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!

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.

The world we live in has changed …

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           Jane Harvey

Job seekers need to be more savvy and careful than ever when it comes to social media. Gone are the days of turning up for an interview in your Sunday best, providing details of a couple of referees who would be sure to sing your praises and then turning up to your new job the following Monday!

Social media can both advance and hinder your career depending on how you use it. As the Internet and social media grow increasingly important, particularly in business, most future employers and recruiters explore candidate’s social media profiles including Facebook before making hiring decisions.

 And this is the very reason you need to be extra careful with how you use social media, how you portray yourself in this medium and how you set up your privacy. After all, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to provide an unflattering social media image to future employers.

So, before you apply for your next job, take a good look at your online presence in some of the following ways:

Google yourself

Yes, this is the first thing anyone will do to see if you are who you say you are! Search your name and see what comes up? If there is something there that you would not be comfortable with a future employer seeing … take it down or get in touch with whoever published it and request that they remove it. This is not always possible and some things will remain for a very long time … so think before you post!

Check your privacy settings

Most people think that their privacy settings are sufficient and only their chosen ‘friends’ can see what they post… but in actual fact most people allow friends of friends to view certain content and it just goes on from there. If you go into Facebook and in your profile click “view as public” you will get a better understanding of what anyone in the world can see – including a future employer. If you can see too much … change your settings and get rid of anything that may cause damage to your professional image.

Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date

LinkedIn is one of the most important tools you can utilise as a job seeker or even as an employer. Often referred to as a professional Facebook, LinkedIn is your opportunity to get noticed and to stand out from the crowd, so make it work! Make sure your content is accurate and informative and that you include a snippet from your past few roles on the cover page. Make sure you keep it up to date and most importantly, include a professional and current photo, not one of you and your children or partner or best friend on a park bench or in a pub. Keep it up to date! If you don’t have it, then get it! If you are going for an interview, look at the profiles of the people interviewing you, it will show you are interested and doing research into them and their business.

 In all honesty, prevention is better than trying to fix social media disasters. Everybody has a life outside of work but photos of partying hard, can and will tarnish your professional image. If you must post, make sure your pictures are private. Future employers and recruiters do not need to see them.

Lastly, limit your work related comments on social media such as Facebook, particularly anything that may be seen as derogatory, and limit your social related comments on mediums such as LinkedIn – they are very different and you need to draw a very distinctive line between them. Open your LinkedIn profile so that almost anyone can access it, and your Facebook, Twitter etc. so that almost no-one can, and you should be on your way to that great new role without the worry of skeletons in the closet!

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

Is the Cover Letter dead??

AngelaNg

By Angela Ng

Some think that in the new transactional world, where shortlists are formed by keyword searches, that the cover letter is dead, but I have news for them. The cover letter remains a key tool for the candidate to differentiate themselves from the crowd, to personalise their application for the role, and to get the recruiter’s/hiring manager’s attention sufficiently to make them want to turn over and review the CV.

A good cover letter has the following:

1. PROOF THAT YOU’VE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK

Recruiters and hiring managers want to see that you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s important in the early sections of your cover letter that you refer to the job, its title and the company in some form.

Bonus points if you can impress your potential future boss with an acknowledgement of a major company success. Triple points if that success relates to the team you’d be joining.

2. AN EXPLANATION OF HOW YOUR SKILLS RELATE

Your cover letter is also the written explanation of your resume as it relates to the job at hand. So it’s important you explain in the letter what exactly it is you can do for this company and this role based on your previous experience.

You could use, what’s called a “T-Letter” to effectively present this section. This is a letter with a two-sentence intro followed by two columns—one on the left headed, “Your Requirements” and one on the right headed, “My Experience.” Bye-bye big, boring blocks of text.

Using the job description, pull out sentences that express what they are looking for and place those in the “Your Requirements” column. Then add a sentence for each to the “My Experience” column that explains how your skills match those.

It’s an aggressive, bold approach—but one that could set you apart from the rest.

3. YOUR EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE POSITION

Here’s an exercise: Think about yourself in the job you’re applying for. What do you feel? You’re probably pretty pumped, huh? Now harness some of that excitement and put it down on paper.

For example, if you were applying to a web design or UX job, you could write, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in how the digital world works and how users interact with websites. Website design is not only my career, it’s my passion, which is why I hope you’ll consider me for this great role on your team.”

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

7 TIPS TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL BRAND

By Angela Ng

AngelaNgWhether you realise it or not, you’re a brand. Your brand is your persona, and if yours isn’t great, it could be costing you opportunities.

Your brand is what you want people to think about you when you leave them.

A personal brand should be authentic and natural: Someone should be able to spend five minutes talking to you, and after that conversation, have an impression of what your personal brand is. They should walk away thinking, ‘He’s really friendly’ or ‘This woman is a lot of fun.’ They should know who you are, and if they would want to speak to you again.

While your brand is built over time, it can become difficult to change, so it’s important to identify and align your brand with your goals. Whilst building a positive personal brand comes easily to some people, others will have to work at it. Here are seven traits that contribute to your personal brand, and what you should know about each:

  1. ACCESSIBILITY

Develop a persona that is reachable, always answer the phone, for one. It’s basic but for few not common.

When people know you always answer your emails and phone calls, opportunities will come more frequently.

  1. ATTITUDE

Always put your best self forward, even if you don’t feel like it.

This is important in good times and in bad, truth is, no one else cares about your problems, they care about a solution to whatever they need. Always present your best self.

  1. INTEGRITY

The truth comes out at the end of the day, and it’s important to be honest, even when it’s easier not to.

Loyalty is another element of integrity. Being honest and loyal helps you build a trustworthy and credible brand.

  1. WORK ETHIC

One of my favourite expressions is, ‘Luck comes to visit but it doesn’t come to stay.’ If you’re fortunate to get a lucky opportunity, work very hard to keep it. If people know you work hard, they’ll be more likely to work with you again.

  1. OPEN-MINDEDNESS

There are two types of people in the world: those who keep their arms wide open, and those who keep their arms held tight against their chest.

Who would you want to do business with or have as a friend? People like people who are open to ideas and relationships. Your personal brand should be someone who is open to new ideas, experiences, and business.

  1. APPEARANCE

People judge you on the way you look, so pay attention to the details. If you’re ultra-causal or sloppy, that’s going to be your brand.

First impressions are important, so pay attention to the details. Depending on your industry, your attire could be right for every occasion, or it could be something you change based on the situation.

  1. PRESENTATION

How you interact with others is another important part of your brand.

There’s a saying, ‘Empty barrels make the most noise’. If you never stop talking, you’ll build a negative personal brand. Always think about what you want to say, and how you want to present yourself before you open your mouth.

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.

You can’t trust a cloud not to rain…

Linda Parker

By Linda Parker

We’ve been reading and hearing so much about information and cyber-security issues lately, with major breaches of people’s personal information being hacked, it got me thinking about how much the access of information has changed our lives, and those that are still completely oblivious to the potential ramifications of the information they publish in the cloud.

This has been a personal matter for me recently with loved ones being contacted by ‘long lost relatives’ who reached out via the internet and social media. The impact that has on people is profound and potentially very unsettling depending on circumstances. For others, it can bring the most unexpected and wondrous results.

It got me to thinking that no one is safe, no information is sacred, and can people really cry ‘poor me’ if they are out there ‘over sharing’ their personal information on the internet?

The connection of physical devices such as home appliances and cars to the internet will be the next big vulnerability according to ‘cyber experts’. The internet will be integrated into just about every market we can think of, ranging from healthcare to transport networks, to our weekly shopping and entertainment, and it seems none of these have been designed with security in mind.

It was only just last night my husband informed me there was such a thing as the ‘dark web’, which thankfully requires specific software and configurations to access, but for those in the know this opens up an avenue for all kinds of dodgy behaviour. I would rather remain naively oblivious to it, but then again I can’t really afford to when the next generation are so vulnerable to it.

I fondly remember the days before the internet and smart phones, which I’ll admit does make me feel old, but it also makes me think whatever did I do with all that spare time??

It’s the vibe

Justine Eden

By Justine Eden, Director

Last weekend while in the city for the purpose of birthday gift shopping and with the family in tow, I took an opportunist detour into the Apple Store. My iPhone 6 has a glitch in it that means it randomly switches from silent to not – which I find disconcerting. Being the control freak I am, the thought of my phone ringing during a crucial meeting means I have to continually turn it off.

Like the Catholic Church – the Apple stores have the best real estate and this one was no exception. Still early in the day, the store was already packed and the merchandise was gleaming with a seductive allure. The strategically placed door greeters had eager smiles and iPad’s at the ready. I explained my phone’s glitch and was asked whether I had an appointment, to which I replied that I had been passing and taken the opportunity to drop in with the hope someone could take a look. I was told to go over to the service area and book an appointment and that it would probably be in an hour or so before someone could see me.

Oh Apple! When did you morph into Telstra? There was a time you just strolled into a store and had 3 Apple repair geeks so keen to help, you ended up buying another product.

I’ve been a Mac user since university, when I started my business in 1996 it was a Mac we used and we have operated with them ever since. Oh how we were ridiculed back then however some time, say around the early 2000’s – Macs became cool. Maybe it was the multicoloured ones they brought out, I loved my black Mac Book Pro with its buffed surface, now I am addicted to my iPhone, iTunes and Apple TV.

Apple is defined in my opinion by innovation agility and edge, the “book an appointment” approach was so Coles deli counter and not what I expected. Apple to its credit will at times listen and change – okay so maybe you need to be Taylor Swift to get their attention but it’s worth a try. A company is defined by its culture, the customer experience and responsiveness, along with a quality product or service. I’ve always rated the service experience I’ve had at Apple – but now they’ve got me worried.

We don’t need any more monolithic corporate giants who are so removed from their customers they misread signals and under deliver. If you’re like me you get energised from a great customer service experience because it’s so rare. It’s a vibe you get from the moment you walk in, the place hums and the people are engaged and they want to help you. The systems operate below the surface so you don’t even notice them but they ensure a consistently high level of satisfaction.

I still need to get my phone fixed so I’m giving it another try, or maybe I’ll just settle and “make an appointment”?

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

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.

First impressions last…and last…

With all the avenues available to job-hunters to look for work, make connections, and market themselves, you can now make a ‘first’ impression multiple times. A hiring manager or recruitment consultant might view your LinkedIn profile or social media posts, read your resume, speak to people in your networks, or call, text, or email you, all before they meet you in person. In doing so they start to form a view of your personal attributes and style, as well as how you operate, and what you have to offer their company. Representing yourself consistently across all of these forums is important, so that prospective employers see you as genuine, professional, and job-ready.

Recently I needed to contact a candidate who’d made a positive ‘first’ impression with a great resume that outlined, amongst other things, their well-developed communication and engagement skills. However, these skills did not extend very far when it came to setting up an interview for a role. Getting in touch proved difficult, despite my repeated follow-ups via phone and email. To make matters worse, when we finally did connect, the person’s telephone manner and tone was abrupt and disinterested, which left a very different impression, and had me reconsidering whether to put their CV forward at all.

I’ve also met candidates with excellent LinkedIn profiles highlighting their strong writing and research skills, and organisational and time management capabilities. Unfortunately some of these candidates have not been able to translate these abilities to a successful interview. Research and writing skills should help you to easily get background information on the organisation you’re applying to, either through websites, media articles, or industry information. From there you can work up useful prompts for your interview responses, as well as a few brief but relevant questions to ask about the job itself. Hiring managers or panels will spot inadequate preparation or a disorganised approach every time – it’s that obvious. On another note, if you’ve written a great resume but your LinkedIn profile is a bit bare, you can simply cut and paste sections of it across to add more detail to your profile, making your online and hard copy profiles more uniform.

We’re all pressed for time but it really is worth the effort to regularly review the various tools and profiles you use to promote yourself in the job market, and keep them updated and consistent. In today’s competitive environment, you need to make it as easy as possible for employers to get the right ‘first’ impression of you – every time!

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

What do your social media profiles say about you?

Todays job hunt no longer consists of flicking through classified and endless pages of results on job boards. Everyday new social media platforms are being released and used by job seekers and recruiters alike. Not surprising considering social professional networks are the fastest source of quality hires globally – and this has increased 73% over the past 4 years.

They say ‘first impressions last’! Well in the social media soaked world we live in we no longer have the ability to make that first impression in person with a smart suit or firm hand shake; this is now made through review of your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ …

So, where are you showcasing your ‘personal brand’? Where are you promoting your professional expertise? Are these platforms projecting a positive image for a prospective employer? Are they ‘employer friendly’?

Tips for creating a professional digital impression:

  • Google yourself … Then review all of your social media accounts from the perspective of a potential employer
  • Delete/Untag inappropriate photos
  • Remove posts that could be potentially offensive (i.e. Race, gender, religion, or politics. These things can be taken out of context)
  • Contribute to relevant forums and discussions
  • Review your grammar and spelling
  • Keep content up to date

92% of recruiters use social networking sites so whether you are actively seeking employment or not – remember we are looking at your profiles.

Make these sites work for you. There are endless sites with tips and information about how to better use each of the platforms to boost your job prospects. Eg.Mashable: The Ultimate Social Network Job Searching Guide

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

Lost in (mis)communication

It’s imperative in any role/industry/personal situation that you communicate effectively. I’m sure everyone has heard the saying “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” and have experienced at least once in their life where a situation has been misconstrued as a result of miscommunication.

Having worked for myself for a number of years I have experienced both sides of the coin and learnt my lessons very quickly.

It’s easy to word an email, fire it off and hope for the best, but is the person on the other end reading the same words with the same emphasis and passion as you? Probably not… The moment you get the lines of communication open, opportunities you never expected will suddenly become visible and projects will run smoother.

Here are a few of my tips:

  1. Meetings: It’s easier to communicate with passion when you are in a face-to-face meeting. In this forum members of the meeting will not only hear what you are saying but also feel it in your tone and body language. This also makes it easier for you to gauge their responsiveness through body language and make adjustments to your conversation.
  2. Be confident: Display confidence at all costs. If you doubt yourself, then so will your client or team member.
  3. Listen: Communication is intended to be a two way street. Don’t just talk about yourself. Create talking points and encourage members to participate in discussions.
  4. Focus on your tone: one word can mean a completely different thing when said in a different tone. Focus on using the appropriate tone of voice to communicate your message. Good communicators can pick on hesitation in a speakers tone.
  5. Be Appreciative: When wrapping up any form of communication, always remember to thank participants for their time. It costs you nothing and shows your respect and
  6. Emails: Be relevant and concise. It’s about the right content at the right time, delivered using the right channel.

Regardless of what industry you work in, these points will assist you in establishing clear and concise communication. Not only will you be more efficient in the work place you will also develop stronger and more personable relationships!

Give it a try.

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

Meeting the Market – How to get the best out of your job search

Angela AndersonBy Angela Anderson

Recruitment is one of those industries where there’s always a new trend or issue to ‘jump’ on, and everyone has a story or opinion. As a relative newcomer to ‘the dark side’, there are a few consistent things I’ve observed, especially when it comes to candidates who successfully meet the market and get that job, time and time again.

First of all, they apply the ‘quality not quantity’ principle – meaning they don’t panic and apply for anything going! Instead they look for roles that fit with their career skills and experience, provide them with an opportunity to learn and develop (for example, in a new sector), and offer reasonable (not always top) rates. When I meet with these candidates, I’m impressed with their ‘big picture’ thinking – they’ve worked out how long their savings will last, what help their networks can offer, and the options they are prepared to consider if getting a job takes longer than expected. Some of these options might be taking on a short-term contract, relocating, or stepping down a level, just to get ‘back in the saddle’.

Another thing I’ve noticed about successful candidates is they stay connected to people who can help them. From recruiters to former colleagues to professional networks, they regularly seek out market ‘intel’ on current and potential roles, keeping themselves front of mind with these contacts. They also take on other forms of networking such as volunteering, doing some professional development, or posting in on-line blogs and discussions. As so many roles aren’t advertised, or have a very quick turnaround if they are, successful candidates keep their resume, referees, and LinkedIn profile up to date, ready for when that hiring manager or recruitment consultant calls.

Finally, and probably most importantly, consistently successful candidates are resilient. If they have moments of doubt or frustration about their job search – whether it be rejection for a role they really wanted, or withdrawal of a role after they did a great interview – they stay positive, upbeat, and ready to take any learnings and apply them in their next application. For them it’s all about rising to the challenges of the market and winning! – by getting that job.

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

Change Fatigue – What is it?

Change Fatigue – What is it?

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Is there such a thing as “change fatigue”? In my opinion, there most certainly is!!! It’s that sense of dread that comes when another change is just around the corner.

I understand change is an important part of organisational growth. But I don’t understand why it is continually managed so poorly, with such negative impacts on both staff and the business. The purpose of change is to ensure currency and competitiveness in the market, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and increase revenue, it is not to create stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed employees.

Leaders sometimes unfairly equate change fatigue to resistance to change. Not true. People like stability (we are human right… not robots), but we can quickly adapt to change, if it is introduced properly. Resistance is the push back often experienced because of the uncertainty the change may have, which can create unfounded fear. Successful change management and staff engagement can usually help, however unfortunately, many leaders fail to address this… jeopardizing organisational success. A stressed and unhappy workforce leads to lost productivity, lack of competiveness in the market, and ultimately a drop in the bottom line.

Change fatigue is the product of poor leadership. Leaders often fear they are missing some essential strategy, positioning or concept, often driving the implementation of change so that they don’t get left behind in the competitive world we operate in. While I understand the need for change, too much change can result in confusion, disorganisation and lack of competence. People become frustrated with the constant loss of productivity, the expense and effort of packing, moving, ordering new telephones or changing numbers, inducting and orientating new bosses, losing team members, gaining team members and living in a state of continual confusion.

I accept that change is constant, but I don’t accept that it cannot be managed better. This is the one of the key challenges for leaders, who must operate in a world of constant change. Our ability to respond to change, ultimately determines our success or otherwise, in a highly competitive market place. So it pays to take the time to get it right!!!

Are you feeling the change fatigue or want to know more about this space? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Resumes, I Have Seen It All!

By Kate Broadley

I’ve sent lots of resumes over my career and I’ve personally reviewed thousands.

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Some are fantastic, most are just ok, and many are just dreadful, sorry I know that hurts. The worst part is, I continue to see the same mistakes made over and over by candidates, who are then shortlisted out and eliminated from consideration for a job. What’s most depressing is that I can tell from the resumes that many of these individuals are really good and would offer much to the prospective employer. But in this fiercely competitive labor market (yes fiercely competitive is what I said) employers don’t need to compromise or even wonder if you might have the right skill set. All it takes is one small mistake and your resume will be rejected, there are many other well written resumes to consider.

I know this is well-worn ground, but I promise you, more than half of you have at least one of these mistakes on your resume. And I’d much rather see you win jobs than get passed over.

Typos. This one seems obvious, but it happens again and again. So please read your resume from bottom to top: reversing the normal order helps you focus on each line in isolation. Or have someone else proofread it for you.

Length. Some people believe that resumes should be one page. Some say two pages. Some say three. Many candidates for positions are frightened that if they don’t comply with some arbitrary length limit, their resume won’t get read. This is all nonsense as there are no so-called “rules”. You should provide sufficient detail so that employers and recruitment consultants realise that you understand the impact of your role, that you go about your work using a well-reasoned thought process, and you have the judgment, knowledge and other skills needed for the types of roles for which you are applying. The issue is not how long the resume is. It’s about whether it conveys enough information to differentiate you from the competition and gets you to that first interview. Once you’re in the room, the resume doesn’t matter much. So cut back your resume. It’s too long.

Formatting. Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible. At least ten point font, white paper, black ink and a reasonable margin on both sides of the page. Consistent spacing between lines, columns aligned with your name and contact information on every page. Your head shot, no matter how good you look in it, is unnecessary… your LinkedIn profile will usually suffice for employers who are interested in you (and if you don’t have your photo on LinkedIn, refer to my previous blog “How to build your professional brand”).

Of course, I shouldn’t have to mention it, but please, please don’t lie… you will get busted, its just a matter of time.

The good news is that if you can avoid these mistakes, you will be halfway there. In a future blog, I’ll talk about what you can do to make your resume stand out, other than the things to avoid!! Go on, review your resume and see if you can eliminate some of these mistakes.

Need help with your resume or want to know more? Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

How to Build Your Professional Brand

How to Build Your Professional Brand

By Kate Broadley

This is all very new to me, but is probably old hat to many of you in the commercial world!!

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

So I am going to start with the basics!!! LinkedIn is your friend, so create a LinkedIn profile and start connecting. I know there is not always time, but make time to ask and answer LinkedIn questions to increase your visibility. Please, please put a photo on your LinkedIn Profile, how can you brand yourself, if others can’t see you?…and yes it should be a professional corporate image, not one of your favourite holiday happy snaps!

Those of you who are sensitive about what others can see about you on LinkedIn need to take a breath and relax. You should check your settings and make sure your personal information is only visible to those you chose to make it visible to. Even I have learnt that you do really want people to read your profile, so the more visible it is the better!!

Why you ask?!! Well I did ask…and now I do understand. Your LinkedIn profile is your opportunity to showcase your talents for potential employers, clients or the like. So many companies have used LinkedIn to recruit candidates for employment. Recruitment specialists like Eden Ritchie often use LinkedIn to identify passive candidates. You might just be the passive candidate these companies are looking for, if only you had a personal brand.

To have a personal brand people need to know about you and what you do. Comment on other people’s blogs, write some articles, go to events, and network with your contacts. Be sure that all your endeavours are focused and relevant to both your skills and your career goals. Writing a well-written blog focused on your area of expertise is another good addition to your professional branding package.

Personal branding is about knowing people in your industry, so while I would love to toil away hidden in the office, I have learnt that you do need to make the time to meet with people, either online or in-person. Send them an email or a message, I can’t believe how many great people I have met, many of them because I sent them a quick email introducing myself or vice versa.

Building your brand isn’t a one shot wonder. It takes time to build a solid presence and should be an ongoing activity, built into your daily program. Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date, stay in touch with your contacts, build and maintain your network, and work on your branding on a regular basis. What’s that saying…nothing in life worth having is easy…. Or is it you get out what you put in!?!

Need help with your LinkedIn profile, contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter

Post and Pray vs. Passive Candidates

So what does “Post and Pray” mean? This is where you place a job advertisement and hope that great candidates with the right qualifications apply. As recruiting experts, we tend to disagree. I would much prefer to have control, which is why I am so interested in passive candidates in the market place.

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

So what is a passive candidate? A passive candidate isn’t necessarily looking for work, but they may be interested if the right job comes along. Employers often actively seek passive candidates, especially when they looking for people with very specific skills and experience.

When employers proactively recruit candidates, it’s called candidate sourcing and companies may look for candidates via LinkedIn and social networking sites, as well as working with recruiters to find qualified applicants.

Naturally many employers still choose to use the “post and pray” approach. More fool you in my opinion, but even I would have to concede that if used correctly this can play a role in helping you find the right person for that job. To ensure you get a better match of applicants to your post, make sure you use strategic keywords, keep the job description relevant and brief, and set the right expectations from the start. This can mean the difference between sorting through hundreds of unsuitable resumes to receiving a steady flow of qualified talent.

Recently I shortlisted for an administration role which had been advertised as “post and pray” through an external source, and there were over 250 applications…from which I struggled to find 10 suitable candidates to interview. Surely there is something wrong here, so forget the “post and pray” and start marketing your jobs in a way that influences the calibre of candidates you get.

Remember to visit our newly launched website for all your career information – www.edenritchie.com.au and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

“50 Shades of Grey” in HR

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By Kate Broadley

What did we do before the days of GPS or the soothing voice of Siri? Well many of us have spent some quality time driving around lost, as the map usually was no help, as it didn’t include the most recent streets and intersections. As daunting as this was, as a HR practitioner, this ambiguity is all part of a day in the office, as we navigate employment rules, regulations and issues, as well as the endless paperwork requirements.

But perhaps more daunting than that, is when we must deal with situations where there is no rulebook. For many, it’s those grey areas that are the most challenging. If you love logic and following rules, then this is not the job for you. Human interactions are, by their very nature, unpredictable and don’t follow any pattern. We as human resource practitioners must “reflect” to find the right solution to each specific situation, develop options and work towards an outcome. Hence, the principle that there are no right answers or standard processes that will generally hold true for all situations. So get comfortable with the “50 Shades of Grey”, if you want to be a truly good HR practitioner. Every single HR issue is unique and should be treated that way. But beware you need to be the sort of person who can jump in and treat each situation as unique without needing to apply the standard solution. Interested on hearing others thoughts on the “50 Shades of Grey” in the HR world.

The Queensland Election is Looming …

1D6A0555 Written by Kate Broadley

… And with this brings the impact of the caretaker conventions.

The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman is yet to announce the date for the State election, but what we do know is that it will be sometime soon. By convention, the government will then enter caretaker mode until the result of the election is known and, if there is a change of government, until the new government is appointed. Of course the normal business of government will continue during the caretaker period, however major approvals and decision are normally deferred.

Eden Ritchie Executive Scribing and Report Writing Services offer independence from an external third party, transparency, reliability of the interview process and fast turnaround of recruitment and selection documentation to the highest standards. Given the election will be called soon… now is the time to act and finalise those outstanding selection processes!!!

Our services include:

  • Screening applicants
  • Shortlisting of applications
  • Scribing for interviews, shortlisting meetings and panel deliberations
  • Providing immediate professional advice where difficult issues arise
  • Development of selection tools including effective interview questions, benchmarks or work tests
  • Reference checks
  • Criminal history and medical checks

For more information, contact Kate Broadley on 3230 0018 or 0448 858 178 or email kate@edenritchie.com.au.

Remember to visit our website and follow Eden Ritchie on LinkedIn to stay up to date with more industry news, careers and Eden Ritchie events.

ACHSM Breakfast Forum “Health IT Reform in Queensland Health – New Beginnings”

Written by: Bridget Young

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I entered the function room at Royal on the Park with trepidation, as I always do when arriving at networking events or forums – will I fall flat on my face and cause the whole room to turn and stare; will this be a valuable investment my managers and directors have made for my benefit; will I get some real market intelligence to help me with better serving my clients?

In direct order the answers to the above were No (thank God!); Yes (more thanks to the heavens!); and YES (FINALLY!). A public introduction to Queensland Health’s Chief Health Information Officer quickly confirmed why Mal Thatcher has been selected as the person to captain the sometimes ‘leaky boat’ that the public has often perceived as the IT component of our public health offering in Queensland.

With an ironic and self-deprecating sense of humour, it became immediately apparent that in keeping with Government’s Contestability and Fit for Purpose drivers, Mr Thatcher wanted us to know what he had achieved so far and was transparent about where he hoped to steer this ship moving forward.

Alignment with Health’s “Blueprint for Better Health “ and the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 will be forefront in the ‘devolution’ from centralised Corporate services, enabling adoption of an Agile approach to Policy, Governance and Architecture to facilitate innovation. With an intended reduction of red-tape and reallocation of responsibility and accountability to the regional Hospital and Health Services, we will ideally see Fit for Purpose solutions determined by those best informed to evaluate what will work for their unique requirements, whilst still maintaining integrity and future integration options.

A very strong focus on eHealth, innovation and waste reduction should further stimulate ICT job opportunities and find us on the cutting edge of Healthcare Technology. Some topics of note included Digital services such as open data, security/privacy and archiving; Information as a strategic asset; As A Service offerings; core system replacement and a paradigm shift from “IT Projects” to “Business Transformation Projects” with IT elements.

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.

The Art of Communication.

Attention future, past and present job seekers!

Please help us, help you.

Communication and timeliness are incredibly important when it comes to recruitment.  When we have new vacancies, we need to let candidates know, as soon as possible.  So my question is – what form of communication suits you best?  I understand it may differ if you are already working, which can make it hard to answer the phone, so does email or SMS work better?

When a role comes on board the majority of those will go on Seek, but we like to contact our existing database as effectively and quickly as possible. What types of communication mediums do you check most often? What is the easiest medium for you? To do our job as effectively as possible, we need to know how to best contact you.

Are there communication methods that we aren’t utilising and should be? Please let us know your preference and how we can improve getting job information through to you.

Feedback and constructive criticism are vital in all that we do!