Monthly Archives: November 2014

13 Mistakes to Avoid on LinkedIn

Article by Belinda Fuller is the world’s largest professional network being used in ever increasing numbers by recruiters to source suitable candidates. With over 300 million worldwide members and 50 million across Asia Pacific, it is essential that your profile not only stands out, but that it follows the rules in terms of relevance. Your LinkedIn profile is often a recruiter’s first impression of you, but many people are still making lots of mistakes.

So what are the biggest mistakes we see?

  1. No Summary – you’ve listed your previous roles but haven’t provided a summary. This is a big mistake. The summary provides a great opportunity  to capture the reader’s attention and show them why you’re good at what you do. Don’t just repeat your Resume, create a short, sharp summary of you – start from scratch and mention the important points – the ones that matter most in helping you get to where you want to go.
  2. Not Including Enough Detail – a bare bones profile won’t cut it in today’s job market. List all your previous roles with detail about what you did. While there is no need to list every responsibility or task under each role, a brief description of the results you achieved is important. Also, LinkedIn provides sections for much more information than a Resume – take advantage of these and add information wherever applicable. Don’t forget to optimise your profile with keywords to make it easier for people to find you.
  3. Not Including a Photo – a professional profile photo will significantly improve your chances of being viewed. Since this is often the first impression people get of you, make it count. Spend the money on a professional photo if need be, but just make sure it’s a good clear shot of just you, your head and shoulders, preferably taken against a white or plain background and in professional attire.
  4. Talking in the Third Person – it’s your profile so own it. Think of your LinkedIn profile like a cover letter – you would usually open with a first person statement like “I wish to apply for this position because I have blah blah….”. Writing your LinkedIn profile in the third person is not a good idea since the reader is less likely to connect with you.
  5. Being Too Formal – it’s a professional networking tool, so your profile content should be professional, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy or formal. Inject some personality so the reader gets a feel for who you are as a person.
  6. Not Taking Advantage of the Headline – the content within the LinkedIn headline section defaults to your current or most recent role. BUT you can customise this to anything you like. We always recommend a customised headline – make it descriptive, use up all the characters and tell people what you’re capable of. Remember this headline (combined with your photo) provides the very first impression people have of you.
  7. Not Personalising Your Connection Messages – never just send out the standard ‘I’d like to add you……..’ message. Take the time to personalise your message to remind the person how you know them or let them know why you want to connect.
  8. Not Connecting With People – you may be amazed at just how many people you know on LinkedIn. Seek them out and connect with them and try not to wait until you need something. You should constantly build your network – adding and accepting connections from people you know professionally or personally.
  9. Not Using a Vanity URL – the automated personal URL created when you set up your profile usually includes a combination of your name with lots of letters and numbers at the end. Take advantage of the vanity URL and change it to the best version of your first and last name as possible.
  10. Using it as a Resume – your LinkedIn profile should be more personal, more intimate and less formal than your Resume. It also contains additional information that your Resume may not. It’s a great resource to apply for jobs posted through LinkedIn but should never replace your Resume. Most companies still want to review your Resume which is why your LinkedIn profile should provide slightly different content.
  11. Failing to Create a Brand – not thinking about who your target market is will diminish the value you achieve. Think about your ultimate goals for your LinkedIn profile, who you’re trying to reach or influence and what they are most interested in. How do you want to be perceived? Are you seeking employment or do you want to build connections to help your business grow?
  12. Not Using Keywords – the use of keywords right throughout your profile is essential if you want to be found by people who don’t already know your name. Think about the words and phrases that relate to you and your career and make sure you populate your profile with them – put them in your headline, summary, individual role summaries, skills and endorsements, projects – everywhere you can. Make sure your profile is optimised for people conducting searches and make those phrases count!
  13. Not Asking for Recommendations – recommendations are the modern day version of a written reference. Most of us have at least a few people in our professional world who will say good things about our work. However, you need to ask those people for a recommendation. Approach your contact with a goal in mind – so tell them what you’re after in terms of the skills or expertise you’d like them to highlight – be specific and most people will oblige. In my experience people don’t write recommendations without being asked, but if you ask the right person, they’re usually more than happy to do it.

LinkedIn is a valuable professional networking tool that has a raft of features and benefits that you need to be taking advantage of in order to achieve the best results.

Do you have trouble networking? Are you lacking a good quality LinkedIn profile to help you find and connect with like-minded industry experts or maximise your job search? If you would like a LinkedIn Profile Writer to help you create a professional, keyword optimised LinkedIn profile that highlights your strengths and achievements and sets you apart from your competitors, please see our LinkedIn Profile Writing service.

9 Useful Online Resources for Job Hunters

Article by Belinda Fuller

9 Useful Online Resources for Job HuntersJob hunting can be a daunting and demoralising experience. It’s a tough market in Australia at the moment and applying for jobs without hearing anything back can put a dent in even the most positive person’s confidence. There are a raft of online and digital resources out there to help, but how do you make sense of them all and what are they all used for? This article contains a list of recommended resources with a brief summary on what they’re useful for.

Our number one tip for job seekers is to do your research. Research the role you are seeking to achieve, gain an in depth understanding of the requirements of that role in terms of qualifications, skills and experience, and know the keywords used by employers. Without a keyword optimised application you may not achieve the success you deserve. Some of the many resources we use to help clients include:

1. – our own blog contains a raft of articles with diverse career advice, tips and tricks; as well as up to date job market news. It contains articles on diverse topics from searching for a job, to writing your application and preparing for interviews.

2. – a comprehensive national career information system that helps you identify different career options by analysing your 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 detailed descriptions of 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. NOTE: The government has announced that funding to this website will cease as of June, 2015.

3. – 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. I also recommend that clients use Seek as their personal online career database – it’s a great tool to help you clarify many aspects of your job search – use it to understand what roles are being advertised where, identify keywords and transferable skills, clarify required qualifications, pinpoint companies and industries that may currently be advertising, and access current salary information.

4. – this site contains a wealth of information on a range of occupations, as well as their education and training pathways. It contains information on around 1500 occupations which can be narrowed down to specialisations and alternative jobs using the search functionality. It also provides valuable tools to help young people explore different career options and make subject choices while still at school.

5. – this site lets you browse jobs in a variety of ways and offers a range of career advice, time saving and job hunting tips under the career advice section. It can be used in a similar way to Seek to better understand your different career options.

6. – using Google can often turn up many helpful links to industry specific information and relevant keywords. 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.

7. – this is one of many sites offering Moocs (Massive Open Online Courses) – and not specific for Australian job searchers. A Mooc is a relatively new concept offering free online courses available to anyone. It’s a great concept if you don’t want to commit to a long term study or would like to ‘try before you buy’. Most courses are structured in a similar way to paid online courses in terms of the teaching and learning methods – where video, group chat, assignment and tests are all included – but they do not generally provide academic credit for use in other traditional courses, nor will you have much (if any) interaction with the lecturer. An Australian specific site that is also great in this area is the Hobsons Course Finder.

8.  if you are considering setting up your own consultancy or business, this site provides all the information you need on starting and registering your business; taxation, financial and insurance information; general business planning advice; information on employing people; available grants and assistance; and a vast array of other useful facts.

9. – another one for people considering starting their own business. This is an especially great forum for solo or micro businesses and provides loads of tips and advice on going it alone.

Are you searching for the right career but unsure which path to take? Are you struggling to make sense of all the career resources out there? Perhaps you are confused about which course to study?

If you would like a Career Coach to help you develop a comprehensive job search plan or career strategy, please see our Career Counselling and Coaching Services which can be provided over the phone or in person in locations across Australia.

Where to From Here?

Article by Belinda Fuller

Where to From HereEach year, the Department of Employment produces employment projections by industry, occupation and region for the next five years ahead. These projections look at Australia’s future labour market and are interesting for students leaving school this year and heading into the world of study, but also for anyone keen to maintain their skills and knowledge to move into different career areas should the need arise. What careers are likely to be in most demand by 2018 and where is demand shrinking?

While a crystal ball would help us predict the hot spots, projections based on detailed Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) employment data from 2013 indicate strong growth in certain sectors. Of course unforseen economic, natural or other situations or disasters could occur between now and then which may result in these projections shifting slightly or significantly, however they give us a good place to start.

In summary, The Department of Employment projects employment to grow by 7.2% over five years to November 2018 with 16 of the 19 broad industries predicted to grow. However, of these 16 industries, many will experience only slight growth and declines in employment have been projected for Manufacturing, Mining and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. There are five top industries which are projected to provide more than two thirds of the anticipated employment growth.

So what are the industries to watch?

  1. Health Care and Social Assistance is projected to make the largest contribution with one quarter of the projected total employment growth (increasing by 229,400 or 16.3%);
  2. Education and Training is second (118,800 or 13.3%);
  3. Retail Trade is third (98,200 or 7.8%);
  4. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services is fourth (88,700); and
  5. Construction is fifth (83,500).

What’s driving the growth?

Many factors contribute to (and impact) this strong projected growth including (for Health Care and Social Assistance), the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Australia’s ageing population, and the increasing demand for childcare and home based care services.

For employment in Education and Training, projected growth will be driven by above average growth in the school aged population and continuing growth in part-time workers and non-teaching staff. Retail industry growth reflects recent increases in consumer confidence and the ongoing support of historically low interest rates.

So What Does it All Mean?

A tough or shrinking market doesn’t mean the end of your career or long term unemployment. It’s all about survival of the fittest. Whatever field you work in, it is essential that you understand how your industry is performing – both locally and globally. Then, it is always important to remain flexible and optimistic since industries, careers and jobs are changing constantly. The people who are successful embrace the changes we are experiencing and use any setbacks as a way to learn. Everyone can benefit from diversifying their skills and knowledge or learning about new areas.

We wrote a relevant article this time last year. Now might be a good time to go back and read this article about future proofing your career. Future-proofing your career means many things – primarily the need to constantly listen, learn and plan. It might include studying a different field, taking on part-time jobs or volunteering to learn new skills, going freelance or starting your own business.

Are you worried about long term career viability? If you would like a Career Coach to help you evaluate how to maximise your career opportunities for the future, please see our Career Counselling and Coaching Services.