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.

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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

LINKEDIN OR NOT LINKEDIN

Jane HarveyLINKEDIN OR NOT LINKEDIN – “Are you missing out on job opportunities?”

I think one of the most prevalent reasons why people get a LinkedIn profile is to connect with job opportunities out there.

You need to be aware that even if you have the skills and the experience perfect for a certain jobs, recruiters will not notice these if you don’t have the right LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is the tool of choice for recruiters to find candidates to fill jobs. Most recruiters now use LinkedIn to find job candidates with over 50 percent of recruiters say that they solely use LinkedIn for recruiting.

So this is why your LinkedIn profile and how it is set up is crucial to getting the opportunities that matter. So how can you make sure you have the right profile?

So here are some tips to think about:

Decide who your profile is for – Who do you want reading your information and what do you want your profile to say about you? If you’re looking for work (which most people are), then don’t just list your previous jobs, summarise the skills you used, the outcome of your efforts, and any achievements. Mentioning the types of clients you worked with is also a good idea so people can see the level and scope of your experience. LinkedIn is a free marketing tool and you’re aiming to impress so keep in mind who it actually is you’re trying to impress.

Complete ALL your profile – I see loads of profiles where the person hasn’t even bothered to fill out every section or doesn’t even have a photo. It looks dreadful and makes them appear extremely unprofessional at best. It’d actually be better for your professional reputation to delete your profile completely!

Remember people like to put a face to a person. Imagine that you were the one trying to find a person to fill a job. Would you try to connect to someone who does not have a profile picture or someone who has and has a complete LinkedIn profile?

Headline your Profile – LinkedIn is more of a professional social network. So make sure you have an exciting headline that ensures recruiter’s attention is captured. A great headline also matters because it affects how a profile shows up in searches. I can’t believe I have to say this, but please make sure there are no typographical errors! What do errors in your headline say about the kind of work you will offer an organisation if you are hired?

Make sure your profile has the right keywords – Think of this as LinkedIn search engine optimization. This ensures you will increase your chance that recruiters looking for a specific skill or experience will see you.

Connect with Recruiters – Ensure you are connected to recruiters, or in fact any one else who may influence decisions of companies on who to hire.

Finally for all of you who are not on LinkedIn yet, I know having a great profile entails a good deal of effort but it is worth it if it helps in landing you the right job.

Are you Linked In?

Linda ParkerThe power of an on line job board has changed dramatically over the past few years.

Whilst we in the recruitment industry have used the major job boards since their inception, in recent times they have simply become a supporting tool for recruiters. For me, job boards are certainly not a proactive tool or the most effective tool to source key talent across a range of disciplines.

Now, without wanting to sound like I’m on their payroll (because I’m most definitely not!), LinkedIn has become an effective and powerful head hunting tool, and all you as the job seeker has to do, is keep your profile current and active, at no cost other than your time.  LinkedIn also has a job search area, and you may even discover that the most amazing and newsworthy opportunities can be found here – such as this unique role posted a couple of days ago (and has subsequently been filled)…

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Seriously though… a client reminded me just this week how effective LinkedIn can be after she was approached by a CFO within her network to take on a senior finance position. No formal selection process was carried out, just a couple of casual phone conversations and assurance from key references that she was the right candidate for the role.

In a market where a large number of candidates are applying for roles through job boards, how are you making yourself visible and standing out from the crowd?

The Future of Social Media for Business in 2013

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The telltale signs of another year drawing to a close are here – there’s glittering mountains of tinsel draped around the office, your co-workers are not-so-subtly pressing you for hints about Secret Santa gift ideas and retail workers have the first signs of a slow descent into madness in their eyes, brought on by Michael Bublé’s Christmas album being played steadily on repeat.

XmasI haven’t slept in 72 hours because I can’t get the words to ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ out of my head! Awesome!’

So what does next year hold for business in terms of social media? It’s been fascinating to watch it develop over the past year, and it continues to expand and evolve exponentially in short periods of time. Wishes and predictions included, here is just a tiny portion of the developments we can expect next year –

MS Outlook 2013 Will Offer One-Click LinkedIn and Facebook Integration

The new version of Microsoft Outlook, slated for release to the general public in the first quarter of 2013, will include a revamped LinkedIn and Facebook Social Connector which will allow the user to simply sign in once using their login details, with no additional download required for Outlook to sync with LinkedIn or Facebook. New features and previous ones include:

  • When a contact card is displayed, it will include information extracted from LinkedIn and FB (subject to the individuals privacy settings).
  • An add button displayed next to any email sender which allows you to easily invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • The latest activity of anyone who emails you and is a connection will be displayed at the bottom of their emails to you.

Emails are Becoming Obsolete

As social media continues to grow, it continues to change the way we approach interaction with each other – this is also true in a business capacity, rendering emails a backdated form of communication. So in order to keep up with these changing dynamics, companies may be inclined to follow Atos CEO Thierry Breton’s 2011 idea of making email obsolete by issuing a memorandum that discouraged the sending and receiving of internal emails. With an abundance of different ways to converse (Twitter, Sharepoint2013, LinkedIn) and share information (Dropbox, Wikis) available at the moment, there’s no better time to test what works best for you and your company.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Outplacement Services – A Good Investment or Money Wasted?

Recently I have been providing outplacement services to Queensland Government executives as part of the Queensland Government employee assistance program. For many years government jobs were considered untouchable, but government is no longer immune to the constricting economy, and they too have to make efficiencies while at the same time maintaining the services the community expects.

By the time many of us get to Executive level positions in government, we feel that we are institutionalised and are too proud to think that outplacement services will be of any benefit.

Well, let me be the first to tell you, those of us who have been employed in government for long periods of time (me included), have lost our mojo in terms of what the private sector market is looking for in a prospective employee.

My experience working with executives as part of the outplacement services has highlighted the barriers that they face, not only in terms of the outdated tools used to promote themselves in the employment market, their lack of personal self worth, but also their limited knowledge of the market.

You would be well advised to seek independent advice and support to help you transition into this market. As you could very well spend a lot of time barking up the wrong tree, especially if you use the resume you have always used in government. You could waste a lot of time and energy being upset with not getting that call, when you know you have all the right skills and experience. Not only will you get upset but it is also a blow to your already fragile self-esteem.

Outplacement services can assist you to to build your confidence and ability to sell yourself to prospective employers.

So take advantage of coaching and support outplacement services. Yes there may be a cost, but ask yourself the question – Are you and your career are worth the expense? It is these very services that will help you prepare yourself for the market and find those opportunities.

LinkedIn – what is this?  It’s a business tool to promote your qualifications, skills and experience. Many employers no longer advertise in the traditional newspaper or even on Seek. They are using LinkedIn – Recruiters are looking for candidates through this medium too. So get on board, or you may be missing valuable opportunities.  In this job market, opportunities are not to be missed.

Preparation is key.  Evaluate your options, identify your best opportunities, create an outstanding resume, use social media and learn to interview effectively.  This takes time, planning, commitment and effort on your part.

We are here to help you navigate your way through this new world of opportunity. Contact us to discuss career transition, psychological testing, career coaching, creating a red hot resume, using social media to find employment opportunities and tips for preparing for that dreaded interview.