Six skill teachers should emphasize when job-hunting

Being a teacher requires a blend of knowledge, experience and very specific skills. People tend to misinterpret the role of a teacher to be limited to that of giving lectures, showing movies and singing songs to children. Hence it could be thought that they don’t possess any specialized skills that could translate into the business world and other jobs.

Hire Me Sign With Woman Showing Job Seek

But that’s far from true. Teachers possess a variety of skills that can hep them should they decide to transition to a new career. Specifically, they possess:

1. Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Teaching involves lecturing, designing a syllabus, lesson plans, communicating and empathizing with students, their families and with the school administration. Hence teachers need to master the art of communication. When searching for a new job, a teacher should highlight the types of writing he or she has done that includes e-mails, class materials, lesson plans and presentations. Continue reading

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How to research an employer before a job interview: a guest post

In today’s difficult economy and overcrowded job market, it’s already an achievement to get past the job interview phone screening. If you’ve been invited to a face to face interview at the employer headquarters, it’s your job to find out as much as you can about the company. freshicon_122

Facing recruiters will be easier when you’re well-aware of the company culture, goals and mission – you’ll simply make a better impression and boost your chances at getting hired.

Here are a few tips to help you research an employer before running off to your interview.

Screen the job posting

Take a step back for a moment to find the job posting you responded to. If it’s on a service like UK-based Gumtree, take some time to analyze its content – contrary to other job boards, here recruiters are free to write as many things as they want, often producing far more detailed job postings.

Read between the lines to see what the key skills and experiences that are valued by the employer are. After the company website and its career subpage, this is the best place to find out what kind of professional profile the employer is after.

Key company facts

To seem a viable potential employee, you should come in already aware of type of work you’ll be expected to do once hired. It’s good to have a general idea of who the company’s main clients are and what its key types of products or services are. It will help you situate yourself at the company, showing those parts of your experience that really matter.

Your best source for key company data is the employer’s website. Have a look at the company blog, case studies and white paper to gain a better idea about the employer’s accomplishments.

Recent events and news

Having the knowledge about the latest happenings at the company can only help you during the interview. You can usually find this kind of information on the company website, on a page dedicated to events and press releases. If something catches your eye, you can always check Google News.

Company culture

Company culture is a serious aspect to consider. If you’re able to confidently say that you’re a great fit, you’ll surely positively impress the recruiters – many of them believe that cultural fit is one of the most important qualities job seekers can exhibit during the interview.

Browsing through the company website, you’ll spot information about company culture, values and mission on the about page and other places. It’s a good idea to follow the company on social networks – this is where the culture is best exposed.

Insider knowledge

A good way to gain some insider knowledge is to check the company on websites that uncover company details, ranging from salaries to internal organization, reviews, employee functions and main responsibilities, as well as key details about the hiring process.

The interviewer

Find out who will be your interviewer and research them as well – it will improve your chances at connecting with them. If you cannot infer the person’s name from the email inviting you to the interview, reply and ask politely for the name of the person who’ll be interviewing you. Once you’ve got the name, turn to social networks to learn about this person, their position with the company, background and maybe some common interests you two share.

Researching the company properly before going to your interview is the single best way to ensure that you make an excellent repression and land the job.

Cindy BoeselCindy Boesel is a marketing specialist with a huge interest in personal branding and UK startups. She works at BizStats.co.uk and is a great travel lover.

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Here are the 10 worst interview mistakes you can make — a guest post

For many job seekers, obtaining an interview with a promising company is an uphill battle. However, your hard work and attention to detail shouldn’t stop once an interview date has been scheduled. Unfortunately, many job hunters enter the interview room nonchalantly unprepared. To land your next dream job, you should avoid the following 10 worst mistakes job seekers make during an interview.

Dressing Inappropriately

One of the most common errors people make during an interview is to dress inappropriately. The interview room is not the right place to debut your trendy animal print blouse or red pair of slacks. When choosing clothes for this important event, always go with a conservative ensemble. Tailored black, navy, or gray suits are usually great options. In addition to clothing, you should also pick shoes in neutral hues. Your canary yellow heels might be stylish, but you should save them for a dinner date instead of an interview.

Inquiring about Benefits

Understandably, before accepting a job position, you want to learn more about the prospective benefits a company offers. However, inquiring about benefits too soon will make you appear unprofessional. Your prospective employer might start to believe that you will be more interested in collecting a paycheck than completing your task satisfactorily. Consider inquiring about benefits during a second interview or during salary negotiations.

Glancing at Watch

If you’re like some people, you’re always preoccupied with what time it is. You might look at your watch scores of times during each day. When you’re nervous, you may even glance at your timepiece more than usual. During an interview, looking at a watch is often tempting. After all, many people gauge how well an interview went by how long it lasted. However, during this important session, you should avoid glancing at your watch even once. Doing so might give your employer the wrong impression. He or she might wonder if you’re ready to leave. Your prospective employer may also start to suspect that you’re bored with the proceedings. If you will be tempted to look at your watch, leave it in your vehicle.

Leaving Cellphone On

Like glancing at your watch, looking at your cellphone can be a huge problem. Prospective employers usually view this activity as highly unprofessional. Before entering an interview room, always turn your cellphone off. Better yet, leave it in your automobile with your watch.

Chewing Gum

When some people get nervous, they unconsciously reach for a stick of gum. For these people, the constant chewing motion has a soothing effect on their frayed nerves. However, chewing gum should always be avoided during an interview. This activity makes the job applicant look unprofessional, unconcerned, and uncouth.

Being Late

Arriving to an interview late is like a death sentence. Regardless of your performance during the interview, you will probably not get the job. Before a scheduled interview, commute to the interview site during the same time of the day that the interview will take place on. After you determine how long your commute will be, add an additional fifteen to thirty minutes to this time. The extra time will give you a cushion for unexpected emergencies on the day of the interview.

Failing to Ask Questions

At the end of the vast majority of interviews, the interviewer will ask the job applicant if he or she has any questions. Because you know that this prompt is coming, failing to respond with any questions makes you appear unprepared and nonchalant. Before an interview, make a list of around three to five questions to ask. Any of your questions that have been answered during the interview should be marked off your list.

Asking Too Many Questions

While failing to ask questions is a problem, asking too many questions is a mistake as well. Your prospective employer will think that you’re trying to control the interview. Also, the interviewer may have several interviews to complete in a particular day. You don’t want to appear rude. Try to keep your list to three to five questions during the first interview. You can always ask more questions later during a second interview or salary negotiations.

Speaking Too Informally

If you are a frequent author of short text messages or social media posts, you should be careful not to speak too informally during an interview. Nowadays, people’s spoken language is seemingly becoming more casual than ever. During an interview, remember to speak in complete sentences and avoid common text messaging and online phrases.

Being Negative

While you might be tempted to say something negative about a previous employer, resist the urge to do so. Being overly negative about anything or anyone in particular will make you appear like a hard person to please. Your prospective employer might worry that you won’t be able to get along with the other employees in the company.

A sought after job interview can either affect the rest of your life positively or negatively. To showcase your best self, strive to avoid the aforementioned 10 worst mistakes job seekers make during an interview. Your future career may depend on it.

Amy-KlimekAmy Klimek is an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, she was employee #7 at Rent.com, where she first worked with ZipRecruiter’s founders. Her philosophy on human resources infuses the company culture: “To create an open, enriching environment by hiring the best, keeping the rules to a minimum and making it fun.” She’s married and has three active children to whom who she enjoys playing chauffeur.

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Acing a Telephonic Interview: How Difficult or Easy Can It Get? — A Guest Post

You’ve put immense thought in building an efficient resume and guess what, it caught the eye of your targeted employer.

Although this calls for some celebration, but you need to confine your excitement because the scrutiny has just begun.

So, what’s next?

Yes, you answered it right-the telephonic interview!

Your selection for the next set of rounds depends on how efficiently you ace this one. However, there are certain subtleties which make all the difference between making it to the interview room and heading back to applying again.

phone interview

Make Sure You’ve Done Ample Research At Your End

Whether the interview is in person or over a phone call, studying about the company and your potential employer will surely pay-off.

It goes as a part of pre-interview research for you to check the company’s website and various social media platforms it is active on.

You should also be familiar with the job profile and the responsibilities associated with it. This will help you to answer how you can be the right fit for the role.

Use Your Landline Phone and Avoid Noise- If possible!

Any distractions during the interview might prove to be fatal interruptions. Make sure that you’re well rested, in a quiet place, to avert coming across as an unprofessional candidate.

Keep Some Handy Notes By Your Side

One of the major benefits of a phone interview is that your potential recruiter can’t see you. So why not use it for your own advantage!

You can have notes, your resume and job description next to you, to be more accurate and to make your answers substantial. These will work as perfect reference tools.

Short Responses Would Definitely Work

Obviously, a phone interview would make it impossible for you to pick up on the interviewer’s non-verbal cues. This would make you go prattling on even in the shortest of gaps. Avoid this by keeping your answers short and crisp. Keep them under two minutes and wait for his or her response or a follow-up question.

Breathe and Speak Clearly

Since the only communication you can carry out with the hiring manager at this stage is through the call, make sure whatever you say is expressed clearly. Being a bit slow while answering might help in this regard. Your voice has to be engaged and enthusiastic, so don’t ramble and exhaust yourself. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and speak like a professional.

And Last, but not the least…

Considering that you’ll have other interviews as well, taking notes is a good idea. Jot down the key points to review yourself and start working on the pitfalls you may have stumbled in so you’ll be better prepared for your next phone interview.

It’s not the last one, just do your best.

Anshuman Kukreti

Anshuman Kukreti

Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global employment market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

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Career Opportunities: Rejoining Society after Prison– a Guest Post

“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”
– Richard M. Nixon

Keeping the tenure of a convict in prison aside, the challenges they face when searching for employment is another story all together. Looking for work is no mean feat, but when ex-convicts start probing for a job, they are faced with additional hurdles and trials.

convicts

Some employers may cringe from hiring such individuals. But many organizations across the globe – felon friendly employers – do take them on, thereby leaving an exemplary example in their wake.

Companies, at times, conduct a background check after 2 – 3 rounds into the interview. According to a report by Prison Policy Initiative (PPI), a criminal-justice research and advocacy group, in United States, around 688,000 people are released from prison every year.

Some Advice
Ex-convicts need to keep certain pointers in mind before they embark on the arduous journey of looking for a job. The suggestions given here may help.

Networking: The first thing to do before looking for any job is to ask around. Most jobs are acquired through contacts. A stint in prison leaves you quite disoriented; hence, ask friends and family to vouch for you if you find something interesting.

Part-time work: Acquiring full-fledged employment instantly is difficult. If you are tired of twiddling your toes at home, look for some part-time evening work. Employers don’t often conduct background checks for such positions.

Follow your passion: Being an ex-convict does not make you talentless. You could have a flair for painting, writing, or tattoo designing. Music and dance might flow freely in your veins. Some ex-convicts are great with their technical skills and could find work as computer operators. If you think you have a hobby which can be turned into a career, go with it.

Look for specific jobs: Certain companies are comfortable with hiring former felons and deem background checks unnecessary. Construction work, driving and customer service positions, delivery work, etc. are some of the job profiles that could serve your purpose for starters.

Start your own business: This is the era of start-ups. Whether it is marketing your paintings or writing content-pieces as a freelancer, being your own boss is not only gratifying but shifts focus from your conviction as well.

Where to begin

The dilemma faced by all – where do I look? – can be answered very simply. There are many ways for ex-convicts to begin their job search. By employing traditional methods you could find a company that does not conduct background checks, or a company that may not reject you based on your criminal record.

Look to cold calling, going through community assistance programs, and the best option – job search engines that list all possible jobs by category and requirement. Start communicating with people and let them know that you are ready to rejoin society and are seeking employment.

Create an account on social media websites like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. which help in making connections in a small time frame.

Enhancing skill-set
Ex-convicts can improve their skill-set by undertaking diploma or certification courses. Short courses or workshops of three= six months are being conducted by leading academic institutions all over the world. Enrollment requires a nominal fee and classes can be taken in shifts if required.

A crash course in design, computer operating, programming languages, communication, etc. can definitely provide an edge. Use this opportunity to upgrade your competencies and build out your resume.

Justifying your Resume

The one thing that gives every ex-convict cold feet is how to justify a conviction on the resume.

Expecting a background check, it is wise to tell the whole truth. Here is what you need to do:

• Do not give out additional information. Read the questions carefully and supply to-the-point truthful answers. Giving unnecessary leads is not required.

• Conduct your own background check before sitting for an interview. Knowing what the employer knows will give you the added benefit of preparing appropriate answers for the difficult questions.

• Recite a platonic version of what happened. Do not sound needy or desperate.

• Have a positive attitude. Appear friendly and not menacing. Give the employer constructive reasons to hire you by exhibiting a desire for change and development.

Keeping the global economic crisis in mind, looking for employment in the current job market is quite a harrowing experience. Ex-convicts require perseverance when embarking on this trail. They must be prepared to accept work that is low-paying and sometimes, menial. Despite all the applications and interview calls, ex-convicts still need a little extra help.

Agencies that provide professional assistance to such job seekers are:
• Xamire.com
• National H.I.R.E Network
• America Works
• One Stop Career Centre
• Chrysalis
• Delancey Street Foundation

Organizations such as these not only provide expert help, but endeavour to improve the lives of many dejected souls. Investigate some of these resources to get the best assistance for increasing your chances of getting a job.

Guest blogger Tina Jindal

Guest blogger Tina Jindal

Author Bio: Tina Jindal is a professional content writer who works on a variety of topics like employment, real estate, and education. She has been involved with publications such as Cookery, Gardening, Pregnancy, and Healthcare. She loves to travel and is crazy about dogs. You can contact her @Gmail | LinkedIn | Google+.

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How to get a job interview: a guest post

So, you’ve applied to dozens of jobs and sent out hundreds of resumes, but still haven’t heard back from anyone? Here are top tips for landing a job interview that will help you to break this unsatisfying routine and grant a chance at getting the job of your dreams.

Isabel Williams

Isabel Williams

Research the market

Before setting out on your job hunt, you need to know what kind of position, company and industry you’d like to get into. Be specific. Instead of vague “I want to work in fashion”, establish your goals and formulate a precise message: “I want to be come a digital marketing director for the X brand”.

This will help you to understand better what you’re after and how others can help you to get into that X company, opening up some networking possibilities that often prove decisive for getting that first meeting.

Market yourself

Know what you’re good at and what value you bring to companies – then market those qualities to impress each and every professional contact you make during your job hunt. Most people resort to business cards, but how about something more original and suited to your prospective industry? A biographic that tells your professional story in visuals is a great way to be remembered.

Prepare a killer resume

Your resume should be adjusted to fit the context and company you’re interested to join. Resumes that get noticed are those that send a clear message and answer the question: What can I do for the company to help it grow? Recruiters will be more than happy to receive a resume which already suggests the problems you’re able to solve for the company,

Network

Instead of relying on job boards, try your hand at networking – it’s a great strategy for landing on top of the resume file. Get in touch with people who might be willing to refer your in the recruiting process. Always use a good motive to contact someone – offer something of value.

Take initiative

This goes together with the point about networking – instead of sitting in front of the computer screen and automatically sending out your resumes, try to adopt a proactive approach and get in touch with companies and individuals yourself. As soon as you establish your goals and prepare a great resume, you’re ready to get out there and find a job, instead of waiting for it to find you.

Treat job postings as indications of a company’s interest in hiring new staff. Use the backdoor and contact department heads to get more information on the offer. Don’t be too eager – in your emails say that a colleague passed you the job posting and, given you’re not actively looking for a job, you’d like to know more details before applying for the position.

Know what you want and you’ll find a way to get it – don’t expect the overcrowded job market of today to work in your favor!

Th article was contributed by Isabel Wiliams of http://www.bizdb.co.uk/. Isabel Wiliams is a passionate educator and an accomplished businesswoman. With a strong background in Internet Science and New Technologies combined with huge IT expertise she regularly give seminars on leveraging the potential of the World Wide Web for business success.

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Top 5 Body Language Signals to Land a Job: a guest post

In today’s shaky economy, job interviews are more stressful than ever. In order to make a good impression during a job interview, you must learn to harness your involuntary bodily responses to stress and become a calm, collected candidate whose skills and qualifications won’t get squandered by an awkward body language. Here are top 5 body language tricks that will improve your chances at landing a job.

Guest blogger Angelica Jennsen

Guest blogger Angelica Jennsen

Project Confidence

The very first seconds of your interview are already significant – if you enter the office with a shy knock, limp handshake and avoid eye contact, your body language will convey a lack of confidence. Instead, give the interviewer a firm handshake and maintain eye contact. Remember not to go overboard and dominate the room – always follow the basic rules of politeness.

Our body language doesn’t only impact the way others see us – it can also change the way we see ourselves. Check out this incredibly popular and inspiring TED talk by Amy Cuddy, where she demonstrates how assuming a confident posture (even when we don’t feel too self-assured) affects our brain chemistry and impacts our chance for success.

Maintain Eye-Contact

Eye contact simply means you’re open and honest. Relax your face muscles and make sure they match the tone of what you’re saying – when stressed, you might appear rigid or even untrustworthy.

Gazing into your interviewer’s eyes for too long is risky too – more than 7-10 seconds of intense stare would induce discomfort in anyone. Try to be as natural as possible – when rehearsing your answers to potential interview questions, train in front of the mirror to see whether your facial expressions convey an image of calm confidence.

Relax and Speak Your Mind

What you say during a job interview is just as important as how you say it. Monitor the tone of your speaking voice to make sure you’re a picture of relaxed confidence. Don’t modify your normal speaking style too much – control your pitch and volume. Avoid clearing your throat, accompanying your responses with ‘ums’ and constructing extremely long sentences that never arrive to their point.

Manage Your Gestures and Posture

Crossing your arms, fidgeting or maintaining a firm hold to your briefcase will all impede you from making a great impression. You need your hands free to be able to punctuate your words – go for natural gesticulation and avoid choppy gestures or touching your face. Keep your hands at the level between your hips and shoulders to project confidence.

Mirror the Interviewer

This trick has over the years been proven to work no matter what. All you need to do is imitate the movements of the interviewer. If they lean, you lean as well – if they move their hand on the desk, you can do something similar. Remember – those are just body cues for you to follow, not replicate in detail.

In order to fully benefit from all the tips listed above, try to integrate them in your daily life. Practicing those simple steps will help you to render them more natural and easily handle all kinds of professional meetings, not only job interviews.

Angelica Jennsen is an experienced marketing specialist with vast IT experience currently employed by Seven Spots who divides her time between work and her passion for traveling and learning languages.

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