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”.