10 ways to improve your LinkedIn profile

Article by Belinda Fuller

10 ways to improve your LinkedIn profileMany people are still not convinced of the value of LinkedIn. With Australia now boasting almost 100% penetration of use amongst professionals, now is the time for those standing back to take the plunge. With almost every professional in Australia on LinkedIn, your career will certainly suffer if you continue to ignore it. This article provides quick tips to improve your profile.

For anyone in business whether you’re an employee, small or other business owner, you need to have a LinkedIn profile. There are so many benefits – the main ones focusing on the career opportunities and professional networks that LinkedIn offers. Even at a graduate level, employers are using LinkedIn to find viable candidates.  If you already have a profile, there are many very quick tweaks you can make which will improve your overall presence. Many of these tips take less than five minutes to implement but they will make all the difference to your profile. Try them today:

1.  Customise your headline: your professional headline automatically defaults to your most recent (or current) job title. Change this simply by clicking the edit button next to the headline. Editing your headline is a great way to brand yourself while adding relevant keywords to your profile. You have 120 characters so make the most of them. Decide what you want to be known for and make this your professional headline.

2.  Upload a photo: according to research, a photo makes your profile 7 – 14 times more likely to be viewed. It is the first thing people see when they are browsing, and if you don’t upload your image, the standard generic outline of a head won’t create a lasting impression! A professional shot is great, but not essential – just don’t use a cropped out photo from a social situation or an obvious ‘selfie’. Get someone to take a clear head and shoulders photo against a white or plain background – look professional and smile!

3.  Write a summary: it contributes to your LinkedIn ranking and is also one of the first things people read. Create a clear picture of you and ‘your brand’. Look forward by describing your background, experience and skills in a way that highlights your potential for the types of roles you’d like to achieve in the future.

4.  Add skills: again these help build your brand and improve your ranking – select skills that already exist in LinkedIn’s database by starting to type a skill – then LinkedIn will make relevant suggestions. List up to 50 skills and change the order by dragging them up and down.

5.  Create a “vanity URL”: LinkedIn assigns you a cumbersome, hard-to-remember default URL with a combination of your first name, last name and random numbers. By creating a vanity URL, you’ll achieve a cleaner image with the best combination of your first and last name that’s available at the time.

6.  Share content: try to do so regularly – make sure it is relevant and valuable to your network. Since each profile edit and update you share gets broadcast to your entire network, you’ll constantly be top of mind.

7.  Build your network: connecting with others helps you keep track of industry trends and news and creates more opportunities for introductions.

8.  Make your content web friendly: aim for short paragraphs and concise bullet points. To improve readability and highlight certain points, use bullets and sub-headings. Consider adjusting the order of your experience, skills, education etc. to suit your target role or industry.

9.  Achieve recommendations and endorsements: they are invaluable and certainly boost your profile’s strength and personality. Try to gain recommendations for each role and aim to include a range of superiors, clients and colleagues since this will add credibility to your personal brand.

10.  Complete your profile: aim to complete as many sections as possible to achieve an ‘All-Star’ level indicated by the strength metre at the right of your page. A complete profile will help strengthen your brand/image, increase your visibility and provide you with more networking opportunities.

If you would like assistance developing or optimising your LinkedIn Profile to help you improve your profile and stand out from the crowd, see our LinkedIn Profile Writing service.

5 tips to build your personal brand

Article by Belinda Fuller

5 tips to build your personal brand

Personal branding is a hot topic right now and one that many employees of organisations often think doesn’t apply to them. However, personal branding isn’t just for solopreneurs or business owners. It’s important to be able to quickly, clearly and succinctly articulate who you are and what you have to offer – and that applies to both employees and business owners.

So what is personal branding all about and why is it important? Just like company brands, your personal brand is what sets you apart from others. It’s what makes you slightly different to someone else with a very similar skill set.

Building a recognisable, consistent personal brand will help you achieve your career goals faster – leading to promotions, recognition as an industry expert or spokesperson, and improved professional networks. According to leading American business writer, Tom Peters, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

Whether you want to advance your career, improve your professional relationships, or build your sales pipeline, a clearly defined personal brand can help. So how do you go about building it? Here are five tips to get you started:

1.    Understand your offer: personal branding requires an in depth understanding of your strengths, skills, passions, and values and the ability to use that information to stand out from your competitors. To develop yourself as a brand isn’t easy, especially if you’re not a natural marketer. Start by working out what makes you unique then build your story in terms of what you offer. Put together a comprehensive statement about you – this is your brand positioning or message.

2.    Create a blog and/or website: this is a great way to share your expertise and initiate two way conversations with your target audience. Registering a website in your name helps you achieve consistency with your brand and contributes to increasing your name’s search engine ranking. Write regular articles to help your target market understand your offer. Reinforce your brand message, highlight what you’re good at and what you’ve achieved for others. The added benefit of online content is that when people like what they read, they will share it with their own networks.

3.    Add value: every status update, picture, article and comment you share will contribute to your personal brand so make sure it aligns with your previously defined brand positioning. You can quickly strengthen your brand and help people understand what you offer with content shared via social media, your blog or website; by commenting on other people’s content; answering questions; joining chats; and engaging in LinkedIn and other online groups and forums.

4.    Audit your presence: always think of yourself as a brand and maintain consistency with your message throughout all communications – this includes your Resume, social media profiles and other online content. Optimise your online content for search engines and review Facebook and other social accounts to make sure your brand is not being compromised with personal entries.

5.    Maintain the rage: once your brand is defined, you need to consistently validate and maintain it. Just as large corporations work hard to maintain their brand image, individuals need to do the same. Every interaction or piece of information shared should reinforce your brand message. Make sure people believe what you’re saying by providing proof, transparency and consistency – don’t try to ‘be all things to all people’.

Whether you’re self-employed or not, defining and promoting a strong personal brand that sets you apart will help raise your profile and make you more marketable. Even if you are not looking for work – it’s a great way to build contacts for future reference, as well as mentoring, partnerships or job opportunities.

Would you would like help creating an online presence or Resume to support your personal brand? If so, please see our full range of Resume Writing Services, LinkedIn Profile Writing and Career Coaching Services.

Research your way to the right role

Article by Belinda Fuller

Research Your Way to the Right RoleMany of us are lucky enough to fall into fulfilling careers. Whether it’s by luck, meticulous planning, or sheer hard work, these people seem to be made for what they do! But what about the others who’ve never been 100% sure? Whether you’re a school leaver or mid-life career changer, a little bit of research goes a long way, but where should you start?

A friend of mine recently asked me if I thought her son should choose Human Resources for his major. He’s in his first year at University and loving his Commerce degree, but he needs to choose his major for next year. He’s only been at University for about eight weeks but he has to choose from multiple options soon and he’s just not sure. She asked me if I thought HR was a good career path since I have experience in that area – but without knowing her son very well, I couldn’t say. I asked her what he was basing his decision on and she wasn’t really sure. It got me thinking about how many people just choose something to go after because they like the sound of it.

Another friend of mine has a daughter who recently decided she wants to become an event manager. She researched an expensive course and wants my friend to spend thousands of dollars on it – but her decision didn’t seem to be based on anything concrete either – simply that she liked the sound of being an event manager. She isn’t an overly organised or detail oriented person, so I asked my friend if his daughter had given any thought to the meticulous planning involved, the long hours, and the weekend and after hours work that invariably comes with being an event manger and he didn’t really think so.

Often, people go into careers without doing much research. They like the sound of a career but they’re not overly familiar about what’s involved in doing the job on a day to day basis. There are many ways you can research careers – and by doing so, you’ll gain a better understanding of what might be required and whether or not you’d be suited. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Use Online Job Sites: SEEK, CareerOne or any one of the many other online recruitment sites can provide a wealth of information about different careers. You can access current information on salaries in specific industries/positions, find out what qualifications and/or previous experience you might require, and you can get a feel for what you might be doing on a day to day basis. A great tip I heard from another career consultant was to combine unrelated keywords or phrases to identify unique or unusual roles – for example a skill plus an interest – such as ‘marketing’ and ‘photography’.
  • Talk to People: Talking to people who are already working in the field you are interested in can provide a better understanding of what might be required as well as giving you a feel for what your day might regularly look like. Don’t be swayed by one person’s opinion though – try to get as many people’s thoughts as possible and probe them about the pros and cons of the role. Look to your LinkedIn network for contacts who might be able to help.
  • Volunteer: This could take the form of ad hoc volunteering or a more formal internship. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to learn more about a role or organisation, as well as providing valuable work experience and new skills that will help to build your confidence to go after those sought after roles. It could also provide much needed networks and mentors in your area of interest.
  • Join Professional Associations: Attend meetings or check the website for information, networking events or other opportunities that you might be able to leverage. If you don’t belong to a professional association already, consider joining one – often these associations have associate memberships for juniors or people with little experience, but you have access to similar kinds of opportunities and information as fully fledged members.
  • Take a Career Assessment: Many organisations offer personality assessments and/or career interest tests. These tests can assess your interest in a variety of activities, industries and occupations to provide insight into the careers and areas of study you are most likely to enjoy and be ideally suited to. For more information, see our Career Interests and Personality Profile tests.
  • Talk to an Expert: Career Counsellors can provide a much needed ‘outsiders’ perspective on what you might like. They are usually trained experts that also have a wealth of practical work experience across diverse areas and industries. They have deep knowledge of a wide range of occupations, industries and courses and will give you professional, independent advice on your career, course and employment options.

Our last piece of advice (but by no means least) is to take the first step – if you’ve done some research and you think you’re ready, just take that step. We now know that most people will not stay in the same career for a lifetime, so don’t procrastinate for too long.

Would you like career advice to assist you to choose a career that’s right for you? If so, please see our Career Counselling Services.

What’s driving job growth in 2015?

Article by Belinda Fuller

What’s Driving Job Growth in 2015According to recent SEEK figures, jobs advertised in January 2015 were up 10.9 per cent from January 2014. That trend has continued over the past few months, with certain sectors experiencing significantly higher growth than others. There are trends driving growth in specific areas with many commentators predicting shortages in particular niche areas.

Many people are looking for a change in roles right now, but what’s driving job growth and where should we be looking? While many industries are experiencing growth and offering great employment opportunities, there are a few stand outs affected by shortages. These are healthcare, construction, education, information technology (IT), and digital marketing. A recent Hays report highlighted a skills shortage focused around particular job functions with the belief that demand for these skills in Australia will drive an exceedingly tight labour market for anyone with these niche, highly specialised skills.

In short, some of the areas driving growth in 2015 include:

Healthcare: There appears to be a healthy outlook for candidates seeking roles in the medical and healthcare industry. Based on SEEK’s latest job ad figures, new jobs in this sector rose 14 percent nationally year on year to March 2015. This is no surprise as our population ages and more advanced medical treatment technologies place pressure on the healthcare system. Registered nurses will be especially in demand.

Marketing: The evolution of digital marketing is transforming organisations at a rapid pace and marketing and IT teams are converging. Candidates with experience in social media are in demand as employers look to drive further consumer brand engagement in innovative ways. The increasing importance of digital and mobile means that companies are moving beyond just websites that are optimised for mobile use, to needing candidates who can provide full mobile optimisation integrated with strong social media marketing strategy. Large organisations are also looking for candidates who can analyse online activity to better understand how consumers respond to digital marketing efforts.

Construction: 2015 is a great time to be in the building trade, with the construction industry expected to grow significantly over the next few years. Right now, an increase in development application approvals is already driving demand across the industry with additional need for architects (especially with retail expertise), engineers, contract administrators and statutory planners – especially those who will work on a contract basis. Reliable and hardworking labourers are always in demand and construction companies also report the need for multi-ticketed Excavator Operators with stable backgrounds.

Education: A very high demand for childcare in Australia is creating a shortage of early childhood teachers. Growth is also clear across the broader education system as our population grows and the need for additional teachers across multiple disciplines increases. In addition, the rising number of parents setting their children up for optimum academic success is creating additional need for tutors.

Information Technology: A shortage of senior business analysts with particular domain and subject matter knowledge; solid front end developers – especially candidates with responsive web or App development experience (IOS and Android); as well as Cloud specialists. The increasing importance of digital and mobile marketing previously mentioned is also driving demand and creating shortages. The skills required are broad and encompass the entire digital marketing spectrum including full mobile optimisation and responsive website and/or App development.

The shortage of relevant candidates in certain areas combined with the increasing use of digital recruitment and a focus on passive candidates to provide these highly specialised skills also means that candidates need to have a strong online profile and brand.

Would you like help understanding more about what’s driving job growth? Would you like help establishing your online presence or putting together a strong job search strategy? If so, click here for our LinkedIn Writing or Coaching Services, or check out our Job Search Coaching Service.

Are you confusing recruiters?

Article by Belinda Fuller

Are You Confusing RecruitersMost people have developed a diversity of skills and experience throughout their careers that have made them the person they are today. But many people we talk to find it difficult to consolidate all those skills and experiences into a clear picture of exactly why they’re right for a role – especially if it’s slightly different. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone.

I sat down to write this month’s newsletter article following a call with a client. This client was lovely to talk to and he had a raft of experience, skills, perfect qualifications, and previous success but he was struggling to get any interviews. Over the past three months, my client has submitted a lot of applications and mostly just heard nothing or received the standard ‘thanks but no thanks’ response. He knew he was perfect for many of these roles and understood that his approach was wrong which is why he’d come to us.

When I looked at my client’s current Resume, the person on the end of the phone just didn’t match what was in that document. I can’t tell you how often this happens. I will sometimes receive a copy of my latest client’s current resume with a link to the job they’d like to apply for and I honestly believe that I have the wrong two documents together – they just don’t look like they’d even make a slightly suitable candidate.

In most cases, they would in fact make a great candidate but the problem lies in relevance – and first impressions count. Most candidates have developed great skills and experience but they simply don’t present them in the most relevant and effective way. Recruiters often receive hundreds of applications for a role so being able to demonstrate your suitability quickly is key to your success. Here’s a few tips:

1.  Create a quick summary of who you are – include your background and key successes – it’s a branding statement or quick elevator pitch if you like. Work out what you can offer, and the value you will bring to your new employer, then articulate that in a clear and concise paragraph or two.

2.  Highlight your key capabilities – these are the things that make you an ideal candidate for a specific role. This is so important because key capabilities are going to be different for everyone – they may also differ for you depending on the role or company you’re applying for. Capabilities cover a diverse range of areas such as qualifications, experience, technical skills, personality traits, soft skills, computer skills, industry knowledge etc. but they will vary significantly from person to person and role to role.

3.  Customise your content to make it highly relevant – when you’re applying for a specific position, it’s important to work out what’s important for that role and demonstrate how you provide that expertise. Remember this varies for different roles so taking the time to customise is important. This includes mentioning specific skills you may think are ‘standard’ in your industry – if they are mentioned in the job ad, there’s a good chance they are highly important so don’t just assume that the recruiter will think you have them.

4.  Simplify your content – get to the point quickly and try not to provide too much detail. This includes making sure you articulate any acronyms that might confuse the recruiter. Following the requirements in the job ad also helps – to the point of changing your job responsibilities to match those of the recruiter – if that’s what you did in a previous job, articulate it clearly and concisely.

5.  Consolidate or change your job history – especially if you have lots of different jobs at the same company – try consolidating them to provide clarity. If your relevant experience is a few jobs ago, try moving it up and calling it ‘relevant work experience’ – again thinking about fast and relevant impact for the recruiter.

If you’re not sure whether your Resume is up to scratch you may need assistance from an expert. At the very least, ask for feedback from someone you can trust – preferably someone in a similar line of work to you is ideal. If they can’t see how you’d make a good candidate for a particular role, then a recruiter may not either.

Do you think your Resume might be confusing recruiters? Are you interested in getting assistance from a team of Professional Resume Writers to provide more clarity? If so, please see our CV & Resume Writing Services and Job Search Coaching Services.

Top 5 mistakes to avoid when applying for jobs

Article by Belinda Fuller

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for JobsWhen you’re applying for new roles, you can often be so involved in the process that it’s difficult to see what you might be doing wrong. If you are applying for roles and not hearing back from recruiters, you are not alone. See if you’re making any of our top 5 mistakes and take some steps to fix them before submitting your next job application.

MISTAKE # 1: not spell checking/proof reading all your application material – apparently this is still one of the primary reasons why applicants get rejected. There is no excuse for spelling or grammatical errors in your application. And don’t forget the cover letter and any online forms – often you’ll have to provide a 100 or 200 word response in an online form – we strongly recommend creating this in MS Word first then copying and pasting it over once you’re happy. With all your application material, use the spell checker by all means but read it yourself as well to correct any incorrect autocorrects! Ideally, once you’re happy, you should also have someone else read it for you.

MISTAKE # 2: not addressing key criteria – again this is a common mistake. All government positions require a formal response to set selection criteria, however many private companies are also including selection criteria as part of their requirements. Even if there is no specification to address criteria – you should make a point to address the key points in the job ad. A great place to start is the bullet points in almost every ad – under ‘Responsibilities’ or ‘What You’ll Be Doing’ – that will give you a hint of what to highlight, then look at the points under ‘What you Need’ or ‘Skills and Capabilities’ – and make sure you’ve clearly shown how you meet these.

MISTAKE # 3: going into too much detail – Resumes need space and clarity – sometimes it’s hard to describe what you did in a couple of lines but you need to try. I regularly receive 8 – 12 page resumes from clients, which is far too long. No recruiter will read that much detail so you need to get serious about deciding what’s important. We aim for 3-4 pages maximum and you should too. Have clearly defined sections and if you held multiple jobs in the one company – group them rather than giving each one a new section.

MISTAKE # 4: applying for jobs outside your area of expertise – if you want to apply for several different types of roles and think you’ve got the capability to do the job then by all means go for it. But – you need to modify your content. I have had several clients recently wanting to change careers but they’re not sure exactly where they’d like to head. Others just need a job and apply for roles that they’re probably not ideally suited for. I have had clients ask me to write a resume to suit very diverse roles – and this simply isn’t possible. The problem with this approach is that one resume is never going to appeal to the recruiters of two very different roles – so by taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach, you won’t appeal to either. Decide on your target and go for it – or create multiple resumes that specifically target each area.

MISTAKE # 5: not including your contact details: if a recruiter likes what they see, they’ll often want to call you immediately and either do a quick telephone screen, or organise an interview time. Make it easy for them – include your email and mobile phone number so you can be contacted and make sure you have a friendly and professional voicemail message.

Check, double check and triple check your application – be clear and concise and make sure it’s absolutely error free, with the content tailored towards the role you are applying for.

Are you interested in some assistance from a team of Professional Resume Writers to prepare a winning Resume or job application? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services.

How to stand out in your next job application

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to Stand Out in Your Next Job ApplicationI speak to new clients almost every day and when I ask them about their ‘achievements’ in previous roles, I would estimate that eight times out of ten, I hit a brick wall. People find it so difficult to identify and articulate their achievements. The fact is, you need to sell yourself in a job application. The recruiter doesn’t know (yet) how fabulous you are, so your content should be tailored to make an immediate impact. And immediate impact can only be achieved by showing them how valuable you could be to their organisation.

Achievements don’t always have to be money or number focused (although it is great if they are). This is where many candidates can get bogged down – they don’t have a revenue generating or financial management role so they think they don’t have ‘achievements’. However there are many different areas we can look to for achievements. Think about things that you do in your day to day work that benefit your business, your customers, and/or your colleagues. Sit down with a pen and paper and brainstorm with me.

Start by thinking about anything you have done that you were commended on or that made you feel proud. Maintaining an ongoing file with positive feedback or notes when something goes well always helps with this. But just ask yourself a few key questions to help the process:

  1. Did I receive any positive feedback from colleagues/superiors/clients about something I did?
  2. Have I overcome or solved any ongoing issues in the business? How?
  3. What projects did I complete/work on and what did they achieve?
  4. Did I implement a new way of doing something that made a difference – to the time it takes, the money it costs, the quality of the outcome, the level of service etc.?

Areas you could focus your attention on include:

  • Revenue increases
  • Expense / cost savings
  • Productivity
  • Customer Service
  • Quality
  • Relationships
  • Time Saving
  • Competitiveness
  • Branding / market awareness
  • Safety
  • Employee morale/attendance
  • Deadlines
  • Simplifying complexity

Our research indicates that recruiters look for achievements while more quickly discarding resumes that are purely ‘responsibilities’ focused. Make sure the achievements you use are tailored and support your ability to perform in the specific role you are applying for.

Would you like help identifying and articulating your achievements so your next job application has a better chance of standing out? If so, please see our Professional Resume Writing Services.

How to choose a career that’s right for you

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to Choose a Career That's Right for YouSome people have always known what they want to be when they grow up – how lucky are they? Especially if it all works out for them. For most of us though, it can take some time to work out what’s right in terms of a career. I’ve written before about being happy at work and Success vs Happiness. It’s many people’s lifelong pursuit. But what makes a career right for one person can be very different for another. Here is a list of initial dos and don’ts when thinking about what career might be right for you: 

Do: work out what is important to you – because this will be different for everyone. You might just want to be happy but that is often about looking at what you value most. Some people need to help others as part of their day to day role, others need to use their creativity, some prefer working alone, and others need to be part of a large team environment, or lead and direct people. Maybe flexible hours is your primary need, or are you driven to achieve a high paying or powerful job which you are prepared to work hard for. What’s most important is going to be different for everyone and for many people it can change several times depending on what stage of life they’re at.

Don’t: do what other people think you should do or get too hung up on what your friends or family are doing. Certainly be guided by those who care about you, but sometimes, these people who know us best have misguided views about what career would suit. I know that from first-hand experience!

Do: work out what you’re good at. It doesn’t have to be focused on ‘your passion or doing what you love’ – it’s more about working out what you enjoy doing or are good at and moulding a career around that. Think about using your strengths as a starting point. Maybe you want to work in events but you’re creative and not very detail oriented – an event management role may not be right for you, however, you could look at other areas such as event theming, design, production etc.

Don’t: cave to pressure from parents to follow in their footsteps or do something that they consider ‘safe’. Someone close to me wanted to study art after leaving school but was pressured by his parents to study law instead as a more stable career. He never enjoyed his work and it took him almost 20 years to go back to university and study art and design – he now has an extremely successful and thriving business that he is absolutely passionate about.

Do: research your career. Another friend of mine chose a degree later in life and found it really hard to actually get a job once she’d finished studying. The area was fairly new and experiencing some growth but was still quite niche – and it was a popular choice for school leavers. So while she was in her 40s wanting to get into this new area, there were rafts of younger graduates taking the few jobs that were available. In this instance youth was considered more favourable than life experience and that’s something she hadn’t ever considered.

Don’t: ignore your personality because these traits are ingrained in us to make us the unique person we are. It’s what makes one person better suited to a particular occupation or career than the next. Often taking a personality profile test can be a big help.

Do: consider location. Are you a city or rural person? These days, location is becoming less important, however some careers just aren’t viable in rural areas. Likewise, there aren’t many farmers in the Sydney CBD! If you really love where you live and aren’t open to relocating, make sure there are opportunities available in your chosen career.

Choosing a career no longer needs to be a lifetime commitment – you can always head down another path later. But always do your research up front – about yourself, your personality traits, your interests, and where the field you’re interested in is heading.

Would you like assistance choosing a career that’s right for you? If so please see our Career Guidance and Coaching Services.

How to Handle Difficult Colleagues

Article by Belinda Fuller

How.to.Handle.Difficult.ColleaguesMost of us have experienced that colleague who makes our life difficult. This can be the cause of much angst and it may be difficult to not let that concern spill over into your personal life. It’s a situation that may be difficult to not get down about, however with a few key strategies you might finally be able to do just that.

TIP # 1: Don’t Lose your Temper – this does two things, it puts you in control and limits potential for the situation to escalate out of control. This may be easier said than done – but remember you are not the difficult person here – maintain composure and try not to react negatively.

TIP # 2: Walk Away – if you feel upset, angry or emotional, take some time before responding. Deep breathes can help. Or you may feel the need to walk away – just say “I will have to come back to you on that” – then leave the situation entirely to give yourself some time to strategise your next step.

TIP # 3: Don’t Waste Time – sometimes it is best just to let go. Convincing someone who is intrinsically negative or arguing the point to someone with a closed mind often just isn’t worth the hassle. Unless it is something really important at stake, be diplomatic then distance yourself from the comment or decision if it will have an impact on you personally – after you’ve done that, simply let it go.

TIP # 4: Act Proactively – try to pre-empt situations or activities that will create friction and then work to minimise them wherever you can.

TIP # 5: Pick Your Battles – for those of you with children, you’ll be familiar with this one! Some things just aren’t worth arguing about – because there will be something bigger and more important to debate just around the corner. Confrontation is draining – save yourself some time and energy by picking the important points to pursue and make sure the ultimate outcome is worth the effort.

TIP # 6: Don’t Be Bullied – bullying in the workplace is unacceptable so never be afraid to report truly bad behaviour. Stand up for yourself by telling the person that their behaviour is unacceptable. Be specific about what they’ve done. Situations that need to be quickly addressed include any instance where you feel physically, mentally or socially threatened.

Understand that there are times in the workplace where your colleague may be under undue pressure and act in a way that isn’t normal. Ask yourself if you are being overly sensitive or perhaps you’ve misinterpreted their actions. But don’t hesitate if that’s not the case, don’t take the blame and don’t respond in an aggressive way that is going to inflame or escalate the situation. Use some of the strategies mentioned above or have a confidential discussion with a senior person or member of HR that you trust.

Would you like some help with your career? If so, we can offer a variety of services including career counselling, executive career coaching, resume and selection criteria writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing, interview coaching, job search coaching, and MBTI personality profiling.

How to Tap the Hidden Job Market

Article by Belinda Fuller

How.to.Tap.the.Hidden.Job.MarketWe often get asked about the hidden job market by our clients. Everyone wants to know the ins and outs of where to find it, how to leverage it and what to actually do to find their dream job. The hidden job market can be defined as all those jobs that are never actually advertised in the traditional way (such as through an online job site, via the company’s own website, or in hard copy format like a newspaper ad).

The reality these days with social media, online networking and our generally ‘connected’ world, means that companies simply don’t need to advertise every role on offer. Many companies still outsource their recruitment to specialist recruitment firms, but these firms are also now using other less traditional strategies to source candidates.

So what can you do to find this market and how do you take advantage of it? You need to be known to somebody in order to be discovered as the ideal candidate for a specific role. There are a number of ideas here to get you started – in no particular order of importance:

1. Establish a LinkedIn Profile: recruiters regularly review LinkedIn Profiles and conduct searches to find previously unknown candidates – so make sure your profile is up to date and includes relevant information and keywords, as well as a current, professional photo. Include as much detail as you can across as many sections as possible. This ensures a comprehensive view of you, as well as additional opportunities to connect with others. Use LinkedIn to research recruitment consultants and HR managers from companies you’d like to target. Join relevant groups, follow companies you’d like to work for, and connect with others in your industry. It’s not only an important job search and networking tool, but an essential resource that enables you to further develop your brand and reputation.

2. Identify Relevant Recruitment Consultants: identify recruiters that specialise in your area of expertise. Develop a great resume and cover letter and target them with your information. Make sure you include detail about the kind of value you can add to an organisation – without a job to target it can be hard to know what to focus on so make your content punchy and relevant to the types of roles you are seeking.

3. Engage in Traditional Networking: don’t ignore traditional networking in favour of social and online networking. You should still maintain contact with industry experts and others in your area – think about who you know and who you could connect with, then let them know you are seeking new opportunities. Determine different ways you could connect with people in your industry in addition to LinkedIn and use them – phone calls, emails, Facebook, face to face catch ups, relevant professional associations and groups, seminars and industry events, as well as other online networking groups etc.

4. Identify Potential Referrers: many companies prefer to recruit through existing employee recommendations. Think about specific companies you’d like to work for then research and network with others in your industry who may work there. Ask friends and family to keep an eye out for you as well, so you’re top of mind when a potential opportunity arises.

A systematic and consistent approach to staying in touch with a broader network will maximise your chance of success. Remember, there are many aspects to securing your next opportunity and if you’re finding it tough – you are not alone.

If you would like assistance from a LinkedIn Profile Writer to develop your LinkedIn Profile and help provide access to the hidden job market, please see our LinkedIn Profile Writing service.

If you are an employer and would like to assist employees through redundancy to secure a new role, please see our Outplacement Services.

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