Monthly Archives: May 2014

Where to Start With Career Services

Article by Belinda Fuller

Where to Start with Career ServicesAre you sitting on the fence regarding enlisting the help of a career coach or writer? Do you read this newsletter each month, and wonder how you could best use our services? The coaching business in general has exploded in recent years with an expert ready and willing to support you in achieving just about anything you set your mind to. But how do you determine what’s going to help you most?

We regularly hear from people who aren’t quite sure how to best take advantage of the vast array of career services available today. They think they need one service, when in fact they’d be better off with another. In order to take advantage (and get the best bang for your buck), we’ve put together a list of questions we get asked on a regular basis, with responses to indicate what might be your best path to success.

“I’m in a senior role but stuck in a serious rut. I just don’t know how to move forward.”
Mid life crisis happening right now? Perhaps you’re feeling like there must be more to life. If you are thinking of making a major career transition – but you’re not sure where to start, our Executive Career Coaches are trained professionals who’ll quickly put you at ease and listen to your concerns. They’ll help you develop goals, plans and action steps to take that all important first step, and support you throughout the process if need be. Click here for more information on Executive Career Coaching.

“I know what job I want and believe I have all the qualifications/skills needed but I’m not getting any interviews”
That’s great that you’re clear about what you want to achieve – but perhaps you need a new Resume and Cover Letter that cuts through the clutter. Or maybe you’re trying for government jobs and need help addressing the Selection Criteria more concisely. If you would like to be short-listed for more jobs, take advantage of our free evaluation service. Send us your current Resume and we’ll let you know how it could be improved. For more information, see our Resume, Cover Letter and Selection Criteria Writing services.

“I’m in a great job but can’t help feeling like I’m missing out on opportunities”
If you’re not already taking advantage of LinkedIn, now might be the time to investigate. As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn recently announced it has more than 300 million members worldwide and more than 5 million members in Australia. If you don’t understand LinkedIn or think it’s not relevant for you, now might be the perfect time to explore it further and learn how you can use it to uncover new opportunities. The numbers speak for themselves – you will increase your chances of being headhunted by recruiters; as well as gaining the opportunity to uncover hidden job opportunities, contract/freelance work and word of mouth referrals. See our LinkedIn Writing and Coaching services for more information.

“I’m really unhappy in my job but don’t know what to do”
Being unhappy in our job affects every part of our life, and it can be especially hard on our families. Sometimes confusion and fear take over and cause us to do nothing, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Career counsellors are trained professionals who can independently analyse where you’re at and what might be the ideal career. They’ll take into consideration personal and financial situations and help you on the path to happiness. Life is too short to stay in a job you hate! Click here for information on our Career Counselling services.

“My Resume seems to be working, because I’ve been called in for quite a few interviews now, but I’m not getting to the next stage”
Congratulations on making it that far, many people don’t. If you’d like to improve your success rate in interviews, our interview coaching service is designed to help overcome nerves, build confidence and improve the effectiveness of your overall performance. You will get advice on how to answer common interview questions for your target job/industry and get feedback on your responses in a mock interview. See our Interview Skills Training service for more information.

“I’m a student and have no idea what I want to do when I leave school so am feeling anxious about my subject/university choices”
Have you heard about personality profiling? By taking a formal test, you can gain invaluable insight into the careers that your personality type is most suited to. It’s helpful to individuals already in a career as well and can guide you with further career development. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment tool is based on more than 50 years research and is one of the most widely used personality assessments in the world. Click here for more information about our MBTI® Assessment service.

Established since 2002, Katie Roberts Career Consulting has provided career consulting services to more than 10,000 individuals and companies across Australia and overseas.

If you are struggling to achieve the success you believe you deserve or simply need assistance to identify the direction you should be heading in, our team of consultants are experts in their field who provide advice, guidance, and support to people seeking career success. Visit our website for our full range of Career Consulting services.

Turn What You Love Into a Career

Article by Belinda Fuller

Turn.What.You.Love.Into.a.CareerTurning our passions into a viable career is a lifelong dream for many people. You probably know at least one person who loves art or music and dreamt of being a painter or musician but were persuaded to pursue something ‘safer’ and more ‘financially secure’. The benefits of hobbies and interests outside of work have long been heralded as the way to achieve a work life balance, but for many people, their hobbies turn into their careers.

While career options that provide secure paths provide the basis of comfortable living and regular work, if you aren’t working in a job that you love (or at least like most of the time) and that fulfils your values, it is unlikely you will ever feel truly happy.

I have several personal friends who’ve taken their passions and turned them into careers – a friend with a lifelong passion for health and fitness became a highly successful personal trainer in her thirties. She gave up a high paying account management job to go it alone and after five years has a successful business that she loves. Another friend was always very artistic as a child and teenager but chose teaching as a stable and comfortable career. She has now developed a fabulous career helping people from all walks of life through the practice of Art Therapy – combining her passion for teaching with her passion for art. Another one discovered his love of gardening after transforming his own home’s outside area and has since developed a very successful gardening business.

Your hobbies might seem like a pipe dream for a career but often they are very achievable.

Some steps to help get you started include:

  • Just take that first step – If you are unhappy with your current career, just taking some simple steps to improve your situation will help. That doesn’t mean you have to quit your job to find your passion, but it does mean taking some action today in order to improve your situation.
  • Think about your interests – If you have worked in the same job for many years, chances are you may not even remember what you’re passionate about. Start paying attention to things that interest you. What are your hobbies? Do you even have hobbies? If not, ask yourself what you enjoy doing and try to seek out ways to incorporate more of those activities in your day to day life.
  • Consider taking a short course – There are some wonderful short courses on offer at community colleges to help you get a taste for what a new career might look like. You can try out a course to see if you like it before enrolling in a diploma or degree course in that field. If nothing else, these courses can provide great stress relief from the day to day grind and help you achieve that all important work/life balance that is so elusive for many of us. They also provide an ideal opportunity to meet new friends with the same or similar interests to you.
  • Investigate specific jobs – Once you have an idea of what might be a fulfilling alternative to your current career, do some research about that job or job opportunities to find out what changes you’d have to make or any training you may need to undertake in order to work in that field.
  • Seek professional advice – if you’re having trouble narrowing down what really interests you, consider the services of a Career Counsellor to help steer you on the right course. Take a Career Assessment or participate in a one on one coaching session. A Career Counsellor can help you identify your interests and values in order to ascertain the types of jobs that you would find most satisfying. The results may surprise you and possibly lead to careers you may never have considered previously.

Discovering what you want to do in life is, for many people, a life-long pursuit. From the time you leave school (even before) you start making decisions about what career would best suit you, but many of us end up choosing something quite different to what we originally intended – either out of necessity based on results, or availability of study options or jobs, or perhaps by choosing a career that you might see as ‘more secure’.

Are you having difficulty finding true happiness in your career? Have you tried to evaluate your options in order to choose a different path? If you would like help from a Career Coach to find your passion or turn your passions into a new career, please see our Career Counselling and Coaching Services which can be provided over the phone or in person in locations across Australia.

6 Career Resources to Change Your Outlook

Article by Belinda Fuller

Career.Resources.to.Change.Your.OutlookAre you searching for something new but not quite sure what? Do you trawl the internet looking for career and/or training inspiration? Or perhaps you are in a job that does little to satisfy or stimulate you?

The majority of people, at some stage in their careers, feel unsatisfied. But if these feelings of discontentment have started to consume many of your waking hours, it might be time to do something proactive about fixing it. If you think you’re in the wrong career, you’re not alone. Many people know deep down that something needs to change, but are unsure where to start in order to change direction. There are many free online resources that can help you narrow down your options, so this month we’ve provided a summary of some of our favourites.

1. www.myfuture.edu.au – This is a comprehensive national career information system to help individuals identify different career options by analysing their skills, interests, values and aspirations. It is a great resource for people of all ages, at any stage in their career – from those just starting out to older people seeking new directions. It also provides information on current job market trends, as well as detailed information describing different careers, comprehensive study and training options, advice for people re-entering the workforce after a break, and assistance for mature age workers and people with specific needs.

2. www.seek.com.au – In addition to listing open positions all around Australia, as well as many countries around the world, SEEK provides separate sections on courses, volunteering opportunities and businesses for sale. You can quickly and easily set up job alerts to ensure you don’t miss any viable opportunities and you also have the option to establish a personal profile which can be viewed by potential employers who then make contact with you.

3. www.myuniversity.gov.au – This site contains broad and comprehensive information on Australian universities and other higher education providers. You can search on thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate accredited courses and compare details such as fees and entry requirements across institutions. It also allows you to search for and compare universities based on teaching performance, results, student satisfaction etc.

4. www.cca.edu.au – Community Colleges Australia is the peak body representing and providing services to community owned, not-for-profit education and training providers. There are community colleges in local areas right across Australia that provide short courses to introduce you to an area of interest without requiring significant investment of time or money. These courses can provide a great ‘taster’ to see if you might enjoy pursuing more formal or in depth training in that area.

5. www.amma.org.au – This is one of many varied industry specific sites available. AMMA Skills Connect has developed a ‘jobseeker guide to the resources industry’ which was created through extensive research of various sources from the Australian Government, AMMA, www.miningoilandgasjobs.com and the mining, resources, construction and related industries. It provides unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled jobseekers looking for opportunities within the resources, related construction and allied services industries, with information about engaging in both training and employment pathways.

6. www.google.com – If all else fails, do a Google search! There are so many resources on training and career advice available at a national, state and local level. It’s worth spending some time researching to find out what’s available to you in your particular area.

Are you unhappy with your job? Are you searching for the right career but unsure which path to take? Perhaps you are confused about which course to study? The important thing to remember is that life is too short to stay in a job you hate! Take the first steps today to securing a career you love.

If you would like help from a Career Advisor to move forward in your career to achieve your full potential, please click here for our Career Counselling and Coaching Services which can be provided over the phone or in person in locations across Australia.

SEO and LinkedIn – What’s it all About?

Article by Belinda Fuller

SEO.and.LinkedInExplaining SEO (search engine optimisation) to a non-tech person can be tricky. I’m not technical so I can’t really explain the in depth technicalities of it anyway! What I do know is that your LinkedIn profile needs to be optimised for search engines if you want to be found by people that don’t already know you – that’s all those recruiters, potential clients or business contacts that need your expertise. Having a keyword optimised profile can have a significant impact on your page views.

SEO with regard to LinkedIn can be defined (at a basic level) as the way(s) in which you can change your profile to affect its visibility. The higher your profile is ranked when someone searches, the more visits or views your profile is likely to receive.

To optimise your profile for SEO purposes, there are several things to consider. First and foremost, we need to consider how LinkedIn ‘ranks’. LinkedIn, like most ‘search engines’ uses proprietary algorithms to rank and order the results you receive when you search for people on the site – and these are not usually divulged. It generates relevance scores uniquely for each member, and even though a query will return the same results for everyone, the order is determined by various factors. This could include the profile content, user activity, connections, and relevance to the person searching but it is complicated. In short, there are many factors that can affect your SEO and ultimate ranking when someone searches for the skills and expertise you have. Some of these could include:

  • The number of connections you have
  • How complete your profile is
  • The relevance of your job history
  • The number and type of endorsements and recommendations you have
  • The types and quantity of ‘keywords’ you have in your profile
  • How relevant your general content is

10 tips to help your profile rank higher include:

1. Identify your keywords – these are the words that a recruiter looking for someone like you would use in their search. They can include job titles, skills, expertise, geographic area etc. but try to keep it simple and include only the most important keywords based on your specific skill set.

2. Complete your profile – fill out as many sections as you can with clear and concise information that includes the keywords identified. Try to leave as few sections as possible blank.

3. Change website links to ‘anchor text links’ – where you include a company or other website address, you can customise the ‘anchor’ or ‘search’ text to a title that makes sense. Anchor text is usually ranked highly by search engines – so your personal blog’s URL might be ‘http://www.xyz.com.au’ but you could change it to something more descriptive that contains your keywords.

4. Optimise your job titles – ensure they make sense and are optimised for the job that you did and the roles you are seeking. Including keywords in your job titles will assist. If your title doesn’t accurately reflect what you did, consider changing it so that it does.

5. Join relevant groups – and participate – this may improve your profile’s visibility, while also helping to expand your network with like minded individuals.

6. Invite people to connect – the more connections you have, the better your chance of being found – LinkedIn elevates results for connections based on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level connections. It therefore makes sense that the more people you are connected to, the wider your network and the better chance you have of being found.

7. Include detail under each job – again use your keywords to explain truthfully and accurately what you did and what you achieved. Consider using bullet points rather than paragraphs and format the text so it’s easy to read.

8. Change Your Public Profile URL – LinkedIn provides a way to change your URL to your name. Do this and it will be easier for people who know you to find you, and you can add it to your email signature, business cards and other marketing material without it looking too complex.

9. Ask for Recommendations – recommendations may help increase your ranking as well as helping potential recruiters or business partners evaluate the success and value you’ve created in past roles. Don’t be shy to ask colleagues, superiors, customers etc. for recommendations on work you have done in the past.

10. Include a Photo – make sure it is clear and high resolution and taken against a white or plain background – head and shoulders is fine in professional attire.

Follow these simple tips and start seeing your activity rise. LinkedIn provides a feature that enables you to discover who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days and also provides access to trends and insights on viewers. You can use this to monitor your success.

If you would like assistance from a professional LinkedIn Profile Writer to ensure your LinkedIn Profile is search engine optimised, click here for our LinkedIn Writing or Coaching Services.