Become a Stellar Employee: 2 Minute Guide

Technical skills and knowledge might land you your dream job. However, some qualities set you apart from other employees,making you a Stellar Employee. These qualities that are person specific and are either passed on to us through the values and morals or acquired over time during our journey in life. These qualities are preferred by employers all over regardless of the organisation’s location or industry. 

  1. Integrity is the most sought after quality by employers that makes you a reliable employee. People who possess this trait do not consider it a quality. Rather, it is a way of living for them, for integrity reflects the honesty of a person not only in professional life but his personal life too. This is the first and foremost quality for long term success across any profession.
  2. Self-motivation – The people who have desire to succeed in anything and everything they do are the ones that are self driven.They don’t need any external motivation to achieve their goals. Rather, such people act as a motivating force for their peers and, in a way, help the whole team.
  3. Courage can be described from two perspectives. Courage to take risks, go that extra mile, just do the best and not fear failures. And courage to put forward thoughts/ ideas/creativity/ suggestions to improve and make the system more efficient.
  4. Adaptability – No matter how much prior experience you have, all organizations expect you to be flexible and come with an open mind that is ready to adapt with respect to their work ethics and culture.
  5. Good Listening Skills : No matter what your designation is, you are a people’s person if you are able to listen and understand what anyone is trying to convey rather than listening just to respond. A good listener also boasts his patience and perseverance skills wordlessly.

Inculcating these traits in your daily life will help you in becoming invaluable to the organisation that you are a part of. 

This article has been authored by Ruchi Malhari from Team LawSkils. 

For more such professional tips and tricks as well as to continue your education to add that extra zing to your career, visithttp://www.lawskills.in

The Power of Body Language at the Workplace – Are You Conveying it Right?

Often, the growth of your career depends on the impression and impact you’ve created on your superiors, colleagues and subordinates. Navigating this field of perceptions can be quite baffling, especially since every workplace is a melting pot of people having vastly varying cultural backgrounds and social mores. Packaging yourself, your personality, attitude and skills attractively so as to get your words and thoughts across without getting lost in translation is most definitely an acquired art form. The art of body language. It not only supplements the points you’re making but also makes you earn the respect of everyone around you. So, here are some way in which you can use body language to enhance your efficiency, image and rate on return on work –

  1. Never Underestimate the Magic of a Smile!

Having an open, genial and smiling countenance is the first and best rule you can adopt, even in your personal life. When you smile, you instantly appear sweeter and more welcoming. People tend to listen to you more, especially when your smile punctuates your sentences. As a cherry on the cake, a smiling face can even make you get away with accomplishing certain distasteful and ugly tasks (all in a day’s work) without hurting the other person’s feelings and ensuring he doesn’t take it personally or thinks of himself as a failure. Moreover, when you smile, it becomes near impossible to not use polite language as an accompaniment. Thus, your overall attitude automatically becomes more courteous and considerate. This can do wonders to your image as an approachable, reasonable professional.

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2.  Power Pose Builds Your Confidence

Research at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that simply holding your body in expansive, “high-power” poses (leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open) for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone—the hormone linked to power and dominance—and lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Try this when you’re feeling tentative but want to appear confident. In addition to causing hormonal shifts in both males and females, these poses lead to increased feelings of power and a higher tolerance for risk. The study also found that people are more often influenced by how they feel about you than by what you’re saying.

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3. Pitch it Right

 In the workplace, the quality of your voice can be a deciding factor in how you are perceived. Speakers with higher-pitched voices are judged to be less empathetic, less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower pitched voices. Thus, lower your pitch if you want people to listen to you. Practicing speech exercises, especially the ones helping with guttural voices can relax your voice into its optimal pitch. This is especially helpful before you get on an important phone call – where the sound of your voice is so critical.

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  4. Look ‘Em In the Eye

You may be an introvert, you may be shy, or your cultural background may have taught you that extended eye contact with a superior is not appropriate, but business people from almost every part of the world will expect you to maintain eye contact 50-60% of the time. Rather, lack of eye contact is considered a sign of evasiveness, dishonesty and cunning. Here’s a simple technique to improve eye contact: Whenever you greet a business colleague, look into his or her eyes long enough to notice what color they are.

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5. Shake Hands for an Instant Connection

Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. Touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression. A study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. The trade show researchers also found that people react to those with whom they shake hands by being more open and friendly. However, ensure that your handshake is neither too firm (showing a dominating nature) or too light (showing weakness)..Use just the right amount of pressure to be firm, brief and formal.

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For more professional and networking skills as well as all career-related advise, visit lawskills.in

This article has been authored by Varnika Jain from Team LawSkills. 

 

How to Make your LinkedIn Profile Work for you – 3 Minute Guide

LinkedIn has fast become the preferred platform for recruiters to search for potential employees. In some cases, outstanding individuals have been head hunted through this portal bypassing all other standard recruitment formalities. However, in order to get noticed by recruiters in the first place, and secondly, to make a mark on their memory when they are scrolling through long lists of equally distinguished candidates, your LinkedIn profile needs to be a class apart. It should not only be a succinct summary of your career graph and strongest skills but should also boldly outline how you can be of use in the growth of any organisation. Here’s how you can make your LinkedIn profile work for your benefit –

  • A Descriptive Headline  – Beware of generic and default settings of all professional networking and social media platforms! Remember to always fill in a description of yourself in the headline section. If you omit this step, your platform will only show the company you’ve worked/are working with and the position held by you. It is prudent to describe your functional and technical expertise in few words. This will help establish the brand that is you in a quick glance.
  • Optimize your Summary – While the headline gives you a relatively small playing field, the summary is where you can truly let your abilities shine by going all out. The best way to ensure that your summary portrays a good reflection of you is to look at it as a standalone description. Imagine it to be your calling card. Ask yourself if someone were to hire you based off on just this summary, what could you possibly say to them to clinch the deal! Let it tell your story. Once you’ve highlighted all your assets, skills and professional background, optimize your summary by using searchable keywords and pertinent, updated terminology. Remember, profile summary is the actual searchable aspect of your profile.
  •  Reconcile your Profile with your Resume – Ensure there is no discord between your Resume and your profile. They should be true reflections of each other chronologically as well as content-wise. You cannot list a job on your profile and omit listing it in your profile and vice versa. However, it is also important to not let your profile and resume be carbon copies of each other. Remember that LinkedIn gives you the option to upload your Resume to your profile. Having the exact same wording in both places can put off potential recruiters. The best way to optimize both these aspects of your profile is to let the work experience section be a road-map to your Resume. It should tell recruiters what to expect and then your Resume can follow it up with more detailed specifics.
  • Work Description – Building on the same point, do not make your work experience/description section be too verbose. Leave that aspect for your Resume. You profile should cover the key highlights of the work you’ve done till now and have a sufficient enough description of the current role that you’re undertaking.
  • Customize your Profile URL – As a default setting, your profile URL will appear as a randomized bunch of numbers and letters. However, LinkedIn offers you the option to customize it. Make your URL personalized by changing it to your name. This imparts a cleaner, crisper look to your profile and will also ensure your name appears every time your profile is shared by anyone, anywhere! Thus, recruiters are more likely to retain it in their mind when sorting through candidates.

Apart from these game-changers, you can also indulge in some basic brushing-up of your profile like updating your contact information, display picture, other settings and by staying active and relevant on website.

To learn more ways on how to progress in your career, visit our previous posts –

  1. References in Resume – All You Need to Know to get Recommended
  2. Building a Resume: 5 Minute Guide
  3. First Job Jitters? Here’s How to Keep your Cool!

Or visit our website to enhance your professional and industrial expertise by clicking here!

This article has been authored by Varnika Jain from Team LawSkills.

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The Importance of Minutes taking: Learn on …

The Annual Sales Meeting of Pretso Champion & Co. was held from 12 to 14 April at Goa. There were 42 participants from 16 geographical locations. Multiple presentations were made including individual presentations, branch presentations, zone presentations and presentation for company as a whole. Hours of discussions, takeaways, strategy and plans were discussed.

Everyone got back to their respective locations after the meeting concluded. How do you ensure that all 42 participants are on the same page with respect to the takeaways, decisions made, plan of action et al?

This is where Minutes of Meeting comes into play.  One person who is responsible for making the minutes, ‘The Minute Taker’, records all proceedings which are then circulated to all.

So what are Minutes?

Minutes are Transcript or Records of Proceedings

  • It is a tangible record of the meeting for its participants, which acts as a reference point.
  • It serves to notify (or remind) individuals of tasks assigned to them and/or timelines.
  • It is a source of information for members who were unable to attend.
  • It serves as a record of motions that were passed and as a reminder of who owns certain tasks.

 

Why are Minutes written?

Writing minutes can take time and may seem like an unimportant task. But the fact is that not taking meeting minutes can prove to be costly both in terms of time and resources. In absence of minutes, we may find that our colleagues have different recollections of the meeting from us. They also may have different ideas about what was agreed upon. If there are no minutes, then important tasks will be forgotten or fall through the crevices over a period of time, or not achieved by the due date.

Creating meeting minutes provides a written record of what was agreed at a meeting.

  • It tells and reminds people what was decided and what they need to achieve and by what date.
  • When minutes are received it jogs memories about tasks that people need to do.
  • If a task is not performed then you can refer back to the meeting minutes and follow up on it.
  • Without meeting minutes, you have no recourse if an action was not carried out.
  • In some instances, meeting minutes may be required for legal reasons.

Why getting into the habit of taking minutes of meetings is a good practice?

Your first job! You have joined the branch of a bank in its corporate department as a management trainee. Your boss has asked you to accompany her for a client meeting. During the one hour meeting, multiple things were discussed including the client running through the process of manufacturing, their marketing network, shared numbers, etc. The frequency of reporting, constituents of report, etc. were also discussed.

Once back in the office, the boss asks you to detail the visit in a report, file it and track compliance of matters discussed in the meeting.

You: Does she really think I remember all that was discussed in 60 minutes?

Thankfully for you, the client had an able minute taker who circulates the minutes for everyone’s review, which concisely covers all points. 

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  • Minute taking is an essential part of business meetings.
  • In the course of your career, you will find yourself taking minutes in a meeting.
  • The minute-taker must be adept at producing concise, easy-to-understand minutes to support the business’ operations and to ensure the meeting’s overall success.

What are the constituents of a Minutes of Meeting 

Minutes of Meeting describe and specify what was discussed and decided in a meeting, providing a permanent record of the meeting for future reference.

They include an overview of the structure of the meeting, including,

  • Those present and those who could not attend;
  • A list of the agenda items/topics;
  • Summary of discussion for each agenda item;
  • What was achieved during the meeting.
  • The actions people committed to;
  • Summary of any decisions made. (Minutes serve as a written record that these decisions were made.)
  • If a follow-up meeting was agreed on, this should be mentioned.

Meeting Minutes should be distributed shortly after the meeting ends.

There is no need to record the meeting proceedings minute by minute!

To learn more professional skills, visit LawSkills.

This article has been written by Priyanka from Team LawSkills.

 

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References in Resume – All You Need to Know to get Recommended

You have built up a brilliant work profile and have aced the interview for your dream job. Congratulations! You’ve made it. Well, almost. Once interviews have been conducted, what makes the finally selected candidate stand out from the rest of the reject pile is how well he’s recommended or referred by other prominent players in the industry. You can make the recruiter’s task easy by including professional references as part of your Resume. Here’s all you need to know to land a job –

Understanding the importance of “References”: A reference on your resume is the validation of your candidacy for the position you have applied in your dream company. Being referred is like being endorsed by someone who has actually been with you, assuring that the information you have shared is correct and thus, this assurance could help the organizations to take the final call whether to accept or reject the candidate.

References play a major role when it comes to authentication of the portrait of the candidate that has been presented by him/her in front of his prospective employer. Therefore, it is recommended to choose your references wisely. Your list of references should be ready before you start applying for a job. You will generally need two or three references and they will vary with respect to the industry in which you are applying.

Ask for permission: Before giving the details of your references, always take their permission. It would not only work as a polite gesture, but would also give your references enough time to prepare their response. It would be easy for them to communicate once they already have in mind “what to say”, even if they get a last minute call.

Whom to Ask : Gather multiple references, more than you would need for one job. You could consider giving the reference of your former Employer, Reporting Manager, Co-workers, Colleagues and Vendors. If this is going to be your first job, your teachers, professors, coaches or counselors could be your potential references.

Make sure the people you have selected as your reference would give positive recommendation for you. They should be able to speak concretely about your skills/ strengths, achievements on job and your contributions in the classroom and to the society. And more specifically, they should be able to vouch for the skills that would make you sound as the favorable candidate for the job you wish to land and the position you want to work at.

Where to mention References : It is not mandatory to mention references on your resume. Not all employers are interested in getting your reference check done and even if they do, it is needed towards the end of the process of getting selected. You could simply add “ References available upon request” at the bottom of your resume, but keep your list readily available with you. However, if you wish to mention references on resume, those should be given towards the end. While giving the details for your references, please check with them first that how would they want to be contacted. For example : If they prefer email, then you should share the email id, along with their designation and name of the organization.

Quick Tips :

  • Request for a reference if and when you change a job, this helps in creating a list of references.
  • Stay in touch with your references through periodic calls, emails or messages.
  • When your prospective employer asks for references from your current job, be honest in requesting them to consider the references from previous organization than the current one, incase you would not want to disclose it before getting selected.
  • Give references of only those people, with whom who share a good rapport.
  • Don’t forget to thank your references, whether you get selected for that job or not.

 

To know more about how to jumpstart your career, visit LawSkills!

To know how to build your Resume, click here.

To learn how to get over those first job, first day jitters, click here

 

This article has been authored by Ruchi Malhari from Team LawSkills.

 

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Virtual Classroom – Making the Best Out of E-Learning!

So, you have signed up for an e-learning course because that’s the buzz word these days. And if you have not signed, then you are not happening! But why ? Because you are seen as not being invested in your development and staying current.

Reskilling is the order of the day and rightly so. With so much dynamism around, be it policy changes, processes, new inventions, et al , you need to stay current and updated.  And with the convenience of e-learning (anytime, anywhere access, self-paced, no commute, interactive platforms, etc.),  it is the go to medium for continued learning.

So how do you make the most of an  e-learning course or, simply put, how do you use an e-learning platform ?

E-learning is different from a brick and mortar classroom set up. There is no teacher who is taking lectures and following up with you on your progress. There is no face to face human touch.

The set up in an e-learning course includes you and your computer and, at times, your phone, when you talk to the faculty or seek support. In e-learning, you need self discipline to ensure you progress with the course curriculum. The course will  list out the Learning Objectives upfront. The chances are that you sign up for the course after perusal of these objectives, since these are in line with what you are seeking to learn.

Typically, the course will be divided into multiple modules and each module will be divided into sub-modules. The learning pedagogy of an appealing e-learning course is much more than only text based content.  It uses instructional design (ID). ID is the practice of making learning experiences effective, interesting, and engaging for a learner by way of using Videos, Infographic, Presentations, Case Studies, interactive Quizzes , Role Plays, Audios, etc.

As you progress and move ahead demolishing each module, you will have online, self-assessment quizzes and tests. The course will end with a final assessment or examination which will be time bound and marked by the faculty. On successful completion of the exam, you will be awarded  a Certificate. The certificate of a good e-learning course will be recognized by the industry.

So sign up for an e-learning course today, and strike off those subjects and topics that have been part of your ‘to-learn bucket list’. Become tomorrow’s industry expert today!

For more information on E-learning and E-learning courses, please feel free to visit LawSkills.

This article has been authored by Priyanka from Team LawSkills

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Dear Lawyers, Here’s Why Legalese is the Solution to All Your Problems!

My boss told me today “the only tool a lawyer has is his words!”

I am a young lawyer,  a topper of my  batch at law school. I thought I was a rock star till I started working. I could see  myself floundering, especially when it comes to drafting documents or presenting arguments despite having a sound knowledge of law.

My senior, Mr. Sharma, called me one day and asked,

“So Abhijeet, let’s say that Mr. Bakshi and I are in the High court for this property dispute that has been going on for past 10 years. We want to hear your argument. How are you going to convince us that our analysis is wrong?”

I must admit I  was caught off guard. I thought of all the moots that I had aced and still found myself  struggling  for almost half an hour, hopping from one point to another, never really making a coherent statement.

I was actually relieved when Mr. Sharma shifted his attention back to Mr. Bakshi and left me  out of the discussion for a while. By the end of the talk, I  could see clearly that I had not even begun to make a mark, forget about having influenced them with my ideas.

Later in the evening my boss  called me  once again and said, “I caught you by surprise, didn’t I Abhijeet?

I was tongue-tied because I knew I  had failed. I didn’t say anything.

“You need to learn something a lot of lawyers never understand,” said Mr. Sharma.

“A lawyer is a professional speaker. He talks for his living. So, whenever you say something as a lawyer, you are making a professional presentation. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in court arguing or talking to a client or giving a speech. There are some basic rules for lawyers and for any kind of speech that he makes; he should sound like one to make an impact.”

“So Sir, what should I do?”

“Legalese- get a grasp of that! Legal English is different from general or business English, and a good knowledge of both is not sufficient to be able to function effectively in the legal profession.

Legal English is about use of English in legal documents, client advisory, negotiations and presentation before the Judge.”

“It is the solution to your problems.” Mr. Sharma added.

This article has been authored by Rituparna Prasoon from Team LawSkills

To hone your skills at Legal English, enroll for this course today!

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