Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

job search - standout from the crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – This post is about applying for advertised vacancies for which you are in competition. Unfortunately, in the present climate, job seeking is intensely competitive.  There are usually many applicants for every advertised post.  That’s is why networking to find work is so important.

When you submit a written application, with or without a CV/Résumé, what matters most is that you convince the recruiter that you meet the criteria for the vacancy.  Include relevant keywords that will stand out like head lights – you can find out more about job search keywords at this link.

Once you get to the interview stage, you are up against others who havea lso shown on paper that they meet the requirements. The interview and your references will show whether what you have said on paper in valid.  And at interview stage you need to stand out from the crowd.

Standing out from the crowd is not without risks.

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – Take into account the culture of the organization when deciding how to make your mark.  When deciding what to wear for the interview, for example, knowing the company dress code is important.  If it is casual then make sure you wear very smart casual attire.  No, you don’t want be so bland that you sink into the wall paper. Wearing, for example, a smart but distinctive tie, scarf or piece of jewellery, can help the interviewers remember you.  The “something distinctive “needs to be chosen with great care and very good taste!

The interview is also an opportunity to show clearly that you will bring added value beyond that required by the job specification.  Show that added value with care. And make sure that what you say is relevant to the questions that you are being asked and to the job.

You can stand out by showing your enthusiasm. Being actively engaged in the process and showing real interest in the organization impresses. Be interested in what the interviewers have to say to you.

Prepare well!

The impression you want to make is that you are intelligent, highly competent and likely to be an asset to the organization and to your future work colleagues.

Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep before the interview.  Do your best to arrive in plenty of time.  You want to be bright-eyed and relaxed – not red-faced and slightly out of breath.

You want to be remembered but for all the right reasons!

Make sure you do your home work. Find out all you can you can about the job, the organization and the people you are likely to meet. Treat them with courtesy and work hard to show evidence that you are the person best able to do the job.

If you would like support in your job search please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Get on with the interview panel

Get on with the interview panel

How to get on with the interview panel – most job searches mean you have to deal with panel interviews.  Many large employers use panel interviewing as a part of their recruitment process.  It means a number of different people can be involved in the decision-making process.  They can be from different parts of the organization with an interest in the role. This gives a range of perspectives. Job interviews conducted by a panel are seen to be fair. There are seen as valid because a number of different opinions and views are taken into account..

Usually, each panel member will take turns to ask questions about your fitness for the role; your background, experience and interests.  It can be difficult to build rapport with each panel member . And sometimes, unfortunately, there might be one panel member that you find it particularly difficult to get on with.  This can happen at an interview, just as it can in other parts of your life.

Get on with the interview panel – tips

    • Knowing who the panel members are beforehand is a great help.  If you can, research people on the internet using LinkedIn, for example!  If this is not possible, use your knowledge of the company and the position to prepare to respond to questions from different parts of the organization. These could be human resources, line management, technical and finance.
    • Your introduction is important to creating the right first impression. This is a good opportunity to connect with each panel member on a personal level before the interview questions begin. Make initial eye contact with each panel member. Try to respond warmly and with interest.

When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked

  • When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Make sure you understand correctly.  It is important to answer the question that has been asked.
  • Make initial eye contact with the person who asked the question. And then include the other panel members in your answer. Scan from one face to the next, pausing briefly on each. Focus on speaking to each individual As you finish your answer, return your focus to the person who asked the interview question. Stay calm and answer each question thoroughly.

Keep it pleasant

  • If you do get into a discussion, or you are asked to consider an alternative point of view, again stay calm. Do not expect to be successful if you let anger or annoyance show. Take time to respond with a considered view. Watch your body language. You can show frustration without saying a word.
  • If there is someone on the panel that you really cannot get on with, then don’t ignore how they make you feel and why.  Is that person to be your immediate boss in the new organization, or someone further up the line to whom you will report? Think seriously about whether the role is right for you.  Do this even if you are successful and it is a generous offer. I have worked with a number of clients who sensed at interview that all was not well. They ignored those feelings, only to have regrets later.

With the right preparation and approach, I hope you will get on well with all the members of any interview panel that you meet. If you need advice, get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Fed-up with Job Search

Fed-up with Job Search

“I am unemployed and bored. I’m tired of applying for jobs and not getting any replies!”

Fed-up with Job Search – I heard from someone recently who is getting very tired Fed-up with Job Searchof the whole process of applying for work. He wants to work. But he is really fed up of making applications that don’t get replies. He is bored staying at home every day.

His routine is now to stay up late watching television and get up at noon the next day. Then he just hangs around the house.

It is all too easy for this to happen when you don’t have a regular routine. On top of that, constant rejection, or worse the feeling that you are invisible, adds to feeling down. Eventually it can lead to depression.

The slippery slope

My friend may need quite an intervention to get him moving again.

What about you?  Do you feel yourself slipping down into the well of despair? You need to act!

First, you need to establish a new and healthier routine.

Go to bed and get up at the same times as you did when you had a job. This doesn’t apply to those who had a long commute, obviously. If you can, stick with your previous sleeping pattern. Not sleeping? Talk to your pharmacist about trying a gentle herbal remedy to help with sleep.  If that doesn’t work talk to your medical adviser.

Fed-up with job search – now is time for a new routine

Make a new routine for yourself during the day and set some new goals.

How about going to the gym or taking a long walk first thing in the morning? During the day take pride in eating well but healthily.

Allocate a certain period each day for work at home on your job search but please don’t spend all day, every day on it! Make time for a hobby that has nothing to do with your job search. Make it something you really enjoy.

Now is the time to review and refresh your job search material, CV etc.  Could this be the time to widen your job search field?  Think about things you have enjoyed over the years. What have you not yet considered as a work opportunity?

If you have got to interview stage in any of your applications, what feedback were you given?  If you didn’t ask for feedback, there may still time to make a phone call to the recruiting manager.

Meeting people

Don’t forget to meet up with friends or contacts outside the house. Make a point of getting out and meeting people at least once a week. These meetings won’t be to ask for work but you can let them know that you are looking. Mainly this will be an opportunity to keep up with people and find out what is going on around you.

If you belong to a professional association, now is the time to go to meetings! It is important to keep up with what is going on in your field.  Make some time during your days at home to follow up developments on the internet. It is much cheaper than buying magazines.

Think as well about investing in a training course; either to refresh your present skills or to gain new ones. It could make you more valuable and give you some new contacts.

Think about taking on a voluntary role.  It is very good for self esteem and it helps to be able to show potential employers that you are using your time productively.

Fed-up with job search – now is not the time to brood or become that couch potato. Get up, review, revise, refresh and get out there!  Set yourself some new goals and move forward, there are still opportunities around – it is time to look for them in some new places.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search: The Keys To Success

Job Search: The Keys To Success

Job search – over the last couple of years I’ve worked with a number of clients who have been very successful in their job searches.

Here is what I think the common job search factors have been.

  1. You are more likely to get a job if you have solid evidence you can do the kind of job searchwork you seek.  Don’t think you can bluff your way through in this climate. If you do get lucky and find yourself appointed you and then can’t do the work, you are likely to be sent on your way pretty quickly. This will make job search harder next time. The sad fact in the present market is that few employers are likely to give you more than induction training at best. Use the time you spend without work to refresh your knowledge and gain qualifications if you need them.
  2. Being able to build relationships pays dividends. Yes, we can talk about networking all day – I often do.  But here I’m talking about learning to build rapport and establish relationships quickly with recruiters and potential new employers. If it doesn’t come naturally then go and work on your communication and relationship building skills.
  3. Successful job seekers do their homework; they research the market and keep up to date with new developments. They know who the key players are and what the culture is like in the organisations they want to target.
  4. Be ready to prepare. Successful job seekers prepare thoroughly at each stage in the process. They leave as little as possible to chance, work on being confident and practice their presentations and their interview technique.
  5. Above all, successful job seekers work hard to keep up energy and motivation. This means looking after themselves physically with diet and exercise.  Also keeping themselves mentally alert and interested in what is going on around them. This may be tough but you need to make a commitment to staying positive despite the inevitable set-backs. The energy and positive approach that you project at interview can make a real difference to your likelihood of success. 

You can do all these things on your own.  Though, as you would expect, I think it is much easier with the support of a career coach. If there is anything I can do to help you please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

New Week, New Job Search

New Week, New Job Search

So this is the start of a new week and for some of us it is the start of a new job search. And, if that is you, you will have heard all kinds of myths about how difficult it is going to be to find work.

First, yes, it is a challenge. But it is a challenge that lots of people are meeting and over coming. Lots of people are getting jobs and you can be one of them.

What you, the new job seeker, will find is lots and lots of advice and more people than you expect, willing to support you. You will certainly find lots of advice in the discussions published here. So check in regularly and if you are not finding what you need let me know. I’ll try to make sure that we cover it.

The key lessons I think I’ve learned from working with people looking for work is that it takes commitment, confidence, flexibility and resilience.

You need to commit time and energy to your job search and I know successful candidates who have chosen to spend 36 hours a week looking for work. Keeping a regular routine helps to keep up your morale anyway.

If you are not already a very confident person, or the experience that brings you here has knocked your confidence, then you need to get to work. You will find lots of books and coaches like me around hoping to help you.

Being willing to adapt and change to meet the needs of a changing market place opens up possibilities and, again, this is easier with more confidence. You need to work on being willing to adapt flexibly to meet the needs of a potential employer. You are never too old to learn new tricks. If you don’t believe me, get in touch, there are a few experiences I would be happy to share.

Resilience is something you may have to work at, too. Finding work generally takes a while in the present climate and you will probably have to bounce back from some knocks. You will be in good company though. I know lots of people who’ve been through this, only to be very successful at their next attempt or the one after that.

It’s important to keep your life fresh even though you don’t have a job. Make sure you eat properly and get some exercise. You could get involved in volunteering, take up new hobbies and new sports! You might surprise yourself, meet new people and discover talents you didn’t know you had. Who knows what new opportunities they may bring?

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Your Job Search – Dealing With Disappointment

Your Job Search – Dealing With Disappointment

Sadly, disappointments are a fact of life and certainly in the world of job search.  Learning how to deal with them and to bounce back is a key factor in eventually achieving success.

When we are disappointed most of us feel a complex set of emotions; anger, hurt, sadness, and often and for no good reason, shame.  Unless you can move on from feeling these kind of emotions, they can eat away at you self-confidence!

Some people just seem to have the gift of a quick recovery, others don’t! If you find recovery from disappointment difficult, here are some steps you can take.

Stop trying to fight it

The most important step forward you can make is to accept how you feel and allow yourself to fully experience it. Recognize that after suffering a loss – like not getting that job you had worked so hard on – it is legitimate to grieve and feel some pain. No, I’m not suggesting that you spends days in the pit of despair but you are allowed to feel something – sit with the emotion.  Heaven protect us from people who don’t have the gift of feeling their emotions

Work on seeing the broader picture

Now that you are giving yourself time to feel, you can begin to see the wider picture.  You can begin to see what just happened in a different way.  You can begin to recognize that in today’s job market there is an element of lottery.  There could be lots of reasons why you didn’t get this particular job and you do need to find out why.  But not getting that job doesn’t mean you are not a good candidate and there lots of other good jobs out there.

Make changes but stay with your own values

There will be lessons to learn from this experience and probably things to be incorporated in your future job search but stay with your own values.  Don’t compromise something important to you, just because it didn’t fit in with what one particular organization wanted. You can turn that on its head and keep in mind that if getting that job meant that kind of compromise, then perhaps that wasn’t the organization to join anyway.

Practice acceptance and move on.

Even though we know that some things are bound to happen sometimes, we’re not always willing to accept them. And this is certainly true when it comes to job search. But unfortunately being disappointed is part of life and certainly part of job search. The secret of success is not avoiding disappointment or failure – it is about knowing how to recover, learn from the experience and move on.  So, when you are ready, take a deep breath, remember how good you are and get out there again.

But if you do feel yourself getting stuck or going further down, seek help. Career coaches and counsellors are there to help you. And I am always very happy to talk to you – get in touch.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Job Search Confidence!

Job Search Confidence!

Job Search and that magic ingredient – confidence!

Job search confidence – now first I have to admit to having an interest here. As a career coach I focus on working with clients who want to develop their confidence and self esteem – that is my “niche.” But I chose it for very good reasons. I would say that being able to maintain self confidence in the job search process is, as in the rest of life, key to success. You need to believe in yourself and your capabilities.

Of course you need to meet the requirements of the role for which you are applying, but also, you need to maintain self-belief through the anxiety ridden process that is recruitment. And that is not always easy! You have to have the confidence to present what you believe about yourself to strangers and that can be challenging.

Presenting yourself when you are already in a role at which you are succeeding, is quite different to doing it when something has gone wrong at work or if you have been made redundant. When you are simply looking for a career development move or a promotion then you have all the confidence you have built up in your present role to support you. You may be a little nervous or suffer from a little performance anxiety (stage-fright to you and me). But basically you can tell yourself with some degree of conviction that if you succeed they will be lucky to get you and, if you don’t, well it is their loss and you will do better next time.

Confidence to keep going

When you are already unemployed and having to deal with a market that is more likely to reject than accept you, you need to build up your resistance. You need the confidence to keep going until you get that precious job.

Fundamental to maintaining confidence is physical and mental fitness. Do you eat a good diet? Do you exercise? I know it is tempting to comfort eat – and you need get out there and move. At the very least take a walk each day. It is all too easy to get up and just slope into the home office interrupted only with visits to the kitchen to snack or to the sitting room to watch day time television. I know – I work at home. As well as that, take time out for meditation or at the very least relaxation time.

A strong vision

Most important, you need to develop of very strong vision of yourself as a successful professional with lots to give. Create an image in your mind of you doing well. For these purposes, suspend judgment about any doubts. Then spend time each day with that vision of yourself. Some people imagine their successful self standing right in front of them and they step into the vision, beginning to see the world through their successful self’s eyes.

The more time you spend with your successful self, the more that self becomes you. This helps a lot when you are preparing for an interview and again if you are unlucky enough to be rejected – remember it is their loss and you will do better next time.

But if you do feel yourself getting stuck or going further down, seek help. Career coaches and counsellors are there to help you. And I am always very happy to talk to you – get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search: Asking For A Job Referral

Job Search: Asking For A Job Referral

When you are interested in a job and someone refers you, you can mention that asking for a job referralin your covering letter.  It will mean you start ahead of the field.  Having a referral is having a recommendation.

When you identify a job you wish to apply for check your network for contacts with the right connections. LinkedIn is great for this. And, if you can find someone who already works for the company you wish to apply to that is great.

As well as LinkedIn, you can also use tools like BranchOut which is a Facebook app. It helps you find your friends at companies you are interested in. Search by company name and you’ll see a list of your Facebook friends at the company. Then, you can approach them to  see if they are willing to help.

You can approach contacts in a number of ways

  • An old-fashioned letter,
  • an email message,
  • Sending a message on a networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook or by, for example, Skype.

It is usually better to ask in writing rather than by phone. That means your contact has time to think about your request and how they can refer you. It is fair to give them the opportunity to refuse. And that is easier to do in writing

When you ask someone to refer you, you are not asking for a reference letter.  But, they do need to know something about you to refer with confidence.  You can ask “Do you feel you know my work well enough to refer me for a job at your company?” Or, “Do you feel you could give me a referral?” That way, they have an out if they don’t feel comfortable. And, you can be assured that those who do refer you will be enthusiastic about your performance. They will write a positive letter or give you a strong endorsement.

You could always offer to provide an updated copy of your resume and information on your skills and experiences. This is so your contact has the right information to work with.

Don’t take it personally if your contact says no!

Don’t take it personally if your contact says no. There could be all kinds of reasons for their refusal and lots that have nothing to do with you.

But don’t feel diffident about making your request. People usually feel flattered to be asked. And if you are asked to make a referral, do your best to help. Though, don’t duck away from refusing if you don’t feel comfortable. Perhaps, you know the person they want to contact will not welcome the approach.

Remember, job search is about giving as well as getting, Build your network with generosity to others. That way you are likely to be remembered with kindness when you need help.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

How to network to find a job!

How to network to find a job!

How to network – job search networking is all about making connections with people. The people you want to contact are those who can either let you know about potential job openings or connect you with others who can tell you.

Networking means talking to everyone you know. This includes family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, previous employers and colleagues, people you play sport with, local business people, the family solicitor or accountant—everyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know very many people. The people you do know might in turn know other people who have heard about a job opening.

Job search networking can be done at different levels. It can be a matter of having casual conversations with people you meet. Or you can make it an active and strategic campaign to contact people for ideas, suggestions and information.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are usually happy to help if they can. You have nothing to lose by phoning or meeting with your contacts. If you don’t make the connection, you won’t be able to tell if the person has good information or knows about an upcoming job. If you do speak with them, you might just land that job, or hear about another that suits you better.

At worst you might feel a bit uncomfortable. But, being prepared will make the discussions easier.

How to Prepare For Job Search Networking

Make a list of all the people you know.

They don’t need to be friends, or even acquaintances; you just need to have enough of a common link with them to initiate a conversation. If you can pick up the phone and call them, for any reason, they are potential networking contacts.

Prepare what you are going to say

You don’t want to just ring people up and say, ‘I work in HR. Do you know of any jobs going?’ Before you phone anyone, note down the specific details of what you’re looking for and exactly the kind of help you think they might be able to give you. For example, say:
‘I’m looking for a role in training and development within the public sector or a not-for-profit organisation. [Government department] or [organisation name] would be the kind of place I’d like to work in. Would you know of any places, maybe smaller and more local, that might be looking for trainers?’

Contact the people on your list in a systematic way

Set yourself a goal—maybe you’re happy to spend all afternoon on the phone to people, and cross twenty off your list. Or maybe you just want to work through the list steadily, making three calls a day. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm, being less conversational and speaking more mechanically, it might be time to take a break.

Ask them for job leads

To make it easy for people to help you, ask them if they have any tips, leads or suggestions. Ask them if they know of any vacancies at all for a person with your skills. If they don’t, ask them to keep you in mind in case anything comes up. Most importantly, ask them if they can suggest anyone else you contact. Do they know someone else who might know about the kinds of jobs that you’re after? Do they know anyone who works for this or that company that you’re interested in joining? If they can refer you to others, contact those other people and ask them the same questions.

Follow up contacts

Often people will tell you, ‘I’ll ask around and see what I can find out for you.’ Sometimes they do ask around; sometimes they forget almost immediately, or a crisis happens at work and they haven’t the time. If you don’t hear from them within a week or so, call them back to see if they’ve managed to find anything out.
Sometimes it seems as if no one will do anything for you or ask around on your behalf. It can be frustrating, but you should stay very polite and pleasant in your dealings with your contacts. After all, you’re asking them for a favour.

Follow up leads

After your initial networking efforts and research, you’ll probably have a long list of new people to try and make connections with. A phone call may be enough, or you might want to arrange a meeting with them to introduce yourself and ask them more specific questions about their company or industry.

Networking wisdom

• Whenever you meet someone new, exchange business cards with them (or at least get one from your new contact, so you can send them your details).
• Show your appreciation for the help you receive by sending a thank-you note, or by telling your contact how their information helped you, even if it only led indirectly to a job prospect.
• Think laterally about where to find network contacts. You can find people to add to your network almost anywhere.
• Get involved in a civic, social, religious or sporting organisation that interests you. As you meet new people in the organisation, they can become new network contacts.
• Join a professional organisation related to your field. The meetings or related events are good opportunities for you to network with people in your field.
• Think about online networking, in forums and in chat rooms.
• Record and organise all your network contacts—for example, on a spreadsheet or index cards. Write down what you found out from them, and any follow-up you should do. This will help you organise your time and monitor your progress.

Keep networking

Even after you’ve found a job, keep networking. Networking isn’t just for getting a job; it can help you do your job better, and it’s a way of being part of your community and society.

Life is full of surprises. You never know when you might need your network contacts’ help in another job search.

Social networking

Social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, are becoming increasingly important tools for both job seekers and employers. Learn how to use them – if you would like some help I can recommend a first rate social networking trainer

With thanks to Australia’s Myfuture website

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

  • Job Search and Career Development:How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
  • Career Development; How To Ask For an Informational Interview
  • Job Search:How to Negotiate Salary During a Job Offer
  • Job Search – Minding the Brand – Not Your Holiday Photo Please
  • Career Development – “Worst Case Scenario” – How To Handle Getting Fired
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Interview Preparation: Identify Your Strengths

Interview Preparation: Identify Your Strengths to show your Potential Career Performance

Interview Preparation – today’s guest post come from Tamara M. Williams who reads guides and books related to personal and career development and encourages you to do the same. Tamara publishes other articles, read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tamara_M._Williams

Identifying your strengths is very important for interview preparation. Interviewers always ask about your strengths and how they can be applied to the job. Strengths demonstrate your accomplishments in life. Accomplishments are directly tied to areas that are your strong points. In addition, knowing your strengths help you to decide other industries you should work in and other qualifications that you should seek. Determine your strengths by following the steps below.

Identify all your academic qualifications: First, make a list of your academic qualifications. These would include all your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. These qualifications showed that you have the skills and knowledge needed in a particular field. For e.g. a BSc in Computer Science indicate that you have knowledge in creating applications using various programming languages. This also shows that you have Problem-solving skills.

Identify all your professional qualifications: Second, make a list of your professional qualifications. These were most likely obtained after gaining some work experience. These demonstrate that you have strengths in a particular subject, product or service in a specific industry. The qualifications are awarded by professional bodies. For e.g. the Associate or Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA or FCCA) is conferred by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. This indicates knowledge in using Accounting software such as QuickBooks or Sage. You would also have Book-keeping / Budget skills.

Identify all your academic experience:  Third, identify all the clubs and societies that you participated in while at college or university. For e.g. being a member of a Performing Arts Club would indicate that you have Organization, Project Management and People skills. In addition, you could have knowledge of the various works of Shakespeare.

Identify all your professional experience: Finally, list all the companies that you worked with, your job titles and specific projects that you worked on and what you achieved. This list would include summer jobs, part-time and full-time work, internships and volunteer work. Once again what you achieved during your work assignments would show your strengths. For e.g. in one project you created the Company and Product/Service brochures. Then you presented this information at seminars and conferences. This means that you have Writing and Reporting, and Communication skills. Besides that shows knowledge of a particular product or service specific to that industry such as the Food and Beverage Industry.

Now that you have completed this exercise you are more prepared to answer questions related to your strengths when interviewing for a new job, promotion or a raise. This shows that your skills and knowledge gave you great achievements in the past and are capable of doing greater in the future. Remember to give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work and good luck in your career! 

About the Author:

Tamara M. Williams reads guides and books related to personal and career development. She encourages you to do the same. Contact your college or university career center or a Life & Career Coach for more assistance. Tamara also publishes other articles, read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tamara_M._Williams

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