Reference to Success

It's a tough fight between another candidate and you. What now?

If it is a job at an established company with good prospects and pays well, it is very likely your list of references will be checked.

Most people barely give a thought to references but have, instead, channeled all energy on polishing their resume and improving their interview skills. But as you get nearer to clinching that dream job, references can make or break your chances.

Direct bad responses like "Are you sure you want to employ him?" or those with innuendoes like "Is he still in this field?" can really blow your chances of the job offer. Similarly, neutral, or no, responses like "Who's that?", "Our company policy prohibits us from making comments on past employees" or "Oh, I don't know what to say. I didn't know I was one of his references", can reflect very negatively of you. On the other hand, if you bothered with your references, interviewers may get the impression that you are a good worker who doesn't even leave the smallest detail alone.

Here are some tips for tip-top references in your resume.

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The Art of Small Talk

Theartofsmalltalk

Small talk is probably the most useful skill you could have. If being successful is all about knowing the right people, it’s good to know some conversation starters. Maybe you’re new at a company, not knowing how to start a conversation with the colleague who sits next to you, or at a business meeting with new clients, or maybe even a time filler while waiting in line at the cashier.

While Singaporeans are not always inclined to make conversations with strangers, it’s rare that someone will actually ignore you totally or shrug you off.

Here are some tips for different situations:

Read more: The Art of Small Talk

Why not me?

Job searching can be both demanding and discouraging. Creating an impressive cover letter and resume, researching on the company, preparing for the interview and more often then not, handling rejections.

Does the line "We will call you" sound familiar? After a few rounds of interviews, you may receive little, if not no, feedback from the companies for why you weren't chosen. Most times, the rejection comes through via email or snail mail, or in the form of a cold unfeeling call from an unrelated party, usually the clueless receptionist.

But not giving up so easily, you work on your interview skills, delve deeper into research and prepare even harder for the interview. You make sure you have good interview skills, did more than adequate research and you fully prepare for the big day. You leave no reasons why it should still go wrong. Yet after even more rounds of interviews, some even to the final interview, you find yourself back at square one.

So, what went wrong?

Before you start feeling sorry for yourself and thinking that you are unworthy of employment, here are actually three real and valid reasons for why you weren't chosen and it is really not your fault.

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Prepare for your Job Interview

interview
You have been selected for an interview. Now, what should you do? How should you prepare for it? Here is a simple to-do checklist before the big day.

Read more: Prepare for your Job Interview

Resume for Results

Photo | Glasbergen

A simple checklist for an effective resume.

Read more: Resume for Results

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