Category Archives: Career Guidance

Finding the right mentor

While I begin writing this article, illness keeping in mind the promise I made (in one of my previous write ups) of helping you find the right mentor, cost one thing that comes to my mind is the 1984 American movie Karate Kid.

The movie beautifully depicts mentoring and the importance of finding the right mentor. In the movie, health system Daniel LaRusso, the protagonist learns Karate from one Mr. Miyagi. To put it in better perspective, it makes sense to give you a context before moving ahead.

Distressed by one his colleagues at the high school, having failed to overpower him at numerous occasions; Daniel LaRusso (a high school kid) turns to Mr. Miyagi to learn Karate.

Now what’s interesting to know is that during his Karate training he spends the first four days doing odd jobs without any formal Karate lessons and also not questioning the master’s wisdom much in making him do so.

On the evening of the fourth day when his patience fails him and he begins to question his master’s intent, the master (Mr. Miyagi) makes him realize that he (Daniel) has learnt Karate during the course of four days without actually receiving any ‘so called’ formal training!

I shared this with purpose here. After watching the movie many times, I realized two things:

-      One, there is an appointed mentor for each one of us in this world and we need to search for him.

-      Two, there is another mentor that is always around us and is constantly guiding us, if we are listening.

I will discuss both, starting with the first one.

I believe nature always appoints a mentor for each one of us on this earth. There is increasing evidence to back this statement and more and more literature around the idea of people coming together and collaborating (mentors meeting the mentees and vice versa).

As I mentioned in my previous write up, a mentor is someone who helps you raise your awareness, fundamentally about yourself and about everything else that surrounds you. He may not do it consciously but the moment you get conversing with him, you see a world of opportunities and most importantly you get to be your real self.

The mentor supplies warmth, exuberance and hope; he empowers you to handle whatever comes your way. His thoughts, feelings and actions inspire you (it may not be true for others) to take action and change your own life.

Now, the answer to the question of ‘how and where to find the right mentor’ lies in my second observation about the movie which is that there is a mentor always around us and always guiding us. I call this mentor – our life!

Our life is our biggest mentor, always trying to teach us new things every moment. Everything we experience on a daily basis carries a lesson or two for us. Sometimes we pay heed and we learn, often we ignore and we suffer.

This experience could be anything and everything we undertake on a daily basis, may be the love and compassion we exchange daily with a few people, perhaps the bitterness we carry about a select few (people, events, objects or processes). Every experience guides us to changing / altering something about how we conduct ourselves.

Sometimes we view this change as positive and enjoy it; often we dislike it and we suffer. The point is when agree to or align ourselves to whatever life tries to teach us, we learn faster, are more happy and productive. The reverse is also true!

A praise, for example, from your boss or senior for your work is telling you to be more careful about your work in future, since the expectations have gone high.

Similarly a repeated negative outcome of any task / process, may be telling you that there is something fundamentally wrong about the task, process or how you go about the task.

When we start listening and paying attention, our life mentor gets in action.

When I say listening, I mean surrendering ourselves to our life and learning whatever it tries to teach us without any resistance (physical or mental).

It doesn’t stop here! Your life then takes you to better things, better opportunities and better people; these are your mentors. They don’t necessarily have to be any spiritual gurus, don’t be mistaken! They are people like you are me who have developed a refined sense of listening and paying attention to their own life mentor.

Choosing a career path

One size doesn’t fit everyone; the statement holds true in all walks of life be it day to day routine or the job interviews. Remember your resume should be such that each and every bit of information matches the job requirements. Of course, there there is a lot of difference between a junior level resume and a senior level resume. Certainly, it will be a negative point for a senior person to mention educational qualifications in the resume just below the column of the job objective. Similarly it will be shocking for the interviewer to see almost no or little amount of experience on the top of the resume of a person who is just entering the job market. Each type of resume has its own set of rules and the individuals applying for jobs need to abide by them to secure a position for which they have applied.

It is obvious that everyone wants to present their qualifications and skills that will impress the hiring authority. Just like the jobs are different, so are the patterns of resumes. The different levels of jobs require different levels of resumes. The experienced individuals can have elaborated resumes explaining their job experiences, changes they brought about in their previous and current organizations and their achievements whereas the entry level candidates need to keep their resumes as precise and crisp as possible. They are not supposed to adorn it with unnecessary stuff. It simply turns the interviewers off and they are no longer interested in taking the interview to the next level.

In senior level resumes, the work summary on the top of the interview should provide with a strong sampling of your contributions, leadership capacity, ability to cope with stress and maintain humor, specific results that made a strong impact or brought about a positive change and other performance indicators. In a junior level resume, the summary must represent your exceptional educational background along with related academic training, certifications and internship. Remember not to exaggerate your qualities but do not even dismiss them. The idea is to present them in an unpretentious way. Make sure to provide with the correct information only as almost all the companies like to make a background check.

No matter what stage you are at of your life but make sure to do a lot of homework in writing your resume and give your best shot always. Remember to customize your resume for different types of job. One single document doesn’t work everywhere.

No matter how experienced you are, ambulance
you feel a bit nervous every time you go for a job interview. This is obvious; an interview poses a challenge to the interviewees. Higher is the designation, this
the more complicated questions are. It is the time when you have to effectively sell yourself and your skills and competencies. So, tadalafil
you need to work upon what you can offer your prospective employer.  Strong examples of work experiences, a thorough understanding of the concepts related to your field and proper presentation of your skills are the most important requirements to ensure success in a job interview.

The biggest concern while facing a job interview is how to show that you are capable of this particular job. For this, you need to do a lot of homework. Take some time from your busy schedule and find out what this particular job takes. This does not mean reading through the job description and specification but it is all about understanding what is expected from the employees. Think of your skills and competencies that perfectly match to the job requirements. Additionally, look for the ways to present your key qualities throughout the interview. For example, if you are being interviewed for a sales position that requires good communication skills, you can let the interviewer know that you not only possess exceptional communication skills but using them you have made a significant difference in your previous job. You have been able to maintain excellent relationships with your existing clients.

Similarly, if you are appearing for an interview for a position in human resource department, you can show the interviewer that you have been not only a good coordinator among various departments but also have successfully introduced some policies and brought about positive changes. Same way, work on all job requirements and understand what exactly the employer needs from a prospective employer. Think how you as a product fulfill all their requirements. Don’t forget to go through the company website thoroughly and gather complete information about their operations, products and services.

The last factor is to presenting your skills finally in front of the interviewers. They are not only interested in knowing whether you will be able to do the job or not but their main concern is to check if you will be a good addition to their team and will be able to contribute positively. While proving your candidature, do not dismiss your personal traits; rather present them in a manner that goes perfectly with the job requirements.
Your internship interview is the first ever chance when you feel the heat of the world of work. It gives you a critical experience and sets a stage for your full-time employment possibilities. Although internships are unpaid positions that may last for a month, malady
entire summer vacation, a quarter or may be a half year but it is certainly the most important part of securing a job once your are passed out or some other time in future.

If you have finally managed to score an internship interview at a reputed organization, the background check and your performance during the interview are going to decide whether or not you are going to get a chance to be the company’s intern. So, do your homework and thoroughly prepare for the interview. Just make sure that you are all equipped to perform your best and secure your position.

Remember, it is not only your ability to answer the questions asked during the interview makes an impact on the interviewers; rather everything plays an important role right from how you look, how you carry yourself, how you wish people around you and how you make an entry in the interview room. Try to look as neat and elegant as possible. Choose modest clothing and a light perfume. Avoid spraying too much of heavy deodorant just before the interview thinking it will last longer.

The next thing is to bring a simple folder to hold your resume and cover letter copies, your mark sheets and other certificates. Remember not to go for funky or jazzy folders; instead opt for a leather folder that looks simple and elegant. These things make an impression as interviewer will know how organized and well planed you are.

Do your homework and know about company’s background and what it deals in. Knowing about their competitors is a good idea. It is good if you could learn something about the current market trends in the same industry. This gives interviewers an idea of how interested you are in working with them. Prepare yourself with some interview questions.

Time plays the most important role. To avoid last-minute hassles, prepare everything in advance and leave for the interview in time. Get your emotions in line. Don’t move here and there unnecessarily. Do not stress and take it as a business meeting.

Make sure to appear approachable and maintain proper posture and eye contact during the interview. Deal with questions smartly. You need not be impulsive. Take a moment to understand the question and compose your response. Utilize first few minutes to make a rapport with the interviewer. Say thank you and leave once you finish the interview.

Well, ampoule
there are no guidelines defining easy and difficult interview questions; it all depends upon your preparation, spontaneity and ability to deal with the situation. Interviewers can suddenly come up with some unexpected questions to catch you unprepared and test how you handle them. All they want is to see how well you can think and use your creativity when on your feet. Not to mention, most individuals get stumped with the sudden nailing questions of the interviewers. But this is the time when you can smartly use the resources at your disposal to quickly respond to such questions. The key is not to get rattled and take a moment to understand the question and compose your answer accordingly. You don’t have to be impulsive. Make yourself feel comfortable as there is no wrong answer to these of-the-wall questions. Again it depends on individual’s mental state and thought process.

Preparing yourself thoroughly before going for an interview is the main prerequisite. For this, you can make a search online, review the questions and prepare an appropriate response. If you go prepared, nothing really seems difficult except those goofy questions that interviewers suddenly come up. They may or may not be relevant to your job. This is done just to see how well you can cope up with stress. Sometimes, you can turn the tables and bounce the question back to the interviewer. For example, if you are in a finance job interview and are asked, “What you would do if you get a huge amount of money from somewhere?” In such a situation, you can maintain a sense of humor and come up with a clever response saying how you would like to invest your cash.

Here are some sample unexpected questions that you may come across during your interview:

  • What were your previous boss’s weaknesses?

Be careful while answering this question. No matter how bad your boss is, but don’t ever slag him off in front of the interviewer. Discussing the weaknesses or negative points of your boss creates a negative impression on the interviewer.

  • Don’t you think you are overqualified for this job?

This is one of the trickiest questions to answer. Neither you can underestimate yourself by saying nor can you say yes. Emphasize on the point that your abilities and qualifications perfectly match with the job requirements and that you see a strong future in it.

  • Will you be ready to work on a lower remuneration than your existing one?

Don’t come up with the negative answer straight away. Take a moment to compose your response and emphasize on the point that you are interested in switching your company for better growth prospectus as well as higher remuneration.

If it is an extremely reputed organization, you can look for their interview questions online. There are several forums where former interviewees post their experiences. You can go through them and prepare yourself for such situations. Rest depends you ability to handle stress and deal with such situations confidently.
What do organisations look for in people? Without exception, medstore
most of us would agree on the basic human values of Integrity, hospital
Commitment and the right attitude. A resume is the first depiction of all these attributes than your prospective employer comes across. Imperfection in the resume connotes lack of commitment in the individual and vice versa.

A resume being your tool of marketing yourself has to be crafted and not drafted and that too with elegance which literally means the margin for error is zero. A good resume often signs of a good employee and this is true really! But however we often come across some resumes that have errors of various kinds that creep in either by mistake or in unawareness. In both cases it is considered bad! Here is a list of some of the errors we make in writing a resume and some tips also on how to reduce them.

1. Mistakes in Grammar: Many times it so happens that the tenses keep on switching between the resume. Your current duties and projects should come in present tense whereas anything pertaining to the past should be in past tense only. Be consistent in usage of various formats across the entire resume. For example, if you are using a certain date format in the beginning, ensure that it remains the same throughout.

2. Mistakes in Spelling:  While writing your resume, follow the rule of keeping your language as simple as possible. Do not use uncommon words or words that you are not yourself aware of.  It is a good idea to keep consulting a dictionary as you write.

 3. Mistakes in using the correct Punctuation Marks: Here again consistency is the key. Check for breakage of sentences and use the appropriate punctuation mark. Close sentences with a full stop and do not just leave it open, keep a check on the periods. It is better to avoid exclamation marks in the resume.

4.  Other Mistakes: Before you send your resume, get it reviewed from two or three people for errors if any. Check all the dates (day/month/year) of your employment. Check for the contact details including the phone number, the address. It is a good idea to leave out the abbreviations and slang is a strict no.
The major difference between a CV and a resume is their length. Whereas a curriculum vitae is an overall summary of education, seek
the experience that can run into tens of pages; a resume is a more customised document that contains information tailored to the needs of the organisation you are applying to. It contains only the relevant experience and educational qualifications.

It is clearly evident thus that the resume cannot go beyond 2 pages, pill
or 3 pages at the maximum. You may find minor deviations from this rule but generally as mentioned above it does not go beyond 3 pages. There are however some writers who advice on not taking into consideration the number of pages your resume runs into. I would say, be watchful. There is a risk involved in writing long resumes and to be on a safer side, it is always good to write crisp and comprehensive resumes.

Still however it is an obvious fact that the resumes of fresher’s would be remarkably different from those of experienced people or people working at executive levels.

Resume length for freshers or frontline Job Seekers

Freshers generally do not have many a things to mention in terms of their experience than just their educational qualifications, their accomplishments, projects they have undertaken and their extracurricular activities. So when know that whenever we have the resume of a fresher in hand that stretches beyond one page, there would be a lot of repeat or exaggerated information. In fact most of the Job placement agencies advice against a resume going more than one page in length!

If you are a fresher and you have a two page resume, carefully revisit the contents of the second page of your resume. Also, ensure that the second page is filled at least up to the half margin and not less.

Resume length for Experienced or executive level people

With greater experience there are obviously more things to make mention of on the resume. But the trick of writing an effective resume is to keep it crisp and yet ensure all the relevant information is in! It is a good idea to mention only the relevant experience in detail, others that are unnecessary to the current job should be given a squeeze. Your accomplishments that have earned you accolades and recognition in the Industry should not be left out. In education, only the last degree earned should be mentioned very simply.

You may also write a lengthier resume, as long as you feel it is what is required for sitting in an interview for the job. However, many of you would agree that not many interviewers would like to research into a long, detailed resume. It is good to be on a safer side!

In non profit organisations, more info
as evident from the word itself profit making is not the main objective. The main motive is creating a difference by addressing some social problem with an innovative solution. Quite obviously people who run these organisations operate with a different mindset than those who run profit organisations. They look for different kind of people, those who are extremely passionate about their work and not money focused only. It is therefore very apt to present your resumes and cover letters differently than you would for a profit making organisation.

It is Ok to express emotions: Again there is no golden rule but there are certain points that should be taken care of while drafting a cover letter and resume for a non-profit organisation. While emotions are a strict no in case of professional resumes, they are allowed to be shown in case of non-profit organisations. It is a good idea to present some positive emotions, passions and motivation for the work in the resume.

Mention some Volunteer Work: It is a good idea to present those experiences and the skills you acquired therein that helped you prepare yourself for the current job or the job you are applying for. Since, most of the non profit organisations involve volunteer work, it is also a good idea to mention some previous experience where you were involved in volunteer work or how you were inspired after seeing some volunteers undertaking their jobs gleefully.

Talk of Relevant Skills: The next tip would be to showcase your personality attributes or strengths that are pertinent to the current job. Explain how you would add value to the existing structure and support in creating others that are pro people. Mention examples from your previous work where you took on the role of preparation.

Express the Intent: Your resume should specifically mention why you want to join the non profit organisation. Remember the objective should alternate and not just special or gaudy. Also, alternate does not mean something which is away from reality and quoted just for the heck of it. It should be something that you can associate to. If you are switching from a corporate job to the non profit organisations job, you should clearly express you intent in doing so. A good idea to substantiate your objective or intent is to use examples of the transferable skills that are very relevant to the current job.

Choice or decision making is the hallmark of human beings. It is in fact man’s ability to decide and choose between various options that sets him apart from other animals on the planet. But making a choice is not often easy especially when it comes to choosing a career path, help because one single decision leads to a chain of decisions which can alter your life both in a negative or a positive way.

Although there are no hard and fast rules or formulas to make a right career decision but like any other decision, a career decision also begins with awareness, of oneself, one’s strengths and weaknesses and awareness about the world of work. You have to begin by increasing your awareness of self, knowing your likes and dislikes and understanding the industry or the organisation you want to work with. Often when you succeed in matching your strengths or attributes to the requirements of the job is when success and happiness start flowing into your life!

Once you have been able to raise your level of awareness, your decision making process automatically gets effective. You begin to take charge of your own life and feel empowered to take decisions yourself. Some decisions happen without you being able to explain the ‘why’ of it to yourself even. It seems that the gut feel that takes over. But deep down it is the increased awareness that sharpens your decision making ability.

Now taking a decision also means development of an action plan. You announce your vision for life and then go on to split that vision into small achievable goals within a certain timeframe. This lends more focus to whatever you do. Rather than focusing on the entire goal, you focus on targeting at thing at a time and achieving it which is important for the vision to be accomplished as a whole.

This sounds fantastic, but it is equally true that while the right choice opens the first gateway to excellence in life, it may not lead you to the next level. The greatest of the great decisions and plans fail, when people fail to action the plan; which means after planning the most important step is to put the plan into action. In your career, for example, you may decide to pursue other things alongside some main course to give you an added benefit in the job market, buy many plans and promises loose sheen with time as the motivation dies down. This results in frustration often! In choosing a career it is therefore very important to choose achievable goals, stick to the plan and sometimes re-evaluate your plan in the light of fresh perspectives.

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