Don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, with hundreds of law students flooding the market, grades are usually the first indicator that law firms use to shortlist their candidates.
Adopting smart study habits is very important. Ask your seniors for advice. Often, it is about having the correct mindset and determination to stick to a study schedule. Learn to understand (not just memorize or regurgitate), and enjoy the process. If you have a process-oriented mindset, results will follow.
1. Know what you are good at and don’t give up
Mr Ang Chin Koon is the CEO of myCK, a budget-friendly retail outlet chain around Singapore with 19+ outlets. His story in business is one full of roller-coasters, from reaching incredible heights with an almost IPO, to a nasty fall-out with family members in their family business, personal bankruptcy and an incredible rise from the ashes (a real fire was involved).
After a drawn-out family feud and bankruptcy, Mr Ang has this to say:
"I decided to go back to what I'm good at, which is to sell things. It was the only skill I had." - Mr Ang Chin Koon, CEO of myCK
From there, he re-built his retail roots and created myCK, which is doing better than ever. What we can learn from this? Even the biggest setback should never get you down. Being self-aware of your own strengths and weaknesses is important. Stay positive and re-build from the ground up by focusing on your strengths. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to.
It seems that every millennial nowadays has a side hustle, and wisely so! Beyond the obvious internships and accreditations, a side hustle is an excellent way to show your passion and develop skill-sets that will make you a valuable asset to any company.
1. Start a blog or freelance writing
Think of what you are absolutely passionate about and start a blog recording your observations and thoughts. Once you have taken a few baby steps of getting your blog running, go ahead and look at freelance writing opportunities. There are websites on every imaginable topic possible online, and many of them accept submissions from newbie authors.
This is a wonderful resume builder, you can link your blog and/or published articles in your resume which demonstrates your writing abilities, knowledge and savvy on the subject matter.
Office dynamics can be difficult and it is easy to overstep your boundaries without thinking. The mantra of think before you speak holds true. What you say is a reflection of who you are and in an ecosystem like the office, bad things tend to get around faster than good. Here are 5 things that you should never say at the office.
1. “That’s not my Job”
This is a very common thing that can get blurted out in the heat of the moment when your boss assigns you one too many tasks or when a coworker once again tries to throw you under the bus. Play this one carefully. If it’s your boss, you should never say that as you come across as a terrible team player. If you are genuinely swamped, a better approach could be to list your current tasks and ask your boss which you should prioritize. This demonstrates that you have a lot on your plate and you are not just shirking responsibility.
If it’s a co-worker, it would depend on your assessment of the situation. We are ultimately codependent on our colleagues, and helping someone out can pay back in the long-term. Where you can, you could use your discretion to take on others’ responsibilities. However, if someone is trying to take advantage of you, you could decline in a firm but polite manner.
Doing things outside of your perceived job scope can benefit you. You learn by doing. You might find a new niche, or by doing things outside your normal job scope, you could interact with new colleagues or bosses from another department and build new network contacts for yourself.
Shoot for the moon and you will reach for the stars. In the ever-evolving job market today, it is more important than ever before to challenge yourself and go out of your comfort zone. In many instances, you may find yourself applying for a job that may seem like a “stretch” or “out of your league”. Here are 4 ways that can help you rise to the occasion!
1. Focus on transferable skills and being adaptable
Study the job description carefully. Write down the list of skills and qualifications that they are looking for. Compare this list to your resume and make linkages wherever possible. This will form as an excellent base for talking points during your interview.
More often than not, there are a lot of transferable skills that you possess than what is immediately obvious. Managerial experience and sales skills can be demonstrated in a variety of ways and you shouldn’t be shy in speaking up for yourself.
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In the job-hunting process, it is inevitable that you will face rejection. Whether it is “ghosting” (no reply whatsoever), a cursory rejection letter or a painful “we’ve gone with another candidate” after an interview, rejection can hurt. At the same time, rejection should not be taken personally and here are some ways to re-train your mind to use rejection as fuel for future success.
1. When one door closes, another opens
It sounds cliché but this is very true. Being the “right fit” strikes both ways. Your employer has many undisclosed reasons for not hiring you. For instance, you may be over-qualified and they cannot match your pay, or they know that you would not be a good fit for the culture of the firm. In many instances, not being offered a position is probably a blessing in disguise. When one door closes, another opens and the next opportunity may just be the perfect fit for you.
It is absolutely nerve-wrecking waiting to be called up for an interview. It is easy to feel disheartened and frustrated at this endless waiting game. Here are 5 biggest reasons why candidates fail to make the shortlist:
1. Missing Cover Letter
Having a cover letter will immediately boost your chances of getting called for an interview. If you don’t have a cover letter, your employer will only have an objective view of your skill-sets based on your CV. Based purely on your CV, if you are not the ideal fit or possess everything they are looking for, you might be easily passed over for someone else who has a convincing story to tell.
Employers care about hard skills, but they also really want someone who is genuinely excited to join their company and there is no better way to demonstrate this than in your cover letter.
Job interviews are stressful and nerve-wracking. Here are 3 tips to help you keep you calm, cool and collected.
1. Prepare for foreseeable questions
Job interviews are often scheduled very close to the time HR contacts you. It is thus vital for you to be prepared ahead of time.
Besides researching the company, you should also prepare your responses for commonly asked questions (our list of commonly-asked interview questions is linked here). In addition, you know your own CV the best, and any potential pitfalls that it may showcase. Be prepared on how to respond on questions on a bad grade, any time gap on your resume, why you left your previous position etc.
The job interview is the last hurdle to securing an internship or job. These are 3 common mistakes that should be avoided!
1. Not Being Prepared
There is a direct correlation between the amount of preparation and how well a candidate performs during an interview. A list of issues that every candidate should keep in mind is as follows:
· Information on the company
Go through the company website, paying attention to their mission statement and recent highlights that the company has chosen to spotlight.
· Information on the interviewers
Read management profiles.
· Industry knowledge / Current Affairs related to your field
It is expected that you possess the requisite knowledge about your industry and you should also keep abreast of any major news that affects your industry.
· The job scope of your role
This is critical and should be the number one thing in the back of your mind as you craft your cover letter, CV and answers during the interview. Everything should point towards the same end result of you being an excellent fit for the role. More tips on how to craft a winning resume and cover letter here.
· Expected remuneration
Wait for your employer to make the first offer. If asked, you can simply state that you expect a market-competitive rate or if you are applying for a role you really want, you can state that pay is negotiable.