Saturday, January 21, 2012
We've had some rather interesting CV's and interviews this week, I thought I'd share them here, some (hopefully helpful) advice as what NOT to do when applying for a job...
1. If the job advertisement is in English, please don't send your CV in Afrikaans (or any other language). If you absolutely must to show that you're bilingual (even though this is tested later on), rather do a separate CV and attach it to the English copy, (provided that there is no CV page limit).
2. If one of the requirements is "own transport" - put this on your CV. Don't just add "Code 08" - you're making a lot of extra work for the person reading your CV and showing that you don't read/understand the advert properly. If in doubt, add "Code 08 - own, reliable transport". Easy.
3. Only include the High School and the year you matriculated. Sadly, no one is going to care what Primary School you went to or if you were the head Library Prefect.
4. Don't include copies of your ID, Matric Certificate marks, qualifications unless requested in the job advertisement.
5. Do include full dates (month and year), job description and 'reason for leaving' for each relevant job. These will be asked, and there's no reason to leave them off - again, more work for the person reading your CV and a bad first impression.
6. One spelling mistake is ok, one word out of place is ok - more than that, it's showing how much pride you take in your CV, so how much pride will you have in your work? Your CV is likely to be tossed. The market is that tough and you need to bring your 'A' game from the beginning.
7. Profile pictures are great on CV's, it gives the person screening your CV more of an idea of who you are. Think very carefully when deciding what picture to use. We've seen some rather interesting ones, not a great first impression - this isn't Facebook.
8. Do include volunteer work, customer service work, etc in moderation, you can elaborate more when asked in the interview stage. It might not be relevant to the position you're applying for, but it's just one more piece of information that will show another side of you and perhaps set you aside from someone else.
9. Don't send your CV five times, it really was received the first time and believe it or not, this is very off putting and may limit your chances for an interview.
10. When you're called for a telephonic screening, please try and sound enthusiastic. You're actually being interviewed, sounding distracted, irritated or casual is going to get your application eliminated. If you can't talk at that moment, ask the person calling if they can phone you back at a more convenient time. It's really no problem, as long as it's the same day.
11. Coming to an interview wearing any of the following is going to get you close to being scratched off the list without even setting foot in the interview room:
- Short skirt / Revealing top
- No make-up (no effort?)
- T-shirt / holiday sundress
12. Nerves are normal during an interview, we all have them - but please if more than one person is interviewing you, make sure you make eye contact with ALL of them, not just the person asking the question - they are there for a reason and not including them won't count well in your favour.
13. Don't forget about that handshake in the beginning. Still judged..
14. Never, ever tell the interviewer what salary you're expecting in the interview. You should have done this on your CV. Does it make sense to ask for R10 000 per month for a Junior Admin Clerk position? I don't think so...again, not reading the advert properly.
15. Never, ever send out your CV in bulk in the hopes that someone will discover it and go "Aha! This is just what we need". Believe me, people just don't have the time and your CV will be tossed.
Address it to the right person (a bit of research - most companies have a website), apply for the position advertised and make sure you match the requirements.
It's a tough job market out there but if you really want the job and you're not just applying to anything you feel like, follow my advice and make it work. It's all about how you present yourself and what you plan to do for the company to make them hiring you the best decision they ever made. Remember, you're going to be there 8 - 10 hours every day, so make sure it's something that you want to do. It doesn't need to be your passion (you can do painting or coaching after hours in your time), but you do need to like what you do. If you don't - it will show, and sadly there's a whole queue of people who are just waiting to apply for the same job.
Good luck to those looking for new jobs - these next two months are the best times to find them!
at 9:20 AM
Monday, January 2, 2012
A person who represents things as they might or should be rather than as they are
A person who tends to view or represent things as they really are
Geoff and I are complete opposites when it comes to the way we view certain things. He's the eternal realist, and I'm the 'head in the clouds' dreamer. This causes quite a few interesting 'conversations' and although I often wish that he too was a dreamer in our relationship, I have to admit that having two dreamers would be very dangerous (and expensive), while having two realists would be extremely boring. So, I guess we balance each other out in a way but it still creates alot of unnessesary arguments. Here's a perfect example!
Me: "Can't we go away for a weekend soon? We haven't been away in almost 5 years!"
Geoff: "Let's first see how things go"
Me: "Look at these nice guesthouses..."
Geoff: "Love, we can't afford it right now"
Me: "But can't we just have a look and see what's out there and plan to go later in the year?"
Geoff: "What's the point of getting excited about something if we don't know it's going to happen?"
Bubble burst and that's normally the point where the argument starts. He can't understand my point of view of wanting to get excited about a trip and plan, and I can't understand his black and white facts.
I'm sure there are many couples out there who have similar conversations. My question is, how do you get around this and compromise? A dreamer doesn't want to see the cold hard facts, and a realist doesn't want to day dream about something that 'might' happen.
While browsing on this interesting topic, I came across compatibility signs. I don't fully agree or believe everything written on star signs, but it is pretty interesting reading about the Capricorn (Geoff) and Saggattarius (Me) compatibility. Here's what I came across:
Capricorn sign compatibility with Sagittarius
Sagittarius and Capricorn. Very different and still very similar! This is a difficult couple, indeed. Let's say you are complementary, but only to give you some hope. (That's a good start...)
One of the main problems is that of the planets governing you: Capricorn is governed by Saturn and Sagittarius is governed by Jupiter. Sagittarius is optimistic and friendly, while you, dear Capricorn, are strict and realistic. Consequently, (s)he will reproach you with your pessimism. (Interesting...)
Don't hope that your beloved Sagittarius will ever understand the expression "to save up for a rainy day". As far as you are concerned, his/her joyfulness and spirit of adventure can make you classify him/her as "irresponsible". (Correct!)
Physically, Sagittarius likes practicing, that's why (s)he may be very skilful and (s)he may laugh in your face, making jokes about how... clumsy you are! This will make you mad and determine you to do only what you want to - or you won't feel like doing anything anymore unless you are advised by your partner. (That sounds a bit mean, I don't think I tell Geoff how clumsy he is..)
Anyway, Sagittarius's direct approach is quite the opposite of your diplomacy. You might often feel angry and humiliated. (No beating around the bush I'm afraid, often it's a case of sock in mouth..)
Your Sagittarius is a philosopher, a theoretician, while you, dear Capricorn, are a pragmatic, a realistic person, that's why you want to take advantage of the material benefits. (That explains the need for a new TV...)
Sagittarius's humour, his/her funny philosophy on life can make you laugh. Moreover, you will be fascinated by the way (s)he watches and comments the TV commercials, which feeds his/her need of mental exercise. (Interesting...)
Sagittarius' thinking can be symbolical, and you find this way of presenting ideas very interesting and... that's it. If you are interested in esotericism, you could have something in common.
A Capricorn-Sagittarius couple has 50% chances. Sometimes it can be very difficult, but not impossible. It is entirely up to you whether you succeed or not! (Good to know..thanks!)
at 2:38 PM
Sunday, January 1, 2012
What 2011 taught me:
1. Sometimes if something seems too good to be true - it really is.
2. No one is going to remember you for working yourself to death.
3. Often, you're your own worst enemy.
4. Love has no limits.
5. Actions speak louder than words.
Plans for 2012:
1. Actually 'do' what I say I'm going to do and stop talking about it
2. Replace snacking with exercise
3. Start painting/writing again
4. Plan to go away for at least 2 weeks, and 2 weekends this year
5. If this really is the year the world ends...this list is a bit short..
Hope 2012 brings you bounds of happiness, good health and unlimited possibilities!
at 7:41 AM