4 tips to up your career game

posted by Christinap 16/08/2019 0 comments
Get your foot in the door

Once you’re in, it’s time to start showing off the knowledge and experience you have. Starting at the bottom is a great opportunity to grow your career within a company – your role may seem small right now, but it never hurts to think strategically with an eye on the future. A good example of this is a candidate we placed in an entry level reception and admin role who eventually worked her way up to becoming the Operations Manager.

Act on your industry passion

Focus in on what industry sector you are passionate about learn it well. Sticking to that sector will allow you to build invaluable industry specific knowledge and make you stand out to employers. We recently helped a Property Development client fill an EA role. They were more interested in finding someone with relevant industry experience rather than having the exact skills required – even considering candidates of a more junior level.

Make the company see the return

Companies are interested in finding and investing in clever, enthusiastic and driven candidates that can add value. Consider what added value you can bring to the company and your role. Upskilling in areas that might not be the focus of your role but can add value in other ways will help you get ahead and stand out – think client service skills, marketing, digital and public relations.

Evaluate your resume

A short, concise and clear CV will cut through the clutter and act as an effective marketing tool to help you land your dream job. Make sure you’re also consistent across your LinkedIn profile – it’s one of the first places a prospective employer will go to suss you out!

Don’t forget to sign up for job alerts and get your dream job now!

Our guide to illegal interview questions

posted by Christinap 13/08/2019 0 comments

We know that an interview can be a daunting task, no matter how well prepared a candidate is. But did you know that there are some questions that a prospective employer can’t ask in an interview? Generally, questions that seek information beyond what is relevant to the role are not acceptable and employers are also not allowed to ask candidates to provide information about their age, gender, ethnicity or sexuality.

It is also unlawful to discriminate against or refuse to employ a prospective employee on the basis of their physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.  But it is important to note that there are limited occasions when discrimination may be allowed if it relates to the requirements of the position.

In addition, different treatment is sometimes legal (and necessary) to enable a particular group of people to achieve equality with others, including gender quotas in the workplace and measures to reduce the discrimination or under-representation of specific ethnic or cultural groups.

However, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against candidates on the basis of the attributes outlined above, and if they do, candidates may be able to take legal action against the company. We’ve highlighted 4 questions below that are illegal or potentially discriminatory and suggestions for what you can be asked instead:

1. How old are you?

Unless your age directly relates to the job requirements (such as requiring proof of age to work in a licensed venue or proof of license to drive a delivery van). However because these documents contain information regarding the employee’s age and other protected attributes, such a request may be discriminatory. An employer should ask for this information/documents after an offer of employment has been made (or make any offer contingent on the documents being provided).

2. How do you juggle work and looking after your children?

This may suggest that a candidate’s family responsibilities are relevant to the decision to employ them. The family status of a prospective employee should never be used to discriminate against them. A better question would be to ask if the candidate is able to commit to working the following hours, etc.

3. Are you currently working?

Again, it is illegal to discriminate against a candidate because they are employed, unemployed, or on benefits. However, sometimes this question could be a legitimate way to determine when an employee would be able to start in the role. In this case, it would be better framed as “what date are you able to start”

4. Have you had any past injuries/illnesses?

This question relates to a protected attribute (disability) so is also unlawful. Depending on the circumstances, however, this question could be relevant if it is specifically aimed at asking about an illness or injury that would directly relate to the ability to perform the inherent requirements of the role. This question could be better framed as “is there any reason you might not be able to complete the duties required for this role?”

For more information or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9500 2797 for a confidential chat.


6 tips to help new starters settle in

posted by Christinap 10/08/2019 0 comments


You’ve found your new employee to join your team. Remember that first impressions matter, and can help set the tone for the entire time your new team member works with you.

So here are our 6 tips to help your new starters settle into their new workplace with ease:

1.Prepare and induction checklist and plan

It helps to have a document that outlines the process for on-boarding new employees. Things like setting up their computer and email, showing them the bathrooms and emergency exits, explaining key software, etc. Some form of checklist that covers the basics of your employee induction process will be a great help in making your job easier and helping your new employee to feel confident in their first few days and weeks.

Don’t forget to include items such as:

  • Introducing them to their team leader/direct manager and team
  • Performance standards and expectations of new employees
  • Office/work times
  • Team roles and responsibilities
  • Organisational chart
  • Layout of office – including where people sit and their names/roles
, as well as bathrooms, kitchen, etc
  • Security issues and access to the office
  • Safety and OHS procedures
2. Make sure that their workspace is ready for them

It will help to make your new employee feel like their desk and work area is really their own, so ensure it is clean and tidy before they start. It is also a good idea to ensure that their computer and email address are working and that all of the necessary stationery has been ordered and is waiting for them.

3. Introduce them to the team

After your new employee has arrived, it is important to give them a tour of the office and introduce them to each member of the office individually as well as outlining what job role they perform. This will have a huge positive impact on how much your new employee will feel part of the team. It could also be a good idea to have them sit with other members of the team for a couple of hours per week so that they can have a better idea of what it is that everyone does on a day to day basis.

4. Schedule regular catch ups and encourage feedback

It is important for new staff to have regular one on ones in their first few weeks. They will be able to check in with you with any feedback they have on their first few days and it will make them feel a little less lost. These don’t need to be every day, but a quick 15-20 minute catch up every 3 or 4 days will help iron out any initial teething problems and ensure new employees are happy carrying out core responsibilities and settling in.

5. Assign a buddy

A buddy means your new employee has a go-to colleague for any initial questions about the company and the environment. Sometimes staff will feel more comfortable asking their buddy certain questions than senior management, particularly if management are busy. Giving them a mentor from the team that is not you means that they will always have someone to ask for help or advice if you are not around and will make their integration into the team easier.

6. Organise a social event

Organising a social event after work hours is a great way for new and current employees to get to know one another in a more relaxed environment and a great way to celebrate the new employee! A casual out of office lunch or after work drinks in their first couple of weeks will go a long way in welcoming the new employee in a relaxed environment.


How to power through work this winter

posted by Christinap 23/07/2019 0 comments

When you live in Melbourne, you learn to love having every season in one day. And while every hour is different, we do experience an overarching biorhythm to the year that’s brought on by the changing seasons.

In summer, we love getting out and making the most of the warm weather. Great friends, fun activities, and bright summer beats.

But in winter, our energy levels lower and we begin to look forward to a night on the couch under a blanket with our loved ones.

The daylight hours are shorter, and before you know it the winter blues can easily creep in and bring us down. And with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD’s) impacting over one in three hundred Australians each year, it’s imperative we take care of ourselves in winter.

And since we spend such a large portion of our total waking hours at work, or motivational levels can easily wane and the hours can begin to drag.

Keeping your motivation levels high at work can be tricky. But rest assured! With a healthy mind and body, you can power through this winter. Here’s what we recommend.

    1. Start your morning with meditation
      Start every morning with a short 5–10-minute meditation. Some of the team at Brook have been using an app called Beditations. Meditation helps you visualize what you want, and the things you’re most grateful for and brings a sense of calm to the body.
    2. Get more sleep
      The scientific benefits of sleep are innumerable. Studies suggest that for the most health benefits, you should get at least 7 to 7½ hours of sleep a night. ( More sleep equates to more happiness, better health and improved decision-making. Not to mention that it detoxes the brain. In order to do your best work, it’s critical to constantly recharge your batteries.
    3. Fresh Air and Podcasting
      One of the best practices to reset your mindset on the go is to go out, get some fresh air, and listen to a podcast. This helps to stimulate and rest your brain. But for best results listen to something non-business-related! Try a little health or mindfulness, such as Bulletproof Radio and Buddhist Geeks. (Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences)
    4. Get A Plant
      Studies have found that plants in offices increase happiness and productivity (the guardian). The study found they can increase productivity by 15% and by bringing the outdoors in, you can get a little closer to nature and freshen your mood.
    5. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
      Each day brings a new set of hurdles to overcome. Instead of getting frustrated by these, learn to enjoy the ride and take thingstake as they come. One way to do this is to practice being present and living in the moment, rather than getting caught up in the stresses of the past or future. Being present allows you to focus on problem solving rather than the problem itself. (Forbes)
    6. Learn Something New
      Feeling a little uninspired at work? Challenge yourself to learn new skills. Talk to your manager to find ways that you can get involved in other areas of the business. Take a short course or even listed to a TED talk. Taking the time to learn new skills and take on new tasks at work can improve feelings of satisfaction and happiness.

By implementing these simple tricks this season, you can flip the switch on your winter experience and make this winter at your work place your best one yet!



posted by Christinap 25/06/2019 0 comments


Reception – Two Page Resume

Administration – One Page Resume

Property Sales – Two Page Resume

When you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it can be hard to know where to start. What experiences and accomplishments should you include for the jobs you’ve got your eye on? What new resume rules and trends should you be following? How many pages should it be?

Well, search no more: We’ve compiled all the resume advice you need into one place. Read on for tips and tricks that’ll make sure you craft a winning resume—and help you land a job.

#1 Keep it relevant

Think of your resume as a marketing flyer selling you as the perfect person for the job. For each job that you apply for, you want to highlight your key accomplishments that are relative to that position.

#2 Ditch the cover letter

This includes an objective statement. You want to put the best stuff on the first page. You want the recruiter and employer to see your best experience and accomplishments on the top third of the page.

#3 Keep it succinct

Your resume should be maximum 2 pages. You want the information to be as concise as possible. Trying to keep it to one page is a good way to force yourself to do this. If you truly have enough relevant and important experience, training, and credentials to showcase on more than one page of your resume, then go for it. Otherwise keep it short and sweet.

#4 Formatting, spelling and grammar

You might be thinking, ‘duh!’ but you’d be amazed at the amount of CVs we see with inconsistent font, captilisation of sentences and line spacing. Take care in how you present your resume. Spelling and grammar mistakes on your resume immediately tells the reader that you’re sloppy and careless. It’s a sure fire way not to get an interview.  

#5 Bullet points are key

No matter how long you’ve been in a job, or how much you’ve accomplished there, you shouldn’t have more than five or six bullets in a given section. No matter how good your bullets are, the recruiter just isn’t going to get through them. (the muse)

#7 Cut the fluff

Vague terms like, ‘team player’ and ‘hard worker’ have no substance. Think about more impactful ways to describe yourself and your achievements, e.g. actively contributed to the success of XYZ campaign which attributed a 5% lift in profits for that quarter.


10 steps to a better LinkedIn profile in 2019

posted by Christinap 28/05/2019 0 comments

LinkedIn continues to be a great way to network and connect. Now more than ever, your LinkedIn profile is your most important online job-seeking tool. Here are ten steps to ensure your profile is polished for 2019:

1. Write a killer headline and summary.

Make sure you describe what you do in under 120 characters in your headline. Be clear and informative, but also original and creative. Include relevant industry keywords (that will make you easier to find when people are searching for professionals in your field). And make sure to revisit your summary and revise it regularly to make sure it’s accurate and timely.

The summary section now also allows you to add images, videos, documents and links, so add relevant pieces that show off your best work.

Consider also offering a glimpse of your future goals, ideas and objectives, to give prospective employers a better insight to your career goals.

2. Nail your profile and background picture.

First impressions are everything! Use a high-quality, professional headshot (preferably 400×400 pixels). Also use a relevant background picture that speaks to your personal brand and conveys something meaningful about you. The ideal size for your background picture is 1584 x 396 pixels.

It’s also a good idea to make your profile visibility “Public.” When you change your profile picture visibility to “Public,” you make yourself easier to find via search engines or other networks.

3. Include only relevant workplace information.

Remember, you shouldn’t always list all your previous jobs—unless they’re relevant to your current job. Instead, focus on the workplaces and experiences that paint your professional credentials in a positive light.

Remember to update your current position, too. If you’ve received a promotion, won an award, published an article or are involved in an interesting project, it makes sense to update your profile accordingly.

4. Insert relevant skills.

Add whatever notable skills, certification or abilities you have, and ask your friends and colleagues to endorse you. Keep in mind: More is not more when it comes to LinkedIn Skills. It’s better to list fewer skills (and gain endorsements on those) than to list a wide array of unendorsed skills.

Update this section regularly—or at least whenever you learn a new skill. You should also delete skills that are no longer relevant to your career interests.

5. Add certificates.

Do you have any relevant certifications? Did you graduate from a course or receive any online training? Make sure to post them and elaborate.

6. Ask for recommendations.

Substantive, descriptive recommendations from former or current colleagues are perhaps the most persuasive piece of content you can have on your LinkedIn profile. Write recommendations for others freely, and be bold about asking for friends to return the favor.

You can find the buttons for requesting and writing a recommendation by going to your contact’s profile page and clicking the white “More …” button next to “Message.”

7. Publish articles.

If you’re looking for search visibility, LinkedIn isn’t necessarily the best place to add articles. However, publishing articles is a great way to show off your expertise.

Try to write a new article at least every three months, and cover topics that are hot in your industry. Pay attention to pictures and title length, too. Your title should not exceed 60 characters.

If you can think of specific people who might enjoy your article, tag them in the message as well. The organic reach of LinkedIn articles is quite low, so adding keywords and tagging people are good ways to increase your reach and help your article gain visibility.

8. Edit your URL.

When you created your LinkedIn profile, it had some ugly combination of letters, numbers, and backslashes. LinkedIn makes it easy to create a short URL with your name in it. Copy that URL into your email signature so that employers and recruiters can find you on LinkedIn quickly. This will also make you easier to find through search engines. In the upper-right corner of your profile, you’ll see “Edit public profile and URL.”

9. Optimise your profile’s search visibility.

Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn has an algorithm. There’s a lot you can do to make your profile more visible such as including relevant keywords in your headline, adding your city to your profile, inserting work samples, making sure your contact information is complete and joining relevant industry centric groups.

10. Spell check, spell check, spell check. Poor grammar and typos can make an impressive profile look embarrassing very quickly.


Does your workplace have a growth mindset?

posted by Christinap 12/04/2019 0 comments

Adaptability has always been a key role in workplace success. Now more than ever, our careers require us to be constantly evolving. Having a “growth” mindset versus a “fixed” one might be the to way to successfully change your behaviours, find meaningful work, build better habits, and stay current in the future of work.

What is a growth mindset?

People with a growth mindset believe abilities, like talent and intelligence, can be developed through hard work and dedication. They seek out opportunities to experiment, enjoy learning and view failure as an opportunity to grow.

Those with a fixed mindset believe the opposite. They feel like they are born with a set level of talent and intelligence, and because of this, they’re more likely to seek out opportunities and situations where these views are affirmed (like doing the same job over and over to receive praise). They also may believe that talent alone, is the source of success. This may be harmful in the long run as it prevents their ability to grow, develop and learn new skills.

How does this impact the workplace?

In the workplace, the fixed mindset employee will be more likely to stick to “business as usual”. They’ll try to use techniques and solutions that have worked for them in the past. They may not be willing to rely on their talents alone. On the other hand, the growth mindset employee believes that the best work comes from trying new solutions. They’ll be more likely to search out opportunities to test new and forward-looking solutions, without fear that they won’t be good at it right away, or that it might not be the right choice.

People with fixed mindsets are more likely to set performance goals (like moving a metric or hitting a KPI) instead of learning goals (like bettering your skills). It might seem like not a big deal, but focusing on performance goals defers to short-term thinking and makes you feel like you either pass or fail.

How can an awareness of growth mindsets help your company?

When organizations only measure employees by outcomes, this creates a “fixed mindset” culture, where being intelligent and talented is prized above all other behaviours. When you are too worried that the outcome is all that matters, it seems you may do whatever it takes to deliver a result including hoarding resources, potentially lying to colleagues or clients, and blaming others when things don’t go right. The biggest risk is that potentially valuable learning opportunities that enable growth and innovation will be ignored.

When a company measure employees by the efforts that they make and embody a “growth mindset” culture of development, the willingness to put in our best effort, to learn and to grow is what’s valued the most. When employees feel confident that giving things their best shot and learning from the experience is what really counts, it seems they may be more willing to collaborate with others and to learn from success and failures.. Perhaps most importantly, they will be given the tools to be equipped to deal with setbacks and seek out opportunities for growth and innovation.

Leaders have an especially unique role in fostering this culture of a growth mindset. The growth mindset in the workplace shapes our ability to create innovative, risk-taking cultures and have happier employees. Rather than seeing success as confined in a box, they see greater opportunity. Leaders with a growth mindset see talent and intelligence just as the starting point and are interested in cultivating people’s effort and willingness to learn.

In the journey of continuous improvement, demonstrating a growth mindset can be contagious in promoting a positive organisational culture.


Rise of the Returnship: an untapped talent pool

posted by Christinap 19/03/2019 0 comments

Returning to work after an extended break, for instance, maternity leave, can be a real challenge for employees. Understandably, employee confidence can wane amidst the job market and pace of technology changing so rapidly. Women returning to work after a career break face multiple challenges such as balancing work and caring commitments, a loss of confidence and the need to update skills and knowledge.

Recognising that women returning to work after a career break are an untapped resource, many forward thinking Australian companies have started to target this pool of talented employees with “returnships”. This trend has seen great success and uptake in the UK and USA and no doubt savvy Australian companies will continue to follow suit in creating similar programs.

A returnship is a program to support professionals who are looking to restart their careers after a lengthy absence from the workforce. These programs aim to support women transitioning back into the workforce after a career break of two years or more and usually last for a few weeks to a few months. They usually target professionals in mid to higher levels than say an internship.

Throughout the program, staff are given additional training and mentoring to help bring their skills up to scratch and to slowly familiarise themselves to the pace of their new work environment. Some additional benefits of a returnship program include:

  • Growing the employees network
  • Learning new skills
  • Building their resume with relevant experience
  • Getting a foothold into a leading corporate organisation

We believe programs like returnships are the way of the future and will go a long way in ensuring your company remains competitive and attracts the best candidates in the market. Some of Australia’s biggest players in the finance and professional service sectors have gotten on board with offering formal returnship programs (including, Macquarie Group’s Returner Program and Deloitte’s Return to Work) and we have noticed a growing interest coming from some of our clients to look to offer something similar to tap into this highly skilled talent pool.

For more information or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9500 2797 for a confidential chat.


7 Ways To Start Off 2019 Right

posted by Christinap 06/01/2019 0 comments

A new year means an opportunity for a fresh start at work. What can you do to start the new year off right? Here’s our top tips you can implement now!

1. Set goals

Make a point to identify where you are now and where you want to be at this time next year. Start planning on how you can achieve you goals, whether they be small or large. Keep in mind: if you don’t know where you’re going, it will be tough to get there.

2. Reflect on your successes

Take the time to document and list out your accomplishments over the past year. And don’t forget to  update your resume and LinkedIn to reflect where you are at today.

3. List new skills you’ll need

You might need to think of potential new skills you’ll need to acquire to move ahead with your career plans. Now is a good time to form a strategy on how you can get them. Talk to your boss to determine if there are ways you can augment your current skills by participating in new projects.

4. Keep an eye on the future

The start of a new year is a good time to think about the outlook for your company and industry sector. Are there any opportunities on the horizon or potential issues to be aware of? Be realistic and honest and consider what action you should take if prospects aren’t promising.

5. Be flexible

It’s difficult to go very far at work if you aren’t flexible. Try your best to be open to new ideas and new ways to do things and make a goal to try to say “yes” more than “no” at work when it comes to suggestions from your colleagues and supervisors.

6. Network, network, network

You’ve heard that networking is the best way to get a job; take that advice and make a point to expand your circle of contacts. The more people who know, like and trust you and think you are good at what you do, the better the chance of you finding and landing new opportunities in the new year.

7. Break out of your rut

If you’ve been feeling that you are stuck in a career rut, now may be the perfect time to plan for a change. There’s no time like the present to start thinking about new opportunities and looking for your dream job.

If you’re looking for a new start to 2019, get in touch with with us today on 9500 2797 or email And don’t forget to sign up for job alerts and get your dream job now!


5 Ways To Wrap Up The End Of The Year At Work!

posted by Christinap 23/11/2018 0 comments

It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks we will be entering into 2019! When we think of closing the year out, we want to do our best in completing all those last-minute or lagging projects before December 31. We have always found it beneficial to wrap up all loose ends in 2018 and enter into 2019 with a fresh start.  

There is nothing like putting a little more pressure on yourself, but just think how great you will feel knowing you completed everything by your deadline.

Here are our top tips to help you wrap up tasks by the end of the year:

  1. Make a list: Make a list of all the things you need to complete by the end of the year.  Include projects you are currently working on, ones that need to be completed and ones that may carry over into the new year.  This will give you a clear picture of what needs to be done and will keep you motivated.
  2. Review and purge old documents and files:  Now is a great time to organise and file all your hard and soft documents. Organising, filing, and purging documents to close out 2018 will leave you in a great position to start fresh after the holidays and mentally will make you feel a lot less cluttered.  
  3. Review and reflect:  Take time out to review and reflect on your accomplishments. Were you responsible for making positive changes? Did you achieve any major goals and KPIs? Maybe you did something that had a positive impact on the employees and organisation. Whatever your successes were in 2018, be proud of your accomplishments and give yourself credit.
  4. Clean out and organise your emails:  This is a great time to go through all your old emails and delete the ones that are no longer relevant or needed.  Create folders for all of the important emails that you need to keep. This is a great way to ensure your inbox is clutter-free and will help you to stay organised. 
  5. Set obtainable work goals for 2019:  Now that 2018 is coming to a close, it is time to start thinking about setting yourself new, obtainable goals for 2019.  Choose goals that will help your grow, improve your skills, enhance your career and make you happy.

We hope these tips help you to get organised and prepared for the new year, whilst also ensuring you have a relaxing break. From all of us at Brook Recruitment, we wish you great success in closing out 2018 and a happy and prosperous Holiday Season and wonderful 2019!

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