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Leveraging off people
Well I suppose in a word these days that's called "networking", and networking's alive and well. From school, people have used "the old boy network", (you've heard that before), which is a sort of an incestuous networking thing. But these days networking's a much broader thing and it's much more respected by both individuals and organisations. So, I think you use your friends to talk about what do they think you're good at. So, use people you know to get an objective view about who you are and what you'd be good at and then, you've got something you can look for. So, who do they know? Does anyone know anyone in the IT industry? Who do know that works at Google? Your auntie, your brother, so ask all your relatives, send out emails to all of your friends. And the other way you can do it, which is something I really like, is if you're talking about an IT organisation, you start going along to functions that IT people go to, and you start looking for people who work in the organisation that you've targeted, that you want to join in and you say very up-front: "How do I get a job in your organisation? I've loved it forever." "Who are people that would hire a person with my skills and attributes in your organisation?" "How do I approach them? Where do they go to?" So try and meet the people out of the work environment. It's not devious, it's not being sneaky, it's just being clever. That's what networking's about: using that leverage, other people's knowledge and other people's contacts to help you get what you want, and it's not a bad thing. I don't mind when people ring me up and say "This is what I'm looking for. Do you know anyone who's can help?" It's not a big deal to help people who are asking, it doesn't take long these days to click on a mouse and forward a CV, or forward a contact or ring someone up and say, you know, "Paul Tyrrell, he's going to call you, can you please look after him?"
Networking inside your organisation
Well, networking inside an organisation to better your career is a critical thing, and I don't mean sucking up to the boss. I mean understanding how an organisation works. And the first thing you've got to do to be good network within your organisation is to be interested in that company. Be interested in the products that the company produces, understand where it fits in the business cycle. So understand and take an interest in where you work, that's the very first thing. The second thing you need to do is you need to be really interested in people. I see a lot of people walk into their business every day and say "Hi!" to the person on the front desk, "How're you going?" and just keep walking. They actually are not interested in that person, it's just a reflex action. They could stop for 15 seconds and say "Hi Mary!", "Hi Bill!", "How was your weekend?" or "What did you get up to?", "How're things going?", "Everything going alright?" and just that little moment where you take time to look into that person's eye and say "I'm interested in you as an individual" is what networking is all about. And networking, people get distracted sometimes, they think networking's about "up" networking. Networking is networking all over the organisation, to the "little" people and to the "big" people. Everybody's equally important. And so, being interested in the business, being interested in the people in the business, shows that you're passionate about your workplace. And you can do extra things, you can think about people, you can bring in articles, you can know that someone likes mint in their tea. So one day you can bring mint out of your garden, or your parents' garden, and bring that in and give it to them. Just those little extra things that nobody else does. It's sure not sucking up to me, the boss, that makes me feel someone's a great networker. It's someone who is interested in everybody in the organisation and what we do. Things you should never do in a job interview Classics, which are a lot to do with nerves, but: Forgetting the consultants name Forgetting the name of the company they're applying for Forgetting to bring their resume Making things up about themselves [Making things up] about how much experience they've got Forgetting the address, and being late So, you think of any excuse you can think of, we've heard them all. When you're in an interview situation, an organisation, an employer or recruiter should understand - it's one of the most stressful things a person can do. Changing jobs is one of the most stressful things, next to buying a home, buying a car, having a child, getting married, getting divorced, having some sort of emotional trauma. Right up there with all of those things is an interview and trying to get a new role. So, anyone doing the interviewing has to have some compassion and understanding. But you see just incredible things. I've seen candidates so tired, falling asleep, forgetting the question. Talking for too long. You get asked a question, they answer it, then they answer it again, then they answer it again and answer it again. They think, by talking, over and over and over, that will convince the interviewer that they're the right candidate. You need to think. I always say to people - The motto, particularly for all of us to remember, is that we have two ears, two eyes and one mouth and a nose and we need to use our senses, our sensory perception skills, in that order. So, listen a lot, look a lot and speak only as needed. And I think that's the motto for a really good interview.
Disliking your boss
Lots of people probably feel they can't stand their boss. I think the obvious answer is, get out of there. I mean you can't go to work and feel like you can't stand your boss. But I think [you should] sit down and write down all the reasons why you feel you can't stand your boss, and if your boss is the ultimate manager in that business, then you got a problem. If your boss is one of many managers and you might be able to be moved then I think you need to be objective about why you're having issues with that person and look at them unemotionally. Try and ask some peers about what they think about how... Try and look at yourself, first of all, and wonder why you have this animosity between you and your boss, what can you do about it. And if you look at all those things and you really feel there's nothing you else can do in that relationship, then I think you've seriously got to think about talking to someone more senior, talking to the Human Resources people about the issues you've got with that person, and asking them for guidance. And maybe you get moved to another area or another section in the business, maybe that person's got issues with you, that you might have done something that they've sort of harboured, that's coming across as really negative vibes towards you, so may be both of you need to be counselled. But I think sitting there doing nothing is no good, just saying "I'm leaving" is no good. Because why should you leave a company because you hate your boss? Ok? So, have a look at it, trying to get the objectivity into it rather than the emotional feelings we all get when we got that sort of a clash of personality, and bring in where you can Human Resources people or more senior management to try and talk to that person because usually when you get to the point where you hate your boss, there's not a lot of chance of you and them working that out yourself, you need someone else to help you.
Why a career is important
LinkMe: So, Geoff, why is a career important? Geoff: Because it keeps recruiters in work, every time you change your job, the recruiters... No, sorry, I'll get serious. Now I think, a career, I have always had a view ever since Andrew [Banks] and I worked together that career is a critically important thing in people's lives, so I've always felt as a recruiter that we do things in the community that can help people better their lives. So, I know sounds a bit corny, but, I see our soldiers as equally important as a doctor that looks after someone's health; we look after someone's corporate health and their own personal well being and satisfaction. If someone's got a good career, and they're excited by it, they're motivated by it, they feel like they're growing, they really feel good in life. And in their, what I call a 'life cycle driver', if career is the middle of the circle, it affects your health, it affects where you live, it affects the sort of car you drive, it affects the sort of holidays you go on, it affects how you manage and help your family, it affects everything that you do in life. So, it's a key component. It's 5 days out of 7 that you're at work, so it's a critical part of your life and all the people who are there, are usually, are most of them, your best friends. So, it's a core part of what you do. So you need to make sure that you love what you do, you're motivated everyday when you get out bed and you want go to that place of work, and you feel like keep growing in that environment. Because that's what builds your self esteem and we all want to feel good about ourselves in life, we want to look in that mirror, and look at that person, looking back at you, and think 'I'm proud of you; you're doing a really good job' and if you don't feel like that everyday, you need to be looking to do something else because you deserve to have a job like that.
Mothers returning to work
This is one of the most challenging things we come across, because the first thing a mother feels after having been at home with young children and managing the house, particularly for the first time, is they feel like they've been disconnected, and they probably lack a fair bit of self worth, because they don't value, or feel the community ... the work community values what they've been doing, so they feel disconnected. My view is a bit different. I, if I'm looking at time management, and we've talked a bit about time management, my perfect model for a great time manager is a mother working with a child or children. If you ask them what they do and how they manage their day and their week, they get out of bed very early, they do all these things they do play lunch and lunch and get everything ready, get their husband out of bed usually, get them going, drop the kids at daycare or school or wherever it is and then get to work. And they go home again and they usually cook dinner and get everything organised for the kids for school the next day. So if you want a good time manager, a working mother is one of the best you can get. So, I'm a great fan of women returning to work, only because of my philosophy. But I think the first thing they should do is to feel that they've been doing a worthwhile thing. That's a very important thing. They haven't lost the skills they had before they had their child. Those skills are still there. And a working mother doesn't have to be totally disconnected. There's the Internet these days, there's magazines, and newspapers. They can keep up to date, and they can also once they've decided to go back to work, they can do a bit of a ramp up, if you like, on what the business community has been doing and the target organisations that they're looking to go and join, they can start to research that organisation, upgrade their knowledge and skills about what the company has been doing. So they can get themselves on the runway early with knowledge and information. And it's very easy to research companies these days, and it's very easy to look a bit historical about what they've been doing while they might have been out of the workforce. So, value who they are, value what skills they have, realise that there are lots of out there for talented people, and people who need to get back to the workforce. Good quality time management in employees is the critical thing. So I'm a real fan of women returning to the workforce.
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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
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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