6 Bad Answers to Job Interview Questions

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1. Why do you want the job?

– “I’ve read a lot about your company and I really think my skill-set could help out around here.”

This sounds very robotic and it doesn’t show any personality. Recruiters can know when you are being genuine and when you are trying to please them with a cliché. Be honest and focus on your skills, your goals and what the position/company has to offer you. Be specific.

 

2. Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with someone at work and how you resolved it.

– “I usually get along very well with everyone.”

It’s not true and it shows the recruiter that you probably don’t focus on your past experiences in order to improve. It’s true that there are some people that really get along with MOST people, but we all have experiences with people that are way too different from us. It doesn’t have to be a conflict but try to have a situation in mind to answer this question.

 

3. What do you think is your greatest weakness?

– “I’m an overachiever, and work long hours that leave me little time for anything else but serving the organization.”

Sometimes what we think the companies want to hear is exactly what keep us from getting that job. Don’t play this game, play safe. Prepare these answers before the interview and think of something that you can provide examples on how you are trying to improve your weaknesses.

 

4. What do you like to do in your spare time?

– “Going to the pub and sleeping”

Some companies ask this question to get to know more about the candidate. It’s not usually something that is going to take a big role in the decision but it’s more of an opportunity to create a human and genuine connection between the recruiter/company and the candidate. Take advantage of this question and smile, be funnier and show your social skills. Because here they are trying to get to know how you get along socially and break the ice.

 

5.  What do you expect to enjoy most about this role?

–  “Lunchtimes” – “Salary” – “Discounts” – “Holidays”

Show that you did your research and state the key aspects of the specific role that you are most excited about.

 

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

– “I see myself doing your job”

Of course some companies will like this kind of answer but most will not. This kind of confidence works better in start-up companies. You can also use this same idea but use different words where you are not threatening the interviewer in any way. Be smart and be specific.

 

http://www.impressiveresumes.net

Top 11 Mistakes on graduates’ resumes

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1. No Accomplishment statements

A resume has to be more than a job description. And although recent graduates usually lack some professional experience, they need to know how to highlight their accomplishments during their studies and others.

 

2. Lack of Action Verbs

Forget the “responsible for” and “assisted with” passive frases and focus on action verbs. Sometimes it’s all a matter of sequence. Instead of writing: “Working with the CEO, coordinating a training session for…” start with the action: “Coordinated a training session with the CEO…”

 

3. Lack of Differentiation

Every resume sounds and look more or less the same. The ones that make a statement at a first impression are only a few. Make sure you use your resume as a marketing tool and sell yourself! Set yourself apart from others.

 

4. Irrelevant Detail

Being concise is crucial. Cut out the irrelevant and obvious information and focus only on the valuable things of your past experience. Unless you are a college freshman, delete all information about your high school.

 

5. Poor Formatting

Some of the same students who list “Expert at Microsoft Word” on their resumes don’t know how to use bullets or set tabs to right justify information such as dates. It’s common to find a lot of spacing and alignment inconsistences.

 

6. Meaningless Phrases

Don’t state something that you read somewhere that it’s important for recruiters. What’s the point of saying that you are a “good team player” or have “strong leadership skills” if you are not describing any of those experiences with a supported evidence.

 

7. Grammar or Word Usage Issues

There’s no need to elaborate about this topic.

 

8. Typos

Read your resume out loud and give it to someone to read it before you send it to recruiters.

 

9. Over-Used Resume Templates

Microsoft Word templates are getting obsolete and they make you look lazy. Make an effort to work on the package of your talent. You can use Word as long as you know how to use it to make your resume look personalized.

 

10. Obsolete Elements

“References available on request” and “Looking for an opportunity to challenge myself” are old school sentences that actually have a negative impact on your resume. Get rid of the old format of resumes and don’t be afraid to try new things.

 

11. Start over please!

Some of the resumes are so bad that they should be thrown in the garbage. Sometimes people have no idea what a resume should look like!

 

Source: Youtern.com

www.impressiveresumes.net

Top 10 skills you get from studying and working abroad?

According to Time Magazine, a recent research is showing how international experiences can make us more “flexible, creative and complex thinkers”.

Impressive resumes international experience

You can’t just go running and write this magic words into your resume. But you can certainly look back at your past international experiences and write your skills or job description focusing on these skills. Well and if you haven’t had that experience, start looking for jobs internationally. We live in a global world and we should take advantage out of it. In a few years a person without international experience will have a hard time to succeed.

The same research shows that people with experience in other countries usually get more job offers than others, being placed faster and with better conditions. These people are forced to break their barriers and to have an open and adaptive attitude towards foreign cultures “becoming more able to make connections among disparate ideas”. This leads them to become “better problem solvers and display more creativity”. Entrepreneurship is also directly connected to people with international experience.

 

1. Creative and Flexible Thinking

2. Problem Solving

3. Adaptability

4. Entrepreneurship

5. Resilience

6. Self-Confidence

7. Foreign Languages

8. Open-mindedness

9. Communication

10. Planning and Organizational

 

Make sure you have specific examples to illustrate these skills, either in your resume cover letter, or at an interview.

http://www.impressiveresumes.net

6 tips on how to attract recruiters to your LinkedIn Profile

For most people looking for a new job involves a long process built by daily actions. Those tasks include sending your resume, looking for job offers, replying to emails, calling some companies and creating specific profiles in social networks. The most famous one in these terms is LinkedIn.

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Everyone looking for a job should consider to build a LinkedIn Profile or update the existing one. Read the following tips on how to improve your chances to attract recruiters.

1. Find a keywords strategyHave you ever heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? Companies are using it to improve their status when someone looks for a specific word on a search engine like Google. The same happens on LinkedIn and even on Google, regarding searching for employees. Make a list of the keywords associated to your academic background and professional experience. Than ask yourself: How would someone look for a profile like mine? Try to adapt your words from that perspective.

Tip: instead of writing Digital Strategy, you should write Digital Strategist. And what if they look for Online Strategy? Consider to include synonyms for your keywords, so you can broader your chances.

2. Prepare your best pictureWe all know you shouldn’t have a picture on your resume, but on LinkedIn it’s a different story. You will increase 7 times more your chances of getting your profile viewed just by having a picture on it. A face gives credibility and creates an impact. It also shows that you are active on LinkedIn. You should obviously choose wisely what kind of photo to put there. Make sure you are in a professional environment.

Tip: Don’t put a picture with a dog unless you are a veterinary.

3. Use your nameYou should personalize your URL and making it go directly to your profile. If you do this you will increase your chances to appear in a Google search.

Tip: You can also include a keyword in your URL like http://www.linkedin.com /in/CarlySimonSinger

4. Collect RecommendationsRequest people who already worked with you or for you to recommend you. Try to look for different people to point out a variety of skills you have. It gives credibility and shows your networking skills.

Tip: You should also make good recommendations as they will also appear on your profile.

5. Strategic ConnectionsAs you increase your connections you’ll increase the chances to appear on the recruiters’ search. Identify people you want to establish a connection with and write a personalized message in each request.

Tip: You can talk about the fact you are looking for a job, but don’t do it in the first message.

6. Share, be activeSome people think they just need to create a profile, add some people and magic will happen. Things don’t work that way, you cannot just make a profile and expect for a job to knock at your door. You need to actively participate and engage on LinkedIn activities. You can join some groups, share some interesting content or comment on others in order to make your profile more visible.If you need some help, we know how to create an impressive LinkedIn profile:

www.impressiveresumes.net

How stupid and unreal do you find most job offers?

Perfection

Looking for an employee able to work in a team and work independently?

It is not unusual to find these kind of requirements in a job offer, but what is the real meaning behind them?

We were looking for some job offers and we found this one asking for someone to be able to work in a team environment and work independently. At first we didn’t pay much attention because we are so used to have these words in every job related ad. But then we asked ourselves, aren’t we all able to do that?

In fact we are. Even if you prefer to work independently everyone is able to work in a team environment and vice-versa. Actually most jobs have a combination of both environments. If you are applying for a freelancing position for example, we are going to assume you like to work independently. And if we are talking about an offer for joining a specific team, you have to be able to work in that team environment. But you’ll also have to be able to work independently. There is no such thing as a 100% job working in a team environment.

We wrote this article to tell you about the vices of the HR world. We are so used to the bla bla bla world that sometimes we write things without question the obvious. Recently most jobs offers I looked at are searching for people (or should we say super-heros) with:

Communication skills (It’s so overrated that it has no meaning at all. Evaluate this in an interview, so don’t bother write it on your resume or select someone who is able to write that)

Able to work in a team environment but also work independently (Guess what?! You just shorted down your list from 100% to 99%!)

– It’s an internship but you have to have 2 years of experience (Companies are looking for the impossible. They want the best for the smallest price. In the long term it’s not sustainable and you’ll not attract the best people with that kind of offer.)

Graduates with knowledge in a specific software (Are you aware of most universities’ study program? They are vague and not that much focused on the practical side of the work environment. Instead of looking for someone with that specific knowledge, choose someone who fits the company and position and invest one week to train that person.)

And the list can go on….Now we want to hear from you:

Recruiters: Do you agree? How do you define your job offers’ requirements?

Job Hunters: How many of these do you find and what do you think about them?

 

http://www.impressiveresumes.net

 

5 things you should be doing if you don’t have a job

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1.       Improve your Skills

Since you have some free time try to invest it in workshops or other training courses that can improve your technical skills. You also have a lot of free resources that can help you to improve something you believe that can increase your chances on getting a job, like: e-books, tutorials and videos. Some examples of skills you can improve are: Excel, languages, communication skills, selling skills,  besides all the technical skillsrelated to what you want to do.

2.       Volunteer

Volunteering experiences always look good on a resume but don’t do it just for that. Look for a specific project you feel connected with. You can even volunteer to work in your area of expertise, making sure you keep your resume updated and fresh while looking for a job.

3.       Network

Grow your network by going to conferences and seminars related to something that interests you. You can attend them physically or virtually. Harvard has a lot of free online courses. If you attend a physical event, make sure to approach someone you feel that can be a good connection for the future. Add them on Linked In. There are also a lot of networking events promoted by companies, universities and other associations. Make sure you are aware of them. You can also try to reconnect with people you don’t talk or see for a long time, keep your network updated.

 4.       Improve your Online Presence

Get yourself noticed online. If you don’t have a LinkedIn Profile, start one right now! Create a professional profile and join groups you like and comment on relevant topics. They will bring people to see your Linked In resume and they may want to call you for an interview. You can also start a blog and share your thoughts to the world. Subscribe other blogs and comment. Update your online channels from Facebook, to Twitter and LinkedIn. Being online is being relevant and wise.

 5.       Freelance

Go for a freelance opportunity or part-time job as long as you don’t stop looking for what you really want. It will keep you occupied, developing your skills and contributing for your resume. You can look for freelancer jobs HERE.

And of course, keep looking for a job! Fight for it! Work on your personal brand and make sure your value is noticed and appreciated. Resilience is the key.

www.impressiveresumes.net

How can recruiters measure your resume skills?

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We are all used to have this pressure of writing all the skills we think are related to that job and recruiters are dying to read.

You know them:

–          Communication Skills
–          Negotiation Skills
–          Customer service skills
–          Leadership Skills
–          Time Management Skills
And the list can go on…and on…and on…

Let’s look at this from 2 perspectives:

1.       You are the recruiter

You have a position and you need to evaluate all the candidates that can fit in that role. Let’s say you are looking for a “Customer Care Manager”. You are the HR responsible for a house booking website and you need someone to be very customer oriented.

They ask you for these skills:
–          Great Communication skills
–          Interpersonal relationship skills
–          Organization skills
–          Detailed-oriented skills

You have 200 application how are you going to select from those?

A)  You look over who state those words on their resumes

There’s a big risk involved here because everyone can write they have communication skills even when they don’t. And the concept itself is very biased so we don’t know exactly what each candidate consider to be a “Great Communication Skills”. So what can you do? Look over their resume what did they do that can state support their claim of great communication skills. Are numbers involved? Great! Did they wrote a personalized cover letter or Summary? Perfect!

B)  You look over for past Customer Service Positions

Of course only someone who have held that position before is eligible for that role. Wrong! You can have someone who played that role before but it is not where they belong. There are actually a lot of employees who hold current positions because of their past ones without realizing how they could be investing in their real talent and passion in a different area. Look for opportunities similar to the customer service ones. Look for a people-oriented person who clearly demonstrate their power in leading/managing/motivating others. If someone writes you saying they are looking for a customer service position but they don’t have the experience yet, call them for an interview. That’s what you need, people motivated to passionately work in your company.

C)  You don’t look over nothing and you just follow your gut

Following you gut can be as effective as over-analyzing everything. In fact, it can be more effective. You already know what you are looking for and you know what the company needs. So try to read a resume and imagine if after reading it that person would be perfect for the role or not. Is there something that really excites you about that specific resume? Call that candidate for an interview.

2.       You are the candidate

Imagine you are a recruiter and you arelooking for a person for that position, go through all the topics above and then look at your resume and fix what you need to fix. Another option is to write about why you are the right person for that role. Write it just for you, not like a cover letter. You’re applying to that position because something is dragging you for it. After writing about it, look at your resume and see if it reflects what you just wrote.

There is no science about this. And this why HR subjects are so interesting and generate a lot of discussion and different opinions. The true is that there is no way to measure those skills by looking at a resume. You never know how perfect the person is for a specific job until they start working there. So don’t try to find robots. We are humans and that’s what your resume should reflect and your company should be looking for. Unique individuals that can bring that individuality to your company. Don’t be afraid to try!

www.impressiveresumes.net