Five tips to ace that Skype Job Interview

Skype job Interview

In today’s time, most interviews are Skype interviews. Companies do this for multiple reasons: the organization has its head office located in another country or another city. Sometimes, due to the candidate unavailability and the urgency to fill in the position, employers immediately conduct a Skype job interview.

People form first impressions when you meet them in person. However, first impressions can be made rapidly through a Skype job interview as well. Just to make sure, you are giving your best at the Skype job interview, follow these quick tips:

#1 Make sure you have an uninterrupted internet connectivity

The first thing to do before the Skype call is to check on your internet connectivity. You require a seamless internet connection. An interrupted skype interview can have a negative effect and break the link of the interview discussion. So make sure, your internet is connected well and is functioning at a good speed. Use Wi-fi connection instead of the mobile data, since the mobile data often gets interrupted.

#2 Appropriately Position your mobile

Remember, the skype job interview isn’t any casual video call with your friend. Thus, it is important to know that you need to set your mobile phone on a stable surface where you are visibly clear. Avoid holding your phone in your hand, since you will end up moving it multiple times and it comes across as highly unprofessional.

#3 Use of wired/ wireless headphones

During a Skype job interview, don’t rely on the microphone to communicate. Any possible disruption of the voice and the background sounds can lead to disturbances during the ongoing interview. Get your headphones ready in advance before scheduling the skype job interview.

#4 Non-Verbal Cues and Body Language

A skype job interview is nearly similar to a personal interview. Your interviewer can easily capture your body language and non-verbal cues through the video. Sit upright, and dress in a formal attire. Make sure you are not walking around any corridor during the interview. Treat this as important as equal to a personal interview.

#5 Prepare and Request Feedback

Prepare well in advance and take a test call a day in advance with a friend. Make all the necessary preparations with reference to the equipment as well as to the questions you are likely to counter at the actual interview. You will receive a glimpse of the actual interview. Once you’re done with the interview, request feedback from your friend and appropriately make improvements.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Make the gap in your experience look good!

Gap in your experience

A gap in employment can be quiet stressful for anyone. Most of the times one is always wondering how to tackle the situation in an interview concerning the gap. A gap in your experience can give the employer an incorrect impression. However, if explained well, can help you effectively land your next job and gain the trust of your employer.

Follow these tips to explain the gap in your experience

Emphasize why it was that you were let go of your previous job

Probably, your previous organization was downsizing and they asked you to leave. On the other hand, you had to stay home post-pregnancy, which required you to eventually quit your job. One of the common reasons to leave an organization is for pursuing higher education. Most of the professional degrees require you to prepare for an entrance exam. While you are working, it is, however, difficult to tackle preparation for these exams as well as manage work. In addition, after you have given the entrance examination, most of the times you are quite not satisfied with the score. This puts you back on the search for a job. Thus, leaving a job for studying for entrance examinations is common. Be sure to emphasize every aspect of this reasonably well.

In the absence of any of them, you would have never thought of staying home, unemployed.  The key to explaining the gap – is emphasizing on what caused you to stay away from being employed for long.

Be Honest

To explain the gap in your experience – your major contemplation will be whether, to be honest, or not. The right thing to do is being honest. Well, if you think about it, lying about the gap in your experience can get you into more trouble. The impression you leave behind matters. Stating your reason in all its honesty can win you the chance of actually landing the job. There is no reason to fear or lie about the gap, even if it is voluntary. Many individuals go on sabbaticals to travel the world. At the next interview, you think that speaking the truth may not leave a good impression on your employer. However, honesty has its own rewards! Gather the courage to explain the reason for your gap being travel – your interviewer may choose to understand. Hence, do not hesitate to be honest. State every detail accurately.

Emphasize on the activities/courses you took up during the gap

If you have been on a break for more than three months, it is quite likely for boredom to get to you. An idle mind is never good. You will soon find yourself enroll in some course, or actively take up a sport or volunteer. Get the hint – this is exactly what can help you explain, you were not idle all along. In fact, the course that you took is value addition on your resume. Therefore, prepare yourself well for the interview to explain elaborately the courses you took up during the gap.

Smartly design your Resume

If you have a gap of more than two years, it is going to be obvious in your resume. A gap of fewer than two years can also catch the attention of the interviewer while scanning through your resume. However, there exists a subtle art of stating the duration smartly and not making it obvious in your resume. This topic must be ideally left for discussion at the time of the interview.

Use the YYYY format, instead of the MON YYYY format adjacent to your organizational experience. Using this, you tend to concise the gap taken between your experiences, and it appears to be short. This trick doesn’t mean you won’t be asked about your gap. If the gap is too huge, it’s noticed. Although, using the trick to put it smartly on your resume, can gain you some leverage.

Be Prepared

You need to be prepared for whatever the interviewer throws at you. You should not be stammering, or even sound nervous. The interviewer will try all these attempts to put you in a spot. This means you have to be prepared well in advance. Think of all the possible ways you can tackle the questions. Just stay calm when you are being asked anything at the interview. Be well prepared to discuss any matter that comes up or any concerns the interviewer may have regarding your gap. Your preparedness will highlight your confidence, and before you know, you’ll be signing your offer letter!

Image: Pixabay

Resume-Writing Tips: Not Just Any Piece of Paper

Resume-Writing Tips

A Resume isn’t just any piece of paper – in case you are still wondering how to make your resume look good, and capture just the right amount of attention by the interviewer, then read on and follow these simple resume-writing tips.

Resume-Writing Tips:

Declaration

The personal declaration is a self-declaration section, which states that the contents mentioned in the resume are accurate. This section appears at the end of a resume. However, it is unnecessary to include this section in a resume, since it is outdated and hence a waste of space. Since resumes are mostly digitally sent, there is no need to take a printout and sign the resume. Hence, it is advisable to use the space for more valuable information.

Resume Headline

Does your resume require a resume headline? A resume headline can be used when you have gained 2+ years of experience in any particular role. This highlights that you are an expert in that area. Thus, when the interviewer glances at your resume, the headline itself creates an impression.

However, if you are a fresher with a postgraduate degree – you can use a headline, which states ‘MBA Fresher’ or ‘A budding MBA Professional with acquired skills in X, Y, Z.’

Remember what your resume headline says, must be reflected in your projects, work experience, and internships.

Certifications

You are always in a dilemma whether to include all certifications or not. There are times you have completed courses, but have not received a certificate for the same – should that be on your resume?

You mainly require certificates for educationally related points. Most of the extensive courses you have completed will offer you a certificate. In addition, you can also link your certificates to your resume. For e.g., Courses done on Coursera has a unique permalink to the complete certification. Thus, make sure the important courses are highlighted on your resume.

Professional Experience

Your professional experience should be noted down in a crisp manner. You can use the following order to highlight your professional experience:

  1. Core Qualifications
  2. Technical Skills
  3. Work Experience
  4. Key Projects

The above order will help highlight every detail you have covered under a particular organization.

If you have any internship experience and believe, you have done a significant amount of work and benefitted the organization, that can be mentioned too under a section of Internships.

Strengths

Is it essential to highlight your strengths under a separate section? The current best practices to resume writing suggests that adding a section to strengths does not add much value. In case you are a fresher, then you can add a section under strengths. It’s unlikely as a fresher, that you’d have any expertise skills.

However, for a person with a good amount of experience, your strengths can replace with Key skills and Technical Skills depending on your respective profile. List down your hard skills instead of soft skills.

LinkedIn

Must you add your LinkedIn URL to your resume?

Yes, you can add your LinkedIn profile URL to your resume, provided your Linked profile is up-to-date and substantiated with necessary information. While adding your LinkedIn profile URL, make sure you just add it as a hyperlink with anchor text as LinkedIn Profile.

Adding your LinkedIn profile URL has an added benefit of making the recruiter’s life easy, instead of having him/her search for it. It also helps concise your entire professional timeline under one roof. Recruiters also use LinkedIn profiles to validate any candidates experience and check for recommendations and endorsements.

If you still haven’t created a LinkedIn Profile, it is about time!

“The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn’t simply tell a story about what you want to be, but it’s a story about who you want to be.” – Oprah Winfrey

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

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First-Time Manager? Here are 5 Things to Follow

First-time Manager

Have you landed your first managerial designation? Congratulations! You have just achieved your first milestone! As a first-time Manager, one has to face several obstacles. Even though a higher designation gets you a fancy salary, it also adds to your responsibilities. Remember, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

If you have to maintain a reputation in the organization, and earnestly live up to the title of a ‘Manager’ – you have to set your priorities right. It can be nerve wrecking at times, but there is always a first time to experience things – and more experiences add to greater learnings.

What can I do in my first acquired role as a ‘Manager’?

Be an effective listener

Everyone can ask questions. Rather, you never run short of people who are willing to talk. In contrast, how many are actually ready to listen? If you are appointed Manager – one of the important traits you must have – is to listen. Listen to everything that is happening around, to the petty grievances of an employee who stops you by the corridor and pay attention to the details discussed in a meeting. As a first-time Manager, the more you listen, the better decisions you make. Very few organizations cultivate managers who can listen – and they are the ones respected and earn the reputation easily in the organization. Every employee is giving you answers each day – learn to listen.

Delegate Tasks

If you think as a Manager, you are the only one completing all the tasks – you are mistaken. As a first-time Manager, you are tested on your ability to delegate tasks to your team. Have you been able to identify your team members correctly?  If you are well versed with your team members, you know exactly the knack of delegation. Delegating tasks involves getting the entire team to work together effectively. As a manager, you are required to incorporate teamwork, which is managed effectively through delegation. A Manager is viewed as an individual who can get work done through other people.

Lead by Example

If you are appointed Manager, remember that you are stepping into a leadership role. A leader is defined as an individual who can lead a team effectively. Set an example for your team. Be cautious about your conduct and the manner in which you deal with situations and people. Your team quickly adopts your behavior. If you are able to maintain a calm, compose nature, and get work done – you are setting an example for your employees under you.

Therefore, lead by example. Set rules and regulations and lead your team to work in harmony.

“Leadership is not a position or a title; it is an action and example.”

Develop your team positively

As a Manager, you are required to manage emotional quotients of people at work as well. Extreme pressure to meet targets and get work done can demotivate employees. Who is responsible to fix this? As Manager, you have to keep motivating your team to work harder. Focus on developing a positive environment. Communicate with your employees to understand their major concerns and difficulties while working. Most importantly, do not forget to appreciate and acknowledge your employees when they accomplish any task at work. “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”

In case of any crisis, you Manager will be the first one to know about it – prepare your team in advance. Strive to work towards creating a positive environment at your workplace – this will lead to increased efficiency and positive work relations. Remember that, an employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his/her manager.

Get a Mentor

There are times, as a first-time Manager, you find yourself in a fix. You need help and guidance – how can you find a solution to this?

In times of mergers and acquisitions, and major organizational decisions – you cannot rely on your intuition to arrive at a decision. You need assurance that the decisions you are taking are the right ones, even in the case of resolving workplace conflicts.

The International Coach Federation (ICF) and Human Capital Institute (HCI), Lexington, Kentucky, USA have released findings from their latest research collaboration, Building a Coaching Culture with Millennial Leaders. The study explores how first-time people managers and emerging leaders—many of whom are Millennials—can benefit from collaborating with a coach and receiving training on how to use coaching skills with their peers and teams. Most respondents demonstrated an understanding that managers and leaders who use coaching skills are more effective in their roles. When asked to describe the most effective management style, two words respondents cited most frequently were “collaborative” and “coaching.”

Seek a mentor. Most companies have adopted Mentorship at all levels – you’d be surprised but even a CEO of a company seeks advice from his/her own Mentor. Collaborating with Mentors can help you make decisions effectively and wisely. At the same time, you feel lighter while sharing your set of burdens with someone else. As human beings, we are all dependent on another and in circumstances like these – it is advisable to be dependent. Your mentor will be a person who has experienced the similar set of struggles and can definitely advise you substantially.

As a first-time Manager, the lessons you learn will take you places – make the most of this experience and learn wisely!

“A good manager finds satisfaction in helping other’s be productive, not being the most productive person in the room.”

Image Credit: Freepik

Make your first week at work ‘Productive’

First week at work

You walk through an unusual, unfamiliar corridor early in the morning, and while you look around at new faces, perplexed – wondering how will you fit in this corporate environment and make your way to the top? Hold your breath – there is always a way to work things out.

The first week at a new office, surrounded by new people can be stressful – but take this in your stride. You are about to make a significant beginning at the start of your career. The first week at any organisation for an employee is mostly to get familiar with the surrounding, and oriented to the work assigned to each employee – termed as an induction/training period at most organisations. However, if you just stick to these basics – you are not making your first week productive at all.

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Goal Setting – Your Stepping Stone to Success

Goal Setting

You’ve been employed in an organisation for more than five years, and you start to think – What’s next? As a fresher, you would have found a lot of things interesting. With every passing year, you’ve learnt to deal with challenges and overcome them successfully. Your responsibilities have increased, you’ve got promoted – is there still anything left to come your way?

In your employment phase at any organisation, it is essential to set goals. Goal Setting defines certain objectives and keeps you motivated through your tenure at any organisation. Every organisation has set goals for their employees, but it is essential to set goals as an employee too – It’s a win-win situation for sure!

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Internship Application – Get Interview Calls with your Resume

Internship Application Resume

So you’re looking to do an internship to gain some valuable real-world experience but don’t know where to start. Internships are abundant, yet they are difficult to crack without the right earlier experience. You need to figure out Resumes, Interviews, Internship Applications and many more concepts in a relatively short period. We guide you step-by-step through the Internship Application process.

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Work-Life Balance – A fantasy in a real world?

Work-life balance

One often tries to wonder if work-life balance actually does exist in today’s date, in the corporate world. Work-life balance intends to focus on fulfilling commitments both at work and with family. At the same time, it gives an individual time to fulfil cultural activities in a non-working space. Its true essence lies in making an individual happy, even while being occupied with work and corporate affairs.

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Difference between Professional Resume and Visual Resume

Professional Visual Resume

Knowing the difference between professional and visual resume has become essential for candidates looking to make an impression in the eyes of potential employers and land the preferred job.

A resume is the most important tool for a candidate to have in their arsenal – especially in the job search process. They are of different types and formats, each catering to specific needs of the candidates. In this post, we are going to discuss two types of formats – namely, professional and visual resume.

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