Tag Archives: career coach

Smarten up your LinkedIn profile in one hour

by Genevieve WardLinkedIn

Whether I’m coaching job seekers, career changers or people wanting to start a business, they often struggle with LinkedIn. This is because they don’t see the value, are concerned about their privacy or find it’s time consuming for little return.

I appreciate people will have their reasons and whilst I don’t insist on using this business social networking tool, I do help people see how LinkedIn can support them with their career plans. And, the good news is that it can take less than one hour to give your LinkedIn profile a make-over so that it looks professional and recruiters or potential clients notice you.

Pop over to my blog post about optimising your LinkedIn profile or watch my 10 minute video with some handy tips to increase your ‘star rating’ and your chances of landing on the front page of the head hunters’ lists when searching for top talent.

Get in touch with Gen if you’d like to have a chat about how to get started on LinkedIn, need a profile written or want guidance about using LinkedIn to market your business.



Calm your nerves at interview

I’ve started doing live Facebook videos called Career Chat over Coffee and this week the topic was about how to combat nerves when going for interview.

Interview Photo

This morning I’m going to chat with you about interviewing and how to:

  • Reduce the nerves
  • Have a good idea about what to say
  • How to answer tricky questions

If you’re walking out of the interview meeting wishing you had said things or done things differently, here’s some ways you can avoid these feelings of regret.

Combat those jitters

First up though, many people feel nervous at interview. It’s natural and normal. The interviewers can even feel nervous sometimes. Sometimes the more you want the job, the more nervous you feel. Ever been to a job interview when you didn’t think you had a chance but thought you’d give it a shot anyway? They tend to be the interviews where you feel least anxious.

  • Visualise what you’ll do the night before and the morning of interview. Have your outfit chosen and (ironed/cleaned) at least the day before. Stick to your usual routine.
  • If you have time in the morning for exercise – a walk, the gym – this can help get the endorphins going and you can run through your prepared examples in your mind.
  • Visualise walking into the interview – who will greet you and who will interview you? Accept a glass of water if they offer.
  • Know that when you are in the room it’s likely you’ll start to relax after the first couple of questions AND you’re on your way to the interview being over!! 😊

Have a good idea about what to say

Study the position description so you understand the role and WHY you are a good FIT for the position and organisation.

  • Understand the criteria and how you demonstrate with relevant examples from your work history.
  • Know your strengths and achievements and talk about them with confidence.

How to answer tricky questions

Not everyone enjoys the jargon of interview questions. If they have too many buzz words in them they can be misinterpreted by the interviewee. This can throw them off and they draw a blank.

An example question that’s often asked is ‘Tell me about a time when there was conflict in the team and how you managed this’.

I had a client who struggled to think of a suitable example for this question. We brainstormed some possible scenarios and when I replaced the word ‘conflict’ with ‘tension’ he was able to come up with a good example. ‘Conflict’ to him was physical  whereas ‘tension’ was about emotions and words.

  • Ask the interview to rephrase the question.
  • Paraphrase the question back and say – is that what you’re asking?
  • Simplify it down by saying, ‘Are you asking me about teamwork and how I dealt with a difficult situation?’
  • Ask, ‘What do you mean by conflict?’

Leave the building knowing you’ve given it your best

Have some questions prepared that are relevant and not about salary. Eg. What are the next steps. How soon would you need the successful person to start? What are the top priorities for the person starting this role?

  • Shake hands and thank them for their time.
  • Reward yourself with a coffee and relax!
  • Well done – feel proud of your achievement. 🙂
  • Send the main interviewer a thank you email to help seal the deal!

If you’d like to chat to me about putting your best foot forward when going for interview send me a message.

Feeling supported through change

Sunflower TRI recently said to my partner, “Oh I’ve picked up some work on a factory closure that starts next week”. He replied, “What a shame for the workers!” He’s absolutely right. He went straight to the heart of the situation – the emotions the staff members will experience when facing the prospect of finding a new job.

As a Career Coach, my role is to soften the blow for the people affected by organisational restructures by guiding workers to think about what’s next, get their resume updated, build their interview skills and their confidence throughout the redundancy process.  Continue reading

It’s time to get that job

If you’re in the job hunting game but have been taking a laissez-faire approach and delaying the inevitable, it might be time to re-group and take a more structured approach to your search. Here’s five tips to get you back on track.  Continue reading

I’m Off to Cowork

When I started working for myself four years ago I set up our spare room for my home office.  This room has a PC, desk, chair, filing cabinet, bookshelf and a bed.  Whilst the bed may be handy for weekend guests, it’s mostly piled high with paperwork – making my office feel not very office-like.  Continue reading

Phone Interviews – Don’t Get Caught Out

iPhoneHave you been in a situation where you’ve sent off a couple of applications and the recruiter calls you up just as you’re stepping onto a train?  Unexpectedly, you’re about to have a phone interview and probably not in the best setting to concentrate.  Continue reading