English Job Search
Original designs for social calling cards

Being informal and used often in creative industries, social calling cards are generally more colorful, fun and original compared to business cards. Social calling cards are flexible and you can choose what specific details to include. The more creative your card is, the more chance you have that your card will be remembered and not thrown away!

 

Here are 10 top design tips for social calling cards so that your card will be unforgettable. The following are examples only for illustrative purposes:


(1) A little ray of light

Try to bring some fun colors such as purples and greens. Stay away from boring colors such as black and white.


(2) Killer logo

A cool, funky personal logo can make your card stand out and can utilize space.

(3) Wise words

A thoughtful quote can make your card original, memorable and can utilize space.


(4) Different fonts and styles

Try not to use the same standard font. Make use of different fonts and letter styles, which will make certain details of your card stand out.

(5) Don’t be rectangular!

The typical rectangular card is uninspiring. Go for a social calling card with curved edges or in a different shape such as a circle!


(6)  Include your social media details

Social media is all the buzz at the moment. Don’t miss out! Include Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts on your social calling cards and any other social media if appropriate.

(7) Use a small picture to show what you do

A small picture that can help people remember you. A picture of a small car on the social calling card of a mechanic is an example. Other examples could be a picture of a computer for a computer analyst, the picture of an abacus for an accountant etc. Pictures can help people remember you and associate you.

(8) Don’t put too many details

You can produce calling cards with different colors and layouts. It will make it easier to remember to whom you gave the cards to. It also makes groups of cards different and gives some variety. People who receive your card can compare theirs making them more memorable.


(9) Multiple calling cards

You can produce calling cards with different colors and layouts. It will make it easier to remember to whom you gave the cards to. It also makes groups of cards different and gives some variety. People who receive your card can compare theirs making them more memorable.


(10) Don’t be afraid to make it funny

Sometimes something witty, a play on words, can work very well on a social calling card. It will make your card memorable.

Social calling cards Part 1:

Social calling cards are growing in popularity as an informal way to self-promote yourself. Compared to the organized and formal business card, social calling cards are typically colorful, fun and often include details such as Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

 

What are the advantages of Social calling cards?

 

1.     Social calling cards can be exchanged in informal situations such as at the gym or on a train for an example. Formal business cards may be too serious in an informal situation.

 

2.     Formal business cards often contain business details such as your business address, contact telephone numbers and email addresses etc. You might want to keep your job search quiet and separate from work. A separate social calling card will help achieve this.

 

3.     You may prefer to give more accessible means of communication such as your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Business cards normally are formal and don’t allow for these details.

 

4.     Social calling cards are colorful and fun. If you are looking for a job in a creative field such as advertising, modeling or web design then these cards will suggest you have these creative and original qualities.

 

5.     You are more likely to be remembered with a social calling card because they are fun and original.  The majority of business cards are boring and uninspiring so that is the reason why many business cards are put into wallets and never seen again!

 

We must not forget that an estimated 80-85% of jobs are on the hidden job market as a recent CNN study showed. These jobs are not officially advertised and many job vacancies are communicated only by word-of-mouth. To increase your chances of finding your dream job it is important to network socially and to get your name out. Networking can take place at anytime, anywhere often in an informal situation such as a chance occurrence at a party or on the train. The social business card remains a useful tool in doing this. The rule is always be prepared.

 

In the next section we will look at some designs for social calling cards.

Business Cards: an old friend

Business cards are an old and effective way to make business and personal connections. The earliest date back to 17th Century England where they described a person’s trade and contained a map of where they worked. Compared to newer more trendy forms of social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, business cards may seem too old fashioned and awkward. They are however a very useful way of being remembered and recruited.

This article will give 5 top reasons why business cards can help you find your dream job.

 

Reason 1: It may be already expected

An exchange of business cards is the norm in many countries around the world. Make sure you are aware about the different business card etiquettes in different cultures. If you do not introduce yourself with a business card in China for example it is seen as unprofessional. Chinese business cards should always be translated in both English and Chinese and should be exchanged with two hands for respect.

 

Reason 2: You never know where and who you might meet

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is one of my famous quotes expressed by former US President Benjamin Franklin. You never know where and who you might meet so you must prepare for all possibilities. At a dinner party, wedding or other social occasion you could meet a useful contact, which can open new job possibilities for you. Job opportunities often arrive like a future partner when you least expect them to come!

With a professional business card you will be well prepared for such an opportunity to arrive. You will give a professional appearance and you will stand a better chance of being remembered.

 

Reason 3: Other methods to exchange details take too long!!!

Believe it or not business cards are an efficient way of summarizing the most important and useful details about you. Using other methods such as typing in phone details and handing out your resume may be clumsy, impractical and simply too long. A good business card is a very positive tool. It is easy to carry, saves time and easy to distribute to your target audience. This is probably why business cards are still going strong some 300 years on!

Interestingly, technology is trying to develop alternatives to the traditional paper business card. CardMunch and CardCloud are two I-phone applications, which send a digital image of your business card to other users phones. To use these programs you must upload a photo and details of your business card first. This technology has yet to take off however but I will keep a close eye on developments.

 

Reason 4: You can target your audience!!!

There is no single way to design a business card and what details to include. While there are some general rules, the beauty of a business card is that it can be adapted for your audience like your resume. Two or three business cards can market you effectively if you have the right skills. A talented friend of mine carries around two business cards that market him as a graduate civil engineer and an experienced web designer. Depending on the contacts he meets he hands them out successfully. Remember however not to mix the cards and to always be truthful in what you write on them.

A job fair can be the perfect situation where multiple business cards can make the difference. There might be seven or eight stalls, which you want to target, but are in different industries such as finance and marketing. Producing two or three business cards that target each industry can help make your business card relevant and can make the difference.

You can also produce a more informal social calling card for informal situations, which is like a business card but may include details such as your twitter and Facebook accounts. The designs may be creative too with strange colors and different edges.

For more information about job fairs please click on this earlier post (http://englishjobsearch.tumblr.com/tagged/job-fairs).

For how to design the perfect business card for you click here.


Reason 5: They are cheap and easy to carry!!!

Business cards offer good value for money. Around 250 well-made business cards can cost around $25 dollars, which makes each card around 10 cents. This won’t break the bank for the unemployed job seeker! Remember with business cards go for quality not quantity.

In summary a business card may seem old and unfashionable compared to newer media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. They are however very relevant and a good business could make the difference in finding you your dream job.

Dialling up dreams: Telephone Interviews Part 4

After a telephone interview you are likely to feel both tired and a little bit disappointed. It is unnatural to talk for so long continuously and to concentrate so hard. The adrenaline circulating in your system helping you stay alert is likely to fall leaving you tired. This is a similar feeling to how you feel after doing a lot of exercise!

 

You are likely to feel disappointed as your think about how you could have improved your answers to the interview questions. This is natural immediately after any type of interview or exam.

 

Your progress should not stop however immediately after the telephone interview. There are five top tips that can help you continue the process:

 

After the telephone interview:

 

1.    Remember to thank the interviewer.

 

2.     Try to find out when and how you will find out the result of the telephone interview and the next stages of the interviewing process.

 

3.     Write down some notes on how you answered some key questions in the interview. Do it immediately while it is still fresh. You may need to refer to these when you have your next interview.

 

4.     Once you have finished step 1-3, take a break and meet a friend or go to the cinema. It is important to relax and keep your mind fresh for the next interview stages.

 

5.     Write a formal thank-you email to the interviewer or company in the next 24-48 hours. This will give you an advantage because many applicants don’t do this. Remember to include the name of the interviewer and repeat what you heard about the next stages of the interviewing process.

 

Some tips are practical such as finding out the next stages of the interview are practical. Others such as writing a formal thank-you email show that you are professional and you have good manners.

Remember most candidates will forget to do these top tips. This will give you a huge advantage to secure your dream job.

Dialling up dreams: Telephone Interviews Part 3
During the telephone interview you are likely to be very nervous if not frightened. The first telephone interview can be a very different experience to many applicants, who are used to a more traditional face-to-face interview.

Part of the problem is that you cannot see the interviewer. You cannot see the facial expressions, body language or physical reaction of the other person! This can be frightening and can make you hesitant in your answers. James Borg, a leading researcher, claims that up to 93% of communication in non-verbal.  Other studies put the figure at around 60-70% of communication as non-verbal. The point is that non-verbal communication is a really important means of communication.


These 10 top tips will help you during the interview. Follow them and you will sound more relaxed, confident and professional.

1.     Smile when you are talking. Studies have shown that the speaker appears to be confident, open and relaxed.

2.     Stand up when you are talking. This will make you sound more confident and helps project a positive and professional image.

3.     Don’t eat, chew gum or drink. This will give an informal impression.

4.     Take your time. It is perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to think about an answer and you will be more likely to give a more thoughtful answer than if you rush and answer the question.

5.     Don’t use the interviewer’s first name only his formal title, e.g. Mr. Smith.

6.     It is recommended too that you refer to the interview and company from time to time as this help to create a positive and personal connection.

7.     Don’t speak too quickly, “um” or “err” too frequently or use informal language. Try to match your speed of conversation with the same speed of the interviewer’s. This will establish a connection.

8.     Try to give short and concise answers that answer the interviewer’s questions. By having a clock in front of you, as mentioned above, this should stop you from spending too long answering one question.

9.     Don’t try to use complicated English terms that you don’t understand or are not comfortable with. The interview will be able to notice this quickly.

10. Keep the phone receiver close to your chin and not your nose as this will reduce the amount of heavy breathing that can be heard.

 

·      For techniques on how to answer telephone interview questions themselves click here.

With good practice these tips can be used in any telephone interview.  A good telephone interview will help you advance in the selection process. Who knows? It could get you that dream job!

In the next section we will talk about what to do after your telephone interview.

Dialling up dreams: Telephone Interviews Part 2

Successful telephone interviews do not happen by chance and are the result of good preparation. Many talented candidates have been rejected as a result of poor telephone interviews. The good news is that you can prepare for them relatively easily. Here are 10 important tips.

 

Timing:

 

1.      If you are asked to call your employer at a specific time (e.g. 10am) phone precisely at this time. If you call too early this can show “over-eagerness” and if you call too late it suggests disorganization and lack of preparation.

 

2.     If you can’t get through to the manager leave a polite message with the secretary for the manager to call you back.

 

3.     If you are going to receive a call please make sure the line is clear and there will be no interruptions. Be ready for the call at that specific time.

 

The Room:

 

4.     Make sure there is no noise or distractions in the room.

 

5.     Keep your resume in front of you. Don’t repeat or list what is on your resume but use examples and case studies to illustrate your points. See STAR technique and interview technique.

 

6.     Keep any short notes you have made about the company and any company materials in front of you too. Sticking these onto the wall close to eye-level can help you.

 

7.     Keep a small notepad and pen for any notes you may need to make and write a list of questions that you would like to ask the telephone interviewer.

 

8.     Even though it is a telephone interview think about wearing formal clothes. By wearing formal clothes this may influence the way you speak positively.

 

9.     Keep a clock close to you. This will make sure that you will not spend too long answering one question.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice:

 

10. You can do a practice telephone with a friend before the real one. Use a real tape recorder, with anticipated questions, and analyze it with a friend to find out where you can improve. Remember to analyze for voice tone and breathing patterns too.

 

With these 10 key preparation points your telephone interview preparations will hugely be helped. Your advantage will be that the other candidates will not have prepared as well as you. Your confidence and professionalism will be clearly audible for the interviewer to hear.

 

The next article will discuss tips to do with the telephone interview itself.  

Dialling up dreams: Telephone Interviews Part 1

As the world becomes more globalized companies are increasingly turning to the telephone as a way to interview applicants. Telephone interviews have long been standard in industries such as marketing and sales but such interviewing is just as likely to take place in any industry these days. This post will explore why telephone interviews are becoming popular and will give a case study.

 

Why the telephone?

 

Some of the reasons why telephone interviews may be preferred are:

 

·      When candidates will have to travel a long way

·      When there are large numbers of candidates

·      When screening by CV is difficult (e.g. where personality is more important than experience or qualification)

·      When a large part of the job will involve talking to people on the telephone

·      Telephone interviews may be cheaper than face-to-face ones.

 

Companies may use telephone interviews as one of the many steps to filter candidates out. Telephone interviews might be the first interviewing stage but remember the process is flexible. Some typical models for the recruitment processes are below.

Figure 1: Typical Recruitment Process

Figure 2: Alternative Recruitment Process:

Figure 3: Bosch Model:

Case Study: Bosch, a German Multinational

A successful Brazilian friend beat 340 engineering applicants for an internship with Bosch, a German multinational. The recent graduate was interviewed three times by telephone with no traditional face-to-face interviews. The first interview was a screening interview to see if the graduate met the minimum position requirements. The next two interviews were in-depth interviews testing his ability and competency. All three interviews were with different members of the Bosch recruitment department.

 This case study demonstrates that the recruitment process will be different for all companies. You need to be prepared and ready for anything as a telephone interview can make or break you. The good news however is that with excellent preparation and some skills a telephone interview can give you the opportunity to shine.

Telephone interviews Part 2 will go through how you can prepare for a telephone interview.

A fair opportunity: Job Fairs

In many international cities there are job fairs, which present an excellent opportunity to get an advantage in finding your dream job.

 

Job fairs like any type of event can vary in size and variety. Many will specifically focus on an industry such as marketing or law and some will focus just on national companies. Other fairs may be more international and can focus on a wide range of industries under one roof.  What all job fairs have in common are that preparation, research and follow-up are essential if you are to have success.

 

Preparation and Research for Job Fairs:

 

·      Check the job fair website and which companies are attending.

·      Note the floor layout plan and in what route you will take.

·      Read companies’ promotional material and check their website for latest information and trends.

·      Update and print many copies of your resume.

·      Plan a 2-3 minute conversation, presentation and questions. Check this.

·      Wear smart clothes.

·      Arrive early.

 

At the fair:

 

·      Don’t speak to too many companies – quality not quantity.

·      Try to learn first names, pick up business cards and to network at the fair.

·      Don’t speak too long. Use what you have prepared but also be flexible.

·      Listening is a vital skill and pay attention to the information offered.

·      Learn about the application process and if necessary give your resume.

·      Be ready for interviews as many companies give short interviews at job fairs.

 

After the fair:

 

·      Change your resume individually to reflect new information received from the job fair.

·      Make a job application with companies you liked at the fair but you didn’t apply for. Follow the application process you learnt and reference names of the representatives you had contact with.

·      Check the status of your application with companies you applied for at the fair. Again reference the representatives you had contact with.

·      Send out thank you notes to representatives you spoke to within 24 – 48 hours.

 

Attending job fairs will give you an advantage against those that don’t. They also give you the opportunity to reflect on new information learnt. Ask yourself questions. Is this really a job I would like doing? Does my personality match the job requirements?

 

If done correctly jobs fairs can give more than a fair opportunity to find the job of your dreams!

In the shadows: The Hidden Job Market
The hidden job market is huge. Don't underestimate it.

How many percent of jobs are advertised?

 

99%? 95%? Perhaps 80%? Well, you are all wrong!

 

A recent study by CNN astonishingly suggests that only 15-20% of jobs are actually advertised in the United States. This means that around 80–85% of jobs are not advertised! Statistics around the world produce similar figures. This market is often known as the “unadvertised job market” or the “hidden job market”.

 

Certain industries such as construction, journalism and medicine to name but a few examples frequently may not advertise jobs openly. Many jobs may be unadvertised because:

 

·      Advertising with a job agency or advertising publically costs money, takes time and can produce an uncertain result.

·      Existing employees can take part in the process, empowering them.

·      Existing employees can also filter out the bad applicants from the process saving money & time. This reduces risk.

·      There may be opportunities to offer promotions for current employees.

·      There may be internal methods to advertise jobs to a large pool of potential, talented applicants such as servers and bulletins.

·      Due to time pressure a new job may need to be filled quickly.

·      The laws of the country may make formally advertising a job more complicated.

 

Don’t believe that your dream job is not on the market.  That’s a lie. In fact your dream job is probably available but it has not been advertised.

 

To find your dream job you must be proactive. This means using techniques such as cold calling, getting to know the experts in your field and networking. Having a positive attitude and always analyzing where you can improve the process will help open the door to the hidden job market!

Don’t be left out of the shadows! 

Why study English for a job search?

English can help you find that dream job!

Good question! These basic statistics give an idea as to the scale and importance of the English language.

 

·      English is spoken by an estimated 400 million native speakers.

·      Non-native and native English speakers account for around 1.2 billion speakers.

·      Around 75% of the world’s emails and a recent estimate suggested 80% of websites are in English.

·      More than 50% of the world’s technical and scientific periodicals are in English.

·      English is the official language of many institutions including the European Union, World Bank and the World Trade Organization and many industries such as aviation.

 

The list goes on and on!

 

English is likely to be required during the process for a job search in most countries. Some examples may include:

 

1.     Searching for jobs

2.     Responding to job advertisements

3.     Presenting a resume

4.     Various testing including verbal testing

5.     The interviewing process

6.     Accepting, negotiating or rejecting an offer

 

Depending on the job and the country, you may be required to use English in all stages of a job search. This makes studying a particular type of English “English for a job searching” really useful and an absolute necessity.

 

This blog will help you in this process and will help you land that dream job!