My Pet Hate – The Unedited CV!

By Helen Chard

When asked to write this blog – I started to wonder what was worthy of writing – the answer, what takes up most of my time when searching for the ideal candidate.

Over the past 7 years I have spent thousands of hours poring over CV’s. From CEO’s and professionals with Masters and Doctorates – many being from the most prestigious universities (I spent time in Cambridge!) to the unemployed.

It amazes me that someone can produce a tidy Facebook page but when it comes to a CV, it can be a jumbled mess – a complete enigma that we recruitment consultants continually decipher.

There are no two ways about it – condensing all your skills and experience into one slick document can be challenging. You’re not born knowing how to write a great CV, so it’s up to you to find out for yourself how to get the basics right. From font size and format to photos and filling in the gaps, there is a certain etiquette that should rarely be broken. Recruiters and employers receive constant streams of applications don’t let a basic mistake send yours straight to the bottom of the pack.

How long should a CV be?
When it comes to length, try to think of your CV as a tasty appetiser that will get people coming back for more. It should be around 2 pages long to ensure that you get your message across quickly, without dragging on like an old encyclopedia, boring employers and recruiters.

If you feel your experience is as good as gold (and listing it all will make you a shoe-in for the job), don’t worry too much about going over. Just be sure to keep it at 3 pages or less.

What do employers look for in a CV?
They want someone who has the right skills and knowledge to do the job at hand, so this need to come across in your CV. If you have the exact experience they are looking for, make sure it is clear – don’t make them read between the lines or join the dots. Spell everything out for them. If you don’t have the perfect profile for the role but know you can do it, highlight your transferrable skills. It’s always important to research your target roles beforehand to find out exactly what they are looking for in an applicant.

What font should I use in my CV?
The saying ‘keep it simple stupid’ exists for a reason and is a principle that applies here. Forget cursive text that makes your CV look like a Disney picture, and best you steer clear of colour altogether. Nice symbols, though. Use a simple font that looks professional and is easy for recruiters and employers to read. Size matters too – you can’t go wrong if you stick around the 10/12pt mark.

Should I include a photo on my CV?
Your best selfie needn’t grace its presence on your CV. There is no need to include one on your CV. It will take up space that could be better used with text that demonstrates the value of hiring you. Show them how you’re so much more than just a pretty face.

Do I include all my experience on my CV?
You should include all your experience on your CV for transparency, but older or irrelevant roles can be shortened down to brief summaries. All your previous roles were NOT created equal. It is important to bring out the most relevant points and let other bits take the backseat.

Should I include my date of birth on my CV?
Age is only a number, right? Employers should not make recruitment decisions based on a candidate’s age, so there’s no need to include your date of birth.

Should I hide employment gaps on my CV?
Take the guesswork out of your CV. You don’t want recruiters or employers scratching their heads trying to fill the gaps themselves, so if you have long periods of unemployment you should be up front and explain them. Keep this short and sweet, after all, it’s just to let them know what was keeping you occupied during that time. Ideally use constructive reasons such as personal projects, study or travelling.

Do I need a cover letter?
Typing a personalised cover letter shows you are serious about your career and the opportunity.  It should paint a clear picture of who you are and what you are looking for, and why you want to engage in further conversation.

Should I include references in my CV?
Employers shouldn’t contact references until they have intentions of potentially offering you the job – it has however been known to happen. You don’t need to list them on your CV, instead a one-liner like ‘references available upon request’ will do the trick.

And if in doubt – GOOGLE – there are templates, job specifications and information at the touch of a button. So, if you can use Facebook you can certainly compose a CV which is legible and flowing.

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The Importance of Managing Up

By Justine EdenJustine Eden, Director

Having been in the recruitment industry for a few years now (not specifying how many because it makes me feel old!) I have been able to sit back and watch many people progress up the leadership ladder. Some more successfully than others. There can be many factors impacting on success of course, but in many instances I have seen the inability to recognize the need to manage up, lead to failure.

Managing up can sometimes bring connotations of having to “kiss arse” – excuse the language, and I would argue that if this is what you interpret as managing up you are missing a key opportunity. Many leaders can be overly consumed with managing down and depending on the profile of your team sometimes this is necessary – but you need to ensure this isn’t a long-term strategy.

You need to focus attention on managing yourself – your career, your education, your professional portfolio to ensure you remain relevant and challenged. You of course will have an element of managing down through delegation and KPI’s to ensure deliverables are met.

But – how to manage up? Be clear on who above you this could include and then determine how often and how you will need to feedback to each person. In person communication is an effective way to build rapport and trust followed by putting things in writing to protect each other.

A good executive should adopt a no surprises approach in order to have the back of the people they report to and should also be able to determine what is communicated and what is not to prevent information overload. No Board wants hundreds of pages to read through, so your ability to grasp and communicate the key issues and expand if needed, is critical.

By managing up you increase your visibility and intel because you should be privy to strategic issues and be on the front foot to ask for the opportunity to work on key projects. You will better anticipate future challenges and therefore be able to better position your team to respond. Knowledge and networks are the power base of any ambitious executive but like anything require constant work and attention!

What do recruiters actually do?

By Carmina Catahan

Carmina Catahan

Carmina Catahan

Recently, a colleague of mine asked me to Google “recruiters are…” and said to have a look at what suggestions came up on Google. So, I did. Well, we actually did it together, and although we saw the funny side to it, and laughed about it, somewhere deep down I felt quite defensive about what I had read.

Which led me to write this blog – what do recruiters actually do?

I can tell you, honestly that recruitment is certainly not an easy job. It’s “champagne and headaches” as a lot of true recruiters would say. You have your big wins that are extremely rewarding (and not just financially), and then you have those times when you just want to bang your head against a brick wall, because things aren’t going to plan…but the most interesting, amazing and hardest thing I’ve learnt about this job is that you are dealing with human beings – emotions and feelings, and human behaviour in the work place.

So, what does a typical week look like for genuine 360 recruiters on a temp desk?

Our weeks consist of something like this…up to 30 plus face to face meetings with candidates or clients where some days you’re sipping on 5 cups of tea and coffee because you’re in back to back meetings – which is certainly not a bad thing as you’re not stuck in the office all day! It actually gives you the opportunity to be a bit more personable with clients and contractors. Catching up with new and existing clients consist of ensuring that you are maintaining that relationship well and that they are happy with your service and it also gives them the opportunity to provide some feedback on the contractors we’ve placed into their roles. Meetings with our contractors to touch base with them to ensure that they are progressing well in their roles and happy with their placement. And then there is interviewing new candidates, because you are probably working on up to 20 different roles that week. These roles can range from simple administration roles to something very niche like an Economist role and everything else in between (HR, Finance, Procurement, Marketing, Special Projects etc.) ….and in between all of that, you’re attending to phone calls, emails, urgent issues that may arise and need to be resolved immediately, oh and don’t forget there is the administration side of the job…paperwork and ensuring that everything that you are doing is legally compliant. 

Working on a temp desk is very fast paced and you usually have deadlines of around 48 hours to fill an urgent role, as that is of course the whole purpose of clients approaching you for temporary contractors. Honestly, we hardly find time to actually eat lunch and when we do, we’re half eating lunch at our desk or on the run.

With all of this the challenge of it all though comes down to the quality of service you provide and this is the reason why good recruiters are run off their feet, because as much as the job can be very hectic, demanding and no day ever the same, you can’t be a successful recruiter if you are not producing quality service and quality talent to both your clients and your candidates – if you didn’t do this, you wouldn’t have a desk to manage!

So, the message of this blog, is that recruiters do a lot behind the scenes that don’t always get to be seen by both clients and candidates, and honestly, this is the exact reason why I have been doing this job for over 6 years, and still very passionate about it. It is because the most rewarding part is that I get to help people in every which way I can, and somewhat make a difference.

The Digital Workplace

By Ben Wright, Recruitment Consultant – Eden Ritchie Recruitmen

Ben Wright

I’m hearing the words “Digital Workplace” thrown around more than ever, and the uncertainty of what it is, and what to expect.  Gone are the days where the workplace was a physical space, occupied during business hours with allocated seating and computers for staff. The Digital Workplace is an environment that is always connected, allowing employees to communicate and collaborate in new and effective ways across an organisation regardless of whether they are in the office or over the other side of the world.

 A Digital Workplace breaks down communication barriers, encouraging a more efficient work environment allowing organisations to scale up more rapidly and provide a more flexible environment for staff.

A recent study conducted by Deloitte points out the benefits to adopting a digital workforce when it comes to the following:

  • Recruitment: 64% of employees would choose a lower paying job if it offered more flexibility and the ability to work from home.
  • Communication: the majority of workers prefer newer communication tools specifically instant messaging as compared to “traditional” tools like e-mail or team workspaces.
  • Productivity: Organisations with strong online social networks are 7% more productive compared to organisations without.
  • Satisfaction: Organisations that rolled out and installed social media tools internally found that there was a 20% increase in employee satisfaction.
  • Retention: When employee engagement goes up, there is a corresponding increase in employee retention of up to 78%.

 As employee demographics continue to shift, organisations are finding it challenging to support the needs of a multi-generational workforce. The businesses that will show the most growth in future will be those who break down the divide between people, technologies and the workplace, empowering employees to be productive regardless of their location.

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

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.

Australian Financial Review 2016 Business Summit

By Linda Parker

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the AFR Business Summit in Melbourne, witnessing a range of high profile business leaders from around the globe. Aiming to inspire, they discussed the importance of taking risks to create growth in the economy, and the role Government needs to play in that.

One of the most inspiring stories we took away from the event was from the co-founder of Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes, who from humble beginnings is now a billionaire after taking a risk and following a vision, with nothing but a credit card to support the process. I found it fascinating and somewhat disappointing to hear that their success came from listing the company on NASDAQ (at $21 per share), not the Australian Stock Exchange. This is a sad reflection of Australia’s lack of investment in technology and a reminder that Government needs to engage with emerging leaders and support innovation, rather than just focusing on past opportunities, namely the resources sector, which has inevitably moved into its cycle of operational maintenance and productivity gains, and will no doubt take an upward swing in the future when the next wave of global infrastructure development opportunities come to light…IMG_0853 The other key message was the tax reform needed to support business investment and innovation. With one of the highest company tax rates in the global economy, many Australian businesses are penalised for achieving growth. Treasurer Scott Morrison spoke, but was incredibly evasive in his response to questions around this topic and whether the Government are planning to take a calculated risk to promote growth in our economy.

Walking away from the summit somewhat uninspired, the only thing left for us to do was support the local economy and invest in Melbourne’s fabulous retail and dining experiences… someone had to right?

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

 

Your most valuable asset

By Justine EdenJustine Eden

It’s your time.

It’s non renewable, it has a limited supply and becomes more valuable to us as we get older. It’s your most important resource, so waste it at your peril. Once it’s gone you can never get it back and others just won’t value your time as much as you do. And they certainly won’t value it if you don’t value it yourself.

For me it’s the notion of being present, but it’s also all about being engaged. If you are loving what you are doing, you will be at your most productive. Others will recognise it and gravitate towards you. The things coming your way, whether work or play will be more challenging, more interesting and therefore more rewarding.   And so it goes.

So why play the game, wasting your time in a job you don’t enjoy, taking “sickies” to get out of having to come to the office? Who loses in that scenario? It’s a big waste of time that could have otherwise been spent in meaningful pursuits.

It’s that slippery slope that starts when you wake up one day and decide you deserve a day off. It snowballs and soon people around you start to leave you out of the loop and stop involving you in the interesting stuff. Because they are starting to feel like maybe they can’t rely on you …

In order to maximise the value of your time it takes courage to have the tough conversations. About the work coming your way, about the amount you are paid, the hours you are expected to work, about the level of involvement you may have; rather than just accepting this is as good as it gets. Because no one values your time as much as you should!

Look at it from the perspective of the number of hours you spend across your life at work, or the approximate number of hours you have left to live. It’s a wake up call. Take responsibility for maximising and valuing your time, live a life of purpose and meaning, be present and have fun.