10 tips to Kickstart your Career

1) How do you know if your job goals are realistic? See if you can find a job on the internet, by networking, through adverts or recruitment agencies. If not, consider whether what you are looking for is realistic. You could alter your goals or lower your requirements slightly.

2) How do you approach a company in which you are interested if no specif job is advertised? Always try to use contacts get a foot in the door. What you need is the name of a person who can introduce you to the company. Then write a brief summary of what you have to offer and follow this up with a telephone call. You have more chance of getting an interview if you don't ask for a job straight away. For example, you could ask if you can drop by for more information.

3) How can you make your CV stand out? There are not many cosmetic changes that can be made to a CV, which must of course look neat and professional. Livening up the font or adding a photo can help to make it stand out, but can also work against you. Think about sending your CV by courier or faxing it. This can help you if you have the right qualities and there is a lot of competition for the job. The main thing is to make sure that your qualities and skills are mentioned early on in the CV.

4) What is the most common mistake in CVs? The most common mistake is simply to list previous jobs and responsibilities. Include a description of what you actually achieved in those jobs. After all, the person reading your CV cannot tell from a job title what you are like or what you can offer their company. The second biggest mistake is not to describe your skills in sufficient detail. Be specific and sell yourself!

5) What are the pors and cons of temping whilst looking for a (permanent) job? Actually, it is all pros. You earn money, get the chance to network and can acquire new skills and the job may turn into a permanent position.

6) What is the best way to expand your network? There is no magic formula. Use your family, friends, business contacts, old school friends, clubs, etc. You need to be visible and look for opportunities to meet new people. When meeting new people, the most important thing is to tell them what you are looking for. Ask if you can approach them for help. You'll be surprised how willing people are to help if you don't impose upon their time.

7) What is the best advice for someone going to an interview? Always see things from the perspective of the person interviewing you. What does he or she want to achieve? Then work out if you have the necessary skills, personality and motivation to be successful in the job. After all, you are 'selling' what provides the greatest added value for the business.

8) How honest should your answers be? As honest as possible. You do not need to volunteer any information that could work against you. On the other hand,it is not advisable to tell untruths that can be checked. This places your reliability in doubt.

9) How should you react if you are treated unfairly or disrespectfully? This could be a test if it is important for you to be good at working under pressure. However, if someone behaves really unpleasantly, there is no point making a scene. Stay cool and professional and remember that you don't have to have anything more to do with that person after the interview.

10) What do you do when you are told that you are overqualified? If someone says that they think you are too senior, it probably means that he or she doubts your motivation, your interest in the job or the salary you want. Don't launch into a discussion about what they have said, talk about their concerns instead. Show how keen and motivated you are and that money is not your only driving force. Stress how valuable you could be to the company.



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