• You have qualities, skills, and/or experience that set you apart from the competition
• You are someone who will make an excellent addition to the team
Some people think this is an easy question. This question is basically a prompt for you to brag and “sell” yourself as the best fit for the job. So how could you screw it up? You know yourself, right?
Unfortunately, many candidates fail to prepare properly and sabotage themselves. Here are some of the common mistakes that I see when working with my coaching clients:
Lack of self-awareness. Most job seekers don’t spend enough time analyzing their strengths and thinking about which ones are most relevant for each position. Knowing your strengths will serve you well in job interviewing and in the rest of your life as well. If you don’t feel you have a clear sense of your job-related strengths, read on for some advice on how to identify them.
Modesty. Many candidates are too humble or just aren’t comfortable articulating what makes them great. This is particularly true for introverts and/or people who never really had to “sell” themselves before because new jobs always fell in their laps in the past. You have to get over any hesitation to say nice things about yourself. You can do it in a way that feels comfortable and authentic if you prepare in advance.
Choosing lame strengths. Others choose strengths that don’t help them stand out — strengths that aren’t important for the job at hand or strengths that just about anybody could claim. This mistake makes a candidate bland and forgettable at best. At worst, you can raise red flags with the interviewer — who wants to hire someone whose greatest strength is the ability to show up on time?
How to Talk About Your Strengths
It’s important to take the time to identify your strengths and PRACTICE talking about them in advance. That way, you’ll be ready when you walk into that interview for your dream job. Let’s start by identifying/confirming what your greatest strengths are:
1. Brainstorm. Sit down and make a list of your top strengths — aim for at least 10 and be creative. Banish your modest internal editor to another room. Jot down everything that comes to mind. You can delete later if you like.
Your strengths could include:
Experience — Experience with a certain software or type of task, expertise in a particular industry, a track record of working with similar products or clients, etc.
Talents — Abilities such as programming in a desired language, writing proposals, selling widgets, litigating cases, organizing events, translating from Mandarin, etc. (the possibilities here are truly endless)
Soft skills — Competencies such as problem solving, influencing, team building, negotiation, managing up, etc.
Education/training — Relevant background on topics critical to the job — including college degrees, certifications, training seminars, mentoring, internships, etc.
If you have trouble coming up with enough work-related strengths, jot down positive personality qualities or personal strengths. You may find ways to relate these to job performance.
2. Focus. Narrow your list down to least five strengths that you are comfortable discussing (or could get comfortable discussing with a little bit of practice). The more, the better. You may not talk about all of these strengths in every interview, but it’s good to have options.
3. Prepare Examples. Develop at least one example or Interview Story to illustrate each of your strengths.
Choosing the Right Strengths
1. Be accurate. Choose strengths that you actually possess. Don’t pick a strength just because it’s in the job description or worked for your buddy. You want to be yourself in an interview, just the best and most professional version of yourself. You will be much more convincing and likable if you talk about authentic strengths.
2. Be relevant. You should take the time to analyze the job description and identify the most important strengths for each opportunity. You likely have many strengths, but which will be most relevant for this interviewer?
3. Be specific. Choose specific strengths. Instead of “people skills” (too broad and boring), go with “relationship building” or “persuasive communication.” Don’t be generic. Could 90% of your friends claim your strength? Pick another one.
4. Don’t be too humble. See common mistakes above. Avoid “weak praise” and lame strengths. Pick something impressive. Don’t go with “pleasant to work with” as your main selling point. Just about everybody can and should be pleasant to work with. To get the job, you have to show you would bring more to the position.
5. Be prepared to demonstrate. As discussed, have a concise example ready to back each strength up. Be careful about rambling on too long here. Your answer should still be 1-2 minutes long. If you want to share three strengths and back each up with an example, you will want to practice in advance so that you can do it in a concise way.
I Don’t Know My Own Strengths
If you get stuck trying to develop a list your strengths, try these techniques:
1. Get a second opinion. Ask a trusted friend or colleague what they think are your greatest strengths.
2. Dig for clues. Go back to previous performance reviews and analyze the positive feedback. Dig up old emails praising your work (if you haven’t been saving these, start a folder now). If you’re a student or new grad, think about the feedback that you’ve received from professors and supervisors from past internships and jobs.
3. Review your resume. Look for common themes in your achievements. Sometimes, we’re so close to the subject that we lose perspective. Try to read your resume with fresh eyes — as if it was the resume of an admired friend. What stands out?
4. Get scientific. Try the StrengthsFinder assessment. You can answer a series of questions and get a report that summarizes your top strengths. This should spark some ideas and/or help you focus your thinking. I use StrengthsFinder with many of my coaching clients and the results can really help with your professional and personal development. Many corporations also ask their employees to take the StrengthsFinder assessment as a foundation for their performance improvement plans.
Some Example Answers to “What Are Your Strengths?”
1. Example Answer: 3 Strengths for a Technology Team Leader
“I think one of my greatest strengths is as a problem solver. I have the ability to see a situation from different perspectives and I can get my work done even in the face of difficult obstacles. I also feel that my communication skills are top notch. I feel just as comfortable presenting to senior executives as I do mediating a conflict between junior team members. I worked as a programmer in the past so I have that perspective of a developer and I think that they respect me for that.”
Why We Like It:
This is a nice answer that summarizes three strengths that are relevant for the job at hand. Just saying that you’re a “problem solver” and have “good communication skills” can sound bland and rehearsed. You have to add some detail and color to make your answer more believable and memorable. In this case, the candidate talks about how her problem solving skills work (seeing things from different perspectives) and gives examples of her communication skills (presenting to senior leaders and mediating team disputes). We also like her discussion of her programming past and how this makes her a better manager.
Notice that she did not include a specific example for each of the strengths cited. Sometimes you want to avoid squeezing too much detail into one answer. You don’t want this answer to turn into an endless monologue. This candidate gave a little bit of detail for each strength and then left an opening for the interviewer to ask for more information. She should, of course, be prepared with an Interview Story for each of her strengths. That way, she will be ready when the interviewer asks: “Tell me about a time when you solved a difficult problem” or “Give me an example of a conflict that you mediated.”
2. Example Answer: Work Ethic
“One of my strengths is my strong work ethic. When I commit to a deadline, I do whatever it takes to deliver. For example, last week we had a report due and got some numbers back late from our team in Singapore. I pulled an all-nighter to finish the spreadsheet because I knew that the client HAD to receive the report on time.”
Why We Like It:
Notice that the answer goes beyond “hard worker,” which is way too general. Anybody can say that they work hard. This candidate gets specific about what work ethic means to him and talks about being deadline-driven and reliable, with a specific example.
3. Example Answer: Writing Skills (New college grad applying for analyst position)
“I am proud of my writing skills and believe that they will make me a better analyst. I am able to communicate complicated topics to different audiences. I can take a lot of data and information and find the story and themes that clients need to know about.
I honed my research and writing abilities during my days writing for the college paper, where I learned how to write well on deadline from pretty demanding editors. I even won an award for my series on the financial crisis.”
Why We Like It:
This answer explains why the candidate is a good writer and how that applies to the position. The example adds credibility, showing that others also believed the candidate’s writing skills were top-notch (editors, award judges).
What If They Don’t Ask Me About My Strengths?
If the interviewer doesn’t think to ask you about your strengths (not every interviewer has been trained to ask the right questions), you’ll have to look for opportunities to bring up the topic.
Keep in mind that there are many other questions that basically ask for your strengths. These include:
• Why should we hire you?
• Why are you the best person for the job?
• What makes you a good fit?
You should walk into every interview with a clear goal: to communicate your greatest and most relevant strengths to the interviewer. If you aren’t asked directly, look for openings. For example, when asked a behavioral question (“Tell me about a time…”), share an example that illustrates one of your top strengths and emphasize it.
If all else fails, wait until the end of the interview when they ask you if you have anything else to add (after you have asked some smart questions of the interviewer). Then, take the opportunity to summarize your strengths and reiterate your interest in the position.
Do you think of yourself as a caring person? Do you like nothing more than knowing that you’ve helped someone in some ways however small? Imagine how amazing it would be to have a job that enables you to help people all day every day! It would be so rewarding, and you know what, there are lots of jobs that help people and pay pretty well too. Here are some of them:
Working for a charity, where your whole job revolves around helping people or animals has to be one of the best jobs in the world. It won’t always be easy, but it will be rewarding, and you will feel like you’re making a difference. What’s more, charity directors can earn well above the £200,000 mark, so it’s a great choice for you caring folks out there.
Counsellor or Psychotherapist
So many people today struggle with mental illness, and it’s fair to say that many of them don’t exactly get the care and attention they deserve and which they need to get better. If you have a passion for mental health, retraining as a counsellor or psychotherapist could be a great career move. You will need to get a masters in clinical mental health counseling or a counselling degree or similar, depending on exactly what you want to do, but you will be rewarded with meaningful work and, at the high end, salaries as high as £100,000 per annum.
Clinical Laboratory Scientist
On first glance, a career as a clinical laboratory scientist might not seem like a particularly caring role, but when you think about it, you’ll realise that such a job helps a lot of people a great deal because you’ll be studying cancer-causing cells, dangerous bacteria and other concerning biological material to help people with their medical issues. So, if you have a background in science, or you’d be interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biology, this could be the career for you. The average pay for such a job is a bit less than many other options, with an average of just over £27,000, but it’s really vital and very interesting work.
To be a registered nurse you’ll need a relevant degree, and you should know that you’ll be expected to work hard long hours, but there are few jobs that will be more rewarding. As a nurse, you really will help people and make a difference in the lives of so many people throughout your career, that if you’re a caring person, it will all be worthwhile. If you progress through the ranks, your average salary could be as high as £34,864.
If you adore animals and you want to help them, being a vet is probably the dream job. You will need to go to university and study very intensely to qualify as a veterinarian, but when you see the smiles on a family’s face when you’ve saved their beloved dog and when you go to bed each night knowing you’ve helped ease the pain of countless animals, it will all be worth it. The £70,000 salary of a senior vet isn’t bad either!
Good luck with your caring career, wherever your journey may take you.
In an interview, talking about your weaknesses and flaws is difficult. We’re here to make it easier.
Today, I want to talk about one of the most common and aggravating interview questions of them all: What is your greatest weakness?
Are you rolling your eyes? Most candidates hate this question and consider it pointless. After all, they aren’t about to confess candidly to their biggest flaws in the middle of a job interview.
However, this question has become a cliché for a reason. Interviewers continue to ask it even though they know they are unlikely to get answers that are 100% honest.
Why? Because the way you answer a question about your weaknesses is very telling. You may not even realize what you are communicating when you answer this question.
And let’s face it, you’re probably doing it wrong. Most people do. I say that as an interview coach who has now worked with thousands of job seekers. At least 90% of my clients need help with answering the weakness question.
Here are the mistakes that they typically make (you may be able to relate):
1. Trying to turn a negative into a positive.
You’ll find many books and articles that advise you to “turn a negative into a positive” by sharing a supposed weakness that is actually a desirable quality in an employee. A few examples:
• I am too much of a perfectionist.
• I work too hard sometimes.
• I care too much about my work.
Clever idea. At this point, though, it’s an old trick and the interviewer sees right through it. She has seen many candidates try the same song and dance. In fact, this approach will likely make her think you are hiding something.
2. Refusing to answer the question.
Some candidates will assert that they can’t think of a single weakness. This is probably because they don’t prepare for the question properly and freeze up, afraid to say the wrong thing. This answer also makes you look like you are hiding something.
3. Revealing a weakness that raises red flags.
Another mistake is to be too candid and confess to a weakness that would hinder your ability to excel in the role. I once had a coaching client answer, “I have trouble getting up in the morning and getting to work on time.” His real weakness was that he was way too honest.
Read on for our advice on how to avoid these mistakes and talk about your weaknesses in a way that is both honest and smart.
Interview Questions About Weaknesses
Here are some of the different weakness questions that are regularly asked in job interviews:
• What is your greatest weakness?
This is probably the most common phrasing.
• What are some of your weaknesses?
Here you are being asked for more than one. The interviewer knows you have that one B.S. weakness prepared and wants to push you for more (see also: follow-up questions below)
• What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Some interviewers will ask you to sum up both strengths and weaknesses in one answer.
• If I called your current/previous manager, what would he/she say that you need to work on?
This phrasing is tricky. By planting the idea of calling your current/last manager, the interviewer is trying to subconsciously encourage more honesty (Some candidates immediately start thinking, “What if he actually calls her?”)
• Tell me about a development goal that you have set.
This question probes for weakness, but also emphasizes your ability to proactively set development goals.
• If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Here’s another phrasing — again asking for your GREATEST weakness, or at least the one that you feel is most limiting.
• What do you most want to improve in the next year?
This phrasing takes a more positive approach, but it is still a question about weaknesses.
Follow-up Questions About Weaknesses
You should also be prepared for follow-up or probing questions, especially if your answer to the original weakness question was vague or unconvincing.
• But how has that weakness negatively affected you?
You’ll often hear this follow-up question if you’ve failed to describe a REAL weakness (see “turning a negative into a positive” strategy above”)
• OK, how about a real weakness?
This is a more pointed follow-up when the interviewer is skeptical about your answer.
• Can you share another weakness or area for development?
A tough interviewer may ask for more than one weakness, especially if the first one provided sounds false or over-rehearsed. Some interviewers just know that candidates often prepare only one weakness and want to see what they come up with on the spot.
Why Interviewers Ask About Your Greatest Weaknesses
So why do interviewers ask about weaknesses when they know that most candidates don’t answer honestly?
They’re trying to get past your nice, presentable interview facade and get a sense of what you’re really like to work with — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Even if you don’t answer honestly, your answer tells them something about you. If you dodge the question or try to fake your way through, the interviewer will wonder if:
1) You’ve got scary secret weaknesses that you won’t discuss.
2) You think you’re perfect because you have no self-awareness.
3) You think you’re perfect because your standards are very low.
4) You’re a con artist. (this may be okay if you’re in politics or public relations)
I have seen strong interviewers get tripped up with the weakness question. It can be very difficult to talk about your flaws in a stressful situation like a job interview. Negative topics require added diplomacy
Meanwhile, you’re nervous and thinking about 1,000 other things (Is my hair sticking up? Is my breath okay? Why did he just frown like that? What am I going to say if he asks why I left my last job? How am I going to remember that teamwork example? Can he tell that I’m sweating?)
However, there is a way to answer that is honest and authentic and still increases your odds of getting a job offer.
How to Answer “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”
(and other interview questions about your flaws and weaknesses)
A good weakness answer has two important parts:
Part 1) Your weakness
Briefly describe a real weakness that wouldn’t be a major handicap on the job (Read on for how to choose a “good” weakness)
Part 2) How you are already working on it
Part 2 is the critical component. Discuss your proactive efforts to improve. This shows that you are self-aware, have a drive to be your best, and that the weakness will not slow you down.
Part 1: How to Choose a “Good” Weakness
• Be authentic.
Don’t select a weakness just because it sounds good. You will make a better impression with sincerity. That doesn’t mean you have to share a weakness that makes you look bad. If you’re like most of us, you have several weaknesses and at least one of them will be interview-friendly as defined by the additional guidelines below.
• Pick a weakness that is acceptable for the job at hand.
Be aware of the job requirements and don’t cite a weakness related to any of the required skills or desired qualities. If you’re an accountant, don’t talk about hating math or lack of attention to detail. If you’re in sales, don’t confess to being too reserved or lacking persistence.
• Select a weakness that is relatively minor and “fixable.”
By fixable, I mean it’s something you can improve through work and motivation.
Fixable: “I get nervous when speaking in front of large groups.”
(You can get better through practice and learning new skills — and this is a common development area.)
Harder to fix: “I am very shy and often have trouble speaking up in meetings.”
(While there’s nothing wrong with being shy, an interviewer could assume that the candidate would have trouble collaborating in a team environment. This is a preference or personality quality that would be more difficult to change.)
• Describe your weakness in a concise, neutral way.
Don’t feel like you have to go into great detail. Be brief and, most importantly, avoid sounding defensive or overly negative.
Read on to the last section for examples of good weaknesses to describe in job interviews.
Part 2: How to Demonstrate That You Are Working on Your Weakness
In the second part of your answer, you need to describe how you have already taken steps to improve in your area of weakness. Here’s why:
1) A great candidate is always looking for ways to learn and grow
2) A fabulous candidate then takes the initiative to improve
Use your answer to demonstrate your motivation to be the best at what you do. This is how to truly emphasize the positive when talking about your weakness.
Examples of Strong Answers to “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?”
Example 1: Delegation
“I think one area I could work on is my delegation skills. I am always so concerned about everything being done right and on time that I can get stuck in that mentality of “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” Unfortunately, that’s not always possible and I’ve realized that I can slow things down if I am too controlling.
I learned this recently when given the opportunity to manage the department’s summer interns. I had never managed direct reports before, so this was a hugely educational experience in many different ways. It definitely taught me how to delegate and my manager noticed the difference in my management style at the end of the summer. I know that I can benefit from additional development in this area, so I signed up for a management skills training course and am always looking for opportunities to manage projects for our group.”
Why It Works: This is a great example for a junior-level employee in a role in which delegation abilities are not critical. Please note that the last sentence in the first paragraph is important because it acknowledges how the weakness can be a problem and why it’s worth working on.
The weakness is acknowledged and described, but the emphasis is more on how the candidate has sought out ways to improve.
Keep in mind that this is not such a terrific answer if you’re applying for a job that requires you to manage people.
Example 2: Too Direct
“Sometimes I can be a bit too honest when I provide feedback to coworkers. My personality is naturally very straightforward and to the point, and most of my colleagues really value that, but I have learned that there are times on the job when more diplomacy is required.
I took a training class on conflict management and it really opened my eyes to the need to communicate differently with different people. So now I am much better at providing constructive feedback, even if it doesn’t always come naturally.”
Why It Works: This weakness is described well. The candidate notes how directness has been a weakness while also making it clear that he is not a raging jerk to his coworkers.
In the second part, he talks about concrete steps that he has taken and how he has improved.
Example 3: Public Speaking
“Honestly, I would say that public speaking is an area that I could work on. I tend to get nervous when asked to present to a large group of people. In small team meetings, I’m the first one to stand up and present. But put me in front of a big group and I can get flustered.
I actually spoke to my manager about this and we set it as one of my development goals for this year. I took an internal presentation skills class and attended some meetings of Toastmasters, a networking group for people who want to practice public speaking. With some practice, I started to feel more comfortable. Last month, I even volunteered to represent our team at a division-wide town hall. I only had to present for 10 minutes, but I did it and got great feedback! It was actually kind of fun, so I plan on continuing to seek out opportunities to improve in this area.”
Why It Works: Fear of public speaking is a common fear. In this sample answer, the candidate makes it clear that she has no trouble communicating in general (which could be a red flag). It’s just getting up in front of a big group that scares her.
She goes on to describe how she identified the weakness, spoke with her manager about it, and then took proactive steps to improve. She even has a little triumph at the end.
Example 4: Impatience
What Is Your Weakness?
Share your weaknesses or your experiences with the weakness question in interviews.
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- Fill in all your own details. Doing this will help employers assess your suitability for a job based on your skills, your work experience within the sector or base on other factors. Also your CV is no doubt assigned a relevancy score so include everything that is applicable to keep your score as high as possible.
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- Two jobs role with one employer. For individuals who have changed roles within an organisation, it is better to list these roles as two or more individual job roles. List each job title with its corresponding start and end date.
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In the contemporary world, everybody wants to have a challenging job, world-changing opportunities and impressive takeaways and to claim it all; many aspirants opt to do MBA.
MBA happens to be one of the most dynamic educational courses because it changes the way a person approaches things in life. The course teaches individuals to follow and trust only Data; any business decision that is made under the emotional influence will cost millions but a data-driven decision will change the fortune of the company.
MBA degrees are seen as a tool to do gain world changing capabilities. Also, enterprises from around the world are ready to reward them with handsome salary packages, grandeur lifestyle and opportunities that help them and the company as well to grow together.
Let’s traverse through a wisely curated list of companies that offer highest paying jobs for MBA graduates. If you a fresher than pay attention, you may end up working for these:
1. Google: Google owns the real Internet, will more than 70% of searches made on Internet coming on its servers, Google enjoys the position of being a world leader and thought leader. Google offers an exclusive range of marketing, designing, development and blogging tools that helps a lot of businesses and individuals webmasters make the most of every opportunity; what looks so easy on the outside is extremely difficult and depressing on the other end but everything is compensated with a good salary package.
Average Salary: ₤ 90,000
2. Mckinsey & Company: World’s one of the most renowned management consulting firm surely has some good perks to offer. MBAs from across the world, crave for a position at this firm because they are simply the best, but are the salary equally best? Let’s have a look.
Average Salary: ₤ 98,000
3. A.T. Kearney: A global firm, founded in America provides small scale, large scale, public and private businesses with consulting services. With offices in 40 countries, A.T. Kearney is one of the most sought consulting firms when it is strategic or operational CEO-agenda in businesses and government. This reputed multinational company offers MBAs with a handsome salary package.
Average Salary: ₤ 83,878
4. Strategy& PriceWater Cooper recently acquired it; Strategy& was founded in the United States of America in 1914 and since then it has promisingly provided enterprises with consulting services. After acquisition by PriceWater Cooper, Strategy&’s reputation did hit a setback but things are now getting on track for the enterprise.
Average Salary: ₤ 65,000
5. VMware: A subsidiary of Dell, which happens to be a Computer Giant. VMware specializes in cloud and virtual software category. With people creating a greater space, engineers have deciphered the amount of space that will be required in the coming times hence they have started being dependent upon the cloud for the same. VMware is changing the world one bit at a time. With VMware doing so much for the world, the people behind this brand are rewarded really well.
Average Salary: ₤ 88,000
6. Juniper Networks: Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Juniper Networks is an American multinational company that specializes in designing networking based products. The company not only designs but also markets networking based products. Juniper Networks was able to leave a lasting impact because one of its kind when it was founded. The company continues to enjoy an exclusive partnership with a lot of enterprises.
Average Salary: ₤ 87,000
7. Amazon Lab126: Owned by the e-commerce giant Amazon, this part looks into the development of Kindles. It is the firm that has developed the requisite framework that lets millions of people from around the world, read books in electronic format and it has also enabled another thousand of writers to publish their books digitally.
Average Salary: ₤ 93,000
While these are the top seven companies with the highest salary for MBA graduates, there are lot more, which provide equally competitive salary packages and offers. Salary provided by these enterprises are good enough to inspire fresher’s to work harder and make the most of every opportunity in life.
Author Bio: Cara Smith is an online marketing expert working with an Online STD Testing portal hivrnatest.com. She is passionate about writing and loves to contribute an article on different websites. You can follow her on Twitter.
I’m hopeful that 2017 will be a year full of great opportunities for all job seekers actively searching, and for those passively open to new opportunities—which according to a new survey by JobVite happens to be 74% of us.
Speaking of this survey, its results inject some serious optimism into the job search market, sharing that 69% of employers saw an increase in hiring with 39% reporting a significant increase in hiring and 35% planning to hire more than 100 new employees in the next 12 months. I hope it provides you with some much needed encouragement and optimism as you take a good look at your resume and start making changes for 2017. Here is a list of my top five 2017 resume trends.
2017 Resume Trend #1: Cutting-Edge Resumes
I don’t think we’ll see many job seekers in 2017 using old Microsoft resume templates, worn out objective statements, and boring filler words such as “excellent communication skills” or “dedicated professional.” I think by now most job seekers realize that just as technology is constantly changing, updating and getting better—so should all their career communications, including their resumes.
Competition for top talent will be especially high in the industries of hospitality, healthcare, technology, and finance—the four industries projecting the highest growth in 2017. Recruiters are already reporting having a hard time finding qualified candidates and are revamping how they attract top talent. Now is the time to throw out antiquated resumes and cover letters and start fresh with a modern, visually engaging, first-class resume that helps you shine as a top candidate and gives you a competitive advantage over other candidates.
We’ve already seen a huge rise in job seekers reaching out to experts for help with their resumes—whether that’s reading a how-to book, following the top career blogs, or hiring an executive resume writer. Candidates know that in order to be seen by recruiters as top talent their resume needs to be crystal clear about their personal brand and the benefits they offer future employers.
57% of recruiters will be most-focused on growing their talent pipeline this year, and 56% said their top priority is the quality of their hires.
2017 Resume Trend #2: Visually Engaging Resumes Work
Visual images process 60,000X faster in our brain than text. Let that sink in a minute.
Paul Martin Lester a tenured Communications Professor at California State University, Fullerton summarized this perfectly when he said:
“Something is happening. We are becoming a visually mediated society. For many, understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through words, but by reading images.”
If you’re a visual learner you already know what that is like. It’s why sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope, and Snapchat have become so wildly popular; we are a visually driven society. I’ve been harping on this point for the last couple of years, that this should not be exclusive of our resumes. In fact, in 2017—more than ever before—incorporating visual interpretation of data into your resume is paramount. In a recent study, SkyWard reported content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without.
Incorporating a visual representation of data can be as easy as hopping into Microsoft Word or PowerPoint and making a chart or graph. I also don’t want to hear the excuse that you don’t have numbers. You don’t even need numbers to create a visual representation of data! You can use a pie chart to show industry keywords, skills that you possess, areas of expertise, and more. It’s not limited to the sales industry and those with metrics to boast.
2017 Resume Trend #3: Creative Resumes
Job seekers are getting creative and thinking outside the traditional resume box. This year we’re going to see a rise in people using infographic resumes. I have clients ask me about them all the time, and the great news is the majority of employers would read an infographic resume.
More and more job seekers are sending out one-page infographic resumes as an introduction, sending a full resume to touch base, and then following up afterwards. I’ve even seen resumes that were created to look like magazine spreads! Of course this approach may only work in creative fields, but infographic resumes can work in many different industries and at different career levels. I’ve had CFOs who’ve successfully used Infographic resumes to reach out to CEOs and Boards of Directors and landed great new opportunities that way.
2017 Resume Trend #4: The Twitter Impact
For verbose people like me it’s hard to “be brief.” I love all the details—the point of most of my stories comes out in all the little details along the way. Be that as it may, brevity has become the norm in our Twitter-impacted society. We’re so used to character counts on social media and having to get our point across in the shortest way possible. This has not escaped our careers and job searches.
In fact, in a society where almost everyone finds themselves busier than humanly possible, keeping your resume short is in your best interest. I’m not advocating for a one-page resume, but I am telling you to be aware of text density within your resume. When possible:
- Use a career snapshot instead of a paragraph summary as the introduction.
- Use bullets to break up information, and max your bullet list at five bullets.
- Incorporate white space throughout the resume to create a smoother flow.
- Be concise; say what you need to say in the fewest words possible.
- Use charts, graphs, and other visual images to communicate information whenever possible.
When writing your resume and cover letter remember Twitter’s character count—140 characters—and try to keep each statement within the parameter. This forces you to be to the point on your resume and not waste valuable resume space.
2017 Resume Trend #5: The Gig Economy
The gig economy is on the rise! In 2016, over a fifth of the job seekers surveyed in JobVite’s 2016 Job Seeker Nation survey reported they’ve held a gig-type job like working for Uber or Airbnb, and stated that this type of gig position was their main source of income.
In addition, 74% of respondents stated they were open to new opportunities and less than half stay at their jobs more than two years. The term “job hopping” is fading away, and more and more employers are becoming comfortable with the notion that employees are not looking for places to retire. Employers have become so aware of this that 51% said they’re investing in their employer brand to attract more top talent and increase their talent pipelines.
So, what does all this mean for your resume? It means, that those short stints that you’re so worried about on your resume shouldn’t be causing you anymore anxiety and stress. A whopping 55% of millennial women said they change jobs every one to three years and 42% of millennial men stated the same thing.
Employers aren’t as concerned as they used to be about job hopping. When I first started my career in the HR world I was trained to scan resumes for employment longevity and anything less than two years was frowned upon. We were trained to skip that resume and go to the next.
Here we are fifteen years later, and two years or less is the norm.
It’s not looked upon as a negative by employers anymore; it’s what is expected. Let that sink in and hopefully it will ease some of your fears.
What do all of these resume trends mean for me?
Here’s what you need to know:
We live in a technology-driven world where we consume mass amounts of information in short bits of text, via social media status updates and quick video clips. How we consume information has changed dramatically, and we need to not only be aware of this but also take action and make changes to our resumes to modernize the way we’re presenting ourselves to employers.
Cutting-edge resumes will be the way that top talents showcase themselves to employers in 2017.
Visually engaging resumes that incorporate color, borders, shading, charts, graphs, and visual presentation of data will generate more attention from employers.
Creative resumes, including infographic resumes, will become more and more common as employers enjoy reading them and candidates look for more ways to set themselves apart from their competition.
Writing leaner and cleaner content will be a must as the attention of hiring managers is pulled in ten different directions at once. The more concisely information is presented, the easier it will be digested.
Short stints of employment and worries over perceived job hopping will be a fear of the past as the gig economy continues to expand in 2017, with more and more job seekers taking on gig-type jobs. Include those short periods of employment without fear of being disqualified as employers’ perceptions of short-term employment have shifted.
If you’re searching for tips on how to create a cutting-edge resume or bring your resume up to speed with 2017 resume trends, check out this article that includes my top 10 2017 resume tips.
In the meantime, I’d love to connect on LinkedIn and expand both our networks! Feel free to send me an invite here. You can also find me online at Great Resumes Fast where I help time-pressed job seekers create interview-winning resumes within three to five business days—and more than 85% of my clients get multiple interviews in two weeks or less.
Do you eat your lunch at your desk every day? Do you feel that you can’t spare even 30 minutes, much less an hour, away from your computer? Are you afraid that you might miss an e-mail or not make a deadline because you took your lunch away from your desk?
I admit, I have been guilty of not taking time for myself at lunchtime. I don’t know why I thought anything in my inbox was more important than my health or sense of wellbeing. But as Maya Angelou has said, “When you know better, you do better.” I now know better. I now know that taking time away from my desk has proven benefits.
10 Reasons To Leave Your Desk At Lunch
In case you need to be convinced, check out the following ten reasons why you need to go out for lunch.
1. You will be more productive.
You are not a machine. As a human being, you have certain physical limitations whether you want to acknowledge them or not. In order to be more productive in any given day, you need to move away from your desk a few times per day including lunchtime.
2. You will be more creative.
The same point I just made in #1 is doubly true for creativity. Have you ever experienced the phenomenon of having some of your greatest ideas while in the shower? Do you think you are alone in that? You’re not. When you “free yourself up” as you do in the shower or while taking a break from your work, your brain is suddenly “free” to consider new, fresh ideas that can potentially solve the problems that were plaguing you while you were so vigorously pondering the issue. Letting your mind wander a bit over lunch can lead to new ideas and new inspiration.
3. You will become a more mindful eater.
Eating at your desk means that you are multi-tasking. Your attention isn’t on your work, and it is certainly not on the food that I suspect you are practically inhaling. In order to be a healthy eater, you need to pay attention to what you are eating. You will enjoy your food more. You will ingest less of it. And, as a result, you should see the health benefits as well.
4. You will have better work relationships with colleagues.
… if you go out to lunch with them occasionally. Relationships at work are important. You need to work on establishing healthy connections there in order to enhance your overall job satisfaction. This doesn’t mean you should make your colleagues your best friends or your closest confidants. In fact, you need to use discretion when discussing personal matters with office mates. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go out with them and enjoy time away from your respective offices.
5. You need fresh air.
One reason to leave your desk at lunchtime is to get outside and get some fresh air. You need to clear your head, and you need fresh air for better health.
6. You can sit too much… and it could kill you.
Your body needs to move. In fact, research supports the fact that sitting for too long is extremely unhealthy. It would do you a great deal of good and would help your overall health if you take a brisk walk during lunchtime.
7. Your desk—and your computer keyboard—won’t be full of food crumbs.
… if you avoid eating at your desk. From the standpoint of keeping your desk free of food debris and ultimately ants that will heed the call of food crumbs at your work area, you are better off to avoid eating at your desk.
8. You will enjoy your food more.
Be aware of what you are eating. In order to enjoy your food, you need to pay attention to it. Note the taste of the lunch you are ingesting. It is also more likely that you will stop eating when you are full if you are paying attention as you are eating.
9. You may use your lunchtime as a networking opportunity.
In the world of CareerHMO, “every job is temporary,” and you are always and ever a “business-of-one.” That means that you should always be open to new opportunities, and given that networking is nothing more than getting with friends, colleagues, and new acquaintances, lunchtime is a perfect networking opportunity.
10. You may also use the time to catch up with old friends.
We are sometimes so busy with work and family obligations that we lose track of our friends. We need friendships for a happier, healthier life. Use your lunchtime to catch up with your friends. You won’t be sorry.
When all is said and done, the research on getting away from your desk at lunchtime is very clear. Research aside, however, common sense dictates that you need to take a break during the middle of the day if you want to do your best work. Give yourself a lunch break away from your desk. You deserve it.
By Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT is a former educator turned Career Transition and Job Strategy Coach specializing in working with teachers who are experiencing the painful symptoms of job burnout. She also works with mid-career professionals from all walks of life who find themselves at a career crossroads either by chance or by choice. Learn more about Kitty at Boitnott Coaching, LLC.
Finding and keeping a job has been a major challenge in the last few years. This is not only because there are fewer jobs but because employers have become much more sophisticated in looking for particular skills that they want in every individual that they hire. In fact, research suggests that some skills are so highly valued that if an individual has 6 or more of the top 10 that are most desired, his/her chances of getting the job, that he or she is applying for, is doubled versus those who have scores of 3 or less.
So what are these most valued job skills? In the table below we have listed the top 10 in the order in which they are ranked (with number 1 being the highest). This list has been compiled by taking over 40 studies that have been conducted on the most valued job skills for medium to large-scale employers in the years 2009-2012. Just over half of these surveys were conducted in the US, but surveys were also included for Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The following list reflects the most frequently mentioned skills.
||The ability to remain consistently positive and optimistic and to maintain enthusiasm in all work tasks and projects.
||Good communication skills
||To be proficient in both verbal and written communication.
||Taking responsibility for originating tasks/new ideas/methods and the ability to think and act without being prompted.
||The ability to consistently speak the truth and be honest at all times, and encourage others to do the same
||Must like people
||Ability to relate well to others (of all types and ages) to successfully accomplish tasks and goals of the job.
||The capacity to follow-through strongly to completion, despite setbacks and/or obstacles.
||Able to work in a team
||Effectively cooperate with others in the performance of job assignments.
||Good organizational skills/ Work well under pressure
||The ability to organize self and others and to work consistently and without getting overloaded even when the pressure is high.
||Willing to learn
||The capacity to maintain a mind that is open to new ways of doing things and willing to accept constructive feedback.
||The ability to turn up regularly for work on time and work hard on a consistent basis.
It should be noted that the first three job skills on this list had considerably more mentions than the other seven on the list. Hence, a positive or enthusiastic attitude, excellent communication ability and self-motivation or the ability to take initiative are the “super-skills” as far as employers are concerned.
At first glance, this list seems almost too good to be true – can one person really have all these characteristics? Well maybe not absolutely every one of them perhaps, but as we said earlier, the more of these an applicant for a job has, the better (and he or she is therefore much more likely to get the position sought). It is therefore not only a good idea for any individual to assess whether he or she has enough of these characteristics (and try to develop them through coaching or training if not) but also start to use some of these same words in letters of application, a résumé and during job interviews?
By Dr. Jon Warner
Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at OptimalJon@gmail.com
Ok, you’ve sent your CV, aced the interviews and you’re finally at the point where you’re discussing salary.
So, do you just accept the salary on offer or do you take a gamble and hold out for more? From the basic pay to your benefits package, make sure you know the most effective way to negotiate an offer.
Consider the salary
The first step in salary negotiation is to do some research into the remuneration package you expect, as well as the current market rates for the type of role you’ve been offered.
Consider the following three salaries:
Whilst seemingly obvious, ascertaining your minimum salary can be tricky. Does it equate to what you’re currently earning? Or perhaps it’s just enough to pay your outgoing bills? Your minimum salary should basically equate to your minimum cash requirements for a role, based on your circumstances.
So, if you’re a first jobber, this may be enough to cover your costs and give you some extra spending money. Alternatively, if you’re currently working and you’re moving jobs to earn more money, your minimum will probably be at least the same as you’re earning now.
Your ‘expected’ salary will naturally sit in between your minimum and dream salaries. But how do you calculate this?
Looking at equivalent salaries is usually the best place to start. You should also look for job specs with similar requirements to what you’ve been offered and check what other employers are currently offering. Of course, if you’re particularly well qualified or experienced, you may well expect higher than average market rates.
Check your salary data
Having done some research into what the market rates are, you’re now in a position to start considering your dream salary. But what is your dream salary?
Most of us would like more money, so, naturally, we’re reluctant to put a cap on our ‘dream’ salary. It’s easy to get carried away, but you should try and remain realistic. Your dream earnings should be the most you can expect to be paid given the job you’re applying for and your own level of experience.
Looking at the higher-end salaries for jobs being advertised in your chosen field, as well as the level of experience they require, is a good place to start. If you’re expecting a salary higher than any of the jobs you’ve seen, the chances are you’re probably expecting too much.
What about the benefits package?
Whilst take-home salary is clearly important, there are other elements to consider. Namely, the benefits package.
For example, your prospective employer might offer one or more of the following benefits:
- health care
- pension scheme
- stock options
- free gym membership
- travel schemes
- flexible working options (e.g. flexi-time)
The next step is to consider how much flexibility you’re willing to offer for all of these benefits. This should take into account the monetary value of each benefit, but you should also consider some of the lifestyle and time-saving benefits. For instance, flexible working hours might allow you to spend more time with your family, whilst the provision of company pensions scheme will mean you don’t have to organise your own pension scheme.
How to negotiate
You’re now at the stage where you know what you should be earning, and what room you have for negotiation. So it’s time to start negotiating your offer.
Your prospective employer is likely to have a figure in mind for your salary, but don’t simply accept or reject the first offer.
- Ask if there is any flexibility in the offer, as well as how regular salary reviews will take place – taking a lower salary will be more acceptable if there will be regular salary reviews
- If the salary is below your minimum expectation, explain that the offer is below what you were expecting, backing it up with why
- If the package is around your expected salary, you should still attempt negotiation, explaining how your experience, knowledge and qualifications position you in the market
- In the event of being offered your dream salary, you’ll probably want to discuss room for future growth in earnings and career development; remember, although this is your dream salary, as you progress your expectations are likely to increase
For any of these scenarios, you should never flat-out refuse the offer of a salary straight away. You should state that you ‘need time to consider the package’, giving you and the employer time more time to consider your options.
Know when to back out
There are clearly a number of considerations when deciding whether to accept an offer from an employer.
- Don’t solely consider salary: take into account other considerations, such as benefits, working hours, work culture, the job itself and room for career development
- If the salary is not what you expected and is not compensated by additional benefits or career development, you should say so; if this is not then reviewed by the employer, you’ll probably need to accept that the job wasn’t right for you and move on
Remember, if you’ve done your homework, you should know what you’re worth, so you should try your best to make sure that’s what you earn in your next job. Whatever happens, don’t sell yourself short.
By Tom Bunkham in a slightly different way.
Having dyslexia or a related specific learning difficulty can make studying for a degree more challenging, but there are loads of things you can do so they don’t get in the way. To mark Dyslexia Awareness Week the disability and dyslexia service at Middlesex University offer ten helpful hacks to get you flying.
1. Always start your assignments as early as possible. Dyslexia and related specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) tend to affect memory and reading which can make research more time consuming.
2. Stay organised. Organisational skills are often affected by SpLDs so the more you can manage your time and resources the more successful you’re likely to be. Try colour coding your notebooks into subjects, putting monthly/yearly planners up on your wall so you always know what’s ahead, doing daily and weekly checklists of tasks, loading your deadlines onto planners and keeping your papers in order of date and topic.
3. Manage your time. Make sure through being active and organised that you make the most of time so you can meet your deadlines and have a life without causing yourself more stress than you need to. You can do this by setting yourself realistic targets and make a real effort to meet them. Set reminders on your phone so that you are not late for lectures and do work at regular intervals – try not to cram.
4. Make sure you understand the assignment brief. There is nothing more fruitless than doing work that you won’t be rewarded for. If in doubt speak to your tutor.
5. Remember the three Ps: plan, plan, plan. Do not sit at a blank, white screen waiting for inspiration. After working out what the assignment brief is mind-map ideas. Then, for each idea – read relevant material and write a paragraph. The next stage is to organise ideas into sections and elaborate.
6. Take frequent, short breaks from the computer. This will help concentration. Long sessions at a screen can affect your eyes so consider putting up a coloured background to decrease glare. Don’t forget to eat and drink plenty of water as dehydration can slow the brain down.
7. Get to know how you learn. Take an online VARK (Visual, Auditory, Reading, Kinesthetic) test to determine your preferred learning style. This will help you study in the most effective way for you so you can play to your strengths. For example, if you’re primarily an auditory learner, you could record lectures and thoughts in order to listen back to them.
8. Now that you know what type of learner you are – you could also determine how else you best learn: where in your house/flat will you set up a study area? What time of the day are you likely to be at your best? Do you like small study groups? Do you need absolute silence or music or TV in the background?
9. Assistive technologies are useful study tools. Mind-map software such as Mindmaple and Mind Genius are effective in helping you get your ideas down. Dragon and Read & Write Gold are speech-to-text and text-to-speech softwares. As SpLDs generally affect literacy, Grammarly is a really useful and free tool that will improve your writing. Some of the specialist software is funded by The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) but some apps can be downloaded for free.
10. Stay motivated. Don’t forget that for any student to be successful whether they have a SpLD or not, the key is motivation. Don’t give up and enjoy learning. If you’re struggling or if you have any queries don’t be afraid to ask your university’s support services for help.
This blog was written by Dawn Sandells and David Ramsden, who provide study support for students who have dyslexia and other learning difficulties at Middlesex University London.
Want a job with a huge salary attached? Here are the top-ten highest paying industries of this year so far.
Keep an open mind when browsing these top highest paying industries and you might find that your skills and knowledge will go far in a position completely unrelated to your current field.
Think construction is all about hard hats and hi-vis? If you’ve got tailored skills in development, logistics and management, then this is the environment for you.
The construction world is for those with a technical brain, a love for working outdoors and an eagerness to be part of building the world around us. If you think infrastructure is your calling, scaffolder or rig driver could be jobs for you. Maybe you’d rather work on homes, in which case roofing, plastering or bricklaying might be more your forte.
If a physically taxing job isn’t on your radar, try one of the many technical roles available within construction, including site manager, construction director and quality assurance manager.
Apprenticeships are an easy way into construction as you can learn on the job and network easily. Some employers might simply value some on-site work experience though, so you have options!
Did you know that the average annual wage in construction jumped from £41,773 in May 2015 to £44,497 in May 2016? It’s hardly surprising that it is now one of the highest paying industries. You’re onto a winner here.
Browse construction jobs here.
Average salary: £40,845
If you love toying with computer DNA or have the knowledge to assist businesses with their digital services, then the IT industry could spark your career.
Technology is developing exponentially and so there’s a growing demand for trainees and experts alike in this field. There’s the option to support the digital infrastructure within a business as a software developer, website developer or repair technician. You might need a degree in a related subject to land one of these jobs, but there are plenty of courses you can take alongside your current job as an alternative. Tampering with your own PC may be enough experience!
Other roles within this industry that come with a great salary are consultants and analysts. They are responsible for guiding businesses in their use of technology to aid growth. You might prefer a technical sales role though, selling hardware and software to businesses and individuals – much of the tech in this case can be learnt on the job!
Browse jobs in IT here.
Average salary: £40,721
Are you a total boss at strategy, organisation and delegation? Then management is your calling.
Management is arguably an industry in its own right. One of the ways to jump into management is through graduate schemes. They’ll offer hands-on experience in the business world and you’ll get to know how different departments are run and managed – valuable knowledge at any stage of your career.
Soft skills, such as leadership and decision making, go a long way in showing employers your potential for a management position too. So as long as you can show you’re a leader, you’re sure to excel into management with that all-important big salary.
Browse jobs in management here.
Average salary: £40,073
Are you an expert in a particular skill or sector? You could be rewarded greatly for your knowledge in the consulting industry.
Consultancy is the career where you can practically skip the ‘tea and coffee runner’ title and plonk yourself straight into the shoes of someone on manager-level – no wonder it is one of the highest paying industries!
Consultants help businesses make the right decisions to grow and expand. There are many types of consulting positions out there perfect for anyone with a branch of expertise. If you’ve got HR experience then HR consultancy is for you. The same goes for finance, strategy and operations – pretty much any sector out there! If you’ve got the experience then you can easily become a consultant.
In addition to a wide range of consultancy roles, there are different types of employers. You could try large consulting companies assisting global projects, or smaller firms trained to advise regarding specific problems. Working in a division at a business or freelancing are other ways to go.
A degree is often required to land a job in consultancy, but soft skills you’ve picked up in your career are another way to prove your value.
Browse jobs in consulting here.
Average salary: £36,295
Have an aptitude for science? There are plenty of high-earning roles within medicine just waiting for you.
With daily medical and scientific advancements, there’s always a demand for talent in this sector. The best part is that salaries are rising. In comparison to 2015, the average salary for this sector has risen by 7.95%.
It is highly likely you’ll need a degree to enter this high-paying industry such as pharmacy, nursing and radiography. But even though you need to be educationally committed to succeed, many who work in this sector will say that the benefits outweigh the costs – especially as average salaries are on the rise! If you’re looking for a job with a moral kick as you change the world or just one person’s universe, this industry is the one for you.
Browse jobs in Medical/Pharmaceutical/Scientific here.
Average salary: £34,919
If you want to be part of a revolutionary industry with a great salary then engineering is for you.
There’s a demand for engineers today because of the skills gap and employers are willing to offer rich salaries for this valuable expertise. And this traditionally male-dominated sector is beginning to take a brand new shape with National Women in Engineering Day and #ILookLikeAnEngineer , so you don’t want to miss out.
There are over 50 sectors within engineering including automotive, electrical and mechanical. You need to decide what type tickles your fancy; is it designing projects, developing infrastructure internationally, or probing away in a lab developing technology?
Degree-level qualifications or apprenticeships are the main ways to enter this industry. When you’re considering the most progressive industry out there with a great salary in tow, these qualifications are worth the investment.
Browse jobs in engineering here.
Average salary: £33,951
There’s more to electronics than creating robots.
The electronics industry offers plenty of career paths that pay well. If you’ve got some nerd-love for computers then hardware, software or development engineering could be for you. If you have plenty of knowledge with the technology sector then a career in consultancy might be your calling. Science technician, electrician and electronic engineer are all roles which fit within this industry and they’re all financially rewarding. Once again, if you’ve got a degree, other qualifications or some hands-on experience in this field, then your chances are high for landing a job in electronics.
Browse jobs in electronics here.
Average salary: £33,328
Telecoms may have been dubbed as a dying industry, but our world needs global communication!
The telecoms industry is constantly adapting with technology to enhance global networking. If you want to work at the forefront of our future, you’ll probably need a degree-level qualification in tech, maths or physics. To work in telecoms and gain that all-important salary, you’ll need to prove to employers you can survive this rapidly changing environment with organisational skills, analytic skills and commercial acumen. But don’t worry; you’ve most likely picked up those qualities from previous positions.
Browse jobs in telecoms here.
Average salary: £31,824
It’s a competitive industry to enter, but it always needs a wave of new vision – so why not let it be you?
Working in media sounds very glamourous and it has a very nice salary attached, but you need to be prepared to work from the bottom up. Marketing positions sit within this industry, including social media assistants and PR officers. Although they’re beneficial, specific qualifications aren’t always necessary to enter media-marketing positions; in fact work experience should carry you through.
Other media positions in radio, TV, film and music are very difficult to enter, but with the right networking you’ll get noticed. Work experience and volunteering are great ways to start this communication, perhaps through hospital radio, local newspapers and local businesses. You just need to be proactive and keep your goals in mind at all times if you really want a job in one of the highest paying industries – you’ll be rewarded for your efforts!
Browse jobs in media here.
10. Public Sector
Average salary: £31,697
Fancy contributing to society and your country? The public sector is for you.
There are jobs for pretty much any skill or qualification in the public sector. From HR to the environment in the Civil Service and government, to the military, emergency services, teaching and social care, the public sector has it all for anyone with high ambitions.
Don’t be in a hurry to turn your nose up at working in the public sector; it’s a very rewarding industry. Not only will you be financially rewarded but morally rewarded too as you give back to society. As an added bonus, the public sector is a very stable working environment as it’s supported by government – the perfect way to develop your career!
Browse jobs in the public sector here.
Article by CV-Library.
There comes a time when a company has to fill the talent void with skills that have been lost or have to be acquired to keep the company afloat and up to speed with new technology and such. As a result, companies look to compensate this gap by two hiring methods: outsourcing and insourcing.
Outsourcing is when employers look for help outside of their office walls, which is searching for a professional that has the skills they require. Insourcing is hiring an external workforce to accomplish a specific type of job. However, both forms of hiring have their share of pros and cons.
Let’s delve deeper into what they are in this article. In the end, you have to decide yourself what method bestfits the needs of your business:
- It saves you up on time and allows you to focus on your work. Since you need not bother in training them about what they need to be doing, you can rest at ease.
- It takes even less time to find talent thanks to agencies such as Freelancer and Upwork. Projects will be completed quicker and even reach the market faster.
- Outsourcing is preferred for the completion of short-term projects, as in talent is needed specifically for getting a one-off project done.
- Guaranteed continuation and no down time. Unless you are working with a fresh or small company, there is absolutely no chance of a sick leave, vacation break, or looking for placement on long service leave.
- Your intellectual property may be at risk of being exposed. Thus, it should fall upon you to gather some useful insights about the talents you take onboard. Use social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to help you gather those insights.
- Good service providers tend to be very busy. Once a freelancer’s brand and market grow as the days go by, it can be really difficult to get a hold of them or know when they’ll be free.
- Be wary of the fake freelance profiles. These people commit greatly to forgery in order to conceal their true selves. It is essential that you check through social media channels and review/ratingsystems.
- Communication gaps are likely. You should know that some freelancers work in different time zones and have different types of schedules.
- You can have face-to-face conversations with talent. It offers more engagement between employees working on the same project, which in turn enhances progress.
- It is less expensive. As you already know these employees, they already know of the work environment and the ethics of the office.
- Knowledge and skills developed by working on your projects are kept in-house and can be available for later use.
- You can offer salary and a room to grow, which makes in-house hires less of a flight risk.
- Finding top talent can be a challenge, especially in smaller local areas. Chances are that most of the talent may already be employed.
- Internal staff may not be skilled or confident in the recruitment process. Having to move from one area to another can pose such a risk.
- It can be time-consuming considering how you are taking your own employees away from the posts that they’re most comfortable with.
- Top employees may expect medical and dental benefits, and also a 401(k) plan match. Just bear in mind that these prices are considerably higher compared to what you offer to a freelancer.
Eileen Burton works as an HR manager for Assignment Valley. Apart from hiring & recruitment affairs, she is responsible for revising HR policies. In addition, she works as a part-time academic writer and provides uk assignment help to students.
Hiring international or foreign employees is nothing new. And ever since social media stepped in, there have been plenty of opportunities for overseas workers to find work in host countries.It is how home-based or freelancing began to become even bigger.
In many countries, it’s not illegal to get help from those who are not natural-born citizens.Besides, there are still plenty of certain rules and regulations that you must keep in mind which is what this article is all about.
Here we’ve rounded up tips you must consider to diversify your work environment:
- BeginAs Early As Possible
Hiring alien employees is not something that you can decide in a day or two and you’ve to abide by an entire standard operating procedure to take them onboard. As we said earlier, there is a lot of rules and regulations that you must comply prior to starting the hiring process.
It could take months oreven years in some cases depending on the business immigration program that you are using in the process. So the ideal thing to do is to get a head start in the race.
To be frank, you should plan early considering it will take a while before your plan starts to take effect.
- Check The Documents Required For Authorization
In the USA, every new employee has to complete a form that serves as a verification of eligibility, whether they are citizens or not. To complete the form, employers have to ask their employees to present any document(s) that are accepted by the law.
Among the many things required on the list include a passport of the country the foreign employees are working in, resident alien card, and a huge list of documents that show identity and authority to work which includes a driver’s license, ID card with a photograph and identifying information, certificate of birth and more.
- Make The Necessary Preparations Within Your Company
Naturally, you’re not going to go out there and start picking up foreigners and hire them on a random note. You have to determine exactly what kind of roles within your company you want them to fill in.
These are usually the kind of roles that companies would have trouble finding talent for within their own state, especially those who have the capability and prowess to excel in the role.
Once you have figured out which roles you want to fill in with international talent, you have to start making plans for recruitment and retention. As you know, business immigration is no cake walk.
You must also create a plan for bringing international workers to your nation, while also having them to comply with the laws of your state.
- Employer Responsibility For Verification
Just to ensure that everything is in order, employers have to inspect and analyze all of the documents presented before them. It is to ensure that everything appears genuine and relates to the person who is representing them. Doing otherwise would be unfair to the whole immigration process practice.
If any document looks fishy at any stage, then the employer has every right to turn the offer down.
- Determine Which Immigration Program You Should Use
There are numerous visa programs available and you have to decide which one is most appropriate for the kind of international workers that you need to hire. Are there any plans for you to have your new employees become permanent or are you only going to hire them temporarily?
Also,try to determine which job function they will be fulfilling. You are going to hire someone from a country with which your nation has a treaty with, or somewhere else?
Catherine Daisy is a Job Visa Consultant at UAE Assignment Writing. In her blogs, she addresses the themes related to living abroad, career, education, and tourism. You can also contact her for assignment writing help.
Britain’s most in-demand jobs revealed: Engineers, nurses, teachers and chefs in short supply – here’s what they earn
Hundreds of thousands of jobs are lying unfilled across the UK, as shortages of skilled labour in certain sectors takes hold.
Employers are struggling to fill posts for engineers, nurses, developers, teachers and chefs, vacancy data for April from Adzuna’s website reveals.
At the last count, 40 out of 56 cities see more jobs than job-seekers, but the number of posts for manufacturing, retail and logistics and warehouse roles has fallen in recent months.
The top 10 sectors where skilled job-hunters stand a decent chance of snapping up a role as high vacancy rates continue are as follows:
Billionaire inventor James Dyson has warned that the UK is heading for ‘economic suicide’ as the take up rate for jobs in engineering plummets.
According to recent figures from the Royal Academy of Engineering, there is a shortfall of 1.8million engineers across the UK
Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, told This is Money: ‘Engineering accounts for 25% of gross value added for the UK economy and manufactured goods account for some 50% of UK exports.’
He added: ‘There are a range of factors that contribute to the skills shortage, including poor perceptions and lack of interest in engineering jobs; low attainment and progression in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school – which is exacerbated further at the FE and HE stages.
‘Not enough young people are making engineering their career choice as it is a victim of its own transferable skill, and engineering talent is being lost to other professions such as accountancy or consultancy.’
Last month, there were 78,467 engineering roles advertised via Adzuna, with an average annual salary of £38,210.
While engineers are the most in-demand workers across the UK, unfilled nursing vacancies are also stacking up.
In April, there were 58,788 available nursing posts advertised, with average salaries coming in at £31,876 a year, Adzuna’s data shows.
From 1 August 2017, new nursing, midwifery and allied health students will no longer receive NHS bursaries. Instead, they will have access to the same student loans system as other students.
According to the Department for Health, scrapping the bursary scheme will enable universities to provide up to 10,000 additional nursing, midwifery and allied health training places by 2020.
But, critics argue that scrapping the bursary scheme will put even more people off becoming nurses.
Janet Davies, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing told This is Money: ‘The Government has not thought hard enough about the risks of these proposals.’
UK EMPLOYMENT IN NUMBERS
1.7million people unemployed
31.41million people in work
23million working full-time
8.43million working part-time
Source: Office for National Statistics
She added: ‘Nursing students’ placements and longer term times mean they do not have the opportunity to earn extra money during their studies.
‘A higher proportion are also mature students, and the prospect of taking on even more debt with a second degree will likely put off many potential nurses.
“Every extra training place needs a high quality placement to give the student practical experience. Worryingly, the Government has not explained how these extra placements will be funded, or how their quality will be monitored.’
With technology forming an ever greater role in our lives, developers, particularly software developers, are in high demand.
With an average annual pay packet of around £43,000, there were nearly 57,000 developer roles up for grabs across the UK last month.
Across the consultancy sector, which spans sectors including technology, property and marketing, there were over 41,000 jobs up for grabs last month, Adzuna said.
While average salaries in the sector vary widely and can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, the average salary for posted roles was £35,813, Adzuna said.
5. RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT
Last month, over 41,000 recruitment consultant roles were up for grabs, with salaries coming in at an average of £35,810, with many offering the potential for earning sizable commission.
As a rough estimate, there were 40,692 teaching posts advertised last month, with an average annual salary of £29,571.
In July last year, the Government, using data from November 2014, said there were 1,030 vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in state-funded schools, a rate of 0.3 per cent. This is 280 vacant posts more than in November 2013 (when the vacancy rate was 0.2 per cent).
According to the National Audit Office, ‘teacher shortages are growing’, with the Government missing its recruitment forecasts for the last four years.
The Government spends £700million a year on recruiting and training new teachers, the NAO said.
With nearly 35,400 roles advertised last month, administrators remain in high demand, with average annual salaries standing at around £29,724.
Despite being littered with success stories from TV shows including Masterchef and the Great British Bake Off, it seems Britain can’t rake in enough chefs to fill roles in the sector.
As well as being a job notorious for punishing hours, chef’s average salaries are lower than in many other sectors, hovering around the £22,394 mark, Adzuna said.
Data published by Visa Europe earlier this month revealed that Britons are spending more money on bolstering the nation’s ‘experience economy’, with people spending more on dining out, holidays and days out than on clothes or shoes.
Designers, particularly digital designers, are in high demand, with over 21,000 vacancies advertised via Adzuna last month. Average salaries are high at around £39,424, but can be far higher for senior staff.
10. SALES EXECUTIVE
There were 18,682 sales posts advertised on Adzuna last month, with average salaries at nearly £28,000 a year.
By JANE DENTON