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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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1) What do human resources professionals / employers want in a resume? The most important part of a resume is the same no matter if you are a student or recent graduate or a CEO or executive. Recruiters and employers are looking for achievements and the value added skills you can bring to the job. Too many times a candidate will focus on the duties and responsibilities. While this is important it will not make a candidate stand out from the competition. Emphasising achievements backed up with examples is the most important part of resume writing. 2) Can you give us examples about why some resumes are never read past the first sentence? There is no set rule why a particular resume may be deleted however there are many factors that can contribute to a hiring manager pressing the delete button. What every candidate needs to remember is that for every job there is potentially another 100, 200 or even 300 other candidates applying for the job. Your resume is the first impression which a hiring manger will make about a particular candidate. Using fancy fonts, long sentences, bad spelling and grammar are just a few reasons why a resume will be deleted before the hiring manager has even completed the first sentences 3) How can you make your resume stand out? Professionalism is the key and targeting the resume for the job you are applying for. Remember your resume has a purpose and that is to get you an interview. It is not a pierce of artwork that will be hung on the wall. If the job you are applying for requires leadership abilities than provide examples about ways you have performed as a leader. Do not make the reader have to guess! 4) What is the number one tip to create a resume that gets the interview? Achievement based resume writing 5) In your experience, what are some of the mistakes that appear in resumes? The top 5 resume mistakes I see on a daily basis are as follows: • The use of "text Messaging" abbreviations ("Going 2 c clients") • No dates • Lack of achievements or highlights • Irrelevant information (long winded) • Spelling mistakes 6) What do you think about including a "career objective" statement in your resume? Career objective or career summary when written well adds great value to your resume. However when written badly or "generically" can have a negative effect on the resume. In my opinion I like to include a career summary to introduce the candidate to the reader. It is however very important to include value added information in the career objective rather than generic information such as "hard working individual who is very loyal and solve problems" 7) Can you give us an example of how a candidate can address gaps in their work continuity? Always one of the hardest aspects of writing a resume is dealing with working gaps. A cover letter goes hand in hand with a resume and a well constructed cover letter can explain to the reader why there is a gap. I recently worked with a senior executive who took 2 years off to travel and perform community work. We included the community work on his resume to show the reader that he had been actively doing something over that certain time period and then was able to explain in the cover letter that after working nonstop for 20 years he took a 2 year break from his professional career in order to perform the community work which he had not been able to do due to his work commitments. 8) Should you include your hobbies or interests in a resume? If the hobbies and interest add value to the resume than I recommend including them. If not leave them out. (Remember to target everything on your resume to the position you are going for) 9) How long does a resume have to be? Resume writing is not an exact science and there is no exact answer. A standard resume will be between 2-3 pages. This is also dependent on the stage of the career a candidate is currently at. For example a graduate or young professional will typically want to have a 2 page resume. A more senior candidate may need 3-4 pages to include all of their achievements and work history. 10) Do you need to include your whole employment history or should you list only the positions relevant to the role advertised? This answer is different for every candidate. Obviously a student or graduate will have fewer positions to include than a senior executive and therefore although a certain job may not be relevant to the position which they are applying for it does show the reader that they have work experience. A senior executive can afford to be more targeted and include positions related to the role.
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303
The psychology of colour
Job search
Job seeking tips
Preparing for a job interview is tough work. You rehearse answers to common questions, decide on what clothing to wear and ensure you have done an adequate amount of research into the company. But what about the colour of your clothing - does this matter? Is wearing a white shirt with a blue tie going to help you get the job over wearing a blue shirt with a black tie? Studies have shown that the colours you decide to wear in an interview can actually make a difference. In the competitive world we live in you need to ensure that you take every advantage you possibly can. Different colours evoke different emotions and it is imperative when you're interviewing that you evoke the right emotions from the interviewer. Examples Blue: Words that describe the colour blue include: trust, loyalty, wisdom, peaceful. These are exactly the type of feelings you want to be portraying in your interview. Blue is a calming colour (Think Ocean and sky) and sends out a signal to the interviewer that you are indeed honest and sincere. Studies have shown that wearing the colour blue to an interview will increase your chances of getting hired more than any other colour. Red: In contrast to the colour blue, the colour red stirs emotions more than any other colour. Red is a strong colour, very emotional, an extreme colour that in an interview scenario can work against you. Unlike blue which has a calming effect, the colour red is a fiery colour (the colour of love and passion), and can be an intimidating colour for the interviewer. Orange: Similar to red. A colour that stirs emotion and therefore a colour I would avoid wearing in a job interview. Although orange is not seen to be as an aggressive as the colour red, it is still perceived as a colour that can evoke feelings of power and aggression. Grey: My second favourite colour to wear after blue. Grey gives the look of sophistication and authority. In a corporate environment the colour grey is professional and portrays an individual as being confident without being intimidating. Purple: The colour of "Royalty". The colour symbolizes power, aristocracy, lavishness, and extravagance. Black: Be careful when wearing just black to an interview. The colour black is seen as a power colour and can be viewed as threatening. Wearing black outfits can portray an individual as being powerful or even arrogant. Black is also associated with negative implications such as death, sin, and fear. Just remember that first impressions count a lot when you go to interview. Know your audience and dress accordingly.
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124
Finding a job in tough economic times
Job search
Time for a new job
What can you do to be competitive when looking for a new job? Writing a quick resume late at night and applying for random jobs is NOT going to get you the job you are looking for. Is there an educational or university course being offered which could help you now or in the long term? What skills do you have to shine above and beyond other candidates. Make a portfolio of your accomplishments you have achieved in your academic or professional life. In the current economic climate employers want to know what YOU have to offer them. You need to sell yourself! And sell your success. Below are some further ideas and suggestions to find yourself a new job Learn new skills It's never too late to try to learn a foreign language, or a new piece of computer software. (Best example was a senior archaeologist of 10 years who came to me wanting to change life direction. After 6 months learning Spanish then travelling through Spain for another 6 months, The senior archaeologist is now a junior English/Spanish translator) Research: Find out where the demand is. While many industries are having trouble in this recession and laying off employees other areas are increasing employment Sell yourself : Take time writing your resume, and tailor your resume specifically to each job you are applying. Do not send out the same resume to every job advert you see. Remember if you're sending out generic resumes then you will get the same generic responses Use your social network . Don't be embarrassed about looking for work. Tell your friends and family. You never know who may be looking at hiring staff with your set of skills Use free networking sites to advertise yourself and your skills. Promote yourself via sites like LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/ Use a recruitment agency that specialises in your particular area. Get to know the recruitment consultant, and follow them up weekly. The more you appear visible, the more they will remember you Share with friends: Brainstorm ideas and share experiences with friends that are also looking for jobs. Exchange advice, strategies, and plans Act straight away: When you get a lead or hear about a job opening apply immediately. There is no need to wait. Prepare your resume and send it immediately. The longer you wait the more likely another candidate will apply ahead of you Don't let a lack of experience discourage you from applying for jobs: When tailoring your resume towards the job you are applying for, concentrate on the skills and abilities you have to match that certain job Most importantly: Don't give up - Never stop looking. While you're searching for your new job is there something else in the meantime you could be doing. Do you have skills to freelance? Maybe you can sell goods online. Keeping yourself occupied helps you to stay positive and upbeat rather than moping around the house feeling sorry for yourself
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173
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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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