Office relationships

Strong Business Team Work

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought we’d take a look at the wonderful world of working relationships. How many can you relate to?

Co-workers: These are the people that, besides working for the same company, you really don’t have anything in common with. They might be acquaintances at best, but it’s safe to say that you don’t really have any sort of relationship with them at all!

Work friends: More than a colleague, not quite a friend in ‘real life’… It’s a difficult relationship to define; do you spend your lunches together? Yes. Have you had one too many together at the Christmas party? Of course! Would you socialise together in a non-work setting? Probably not. They’re the people who make it fun to come into work, and they’re the ones you can count on taking you to happy hour after you’ve had a bad day, but it’s hard to know if you’d actually be friends in any other situation.

Your team: These are the people you work with most closely; they’re the ones you share a desk with every day, and they’re probably the people who know you best professionally. They might not necessarily be your boss or your subordinates, but they’re your team and you probably wouldn’t be able to get through your working days without them.

Manager / subordinates: This is probably the most important professional relationship you’ll have. Whether you’ve got the best manager, or you’re stuck with the boss from hell, this is an office relationship that requires equal amounts of tact and care. How you get on with your boss can make or break your days at work, so it’s worth investing some time into this relationship. Alternatively, if you’re the manager in this situation, it’s important that you don’t neglect your relationship with those who report to you; they can have a bigger impact on your career than you might think.

Office spouse: When you spend so much time at work, it’s not unusual to find yourself with a work wife or husband. While there’s no romantic connection between you, you’ll probably find that you just get each other, and that you’re each other’s go to. It’s a great relationship to have, and both parties can benefit immensely…as long as you know where the line is and don’t turn into a real couple.

Lovebirds: Whether they met at work, or have somehow ended up working together, you’ll usually find at least one romantic relationship within the office. These can be messy if not handled carefully, and many companies tend to frown upon romantic relationships between colleagues – break ups are awkward and painful enough, and that’s without having to see each other at work every day!

Frenemies: Unfortunately, you can’t get on with everybody, so most workplaces will have a fair few ‘frenemies’. These are the people who are civil to each other, and will work together when they have to, but otherwise have nothing good to say about each other. Professionalism usually comes first, but beware of the claws that will likely come out later!

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Office relationships

Introvert vs. Extrovert: Interview Tips for your Personality

Business People Waiting For Job Interview. Four Candidates Compe

Most people would agree that an interview is one of the most stressful situations we encounter in our working lives; but what happens when your personality means that interview situations feel like the end of the world? As we learn more about introverts and extroverts, we thought we’d come up with a handy list of interview tips to suit each personality type.

If you’re an introvert…

Try and banish the nerves

While most people feel the nerves before going into an interview, there are ways to overcome them. Try telling yourself that it’s not an interrogation, but simply a conversation. Remind yourself that the interview is also an opportunity for you to determine whether the company is the right fit for you, and that it’s a two-way process.

Gear up for small talk

If you’re an introvert, there are probably no two things you hate more than small talk, and being the centre of attention. Unfortunately, in an interview situation, this is unavoidable. Spend a few days before your interview really gearing yourself up to make small talk, as well as talking about yourself; the more you practise, the more confident you’ll become.

Scope out the situation in advance

If you can, do some research and find out who’ll be interviewing you. If you’re able to get hold of this information, have a look and see if they appear on the company website, or alternatively, have a look on networks such as LinkedIn and try to put a face to the name. You could also do a practice run of the journey, so you’ll know exactly where to go and how much time you should allow – a simple way to reassure yourself and keep some of the nerves at bay.

If you’re an extrovert…

Let the interviewer lead

It’s vital that you let your interviewer take the lead, especially in the beginning; even though it may come naturally to you to jump in with comments and answers to their questions, it’s important that you take a step back and show that you can listen.

Pauses are OK

It might be in your nature to fill gaps in conversation with small talk, but actually, pauses in conversation in an interview can be your best friend. They’ll give you time to really consider your answer to the question, ensuring that you don’t babble and come across as over-excited. Pauses also allow your interviewer to digest your answer, before moving on.

Answer the questions concisely

If you’ve got a tendency to veer off-topic, you should be making a real effort to answer any questions from the interviewer clearly and concisely. If you do find yourself going off on a tangent, try to bring the conversation back to where it needs to be. By keeping things brief, and by avoiding any rambling habits, you should be on the right track.

Regardless of your personality type, an interview is a real chance for you to shine, and show why you’d be a good fit for the company. These tips should help you stay on track, but if you find yourself completely masking your personality, it could be that the job just isn’t the one for you; you don’t want to be pretend to be someone that you’re not, and then end up in a job that isn’t suited to your personality!

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Introvert vs. Extrovert: Interview Tips for your Personality

What does your work wardrobe say about you?

Happy female fashion designer entrepreneur at creative studio leading small business. Businesswoman holding tablet, smiling.

You may not have given your work wardrobe much thought up until now, but you shouldn’t underestimate what your choice of outfit says about you. To help you avoid being misjudged at work here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding what to wear.

Give yourself time

You wowed during your interview and you’ve secured yourself the job, so don’t let a few poor fashion choices let you down in the office. It can be all too tempting to snooze your alarm and have an extra 10 minutes in bed, but that’s a whole 10 minutes less when it comes to choosing your outfit and making yourself presentable for the day. To alleviate that morning stress, and to make sure you look professional, try picking your outfit the night before.

Dress for confidence

The way we dress at work not only affects how others perceive us, but it also affects the way we feel. Dressing smart can help you to feel confident, and as a result you are likely to be more alert and productive during the day. If you find your outfit uncomfortable or distracting your performance at work is likely to suffer. By keeping to a professional dress code you will also fit in with your peers – you want to be known for the things you say and do, not your outfit faux pas.

Be aware of what’s appropriate

Dress code differs across the sectors, but as a general rule across all industries, work is a place for professionalism and you should dress as such. Be careful with ill-fitting outfits, if your style is too revealing it can look as if you are over compensating for a lack of skill, and you are unlikely to get the respect you deserve. Similarly baggy clothing can convey a lack of confidence and a need to hide yourself away.

You should also be cautious of your colour choices, though you may not always consciously think about it, different colours have different connotations. You may think that your red dress complements your eyes, but red is a bold colour often associated with being fiery or provocative. And men, your moustache may have killed during Movemeber, but facial hair shouldn’t overwhelm your face or be distracting, so be sure to keep it trim.

 

These key points can help you to flourish in the work place. For style advice on putting together the ultimate work wardrobe Dorothy Perkins has teamed up with Dr Carolyn Mair, Reader in Psychology at London College of Fashion, to bring you a scientific guide on styling your way to success. Check out the workwear hub for even more tips on how to keep it professional, whilst looking great!

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on What does your work wardrobe say about you?

Mobile phones at work – how to keep it professional

Business People Working with Technology

There’s no getting away from the fact that nowadays most people have a mobile phone of some variety; they’ve become an almost intrinsic part of life, offering up a variety of ways to communicate and stay connected. How then, does this translate into the workplace? While it certainly used to be that personal issues were to be dealt with outside of work, the evolution of the mobile phone has caused these lines to become blurry. Fortunately, CV-Library is here to offer some workplace-friendly tips on mobile phone etiquette…

Know your company policy: It might be that your company has a strict no-phones-at-work policy, or it could be that phones can only be used in emergencies. Regardless, ensuring that you’re clear on what your employer expects from you is essential – you don’t want to be get into trouble for rule breaking!

Keep it on silent: If you’re in a working environment where you are allowed to use your personal phone during the day, it’s best to make sure that it’s kept on silent (and off vibrate!). While incoming texts, calls, whatsapps, snapchats, tweets, facebook alerts…you get the jist…might not bother you, it could be that it’s a huge distraction for your colleagues. By keeping your phone on silent and simply checking from time to time, you’ll be keeping everyone happy.

Shhh…: If you are taking personal calls at work, try and keep it down. Not everyone in the office will want to hear you booking in your next filling with the dentist, nor will they be particularly interested in what you need your other half to pick up from Tesco for dinner. If you know you’ve got a tendency to talk loudly, it might be best to excuse yourself and find somewhere quiet, then no one can complain.

Time and place: It should go without saying, but if you’re with clients or in a meeting, it’s best to put your voicemail to use – you can pick up any messages later when it’s more appropriate. The last thing you want to do is leave clients with the wrong idea about your professionalism, and you don’t want to come across as distracted and unfocused in a meeting. Even if you’ve got multitasking down, and you know that you can be totally clued in on your meeting while sorting out your social life, it’s best to leave your phone in your pocket, or better still, at your desk.

NSFW: Even if your company allows phones in the workplace, they’ll probably still have a policy on what’s suitable for work, and what’s not. Be careful, and think about what you’re looking at or downloading; you might find it funny, but others might not. Ultimately, this is just one HR headache you can do without!

Phone comes second: At the end of the day, you should be at work to work. It’s important to remember that being able to use your personal phone in the office is a benefit, and it should never get in the way of you getting your job done!

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Mobile phones at work – how to keep it professional

Transferable skills for new graduates

Graduate students wearing graduation hat and gown, outdoors

Many young professionals graduate from college somewhat unsure of what skills to list on their resumes and/or cover letters.  Of course, if you have completed an internship or worked a part-time job, you know to include that information.  You are probably prepared to list academic honors and a summary of your most important classes as well.

 However, there are also skills most graduates possess just by virtue of being students.  This article focuses on the transferrable skills that students learn over the course of completing their education that, unbeknownst to them, many employers desire.

 Written & Oral Communications

Hiring managers place a high value on employees that can communicate effectively, both in writing and orally.  Since communication is a key skill in almost every industry, and for almost every position, it is an important skill to focus on. However, let me caution you that just about every resume I have reviewed makes reference to the person being an effective communicator. That’s not enough. You need to support that statement.

First, the best way to prove that you possess good writing skills is to submit a good resume and cover letter. If you claim to be a good speaker, you need to show that during the job interview. Lack confidence? Consult a career counselor at your school, or retain a professional resume writer or career coach for advice.

 Teamwork

Upon graduation, many people want to highlight their “leadership” skills.  While it can be valuable to demonstrate that you have the ability to take initiative and lead your group to complete an assignment, employers also place a premium on employees who can work well in collaborative environments. You can showcase your teamwork skills by focusing on instances where you worked in a collaborative setting to complete a project, lab, paper, or other assignment.

An entry-level employee might not be asked to take charge of a project or committee for quite some time, but you will likely work in a team from day one.  Therefore, do not underestimate the value of this skill.

 Business or Industry Knowledge

Over the course of completing your education, you will likely have gained some industry knowledge.  Make sure you highlight your knowledge or understanding of the industry you are targeting.  You can also use this as an opportunity to show your interest in the position.

As you write your resume and/or cover letter, remember that you can draw on anything from academic experience to hobbies to back up your claims of skills or expertise.  This is especially true of business or industry knowledge and understanding.

 Social Media

Many of the “Millennial” generation were raised during a period of time when social media wasn’t just a part of daily life, but something they can engage in before class, between classes, on the way to work, after work, and before they go to bed at night.  Your generation can follow any person of interest, has hundreds of online connections, and gets regular updates on your favorite brands.

When you list your technical skills make sure to include your social media skills.  If you have used social media in a classroom project or volunteer assignment, highlight it.

 *   *   *

In conclusion, there may be other transferable skills that you can mention in your resume or cover letter, depending on the position. Therefore, make sure to comb through the job posting carefully and tailor your resume and cover letter to each position you apply to.

by Kimberly Sarmiento

 

Kimberly Sarmiento is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and author of “The Complete Guide to Writing Effective Resume Cover Letters: Step by Step Instructions” and “How to Write Successful Letters of Recommendation: 10 Easy Steps for Reference Letters that Your Employees, Colleagues, Students & Friends will Appreciate.” She is a regular contributor to WorkAlpha.

 

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Transferable skills for new graduates

Finding the perfect work spouse: it’s time to say ‘I Do’

Office Workplace with Red Heart Keyboard Phone Headphones Stationary and Office Supplies. Valentines Day concept with space for Your text and picture

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon and love in the air, now’s the time assess your working relationships and ask yourself the big question: do you have a work spouse? It’s a term that’s becoming increasing popular in workplaces across the country, but what does it actually mean, and more importantly, how do you get one?

The answer is actually fairly simple. Your work husband / wife, is your partner in crime in the office. They’re the one you go to when you need reassurance, and you know that they’ve always got your back; just as you do for them. Instead of going home after a long day and boring your real spouse with the latest workplace dramas, or brainstorming for solutions to your latest project, your work spouse is there to help. Essentially, if you do it right, having a work spouse can be a real win-win situation.

Most of the time, workplace spouses fall into their relationship so naturally that they don’t even realise it’s happened. However, if you’re actively looking for someone to share your working life with, we’re here to tell you what to look out for…

Find someone you trust

Much like picking a partner in life, if you’re going to say a workplace ‘I Do’, you should make sure you’re pairing up with a colleague who has your best interests at heart. Your work spouse should be someone you can count on when things are challenging, but you should also be able to trust that they’ll give you a nudge when you’re slacking; you want someone who will make sure that you’re working to your full potential. Obviously, it goes both ways; you have to feel comfortable dishing out the same advice to your workplace other half, or things could just get awkward.

Make sure you’re on the same level

Partnering up with a co-worker can be a great career decision, however, you should probably do so with someone on the same level as you. While you might well get on with your senior colleagues, you don’t want to have to contend with the inevitable favouritism rumours as a result of a close working relationship. Making sure both you and your work wife / husband are on the same level professionally is a simple way to make sure you don’t start any whispers!

Be firm with where the lines are

Working marriages usually work best between people who are actually married or spoken for in real life, as it ensures that lines don’t become blurred. If you are both single, you should be able to leave your office husband / wife at the office, and you should both ensure that you’re honest about your working relationship. By keeping it strictly professional, you can’t go wrong. If you’ve got a good thing going on at the office, you don’t want to complicate it, so it’s best to make sure there’s no attraction there.

Share common ground

If you’re searching for your workplace partner in crime, make sure that they’re someone you have common ground with. The last thing you want is to find yourself with a work spouse who is your polar opposite. While it’s good to be different, if you can’t find anything to agree on then it’s unlikely to be a successful work marriage; you should be looking for someone who holds similar professional values to yours, and someone whose work ethic matches yours. Just as in a real marriage, your working marriage should be with someone that you align with naturally.

While a work wife / husband is ideal for some people, it’s important to remember that not everyone will feel the same way, and ultimately, you should be making the career choices that you feel work best for you. Having a work spouse to fall back on can be of great comfort to some, while others may choose to go it alone; there’s no right or wrong. However, with Valentine’s Day on the approach, you’d best watch for Cupid’s arrow flying around the office – someone might have their eye on you as the perfect work spouse!

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Finding the perfect work spouse: it’s time to say ‘I Do’

Plan Your Day for Productivity

Productivity 

We all wish that we could be more productive. Whether you’re a student, a professional or a job seeker, there are things that you need to get done and they don’t always happen. To make sure they do, you need a plan of action. Taking the time to plan your day will keep you feeling motivated and give your productivity levels a boost. If you can be more productive you will be able to achieve your goals. This is the power of planning.

Follow our five steps below to discover how to plan your day effectively:

 1. Avoid long to-do lists

As your mental list of the many tasks you need to do grows, you may naturally start jotting them down on a to-do list. This is a good idea in the sense that it helps you to remember everything, but you may find yourself staring at your list and feeling overwhelmed by its length. General, lengthy to-do lists won’t actually help you to be more productive so stop making them!

 2. Give yourself daily goals

Setting small, manageable goals will help you on your way to achieving the bigger picture. What are your goals for today? If you don’t have any, then you’ll find it much harder to stay focused and to be productive. Set yourself daily goals and then plan and organise your day so that you can meet them. Imagine how good it will feel at the end of the day to look back on what you have achieved.

 3. List the smaller tasks

Do you have a number of small tasks that are easy to forget and don’t take long to complete? It’s ok to put these kind of tasks in a short to-do list. When you’ve planned your day and created a schedule for yourself you’ll be able to find time for these tasks throughout the day. Remember, don’t let a short list spiral into a lengthy general mishmash of tasks.

 4. Take breaks

You need to take breaks into account when you are planning your day. Time-out will help to boost our productivity and refocus our mind, so never think you’re too busy to take one. Something as short as grabbing a drink or snack will be hugely beneficial.

 5. Don’t leave loose ends

When you’re working/study/job searching day ends you should be able to sit back and relax. Sometimes, this is easier said than done and a lot of us can’t help but dwell on our day and start thinking ahead for the next. Ensuring that tasks are complete and problems are resolved at the end of each day will help you to switch off. If you plan your day properly, you are much more likely to be able to wrap everything up at the end of it. You may even want to plan your following day so that you don’t have it weighing heavy on your mind over night.

Planning and productivity really do go hand in hand. A clear and well-thought out plan with realistic scheduling will help you achieve your goals. Try these tips to find out what works for you and see the results for yourself.

CareerExperts is a free careers site that exists to propel and support professionals on their path for career success. They use their wealth of expertise and experience to help other success-seekers achieve their career goals.

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Plan Your Day for Productivity

Most annoying workplace habits

Businessman Arguing With His Two Co-workers

Co-workers: some we couldn’t live without, and others we definitely could. Here at CV-Library, we thought we would take a look at some of the workplace habits that are driving UK professionals across the nation crazy. Are you guilty of any of these workplace blunders…?

Excessive smell

Whether it’s the guy from accounts who eats boiled eggs at his desk, or the girl across the office who loves to microwave her tuna, it’s likely that the entire workplace will have to deal with the stinky consequences. Maybe you’ve got colleagues who tend to overindulge in their perfume, or maybe you’ve got a co-worker who could do with some perfume. It’s not an easy situation to tackle by any means, as someone is likely to be offended one way or another. Perhaps it’s easier for us to put it this way; if you’re the one bringing pungent foods into the office…please stop!

Too much chit-chat

It’s important that you bond with your colleagues, but there always seems to be one who likes to overshare. Whether it’s an in-depth version of what they got up to at the weekend, or a play-by-play of last night’s game, it’s something that most workers could do without. If you’re confident enough, you could shut the conversation down and say that you’ve got a deadline. Failing that, you might need to fake a phone call that gets you away from your desk!

Being too loud

It’s unreasonable to expect that an office operates in complete silence, however, there are times when the noise levels may be verging on rowdy. If you find yourself struggling to work in these conditions, it might be time to invest in some noise-cancelling headphones, or asking if you can work from home (if your home is more peaceful).

Screen spying

Who doesn’t love a screen spy? Whether it’s the person next to you sneaking a look at your screen when you’re typing an email, or co-workers not-so-subtly having a look over your shoulder on their way to the printer, it can be frustrating to know that your colleagues are nosing when they’re not invited. There’s not much to be done here, other than choosing to see it this way: your colleagues must find you super interesting if they always want to know what you’re up to!

Unprepared

Is there anything more frustrating than someone who is always late, and frequently unprepared? Whether they’re turning up to meetings without the correct information, or they’re seemingly unable to get on with their work, this can be a real workplace annoyance. If you feel like you’re on the receiving end of an unprepared colleague, you could use it as an opportunity to mentor them; it could be that they need some guidance, plus it could be great experience for you.

If you can’t think of anyone at work who does these things, could it be you that’s annoying everyone else…? That’s for you to decide!

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Most annoying workplace habits

Jobs you can do from home

Businessman working with laptop at office table

With more and more opting to work from the comfort of their own home and be their own boss, we have put together a handy list of job suggestions! If the idea of peace and quiet when you need it, nobody looking over your shoulder, no commute, and complete control over your setup appeals to you, then it could be time to mix things up and start a career from home!

  1. Freelance

If a home-based job that makes use of your computer appeals to you, then you should consider a career in freelance. With more and more employers looking to outsource their work, if your skillset is marketable and you have the personality for it, freelancing could be for you! Freelancers are their own bosses, they set their own hours and they can take holidays whenever they like. While a career in freelancing has its perks, it won’t offer as much security as a 9 – 5 office job, but if this is something that you can get on board with then freelancing could make the perfect work-from-home job for you.

  1. Paid surveys

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to make money from home is through paid surveys; a work-from-home method becoming increasingly popular. Some of the major benefits of paid survey-taking is that there are no special skills required, there is no competition, and you don’t have huge targets to meet; you can do as much or as little as you like! Be aware that there are many scam sites out there on the internet – if they ask for your bank details or an upfront payment, be sure to steer clear!

 

  1. Website testing

In such a technology-focused world, there are many website and app developers who need their sites testing, meaning that this is a great job to do from home. Lots of companies will pay decent money to ensure that their sites are suitable and usable for the average internet user, meaning that you could be in a great position to work from home and help them out! Website testing can be a quick and easy way to make money, although you should keep an eye out for scam sites here too!

 

  1. Content writing

Many companies don’t have the staff available to write content for them, and with increasing numbers of websites popping up every day, the task of content writing is frequently outsourced. If you have a knack for writing and want to be able to do it from home, freelance content writing could be an ideal fit for you.

 

  1. Tutoring

Tutoring can be a great home-based business opportunity that costs little to nothing to start up, especially if you have extensive knowledge of a subject. There are a variety of options when it comes to home-tutoring; you can work with children or adults, face-to-face or online. Furthermore, if you are fluent in a second language or want to help others to learn English, there will be plenty of opportunities for you!

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Jobs you can do from home

Finding a job in London

LONDON, UK - JANUARY 27, 2015: City of London, business and bank

With more and more people heading to London in search of their next job, recruiters and HR managers often find themselves overloaded with CVs and applications. We’ve got advice on how to go about finding a job in London, and make the most of your job search.

1. Write your CV

Once you’ve decided what role and industry you’re interested in working in, tailor your CV so that it highlights your skills and achievements. Mention your relevant qualifications and experiences and show how they are relevant to the industry you want to work in. If you can speak more than one language, make sure to mention this on your CV; it may not be relevant to the job, but being multilingual in London can go a long way!

2. Get applying

When applying for jobs, make sure to angle your cover letter to fit each company; there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to job applications. Make sure you understand what the hiring company is looking for, and tailor your application to complement this. Recruiters in London will work their way through masses of applications; make it easy for them and show them what qualifications and experiences you have that make you right for the job.

3. Go to recruitment fairs

In a city the size of London there will always be recruitment fairs taking place, and these can be a great way to meet with employers and ask questions. It’s always a good idea to pre-register at events like these, and if you can get a list of which companies will be attending then you have the chance to do some research beforehand. When you’re there, approach the companies you’re interested in and chat to their representatives. Asking questions such as “what skills and experiences do you look for in employees” and “what characteristics do your most successful employees have” gives you the chance to put a positive spin on yourself, and show the employer why you are the right person to hire. Do not, however, drop your CV off at a company’s stand and walk away, as this is a sure-fire way to ensure it ends up in the bin!

4. Network

 Using social media can be a useful way to find yourself a job in London, especially if you use sites like LinkedIn or Google+. Keeping your profile up-to-date and connecting with people already working in London in your chosen industry can be helpful in the application process, as sometimes your chances of getting a job in London can be boosted by knowing the right people. Keep your social media profiles clean and suitable for a potential employer; with the amount of applicants in the London job market you want to be in with a fighting chance, and not be passed over due to something silly like an embarrassing picture on Facebook!

Posted in Candidates | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Finding a job in London