Sonru doing the circuit

November 13th, 2009

The Sonru for Schools product continues to capture the imagination of both students and teachers alike. Over the next few weeks we will be going on a bit of a roadshow. Our Founder and all round product guru Edward will be talking to some Careers Guidance teachers about using video in the recruitment process. Peter (our main man on the schools project) will be exhibiting at the Principals’ Conference in Athlone next week as well.

So, it sounds like the Irish education system is embracing video in the learning process. Well, to be honest that is not quite the case. Individual schools are taking up the Sonru product once we get to talk to them – excellent. However, the take up needs to happen at Government and Authority level. We will keep banging on the doors and someone will eventually listen. Until then we are happy to talk to schools directly and keep signing them up to our great Sonru for Schools product.

Until next time …

Sonru wins Award

October 20th, 2009

Sonru was announced as the winner of the Bank of Ireland/South East BIC Bright Ideas Challenge held in the Woodlands Hotel, Waterford on October 14th.

The Bright Ideas Challenge is open to all start-ups, SMEs, sole traders or social enterprises considered to be an innovative product or service; an exciting export opportunity; a company with high growth potential; a strong management team.

Edward Hendrick, Founder of Sonru, commenting on the win said “We are delighted to win the Bright Ideas Challenge. There was some very tough competition but we highlighted the scalability of Sonru as an online video tool with huge international potential.” Sonru’s recently appointed CEO, Fergal O’Byrne added, “Winning this award is a validation of our business model, our ambitious growth plans and the potential Sonru has to become a major player in the online video space.”

The judging panel comprised representatives from South East BIC, Bank of Ireland and Seán Gallagher of RTE’s Dragon’s Den. Commenting on the win Aidan Shine, Assistant CEO of South East BIC said “This is the second year of the Bright Ideas, and once again, we were delighted with the high quality of companies entering the competition across the South East. Sonru were very worthy winners and South East BIC is looking forward to assisting them achieve their future growth plans.”

Hi as promised in my previous post I’ve got a couple of pointers on how to nail the interview. There are so many tips out there but I would like to keep it simple and concentrate on the basics that you need to get right.

Here at Sonru we are experts in the interview process and believe that interview practice with constructive feedback from professionals is the best way to prepare, but before you do this it is important to understand the basic criteria on which the interviewer will base his/her decision. The criteria can be broken down as follows.

(1)Can you do the job, (2) Will you do the job (3) Will you fit in

Today I am going to concentrate on how you can convince the interviewer that you can do the job. To convince the interviewer that you can do the job you have to show him/her that you’ve got the skills to do the job, and that you’ve got the capacity to learn new skills that may be necessary, how do you do this?

Look at the job spec and try to ascertain what skills will be needed for the job, look at your CV and try to find similar skills that were necessary in your previous roles. Prepare examples which refer back to your CV of how you demonstrated these skills to achieve certain goals or objectives. If you think that you don’t have some of the skills necessary this isn’t a problem. You can compensate by showing the interviewer that you have the capacity to learn new skills very quickly. This will also prove that you can take on more tasks at a quicker rate. Demonstrate this learning potential by showing how quickly you developed and progressed in previous roles.

Remember that if you include something in your CV you better be prepared to expand on it in much greater detail. The interviewer will use the information on your CV and the job spec as the basis for many of the questions so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have fully prepared answers, for a good deal of the interview. Meaning you’ll be off to a great start before the interview has even begun.

As always feel free to leave any comments. I will keep providing tips on how to convince the interviewer that you will do the job.

I remember my very first interview. AIB I believe it was, I was fairly nervous but thought that I concealed it well and came across as a confident young man. I had a nice suit on and decided to go for a red tie,why not? I looked the part. I had completed a good bit of research and thought my answers were going down sweetly, I was starting to show a bit of a swagger… but then came the killer question…

“If the cows could talk what do you think they would say?” (This was related to my previous summers work experience on a dairy farm). I can’t remember my response but I can assure you that I felt ridiculous and have not forgiven that man for showing such little regard to a nervous youngster in his first interview. The next interview was a lot better, the third better again and the fourth and fifth became job offers.

That was 3 years ago when jobs were being handed out like pancakes. These days you’re lucky to get an interview with your granny….

Well that’s not necessarily the case look at all of Econ-optimists posts, I can see 6 posts on the board all related to job creation.

For me it was.. practice practice practice….practice one more time and then wollah a job.

So hopefully if you’ve followed my previous tips it won’t be long until you see an interview on the horizon. So GET PRACTICING.

If you need help practicing check out the video interview preparation service that Sonru offers here. You can practice in a live interview environment using your webcam, then Sonru’s team of HR consultants review your interview and give positive feedback on where you’re going right and wrong.Check out our free taster to see what its like.

Practice is the essential tip for the interview, but of course I’ve got to go deeper than that. Don’t worry I’ll delve into some more interview tips on this blog. In the mean time feel free to drop a comment and share your interview experience good or bad.

Many job seekers use recruitment agencies but are you well represented by these?

As I mentioned in Tip#4 you need to get connected and expand your professional network. Obviously the recruitment agency is a good way of hopefully getting connected to potential employers. The recruitment agency can work on your behalf while you concentrate on other aspects of your job search, such as applying for jobs directly, building your profile on social networking sites and perfecting your CV and Interview preparation.

So here goes Tip#5: How to most effectively utilise the recruitment agent’s services. Firstly you must remember that it is in the recruitment agencies interest to find candidates for companies rather then find companies for candidates. Bearing this in mind,it is important that the recruitment agency is suitably impressed with you so they deem you to be an adequate candidate for all potential jobs that match your skill set. Thus it is important to maintain an aura of professionalism, try and treat any dealings with the agency like a job interview.

Due to the large number of recruitment agencies operating in Ireland, it can be hard to know which recruitment agencies to start your job search with. I would not get overwhelmed by this, dip your toes in and try a few, in my opinion it is not the agency but the consultant that matters most. Hopefully you won’t get to know your consultant too well! But it is important that you are suitably impressed with the consultant and vice versa before you go down that job hunting path hand in hand. Find a couple of consultants and see how you get on for a few weeks, after which if you are not happy you can cancel the relationship and look to other agencies. It is also important to keep in regular contact with your consultant to ensure that you don’t drop to the back in their list of priorities.

When it comes to using recruitment agencies the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to not use multiple agencies and grant them permission to send of your CV willy nilly. You must keep track of which companies receive your CV. So make sure that the recruitment agent gets your approval before each CV is sent. This ensures that you can have a good look at the job spec and tailor your CV to match it before the CV is sent (see Tip#1). It also allows you to get your job serach diary organised (see Tip#3).

Please feel free to leave any comments based upon your experience of dealing with recruitment agencies.If any of my tips have helped you get that interview, then we at Sonru can help you prepare just click here. If you want a taste of how our Video Interview Preparation works take a free interview here and let us know if you like it!

Have you ever heard the expression “it’s not what you know but who you know”.When it comes to the job search “who you know” can make all the difference.

So here goes Tip#4 you need to get connected! By this I mean you need to expand your professional network. This used to mean attending job fairs and functions which may have proved costly due to travel expenses, registration fees and bed and board. However similar to Sonru with its remote video Interview service, companies like linkedin and worky.com have removed these costs and you can now get connected on the web. These Social networking sites specialise in getting you connected and more and more employers are turning to these to recruit. Thus if you’re a job seeker my advice would be to get your profile up and running and to get as connected as possible. I’m sure its not unusual for employers to check for your profile on other social networking sites such as Facebook or Bebo, so be wary to block these from public view or clean up your page i.e. remove any outlandish photos of your Hen night.

The use of social networking sites, for recruitment or to find potential employment is a new concept for me but I wouldn’t underestimate how powerful a player it’s becoming in the recruitment process. In recent days I joined twitter and Linkedin if anyone has any tips or advice on how to build up my connections on these, I would be very interested to hear them. I will be back tomorrow with Tip#5.

Here’s a shocking statistic! In the last year Irelands Unemployment rate has risen by more than 70%. However do not despair; judging by the regularity of econ-Optimists posts there is a good deal of job creation going on in Ireland. Thus for job seekers it’s important to keep an eye out for people like the econ-Optimist who are spreading the good word .I will discuss the importance of expanding ones professional network in Tip#4

Back to Tip#3 this is another simple idea but the simple ideas are always the best. Keep a job Diary! If you haven’t already done this you should start one now. In your job diary you should outline your goals, track what actions you’ve taken to meet these goals and how you’re progressing towards these goals. It’s also a great way of organising your contacts and taking note of any new contacts that might be useful. As I Mentioned in Tip #1 you need to tailor your CV for each job, keeping a job diary will ensure that you know which CV you sent to which prospective employer, so you’re fully prepared for the call when it comes. The job Diary is also a great way of documenting how you feel and you will feel great when you get that call!

Any other ideas on how a job Diary can be useful please let us know or leave a comment. If any of my tips have helped you get that interview, then we at Sonru can help you prepare just click here. If you want a taste of how our Video Interview Preparation works take a free interview here and let us know if you like it!

Unemployment rates may be at a 13 year high but here at Sonru we are very optimistic that if job seekers follow a few small guidelines their chances of getting that job can be vastly improved.

So here goes: Tip #1 this is really simple and relates to your CV. The purpose of your CV is to get the interview, to get in the door so you can get that job. Thus your CV has got to be tailored to fit the Job description. HR’s selection process is simple. They take the job description in one hand and your CV in the other, if they see a match you get the call! So make sure your CV shows that you have an aptitude to complete the tasks outlined in the job description. The bottom line is a one CV fits all jobs approach is not likely to get you an interview. So tailor your CV ; it will be worth the tiny extra effort it takes.

If you have any ideas or tips of your own let us know or leave a comment. We’ll be back with Tip #2. If you’re looking for interview preparation we’re happy to help, check out our Video Interview Preparation Service at www.sonru.com/vip.

We all know some family members or friends that had a perfectly good job and skill but because of the global economic downturn they have been the unlucky ones to be made redundant. This may have happened a week or even 6 months ago. We at Sonru are also aware that many of you that have been made redundant have gone on to find new employment. Judging by the positive feedback we have received, Video Interview Preparation has given our clients the edge to beat their rivals to the job. However many of you are still awaiting that interview, would love to be working and are trying your hardest to find work. While you are waiting for the call (which you will get sooner rather the later) it is important to remain very active. Employers do not like to see a gaping hole in your CV where you’ve done nothing but send CVs.

So here goes Tip#2: While your looking for work make sure to fill that gap! Here’s a couple of ways in which you can do this:

Firstly if you can explain that you spent your gap period improving yourself as a means to progress further in your next job the employer is bound to be impressed. So enroll yourself in some courses sign up for some exams, these can only boost your chances of getting a job and will also fill that gap.

Another great way to fill that gap is voluntary work. This is a great way to challenge yourself and to build your professional network as well as being an excellent means of demonstrating your skills and competencies to a prospective employer.

You could start a small part time business just a couple of hours a week or as many as you like. This can be related to a hobby or something you’ve always wanted to try out. Alternatively another suggestion is to look for a job with flexible hours this will allow you to have time to actively seek your ideal job while also filling that gap. Check out flexitimers.com to find out more information on this option.

I’m sure there are many other useful ways to fill that gap. Talent tank also have a great idea worth checking out. If you have any ideas make sure to let us know or leave a comment. We’ll be back with Tip #3.