Questions you’re likely to see in a job interview include: Where do you see yourself in 5 years. Tell me about yourself. What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest strength seems like one of the easier ones. Don’t take it too lightly. This question gives you the opportunity to really sell yourself and your abilities. More than the others, is designed to see if you’re the right fit for the job.
Do Your Research
The first thing you want to do is some research. Find out what the company values. What traits do they look for in employees? Take a look at the job description and see what the job requirements are. What seem to be the most important ones? Choose strengths that align with those traits.
Quality Over Quantity
When it comes time for you to consider what strengths you want to mention at your interview, focus on quality rather than quantity. Mentioning a whole host of things you consider yourself good at only shows you’re not great at anything. Focusing on only a couple things you consider your strengths will allow you to paint a stronger picture of yourself and those talents.
Back It Up
When you’ve picked the strengths that best suit the job and position, make sure you have specific stories you can use to demonstrate those qualities. Talk about how and where you developed the skills and instances where they have proven useful. It’s easy to say you have a given strength, it’s much more impressive when you can give specific examples.
That Balance Careers has a couple examples of how to best answer this question, here’s one:
“I am a skilled salesman with over ten years of experience. I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I’ve earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.”
In this short example, a strength is given, and followed up with proof. Do the same, and you’ll knock this interview question out of the park. Good Luck!
Many of us wish we were better. Better at our jobs, or better with certain skills. The surprising thing is, most of the time, we actually are better then we think we are. How often have you thought “I can’t do this” before you’ve even tried. How often have you seen a job ad and said “I’m not qualified” and didn’t even bother to applying? How often in your work day have you thought “This will be good enough” so that you could go home? Negativity keeps you from reaching your potential.
Zig Ziglar was a salesman. He worked at a number of different companies as a sales person and eventually became Vice-President at the Automotive Performance company. Throughout his career he wrote numerous books about sales and selling and worked as a motivational speaker. Even after an injury reduced his short-term memory, Zig Ziglar continued to speak publicly and write books until his passing in 2012.
His books include “See You at the Top”, Zig Ziglar’s Secrets to Closing the Sale”, “Over the Top”, and “Success for Dummies”. With a following of millions, he was quoted often. Forbes put together a list of some of his best quotes.
Thinking positively is the first step in unlocking your potential. You are stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for. Keeping a positive attitude is essential to believing you can do the job ahead of you. If you have a negative attitude you’re unlikely to push yourself harder and further to see where your limit is. Don’t let negativity bring you down. Be positive and use the abilities you have to their fullest potential.
You may have had a summer job through school. No doubt the first time you got paid felt like you were the richest person on the planet, but nothing quite compares to the first paycheck you get with a brand new job. With the promise of more paychecks coming, and the beginning of a career underway, where will you spend your hard earned cash? It’s your first paycheck, so you should treat yourself right? Hold on for a moment. There are a couple things you should do first.
Make Sure You Understand it
Your paycheck has a number of pieces of information on it. You’ll see the amount you made during the last pay period, the amount you’ve made to date and the deductions on your pay. Make sure you understand these and that you know what they should be. There’s nothing worse than a clerical error that costs you money that you don’t even notice.
Put 10% into Savings
This doesn’t sound like much fun, but it will always pay off later. Get used to putting money away now to get in the habit. The longer you wait to start saving, the harder it will be. Putting a percentage of every paycheck into savings gets you used to the practice and it adds up quickly.
Start a Budget
Now you know how much you’ll be making every month. Start to plan around that. Look at your expenses like bills, rent and food. Once all of your bills are paid, how much do you have left over? Starting a budget early will help you stay out of debt and will give you a clear indication of how fiscally sound you are.
Look at the Long Term
You’ve got the month-to-month down and you’re putting some money into savings every paycheck. Now’s the time to look long term. Are you going to be in the market for a new car? Maybe a house in a number of years? Keeping these long term goals in mind will help you aim towards them and adjust your spending accordingly.
Once you’ve done all the work of understanding your money, then you get to treat yourself. You’ve earned it after all. Your hard work and dedication have provided you with your first paycheck! Give yourself a pat on the pack and a little something else!
When you first start looking for a job, one of the top things on your To Do list should be to write a cover letter. Some job seekers might think the cover letter is a formality that you add to your resume. They couldn’t be more wrong. Cover letters are the personal introduction to your resume’s more formal application. Hiring managers will go through the cover letter first before even looking at your resume. Here is our guide to the cover letter for beginners.
First Things First
Before we get going, there are a couple quick tips to keep in mind. Slate.com says: “Keep it short. I started putting word limits on cover letters because I couldn’t stand, nor did I have the time to read, the especially long letters I’d receive.”
Another thing to keep in mind is writing in a personable tone. The cover letter is a chance for you to bring out a little bit of your personality. Keep things professional, but don’t be afraid to let some of you shine through.
Addressing the Letter
Beginners often start their cover letters with “To Whom It May Concern’. Always try your hardest to find the name of the person in charge of hiring. If a job is posted on LinkedIn you will be able to see the name of the person who posted the job. If a job posting doesn’t give you a name, call the company, mention that you’re applying for the job and ask if there is someone you can address your cover letter to.
Starting your cover letter off with “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager” isn’t going to get your cover letter thrown out, but having the right person’s name there gets you off on the right foot.
Introduce yourself, note the position you’re applying for and give a reason or two why you want this specific job. Note something specific about the company, the way they do business or someone you know working there. Demonstrate that you’ve researched the company and the position you want.
This is the meat and potatoes of your cover letter. In this paragraph you want to talk about you, what you’ve done and what you can bring to the company. Focus on what the job posting mentioned as key responsibilities and qualifications needed for the position. Mention successes you were a part of in your last job. You want the person reading your cover letter to come away thinking, “this person is perfect for the job”.
This is where you wrap it all up. Reiterate the fact that the skills you have are a perfect match for the awesome company you’re applying to.
Finally make sure you let the hiring manager know what the next step is. A lot of job postings say that they will contact you. In this case, make sure you include something along the lines of “I look forward to hearing from you.”
If it is not expressly stated that you will receive a call, we suggest something like “I will follow up with you in a week’s time.” This lets the hiring manager know exactly what to expect.
The Cover Letter for Beginners
You’ve now got a great cover letter to go along with your resume. Writing from scratch can be tough though. Experience.com offers a great example of a cover letter.
Getting your first job is an important career milestone. Sure, you have probably worked internships and part-time jobs before, but nothing will prepare you for your first real job.
Because working part-time or doing an internship is one thing, having a certain position is completely different. In most companies, interns and part-time workers simply don’t have the same amount of responsibilities as full time employees. From office politics to how to compose an email, everything you’ve previously known will be challenged.
1) Adjustment Period
The adjustment period is the time that passes between your first day at work and the moment when you feel that you have mastered your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. The adjustment period can take a week, a month, or several months, depending on your responsibilities. A common mistake during this period is to believe that college taught you everything you need to know. College simply gave you the basics, so you will need to learn on the job. It’s important to be open to learning during this period, ask as many questions as you need to – but make sure to really learn and not ask the same questions over and over again.
2) Office Politics
Do not expect to walk in the door on your first day and meet your next best friend. When you get a job, chances are there will not be any other new people at the office ready to bond with you. In addition, getting too close to some coworkers might get you pulled into office politics, gossip that can have terrible consequences that might get you fired. So, keep to yourself and take your time to get to know everyone, and keep the gossip to yourself. Pay attention to your coworkers. Watch their manner of conduit among themselves and with their superiors It will teach you how to behave in the office and how to dress.
3) Freedom and independence
Your first real job will come with a lot of responsibilities and tasks – and a lot of trust from your employer to do those tasks correctly. You might be monitored during the training period – if you have one – but chances are, you will be left on your own. There will be no professors to tell you that you’re doing something wrong. You can wing it and pretend you know everything and make catastrophic mistakes with this type of freedom. You may abuse your time in the office and not complete your tasks, or you might be terrified that everything you do is wrong. However, keep in mind that you can always learn and avoid mistakes by knowing where to seek the help you need.
4) Finding a balance
Many people think that it’s necessary to overachieve on your first job. You might work at a small company where everyone’s progress is completely visible. If you’re an overachiever, you may face some consequences. Your boss might begin to abuse your enthusiasm to pile your desk with more tasks, your coworkers might act cold towards you because you’re making them seem slow, or you might burn yourself out until you cannot face going to work another day.
It’s important to find a balance – don’t be slow, but do not overdo it either. Build up your career with patience, and master your skills by improving them daily. Burning yourself out will not be good for you, because once you slack, your employer will notice, which might lead to getting fired.
5) Moving on
Your first job doesn’t mean you need to keep working throughout your professional career. Remove the stars from your eyes and look critically at your workplace. Are the conditions good? Do you get good benefits? Will this position enable you to move forward in your career, or is it a dead end?
Just because you’ve finally landed your first job, it doesn’t mean that you cannot move on to bigger and better things if the chance arises. So, keep your eyes peeled for opportunities, just in case, and in the meantime, remember that nothing is permanent, not even your first job.
Article provided by Wonderlic Test Prep.
It can be demoralizing to work job after job you don’t like, especially, when you’re not even sure what it is you do like. How do you figure out what you’d like to do? How do you determine what you’d be good at?