Resume No-no for Entry Level Applicants

You just got out of college and you are determined to start a career of your own. But although you almost sent all your resumes to companies with available job openings, you still did not get any call so you start to doubt yourself. Have you tried to look for the culprit yet? Your resume might be the problem, not you.

There are many resume writing mistakes that go unnoticed especially for entry-level applicants. These boo-boos are the reasons why your application does not pass through the initial screening process. If you are a newbie and is already in agony of not getting a call even for a single interview, maybe you should need to review your resume and try to spot these common mistakes so you can correct them.

Unprofessional-looking email address

Your “cutegirl008@xxxxx.com” email address is not so cute anymore as you try to break into the professional world. In this digital era, your email address is one of your main contact points from would be employers. Thus, you need to have a professional looking emaill address to start with. A good professional email address must contain your name. In this way, headhunters will easily recognize you as the same person whose sending the CV.Besides, having a “cute” email address signals that you are not mature enough to step into the corporate workforce. 
Your CV is more than one page

Unless you have worked while studying and have relevant work experience, your resume must not be more than one page. Many entry level applicants commit mistakes by putting irrelevant and unneccesary information in their resume hoping that these info will help them land a job. In reality, irrelevant data does not help you at all. So avoid putting your high school clubs, hobbies, activities, achievements or too much personal information so HR personnel will be able to concentrate on those details that will make you a good candidate for the job.
Posting a selfie photo

Many people are so obsessed at taking selfies and posting them in social media but do not risk your chance of landing a job by posting a selfie photo in your resume. Instead, get a professional looking photo in a photo studio to attach to your CV. You can always ask for a soft copy of your ID pictures so you can have it reprinted just in case you need more.

Typo errors

Mosr resumes end up in the waste basket because of too many typo errors. You must bear in mind that your CV Is your tool to market yourself. Whatever you put in your resume says something about you. A resume full of typo errors and misspellings sends signals to your recruiter that you are not responsible enough for the job. Proofread and edit your resume before sending it out. If you are not sure if it will pass the HR reviewer, ask someone to proofread it for you.  

If you found one or more of these mistakes with your current resume, better start re-writng it. 

Making the switch: What you need to do when you are switching careers

Ok, we get it. You are tired of your mundane routine and you feel that you are no longer growing your career after x number of years in the same office or industry. Although the thought of getting off the board and explore the other side of the fence is scary, you decided to go for it anyway. But are you ready for the big switch? 

If you still have qualms on making a career switch because you’ve been stuck in your comfort zone for too long, you might consider doing these things before starting job hunting:

Update your CV


By this time, you have a lot of work experience that could fill up pages of your resume so it is the right to make a resume upgrade. Be mindful though to tailor-make your CV to specific skill sets to the new industry or career path you are aiming at so you can have a concise, put together document to send out. And since you are doing the update on your CV file, you might as well update your professional social media platforms such as your LinkedIn. 

Update your technical skill set


Job market is the new jungle nowadays and competition is tough especially with so many young, emerging professionals coming to the workforce day by day. It is advisable then to up your career game by getting a skills upgrade specifically in the field of information technology. You can choose to enroll in short courses or ask young members of your family to teach you some basics on some sought after skills like coding.

Dress for your age


Always make a good impression by dressing appropriately when you apply for a job. You should know by now that specific industries requires specific dress code so be presentable when you go for interviews. 

Your extensive experience is your advantage


It is always intimidating to attend job interviews especially if you do not do it for a long time. But you always need to remember that you are no longer an entry-level applicant now and you can make those past job experience work to your advantage. If you are applying for the same position but in different industry, make your experience stand out. Chances are, most employers will prefer an experienced candidate who can contribute immediately to the company rather than the entry-level applicant that they still need to train.

Make your professional connection work


You’ve been exposed to many people throughout your career. Now is the time to put those professional network to your advantage. Schedule a consultation with your professional network. You can email them or invite them for a cup of coffee. Make them know that you are currently considering to shift career and ask them if they can give you a referral. Who knows, you could end up getting your new job from them.
 

So don’t be afraid of change. If you think that it will advance your career make the switch but always remember to do it right. 

20K and Counting: Ways to Grow your Php 20K

What will you do if you have Php 20,000 in your wallet? 

Nowadays, Php 20,000  not a fairly big amount in terms of purchasing power unlike several years before.But if your are wise enough, you can grow this Php 20k over time. All you need you neec to do is to know where to invest it. Not sure where to put it? Here are some tips to invest your 20k smartly:

Start a small business


With a 20k capital, be your own boss and start your own small business. There are a lot of business ideas out there to choose from ranging from food to fashion to service. With the advent of the internet, you don’t need to rent a commercial place in order for you to showcase your products and reach potential buyers. In order to become successful in growing your Php20k to unlimited income you need to consider these things (1). start a business that you are passionate about and (2) offer good quality products and at par customer service.

Set up an emergency fund


Most of us are guilty of not considering putting up an emergency fund for rainy days. If you have not set up one yet, your Php 20,000 is a good amount to start it up. Set  a time deposit for your fund and religiously grow your savings until such time that you are confident enough that you have enough money to cover your three month expenses just in case something happens to you or you suddenly lose your job. In this way your mind is at ease that you have something to fall back just in times of dire financial needs.

Invest in UITFs or Mutual Funds


Many people are afraid to invest in the stock market because of its volatility and are afraid that they might lose their money in the long run. However, if you want to grow your money exponentially, stock market is one of the best ways to do it since the percentage of yield is higher than bank interests. You can choose to put your money in a unit investment trust funds wherein your money is being managed by financial managers and are invested in stocks deemed to yield high percentage of return fo a period of time. Or, you can pool it in mutual fund and choose the stocks to invest in. 

Build your retirement fund


We do have the government sponsored retirement plan program like the SSS and GSIS but it is always nice to have a retirement plan of your own to look forward to when you finally quit your job. Many banks and financial institutions are offering retirement plan programs for a surprisingly small amount of money. Start your retirement plan now and enjoy your golden years without worrying about money. 

Invest in yourself


One of the best investments is to invest in yourself. Enrich yourself with new knowlegde that you can use to advance your career. Or you can always learn new things that you can use in the future like new hobbies. 

There is no big or small amount if you set your heart and your mind to grow your money. You have many options out there. All you need to do is to start doing it. 

Gimme! Gimme!: Ways on How to Negotiate for a Raise

Working hard to get a raise? Every employees wish to augment their wages every year but not all are given the chance to be offered a salary upgrade. Depending on your company policy and your contract, getting a raise varies from one company to another. Most common measures are high performance appraisal and tenure of office. Asking for a raise is one of the most awkward moments everyone has to go through in the workplace. That is why most employees shy away from attempting to do it and just wait for their companies to offer them a salary upgrade instead.

However, if you feel that you’ve given a stellar job performance and you think it is your time to get a raise but is afraid to ask, here are some tips on how you can negotiate for your salary upgrade.

Know your worth

Before you storm the office of your boss and demand for an increase, take time to do a self-assessment first. Did you perform well in the work place? Have you hit all your KPIs and targets? How much have you contributed to the company’s revenue? Answer these with all honesty and write it all down. Arm yourself with realistic figures so you will have something to bargain for during the negotiation.

Do your research

When you negotiate for a raise, it is better that you have a knowledge of how much your particular industry pays your job. As salary differs from different industries, you should be able to know how much is the salary range of employees in your industry. That way you will know if you are expecting too much or aiming too little.

Practice your negotiation talk

The reason why we feel awkward asking for a raise is that we are at lost on how are we going to talk about it with our boss. If you are not comfortable with this kind of discussion, might as well practice on how to deliver your piece. You can ask someone close to you (a friend or a family member) to help you practice how will you approach and how to say your piece.

Is it the right time?

So you are up and ready to discuss your salary upgrade with your boss but is it the right time? As I learned from experience, the key to a successful negotiation is knowing when to “drop the bomb”. If your company is experiencing financial issues or having a lot of stress coping with completion of projects, do not bring up talks regarding salary increase. Likewise, do not insist with the topic if your boss is mad or stressed out.

Listen with open ears and open mind

You finally get the chance to get your boss to the negotiation table and you have delivered your speech, now what? Don’t expect your boss to give you a positive yes even if you’ve loaded him with your accomplishments. If he gives you feedback, positive or negative, just listen. Be open to criticism. Remember that he spared you some time to listen to your piece, you should do the same for him.

Non-monetary upgrades

Salary upgrade is not always monetary. If you think that a monetary upgrade will be slim, negotiate for benefit adjustment instead such as a more flexible work schedule, a wider coverage of health benefits, additional leave and other company perks.

Be Professional

If at the end of the day, your request for a raise is turned down, be professional and let the management explain. They will have a good reason why they cannot accommodate your request just yet. Do not do sour graping. Accepting defeat graciously and professionally is one way of showing the bosses that you are mature enough to handle difficult situation. They will definitely note it on the next appraisal.

There is a saying that if at first you did not succeed, you can always try again. If your request is turned down, do not make it as an excuse to be lazy at work. Instead make it a motivation and work even harder to show your boss that despite the setback you are still willing to do your job.

Moving forward: How to quit your job gracefully

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One of the most difficult decisions that every career woman experience is quitting one’s job. It is not only a financial burden but also emotional burden considering the connections that you’ve made with the people in your company that are getting severed when you move out.

But no one expects you to be tied forever to your office chair and if it is inevitable for you to leave your current work for a greener pasteur, ensure that you say your goodbye politely. Here are ways on how you will leave a positive last impression before you bid adieu to your company.

Discuss your decision with your boss

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Before handing down your resignation letter, consider discussing your decision with your immediate supervisor. Ask for a meeting and discuss your reasons for leaving. Whatever your reasons, be honest. Let your boss understand your reason and if he attempts to negotiate with you to stay, listen to him as well. If you really made up your mind to go, say thank you and turned down his offer politely.

Formalize your exit

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Do not just go and leave the company without formally handing in your letter of resignation. In your letter, be brief, polite and concise. Thank the company for the opportunity of working with it no matter your reason of going.

Give ample time for transition

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When your company accepts your notice of resignation, give the management peace of mind by alloting ample time to transfer your workload to the one who will be replacing you. It is specifically stated in the Philippine Labor Code that any employee resigning from a company must have 30 days prior notice. This is to ensure that all your responsibilities are transferred smoothly. To facilitate smooth work transition, prepare a list of responsibilities, documents and things that you need to transfer and specify the person to whom you are going to handover just in case your replacement is not yet around.

Attend the exit interview

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Some employees pass up the exit interview and just choose to leave the company after the transition period. However, an exit interview is integral to the company’s human resource policy in order for them to facilitate improvements in the company’s workforce. Participate in the exit interview but do not use it to voice your grievances and rant about things tou do not like in the company. Instead, be neutral and professional and discuss only with HR on the things you think can still be improved in the company.

Work hard until your last day
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You started strong so aim to finish strong as well. Work hard until your last day in the office and finish as much task as you can do. During this time, ensure that you complete the work handover so you won’t be bothered by unfinished work once you already started in your new job.

In your last day in the office, say goodbye to your colleagues and let them know that you will always keep in touch. Who knows, one day you will work with them again.

Beauty Trends to Avoid as a Career Woman

Transitioning from being a carefree, happy-go-lucky gal into a career woman is one of the major goals that every woman should strive to achieve. And by  means,if you want to be taken seriously, you should pay attention on how you carry yourself in the workplace. The way you look affects you big time in how your career path go. So if you are being sidelined for promotions despite on your work achievement, you might consider taking a look on your fashion choice. Oftentimes, they are being neglected, but this little detail is one of the usual culprit why your climb in the career ladder seems to be slow.

If you want to be considered seriously, you should be mindful of the beauty trends that  you are following especially on how you put on your makeup. Being polish suggests professionalism and evokes your maturity. So if you are still doing below fashion booboos, you might as well stop and learn to  do your makeup right.

Mismatched foundation

mismatched foundation

Your foundation is like a second skin only better. Thus, as a career woman you should always wear a foundation that totally blends in your own skin and will not leave you with streaks and colors that looks like your face is floating from rest of your body. Know how to choose the right color for your skin tone, and ensure that when you apply your foundation it will blend seamlessly into your skin. Make sure that your foundation has the right formulation to avoid oxidation or discoloration.

Colorful, shimmery makeup

colorful makeup

Yes, you are entitled to your own individuality but you also need to learn to mute your wild side in the workplace. Your date night with barkada look (i.e. colorful, shimmery eyeshadow, blush and lip color) is definitely a no-no in the office. Stick to neutral colors instead that do not distract. Your makeup should be matte or satin in finish and will last you the whole day.

Overpowering perfume scents

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The rule of thumb in workplace fashion is that whatever you wear should not be a distraction to your co-workers. That includes your perfume choice. Stay away from the sweet, fruity scent you used to wear during your teen years. Instead, use a perfume that has a hint of powder or floral smell to it. These scents will leave you fresh all day without overpowering the rest of the workplace.

Fancy nail arts and unconventional nail colors

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Trimming your nails is not enough when it comes to office grooming. You should also refrain from sporting nail arts and unconventional nail colors to avoid being viewed as childish. Just like your makeup, stick to neutral nail colors and say goodbye to long nails or nail extensions that will hamper your fingers’ mobility.

Outrageous hairstyles and hair colors

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Lastly, pick a hairstyle that is easy to wear, manageable and corporate-friendly. Stay away from flaming hair colors and choose a hair dye closest to your natural hair.

There is a saying that ” to be a queen, you should act like one”. So always look your best while doing all the hardwork and it will surely pay off.

 

 

Freelancing: How to supplement your income using your talents

Many people say that there is no money in freelance writing but I beg to disagree. Ever since I received my first paycheck from doing freelance writing jobs two years ago, I realized that you can earn I decent amount of money from doing what you love in your spare time. One may wonder why I still do freelance writing despite the fact that I am earning a good sum of money in my regular job. For one, writing is one of the things that I am good at and passionate about. I am happy that I am sharing my talent while earning on the side. Secondly, it is a good way to use my spare time. I make my internet browsing productive by doing freelance jobs and getting paid to pay for my bills. Thirdly, freelancing is one of the best way to supplement your income. You can’t expect to be rich doing freelance work but having a secondary source of income makes you worry less on where to get money to pay for your bills when your main job fails to provide for you. In my case, freelancing helps me set up my emergency fund.

As  mentioned above, freelancing does not guarantee you to earn a lot of money since your income will be dependent on the time that you are willing to invest into freelancing. On the average, I earn between Php 1500-3000 a week, since I only accept projects during weekends. But if you are willing to try to do freelancing, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Use your talent

talent

Each of us has an innate talent and skills. If you decide to do freelance work, do something that you are good at or something that you enjoy doing. Using your talent and being passionate about it will give you the motivation to do things over and over. Also, since you love what you are doing, it will not feel as work at all.

Determine how much time you can allot to freelancing

time freelance

Know how much time you are willing to spare to do freelance job  to help you choose how many projects you can accept. Getting too many projects that you are unsure of finishing within the required deadlines will only get you into trouble with your clients. If  you are employed, avoid consuming your regular working hours to do freelance work to avoid complications from your employer.

 Get projects from legitimate freelancing sites.

legit freelancing sites

You don’t want to spend time and effort for doing projects that you will not get paid. If you are getting your projects online, choose sites that are legit  and deal only with reputable clients. Before you accept any projects, do a background check on your potential client. Check their profile and pay particular attentions on the feedback from other freelancers.

Stay connected

connections

Your first client will usually come from your circle of friends, family and acquaintances. Let them know that you are doing freelance work and ask for referrals just in case they know someone that needs the product or service that you offer. My first writing projects were all referrals from colleagues who knew that I am good at writing articles.

Treat your job as you would treat any other jobs

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Just like any other jobs, you need to be professional when you are doing freelance work. Be punctual with meetings, and be mindful about your deadlines. Always come out with the best product/services that will satisfy and make your clients happy. It is the only way you get more projects.

Overall, freelancing is one of the most flexible and enjoyable way of earning money using your talent and the time. You just need a lot of passion and determination to succeed in this arena.