Going the Extra Mile

Above The MarkWhen employers are assessing job applications, one of the things they look for is how you can add value to their organisation. As they review your application or listen to your interview responses they will want to know what makes you stand out above the others. Similarly, when potential clients want to hear about my career coaching services, I let them know that I not only help with writing their resume, but also give extra job search tips in our discussions and keep an eye out for suitable job opportunities.

Are you a high achiever? Start thinking about your message of how you go above and beyond in the workplace? Here’s some tips to set you on your way:

Resume

When detailing your achievements include the benefits of your actions. Perhaps you’ve put up your hand to host a fundraising event. Maybe you are recognised as the “go to” person for something and coached others from time to time. Have you been invited to speak at a conference or asked to attend specialist training? These are important things to highlight on your resume.

Cover Letter

Include a sentence or two describing something you’re proud of. Have you been promoted in a short period of time or worked on challenging projects? Here’s an example of where a Sales Manager for a major whitegoods brand wrote about going outside her job description:

 “I trained myself on ABC Store’s inventory system which enabled me to efficiently gather information relating to sales, back orders and stock levels.”

Interview

During interview, be prepared for opportunities to share your success stories. If you are asked the question ‘tell me about yourself‘ you can respond with a brief outline of your career, skills and experience followed by how you add value. For instance,

“I keep up to date with current trends by reading publications related to this field and I recently attended at an industry conference at my own expense.”

Think about where your contributions have made a difference at work and don’t be afraid to emphasise these in your resume, cover letter and at interview.

How have you exceeded people’s expectations?

Random Acts of Kindness

I’m currently reading a book by social researcher, Hugh Mackay called The Good Life. In his preface Mackay describes:

“This type of life is marked by a courteous respect for others’ rights, a responsiveness to others’ needs (including, most particularly, their need to be taken seriously) and a concern for others’ wellbeing. A person living this life will be motivated by kindness and compassion.”

When I reflect on my own values and actions I hope that this is the life I’m living. Last year I noticed an article in our local newspaper, the Bendigo Advertiser, which asked people to share stories about their random acts of kindness. For instance – giving someone a smile, visiting an animal shelter, and making your workmate a cup of tea. I’d like to think most of us do these things without too much thought. Continue reading

Are you on LinkedIn?

LinkedInWhen I meet new people in a professional setting I often ask if they are on LinkedIn.  They may be a potential client, someone who can add value to my business or a job seeker I’m working with.  LinkedIn is a professional networking site and many companies use this tool as a means of recruiting staff.

When it comes to landing a job, your LinkedIn profile acts as the online version of your resume.  I’m going to share with you eight ways to build up your profile so you get noticed by potential employers. Continue reading

Quote for May

The best careers advice to give to the young is ‘Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.’ ~ Katherine Whitehorn

Delaying the Inevitable

Best Way to BeginEver heard the saying ‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today’? I recall my mum using this phrase when I was a teenager and watched a lot of television to avoid studying. Now, I’m having those moments (or hours) where instead of doing business stuff, I’m eating chocolate and catching up on the latest episodes of Rake. Yes folks, I’m procrastinating.

I’ve started thinking about what changes I need to make to improve my business. I’ve identified that the hard stuff for me is making sales calls. I’m good at the softer side of marketing via social media, posters and paid advertising. I do well with networking as I love getting out in the community. However, when it comes to contacting businesses to talk about what I do, I feel out of my comfort zone. So, how do I change this? Continue reading

Seeking Feedback

When it comes to final stage of the interview process and it’s between you and one other applicant, you can congratulate yourself for making it here. You’ve put in a great effort with your resume, cover letter, interview(s), and perhaps some psychometric testing or even a role play! You expect the phone to ring at any moment and fingers are crossed for positive news. In preparation for the outcome being against you, remember to thank them for the opportunity, but also ask the recruiter ‘How did I interview?’…or … ‘What could I have improved on?’

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Structuring a Professional Cover Letter

Cover LetterDrafting your cover letter may seem like an easy feat, but many people struggle with this task. It’s about finding a balance in the structure, formatting and clarity of your words. It should sell the writer, grab the attention of the reader and make it easy for the reader to see how you are the solution to their needs.

Continue reading