8 Tips For Running A Successful Online Business

Organize Your Web Assets

 This extends much further than just organizing your business. Your web assets are everything from your website to your social media profiles to your hosting account. These need to be in order. All relevant assets should be optimized for your brand. For example, your social media and webpages should have the relevant keywords. They should fall into an integrated marketing plan. And they should be completely updated with the latest information about your company.

Maintain Customer Records Safely

 One problem business owners have is that they need to be able to keep records safely. You have a legal obligation to protect any customer information obtained online. For example, you should store information on separate devices and have a number of secure backups.

Your systems must be kept updated and controls should be implemented and access should be restricted only to specific employees. You should have a system in place to destroy things like credit card details securely when they’re no longer needed.

Do you know your competition? 

Any good business will know its competition. You need to know who you’re competing against so that you know why customers choose you over others, or vice versa. Nowhere is this more important than in the online world. You should be aware of social media channels your competition is using. And you should inspect keyword usage from all your competitors using the variety of tools Google provides.

Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation

 Online business is all about reputation. The slightest mistake can taint your brand forever. The key is control. Setup a Google Alerts notification for your brand. That way, you’ll be able to inspect any mention of your brand. Have a firm set of branding and social media guidelines, so anyone posting on behalf of your brand is aware of what you expect from them. Learn to deal with customer complaints and adopt a mindset of solving problems; even if the customer is wrong.

 Invest in a good internet connection

 If you are online, you need a good internet connection. Sometimes, I’ve sacrificed on a good internet connection, only to realize I couldn’t act fast on important orders. Without a fast Internet connection, you could miss out on orders and customer questions. In short, your business could be paralyzed.

Stay On Top of the Latest Trends

 The online world is one that is constantly changing and evolving. It evolves faster than anything you’ll see in the real world. Furthermore, you’ll see social media trends evolving all the time. You need to be on top of this so you can be on the cutting edge of online marketing and branding.

Be Persistent

 Few businesses become overnight success stories. This is something you’ll have to accept if you want to enter the business world. Persistence will pay off in the end if you continue to do all the right things. You need to be consistent and stay focused on your goals. Did you know most start-ups take three to five years before they start turning in a profit?

Know When to Call It Quits

 Sometimes an idea will fail. The biggest challenge for an entrepreneur is to know when an idea has failed. It’s no point trying to revive a dead duck. So don’t be scared to change course if necessary.

Running a business is inherently risky. Taking the time to learn and evolve is one of the best investments you can make to mitigate these risks.

Source: entrepreneur.com

Career Change Galway

How to Choose an Online Professional Development Training Course

In a highly competitive business world, independent consultants know that continuing education enhances their abilities, broadens their areas of expertise, and boosts their professional reputation. Many busy professionals are turning to online training courses to receive these benefits, thanks to their “work from anywhere” convenience and often affordable price points.

However, with so many options available, it can be hard to know which training option is right for you.

Keep these considerations in mind choosing the online training course that’s right for your professional development.

  1. Determine Your Goals

As with any major undertaking, consider your goals before signing up for a course. You may wish to ask yourself:

  • Do you expect the training course to significantly impact your core business competency or allow you to broaden your professional skillset?
  • Do you want to learn a brand-new skill or expand your knowledge of a current ability?
  • Do you expect to receive academic credit towards a degree program?
  • Do you want to learn a new software application that is desirable in your field of work?

It’s also important to ask yourself how much time and commitment you will be able to dedicate to your professional training. These questions can help you determine where you need to begin your search.

  1. Select the Right Institution

Online training courses for professional development are available from a number of different types of institutions, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The training college that’s right for you will depend on factors such as your specific goals, your future ambitions, and financial and time restraints. Your main options include:

  • Accredited college or university – For those considering pursuing an academic degree or certification, professional development courses taken at an accredited university may be able to earn college credits. Today, many top universities offer flexible online programs or hybrid “executive” programs that offer online training plus an in-person night or weekend coursework.
  • Specialized training institute – Often the most economical option, specialized training schools offer a high degree of flexibility in course options. Many of these online outlets offer hard skills training in your vertical as well as generalized experience in areas such as Microsoft Office, digital competencies and more.
  • Vendor-specific courses – This option provides highly specialized training in a particular product often computer hardware or software directly from the manufacturer or vendor of the product. The course subject matter is very narrow, but will generally give in-depth instruction and training directly from an instructor certified and employed by the vendor.
  1. Choose the Right Format

Online professional development classes are offered in a number of different formats that fit varying academic levels, learning styles and personal schedules.

Some are highly regulated, with specific set class times that you must attend. These courses are often taught by an instructor or professor via live video feed, and participation and interaction are expected. Other online courses use a more free-form approach that allows participants to work around their own schedules, learning the material via text and pre-recorded videos. In this format, the only interaction with the instructor may be through email. In others, one might pay to listen to lectures or lessons and complete assignments on their own, with no direct instructor interaction.

Carefully take into account your schedule and learning type to figure out which format works best for you.

  1. Find the Right Fit for Your Skill Level

Make an honest assessment of your skill level and competency in the area you plan on studying, either through self-evaluation or from a third party. You may find that you know more – or less – about the subject than you assumed. This will help you find the right course level for your needs, and prevent you from wasting your time and money on a course that is either too advanced for you to follow or too basic for you to benefit from.

Don’t rely on the title alone; thoroughly read the course description and objectives of each class before choosing. What one instructor or institution may call “intermediate,” another may consider “advanced.”

  1. Do Your Research

Before enrolling in any online professional development training course, thoroughly research the course, the instructor, and the institution. Talk to colleagues in your field, check online review sites, or solicit feedback from social media groups and your network of contacts. Professional training courses are an investment of both your time and your money, so it’s in your best interest to find an option that is reputable, respected, and a valuable investment.

Source: mbopartners.com

What Does Covid-19 Mean for The Future Of Work?

‘’…Excerpts from Forbes Ashley Stahl’s article in June 2020…’’

There has been a lot of discussion around the impact of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have for the future of work, and yet, ever since Covid-19 swept the globe, the message about our future has become even clearer: what started as a few weeks of working from home has evolved into a catalyst for change regarding how we work and live.

Over 16 million US workers have transitioned to working from home, a new category of careers has been born under the title “essential workers,” and the average American has now begun to stream online content for 8 hours or more each day.

It’s safe to say that the traditional definition of office life has been put to rest.  But, now we are all left to wonder, what will replace it?

Here are four probable shifts we’ll start seeing in the workplace as we eventually step into the post-Covid-19 world.

  1. Remote work could further the racial divide.

A survey conducted by WayUp found that only 10% of new college graduates believe it will be possible for them to find a remote job or internship. While this is a gloomy value for the previously bright-eyed graduates, what makes the data even more alarming is factoring in participants’ demographic. Candidates who self-identified as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino were an astonishing 145% more likely to feel concerned about finding a remote job compared to White or Asian candidates. This discrepancy may very well be due to the occupational segregation that unfortunately still exists within the U.S.. Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics identified that only 19% of African American and 16% of Hispanics would be able to work from home based upon their job functions. Construction and services jobs, held primarily by Hispanic and African American workers have been some of the hardest hit industries due to Covid-19, and are the least capable to provide remote work.

Not only were Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino descent candidates more stressed about getting a job, but 48% of them felt under qualified. When asked why, many of these candidates expressed fear about not having access to high bandwidth internet and living in confined or distracting quarters. Data shows that Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American families have more family members (19% and 7%, respectively) per square foot compared to caucasian families. Suffice to say, the more people confined to a small living space, the more distractions you can expect to face, not to mention devices fighting for that strong internet connection.  It’s no surprise that this demographic is more stressed about working from home.

Take the initiative to have conversations in an effort to understand how employees work best and what tools they may need to feel confident in producing quality work.

  1. Determining promotions and merit increase will become data-centric.

In the past, one of the main reasons employees received promotions was due to their tenure within the organization. In fact, one study found that 150,000 employees with low-performance scores from 75 companies received promotions in a single year. Suffice to say, there isn’t always a direct correlation between getting a promotion and stellar job performance.

With a drop in in-person connection, and an increase in online platform usage, the days of employees schmoozing their way to the top may be on the decline. The future of promotions looks to become more data centric, where the decision is based upon an array of qualitative metrics such as sales figures, year over year performance values, and customer service scores and reviews. We can also expect a rise in app and technology usage that evaluates employees’ digital experiences. These additions will provide employers with a more collaborative and data measured sense of the value you are able to add, despite being remote.

With the influx in remote work, some managers have already begun to analyse productivity through tracking employee keystrokes or remotely monitoring screens via programs such as TeamViewer.  The number of minutes idle on a computer or the number of keystrokes taken could be used as a baseline to dictate engagement and effort.

Whether this level of monitoring is beneficial or not, remote workers can rest assured that they still have a high chance of getting a raise. In recent years, 57% of females and 51% of males working remotely are still getting raises. This increase in promotions for remote workers may be due to the fact that productivity and workplace satisfaction are higher for employees who have flexible work environments. Not only that but, remote female staff received the largest merit increases over any other group. A larger transition to remote employment may be the very solution to lessen the gender pay gap.

  1. Cyber security measures will become even more necessary. 

As companies provide more employees with remote work computers and access to email on personal mobile devices the need to build heightened cyber security will become mandatory. While security breaches have risen 11% since 2018 and 67% since 2014, we can only expect this rise to continue, given that remote work widens an organization’s attack surface.

Here’s the harsh reality: a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds and 93% of successful data breaches occur in less than one minute. This theft can take place anywhere from someone’s car, to public transportation or at a local cafe, and employees must take on a sense of responsibility to help protect the security of their employer.

This risk has become so high that the International Associate of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM), a vendor neutral IT organization, expressed heightened warnings to government agencies and businesses around the risks involved with allowing employees to work from home without secure devices. A previous report found that 17% of U.S Securities and Exchange Commission laptops were being used in unauthorized locations. Needless to say, the more employees a company and agency lets work from home, the larger the breeding ground for security breaches.

In order to combat this devastating loss from happening to you, here are a few things Miller recommends doing now:

  • Update software and firmware of your antivirus, operating system and hardware with modems and routers.
  • Have a security measure in place for monitoring at user, application, system, network and database level
  • Have an active monitoring system in place.
  1. Methods of feedback will drastically change.

When offices were swarming with staff, managers could quickly stop by an employees desk and thank them for their hard work on a recent project, or offer gratitude for their input during the morning meeting. Covid-19 has torn down these familiar ways frequent feedback was provided, pushing management to use alternative means of providing consistent feedback.

This may not seem like a big concern, but when you take into account that Millennials, (born 1980 – 2000) who make up over half of the workforce, carry a deeply rooted need for consistent feedback…managers are in for some abrupt recalibration on how they provide feedback to keep their employees happy. The more time remote employees spend out of sight, the more they worry about also being “out of mind”.

Although putting an emphasis on qualitative data will drive promotions forward, employees need to maintain a level of personal connection. While relying on instant messaging and email is quick and consistent, managers should establish weekly or monthly, or even bi-weekly video (face-to-face) meetings to review projects and ensure employees are receiving the support they deeply crave, and need, to continue growing.  Use this time to not only offer performance feedback and support at work but to build a personal connection and relationship. Employees leave bosses, not jobs, so take the time to make your connections genuine and authentic. While it may feel like an employers market right now, losing employees has major costs to a business (50-75% of an employees annual salary) that likely isn’t something you want to deal with.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, data confirmed loneliness was at an all time high.  With more staff working at home, this epidemic may only grow. Managers have an opportunity to bridge this gap of isolation while building relationships to provide supportive feedback. Keep communication consistent and personal amongst your teams and in one-on-one virtual settings.

If you are a business leader, what can you do to prepare for the future?

  • Consider leveraging new apps and virtual technology to gather employee feedback such as PollEv, OfficeVibe, Vevox and Polly.
  • Do a deep dive on companies that have already been managing remote employees successfully. Every year, FlexJobs released their top 100 remote companies list which is packed with great examples of businesses that operate well with remote staff.  One great example is Dell, who implemented flexible work options back in 2009 and has been reviewed on Glassdoor as a top company to work for from home. Not only are their employees happy, but with 25% of their staff working remote, they have been able to save $12 million annually on real estate alone.
  • Revisit your healthcare plans.  Get curious and question how your healthcare options can improve to better support the wellbeing of your employees during pandemics such as Covid-19.  Evaluate where wellness stands within your organization’s culture and how you can better prioritize not only physical health, but also mental wellbeing.
  • Schedule ongoing one-on-one virtual check in meetings with employees to ensure that they feel heard and supported.
  • Consider how to adjust your training and on-boarding process based upon a more remote staff operation:
  • Cyber security training such as those offered on Alison or Coursera.  You may even want to build your own training unique to your business through an internal Learning Management System.
  • Health and safety training: based upon adjustments in the office such as hand washing stations or social distancing barriers, build out training on the new procedures and processes that impact daily office life.
  • Management training: with teams working remote the style of management will shift and the means of communication must adjust.  Generate training to outline how to be communicative and supportive when the majority of interactions are now virtual.
  • Prior Learning: How To Manage Remote Employees is a virtual seminar that reviews how to mentor and manage staff from afar, how to assimilate teams to work together and how to handle off-site struggles and office politics.
  • Coursera Virtual Teams: An online training on how to become an impactful leader working with virtual teams.

These changes are something that employers and employees alike must become familiar with and take precautions to prepare for.  At the end of the day, your career and business success remain in your hands.  It’s up to you to adjust to the changes, not drown beneath them.

Source: forbes.com

Facing Redundancy…?

Redundancy ranks as one of the most stressful life experiences for many people. However, in the process of leaving, it is important that you protect your interests.

The following suggestions from Personnel Career Management, a UK based outplacement organization, talk here about how you can ensure that both practically and emotionally you are in good shape and well-equipped for the challenges ahead.

  1. Don’t panic

It’s common for people to either rush into a flurry of activity or be like a rabbit caught in headlights when they get made redundant.  Avoid either fate by keeping calm.  Make a list of all of the things you need to arrange in the months ahead and them list them in priority order. This might include legal and financial arrangements, outplacement support and contact numbers for networking meetings.

  1. Know your rights

Check out Citizens’ Information’s website for information on your rights.  Consider speaking to an employment solicitor if you have any sense that the redundancy may not have followed due legal process or if their signature is required on the settlement agreement. Obtain a copy of the in-house redundancy policy if there is one and check out the exit terms and notice periods in your contract.

  1. Negotiate

Don’t be afraid to bargain and ask for more than your employer is initially prepared to give. This might include keeping the company car, support for re-training, an enhanced lump sum. You have nothing to lose by asking! 

  1. Depersonalise

It’s easy to take your redundancy personally and to feel aggrieved either by the decision or by the process leading up to it. However, if you do choose to challenge the redundancy be careful to focus on facts and policies, not on personalities. Similarly, when talking to prospective employers about your redundancy, present it as having been a tough business decision and don’t criticise particular individuals.

  1. Build bridges – don’t burn them!

Try to maintain good relations wherever possible with your previous employer, even if you disagree over the manner of your exit.  You will still need a reference for your next job, and it may be that your boss or colleagues can make useful introductions or offer you consultancy work. 

  1. Get support

Help from a professional. They can make a huge difference to your job search success and reduce the amount of time taken to find your next role.  You can purchase this yourself, but there are significant VAT and tax advantages to having it arranged via your organization. It’s always worth asking if the company will contribute towards outplacement services.

  1. Plan your Finances

Work out your financial situation so that you have a realistic picture of your finances and cash flow.

  1. Do your research

Don’t rush into applying for any or every job that comes up. Take stock of what you have to offer and what you want to do.  Then research what employers are actually looking for so that you can devise a CV that meets their selection criteria. Talk to people in your target industry for career advice and information. This information will also be invaluable in helping you identify potential employers.

  1. Brush up your employability

Assess whether there are any gaps in experience or training that could be a barrier to getting another job and address them. Redundancy is a good time to take some of those courses you have always been too busy to go on; not only will this enhance your skills, it will also impress employers with your commitment to continuous professional development.

  1. Think Positive

This is a great opportunity to move your career forward in line with your own personal agenda. Although it can be traumatic at the time, many people find that in the long run redundancy is actually the catalyst they need to take their career in the direction they actually want to go. So use this time to think about what you really want, and go for it.

Source: personalcareermanagement.com

How to deliver a great speech

6 Tips On How To Deliver Persuasive Speeches Online…

Diana Beyer writes about speaking Online and more specifically about delivering a course Online. Here we have taken some of her content and tailored around what is important for any speech delivered Online.

But firstly, what are the Differences Between Offline And Online Speeches

Differences Between Offline And Online Speeches 

Let’s start making sure that you understand the difference between an online and an offline speech – just bear in mind that we are talking here about courses that don’t involve live video conferences.

First of all, it is an uncontrolled environment. Meaning that you can’t be sure of what your students are doing while you talk. You won’t be able to see their faces, analyse their reactions, so you can make adjustments from there. The feedback you are more likely to get will come only after the end of your course, meaning that it will be very late and expensive to change anything.

Secondly, it might be watched in blocks. As the content is available in a way that a student can use it anytime and for as long as they want it, they might not watch your video in full, but a couple of minutes per time.

Thirdly, interactivity will be established in a very different way. This is most likely to happen through emails or forums, as there is no way to know who will be online when. So strategies that involve asking questions to your audience are completely out of the table here.

Now that you have in mind the challenges you have to face, let’s go to the tips that will help you with them.

  1. Make sure that your equipment is right

This is really critical. No matter how brilliant you are as a speaker, your microphone and camera can ruin you from the very start. So take your time to test your equipment, the lightning, your computer, your whiteboard (if you are using one), or any other resources that you will use for it. Get to know what are the best things available when it comes to technologies. Choose your best angle (yes, it does exist!) and listen to your own voice. Record a few tests and see how it went. Ask other people’s opinion too, especially if you know someone with the same description of your target audience (read the next tip). And don’t forget to do it all over again just before you start, as some settings might need to be adjusted again.

  1. Get to know your audience

Who are your audience? How young / old are they? Where are they from? What is their background? What are they looking for? You need to answer these and other questions if you like to get your speech right. Depending on what you find out, you might need to adapt your vocabulary, your tone of voice, and how you organize what you are going to say. If you ignore it, you might sound too academic or just boring. They even might not understand you all together, and your content will get poor reviews for this easy-to-fix reason. So look for them wherever you can, from social media to your nearby coffee shop. But find out what you need to know so you can customize your speech to your target audience.

  1. Get inspired

You should always watch speeches similar to the one you are about to record so that you can get inspired. Of course, pick the instructors with the highest reviews, but make sure that you analyse the comments, so you know you are both dealing with the same audience and level of expertise. Not that you are going to be copying them, as you should learn to develop your own style. But finding out what works, getting everything organized using mobile apps or even your notebooks, and adapting it to your own needs is something that you should consider.

  1. Inspire them

Now that you have inspired yourself, it is your time to inspire them. The biggest challenge is to keep your audience interested, and this is your task as well, something that you will be trying to accomplish by being persuasive. As often as possible, you should challenge and encourage your audience. They need to believe that they are capable of doing something by themselves, so don’t make the process too hard, but also don’t underestimate their abilities. Surprise them and congratulate them during your speech, as if they were there. Use positive words, and let them know what is expected of them and what they should do next.

  1. Watch your body language

Here is where your words become less important, and you start to pay attention to how you say it. At this stage, your body language can be your best friend or your worst enemy as it gives away your intentions, experience and fears. What you should do here is to record yourself delivering the speech and check your body language (not the content). Among others, you should look for the following behaviors:

  • Your hands should be used wisely, to point out things and reinforce what you want to say
  • Your body should be balanced, so keep it feet shoulder apart
  • Pronounce your words clearly and breath calmly, so you will sound confident
  • Remember to include 5-10 seconds pauses, so they can have the time to reflect and take notes
  1. The Takeaway 

If you want to be a successful online instructor and deliver persuasive speeches, you will need to take it seriously and prepare yourself for your audience.

Of course, you need to know the content by heart, but as a speaker, you know that this is only 50% (or less) of the requirements. And that if you don’t manage to engage your audience and keep them interested, all your efforts could go to waste.

So make you sure that you also do your homework and that you know what you audience wants from you. Check your equipment, and test and train your speech before delivery.


Source: elearningindustry.com

Five simple ways to update your Resumé?

In days when you have time on your hands, you would not spend better time than to review your Resumé (Curriculum Vitae – CV), update it and make it ready for internal promotion, external job opportunities and/or a job/career change.

Niamh Brennan from Cpl says that no matter how long it’s been since you did it before, it can be hard to know where to start, so she has shared five simple ways on how to update your Resumé.

In Cpl, they receive hundreds of Resumé’s every day. They know what works, what doesn’t and what will get you noticed by employers for the right reasons.

  1. Get inspired by your LinkedIn

When you’re not actively looking for a job, you’re unlikely to open your Resumé and update it each time you have success in work. However, you’re a lot more likely to add updates to your LinkedIn profile in real-time.

When the time does come when you’re searching for a job review your LinkedIn and see if there’s any good information there that could be added to your CV. You might be surprised at how reading through your own professional history can jog your memory.

  1. Simplify the structure of your Resumé

How you present a Resumé can have a big impact. You want your Resumé to be as readable as possible, and easy to digest at a glance. To do this use:

  • A regular font – Calibri (Body), Arial or Veranda are all good options
  • Bullet points instead of paragraphs and numerals instead of written numbers
  • Headings and bold text to make important information stand out
  • List information in chronological order
  • Save your Resumé as a Word doc, but send it to prospective employers/recruitment agencies on a PDF

Put time into simplifying format and design and you’ll create a Resumé that can be easily read by a recruiter or potential employer.  Hiring managers tend to prefer a simple CV, so save yourself time and focus on content rather than design.

  1. Emphasise achievements

Avoid including unnecessary and lengthy details, instead emphasise results and achievements rather than daily tasks. A Resumé should highlight skills that make you attractive to interview.

This could be successful projects you worked on, awards you have won or any impactful problems that you solved. Again, use specific examples that showcase your technical knowledge, and statistics and figures that clearly back your achievements up.

  1. Update your education section

Continuous learning is becoming more and more important, so don’t forget to update your education section with any relevant courses you’ve completed during your career. For example:

  • On-Line courses
  • Night classes
  • Internal training programmes
  • Certifications

By keeping your education up to date, you are showing your commitment to continuous learning and a passion for the industry you work in and the work you do.

  1. Write a simple to the point Bio

It might seem old fashioned or unnecessary, but a good bio can make all the difference. Distinguish yourself from other candidates by telling your prospective employer who you are, what you do and what your objectives are for your next role. If you don’t know where to start here are some things to consider mentioning:

  • Why do you do what you do?
  • What’s your current role?
  • Any notable accomplishments that are relevant to the job you’re applying for
  • Depending on the company/job – something a little more personal that shows you’re a good cultural fit

When writing your bio keep it concise and always edit with the position you’re applying for in mind.

Taking the time to update your Resumé properly could mean the difference between landing a job interview or not. Spend time on it.

Another old but good Resumé tip is to list your achievements, big and small on a piece of paper. This will help you to recognise the value in things you’ve done that you might have forgotten about. Things like managing staff, training new staff, organising schedules, handling cash for example.

You can then use this brainstorm as a base for updating your Resumé with any relevant points and accomplishments. Finally, remove any outdated skills or information you no longer want to highlight and proofread then proofread again.

Initial source: cpljobs.com

Career Change Galway

Selling yourself on paper…!

Annie Lankford talks about selling yourself on paper so as to secure job interviews in the future, below are some brief extracts from her thoughts.

There are 3 common types of cover letters:

  • 1-2 body paragraphs
  • Match desired skills/experiences listed in the job/position description
  • Use key words
  • Expand on your resume
  • What skills did you gain?
  • What knowledge did you learn?
  • How does this relate to what the position is calling for?
  • Chance to explain employment gaps
  • Be confident!

Key Questions:

  • The specific organization/business
  • The job that you are applying for

Where you explain to the employer why you should be selected for an interview, create a critical first impression of who you are to the employer

  • References are on a separate sheet of paper from CV
  • Should have the same exact heading and layout of your CV
  • First and Last Name
  • Job Title
  • Organization/Business/Institution
  • E-mail and phone number
  • If reference no longer works there, try to get their personal contact information
  • Consider writing a brief statement on how you know the person

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a picture of who YOU are!

  • Avoid family and friends
  • Professional references: those that are familiar with your “work”
  • Supervisors, executive directors, co-workers, etc.
  • Personal references: those that are familiar with your overall character
  • Religious leader, teacher, professor, person you volunteered for
  • Ask permission if it’s OK to list them as a reference
  • Give a copy of resume + job description to references

How To Sell Yourself On Paper:

  • Name and Contact Information
  • Use same header as resume
  • Date
  • Recipient’s information
  • Name, title, company and address
  • Salutation
  • Avoid “To Whom It May Concern”
  • If unable to locate specific contact person:
  • “Dear Hiring Manager”
  • “Dear Hiring Committee”

What can you do for the employer?

  • Why are you writing?
  • Specify position
  • HOW did you learn of the position?
  • Why are you interested in applying?
  • Playing up your skills
  • Gaps in your employment
  • Explaining “other experience”
  • One Page
  • 10-12 point font (Times, Arial, Calibri)
  • Use standard business letter (block) format
  • Print on resume or high quality paper
  • Proofread, Proofread, PROOFREAD!

Body Paragraph:

  • Application Cover Letter
  • Referral/Networking Cover Letter
  • Letter of Interest

Why are cover letters so important?

A letter sent with your resume that:

  • Provides additional information about your skills and experience
  • States how you are the best match for the job that you are applying for

Closing Paragraph:

  • Did you emphasize your related experience and skills?
  • Have you sold yourself on paper?
  • If roles were reversed, would you consider your CV to be a strong applicant?
  • Summarize your qualifications
  • Express interest in an interview/meeting
  • Thank the employer for their time and attention

Source: prezi.com

Career, training transition Consultant

What is a psychometric test and how do they work?

A psychometric test, also known as an Aptitude Test, is a common part of many modern-day interviews and assessments. Psychometric tests take many forms and are an umbrella term for any assessment that tests one’s cognitive ability or personality. They are now more commonly administered online and will consist of a series of questions whereby you must submit your answers within the time limits.

If you haven’t yet encountered a psychometric test then you will very likely do so in the future as they are becoming increasingly utilized as an early stage of an assessment application. Recruiting companies like to use them as a means of filtering out large applicant pools to a much slimmer, manageable pool. As a result, many applicants may struggle to ever get past this stage.

Psychometric tests are an objective way to measure the potential ability of candidates to perform well in a job role. This is due to psychometric tests measuring a range of skills from cognitive abilities, knowledge to assessing your personality. They are an extremely popular tool in business recruitment if you are applying for a job (especially graduate schemes) you may have to take some form of psychometric test(s) as a preliminary round of the application process.

Why are psychometric tests used in recruitment?

Traditionally recruiters studied your CV and qualifications and made a decision based on an interview.
Extensive research has shown that actually this is a fairly poor way to pick which candidates are going to be best for the job. What’s a better way? You guessed it: a psychometric test. In fact, many employers use a combination of interviews, assessments and psychometric tests.
The power of psychometric testing is that there is a strong correlation between test scores and job performance, i.e. if you score highly in a psychometric test, the chances are that you are going to perform well in the job. As an employer, their predictive qualities make psychometric tests very attractive. Add the fact that they can be administered quickly and efficiently on a large scale and you can see why psychometric tests have become the norm, especially for graduate recruitment.

As mentioned, the term ‘psychometric test’ is an umbrella term that covers both ability testing and personality profiling. There are many forms of psychometric tests including:

• Numerical Reasoning
• Verbal Reasoning
• Inductive Reasoning
• Diagrammatic Reasoning
• Logical Reasoning
• Critical Thinking
• Situational Judgement
• Mechanical Reasoning
• Deductive Reasoning

As a candidate, the best way to prepare for your psychometric test is to practice and find out what the test is like.

Numerical Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning are two of the most popular tests used to assess a candidate’s ability. If you are applying to graduate schemes or know that the application process for your desired job will include psychometric tests, it’s very likely that it will include one of these tests.

So let’s take a deeper look into these two popular test types…

Numerical Reasoning

Numerical Reasoning tests are the most popular psychometric test, outside of personality profiling, and so it is important that you are adept at handling this sort of test.
Numerical Reasoning tests are used to measure a candidate’s ability to interpret numerical data. You must be able to analyze and draw conclusions from the data, which could be presented in tables or graphs. Many candidates may fear a numerical reasoning test, believing that the maths involved will be too complex. The tests aren’t designed to test the limits of a candidate’s mathematical ability, but more to test your ability to use simple mathematical data to solve problems.

Verbal Reasoning

A Verbal Reasoning Test is used to assess a candidate’s ability to comprehend a passage of text. You will, most likely, be presented with a written passage and asked to answer a series of questions with either ‘True’, ‘False’ or ‘Cannot Say’ on the basis of the information given.
You must only use the information that is written in the passage and not use any pre-existing knowledge you may have on the topic as they are not testing this, they’re testing your ability to understand the text.

Source: assessmentday.co.uk

Career Change Galway

Benefits of Business Networking & Tips for Networking Success…

How important is networking to small businesses? Ask a small service business where they get most of their customers, and they are likely to indicate some form of word of mouth marketing. Networking is equally important for career success for people who are employees.  According to a 2016 Report by LinkedIn, 85 percent of all jobs are filled via networking.

Clearly, if you aren’t taking the time to meet and interact with others in your field, you’re likely missing out on valuable opportunities to find new partnerships, generate referrals and even land clients and positions.

Of course, networking isn’t just about building relationships. Meeting and interacting with other industry professionals also enables you to continue your education. While you might not have time to attend a seminar or certification course, grabbing coffee with a business connection helps you stay abreast of new developments and practices in your field. You can bring these trends back to your current company or use what you learned to better your chances of landing a new position.

 Don’t wait until your marketing funnel is empty to start networking. If you want to build a robust business, you should get out there and make connections today. Check out these 11 networking tips sure to expand the number of opportunities that come your way:

  1. Attend Business Networking Events

The first step in successful networking is knowing where you should go to make connections. While almost any activity or event can serve as a networking opportunity, small business owners and professionals with local businesses should attend local business events. For example, your town/city’s chamber of commerce might host gatherings for people in your industry. Additionally, it’s worth hitting up meetings for professional associations and societies related to your field.

  1. Choose a Goal

It’s hard to get what you want out of your networking endeavors if you don’t start with a clear agenda. Before attending meetings or events, take the time to determine what your goals are for the experience. For example, you might want to make new connections, donate your time to the community or simply learn about the latest developments in your business or industry.

  1. Get Social in Your Off Hours

Just because you’re off the clock doesn’t mean it’s time to stop networking. If you want to expand your reach, make an effort to chat with attendees at your health club or sporting activities. You can even make business connections at your child’s school activities and events. After all, parents are typically looking for something to chat about besides what’s happening on the soccer field!

  1. Know Your Worth

It’s not enough to provide your clients with a great product or service. If you can’t articulate what it is you do, then you can’t hope to convey that information at networking events. Whether your goal is to generate referrals or simply build your virtual Rolodex for the future, you should take time to generate an elevator pitch that conveys what you do, for whom you do it, and why customers should choose you over your competition.

  1. Identify Conversational Icebreakers

If you want to overcome initial awkwardness and make a good first impression, consider opening with a compliment. For example, you might tell the person sitting next to you at a seminar that you like their shoes or tie. Similarly, asking a question gives contacts the chance to talk about themselves. Ask how they got into the field or what they think of a recent development affecting your industry.

  1. Bring a Buddy

Sometimes starting conversations with strangers is easier if you have a familiar face by your side. If you have a friend or coworker who’s also looking to expand their network, consider attending professional events as a twosome. Just be sure you make an effort to connect with other attendees rather than sitting in the corner chatting with them the whole time.

  1. Overcome Introversion

If you’re naturally shy, having success in networking can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are some strategies for overcoming introversion and making connections. First, consider brainstorming icebreakers before a networking event, so you don’t have to come up with ideas on the spot. Second, feel free to take a breather if you get overwhelmed. Go to the restroom, take a walk, or grab a coffee. You can return to the room refreshed and ready to meet new people.

  1. Find a Reason to Follow Up

Making connections is only half the battle; you also have to take steps to keep the relationship going. Even if you aren’t currently job hunting, strive to reach out to your contacts a few times a year to follow up. You could forward a relevant article, invite them to a seminar or conference, or even just send a friendly note during the holidays.

Of course, being successful in networking is about more than what you do. It’s more about what not to do. Here are some tactics to avoid if you want to boost your business connections.

  1. Don’t Be Negative

When searching for conversation starters, avoid speaking negatively about former companies or coworkers. After all, you don’t want potential contacts thinking you’d say bad things about them given the opportunity.

  1. Don’t Be Selfish

Whether you’re chatting at a chamber of commerce event or attending an informational meeting, it’s important to remember that networking about gives and take. If you’re always the person asking for favors, the relationship is unlikely to last. For best results, look for opportunities to help your networking contacts prosper in their own careers.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for What You Want

We all need help now and again. If you want your networking efforts to be a success, you have to be bold enough to ask for assistance. Before attending that next meetup or seminar, make sure you can articulate what it is that you’re seeking. Then, when someone asks how they can help you, tell them the truth.

Source: businessknowhow.com

Career Change Galway

Time Management Techniques…

(November 2019)

Dan McCarthy tells us that time management is really all about managing yourself. You can’t really “manage” time because there are 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute—and that never changes. However, you can control where and how you spend your time and take action to reduce or eliminate time wasters.

He shares 10 timeless ways to take control of your schedule each day to make the most of the time you have available to you.

  • Establish Prioritized Goals:

Without goals, you might find that you tend to chase after whatever seems most urgent or is staring you in the face. It’s tough not to get distracted by shiny objects. To prevent this, figure out your true priorities in life, and move toward them by setting yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals or desired outcomes. Rank each of these using the following system:

  • Importance: (A=high, B=medium, C=low)
  • Urgency: (1=high, 2=medium, 3=low)

Always work on the most urgent and important goals and tasks (A1) first, and then move on down your list.

  • Follow the 80/20 Rule:

The 80 / 20 rule, also known as Pareto’s Principle, says that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your actions. It’s a way to view your time usage, prioritize your chosen tasks against your most important goals. Are you focusing in on the 20 percent of activities that produce 80 percent of your desired results?

  • Learn to Say No:

While it’s great to be a team player, it’s also important to know when and how to be assertive and let people know you can’t handle their request at the moment if it conflicts with you achieving your goals. If you do agree to take on the task, negotiate a deadline that helps them achieve their goals without sacrificing your own.

  • Overcome Procrastination Using the 4D System:
  • Delete it: What are the consequences of not doing the task at all? Consider the 80/20 rule; maybe it doesn’t need to be done in the first place.
  • Delegate it: If the task is important, ask yourself if it’s really something that you are responsible for doing in the first place. Can the task be given to someone else?
  • Do it now: Postponing an important task that needs to be done only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Do it as early in the day as you can.
  • Defer:If the task is one that can’t be completed quickly and is not a high priority item, simply defer it.
  • Eat the Frog:

To quote Brian Tracey from his book, “Eat That Frog,”

“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

Your frogs each day are the tasks that will have the greatest impact on achieving your goals, which are usually the tasks that you’re most likely to procrastinate starting.

  • Reduce the Number of Meetings:

Poorly run meetings are time wasters, multiplied by the number of people in the meeting. Make sure you have an agenda and you aren’t just having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting.

  • The Glass Jar: Rocks, Pebbles, Sand:

Categorize your work in this way:

  • Rocks: Your most important strategic projects
  • Pebbles: Projects and tasks that are important but not the most critical
  • Sand: Smaller, more insignificant tasks

Tackle the rocks first. If you keep tackling the small things (the sand and pebbles), and not the important strategic items, the rocks, then your jar will quickly fill up with no room for more rocks.

  • Eliminate Electronic Time Wasters:

Everyone has certain distractions that interrupt them and take their time away from their work. Is yours Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Continuous messaging with friends and family? Stop checking them so often and start batching these types of activities. Set a time, then check and deal with all of them at once. Give yourself 30 minutes and then get back on task.

  • Get Organized:

In order to effectively manage your time and be productive each day, you have to create the right environment. Eliminate useless clutter, set up an effective filing system, have a nearby place for all of the work items you need frequently and utilize workflow management tools to help you create a productive environment.

  • Take Care of Your Health:

A good night’s sleep, healthy eating, and exercise will give you the energy, focus, and stamina required to make the most out of your day. It may seem that work is more important and you can always catch up on sleep, food, and exercise later. If you lose your health, though, you can’t work, or do much of anything else for that matter, so don’t skimp on taking care of yourself.

Source: thebalancecareers.com