Tag Archives: Career

Setting Career Goals for the New Year

The new year is the perfect time to take a step back, evaluate your performance over the past twelve months, and set fresh career goals to focus on.

Why should you set career goals?

Setting professional goals is important because it creates a clear career path and is a key step to success. Doing so at the start of a new year allows you to hit the reset button and have a fresh start. Setting and achieving goals gives a since of self-fulfillment, job satisfaction, and confidence. Goals also give you a vision and mission, because having an objective to work towards makes work a little more exciting.

Types of goals

Professional development – If you are looking to advance in your career in the upcoming year, it would be a good idea to set a professional development goal. This includes objectives such as working towards a promotion or building out your network.

Education – There is always something new you can learn. A good idea for a goal in the new year is learning how to operate a new software program or getting some type of professional certificate.

Performance – Increasing productivity is a common goal. This is usually quantitative, such as increasing sales, boosting ROI, or growing your customer base.

Skill improvement – Everyone has their strengths and weakness. Identify and work on your weakness in the upcoming year. For example, cold calling may not be your strong suit, so you make a point to cold call more often to get more comfortable and improve your communication skills.

Tips for setting professional goals

Once you identify what type of goal you would like to achieve, it’s time to come up with an action plan to make it a reality. Here are some tips on how to do just that!

  1. Be realistic. Set goals that will challenge you but are still attainable.
  2. Follow the SMART goal guidelines.
  3. Write down the steps you need to follow and check them off as you go.
  4. Select a mentor. Telling someone your goal will hold you accountable and they may even be able to offer you some helpful advice.
  5. Lastly, be sure to reward yourself! Each step you complete is a step closer to achieving your goal and that is celebration worthy.

With this information in mind you’ll be sure to have a successful year ahead!

7 Skills a Sales Rep Should Have

A successful salesperson should have a well-rounded set of sales skills in their back pocket. There is no clear-cut description a salesperson should meet as it will vary from company to company and industry to industry, however, here are seven sales skills that will prove beneficial in any sales role.

Seven Important Sales Skills

Storytelling – The ability to tell a story well is a key element when capturing your customer’s attention. People naturally respond well to stories because a narrative is more relatable than a generic sales pitch. For this reason, a good story establishes a connection between a buyer and a seller.

Active Listening – While selling requires strong communication skills, it is very important that a rep knows how to listen too. Being an active listener means avoiding interruptions, summarizing what the other party said, observing body language, and asking follow up questions. 

Coachable – The sales process evolves along with changes in consumer behavior. A truly skilled salesperson will stay up to date, welcome changes, and implement new techniques to improve their selling method.

Relationship Management – A good salesperson will have the ability to develop, manage, and grow relationships.  A successful sales rep makes efforts to establish a relationship and build trust with a customer. This type of connection creates value for both parties involved.

Self-Motivation – When a salesperson is self-motivated, they will set personal goals, have a competitive drive, and determination. Selling isn’t always easy, you will hear “no” sometimes. While this can be demoralizing, the best salespeople will know how to bounce back.

Prospecting – Prospecting is one of the foundations of sales. Knowing how to effectively identify and contact possible clients creates potential for high sales revenue and productivity.

Negotiation – When a customer wants to barter, a skilled salesperson will be prepared. This involves managing expectations, understanding customer value, and knowing profit margins. A successful negotiation will end in a win-win agreement.

Having these sales skills will prove valuable and make you a strong candidate for any sales position!

Want to know more about a career in sales? Read about what a sales representative does. 

Answering Behavioral Interview Questions

If you are going on an interview, odds are you are going to be asked at least one behavioral interview question. For a successful interview, you should be prepared and have a strategy in place for answering these types of questions!

What are Behavioral Interview Questions?

Interviewers use behavioral based questions to learn how you react in specific situations. They are looking for a concrete example of how you approach a scenario and the skills you use to do so. Your answer should show that you have both the experience and the expertise necessary for the position.

Types of Behavioral Interview Questions

There are many types of behavioral interview questions that encompass a variety of scenarios. Below are some of the most common topics covered by behavioral questions.

Leadership – leadership is an important quality that employers look for. You should expect a question related to your leadership abilities if you are interviewing for a managerial position.

Ex) Discuss a time when you had to motivate others. What approaches did you use?

Handling Stress – sometimes work can be stressful and employers want to know you can handle trying situations. You should expect a question regarding how you handle stress if you are interviewing for a position in a fast paced or volatile industry.

Ex) Can you describe a time you had to work under pressure?

Problem Solving – problem solving questions are asked in order to evaluate both your rational and creative thinking. This is a common question that is asked no matter the job title.

Ex) What is a challenge you faced at work and how did you overcome it?

Teamwork – many jobs require you to work in a team at some point, so employers want to know how you operate in a group. Again, this is a common question that is asked no matter the job title.

Ex) What role do you normally play when working in a team?

Using the STAR Method

The STAR method is a four-step systematic approach used to answer behavioral questions.

Situation – first, provide context for the scenario.

Task – second, describe the problems and challenges you were faced with.

Action – third, explain what you did, how you did it, and why you did it.

Result – fourth, share the impact your actions and what you accomplished. It is best to quantify this answer.

Example of a Good Answer

Q: Discuss a time when you had to motivate others. What approaches did you use?

A: In my previous position as a sales manager, it was my job to keep my account executives motivated.  Team sales had seen a decline when I first stepped into the position. I wanted to turn this trend around so I created an incentive program that awarded a gift card to the top salesperson for the month.  Within three months my team saw an 11% increase in sales revenue.

Takeaways

Behavioral interview questions can seem overwhelming at first.  However, when you think through your answer and break it down using the STAR Method, you are sure to ace the interview!

how to find a job

How To Find a Job? 5 Best Ways To Get Hired

Hunting for a job can be very challenging for both new graduates and skilled professionals. In some situations, you need to get hired as quickly as possible, while other times you may have a few months available for an extensive job search. Job-hunting is a hot topic for everyone who’s looking for new opportunities, so how do you find a job and get hired quickly?

Job boards are not the only way to find available job positions. There are plenty of other methods and channels through which you can find the job of your dreams. Using all the possible platforms to promote your skills and experience will speed up the job search process.

How to find a job?

Social connections

There’s nothing better for publicizing yourself during a job search than word of mouth. Let your connections know you’re looking for a job! Every social connection leads to another social connection, creating a limitless network of touch points. You will never know who can help you link up with your potential employer: a former classmate, friend, professor, or even a hairdresser. If you know directly what you want, ask people if they know companies or employers who are searching for a hire. Attending networking events can also help you land a job.

Apply directly to companies

This is the best option for people who know exactly where they want to work and what they want to do. Instead of digging through hundreds of irrelevant job options, you should try targeting a certain company you see yourself working in. Learn about the company and check the open positions on their website. A diligent approach and persistence can increase the chances of you landing the position.

Social media help

Social media platforms are the new job boards. With the high number of job postings, there is a high chance of finding a job through Facebook or LinkedIn. Since it includes your social profile and recommendations, it may be easier to promote yourself and get in touch with potential employers through social media. If you are going to apply to positions using your social profile, don’t forget to clean your profile up and present yourself as a professional before diving into the job hunt or applying.

Self-promotion

If you have a nicely crafted resume and some experience, placing your CV on job searching platforms can attract companies. You might end up being hunted by numerous job offers if you chose the right platform for promotion!

Traditional job boards

Essentially, job boards remain the most common and traditional channel for job seekers. If you have time and patience to scroll through endless offers, there is a high probability you will find something you’re looking for. It’s a great idea to start with a job board and use all the above channels for a proactive approach to job search.

Read: How To Land a Job In 2019?

How To Write a Well-Crafted Cover Letter

If you’re wondering whether you need a cover letter or not, in most cases the answer is yes. Sending a well-prepared cover letter is one step further to get yourself to the interview. While most companies would ignore an average resume, knowing how to write a cover letter is a chance to get more “in touch” with a recruiting team.

What is a cover letter?

The purpose of a letter of introduction is to make your application memorable. It is a crafted story of your experience, so it doesn’t have any defined template. While a resume holds dry facts and numbers, the cover letter serves as an elaborate article about your key achievements and valuable experience.

What to put in a cover letter?

A good cover letter is a unique cover letter. The less cookie cutter and pre-written your composition, the better. There’s no strict template for a letter of introduction, but essentially it has some basics. To help yourself create a good cover letter, make sure to stick to the following structure:

Catchy introduction

In a cover letter, you’re selling yourself to a company. Make sure to compile a memorable or standout intro. Like in an advertisement, the first few sentences will set the tone for an entire story.

Relevant job experience

One thing you definitely shouldn’t include in your cover letter is a long and detailed path of your entire career. In the introduction letter, a recruiter wants to see the relevant experience, skills, real cases, and solutions. Don’t talk about your problem-solving skills if you don’t have a demonstrative example. Also, if you’ve figured out a certain problem a company struggles with, and you know your position is involved in it, provide a solution.

Decent summary with a next-step call

Do a brief wrap up of the key points you’ve outlined in a cover letter. In conclusion, you should state why you are the perfect fit for the position, and add a call-to-action. Leave it open-ended, expressing your excitement and offering to provide more if necessary.

How to write a good cover letter?

To wrap it up, the good cover letter definitely has to be catchy and memorable. Be honest, brief, and avoid using cliche descriptions. It’s better to take time to craft a successful cover letter, like any other creative piece.

Read #1 Thing To Say In Your Cover Letter