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Five steps to your next career move

5 Steps To Successful Career Transition

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5 Steps to Successful Career Transition

As we head toward the end of the year, you might be thinking to yourself, "what's next for me? What is going to be on the cards for next year?" And you might want to start planning what that is.

Now, when we start to create any career transition or any move, we need to make sure that we're coming at it from a very planned approach, because when we come at it from a ad hoc way, we tend to get some ad hoc results. And we want to be able to make the transition as seamless as possible.

So right now I'm going to take you through the five steps to successful career transition and what they look like.

STEP 1: Preparing Your Mindset

Step number one is preparing your mindset. Whether you've been made redundant or you're wanting to make a change ie. change industries or roles, take on a leadership role, try something new or challenging, how you approach this career move will be critical to your success in terms of how quickly you can make that change.

The first thing to do is to start thinking about is what has stopped you in the past, because usually what has stopped you in the past will stop you from making this move or limiting you in this particular move.  We want to recognise what that is and put some things in place to have you not be stopped this time. And purely having that as a focus can make such a big difference.

STEP 2: Creating Your Career Plan

It's time to create your career plan and take the time to reflect on what is important to you in an organisation, in a manager, in a role, the tasks that you do, the type of work, how you want to make a difference, and writing that down and making sure that it connects with your values and how you want to represent yourself within your career.  When there's a misalignment in values with the organisation that you're working in, generally, that's when unrest and unhappiness comes in.  So you want to be able to know that upfront before making some of those really critical decisions.

Once you have all that, you've created a plan, you know where you're wanting to go, then you need to start submitting some really standout applications.

STEP 3: Create Standout Applications

Making sure that you have your CV cover letter ready and tailored for your upcoming roles is next.  Making sure that you have an updated LinkedIn profile and ensuring all of your applications are written in a way that really reflect your key skills; removing all the fluff, putting in your key skills and key talents and not letting your mindset or any limiting beliefs come into play when you're writing this. We just want to hear the black and white of where you can add value to a business.

STEP 4: Leveraging Job Platforms & Networks

Then we need to move into leveraging job platforms and also people in your network. And not crazy networking events, things like that, but making sure that you are uploading your details to job platforms such as SEEK and LinkedIn, and ensuring that you have the right keywords within your profile so people can find you. You want to be able to access some of that hidden job market as there are jobs out there that are not being advertised. So it's making sure that you have all of those details online, ready to go and optimise your profiles.  That also means that people can start finding you.  It's also important that you are reaching out to the right recruiters in your field, connecting with them so they know that you are available. If you're looking for internal promotions, making sure that the people within your organisation actually know your career goal, having conversations for what that next step is.

STEP 5: Ace Your Interviews

This can be a really scary, scary event for people, but you want to walk into your interview, super confident; making sure that you understand the questions that they're going to be asking as best as you can.  It's important to look at the position description or the job ad, making some really careful assumptions about what they could be asking and practice, practice, practice!  Write out your answers.  Be super prepared.  And again, always going back to your mindset (ensuring it's a positive one). You need to go in as yourself, not as your limiting beliefs.

If you can nail each of these five steps, preparing your mindset, creating your career plan, creating and submitting some really standout applications, leveraging job platforms and people, preparing to ace your interviews, you are well on the track to a successful career transition.

If you would like my support in any of these steps, or all of these steps, I'd love to help you.  You can start my joining my Career Accelerator Program, an innovative 6-Week Career Mentoring Program that has you gain the clarity, confidence, and skills to make your next career move...even if you don't know exactly what that looks like yet OR how to get there!

Join >>> Career Accelerator Program

How To Rebuild Your Confidence After Receiving Negative Feedback

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Career setbacks come in all shapes and sizes and can impact your confidence at any stage of your career.  Negative feedback in particular can shake you up, have you feeling nervous about your future, and stop you from getting where you’d like to go.

I’ve personally experienced many setbacks in my own career and managing my confidence levels following each setback has been a learned process.  In this post, I’ll share with you my own career confidence setback relating to receiving negative feedback, and how I overcame it, so you can too.

Receiving Negative Feedback

Early in my HR days, I was supporting a manager with one of his underperforming team members and it was my role to facilitate the process and ensure a fair outcome. Halfway through the process, when I felt I was doing a great job being empathetic to the employee and documenting the process professionally, the manager told me that I was being “too soft” and that we weren’t getting anywhere which was negatively impacting his team.

Ouch.  It hurt to receive that feedback.  I thought I had built a great relationship with both the manager and the employee and now I wasn’t sure how to talk to either of them. My confidence as a new HR advisor was shot and I was scared I was failing in the role. What I felt were my strengths, was not in the eyes of someone else.  It sent me on a spiral of negative thoughts about myself and why I shouldn’t be in that role.

My initial reaction was to be defensive; justifying how I had approached the situation and thinking it was the manager who was blaming me for their own failings as a leader.  Then I felt hurt, that the manager had not seen the amount of work that I had put into each and every part of the process.  I also felt scared, that I would be “found out” and everyone would soon know that I shouldn’t have been promoted into a HR role and I’d soon be packing my bags.

Two Tips To Move On From The Setback

Get perspective

Often when we’re angry or hurt we gravitate to others who will ‘back us up’ (i.e. agree that we’ve been hard done by), which isn’t actually going to do much good (even though it feels good at the time).  We need to get perspective, see what lessons can be learned from the situation and that comes with talking to someone who can see the bigger picture, and help you see it too.

After talking with my manager openly, I was able to see that how I was communicating was a little ambiguous with the employee and wasn’t being entirely clear about what the business’ expectations were.  It gave me the opportunity to get perspective, learn, and become a better HR practitioner.

Distract Yourself Now, Reflect Later

Perhaps you’ve received a disappointing performance review, for instance.  You’re probably reeling that you didn’t get the rating you were expecting.  How unfair!  You’re replaying it over and over and it’s affecting your performance each and every moment since the review.  You might even be googling new jobs that actually value what you do (we’ve all been there!).

Try mentally putting the review “on the shelf” for a couple of days, then reflect on it once you’ve calmed down.  That way, you’re less likely to drop the ball on anything you’re currently working on and more likely to see it for what it is – just feedback!  And the feedback that you can learn and grow from.

Take Action

Whether the negative feedback is valid, or not, there is always some action we can take to improve and move forward.  My action plan included talking to my manager and receiving coaching on how I could improve in my communication.  Then I actioned that.  The result was a better relationship with the leader I was working with and a better outcome for his employee.

It’s never a nice moment to receive negative feedback, but if taken in the right context, it can help you to improve, grow, and have your career flourish.

If your confidence has taken a hit recently and you’d like some help regaining it, join me for my upcoming Career Confidence and Clarity Workshop.

How To Ace Your Performance Review

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Each year do you dread hearing the words “Performance Review”…?

I know I did.

I hated having to “convince” my manager that I had done a great job that year…and that I deserved a bonus…

…and I hated even more that when it came time to talk about increasing my salary, I either didn’t say anything, or I didn’t get what I deserved for the extra work I was doing…

Super frustrating.

It’s funny, this conversation comes around each year (and for some, twice a year), but it creeps up on you so quickly that before you know it, it’s tomorrow and you’re sitting at your desk cramming for it like an exam…desperately trying to remember all the great things you’ve done during the year…

…trying to “sell” how amazing you are and why you deserve that bonus…or that pay rise…

Sound familiar?

Your Performance Review is such a great time to talk about you and your achievements and how you’ve really made a difference to your company…

…but so many people don’t take the time to thoroughly prepare…

…and they walk out really disappointed.

I don’t want disappointment for you. So this week, I’m going to share with you my best strategies that I’ve learned over the years (and that have worked incredibly well for me) so you can really ace your next performance review.

I’m also going to share with you how to get a free consult so I can help you ace your Performance Review or pay rise conversation…so keep reading!

My #1 Strategy To Ace Your Performance Review

Stop thinking about you – and start thinking from your manager / company’s perspective…

Let me explain…

When I hold performance reviews, what’s really common is that most employees come from a place of they “deserve” a great rating…they “expect” a bonus…and they “anticipate” a salary increase, but…

…they are only thinking of themselves and how hard they’ve worked…but it’s not hard work that actually makes a difference #cruelfact

…your company is actually looking for where you have added value.

I’ve bolded “added value” because it’s the most underrated aspect of any of the reviews I hold, but it’s the most important.

At the end of the day, if you can’t articulate where you’ve “added value” in your role, then you’re really not going in prepared, and you are probably missing out on some extra goodies come bonus or pay rise time.

Adding value, in the simplest terms is how have you tangibly helped the company achieve its goals. Most of the time, it’s financial goals. Because even though you may not be in a ‘finance” type role, you’re still responsible for contributing to the bottom line.

So, when you’re preparing for your review, ask yourself (and answer) these questions and ensure you talk about them when they ask you “how have you gone this year”…

…and see the difference it makes.

  1. What value have you added? And how can you measure it?
  2. Have you not only met, but exceeded your KPI’s? And how?
  3. How have you gone above and beyond in your current role?
  4. What feedback were you given at your last review and have you implemented it?
  5. Do you have any new experience or qualifications since your last review?

Now, it’s not always easy to answer these questions…especially if you’re someone who isn’t great “talking yourself up”, but I’m an expert at it, and I’d like to help you!

You can book in for a FREE Performance Review Blueprint Consult, which focuses on how to successfully ace your performance review including;

  1. What holds you back (and how not to let that stop you)
  2. Top tips on how to prepare for the conversation
  3. Create a plan/strategy for acing the review / achieving a pay rise

Schedule your >>> FREE Performance Review Blueprint Consult

Acing your Performance Review can help you get promoted and earn a bonus or salary increase (ka-ching!), so learning how to be amazing at your next review is super critical for career success.

Read these “must know” online personal brand tips from a recruitment expert

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You’re intelligent, have a great work ethic, you’re passionate, and you keep your cool under pressure.  You do everything your boss asks of you (deliver great outcomes and on time) – power house employee, right? Sorry, it might not matter, and you may find you are unemployable.

Why?

Your working personal brand is different to your online personal brand. When it comes to hunting for career opportunities, your online personal brand is critical to get right… I would go as far as saying in today’s social media world, it has become “do or die”.

You may think I’m being dramatic, but really, if you miss the tips I share with you in this post, your career can totally stall, no matter how hard you work.

Lucky for you, I was fortunate enough to spend time with Vicki-Anne Craigen, a personal brand expert and Director of Creative Recruiters, and Vicki-Anne shared with me some crucial tips to avoid you railroading your career.  And the best part?  You can implement these straight away and start kicking career goals.

So, let’s get straight into how to avoid your career being “doomed” and start leveraging your online personal brand immediately.

How social media is ruining your career

Vicki-Anne confirmed that great candidates are not being considered for roles due to their social media profiles (yes, recruiters will thoroughly research you!).  In our discussions, it became apparent this was a problem for a lot of candidates, and many had no idea.

This might seem obvious, but it’s going to be difficult for you to get hired when you post inappropriate photos to Facebook, your LinkedIn photo is unprofessional (or even worse, you don’t have a LinkedIn profile!), or you post a YouTube video where you negatively rant about your life, or your workplace or boss (eeek!).

Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have an archive of your pictures and posts, and some of them may not be your “finest moments”.  Remember that time you had a few too many vino’s and took all those crazy selfies…?).  Fun at the time, but the thing is, they don’t make you overly attractive as a candidate to recruiters and employers.

Or maybe you haven’t spent any time updating your LinkedIn profile, still sporting an outdated photo and no recent job updates i.e. you’ve been working at your current job at “X company” for 2 years but it still says you work at “Y company”.

You might be thinking: “what I do outside of work shouldn’t impact my job opportunities… surely my hard work should trump my drunk selfie posts and outdated LinkedIn profile?”

Sorry to tell you, but it is a big deal, and here’s why:

Your online presence is all they see of you initially…

A recruiter’s job is to present the best candidates to employers.  Their reputation depends on it.  Therefore, a recruiter will thoroughly screen candidates and review their online presence.  They don’t know you, so they’re trying to work out who you are and whether they want to spend their valuable time talking to you.

Vicki-Anne reviews her candidates profile pictures, posts, YouTube videos, and she will check spelling and grammar.  And for those in the marketing world, Vicki-Anne also reviews a candidate’s professionalism on their blogs and Vlogs.

Basically, if a recruiter doesn’t like what they see (if it is even slightly unprofessional), they’re not going to refer you for an interview.  Pretty straightforward really.  And it doesn’t matter what level in your career you are at.  One negative image, post, blog or vlog can ruin your chances.  Assume anything you post in a public setting will be checked for professionalism. If you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to look at it, don’t post it.

So, what can you do straight away to create a great personal brand and online presence?

Glad you asked.  Here’s a list recommended by Vicki-Anne.  It’s worth noting here that Vicki-Anne’s company took out the number one ranking for ‘Most Socially Engaged Boutique Staffing Agency’ at the LinkedIn annual recruiter awards for Australia and New Zealand.  She knows her stuff alright.

Top 10 tips for creating a professional online presence and personal brand

  1. Remove any unprofessional content, or better yet, make your social media profiles private.
  2. Build your online relationships and expand your networks by connecting with people in your industry.
  3. Start posting and sharing great industry content that shows off your expertise.
  4. Ensure everything that you publicly post portray you positively.
  5. You don’t need too much information on LinkedIn (sometimes less is more), however listing your career history and having a professional photo is really important.
  6. If you want to be found i.e. headhunted, list content on your LinkedIn profile that matches all the attributes and experience a recruiter might want to see. Recruiters will search for great candidates, so use appropriate words on your profile that can be found in SEO searches.
  7. The companies you have worked for make a difference.  Recruiters know who the good companies are, and they look for candidates within those companies. If you know you are in a company with a bad reputation, it’s not a deal breaker but just consider this when looking for new roles (do your research before accepting a role!).
  8. Provide documents that are easy for recruiters and hiring managers to see how good you are i.e.  if you are a graphic designer, submitting a boring word document as a resume just won’t give a good impression. However, if you present a video resume or digital portfolio demonstrating your ability, skills and experience, you will find that you will have much more success.
  9. For students who typically don’t have too much industry experience, you can show your qualities through examples such as blogs or vlogs, or list projects and initiatives that show you delivered either during your studies or as a hobby/side project.
  10. Ensure any profile pictures are professional and good quality (no blurred or grainy photos). Smart phones can take amazing photo’s so there is no excuse.  Ask a friend or partner to get a good head shot of you (head and shoulders only).  It can easily be taken with you in a professional outfit up against a white wall… remember to smile!  Have a quick glance at other’s people’s photos and profiles, if you were a recruiter, would you hire these people on first glance? If you were a manager, would you want to work with these people? Why would you or wouldn’t you? Replicate what works and avoid what doesn’t.

Alright, time to get your personal brand and online presence into shape!  Big thanks to Vicki-Anne of Creative Recruiters for sharing her wonderful tips with us.  You can find out more about Vicki-Anne and her team at creativerecruiters.com.au. If you have the privilege of meeting the team, be sure to meet their Chief Happiness Officer and Chief Security Officer…you’ll thank me later.

5 Ways To Get More Confidence

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In my job, I get to talk to lots of different people who are at different stages of their careers, and I find it really interesting that no matter what level, industry or job they have, there is always always a common theme…

…they want more confidence. 

Think about it…where in your life have you stalled (or completely been stopped) because you felt you couldn’t achieve something? A lack of confidence can be debilitating and really hold you back from what you love doing.

But imagine you had the confidence to…

  • walk up to your boss and ask for the pay rise you deserve?
  • nail every job interview without self-doubt?
  • contribute your opinion in a meeting?
  • have a coffee with your CEO or senior leader and provide them feedback?
  • become a manager and lead a team to greatness?
  • stand in front of a large crowd of 100 people and have them hanging on every word?

Imagine your life with an abundance of confidence!

You would be unstoppable (hell yeah!).  You would have everything you wanted (of course!), and your life would be very, very different.  It would be amazing and self-fulfilling and unstoppable!

So, I’m here to tell you that it’s about time you felt this confidence!

Right about now you’re probably hearing your self-doubt kick in…but before you indulge in what you call your “reality”, here is something for you to think about…

You don’t need to be confident “all the freaking time”…but you can get confidence for the moments that count

Think about it, having an abundance of confidence all the time is likely to be a big shift and could take a lot of effort and to be honest, probably seems unrealistic…

Getting confidence in the moments that count is important, and I’m here to tell you, it’s really not that hard.

Let’s take going for a job interview as an example.  What would it take to get confidence in that moment?

Or… In asking for a pay rise?

Or… In networking with senior managers?

Or… In performance review… or anything else you want?

What it takes is the following:

  1. Getting to know what you actually want and take control

So, I hear you saying… my goal is to “get the job”.

For the most part, you can’t control the outcome 100% because you don’t know who else has applied, but you can control how you feel during the interview and how well you prepare.

So, another goal could be (as well as getting the job of course) is to walk away having presented your best self and being proud no matter the outcome.

You can control how you prepare and how you show up and when you keep nailing that aspect, the results will come.

2. Getting familiar with that moment (i.e. practice!)

Often, we picture the moment where you need “confidence” as being scary or hostile, mostly because we are unfamiliar with being in that moment.

Take asking for a pay rise as an example.  If you haven’t asked for a pay rise before, it could be a little daunting.  It’s by sheer practice and “getting familiar with that moment” that you start to feel comfortable.

Practice = confidence so the more you put yourself “out there” the better (and less scary) it becomes.

3. Get perspective

We tend to work ourselves into a bit of a spin thinking of all the worst-case scenarios…like how you’ll miss out on the job of your dreams, or you’ll get rejected when asking for a pay rise or promotion.

It helps to work through these worst-case scenarios and ask yourself “how likely is that going to happen?” Very rarely does the worst case happen, but if it does, have a plan that has you be confident to deal with anything that comes your way in that moment.

If you think your manager could say something brash like: “you don’t deserve a pay rise.  Tell me why I should give it to you…” (ouch!), get around it by preparing a great answer for it, one that you knew they would be excited by.

4. Have options

If you have one “true love”, that you have just met on a date, then all your emotions are going into that one person… no doubt you will be devastated if they don’t return your calls.

Similarly, if you are waiting on one job, you will be waiting for that email or clutching onto your phone waiting for their call…

But if you had options, your mind is focused on what’s next… Plus, the chances of you getting a job when waiting for five potential employers is much more likely to convert into a job, than if you were waiting on one.

Options = less stress!

5. Get experience

If you have never gone for a job interview (or it’s been a while), or asked for a pay rise, or had “work from home” days, there is nothing more valuable than having requested this, regardless of the outcome.

Yes, you might get rejected (and probably should expect it), but that’s also valuable… the more rejections the better, because when you start nailing it, you will be unstoppable!

What can you do next?

We’re here for you to win!  Whatever that looks like for you…new job, promotion, flexible working, pay rise…whatever your heart desires for your career.

That’s why we’ve put together a stack of free resources and training as well as offer personalised coaching and online programs – all for you to excel in your career.  Check them out here:- https://www.promotableyou.com.au/products/

How To Get An Interview By Nailing Your Phone Screen

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So, you’ve completed your brand spanking new resume using the AAA Resume Format and you submitted it for a job that you really want.   A week later you’ve been contacted about the role and they want to talk to you about it #hellyeah

Firstly, great work! Clearly, they’re interested in your skills, experience and the way you have presented yourself on paper.  You’ve got your foot in the door, so now it’s time to “up the game”. The stakes just got higher.

You’ve been advised the next step in the selection process is to have a “chat” about your application with the recruiter.  Great! You’re excited about that but…

…you’re now starting to get a little nervous because you don’t know what they want to “chat” about…

…I mean, it could be anything yeah?

Sure, they could ask you anything, but let’s take a look at what typically this “chat” is going to be about, and what you need to prepare for.  Then you can remove those nerves and be your amazingly fabulous self.

Let’s start at the beginning…

An “informal chat” is typically what recruiters call a “phone screen”.

They’ve gone through all of the resume applications, culled the ones they don’t want and now they’re trying to find the best people to interview.  Time is limited in the recruitment world so they can’t physically interview everyone, only the best of the bunch.

So let’s go through what they’re looking for, so you don’t get caught on the “chopping block” and you do get that interview!

How you present yourself and communicate over the phone

They’ll be judging you on how you answer the phone, how polite you are, how well you know the job you’ve applied for… do you sound professional enough for them to want to interview you?

My tips for success:

  1. Keep copies of the job ads with you in your bag so you can reference them quickly when recruiters call. Nothing speaks more highly of a candidate that knows why they’re being called and is excited about it.
  2. Always activate voicemail – nothing worse than a recruiter trying to reach you and you don’t answer…or there isn’t an option for them to leave a message.

NOTE:  record a professional, friendly voicemail (no voice to text!) and check it regularly and get back to them ASAP.

  1. If they’re trying to set up a time with you, be flexible! They have a stack of people to call and you don’t want to be the one they roll their eyes at over the phone because you’re being a “princess” about times (I’m totally being serious about this one!).  You want them on your side.

Your motivation for applying

They’ll be making notes about your passion for the role, how interested you are and your motivation for applying.  They may ask things like why does this role interest you? Why are you wanting to leave your current role?  What compelled you to apply?

My tips for success:

  1. Think about your answers for these questions now (before they call)…be as truthful as you can but also keep in mind what the recruiter will be wanting to hear i.e. that you hate your current boss – not a good idea. That you don’t get paid enough – again, not a great idea.  That you’re looking for a new challenge and your current company doesn’t have room for progression – good idea.  Get the gist here?
  2. Write your answers down and keep then with you. The beauty of a phone interview is that it’s like an open book test – they can’t see if you’re reading off a piece of paper. This works really well if you get nervous easily too.  This has saved me so many times!
  3. It’s ok if you’re out and about to ask if you can call them back in 10 minutes, or later that day (if they want to talk to you on the spot), just so you can then rush back and grab your notes and be prepared for the call.  Please don’t take the call whilst on a bus, tram, train, driving etc. The signal ALWAYS seems to fail and it doesn’t come across professional.

Review your qualifications and experience

They may do quick review of your qualifications, technical ability and experience and ask you to clarify something such as your job history, formal qualifications, or anything specific about that role i.e. specific industry experience and skills.  If I’m interviewing for an administration position, as an example, I’m going to ask them about their diary management skills specifically and perhaps their ability to multi-task.

My tips for success:

  1. Have your resume with you so you can refer to it without having to remember all that info. Plus, if you’ve used the AAA Resume format you’ve likely adjusted the resume to suit that particular role so you’ll need to know exactly what you’ve written.  I always keep a little folder in my bag with all of my applications in it.  Might seem annoying but really, women have huge handbags nowadays and you can fit anything in there 🙂  It will really save you in the long run.
  2. If it’s a new industry that you haven’t worked in before, make sure you research that industry so you can at least have a conversation about what you know about it. And really, you should have done this prior to applying for that role anyway, so you know if it was going to be a good fit for you or not.
  3. Be prepared to provide examples as they may ask for them i.e. if we use my administrator example and I ask a candidate; “talk to me about your diary management ability”, it’s not enough to say “I’m really good at that” or “yes, I have a lot of experience in that”. You need to be able to demonstrate it through an example, even if they don’t ask you to provide one.  Tell them where you use that skill and the great outcomes you’e had using that skill.

And lastly, here are some of the common question you may need to prepare for:

  1. Talk through what you know of X company?
  2. What attracted you to this role?
  3. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  4. Why are you looking to leave your current role?
  5. What is your salary expectation?
  6. Where do you see your career going in 5 years?
  7. Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this role?
  8. What is your notice period at your current role?
  9. What do you know about X Industry?
  10. Why are you interested in working in X industry?

Write down answers to all of them as you just don’t know what they’re going to ask.  Better to be prepared.  That’s how top candidates get the interviews!

Good luck!

How to use online job platforms to your advantage

By | How to "get ahead" | One Comment

 

I’ve finished my resume, now what?  How to use online job platforms to your advantage.

I get asked this question a lot.  And I see a lot of people unsure of what next steps to take.  Typically, this is what I see…can you relate?

  1. You submit your resume for one job and wait. You don’t apply for another role as you really want this one. And it would be totally bad karma if you applied for more than your ultimate job…
  2. You submit your resume for a few jobs and you wait for a response. Sometimes you’ll wait for weeks just wondering…”did they even get my resume” you ask?
  3. You apply for every single job you see, even if it’s different jobs within the same company – the more the better right?

Do any of these sound like you?

An awesome resume is your first step but blindly submitting it online is not the only way or the smartest use of your time.  Using online recruitment platforms such as SEEK, CareerOne, Jora & LinkedIn are great when you start using their extra features (which most people don’t use!).  I

In this post I want to chat about LinkedIn and SEEK specifically and how to utilise them to your advantage.

LinkedIn is an invaluable tool. Here’s why.

LinkedIn has a little button you can flick on within your profile which allows recruiters to know you are job hunting.  Cool huh?  It’s not obvious to your network (so your boss won’t see it!), but recruiters, who pay LinkedIn big bucks for recruiter access, can see it like a big green flashing light.  Since recruiters are constantly looking for amazing talent, making it that much easier for them to find you is a real opportunity for you.

To let recruiters know you are ready for new opportunities, you have to turn “On” your signal. You can do this from your LinkedIn home page by clicking on the “Jobs” tab on the toolbar. The below message usually pops up however if it doesn’t, simply select “Preferences” at the top of the page.

The recruiter function in LinkedIn also uses Boolean strings in their search functionality.  This means that recruiters can use key words, phrases and words such as “and”, “or”, “not” to broaden or limit their search.  That way they can narrow down the candidate pool when they are looking for something specific.

If you want the recruiter to find you easily, make sure you are keeping your profile up to date.  It’s important that if you have numerous skillsets or different job title options (like I have below) to include these in your “headline” section of your profile.   You’ll notice in my example below there are numerous ways to write what I am qualified in, so I write them all!   That way I’ll turn up in numerous job searches – WIN!

So, what about SEEK?

The good news is that SEEK also has a “find me” function very similar to that of LinkedIn.  First you need to create an account with SEEK via the“ candidate sign in” which is on their homepage.

Once you’ve done that you can head to your profile and start updating it with all of your good stuff.  The best bit? All the info can be “cut and pasted” from your new AAA Resume (time saver, yeah!).

  • You’ll upload your new AAA resume (PDF or Word Doc is fine)
  • Personal summary about you (straight from your ‘about me’ section)
  • Your Career history (straight from your ‘Career Overview” section)
  • Your education (you guessed it, straight from your AAA resume!)
  • Your skills (yet again! From your new AAA resume).

I really have made it easy for you hey?

You can also set your preferred location, the type of work (i.e. full time, part time), your salary expectations, and any particular classification or industry you might be interested in (i.e. sales, marketing, finance etc).

And you’re done!

From there, you can turn your profile visibility to “standard” so recruiters can find you using keyword searches.  BOOM.  You’ve just increased chances of being contacted with minimal work #hellyeah

Another good feature is that you can track the jobs you’ve applied for and save any jobs that you’d like to apply for. Plus, you can do this straight from the app (if you’re not near a computer).  That way if you do get a call from a recruiter you can quickly log onto the app to review the job role so you sound 100% professional, not “can you tell me what job you’re calling me about please?” – that’s a total “no, no” and one surefire way to annoy a recruiter.

How do these tips help you get further ahead than your competition?

You’re way more likely to be approached about a job opportunity if a recruiter actually knows you’re actively looking, AND they can find you easily with a keyword search.  There is nothing better than being approached or “headhunted” about a job opportunity, definitely a confidence booster.

So, no point reading this and not taking action.  Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Update your LinkedIn profile (or create one!)
  2. Register for a SEEK account or update your current profile.
  3. Watch out for my upcoming blog called “how to hustle into your perfect job” – COMING SOON!

Creating Balance In Your Life

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Guest post by the very talented Brooke Taylor:

In my life, it would appear that on the outside I have it all. I have a cool day job in sustainability, a cool night job playing music, I exercise, I do yoga, I spend time with my family and spend time with my friends. I live on my own, have a nice car, don’t settle with dudes that don’t treat me well or friends that sabotage my happiness – all the good sh*t. But…

…before a recent holiday I was at the point of complete exhaustion; both physically and mentally. Admittedly I was totally pushing the boundaries to get cash money for the holiday, but dear god I’m never letting that happen again; I was a wreck held together by stubbornness and pride. So, in that sense, I will still write this post on ‘creating balance’, but just know that I don’t always get it right…

Yes, creating balance…

I suppose the first point I want to make is that balance isn’t found, it’s deliberately made – and  it should be prioritised. Make an achievable goal and stick to it. It’s actually very easy.  If you want to be a better cook, have designated ‘new recipe Wednesday’ or organise a ‘cooking night’ with friends.  People become experts at making excuses for not doing things, but at the end of the day, ‘tis best to just shut up and do what you said you were going to do. Integrity is key.

Make declarations.

I like to book things in advance and I stop myself from ‘umming and ahhing’ about whether I should do something and I just go and do it. I take the first step – baby steps are fine…they’re actually better. And, if I stuff up, I just try again.

My key mantras are:

  • You get what you settle for
  • Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will
  • The ‘hard work’ is to keep doing the work

Stick to your guns ladies.

No one explains that. No one really tells you that the hardest bit is to stick to your guns. Anyone can start a change – a diet, workout regime, creative practice…but NO-ONE reiterates that the really hard bit is to keep it up.

Celebrate your wins.

You’ve got to celebrate your wins. Not with a mid-week blow out, or spending money you don’t have, but write yourself a little message on the bathroom mirror – a little ‘you got this’. Positive reinforcement and reminding yourself of what you’ve achieved is important.

Musically I’ve come a long way in the last couple of years, and I find reflection does give the heart a glow and the energy to keep moving forward.

Reward yourself with rest.

Ah, rest. Rest is the bit that I’ve stuffed up on recently. I was thinking that 3 hours of yoga a week was enough to combat a week’s worth of 16-hour days. I’ll give you the hot tip; it’s not. It’s not even close. Sleep and hydration are key. Take a night off. Netflix and chill. You’ll be more energised and calm to be your best self and get the job done. I’m not saying procrastinate, but you MUST rest.

 Become a practicing person.

Think about what it is you want or want to be better at and practise. Practise fitness, practise kindness, practice strength…whatever it is just do a little bit of it every day (or every week) and improve. And write it down – make a written declaration. Scheduling (I find) is really important.

Make the time.

That’s what I meant at the start about ‘creating balance’. Typically left to our own devices we’ll just coast along and do whatever, but, if you want to make a difference to yourself (or others), you’ve got to dedicate yourself to something and action it.

If you loved Brooke’s wise words of wisdom, why not check out her music at  www.brooketaylormusic.com.au and while you’re at it, check out her song “What If” which really is quite fitting with this post!

Yoga, mindfulness and the paradox of getting shit done

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Guest post by my dear friend Claire Kleynjans:

Mindfulness seems to be everyone’s aspiration these days, and every second person owns a yoga mat. Well and good. But when there’s already zero spare time amid the chorus of work, family, obligations, and chores, how are you meant to carve out an extra hour to sit and gaze at your navel? Mindfulness seems irrelevant, impossible, and perhaps even vaguely insulting (sure, you’d love to be mindful – if you won Tattslotto).

The world we live in isn’t exactly gentle with us. Like an unfulfilled helicopter parent, our screens subject us to a consistent aspirational barrage: Achieve! Dream! Travel! Do more! Be more! Have more friends! Be a better daughter/sister/employee/dog sitter! Be happier! Look younger! Buy more throw pillows! Save the planet! Such directives are shouted at us every day, and soon enough we internalise them, saving everybody time by shouting them at ourselves (in our minds, of course. Out loud would be even more terrifying). It’s positively Orwellian. And no matter how admirable the intention behind it, all this bleating is not motivational. The sheer volume means we’re overwhelmed, dissatisfied and exhausted (why hello, dear Shiraz, Cadbury, Sofa and Netflix! Let us accompany each other into oblivion). And it gets worse – the common message underlying all these commands is simple and deadly: you’re not okay as you are. Not enough. In order to get anywhere, you must change! And so, in response, we push ourselves harder and harder to try and attain some unachievable, mythical standard of perfection. But guess what: You are not a unicorn! And achieving great things actually begins with knowing yourself.

So what does yoga have to do with all this? Well, yoga is a delicious paradox: it’s both the antithesis of getting shit done and the very thing that enables you to get shit done. And not only this, it’s the ideal gateway drug to mindfulness. Let me explain.

In our quest to achieve and be better, our bodies are often the casualty. We come to see our physical self as a mere tool to help us climb whatever mountain it is that we’ve selected. And in the process, we forget that these bodies are complex, finely calibrated, organic creatures, not machines. But many of us take better care of our cars than ourselves. A massage once every six months just isn’t going to cut it!

‘If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?’

To compound this systematic neglect of our bodies, society has also bequeathed us the dubious teaching that our thoughts are the boss, and we should listen to and believe them. All of them. All the time. Back in 1637, a philosophical French fella called Descartes wrote ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (I think, therefore I am). The intellectual western world was collectively thrilled with this notion, embracing it as a sign of moral and intellectual superiority. And it’s stuck around ever since – even now, we are slaves to our thoughts, and fail to consider ourselves as whole beings (mind + body, both in need of care and attention). We are disconnected from our essential nature (and we never cop a break from that nattering mind. How exhausting).

To navigate your life successfully – to even know what it is you want, let alone summon the grit and guts and gumption to go after it – you need to be coming from a strong inner place. And that’s exactly what yoga teaches you to find. By paying careful, kind attention to your body and mind, building strength, patience, commitment, and a practice of self-care (judge-y self-talk is not permitted on the yoga mat) you begin to live more authentically and richly, and learn to firmly close the door, even just momentarily, on the shouty world outside. And the constant mental chatter inside. And how do we begin? Why, exactly as we are, of course.

We all know that the things we do in our activewear (the actual active things, not the smoothie-swilling things) are good for us. So we’re (somewhat) down with the concept of exercise. And the movement/exercise aspect of yoga gives an over-achieving mind something to chew on while it’s getting used to this mindfulness caper. Just sitting on a cushion in silence for five minutes is enough to make some of us want to run screaming to the closest bar, so let’s make it as easy as we can, for goodness sake. Your yoga teacher’s job is to guide you physically and mentally, make helpful suggestions, and most importantly ‘hold the space’ for you (this simply means that while you’re in class, no one can ask you to meet a deadline, write a report, donate to charity, make them a snack, run them to soccer practice, etc). Yoga classes are kind and respectful – and everyone’s there for the same reason: to do their own practice, in a safe, supportive community.

As we know (enthusiastically or reluctantly), moving the body feels good. Our bodies were made to move! And after a short while of practising yoga, you will actually notice new things about your body, and maybe your mind too. Because the yoga mat is like a training ground for life. You might notice that you’re a bit stronger, that you don’t loathe bloody boat pose quite so much – but you might also notice how it’s possible to feel your breath with your whole body, and how patient, resilient, persistent, smart and kind you really are. How you are great, right now. How focusing on the body is the easiest way to quiet the mind, so you can hear what really matters. The real, authentic you, crying out to be heard behind all that white noise.

Yoga is a tool that can bring us back to ourselves, and back to the present moment (the fundamental essence of mindfulness). We come to yoga just as we are – no prep required. It’s a practice that teaches us, little by little, to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our best friend, or our beloved pet. Yoga is about just showing up in all our grubby glory and learning how to move our body in time with our breath, and building the courage to creep a little closer to that wildest of all frontiers – one’s own mind.

And the best part is that by doing the very last thing you feel like doing – the most counterintuitive act you could dream up, in your hectic, overworked, fragile state – you’ll find a space in which to care for and renew yourself. As the old adage goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.  

Not sure where to start? Try Yoga with Adriene on YouTube (it’s free), or even braver and better, find yourself a yoga studio not too far from home, where the teachers are kind and real. Let them hold the door open for you, as you come back home to yourself.

And just one last thing. It doesn’t matter what you look like. Gasp! That’s right. You don’t need to buy snazzy expensive tights, or practice/do research first, or wait for bikini season (FFS), or change anything at all. Just show up for yourself, and see what happens. Mindfulness – the real calm that enables us to hear what’s true and get important things done – might be so much sweeter than you ever guessed.

‘Self-care is not self-indulgence. It’s self preservation.’ Audre Lorde

Claire is a yoga instructor, poet, editor, and high school English teacher based in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne. For Claire, yoga is a powerful, peaceful way to reconnect body and spirit, calm the mind, and reclaim mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing (perfect recipe for “getting ahead” in your career!).

For more inspiration head to Claire’s Website.

How To Update A Resume For Women Who Want To Get Ahead

By | Resume | 4 Comments

Updating your resume is not the most exciting task in the world, but it is super important. And I can tell you right now that if you don’t update it on a regular basis, it becomes an even bigger chore.

It may feel like a mammoth task. But how do you eat an elephant? A little bit at a time.

In this blog post, I’m going to explain why keeping your resume up-to-date is essential if you want to get ahead. And I’ll also give you some top tips on how to do it…

Watch my free resume training video here!

Why update your resume

But first, let me convince you of the importance of updating your resume. In my experience, the top reasons are:

1. Never forget your skills and achievements

As ridiculous as it may sound if you don’t write down what you’ve achieved professionally you might forget it!

I know my memory isn’t what it used to be. Can you definitively say that you recall the ins and outs of that project you ran back in 2016? What about the results it got?

But you know what’s the additional benefit of recalling your achievements on a regular basis? The morale boost. Remembering your past professional projects and the skills you honed during that time makes you feel good and reminds you of how capable you are.

It can also help to focus the mind and highlight what you excel at and what you enjoy. This could lead to you being more able to spot the right opportunity when it comes along. And ultimately get ahead.

2. Always available for an opportunity

When opportunity knocks, you want to be ready. And opportunities have so many guises. You don’t need to be seeking work actively to get an opportunity. There could be an internal promotion. Perhaps you’re head hunted, or you meet someone at a networking event.  

Whatever form opportunity takes, if your resume is up-to-date, not only are you more likely to recall the great stuff you’ve done during a spontaneous meeting, but it also reduces the stress of having to pull together a resume at the last minute.

How to update a resume

Ok, now you’re on board with why we can dive into how.

This post is about updating your resume. So if you’re just starting out and you haven’t created yours yet, check out this blog post first: 3 Ways To Have Your Resume Stand Out.

Once you’ve got your epic resume, you need to keep it that way. And you need to make sure the right people get to see it. Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your professional profile up-to-date:

  • Keep your LinkedIn and paper versions the same
    • This is important for the consistency of your personal brand. (Yes, you have a personal brand! It’s your own unique way of being professionally awesome.)
    • It ensures that people trust what you’re telling them when the information is consistent.
  • Click the button in LinkedIn that tells recruiters “you’re available”
    • This is a super easy and instant way of updating your status if you’re actively looking for work – it’s like a signal to recruiters that they can view your profile and contact you.
    • And it’s a motivating reminder to you to review your digital profile and ensure it’s got all the latest information!
  • Create a profile on SEEK.com and upload your most up-to-date resume

I recommend reviewing and updating your paper resume once every 6 months or so. You can set a reminder in your calendar if you think you’ll forget. For your digital resume, and to keep on top of your key skills and achievements, I suggest more regular updates; once a quarter is ideal.  

Don’t forget, a killer resume’s best friend is a knockout cover letter. Before you tackle yours, make sure you read this: Tips For Writing An Epic Cover Letter.

I hope you’re feeling more excited about updating your resume now! Stay tuned on the blog for more tips on how to supercharge your career and get ahead.