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The end of the interview has arrived and here comes the closing “Do you have any questions?” line.

Many candidates are unprepared for this part of the interview. It’s a common question and one that you should consider as part of your interview preparation. Have a list of at least 6 questions which you’ve prepared in advance of the interview. Because some will be answered during the course of the interview, have more than you think you need as back-up.

Write them down. There is nothing wrong with making notes in advance and using them during your interview. It’s not cheating – it shows an employer that you have taken the time to prepare and have given serious thought to the role and organisation.

Try not to go with run-of-the-mill questions like:

  • When do you want someone to start?
  • Why is this position available?
  • When will I hear from you?

None of these standard questions show any kind of research or preparation or demonstrate genuine interest in the role.  Don’t ask questions that make you sound as though you’re only interested in yourself, such as:

  • Do you close over Christmas/New Year and will I be paid?
  • What’s your policy if I use up my sick leave entitlements because my kids are sick?
  • Do I have to attend networking functions outside normal business hours?

And never use the dreadful “You’ve already answered my questions”. Show some initiative!

Try to come up with questions that provoke thought and demonstrate your keen interest in the role. These will help trigger your thinking:

  • If I was successful how do you see me contributing to the corporate goals you’ve mentioned?
  • How do you see the first 3 months in this role?
  • How will you measure my success?
  • What do you like about working here?

Be careful asking questions about promotion. For instance, if you were to ask if there are possibilities for advancement, you would need to be careful not to give the employer a feeling that you wouldn’t stay in the role. So instead of asking “What are the chances of promotion and how long would it take?”, try something like “In 2 to 3 years, if I’ve met the objectives of this role, how do you see a path for advancement?”

Other questions you could ask include:

  • What are your company/department goals for the next 12 months? If I was successful how do you see me contributing to these goals?
  • Your values and culture are described on your website, but I am interested in how you would describe them.
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • Will there be an induction period? How do you see the first week in this role?
  • What kind of people do really well in your company?

Why are Your Employees Quitting?

By Christina Lattimer Human Resources (adapted)


There are plenty of reasons why employees quit their jobs – such as families relocating, needing to stay at home with their children or due to medical reasons.  However, a vast majority of the reasons why employees leave, are under the control of the employer.  That means the best way to keep your talent is to stay in tune with how they are feeling.

It’s important to ask your talent the following questions:

  • Are you enjoying your job?
  • Are you being challenged?
  • Do you work well with the team?
  • Are you feeling stressed?

Below are the 5 main reasons why your employees are quitting and what you can do about it!

  1. Lack of Recognition

Employees are much more likely to leave their employment if they feel their managers under-appreciate them.

What you can do: Your hard-working employees deserve praise and recognition so you need to give them some! Closely measure their performance, evaluate their productivity and try and make comparisons with other team members. This will enable you to identify your true top performers who you can then show genuine appreciation for. This can the form of company-wide recognition, a raise or a promotion which are simple ways to increase employee morale, engagement and retention.

  1. Managers who Lack People Skills

The relationship between employee and manager/supervisor plays an integral part in employee satisfaction. A prerequisite for being a truly great manager are strong interpersonal skills, meaning they need to be great communicators and listeners. Yet not all managers possess these traits. Leigh Branham, Owner and Founder of Keeping the People, says “Too many managers have never been well-coached themselves. Lacking a good role model, they either give no feedback and coaching at all or revert to the “YST” model — yelling, screaming, and threatening”. This can leave employees frustrated and unhappy.

What you can do: Managers need to ensure they spend a good portion of their time with their team. Top talent value consistent and constructive feedback so try to set up structured weekly 1-to-1 sessions, emphasis being on 1-to-1; make sure it is a two-way communication and you’re not just barking orders at employees! Talk about their current tasks, future projects and listen to any issues or concerns they may be having. The result of this will be employees feeling they are valued and cared for.

  1. Inadequate Compensation/Benefits

According to SHRM’s Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey, compensation/pay and benefits were second and third most important contributors to employee job satisfaction. Hard-working and high-performing employees who feel they are not receiving a competitive salary or basic benefits will feel devalued and will be driven to find a better package elsewhere.

What you can do:  The first thing you need to do is research the market and identify what a competitive salary is and compare it to the one you offer. If there is a significant gap between the two, you need to reevaluate your packages.  As financier Sir James Goldsmith famously said, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

If a pre-recession salary isn’t possible, start looking at benefits you can start including. Training and development opportunities, medical aid, flexible hours, paternity/maternity leave and good vacation time can all be used to retain employees and foster loyalty.

  1. Overworked

One of the biggest gripes your employees may have is the excessive volume of work. It’s not rocket science but employees don’t like to be overwhelmed as it can lead to burnout. Yes, stress is one of the critical elements of achievement (without a certain amount of it, employees would never perform), but burnout can have a major impact on employees. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 40% of all workers today feel overworked, pressured, and squeezed to the point of anxiety, depression, and disease. It’s also counter-productive: John Pencavel of Stanford found that productivity drops sharply when employees work more than 50 hours a week.

What you can do: To prevent employees from burning out, employers should continuously check in with staff and make sure there’s an avenue for them to talk so there is a constant line of communication. Also, even simple things like hiring a part-time employee to minimise the workload and strictly sticking to the responsibilities defined in the interview can make a big difference.

  1. No Room For Innovation and Creativity

Religiously sticking to the status quo not only puts your business in jeopardy, it also irritates employees! Sticking to the idea of ‘how things are usually done around here’ can prevent employees from improving things which puts a low ceiling on their innovative ideas. The problem is that some managers want employees to work within a little ‘box’, fearing that if they go outside this box their productivity will drop. But top talent want the opportunity to showcase what they do best and leave their mark. So by caging this desire, employees feel useless and unwanted.

What you can do: It may sound obvious but if your business is focused on being innovative in what they do, they will need employees who are innovative. This represents a good opportunity for you to engage with employees and see what they can contribute to future endeavours. A really good tactic employers can use is setting up monthly creativity sessions where teams can bounce ideas off each other and come up with solid future plans that will help the organisation.

Focusing on Employee Strengths

Research from Gallup on employee strengths included a study that looked at 49,495 business units encompassing 1.2 million employees, across seven industries and 22 countries.   What the research found was that when a company focused on employee strengths – the following metrics increased:

  • 10%-19% increase in sales
  • 14%-29% increase in profit
  • 3%-7% increase in customer engagement
  • 9%-15% increase in engaged employees
  • 6- to 16-point decrease in turnover (in low-turnover organizations)
  • 26- to 72-point decrease in turnover (in high-turnover organizations)
  • 22%-59% decrease in safety incidents

From this study, we can deduce that:

  • Employee strengths have bottom-line implications

How does one focus on employee strengths?

Most often the problem resides in the fact that senior leaders typically don’t care about people issues. They are most likely concerned about revenue streams.  It is therefore critical for managers to identify the potential to increase revenue streams by concentrating on employee strengths.

What if managers kept charts like this?


This may be another chart that the manager will need to track and monitor, but the benefits far outweigh the time spent doing this.  It’s alarming to consider that 68 percent of managers don’t care about their employees’ career progression and that only 34 percent of managers can name two strengths of their direct reports.  The chart above could be a simple start for many. I’d estimate it’d take about 10-12 minutes per employee to fill this out. Let’s say you have 10 direct reports and do this every two weeks, that’s 240 minutes a month (about 4 hours).

The psychology of the employee strengths problem

Our brain is wired to predict threats.  When you say “employee strengths,” you acknowledge that someone that reports into you has strengths. To many managers, that can be seen as a threat.  It requires a boss with a high degree of self awareness to focus on employee strengths.  Work needs to be about more than protecting your perch and getting the most for yourself. At some level, it needs to be about the employee strengths on your team.


(Adapted from article written by Rich DeMatteo on July 8, 2016)

There are many organisations who are using employee engagement to help increase their ROI and improve their bottom line. There are several strategies that can be implemented to improve engagement in the workplace — and a good deal of them now involve Gamification.

What is Gamification?

Many people confuse the term “gamification” with the act of playing a game.  This is not entirely accurate.  Although gamification employs gaming concepts, it is a tool that is used to drive engagement and enhance performance. The reason employee gamification works so well is because it is derived from learned behaviors and skills developed through childhood games.

The same underlying motivations, performance analysis and rewards make up the basis of today’s sophisticated gamification applications. For example, employees might be set up to win prizes for accomplishing specific goals or even compete with one another to secure the reward in question.  These methods have been found to be incredibly effective.

Gamification in the workplace essentially revolves around giving employees a better job experience and increasing retention and productivity.

Types of Employee Gamification

There are numerous ways to implement gamification in the workplace, and the ideal option will vary according to your specific business goals. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve organized the gamification types into three different categories:

  1. Progress Measurement

The ability to view your progress as you complete tasks and activities can be highly motivating. In gamification, progress may be measured through points, badges or even rewards.

  1. Social Motivation

Encouraging team collaboration and competition is another element of workplace gamification. This can be an exceptionally powerful way to increase workplace communication, productivity and even retention.

  1. Customized Gamification Apps

In some cases, businesses choose to implement entire processes that are built on gamification concepts. This type of immersive employee gamification is not the most common, but it can produce astounding results in the right setting.

The Benefits of Gamification

Employee gamification is currently being used in a variety of ways and produces a number of different benefits. A few of them include:

  • Increasing employee engagement
  • Improving productivity and retention
  • Boosting morale
  • Promoting team collaboration
  • Turning employees into brand ambassadors
  • Improving the learning process with enhanced training programs
  • Promoting desirable employee behavior

Gamification software is becoming more and more ingrained in the workplace and also becoming integrated into existing business tools. And organizations that use employee gamification are reaping the benefits of a highly engaged and productive workforce.

What NOT to do when quitting your job

What NOT to do when quitting your job.  (Adapted by article written by:  Lindsay Olson)

Even if you’ve fantasized about quitting in a dramatic fashion, you must know it’s not a good idea, right? As much as you’d like to tell your boss to stick it you-know-where, you’d be better off leaving your job with a sense of professionalism. So here’s what you absolutely SHOULD NOT do when quitting your job.

  1. Leave a mess.

Although you’d love to leave that stack of reports unfinished and make them someone else’s responsibility, realize how disrespectful it would be. And while it may be your boss that you hate, it might end up being your closest co-worker who gets saddled with your undone work.

Instead: When you put in your notice, do your best to finish your remaining work, and leave instructions for your replacement on what needs to be tied up.

  1. Burn bridges.

Resist unleashing your fury on your boss and co-workers. As much as you would love to believe you’ll never need any of them, you may cross paths again. And that person you let have it might be in a position to hire you at another company down the road.

Instead: Keep your frustrations to yourself, and leave on good terms. You should be able to get a reference when you leave, and your boss should be willing to refer you to another employer.

  1. Walk out.

Walking out the minute you quit makes you look juvenile, and that won’t help you get a recommendation for your next job.

Instead: It’s common courtesy to give two weeks’ to a months’ notice, so that he has time to find your replacement.

  1. Talk about the company.

Once you leave, don’t start talking negatively to others about the company. Remember that it was specific people you had an issue with, not the company as a whole. This is especially important in future job interviews. If you speak ill of your last company, this hiring manager will wonder if you’d do the same if you were unhappy in the position for which she’s hiring.

Instead: Find a politically correct way to explain why you left, and keep the emotions out of it.

  1. Start telling co-workers how you feel

If you’ve been harboring deep resentment about a co-worker, don’t use your quitting as the ideal time to tell her how you really feel. You’ll just hurt her feelings unnecessarily.

Instead: Go with the mantra: “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.”

  1. Take your vacation at the end of your two weeks.

If you’ve got vacation time racked up, don’t do that bit where you put in your two weeks, then put in a request for two weeks’ worth of vacation.

Instead: If you know you’re going to quit, take your vacation long before you put in your notice.

Tips / Advice

  • Before you quit, make sure it’s the right decision.
  • Many of us have to suffer through bad work situations or overbearing bosses, but most of these situations are tolerable, at least until you have a new job secured.
  • Never quit out of anger.
  • Make it a deliberate plan, and do it when you can calmly explain to your boss your reason for leaving.
  1. Take Them Away From the Work Environment

Attend a team-building exercise away from the office environment.  Keep the activity light hearted and fun.  Team building exercises allows staff and managers to get to know each other better outside of work projects and often creates excitement about working together on a new project. Plus, just not thinking about work responsibilities helps minds get recharged and ready to take on more.

  1. Do Not Skimp on Time Off

Push your employees to take the required time off, even when they don’t think they need a vacation.

  1. Hold 30-Day Challenges

These challenges can be “un-work” related.  For instance:  To encourage some exercise, start a 3km, 30-day running challenge. Every day each employee tries to run at least 3km, and possibly more. At the end of 30 days collect all of the data to see who ran the most, and do something fun for them.

  1. Declare a Three-Day weekend

Everyone loves three-day weekends!  They give you a chance to get away, watch TV, basically do whatever you want. After a period of intense work, schedule a break where you explicitly tell everyone not to work. This announcement is most effective on a Monday. Ask the team to push hard for four more days, then rest. The pace will pick up, then the recharge happens.

  1. Set Realistic Goals

There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you are overworked. Try to make sure your team is never assigned more work than they can realistically do in a day. Also encourage everyone to openly communicate when they won’t be able to meet a work goal before it sets them behind on a project.

  1. Work Remotely

Breaking away from the mundane every day office environment is highly refreshing.  Allow employees to work from home or a coffee shop for half / full day.

  1. Hold Sporadic Adventures, Surprises and Fun Events

Some people dread the thought of going into work each day as it’s usually the same mundane schedule with minimal change ever happening. By introducing sporadic adventures, surprises and fun events at your workplace, your team will always be on the up and up and thinking about when the next one may occur. These type of activities can also be used for group building skills.

  1. Make Your Culture a 9-to-5 Culture

During most interviews, employees are told:  “this isn’t a 9-to-5” type of job.   But has hiring managers ever considered what the marginal productivity of the 10th hour of work is? For most people, not much. Yes, sometimes deadlines come up and people need to stay late, but it shouldn’t be the norm.  And when the extra working hours are required, be sure to acknowledge the commitment and reward accordingly.

  1. Get a Change of Scenery

A change of scenery is good for anyone. Do offsite meetings to regroup on important topics.

  1. Explain the Bigger Picture

Allow employees to become involved in future work.  By relaying the bigger picture allows employees to  gain an understanding of when projects will end/begin, which in turn recharges them.

In most cases candidates are ignorant as to what a recruiter’s job entails and how the recruitment industry works.  So often their communication to recruitment consultants comes across as irritating or sometimes just plain rude.

One consultant stated the following on LinkedIn – and these sentiments are felt by the majority of recruiters:

“I’m getting tired of candidates sending me their friend’s resumes; I’m also getting tired of receiving unsolicited resumes through LinkedIn and people who come to my web site. When I’m recruiting, a resume is only worth something if I have a search that aligns with the candidate it represents. I don’t really care whose looking for work when I’m recruiting; I care whose looking for talent. Seems harsh but it’s true. I care about helping people, but I need to make a living too.”
Here follows some tips to assist you in dealing professionally with a recruitment consultant:

  1. Don’t ask recruiters to meet with you out of the blue.

Ask yourself:  Why would a recruiter want to meet you? Are you a candidate for a role he or she has posted?  Do you have potential clients for them? What is your value proposition? If you would like to meet with a recruitment consultant, be prepared to offer something of value.

  1. Don’t send unsolicited CVs.

Unsolicited CVs get deleted.  There is absolutely NOTHING we can do for you as recruiters unless we have a suitable vacancy on our job board.  Loading your CV onto our database is probably the best we can do – but even so, your CV will simply just sit there.

  1. Research the Job Details before Contacting a Recruiter

By contacting a recruiter randomly about “some” job you saw on their website is wasting not only the recruiter’s time, but also yours.  Recruiters will often be working several job specs at the same time, so without the specific job title or specification details, they will be unable to link you to a vacancy.  And we are quite good at determining whether a caller is “fishing” for any job opportunity and not actually calling about a specific role.

  1. Calling your Recruiter

If you want to stay in touch with a recruiter, don’t call every 2 weeks to find out “If you have anything for me”.  Once interviewed, you would be on the active database and be contacted should the recruiter feel they have a suitable match between your skills and experience and a job spec.  If your CV or circumstances were to change – sending an email is a much better option.  The recruiter will then have a written record thereof and be able to update your profile in his / her own time.  Have a look on their website instead as to what vacancies are listed.

5.  After Interviewing with a Client

Don’t call the recruiter often to find out if the client has reported back regarding an interview you attended.  The recruiter wants to place the job and will feedback to you once she has received feedback from the client.  Be patient.

The term Millennial refers to employees between the ages of 15 and 35.  There are currently 92 million millennial workers worldwide, as opposed to 61 Million Generation X  employees and 77 Million Baby Boomers.  The Millennial work force has its own unique career preferences and ambitions.

Here are 5 ways one can shape your business to make it more Millennial-Friendly and in doing so attract and retain your Millennial Talent:

  1. Offer competitive salary and growth opportunities

Millennials need to know that they are being fairly remunerated and that there are growth opportunities within the organization.  It is therefore important to give your young employees a reason to stick around.

“In a study by PWC on millennials in the work place,  44 percent of millennials polled noted competitive wages as a motivating factor to go with an employer, 52 percent cited growth opportunities. So if you want to make your company attractive to millennials, foster their ambition and drive.”

  1. Maintain transparency

Millennials grew up with technology, which has created a culture of transparency. Millennials therefore expect the company they work for to be upfront.   Announcing decisions without any explanation might leave this generation feeling uneasy. Millennials are more engaged and committed when management shares why decisions are made.

  1. Ditch the hierarchy

If your company has a traditional hierarchy, try “flattening your organizational structure.”  By doing so, the Millennials will feel like they have a voice.  It’s important to highlight their accomplishments and let them know you value their insight, which will motivate them to go above and beyond for your business.

If millennials see people getting promoted over others based on longevity with the company over performance, it will almost certainly discourage them.  It’s important to help them better understand their overall career trajectory and to offer training.   According to Forbes, millennials don’t want to wait three to five years for a promotion, contrary to their baby boomer coworkers.

  1. Make sure millennials feel connected to the brand

Millennials are a great resource to strengthen your brand, but only if they believe in the overall message of the company. Having happy millennials in the workplace can lead to a boost in your company’s social media presence.Give your millennial employees a reason to share what your business is doing, and it can help you naturally boost your company’s social presence.

  1. Strengthen the company’s digital presence

The first thing your prospective millennial employees will do before an interview is Google the company. If your business is lacking in digital presence, millennials might be wary about applying. It could imply that the business is behind the times or unwilling to evolve. “Invest not only in how you engage clients and consumers online but prospective employees as well, so they have a strong understanding of your company’s mission and culture. According to Inc., 62-percent of millennials are more likely to become loyal to a company if they can engage with the brand on social media.


Adapted and taken from:  The Daily Muse Editor.  You can follow them on:  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

You put so much thought into what should go on your resume—from your best, most impressive accomplishments down to the perfect, classy-but-modern font.  But to make sure all that effort is put to good use, it’s just as important to pay attention to what shouldn’t be on there. From overused buzzwords that make you look just like everyone else to “creative” touches that do more harm than good, there are plenty of resume elements that annoy—and even turn off—recruiters. And because we want your resume at the top of the pile, we’ve pulled them all together in one complete guide.

For the best chances of landing that interview, grab your resume and make sure it’s free and clear of these 45 things.

1. A Career Objective: That boring boilerplate “I am a hard working professional who wants to work in [blank] industry” is a bit obvious—why else would you be submitting your resume?—and takes up valuable space. Instead? Make it crystal clear why you’re so interested in each specific position you’re applying to in your cover letter.

2. A Skills-Based Format: Current recruiter wisdom says to stick with the good old reverse chronological (where your most recent experience is listed first) in almost every occasion. If your most recent experience isn’t what you want to highlight or you’re re-entering the workforce after a long hiatus, top your resume with an “Executive Summary” section that outlines your best skills and accomplishments, or create two experience sections: One specific one, such as “Business Development Experience” or “Editorial Experience,” followed by a more general one.

3. Photos or Other Visuals: A recent study showed that “such visual elements reduced recruiters’ analytical capability and hampered decision-making” and kept them from “locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience.”

4. Mega Blocks of Text: Studies show that recruiters look at resumes pretty quickly—a minute at best, the blink of an eye at worst—so your goal is to make yours as easy to skim as possible. That means keeping your text short and sweet, and in bullet points, not block text.

5. A Second Page: If you have less than 10 years of experience, having more than one page can be a deal-breaker for some recruiters. So why risk it? And with a little formatting prowess, we promise you can get it down to one page.

6. All Those Fonts: Stick with one—maybe two, if you have some design skills. Any more than that and you risk the hiring manager getting distracted.

7. Orphan Words: (They’re those single words left on a line by themselves.) Instead, see how you can edit the previous line so they can fit—making your resume look cleaner and opening up extra lines for you to fill with other things.

8. “References Available Upon Request:” At worst, it makes you look presumptuous, and even at best, you can use the extra space to add a detail about your abilities or accomplishments.

Personal Details
9. Your Address: If you’re not local, recruiters might not look any further. And if you are? Recruiters may take your commute time into account and turn you down if they think it would be too long, explains AvidCareerist.

10. Your Work Email Address: (And, yes, we see it happen all the time.) Do you really want your future employer to know that you’re job searching on your employer boss’ time and email server?

11. Your “Creative” Email Address: (And yes, we see this happen, too.) “I can’t actually share any here without giving away someone’s personal contact info,” says Ryan Galloway of The Hired Guns. “I will say, however, that if you’re a grown person applying for a Director of Marketing gig, the word “Belieber” has no place in your email address.”

12. Your “Creative” Hobbies: As recruiter Jenny Foss of JobJenny puts it, “Unless you are applying for jobs that will specifically value these interests (or they’re flat-out amazing conversation starters), leave them off. Decision makers will judge the heck out of you if they spot hobbies that fly in the face of their own personal beliefs or seem odd.”

13. Your Birthdate, Marital Status, or Religion: Since it’s illegal for employers to consider this when looking at your application (at least in the U.S.), they can’t request it (and offering it makes you look a little clueless).

Work Experience and Education
14. A Regurgitation of Your Job Description: In most cases, recruiters care less about what you did day to day (like answer phones and email) and more about what you accomplished over time (like increased customer satisfaction 20%). Here are a few tips for turning your duties into accomplishments.

15. Bullet #8: As a rule, stick to just 6-7 bullets for each section—even if each accomplishment is seriously killer, the recruiter’s probably not going to get through them all.

16. Positions Irrelevant to Your Current Job Goals: Unless you need it to fill a gap on your resume or showcase your skills, there’s no law that says you have to include your six months at Burger Shack on your resume.

17. “Unpaid:” Who needs to know whether your internship was paid or not? If you got great experience, let that stand on its own.

18. Your Parenting Experience: If you took time out of the workforce to raise kids, don’t list your parenting experience on your resume, à la “adeptly managed the growing pile of laundry” (we’ve seen it). “While parenting is as demanding and intense a job as any out there, most corporate decision makers aren’t going to take this section of your resume seriously,” says Foss.

19. Your GPA: Unless you’re applying to a management consulting job, or you’re coming straight out of college (and it’s amazing). Even then, it might be better to simply include any academic accolades (like graduating summa cum laude) than the actual number.

20. Your Graduation Year: Recruiters only really want to know that you got a degree, and you don’t want them to inadvertently discriminate based on your age.

21. Anything High School-Related: Unless you’re a year out of college, really need to bulk up your resume, and did something highly relevant (and awesome) during your high school years, no need to include it on your resume.

22. Skills That Everyone Has (or Should): Think Microsoft Word and “the internet.”

Specific Words
23. Unnecessarily Big Words: Why “utilize” when you can “use?” especially when the former takes up more precious space on your resume. “Run the ‘would I ever say this in real life?’ test on every phrase and sentence in your resume,” says Foss. “If you find words or statements that don’t read like something you’d say? Change ’em up.”

24. Industry Jargon or Buzzwords: You might know what GIA requests are, but the executive, assistant, or even recruiter first reading your resume might not. Make sure everything you include is understandable to the average person.

25. Words With a Negative Connotation: Even if you mean them in a positive way, like “met aggressive sales goals,” research has shown that words like problem, mistake, and fault can have a negative impact on a recruiter’s perception of you.

26. Vague Terms: (Think professional, experienced, and people person.) They’re chronically overused, and we bet there’s a better way to describe how awesome you are. (Need help? Here are a few great cliché-free ways to show off your soft skills.)

27. Any of the Words in CareerBuilder’s Survey of Resume Words Recruiters Hate: Seriously, why annoy them right out of the gate? The list is topped with “Best of breed,” and followed by:

28. Go-getter

29. Think Outside of the Box

30. Synergy

31. Go-to Person

32. Thought Leadership

33. Value Add

34. Results Driven

35. Team Player

36. Bottom Line

37. Hard Worker

38. Strategic Thinker

39. Dynamic

40. Self Motivated

41. Detail-oriented

42. Proactively

43. Track Record

And OK, Because We Had To
44. Typos: But don’t rely on spell check and grammar check alone—ask family or friends to take a look at it for you (or get some tips on how to edit your own work).

45. Anything That’s Not True: Just, don’t. If you’re not sure you have the experience to qualify for your dream gig, don’t manufacture it—go look for ways to get it.

Succession Planning

Why do we need succession planning?Successplanning
In most cases we need succession planning to ensure that the business can continue to function optimally with the right people, with the right skills and at the right time.
Succession Planning can be a bit of an art – if it is carried out effectively. Ideally, it should be a business focused, fair, open and transparent process. If not, it will most likely cause distrust and suspicion amongst your employees.

Succession Planning vs Contingency Plan
The practice of identifying an employee to replace someone who is leaving or is ready for retirement, is not succession planning. This is a contingency plan. The difference between contingency plans and succession planning is that succession planning is about helping people develop and be in the right place at the right time for existing roles, or developing roles. Good succession planning should be about bringing in a range of talent, either in or outside of the organisation, and it should be fair and open.

The start of a Succession Plan
Before you begin succession planning, you need to have an ethos. Now that ethos will differ depending upon the business you are in. If you are in a corporation or a public sector organisation, you might want to have a policy of growing your talent within. If you are a business on the move, you might want to look at bringing in new talent with new and evolving skills. Or you might have a combination of these approaches.

Top Tips to successfully implement a Succession Plan:
1. Be clear about why you want to introduce succession planning.
• Is it to recruit new and evolving talent?
• Is it to develop new leaders/managers/specialists for the future?

2. Be open about why you want to introduce succession planning with your current workforce.

3. Be clear with your current employees about your rationale and let them see the possibilities for them. If there aren’t possibilities for them, then be clear about that, but let them know why.

4. Be clear about the difference between contingency planning and succession planning.

5. If you have a list in a drawer with names, and the people who are named don’t know they are on there, then you might want to think about how helpful or not this is.

6. If you have a list of names, and it is to replace specialist jobs and no-one but the named persons know they are on the list, then again you might want to think about your strategy.

7. Be clear about the criteria you are going to apply to any succession planning exercise and communicate it widely.

8. Be structured. Make sure that you and everyone knows how it is going to work and what they can expect. Align other employee lifecycle events with the succession plan where needed.

9. Be open to attracting talent from everywhere. There may be someone in your current workforce, who might not be displaying the characteristics for future job filling now, but with an open invitation, they might just go for it.

10. If you decide the future is through a graduate scheme, try to make it accessible for existing workers, or have a route through for existing workers. There is nothing more annoying than being great and going the extra mile, doing the duties of higher level jobs and being told that you can’t compete because you have to have a degree.

11. If you want to source talent from within, then tie your succession planning to your appraisal/feedback scheme. It is the easiest way to have those conversations and help people work in a way that helps them aim for different roles.

12. If employees think they can progress in their own company, then they can be more likely to stay. Chart out career pathways for your staff so that they can plan for the future.

13. If your succession plan includes attracting talent from outside the organisation, make sure you have tapped the potential within first.

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