The SQ3R study method is a tool to enhance reading comprehension. It is a step-by-step process designed to introduce information to the brain and help process that information to be stored in the long term. This method lets students get and absorb as much information as possible from the required reading material.

The SQ3R method is beneficial for topics that a student may find uninteresting or challenging. However, for any learning to occur, learners must actively participate and engage with the learning material.

Following the steps of the SQ3R method will help with this so that, in the end, students can build better study habits, increase retention and understanding, and expand their learning capacity.

Related reading: What is the PQ4R Method and How to Use it for Studying?

A step-by-step process

The SQ3R method is a five-step system, which stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. These steps are meant to be followed in order—why it should be done and how. Some of these steps might be familiar already (i.e., reading, taking notes,testing yourself, etc.).   

There is a science to this system, so it’s essential to follow it in order. Keep in mind this is based on the research of educational psychologists. It’s meant to allow students to acquire and understand as much information as possible without getting overwhelmed. 

1. Survey

Browse through an assigned reading material to get the main idea and the purpose of the text. The goal is to get an overview of the text or the chapter. To do this, you can do any of the following:

  Check the headings

  Look for visual cues like pictures, graphs, text in bold or italics as these highlight the critical information

  Read the introduction and conclusion, as these usually contain a summary of the entire text

  Check the footnotes

  Look at the study questions

  Read the chapter summary if you’re reading a textbook

The point of doing this step is to get a general idea of the topic. By doing this, students can focus on what is essential. In addition, by getting a “big picture.” Understanding a text, students can relate the information to previously acquired knowledge and prepare to read the text actively.

2. Question

Students are encouraged to formulate questions based on the overview of the text. These are some tips for crafting questions:

  Ask factual questions: who, what, where, when, why,and how

  Rephrase the heading and turn it into a question

  Use the pictures and visual aids as a cue to ask how it is related to the entire text

Asking questions will set the road map for studying and reading. By doing this, it gives the study session a purpose. These questions are meant to keep the mind engaged and focused and guided when reading. In addition, asking questions at this stage can be “practice” for reviewing.

3. Read

Reading will take up a bulk of the time devoted to studying. In this step, students are meant to search for answers to their questions. In this step, students are required to read actively. Read the material while bearing in mind the information from step 1 and answering questions from step 2. Here are some suggestions on how students can read actively:

  Highlighting the main ideas and key concepts

  Taking notes 

  If the text is lengthy, break it up into sections and make sure to read each section thoroughly

  Read a passage, then try to answer at least one of the questions.

  Do not move on to the next chapter or reading material until the questions have been answered

  Take breaks in between reading sessions to allow the information to process and settle

Reading actively will help students get information from the assigned text. This is why taking notes and highlighting are helpful. In addition, this is an excellent way to prepare for tests, lectures, and discussions.

4. Recite

Reciting entails saying information out loud to yourself or to a group. In this step, students have to do so by repeating the information in their own words. Here are some tips on how to recite correctly:

  Rephrase, paraphrase and/or summarize each topic in your own words

  Say it out loud to your peers.

  If working alone, students can write a summary and write notes in a notecard

  Create a mind map of the ideas and show how each one is connected

In this step, the critical part is to not repeat sections of the text word-for-word. It’s a test of how much a student knows and understands the subject matter. Try to answer each question out loud, and students are unable to do so, they have to reread the part in question. Attempting to answer each question aloud can be a way to rehearse the answers as if they’re delivering a report in class. When doing this step, answer as thoroughly as possible.

5. Review

Before concluding a study session and moving onto the next, students have to review what they just learned. This is to ensure that they understand everything, and they will be able to remember what they studied. These are some ways to review: 

  Review the reading notes and other assigned materials to maximize memory and comprehension benefits within the same day. Studies have shown that putting off a review session can put students at risk of forgetting as much as 80% of the topic 

  Go back to step 2. Check if the questions have been answered

  Try to answer each question without looking through your notes; if not, spend some more time with it

  Make connections between personal notes and the reading material

  Take things further by connecting them with previous topics 

  Revisit the material weekly

  Quiz yourself 

Reviewing a chapter before moving on to the next helps jog the memory and test whether any information was actually absorbed during the study process. This is an excellent way to check how well students could pay attention to essential details.

Review the chapter or lesson every week, even after moving on to the following sections. As students introduce more information to the brain, it is vital to ensure that previously learned chapters “stay fresh.”

Powering through “boring” topics

Having a system like this in place is necessary, especially when it comes to matters that one may find uninteresting. Finding the motivation to study for favorite subjects and topics is easy enough, but what about other less exciting topics? 

A system like the SQ3R method is highly recommended in these situations. Instead of relying on the motivation of feelings of excitement for a topic to start studying, having this system in place just makes the whole process easier and painless. Set a schedule, go through the steps—the same process for all topics!

An organized brain 

When using a system like the SQ3R method, information is introduced, processed, and stored in the brain in an orderly way. This information then gets stored in the long-term memory.

Thus, as a student advances to more complex topics, more information is stored and connected with the previously acquired knowledge. Furthermore, because the data is organized, it is easier to access should it be needed. 

Going through the SQ3R method helps the brain stay organized. A student goes through thousands of thoughts and information in a day.

If the information is not organized, students risk getting mental blocks and getting confused about specific topics. A disorganized mind is bad for retention and comprehension; moreover, it can make things worse for those with anxiety. 

Manage test anxiety

Imagine preparing for a final exam—students have studied by reading, rereading, and taking notes but did not use the SQ3R method. Because of this, students know the key concepts, but the details are blurry. This can make any student feel anxious, especially since it’s a final exam.

So, on the day of the exam, students may find themselves struggling to remember details (names, dates, locations) instead of straightforwardly answering questions. When anxiety kicks in, the brain goes into overload.  

Some of the best ways to manage test anxiety would be to study efficiently, prepare for the test, and study early (in other words, avoid cramming).

These are some of the things that are built in the system of SQ3R. It’s a study method that allows students to learn efficiently to be well-prepared for tests. It also mitigates cramming because studying with a system introduces information to the brain in a well-paced manner.


The SQ3R method is an effective study strategy that involves several steps. Each of the steps is nothing new to students. Most students have already done quite a bit of reading, have taken notes, and have quizzed themselves on various topics.

The SQ3R is an active approach to learning, which puts order to these familiar study tips. It can be used by students and any person who wants to learn something new.

People consider taking two jobs for several reasons. Whether to maximize their income to pay off debt or to build on a newly acquired skill. Having two jobs can be a daunting task, one has to strike a balance between having a healthy lifestyle, having time for family and friends while coping with the stress that comes along.

Part-time jobs can be a great idea, they provide many opportunities such as helping to build up your resume, improve the financial status, test newly acquired skills, and help enhance your social life. When people seek new jobs they are often oblivious of the dangers of not properly managing both jobs, most especially when they have pre-existing full-time jobs.

Without proper management and planning, what was thought originally to be a great idea, could turn out to be a nightmare. In a worst-case scenario, you could lose out on both sides.

Your employer may not be comfortable with the idea at all or may notice a lack of commitment towards your primary job. This could be potentially costly to you, as the aim of getting the job in the first place is defeated. Finding the right job for yourself is the most important step which means you should find a job that is well suited for you.

By weighing the pros and cons of your new job and making proper enquiries, you will be guided in making the right decision. If getting a second job is the right decision for you, here are some tips that will help you manage working two jobs at the same time without pushing yourself beyond your limits.


Job Selection

When choosing the right job, you must consider some important factors that will ensure you don’t face the challenges that come with handling working two jobs. By answering the following questions, you’ll be guided in your decision towards choosing the right job that suits you.

  • Does my schedule permit have a second job? If your primary job offers decent free time then getting a second job would be just the best for you. In such cases, you should consider getting a higher paying full-time job. Most especially if the main reason you got the job was for making some extra money.
  • Is it worth the extra effort? It is ok to work two jobs to make extra cash, but the question to ask yourself is, if the job is worth the extra time and effort. Handling two jobs can be difficult, for this reason, make sure the extra money earned is congruent with the extra effort spent.
  • Will you enjoy the job? It’s not about working two jobs for the benefits. What determines the longevity and success of having a second job is your attitude towards work. This is largely dependent on how you feel about the job.
  • Will the new job affect my primary job? Most times the primary job offers you a better paycheck at least when compared with the second job. While working two jobs it is important to keep at the back of your mind, what job helps pay the most of your bills?
  • Do I have the required skills? A lot of people find themselves hopping from one job to the other because they lack the necessary skills. Their motivation for working several jobs is primarily for making more money “which is okay” when you have the required skills.

By spending time improving your skills you make personal investments, that would help you achieve your career goals and secure your dream job. The labor market is a competitive one, most companies prefer employing experts and experienced individuals.

By polishing your craft, you earn a trump card that will help you secure the position you want. In your working environment, you will be surrounded by professionals who are just as ambitious as you are, therefore, you need to have up-to-date skills that will give you the upper hand.

Do Your Research

One important phase when seeking a second job is the research phase, you will need to find an opportunity that fits your qualification, expertise and skills. Check out websites and look for firms whose vacancies are best suited for you.

If you find employers who require your services, look for details of past success stories from people who have worked there before. You could also check-up LinkedIn profiles of people who work the same job you are looking for. Join the relevant social media groups available, this will help you learn more about the firm.


Now you have got the second job and—”the pay is great”. But you have to travel miles to get your second workplace. When finding a second job always put into consideration issues of transportation. You are advised to get a job close to your primary workplace, so you don’t have to go through the hassles of shuttling between workplaces. Depending on the job, proximity might not be a thing to worry about, many jobs require you to work on a computer, this can be done anywhere even in the comfort of your home.

Consider Legal Limitations

It all boils down to your employers contractual agreement conditions. They may be constraints as regards your contract with your employer. You may be required to agree to certain terms by your primary employer, some of which may form limitations much later when working two jobs.

Provided you manage working two jobs without conflict of interest or break in the terms of your primary job then you are all set. A lot of people work single full-time jobs with work hours equivalent to working two part-time jobs. The challenge, however, is maintaining a tight schedule that prevents conflict between both jobs.

Employers Flexibility

A flexible workflow system offers many opportunities, as well as provides you with many benefits. Your full-time job should be at the top of your priority list. You may need to ask your second employer for adaptable work arrangements.

Many large businesses offer flexible work arrangements since these large-scale businesses are often adequately staffed, hence they run multiple shifts for their staff. On the other hand small-scale businesses, sometimes are short-staffed and may be unable to accommodate your request. As a consequence, you’re required to find a job that fits the flexibility you need.


Time Management

Working two jobs requires hard work and discipline. Nonetheless, one of the most important skills you should have in life is proper time management. Without proper time management, it is almost impossible to reach your goals, be it your career goals or your life goals.

You will have some successes, but with poor time management, it is always going to be a struggle. So if you want to enjoy the benefits of having 2 jobs without stretching yourself beyond your limits, you will need to set goals and plan your time. The simple trick is finding a proper time management plan and working on it.


Planning Your Schedule

By creating a schedule, you plan your activities in such a way that you can achieve your priorities within your time limits. This helps you understand your daily activities and prevent you from taking more than you can handle. Establish when you want to do your scheduling, at the beginning of the month or beginning of the week, it all depends on what works best for you. One easy way is to get a pen and paper and draw out a weekly plan or download a weekly planner document from the internet.

Another option is to explore available applications that help you plan your week with inbuilt functions. To succeed in working two jobs identify your free time and establish how much time you intend to spend on each job. Prioritize your activities in your workplace, make a to-do list and start working on essential tasks first.

You should also arrange your tax in such a way that important tasks are done at the time of the day when you are most productive. Due to the nature of working two jobs, you should make time for contingencies. Sometimes things may come up at your primary workplace, by making time available in such a way that you will be able to make effective workarounds that will help you solve these issues. As you work your second job, frequent interruptions could take up so much valuable time.

Some of these interruptions can be difficult to predict. By making your schedule flexible and creating some available space in between, you should be able to circumvent these interruptions easily.

Set Your Goals

Setting goals at your workplace will help you in balancing working two jobs. Your personal goals should support that of your company’s. Some companies may tend to be better at helping employees achieve their work goals. Some employers may know the benefits of goal alignment and will help employees set their personal work goals.

This offers many opportunities and will also serve as a launch-pad for your career growth. By doing so you make clear to yourself what you want from your job, this will go a long way in guiding you towards getting the most of the benefits of having 2 jobs.

Plan for the Rest

We all are familiar with the phrase “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Working long hours without rest can be harmful to one’s health and well-being. While planning your schedule, do not forget to make available rest periods in between shifts. Working two jobs comes with some degrees of stress. Keep track of your stress level so you don’t end up “popping” pain relievers anytime you feel stressed.


Managing Funds

Considering the extra hours and effort spent on making extra cash, should offer you enough motivation to work prudently. Being in debt, while working two jobs can be a terrible situation (the one you don’t want to find yourself in).

This is why you have to make a budget so you don’t end up spending more than you earn. Poor money management sounds terrible. But the truth is a good number of people are poor at managing their income.

If you find yourself among this group of people then you are in luck. There are many available strategies that will help you manage your funds properly. Proper management of money takes time to master, it requires discipline and some level of sacrifice.

To balance the financial aspects of working two jobs, you will need to understand your financial situation. Understanding your financial situation will go a long way in helping you create your budget.

Draw Your Budget

The number one question that comes to our minds when we try to create a budget is “do I need this?”. The answer to that question is a straightforward “Yes!”. It takes one thing to draw a budget but takes another to stick to it. It may be difficult at first but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

By making a budget plan, you begin to see clearly your financial situation. Having a budget also helps in managing debts, savings and expenses to be incurred much later. This ultimately helps you have some sort of control over your financial life.

Plan for the Bills

Many people are unaware of their monthly expenses, some are unable to keep track of how much they spend in a week. By understanding your income and expenses you will be able to plan adequately enough, so you don’t end up incurring unnecessary debt.

Many people take up a second job, so they can make extra income to help them with their bills. Take note of your daily expenses including groceries, gas, electricity and water bills.

Write them down and calculate your monthly expenses. Doing this will help you have an insight as to how much you spend monthly. This will also serve as a reminder for your future expenses. Working two jobs can be much easier with good money management skills, your spending habit determines to a great extent your motivation to keep going in the job.

Save Money

Saving money each month from the extra income can help you build a good financial habit. These savings can be automated easily in such a way that money is transferred directly to your savings account and you do not need to manually transfer money.

Managing money can be quite difficult at the beginning, it takes a huge level of discipline to properly manage your income. However, the moment you inculcate these habits into your life, the easier it gets.


Keep Your Primary Job

Remember the reason you got the second job was to make extra money. Working a second job shouldn’t be at the expense of your primary job. Your full-time job should always take priority. A lot of people who work two jobs, tend to lose focus and take their full-time jobs for granted. You shouldn’t be among this category of people.

Do Your Job

When working two jobs, always try as much as possible to excel in your jobs. Remember there are equally skilled individuals, who are available to employers and will gladly swing into your position

Help Your Employer

Strive to maintain a good relationship with your boss. As far as job security is concerned, this is more or less the number one rule. Especially for someone who wants to balance working two jobs, your relationship with your employer will determine a lot. You should be seen trying to make work a lot easier for your team. Your boss may appreciate your effort and may reward you with some extra free time or even a promotion.

Beef-up Your Resume

It is always helpful to keep your resume current, by doing so you take another step towards maintaining your primary job. Try to have the upper hand by adding your recent career achievements to your resume.

Consider Informing Your Employer

Handling two jobs will be a lot easier if your boss is informed. However, the decision whether to inform your employer can be a tricky one—as you would have to put a lot into consideration. This may not be much of a problem when working part time jobs. Some companies do not permit employees working for competitors, this clause is always stated clearly in your contract with your primary employer.

In such instances, you are advised not to get a second job in a similar company or act in any way that violates your agreed work terms. However, in instances where the contract in your full time job does not take into account working for competitors, you shouldn’t bring it up if you don’t feel the need to.


Ask for Help from Family and Friends

Having two jobs can be a huge burden. Your family and friends are always there to help you, whether it’s searching for part time jobs or running errands. When asking family and friends for job opportunities, be more specific about the type of job you need. You should also inform them about your plans to work two jobs.

That way they can understand your situation and inform you about available jobs that meet your specification. Whether family or friend, remember that asking for help involves their time and effort. For this reason before making your request, understand that they also have things to do as well and they have to go out of their way to help you.

Your friends or family can also help you with errands. As you work two jobs some of your free times are no longer available to you due to your busy schedule. You may need help with things like buying your groceries, feeding your pets (if you have one) and other personal tasks. Do not hesitate to ask people close to you for help. Always make sure you appreciate those who help you out. Be nice and express your gratitude. Because you definitely will need their help again.


Do Not Overwhelm Yourself

If having one job is enough stress for you. Then working a second job can be nerve-racking. Know your limits and stay within them. Be careful not to take up more work that you can manage easily. It can be proved to be counterproductive when you make more money at the detriment of your health. A study on long work hours revealed that people who worked more than 11 hours per day are 2.5 times more likely to develop depression.

The more reason, you have to be careful when choosing your second job. You should try as much as possible to avoid having two physically demanding jobs at the same time. Your full-time job may have the better paycheck, but is twice the stress. Try to balance the stress with the income and see if it weighs out. If not, only go for a second job, when you are sure it will not be a multiplying factor to your stress level.


Know When to Take a Break

You should consider taking a break at your second job, if it begins to place a significant risk on your primary job, or when you begin to have trouble with coping with the stress. People with full-time jobs mostly work during the day, this provides them with plenty of rest-time. On the other hand, people who work night shifts or work in the evenings have little time to relax and rest for the day. This particularly places stress on them in the long run.


Maintain a Healthy and Social Life Style

As well as there are benefits to having two jobs, there are also downsides some of which affect your health directly. While planning your schedule remember to reserve some time for yourself. Make sure you eat healthily, always try to have breakfast before going about your day. Stay hydrated and plan for lunch, if you do not have time to eat at a restaurant close by, ensure you take some healthy snacks along with you.

Having a meal before heading out will help you stay focused and remain productive throughout the day. Working two jobs may mean you are busy all the time, but that doesn’t mean you should throw your social life into the garbage-can, make time for family and friends. Remember the key to having a balanced lifestyle is largely dependent on your state of mind and relationship with other people.

The most important marketing tool you have at your disposal when applying for a job is your resume, otherwise referred to as curriculum vitae (CV). A well-written professional resume helps demonstrate the personality of the prospective employee.

For many companies, resumes must first get past initial screening algorithms or applicant tracking systems (ATS) put in place to aid the employer in their selection process.

If your resume has properly utilized important keywords to pass the algorithm, it will make its way to the desk of an employee recruitment team member.

Now imagine being the hiring manager reading the resumes of dozens or perhaps hundreds of applicants to fill a single vacancy. It is a given that an applicant must have an effective resume that stands out amongst the crowd to catch their attention and land an interview session.

Resume writing can be daunting, but it is a skill that can be mastered. Before you write your resume, be clear about why you are writing it. What jobs are you interested in and do you meet the qualifications for them? Why do you want to work with a particular employer? Do your values align with those of the employer? Answering these questions is the first step to writing your resume.


Creating an Outstanding and Effective Resume 

A successful job application is led by a strong first impression. To tick the right boxes in the employer’s list, a resume must have the information the hiring team is looking for.

One important point is to have a neat and structured resume template, which will help pitch your suitability for the position—one of the best ways to do this is to use a resume builder instead of the basic text editor.

Another point to ensure the resume has all the essential components. Below is a step-by-step guide to follow when writing your resume, which sections you must include and others you can consider.

  • Choose the Right Resume Format

There are four main resume formats: reverse-chronological, functional, combination, and targeted. The best format to use depends on the applicant’s professional experience and the job they are applying to.

As the name suggests, the reverse chronological resume format highlights the history of your professional experience from the most to less recent.

The format is preferred by recruiters and hiring managers and is often used by people who have plenty of relevant experience in the position they are applying for. Unlike the other two formats, applicant tracking systems can read this format without trouble, making it the most common and useful resume format for job applicants.

The functional resume format is also called a skills-based resume format as it emphasizes the skill summary or areas of strength of the applicant.

Functional resumes are particularly useful for fresh graduates who have not yet obtained relevant work experience. It can also be used in the events of a career switch by explaining how skills previously gained through time in one industry can be transferred to another.

A combination resume format is a mix of the two formats: reverse-chronological and functional. While it comes with an area of strength section, it brings attention to the applicant’s work experience.

The format allows demonstration of both skills and experience, which is beneficial for senior professionals who need to highlight more than just their job experience.

The fourth and final format is a targeted resume, which is customized to the specific position you are applying for. Your work history, skills, and education provide direct answers to the prospective employer’s questions.

When sending targeted resumes, the resume template will be edited and rewritten for each job which the candidate applies to.

  • List Contact Information and Personal Details

It is important to know which information to provide in your resume. As the hiring managers need to contact you, should your application proceeds to the next stage, your resume should include:

  • Your name – first and last, supplying your middle name is optional. 
  • Personal email address – one with a professional username rather than one with an embarrassing childhood reference like sillygirl@aol.com  
  • A phone number – make sure you have written all the right digits in the right order, otherwise you may not get that acceptance phone call you have been waiting for. 
  • LinkedIn profile – to provide additional detail for the hiring managers. 

Unless the job listing requires it, there is no need to provide an address. Information such as date of birth, gender, health status, and links to personal websites or blogs should be kept off your resume.

There are exceptions to this rule, such as when the job description states that the employer is looking for someone within a specific age range or an applicant of a certain sex. Where it helps to strengthen your application, consider including some of these details.  

Your contact information should be put in the main body of the document as some applicant tracking systems may have difficulty reading information written in headers or footers. 

  • Write a Professional Summary

Think of a professional summary as a condensed cover letter. By that definition, a professional summary or summary statement is a description comprising 50 to 150 words which helps the hiring manager to get an overview of your skills and experiences.

As it provides a summary of qualifications, it is most suitable to include in resumes of experienced job seekers with past achievements to highlight.

A strong professional summary placed at the top of your resume can increase your chances of being noticed, especially when it is used to address requirements written in the job listing. Always tailor your professional summary to a specific job by reading through the job description to find the qualifications that employers find important.

A general format that you can follow when writing a professional summary is:

[adjective(s) / strong character trait(s)] [your job title] [your professional experience] [company name] [what you want to help the employer achieve and how] [relevant key achievement(s)].

For example, a professional summary for a sales position may read:

Motivated sales associate with a passion for high-quality customer service. Possess excellent time management, organizational, and interpersonal skills through over 5+ years of experience. Eager to assist the prospective employer in boosting company productivity and revenue through collaboration with team members. Exceeded quarterly sales target by 10% every quarter in the previous position.”

  • List Relevant Work Experience and Achievements 

Work experience is gained by an employee by working in a particular field or position. In resume writing, the work experience and achievements section is the most detailed and holds the most important information in your resume.

The section should be placed below the professional summary for an experienced job-seeker, or under the education section for fresh graduates.

Following the reverse-chronological resume format, start with the most recent job experience and go backward from there. Otherwise, you can begin with the roles that are most relevant to the position you are applying for.

Whichever experience is placed at the top should be described in the most details. Here is a list of things to include in this section:

  • Position title – internships, volunteer work, paid, and unpaid jobs count as long as they are relevant.
  • Company name and location.
  • Employment period – month and year in the standard MM/YYYY format is a sufficient description of the timeframe.
  • Outline of your levels of responsibility and accomplishment – four of five bullet points to focus on relevant duties and awards or promotions received.

Employ action verbs and/or power words when describing your key responsibilities and use numbers, percentages, or statistics to bolster your achievements. One method to guarantee conciseness and effectiveness of the bullet points is to utilize the Problem-Action-Result method.

Take note that while the best resume template should sufficiently highlight your experience and eligibility, it should go back no more than 10-15 years.

  • List Your Education History

The education section is an essential part of building an effective resume. Most of the time you only need to provide your highest level of education—a high school degree can be deemed irrelevant for an applicant who has completed university degrees and several other qualifications since. It adds no value to the resume and therefore can be left out. 

Any coursework relevant to the position or honors and awards received throughout the degree should be listed, along with extracurricular activities. Quantifying your results here is unnecessary, it might even work against you if another applicant comes in with a higher number. Below is a list of information to include in the education section in your resume:

  • Name of the educational institution and its location.
  • Name of the qualification i.e., your degree and course.
  • Years of study – when the degree/diploma began and ended.
  • Include Relevant Skills Matching the Job Listing

As the hiring process becomes more modernized, prospective employers use software that scans for important keywords and phrases in the application that are sent to them. The ones that do not use these keywords and phrases do not make it to the recruiting team.

This section should briefly list important skills you have to offer to prospective employers, whether it may be hard or soft skills, which are sometimes not immediately conveyed through the work experience section. If you have skills that are currently most in-demand, make sure to include them.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are quantifiable learned abilities obtained and strengthened through experience. They can be gained through formal education, training, or work experience. The hard skills presented in a resume should be relevant to the job—pointing out that you are adept in typography while applying for a position in the healthcare sector is unlikely to boost your candidacy. Some common hard skills included by job seekers are:

  • Proficiency in foreign languages.
  • Mastery in programming languages.
  • Certifications and licenses.
  • Technical skills such as typing speed.

Soft Skills

These are your interpersonal, individual and fundamental skills which are harder to measure or quantify. The term soft skills itself refers to the ability to communicate and interact with other people; research shows they are strongly desired by employers and becoming more important in the current job market. They are universal and transferable across professions or industries, not limited to a specific position. Some examples of soft skills are:

  • Critical thinking – the ability to make decisions and take initiative.
  • Leadership – the ability to be an excellent leader and supervisor, including conflict management and resolution.
  • Persuasion.
  • Teamwork.

Including a combination of both hard and soft skills in this section make up a skill set that helps the recruiting team to assess your eligibility for the position you are applying to.

Once again, it is worth revisiting the job listing and reading through the description given by the employer, as you can save time in resume writing by knowing which skills are relevant and which keywords will help set your application apart from others.

There are several ways to present your skills to prospective employers. There may be some skills for which you want to give more specific details regarding pertinent areas, but a simple bulleted list with key abilities and descriptions of proficiency level is the most common.

You can use graphics such as charts or boxes, or simply categorize your proficiency as “Professional,” “Advanced,” “Intermediate,” or “Beginner.” For foreign language skills, “Native,” and “Fluent,” are terms used to describe the level of mastery. 

Never lie about your skill levels. Imagine showing up to an interview having claimed you speak a language, only to have your interviewer be a native speaker of that same language—that is certainly a situation you want to avoid at all costs.

  • Give Your Resume a Personality

The sections we have covered so far are crucial for any resume to have. That means every application that goes through the hiring managers will have the same components.

To create a unique resume that sets you apart from other applicants, provide additional information that shines a light upon your personal attributes. You can do this by building in one or more of the following resume sections into your resume.

Hobbies and Interests

Hobby and interest are two terms that are often used interchangeably, although there is a distinction between the two of them. A hobby is something one likes to do in their pastime, and there is a connotation that one dedicates a good amount of time to their hobby. On the other hand, interests are subjects that capture one’s attention, such as topic, event, or process.

Adding this section can be especially beneficial for fresh graduates with minimal work experience, as it helps to showcase hobbies and interests beyond your educational background.

Hiring managers may connect to you on a more personal level, gain an understanding of how you utilize your free time and what relevant skills you can bring to the organization through them. Hobbies and interests can show an employer that you are a well-rounded candidate, suitable for the position.

Be careful not to list any hobby or interest that may be dangerous or reveal personal information such as religion and political views.

Volunteering Experience

Volunteering is defined as an act of an individual or group willingly giving time and labor for community service, without receiving financial compensation in return. A volunteering experience is another section that can be included in the resume template by fresh graduates or individuals with significant employment gaps.

Relevant volunteer work should be written in the work experience section, while the ones that are unrelated to the job description can be listed here.

Just because they are unrelated to the position you are applying to does not mean they don’t show valuable qualities the hiring team is looking for! Companies favor applicants who have real-world experience and contributed positively to the community. 

You can format the volunteering experience section the same way you did the work experience section. The position title can simply be written as “Volunteer”.

Remember to include the organization name, the timeframe of your volunteering, and descriptions of your levels of responsibility written in bullet points.


The publications section usually follows education history. Publications can refer to academic journals or other works published through online platforms. Rather than listing all published works under your name, choose a select few that highlight your capabilities and expertise in particular subjects. This will enhance your profile and intrigue the hiring team—it might even give you talking points during the interview process. Aside from linking URLs to these publications where possible, note the following information:

  • Title of publication.
  • Year of publication.
  • Name of magazine, website, or journal through which it was published.

You can provide information for each publication within one bullet point and hyperlink the URL to the title. 

Some other sections that you may want to include in your resumes are internship experience, certifications and awards, and projects. Make certain that the sections you choose to exhibit add value to your application and help the recruiting team to find what they are looking for in you.


Additional Tips

Be Concise

Some job seekers may feel pressured to sound eloquent by using flowery language and unnecessary jargons to decorate their resumes. This may have the opposite effect than intended and ultimately leads to redundancy and vagueness. In writing your resume, keep the content concise and to the point. Alternate the use of long paragraphs with bullet points, as the recruiter may miss key qualifications if your resume is too dense with text.

Lengthwise, a one-page resume is the most acceptable resume format. Only submit two pages if it is necessary and avoid sending in anything longer than two pages.

Write a Cover Letter

To support your resume, many employers will require you to write a cover letter. A cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume and is tailored to a specific job. Here you can expand on your work experience, skills, and qualifications in greater detail than in your resume. A well-written cover letter will show employers you possess strong written communication skills. Here are some tips when writing your cover letter:

  • Remember to include your contact information.
  • It should comprise 3-4 paragraphs including introduction, body, and closing.
  • If a specific contact person is provided in the job listing, address your cover letter to them.

Visit this page for more information about writing and formatting a standout cover letter.


Take measures to ensure your resume format is easy to read and review by both ATS and the hiring managers. Using a simple font helps to deliver the crucial information clearly.

Basic fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Century Gothic, or Calibri are best for resume writing, and you should avoid using fonts in script or hand-writing style.

Depending on how much content you have, a 10- or 11-point font size is preferable for the body of the resume. Section headers can be 12- or 14-point. As consistency is important, use the same font in both your cover letter and resume.

Employers may request a specific type of document, usually to heed to the requirement of their ATS. Send in your resume in DOCX format when specified, as sending in a PDF file might mean your resume does not pass the ATS screening algorithm. Name your resume file accordingly.

If you are not sure that you have the appropriate format, using a resume builder can save you time and effort while simultaneously helping you present a professional front with your resume.

Do Not Include References

Unless requested, references are not to be put in your resume. Recruiters do not look for it early in the hiring process. Prospective employers may want to hear about your qualifications and work ethics from another person, but this is only a common practice after the interview stage.

However, it is always good to be prepared for the possibility from before your interview. Choose one or two people who can recommend you as an employee and highlight your skills and provide their name, position title, and contact information.

Ideally, you should forewarn them and obtain their agreement before putting their name down. This will avoid the recruiting team from contacting someone who claims not to know you.

Avoid Misspellings or Grammatical Errors

By making the effort to ensure that your resume is 100% error-free, you provide a positive signal that supports your candidacy in the eyes of the recruitment team. Checking your formatting, spelling, and grammar show that you are a meticulous person who holds yourself to a high standard—personal attributes that are valuable to have as a jobseeker.

On the other hand, making avoidable mistakes in the resume you send in will diminish your professionalism. Spell-checking before submitting is a must, you may even print a copy to make annotating errors easier. 

Finally, get someone to proofread the end product for you. Bring your resume to friends, family, a mentor, or a professional resume writer who can help you enhance the quality of your resume.


When studying, students have to explore various methods to find what works for them and which techniques are suitable for certain types of information. 

Flashcards are notecards which typically contain information on both sides of the card. One side usually has a keyword, concept or fact and on the other side is an explanation or definition of the word on the other side. It’s a simple and straightforward study material.

In this article, we will talk about using flashcards—one of the most popular study tools.

Flashcards for Children

We first get introduced to flashcards as young children trying to learn the letters of the alphabet and matching them with pictures (e.g. “A“ for apple”, “B” for ball, “C” for cat). Teachers use flashcards often because it’s a good tool for teaching and memorizing.

As students advance to another grade level, using flashcards becomes less frequent because by then they would have memorized all letters and letter blends in phonics class.

Many researchers suggest that using flashcards is beneficial for older students. It’s all a matter of exploring the many ways to use them. In the following sections, we will discuss some tips and suggestions for you.

Flashcards for Older Students

Although most study tools are usually used for test preparation, you can use flashcards to assess your knowledge and mastery of concepts. Flashcards are popular because it promotes active recall, where students test their ability to remember information without context clues.

Some examples:

1. For memorization – on one side of a flashcard, write down a key word and at the back, write the definition. Do this for all they keywords in the lesson or topic that you are studying for. To use, shuffle the flashcards and pick one. Once you see the keyword, try to guess what it means. Reward yourself for getting correct answers.

2. Connect Concepts – create two stacks of flashcards: one for key concepts and the other for instructions. It would help to assign a color for each stack. For stack #1, write all the key concepts and terms that you need to remember. For stack #2, write instructions (e.g. define, give an example, explain this concept to your 8 year-old sister). To use, shuffle each stack separately, pick one card from each stack and answer.

This can be done whether you are alone or with a friend—better if with at least one other friend because you can correct each other if needed. Correcting each other and discussing answers will help deepen your understanding of the topic.

There are websites and apps that make digital flashcards. You can sign up and create sets for various topics and subjects. The best thing about online flashcards is that it’s a paperless option.

There is no need buy materials only to have them gather dust once you’re done with them. In these websites, you might even be allowed to access online flashcard that have been created by other members.

You can be creative with flashcards. Do not feel as if you only need to use keywords an definitions—feel free to incorporate illustrations. Customize your flashcards based on your learning style.

Benefits of using Flashcards

The use of flashcards facilitates the learning process if it’s done well. Of course, students can use them to help them memorize words, terms, and facts. This can be useful for subjects like science and history because there are a lot of words, dates and names to remember.

Flashcards are a versatile study tool that can be used individually or by a group. Flashcards are not just for young kids or for rote memorization. Upping your flashcard game can add value to your studies.

Quiz yourself and your friends to check if you know all that you need to know about a certain topic. Turn it into a game to make things more fun. Taking turns asking and answering questions is a good way to learn through repetition. 

Using flashcards is a great way to test what you’ve learned and how much you know. With the use of flashcards, you can catch the topics you need to revisit or review, and identify the topics that you’re still not too familiar with. It is also a good complement to your favorite study method.

After consuming information from books and readings, you can condense everything into these flashcards and use it as a tool for review. 

Related reading: How to Motivate Yourself to Study – 10 Science Backed Tips

Flashcards and Active Recall

Active recall is described as a process of actively stimulating your memory to retrieve information.

Picture this: a student is finally able to read through chapters of a psychology textbook to prepare for an exam. She has highlighted the important parts, took organized notes, and now proceeds to make flashcards to prepare for a review session. The student writes important names and dates on one side and has the definitions on the other side of each card.

The student shuffles the stack, picks one to test herself. Each time a student picks a card with a keyword, she takes a few seconds to guess the meaning before flipping the card to find the right answer.

The process of recalling the information (before checking the back of the card) is active recall. In those few minutes, the brain is actively going through the stored information in one’s brain.

Compared to highlighting and notetaking, active recall is thought to be better because it engages the brain in the way that reading doesn’t. Reading and re-reading books, taking notes certainly have their place when it comes to studying, however, it’s not enough.

This is a passive form of learning. You are simply processing the information that is in front of you—it doesn’t work the brain the way active recall does. Active recall forces a student to actually go back to all the stored information in their brain. There is a lot of inner active work happening in those few seconds of trying to retrieve information from the brain.

Active recall also strengthens the long term memory because it stores information in an organized way, and the more we use active recall, the better we get at it. Training the brain to use active recall lessens the likelihood of blanking out during an exam.

Quizzing yourself during review sessions is a rehearsal for the actual exam. Once the brain gets used to the process of actively retrieving information, the brain will automatically go into “active recall” mode once you encounter test questions.

A Great Way to Teach Yourself

Flashcards can enhance a student’s study time by providing an opportunity not just to pick up on information from books and lectures—it can be a good chance to teach themselves and their peers. It’s an opportunity to move beyond reading books and taking notes. By using flashcards, students are able to explore a different learning style, which can then help them remember the material better.

Many students and teachers make the mistake of using flashcards only for memorization. However, there is a lot of room for creativity and innovation. Flashcards can liven up individual and group study sessions because then each person is able to engage with the topics on a different level.

Tips on How to Use Flashcards Effectively

  • Avoid using too many words and loading a flashcard with too much information.
  • Think outside the box: what can you do with a small piece of notecard or paper? Aside from the ideas suggested above, you can also use these cards to make diagrams and concept maps. Write a keyword per piece of card, then post them on a wall and draw lines between concepts. Once you’re done, you can take them down and use the flashcards in the usual way.
  • Use drawings. If you learn better through photos, you can draw on these cards instead of using long sentences and phrases

Final Thoughts

Flashcards remain to be a popular and relevant study tool. Whether you’re student or a professional who is looking to learn new things, flashcards are useful when you’re trying to memorize and understand a certain topic.

For most people, reading, highlighting and notetaking is not enough to master the subjects they need to learn. For this, flashcards are a great tool to facilitate and enhance a student’s learning experience.  


A huge component about having strong study habits is being able to focus, unfortunately, focusing is difficult. In this article, we will talk about how you can stay focused while studying to make the most of your study sessions and to be as productive as possible.

In order to study well, one has to be able to focus well for extended periods. If you’re having a hard time staying focused, here are some study tips to help you put systems in place:

1. Set goals, but think in broad terms

You have to know what you are working towards and why you want to achieve that goal. Why do you want to study hard? What are your goals by the end of the academic year? It’s always good to begin with an end in mind. Identify goal that you want to achieve, then think of the steps that you need to take to make it happen.

2. Have a solid study environment

When it comes to finding the perfect study area, location is everything. Your study space should be conducive for focusing. Make sure that it’s in an area that’s secluded enough so that people aren’t constantly walking by. If you can’t work in total silence, prepare some lo-fi music or background noise and play it while you’re studying.

3. Schedules and timetable

Make a weekly and monthly schedule that includes important dates (exams, deadlines, lectures, workshops) for both academics and extracurricular involvements you have. Include important aspects of your personal routine (exercise regimen, bed time schedule), as well as social events that you need to attend (such as weddings, birthdays, and reunions).

Laying everything out in a calendar will give you an idea of how much time you have to prepare for your academic commitments. Maintaining close personal relationships and giving yourself some “me time” are important, but having a social life should not get in the way of your studies.  When you’re working on your schedule, make sure to leave some room for flexibility because you never know what emergencies can pop up.

4. Prioritize

As mentioned before, you have to input your extracurriculars and other important social events in your schedule and timeline so you can make time for everything. However, you should also learn to prioritize. If you have an important exam coming up (especially if it’s a subject that you’re struggling with), maybe you can skip that dinner with your friends.

Related reading: How to Improve Memory for Studying – 8 Proven Strategies

5. Strengths and weaknesses

Some self-awareness will go a long way when it comes to focusing. In the academic aspect, this has to do with knowing what subjects you’re good at, subjects you need more help with, and your overall academic standing.

Are you failing a subject? Are you vying for academic honors? What can you do to avoid receiving a failing mark? How can you push yourself a little further to get that award?

On a personal level, know your personal strengths and weaknesses. Do you find it hard to say no to friends’ invitations? Are you efficient with your time? Are you a fast learner? Be aware of your areas for improvement—if you can’t say no to that brunch, then make sure that your friends know that you’re busy and cannot be disturbed.

That way, they won’t bother to invite you while you’re studying. Find a way to work your way around your weaknesses while harnessing your strengths. When you know what you’re working with, it will be easier to come up with a strategy.  

6. Manage yourself

A lot of study tips have to do with managing distractions. A study hack for one person can be a distraction for another. You can only do so much to eliminate distractions, but at the end of the day, you have to be on that desk, reading books and reviewing your notes.

Take responsibility for your studies and the outcomes. If you’re unable to turn in an essay because you were at a party the night before, you can’t blame your friends for inviting you to come out. You were the one who made the decision to go out despite the deadline. You could have finished it before going out, but you didn’t.

7. Rituals and routines

Create a ritual that will put your mind in the right headspace. Clear your study space, gather your study materials, have some coffee, water and a couple of granola bars on hand. Make sure your study area is free from clutter.

8. Regular exercise should be part of your routine

Do some light stretches at least once a day to help your body recover from all the sitting due to online classes and marathon study sessions. Regular exercise also lets you sweat out all the pent up energy that gets bottled up while you’re studying for hours on end.

9. Stay on-task

Have a list of tasks prepared before you start studying. Let this to-do list be your guide as you go about your day. There are tasks that you will finish sooner than expected, which is why you need that to-do list on-hand. You should stay focused and not lose momentum as you study.

Minimize your use of the internet and your computer. If you must, then go on a blocking spree: block social media and unnecessary websites. Turn on the notifications for relevant apps like calendar, alarm clock (if you’re doing to pomodoro method).

10. Take breaks in between study sessions

The brain can only take in so much information before it gets overwhelmed and starts to wander (ever heard of the term “information overload”?).

One way to do this is to use the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a time management and productivity tool that tells people to focus for 25 minutes straight and take short 5 to 10 minute breaks before focusing for another 25 minutes. During the 25 minutes, a person should devote their undivided attention to accomplishing a task.

This could range studying, doing homework, or even doing chores before taking a quick break. You can do several rounds of this method in a day. After about four rounds, you can take a longer break. The best part of this technique is it does not require special tools other than a timer.  

Taking breaks will prevent you from getting burnt out, while training the brain to focus for extended periods. Doing this method regularly can increase a person’s attention span—you can slowly work your way up to 30 to 40 minutes of work!

11. Discipline, not motivation

A lot of experts will tell you that you need to find motivation to get up and get things done. However, if you solely rely on motivation to focus, then you need to rethink that tactic.

Each day is different and certain life circumstances might cause you to feel extra motivated to study one day, and totally defeated and distracted the next day. Motivation is a feeling, and feelings are fleeting. To be able to study well, you have to be able to focus despite your personal circumstances.

12. Self-assess

Of the many tips and tricks that you deploy in an effort to help you focus while studying, you have to evaluate which ones worked and which ones didn’t. Different study techniques and tools will work for different people.

The goal is to identify which ones were helpful and which ones did not work. You can do this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Take a few minutes to assess which method worked best and helped you get the results you wanted. Moving forward, you will have the tools and knowledge that will help you be more efficient at focusing and studying.

Final thoughts

A person has to thrive in an environment that is plagued with distractions and interruptions.

This is especially true for studying. It is not secret that studying is a difficult task because it requires students to focus. However, we should train the brain to focus because it helps all other aspects of a person’s life: academic, career, family, and personal life.

When a person is able to focus well, they are able to optimize their brain function. Make the best out of your study time by using any of the tips shared above.

After all those years of hard work, sleepless nights and chasing deadlines (missing a few here and there), you can see your impending retirement. It’s time. It is time to reap the benefits.  The days of throwing away those travel guides are over and you’re finally ready to make good use of them. It is time to enjoy retirement benefits!

So are you ready for the new life? 

However, before you may jump on to the thrilling adventure of retirement, and start making your retirement plan, you must submit a resignation letter to your current employer. You really want to leave a strong legacy and for that you must resign from your job in a very professional way. Therefore, it is time to think of your formal retirement procedures.

While you are in the process of leaving your workplace forever and going through this transition, you will have to find out the best way to make your exit smooth and graceful enough to leave a great and lasting impression. 

Retirement Letter – A Formal Resignation Letter

Your retirement letter is your formal resignation letter that you need to submit to your company to show your intention that you are ready to quit the job. This letter of resignation is very different as compared to the resignation letter that you serve to your employer in case of switching the jobs.

Through this formal letter of resignation, you simply inform your employer as well as the department you have been serving for years that this is the time for you to say goodbye to the working world and you are good to go to spend your life with least possible responsibilities on your shoulders. Most probably, you have already explored how you are going to spend your life after retirement.

In your case, you don’t have any type of grievances with your employer, meaning you are not leaving this position because you were unhappy with what you have been doing. Also this is not the case that you have been offered some better job opportunity by some other company. Hence, this must end on a positive note and should be a happy ending not only for you but for your employer as well and that will help you keep the doors open for you.

It is not a bad idea to offer your services to your employer as a consultant so you may work on and off without causing any harm to your life in retirement. However, you must be sure that you will be willing to spare time for this activity. 

In your retirement letter, you must courteously thank the employer, thrash out the details that they must be aware of while providing the information necessary for them to know about the transition. In this official notice, you may offer the company a flexible time frame for your exit while offering them an opportunity to train some of your coworkers or your replacement to take your position. 

Key components of the retirement letter

Following are the key components that must include in your retirement letter:

  • Salutation
  • Title of your job
  • Name of the employer
  • Notice period
  • The last day you intend to serve your employer
  • Your signature

Consider this letter of resignation as your last chance to thank the employer in a formal manner while describing how you feel about working for them for years and how incredible opportunities you have had to work with your colleagues.

You may express your gratitude to your boss, manager, mentors as well as the colleagues who have been really helpful throughout your employment period in the company while expressing your desire to stay in contact in the future.

Should you give an official notice?

As easy as it may sound to get your big break, retirement does have a tiny formality you need to follow to end your career on a positive note. The company you work for must not feel as if they made the wrong choice years ago by hiring you. So how do you go about it? Do you straight up walk in and dramatically fire your boss? As A-grade movie style as this may sound, retirement looks nothing like the movies.

Retirement is a transition from the old to the new (no pun intended), the hardworking ambitious employee to the no-obligation family man/woman. It’s quite simple; give notice, draft a formal letter and you’re good to go. Literally.

If your motive for retirement is health-related, you need to mention this to the human resources department and be sure of the retirement notice to give for health-related retirement. The department needs to have it on record and update your personal details. This may be a crucial step to avail your retirement benefits. 

What to do before you serve the retirement notice?

For sure, you must be excited to start your new life after retirement but you must keep in mind that you were well qualified for the job you have been performing for years with plenty of experience. So you must consider the challenges your employer may experience to fill this position when you quit the job. So better don’t make such a decision all of a sudden. 

It is always better to discuss your plans for the retirement in person with your manager before you serve the retirement notice. You may send an email to ask them for a formal meeting to discuss your plans. 

And you should ensure that your notice period must be flexible and you must allow them to take enough time to employ someone as your replacement.

And even before you arrange an in-person meeting with your supervisor, you should follow the steps given below to make the transition smoother:

  • First of all, read all the details of your contract or appointment letter. This document has all the details regarding your notice period to quit the job along with information related to the retirement benefits as well as pensions.
  • Get familiar with the retirement policies, procedures and packages offered by the company. More informed you are about these procedures, the smoother the entire discussion with your manager will be. 
  • You should be willing to give a couple of months to your employer to hire and train your replacement. By doing that you actually allow them to find the most suitable person for the position you are leaving and they can do that with peace of mind.
  • Your employment experience can be valued to train the replacement. So be courteous to offer them to serve as a trainer for the replacement.
  • As mentioned above, you can offer your employer to serve as a consultant. Businesses value the experience of their ex-employees and sometimes may want to hire them for consultation. Hence if you think that you may be able to manage some time to work as a consultant then this is the right time to talk about that. 
  • However, you have to think about the remuneration package that you are expecting to earn while you work as a consultant. Because if you are going to open this discussion then they may ask your expected fee for the consultancy so get ready for that.
  • Retiring is more or less the same as to quit your job for any particular reason. So being gracious and a bit tactful will help you a lot. 
  • Being flexible will help you for sure. Neither should you be too diplomatic nor be too tactless.
  • Keep the negativity at bay throughout the entire process. This is not the time to air any sort of grievances that you may have experienced during your employment with the company.
  • Prepare the rough draft of your resignation letter and find some of the best retirement letter templates online. Here, at the end of this career guide, you are provided with one that is crafted by the career development experts. 

Format and the Content of Your Retirement Letter

So now you have already produced a rough draft and have the content written on a paper that you need to jot down and bring it into a formal resignation letter.

Salutation in your letter of resignation

Don’t forget to write down the date, name of the recipient, your employers name and their address at the top of the letter. While you start writing the letter, let your salutation strike the warm yet humble tone to address the recipient.

Since this is your formal resignation letter, therefore you must address them with their title or the last name, for instance: “Dear Mr. Fernandez” or may be “Dear Manager”.

Body of the Letter

Body of the retirement letter should contain 1 – 5 paragraphs. The very first paragraph should contain a statement to show your intention that you are retiring and it should include the date as well. The remaining paragraphs should contain the personal details that may include the skills that you have developed along with the retirement plans. 

To make your letter more heartfelt, write about the time you have spent in the company while thanking the employer for the incredible opportunity to serve them for a number of years.

Make use of this letter as an ideal place to pay tribute to your boss or manager for all what you have learnt from them. In any case, if you have been experiencing difficult times or your relationship with them wasn’t very healthy, don’t mention it here. Make the tone of the letter cordial, professional and polite enough, the same way you develop the tone during in-person conversation. 

Since you are expecting to receive retirement benefits from the company so this is the best time to mention your achievements and success at the company. This is the way to tell your boss how you added the value to the progress and success of the employer. At the very least, you must mention the number of years you have served the company and that will work as a reminder for your boss regarding your contributions.

Also you may write a paragraph to offer the company to help them during the transition period. Let them know that you are available to spend time to handover all the files, folders and important details regarding clientage of the company.

Provide your replacement with the contact details of the clients along with some specific information about any particular client that you think is necessary to convey. In case, if you have been serving the accounts department, let your replacement know about any outstanding payments, bills, recoveries, etc. that they have to take care of. It will help your replacement to get on the track with least possible hassle.

If you have been working for a corporate firm, then sending your formal letter of resignation to the human resources is what you should do when it is the time for submission. By sending the letter to the human resource department, you are going to help yourself to avoid any trouble in receiving the employment benefits while you go through the transition. 

It is very necessary to provide your employer or boss with your mailing address. Especially it will be helpful for them to contact you in case you have plans to move to some other city. Also don’t forget to include your email ID at the end of the letter.

Add Signature

Close your resignation letter while ending with “Cordially”, “Gratefully” or “Sincerely” and that should be followed by your signature as well as name. Of course, you can easily sign the hard copy of your retirement letter but if you are supposed to send the soft copy through email then you may use the option of adding digital signatures.

How to write a retirement letter? 

You need to ensure that you set the right professional tone. Inform your employer of your intention, take it back to memory lane and remind the employer of your achievements, sprinkle a little gratitude on the workplace culture and finally inform the employer of any plans of returning to work as a consultant. 

State your objective clearly

While writing the objective of the retirement letter, be direct and to the point. In the very first paragraph, you must mention that you are leaving the organization but keep your tone polite enough to leave a positive impression. Here you may have a look at some of the examples to state your objective clearly:

  • I am writing this letter to inform you of my retirement as a line manager at XYZ Company.
  • With gratitude and sorrow, I submit my retirement letter as a line manager at XYZ Company.
  • Please consider this resignation letter as my formal request to be retired as the line manager at XYZ Company.

Now look at the first two statements, don’t you feel that it is very unnatural to write such a statement because it sounds very straightforward and blunt. Even you never wish to speak to any family member or a friend like this. Hence, it is very much important not to mince the words. 

If you have made your mind that you can’t work anymore and you must leave the company now then state it clearly but politely. Otherwise, your words may cause some confusion for your employer and they may try to drum up ways to keep you around. 

If you think you can delay your retirement for the higher salary or promotion then better discuss it before you submit your retirement letter to the human resources department. Therefore, only submit your resignation letter when you are sure that you don’t need any promotion or raise in salary and you simply want to retire now. 

Legal Advice for Your Retirement

Laws governing the employee benefits and pension are not only complex but are frequently evolving.

It depends on the nature of your position in the organization and you may have to consider hiring the services of a lawyer for legal advice for your resignation process. Hence if you have been working on some executive post in your company then you may seek the legal advice for a smoother retirement process. 

Make Your Retirement Letter Look Better

Formatting of your retirement letter plays a significant role to make its appearance attention grabbing. Deciding where to put what in this resignation letter is very important. It helps the human resource managers to locate different components of your letter effortlessly.

  • Specifications of Formatting

Mostly the resignation letters are not longer than a single page. Font size should be between 10 to 12 points and make use of some standard fonts which are used for formal letters such as Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman. Keep the spacing single for the entire text of the letter while inserting some space between each paragraph. 

  • What should be on the top left of the page?

Mention the name, title, employer’s name and postal address of the company on top left of the page. Here you need to mention the name of the Human Resource Manager. So don’t mention the names of supervisors, team leads, etc. unless they are responsible to manage the recruitment process. If you are not sure who your letter must address then there is no harm to ask someone instead of mentioning the name of the wrong person and creating confusion for them.

  • Put the date on top left of the page, below the manager’s address

Employers expect their employees to mention the effective date of retirement mentioned on the resignation letter. Under the manager’s address is the right place to mention the effective date of your retirement otherwise your employer may regard your notice of retirement effective from the date they receive the resignation letter. 

Here’s a simple retirement letter template:

Your Name, 

Your Designation, 

Name of the Employer, 

Postal Address of the Company, 




Kindly accept this letter as a formal notification of my intention to retire effective from [DATE, including the year]. I will be leaving my position of (mention your job title / department if applicable) as of that date.

During my time as an employee working for your ABC Company (Name of your employer), I have had an incredible employment experience. The personal development you provided me as your XYZ (your position) poured a lot of value and helped climb the ladder in my career. During my time as your XYZ, I oversaw abc (some tasks you completed) and abc achieving abc (your achievement). I wouldn’t have done it without the exceptional team at ABC Company. While it pains me to leave, life in retirement is my final chapter that I hope to enjoy fully!

Kindly let me know when we can make arrangements to return the equipment (you can mention laptop, external hard drive, company car, etc.).

I am more than willing to assist with the transition and will do whatever I can to make this process as simple as possible. It would be a pleasure to continue working with ABC Company as a consultant while I spend some family time.

I can be contacted at the contact details below.   


[Your full Name]

[Your phone number]

[Your personal email address]

Proofread your retirement letter

Proofread your resignation letter for any spelling errors, grammatical mistakes. Be sure to read it thoroughly to confirm that all the details you have written are correct and up to date.

Also ensure that the tone of your content is friendly and you have not written anything that may cause any trouble for you during the transition process. You may ask some family member or friend to double check the flow and tone of the content.


The whole process needs to be seamless, ending with a positive note so that you leave a good impression while improving your chances of returning. To make the transition smoother, the first step is to craft a flawless retirement letter which is necessary not only for the individual being retired but it is also important for the employers to manage the entire procedure professionally.

Employers as well as employees are accountable to dispute if the entire process is not managed properly. If your retirement letter is written correctly, it will follow an acceptance letter from your employer. Hence they are considered as the vital parts of the mechanism to handle the entire process of retirement.

People leave their jobs for a whole host of reasons, from landing a higher-paid position, lack of job satisfaction, for better company benefits or just for a change of scenery. Others leave because they no longer believe in the company or they don’t get along with their team and decide that the position is no longer a good fit for them.


Handing In Your Two Weeks Notice

Handing in your resignation letter to your current employer after taking on a new role can present a variety of emotions for different individuals. Sometimes it is done with regret and other times with triumph, however it can also be an intimidating experience for some. What some people do not realize is that getting this process right can be essentially important!

Why Do We Have Notice Periods?

Often laid out in your initial contract, your notice period is an agreed amount of time between the employer and employee in which you must let the company know their intentions to resign. This agreed time is the same period when employers can inform staff that their employment relationship has been terminated.

In short, giving two weeks notice of impending resignation is generally good practice. It gives the employer time to hire someone new and begin their handover processes. Often human resources departments will require a formal resignation letter to begin offboarding processes and to retrieve financial backing to put out advertising materials and begin interviewing.

If you leave without giving notice, you could be leaving your company short-staffed at a difficult time or in the middle of on-going projects that have deadlines.

In the event that you leave your company without giving two weeks notice it can often turn the relationship sour, it also means the company could possibly sue you for breaching your contract. This is often unlikely due to the high legal costs not being worth it.

Remember that you will want to call on your previous employers for references and if they let the hiring manager for your new role know that you didn’t give notice it could tarnish your reputation or even endanger your job opportunity. Burning bridges with your current employer is risky, you may want to call on them as potential clients or even for career opportunities in the future.

How Long Should A Notice Period Be?

This time frame is often two weeks notice but can be more depending on your organization or your position within that company. Your notice period must be in writing in your employment contract or else in theory you do not need to give any notice. It may also differ depending on the contract you have.

Full-time, part-time and casual employment notice periods can differ, it might be best to consult your company’s staff handbook or online resources. If you leave without completing your notice period, employers do not have to give you your salary for any notice you have not worked.

When you hand in your notice you should also consider your commitments at the time of your resignation.

Will there be an extensive handover because of large projects currently underway? Will your timing conflict with the annual leave of your colleagues and leave your employer short-staffed at an inconvenient time?

In general, you should give as much notice as possible and consider the two-week notice period in your contract as a minimal amount of time. If you wish to extend your notice period as a good will gesture most employers will be open to it.

Notice periods differ from country to country as well as the company to company. For example, for some IT jobs in Asian countries, you may be expected to serve between 1-3 months’ notice.


Informal Resignation

You should give your manager a heads up that you are planning on resigning prior to handing in your formal notice. Namely, as a form of respect, you don’t want to blindside them by sampling handing in a letter.

This isn’t always the case if the relationship is a complex one or you are quitting the role due to tensions in the workplace but, it is best to mention to your manager that you are intending to leave. Some places may even respect you more if you let them know you are intending to apply for a role.


Drafting Your Letter

You should never send your resignation via text or via email, or worse, verbally. You should always hand in your formal resignation via a letter, often employers consider a signed letter addressed to them in an envelope as the most professional way to resign. Your letter should be brief, space out, with perfect grammar and spelling.

How to Begin

The letter doesn’t have to be over-elaborate and you don’t have to give any details or explanation as to why you have come to your decision. Date and address are important, even if you are handing it over to your employer you should date and address your resignation the same way you would send a letter in the post.

This is important for Human Resources staff to log your resignation in their system. Having the printed date of the day you handed the letter over is evidence that you gave notice of your resignation. Your letter should include the job title of the role you are vacating and the date with which you intend as your final day at the company. The beginning should read;

Dear (Employers name),

I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning from my current job as (Your current role) at (Company Name). As per my contracts’ notice period conditions, my last day of work will be (date of your last day).’

Say Thank You

Your letter can also be a way to express your thanks for everything you have experienced and learned while you have worked in your role. You could thank your boss for everything they have done for you and for giving you the opportunity in the first place.

For Example;

‘I would like to express my thanks for all of the support I have received from you and also from the entire team. I have learned so many new skills and have achieved so much alongside all of you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity and I hope we can keep in touch. It has been my pleasure to have worked with you all.’

Granted, not everyone will be sad to leave their role and progress to new things, sometimes people need to leave the company for other reasons. Never hand in a negative letter with all the reasons why you wanted to leave. You can still be glad to go and be appreciative of having had the job. Allow the good times you had with the company to dictate the tone of your letter, you might need or want a reference from them for future employment opportunities.

Discuss Transition

If you are happy to discuss the transition period in your letter, you can do so. You can offer to help in the interim until they find someone new, obviously depending on when your new role needs you to start.

Extending an offer of support will be greatly appreciated and your manager will likely give you a glowing reference. If you are in the middle of a project you should endeavor to complete all of your current tasks and time your resignation well, so your departure doesn’t have a negative impact on the company’s project. You are unlikely to be looked on fondly if you significantly disrupted important projects because of your timing.

For instance;

I would like to offer my support should you need someone to help with training or handover in the interim. I endeavor to have completed all of my current tasks and projects before the end of my two weeks notice period.

Sign Off

End with ‘Kind Regards,’ and sign your letter with your handwritten signature rather than an electronic signature. Then print your name below and your resignation letter is complete.


Two Weeks Notice Letter Template

Please see below for the perfect notice letter template.

(Today’s date)

Name of Manager

Name of Company

Company Address

To whom it may concern (manager)

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my current job as (Your current role) at (Company Name). As per my contracts’ notice period conditions, my last day of work will be (date of your last day).’

Upon my departure, all of my projects will be completed in full, and I am more than happy to help in terms of training or handovers when you hire my replacement. 

I would like to express my thanks for all of the support I have received from you and also from the entire team. I have learned so many new skills and have achieved so much alongside all of you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity and I hope we can keep in touch. It has been my pleasure to have worked with you all.

I will fondly look back on my time here at (company name). I am so thankful that you gave me this opportunity and it has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside all of you.

Many Kind Regards,

(Sign Here)

(Print Name)

Make sure your resignation letter is formatted properly. Use Arial font or Times New Roman with eleven or twelve for text size and spaced paragraphs.

What Not To Include

Now that we know what to include lets discuss what you should never put in your resume. You do not need to give your employer a full job description of your new role and why it is much better or higher-paid than where you currently work.

Also do not express any pessimism that suggests your spell with the corporation was disappointing, even if it has been. Ensure you do not suggest your reason for leaving was because of your co-workers, even if it was. Rather you could say that you have simply decided to move in another direction.

Just because you didn’t fit in or get along with your colleagues, is not reason enough to slate them to your manager. Remember that people often move in the same occupational circles, you never know who your new manager could bump into from your old job. However, it is a delicate balance, by being overtly positive you could come across as disingenuous.

Ask someone you trust to proofread your resignation to check for mistakes and grammar, you don’t want to make any embarrassing mistakes with a letter that can remain on your employment record for life. Never ridicule or patronize the company or the services it provides. Suggesting you are moving on to bigger and better things won’t be taken well.


Be Prepared

You could also receive a counter offer in terms of your notice period. You should also be ready for what could be a negative response, having to hire for a position when you took the time to train a staff member can be stressful. That being said most companies will be supportive of your decision and wish you well.

The corporation could potentially come back to you with a range of options. Your manager might entreaty that you work a longer notice period, depending on your circumstances you may be open to this to help out so they can hire someone new.

They could also suggest that you take leave with immediate effect, if this happens you can ask for an explanation but be conscious that the organization must still reimburse you for your predetermined notice period.

Please Stay!

They may also offer you a new contract with a new position and a higher pay rate to stay. If you have made a significant impact at your company and your team doesn’t want to lose you, they will sometimes offer you a better deal. It will then be up to you to decide what the best for your career is.

Can I Have My Holiday Leave When I Am On My Notice Period?

Companies are within their rights to ask that you take your holiday leave for your notice period rather than them giving you it in the form of a pay-out. Most organizations will include a part like this in your contract.

Although, you can also suggest that you take a vacation instead of working your notice period but employers can refuse to grant you leave.

Garden Leave

Your employer could suggest you steer clear of the building during your notice period, either by working from home or not working at all and still receiving full pay. This could be because you may have a conflict of interest and you’ve been hired by the company’s competition or for security purposes.

Employees could be asked to take garden leave because they have been exposed to sensitive information, documentation or company secrets. Bankers and financial employees experience this situation more than most.


Other Things To Consider

Internal Resignation Letter

Your resignation letter will differ if your new role is an internal role. Even though you aren’t leaving your company, if you are transferring between teams and departments, you will still need to give a notice period for your current job.

You should check with your manager and ask if they need a formal resignation. Also, speak to HR to ensure that your company benefits will remain on-going and they don’t pay out your holidays to you.

You will still need to follow most of the steps of a standard resignation by including the job title and the date of your last day before your transfer. Once again, thank your manager and team members for the guidance, support and opportunities that have been afforded to you.

Even though you may be stepping up within the company you may still have to work with and see your soon-to-be ex-manager and coworkers. Therefore, if you are intending to leave you should probably discuss it with them first.

They may even offer to speak to the hiring manager on your behalf to explain why you would be such a great candidate for the role. Or they may look over your resume and cover letter for you and offer suggestions on how to improve it.

Transferring teams is always a little more awkward as you are definitely going to see and speak to these people again and in turn, they can easily contact your new manager consequently you should consider your move carefully.

Will I Still Get Sick Pay?

You will still be entitled to all the terms of your contract until the final day of your notice period. If sick pay and company insurance was a part of your employment conditions, it will remain so until you leave. Your holiday pay should also be paid out at the end of your contract.

Can I Still Be Dismissed If I Have Handed My Notice In?

As your contract conditions remain the same throughout your notice period you can still be dismissed and disciplined throughout your notice period. If you are causing disruption or your behavior warrants disciplinary action your employer can react in the same way they would if you weren’t leaving.

It is up to the employer as to whether or not dismissing you is worth it but remember that you will likely need them for a reference in the future, it is, therefore, best to resign gracefully.

Have You Signed A Contract?

You should also ensure that you have a formal job offer in writing from your new manager before handing in your notice in case your new employment falls through.

Don’t jump the gun and quit your stable working conditions for an ambiguous offer that is yet to make it to writing. Verbal offers aren’t binding, and you don’t want to place yourself in the embarrassing position where you resign and then have to ask for your job back.

When To Hand It Over?

You should ask to meet with your manager for a one on one to hand over your resignation letter, you can then email them a copy later if they need a digital version for HR.

If they haven’t been forewarned you want to make it as comfortable as possible when you do hand your notice in. Never hand your letter in when you are amongst a crowd or in a meeting with others, you can’t be sure of the reaction it may evoke.

Be Careful While Notifying Your Colleagues

Your manager might inform your coworkers in your next team meeting that you are leaving but consider sending them an email yourself.

You might want to send a goodbye message since your letter will only be seen by Human Resources and your manager. Making an effort with your colleagues before you leave will be respected and you will be signing off on a positive note.

I No Longer Want To Resign

It happens! If you have had a sudden change of heart or your new offer falls through you may wish to detract your resignation. It will be at your employer’s discretion if they choose to allow you to keep your job.

In reality, it depends on the situation of your departure and if they have begun the hiring process which comes with financial costs. Some companies prepare for this rare eventuality with a cooling-off period before they begin to look for someone new, this is usually the case if the resignation was sudden.


You Can Always Ask

You can always refer to the human resources team if you need to know the best course of action when it comes to your resignation.

If you feel uncomfortable taking advice from those loyal to the company you could also visit a recruitment consultant who will be able to offer you advice with regard to the length of your notice period and what you should say in your letter.

If your employer takes your two weeks notice badly and dismisses you on the spot without good reason you can take legal action.

Particularly if you are refused pay for your notice period but you should always look at your contract and company policy before you hand in your notice.

What is the PQ4R method? 

The PQ4R method is a study technique that aims to help students understand the information in a more in-depth manner. PQ4R is an acronym that stands for preview, question, read, reflect, recite and review. 

It’s a 6-step process, but one that is easy to follow. Each step follows a sequential order, and each one is explained below.

Related reading: What is the SQ3R Method and How to Use it Effectively

A step-by-step guide:

1. Preview

Quickly read through a text to get the salient points and to know a general idea. Scan through the material. An excellent way to do this is to focus on the headings and subheadings, as it usually highlights the topic of a paragraph or an entire section. You can also focus on the first and last paragraphs, as they typically contain the main idea. The introduction might include the thesis statement. This step should take just a few minutes.

2. Question

Ask questions about what has been previewed. A good rule of thumb is to start with basic questions: who, what, where, and why. Do not be limited to asking factual questions. Take note of these questions. If it helps, write them down on a sheet of paper. 

3. Read

Go back to the text and read it actively. Focus on the details. Try to find answers to the questions that you asked. This step is crucial as it allows students to process the information that they consume. Instead of passively reading a study material, students take an inquiry-based approach. Students may learn to read actively with a context in mind, not just passively taking in information.  

4. Reflect

Reflect on what you have just read. Try to connect it to previously acquired knowledge—recall previous lessons and topics covered. Are there any inconsistencies in the information that you read? Were your questions answered? Try to apply the ideas that you learned. This process can lead to more questions, but it can enhance the learning process. By reflecting and asking questions, students can improve their critical thinking skills. 

5. Recite

Verbalize what you learned. If you like to study in groups, each member can take turns discussing specific topics in a lesson. Each member will have a chance to speak. They will report on the information from the text, followed by a discussion with the rest of the group. Openly discuss what you thought, try to answer each other’s questions. If you’re alone, you can record yourself talking about the lesson. Practicing this method in a group study setting promotes collaborative learning.

It allows students to practice giving feedback—the person discussing can present an idea that others may not have picked up on, which can lead to further clarifications or even debates. If you’re alone, you can write down what you learned and the questions you may have. Taking notes and making mind maps can help visual learners because they will visualize how each concept is connected.

6. Review

Reviewing reinforces the learning process. In this step, students have to review all the lessons learned from the start of the session. By going through this step, students can gauge whether they were able to master the content.

Something to remember: 

If it helps, take notes as you go through the process. Don’t get too caught up with writing everything word-for-word, and don’t let note-taking distract you from the rest of the learning process. When going through this method, you will not only go through facts but also encounter some higher-order thinking questions that you or one of your peers posed.

Reading is not enough 

Students are so used to glossing through the massive amounts of assigned reading material per subject. Some even settle for summary notes from the internet. This is no surprise because students have to study more than one subject in a semester. However, reading is a passive learning approach—read a text, summarize ideas, move on to the following reading material. The reader takes in the information that is presented in a text and leaves at that. It’s not a bad thing if you’re reading for pleasure, but this strategy is not enough for studying.

Benefits of doing the PQ4R method 

The steps in the PQ4R method are not new to students. When students study, they usually read, discuss in groups, and take notes. As an active approach to learning, the PQ4R strategy puts a system to these study techniques to learn. The steps suggested combine different approaches to learning. This system allows students to make the most out of the learning experience. It is not a complicated process.

This highly cognitive learning style involves activating different parts of the brain. When studying using the PQ4R method, students go through the text a few times and go more in-depth with the material. By repeatedly going through the same material, a student’s memory capacity becomes stronger. Moreover, it supports the development of long-term memory. Thus, using the PQ4R method is beneficial to students because not only does it help with studying, it helps students become better learners.

One of the best things about this method is that it caters to different types of learners. For example, visual learners will learn best through note-taking and creating diagrams, and auditory learners can learn through group discussion or recording their thoughts.

Finally, kinesthetic learners can learn through making and presenting their ideas during a group study session. Although there is little to no opportunity for them to move around, being hands-on with the preparation and exchange of ideas can help them learn too.

When to use the PQ4R method

Experts have said that using the PQ4R method can be used to increase reading comprehension and recall information. Because this is a “system,” it might seem like it’s more labor-intensive and time-consuming. However, it’s not that at all. This method takes different learning and study techniques that we all know but puts a system to it to ensure that the learning experience is effective.

The PQ4R method is easy to implement. You’ve probably skimmed through a text, asked questions, read actively, reflected on new information, verbalized concepts, and reviewed everything you learned throughout your years as a student. Going through the process helps make sure that you are making the most out of your study session.

Create study systems

When it comes to learning and studying, it is best to create systems. With these in place, students will have an easier time learning new information and adding to that information moving forward. The lessons taught in schools are not necessarily mutually exclusive—they all form parts of a whole (the “whole” being the curriculum), which is why it is crucial to integrate new information into existing bodies of knowledge that you already know.

The need for an active learning method

The PQ4R method is the template that students can follow to create a study system. It is perfect for different types of learners and can be easily worked into an existing study routine. Study methods such as this have come to exist to address the need for study habits that facilitate learning and not just studying for tests.

Students fall into the habit of reading passively—they read an assigned text, remember enough for a class discussion and then forget about it soon after. Then, when preparing for tests, students find themselves rereading these materials as if it’s the first time they’ve encountered them. Soon enough, they waste countless hours just trying to remember everything they should have already learned instead of focusing on new material. Unfortunately, this is also where students unknowingly waste a lot of time. The PQ4R helps address this problem. 

Final Thoughts 

Reading is a good habit, especially if it’s done regularly. However, if it’s done passively, it won’t help a student learn. However, reading is still an integral part of studying, so it is included in the PQ4R method.

A study technique such as the PQ4R method can help learners become more proficient at learning and studying. Moving forward, students have to be mindful and intentional with the amount of time they devote to learning because they have to accomplish other requirements for classes.

What is a Behavioural Interview?

A behavioural interview is a little different from a standard traditional interview in terms of the questions being more competency based. This form of interviewing has gained great popularity in recent years and is otherwise known as the STAR interview. The format is a technique used by recruiters to gather all the relevant information about a specific capability that the job requires.

The objective of this interview technique is to ensure the candidate will be the best fit for the team they are joining and the role that they will be undertaking. Behavioural interviews can help to determine the on-job behaviour that an applicant may display when placed in certain situations. 

Companies frequently combine this technique with more traditional questions to determine how applicants approach complex situations and to help determine the extent of their problem-solving skills. Interviewers then reserve the more traditional questions, such as, ‘How would your teammates describe you?’ to determine how candidates view themselves. 

The reason why this technique of behavioural interview questions is popular with recruiters is because candidates give the panel an inside look at their past professional behaviour. A perfect method for assessing the applicant’s ability to collaborate and adapt to new teams, situations and more.


How to Prepare for a Behavioural Interview

It is important for candidates to understand what kind of questions they may be coming up against. Unlike traditional interview questions the wording of behavioural questions can be a little more ambiguous. The perfect candidate will answer the question with specifics and depth. These types of interviews aren’t the kind you can walk straight into and begin talking. Some companies will even let you know that this will be the interview style so candidates can better prepare themselves. 

Interview Preparation: The Basics

Research the Company

Do as much background research as you can on the company where you are being interviewed. Even behavioural interviews will focus on what you can bring to the company and if you can fit in with the ethos of the organization. So you must expect some value based questions during the interview. It also allows you to tailor your answers to the companies’ needs. Most companies will ask you why you want to work there and if it is evident that candidates haven’t done their homework it will be taken as a sign of indifference to securing the role. 

Make Note of the Skills Required

A great behavioural interview tip is that your answer should be perfectly candid and natural. By giving specifics about skills you have already put into practice in your professional career, your answer should sound organic. 

Job descriptions in advertisements give a wealth of information that can be adopted into your answers for the behavioural interview questions. Place emphasis on the employer’s desired skills when you approach each scenario presented to you and stress your experience, especially when it corresponds with the attributes the recruiters are seeking.


The key to shaking off interview nerves is through practice. Many Interviewees think practice means writing notes and questions on what they expect to be asked and then writing their answers.

Practice your answers with someone who is happy to offer constructive criticism and can give professional guidance if required. Completing practice runs before your job interview will help to get your skills up to speed and help you to effectively convey exactly what you have intended to say. 

Have Questions for the Panel

Career guidance professionals recommend crafting a number of questions that you can ask the hiring manager at the end of the job interview. If you are stuck you can always ask what the next steps are in the hiring process and when you will be likely to hear back.

However, it is much more interesting to have a few questions about the company ethos and culture or the role you are applying for. Turning up with no questions at all suggests a lack of interest and will often be taken as such. 

Have a list of References

Having references on your resume or a list to pass on in an interview can be useful as it means this step can be completed quickly and the recruiter can move forward with the hiring process should you be chosen for the role. Choose at least two references from two different roles so the employers can speak to whoever they consider the most relevant contact. Also consider that the recruiter will follow up on the claims you have made in your answers to their questions so try to be candid in your responses.

What kind of questions might be asked in a Behavioural Interview?

These questions vary in terms of difficulty and depth, some can be very specific, and others leave room for the interviewee to talk about a range of skills and attributes they have. Most employers will pick questions with the desired response in mind.

Questions you may be asked:

Tell us about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you resolved the situation.

This question is designed to gauge problem-solving and customer service skills as well as how well the candidate performs under pressure and main respectful communication with the customers. The recruiter wants to understand how well applicants can manage a hostile environment and if they know when they should defer the issue to their superior. 

Tell us about a time when you have failed and how you handled it.

This question can help the company gauge how well the interviewee deals with underperforming or how they react when things aren’t going right for them. It helps employers gain an understanding of the applicants’ personality and how ambitious they might be, as well as what their own definition of failure might be.

This question gives insight into how quickly candidates can bounce back from stressful situations and whether or not they learn from their mistakes. It is a very personal question and only a candidate can assess what they consider to be a failure. 

Tell us about a time you took a leadership role. What was the end result?

These types of questions assess leadership capabilities and style. The candidate’s answer will help the panel determine what kind of leadership style the applicant uses and whether that will fit in well with the company’s ideals and practices. It also determines if this style worked for the candidate in the past and in what way it was successful. This is the opportunity for applicants who wish to take another step in their career showcase their leadership qualities.

Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond.

The panel wants to hear how dedicated candidates are to their role and how they will stand out within the organization for their career development. This is also a good way to get an idea of the interviewee’s personality and how prepared they are to go the extra mile to please the company’s clients or customers. Examples from volunteer work and other personal projects are often deemed as acceptable answers to this question. 

Describe a project you worked on as part of a team.

This is a question that appears in most interviews to determine if the applicant is a team player or if they work better autonomously. Often employers want someone who can do both. Recruiters want an in-depth example of how the team operated and the candidate’s role within that team, whether they displayed leadership qualities or were able to follow directions and collaborate with their team members.


How to answer Behaviour based Interview Questions

The only way to truly ace a behaviour based interview is to prepare for it. Maintain positive body language while you face the hiring manager for an interview. There are a variety of ways to prepare yourself, but a proven method is by practicing answers in the STAR format. By doing so, the candidates’ responses answer every aspect of the question but with depth, highlighting their experience and skills along the way. 

What does STAR stand for?

S – Situation

The hiring manager will expect to hear about specific situations the applicant has previously faced.

T – Task

Describing the task helps the interview panel to understand the applicant’s responsibility in that situation. Giving them an idea of what the interviewee’s duties were in their previous role.

A – Action

By explaining the action, the candidate is discussing which steps they took throughout the situation. This helps employers understand applicants’ concept of procedures and their thought processes when faced with certain circumstances.

R- Result

By sharing the outcome, the panel gets an idea of what impact the interviewee’s actions had on the overall situation. 

Adopting this method brings shape to the answer providing a narrative that is easily followed but also compelling. Setting the scene allows the recruitment team to put themselves in the same position and makes them think if they would respond to the situation in the same way. It helps determine if candidates are a good fit in the company and help the interviewee to remain on track.


Answering Behavioural Interview Questions Using STAR

Choose the Right Situation

The starting point for answering these questions with the STAR methodology is by ensuring the anecdote you select is an appropriate scenario that has taken place in your life. It will likely be evident to employers if candidates are making the situation up. By choosing something from your professional history you will be able to elaborate easily, should the panel ask for further details. 

Pick a scenario that had a positive outcome. If you do get asked about a project that resulted in failure, be sure to end on a high note. Talk about what you learned from that experience and the changes you would make should you find yourself in the same situation. 

Behavioural questions are completely unpredictable but if you practice enough using the STAR method, you will be able to adapt the structure to any scenario to shape your answer. It’s smart to have a few scenarios that you can easily shape to several questions. That way you aren’t completely blindsided by every question. 

If you need to take a few seconds to gather your thoughts so you can give a good answer, do not be afraid to ask for a moment to think. Interview panels would rather applicants consider their questions and develop an answer instead of going off on a tangent and not answering the question at all. 

Be Concise When Discussing Your Task

With these kinds of questions, it is very easy to veer off track but by adopting the STAR method you can answer the question in depth and leave out all the unnecessary details that you might otherwise include when telling a story. 

Paint a clear picture of the scenario you were in and emphasis the role you played that helped to achieve the result. You should focus on having one or two sentences for each point of your STAR answer.

When it comes to discussing your task, highlight your responsibilities at the time to let the employer know exactly where you fit in within the scenario. 

Highlight Your Actions

By highlighting the actions you took specifically, the panel will get a sense of how your mind works and the go-to processes you use in certain scenarios. This is the point where applicants can really showcase their skills and attributes by highlighting the role they played to help achieve the outcome.

Discuss your problem-solving skills and the steps you took to get there. Be precise about the methods or strategies you devised to ensure you reached your target. Or which software you used to help develop a plan.  

Emphasize the Result

Emphasize your part in the end result of the situation you presented. Be specific, even adding in key facts and figures to highlight how much of an impact you truly made. 

Rather than saying, ‘Sales increased because of the changes I made,’ you could say, ‘Sales increased by 23% over that financial year due to the social media program I implemented

This is because we managed to reach 2,000 more potential clients than the previous year.’  

Guidance states that hiring managers are exceptionally fond of this method of questioning, so you have likely come across it before. Avoid giving vague answers or fabricating stories altogether as it will often be picked up on.

They will keep asking you for specific details on your approach to past situations and the results of your efforts until they feel they have heard all there is to hear. Questions, such as:

  • What were you thinking at that point?
  • What was your next step?
  • Give us more details on that, please.
  • How did you manage to get the support?
  • How effective was the process of decision-making?
  • How did you achieve the goals?


Examples of STAR Answers

Diverting back to the ‘Questions you may be asked,’ section here are a few examples of good STAR answers to some of those questions. 

  • Tell us about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you resolved the situation.

Situation – It was Christmas and we were very busy at the café. An angry customer wanted to use two different sets of vouchers for their purchases and they were becoming irate at a team member.

Task – As a team leader, I had to point out the clear company policy printed on the vouchers that stated they could not be used in conjunction with another offer.

Action – Using my communications skills, I interjected before the exchange became too heated and calmly made the customer aware of the policy printed on the vouchers. I informed them that they would not be able to use both vouchers at the same time.

I empathized with them that this was inconvenient but explained why it was the company policy. I let the customer know that although they couldn’t use both vouchers on their café purchase that one of their vouchers could be used in our clothing section instead, giving them a discount on the gifts they were shopping for. 

Result The customer left happy as they weren’t aware that one of the vouchers would give them a discount on their shopping. They explained that they were just stressed because of the holidays and pressure to spend money. The customer thanked me for doing such a good job at a difficult time of the year and left a great review online praising the customer service in our café. 

  • Tell us about a time you took a leadership role. What was the role and the end result?

Situation – I got asked to participate in a new project as a team coordinator which was a step up from my usual role. 

Task My task was to give support and guidance to a team of twenty people who were conducting audits throughout our business. 

Action – I drew up a OneNote which was a one stop shop for my team to get all the answers they would need for frequently asked questions. I fielded questions from my team and was in constant contact with my team members. I checked in throughout the day with those who found the task a little more daunting than others. I also requested that each team member send me daily statistics updates at the end of every day so I could see how we were tracking, which I consolidated into a report for the project manager. 

Result We finished the project in record time, by completing 230 audits in under two weeks. I received special recognition from the project manager who was thankful for my contribution. My team completed the most audits and even though they faced challenges throughout the task they felt supported and valued because of my efforts. The task helped me to discover leadership qualities I didn’t know I had which have led me to apply for this role. 

  • Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond.

SituationI was helping a colleague organize a workshop and the staff member had a lot of admin tasks to complete for the day.

TaskI volunteered to help any way I could, and they asked if I could do the tedious task of making the name badges for the 120 attendees.

ActionI made the name badges within a few hours through Microsoft Word but I also colour coordinated them so they were grouped into the tables they would be sitting at throughout the workshop.

I then arranged them alphabetically so they would be easy to find when laid out on the table. I packed them into easy to carry boxes so they could be transported to the venue.

ResultMy colleague was really grateful for the help and was so thankful that I helped with the time-consuming task. Our management loved the color-coded labels for each table and expressed delight at the level of organization.

Everyone found their seat quickly because the badges were in alphabetical order. Such a small gesture made the simple process of attendees finding their seat and name tags so much more efficient. 


Master the Technique

As you can see from the above examples the STAR method is a really effective way of answering behavioural interview questions in a concise and structured way.

The Situation and Task points are often brief with the Action and Results points giving the recruiter a more detailed insight into the scenario.  

Preparing for interviews is a great method of self-assessment. Even if you are only considering applying for a new role, think through how you would answer behaviour based interview questions to get the role. It is a great form of introspection and will leave you well prepared for the more traditional job interview formats. 

Most high-profile recruitment companies will use this form of interviewing if you are applying for a big organization through them so you can expect a few of these questions from the panel.

The rise of the behavioural interview is largely due to a shift in what companies’ value in today’s society.

Nearly anyone can learn how to run a computer program and craft an email but not everyone has the soft skills to work well under pressure, work with diverse groups of people or prioritize tasks to meet deadlines.