Kovačica becomes Serbia’s largest fully operational wind farm

After almost three decades, a completely new large power plant – the 104.5 MW Kovačica wind farm, has been connected to the electricity transmission system of Serbia. Developed under a EUR 189 million project, Kovačica is the largest fully operational wind farm and new renewable energy power plant in Serbia.

The Kovačica wind farm launched the trial run at the beginning of the year and has been fully operational since July 12. The other 4 operational wind farms in Serbia are the 500 kW Devreč 1 (2012), the 9.9 MW Kula (2016), the 6.6 MW La Piccolina (2016), and the 8 MW Alibunar (2018). About 370 MW more of wind farms are under construction or in the trial production phase in the country.

The Kovačica wind farm has obtained the status of a privileged power producer as the first completely new power plant facility connected to the electricity transmission system after almost three decades, New Energy Solutions said in a press release.

According to the official data, the last completely new power plant connected to the 400 kV, 220 kV, and 110 kV transmission system was the Pirot hydropower plant (HPP), which was put into operation in 1990.

By obtaining the status of a privileged power producer, the project has been fully developed and the exploitation of the wind farm has commenced, New Energy Solutions said.

The Kovačica wind farm comprises of 38 General Electric 2.75-120 type wind turbines.

  • Israel’s Enlight acquired ownership of the project in 2016

The development of the Kovačica wind farm started in 2012. The building permit was obtained in 2014, while the temporary status of a privileged power producer was obtained in 2015. The ownership of the project was acquired by Israel’s Enlight in 2016, while project management, project development, and construction were entrusted to New Energy Solutions.

New Energy Solutions will conduct operational management and maintenance.

The project is financed by the consortium consisting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Erste Group, and Erste Bank Serbia, covered by Euler-Hermes ECA, New Energy Solutions said.

The project will contribute to achieving the country’s goal of producing and consuming 27% of renewable energy by 2020 and reducing CO2 emissions.


Originally published on Balkan Green Energy News

How to be a successful recruiter

Screen, interview, hire and repeat. That could be the shortest job description for a recruiter. But a glimpse at a recruiter’s typical agenda shows that their day-to-day tasks are not as simple as you might think. Here are recruiters’ top responsibilities broken down by stages of the hiring process, along with advice on how to be a successful recruiter at each stage:

  • Meet with the hiring manager

Intake meetings with hiring managers kick off a smooth hiring process. For an effective recruiter-hiring manager collaboration, make sure you:

Agree on qualification criteria. Separate must-haves from nice-to-haves and decide on deal-breakers early on, so that you’re both on the same page.

Communicate regularly. Whether in-person or via email, communicate during all hiring stages. Keep hiring managers updated on how many candidates you interviewed, how many you’ve qualified and when candidates complete assessments.

Be consultative, especially to less experienced hiring managers. Offer advice on how to evaluate candidates and make sure they steer clear of illegal interview questions.

  • Write job descriptions

A clear job description will attract qualified candidates and reduce the number of non-qualified applicants. To write a good job description:

Use job description templates as an inspiration. You can customize job duties and requirements based on the scope of responsibilities of your role.

Revisit job ads you’ve published in the past. Update old job descriptions for the same role and modify them with new tasks and benefits, if they have changed.

Double-check role-specific terms with hiring managers. Buzzwords and jargon fail to describe what the position is about and may turn candidates off. Instead, use clear phrasing to help your audience understand the job’s requirements.

  • Publish job ads

Once your job description is ready, you will need to upload your ad to job boards and your careers page. To do this, make sure you:

Set up accounts with job boards. Enroll or renew your subscription to job boards and follow necessary guidelines for publication approval.

Make your ads social media-friendly. Customize your job ads for posting on social media (use less text and more visual aids and link to full job description.)

Use niche recruiting channels. Consider local job boards and industry-specific platforms to narrow down your audience, like Dribbble and Stack Overflow.

  • Source passive candidates

Proactive candidate sourcing brings you in front of potential hires who mightn’t be actively looking for a new job opportunity. It can also help you reduce your overall cost and time to hire. Here are some sourcing tips:

Set aside time to source. Book timeslots in your schedule (e.g. two hours per week) to focus on candidate sourcing. Browse LinkedIn profiles, search on professional networks and craft personalized recruiting emails to potential candidates.

Diversify your sourcing. Mix up your sourcing channels depending on the role. For example, Github is a good place to look for developers, while you can use Behance to evaluate designers’ portfolios.

Invest in software that makes sourcing easy. Consider tools that help you find potential good fits online and manage candidates’ profiles all in one place.

Looking to find passive candidates fast? Workable’s all-in-one recruitment software offers an industry-leading candidate sourcing tool to help build your talent pipeline. 

  • Screen resumes and applications

Resume screening can be time-consuming, especially if you receive many applications for a role. Here’s how to improve your efficiency with this task:

Use knockout questions in your application forms. They’ll help you eliminate candidates who lack minimum requirements.

Set – and stick with – an ‘apply by’ date. Schedule a deadline for applications to be submitted by, and start reviewing them after that date. This way, you’ll resist the temptation to show favoritism toward people who applied early in the hiring process.

Speed up the hiring process by using a mobile ATS. Review applications on the go and contact the rest of the hiring team from anywhere, so you can reach a hiring decision more quickly.

  • Ask for referrals

Employee referrals help you hire faster and better. Here’s how to make the most out of your referral system:

Get everyone involved. Send a “Refer a friend” email to all employees to announce an opening and enable them to upload referred candidates’ profiles directly into your ATS.

Offer incentives. Consider implementing a referral bonus program to motivate your current employees to recommend qualified candidates.

Cast a wider net. Don’t limit your search to your existing coworkers. Ask for referrals from your external network, including clients and former colleagues.

  • Interview candidates

Interviews are at the core of recruiting. They help you understand if candidates who are good on paper are also qualified for your open roles. To improve your interviewing skills:

Come prepared with questions for each stage. Depending on your company and your role, you may be involved only in the first interview or in more interview rounds. Make sure you have appropriate interview questions for each stage that will help you understand whether your company and the candidate are a good match.

Set aside extra time to research candidates and schedule interviews. Job interviews require more time than the actual interview duration. First, you need to schedule the interviews, then prepare for them by reviewing candidates’ applications and finally, keep notes and provide feedback to the hiring team after each interview.

Make interview scheduling easier with email templates. If you find yourself sending similar emails to candidates to arrange or confirm interviews, use email templates to save time. Use pre-written messages with attachments when necessary (e.g. directions to your offices.)

  • Prepare and send job offer letters

When the hiring manager and the CEO have made a hiring decision, it’s time to let the candidate know. Here’s how:

Cover all the important points. A well-structured job offer email clarifies all employment terms. Include compensation and benefits, working hours and if applicable, contract length.

Be prepared for negotiations with candidates. If candidates want to negotiate their salary in the offer letter, talk to your Finance department to learn about your budget limit.

Help the hiring manager personalize the offer. If you prefer to have your hiring manager extend the job offer, help them write the email or advise them on how to share the good news over the phone.

  • Contact rejected candidates

A rejection email or call mightn’t be a pleasant task, but it will go a long way towards leaving a good impression on candidates you might want to consider for future roles. A few pointers to help you reject candidates with grace:

Customize your rejection emails based on hiring stage. If you turn down candidates after the screening phase, opt for brief yet polite messages. For candidates who reached the final stages of your hiring process, personalize your emails to maintain good relationships.

Respond to requests for interview feedback. If candidates ask for interview feedback, explain why you didn’t select them. Stick to job-related criteria to avoid legal risks and, if applicable, suggest staying in touch for more suitable job openings in the future.

Refer back to your interview notes. Interview scorecards will help you remember candidates’ answers and overall interview performance. This will come handy if you interview many candidates on a daily or weekly basis.

  • Help onboard new hires

Although the hiring manager and HR usually do the heavy lifting of onboarding, you can help them transition smoothly from candidate to employee. Here’s how:

Enter the employee’s data into your HRIS. Or, provide new employees’ information (e.g. contact details, starting date, etc.) to the HR team so that they update internal databases.

Let staff know about the new hire. Send a new hire announcement email to inform employees about their new colleague. Make sure that the IT team creates software accounts for the new hire, as needed. Also, contact the Accounting department so that they add your new hire to payroll.

Schedule a meeting with new hires after their first week and month. Check in to see how they are adjusting to the role, whether it lined up to their expectations and get advice on how to improve recruiting processes in the future.

  • Review recruiting metrics

Recruiting KPIs, like time to hire and source of hire, can reveal areas of improvement:

Take a look into metrics two or three times per month. This will help you understand hiring trends and identify potential issues (e.g. the number of candidates for X role you evaluate in each stage.)

Take action on trends. Simply tracking metrics is not enough. Interpret and act on data in ways that make sense for your recruiting strategy. For example, suggest re-adjusting your recruitment budget if you notice that one sourcing channel brings in more qualified candidates than others.

Consider candidate-related metrics, too. Online reviews and candidate experience surveys can also prove insightful. Read what candidates have to say about your hiring process, as their opinions affect your employer brand.

  • Build talent pipelines

Good relationships with past and potential candidates may help you fill future job openings. Here’s how to build talent pipelines for your hiring needs:

Never stop networking. Always respond to potential candidates who reached out to you on social networks with queries about your job. And, proactively connect with people who might be good fits in the future.

Meet people in person. Network in conferences and job fairs. These events offer you the chance to meet potential candidates en masse and promote your company. You could also consider hosting recruitment events when you’re actively hiring.

Create a talent pool. Keep high-potential candidates who you don’t have an immediate role for warm. Create a database of past applicants, complete with their profiles and a detailed history of your interaction, and let them know you’re going to consider them for future roles. This will come handy when you decide to contact them again.


Oriinally published on Workable

How to Impress a Manager During an Interview

If you have an interview scheduled, you’ve almost made it to the job offer. Your resume stood out beyond the tens or even hundreds of resumes submitted. You’ve probably had a phone interview or conversation with a human resources person that you’ve also passed. Now, you need to prepare yourself to perform well at your interview and impress the manager with whom you’re meeting. The best way to impress your interviewer is to be professional and to be confident in your qualifications. Be prepared to answer any question he may ask with solid answers that demonstrate your skills and abilities.


  • Professional

According to a study by Frank Bernieri, a psychology professor at the University of Toledo, your interviewer will decide within the first 30 seconds whether you’re right for the job. And, the first thing your interviewer will notice is your appearance, so dress professionally. Your speech habits and patterns will also be important. Take a video of yourself answering interview questions. You might notice things about your speech or body language that you never realized. This is your opportunity to practice avoiding stumbles or distracting body movements you might have. Watching a video of yourself talking might be uncomfortable, but it’s an effective way to improve your speaking abilities.


  • Previous Work Examples

Bring examples of previous work to discuss during the interview. It’s easier to evaluate your work by seeing what you’ve done rather than hearing about it. If you work in marketing, you can bring marketing literature that you’ve worked on. If you work in engineering, bring products you developed or pictures of your work. But, do not take anything proprietary from your previous employer, since this can create legal issues for you.


  • Company Knowledge

Research the company prior to attending your interview so you know the basics about the company’s products or services. Go through the company’s website and read as much as you can about the business. Try finding news coverage or press releases to learn about its recent activities. Your knowledge about the company will show the interviewer that you made an effort to learn about the company. The interviewer will really be impressed if you can speak knowledgeably about the business.


  • Ask Questions

Asking questions is important, because it shows interest and engagement. Prepare a list of questions about the company’s products or services. You can also ask about the company’s culture or what it’s like to work for the company. You should avoid asking about pay or benefits — not during this interview. The main goal is to stay engaged in your conversation with the interviewer. The questions you ask will provide a basis for additional discussion beyond the interviewer’s questions for you. Impressing the interviewer with your knowledge and interest in the position will improve your chances at getting a call back.


Originally published on Career Trend

Dubai Explores Feasibility Of Floating Solar Projects

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has expressed its intention to set up floating solar power projects in the Arabian Gulf. The company has issued a Request for Proposal to study the feasibility of such projects.

In a press release, DEWA announced that it had issued a request for proposal ‘for appointing consultants to study, develop and construct floating solar photovoltaic plants in the Arabian Gulf’. While the RfP document was not available on DEWA’s website at the time of publication, the press release does give a few details.

The terms of the RfP require a consultant to study the feasibility of floating solar power projects over seawater, conduct an environmental impact assessment, and other studies related to marine requirements and transmission network for power evacuation.

DEWA is already developing what it claims to be the largest single-site solar park in the world, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The park is expected to have an installed capacity of 5 gigawatts by 2030 at an investment of $13.6 billion. DEWA has already auctioned 1.95 gigawatts of capacity of the planned capacity with another 900 megawatts tendered.

While most of the floating solar power projects are planned over reservoirs of large hydro power projects, there are examples of operational floating solar power projects over seawater.

Austria-based Swimsol has commissioned 500 systems with a cumulative capacity of 100 megawatts using its patented SolarSea product. The product consists of floating platforms whose arrangement can be customized as per requirement. Each of these platforms is equipped with 25 kilowatts of marine-grade solar panels. The company claims 5-10% higher production from these systems compared to the equivalent rooftop solar power systems due to the cooling effect of seawater and additional reflective radiation.

Another developer, Sunseap, was planning to set up a 5 megawatt project over seawater in the Johor Strait between Singapore and Malaysia. The project was supposed to the commissioned by the first quarter of this year, however the company has not reported the same so far.

The World Bank, in a recent study, reported that there is nearly 1.1 gigawatt of floating solar power capacity globally. However, in the study’s authors also agree that floating solar power over seawater poses specific challenges, including long-term reliability, high operation and maintenance cost and bio fouling, among others. However, such power plants may also be of strong interest to populous coastal cities and perhaps the only viable option for small islands to generate solar power. 

Originally published on Clean Technica

7 Daily Habits of an Effective Recruiter

What makes a recruiter successful?

While the descriptor is rather subjective (each person defines success differently), there are a number of commonalities among effective recruiters.

At the end of day, you need to provide your company and clients with candidates that are going to make an impact. So how do great recruiters achieve this? Each story may be different, but we think you’ll find this list of seven key habits sums up what it means to be an effective recruiter.

1. Keep the Big Picture in Mind

Have a clear company strategy in mind that you can reference to whenever you’re looking to fill a position. Keep it on a sticky note, typed in your phone or simply commit it to memory. When learning about a potential candidate, identify if their skills, character and experience are the best fit for leading your organization to growth. Ask yourself, “Will this person help my organization reach our ultimate vision?” If you can’t confidently answer yes, it’s time to keep sourcing.

2. Dig Deeper

We all know that possessing the right skills is not enough to qualify a candidate as the right hire. Your job as a recruiter is to find the candidates who are not only qualified for the job, but who also fit the company culture. Ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper in the interview process. Identify which characteristics or values your successful employees commonly possess, and then create interview questions that help single out candidates with similar attributes.

3. Think Outside the Box

When possible, emphasize the job need rather than the skills. If a candidate has previously performed a similar job, they probably have the skills (or the ability to learn them). So instead of listing every skill that candidate should possess, clearly explain the key job expectations.This will help enhance your talent community by including a more diverse group of candidates with varying experience and backgrounds without sacrificing the quality of hire.

If you want to engage passive candidates, you need to figure out how to target effectively for a career move. Try to imagine the career story of your top three ideal candidates. What roles did they fill before? What skills did they possess that made them a good fit? Once you’ve answered questions like these, you’ll have a better idea of how to make your job postings resonate with passive candidates.

4. Continually Self Improve

Master and strengthen all of your sources for candidates. This includes boosting the yield and quality of candidates coming in via your job posting efforts. To do this, relentlessly study what makes a job posting effective, try new marketing tactics, test your actions and apply what you’ve learned to strengthen your job ads. Also, stay up-to-date on the latest recruiting news and best practices so that you can leverage the information.

5. Nurture Your Talent Community

Periodically reach out to candidates in your Talent Community to see what’s new with them, if they’ve acquired any new skills, or if they have referrals to share from their personal network. You can keep in touch with new and old connections via the phone, email, message system, or physical gatherings. The amount of input you invest yields a corresponding amount of output. That’s why it’s so critical for recruiters to build and maintain relationships with their Talent Community, past clients and alumni.

The main takeaway is that you need to initiate conversations to boost awareness for your positions. Become an exceptional networker, and become proficient in passive candidate recruiting.

6. Track Metrics

Identifying the results of your efforts each day is the best way to improve your recruitment practices. Utilize analytical tools that help you understand your recruiting initiatives from a high-level perspective. By reviewing critical recruitment metrics, you can decipher which recruiting tactics are working and which are not. Then, you can readjust your actions to maximize your ROI.

7. Be Proactive

Instead of focusing entirely on current open reqs, start thinking about the future hiring needs of your organization. Are certain departments growing? Are any leaders planning on retiring soon? Based on your company’s expectations, start building a strong talent network of prospective candidates who would excel in the roles that may become available. As a result, you’ll be prepared to source once the company decides to hire for that position.

Becoming a great recruiter takes persistence, strategy and the passion to connect organizations with the right candidates. If you have the will to succeed, coupled with the right tactics and tools, you can start aggressively honing your recruiting skills today. Try incorporating these seven recruitment best practices into your day-to-day functions to improve your actions and produce great results.

Originally published on Recruiting

10 Unconventional (But Very Effective) Tips For Job Seekers

In the market for a new job? You’ve probably been urged to “pursue your passions,” “leverage your network,” “tailor and tidy up your resume,” “do your homework,” and “dress for success”—among other things.

“These are foundational aspects to job seeking that are timeless,” says Teri Hockett, the chief executive of What’s For Work?, a career site for women.

David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach and author, agrees: “Much of this has been around long enough to become conventional for a reason: it works,” he says. “If you take a closer look, things like networking, research, and applying to multiple employers are fundamental ‘block and tackle’ types of activities that apply to 80% of the bell curve. They hinge upon casting a broad net; they leverage the law of averages; they adhere to the fundamentals of psychology. It’s no wonder they still work.”

But some of it “does get old and overused, because job seeking is as unique and creative as an individual,” says Isa Adney, author of Community College Success and the blog FirstJobOutofCollege.com. “When you ask any professional who has achieved some level of greatness how he or she got there, the journey is always unique, always varied, and rarely cookie-cutter. Most have, in some capacity, followed their passion, used their network, and had a good resume–but those things are usually part of a much bigger picture, and an unpredictable winding path. Instead of always following the exact by-the-book job seeking formulas, most were simply open to possibilities and got really good at whatever it is they were doing.”

We’re not saying you should discount or disregard traditional job seeking advice altogether. But it can’t hurt to mix it up and try less conventional approaches until you achieve your goals, Hockett says.

“Times are always changing and while it’s always good to follow the basic advice, we also have to get rolling with the times,” says Amanda Abella, a career coach, writer, speaker, and founder of the Gen Y lifestyle blog Grad Meets World. “For instance, group interviews are making a comeback, we’ve got Skype interviews now, or you may interview in front of a panel. All this stuff didn’t happen as often before–so while the same basic stuff applies, we have to take into account all the new dynamics.”

Hockett agrees and says if you are going to try some unconventional job seeking methods, you should “always be grounded with solid research and a clear direction of your intentions; then you will be ready for any opportunity to make a connection resulting in a positive impact on a hiring manager.”

Parnell says generally speaking, unconventional methods should be used sparingly, judiciously and only when necessary. “And when you do decide to use them, factor comprehensively by recognizing things like industry standards, personalities involved, and the general ilk of the position’s responsibilities, before strategizing.”

Here are 10 unconventional (but very effective) tips for job seekers:

1. Be vulnerable. It’s okay to ask people for advice! “Too often we think we have to sell ourselves as this know-it-all hot-shot to get a job, but I have found the best way to build relationships with people whom you’d like to work with (or for) is to start by being vulnerable, sharing your admiration for their work, and asking for advice,” Adney says. “I recommend doing this with professionals at companies you’d love to work for, long before they have a job opening you apply for.”

2. Don’t always follow your passion. “Follow your passion” is one of the most common pieces of career wisdom, says Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love. “It’s also wrong.” If you study people who end up loving their work, most of them did not follow a pre-existing passion, he says. “Instead, their passion for the work developed over time as they got better at what they did and took more control over their career.”

Adney agrees to some extent. She doesn’t think job seekers should completely disregard their passions–but does believe that “challenging this conventional wisdom is vital, especially since studies still show most Americans are unhappy in their jobs.”

3. Create your position. Don’t just sit around waiting for your “dream job” to open. Study the industry or field that you’re looking to move into, and determine a company or two that you’d like to work for, Hockett says. “Then figure out their challenges through relationships or public information. With this, you can craft a solution for them that you can share directly or publically through a blog, for instance. The concept here is to get noticed through offering a solution to help them with no expectation of anything in return.”

4. Learn how to listen. Job seekers are so caught up in conveying a certain message and image to the employer that they often fail to listen.

“Powerful listening is a coaching tool, as well as an amazing skill to have in your life,” Abella says. “The art of conversation lies in knowing how to listen– and the same applies to job interviews. Know when to talk, when to stop talking, and when to ask questions.”

When you practicing for interviews, don’t just rehearse your answers to questions like, “can you tell me about yourself?” “why do you want this job?” and “what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” Practice listening carefully and closely without interrupting.

5. Start at the top and move down. We learned from Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) in The Pursuit of Happyness (the biographical film based on Gardner’s life) that you need to start from the top and move down. “Why approach human resources in hopes that your resume makes it to the hiring authority?” Parnell says. “Just get it there yourself. Be careful to use tact, respect and clarity during the process, but nevertheless, go straight to the decision maker.”

6. Build a relationship with the administrative assistant.While you want to start at the top (see No. 5), you’ll eventually want to build strategic relationships with personnel at all levels.

“A terribly underutilized resource is an employer’s administrative assistant,” Parnell says. “As the manager’s trusted counterpart, there is often only a slight social barrier between the two. They know the manager’s schedule, interests, responsibilities and preferences. Making friends or even engaging in some quasi-bartering relationship with them can make all the difference in the world.”

7. Don’t apply for a job as soon as you find it. The worst part about job hunting is the dreaded scrolling of an online job board, applying for job after job, and never hearing back, Adney says. “When you find a job online that you’re really interested in, applying is the last thing you should do. Instead, research that company and the professionals who work there, and reach out to someone at the company before you apply for the job, letting them know you admire what they do and would love their advice.” Then, ask questions via e-mail or phone about what they like and find challenging at their job, and ask if they have any tips for you. “Most likely they will personally tell you about the job opening (you should not mention it) and then you can ask them about getting your application and resume into the right hands,” she says. “It is a great way to keep your applications from getting lost in the black hole of the Internet.”

8. Focus on body language. You’ve probably heard this before—but job candidates don’t take it seriously enough. “Body language is incredibly important in job interviews,” Abella says. “Watching yours (posture, your hands, whether or not you’re relaxed, confidence) will help you exude confidence,” she explains. “Meanwhile paying attention to the interviewer’s body language can let you gauge whether or not you’re on the right track.”

9. Don’t focus on finding a job you love now. Don’t obsess about how much you’ll enjoy a particular job on day one, Newport says. Most entry-level positions are not glamorous. “The right question to ask when assessing an opportunity is what the job would look like in five years, assuming that you spent those years focusing like a laser on developing valuable skills. That’s the job you’re interviewing for.”

Adney agrees. “When choosing a job early in your career or early in a career change, focus less on how much you would love doing the functions of the job and focus more on where you will have the greatest opportunity to add value to the company, network with top people in your industry, and have the ability to get your foot in the door of a company that mostly hires internally.”

10. Become their greatest fan. Once you find a company you’d love to work for, become their biggest fan. “Becoming a brand loyalist may lead to becoming an employee,” Hockett says. “But of course, you have to establish or participate in a forum where you’re constantly communicating that message; one they will see.” Organizations ideally want employees to love their company and be enthusiastic about their job. Loyal fans are passionate as consumers, and often make great employees because of this, she concludes.

Originally published on Forbes

China Invests In Renewable Energy In Cuba

Cuba began investing in renewable energy in 2014 and is ramping up its efforts in a push to make renewables its principal source of electricity by 2030. According to Xinhua News,China is one of the leading investors in Cuba’s renewable energy program.

The goal is for Cuba to derive 24% of its electricity from renewables such as sugarcane biomass, solar panels, wind farms, and small hydroelectric plants by 2024. “Photovoltaic solar energy is the one with the most progress, and there are 65 parks built throughout the country and another 15 are in process that will increase the installed power to 42 megawatts,” says Tatiana Amaran Bogachova, general director of the Electricity Department at Cuba’s Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Ovel Concepcion, director of renewable sources at the island’s Electric Union, says his organization expects to install 700 megawatts of renewable solar power by 2030. “We will also set up some 688 MW in wind farms, 56 MW in hydroelectric plants and provide electricity through photovoltaic panels in all remote homes that have no access to any other source of energy,” he says.

Electricity from solar panels costs 95% less than electricity from traditional thermoelectric facilities. Solar also has the advantage of bringing electricity to remote areas of the island that have no access to the utility grid. Today there are over 17,000 solar panels that serve those underserved areas.

“Today there are four projects in different construction phases of solar energy parks with international investment for a total of 200 MW,” Conception says. “One of them is the first park with 100 percent foreign capital located at the Mariel Special Development Zone.” Four experimental wind energy parks with an output of 11.5 megawatts of renewable energy are under construction, financed in large part by investment from China and the UK. The La Herradura 1 and 2 wind farms in eastern Las Tunas province will have 54 turbines that feature Chinese technology.

Cuba has a lot of sugarcane. The biomass remaining after the sugar is extracted from the plants will be used to power electrical generating plants. “The electrical surplus after the sugar manufacturing process will be sold to the Electric Union for the nation’s energy system,” says Barbara Hernandez, head of power generation at the state-run sugar producer Azcuba. “It’s a way to recover the investments of bioelectric plants and use this model once the harvest is over.”

The country’s first bioelectric plant is being built in central Ciego de Avila province, about 450 km east of Havana, with a joint investment between the island and companies from China and Britain. “This plant will generate around 157 KWh for each ton of sugar cane processed by the adjacent Ciro Redondo sugar mill. It’s now at 41 percent of its construction plan with the aim of starting operations by the end of the year,” says Francisco Lleo Martin, general director of Zerus, a Cuban holding company for foreign investment in the sugar sector.

China is flexing its economic muscles in dozens of countries around the world. Its philosophy is “business is business.” The United States, on the other hand, refuses to engage economically with any nation that doesn’t hew to its ultra nationalistic politics. Exceptions are made only for countries that purchase enormous amounts of weapons from America’s armaments manufacturers.

America’s infatuation with the illusion of greatness is leaving the door wide open for other countries to forge economic and political ties with a neighbor just 90 miles away. Such short sighted policies will hardly get reactionaries what they want most — the adoring embrace of the world community.

Originally published on Clean Technica

11 Common Mistakes That Recruiters Make

It’s a full time job to recruit top talent. The people you choose to hire will ultimately shape the future of your company. They are directly tied to your company’s success. Don’t mess up.

It’s your job to do whatever you can to select the right people. When you read resumes, interview job candidates, check references, run background checks, and screen candidates via social media it’s pretty easy to sift and sort through the applicant pool and find a solid new employee. Do your job and you’ll hire the right person.

But recruiters are human and humans make mistakes. When it comes to recruiting, these are some of the most common mistakes that recruiters make:

1. Complacency – It’s easy to grow complacent and stuck in your ways. To attract the top recruits to your company you need to be on top of your game. Be ready to adapt to changing trends and to embrace the latest technology.

2. Always Trusting The Resume – Resumes are like a job candidate’s highlight reel. Don’t be fooled though. There is more to a job candidate than what they can put down on paper.

3. Not Running A Background Check – While a background check may seem unnecessary, it’s an important part of the hiring process. You never know what a candidate has done in their past and what might come back to haunt you because you didn’t check.

4. Making A Desperate Hire – When you feel the pressure to hire someone immediately, beware. You never want to hire someone just because you need them. It’s better to wait and find the right person for the job.

5. Writing A Poor Job Description – If you don’t spend the time to write a solid job description, you’ll waste a lot of time later on either sifting and sorting through resumes of unqualified candidates or wondering why no one applied for the job. Nail down the specifics of the job so that you can attract the right people.

6. Poor Communication – Communication problems plague all sorts of businesses. It’s your job to communicate all of the necessary information to a candidate including important times and dates, necessary job information, and even follow ups.

7. Waiting For The “Perfect” Candidate – It’s unwise to make a desperate hire, but it’s also a poor decision to hold out for the perfect candidate. The perfect candidate unfortunately doesn’t exist. Instead, hire the best person for the job.

8. Not Screening Candidates On Social Media – You’ll be amazed what you can find with a simple Google search or social media screening. Always check to see if the person you meet on paper and in a job interview matches the person that the world sees on social media.

9. Lacking Preparation At The Interview – All recruiters judge a job candidate by how prepared they are at the interview. As a HR pro, you also need to be prepared so that you can properly evaluate the job candidate.

10. Not Trusting Your Gut – Sometimes you just need to trust your gut.

11. Assuming Someone Can Actually Do The Job – While a candidate may appear great in person and on paper, it’s your job to determine if they can actually do the job you need done. If the candidate can’t produce high quality work, they might not be the best choice.

If you make a recruiting mistake that leaves you holding your head and wondering what in the world happened, be sure to learn from your error. Grow from that experience and it will make you a better person and a more well rounded recruiter.

Originally published on Job Monkey

7 Tips to Make Interview Nerves Disappear

You’ve landed an interview for your next big career move – a goal you have been working towards for a long time. You have all the experience required and you know you’d be a great fit but there’s one problem – your interview nerves are setting in. Believe me when I say you are not alone.

If not dealt with effectively, interview nerves can leave you lacking confidence and feeling anxious- they take up so much time and energy that would be better spent researching and preparing for the interview itself. Like most common fears, interview nerves are generally irrational and at best, misplaced concerns. Here are the tips you should follow to make those nerves disappear

1. It’s not all about you

As the interviewee, the focus is on you and it’s absolutely your chance to shine. But remember, the interview panel is under pressure too. Pressure of interviewing well. Pressure to recruit well. The company is investing a lot of money and resource recruiting for this position, if they recruit the wrong candidate, it doesn’t reflect well on them.

Every candidate is in the same position as you so let that ease the pressure you’re putting on your shoulders. Have compassion for the interview panel and trust them to bring out the best in you. Never underestimate the skill and concentration required to get the best out of an interviewee.

2. Know yourself, your motives and your strengths

Take the time to understand what you offer. What skills, experience and knowledge do you have that are huge assets to this role? Understand clearly what your motivation for the role is and why you’re the best candidate. What strengths do you have that would complement this company and role well? Once you are clear on what you have to offer you can walk in to the interview confidently.

3. Trust Yourself

If you have researched the company/industry, know what skills/experience you have to match the job requirements, are driven and motivated, can recount your key career successes, know what points you want to get across and what ideas you can bring to the role, you’re good to go. You’ve prepared well, you know you can do this role well, now it’s time to relax and trust yourself.

4. Reframe the situation

In your mind the interview is a situation you’re not going to be comfortable with, so it’s no wonder you’re nervous. Time to take a step back and think about when you excel – what type of situations do you do well in?

Do you enjoy group discussions? See the interview as one big group discussion. If being centre-stage is your thing – be the main act.

5. Understand it’s not a pass or fail situation

Whilst the aim of an interview is always ultimately to get the job offer, it’s not a pass or fail situation.Recruitment processes are subjective, you don’t know who you are up against, what personal expectations beyond the criteria of the role the interviewers have (it might even differ from interviewer to interviewer) and you don’t know what situations they’re facing that could affect their decision.

With these factors being out of your control just do your best, show them why you will be great in the role and let the rest go. Hopefully you will get the offer but if you don’t, you never know where that interview might take you. They could offer you a different role or it could end up being great preparation for another interview in a better role.

6. Have contingency plans

If you do forget to mention some points you think are key as the interview progresses, don’t worry about it. Have a contingency plan – how will you get that information in? If you realise three questions in that you forgot a vital point in your answer to question one, wait for the right opportunity and say “Would it be possible for me to add to my answer to the first question? There is a key point I didn’t get across; would you mind if I talk through that with you now?”

If you have a couple of points you want to bring up that didn’t fit in to any of the questions, use them in your questions at the end. For example; “I find xxxx fascinating and the effect it may have on the industry could be a game changer. I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.”

7. Comparison

Finally, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself by comparing yourself to other candidates – whether you know them or not. Keep your focus on you, what you have to offer, why you are a great investment and how much value you will bring them.

When you find interview nerves taking over, make a conscious effort to steer your mind back to reality.  You will be having a conversation about yourself (your expert topic), why you can do this job well, your professional attributes and your thoughts on the role, company and industry. You have a lot of great insights to share which the interview panel are keen to hear; you wouldn’t be sitting in front of them otherwise.

Breathe, trust yourself and show them what you’ve got.

Originally published on The Undercover Recruiter

Social media recruiting : 5 mistakes to avoid

As more people use social media, HR specialists and hiring managers are increasingly  incorporating tools such as Facebook and LinkedIn into their recruiting strategy.

Some job candidates invite  employers to view their profiles on social networks, hoping the information will help hiring managers see a more complete view of the real person beyond the resume and cover letter. And recruiters may do some scouting on LinkedIn and Twitter by searching for keywords related to the position they’re trying to fill, then reaching out to top talent who may be passively searching for a job.

Although these  networks  can help hiring managers  find  new employees, there are definite pitfalls to avoid when developing a strategy for social media recruiting. Here are five common mistakes hiring managers make when using social media to evaluate job candidates:

  1. Thinking social media recruiting is risk-free
    When you look at candidates’ profiles, you might become aware of protected information that you wouldn’t dare  ask  about in an interview, such as gender,  age, race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. Candidates have sued companies because they believe they were rejected for a job based on content posted on their online profiles.
    When searching for talent online, make sure that you do the same searches for every candidate, and consider waiting  until after you’ve done an initial face-to-face interview. Your legal department can also provide insight on navigating potential issues in using social media tools and applications in the hiring process.
  2. Thinking it can outweigh interpersonal interaction
    This is one of the biggest mistakes of all. Social media efforts should augment, not replace, traditional one-on-one contact, such as outreach to potential candidates through in-person networking events and relationships built with reputable recruiters.
    The quality of a candidate’s interpersonal skills are increasingly important to businesses,  even in non-customer-facing positions.  Teamwork and the need to communicate with others throughout the company has risen in importance even in the digital age. As a result, hiring managers need to understand how individuals will mesh with the organization and its workplace culture. These aren’t attributes an employer can accurately evaluate on a Facebook or LinkedIn page.
  3. Being quick to judge
    Managers who judge potential hires too harshly based on what they discover online run the risk of unintentionally eliminating skilled candidates. You wouldn’t hire someone based solely on the fine prose of a well-written cover letter, so you shouldn’t  reject a candidate just because you raised an eyebrow at the content posted on his or her profile.
    Generation Y and Z  candidates, who are particularly active on social media,  tend to be comfortable with having their personal and professional lives overlap on the Internet. Hiring managers need to be aware as they engage in social media recruiting that some job seekers may share personal information about themselves online more freely than other professionals.
    It’s also important to be aware that some people spend more time on networking sites than others. Passive candidates who aren’t currently looking for a job but would be open to discussing new opportunities with the right company may not look like they’re job hunting on LinkedIn. Don’t disregard a candidate just because their profile is minimal or not up-to-date.
  4. Not recognizing the time commitment
    Networking sites are communities, which means it can take months to build relationships with users. Keep in mind, too, that the language and customs used by members might be opaque to outsiders. Hiring managers and HR recruiters who go into Twitter, Facebook or other social media without considering the time commitment involved in forming useful relationships may not get the results they hoped for.
    Especially when making cold contacts with talent located online,  recruiters  should be aware it isn’t a one-and-done situation. Taking time to study how people interact and prefer to be contacted is essential when recruiting.
  5. Forgetting to  update  your own social media profiles
    Social networking  is a two-way street. Is your company keeping its profiles up-to-date? At the very least, your company’s pages on LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites should include accurate contact information and confirm that you are an  Equal  Opportunity  Employer. You could also take the time to share information about your company culture and the benefits of working there.  If your industry is one where professionals are active online, you should post your job listings on your page  — that lets qualified candidates come to you.
    While joining  the social media space is relatively easy, it is not the magic bullet many hiring managers might have hoped. The most successful recruiting efforts  rely on a combination of resources that include both high-tech and high-touch approaches.


Originally published on Robert Half

10 reasons you are not getting the job

Sometimes everything just falls into place. You hear about a job, have a couple of interviews and get the offer in a few short weeks.

Most of the time, that’s not the case. If you’ve been job hunting for a while without much success, it’s time to review what you’ve been doing to find the weak spots in your process.

Of course, much depends on factors from your location to your level to your industry, but if your search is stalling, make sure you aren’t falling into these common traps.

  1. You don’t use keywords in your resume.
    If you apply to jobs online or through HR departments, you absolutely need to sprinkle keywords through your resume. Your social profiles and cover letters should contain pertinent key words as well. When applying to a specific job, tailor your resume to be sure that it includes some of the keywords that appear in the job description.
  2. You apply to hundreds of jobs online.
    So much is wrong with trying to find a job this way it might deserve its own list. With hundreds, even thousands, of people applying to every job, your odds of getting one by throwing your resume into the black hole are pretty darn low. Some other problems with this approach: If you are applying for that many jobs, you probably don’t know what you want, other than a new job. You probably aren’t customizing your resume and cover letter. You are fooling yourself into thinking you are doing a lot to find a job, when the truth is you aren’t doing enough. You may soon get discouraged, too. Every job seeker should use a wide range of tools to find a gig, including recruiters, networking, answering ads, and social media.
  3. You don’t like to network.
    When people say this, and many of them do, it usually means they network only when they need a new job. Of course that feels awkward and forced. You feel uncomfortable and you probably make other people uncomfortable as well. Take a long-range view of networking and regularly make the time to help others in your industry through referrals and recommendations, sharing articles and research, and attending panels and events. If you are among those who say they hate small talk or aren’t good at meeting new people, learn to be. Master a graceful way to introduce yourself and then take the focus off yourself. Ask questions. Be curious about other people and the world and you might even start to enjoy networking.
  4. You don’t keep in touch with former colleagues.
    Companies love to hire people referred by their own employees, so staying in touch with people you worked well with in the past can be the best thing you do for your career.
  5. You don’t write cover letters.
    No matter how many people tell you that no one reads cover letters anymore, write them. Sure, some managers might not care about them, but that’s impossible for a job seeker to know. More important, a good cover letter can set you apart. No one expects you to be Shakespeare, but craft a few paragraphs that explain what you can do for that company. Keep it short—three paragraphs are fine. And spellcheck.
  6. You don’t write thank you notes.
    As with cover letters, many people say they don’t matter anymore. I disagree. Following up with a short email after an interview shows respect for your interviewer and for yourself. Why would you allow other people’s bad manners to determine your career path?
  7. You think you deserve a job.
    You may be smart, or well educated, or hard working, or highly experienced, or have good hair, or are breathing. But no one is entitled to a particular job. That kind of thinking will leave you bitter and angry, so don’t go there.
  8. You talk too much about yourself at interviews.
    Wait—aren’t you there to sell yourself? Yes and no. A successful interview is a conversation. You both are trying to determine if you are a good fit for the job. Really listen to what your interviewer is saying so you can frame your responses correctly and ask insightful follow-up questions. Obvious? Well, it should be, but most people are too busy planning what they are going to say next to carefully listen, much less read between the lines. Listening attentively will allow you to tailor your questions to specific problems or issues your interviewer is discussing or implying. And that’s the best way to sell yourself.
  9. You haven’t learned something new in years.
    The world is always changing and expanding, and you should be, too. Learn to code, learn a new language, learn to take better photos—just keep learning. Check out online classes or take an evening class or weekend workshop. Keep up with industry news. Companies are looking for people who can change and innovate in a complex world, and the more you know the more ideas and information you will have to contribute.
  10. You spend most evenings sitting at home.
    Building informal networks can expand your career options and help you become a more interesting and well-rounded person. Volunteer, coach, mentor, go to local events and get to the gym. The more you stay engaged in your community and with other people, the more likely you will build a network that supports your success.


Originally published on Ivy Exec

3 strategies for building solar and wind energy systems on potentially contaminated lands

Building solar and wind energy projects on potentially contaminated lands can be a golden opportunity, both effective and cost-effective, for developers. The 120-acre Reilly Tar & Chemical Corporation Superfund site was recently redeveloped with a utility-scale solar farm and is a prime example of the reuse potential inherent in thousands of Superfund sites, brownfields, retired power plants, and landfills.

Corporations continue to drive demand for sustainable energy, with 170 businesses to-date pledging to go 100 percent renewable as part of RE100. States and local governments are also establishing policies that prioritize and incentivize sustainable energy development. In Illinois, the legislature is seeking to pass two bills, the Path to 100 Act (HB 2966/SB1781) and Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB3624/SB2132), which would incentivize renewable energy development and bring the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Other states, including New York and California, have proposed or passed similar laws.

Redeveloping potentially contaminated lands offers a host of potential benefits to developers and community stakeholders:

  • Better Bang for Your Buck and Time: Developers can significantly lower project costs and decrease timelines, because contaminated sites typically have existing infrastructure in place, like power lines, substations, and access roads — all of which would otherwise need to be constructed. Often, contaminated sites are also already zoned for commercial or industrial use, which means that the proposed project likely poses fewer zoning and permitting hurdles. Costs may also be lower than developments on agricultural lands or other open spaces because (1) contaminated properties cost less; (2) programs specific to the procurement of renewable energy credits from brownfield projects may be available; and (3) developers may be able to take advantage of federal and state brownfield tax incentives.
  • More Support from the Community: Siting renewable energy projects on potentially contaminated lands means that agricultural lands are kept in production and open spaces are kept as is; abandoned, blighted sites are cleaned up; surrounding property values are boosted; tax revenues are increased; and energy needs will cost less. Local communities may be quicker to support the renewable energy projects as a result.
  • Open Space Preservation: Large, utility-scale renewable energy facilities developed on potentially contaminated lands can help to preserve agricultural lands and other “greenspace” that may otherwise be displaced or impacted by development.

Even with all these benefits, developers often choose to build wind and solar energy systems on agricultural lands or greenspaces, and not on brownfields, because they are worried about potential liabilities or site contamination. Fear no more. Here are three strategies that developers can consider using to help quell concerns and work toward constructing successful renewable energy systems on potentially contaminated lands.


Evaluate Sites to See Whether They Have Renewable Energy Potential and Make Financial Sense

It’s important to take a hard look at potentially contaminated properties to determine whether they can support your renewable energy project. For example, a prospective property must have enough usable space and be close enough in proximity to transmission or distribution lines to support development.

Confirm that a site is not subject to land-use exclusions or restrictions that would prevent the use of solar or wind energy. Ensure your renewable energy project is in line with, or at least doesn’t conflict with, the community’s vision for the site. Take a look at whether the site has been assessed for contamination already. If so, review those environmental assessments and determine what remediation is needed. If not, you will need to investigate the site to see whether your project development is appropriate.

It’s also important to inspect the property for visual signs of contamination, like piles of debris or soil surface staining. Site-specific screening considerations will also vary depending on the type of contaminated property you’re assessing. For example, if you’re looking to develop a project on a landfill, you’ll need to confirm that the landfill has settled or is expected to settle uniformly.

Also key to the success of a project is choosing a site that makes financial sense. As part of this assessment, see whether the state in which you’re seeking to develop has strong policy support for renewable energy development and specific incentives. Whether you buy or lease a property, it’s important to consider whether the specific site ownership structure at play will impact the incentives available for your project, which may impact the overall cost of your renewable energy system significantly.

The EPA has published decision trees to help prospective developers screen potential sites for solar and wind energy compatibility.


Assess and Protect Against Liability Exposure

Many prospective developers, purchasers, and lenders are concerned that redeveloping contaminated properties may subject them to liability under federal or state cleanup laws. This often won’t be the case if you do your homework on the liability protections that may be available at the site screening phase.

State cleanup programs often provide liability protections for new owners or lessees who did not contribute to the existing contamination at a site. In addition, federal environmental law generally limits your potential liability at qualifying brownfield sites, called “eligible response sites,” where a party is conducting a response action in compliance with a state cleanup response program. Lawyers with expertise in environmental law can help you assess and take advantage of the liability protections available to you, and it will be important to work with state and local governments early on in the process.

The EPA may address other contaminated properties under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The agency has published guidance to help prospective developers protect themselves against potential liability. When developers and others acquire contaminated property but did not cause the contamination, they can take advantage of various self-implementing liability protections afforded by CERCLA, like a protection for “bona fide prospective purchasers” (BFPP). Plan ahead and take the necessary steps to qualify for the BFPP protection. Among other requirements, you’ll need to engage an environmental consultant to conduct a Phase I environmental assessment to qualify for the BFPP protection.

CERCLA also offers liability protections for qualifying lessees of contaminated properties. If leasing a property is part of your plan, ask a lawyer to help you cut off any potential lessee liability concerns at the pass. You’ll also want to carefully review any proposed lease because it may try to shift liability to you.


Synchronize the Renewable Energy Development with Cleanup

While you can develop a renewable energy system at any stage of site cleanup, you would be well served to start your renewable energy project when the cleanup process is just getting underway. Doing so allows you to engage the governmental agency overseeing the site, community stakeholders, and other interested parties, like potentially responsible parties, from the start of a project.

You’ll also be able to coordinate and integrate renewable energy development and site cleanup decisions. For example, you might be able to fold design requirements for your renewable energy system into the remedial design, rather than being left to build your structures on top of and around the completed remedy.

Coming to the cleanup early also helps to ensure that the renewable energy project is compatible with the remedial design, engineering controls, monitoring activities, and institutional controls.


Originally published on renewableenergyworld.com

Ireland: $35 million floating wind project gets green light

A 31 million euro ($35.32 million) floating wind project off the west coast of Ireland has been granted approval.

In an announcement Wednesday, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) said that plans were in place for the deployment and testing of a “full-scale floating wind turbine.”

The turbine will be located at a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) test site near the town of Belmullet, County Mayo, by 2022.

EMEC is leading the project, and partnering with the SEAI, Italian business Saipem, and several other organisations in Germany, France, Ireland, the U.K. and the Netherlands. The project has secured funding from Interreg North-West Europe to speed up the uptake of floating offshore wind technologies.

“Over the past 15 years EMEC has hosted more ocean energy technologies at its real sea test berths in the U.K. than any other facility in the world,” EMEC’s commercial director, Oliver Wragg, said in a statement.

“We have developed a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can now be transferred to the testing and demonstration of floating offshore wind to help it make the most cost effective and rapid transition to commercialisation,” Wragg added.

European offshore wind capacity increased by 18 percent in 2018, according to statistics from trade body WindEurope. Europe installed 2.6 gigawatts of new offshore capacity, with 15 new offshore wind farms coming online.

Europe is already home to the planet’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland. The 30-megawatt facility is made up of five turbines and started production in October 2017.


Originally published on Cnbc.com

Gone in thirty seconds how to review a resume

The best way to review a resume

The work of resume review starts well before the applicant resumes fill your inbox. Reviewing a resume starts with a job description or role profile so that you know broadly what the job entails. Part of the job description, in an effective job description, details the qualifications and experience of the candidate you seek to fill the job.

Using the key qualifications and experience you identified for the role, develop your online and offline job postings, post them on your recruiting website, and make them available to contacts and employees for referrals

Determine a salary range

Then, determine the salary range by using a market pay study and the additional salary research materials you have on hand. Better candidates will inquire about the pay range before they invest a lot of time in your company. Be prepared with an appropriate response so as not to lose your best candidates.

This issue is a long-term controversy for people who work in Human Resources, but it is a matter of respectful treatment of candidates. Your best potential candidates are not going to waste a lot of time applying for positions without knowing the salary range.

Develop a key qualifications list or candidate profile

This process gets you started. The next key is for HR staff and the hiring manager to narrow down all of this information. Create a list that spells out your most important candidate selection criteria. This is often called a candidate profile. You’ll want to list:

  • the key characteristics or traits,
  • the most important skills,
  • the most relevant experience,
  • the desired educational level, and
  • the other most important factors that you will consider in candidate selection.

You now have distilled the job information into a list you can use to write ads, post jobs online, or highlight on your recruiting website. This list is the essence of the candidate you seek to fill your open job.

This candidate profile is a list of key experiences, skills, traits, and education and is essential for reviewing resumes. It forces discipline into the resume review process and gives you valuable criteria to use in resume review, and later, in candidate comparison. The list also serves as the basis for the job interview questions you will use in screening and in-person interviews with candidates for your job.

Job posting example

Here is an example of an actual job posting that was created from a list of key qualifications. Notice that the candidate’s qualifications are carefully defined.

Marketing Specialist
Company X, an award-winning global leader in the xxx, xxx and xxx of xxx seeks a motivated, proactive, Marketing Specialist to develop marketing materials and website content, design ads, and generally, support the work of the marketing function. The successful candidate has a degree in marketing, and 1-3 years experience in advertising, website development, and Internet competitive research.The successful candidate is an independent self-starter, creative, customer service oriented, and writes well, Must be familiar with web design software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Company X offers a competitive salary and a generous benefits package. Please send resume with salary requirements to the HR Recruiter.

This posting enables you to screen resumes and evaluate potential candidates. The job posting ensures that you don’t settle for a person who is less qualified than the individual you were seeking. Or, you may occasionally decide that you underpriced the market in terms of the qualifications you seek at the salary you want to pay.
In a recent search for a Planning and Scheduling Supervisor, as an example, a manufacturing company found that the $60,000 they wanted to pay the chosen employee, will not attract the qualified person they had hoped to find for the job. Their best applicants already make $75,000 as stated in their cover letters and on their resumes.All of this information helps you scan resumes more quickly. The information and preparation help you narrow down the many resumes to the chosen few resumes with greater accuracy. This preparation makes resume review relatively painless.

Preparing to review resumes

The preparation for resume review enables you to get down to the serious job of applicant resume review quickly. Set aside a block of time whenever possible. Part of resume screening is comparing one candidate’s qualifications and credentials to those listed in the other resumes you have received. Additionally, with the use of electronic applications and recruiting websites that accept applications, resume screening has taken on new dimensions. Some of the traditional devices used to screen resumes no longer bear the weight they once did. These include the quality of the stationery, the design of the actual document, and the envelope in which the documents arrived. Still viable for mailed-in resumes, these are useless for electronic applications, especially applications from job boards that can lose their formatting.

In a typical website job application, you will fill out a form to apply and then the company supplies a button that allows you to attach your resume and cover letter. Employers can read these applications online and forward the link to members of the screening committee. Some employers and screeners still print the application; others read the resumes online.Other resume screening techniques never go out of style, including the search for proper spelling and grammar. Your quick, first skim of the resume should yield an overall impression of your candidate’s carefulness and attention to detail.

Potential employees, who make careless mistakes in application materials such as resumes, do not warrant the attention that a more careful candidate deserves. Assuming the candidate’s resume passes an initial inspection, this is the recommended process for reviewing resumes.

Steps in the resume review

  • Read the customized cover letter. Look especially for a flawless presentation, correct spelling and grammar, and the applicant’s attention to detail. What—there is no cover letter? This is the downside of electronic resume spamming. Receiving countless, usually unqualified, applicant resumes, occurs following every job posting. The tip-off? Usually, unqualified applicants fail to write a cover letter. Worth noting, too, is the fact that advice to job applicants has changed in recent years. Disagreement exists about whether a cover letter is still a necessary component of an application. Supporters contend that it is a wonderful opportunity for an applicant to demonstrate that their credentials are perfect for your job requirements. Then, choose, or choose not, to continue your resume review at this point.
  • Scan the resume to obtain an overall impression of the applicant. You’ll want to see at a glance that the applicant fulfills your key expectations. experience, and qualifications of the person whom you would hire. Look especially for a flawless presentation, correct spelling and grammar, and their attention to detail. Paper resumes must pass the “feel” test.
  • In the first skim, look for the easy-to-find qualifications. (As an example, if you are requiring a college degree, does the applicant have one?) If not, reject the resume or place it in your “maybe” meets qualifications pile or electronic folder.
  • Read the description of what the candidate says they are looking for in their next job. Is the statement customized to your job or does it describe any job in the world? For example, generally reject resumes that make statements such as, “I seek a challenging opportunity to utilize my skills with a progressive employer who will provide opportunities for growth.” Honestly, you’ve got to do better than to offer this type of generality to pass the resume screen.
  • Look for a summary statement of qualifications and experience. If the candidate has taken the time and customized their summary for your job, this enables you to quickly find the characteristics you seek from your role profile. These resumes quickly hit the “further review” pile.
  • Applicants also need to recognize that more and more, larger organizations are scanning resumes into databases. When a job becomes available, resumes are scanned for relevant keywords. Make the keywords easy to find.
  • Review the most recent employers and the applicant’s stated experience, accomplishments, and contributions. At this point, you must have found significant cross-over between the applicant’s resume and your requirements. Place the resume in your “to be reviewed further” folder unless you have encountered problems.
  • Red flags at this point in your resume review, that are unexplained on the resume or in the cover letter, include: employment gaps, evidence of decreasing responsibility, evidence of a career that has reached a plateau or even gone in the wrong direction, short-term employment at several jobs, and multiple shifts in career path.
  • Review your selected resumes against your criteria and each other.
  • Telephone screen the seemingly qualified candidates. Schedule interviews with the candidates who pass your initial screen.

The more you review resumes, the better your resume review will become. With practice, you may begin to refer to your resume review as gone in twenty seconds, or even, gone in ten seconds, while your resume review continues to yield great candidates.


Originally published on Thebalancecareers.com

The best answers to the 7 worst interview questions

Interviews can be very discomforting. Of course, the interviewee wants to put forward the best possible answers to even the toughest questions. And answering difficult questions on the fly can be problematic.

Fortunately, great answers to troublesome questions can be rehearsed and considered long before that important interview

1) Tell me about yourself

Here you want to squeeze in every possible strength and potential contributions you can make to the company without being long-winded. The interviewer is far more interested in how the question is responded to, that is, whether or not the answer is said with sincere enthusiasm. Begin with a quote from a person you admire that sums up what you believe to be true about yourself to answer the question quickly and concisely .

Encapsulate the answer into a one-minute presentation of your professional achievements. Did you have a job that relates to the position you are seeking? Hit the interviewer with your unique achievements and contributions to the company’s bottom line. If there are no comparable jobs in your past, explain why you are interested in the position.

2) Tell me about an instance where you failed or did something you are ashamed of

Among the many questions that can be asked, this is one of the most dreaded. The fundamental key here is to turn that failure into a success. Take a moment to reflect as if you weren’t expecting the question. Say that as a human being you are as prone to mistakes as anyone else; however you have no regrets—even if you do (and most of us do), don’t admit them. This is not a confessional.

Tell the interviewer that in those instances where you have made a mistake with a coworker, you have admitted your mistake. You went back to the person and apologized and started again. Say that you prefer to keep things out in the open and you, personally, make a point to communicate about any experienced problems on both sides of the table.

3) What is your biggest weakness, that’s really a weakness, and not a secret strength

This is a gotcha question if there ever was one. No chance here to flip the question to a strength, such as, “I’m a workaholic” or “I tend to take my work home with me.” What to do? Instead, show that you recognize your weaknesses and make every effort to address them. For example, “I tend to be very demanding of others, but I am learning that everyone has their own unique gifts.”

Now is the opportunity to address any gaps in your resume. Tell the interviewer that you may not have direct experience in an area, but related experience such as fund-raising in place of sales experience. Say that in recognition of your weakness at say, public speaking, you have volunteered to come forward in team leadership roles.

4) Have you ever been fired? If so, why?

Refrain from making previous bosses or companies look bad. You come off as being bitter, blaming of others, and irresponsible. None of which you wish to convey to a new company. Make an admission, such as, telling the interviewer that you were inexperienced in communicating with your boss about teamwork. This way you acknowledge what happened and that you learned from the experience.

Say that you simply were not a good fit for the company, and before you had the opportunity to excel, you were let go. Or inform the interviewer that you didn’t fully understand your previous boss’s expectations and you both agreed that it was time to leave. Or, perhaps a new manager came on board and he wanted to bring in member from his old team before getting to know you.

5) Why are you willing to accept an entry level position at this point in your career?

The interviewer can’t or shouldn’t point directly at your age as a reason not to hire you. So the question may be asked in this manner. Tell the interviewer that it is the broad experience outside of the field that makes you the right fit. Your career experiences have prepared you to begin a career again in a brand new field.

Emphasize the quality that you enter the field with fresh new eyes and perspective. This opportunity also provides you with the advantage of learning about the company from the inside-out and the ground up. Tell the interviewer that the salary cut is worth it to you to start anew. Say that your experiences have made you reliable and prepared to go all out in the new position.

6) How do you explain the gaps in your resume?

It’s almost a surprise that this question still comes up. Especially in light of the fact that companies have not been hiring for the last few years or that a person may have taken time to be with young children or an illness may have prevented someone from working. This is a good time to refer to your references—people who can verify that you were perhaps, self-employed for a time or otherwise disengaged.

Be honest, but again, turn the weakness to a strength. Say, “In the time I have been out of the marketplace, I have better honed my skills in communication.” Emphasize that while you have been unemployed you have been far from idle, but have been keeping up with the job market or your profession in other ways.

7) Tell me about a time when a co-worker was not doing their fair share of work. How did you handle the situation?

The way that you have dealt with a difficult co-worker is emblematic of how you deal with difficult people and potentially hard-to-handle customers. Cast the problem in the best possible light by suggesting that the co-worker was dealing with a particularly bad personal situation and that you were glad to step in and help as you were able.

Let the interviewer know that you talked with the co-worker, in order to clear the air and avoid hiding resentment. This clearly shows that you are willing to deal with the difficulty, instead of suffering in silence. The example also clearly exemplifies the fact that you are a people person and willing to work through a very difficult situation.


Originally published on Lifehack.org

Nordex enters Luxembourg with first order

Nordex has won its debut order in Luxembourg to supply seven turbines for a 23MW project by a local developer.

The German manufacturer will supply its N131 3.3MW turbines to Luxembourgian developer PW34’s Wincrange wind farm in the northern municipality of the same name.

Construction has already begun at the site and foundation construction is due to start in April, followed by turbine installation at the end of the year. Wincrange is due to be connected to the grid in February 2020.

Moderate IEC Class IIIa winds prevail at the site, the manufacturer stated. After commissioning, Nordex will service the wind farm for 20 years.

Its turbines will run in sound-optimised mode to ensure noise levels do not exceed 103dB (A), Nordex stated. This upper limit is roughly equivalent to the volume of a jet flying 1,000 feet overhead.

When completed, Wincrange is set to be Luxembourg’s biggest wind farm, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

The country has nine operational wind farms with a combined capacity of just under 120MW.


Nordex has also received an order from an unspecified developer for a project in Italy.

The manufacturer will provide seven N149/4.0-4.5 turbines for an unspecified wind farm and also service them for two years as part of the contract.

The capacity of the project has not been confirmed, but the turbines’ power rating suggests this would be between 28MW and 31.5MW.


Originally published on Windpowermonthly.com

10 job interview questions to stop asking candidates

When I get a job interview, there’s a lot to prepare. I diligently research the company and my interviewers, pore over Glassdoor interview questions, and print out copies of my resume and portfolio.

When I interview someone else, it’s easier to prepare. I don’t have to put together the perfect outfit, I don’t have to worry about how to find the restroom, and at the end of the day, I don’t have to worry about if I got the job or not.

A quick Google Search for job interview questions brings up some of the most common asks you might have already answered 20 times over the course of your career. They’re popular, but that doesn’t mean they’re good questions. In fact, they could be hurting your chances of the candidate accepting an offer.

Nobody wants to feel stressed out, put on the spot, or tricked during a job interview. After all, you wouldn’t want to experience that in your day-to-day job, so why do we demand it of candidates?

Be mindful of the different personality types, cultures, and backgrounds that are applying for open roles at your company, and consider retiring some of the more common interview questions in your arsenal. Instead, try these alternatives that might give you more helpful information about the candidate — without making them feel awkward in the process.

10 Job Interview Questions to Stop Asking (and What to Ask Instead)

1) What can you tell me about yourself?

You might be surprised to see such a traditional interview question at the top of our list, but it’s not as great of an opener as you might think. In fact, from the candidate’s perspective, it might tell them that you haven’t read their résumé, browsed their portfolio, or checked out their LinkedIn profile. Candidates don’t want to brief you on their entire job history during the short time they have to make a first impression — they want to have a conversation.

Instead, ask a question based on what stood out to you most from their resume and application. Show the candidate you’re taking them seriously and want to learn more about them, beyond what’s on paper.

2) Why are you leaving your current job?

This question could lead to an awkward answer that doesn’t cast the candidate in their best light. The answer could be highly personal, and it isn’t that helpful for learning more about the candidate.

Instead, ask them about their favorite part and biggest challenge of their current role. You’ll learn more about their priorities, dealbreakers, and culture fit — without the conversation becoming too negative.

3) What’s the project you’re most proud of?

It’s useful to learn what projects a candidate enjoys working on most, but you could take this question further by asking something broader.

Instead, ask them to talk about how they produced a piece of work with multiple different teams. The answer will reveal how they work dynamically and as a project manager — useful traits for most marketing and sales teams.

4) What’s your biggest weakness?

Simply put, it’s presumptuous to assume that you understand what a candidate’s perceived weaknesses are. The answer could exclude candidates from other cultures or industries who aren’t familiar with yours, and it puts candidates in a negative state of mind.

Instead, ask them to describe a challenge they faced in a role and how they handled it. The answer will teach you more about their problem-solving skills, without putting them in the awkward position of personal self-reflection.

5) What’s your five-year career plan?

HubSpot Inbound Recruiting Manager Hannah Fleishman has made more inclusive hiring her mission, and she suggests replacing this interview question. “It can be a loaded question, especially for women, professionals who are thinking of starting a family, and even aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a company one day.”

Instead, Fleishman suggests asking candidates a more specific question: “How does this role fit into your long-term career plans?” The answer will give you the information you’re really looking for — if the role and your organization present opportunities for them to grow.

6) What makes you passionate about your work?

Candidates don’t have to be passionate to be successful in a role. Sure, it helps — but passion is such a subjective topic, it’s not necessary for a job interview.

Instead, ask them what makes them passionate about a company. The answer will tell you about their culture priorities and if they’ll fit with the larger team they’ll be working with.

7) Are you a team player?

Generally speaking, we advise against asking yes or no questions. Open-ended questions are more conversational and will give you more information about the candidate.

When it comes to this question, the answer is valuable, but a candidate is unlikely to self-identify as an individual worker. Likewise, your company probably doesn’t have any roles that are completely solitary — everyone has to attend meetings or work on campaigns at some point.

Instead, ask the candidate what their ideal team dynamic is. You’ll get the same answer you’re looking for — if they work well with others — while allowing them to elaborate on their preferred working environment.

8) How many people do you think flew out of JFK Airport last year?

Brain teasers might be entertaining to ask — and they might teach you a thing or two about a candidate’s problem-solving abilities — but brain teasing questions like this one create too much stress for the candidate. They’re usually ridiculously hard to solve and put the candidate on the spot — without revealing a ton of helpful information.

Instead, ask the candidate how they’d solve a problem that’s common on your team. The answer will be more useful, and it won’t take the candidate by surprise.

9) Sell me this pen.

If you’re hiring for a sales role, you should know: “Sell me this pen” has become such a frequently-asked question, it can be easily answered in a quick Google search before the interview. It might not give you the candidate’s true selling abilities — something you need to know before investing time and resources in training them.

Instead, ask them how they would handle a common roadblock your sales team faces. The answer will prove if they’ve done their research, and it will give you an idea of their persuasion skills if they were on a call.

10) What’s your salary history?

Fleishman also suggests avoiding questions or discussions of salary or benefits until an offer has been extended to the candidate. “Salary history shouldn’t determine what a candidate’s offer package is,” she says. “This question can actually discriminate against minorities who are more likely to be under-compensated compared to their peers — which is why cities in New York and Massachusetts have banned it from interviews.”

Instead, scratch this question from your list altogether.

The interview is only one piece of the puzzle for the candidate, but by asking more thoughtfully-phrased questions, you could be doing yourself and the candidate a favor.


Originally published on Hubspot.com


4 tips for writing a resume that will get you the interview

If you’re tired of meticulously writing, editing and rewriting your resume, only to send it off and never hear about it again, you’re not alone. The reality is that it’s possible no one ever saw your resume at all. Over 90% of large companies use applicant tracking systems that scan your resume and determine if you are a fit for the role or not by looking for keywords. Keywords are those that are essential to the role, and the systems use them to filter the applications coming in, narrowing down the pool of applicants recruiters or hiring managers need to sift through for consideration.

To learn more about keywords and how we can use them to help our resumes stand out, I spoke with LT Ladino Bryson, CEO & founder of vCandidates. Known as “The Employment Therapist,” Ladino Bryson has been an executive recruiter for six years, and has placed over 600 candidates at companies such as Tesla, Sharp Business Systems and MSC Industrial Supply. Not only did Ladino Bryson have advice on how to get past the applicant tracking systems, but she also gave some helpful insight on how to make your resume stand out by conveying personality.

Here are her four best tips on writing and formatting your resume to get the interview.

  1. Describe your experience using keywords from the job description you are applying to
    Ladino Bryson describes keywords as “a tool used to help find candidates that are relevant to a position.” She advises candidates to prepare their resumes by looking at the terminology used to describe the role and requirements in the job they want. Then use that same terminology to describe their own experience.
    “Some people say, ‘I was a maintenance technician.’ Well, that’s great. But if it’s a job is for a janitor and you don’t have janitor in your resume, it’s not going to show up. Likewise, if you have it listed as a janitor and they’re looking for maintenance technician, it may make sense to also put maintenance technician so your resume is pulled up.
  2. Put the keywords at the top of your resume.
    Ladino Bryson suggests to many candidates that they adopt the LinkedIn style headline under their name that gives a short description of who they are and their best qualities as an employee. If you’re applying for the right roles, the words you use as a headline should easily reflect the keywords for those positions. Putting them right at the top of the resume can be impactful in getting the hiring manager’s attention.
    “When we look for those filtered words, there’s a yellow highlighter that shows every time the words shows up in your resume. If [the keywords are] in your title, it is going to pop immediately.”
  3. Avoid listing irrelevant experience.
    Ladino Bryson named this as the most common mistake she sees; Candidates list outdated, irrelevant experience that isn’t necessary for the job they’re applying for
    “Anything that is over 10 years ago, unless it is completely relevant to the position you’re applying for and shows a natural progression, I would take off.”
    If you’re using your past experience to apply for a variety of roles and industries, make sure your resume is geared to each of those roles specifically.
    “What I like to tell candidates is to simply have different versions of your resume. If I’m going for entertainment roles, I can have one that just speaks to my experience as an entertainment executive.  If I’m going for recruiter roles, it would speak directly to that.”
    If you’re early in your career, not all your work experience may be completely relevant to your next job. In that case, Ladino Bryson suggests that you make your experience tell a story. Whether that is your ability to commit to a job for a long amount of time, or simply the experience you gained through jobs during school, it needs to prove a point.
  4. Use your hobbies to show your personality.
    Candidates commonly have a section on the bottom of their resume to describe what they like to do in their free time. Instead of using that space to just list some of your part-time hobbies, use it to show more about who you are rather than what you do.
    “I had a situation where a guy told me that he collected and painted miniature horses. It was his way to sit and just focus on something else after a stressful day. I said, ‘Let’s put avid horse lover in your resume.’  When he sent it, the hiring manager asked him in for an interview within  30 minutes of receiving the resume.” As it turned out, the hiring manager was a big equestrian fan.
    If you volunteer or have another important part of your life, describe it, and say why you’re motivated to spend your time on that activity. Give the hiring manager a better picture of you as an employee by using this section to indirectly describe your personality.“People make hiring decisions based 60% on skills and talents and 40% on likability. They want to know that they’re going to get along with you and that you’re going to get along with others.”


Originally published on Forbes

Energy storage: next game changer

With the rise of variable renewable generation, storage is poised to become big business

Everybody agrees that storage is turning into big business, and soon, but exactly how big and how soon? According to a report released in Nov 2018 by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) the global energy-storage market will surge to a cumulative 942 GW by 2040 requiring a hefty investment of $620 billion. Sharply falling battery costs is a key driver of the projected boom, as is the pressing need to smooth out the output of renewable generation. BNEF says the capital cost of utility-scale lithium-ion storage systems is likely to fall another 52% by 2030.

But like much else in electricity markets these days, cost isn’t the only or even the main driver of future demand growth – it is the mandatory rise of renewables. Governments the world over are requiring ever higher percentages of renewables while pushing for more electric vehicles (EVs) and solar PVs.

According to BNEF’s Yayoi Sekine, “Costs have come down faster than we expected. … Batteries are going to permeate our lives.”

The implications of cheaper batteries are far-reaching, upending multiple industries and helping spur technologies necessary to help fight climate change. Batteries will power the EVs while also boosting the value of solar and wind power, both inherently variable resources.

BNEF highlights two important storage markets:

  • China, which is investing in massive battery manufacturing capacity; and
  • California, which has a mandatory 100% renewable electricity target for 2045 as well as a number of other measures such as storage capacity.

In places like California and Hawaii, both moving towards a 100% renewable future by 2045, massive new storage capacity will undoubtedly be required along with other means of shifting midday’s sun to evening hours or for cloudy days. Wind, the other major renewable contender, is equally variable.

Among other highlights, BNEF says:

    • Cumulative energy-storage deployments are forecast to exceed 50 GWh by 2020, a significant acceleration from last year’s projection;
    • By 2040, storage capacity may reach 7% of the world’s installed capacity;
    • The Asia-Pacific region will be home to 45% of total installations on a MW basis by 2040 with another 29% spread across Europe, Middle East and Africa with the remainder in the Americas;
    • The majority of storage capacity will be utility-scale until the mid-2030s with behind-the-meter applications at businesses, industrial sites and residential sector overtaking utility-scale thereafter; and
    • Leading the pack will be China, US, India, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, South Korea, and the UK. South Korea, currently a dominant market player, will be overtaken by the US early in the 2020s – both to be eclipsed by China.

Storage is likely to penetrate the African market as everyone recognizes that the combination of solar PVs, diesel, and batteries in remote sites is cheaper than extending the power grid or building a fossil-only generator.


Originally published on Clean Technica

12 bad and outdated job-hunting tips you should stop believing

  • There are job search tips that you might still receive that are just… bad.
  • Some tips are simply outdated. For instance, you don’t necessarily need to wear a suit to an interview anymore.
  • Don’t listen to advice that tells you to follow your passion no matter what. Think about how your interests can change, or how you can help the world.

Gone are the days where you could send your resume to a few dozen companies, pour yourself into your best suit for the interview, and have a steady, 9-to-5 job with benefits and a pension.

Now, you’ll have to be a bit more inventive to get your dream job, said The Muse expert career coach Evangelia Leclaire.

“Job seekers need stop believing that a linear and congruent career path and long term employment at one or a few companies is what will give them a competitive edge,” Leclaire, who is also founder and chief evangelist of Ready Set Rock Academy, told Business Insider. “That’s just not the norm anymore.”

When you’re looking for a job, you don’t need to wear a suit to an interview or ignore opportunities that appear outside of your comfort zone. Plus, the advice “follow your passion” isn’t always the best.

Here are some more outdated job tips to discard:

“No matter what, follow your passion!”

You quit your job to open a cupcake bakery, because you love cupcakes. But then it doesn’t take off — so you give up and go back to the cubicle mines.

It didn’t have to be like that. Following your passion doesn’t always mean turning your most beloved hobby into a job.

Instead, think about why you enjoy baking cupcakes. Is it because you enjoy the chemistry behind baking? Serving others?

As Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson put it: “The important point is to not just follow your passion but something larger than yourself. It ain’t just about you and your damn passion.”

In other words, did the world need another cupcake store? Or could your “passion for cupcakes” be expressed in a more constructive fashion that could help others while being fulfilling for yourself?

“You really SHOULD get your MBA.”

We all know someone who insists that they should learn Chinese or get an MBA or start writing a novel.

Career and wellness coach Joanna Echols calls it “should-ing all over ourselves.”

“It starts with an assumption that somebody else knows better what’s right for you and what you should do,” Echols told Business Insider. “Claim back your personal power and let your own choices and decisions guide your job hunting process.”

And, above all, even if you think you should go into business, you probably won’t be very good at it if you’re just there because you think you should do it.

“All you need to do is make your résumé better, then you’ll get any job.”

Leclaire said you can re-design, beef up the key words, and edit your résumé all you want. It’s not going to make or break your career.

“That’s just a small sliver of the pie,” Leclaire said. “It’s not what moves the needle.”

She added: “Look at the big picture and take a holistic approach to your job search. Work on discovering and pursuing opportunities that fit you. Focus on your mindset, building relationships, networking, LinkedIn, job search strategy, your communication, maximizing your time, and more.”

“Networking is so awkward. It’s better to just avoid it.”

We often view networking as a bunch of people in a room being “fake.” But that’s only if you make it so.

“Share a concise and transparent version of your story, ask questions, and actively listen,” career coach Marc Dickstein told Business Insider. “Authentic curiosity is your ticket to a worthwhile conversation and a meaningful connection.”

Leclaire underlined curiosity, as well. She said you should try asking people, “What are you focusing on?” or, “I’d love to explore how I can support you.”

“These simple phrases take the pressure off of feeling like you need to sell yourself or have some polished elevator pitch every time you connect with someone,” Leclaire said. “Go about connecting with people from a place of curiosity and contribution.”

“You majored in Spanish, so clearly you’re not really a numbers person. Better stay away from those business analyst roles.”

People who believe that their abilities and interests are permanent are less likely to be interested in new information and fields, Business Insider’s Shana Lebowitz recently reported.

For instance, you may have concluded that you could never go into programming simply because “your brain doesn’t work like that.” But you don’t know if you would like coding, art, or some other field until you try it.

“If you apply to 30 places, for sure you’ll get a job somewhere.”

This is also called the “spray and pray,” Dickstein said.

It seems smart: you increase your odds by just increasing the number of recruiters who have your application in their pile. But alas, recruiters can usually see through this — and they won’t be calling you in for an interview.

“It’s easy for recruiters to identify thoughtful applications that are tailored to the opportunity,” Dickstein said.

“You should end your cover letter by saying, ‘I will call you on the 12th to schedule an interview.'”

You may have been told that you should end your cover letter with a “call to action” — or, tell them that you’ll be calling them to schedule an interview. It seems like a way to appear passionate about the position, while also guaranteeing an opportunity to explain yourself beyond the written word.

But don’t do it.

According to The Muse’s Lily Zhang, this cover letter line will make you seem “egotistical and possibly delusional.”

“I have no idea where this (threatening) advice originated from, but ending your cover letter like this will not give the impression that you’re a go-getter who takes initiative,” Zhang wrote.

“Hard skills are most important.”

There’s no denying that hard skills are important — but they’re not all that’s important. Maybe you know the right programming languages, speak Italian fluently, or can plow through projects.

Dickstein said those are all givens when you’re applying for highly competitive roles. The next step: Showing that you’re passionate, have the right social savvy to be a great leader, or are an amazing public speaker.

“You better buy a suit before your interview.”

It’s no longer the 1960s! You might not need a suit for every job interview (depending on your industry).

“Some of the most common mistakes people make when dressing for an interview are following old and outdated advice or not taking the time to do their research and ask questions about the company culture ahead of time,” Marc Cenedella, CEO of Ladders, previously told Business Insider.

If you’re interviewing at a start-up where flip-flops are more common than heels, it only communicates to your interviewers that you’re not a good cultural fit if you appear at your interview in a suit.

So, Cenedella advised you call the company, your recruiter, or a contact there before your interview. Ask what the standard interview attire is.

“That job hasn’t been posted online yet, so you probably shouldn’t apply.”

Maybe you caught wind that your dream company is opening a position that’s right for you.

Don’t hesitate just because there isn’t a link online to apply, Dickstein said. In fact, that’s really the opposite of what you should do — ask a contact or who you think is a hiring manager about the opening and how to apply.

“Hiring managers often know about functional needs and opportunities before they are made public,” Dickstein said. “In many cases, recruiters begin to fill the pipeline early and even begin to screen potential candidates.”

“Make sure your application is full of buzzwords!”

Lavishing on the buzzwords won’t make you look in-the-know. It will just annoy whoever is reading your application.

Buzzwords have become so overused that they’ve lost all meaning, Mary Lorenz, a corporate communications manager at CareerBuilder, previously told Business Insider. So, even if you are a “social media influencer” or someone who “thinks outside the box,” that really doesn’t mean much.

“Using some of these words won’t necessarily disqualify you, but make sure that you’re telling your story — not decorating it for the holidays,” Dickstein said.

Go for action words that actually communicate what you did. Dickstein recommended words like “achieved,” “negotiated,” “budgeted,” or “improved.”

“It’s just a job. Find something that pays well, even if it’s not all fun and games.”

You’ll spend around 90,000 hours of your life at work. If you hate every passing minute of your job, that adds up to a lot of misery.

Looking for a new job can be the perfect opportunity to seek out something that aligns with what you want to do with those 90,000 hours. Don’t just seek something that pays well — look for something that fulfills you.

“Your career choices can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing,” Echols said. “Lack of job satisfaction or work-related stress are major causes of anxiety, depression and other mental and physical disorders.”

Originally published on Business Insider

5 mistakes bosses make when onboarding new hires

Baptism by fire. Sink or swim. To the wolves!

Call it what you want, but—generally speaking—this isn’t the most effective method to train a new employee. Really.

For one thing, it does little to build trust between you and this new person, much less inspire confidence in your company’s overall leadership strategy.

No one wants to feel hung out to dry from day one. And as the boss, you play a critical role in ensuring your new employees are set up for success. Failing to train them properly can cost your organization an immense amount of money. Not to mention the excruciating emotional cost to you and your team when there’s turnover.

With that in mind, here are five mistakes bosses most commonly make when bringing on a new team member:

  1. Not Preparing Your Team for Their New Co-worker
    No one likes to be surprised, and no one likes to be “forced” on other people either. The team you have working for you are as important as the new members you acquire, and tending to both makes the difference between a strong team and high turnover. So, it’s important both sides feel well-informed before the new hire’s first day.
    Fix It
    Keep your team in the loop during the hiring process. If possible, invite them to meet the final two candidates one-on-one, and be part of decision-making. This way, they’ll feel more ownership over the outcome.
    Another useful tactic is a light but meaningful questionnaire. Ask questions that get to the heart of the new person’s personal interests, office pet peeves, and quirks. This makes them more relatable right off the back. Collect the same from your team and provide this information to the new team member—it’s only fair they know what they’re coming into, too.
  2. Not Defining the Boss-Direct Report Dynamic
    It’s almost impossible to fully trust someone you don’t know. In the same way you’re trusting a new hire with their responsibilities, they’re trusting you to lead them to success.
    You’re a very important part of their career journey. What story do you want them to tell in the future? Do you want to be the terrible boss that taught them everything not to do, or the one who showed them good management was possible?
    Fix It
    Host a one-on-one “welcome to the company!” meeting at an offsite location (or, take them out to lunch on their first day). Design an environment where both of you are free to talk about what you need from the other in order to experience a successful working relationship.
    This is a great opportunity to ask your new hire what worked and didn’t with past bosses, how they want to be managed, and how they don’t. This is also a great place for you to tell the new team member about the rest of the team and office culture, answer any looming questions, and discuss their career goals (and how you can help them reach them).
  3. Not Setting Clear Expectations of Performance
    You hired the new person to do a specific job based on their experience, so you assume they’ll automatically nail it from day one.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s critical that you clearly articulate what you expect from them and how their success will be measured. If you make it a guessing game, everyone fails.
    Fix It
    Schedule weekly check-ins with an agreed-upon agenda, including time for the new hire to ask questions about how best to navigate a new team and seek feedback on their work. Not only does this go a long way in establishing and maintaining a dynamic for the two of you, it makes it nearly impossible for someone to fail because they didn’t understand their role.
  4. Not Acknowledging and Planning for a Learning Curve
    Regardless of their past success, a new position and team presents an altogether new job. So, you can’t expect them to immediately get ramped up and work as fast on projects as you or your team does.
    Fix It
    Create a standard onboarding process for use with every new hire, including programming tailored specifically to their role (this worksheet can help!). Make sure they spend some alone time with each team member over the course of their first few weeks and are properly trained on all the aspects of the business before they’re required to go into “business as usual” mode.
  5. Not Training Them on Company Etiquette
    Getting used to a new company culture often breaks new employees more so than getting adjusted to their new role.
    Soft skills, like understanding how decisions are made across departments, don’t come naturally to everyone. While new hires learn as much from doing as they do through observation, it’s important you bring them in on the company story, why it exists in the first place, and the reasons it does business the way it does.
    Fix It
    Part of the new onboarding process you design should also include a “how we work” section. This could include everything from official office hours to remote work rules. It could also factor in company traditions and unspoken office rules.
    The point is to soften the employee manual and fill the new hire in on all of the nuances they won’t get from HR. They’ll learn plenty on their own, but at least point them in the right direction with the things you can obviously address outright.

All of these moments are your responsibility as the manager, and neglecting them will lead to failure for the new employee, or for you as their boss.

And just think how great it’ll feel to help a new employee grow into a star—all because of you!


Originally published on The Muse

Europe’s electricity market rules get ready for the energy transition: provisional agreement between Presidency and Parliament

The Presidency of the Council and representatives of the European Parliament today reached a provisional agreement on a directive and a regulation on electricity. The two files set out the future functioning of the EU’s electricity market and are cornerstones of the clean energy package. The agreement still has to be endorsed by the Council and the European Parliament.

I am very happy that we have reached an agreement with the European Parliament on these two key files. This means that – provided member states confirm this result – we now have a political agreement on the entire clean energy package. It is an important step towards the completion of the Energy Union and puts us firmly on the path to deliver our contribution to the Paris Agreement.

Elisabeth Köstinger, Minister for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria and chair of the Council

Electricity directive

The aim of the directive on electricity is to ensure that the EU’s electricity market is competitive, consumer-centred, flexible and non-discriminatory. The agreement gives more rights to consumers while protecting vulnerable customers and defines the roles and responsibilities of market participants.

A key element of the agreement is the ability of electricity providers to set their own prices. This will limit market distortions, lead to more competition and result in lower retail prices. At the same time, the Council has ensured that vulnerable customers will continue to be protected by allowing member states to apply regulated prices to vulnerable household customers. The directive also allows Member States to apply public interventions in price setting for the supply of electricity for other household customers and micro-enterprises for the purpose of a transition period to establish effective competition between suppliers and to achieve fully effective market-based retail pricing of electricity.

In future, customers will be able to participate directly in the market as active customers, for example by selling self-generated electricity, participating in demand response schemes or joining citizens energy communities. The directive also ensures that customers have access to price comparison tools, smart meters and dynamic electricity price contracts. By no later than 2026, customers will be able to switch electricity suppliers within 24 hours.

The electricity directive also sets out the regulatory framework for transmission and distribution system operators.

Electricity regulation

The electricity regulation revises the rules and principles of the internal electricity market to ensure  it is well-functioning, competitive and undistorted. It also aims at supporting the decarbonisation of the EU’s energy sector and removing barriers to cross-border trade in electricity.

New rules on trading and balancing responsibilities ensure that the variable electricity generation from renewable forms of energy can be accommodated, without creating discriminatory provisions or market distortions.

The regulation lays down the conditions under which member states can establish capacity mechanisms and the principles for their creation. These mechanisms aim at ensuring that the supply of electricity is sufficient during times of peak demand by remunerating resources for their availability. They have to be temporary and designed to address an identified resource adequacy concern.

An emission limit of 550 gr CO2 of fossil-fuel origin per kWh of electricity is put in place. New power plants that emit more than that and which start commercial production after entry into force of the regulation will no longer be able to participate in capacity mechanisms. Existing power plants emitting more than 550 gr CO2 of fossil-fuel origin per kWh and 350 kg CO2 on average per year per installed kW will not be able to participate in capacity mechanisms after 1 July 2025. The new provisions will help the EU reach its climate targets and at the same time protect investment security thanks to a grandfathering clause for capacity contracts that were concluded before 31 December 2019.

Another key element of the agreement is the establishment of Regional Coordination Centres, which support regional coordination of transmission system operators. They supersede the existing regional security coordinators, but have additional tasks related to system operation, market operation and risk preparedness. The regulation also creates a European entity of distribution system operators.

Next steps

The agreements on both files will now be discussed by EU Ambassadors, who have to endorse the deals. The files will be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council at a later stage.


Originally published on Consilium Europa

13 essential etiquette tips for today’s hiring managers

Every company has its own unique hiring process. Sometimes, even individual departments within the same organization can have differing steps and procedures.

Despite these differences, there are some crucial pieces of etiquette that every hiring manager should keep in mind when recruiting new talent. Members of Forbes Human Resources Council shared a few for your consideration.

  1. Make the candidate feel welcome
    All candidates should leave an interview thinking the company is a nice place to work. Even if they are not suitable, they should be given enough time to feel they have demonstrated their skills and obtained information about the company. Interviewers who treat it as a one-way process only need to be trained on the benefits of creating a good candidate experience. – Karla ReffoldBeecherMadden
  2. Just reply
    Too often, even for more senior positions, HR departments fail in terms of simple follow-up with unsuccessful candidates. We would never treat a paying customer this way. – Matt BurnsJYSK
  3. Prepare for the interview
    There is nothing that derails the interview process more than a manager who isn’t prepared. When a manager fumbles through the conversation because they don’t know what they want to ask or they ask inappropriate — or worse, illegal — questions, the interview will be a waste of time for your company and the candidate. Good people are hard to find. Don’t blow the opportunity due to lack of preparation. – Tracy Bittner, SPHRIonic Security Inc.
  4. Exhibit gracious professionalism
    Recruiting etiquette impacts employer brand, so it affects both current and future talent acquisition efforts. The one custom that rises above all for me is professionalism. In this case, professionalism means being responsive, honest and thankful for the candidate’s time. Doing so makes your company an employer of choice, which has long-standing implications for the candidate and company alike. – Dr. Timothy J. GiardinoCantata Health, LLC
  5. Treat a candidate like a customer
    If a candidate doesn’t feel good about how they’re engaged during the hiring process, then they may lose interest or enthusiasm about the opportunity. It just takes a little courtesy, preparation, care and punctuality to create a good experience. After all, candidates are customers, too. – Candice McGlen, The Rinker Group
  6. Involve the stakeholders
    Although hiring managers assume ultimate responsibility for a new hire, it is likely that this new person will be interacting with other departments and team members. To increase the chances that a team will embrace a new hire and feel confident in them, hiring managers should get the biggest stakeholders involved with the on-site or in-person interviews and take their feedback into consideration. – Angela NguyenAd Exchange Group
  7. Remember that you’re being interviewed, too
    I once interviewed a phenomenal candidate and forwarded her to the hiring team. After two weeks, the hiring manager indicated that they wanted to extend an offer to her. She politely declined and said we were not the right environment. From irrelevant questions to uncompromising scheduling conflicts, we did not do our best. Candidates are interviewing us as much as we are them. – Lucy Rivas-EnriquezUnion Rescue Mission – Los Angeles
  8. Model what you expect
    Hiring managers should never overlook that their actions model the acceptable behavior in the workplace to the potential employee. If a hiring manager is not knowledgeable of the job they are hiring for, demonstrates poor communication skills in the interview and fails to follow-up post-interview, they should not be surprised if a new hire demonstrates similar behavior. – Bridgette WilderWilder HR Management & EEO Consulting
  9. Uphold the organization’s brand and communicate its value
    Hiring managers should uphold the organization’s brand and communicate the value it delivers to its target audiences. That way, they can put into perspective how candidates will help fulfill the organization’s brand promise through their role. Helping candidates feel like part of “something larger” will differentiate the organization and aid the overall negotiation process. – Genine WilsonKelly Services
  10. Lean on your recruiter
    Recruiters are professionals at recruiting while hiring managers are professionals in their respective areas. Regardless of recruiting processes, one thing will always remain a constant: your recruiter. Lean on your recruiter, trust them, accept their consultation and advice. They are there for one purpose — to hire the best possible candidate while keeping the hiring manager and company safe. – Adam MellorONE Gas, Inc.
  11. Attract, evaluate and inspire
    We first need to attract candidates to consider our opportunity, then we have to evaluate their experience and skills to determine a fit. But then we need to inspire them, regardless of the fit. If you do this right, candidates will always remember the opportunity and talk very highly of your company. They will want to keep in touch and become your external sales/reviewers to attract more. – Abhijeet NarvekarThe FerVID Group
  12. Get beyond the transactional mindset
    Get beyond the transactional mindset of job, candidate and filling the role. Engage talent in dynamic conversations and high-touch relationship cultivation that reveals company culture through behavior and attitudes. High performers don’t want to be treated like motivated candidates. – Julie ChoiPointr
  13. Set clear communication expectations
    For job candidates, the most frustrating piece in the hiring puzzle is waiting for a response from the company. In some instances, they can wait for weeks before hearing back from a hiring manager. Be clear by communicating with job candidates that they are still in the running for the position, or if you have decided to move forward with other candidates. – Michele MarkeySkillPath


Originally published on Forbes

How to avoid common job inteview mistakes

Have you noticed people turning down job offers or second interviews? You might be making some very avoidable interview mistakes. This might not seem like a big deal, but in fact, it can damage your employer brand, and affect your bottom line: 69 percent of candidates are less likely to buy from a brand if they have a bad interview experience.

So, if you’re having trouble filling roles, take some time to reflect on your interview etiquette. Can you make some easy changes?

Here are eight interview mistakes hiring managers sometimes make.

  1. Not being on time
    Being on time for a job interview is rule number one for interviewees, but hiring managers will often leave a nervous candidate sitting in the lobby while they answer a few more emails. Let’s put it simply: don’t let your candidates wait. Fine, things happen, and if there is a crisis, people will often understand, but don’t make it a habit. The interview should start on-time, every time. “When we talk about employer branding, it often starts with these kinds of experiences,” says Shawn D’Souza, a talent acquisition manager in Toronto. “Don’t forget that the interviewee is also trying to decide if he or she wants to work for your company, so if a hiring manager shows up late, it can really create a negative impression,” he says.
  2. Not paying attention
    Yes, your to-do-list is two pages long, but when you’re in the interview room, that’s where your focus should be. Checking texts and emails is incredibly rude, and can interrupt the candidate’s train of thought. It also makes it harder for you to pick up on subtle but important cues that can help you figure out if the applicant is a good fit for your organization.“Would you like it if someone started looking at their phone while you were in the middle of saying something? Probably not, so make sure you don’t treat applicants the same way. Remember that everything you do reflects the brand,” D’Souza says.
  3. Having unrealistic expectations
    One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to fill a job opening is to load the posting with unrealistic demands and requirements: four degrees, 10 years of experience, and fluency in three languages. But you can also bring these kinds of expectations into a job interview. It’s fine to have standards, but you should be realistic and give everyone a chance.
    For more job posting tips and templates, download Workopolis’ free Practical Guide to Writing Job Postings.
  4. Not understanding the role
    If you haven’t written the job description, you should know what’s been listed there. More importantly, you should the details about what the role requires (on a day to day basis) and how it will fit into your team. Ambiguity in any way is a major red flag for a lot of candidates – remember that they are also trying to understand if this is a good fit for them.
    “The same way you’d expect an applicant to come prepared and to have researched your company, you should be well-informed about the role. An interviewee should leave wanting to work for your company, and this can only come when they have a clear sense of what the day-to-day looks like, and how they would fit into the overall structure,” D’Souza says.
  5. Asking “quirky” questions
    This can be many things. It can involve not catering questions to the specific job (asking about past examples of teamwork makes sense for a manager, but not a truck driver). It can also mean asking strange questions. Yeah, that might give you a sense of a person’s character, but if you’re not careful, you can also come off as unprofessional.
    “I don’t doubt that it’s fun asking a person if would rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses, but I think it’s debatable how valuable that answer is to your hiring decision,” D’Souza says.
  6. Not coming prepared
    Nothing is worse for a job seeker than a hiring manager sitting down in front of them and admitting they have not looked at the candidate’s CV. This can send a bad message to the job seeker about you and the company, but it can also hamper your hiring process.
    “Again it’s all about being prepared. The more time you look at the applicant’s qualifications and background, the better the interview will be, and the easier it will be to determine if they are the right fit for your company,” D’Souza says.
  7. Being too tough
    Hiring is a serious business, but the candidate isn’t on trial. A smile and some work appropriate humour can break the ice, and sets the tone for the workplace – an extra-important consideration when it’s the candidate’s first time in the office.
    “In the end, a job interview is really just a conversation. You want people to be relaxed and honest, so remember to keep it friendly,” D’Souza says.
  8. Forgetting to be polite
    This might sound obvious, but it’s surprisingly common for a hiring manager to fire off questions as if the interview is an interrogation. This can make candidates clam up – which means you might miss out on a superstar.
    While these interview mistakes are the most common, there are others that are far more serious. Ageism, sexism, racism, and all the other nefarious isms that are prohibited by law can worm their way into our psyches without constant vigilance. Remember to enter every interview with an open mind.

Originally published on The under cover recruiter

European commission calls for net-zero greenhouse gas by 2050

The European Commission announced on Wednesday that it had adopted a new long-term strategy that will aim to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through investing in “realistic” technological solutions, empowering the citizenry, and aligning action in key areas such as industrial policy, finance, and research.

Announced just days ahead of the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), informally known as COP24, the European Commission — the legislative body of the European Union — announced a new strategic long-term vision for what it is describing as “a prosperous, modern, competitive, and climate neutral economy by 2050” known as “A Clean Planet for all.”

According to documents published by the Commission, the aim of this long-term strategy is “to confirm Europe’s commitment to lead in global climate action and to present a vision that can lead to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through a socially-fair transition in a cost-efficient manner.”

“The EU has already started the modernisation and transformation towards a climate neutral economy,” said Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete. “And today, we are stepping up our efforts as we propose a strategy for Europe to become the world’s first major economy to go climate neutral by 2050.

“Going climate neutral is necessary, possible and in Europe’s interest. It is necessary to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. It is possible with current technologies and those close to deployment. And it is in Europe’s interest to stop spending on fossil fuel imports and invest in meaningful improvements to the daily of all Europeans. No European, no region should be left behind. The EU will support those more impacted by this transition so that everyone’s ready to adapt to the new requirements of a climate neutral economy.”

Oddly, however, the new strategy does not intend to launch any new policies or revise any 2030 targets. Rather, as the Commission explains, “It is meant to set the direction of travel of EU climate and energy policy, and to frame what the EU considers as its long-term contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature objectives in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals, which will further affect a wider set of EU policies.” That being said, the Commission intends to ensure that the European Union adopts an ambitious climate strategy by early 2020, as defined by the UNFCCC.

In addition to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the new strategy calls for at least 80% of its electricity to be secured from renewable energy sources (combined with a nuclear power share of around 15%).


Unsurprisingly, given the scope of such a policy for the world’s fourth-largest emitter, responses have been mixed.

“We’re already feeling the first effects of climate change here in Scotland and around the world and the clock is ticking if our political leaders are to step up and stop the worst effects,” said Robin Parker, Climate and Energy Policy Manager at WWF Scotland.

“This new strategy from the European Commission points us towards a climate neutral future.  It’s yet another example of a major global institution outlining the urgent economic, social and environmental need to up the ante on climate action, and showing that it is not only possible, but desirable to do so. If Scotland is to play its full part in achieving this then MSPs must strengthen the Climate Change Bill so Scotland can continue to lead and live up to its proud history of climate leadership and innovation.”

“Today is a defining moment in the fight against climate change,” said Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate & Energy, WWF European Policy Office. “With this strategy, the EU becomes the first major player to respond to the recent stark warnings from climate scientists and to take action to implement the Paris Agreement. However, we need to reach zero net emissions faster — by 2040 — and we can achieve this with the solutions that are available to us right now.”

“As to how we get there, only the 8th scenario is viable,” added Lübbeke. “Relying on bioenergy coupled with yet unproven carbon capture and storage technology at large scale is high risk, and a better and safer approach is the rapid deployment of technologies that are already at our fingertips: energy efficiency, renewable energy, circular economy principles and nature-based solutions to CO2 removal, such as the protection and restoration of forests, wetlands and other ecosystems.”

“With communities already feeling the effects of climate breakdown, today’s suggestion by the EU to go ‘net zero’ in 2050 is simply too late for Europe to stop burning carbon,” said Clémence Hutin, climate justice campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe. “Europe is largely responsible for the carbon pollution in Earth’s atmosphere and must do its fair share of action – meaning we must massively and speedily transform our society to phase out fossil fuels in the next decade, not thirty years’ time.”

“This is our moment of truth and the Commission’s plan throws us a lifeline,” added Greenpeace EU climate and energy policy director Tara Connolly. “People in Europe and around the world are making changes in their daily lives to reduce their impact on climate change. But they can’t do it alone. With twelve years left to save ourselves and our planet, it’s time for European governments to stop talking about climate leadership and to take the action needed to be climate neutral by 2040.”


Originally published on Cleantechnica

Top 10 questions to ask an interviewee

When it comes to job interviews, preparation is key. But, that doesn’t just apply to the candidate—it’s equally important for you as the interviewer.

This conversation is your chance to determine whether that applicant is a solid fit the position, your team, and your company in general. However, that information is really only revealed if you know the right questions to ask an interviewee.

So, what should you be sure to ask? Here are 10 good interviewing questions to put to work in your next sit-down with a potential employee.


  1. What one skill makes you the most qualified for this position?
    While things like culture fit are important, your focus first and foremost is to find someone who possesses those necessary cut-and-dried qualifications to fill that open position.
    That’s why a question like this one is so important. Not only do you get to hear more detail about what that candidate considers to be his core competencies, but it’s also a chance to confirm that he has the appropriate understanding of everything the role entails.
    For example, if he touts a skill that’s impressive—but totally irrelevant—that’s a red flag that you’re not on the same page about the major duties of that job.
  2. To date, what professional achievement are you most proud of?
    Candidates show up to interviews with a goal of impressing you. So, chances are, that applicant is armed and ready with a few major accomplishments up her sleeve.
    Whether it’s an award, a certification, or a big project that went exceptionally well, asking the interviewee what in her professional history she’s proudest of will give you a better sense of where her strengths really lie.
    Plus, this question offers the chance for her to expand on something she feels good about—which can ease her nerves and help to boost her confidence going into the rest of the interview.
  3. Can you tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge?
    You know that most job seekers absolutely dread these behavioral interview questions. But, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re an effective way for you to gain a better understanding of how that person’s experience translates from paper to the real-world.
    This specific question is a popular one, and for good reason. Starting a new job isn’t a walk in the park. And, even after that new employee is established, he’s bound to deal with some roadblocks every now and then—whether it’s a conflict within his team or a project he doesn’t quite know how to get started on.
    Getting a grasp on how that person copes with—and, more importantly, tackles—difficult circumstances will help you zero in on the very best fit for that open role.
  4. How would you describe your own working style?
    While you don’t want to build a completely homogenous team, you do need to make sure that new additions are able to work in a way that doesn’t throw a major wrench into the way things already operate.
    For that reason, it’s important that you ask each candidate about her working style. Does she take a really collaborative approach or would she rather work independently? Does she perform well with a lot of direction or is she more of a self starter?
    This insight into how each applicant prefers to handle his or her work will be invaluable in determining not only the right match for that job—but for the entire team.
  5. What three words would you use to describe your ideal work environment?
    In a similar vein, it’s smart to ask what that candidate prefers in terms of atmosphere to ensure you find someone who can not only survive—but thrive—in your existing culture.
    Perhaps he states he likes a quieter environment with lots of heads-down work. If your office is extremely fast-paced and high-energy, that could cause some friction. Or, maybe he explains that he prefers a lot of structure and predictability—which there isn’t a lot of in your laid-back startup where everybody wears a lot of hats.
    For better or for worse, this question will at least help you determine whether or not that applicant would feel comfortable in the work environment you’ve already fostered.
  6. If hired, what is the first thing you would tackle in this position?
    This is a great question to ask in a later interview round, when you’re choosing between the final candidates that you’ve narrowed down.
    This one is effective for a couple of reasons. First, it’s yet another opportunity to confirm that the interviewee has the right understanding of all that position will be responsible for. Secondly, it gives you the chance to understand her priorities. What does she believe should be at the top of that position’s to-do list?
    Last but not least, a question like this one means you can extend beyond the generalities that often come along with interviewing and get some insight into how that candidate would actually perform in that role.
  7. Why are you leaving your current employer?
    Here it is—yet another question that is sure to make every job seeker cringe. Nobody wants to seem like they’re bad-mouthing a previous boss or employer, which makes this one tricky for applicants to answer.
    However, posing this question will give you some greater insight into that person’s professional history—as well as help you to identify any red flags (ahem, complaining endlessly about his boss, for example) that might indicate that candidate isn’t the best one for the job.
  8. What one skill would you like to improve and what’s your plan for doing So?
    If you’ve previously been relying on that cliché “what’s your biggest weakness” question, give this one a try instead.
    Rather than asking an interviewee to point out her flaws and poke holes in her own candidacy, you can turn the tables by focusing on areas of improvement.
    Additionally, the second half of this question gives that applicant a chance to redeem herself, so to speak, by explaining what action plan she has for continuing to grow and develop within her own field.
  9. What excites you most about this position?
    Skills can be taught, but there’s one thing that can’t be: enthusiasm. When an interviewee is truly excited about an opportunity, that typically translates into excellent work and greater longevity with your company.
    Ask that potential employee about what initially attracted him to the position. What makes him most excited about the prospect of working there?
    Doing so will not only once again confirm his grasp of the duties of the role, but also give you a chance to figure out what aspects of the job interest him most.
  10.  What do you like to do outside of work?
    This isn’t one of the most common interview questions. But, it’s important to remember that you’re hiring an entire person. You want someone who will be able to connect with you and your team—not a robot who is incapable of forging bonds, sharing interests, and building relationships.If you feel uncomfortable asking a question like this one in the formal setting of the actual interview, work it into small talk before or after your sit-down. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with that candidate on a more personal level, while also getting a more holistic view of what makes her tick.

While the job seeker is on the far more nerve-wracking end of the table, job interviews are enough to inspire some anxiety in you as well. You want to make sure you ask the right questions to really zone in on the best candidate for that open job.

While there are plenty of interviewer tips out there, you want to have some handy prompts in your back pocket that you can use to get the most valuable information out of that short conversation. So, remember these 10 interview questions to ask, and you’re that much more likely to find the perfect fit.

3 things you’ll be tempted to say to compensate for a lack of experience (that you just well, shouldn’t)

Awkward interview moment #409:

You’re relatively green for a position you’re pursuing, yet you somehow landed the interview anyway. No sooner than the pleasantries have been exchanged, the interviewer goes right for the, “So, you seem to be a bit light on experience for this role. Can you tell me how and why you think you’re a good fit?”

What now? How should you respond? Is there a way out of this moment? Why were you even brought in?

Admittedly, this is a tricky moment for any job seeker, especially if you’re not prepared with a darned good explanation of why you make perfect sense for this role, in spite of the lack of experience.

Here are three things that you’ll be tempted to say, and why you should refrain:


1. I’m a super-fast learner

Oh, if I had a dollar for all the times I’ve heard someone (who wants a job outside of her experience level) bust out something like, “I can pick that up really fast” or “I’m totally trainable.”

Unfortunately, more often than not, employers aren’t looking for someone who can pick that thing they need you to do up lightning fast; they’re looking for you to walk through their doors already knowing how to do it. Even if you argue this, and insist that the employer’s going to miss out on an amazing employee by not being open to training you, the fact remains that most hiring managers want people who can hit the ground running.


What can you do instead?

If you lack experience for the type of role you’re pursuing and you keep coming up against this question, consider either looking for a similar role that’s maybe one rung below the one you’re eyeing, or specifically seek out companies that pride themselves on training and grooming people. The more solid a company’s training program, the better the odds that they’ll be willing to invest in you.


2. I’ll work really hard

This one reminds me of those American Idol auditions, when the performer gets three “nos” from the judges yet still continues to plead with them to take a chance on him or her.

“I’ll work harder than anyone you’ve ever seen if you just give me a chance.”

“Please give me a chance.”

“No, really. Please. I’ll work so hard. I’ll show you.”

And so on, and so forth.

Now, let me ask you. How often does this appeal work for the contestant? That’s right, zero percent of the time. That’s because the judges have already decided it’s not a fit and, when that person starts groveling, it comes off as desperate and unappealing.

Same goes for interviewing for a job. If the person across the desk from you has decided your lack of experience is a deal breaker, it’s probably going to do you little good to insist that you’ll work hard.

What can you do instead?

If you think the interviewer’s ruling you out on account of experience, consider asking her what role(s) she might recommend you pursue at that organization, given your background. Enlist her as an ally and ask for advice.

The worst that will come out of it is she has little to offer. The best thing that’ll happen? She’ll point you toward a couple of other options (and maybe make an introduction or two) at that same company. She brought you in for a reason, so there’s no harm in digging into a conversation and trying to find where she sees you excelling.

3. But, I have better experience than ….

This may be the granddaddy of them all. The employer is asking for one thing (that you don’t have) and you walk in and swiftly announce that the experience that you do have is, in fact, superior to what they are seeking.

I see this happen with some frequency among corporate people trying to transition into nonprofit roles. They alienate the decision makers in 10 seconds flat by informing them how, even though they haven’t worked in a nonprofit before, they’re going to take their business experience and light things right up at the joint.

Now, don’t get me wrong. These candidates may well have perspective and experience that would be incredibly valuable to that organization. But if you hit on this too hard and fast, the interviewers may think you’re saying that they don’t know how to do their jobs. And that’s never a good first impression.


What can you do instead?

If you feel like you’ve got transferrable experience that the interviewer maybe isn’t factoring in, start by asking questions. Inquire about that organization’s biggest challenges, top goals, and immediate priorities for the person they hire. Be genuine and curious.

And then, if appropriate, present your background or ideas in a way that doesn’t make people feel like you’re ripping on how they operate. Instead, it gently leads them to that spot at which they can see how your tangential or complementary background may be of genuine value to the overall organization.


Of course, you’re not always going to win when an interviewer calls you out on lack of experience. But the more elegantly you can navigate your way through this line of questioning, the better the odds are that you’ll move on in the process or—at the very least— leave feeling like you gave it your best shot.)


Originally published on The Muse

Wind of change sweeps over renewable energy sector

In the long-term interests of its soldiers, a US military base is turning itself into a knowledge hub on renewable energy.

Fort Benning military base in Georgia, United States, is blazing a trail with an innovative windmill. The US military has long been interested in renewables for bottom line and energy security reasons, and the Navy’s top brass frets that climate change-induced sea-level rise could impact naval installations. The Army has been quick to realize the operational advantages of renewables, as well as the importance of sound environmental practices for the health of its soldiers and the community at large.

Solar has been the military’s preferred source of renewable energy and Fort Benning already had a 30 MW array installed by 2016. But wind energy is where the jobs are these days, and Fort Benning now has turbines fully housed in low-rise structures: the innovation is that they are designed to run on the updraft from an air-conditioning system, not on ambient winds.

The Army is doing its bit to help turn soldiers who have finished active duty into sought-after technicians. The project at Fort Benning is part of a wider scheme to set active military personnel up with specific, in-demand career skills before they leave the Army, rather than discharging them without any solid prospects.

The US military’s biggest base on American soil has been drawing nearly half of its power from renewable energy since last year. Fort Hood, in Texas, has shifted from fossil fuels to wind- and solar-generated energy to shield the base from its dependence on outside sources. Its 63,000 solar panels, located on the base’s grounds, and 21 off-base wind turbines provide a total of some 65 megawatts of power.

Similar clean energy projects are popping up in unexpected places: last year, the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum converted to solar power to save money in the long term.

Meanwhile, the employment of solar photovoltaic installers is projected to grow 105 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

California commits to carbon-free energy by 2045

The state of California has passed a law committing to exclusively carbon-free electricity sources by 2045. By that date, all Californian electricity must come from carbon-free or renewable energy. Under the terms of the legislation, all utility companies must get 60 per cent of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. It has become the second US state after Hawaii to commit to carbon-free energy.

This is a significant development because if it were an independent country, California would have the fifth largest economy in the world.

Renewable energy is expanding rapidly across the globe as costs come down and communities and governments understand its value. A few weeks ago, the world’s largest working offshore wind farm opened off the northwest coast of England in the United Kingdom.

Renewables are a key prong in the fight against climate change – a battle we are losing, according to UN Environment’s 2017 Emissions Gap report.

UN Environment works to promote low-carbon approaches, improve energy efficiency, and increase the use of renewable energy. It engages with non-state actors and seeks to increase partnerships with the private sector, in line with the objectives of Sustainable Energy for All and Sustainable Development Goal 7 on Energy and Goal 13 on Climate Change.

For further information, please contact Niklas Hagelberg: Niklas.Hagelberg@un.org

Originally published on UNenvironement.com

15 common mistakes found in job descriptions

When scrolling through job advertisements it’s often easy to get a feeling that they are all the same. This happens because job descriptions are generic and usually bland.

Top talent aren’t attracted by this. They are looking for something exceptional and worthy of their skills to grab their attention. Unfortunately, most job descriptions look like they were written in a template. To attract the best candidates, you need to avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Setting a confusing job title
    With more and more young people entering the job market – especially in the most popular industries – companies have started using confusing but trendy-looking titles.
    You have probably seen them everywhere. ‘Data Ninja’, ‘Growth Hacker’, ‘Rockstar Copywriter’ and so on are some of the most common job titles today.
    In addition to being meaningless, they are also confusing to the candidates. Use regular titles that describe their future position.
  2. Using gender-biased language
    Certain words can come off as too masculine or too feminine. In either case, it’s not good. You might scare away excellent candidates this way.
    Instead of making this mistake, focus on using a neutral language. Avoid words like strong, competition, dominant, fight etc. – these lead women to think that they are not well-suited for the job when they actually might be more qualified than any male contender.
    You can also scare away men from traditionally female-oriented occupations with words like nurturing, caring and so on.
  3. Using third person language
    Using third person language is common in job advertisements yet it’s a huge mistake. It puts distance between your company and the potential candidates. It doesn’t feel personal or friendly but rather cold and too formal.
    It’s best to stick to first and second person with plenty of ‘you’ and ‘we’ in both the job description and the job advertisement.
  4. The job description is too long
    Even though job descriptions should be detailed and specific, job descriptions shouldn’t be too long.
    You don’t have much time to impress your candidates. Create a compelling job description with enough information but keep it concise. No Fluff is necessary, just facts and important data.
    Candidates want to see if the job is worthy of their attention and you need to help them find the necessary information as quickly as possible.
  5. The job description is too short
    Job descriptions can be too short as well. This simply means that you didn’t include enough detail. The best candidates don’t appreciate a lack of information. One or two sentences is not enough to encompass everything that they need to know.
    Even a paragraph is not enough.
    Instead of making your job description too short by cutting out the details, try to make it concise.
    “Being concise and being too brief is not the same. Concise means not adding unnecessary detail but being too brief can cost you a lot of left out information”, – says Alex Park, a recruiter at Writemyx.
  6. Including negative words
    Writing a job ad or a job description is, in essence, copywriting. Copywriting comes with certain rules. One of them is not to use negative words. These words are not just those that come across as negative at first, but also those words which have an underlying meaning – one’s that can ben interpreted as you telling your candidates what to do.
    Some examples are ‘must’, ‘never’, ‘always’, ‘strict’, ‘can’t’ and so on.
    Instead, try words that don’t feel absolute or like you are giving orders.
  7. Being vague
    Another thing you can’t afford to do in job descriptions or job advertisements is being vague. You don’t have much space and you have to use that space wisely. Say everything that needs to be said about the position without leaving important details out.
    Candidates are drawn to detailed job descriptions. They want to see exactly what they are applying to – they don’t want to guess.
  8. Posting the ad in the wrong place
    A high quality job advertisement will do nothing for you if you post it on the wrong platform. Research your audience and see where the best candidates gather to seek employment. Don’t post on a site where you can mostly find writers if you are looking for a web designer.
  9. Not making it readable or accurate
    You don’t have much time to engage potential candidates. If your ad or job description isn’t readable, they will bounce quickly. Format it so it has a lot of bullet points, short paragraphs and plenty of white space. Avoid making spelling and grammar mistakes as well – these only deteriorate your public image. You can use tools like Originwritings or 1Day2write to avoid such a situation.
  10. Too much jargon
    You may think that using jargon is acceptable since you are trying to attract professionals. However, every professional is a bit insecure and big technical words and abbreviations can scare them, make them feel incompetent.
    Use regular, simple words instead, for a better response.
  11. Not mentioning your company by name
    It may seem like a good idea to craft a job description which solely focuses on the candidates but you should also add some information about your company. Include benefits about at your company and describe how you value your employees.
  12. No salary information
    While this is not always required, most candidates do expect to see at least a wage range in your job description / advertisement. This gives them a bit more insight into what kind of a company you are and helps them figure out if you are a good match for their desired salary.
    If your candidates can’t see a salary, they would probably rather apply for other jobs which are more transparent about remuneration. Even though this may not be important for you, it’s extremely important to your candidates.
  13. No unique voice
    Just like your branding should be consistent across various media platforms, so should your job advertisements. The candidates will probably read the job description to see if it matches their skill but also to find out more about you.
    Use your brand voice to communicate your employer brand. Present a happy, driven community and your values. Introduce them to your world.
  14. Missing details
    If you notice high turnover around a single position, re-read your job description to see if accurate information is included. Maybe you left out an important detail about the job or a responsibility that candidates don’t know about or the description is misleading in a way you may not have realised.
    This can seriously change the perception of the job that the candidates have and cause all the wrong candidates to apply.
  15. Having unrealistic expectations
    You can’t necessarily expect to get a candidate with 15 years’ experience in web development but a young energy and a great design sense. This can scare away the right candidates. Instead of doing this, prioritize your requirements and highlight only the most important responsibilities related to the job.


Originally published on TheRecruiterLoop

How to ensure your resume goes in the trash

There aren’t any ways to guarantee that your resume will get read, picked and set aside for an interview. However, there are a few ways to guarantee that it will go straight to the slush pile. It’s still an employer’s market and the competition is fierce. The recession might not be at the lowest point, but there’s still no room for sloppy job hunting skills.

Keep in mind, especially for larger companies, resumes are usually sorted by software before a human even reads them. That means key words that match the job description and SEO-rich words on the company web site have to be included. This will require tweaking a resume every single time it’s submitted. However, it doesn’t stop there:

Keep it personal:

There’s no way to know if a program will receive the resume first or a human, so err on the side of personalization. Whenever possible, find the name of a real person and avoid “Dear Manager.” Some software programs might even scan for key personnel names to gauge just how much effort applicants put into the process. Oftentimes for small companies, it’s pretty easy to find the name of the HR director.

Always address the key points of the company. For example, if someone is applying for a position, the interviewee should do a lot of research on the company online. Just like teaching to the test, it’s important to write for the job. Visit the company’s website, get familiar with their products or services, read about what awards they’ve won or events they’ve attended, and really get to know the people and atmosphere of the company. Highlight your experiences and talents that you feel would fit in well with the company, and downplay or remove unrelated items.

Proof, proof, proof!

Even Pulitzer Prize-winning writers make grammar mistakes. Proofread like mad every resume and cover letter. Whenever possible, get someone else to do grammar checks, too. People naturally fill in the blanks and correct mistakes in their head — although not on paper — because the brain is just trying to be helpful. Sometimes this causes needless mistakes.

An easy way for an HR recruiter to sort applications is by putting those with glaring typos in the slush pile. The result? Proofreading takes some extra time and work, but it’s worth it. If a person can’t bother to make their application perfect, what does that say about their work ethic? Think from a recruiter’s perspective.

Play it cool:

It’s perfectly acceptable to call or email to check in with a hiring company, but no more than once per month. It’s even more acceptable if you’ve already scored an interview. Bullying someone into ponying up a job never works, and you’re more likely to be put on the no list if you annoy them. Instead, stay polite and professional while still in their line of vision.

Recruiters might be bogged down with a lot of applications, so understand that they’re busy. A nice hand-written note post-interview or a follow-up call one week later is essential; daily emails are not. Playing a little hard to get works both ways when it comes to job hunting.

Apply to the right positions:

You might think you have what it takes to be a marketing manager, but does your resume reflect this? Many skills are transferrable, but some aren’t. If you’re looking to get into a new sector, figure out how your current skills and background play into what’s required. If you need a little boost, sign up for a related class, volunteer for a complementary position or consider going back to school if you want a total career overhaul.

Job hunting is partially a numbers game, but not totally. There are almost always more qualified people out there, so the trick is to play up your skills as they relate to the job at stake. There’s nothing wrong with getting creative, hiring a professional resume writer or even seeing a consultant to figure out your angle. However, simply sending out as many resumes as possible probably won’t work.

Maintaining perspective:

Job hunting is a more than full-time job on its own and it takes patience and skill. However, avoiding little mistakes can help make the difference between an interview or not. Take your time and create an application you’re proud of, because that will shine through. You might find what you think is your dream job, but there are plenty of fish in the job hunting sea and the one that’s right for you will eventually emerge.

The most important thing is to keep trying and send out a set amount of resumes every day. Choose as many as you can handle, whether it’s two or twenty — just as long as quality and research doesn’t suffer. Keep track of your applications on a spreadsheet so that you know the appropriate time for a follow up email or call. By practicing your organizational skills now, you’re already prepping for the perfect job.


Originally published on Theundercoverrecruiter

Renault will transition french island to renewable energy

Tesla is not the only company that is bringing the wonders of renewable energy to the islands of the world. Last February, Renault helped electrify the Portuguese islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, located hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco.

Islands present unique challenges when it comes to electricity. Either they have to be supplied by undersea cables, which are expensive to install and expensive to maintain, or they have to use fossil fuels — typically diesel — to power generators on the islands themselves. Either way, residents pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world.

Now Renault has agreed to make Belle-Île-en-Mer, an island off the northwest coast of France near St. Nazarre, a “Smart Island.” What does that mean? It means a fleet of electric vehicles to help people get around the island without tailpipe emissions. It means solar panels on as many roofs as possible. And it means using recycled EV batteries to store some of that solar power for use after the sun sets.

According to The Drive, the vehicles will be a mix of Renault Zoe 5 door hatchback sedans and Renault Kangoo ZE vans. They will provide ride-sharing services for island residents and visitors. Newly installed EV chargers for the vehicles will be powered by solar panels installed on the roofs of local buildings. A digital control network will shift power to where it is needed. Panels on a school will light classrooms during the day and EV chargers on weekends and at night.

EV batteries that are no longer suitable for use in vehicles are still capable of storing electricity to power the electrical grid. Renault will install a number of so-called “second-life” batteries to collect renewable power and store it for use later.

While the new “Smart Island” system will make a big reduction in carbon emissions possible, it is also a testing laboratory for microgrid technologies that can be applied to other situations on the mainland. “It will be possible to carry over the Belle-Île-en-Mer system not just to other islands but also to cities and suburban areas,” says Gilles Normand, senior vice president of Renault’s electric vehicle division.

The lessons learned on Belle-Île-en-Mer will help show how electric cars, storage batteries, and renewable energy can best be integrated into the electrical grid in more situations. Companies like Tesla maintain that batteries for energy storage need different chemistry than batteries intended for automotive service. Projects like this one can help resolve any issues and lead to a better understanding about how to bring distributed renewable energy to more people for the least amount of money.


Initially published on Cleantechnica.com

Top 3 hiring mistakes to avoid

As a recruiter, I speak so often to candidates about the importance of being clear about their personal brand statement. It is critical to know your strengths, the sweet spot of your skillset, and how to explain your background to a potential employer. Without this clarity, you may be overlooked in the screening process.

I am also seeing companies that are not clear on what they want. Thousands of jobs are going unfilled and hiring processes are going on for so long that companies are losing perfect candidates simply due to a lack of clarity around what they want and need.

Clearly, hiring managers want to ensure that they are thorough and hiring the right person. But the answer is not a job description that reads like an engine part specs sheet— packed with a litany of skills, obtuse requirements like “hit the ground running”, and culminating with a subpar salary.

Rather than continue with an approach that keeps employers with vacant positions and qualified candidates out of work, here are three hiring mistakes we’re seeing and our suggestions for rectifying them:

  1. Overwhelming and unrealistic job description:
    At our creative staffing firm we require our account managers to collect in-depth, detailed job descriptions. At first, there can be pushback, especially if there is already a formal job description in place. The first mistake is to take the “everything but the kitchen sink” job description at face value and not ask questions. Our job is to decipher, analyze, and probe deeper to uncover the most important aspects of the job – the better job order we can take, the better candidate we can provide.
    Hiring managers need to think about what they cannot live without. Those are the requirements that should be the first bullets of a job spec. It should describe a day in the life of what this person would be doing. It should consider where the ideal candidate comes from. It should include a salary range and “nice to haves.” The clearer and more honest you are in the description, the more likely you will be to attract the best candidate, whether it is on your own or through an agency like ours.
  2. The never-ending interview process:
    I recently heard of a candidate going in for a seven-hour interview. Seven. Hours. In the end, she did not get the job and what an absolute waste of time for both parties. If you bring the village to meet a potential candidate, you are making a big mistake. Limiting the interview process to two to four people should be plenty.
    I had a creative director tell me he interviewed at a company where the interview process went on for three months. During this time, he interviewed at another company where the interview process was a couple of weeks. Both companies offered him a job, and the one with the drawn-out process offered nearly 30K more. Ultimately, he chose the lesser-paying role at the company where the process moved quickly. He said he was so turned off by the decision-making of the slower moving firm and how they treated him along the way, that he felt like this was a precursor to how they did business in general.
    A candidate’s time is just as valuable as the client looking to hire. It doesn’t matter if you are hiring an 80K copywriter or a 200k VP of Creative. A company’s hiring process can affect their brand and street cred with other executives and recruiters.
  3. Not taking a risk:
    In this post-recession climate, we’re finding that many companies simply refuse to pull the trigger and make a hire, blaming the “shortage of good talent” and “poor candidate pool” for their inability to fill an open requirement. Some would rather continue to burden existing staff versus hire someone who has 90% of what they are looking for. The remedy for this is for employers to move beyond a recession mentality. Keeping staff flat and never taking the plunge with a new hire might sustain your business, but it certainly won’t help it grow.


By all indications, we are seeing the signs of economic recovery, and employers ready to hire would be wise to become more realistic in their approach and expectations. A longer description won’t produce a miracle and a six-month interview process won’t uncover a superhero. However, clear, concise job descriptions, an efficient interview process, and realistic expectations of the job market will put you in the best position to uncover the person you need.

Author: Joyce Bethoney is the Director of Recruiting for Communications Collaborative, the marketing and creative staffing division of pileandcompany.com.


Initially published on The Undercoverrecruiter.com

9 sentences you should never say in a job interview

It’s easy to be general about your background in a job interview. It’s also easy to focus on selling yourself — and fail to develop rapport in the process. You want to make yourself look good, of course, but if you took high school English, you probably heard “show, don’t tell.” It applies to the interview, too. Whether you follow this advice can make the difference between landing a job or not.

Below, coaches from Forbes Coaches Council help steer you away from generic statements that don’t set you apart from the competition. We asked members to name one sentence job candidates are saying in interviews that is making employers disengaged. Here is what they said:
Nine Sentences You Should Never Say In A Job Interview

Clockwise from top left: Charlotte Weeks, Laura Powers, Carol Camerino, Julie Kantor, Emily Kapit, Kim Monaghan, Jessica Miller-Merrell, Tracy Repchuk, Cheryl Lynch Simpson. All photos courtesy of the individual members.

  1. “I Have XYZ Skill”
    “Telling It” instead of “Selling It” statements. Just saying that you have a skill is not interesting. Offering proof that you have a skill is interesting. Giving examples of past successes in a “Challenge-Action-Result” format is an easy way to sell the interviewer on your experience. – Charlotte Weeks, Weeks Career Services, Inc.
  2. “I’d Be Happy To Recite My Resume To You…”
    When hiring managers ask you to “Tell me about yourself,” that is not an invitation to recite your entire employment history. Your answer needs to be focused on them and their needs. Develop a response that addresses the question behind the question: “Are you someone who will be a good fit within our organization’s culture and who has what it takes to succeed?” – Laura Powers, Powers Career Coaching, LLC
  3. “I Didn’t Visit Your Website”
    Prospective employers are keen to hear candidate questions as they often telegraph interest and initiative. However, if the answer to your question is easily found online, it may indicate a lack of preparation or initiative — potential negatives that are easily avoided by reviewing a company’s website, social media sites and news mentions in advance of the interview. – Carol Camerino, Camerino Consulting, LLC and Job Seekers – Lookin
  4. “What Do I Have To Do To Get Promoted, And How Long Does It Take?”
    When a candidate immediately asks about future jobs, it is a red flag that they aren’t interested in the job that is open. A good hire, for both the candidate and employer, is when there is a match between the employer’s needs, job responsibilities, culture, etc. and the candidate’s competence, work ethic, work style and desire for the job. – Julie Kantor, PhD, JP Kantor Consulting
  5. “This Is A Never-Ending Sentence”
    Want to see an interviewer’s eyes glaze over? Start a response and continue for a period extending over 45-60 seconds — without re-engaging the person — and you’ll have a bored interviewer on your hands. Most questions will not require lengthy responses and, if they do, do some mock interview work to practice re-engaging with the hiring manager periodically to keep the conversation going. – Emily Kapit, MS, MRW, ACRW, CPRW, ReFresh Your Step, LLC
  6. “I’m A Team TISI +NaN% Player And A Hard Worker”
    Don’t offer hollow, rote responses to common interview queries. Rather, address strengths-based questions by articulating how you took action, channeled your talents and gained positive (and hopefully quantifiable) results for former employers. Be brief, yet specific, and ensure your answers illustrate how your strengths will translate to profit-generating value. – Kim Monaghan, KBM Coaching & Consulting LLC
  7. “No, I Don’t Have Any Questions About The Position Or Company”
    When a candidate doesn’t have any questions about the job, company or work environment, this sends a message to the hiring manager that the candidate hasn’t invested time into researching their company. It also tells them the candidate is not assertive. A candidate who has no questions about the job is an open invitation for a recruiter to mentally check out from the interview. – Jessica Miller-Merrell, Blogging4Jobs
  8. “How Much Vacation Time Do I Start With and What Are My Hours?”
    A good, direct marketing copywriter can take the text and spin it to make sure every “I, me, us and we” becomes “you,” because the reader only cares about what’s in it for them. So when you go in saying things like “how much vacation time do I start with” and “what are my hours,” it turns off the interviewer. Remove yourself from the equation and come from a place of service, and the job is yours. – Tracy Repchuk, InnerSurf International Inc.
  9. “Tell Me About the Salary and Benefits”
    He or she who mentions money first loses. Thus goes the old adage… and it’s still true much of the time. Asking salary and benefit questions too early in the interview process is deadly. Not only does it send the message that you’re only interested in what you can get from the company, it also devalues your experience and your brand. Confident professionals negotiate from a position of mutual trust and exemplify a win-win-win approach. – Cheryl Lynch Simpson, Executive Resume Rescue

Initially published on Forbes.com

A Recruiter Shares The Best Way To Follow Up On A Job Application

Yes, there is a way to do it without being annoying.


Are you the kind of person who carefully researches a position and company before you submit an application? Or do you look up job titles in your field on Glassdoor and desperately wish there was an “APPLY ALL” button?

However you enter into the application process with a company, submitting your application is not the end of your work. In fact, it’s just the beginning of a long and hopefully fruitful relationship – which makes it extra frustrating when you submit your information and don’t hear back for days and days, or even weeks and weeks.

Should you follow up? And if so, should you email or call or show up at the company’s next all-hands meeting? These are the questions we’re answering today with the help of Glassdoor’s expert recruiter and Talent Acquisition Partner James Parker.

Whether you’re passively targeting one or two specific opportunities or peppering your field with inquiries, here are the most important things to think about when you follow up after a job application:

Try email first

In today’s highly structured world, few professionals have time on their calendars to field anonymous phone calls. Emailing recruiters and hiring managers shows greater respect for their schedule because they can process and respond to your note on their own time.

“Since I frequently recruit for sales positions, I often get candidates who cold call me to showcase their skills,” says Parker. “But since almost every minute of the day is accounted for, cold calls go right to voicemail. For most jobs, emailing is the safest way to follow up after a job application without ruffling any feathers.”

Be specific about your fit

Focus and relevance are the two most important pieces of communicating with hiring managers and recruiters during a job search. Beyond individual preference, it’s not so much the format you use but what you say. A boring and generic, “Hey, I applied!” or “Look at my application and let me know if I’m a fit!” email is just as bad as pestering your contact with unwanted phone calls.

“Look at our positions, find one, do research, and do the work of letting me know how you’re a good fit,” says Parker. “If you’ve been proactive and you can show me how your background in XYZ fits the XYZ role we’re hiring for, that’s meaningful, and I’ll want to talk to you.”

This strategy works especially if you’re applying for a job that’s different from your background: “When you explain your fit for the role for me, showcase how you’ve developed the skills you need,” explains Parker. “If you’re bringing camp counselor experience to an entry-level sales role, tell me how you’ve talked with parents and overcome objections and managed multiple conversations at the same time. Connect the dots for me, or I won’t be able to justify spending time on your application when there’s a large pool of more traditionally qualified candidates.”

Let company culture guide you

“The type of company and the type of role should guide how you follow up to a job application,” says Parker. “In the case of Glassdoor, we’re not a cold calling company, so calling your contact out of the blue wouldn’t be as welcome as, say, a meaningful follow-up email or reaching out through one of my social media channels.”

Whether or not you’re applying for an open position with Glassdoor specifically, the job search tool is so detailed that you never have to approach a company blindly. It’s up to you to use the research at your disposal to get a sense of what is and isn’t in line with the company’s culture and build a follow-up plan based on that information.

Display your skills

Every interaction you have with a recruiter or hiring manager is part of the interview process – email, phone call, voicemail, or in-person meeting. So however you choose to follow up after a job application, treat it like the opportunity to display your communication skills that it is. Carefully proofread your emails and make notes in advance of calls so that you can always speak with poise.

“Part of the interview process is assessing a candidate’s communication skills as we exchange emails,” says Parker. “In the past, if I’ve been on the fence about a candidate and then see they respond with poor grammar or bad English – especially if they were born and educated in an English-speaking country – I start thinking that that’s how they’ll communicate with clients. If it’s not a good email coming in, then it won’t be a good email going out to clients or coworkers.”

Be considerate of your contact’s time

If your contact welcomes the attention, a being slightly more aggressive when you follow up after a job application may show that you’re passionate about the job. However, if you aren’t very careful, it may also show that you’re oblivious to the needs of others.

“In one situation, I chatted on the phone with a candidate and determined this person was not a good fit,” explains Parker. “After I send an email explaining the situation, this person showed up at the office to ‘prove me wrong’ and insisted on meeting with me. Because I pride myself on customer service and being attentive to everyone I speak with, it put me in a difficult position of fitting in an unexpected 1-hour meeting into a packed schedule. This move ended up solidifying my original decision not to pursue this person.”

If you feel strongly that you need to show up to make your case, do so in a way that shows your interest without burdening your recruiter or hiring manager with a long visit. Deliver a handwritten note in person and leave after giving your contact a quick hello, or send a small treat like coffee and donuts with a short note responding to any feedback you received throughout the interview process. These methods still may not change the fact that you simply aren’t a good fit for the job, but they’ll give you one more contact point without damaging the relationship you have.

Customized all of your correspondence

It’s always appropriate to send a thank you note after an interaction or a meeting. But if you copy the same note to everyone you interact with at the company, you’ll undermine your efforts to show how thoughtful you are. Make sure your interviewers won’t be disappointed when they compare notes by customizing your message for the recipient.

“If you speak with three recruiters, email each of us with a unique message based on our background or a particular part of our conversation,” says Parker. “If you interview and send the same follow-up email to each of us, it’s a missed opportunity to make yourself stand out. Taking the extra three to four minutes to write a unique email could be the difference in the next three to four years of your life.

There’s a reason the post-application phase of a job search is so confusing: there are as many different ways to follow up as there are recruiters and companies. If you want to confidently follow up after a job application, the most important step you can take is to understand the company’s culture and align your actions accordingly. Good luck!


Originally published on Glassdoor.com

12 Powerful Recruiting Trends Affecting Your Time to Hire

Most articles on the main recruiting trends frequently refer to the obvious approaches that many companies already apply. However, in this post I would like to zero in on unique, advanced techniques, which are seldom used and accepted and yet they are some of the most important recruiting tools impacting your time to hire time.

Some of these trends may surprise you.

  1. Since the candidate holds the power, many current techniques will stop working
    83% of recruiters believe that the market has shifted from employer to candidate. In a market managed by candidates, “active recruitment approaches” simply stop working.
    Now that candidates are in control and the best candidates have many job offers to consider, recruiting should shift from “assessment” to a “selling candidates” practice. Once candidates start to understand that the market is on their side, they will ask the question “Why should I work for you?”
  2. The dominant role of mobile platforms in every aspect of recruiting
    Companies need to understand that applicants should be able to apply for a vacancy directly from their mobile phone. And for market leaders, it has become obvious that the mobile platform, unlike any other communication means, due to its universality and speed should dominate in every area of hiring.
    The mobile platform can become the main mechanism for building communications with candidates, disseminating messages aimed at promoting an employer brand, viewing recruiting videos and job descriptions, and publishing relevant job vacancies in communities with candidates.
    Ultimately, it can be used for sending notifications, professional evaluation of a candidate, and candidate interviews. Therefore, recruiters and hiring managers should understand how to post job offers from their mobile phones, upload videos, confirm applications, view CVs, schedule interviews and do other administrative tasks. In turn, candidates should be able to apply for a job from their phone and do all the accompanying administrative work from the palm of their hand.
  3. Encouraging a candidate to accept a job offer
    During an economic downturn, candidates would accept almost any job offer. However, in the market in which candidates receive numerous offers, the recruitment process changes dramatically. This means that the focus will shift to interesting offers in terms of remuneration packages, as well as to individual criteria of a particular candidate.
  4. Deficiency of effective recruiters
    As the amount of work increases, companies will begin to experience a significant shortage of talented recruiters. As a result, a real war will break out for professionals in the field of hiring. Due to the low qualification of recruiters, the deficit for professionals becomes even more acute.
  5. Videos play a predominant role
    Online video accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic. Today watching a video (rather than static pictures or reading text) is most preferable for an audience, and hence it should be used in every aspect of recruiting, for example creating video descriptions of vacancies, or employer brand videos.
  6. The ability to quickly hire rare professionals who suddenly appear on the market
    The best specialists, if they enter the labor market, are an extremely rare find. Traditional recruiting models designed to attract candidates in such cases do not work. This means that recruiters need to look for other approaches that would allow them to hire each time a new professional who is suitable for their company.
    Once a candidate submits an application, it is necessary to immediately start the hiring process and make an offer quickly, even if there are currently no open positions in the company. Yes, you might end up hiring a person a few weeks (or even months) before you need them, but you will not have to be stressed out by the inability to find a competent person when you really need one.
  7. Social network pages will replace CVs
    The reality is that very few candidates have time to update their resume. And while you are employed, you do not update it at all. It turns out that it is impossible to become a candidate in principle until you update and send out a current resume. However, today in place of a resume, it is enough to look through profiles on LinkedIn and find open vacancies. LinkedIn profiles are usually more specific than a resume, and they are viewed by a large number of people: if there is some kind of inaccuracy, friends and colleagues will quickly point to it.
  8. Emergence of “find examples of their work” component in talent acquisition
    Sometimes even experienced professionals have a weak resume. Fortunately, using social media as key recruiting tool, it became possible to find work samples for many professionals. And this is good because work always gives much more insight into a worker’s abilities than their resume. Recruiters should focus on finding actual examples of the work of “hidden” professionals in the labor market, which can not be found solely on the resume.
  9. Boomerang recruitment strategies
    Hiring boomerangs, it turns out, can be one of the most effective methods for quality hiring. A valuable candidate pool can be formed from previous employees. Moreover, today it is much easier to track down corporate graduates thanks to LinkedIn and other social media. Hiring boomerangs is characterized by speed, low cost, and high quality.
  10. The importance of predictive analytics
    Today the most important business decisions are based on data. Such decisions have a strong impact on recruiting: they are at least 25% better than intuitive solutions. Therefore, it is time to forget about meaningless metrics and start focusing on predictive analytics. If you need additional financial resources, consult your CFO to analyze how the results of hiring will increase a company’s profits.
  11. Referrals are more important than ever
    Employee referrals should never stop. Referrals provide quality hiring not because they know someone, but because the best employees can often even outperform recruiters in building relationships, evaluating and “selling” highly qualified professionals who are not active in the labor market. In top companies, more than 50% of employees are hired through a referral program.
  12. Personalised outreach will become the trend
    Highly sought after candidates no longer respond to a generic recruitment approach. They expect a unique and personalized approach (in many respects similar to what is used when a candidate for a managerial position is employed). We call this a “manual” approach.
    Furthermore, don’t be surprised if a top candidate expects the job to be tailored for them. Providing topnotch candidates with a choice (with whom to work, where and when) will become a more common practice. And since this approach is impossible to apply in every workplace you will have to prioritize. This will allow you to distribute your resources to important positions and candidates.

Originally published on Recruitloop.com

US Renewable Energy Sources Surpass Nuclear In First Half Of 2018

US renewable energy sources accounted for nearly 20% of the country’s net electrical generation during the first half of 2018, according to new figures from the US Energy Information Administration, and narrowly beat out that provided by nuclear power.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest “Electric Power Monthly” report, and highlighted by Ken Bossong and the Sun Day Campaign to journalists via email, renewable energy sources accounted for 19.867% of the country’s electrical generation during the first half of the year, while nuclear power accounted for 19.863%.

The figures representing renewable energy include biomass, geothermal, hydropower, wind, and solar — both utility-scale and distributed.

The latest EIA report showed that solar and wind both saw strong growth through the first year, with utility-scale and distributed solar combined expanding by 27.6% and wind growing by 11.2% compared to the first half of 2017. Together, wind and solar accounted for nearly a tenth of the country’s electrical generation.

Most importantly, however, is the closing gap between renewables and coal.

According to EIA data, coal only contributed 26.93% to the country’s energy mix, well down on traditionally historical trends. In fact, when adding up all fossil fuel sources, they only account for 60% of domestic electrical generation — where only five years ago the figure stood at 68.6%.

The half-year figures match up with what we saw from the EIA’s figures for the first four months of the year. In the first third of 2018, renewable energy sources accounted for 19.5% of total electrical generation, while nuclear accounted for 20.3%, coal accounted for 27%, and natural gas 31%.


Originally published on CleanTechnica.com

Careers for women in Solar – potential in a growth industry

According to the 2017 Solar Jobs Census from The Solar Foundation, solar labor increased by 168% in the past 7 years, from about 93,000 jobs in 2010 to more than 250,000 jobs in 2017. Yet women in solar make up just 27% of the workforce. Women have a considerable opportunity to make careers in solar energy and join in on the highly skilled, well-paying solar jobs. C’mon, gals — join in!

In the US, women still make 78 cents to every man’s dollar. The gender disparity in wages could become more equalized if women select some of the fastest growing career paths within the renewable energy industry. Solar, specifically, is forecast to rise exponentially over the next decade. Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), says of women in solar, “Muscles are not the prerequisite. Brains and work ethic are the prerequisites.”

In 2017, the US Department of Energy reported that energy sectors employed roughly 6.4 million Americans, up nearly 5%, or 300,000 jobs, from the prior year. Electric power generation and fuels technologies comprised most hires at 1.9 million. Of those, about 374,000 hires work full- or part-time in the solar industry.

women in solar

Solar power is one of the most promising renewable energy technologies, allowing the generation of electricity to be derived from free, inexhaustible sunlight. Many homeowners have already begun adopting solar electricity, large-scale power generation facilities have started to offer solar’s advantages to thousands of customers, and companies are turning to solar in quests to call upon 100% renewable power.

Overcoming Barriers and Creating Opportunities for Women in Solar

The solar industry offers long-term and challenging career opportunities for both men and women, although many gaps in fully embracing women in solar employment existed in the past decade. Many women exited the industry in search for more supportive career environments.

Early hurdles for women to gain fair access to solar careers are not as evident for this next generation of women with STEM aptitude, however. As with many male-dominated spaces, female objectification, constraints, and isolation are still found, but Hopper of SEIA said it’s important to note that women are making headway in many areas that not so long ago were considered for men only. Because both male and female leaders are prioritizing diversity in the workforce, she knows the progress did not happen by accident.

For example, The Atlantic describes how, with a “gender lens” approach to energy access programs, the millions of dollars flowing to initiatives around the globe can have a greater impact on women’s empowerment. Of course, access to technology and employment in the energy sector is only the beginning. Research indicates that women can gain optimal traction from employment in the energy sector only if there are wider socially progressive policies in place, including state intervention to create a robust social infrastructure and accessible, high-quality, public services.

A Toolkit For Solar Industry Labor

For an industry expanding at such a rapid clip and promising to transform the energy landscape, having a still male-dominated workforce means the solar industry is missing out on opportunities to expand and deepen its impacts across multiple sectors of society. But there are strategies to infuse gender differentiation into the solar workplace.

One text that helps is The Solar Workforce Development Toolkit, which fills in the clear need for solar businesses to engage with the broader industry and other workforce development stakeholders. It outlines ways to better align education with regional job markets, streamline training and hiring practices, and increase public awareness of diverse solar career opportunities. Employers interested in bringing in more women in solar and women who are considering a career in solar should review this toolkit.

Careers in solar include construction managers, industrial production managers, electricians, plumbers, steamfitters, pipefitters, sales reps, welding/ soldering/ brazing workers, solar voltaic installers, human resource managers, and marketers — among others. As an example of one of the many successful women in solar, Tanya Strickford grew up through the ranks of SunPower by Positive Energy Solar to COO, progressing from a field installer to crew lead, crew manager, and operations manager. Strickford wants to bring her peers to the industry by leading through example, showing women how they, too, can be building large-scale solar arrays in the desert or hauling and installing residential rooftop panels.

“I don’t think the power of this can be overestimated,” Strickford said, expanding upon the impact that role models have for women in solar. “Women applicants see themselves represented and likely feel more motivated and welcomed. As a company, we’ve hosted Women In Solar Energy (WISE) events to introduce women to the vast opportunities within the industry and show a familiar face. Positive Energy Solar has also had a strong commitment to our community, supporting STEM education throughout New Mexico and encouraging women to get involved.”

Seeing a Solar Installer Position through the Eyes of a Female

Kristin Underwood, co-owner of Planet Earth Solar, was working for the EPA when she realized she couldn’t work behind a desk for the rest of her life. She likes how solar allows her to be outdoors, be physical, and see what she has accomplished each day. She encourages companies to hire and mentor a diverse workforce that includes women in solar.

“Men and women come at problems differently, and, by having other viewpoints and perspectives, you give your company an advantage by having more solutions to all the challenges that can come up in a typical day,” she said. “But just hiring women is not enough. I would encourage company leaders to also look out for them and encourage and mentor them. This industry can be hard on women, so women in solar need both women and men to champion their success.”

So what is a typical series of job responsibilities for a woman who likes to be physically active in a job? For example, what does a solar installer do?

Solar installers design and develop solar panels based on customer preferences and building restrictions, paying close attention to details in order to install functioning panels. With the need to be knowledgeable about mechanical and electrical tools, newer (women?) installers will build the support structures, while (male?) veterans do more technical tasks such as connecting the panels to the electric systems.

The job of a solar installer has many components which speak to women’s skills, worldviews, and dispositions.

  • Communicating with customers efficiently and comfortably is essential to relate the scope and length of a residential project.
  • Having good problem-solving and decision-making skills leads to completing jobs on time and producing good customer reviews.
  • Traveling to job sites, arriving on time, and establishing consistent work routines creates repeat business.
  • Being strong and physically fit is a must, as panels can weigh up to fifty pounds — but there are lots of women with sturdy stature who can stand for long hours, climb up and down ladders, and keep their balance on roofs.
  • Demonstrating detail-orientation, dependability, and knowledge is a constant cycle in solar installation. Once panels are installed, the workers check that systems are functioning properly prior to departure and return to perform routine maintenance.

Quality training of all employees — female and male — can save solar companies money. Additional site visits to correct residential installation errors may cost solar companies up to $7,500. Improved training procedures for both gender diversity and skills expansion could lead to a 1% decrease in the rate call-backs; it could save the solar industry more than $10 million per year.

Learning on Solar Worksites with Mentors

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, renewables will supply most US energy needs by 2050. There are many women leading the way for other women in solar, whether through traditional business routes or nonprofit, advocacy avenues like Women in Solar Energy. Sometimes it happens that one position leads to another, especially from within a company. That’s what happened to Ivy Gilbert, who worked as a business consultant when she was asked to help a solar start-up. Fast forward to today, and she’s CEO of IQ Power. Gilbert said it’s important for solar companies to allow female employees to explore new jobs and discover unknown passions and skills.

Gilbert remembered how a female marketer of solar products showed interest in transitioning to installation. “We immediately set her up for training with our installation and service department, where she went on installs and service calls until she was competent enough to handle service calls alone,” she said. “She enjoyed the work.”

STEM educational backgrounds and industries are viable and fulfilling paths these days for women to professional and personal development. “Solar is important work for the future,” Gilbert added, “and it feels good at the end of the day knowing your efforts are reducing the carbon footprint of our customers.”

Then there’s Kathy Miller, who co-founded Yes Solar Solutions. She prefers working in customer-owned solar because she gets to see the difference it makes in people’s lives and businesses. Miller tries to share that passion with her interns while giving them real-world experience in solar.

She advises companies to look past the gender and race/ ethnicity of applicants and to think about building a successful team first. “If I get a good resume, I interview that person, even if we have no openings.”

Shout-out to Solar Power World Online for featuring powerful women in solar in their recent issue.


Originally published on Cleantechnica

6 skills you should look for in every CV

As a recruiter it’s vital to be able to pinpoint relevant skills from an applicant’s CV, looking not only for industry-specific requirements but those strengths that can transition into any position.

A recruiter needs to be able to go beyond the skills listed in an applicant’s CV, reviewing the candidate’s achievements, experiences and the results they have documented to uncover core skills that are fundamental for any role.

These are 6 skills you should be looking for in any candidate’s CV.

  1. Drive
    A candidate’s drive will be reflected in all aspects of their CV, through the way they detail their previous experience, their ambition to progress and develop as well as their motivation to achieve in any role they undertake.
    Look for result driven examples that document how they have contributed to company goals or achieved as an individual previously. This drive will not only be limited to work examples so also assess their educational or extra curriculum performance.
    You want to find a candidate who is passionate to deliver so look for highlights of previous accomplishments and how the applicant plans to replicate these types of results within a new role.
  2. Teamwork
    The ability to work effectively in a team will be featured in a candidate’s CV through examples of how they have contributed to teams and assisted colleagues or clients to reach a shared target.
    Look out for a candidate’s aptitude to not only express their own responsibilities or achievements but instead link these to how their actions affected the overall team or organization.
    Don’t just consider direct examples of group projects, work within a team or club involvement to identify this strength but instead evaluate how any work they have undertaken as an individual has supported the team or impacted other team members positively.
  3. Relationship building
    Rapport building is a strength that is easy to assess in a phone or face to face interview, but you don’t have to wait until these stages to detect whether an applicant has the talent to build successful relationships.
    When searching a CV, look out for times in which the candidate has formed relationships that have in turn been able to benefit them and their career, this could be through formal networking or through working across departments or teams.
    If the candidate has provided a link to their LinkedIn profile as part of their CV, also consider reviewing testimonials or endorsements to verify their ability to forge productive relationships.
    Observe how a candidate has used these relationships to enhance their career or to gain further exposure to new fields or ways of working. Collaboration is central to any position so as a recruiter it’s important to be discovering applicants who have been able to demonstrate this proficiency.
  4. Strategy
    Whether planning actions for a team or at an individual level;  a candidate being able to plan their own workload and develop actions to ensure the success of goals or targets is crucial, and a skill you should be looking out for.
    Pay attention to examples of project work where a candidate has devised strategies and exhibited a clear timeline of results or potentially teamwork where they have implemented a new process.
    Thinking strategically and the ability to work in line with a dedicated action plan should be evident throughout an applicant’s career and educational history.
    Consider situations where a candidate has shown their capacity for individual growth in their career and ways in which they have evaluated this long-term strategy.
  5. Problem-solving
    Problem-solving can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, so as a recruiter you need to recognize how an applicant has shown this characteristic, review occasions where a candidate has worked through challenging factors to provide a solution.
    For example, in instances where an applicant has identified a problem and been able to bring forward new methods or ideas to overcome the issue.
    A strong problem solver will also be able to effectively define goals, assess alternatives and evaluate situations so you should be considering this when examining an applicant’s CV.
  6. Negotiation
    Negotiating isn’t a skill just reserved for sales roles. Whether a candidate can negotiate with clients, suppliers or internal staff, the capacity to negotiate is a sort after skill. Identify occasions where the candidate has been able to bring a discussion to a successful conclusion whether this has taken place in team meetings, presentations or consultations with a client.
    Although, most candidates may not directly add this skill to their CV, especially if they aren’t applying for sales related positions, look for examples where the candidate has worked to find solutions or has overcome obstacles to obtain a required outcome.

Stop what you’re doing & check your Linkedin profile

It’s a common scene: A busy recruiter thinks, “Wow, think we’ve got a keeper here,” as they scan your lovingly crafted CV or application. To get more background on you, they check out your LinkedIn page, only to shrug their shoulders and move on to the next candidate. What’s going on?

Recruiters, whether agency or in-house, have a very low appetite for risk. Any inconsistencies between your CV and your LinkedIn profile stand out like the balls on a bulldog, and they don’t make for a pretty sight. Employers look for exciting candidates. A great CV lifts the reader’s heart rate, but if the related LinkedIn profile is a yawn, their pulse flatlines. The majority of problems stem from candidates having a poor understanding of the difference between how a CV and a LinkedIn profile should each work.

Your CV is effectively a one-time use document, tailored to a vacancy or company. When a company says, “We’ll keep your details on file,” it begins to die as the world, your experience and your capabilities all change over time. Setting up a LinkedIn page can help cover the interim period, but you absolutely can’t treat it as a static document. Simplistically, a copy of your CV talks to one person, on one occasion, whereas your LinkedIn profile talks to many people, and on multiple occasions.

A great LinkedIn profile will engage the reader and show a much richer picture of you as a person than a CV ever can. Maintained correctly, it’s a live document in an active world and it should expand and grow in pace with your experience and capabilities. Used as a social media platform, it can show your underlying character and how you inter-relate with people and situations. Used as a publishing platform, it can give you a real voice in your industry. What’s not to like?

5 major turn-offs

A profile that hasn’t been updated since your last job-change tells a potential employer nothing about who you are now and what you could do for them, given a chance. The implication for a recruiter is that you’re gasping for oxygen in the bleak and stagnant pool of what can’t really be called your career because it hasn’t gone anywhere recently.

Many profiles don’t serve the reader’s needs. Recruiters want a quick overview of your strengths, skills, experience and achievements. Vast tracts of turgid text act as a barrier and end up delivering less information, not more.

Many profiles show lack of attention to detail, if not outright confusion. Incorrect spilling; punctuation and grammer by Potential Candidates be jarring in the extremely. Autocorrect is a tool, not an excuse. Lack of proofreading is a demonstration of stupidity, not the sign of a fast mover. Lurches between the first and third person and the use of mixed tenses are both particularly horrific to behold.

LinkedIn profiles lacking clarity collect dross. You have the means to comment and interact, but that’s not an excuse to bang on about anything and everything. Sharing salacious stories, bigoted opinions and ‘Only a genius can solve this’ postings creates the impression of an unfocused individual.

At a certain level of your career development, recruiters want to see more structured examples of your focus, thinking and opinions via articles you’ve written. An absence is a lost opportunity to show serious interest in your field.

How to strut your stuff

Wake up

Read your LinkedIn profile now. Identify what would make it demonstrate that you’ve blossomed rather than stagnated since the start of your current role. Update it accordingly.


Your career is ahead of you, not behind you. Every week, without fail, re-examine your profile and update any new capabilities or significant achievements. If there aren’t any, think what you’re going to do next week to change that, because standing still is sliding backwards.


If you don’t do it already, start to comment on discussions and share relevant articles. Don’t just pass the time, or consume space for the sake of it, aim to add incisive thought to any discussions or topics. Stay on-message with the main thrust of your career.


The more you do, the easier it will become – honestly. Start to connect with the people you encounter, both online and in the real world. Seek connections that will create the foundations of a springboard for the next stage of your career.


Become a mover and a shaker. Work-wise, what do you care about? What affects you and your industry? Share your analysis and thoughts by writing an article. Take a low-risk approach until you find your feet and your voice.

Essential quick tips

  • Proofread your whole LinkedIn page every single time you alter anything at all.
  • Make your qualifications, dates and positions consistent between your profile and CV.
  • Don’t merely repeat what’s already on your CV and stop there.
  • Shorten your commentary on older roles.
  • Check and update your contact details regularly, to avoid losing opportunities.
  • Go loud and proud. Add a link to your email signature and other public profiles.
  • Ask for recommendations. One or two from each period of employment looks good.
  • Have a call to arms. If you want people to get in touch – ask! It works.

Do you want proof? Find me on LinkedIn, send me a connection request and mention this UCR article. It would be nice to meet you.

If you truly embrace the LinkedIn platform, it can provide you with the means to proactively drive your career forward. Staying focused on what you’re going to say next is a great motivator. Keeping in touch with a growing professional network can not only increase your chances of winning any role you apply for, it can generate entirely unsolicited job opportunities for you.


Originally published on Theundercoverrecruiter.com

Germany produces enough renewable energy in six months to power country’s households for an entire year

Germany produced enough renewable energy in the first half of 2018 to power every household in the country for a year.

The nation’s combined wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power output hit a record 104 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) between January and the end of June, according to energy firm E.On.

The figure is 9.5 per cent more than the same period of 2017 and a third more than three years ago, the company said, citing in-house analysts who supply data to its sales teams.

“This shows how renewables become increasingly important for our energy supply,” said Victoria Ossadnik, head of Munich-based Eon Energie Deutschland.

Wind power accounted for 55 billion kWh of Germany’s renewables output, with 21 billion kWh of generated by solar, 20 billion kWh from biomass energy and eight billion kWh from hydroelectric plants.

E.On said the supply would be enough to power every household in the country consuming an average of 2,500 kWh.

It is the first time the country’s renewable energy supply has topped 100 billion kWh in six months.

The increases reflect the expansion of wind and solar power installations under Germany’s long-term drive towards a low-carbon economy, as well as the exploitation of storms.

The highest input of renewables into the country’s energy grid came on 3 January, when Cyclone Burglind pummelled Europe. Powerful winds accounted for much of the 1.1 billion kWh energy generated, more than 71 per cent of the Germany’s electricity consumption that day.


Originally published on The Independent.co.uk

7 signs you may be hiring the wrong candidate

To be or not be, that is the question.” These are the famous words the indecisive Hamlet moaned. They are also the words that many recruiters ask themselves when interviewing a candidate.

Is this candidate the right one? Here are some unpromising signs. Remember, these are just signs, (and candidates must be evaluated in totality).

  1. Punctuality problems
    Being on time shows that a prospect is reliable. And reliability is what you need in the workplace. If someone’s work is late, it often stops other people from doing their work. This will bring down the morale of the whole office.
    Punctuality is a tricky element to grade. Sometimes, emergencies happen. Sometimes people get flat tires or dead batteries. So, while being late for the first interview is far from a positive thing, occasionally it can’t be helped. A candidate’s misfortune shouldn’t be held against them.
  2. Grammar issues
    Email copy can tell you a lot about a candidate. As a matter of fact, some employers won’t hire people with bad grammar (unless there are extenuating circumstances such as dyslexia or the candidate is an ESL learner).
    Here’s what researchers found after years of hiring people: prospects who pay more attention to grammar are more likely to pay more attention to detail in general. There’s something appealing about people who are dedicated to doing things the right way- even the little things. The idea is if you can be faithful in small things, you can be faithful in big things. Yet, here’s a warning: don’t worry too much about the length of email copy.
    Some people write short emails; that doesn’t mean they’re disinterested. There’s virtue in short emails  provided they answer the question – as they’re often penned by efficiency aficionados.
  3. Social media miscues
    From the human standpoint, judging people about social media almost seems unfair. Is it really fair to eliminate Candidate A because he posted pictures of last weekend’s trip to Vegas? The answer is, it depends. Your personal life is your personal life, and your professional life is your professional life. Just because someone engages in rowdy behavior on the weekend, it doesn’t mean they won’t put in the spadework in at their job.
    On the other hand, there are social media miscues you can’t afford to ignore. For instance, if someone admits to having a substance abuse problem that affected attendance at their last job, you need to weigh that info very carefully. Or if someone posts about illegal activity on social media, then you need to stop and take notice. You shouldn’t expect everyone to be a teetotaler, but there are some activities that are just plain inappropriate- these should affect your analysis.
  4. Fashion miscues
    Candidates with good instincts just seem to know what to wear. They don’t overdress or underdress for the initial interview. Here’s a fascinating (loose) quote from the book 1984, “Party members not only had the right attitudes but the right instincts.” The idea is people with good instincts tend to fit in better almost anywhere, even in cruel futuristic totalitarian governments that don’t respect the rights of their citizens.
    Clothes are important, but they’re not everything. Sometimes key skills are sacrificed at the altar of good instincts and foppishness, and you don’t want that.
  5. Lies on the resume
    There’s tremendous value in an honest candidate, someone who’s willing to forego dissimulation, even at the cost of potentially not getting a job. Major resume lies are the ones you need to watch out for. For example, a major resume lie would be a candidate saying they worked at a place that never existed. Or another major resume lie would be for a candidate to say they have a degree they don’t have. Honesty really is the best policy. Of course, you should try and put yourself in the candidate’s position too.
    For instance, let’s say they have WordPress experience, but they are by no means masters of the software. It’s understandable the candidate would list the software on the resume, showing you they have some experience, showing you they won’t be starting from zero.
  6. No references or sub-par references
    Do references really matter? It’s an age-old question, but an important one. Oftentimes, employers fall in love with a candidate. Yet, when they check their references, they find out they were a headache at their last position, and their previous employer wouldn’t hire them again. However, that opens up another line of discussion. Why would a candidate list a reference that won’t speak of them favorably?
    Most candidates know that it’s a labor-intensive process to properly vet references. Hiring managers and small business owners are busy people, and they often don’t have time to do that kind of spadework. Keeping that in mind, it’s a good idea to check on references when you can. One way to cut down on the contact time is by sending them an email. It doesn’t have to be long and you can even make a template if you hire a lot of people. The best references are people who can speak on candidates as professionals. Friends and neighbors are better than nothing, but they aren’t ideal.
  7.  A Lack of enthusiasm
    This is the most important point of all. You want someone who is enthusiastic about your company. For example, there’s a lot to like about a candidate who researched your company before coming in. If they know your rivals, your history, and your specific core values, that shows they are excited about the interview.
    Hiring people is a numbers game. You cast your net far and wide to get the best candidate. Likewise, the people who you interview have likely applied to many other jobs. There’s nothing wrong with that in itself. Yet, you need to know they’re excited for your position. A great question to ask candidates is, “What about this specific position makes you excited?” If they give you an impressive answer, you should give them a few brownie points.
    Another great question to ask them is, “Do you have any questions for us?” If they ask some intriguing questions about your company, that’s a positive sign. Additionally, it’s a good idea to take special interest clients who send thank you notes, and other types of follow-up correspondence. These people are more enthusiastic about the position, and enthusiasm is a top-tier trait of effective job candidates.

Are these danger signs hypercritical?

Yes, they are. Someone with bad grammar may not have an opinion on the Oxford comma, but they could be a social media whiz who speaks three languages. Someone may have posted pictures of a rowdy bar fight in Vegas, but they may have never been late for work in the last nine years. Someone may not wear a tie, but they may be a salesman with a silver tongue. Someone may not appear to have much enthusiasm, but they could have been a leader in team building activities at their last job.

The list goes on and on. The word to take away from this article is nuance. Hiring is a nuanced process. Practice everything in moderation. Don’t ignore these warning signs, and don’t overvalue them either. That’s the secret to navigating the often tempestuous seas of hiring talent.



Originally published on Recruiterloop.com

4 ways to answer “what’s your biggest weakness” that actually are believable

A job interview is all about presenting your best self—which is why answering “What’s your biggest weakness?” is pretty difficult. There’s no other question that feels like more of a trap.

If you’re too honest, you might scare the hiring manager and blow your chances of getting the position. But if you’re not honest enough, you’ll lose credibility.

Well, the first thing to keep in mind is why the question’s being asked—and it’s not to trip you up. Instead it’s to see if you’re self-aware enough to recognize a flaw, and then self-motivated enough to fix it. Today’s feedback on your weakness is tomorrow’s feedback on an important team project that’s not coming together.

So, to help you out, I’ve rounded up the most common, cliché, and fake-sounding “biggest weaknesses,” along with some suggestions for what to say instead.

  1. Instead of “Perfectionism,” Say…
    “I tend to get caught up in the little details, which can distract me from the ultimate goal.”
    You might be a perfectionist, but your interviewer has heard this answer a billion times (and from plenty of people who aren’t actually perfectionists, I might add).
    However, by presenting the symptoms, rather than just naming the affliction, you’ll sound much more sincere.Follow this answer with an example, such as:
    When I was a junior web designer at Harold’s Hats, I was asked to revamp our size guide and make it more fun and visually interesting. Unfortunately, I became so fixated on finding the perfect font that I missed the deadline.

    Next, describe how you’re working to solve the issue. (Hint: This answer will work for almost every perfectionist.)
    These days, I break each project down into mini-tasks, each with their own deadline. If I spend too long on an individual thing, I set it aside and move on to the next one. Usually, by the time I come back to the imperfect piece, I can be more objective about whether or not it needs more work.


  2. Instead of “Overly High Standards,” Say…
    “It can be difficult for me to gauge when the people I’m working with are overwhelmed or dissatisfied with their workloads.”
    Saying that you expect too much from your team will score you an eye roll or two from your interviewer. Instead, explain how your delegation skills could be better.
    After providing an example, say something along the lines of:
    To ensure that I’m not asking too much or too little from my subordinates, we have weekly check-ins. I like to ask if they feel like they’re on top of their workload, how I could better support them, whether there’s anything they’d like to take on or get rid off, and if they’re engaged by what they’re doing. Even if the answer is “all good,” these meetings really lay the groundwork for a good and trusting relationship. 
  3. Instead of “Workaholism,” Say…
    “I need to get much better at knowing the difference between working hard and working productively. It’s easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking that long hours in the office mean I’m getting a lot done. But unsurprisingly, I actually do my best work when I’m not super tired or stressed.”
    Let’s face it: In today’s office, workaholics get pats on the back, not admonitions to take it easier. Claiming to be one (whether it’s true or not) sounds like you’re bragging.
    Next, tell your interviewer about a time when you pushed yourself too hard and the results weren’t good.Then, prove you’re managing the issue by saying:
    I’m making a huge effort to work smarter, not longer. I’ve begun responding to emails in batches so I don’t waste hours every day sorting through my inbox. I write down five goals every morning so that I’m focused on the priorities. I try to take my meetings outside so that I get some fresh air and exercise while we talk. These productivity changes have helped me compress the amount of work I accomplish into fewer hours—which also means I can produce higher-quality work.


  4. Instead of “Public Speaking,” Say…
    “I’ve heard that more people are scared of public speaking than death. Well, I wouldn’t say my fear is that extreme, but I definitely find it challenging to present my ideas in front of a crowd. As you can imagine, this has proven to be a career obstacle.”
    Public speaking didn’t used to be such a common answer, but it’s definitely getting more popular. You can still use it, but flesh out your answers with examples so that your interviewer knows you’re being truthful.Then explain what you’re doing to get better, like so:
    I recently joined the local Toastmasters club. We meet every Friday night, and it’s actually become one of the things I look forward to each week! In addition, I regularly volunteer to speak at team meetings. Even though they’re small, they’re definitely helping me feel more comfortable sharing my ideas. All of this experience has made it far easier to explain to a room that, say, we need to invest in big data software.

With these genuine alternatives to over-used answers, you’ll never have to fear the “biggest weakness” question again.


Originally published on TheMuse

2017 Was Another Record-Busting Year for Renewable Energy

2017 Was Another Record-Busting Year for Renewable Energy, but Emissions Still Increased

The global power sector had a banner year, while clean energy gains in transportation, heating and cooling remain minimal.

Renewable energy once again achieved record increases in capacity in 2017, according to a report out Monday from the Renewable Energy Policy Network of the 21st Century (REN21), a policy organization with members across national governments, industry and divisions of the United Nations.

The power sector, and specifically solar PV, led the results with 9 percent growth in overall generating capacity — 55 percent of which came from new solar. But other energy-consuming sectors such as heating, cooling and transportation saw marginal if any gains in clean energy uptake. And for the first time in four years the decoupling of emissions and economic growth faltered, with energy-related carbon dioxide emissions growing by an estimated 1.4 percent.

“We see a very positive uptake of renewable energy in the power sector, which is really an indication that, in principle, the energy transition is possible,” said Rana Adib, executive secretary of REN21. “This said, the big challenge we have in the overall energy transition is that renewable energy for power only represents 20 percent of final energy demand.”

Heating and cooling accounts for almost half of total global energy consumption. Transport accounts for almost one-third. In both those sectors, penetration of renewable energy is low: just 3.1 percent in transport in 2017 and 10.3 percent for heating in 2015.

Even as those sectors temper results, though, Adib said the power sector is reaching a “second tipping point” in some areas, where renewable energy is not only more economic than new fossil fuel construction, but also existing fossil fuel plants.

In 2017, the world added 98 gigawatts of solar PV capacity — more than fossil fuels and nuclear capacity together. That’s an increase of about 29 percent compared to 2016, which was also a record-breaking year.

Those records are especially noteworthy given the policy uncertainty in the United States. While growth was somewhat depressed in the U.S., China ran away with the strongest rate of expansion. REN21 notes that although more and more governments and corporations are relying on solar power, most global demand is still tied to policy.

Offshore wind also had a record-breaking year, growing capacity by 30 percent even though the industry at large lagged behind solar with 52 gigawatts of added capacity.

China continues to dominate in clean energy

Overall investment grew modestly last year to a total of $279.8 billion compared to $274 billion in 2016. Once again that was led by what REN21 categorizes as “developing and emerging economies,” which grew their investments by 20 percent to $177 billion, compared to money from developed countries, which fell 19 percent and added up to $103 billion.

Much of the investment in the developing and emerging category was led by China, which, it’s safe to say, is neither developing nor emerging when it comes to clean energy. China’s dominance and aggressive clean energy growth is a theme threaded throughout the report. The country accounted for a record 45 percent of global investment last year, up 10 percent from 2016.

Adib said China is investing in a holistic approach toward renewables by paying for the infrastructure that allows clean energy to integrate into the grid, and setting up incentives for high energy-consuming industries to locate facilities in regions with proximate clean energy.

She also said the country is pushing the pack on transportation electrification. Though electric vehicles still account for a miniscule portion of light-duty car sales globally, at 1 percent, China is the world’s largest market.

The United States, on the other hand, is lagging. It’s true that the Trump administration’s solar tariffs had less of an industry-halting impact than a chilling one, but on most barometers of clean energy progress, “They’re ripping us left and right,” as President Trump would say.

While China’s investment grew, U.S. spending fell 6 percent. The $40.5 billion accounted for 14 percent of the global total, making it “a distant third” to China. Europe accounted for 15 percent of investment.

China now has over 3 million jobs in solar. The U.S. has just over 230,000 according to REN21, although the Solar Foundation’s latest job census put that number closer to 250,000.

The U.S. still came in second to China on total renewable power capacity, but its 161 gigawatts of capacity is less than half of China’s 334 gigawatts. In 2017, China added more solar capacity than the entire world added in 2015. According to GTM Research, China’s demand is driving global growth.

Source: REN21

Non-governmental actors take the lead

Adib said it’s not all negative for the U.S. Much like in the rest of the world, bodies aside from national governments are increasing their focus on clean energy.

“In the U.S., the positive thing is we see new players stepping up even though the national government is quite critical of renewable energy,” said Adib. “The fact that new players, like corporations and subnational governments, are stepping in is quite a good sign.”

This progress should be placed in context, though. Non-governmental actors represent a small portion of overall energy consumption. Adib said “there is no way that we will reach Paris goals or the sustainability development goals” if countries don’t make advancements on electrifying sectors aside from power generation.


Initially published on Greentechmedia.com

How to tell if a job candidate i lying in the interview

Do you ever find yourself suspicious that an applicant is lying during a job interview, but you’re not sure how to uncover the truth without resorting to over-the-top interrogation techniques? The science of textual analysis tells us that truth-tellers actually speak differently than truth-stretchers, and you can apply that data to make better hiring decisions.

In a research study called “Words That Cost You The Job Interview” we discovered that interview answers rated poorly by hiring managers contain very different language than interview answers rated highly.


Vague responses, where the candidate responds to questions by speaking in generalities rather than specifics, is one of the biggest linguistical tips offs that someone may not be telling the truth.

During interviews, candidates are typically asked about situational experiences and they are expected to respond by telling about ‘a time when.” Qualified high performers are stacked with detailed stories about their great accomplishments and are eager to share those stories. They have no reason to lie, and this is apparent in the specific nature of their words.

Consider, for example, this candidate’s response to the interview question ‘Could you tell me about a time you worked as part of a team?’

I was asked to help develop a professional services model with a team of my peers. Each of us provided our thoughts and ideas and shared our professional experience. I remember how we were all huddled in a room with a big whiteboard walking through the exercise step-by-step. I went home that day thinking how much fun it was to work with great people in a dynamic, free-flowing, brainstorming way. I felt really lucky to be part of a team where we all applied experience from our past, respected each other, and stayed on task until our deadline was met.”

This response is full of specifics including how the candidate thought and felt and how the team interacted with each other. The memory of huddling around the whiteboard sounds like an impromptu detail (as opposed to pre-rehearsed) lending even more credibility to the response.

We also hear the use of first-person pronouns (I, me, my) that reveal personal ownership (even when talking about teamwork). Collectively, these specifics are strong indicators that this person lived this experience and is telling the truth.

On the flip side, a candidate who lacks any situational experience working on teams but wants to lie about it, or who is trying to hide an unsavory truth about teamwork abilities, has no real-life story to roll out. This person will have to construct a story, and the cognitive strain of this often reveals itself in a lack of complexity, where explanations about events (that didn’t happen) sound unrealistically straightforward or vague.

Liars will often try to compensate for this by throwing in a few qualifiers to amp up their story. In addition to truncating their speech, people looking to omit or hide something (like a bad attitude) tend to use second and third person pronouns which give them psychological distance from their lies.

Here’s an example of what a less than truthful response sounds like:

There was a really great team at my last job, they were really smart people. We met all the time and we were always coming up with lots of great ideas that could have short and long-term impact.”

We hear no specifics that link the candidate with having lived this experience. We do hear second person pronouns, qualifiers (‘really great’ ‘really smart’ ‘all the time’ and ‘always coming up with)’ and hypothetical language (‘could have’), all of which are strong indicators that this response is more fiction than fact.

Let’s take a look at another suspicious response, this time in response to the question ‘Could you tell me about a time you faced competing priorities?’

This happened daily at my last job. Usually our leaders would very clearly communicate the priority, but in the absence of that, the thing to do would probably be to default back to overall goals outlined previously by leadership or prioritize actions based on the near term or long-term ROI to the company.”

If this situation truly happened daily, then surely there are specifics to share about a ‘time when’ as the question demands. Note the use of ‘would’ and ‘probably that introduce a hypothetical instead of actual response to the situation, and the lack of first person pronouns. There are no details here that tell us “this is what happened to me and what I did about it.”

Now, could it just be interview jitters rendering these candidates taciturn, and couldn’t we maybe draw out some specifics with a bit of probing? Yes, possibly, but the first probe I would use would be silence. I’d let this person’s response sit and I’d slowly and silently count to three. And if the candidate didn’t start speaking by the time I got to three, I’d count to three all over again, all while wearing a calm and neutral expression on my face.

Probing with silence can be painful to do, but it’s going to be twice as painful for your candidate. So painful that they will start talking, and the words that they choose to use will be entirely their own, which will allow you to continue your scientific textual study.

The problem with verbal prompts is that they often lead candidates to give a more truthful sounding response (e.g. ‘Tell me what it felt like to be part of that team?’ or “Tell me what you did next?’). This is when candidates say to themselves “Whew! I didn’t have to keep talking and they just told me what I’m supposed to say so now I don’t have to give that next layer of information that might reveal I’m telling a lie.” Using silence to force the candidate to keep talking is a simple technique that really works.

As we know from our Hiring For Attitude research, 89% of hiring failures come from attitude rather than from technical skills. And where does attitude manifest itself in a job interview? In the language that candidates use. So stay silent, listen to candidates, and if you’re not getting sufficiently specific answers, you may very well have a liar (or at least a withholder) on your hands.

Mark Murphy is the CEO of Leadership IQ and the author of Hiring For Attitude.

Originally published on Forbes

Top 10 things NOT to put in your CV

There can be no denying the fact that we live in an increasingly tough world nowadays. Increasing populations across the world and rising rates of unemployment mean that more and more people are applying for the same types of jobs you are interested in. This means it is truly imperative for you to take the matter of your CV as seriously as possible. There are certain things that should not show up on a CV in order for it to be an effective reference piece, as opposed to a document that has the employer run in the other direction from you. The following are 10 things you should never include on your CV:

  1. An objective that makes no sense or is completely insane:
    A crazed objective will have the employer not take you seriously and in the end have your CV lying in the comfort of a rubbish bin.
  2. Irrelevant job experience:
    Having times of the past that you truly enjoyed is a nice memory to cherish.
    If it has nothing to do with the job you are applying for, it’s best to leave it out and focus on the jobs that have direct experience with your current interest for work.
  3. Achievements that are not exactly achievements:
    Because you were the Secondary School Team Captain is not an achievement relevant to the job you are applying for! Professional achievements or even community service are notable achievements.
  4. A physical description:
    A description about what you look like or even images of yourself should never be included on a CV. It isn’t professional and will be viewed as a mockery if it includes this information.
  5. Proper hobby listing:
    If you have hobbies that will have you viewed in a strange light, they might be better kept to yourself. Common hobbies of reading or writing, even working out are acceptable choices. Hobby lists should be kept short and precise.
  6. Private information:
    Whether it is your religious belief or your sexual orientation these are things that are irrelevant on a CV and are best kept to yourself. There is no reason to put this information in the open for observation.
  7. Bad grammar:
    Bad grammar immediately shows carelessness and laziness. The last thing you want a potential employer to feel you are will be verified immediately once a mistake like this is found.
  8. Contact information that will raise flags:
    If you have an inappropriate email address then simply don’t use it. Or if it is essential to have this information included, create a new one via the use of Google to have an appropriate one on hand. An inappropriate email will only bring you attention and not the kind that will contribute to a path of success.
  9. Social Security Number/National Insurance Number:
    While in the world of information this is the biggest factor that can lead to endless scams, this is not the information that you supply on a CV ever. It could be left out or disregarded and if the wrong person should get this information then you could be in quite a bit of trouble. Have it on hand for the employer, don’t feel the need to hand it out initially.
  10. Colourful text and creative fonts:
    No employer wants to have a staring match with your CV to try and figure out what it says. Nor do they want to have a potential seizure due to the colourful daze you have compiled in your information. Keep it simple and normal and stick to the pure facts.
    So there you have it. There is a general guide of what no to do when you are truly pursuing a job. It is all for the most part common sense, but sometimes common sense can be overlooked.

The first impression you set for your potential employer is what will get you in the door, the CV will get you inside to make an impression, and from there it is entirely in your hands to make it happen.

Don’t feel intimidated, the world is a place of vast personality and profession, go for a job that suits you, and make the impression that is needed to make it happen.


Originally published on Theundercoverrecruiter.com

French court slams renewable energy schemes

FRANCE: Renewable energy support schemes are not effective in driving the country towards its climate objectives, despite their significant costs, according to a new report from France’s Court of Auditors.

The report by auditors was to a finance committee meeting at the French senate last week.

It noted the spending on mechanisms to support renewables was estimated at €5.3 billion in 2016 and is set to grow in the future.

The vast majority of this spending (€4.4 billion) backed renewable electricity, while a total of €567 million went to renewable heat, although this sector is key to achieve France’s climate targets, according to the auditors.

The report said without a “clear strategy and stable and coherent support mechanisms, the French industrial fabric has had little benefit from renewables development”.

It explained there is a disparity between cost, production volumes and share of different renewable sources in the energy mix.

Recent Eurostat data shows that France, Ireland and the Netherlands are furthest away from their 2020 renewable energy targets.

While the portion of renewables in final energy consumption has increased from 9.2% in 2005 to 15.7% in 2016, France still needs to achieve a 23% national target by 2020 and 32% target by 2030.

Ahead of the updating of France’s multiannual energy programme in 2018, the auditors said there should be a more “concerted and coherent energy strategy”, with the calculation of costs associated to the development of an energy mix that meets the country climate targets and support mechanisms designed accordingly.

The parliament should be more involved in the process as well, auditors said.

Speaking at the French senate meeting, Jean-Louis Bal, president of French renewable energy association SER, said past commitments should be seen as an investment rather than just a cost, as they led to lower costs for renewables today and helped create jobs.

Originally published on windpowermonthly.com

These 7 email mistakes could cost you that job offer

When you’re job hunting, you’re on high alert for every mistake you can possibly make: you run your resume by every friend you have, carefully craft a cover letter, scrutinize every detail you put into the job application and spend hours preparing for your interview.

But did you ever stop to think that you could make it all the way to a final interview only to lose the job offer to something as small as an email?

Jennie Ellis, founder and CEO of Recruiting Bandwidth, tells recruitment specialist, Glassdoor, that she wants job hunters to understand that every interaction they have with a prospective employer reflects on them, and that goes for the highly visible parts of a job hunt (like a resume, cover letter, application, and interview) and the behind-the-scenes communication that goes on in an email inbox.

If you want to make sure you’re presenting yourself professionally at all times, make sure you’re not making these nine common email mistakes, notes Glassdoor:

  1. Writing misleading email subjects
    The way you communicate should express respect, and that starts with being accurate and honest. Make sure you’re using email subjects that convey exactly what you mean, not clickbait email headlines that encourage the reader to open but leave them disappointed in the content.
    “I don’t appreciate an intrusive, alarmist approach,” said Ellis. “For example, in email subject stating someone has an urgent need to speak to me, but when I open it, it’s just a solicitation [for] a job. Simply be transparent — include the position title in the subject, or if you were referred by someone who knows the recipient, state that.”
  2. Using the wrong name or title
    In the Internet age, addressing an email ‘To whom it may concern’ or an incorrect name often shows a lack of initiative — more often than not, that information is available online. Furthermore, out-of-touch salutations can be a clue for recruiters and hiring managers that you may not fit in with the culture.
    “For example, [some] women don’t typically like being addressed as Ms. or Mrs. in email,” said Ellis. “If someone did this to me I would think they were old school and [did] not get our informal tech culture.”
  3. Not getting to the point
    One danger of communicating with prospective employers by email is that you have plenty of time to linger on your draft until it expands into a mini-treatise on why you should be hired.
    Skip the long correspondence and try to keep your emails to 3-5 sentences or less.
    “Long, rambling emails when I didn’t ask for one in the first place assumes that I have nothing better to do than listen to a candidate go on about themselves,” explained Ellis. “Instead, think about what is the most important thing you need to convey and be clear and concise about it.”
  4. Cutting corners on language
    You don’t want to treat an email like a 10-page term paper, but you also don’t want to treat it like a text to your best friend.
    No matter how informal a company culture, you’ll always need to write with full words, full sentences and good grammar and spelling.
    “I cannot stand it when people use text acronyms in email messages in something that should be as formal as a cover letter,” said Ellis. “It shows an immaturity and disrespect for a job seeker to be that informal to someone they don’t know.”
  5. Not customizing your note
    Recruiters get it — you may be a very busy, in-demand candidate trying to coordinate interviews and follow-up materials with several companies at a time. But that’s no excuse to send everyone the same content.
    “Sending vague emails that are clearly part of a massive blind copy blast is a big mistake,” said Ellis. “Many recruiters are screening your emails to see if you pay attention to details, and getting obviously copy-and-paste responses without any personal details is a big red flag.”
  6. Using an unprofessional email address
    Your email address should be some combination of your first name, initials and last name. Anything else should be reserved exclusively for personal use.
    “Using an inappropriate personal email address to apply for jobs is really unprofessional and it may affect whether or not the hiring manager takes you seriously,” said Ellis.
    “For example, I once had an email from ‘stoner54@’ come through the ATS once, and I thought it was a joke.”
  7. Following up too aggressively
    In a competitive job market, there’s a lot of pressure to express your interest in a position. Unfortunately, this can lead a lot of candidates to be more aggressive than they should be, which runs the risk of turning off the hiring manager.
    You’re better off directing your energy to following directions for applying for a job and carefully reading all of the instructions you receive throughout the interview process — and nothing more.
    “Emailing too often in the course of an interview process — especially if you’ve been told to expect a reply in a couple of days — can be very frustrating for a recruiter,” said Ellis. “Likewise, not responding in a timely manner to an email that necessitates a response from the potential employer can take you out of the running for a job.”


Originally and fully published on Businesstech.co.za

7 mistakes to avoid when conducting interviews

Recruiting new team members is an important challenge for any CEO to address. Whether you’re scaling your company and looking to hire 10 people in one month, or need to quickly identify a replacement for a departing team member, it can be easy to forget effective interview practices in the face of a shortened timeline.

It is important to align your recruitment process with your business strategy. It can be easy to simply go through the motions of interviewing candidates without clear goals in mind. Here are seven mistakes to try to avoid when interviewing people who have applied to join your team:

  1. Interviewing without a planµ
    Given that the interview process can be time-consuming, it might be tempting to only interview those candidates who look the best on paper. Try to avoid this tactic – instead, consider a broader set of candidates to ensure you truly understand the skillsets that are available for hire. Try to enter each interview with a specific plan to identify key characteristics, experiences, and core skills. At Varsity Tutors, for example, we maintain a checklist of characteristics to look for when we interview potential managers. It is helpful to read each person’s resume and cover letter in advance so you can choose questions that will complement your checklist. Their resume should allow you to generate specific questions for the candidate based on their past experiences.
  2. Focusing only on the past and present
    It’s all too easy to only ask about prospective team members’ past experiences, as well as how they believe they would fit within your business at the current time. Consider extending the scope of your interviews by asking questions such as: “Can you share two or three ideas that you have for our company on how we can better position ourselves for long-term success?” and, “Where do you see our entire industry going in the short- and long-term?”
    Questions like these can allow you to evaluate how much each candidate has researched your company. If he or she has done so effectively, chances are this person is invested in the outcome of the interview. In my experience, the extent to which a person seems engaged during the interview and interested in the position and company is highly indicative of future performance.
  3. Failing to prepare questions
    Try to prepare a core set of questions that you can use with everyone who interviews for a given position. This does not rule out follow-up questions or questions you choose to ask in the moment—instead, it provides you with a baseline tool to measure applicants’ responses against one another. This is particularly useful if multiple people are interviewing the same candidates. Behavioral questions can be especially helpful, as they shed light on key moments when candidates encountered certain challenges. How did they respond? Would they change their approach in the future? Such questions also enable you to measure a candidate’s ability to think critically on the spot.
  4. Noting only what is said aloud
    Often, unspoken aspects of an interview can be just as revealing of a candidate’s traits as what is actually said. Did the prospective team member arrive on time? If he or she was late, was it by five or ten minutes, or longer? Did he or she offer an explanation and apologize? How was the applicant dressed? Appearances can be deceiving, but they also show how a candidate chose to present himself or herself to you. Namely, did they make the effort to appear presentable and ready for the interview?
    Does the person project enthusiasm and an eagerness to join your organization? How an applicant speaks can be just as important as what he or she says. Note his or her demeanor and tone of voice. Is the person keenly interested in this position, or is he or she viewing this as one of many employment opportunities?
  5. Providing only a single interview or interviewer
    Multiple interviews or interviewers can minimize confirmation bias (i.e. hiring a person simply because he or she seems like you). When more than one member of your staff interviews the same candidate, you can increase the reliability of your assessment and gain one or more fresh perspectives.
  6. Arriving under-prepared mentally and physically
    More than likely, you will be conducting multiple interviews on the same day. To ensure you are mentally and physically prepared, remember to take care of the fundamentals: eat right and get enough rest the day prior. You might also consider scheduling breaks between your interviews. Relax and rest your mind, and then reflect on your day so far. How did your morning interviews go? Are there any adjustments you would like to make for your afternoon interviews?
    Breaks are also a great opportunity to refocus your attention. We are all prone to biases, including the first and last applicant bias (where your first and last interviews stand out the most). You might wish to take notes during your interviews, if only to make sure that you do not overlook strong applicants in the middle of the queue. Also, remain aware of cognitive biases that may be relevant when evaluating potential staff members. For example, fundamental attribution error can lead you to under-estimate situational factors when understanding others’ actions.
  7. Forgetting to give or opting against giving a final decision
    Your final decision can be as simple as, “Thank you for your time, but we’ve hired another candidate,” or, “We’d like a second interview.” Providing a response to each applicant is the most basic of courtesies. This becomes challenging to keep track of as you start doing dozens of interviews per week, so create a standard system as upon to relying on your memory. I have accidentally forgotten to follow up with candidates to let them know that we selected another applicant and it certainly caused resentment. Whether you believe the interview went well or not, try to acknowledge the effort and time each person put forth to meet with you.
 The individuals you hire will ultimately affect your business in numerous ways. Careful interview practices can help you streamline the overall process, as well as identify great candidates to help your business grow.


Originally published on Forbes

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to deliver 39 megawatt wind farm in Vietnam

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) is to install and commission a 39 MW (megawatt) wind farm in Vietnam.

Located in the southern province of Ninh Thuan, the Dam Nai wind farm’s development has been divided into two phases, SGRE said in a statement Wednesday.

During the first phase, which took place last year, SGRE installed three turbines, which are already operational. The second phase, which has just been signed, will see the business work on 12 more turbines, due to be commissioned by October. SGRE said that it would also be responsible for the operations and maintenance services on the project over the next 10 years.

“We are committed to Vietnam as a market and we want to be our customers’ preferred partner in developing wind power projects,” Alvaro Bilbao, CEO of Siemens Gamesa in the Asia-Pacific region, said in a statement.

Wind energy is becoming an increasingly important source of power. Over 54 gigawatts (GW) of wind power were installed globally in 2016 and cumulative capacity grew by more than 12 percent to hit 486.8 GW, according to an April 2017 report from global trade association the Global Wind Energy Council.


Originally published on cnbc.com

9 information not to miss when reviewing a CV

Aline Lerner, one of my favorite recruiting bloggers, has devoted a few posts to how resumes are ineffective predictors of candidate success. I’m not as data savvy as Aline but I would tend to agree with her. Resumes, as a general rule, stink at telling what the candidate is capable of doing. But, they are usually the only thing you have on hand to tell you about your candidate.

So how do you derive value from one or two pieces of paper that were written by a subjective, error-prone human being?

My rule-of-resume-thumb is to consider the entire story. You can’t look at just one factor of the resume and learn about your candidate. You have to look at the entire document as a whole.

What’s the Story?

Consider the entire work history. When scanning a resume, look at where the person worked and for how long. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the industry? If you are a SaaS software company looking for sales executives, you should probably stick to candidates who have sold SaaS software before. Even the best sales candidates from pharma or hardware may have a hard time learning the SaaS model.

  • Who does the company sell to? Try to ascertain the ACV (Average Contract Value) of the product. If the candidate has only sold to large enterprise companies, you can bet she has sold only 5 figure or 6 figure deals. Contracts of this size have a much different sales cycle than smaller deals.

  • What is the tech stack at each company? If your candidate has only ever worked at traditional Java shops on backend systems, she will likely not be a fit for a front-end based role at your company.

  • What is the release cycle? Quite a few large, older companies are still using waterfall and/or a long release time. What this means for you, especially when considering engineering or product resumes, is your candidate may never have experienced the fast release cycles common at startup companies. This may be fine for individual contributors, but team leads or managers need to understand how to engineer software at a faster rate.

  • Given the company size, what do you think the candidate contributed given his or her title?  A VP at Google is a much different candidate than a VP at a 5 person startup. This is an extreme example but it shows that you can’t always rely on titles to tell you what the candidate has done.

Keyword Jargon

Focus on what they’ve built, not on the keywords they’ve added. Keywords are a way to beat the search algorithms that large companies use to filter the thousands of resumes that they get every day. When I see a big chunk of text in a resume I assume a few things:

  1. The candidate may have only ever worked at and applied for jobs at big companies

  2. The candidate may be inexperienced

  3. The candidate doesn’t know how to write a resume

All in all, I don’t rely heavily on keywords. Just because a candidate writes Java on a resume doesn’t prove he or she actually worked with it. Instead, look for bullet points that explain how the candidate used Java to build a product.

M & A

Mergers or acquisitions are especially useful when looking at VP or C level resumes. A VP or executive who was at a company for two to three years prior to a merger or acquisition most likely had a hand in the successful outcome of the deal. A person who joined the same year this deal went down probably had little impact on this event. This matters when you are considering senior leadership. For more junior or individual contributor roles, this matters less.


Ramp is another thing to keep in mind when reviewing VP or C level resumes. A candidate who joined a company at $10M with a Series C, is much different from a candidate who joined a company at < $5M. If you need a VP, Marketing to ramp your company from $10M-$25M, focus on resumes from candidates who were at companies during this ramp period. A VP, Marketing from Yahoo, post IPO will not have the right experience.

Job Hoppers

Be careful with rejecting resumes based solely on job hops. Sometimes there are good reasons for these: maternal/paternal leave, personal illness, care for an aging parent, or other factors outside of the candidate’s control. And some candidates, especially junior ones, may have had bad luck in their first few jobs, either choosing two losing companies in a row, or choosing two opportunities that weren’t a fit.

Objective Statements

A slight digression – I think these are the absolute worst. When reviewing resumes for my friends, I tell them to leave these statements off.

Now what to do if you see one of these on a resume? Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. If the candidate is a new grad searching for his first job, he probably does not know any better. In this case, I would take the objective statement with a grain of salt. If this resume is a submission from a seasoned sales executive, I reconsider. My assumption when I see bland objective statements on resumes is that the candidate doesn’t really care where he or she is applying. This is where the cover letter can be a huge help; I’ll overlook a bland statement if it is paired with a meaningful cover letter.

One caveat: Max, an engineer I tried, and failed, to hire at my first job, had one of the best objective statements I’ve seen. Instead of writing a generic sentence, Max quoted Edsger Djikstra. This single sentence stood out and gave me a sense of what Max wanted to achieve. Well done.

Speaking of College Grads…

To me, where someone went to school and what her GPA was are not strong indicators of future success.

For most roles, I find it’s better to look for students who have taken a full course load and had one or two internships in their chosen field. For students applying to entry sales or customer support roles, I like to see school work + work in customer-facing jobs.

So that student from an unknown, small state school with a 3.2 GPA and three internships under her belt? Probably worth a shot.


Sloppy? Yes. Should you regret resumes solely on the fact that someone misspelled aesthetic? No.

Cover Letters

When viewed together with the resume, these can be a very handy tool for assessing your candidate. If a candidate takes the time to write a genuine letter that specifically references why she is interested in Greenhouse, I take the time to read it. And usually, it’s these cover letters that push me to overlook a resume that is too junior, contains mistakes and/or isn’t a perfect fit.

The thing that stinks about resume reviews? You will definitely make the wrong call on a resume. I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes during my career and I know I’ve passed on some great candidates. Resumes just don’t give you enough information to have a high degree of certainty that the applicant will be a great hire. And it doesn’t help that resumes are written by humans and are subject to human error and subjectivity. But recruiters need to optimize for time (we can’t speak to all 500 sales candidates who apply for a role), so make sure to pay attention to the entire story.



Originally published on greenhouse.io

How you can get caught when lying on your resume

Honesty isn’t the best policy, at least according to some job seekers. People often stretch the truth on their resumes and cover letters in an attempt to land work, new research by OfficeTeam has revealed.

Nearly half of workers surveyed by the staffing company say they know someone who lied on their resume. That’s a 25% increase from 2011. Fifty-three percent of managers have a sneaking suspicion that candidates are often dishonest, and 38% have said no to an applicant after discovering their lies.

Employers are clearly clued into the fact that some applicants are either exaggerating their experience or handing over resumes that are more fiction than fact. But that doesn’t appear to stop some people from telling a few whoppers as they attempt to weasel their way into a job. Giving in to the temptation to lie when applying for a job is risky though. You could miss out on a job offer, damage your reputation, or even get fired once your fibs are revealed.

Plus, it’s easier than ever for a hiring manager to discover you’re not telling the truth about your past. Here are 10 ways employers discover the truth behind your resume lies.

1. Your alma mater can’t confirm you graduated

Claiming to be a Harvard graduate when you really have a degree from a no-name state school is one of the worst things you can lie about on your resume, according to hiring managers surveyed by Hloom. And while some employers will take you at your word when you say you went to a fancy school, others will check on your educational background by calling the school directly or using a service, such as the National Student Clearinghouse.

Sometimes, it’s interested third parties who clue an employer into a lie, such as the student journalists at a Kansas high school who discovered their new principal had inflated her educational credentials.

2. You can’t pass a skills test

It’s easy to say you’re proficient in everything, from conversational French to coding, on your resume. But proving you actually have those skills is another thing entirely. Employers realize how simple it is for people to exaggerate their skill set, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked to demonstrate your talents.

An interviewer might ask you a question in the language you claim to be fluent in or give you an on-the-spot quiz. Failing such a basic test is a sure sign that you’ve either stretched the truth or overestimated your abilities, both of which are likely to take you out of the running for a job.

3. Dates don’t add up

Roughly a quarter of resume liars are fibbing about their employment dates, according to OfficeTeam. If you’re tempted to cover up a resume gap by fudging employment dates, don’t do it. A quick call to your past employer is all it takes for someone to find out that you got laid off back in January, not June.

Trying to cover a gap by listing your job history by year, rather than month and year, is also suspicious and might prompt a hiring manager to do some further digging. If you’re worried about a resume gap making you look like a slacker, fill it with volunteering or consulting work, not lies.

4. Your resume and cover letter don’t match

A sparkling, error-free resume paired with a messy cover letter is a red flag that a candidate is not being totally honest. Such a discrepancy suggests you got a helping hand with your C.V. or maybe even stole another person’s work history to pass off as your own. Being unable to recall key details of your past experience and jobs during an interview is another huge giveaway that you’ve fabricated your past employment.

5. Your job titles are too good to be true

Two years out of college and already sitting in the C-suite? Expect an interviewer to ask some pointed questions about your responsibilities to make sure you’re actually telling the truth about your title. Inflated job titles will also come to light if the prospective employer calls your ex-boss to confirm your past employment. That’s when the promotion you gave yourself from marketing intern to senior marketing manager is going to be revealed.

6. You’re vague about your skills and experience

Job candidates might stretch the truth by using vague terms to describe their skills and experience. Perhaps they reason that as long as they’re not spouting an outright lie, it’s OK. But savvy interviewers will spot people who aren’t quite as knowledgeable as they initially appear. “Using ambiguous phrases like ‘familiar with’ or ‘involved in’ could mean the candidate is trying to cover up a lack of direct experience,” noted OfficeTeam. In other words, claiming to be familiar with event planning because you sometimes pick up doughnuts for the weekly staff meeting isn’t going to fly.

7. Your body language betrays you

You might think you’re an impeccable liar. But subtle body language cues in the interview could be giving away your resume lies. “A lack of eye contact or constant fidgeting may suggest dishonesty,” noted OfficeTeam, though those behaviors aren’t guarantees of dishonesty.

Touching your nose, looking down when you’re answering a question, and turning your body away from the interviewer are other ways you might inadvertently signal that you’re not telling the truth, according to the Los Angeles Times.

8. Your references don’t back you up

If you’re a skilled liar, you might get away with embellishing your skills or past responsibilities in an interview or on your resume. But you won’t necessarily be able to count on your references to back you up. An honest reference will reveal the real extent of your job responsibilities or the truth about your so-called accomplishments.

Even if you find a reference willing to go along with your charade, the interviewer might do some extra digging on their own, reaching out to mutual connections or independently contacting your old boss or co-workers to find out what you’re really like. And remember, there are no laws restricting what an ex-employer can say about you, despite what some job seekers might think.

9. A Google search reveals the truth

Seventy percent of employers snoop on candidates before offering them a job. You better hope that what HR finds on social media or as part of a basic Google search matches what you have on your resume. Of employers who decide not to hire someone after researching them online, 27% did so because they discovered the candidate had lied about their qualifications, CareerBuilder found. A little Nancy Drew-style sleuthing is all it takes to discover that your alma mater is a diploma mill or that the company you claimed to work for last year went out of business a decade ago.

10. The employer conducts a background check

Not all employers conduct formal background checks. But if you encounter one that does, it will sink you if you’re being untruthful. If a prospective employer conducts a background check and discovers you’ve lied (either directly or by omission) about your work history, criminal past, education, professional certifications, or other key facts, don’t expect a job offer.


Originally published on Glassdoor

8 tips not to lose your candidate with salary negotiation

You encounter lots of eager and excited people as you interview for open positions. Anyone who takes the time to come in and meet is going to be interested in the opportunity. But candidates not only want to get the job. They also want you to pay them the salary they have in mind.


Negotiating a salary that is acceptable to your company and new hire can be tricky. In this guide, you’ll learn how you can determine what to offer and the approach you should take to negotiating salaries with different types of candidates.

  1. Money isn’t everything
    Happy employees do their best work. Employees who are concerned about money lose motivation and explore other job opportunities.Negotiating a salary with a new hire isn’t the same as negotiating for a used car. Your goal shouldn’t be to get the candidate to settle on the lowest possible number. Strive to come to an agreement that works for your company and pleases the candidate so they’re inspired to do great work everyday.Having a little money on payroll likely won’t affect your company much. But convincing a great person to join the team can have a lasting impact.
  2. How the modern job seeker thinks about salary
    Everyone goes into a job interview with a salary range in mind. The bottom end is the bare minimum they’ll accept and the top end is often an optimistic number they hope to get but aren’t counting on. When asked about desired salary, candidates will usually respond with a number that falls somewhere in the middle of their range.A candidate’s salary range can be influenced by a number of factors. Most people will use their current (or previous salary) as the bottom number. They’re hoping to move onto a job that will pay slightly more or may be willing to accept the same compensation with a different company.µThey’ll then research what similar positions pay in their industry and area. Between professional social networks and the various websites that provide salary data, today’s job seeker is more informed than ever before.
  3. The rare birds who don’t prioritize salary
    From time to time, you’ll encounter a candidate who values other qualities in a job over salary. They might be looking for work-life balance, an appealing culture or simply a fresh start with a new company or career. These candidates will still have a desired salary in mind but it won’t be the deciding factor in whether or not they accept your offer.
  4. How companies should determine what to offer
    Like your candidates, you should also have a salary range in mind when the hiring process begins. The obvious starting point is to offer what you pay employees who work in a similar role. You never want to pay someone significantly more or less than their counterparts. The reality is people get to know each other in the workplace and pay rates are eventually shared.If you’re hiring for a new position, determining a salary range isn’t so simple. You should first get familiar with the market and learn what the going rate is for the skills and experience you are seeking. You can do similar research as your candidates, as well as ask for insight from knowledgeable people in your company and network.Then you should consider your budget. Can your company afford to pay what a reasonable candidate will ask for? If not, you should probably reevaluate the position’s requirements.
  5. Ask about salary sooner than later
    If you do have the budget to pay someone what they’ll likely ask for, you can proceed with interviews. Since both you and your candidates have salary in mind, it’s often best to address the elephant in the room right away. You can ask about desired salary during your first communications with a candidate or even include the question on your online application using your recruiting and hiring software. If someone has an unrealistic number in mind, you can move onto other candidates early in the hiring process.If you do your research, you’ll often find your salary range aligns with your candidates. Negotiations will be quick and painless since both parties will be working toward a similar figure.
  6. Coming to a mutually-beneficial agreement
    The interviews are finished and everyone agrees on the best candidate. You reach out and make an offer within the salary range you set at the beginning of the hiring process. Some people will accept the offer, while others will negotiate. If you receive a counteroffer that is still in your range, it’s often best to say yes and end the negotiations right there. You don’t want to lose someone bartering over a small amount of money.But what if the candidate wants more than you budgeted for? In these cases, honesty is the best policy. If you interviewed other good applicants, you can tell the candidate they’re your first but not only choice and they’re asking for more than your budget allows. If you have wiggle room, you can offer a bit more but don’t go outside your range when you have other options.
  7. Pleasing an ideal candidate
    If the candidate is clearly your best option, you should make an effort to come to an agreement with them. Again, be honest and tell them their desired salary is outside your budget but don’t immediately say no. Meet with your team and attempt to come up with an offer the candidate will accept. Perhaps you can free up some funds that can be used to be meet the candidate’s number. If not, get creative and sweeten the deal with stock options, a flexible schedule, or other perks that won’t break the bank. Making an effort to meet your candidate’s desired salary can often be enough to convince them they’re being presented with a great opportunity – even if your final offer is a below what they asked for.
  8. A solid plan makes for easy salary negotiations
    Some people negotiate and others don’t. If you make a fair offer, most the time it will be accepted. Research standard pay for the position you’re hiring for and budget accordingly and your offer will likely be exactly what the new hire had in mind.

Originally published on recruiterbox

Do not forget those 3 types of skills on your CV !

A CV ought to demonstrate all of your skills. Ideally, you will be able to link your key skills to workplace experience, but if this is not possible then try to cite ways in which you have used them outside of employment situations.

Most key skills fall into one of three categories:

  • Transferable skills. These are skills which have been acquired in one setting but can be used in many different sorts of businesses.
  • Job-related skills. These skills are specific to a certain line of employment or trade and may require you to have received training to perform.
  • Adaptive skills. These sorts of aptitudes are sometimes less obvious and harder to quantify because they rely on personality traits rather than learning.

Let’s look at each of these in turn and see how you might address them in your CV.

Transferable skills

Everyone has transferable skills even if they don’t recognise them as such. Sometimes, your current employer won’t make it obvious that the skills you have acquired with them are transferable because they don’t necessarily want you to realise how employable you are elsewhere.

Typical transferable skills you may already possess are:

  • Reading or writing related skills. This means being able to digest written information and present it in written form as well.
  • Computer skills. If you have aptitude with computers and common office programmes then consider this to be a transferable skill.
  • Management experience. If you have managed people before then you could transfer this experience to benefit another type of employer.
  • Commercial skills. People who can negotiate and handle figures like turnover and gross profit often possess the sort of business acumen which is sought after in many organisations.
  • Deadline success. Being able to work to deadlines is something that doesn’t happen in all jobs, but if you are used to it then this is a key transferable skill desired in many companies.
  • Of course there are other types of transferable skill. Think of them as aptitudes that can function equally well in multiple industrial sectors. Mention them in your CV as you have picked them up throughout your employment history.

Job-related key skills

More specific than transferable skills, job-related ones can get you work with another employer who needs them. Despite this, transferable skills won’t necessarily be of use to employers outside of the sector you already work in.

Examples of job-related skills are:

  • Brick laying. Although many construction firms need brick laying skills, it is unlikely you will be able to use this skill to find work outside of the building sector.
  • Nursing skills. Being a qualified nurse shows you have certain transferable skills like being caring or organised, but nursing itself is a job-related skill which only really works in the healthcare sector.
  • Mechanical engineering. Being able to work and repair engines is a job-related skill. It may mean you can transfer into related sectors but probably only within similar roles unless you have other transferable skills to offer.
  • Accountancy qualifications. Bookkeeping and accountancy roles are on offer within a wide range of organisations which presents plenty of job choice. However, this job-related skill narrows down that choice to certain types of jobs only.

Although there are nearly as many job-related skills as there are jobs, try not to think of them as restricting what you can do. If you do feel trapped by your job-related skills and have trouble breaking out into new areas of work, then acquire some new ones by enrolling on a training course.

Remember that many job-related skills imply transferable ones so they are always worth mentioning. It is best to add any courses or qualifications that are pertinent to your job-related skills in education section of your CV.

Adaptive skills

Ideal skills for CV personal statements or even a cover letter, adaptive skills can also be listed in your work experience if you prefer. Think about the sort of personality you have when discussing your adaptive skills. Some of the key ones to look out for include:

  • Team working. Not everyone is a team player, but team working is an important adaptive skill that many employers are looking for.
  • Loyalty. Been in your job for a long time and seen it through thick and thin? This is an adaptive skill to mention on your CV.
  • Positivity. If you are the sort of person who sees the glass as half full and not half empty, then this shows your positivity. Employers tend to favour positive people so mention this as an adaptive skill.
  • Creativity. Some jobs cry out for creative people. If you paint, play music or are even good at telling jokes, then this may show off your creative skills.
  • Adaptability. Being flexible is something we all need in the workplace from time to time, but some are better at it than others so don’t discount your adaptability as a skill.
  • Tenacity. Taking ownership of problems and seeing them through is a key skill in many organisations. If you can demonstrate this from your past career, then include it on your CV.
  • Although adaptive skills may seem like the least important ones to mention because they are not specific to the job you are applying for, they can often mark you out from another candidate. Don’t overlook the importance of your blend of adaptive skills which is as unique as you are.

Be proud of the skills that you have and see each and every one as a way to progress in your career.


Originally published on monster.co.uk

GE to develop world’s largest wind turbine in France

PARIS (Reuters) – General Electric plans to invest more than $400 million over the next three to five years to develop the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine, which will have a capacity of 12 megawatts and stand 260 meters (853 feet) tall.

With 107-metre blades, longer than a soccer field, the Haliade-X turbine will produce enough power for up to 16,000 households, GE said in a statement.

“We want to lead in the technologies that are driving the global energy transition,” CEO John Flannery said.

GE Renewable Energy will develop and manufacture the new turbine largely in France and aims to supply its first nacelle, – or power generating unit – for demonstration in 2019 and ship the first turbines in 2021.

The firm will invest close to $100 million in a new blade manufacturing plant in Cherbourg, western France, which will open in 2018. It will also invest close to $60 million over the next five years to modernize its Saint-Nazaire factory, where the nacelles for the Haliade-X will be built.

GE, already a major global player in onshore wind, entered the offshore wind turbine market through its takeover of France’s Alstom in 2015.

GE said the new turbine – which will have a direct-drive power generator rather than a gearbox – will be 30 percent bigger than its nearest competitors.

In June 2017, MHI Vestas, a joint venture between Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, launched a 9.5 MW offshore turbine, currently the world’s most powerful wind turbine.

Standing 187 meters tall and with 80-metre blades, it is an upgrade of MHI Vestas’ 8 MW V164 turbine, which is already in operation at the Burbo Bank Extension and Blyth offshore wind farms in Britain.

MHI Vestas has also been named preferred supplier for Britain’s Triton Knoll and Moray East offshore wind farms for a total of 190 of the 9.5 MW turbines.

An MHI Vestas spokesman declined to comment on future turbine development.

The size of offshore wind turbines – which unlike onshore turbines is not limited by overland truck transport – has grown rapidly in recent years as bigger turbines capture more wind and reduce maintenance costs and capital spending.

Onshore wind turbines in Europe have average capacities of about 2.7 megawatt, less than half the 6 MW average capacity of offshore turbines, according to trade group Wind Europe.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mark Potter


Originally published on reuters.com

Two countries are the reason the EU is hitting its ambitious renewable energy targets

The EU now gets more than 30% of its electricity from renewable sources, up from 12% in 2000. At the current rate of growth, the European bloc can increase the proportion of renewables in its electricity mix to 50% by 2030, according to a new report (pdf) published by think tanks Sandbag and Agora Energiewende.

Even if you don’t live in the EU, how the bloc goes through its energy transition is worth paying attention to. The EU is big, rich, and plural. And though the European Commission provides an overarching structure for the behavior of its 28 members, those countries largely operate independently. The messy ways the EU achieves its ambitious climate change-related goals will provide a blueprint for other blocs, such as the African Union, and large countries like India and the US.

Here are five main takeaways from the report:

Renewables now produce more electricity than coal or natural gas

In 2017, wind, solar, and biomass combined to produce 20.9% of all electricity in the EU, compared to 20.6% for coal and 19.7% for natural gas 19.7%. (Hydro provided another 10.9% in 2017.) “This is incredible progress, considering just five years ago, coal generation was more than twice that of wind, solar and biomass,” the report says.

But growth in renewables is uneven

Germany and the UK alone accounted for 56% of the EU’s overall growth in renewables in the past three years, even though the two countries generate less than 30% of the bloc’s total electricity. They’re far outpacing other EU member states in the effort to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.

Electricity consumption rose by 0.7% in 2017

That marks the third consecutive year electricity consumption increased in the EU. One way to reduce emissions is to consume less. That means EU’s energy-efficiency measures aren’t cutting electricity use as much as they should, and electricity demand is expected to rise even further in the near future as more and more electric vehicles replace combustion-engine vehicles on the road.

CO2 emissions continued to grow in 2017

Carbon-dioxide emissions in the power sector didn’t change between 2016 and 2017, but overall CO2 emissions increased, due to rising industrial emissions, especially from steel production. Meanwhile, the increased contribution of wind and solar weren’t enough to make up for growing industrial emissions, especially as 2017 saw a decrease in nuclear power and low production from hydro (likely due to natural fluctuation).

Western Europe is phasing out coal, but Eastern Europe is sticking to it

The result is that Europe’s air quality is also divided across east and west, with countries in the east suffering because of coal use.

Other key facts about the state of electricy in the EU

  1. In the past seven years, the UK has increased the share of wind, solar, and biomass in its total electricity portfolio by 20 percentage points, going from 8% in 2010 to 28% in 2017. The only country that’s done better in that timeframe is Denmark, which achieved an incredible 42 percentage point increase from 32% to 74%. Both the Brits and the Danes can thank wind power for their, er, windfall.
  2. The UK reduced the share of coal in its electricity makeup from 28% in 2010 to 7% in 2017—22 percentage points—helping to sharply reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions. Again, only Denmark had a more successful seven years, achieving a 23 percentage point drop from 44% to 21%.
  3. Since 2010, the UK has seen a 9% reduction in electricity demand, the largest of any EU country. In the same timeframe, the UK’s economy has continued to grow. By comparison, electricity demand fell 2% in Germany and 5% in France. Poland had the largest increased demand, growing 9% in the seven-year period. All of these economies grew in from 2010 to 2017.
  4. Germany performed relatively poorly. The proportion of the country’s electricity that came from coal fell from 42% in 2010 to 37% in 2017—just five percentage points. Germany now has the fourth most coal-intensive electricity mix in the EU. There are at least two reasons for the poor showing: First, Germany is phasing out zero-carbon nuclear power. Second, it has been exporting increasing amounts of electricity, while domestic demand remains high—forcing the country to continue to rely, to a significant extent, on coal.

Originally published on QZ.com

6 ways you’ll instantly ruin the excitement of a job offer

Getting a job offer after a long search (or even a short one) is such an exciting experience. Unfortunately, there are actually quite a few things that companies and candidates alike can do to seriously dampen that excitement.

Whether you’re the hiring manager or a job candidate, in an effort to keep job offers as thrilling as they should be (a fresh start! a new employee or a new beginning!), take note of the following mistakes.

Mistakes Companies Make

1. Making an Offer—3 Weeks After Interview #5

Long interview processes are a pain for job candidates and should be avoided if possible, but they can be a necessity depending on the situation.

Here’s what’s not a necessity: waiting around for a couple more weeks after the final round interview to get together a job offer for your top candidate. No one likes feeling second best, and you don’t want to give the impression that you only gave him or her an offer because you weren’t able to secure your first choice. On the other hand, if you get your offer out quickly and make your top candidate feel sought after, you’ll maximize your chances of getting the offer (happily) accepted.

2. Lowballing the Job Candidate’s Salary

Bottom line: Pay candidates what they deserve to be paid. Policies that limit salaries based on a candidate’s previous salary are ludicrous. And losing the ideal candidate for a job over an archaic salary policy or because you didn’t want to push the salary a little higher is absurd considering the high costs for running another search or the even higher costs of dealing with a subpar employee.

Along similar lines, even if you do make a fair offer for the skill set the candidate brings to the team, have an open mind if the candidate wants to negotiate. A couple thousand dollars can be a big deal for an individual but will barely make a dent in the budget of a large corporation.

3. Giving an Inflexible Response Deadline

Strong-arming a candidate into accepting a job offer before he or she is ready is a recipe for disaster. It’s understandable to want to get a response as quickly as possible, but sticking a three-day turnaround time on a job offer is not the way to do it. After all, you don’t want your new employee to have a what-if feeling brewing before day one even rolls around. Giving a job candidate ample time to make a decision means that you’ve done your part to ensure that he or she has weighed the pros and cons and made a decision with a clear head.

Mistakes Job Candidates Make

1. Taking Too Long to Accept or Decline

Companies aren’t the only ones that ruin job offers. As a job candidate, being indecisive and taking advantage of a generous response deadline to a job offer is a great way to turn a stellar first impression into a lukewarm reception on day one. It’s fine for you to take the time that you need to make a decision, as long as you’re keeping the company in the loop. Ask to meet with some more of the team members if you’re having trouble making a decision, but don’t go radio silent for a month. It’s just not cool—or professional.

2. Getting Greedy When Negotiating

Negotiating the terms of your job offer is definitely something you should consider before accepting, but don’t go nuts during this process. If a recruiter accepts your higher salary request quickly, take that as evidence that he or she really wants you to take the offer, not that you didn’t request enough. You don’t want to be that candidate who keeps trying to negotiate a higher and higher salary or more and more things in the offer—it’s not a flattering impression to make, and I’ve definitely seen companies rescind offers from overzealous negotiators.

3. Pushing for Something Nonnegotiable

Speaking of overzealous negotiating, some things are just plain not negotiable. If something is very important to you, it’s worth bringing up, but if the company policy is not to, say, not pay for employee parking then that’s that. Fighting for a perk that just isn’t part of the offer is a losing battle and is usually not worth it. Instead, consider the monetary value of the perk you’re seeking, and add it to the higher salary you’re trying to negotiate if that makes sense.

Job offers should feel exhilarating, but any of the bad behavior mentioned before can easily ruin that spark. Whether you’re the job candidate or represent the company, be thoughtful about the other party during this process. After all, this is just the beginning of a new relationship—and some care and attention will help the magic last a little longer.


Originally published on The Muse

5 ways your cover letter lost you the job

When it comes to cover letters, I’ve seen—and tried—it all. I’ve written stiff, formal documents (“Dear Sir or Madame”), overly casual notes (“Hey guys! Cover letters suck, huh?”), and everything in between. One time, I even composed one entirely in rhyme. (Yes, I did. And no, I didn’t get the job.)

They’re are a blessing and a curse. They give you some elbow room to discuss your qualifications, which is a welcome relief from the crunched bullet points of a resume. But because of that freedom (and that intimidating blank page to fill), it’s easy to veer off in the wrong direction and make some common mistakes that can pretty much guarantee you’re not getting a call back.

If you’re in my cover-letter-writing boat, chances are you’ve made some of these blunders before. Read on to learn five of the most common cover letter mistakes—and how you can turn them into successes.

1. You Didn’t Listen to the Advice Everyone Gave You

You’ve heard all the basic dos and don’ts. But somehow, rookie mistakes still make their way into even experienced job seekers’ writing. If, for example, you address the cover letter “Dear Sir” when the hiring manager is a woman, you fill three entire pages with your every achievement since kindergarten, or you forget to proofread and let the opening line read: “I absolutely love you’re company!”—it’ll go straight into the trash can.

Next Time

You’ve probably heard this advice time and again, but unfortunately, job applicants keep making these classic mistakes, so it bears repeating: Keep your cover letter to a single page, pay attention to details (e.g., address the letter specifically to the hiring manager by name), and most importantly proofread, proofread, proofread. And then, proofread again.

2. You Regurgitated Your Resume

Your cover letter’s meant to complement your resume—not reiterate it. So, it won’t do you much good if you simply take the best bullet points from your resume and repeat them in your cover letter. If your cover letter and resume are replicas of each other, why submit two documents in the first place?

Next Time

A job application is supposed to be a representation of you as a whole, well-rounded potential employee—so between your various application materials, you should aim to convey a variety of pertinent information. Instead of just repeating yourself (“I was in charge of reviewing invoice disputes”), use your cover letter to describe additional details that you weren’t able to squeeze onto the single page of your resume:

“By resolving invoice disputes, I gained a deep analytical knowledge—but more importantly, I learned how to interact calmly and diplomatically with angry customers.”

A cover letter gives you the freedom to use full sentences—instead of bullet points—so use them to expand upon your resume and tell the story of why you’re the perfect fit for the company.

3. You Used a Canned Version

You may not love the idea of composing a unique cover letter for each job you apply to, but it’s worth it. When a recruiter reads, “Dear Hiring Manager<, I am so excited to apply for the open position at your company, where I hope to utilize my skills to progress in my career,” she immediately recognizes it for what it is—a stock cover letter that you’ve mass-distributed to every place in town. And that’s not going to fly with a company that wants employees who are truly excited about its unique mission and vision.

Next Time

Write a cover letter that’s specific to the job and company you’re applying to, explaining why you’re interested in that particular position. If you take the time to write something thoughtful (“I’m a daily reader of your company’s blog. Your post about personal branding actually inspired me to start my own blog—and that has given me the perfect experience for the open role of Marketing Content Specialist”), you’ll instantly convey that you are genuinely interested in that particular company.

4. You Highlighted Your Weaknesses

If you don’t meet the basic requirements of the job, your resume will clearly indicate that—so you don’t need to begin your letter by stating, “I know I don’t actually have any coding experience or know much about computers, but…” That simply shines light on the fact that you’re not qualified. And once the recruiter realizes that, she probably won’t make it to the part of the letter where you try to convince her that she should hire you anyway.

Next Time

Focus on explaining how your past experience—regardless of how irrelevant it may seem at first—will translate to this new role. This is the beauty of cover letters: Resumes barely allow enough room for a few bullet points of duties and accomplishments—but cover letters let you more thoroughly explain how those experiences will make you a perfect fit for any position.

For example, perhaps you were a manager of a bakery in the past, but want to apply for a writing position. The experience doesn’t seem to correlate, does it? But, when you highlight the fact that you composed, edited, and published your previous company’s training materials and employee handbook, you suddenly do, in fact, have that required experience.

5. You Focused on What the Company Can Do for You

When you apply to a job you’re really excited about, it’s natural to want to convey your enthusiasm to the company: “I’ve wanted to work for your company since I was little—this would be my dream job, and it would mean so much to me if you would grant me an interview!”

But when a hiring manager reads what you wrote, she wants to see what a potential employee would do for her company—not what the job would do for you. She wants to hear about the unique skills and expertise you’d bring to the team and how you’ll help the company grow and succeed.

Next Time

While it’s fine to convey that you’re excited about a position, use a slightly different angle—one that shows how your enthusiasm will directly benefit the company: “I was very excited to find this open position because I’ve been following your company since its startup phase. My thorough understanding of your company’s background and mission means that I can jump in and make contributions to your marketing team right away.”

Now you’ve shown that the relationship will be mutually beneficial: You’ll have a great job with a company you love—and the company will have a valuable, skilled, and enthusiastic new employee (who, coincidentally, is also an amazing cover letter writer).


Originally published on The Muse

Five renewable energy trends to watch in 2018

It’s been a rollercoaster year for renewables. The price of solar and wind plummeted, China smashed its target for solar installations – but Donald Trump also withdrew the US from the Paris climate agreement. So what do the experts predict for 2018?

Renewable energy costs will continue to fall

Solar prices have dropped by around 62% since 2009, while offshore wind costs have also halved in recent years, reaching £57 per megawatt hour in 2017. As a result, governments are seeing record-low prices for solar and wind at power auctions, and subsidy-free solar and wind farms are now being developed.

Jennifer Delony, associate editor of Renewable Energy World, believes that the rise of country-level auctions for renewable capacity is a trend that will continue to drive down prices in India and other countries – particularly in the case of solar photovoltaic (PV). “It’s just the sheer power of competition in those auctions,” she says, “and I expect that competition to keep barrelling forward next year.”

Mark Sisouw de Zilwa, technical director, oil and gas at ING, notes that investment in renewables remained consistently high throughout 2017 but did not rise much, largely due to falling prices and overcapacity issues in countries like China and Germany – a trend that may well continue into 2018.

China will push ahead with its ambitious energy plans

Although China is the world’s biggest polluter, it is also the global leader in solar generation. Over the past decade its solar PV capacity has increased by a factor of nearly 800, with more than 54 gigawatts expected to be installed in 2017 alone. “They’ve surpassed their solar PV 2020 targets already, and I expect them to hit their wind target in 2019, so they’re making great progress,” says James Wilde, managing director, innovation, policy and markets at the Carbon Trust.

In total China plans to invest £292bn in renewable power by 2020. Commitments made at the Paris climate summit will also introduce a cap on the coal burning that has caused severe air pollution in many of its cities, with carbon dioxide emissions predicted to peak by 2030.

The country’s long-awaited national emissions trading scheme – the world’s largest – was launched on 19 December, 2017. This will effectively put a national price on carbon emissions across the Chinese power generation sector, which is still heavily dependent on coal-fired power plants.

Eight large-scale carbon capture and storage projects are also underway, and China hopes to become a global leader in electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption. “China is investing more in R&D than Europe is,” says Lisa Fischer, a policy advisor at energy think tank E3G, “so they’re really driving the industry around renewables.”

Corporations will make bold commitments

By the end of 2016 the US retailer Target had 147 megawatts of solar installed on 300 of its stores, making it one of the leading corporate US adopters of solar power – and it’s far from alone in embracing renewables.

Apple’s new campus in California runs on 100% green energy, and Goldman Sachs is one of several banks that have joined RE100 – a group of powerful companies committed to being powered by 100% renewable energy.

Wilde expects the number of corporations making ambitious renewables pledges to increase in 2018, and says the trend has been driven by “the falling costs of renewables, the fact that corporates want secure energy, and also some of the market opportunities associated with distributed grids and generation.”

Gerben Hieminga, a senior economist at ING, says green investors are also pushing harder for the disclosure of corporations’ exposure to climate change, and NGO campaigns are also having an impact on company behaviour – a trend that may gather pace in 2018.

The renewables industry will generate more jobs

According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, around 9.8 million people now work in the renewables sector worldwide. In fact, wind turbine service technician and solar photovoltaic installer are the fastest-growing occupations in the US. And the £17.5bn that will be invested in the UK offshore wind sector should also create thousands of new jobs.

“In a way the renewables industry is quite manpower intensive compared to the fossil fuel industry,” says Sisouw de Zilwa. “You need a lot of wind turbines, which have a lot of moving parts, to generate a similar amount of power to a coal or gas plant. Therefore you also need more maintenance people to keep the electricity running.”

However, while demand for workers is certainly growing, “there’s also a huge shortage of skilled people, so that could be a limiting factor on the speed of the energy transition,” says Hieminga.

Competition in the battery market will increase

In 2018 Tesla should complete its Nevada gigafactory, the biggest battery factory in the world. Not to be outdone, China has announced plans that will grant it the capacity to provide almost 120 gigawatt-hours of battery cells a year by 2021. And large-scale battery factories are also planned for Sweden, Hungary, Poland and Germany.

In April 2017 the UK also announced the Faraday Challenge, the first phase of a £246m investment in battery technology designed to boost research and development and put the UK at the forefront of the energy storage market.

However, it’s important to note that lithium-ion batteries are not the only form of energy storage that could see growth in 2018. “You can use pumped-storage hydroelectricity or compressed air energy storage, but you can also use water-based batteries, solid state batteries or hydrogen converted by electricity,” says Sisouw de Zilwa. “There’s a lot of different ways to store energy.”


Originally Published on The Guardian, Mon. 8 Jan 18

6 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Recruitments

Hiring new talent is an inevitable and critical part of being a business leader, and it’s more complicated than just reviewing applications and interviewing candidates.

If your hiring process does not run smoothly, it could deter possible candidates. Here are six tips to build and improve your hiring process.



Originally Published on BusinessNewsDaily

Do Not Fail Your Phone Interview Anymore

While you’re job searching, it’s important to be prepared for a phone interview on a moment’s notice. Many companies start the interview process with a phone call to discuss the job opportunity with a prospective employee to determine if the candidate is a good fit, and to gauge his or her interest in the job.

In many cases, your interview will be scheduled in advance by email or phone. In others, you may receive a surprise call.

You never know when a recruiter or a networking contact might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk, so always answer the phone professionally, especially if the number is an unfamiliar one. You should also make sure that your outgoing voicemail message is professional.

  1. Why Companies Use Phone Interviews
    Why do companies use phone interviews?  Employers use telephone interviews as a way of identifying and recruiting candidates for employment. Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews.
    They are also used as a way to minimize the expenses involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates. For remote positions, a phone interview may be the only one you have.
  2. How to Ace a Phone Interview
    Before you get on the telephone to interview for a job, review these phone interview tips and techniques so you can ace the interview and make it to the next round.
    Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular in-person interview. Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as a list of answers to typical phone interview questions. In addition, have a list of questions ready to ask the interviewer.
    If you have advance notice of the interview, make sure to review the job description and do a bit of research on the company.
    Take the time to match your qualifications to the job description, so you can speak to why you’re a strong candidate for the position. Review your resume, as well. Know when you held each job, and what your responsibilities were.
    You should feel comfortable and ready to discuss your background and skills confidently during a phone conversation.
  3. Practice Interviewing
    Talking on the phone isn’t as easy as it seems. As with an in-person interview, practice can be helpful. Not only will this help you rehearse answers to common phone interview questions, but it will also help you realize if you have a lot of verbal ticks, fail to enunciate, or speak either too fast or too slow.
    For practice, have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview and record it so you can see how you sound over the phone. Once you have a recording, you’ll be able to hear your “ums” and “uhs” and “okays” and then practice reducing them from your conversational speech. Listening to the recording will also help you pinpoint answers that you can improve.
  4. Get Ready for the Call
    Before the call, confirm all the details including the date, time and who you will be talking to. Be sure you know whether the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call.
    Use a quiet, comfortable, and private space with no distractions so you can focus on the interview.
  5. Phone Interview Tips

Follow these tips for a successful phone interview:

  • Keep your resume in clear view, on the top of your desk, or tape it to the wall near the phone, so it’s at your fingertips when you need to answer questions.
  • Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review.
  • Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
  • Turn call-waiting off, so your call isn’t interrupted.
  • If the time isn’t convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives.
  • Clear the room — evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door.
  • If you have a landline, use that instead of your cell phone. That way, you’ll eliminate the possibility of poor reception or dropped calls.

Do’s and Don’ts During the Phone Interview

  • Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.
  • Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth.
  • Do smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice. It can also be helpful to stand during the interview, since this typically gives your voice more energy and enthusiasm.
  • Do speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
  • Do use the person’s title (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.) Only use their first name if they ask you to.
  • Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
  • Do take your time — it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.
  • Do take notes when possible on what questions came up.
  • Do give short answers.
  • Do remember your goal is to set up a face-to-face interview. At the end of your conversation, after you thank the interviewer, ask if it would be possible to meet in person.

Review more phone interview do’s and don’ts to prepare.

Proper Phone Interview Etiquette

Review these guidelines for appropriate phone interview etiquette, so you make the best impression on your interviewer.

Answer the phone yourself, let family members and/or roommates know you are expecting a call. When you answer the phone, answer with your name i.e. Jane Doe (in a perky tone of voice), so the interviewer knows they have reached the right person.

Use the interviewer’s title during the conversation (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.). Only use a first name if they ask you to. Otherwise, use the formal title.

Listen carefully to the interviewer and don’t start speaking until the interviewer finishes the question. If you have something you want to say, jot it down on your notepad and mention it when it’s your turn to talk.

Don’t worry if you need a few seconds to think of a response, but don’t leave too much dead air. If you need the interviewer to repeat the question, ask.

Follow-Up After the Interview

As the interview winds down, make sure to say thank you to the interviewer.

Once the interview is over, carefully review any notes you were able to take during the conversation. Jot down what types of questions you were asked, how you responded, and any follow-up questions you may have if you have an opportunity for an in-person interview.

Follow up soon after the call with a thank you note that reiterates your interest in the job.


Originally Published on The Balance

Germany’s war on coal has resulted in a historic win for renewables

The Ruhr Valley in Germany carried the European nation’s economy for much of the 19thand 20th Centuries. Its steel works and large coal deposits made it one of the continent’s biggest industrial areas – next year, it will slip the key under the door and shut production for good. Bottrop, a city of 5.5 million that has long served as a home base for the 500,000miners who once worked the Valley’s 200 mines will see its’ heritage join the history books. However, no one is expecting the region to suffer from these closures – if anything, it is expected to grow.

Ruhr Area Map

Ruhr Area Map, Bottrop and other mining locations are situated near rivers because of higher concentrations of coal. source; wikimedia.org; author; Daniel Ullrich

As part of its COP21 agreements, Germany is currently striving to hit its renewable energy target as it hopes to reduce its CO2 emissions. Due to coal increasingly becoming less valuable and mines going bust over the past several decades, the Ruhr Valley was earmarked for a transition to a new era of power – renewables. Indeed, wind turbines have begun to replace mines as Germany continues its shift to clean energy.

Since 2000, the government has spent over $200 Billion on renewable energy subsidies (almost half of what the United States spent on fossil fuel subsidies within that same time period), resulting on a continuous transition that saw renewables provide 30% of the country’s power last year. Current trends show that renewables are the only energy source that is growing within the country as coal and nuclear fall out of favour. The transition away from coal was also assured thanks to government subsidies aimed at encouraging mines to shut down and begin dealing with their environmental impacts across the countryside.

However, this transition has also come at a cost. A perfect shift isn’t always assured and surging electrical prices and uncertainty over the long-term viability of wind power having dented public confidence within the plan. However, with the closing of the Ruhr Valley, the German government has devised a strategy that will see the mines used as giant batteries used to store renewable energy.

By building a miniature version of a hydroelectric dam that will see dirty water contaminated by the mines pushed upwards and downwards based off of Aeolian energy, they will be able to create a large battery centre capable of storing a vast amount of power. It is hoped that this will not only help continue to employ miners in different roles, but also help reduce electricity prices and stimulate another rush for renewable energy in Germany. The use of coal mines as renewable energy batteries has certainly not gone unnoticed worldwide, with many seeing it as an indication that the war on coal in Germany has truly been won by the green energy sector.


Originally published on Cosmicnovo

You Should Never Ask These Questions to Candidates

As much as we prepare candidates for interview, all too often it seems we forget to prepare the line manager or interviewer.  Candidates (and sometimes recruiters) assume that the interviewer knows what he/she is doing. Actually, they probably assume they know what they are doing!  Firstly, let me say that not every interview goes to plan, and you should expect the unexpected.  But in preparing to meet candidates, it is important that interviewers realise that there are some things you are NOT allowed to ask at interview and some you should just avoid, because they are stupid. So here are some questions you should avoid:

Are you married?

I cringe whenever I hear of someone asking this question.  To keep it simple: you are not allowed to discriminate against a person based on their marital situation.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t intend to rule someone in or out based on their marital status; simply asking the question raises the possibility that someone could accuse you of discriminating against/for a person on this basis.

Do you have kids?

Danger Will Robinson!  You are not allowed to discriminate against a person based on their family situation, which means you can’t not employ someone because they have children.  If you ask this question, you are indicating that you will give their answer some weight in the decision making process.  It is illegal under EEO legislation.  Don’t ask this question (and yes, people still do…sigh).

Do you have a criminal record?

Okay, let’s be fair – there are some grey areas here, and criminal record discrimination is not unlawful under federal law.  However, discrimination in employment is prohibited by the International Labour Organisation Convention 111, which is a schedule to the Australian Human Rights Commission Act, and if a person believes that they have been discriminated against due to their criminal record, they can still take you to court. So when can you discriminate against someone who has a criminal record?  Basically, you can discriminate against a person if they have a criminal record that means that he or she is unable to perform the inherent requirements of a particular job.  It’s easier to think of it the other way around – you cannot discriminate against a person based on his or her criminal record if the crime has no relation to the job for which you are recruiting. For example, say you are recruiting for a customer service officer role (desk bound role) and the candidate has a conviction for speeding.  You cannot discriminate against the candidate based on this conviction, as the role on offer does not require the candidate to use a motor vehicle.

I suggest you be very careful with criminal records – there are privacy rules on who should have access to the information and how the information is used.  Regardless, I wouldn’t ask the question at interview – you are putting the candidate on the spot, and they may feel forced to confess to something that you really don’t need to know.  If you want to have a criminal background check added into your recruitment process, I would suggest this is managed by HR rather than a hiring manager.

What are your greatest weaknesses?

There is nothing illegal with this question (hooray!), but, quite frankly, it’s crap (official recruitment term).  For a start, everyone asks it, so the candidate has a prepared answer where they look you in the eye and eloquently describe how their ‘weakness’ is actually a strength.  Only a gibbering idiot would actually confess to being a procrastinator with a passion for online gambling.  The question has no real worth. If you want to find out the candidate’s weaknesses (or areas for improvement), ask it of their referee.  A current or previous employer is in the best position to tell you where the areas for improvement are with this potential employee.

What can you bring to this job?

I have added this, as it is a personal favourite of mine.  I was asked this question in 1997 when applying for my first job in recruitment.  Given that we had spent time talking about my practical experience and the requirements of the job in some detail, I was a little bemused by the question.  So I said, ‘Well, I can bring my cat if you want me to.’ She laughed, and eventually I got the job. A better question is, ‘Why should I offer this role to you?’ This will encourage the candidate to promote themselves, to tell you why they are best person for the job.  Of course, they will still over elaborate, but at least they are not likely to offer to bring along their cat! The world is filled with crazy interview questions and crazy answers.  I will make it a point in 2015 to highlight the best of the worst.  Hopefully this will help you avoid risking litigation and ridicule AND be more attractive to the best potential employees!


Originally Published on People2People

Questions not to ask during an interview

Towards the end of an interview, almost every employer will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” Job applicants should put just as much thought into asking questions as they do answering questions. Whether you intend it or not, each question you ask has the potential to reflect your knowledge of the company, your interest in the position, and your work ethic.

That’s why it’s important to take the time to come up with thoughtful questions for each interview.

On the flip side, there are some questions that it’s never appropriate to ask your interviewer. Here’s a list of questions never to ask an employer during an interview, along with information on why you shouldn’t ask them.

Questions Not to Ask at an Interview

  1. Can I do this job from home?
    If this is a telecommuting job, the job description would have said so. Asking to work from home implies that you dislike working with others, you do not work well under direct supervision, or you have a difficult schedule to work around. Occasionally, employees who have held a position for a long period are allowed to telecommute, but this is not a concession you should ask for on a first interview.
  2. What does your company do?Avoid asking any questions about the company that you could have researched beforehand on the company website.
    These questions demonstrate that you have not done your research, and imply that you are not interested in the position.
  3. When can I take time off for vacation?
    Do not discuss previous commitments before being offered a position. Asking about time off before getting a job offer implies that you are not going to be a fully committed employee.
  4. Did I get the job?
    This question puts employers on the spot and makes you appear impatient. Instead, you could ask for more information on the next step in the hiring process. For example, you can ask, “Do you generally do multiple rounds of interviews with job candidates?” However, if they are interested in you, most employers will give you this information before the end of the interview. Here are the best ways to ask for a job, without asking directly for the position.
  5. What is the salary for this position?
    Do not ask this question on a first interview. If you know that you will refuse a job that pays less than a certain amount, you can state the amount in your cover letter. However, if you are even somewhat flexible regarding salary, it is best not to discuss compensation until you are offered a position.
  6. How many hours will I be expected to work each work? Will I need to work on weekends?
    Questions about hours and extra work imply that you are hoping to work as little as possible. A better question would be, “What is a typical workday like?” The answer will likely give you insight into expected work hours.
  7. How long would I have to wait to get promoted?
    This question implies that you are not interested in the position for which you are applying, and that you are merely waiting to move on to something better.
    Instead, you could ask the employer, “What are some of the opportunities for growth at this company?”
  8. What type of health insurance does this company offer?
    Wait until you are offered the position before you begin asking questions about benefits. However, if there is a benefit that you require from a job (such as a particular type of health insurance, a daycare program, etc.), bring it up with human resources rather than the interviewer.

More Questions Not to Ask

  • What is the astrological sign of the company president?
  • Can I see the break room?
  • How late can I be to work without getting fired?
  • How long is lunch?
  • Can I bring my dog to work?
  • Will I have to take a drug test?
  • Does this company monitor Internet usage?
  • How many warnings do you get before you are fired?

Originally published on TheBalance.com

First French offshore wind turbine inaugurated

France’s first floating offshore turbine – and it’s first offshore wind turbine at all – was inauguarted in Saint-Nazaire, France, [on October 13th 2017].

Image Credit : Ideol

The 2MW Vestas turbine is primed for the École Centrale de Nantes and CNRS’s SEM-REV offshore test site, after which it will be installed off the coast of Croisic for an initial period of two years. Demonstration parks are expected to follow.

The electricity produced will be sent directly to the electrical grid during its operation. Ideol designed the floating system (the foundation, anchoring system and the configuration of the electricity export cabling) and provided the wind turbine. École Centrale de Nantes brought its expertise in oceanographic engineering, provided the anchoring system and allowed use of its SEM-REV offshore test site, and Bouygues Travaux Publics, constructed the floating base.

The aim of the project is to confirm the technical feasibility and economic viability of floating wind turbines, as well as to demonstrate that Ideol’s technological solution is the most competitive one on the market.

Floating wind turbines are not constrained by depth and they broaden the market potential considerably, with over 80% of offshore wind energy resources located at depths of over 60 metres.

They can also be set up further away at sea and therefore have a low or non-existent visual impact from the coast. They also take advantage of stronger, more constant winds, which translates to increased electricity generation.

French potential in terms of floating wind turbines is estimated at 6GW between now and 2030, which is the equivalent of 3.6 EPR nuclear power plants.

The project was supported by the European Union as part of its FP7 program, by ADEME as part of its Future Investments Program and by the Pays de la Loire Region.

On 13 July 2017, the French government selected a consortium led by Quadran Energies Marines around Ideol’s solution of a floating base for the creation of the first wind farm in the Mediterranean (with four units installed off the coast of Gruissan, one of the best sources of wind energy in Europe, as part of the of the EOLMED project).

An Ideol technology demonstration unit is also under construction in Japan.


Originally Published on Onshore Engineer

7 Questions to Assess Personality During Interview

How many of you have tried gauging a candidate’s personality during an interview? How many of you were successful? Better yet, how many of you have said these words: “I really didn’t think he/she was going to be like that when I interviewed him/her!”

Chances are a lot of you have been down that road; thinking you had a candidate’s personality down pat throughout the selection process, only to realize once they start that you were way off track.

The good news here is that you’re not alone.

We all know that personality plays a big role in the workplace, but we (sadly) don’t have the superpower of analyzing personalities at first sight! So here are some questions for you to add to your interviewing arsenal that will shed a little light onto a candidate’s personality.


7 personality questions to ask your candidates:


1. Tell me about a time when you relied on your creativity to solve a problem.

This question will reveal how adaptable/creative your candidate is. Can they think outside of the box when necessary, or do they get stuck on best practices even when they aren’t working?

Remember, there are some roles where creativity and adaptability are important, and other roles that just don’t really leave much room for innovation. There’s nothing wrong with either, just don’t get hung up on a characteristic that may not be essential for a position.


2. How do you feel when someone interrupts you when you’re in the middle of a task?

Or what do you do when you are faced with an emergency or an unexpected situation?

Again, the answers you’re looking for depend on the position you’re interviewing for. If the role requires someone who doesn’t mind being interrupted, loves jumping from one thing to another, and actually enjoys having to spontaneously put out fires, then you’re looking for the ultimate multitasker.

But if the role requires someone who is diligent and organized, then you may not want someone who can easily be distracted.

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Just the right person for the right job!

3. Tell me about 2 of your biggest successes, one personal and one professional.

What was their motivation behind each one of your successes? This can tell you a lot about a candidate. Even though its primary purpose is to identify what drives and motivates them, you will still be able to learn a lot about who they are.

However, it’s really important to focus on what their motivators are. Are they motivated by:

  • results
  • competition
  • achievements
  • ambition

Or are they motivated by :

  • stability
  • security
  • peace of mind

Maybe their drivers are related to team spirit and harmonious work environments.

Each and every one of us has specific motivators that drive our behaviors. But the question you need to be asking yourself is: can the organization/role/leader/etc. provide the right type of motivation for this candidate?


4. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with an action/decision that was taken. What did you do?

Here, you’re looking to identify their level of assertiveness and how they deal with conflict. Do they have an assertive personality and don’t mind confrontation, or do they prefer to avoid it at any cost? Are they willing to make an unpopular decision for the greater good of the organization, or would they prefer a slightly less optimal solution to avoid making waves?

Don’t forget that the majority of people fall in the middle of any spectrum, so try to attune yourself to the context that the candidate describes. Are they confrontational and opinionated in every situation, even seemingly mundane ones? Or are they too conciliate, avoiding to take a strong stand even when one is absolutely necessary?

Again, don’t forget to consider the role when you analyze the response!

5. Have you ever been surprised by the quality of work someone presented to you? Tell us about it and what you learned.

I am personally a huge fan of this question because I find it to be covertly informative!

The purpose of this question is to see if the candidate is too skeptical, too trusting, or falls somewhere in between. For example, if the candidate says that they were pleasantly surprised by the quality, then you can analyze the context of their response to see if their skepticism was valid or simply a part of their personality.

The same can be applied to a candidate who says they were surprisingly disappointed by someone’s quality of work. Does the context in their response imply that they are inherently too trusting? Did they not question the person or process enough, or was the situation an exception?

6. Let’s pretend you were required to attend a cocktail party with 75 strangers, how does that make you feel?

Would they feel exhausted after the event, or energized?

Just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you love reading, and just because you’re extroverted doesn’t mean you can be found dancing on tables any night of the week! Where someone falls on the sociability scale indicates how their energy level is affected from social situations.

In other words, people who are more introverted feel like their energy gets drained from being in social settings where they have to meet and interact with large groups of strangers, whereas the exact situation would just feed the energy of an extroverted person. And the contrary also applies.

Try to gauge your candidate’s sociability, and determine whether or not it’s a deal-breaker for the role in question.


7. What sort of things irritate you the most, which get you down, and what do you do if someone gets on your nerves?

I know, this looks like a 3-in-1 kind of question, but it’s actually all meant to assess (or, at least, try to assess) one thing:emotional maturity.

Here, you want to try to identify their level of patience and tolerance, whether or not they get frustrated or agitated easily, and what they consciously do to control their emotions. We are all human, and humans are emotional people. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you don’t want a manager who is expected to train and mentor to be impatient and intolerant!

These personality questions for interviews can prove to be very interesting, but if you do decide to add them to your list of interview questions, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, there is no such thing as the perfect personality, so don’t go looking for one! Second, you are looking for the best candidate that will fit the job, team, and culture, not your new best friend. What’s right for the job and company may not be right for you. And lastly, don’t be afraid to use personality or psychometric tests if you want more insight into a candidate’s personality. Just be sure you’re choosing the right one.


Originally Published on Atmanco.com

The 4 job hunting tips no one tells you about

Looking beyond job sites and picking up the phone are some of the ways you can compete in a tough job market

 Landing the perfect new job is always challenging, so it’s not surprising that candidates scour the internet for hints and tips. But we no longer need to be told to proof read CVs and write a cover letter for every application; we’ve heard that advice hundreds of times before. Implementing some lesser-known tactics into your job search, however, can help you gain an advantage over the competition. The following job hunting tips aren’t so well publicised and could help you secure an attractive job offer.

It’s a numbers game

In today’s jobs market, employers have plenty of candidates to choose from and they often receive hundreds of applications per vacancy. So the odds of applying for just one job and securing it are slim to none. Applying for several jobs at once, and getting your CV in front of as many hiring managers as possible, will maximise your chances. You still need to be selective about the roles you apply for, but scout out as many suitable opportunities as you can. Set a daily or weekly application target, track the vacancies, and make timely follow-ups.

Always tailor your CV

Sending a tailored covering letter is a well-known job hunting tip, but are you doing this with your CV? Relevance is crucial when applying for any job. Your CV is most likely targeted towards one profession or industry, but no two jobs will be exactly the same.

Whenever you apply for a role, take a few minutes to check your CV against the job advert and look for any potential improvements you can make. For example, if you are hiding a crucial qualification at the bottom of your CV, move it to the top and make it prominent. Tailoring your CV for every application may take a little more effort, but it’s better use of time than making 10 generic applications that may not attract the attention you need.

Don’t rely solely on job websites

Job websites are obviously a great source of vacancies and should definitely feature in your job search. But the adverts on major job sites receive extremely high volumes of applications, meaning your CV can often get lost among them.

Online networks are a great alternative to job sites. Millions of recruiters actively search for candidates on LinkedIn, so you can’t afford not to have a presence on there. As well as connecting with prospective employers on the professional networking site, you can obtain recommendations from previous managers, giving recruiters the confidence to trust you.

Tracking down potential employers and sending speculative applications is a great way to sidestep the crowded job boards. This method requires perseverance because not every company you approach will be hiring. But it only takes one successful approach to land an interview.

It is also worth getting on the radar of reputable recruiters in your industry, as you never know when they might have a suitable opportunity.

Pick up the phone

In the digital age, it can sometimes seem a little old fashioned to approach a recruiter by telephone, but it’s still an effective method. If you’ve made an application online and haven’t had a reply in a few days, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. A friendly follow-up call with the recruiter will allow you to draw attention to your CV – which may be sitting unopened in an overflowing inbox – get your personality across, and begin to build a relationship with them. It’s not always easy to find direct line telephone numbers, but a search on LinkedIn or the company website is a good place to start.

Originally Published on the Guardian

‘France can be number two for wind’, WindEurope CEO claims

FRANCE: The country is set to leapfrog the UK and Spain into second place in Europe for installed wind capacity by 2030, according to WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson speaking at the FEE’s annual conference

Germany would retain its position as Europe’s wind power leader, but due to policies brought in by the new French government and progress on its continent-leading four floating offshore projects, France was likely to climb up the table, Dickson said.Dickson encouraged the French wind industry to call on president Emmanuel Macron’s government to foster closer ties with Germany in leading the energy transision in Europe.He was speaking at the French Wind Energy Association’s (FEE) annual conference ahead of WindEurope publishing its outlook for 2030.Video is in French. For translations, follow instructions under ‘Subtitles’ and ‘Settings’“The general message from where we sit watching everything happening in Europe, the outlook for France is perhaps the most positive that we can see in Europe,” Dickson said.

As of 1 September, France had over 12.8GW installed capacity, all of which is onshore, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data vision of Windpower Monthly.

New environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, shelved plans for a French offshore zone in August, but with French companies, including Ideol and Dietswell developing floating projects, France could soon open its offshore account, however, Dickson added.

The country trails Germany (52.8GW total installed capacity), Spain (23.1GW) and the UK (16.2GW).

But uncertainty in Spain and the UK meant France was well-positioned to overtake the two countries with more installed wind capacity, Dickson said. Meanwhile, in Germany, the latest auction rounds have also created obstacles for the industry.

“Of course the German market will remain,” he added. “It is the only government which has already established regulations for onshore and offshore wind that have gone to parliament.

“But as we know they had problems with the auctions. They wanted to target community projects, but they don’t know exactly when these projects will be installed.”

Originally published on WindPowerMonthly 

5 Tips for Successful Employee Onboarding

On average, it costs anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 to hire a new employee. That being the case, smart organizations are constantly striving to improve their retention stats so that employees stick around longer and they have to make fewer and fewer hiring decisions — and, therefore, spend less money replacing headcount.

But even the companies with the best retention stats in the world will still see some of their employees jump ship eventually. So any way you slice it, you can’t avoid having to onboard new workers from time to time.

In order to increase the chances that your new hires of today turn into the veterans your company depends upon in the future, you need to provide an onboarding process that’s as smooth and helpful as possible. Here are five tips for a successful employee onboarding process to help you ensure your new employees have an enjoyable first day, first week, and first month:


  1. Create a program dedicated to onboarding
    If you want to successfully onboard employees, you first need to build an employee onboarding program. Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, only 52% of employees say that their organizations have bona fide onboarding programs. This is part of the reason why 4% of employees never come back to the office after their first day and 33% of them decide to quit within their first month.
  2. Set up your new hire’s work space
    According to a recent infographic, 33% of new employees reported that the technology they were expected to use for work wasn’t properly configured when they first stepped into the office. What’s more, 22% of workers said necessary supplies they needed to do their jobs were not on hand, either. While you can’t control certain aspects of the onboarding process (e.g., how your employees respond to it), you have complete control over ensuring that your new employees’ work spaces are set up correctly before they sit down at their desks for the first time.
  3. Introduce your rookies to the rest of the team
    You’d think that every organization would be sure to show new employees around the office and introduce them to the other members of the team. But 15% of new hires said they were never introduced to their new coworkers while 14% indicated they weren’t given a tour of their new surroundings, according to the above infographic. Make sure you do both on your new hire’s first day.
  4.  Take your new hire out to lunch with a small group
    The number one thing employees like about their jobs are the colleagues they work with. While it’s great to take a new hire around the office and introduce them to the rest of the team, you can’t expect bonds to develop from those interactions alone. On their first day of work, take your new hire out to lunch with a couple of the team members they will be working with most closely over the next several months. Have an icebreaker game or two ready to get the conversation started.
  5. Incorporate training into your onboarding process
    In a perfect world, you’d be able to extend employment offers to new hires and they’d be ready to knock it out of the park on their first day. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. It might take as long as eight months for new employees to become fully productive in their roles. Part of the reason for that is because a shocking number of companies don’t offer enough training as part of the onboarding process. This is a problem, because53% of employees believe they’d be more effective in their roles if their companies offered more helpful training opportunities. Don’t assume that the genius you just hired will learn the ropes on their own. Make sure each new hire is thoroughly trained.


Originally published on TinyPulse

The Top 6 Salary Negotiation Mistakes

Salary negotiation is a normal step in every job offer process. Not negotiating means leaving money on the table, but negotiating poorly can be just as dangerous. Not to give away the recruiter “secret sauce,” but before you accept that new job offer, make sure to avoid these top salary negotiation mistakes. Trust me, I’ve seen them all!
1. NOT Negotiating.

Sure, negotiating can be awkward, but not negotiating is a costly mistake.

Keep in mind that your starting salary is the financial foundation for your time at a particular company. It is much more difficult to make salary strides once you’re in your position. At that point, your compensation growth is usually dependent on incremental raises, and these raises can be based on any number of factors, some beyond your control (promotion opportunities, department or company performance, your peers’ performance, etc.).

Beyond that, recruiters and hiring managers expect you to negotiate! Unless the role in question has a “flat rate” salary (where anybody in that role receives the same starting offer), chances are good that they’ve built in some wiggle room in anticipation of negotiations. So, if you don’t broach the topic, you can be leaving money on the table that they already intended to pay you.

2. Playing Games.

Believe it or not, recruiters are in your corner!

The more honest and straightforward you can be with your recruiter, the better equipped (and more inclined) they are to act as your advocate. Ultimately, they want you to get as much money as possible because it makes life easier on them (reduces turnover in role, makes for a happier hire, and promotes a better company reputation in the job market).
So be direct with your recruiter and they should reciprocate. After all, it’s only a good use of everyone’s time if the opportunity and associated requirements are a genuine fit for you as a candidate.

3. Coming Unprepared.

I can’t stress this enough: do your homework. Even if they’ve built in a financial buffer in anticipation of negotiations, they’re not likely to give that buffer away just because you ask nicely.

Before you consider a new job, know your “ask.” Crunch the numbers! Your ask should be driven by data such as your cost of living, your specific financial goals, your worth in the job market (PayScale’s free salary report can help you determine this), and the scope of responsibility for the prospective role. Notice that your previous pay isn’t really relevant in arriving at your ask.

Knowing exactly what you should ask for not only helps you determine where to aim, but it also sets appropriate expectations with your potential new employer – oftentimes preventing you from wasting valuable time in consideration for opportunities that cannot ultimately meet your financial needs. Don’t be shy about making it known that you’ve come to this number thoughtfully and have the data to back it.

4. Being too salary-focused.

Though having a definitive ask is essential, don’t forget to take the full package picture into consideration. There are a lot of meaningful factors surrounding the offer that can make a big difference in how the role may fit your needs.

An offer may look enticing, with a bright and shiny bottom-line number that’s calling your name, but it may mean that you’re tied to your desk for the rest of time. Make sure that you’re taking into account things such as:

  • Medical/vision/dental benefits: Are they included? Are they comprehensive? Do they offer money-saving options such as FSAs or HSAs?
  • Vacation/paid time off: The salary may be lower than your hopes and dreams, but does it also double your vacation time?
  • Transportation and/or parking benefits: Factor in your travel time! Does this new job cut your commute in half? That’s meaningful.
  • Work/life balance: Again, they may have offered a salary that doesn’t make you swoon, but the new job may mean a drastically better work/life balance. What’s that worth to you?

When you calculate your ask, you should also take inventory of your main motivations to make a move. If you’re looking for a better work/life balance, it may mean that you can take a slightly lower salary to have a true 40-hour work week or to have increased your Paid Time Off.

5. Changing your ask.

Don’t be one of those people that isn’t satisfied, even when they get exactly what they asked for. Don’t play games.

If something comes up that effects what your financial needs are while you are considering a role, then by all means change your ask. Don’t change it, however, just to fish for where you can stretch the offer’s boundaries. If you share your ask and the company presents you with an offer that meets or exceeds those expectations, it can set the wrong tone to now go back and ask for more.

6. Accepting on a promise.

Don’t cheat yourself by accepting an offer on the promise of future raises … unless you have it in writing.

Do not accept any offer under the premise that you’ll “make up” the deficit between your ask and the offer “in no time!” I’d only advise doing this under very specific circumstances:

  • The initial offer, at a minimum, meets your cost of living needs
  • You have a specific timeline for when they will review your salary for potential increase in writing (after one quarter, after six months, after one year).
  • You have specific requirements outlined that will guarantee said increase in writing (deliver a certain project, meet certain performance metrics, etc.).
  • You have a specific increase threshold in writing (can be a range, but make them put pen to paper on what this potential increase looks like – 1 percent? 5 percent? Is this increase to your base salary? To your bonus potential? In the form of stock?)

There is no one-size-fits-all offer out there. Make sure that you come to the table armed with your personal ask and your main motivations for the move. Take the whole package into consideration, and don’t accept any offer on undocumented or unsubstantiated promises. Most important of all, don’t let the awkwardness of talking compensation prevent you from having the conversation – you’re very likely leaving money on the table.


Originally published on Payscale.com

8th Wind National Symposium – 2017 Edition

The ELATOS team was glad to be part of the 8th Wind National Symposium, organised by France Energie Eolienne.

It was a pleasure to meet stakeholders and partners who develop the French wind market day after day.

Relive these 2 days with us .


Drop in Wind Energy Costs Adds Pressure for Government Rethink

Tories urged to look at onshore windfarms which can be built as cheaply as gas plants and deliver the same power for half the cost of Hinkley Point, says Arup.

Onshore windfarms could be built in the UK for the same cost as new gas power stations and would be nearly half as expensive as the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, according to a leading engineering consultant.

Arup found that the technology has become so cheap that developers could deliver turbines for a guaranteed price of power so low that it would be effectively subsidy-free in terms of the impact on household energy bills.

France’s EDF was awarded a contract for difference – a top-up payment – of £92.50 per megawatt hour over 35 years for Hinkley’s power, or around twice the wholesale price of electricity.

By contrast, Arup’s report found that windfarms could be delivered for a maximum of £50-55 per MWh across 15 years.

Keith Anderson, the firm’s chief operating officer, told the Guardian that onshore wind could help the UK meet its climate targets, was proven in terms of being easy to deliver, and was now “phenomenally competitive” on price.

“If you want to control the cost of energy, and deliver energy to consumers and to businesses across the UK at the most competitive price, why would you not want to use this technology? This report demonstrates it’s at the leading edge of efficiency,” he said.

The big six energy firm believes that with a cap on top-up payments so close to the wholesale price, onshore windfarms would be effectively subsidy-free – but the guaranteed price would be enough to de-risk projects and win the investment case for them.

“What we are asking for is a mechanism that underpins the investment risk,” said Anderson.

The group believes that any political sting for Tory MPs concerned about public opposition to turbines in English shires would be removed because such a low guaranteed price would see only the windiest sites coming in cheap enough – which means windfarms in Scotland.

“You put these projects in the right place, you will get the correct level of resource out of them to keep the costs down and you will get public acceptance of people liking them,” Anderson said, citing the example of the company’s huge Whitelee windfarm near Glasgow.

Dr Robert Gross, director of the centre for energy policy and technology at Imperial College, said: “Onshore wind has been coming in at remarkably low prices internationally, so a contract for difference price of around £50-60 per MWh looks perfectly feasible for a good location in the UK, one of the windiest countries in Europe.

“Windfarms generally need fixed price contracts in order to secure finance, otherwise volatile electricity prices can make investing in wind risky.”

The Conservative manifesto was seen by some in industry as softening the party’s stance on onshore wind, saying that it did not believe “more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England” but not mentioning Wales and Scotland, which have some of the best potential sites.

The party also promised a review of the cost of energy which the Guardian revealed last week was likely to be led by the University of Oxford economist Dieter Helm, a critic of the cost of today’s renewable and nuclear power technologies.

However, Anderson said he saw the report, due in October, as a good opportunity.

“I would find it surprising if anybody else doing a costs review of the energy sector comes to a fundamentally different argument [to the Arup report],” he said.

Leo Murray, of climate change charity 10:10, said: “It looks increasingly absurd that the Conservatives have effectively banned Britain’s cheapest source of new power.”


Originally published on The Guardian

Variable Wind Energy Problems Due To Poor Planning By European Nations

A group of weather and energy researchers from ETH Zürich and Imperial College London have concluded that the variability of electricity from wind turbines in Europe is due not to any fault in the equipment, but rather to a lack of planning by individual countries.

In a study published in journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers suggest that nations ought to look beyond their own boundaries when deciding where to site wind energy projects. Gee, does that mean Europe should adopt a European viewpoint rather than a nationalistic agenda? Yes, that’s precisely what it means.


30 Years Of Data

The researchers made use of the Renewables.ninja platform developed at ETH Zürich. It simulates the output of Europe’s wind and solar farms based on historical weather data. The simulation tool is available for use by any interested person worldwide and was developed to improve transparency and openness of the science behind renewable energy.

This is helpful when viewing Europe as a whole – sometimes the winds off the Atlantic are calm, but strong in southern Europe and northern Scandinavia. Christian Grams, lead author of the study from the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich, explains that, “There is hardly a weather situation in which there is no wind across the entire continent and thus all of Europe would lack wind power potential.”

Regional, Not National, Focus

Conditions in each region may remain stable for days or even weeks. During the past winter, winds were calm in most of the areas bordering the North Sea, where many wind generating farms have been built. That caused the amount of wind generated power available to Europe as a whole to decline dramatically. That, in turn, allowed advocates for coal, natural gas, and nuclear generating stations to go screaming to their local politicians with claims that renewables are not reliable.

Current plans call for more wind turbines in the North Sea area, but the researchers argue that new facilities should be built in the Balkans, Greece, western Mediterranean areas, and northern Scandinavia. That way, when turbines near the North Sea are quiet, turbines elsewhere could be supplying Europe’s electricity needs.

“This is why wind capacity in countries such as Greece or Bulgaria could act as a valuable counterbalance to Europe’s current wind farms. However, this would require a paradigm shift in the planning strategies of countries with wind power potential,” emphasises co-author Iain Staffell from Imperial College London.

Storage is Not The Answer

The authors of the study say it would be difficult to store electricity for several days to balance these multi-day fluctuations – with batteries or pumped-storage lakes in the Alps, for example – since the necessary amount of storage capacity will not be available in the foreseeable future. Current storage technologies are more suited to compensating for shorter fluctuations of a few hours or days.

The researchers say that for solar to compensate for fluctuations across Europe using, solar energy capacity would have to be increased tenfold. “The sun often shines when it’s calm,” explains co-author Stefan Pfenninger, from the Institute for Environmental Decisions at ETH Zürich, “but in winter, there is often not enough sunshine in central and northern Europe to produce sufficient electricity using solar panels.” It would therefore make little sense to compensate for fluctuations in wind energy with a massive expansion of solar capacity.

What will government policy makers do with the information provided by the study? Probably file it away to look at in the future while they continue their push to add wind farms along the coastline that borders the North Sea.


Originally published on Cleantechnica

Source: ETH Zurich | 

5 Tips to Reject Candidates Without Turning them off Your Brand

All too often, when candidates apply for roles, they are never contacted if they are unsuccessful. Even attending an interview does not guarantee you any constructive feedback.

When employers do send out rejections, they tend to be impersonal and non-specific, either through a lack of time or from fear​of causing offence.  Failing to give feedback is one of the most common mistakes employers make.

Why bother?
This is especially important for not for profit organisations, as their employees usually overlap to a great extent with their supporters and donors.  You want candidates to feel good about your organisation, even if they are unsuccessful, so they don’t spread negative comments about you among their friends and relations.
Candidates also might not be right for one role, but could be a good match for a future vacancy, or could be a potential employee after they have gained skills and experience elsewhere.  Turning them off your employer brand means you’ll lose them as a potential candidate (and possible donor or advocate) forever.
Finally, if a candidate has taken the time to fill in an application form, or to attend an interview, it’s only polite to let them know the outcome.  It may even save you time in the long run, as you won’t have to field calls or emails from candidates following-up.

  1. When should you do it?
    Best practice is to give a candidate feedback as soon as you are absolutely sure they are not right for the role, and to let them move on as soon as possible.  You don’t need to wait until you have filled the post if you are sure the candidate isn’t right.
    Many employers already know at the end of interview (either on the phone or in person) if a candidate is a definite rejection, and it can be a good idea to let them know right there and then.  Candidates usually have an idea if an interview has not gone well, and most appreciate candour and honest feedback.  By giving a candidate feedback at the end of an interview, you won’t have to spend time following up with them at a later date.
    Very occasionally, the candidate will be able to counter your points, bringing them back into the recruitment process.  You don’t want to miss an ideal candidate just because they may be a nervous or inexperienced interviewee.
    However, most employers still prefer to take some time after an interview to reflect on a candidate’s performance or compare notes, and contact them at a later date.
  2. What should you say?
    The rule of thumb is to make feedback as constructive and personalised as possible.  A standard email may be acceptable for candidates rejected prior to the interview process, but more detailed feedback is important for interviewees.
    There is really no excuse for not sending at least an email to rejected applicants – most email software will allow you to set up a mail merge or autotext that enables you to do this in seconds.  At this stage, all you need to say is that there was a high level of response to the vacancy and that other candidates met the person specification more closely.
  3. Sweeten the pill
    When you’re giving constructive criticism to a candidate, whether on the phone or by mail, it’s always a good idea to start off with the positives and give them some compliments before you tackle the areas where they fell down.  Wherever possible, you should also end by repeating their strong points.  This softens the blow of any negatives and is more likely to leave them with a positive impression of your organisation to take away.
  4. Be honest and specific
    Unsuccessful candidates who have turned up for an interview expect and deserve a clear reason for their rejection, even if it is just “we have other candidates who better matched our requirements”.
    Wherever possible, tell them exactly which areas of the interview they could have handled better – most will already have a good idea of where they struggled.  Make sure your reasons are concrete, not subjective like “I didn’t feel your personality would fit with the rest of the team”.  You also need to avoid any comments that could be misinterpreted, like “I didn’t feel you could handle the workload” that could leave you open to potential charges of discrimination.
    Be candid but gentle in the language you use – being honest is not the same as being blunt and ultimately you want to leave the candidate feeling good about your organisation and about themselves if possible.
    Don’t mention the person you decided to hire in any way, even as a comparison.  Feedback should focus exclusively on the person you are talking to.
  5. Finishing up
    To make the feedback process feel less one-sided and more of a conversation, why not ask the candidate to supply their own comments on the interview.  This can help head off problems with your recruitment process and gives you the chance to improve your interview technique.
    If you are likely to consider the candidate for future opportunities, letting them know you’ll keep their details on file will help soften the blow of the rejection.
    If the candidate has been interviewed, thank them for their time and wish them luck with their future job hunt.
    Always sign-off from a person, not just “HR Manager” or similar, and give them a way to contact you for further details if they need to.


Originally published on TPP


4 Reasons not to Stop Job Search During Summer

With summer now upon us, you may be wondering whether to pause or delay your job search.

While it’s true that the recruiting process can slow down during the summer months, my personal opinion is that the summer is actually a great time to look into new roles.

There are plenty of jobs on the market, a smaller candidate pool, and more free time to produce high-quality applications. Drink all the rose you’d like, but don’t shut down your job search process during these summer months.

Let me elaborate…



There are a few types of jobs that tend to be open during the summer months.

Brand new jobs: Budget approvals for new roles will generally happen at the beginning of the year, but there’s only so much hiring can reasonably happen in the first quarter, which means that many recruiting teams are still going strong in Q2 and Q3.

Replacement roles: Most companies pay out bonuses at the start of the year, which means most bonus-eligible employees stay on board until they’ve received those payments. Once that happens, turnover begins, and companies start seeking people to replace the ones who left.

Entry-level roles: Many companies factor in graduation when hiring for entry-level roles, so there are more junior-level roles on the market during the summer. Even if you are not an entry-level employee, you might consider applying to these roles if you’re making a career change or you’re looking to get your foot in the door at a company you love.



Many people do halt their job searches over the summer, so by keeping yourself in the game, you’re giving yourself an automatic edge.

Since the volume of applicants is lower, recruiters may be more likely to respond to a cold call or email. Companies don’t want to wait to fill critical openings, even if finding candidates is more challenging during the summer.


If you have a current full-time job, you probably find it pretty hard to get out of work to interview. Leaving the office for a few hours is not always ideal, and using excuses to leave early or come in late can feel uncomfortable.

During the summer months, your absence may be a little less obvious. Even if you don’t have summer Fridays, there’s often still a more relaxed atmosphere, which makes it easier to slip away for a few hours if needed.



Depending on your industry, your office may have considerably slower days during the summer. If you do have shorter days, summer Fridays, or a few extra long weekends, you can allocate some extra time to applications.

As always, you should aim for quality over quantity. Long time readers know that a quality application means you’re qualified for the job, you’re excited by the job posting, and you feel strongly about working for that company.

It also means you took the time to customize your cover letter and network with people at the company. This extra attention can make a world of difference in your job search.



All this being said, things will move slower around this time of year. Vacations and long weekends mean that scheduling can be tougher to nail down. The longer it takes to schedule interviews and make decisions, the longer the hiring process will take overall.

Be patient and remember that at the end of the day, you can still end up with a great offer.

For those of you in the process of summer job searching, best of luck!


Originally published on Prepary.com

Renewable Energy Provides More Electricity Than Nuclear Power In US

Renewable energy sources are now providing more electricity than nuclear power for the first time ever in the United States, according to figures issued by the US Energy Information Administration and highlighted by Ken Bossong’s Sun Day Campaign.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its most recent “Electric Power Monthly” report last week, with data for April of this year. While natural gas continues to lead, followed by coal, renewable energy sources — a combined total of biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind — beat out nuclear energy. The figures have shown it swinging in renewables’ favor, and it grew tight over the first third of this year — renewable energy providing 20.20% of US net electrical generation, while nuclear provided 20.75%. However, for two months straight now, renewable energy sources overtook nuclear — 21.60% for renewables and 20.34% for nuclear in March, and 22.98% for renewables and 19.19% for nuclear in April.

Renewable energy output has been growing steadily, and between the first third of 2016 and 2017, renewables increased their share by 12.1%, whereas nuclear output dropped by 2.9% (so far, we’re seeing coal as the biggest loser in terms of overall share).

It was only a fortnight ago that we learned that, for the first time ever, US wind and solar electricity generation exceeded 10% of the monthly total (in March) — not bad, considering that wind and solar accounted for 7% of 2016’s total electricity generated (although, it’s also possible the EIA undersold the real numbers).

Nuclear energy capacity has been dropping off over the past four years, a trend which is expected to continue moving forward as well. Between 2013 and 2016, six separate nuclear reactors permanently ceased production (Crystal River, Kewaunee, San Onofre-2, San Onofre-3, Vermont Yankee, Fort Calhoun) amounting to 4,862 MW of generation capacity gone from the system. Meanwhile, only one new reactor came online during 2016, adding 1,150 MW, and six more reactors are scheduled to close over the next four years.

Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, renewable energy sources are all experiencing strong growth in the United States. Year-over-year growth between the first third of 2016 to 2017, solar has grown by 37.9%, wind by 14.2%, hydropower by 9.5%, and geothermal by 5.3%.

“In light of their growth rates in recent years, it was inevitable that renewable sources would eventually overtake nuclear power,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign.  “The only real surprise is how soon that has happened — years before most analysts ever expected.”

“Renewable energy is now surpassing nuclear power, a major milestone in the transformation of the U.S. energy sector,” said Tim Judson, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service.  “This gulf will only widen over the next several years, with continued strong growth of renewables and the planned retirement of at least 7% of nuclear capacity by 2025. The possible completion of four new reactors will not be enough to reverse this trend, with total nuclear capacity falling by 2,806 MW (3%) through 2025.”


Originally published on Cleantechnica by Joshua S Hill

10 ways to lose a candidate

Have you ever wondered what it is that annoys candidates the most about dealing with recruiters?

There are a number of things you can do to test a candidate’s patience – think Kate Hudson crazy in ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days’. Over the 10 days make sure you introduce them to your split personality, turning commitment levels from 0 to 100 intermittently, depending on their application status. To really get under a candidate’s skin, all you have to do is follow this 10-day plan. (Candidates, maybe you can also relate.)

Day 1: Call a candidate with no agenda

Maybe you’re new to recruitment or simply low on your call times. Try calling a candidate with no agenda, get them to step outside their office for at least five minutes while you watch the seconds tick away and ask them about salary requirements, their previous managers, applications and any other fishing you can do! When the candidate asks about the opportunity you have in mind bluntly tell them that you don’t have one, just keen to find out in case something comes up.

Once you’re done, if you really want to test the candidate you can transfer them to your colleague who you sit next to in the office (and repeat process).

Day 2: Keep them guessing

When the candidate calls in to check whether the advert is describing a company which they’ve already applied to, enter into a Mexican stand off with them and firmly tell them that they can only know the company name if they tell you the company name by process of elimination. If they don’t want to agree to this then assure them that the only way for them to find out is for you to submit their application and let them know if it comes back as a duplication.

Day 3: Go hot and cold like there’s no tomorrow

Make sure you alter the amount of contact and pressure you put on the candidate based on whether it is you or the candidate who is required to complete a task. When you first realise that they could be a good fit for an open role make them feel like the world could end if they don’t leave work to go to a library and email over their CV within the hour. As soon as you have their CV you can take your foot off the pedal and if they chase feedback make them feel as if they’re being clingy, assure them that you have other important things to do and will get back when/if you get feedback!

Day 4: When they call in, get your colleague to say that you’re in a meeting

Still not got that feedback from the client? You basically asked the candidate to book days off from work the following week, assuring them that you would get them an interview slot. You assured them that, as it’s an urgent role you needed the commitment for interview and that you’d sort the rest. It’s the Friday afternoon and you told the candidate to book off the following Tuesday – they’re calling in and as your colleague calls out the candidate’s name it reminds you that you haven’t chased up the client (Oops!). Swerve that call, having your colleague tell them that you’re in a meeting is usually believable.

Day 5: Tell the candidate a different salary

You’ve had a look at the candidate’s CV and you don’t think the client will pay above a certain salary for the candidate’s experience, beat them down on their salary requirement which is lower than they are looking for. Assure them that this is the absolute maximum for the client. Get off the phone to the candidate and immediately send out a blanket email to candidates on the database advertising the role above the discussed salary.

Day 6: Don’t call me, I’ll call you

They sent you their CV to you months ago but there wasn’t anything open at the time which led to a number of ditched calls and lost emails. Now that there’s a live job, by lunchtime you’ve managed to call them, their partner and their company to let them know!

Day 7: Presentation prep, what presentation?

As they call in after their interview to tell you how it went, act surprised when they tell you that they weren’t aware that they were supposed to be doing a presentation, or maybe they were late as they went to the wrong company building (oops!). Plead ignorance, if they question too intensely about this tell them that you have another call and you’ll have to pop them a call back when you’re free.

Day 8: Oversell the job

Tell the candidate that, whilst it may not be the salary or even close to the type of job they told you they are looking for,  definitely emphasise they will be working on cutting edge, world leading stuff that definitely matches their profile. Vouch for the office location (even though you’ve not been there yet… the manager told you it’s nice, though). Short contract? Tell them there’s a 99% chance the company will keep them on even if you have no clue! Let the candidate take the day off work and sit back as they experience the disappointment for themselves!

Day 9: Book that much needed spa day on the day of the candidate’s interview

You’ve had a difficult week, treat yourself and book in a nice R&R day for the day of the candidate’s interview. In your excitement forget to mention this to the candidate so if they call in flustered about directions 5 minutes before the interview it will take at least 5 minutes for them to track down a colleague who is of any use!

Day 10: They didn’t get the job? No need to get in contact then…

No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, I’m sure the candidate will forget about it if you just don’t get back to them anyway. If they chase it up you can always dodge the call and send them a template email saying that you tried to call to give feedback but couldn’t get through, just a one liner saying they were unsuccessful will be fine!

Guilty of the above? Hey, no one’s perfect but don’t expect a Christmas card from said candidate/s next year!


Originally Published on The Under Cover Recruiter

4 Better Ways to Organize Your Resume

You’ve quantified your bullet points, you’ve curated your skills section, and you’ve proofread it from top to bottom. Sounds like your resume’s all set to go, right?

Almost! There’s actually one more step—and that’s putting all the sections in the correct order. Like with everything job-search-related, this should be tailored to the position and your specific situation. To give you an idea of where to start, here are four great ways to organize your resume depending on where you are in your career.

1. For Most of Us

  • Summary Statement (optional)
  • Experience
  • Professional Organizations / Community Involvement (optional)
  • Education
  • Skills and Certifications

This is where most people begin when it comes to organizing a resume. If you’ve had a lot of different relevant experiences, it might make sense to have a summary statement that helps tie it all together (here’s what that looks like), but if it’s all in the same field, it’s not necessary. The section on professional organizations and community involvement is similarly optional.

The best reason for using this layout is that everything is where a recruiter would expect it to be, which means it’s easier to find and skim your qualifications. And this almost always gives you at better shot at getting called in for an interview.

2. For Recent Grads

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Leadership
  • Awards and Activities (optional)
  • Skills

New grads are in a slightly unique position. While there are plenty of supposedly “entry-level” positions that require two to three years of experience, there are also many opportunities geared specifically toward recent graduates. With this in mind, it makes good sense to signal that you’re new to full-time employment by keeping your education at the top.

With that said, you don’t want to sell yourself short by not including your extracurricular activities. There are tons of transferable skills gained though leadership positions in clubs—and you need to make sure to highlight them in a separate section. Read this for a step-by-step guide on your post-college resume.

3. For Career Changers

  • Objective (optional)
  • Relevant Experience
  • Additional Experience
  • Professional Organizations / Community Involvement (optional)
  • Education
  • Skills and Certifications (option to move up)

As if changing careers isn’t hard enough! The trickiest resumes to craft are ones that need to show how experience in one field is relevant and transferable to another. There are a few ways to do this effectively.

You can offer an objective that explains your career change and the strengths you would bring to your new field. (More on that here.) Or, you can split up your experience into “relevant” and “additional” in order to highlight specific experiences. (Pro tip: Instead of “Relevant Experience,” label this section “Editorial Experience,” “Sales Experience,” or whatever makes sense for your new field.) Or, finally, if you have limited relevant experience, you can simply spell out your skills and certifications and place that section above your experience section as a way to drive that home.

4. For Senior-Level Candidates

  • Summary Statement
  • Experience
  • Professional Organizations / Community Involvement (optional)
  • Education
  • Skills and Certifications

You’ll notice that the senior-level resume looks an awful lot like the standard resume layout. You’re not wrong; just because you’re at a higher level doesn’t mean you can get away with a convoluted format. How easy it is to skim your qualifications is important, no matter how far along you are in your career.

Of course, there are some differences. If you’re applying for a senior-level position, you’re usually in the clear for submitting a two-page resume. Also, with so much experience and a two-pager, it’s absolutely necessary for you to have a summary statement at the very top. This isn’t really negotiable anymore.

While you don’t want to deviate too much from what’s expected, you do want to personalize it a bit to your own experience and needs. As a starting point, give one of these layouts a whirl and go from there.


Originally Published on The Muse.com by Lily Zhang

5 Simple Steps to Writing a Compelling Job Advertisement

Writing a job ad is just like writing any advertisement. You need to know your target audience, address them in the language they understand and offer them what they want.

There’s nothing worse than writing an ad for a position you are hoping to fill, posting it online or even running it in a local paper (yes … believe it or not this does still happen!) and then either not receiving any responses at all, or perhaps worse still, being inundated with applications from people who are completely not suitable for the role.

Improving the quality (as opposed to quantity) of your response starts by having a well-written advertisement (often the first impression a candidate has of your organisation) that is really going to target the appropriate audience.

Exactly who is your target audience? What are they doing now? What steps are they taking to look for a new opportunity?

Your job ad needs to speak directly to them. Otherwise you seriously may as well roam the streets like a 19th Century town crier calling out to every man and his dog in the hope that someone hears you.

An effective job ad is not just a job description. It is a carefully crafted message with the aim of attracting the best qualified candidates for your job.

Think of your job ad like a funnel where initially you are casting the net out wide to a broad audience. Then, as the readers make their way through your carefully crafted advertisement, they are either self-ejecting from the process or they are mentally ticking all the boxes because they can actually picture themselves in the role. In the end you really only want a handful of suitable candidates to apply.

What are the key steps to writing a compelling job ad?

Here are some ways to sharpen the focus of your ad, to the point where it only draws in the most qualified candidates:

  1.  Catchy Job Title – Be Specific About the Role
    This will allow candidates to compare what is required with their own skills and experience and discourage those not qualified from applying. The job title (headline) has to be very clear and should in no way deceive or mislead the reader.
    You should also try to incorporate three bullet points containing the “punchiest” (eye catching) benefits or incentives associated with the job. Salary (if it’s within or above market rate) is always a good one. Similarly whether there is on site parking available, the ability to work from home, or proximity to public transport will also grab the reader’s attention. You might even include something along the lines of “modern office; stunning harbour views; team lunch provided every Friday”.
    Provide a salary range. If it’s not in their ball park, they won’t waste their time and yours by applying.
  2. Distinguish ‘Must Haves’ From ‘Nice-to-Haves’
    You also need to clearly articulate whether there are any essential qualifications, desirable skills, or any other “nice to haves” in terms of previous experience required in the role.
  3. Tell Them About Your Company
    Next you need to describe the company – but not in too much detail.
    You don’t want the reader to get excited about the company and then not have any connection to the actual role. Remember it’s a job ad. Above all you want someone who wants to do the job in question. The fact that it’s for your company is an added bonus.
    The information you include in the actual description of the job and the profile of the ideal candidate should come very easily to you – assuming you have written a proper job description and prepared a performance profile for the role. Select the key skills, core competencies and most relevant performance or success measures and include them. This is where you will eliminate those applicants who are not actually suitable for the role.
  4. Talk to the Reader
    When you are writing your advertisement, avoid phrases like “the successful candidate” or “the ideal applicant” since this will make even the most suitable candidate question whether they’re right for the role. Rather say something along the lines of, “In this exciting role you will be working with …” or “Coming from a strong sales background, you will be expected to …”.
    Talk to the reader. Use the word “you”.
  5. Nail the Short Description
    And finally, when it comes to online job ads in particular, you should be aware that on average four times as many people read the short description than actually click through to the ad itself. So put some effort into what you write … even if you only have 140 characters in which to say it.
    After all you don’t just want people reading the snapshot. You actually want people to read your entire advertisement … and of course you then want the best candidates to press “Apply Now”.
    By the way you already have enough on your plate and you probably don’t want to have to send personal rejection emails to all those candidates who don’t make the grade. Right?
    Here’s some suggested wording that you can always include at the bottom of your job ad as a bit of a disclaimer: “Only applicants meeting the strict criteria outlined above will be contacted as part of the shortlisting process”.


Originally and full published on Recruitloop by Paul Slezak

8 Social Media Mistakes That Are Sinking Your Job Search

More than nine out of 10 recruiters now check social media profiles of potential job candidates before they hire them, according to a new study from Jobvite.

That’s probably not surprising, but are you sure you’re making a good impression? About half of employers who research prospective hires on social media have decided not to hire someone based on something they’ve found, according to CareerBuilder data.

Here are a few ways you may be tripping yourself up, according to work experts:

  1. Constantly grumbling. “Complaining across social media reflects negatively on your attitude and perspective,” says Leeyen Rogers, vice president of marketing for JotForm. “No one wants to work in close proximity to people who are consistently in a bad mood and may drag others down.”
  2. Mistiming your tweets. “One often overlooked mistake is posting after-hours activities during clearly defined working hours,” says Kyle Thompson, marketing strategist and owner of Big Fish Consulting. “Talking about the set you just pulled off at the gym or how beautiful the golf course looks at 10 .m. are all flagged with a date and time.”
  3. Criticizing your boss. “One of the biggest mistakes job candidates make is posting negative comments about their former or current employers on social media,” says Val Matta, vice president of business development at CareerShift. “This is a big red flag for other companies and tells them that the job candidate lacks professional discretion and loyalty.”
  4. Posting inappropriate photos. The photos that throw up red flags for a potential employer may not be the ones you’d expect. (Or maybe they are.) For instance, that photo of you holding a firearm in an irresponsible manner? Not a great idea, says Rick Anglada, a retired New Mexico state police lieutenant who conducted countless background investigations on job applicants during his career. Other photo misfires: Pictures that involve partying or alcohol consumption.
  5. Whenever you post a photo or let someone else tag you in one, ask yourself if you’d want your high school principal to see it. “At a previous job, I once checked on a job candidate who had a shirtless selfie as a previous profile picture, making a crude gesture,” says Meagan Nordmann, director of marketing for RiskSense. “It may have been a joke photo from years ago in college, but it was a huge turn-off, and he was not called in for an interview.”
  6. Under-utilizing LinkedIn. “So many people just try to ‘connect’ with every possible person, but I would take a different strategy,” says Bill Fish of ReputationManagement.com. “Be as active as possible within your area of expertise. That could be joining relevant groups, commenting on articles, and doing what you can to make a name for yourself.”
  7. Not having a photo on LinkedIn. “A LinkedIn profile is eleven times more likely to be viewed if there is a picture,” says Kelly Keating, co-owner of Red Letter Resumes. Post a professional headshot with your face clearly visible for best results.
  8. Being forgettable. “The first thing a potential employer will look at is your profile, and if you botch this opportunity to grab her attention, she will be moving on to the next profile,” says Sheryl Johnson, founder of BD-Pro Marketing Solutions. “If she moves on, you’ve lost your chance. It is that important.” Your social media profile is like your virtual handshake, she says. It needs a good picture, a powerful headline and supporting details that describe what makes you different from other job candidates.
  9. Celebrating too soon. Had a great interview? Fantastic. Keep it to yourself on social media. “One candidate took to Twitter and posted a comment indicating that they had a great time meeting our team and that they couldn’t wait to join our agency,” says Alyson Jamison, senior program manager for Stalwart Communications. “We hadn’t yet made a decision and were put off by the fact that they assumed they got the job.” There’s nothing wrong with tweeting the company after a meeting and thanking them for their time, Jamison says, but assuming you’re already on the payroll is a bit much.


Originally edited on Forbes by Kate Ashford

France Gets EU Approval For 3 Schemes To Develop 17 Gigawatts Of Renewable Energy

It has been revealed few weeks ago that the European Commission has approved France’s request to develop three separate schemes that are intended to support the development of more than 17 gigawatts worth of new renewable energy capacity.

The European Commission, the legislative body of the European Union, on May 5 approved three separate schemes for the development of small-scale onshore wind, solar, and sewage gas installations in France, which would allow France to develop more than 17 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity.

The onshore wind scheme will have a provisional budget of €1 billion per year, and will grant support for 15 GW of new capacity over the next 10 years. The projects are intended to be small projects, taking the form of what is called a premium on top of the market price, or in French, complement de remunération, providing support to operators of small-scale onshore installations of less than 6 wind turbines that themselves are no more than 3 megawatts (MW) in capacity.

The second scheme is a solar support scheme for small-scale solar PV installations (below 100 kilowatt) on building roofs. Such installations will receive a feed-in tariff over 20 years, with remuneration varying according to the respective size of the installation and the business model in use — be it injecting all the electricity back into the grid or consuming part of the electricity. The scheme is expected to create up to 2.1 GW of small-scale solar power.

The third and final scheme which was granted approval was a sewage gas support scheme, which could deliver 160 MW of projects, most of which are less than 1 MW in size. The scheme will be open to larger installations, the expectation is nevertheless that support will be provided primarily to small-scale installations. Installations of 500 kilowatts or more will receive support in the form of a premium on top of the market price over 20 years, whereas installations below 500 kilowatts will receive a feed-in tariff over 20 years.


Originally edited by Joshua S. Hill on Cleantechnica

Powering the future: could Europe go dark?

A recent night-time blackout in the de-facto European capital of Brussels raised questions about the robustness of our energy supplies. The power production sector is facing changing demands, while also coming under huge pressure to integrate more renewable sources. So, can we expect the lights to go out more often in the future?

February’s blackout in Brussels left neighbourhoods in darkness, streets lit only by headlights and torches. You may be left thinking it was the symptom of a sick system. Not so, says Belgian transmission system operator Elia. “The power outage in Schaerbeek was caused by a short circuit in one of our high-voltage sub-stations. All measures have been put in place to prevent any recurrence,” says Elia spokeswoman Kathleen Iwens. “The Belgian high voltage grid has a reliability percentage of 99.999%.”

Other voices in Europe’s power industry say there will always be a risk of a blackout, because of efforts to keep bills down for customers. “Of course, we can build power systems that are working 100 percent of the time, but then the cost would be beyond what consumers are probably willing to pay. So, it’s always a balance between the cost of such a power system and the risks of a blackout from time to time,” explains Sonja Berlijn, Research and Development Director at Statnett, a Norwegian state enterprise responsible for the transmission and distribution of high-voltage electricity. “We’re not having more blackouts than we did before, it’s been stable for a very long period of time,” she adds.

But Europe’s energy sector can’t stand still as it looks to meet future supply needs. And, with sights set on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it’s expected to become the engine for a low-carbon economy.

Norway is a leader in renewable energy, with around 99 percent of its generation said to come from such sources – largely hydropower. Statnett will, during the next five years, invest approximately five billion euros in power lines, subsea cables and sub stations – refurbishment and new constructions – to meet the evolving demands. “So, to be able to connect new industry and the new power plants, the electricity will flow in a different way in the network. We’ll need overhead lines to have a stable network and to transmit all this power or energy from one place to another,” says Berlijn.

Both Elia and Statnett are collaborating with the European Best Paths project, which aims to help develop and deploy new technologies to help smooth the wider integration of renewable energy in the future.

By 2050, most of Europe’s needs are expected to be met by green sources. Transmission grids will have to be up to the job of transporting large quantities of wind and solar-generated power and integrating it into micro grids.

But the intermittent nature of these energy sources, and their geography, present some major challenges. “The increase of renewable energy, with fluctuating production levels and partly decentral production, has made the electricity system much more complex to manage,” explains Kathleen Iwens from Elia. “More and more players are involved, a growing number of elements determine if the system will remain in balance or not.”

Iwens continues: “Further market integration at European level will be necessary, and a strengthening of our cross-border capacities, to be able to get cheap renewable energy anywhere in Europe. Also, the grid infrastructure needs to be strengthened to meet these increasingly fluctuating energy levels. Elia is implementing the largest investment programme in its history: 2.5 billion euros in Belgium in the coming five years, dedicated in large part to building interconnections and making sure that renewable sources can get access to the grid.”

Statnett, meanwhile, is creating two new international interconnectors: one to Germany, due to operational in 2020; and the other, to the UK, should be ready in 2021.

“The EU has a target for additional interconnection and will offer financial and administrative help where interconnection is lacking. That should help build links where there are bottlenecks and this is welcome,” says Janet Wood, Editor of the UK-based New Power online energy information and data source.

Wood believes that accommodating the increasing proportion of renewables in the energy mix has so far has been one of the industry’s “great success stories.” But she warns, “as the proportion of renewables increases, there will be more to be done to make sure the system can remain within technical parameters at least cost to consumers.”

Minimising electricity bills, and winning support for more power lines – it seems the green transition won’t be a straightforward sell to Europe’s consumers, even though there’s a growing hunger for renewable energy.

Originally edited on Youris.com

42% of job seekers are lying : ask the right question during reference checking process

It is vital that the right questions are asked during the reference checking process to ensure both time and money are not wasted on a failed hire. It is also an important step in identifying any potential weakness or training needs during their employment.

However, there are pitfalls with traditional, manual reference checking processes if carried out by email and phone in terms of governance, compliance and due diligence. In addition, the traditional manual reference checking process is time-consuming. When we asked over 1,000 applicants aged 18 to 39, who applied for a job in the last two years, more than 70 per cent admitted to taking advantage of flaws in the process to better their chances of landing a job.

Outdated methods have made it far too easy for candidates to position themselves favourably. Our survey also found job seekers were willing to go even further to improve their employment chances, by deliberately lying (42 per cent) and asking referees to lie on their behalf (23 per cent). The most common way for applicants to mislead bosses is by providing the details of an inappropriate referee, asking someone they didn’t work closely with (11 per cent), a friend (16 per cent) or even a family member (11 per cent).

Whilst candidates are manipulating their applications to improve their chances of securing the job, the inconsistencies and inefficiencies in the employer’s recruitment process is limiting the success of the reference checking process. As part of this process, it is important to ensure that the right questions are asked to a referee from the outset.

The questions asked must determine the relationship between the candidate and referee, help the employer understand the applicant and accurately assess the candidate’s previous performance. Once you know how the applicant and the referee are connected, you’ll be better able to judge how reliable and relevant the information they’re providing is and how it relates to their new role.

Verifying whether the applicant’s previous job title, responsibilities, remuneration and dates of employment are accurate will help employers understand the candidate. Asking a referee to describe the candidate’s overall performance, identify their core competencies or any areas that they should focus on and establish why they left their previous organisation will allow an accurate assessment of previous performance.

However, if you only ask a referee a single question, it should be whether they would re-employ the candidate. This can tell you so much about how they were perceived and the quality of their work.

It is also important to ensure the questions being asked avoid discriminating the candidate. Inconsistencies and lack of experience driving the process led to 29 per cent of those that had acted as a referee being asked discriminatory questions about the individual they were providing details for. Questions including age (15 per cent), whether the candidate has children (11 per cent), their marital status (ten per cent) and their sexual orientation (seven per cent) are still high.

A lack of standardisation in reference checking leaves organisations open to risk. Getting the process right is absolutely critical to ensuring you get the best people through the door, before they go elsewhere.


Originally edited on Realbusiness by David Haines

6 questions to ask before the end of an interview

An interview is a two-way street. Your potential employer is asking you questions to learn about you and your skills. In return, you need to prepare questions to ask your potential employer about the position, your boss, and the company in order to be sure that this is the right job for you.

In addition, if you don’t prepare smart questions, you run the risk of the interviewer assuming you aren’t interested or haven’t prepared.

Your opportunity to ask questions usually comes at the end of the interview. You must prepare at least two questions that demonstrate your interest in the position, your drive to excel in the role, and the fact that you’ve done some homework (researched company, industry, department).

So how do you come up with these smart questions that show you’re the perfect hire? As you conduct your pre-interview research, make note of topics that you’d like to ask about.

Keep in the mind that the best questions to ask are focused, open-ended question.

Avoid yes or no questions and avoid questions that are so broad that they are difficult to answer. You don’t want to stump the interviewer when you’re trying to make a good impression and develop rapport.

Still not sure what to ask? We have some proven examples of good questions to ask during a job interview:
  1. Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
    This is your chance to learn as much as possible about the role so you can decide whether this is a job you really want. By learning more about the day-to-day tasks, you will also gain more insight into what specific skills and strengths are needed and you can address any topics that haven’t already been covered.
  2. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
    This question can often lead to valuable information that’s not in the job description. It can help you learn about the company culture and expectations so you can show that you are a good fit.
  3. Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?
    If you plan to be in this role for several years, make sure the company is growing so you can grow with the company.
  4. Who do you consider your top competitor, and why?
    You should already have an idea of the company’s major competitors, but it can be useful to ask your interviewer for their thoughts. Naturally, they will be able to give you insight you can’t find anywhere else.
  5. What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now?
    On the flip side, you may want to ask about challenges. This question can help you uncover trends and issues in the industry and perhaps identify areas where your skills could save the day.
  6. How do I compare with the other candidates you’ve interviewed for this role?
    This is a slightly risky choice. You don’t want to put the interviewer in an awkward position. However, if things are going well and you’ve built a strong rapport, this question can help you see if there are any concerns or issues that you could address to show why you’re the best person for the job.

Remember: Don’t ask about salary or benefits just yet. Wait until you are in the final steps of the interview process to negotiate with the hiring manager or an HR representative.


Original and full text edited on Biginterview.com by Pamela Skillings


New North Sea Wind Power Hub Could Supply 70-100 Million People

Three European transmission system operators have signed a trilateral agreement this week that intends to develop a large renewable European electricity system in the North Sea, the North Sea Wind Power Hub, which could supply as many as 70 to 100 million Europeans with renewable energy by 2050.

Announced this week, three European transmission system operators — TenneT TSO B.V. in the Netherlands, Energinet in Denmark, and TenneT TSO GmbH in Germany — have signed a trilateral agreement for the development of a large renewable energy European electricity system in the North Sea. Specifically, the broad consortium will look to investigate the possibility of developing one or more “Power Link Islands” — a large offshore connection point for thousands of future wind turbines (as seen below).

Such a North Sea Wind Power Hub, developed at an optimal location in shallow waters and amidst optimal wind conditions, could eventually supply up to 70 to 100 million Europeans with renewable energy by 2050.


“Building one or more artificial islands in the middle of the North Sea sounds like a science fiction project, but it could actually be a very efficient and affordable way for the North Sea countries to meet the future demand for more renewable electricity,” added Torben Glar Nielsen, CTO of Energinet.

Such a project could end up accommodating up to 70 gigawatts (GW) to 100 GW of offshore wind power, and all electricity generated could be distributed and transmitted via direct-current connections to all countries bordering the North Sea — the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Belgium — which would also allow the countries to trade electricity as necessary.

“This cooperation with Energinet is an invitation to TSOs from North Sea countries as well as other infrastructure companies to join the initiative,” said Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT. “The ultimate goal is to build a solid coalition of companies that will make the European energy transition feasible and affordable.”

Next on the blocks is the need to further investigate the details and potential for one or more Power Link Islands. However, further progress is a long way off — as far away as 2035.

The news was welcomed by the European trade body for wind energy, WindEurope. “This is a good initiative,” said WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson. “Anything that drives future volumes of projects for offshore wind energy is welcome.”

Originally published on Cleantechnica

Save time and money by avoiding employee turnover

High employee turnover hurts a company’s bottom line. Experts estimate it costs upwards of twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. And churn can damage morale among remaining employees.

Here are some ways to lower turnover in your workplace:

  • Hiring the right people from the start, most experts agree, is the single best way to reduce employee turnover. Interview and vet candidates carefully, not just to ensure they have the right skills but also that they fit well with the company culture, managers and co-workers.
  • Setting the right compensation and benefits is important too. Work with human resources to get current data on industry pay packages, and get creative when necessary with benefits, flexible work schedules and bonus structures.
  • Review compensation and benefits packages at least annually. Pay attention to trends in the marketplace and have HR update you.
  • Pay attention to employees’ personal needs and offer more flexibility where you can. Consider offering telecommuting, compressed schedules or on-site or back-up day care.
  • Bolster employees’ engagement. Employees need social interaction and a rewarding work environment. They need respect and recognition from managers, and a challenging position with room to learn and move up.
  • Managers often overlook how important a positive work environment is for staffers, and how far meaningful recognition and praise from managers can go to achieve that. Awards, recognition and praise might just be the single most cost-effective way to maintain a happy, productive work force.
    Simple emails of praise at the completion of a project, monthly memos outlining achievements of your team to the wider division, and peer-recognition programs are all ways to inject some positive feedback into a workforce. Also, consider reporting accomplishments up the chain. A thank you note to the employee is good. Copying higher-ups makes that note even more effective.
    To make it easier to identify accomplishments, ask your team for weekly or monthly updates of their achievements. Ask for specific numbers, examples or emails of praise from co-workers or customers.
  • Outline challenging, clear career paths. Employees want to know where they could be headed and how they can get there. Annual reviews or midyear check-ins are one obvious venue for these discussion, but you should also encourage workers to come to you with career questions and wishes throughout the year.

Originally published on The Wallstreet Journal

The interview questions that will trick you

Savvy hiring managers have honed their ability to ask the fewest number of questions yielding the greatest depth of information.

One way they do this is by asking seemingly simple questions that get you to reveal information you may have been trying to conceal; queries that break through the traditional interview noise and clutter, and get to the raw you.

In other words: questions designed to trick you.

  1. Can you tell me about yourself?
    Why do they ask this?  They ask to determine how the candidate sees themselves as it pertains to the position. “The employer wants to hear that the candidate did their homework,” says Tina Nicolai, executive career coach and founder of Resume Writers’ Ink. “The interviewer is also listening for a level of confidence in how well the candidate portrays herself through the information that is communicated. Additionally, the interviewer is listening for strong behavioral competencies which help determine a right fit with the job. If this opening answer is weak, it can send the remainder of the interview into a tailspin or cut the interview short.”
    What makes it tricky? It can tempt you to talk about your personal life — which you shouldn’t! “Most candidates are not versed in seeing this as a trick question, so they may answer by speaking from a personal perspective: ‘I have three kids, I’m married, etc,'” says Nicolai. “Believe it or not, even the most seasoned candidate falls for this question especially when prompted by the interviewer to elaborate.”
    What response are they looking for?  A focused, laser-sharp answer conveying your value to the organization and department. “The employer wants to hear about your achievements broken down into two or three succinct bullet answers that will set the tone of the interview,” she explains. Remember, what we tell people about us is what they hear. So, stay sharp and convey your top strengths when answering this question.
    For example, you can try something like: “I am known for turning around poor performance teams as a result of my innate skills in analyzing problems and seeing solutions very quickly.” This statement tells the interviewer that the candidate has analytical skills, problem-solving ability, sizing up talent skills, and leadership ability to turnaround business performance, among other things.
    “At least four behavioral skills are conveyed in this simple response, and it sets the tone for the interviewer to ask more targeted questions,” Nicolai says.
  2. How would you describe yourself in one word?
    Why do they ask this? The question is likely being asked to elicit several data points: your personality type, how confident you are in your self perception, and whether your work style is a good fit for the job, explains Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,”
    What makes it tricky? This question can be a challenge, particularly early on in the interview, because you don’t really know what personality type the manager is seeking. “There is a fine line between sounding self-congratulatory versus confident, and humble versus timid,” Taylor says. “And people are multifaceted, so putting a short label on oneself can seem nearly impossible.”
    What response are they looking for? Proceed cautiously, warns Taylor. “If you know you’re reliable and dedicated, but love the fact that your friends praise your clever humor, stick with the conservative route.”
    If you’re applying for an accounting job, the one word descriptor should not be “creative,” and if it’s an art director position, you don’t want it to be, “punctual,” for example.
    “Most employers today are seeking team players that are levelheaded under pressure, upbeat, honest, reliable, and dedicated,” she adds. “However, it would be a mistake to rattle off adjectives that you think will be well received. This is your opportunity to describe how your best attributes are a great match for the job as you see it.”
  3. Can you name three of your strengths and weaknesses?
    Why do they ask this? The interviewer is looking for red flags and deal breakers, such as inability to work well with coworkers and/or an inability to meet deadlines.
    “Each job has its unique requirements, so your answers should showcase applicable strengths, and your weaknesses should have a silver lining,” Taylor says. “At the very least, you should indicate that negative attributes have diminished because of positive actions you’ve taken.”
    What makes it tricky? You can sabotage yourself addressing either. Exposing your weaknesses can hurt you if not ultimately turned into positives, she says. “Your strengths may not align with the skill set or work style required for the job. It’s best to prepare for this question in advance, or risk landing in a minefield.”
    What response are they looking for? Hiring managers want to know that your strengths will be a direct asset to the new position and none of your weaknesses would hurt your ability to perform. “They are also looking for your ability to self assess with maturity and confidence,” says Taylor.
  4. Why do you want to work here?
    Why do they ask this? Interviewers ask this because they want to know what drives you the most, how well you’ve researched them, and how much you want the job.
    What makes it tricky? “Clearly you want to work for the firm for several reasons,” Taylor says. “But just how you prioritize them reveals a lot about what is important to you.”
    You may be thinking to yourself, “I’m not getting paid what I’m worth,” or, “I have a terrible boss,” or, “All things being equal, this commute is incredibly short” — none of which endears you to the hiring manager.
    “You’re also being tested on your level of interest for the job,” she says.
    What response are they looking for? Hiring managers want to see that you’ve taken the time to research the company and understand the industry.
    They also want to know that you actually want this job (and not just any job); that you have a can-do attitude; that you are high energy; that you can make a significant contribution; that you understand their mission and goals; and that you want to be part of that mission.
  5. What kind of boss and coworkers have you had the most and least success with, and why?
    Why do they ask this? Interviewers are trying to ascertain if you generally have conflicts with people and/or personality types. “Secondarily, they want to know how you can work at your best,” says Taylor.
    What makes it tricky? You run the risk of appearing difficult by admitting to unsuccessful interactions with others, unless you keep emotions out of it. You may also inadvertently describe some of the attributes of your prospective boss. If you say, “I had a boss who held so many meetings that it was hard to get my work done,” and your interviewer turns beet red — you might have hit a nerve.
    What response are they looking for? “They want to hear more good than bad news,” Taylor explains. “It’s always best to start out with the positive and downplay the negatives.” You don’t want to be evasive, but this is not the time to outline all your personality shortcomings either. Here you have an opportunity to speak generally about traits that you admire in others, yet appear flexible enough to work with a variety of personality types.
    For example: “I think I work well with a wide gamut of personalities. Some of my most successful relationships have been where both people communicated very well and set mutual expectations upfront.”
  6. Tell me about a time you disagreed with a company policy.
    Why do they ask this?  To determine your decision-making ability, ease of working with others, and most importantly, whether or not the candidate will speak up if they see an area in need of improvement.
    What makes it tricky? “To say, ‘I’ve never disagreed with a company policy’ is tough to believe from even the most amenable employee,” Nicolai says. “This also sends a message that you may just accept anything that you are told to do without thinking through all possible outcomes.” While companies want leaders and employees to follow the rules, they also want people who are going to review potential outdated policies and have the courage to push back and propose changes to maintain a current, competitive edge and productive workplace.
    What response are they looking for? Offer up a real situation that points out a logical and business reason that you were in opposition of a policy, she suggests. “Focus on how your idea to rework the policy was beneficial to the company as a whole. Speak up on the research that you conducted, the facts that you presented, and the outcome of your attempts to have the policy re-written.”

Originally published on msn

Words that can ruin your CV

There are three things that make a great resume: An impressive content, beautiful and neat design and perfect wording. The first part you will have to take care of yourself – by getting experience and skills that will make you stand out. The second thing you don’t have to worry about because with the help of Kickresume you can design your kick-ass resume in minutes.

When it comes to words in resume, that’s where the thing gets tricky. You have to be careful about your choice of words. Many phrases that were once popular in resume writing became cliché buzzwords that we don’t recommend using. They’ve been overused so many times the hiring managers simply got tired of reading them all over again so if you want to stand out, keep them out of your resume. On the other hand, there are some power words the recruiters strongly advise to use to make you look more competent and professional.

When picking the right words for your resume, you should take the job description into account, too. From how the job offer is advertised, you can clearly identify several keywords crucial for the position. Select the most important keywords describing the ideal candidate and repeat them on your resume because these are the specific characteristics you should have to get an interview invitation.

Based on the recent study conducted by 2,200 hiring managers, we’ve put together the list of the most efficient words in resume together with the least functional ones. Get inspired and polish up your resume. Good luck!

Discover what are the best and the worst words to use in your resume.

Don’t include sweeping terms of self-praise, like:

  • team-player
  • go-getter
  • self-motivated

Rather describe your accomplishments specifically with words like:

  • improved
  • created
  • increased

and a specific explanation including numbers


The worst words to use on your resume

  • Best of breed
  • Go-getter
  • Thnk outside of the box
  • Synergy
  • Go-to-person
  • Thought leadership
  • Value add
  • Results-driven
  • Team player
  • Bottom-line
  • Hard worker
  • Strategic thinker
  • Dynamic
  • Self-motivate
  • Detail-oriented
  • Proactively
  • Track record

The words hiring managers want to see:

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Trained/mentored
  • Managed
  • Created
  • Resolved
  • Volunteered
  • Influenced
  • Increased/decreased
  • Ideas
  • Negotiated
  • Launched
  • Revenue/profits
  • Under budget
  • Won


Originally edited by Katka Mrvova on Blog.kickresume.com

The ONE thing candidates want out of the recruiting process (apart from beside getting the coveted job):

What do you think your candidates really want from the recruiting process? To be hired, of course. But they also want your attention. In a world of increasingly loud voices and unparalleled customization, job seekers expect not just to be heard, but also to get a personalized experience. What’s more, they know there may be dozens or hundreds of people applying, but they still want to know where they stand in the process.

We can think of this as visibility, or the fact that applicants want a peek into what recruiters know about their status.

An expectation of visibility among candidates shouldn’t surprise recruiters today. For one thing, recruiters themselves have a high expectation of feedback and follow-ups from job seekers after every stage of the application process. Today, technology allows candidates to demand and has enabled them to expect the same level of attention in return.

The trouble is, many candidates are not getting the visibility they crave. And that can have lasting impacts on a job seeker’s perception of your organization as an employer. In this post we will explore the concept of visibility as it relates to the candidate experience, and discuss ways to incorporate it into your talent acquisition strategy.

Why Candidates Expect Visibility in the Recruiting Process

Visibility for job seekers in the recruiting process isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is undoubtedly increasing in importance. Previous generations of candidates also wanted feedback from recruiters when they didn’t get a job, or they weren’t invited for an interview. But the formerly dominant forms of communication–snail mail and phone calls–limited the speed and frequency with which candidates could reach out to employers. No one wanted to be that guy who called HR every day, just to check on the status of their application.

Today, candidates have a slew of digital communications to choose from if they want to follow up with a recruiter. Email, LinkedIn messages, tweets, Gchat–we could go on, but the point is, any of these communications offers varying levels of formality, in a fraction of a second. So if a candidate can send you their updated resume or like your company’s latest Facebook post, virtually in an instant, why can’t you respond to them just as easily?

A typical argument from the recruiter’s point of view is that there simply isn’t enough time to interact with every applicant, at every stage of the hiring process. Indeed, some employers clearly state that applicants who do not make it through to the next step will not be contacted, or their rejection triggers an automated email. While most candidates would probably understand the reasons for this lack of personalized responses, it stands in sharp contrast to the tailored messages they get from other services.

Want to know where your Uber driver is, and what their name is? Just have a look in the app. Worried that your package from Amazon won’t arrive in time? You can track it instantly. Wondering how long your food delivery will take? Seamless will text you your meal’s status and arrival time. Call it what you will–customization, personalization, visibility–but the trend is everywhere, and your applicants know it. It makes sense to think of this in the context of candidate experience.

Visibility and the Application Process

In case you need further evidence that increasing visibility is what your candidates want, LinkedIn has conducted multiple surveys covering the issue. Here’s what the professional social network found:

  • 59% of professionals want to hear from you whenever you have an update
  • 94% of professionals want interview feedback even if they are rejected
  • But only 41% of professionals have received interview feedback after a rejection

LinkedIn also found that a majority of candidates would rather receive any good news by phone, but any bad news by email. Providing feedback to a rejected candidate via email isn’t always easy, but an overwhelming majority of applicants understand the value of hearing that constructive criticism. Taking the time to let a candidate know why they didn’t make it past the interview stage can help them become better candidates, and helps turn their rejection into a more positive experience.

In fact, 83% of respondents also told LinkedIn that a negative interview experience could change their mind about a role. And these candidates are four times more likely to consider you as an employer in the future if you provide them with constructive feedback. Providing this visibility for candidates, whether you hire them or not, is an easy and underutilized way to improve your organization’s reputation as an employer and the quality of candidate experience delivered.

It’s important to note, visibility in the process doesn’t have to be limited to whether or not a candidate got the job, or feedback on how they performed in the interview process. Some companies, like (none other than) Google go so far as to show a personalized workflow of where you are in the each phase of the hiring process on their career site.

Incorporating Visibility into Your Recruitment Strategy

So how can you improve visibility in your recruiting process? Some companies go above and beyond to get in touch with potential employees. If you have the technology for unique communications already available, think of different ways you can send updates or notifications to applicants. But visibility doesn’t have to be overly complex. A simple phone call or email, explaining why the candidate wasn’t chosen, will take a few minutes but leave a lasting impression.

Personalized feedback is easier said than done if you have hundreds of candidates at a time, but it’s something to think about…which leads us to the next point.

Don’t underestimate the importance of social media engagement. Connecting with candidates on LinkedIn, even if you don’t hire them or get a chance to speak with them virtually or on the phone, will expand your network of potential talent, and maintain goodwill between your organization and the job seeker. Stacy Zapar is a recruiter with LinkedIn connections well into the five figure territory. Her secret? Paying it forward and nurturing relationships, even if she doesn’t have a job for candidates. She’s found a way to provide some transparency while also building her network.

Increasing visibility may take time out of your day, but the benefits to your candidate experience and your talent pipeline will be worth it.


Originally edited by Emily Smykal on Jibe.com

100% Renewable energy: Australia can do it !

The Australian government’s chief scientific body says there is no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables for the national electricity grid, and levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as just “trivial” in current energy systems.

The CSIRO estimate was made in the Senate select committee into the “Resilience of electricity infrastructure in a warming world,” which is providing some fascinating insight that we will be reporting on (because mainstream media won’t).

Of course, the whole proposition of the committee was considered absurd by One Nation Senator and climate conspiracy theorist Malcolm Roberts, who repeatedly insisted that global warming was not happening and constantly badgered the energy experts on this point.

But what did emerge was a general consensus that the electricity grid was in the midst of a rapid and massive transformation, and a change of rules and regulations could likely accelerate that transformation and make it cheaper.

And amid the toxic political debate about the level of renewable energy, specifically wind and solar, that can be accommodated into the system, CSIRO energy division’s principal research scientist Paul Graham said there were no barriers to 100 per cent renewable energy, and lower levels could be easily absorbed.

This is despite contentious claims from conservatives, and many in mainstream media that even having 23.5 per cent renewables (the 2020 target) would “force feed more … instability into the grid,” as the AFR editorialised on Wednesday.

Graham’s testimony indicated that such fears and scare mongering were bunkum.

“We could probably add that introducing renewables at a share of 10, 20 or 30 per cent is fairly trivial on the basis that the existing generation capacity has a lot of flexibility to deal with the variability,” Graham told the committee, noting that existing back-up and redundancy for the current coal-dominated grid was already in place.

“Traditional approaches around peaking gas, using the dispatchability of coal and the interconnection between states allow renewables to contribute to the system. That has generally been the approach in most states.”

Graham said the challenges could start to emerge when the penetration of wind and solar move above 40 per cent –as it has in South Australia, which explains why it is focusing on storage and is finally getting traction on its call for changes to energy market rules.

“When we do modelling where we increase the renewable penetration above around 40 per cent of the energy delivered (where South Australia is now) that starts to force out some of that existing dispatchable generation, and then we find that you need to add other technologies to support renewables,’ Graham said.

“That can include storage, as we have been talking about, and there are a number of different storage technologies.

“It can also mean adding other dispatchable renewables. We often think about solar thermal as a dispatchable renewable, and there are geothermal technologies.”

And Graham, a co-author of a landmark report with the country’s network owners last year that showed high levels of renewable energy could be incorporated into the grid, and produce a $100 billion cheaper outcome than business as usual, says renewables could go much, much higher.

“When we have done modelling that goes to very high renewable penetration, getting close to or up to 100 per cent, we have done calculations of very, very high battery deployment to achieve that, and we are also using technologies like biogas, which is dispatchable, and dispatchable biomass.

“But I should add that that takes care of the sort of energy balancing on a half-hour basis. There are also other issues around the need for frequency control and so forth, where you need additional technologies that provide inertia.

“That could include things like synchronous condensers and more advanced inverters for the battery technologies, and so forth.

“So generally there appear to be engineering solutions for lots of different levels of renewable penetration. The only uncertainty is that we have not actually seen them deployed, but, in theory and in simulation and modelling, there do appear to be solutions going forward to achieve whatever is desirable.”

So, the committee chair asked, technical capability is not the issue?

Graham : “Yes, that is correct. There are some aspects of that that we have not explored and some aspects that we have. A lot of that is outlined in the recent work with the Energy Networks Australia report around the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap, where we have highlighted things such as that it would be useful if we had price signalling and communication between technologies down at the distribution end of the market and up into the wholesale market. There are number of barriers that could be removed that would support a higher penetration of renewables. I will not try to list them all, but certainly I take the direction of your question, and the answer is yes.”

These comments go to the market rules that include changes such as the 30-minute settlement rule, which most experts say favours incumbent gas generators at the expense of fast-response new technology such as battery storage. The incumbent generators are furiously opposing this proposed rule change.

Several of the Senators on the committee, including Roberts and Liberal Senator Chris Back, expressed their complete distaste for wind energy, and held to their pre-conceived ideas that only fossil fuel “baseload” could deliver reliability and security.

Roberts was quickly disabused of this notion by energy expert Dr Matthew Stocks, from the College of Engineering and Computer Science, at Australian National University, in this exchange.

Senator Roberts: Like Senator Back, I totally oppose wind generation and, if ever solar becomes competitive, then that will be ideal for me when I look at the overall lifespan of the solar technology. Would you all agree that stable base load supply is essential?

Dr Stocks: No, I would not. My submission quite clearly points out that the system could provide a stable balanced system with a combination of wind and PV and pumped hydro storage. I take a very different position: base load is not essential.


Originally edited by Giles Parkinson on Reneweconomy.com.au

Renewable energy : Fastest job creator in US

Despite the aggressive rhetoric of the new presidential administration against green energy causes, experts are not worried about the future of the green energy market. According to data provided in a research conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps, the solar and wind industries are each creating new jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S economy. Overall, renewable energy jobs in the U.S. have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% since 2012, rising to 769,000 in 2015.

The report indicates that, “America’s transition into an environmentally sustainable economy has been accelerated by investments in workforce development made by corporations, philanthropic foundations, and non-profit organizations.”

Not only is the renewable energy economy creating jobs faster than the fossil fuel industry, it also creates more jobs per dollar invested. For example, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst estimate that investments in renewable energy generate roughly three times more direct and indirect jobs than comparable investments in fossil fuels. The report claims.

The renewable energy economy spans a wide variety of job types and is distributed throughout all 50 states. In the solar energy sector, 80% of jobs are demand-side services, most of which are inherently local jobs that cannot be outsourced. Wind industry jobs are divided more evenly among three primary activities—manufacturing (21,000 jobs); project development, transportation and installation (38,000 jobs); and operations and maintenance (29,000 jobs).  While wind and solar resources and policy environments vary across the U.S., most states boast a strong job market for at least one of these leading technologies.

Originally edited on FinancialBuzz

30 seconds to check a Resume

The work of resume review starts well before applicant resumes fill your inbox. Reviewing a resume starts with a job description or role profile so you know broadly what the job entails. Part of the job description, in an effective job description, details the qualifications and experience of the candidate you seek to fill the job.

Determine a Salary Range

Then, determine the salary range by using a market pay study and the additional salary research materials you have on hand.

Better candidates will inquire about the pay range before they invest a lot of time in your company. Be prepared with an appropriate response.

Develop a Key Qualifications List or Candidate Profile

This process gets you started. The next key is for Human Resources staff and the hiring manager to narrow down all of this information. Create a list that spells out your most important candidate selection criteria. This is often called a candidate profile. You’ll want to list:

  • the key characteristics or traits,
  • the most important skills,
  • the most relevant experience
  • the desired educational level, and
  • the other most important factors that you will consider in candidate selection.

This candidate profile is a list of key experiences, skills, traits, and education and is essential for reviewing resumes.

 It forces discipline into the resume review process and gives you valuable criteria to use in resume review, and later, in candidate comparison. The list also serves as the basis for the job interview questions you will use in screening and in-person interviews with candidates for your job.

Want to know the specific steps in resume review?

The preparation for resume review enables you to get down to the serious job of applicant resume review quickly.

Set aside a block of time whenever possible. Part of resume screening is comparing one candidate’s qualifications and credentials to those listed in the other resumes you have received. Additionally, in this day of electronic applications, resume screening has taken on several new dimensions.

Some of the traditional devices used to screen resumes no longer bear the weight they once did. These include the quality of the stationery, the design of the actual document, and the envelope in which the documents arrived. Still viable for mailed-in resumes, these are useless for electronic applications, especially applications from job boards that tend to lose their formatting.

Other resume screening techniques never go out of style, including the search for proper spelling and grammar. Your quick, first skim of the resume should yield an overall impression of your candidate’s carefulness and attention to detail.

Potential employees, who make careless mistakes in application materials such as resumes, do not warrant the attention that a more careful candidate deserves. Assuming the candidate’s resume passes an initial inspection, this is my recommended process for reviewing resumes.

Steps in Resume Review

  • Read the customized cover letter. Look especially for a flawless presentation, correct spelling and grammar, and the applicant’s attention to detail. What – there is no cover letter? This is the downside of electronic resume spamming. Receiving countless, usually unqualified, applicant resumes, occurs following every job posting. The tip off? Usually, unqualified applicants fail to write a cover letter. Choose, or choose not, to continue your resume review at this point.
  • Scan the resume to obtain an overall impression of the applicant. Look especially for a flawless presentation, correct spelling and grammar, and their attention to detail. Paper resumes must pass the “feel” test.
  • In the first skim, look for the easy-to-find qualifications. (As an example, if you are requiring a college degree, does the applicant have one?) If not, reject the resume or place it in your “maybe” meets qualifications pile or electronic folder.
  • Read the description of what the candidate says they are looking for in their next job. Is the statement customized to your job or does it describe any job in the world? As an example, I generally reject resumes that make statements such as, “I seek a challenging opportunity to utilize my skills with a progressive employer who will provide opportunities for growth.” Honestly, you’ve got to do better than to offer this type of generality to pass the resume screen.
  • Look for a summary statement of qualifications and experience. If the candidate has taken the time and customized their summary for your job, this enables you to quickly find the characteristics you seek from your role profile. These resumes quickly hit the “further review” pile. Applicants also need to recognize that more and more larger organizations are scanning resumes into data bases. When a job becomes available, resumes are scanned for relevant keywords. Make the keywords easy to find.
  • Review the most recent employers and the applicant’s stated experience, accomplishments, and contributions. At this point, you must have found significant cross-over between the applicant’s resume and your requirements. Place the resume in your “to be reviewed further” folder unless you have encountered problems. Red flags at this point in your resume review, that are unexplained on the resume or in the cover letter, include:–employment gaps,
    –evidence of decreasing responsibility,
    — evidence of a career that has reached a plateau or gone backwards,
    –short term employment at several jobs, and
    –multiple shifts in career path.
  • Review your selected resumes against your criteria and each other.
  • Telephone screen the seemingly qualified candidates. Schedule interviews with the candidates who pass your initial screen.

The more you review resumes, the better your resume review will become. With practice, your resume review may be called gone in twenty seconds, or even, gone in ten seconds, while your resume review continues to yield great candidates.

Originally edited by Susan M. Heathfield on The Balance

5 tips to succeed in a phone screening interview

Often, after submitting an online job application, you may get a request from the company for an initial phone screen interview with someone in the human resources department. While you are happy to get a response, you might at the same time feel frustrated and think to yourself: “If only I could just talk to the hiring manager! Why do I need to speak with some junior HR person who doesn’t have a clue about all the technical aspects of the job and how well I can do?”

The reality is that except when you can access a hiring manager directly through networking, you’ll likely have to jump through the hurdle of a phone screen interview conducted by someone in the HR department.

When preparing for a phone interview, consider the following points .

Phone interviews begin to separate the wheat from the chaff

Hiring managers rarely, if ever, have time to sort through all the resumes that are submitted. It makes sense for them to review the “must haves,” “would be good to haves” and disqualifying factors with an HR person who will begin the process.

It’s likely that the HR person will be well-trained in avoiding the pitfalls of discriminating against people in any protected class. And they can do an excellent job of separating those clearly not appropriate from the people who deserve more in-depth consideration.

Don’t expect to get into great detail about what you’ve done or the job at this time. Remember that there is a lot of ground to cover, but these interviews typically last only 20 to 30 minutes, so don’t spend too much time on any one question or answer.

Interviewers sell the company to the candidates

Companies are concerned about their own employer brand. There is always stiff competition to make it into one of those “Top X Places to Work” lists. And given the current dip in unemployment, employers are now in a position where they need to compete to get the top talent to join their workforce.

When you are given the opportunity to ask questions at the end of an interview, this is a great time to inquire about the corporate culture, why the interviewer enjoys working at the company and what kinds of personalities tend to be the most successful at the company. You can then respond by drawing parallels to your background and actions that show you are that kind of person.

Phone screeners need to figure out if you are on a fishing expedition

Employers don’t typically want to go through the hiring process with a candidate, and then find out that they need to compete with alternate offers, or even worse, have you pull the rug from under them by taking another offer when they have finally figured out that you are the perfect person for them.

Make sure you answer the question, “Why do you want to work here?” before it is even asked. It’s not advisable to answer the phone call inviting you to interview by asking, “What company are you from again? I’ve applied to so many, I can’t keep them all straight.”

Also be prepared to say something that explains your rationale for applying to any job that is particular to that company.

Phone screeners evaluate your communication skills

Even if you have a stellar resume, employers may wonder if you wrote it yourself and how well you can expand on any of its content. What is the quality of your English, your ability to think on your feet, listen to questions and respond appropriately? Can you make complex or technical aspects of your job understandable to someone who isn’t at your level?

Never refer an interviewer to your resume for the answer to a question. They’ve already read it and likely have it in front of them. If they ask you to explain something that is there, chances are they just want to see how well you speak about what you’ve written.

Talk clearly, don’t ramble and answer the question that is asked rather than pivoting to make some other point. Check in along the way to ask if this is the kind of information, with the right level of specificity, that the interviewer wants to hear about.

Compensation discussions begin at the beginning

As much as you might want to defer the salary question, it invariably comes up sooner rather than later. Don’t be taken aback. Of course it is an attempt to elicit a low number from you, given that you are at your most vulnerable at this early stage of discussion.

But it does more. It enables an employer to benefit from the knowledge of how your current or recent employer valued your contributions. It probably doesn’t mean much if you are a couple thousand dollars higher or lower. But it’s hard to convince a perspective employer that you deserve an executive compensation level when your current or recent salary is that of a mid-manager level.

Do your best to avoid naming a specific salary target. Instead, offer to share your current or recent salary, always with a caveat: “This is a different role in a different company. Of course I’d like more, but what is most important to me is that I’m a good fit for the position.”

Originally edited by Arnie Fertig on U.S.news.com

Giant Wind Turbines Now At Eight Megawatts

News arrived in late December from the waters off the United Kingdom that the first of MHI Vestas (a joint venture between Vests and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) 8.0 megawatt (MW) turbines is now delivering commercial power to Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension. The entire 258 MW project – to be completed in Q1 of 2017 – will need only 32 such turbines. This is a significant milestone, as wind turbines have become increasingly more powerful over a relatively short timeframe. This 8 MW machine is currently the largest commercial turbine in the world. Less than ten years ago, at the original Burbo Bank project, a 3.6 MW turbine was inaugurated, the largest in the industry at the time.

These new machines are big. At 113 meters (370 feet), the towers stand 64 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, while the blades come in at 80 meters (262 feet). This scale recently enabled MHI Vestas to snare the world record for energy production by a turbine in a 24-hour span: 192 megawatt-hours (MWh) – enough energy  to power approximately 18 American-sized homes for an entire year.

As large as they are, turbine expansions have not yet fully maxed out. The industry is already eyeing machines in the 10-12 MW range in order to future cut costs. And while MHI Vestas is the first out of the block with its deployment of an 8 MW machine, two other manufacturers have 8 MW machines in the offing. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., Deepwater Wind just energized five of its 6 MW GE turbines. So the big machines are not just limited to offshore Europe.

Onshore, the wind turbines are not nearly as large. Many turbines in this country’s most recently built wind farms are in the 1.5 to 2.0 MW range. In part, this is caused by existing terrestrial infrastructure constraints, such as highway bridges that limit the size of towers that can be transported.

However, these limitations can be overcome as new technologies are brought to bear, such as taller towers that access stronger and more dependable winds. MidAmerican Energy recently built a 2.4 MW turbine on a 379 foot concrete tower, putting it 100 feet taller than its steel-based counterpart. This monster used 70 truckloads of concrete and 90 tons of steel rebar, and is currently the largest turbine on the continental U.S.  Expect more to come.

As technologies continue to advance and economies of scale result in bigger machines delivering energy at lower costs, we should expect to see even larger wind turbines towering over landscapes and oceans, pumping clean electrons into power grids in the U.S. and across the planet


Find your next job with social media

Advancing your career or changing jobs comes with numerous challenges. “Blending in” is not an option. Because the pool of candidates is vastly competitive, hiring managers will analyze your resume, past professional experiences and social presence, so standing out is key.

“It is important for candidates to utilize social media,” said Rebecca White, area director at staffing firm Kavaliro. “Not only does this show that they are current on the latest technologies, but it also provides them [with a way] to stay in touch with their colleagues, expand their professional network and open themselves up to other career opportunities.”

Each social network has its own unique characteristics and best practices. What you post, how you post and who you interact with on a daily basis can have a great impact on how recruiters and hiring managers view you as a viable candidate.

Serious job seekers should take the opportunity to develop their skills on social media and attract hiring managers. Here are a few tips to help optimize your job search on the most commonly used social media channels that recruiters use.

As the go-to network for both professionals and hiring managers, LinkedIn should be a top priority for your social media-related job search efforts. According to an infographic by Career Glider, which cited Jobvite statistics, 79 percent of recruiters hire through LinkedIn, and of those who use it, more than 90 percent search for, contact and screen candidates based on their profiles on the site.

While it is important that you complete all the basic sections of your profile, you should also make an effort to enrich the content of your page. Chris Heinz, vice president of operations at Westport One, an affiliate of executive search and recruitment organization MRINetwork, advised job seekers to collect recommendations from clients and colleagues, as well as to add context to all qualifications and experiences they list.

“LinkedIn can be a great resource for interviews,” said Angela Copeland, career coach at Copeland Coaching. “If you’re interested in a particular job, try to locate (and reach out to) the hiring manager via LinkedIn. If you have an interview already scheduled, you can use LinkedIn to learn more about the people who will interview you.”

“LinkedIn allows us to get an idea of the applicant’s job history, but more importantly, their involvement in organizations and how active they are in their community,” Andrew VanderLind, co-founder of Where I’m From apparel, said. This demonstrates a person’s time-management ability and how well they will interact with a customer or our associates.”

Bryan Lewis, chief operating officer of business research company Third Bridge, noted that hiring managers pay particular attention to candidates’ activity level on LinkedIn — perhaps more so than any other social network.

“If you have five connections on LinkedIn, [it’s clear that] your profile is just a placeholder,” Lewis said. “Be active. Have multiple connections, follow companies, [become] a member of groups. The depth of your engagement, especially on LinkedIn, stands out to [employers].”

Twitter is the most conversational social platform of these three. The brands and people you engage with directly impact your followers’ perception of you, and may affect whether hiring managers believe you’re worthy of working for the company or not. What you say and how you say it will have an effect on your job search.

“Twitter is a great place to meet employees and high-level executives. You’d be surprised how many C-level executives run their own Twitter, and are open to having a conversation with you,” Copeland said. “It’s also a great place to listen to what people are saying about your future company.”

The platform also allows you to test the waters of the company and gauge if customers are happy with the service they’re receiving.

When you’re looking for a job, a good percentage of your tweets, retweets and replies should focus on topics that are relevant to the companies you want to work for. You can achieve this by making use of keywords and hashtags that professionals in your field talk about and follow.

“Make sure you are using the proper hashtags to both be noticed and to take notice of thought leaders in the industry,” said Bill Peppler, managing partner at Kavaliro.

Twitter can also be a smart way to contact recruiters and make connections with people who are working for potential employers. Heinz said that replying to these users’ tweets, commenting on their tweeted links and sharing any thoughts or links that they might find interesting are good ways to get started. You can also showcase your own knowledge by offering your help to other Twitter users in your field.

“You can show both your authenticity and your ability to fellow users by offering your help, by answering a question or voting on a poll,” Heinz said. “Giving assistance by using your career expertise in particular will demonstrate your viability as a job candidate.”

While Facebook may be passé to today’s high school and college students, the Career Glider infographic said that 83 percent of job seekers are currently on the popular social network. Millennial and Gen X candidates, who likely joined Facebook in their youth, should make an active effort to delete or untag any questionable past content, Heinz said, and ensure that any personal content remains private by using the appropriate settings. To make yourself searchable for hiring managers, what you should make public, he said, are your employment information, location and professional skills/interests.

“Facebook can be a great website for learning more about the people who will interview you. You can also find out whether or not you have common friends with your future hiring manager,” Copeland said.
Copeland advises you to keep your own content clean.
“Posting too many unfiltered comments on Facebook can cost you your future job,” she added.

“Being active on social media is a critical part of promoting your personal brand [and] industry expertise, and ultimately establishes you as a thought leader in your market sector,” Heinz told Business News Daily. “These are all things that not only help you connect with key industry people, but also could lead to a future role.”

As with other social networks, engaging with industry-specific communities on Facebook is a great way to connect with other people in your field. If you feel uncomfortable using your existing Facebook profile to join groups and contribute to discussions, Heinz advised creating a separate, “public” profile that only includes professional content.

What is great about social networks like Twitter and Facebook is that they open doors for decision makers to get a glimpse into the true personality of a person and how they might be outside of the office, VanderLind said.

“It’s important that this candidate posts appropriate content and exudes a positive, friendly personality that we value in all employees,” VanderLind added.

Originally edited by Shannon Gausepohl on Business Daily

Get top talents to join your company

Talent Management Starts With Employer Branding

The emergence of Talent Management as a best practice in enterprise companies is a major step forward for employers and candidates. It’s exciting for candidates looking for companies where they can grow personally and professionally. And it’s exciting for enterprise companies who can become market leaders through the professional growth of its employees.

As Talent Management becomes an integral best practice in Human Resources, it has an increased impact across all aspects of the company. From hiring to on-boarding to learning management to performance reviews, Talent Management has taken center stage. For that reason, it’s critical to understand how Employer Branding relates to Talent Management.

In fact, what you will ultimately find is the Talent Management starts with Employer Branding.

Here are three keys to this thought process.


You’ve got to get top talent interested in working for your company before you can manage their career path. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have an excellent plan in place for when top candidates join your company. It is to say that you need to have a plan for attracting the right candidates for the career
path to have a positive trajectory. That’s why your Employer Brand is so valuable to Talent Management.

Your Employer Brand is the first interaction candidates may have with your company. It’s what friends or colleagues will say to a referral. It’s a shared job posting being clicked in a LinkedIn news feed. It’s the research a candidate does on Glassdoor after being contacted by one of your recruiters. All of these connection points tell your Employer Brand story. This is the gateway to Talent Management, and your opportunity to get the right candidates excited about working for your company. A strong Employer Brand can help you build a pipeline of strong candidates excited about the career path your company provides.

Be sure to create a strong connection between Talent Management and Employer Branding in your organization. This will mean bringing together Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, and Marketing in enterprise companies. Make sure you are lockstep on messaging and the stories you want to tell. You can work together to make sure the stories are authentic, and get the right candidates excited about working for your organization.


Candidates make a job change for multiple reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that they want a clear path to reach their goals. Employer Branding provides an exceptional chance to communicate the opportunity your company offers. And even more important, the effort it is going to take to obtain the rewards a candidate is seeking.

Look at sales positions for a good example of this. Many companies advertise sales compensation in terms of On-Target Earnings (OTE). Candidates will look at an OTE salary number like $200K/year, and they see $200K/year as what will end up in their pocket. The reality is that they’ll likely be paid a base salary around $120K, and get to $200K if they’re hitting their goals.

This is an instance where your Employer Brand can help filter candidates to make your screening process more efficient. Let the sales candidates in this case know exactly what it’s going to take to hit their OTE. Salespeople tend to be very motivated, so let them know up front what it will take to hit the OTE advertised. Will they be expected to hit 100% of an aggressive quote off the bat? Is there a ramp in place for compensation while they get up to speed? Top sales candidates are thinking about these questions.

With Employer Branding you’ve got an opportunity to discuss these questions in an open forum with your candidate base. You can discuss these questions in your job descriptions, on review sites, on social media networks, etc. The truth will set you free in Employer Branding. And the truth has a significant impact on the pipeline of candidates who may be headed toward your Talent Management practice once hired.

Be specific about the effort it will take to reach the rewards you advertise.


The beauty of Employer Branding is that you can set the table. A true and authentic brand leaves no surprises while revealing very clear cultural expectations.

Think about the candidate who comes into your office for their first in-person interview, and knows within 10 minutes it isn’t a good fit. Or hiring managers that spend several hours of their time interviewing and assessing candidates who decline your job offer. These are situations an enterprise company can
avoid by showing an authentic Employer Brand. This is your opportunity to show candidates exactly what your company culture is all about.

There’s a clear connection between communicating your culture and Talent Management. This is because a clear career path only works if you’ve got the rightpeople in your company. When a candidate can clearly see your culture and expectations through your Employer Brand, and willingly applies, you’ve got higher odds of getting the right people. And having employees who are a cultural match is critical to the success of your Talent Management practice.

I’ve experienced the negative impact a lack of proper branding can have. In my early days as a recruiter, I had problems with candidates backing out after verbally accepting a position. In retrospect, it was because I was so busy talking them into taking the job that I never tried to talk them out of the job. I later found that if I tried to talk them out of the job by being clear on company culture and expectations, my back-out rate was far less. The candidates fully understood the situation, and knowingly made the decision to move forward. The same opportunity holds true with the link between Employer Branding and Talent Management.

Providing a clear career path to candidates who clearly understand your culture and expectations will increase your company’s opportunity for growth.


Originally edited by  on Ongig

ELATOS is committing to UNICEF


This year ELATOS is committing itself to UNICEF and is proud to belong to UNICEF’s Friend Companies for 2017.

Elatos has decided to commit itself to UNICEF because it places human beings at the core of its activities and because it adheres to the values that drive us day by day.
We have allocated the sum usually intended for end of year gifts for our clients to the general missions carried out by UNICEF, namely safeguarding, protecting and educating.
This gesture is our share in building the future, and it is also made on behalf of our clients that have accompanied us for nearly 15 years.

The ELATOS team is happy and proud to belong to UNICEF’s Friend Companies and we invite you to discover UNICEF’s site and its many actions.

COP 22 – 48 “poor” nations commit for renewable energy

Nearly 50 of the world’s most disadvantaged nations have pledged to fast-track their shift to 100 per cent renewable energy and to ratchet up emissions reductions, in a gesture that helped to close COP22 talks in Marrakech on a note of inspiration and determination.

In a statement issued in the final hours of the UN climate meeting, representatives from the 48-nation Climate Vulnerable Forum – a group of countries disproportionately affected by climate change – pledged to move to 100 per cent renewable energy generation between 2030 and 2050.

The plan, called the Marrakech Vision, promises that the Forum’s members will “strive to meet 100 per cent domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible, while working to end energy poverty and protect water and food security, taking into consideration national circumstances”.

The 48 countries – which include 5 Pacific Island nations and close neighbours to Australia Papua New Guinea and East Timor, as well as Afghanistan, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Guatemala – also agreed to update their national plans on cutting carbon before 2020 and to develop long-term plans as soon as possible.

The move was roundly hailed by COP22 delegates as both inspirational and ambitious – particularly in light of the reluctance of some of the world’s most advanced economies, like Australia, to set even 50 per cent renewable energy targets.

But for the countries in the CVF – among them the Philippines, where coal accounted for nearly 45 per cent of power generation in 2015 – it is simply what has to be done.

“We are pioneering the transformation towards 100 percent renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts,” said Mattlan Zackhras, minister in assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands.

“We shouldn’t see it as a burden, but an opportunity,” said Bangladesh’s adviser at the forum, Saleemul Huq. “Climate vulnerable countries can seize those opportunities,” he said.

“We don’t know what countries are still waiting for to move towards net carbon neutrality and 100 per cent renewable energy,” said Coast Rica’s environment minister, Edgar Gutierrez. “All parties should start the transition, otherwise we will all suffer.”

And finally Salaheddine Mezouar, the president of the Marrakech climate summit and foreign minister for Morocco (Morocco is a member of the CVF) had a message more directly aimed at America’s president-elect, Donald Trump.

“We count on your pragmatism as well as your commitment to the spirit of the international community, in a huge struggle for our future, for the planet, for humanity and the dignity of millions and millions of people,” Mezouar said in response to a question at the summit’s final press conference.

“This is about what our planet is going to be tomorrow, and what we are going to leave behind.”

The members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum that have signed up to the agreement are: Afghanistan, Haïti, Philippines, Bangladesh, Honduras, Rwanda, Barbados, Kenya, Saint Lucia, Bhutan, Kiribati, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, South Sudan, Cambodia, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Comoros, Maldives, Sudan, Costa Rica, Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mongolia, Timor-Leste, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Tuvalu, Fiji, Niger, Vanuatu, Ghana, Palau, Viet Nam, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Yemen, and Guatemala.


Originally published on RenewEconomy by Sophie Vorrath

The best ways to answer a recruiter on Linkedin

If you have a LinkedIn account, chances are you have received a direct message about a job opening from a recruiter or hiring manager. In this era of spam emails, pop up ads, and unwanted solicitations, you may wonder if the message is worth reading or responding to at all. This post will explain how recruiters find you, what they are hoping to accomplish through their message, and the best way to proceed.

How They Found You

When you receive a LinkedIn message regarding an open position, you may wonder how this person found you. Many people don’t know that recruiters have a special version of LinkedIn that they use to find candidates for positions they are looking to fill. Recruiters will search specific key words, job titles, and locations to find candidates that fit the necessary criteria for their open position.

Why They Contacted You

The person contacting you is either an in-house recruiter who works for the company, or a recruiter from a search firm that has been contracted by the company to find candidates on their behalf. The recruiter’s goal is to find great candidates, screen them, and send a qualified selection to the hiring manager or client.

The initial message is a way to present their open position as an attractive opportunity and solicit your interest. From there, the recruiter is hoping to have a phone conversation with you to see if your career goals are in line with the position, and that you are a good fit in terms of salary, skills and other qualifications. Their ultimate objective is for the client to hire you, or another one of the candidates they have submitted.

How to Respond

If you are interested in the job, respond as soon as possible- that way the recruiter can give you more information about the position and get the process started with a phone screen. From there, if you decide to move forward and the recruiter feels that you are a strong candidate, the recruiter will submit your resume and information to the hiring manager.

If you are not interested in the job, it is still recommended that you respond with a polite message. A simple note along the lines of “Thank you for reaching out but I am not interested in changing jobs at the moment. Let’s connect and keep in touch” is straightforward but also leaves the door open for future correspondence. It would also be appropriate to add the recruiter as a LinkedIn connection and provide your contact information.

Replying to a recruiter goes a long way- you may not know that Linkedin measures a recruiter’s response rate, and rewards users with a higher percentage. Either way, it’s always good to build connections with recruiters because you never know when they may be hiring for a position that you could want down the line.

If you are not sure whether you are interested in the job, it’s worth asking some questions to find out more information. Schedule a phone call with the recruiter so you can learn more. There may be aspects of the job that were not mentioned in the initial message that would appeal to you. Once all your initial questions are answered, you can decide if you would like to be considered as a candidate.

Though it may seem out of the blue, you never know when a recruiter may contact you with an amazing employment opportunity. It is in your benefit to develop relationships with recruiters in your industry. If you keep an open mind, your next Linkedin InMail message may lead to a great new job.


Originally edited by Peter Stern for Bristolassoc.com

You recruited someone? 5 ways to retain him/her

After you put in the time, effort and investment to hire the best employees possible, you need to retain that talent.  Many books have been written and exit interviews conducted as employers look for the secret to keeping their good employees satisfied.

Salary, retirement plans and vacation benefits are high on the list of why those great employees took the job, but they are not reasons enough to keep them in your employ for the long haul.  Job satisfaction will increase your employee retention rate.  Here are a few strategies you can use to retain your talent:

  1. Create an environment that makes your employees feel like an asset to your company. Don’t make them feel like overhead.  Allow them to feel secure in their job.  Greet them by name, letting them know that you know who they are and what their contributions are to the company.  Get their input about rules or changes that may need to be made.  Encourage goal-setting and let them make their own choices as often as possible.
  2. Make expectations and goals of the company clear.  Be sure you have job descriptions so your employees know what is required of them.  If there are changes that need to be made, don’t expect them to learn that by osmosis.  You must communicate directly and clearly.  Good employees want to please you, but they need to know what it is they need to do to make that happen.
  3. Create an open and honest work environment.  Give feedback on work performed and be willing to listen, really listen, to the concerns of your employees.  Chance meetings in the hall where social greetings are exchanged are good, but do not take the place of actually sitting down face-to-face and discussing any work-related concerns.  Be open and listen to new ideas.  Accept suggestions for problem-solving.  Be available and open when your employee asks for your guidance.  Keep your top talent informed about what is happening with the company – don’t let rumors take over. If there are problems or set-backs, communicate this.
  4. Provide opportunities to grow and learn, and let your employees know there is room for advancement in your company.  Provide tuition for continuing education classes.  Give challenging and stimulating work.  Tap into their passion and allow them to focus their time and energy on projects they can enjoy.  Let them know what career development plans you may have for them and what opportunities are available for them to grow with the company.
  5. Recognize and reward good work.  Monetary bonuses are always nice, but recognition of a job well done goes a long way to creating good will and loyalty.  Recognition needs to be specific:  “Good job” is acceptable, but “Good job on the Nelson project” is better.  In order to retain talent, you must make them feel appreciated, respected and worthwhile.  Recent studies show that when employees feel undervalued and unappreciated, they look for other employment.  They need to feel that their contributions to the business are important.  But the feedback and praise must be sincere.  Top talent is smart enough to know the difference between sincere appreciation and platitudes.

Above all else, an effective hiring process builds the foundation for all of the tactics listed here.  Position yourself to choose candidates who are a good fit for both the job and the organization:  Be sure to determine what competencies and skills are required for success, and then use valid hiring tools to identify individuals who possess these chacteristics.  You’ll be rewarded, not only with a strong employee retention rate, but also with loyal employees who contribute to your organization’s success – for the long-term.


First edited on Select international, by Amber Thomas

Offshore Winds Costs Down

Offshore Wind Costs Down 22% To $126/MWh, According To BNEF

The offshore wind industry has seen its global levelized costs of electricity plummet 22% due to competitive bidding, reaching a benchmark estimate of $126/MWh during the second half of this year, according to new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In its latest study of the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for all renewable and fossil fuel generating technologies, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) pointed to competitive bidding auctions in the Netherlands and Denmark for helping to drive down the costs in offshore wind, pushing the benchmark (or weighted average) estimate for offshore wind globally down to $126/MWh in the second half of 2016 — down 22% from the first half of 2016, and down 28% from the second half of 2015.

“For years, offshore wind has been regarded as a high-cost option compared to onshore wind, solar PV, coal and gas,” explained Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at BNEF, and in charge of the levelized cost modelling work. “This study shows that the economics of offshore wind are now improving fast, with the best sites getting closer to striking distance of more mature technologies.”

“Behind this improvement are the use of much bigger turbines, enhanced knowhow on managing the construction of arrays in the North Sea, and the impact of auction programmes in Europe,” added Tom Harries, offshore wind analyst at BNEF. “The latter have simplified development by providing transmission and a permitted site, and have led to fierce competition between bidders.”

BNEF points to two specific auctions which took place earlier this year. The first, announced in July, saw DONG Energy win the contract to develop the Borssele 1 and 2 Offshore Wind Farms off the coast of the Netherlands, both coming in at 350 MW for a total of 700 MW. DONG Energy won the contract at a cost of €72.70 per MWh over the first 15 years of the contract — after which, the two wind farms will receive the market price. The second auction, which was awarded in September, went to Vattenfall, who placed the lowest bid for the Danish Near Shore Wind Tender for two offshore wind projects located in the Danish North Sea, for a final bid of 0,475 kr/kWh (€60/$67.33).

However, high cost projects being developed in deep UK waters are responsible for the higher benchmark cost — though it is still well down on previous figures.

The BNEF report also found that other technologies are seeing continued declines in their LCOEs. Onshore wind’s global benchmark estimate is $68/MWh, 16% below the first half of the year, making it well and truly cost competitive with coal and gas-fired generation in many countries. The LCOE for crystalline-silicon solar photovoltaic projects reaching financial close in H2 2016 is $100/MWh.

“We are continuing to see rapid reductions in costs per MWh for renewable energy around the world,” said Luke Mills, senior analyst at BNEF and lead author of the report. “Looking ahead to 2017, solar may be particularly interesting because excess capacity in global PV module making could lead to further rapid price deflation as manufacturers fight for customers.”

Edited by Joshua S Hill for Cleantechnica November 1st, 2016