The Perfect Resume

By Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

Kate Broadley

I usually spend less than 5 minutes reviewing a resume, and research suggests that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume before they make the initial decision on candidates. That means you have to win them over fast. So what makes a perfect resume? There is no perfect resume format, but some are closer to perfect than others. At the end of the day, your skillset and qualifications will get you the job. However a great resume will be the key to getting that job interview. So here are a few key points to consider.

A new idea of mine, given the growth of social media, is to make sure your resume includes a URL to your professional online profile. Employers and recruiters look up a candidate’s online profile, so why not just include your URL along with your contact information in your resume.

Don’t include an objective statement, it is so yesterday. There’s no point in including a generic objective about “a professional looking for opportunities that will allow me to leverage my skills”. It’s not helpful, it’s distracting, so just ditch it. Replace it with an executive summary, which should be similar to a “30-second elevator pitch” explaining who you are and what you’re looking for. In approximately three to five sentences, explain what you’re great at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer.

Use reverse chronological order. This means anyone reading your resume is able to see what you’ve been doing in recent years immediately. More space should be allocated to the more recent positions, since this is where your most important achievements are usually found.

Identify keywords consistent with the job advertisement or role description and incorporate them into your resume (assuming you have those skills).

Ensure you describe your past experience, skills and achievements. This should be changed for every job you apply for to ensure prospective employers understand why you are perfect for the job. Include your achievements, as it is not sufficient to simply state the roles and responsibilities that you have held. It is vital to illustrate and even quantify the outcomes you delivered. This is a testament to how you have added value to an organisation, and can include the money you saved or brought in for your employer, deals closed, and projects delivered on time or under budget.

As I said in one of my previous blogs, “you get out what you put in”, so be prepared to spend some time on your resume and refine it a number of times until it is right. It is part of your toolkit, to nailing that next job.

Need help with your resume or want to know more? 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.

“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.

G20 Summit – Hello Brisbane!

By Justine Eden

Justine

With the G20 Summit set to roll into Brisbane this week, we thought it would be perfect timing to reflect on what this means for you and for Brisbane.

For starters, if you work in the Brisbane local government area, this Friday the 14th November is a public holiday. With the amazing weather we are currently experiencing and from all media reports on how busy the Brisbane area will be, it may be the best time to get out of Brisbane and enjoy what it is to live in the ‘sunshine state’!

Things to do, so many things to do! The Summit also means there is a range of activities that you can attend including the Global Café. The Global Café will see 75 international experts discuss issues critical to our future at Brisbane City Hall. Check out these links to find out what else is on:

What does it mean for Brisbane and in turn Queensland? As a Brisbane based business, focused on the success and growth of Queensland for over 18 years, we think it shines a light on the growing economy and international reputation of our state and capital. Letting the world know that major events and opportunities have a perfect destination right here in Brisbane. This will no doubt continue to encourage economic development and future ideas for the state of Queensland.

However you look at it, the G20 Summit is arriving this week and there are many ways to we can make the best out of the opportunity. And, of course, our team will be working up until Thursday, so feel free to contact us with any of your recruitment questions.

Don’t forget to follow Eden Ritchie Recruitment on Linkedin and Twitter to stay in touch with all that is happening in the Eden Ritchie world!

Eden Ritchie’s 18th Birthday Celebration

Gallery

This gallery contains 15 photos.

On Wednesday night Eden Ritchie Recruitment celebrated a successful 18 years of business … we would like to take this opportunity to share some photos from the evening and say a very big thank you to everyone who took the time of their … Continue reading

The Infrastructure Future is looking bright!!

By: Nikki ChapmanNikki Harding

So with the festive season now a blurred distant memory, we again begin to speculate what’s going to be different this year from last? What projects will magically appear to drag our current unemployment rate down from 6%  – the worst figures in almost a decade.

Well here’s some food for thought, currently in Queensland alone there is almost $5.5 billion worth of infrastructure, road and rail projects currently up for grabs with the ‘expression of interest’ or EOI’s being sent out, or tenders currently underway.

Some of these projects include:

  • Toowoomba second range crossing valued at $1.7billion
  • Gateway motorway upgrade valued at $1.2billion
  • Kingsford Smith drive upgrade valued at $650million
  • The Under River Tunnel valued at $2.2billion.

These projects although not beginning in some cases until early to mid 2015, will require numerous skill sets prior to construction, especially in the estimating, planning, contracts and procurement spaces as well as conceptual and detailed design and engineering, creating a flow on effect for other areas.

So whilst the market may seem bleak at present, there is a silver lining on that cloud of skepticism, and whilst I don’t have a crystal ball I do believe that with a sense of renewed confidence we can optimistically look forward to what looks to be a much better year for those looking to grab hold of the next challenging role in their career.

The Election Aftermath!

Jamie Harding

So, after months of discussion, debate, confusion and uncertainty, the election has been and gone!! After months of talking about it, the “Bright New Future” we were all promised is apparently here and we are told “Australia is open for business”…..or is it?!?

Election night provided high drama and long speeches, and as a Pom experiencing my first Aussie election, I was fascinated to hear that people held Election night parties, cancelling their usual Saturday night escapades in favour of a night in front of the TV.  And so, out of sheer curiosity, I too also tuned in to watch what all the fuss was about!!

Whether or not you tuned in to Channel 9’s coverage, with an ever grinning Karl and Lisa and a huge panel complete with a lady with a bright fish patterned blouse and numerous graphics of defeated (Labour) candidates being dropped into a shark tank and eaten, or you watched the more sedate and informative ABC coverage- what unfolded was exciting and dramatic and I must admit kept me glued to the TV!

So, now the dust has settled, what does the result mean for Australia and especially families and business’ in Queensland.  The good old Sunshine State seems to have dealt its current state representatives a wake up call by bucking the national trend and supporting (predominantly) Labor.  Has the result provided clarity, green shoots of economic recovery or will it mean more money in the pocket of Australians and Queenslanders?  Only time will tell…….

Even before the new government has been sworn in, this week has seen more positive news within the mining sector, the dollar up, markets trading higher and, according to the Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment released on Wednesday, consumer confidence is at its highest since 2010.  So far, so good!!!

It is early days but what is certain is that the new administration has a big job on its hands and with Australians, and business’ watching, it will need to act quickly to show that Australia really is open for business.

Innovation in Healthcare

Last week our Health Recruitment team at Eden Ritchie Recruitment successfully planned and launched our first ever round table event for healthcare professionals. Held in conjunction with Medical Journal Australia (MJA) Jobs, who recently launched their new careers page, we could not be more happy with the outcomes and the environment we helped create to allow like-minded healthcare professionals share ideas and network with their peers.

Our clients and the continual range of questions and conversations we heard across all the industries we work with drove this event and led us to the theme of ‘How to deliver safe and quality healthcare in the current financial climate with a health system focus.’

There has been much media lately in regards to the commercialisation of government assets as well as the move to a national health system structure that it seemed logical to include this topic, and we thought correct with 3 of the 4 tables focusing on this broad topic.

A further challenge for the healthcare industry has and will continue to be is the issue of workforce, which includes recruitment and retention especially in remote and regional locations and in a changing workforce landscape. This became our second topic and proved to reveal some of the most interesting insights and innovations of the night (i.e. Nurse wants a farmer).

Eden Ritchie Recruitments Health division and MJA Jobs team invited over 100 people and at final count on the night we had 35 people attend. Proving that even with the challenge of national budget night we still managed to draw quite a crowd, Again this made us realize the topic and concept to connect the health industry together to bounce ideas and generate discussion in a facilitated open forum is the right direction.

We really need to thank our facilitators for their passion and commitment on the night to guide each of the groups. Firstly for working with the tables to think up creative ideas, before working them towards a unique or innovative approach to the problem of ‘commercialisation and workforce in the current financial climate with a health system focus’.

All of our clients who attended on the night have spoken fantastically about the night and are looking forward to both the follow up report that will detail the ideas and table summaries as well as our next event to build on these ideas and connections further.

SueTTo find out more follow us on LinkedIn and look for our Health Innovation group in LinkedIn as well.

To fill or find?

Recruitment is an interesting business and I honestly think one of the few modern business areas that can have such a dramatic impact on the success of a business. As a topic, it is one I could write and debate about for way too long. However this week for the Eden Ritchie Recruitment blog I wanted to focus on just a small part of this idea.SueT

As a recruiter I have often been faced with the dilemma of am I just filling the role or am I finding the right candidate for the role and organisation. Sometimes this is driven by the client themselves with their need to just have a ‘bum on seat’, a topic that really deserves a whole blog to itself. The other part of the dilemma is finding the right candidate and what do they look like?

An article I recently read really hit home on this topic and I thought I would give my spin on it all, check out the story here – http://www.fordyceletter.com/2013/04/25/30-client-questions-that-will-save-you-time-and-make-you-money/

The articles lead idea matches my thoughts exactly – preparation is the key to not only understanding what the ideal candidate looks like but also developing the ‘business partner’ relationship with the client.

I realise in our industry time is a massive factor in how we do our job, and I know this can be an issue, however I think there is always time to make a plan of attack before we run that magical search.

My ideal way to find out what a client wants in a candidate is, at the basic level asks these key questions. From the clients response to these questions I will drill down my search criteria.

The candidate profile questions:

  • Why is the position vacant,
  • When do you need someone,
  • How does the role impact on you and/or the business,
  • Forget the position description, what are YOU looking for,
  • What makes this role attractive to people in this field,
  • What does success look like for this person,
  • Is there any absolute or mandatory requirements,
  • What is on offer,
  • When are you free to interview and can we lock it in now.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the questions you ask to find out what a client really wants in a candidate and if you have found this useful.

The Healthy, Happy Workplace

After coming back from a client visit to Toowoomba this week, where it is always noticeably cooler than Brisbane, it dawned on me that summer was truly over and that winter is just around the corner. Now for me, and probably most people who work in an office, this tends to mean more hours inside, less exercise and a greater consumption of the bad things that aren’t good for me! SueT

Add in the fact that we also spend most of our waking hours at work and travelling to and from work (not to mention the amount of time we spend thinking about it), our workplace health and wellbeing should be our number one concern.

For me the above is oh so true and even though I have worked in the health industry for over 10 years and ‘know better’, I have to honestly say that work/life balance has not always come first.

As I mentioned before, I am fairly sure most of us are in the same mindset. We want to be successful at work, we want to do what’s right for our team, yet what I think plagues most businesses and industries, is that the average person is stressed and doesn’t make the time to exercise or eat right. This inevitably reflects on the performance and attitudes of people at work.

When speaking with my colleagues and friends about this topic, I found that we all try different ways to keep ourselves healthy and happy in our personal lives. However when asked the additional question of “what do we do about our professional lives to keep us happy and healthy?” the point of view was very different.

I have seen many articles stating that wellbeing contributes to a healthy, happy, motivated and engaged workforce. In turn this positive wellbeing in the workplace has been shown to lower employee absence, keeps stress levels down and arguably helps to retain employees.

In the current financial climate, there are many low-cost and innovative ways to help your workforce in staying and getting healthy and happy. It could be as simple as having fresh fruit available, providing the opportunity to have an extra hour for lunch to go to the gym, contributing towards a gym membership, flexible working hours so that you can exercise in the mornings before work or leave early to exercise after work, group fitness sessions (group walks or activities) and access to information on how to keep healthy and happy.

There is literally an endless range of unique and low cost ideas you could offer your team to inspire them to being healthy and happy. So what does your organisation do, to encourage and support you in being healthy and happy at work?

Don’t forget to check out our homepage and follow us on LinkedIn from here – http://www.edenritchie.com.au/

Stand out from the pack

It’s not the most positive way to start this weeks blog, however with an increase in unemployment rates, it has become extremely competitive in the employment market. The more people looking for employment, means organisations, including recruitment agencies, are being overwhelmed with candidates keen to find a new opportunity.

With the urgency people are feeling to find employment and the sheer numbers in the market, you do need to ensure you stand out from the crowd. Now the question is, what will make the employer or recruiter take interest in your application over any of the others?

Now the positive part, here are some of my simple tips to ensure you stand out from the crowd.Mel1

The job

So you have just searched some job boards or social media and found what looks like an ideal role. Reading over the description, you are thinking, I could do this job. You read the requirements they want and in your mind you are ticking off each point, yes Yes YES!  Now what do you do?

Contact them first

Make contact with the recruiter or employer. Ask questions, find out more information that may not be in the position description or advertisement and show a genuine interest in the position. This also ensures they might keep an eye out for YOUR application when it comes through or at least have a connection to your name over candidates who do not call.

Follow up

I cannot emphasise this enough. Follow up and check on your application’s progress. As a general guide, leave it a couple of days before you first follow up, and chase up unanswered messages – but not too often. You want to show an interest in the position without getting in the road of recruiters doing their day-to-day work.

Get the person’s or company name right

Its important to take the time to get the basics right. It’s hard to make a good impression if you haven’t taken the time or effort to double-check who you’re speaking with or how to pronounce the company name. This includes ensuring your cover letter is addressed correctly.

Tailor your resume

Your resume is the most critical part of the application process.  It will determine whether or not you get an interview. Tailor your previous history around responsibilities and achievements to highlight what the organization is looking for in their position description. Listing specific industry related information like projects, methodologies, technologies, frameworks, functions, qualifications and trainings do make a different.

Make your resume catchy

Remember this is your pitch, your glossy sales brochure, selling you to the client. You want to spark an interest in your skills and experience. Focus on achievements and use short but sharp summaries for each position that draw the reader in.

Prioritise information

You need to engage the reader in the first couple of pages so a strong executive summary at the beginning of your resume and cleverly thinking about the layout will ensure they continue reading. Make sure everything in your resume is relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Apply early

Getting your application in early shows a number of positive traits, and if you beat the pack of applicants who leave it to the last minute, your application will be one of the first they see.

If you need more information about resume preparation we have more information available on our website.  http://www.edenritchie.com.au/contracting/resumes_coverletters.php

 

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)…

pope-linked-in

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?

How Connected Are You?

JustineYou work hard, you study hard, but yet the person sitting next to you gets the promotion…  Had this happen to you?

It is a common occurrence – but often the act of establishing and maintaining professional connections and networks are overlooked by many.

Ask yourself – when was the last time you attended a professional networking forum, or made a new business contact outside of your organisation…

It is easy between the demands of work and home to ignore this aspect – but yet it has a significant impact on our career and how high we rise up the ladder. The hidden job market is alive and well, with many people appointed to key roles because of the professional connections they have.

As the old saying goes “It’s not what you know – but who you know”.

If you have ever employed someone – you will know there is a great degree of comfort employing someone you know or know of through a trusted source.

Social media now provides an avenue to establish new contacts and renew others you may have lost.  You can ask for endorsements, recommendations and referrals.

Professional associations hold training and networking sessions that you can attend.  Conferences often provide the opportunity to meet new people within your profession or industry.

On another scale – community based involvement with schools or associations opens up access to a range of individuals often outside of your normal working life.

Sitting back and waiting for a promotion or new opportunity is a thing of the past.  In this climate – only the proactive survive and thrive.

Think about it.  How much more effective would you be in securing that key promotion if instead of applying – you were recommended?

By Justine Eden

The Future of Social Media for Business in 2013

goober

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?

Making the Move from Government to Commercial

Linda ParkerHave you recently taken a redundancy from the State Government and considering the move into a commercial organisation?

You are not alone.

In the current market more and more candidates are attempting the transition from the public sector to the private sector.

Unfortunately there is a ‘public servant’ myth, which can hinder your ability to even get an interview. So how do you convince the hiring manager of a successful blue chip organisation that you have what it takes to work in a fast paced environment?

Tips to bear in mind when presenting your application to a commercial organisation, or through a recruitment agency, is to highlight the ‘commercial’ aspects of your previous roles and have a clear plan in mind.

Do your research!! Going into an interview without any prior knowledge of the company and its operations or strategic vision is a sure fire way to not get the job!

In recent years, Government organisations have been recruiting candidates with commercial experience in order to change the culture and drive greater efficiencies and performance. This argument can be used to flip the public servant perception on its head.

Private sector employers who fail to recruit the most talented employees, and prejudice themselves against people with different career backgrounds are unintentionally exposing their own management weaknesses. Their inability to recognise that public sector workers have an enormous amount to offer suggests a lack of foresight on their part and can potentially make them appear narrow minded.

There are so many strengths that you can bring to a role in the private sector including your ability to manage change and varying levels of bureaucracy, not to mention multi-million dollar budgets!

Take the time to think about what you can offer, and sell it!

If you’re currently preparing your CV, or would just like to enhance your current one, this article from Business Insider offers some great advice on what to avoid putting in your resume.

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.

Culture Fit or Bigotry?

As discussed in the blog ‘Technical Skills VS. Cultural Fitthree weeks ago by Tom from our office, Culture Fit is an important part of the selection criteria when searching for an employee. However, the lines between culture fit and bigotry can tend to become blurred, often despite the best efforts of the employer.

The term ‘culture’ when used in this context does not refer to a person’s race, sex or religion – it is used to describe the overall mentality and atmosphere of a particular workplace. If you are rejected for a role because of culture fit concerns, it has nothing to do with your country of origin, your gender or your beliefs and everything to do with your demonstrated attitude and it’s incongruity with the potential workplace.

Are you tearing at your hair in frustration and crying out:

What does it all mean, Basil?!

Then look at it this way – you apply for a role, which, on paper, is you all over. You’ve got the right skills, the money looks good and you’d be comfortable performing the duties. You interview briefly but excellently, dazzling the panel with your technical skills, rich experience and musky odours, and succeed in obtaining the role.  Then, several weeks into your new role, you find yourself at odds with your colleagues and disagreeing with the company ethos. You continue to do your work superbly, but there’s a growing dissatisfaction in you and suddenly, you want out. Why work for someone or something you don’t agree with?

It’s not okay because if they take my
stapler then I’ll set the building on fire…

You resign, leaving your employer with an empty role and the prospect of another lengthy recruitment process, and you with a worrying blip on your resume that you have to explain to the next company you apply to.

The above scenario is not ideal for either party, and could have been avoided, had culture fit been taken into account during the recruitment process. Despite this, there is a belief floating around that ‘culture fit’ is just a convenient way for employers to disguise rampant discrimination in their hiring policies. This could very easily be true, and in some cases, sadly is. But if a company chooses to discriminate against candidates because of race, gender or religion, they are doing damage solely to themselves. Bigotry and bias in a recruitment process can make employers miss out on the perfect candidate for the role, leaving a person who has the ‘right’ skin colour but second rate skills to perform the work. And if a company is found to be actively discriminating against persons, then all hell will certainly break loose.

However, if a company does not discriminate and also chooses to recognize culture fit as a key selection criterion, then they will wind up with a technically ideal employee who also enjoys their work environment and co-exists happily with their colleagues. These combined factors lead to increased employee satisfaction, higher staff retention rates and open collaboration between staff members.

Redundancy – The Worst Thing Ever or The Opportunity of a Life Time

Recently we have been subject to the headlines of significant job reductions being the focus of Queensland Government. More and more people are finding themselves faced with uncertainty and possibilities of redundancy.

Tempting as the money is, and your dream to go on a long vacation, away from the trials and tribulations of the work environment, reality is, the money only lasts for so long.  The commitment to a mortgage, school fees and ongoing costs means that most of us must continue to work.

So how do you make that transition from working in government or working in an organization that you have known forever to the world of the great unknown?

As frightening as this may be, a career transition can sometimes be a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to make positive change to your career. It all depends on how you approach it. Of course you can fight and resist change, and most of us do this for a period of time.  But how about working through this resistance and then allowing yourself to explore the open door ahead of you.

Take advantage of this moment in your life and honestly ask yourself, do I love what I do?  Whether you answer yes or no, it doesn’t matter as you have just been given a huge opportunity to make what might be the biggest change in your life. It is important to remember the skills you have gained within your career can be used anywhere, and that there are opportunities for the future.

It isn’t so much about the job but more about leaving what feels comfortable and what you know.  Taking you out of your comfort zone. It is exploring the unknown, which can make us hesitate when making a decision.

Why not take advantage of coaching and support outplacement services. Yes there may be a cost, but aren’t you worth it. It is these very services that will help you see this moment as an opportunity to review your career and take on new challenges. Lets face it, most of us would have been reluctant to embark upon this journey, while employed under the safety net of permanent employment.

Preparation is the 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. You cannot expect that this transition will occur without speed bumps on the way.

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.

Got to love a woman with a cause!

Having lost a great friend to suicide 12 years ago, Bronwen Edward’s cause Roses in the Ocean resonates strongly with me.

Bronwen has her own story to tell, having lost her gorgeous brother 4 years ago to suicide – and as a way of stemming the tide she has created an amazing concept.

Last year Bronwen ran an off road marathon in high altitude Peru to raise money and awareness with the aim of decreasing and preventing suicide.

I know her ankles and feet suffered badly from the rocky terrain and as a non-runner I feel humbled by her resolve.  It makes me want to do more and annoyed that I haven’t already.

So what is Roses in the Ocean all about?  It is a week long event, kicking off on the 31st of August and leading into World Suicide Prevention Day.

Bronwen’s vision is:

“For people across the planet to place ‘Roses in the Ocean’ in the week leading into World Suicide Prevention Day, and in doing so, help stem the tide of suicide through raising awareness and openly discussing the suicide crises in our communities.”

While attempting to get some momentum, Bronwen has encountered the usual road blocks and bureaucracy you often encounter – but this has not lessened her resolve.

And so the campaign has gone viral in an initial attempt to get as many people on board and involved as possible.

As many friends and family have been contacted and asked to do what they can to raise money and seek to address this often hidden issue that has such devastating impacts.

I will do what I can and promote this cause to as many people as I can.  I will be buying and sending roses through the Roses in the Ocean website to my work colleagues (http://rosesintheocean.com.au) and family.  And on Friday the 31st of August – I will go to the beach and throw a rose into the ocean and think of my gorgeous friend Dirk, who I miss more than anything.

Looking for a change – Ever considered overseas job opportunities?

Ever dreamt about securing a role with an overseas company and combining work with your love of adventure and travel? With the global job boards and the use of Skype it has never been easier if you are thinking about an international move.  With South East Asia still going through aggressive growth – the Aussie and Kiwi  “right of passage” no longer necessarily means going to the UK for a 2-year stint.

Australian experience is highly regarded in the Asian business market and opportunities closer to home in Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam have become increasingly accessible in recent times, with most organisations doing business in English, the request for Australian/NZ qualifications is more prevalent than ever.

But before you think about such a life-changing move you need to consider the pros and cons and what it will mean to your career.  Questions to ask and things to consider; what is the financial reward/tax regime in the country you are considering, is the organsiation and role going to add value to your resume and future job prospects, what are the conditions of your employment contract.

Do your research, understand the cost of living in a foreign country and if all the stars align why wouldn’t you take the chance and immerse yourself in a different culture for a few years, you might be surprised what you learn and what it will do for your career.

Life adventures and considered risks are never a bad thing in my opinion.

2011: THE YEAR THAT WAS

Coming into 2011 in the middle of the Queensland floods, was a very nervous time for business in Queensland.  Having just recovered from the 2008/2009 down turn, everyone was talking the market up late 2010 and we were all very confident going into the New Year.

Then bang, just like that things changed, or so we thought. Like most people in Brisbane we returned from xmas holidays early, preparing for another down turn and strategising about how we would work through it.  But I am very pleased to say we were wrong.  By late January market confidence was back up on track, the phones started ringing off the hook; organisations and government entities alike were back to the business of running their businesses.

The media still talk about recession and economic uncertainty but within the recruitment industry it is more “recession, what recession?” but we have had to work harder and smarter than ever before.  In the sectors we consult in – I.T., Accounting, Executive and Health – candidates are once again in the driving seat.  Whether this is a reflection of what is happening in the mining and resources sector or not, we are seeing candidates in the position of having multiple choices about which role to accept.  This in turn started to push salaries and hourly rates up further as companies became desperate to secure staff for the positions, but I believe in recent times common sense has prevailed as employers have remained budget conscious and paying what the role and experience is worth.  Thank god we have not reverted to the craziness of 2007 when people were being counter offered $30K plus just to stay put.

The I.T. division has experienced outstanding growth in 2011 – with many major projects still kicking along, the demand for Project and Program Managers, outstanding Business Analysts and high-level technical experts has never been as good.  BUT, what we have seen happen this year, is government entities making the decision to stop projects that are not progressing and deciding to put the $$$ to better use.  So candidates assuming that a long-term project is an easy ride are now being kept on their toes to deliver results or risk that they may not have a contract at all.

Whilst the Accounting market is not the resilient market it once was there have been many large projects that have kept us and our candidates busy throughout the year. With a push by organsiations to employ technically astute candidates, CPA/CA/CIMA qualifications are becoming a minimum rather than a desired requirement, so candidates take note, push a little harder and get your qualification, it makes you so much more sought after in the current market.

Our newest division Health has had a great year, this area has seen a move for us into clinical and broader health roles.  This has been exciting and challenging for those involved, with the successful placement of the Chief Nurse for Qld and numerous Executive levels roles across both the private and public sectors we believe 2012 will be an even greater year for Eden Ritchie’s Health Division.

Not surprisingly recruitment in the North Queensland and Bowen Basin has been very busy, whilst the companies and positions on offer have been great, the challenge has been the lack of residential housing and cost of living associated within his region.  If the mining boom continues, the next couple of years are going to be challenging for businesses to attract people to the region, as not everyone wants a FIFO option.  Additionally, the pressure on Local Governments to fix and build further infrastructure to support the growth is essential.

With both Local, State and potentially Federal government elections looming you can be sure a lot will be promised to fix this but what actually is delivered is another thing.  I would be interested to hear other’s opinions on this as the tide is turning at all levels of government and I believe we are in for a turbulent year in politics.  Hold onto your hats it is about to get nasty.

So where do I think we will be in 2012 – ever the optimist, I believe the economy is stronger than the media portray, that may be naive as we are living in the 2nd busiest state after WA in the country, but that is the position I will continue to take.  We spend a lot of time going into organisations and government entities and talking about the future with the Executives and whilst some are cautious due to elections, Europe, the Australian $ etc. most are taking the view that we have work to do and no matter what governments are in office commerce still needs to keep moving along.

I for one have had a great 2011 and would like to thank our staff, candidates and most of all loyal and long-term clients who continue to work with our business.
Bring on 2012, we are all ready to hit it hard.

Written by Kim Ritchie