Author

Rowan

Templates and Guides

8 steps to create an awesome LinkedIn profile

posted by Rowan 08/09/2017 0 comments

A killer LinkedIn profile is mandatory if you want to grow your personal brand and company.

LinkedIn, is one of the first places a prospective employer will go to suss you out. The more you put in to LinkedIn, the more you’ll get out of it.

    1. Use your professional name. No nicknames
    2. Get a killer headshot. For more tips read our blog Is your headshot killing your job opportunities?
    3. Update your professional headline. Include your current position and highlight your expertise. E.g. Executive Assistant and Marketing Professional. Your headline is what shows up in a search result so make the most of the opportunity.  
    4. Ensure your location and industry reflect your current position
    5. Your summary is everything! It should expand on what appears in your headline, highlighting your specialties, career experience, noteworthy accolades, and key achievements or thought leadership.
    6. Spell check, spell check, spell check. Poor grammar and typos can make an impressive profile look embarrassing very quickly.
    7. Use the right keywords. Using the right keywords will expose you to more potential connections and opportunities. Identify the words you want to be found for when people use LinkedIn search and use those keywords in your headline, summary, and profile.
    8. Personalize Your LinkedIn Profile 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.
Templates and Guides

Take the anxiety out of resigning with these 5 tips

posted by Rowan 08/09/2017 0 comments

You may have spent the last few months fantasising about how you might resign. It may have included your boss begging you not to go and offering you large sums of money to stay. But now that you’ve accepted your new job, the reality has set it in. You need to resign and it’s most likely not ‘the best time’. It never really is. Don’t despair, we’ve got 5 hot tips for you that will help you to resign in a professional manner that won’t leave you feeling ill afterward.

Before you do anything though, be sure to have all your details finalised with your new employer. Including a signed letter of offer or contract and the details of your commencement in place. You want to feel confident that your new role is secure before you inform your current employer that you’re leaving. Ok, now that we’ve got that piece of housekeeping out of the way let’s look at how you can resign and keep your reputation intact.

  1. Write a formal resignation letter. The letter doesn’t need to be extensive – just a brief note that outlines your appreciation for your tenure at the organisation and include the anticipated date of your last day. Do not write about the reasons why you are leaving. If, the organisation wants to learn more about why you’ve resigned they will ask you if you’d like to participate in an exit interview conducted by HR.

    Resignation Letter Template
  2. Plan how you will finish off your work. Prepare a brief outline of how you will finalise key projects you are working on and where possible document handover notes to assist anyone who may need to take your duties. It’s not your position to plan who will take on your responsibilities. You may think it’s a good idea to make some suggestions but unless you’re asked it would be best for you to offer to document detailed handover notes and anything else that may be of use to your successor.
  3. Determine your reasons for leaving. Inevitably, your Manager and Co-workers will ask why you’re leaving. It is important to be consistent and professional with your response. Try to keep your response as positive as possible focussing more on your new opportunity, e.g. my new role will offer me the opportunity to learn XYZ.
  4. Think about what you might say if your makes you a counteroffer. Decide before you go into resign whether you would consider staying and what you would need for it to be the right decision. You can read more from our blog 3 tips on how to handle multiple offers like a pro.
  5. Work as hard as you can until your last day. Leave your Manager and co-workers with a positive impression of working with you. It will always hold you in good stead for the future. Your personal brand is critical the success of your career, and its these interactions that build a strong brand image.
Advice

6 advanced LinkedIn tips to wow future connections

posted by Rowan 08/09/2017 0 comments

There’s no question about it! LinkedIn is one of the largest growing networks in the world. In fact, LinkedIn recieve 2 new members every second!!! (http://expandedramblings.com/).

If you’re not on LinkedIn, then read our 8 steps to create an awesome LinkedIn profile blog to learn how to create a killer profile.

For those of you who have been using LinkedIn for a little while now here are 6 lesser-known tips that can deliver big results for not too much effort. These tips have been written by William Arruda, LinkedIn expert for Forbes.com.

  1. Be secretive. When you’re updating your LinkedIn profile, it can annoy your contacts if they’re alerted to every little change. When you’re in edit mode, head to your privacy controls. Turn off activity broadcasts and change the setting for  “select who can see your activity feed” to “only you.”
  2. Be opportunistic. Join groups that will let you connect with people who are in your target audience but are not contacts. Being part of the group gives you permission to reach out to them and invite them to join your network. You don’t need to upgrade to Premium to do so.
  3. Be redundant. Know the top five strengths for which you want to be recognized and use them in your profile – repeatedly. If your top skill is project management, describe your project management proficiency in your summary as well as in multiple experience descriptions. This will help the right audience find you.
  4. Be ungrateful. Ask your contacts to endorse you for only your top skills. Having the highest number of endorsements for your signature strengths will influence those who are looking at your profile. Have the courage to delete or reject the endorsements that aren’t central to how you want to be known.
  5. Be stingy. Only give recommendations and endorsements to those whom you genuinely admire. When you recommend other people, their reputation is seen an extension of your values.
  6. Be lazy. Reuse and repurpose the content you already have available. This amplifies your message and delivers brand consistency. Communicating different forms of the same content in distinctive ways helps reinforce your messages within your brand community. Convert your Blog posts into activity updates and embed whitepapers and articles in your profile.
Advice

6 rules of negotiation to live by…

posted by Rowan 08/09/2017 0 comments

Negotiating will never be easy. You don’t want to undersell yourself but at the same time, you don’t want to lose an opportunity or start a relationship off on the wrong foot. Here are 6 tips we’ve developed over the years that will get you what you want and leave your reputation pristine.

#1. Be truthful without giving away too much-negotiating power.

#2. Don’t ask for the impossible. In most cases, there’s about $3,000 to $5,000 of “wiggle room.” (Fast Company)

#3. Don’t reveal your salary history. Inevitably, you will be asked what you’re currently earning. While trying to respect rule number #1 our advice here is to respond by giving a ballpark of what you expect for the role. It is important to note here that you should share your current salary with your recruiter so that they can help you negotiate. 

#4. Don’t be rude. Your chances of being successful will go up if you’re gracious and polite. (PayScale)

#5. Salary is not everything. Think about the opportunities the role might provide you that will bolster your career. Explore what other benefits the organisation might offer that you could bargain for, e.g. flexible hours.

#6. Your recruiter is there to help. Your recruitment consultant has the inside track on your new employer. Leverage their knowledge to gauge an appropriate salary and/or benefits structure.

 

Advice

6 ways to take care of yourself at work

posted by Rowan 08/09/2017 0 comments

We spend a large portion of our total waking hours at work. It is crucial to your success and longevity to find ways to take care of yourself and reduce the adrenaline and cortisol levels while at work.

  1. Start your morning with meditation. I start every morning with a short 5–10-minute meditation using an app called Beditations. The meditation helps me visualize the things I’m most grateful for and allows me to minimize negativity and distractions
  2. Get more sleep. The scientific benefits of sleep are innumerable. For the most health benefits, you should get at least 7 to 7½ hours of sleep a night. (success.com). 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. Listed to a podcast. I find that one of the best practices to get fresh air and stimulate my brain is simply to take a walk and listen to a podcast with the podcast app that now comes standard on the iPhone. Do yourself a favor and listen to something non-business-related. For a little health or mindfulness, my favorites are 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 that employees were 15% more productive when workplaces were filled with just a few houseplants.
  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.
Advice

3 things successful people do when they start a new job

posted by Rowan 08/09/2017 0 comments

So you got the job! Congratulations. You’re now over the hurdle of interviews, secret appointments, feeling guilty about lying to your current employer and updating your LinkedIn profile to a point where you think ‘All star’ is for beginners.

But now you need to live up to the brand you ‘sold’ into your employer. This isn’t to say that you were untruthful or aren’t equipped, but everyone wants to make a good impression when they first start a job.

The first 30 days of your new position are critical. You’re establishing credibility so that you can actually do your job. Here’s how smart people use that time:

  1. They View Starting a New Job as an Exercise in Personal Branding

Make no mistake, you will be judged based on how you show up at work. Your work is your brand —as is your general demeanor, reliability in showing up for meetings or completing projects on time, and the way you dress.

Even more important, but more subtle, is how appropriately you open up to your new co-workers. Do you undershare, omitting valuable feedback because you’re uncomfortable saying anything that isn’t complimentary? Do you overshare as a way to try and build connections? All of these things combine to make up how you’re perceived by your new colleagues.

Smart people work to be known as a person who is interesting and easy to talk to, but who can also buckle down and get to work. (the muse)

  1. They listen

The best communicators are not only skilled at articulating their own thoughts, they’re also great listeners. We tend to associate being the loudest voice in the room with power and control, but smart people understand the importance of listening to others’ thoughts and ideas.

When you’re new to an organisation you should be actively listening in meetings, training, workshops. How well you listen could have a considerable impact on your job and effectiveness – also more importantly the quality of your relationships with others. Don’t go into a business and start firing off new ideas. Make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.

  1. They understand the company’s vision

To ensure long-term success, understand the long-term vision of the company on day one. Asking questions to fellow team members about strategy and key performance indicators is critical to getting acquainted on the first day. As you master the long-term vision, you’ll be able to ensure that your day-to-day work aligns well. (Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.)

 

Uncategorized

Your interview survival guide – What to Remember Before, During, and After

posted by Rowan 08/09/2017 0 comments

Interviews are hard. Let’s face it. No matter how much planning you put in, it’s difficult to put anxiety at bay. You already know the fundamentals of what to do. Dress appropriately and show up 10 minutes early on the day (not earlier). But we’ve put together some top tips for you to consider before, during and after your interview to help calm your nerves. Think of this as your go to guide. If you stress less, you’ll perform better!

Before your interview

Preparation is critical. Not preparing for an interview will almost certainly guarantee you failure. Not being able to answer questions like ‘What do you know about us?’ or ‘What interested you in the role?’ succinctly will most definitely not get you that second interview. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! We’ve created an interview preparation checklist for you to use to prepare before every interview.

Your interview preparation cheatsheet

On the day make sure you have the following with you:

  • directions to where you are going. (Don’t always rely on Google Maps)
  • coins for parking
  • 3 copies of your resume
  • notepad and pen
  • Your phone on silent
  • A snack to ensure you don’t get hangry
  • Tissues
  • Umbrella

During the interview

Asking the right questions at an interview is important for two reasons:

  • It’s an opportunity to show a deeper understand and interest in the company and role.
  • You can learn a lot more about the realities of the position, in particular, those area’s that you might consider deal-breakers.

At the end of the interview you want to have achieved 2 things:

  1.    You want to have demonstrated your aptitude for the role.
  2.    You want to have a clearer sense of whether the employer is the right fit for you.

There are an infinite number of questions you could ask during a job interview, but if you stay focused on those 2 goals, the questions should come easily to you.

Here are some suggestions:

What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?

This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state exactly what the employer is looking for. If the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover yet, now is your chance. (Forbes)

Have I answered all your questions?

Before you begin asking your questions, find out if there’s anything they’d like you to elaborate on. Not only will they appreciate the offer, but it may be a good chance for you to gauge how well you’re doing.

 

Beyond the hard skills required to successfully perform this job, what soft skills you see as fundamental to the role?

Knowing what skills the company thinks are important will give you more insight into its culture and its values. You can read more about the 3 soft skills you need to master here.  

After the interview

  1. Schedule a follow-up call with your recruitment consultant. This is an opportunity to see if they’ve had any feedback from the employer.
  2. Include supporting documentation that illustrates your ability to do the job. This might be a non-confidential work example or award. Think about how you can showcase your expertise
  3. Provide a follow-up response to one of the key interview questions. Use this opportunity to respond to a question that you may not have answered well in the interview, e.g. When you asked me about some of my career highlights, my nerves got the better of me and I didn’t quite respond with the right detail….
  4. Stay on your game. Probably the most important thing to do after an interview is to keep the preparations up. Hopefully, you’ll be getting a call back for a 2nd interview and you want to be firing when you’re called in again.
Register for the Brook career hub to get exclusive content to cannonball your careerMORE