Referee Details in Short Term Employment

If you are person who is working shutdowns, contract or project roles, often your referees are supervisors from each position worked. These supervisors are usually in the same situation as you, on a shutdown, contract or project, and just like you they move on when the job is complete. Some of them have company email addresses or mobile phones issued just for the duration of the gig. If you are not keeping in touch and checking details of your referees in this environment, then you are probably sabotaging your job applications as a prospective employer / recruiter will be unable to contact your referee. For each job you apply for, check that your referees are still working where you last had contact with them. If they have moved on to a new role and you want to show how you are linked to them, you can add a line to your resume that states they were (formerly the …….), so the employer /recruiter will be able to map the connection.

What are you doing to improve yourself?


If you were asked this common question at interview, ‘what have you done to improve yourself in the last twelve months’, would you be able to give a winning answer?   If you are not value adding to your qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience, you run the risk of getting left behind, especially in a competitive market.

Using your own initiative, have you undertaken additional training or upgraded qualifications recently?  Do you put your hand up for training when it is offered through your employer?  Time and personal budgets can be tight, so don’t underestimate the free options of volunteering or seeking out a mentor as commitments that may be well received at interview.

Your knowledge, skills and abilities … are they competitive?

question-mark-96285_640Wanting to work in a particular job or field?  How do you find out what’s needed and whether your qualifications, skills, qualities and abilities are competitive?

Try reading lots of job advertisements and position descriptions from a range of companies. Talk to others already working in your target field and then come back to yourself and evaluate your existing knowledge, skills and experience.

So how do you go about it? Search for, and read a variety of job advertisements from across the country for the job you want.  Don’t just read local advertisements, as they will only give you a limited view, and you need to know standard requirements for the industry.  Compare position descriptions, how do they differ, how are they the same, what are the common threads across each document?  Talk to people working in the industry, how does their knowledge and experience fit with your research, how did they go about getting their job?  Lastly, explore your own history.  What have you done?  What skills and experience have you gained?  What challenges have you encountered and what are your achievements?  What do you have to offer that the industry wants?

When you have done all those things, ask yourself how you measure up, what you need to do to enhance your chance of success in applying for jobs in your target field.

Some Random Thoughts on Resumes

A resume is not a one size fits all document.

Your resume has one purpose and one purpose only, to gain an interview.

Use your name in the file name of your resume document. Your resume will stand out if you end up on a list.

Have you included your name and mobile number on every page of your resume? Keeps your name in front of the recruiter and will make it easy to put your resume back together if the pages get separated.

Choose a font for your resume carefully. Some companies scan resumes and not all fonts scan well. Keep it simple – arial, verdana or calibri are just a few examples of good, simple, clear fonts.

Do you speak another language? Is that on your resume? Could be to your advantage…..

A photo is a risky strategy and may give an employer an opportunity to discriminate against you.

Is formatting important in your Resume? Absolutely, for presentation, consistency and if you are sending via email………

Don’t put anything in your resume that would allow an employer to discriminate against you, e.g. Date of birth, age, marital status, children or ages of children.

When writing your resume, make sure you spell out uncommon industry specific abbreviations.

Who are you? What are your talents and personality traits? What is your unique contribution in the workplace, what are you the ‘go to’ person for? Does your current resume reflect the answers to these questions?

How to make a recruiter’s job easier, don’t fold your resume.

Do not lie on your resume – ever!

Are you Resume ready?

question-mark-49958_640Online job sites are a great way for jobseekers to find job vacancies, near and far. Companies, businesses, organisations, large and small advertise vacancies on job sites. Some advertisements include closing dates for applications, some don’t.

What isn’t so great is a noticeable trend in advertisers removing their job vacancies before the closing date or within a few days of advertising. When asked why the advertised vacancy has been removed, the usual response is sufficient applications have been received.

In light of this trend, consider your current resume, that’s if you have one. Would you be remotely Resume ready should a job be advertised that you would like?


The Hidden Job Market

hand-68952_640Depending upon who you listen to, it is commonly stated that about 80% of all jobs are filled word of mouth.  Imagine that for a moment …….. 80% of all jobs are never advertised.  Whether the statistic is accurate or not and while it raises questions about how these figures were arrived at, most recruiters acknowledge the existence of the hidden job market and can cite evidence of its existence.

So who are your contacts in this hidden job market?  The simple answer is they are your personal network which can include family and friends; friends of friends, current and former work colleagues, or even people in a church, sporting or interest group you might belong to. When asking people how they got their job, often you hear a comment like “I heard about it through a friend” or “someone I used to work with told me about it” or “I played golf with someone the other day who was talking about it.”

It is not uncommon to see resistance in people when you talk about this hidden job market, as they often feel uncomfortable about asking those closest to them if they know anyone who is looking for a worker. Some of the reasons for this include feeling embarrassed, a sense of failure, thinking that people will look down on them or that they can’t get a job on their own. It is worth remembering at this point just how many jobs are filled through word of mouth; it is far, far more common than you think. So try it, you might be surprised at the result and a little bit of embarrassment might be a small price to pay.

Then there is online networking, but that’s a whole other article!

Beware the Director of First Impressions!

So you have scored a job interview and on the designated day you arrive in plenty of time.  You present yourself at the front desk and it is there you have your first encounter with the Director of First Impressions, aka; receptionist, customer service officer, front of house; you know the people I mean. Directors of First Impressions are valued by intelligent employers and the cream of the crop is highly sought after.  They are often considered the face of the business being the first person customers or clients meet.   They are also the first person you as a potential employee of the business meet.

Have you ever been patronising, condescending, looked down upon the Director of First Impressions or called her love, sweetie or mate?  Have you missed out on the job and wondered why?   What you may not know or have thought about, is the power a Director of First Impressions holds in the recruitment process.   They can sometimes play a key role in whether or not you get the job.  This is because, unbeknown to you, they may have been asked to report to the interview panel on how you treated them when you arrived.  This report is taken seriously and can be seen as the true picture of you and who you will be within the organisation.  Potentially make or break!