7 Intelligent Steps Towards Gracefully Quitting Your Job

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For every story about a successful transition from one job to another or a business opportunity, there is another story about a stressful job transition. Contrary to popular belief, quitting your job is not as easy as the movies make it look. It can be terrifying, exhilarating, uncertain or all of these at the same time. Sometimes it is the product of days, months and years of agonizing over whether the decision to quit is the right decision. For other people, it can be the product of a whim, a gut feeling that the grass is greener on the other side. There is no right or wrong way to arrive at that decision but there are intelligent steps you can take as you work towards your transition. The key thing is, that once you make up your mind to leave the job, have the courage to follow through with your decision.

Find your “why” before you leave

Difficult bosses have been known to be among the leading reason as to why people quit their jobs. While it is true that there are bosses that are impossible to work with, there is another side of the coin. Some employees place unreasonable expectations on their bosses making the work environment stressful. Before you leave your current position, you need to ask yourself the hard questions:

  • Why do you want to leave your job?
  • Are your reasons detached from any pending emotional matters that you have not dealt with?
  • If there are steps you could take towards improving your experience at your current position, would you take them and evaluate the outcome before making your decision?

Draft a transition plan

I have met candidates with noticeable gaps in their CV’s which is often as a result of leaving a job without having a proper transition plan in place. A typical transition plan answers the following questions:

  • Are there any pending projects/ tasks you need to complete before your final day at your job?
  • When will each of these projects or tasks be handed over to your successor?
  • What are opportunities are you eyeing after you leave?
  • Do you have a proper plan with clear objectives and set timelines to help you pursue other opportunities?
  • Do you have a financial plan in place to cater for your pursuit of other opportunities?

You may not be able to cover all the bases but you can anticipate as much as you can and plan ahead. If you have a mentor, let him or her help you with this process.

pexels-photo-796602Give notice to your employer

If you have a contract with your employer, go through it and find out if you are supposed to give a certain amount of notice before you quit your job. In some organizations, failure to serve sufficient notice can have a direct impact on your terminal benefits. It is important to serve notice as it allows your employer to have sufficient time to find a replacement. If there are specific skills you acquired through experience, the notice period allows you to transfer those skills to your successor.

Hand in your resignation letter

Forget about those cheesy videos of employees who made emotional videos and sent them to their bosses as a resignation letter. They only work if you are out to become an internet celebrity after you quit job. Your resignation letter should be a precisely drafted legal document that informs your employer that you will no longer be offering your services to the organization after a certain date. You do not have to delve into the details as to why you quit your job. Keep it short, polite and formal. Outline any transition plan you are willing to make and implement. Express your gratitude to your boss for the opportunity.

Schedule a meeting with your boss about your exit

This may be the most difficult part of exiting from your current position but it is necessary. Have a short meeting with your boss and inform him/her that you will no longer be working for the organization. Future employers may seek a recommendation from your former boss so it is important to leave in good terms.

Handle pending administrative matters

If your organization has a well-established HR department, you may be required to attend an exit interview. Attend the interview and keep your criticism concise and constructive. Fill in the paperwork that you may be required to fill in to cater for things such as your retirement benefits and your health insurance. Clear with all the departments you need to clear with. Let your colleagues, particularly your successor, know that you are leaving. You may not have a good experience at the organization but that does not mean you cannot positively influence those who still work for the organization. Share the lessons you have learned from your job with your colleagues.

pexels-photo-704767Forge ahead!

The only way to move forward is to step forward. Once you have left your job, embrace what’s ahead of you. It will be terrifying at times. It will be heartbreaking and exciting at other times. It may not work out after the first, second and third attempts. However, it pans out, embrace it, learn from it and go for it. There is no loss in trying and failing but failure to try due to fear of loss is the biggest loss.

Good luck with your exit!

Do you mind taking a short survey about your previous exit from your job? It would mean so much to us. Click the link below and answer the questions.

Survey on Leaving Your Job

If you are on verge of changing careers, do check out our website, Crystal Recruitment a leading recruitment agency in Kenya for opportunities that we have and apply today!

Top five questions you should stop asking candidates during interviews

FIT

An interview is, in simple terms, a question and answer session between the employer and the candidate who is a potential employee. As an employer, an interview is an opportunity to determine whether a candidate’s qualifications are a good fit for the organization. An interview enables you to sift through the fine list and get the finest candidate for the position you are seeking to fill. Candidates, on the other hand, spend hours preparing for the interview and work even harder to deal with the anxiety that comes with being interviewed.

With today’s cut-throat competition for talent among employers, it is only natural that an employer would go out of their way to prod the candidates and find the best. However, this enthusiasm can easily be tainted by biases which come to the fore in the form of questions posed to the candidates. As a best practice, it is advisable to avoid posing the following questions to candidates:

“Where are you from?” Or “You have a strange accent. Where are you from?”

This may seem like an innocent question but it is laden with hidden meanings. This question boils down to a candidate’s ethnicity or first language. It can mask underlying biases towards candidates on the basis of their ethnicity. Unless the candidate’s ethnicity has a direct impact on the candidate’s ability to perform the job, it is advisable to steer clear of a candidate’s ethnicity during an interview. Instead of asking a candidate why he or she has a strange accent, you can pose the following questions:

  • This job requires you to speak ______ fluently. What languages are you fluent in?
  • This position requires you to represent the organization in forums with audiences drawn from different ethnicities. Are you good at handling such audiences?

We have always had a man/ woman for this role. Can you handle the challenges that come with this position?

images (6)Men and women possess different abilities which enrich the workplace in unique ways. For decades, ill-informed notions about what a woman can do have been used to lock out women seeking certain opportunities. The effect of this discriminatory practice has resulted in huge gaps between the number of women and the number of men in certain fields. Fortunately, most organizations are beginning to recognize the critical role played by women in the workplace and are taking active steps to close the gaps. Your organization will benefit immensely from providing both men and women with equal opportunities. Do not lock out women on account of their gender. Open the field for them and level the playing field for them.

“Are you married?” Or “Do you have young children?”

As the workplace is changing, young people find themselves committing to their careers in favour of starting a family early. Unlike in the past, marriage is delayed as one pursues higher education, career opportunities or business opportunities. A good employer recognizes that a candidate’s marital status is an important part of his or her life but does not use this against the candidate. Some jobs may require a candidate to work overtime or work long hours but this should not be a reason to lock our candidates who have families. An employer’s working hours or policies should support work-life balance because studies have increasingly shown that employees who have a balance in their lives perform better. Instead of asking about a candidate’s marital status, the interviewer can pose the following questions:

  • This job may require you to work overtime hours. What days/hours are you available for work?
  • Are you available for work-related travel occasionally?
  • This job may require you to relocate to another city or country. Would you open to this?

“Which religion do you practice?” Or “Who is your religious leader?”

pexels-photo-1407278.jpegReligion is increasingly becoming a dicey topic. While we cannot ignore the role of religion in one’s life, it can be a hot button topic in the workplace. Asking about a candidate’s religion can open the door for discrimination on account of one’s religion or lack of religious affiliation. Organizations that are religiously affiliated may find this question necessary when determining a candidate’s alignment to the organizational values. However, given that religion is deeply personal and private, it may be hard to determine if a candidate’s convictions are actually as stated. To avoid this, it would be better to determine if a candidate’s religious affiliation has a direct bearing on the position. If not, it is better to steer clear of this question.

“What is your greatest weakness?”

As an employer, you know that candidates invest a considerable amount of time in preparing for interviews. Asking a candidate to tell you about their weakness may not be useful considering the candidate has already rehearsed an appropriate answer that gives the best impression. If you are keen on finding out about a candidate’s weakness, talk to their referees. No one can openly admit to being addicted to social media or online gambling during an interview. Alternatively, ask the below questions;

  • When was the last time your Supervisor/Manager gave you constructive criticism with regards to your job? Tell us more.
  • What areas are you working on for Personal Development?

Do you need help with recruiting top talent for your organization? Crystal Recruitment is a Leading Recruitment Firm that specializes in targeting the right people for open vacancies. Check out our website today and get in touch with us.

 

Top six questions you need to ask an employer during an interview

pexels-photo-355952.jpeg“Do you have a question for us?”

This is a common phrase from interviewers during interviews and the expectation is that the candidates will have prepared several questions for them. Asking questions in an interview is an indication that you did your research and are well prepared.

Most candidates have great answers to the questions posed by interviewers. Some of them have great CV’s and a track record that cannot be ignored. However, they go under the seat when their turn to ask questions comes at the end of the interview. From my interactions with candidates, many of them confuse this with an opportunity to sell themselves to the hiring team. Others do not ask questions because they do not know whether their questions are appropriate. This boils down to anxiety, lack of confidence and poor preparation. Fortunately, we have done interviews for so long that we have developed a cheat sheet for you( do not tell anyone about it).

Here are our top six  questions you need to pose to interviewers during an interview:

1. What would I be expected to do on a typical day/week/month if I was hired for this position?

It may seem like an obvious question but it is absolutely important to find out what your interviewer expects from you. Having an employer lay out what you are expected to do ensures that there are no nasty surprises once you get hired. A candidate who successfully applied for a position as a personal assistant quit her job after a week after being told by her boss that she was supposed to pick up his laundry and supervise his children as they did their homework in the office. Upon further inquiry, she was told that the previous personal assistant used to perform those duties in addition to her daily duties. Having expectations laid out for you during the interview process helps you decide whether you would like to take up the job or not.

images (23)2. Would I be undergoing any form of training after getting the job?

An ambitious candidate not only applies for jobs because he or she meets the criteria but also because he or she wants to grow career wise. If you lack some of the skills that one is required to have in order to perform well, this question helps you determine whether there is an opportunity to acquire those skills before embarking on the job. It also helps you gauge whether your potential employer has opportunities for you to develop professionally. Some companies have an initial training period of up to three months. If you have another job and you require to serve a notice of a similar amount of time, it may be wise to state so during the interview as you pose this question.

3. What are the performance expectations for this position?

It may seem obvious that anyone who gets the position has to perform but the performance expectations may not be that obvious. Posing this question helps you set your mind and attitude towards the attainment of targets as per your position. If the performance expectations are not commiserate to the resources provided by the company, then this question would help you determine whether you still want to take up the job. Moreover, this question will help determine what sort of salary you should accept  should they extend an offer if successful through the selection stages.

4. What are the next steps after the interview process?

No one wants to wait to hear from an employer forever. This questions helps you to have realistic timelines in mind as you await to hear from your employer. This question helps you know what to expect and when to expect it. It is also a way of getting some reassurance from your employer after the interview. You can also check with them what sort of medium will they use to provide feedback.

pexels-photo-66134.jpeg5. Will I be working with a team? If I am, could you tell me a little about the team?

Everyone indicates that he or she is a team player in their CV’s. The true test of this attribute is when you are actually introduced to the team. Candidates have been known to quit their jobs after a short time because of teams that were impossible to work with. Find out who you will be reporting to. Find out whether there are any challenges that the team has been dealing with. Find out how the organization has been building the capacity of the team and promoting team work within the organization. Find out about the work culture among the teams in the organizations.

6. What sort of advancements can I work towards while working in this department?

This question will give you a glimpse into opportunities for mobility within the company. The last thing you want as a candidate is a dead end job that leads you nowhere. Your ultimate goal as a candidate should be to grow in your career path. Advancement may in form of training opportunities, promotion and mentorship opportunities.

Do you want to change careers? Crystal Recruitment, a leading Recruitment Agency in Kenya works with Employers and we may have your next career on our Job Board. Be sure to check it out.

NO! Recruiters will not Read your CV/Application

pexels-photo-128421I was to write about interning after we posted 2 intern opportunities with our clients. However, as we shortlisted, we were appalled and I felt I must write this as a reminder and more for those who may be wondering they have sent out 200 plus applications with no response.

I know, even a ‘regret’ is better than never hearing from the companies you applied to.

If you do not hear from us or do not hear from recruiters after you apply for an opportunity, this could be one or all of the reasons!

Shoddy CVS. 

This cannot be overemphasized.

See what we shared earlier about having a great CV.

So let us say it again, take your time. Write a great CV even for an internship. Sell yourself. How do you stand out from 800+ applications, like what we received for the Office Assistant Intern position in just a week?

The only thing standing between you being shortlisted for an interview, getting a regret or never hearing from the Recruiters is your CV and application letter where applicable.

Google is your friend, if not, then you better start making it your close ally.  Know what to avoid, and do exactly that.

Not Following Instructions 

If a job is for a certain nationality, please do not apply. It is not funny when a recruiter scroll down CVs to find a +254 yet they want a +255. Unless of course you are a citizen of that country and want to go back home.

If you cannot follow basic instructions in the job application process, why should the hiring company think you would follow instruction once hired? And trust us, there are so many instructions to follow.

Sending CV to multiple Employers on the Same Email.

Deadly sin here.

But why would you send your CV to 10 companies on the same email?

Not Including a Body on the Email. 

This is another that actually tops the list where if you have a good CV but do not have time to write something about yourself and the job you are applying for, how would we know? The chances of a Recruiter opening that CV is pretty slim unless of course, they have some extra time or they did not get enough applicants for the specific job.

We repeat; pay attention, someone will pay attention too.

It is simple; You don’t want to put in time when applying, why would someone else spend their time checking your CV trying to figure out what sort of job would be of interest to you or what skills you have, yet you can simply include that in short paragraph?

No Subject, or the subject line, “CV” 

My guess is as good as yours, ‘hit ignore button’.

No one will even bother responding to this. There is a reason people study Coms 101? And letter writing and there is a reason the emails have a subject line?

So let us get something straight.

Junk In, Junk Out.

You do not expect to get a call for an interview with either a junk CV or a junk application and especially not in a market where Recruiters have deadlines, KPIs and pressed for time to sieve through all the CVS. Yes, some must go through all CVs to create longlist before creating a shortlist because of audit purposes.

downloadResults.jpgParting shot:

When you are a job seeker and you include a phone number, email address or skype ID, be sure to be available on those channels. Do check your emails on a regular basis. If you don’t and you miss a deadline, you have yourself to blame.

We as a leading Recruitment Agency in Kenya have several assessment stages and for large volumes of applications, we rely on provided email contacts to reach the applicants.

Be Intentional in your Job Search and see the rewards.

 

Do you know what sort of Interview You are Attending???

 

Interviewing is a skill that one perfects over time. Not only do you need to prepare, but you need to find out what sort of interview you will be attending. Knowing beforehand means you get to prepare well to ace the said interview. If you are working with a Recruitment Firm, always ask them to specify the kind of interview you have been invited to, the Hiring Company’s expectation and who will be the panelists.

There are various types of interviews:

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  • Phone/Skype Interviews
  • Structured Interviews
  • Unstructured Interviews
  • Stress Interviews
  • Behavioral Interviews
  • Competency Based Interviews
  • Case Studies
  • Panel Interviews
  • Group Interviews
  • Simulation Interviews
  • Lunch/Dinner Interviews.

Today, we will to focus on the Structured Interviews and incorporate a format of how that would look like.

Structured Interviews are very consistent in nature as they ask the same questions and they have preempted answers in the case of a competency-based module.

They have a grading system and are scientific in nature.

They are majorly done by a panel of interviewers as they would want to get the average points on the candidate’s performance.

Companies are adopting this interview style due to its consistency format. Some will mix it with case studies for senior roles.

How would a Structured Interview look like, especially sample of a type of a Competency-Based One?

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The first section would be about yourself: This is more of your schooling, the grades, any awards, any professional qualification related to the job etc.

For example, If we have two candidates for a Marketing Job; Both have undergraduate degrees in Marketing with First Class Honors and one of them has the CIM Certification; the one with the extra certification automatically scores higher in this section of Academic Professional qualification.

The second section is usually created to determine your competencies;

Sticking to a Marketer Role: Some of the Competencies they may want to interview on are;

  • Technical Knowledge (Marketing)
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Financial Literacy
  • Team Leadership / Collaborative

Once they establish the relevant competencies, questions are set around the same with the generally expected answers. The best way to answer them is always linking the answers to your actual experience.

For instance, if asked about Commercial Awareness in Marketing – You would answer then demonstrate that by giving previous examples of projects worked on.

Keep in mind that it is not the length of your answer, but the content as the Interviewers do have a guide on what to expect for set questions.

This part is very important as is the only way the panel can determine if you really can do the work or not. They will be basing their decision on your ability to demonstrate the competencies from your previous experience.

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Third Part would be a Behavioral Component.

Each job usually has a behavioral component and some companies even adopt specific behaviors they want to be exhibited by their employees. E.g Friendliness, Team-spirit etc

Most of this questions would seek to understand how you did react in a certain situation. E.g if they want to check friendliness, they may ask “Tell us a time that you used your friendly nature to calm an irritated customer Or to influence a team member”

If you are well prepared, you will have several examples.

It is advisable to think through your career history and in line with the Job Description, write down examples for each of the competency components of the expected behavior trait that you feel may be asked. This way you will be ready when the questions are asked.

 

images (6)The fourth Part would be where you get to ask questions:

Yes, they do grade this!

So have your questions ready. Otherwise, you will lose points and even a 0.5 mark makes the difference on whether you move to the next stage or not.

They will want to know, were your questions thoughtful? Relevant? Did you do your research about the Company? Are your excited about the Job and more so joining the Team?

The final part is where they ask about your salary expectation, notice period and if you have any benefits you would want to be matched. This is not graded.

This process is repeated for all invited candidates, and each Interviewer does their own grading. They may want to compare notes once done e.g if there is a big disparity and get to discuss why someone gave higher marks and another gave way lower marks for the same question answered by the same candidates. They will then hand over the individual results to the HR department who will tally and prepare a final report. Based on the final report, the highest scoring candidates move to the next stages i.e Reference, security vetting and background checks if that was the interview or to the next interview stages.

Other candidates who did not make it will receive a Regret email or call as a best practice in Recruitment.

In our next articles, we will look into the Common Behavioral Questions and how to answer them.

We at Crystal Recruit do walk with our candidates and make sure they are well prepped for interviews with our clients.

You can check our latest Jobs Here

 

Is your CV selling you? Try These Tips!

First, the basics – Correct Contact Details.

Your contact details must be up to date, and correctly spelt. Remember that errors can cost you  a Job?

It is not uncommon to get CVs of candidates whose contact details are incorrect or the emails are miss pelt hence bounces. That is a straight ticket to missing out on an interview.

Furthermore, when job hunting and you get a missed call of an unknown number, please do call back. Sometimes, when there are so many job applicants, the recruiter moves on to available candidates. A call back also means you can make follow ups which is a plus in itself.

 

Second: Read the Job Specification then respond like for like

Are they looking for a Customer Service Executive? Do you have have similar skills? Any achievement around retaining a client or up-selling through your outstanding customer service? Highlight that.

Use keywords specific to that job you are applying for.

That means if you were to apply for an Account Manager position, then you would rewrite your CV to capture your Client relationship skills.

Basically, one CV is not one fit for all jobs. And if it is not an entry Level position, then be selective in putting your energies in positions that you are confident if hired, your would excel. What we mean is, if you are sending out your CV to 5 different jobs with different job titles and you have the right skill set thus are sure you can do either of the job, then you will be writing 5 cover letters and 5 CVs highlighting why you are best suited for the different roles.

 

Third: Beauty lies in the Eyes of the Beholder

This is all about formatting, spacing, fonts, layout and length. We did share a few fonts that are most attractive in the last article.

Your CV body font should be between 10 and 12 points and the headings to be 14 and 18 points. When it comes to margins, a 2.5 cm is decent enough. The right spacing does bring out clarity and professionalism.

We have seen CVs that are 16 pages long. The common rule of the thumb is that your CV should be at a maximum of 2 pages . If possible one page.

What is the length of your current CV?

To let you in on a secret, a CV gets on average a 90 seconds view and from there it is either, “Trash, Consider Later or Good to Shortlist” . So next time you are writing your CV, try picture where you want your CV to land and what you can do about that

It is advised to save your CV in a PDF format unless advised otherwise. This is because a PDF document will maintain its formatting no matter the device used to open it.

Furthermore, another reason to save your CV in PDF format is that most PDF files can be easily opened online thus you get a faster view visa-a-vi a word document file that must first be downloaded before viewing. When recruiters are working against time and they get great pool of applicants from those already viewed online as their CVs are in PDF files, the rest may have to wait for another day.

 

Fourth: The Content

This is where the rubber meets the road. The meaty stuff in your CV will get you the well deserved interview.

Your CV should be written chronologically including both years of graduations and work experiences.

If you have been out of school for 5 years and less, then you start with your education then go to experience.

If you have been working longer, then the experience takes precedence and later include your education details.

Do not exaggerate or falsify information for either the work experience or education. The best of recruiters will sniff you out once they do their reference and background checks.

Do highlight your honors and key achievement.

Focus on your wins. Think through your career as you write your CV and do put effort into demonstrating your most significant achievements that could have led to getting awards, recognition, rewards etc.

Avoid too many bullet points and listing “your previous job description word for word”.

When talking of your work experience, try to think numbers and metrics. Be clear on the measurable and the quantifiable e.g, Instead of saying you were a Regional Manager at Company Y,  you could say you were Regional manager implementing new systems across 3 countries while managing 6 cross-cultural teams.

As for extracurricular activities, do focus on those that are most relevant to the job, in that they will add a special touch to show you can indeed do the job. It is a nice to demonstrate that you can manage a team as you hold office in a Not for Profit Community Organization and you have been instrumental in implementing the organization’s mandate even if you may not be in a managerial role in your current employment.

 

Final: References

Unless asked to include, you can always write a line, “To be Availed Upon Request” or remove the line altogether if you no longer have space.

Bonus Tip;

When submitting your application via an email address, please remember the following:

  • The Subject Line should be the Title of the Job you are applying for.
  • Do not send blank emails – share a little bit more about your suitability for the role on the body of the email
  • Follow instructions – if told to include a cover letter, do include a cover letter.

If you are working with a Leading Recruitment Agency, do ask questions about the potential employer and their expectation of interested candidates.

CV Writing? The Absolute DONT’s

“Have a better CV”.

“Change the titles”. 

“Make it shorter”.

“Use an attractive font”. 

These are common phrases I use in my day to day work as a Recruiter after speaking with a candidate who has great potential but sometimes, not such a good CV. The advantage they would have is that the Hiring Manager would listen to me since I have done the initial screening. However, were we to base our decision on the CV alone, the candidate wouldn’t stand a chance.

The reality is that not all companies use Recruitment Agencies and sometimes candidates must follow the application procedure set down by the Hiring Companies, meaning their CV will either be the tool to give them an interviewing opportunity or not.

So what are these mistakes that could be your downfall in a job search?

Typographical Errors (Typos, grammatical errors)

Spelling

I think this tops the list of the No-Nos when it comes to your CV. Such a mistake will take your application to the trash/reject folder faster than it landed in the inbox folder. Some of the things to do to avoid this deadly mistake include;

  • Proof read the CV.
  • Print out and check again.
  • Have a friend check for you because, let us be honest, it can be hard identifying your own mistakes.
  • Use other tools like Grammarly.
  • You can create your own resume proof reading checklist, or you can use this one that I found pretty interesting. In simpler terms, there is no excuse for such an error.

Lack of Consistent Formatting

Once you have made sure you have no spelling or grammatical errors, then you need to check your formatting.

Have a  form of consistency. From the font used, sizes, headings etc. Let there be a sense of a flow.

When not sure, look for templates online. There are a thousand of them that you can customize. Let the Recruiter want to read through your CV at just a glance of the CV.

Some of my favorite fonts that I have used so far include;

  • Gill Sans
  • Cambria
  • Garamond
  • Calibri
  • Georgia

This goes to show you there are fonts that are not as attractive; rather they would dull your CV. Take time to research more and also remember that a Photographer’s CV would be very different from an Accountant’s CV.

Customize the format to your line of career and craft.

Gaps in your CV 

GAPSIt is encouraged that you write your CV in a chronological order including the years and months of the start and end of each employment.

Whether you took a sabbatical leave, time out to raise family, to venture into business, to do certain projects, take care of sick family member/relative etc, find ways to explain the same in your CV so that there are no gaps.

When you have gaps, it tends to leave an impression that you could be hiding something.

Irrelevant Information

It is advised that you do try as much as possible to keep your CV sweet and short yet giving a clear picture of who you really are.

Some of the things that are considered irrelevant:

  • Personal Information (Age, Marital Status, No. of Children, Gender, Religion etc).
  • Career Objective/Vision (Can only be useful if changing the industries completely hence a short summary why).
  • Copy pasting your current job description as tasks/responsibilities
  • Your Interests/hobbies (Unless it is in line with the position you are applying for).

Cliches and overused words

Instead, do find action words to use to display your competencies.

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Exaggerated information aka lies in your CV

Those who exaggerate or tell lies in their CV do somehow get caught.

My main question though is; why let a lie be the end of your career in the long term as your integrity comes into question?

Basically; what else have you/will you lie about??

There are other things to avoid such as listing too many jobs, too many bullet points, CV lacking sense of direction and progression of skills, qualifications not clear etc but I think they may not be as suicidal as those mentioned above.

A parting shot; when you get to the interview panel stage, make sure you can explain your CV in detail. Lack of doing so may just mean the end of the interview in that very moment. Master your CV, know it, every little detail and defend what you have written. 

For those in the job search, check our page for latest jobs and hopefully, with your great CV you get yourself an interview?

Do come back soon for the “Must to Do” for your CV to stand out.

 

Speak Up!

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Robert

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My inspiration for this short post came from a candidate whom I interviewed and during the assessment, it was clear he did not stand a chance against other shortlisted candidates, and I told him as much.  However, that did not deter him from asking, “Can I at least get an internship opportunity with the client?”

Well, I told him we would check with the client if they are open to having an intern on board, and when we did check, client was available to have a meeting with the candidate.

My point, he did speak up. He did ask.

I have come to note that some companies do encourage a culture of speaking up yet in other companies, this is foreign to them. Whatever the management decides is final and what such companies fail to realize is that this becomes a reason for employee turn over as they leave to seek better companies which will appreciate their voice and their ideas.

speak upSo yes, as much as is a two way street, you can always start speaking up if you haven’t been doing so.  An article by Forbes gives 6 reasons why you must speak up at work to thrive, i.e Command Respect, Better Your Performance, Strengthen Your Influence, Solidify Your Brand, Find Unexpected Opportunities and Accelerate Your Career.

If you are not fully convinced, see what this writer has to say on why you should speak up; 

“You Wouldn’t Have Been Hired if Your Boss Didn’t Want Your Input,
Even Half-Baked Ideas Can Start Important Conversations.
If You Don’t Speak Up, Nobody Will Speak Up for You”

Perhaps you really do want to speak up but do not know where to start?

Here are a few tips that I really liked as they are actionable and very thoughtful.

Challenge yourself today to speak up. Let your voice be heard, let your stand be known.

And if you need to change your jobs to get into an environment that listens, talk to us or check available opportunities on our website.

 

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A – Z Career Nuggets

Focus On The Goal

A – Adapt to new situations and changing environment. The today’s business world is always changing at a faster rate than ever before.

B – Be Brave; Speak up and not out when you are not happy about something at work. Also, be brave enough to share your new ideas and embrace your team’s ideas.

C – Care for your work, your team, your peers. Show genuine interest.

D – Delegate when you can especially if you are in a leadership position.

E – Excell in your tasks. There is no need to be mediocre when you can be excellent.

F – Follow-up; an important skill to have. Develop it. Be great with follow-ups, be it with clients or your team or your own pending tasks.

G – Grit; Start something and stick to it till its accomplished.

H – Humane; Remember we are all humans and prone to make mistakes.

I – Integrity; Do not compromise your reputation. Fight for what you believe in.

J – Judicious; Try to be that person that people can come to for advice, the Go-to person.

K – Knowledge; Keep learning and endeavor to be an expert in your career/field of interest.

L – Listen; Teach yourself to listen to understand and not to respond. 

M – Mystery; As much as you try to be open, keep your private life private. That is your business.

N – New things; Do not be left behind when something new is happening and especially in the face of new innovations.

O – Opportunity favours the bold; Be on the lookout for new opportunities to make a difference and to advance your career.

P – Plan ahead, be prepared for the unexpected. 

Q – Quick, ‘Speed is the new currency for business’

R – Rest, your body needs it. Take the company paid vacation and rest. Remember you can only be as productive when your whole being is as healthy. 

S – Simple, ‘Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication’. Keep things simple.

T – Trust, do not break it. It is costly.

U – Unique; Never forget that you are unique as an individual. Embrace that, be proud of who you are, and if you are not, then chart out a path that will get you there.

V – Valiant; Show courage and determination especially in the face of adversity because tough times will come.

W – Winning; Always strive for a win-win.

X – eXcited; Find out the one thing that eXcites you and go for it whether personal or professional.

Y – Youth; Stay young at heart.

Z – Zeal; Use this well. Not too much, not too little. Just enough for every situation. 

The Salary Question – Important yet Tricky!

 

Over the years as a Recruiter, I have interviewed many candidates and a majority do stumble when you ask them their Salary Expectation.  It seems to be one of those questions that candidates would rather not be asked. hard

Perhaps, a reason is that there is no specific way on how to answer the question. So it becomes the tricky question that keeps popping up in your interviews. I mean, you may quote a figure too high and lock yourself out of a Job Opportunity or you may quote a figure too low that you end up being miserable when you start work and realize you could have gotten a better deal. The question can get harder to answer if it is an electronic job application where you must give a figure before moving to the next steps.

So, what are some of the easiest answers to give when asked about your salary expectation?

with wordsOne of the common ones, ” My expectation is in line with my skills and experience and also in accordance with your compensation structure” – This answer leaves room for a bit of flexibility where one is not tied down to a specific figure. In a sense, if the pay graded structure is low when compared to your skill set, then you can negotiate upwards. And if the company’s pay structure is above your expectation then you still win and as you did not lock your self out.
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There are those who would target a fair rise from their current employer e.g 30% more to their current Gross Remuneration. The challenge with this is that more often than not, it forces the candidate to disclose their current earnings. We have debates on whether to disclose current earning or not or if it should be a factor during the hiring process. The market averages for increment when bench marking from current salary is usually 20% – 30%. When giving this type of answer, remember to give a figure that you are comfortable with.

compare.jpgAnother possible way to answer is by benchmarking with similar companies, or similar positions in the industry. Hence you can say, “I understand that positions similar to this one pay in the range of X to Z in our Country / Industry. And with my experience, would like to receive something in the same range.” – This answer gives you an opportunity to negotiate based on the findings and on your skills. It also shows that you did your research and have a rough idea of how the market is.

A few things to remember:

Some companies have a strictly structured pay scale hence they may not allow any form of negotiation. It would be prudent for you to conduct your research before hand to know whether the company you are interviewing with has such strict policies and if your expectation falls within their scale. This is because such a company can only give you an offer within their range and mostly start from the lowest so as to allow room for yearly increments. 

Majority of the Employers start low, meaning if you are to give a range, then more often than not their offer will start from the lowest range that you quoted. Be sure to quote a minimum that you will be happy with if offered the same.

Be comfortable in putting a value on your skillset and talents. As long as you have done your research and are sure you are worth what you are asking, do not hesitate to give your answer. 

Be sure of the job requirements and the responsibilities before quoting a figure. If not sure, ask the Hiring Managers to elaborate their expectations of the candidate to be hired. With a clear understanding of what is required, then you can determine a value as a salary target.

Lastly, if and when the Hiring Company contacts you with an offer and you are not sure, check out this article that can shed some light on what to do. 

 

We at Crystal Recruit walk with our candidates during the entire hiring process hence the advantage of knowing if your salary expectations are within our client’s budget.

Write to us and we will get back to you on your career journey.