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What is your salary expectation?

Oluseun Akinrinoye

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Salary or pay discussions have become one of the questions many candidates do not like to answer. Some are afraid to underprice themselves while others do not want to lose the job by overpricing themselves. Most employers usually ask about the current pay of the potential employees before proceeding to ask about the salary expectation.

While in some climes especially in North America, some believe that it is not proper to ask a candidate questions about their current pay, this question is still common in Africa during job interviews. In a recent management decision, Amazon joined other technology giants Google, Facebook and Cisco   and banned its hiring managers from asking about what an employee currently earns, or salary history to determine how much the employee should be offered.

Even though I know you are afraid to negotiate, I also believe that employers usually do not drop a candidate because of salary or remuneration demand. The employer is mostly interested in your abilities and whether you are a good fit for the job or not while pay negotiation is usually the last to be discussed. At the point of negotiation, they will rather make an offer to the candidate and allow the person to accept, decline or negotiate.

Since this question is still common in many countries, an acceptable approach to answer this question depends on your experience level and the position you are negotiating from.

If you are a fresh graduate interviewing at a structured company, you have limited negotiation powers. You will probably be placed on the salary scale for entry levels in the company. If the company is a small or not so structured, you may have to negotiate.

As an experienced hire, you need to ask for what you think will make you happy in case you don’t get a raise in 2-3 years especially if you are not sure of the culture of the company. Ask for what will be a good pay off for leaving your comfort zone.

If you are desperate to get a job, you may be weak at negotiation but if you are not, you can ask for as much as you want since you are negotiating from a position of strength. I have negotiated for more than 100% increase in the past and I was successful even as a Pre-NYSC employee. It’s left for you to ask and show that you are worth what you are asking for.

It is also important that you make adequate research about salary information for the role you are being interviewed for. This gives you an idea of what the company pays for similar roles and guides you during the negotiation process.

Please drop a comment and share with your networks.

 

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Careers

CAREERS[Dissecting Your Resume And CV] – Part IV – Training / Skills / Education

Babatunde Aloba

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The final part of the series is finally here.

There are those who believe the “Education” section should come first, while others opined it should be the last based on how many years of experience you have.

It all depends on preference. But please don’t spoil a good thing. My preference will be – if you attended a good school – irrespective of your experience – you can put it first. But if you feel the university you attended will be of disadvantage to you, please put it at the bottom. There is usually preference for the top schools irrespective of what you are bringing to the table. Do not knock yourself out of the race when you still have a chance.

Your experience coming before your university will surely sway some sentiments towards you. If you are proficient with financial packages such as SAP or Oracle financials and HR can see all this before they get to the “Education” section, then you have a chance against others who went to the best schools. Use your resume to your advantage NOT to your own detriment.

Below is an example :

EDUCATION

2008                                                    Bachelor of Science in Accounting – Boston  University [CGPA 4.42 out of 5.00]

2007                                                    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

TRAININGS ATTENDED

Investment Policy Statements – CFA Institute

QuickBooks Pro Advisor

Corporate Finance Essentials

Open Universities Australia – Certificate of Achievement – Financial Planning

BLOOMBERG FINANCE L.P – Bloomberg Aptitude Test – Score:520

Oracle Financials Training – Accounts Receivables, Accounts Payable and General Ledger

 

COMPETENCES & SKILLS

Technology:   Technically savvy with the use of Oracle Financials ERP, Microsoft Word, Outlook, Microsoft Excel [Pivot Tables, V Lookup], International Money Management System, Wall Street Office, Clear Par Documents System, Global Cash Management, Work Flow Tool, Microsoft SharePoint, OnBase, Practice Engine.

Team oriented and strong interpersonal skills, Basic familiarity with GAAP/FASB, Sarbanes Oxley Act and GAAS standards, Effective written and oral communication skills, sufficient technical skills to perform the essential duties and responsibilities.

This concludes the series – Dissecting Your CV.

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Tackle Your Next Career Fair With These 5 Tips

“Understand that you have the qualifications that they are searching for, and effectively communicate this to company representatives. Be confident that you have what it takes to get the job, because YOU DO.”

Precious C. Price

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Photo by John Torcasio

So you’ve found yourself back on the market searching for your next fulfilling position at your dream company. Between professional networking events, informational interviews, and countless job application submissions online, you’ve come to the point where you must attend your local career fair.

Either way, sooner or later, you will have tackle your career fair woes.

Check out these tips that will help you to completely TACKLE your next career fair, and land your resume right in the end zone of recruiters.

 (1) It ALL begins with confidence. 

The aura that you exude to anyone is the energy that they will bounce back to you. Understand that you have the qualifications that they are searching for, and effectively communicate this to company representatives. Be confident that you have what it takes to get the job, because YOU DO.

 (2) Research is imperative. 

Go into the career fair with a outlined plan of the companies you would like to target – DO NOT simply walk up to any and every company table with small talk such as, “So what do you guys do?”

Do your research on your target companies to understand things such as the organizational culture, open positions, recent initiatives they’ve been working on, news articles, etc.

 (3) Have questions. 

These questions are what you want to go up to the recruiters to speak about, along with your background and experience, paying careful attention to actually link your experience to what they are looking for in a candidate.

It’s also common to ask representatives about them about their experience at the company, or just about them in general. But again, DO NOT ask them about what the company does, or what jobs they have. From your research you should already know this information. Asking them will show them that you may be lazy or simply did not do your research.

(4) Ask for a business card. 

This shows your ambition and also tells them that you will follow up.

So with that, ensure that you follow up (within 24 hours) on what you and the company representative spoke about. You want to reiterate the skills you have that are related to the position you are seeking in the follow up email. In order to remember your conversation, jot down the high-level topics you both spoke about on the back of the business card between table visits. If you’re spreading your net wide with seeking positions (which you should be), then it can sometimes become difficult to recall what topics came up with each person.

Oh yeah,

 (5) DRESS TO IMPRESS.

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Answers to tricky Interview Questions

Smile as much as you can. Relax. A whole lot of interviews are just as simple as it is – getting to know you and a bit about your competencies

Babatunde Aloba

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Photo by Amy Hirschi

Interviews are usually an opportunity to sell yourself. Go with the flow of your interview and never derail from it. The interviewer wants you to be settled and will ensure the environment is conducive enough for an interview. You may be asked if you want water or coffee. Smile as much as you can. Relax. A whole lot of interviews are just as simple as it is – getting to know you and a bit about your competencies. Never speak with fear in ANY interview. See some questions below:

  1. How do you prioritize your workload? Answer : I list out the tasks in order of priority in my daily to do list and ensure they are completed accordingly. this has worked for me significantly
  2. How do you manage stress? Answer: Whenever I feel stressed, I take a 3 minutes’ walk and also drink water to relax and calm down. From my experience, i feel refreshed anytime i do such.
  3. Why should we hire you? Answer: I am hardworking and always ready to improve on given tasks. Not only in accomplishing set goals but also getting a new way to do it better. My experience and technical background has prepared me for this role and i believe I have the mental and physical strength to succeed in this role.
  4. What value can you add to this job and the company? Answer: I have a great work ethic in achieving set tasks and duties. If hired, I hope to contribute to set organization goals and also streamline processes by introducing new time effective systems.

Finally at the end of the interview, do not forget to send a thank you mail to the recruiter or the interviewer as the case may be.

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