Mittwoch, 19. August 2015

Don't let your lack of work experience deter you from applying for your dream job!

It's an all too familiar problem for those who start in the workforce – they have the diploma, but seem to be unable to land a job. One of the requirements stated in most ads is „at least x years of experience“. But they shouldn't worry too much. Firstly, ads describe the ideal candidate and secondly, they can still impress the would-be-employer with their resume. Not to mention that with the right steps they can prevent this perceived „handicap“ altogether!

When after the successfull graduation the task at hand is to find a job, candidates are extremely motivated and excited for the application process. They are certain to impress employers with their good grades. But soon enough they have to face reality: very often, employers look for a certain amount of experience. But what experience when they are just starting?

Our best advice, should you be in this position: keep calm – and read the ads carefully! Obviously, you should only try for those jobs that fit your profile best. But don't forget to pay attention to the wording. Most times, previous experience is not part of the must-have qualifications, but is rather listed under advantages. This is understandable, as companies always describe their ideal candidate for the position in those ads. So, of course, an experienced candidate has an advantage over an inexperienced one. but the ideal candidate is, as often in life, just that – an ideal. And this, in turn, means that you still have a decent chance of landing the job.

Use your cover leter and resume wisely to highlight all your relevant previous experiences. All of it is fair game: maybe you did voluntary work, helped out in your parents' business, had summer jobs, semesters abroad or worked on some student projects that are relevant for the position you are applying. It is extremely important that you link all your existing experience in logical manner to the job requirements. But if experience is a decided must-have, as is the case with most positions in middle management and higher, there's not much you can do. But, if we were to stay realistic, those positions are usually not meant for recent graduates.

The smartest candidates plan ahead for this stage of their career, even while they are still studying. Internships are very good opportunities to gather some hands-on experience, but the same goes for part-time jobs. Those are more than just welcome additions to a student's tight budget and can help to get you the job of your dreams. This time is also crucial for forging a small professional network that can also help you transition into the workforce.

Dienstag, 11. August 2015

How to ease back into your workflow post-holiday

You've had a great holiday, filled with relaxation, fun and unforgettable memories. Not even once did you think about work, but now, on the last day, reality is catching up. You vow to take good care of yourself from now on and to not let stress take over your worklife again. It sounds good in theory, but practice is a lot harder and sooner or later you'll find yourself overworked again. To slowly ease back into your regular work routine, take a look at our suggestions!

You should start preparing for your first day back at the office even before you start your holiday. Try to finish all tasks that have tight deadlines right after your vacation. This way, you won't have to start already under pressure and you will be able to preserve your new energy for later. After all, post-holiday relaxation should be enjoyed as long as possible!

One way to achieve this is to plan your holiday in a way that allows you to have a buffer-day between returning home and going to the office. Long travel is tiring and on top of that, you will have to reaccustom yourself to your home and probably also do some chores around the house. So why not give yourself the time for that?

If your employer allows it, experts suggest to go back to work in the middle of the week, on a Wednesday or Thursday. Why would that be better than a Monday? Easy: the weekend is just around the corner. Knowing that, you will react much more relaxed to all the new demands. The first few days are going to be tiring anyway, because you aren't used to your daily workflow anymore. Lucky for you, you'll be able to recharge your batteries soon enough!

Another great trick is to use the autoreply function of your choice email client to your advantage: set your return date on your second day back at work. On your first day, you will have enough time to go through your full inbox and work out your priorities, while no one is awaiting your reply yet. Don't forget to spend some time with the colleague(s) who filled in for you and let them bring you up to speed. A small souvenir, a token a token of your appreciation, would surely be highly aprreciated.

As for your own motivation, put your favorite framed photo from your holiday on your desk or any other highly visible place. It will work wonders. And don't worry, it won't be long until your next time off work!

Samstag, 8. August 2015

Succesful networking boosts your career

For some, it's sheer horror – attending a networking event on behalf of their company, facing a room full of strangers. With whom to start a conversation? And how? Am I friendly and outgoing enough? Most of the time, these worries are unfounded and can be easily prevented. Plus, these events can boost your own career!

First things first – no, you are not alone. In fact, most of us feel the same, even if it seems to come so naturally to our extroverted peers. We all have a certain inhibition threshold we need to overcome in order to be able to get to know strangers. This applies even to the best networkers. But then why does it seem so effortless for them?

As so often, a simple change of perspective will do the trick. You have to network, that is represent your company, meet other professionals and experts from your field of work, connect with them and ideally start mutually beneficial collaborations with them. So do all the others in the room. That's why you don't need to feel any reticence meeting them. You all have the same goal. First hurdle overcome!

Your next step is starting a conversation. Communication experts recommend two strategies. If you happen to already know somebody, you can join them and let them take care of introducing you to others. If that is not the case, try staying in a line with others, whether for the drinks or the buffet. Is the service quick or is it painfully slow? One good line about either one is a good and unforced opener for a conversation with one of your „brothers in arms“. As for the conversation itself, experts say that there is nothing wrong with the usual smalltalk about the weather, at least at the start, as it is an inoffensive topic that anybody can relate to and have an opinion on. There are some who think that smalltalk is absolutely out of place in a formal or semi-formal situation, there are nevertheless some studies proving them wrong. According to those, smalltalk has a very important social function – it brings people who don't know each other together by creating a common ground on which both can agree. When the conversation is already flowing, it will be easy for you to segue into the business topics.

Don't forget to exchange cards with your new aquaintances. And remember to message them a few days after to ensure that the nice impression you've left has real staying power. That's how you build your professional network step by step and, thusly, stay updated on all the new developments regarding your field of profession. Those regular updates will come in handy not only at your workplace, but also if you should decide to find other employment in the same field. Never underestimate the power a friendly suggestion from a trusted co-worker can have on the recruiter!