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Nov 012010
 
letter-sphere-d
Image by DaveBleasdale via Flickr

What’s the most important part of a typical job application? Is it your CV / Resume? Is it the  years of experience you’ve built up? Is it your unique blend of skills and expertise? The correct answer is none of the above! While all of those things are crucial components of the perfect job application, a really successful application is about getting you invited for interview. The For that, the single most effective weapon in your job-seekers arsenal is your covering letter. Why you need a great cover letter for your job application The term “covering letter” implies that this is perhaps a less important document than the material it accompanies. Not so! You see, when you’re applying for a job, your covering letter is much more than just a note to accompany the enclosed documentation. It is what the recruiter is going to read FIRST. It’s not so much a covering letter, it’s more of a sales letter.

Sell yourself with your covering letter

Your cover letter is the first opportunity you have to really shine… and to impress upon your employer just how perfect you are for the job. It’s worth spending a bit of time getting this right: Continue reading »

Dec 092009
 
Bad News Bad Drawing

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(Inspired by an entry in Lynn Gaertner-Johnston’s excellent Better Writing At Work newsletter)

Bad news is rife in the world of business and employment today. It’s a fact of life as companies struggle to get to grips with the subdued economy. If you’re managing or supervising staff, there’s a fair chance you’ll find yourself delivering bad news to your team at one point or another, and how you choose to communicate that news can make a huge difference.

"No one ever wants to receive bad news, and no one wants to communicate it either," says business communications specialist Lynn Gaertner-Johnston. "Delivering bad news is a huge communication challenge. It requires great care, especially if the news is upsetting rather than merely inconvenient."

Breaking bad news can be a nerve racking and difficult experience for even the most seasoned business communicator, but if you find yourself passing on bad tidings at work consider following some of these tips to help ease the pain:

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Nov 302009
 
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Image via Wikipedia

Sir Anthony O’Reilly, Dermot Desmond, John Magnier, JP McManus, Dennis O’Brien, Sean Quinn, Michael O’Leary… they are very different people from an eclectic mix of backgrounds and businesses – but they all have one thing in common: they are among the very best known and most successful of Ireland’s entrepreneurs.

But being an entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean aspiring to the dizzy heights of the super rich. According to the Collins English Dictionary an entrepreneur is “the owner or manager of a business enterprise who, by risk and initiative, attempts to make profits”. That definition encapsulates pretty much every start-up venture in the country. So what about you? Is there an entrepreneur inside you waiting to be unleashed?

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Sep 072009
 
E-mail in notes

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E-mail is something that’s become so ubiquitous in the workplace these days that we hardly give a second thought to how it’s revolutionised the way businesses communicate.

According to recent figures published by technology market research firm The Radicati Group worldwide email traffic will reach 247 billion messages per day in 2009, growing to a staggering 507 billion messages per day by 2013. That means that this year we’ll be sending 2,858,796 e-mails every single second, 37% of them business e-mails. That’s a lot of communication!

Part of e-mail’s business appeal is the speed and convenience with which it lets us communicate with our colleagues around the office and around the globe. But that convenience and speed has a downside… and that’s a growing tedency to fire-off quick, ill-conceived, badly written and poorly thought out messages that reflect badly on you as an individual, your department, or worse, the entire organisation you work for. E-mail ettiquette is straightforward, but is often overlooked in our haste to get the message sent.

You ignore good e-mail etiquette at your peril: your message, your reputation, and even your job could be at stake.

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Aug 052009
 
Do-It-Yourself

Image by iamPatrick via Flickr

Around 150 jobs have been lost with the closure of seven 4-Home DIY and homeware stores around the country. The retail chain closed their outlets in Killarney and Ballincollig last week, on the back of earlier closure in Portlaoise, Carlow, Monaghan, Ashbourne and Macroom.

There are also fears for the future of outlets in Fermoy and Mitchelstown as Reox Holdings, a Dairygold Co-op spin-off company, implements a major restructuring plan. Talks between Reox and Dairygold about the possible acquisition of some of the nine remaining 4-Home stores in Munster by the Co-op are ongoing.

Earlier this year Reox announced that it was reviewing the performance of each of its stores as a result of a significant downturn in the sector. According to a company spokesman the recession had caused consumer confidence to plummet and they were spending less on home improvement products. Central Statistics Office figures bear out that statement, showing a huge drop in home-related sales over the past year.

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Aug 052009
 
Closed for business

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The latest figures show that more Irish firms closed their doors in July than in any month so far this year. 151 firms became insolvent in July, a 33% increase on the figure for June and a surge of 132% on the same month last year. The construction sector, once again, was the worst hit by the insolvency spike — with reports suggesting a correlation with the traditional "builders holiday", and struggling firms choosing to avail of this traditionally quiet period to wind up their operations "under the radar".

The motor trade was also badly hit — with a 200% increase in insolvencies compared to June, and according to the insolvency news aggregator InsolvencyJournal.ie the numbers of Irish firms going out of business shows no sign of abating.

Retail insolvencies in July were up almost 50% in July, increasing sharply from a figure of 21 in June and almost triple the 11 insolvencies recorded in the sector during May. 131 retail companies have already gone out of business so far this year. In the hospitality sector insolvencies remained relatively consistent at 14, compared to 13 in June and 15 in May.

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