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Kick-start

Ask a Coach: The Graduate’s Guide to Career Planning

By | Career Advice, Expert Advice, Featured, Kick-start

Fresh out of college?  Facing the dreaded question “what now”? Been there, done that! I was the typical lost-with-zero-self-awareness-looking-for-any-job type of graduate. I had no idea what I can do or what I wanted to do. Well, the situation has changed for me. It did take me 4 years of trials and plenty of errors to figure out what I wanted to do, but thanks to my career coaching training. Now, I have a clear roadmap for my desired career path.

It takes time to set the plan and carry it out. So be patient and flexible. Your commitment is a crucial aspect here, so don’t be slacking, instead get to planning!

  1. Know yourself

Before considering career options, degree-related or not, you have to ask yourself first, ‘which role would fit me?’. If you have an answer to this question, Kudos! You’re one of the lucky ones who possess a reasonable level of self-awareness required for this step. If you don’t, which most of us sadly don’t, then you would need to take a moment to answer this question.

There are some points to consider when the self-exploration phase starts,

  • Your personality: what type of jobs fit your personality type (you can look for personality or online psychometric assessments to help you with some initial indicators)
  • Your career values: what’s more important to you in your career (your job’s social impact, the location of the company, the salary range, etc.)
  • Your motivated skills: how your skills and qualification can fit the role of your choice (check some skills and qualification inventory assessment such as RIASEC).

Utilize these tools to give you a list of potential career options. If you feel excited about one or more, write them down along with the main character aspects that you’ll get from the personality assessment, the motivated skills, aka tasks, you’d enjoy doing as well as what you want your job to offer you.

Consider Career coaching to help you out through this phase. It will help challenge your pre-existing beliefs and considerations for yourself and will shed some light on some points that you, yourself, have not considered for your career choices. We all need the extra push sometimes.

  1. Relate your degree to job market! Or don’t!

Your college education can give you many career options to consider. There are some obvious degree-related options that you get introduced to during your 4-7 years in college. As an example, if you’ve graduated from the Faculty of Commerce, you can work in accountancy, human resources (based on your major), banking, logistics, sales or business development. If you’ve decided on one of the options already, then hooray! You can now just start applying for entry-level jobs that don’t require much experience and then build your way from there.

If you’re uncertain which opportunity fits you more, this plan will help you decide. Write down all the jobs you might be working and let’s see how it goes.

  1. Know your job market

‘How does the market look like today?’ is one of the most important questions you should get an answer to. There is an ever-increasing number of available of jobs every day. WUZZUF has more than 7000 jobs at this moment including almost every function and industry there is in the Egyptian job market. So you’re provided with access to literally thousands of jobs that you can research.

So take the list of career options that you’ve been provided with within the previous two steps and add any others that you came across this far and start researching.

  1. Shortlist your options

Read through the job descriptions, and I mean really read through them, try to visualize yourself doing them. Your understanding of what you might be doing day in and day out is critical. List the tasks that seem most intriguing to you.

Based on your research in the local market, start grading the jobs based on how interesting they seem to you and how they fit your motivated skills and career values. List all of your skills and values on the table and check the career option that will provide you with the chance to use this skill or will fit your career values. The ones with more check marks are the shortlisted ones. This will help minimize some of the confusion of what can fit you and what you can excel at to a shorter number of jobs. Focus your efforts on a few of options to make it easier for yourself to land a fitting opportunity. 

  1. Ask a subject matter expert

A subject matter expert is an individual with an exceptional understanding of a specific function, technology, career track or a business aspect. This expert will provide you with a realistic point of view into the career track(s) you’re considering, hopefully, let you in on some of the trade secrets and recommend the most effective and straight to the point ways that will help you fast track your learning process.

You can utilize your network here, and if you don’t have someone in your network you’d consider an SME, then ask a friend if they know someone, or ask a friend of a friend or even just post a status on your Facebook account asking if someone knows someone. Don’t be shy, I’m confident they’re used to being asked about their field and would not have any problem helping someone looking for information. You can always join a WUZZUF Meetup or attend field-related activities such as Social Media day, Engineering Day, Riseup Summit and of course: job fairs.

Write down their names, their contact details and how to reach them in your plan. Also the list of questions about your career of interest. That will make you seem prepared and informed to the expert. Refrain from asking vague or too general questions, like ‘so tell me, what is software development,’ try something like, ‘which new software I need to be familiar with to start working in android application?’, or something along this way. Just don’t approach the expert uniformed because their role is to fill in the gaps, not to paint you the whole picture.

  1. Learn, learn & then learn some more!

Just because the 4-7 years of institutionalized education is completed doesn’t mean that we stop learning. Investing in a field-related learning option will not only help you understand more theories about the job, but it can also give your chances a great boost when you start applying for jobs. You can always look through online courses through Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Edx, Code Academy and other infinite numbers of MOOCs online. There are also many offline courses that you can consider, make sure to ask an SME for any place they can recommend.

Based on the SME’s input, your own research and, possibly the list of sources mentioned above, write down the information gathered and add a timeline for your learning journey. Your commitment and investment in building your knowledge about the field are imperative, I can not stress this enough. And again, be realistic and don’t cram everything within a single week or something. Do things on your own pace, no one is rushing you.

  1. Refine your tools

Your CV, WUZZUF profile, cover letter and your interview techniques are your tools. There are tons of online resources that you can use to acquire a nifty CV template or cover letter writing techniques. Google them and make sure you use the most recent templates, as there are plenty of old-school templates and tips.

Remember, not to add a photo to your CV and please, oh please, don’t write an objective. If it’s not going to add more information than “working for a reputable company where you can utilize and enhance on your skills” then, just don’t! If you have your CV at hand, remove the objective and the photo, highlight your prior, even if not too long, experience using power words and clear details.

If you’re in the software development field, design, art, creative writing, photography or any field that would require you to have an organized, neat and updated online portfolio, then your online GitHub or Behance profile is your way to easily showcase your technical skills. If you need any assistance getting your CV, profile, and interview skills professionally reviewed and refined, get in touch.

Going through all of the above should provide you with a clear view into what you’re fit for, what you’re capable of and a list of jobs you’d like to work at. What are you waiting for, start applying for the right job for you right now!

  1. Stop, consider & revisit!

If you’ve made it this far, Good Job! Now you have a plan to follow. But remember that plans are adaptable, and the process is challenging. So even if you found out that the job you considered ideal is not what you need, remember that there’s always a lesson. It’s either you’re acquiring a new skill, or you’re striking out an option off your list. It’s perfectly normal and even required of you, to revisit your plan, your objectives and your reasons for your choices. Go back, consider, research, learn, keep an open mind and start a new journey. It’s always fun to explore!

Download Career Plan Blueprint
wuzzuf explore laptop homepage

“Explore” how WUZZUF home page can boost your career!

By | Featured, Find a Job, Grow, Job Search, Kick-start

If you recently went on WUZZUF to search and apply for jobs, then you have probably taken a couple of seconds to make sure that you’re on the right website because it looks different than what you last remember. WUZZUF has just undergone a cool and refined revamp, that aims to take you beyond just looking for a job but to also offer a multitude of career opportunities tailored to your needs!

It started with our Unlock’18 event last May, introducing the new product – #WUZZUFGedeed. It’s not just about the new look, it’s a new philosophy WUZZUF is undertaking to continue on being your leading career destination, providing you with the ultimate experience of job hunting and career growth.

For starters, all you need to do to is to sign in on wuzzuf.net to feel the cool breeze of your new home page, which incorporates three tabs: Explore, Saved, Applications.

eplore wuzzuf new home page

With a sleek, visually-pleasing yet professional look, the home page is now your new home. Your go-to place to when you need to search and apply for career opportunities specifically chosen for you. Your optimum guide through the job market. The three tabs complement each other to represent the professional you on screen. So let’s take it one tab at a time:

Keep Scrolling

The Explore feed offers a continuous stream of jobs and career opportunities that match your career interests; so the more accurate and updated your profile is, the more personal and tailored the recommendations get. Your homepage is not limited to a number of pages through which you can look for the most suitable opportunity you can apply to, but the flow goes on and on. The further you scroll, the more opportunities you can…Explore.

old dashboard to new homepageEach job opportunity on the Explore feed is described briefly, giving you enough information to interest you. Either explore its details or you “hide” it if it’s not the right fit for you. By clicking on hiding the recommendation, you choose why it is not suitable for you. This way you enhance your feed to be better accustomed to your interests in the future.

Between different job vacancies, you will find WUZZUF recommending career opportunities such as Internships, Blog, Meetups, Coaches, briefly explaining each one of them. These opportunities provide you with the optimum experience aiming to help build and grow your career.

Check this out!

If you think an opportunity is worth sharing with others would benefit from it, click on the Share button below each opportunity to spread the word on different social media platforms.

Get back to it later

Sometimes you might apply to a relevant opportunity, without being completely prepared for its screening questions or your profile information is outdated. You surely don’t want to miss out on it. The solution here is not to apply to everything you come across; on the contrary, you should make sure that you specifically select the opportunities you believe fit you the most.

This is what the Saved tab is designated to perform: help you make better application choices. While going through your Explore feed, Save the opportunities you are interested in. Then at a later time when you’re at the peak of your focus, go to the Saved tab and filter out the applications that are not suitable or that you rushed the decision of saving, and complete the draft applications that highly match your career skills and experience.

explore + save old dashboard to new homepageTrack your WUZZUF applications

The third tab “Applications” is all about overseeing the application process, and knowing whether the employer has viewed your application or not. If so, whether your application is shortlisted, rejected or your contact information has been accessed for each job you applied to. If the employer did not yet view your application and the vacancy is still open, you can choose to modify your answers or withdraw your application. Through WUZZUF, you’re in the picture. You don’t just send an application and hope for the best. Knowing how your application is dealt with could give you insight on knowing how employers think and operate.

These three tabs work together to create a very personalized homepage experience that meets your interests and present career opportunities. That is why it is essential that you regularly update your profile and make sure that it is as accurate as possible, as this boosts your profile strength meter and increases your chances of having your profile being viewed by employers. WUZZUF will continuously remind you to update your profile through the “update profile” card present on the top right corner of your Explore feed, increasing your profile strength every time you do, and presenting you with insight on how many employers have checked your profile out during the past period.

The only thing that is constant is change. And we’re constantly changing, to fit your needs.

Screening Questions: What, Why, & How?

By | Featured, Find a Job, Hiring, Job Search, Kick-start, Managers

Did you know that answering Screening Questions increases your chances of having your job applications viewed? And that’s merely one of the reasons why they are an important part of applying for jobs on WUZZUF.

One of the features that we offer companies on WUZZUF is the ability to add a number of customizable questions to a job post for applicants to answer. These are called Screening Questions, and we’re going to discuss why you should answer them and how to best do it.

So what are Screening Questions?

When you apply for a job on WUZZUF, you can get redirected to a page that looks like this with the heading “The hiring team at [Company x] also requires that you answer the below questions.”

Apply for Social Media Specialist at Digital Cloud (1) screening questions WUZZUF

These are the Screening Questions. The hiring company can ask any questions about info that doesn’t appear on your profile or CV, like “What makes you the best candidates for this job?”

The company could ask a question that’s specific to the technicalities of the posted vacancy. For example, if you’re applying for a vacancy of a digital marketer, you can find a question asking about brands you like and what made them your favorite.

Another common request is a sample of your work, especially if you’re in the creative field (writing, design, etc.). Because the company wants to know about you as much as they can before making a decision regarding your application, asking for a sample gives them a great idea of what your work is actually like.

Why should you answer Screening Questions?

So why are Screening Questions important? There are a couple of reasons why they’re important and hence why you should definitely answer them.

  • “To get over a mountain, you have to climb it.” — Unknown

Answering Screening Questions increases your Matching Score. Applicants for a job on WUZZUF are ranked according to their Matching Score, and therefore the ones with the highest scores are placed at the top of the list and have the highest chances of having their applications viewed.

Using Screening Questions, companies inquire about info they otherwise can’t know without actually sitting in an interview with you. Due to the complicated logistics of hiring (the time it takes, the number of applicants a job has, the required human resources, etc.), interviewing all candidate with seemingly fitting profiles is not possible. That’s why Screening Questions are a great tool because they give you a chance to talk more about yourself and fill in any details the company wants to know about you before it decides on an interview.

Answering Screening Questions is a great way to let companies know more about you. #ScreeningQuestionsClick To Tweet
  • “Go the extra mile and you will stand out from the crowd.” — Robin Crow

Screening Questions are the first thing the company sees in your application. Use this chance to impress the company with the effort you put into answering the questions. The company you want to join took the time to ask the questions that matter to the job and that makes answering them important. So respond in kind. Do go the extra mile and take the time to answer well and show your commitment. Use the opportunity to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

How answered vs. unanswered Screening Questions look in your application

How answered vs. unanswered Screening Questions look in your application.

How to answer Screening Questions

So now that you’re going to answer the Screening Questions, how should you do it?

A good point to keep in mind is that Screening Questions are a great chance to get the person doing the screening hooked. The position of the questions means that if your answers are not good, there’s a good chance they won’t go over the rest of your application and just move on to the next one. If they do check it out, it will already have left an unpleasant impression of you.

So here are some pointers on how to provide great answers to these questions.

  • Avoid clichés

Even when the question is one of the most common ones like “What makes you the best candidate for this job?” the company is still looking for a unique answer. Never copy and paste an answer from somewhere, even if it was another application of yours.

Never copy and paste an answer from somewhere, even if it was another application of yours. #ScreeningQuestionsClick To Tweet

It helps to thoroughly read the job description, requirements, and the questions themselves before answering because only then can you focus on your strengths that are directly related to the job.

You should also be unique and true to yourself. This is the only way the company gets to know you really well.

  • Be concise

The hiring company is busy so having someone go through all the applications on a job post would be hectic. Our research shows that someone hiring on WUZZUF spends only an average of seven seconds looking at any one application. This means they won’t read long answers, at least not fully. So be concise, get to the point, and cut the fluff. But do cover the point(s) the question is inquiring about thoroughly.

not concise Screening Questions

Fluffy

  • Play the game

In its core, getting a job is a barter deal. You give the company your skills and experience and in exchange you get a position, benefits, and career progress. It’s a two-way street, but if it were this straightforward, true professionals would be equated with the rest. So you have to play the game. Don’t assume just because that someone is hiring that they’re going to accept anyone. Put the effort in and pull out all the stops.

Screening Questions too direct no elaboration

Too direct with no elaboration

Don’t go overboard though. Never beg for the job in your answers. No matter how badly you need the job, don’t let it show. Don’t add your personal info (phone number or email) in your answers either. All of this will make the company undervalue you, so even if you did end up getting hired, you probably wouldn’t be getting your true worth.

  • Review your answers

Nothing leaves a worse impression than a good answer full of typos. Go over your answers when you’re done writing. Never submit an application without checking for those pesky, little errors that usually skip our attention. Make sure you’re using good grammar and punctuation. This is even more important if you’re applying for a job where excellent writing skills are a requirement. Use a tool like Grammarly for better results.

Full of linguistic errors

Here are more examples of bad answers to Screening Questions that are sure to kill your chance at getting the job you want:

irrelevant Screening Questions

Off topic

By following the tips above, you can get an answer that looks something like this:

Bottom line: Take your time when answering Screening Questions. They are what will get your foot in the door.

Have you ever encountered any Screening Questions you didn’t know how to answer? Let us know in the comments below so we can give you some tips.

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How to take ownership of your work the right way

By | Featured, Internship, Kick-start

“Take ownership of your work.” You’ve probably heard this a thousand times before. Perhaps it was kindly said in a meeting or thrown around in a screaming match at the office. Either way, you might not have been told exactly how to do it.

To take ownership of your work is to step up to the plate, take control of the task at hand, and take full responsibility for the triumphs and failures. It allows you to lead your projects, fully learn from your mistakes, and manage your own career growth.

It’s the difference between having to do a task and wanting to do a task. So how should you do that?

If you don’t lead a team, this is how to empower yourself

Foster your passion

If you want to take ownership of your work, don’t do work you don’t care about. Being passionate about the work you’re doing is one big step towards owning it. It’s not always easy and it’s something we all struggle with.

But you can start fostering the growth of that passion by picking the projects and tasks you truly enjoy doing or are interested in exploring and asking to work on them. Let your manager know that you need to work on the projects you genuinely care about.

Be accountable

Screenshot from Zahran's More than a Job videoA big part of taking ownership of your work is owning the responsibility of your work. You have to be accountable for your actions and everything else that happens in your project. If things go badly, it’s on you. And if things go splendidly, you get the credit!

Speak up and be a part of the conversation

Make sure to voice your opinion in the workplace, especially when it comes to your own work. If you own the project, stand up for your decisions and defend your viewpoints. Communicate the right information to the right stakeholders and engage with them, but remember that you have the final say. You own the project, you make the decisions.

Moreover, talk to your manager about your vision for each project, as well as your career goals, so they can be well aware of what you need to achieve and align your work with it.

Define your own success

What is success, for you? It’s a very important question to answer. To truly own your career development, you need to understand what success means to you so you can work on instilling those values in your projects.

Pick up a pen and paper and map out your career goals. From there, you’ll start to get a clearer picture of what you want your success to look like. Define it, document it, and then implement it.

If you do lead a team, this is how to empower them

Invite criticism

Good managers invite feedback, positive and negative. Great managers take it in consideration and learn from individuals in their team. It’s a great way to let your team know that their opinions matter and that they have a say in the work they do.

This is how KarmSolar’s founder and CEO Ahmed Zahran manages his team.

So make sure you let them communicate their input when it comes to anything that impacts their work. Embrace it. Even automate it; look for a tool or method for everyone to leave their ideas and feedback. It will allow them to be comfortable with the role of the decision-maker and it will encourage them to make bolder statements and step up to claim more responsibility.

Motivate and inspire

Make sure you communicate clearly what you expect of each of your team members, delegate important projects and tasks to them based on their passions and skills, and then motivate them to do their absolute best.

Inspire them to work on their weaknesses and magnify their strengths, and push them towards achieving their career goals. In addition, make sure you always recognize and appreciate the work that they do. When they succeed, recognize that, and tell them to keep up the good work.

Let them be themselves

Make sure you encourage your team to be themselves at work; that’s when their best work comes out. Build a relationship based on openness and mutual trust and respect. Give them the space to talk about what they want to work on and how they feel about the work that they do.

When they feel like they can be their authentic selves in the office, they’ll be much more inclined to own their work and do their best.Click To Tweet

Encourage individuality in your team. When they feel like they can be their authentic selves in the office, they’ll be much more inclined to own their work and do their best.

Lead the way but don’t take over

Identify what skills and practices your team members need to improve and show them how. This doesn’t mean you do their work for them; it means you teach them and then let them be. Here, it’s important to understand the difference between leadership and micromanagement.

Leaders show the path, micromanagers walk the path.Click To Tweet

Leaders show the path, micromanagers walk the path. Micromanagement kills ownership; it doesn’t allow individual members to feel like they’re capable of performing the task on their own. Give them the help and guidance they need but don’t be scared to let them fail. Let them sink, and then swim.

Taking ownership of your work is a big part of growing your career and shaping the work life you want, the way you want it. So start owning it.

Have you had a hard time convincing your manager to let you own your work? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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