Invited firm: Francisco Alcaide Hernández
If we had to sum it up in one word, it would be self-reliance. Successful people are those who focus on ‘what am I going to’ and unsuccessful people focus on ‘what’s going to happen’. If you let your life depend on the crisis ending or certain people taking decisions, time can pass and you can still be in the same situation. There’s nothing worse than ‘passive hope’; wanting things to simply change over time.
People who are self-reliant are firmly focused on ‘solutions’ and non-self-reliant people focus firmly on ‘excuses’; and the danger of looking for excuses is that you always find them. It’s not hard to find something or someone to blame for our lives not being what we would like them to be.
People have an amazing ability to explain success as something ‘internal’ (I’m good, I’ve worked for it, I’ve been trying a long time…) and failure as something ‘external’ (the crisis, financial markets, the government, education…): a symmetrical way of looking at reality.
Why do many people blame their businesses closing on the crisis but nobody attributes their success to economic growth? Was the crisis really responsible for businesses closing or an inability to foresee where trends were heading, or excessive relaxation, or a lack of flexibility to adapt, or excess spending in good times?
The crisis is just a symptom (result) but not the cause (person). You don’t drown because you fall in the water (effect) but because you can’t swim (cause). We live in a world of causes and effects, and every effect (result) is the result of a cause (person). Here are some examples:
– The lack of money a person earns (effect = result) isn’t the problem, it is just a symptom of the real problem: their inability to generate income (cause = person).
– The lack of a person’s contacts (effect = result) isn’t the problem, it is just a symptom of the real problem: their inability to develop and strengthen relationships.
– A person’s bad health (effect = result) isn’t the problem, it is just a symptom of the real problem: their poor lifestyle habits.
In short, you are the problem but also the solution. To be successful the first thing you have to do is take responsibility for yourself. Success comes from investing in your own personal development: learning more to earn more. Your personal development is your goal. And the more you invest in yourself, the better opportunities you will have in life. The more you study, the more you train, the more you network, the more experiences you have… the better you will do. Personal development is simply increasing life options, broadening possibilities, in short, increasing your chances of being successful. According to Brian Tracy, one of the authors included in Aprendiendo de los mejores (Alienta, 7th Spanish edition): “Personal development is your springboard to personal excellence. Ongoing, continuous, it assures you that there is no limit to what you can accomplish”.
Professionals actively looking for work or exploring new opportunities are increasingly turning to outplacement, a service that can help them make a career change.
Outplacement is the name for a set of techniques for relocating professionals when mergers, acquisitions and restructuring result in staff losing their jobs. The aim, therefore, is to make it easy for them to get back into work and ensure the process of change does not affect their professional reputation in the job market, nor their personal life or self-esteem.
There are outplacement agencies that specialise in this sort of transition. They try to redirect professionals who are out of work by redefining their professional challenges and helping them to adopt a positive outlook on their future by means of a series of techniques and tools.
The aim of a company that hires an outplacement service is to reduce emotional conflicts and help their former employee continue their career while minimising the negative effects of them leaving the company. Nowadays outplacement services can be hired directly by professionals who are either unemployed or looking for a career change.
Outplacement normally includes various stages. First, a professional assessment to identify a person’s strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, etc. In this stage, the professional concerned learns to deal with the process of looking for work successfully, make the most of their contact networks, prepare for selection interviews and receive support when managing and organising their time.
Basically it is all about helping a person to develop strategies for achieving new professional goals and aims. The idea is to face a potentially traumatic situation with a positive outlook and turn it into an opportunity.
Losing your job, redundancy or reaching the end of a stage in your professional career can become an impulse to face new challenges and improve your professional performance.
Juan Antonio Fernández
Head of Talent- ACCIONA Human Resources
Technology has changed relationship patterns, both in personal relationships and in working relationships. This has led to profound transformation in the way organisations work, leveraging technology as a driver of change.
One of these changes is the event of teleworking as a way adapting to today’s flexible market requirements.
We detail some of the advantages of teleworking below, categorised in three major groups:
– Benefits for employees -> Boosting motivation: saving time and money on transport, improved work/life balance and greater flexibility.
– Benefits for companies -> Increased productivity thanks to more motivated employees
Teleworking has fostered a change in company values, going from a more onsite company culture to one focused on work efficiency. It improves a company’s external image and internal perceptions (increases sense of belonging and pride in the company and is a factor in retaining talent.)
– Environmental benefits -> reduced energy consumption and polluting emissions caused by transport to work.
Everything points to teleworking becoming more common place in companies, with the physical location becoming less important in favour of collaborative working and networking from different geographical locations.
Miguel Ángel Rodríguez
ACCIONA Corporate Training Department
Using your network is the most effective way of finding work. Approximately 60% of jobs are found that way. Moreover, it lets you identify jobs that are not advertised: the “hidden job market”, where a considerable percentage of vacancies can be found that vary a lot depending on the level of the position.
Boosting and making the most of your network of contacts implies hard work, persistence and dedication. You need to make yourself do things that, depending on your personality, you will be more or less comfortable with.
You should start by working out a network of direct acquaintances, relatives, friends, professional groups, etc. Naturally, you “must” create your LinkedIn profile very carefully and it is very useful to build your network here too.
When building this network you should include those people you have had some kind of professional relationship with, and it is a very good idea to ask them for a recommendation if you are using LinkedIn as a tool.
Next we would recommend including in your network those people that might be in touch with top professionals in your sector or line of business. It is also useful to link up with those professionals that already have an extensive network, because that will broaden your network in their third level. Although there is a great deal to be gained by making new contacts, the best work contact in your network is a person you have interacted with on more than one occasion.
But learning to use a network of contacts well requires practice, so it is useful to bear a number of points in mind. First, before contacting someone, decide what it is you want to achieve, what your aim is. You must be sure to make a good impression, especially the first time. We form a lasting impression of anyone we meet in the first few seconds.
Ask a close contact to help put you in touch with one of their contacts, if it is in your interest, or get in touch with them directly and mention your mutual contact. Briefly explain what it is you want, what you are looking for or need and how the person you are contacting can help.
It is important to fulfil all your commitments and make sure you keep a close eye on everything you are doing. If you have agreed to call or get in touch with someone, do it without letting a lot of time go by following the conversation.
Keep in touch with the people in your network by using all the means at your disposal – phone, email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. – but bear in mind that each one is more suitable for certain purposes and using it or not depends on the relationship with each person.
Being grateful and thanking is an excellent “fertiliser” if you want your network to grow, be healthy and “look good”, but you should avoid falling into the trap of adulation.
And last but not least, you should consider carefully the number and frequency of your interactions with your contacts. Your network is a “plant” that needs to be “watered” periodically, but if you “water it too much” you will drown it and not get any fruit.
Juan Antonio Fernández
Head of Talent- ACCIONA Human Resources
Numerous examples of this innovative way of getting ourselves known in the labour market can be found on the Internet. However, we are now going to look at a few aspects that should be considered when creating your own video CV.
• You will need a video camera and an Internet connection.
• It should be no longer than two minutes.
• Squeezing information about extensive professional experience into such a short time can be difficult, so you should rehearse until you have the perfect result.
• Essential information to include:
-Professional experience and/or internships (summary)
-Skills / Abilities
-Foreign language skills
• Clear, concise and convincing communication Try to sound natural.
• Non-verbal communication. Pay attention to your gestures, you can reinforce your arguments with hand movements, try to avoid a stiff posture in front of the camera…
• The recording should be made in a quiet place where no background noise can be heard.
• Correct lighting is essential to see the image properly. Rehearse as many times as necessary before starting to record your video CV.
• Editing. Several video editing tools are available, which are easy-to-use and can be downloaded for free from the Internet.
• Remember that you can not only upload your video CV to websites directly involved in video broadcasting activity (Google Video, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) or the social networks, but you can also send the corresponding link to those companies in which you might be interested in working.
Human Resources ACCIONA
Invited firm: María Luisa Moreno Cobián
Most people want to know that magic phrase that’ll get them through the interview and land them the job. But the truth is surprisingly different: 80% of your chance of getting that job has to be created BEFORE you reach the interviewer’s office.
The first mistake people make is thinking job interviews are about “answering questions”. That’s how you could let the job slip away. A job interview is about being able to tell your story coherently and getting your key messages across.
You can’t do that if you leave what happens in the interview room to chance. If you don’t do your homework, what will give you that edge in the interview? If you don’t research the job’s key challenges, the main difficulties the company is facing, if you don’t know who they work with, what their objectives are or what they need, there’s no way you’ll be able to convince them that you can make a positive contribution.
Not only that, but the more you know about the company, their situation and circumstances, the more you’ll be able to speak their language and tailor your message.
Here are the key questions that’ll make the difference and help you stand out from other candidates:
- Do you know exactly what the recruiter is looking for?
- Are you able to convey your story in a way that resonates and convinces them you are the perfect person for the job?
- Do you have a contact inside the company?
Three questions that you should be able to answer positively and that make up 80% of your chances of landing the job. And yet, 99% of candidates don’t do their homework, and turn up at the interview leaving their fate to chance.
Don’t let it happen to you!
- What’s the recruiter looking for?
Yes, we may have a romantic view of the job, “I want to contribute and maximise my potential and capacity for learning and growth in an environment which allows me to grow as a professional and as a person…” and blah, blah, blah. But think about that subtle detail that makes ALL the difference: as I said before, what’s the recruiter looking for?
The job interview is about what the recruiter needs.
Something is bothering them, bugging them, they have an itch and they need to know if you have the medicine or remedy to fix it and if you know how to administer it. That’s it! If you don’t know what they need or what problem they need solving, how can you know if you’re the right person for the job? And what’s worse, how can you convince them?
- How can you tell your story and show that you’re the right candidate for the job?
There’s an acronym used constantly in companies that you probably already know: ROI. It stands for “Return on Investment”, the benefits you get by investing.
When you realise you have to show them that they’ll get ROI by recruiting you, you’ll have taken “a small step for man, but a giant leap for …” your career 😉 . Setting out your campaign in terms of ROI is probably one of the most efficient ways of persuading the recruiter that you’re the right person for the job.
If you have experience relevant to the job, show the recruiter (SHOW, don’t tell) how you’re going to solve their problems. How do you show it? With your past results! SPECIFIC details of how you solved similar problems for others. Specific means giving numbers, comparisons, MEASURABLE results.
- How do you manage your contacts?
If you’re sending CV after CV you’ve already failed. Successful people invest time choosing what companies they want to work for before sending a single CV. They then try and get contacts in those companies through different networking strategies, so when the time comes to send the CV, they’ve already maximised their chances of getting the job.
Compare this with people who send out lots of CVs from the start, to all the job seeking websites and every company, hoping for a lucky break. It may seem productive, but when MILLIONS of other people are doing the same thing and it’s not working for them, it’s time to change strategy, don’t you think?
Trust me. Do all this and you’ll be way ahead of the other candidates.
Invited firm: Francisco Alcaide Hernández
If there is one variable that sets successful people apart it’s a commitment to achieving their goals.And that means doing what is necessary for as long as necessary. Specifically, commitment can be divided into five types to ensure success. These are:
1. COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
Excellent people are offered excellent opportunities. Normal people are offered normal opportunities. And bad people are not offered opportunities. Leave mediocrity aside once and for all. Always ask yourself how you can add more value to what you do: be faster, cheaper, offer better quality. Don’t settle for average work. It’s easily perceived and works against you. Remember: be so good at what you do that it’s impossible for others to ignore you. When you do something (lecture, post, workshop, class), give it your all. Life gives you back what you give it: the more you give to others, the more you’ll get back. As David Schwartz says in Aprendiendo de los mejores (Alienta, 6ª edition): «There is never competition at the top; competition is at a mediocre level».
2. COMMITMENT TO LEARNING
You can’t win more by giving less. If you want your life to improve, you need to improve. Never stop investing in yourself and your business. Always assign resources to your personal development (books, seminars, audiobooks, meals with interesting people) and what you do: improving the website, the sales channels, the PR, the advertising, whatever. Part of your income should always be allocated to that type of investment. Today, he who does not advance, retreats; he who doesn’t improve, worsens. In brief: Do you want to earn an above average income? Then become an above average person. Your personal development is your goal. Your income can only grow as much as you grow.
3. COMMITMENT TO SOLUTIONS
Successful people are focused on solutions. Unsuccessful people are focused on excuses. The problem of looking for excuses is that if you look for them, you’ll always find them. It’s never hard to find someone to blame. Life is about managing problems, one after another: problems with suppliers, with clients, with collaborators… Not having problems is a real problem, because it means that you’re not doing anything, and that’s really bad. Problems never go away, but then neither do the solutions. It’s all about focus. Where there’s a problem, there’s a solution, because a problem without a solution isn’t a problem, and isn’t worth worrying about. Concentrate one hundred percent on finding alternatives for obstacles that you find in your way.
4. COMMITMENT TO OTHERS
As the proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. To be successful, being talented, intelligent and hard working isn’t enough. Success is achieved by teams. No hermit has ever been an example to others in life. Therefore, you must have a positive attitude to people. On your own you’re very restricted. We all have weaknesses that we need to compensate with other people’s strengths. What you know is always outweighed by what you don’t know. Furthermore, new ideas always spring from contact with others. Many things are resolved in informal chats. Look after and cultivate your network of contacts. And that means three things: staying in touch, connecting with people and contributing value.
5. COMMITMENT TO
You’re never going to find all the answers all at once. No biography, either personal or professional, is a straight line. There will be bad times, like there are for all other successful people. When things don’t go your way, there will be moments of doubt when you’ll have less confidence in yourself. What truly has merit is struggling on when you’ve had enough. Most people give up. It’s essential to be strong mentally. He who resists, wins. Being successful is about persevering when others give up. 90% of being successful is insisting, trying time and again to be where you want to be.
In such a complex, competitive and internationalised labour market as the one in which we live today, where companies receive CVs in quantities that can sometimes be 100 times greater than the number of vacancies they need to fill at any one time, it is particularly important to successfully stand out from the crowd in any process of actively seeking employment. Hence, presenting your CV in video format can be a sophisticated way of submitting your profile to the recruitment process.
A video CV is nothing more than a video presentation in which a candidate talks about themselves, their professional career, their skills and abilities, and their professional achievements and interests. In essence, it is a kind of “promotional video” about yourself.
While the United States pioneered this type of initiative, it is increasingly more common to see European jobseekers upload their video CVs to websites directly related to video broadcasting activity (Google Video, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) or the social networks (e.g. LinkedIn), giving themselves the option to send the corresponding link to those companies in which they are interested in working.
Numerous examples of this innovative way of getting ourselves known in the labour market can be found on YouTube.
Human Resources – ACCIONA
According to your chosen profession or the job you are going for, making your CV exciting and different could provide a competitive advantage over the other candidates. There is no doubt that the content is the most important information to convey but the way you do that will also give an impression about your skills and abilities, and will be taken into consideration by the departments that receive it.
In this post, we will show you three new presentation methods so you can then think about which one best suits your professional aspirations.
If you are active on the social media, you will have noticed that infographics are in vogue. These visual representations of ideas (associated with text and graphics) are very attractive and can provide the attention you seek when sending out your CV. There are many websites nowadays that offer tools for designing infographics without the need for expert design knowledge (p.e. Canva, Easel.ly or Infogr.am).
As you must have heard many times already, a picture speaks a thousand words; in other words, it is not the same to read a series of skills and aptitudes in a person than it is to see how they perform when communicating them. A video CV is one way to personalise yourself, put a face to your name, give yourself a voice, a presence, etc. It is true, however, that this method requires effort and preparation to convey a good image. There is no point creating a video CV that adds no value. Rather, you should feel confident and competent when making one. We recommend you make several versions and ask your contacts to provide feedback on how to improve it. The following principles should be taken into consideration: make it brief (no more than 2-3 minutes); precision (do not repeat yourself); and suitability (consider the characteristics of the position and the company).
Social Media CV
Social media are tools that, when used properly, can help us reach more people and do it better. This does not only mean having an up-to-date CV on LinkedIn but also making use of online platforms where CVs can be created as a website or even buying your own domain name with your name and surname in order to present all your relevant academic and professional experience. Furthermore, Twitter or Pinterest can also be used to publish this information. For example, you could create a noticeboard called: My CV.
As you can see, there are many alternatives to choose from. Find the option that best suits you and show the world what you can do.
Related article: “10 reasons to use Twitter when looking for a job”
Ana Gómez Regidor
Development Department ACCIONA
1. Presence: if you’re not on Twitter, you simply don’t exist for anyone searching for candidates on this network.
2. Learning: good use of this network will undoubtedly help you improve in other areas of professional interest to you.
3. Job search: a large number of vacancies are born and die on Twitter. Companies and employment websites publish their vacancies on this network.
4. Communication channel: Twitter should already be a part of your life, even if only as a communication channel.
5. Personal brand: Every professional should enhance their personal brand. This channel is excellent for doing just that.
6. Interaction with head-hunters: many recruitment experts fill vacancies with professionals who are on social media, and they also use it to search for candidates, stay connected and track specific professionals, etc.
7. Twitter and your CV: Twitter is part of your CV. Remember, if you’re not on Google, you don’t exist.
8. If you use Twitter, you know Twitter: Being able to use this network is a skill that many companies recognise.
9. Use of employment tools: certain employment tools can only be used if you have Twitter. For example: tuiempleo.com; tweetbeep.com; twitjobsearch.com
10. Mobility: Twitter is the social network best suited to mobile telephones.
Laura Alcaraz Escribano
Development Dep. Human Resources ACCIONA S.A.