A new year is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. Are you back in work this week with the best of intentions to start on the right foot, but you're finding it hard to get started? We have made a list of things to help you start your new year by being more organised and help you to have a very productive 2020. Start Your Day Right If you're overrun with many different tasks at the one time and find it difficult to know how to structure your day in the most productive way possible, don't worry, you're not alone. A simple solution is to try coming into work 10 - 15 minutes before you are due to start and use that time to make sure your desk is tidy and you lay out all the tasks you need done on that day and during the week in a notebook or use an online tool such as Google Tasks or Google Calendar. Write a list of what you need to do today and a list of the deadlines you have for the week. Taking the time to do this in the morning before emails start flying in and your phone is going off will start you off on a productive path and it should help to keep you on that path throughout the day. Prioritise Once you know what you want or need done in your day/week, the next step is to learn what tasks are the most important. One of the key elements to being organised is being able to prioritise the important stuff and know what needs your time first. A handy way to decide this is by using the below table. For every task you need to complete, you should evaluate each one by placing it in the below table. You should never have more than two priorities that fall in the box of ‘urgent and important’. The rest fall under the other categories of ‘important and not urgent’, ‘urgent but not important’ and ‘not urgent and not important’. Always structure your time around the urgent and important things. This short film about prioritising might inspire you... Ask For Help Most days you will handle your workload just fine on your own, but every now and then when you see your to-do list is particularly long, sometimes the best (and only) way to get things done is to ask a colleague for help. If you have too many urgent and important items on your to-do list, you should go to your boss to look at delegating some of your workload or see if some deadlines can be adjusted. Missing a deadline is much worse than letting someone know in advance that you need some help to get something done. Being organised doesn't mean you must manage everything yourself, it's being able to look at your workload and know how it will be done and when it will be done. Being organised is a skill, but it is one we can all learn very easily. Setting aside time every day to get organised is half the battle. Why not start this year by settng your new years resolution to give yourself time every day to get organised and prioritise? You'll see it makes all the difference to your day!
Searching for jobs is a job in itself. It can be challenging and time consuming but there are ways of making this task a little easier. If you are planning on finding a new job, Sigmar Recruitment has devised a list of top 5 job searching tips to help you in your pursuit of the perfect job this new year. Get Employers to Come to You Uploading your CV online can increase your chances of being seen by employers. Most job searching websites like; Jobs.ie and Monster.ie allow job seekers to create an online profile using their CV content. This profile can then be viewed by potential employers. There is also an option, when you create your account, to highlight specific jobs and organisations you’re interested in and receive email notifications when positions become available. This is handy for any job seeker as it does the hard work for you and allows suitable job opportunities to come directly to you. Update your LinkedIn Profile The first thing you should do before applying for a job is ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all your relevant work experience. Often employers will search for you online while reviewing your CV. It’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date as it could be the reason you get called for an interview. Extra Tip: If you are unemployed and don’t have an issue with making your employment status public, you may want to update your LinkedIn profile headline to something like, “Currently seeking (insert type of role here) in (insert location here)”. This will let your network know that you are currently job seeking Target the Right Companies It’s important to know what type of company you are looking for. This all comes down to your personal preference. Knowing what you want will make it easier. Would you rather be; “a big fish in a little pond” or “a little fish in a big pond”? By eliminating the type of companies you don’t want in your search, you will narrow down the available jobs suited to you. Extra Tip: If you know of a company you think you would like to work for, search for reviews of the company online. Glassdoor.com lets you search millions of reviews of companies that are all posted anonymously by employees. This is a great way to get an honest appraisal of organisations you’re considering applying to. Network Use the contacts you have to enquire about available jobs and get the word out that you’re looking for a new position. Often jobs can be found through people we know so it’s a good idea to get in touch with any relevant contacts you may have. Building on your current network can also give you an advantage in your job search. Attending conferences and job expos are a great way to network and find out about career opportunities. Be Positive Finding the perfect job isn’t easy and may take time. As rejections start coming in, it’s important to always try to stay positive. It’s only natural for you to feel deflated when things aren’t going according to plan but try to use the rejection as a motivation to work harder. The right job is out there for you and you will find it if you stay persistent and optimistic. Don’t have the time to job search? If you find yourself not being able to find the time to search for jobs properly, you can contact us in Sigmar Recruitment. You can upload your details and CV to our website and create an online profile that will be accessed by our specialist recruitment consultants to review your details and contact you with potential job opportunities.
The search for a new job is rarely an easy task. It takes time, commitment and hard work, but most importantly, you need a Game Plan. 1. Be Clear On What You Want To Do Before you jump online and start applying for every role you find in a generic search, first think about what you actually want to do and search for this or related roles instead. This will stop you applying for roles just for the sake of it and will make you focus your job search on a more well defined area that is likely to be more closely related to your skill set, experience and interests. 2. Read the Job Spec Often a candidate will apply to a role because they think they might be able to do the job (even though they’ve never actually done it before) or because they might hold one out of the four required skills. This is not enough. If a job spec lists a skill/ability/qualification as being required, it is hugely important that you actually hold this required specification. These specs are carefully and thoughtfully designed to give you an idea as to whether or not you are suited to this role. If you think you are able for a position but unsure whether to apply, simply pick up the phone to the advertiser/recruiter and ask the question. It never hurts to try. 3. Set Up a LinkedIn Profile Anyone who is serious about securing a new role should have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile set up. LinkedIn is your opportunity to network, to connect with recruiter(s) and follow companies of interest to you, giving you a front row seat to all updates from both recruiters and companies on new roles. Not only this, but when looking to fill new roles, hiring managers and recruiters will often search LinkedIn for specific skills, experience or job titles in the hunt for new candidates and talent for ready to fill roles – if you’re on LinkedIn with the required talents and an up to date CV, you’re going to be found. Keep active on LinkedIn too as the more activity on your page, the more traffic you attract. Be sure you’re constantly updating your page with relevant dates, new skills and new qualifications – I mean what’s the point in having them if you’re not going to show them off? 4. Expect Follow Up – Be Available Always be sure when you’re putting your contact details on your CV, that you are in fact contactable! There is no point in including your email address if you’re not checking your emails regularly. Similarly, if you are including a telephone number, make sure you can actually take calls. If you’re going to focus your energy on a job hunt, you need to be able to make a little time to discuss it too. Of course, understandably every now and then you will miss a call, so it’s important to make sure you have voicemail set up (which you check) and that you return your missed calls. Failing to follow up on missed calls not only means you might have just missed out on a great opportunity, but it could also make you look like you’re not taking this job search seriously and may deter the person who is looking to fill this role from reaching out to you in the future. 5. Keep Track of Applications When applying for a number of roles at once, I would suggest keeping track of the roles you’ve applied to. Whether this is in a small notepad and you’re jotting down the Job Title, Duties and Experience, or a more sophisticated spreadsheet (for the super organised), it will allow you to recall which roles to follow up on, or will refresh your memory on a particular role when the hiring manager or recruiter calls to discuss your application. It should also prompt you towards what questions to ask so you can get as much out of the conversation as possible too – letting them know what you want and why you’re interested in this role. 6. Be Patient The main thing to remember though is to be both realistic and patient with yourself (and the process). Your ideal role won’t always present itself immediately so give yourself time to find it. There’s no point in settling for the wrong role right now…wait for what you want and it’s usually worth it.
What is the best job to apply for? Do I have the right experience? Is my CV presentable? How do I prepare for this interview? Job seeking can be daunting and it can be very hard to answer all these questions yourself. The natural inclination for many is to look at job hunting as a numbers game and send your CV to as many companies and vacancies as possible. Surely, by the law of averages, you will get in somewhere, right? This approach is outdated and will extend your job-hunt time significantly while putting you in danger of missing out on that perfect job. Using a reputable recruitment agency offers you dedicated professional assistance to guide you through the process from start to finish while offering a wide variety of benefits; CV Help Recruiters invest their time in you and your CV. Your CV is your first opportunity to make an impression with the decision makers in the company you are applying to. Therefore, it is important to go through it with a fine-tooth comb to ensure your skills and experience are a match to the specific job requirements. Recruiters are well-versed at teasing out relevant information that may correlate to the specific job specifications from your employment history. You will then be advised on how to make your CV stand out from the others, with the aim of securing an interview with your desired company. Relationship with the Company and the Hiring Managers Sigmar Recruitment has established long-standing relationships with large multinationals, SME’s and start-ups across a variety of industries. Our recruiters have a direct line to the HR departments and decision makers in the companies that we hire for. We know when the jobs are coming up, what they are looking for both in terms of specific job requirements and cultural fit. Through liaising with hiring managers, our recruiters are able to ascertain the real requirements for the job, exactly what they are looking for in a candidate. Navigating Recruitment Management Systems Direct applications are becoming a thing of the past. If you have applied direct to a company, we cannot represent you for that company for a period of 6-12 months, under their Recruitment Management Restrictions. This means that an application that you haven’t put any thought into can hold you back from applying to your dream company for several months. Further to this, it is important to note that an application isn’t role specific and Recruitment Management Restrictions could apply even if you simply create a profile on a company website and don’t necessarily apply to any jobs. If you see a role advertised that is of interest – Contact your dedicated Sigmar Recruitment Consultant to see about them submitting an application on your behalf! Feedback A recruiter can provide you with timely feedback at every stage of the process, offering both formal and informal feedback. On the contrary, a direct application can often result in frustration whereby you, being any one of a hundred applicants on that day, apply directly and hear nothing back. Recruiters have a direct line of contact to the hiring manager expediting the process. Recruiters can also forward on your thoughts on the business and interview panellists after the interview, which may be able to put you in an even better light. Interview preparation So, the recruiter has submitted your (now amazing) CV to your dream company, and you have secured an interview… Now what? You will be provided with extensive interview preparation to ensure that you will be fully prepared to wow the interviewer. Over a coffee or a brief meeting at a time that suits you, you will go through mock interviews, be provided with insights on what the companies are looking for, what type of questions they ask and offered guidance on how best to answer them. You will walk into the interview confident and ready to knock ‘em dead! Negotiate on your behalf Negotiating salary and benefits can be unnerving, so why not leave it to the experts? Recruiters spend five days a week negotiating terms, conditions, salaries and rates. Recruiters are well-versed, they know what to ask, how to ask and what is attainable. It’s Free The service that recruitment agencies provide for the candidate is free of charge. The company that hires you will be charged a fee when you start working but this will in not affect you in any respect. If you are looking to move jobs or simply want to see what’s out there contact get in touch with us by email or call. If you are coming from a different background/industry/location pop onto our website: www.sigmarrecruitment.com and reach out to any of our dedicated Recruitment Consultants.
As an old saying goes you cannot fit a square peg in a round hole so before you take that job offer, ask yourself- ‘Is this company somewhere I can truly picture myself?’ You need to work in an environment that you look forward to being in everyday, an environment that inspires you to do the very best you can do. A positive company culture that suits you will drive your passion to succeed whilst fueling your ambition and determination to climb to the top of whatever cooperate ladder you belong to. Otherwise, it will be the cause of you wishing with every bone of your body as the 7am alarm buzzes on dark winter mornings, that you could go back to sleep. Here’s some things to do see if you are aligned with the culture of a company you may be looking to work for: 1. Do Your Research Find out as much about the company as you possibly can. Have a creep around their website, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Accounts or threads on boards.ie or Glassdoor can also be very useful for behind the scenes gossip but be very wary of them and take them with a pinch of salt as they are anonymous comments and we have no idea as to the honesty, profile or past experiences of the commentator. 2. Values & Goals Values determine behaviour and decisions so it is important that an employer’s and an employee’s values match. If you do not agree with the values the company complies by, the work load and even minute tasks will prove to be difficult for you. When we as employees cannot comprehend or agree with the values of a company the decisions we make will be out of alignment with the company’s current practices and that will cause a whole lot of extra work and stress, which nobody needs. Your vision for the future should also match where the company aims to go. There is no point accepting a job when you have no interest in what the company itself is aiming to build. 3. Work Environment If you are not fortunate enough to know someone already working there, use your interview to assess the work environment and way in which the company works. Some of you may be social butterflies who can work in an open plan office chatting the day away whilst still meeting your goals and deadlines. More of you may prefer a quiet space where you can put your head down, get your work done and scurry off before having to interact with anyone. Also do not forget that in your interview the employers are also assessing whether you would be a good cultural fit for their company or not. Some questions you could take the opportunity to ask the interviewers may include: If you could describe the company’s culture in three words what would you say? Are the work hours strict or do you offer flexibility? If lucky enough to get this position what type of office environment would I be in? Is there reward structures or incentives in place? How would you describe the work culture on this team? 4. Social Does the company’s present culture fit in with your lifestyle? Perhaps everyone in the office is an avid sports fan but you cannot tell a football from a tennis racket, or maybe the only out of work activity on offer is drinks in the local bar on a Friday night when you need to be at home with the kids. If social activities are important to you to get to know your colleagues and to also help you meet that work life balance that is congruent with positive mental health you need to make sure the social benefits and activities the company works around suit you and at the very least appeal to you! Finally let me tell you to listen to your gut! You more than likely got a feeling from the interviewers, present employees you passed in the hallway or even the receptionist at the front door as to what the atmosphere in the company is like and if you received warm, welcoming vibes that’s usually a good sign. Think about what you want, what type of workplace will work for you and just go find it! Maybe you are looking for flexible hours, need incentives to reach targets or seek a social club to build relationships with your colleagues, either way the company with the perfect culture for you does exist. You just have to relax and take the time to find it. So now, when offered your next position instead of accepting it right away based off its six figure salary (hey we can dream) take the time to consider is it really a good fit for you?
The one question I am always asked when preparing a candidate for an interview is “how do I answer the weakness question?” The worst reaction you can have to this question is to say I don’t have a weakness. Everyone has a weakness and the reason the interviewer is asking this question is to see how you act outside your comfort zone. People often make the common mistake of trying to turn a negative into a positive. An example of this would be I’m a perfectionist or I work too hard. These answers are boring and show the interviewer you have put very little thought into his/her question. Also you are not actually answering the question you’re just trying to put a clever spin on it.Another mistake candidates make is being too honest. Never mention a weakness that you have if it is going to stop you from getting the job. So don’t answer “I’m lazy” or that “I’m always late” as this is not what your potential new employer wants to hear. The trick to answering this is in the same way you would answer any interview question and that’s by preparing your answer in advance. It can be very difficult to talk about your flaws in a stressful situation like an interview so make sure you spend time preparing your answer. These are a few ways to best answer the weakness question: 1. Pick a weakness that is acceptable for the job Don’t pick a skill or requirement that is on the job spec that you don’t have and say it is your main weakness. This will only put doubt into the interviewers head. 2. Pick a weakness that you can develop For this type of answer you might think of an example where you had a weakness but developed it over the course of your time in prior employment. 3. Describe your weakness in a concise way Don’t go into loads of detail on this question. They are asking you your weakness so be brief and don’t come across as negative. A common answer that candidates often use when asked the weakness question is on their delegation skills. Here you can mention a time when you used to have the mentality that only you could do the job but over time you realised that it was actually slowing the work down and by delegating to other staff members the job was done quicker. This answer is perfect to give but it depends on what job you are going for. If you are going for a managerial role where managing and delegating work will be part of your job description then don’t use delegating as your weakness. Every question in an interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself, so it is important you never miss a genuine opportunity and the weakness question is no different. Treat it like you would any interview questions that you find hard and prepare your answer.
Face to face interviews can be scary, but with the added pressure of presenting during an interview anyone can become a nervous wreck. Here are our tips to help you ace your interview presentation. Structure Your Presentation A strong structure is the most important thing to get right. The aim is to keep the interviewer’s attention through presenting engaging and relevant content. Plan out what you want to say through brainstorming. Draw a map showing how each point links to the next. Make sure the points you are making fit within the companies aim and objectives, thus showing the research you have done. The key thing is not to waffle. A basic outline for any presentation should have: Introduction: Give a brief overview of the subject of the presentation and what you wish to cover Elaborate: Discuss the subject in as much detail as time will allow using as little slides as possible Conclusion: Sum up what you have spoken about adding in your thoughts where necessary N.B. A useful slide to include would be a “Why Me?” slide. At the end of the day you want them to hire you for the job so this should be one point they take home. Be Visual Use your slides to keep the panel engaged as reading from slides will send anyone into a daydream. Use bullet points and images as much as possible to keep your audience attentive. Other things to include: Provide hand-outs for them to read and to take away (but give them out at the end!) Have inviting body language (do not cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets) Do not be afraid to use gestures (it will draw their attention back to you) Practice Makes Perfect Preparation is a vital part of any interview and this will help overcome nerves. You should be given enough time to prepare your presentation in advance. Use this time wisely and practice until you know everything off by heart. Additional things to perfect include tone of voice and gestures. Worried you might trip over your words? Ask a friend to help you practise your presentation until you’re completely confident. The key is to talk naturally as this will show the panel that you understand your area and that you are the best person for the job. Pronounce Every Word Clearly When you are nervous there is a temptation to speak fast to quicken the whole process; you must resist this. Add commas to your notes to signal where to take breaths and regularly pause to collect your thoughts. Speaking clearly will ensure that the panel understand your points and won’t be interrupting the presentation to ask questions. Eye Contact Presentations can be a lot harder than face to face interviews as the interviewee is the main talker. One sure way to ensure that people stay engaged is to maintain eye contact using friendly eyes. It is important to shift eye contact to everyone on the panel to keep everyone engaged and listening. There Will Be Questions Doing a presentation doesn’t mean that you will not be asked more questions. It is still an interview and the interviewer/s will still have questions to ask. They will more than likely ask about you and your presentation so be prepared. For further interview advice and/or to discuss career opportunities call 01-4744624 or send a confidential email to Alan at email@example.com
Performance reviews can be slightly nerve wrecking especially if it’s your first one in a new company or with a new manager. These meetings are used to set future targets, review ongoing or past projects, and discuss career progression. Employees can use these meetings to their advantage by bringing up issues they have in their roles, discuss ideas that could improve the company’s processes and explain the outcome of different projects that they have done. Here’s our guide on what to focus on and how to get the most out of your time with your manager. Performance: You need to have an open mind when speaking with your manager regarding your performance and understand that all feedback, good or bad, is delivered to ensure you improve. This is not an exercise in shaming you or making you feel inferior – if your manager expresses concern or gives you advice on poor performance in an area, ask them what you need to do to improve. If you have a genuine reason in response to their concern express it, but don’t get defensive. This could show your inability to take criticism which is a very important trait if you want to become successful. If you get good reviews, be gracious and don’t do the Irish thing and brush it off! Take it on board and move on. Career Progression: Don’t run before you can walk. The key thing to remember is to not start your review by asking for a step up. If you want to ask whether you’re up for promotion, first hear what your manager has to say. Your manager is the one who will know if you are ready for a jump so listen and listen well, if you have more work to do, ask what needs to be done and get the head down. Salary: This is always a question that makes people nervous to ask their boss. While you may be in line for a raise, if you haven’t got the guts to ask you most likely won’t get one. A salary increase should reflect your increased performance against a target or a general overall improvement in your work or increase in responsibilities. Go in with a positive attitude and make sure you to back up your request with success stories or good figures and ask with good grace. Be prepared: Remember to give yourself plenty of time to prepare your figure, accomplishments and a list of what you want to discuss. If you have been sitting on a problem for a while, this is a good time to get it off your chest but make sure you have things straight in your head. A good manager is always willing to listen to your concerns but if you waffle on and have no real information, chances are your point will be missed. Clear your diary beforehand so you are fully prepared and no late nights the night before. You need to have your game face on and be ready to wow and impress and tackle any questions you’re faced with Finally, a review is an important part of a role and it’s good for building relationships with your manager so if they are particularly busy, try to gently remind them that you are due a catch up and you feel it’s important to you and your role. Take on board what your manager has to say and stay positive! Most reviews end well so chin up!
One of the easiest questions to fall down on in an interview is answering the question “What would you consider to be your greatest strength?” The reason the interviewer asks this question is to help him/her decide whether or not you are the strongest applicant for the job. People tend not to like talking themselves up but this is the perfect opportunity for you to do just that. When you are asked the question about your strengths it is important to pick attributes that will qualify you for the job. Candidates often make the common mistake of saying the generic strengths like “I’m hard working” or “I’m a perfectionist” but this is not the best way to answer the question. You need to make it specific to you and relevant to the job for it to carry weight with an interviewer. Make sure you pick a strength that you actually possess not one just because it is in the requirements as you will be caught out if the interviewer decides to probe you a bit more. When answering this question in an interview you should use the job spec as a guide. All job specs will have a list of requirements or attributes needed for the role so before the interview take time to match your strengths to the requirements of the job. Tips on how to answer the strengths question: Describe your strengths in detail Go into as much detail as you need to best sell yourself. This is a chance to put your best foot forward and show the interviewer you are the best candidate for the job. Use the job spec as a guide The job spec tells you exactly what they are looking for. Use it as a guide when coming up with your relevant strengths. Use examples Use examples to back up your answer. It’s all well and good telling the interviewer your strengths but you need to back them up with examples. Examples help to show you have the experience required. Common mistakes to avoid: Lack of preparation Most candidates who answer this question poorly fail to prepare sufficiently. Prepare your answer in advance and it will be much easier to articulate in an interview. Picking vague strengths Not picking a strength unique to you. Try not to mention a strength that anyone off the street can use. Pick a strength that is personable to you but also that is relevant for the role. The trick to answering this is in the same way you would any other interview question and that is by preparing your answer in advance. If the job you are interviewing for fits your skills set and personality then answering questions like this should be easy to answer. It is important you never miss a genuine opportunity and the greatest strengths question could not be a more perfect setting for selling yourself.