Effective communication is one of the most highly sought-after skills. Not only does it allow you to understand other people and situations more fully, but it can also enable you to create more positive conditions for problem-solving and collaboration.
Here are 6 communication skills you need to develop in order to succeed in 2020.
1. Active Listening
Listening is perhaps one of the most important aspects of effective communication.
Truly successful listening is not simply about the mere act of hearing the words being spoken, but of listening with attention and being able to understand what is being communicated. This helps create an environment in which people feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions, as well as promoting and building deeper relationships.
Active listening takes practice. Ultimately, it requires you to take time and pay close attention to what the other person is saying. It can also be helpful to repeat back to the person what they have said so that they can see that you have understood them correctly.
2. Pay Attention To Non-Verbal Communication
According to research by Salesforce, about 93% of all communication is non-verbal. Non-verbal communication refers to all wordless signals we make.
From facial expressions to body language, eye contact and even the way we breathe. Tone of voice and attitude are also forms of non-verbal communication.
“Being able to fully understand the non-verbal communication signals of others is an important skill for helping you to connect with other people more meaningfully.
Equally, by understanding your own non-verbal signals, you will be better placed to convey your thoughts and ideas more efficiently to others,” says Dean Hupp, a communication manager at State Of Writing and Essay Services.
8 Examples of types of non-verbal communication
Body language and posture
3. Empathize With Others
Empathy is a valuable skill when it comes to developing effective communication. Being able to successfully understand another person’s point of view is essential.
It’s even more important to consider and respect other points of view when they differ from your own. Showing respect to others and actively listening to their opinions will help you to communicate with them more sincerely.
4. Develop Your Emotional Intelligence
Having good control over your emotions is an important skill to learn to develop.
Developing emotional intelligence takes time, but it is important for allowing you to develop greater self-awareness and self-management. It will also allow you to become more socially aware and therefore improve your relationship management skills.
“By being able to master your emotional intelligence you will be more likely to understand others more effectively. You will also gain better control and awareness of how your non-verbal communication affects the understanding of others and of the messages you are trying to send,” explains Kimberly James, a business writer at Eliteassignmenthelp and Revieweal.
“Ultimately, by developing better emotional intelligence you will be a more effective communicator, be better able to reduce stress and be able to overcome challenges more easily.”
5. Consider Your Tone Of Voice
Tone of voice is part of non-verbal communication and is informed by your emotional intelligence.
Using an appropriate tone of voice and volume for each situation is important for creating the desired mood for a conversation.
When trying to influence and effectively communicate with others, aim to speak calmly, confidently and in a friendly manner. This will help to set a positive tone for the forthcoming discussion and will encourage the person(s) listening to respond in a similar manner.
6. Ask Questions
Using open-ended questions is a successful strategy for encouraging others to talk in greater depth. It also helps the conversation to flow more easily, leading to better outcomes.
Asking probing questions about specific points can be a useful technique when you need more information or more detailed responses. Moreover, asking relevant and insightful questions also shows you are paying attention and have an interest in what is being discussed, helping to foster more positive relationships.
Summary: developing effective communication skills
Effective communication is about ensuring that messages are communicated clearly and concisely.
Prepare your thoughts ahead of time and carefully think about what it is that you want to say.
Try putting yourself in the position of your listeners and prepare for conversations by considering different or potentially negative responses. Remember to actively engage with others by asking questions and listening attentively to their responses. Above all, be open-minded, friendly and approachable.
This is a guest post by Beatrice Potter.
Beatrice Potter is a successful marketing specialist at Paper Fellows and OX Essays. She specializes in supporting clients to build their personal and professional brands, especially in fast-changing markets. Beatrice runs workshops and seminars at Top essay writing services UK, where she helps clients to work on their communication, team management and confidence skills.
The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a surge in the number of people working remotely across the globe. It is expected that many employers will allow their staff to continue working from home even after the pandemic has ended. In this post, we will share essential tips for working remotely.
One key concern many have when it comes to working from home is maintaining productivity levels.
#1. Create a workspace
It may sound simple, but your psychological devotion to work will improve if you have the space to do it.
Now that you are working remotely, it is very important that you create a healthy workspace to prevent injury.
Here are some top tips for creating a healthy workspace when working remotely:
Ask your employer if you can borrow equipment from the office. You may be able to borrow a desk or office chair if you do not have access to one.
Ensure that your back is supported to reduce the risk of developing back pain. Do this by adjusting the height, back position and tilt of your office chair. If you do not have access to an ergonomic office chair, a temporary solution may be to use a back support. Back Care Solutions offers a range of posture supports to attach to your chair.
Rest your feet flat on the floor. If necessary, use a footrest. Posturite offer a wide range of footrests and leg rests for use whilst at your desk.
Ensure that your computer screen is at eye-level. If you are using a laptop, consider using a laptop stand.
Find a location that has good natural lighting during the day. If required, use a desk lamp. The desk lamp by Lumie, helps to treat the symptoms of SAD, whilst boosting concentration.
Consider using a standing desk if remaining seated for long periods of time is not ideal.
Sticking to a routine will benefit both your productivity and mental wellbeing when working remotely or from home.
Ensuring that you set boundaries and schedule in downtime will really help to promote your wellbeing and avoid burnout.
Here are some top tips for creating and sticking to a work routine:
Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. If a traditional alarm clock isn’t effective for you, there are a range of alternatives available. For example, Ruggie is an alarm clock mat that will only switch off after standing on the mat for a minimum of 3 seconds.
If you are able to work flexibly, wake up at a time that suits you best. Find out your chronotype and adjust your work schedule accordingly.
Once you have your working hours sorted out, you could plan snack and meal preparation. Time is easily wasted when it is lunchtime and you haven’t planned what to eat. Have a sufficient break time laid out in the morning and afternoon, it is good for you!
Get dressed every day! When working remotely, it can be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day. However, getting dressed for the day every morning will help your to maintain your routine. If you want to wear something more comfortable, purchase a few loungewear items! Retailers including Boohoo, ASOS, Missguided and Pretty little thing are offering a range of loungewear items.
For the sake of good mental health, don’t spend all day glued to a screen. If you live with somebody else try and do something together, even if it just going for a walk. Doing so will help to reduce feelings of isolation or loneliness.
#3. Ensure you exercise
Of all the tips for working remotely, this is amongst the most important.
The lockdown has presented a fantastic opportunity for many people who feel they don’t exercise as they never have time.
If may think that work commitment has restricted you from exercising, or maybe balancing work with family. Now, whether working from home or elsewhere beyond the office, that has changed.
Whilst working remotely does mean just that, gone is the time spent on commuting, or perhaps venturing out for food. That lost time is now yours to occupy in a way you see fit.
Work out at home
Joe Wicks has seen an enormous boost in popularity during the lockdown period. Most of his workouts can be done from home.
If you are feeling stressed, consider yoga. Glo is an online yoga platform that offers over 3000 yoga videos online. You could schedule in a yoga session during your lunch break!
If you would like to advance your home workouts you could invest in equipment such as resistance bands, a yoga mat and weights.
If you still find it difficult to find the time to fit in a workout session whilst working remotely, one tip is to consider getting an under-desk exercise machine. Alternatively, you could try deskercise!
#4. Enjoying video calling
Although it takes some getting used to, many a workday will now consist of conference calls. Try and turn on the video for a call, even if you don’t like showing yourself.
It can feel a bit awkward at first speaking with headphones on to several people all on your screen at once. But make an effort to overcommunicate! Talk about your opinion on a matter, what you have been up to, what challenges you in lockdown.
Proving that you can cope with working from home is a strong statement. Ensure if you meet new people that you connect to them via LinkedIn. Even lockdown has proved a good time to network!
Being positive and displaying this attitude is what people want to see. Be it the rest of your team, a recruiter, your friends.
It can be initially very difficult getting used to the lockdown. The lack of face-to-face interaction with your colleagues is testing. So make sure you chat to people as much as you can, especially if not work-related!
To enjoy video calling and make the most of it, make sure you have an excellent setup:
Another blessing of the lockdown is the time afforded that you previously didn’t have. If you are job hunting or looking ahead to the end of university this is definitely important.
At university, there is understandably rather a lot of distraction in between set work. But in lockdown, you can use the time to potentially improve your CV ahead of other graduates.
Are you are interested in digital account management, SEO or digital marketing? We here at Graduate Coach offer several courses and seminars in these career markets. Technology and digital work is becoming increasingly popular in the graduate world and is well worth considering.
Need other suggestions? Think about tools that employers like to see. Microsoft Office is an expected criterion for many employers. Yet many courses at university don’t give you much variety involving Microsoft Office. Look at websites such as Udemy, where there are excellent courses on Excel.
Alternatively, you could enrol in a programme such as Jolt. Jolt is for startup employees, freelancers, entrepreneurs, team leaders and more who would like to brush up their skills in:
Management and leadership
Marketing, sales and customer services
personal skills and self-development
#6. Keep up your favourite tips for working remotely
The lockdown working life can’t last forever. Eventually, many remote workers will be recalled on a full-time basis to the office.
But just because this happens, don’t forget the best remote job tips you discovered. If you develop a good routine, try and transition that the best way possible to office life.
If you feel yourself feeling mentally stronger after exercising, keep it up! Try not to revert to old habits you left behind before lockdown. Remembering your progress and ensuring it continues is as important as implementing it to begin with.
If you missed the workplace buzz, then going back is something to look forward to. But it doesn’t mean you need to drop everything you started doing if it was beneficial!
#7. Avoid social media
A big tendency of people who are meant to be working is to be distracted by your phone. It is all too easy to flit through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the touch of a button.
Consider uninstalling the applications off your phone, it will no doubt save you many pointless distractions.
Try to remember that during working hours, you should work! TV and social media can wait!
We hope that you found this blog post on tips for working remotely helpful in any small way. Although these are strange times, and quite daunting, they also present a lot of opportunities.
It might not seem like it now, but once you commit to bettering yourself you will see the difference.
Even if you aren’t sure any of this will help, try the first step of creating a workspace. Notice the difference, then move on to the next step.
If you have any questions or need one-to-one tuition, we are here to make a difference and get you a dream job. Check out the rest of our blog on other top tips!
We’ve all been there, straight out of education and into the world of business. We may see our friends and classmates securing new internships and graduate jobs, but we’re still scrambling with job applications and uncertainty.
But there is one way to get in front of hundreds of potential employers quickly – LinkedIn.
LinkedIn boasts over 30 million company pages, meaning it’s the best place to reverse-engineer your job search and attract an employer to YOU.
But how do you use it successfully? Here’s how to create a perfect LinkedIn profile.
This is a guest post by Sakeena Khatib, the strategy director at Hytn.
1) Leave no stone unturned, complete your profile page
Ensure every possible field on your profile is complete. The more complete your profile is, the more seriously you will be taken.
➡️The more complete your profile is, the priority it will be given in recruiter’s searches. In other words, the more information you share on your profile, the more visible your profile will be in the search results.
Your profile photo should be a headshot. But not necessarily a professional one.
Authenticity sells, and a less corporate, but still appropriate picture showing enthusiasm and personality could pay dividends – especially when looking to work for more creative or tech companies.
➡️LinkedIn profiles with profile pictures receive up to 14x more views.
Customising your background photo is a good way to illustrate your personal brand and gives the impression that you have put a lot of thought into completing your profile.
The recommended size for your background photo is 1584 x by 396 pixels. You can use Canva to design your very own LinkedIn background image. There are plenty of LinkedIn background photo templates that you can customise and download for free.
Try and refrain away from a tagline of “Looking for a Graduate Job” or “Graduated from XXXX with XXX”. Although these generic taglines will make it clear you have graduated, they are also vanilla and don’t allow for differentiation in a competitive market.
Be creative. You could try “An expert in Software Engineering, and a recent graduate from King’s College – passionate about all things .NET.”
Fill out your summary section
Think of your summary section as the first few lines of a well-written cover letter. Keep it concise, highlight your qualifications and express your goals.
Remember to include keywords that are relevant to the graduate jobs you wish to apply for.
Don’t undermine your experience. You may never have worked a day in your life, or you may have worked in retail or as a barista to get you through University.
The trick is to never undermine these experiences because you learn something from everything. All skills are relevant skills.
Graduate employers will be keen to see evidence of transferable skills. You may have gained transferable skills from your work experience placements, internships, part-time jobs or even extracurricular activities.
Once you understand that every experience in your life has somewhat shaped your characteristics, you will take every experience and understand how it can be used in the business world.
For example, You worked as a Barista at Starbucks for three years. You didn’t just make coffee. You were a master at time-management, juggling tasks simultaneously and working in high-pressure, demanding environments.
If you can do that for three years, you have skills and you need to shout about them on your profile. The more experience you list, the more likely you will have something in common with potential employers.
Where you can, upload examples of your work.
➡️The soft skills that you have developed such communication, teamwork and time management are desirable to graduate recruiters.
Make yourself approachable and contactable.
Your email address and even your phone number should be visible to potential employers and recruiters. There’s also a tick-box of “Open to New Opportunities” – ensure this is on.
Graduate recruiters will be interested in this section to check that you meet the minimum academic requirements for the job.
Pad out this section with as much information as you can including:
What and where you studied
Your degree classification
A-level results and possibly GCSEs (although this is not always necessary)
2) Connecting is great, but content is king.
Posting video tutorials, pictures, and posts on how you’re upskilling is authentic, shows personality and not many graduates have the confidence to do it.
Sam Winsbury, a student at The University of Birmingham and owner of That Personal Branding Guy states that exposure makes a person less of a stranger – “simply by appearing on their feed every day, you will become liked and trusted.”
So if employers see you posting relevant and engaging content on their feed and then see you in their application inbox, subconsciously they’ve already warmed to you – you’re no longer a stranger.
If you can do that for three years, you have skills and you need to shout about them on your profile. The more experience you list, the more likely you will have something in common with potential employers.
3) Nearly every job field on LinkedIn has a relevant group and you should join it.
The owners, managers and employers all recruiting for that skillset will be there and if you’re able to comment, add value and even offer freelance services to those in that community, you build a reputation, which will bring you jobs and exposure.
4) Use your profile to apply for jobs.
Just typing in “Graduate” into a UK Job search on LinkedIn shows me over 15,000 results.
And the magic behind applications through LinkedIn is that they’re often one-click, and show the personality behind the application.
You could even go one step further and message the employers direct with a portfolio of your skills.
It allows for unlimited exposure and communication.
5) Connect with people in your network
Be sure to connect with former peers and colleagues. Connecting with the people you know will help you to build up and stay in touch with your professional network.
Once they become connections also ask them to endorse your skills and request recommendations.
6) Lastly, don’t wait until Graduation day to start this.
The competition for graduate jobs is fierce, and top employers are looking for forward-thinking individuals to join them.
If you’re already engaging with them whilst studying, you will ooze sophistication and confidence, which will bring employers to you.
Summary: LinkedIn for graduates
Taking these steps in marketability is training for the business world itself. It teaches confidence, putting yourself out there, and is the first step on the career ladder.
Guest author bio: With a background in PR, Branding and Recruitment, Sakeena has taken. her core skills to the next level. She combines Marketing and. Branding with Recruitment to create the best possible campaigns for her clients, bridging the gap of understanding between Branding and Recruitment.
If you are in the process of searching for a graduate job, a well-optimised LinkedIn profile is a must! It is equally important that your other social media profiles are also professional!
We hope you enjoyed our LinkedIn for graduates post!
Below is our complete guide to using a recruitment agency for the first time, what to look for in a great agency and tips to help you get the most out of the experience.
This is a guest post by Rebecca Siciliano, the Managing Director of Tiger Recruitment.
What is a recruitment agency?
A recruitment agency matches businesses and private individuals with potential job seekers. A recruitment consultant acts as a sort of middleman between the job seeker and an employer throughout the hiring process, organising interview times and relaying feedback to the relevant party.
If you’re a job seeker, this is an entirely free service – all you have to do is register with the agency and they will do the work for you. When a placement is finalised, it’s the company who pays the agency for helping them find a fantastic employee.
How do I know if an agency is right for me?
There are hundreds of different recruitment agencies out there. Depending on the role or the industry you want to work in, you can register with either a generalist or specialist agency to help.
For example, Tiger focuses on business support, private household, hospitality, virtual and HR recruitment. We specialise in roles like personal assistants, executive assistants, receptionists and office managers, alongside staff for private households, hospitality establishments or HR teams.
We are also industry-agnostic, whereas other recruitment agencies may focus on one particular industry, like media or finance. Do your research to find the best agency for your intended career path.
It’s important that your consultant listens to your preferences and aims to match you with a role to suit your personality as well as your skills.
This is important as you’re so much more than your CV! Look for agencies that have good testimonials from other job seekers, or ask around in your own circle to see if anyone you know has had a great experience with an agency.
Benefits of using a Recruitment Agency
There are many benefits to enlisting the help of an agency throughout the recruitment process.
First, your consultant will support you with moral support and coaching at every stage of the job hunt, from the first interview until you sign your employment contract (and beyond)!
It will also save you time, as your consultant will work to find roles that suit you, rather than you having to scour job boards and send hundreds of individual applications.
As some employers exclusively use recruitment agencies to source particular roles, it’s possible your consultant will put you forward for a position you wouldn’t otherwise have had access to.
Lastly, many job agencies offer support and resources for job seekers, which is extremely helpful for graduates entering the job market for the first time.
Whether you’re looking for CV and career advice, interview training or professional development opportunities, a good recruitment consultant will be able to help you.
How do I register?
The registration process differs slightly for every agency, however, you will usually submit an initial enquiry online if you’re interested in registering.
If they feel your experience is suited to their clients and roles, they will then invite you in for a face-to-face registration.
This is usually a 30-minute chat where your consultant will talk through your CV and ask questions about your experience and achievements.
They will also use the opportunity to find out what you’re looking for in a role, including the types of companies you’d like to work for.
This allows them to gain an understanding of what environment you’re best suited to working in.
It’s not unusual for them to ask you to bring certain documents to your registration, like your passport (to prove you have the right to work in the country), or other qualifications.
What happens after I’ve registered?
After your registration interview, your consultant will upload your details into a database. This will allow you to be considered for any vacancies called into the agency that fit your skills and preferences.
If you’re applying for a business support role, you may be asked to complete skills testing to assess relevant skills such as touch-typing or Microsoft Office proficiency.
If your consultant finds a role they want to put you forward for, they will check with you to make sure you want to be considered for a position. A consultant should never share your details with an employer without first asking your permission.
Generally, a shortlist of three-five candidates is then sent to the company seeking to hire. From there, they will make the decision to invite you in for an interview with them.
When using a recruitment agency, it’s important to follow a few rules of etiquette to ensure your consultant puts your forward for as many opportunities as possible.
Firstly, keep your interview slot with the agency – if you’re late or you cancel at the last minute, it may lead them to believe you’re unreliable. It’s also a good idea to dress smartly for your agency interview and have a positive attitude (think of it as a practice run for future job interviews).
Next, make sure to return phone calls from your consultants in a timely manner, as they need to be able to act quickly with the client in order to stay ahead. This is also an indicator of your enthusiasm for a role and will encourage your consultant to put your forward for the opportunity.
Finally, if your consultant puts your forward for an interview with a client, you should conduct your own research into the company and interviewer. Alongside this, make sure you read the interview brief and job spec carefully, as this will allow you to be as prepared as you possibly can be.
Tips on how to work with an agency and secure your dream role
Make sure you’re in regular contact with your recruitment agency via email, updating them on any changes to your circumstances
Always check your agency’s website to see the current roles they have on their books
Follow your recruitment agency on social media as they will post job listings that may interest you, as well as resources to help you with your job hunt
Take some time to ensure your CV is polished and well-formatted so it stands out from the rest
When you’ve been to the interview, call your consultant and give them feedback so they can pass it on to the client
Once you’ve been presented with a job offer, give your answer to your consultant and return any contracts or paperwork as soon as possible
Finding your first full-time role can be daunting, especially given the current situation and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, by partnering up with a fantastic recruitment agency, they will be able to offer you the help and support you need to navigate your job hunt.
Author bio: Rebecca Siciliano is the Managing Director of Tiger Recruitment, a consultancy that specialises in business support, HR, private, hospitality and virtual recruitment.
Tiger Recruitment is headquartered in London with offices in Dubai and New York.
So, you’ve recently graduated, and now your thinking about how you will launch your career as a graduate.
Perhaps you missed out on getting any internships whilst you were at university and feel an internship would help you to discover your career path.
In this post, we’ll answer a commonly asked question: is it too late to get an internship after graduation?
Most of the large companies that hire an intake of graduates every year offer internships.
They usually offer these internships to undergraduate students who have completed years 1 and 2 of their degree. These are delivered as a highly structured summer internship programme.
The undergraduate students who successfully get a place on the summer internship programme will be assessed during the internship for their suitability for a graduate scheme at the company.
graduates who do well during the internship will usually be fast-tracked through the application process for the graduate scheme at the company.
If offered a place on the graduate scheme, they will start the following summer, once they have completed their degree.
For example, Shell offers undergraduate students and postgraduate students the opportunity to apply for their assessed internship.
During their assessed internship programme, candidates will have a midterm review and a final review with their supervisor. This assessment could lead to am employment opportunity in a full-time role.
Large graduate employers often have a summer internship programme to help them to identify potential talent. Candidates that have completed an internship at the company and who perform well are a much lower risk than a candidate who hasn’t.
As those who complete an internship with these companies as a student have a greater chance of getting a graduate job there, places on these summer internships tend to be very competitive.
So to summarise, if you have already graduated it may be too late to get a summer internship at one of the larger companies.
If you have already graduated is it too late to get an internship?
The short answer to this question is no.
Here are some tips for getting an internship if you’ve already graduated:
Be on the lookout for companies that offer off-cycle internships. These may be open for graduates, or larger companies that offer internship programmes for those who have already graduated.
Accenture also offers a graduate internship in Marketing and Communications. The internship commences each year in September on a 6-month contract. Applications for this graduate internship programme opens in late spring.
Look for internship opportunities at smaller companies. Assessed internships are not exclusive to large companies.
Smaller companies also assess their interns. Some smaller companies hire candidates for a short period of time to determine whether they would make a good fit in a permanent role at the company.
Write an achievement-based CV. Don’t forget to include the experiences that you have gained from extracurricular activities.
We are here to help!
If you are struggling to find employment post graduating, do not hesitate to contact us. We have been coaching students, graduates and career changers for over 10 years. We can help you to boost your employability and teach you lifelong skills such as how to perform well in interviews.
We also offer Digital Marketing internships as part of our 6-stage 1-2-1 career coaching programme. On this programme, candidates gain theoretical and practical experience in areas such as SEO, PPC and Social Media.
They are much more concerned with your skills and potential. They are willing to invest in high calibre candidates and support them by gaining the necessary qualifications to become a professional in the field.
Resources for starting a graduate career in accounting