Working in a start-up vs. working in a big company

Working in a start-up vs. working in a big company

It can be challenging to decide if you want to work in a start-up company or a big company. Especially, when you are not familiar with the pros and cons of a start-up and a big company. To help you make a decision, we will give you a clear view on the differences between the two.

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There is a large variety in terms of tasks in a small company with approximately 15 employees, because there are probably no clear tasks, or you have different tasks since there are not that much employees. This can be an advantage but also a disadvantage. As an employee you will have the advantage of learning all the ins and outs of the company since you are involved in a lot of different tasks. A disadvantage can be that it can create uncertainties in terms of where to begin and where to end. It creates more autonomy for some, but it can also be a large pressure to make major decisions in your own.

A small company can have a fast-changing environment, whereas a big company has a set company culture in which all employees are similar with the norms and values. The evolving environment in a small company can have as advantage that all employees can contribute to and shape the company culture. A disadvantage might be that no clear company culture can lead to misunderstandings among each other.

Another important aspect that contributes a lot to the decision of people in terms of choosing where to work is security. Established companies are able to offer more security to their employees because their profitability might be higher than a company which was established three years ago, but this is also depending on the business strategy off course.

Furthermore, a manager is usually keeping a close eye on the progress of the company and the employees. In contrast with a start-up company where the manager is busy tackling his own tasks and making sure that the company will make profit in order to grow. This can have advantages and disadvantages. Some will enjoy learning new things and exploring them by themselves, whereas some feel more confident if the manager takes them in the right direction.

I hope that this article gave you more insight on the advantages and disadvantages of working in a start-up vs. big company. If you wish to learn more, make sure to the Study Abroad Portal: https://www.thestudyabroadportal.com/

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How to write a good CV

How to write a good CV

The CV is your most important marketing tool for your self-promotion and the first chance for a recruiter to get to know you. By seeing your résumé they will make the decision whether to reject your application or invite you for an interview, so it is of high importance. But how to write a really good CV? In this article we will point out to you the most important parts, so your résumé will impress your future boss of your internship.   

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1. Layout

First of all, let’s talk about the general layout. Of course, there is not ONE correct layout. It depends on your wishes and in some cases on your field of studies. Some prefer a very minimalistic layout and some marketing or graphic design students invest much time in it, as it is part of their brand. The most important thing is, that it is clearly arranged and all the important information can be found within seconds. Try not to make it too full and leave enough spaces between different topics. In general, your résumé should be one page long so that all the necessary information can be found by recruiters on the first view in a short time.

In Europe it is quite common to put a photo of yourself in your CV, whilst for example in America it is unusual. In the USA they try to make as neutral résumés as possible to avoid stereotypes or bias. Depending on the industry and job position you can also leave out a photo, if you want to. But for positions with client contact and representation tasks, you should always attach a professional picture of you.

2. Relevant information

You should put the most relevant information at the very beginning of your CV. For applications abroad, it is significant to put your nationality directly after your address and phone number. That way, recruiters will be immediately informed if there would be any visa issues coming along with your profile.

As a student, the most important information, you have to offer, is your field of studies and your university. So this should come directly after your contact details at the very top of your résumé.  
Secondly should come your previous work experience in chronological order – starting by the most recent one. While naming your job history it is important to also list the tasks, which you had to execute in your position. Especially when you send your CV to companies abroad this part is of extra importance, as a company which is know very well in your country may be unknown in another and so the recruiter has no idea in which kind of business field your experiences were.

3. Skills

Apart from your working experience, the different skills you have to offer also play a big role in the decision-making process of the recruiters. Make sure to include in which languages you can communicate, your computer skills, whether you have a driving license and – if you want – your relevant soft skills.

4. Extra experiences

If you still have space on your resumé, you should also include some extracurricular experiences. You work voluntarily in a social organization? Great, make sure to include it! Social commitment always is a great plus in CVs and tells a lot about your personality. If you want, you can also include your hobbies. But please, just do so, if these activities bring with them certain soft skills. For example, if you do some kind of competitive sport it shows, that you are able to pursue something with dedication. You should NOT put on your résumé “hobbies” like Netflix, Instagram, reggaeton music, clubbing, etc. (I have read all these interests in résumés before). This kind of activities, either are very general (who doesn’t like watching movies and listening to music?) or show your not so professional side (when someone puts Instagram on their CV I imagine a person, who is constantly taking selfies and on their phone). If you don’t have any “special” hobbies, then it’s not a problem at all, just don’t include them on your résumé.

5. Adapt the CV to the position

Last but not least, you should not just make one universal résumé. Try to adapt your CV to every different position you are applying for. Some of your experiences might be more relevant for a certain kind of position and completely irrelevant for another. In order to keep your résumé to only one page it is sometimes necessary to exclude some activities, which is no problem at all, as long as these experiences are not of importance for the position you are applying for.

If you have any more questions what and what not to put on your CV, we from PIC Management are happy to help you.
Our only goal is to help you get the perfect internship
– and a badly created résumé should not be the reason you didn’t get the position of your dreams.

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Checklist for your next Skype Interview

Checklist for your next Skype Interview

When applying for an internship abroad it is mostly not possible to attend an interview personally. But luckily there is modern technology! Video chat providers like Skype make life much easier when you have distant friends, but also when you need to make a good first impression at your new position. Still, there are a few things you should check before and during your Skype interview:

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1. Check your Skype Name

Your Skype ID or Name will be essential that the company’s recruiter can find you and call you. Maybe you made your account a long time ago when a friend of yours did a high school year abroad and back then names like “luvteddy555” or “beerprince101” were popular. They may have been funny a few years ago but are totally unappropriated for a professional Skype interview. If you still have a badly chosen name, make yourself a new account and choose your Name and Surname.
Furthermore, you should take extra care about your profile picture. Try to have a picture where you look nice and your face is visible. A picture from your last costume party or your beach vacations are not very professional.

2. Check your technology

Technology is a boon and bane at the same time. If it works it makes our lives easier, if it doesn’t it makes it very hard. Check the well-functioning of your devices before you start the interview. Is your camera and microphone working? Is your Wi-Fi strong enough to do the video call? Does your Laptop have enough battery?
To avoid an echo maybe you should consider using a headset during the interview. Also, if you only have your smartphone available for the Skype-call, try to have steady hands or put your phone down (e.g. against a wall on your desk).
To be 100 % sure everything works as you want it you can make a test and call one of your friends the day before your interview is scheduled. That way you’ll have enough time to fix any problems, which might occur.

3. Check your surroundings

While doing your job interview it is very important you encounter yourself in an undisturbed and quiet surrounding. Don’t go to the next Café just because they have free Wi-Fi. Also make sure that no one interrupts the interview, when you are doing it from your home. Tell your family members or roommates you have an important interview and they should please show consideration for you and keep the house quiet.
Another very important point apart from your noise surroundings is your actual physical background: What is behind you? If you are in your childhood room and there is still a poster of your favorite teeny-band on your wall visible during the interview does it not make a good impression. Be very careful by choosing your background! Also make sure there is enough light, so your interview partner can actually see you.

4. Check your cloths

Of course you don’t have to be as careful with your clothing choice as when you’d have a physical interview, but anyway there are some points to keep in mind. Try to wear professional cloth. Even if the interview takes place in your livingroom or bedroom, don’t get yourself too comfortable. Check what kind of dress code the company has and try to imitate it. It doesn’t have to be a suit, but wear something nice and professional. Women shouldn’t show cleavage and men should not wear their muscle shirt from their last gym training. If you are unsure, wear something neutral like a black shirt or a nice blouse. And don’t forget to wear pants even if they are not visible! 😉

5. Check where your eyes wander

It is very seductive to always stare at your own video-image and check out how others see you, but it’s unappropriated during an interview! Try to look directly in the camera to make the impression of eye contact with your interviewer.

6. Check your presence

Stay focused during the whole interview. Maybe take notes so your interlocutor sees that you are listening carefully and are very interested in the position.
And, last but not least, don’t forget to smile!

We wish you all the best for your next Skype interview and we’d love to hear about your experience! Just give us a call on Skype! 😉

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Use the SWOT analysis to find your perfect internship

Use the SWOT analysis to find your perfect internship

The business world is full of marketing tools that support in useful planning of the company, the industry, the product or the place. SWOT is an analysis that can also be useful for your future.

It considers internal factors, so called strengths and weaknesses and external factors such as opportunities and threats.

The following SWOT analysis should help you to narrow down your internship possibilities.

To be aware of your strengths prior to your internship, will help you to uncover opportunities. Moreover, knowing your weaknesses will help you to eliminate threats. The analysis is also a good preparation for your next job interview. Did you know that people who use their strengths at their jobs are 6 times more engaged? The following SWOT analysis should help you to narrow down your internship possibilities.

Strengths

  • What can you do better than others?
  • What are your skills, education, connections?
  • Which achievements are you most proud of?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do other people value most about you?

Be objective and make a list of your personal characteristics to crystalize your strengths.

Weaknesses

  • What tasks in the past did you not like to do?
  • Do you feel uncomfortable with certain activities?
  • What do people around you see as your weaknesses?
  • Do you have negative work habits such as unpunctuality or short temper?

Most people find it more difficult to find honest weaknesses. Be honest with yourself and ask friends and family for help.

Opportunities

  • Does your university provide an internship agreement?
  • Is the field that interests you growing?
  • Do you have valuable professional connections that can help you or offer good advice?
  • Is the internship opening doors to a specific occupation in the future?

Threats

  • Is the industry you are interested in changing?
  • Does the change in technologies threaten potential internship positions?
  • Could any of your weaknesses such as lack of working experience lead to threats?

We hope that this personal SWOT analysis will help you to narrow down possible internships. It is always good to learn about yourself!

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The CV is your marketing tool for your self-promotion and the first chance for a recruiter to get to know you. But how to write a really good CV? In this article we will point out to you the important parts…

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6 advices to improve your internship application

6 advices to improve your internship application

There are probably many things, we all enjoy more than searching for an internship. So, let me help you to improve your internship application and performance and get accepted easier.
First of all, imagine putting yourself into the shoes of a recruiter. They receive tons of applications every day and you have to find your way to stand out of the crowd. Keep in mind how your application is perceived: always use a professional image, avoid mistakes and double check your spelling.

Let me help you to improve your internship application and performance and get accepted easier.

Your Email Address

Your email address is the first thing the recruiter will see from your application. Therefore, a professional email like [email protected] is necessary. Fancy names like: [email protected], [email protected] make a bad impression and are not appropriate at any time

Purpose of the Email

In order to improve your internship application, using a title that consists of the job title and your name makes it easier for the recruiter to relocate your email. An untitled email is an incomplete application and looks like you are rude or do not put a lot of effort in your application.

Email Text

Even if you attach your CV and a cover letter, do not neglect the body of the email. It looks unprofessional sending an email without a text. This is the ideal place to indicate for example your period of training and university. E.g. Hereby, I would like to apply to the position xxx posted on xx. Please find attached my curriculum vitae and my cover letter.

No mailing list

Even when you apply all five steps above, receiving an application, where about 20 other corporate emails are in the list of recipients gives a very bad impression. Improving your internship application is pointless when you send the same application to various recruiter in a corporate mailing list. Before you send the email, try to find out who is the responsible Human Resources Manager, so you can personalise your email!

Check your attachments

A CV with the name “Final CV 11” is unprofessional and makes it difficult for the recruiter to relocate your documents. An appropriate name for your CV would be “CV.Name.Surname” which directly will improve your internship application. You could add the language of your CV in case you send CVs in various languages (EngCV.Name.Surname).

Indicate your personal details

Even if your personal details are stated on your CV, do not forget to mention your personal details on the bottom of your message e.g first and last name, email and phone number. When you apply in a foreign country, always indicate the country code +336 … The more you save the recruiter’s time by being clear and precise, the better your application will be perceived.

I hope you can benefit from our advices to simplify improving your internship application! For more information, read all our tips for applying for a student internship abroad.

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Checklist for your next Skype Interview

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8 tips for a successful skype interview

8 tips for a successful skype interview

People all over the world are always wondering how they can increase their chance of being hired. Especially, students and graduates often do not know how to prepare for a Skype interview.

Therefore, we prepared a few techniques for you to make you feel more confident for your next job interview.

A few techniques for you to make you feel more confident for your next job interview.

Print your CV

Please have your CV ready, preferably printed out in front of you. You might not see the importance of this point but many employers ask you to guide them through your CV. Taking a look at your CV, will make it easier for you to talk about your experiences in the right order.

Use an appropriate interview set-up

Make sure that the interview set up is appropriate. That means that you should dress well. What does dress well mean? Well, this depends on the job position. However, the advantage when you have an interview on Skype is that you can wear a nice shirt and keep your pajamas as pants. However, make sure not to stand up during the interview. Moreover, you should be certain that there is no distraction in the background. Please choose a neutral set up and pay attention that there is nobody that could interrupt you.

Check interview connection

A good internet connection is the key for a successful Skype interview. In order to ensure that skype is working, you could try to call somebody else before.

Conduct Company research

Before doing the interview, it is beneficial to do some research about the company you would like to work for. You do not need to remember all parts of their history but focus on a few things that motivate you to work at this place. The employer is likely to ask “why would you like to work for us?” or “what do you know about the company?”. It can help to discuss how your skill set could fill the needs of the company.

Prepare for basic questions

Next to the above mentioned questions, it is important to prepare answers to a few basic questions. All recruiters are interested in these 4 things: your strengths, your weaknesses, your plans for the next 5 years and your achievements in the past. Be honest with yourself and take some time to think about these aspects. By answering the questions, it always helps to give specific examples of professional experiences, or academic experiences such as group projects.

Use professional language

Make sure to use the right language during the interview. Be professional and avoid slangs or abbreviations. Employers are looking for somebody that can communicate professionally. They need to see if you are the right person to interact with business partners or clients.

Good attitude

The employers already know what is on your CV. They do not really look for detailed information about your past, the real thing they look for is motivation and enthusiasm. Be real and be you. Do not remember what exact words you are saying. Of course, you can prepare some notes on a paper, but do not exaggerate. Even though it is a skype interview, the employer will see if you are not looking at the computer. Otherwise, if you are not sure at all, you could always scotch-taping your notes on your laptop. But make sure to leave some space to see the person that you are talking to. Finally, listen patiently, smile and stay positive. Job chances do not increase if you seem to be desperate to get the job.

Show interest

At the end of the interview, the recruiter always wants to know if there is any question from your side. Most candidates would answer with no. However, this is the point where you can show your interest. Ask what really interests you. It is the possibility to discover if the job is the right for you. You could for instance ask more detailed questions about the job description or the company culture.

We hope that these 8 tips will ensure your success during the next skype interview. We wish you all the best!

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How to write a good CV

The CV is your marketing tool for your self-promotion and the first chance for a recruiter to get to know you. But how to write a really good CV? In this article we will point out to you the important parts…

read more

Checklist for your next Skype Interview

When applying for an internship abroad it is mostly not possible to attend an interview personally. But luckily there is modern technology! Still there are things to take care of…

read more

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