Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to Future Proof Your Career

Article by Belinda Fuller

What will the world look like in 20 years from now? I remember well the day as a young marketer, I was given the first ‘personal computer’ my company had purchased. It was an IT (software) company so we were technologically savvy, but this really was a new frontier. Microsoft Windows ‘point and click’ had only just arrived. It isn’t that long ago, but back then anyone who needed a computer had ‘green screen’ terminals attached to a mainframe, or if you were one of the lucky few – an Apple Mac. Fast forward 20 odd years and it is unheard of for anyone in an office environment not to have their own laptop or PC with internet access and a vast array of software.

Many jobs have changed and evolved significantly, and I’m certain the job market of the future holds many surprises for most of us. So what can you do now, to ensure your knowledge and skills are marketable into the future?

1.  Keep up to date – career paths are changing all the time so stay alert and think about how cultural, economic and technological trends might affect you, your job and your company. Understand that new jobs are being created all the time.

2.  Network – most commentators agree that word of mouth and networking will become even more important in securing jobs in the future. While networking is not new, technological advances mean the way we do it is vastly different to 10 years ago. Keep track of everyone you meet, stay in touch with former colleagues and superiors and join professional networking groups. This has all become so much easier to achieve with online tools such as LinkedIn.

3.  Learn – continuous learning is essential. Offer to take on different responsibilities in your current role to gain experience that might enable you to look for opportunities outside of your primary area of expertise. Ensure your skills are transferrable by looking outside your current job scope to develop cross-functional skills.

4.  Get Tech Savvy – technological proficiency is required for more and more jobs today. Think how much a GP needs to understand about technology today compared to 10 or 20 years ago where virtually no technology was involved. There is also an increasing use of mobile technology and the globalisation of many markets means that working with virtual teams, while leveraging a range of different technologies, will be another important skill.

5.  Know Your Value – create and maintain a record of your achievements. When you’re looking for a new job, you need more than just skills and experience. You need specialist expertise and you need to be able to demonstrate the value you can bring to an organisation. By keeping track of successes, accolades, outstanding results and training completed, it will be so much easier when the time comes to move.

6.  Remain open – Your career path may be clear, but for many people it isn’t – especially if you are in a slow growing or declining industry. Keep your options open so you’re not locked in or taken by surprise. It’s best to prepare sooner rather than later.

It is important to remain flexible and optimistic. Industries, careers and jobs are changing at a rapid pace and the people that succeed are those that embrace our changing world and the setbacks encountered as learning experiences. Are you constantly listening, learning and planning? If so, you’ll find yourself in the best possible position to capitalise on opportunities as they arise.

Would you like career advice to better understand where the experts are predicting job growth for the future? Or perhaps you’d like to put together a plan that identifies how you can future proof your career. If so, our Career Advisors can help! For more information, please see our career coaching services.

Resume Services: 5 Tips to Get the Most Value

Article by Belinda Fuller

1.  Select a Reputable Company – this goes without saying, however when you’re buying online, you need to do your research. Make sure the company you select has a reputable brand. Research their website, and view their Resume writer’s profiles or biographies. Read customer testimonials and evaluate their communication with you once you make your enquiry. If they are not responsive and prompt in that first encounter then don’t expect results down the track.

2.  Work With Your Resume Writer – once you’ve engaged a writer, don’t just sit and wait. The process should be collaborative. While the Resume writer has the skills and expertise to write, you have the in depth knowledge of you! You need to be involved in the process from start to finish, providing as much information as you can to give your writer insight into what you’ve achieved in the past so they can craft a Resume that stands out. Your writer also needs to understand the direction you would like to head in so providing them with examples of jobs that appeal to you is also a good idea. Resume Writers can do wonders with your job applications, but they aren’t magicians. Work with them to ensure success.

3.  Trust Your Writer – while it is OK to ask for input from colleagues, friends and family, you are paying a professional to write your new Resume and you need to trust them to do a great job. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone say, “my friend had a look at it and said it should include X”. Really? Why didn’t they write your Resume for you? I can’t speak for other companies in the industry, but I know that my colleagues have literally hundreds of years experience between them in recruitment, human resources, and corporate/professional writing roles. They’re the experts and they work with each and every client individually to ensure the best possible outcome.

4.  Don’t be Modest – leave your modesty at the door. Resumes that stand out are those that clearly articulate the value the candidate will bring to the hiring company. This means going back to number 1 and working with your Resume writer to bring out all the achievements you’ve made in your career to date. Most people struggle to articulate their own achievements and that’s OK – your writer should be able to help you uncover those nuggets of gold. It’s always valuable to use quantifiable statements, such as dollars, savings, increases, percentages etc., however if that truly isn’t possible, you need to think about other areas where you have excelled – whether you have been promoted, received an award, implemented a new process or improved an outcome. You need to think long and hard about anything you did in your work that made you feel good, that you received good feedback on, or that you still feel proud of.

5.  Don’t Focus on the Format – appearance matters and you need to ensure your writer uses a professional looking template, however if you’re focusing too much on the design component of your Resume, you won’t achieve the best results. Content and the order in which your content is presented, is what is most important to ensure your message cuts through. Photos and fancy design components are not necessary to stand out in Australia (unless of course you are a model or actor in which case you do need a photo!).

Remember that the process should be collaborative, but you need to trust your writer to produce the best possible result for you since they are the expert. Have you had any experience with Resume Writing Services? How did you ensure the best possible result?

Are you interested in getting assistance from a professional resume writer to prepare a winning Resume for your next job application? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services.

6 Tips for Taking Charge of Your Career in 2014

Article by Belinda Fuller

When I was made redundant several years ago, I had a great job that I loved and a baby on the way. At six months pregnant no one wanted to hire me for similar roles to what I had been doing, so I had to re-think. I’d been planning on taking 12 months maternity leave anyway, so was lucky I had some breathing space to work out what I needed to do. Taking charge of your career and ensuring you do everything in your power to remain competitive is a great New Year resolution but where do you start? Here are 6 tips to help you on the way:

1.  Update Your Resume – have a new Resume ready to go and don’t wait until you’re ready to apply. I encounter many clients who come across the perfect job, get approached by a company who wants to see their resume, or even get made redundant out of the blue. They then have to rush the process of updating or creating a new Resume. Update your resume today and make sure you keep it updated for the future.

2.  Don’t be Bashful – employers want to know what you’re good at and what you can do for them. It’s no point being self-conscious when you’re talking about yourself. You need to be prepared to discuss your achievements in a way that resonates with potential employers, so they want to hire you. Your achievements don’t always have to all be quantifiable with $ or numbers, but they need to be accomplishments that made a difference to your company’s performance and they need to be clearly articulated in your job application. Make a note every time you achieve something you’re proud of or receive some positive feedback – that way, when you go to update your resume or have an upcoming interview, you’ll have the information on hand.

3.  Think About Change – why do you want to change jobs? It’s no point thinking “I don’t like my job, so I’ll get a new one”. Put some thought into the areas that make you unhappy and what you most enjoy doing, then seek out roles and companies that can provide more of the latter.

4.  Keep Learning – are you learning new skills in your current role? If you’re not, you need to work out how you can. We all need to continuously learn to ensure solid future career prospects. If your work environment doesn’t provide that opportunity, then you need to take it upon yourself to enrol in courses, take up volunteer work, or offer to take on more (different) tasks and responsibilities in your current role. Learning new skills can also help you take your career in a different direction if that’s what you’re aiming for.

5.  Research – even if you are not actively seeking a new job, you should regularly search job sites and other avenues to see what’s out there. As a Resume Consultant, I advise people to mould themselves to the jobs they want to achieve, not where they are right now. By understanding where you want to be in the future, you can take action now to achieve that. This could be taking on new responsibilities and tasks as mentioned in TIP number 4, starting some study or completing short courses, or networking outside of your company to foster relevant contacts. By understanding what companies are looking for in the roles you want to achieve, and ensuring you develop those skills and expertise, you will be better placed to achieve results when the time comes.

6. Build Your Network – use LinkedIn and create a high quality professional profile. Connect with people inside and outside of your current company, interact with others, participate in online forums, share information, answer questions, post links, and follow companies you’d like to work with. You need to build your networks and credibility within those networks because research shows that word of mouth and professional networks are fast becoming one of the primary sources of new hires.

Take action today and every day to ensure your career remains firmly within your control, and more importantly that you are perfectly placed to take advantage of any opportunities as they arise.

Would you like help from a Career Advisor to take charge of your career in 2014? If so, please see our Career Coaching Services.