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Unless you are being recruited by a family member, friend, or close acquaintance, every single hiring manager will want to look at your resume before they call you in for an interview. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a cover letter accompany your resume EVERY SINGLE TIME you send it in and to make sure that it's tailored specifically to the job you're applying for. Think about it from a hiring manager's point of view. They can receive hundreds of applications for a single job position that they need to fill in just a short amount of time. On top of their regular job duties, they need to sift through all of the applications and find the top 5% to call in for an interview. It's just not possible for them to look at every single person's application. So what do they do? They narrow down the field by using the easiest and fastest tool they have - first impressions. Let's relate this to a different topic - sports. You're a coach and need to "recruit" the best players possible for your team… You're coaching a soccer team and need to pick 15 members for your squad out of a potential 100 and you only have 2 hours to do so. It's impossible to take a good look at every single player's skills in only 2 hours, so you need to quickly narrow your search before you can study the players further. In order to do so, and without knowing anything about the players, you're going to rely on your first impressions to make the first cut. Take a look at the players standing before you - are they all wearing proper soccer attire and equipment? Do they look excited and enthusiastic about being here? Think about it - if there's someone dressed in a soccer uniform and cleats and another one wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and sandals, one of them definitely appears to be more interested in joining your team than the other. Building on that, and only considering first impressions, one looks a lot more capable than the other. While there may be a hundred explanations for this difference, it really doesn't matter when you have a limited amount of time - the ones who don't look interested are not going to make the first cut. Consider the above situation and think about it from a hiring manager's point of view. You have 50 applications before you and you need to call 5 people in for an interview. You have a limited amount of time to decide, so you need to eliminate some applications quickly. What can we see without even reading the details of each application? Some have cover letters along with the resume and some do not. The applications without cover letters are a little bit like the people showing up to soccer tryouts with jeans and no equipment. They make a terrible first impression - they don't appear as interested as the other ones, so why should anyone bother with them? Applications without cover letters are always the first ones discarded. The presence of a cover letter shows a genuine interest in a job position because you actually took the time to write it. The current economic climate is not exactly one that is overflowing with jobs; it's not like companies are hiring for the sake of it. Make sure you show a hiring manager that you have taken the time to merely write a letter to show your interest in their job position. If you don't bother showing an interest in them, the hiring manager will have no interest in you.
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245
Building a strong relationship with your boss
Career management
In the work place
No one likes a "suck up" or a "teacher's pet", but let's be honest - staying in the manager's good books at work is important not only to keep your job, but for your long term growth. It is highly unlikely that your boss will push to promote you or give you a pay increase if he or she does not like you. It does not seem fair, but this is just the way it is. Learn from your boss Generally speaking, your boss is probably more experienced than you, which is why they're in a position of management. Take time to learn from your boss by asking questions. Don't be afraid to approach them. In most situations, he or she will be happy that you are seeking them out for advice, and in return will be more willing to take the time to help you out. Be honest with your boss If you make a mistake with your work or you've done something wrong, don't try to lie or cover it up. In the long term this can only come back to hurt you. Approach your boss and be honest. Explain the mistake you've made and let them know how you're going to fix it. Nobody is perfect and no one expects you to be perfect. Honesty is the best policy. Your boss will also respect you more for being honest from the beginning rather than trying to hide your mistakes. Don't have an Ego Nobody likes an egomaniac. Lead by example through your actions rather than your words. No matter what job you do or what industry you're in, the best workers always lead by example. Don't take credit for other peoples work Taking credit for other peoples' work is a big no no. Not only is it dishonest, but sooner than later your boss will find out. In the meantime, your co-workers will begin to lose respect for you, which can severely hamper your chances of one day being in a situation where you become their boss. Being a good team player means acknowledging co-workers when they do good work and encouraging everyone to put their best foot forward. Build a positive relationship with your boss not a false relationship Just like you, your boss is only human. Yes they may have more responsibilities, but they still experience and share all the same human feelings as you will feel on a day to day basis. You do not have to be best friends with your boss, but you need to respect them and value their time. Do not try to constantly flatter them. Your boss is no fool and will quickly realise what you are doing. This can severely hurt your relationship as you will lose credibility, and in certain circumstances this can lead to them either disliking you or not taking you seriously. In conclusion, a positive relationship with your boss and co-workers will make for a happy and healthy career. We spend so much of our lives at work that it is important not just to stay on our managers good side for promotion reasons, but also to ensure that we achieve maximum satisfaction from our jobs.
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The process of Career Management
Career management
Manage your career
Career management refers to the planning, supervising, controlling, handling, coping and administrating one's professional life. It comprehensively covers a detailed view of what you want to be, where you want to go, how you will get there and ultimately how long you intend to stay. All the answers are directly related to one's personal goals and targets. Being able to handle changes in your career will best enable you to avoid mistakes of the past, prepare a confident approach to the present and a implement a positive direction for the future. Overall, managing your career will help maintain and develop your professional growth, development and direction. When should I begin to manage my career? Successful career management can start as early as the first day you walk into school or college. One should clearly identify their goals before enrolling in a particular degree or course and preparing for a lifelong career. (This saves a lot of money and time later on down the track!) Be specific with what are you good at and what you enjoy doing; most importantly what you can see yourself doing every day going forward. Being able to answer these questions will help you in understanding yourself better and what areas you are most likely to succeed. If you find that you have made a mistake don't panic. Exhaust your options, understand the value added skills that you have and how best you can utilise these existing skills. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask yourself if you are capable of performing the task or if you see yourself progressing in a certain area. If the answer is yes, then begin your quest to achieving your targets. Never forget to network and seek out as many people and opinions as possible. You just never know where the next door will open. How long does career management last for? Career management is a lifelong exercise. Balancing your work and social life is a juggling act. It is not just confined to one period in your life or a particular profession. In life many things change so don't be afraid to change with the times. It is all about adaptability and learning. The ability to learn from every setback will make you smarter in making your next career move. The employment market may seem crowded and not promising, but being open to change will help you survive during those dark months. The changing times are not moments of despair, but rather moments of opportunity.
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Do I really need a LinkedIn profile?
Career management
Manage your career
With so many social networking sites now available and new sites being developed on a daily basis, it is often hard to know which networking sites are worthwhile especially in helping to find a new job. We have all heard of Facebook and Twitter (If you haven't where have you been hiding!).. however when it comes to job networking in my opinion every person, no matter if your actively seeking a new job or not, needs to have an updated LinkedIn profile. Job hunting has changed so much over the past 5-10 years and social networking websites such as LinkedIn has enabled job seekers to reach out directly to networks which previously were never an option. Even if you are currently not seeking new roles, having an updated LinkedIn account certainly cannot hurt. I have never heard of a person who missed out on a job for having a LinkedIn account (How many people may have missed out on being headhunted for not having an active account?) I recently worked with a young skilled migrant who was in the process of moving from Ireland to Australia. This individual had been granted a skilled migrant visa and was now in the process of trying to find employment before arriving in Australia. Not knowing where to begin or how to start, we began by transferring his resume into a brand new LinkedIn profile highlighting areas such as his expertise, specialities, skills, awards, publications, education and past work history (all areas that are available to fill in on a LinkedIn profile). We optimised his LinkedIn public profile and reached out to his existing contacts asking for recommendations to add further credibility to his online profile. Last but not least we added an up-to-date professional picture (not a picture taken at 3am on a Saturday night) and uploaded this picture onto his profile. When potential hiring managers read through your profile they want to know that there is a face behind the name and adding a picture to your profile humanises the profile. Now that his account had been optimised, he was now ready to network and reach out to new contacts through all the different professional groups that LinkedIn has to offer. This job seeking candidate now had a huge advantage of being able to approach people in his network and potentially open new doors that were previously closed. Rather than applying blind to a company and hoping for the best, he was able to strategically build relationships and at the same time giving himself the greatest opportunity of being identified by recruiters through his new optimised profile. Remember one thing. The more relevant contacts you can build to your network the more exposure you will have to meet potential recruiters, head-hunters and employers. In the twenty first century, where social networking is booming, the LinkedIn platform can allow you to enhance your unique personal brand, connect with hiring authorities and connect with other job seekers who are in the exact same situation as yourself. Networking is key!
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106
Tips on keeping your new job
Career management
In the work place
Congratulations on securing your job. You have been selected above and beyond the other job applicants because of all the wonderful factors that made you the best fit for the job. Now that you have the job there are many tips to keeping your position and maintaining a professional image. Understand your role and expectations. You may feel as though you are doing a fantastic job, but if your expectations differ from those of your manager or boss, there is going to be conflict. Have a good understanding of what is expected of you. If you feel that the expectations are unrealistic, then you need to approach your boss and explain the situation. One of the most important aspects of maintaining a professional image is being a good team player and contributing fairly to the team objectives. No one likes a colleague who does not do their fair share of the work. Expand your role and keep on learning Be a team player and look to get involved in more areas of the business. Be willing to share your expertise, but also be willing to learn new skills. If your company offers training courses, put your hand up to get involved. If your company doesn't offer training courses, you can still take the initiative and invest in your own growth and knowledge by paying for these courses yourself. Develop Positive Relationships We all spend so much time at work that it is important to develop positive relationships with all of our co-workers, managers and bosses. Good relationships are based on trust. Keep commitments. If you promise something, make sure you deliver on time. However, if you find yourself in a situation where something has changed and you cannot keep that commitment, be honest and communicate. Honest communication is the key to building a long-lasting relationship. Be Visible Leaving early every day and not attending social gatherings is definitely not the right way to maintain a professional image. Being visible is all part of being a good team player. This does not mean you have to be best friends with every person you work with, but there is no need to isolate yourself either. Ask for feedback and learn from your boss Do not be afraid to ask for feedback. In order to grow and improve ourselves, we need feedback on how we are performing in our jobs. Positive feedback is always fantastic, however don't be put down by negative feedback and certainly do not hold grudges. Learn from your mistakes and strive to do better going forward. We spend so many hours at work that we need to enjoy what we are doing. Maintaining a professional image will help you not only build a reputation of someone who is a great team player and can be counted on to add value to the business, but will also make your work life a far greater experience. When the time comes for a promotion or a pay rise, you are far more likely to be considered because of your professional attitude and image.
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This month's top rated article
How to handle the telephone interview (and reach the face-to-face interview stage)

So you've found an ad for your dream job and submitted a thorough and thoughtful application. What's next?

If your application makes it through the screening round, the process of securing the job is likely to involve a series of interviews, initially on the telephone, followed by a number of in-person, face-to-face meetings. Many people underestimate the importance of the initial telephone conversation: the recruiter's goal is to determine your suitability for the role, so if you don't make a great first impression, you're unlikely to proceed to the next round of interviews.

Most of the time, you'll receive a phone call from the advertiser (this could be a Recruitment Consultant or someone from the company's HR/Recruitment team). There's usually no warning of the call, so be prepared to shift into interview mode quickly. If you happen to miss the call, it is common courtesy to return the call promptly (which is also likely to help your application).

While the phone interview is relatively informal, this is still an interview. A few points to consider:

1. Be proactive. You could consider contacting the advertiser proactively - either from the details in the advertisement or through your own research into the company. This leaves no doubt about how keen you are about the role. Not all advertisers encourage this approach, particularly for roles which are likely to attract a large volume of applicants. Be prepared to be told to apply online and don't be overly pushy if this is the case.

2. Don't rush. You won't be judged for taking the time to consider the question and answer it properly. Stay calm, composed and think your answers through. If you've reached this stage, it means the recruiter genuinely wants to understand who you are and discover why you're suitable for the role. This means that even if you have a lot to say, the recruiter is unlikely to hang up on you and you don't need to worry that you're wasting their time.

3. Be direct in your answers. Being cagey or not giving the full answer doesn't help your cause. Remember that you are competing with other candidates and will likely to be asked the same questions as they are. Listen carefully for clues about whether your answer is on the right track. For example, if the recruiter needs more detail or is confused about your response, she may try to ask the same question in a different way.

4. Listen. As the saying goes: "You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice more than you speak."

The conclusion of the call will usually be close when the questions end, and either a description of the role or being asked if you have any questions comes up. Simply enquiring about the next stage or a couple of questions about the role itself (team size, how this position fits into the team, etc.) will also be a good way for the interviewer to determine how keen you are and serve to leave them with a good impression. Both of which are key in hopefully securing your first stage interview.

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Popular questions
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Should I have an objective statement on my resume? Are there other ways to make my resume stand out from the crowd?

Replacing the Objective Statement with a Qualifications Profile on your resume

Does your current resume begin with a generic objective statement telling the reader what type of jobs you are looking for? Let me guess that it reads something similar to this:

"I am seeking the opportunity to expand my skills, knowledge and experience in a challenging professional environment. I am honest, reliable, eager to learn and open to tackling a range of tasks. I am a strong and empathetic team player and always complete tasks to a high degree of quality and to deadlines"

If this is how your resume begins, it's time to make changes. In the competitive job environment where hiring managers may receive upwards of 500 applications for a single position, an objective statement is more likely going to lead to your resume being deleted. From a hiring manager's perspective, they are not interested in a non-specific, all-purpose statement that adds no value to the resume and provides them with no reason to want to hire you. You may have the best skills and be the perfect fit for the job however, you may never get this opportunity because your resume has already been deleted.

What is a Qualifications Profile?

A great way to introduce yourself on your resume is by creating a qualifications summary or career summary. Rather than telling the reader you are seeking an opportunity to expand your skills, rather promote what skills you actually can bring to this specific role. A targeted resume including a targeted profile will encourage the reader to continue reading the resume as opposed to pressing the delete button. For example, if you are applying for an IT job that requires programming skills, list you're programming skills within your introductory profile. That way, the reader will straight away be interested to read on as they know that you have skills that are required for this position.

How long should my Qualifications Profile be?

The last thing you want to do is turn your qualifications profile into an essay! Statistically, a hiring manager will only spend between 15 to 20 seconds when initially reading your resume. If they open your resume and see a half page profile they are more likely to be turned off as they won't be bothered to read all this information. A well written profile should be no longer than 2-4 sentences. It needs to be targeted and present value.

Final thought:

When you begin to write your new resume, don't forget the number one rule. Your resume is a marketing document. The more you can showcase your skills and achievements the greater chance you will have of being selected for the interview stage.

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