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10 Common Mistakes You May Have Made in Online Job Hunting

10 Common Mistakes You May Have Made in Online Job Hunting

While experts found that recent growth in the UK labor market may be about to stagnate, the national rate of unemployment fell to a respectable 7.2% last month. This is primarily considered to be the result of a wider economic recovery. It also reflects trends that are unfolding in developed nations throughout the world.

In addition to an improving climate, however, there are factors that have helped connect job seekers with the employment market. One of the most prominent is the rise of online and mobile recruitment techniques, which are becoming widely used and remain popular among more than 86% of job seekers.

Given the fact that online recruitment remains a relatively new practice, job seekers continue to make mistakes when searching and applying for roles. These can have a detrimental impact on your chances of finding work, consider the following before you begin to reach out towards e-recruitment websites:

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1. Recycling the Same Cover Letter for Every Application

The online realm is a deceptively compact space, where professionals interact on a daily basis. With this in mind, it is a strong possibility that online recruitment firms share information on potential candidates, which in turn can highlight inconsistencies in your resume or the use of a standardized cover letter across multiple applications. The latter can be detrimental to the pursuit of any job, as it suggests that you do little to distinguish between individual roles of employment prior to making contact.

2. Not Researching Individual Employers and Businesses

There is a certain transparency about job hunting online, as roles are advertised complete with a detailed description, directions, and information concerning annual remuneration. While this can help you make an informed decision when considering applications, it is important not to become complacent and neglect the importance of researching every potential employer. By delving beneath the surface of a job description and considering the philosophy of the firm in question, you can accurately determine whether or not it is the right option for you.

3. Letting Greed Dictate Your Job Choice

On a similar note, it is easy to lose sight of your motivation to work when viewing a high volume of potential opportunities. By becoming too regimented in your approach and listing jobs in terms of salary, for example, you are allowing yourself to be driven by greed rather than considering other important factors such as job security, long-term prospects, and the potential for progression. Before you turn away any application, take time to remember your priorities and consider whether the job in question will enable you to achieve your professional and personal goals.

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4. Failing to Apply Because You Don’t Consider Yourself a Good Match for the Role

Occasionally, you find an online opportunity appealing, only to be deterred from applying because you lack a specific qualification or relevant experience. This is a huge mistake, as you may have compensating factors that make you a viable candidate for the role. It is better to let professional recruiters do their job and make an informed decision, rather than limiting your opportunities because of perceived inadequacies.

5. Applying for Jobs Without Genuine Understanding of the Role

On the flip-side, it is important that you have some understanding of any potential job before you apply. If you lack any of the required qualifications or are unable to showcase relevant experience as demanded by the employer, you may need to exercise your better judgement and find a more suitable role. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting everyone’s time and potentially damaging your credibility as a candidate.

6. Showing Frustration Online

Whether you have been unemployed for a single day or an entire year, hunting for jobs online can be extremely frustrating. Recruitment firms are not always proactive when providing information about a specific application; while potential employers can take a great deal of time when making a final decision. You cannot afford to manifest your negative emotions through online communications. This will discourage recruiters from working with you and ultimately hinder your chances of impressing employers.

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7. Letting Pride Get in the Way of a Good Job

While the employment market has experienced genuine growth in recent times, there are industries that have been hit hard by previous recessions and due to the advent of technology. If you find yourself out of work due to a decline within your industry, be willing to start again and perhaps re-enter the employment market by accepting a low-paid, temporary position if necessary. If pride prevents you from taking such a step, you may find yourself out of work for a prolonged period of time.

8. Failing to Market Yourself or Skills

Thanks to professional networking tools, it is possible to use social media as a way of engaging potential employers and thought leaders within your chosen industry. These tools provide a platform from which you can market yourself and unique skills, whether academic accreditations or characteristics that help you to stand out from the crowd. If you are not proactive in showcasing and marketing these skills, you will lose out to more aggressive candidates who are willing to promote themselves.

9. Creating a Bland or Generic Resume

While there may only be a set number of formats that you can use when creating your resume, it is crucial that its content is concise, informative, and details the value that you can bring to a company. If you are unable to achieve this, you will be left with a bland and meaningless resume that fails to hold the attention of recruiters and employers. Avoid including mundane and irrelevant information, and refrain from extending your resume over four or five pages.

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10. Failing to Regulate Your Social Media

Although the principles of social media and professional networking can be used to showcase your credibility as a candidate, there are also pitfalls to using an online and real-time medium. This is especially true with resources such as Twitter, where the lines between professional and personal can become blurred over time. It is crucial that you regulate your output on social media, while also preventing friends from referencing you in relation to inappropriate content.

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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