Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Your CV is a taster rather than the whole story

Your CV serves one purpose and one purpose only and yet most people do not use it for this one purpose.

Too many people think it is a document that tells the reader their career history and some private facts thrown in for good measure. Some people limit the document to one page while others think nothing of using 10 pages. Some people go overboard on the design with fancy lines and boxes, different colours and photographs while others create a text mish mash of spelling errors, incorrect spacing and a general mess to the eye.

The biggest error all the above follow is that they use the same version of their creation for every single job they apply for because they think the purpose of their CV is to bore the reader with their career history.

The sole purpose of your CV is to get you an interview. Not the job, but an interview. When someone writes it in the belief that it’s purpose is to get them the job, it will not even get them an interview.

The response you want to get from your CV is that the reader will want to meet you. It is a taster of who you are and what you can do for them and they want to know more. If it tells them everything about you, they don’t need to meet you because they already know what they need to know. It is not a technical manual but your sales brochure.

When a film company releases a trailer of their latest epic, they show you maybe 3 minutes of highlights which might represent a two to three hour film. They don’t show you the boring bits, they show you extracts of the best bits because the purpose of the trailer is to get you along to watch the whole film.

Your CV is the same. Think of it as the film trailer to your career. Show enough information to make them want to meet you but not too much so they can decide not to. 
Tony Haley

Monday, May 23, 2011

Six rules for a new boss

In your new role as the boss, apart from giving a stellar performance, it is time to start managing expectations. Reason: career progression is no longer just decided by the organization. You also define what the organisation should expect from you.

Rule #1: Start Early

The newly anointed MD of Canaan Partners Rahul Khanna says expectation management needs to happen even before you take up the job. A key part is not to oversell yourself, he says. So while you may be excited about the new job, the idea is to suit the role. "When you take the hot seat, you need to be equipped for it," says Khanna.

But if you have already joined your new job, there is still a set of rules you can follow to cope with expectations from the team and organisation alike, say leadership pundits.

Rule #2: Communicate

At the peak of the slowdown in early 2009, organisations such as the Future Group and Maruti Suzuki and others went on an overdrive to convey the cash crunch to their employees. Blogs, formal emails, informal chats all became a key to communication. S Ramnarayan, clinical professor of organisational behaviour at the Indian School of Business, says managing information-good or bad-is the key in managing expectations.

Words alone will not do. Ramnarayan recommends if you have joined a new leadership role, go in for some clear and short-term wins to show that things are happening. "You can pick up projects that can be turned into immediate successes. Show how things can be done differently to put your point across," he says.

Rule #3: Take Stock

It sounds simple, but bosses do not take time out to do this. When Piyush Mehta, HR head at Genpact, talks to the members of his team, the conversation once in a while turns towards the roles these members have in the organisation compared to their peers in the industry. The conversation also veers towards the attractive titles and job offers these employees may get from outside. But the idea is to emphasise the opportunity the company offers. "Their expectations remain realistic," he says. That is just one of the ways Mehta manages the expectations of his most important stakeholder-the employees. He works in an industry that deals with employee attrition upwards of 30%.

Rule #4: Listen

When leadership coach Ashu Khanna handholds new bosses, her first advice to them is to listen to the cues-from the market, customers and employees. "Listen so that you understand what they are saying," she says. Listening is critical. "To make sure people have an emotional connect with you-make them feel heard and understood," agrees Ramnarayan. Managing emotions is critical, especially during change. At work you may have a variety of stakeholders to address. Managing their emotions may mean managing your goal in the context of all. The ability to accommodate other kind of ideas is critical.

Article Source Link

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Can you take your success with you?

By Tony Haley

When someone is successful in their job they take the full credit and rightly so. However unless it is your own business some, if not most, of your success will be due to the company you are working for. They might be a market leader. They might have the best products. They might have unique products. They might provide their employees with the highest level of support. They might invest time and money in developing their employees. None of this should be over looked when trying to get your next job. The only time this is a problem is when the employee believes their success is totally down to them and they can take their success with them wherever they go. This is not always the case.

When people look back on their career, there will usually be one company and time period where they made their name by having the most success. They move from this company on the crest of the success wave to make the next step only to find that the new employer does not provide the same environment to be successful. They often fail and leave again after a short period of time.

This is common in most industries, even sport. Football Managers the world over move onto their next club because they had some success only to be sacked 6 months or a year later and seen as a failure because they didn’t repeat that success. Why? They are no less capable of doing their job. They are still operating in the same business. The only thing that changed was the people they were working with.

It is the same for anyone in any job. The point about this is that you should think long and hard before leaving a successful job. It might be the employer who is helping you to succeed and you cannot take them with you.

Once you have decided to change jobs, make an honest assessment on how much of your success was due to you and how much was due to the environment, company and people you worked with. When you know this information, use it to help decide how much of your success you can really take with you into your next job. Research the potential employer and ask these questions during the interview. Don’t accept the job without being sure you can continue your success or you might be looking around again sooner than you planned.

Five ways to motivate yourself at work


Five ways to motivate yourself at work

1. Set your own benchmarks
Acknowledgement  of  your  good work does you a world of good, says Asit Mohapatra , director, human resources - textiles, Raymonds. Com-parisons by others are at times unrealistic, making you feel worthless. Set your own goals keeping in mind what is expected of you at work and deliver more. Strike off those you have achieved - this will not only motivate you but also encourage you to perform better at your job.

2. Think of the present 
It does not help thinking of past failures; they will just pull you down further. Instead, focus on the task at hand and  find  methods to excel at it,  says E Balaji, MD, CEO,  Mafoi  Randstad. Find  a  mentor  who  you  can confide  in  and  then  find  a   new  way  to  approach the same role. Thinking of the present will cement your decision  on  whether  you want to continue in the present job profile or look for something different. Learning from mistakes and gauging the present situation can allow you take an informed step for your future endeavours, says Balaji.   

3. Keep your focus clear 
Make your presence felt by achieving targets, especially those outside expected goals, says Sanjay Bali , GM , HR , Samsung. Enrolling in a learning and development programme organised by the company will give you a fresh perspective and set new standards for your own per-formance. A company review also will help you focus on your weak points and encourage you to improve, says Bali.  

4. Stay curious  
If  you  aren't  tuned  into  the  changes  and developments in your work-place, you are definitely losing out on opportunities. A change of role can help boost your confidence and urge you to excel at the task at hand, says Mohapatra.  Thinking  you  know  it  all  is  the  biggest  faux  pas  you  can  make. Chances  are  you will feel complacent  and  demotivated  sooner  if  you  think you  know everything there is to know about the job you have  been assigned.  Keep  a  balanced  approach  to  your  work,  and  don't  let  negative thoughts mar the chances of letting the positive aspects help your growth prospects.  

5. Be with go getters  
To motivate oneself, Priya Kumar, author and motivational speaker, believes you need to surround yourself with achievers. If you have a few top performers in your friends' list, you can't help but be motivated. Kumar has a large friends circle of super achievers, business owners, singers, actors, sportsmen, and she believes that just a phone call with them, or a coffee with them pumps in the inspiration and motivation that lasts days and has a positive impact on her performance. People don't choose their company wisely. Having a good personal rapport with your seniors and bosses or even senior colleagues from other or-ganisations keeps you motivated. These are real people and their suc-cess and drive inspires and fuels your own. Keep the company of achievers and you will see the impact in your own performance. 

Source of Article : The Economic Times 

Five ways to motivate yourself at work