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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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

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?

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

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.

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!

Social Media and Job Seeking

Job seeking prior to the Internet. I can only imagine what a bleak time it was for humanity – akin to the dark ages perhaps. I have images of street urchins with black coal stained faces going door to door in search of employment, desperately trying to earn enough shillings to support their stricken families. But then again, I’m a Gen Y’er and since my first job, I’ve had sites such as Seek and Career One to simplify the process.

These sites mean a job seeker can browse hundreds of available jobs, find the perfect job for them and apply for it, all in a matter of minutes (depending on how fussy you are). Technology is a blessing for job seekers, however it is definitely a double-edged sword.

While job boards and networks like LinkedIn offer effective tools to find jobs and distribute resumes, people must remain conscious of the fact that their personal lives are also available to potential employers, should the employers choose to search for them. And that’s how simple it is – type in a name, click search and anything from personal images to videos and conversations are presented to anyone who cares to look for them. Thank God for privacy options. However some people just plain forget the basic things like ‘don’t make those pictures of you passed out in a bear suit available to the public’ or ‘don’t add your boss on Facebook’, resulting in situations such as this:
But how far do employers have a right to go? Is it acceptable for them to seek out your personal profiles? Is it acceptable for them to ask you for your login and password so they can enter your accounts themselves? A company needs to know what sort of person they’re going to employ, but not at the expense of individuals right to privacy. But with social media, privacy is becoming more and more ambiguous. It’s a wonderful tool, useful in so many different ways, but people need to bear in mind during their use of it that their personal information is about to be projected into the Internet ether and that it will be available for access to millions of people and that, for the most part, your privacy is controlled by you.

Are you a recruiter or responsible for hiring decisions? What do you think? This is an open debate – do any job seekers out there have experiences they want to share?