How to Answer the Most Important Interview Question You’ll be Asked

Have you ever found yourself sitting in complete silence when asked the dreaded interview question “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Why do potential employers ask this anyhow? 5 years is a long time from now…who knows where I’ll end up? Any number of things could happen to me between now and then right? Wrong. I have heard…

Have you ever found yourself sitting in complete silence when asked the dreaded interview question “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Why do potential employers ask this anyhow? 5 years is a long time from now…who knows where I’ll end up? Any number of things could happen to me between now and then right?

Wrong.

I have heard this feedback from clients after interviews over and over.

“They aren’t clear on where they want to go, what drives them and what they want from their next place of employment. How are we supposed to help them grow and watch them drive their own success in our business if they don’t know what they want for themselves?”

We all know how busy life can get between day to day business activities, deadlines, families, kids and trying to maintain some sliver of a social life. It seems sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day and each day flies by living each moment looking forward to how we’re going to get through the next. Before we know it a week has passed, a month has gone, and then a year has disappeared right before our eyes! What just happened? What did I accomplish? Where am I going? Am I truly happy?

Sound familiar?

Do yourself a favour and STOP.

Just STOP and give yourself 5 minutes…

Believe it or not there is some fantastic reasoning and self-discovery to be had behind the dreaded interview question of “where do you see yourself in 5 years”

5 years seems like a ‘pretty far off in the distance’ time period of time so let’s break it down first. Take a moment to really dig into your inner psyche and figure out what the answers to the below questions are for you; pen them down to help solidify them if you like!

  • Which activities at work (or part of your current profession) really make you truly happy and fulfilled — why?
  • Which activities at work (or part of your current profession) are the parts you most dislike – why?
  • What are 4 things in your life that you most highly value and couldn’t live without (ie. family, health, financial freedom, physical things, challenge, furthered education, adventure, balance etc.)

Okay good. Now, let’s take those four things (values) you have just listed and start defining in each of those categories what kinds of things you would like to achieve in each category.

Example of Values:

Family/Friends – more time with the kids after work hours – turn off the phone at 7pm. Make an effort to keep in touch with friends – have a bbq once a month as a group.

Financial Freedom – start to focus on career progression- volunteer for more responsibility and focus on the job I’m doing right now – am I doing it to the best of my ability? What could I improve so I am continually growing? Define a savings or investment plan to build my personal wealth.

Health – Start going to the gym 2x a week. Invest in a yoga class once a week to lower stress levels

Furthered Education — I know learning new things invigorates me. I want to continue my education through a Masters program that would suit my lifestyle and allow me to maintain balance in my family and work life.

Now do a quick review. Are these things really, truly the things you want from the 4 most important categories in your life? Are these 4 values you’ve listed truly the things you see as the most important pieces of your life; things that drive you, invigorate you, make you the happiest?

Excellent. These things you’ve come up with in those few minutes of self-reflection are the core components of what drives you, make you happy and are ideally where you want to focus your attention over the next 5 years.

We’re not done yet though.

Now, take a moment and think about the year ahead. Where are you now, as measured up against your values; the 4 categories you listed above? Room for improvement?

Take a moment and start to break down your next 12 months whether it is by month or quarter – put some detail and structure around where you want to go; within each time period for each category so that you see yourself checking these boxes 12 months from now.

Make so you are listing elements that are very specific, and can be measured clearly so you know exactly when you’ve achieved them! Also, make sure to give yourself a date or period of time in which to achieve these things so it’s not all being piled on your plate in the 11th month; for us procrastinators.

Right. So that’s 12 months taken care of. What about the following 12 and the 12 after that?

Of course these goals are going to be much more broad and loosely termed as we move further and further out from the present moment but it’s important to think about these aspirations now. What are some lofty, long-term (might sound crazy now) aspirations you have for yourself?

Suddenly it will be 5 years from today and you will wish you had spent some time mapping out your plans so you had achieved something amazing in your life right?

Take the time NOW.

Ultimately, everyone struggles with taking the time to explore the key things that make them tick and truly figure out what they want out of life. It can be an overwhelming task but if you:

  1. Be realistic!
  2. Break it down,
  3. Work from your values
  4. Figure out what your end point is, and work backwards
  5. Really put the pressure on yourself to stick to your goals (we’re our own worst enemies sometimes!)

…then you’re sure to have lived a full, driven, passionate and fulfilled life.

So… here’s hoping the next interview you attend you’re begging for them to ask you the ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years’ question so you can ultimately answer with confidence and then ask THEM the right questions to figure out whether they are the right company for YOU and if they’ll help you get to where you want to go!

To Your Life-Long Success!

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4 Ways to Attract (and Retain!) Star Performers

It’s pretty clear that without innovate, passionate, self-driven and intelligent (IQ andEQ!) people, our teams wouldn’t be nearly as successful. They are the life-blood of any organisation and drive innovative change and enterprise-wide development. Star performers are the people who make waves in their industry and move mountains in everything they do. I’m sure we all know at least one….

It’s pretty clear that without innovate, passionate, self-driven and intelligent (IQ andEQ!) people, our teams wouldn’t be nearly as successful. They are the life-blood of any organisation and drive innovative change and enterprise-wide development.

Star performers are the people who make waves in their industry and move mountains in everything they do. I’m sure we all know at least one. The individuals who are highly skilled in their trade, infectious with their positivity, lead (even without a title) and generally just make things happen! They can be total game changers in a company and they often know this. They tend to know themselves very well and know they can choose their career path; and do so very carefully..!

Could you use someone like this in your team? Wouldn’t it be great to have a team FULL of these star performers?

The good news is, there a few key things you can do to ATTRACT these sorts of people. Check yourself next time you’re in ‘hiring mode’ to see if you’re on board with these 4 strategies…!

1. Have a clearly defined Vision, Mission and Values Statement

Star performers are attracted to companies with a strong mission and reason for being. It provides a ‘greater sense of purpose’ and is a key indicator as to whether they resonate with your company at a basic, raw-essentials level. If this vision reflects passion, inspiration and performance they are likely to identify. Ensure this VMV statement is something you believe in too…the delivery is just as important as what’s written there…!

2. Preach Culture, Education and Recognition

Internal team culture can be a major turn on or turn off in itself for anyone interviewing with your company! Ensuring you have some good examples of how your team works but more importantly how you PLAY and get involved in the broader company and community! Star performers also love the opportunity to add more tools to their belt. Placing an emphasis on furthered education opportunities you offer will also give them an understanding you’re there to work with them to grow their career profile. Finally, recognition for top performers is always welcomed. They already know they’ll likely fall into this top percentile so knowing how they may receive a ‘gold star’ in the process will always be a bit of icing on the cake!

3. Present a clearly defined career development plan

Star performers are good at what they do. They are going to want to know there is a clearly defined plan and defined benchmarks to hit so they can move on up in your company. They are going to want to know how quickly they can get there and what exactly they have to do to wow. They are likely wanting to know what’s expected as a minimum and will make a mental plan to supersede this benchmark so ensure your targets are clear, concise and achievable.

4. Develop an ‘on-brand’ and cohesive recruitment plan

This one is important. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard candidates say they’ve been turned-off by a company even before speaking with anyone physically working there. The experience they had with the recruiter representing that brand was really off-putting! Ensure, if you are going to partner with an industry specialist that they’ve taken the time to get to know you and know your brand; who you are, what you stand for and can preach all of the above points! Ensure they are on top of all avenues of attracting talent and actively engage with the people in their market on a regular basis and have become trusted advisers to these star performers. Ultimately, if your recruitment plan is cohesive and you’ve developed strong partners who you trust, the actual interview with your next star performer will serve as a reiteration of everything they’ve already been sold on and it will further qualify all the reasons they are sitting in front of you today!

Now it’s up to you; you’ve talked the talk so now it’s time to walk the walk in delivering on all of these amazing pieces. It’s up to you as a leader to keep your stars challenged, engaged and recognised to retain their wave-making, mountain-moving awesomeness!

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How to Avoid Epic Throwdowns in the Office

We’ve all witnessed it in one form or another – either an epic battle of backstabbing and hushed conversations behind closed doors or the all-out, blood-drawing brawl on the shop floor; (okay I haven’t seen that but I haven’t spent much time on trading floors – or was that just a DiCaprio thing?). In any case, if you’re more of…

We’ve all witnessed it in one form or another – either an epic battle of backstabbing and hushed conversations behind closed doors or the all-out, blood-drawing brawl on the shop floor; (okay I haven’t seen that but I haven’t spent much time on trading floors – or was that just a DiCaprio thing?).

In any case, if you’re more of a lover than a fighter and would prefer to take a Jedi Master approach to life to get where or what you want without the mental (or physical!) exertion, then this one’s for you. I’ll warn you, this might take a little bit of restraint but remember; discipline is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger you get..!

It’s actually pretty incredible; we humans are quite scientific when it comes down to our personalities and our hard-wired tendencies.  How we interact with others, how we process information, and how we absorb the outrageous amounts of data pouring through our sensory system every millisecond is actually quite simple to dissect.

The key here is to recognise and accept that not everyone is the same as you (shock, horror!). In order to be a true Jedi Master, you have to understand how to best navigate negotiations with others to reach them speaking their language (not just your own!).

Most people can be categorised into one of four core personality categories: Dominant, Influential, Steady, or Conscientious. Now, this is by no means a mutually exclusive model; you can be a blend of all 4 categories however usually, there is one category that stands out as the ‘driver’ and can be identified by any innocent bystander with little observation.

Without getting too fancy (as this has the potential to be a very long post) let me break down the basics:

 

Types and their Visible Traits:

Dominant – The D Behaviour Style tends to be direct and decisive. They would prefer to lead than follow, and tend towards leadership and management positions. They tend to have high self-confidence and are risk takers and problem solvers, which enables others to look to them for decisions and direction. They tend to be self-starters. Dead Giveaway: Look for those who think about big picture goals and tangible results. They are bottom-line organizers that can lead an entire group in one direction. Often very direct and get to the point succinctly.

Influential – The I Behaviour Style is not afraid to be the centre of attention. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, talkative, persuasive, impulsive and emotional. This Personality Type will trust others naturally, truly enjoys being around others, and functions best when around people and working in teams. Dead Giveaway: Look for those who go out of their way to keep things light, avoid and negotiate conflict and keep the peace. They keep environments positive with their enthusiasm and positive sense of humor.

Steady – The S Behaviour Type is known for being steady, stable, and predictable. They are even-tempered, friendly, sympathetic with others, and very generous with loved ones. The S is understanding and listens well. Preferring close, personal relationships, the S is very open with loved ones, but can also be possessive at times and hold them close. Dead Giveaway: Look for patient, and good listeners, who want to work with teams in a harmonious way.They tend to be compliant towards authority and a loyal team player. They do not enjoy being the centre of attention.

Conscientious – The C Behaviour types are accurate, precise, detail-oriented, and conscientious. They think very analytically and systematically and make decisions carefully with plenty of research and information to back it up. The C has very high standards for both themselves and others. Due to the fact that they focus on the details and see what many other styles do not, they tend to be good problem solvers and very creative people. Dead Giveaway: Look for preference for exact figures and details. They work to ensure highest quality and accuracy and can sometimes come across as being overly pedantic.

 

How to Best Speak Their Language:

Dominant – Be direct, to the point, and brief. Focus on tangible points and talk about “what” instead of “how”. Focus on business instead of social topics and try to be results oriented. Make suggestions for how to achieve the goal instead of talking about why it won’t work. Try to think like a D, be confident and focus on problem solving and big-picture outcomes.

Influential – They are motivated by the approval, flattery, praise, popularity or acceptance by others. It’s important to build rapport and be friendly. Approach them in a favourable and friendly environment. Give them plenty of opportunity to verbalize their ideas, as they usually have very create thoughts and are great problem solvers. Allow time for sociable activities at work, they are great motivators of others.

Steady – Try to be personable and build rapport. The sooner they feel comfortable with you, the sooner they will open up to you, especially if they see genuine interest in them as a person. Provide them with specifics and clarifications for tasks they are asked to do and try to explain the “how” questions. They desire sincere appreciation for their acts of kindness and security in both situations and environments. They enjoy repetition and patterns and time to adjust to change if it must occur.

Conscientious – Pay attention to the details because this is what the C focuses on. When you can support a statement or idea with accurate data or examples that is helpful. Be systematic and logical in your thinking and planning and specific when agreeing or disagreeing. When disagreeing, work with facts instead of people examples.

There you have it – with the wave of your hand and a ‘this is not the drone you’re looking for’ you’ll have managed to open up a whole new world of communication and heightened awareness for yourself!

Psst – This is only a little scratch on the surface – for more info check out DISC profiling or send us an email for a custom DISC profile assessment!

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A Shining Example of Human Potential – Stories from Malawi, Africa

I recently returned from two weeks in Malawi, Africa with The Hunger Project. Since returning, I’ve felt a bit like I’ve been thrown into a washing machine. The range of emotions, and reactions I’ve experienced since entering back into my 1st-world life has somewhat surprised me; I didn’t expect “re-entry” to be so confronting. Though I am still processing, I…

I recently returned from two weeks in Malawi, Africa with The Hunger Project. Since returning, I’ve felt a bit like I’ve been thrown into a washing machine. The range of emotions, and reactions I’ve experienced since entering back into my 1st-world life has somewhat surprised me; I didn’t expect “re-entry” to be so confronting.

Though I am still processing, I am absolutely certain my experience in Malawi is one which will forever change me. Not only do I have such deep gratitude for all I’ve been afforded having been born in Canada and now living in Australia, it has also left me in absolute awe of human potential and reminded me of the incredible power in having a crystal-clear vision and executing that with courage, creativity and tenacity.

The work being done Globally by The Hunger Project is incredible. I saw first-hand how they take a very different approach to tackling the complexity of chronic hunger. As opposed to the traditional hand-out model, they take a wholistic, human-centric approach; educating, enabling and empowering.

“We Believe that hunger can end, and that ours is the generation that can end it once and for all. We believe people who live in hunger are not the problem – they are the solution. We don’t see a billion mouths to feed, we see a billion human beings who are enterprising and resilient. The work, therefore, is to unlock their capacity, creativity and leadership so they can end their own hunger. That’s what we do.” – The Hunger Project Australia

As you might know, I traveled with a group of other business-owners on behalf of The Human Kind Project. We visited a number of villages, all at different stages in the process with The Hunger Project.

From villages with just 6 Months to villages with 8 Years partnering with The Hunger Project, the contrast was astounding. How much these humans transform – from a deeply entrenched poverty-mindset to developing (from the ground up – brick by brick) their own thriving communities is truly remarkable.

Hearing about the challenges they’ve overcome and what their lives are like on a daily basis were some of the most intense, heavy conversations I’ve ever had; a stark reminder of the seemingly “difficult” challenges I face at home and the strength of the human spirit.

Though we were there to partner, and support them, I am certain we have taken more learning from them than we could have ever imparted.

As my life continues here in Australia, I will be forever shifted. Memories of our discussions, shared smiles, laughs and difficult conversations will be just below the surface; forever shifting the way I see my world.

My work here has taken on a new level of purpose, as my family and my team at FIRESOFT continue to invest in this transformative project and partner with the incredible people of Malawi.

 

She Shared Her Bed…

This is Majete 4 – a village that has only been with The Hunger Project for 6 months; a particularly challenging day as the conditions and stories were harsh. This lady welcomed us for a chat out front of her home. She laid a straw mat for us as ‘we should not sit in the dirt’. We thanked her and she said this was her bed and she was happy to share it with us. She works as a ‘bar maid’ at the local ‘pub’ – which is more like a rowdy circle of men drinking ‘moonshine’ all hours of the day. Through conversation, it was clear she suffered at the hands of drunk men and was trying to stay strong for the sake of her family. She was hoping to save enough to buy uniforms so her children could attend school.

 

 

 

Smiles for days…

Seems they call Malawi the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ for a very good reason. What really struck me was how happy these people are. No matter the state of their lives, the intense challenges they face daily and their struggle with chronic hunger, the love and gratitude these people exude every moment was incredibly moving. At every village we were greeted by song, dance, hugs and beautiful smiles.

 

 

 

 

 

Annie; An Enterprising Business Woman. 

Annie was an absolute inspiration – she exuded pure strength and resilience. When we arrived to her home you could see the pride on her face; she couldn’t wait to speak with us. Annie’s village has been with The Hunger Project for 8 years and is now at self-reliance. Prior to 2008, Annie struggled to support her family and put her 7 children into school – life was very difficult and they often ate just once daily and less in the dry season. When her village joined The Hunger Project Annie took out her first microloan to start a grocery business. She used the proceeds from that business to support a second loan with which she bought fertiliser to grow healthy crops in her garden to sell. This year she expects to harvest over 75 bags of maize! She used the proceeds from her grocery business to further expand her empire with two pigs. Those two pigs have now turned into 14 pigs and she has been able to build a brick home with a tin roof; no more cave-ins or leaks! All 7 of her children are in school and flourishing. I spoke with her daughter who one-day dreams of working in an office – a dream that wouldn’t even be a concept for children in other villages. Annie has not only established stability in the diversity of her empire but she has a crystal-clear vision. Her next goal is to put an extension on her three-room home as well as get glass windows and a concrete floor. Though she has faced drought, issues with Government, health complications and many years of chronic hunger she has managed to persevere and is paving the way for a new generation in her village. Her strength, courage and resilience will impact me me forever.

 

 

We Opened a Bank Account…!

The last village we visited was called Nchalo. This community been with The Hunger Project for 14 years and are on one of the legacy programs (the new programs are 8 years to self-reliance). They are currently on a ‘holding budget’ which means they are waiting to secure funding to take them through the final phases to self-reliance. You could just see their eagerness and desperation to hit self-reliance. While we were visiting their epicentre bank we learned how they use invested money to further fund microloans in the community and decided to invest our money into a “Humankind Project” bank account! The result of our pooled funds was an incredible 29 new microfinance loans for their community!

 

 

Expecting Mothers Walk 32km while in Labour…

While at Nchalo we visited the medical centre. We met with the local nurse and got a glimpse of what it’s like to be treated. A dark, three-room, concrete wall building with a basic waiting room full of benches, a sink, and two ‘treatment’ rooms; neither of which were suitable for giving birth. We saw many pregnant woman in the village and asked where they give birth. 240 women give birth each month in the 37,000 Nchalo community – this baby was one of them three months ago! Women in Nchalo must travel 32km to the next village to give birth. If they have their baby outside of an appropriate medical centre they are fined – a law established by government to lower infant mortality. We learned, one of the final pieces to be implemented at Nchalo prior to achieving self-reliance was a new maternity ward with nurses quarters on-site.

 

 

Vaswinda – Living Positively with Big Dreams…

While in Africa, we learned alot about HIV/AIDS and the cultural stigma associated. I couldn’t have imagined what a complex issue chronic hunger and poverty is prior to this experience. One of the issues The Hunger Project tackles is HIV/AIDS and shifting the stigma through education, prevention and normalisation. Vaswinda is living in a supportive community however has not always had this fortune. Prior to The Hunger Project she was unaware of her condition and consistently unwell, unable to eat or feed herself. She was afraid to get tested for fear of marginalisation, abuse or even death. As a member of the Nchalo community, she now has dreams of opening a hair salon and is proudly acting as an advocate for health and sanitation for others in her community.

SEE THE (first release!) VIDEO FROM OUR TRIP

By hearing their stories and seeing their faces, I hope to have provided a bit of context as to how your support has impacted these incredible people. I cannot tell you how much gratitude I have for your support. In the end, I was able to raise over $16,000 – every dollar of which landed on the ground with The Hunger Project.

So What Now? 

Since returning from this trip, all 14 of us have been deeply moved by the experience and have committed through the Human Kind Project to getting Nchalo to self-reliance by 2020.

From May 1st 2017, the FIRESOFT Team is proud to be implementing an ongoing ‘business for good’ strategy into our business model. We have committed to supporting Nchalo for three years, doing our part along with our group of 14 to donate $600k AUS which is required to bring these incredible villages to a point of self-reliance and sustainability.

In 2020 we will be going back to Nchalo in Malawi to celebrate their self-reliance, hear all about their three-year journey and witness their pride and passion for continuing to build a thriving community.

We are SO excited to invest in our Nchalo Village partners in Malawi and to continue playing a part in ending world hunger by 2030.

– Watch this space for more information to come!

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10 Ways to Refresh your Job Hunt Strategies

The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results… Whether the economy is booming, stable or in a slump, there are always candidates who come to us with the same gripes; ‘I just can’t seem to find a job; I’ve been applying for X number of months and keep getting rejected; I can’t…

The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results…

Whether the economy is booming, stable or in a slump, there are always candidates who come to us with the same gripes; ‘I just can’t seem to find a job; I’ve been applying for X number of months and keep getting rejected; I can’t even seem to get an interview etc. etc…’ Yes, these candidates are sometimes those who are out of work all together, but more often than not, they are those who are looking to leave their current job in search of ‘greener pastures’.

Sound like you?

Often, the ensuing conversation tells us a lot about why they’re running around in circles.They are simply applying the same strategies in their job hunt over and over, all the while expecting a different outcome and losing a great deal of confidence and self-belief in the process!

Thought it was about time I share these little strategies with the masses to assist in getting past that ‘job-hunt-slump’ to proceed with more efficiency and a renewed sense of passion and excitement!

Some of the below may seem obvious but those combined with the things you haven’t thought of could be the key difference to landing your next dream role…!

10 Strategies to Refresh your Job Hunt!

1. Revamp your CV

Candidates often send us generic, old, out-dated and sometimes even unfinished copies of their CV. Think of your CV as your own personalised commercial. Would any company release a commercial to the media without having checked, double checked and triple checked it for perfection and to ensure it was a sparkling representation of their brand? Of course not! This is your chance to shine. Ensure the formatting, clarity of qualifications and relevant experience, spelling and grammar are in check (as a very minimum). For more, check out our guidelines on composing a CV in our resources section.

2. Find a good Recruitment Partner

Often, something as simple as the right recruitment partner can make all the difference in finding your next dream job. Do your research; find a recruitment partner who specialises in your field of work. They are often well connected in your industry and will be able to go out to the market on your behalf and speak with their clients who may not have a live job now, but may have something on the horizon for you. Speak with your recruiter honestly. Ensure they understand your wants, needs and aspirations. If you suspect they will not be in a position to assist there’s no shame in moving to someone who can.

3. LISTEN, LISTEN and ASK

One of the most important things in job hunting with purpose is taking all the constructive feedback you can get. LISTEN more than you speak. Ask honestly about feedback on your CV, role expectations, interview performance and feedback for next time. Ask important questions around the way your CV is perceived and your image as a candidate, and aim to get an honest answer (without fear or favour) from anyone you speak with; recruiters, family, friends. Often, you must ask to get this feedback.

4. Tailor your CV EVERY time you apply

I can’t tell you how many times I have received an application which is addressed to a completely different company, role or title; simply reused for any and all jobs which fall under a generalist category. Recruiters review over anywhere from 400-600 CV’s a day and scan each for 20-50 seconds. If the first thing they see is a mis-addressed CV or one which is not immediately relevant to the key aspects of the role, you better believe it is going to the bottom of the pile. You could be a suitable applicant for the role (somewhere buried in the text you’ve had experience with X or Y) however based on poor CV preparation, attention to detail and basic administration skills, this is enough to bump you off the shortlist. THINK before applying for any old role. Ensure you know EXACTLY which roles you have applied to and TAILOR your CV for each one. I often suggest including a BULLET POINT list at the very top of your CV of the key selection criteria and how you have demonstrated experience of each. This often ensures a quick shortlist.

5. Follow up, Find out, Check in

If you’re doing your job right, you will have been recording each role you apply for and exactly who has a copy of your CV. From here, your next move is to follow up. Call one to two weeks after your application has been submitted to follow up on where your CV sits. Find out if there is any feedback and if so, how to address this feedback. Should you be unsuccessful for this role, there are bound to be others coming up. Check in every 1-2 months with your contact to keep in touch and be the first to know should anything else come up!

6. Reassess your Career Path

Sometimes, after further discussion, candidates realise that the roles they have been applying for are not actually those which will lead to job satisfaction and keep them passionate throughout their career. This is always an interesting conversation. Really try to break down which aspects of your current or past roles you have enjoyed and which parts you haven’t enjoyed. Construct your ideal role based on your skills, passions and desired career path. This exercise may change your direction all together. For more on a structured approach to this check out of my recent posts!

7. Network; use your Resources

Social media has come very far over the past 10 years. If you are not currently on LinkedIn or you are, but your profile is less than exciting ensure you have this updated. This is another way to represent your personal brand. Check spelling, grammar and career succession. Recruiters are using LinkedIn more and more to conduct headhunting drives and if your profile doesn’t catch the eye you could miss out. Also, think back to those you’ve worked for and with in the past. Now might be a good time to reconnect and see where they are working and whether they have anything which might be of interest to you.

8. Research Industry Trends

Often individuals (especially in the IT industry) fall behind with regards to industry trends, new versions of technology or practical experience. Keep up with these trends through following relevant blogs, social media, meetup groups or simply through speaking with others you’ve worked with or for in the industry. Something which makes you particularly interesting to a future employer is your knowledge around relevant IT trends, or bleeding edge information.

9. Engage in Further Training or Certifications

A sure-fire way to turn heads is to be certified in the newest and emerging technology. Ensure you are well certified as required by your industry standard and ensure you keep your certifications up to date and relevant.

10. Keep a positive Attitude.

This may seem like a strange way to cap this list off (and no, I haven’t run out of checkpoints!) but I can’t stress how important it is to keep a positive attitude when job hunting and speaking with the ‘all-important’ network in your field. Nothing stifles a conversation more than a candidate with a negative attitude and this carries over into any potential leads you may get. A good attitude tends to set the mood for the entire conversation and conveys passion, dedication and tenacity; all good qualities in a potential employee. Even if you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed by the process make a mental note to smile on the phone or when speaking with someone face to face; this will change the tone of your voice and even send ‘happy’ signals to your brain which will in turn result in a more effective and profitable conversation; promise!

In sum, we hope these have been helpful! Should you wish to discuss any of the above, our consultants are here to assist. Check out our contact page to discuss further!

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