Get to know us: Júlia and Pasquale, our Project Coordinators

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Júlia Švandová

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Pasquale Di Benedetto

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Can you tell us little bit about yourself?

Julia: Sure 🙂 My name is Julia and apart from working for GRN, I’m currently finishing my MBA studies in Slovenia. I come from Slovakia and since traveling is my big passion, I’m changing my home every few months.

Pasquale: I am a 22-year-old student from Italy, planning to (finally) finish my MSc. in Economics at University of Pavia in December 2014 or April 2015. In fact, while I am working here, I am also studying for my last 3 exams, working on my final thesis and looking for a summer Internship. PS. I’m not that weird guy in the photo 🙂

And what are your professional interests?

Julia: One of my characteristics is that I’m interested in too many things. What I discovered about myself until now is that I really like HR work and everything connected to that. This seems to be the closest professional area to my personality and interests because it’s a lot about people, psychology and communication. Also, I enjoy Marketing (especially PR), NGO field (currently I’m establishing my own foundation), so I’m trying to figure out how to combine this all in my future job 🙂

Pasquale: Well, good question. First of all, I have several different (sometimes opposite) interests in business. I’m interested in Corporate Finance, in Risk Management, in Human Resources (and thanks to this Internship, I will learn more about Recruiting), but I’m also fascinated by Business/Management Consulting. Moreover, I like to travel, and thanks to passion, I have also started to study Hotel/Tourism Management; in fact, the topic of my master thesis will be something related to that (Yield management)

I know that it seems weird; everyone has a “dream job”…. well, I do not. At least, I don’t yet. I would like to find a job in one of the fields I’ve mentioned before, maybe keep working abroad for a few years (New Zealand is in my short-term plans), and then go back Italy permanently. Gaining different professional experience will surely help me to clarify ideas about my future.

What brings you to Prague?

Julia: As mentioned before, I really love traveling so discovering new places and cities belongs to my life 🙂 Since I’m finishing my studies I should probably start to make long-term decisions not only planning the next few months. That’s why I’ve decided to come to Prague, because for me as a Slovak, this is something between being abroad and being at home. Czech Republic is very similar to Slovakia, but Prague is an international metropolis with many opportunities in all aspects compared to Bratislava. Moreover, I always liked Prague and I enjoyed the time here so when I was accepted with GRN I didn’t hesitate for a second.

Pasquale: No doubts, the chance to grow professionally, thanks to this work experience in an area which I’m interested in. In Italy, young people or fresh-graduates with experience abroad are not really common, and I am grateful to GRN for this opportunity. It will be a big plus on my CV. I won a grant for the Erasmus Placement in October 2013, so I will work here until June 2014.

Did you have any troubles moving away from home and adapting to a new environment?

Julia: Not at all. Changing my home address is completely normal for me, Prague is actually my 5th home already 🙂 It’s always a challenge to get out of your comfort zone but probably this is what I like the most and this is how I’m improving myself all the time.

Pasquale: I know a thing or two about the overwhelming uncertainty of leaving the comforts of home, the indefinite “see-you-laters” at the departure gates, and I also like fearlessly going into the unknown because I know the feeling of return. And that “I’ve-missed-you-hug” is the best type of hug in the whole world.

I lived alone (and traveled) since I was 18 years old, so for me, getting comfortable in a new environment takes not more than 2 or 3 days. For sure, the language is a big problem here in Czech Republic (at least for a Latin-native speaker); I have had the same troubles when I lived in Germany last year. So, it’s not a new challenge for me to face a completely different language…but we are in 2014, everyone has to speak English.

What are your main job responsibilities at GRN?

Julia: My position as a “Project Coordinator” basically means trying to make the work of our consultants easier. I conduct the research, looking for the targeted candidates and sometimes I also attend their interview with our consultants. Here I learn a lot about how to present yourself in the best way, how to tailor your CV or how to make your LinkedIn profile interesting. Also, I’m responsible for searching for our future GRN interns and the whole hiring process – from communication with universities to the interviews with applicants. Sometimes I write a blog article or I’m  researching for interesting articles/quotes for our social media channels. Working at GRN gives me the opportunity to be creative and learn not only about the headhunting process but also about social media and communication with people.

Pasquale: Since I am here as ‘Project Coordinator’ my role is quite similar to Julia’s. So as she mentioned, we are responsible for the hiring process of new interns (contact with universities’ offices, interviews with applicants), we also write articles for our blog; thanks to that we can learn a lot about the hiring process (and above all, on how to write a brilliant CV. Don’t miss our Tips in the GRN Blog). For now, I’m particularly focused on a project in which I am responsible for the organization of all aspects of a Social Media Strategy for a client here in Prague.

Do you think working for GRN will help you in your business career?

Julia: I’m sure it will. First of all, I’ll have a better job market overview in the Czech Republic, knowing which companies are here and for which I would like to work after my internship. Also, enlarging my social network and gaining experience from our successful headhunters will surely be very useful 🙂

Pasquale: For sure. Finishing my MSc. with the maximum grade, along with already having work experience abroad (maybe two, if my Summer Internship research will be successful) & in an area which I’m interested in — well I think all of that combined would be at least a good “calling card” (fingers crossed)….

10 Quick Choices

Julia Pasquale
COFFEE or tea (coffee addicted!)
morning or EVENING
(Oh I’ll never be a morning person)
SPORT and ART (I like to combine them)
DOG or cat
ROCK and JAZZ
(depending on my mood, I like both)
VODKA or whiskey
(but wine is my favorite!)
steak or SOUP
CAKE or crisps
linkedin or FACEBOOK
(I guess, I should say LinkedIn here 🙂 )
resume or CV
COFFEE or tea
(you know, I’m Italian)
morning or EVENING
(never-ending nights lead to miserable mornings)
SPORTS or art
dog or cat
(Mmm..fish)
ROCK or jazz
VODKA or whiskey (G&T!)
STEAK or soup
(definitely)
cake or CRISPS
linkedin or FACEBOOK
resume or CV

CV Tips part IV: Highlight Your Experience

Do you think that your past work experience is not enough to make a good impression on the recruiter or hiring manager? Are you a fresh-graduate and don’t know how to fill in the “Work Experience” section of your CV? The Work Experience section on your CV is crucial, and anyone can improve this part of his/her CV.

Following you can find so10.06.10-How-to-Mention-Unrelated-Work-Experience-on-Your-Resumeme useful hints on HOW to best present your work experience in your CV; First of all, make sure the job title, dates etc. are all accurate, and that they adequately explain your role, your duties and responsibilities. Remember that you are trying to show that your experience from previous jobs makes you the right candidate for the role you might be applying for.

After that, focus on the Achievements and Accomplishments (two-three lines are enough). It is a common mistake for people to overlook or disregard their achievements. For instance, you might overlook something because your boss gave you a project to quickly complete as soon as possible, but likely without explaining just how important your part within the project was and what kind of impact it would have. It can be hard or difficult, at times for us to “see” our achievements/ accomplishments. So perhaps it might be easier for you, if you look for feedback from your colleagues (current/former) or even help from the headhunter you are working with.

It’s effective to make sure that the achievements you list in your CV are positive, for example promotions, qualifications or leadership skills gained, sales increase etc. But also be sure to prioritize your achievements; employers or hiring managers tend to give higher consideration to those accomplishments which are relevant to the position they are looking to fill.

According to research conducted by the authors of “Brilliant CV: What Employers Want To See and How To Say It”, candidates with achievement-focused CVs are three times more likely to be shortlisted for an interview, compared with candidates with (duties) responsibilities-focused CVs. Everyone is able to do a particular job, but it’s your achievements that show HOW successful you have been in that job. After all, past performance is the best indicator of future performance.

Remember to use Reverse Chronological Order when presenting your working history. In a CV, the employer or the hiring manager is more interested in what you have done recently than in the past, your current job, probably has a higher level of skill and responsibility than your prior positions. The Reverse chronological CV format is preferred by experts and hiring managers for two basic reasons: it shows your current knowledge and competence and it permits the reader to easily evaluate your career progression.

Adding a personal touch to your CV, is something that gives  the poget-experience-blog-pagetential employer a glimpse into you and your personality, but be  careful. Unless you are not already a graphic designer, don’t try to become one while writing your CV. Don’t waste time trying to use and coordinate different font, just focus on your strength points. Always keep in mind what is the goal of your CV.

According to Tim Windhof of careerealism.com, we would agree with the fact that “Submitting your resume is pretty much like going on a first date…Once you are on your date, it is important to find the right balance of talking, and choosing the appropriate topics for a first date…..the talk is the content you include on your resume. Don’t talk too much. Just like on a first date, your task is to give the other side a chance to get to know you better. The task is not to overload the other side with information regarding everything you have ever done….try to understand their needs and prove that your skills and prior experience is an answer to their problems…The second date will be yours!”

Prepared by Pasquale Di Benedetto, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech

GRN CV Tips, part III: Personal details – tell only the essential

It's a CV and we know it without telling

Yes, it’s a Curriculum Vitae

The section in your CV that gives your “personal details” is your first opportunity to introduce yourself to the company. Use it carefully! While constructing a CV, the basic rule is to leave all unnecessary information out. You can start following this “rule of thumb” by skipping the traditional headline “Curriculum Vitae”. Believe it or not – the reader really does recognize it’s a CV! 🙂

So, the first thing to do is to put your name on the top center of the first page. Use a larger and clear font for this – after all, your CV is your marketing tool to promote YOU.  When it comes to personal details, you should not provide any information that could turn against you. For example, you don’t need to include details about your marital status or information about whether you have a family or not. Simply put: this information shouldn’t have any effect on the decision of whether a company will hire you — so leave it out.

From our point of view, all you need is your full name, address, city, country and your contact information. The contact information – phone number and email address – are essential, so make sure that you don’t have any typos there! You may take it granted, but trust us – we’ve seen it all. You wouldn’t want to miss the job interview because the call from a potential employer was instead directed to a random person on the other side of the country (and this person might even start to get a bit grumpy being disturbed constantly). If you have several phone numbers, pick one to use as your main contact phone number.

Additionally, along with your phone and e-mail address, we highly recommend sharing a link to your carefully finished LinkedIn profile page. Customize your address on LinkedIn using the following form: cz.linkedin.com/in/yourname. Today, it is normal and expected by most hiring managers that the candidate has a proper online presence.  A candidate, who provides a way to get more information without asking, is giving a good sign that he or she doesn’t have “a skeleton in the closet”. Make sure though that your profile is not just a copy of your online CV. Rather, it should be more like a digital extension of the “professional you” and reflect your personality.

If you missed the first or the second part of the series, you can find them here.

Prepared by Sini Suutari, Social Media Coordinator at GRN Czech