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10 quick tips to help you find a job

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:59pm Sunday 08 March 2009    Print Article

During these tough economic times, it is incredibly stressful when unemployed. Now with more job seekers in the workforce, the so called "skills shortage" has decreased in most industries. Here are 10 quick tips to help you on your way.

1. Use a recruitment agency that specialises in your particular area. Get to know the recruitment consultant, and follow them up weekly. The more you appear visible, the more they will remember you

2. Review and specifically tailor your resume for each role you apply for. If you keep sending out generic resumes then you will get generic responses.

3. Use social networking sites, and build your profile as if it was your digital resume. Promote yourself via sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.

4. Pay attention to detail. One of things I have noticed as an recruiter is job seekers rushing and not paying attention do detail. Sending out the wrong cover letter to prospective employers will kill your chances.

5. Commit to your job search like a job. Make sure that you spend a certain amount of hours each days looking for a job no matter what. I know it is hard and depressing but it is the only way to ensure you find a job.

6. Stay organised. Create a spreadsheet of all the jobs that you applied for so you won't apply for the same job over and over again (as many recruiters refresh old adverts). That will kill your chances with that employer. You can also use the spreadsheet to follow up your application if you have not had any responses within a few days

7. Don't be afraid to take risks. Are you willing to look in other industries that normally would not look into but you have skills that will transfer well? Are you prepared to travel interstate for the right opportunity?

8. Know your priorities. Do you have enough money saved up or do you need to work to pay the bills?

9. Prepare for the interviews. Lots of people are so excited to have a response that don't prepare for the interview. I don't mean regarding what you are going to wear but thinking your responses to interview questions. eg. Why are you are good fit for this position? What are your weaknesses and strengths?

10. Don't forget to send a follow up or thank you note after your interviews. When there is a surplus of qualified candidates, sometimes the little things will make the difference. A thank you note can be your deciding factor. The thank you card should be send within 24 hours of the interview.

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Hunting The (Hidden) Hunters Report by CareerOne

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:03pm Thursday 05 March 2009    Print Article

CareerOne released a report last week titled "Hunting The (Hidden) Hunters" which reveals how almost anyone can be turned into a job hunter and changes the way we think about active and passive candidates. Well done to CareerOne for producing a well thought out report.

Based on a survey conducted last year, CareerOne identified 7 segments of job hunters based on how they feel about their jobs and how motivated they are to change them. The reporThe new job market identified is:
  • Personal Ambition - Success and career progression
  • Recognise Me - Recognition and reward
  • Rewarding Challenge - Reward and life balance
  • Flexibility - Flexibility, recognition and challenge
  • Contented - Flexibility and lifestyle
  • Supportive Environment - Team and training
  • Drifters - Team and lifestyle

Personal Ambition

The strongest growing segment in times of economic uncertainty. Much more focused on being in a motivating environment. They continue to be worried about the corporate health of their workplaces and are increasingly dissatisfied with long working hours.

Recognise Me

Increasingly frustrated by a desire for a new challenge. They believe that they are not being motivated at work, pay rises are too slow to come and that there are better places to work. Rather than the on-the-job training and overseas travel they wanted in the past, they are now focused on tangible benefits such as vehicles.

Rewarding Challenge

Less satisfied with their work-life balance than others, there has been strong growth in the numbers who resent long hours. The opportunity to earn more is increasingly important and they have a high propensity to change jobs if the offer is right.


A group now less interested in recognition, challenge or pay rises, instead wanting jobs which enable them to work close to home with normal working hours.


The numbers in this category are falling rapidly. They have become dissatisfied with work conditions and are now much more likely to move jobs with those actively searching increasing from 6 per cent to 21 per cent.

Supportive Environment

They are concerned about the economy but don’t feel they are being personally impacted. The desire for a friendly team environment is being matched now with a strong desire for training opportunities and a career path which can lead to greater job security.


More young people are falling into this category and although coming from a low base, they are becoming more interested in work and success. There are fewer actively searching but 70 per cent are open to opportunities.

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Graduate Program Wizard

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 12:06pm Thursday 05 March 2009    Print Article

GradConnection have just launched an online wizard which will help University Graduates select the best Graduate program. It compares the various programs on offer from employers and ranks them accordingly by an algorithm based on your search query called the “Grad Rank”

The process is quite simple, and in under a few minutes I was presented with a list of programs that were suitable.

There was one question which caught my eye “I would look favorably on a company that let me use…” which relates to the use of social software. Certinally graduates (mostly Gen Y) are wanting to use these social sites and connection tools in the workplace.

There are still some minor bugs. But all-in-all, the program will help graduates refine the job searching process. The list of graduate programs on offer was quite limited, and I would assume over the next coming weeks more and more employers will start signing up.

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Employer Branding - A Quick Overview

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:14pm Monday 02 March 2009    Print Article

When planning your employer brand strategy, it is helpful to determine where your brand is in the minds of the job seeker (or potential job seeker) and adjust your messaging strategy accordingly. Visualize each stage of the recruitment process in their shoes and how would your brand stack up against a competitor - who would you choose?

  • Do you have a brand not very well known to the talent marketplace?
  • Is your industry not very well known among the potential talent pool?
If so, you need to create awareness among the marketplace about your organization and your industry - your name, logo, career site, and message need to be in front of the audience.

Perhaps you have a well-known brand, but a potential employee doesn’t know how their skills would be useful at your organisation; in that case, the focus should be on helping the target audience familiarise itself with you as an employer.

An attractive internal and external employer brand is a base for successful operations. It diminishes turnover and recruitment costs. Most important though, it ensures your supply of strategic talent for growing your business, for efficiency and for productivity.

Research - Is the starting point for any employer branding strategy. By undertaking research, you gain valuable insight and data points on how your brand is perceived internally and externally, which will give you the full picture of the current position of your employer brand.

Employer Value Proposition - Consists of a set of associations and offerings that characterize an employer and differentiates it from competitors.

Communication Plan - Once the EVP is determined, it is necessary to devise a plan on the way in which it is communicated internally and externally. The communications plan will outline the appropriate communication channels to reach the target groups based on the stage your organisation is in the recruitment funnel, and how to align the messaging with other corporate communication.

Communication Material - After the communication plan has been finalised, it is time to define the materials based on your stage in the recruitment funnel, i.e. the pictures, words, copy and other specific mediums to be used.

Action - Is the final step. This is when you implement, measure and adjust your activities, based on all steps above. This needs to be done on a regular basis. Both employers and job seekers change – in their value propositions, preference of communication channels and career choices.

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Branding Terminology and Jargon

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:02pm Monday 02 March 2009    Print Article

Here is a quick overview of some branding terminology and jargon that is thrown around by marketers and branding consultants. These definitions will provide a valuable reference list for future marketing and branding activities.

Brand - A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, association, trademark or design which is intended to identify the products or services of one provider or group of providers, and to differentiate them from those of competitors. A brand has functional and emotional elements which create a relationship between customers and the product or service.

Branding - The process of building a positive collection of perceptions in your customer's mind

Brand Architecture - The method by which an organisation structures and names the brands within its portfolio. There are three main types of brand architecture system:
  • Monolithic – where the corporate name is used on all products and services offered by the company
  • Endorsed – where all sub-brands are linked to the corporate brand by means of either a verbal or visual endorsement
  • Freestanding – where the corporate brand operates merely as a holding company, and each product or service is individually branded for its target market.
Brand Attributes - The functional and emotional associations which are assigned to a brand by its customers and prospects. Brand attributes can have different degrees of relevance and importance to different customer segments, markets and cultures.

Brand Audit – A comprehensive and systematic examination of a brand involving activities (both tangible and intangible) to assess the health of the brand, uncover its sources of equity and suggest ways to improve and leverage that equity. The brand audit requires the understanding of brand equity sources from the perspective of both the firm and the consumer.

Brand Awareness - A common measure of marketing communications effectiveness. Brand awareness is measured as the proportion of target customers which has prior knowledge of the brand. It is measured by two distinct measures; brand recognition and brand recall. Brand recognition is the customers' ability to confirm prior exposure/knowledge of a brand when shown or asked explicitly about the brand (also referred to as aided or prompted awareness). Brand recall is the customers' ability to retrieve a brand from memory when given the product category but not mentioning of the brand (also referred to as spontaneous or unaided awareness).

Brand Champion - Internal and external advocates of the brand empowered with the task of spreading the brand’s vision and values and promoting its purpose within an organisation.

Brand Commitment - The degree to which a customer is committed to a given brand based on the likelihood of them re-purchasing in the future. This indicates the degree to which a brand’s customer franchise is protected from competitors.

Brand Equity - The value of your brand as an asset, based on its qualities, reputation, and recognition as well as the commitment and demand it generates. A valuable brand results in customer relationships that secure future earnings by developing brand passion and loyalty.

Brand Essence - The distillation of a brand’s intrinsic characteristics into a succinct core concept.

Brand Experience - The means by which a brand is created in the mind of a stakeholder. Experiences can be influenced by personal contact, retail environments, advertising, products, services, websites etc. Some are uncontrolled eg word of mouth. Strong brands arise from consistent experiences which combine to form a clear, differentiated overall brand experience.

Brand Extension - Leveraging the values of the brand to take it into new markets or sectors.

Brand Guidelines - Internal tools available to educate, reinforce and motivate all involved in building and maintaining strong brands. Brand guidelines are crucial in establishing and enhancing a strong and dedicated brand culture. The brand guidelines can take various forms and methods, and could consist of brand vision, brand identity, brand strategy guidelines, a short description of the brand, brand values, brand positioning, positioning guidelines, communication tips, writing style guidelines, design style guidelines, and company-wide contact details to obtain more information from central brand management.

Brand Identity - The outward expression of the brand, including its name and visual appearance. The brand’s identity is its fundamental means of consumer recognition and differentiation from competitors. The marks that visually present your brand, usually in the form of a logo, symbol, or a unique typestyle

Brand Image - The set of beliefs about what your brand is and what it stands for that exists in the customer's mind as a result of associations with you and your name

Brand Loyalty - Brand loyalty is the strength of preference for a brand compared to other similar available brand options. It is measured through a range of different dimensions e.g. repeat purchase behavior, price sensitivity.

Brand Management - This involves ongoing management of the functional and emotional experiences of the brand. Controlling the presentation of your brand identity and brand message across your entire organization and through all media and communication outlets These can range from exposure to products, packaging and price – to the customer experience of marketing activities and interaction with people.

Brand Personality - Includes all the tangible and intangible traits of a brand, say beliefs, values, prejudices, features, interests, and heritage. A brand personality makes it unique. It describes a brand in terms of human characteristics. It is seen as a valuable factor in increasing brand engagement and brand attachment, in much the same way as people relate and bind to other people.

Brand Positioning - The distinctive position that a brand adopts in its competitive environment to ensure that individuals in its target market can tell the brand apart from others. Positioning involves the careful manipulation of every element of the marketing mix.

Brand Slogan/ Brand Tagline - An easily and recognisable and memorable phrase which often accompanies a brand name in marketing communications programs. The brand slogan and tagline helps customers to remember the brand and reinforces mental associations.

Brand Strategy - The 'big picture' plans and tactics deployed by an organisation/brand owner to create long-term brand equity and competitive advantages from branding. The strategy should be rooted in the brand’s vision and driven by the principles of differentiation and competitive advantage.

Brand Tone of Voice - How the brand speaks to its audiences.

Brand Valuation - The process of identifying and measuring the economic benefit that derives from brand ownership.

Brand Value Proposition - The functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits delivered by the brand that combined provide value to the customer. The brand value propositions provide the rationale (tangible and intangible dimensions and associations) for making one brand choice over other available brand choices.

Brand Vision - A concise statement of what a brand means to its owners and their intent for its future direction.

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Web 2.0 in Recruitment

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:22pm Friday 27 February 2009    Print Article

Social media is amazing – let me give you a real example from yesterday. I uploaded my presentation for the Inspecht HR Futures conference on Web 2.0 in Recruitment to SlideShare

Within a few hours I was notified that the presentation was recommended by viewed to showcase on the Career section. 6 hours later, I was notified that the presentation was then to feature as the “Featured Slides of the Day” on the home page. Amazing! This is exposure, money can't buy.

That’s the power of social media and power of the people.

I have uploaded the presentation with 2 different versions, and you can also view the presentation online (or incorporate into your own blog/website)

1 slide per page – 7.59mb

2 slides per page – 7.5mb

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Ambulance Chasers

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 6:43pm Tuesday 24 February 2009    Print Article

I read an interesting article in today’s Recruiter Daily called "Hone your ad chasing skills", and it got me quite ruffled up. The article refers to recruiter’s ambulance chasing job adverts. Surely Recruiters would have built strong relationships over the years with clients and understand their business?

There are many sly tactics you could use to ambulance chase for roles, but what is this doing to your credibility, brand, and ethics? Why step back from the things you have worked so hard to build.

Put yourself in the clients shoes... imagine how many calls they would be getting from other Recruiters!

Employers have been laying off staff, the unemployment rate is growing and therefore there are more candidates looking for work. In turn, this means applications (for most roles) are at a all time high!

Employers know that they can put up a job advert and be inundated with applications, so you should be selling other services (such as short listing) to secure at least some of the work.

More and more Employers are making it loud and clear in their job adverts **Agencies do not call**

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Chat and IM use for Recruiters

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 7:00am Tuesday 24 February 2009    Print Article

There are several ways you can talk to people in person, on the phone, via e-mail, and instant messaging (IM). What is instant messenger? It's basically like sending a SMS to a person on a mobile phone (and we all know people who love to SMS). So instant messaging is a way to talk to your colleagues, candidates, clients, bosses or whoever you might want to talk to.

Most people use some form of instant messaging when they are online. It's easy enough to log in and see what's going on with your friends and family members; as soon as they go online you will be able to see they're there and say hello to them. The ease of this method of staying in touch is one of the main reasons why it is so popular.

There are many different IM programs you can use such as: AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Skype, etc

In a business environment - I would recommend using Skype and Google Talk. As these programs offer more business productivity tools such as voice, video and document collaboration.

So it's probably not too surprising that more and more recruiters are starting to latch onto this idea and use it in their own day to day dealings with people. After all, if their clients are using these methods to talk to each other, why shouldn't recruiters use them as well to become more accessible to the very people they are trying to sell products to?

There are clear benefits for the candidates or clients too that make this type of internet marketing exercise worth doing. For example, why spend time typing out an email and having to wait for a response, or picking up the phone and being put on hold for several minutes (if not longer), or even writing a letter to the company in question? Why do any of those things when you can type your question in a box and wait for someone at the other end to come back to you with a response? It can be far quicker and easier to get a reply that you want in this way, and it makes a business far more accessible as a result.

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2009 Graduate Career Fairs

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:22pm Monday 23 February 2009    Print Article

It's that time of the year when Universities and TAFE's are holding their Graduate Career Fairs. Recruiters should think about attending these events - not only for candidates, but for market intelligence.

As new graduates get ready to develop their careers, they transition from a world where they've attained a level of comfort and success into an entirely unfamiliar one. Many of them think their hard work in university will automatically entitle them to recognition and desirability as a new hire.

University graduates with degrees in finance, law or accountancy face fierce competition securing a job this year as redundancies increase and employment opportunities dry up according to a recent article in The Australian

WikiJob is a website designed for Graduates on interview questions, placements & graduate jobs. Although UK based, the tips and suggestions apply throughout the world.

When you are recent graduate, you might not get a lot of help from Recruiters. As a Recruiter, I find that companies tend to fill entry-level jobs themselves and don’t always pay recruiters to find recent graduates. Often I do not have enough time to individually reply to each application, as to why they were unsuccessful. Here are some suggestions to get your job search rolling

1. Start job searching early! Don’t wait until one month before semester ends to start your job search. Employers tend to start accepting applications from Feb - Jun for next years intake!

2. Ensure that your resume highlights any relevant skills
that you honed during University and that you demonstrated during the years. Include evidence of presentation skills, problem-solving skills, teamwork skills and other relevant skills that most employers would find useful that people often leave out from their resume.

3. Look for networking opportunities that your University offers. Take advantage of all career fairs and campus visits by Employers/Recruiters whether they are of interest to you or not. Utilize the Alumni program and University Career Advisors.

4. Ensure you utilize at least several job search options and ensure you do each of them well. Other than attending career fairs as mentioned above, use other networking methods, search Online Job Boards, Social Networking sites, Paper Advertisements, word of mouth etc.

5. Feedback - If your application is rejected for a role. Try to find out why, and use this feedback to make your next application stand out and succeed.

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Linkme infestation

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 1:29pm Monday 23 February 2009    Print Article

It seems that the Linkme blog section needs some cleaning up. Are these blogs physically verified by humans to check the contents? Whoops, just forgot about the retrenchments last week.

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