Why is applying for a job so painful?

By Michele Cameron, Michele Cameron 0246 2Manager, Business Development, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

 

It’s that time of the year where candidates are looking for a change.  Most recently I’ve personally helped three friends too!  For whatever reason, you’ll find yourself at a crossroad and think if I’m not going to stay here, then now comes the painful part, you ask “where do I belong next?”

 

Job hunting should be easy with technology, right?  WRONG!  Technology allows job opportunities to be advertised through multiple job platforms and social media sites.  It’s easy to click “Apply now” button and send your resume through but it has also created higher online competition for roles.  Some social sites will show you how many candidates have already applied and you might be already a number 30-50 after only a few hours of the job being posted!  I know it’s stressful especially knowing that these days you don’t get a phone call and sometimes not even an email rejection.

 

What goes wrong in our job hunting search:

  • Job hunting is reactive – you don’t actually know what you want.
  • Mass applications – you might apply for everything and roles not at the right level.
  • Frustration – letting emotions get the best of you
  • Impatience – finding the right opportunity takes time than jumping to the first offer

 

How to make job search less painful:

  1. Do some self-reflection – what do you want in your next role, what do you like in your previous jobs and target your search on this criteria
  2. Be proactive and do research – what companies or industries interest you. Apply direct with company websites as they may not externally advertise.
  3. Network – grow your professional circle of experts and seek advice. Go to industry events.  It’s a great way to uncover other opportunities that aren’t advertised, through recommendations.
  4. Find reputable recruitment agents with experience and contacts to leverage. You’ll have more eyes and ears in the market to think of suitable roles for you.
  5. Review and edit your resume – take time to think of your achievements/ projects and know the transferrable value/skills you can bring to the next role.
  6. Social media profile like LinkedIn/ job platforms are current so potential employers/ recruiters can find you and reach out also.

 

Job searching does take time and it’s full of rejection which no one wants to experience.   Do remember everyone has a place in the workforce. It’s an uncomfortable process but you might be pleasantly surprised about the different opportunities which may present themselves and the experience is truly valued by the next employer crying out for those skills.

 

Quote – “Don’t be afraid to take a risk.  You can’t lose whether you succeed or fail.  You’ll grow either way, but what you’ll regret is not trying.” By Helene Lemer

 

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

 

 

 

40 isn’t the new 30, 50 isn’t the new 40.. (and why that is a great thing!)

By Jane Harvey, Executive Search Specialist, Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJane Harvey

I just passed around the earth once more and whilst the build-up to a birthday isn’t what it used to be, it did get me thinking about the age I am and the way I feel. I said to someone in the office yesterday “how did I become this age?? I don’t feel like I am this number!!”.. they laughed and kindly told me that I certainly don’t act this number! I decided to take that as a compliment!

Anyway, it got me thinking.. this year the youngest of Gen X (1965-1979) are turning 40 (the upper end are well into their 50’s) and Gen Y or Millennials (1980-1994) are well into their 20’s and 30’s! So this begs the question, is 50 the new 40? Is 40 the new 30? We are working longer and harder than we ever have.. I see this every day in my job. We want more…seem to need more and  it appears we are developing more of a conscience when it comes to social injustice and our planet for example..

The hard fact of the matter is that many of us are not 30 anymore. In fact, the upper end of Gen X are ‘middle aged’ BUT we are not finished with work and with our careers… many are just hitting their straps! SO how does this translate if you are searching for work, as many are, well into their 50’s and 60’s? It shouldn’t matter right??

No matter how smart you are, when you’re young, you’re a little silly. You haven’t lived and learned yet.. you lack the depth of experience, often compensating with confidence and energy as well as a great deal of enthusiasm. Or in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30, the wit; and at 40, the judgment.”

With four or five or six decades behind us, we start having the perspective necessary to begin serious thinking, as well as the skills and experience to do great work and to add not only to an organisation, but to the generations coming up behind us. We can offer perspective and life experience and, well, let’s be honest.. we still have a great deal to do, to prove and to accomplish…

SO get out there, get amongst it! Stop telling yourself that you are aging yourself out of the workforce!… and do what you do.. don’t be afraid of a younger generation.. perception is changing, maturity and experience is being embraced.. you just need to work with the people who value and embrace it.. and why would you honestly want it any other way!

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

The Pivotal Point of Career Change Decision Making

By Michele Cameron, Michele Cameron 0246 2Manager, Business Development, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

As a recruitment consultant reviewing resumes and seeing people’s LinkedIn profiles, I often wonder what are the drivers which make people change careers?  Also what makes a person stay in the one job for a number of years?

I recently read a book by Jim Winner – Split Second Choice, The Power of Attitude.   This book explains the cycles each of us go through when we make a major change in our careers. If you can learn to recognise these cycles, you may be able to work through them instead of repeating past mistakes. It helps you realise how important your own attitudes can lead to a situation.

When you start a new role or join a new company you are in the first phase of “excitement” living the dream and commitment.  After a few learning challenges you may then experience “frustration” and move through emotions of – shock, denial, fear, anger, justification and acceptance.  When we reach this point, we start “looking.”  This is when we end up repeating the cycle.

Or the other option is realising our emotions and instead of “looking”.  We can reassess and “recommit” to the original dream and goal.  It’s about re-dreaming the dream, having short terms goals and a mentor to give you support or perspective on your goals.

STAGES ARE:

  1. Excitement
  2. Frustration – shock, denial, fear, anger, justification and acceptance
  3. Looking ….. OR ….. Recommitment

These stages identify significant patterns that influence every aspect of our lives. These patterns eventually become habits for us and often are followed with no conscious thought.  However, by being aware of these patterns, you can take control of the behaviour they cause, and find connections to the solutions that make these patterns work for you, instead of against you.

This simple framework encourages us to learn how to identify the decision point, make the right choice, and be successful in all our endeavours.

As John Maxwell says: Motivation determines what we will do, and Attitude determines how well we will do it.  Commitment determines when we will do it, and Recommitment determines whether we keep on doing it.

Contact us on (07) 3230 0033 to arrange a time to come in and meet us and discuss how we can be of assistance.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

 

 

 

Will your LinkedIn profile make or break finding that next role?

Tiffany Kamo 0060 2By Tiffany Kamo, IT Recruitment Resourcer

Eden Ritchie Recruitment

At Eden Ritchie Recruitment, we utilise LinkedIn every day to source high quality candidates that are either already looking, considering making a move, or are suddenly captured by an attractive opportunity. Below are some tips to help put you on our radar:

Profile Pictures – Yes… LinkedIn is Social Media, however, it is a Professional Platform that both Recruitment Agencies and Clients alike utilise. It is important to present yourself as professional as possible, ideally as you would to an interview. If you have had the opportunity to have headshots professionally taken, use them!

Add a Professional Summary – Much like within your resume, the purpose of a professional summary is to summarise your most relevant skills and best achievements. Provide an overview of your career to-date, key achievements and an overall summary of your personal attributes.

Ensure role titles and dates align with your resume – It is a real red flag when we compare resumes to LinkedIn and see an inconsistency with either role titles or dates of employment. Ensure your “headline” is up-to-date with your current position title and that all previous employer names, position titles and employment dates are accurate.

Keyword search Algorithm – When we search LinkedIn for specific skillsets, we rely on LinkedIn’s algorithm to show the most relevant profiles. To increase your effective SEO for your LinkedIn profile, ensure there are role specific keywords within each position, words that you often see across position descriptions and include your relevant technical skills.

Availability – let us know! If you are nearing the end of your contract, or currently available – list it! This is easy to do via profile editing under “Headline” and can assist us with ensuring we contact you when we have suitable roles available.

Contact us on (07) 3230 0033 to arrange a time to come in and meet us and discuss how we can be of assistance to help you achieve your career goals in 2019!

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

Is the office becoming obsolete in the 21st century working world?

Siobhan QuinnBy Siobhan Quinn, Government Selection Panel Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

 

Gone are the days of the traditional 9 to 5, Monday to Friday in the office; with more and more employees demanding flexible working options, businesses have responded by offering work from home opportunities, amongst other initiatives. It begs the question – is the office becoming obsolete?

 

Often when thinking of flexible work arrangements, the likes of tech giants such as Google come to mind; but it may surprise you to know, several key players such as Yahoo and IBM have reversed their flexible work policies. In 2013 Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting, reasoning that while people can be more productive at home; they are more collaborative and innovative in the office. Collaboration needs a place to happen. When employees work remotely, it becomes more difficult for them to interact and share ideas. While there are some great tools to facilitate remote collaboration, it doesn’t quite replace a face-to-face conversation. Also, being in the same room as colleagues is crucial in developing social connections and building the culture of an organisation. Employees can virtually work together in an effective manner, but it’s definitely harder to build a rapport with someone over email, compared to someone you physically work next to. Working from home can sometimes be lonely, and most remote workers will want to come in and work from an office at least some of the time. This helps the individual to feel connected their peers, and as well to the business.

 

For those who enjoy the privilege of working from home, there is a level of trust placed in them to do the right thing. Of course, there are a small minority of individuals who will take advantage of the opportunity and not deliver the expected outcomes. But for the vast majority, remote employees are more productive. With many people commuting for over an hour each day, particularly those who work in the CBD; that’s at least 5 hours a week that could be better spent elsewhere. Generally, employees are more willing to put in extra time where required, but especially when they can do so from home. The same goes for sick leave; those who work from home are usually able to accomplish at least some work, in what would otherwise be a lost day. It can also be cheaper for the business to have employees working from home, for example in growing organisations where desk space is at a premium in the office. For managers who worry about reduced visibility over productivity, technology makes it easy to track output, for example programs which monitor screen activity. Many jobs have performance metrics that can show how productive someone is, and this is particularly so for task-based roles with tangible outputs.

 

In summing up, there are many jobs that can easily be performed remotely or from home. Employees have been shown to be more productive at home rather than in the office, and in many cases, work can be done more efficiently and for a lower cost. Conversely, staff can be more collaborative and innovative in an office environment. Not everyone wants to work from home, many people like the separation of work life and personal life. Working from home also won’t suit every employee or role, and it won’t work for every organisation. So, the office will likely never be obsolete but it’s important to recognise the benefits and changes technology has introduced to the way in which people can, and do, work.

 

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

It’s a matter of asking the right person the right questions.

Susanne FlahertyBy Susanne Flaherty, Government Selection Panel Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Rather like how party goers ask a doctor at a Sunday BBQ for advice on a sore knee or chronic hiccups, the questions recruiters get at these events are about CVs that miss far more frequently than they hit and hints for the top 5 interview questions.

 

My top five responses always include that the staff on our Fasterr and IT desks are great at providing insights into the things they are looking for from CVs, and key experience and skills they are seeking from potential candidates. I overheard a conversation today where one of our awesome recruiters Jo, was talking to a candidate about the skills and experience to highlight in preparing an application for a role she was working. Similarly, Ben and Tiffany on the IT desk know exactly what they are seeking for their employer clients and how candidates can best present skills and experience to make it clear in a succinct and professional way. Working with a recruiter helps you get in front of employers and gets you insights into how to sell what you can do.

 

The other thing that I always say is that each employer is different and each role is different too, even if it is the same job advertised 12 months later. I recently worked with a panel who, due to unforeseen circumstances, were filling the same role we had worked on together to fill only 6 months earlier; same role description, completely different employment context with the team 6 months further into a major organisational change.

 

The key is to ask questions of the contact person or if there is no contact person ask around and look on the net for the organisations wider priorities, the statements and commitments they make their customers and clients and the language they use to describe their environmental and social context.

 

Don’t turn up at the interview without knowing the type of person being sought for the role or what the priorities for the first three months will be. Make sure you try your best to know that before you start typing.  Tailor your application to that role and make sure you reference what you found out. I read a lot of awesome lists of great stuff people have done but few awesome written applications that describe the great stuff the applicant is going to do for the potential employer.

 

Eden Ritchie Recruitment can help you many ways from getting great candidates in front of terrific employers to working with you one to one on your interview style and approach to writing your CV and your application.

 

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

A Quick Reference Guide to Project Management

By Ben Wright, IT Senior Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Eden Riochie0081

Working in IT, we are exposed to a number of Project Management methodologies, which at times can be a little daunting understanding the difference. There are so many methodologies in the industry today, each with their own set of rules and processes. So, which one should you choose?

Below are the Top 5 methodologies, we see used by our clients today:

  • Agile – a methodology used in software development, using short cycles of work that allow for rapid production and constant revisions if required. This encourages both developers and business people to work together throughout the entire project.
  • Waterfall – a methodology made up of cascading steps, hence the name. Waterfall is made up of 6 different processes; requirements, analysis, design, coding, testing and operations.  This methodology allows for early design changes and is suited to a milestone focused development environment.
  • Prince2 –  an acronym which stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. This framework requires projects to have an organised start, middle and end. This allows for better control of resources and better business and project risk management.
  • PMBOK – deals with the project management lifecycle from start to finish. It describes 47 processes that managers would typically undertake when tackling a project and organises them into 5 groups of processes; project initiation, project planning process, project execution process, project control process and project closure process.
  • Scrum – one of the most popular agile frameworks in use today. Scrum refers to brief meetings where team members come together to talk about their successes and what the next steps are. Scrum follows a “do, check and adapt” principle.

In addition to the above methodologies, we are starting to see an increase in the following:

  • Kanban – in Japanese, the word “Kan” means “visual” and “ban” means “card”. This visual system manages work as it moves through a process. Kanban follows a set of principles and practices for managing and improving the flow of work. It promotes gradual improvements to an organisations processes.
  • Scrumban – a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban, Scrumban provides the structure of Scrum with the flexibility and visualisation of Kanban, which makes this methodology a highly versatile approach to workflow management.
  • Lean – a popular approach to streamlining both manufacturing and services processes through eliminating waste while delivering value to customers. A lean culture is based on continuous improvement.
  • XP – another agile project management frameworks used in software development. XP advocates frequent releases, iterative development and a high level of customer involvement. XP is very similar to Scrum, but with an added layer of coding best practices.

One thing to keep in mind, while there are a number of methodologies to choose from, there is no such thing as the “right” one.  Different projects benefit from different elements of each and quite often a hybrid of multiple methodologies are used to manage a Project.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

The Basic Art of a Good Resume

By Rachael Peters, Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie RecruitmentRachael Peters

It didn’t seem that long ago when I decided to change career paths and it came time to update my resume. I spent so much time on the layout – the font, the font size, bold, underline – the list goes on … It took days to get it just right. Unfortunately for me, although it looked great, it was so generic, and it didn’t really specify any of my skills or stand out in a crowd!!

Being a newbie to the recruitment industry, I now understand that most employers and recruiters are looking for specific skills to fill a role, and often receive hundreds of applications for one job. We all have our strengths and capabilities but how you put that down on paper is imperative on how you will succeed. When applying for your dream job, you don’t want your resume to be lost in a sea of applications because it is too long, too short or just boring.

Try to keep your resume to two to three pages and focus on your key selling points – it’s a career marketing tool, not an autobiography. Because we live in a fast-paced world with tight deadlines,  hiring managers and recruiters may give your resume a 6 second glance before making the decision of whether or not you go on the maybe pile. Your short story should capture attention and leave the reader wanting more! (That being said, a more substantial resume would be expected for senior level positions or those from technical or academic backgrounds)

The first page should always be a career summary section, to define you as a professional and cover areas most relevant to your career level and job target. A career summary should provide a brief, but detailed version of your qualifications, experience and what you can bring to the table with the use of keywords and skills to help categorise you as a stronger candidate.

Your resume should be visually appealing, uncluttered, and have substance. Use of bullet points is a great way to add emphasis, but limit them in some areas to increase impact, and make your position descriptions results-based rather than task based. This means write down what you achieved rather than what you did.

And finally – there is no need to include your home address, marital status, age or gender anymore, but always have a phone number and relevant email address. If you have an old email address that may look unprofessional, it may be time to set up a new one while job hunting!

Remember your resume is a marketing tool – First impressions begin with your resume, not at the interview door. A well written and presented resume can get you that interview, which could be the beginning of a brilliant new chapter …

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

Does a looming Election weigh on your mind…?

By Jane Harvey, Executive Search Specialist, Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJane Harvey

Don’t let fear of Election fallout stop you from making important decisions. It’s that time again in Australia and another Federal Election is looming.

If previous experience is anything to go by, we can’t help but fear the societal upheaval that can come, in a variety of ways, from such an event.

Many of us may have been considering making some life changing decisions.

New Job?  Decisions on who to hire or fire? New House?

These types of large decisions have been scientifically proven as being some of the most stressful experiences in life – actually ranking right up there with the death of a loved one.

Throw in a looming election, and the possible economic instability that can follow, and suddenly we might find ourselves a lot more wary about moving forward in making those decisions. Despite any previous feelings we might have had, that these choices could be a good idea.

Why? Because when it comes to elections, we are conditioned to know that this is a time of instability for our country.

We can see Reserve Bank interest rates rise and increased debt for our country, while countless amounts of money are wasted on advertising that show our politicians fighting like kindergarten children and backstabbing each other.

None of it provokes feelings of comfort and trust for us as citizens of Australia, in the people who are running our country

What can we do about this?

Is it really a good idea to hold off on our decision making, or to second guess a decision already made, simply because we are feeling nervous about what the future holds as a result of the election?

The answer is NO.

We need to keep moving forward with our lives. Despite what fears we may have about who will be running our country and what mistakes they might make while doing that.

Why?

Because despite the image projected by society that something like a Federal Election, and the results thereof, will have a massive impact on our lives, it’s not strictly accurate. When it comes right down to it, the main person you need to focus on, who has the greatest impact on your life, is YOU.

Forget the election and any impact it may have on the decision at hand, because it all starts and ends with you.

If you are considering a career change, a job change, you need to hire – or even fire an employee, the problem that is there … will still be there when the uncertainty is a distant memory. When it comes to decision making, stress and anger on any level are not going to assist you in making a good decision.

Whether the stress and fear about making your decision is coming from the concept of an upcoming election, or you desire to change jobs because you have a boss or workmate that you simply can not get along with, you must release it all in order to make a good decision.

If you make the decision to move jobs from the standpoint that you don’t like your current boss or a work colleague, you will likely find that even if you change jobs you will encounter the same problem in the next job.

So what is the answer, the key to all of it?

Do anything and everything you can to relax and feel good.

Then… stick with the decision, don’t second guess yourself, or worry that you have made the wrong choice. Stand by the decision you have made.

Know that no matter what comes, whether you agree with the government or not, everything will work out. If history is anything to go by, it will all change again in no time… and we will all go about our lives.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

Social Media and Social Screening

Kate copyBy Kate Broadley, Executive Manager Employee Selection Panel Assistance, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Social media is a term for the online platforms that people use to connect with others, share media content, and form social networks. Some of the most popular platforms include Skype, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, YouTube, Viber, Snapchat, and Reddit. Social screening of these online platforms is now an increasingly crucial part of the recruitment and selection process, although data in relation to its actual use is almost nonexistent and it is certainly not something formally recognized, as part of organisational recruitment policy or procedures. But what we do know, is that what you post online stays there forever and is accessible by everyone.

So how can you ensure you have an appropriate social media footprint?

Firstly, do a Google search of your name and see if there is anything inappropriate associated with you. I decided to practice what I preach and did a Google search of my name – fortunately I have nothing inappropriate to report on – rather boring in fact. Apart from my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts which I expected, what I did find, were some articles about me as the mother of my son Jack Kibble, who was Runner Up on Junior Master Chef some 8 years ago, and a presentation I co-delivered at a conference some years ago, which I had forgotten about and most certainly don’t have a copy of – but I now know a copy is accessible on Google.  I then did a Google search of both my sons who are part of the (“Generation Y and The Millennial Generation”) who have a strong social media footprint, and while again there is nothing inappropriate (thank goodness) – there is a complete history of what they have achieved to date. In their cases, this social media presence may in fact be important and advantageous for their careers, however they still need to closely oversee the content of this wherever possible.

My boys have blocked me for years on their social media, so I have no idea what they post, but of course like any parent, as they were growing up, I have warned them about loading inappropriate content like embarrassing or provocative photos or videos of themselves on social media. Bottom line – if you don’t want your boss, work colleague or prospective employer to see it, don’t post it in the first place or if its already in the social media realm – remove it – it’s just that simple.

You can also change your privacy settings on your social media accounts and make sure it is personal to you and your friends and not the masses, something I would recommend doing, if you have not already done so. Remember your friends can still tag and copy photos that you thought were private and post to the public realm. Of course, there are privacy laws which cover the unauthorised publication of private material. Even so, once the information is posted, your reputation might not be recoverable, so be careful and think twice before sharing anything in the digital sphere. Bottom line, if you wouldn’t share it face to face don’t share it digitally.

So, the message is simple, be careful what you post, manage who has access to your posts and review your social media history and make sure it is representing the person you want to be portrayed as in the public realm. Remember social media can enhance your status in the market but equally it can be “an albatross around one’s neck”.

Best wishes, Kate

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

The Importance of Reference Checking!

Kate copyBy Kate Broadley, Executive Manager Employee Selection Panel Assistance, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Reference checking can be viewed as a mere formality, after all, the logic goes: Any references supplied by a candidate likely will give only glowing reviews. Wrong, reference checking is a vital part of the recruitment process that is designed to safeguard prospective employers from the risk of appointing a “bad egg”.  In my experience reference checks are a critical part of a quality recruitment process and should not be viewed as a tedious administrative function.  Bottom line – wrong hires can cost time, effort and money.

The reference check provides an opportunity to validate the client’s rationale to hire a candidate and check the validity of the claim’s the candidate has made as part of the selection process. In my experience this can be all about asking the referee the right questions – for example ensuring you ask questions aligned to the role description and/or selection criteria will help determine if the candidate will be a good fit with organisation and validate their technical suitability to the role.

Recently I have had a number of experiences while working with my clients, where the reference check has been instrumental in isolating issues that had not been identified in either the application, CV or interview process. Adopting a robust approach is the only way to ensure the skills and experience expressed by a candidate are legitimate.

References can also value add in terms of providing insights in relation to the candidate’s strengths and weakness, which can help clients with the on-boarding and professional development of new recruits, or even assist in determining the composition of the overall team, through matching different personalities and skill sets.

No one wants to be responsible for the wrong hire, so don’t shortcut your recruitment process, make sure a variety of recruitment tools have been utilised, with the final validation being a robust reference check.

Best wishes, Kate

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

New Year New Start? How to source your next role!

By Nigel Baker, Group Manager, Business Development

Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Nigel Baker 0117 2

At this time of year many people are reassessing their current roles and organisations, many of you will make the decision to look for other opportunities.  The job market in Brisbane is buoyant so why not? Whilst a lot of commentary in January is around how to assess what you have and what you are looking for, I thought I would try to explain what I see as the two main approaches to securing your next role and some pros and cons.

Traditional Job Ads

You will find these in abundance on LinkedIn, Seek, Facebook and company websites etc. and they are undoubtedly a great source of information and very specific which is great. However, the issue is that everyone else who is looking for a new role also has easy access to the information and this is where the major issues start. It is not unusual for a job ad to attract 100+ applications. In general people are optimistic and positive and if they see a role they like the sound of they will convince themselves that it is the perfect fit. My experience is that people will apply for a role if they meet 60% of the criteria, it is also my experience that you will only be successful in gaining an interview if you meet at least 85% of the criteria. Don’t forget you could be up against 100 other applicants.

Traditional job ads are also a great way to see which organisations are growing or investing in projects. If this is the case and you do not see a role suited to you, reach out to people you may be connected to in the organisation and see if their growth plans include your area of expertise.  Which brings me to…..

Networking

I know this is a confronting term to a lot of people and to the majority of us, not something that comes naturally. However, some of the less daunting things I would put under this category are; renew connections with ex colleagues, utilise LinkedIn, meet with a few recruiters, speak to friends and family and approach companies directly.

The major advantages to this approach are that you will be in the minority of people prepared to put themselves out there, you will uncover roles that are not yet advertised, you will be speaking to people in person and not relying on your resume, you will be speaking about deliverables and not a wish list from a position description, and most importantly you will not be in a tick box exercise with 100+ other applicants.  The main difficulty with this approach is that it is time consuming and more difficult than simply looking through a job board but the rewards far outweigh the effort.

Realistically your search will probably comprise of a mixture of both approaches however, be mindful of what you are spending most of your time on and what is most likely to reap rewards.  Maybe analyse your career and write down how you gained each role (I have done this below) and see what has been successful in the past.  Good Luck

  • 1st Recruitment role out of University – Networking – Friend of a Friend
  • CarlsbergTetley Brewing – Networking – Recruitment Consultant
  • United Biscuits – Networking – Friend I played Cricket with recommended me
  • Sniper Solutions – Networking – Friend I knew from the UK
  • Mercuri Urval – Networking – A friend worked there
  • Arete – Networking – A professional contact recommended me
  • Eden Ritchie – Traditional Job Ad – Seek

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

How to fit in with a close-knit team!

By Michele CameronMichele Cameron 0246 2

IT/ICT Senior Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

It can feel like high school all over again when you step into a new job and you are part of a small team who knows each other very well on a personal level as well as operating like an efficient work machine bouncing ideas and working through processes quickly!  All you can do is smile and not feel insecure as you learn your role, procedures and find your place in the team.

As a manager, bringing in new faces and personalities into a team environment can be difficult when the group has an established dynamic. But don’t worry, there are things you can do to make sure all of your employees, new and old, feel at home when they come in to work.

Here are my top tips:

1.    Hire for fit – Bringing on someone new is easier by hiring for both skill and fit during the recruiting process. Keep your culture and the personalities of your team front of mind as you write job posts and ask questions during the interview process. Also consider panel interview sessions consisting of other leaders on your team. They can be big help when pinpointing candidates who are a great fit.

2.    Social side – As part of the final stage of selection invite the interviewee to meet a few members of the team for a coffee or after work drink. It’s an opportunity to meet in a less formal environment and hopefully you’ll see more of their personality in a relaxed environment.

3.    Make time for introductions – Make the new hired candidate welcomed by taking time at the start of the day to introduce new employees to each member of your staff individually. Give them enough time for people to match names with faces and possibly find a point of connection. This is a great gesture that can help set the tone when someone new comes on board.

4.    Assign a buddy – Paring new hires with more experienced employees can help a new hire navigate through the work environment. It can help a new employee feel valued, less isolated and to help them through the probation period.

Remember that it always takes time to integrate someone into the rhythms of a new workplace. But it never hurts to make the extra effort to help someone feel welcomed.

If you’re the new starter – here are a few self-care tips:

  • Be patient and kind to yourself, it takes time to develop relationships
  • Keep realistic expectations – remember you’re new, learning and you can’t know everything straight away
  • Work to add value to the team and show the right attributes that you’re a team player
  • Check in for constructive feedback from senior peers and your manager

I wish you all the best!

Contact us on (07) 3230 0033 to arrange a time to come in and meet us and discuss how we can be of assistance.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

 

 

 

Permanent -v- Contract roles?

Andrea James copyBy Andrea James, Recruitment Consultant, FastERR team, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

As we progress through our career, we begin to understand it’s all about the opportunities that present themselves and the decisions we make along the way.  A common choice I see people having to make is the cross-road of “Permanent -v- Contract roles” … and I am asked which is better?

Ultimately the decision is what is better for you and what you are comfortable with. Some people prefer permanent roles as they feel they have more security and the other benefits such as annual, personal and long service leave whilst having a role you feel is “yours”.

As for contracting, well on a personal note, I was engaged as a contractor for over seven years and it was a great experience. I was often asked along the way “why don’t you just look for a permanent role?“  Whilst to most people this question would make sense, for me and at that period of my life contracting was perfect for me, and if I had not made the decision to contract I would not have the experience I now have across so many departments and roles.

Here is what I found when contracting:

  • You are in charge of your opportunities – as a contractor you get to decide what roles you wish to take and can have more control in the path your career takes.
  • The higher rate of pay – As a contractor you do not accumulate leave or have the permanency, however you are on a higher rate to compensate this and in most instances this rate is higher than if you factored in the same role with permanent pay and spread your salary across when you took leave.
  • Contracting is about being adaptable to your environment – As you are placed in different contracts, each environment is different. You need to be adaptable to your environment including different team sizes, personalities and drivers within that department and role. Within those departments there is also different policies and procedures and it is expected you have an understanding of these or know where to find them so you can align to them.
  • Open opportunities while you are on your contract – So many opportunities can arise while you are on a contract if you make a positive impact including permanent opportunities, extensions to your contract or being offered another contract within a different department. This can be of great benefit as long you honour your commitments to build the trust factor.
  • Adding to your experience – As a contractor, you will experience something different in each role. Different processes, systems, duties and through this you are also broadening your experience within each role. Be a sponge and soak it up.
  • You have more flexibility in your life – Would you like to take a month off to focus on the family or study? Would you prefer to work three days a week instead of five?  With contract roles you are able to tailor your life to the roles you accept bringing more flexibility to your life.

With these benefits, you may want to consider if contracting will work for you and your lifestyle. The only thing I will say is that as with anything, reputation builds trust so make sure you follow through with your assignments and give great customer service and build a reputable personal brand with employers.

If you are interested in contracting, then contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment on 07 3230 0033 or visit our website, LinkedIn and Twitter.

But I ….

Susanne FlahertyBy Susanne Flaherty, Government Selection Panel Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Selling yourself to the employer is the name of the game right?

Obviously the point of applying for roles and going to interviews is to sell yourself, your skills and background to the employer. Similarly employers are wanting to sell their business, their opportunities and the benefits of employment with them to the right candidate.  From an employer’s perspective it is frustrating how frequently the right employer and the right candidate are not face to face in the same discussion.

Interviews with candidates with the wrong skills sets and background for the role at hand are pretty horrendous places to be. Candidates in the wrong seat at the wrong table typically are not able to answer the questions and the employer is not able to get the information they need to make an informed decision.

These are my current tips for applying for any role:

  • Apply for roles that are consistent with your skill set and background. If you are looking for a career change, plan it; do some study, look for entry level roles or roles that combine your existing skill set and new ones you are looking to develop. Look for opportunities to cross over into new fields taking some of your skills and hard work with you.
  • Always research the company, ask around and see if anyone in your network has experience with them. Search up the role title too, this can bring up ideas about the things you might need to consider when applying.
  • Always try to speak to a contact person. This is pretty tricky sometimes, but do your best. Plan your questions ahead of time and make sure you are not asking for information you should have read from the job posting or the career page of the website. Practice your phone call out loud to yourself beforehand or better, practice with a friend.
  • Be selective – this is really important. It wastes your time and the employers time if you are trying to sell something that they are not buying. There may be a role you are interested in and it’s a stretch for your skills and background. Approach asking about these roles from a developmental perspective, try to speak to someone about it, ask them what they would see as the ideal candidate and skill set.

It does happen that employers will be so impressed at interview that they offer the job to someone who has a totally different skill set from the one they set out to find. Realistically though, this is more likely to happen in the movies or to the friend of a friend of a friend. When it’s you, think through and plan your approach, remember the employer’s time is valuable and so is yours. People land amazing jobs, including the job of their dreams every day. Plan your approach, think about what you are selling, research options and don’t just wait for job ads.

Eden Ritchie Recruitment can help with roles in a number of amazing fields including IT and Government. Sharpen up your CV, plan your approach and find the right buyer.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

Interviews – Do we love or hate them?

By Helen Chard Helen Chard 0266 1

Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

INTERVIEWS – either a punishment or a pleasure!  Whilst some people thrive and excel at interviews, many of us – including myself would rather just skip this process because we shy away or find it difficult to sell ourselves (much easier to sell ice to Eskimos!).

During my recruitment career I have spent many hours coaching candidates on interview techniques, and yet for some reason it can all fall out the window at the interview stage. Be it the answers fly away, getting tongue tied, our mouths running away or plain and simple – not being able to think of the answers or responses or not being prepared.  I would recommend knowing your CV inside and out and how you could apply your experience to any answer and researching some commonly asked interview questions such as:

1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

This question seems simple but it’s crucial. Think about your career as a synopsis of how you would want someone to describe you in a positive way. Start off with the 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about, then wrap up talking about how that prior experience has positioned you for this specific role.

2. How did you hear about the position?

A perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for and connection to the company. Whatever way you found out about it, the company will want to know, it shows that their marketing team are actually doing their job.

3. What do you know about the company?

Any candidate can read and regurgitate the company’s home page. So, when interviewers ask this, they aren’t necessarily trying to gauge whether you understand the mission—they want to know whether you care about it. Start with one line that shows you understand the company’s goals, using a couple of key words and phrases from the website, but then go on to make it personal. Say, “I’m personally drawn to this area because…” or “I really believe in this approach because…” and share a personal example or two.

4. Why do you want this job?

Again, companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job, so you should have a great answer about why you want the position. (And if you don’t? You probably should apply elsewhere.) First, identify a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you (e.g., “I love customer support because I love the constant human interaction and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem”), then share why you love the company (e.g., “I’ve always been passionate about education, and what your mission is, I would like the opportunity to be a part of this”).

5. Why should we hire you?

This interview question seems forward (not to mention intimidating!), but if you’re asked it, you’re in luck: There’s no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager.  This gives you the opportunity to sell yourself without pressure. Make sure your answers cover the following 3 factors:

  • Transferrable skills that enable you to do the role
  • That you can deliver great results – examples from previous roles will be required
  • Team and culture – previous experiences.

6. What are your professional strengths?

You will need to think about this prior to the interview. What would someone say about you in your previous roles? What and how did you do your job successfully which was memorable and relevant to the role you are being interviewed for – for example, instead of “people skills,” choose “persuasive communication” or “relationship building”. Then, follow up with an example of how you’ve demonstrated these traits in a professional setting.

7. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

They are not looking at the weakness as a flaw in you and whether you are capable of succeeding in the role, rather it’s about gauging your self-awareness and honesty. The majority of us find it is easier to recognise our weaknesses rather than our strengths!  Turn the question around – recognise it and explain how you are working to turn this around for example: Public speaking – and that you have now volunteered to run meetings to “feeling the fear and doing it” or “turning the weakness into a strength”.

8. What is your greatest professional achievement?

I always tell my candidates to use the S-T-A-R method, this enables you to stay on track with the answer and not go off on a tangent.  REMEMBER we start to switch off after 3 minutes of listening to someone talking if they start to ramble. SHORT and SWEET is always best, the STAR method is easy to remember and use.

S = Situation

T= Task

A= Action

R = Result

For example: “In my last job as a junior analyst, it was my role to manage the invoicing process”) but spend the bulk of your time describing what you actually did (the action) and what you achieved (the result). For example, “In one month, I streamlined the process, which saved my group 10 man-hours each month and reduced errors on invoices by 25%.”

9. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.

In asking this interview question, “your interviewer wants to get a sense of how you will respond to conflict”. Anyone can seem nice and pleasant in a job interview, but what will happen if you’re hired and then there is conflict with a co-worker?  Utilise the  S-T-A-R method, this will help you focus on how you handled a past situation professionally and productively, rather than emotionally.

10. Do you have any questions for us?

Please don’t say no! They may have gone through the company’s profile and background, talked about the role and the expectations, but use this opportunity to ask about their plans, what are the opportunities to grow within the company, what are the milestones and how are they measured? There are many questions to ask to show that you are interested in the role, google is your friend when thinking of anything that may not be answered during the interview process and will give you a clear picture of whether this will be the right role for you. REMEMBER this interview can be a two-way process.  DON’T ask about Holidays, salary and benefits during this time.

To close the job and to get a clearer idea if they are interested in you for the position – questions can be:   “Is there anything that has or hasn’t been clear that would prevent me getting the role?” – this can put them on the spot, but if there is a question lingering after you have left you may have lost a great opportunity.

“What is the next process?” – they will then let you know what to expect and when to hear from them, this also shows that you are interested in the role and if you are, let them know.

These questions can keep going – however when you start to utilise the questions and get familiar with yourself and your career, the questions will be easier to answer. Remember, just don’t jump on every question and if you are unsure, you are able to ask them to repeat the question, or breath and process the question so the answer comes out clearly.

One thing I always take with me to start the interview off is to ensure to give a firm handshake and acknowledge each interviewer. Remember they could be your future employer and first impressions DO count.

All I can say is: Good Luck and do your best.

Helen

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

Tear up the resume application process!

By Michele CameronMichele Cameron 0246 2

IT/ICT Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

I’ve been reading articles saying that the resume will be dead in a few years. Hooray you cheer!!  There’s nothing more frustrating than having to keep re-writing or adapting your work experience every time you change roles or seek a new change.

The Future

1.   Video resumes – this is becoming a popular tool clients are slowly trialing or currently using. When you look at a traditional resume, there’s a clear disconnect between the job seeker and recruiter/reviewer. There’s no relationship that develops from a resume, no personality to consider and no obvious communication skills. It’s not until applicants reach the phone interview stage that the recruiter has an opportunity to truly get to know them and learn more about their qualifications. After all, some resumes can be vague.

2.   One page infographic – in the visual world of marketing an infographic makes it eye catching, with easily digestible key information. After all a recruiter/ reviewer will spend less than a minute scanning your application. It keeps it simple, punchy and highlights the key details without the fluff. But on the flip side, the information lacks the details and current recruitment systems prefer word documents to scan and search key words when job matching candidates.

3.   Online profiles (digital & personal brand profiling) – Clients and recruiters will search your online profiles, research your articles and written blogs, and compare your network/ connection reach. The best talent will be creating their brand value and attracting opportunities based on their perceived reputation.

4.   Data job matching – new forms of technology from social media, big data, and analytics are building and profiling candidate’s information and becoming better sophisticated matching/ sending job alerts to candidates. After all, would you prefer to apply for less roles which matched better to your skill set. The downside is you become stereotyped based on your experience and doesn’t work if you want a change of industry or career.

5.   Creating talent pools through social media – this is an interesting article about companies attracting new talent pools and making the candidate experience fun again through social media.  Here are two takeaway tips clients can implement: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/07/23/the-death-of-the-resume-five-ways-to-re-imagine-recruiting/#4eb19c0978a9

a.   Make it fair for all to apply – let candidates share ideas and contributions rather than the standard, one-dimensional credentials presented on a resume as it reveals aptitude rather than education or experience.

b.   Give candidates a business challenge – bring ideas to solve a problem, create value through innovation.

As a recruiter, I hear too often the candidate’s pains of applying and your resume is sent to the big dark internet of abyss and then nothing. Technology is constantly evolving and we all need to be adapting, embracing and developing our digital brand value to attract the next opportunity. Ensure your professional LinkedIn profile, website or video sales pitch is attached to your resume to help personalize it. Don’t be stuck just relying on job boards and a standard resume as there’s a good chance it’ll be in the “no” pile.

All the best!

 

 

 

Can I find you??

By Jane Harvey, Executive Search Specialist

Eden Ritchie Recruitment Jane Harvey 0181 2

Having worked in the white-collar/professional and Executive recruitment space for over 22 years I have seen a great deal of change within the industry in this time. I have seen many attempts for the ‘recruiter’ to be replaced by technology and I must say, I think that the job will continue to evolve, but I don’t think the recruiter (the person) will ever be completely superseded. While technology has the ability to store and sift through resumes based on desired skills, they alone cannot make final judgment calls about candidates.

One big change I have noticed, even championed, has been the shift from the old ‘post and pray’ methodology (where a role comes in, it is advertised and then we wait with fingers crossed for the perfect person to apply) to a more refined and much more precise method of going out and looking for the perfect candidate for a particular role …. matching actual skills and experience to a client’s needs … tapping into a completely passive audience as well as the more active job seekers. And I have seen this work … well!

BUT how easily can you be found?? Are you the perfect candidate?? Are you highly visible or invisible??

It is therefore important for a passive or active job seeker to understand some of the other ways recruiters search and how you can be ‘found’ for your perfect job without the slightest need to apply for an advertised position or trawl through countless job sites!

Along came professional networking sites such as LinkedIn which become your evolving electronic employment profile and assists Recruiters to find candidates who would otherwise be near impossible to find because they aren’t actively looking to change jobs.

So, make sure your networking profiles accurately represent what you’re looking for, what you have done, your achievements and even what people have to say about you. Make sure you have key words in your CV or profile that will draw the right people to ‘find’ YOU.  Update your profile – even if you are not looking for a job right now, as it is a great tool for keeping in touch and growing your professional networks — and there is always a chance that you will ‘be found’ for your perfect role… your perfect next step – and you may not even realise you were looking for it!

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Stuck in the Middle

By Nigel Baker, Group Manager, Business Development

Eden Ritchie Recruitment

Nigel Baker 0117 2

My role is essentially that of the ‘middle man’. It is a role that I genuinely enjoy and a skill which is becoming more desirable across many industries, in many organisations.  When a new recruitment process starts we are looking for the skills that are not in the position description that will make the successful candidate stand out from the crowd, more often than not we hear phrases such as “strong stakeholder management/engagement”, “ability to translate technical requirements for the business”, “ability to manage change”, “build a roadmap and take people on the journey”…. You get the idea.

Managing the disparity and frustrations between the client and the candidate is the most difficult and often most enjoyable aspect of my role. Here are five of the most common themes we deal with on a day-to-day basis:

  1. Rates of pay
    1. Employers will often come with a budget that is not realistic for the level of skills and experience they are looking for.
    2. Candidates will have an expectation/salary level that is absolutely right for their level of experience, however they are probably over qualified for the role on offer. Yes, you may be better than the person they employ but the employer has to be commercial.
  2. Permanent vs Contract
    1. The general belief in candidates is that there is less and less differentiation between the two and, less value is placed on the traditional ‘benefits’ of sick pay, holiday pay, long service leave etc.
    2. Employers often do not think that they are competing for talent with the contracting market. For the above reasons they are….the two markets are merging.
  3. Competing timeframes
    1. Interview processes taking too long.
    2. Candidates are taking alternative offers.
    3. Notice periods are too long.
    4. Probity checks adding 2-6 weeks onto the recruitment process.
  4. Wish list position descriptions
    1. Employers often have position descriptions that cover multiple roles, therefore they list everything that needs to be covered in all the roles.
    2. Position descriptions often focus on skills/qualifications rather than deliverables.
  5. The interview was for a different role than advertised
    1. Candidates often complain that the interview was not relevant for the role that was originally advertised, and clients will often decide that a candidate is no longer suitable because their expectations changed mid-way through the process.
    2. Clients do allow the interview process to define the final role and responsibilities based on the people they meet and expect candidates to be flexible.

Often it is not black or white, there is no right or wrong, we are dealing with people and emotions. Decisions are sometimes made on pure speculation about something that is very subjective. This is why recruitment and the recruitment process is one of the most frustrating and satisfying challenges, often at the same time, no matter if you are the employer, candidate or recruiter.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Make the best first impression with the right resume…

Alana Hunter 0023 2

Alana Hunter

As recruiters, we get all kinds of resumes sent to us – long ones, short ones, fancy ones and some not-so-good ones.

I’m sure most of us have tried to make our resume as slick and shiny as we can to show off our design layout capabilities and have them stand out from the rest. BUT unless you’re applying for a graphic design role then I would give any tricky designs the flick and stick to the good old fashion simple resume!

“Why?”, you ask…to tell you the truth no one is interested in looking at pretty tables and pictures on your resume. Your resume needs to tell your professional story – we just want to clearly see your experience and skillset, as this is what will determine whether or not your resume is selected over another potential candidate.

This doesn’t mean that your resume needs to be boring or unattractive – it is just more effective to make yourself stand out with your experience and achievements, rather than copious amounts of pictures and graphics! Remember, it’s a professional resume not a marketing flyer.

Keep in mind when you’re preparing your resume, try and adapt it to suit that particular role with appropriate phrasing like “managed” instead of “in charge of” etc. Also, advertise your well-rounded experience, like personal passions, work ethic etc.

Make every word count! Square footage is at an all time high, treat every word on your resume like it’s expensive Sydney real estate.

Our team at Eden Ritchie Recruitment is are able to assist you with career coaching, resume development, interview preparation and more.  If you are interested, please call us now to find out more about this service.

Black Tuesday – Takes Me Back…

Justine Eden, DirectorBy Justine Eden

The recent Black Tuesday articles got me thinking back to 30 years when I was working in the dealing room for a share broking firm on that day that the market crashed. It was chaos and very apparent that things were going to change.

Having just left school I spent 2 years of working in finance, one year as a chalkie at the stock exchange and one in share broking. For me the ‘87 crash crystalized my plan to go to university full time. I could tell my job would no longer be there in a few months. Now of course the chalkie is also a relic of the past!

The recent Weinstein revelations also got me thinking. Sexual harassment was rife back in the day in share broking and I had my fair share of unsolicited advances from married men more than double my age, particularly when their wife was out of town. Did I want to come over tonight and have a hit of tennis? Did I need a lift home in the flash euro sports car? No thanks.

I remember sending out statements for shares purchased days, or just hours before the October 87 crash hit, for highly inflated shares now worth less than 5% of what was owing. People now desperate to sell and losing their homes because they had speculated on shares with money they could not afford to wager.

I had forgotten a lot of all of this and now it seems like a life time ago, but those insights back then cemented in my mind a kind of determination and clarity. That was to get an education, to build a career, to invest in shares with money that did not cost me the family home if they failed. To be independent and create my own business and to be able to stand up to anyone that made me feel uncomfortable or compromised in any way.

The power to choose, the ability for independence is something I have always valued greatly and it is what I hope my own daughters will experience. Cause let’s face it power is and always will be an aphrodisiac and independence is a great liberator.

As Abraham Lincoln said “..if you want to test a man’s character give him power”.

The final tick of approval – Are your referees up to scratch?

By Tiffany Kamotiffany

Think you have put in a good application, and nailed the interview? Congratulations on getting this far, but remember, it’s not in the bag!

References are not just a matter of process, they are a valued contributor to the overall assessment piece. You are not always the only one to progress to interview in a position, they could very well be used as a deciding factor so you want to ensure you are giving yourself the best possible chance at being the successful candidate.

I cannot stress the importance of preparing referees enough!

Always ensure you give your referees a quick call to advise not only they will be hearing from someone, but who it will be, and why. Provide them with a brief run down on the role you are going for so they can reply to questions asked with role appropriate scenarios. I see it time and time again where the referee has not been adequately prepared, and comes across disinterested, lacking any ability to provide detailed responses, and therefore it reads as a lack-lustre reference where it is potentially no real indication of how you performed within your position.

Is your referee related to this position directly? Just as you tailor a cover sheet, a resume or undertake selection criteria, make sure you also tailor your referees to your specific job application to reflect the position you are applying for.

And remember at the end of the day, your referee has taken time out of their day to help you secure your next position, ensure you follow up with a quick ‘Thank you’ so they know you appreciate their time and to keep the line open for them to provide you with future references.

Why don’t you call me no more?

By Justine Eden, Director – Eden Ritchie RecruitmentJustine Eden

As coined in the lyrics of one of the great Prince songs, the Master of Music (RIP Legend) laments the fact that the one person he wants to hear from can’t even pick up the phone.

Likewise, I am amazed by the number of executives who, when applying for roles, simply hit submit. Why don’t they want to talk?

Wouldn’t they want to get behind the position description (that is so often outdated – a story for another blog) and better understand the key aspects of this role and organisation? Wouldn’t this intel better inform their application and allow them to nail what it is that the hiring manager is looking for?

I agree that often the person listed on the ad is not always the most informed or helpful – but persevere. Make sure you have a few relevant questions to ask when you do connect with someone able to share key information with you. Use this as a key opportunity to connect and build rapport.

I get to work across a great number of organisations and with leaders from every technical specialisation. I can attest to the many number of times when people recall a phone conversation with an interested applicant and want to meet them in person.

It’s all you need – that foot in the door. The interview – isn’t that what the application is all about? Blindly applying for your next career role and winging an interview is not an effective tactic. I don’t understand how an applicant can sit in an interview and stress how enthusiastic they are about the opportunity when they haven’t done their research up front.

Also, the stock standard application is not effective. If you are serious about your career and your search, you have to invest the time into it. Tailor your letter to the specifics of this role and organisation. Pick out the key words in the ad and the position description and aim to include them (ensure relevance) in your resume.

And please check your work! Incorrect names, spelling errors, leaving the details on a letter relating to a different role/organisation – yes, sadly I see this a lot. I look forward to hearing from you.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

8 Tips To Making A Good Impression At Interview

 By Ben Wright

So you’ve put in all the hard work of getting your CV up to scratch, you’ve applied for roles and have managed to secure an interview.

How well do you think you’ll perform at interview?

It’s a difficult process for anyone at any level, and I’ll try my best to guide you through some of the likely questions and situations you might find yourself having to deal with.

  1. First impressions

The obvious one – first impressions do count! You have no idea how true this is. You need to smile and make the right amount of eye contact, so keep your gaze just a few seconds longer than usual, without looking like a bit of a weirdo.

  1. Questions and answers

Let the interview panel lead the interview but remember that you don’t have to wait until the end of the interview to ask questions. While they’re telling you all about the job and the company, questions from you at this point will emphasise your interest in the position. They may start with the question “Tell us about yourself and your experience, and why you think you would be the best candidate for the job”. This is where it helps to have your pitch handy as a brief introduction to who you are and what you can do.

  1. Preparation

Before the interview you should consider how you handle situations like interviews. How will you answer a question like “What are your salary expectations”? A difficult one if you don’t know whether you are over or under selling yourself. Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are – you need to be able to say what you’re good at with confidence.

  1. Your reasons for wanting the job

Ask yourself why you want this job because you’ll likely be asked this on the day. Only you know the answer and you need to make it a good one. Just because you need a job isn’t a good enough reason for someone to hire you. Ask yourself what you actually know about the company. Are you interested in a long-term career or is this simply a stopgap for you? They might ask you where you see yourself in 6 months or 5 years’ time – how will you answer this. Easy if you see yourself long-term with the company, but not so easy to answer if you don’t.

  1. Dress Code

I can’t stress this enough – make sure that you dress professionally. Casual is not good and gives the wrong impression. Of course, this will entirely depend on what type of job you are applying for, but for a professional career position, get it right and rock that killer suit.

  1. Be enthusiastic!

You’ve been invited for interview because they believe you can do the job. It’s just down to you on the day to show that you can do it better than anyone else. Even if you don’t tick all the boxes for the job criteria, I’ll bet you have something just as good or even better to offer. The interview panel don’t know this yet, so you have to tell them. Don’t be negative about a past (or present) employer, working conditions etc., as this will give a really bad impression. Try to show that you are flexible and willing to take on responsibility.

  1. Timing is critical

Whatever happens don’t be late!  Arrive 10 minutes prior – and if you’re too early then take a walk around the block.  Just don’t leave it until 5 minutes before the interview is due to start, because the interview room might be some distance away from the reception area you have reported to.

  1. The evening before the interview

I’m not going to say try to relax the evening before because you won’t, but get some sleep! If you really want the job you’ll be pretty nervous… that’s natural – and that’s the best advice anyone can give, to just be natural and be yourself. That’s the person they’re looking for. Good Luck!

Do you respond or react?

I’ve been doing a significant amount of reading lately about managing emotions in the workplace, and the affect this can have on how the team and how your employer might view you.

Emotions are an important part of us all. They help fuel our drive, motivation, desire to succeed, and can also ignite our fears … of failing, making mistakes and losing the ability to concentrate and think rationally.

Stress is a reality in most workplaces, but what is it that makes some people thrive while others appear to fall apart at the seams.

I have noticed time and again that those who keep it together in stressful situations and don’t allow their emotions to take control are those who take the time to listen and then respond, rather than hear and react.

Without wanting to sound too ‘zen’ responding is about learning to pause, to take the time to wait for your ‘reaction’ to subside.

How many times have you wanted to just say your piece regardless of the consequences? How many times have you hit the send button and immediately regretted it? In the workplace this can lead to conflict, tension and can lose you respect from your manager or peers, which can be difficult things to overcome and recover from, not to mention the negative health problems it can cause you!

Responding is simply a conscious choice, and experts say that the responsive mode is the natural state that our brains rest in. It is our ‘happy place’. So why don’t we choose that instead? Because we are human beings with natural instincts and behaviours, we make mistakes and say things we regret.

Retraining our brain can takes years, but it all starts with awareness … so next time you feel that natural instinct to react to a situation, try waiting about 10 seconds before you say anything.

It may just save you from making a bad situation worse!

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Infrastructure Future is looking bright!!

By: Nikki ChapmanNikki Harding

So with the festive season now a blurred distant memory, we again begin to speculate what’s going to be different this year from last? What projects will magically appear to drag our current unemployment rate down from 6%  – the worst figures in almost a decade.

Well here’s some food for thought, currently in Queensland alone there is almost $5.5 billion worth of infrastructure, road and rail projects currently up for grabs with the ‘expression of interest’ or EOI’s being sent out, or tenders currently underway.

Some of these projects include:

  • Toowoomba second range crossing valued at $1.7billion
  • Gateway motorway upgrade valued at $1.2billion
  • Kingsford Smith drive upgrade valued at $650million
  • The Under River Tunnel valued at $2.2billion.

These projects although not beginning in some cases until early to mid 2015, will require numerous skill sets prior to construction, especially in the estimating, planning, contracts and procurement spaces as well as conceptual and detailed design and engineering, creating a flow on effect for other areas.

So whilst the market may seem bleak at present, there is a silver lining on that cloud of skepticism, and whilst I don’t have a crystal ball I do believe that with a sense of renewed confidence we can optimistically look forward to what looks to be a much better year for those looking to grab hold of the next challenging role in their career.

Success in 2014 …

Jane Harvey

By Jane Harvey

It sounds so basic but many a great motivator over the years has stated that the whole secret of personal success is to find out what your calling is, and then do it. Sound easy?? The great question for success has always been, how do successful people get there? Why is it that some people naturally think in a positive way, while others don’t? What determines your success or lack of it??

Many successful people I have interviewed and spoken to over the past (too many) years, have been asked the simple question, “What do you think about, most of the time? And where do you see yourself in 10 years” Their answers are so simple yet so profound. In short, they either choose to be positive… or they don’t.  They either think about what they want, and how to get it or they think about the obstacles in their path.

Successful people all think the same… and I think that if you look at people who seem to have come from nothing and succeeded. They are not super heros or even always academic. The common denominator is almost always the power of positive thinking and self belief. Your self-concept plays a prominent role in almost everything you think, feel and accomplish in life. By looking at and learning from the habits of successful people and by remaining positive in your thought patterns, you too are sure to become a successful person!

We have just come through a couple of years of uncertainty in Australia and it has certainly been an up and down year in QLD alone but 2014 is looking to be shining bright on so many fronts. As you would all be aware, the employment space is a key indicator to the overall economics of not only QLD but the whole of Australia. It impacts what people buy, the housing market, the tourism sector and even the not for profit space, basically it is the catalyst for so much of what happens in our life.

So I was so happy to come out of a hard year in 2013 and into the throws of what, by all accounts is destined to be a big year on the job front. Some of the most exceptional candidates I have met with in my career have just entered the job seeker market and some of the most interesting jobs we have worked on recently seem to be pouring through the doors. So I can only come to one conclusion. The future of 2014 is looking so bright! I feel optimistic after a turbulent few years and I am also feeling that optimism from clients and candidates alike!

Bring on 2014… Lets get started!

How to shine at interview

By Kate Broadley

KateFINALA job interview gives you a chance to shine. Remember, what you say and do will either move you forward in your career or knock you out of contention. Seriously …it doesn’t take much to make an impression – good or bad. If you haven’t taken the time to dress appropriately or if you say the “wrong” thing, you have probably blown your chances before you even say a word…

My advice is take the time to prepare for your interview and don’t think you can wing it, I have certainly seen many people make this mistake. Make sure you know what’s on your resume, you would be surprised at the number of people who don’t outline why they are qualified for the job. Be able to talk about why you are interested in the company, and practice staying calm and focused. No matter how good you think you are, I am yet to find anyone who actually enjoys the experience. It’s important to remember that the image the interviewer has of you when they first meet you is the one that is going to last.

Know the Facts

I’ve been surprised when applicants weren’t able to tell me their dates of employment or what they actually did on a day-to-day basis in their job. Make sure you review your work history prior to interview – and ensure what you say matches what’s on your resume. Take the time to research the organisation and the job you’re applying for.

What You Don’t Say

What you don’t say can – and will – be used against you in a job interview. If you come to an interview chewing gum or drinking coffee, you will already have one strike against you. Not being dressed appropriately or having scuffed shoes will give you a second strike. Talking or texting on your cell phone or listening to an iPod while waiting to be called for the interview may be your final strike and you could have ruined your opportunity, before you have even said a word.

Verbal Communication

Your verbal communication is so important. Please don’t use slang and make sure you speak clearly. Remember, if you need to think about a response to an interview question, that’s fine. It’s better to think before you talk than to stumble over your words. Most importantly practice does make perfect, so practice answering some interview questions so you’re comfortable responding to the basics.

Listen

It can be easy to get distracted during a job interview. It’s stressful and you’re in the hot seat when it comes to having to respond to questions. Do your best to listen to what the interviewer is asking, it will be easier to frame appropriate responses.

 Non-Verbal Communication

What you don’t say during an interview is as important as what you do say. What’s important is to appear professional and attentive throughout the interview.

So with that said, I hope your next interview is a positive experience, remember, even if you are not successful, you can learn from the experience.

ICT skill shortages?

A study into employment in the Australian information and communications technology Tom Peard(ICT) industry estimates that Australia will need an additional 33,000 ICT professionals by mid 2017 and that there will be insufficient skilled workers to meet this demand. Yet it says that graduates from ICT courses are having trouble finding work.

If you work in IT, you only have to look around your office to see the age group is heavily made up of Gen X and little to no Gen Y’s.

Why is this? And what can be done to change it?

Well firstly, you can’t get a Bachelor of IT and suddenly be a Project Manager or a Business Analyst. Those sorts of titles require years of experience.

A total of 69.7% of recent computer science graduates are now in employment, although not necessarily in jobs related to their studies, and 12.9% are unemployed, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa).

Maybe we can rectify this problem by putting processes in place to help Graduates grow within their profession.

For example:

  • Summer vacation programs
  • Internships
  • Trade shows / exhibitions
  • Career days
  • Q&A sessions

Have a read through the article below to see a series of ideas the AWPA have presented to boost ICT skills in the market.

http://www.whatech.com/it-education/news/15428-wanted-8000-new-ict-workers-every-year

 

How much information is too much information

Nikki HardingIt’s the age old question, do I disclose everything about myself in an interview, warts and all, or do I cover over any indiscretions in my personality or my career that may hamper my chances of obtaining my ideal job.

So lets look at the pro’s & con’s.

The purpose of an interview, whether it’s with a client directly or a recruitment consultant is to ascertain your suitability for a specific position, so it’s our job to ascertain your technical skill set first and foremost – can you actually do the job?

But more importantly it seems in our current climate it’s ‘can you do the job well’?

Will you fit with the current team? What does your personality say about you?

More often than not you are extremely well behaved in an interview when you are vying for that coveted role with the sensational company, making sure to answer questions as accurately as possible, smiling, and generally being polite. But how about in the real world, are you as polite? Are you as accommodating? That’s what we have to systematically ”unpeel” in an interview, how do you handle certain situations, are you a diamond in the rough? Or are you just rough?

When an external consultant is engaged to source the very best candidates that the market has to offer, these are the kind of subtle differences that get you across the line, what your personality traits are really like and how that can enhance the client’s business.

So what should you disclose? Provide real life examples, whether situations turned out well or not, proves you are an open communicator, you have learnt and grown as an individual, that you are adaptable to change and confident enough that you are still desirable as a candidate of choice.

It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being the best you can be, and the honesty surrounding that makes you the perfect candidate and an asset to any business.

OWN THE INTERVIEW!

In today’s market, it is essential that you have an impeccable CV to secure an interview. But how do you capitalise on that C.V. when you are sitting across from your prospective employer?

Let me ask you a question:

Q: How many times have you received feedback from a recruiter that the client secured a stronger candidate, but thank you for your time and effort; we will contact you when we have another position that matches your profile?

A: Often tom

Or this – 

Q: “I’m sorry we will not be moving forward with your application. The client was not confident in your ability to bring a professional approach to the role and was put off that you didn’t look them in the eye OR shake their hand with confidence”?

A: Just as often

If you are securing interviews but never securing the role, maybe something as simple as the above examples are holding you back.

With the amount of candidates in the market today, it is essential that you are prepared for your interview and are aware of all the aspects that will make you stand out from other applicants.

So, to be successful in securing a job in this market here are a few of my tips:

  • Do your history on the organisation and the panel members.
  • Give demonstrated examples of where you have completed a similar project or role.
  • Detail your specific duties within those projects/roles.
  • Point out transferable skills you offer.
  • Talk about the challenges you faced and how you overcame them.
  • Ensure confident and continual eye contact with the panel members.
  • Speak clearly and confidently and as if you are aiming for the back of the room.
  • Ask questions about the project and challenges they are facing?
  • Ask what sort of candidate they are looking for?

Here are some things that I see candidates do that may prevent them from securing a role:

  • Being under prepared and not having a thorough understanding of the organisation or panel members.
  • Under dressing.
  • Over dressing – wearing strong colours is not always good. Stick to light easy on the eye colours. We are not saying don’t be yourself but do consider the panel.
  • Giving vague answers about your experience.
  • Answering questions as if the panel members know everything about you from your CV – they don’t always know your CV and they also want to hear YOU talk about YOU and how YOU can help THEM.
  • Badmouthing past employers.
  • Leaving your mobile on.
  • Talking too much.
  • Looking around the room for answers.
  • Not thanking interviewers for there time.

Interviewing is simple, if you prepare and do your homework!

If you want to know more about interviewing, CV preparation or a general chat about the market and how the team at Eden Ritchie can help, give us a call on 3230 0033 or check out our website www.edenritchie.com.au