Posts Tagged ‘career development’

Assets of the Mature-Aged Job Seeker

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Career Development

looking for a jobFor those of us who’ve been in the workforce for quite some time now, there are many changes in the employment sector that we’ve been privy to. This includes the evolution of career documentation into job targeted resumes and accompanying brand collateral such as LinkedIn. It also includes ever-changing technologies fuelled by a more dynamic and globally competitive marketplace where it’s more essential than ever to stand out.

While it can seem like a challenge, the tailoring of your career documentation is an opportunity to strategically provide the most relevant information, while avoiding other data that may detract and/or distract. The old-style resume format that listed your entire employment and academic history (with dates) is a thing of the past. And without wanting to go on too much about potential age bias, here are several pointers to consider when revamping your old resume:

  • Don’t overdo the way-back dates – for example, most prospective employers won’t be that interested in knowing that you graduated from high school in 1989, particularly if you’ve had extensively more appropriate employment experience since then.
  • Remove out-dated technical skills – try and ensure the IT and other technical capabilities you list in your resume are contemporary to today’s workplace; for example, Word Perfect word-processing software is well past its used-by date.
  • Forget including a personal objective – most employers of today want to know what you can specifically bring to the table for them, how your employment will be advantageous, rather than what you’re individually seeking from the company to aid your career progression.

First and foremost, as an older job applicant, use the customising of your resume and other career documentation to highlight to recruiters how your long-term career history – not to mention your more mature approach to life – is going to benefit the employer organisation.

“What the tech industry often forgets is that with age comes wisdom. Older workers are usually better at following direction, mentoring, and leading.”

(Vivek Wadhwa, US Technology Entrepreneur and Academic)

Some of the primary professional assets that mature-aged job seekers should factor in when writing up their applications are as follows:

  • Opportunities from lessons learnt – so much of what we learn about ourselves in relation to our preferred job role is ‘on the job’, and anyone who’s been in the workforce for an extensive amount of time is more likely to have an array of examples they can source and integrate.
  • Well-rounded people skills – while some of us are born with interpersonal skills, it’s again often within work situations including conflicts of interest and teamwork-driven exercises that we further evolve our ability to engage, persuade, resolve and constructively take on feedback.
  • Exposure to change – just about anyone who’s been working for a decade or two (or three) will have encountered upheavals, whether it’s company takeovers, large-scale technology upgrades, and/or significant market expansion; highlight how well you adapted across such situations.

These are only some of the areas that will better ‘sell’ your well-developed career trajectory. First and foremost, don’t take on board any of the ‘on the shelf’ hype when you have such an expansive skillset you can offer employers. In today’s marketplace, it’s all about putting your best – albeit tweaked – foot forward, so embrace the brand tailoring scenario and use it to your best advantage.

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Sarah Cronin Consulting collaborates with job seekers to ensure their next chosen career step is professionally presented and successfully obtained. In addition to resumes and cover letters, we also design selection criteria, LinkedIn profiles and other career documentation, and provide LinkedIn coaching and interview skills training that ensures your career prospers. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs further.

Are Your Skills and Achievements Ready for 2017?

Posted on: January 25th, 2017 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Career Development

executive resume achievementsWhile a recent Hays report has identified job roles and sectors that are ‘hot’ in 2017, it has also emphasised the need to continue to boost and individualise your professional capabilities to stand out in today’s highly competitive marketplace. If you’re not continually expanding your skills horizons while keeping track of your specific job achievements, you could be doing yourself a career disservice.

According to Hays, the six roles that are most likely to be in demand this year are Financial Analysts, Payrollers, Site Managers, Data Analysts, DevOps Engineers and Sales Administrators. Those within renewable energy, disability case load management and HR business partnering are also going to be significantly focused on by recruiters. However, don’t despair if your own career history has no association with these areas.

It’s also been reported by Hays that prospective employees who can prove their ability to add value to an organisation are going to stand out in 2017.

“In compiling our list of skills in demand, one common trend was employers’ requests for candidates who can add extra value.” (Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand)

So if you haven’t been intuitively recording the personal contributions you’ve made to your employer organisations, or if you’ve been putting off an additional certification that’s only going to boost your credentials, it’s time to start taking action. There are very few roles out there today where you can continue to complete the same day-to-day tasks and responsibilities without diversifying or intensifying your scope and capabilities. It’s up to you to make yourself and your strengths and accomplishments stand out, so keep developing and keep track.

Another sector that’s really ‘burning’ this year is industrial robotics and service robotics, while the more people-focused frontline case managers and education-based childcare staff are also highlighted as ‘must have more’ in Australia’s professional marketplace. Here’s a link to the relevant Hays article if you’d like to find out more about skills in demand in 2017.

Having assisted many to achieve and even exceed their job seeking dreams, I’d strongly recommend you make this the year where you take that course, strive for that promotion and/or opt to be the technical subject matter expert to both broaden and deepen your professional offerings. Embrace self-instigated change and development to bolster and enrich your career opportunities, both within and outside of your current workplace.
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Sarah Cronin has extensive experience in collaborating with job seekers to ensure their next chosen career step is professionally presented and successfully obtained. In addition to resumes and cover letters, we also develop LinkedIn profiles, selection criteria and other career documentation that ensures your career prospers. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs further.

How to Make a Smooth and Constructive Job Transition

Posted on: November 9th, 2016 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Career Development

career changeWhether you’re changing companies or moving into a new role with the same employer, including job promotions, ‘new kid on the block’ feelings are highly likely. Yet job transitions are an ideal opportunity to bolster and reinvent our personal brand – to re-assess and build on our professional strengths, skills and areas of expertise. Particularly when such changes are founded on steady, positive acceptance of the need to grow and evolve how we think and perform within our role.

Some tips to consider when starting out in a new role, to ensure a smooth and constructive initiation, are as follows:

Leave your baggage at the door:  The old adage that first impressions count is highly relevant when you’re in the initial stages of a job change. No matter how stressful or negative your experiences were in your former role, don’t bring these with you into your next role. Instead, convey proactivity, objectivity and a willingness to learn on the job as soon as you walk through that new door of opportunity.

Expect doubts and niggles:  No job is going to feel immediately ‘right’ the moment you step into it, so accept those newcomer ‘can I do this’ feelings and try to positively outride and override them. Furthermore, employers often talk up a role as much as the interviewee has talked up their capabilities, so don’t be too surprised if some elements of the role diverge from your initial expectations.

Set expectations and boundaries:  From your first day in your new role, start setting ground-rules on what your colleagues can expect from you, and what you’d prefer they don’t expect from you. Ask plenty of questions to fully understand the scope of your role. Accept and learn from your rookie mistakes – keep notes on your findings including the corresponding guidance from others.

Take your time getting to know others:  Make the effort to get to know your colleagues by name – retain as many names as you can from the outset. Avoid office gossip and politics from the get-go, and trust your own private judgement and instincts when working out how those around you tick. Also, promote yourself as a team player – listen, collaborate and learn from those around you, and consider taking on a mentor.

Avoid trying to reinvent the broken wheel:  It’s highly beneficial to spend time analysing what’s been attempted by your predecessors, to both learn from such efforts and to avoid wasting time trying something that has already proven to be ineffective. Also ensure any innovations and/or improvements you’re considering introducing to the organisation align with the overall business strategy and objectives. Set your own personal goals and monitor how you progress – self-acknowledge and list your accomplishments for future reference.

There’s no doubt that a job change can be both daunting and emotionally-draining, but if you’re accepting of the initial hiccups and have a strategy in place to help you ride out any doubts or issues, your assimilation into a new role is far likely to be less stressful. Embrace being the ‘new kid on the block’ and use this time to extend on your knowledge and expertise, to the benefit of both your own personal brand and the company you’re working for.

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Sarah Cronin Consulting has extensive experience in collaborating and consulting with clients throughout their job transitions. From devising job-winning career documentation, to providing interview training and job search coaching, professionalism and career enhancement are the primary objectives. Contact us if you’re considering changing jobs and would like to find out more.

How to Resign the Right Way – Keep It Professional and Forward-Thinking

Posted on: September 23rd, 2016 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Career Development

Executive Resume Writing

Recent statistics have estimated that the average person will change jobs between 10 and 15 times throughout their professional career. That’s a significant amount of career transitions, most of which are going to involve a prominent amount of influential (and potentially detrimental) accomplices and bystanders, from bosses and colleagues to business-critical customers.

How you shift from one job to the next can therefore have a long-term impact on how your career progresses. The term ‘six degrees of separation’ immediately springs to mind when considering the professional networks that surround most of us. Online channels like LinkedIn are now making those ties and bonds with our industry alumni even more influential.

With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to ensure you resign from your current employer with professionalism and respect – always looking forward to future job opportunities.

Identify why you’re leaving: Before making any resignation announcements, formulate in your mind why you’ve decided to hand in your notice. Could it be that you just want your employer to address your issues and you can’t see any other way of achieving this? In such situations, it’s even more essential that you’ve constructed valid reasons, and that you’re prepared for either scenario – the company may not want to meet your demands.

  • Alternatively, if you’re moving onto another employer, make sure you have the job offer in writing before taking that resignation step.

Discuss F2F followed by writing: Despite so many communications now being conducted online or via the phone, this is one situation where a face-to-face meeting is highly relevant. With your reasons already identified (as above), try and remove any negative emotions, and discuss your decision objectively and empathically. Most bosses will appreciate an upfront and well-considered resignation – they’ve probably been in the same position themselves.

  • Always follow up the initial resignation discussion with something in writing – confirm what’s been discussed as well as dates, etc. Know your contract terms.

Be open to a professional handover: Despite your contract terms, you may be asked to stay on for an additional amount of time to enable the company to hire and train up your replacement. This may even involve you spending your extra agreed-to time doing a job handover. It’s always better to leave an employer on positive terms, so be as flexible as you can and avoid any negative speak.

  • Upsetting or disappointing one employer could filter through to other potential employers – keep it friendly and professional.

Always keep networks top-of-mind: The professional webs that make up our career paths are smaller than ever before due to social media and other electronic communications. In most professions, we’re now encouraged to reconnect and maintain contact with former colleagues and customers (including other former industries), especially via LinkedIn. Thus, whenever you’re shifting jobs, it’s critical to stay focused on future networking opportunities. Who knows when that boss you had 10 years ago may pop up as a key link of introduction for your next preferred employer.

  • Use a forward-thinking approach when leaving your job – unanticipated career prospects may come from a former colleague.

It’s no doubt exhilarating and self-replenishing when changing jobs, particularly if you’ve been feeling dissatisfied in your former role and/or with your employer organisation. But always ensure your forward-moving career steps factor in job opportunities for the long term. Unexpected prospects could arise via the alumni you’ve maintained positive relationships with, including former bosses. ________________________________________________________________________________

Sarah Cronin has extensive experience in collaborating and consulting with clients throughout their job transitions. From providing career advancement coaching (interview skills, job search, LinkedIn), to devising job-winning documentation, professionalism and career enhancement are the primary objectives. Email or call us if you’re considering applying for a job and would like to find out more.

5 BIG Mistakes You’re Probably Making in Your Resume

Posted on: February 25th, 2016 by Sarah Cronin 1 Comment in resumes, Uncategorized

professional resume writing servicesA job seeker who’d been in the career game for many years recently contacted me, perplexed at why his application wasn’t even getting a sniff from recruiters. He’d been diligent at keeping his resume up-to-date, from consistently adding every job he’d had in the past 20 years to methodically listing all of his personal achievements. Although this was the first time he’d actually had to put his resume ‘out there’, as most previous job changes had been via referrals or long-term employment opportunities.

This job seeker, who soon became a client, was completely unaware of how much job application standards and expectations have changed, particularly in regards to resumes. Gone are the days when you could draft up one generic resume that could be sent to a range of potential employers across various industries. Below are five of the most common errors to avoid, if you want to ensure your resume gets you through to interview stage.

  1. Sending out a ‘one-size-fits-all’ resume: Recruiters and potential employers expect to see resumes that have been fully customised for their current vacancy. For example, there’s no benefit in telling an IT organisation about your strengths in hospitality. Your resume should immediately emphasise your IT capabilities, in line with what that organisation is seeking.
  2. Specifying your career objective: Recruiters and potential employers are far more interested in how your experience and skillset is going to benefit them, rather than knowing what your personal career objective is. By all means, highlight your enthusiasm to continue to professionally develop, but ensure it’s in a way that’s going to benefit that specific organisation.
  3. Listing soft skills & standard responsibilities: Let’s face it, anyone can say in their resume that they’re a ‘great communicator’ or a ‘hardworking employee’ – soft skills like these (and standard responsibilities – e.g. filing or answering phones) aren’t going to help your job application stand out. Instead, provide evidence of what you’ve personally achieved in previous roles and how this could be of identifiable benefit to the prospective employer.
  4. Including superfluous information: Unless you’re applying for a job within a fitness organisation, most employers don’t really want to know that you run most weekends. They’re also unlikely to want to know that you worked part-time in a milk bar 20+ years ago, prior to finishing uni. Keep your resume specific to the role you’re applying for – don’t over-indulge in irrelevant details or your most significant information could be overlooked.
  5. Ignoring the importance of keyword optimisation: Many recruiters use online applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sift through an abundance of applications, so neglecting to keyword optimise could mean your job application isn’t even seen by human eyes. As part of the job customising of your resume, do your research and always include industry relevant and/or specific job ad terms.

Investing in a professionally written, keyword optimised and job customised resume and cover letter paid off for the perplexed job seeker referred to above. By showing what he could personally offer prospective employers based on what he’d already achieved, his job application began to stand out and eventuated in a positive career move.

Sarah Cronin Consulting, professional resume writing services, collaborates with job seekers to ensure their next chosen career step is professionally presented and successfully obtained. In addition to resumes and cover letters, we also design LinkedIn profiles, corporate biographies, selection criteria and other career documentation that ensures your career prospers. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs further.

LinkedIn Proactivity to Reap Rewards

Posted on: July 3rd, 2015 by Sarah Cronin 1 Comment in LinkedIn Profiles

Executive Resume WriterThere’s no doubt your career will benefit from a professionally and strategically written LinkedIn profile. However, keep in mind that it’s not going to reap all those potential career rewards if it’s then sitting idle. Marketing yourself on LinkedIn should involve consistent interaction as well as findable and engaging profile information.

If you want to be found and sought after on LinkedIn, you need to develop a collaborative, professionally revealing presence. By sharing knowledge and insights, increasing your connections, and assessing and aligning with who’s offering what in your marketplace (customers and competitors), you’re more likely to ‘light up’ your LinkedIn profile for more to see.

Groups and postings: Consistently sharing your professional learnings and opinions via LinkedIn confirms to others that you’re an expert in your field, and potentially keeps you top of mind for future opportunities. In addition, the more industry relevant groups you join and interact in, the more LinkedIn is likely to reward you via search rankings.

Multiple connections: The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the more exposure your postings, profile and other interactions will receive. Connect with a range of LinkedIn members relevant to your situation and target to increase your scope – this may open unexpected doors of opportunity.

Gauge your competition: The more you know about what your competitors are offering and saying about themselves – and where they’re positioned in search rankings – the easier it will be to identify and assess your own strengths and abilities to leverage LinkedIn marketing prospects.

Research potential employees: If there’s a company you’re particularly interested in working for, don’t feel you have to sit back and wait for them to advertise. Instead, strategically plan out how your offerings could benefit them, taking the time to know their ins and outs (including appropriate contact names), and then make contact via LinkedIn. You’re more likely to be perceived as organisation relevant when you’ve done your homework and customised accordingly.

LinkedIn is one of the largest (if not the largest) online professional networks across the globe – taking advantage of it will enrich and advance your career. You’re highly likely to exceed professional expectations when your online marketing strategy is underpinned by LinkedIn.

 

We would be happy to help you put together a findable, insightful and engaging LinkedIn profile as part of your online career development. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your LinkedIn profile further.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Posted on: May 27th, 2015 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Career Development

Professional Resume Writing ServicesWhether a current or former student, most of us are aware that this question can be tricky to answer. Who does really know what they want to be when they leave school? Maybe a handful of students; others instead waiting to submerge themselves in the ‘employment waters’ before deciding.

Many of us were told when we were young and budding with career opportunities that this is something we’ll figure out once we’ve ventured out into the ‘real world’. Yet recent research findings on the academic and research website The Conversation indicate otherwise – that we should start considering and striving for our preferred career path while still at school, even if this could change into the future.

Youth unemployment stands out: While it’s now less common to leave school prior to Year 12, latest statistics have noted that around 20% of Australian teens that do (aged 15-19) are unemployed – three times the national average. If we also consider that in today’s employment market there are less job offerings for low or unskilled labour – learning-on-the-job opportunities are minimal – it’s easy to imagine how hard it is for youth to find work.

The longer it takes, the longer it gets: If we also factor in that a lengthy career gap can make it difficult to slip back into the workforce, it’s even more understandable that student-aged jobseekers struggle to find work. The transition from education to employment is often challenging enough, and no doubt even more so if you’re lacking in certifications as well as work experience.

Education enthusiasm translates to employment: The statistics in this research also suggest that students who are more academically driven are often better focused on their career aspirations, along with those that find their subjects interesting and relevant. It would appear that a satisfied student often translates to a job-satisfied employee.

Start young and leverage opportunities: It was also identified that younger students generally have higher career aspirations than older ones, so early intervention could prove beneficial to future employment stakes. The results also indicate that student access to career education sessions and work experience will positively influence future employment outcomes.

 

I can collaborate with you to produce resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and other relevant career documentation; and can also provide tips and suggestions to improve your jobseeking process. Contact me to learn more.

Career Prospects in 2015 and Beyond

Posted on: December 4th, 2014 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Career Development

Career DevelopmentIt’s the beginning of another year filled with fresh opportunities and new sets of plans, aims and hopes. Our careers take up such a hefty chunk of our lives, it’s little wonder they’re often a key part of our dreams and aspirations.

DOE survey reveals best opportunities

Remember the ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ talks from your childhood? Still not sure how to answer such questions? If you’re sussing out where your professional goals and talents best align – or considering making a ‘great career escape’ – the Commonwealth Department of Education’s recent survey findings could be your ticket to career contentment.

Certain industries will lead the way

For those who’ve been contemplating a career in healthcare, social welfare, electro and telecoms technology, or mining or construction, your professional future looks promising. The DOE predicts these industries and their corresponding occupations to be among the highest climbers over the next 1-2 years.

Other industries it foresees as having the most impact on employment growth up to 2016-17 are:

  • Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
  • Education & Training
  • Retail Trade
  • Transport, Postal & Warehousing
  • Accommodation & Food Services
  • Financial & Insurance Services

Relevant occupations it believes will most affect future employment growth include:

  • MPs & Nurses
  • Health & Welfare Support Workers
  • Electrotechnology & Telecommunications Trades
  • Engineers
  • Health Diagnostic & Therapy Professions
  • Construction Trades

There’s plenty of room for creativity

The DOE has also cited the top 10 most promising technology trends that will assist in future sustainable growth, as identified by the World Economic Forum. These include conversion and purification of unwanted CO2 and water, preventative molecular nutrition and remote body sensoring, and online electronic motor vehicles.

So if you’re someone with a strong desire to deviate and innovate, areas such as science, health analysis or electrotechnology could be the right career path. See http://www.jobguide.thegoodguides.com.au/Building-your-career/Looking-towards-the-future for more information.

Please view our resume samples for a visual idea of what we can do for you, view our professional resume writing services, or contact us to learn more.