Career Advice Blog

7 Women Bosses Share Their Top Career Advice

by champions1 17/03/2016 0 comments

It’s a sad truth that there’s a huge disparity between the number of male and female corporate leaders in America (but at least, surprisingly, women trump men on CEO pay). That said, it only intrigues us more to hear how our female leaders wound up in their coveted positions. No matter whether we have our sights set on the C-Suite, we can all learn a thing or two from their managing styles and career wisdom. To acquire a little of their professional intel, we asked seven female leaders and entrepreneurs in a range of industries to share their best advice. Read on below.

WHO: Melody McCloskey, CEO of online and mobile platform StyleSeat, which helps consumers discover and book services with top beauty and wellness professionals in their area.

MYDOMAINE: What’s your #1 career tip?

MELODY MCCLOSKEY: Find a killer mentor and use them. Find someone who is on a career path you admire and spend time with them on a regular basis. I think it’s best to be very clear on time commitment and objectives, and to prepare before each session so you use their time most effectively. My early mentors were Travis Kalanick (founder and CEO of Uber) and Padmasree Warrior (CTO of Cisco Systems), who both helped me in different ways, but who both added tremendous insight into helping me advance along my path.

MD: What did you learn from a former manager that has influenced your management style today?

MM: Being a good listener, which is the hardest thing to do when the biggest company challenges are constantly rattling around in your head. When employees don’t think you’re present, or that you care, you drive a culture with those values which can cause systemic issues. I always make time to meet with someone if they need me, and to give them 100 percent of my attention and support.

MD: What makes a great employee stand out?

MM: Someone who is willing to not only do their job well, but who goes above and beyond, whether that’s helping others, bring solutions to problems outside of their core role, or just being a general source of energy and upping the game for the rest of the team. I love that and promote those people immediately.

WHO: Rachel Rutherford, Co-CEO of fashion platform Pose, an online and mobile platform community where users share photos and videos of their outfits, makeup, and shopping finds.

MYDOMAINE: What’s your #1 career tip?

RACHEL RUTHERFORD: Never stop looking for opportunities to learn and grow. The way you can gain more access to those opportunities is by finding ways you can create value and doing it, no matter your position.

I was able to make my first big leap by showing initiative in areas that would clearly demonstrate my wider abilities to do a much more difficult job. Once the people around me (and above me) could see my interest and performance, it took very little time to move me up in the organization. Even if your work doesn’t result in a promotion, you get the benefit of doing great and challenging work and learning from that experience.

MD: What did you learn from a former manager that has influenced your management style today?

RR: I’ve had one amazing manager in my life, and I feel lucky to have worked with her. I think the number one thing is to listen and always answer any questions honestly. If you’re not real with the people that work for you, they know it, and it breaks a level of trust that’s essential for any positive working relationship.

MD: What makes a great employee stand out?

RR: Any time someone spends the time to be prepared, I know that they are taking their own time and my time seriously, and that also means they care about the company. From something small, like always having a notebook and pen to write something down, to something bigger, like researching and having an informed point of view ahead of the meeting, it shows that person has a high standard for themselves, which lets me know they’ll have the capacity to grow into bigger and bigger roles.

WHO: Anna Brockway, Co-Founder and Chief Curator of online vintage resale marketplace Chairish.

MYDOMAINE: What’s your #1 career tip?

AB: I had the opportunity to get to know one of the founders of Whole Foods, and he said something that really stuck with me. In short, he said: Don’t do anything where your first goal is to make money. Do something you absolutely love so much that you would be happy to do it for free. You’ll find that the financial rewards will follow. If you put money as the target, you won’t be satisfied.

MD: What did you learn from a former manager that has influenced your management style today?

AB: Saying thank you. I was fortunate to work for some pretty amazing people from whom I learned the importance of giving full and public credit where credit is due. Firstly, it means a ton to the person who did the heavy lifting to have their efforts acknowledged. A thank you is often far more motivating than a bonus or raise—although those are awesome too! Plus, a great leader understands when it’s better to stay under the umbrella and let her team take in the sunshine.

MD: What makes a great employee stand out?

AB: For me a kick-ass employee is voracious about learning, thrives on change but most importantly just loves rolling up their sleeves and digging in. I look for  “do-ers.” I especially love folks with a background in production because they know how to make the show go on.

WHO: Julia Hartz, Co-Founder and President of global events marketplace Eventbrite.

MYDOMAINE: What’s your #1 career tip?

JULIA HARTZ: Don’t second guess yourself. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, and bring out the best in you. Other career tips:

  1. Don’t let fear get in your way or build a confidence gap. One remedy is to power pose in the morning, before big meetings, or when you feel overwhelmed (see this TED talk to learn how).
  2. Learn how to ask for help. Everyone thinks it’s brave to go out alone. I think it’s even braver to ask for help when you need it.
  3. Surround yourself with people who make you stronger and better. Build a tribe of teammates, advisors, investors, who will inspire you, push you and support you daily.

 

MD: What did you learn from a former manager that has influenced your management style today?

JH: When I worked in Hollywood as a television executive, I was often the sole woman in the room, and the youngest. I had a wealth of ideas and thoughts, but struggled to find my voice in a conference room full of big personalities. One day, my boss pulled me aside and asked me to speak up more. He knew that I had many valuable ideas to contribute, but needed the airtime. I took that to heart and started making my thoughts heard. It felt great to participate, and I encourage others to speak up often.

Since I started Eventbrite with my husband and Renaud Visage when I was 25, I haven’t had a traditional career trajectory. I didn’t rise through the ranks to become president of a 500-person global organization. So I take time to observe and learn from other leaders, both internally and externally. Based on my learnings, I’ve identified my own guiding principles for good management, which are to:

  1. Listen and absorb. Truly listening allows you to respond, and not react—there is a real difference.
  2. Create consistency with action (and make it a point to follow up).
  3. Walk the walk. Act on your values rather than just talk about them.
  4. Be brutally transparent, in good times and in bad.
  5. Trust your gut. When it doubt, your gut is a strong force and will usually guide you in the right direction.

 

MD: What makes a great employee stand out?

JH: We’ve built a really diverse team that makes the impossible happen on a regular basis; but if I were to pick out a few things that all great “Britelings” have in common, it’s grit, curiosity, and what we call the “make-it-happen spirit.

Grit is an invaluable trait; our team is incredibly driven and passionate about our mission as a company, and singularly driven to get us there. People with natural curiosity, who never stop learning and are always in pursuit of what’s next, always stand out to me as well. Lastly, the make-it-happen spirit, that has become an unofficial company-wide motto, describes those who go that extra mile to solve a challenge or help out other teammates.

WHO: Julie Carlson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Remodelista, an online sourcebook for considered living, as well as author of Remodelista, the book.

MYDOMAINE: What’s your #1 career tip?

JC: Perseverance. Try not to be discouraged if your first attempt at wedging your foot in the door fails; I’ve been amazed at how often jobs and opportunities have come through even an initial interview didn’t work out. If you’re lucky enough to know what you want to do and where you want to work (or if you’re brave enough to start your business), keep pounding on the doors until they open. One of my favorite quotes is from Woody Allen: “Showing up is 80 percent of life.”

MD: What did you learn from a former manager that has influenced your management style today?

JC: Two things, both of which involve generosity of spirit. One: If you hire passionate and dedicated people, don’t be stingy with time off. I was a style editor at a city magazine in San Francisco and the managing editor did not believe in the concept of vacation time. Or dentist and doctor visits. Trust your employees to manage their schedules. Two: Never underestimate the importance of staff lunches. I worked at a store on Nantucket for three summers during college, and every couple of weeks, the owner would close the store down and take the whole staff out to lunch at a local restaurant (wine included). We felt so indulged and appreciated.

MD: What makes a great employee stand out?

JC: Loyalty, tenaciousness, an in-check ego, a collaborative spirit, and a sense of humor. Plus a great eye and a way with words. And the ability to make a reservation at Zuni, order lunch from Postmates, and pick up breakfast at Tartine. Lunch is very important at Remodelista and Gardenista.

WHO: Jess Levin, Founder and CEO of online wedding vendor directory Carats & Cake.

MYDOMAINE: What’s your #1 career tip?

JL: You can spend your life building someone else’s dreams or you can build your own.

MD: What did you learn from a former manager that has influenced your management style today?

JL: Supporting your team as individuals is the most important thing. For me, this means listening to where people want to ultimately go and encouraging them to use their experience to help build Carats & Cake as way to build towards their own goals.

MD: What makes a great employee stand out?

JL: We are in the service of small businesses and are a true startup ourselves, so we look for people who are resourceful and self-directed—essentially, someone who gets what it means to do big things without a lot of hands and helps move the needle everyday.

WHO: Our fearless leader Katherine Power, Co-Founder and CEO of Clique, the content and technology company behind Who What Wear, MyDomaine, and Byrdie.

MYDOMAINE: What’s your #1 career tip?

KP: Find something you love to do, and then figure out a way to make money doing it.

MD: What did you learn from a former manager that has influenced your management style today?

KP: The one piece of advice that has really stuck with me is: ONLY do what ONLY you can do. Spend your time wisely and learn to delegate, so that you have time and creative brain power to work on the important things that only you can do best, instead of general tasks that can be accomplished by others. This requires you to choose your support staff wisely. This applies even to assistants who can delegate busy work to interns while they work on more important items.

MD: What makes a great employee stand out?

KP: When someone takes the initiative to go outside of their job description in order to improve a function of the business. I want to see someone step-up and own a particular project or go above and beyond what has been asked of them. Once I see that, my interest is sparked and I am inspired to help guide them towards success.

By Julia Millay Walsh

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8 Career Skills You Need To Be & Stay Competitive

by champions1 15/03/2016 0 comments

Sought-after people have a good mix of hard and soft skills, and those skills are always changing because today’s business climate is in constant flux. If you’re looking to get hired, hire someone new, or grow your company, here are eight skills that will help you do it in 2016:

1. THE ABILITY TO MANAGE A DIVERSE ENVIRONMENT

With four generations of employees in the workplace, an ability to understand and manage diversity is increasingly important, says workplace consultant Stan Kimer.

“People from different generations in general have different views of the workplace, motivations, and communication preferences,” he says. “Managers need to use different management and communications styles for each employee.”

Having a strategy to leverage diversity will give a company a competitive advantage. They’ll be able to recruit the best talent from the widest pool of candidates, motivate and retain top employees who feel a part of the team, and develop the best solutions to business issues by starting with a diverse set of ideas and input, says Kimer.

2. KNOWLEDGE OF OTHER CULTURES

CEOs name cultural competence as one of the most critical leadership skills, according to a recent DDI survey, but managers rank working with people from different cultures as their weakest skill, says Paula Caligiuri, professor of international business and strategy at Northeastern University.

“The disconnect poses an opportunity for those who can demonstrate cultural agility in 2016,” she says, adding that the skill includes tolerance of ambiguity, perspective taking, resilience, and humility.

“Culturally agile professionals are not necessarily those with the greatest number of frequent flyer miles or passport stamps,” she says. “Developing cultural agility is more of an active process requiring social learning in a novel context with opportunities to practice new culturally appropriate behaviors, make some mistakes, receive feedback, and question one’s own assumptions.”

3. A GLOBAL MIND-SET

An ability to work with diverse cultures also helps companies compete as they conduct business in other countries. In today’s business climate, it’s increasingly crucial to have an understanding of the political and societal impacts on business across multiple countries.

“Almost any company can do business worldwide and employ talent all over the globe,” says Kimer. “The fastest-growing economies are in Asia and South America, and a key skill will be knowing how to market, sell, and communicate in these global markets.”

4. EFFECTIVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Companies are placing an increasing emphasis on team members who can work well with others, address issues as they arise, and mitigate major conflicts, says Nihal Parthasarathi, CEO and cofounder of the learning opportunity websiteCourseHorse.

“Also in this bucket are soft skills, such as ‘nonviolent communication,’ the art of finding the right words to voice your conflict,” he says. “This is critical and often dictates a hire/no-hire [decision] for us.”

5. A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN

Another skill needed to be successful is flexibility and openness to learning something new, says Karen Southall Watts, author of Messenger: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Communication.

“Gone are the days when a professional in any field could consider their education done and over,” she says. Instead, you must be willing to learn and accept that you will always be adding new skills.

“Specific skills like how to use particular software or equipment can be taught relatively easily when you’ve got an open and ready learner with solid reading, listening, and thinking ability,” she says.

6. THE ABILITY TO SUCCESSFULLY OUTSOURCE

One-third of the U.S. workforce is freelance, and sites like Upwork have 10 million independent contractors doing more than $1 billion of work each year, says innovation consultant Jane Young. But companies need to be able to effectively hire and manage outside talent.

“The primary skill required for successfully outsourcing a task or project is the ability to describe what you want clearly and concisely,” she says. “It’s important to bear in mind that English may not be the freelancer’s first language, so articulating your requirements simply, with examples where possible, will help avoid any misunderstandings, delays, and disappointments.”

Consider splitting the project into stages, providing checkpoints, suggests Young. “The more checkpoints you build into any freelance project, the sooner you’ll pick up potential problems, giving you the opportunity to adjust course,” she says.

7. STRONG COMMUNICATION SKILLS

As technical skills continue to be in high demand, an ability to pair them with communication skills will be critical to advancing your career, says Daniel Alexander Usera, career consultant and professor at Arkansas State University.

“A lot of times degree programs and employers focus on the hard skills, but then end up with employees who do not know how to work with other people or can’t communicate a complex thought in an effective manner,” he says. “Although STEM degrees will continue to be in high demand, those skills are not as impactful if the person can’t function in a team-based, information-sharing context.”

8. AN UNDERSTANDING OF ANALYTICS

Analytics are relevant to all facets of your business and career, and to get ahead, you will need to be able to read and understand them, says Ken Bodnar, chief technology officer of the online auto auction Selectbidder.com.

Analytics can help target a larger customer base by analyzing the demographic of your current customer. They help support projections, and they can increase revenue stream by offering areas to exploit disruptive uses for your products and services.

By Stephanie Vozza

Stephanie Vozza writes about business, productivities and really cool people for magazines, websites and companies. She is the author of The Five-Minute Mom’s Club: 105 Tips to Make a Mom’s Life Easier and the founder of TheOrganizedParent.com, an e commerce platform she later sold to FranklinCovey Products.

Stephenie lives in Michigan with her husband, two sons, and their crazy Jack Russel terriers

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5 Signs You Know it is Time to Search For a New Job

by champions1 14/03/2016 0 comments

Regardless of your age, background, or accomplishments, you have probably fantasized about the possibility of a new career at some point in your life – those who haven’t are the exception.

LinkedIn reports that of its 313 million members, 25% are active job seekers, while 60% can be considered passive job seekers – people who are not proactively searching for a new job, but seriously willing to consider opportunities. In addition, there has been a steady increase of self-employed and temporary workers over the past two decades. This is true even in rich economies with low unemployment rates, like theU.S. and the U.K., partly because of the glamorization of entrepreneurship, the rise of the sharing economy, and the ubiquity of incompetent management, which makes the prospect of not having a boss rather alluring.

Yet at the same time, humans are naturally prewired to fear and avoid change, even when we are decidedly unhappy with our current situation. Indeed, meta-analysesshow that people often stay on the job despite having negative job attitudes, low engagement, and failing to identify with the organization’s culture. And, since career changes are often driven by emotional rather than rational factors, they often end up disappointing. So at the end of the day, there is something comforting about the predictability of life: it makes us feel safe. As the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard observed: “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”

YOU AND YOUR TEAM

  • Mid-Career Crisis
    When you’re feeling stuck.

The inability to make a decision is in itself anxiety-provoking, because it increases uncertainty about the future. In addition, most people, even millennials, value long-term job stability, not just in themselves but also in others. Unsurprisingly, theOECD sees job security as a key component of quality of life, while academic studies report that job insecurity is a major cause of psychological stress.

All this explains why it is so hard to leave a job, no matter how uninspiring or monotonous it may be. In order to help you decide whether it may be time for a career change, here are five critical signs, based on psychological research, that you would probably benefit from a career switch:

  • You are not learning. Studies have shown that the happiest progression to late adulthood and old age involves work that stimulates the mind into continuous learning. This is particularly important if you are high on Openness to Experience/Inquisitiveness, a personality trait associated with curiosity, creativity, love of learning, and having a hungry mind.
  • You are underperforming. If you are stagnated, cruising in autopilot, and could do your job while asleep, then you’re almost certainly underperforming. Sooner or later, this will harm your resume and employability. If you want to be happy and engaged at work you are better off finding a job that entices you to perform at yourhighest level.
  • You feel undervalued. Even when employees are happy with their pay and promotion prospects, they will not enjoy their work unless they feel appreciated, especially by their managers. Furthermore, people who feel undervalued at work are more likely to burnout and engage in counterproductive work behaviors, such as absenteeism, theft, and sabotage. And when the employee in question is a leader, the stakes are much higher for everyone else because of their propensity to behave in ways that could destroy the organization.
  • You are just doing it for the money. Although people tend to put up with unrewarding jobs mostly for financial reasons, staying on a job just for the money is unrewarding at best, and demotivating at worst. As I pointed out in a previous post, employee engagement is three times more dependent on intrinsic than extrinsic rewards, and financial rewards extinguish intrinsic goals (e.g., enjoyment, sheer curiosity, learning or personal challenge).
  • You hate your boss. As the saying goes, people join companies but they quit their bosses. This implies that there is a great deal of overlap between employees who dislike their jobs, and those who dislike their bosses. In our research, we find that 75% of working adults find that the most stressful part of their job is their immediate supervisor or direct line manager. Until organizations do a better job at selecting and developing leaders, employees will have to lower their expectations about management or keep searching for exceptional bosses.

Of course, these are not the only signs that you should pay attention to. There are many other valid reasons for considering a job switch, such as work-life balance conflicts, economic pressures, firm downsizing, and geographical relocation. But these reasons are more contextual than psychological, and somewhat less voluntary. They are therefore less likely to lead to decision uncertainty than the five reasons I listed.

At the end of the day, real-world problems tend to lack a clear-cut solution. Instead, the correct answer depends on its consequences and how pleased we are with the outcome, and both are hard to predict. As Abraham Lincoln said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” so the only way to know whether a career move is actually right for you is to make it.

By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems, a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London, and a faculty member at Columbia University.

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15 Top Tips for Your Telephone Interview

by champions1 09/03/2016 0 comments

Due to the sheer number of candidates that apply for jobs which have been advertised on job boards all over the internet, there is a good chance that your first job interview will be a telephone interview.  Recruiters and hiring managers simply do not have the time to meet with every candidate and therefore telephone interviews are becoming used far more as a way to weed out the good candidates from the bad.

A telephone interview will usually be a screening interview, where your resume has impressed but is not quite enough to initially impress the hiring manager.  This means that your telephone interview is your chance to impress and get your experience, knowledge and talent across to the hiring manager to ensure that the next candidate that is interviewed is you.

Telephone Interview

A telephone interview is likely to be the most difficult interview that you will face as it’s just you and the voice at the end of the telephone.  You have no idea what he/she looks like or what they are doing whilst you’re talking.  Maybe they’re listening to each and every word you’re saying, but for all you know, you could be on a loud speaker whilst the interviewer at the other end of the line is busy working on their emails and only partially paying attention to you.

In a normal face-to-face interview, you’re given the opportunity to build rapport with your interviewer and sitting opposite to them gives you the opportunity to use their body language to influence how you answer interview questions.  If you see the interviewer nodding away to what you’re saying, it’s more than likely you’re on the right track with your answers.

With a telephone interview, you only have your voice and therefore you need to prepare and ensure that you come across in the right way.  Below are 15 points to help you with your telephone interview and ensure the next telephone interview you’re involved with in a success.

You Sound How You Dress – If you don’t really care about your dress code, then you will sound like you don’t care. To really sound your best down the telephone, you need to make sure that you look the part with a suit, shirt and tie. Dress the Part, Act the Part and you will Sound the Part.

Always Use A Landline – Cell Phone service is never 100% reliable no matter where you are and the last thing you want is the service to temporally run out or partially drop during your interview. If you do not have a land line and, therefore, have to use your mobile, just make sure that you’re in a quiet place with as much cell phone service as possible, and your battery is fully charged.  The number of candidates that I have interviewed where their battery ran out during the interview still amazes me to the day.  If I am having a good day, I would try and call you back, but if I am having a bad day and have not been impressed with what you have said so far, it’s more than likely your interview is over.

Always Stand Up When You Speak – I started my career in a “sales centre” which I consider to be the only mistake in my career. I only lasted 6 months as I was not very good at “closing on the telephone.” I did not learn many things from this experience, however, one thing I did learn was that you need to stand up when you speak on the telephone. Why? Well when you’re standing, you naturally project more confidence and energy into your voice which will help give the image that you are a confident person.  Hiring managers will like this enthusiasm.

If You Insist On Sitting – make sure that you sit in an office style chair, keep your back straight, chin up and your shoulders are horizontal. All this will help to project confidence into your voice and show your confidence and enthusiasm to the hiring manager.

Make Sure You Smile – There’s an old phrase my boss used to tell me in my first sales job, Smile and Dial….!! If you are grumpy and frown whilst you are on the telephone this will be projected into your voice and when you’re trying to the give the impression that you’re a confident, fun loving employee, the last thing that you need to show is your grumpiness.

Never Use a Speaker Phone – Nothing drives me crazier on the telephone than the other person having me on a speaker phone. You cannot really hear what the other party is saying and to be honest it’s quite rude and really shows that you would prefer to do whatever else you’re doing rather than speaking with me.

Pauses – Public speakers use pauses in their speech as a way of exaggerating a specific word or sentence. This can be really helpful during a telephone interview as it gives the interviewer times to digest what you have just said and make reference to specific points that you want to focus on during your telephone interview.

Hands-Free – Never a bad idea, although my advice is to find out what you sound like before you actually try it.

Don’t Stand Outside – I once had a telephone interview with a candidate who stood outside on the side of the road. I could not understand half what he was saying and the 30-second gap in the middle when the police car went by did not help. Get organised, standing on the side of the road simply says that either you do not care, or you were not organised enough to find somewhere quiet to take the phone call. Both are not things you need in an interview and do not put you in a good light.

Keep your Resume in Front of You – Also make sure you have some paper and a pen.

Speak Slowly and Clearly – Even if you’re using a home telephone in a quiet room and your interviewer is in the same position, the telephone is never 100% perfect, so you need to make sure that you speak a little slower than normal and pronounce every individual word.

If you Cannot Hear The Recruiter – Interrupt and blame it on your phone…

Watch Out for Jokes and Sarcasm – Facial expression helps out with both jokes and sarcasm, however when you’re on the telephone, your interviewer will not be able to see your face. Maintain your professionalism and stay on target.

No Eating or Chewing Gum – Obvious I know, but it’s amazing how many times someone pops something into their mouth right at the wrong time.

Take a Drink with You – Nothing wrong with having a glass of water nearby that you can drink during the interview to stop your mouth becoming dry, however do watch out when you decide to take a sip.

Prepare Interview Questions Beforehand – There is no excuse to not have any questions to ask at the end of your interview.  Asking questions is a vital part of any job interview and shows that you have thought about the interview and are taking the whole process seriously.  Often in a standard interview when candidates do not ask question, you could be forgiven, but in a telephone interview you can easily have them written in front of you meaning there is no excuse.

Do you have any good telephone interview tips that you could share?  I am sure that I have a good selection of the most vital telephone interview tips, but I am also sure there are others.

By 

Originally published on Thomas Greig’s Career advice: thomasgreig.com

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10 Video Interview Success Tips

by champions1 04/03/2016 0 comments

If you haven’t encountered the video interview yet, just wait. In order to better manage the time of Recruiters and Hiring Managers and to save travel expenses, many companies are turning to them.

There are two basic types of video interview. Live interviews, where you talk to the interviewer from your video device, were the first wave. While they are still used, their use is declining.

Taped interviews, where you respond to prompts, either written or in an application, are becoming the norm. They allow recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate you at their leisure.

In either case, people are just becoming truly competent in the use of video for this purpose.

Over 50 years ago, John F. Kennedy handily defeated Richard Nixon in the first televised presidential debates. Kennedy’s team knew that there were certain colors (a blue shirt) that presented well on TV. Nixon’s crew thought that it was just another debate. Kennedy’s team prevailed because they knew how to manage the bias of the medium.

The same principle holds true in the video interview. The more you know how to make the technology work for you, the more of an advantage you’ll have. Video can make you look smart, shiny and competent or it can make you look untrustworthy, dumb and lazy.

Here are some tips for using video interviewing to your advantage. You’ll notice that none of the standard interview prep is covered here. These are tips for being effective when you are in a video interview:

1. Position the camera at the same height as the top of your head

You look better when the camera looks down on you. Looking up gives definition to your chin and that is a visual indicator of strength and character. However you set up your video space, having the camera sit slightly above your hairline, it will help you maintain good posture while giving you the most attractive camera angle.

2. Look directly into the camera

At the same time, you want to be making eye contact with the interviewer. This means looking at the camera and not the screen. There is a narrow range in which you can look up at the camera while making direct eye contact with it. That’s the right place for the camera. Making eye contact with the camera is critical. People read a lack of eye contact as an indicator of un-trustworthiness.

3. If you wear glasses, get an anti-glare coating

If they can’t see your eyes, they can’t trust you. Every reputable eyeglass retailer offers an anti-glare lens coating at a modest charge. Without the coating, your eyes look like circles of light. With the coating, the interviewers get the feeling that they are making a connection with you (because you are looking directly into the camera).

4. Use software to improve your image and performance

These days, most computers (and smart phones) come equipped with a video camera. For some reason, they do not come equipped with software that manages the output of the camera. Tools like iGlasses allow you to crop and control the image that you send out. Instead of settling for the default view, let your head and shoulders be what the interviewer sees. This will make your presentation stronger.

5. Don’t wave your hands around

Hand gestures are great for live presentations and good conversation among friends. On video, they distract from the message you want to convey. Unnecessary movements distract.

6. Watch your posture

Because the interview will be done in some place that you are comfortable, it’s easy to forget that it’s a formal interaction. Slouching, squirming, looking away from the camera (for more than a brief moment), looking bored, yawning and the many other things that you do in private are not useful parts of an interview. When you are in the interview, you have to act like you are in the interviewer’s office, not your bedroom.

7. Use anti shine makeup

Really. Even if you are a guy. People read a shiny face as a sweaty face. They read a sweaty face as a nervous face. Video amplifies any degree of shine you might have on your face. It turns it into a shiny white space that distracts from the real message. Anti-shine makeup is available in professional makeup stores and at department store counters. You want just enough to eliminate the glare. Too much make up is a bad, bad thing.

8. Wear solid colors and stay away from white

Ever since John Kennedy won the debate by wearing a blue shirt, people have been superstitious about wearing white on camera. It can give off the same kinds of glare effects as we’ve been avoiding elsewhere. Most importantly, stay away from patterns. Often, patterns (think about how stripes can bend) cause the optical illusion of movement. You want the interviewer focused on you, not your clothes.

9. Manage the Background

The interviewer isn’t interested in your books or other collectibles. Find a simple background and set your camera up to capture it. The best image is your head and shoulders against simple background (not white). The image shouldn’t show any of the table.

10. Take charge of the experience

It’s your house, your computer, your resume and your job hunt. You’ll be having some video interviews. Be prepared to practice and review your performance while you answer standard interview questions. Invest in better microphones (the embedded mic in your computer sounds tinny). After you’ve practiced a while, practice some more.

By Business Insider 

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Get Your CV In Shape With Tips From Experts

by champions1 23/02/2016 0 comments

Nowadays, so many dos and don’ts surround successful CV writing, and candidates really need to build up a clean online profile to complement this

Back in the Seventies, when he applied for his first job at energy giant Shell, communications executive Mike Love’s CV was state-of-the-art – professionally printed rather than hand-written.

“Even as recently as 20 years ago, CVs were still submitted by post, often bound in a cover, and sometimes with a photograph glued on,” he says.

Love’s CV did the job and he went on to forge a successful career in communications with McDonald’s and Microsoft, and worked for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher before becoming UK chairman at Burson-Marsteller.

Of course, CVs are now more likely to be delivered digitally – some employers use software to sift through applications – but presentation and delivery aren’t the only aspects that have changed, comments Love.

A CV should be checked, checked and checked again

Advice he will give his own grandchildren in the future is specific – a CV should no longer be a dry list of professional experience.

“Today there’s more narrative; CVs are more personal. They should read like a story and not a set of ingredients – the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘who’ rather than the ‘what’ and the ‘when’,” says Love.

“Things were much simpler then,” remembers Anne Marchant, 80, a grandmother of four.

“When I was applying for a junior position in a City of London bank in 1951, I wrote in simply listing my name, date of birth and education on a sheet of paper. Punctuality, personal presentation and politeness were very important.”

So many dos and don’ts now surround successful CV writing; employers demand that job applicants tailor their CV to the job in question rather than submit blanket applications. They don’t want fancy fonts, unnecessary detail, wordy waffle, quirky comments or candidates trying to be funny. Any silly, funny or rude email addresses are out. And, of course, a CV should be checked, checked and checked again.

“On more than one occasion, I’ve binned a CV without even opening it,” says Telegraph reader Paul Williams. “I’ve seen coffee stains on the envelope, handwriting to put a mad spider to shame and incorrect postage.”

On more than one occasion, I’ve binned a CV without even opening it

Often the first thing a potential employer does is check a candidate’s online presence but – selfies aside – that needn’t spell trouble.

Lyn Owen-Davies, operations manager at employment agency Adecco, says: “You can maximise the opportunity that the digital world offers by building up your online profile.”

A CV could include links to a website, blog or Twitter handle. “You can give an employer the option to get a much fuller picture of your experience and skills,” says Owen-Davies.

While there’s endless advice available online and from older relatives, young people embarking upon their career can benefit from practical help, according to Barclays.

LifeSkills created with Barclays – a collaboration involving educators, businesses and young people – helps jobseekers refine and build successful CVs as part of its offering.

TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS

Karren Brady,
LifeSkills ambassador

“Use professional language, sign off any correspondence formally and make sure there are no typos! This is my — and most likely lots of other employers’ — number one pet peeve, so ask a friend or family member to help proofread your CV for you before you hit send.”

Mark Robson,
managing director, Red Mist Leisure

“The first thing we’ll do is Google a candidate. You get an honest picture on social media — any outrageous behaviour might make you think twice about hiring. We’ve never had more candidates applying than now, so we are pickier than ever. Don’t pad it out with irrelevant information. Anything you can do to make your CV readable — and yourself seem amenable to employers — helps.”

Sue Benson,
managing director, The Market Creative

“We look for concise articulation of what candidates have done brilliantly and what their skills are, as opposed to just what work they’ve been involved in. Highlighting relevant information at the top of a CV will help, rather than burying it on the second page. Some CVs stand out because they might be visually engaging. And the writing has to be brilliant.”

Ashok Vaswani,
CEO corporate and personal banking

“Your CV is your first and golden opportunity to highlight your key strengths, skills and experience to a potential employer. Employers receive hundreds of CVs a day, so make their lives easier by making yours stand out. Use clear, concise and confident language. Don’t forget that employers can also sometimes check your social footprint, so present your best self on Twitter and LinkedIn, and use these channels to your advantage — they are an extension of you so make sure they truly reflect that.”

Get the job: make your CV stand out by using clear and concise language and present your best self on Twitter and LinkedIn
YOUR VIEWS

Karen Levi Borley,
event organiser

“We used to list what we had done; now we talk more about what we’re good at and like doing. I think LinkedIn has changed that.”

Jon Ellis,
IT consultant

“I spent most of my degree years sailing, so that’s what I put on my CV – I did captain the British university sailing team. That got me a job as a graduate trainee with a blue-chip employer back in the 1980s. Not sure it would cut it today though.”

By Helena Pozniak

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How to Manage Bad References From Employers

by champions1 19/02/2016 0 comments

Are you concerned about getting a bad reference from one of your previous employers? A negative or even lukewarm reference can knock a candidate right out of contention for a job.

Ways To  Manage Bad References From Employers

What can you do to preclude your references from hindering your job search? The safest way to avoid having your search sabotaged by an unexpected bad reference is to carefully pre-screen your references.

If you are concerned about what a previous employer is going to say, line up some other references who will attest to you qualifications for jobs. Explain the circumstances, in advance, to potential reference givers and ask if they are in a position to support your candidacy by providing a positive recommendation.

It is critical to give them an out so that they don’t feel obligated to provide a reference, and perhaps provide a less than fully laudatory recommendation when contacted by a prospective employer. It can be best to make your request by email so that they can consider it objectively without the pressure of a face to face interaction.

Get the Reference in Writing

If you ask a potential reference to put a general recommendation in writing in advance, you will have a better idea regarding the tone and focus of their recommendation. The incorporation of recommendations into LinkedIn provides an opportunity to test drive potential reference writers. Try writing a few recommendations for LinkedIn contacts and then ask your connections to reciprocate on your behalf.

When You Are Worried About a Negative Reference

If you are worried that a previous manager (who you haven’t listed as a reference) might provide a negative reference if contacted by an employer, the best strategy can be to provide as many other positive recommendations as possible to counteract the impact, or perhaps make it unnecessary for employers to seek input from that manager.

In some cases, you might have a better relationship with your prior manager’s boss and can enlist their support. In other situations, you can tap a combination of colleagues at your level, customers, and staff who reported to you in order to fill out your roster of references.

Check Your Own References

Some candidates will have a trusted friend, posing as a reference checker or a background checking service, reach out to a possibly troublesome previous supervisor to ascertain how they might respond to a check. Others hire a reference checking service to discover what past employers are saying about them.

Candidates who discover a potentially damaging reference might then initiate dialogue with the manger in an attempt to negotiate a more positive recommendation. If that effort is unsuccessful, you could consider contacting the Human Resources (HR) department of your former employer to mention that your search is being adversely impacted by a former manager’s negative recommendation. In some cases, HR will advise the manager to avoid such references as a matter of policy to avoid legal liability or negative publicity.

Negotiating a Good Reference

If you leave an employer under difficult circumstances, it is sometimes possible to negotiate a positive recommendation as part of the severance process.

Of course, the best way to avoid negative recommendations is to cultivate positive relationships with managers, whenever possible, and to resist the temptation of saying anything negative when leaving a job.

Source: About Careers

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The 10 Highest-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A Degree

by champions1 08/02/2016 0 comments

The fight for a well-paid job without a degree is a tough one, but there are still a handful of roles out there in which you can earn serious money without a degree-level qualification.

The job-search engine Adzuna has pulled data on hundreds of thousands of job listings over the past year to find which careers offer the highest average wage — even if you have never been to university.

Check out the top 10 below.

10. Journalist

Average pay: £30,998 ($49,117).

While many more hacks have degrees these days than they used to, it’s still possible to break into the industry without a qualification — all you need is a good story and the ability to write.

Times columnist and author Caitlin Moran, pictured, had no formal education, let alone a degree, but began her career writing for the music magazine Melody Maker at age 16 after winning several writing competitions.

9. Military security

Average pay: £35,144 ($55,687).

The top level of security is dominated by ex-military. Employers value not only the level of threat intelligence gained in the armed forces, but also the organisational and logistical experience.

British Military Security, founded by two officers involved in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq, does security work for large festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading. It also guards high-profile clients including the British Athletics team and West Bromich Albion Football Club.

8. Hazardous-waste manager

Average pay: £36,684 ($58,127).

Firms such as Veolia and Suez Environment get rid of the nasty byproducts that are generated everywhere from hospitals to pesticide factories and petrol refineries.

Because of the level of skill and care required when handling these types of products, as well as the potential danger hazardous waste poses to those disposing of it, jobs in this sector are well paid.

7. HR manager

Average pay: £38,677 ($61,285).

While it may not be the most glamorous job in the office, the HR manager is probably among the most useful, keeping everyone happy, ensuring the office functions smoothly, and making sure everyone gets paid. Despite being essentially an administrative role, its importance means HR managers such as Toby from The Office (US), pictured, are well paid.

To get ahead in the industry you’ll need qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

6. Air traffic controller

Average pay: £41,011 ($64,983).

NATS, or National Air Traffic Services, runs courses for people looking to get into the air traffic control industry.

The course takes a minimum of five months but can take up to 11 months depending on what areas you specialise in. The starting salary while taking the qualification is just under £12,000, according to Prospects, but once you qualify the pay quickly rises — and at the end of it you get to be like John Cusack in “Pushing Tin,” pictured.

5. Nuclear energy worker

Average pay: £44,494 ($70,502).

While almost everyone at the highest level in the nuclear industry will have academic qualifications, there are still some jobs that don’t require a degree — Homer Simpson initially got his role without one.

Most roles that don’t require degrees are still highly skilled but in a very specialised field, and the National Skills Academy for Nuclearruns courses to help people qualify for various roles.

4. Offshore oil-platform worker

Average pay: £49,278 ($78,083).

An oil rig can involve long, tough, and dangerous work. Offshore rig workers at Maersk Drilling operate on a 12-hour-shift system, for example, and stay on the rig for months at a time.

Typical jobs include equipment maintenance, rig operations, drilling operations, and rig administration. Because of long shift times and lengthy spells at sea, employers pay well to entice workers.

3. Commodities trader

Average pay: £53,003 ($83,985).

There are still plenty of traders in the City who joined the profession straight out of school. A good head for maths and the gift of the gab can be far more important than a BA.

Like many of the careers on the list, though, you need specific industry qualifications for the job. Traders must be approved by the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority. The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) also runs courses for bond traders.

2. Mining construction

Average pay: £56,260 ($89,146).

Like offshore oil-field work, mining construction can be hard work that takes up months of your life at a time. Much of the industry is based overseas, so anyone thinking of getting into mining has to be willing to work abroad.

Entry-level jobs can require specialised licences that let you operate machinery such as bulldozers. Building experience in other fields can also be valuable.

1. Equities trader

Average pay: £59,475 ($94,241).

As with commodities, it’s still possible to get into trading stocks and shares without a degree as long as you’re a good salesman — and have the necessary FCA and CISI approval.

The CISI Capital Markets programme can be taken without a degree, but candidates will need to pass an ethics test. Just don’t behave like Leo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street,”

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4 C’s to Career Success

by champions1 04/02/2016 0 comments

Creating the life and career success you want and deserve is simple common sense. It’s not hard, but you need to do it right.

First, focus on the four C’s of success: clarity, commitment, confidence, and competence.

1. CLARIFY THE PURPOSE AND DIRECTION FOR YOUR LIFE AND CAREER

  • Create clarity by figuring out what success means to you personally.
  • Create clarity by creating a vivid mental image of yourself as a success.
  • Create clarity by determining your personal values.

2. COMMIT TO TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE AND CAREER

  • Take personal responsibility for your life and career success.
  • Take personal responsibility by setting and achieving high goals.
  • Take personal responsibility by choosing to react positively to the people and events in
    your life; especially the negative ones.

3. BUILD UNSHAKEABLE SELF-CONFIDENCE

  • Build your confidence by choosing to be optimistic.
  • Build your confidence by facing your fears and acting.
  • Build your confidence by surrounding yourself with positive people.
  • Build your confidence by finding a mentor to help you create your success.
  • Build your confidence by sharing your knowledge and wisdom through mentoring others. Get competent: create positive personal impact, become an outstanding performer, become a dynamic communicator, build strong relationships.

4. POSITIVE PERSONAL IMPACT

  • Create positive personal impact by creating and nurturing your unique personal brand.
  • Create positive personal impact by being impeccable in your presentation of self; in person and on line.
  • Create positive personal impact by knowing the following basic rules of business etiquette.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE

  • Become an outstanding performer by keeping your skills up to date by becoming a
    lifelong learner.
  • Become an outstanding performer by learning to manage your time and life.
  • Become an outstanding performer by living a healthy life style.

DYNAMIC COMMUNICATION

  • Become a dynamic communicator by demonstrating strong conversation skills.
  • Become a dynamic communicator by writing clearly and succinctly.
  • Become a dynamic communicator by mastering public speaking skills.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

  • Build relationships through self awareness. Use this knowledge to better understand
    others.
  • Build relationships by paying it forward; give with no expectation of return.
  • Build relationships by using conflict to strengthen, not weaken, relationships with the important people in your life.

By: Bud Bilanich

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How To Master Body Language In An Interview

by champions1 02/02/2016 0 comments

In an increasingly digital world the importance of face-to-face communication and body language is easy to overlook. In an interview situation, body language can be a game-changer.

“Before you say a word, the interviewer will have made crucial decisions about you through the way you communicate with your body and through your facial expressions,” says Joan Kingsley, psychotherapist and author of The Fear-Free Organisation.

Of course, what you actually say in an interview is still crucial, but the interviewer will also be watching to determine if the body language is consistent with what you are saying, points out Sue Whaley, HR director of intercity rail operator, First TransPennine Express.

Master your body language and get the right message across with the following dos and don’ts:

First impressions do count

And that’s the impressions of everyone you meet on the day of the interview – in the lift, in the reception area, even in the toilets. Whaley says: “These people are your potential colleagues and they need to get the impression that you would like to join their team.” You don’t know who they are, but they might just be asked for their first impressions of you.

“Look ready and prepared, not flustered and late,” Whaley says. “Be approachable and friendly, smile, make eye contact and give a firm but not forceful handshake.”

Exude confidence

Stand, walk, and sit with good posture as it relates directly back to people’s perception of high confidence, according to body language expert Robert Phipps, author of Body Language – It’s What You Don’t Say That Matters.

Body language expert Mark Bowden suggests gesturing with open palms at exactly navel height is an instant way to show you are calm, assertive and confident.

“Gestures in this area of the body create a strong impulse both in the interviewee and the interviewer for open engagement,” he explains. “Not only will you feel more confident but the interviewer will feel more confidence in you and everything that you present to them,” he says.

Show an interest in the business

Demonstrate you are listening to the questions and to the information about the role and the organisation. “Engage with the interviewer don’t just answer their questions, lean forward, use your body, hands and facial expressions,” says Phipps.

Give them good eye contact, he adds – around about 65-70% when conversing, and a little more when you are the listener. “Anymore can come across as intimidating or threatening. Any less is perceived as a lack of interest or confidence in what you are saying.”

Demonstrate energy, positivity and enthusiasm

Use your hands and body movement to emphasise and animate your points and project a dynamic presence – but don’t get carried away, says Whaley.

“Show passion and belief in your achievements and views. Don’t say, ‘I really enjoy the challenge of managing others’, but you are slumped in your chair looking at the floor.”

As well as having your own body language mastered, take notice of how your interviewers are behaving too, says Whaley. Are they confused, bored, agitated, disengaged, entertained, trying to ask the next question?

“Read their non-verbal cues and adapt your responses accordingly and you will make their job easier and demonstrate yourself to be a skilled communicator,” she explains. “Nod and smile to show you understand and subtly try mirroring the interviewer’s posture and pose. This builds rapport and empathy.”

Don’t let your body language betray how nervous you are

You can’t stop the nervous looking behaviours that your body produces, but you can countermeasure them with confident ones, explains Bowden.

“If you choose to perform the behaviours of a confident person – even when you don’t feel it – your interviewer will have a theory of mind that you are confident and will then cherry pick data about you that substantiates their bias.”

On the other hand, if they can’t find that data, they will just use their imagination and make it up, Bowden warns.

Touching your face and crossing your arms are not necessarily an indicator of stress or deceit, says Bowden, “but enough people have read inaccurate body language books that say it is.”

Meanwhile, leg shaking, hair playing, pen clicking, teeth sucking and clock watching never make a great impression, adds Whaley.

Don’t arrive unprepared

According to Phipps, one of the best ways to avoid nerves tripping you up is to prepare before the interview.

“Practise, practise, practise with a friend or family members and get their feedback on how they perceive you,” he says. Video yourself to see how you come across or sit in front of a mirror and notice what is going on with your body as you engage with others. “You’ll be surprised at just what you do that you don’t realise, as most of our body language is unconscious,” he explains.

Don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily by arriving late. “Unless you want to arrive at the interview breathless, red-faced and in an emotional frenzy, leave lots of time to get there,” says Kingsley.

Plan to arrive early and go for a coffee. “With time to spare you can do some deep breathing to calm your nerves, check you’re looking the way you want to, and visualise yourself as conveying strength, confidence and power,” she adds.

“Remember, great actors use their bodies to give a convincing performance; act the part and you’ll feel the part.”

By Kirstie Brewer

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