Posts Tagged ‘careers’

Tips for the Less ‘Out There’ Job Seekers and Career Networkers

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Jobseeking

executive job seekerWhile more outgoing people often thrive in face-to-face, ‘I’m here’ professional interactions, some of us prefer a subtler approach to making contact. The thought of attending a business networking event with teems of fellow attendees can be pretty overwhelming to those that aren’t so outgoing. And then there’s the daunting prospect of initiating phone and/or ‘coffee contact’ with someone we know or know of. It’s no doubt highly beneficial in today’s employment environment to network, network, network, but it doesn’t always have to involve picking up the phone or fronting up and introducing yourself with a hello handshake, followed by continual ‘remember me’ conversations.

“Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” (Jay Baer, Internet Pioneer & Best-Selling Author)

Use social media to advance, not dis-advance your career

Think we all know by now there are some negative aspects of social media that can tarnish your job prospects. For example, most prospective bosses are going to feel less inclined to draw up your employment contract if they’ve just spotted you on Facebook downing cocktails at the last Christmas work do, or if they’ve just read your latest rant about how someone at work has brought out your angry side. If you’re one of those individuals that more confidently engages via digital channels, just be sure to promote and represent yourself wisely. Always keep in mind that many organisations now trawl through your social media profile to better understand ‘what makes you tick’.

Focus on LinkedIn – the world-leading networking platform

As the more professional social media sibling, LinkedIn has delivered an abundance of career opportunities that were previously unavailable to many of us – particularly those of us that are less ‘out there’. Not only can we privately conduct comprehensive research on potential employers and networkers – as well as look up old workmates – but we can also initiate contact in a less intrusive, more considered manner. The numerous digital engagement tools on LinkedIn allow us to carefully deliberate our communications, including encouraging us to offer input and advice to others in our industry/network, to showcase our strengths and offerings without over-selling ourselves. Take a look at our article LinkedIn Proactivity to Reap Rewards for more insight.

Monitor your business relationships – don’t overdo it

Most recruiters agree that it’s not going to do your career any favour if you’re conveying desperation via persistent contact and transparent self-promotions. In addition to using LinkedIn and other social media to subtly highlight your skills, expertise and professional interests, online tools and databases can help you keep track of your networking plans and history. CRM systems will not only store all your critical contact details, but also enable you to monitor the ‘current state of play’ of each professional relationship (e.g. last time you met and/or last time you did work together).

Professional networking has been around for a long time, and has time and again proven to be a key component of someone landing their dream role. So if you’re someone who doesn’t want to have to really put yourself out there to procure such career connections, take the time developing an online presence and digital interaction routine instead. We’re not all extroverts when it comes to personally leveraging others to boost our job prospects, but we’re all capable and worthy of developing a digital profile that reminds others of the professional benefits we have on offer.

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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.

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.

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.

6 Sure-Fire Ways to Reduce Jobseeker Stress

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 by Sarah Cronin No Comments in Jobseeking

Executive Resume WriterI recently worked with a distressed, somewhat disenchanted client who’d been out of work for over two years. As most of his work experience had been overseas, we needed to draw out career highlights that could be locally translated, while re-establishing his self-belief and confidence.

Yet most job seekers know that professional career documentation is only one of the essential career contributors. Job seeking can be both physically and mentally draining, but if we maintain a realistic, routine focus – treating the job search like a job – we’re more likely to maintain our anxiety levels and exude positivity.

It’s very important to set reasonable boundaries when seeking employment – an organised, untroubled job applicant is far more appealing to recruiters than one sending out ‘stress signals’. So here are six tips to help ensure your next job search is focused, balanced and rewarding.

  1. Act like you’re in a job: Work out what time of day you’re at your best, and dedicate at least some of this to your job search. Whether looking up job ads or chasing applications, be strict with your time and keep progress notes. Sticking to a timetable should free up time for other interests – much-needed rejuvenation.
  2.  Don’t overstretch yourself: As part of your routine, set a realistic target for each job seeking activity, such as how many applications you’ll send or follow-up calls you’ll make each day. Don’t overdo these targets, as this could lead to unnecessary stress and a sense of disappointment.
  3.  Use the right tools: Think about what electronic or paper-based resources are going to help you stay organised, such as an online app and/or standard A4 notebook. Itemise and tick off each of your job seeking tasks as you go – you’ll then feel more productive and progressive.
  4.  Don’t overstress yourself: Recruiters don’t always acknowledge or respond to job applications, even if you follow-up, so don’t take this personally. Focus on the positive career steps and results, and celebrate them.
  5.  Consider giving back: Sticking to a timetable with ‘me’ time should prevent you from becoming obsessed with your job search. Voluntary work could also be beneficial – providing a sense of self-worth and community participation, further developing your skills, and perhaps even providing unexpected job opportunities.
  6. Fake it til you make it: Your thought and sensory glands generally respond well to positive thoughts, so keep visualising career achievements. Focus on those ‘scarier’ job search tasks, such as making a cold call, and visualise success and optimistic outcomes.

The job search process can be both time-consuming and all-consuming, but following the above recommendations should keep you more balanced and forward-moving on your career journey.

Contact us 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.