Your CV is little more than a message in a bottle. 

Using the same generic CV for all your job applications is like tossing a message in a bottle into the ocean. Of course, you need to have a CV. However, many people fail to realise that its primary purpose is not to get a job. Its main purpose is to get a face-to-face meeting. It is to be intriguing enough to start a conversation, to get an interview. And there is an art in writing it. Well done, it not only gets you an interview, but also cues questions for the interviewer to ask that build to a picture of …

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Learn from each Job Interview – Ten common mistakes.

Learning from each job interview is key to improving your interviewing skills. What went well? What not so well? What was missed? What went well but didn’t matter? Here is a summary of 10 fairly common mistakes. 1.) Complaining about your Employer, Boss or Coworkers. It is a huge red flag when someone talks negatively about their past employment. You are interviewing not only for a job position, but also for working well with your co-workers. Take the opportunity to turn the question into a way to talk about the company you are interviewing with. 2.) Not knowing much about the company. “Why do you …

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Negotiating a new job? Five rules to improve your power.

3 Job Negotiation elements: employer’s need, your worth, relative power. From the first interaction in an application for a job you are making an impression. In fact, engaging in a negotiation. Three crucial elements of this negotiation are the employer’s need, your worth to the employer and relative power dynamics at the time. The more you impress in every contact that you are unique and incomparable, the better the final job offer package will be. A survey of 2,500 business people by Willis Towers Watson, found that 94% understood that they shouldn’t expect a job for life. It’s their responsibility to …

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Rapport building – ‘hitting it off’ in a job interview

A job interview is a conversation, usually with strangers. Like all effective conversations, it starts with rapport. Even if the interviewers are not strangers, this is your chance to make a first impression for this new job. “Hitting it off” is at the core of a successful interview. There is plenty of evidence that people like people who are like them and that companies adapt jobs in order to suit likeable candidates. Whether it is selecting a new employee at job interviews, picking a new team or influencing decision-makers inside or outside the organisation, the likeability factor should not be …

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Is it Time to Change your Job?

Is it time to change your job? “If you’re not growing, get going” is advice I got early in my career. While leaving the security of a job may be one of the hardest decision you make, if you’ve tried nothing new in months or years you will wonder why you waited so long. Job comfort is no substitute for the resultant deadening to your brain, spirit, esteem and career. Surveys continually tell of the signs that you are in the wrong job. The top three reasons given for changing jobs are: bad boss desire for personal development balance work and …

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A Career Transition demands Courage to ‘let go’ and a Strategy

A career transition involves one’s hopes, fears, trustworthiness, credibility, competency i.e. internal personal events and characteristics. It also means change in external events such as re-location, different commutes, working environment, technology, types of customers or service users. We can learn from research in change management that finds 70% of change initiatives fail. This is mainly because the focus is on the external events of change and the psycho-social events of transition are ignored. Transitions often demand three things of us – that we unlearn the whole style of mastering the world that we used to take us through so far ‘let …

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Strategic questions to accelerate both your career and your job performance

Have you ever considered that the strategic questions relevant to accelerating your career are similar to the strategic questions that are relevant to accelerating projects at work? There are three main phases in the journey from placing one’s stake in the ground to claiming the buried riches – from problem to solution, from opportunity to accomplishment. They are the aligning, acting and adjusting phases that answer questions by having eight types of conversation. Developing your career involves having these conversations with yourself and with people who are ‘trusted sounding boards’. Moving a project from concept to launch involves similar types of …

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Our three basic needs – achievement, affiliation & power – translate, at work, to purpose, community & career.

There are three basic needs that we all have, according to psychologist David McClelland: a need for achievement, a need for affiliation, and a need for power. How we thrive at work depends on the quality of concordance between our needs and the needs of the organisation. It switches on, mobilises our intrinsic motivators. The achievement motivator is switched on by concordance with the purpose of the company – identifying with the organisation’s mission and values, feeling that you make a meaningful impact and having pride in what the company, not only ‘shoots for’ but also ‘stands for’. The affiliation motivator is …

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Research on Playing Politics to Gain Influence

Building your informal social network is an essential part of advancing your career. That means deciding who to influence and for what purpose. Which is as much about leadership as understanding the realities of workplace politics. Research by Prof. Peter Belmi highlights that hard work and achievements are not enough to advance your career. Power and influence are hidden inside the job appointment processes. There are insidious structural and psychological factors that contribute to social and income inequality. Often in spite of people’s best intentions decisions on who gets the job or the promotion are affected by conscious and unconscious …

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How well can you deal with Critical Incident questions at a job interview?

You may come to an interview prepared for questions about teamwork, initiative, interpersonal skills and leadership. But Critical Incident questions have the potential to reveal your perspectives and competencies without you being aware of how much you are revealing.  These questions focus more on behaviour rather than opinion. They focus on facts. Tell me about a time when you were successful. What about a time you had to follow directions or guidelines that you knew were the wrong way to go? What was the toughest decision you made recently? Tell me about the last time a customer or co-worker got …

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