Useful HR tips

Plan your career in advance

Before applying for any job, you must be sure that this is the field in which you would like to develop professionally. Otherwise, if you are jumping from one job to another, you will lose your time and the time of your employers; it is possible that you end up feeling unproductive, unappreciated, and unmotivated.

STEP ONE: NEXT FIVE YEARS

Step 1 – Try to think about your future self in 5 years

Envision where you would like to be, what you would like to achieve, where you would like to see yourself. Then, think about your future self in 10 years. It will help you define for yourself what is the true goal you would like to achieve in your professional life in a long-term period.

STEP TWO: SWOT ANALYSIS

Step 2 – Make a personal SWOT analysis

It will allow you to assess your strengths and weaknesses, define potential opportunities and threats. Although SWOT analysis is mostly used by companies to assess their current business situation, it can be applied to individuals with the same success.

STEP THREE: DRAW A PLAN

Step 3 – Draw a plan

After you have defined your career goals and made a personal assessment, it is now time to define what you need to do to achieve your goals. Make a detailed list of what skills you need to develop, what courses to take and what materials to read to be qualified enough in the field you would like to grow. Order your analysis in a logical way and put a time frame for each of them.

STEP FOUR: MAKE A RESEARCH

Step 4 – Make a research

Search the companies that offer positions, in which you are interested. Try to learn something more about the specific position and company, is there something else that you can enhance your skills and motivation that will make you the right candidate.

STEP FIVE: TIME FOR ACTION

Step 5 – Time for action

After you have defined what you want, how to achieve it and where you would like to achieve, it comes time for the action. All analyses, researches, and assessment have no value if you don’t start work towards achieving your goals afterward. So, don’t lose your time. Grab your life and career in your hands and sign up for a language class, take a technical course, read more about soft skills, go outside of your comfort zone, face some challenges, apply for a job, get hired, and start your own successful career story!

Non-standard cover letter writing tips

Most probably you have read various tips & tricks on how to write the best cover letter – the one that will open the door to your success. Most of these tips & tricks are for sure useful, but some of them could be rather harmful to your application because the might be too standard, and your cover letter may not be an outstanding one.

  • Advice 1 – The Design

    Choose a design that is suitable for the position you are applying for. For most business positions a simple design is the best one – one color, one font, one font size, no extras such as bold, italic, or underline font, no photos, no background color. Remember, your cover letter should look smart.

  • Advice 2 – The Length

    The perfect length is 3/4 of a page up to 1 page. If it is more, it becomes too long and honestly, people who will read it in most cases won’t have the desire or the extra time to read a “novel” and your cover letter won’t get the needed attention. What about a shorter version of your cover letter in case you can’t think of anything else that will be a plus to your application if added? Of course, it is better to avoid writing nonsense just to add up some more lines to your cover letter; however, keep in mind that your cover letter should not be shorter than a half page, otherwise, it looks like a short notice or a sticky note, and again it won’t fulfill its purpose.

  • Advice 3 – The Content

    Please avoid clichés in case you would like to have an outstanding rather than a standard cover letter. Please try to avoid phrases such as “I read the job posting for position “X” at your company on website “X” (specifying which job offering site & giving its web address) when you are applying through that same website”, of course, obviously you have read the add there and what value does this sentence bring to your application – no value at all; it just shows that you are one of the many. Other phrases to avoid are: “The company meets my expectations…”, “We can benefit from each other…”, “You are the best company for me…”, “Here I can develop my potential because you look different…”, etc. They might sound good to you and you might think that by giving positive “marks” to the company your chance of getting hired is increasing; on the contrary, the Hiring team is interested in what you can bring to the company – experience, education, skills, competences, etc.

  • Advice 4 – Your presentation

    Remember that the purpose of the cover letter is to present yourself in the best possible light, so write down the things you are proud of and you consider valuable for the company and position you are applying for. Be honest, be realistic, don’t read too many manuals, don’t copy the cover letters of your brother, sister, boyfriend, best friend, etc. because you are not the same person. Don’t write that you have great communication skills, if you lack them, because this can be easily checked and will be checked at the interview. Maybe, you don’t have great communication skills, but you have extraordinary analytical skills, write this instead. Write down the skills & competences you possess, your own ambitions, professional goals and desired career development; be yourself, not one of the many.

Highlights of an eye-catching resume

Most probably you have read various tips & tricks on how to write the best cover letter – the one that will open the door to your success. Most of these tips & tricks are for sure useful, but some of them could be rather harmful to your application because the might be too standard, and your cover letter may not be an outstanding one.

  • Advice 1 – The Format

    • Make your resume “user-friendly”. In most cases there will be people to read your resume (sometimes it is a software searching for keywords; anyway, at some point in the selection process a person will have to read it), ease their job and make it readable, otherwise, it is highly possible that your CV ends up in the “recycle bin”. You may search for some templates online or create one of your own (and if it is a good one, it will be a plus because of its uniqueness).In any case, just stick to the following when choosing:
    • The font – it should be readable; some of the most commonly used fonts such as “Arial”, “Times New Roman”, “Verdana”, “Tahoma” make a good choice. It is highly recommended that you avoid using the following fonts “Edwardian Script ITC”, “Freestyle Script”, “Old English Text MT”, and the other beautiful and original looking fonts, which may turn your resume in way too much beautiful and original, but hardly readable piece of art. Also, remember not to mix up fonts.
    • The font size –12 to 14 point size is a good option. You may use a bigger font size to highlight leading parts of your resume, but still, it is advisable not to mix up too many font sizes.
    • Bold, Italic, Underline – it is a plus when you use these formatting buttons wisely, just to highlight a leading part of your resume, a keyword or phrase. If you use them too often and in a combination (for example the three of them at once), it will have a negative effect because it won’t be clear which you consider important and which not.
    • Colors – using colors is a benefit when you use just one or two colors aside from the main one (which should be visible enough) to highlight important parts of your resume. Also, when using colors, try to use matching ones. If you use too many colors, your resume might turn into a “Picasso painting”.
    • Background – stick to a white background or another light one and a dark color for the font; avoid dark or electric colors for the background.
      Line spacing – the most suitable line spacing to be used 1.5 lines; it makes the text visible and readable enough.

  • Advice 2 – The Picture

    Add a photo of yourself, only if you have a suitable one. Suitable means a business one. A business photo on which you are dressed up smartly and look friendly is the best combination. Photos that show how beautiful you are, your sister, your cat, your meal or reveal way too much of you are highly inappropriate. If you don’t have a suitable photo, just skip it – no impression is better than a bad impression.

  • Advice 3 – The Style

    Write in a concise manner. Do not use too much metaphors and clichés. Remember that you are writing a resume, not a novel. Also, mandatory – check for spelling and grammar mistakes.

  • Advice 4 – The Content

    Add a short intro about yourself (e.g. your top character traits; key achievements; in what area you would like to develop, etc.); highlight the milestones in your professional growth, education, extracurricular activities; list your achievements (especially those related to the position you are applying for); mention additional key advantages that you might have – foreign languages, specific courses, awards, etc.; mention some of your hobbies (list your real hobbies, not those that might sound “classy” because you might be asked about them).

  • Advice 5 – The Message

    Be sure that you are sending a clear message with your resume and it says “I’m the right candidate for the position!”

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