Work – is it time for a change?

What are some of the telltale signs to help you recognise when it’s time to change jobs? Apart from the obvious where you may have already identified you dislike your job, there are plenty of other less obvious signs to watch out for.

Lethargy

Most of us like to hit the snooze button once or twice each morning, but if you find yourself dreading your alarm going off it’s probably time for a new job or career. You might also experience a general feeling of sluggishness as you get ready for work each day.

Lethargy can also present itself during your work day, when you no longer approach your work with enthusiasm. This could mean your contribution to your company has declined and in the process you’re also missing out on up-skilling and challenging yourself at work. You might also feel in-different about interacting with colleagues or reluctant to contribute at meetings.

Health and wellbeing

You might experience symptoms of physical illness that may be caused by the stress or unhappiness you’re experiencing at work, without even knowing the two are related. It’s amazing how many people are regularly sick due to being anxious or stressed in the workplace. When they transition to a new job, the illness disappears. The human body is an amazing machine and it’s important to listen to it when it’s telling us things aren’t okay.

Being unhappy in your workplace can also contribute to mental health issues. Stress, anxiety and depression are all major symptoms that people experience when unhappy at work. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help and identify if changing jobs may assist you to better cope with these feelings.

Skills and Abilities

Another sign of becoming stale in your job is that management no longer offer opportunities to fully utilise your skills and abilities. They may have become used to your current level of your contribution over time, and perhaps no longer recognise that you have more to give. You may be missing out on promotion opportunities or being given exciting work on the latest projects, for example. If you’re feeling bored and unfulfilled by not being able to utilise all the skills you possess, it might be time to look for a new job.

One year and beyond

Can you picture yourself working in this same job, for this same boss in one year’s time? Does it make you feel excited or are you already rolling your eyeballs? If the thought of being “stuck” where you are now for another year is daunting or unimaginable, spare yourself some wasted time and start your new job search now. Why waste another year in a job that doesn’t truly excite you?

Successful Resumes are here to help. Why not contact us to assist you with your future career move? We can provide advice and guidance when it comes to creating a new resume or support in making a career transition. Please contact a Successful Resumes Team Member near you to discuss these options.

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How to win a second interview?

Landing a first interview is exciting enough, but being invited back for a second might send your head spinning! What are some of the things that will contribute to ensuring you enjoy a successful first interview?

Be excited

You may or may not be excited to be sitting in the hot seat at this particular interview. Either way, make it look like you are! If you’ve made the effort to attend and especially if you’re interested in working for this employer, make sure you demonstrate your enthusiasm by arriving on time, greeting the interviewer by name, maintaining eye contact, and demonstrating positive body language. The interviewer will feel more comfortable and confident with your application if you demonstrate how keen you are to be hired.

Stick to the facts

You might find yourself getting along well with the interviewer but remember you’re there to impress them with your brilliant work experience and skill-set. Stay committed to showcasing your talent in the workplace and try not to get distracted discussing your shared hobby of surfing or football.  Obviously it’s important to be polite and approachable, but use the time to focus on how you can add value to the role and the company, rather than how much you might have in common.

Project positivity

People don’t always leave their job on a positive note and often the very reason for resigning stems from poor management or a lack of team culture, for example. An interview isn’t the time for airing your dirty washing so if asked your reason for leaving simply mention that you’re keen to learn new skills, in a new environment. Everyone is aware of the risk of becoming stale in a job, and employers are sensitive beings also (believe it or not!), so you’ll probably find they won’t pry too much.

Don’t lie

Throwing in a lie here and there may feel great at the time. You might feel more accomplished or like you have more experience but the downside is the employer will probably discover the truth eventually. ‘Sooner’ would be before they extend an offer for a second interview, and ‘later’ would be after the second interview. Either way could be detrimental to your employment, so save the lies and focus on the truth. During the interview you should get a feel as to whether this job is for you, based on your real skills and experience.

An employer will be impressed if you contribute as much as possible to the interview and demonstrate your suitability and enthusiasm for the job as best you can. This combination will go a long way towards ensuring you’re invited back for a second interview.

If you’d like some advice on how to prepare for your next interview, why not engage Successful Consultants to assist you with your preparation? We offer interview coaching that’s personalised and tailored to your needs. Contact us today on XXX

HOW TO WIN A SECOND INTERVIEW

What is career coaching and do you need it?

In the past, career coaching was something only high flying executives were lucky enough to do but luckily in recent years that has changed. Career coaching is now popular among staff from all ranks and all walks of life. What does it involve?

Just like starting a new job often requires particular skills or experience, so too does planning your career and conducting a job search. It’s not something that comes naturally to everyone and some people absolutely despise having to look for a new job. If this is the case for you, career coaching may be the answer.

Preparation is key

When meeting with a prospective employer for the first time, as with any aspect of your job search, preparation is key. The more you feel confident in knowing how to act and what to say, the more likely you’ll feel at ease during an interview situation. This is where career coaching comes in. As well as assisting you to map out your career and consider whether your existing career path is right for you, you might also enjoy some assistance with knowing how to prepare for your next job or interview.

Variety is the spice of life

A day in the life of a career coach is so varied and exciting. No two days are alike! People ask for assistance with a whole variety of different things. Sometimes people need help to collect information and research about various career paths or choices. Sometimes they need help with knowing which qualification they need to obtain next in order to land a certain type of job.

Maybe you’ve been wondering where you can get some help with career counselling, coaching or strategic advice? Or maybe you’d really like some help with knowing how to prepare for an interview and actually practising the interview scenario. Nothing builds confidence like rehearsing a real life event and a career coach is the perfect person to help you with this. Another important thing that a career coach can assist with is helping you prepare for a presentation. Public speaking is many people’s worst nightmare, so using the services of a career coach can help to provide you with practice and constructive feedback.

Do you need it?

There is every reason why career coaching can be beneficial for you and if it’s something you’ve been considering, why not give it a try? Particularly if you’ve recently found yourself in a period of professional transition, where you may be starting to consider your next steps.

Successful Resumes has friendly and experienced career coaches who can help build your confidence and support you to make decisions in relation to the future of your career. If you’d like some assistance with this, please contact us today to make an appointment.

WHAT IS CAREER COACHING AND DO YOU NEED IT

What does a hiring manager look for in a resume?

There are certain things every hiring manager hopes to see in your resume, and certain mistakes they’ll hope you’ll avoid. There are so many types of resumes in the market today it can certainly become a very confusing place for the job seeker. What are some of the best things you can include in your resume to ensure you impress, not distress, any prospective hiring manager?

Be specific

One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is being too vague in their descriptions. If you saved the company $100,000 last year, then be sure to include this exact figure. Think in terms of numbers, dollars and quantities. There’s no need to inflate your statistics as they’ll likely be validated during a verbal employment reference if you’re seriously considered for the job. Including truthful and impactful statistics about your performance and achievements on the job will go a long way towards impressing recruiters and employers.

Be polished

This means shining your shoes, as well as your resume! Ensuring every point of contact contributes to presenting a polished and professional image will go a long way towards separating yourself from your competition. Surprisingly, not every candidate pays careful attention to the spelling and formatting on their resume, nor do they necessarily ensure their shirt is pressed. It’s these little bits and pieces that demonstrate how keen you are and how you will contribute, with the assumption that you take a similar detailed approach to your work.

Be unique

It’s easy enough to fill out a cookie cutter resume template online these days, but the end result will show. Prospective employers want to know you’re a real human, with a real personality to match. Your resume is the perfect place to tell your story in terms of experience and qualifications. Your cover letter is ideal for demonstrating the skills and abilities you can bring to an employer that are different from the next person. Also, tailoring your resume to each job is critical to demonstrate you understand the need to be unique. “I want to see a generic resume, written by a robot” said no employer, ever!

Be impressive

Your resume is the place to showcase your talent, so don’t hold back. Some people might feel embarrassed to list all of their accomplishments, especially if they are many and varied. Your resume and cover letter however, are the first opportunity you have to impress a prospective employer. Consider the types of information to include and highlight your greatest accomplishments in each of your roles, whilst ensuring to be specific about the details.

Contact Successful Resumes today to book your appointment to design a resume that will not only impress prospective employers, but will demonstrate your full potential.

WHAT DOES A HIRING MANAGER LOOK FOR IN A RESUME

Is your resume old fashioned?

We all know how often trends in fashion change but did you know the same also applies to resumes? A resume you submitted for a job just a few years ago may now be outdated. What are some of the popular shifts in recent times when it comes to the style, structure and format of your resume?

Contact Details

Given how the search for employment has shifted online in recent years, there’s no longer any need to include your street address on your resume. It’s also now essential to include your email address, despite the fact you’ve probably emailed your resume to the hiring manager directly. Once printed, your resume may end up in a pile with hundreds of other applications so why not make it easy for the recruiter to contact you? Also include your mobile number because including a landline number is now considered an outdated practice.

Font and Structure

When computers first became popular people were writing resumes with fancy fonts that looked a lot like actual handwriting. It’s far more preferred these days to stick to contemporary modern, stream lined looking fonts such as Arial and Helvetica.

Use bullet points to highlight significant points without over-kill. Avoid using slabs of text in paragraph format on your resume as this can be off-putting for your reader. Your resume is a marketing tool and not a novel!

Including an objective statement instead of a summary is the modern approach to resume writing. Previously employers were interested in what you wanted as a job seeker whereas today they’re more concerned about who you are and what you can do for them. They’re focused on how you can best add value so make it your job to tell them in 2-3 succinct sentences.

Skills and Hobbies

These days almost everyone knows how to use Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. A few years ago these might have been great skills to include, but nowadays they’re the expected minimum. Instead include skills that the broader population doesn’t necessarily have, for example if you’re a gun at Quark or InDesign.

It’s no longer necessary to include reference to extracurricular hobbies – at the end of the day, no one’s really interested! You waste valuable resume space by including facts that are not significant to the reader or to your application.

References

You will no doubt have a bunch of professional referees on standby to support your application, so there’s no longer a need to state “references available upon request” at the bottom of your resume.

Times have changed and so have the styles and format of the contemporary resume. Successful Resumes employ highly qualified staff who are each trained in the latest trends of resume fashion, and we’re here to help. One of our team can assist you to update your resume.

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Does your cover letter need a refresh?

Your cover letter may have once won you lots of interviews but if some time has passed since you last used it, it’s probably time for a refresh. There are some things that no longer need to be included on your cover letter, and even if you once had a brilliant one, this may no longer be the case.

Jam-Pack it!

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is to include too much information. Your cover letter should provide a succinct introduction to yourself and your resume, and therefore you should refrain from telling your whole life story. Use bullet points to incorporate critical facts, and keep your sentences short and punchy.

Personalise it

Sending out masses of your cover letter and resume is also a thing of the past. Today, job seekers need to demonstrate a little bit more care and must tailor their cover letter for each job accordingly if they want to stand out from the crowd. A generic letter containing standard information no longer cuts it and you’ll need to show a lot more love to each of your applications than ever before.

Modernise it

Starting your cover letter with “Dear Sir”, is a big no-no but is a super common practice that still happens today. This method of introduction was used many years ago but given that many hiring managers are now female, it is an outdated practice of years gone by. Even “Dear Sir or Madam” is outdated. Instead opt for “Dear Hiring Manager” in the case you don’t have access to detailed information about the hiring manager. You could also ring the company to ask for specific contact information about the hiring manager and address your cover letter accordingly.

You may have previously focused on relaying your best features but now’s the time to focus on the benefits you can provide to an employer. We were previously educated to ask for what we wanted but times have changed and the job seeker needs to prove they can add value almost immediately.

There are a few catch phrases that have crept into cover letters in recent years that are now causing many a hiring manager to yawn and groan. Things such as “I’m writing to apply for the position of Mechanic” will get you in trouble if in fact you aren’t. This comes back to the tailoring piece mentioned earlier, in which it’s essential to tailor each letter to include each and every piece of correct information.

Another typical phrase is “I work well independently and as part of a team”. Yawn! This is getting to be an outdated phrase and these skills are expected as a minimum for most jobs. It’s far more beneficial to highlight your truly unique skills – the ones that will set you apart from your competitors.

If you’d like assistance with refreshing your cover letter, please contact Successful Resumes today. We’re here to help!

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Tips to smoothing out a bumpy work history

You may feel like your resume is beyond repair if you’ve had gaps in your employment or held many short term jobs over the years. Smoothing out a bumpy work history is possible! There’s a variety of ways to take a rocky history and reimagine it to paint the picture you’re wanting to convey.

People chop and change positions, industries and qualifications like never before and although not necessarily a bad thing, it can cause your resume to appear “checkered”. Hiring Managers may question your stability and wonder about the choices you’ve made in your career. But like we said this movement is so common these days and there are plenty of ways to overcome it when creating or updating your resume.

Use resume bullets to your advantage

Summarising your accomplishments and work history by using bullets is a great way to effectively reduce the amount of information to include on your resume. Further to this and especially if you’ve held lots of short term jobs, use the final bullet of each job to provide a reason as to why you left the job. For example, “Quit and moved to XYZ” doesn’t sounds as attractive as “Was offered a position at XYZ which included a promotion and salary increase”.

Explain your story clearly

Your story may have many chapters and you might think some people will find it hard to follow. Explaining each scenario clearly will help the reader follow your journey. Under the name of the company and the job title you held, include a framing statement that relays the type of work the company undertakes and some outstanding points about your time there. Help the reader understand what the company does, what your role was and how well you completed it.

Use your cover letter to explain

Your resume provides a concise and succinct summary of your work experience and achievements as well as your qualifications and any other relevant information. Your cover letter on the other hand is just that, a letter, written to your prospective employer. This is the place to explain gaps and missing links ensuring that you’re mindful to use positive language that conveys the considered reasons for your movement.

There’s no need to apologise for decisions you’ve made in your career history to date nor is there any reason to make apologies for decisions that were ultimately made on your behalf, i.e., redundancy for example.

Gaps in employment are often the biggest concern to job seekers whereas employers are often comfortable provided an adequate explanation is offered. At Successful Resumes we specialise in creating efficient resumes that produce effective results. If you’d like assistance to design a resume that smooths out your bumpy career history, why not contact us today?

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Top tips to capping your resume at two pages

TOP TIPS TO CAPPING YOUR RESUME AT TWO PAGES

Given your resume is your biggest marketing tool when it comes to hunting for work, it almost goes without saying that it needs to have huge impact! Prospective employers use your resume as a means to learn about your skills and experience, and they’ll make a judgement as to your suitability within seconds of reading it.

Don’t compromise quality for quantity

Trick number one is to ensure you only include quality information on your resume and trick number two is to cap the length at two pages maximum. Don’t waste time or space babbling on about each and every responsibility you’ve ever held, especially as time passes and you gain more and more experience.

Recruiters want to know exactly what you’ve been doing in recent times and will ask for additional detail about historical jobs if they invite you to attend a job interview. Depending on your age and work history, you may only have enough experience to fill one page. This is also fine because it’s far better to have one page of succinct and quality information, than two pages of gap filler.

Your layout tells your story

The way you format your resume is often interpreted as the way you will approach your work. If it’s squashed and messy or scattered with spelling mistakes, your work will also be perceived this way. Given that this is likely your one and only chance to impress the recruiter, make sure you get it right! Modern times call for a minimalist black and white layout, which includes clean lines that reflect your professional image. Use a contemporary but conservative font such as ‘arial’ for exam-ple. The style and size of your font can influence the amount of content you can include. Size 10 font is generally recommended as best practice. You can also save on some space by displaying your information using bullet points rather than slabs of text.

Hobbies and academic results

As times goes on, you’ll find yourself needing to “shrink” your information rather than trying to “fill” it. In this case, drop any mention of your hobbies and interests. At the end of the day and if we’re being perfectly honest, no one really cares about this anymore! Also, if you completed school many moons ago unless you achieved near perfect grades, ditch any mention of your academic results. The work accomplishments you’ve achieved since school now carry far greater importance that any school grades ever will. In a world where ageism does still exist, it’s also best not to reference the years that you achieved schooling, university or other qualifications if it indicates your age. That is, “Completed Certificate of Office Administration in 1982”, for example.

The combination of these tips will assist you to write a killer resume that seeks attention. If you would like additional assistance in doing so, please contact us today.

Is it better to position yourself as a generalist or a specialist?

IS IT BETTER TO POSITION YOURSELF AS A GENERALIST OR A SPECIALIST_

When considering whether it’s best to position yourself as a generalist or a specialist, surprisingly, the answer may depend on the specific job for which you’re applying. If the job is one that requires skills that most people in that industry should have, then it’s probably best you stick to outlining your experience in a generalist way. However, if the job advertisement calls for particular skills, then it’s better to specifically demonstrate how you possess those exact skills.

Generalists

Generalists usually have a broad range of skills and experience and are willing to get involved in a broad scope of work. They have a solid set of transferable skills and can hit the ground running in many environments.

Specialists

Specialists have usually spent a number of years focusing on one particular area of their career. They have often spent time and money on study, qualifications and gaining particular work experience that will enable them to collect the necessary skills to become a specialist in that area.

Future demand

In the past, many people received career advice that being a generalist may not meet the needs of employers in the future. That being a generalist meant they wouldn’t have the right skills at the right time and that they’d therefore miss opportunities for work. Generalists were considered to know a little about a lot, which was sometimes not enough to excel in many roles.

Today, specialists are often warned about becoming too specific. A high level of competition in the market combined with limited job opportunities and rapidly shrinking company budgets has created new demand for the generalist worker. Workers are expected to do more with less. Instead of hiring two plumbers, one with specialist knowledge in sewage systems and the other in storm water drains for example, companies are now tending towards hiring one generalist who can work across both niches.

There are of course some fields in which specialists will always be incredibly necessary. Computer programming is one of these examples, where the future of our technology depends on dedicated specialists who know particular programming codes and the like.

There will always be a place for generalists and specialists but it’s just a case of determining how to pitch yourself for each job. Sometimes having two resume templates is the best way around this, so you’re ready to apply for a job no matter if it specifies a generalist or a specialist.

If you’d like assistance in designing a new resume or in refreshing an existing one, we’re here to help. Please make an appointment today and we look forward to assisting you with your job search.

How to use statistics to make your resume pop

HOW TO USE STATISTICS TO MAKE YOUR RESUME POP

Describing your skills on your resume is easily done, but you should also include supporting evidence of your work achievements. Rather than simply writing in text that you reached a certain goal or finished a certain piece of work, why not better emphasise it by including statistics? For ex-ample, instead of “Completed XYZ within agreed 6 month period”, why not say “Completed XYZ and attained a ranking of top 97%”. This demonstrates to the reader that you’ve not only reached the set goal, but you’ve exceeded the minimum expectations and blitzed it!

Using numbers in your resume

Use numbers in your resume to support your achievements and provide solid evidence that you’ve exceeded expectations. There’s no need to scatter numbers throughout your resume if they aren’t relevant but where you have a point to make that you can better prove by including a statistic, go for it!

Including statistics in your resume grabs the readers attention and quickly spells out your accomplishments. A reader’s eye will be drawn to text on the page that appears different to the rest and they’ll immediately see where you have included statistics. It’ll also help you to cap the length of your resume at two pages. As well as including numbers provide a brief explanation of how you achieved them. Using this method, you can also showcase some of your other skills at the same time.

Think money and time

Money and time are some of the biggest things employers are thinking about when it comes to hiring new employees. They want to know that the candidates they select understand the importance of working effectively and will save the company time and money. Include statistics in your resume that support the fact you’ve saved previous companies time and money and the employer will consider that you’ll no doubt do the same for them in the future too.

Growth

Depending on the nature of your work, you should also include figures that demonstrate how you grew revenue, calls or clients during your employment. Generally speaking, work isn’t just about showing up every day, but it’s also about making progress for the company for which you work. This includes such things as increasing your share of customers or making more sales or covering a larger territory. Prove that you are on an upwards trajectory in your career and make employers want to hire you!

If you’d like some help to transform your resume and would also like to learn how to include some glowing statistics, why not contact us today? We’re here to help and we would love to design a standout resume that’s specifically tailored for you.

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