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Why don't you want me? Getting interview feedback

You’ve nailed the interview, or so you thought.  But instead of receiving a job offer, the only thing you’ve received is the dreaded phone call to let you know that your dream job has been offered to someone else!  Or worse, perhaps you haven’t heard anything at all. 

There is no denying that being rejected for a position is disappointing.  Particularly when you really want the job, admire the company and you’ve already begun to imagine what life might be like with your feet under the desk. Your confidence may have taken a knock, so when the inevitable post interview analysis begins, it’s only natural that self-doubt can creep in.  You may be left wondering why they didn’t want you, where you went wrong, and questioning whether you will ever get a job that you want?  


Seeking feedback from your interviewers can be an invaluable learning process which can help you improve your chances of getting the next job you interview for. Asking for feedback isn’t always easy however.   So how should you approach it? Here are our top tips.

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Posted by on in Working Mums
Why I Started Career Insights

Like many women, having the flexibility to organise my career around other commitments became increasingly important once I became a Mum.  Most of us want better flexibility, irrespective of gender or whether or not we are a parent, with work-life balance recently becoming the primary motivator for Kiwi job seekers when considering a new job or career.

That illusive flexibility can be difficult to secure however and is a major reason why so many time-strapped women opt out of the workforce, choosing instead to combine running a business with looking after their children. According to a 2013 MYOB survey around 40% of Kiwi self-employed small businesses are owned by women.  Many of these women created their business to spend more time with their children, to save on childcare and achieve a better work-life balance.

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Posted by on in Working Mums
Tips for Returning to Work

The prospect of returning to work after taking time out to have children can be a difficult and challenging process for many mums.  Our confidence has diminished, we worry our skills are out of date, we feel guilty that working might negatively impact our children and we worry how we will structure our work to ensure we continue to accomplish our obligations on the home front.  Not only that but the longer we’ve been out of paid employment the more challenging it can be to get back in.

Our reasons to go back to work vary – for some it will be a simple financial decision and for others it will have more to do with wanting a renewed sense of value or needing some stimulation and social interaction that doesn’t involve children. Regardless of the reasons there is often some apprehension about the unknown and a fair amount of uncertainty about how to move forward. So here are our top tips for getting back to work after having children.

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Mainstreaming Flexible Working is the Best Solution for Mums Returning to Work

It’s official, work/life balance is what we want most from our careers!  According to Hudson’s recently released Hiring Report, work life balance has just edged out higher salary as the primary motivator for Kiwi job seekers when considering a new job.


Long thought of as the domain of mums returning to the workforce; it seems the need for work/life balance is no longer gender biased and is valued by both men (48%) and women (52%) almost equally. 


Timely then that the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2014 has recently extended the legal right to ask for flexible working arrangements to all employees as opposed to just caregivers.  It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out.  It’s fair to say that it hasn’t always been easy for mums to get the big tick for our flexibility requests.  It’s often easier for an organisation to say “No” than it is to create the perfect flexible arrangement.  The prevailing view (for some) seems to have been that if we say “yes” to one we will have to say ‘yes” to all.  So much easier then to offer up excuses.  You know the kind I mean - “it’s not the sort of job or company where people can work flexibly” or “it’s not fair on the rest of the team or the customer”. 

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Posted by on in Interview
Top Tips For A Successful Phone Interview

If you’re applying for jobs there’s every chance that at some stage you’ll be expected to take part in a phone interview.  A common part of the recruitment process, it’s a way for the recruiter or hiring manager to cut down on the interview time and weed out candidates they don’t want to meet with face-to-face.


Now, because you can take part in a phone interview anywhere and you don’t need to dress up, it can be tempting to dismiss it as a less important part of the process.   That’s a big mistake.  An interview is an interview and how you perform will determine whether or not you get asked to interview in person, so you need to take it seriously.  Here are our tips on what you can do to help nail the interview.

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What You Need To Know About Reference Checks

You’ve submitted your CV, nailed the interview, met the fantastic team you’ll potentially be working with and now there are just two little words standing between you and your dream job – “reference check”. 

For many employers the reference check is an integral part of the recruitment process and has the potential to make or break your application; so you’ll want to be sure your referee’s are going to make you look good and not jeopardise your chances of landing the job. 

From an employer’s perspective it’s all about minimising the risk of hiring an unsuitable candidate so for many it’s an opportunity to ask pertinent questions to determine if everything they’ve seen and heard so far stacks up.

There are also those employers however who believe that conducting reference check are a waste of time.  This may, in part, be due to the belief that a savvy job seeker is unlikely to provide contact details for someone who will give them a bad reference.  It’s also true that reference checks are simply more complex these days with organisations becoming more and more cautious of what they say about their former or current employees due to the potential for a legal defamation case.

The subject of references can certainly be a little tricky so as a job seeker what are the legalities around this process that you need to be aware of?

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The Juggling Act – Balancing Motherhood and Self-Employment

The last seven weeks have been fabulously fun and busy in equal measure.  But it hasn’t been without its frustrations.  As much as I have enjoyed having the little people in my life around, it has been a constant juggling of way too many balls.  Trying to fit in client meetings, write CVs, up-date the blog and social media sites while creating some new workshop material has been something of a balancing act and has often taken a back seat to the more important tasks of baking, refereeing fights, dealing with sick children, organising playdates, beach and park visits and a bit of Lego building.

I’ve had a few conversations recently with other working mums who, whilst they love being a mum, also need to be earning an income and spending time on building their business.  When you are working for yourself and are responsible for doing everything this can sometimes be overwhelming.  So how do you please everyone and maximise your time when you have the summer school holidays to deal with?

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Posted by on in Job search
How to Keep Motivated During the Job Search

Looking for a job is never an easy task, particularly when it’s not by choice.  The longer you find yourself out of work the more frustrating it is and the harder it can be to keep motivated. This can so often lead to negativity which will more than likely only serve to make the job search longer.

Not only will negativity undermine your confidence but prospective employers will pick up on how you’re feeling and potentially be put off.  It’s so important to manage this and stay positive.  Easier said than done I know but here are some ideas on how to stay motivated during your search.

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Posted by on in Career Management
Five Reasons to Change your Job

The New Year is often a time of renewed focus.  Having had some time off work to relax, recharge and reflect on the year that was, we may well want to create some change in our lives and often the first thing on the list is a new job.

If you’ve headed back to work, after what for most of us has been glorious weather, with some trepidation; then perhaps the time is right to get inspired and make a move.   Be careful though not to mistake the usual ‘back to work blues’ (something most of us suffer from after a holiday) with the need to make radical changes.  So how do you know when the time IS right to make a change?  Here are our top five reasons.

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Facing Redundancy?  Five Ways to Cope

 

There’s no doubt about it, being made redundant is an unpleasant experience.  In fact unpleasant is  a  bit of an understatement. I know, I’ve been there!  For many it can be gut wrenching, heart-breaking and confidence shattering but sometimes it can also be the kick in the pants that you need to take your career in a new direction.


Last year I was made redundant from a company I’d worked at for seven and a half years.  I’ll be honest – it hurt.  Having coached people through redundancies before I knew exactly what to expect – a rollercoaster of emotions that included shock, disappointment, anger, frustration and a touch of bitterness.  Phew – that’s a lot to deal with and even though you know it’s technically not your fault it doesn’t necessarily make the situation any easier to manage when you’re feeling like you’ve been put on the scrap heap.


So, how do you lose the redundancy blues and begin to move ahead with your career?  Here are our top tips for moving on career-wise.

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How to Optimise your LinkedIn Profile to Increase your Job Search Success

 

So you’ve decided to join the other 225 million users worldwide that are utilising LinkedIn and create a profile.  You know it’s a great job search tool and according to the recent Kelly Services Global Index survey you’re not alone.  New Zealanders are increasingly using social media sites to look for work, with 40% saying they’ve been contacted about a potential job opportunity via a social media site.  But what do you need to do to be sure your LinkedIn profile is complete, optimised and easily found by prospective employers during recruitment searches? Here are eight must do’s!

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Why LinkedIn should be part of your job search strategy.

Business confidence is on the increase and with it the expectation that unemployment figures will drop.  That’s got to be good news for job seekers and certainly those in the recruitment industry say that 2014 has started with an unexpected hiss and a roar.  However now is not the time to be complacent if you’re looking for a new job.  Michael Page's latest Employee Intentions Report indicates that 60% of employees intend to seek new and better paid jobs in 2014 so the job market will remain highly competitive and candidates will need to put their best foot forward to stand out from the pack.

With that in mind, creating a strong personal brand will be important for anyone considering new job opportunities this year and one way to let prospective employers know what differentiates you from your competitors is to have a well written and compelling LinkedIn profile.

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Posted by on in Job search
Cover letters: Do they matter?

I'm often asked by job seekers whether or not they should include a cover letter with their applications. My answer is always a resounding 'Yes', even though I know there is a chance it will never be read!

You might well ask why you should bother taking the time to craft a cover letter to support your application if no one will read it.

That's a great question.

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Posted by on in Job search
New Year – Time for a New Job?

With the New Year upon us and most of us still in the midst of our summer break enjoying the beach, BBQs and the fabulous weather; the thought of returning to work may be alarming for some.  If that sounds like you then maybe it’s time to reassess whether or not you’re in the right job or indeed the right organisation. The New Year can be a great time to re-evaluate your goals, both personally and professionally but as we all know New Year resolutions are often abandoned by February.  So if your goal is to get a new job you’ll need to be sure you have a plan in place to make it a reality.  

 

Don’t be too hasty

Before you march into your boss’s office and hand in your resignation, think through whether changing jobs is really going to make life better.  2013 has been a tough year with wide spread redundancies and many people working harder as a result to cover the work of those who have left.  That can be unsettling and stressful and while you might think a new job will solve the issue, that may not necessarily be the case.  Think about why it is you really want to leave and ask yourself what action, if any, you could take to make things better where you are before you make the leap.  

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Posted by on in CVs
6 Common CV Mistakes to Avoid

Writing CVs is difficult so it’s not surprising then that job seekers can get it very wrong, particularly when they haven’t had to do it in a while.  Picture this you’ve spotted your ideal job online, you upload your CV and then wait for that all important phone call.  It never comes!

Sadly this is all too common, with highly skilled candidates not doing themselves justice on paper.  So why did you never get that phone call?  Here are 6 of the most basic CV mistakes that could have had an impact.

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