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Boost your worth in the global job market by paying attention to these 10 areas.

i. Ability to market yourself


This starts with how concise, well-formatted, well-versed and tailored your CVs and cover letters are.

Beyond this, the ability to interview well, cold-call recruiters and follow-up are essential.

ii. Presentation
Knowing how to put together a basic Power Point presentation with relevant and structured content is vital.

Additionally, any business executive should be able to deliver content quickly and powerfully while speaking to a group of his peers and superiors.

Stop stammering. Here's how
iii. English language
Speaking without grammatical mistakes is imperative. Improving language skills is difficult and time-consuming, but can be accomplished through books, classes and self-help.

Read as much as you can.

iv. Interpersonal skills


Listening (not just hearing), combined with the ability to build interesting conversations, is crucial in the business world.

Client interaction and networking depend heavily on how much other people enjoy speaking with you.

Intonation (how much feeling and rhythm you put into your voice) and pronunciation (how well articulated your sounds are) factor heavily here.

v. Phone etiquette
Yes, as basic as this sounds, the way you answer your phone tells a caller just how professional you really are.

When at work, calls should be picked up by introducing yourself. When you call someone and reach their voice mail, leave an organised message detailing why you called, your name and your telephone number.

Refrain from calling clients from a mobile phone when in a noisy place.

vi. Diction


Whether the conversation is taking place on the phone, or face-to-face, it is important you use professional language.

Read business newspapers and industry-specific material so you become savvy with the jargon used in your field.


vii. E-mail etiquette

There is no reason why professional standards should be abandoned just because a message is electronic.

Pay attention to grammar, spell-check your work, don't skip salutations, introduce attachments and use professional language when sending out work e-mails (even to people you know well).

viii. Dress codes

To be a credible businessperson, you have to look like one.

Men should wear collared shirts with an undershirt. Button your shirt all the way, wear simple belts, stick to dark-coloured slacks and dark-coloured shoes.

Women who wear Western clothes should opt for skirts that fall below the knee, collared shirts/ blouses and close-toed shoes.

Power dress for success
ix. Handshakes

Don't hesitate to shake hands. Initiating a handshake is an indication of your confidence level. Remember to keep your handshake firm.

If you are a woman and want to be taken seriously, don't hesitate to shake hands with the same confidence and authority as your male peers.

x. Business card etiquette

Always take your business cards with you when going for a meeting or conference. When presenting your card to someone, keep the print facing the recipient, so he/she will not have to turn it around to read it.

When you receive a card, take a second to look at it as the card is representative of the person. Don't pass your card around like it is a flier.

Refrain from forcing someone to take your card, especially a senior executive. It is far better to wait for him/ her to ask for it.
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