GetHired2016

Cheers 2015, GetHired2016!

Are you Fnishing up the year as a job hunter, or are you feeling ready to make a career change in the New Year? I know… it may seem a little early to think about it, but are you ready to say goodbye to 2015? Was it a good year for you? Don’t stress it. It will soon be a thing of the past. Why don’t you start early this time to set a plan for your personal growth in the New Year?

Watch this space for updates on our major upcoming event series of job hunter events

#GetHired2016

We are teaming up for this cool event series with our savvy friends at F O S S L R 

The first event is December 14 2015 in Sydney with 100 FREE seats for TJSC blog readers.

For the meantime, here are T J S C ‘s Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions to move you forward in your work and your career. Even if you want to change jobs in 2016, ensuring your reputation at your current job is good practice. If you’re finishing up the year unemployed, these are good principles to start with from the get-go at your upcoming new job.

How to Get Hired in 2016

#1 Be a Finisher

We all know one of those guys who is all talk, no action. Don’t be one of them. Anybody can start projects, but it’s your mission for 2016 to actually finish something.

You will be known as a finisher, the one who gets things done and makes things happen. A closer. A killer.

If you have a ‘to do list’ longer than 10 items, you’ll need to work late to get it all done, or become more realistic when you create your list. Learn to understand what the priorities are and focus on those. Decide what actions you can take and finish that will have the greatest short term impact, you should be able to count your must-do priorities on one hand.

#2 Take Charge

Improve and master your job. Understand how your position can deliver great value to the business and to your boss. Don’t wait to be told how to do this.

Know the details, the costs, the ROI… No, forget ROI! Real workers deliver ROE = Return on Everything. Seriously! 2016 is your year, so know the results of your work.

#3 Know your Boss’s Priorities

Most of the time, your boss is your biggest asset, and maybe your biggest liability. But you can deal with both by focusing on the right attitude and behaviour for 2016. It is the one and only thing you can control, so bring your best to work every day.

Start the new year by understanding what your boss needs from your position. Why does your job exist? What does the business need from your position? The best time to get a casual chat in with your boss is now (try the Christmas party for starters).

If your boss doesn’t want to talk about it, then you need to figure this out for yourself. If you need to, ask your boss to explain to you why, fundamentally, your position exists. This is your baseline.

#4 Do More

Start by truly delivering on what your boss needs from you. Chances are however that your boss is expecting more, but is too busy to talk to you in depth. He or she may be trying not to overwhelm you with too much.

That’s the ‘2016 Opportunity’ for you: don’t wait to be told what to do. Make the next year work for both of you.

You must know about some things that need to get done in your department, but that aren’t getting done. Just do it. If your boss doesn’t want you to do it, he or she will tell you. But if your boss would like it done and didn’t ask for it–well then you are on the road to being of great value in the new year!

#5 Celebrate your Successes

Set achievable tasks and goals and regularly celebrate them. Toot your own horn! Most managers can’t keep track of everything you’re doing for the business. But 2016 is the year for you to make absolutely certain your boss knows what you’re accomplishing. (I am serious!)

Make a regular list of the noteworthy things you have completed and write this as a message or email to your boss (just in bullet points!). If you have a regular meeting time with your boss, ask for permission to start with your list.

Don’t wait for the question, “What are you working on?”… If that question pops in 2016, you, my friend, have a BIG problem. Make sure that your managers never wonder what you are doing.

You can fill your boss’s head with positive thinking if you set a goal every week or fortnight and tell your boss what it is. If he or she wants your focus elsewhere, then you have just advanced your understanding of his or her priorities.

#6 Ask “What Else Can I Do to Help You?”

This is my personal favourite, and it’s so often done wrong. Who do you ask, your co-workers? No, you ask your boss. If you spend too much time helping your co-workers, your boss is most likely going to ask you why you aren’t focused on your own work – unless of course, your department is full of duds.

It is your job to knock your boss out with great work. If you have lots of time to help co-workers, then you may not understand your job or you may need to ask yourself why your job isn’t keeping you busy (see points 2, 3 and 4).

#7 Accept Instructions 

There’s a good chance that your boss knows more than you do, at least about significant aspects of the business. I know it’s hard to accept for some, and it also sometimes seems like a stretch, but just accept that your boss has a lot to teach you.

If you have a good boss this won’t be a problem, as there will be lots that you can learn, and if he or she is not well-suited for the role, well, I still want you to accept them as your superior.

Suck it up – but be positive and bright! You see, if you have a weak boss, you have a great opportunity to help them. Become a genuine asset to them. Help them succeed.

You could gain a new friend, maybe discover something new about your Manager and if you’re good without being sneaky and narky, your boss’s superiors will notice. If they don’t, you should probably find a new place to work or learn how to toot your own horn a bit more (see point 5).

#8 Visualise Your Sucessful Day

You don’t have to be overly creative to visualise your own success. It’s the sort of thing people do each time they buy a lotto ticket. But the difference is that you are in charge – it is not a ‘luck’ situation.

Sounds weird or a bit too flaky? I assure you, it’s a powerful action you can take to achieve your goals. Visualise it first – close your eyes and see your boss congratulating you on your great work. Hear your manager saying “Thank you.” Hear your peers saying “Congratulations!” Feel yourself shaking their hands or that clap on your shoulder or the toast to your health when you raise the glass to celebrate an achievement.

Why not visualise yourself at this time next year saying to a friend, “2016 was a great year!”

#9 Plan Your Top 5 Goals for the Year

You do have written goals for your life, don’t you? Did you also write your top five ‘make a difference’ goals for your year at work? This is the age of contribution, value and ‘sharing’. I suggest that you consider doing something that truly makes a difference, and preferably a difference to someone else. Volunteering or Pro Bono work could be a start for that – you don’t have to do much, but I know from years of doing both that you will grow and improve your life.

#10 Be a Positive Achiever!

I also know from personal experience, that you will improve your chances to celebrate, if you set small and achievable goals instead of big long term projects. You will enjoy the work more when you celebrate the small successes. People like to be around positive achievers, so in 2016 be patient, be positive and stay focused on the progress you’re making.

On that note, take a break! Enjoy the Festive Season and prepare yourself early for 2016 – whether you’re job hunting from scratch or thinking about a new career for a New Year.  And, when you go out there remember to hunt wisely!

Uli

student guide to job hunting

A Uni Students Guide to Job Hunting

This blog post is the first in a new series authored by The Job Search Coach marketing intern Jasha Andrews. Jasha has been invited as a Guest blogger to TJSC to help uni students hunt smarter for a position. If you are a regular reader, this could be the refresher that you need on basic job hunting.

Once upon a time, young people left high school went to university or TAFE and then graduated to start a career in their chosen field. Fast forward to today and young people face an ever competitive market in which to find a job, so they must gain every advantage possible to succeed.

As a ‘mature age’ university student and marketing intern, I have the rare opportunity to view job seeking from both sides of the university graduate fence. Since graduating from high school in 2005, I have seen things change dramatically for young people – and these changes are not for the better.

My first full time job was at a quiche factory as a process worker. The interview went for 5 minutes, and I am pretty sure they hired me because I wore a tie. This would turn out to be the exception, not the rule, when it came to job hunting success. But I digress… Let’s talk about YOU: a uni student or young person who needs to compete against thousands of other applicants during a time when youth unemployment is double the national average.

Young people entering uni for the first time fall into two categories: those with some work experience and those without. This first section is about those who have not yet had a job of any kind. You probably know that you need a few things when searching for a job: A cover letter and resume. We will go through what should be included in each of these and mistakes you can avoid.

A Cover Letter

The cover letter is a document which is read before the resume that should address the selection criteria for a job: that is the skills or values that are important to the employer. A cover letter should include the following items:

  • An introduction
  • Mention the job you are applying for
  • Match your skills and experience with the job ad
  • Encourage the reader to read your resume
  • End with a call to action: e.g a request to meet for an interview.

When you have little or no experience, then you may feel the need to overcomplicate or embellish things. DON’T DO THIS. A general rule in any job application is to K.I.S.S.

Keep

It

Simple

Sunshine

It is a good idea to have a generic cover letter on which base your applications. You absolutely must CUSTOMISE YOUR COVER LETTER for each job you apply: if you don’t, your application will be in the bin before you can say “please hire me”. Take a second and just imagine what it would be like to wade through hundreds of pages of generic B.S just to find a few good candidates. Doesn’t sound fun does it? Make your application like a breath of fresh air for the poor guy who has to read all of these – he/she will be secretly appreciative of the effort you put in, and reward you by considering you for an interview.

A resume

This is a document which should sum up your skills and experience. It is the basis on which employers will receive their first impression of you. It is important you are concise and to the point – don’t fill it up with crap. Employers will be reading hundreds of these, so you need to have the courtesy to not waste their time.

Fun fact: a resume and curriculum vitae (also known as a CV) are two different things, even though the terms are used interchangeably. A resume contains work history, skills and achievements while a CV contains academic history and achievements. Most people use a combined resume/CV when applying for jobs.

In your resume you should include:

Basic details like your name and contact details.

While this may seem like common sense for anyone, you would be surprised at how many people stuff this up. You should include your contact number, address and email. And for Pete’s sake, make sure these details work.

Make sure your email address is something simple and professional: A good example is firsname.lastname@mail.com. The last thing the employer wants to do is type in an immature email address you made in primary school. It’s annoying for them and makes you look bad.

DO NOT put a photo or date of birth: this gives the unintended consequence inadvertent discrimination, and if they are using an Applicant Tracking System (something for another blog), then you will be discarded because of the photo.

After your basic details, these next four things should form the basis of your resume. You might have other things you want to add, but make sure it is relevant and value adding.

A brief summary of your education

This would include a HSC (or equivalent) and any other officially recognised qualifications. If you are a high scoring student, you could put your ATAR or other achievements (e.g school dux or if you were a school/house captain)

A brief summary of any other achievements

This could be a sporting or community based achievement. Keep it relevant and fairly recent – no one cares about the merit award you received in primary school.

A brief summary of your community activities

This could include Scouts, Cadets, Duke of Edinburgh, or any religious community activities. An employer won’t be looking for a highly skilled candidate at your level. They will be looking for someone who has a good work ethic and will be a good fit for the organisation. If you can tick a few boxes in each of the above categories, you should be putting yourself in good stead.

Now what?

DOUBLE CHECK IT! The last thing you want to do is to send a resume with spelling and grammatical errors: It shows carelessness and a poor attention to detail (something you need for most jobs). Once you have double checked it, get someone else to check it for you – preferably a person with more experience than you. Don’t ask them to look for spelling mistakes – it’s a waste of their time. Instead, ask whether the resume and cover letter address the position you are applying for. A good mentor will be able to guide you in how to improve your application.

Once this is done, you should be ready to start applying for jobs!

So there you have it, a quick primer on the basic things needed for job hunting. If you found something that worked for you, share it in the comments below. We will have more posts in the future explaining what to do next. So stay tuned folks, and no matter what you do remember to Keep It Simple Sunshine.

Jash 
(Guest Blogger at TheJobSearchCoach)

Jasha Andrews 7098