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Useful information to Job Seekers

Be Prepared

Know Your Product – You

YOUR LIFE.

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Before you formally start your interview an interviewer may engage you in a general conversation. This may happen as you walk to the room, get a coffee or glass of water.

They may not be consciously looking for it, but be ready to talk about your life outside of work in a way that shows 'you have a life' and not in a way that may indicate that your personal life impinges on work.

YOUR HISTORY.

Without referring to your resume, be able to give a brief overview of your work history. Again without referring to your resume, be able to talk in detail about your last three positions. This will entail a couple of sentences on the company, a couple on what your role was, and then detailed information about your achievements.

To identify your achievements ask yourself:

  • what was my task? Size of projects, management capability and achievements. What makes you better than the next interviewed candidate?

  • how was my job performance measured?

  • what reasons did I have or would I have had to justify a pay rise?

  • what were my key performance indicators?

  • in a sales or executive management role, know all of the following:

  • what your company or project budgets were, achievements, strategy, capability,

  • what you actually achieved.

Think of a couple of examples for different situations that relate to your work experience. For example:

[Q]What would you do if you where in this situation?
[A]Well I experienced a similar situation and did this...

YOUR FUTURE.

You may be asked bluntly 'where do you see yourself in five years?' or you may not. Either way, there is a good chance you will be asked this question.

Have an answer ready that reflects some positive truth about you while not shooting yourself in the foot. Remember that you are being interviewed for a certain position; by the time you are employed, trained, and up and running, any employer will want to see a return on investment before promotion so be realistic in your reply

How do I resign in the right way?

Sooner or later we all get to the point where we need to resign from our job to pursue the next stage of our career. A lot of people fear the whole process of resigning so they don’t handle it very well.

There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to resign. Doing it the wrong way can lead to bad feelings between you and your employer, or worse, a bad reference. Doing it the right way will contribute to continued success in your personal and career development.

Considering your options before you make a decision

When you’re getting ready to resign ask yourself these questions:

  • what is the real reason why you are leaving this job? Be honest!

  • are you committed to leaving? Make a list of the reasons of why you should resign.

  • have you exhausted all possibilities of advancement in this organisation?

  • would you still leave if you were offered more money or a promotion?

  • how is your career going with this organisation? Ask your boss or your personnel or HR manager to assess how they think you're doing.

  • will you really be better off in your new job? Consider money, location, career and personal development as the main factors.

  • ask your family – is it the best thing for them? How do they think you should progress?

  • what does your heart say? What does your head say?

Before making any announcement:

  • make sure you know what you are doing

  • be prepared

  • be positive.

Managing the face-to-face resignation meeting

WORK OUT WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO SAY AND THEN STICK TO IT

If necessary, note down the main points to solidify them in your mind. The boss will try to probe you for more information than you may want to give. Don’t be obstructive: just make it clear that you are submitting an oral resignation.

EMPHASISE THE POSITIVES

Unless you move town or switch industries, there’s always a chance that you will come in contact with your former employers at some point in the future.

For this reason, don’t dwell on the negative aspects of your time there, or criticise the way things are run, even if they ask you for details. No one really wants criticism, no matter how constructive.

EXPECT A REACTION

Unless your boss is expecting you to resign, your decision may come as a surprise. They may get emotional or even confrontational, when it is more important than ever to stick to your prepared comments.

KEEP YOURSELF COOL

The boss may by now no longer see you as a team player and may even feel betrayed. Once again, stick to your pre-prepared comments and try not to rise to the challenge. Speak in measured tones, maintain eye contact, and regulate your breathing.

BE HELPFUL

Always leave the meeting on a good note and be as co-operative as possible. Stress that you will hand over any uncompleted work to the best of your ability, and arrange your work so that your replacement can pick up where you left off with a minimum of delay. People remember both the first and last impression you make on them

WRITING A LETTER OF RESIGNATION

A written letter of resignation always gives you more time to prepare what you want to say and gives you greater control of your message. Use this opportunity constructively.

In its simplest form, a resignation letter should only include the following information: name, date, the person it is addressed, notice of termination of employment, when this is effective from and finally, your signature.

For example:

Dear <recipient’s name>,
As requested by my contract of employment I hereby give you weeks’ notice of my intention to leave my position as <your job title>.
I wish both you and <the name of your employer> every good fortune. I would like to thank you for having me as part of your team.
Yours sincerely,
<Your name and signature>

ASSESSING COUNTER-OFFERS

92% of accepted counter-offers are not employed by the same employer 14 months later.

Be prepared for a counter-offer, and consider it seriously. You may be offered the very things you are hoping to get by switching jobs, such as a higher salary, a move to another location, a step up the career ladder.

CONSIDER THE EFFECT ON YOURSELF

When considering a counter-offer, review your list of reasons for resigning, and ask yourself:

  • is this what you really want?

  • has anything changed?

  • why did you take the decision to resign in the first place?

  • does this offer address all of your reasons for resigning?

CONSIDER THE EFFECT ON OTHERS

Importantly, consider whether you will have the same standing within the company. The boss may now be doubtful of your 100% commitment to the firm, so perhaps it would be better to move on.

If you decide to accept a counter-offer this may mean disappointing your prospective employers. If so, how will this affect your integrity with them? Again, you never know when you may have to deal with them in the future.

LEAVING ON THE RIGHT NOTE

Give proper notice
Make sure that you’ve at least the required amount of notice of your intention to leave. This period should be stated in your contract or in the Company handbook. If your contract doesn’t define a notice period, you should assume that you need to provide 4 weeks’ notice.

Take what’s owed to you
Work out what leave entitlements, bonuses, commission payments or outstanding salary are owed to you and negotiate a fair settlement.

Make the handover as smooth as you can
Make sure that you’ve completed any outstanding tasks and participated in the smooth handover of any unfinished work. Try to leave your tasks in good order so your replacement can pick up where you left off relatively easily; if you leave a shambles for them to clean up they will curse your name. Ensure that your boss knows that you’ve actively participated in this process and that you have been as co-operative as possible

Don’t burn your bridges
Take time to speak to all of your colleagues and associates. Give them support and make positive comments about their contribution to your time there. Try to remain in touch, because again, you never know when they’ll play a role in your personal and career development in the future.