Monthly Archives: February 2013
First Day at a New Job – Dos and Don’ts
You have thoroughly investigated what the company does, you have prepared yourself, passed all the selections and – here you are, at your new job. First day of work is a unique opportunity to make a great first impression. All the same, regardless of whether this is your dream job or you’re here just to earn the money you need, adjusting to the work environment has its challenges for which you should be ready.
One of the most important things is – be punctual, maybe even a little early. Plan the alternative routes to work in case of traffic jam, so that you could get there on time. Ask around what your first day will look like, whether you’re supposed to report to someone, etc. Read all the documents they give you – instructions, the code of conduct, dress code, statute, a guide through the organizational structure, in a word – everything.
Relationship with colleagues
Introduce yourself to colleagues and try to remember their names. Repeat each name aloud, in order to engrave it into your memory, and be polite. A bad first impression can’t be fixed easily. Feel free to ask questions – everybody likes to be of assistance as it makes them feel better, so there is no need to “manage” on your own. On the contrary, if you refuse the help you might offend the person who offered it, or just make them feel uncomfortable, and it is highly unlikely they’ll be willing to help you once you really need it. Find some common topics and don’t try not to make them work related. Music, books, sports are all good but, at first, avoid more intimate subjects such as divorce, death, marriage, religion, politics, sex and philosophy. Just keep it simple and be natural.
Do your best, but don’t overdo it.
Take notes of all you’ve heard and learned. Establish some short-term goals, and as you get to know the system, you can set the long-term ones. As much as you know your job and can manage the tasks before you, remember that every work place has its own “how the things work” policy: first couple of weeks, maybe even months you’ll spend learning those tricks. Don’t try changing anything at first, but also don’t underestimate the fact you’re new – try to bring some freshness, new ideas, energy and initiative.
Smile, be positive, and get to know your colleagues: it is especially important to learn right at the beginning who is really in charge and can delegate work and who is just trying to dump their part of the job on you. Be diligent regarding the execution of tasks and build a good relationship with your boss – it will come in handy later on when you need some help or an advice regarding a job or the days off.
Finally: keep coming a bit earlier, and don’t be the first out the door at the end of the shift.
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After a several seasons of hard working, you have finally managed to save some money for a car. Unfortunately, the amount of money is not nearly enough to buy a brand new car you’ve been dreaming of. So, you have to lower your expectations and make your dreams more realistic – something like a used car. Although buying a second hand car is a big financial decision, you can save yourself a bundle. Here are things you should know before buying a used car.
Do some serious research before final decision. Salesmen in dealerships simply adore customers with an I- just-want-to-look-around attitude and look at them like starving wolves. Be clear on your budget and know exactly what type of car you want. Don’t spend the last dollar on a car because there are things to consider such as gas, insurance, repairs and maintenance. Once you have done your research you will have the clear picture of what you want, so that predators in dealerships won’t be able to find a weak spot.
Good thing about vehicles from dealerships is a certain level of security provided by lemon law which refers to repurchasing of the vehicle in a case of some mechanical problems. Don’t get fooled with a salesman assuring you that the car has passed mechanical inspection, better bring a trusted independent mechanic to check it over.When you find a car that appeals to you, it is time for thorough inspection. A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) will help you check the vehicle’s history. Check every fender by bouncing the car up and down.
If you hear any creaks, it is a sign that vehicle has suspension issue. Try pushing the brake pedal to the maximum and if it’s not going entirely to the floor, the vehicle might has a breaking problem. Turn on each blinker, brake lights, wipers, horn and check how far steering wheel goes before wheels start to turn.Carefully inspect every inch of the interior for any damage like ragged seats or frayed carpeting. Be free to take a look underneath the car and check if there is any rust especially on the rails and wheels. Don’t forget to check fluids in reservoirs. In case that vehicle isn’t equipped with a spare tire and a lifter, your negotiation position is changing and you can demand a lower price.
Testing the car is definitely the most enjoyable part. Test driving will give you significant information about the car’s behavior on the road.If you don’t know a lot about cars, the best choice for you is a certified pre-owned vehicle. Those cars are inspected by a factory mechanic and come with extended warranty. This is the most reliable variation and it will give you a peace of mind, but sureness comes with the price which isn’t cheap.The most inexpensive way is to buy from a private party, but on the other hand this way is the most risky. If you are a car expert, you can probably find the best deal there is.
How To Write A Killer Cover Letter
Have you been wondering why months have passed by without you getting a decent job interview? You have probably made a perfect resume and the potential employer should be able to notice your qualities at once. But – what about the cover letter?
Truly amazing cover letter is not just a plain letter where you write that you would like the job – it’s a sales letter. You are selling your knowledge and skills to the employer. The old saying about judging a book by its covers doesn’t apply to human resource managers. In most cases, companies will judge you by your cover, in this case – your cover letter. So, the first thing when it comes to finding a job is to write a killer cover letter and triple your chances in getting a job interview.
Great cover letter should be easy to read, so choose clear and readable font, bullet point list if necessary, and orderly and proper alignment. Good cover letter should be separated into three paragraphs. Try to find a hiring manager’s contact information and address the letter directly to him. If this is not possible, begin your cover letter with “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Human Resources Manager”. Avoid using recruiter’s first name even if you’ve met him before – you won’t get any kudos for being informal.
First paragraph is where you introduce yourself. Tell them about your dedication, passion, and will to do this work. Continue with highlighting your competencies for that particular job or project in a way that can reveal your professionalism.
Second paragraph is the crucial one. Present your skills, but be careful not to repeat your resume. Name the most significant accomplishments from your previous work if they can be related to the job you’re applying to. Don’t hesitate to mention your volunteer work or internships. In the next stage explain why it is you who can perform the required job in the best possible way. If necessary, break it down into key parts or steps. Before you do this, try to find out what approaches and techniques the company values most. Leave out negative things such as medical issues, financial woes or problems with your previous boss. In fact, leave out anything that is irrelevant to the new company.
In the last paragraph you should show your knowledge about company you are applying to. Do some decent research about the company and write about their latest successful projects and the things you liked about it. Point out something that is not widely known about the firm, but be sure to stay well within the limits of politeness and not overdo the flattery. Mention that you would like to set up an interview in the foreseeable future.
It is a good idea to read your cover letter a few times and correct errors if there are any. Make sure it’s free of spelling and grammar mistakes before you send it. Give an extra touch to your killer cover letter by printing it on a high quality paper. Brilliant cover letter is professional, interesting and concise and as such will answer the employer’s question – why you?
Preparing for a Job Interview So You Score the Job Offer
You’ve sent out your resume and finally got invited to an interview and of course you’re excited but then you start thinking “How am I going to do?” or “How can I make myself stand out?” Well, next to a detailed research of the company as well as the job description, there also some things to be considered, like being prepared for the interview questions.
The questions an employer asks give him a chance to get to know you and the way you think. It might not make much sense to you but he is probably trying to find out how fast you can find a solution or if he can confuse you. Be confident, know everything you wrote in your CV and tell him something interesting and useful about yourself, and make it in less than two minutes.
“What do you know about our company and why do you want to work for us?” This question might seem naïve, but it’s not. If you have informed yourself about the company, it means that you care and really want to work there. Taken from the employer’s perspective, if you didn’t go to trouble to learn something about the company, than why should they bother to get to know you through the interview? And don’t say you’re only there for the money – yes, it is important but try saying something like you want to improve your skills, prosper and you love doing that job.
“How qualified are you for the job?” is not a question with an I-know-all answer. Point out the particular skills you have and those you don’t – you’re willing to learn, but make it a little personal, not just something everyone says at interviews. When it comes to previous or current jobs, if you’re currently working, don’t hide it from the potential employer, but point out that you want better conditions, you want to thrive and develop according to your potential and this company is the perfect place for that.
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” and similar questions are designed to see if you have some planning abilities or you just go with the flow. There is no need to describe all five years, but mention, for example, that you see yourself in a certain position and that you have a plan on how to do it. If you are overqualified for the job, stress out that you don’t think so and that you believe your experience and knowledge will let you prosper more quickly which will, with time, allow you to use your talents in the best interests of the company.
If they ask you about overtime – be honest. If you are truly willing to commit to the company and your job, but you don’t want to be exploited, tell that to the employer. If you’re not, tell him that as well, explain why and say that in the case of need, you can do occasional extra hours.