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How to “get ahead”

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.

How to use online job platforms to your advantage

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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!