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.

2013 in Queensland – a positive outlook or more of the same?

Dan2012 was a tough year for many Queenslander’s with the employment market suffering from a lack of Government spending on projects and infrastructure. The large number of redundancies across the Government sector as well as the reduced confidence of the large mining and resources companies all contributed to a significant reduction in the hiring of both contract and permanent staff across most industries in Queensland throughout 2012.

With 2013 now in full swing, what is the outlook for the remainder of the year? We have seen a steady increase in the number of contract and permanent opportunities throughout the first couple of months of year which is certainly a welcome change from the last quarter of 2012. After a strict spending freeze since the election in March last year, the State Government appears to slowly be ramping up its spending on new projects which has created the increased need for contractors with specialist skills to help deliver key initiatives.

The lowering of interest rates by the RBA over the past six months has increased confidence in the Australian economy and has seen many commercial sector organisations increase their recruitment to help meet deadlines and drive growth. We have seen a significant increase in the number of permanent roles in Queensland compared to the past 6 months.

Overall, the increase in Government spending combined with the increase in confidence in the Australian economy certainly bodes well for the year ahead. With the Government’s need to deliver critical services across the state, we should see a substantial increase in the amount spent on projects for the remainder of the year. For anyone looking for a new role, this should have a positive impact as the number of both permanent and contract opportunities rapidly increases to meet the demand of employers.