Jobseeking | Collins McNicholas

Time to Make a New Year Career Resolution

Time to Make a New Year Career ResolutionLike most people I make new year’s resolutions, and like most people by the end of January they lie in ruins. The changes I so desired to make just a few weeks earlier have failed to materialise as I let myself slip back into old habits, consoling myself with the thought that I was being unrealistic with my plans in the first place. It doesn’t have to be this way. What you need is a plan, a roadmap that will give you the structure you need to stay disciplined in pursuit of your goals. If your new year’s resolution is to progress your career, you cannot afford to be casual in the way you pursue it. You don’t want to be putting the same resolutions on next year’s list too. Most people think that all they have to do is update their CV, send it out to a few agencies, and sit back and wait for the job offers to come in. They are wrong. If you are serious about developing your career in 2017 here are 9 things you can do: Set Goals– how can you progress your career without taking some time out to think about what you want to do? Decide where you want to be in five years and figure out what you need to do to make it happen. Speak to people who are currently doing that job and find out how they got there. Update your CV – your CV needs to to be clear and easy to read. Hiring managers don’t have time to comb through your CV looking for the right information, they will just move on to the next CV. It is vital to have a well-structured CV that is fully to date. We have lots of CV tips and templates on www.collinsmcnicholas.ie Take on a project at work – this will allow you to gain experience, develop new skills, and give you an opportunity to impress your superiors. It may allow you to work across different offices and departments and gain exposure to other senior managers in your company. Should you decide to change jobs it will be a great point to make at interviews. Find a mentor – this is something that is normally best done on an informal basis but some organisations have put in place formal mentoring programmes to help develop talent within their organisations. It is great to have an experienced professional that can offer advice on how to progress your career and deal with certain situations in the workplace. You should always look to learn from people will more experience than you. There are always ways to get better at what you do. Take a course – doing a course shows your commitment to lifelong learning and personal development and is always a strong point to make at an interview. It will also give you useful new skills. Update your LinkedIn profile – this should reflect your CV and there should be no discrepancies between your CV and your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you use all the functionality available within LinkedIn. Join relevant groups and make comments about topics you have an interest in. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for online networking but it is important to engage with LinkedIn on at least a weekly basis. Employers commonly use LinkedIn to find suitable job candidates. Build your network on LinkedIn – the more connections you have the more likely you are to be spotted by an employer. Network – networking is still best done face to face. Go to industry events or career fairs and use these events to build your network and meet new people. Bring plenty of business cards and make sure you follow up afterwards. You never know when you will make that crucial connection that will lead to a great career opportunity so take every chance you can get to meet professionals in your industry. Research the market – look at the activity of other companies in your industry to see how your skills and experience match their strategy. Could they be organizations to target? Monitor the IDA and Enterprise Ireland websites regularly to keep up to date on companies that are setting up or expanding in Ireland. Build good relationships with a number of trusted recruiters – build relationships with a small number of professional recruiters. Meet with the recruiters in person, or at a minimum have a conversation with them over the phone. Blasting out large numbers of emails and not following up with the recruiters will not work. Finally, set aside some time each week to review how your job search is going, check the various websites and review what is working. Your plan should be constantly evolving as you go. Choosing to develop your career is the best resolution you can make. Happy job hunting in 2017!! For further information on CV, interview and job searching tips check out: www.collinsmcnicholas.ie/jobseekers/ Niall Murray Managing Director Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services...

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5 reasons to start your job search in December with Collins McNicholas!

December isn’t just a time for Christmas shopping, it is also the best time of year to shop around for a new job. You might think that December is a quiet month for companies while they focus on year-end activities, but thankfully the need for hiring doesn’t stop in the build up to Christmas. People are always on the move, and companies are always looking towards their next project. Job searching can take up a lot of time, and many people decide to wait until the New Year to kick off their job searches. But procrastinating now could cost you a missed opportunity in January. Our advice is to start searching now – get in contact with one of our Recruitment Consultants, connect with them on LinkedIn, send us an updated CV and start applying for jobs in the run up to Christmas. Need further convincing? Here are 5 good reasons why you should start your job search in December with Collins McNicholas: Reason 1: Companies want to hire now, not later. Regardless of the time of year, if a company needs to fill a role, they need to hire now. If a company needs to ramp up hiring for a project, they will need to hire straight away. If a role becomes vacant because someone has changed jobs, the company will need to fill that role quickly. If a role has been open for a number of months, companies will be anxious to fill that role before year end. So, if you see a newly posted job, you should assume that the company is actively recruiting and interviewing...

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7 Key Points for Newly Qualified Accountants

For those of you that are approaching the end of your Accountancy exams and are awaiting results at the end of the month, the end is nigh. The hard slog is over. For many it is now time to sit down and plan your first career move post training contract. It can be difficult to fully focus on your long term career when you are trying to balance study and work commitments so for many trainee accountants this is put to one side until they receive their final results. The good news is that there is no shortage of opportunities available to qualified accountants at this present time and this outlook does not appear to be changing any time soon. With so many options available, this article is aimed at assisting those looking to take the next step by providing 7 key points to consider: Practice or Industry – for many this decision does not take much thought. Do you prefer the customer facing element of practice or would you prefer a more strategic and commercially focused role in industry? Structure – organisational structure has a profound effect on the nature of the work you will do in your next role. What type of structure do you want to work in? Multinational, SME, Shared Services Centre, Large Indigenous Business or perhaps a Start Up. CV – this represents your personal brand and it is imperative that it leaves a lasting impression. Ensure you allocate sufficient time to getting this right from the start. It is important to highlight the type of clients you worked with throughout your training. E.g....

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The Olympic Recruitment Race

    The repetitiveness of applying for jobs continuously can sometimes feel like running a marathon; drawn-out, tiring, painstaking and seemingly never-ending. However, using the right tools and going about it the right away can turn a marathon into a 100 metre sprint. Preparation Have an up to date CV and cover letter ready to go. It should be well-written, neatly formatted and include all of the key information for obtaining the role. This is a crucial first step in your preparation. Just like an athlete tailors her preparation to maximise her chances in each race, your CV and cover letter should be tailored specifically for each job you apply for. Don’t send out the same old tired, generic CV over and over.Application forms require a lot of attention to detail so make sure you fill these out carefully. A mistake can harm your chances of being progressed to interview stage. Performance under Pressure Once you have gotten past the application stage next comes the interview. This section is down to your performance on the day, but with proper preparation success is achievable. Remember, failing to prepare means you are preparing to fail. Take an athletes approach to preparation and practice your answers again and again until you can perform them without hesitation. Being able to perform when the pressure is on is what separates good athletes from great athletes and good job candidates from great job candidates. So, as part of your preparation, know who you will be meeting, practice your interview questions and competency questions to make sure you won’t stumble and fall along the way, and dress for success. Post-Performance...

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5 Things You Should Always Do When You Start a New Job

Starting a new job can be a nerve wracking experience. You don’t know what to expect: will the people working there be friendly, will my boss be nice, or how long will it take me to figure out what I need to do? The following are my top guidelines to help you get off to a great start in your new job. Tip 1 – Good First Impression It is crucial that you arrive on time, and be pleasant and enthusiastic, without being over the top. It can take a long time for people to change their mind about you after a bad first impression so it is important to show your colleagues that you are pleased to be there and are looking forward to working with them. Learning people’s names can be quite helpful. Tip 2 – Know Your Job It is important to be aware of what expectations your boss has for you.  You should know which aspects of your job are the most important so you know how to prioritise tasks when under pressure with deadlines. Obtaining a detailed job description from your boss will tell you precisely what is expected of you. Tip 3 – Understand the Culture Keep up-to-date with the company’s policies and procedures. Communicate with your colleagues and observe how they work. This will help you adapt to the company’s way of doing things. Tip 4 – Find a Mentor A mentor should be able to provide you with an inside perspective on the company and help you progress in the organisation. It is important to find a mentor that you have...

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Using the STAR Technique When Preparing for an Interview

For many candidates, the interview process can be a very overwhelming experience with many fearing they will fail to recall important details and undersell their ability. The STAR technique is a method used to help candidates prepare for interviews, especially competency based interviews. This method will allow you to form your answers efficiently, focusing directly on the question being asked. What are competency based interviews? Competency based interviews are designed to make the job application process unbiased as each candidate is asked the same types of questions. This form on interviewing is commonly practiced in large organisations. An example of a competency based question may begin with “Tell me about a time when…” This may not seem difficult, however, during the interview it is common for candidates to leave out information and wander off topic, therefore, delivering an unstructured answer. It is important that you “sell yourself” during the interview while following the STAR technique to structure your answers. So what is the STAR technique? Your answer should incorporate the following elements: S – Situation T – Task A – Action R – Result Situation: Describe the background of a particular situation when you used the competency.  For example, if the competency is budgetary control, you may answer; “In my last job I was appointed to lead a project involving a €800,000 engineering factory shutdown lasting 3 weeks, and I had complete responsibility for the budget for this project. I did face some challenges on this project which required careful management to keep to budget.” Task: Define what your particular task was in relation to this, i.e. “My duty...

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