Freelancing Tips

3
May

Practical Ways to Improve Your Interviewing Skills

Lots of people nowadays have been practicing lines from the usual questions asked in interviews. With the recession, expect a higher competition between possible employees. Canned questions are overly used in interviews – you may have experienced this before.

Interviewing Skills

Of course, candidates will try to redecorate their canned answers that will be very appealing to your ears. If you want to get the most out of this hiring process, there are three practical ways that you can do that will guarantee best results.

3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Interviewing Skills

Take Notes

It requires effort – especially with a full afternoon interview. However, it will be very helpful in times when you have to decide the person to hire for the job. Write down the qualities you’re looking for and create a checklist on each candidate.

This way, you’ll be able to know the good and the bad side of the interviewees that plays a big part in your decision making. Although it requires some effort, you should remain focused in the interview and engage in the discussion.

Engage in the Process

If you’re just responding with ‘good’ or ‘okay’ – you’re doing it wrong! If you want to get the most out of interviews, you have to engage in the process. The best way to do it is to create a discussion by exploring the answers that the interviewee gave.

If you keep your attention in the interview, you will also know more about the candidate that will make or break the hiring possibility. Small mannerism and expressions will tell something whether the person is perfect for the job. Even if you have a large set of interviewees, the conversation will always be different even if the questions are quite similar.

Open-ended Questions

Your office is a great source of questions that will make interviewees think. Most of your colleagues and even yourself may have a horrible interview story because of random questions that you don’t usually receive on interviews. It may have challenged your IQ, but it’s really useful to apply in interviews. In addition, it helps to move the discussion away from the usual and boring conversations. If you’re looking for a creative person, you may apply questions that may test their creative thinking.

On the other hand, interviewees will always blow you away with answers that include them, helping the company a lot. If someone gives away a great statement to sensible questions, you might be staring at the best person for the job.

28
Apr

Should You Reapply After Being Rejected?

All of us are very afraid of rejection, from the rejection by our peers to other rejections on your career. It is a part of reality and the best thing for us to do is to deal with it. It is a reality that exists in our world that we can’t please everybody. Especially when it comes to applying a job and being rejected, it is an uneasy experience especially to those who are seeking for jobs seriously.

Though we will be putting our egos on the line for this situation, but there are only two sides in each coin. Maybe its between you are overqualified for that job or under qualified.

Rejected

Why You Could Benefit from Attempting to Reapply

There will be a lot of reasons behind why you where rejected. You are maybe overqualified for that job or there are unnecessary technicalities on your resume. The employers won’t give you details on what you must put on your resume or what is the reason why he or she didn’t accept you on the first place. It is better to try another shot, than to do nothing.

Contacting the Company for Reconsideration

If you already decided to reapply again, the next step you will do is to contact the human resources department officer and ask permission if it is OK to submit your resume again. It is worth the risk, because maybe this time you will be accepted. You must also ask a couple of details from the HR officer on what to put or not to put in your resume.

Adding Keywords to Your Resume

After being given a go signal to resubmit your resume, it would be a waste of opportunity to submit the same resume that was rejected before. The clever thing for you to do is to edit your resume and add some keywords that would connect to the position you want to have. Make it sure that it will be attractive and it could catch the attention of the employer.

You must see to it that you must review your resume over and over again to find some inappropriate words and other indefinite details. It must be prefect and presentable, it will be a great risk but it will be all worth it.

22
May

Why Your Portfolio is Crucial For Your Freelancing Career

With the advent of the Internet, more and more people today are working as “freelancers”. By the way, what’s a freelancer?  Well, the term is defined as a person who sells services to different employers without a long-term contract. The word is also defined as working “ independently”, or on temporary contracts, as opposed to long-term employment. Now, to succeed as a freelancer, the individual should have what’s called a “portfolio”.   Let’s find out why portfolios are crucial to the success of every freelancer.

portfolio

What is a Portfolio?

The word “portfolio” is defined as a set of pieces of creative work, or an employment record that’s collected by someone and use it to display or highlight their skills, especially to potential employers.  Freelancers today re required to create their own portfolios, and they should ensure that the freelance portfolio they create communicates to new and existing clients, and highlights their talent and professionalism. And depending on the quality of your portfolio, it could lead to a positive point of contact with the employer, or a quick exit.

How to Create A Successful Freelance Portfolio

And because a portfolio can either make, or break, your chances of getting a lucrative project or job, you should be able to create a successful freelance portfolio. Here are a number of innovative ideas to keep in mind.

  • Treat your portfolio as an advertisement, and make sure you leave your potential employers or clients wanting for more.  Your portfolio should effectively sell your services, and present you in a clean and simple manner.  Also make sure your portfolio gets your message or ideas across, and showcases your skills too.
  • Ensure that your contact details are obvious. Remember that your contact details are a vital part of your freelance portfolio. Thus, make sure they are accessible on your site, or clear in your written portfolio.
  • Don’t “Skimp” on your portfolio. Because your portfolio serves as an advertisement of your skills and talents, make sure you fully invest in it. Get a beautiful and manageable portfolio up and running quickly, but ensure that no details are inaccurate or substandard, or else you will not be able to impress your clients or potential employers.

Others suggest that you make your freelance portfolio as visual as possible because as the popular adage goes, “a picture paints a thousand words”.  A freelance portfolio with good-quality imagery should also be supported with detailed information about your skills and talents, along with the projects that you’ve already undertaken.  But if you don’t have design skills, you could try hiring a graphic designer to do this for you.  Freelance portfolios are not just for web developers, graphic designers or creative artists, but also for all digital professionals, as these are a must in today’s web-driven marketplace and environment.

6
Dec

Effective Ways to Build a Strong Company Culture

It is a fact that not all companies are healthy. Some are hanging by a thread, while others are breathing their last breath. Is it because of poor management or terrible working conditions? Is it a lack of monetary compensation? While all of these things contribute to the success or downfall of a company, the core problem of all these is the culture of a company or organization as a whole.

If you have studied management or attended management trainings and seminars, you will often hear experts say that productive employees are those who are empowered employees. This means that if a person knows his worth and value in a team, he will perform more efficiently and productively. This kind of empowerment comes from a strong and effective company culture. If you are a leader, how do you build such?

Company Culture

The first step to a successful company always starts on the leadership – the ability of the leader to understand and acknowledge the needs and desires of the people under him. A true leader will always take the time to ask what motivates a person. This is very crucial because each person is unique; therefore, it takes discernment to know what works for each by learning how to listen.

Listening, however, isn’t enough. You also need to do something about it; thus, the next step is taking action to the problems and expectations that were presented to you. This part is crucial and the most difficult as it can overwhelm you to take action immediately. In order not to fail in this area, focus on each one and giving priority to the most important.

Once you are able to identify the needs and priorities of the company, do not be afraid to ask the cooperation of your employees. Gather their ideas and suggestions how to improve and strengthen the company. Once your employees feel that their opinions matter and that they are part of the success of the company, it will be easy to keep the ideas coming. Entertain all ideas even if you think differently about it.

You can further strengthen this collaboration by making them follow through their own ideas and suggestions. This, of course, happens under your guidance and leadership to avoid chaos. Get the idea across that you are willing to test their ideas using concrete methods to make it more effective and workable. Under this phase, make sure that you do not forget to properly reward and appropriately praise those people who really did well. On the other hand, do not fail to encourage those who don’t to do much better next time as failure is not the end but another way of finding a more effective solution for success.

19
Nov

Effective Ways To Unlock Employee Creativity

Creativity role is very important in our daily routines and lives especially nowadays when we are facing challenges and problems on a daily basis. The complexity of things has been increasing by the day as it is becoming problematic to resolve certain issues emerging out of unique problems. So, as it turns out, these unique problems must have super unique solutions for making the venture of profit making in businesses a roaring success. The people employed by various companies often face the problem of getting stuck in their daily routines of work that they are not able to harness their own originality and creativity in achieving success in business overall.

creativity

However, the employers are continuously thinking upon making the employee creativity a possibility by various activities and presenting to their employees certain scenarios that can best help them in thinking differently on the problems faced in business activities on a daily basis. Employee creativity can significantly help these employees in not only making a mark for themselves but also for the entire company or business to achieve greater heights of success through them. These activities may involve anything from games to uniquely arrange programs, etc. that are planned and thought of by the creative team closer to the employer. This in essence also depends on the employer’s business as a whole, as the particular business in a niche may mean differently to different employees and their job positions may also let them see things differently.

Some of the activities to go for creativity and generally make the employees think more and in better way may involve the following:

  • Games

Games may be considered as the source of permanent enjoyment and support for many individuals. These games help the employees in not only getting close to each other and working in harmony but also provide them with the ability of thinking differently. The choice of games is very important for improving Employee Creativity, as this choice might be very different for the employees who are involved in different activities altogether. For example, an employer may use chess as a game if his company involves use of really innovative strategies, or other health oriented sports as well for improving the team work in the office overall. These activities not only help the employees in harnessing their creativity but work wonders for businesses, as many case studies have shown this in the past.

  • Snacks and food

Snacks and food not only involve the eating habit improvement but also provides you with inspirational ideas. As the phrase, ‘food for thought’ somehow applies to the snacks. These snacks or other different dishes presented for eating may allow your employees to develop a stronger sense of beauty, taste and having good experiences overall. The collaboration, conversation, etc. also increases through this.

  • Staff relationships

For Employee Creativity, it is also very important to make them feel important and equal to each other. Therefore, having a hierarchy in an office where there are good relations and ease of conversation between employees and administration would also help these employees in getting inspired. Therefore, this would also help with improved Employee Creativity.

1
Nov

Effective Tips to Be More Productive

In any field you may be working on the ultimate goal to always be productive and meet your set goals. Distractions are everywhere especially in the work place that’s why you need to learn how to plan your day effectively and ensure you are productive at the end of the day. The things that distract us and keep us from being productive are the common things like social media and co-workers.

productive

Effective and Efficient Tips to Be More Productive

The most important thing is to carefully plan the activity of a given day. Allocate time for each activity and make sure you stick to your time table and that you are well organized.  Time management is one of the hardest things for most people hence you need to keep track of time and set reminders on given tasks and appointments. Activities that are simple should be allocated with less time while those that require all your attention need more time. It’s always advisable to start with the tough activities and get them out of your way before embarking on the simple tasks. Have a calendar of all the tasks you wish to accomplish and set a deadline and a time frame and make sure you stick to it.

productiveThe second step is to get rid of all the things that distract you and keep you away from productivity. For most people the things that most distract them are the modern gadgets like smartphones and computers. If your mobile is the biggest distraction while you are working make a point of shutting it off or putting it in silent mode. The computer can be a distraction especially if you have internet connection so disconnect the internet connection as you work to avoid the temptation of logging in to social media like Facebook. Co-workers can be another source of distraction if not well handled. You can let them know when you do not want to be disturbed and hold off any visitor until the work is done. You also need to put priority on the task ahead of you, the task that are very urgent should be given the first priority and avoid delaying unfinished work.

Get organized, you need to keep your desk well organized and store the office tools somewhere where you can access them easily.  The general rule of any office environment is keeping the tools you use most at arm’s reach. Most people will spend more than 5 minutes looking for a letter opener which leads to waste of time and low productivity at the end of the day. Make sure the tools you use are the right tools and also in good working condition.

Learn to file and categorize documents both the hard copies and the soft copies, this will save you time you would have used to search for a document of a file. There are some habits that can lead to less productivity in a given day like regularly checking and replying your mails. Set a designated time to do that, shut off the temptation, you can mute the incoming email notification sound and work as productive as you can!

21
Oct

Effective Tips to a Successful Freelancing Career

Most of us have a local job and careers to keep us all busy; from being a nurse, a doctor, a dentist, a store manager and a lot more that eats our time and gives us a lot of stress. Yes, this is the reality and that is how our world works. However, in this generation everything seems to work differently. Of course we still need professionals to keep us healthy yet there are some careers that are not worthy of our time, the reason most of us took those kind of jobs is because of financial issues. So what if there’s a profession that can help you out from your demanding careers and bosses? This is definitely something that everyone would love to do. As mentioned, today’s time works different, now it’s more high tech and fast, and money is also fast earned. The profession I’m talking about is the world of freelancing.

Freelancing

Image Credit – Protection Cover

Freelancing career means working for yourself, you are the boss, your own your time and you manage how much you earn. This is the simplest definition of freelancing, from the way it sound this is far better than sticking to your demanding jobs. So if you want to be successful on your freelancing career, here are some freelancing tips to help you in your journey.

 

Effective Tips to a Successful Freelancing Career

Build Self-discipline

This is the first and major factor to determine your success in freelancing. Having the discipline makes you work harder, more focus, more fast and a lot more you can think of! So everything all boils down to discipline. If you have the discipline, you produce high quality results thus satisfying your clients. This is a start of your career, one you satisfy your clients, they will keep coming back for more. That also means money on your part!

freelancerOutsource Staff

Once you’ve gained enough clients, big projects and constant jobs online, this only means your work is piling up. There are even times when you can’t handle everything but you can’t resist and say no to all the upcoming projects! So your tendency is to scramble and think of ways to finish everything that is needed. Now, here is where outsourcing comes in. You have piling work and the best way to have everything done is to outsource another freelancer to help you out. This makes you more effective in hitting your turn around time. Once you outsource, the job is divided into 2, you do your own chosen tasks and you delegate the rest to your staff. All you have to do is set a deadline and proofread or check everything once done. If all is well then pass it to your client. This makes your work faster and easier, thus giving you faster income and less stress in hitting the deadline. Of course you have to pay your staff to keep him or her motivated.

Be Organized

Being organized allows you to have strategies. These strategies provides you great ways to market your service and have enough projects for you and for your staff, so from one staff to another, until you create your own empire! How amazing is that? This makes you more successful and has a lot bigger income.

Final Words

These are the 3 tips to help you start your freelancing career, simple yet very effective. Your career will certainly flourish and that is guaranteed. With these 3 tips, you will never go wrong in your freelancing career. You will know once you are rising for your projects will keep on coming.

 

10
Oct

Avoid Stress – Comply Assignments Ahead of Time

Freelancing is increasingly popular that some fresh graduates would prefer to build their freelancing career on their own rather than work for someone. This is increasingly demanding because of the fact that you are your own boss, you set your own time and you set your own days off, what more could be better than this? However, being a freelancer comes great responsibilities, deadlines to meet and for some, stress and pressure comes with this career. For starters, it is highly recommended to know what are the things needed to be an effective freelancer, this way one could avoid stress and get the needed assignments on time.

Freelancing tips a newbie or a beginner can follow to avoid stress:

As a newbie, you need to make that once you received an assignment; you have to give your best shot. How to give your best shot? Of course, you need to impress your client therefore the best way to impress them and get their attention to focus on you is to provide the needed assignments or projects on time. However, it is even much better if you finish everything ahead of time, before the turnaround time. If this is your attitude towards work then I can guarantee you a 100% successful freelancing career.


freelancing
To make sure that the assigned project is finished on time, you must ask relevant questions about the project. You can ask for more information, clearer instructions and other things they might want. This is to ensure that both parties understand each other and avoid wasting time. You must ask questions related to your project and may even offer an alternative solution or whatever that is needed to finish the project not only ahead of time but also finish it with great quality and content.

Make sure you have enough time for work than your personal rituals. Working on time and dividing your time effectively will surely help you manage your projects well. This way you’ll avoid cramming at the last hour or the last minute. You won’t have enough time to check your project or proofread because of the time.

To avoid further stress of being a freelancer, you should start working on projects which are long term. Finding a long term job can surely lessen your stress, how? By having enough work every day or by finding a stable project you can ensure you’ll get paid steadily and not just periodically. If you work on short term projects, this is a pain in the head! Why? These type of projects doesn’t lasts and you’ll eventually find yourself waiting for another opportunity to land.

If you think your assignment or project will take you a couple of days, before accepting the project make sure to set expectations. You need to inform your client that it will take you how man days to complete the assignment.

Final Words

There are a lot of freelancing tips available. These tips provided are not only for newbies but also for those tenured freelancers out there. Freelancing is a trend now so you must be prepared and ready to deal with competitions.

30
Sep

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Freelancer

Nowadays, whether it’s because of the general state of the economy, companies cutting down on costs via workforce reduction or simply the desire to take matters into their own hands, a lot of folks are joining the ranks of the freelancing population. Depending on your preference, freelancers are also called work-at-home professionals or independent contractors.

FreelancerThe Good News

If you’re a freelancer, there’s no such thing as:

  • swearing at heavy traffic
  • racing against time to punch in for work
  • commitment to a particular employer
  • corporate politics to contend with
  • some fellow breathing down your neck with every move you make or word you say

If you’re a freelancer:

  • you’re your own boss
  • you can choose your clients
  • you set your own pace and designate your own time

And if you’re an online freelancer, you can take your work anywhere you please, whether while vacationing in Bali, watching the sunset in Santorini or frantically running away from a herd of raging bulls in Madrid.

The Bad News

Freelancing is NOT a bed of roses – a statement that has been used and abused but cannot be emphasized enough. Freelancing has its ups and downs, and it requires a lot of work, especially in the beginning. You would have to diligently market yourself to find trustworthy clients. You might even have to start with pay that’s below industry average just so you can showcase your skills, establish a reputation and an impressive work portfolio. If you’re prepared to swallow all these hook, line and sinker, then, you have a good chance of making it big as a freelancer.

However, before you take the freelancing plunge, here are three questions you might want to consider asking yourself first:

1. Do I have the right tools?

A gardener has his garden tools. A hairdresser has a different set of tools. If your intent is to work online, whether it’s an IBM, a Mac or a Novatech you’ve got, you have to make sure that your computer is always in tip-top shape. That’s not saying you have to have top-of-the-line specs, especially if you can’t afford it. At the very least, invest in hardware (computer, headset, transcription pedal, microphone, etc.) and software that you can constantly rely on.

Oh, and don’t forget, make sure to subscribe with a trustworthy Internet service provider, too.

2. Am I focused and disciplined enough?

When you have the power to choose when to work with no boss hounding you every step of the way, it’s so easy to fall into the procrastination trap. When laziness strikes, everything you’ve diligently memorized about time management flies out of the window.

And even if you’re all prepped up to get things done, social media sites like Facebook, G+, Twitter can divert your attention. Before you know it, time has slipped away and you’re running late for a deadline. How focused and committed you are to accomplish what is expected of you within the time frame agreed upon will determine your success as a freelancer.

3. How long will my cash reserves last?

With freelancing, recognize that the paycheck isn’t going to be deposited to your bank account like clockwork. Your clients will very rarely agree to upfront payments. And you may need to work for a few days up to months on one specific assignment before you receive any compensation. The solution? If you want to make a full-time career out of freelancing, make sure you have enough savings to last for several months (at least six months is ideal). This way, you don’t have to live with just the bare essentials.

Conclusion

Just like anything worth investing your time in, freelancing has its pros and cons. But if after addressing the above questions you’re still all smiles, then, perhaps, it’s time you took the freelancing plunge.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
19
Sep

Advantages of Using Social Networks for Job Hunting

As we all know, spreading news and other important details are always best spread through the word of mouth. Same goes for job hunting, it’s far better in spreading your skills, your capabilities and your overall performance through the use of social networks. Social networks are great when it comes to connection, you can connect to almost anyone whether you know them or not.

Because of advanced technologies, job hunters nowadays have far better chances finding a job online, Why?

Social networks

Let’s talk about the advantages of using social networks for job hunting.

You can connect to different people or different companies

All you have to do is compose your profile, and you can just share it to anyone. There’s less effort compared to printing your resume, and passing it to different companies yourself, not only is your time wasted hunting and locating all your desired companies but your money is wasted as well. What if you’ve done this and all your efforts weren’t paid off? Imagine how much you spent and end up not being hired? This is not a good plan for starters who are looking for their first job.

With the use of social networks…

You can easily connect to your desired companies in an instant

Speed and time is crucial hence this is highly commendable. If you compare it, calling and visiting a company physically is time consuming, employers might not be available at the time you applied. However, with the use of social networks you can speed your chances of being hired.

You’re exponential growth could increase giving you a big chance to be noticed and get hired

Being “viral” on social networks could help you get noticed easily! Some of your friends and followers might repost your status giving you enough advantages to catch the eye of an amazing company, you’ll never know!

And lastly.

You can click the like button of the companies you desired and follow their company online

You’ll receive the latest updates and if there are open positions, you’ll be one of the people who’ll get the announcement as early as possible. You can check on what are the types of people they need, the roles and responsibilities required, their vacancies and a lot more.  You can also connect and receive the latest information about the different important people in the said company.

Final Words

At this age, more and more employers are posting job opportunities, internships and a lot more for hiring. Social networks has a lot of advantages, interviews can just be conducted online. Skype is mostly the preferred way of conducting an interview. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a lot more are the sites usually flooded by millions of people, either for personal reasons, business or job hunting. Therefore using social networks for job hunting is one of the most effective ways of being noticed, increase your chances of being hired and also the most cost effective job hunting strategies one could undergo.

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