Career Tips

5 crucial resume mistakes you need to stop today!

There’s a few crucial statistics you need to know about resumes. According to Glassdoor, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those resumes, four to six people will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job. Additionally, TheLadders confirms that recruiters take an average of 6 seconds to scan a resume. Whilst it’s easy to hear these statistics and feel like it is hard to stand out in the job search process, it’s important to know there are a few tricks and tips to creating a resume that gets read every time.

When it comes to a resume, there is lots of confusion out there. It often seems like everyone has an opinion on what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Add to that a competitive job market and well, you can easily become overwhelmed in the process. Before we go any further, let’s just clarify exactly what a resume is and what it does. Very simply, a resume is a document which lists your skills, background, education and work experience. It is primarily used for obtaining a job interview. Notice I didn’t mention a resume is used for obtaining a job!

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Putting together a resume can be rather time consuming and overwhelming if you’re not sure how to go about developing one that gets read. With lots of different advice coming at your from your friends and family, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of trying to throw in everything. As a result you could be making some crucial errors that ensure your resume doesn’t get read. I’ve covered 5 crucial resume mistakes that could be stopping your from landing your next job interview!

Putting Your Age or Date of Birth on Your Resume

Let me put this very clearly to you. Don’t include your age or date of birth on your resume! Why? Because you’re inviting age discrimination. Yes, unfortunately it exists in this world. It’s hidden and often covert. But you need to be savvy about revealing it. Your age is of no relevance to your ability to do the job. You want the recruiter to assess you on your skills and experience for the job. Not automatically rule you out or in to a job because of your age. Hiring should be based on merit. So the focus in your resume should be on whether you can do the role. Age is no barrier to performing a role. There’s no rule that says you can’t do a role because of your age. Therefore, don’t give the recruiter a reason to discount you.

Including a Photo of Yourself

Now you’re probably saying that a photo helps the recruiter remember you. Also that it helps you to stand out in a crowded job market. Well, yes you are right. But not in the way you hoped. Think about it like online dating. When you enter the world of online dating, you upload a photo or several photos of yourself. You search for a suitable match, often focusing on whether you like person or not, based on their photo. I know, some of you look at information about the person. But in reality, you are often judging a suitable match based on whether or not you like the look of them. It’s the same thing when it comes to your resume. So leave your photo off!!

Your Resume Is Too Long

It’s often temping to want to include every role you have had in your career. Or maybe every achievement in your career. However, if you’ve had a solid 15 or so years in the working world, then this can make for a long resume. Long resumes are a sure way to ensure your resume won’t be read. So how long is a long resume? Anything more than four pages. Ideally, try to keep your resume to around two pages. Freaking out? It is helpful to remember what the purpose of a resume is. It’s a marketing tool to land you a job interview. It’s not a complete chronology that covers a lifetime of work. It’s about carefully capturing your experience which is relevant for the job or career you are seeking. I would also recommend customising your resume for each job application. Leading with your tangible skills is also a good tip to help recruiters easily identify your suitability for a role. If you’re finding it hard to shorten your resume, then reach out to a career coach or resume writer who can assist you with developing a professional resume and removing any unnecessary information.

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Not including dates of jobs

As someone who has read thousands of resumes, not including dates of jobs is really frustrating. When scanning a resume quickly, a recruiter wants to see how long someone has worked for a company. Longevity helps to inform about stability and commitment. Now, it’s not always the case, I know. But recruiters do want to see how long you worked at your past organisations. It gives them a sense of how your career has developed. Some roles need to have specific industry experience. This is where your dates come in. It’s easy to identify if you have the relevant industry experience or not. Additionally, not having dates doesn’t help the recruiter to get a sense of whether you are stable or you’re a frequent job changer. By having the dates there, it’s also easier for you to be able to recall and talk about your work history at your job interview.

Typos Or Spelling Errors

I really shouldn’t have to mention this one. But you’d be surprised to know that most resumes have a typo in them. You’ve got to remember your resume creates an impression. Submit a resume full of typos and errors, it doesn’t present you in the best way possible. Always use spell check and proofread your resume. It’s also recommended to get someone else to read your resume and check for typos. An error free resume is really 101. There are simply no excuses for any typos or errors, especially with all the spell check software available today.

Now it’s time for you to review your resume and see if you are doing any of the above. If so, then spend some time and remove or update your resume. Remember, it is about the brand – “YOU”. In the job search process, the resume is how you market yourself. You want to market yourself in the best way possible, right? It all start with your resume. Taking the time to ensure you have a resume that is easy to read and gets read every time, is your first step to landing your next job.

Why a Career Coach is essential for your career!

There’s great saying that when you “Fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This is true for most things in life. Thinking about what you want and devising a plan is a great way to ensure you reach your goals. It’s also true for your career goals. Most people often go about their career with little thought or specific steps and it’s often that they find themselves at point in their career questioning how they go there. It’s no wonder they lack true career fulfillment.

We live in a world where you can find a specialist on anything. Struggling with pain management? You can see a pain management specialist. Troubles with your nasal passage? You can see an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. Troubles with your back? You can see a Chiropractor. Ready to get into shape? You can see a personal trainer or fitness coach. Yet when it comes to your career, you often think you can work it out yourself. Or worse still, you think your manager should tell you what’s next in your career.

Here’s the thing. Your career is yours to own. You are the CEO of your career. So unless you want someone to decide your career path, then it’s time you realised that your career is something unique to you and you need to have a plan. That’s where a professional career coach can help you. By getting to the heart of what your value, what your strengths are and what skills, knowledge and experience you have, they can help you to package up your most valuable assets to ensure your marketability to an employer.

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Leaving your career to chance or crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, is best left for playing lotto. But when it comes your livelihood, your happiness and your career fulfillment, why would you leave it to chance? Don’t you owe it to yourself to realise your potential? This is where a Career Coach can help you. There are 3 essential parts to your career:-

Knowing yourself

Values – One of the most important parts to knowing yourself, is knowing what your values are. Values are those intrinisic things which shape our decisions and help us decide what we want. It’s really your internal compass. Being clear on your values is important for your career in determining what you would like in your next job, team or work group and the company.

Needs – A job can affect every area of your life and as such you will have needs to be met. These needs can include a paycheck (specific amount), benefits (such as retirement), interesting work, supportive manager, flexibility and opportunity. Getting clear on what you need from your next job will assist you to know whether a job is right for you.

Knowing your assets

Skills – these are your work-related competencies. The specific competencies required to do a job. Skills can fall into one of three categories, hard or job specific/technical skills, soft or adaptive skills or transferable skills. It will depend on where you are at in your career and where you are going as to which skills may be more applicable. For example, if you’ve been working for 15 years, then transferable skills may be more relevant for you.

Knowledge – this is really the stuff you have learned. It can be formal or informal. Formal knowledge is things like education, courses, qualifications or licenses. Recruiters and potential employers want to know what formal knowledge or training you have obtained as this is often an entry point to some careers or professions.

Experience – this is really the informal knowledge that you’ve learnt along the way in your career. Through both your personal and professional life, you’ve gained experience which has helped shaped who you are today. Often experience has enabled you to develop tools, techniques and processes which are great selling points for a new employer. Actually capturing your experience isn’t as easy as you think. It’s not until you’re challenged to go back over your career or until a career coach helps you to identify this, do you stop and think about it.

Knowing how to market yourself

Branding – whether you like it or not, you are a brand. In the job market, your skills, knowledge and experience are really a commodity which you’re trading. It can be competitive in the job market, so knowing how to brand yourself and confidently sell your skills, is an art. Not only knowing how to do this but to be able to do this effectively to ensure you stand out, is essential to your success.

Careers can be complex and challenging. However, they can also be fulfilling and fruitful. A career coach will help you to close the gap between your current career situation and where you want to be. It can be truly transformational. In this ever-changing world of work, you are being asked to evolve and adapt your career in ways you would’ve never imagined. Having a professional career coach to help you navigate your career journey is an investment in yourself. You deserve to enjoy Mondays, be paid your worth and feel fulfilled in your career.

Feeling lost in your career? Do you need help with your next career move? Most importantly, a career coach can help you close the gap between your current career situation and where you want to be. Above all, Feeling lost in your career? Do you need help with your next career move? Most importantly, a career coach can help you close the gap between your current career situation and where you want to be. Above all, having a career coach to help you navigate your career journey is an investment in yourself. It can be truly transformational. Don’t leave your career to chance. Your career is yours to own. Ready to transform your career?

It can be truly transformational. Don’t leave your career to chance. Your career is yours to own. Ready to transform your career?

37 of my favourite all-time career quotes

From time to time we all need a pick-me-up when it comes to our career. You might be searching for a new job, trying to land your dream job or simply trying to survive in a challenging work environment. All these situations can be really trying and it can be hard to keep positive that good things are ahead. Sometimes the road seems too long and whilst cliché, it might feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. In times like these, you can always reach out to your partner, family and friends for a heart-to-heart career chat to help keep you motivated and on track for your career goals.

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Whilst a chat with a friend or loved one can lift our spirits, sometimes we can find that “lift” in inspirational words such as quotes. Reading a quotes from a famous person or someone we admire can really provide that pick-me-up and re-energise you in staying on your path. Knowing someone else has walked our path or endured hardship and come out the other side, can be reassuring and calming to our well being and state of mind.

Quotes can be found in a number of places, but one of my favourites is on Pinterest. Pinning quotes to a board or printing them for a visual reminder are great ways to keep these words of wisdom front and centre of mind.

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  1. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  2. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem
  3. “’What’ and ‘if’ are two words as non-threatening as words come. But put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What If?” – Letters to Juliet
  4. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” – Bishop T. D. Jakes
  5. “Nothing happens until you decide. Make a decision and watch your life move forward.” – Oprah
  6. “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” Jimmy Johnson
  7. “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then seem improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon seem inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve
  8. “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” – Lori Greiner
  9. “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell
  10. “Recognising that you are not where you want to be is a starting point to being changing your life.” – Deborah Day
  11. “Starting something new or making a big change requires effort, persistence and motivation. Doubt, fear and worry will only slow you down. Focus on doing your best now and celebrate every step of the way.” – Doe Zantamata
  12. “Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.” – Tim Ferris
  13. “If you think you are going to love something, give it a try. You’re going to kick yourself in the butt for the rest of your life, if you don’t.” – Joe Penna
  14. “How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” – Seth Godin
  15. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
  16. “Epic things start with small humble steps. Pay respect to your beginnings. And if you’re just starting out, know that it’s okay to be sucky. To be small. To be messy and chaotic. Just make sure to never ever stop dreaming.” – Vishen Lakhiani
  17. “When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact. Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” – Steve Jobs
  18. “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson
  19. “Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they’ll invest in you.” – Marissa Mayer
  20. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
  21. “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” – Michelle Obama
  22. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neal Donald Walsch
  23. “Create the highest grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey
  24. “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” – Bob Dylan
  25. “Success means pursuing a career that inspires you, brings passion to your life and totally absorbs your energy.” – Marin Alsop
  26. “Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams.” – Lady Gaga
  27. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” – Katherine Whitehorn
  28. “Go where you are celebrated – not tolerated. If they can’t see the real value of you, it’s time for a new start.” – Unknown
  29. “What would happen if we encouraged all women to be a little more ambitious? I think the world would change.” – Reese Witherspoon
  30. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder
  31. “I failed my exam in some subjects but my friend passed. Now he’s an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner.” – Bill Gates
  32. “Success comes from taking the initiative and following up…..Persisting……what simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life?” – Tony Robbins
  33. “What one skill, if you developed it, could have the greatest positive impact on your career? This is the key to your future.” – Brian Tracy
  34. “Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.” – Diane Sawyer
  35. “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg
  36. “Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
  37. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
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There’s so much wisdom, boldness and hope in this list of career quotes. You should be feeling inspired and energised to continue on in your career journey. Find your favourite 5, write them out or print them and stick them somewhere you can see them. Read them regularly whenever you need a “pick-me-up”. Your dose of inspiration is only a “quote” away.

5 Tips To Ace That Job Interview!

I love a good movie. One of my favourites is The Devil Wears Prada. I love following the story of Anne Hathaway’s character Andy and her time working for one of the largest fashion magazines. Although she certainly got off to a rocky start. Remember Andy’s interview with Miranda Priestly? It’s fair to say she certainly didn’t make the best first impression. She hadn’t heard of the magazine and didn’t know who Miranda was. Let’s also not sugar-coat the fact she didn’t have impeccable fashion sense. Nevertheless, lucky for her she ended up landing the job and the rest is history.

Whilst Andy’s interview wasn’t the best start, there is a few things you can do to ensure your interview goes smoothly. You’ve sent off your resume and based on your experience and education, you’ve secured an interview. Yay!! The interview is really your time to shine. It’s not every day that you go for a job interview, so you need to take some time and plan for a successful outcome. To avoid making a first impression like Andy, here’s 5 tips to ensure you ace the interview and land yourself that job.

  1. Presentation

Let’s face the facts! People make a judgement about you within the first 30 seconds of meeting you. First impressions count and this is especially important when you are at a job interview. Whilst it’s unrealistic to think you can control what other people think of you, however you can make sure you are presenting yourself in the best possible way.

Dress to impress! I know there are plenty of workplaces that encourage casual dress, but the interview isn’t the time to show your casual wardrobe. Leave the jeans at home and put on some smart corporate attire. Ensuring you are dressed professionally for the interview sends a positive message about you.

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2. Be on time

Being on time is basic courtesy and says a lot about you. It goes without saying but ensure you know where you are going. Take some time to know your route. Will you be travelling via public transport or driving? Traffic can be chaotic and there can be unexpected delays with public transport so it’s best to build in some contingency time to avoid extra stress. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early. There are times when sh*t happens and you are delayed due to circumstances beyond your control. Be sure you have a contact number in case you are running late and phone to let the interviewer know you’ve been delayed. Whilst being late for your interview isn’t ideal, your potential new boss will be understanding if you’ve called ahead to let them know.

3. Research the company

With so much online these days, there is really no excuse for not conducting research into the organisation. In most interviews, you will be asked what you know about the organisation. At a minimum you should know what your company does and be able to confidently answer this question. What are their values or mission? Spend some time on the organisations website to learn as much as you can about them as your knowledge will be tested.

With the professional networking site of LinkedIn, it’s also a good idea to review the profiles of your interviewers. It helps you to understand their background and also to know how long they have worked for the organisation.  

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4. Engage with your interviewers

From the moment you meet your interviewers, make eye contact with each person and address each person by name. Similarly, when you answer a question talk directly to all interviewers, regardless of who is asking you the questions or who is more senior. I’ve interviewed many people in my career and it always amazes me how many people only talk to the person who will be their boss. It’s important to engage with each interviewer as each person who is part of the interview will be asked their opinion about you. I’ve often placed more importance on what my team members or peers think of the candidate, so don’t think that your new boss is the only decision maker. Connect with each person in that interview!

5. Ask questions

Always, always, have a few questions to ask. An interview is a two-way street, so asking questions is important for you to clarify something, understand more about the organisation, the job or environment you will be working in. Try to have at least three questions ready. These could be about the culture of the organisation, your potential boss’s management style or key objectives to focus on in your first three months.

Taking the time to plan and prepare for your interview helps set you up for success. These simple tips will help you put your best foot forward in your next job interview and secure your next role!

Click here to download The Interview Preparation Guide