Before entering into an interview situation, we HIGHLY advise that you research your prospective employer as thoroughly as possible. Not only will this increase the chances of your interview being successful, it can also help you decide if the business is a good cultural fit for you, and also offer peace of mind that the company has good intentions.
Provide Company Authenticity
Allow me to briefly divulge to you a personal experience I’ve had. During my years of studying I was signing up to agencies in the hope of getting some money to help with living expenses. I was contacted by an agency that said a company was looking for assistants to help out in their studio. I went along to the interview and after the usual questions and formalities, I was offered the job on the spot! Amazing right? Well, shortly after I verbally accepted the position, I was informed that before they would send a contract over, I was required to send £500 to the company accounts team to cover any potential ‘damages and expenses’ to equipment inside the studio.
Naturally, this was some cause for concern, and long story short, after a quick flick through their online social presence, I found that most of their followers were paid for/bots and the company address listed on their website was actually a room above a laundrette 50 miles from where it should be!
It is the unfortunate truth that there are some undesirables who will pray on the good intentions of jobseekers by offering opportunities in industries that are traditionally challenging to enter. Prior research into a company that has contacted you will provide peace of mind that the company exercises lawful practices and that their business is authentic and genuine.
In the case of my own experience, it's certainly a rare occurrence, but unfortunately, not an impossibility.
Is The Company Right For You?
The average person will work for around 37.5 hrs pw, some more and some less. This is a long time to be spent at the workplace, so in order to avoid any negative feelings or resentment towards work developing, you must make sure that the company’s culture aligns with your own. Ask yourself the following questions, am I able to complete the level of work required, can I work within company deadlines, am I able to handle the demands of my role, can I adhere to the company's work location i.e. work remotely, in office or hybrid? All these things will help you determine whether you can meet the demands of the role and perform consistently.
Demonstrates an Interest in the Company
As an employee of a company, you will be expected to act in a way that reflects the company’s best interests and core values. Employers will be looking for candidates in interviews that they feel best resonate with their core company ethics and philosophy. Demonstrating knowledge of the company’s history and expansion and recognising its achievements and accolades is sure to impress your potential employers. It conveys your own passion for the brand and desire to be a part of a company’s growth. This will help show your employer that you are committed to the future of the company and intend to work within the business for a long time.
It helps you prepare meaningful questions
Now you may have seen a post on our knowledge centre about questions you should ask your interviewer. These are all tried and tested ways to go the extra mile in an interview by seeking additional insight about your employer and demonstrating an interest in the company ethos. However, if you truly want to go above and beyond to impress your interviewer, mould your questions in such fashion that they directly relate to the business.
I recognise the company’s overall mission is X. But can you share some of the company's short and long-term goals during the next 3 years. What part would I play in helping the business to achieve these targets?
Formulating your questions about matters directly concerning the company shows your employers you are eager to become an asset to the business. This will also provide an opportunity to match the business goals with your own!
It can help you learn more about the industry
If you’ve decided that you need a change in your career path and want to pursue a role in a different industry, research into a company can help provide insight into what the work actually entails and how the industry and company itself operates. Learning the ins and outs, the rough and the smooth of the job you’re looking to apply for will help you make the right decision for both your career and wellbeing. If a company advertises a fast-paced quick response attitude, will you be able to keep up? Similarly, if the role operates within both high-pressure and relaxed periods of work, are you ok with an irregular balance of fast and slow-paced environments? Researching the company and role you wish to pursue will help answer some of these questions that should always be considered when trying something new.
As you can see, there are many benefits to researching your employer. Prospective employers are always going to be looking for candidates that will go the extra mile, so this is good practice into the mindset of always going one step further to impress and prove why you are an important asset to any team.
Posted by Joe Lord on 9 August 2022
Sigmar's Difference Day: Saplings Special School
Sigmar's Difference Day: Saplings Special School
Following on from 10 of our staff raising €42,775 on the Paris2Nice cycle, over 40 of us descended on Saplings Special School, Kilkenny to take part in our first-ever Difference Day, to put the money raised into action. Our goal was to help transform the outdoor areas of the school to enhance the environment for the children and teachers of the school. A total of 5 projects were carried out on the day including building 2 outdoor classroom spaces, new seating and planters, painting the playground area and constructing a fence to make the front area of the school safe for the kids.There was lots of hard work but the fantastic principal Sandra, her staff and the wonderful pupils of Saplings kept spirits high throughout the day. It was extremely rewarding when the team were able to reveal the completed projects to some of the teachers, parents and pupils at the end of the day. Their reaction made all the manual labour worth it!A huge thank you to Difference Daysand Outdoor and Spaceswho helped us bring this project to life! It was an absolute privilege to be able to undertake it.
The Benefits Of Contract Work
The Benefits Of Contract Work
The jobhunting period can at times feel quite negative, and many people will be put off contract work as they know they have a date where they will be out of employment after the role expires. Also, jumping between different industries in quick succession can prove a challenge for the Wallflowers in this blogs audience. However, Contract work does have benefits that should not be overlooked both to the short and long-term trajectory of your career. Here are a number of reasons why you should accept contract as well as some added benefits you may not have considered.Make ConnectionsThe nature of contract work dictates that unless you’re offered a permanent position, you will be moving between places of work every 6 - 12 months. The benefit of this, is that you are likely to become acquainted with many business leaders, executives, CEOs, and industry experts along the way. This will prove invaluable as building your contact list of reputable business leaders will provide new connections, long lasting business relationships and an impressive list of references for your next employer to contact. In a world where a person’s experience in the field can be the deciding factor in being chosen for interview, having connections to add to your credibility will only ever benefit your applicationFind your job passionIt is not uncommon for young professionals to work a variety of roles before settling into a more permanent fulfilling role. This method can provide a multitude of valuable experience, references, and insights into the nature of the industry. Contract work is a good way to dip your toe into the pool of the industry and find out if you are best aligned with the culture and work involved in the industry.SalaryContracted roles will get you better pay. They offer a higher basic salary in lieu of a benefits package. You can make your experience really work to your advantage. Employers are typically willing to pay you generously, providing you meet their requirements, if you solve their problem or need quickly. Employers tend to really value experience, since they want to bring onboard someone who can jump right in and hit the ground running.Faster EmploymentNow this of course does not cover all contract work, and you shouldn’t apply for a contract position assuming you’re going to be accepted by 9:30 and start work at 10:00. However, the creation of a contract role may have resulted in a sudden urgency and vacation that needs to be filled, so the onboarding of contracts does move faster than permanent roles.More FreedomAs you are not bound by the standard contracts of the business, you have more negotiating room when discussing hours, pay and location. You may have been brought into the contract role to assist with a sudden influx of work, therefore If you can assure your employer you will complete the work, you can choose working hours that fit for you, which can provide more time out of work for looking at more roles, building your professional profile and networking.In ConclusionThere are many business professionals who have built there who career around contract work and it’s not too hard to see why. Contract work offers more flexibility, better pay, more variation, and greater chance of networking and building a profile within the industry. Understanding the process and careful planning can ensure you are never out of work for lengthy periods of time, and with the flexibility contract work offers, you can use any free time to plan ahead once your contract expires. If you are keen to build your professional CV, build strong industry connections, gain experience and entertain a higher pay, contract work is definitely worth your time
Contract Roles and Why You Should Take Them
Contract Roles and Why You Should Take Them
There seems to be an underserved stigma attached to contract work. However, Contract work does have benefits that should not be overlooked both to the short and long-term trajectory of your career. Here are a number of reasons why you should accept contractMake ConnectionsThe nature of contract work dictates that unless you’re offered a permanent position, you will be moving between places of work every 6 - 12 months. The benefit of this, is that you are likely to become acquainted with many business leaders, executives, CEOs, and industry experts along the way. This will prove invaluable as building your contact list of reputable business leaders will provide new connections, long lasting business relationships and an impressive list of references for your next employer to contact. In a world where a person’s experience in the field can be the deciding factor in being chosen for interview, having connections to add to your credibility. Find your job passionIt is not uncommon for young professionals to work a variety of roles before settling into a more permanent fulfilling role. This method can provide a multitude of valuable experience, references, and insights into the nature of the industry. Contract work is a good way to dip your toe into the pool of the industry and find out if you are best aligned with the culture and work involved in the industry.SalaryContracted roles will get you better pay. They offer a higher basic salary in lieu of a benefits package. You can make your experience really work to your advantage. Employers are typically willing to pay you generously, providing you meet their requirements, if you solve their problem or need quickly. Employers tend to really value experience, since they want to bring onboard someone who can jump right in and hit the ground running.Faster EmploymentNow this of course does not cover all contract work, and you shouldn’t apply for a contract position assuming you’re going to be accepted by 9:30 and start work at 10:00. However, the creation of a contract role may have resulted in a sudden urgency and vacation that needs to be filled, so the onboarding of contracts does move faster than permanent roles.Foot in the doorIt is not unreasonable to think that a company will offer you a permanent position once you’re contracted obligations are over. The contract job may have been to fill a job left open by maternity leave, or a sudden influx of work has left a team treading water, and once your work is complete you may leave the company with a strong reference and 6 months of experience and knowledge. However, if you are able to not only perform above and beyond in your role whilst also suggesting and introducing new methods of practice and ideas of work that increases business, your employer may want to keep you around for longer. By proving yourself as an asset that possess’ knowledge and positive actions that the company do not practice, you will make yourself indispensable.In ConclusionThe opportunity for contract work should not pass by unnoticed. The lack of watertight job security may be off-putting, however contract work is certainly not without its benefits. Higher pay, building connections and a set time to see if you align yourself with the culture of the industry, contract work is a great way to build upon your professional career, and ultimately make you a more credible and accomplished candidate when you approach vacancies down the path of your professional life.
What Is LinkedIn?
What Is LinkedIn?
It’s difficult to comprehend what our lives in 2022 would be like without the various platforms and interconnectable mediums we use every day. The Nokia 3210 has been replaced by the iPhone. TV Cable has made way to streaming platforms, and much of our music is consumed via Spotify, iTunes and YouTube. However, the most poignant example of the increasingly connected age we live in, is that of Social Media. In the race to dominate the social platform, businesses are constantly updated their sites and apps with new ways to digest content, integrating features such as videos, shops, posts, blogs and stories. Though the intention of drawing in a diverse clientele is understandable, it results in a saturation of the market, thus making it difficult to ascertain the USP of a certain platform. Snapchat’s quick photo/story update features can now be found on Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger command our 4G instant messaging services, and Facebook, well, Facebook does everything. However, there is one of few platforms that’s focus has managed to remain consistent since its creation, and that platform is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world's largest online professional network. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career. In essence, LinkedIn is the main social media hub for employers and businesses. For some, checking LinkedIn every day is like checking the newspaper, except unlike other social media platforms LinkedIn is optimised, professional, well presented, practical, focused and ultimately good. Now I have not been monetarily compensated by LinkedIn to write anything on the behalf, however I do believe that the importance of LinkedIn cannot be stressd enough, especially if you are looking to progress into the upper echalons of the corperate world. To those who have yet to utilise this platform, or simply want an overview of what it is and how it works, read on Who Should Use LinkedIn? Given that the main focus of the site is to connect businesses, establish relationships and help companies advertise jobs, your average LinkedIn user will fall into the category of ‘business professional.’ It is a platform for people looking to advance their career’s, including people from various professional backgrounds, small business owners, students, and job seekers. LinkedIn members can use the platform to tap into a network of professionals, companies, and groups within and beyond their industry. Though LinkedIn’s homepage features a feed where users can post updates and developments in their personal lives as well as photos and videos, the content still centres around the professional working life, so you may have to look elsewhere to get your cute animal fix. Why You Should Join LinkedIn LinkedIn is the key that will open the door to the interconnected landscape of business. Your profile will display your various accolades, previous work experiences, qualifications and personal bio, along with any personal hobbies and interested you wish to share. Now you might be thinking this sounds a lot like the criteria one would find on a CV, and that is not an unfair comparison to make. Many jobseekers use LinkedIn as their primary tool of self-marketing to send to companies who have advertised jobs, and employers can use it to search for candidates and present them with opportunities to work. Thus, a fleshed out, optimised and slick LinkedIn profile can prove to be an invaluable tool as you progress through your professional life. Where Do I Start Like many social medias, the best way to learn more about the features of the site is to simply jump in with a freshly created profile and click your way around the sites menu’s. However, we have a few suggestions to get you started: 1. Create a Profile Though this may seem obvious, LinkedIn does allow you to explore most of what the site has to offer without the need of creating a profile. However, having your own profile with allow the algorithm to tailor your experience on the site to your own personal preferences. Jobs advertised will become more closely linked to your current profession, and industry related content will appear more frequently on your feed. Naturally of course If you already have a reason in mind for signing up to LinkedIn, then one assumes your profile is ready to go Do take time when creating your profile. As previously mentioned, LinkedIn can function as an online CV, so take this into account when uploading a profile photo and writing your bio. Include all relevant experiences and skills you have within your profession in indoor to add further employability to your page 2. Build your connections The network you create will play a crucial part in unlocking the power of LinkedIn as it will help you understand what is happening in your industry and professional circle. You can begin by adding your family, friends, past or current classmates, and co-workers to your network. You can also follow people, companies, or topics by navigating directly to the Follow fresh perspectives page, which displays recommended sources to follow. 3. Browse the Catalogue of Jobs The job search is one of the standout features of LinkedIn. You can use the job search to research companies in preparation for an interview, reach out to hiring communities or simply see what current roles are being advertised for. LinkedIn is one of the top platforms when it comes to advertising vacancies, so there’s a high chance a specific role or a role in a less well known or advertised industry will appear in your searches. You can also save jobs searches or notify your connections and recruiters that you’re open to job opportunities. 4. Engage in Conversation Though LinkedIn as a platform caters more to a tool for business than traditional social media, you can still connect and talk to people as you would on any other platform. Feel free to engage in updates and posts from the companies or individuals you follow. This can even work as a catalyst to establish further connections with new likeminded individuals. 5. Post Content And finally, post stuff! Don’t be afraid of uploading content onto your page. Keep your connections updated with any recent developments in your professional career, reach out to industry experts for advice, stimulate debate and even alert people to vacancies in your place of work. In Conclusion LinkedIn is an invaluable tool used by many as a catalyst to progress further in their working life. The benefits of LinkedIn should never be understated, and once you’ve begun to explore the site and engage with content, you’ll wonder how you ever navigated the job market without it