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Enter the Video Job Application!

Enter the Video Job Application!

When you start to look for a new job, you probably think about application forms, CVs and interviews. Maybe you also think about aptitude tests, personality tests and making presentations, but what most people do not think about is making a video job application.  At least they don’t presently think about making a videothat could change. More employers are starting to see the value of using a video job application process. When you apply for a job in the future, you may be asked to use this approach, but before that happens, learn how to make the most of the opportunity.

Decide What to Cover

Job interviews are all about questions and answers, so if you’re asked to make a video job application, it makes sense to use the same format as the conventional one. Your prospective employer may send you a list of questions that you should cover in your video, but if not, then you have the opportunity to create your own list.  In such a case, resist the temptation to prepare to reveal your life story: instead, draw up a list of questions that relate to the role you’re applying for. Think carefully about the type of information that will be of interest to an employer.

Here are four questions to include in your list:

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  1. Why do I want to join your company?
  2. Why do I believe I will be an asset to your company?
  3. Which of my skills do I believe I can use to your benefit?
  4. What specific contribution do I hope to make to your company?

Add to the list as needed.

Be Prepared

When you prepare for a job interview, you prepare well: you choose the right clothing to wear and focus on creating the right sort of impression when you are on your prospective employer’s premises. In the interview room, you are careful about how you speak; you are most likely formal in your approach, as well as polite and respectful.  You know you are being watched and assessed all the time, so you ensure your behaviour fits the circumstances.

The same is true about your video job application.

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You want to create a good impression on video, so you will need to practice how you intend to sit, such as making sure you avoid lounging in your chair. You’ll also need to plan how you’re going to speak, and adopt the right mix of formality and informality in your statements.

Remember that you are speaking to real people, even though they are not in the room with you. Plan to speak to the camera as though it were the chairperson of the interview panel.

Answer the Questions Effectively

You control the process when you create your video job application, so you have every opportunity to do a good job. Do yourself a favourget someone off-camera to ask you the questions you intend to answer, then answer them as though were in an interview.  This approach works, as it’s much easier to sustain a dialogue on camera than it is to deliver a monologue. You know the questions you will be asked, so there is no excuse for a lack of preparedness on your part. Answer with confidence and make sure you cover all the points you want to make.

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What’s really helpful about a video job application is that if you don’t like the way you answered a specific question the first time you record your response, you can try again and again until you’re happy with how things look. Be prepared to practice.

Adopt a Professional Approach

It’s important to differentiate yourself from other people when you make your video job application. In a conventional job interview process, a panel will allocate a certain amount of time to each candidate’s interview, and the assessment panel will do the same with video applications.

To make the most of your opportunity to impress, do the following:

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  1. Keep your video shortif it’s longer than five minutes, don’t expect people to view it.
  2. Make a good impression right from the beginning.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression, whether on video or in the real world.
  3. Make your best points first. Make people think that you are a knowledgeable and interesting candidate in the first half-minute, and the assessment panel just might decide to watch more of your video.

Video job applications make sense: They save employers time and money, they help with the screening of candidates, and they can help with short-listing candidates as well. If you’re looking for a new job, you need to make sure you present a good impression, whether in an interview or on video.  You might not be asked to shoot a video today or tomorrow, but it could happen sooner than you think: make sure you’re ready for it.

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5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

1. Take breaks

First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

3. Put your work first

This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

5. Try to be happy and optimistic

If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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