Putting a Spin on Your Cover Letter

September 1, 2009

Alec Biedrzycki is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Bentley College looking for a career in marketing. He has had four marketing internships and he’s donning his guitar and his singing voice for all the world to hear. What is he doing? He’s delivering his cover letter.

In a short span of time, Alec was able to land himself more than enough job interviews and job leads. He even got interviewed by CNN! So, what in Alec’s cover letter made him stand out?

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What did you just say on Facebook?

August 29, 2009

social_networkingDoes your employer check your Facebook or Myspace profile? You’ve probably heard it before but were probably too skeptical to believe it.  Why would your employer waste time in checking your social networking sites?  It is, after all, your private space.

If you never believed what you’ve been told, now is probably the best time to change that attitude. More employers, as a matter of fact, are checking their employees’ profiles to get a good grasp of who they’re hiring. It has worked to the disadvantage of a lot of people–especially those who doesn’t even realize the incriminating details in their profiles. Before you proclaim your networking site free of anything that might prevent you from getting a job, check your profiles for the following:

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Two Things You Never Thought an HR Practitioner Needed

August 14, 2009

The wrong misconception about an HR practitioner is that he or she must be adept in assessing a person’s personality. The HR practitioner is especially important during the hiring process, to assess if the applicant is a good fit for the position.

Aside from a degree in psychology or competencies in human behavior, an HR practitioner must also have excellent organizational communication skills and legal know-how. You might be wondering: just how relevant are these two skills in the workplace? The answer to that is actually very practical, yet ignored by both employers and HR employees.

1.    Organizational Communication Skills

HR employees communicate every time. When they communicate, they don’t just do so to a certain group of employees. On the contrary, their job actually obliges them to communicate to everyone in the organization. This includes supervisors—who need to get wind of a new policy released by top management. Even the employees at the lowest tier of the organizational chart interact with the HR employees—especially when they need to be informed about their payroll or a memo from another department.

The Human Resources Department actually serves as the mediator or the channel through which employees of different departments and ranks send their message. For this very reason, employees in this department must have versatile communication skills. They need to be able to communicate well both with people at the top and at the bottom of the organization.

2.    Legal Knowledge

In the Constitution, holding a labor union, rally, or protest is not prohibited—even in private enterprises. An HR practitioner must know how to handle such issues—not just cower in fear whenever employees come together against the top management.

As a matter of fact, HR employees are the best people to manage opposition inside an organization. Whenever an issue in an organization arises, the HR must be first to know. This way, they can immediately control the crisis–in a flawlessly executed way, of course. If hostility is the thrust of the opposing employees, the HR practitioner must know better than to respond in the same manner.

Most of all, whatever steps the HR must take should be in consonance with the law. Mere ignorance of it can get the whole organization in trouble, especially in dealing with unions.

Staging the Perfect HR Program

August 12, 2009

Admittedly, the Human Resources Department may not know anything about marketing at all. The employees in HR Department will ideally be experts at the dynamics of the human mind and how to motivate it—making a campaign successful to its stakeholders is the function of the marketing department. However, the HR Department will benefit a lot from knowing the tactics employed by the marketing department. Not only will it make an HR Department’s program appealing, but also successful to its stakeholders—the employees of a company.

1. Approach the Employees. Face it. Employees don’t have the luxury of time to sit around and read whatever information your department has to offer. The only way they’ll approach HR deliberately is if they want to file a leave of absence or have any concerns regarding their payroll. That’s why the task of the HR Department is to go to the employees themselves. As an HR consultant, you have to be able to exhaust the appropriate channels to reach the employees. There are different avenues to communicate to employees without having to go to them face-to-face. With the advent of new technology, such as e-mail, instant messaging, video conferencing, and many other communication breakthroughs, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your message across.

2. Make it Language-Friendly. Language-friendly information means communicating the message in a language the employees will understand. If you’re advocating a campaign directed towards janitors, make sure the language is kept simple—you don’t use the same literary metaphors you’d say to your creative artists. Language-friendly HR campaigns also utilize company jargons—even the informal ones—to make the message appealing and at the same time loyal to the company’s brand.

3. Compel Employees to Action An HR program without any end is as good as a futile marketing campaign. In the end, an HR program must be able to successfully move employees towards a particular line of action, the same way a marketing campaign’s vital aim is to expand the bottom line.

4. Make Information Relevant. As have been said, employees don’t have the luxury of time to listen to whatever the Human Resources Department has to say. For that, you have to make sure the message is worthy of their attention in the first place. Forcing them to do something that’s not even significant or in any way helpful not only wastes their time, but also the company’s resources.

Human Resources Management Overview

August 11, 2009

Are you a student hoping to get a career in human resources? Are you a job hunter, who just can’t get a job in the field of HR? Or, are you an employer plainly confused about what competencies to look for in an HR consultant or employee?

The lack of clear standards as to what a perfect HR manager, consultant, or employee has always been a big problem. Because of incompetent employees placed in the HR department, companies can snowball fast into failure. The worst part is, other organizations haven’t learned their lesson; they keep on placing managers that are simply misfit for the competencies the HR Department requires.

Business Administration

The Human Resources Department is a business in itself—it aims to maximize the human capital throughout the entire company. A background in Business Administration will help in developing campaigns and concepts that will not just motivate employees, but also make them brand ambassadors of your brand.

Public Administration

Though seemingly unrelated, Public Administration will actually help companies in enhancing the welfare of the employees. Public Administration ensures that public good is achieved—the same way that an HR manager makes sure that every step taken by the company does not harm any employee, may he or she be a superior or a subordinate, along the way.

Employee Compensation

Studies done over the years show that remuneration is what drives employees to their best. Though other factors such as a comfortable working environment and enriched relationships with superior and colleagues help, compensation remains to be the most important thing. That’s why organizations must have someone who understands how to pay employees for their effort—no less.

Development and Training

Skills training and development must be a competency of an HR manager. By having such competency, financial resources of the company will be saved. In a supposedly non-learning situation, the principles can even be applied by the HR manager.

Employee Evaluation

An assessment of the employee’s performance must be done. This evaluation must neither be done too often nor too seldom. If done too often, the resources of the company will be drained and the employees will be overworked just by such an assessment. If done too rarely, then the improvement or decline of a worker’s performance will never be detected. An HR representative who knows exactly when to conduct an employee evaluation must be hired.

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