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Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid



Before they even get to your CV, most employers will focus on your cover letter. An effective cover letter shows that you can write well, think clearly, and offer the skills and qualities required to succeed in the job. We’ve rounded up the most common mistakes to avoid - getting your cover letter write is jumping the first hurdle on your way to securing an interview. 


Grammar and Spelling Errors

Submitting a cover letter peppered with grammar and spelling errors is a sure fire way to get you placed on the no pile. Don’t get lazy and just rely on spell check! Read through thoroughly to pick up on every error. We also suggest having a friend or family member review it too. Two sets of eyes are always better than one. 


Sending a Generic Cover Letter

A very common mistake is using a generic approach and sending the same cover letter to each employer. Don’t forget cover letters are a chance to mention the specific job you’re applying for. Carefully consider the characteristics of the ideal candidate, as listed in the job posting, and explain how your skills, experience and personal qualities will enable you to excel in that particular  job. 


Using an Outdated Greeting

Steer clear of old fashioned terms like “Dear Sir or Madam” if you don't have the name of the contact person. Instead try gender-neutral terms like “Dear Human Resources Manager” or “Dear Hiring Manager.” Address women as “Ms.” as opposed to Mrs.” or simply start with the first paragraph and don't address it to anyone. 


Cover Letter is too Short

Sending off a letter that is too short can send the wrong signal to employers about your work ethic or level of interest in the job. You will also miss a great opportunity to frame your background for employers and lead them towards a positive view of your candidacy.


Cover Letter is too Long

A long letter can often put employers off, and increase the likelihood that they will jump over your letter and move straight to your CV. Try to strike a balance. Aim for 3 to 5 paragraphs no longer than six lines each.


Including Too Much Information 

There is some information that doesn’t need to be included in your cover letter. In fact, including it can hurt your chances of securing an interview. Don't give employers any more information than they need to know.


Not Providing Concrete Examples 

It’s important to back up your statements about your skills and assets by referencing a job or role where you successfully employed that strength. Be aware that expressing empty opinions about your strengths will generally not convince employers about your suitability for the job. 


For example, instead of simply stating “I possess strong written skills and an outstanding work ethic,” try “Strong writing skills enabled me to revise a sponsorship proposal and secure £50,000 in additional sponsorship from the Jones Foundation.”


Not Expressing Enough Interest 

Don't leave the hiring manager wondering about your level of interest. Your cover letter is a chance to express genuine enthusiasm for the job so that the employer knows that you are highly motivated to pursue the job.

The 5 Most Common CV Grammar Mistakes to Avoid



Your CV is your introduction to potential employers. It’s the first impression you’re able to make, and it will determine whether or not you will get to meet them face to face. if you want to get a foot in the door for your dream job, you’ll need to ensure your CV is polished and professional. 


Grammar mistakes tend to trip up even the most diligent of writers. Here are some pitfalls to avoid when checking through your CV - Don't just rely on spell check! 


Ready for a grammar refresher….here we go. 





Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings. Common examples include “their”, “they’re” and “there”, as well as “too”, “two” and “to.” It’s very easy to miss these words in a spell check as the spelling isn’t the problem. The problem is the misuse of the word, which can only be caught by double checking through your CV. Be sure to proofread with the intention to catch errors of this kind. In fact, having a friend or relative look over it is usually a safe bet, especially if you feel grammar is not your strong point. What you want to avoid is employers thinking you have a lack of attention to detail. 



Possessives & Contractions


One of the more annoying CV grammar mistakes made by job seekers is the confusion between words of possession and words that are simply contractions of two other words. Here’s an example. The word “your” is a possessive. It describes something belonging to “you.” However the word “you’re” is a contraction of the words “you” and “are,” and it implies an action rather than possession. Confusing these two words will give the impression that you might not be the right candidate for the job. 



Poor Use of Apostrophes


Occasionally, people will throw in an unnecessary apostrophe, such as in words they may intend to make plural. One such common error is when stating, “supervised staff of 10 employee’s.” There is no need to insert an apostrophe in the word “employees” because it is used as a plural in this instance, not as a possessive word. This one seems straightforward, but it’s seen far more often than it should be seen on CVs. 



Subject-Verb Agreement 


When writing sentences in your CV, pay special attention that the subject matches the verb in number and person. This kind of error is usually an easily-made, careless slip-ip, but it’s also one that can be avoided through simply proofreading out loud. You’ll be able to hear straight away whether you may have added an unnecessary “s” to a first-person singular verb when you might overlook the mistake by simply reading it silently. 



Inconsistent Tense 


When writing your CV, you want to use the past tense when talking about precious jobs or experiences. When referring to your current position, you can use the present tense. Be sure to stick with the correct tense throughout your CV. Switching from terms like “work” and “worked” haphazardly throughout the CV without rhyme or reason looks unprofessional and sloppy. It’s a sign you may not take pride in the work you put out. 

What should your CV look like?



CV layouts go through trends just as quickly as fashion. We've seen the inclusion of everything from QR codes to headshots. It’s a hard task to try to second guess which additional extras will make your CV standout from the rest, and those which will ensure its thrown out.

There's always some things that'll never go out of style. Remember, when it comes to writing your CV, clarity and brevity will always top the list. Pair this with a clean, modern design and you have all the tools needed to help you land that interview.

Competition will always be tough, so take some time to understand how to make your CV stand out by using the tips below.


1. Pay Attention to Format

Pay Attention to Format Whether you’re applying for a role in the creative industries or not, design will always matter. It all boils down to balance; a clean, smooth look that has just enough style to stand out. Adding a touch of colour is an easy way to jazz things up without putting off the reader. And pay attention to fonts. Times New Roman looks a little dated and boring; instead choose a clean font that gives a more tightened-up presentation, something like a bit of Helvetica Neue.


2. Make the Top Part Count

The top third of your CV is what we as recruiters or an HR will scan through quickly to determine whether or not we will read the rest. This will take 5 seconds tops. So it’s vital that the top part is attention grabbing. Point the reader to places where you have samples of your work product, like LinkedIn for example - and always add your phone number and email address.

Agenda Advice: If you still have a Hotmail email address, think about upgrading to a Gmail account. Hotmail can often be seen as an ‘education’ based email, and may look like you’re living a little in the past.


3. Promote Your Brand

You need to show what you can do for an employer, not what they can do for you. The point of your CV is to highlight what you can’t afford a potential employer to miss. Your qualification summary should take up prime position on your CV, and should also parallel the summary section on your LinkedIn page. For both your CV and LinkedIn summaries, remember to use language that calls out some of the achievements and attributes that make you most valuable to an employer.


4. Emphasise Key Skills Catch attention by emphasising your skill set close to the top of your CV. Doing this cements the value you can bring to the role, as opposed to what you're looking for in a job. As you apply for different posts, re-work this section to emphasis the skills that make the most sense for each, rather than using the same language for every job application. It’s helpful to identify phrases from the job posting and mirror them in your CV. This will give you a better chance of making it into the yes pile.

Agenda Advice: Save your Soft Skills, such as ‘quick learner’, ‘great communicator’ for your interview; CVs are built for your list of hard skills. Distinguishable tech and social media knowledge is particularly relevant in today’s job market. (And no, the Microsoft Office suite does not count!)


5. Highlight Performance

Don't make us hunt down your achievements, instead pull out a standalone summary of what you’ve accomplished. This is another place where you’ll want to tailor awards, benchmarks etc to the job you’re applying for. If you’ve been promoted previously then tell us why, If you’ve saved money, how much? Did you successfully win a design contract? How?

This part of your CV will always feel the hardest to put together. We suggest looking through past performance reviews, and thinking back to what your past bosses and coworkers said you did better than anyone else. Think of it as your superpower section. To make this section different to your summary, try to focus on quantifiable evidence. Think pound signs and percentage points.


6. Show Key Work Metrics

When you get to listing your work experience, don’t just list titles and dates. Use a few lines of text to weave a story for hiring managers. For example, When did you change industries? Why were you promoted? Where do you aim to go next?

Use bullet points to back up your claims with relevant facts and figures. The only way to make yourself look unique is to dig into what you did beyond the expected. Statistics are an easy way to prove you did more than the job description demanded.


7. Control Your Timeline

Your CV is a curation of your most relevant work history. If you’re anything beyond entry-level employee, your internships and early jobs will be taking up valuable space. Get rid of experiences that date back further than 10 years, unless they’re essential to the narrative - for example, an internship that changed your career trajectory. Also leave out school/university graduation dates. Don't give that ageist employer an excuse to pass over your CV because they feel you’re too young, or too old.

Mindfulness At Work: 5 Tricks For A Healthier, Less Stressful Work Day



“Meditation is an act of sanity,” scientist and writer John Kabat-Zinn told Google employees in a mindfulness session at the company’s headquarters in 2007. Six years later, Google incorporates mindfulness into their “Search Inside Yourself” training, and meditative practices have become common in businesses from Silicon Valley to Wall Street.


Many corporations and employees are realising that the benefits of mindfulness practices can be dramatic. In addition to supporting overall health and well-being, mindfulness has been linked to improved cognitive functioning and lower stress levels.


“Mindfulness essentially means awareness,” Dr. Danny Penman, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide To Finding Peace In A Frantic World, tells the Huffington Post. “Becoming aware of what’s going on around you can make a huge difference, because we spend so much time wrapped up in our thoughts that we lose contact with the real world. That’s especially the case if you’re constantly bombarded by email, Facebook posts and Twitter. It’s not really conducive to a calm and productive work environment. “


If you’re stressed out by your job, try these five mindfulness tricks that could help you feel more in control of your everyday work life.


1. Practice “strategic acceptance.”

When you get stressed out and start thinking of every little setback in catastrophic terms, your mind tends to accept this black-and-white thinking as the absolute truth, which creates even more stress. But really, this thinking is a just product of our emotional reaction to a situation. When you find your stress levels rising, don’t try to force yourself to cheer up or calm down, Penman says. The first step to returning to equilibrium is to simply accept the way you currently feel.


“If you accept that that is how you feel at this moment, you take the sting out of your emotion, and out of the stress, anger, worry and unhappiness,” says Penman. “The act of observation and the act of accepting the situation is tremendously powerful.”

But this doesn’t mean resigning to a bad situation at work — it’s a matter of accepting how things are at this moment before making a plan to do what you can to improve them.

“It’s a strategic acceptance, the way a general will accept the situation when he is going into the heat of battle,” says Penman. “He may not like it, but by accepting it, he can then find a solution.”


2. Try a three-minute breathing space.

The best (and easiest) way to become more mindful at work, according to Penman, is to periodically take what he calls a “three-minute breathing space.” At your desk or in a quiet space, take three minutes to stop what you’re doing, inhale and exhale deeply and focus your attention fully on the breath and then the body as a whole.

“You do that two or three times a day, and it will transform the day,” says Penman. “If you’re feeling especially frantic, a three-minute breathing space will help clarify your thoughts, calm down your whole approach to life and will make you so much more productive and on-the-ball. It’s just transformative.”


Click here for more detailed instructions and a downloadable guided breathing space meditation.


3. Tune into distractions around you.

In open-concept offices in particular, distractions are rampant, whether they’re in the form of a noisy neighbouring coworker, loud typing or phones going off. But paradoxically, Penman says that paying attention to those distractions rather than trying to tune them out can be a good way to prevent them from stressing you out. Gently notice the sounds and see if you can become aware of the effects they have on your body. The observation tends to rob the distractions of their power.


“When you get distracted and stress, you might start tensing up in your stomach, neck or shoulders,” says Penman. “The simple act of observing the effects of stress and worry on the body causes our tension to run into the sand.”


4. Take breaks.

There is evidence to support the idea that taking regular breaks during the workday can boost productivity and creativity. So instead of eating in front of your computer while plowing through your follow-up folder, try taking a tech-free lunch break, in addition to leaving your desk for several shorter breaks throughout the day. If you’re struggling to accomplish a task that requires innovative thinking, a break could be just the creative boost you need, says Penman.


“Breaks give your mind space to digest information,” says Penman. “It’s very important to daydream, to let your mind run free at the deepest level. That’s the source of creativity — taking disparate ideas from different disciplines and putting them together. You can’t really do that consciously. It’s something that the brain just does naturally below the surface. And then the solution will just bubble to the surface.”


For an effective mini-break to help you focus on the task at hand when you can’t leave your desk, try this 30-second email meditation.


5. Find a time to unplug

With constant email access, it’s easy to stay plugged in all day at work and outside the office. But this 24/7 connectivity could be taking a toll on our health: Studies have found that excessive reliance on technology could make us more distracted, impatient and forgetful. Recently, digital detox retreats have sprung up as a way for stressed-out workers to truly get away from it all, more and more individuals are electing to take weekly “technology shabbats,” and many of us are looking for ways to live our tech-saturated lives more mindfully.


“Technology kind of compresses the time that we have to evaluate information,” says Penman. “We’re constantly bombarded with information, and the only solution is to switch off for a while.”


It may seem impossible at work, but taking even short breaks from technology can help keep stress levels at bay and boost productivity. Try leaving your smartphone at your desk when you leave for lunch or finding a quiet, tech-free area for a three-minute breathing space in the afternoon. And on the weekends, consider taking an afternoon or a full day to unplug so you can return to work on Monday feeling recharged.


Original article published on Huffington Post.

The 10 Most Common Job interview Questions - and how to handle them!



Job interviews are daunting, and its scary to be thinking about how to handle all the questions employers often like to ask. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the most common interview questions alongside a few insider tips on how to handle them, so you can come up with your own original answers. 


But, firstly, let us let you in on a little secret - the secret for answering any interview questions, even the tough ones - is to simply listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking you, don’t be tempted to think ahead, and just try your best to make your answers feel real, and part of a natural, flowing conversation. 


As tempting as it might be to come prepared with ready made answers you’ve spent hours memorising, you not only run the risk of sounding a bit like a robot, but you'll probably end up with the same boring answer as the candidate before you. 


Below are some techniques that can help you develop your own answers for various types of questions. Think carefully about how each example question relates to you, your experience and the job you’re applying for. 


Help yourself to feel more confident with your responses and practice ahead of time with friends and family. And then on the day of the interview, trust yourself to answer the questions in your own voice and personality. Remember, the employer is trying to discover who you are. 


Remember, listen carefully to the interviewer and stay in the moment, don’t force your brain to get ahead of itself and spout out a memorised response. Once you get the idea, you can usually use similar techniques on any questions thrown your way. 

1. What’s your greatest weakness?


This question is often used by people new to interviewing, but since it can show how a person handles the obvious, even longtime job interview pros may ask it. Aim for a response that sounds sincere, but winds up positive, using the basic format of (1) this is my weakness; (2) I’ve worked on it; and (3) now I’ve learned to turn it into a strength.


It can vary from that, but mainly you want to leave a good impression of how well you face and then overcome issues. What you don’t want to do is play the old worn-out “I work way too hard” weakness card. You might get away with it, but it shows no creativity and possibly leaves a taste of someone who thinks they are outsmarting the interviewer – or trying to.


2. What’s your greatest strength? 


There are many good ways to answer this question, but when you prepare think ahead of time about what the new job requires, by carefully reviewing the job description, and what you’ve done in the past - check over your CV for this. Think of a strength of yours that fits nicely with the job you want. And make sure to have a quick story as an example of how you successfully used that skill or strength in a prior job.


You don’t want to brag, but you also don’t want to seem like you’re uncomfortable talking about your strengths. Again, just answer naturally.

3. Tell me something about yourself 


Often a favourite question to ask a job candidate. It’s usually used at the beginning of an interview to get a feel for the candidate – and to see what they choose to tell about themselves. Remember that there are a lot more questions to come, so you don’t want to start with “I was born on a Sunday… ” And you definitely don’t want to focus on overly personal things like marriage status, health issues, or unrelated hobbies.


This is a time to tell your short career story, perhaps starting with education, and touching on key points in your career that ideally lead up to this moment – and the reason you're their ideal candidate. The best things you can tell them about yourself are things that make them think “we can use someone like that.”

4. Where do you see yourself five years from now?


This is one of those questions with no one-size-fits-all answer. It all depends on the type of company and job. Some interviewers look for strong signs of ambition. Others, for a person who will be content to grow slowly, taking on more responsibility as the need arises. And some, although they may not tell you this, are fully aware that you may not see yourself at all in this company in 5 years, but are just looking to see how you handle the question.


Hopefully your research prior to the interview will help you decide what is best. A good answer usually paints a picture of a person who will look to build solid working relationships, and do their best wherever they are and whatever challenges they are given. Someone looking to become an essential part of the company and take on new projects and opportunities as they arise. You may also want to mention some particular goals or things you’d like to take on at some point based on the type of job.

5. What do you know about our company?


Companies like to know that you took the time to research them and learn about what they do, and perhaps something about their values and stated mission, if they have one. The last thing you want to do is show up and say that you don’t know much, but are very willing to learn. That tells them you’ll have the same passive attitude as an employee.

6. Why do you want to work here / why are you right for this job?


Once again, find a way to use your career story to point to exactly this job at this time. Really think about this ahead of time. You don’t have to prove that this is all you’ve ever dreamed about since you were a little kid – unless that’s true. But even then, try not to be too over the top.


And try not to make your answer completely about what this generally represents such as I’ve always dreamed of working in the creative industry, as opposed to explaining why this company in particular fits so well with your career goals.


Again, doing your research ahead of time can make all the difference. And remember when you answer to keep their needs in mind. “I would love to help you to ___.” (Fill in the blank based on your research.)

7. Why did you leave, or are thinking of leaving, your last job?

If you’re still in a job, then your answer can say something about looking for a more challenging job, or realising that what you really want to do is what this new job offers, or you’re looking for advancement. The main thing is to make it positive and NOT knock your current (or former) employer.


If you were fired or quit your last job, it’s especially important to think about your answer ahead of time. You don’t want to badmouth the last employer, because it makes the interviewer think that one day you’ll be saying this about them, even if you assure them it’s not true.


If something went wrong that they may hear about, be honest (you don’t need to go into major detail here), and follow up with what you learned from it and how you’re more determined than ever to do a great job now. If it’s just that it wasn’t a great fit, you can say that – adding something about why you think this job is.

8. What’s your greatest accomplishment up to now?


Think about everything you’ve ever done – both in the workplace and elsewhere – and then choose one experience that speaks to the job you’re applying for in some way. Most of you will think of things from other jobs, but there are also things you may have started or taken charge of that you’re especially proud of that can apply. Try to fit the skills of that experience, and the way you tell the story, to the new job.

9. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to overcome?


If possible, you can use the same story from the previous question (odds are they won’t ask both), and simply adapt the story as needed. Or, there may be some other thing, especially from a prior or current job, where you saved the day despite some really tough circumstances. Where I’d be careful is taking a story from your personal life.


You don’t want to let them too far into things that should stay personal at this point. So while your biggest challenge may have been overcoming cancer, disability or a serious accident, this is probably not the time to bring that up, unless of course it relates directly to the job you’re applying for.


Just as an fyi … from a legal standpoint, illness and disabilities are not areas the interviewer should go into. And if they do, just bring it right back to your skills and work abilities.

10. Do you have any questions you’d like to ask us?


If you don’t already know this, most interviewers end the interview by asking what you’d like to know about them or any other questions you might have. So come prepared with some questions that show you understand the company and job. You can ask things like what an average day on the job might be like or what challenges they see for the department over the coming year or something specific that you got from your research. Please don’t stick with just those. Use them to help spark your own questions!


As a rule, a first interview is usually not a good time to ask about salary or benefits, unless they raise the issue – or unless you’re sure this is your only interview and the salary wasn’t stated anywhere you could see it. At the very least, don’t try to negotiate salary at this point unless an offer is made.



In the end, it’s important to remember that it’s not so much the exact words you use when answering questions, but more the overall impression you leave. So answer each question as well as you can, but don’t get caught up worrying about what you just said. 


Keep it flowing and conversational. Remember to stay pleasant and have good energy, and leave with a smile and a firm handshake. 


The rest is about how well you fit within the company’s goals and culture, and those are things a good interviewer can get a feel for no matter how much you try to figure them out and adjust.


All you can really do in any interview is to help them see the best real you – and the potential match!


Soft Skills and why they matter



What are soft skills, and why do you need them? Soft Skills are the personal attributes you need to succeed in the workplace. 


While job-specific ‘hard’ skills always look great on your CV, employers are increasingly looking for soft-skills in candidates. So, regardless of the job you're applying for, you’ll need at least some soft skills.


These can be anything from being able to demonstrate you’re a good team player, to having great flexibility or strong organisational skills; they’re the characteristics that essentially make you, you!


Boosting your soft skills can give you a unique selling point and a competitive edge over another candidate – they may even be instrumental to your career success, so it’s definitely worth adding these to your CV or mentioning them in an interview – just make sure to provide specific examples that support your claims. Here are just a few of the soft skills in particular demand.


Must Have Soft Skills for Success



If you don't believe in you, who will? Not everyone is blessed with natural confidence, but the good news is that you can appear confident even if you don't feel it. With a little practice, you can fake it ’til you make it! 



You’ll be hard pressed to find a job that doesn't require communication on some level. Brushing up on your communication and relationship building skills can improve everything from confidence to sales and efficiency. 



Team work makes the dream work. Ok we know that’s a bit cheesy. However, being able to work and collaborate with others is a vital skill for success. You may think you can do it all alone, but working with others can bring new ideas to the table. 


Can Do

Success takes effort, so you've got to be ready and willing to put in the work. Sometimes you’ll have setbacks, but your can do attitude will keep you gong along the road to success. 



We don’t like hearing about our weaknesses or failures. However, being open and receptive to constructive criticism can help you better yourself. Listening to feedback gives you an excellent chance to learn.


10 Time Management Habits for a more successful you


You won't be able to find your dream career or job if you feel there’s not enough time in the day. 

To be able to master your next career transition, you have to be able to master your life right now, and that begins with good time management. 


We’ve put together some time strategies to help you master your time and productivity, so you can look at your to do lists and feel happy, not stressed.


1. Always have a plan 


One of the biggest time management mistakes we often experience is doing whatever comes your way, instead of having exact times when you will do certain things in your week. Discipline and planning are necessary if you want to achieve your career goals. Try and have a weekly review session where you review what you’re doing each day of the week and schedule it into your calendar. 


2. Set boundaries for Social Media, Family Time and Personal Time


Social Media has become such big part of our lives that we often forget to take time to enjoy life and be in the present. Take a break from the internet and carefully guard a day, Sunday for example, for family time. It’s important to realise what your priorities are and to guard that time as much as possible. 


3. Categorise your time


One of the most important time management habits is to categorise your time. Write down the tasks you do at work and then highlight those tasks that really are going to get you promoted, up your salary, or make you more happy at work. This is time to focus on, so try to devote entire days to this if possible. 


As in all our lives we must set aside time for administrative stuff. We have to do this whether we like it or not, but these items don't necessarily focus on the results of your job and don’t always lead to quick successes. 


Finally, as mentioned above, there must always be a spot in your calendar for personal time, hobbies and family. Planning personal time into your schedule will make you more effective in your career. 


4. Batch your time 


Batching is when you group similar tasks into blocks of time. During this time you’ll have no distractions. Did you know that every time you are distracted, it takes 15 minutes to regain complete focus again? 


Try looking at your emails or social media at certain times of the day. Shut off your distractions and only work on your job searching efforts.


5. Remember your calendar doesn't control you


This comes from the idea that you are where time comes from. You can make as much of it as you want. Shifting to this way of thinking will help productivity, creativity and enjoyment. Once you acknowledge that you are the source of your own time, stress will disappear. 


6. Discipline is required to achieve career goals


When you want to sleep in or go to bed early during an important career change or job search, remind yourself, a little bit of discipline will separate you from the rest. It doesn't require that much time, it’s just sometime and that is where your discipline comes into play. 


7. Free up your time 


Because your career goals are so important right now and are really going to determine the rest of your future and happiness, you need to be very focused and selfish with your time management. Just because your sister wants you to babysit and you are unemployed does not mean that you can babysit. Your full-time job needs to be job searching. 


8. Give yourself a morning ritual 


The first thing you do in the morning shouldn't be to check your emails. Most likely it will ruin your entire day. No one should have to wake up like that. 


Instead exercise, plan, meditate or whatever will help you change your outlook on the day ahead. 


9. Wake up earlier 


Talking of morning rituals, people usual make their best decisions and do their best work first thing in the morning.


10. Find your best time 


Not everyone can jump out of bed in the mornings and merrily skip to work. Not everyone can do his or her best work from 1am - 4am. When are you the most focused? Morning, afternoon or night?


Don't spend your best time watching tv or mindlessly scrolling through social media. Spend your best time focusing on what is the most important thing for you right now - job searching and getting your career unstuck. 


The Importance of First Impressions



The first meeting with a potential new employer sets the tone for what could be a lasting relationship. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for someone to form an opinion of you based on just your body language, demeanor, mannerisms and dress. So it goes without saying that first impressions are extremely important; there's never a second chance to make a great first impression. 

Below are 6 tips to ensure you feel well prepared and put your best foot forward at your next interview. 




It is more than likely that the first question you will be asked during an interview is "What do you know about the company?" So it's crucial to read up on both the organisation and the position you are applying for beforehand to make a positive impression. Looking at some of the company's recent news or blogs will show that you've done your research and will create some good topics for conversation. If the role is something new to you, it won't hurt to Google what's typically expected and let the interviewer fill in the gaps. Your research will also help to form questions to ask the interviewer, which will further highlight your preparedness and keen interest in the opportunity. 




This should be obvious. Being punctual is vital for a good first impression. If you're late for your interview, how can you expect the interviewer to believe you'll ever be on time for work? If you really can't help running late, make sure you call up and let them know your reasons as soon as possible. Never leave them waiting for you. On the otherside of the coin, you don't want to turn up too early either. Arriving five to ten minutes before your scheduled interview time is good etiquette and will give you a little time to prepare yourself. 




The interviewer will begin forming an opinion of you the moment you are introduced. Dressing appropriately and professionally is key to making a good first impression. Even if you know the job will allow you to dress casually, it's best to make the extra effort and dress as smartly as you can to show you're dedicated and serious about wanting the job. 




An interview is the employers way to get to know you and find out if you're the right person for the job. Therefore it's only natural for you to be the main topic of conversation. Make sure you know your CV inside out so you are confident in discussing your previous experiences and skills naturally, and the reasons why they could help you in the role. Prepare yourself by looking up some common interview questions to get an idea of how you'll answer them, then keep practicing! You can find some useful tips here




It's important to remember that interviews are a two way conversation, and that the interviewer will always provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have. Make the most of this and prepare these prior to your meeting. Not only is this your chance to find out more about the job and whether the company is the right fit for you, it shows that you've spent time to properly think about the opportunity and will make you stand out from the crowd. 




Demonstrating good communication skills and body language is integral to make a lasting first impression. Remember to smile when you introduce yourself, and offer a firm handshake. It's completley normal to feel nervous, so allow yoursef a little breathing time between questions. This will help you gather your thoughts and respond clearly and succinctly. Eye contact is also essential and shows that your engaged in the conversation. 

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