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 jobDon’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 developFor 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 wayDon’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.
Your CV is your sales document. Make sure to target your CV for each job you apply for. Your CV should mirror the job spec of the job you are applying for, ticking all of the requirements for the role. Create a first draftWrite all your qualifications, experience, employment history, personal history, hobbies and interests, including all relevant information under headings. Now write down everything you’ve gained personally from these experiences – skills, insights, personal growth (in paragraphs). At this stage just write as many pages as you need to get the brainstorming process done – only later on will we be concerned with cutting it down. Filter out the unimportantYou can’t tell potential employers your entire history, but you can highlight the important details for them: these will include skills, insights and abilities that you have been able to develop, as well as your academic qualifcations and what you gained from your studies and experience. Keep it conciseEliminate unnecessary details.HR departments have lots to do, so don’t make the mistake of asking them to read through an unnecessarily long CV. HR departments won’t read a lengthy CV if they are short on time, short on patience, or have a lot of CVs to wade through.Remember that there may be a pile of CVs a foot high for some positions!CV’s should be around two pages in length, although it may be longer if you have to describe a lot of relevant work experience. Even a two page CV is of no advantage if it’s full of information that isn’t reasonably applicable to the position you’re qualified or applying for. Use the space only if you need it to fully disclose your accomplishments. Include the Basic informationEven if you have entered this information into this site, you should still include it on your CV. When the recruiter makes the call to say you have been accepted, your CV is the only document he or she will hold in their hands. Make sure it at least has all your personal information such as:NameAddressTelephone NumberDate of BirthNationality, including visa and work permit statusLanguages (level for both written and verbalDriving License (if you have one) State long term objectivesWhat are your short and long term career aims and objectives? Do you have any preferences for the type of work you want to undertake? (Don’t be too restrictive. It is better to be general about your career aspirations at this stage, for example, Business Related, IT). Don’t include short term objectivesYour short-term objectives should be clearly articulated in your cover letter. If you do include objectives, be specific. Vague statements, such as “Looking to utilise my marketing skills” or “seeking a rewarding position” add nothing to a CV and may in fact make you appear insincere. Include your Employment historyAll your employment is important whether it is part-time, temporary, voluntary, vacation work or Saturday only. It should be presented in reverse chronological order, most recent first.Give dates, name of employer, job titles etc. Include your Education historyList your most recent qualifications first, including:Dates, Institution – Name of Degree Course etcDegree Classification. It is not necessary to list all the modulesyou have studiedTechnical qualificationsAchievements / Positions of Responsibility Include Hobbies / InterestsBe Positive! Use “power words” such as “developed,” “managed,” and “designed” to emphasise your accomplishments. Stick your chest out and don’t be afraid to tell people what you’ve done. Produce a well-organised professional documentYou’ll generate a better response from your curriculum vitae if it is well organised and is packed with relevant information to match and support your professional, academic or career objective. Be honest!There is a huge difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified CV can be easily spotted by a recruiter or employer (if not immediately then certainly through the interview process), and if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the job, it will cost you the job later on. Use good document layoutMake your CV easy on the eyes. Use normal margins (one inch at the top and bottom, one and a quarter inch on the sides) and don’t cram your information onto the page.Allow for some “white space” between the different sections.Avoid unusual or exotic font styles; use simple fonts with a professional look.Do not use more than two fonts throughout the entire document. If you aren’t sure of the fonts to use, try a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica for the headings, and a serif font such as Times Roman for the rest of the text. Put the good stuff at the startOne big mistake that job seekers often make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. As you compile statements for your CV, prioritise them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember that a strong statement, which uses power words and quantifies, will affect every statement under it. Re-read!Read through your CV. Ask someone else to read through your CV carefully once you are finished. When you have been working on your CV for hours, it can be difficult to spot the errors.
We’ve all got responsibilities such as working and building a career, running a household and/or raising children which can all be very overwhelming and lead to lots of stress. Here are 10 things you can do to start feeling better and minimising stress: 1. Identify causes of stress What triggers your stressful feelings? Are they related to your workplace, children and family, friendships, finances or something else? Once you’ve identified the trigger, you can get down to the root of your stress and find the best ways to handle it. 2. Recognize how you deal with stress Are you using unhealthy behaviours to cope with work or life stress? For example are you using sleep deprivation, smoking, consumption of alcohol or junk food as a means of coping? 3. Get a good night’s sleep A lack of sleep can result in an increase in stress as a person will not be able to stay focused at work. Sleep deprivation also impairs our decision making ability as we are unable to think clearly. Getting 8 hours sleep a night will help improve a person’s health as you will be able to stay alert throughout the day. 4. Eat a balanced diet Hectic work schedules leave us short on time to prepare healthy meals for ourselves and people then have a tendency to grab fast foods. However eating a balanced nutritional diet will help you stay healthy and keep your brain alert. Deficiency in food nutrients such as lack of vitamin B in the body can result in depression and irritability. Also when a person is under stress, vitamins C and E may be lost. 5. Exercise When you exercise, your brain produces “feel good” transmitters called endorphins. Producing these endorphins will help you deal with stress healthily as people who exercise regularly have more energy. 6. Stay organized It is an overwhelming feeling to think that there are not enough hours in the day. Therefore it is imperative that you manage your time. Come up with a daily plan and keep a diary to keep yourself on track. 7. Do not procrastinate Work piles up when you keep on delaying tasks. There is no use putting off for tomorrow what can be done today. 8. Don’t take on more than you can handle at work Avoid creating your own stress by over-scheduling and failing to say no when too much is asked. Don’t overpromise, and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help/delegate if you can’t meet all the demands placed on you. 9. Ask for support Accepting a hand from supportive friends and family can help you persevere during stressful times. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist who can help you manage stress. 10. Finally, treat yourself When you accomplish a personal goal or finish a project, do something nice for yourself. Go out for a round of golf with friends or take a weekend break with your family. Treating yourself between tasks can help take the edge off and prepare you for the next challenge.
The supply chain industry in Ireland continued to grow in the last 12 months with a number of multinational companies setting up EMEA manufacturing or virtual headquarters across the country from Galway to Cork and Athlone to Dublin. Candidates are coming to the Irish market in large numbers, in particular experienced Irish supply chain professionals are returning from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. This in turn increases supply of candidates but they are being more selective of the jobs and the salaries they require. There is currently a gap in the market between what companies are paying and what candidates can now demand. In 2016 salaries increased in the pharmaceutical, medical devices and food industries, however companies with exposure to Brexit in terms of exports will keep salaries constant as they navigate the ramifications of the changing political landscape. After speaking with senior managers and directors all year about developments at their companies a number of key trends have emerged. Real-Time Tracking for Consumers is Paramount for Customer Engagement For any company that is supplying produce or specific products directly to consumers, real time tracking is essential to keep the customer engaged. With the world being “smaller” and more connected, consumers have a myriad of choice when it comes to spending their money. This leads to impulse buys and the expediency of a speedy delivery, is essential. This is making the visibility of tracking technology used by the company directly or third party logistics (3pl) providers vital. Plan, Plan, Plan – Improvements are Always Needed Brexit, currency fluctuations, increased tariffs, geographical disruption – supply shocks are everywhere. 2016 was a year of turbulence and change with most of the aforementioned occurrences unpredicted at the start of the year. However, regular planning or even reactive planning to changing market conditions was essential for nearly every company dealing with a changing geo-political environment in Ireland, the EU and beyond. Flexible Supply Chains V Lean Supply Chains The focus over the past number of years, and rightly so, has been to champion Lean principles throughout the supply chain. This has led to companies reducing costs and trying to improve processes on a regular basis. Between supply shocks and the changing global economic and political landscape, companies can be left with major stock shortages affecting key parts of their supply chain. With consumers being more transient, keeping or maintaining service delivery through a period of disruption is key. More and more companies have set up excess stock facilities and depots for excess raw materials to insure continuation of supply instead of irreparable damage to their brand over the long term period. With expansions and new system implementations rampant as companies seek to increase market share and deliver a better service offering to consumers, supply chain experience to improve and create a flexible supply chain for a European marketplace is being sought in the form of senior contractors for certain durations from 2 months to 2 years. For those in Supply Chain or interested in getting into it, courses to upskill in a different ERP system would be hugely beneficial the movement evermore to Big Data and its usages across the supply chain function. Supply chain qualifications as a primary degree are becoming more in demand, putting certain candidates at a disadvantage therefore bettering a qualification is advisable. Undertaking a supply chain course, particularly one with classroom participation, thus drawing from other students’ supply chain experience would be advisable as more and more companies are looking for people to have a supply chain qualification on top of their initial degree.