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6 Ways to Get Your Job Search Back on Track

An article by Elaine Mead and published by the Australian Careers Service.

After a few months stuck at home, half the world is either just beginning to return to normal (and the office) or they’ve been left wondering what comes next after experiencing job losses. 

Losing a job or part of your professional identity can be a shock to the system. Know you are not alone in this experience. When you’re ready to take the next step forward, there’s plenty of ways to do so. 

It’s going to take a while for recruitment to pick up again and we’re certainly going to face a few more challenges as we deal with the impact of COVID-19. Making a plan for finding work might seem like a mammoth task. 

The small things can quickly become the building blocks of bigger changes and help you feel empowered rather than trapped during this time. Aside from updating your resume and cover letter, here are six to get you started: 

1. Update your LinkedIn profile 

If it’s been a while since you looked at your LinkedIn profile, now is the perfect time for some updates. You can set your profile to ‘actively seeking opportunities’ to indicate to potential employers and recruiters you’re looking for work and follow companies for job openings as soon as they happen. Spend some time making sure all your job titles are up to date, remove anything outdated and include links to projects or resources that align with your work or professional identity.  

2. Expand your knowledge 

Learning professional skills is a lifelong hobby and a great way to kick start your own development journey if it’s been a while since you studied. If you’re seeking ways to feel in-control and proactive about your career, an online course or workshop could be just the thing you need. Whether you want something to help you in your current industry or you’re seeking to strike out in a new direction entirely, there’s something for everyone. 

3. Check-in with your network 

Networking might seem like a foreign concept in our current climates, but it’s not completely off the table. Are you involved with any professional associations for your industry? Many are offering free professional development workshops, as well as regular Zoom meetings simply giving members a chance to chat and discuss how COVID has been impacting their industry and day-to-day jobs. It’s a great way to feel less alone but also connect with some new faces. 

4. Set up a professional website 

If unemployment is on the books, setting up a digital space that contains your resume, write-ups of any projects and programs you’ve helped on, as well as a weekly blog on your own thoughts about your industry could be what sets you apart when job hunting. Consider this a portfolio where you get to showcase your in-depth knowledge and understanding of your work and include the link to your site on your resume. It’s a great way to invite employers to get to know you better. 

5. Create some ‘how-to’ guides 

Lots of people every day are looking for ways to simplify their workday or understand how to do something quickly and easily. If you’ve got some niche knowledge, creating a how-to guide is a great way to boost your professional identity. Identify common question-points in your day-to-day job or industry and do a write-up — you might even visit a few of your own gaps and write about those! Share online (either LinkedIn or your website) and invite others to share their input. 

6. Start a business book club 

There are books for every single industry imaginable, or you could pick a broader topic such as leadership, workplace culture, or emotional intelligence in the office. You can read alone or rope in a few other colleagues or industry peers to read along with you. It’s a different way of adding to your personal knowledge and growing as a professional. 

Elaine Mead  is a Careers and Work-Integrated Learning Educator based in Tasmania. 

Find Jobs Through Facebook

An article published by careers.govt.nz which is also relevant to UK job hunters.

Due to COVID-19 disruption, you may be wanting to find jobs wherever you can. Facebook is a good platform to use for job hunting because it’s an easy way to scroll through jobs and connect with people in the work area you’re interested in. Many recruitment agencies use their Facebook pages to promote jobs and Facebook itself has its own job search feature.

We spoke with Tony Cutting from Kumara Vine to find out how Facebook can help with your job hunt.

Building Communities Through Facebook

Kumara Vine is a website that celebrates Māori and Pacific people’s success in the workplace by sharing stories of achievement and promoting jobs to their whānau and friends.

Tony Cutting from Kumara Vine explains why they turned to Facebook to promote employment opportunities.

“Māori and Pasifika are known to be strong users of social media, and given that Facebook gives you the ability to build communities, we thought it would be a good vehicle to promote our jobs.”

With Facebook allowing the on-sharing of posts, many other people and organisations can easily be contacted and connected.

Clean Up Your Facebook Account

Most jobs promoted through Facebook will link you back to another website where you can find more information about the job and apply. However, it’s always important to check that your social media accounts and online behaviour are appropriate – especially if you’re using Facebook directly to job hunt.

“It makes good sense that your social media accounts are maintained to high standards as many employers will check them before deciding whether to interview you or not,” says Tony.

The public version of your profile can be seen by employers, but you can choose who sees your posts. Facebook also has a feature that lets you see what your profile looks like to people you aren’t connected with.

Check the Groups or Pages Before Joining

Despite Facebook being a great platform to find jobs that you’re interested in, you should be careful to avoid any dodgy pages or job advertisements.

“It’s important to make sure that any groups or pages that you join or follow are legitimate. That’s why at Kumara Vine we always link our social media jobs back to our website so people can see we’re the real deal,” Tony says.

Make the Most of Facebook’s Job Search Feature

Facebook has a feature just for job searching. Similar to other job recruitment websites, you can filter your job search to suit your location, industry or job type.

Graduate Job Confidence Slides as Labour Market Shrinks

By Beau Jackson, of hrmagazine

Fewer graduates in 2020 are confident of working in their dream industry than they were in 2019.

According to graduate job site Milkround, 83% of graduates expressed this sentiment last year compared to just 62% in 2020. 

Attitudes about universities have changed too. In 2019, 15% of graduates said their university could have done more to prepare them for the workplace, yet in 2020 this has risen to 25%. 

The global labour market has become unstable due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the most recent findings from the Institute of Student Employers’ (ISE) COVID-19: Global impacts on graduate recruitment report, the market for graduate jobs in England is expected to shrink by between one and 14% each year from 2020-2021. 

Although government response to the pandemic has differed from country to country, a similar percentage of shrinkage is expected across Australia, Finland, New Zealand and the United States. 

“While graduates often escape the worst impacts of recessions, the size and health of the graduate labour market is tied up with the wider economy,” said an ISE statement. 

“The magnitude of the current crisis means that it is impacting on workers of all skill levels and is likely to be particularly difficult for those entering the labour market for the first time and those working in the sectors which are feeling the worst effects.” 

Though Milkround’s findings suggest graduate confidence is waning, an optimistic 71% of respondents said the pandemic has not impacted their decision on which sector they will go into, and the NHS tops the list of respondent’s most desirable companies to work for. 

Georgina Brazier, graduate jobs expert at Milkround said that the decisiveness where areas of work are concerned demonstrates a continued resilience in the graduate population. 

She added: “Over the next few months, it’s essential that employers really understand what it is the next generation of workers are looking for as they enter the workplace, and work out how they can support recent graduates in realising their dreams despite the current circumstances.” 

Milkround’s Candidate Compass Report is based on a survey of 2,838 student and graduate candidates, conducted between 14th – 29th April 2020.

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals You Can Realistically Accomplish
July 16, 2020
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A case study by Lea McLeod, M.A., the founder of the Job Success Lab and author of  The Resume Coloring Book

It wasn’t working for my client, Miranda. She’d gotten her degree and was doing well in her role at a Big Four accounting firm, but something was missing.

Sure, she could keep going, receive generous compensation, and continue to advance. But deep down inside, no fireworks were going off; she couldn’t see herself on this path for the long term.

But like so many other employees who feel stuck, she didn’t know how to make a career pivot. On one hand, she wanted to reach for the stars, but on the other, she knew that she had limited experience in a specific industry and needed to be realistic about what she could pursue. Ultimately, she wanted to land a financial leadership role in the healthcare industry.

What Miranda learned is that if you want to change something; for example, chart a new path, ditch a boring job, or pivot in your career, you’ve got to start by setting a goal.

By working toward a goal, you end up getting much more than your desired outcome. Setting and achieving meaningful career goals provides three essential career nutrients: increased job satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and improved quality of your life.

But how do you form a right-size goal that’s ambitious, but doesn’t overwhelm you? Here are a few tips to help you truly understand how to achieve goals.

You Need Clarity

Studies show you’re more likely to succeed when your career goals are specific. So, start by peering into the future and creating a vision for your ideal self and career. What would that look like in one, three, or five years?

Ask yourself: What’s your job like? What kind of skills and responsibilities do you have? Who is your employer, and what is your job like? What are you totally awesome at? What kind of team do you work with?

When you clearly visualize your desired outcome, you begin to see the possibility of achieving it—and you can start taking steps to build your plan.

Miranda wanted a role at a regional healthcare organization, where she would oversee financial planning and reporting as part of a dynamic, progressive team—one with a culture that valued and respected its employees. And she wanted that position by June of 2020.

It Has to Challenge You—But With a Realistic Outcome

If you’re in your second year of public accounting, and your goal is to become CFO of Apple by the end of next year, you have your head in the clouds. Although you may know the basics of accounting, you have a long road ahead of you before you’ll be the CFO of one of the world’s largest companies. Just sayin’.

Miranda realized that for her desired outcome to actually be realistic, she’d need to acquire more knowledge and additional skills. So she did the research, spoke with people in similar jobs, and realized that by taking a few additional courses and volunteering as the part-time CFO of a small nonprofit, she could start acquiring the skills and knowledge to achieve her goal. And that made it imminently more realistic.

You Must Be Committed

I’ve heard so many people say, “I hate my job and need to make a change.” But they take zero action to make that change happen. They’ll give you a hundred reasons why they don’t go after that change, but you can boil them down to one: They simply aren’t committed to that goal.

If you believe your goal is important and attainable, you stand a much higher chance of succeeding.

Miranda committed to her goal by adopting a mindset that set her up for success—she saw herself achieving her goal. She was clear in her desired outcome, and perhaps most importantly, she was willing to share her goal with others, which held her accountable to making progress along the way.

You get commitment only when you are convinced that the goal is important to you and that it’s attainable.

Feedback Is Essential

Miranda identified a couple of key mentors and coaches to share her goals with and committed to providing them with regular updates.

To make sure she could provide a significant update every time she spoke with these mentors, she broke her ultimate goal into more bite sized action steps, which required shorter timeframes. For example, she set a goal to have one conversation per week with someone working in her desired industry and role. From those informational interviews, she identified potential target employers and what it takes to succeed in that role.

Each time she made some progress, she shared her insights with her mentors, and they helped her make tweaks to her other action steps based on what she was learning. Having a feedback process allowed her to stay motivated, stay on track, and feel a sense of accomplishments throughout the entire process. 

You Must Create the Right Conditions for Success

Successfully achieving your goal requires just two conditions: time and practice.

When Miranda set the goal to connect with one person a week, she did it for a good reason: It was a realistic goal that she knew she’d have time to accomplish. She could have said, “I’ll connect with seven people each week.” But given her current professional commitments, the complexity required to achieve that objective would have been overwhelming. By week two she likely would have fallen behind, become discouraged, and perhaps even given up.

To avoid burning out and quitting on unrealistic goals, create intermediate objectives that you have enough time to complete, given your real-life commitments.

Then, practice! Miranda was getting great relationship-building practice in her weekly networking meetings. She knew that would be essential for any career move she made. She was also getting great hands-on practice creating financial statements in her volunteer position. This gave her time to learn, experiment, and fail in a safe environment, while she kept moving her career plan forward.

I’m highly confident Miranda is going to achieve the career goal she set for herself. And when she does, it will be a huge win for her. Not only because she’ll achieve her desired outcome, but also because she’ll have built a fabulous winning experience on setting and achieving a career milestone—one step at a time.

The Power of Networking
July 15, 2020
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The following article has been written by Cathy Milton a Canadian Career Professional.

You don’t have to look too long or hard to find several articles on the internet supporting the fact that up to 85% of job seekers landed their current job via networking. Even when presented with that impressive statistic, some clients may be sceptical.

I recently sat down with a friend and neighbour, a brilliant young man who just started a new job obtained via the strength of his well-maintained network. His success story may help to motivate your job-hunting clients who hesitate to engage their own networks in their search.

As background, what was your former job title and how long were you with that company?

I was Vice President of Product Management, and I was with that firm just shy of 10 years. I started out in an entry-level position as a software developer, and I worked my way up as the company went through rapid growth phases. Read more

8 Signs Someone Is Perfect For A Career In Psychology
July 14, 2020
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Psychology is a subject that interests a lot of people, but not everyone is cut out to transform it into a successful career.

The following article, published by Arden University,  may help your clients decide if Psychology is really for them.

Ever find yourself wondering if you could make it as a psychologist? Here are eight signs that you could be perfect for a career in psychology – if you manage to tick off five or more, you’re probably on to something!

You have a curious nature

There are several careers which are made for those with a naturally curious mind and psychology is definitely one of them. A psychologist has to have that urge to find out what makes people tick. Every case you come across will be different, so the more you learn about psychology, the more you’ll feel that there’s so much you’re yet to discover. Your curious nature will drive you forwards and help you to excel as a professional psychologist.

You’re the friend everyone feels they can confide in

Read more

Leaving the Only Job You’ve Ever Had?
July 9, 2020
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The following article by Caroline Rodrigue may be of interest to those looking for a career change.

Are you interested in making a career change but you’re feeling a bit paralyzed because you’ve never done that before? Like never ever?

If you’ve been in the same job (or with the same organization) for most of your working life, it can be downright scary to consider a job search. And sure, things have changed in the last 10, 20, or 30 years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt and thrive!

Here are some tips for embracing a first-time job change and how to celebrate your new chapter.

Embracing change, for the first time

You’ve invested a lot of yourself into this one organization because you thought that, perhaps you’ll retire from the desk you’re sitting at right now. But things change and for whatever reason, you’re ready to move on.

The road ahead is unknown, and overcoming social stigmas of what is age- or life-stage appropriate may be challenging, so keep your eyes on the prize and embrace the chance to change it up! An opportunity to reinvent yourself is worth a few ruffled feathers.

Figure out where you want to go Read more

A Letter to my Daughters: Always be Present
July 9, 2020
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This letter is a part of Egon Zehnder’s Leaders and Daughters campaign to collectively inspire, cultivate and pave a better future for the next generation of female leaders.

To see more letters or contribute your own, please visit www.leadersanddaughters.com

Dear Sommer and Angelina:

Hopefully you won’t read anything in this letter that you haven’t already heard from me many times before. I’ve always tried to lead by example when we are together, so I will do the same in this letter by reminding you of a few thoughts that will help you navigate your incredible life journey ahead: Always be present, read the signs, stay in your lane and never back up more than you have to.

I have always tried to be present for you regardless of how old you were, where we were, or where I was. I wanted you to know that I am always there for you spiritually, emotionally and digitally. You never need feel isolated or alone. You know I am on 24/7 for advice, love, or just to share a funny filtered photo, bitmoji or laugh (even though I know I laugh inside). Being fully present, by listening, feeling, empathizing—always holding serious eye contact, and often the touch of a hand—builds trust. Trust builds confidence and confidence enables you to look forward, dream more and focus on others vs. yourself. Being present is the greatest gift you can give another person, and the greatest way to more closely connect with them. When you are present, you are living in the moment vs in your mind. You are seeing, hearing, and feeling another person, and together you are even more empowered to do great things. This is a gift that often comes more naturally to women.

I have also tried to share with you as many of life’s precious lessons and secrets as I can so that when I am not here, you have a solid foundation of learnings and values regardless of what potholes in life you may hit along the way. Stay open; always try to read the signs as you pass by them or they pass by you. I’ve often reminded you that there are no coincidences. Everything that happens in your life is for a reason or was predestined. Every book you receive, every new person you meet, everything you call lucky is a sign just waiting to be read. It is tough when you are young and so inward-focused, but once in a while you will look back, make the connection and then be more open to and curious about those signs in the future. You see, signs aren’t blatant or obvious. You have to be open and present to instinctively feel or intuitively see them. You’ve seen firsthand, and we have often discussed, the role signs have played in my life and the incredible things that have happened as a result of me listening and reacting to them. You are blessed as sensitive women to more naturally understand this.

You are fully aware of how blessed you are, the incredible gifts you were born with that your brother doesn’t have and the gifts he has that you don’t possess. You know how happy you feel when you are doing what you love and that comes so easily and naturally to you. So please, please, please connect to your passion, and then just stay in your lane. Great athletes, musicians, scientists, etc., all have an expertise that they focus on and perfect. Don’t let anyone persuade you to do anything that doesn’t feel natural or isn’t aligned with your values or God-given gifts. You know what excites you more than anyone else. The sooner you recognize your passions, and the more you focus, the happier you will be and the greater success you will achieve. Still, don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what your lane is yet. The path will illuminate itself so long as you stay present, open to the signs, and follow your passions. It’s all related.

Lastly, my loves, never back up more than you need to, and this means in life, not just when driving. Just as you are blind to what’s behind you while backing up a car, if you keep looking back in life and focusing too much on the past, you may find yourself running things over and over in your mind,often seeing or creating things that never existed in the first place. Even worse, living in reverse blinds you to what lies ahead: Your lifelong dreams waiting to be achieved, your destiny waiting to be fulfilled.

I know what you’re thinking: why do Dad and I always have our old family photos streaming on Apple TV? This is O.K., because your family is your foundation, and also your greatest enabler. When it comes to your family, we should be with you everywhere you are, as you are always and forever with us.

I love you,

Mom

3 Women’s Scientific Contributions That Continue to Power Modern Society
July 8, 2020
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The following article published by www.here.com may be an inspiration to your clients considering a STEM-related career.

In honour of America’s Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a few of the technologies we rely on today that might not exist if it weren’t for the pioneering women who dared to dream…

three_women_in_tech_HERE

History may now look back on these women as innovators, though they seldom received acknowledgement for their work during their own times. But if it wasn’t for the brilliant and analytical minds of these three women, the likes of smartphones, cars, and computers might not operate as they do today. Read more

Four Ways to Optimise A CV for Jobs in Law
July 1, 2020
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To make an impact and be noticed in the world of law, you will have to write a CV so it stands out. How do you do that for the legal sector? Try these tips.

1. Transferable skills

You are potentially a great law candidate, even if you’re fresh out of university with little experience in the legal sector. The trick is to display your transferable skills, as these are core abilities necessary for every role. Highlighting them in your CV could put you ahead of your competition.

Zoom in on these traits in your CV to prove that you have what it takes to succeed in a professional environment. Read more