Job Hunting advice and tips
Episode 169 - Seven tips on how to get a new job
Finding a new job can be a daunting task, but by following these tips, you'll be well on your way to landing your next job this year. So, if you are job hunting and finding a bump in the road at every turn, listen to this episode of The Job Hunting Podcast, where I answer seven of the most common questions I get as a career coach. By addressing each question, I created a list of 7 bite-sized tips you can adopt in your job search to help you succeed in finding a great new job.
Here are seven tips to help you land your next job:
There is no need to reveal your dissatisfaction with your current job during the job interview. (05:18)
Working with recruiters means you must be patient and self-manage your need for feedback. (15:41)
Keep track of your job application conversion ratio at each stage of the recruitment process and analyze it to identify areas for improvement. (26:40)
When networking and interviewing online, your background is part of the first impression. (37:37)
Research and adhere to applicant tracking system (ATS) compliance rules for better chances of getting through the first stages of the application process. (43:43)
Having good references is essential. Make sure you have a few people who are willing to speak positively about your work. (47:08)
You don't need to job hunt alone. There are better ways to achieve your goals. (53:27)
Please listen to this episode to better understand each of the tips I have highlighted above. You can search them using the timestamps if you're interested in one of them in particular.
I firmly believe that with some preparation and persistence, you'll find the right opportunity. Job hunting doesn't have to be complicated or stressful if you have a great roadmap to follow. Keep listening to The Job Hunting Podcast for more advice!
Resources mentioned in this episode
Join the waitlist for the Job Hunting Made Simple Program, my online course, and group coaching program.
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Other resources from RenataBernarde.com :
Subscribe to the newsletter and access free tools to help you advance in your career
My free resources for job hunters: The Optimized Job Search: Weekly Schedule & Masterclass
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About the Host, Renata Bernarde
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Transcript of this episode
Renata: Seek the advice of others and not the help of others. Listen to what they're doing and how their career is going. Ask questions about what they think about the job market, what they think about specific industries or areas of expertise or areas of growth within, you know, both of your sectors or industries or professionals.
Try to gather that intelligence and that will make your career planning and design so much richer by having that connection with people.
Hello everybody. Welcome to the first episode of 2023. It's a pleasure for me to be here with you. I'm so relaxed. I've taken a few weeks off from a ll my work from my coaching from recording this podcast, and if you've been following me, during end of December, early January, you've been listening to some of our favorite episodes from 2022.
So we are rebroadcasting a few episodes to give ourselves a break and sometime to rest and relax and also plan for future episodes such as this. I'm in Melbourne, Australia, so if you're new to this podcast and to, my coaching, my name is Renata Bernarde. I am an Australian Brazilian living in Melbourne, Australia.
It's summer here, so if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, you might be jealous to know that we have this most amazing summer happening in Australia. It's beautiful outside. It's about three 30 in the afternoon and I wish I was at the beach. I live very close to the Melbourne, Bayside area and I go to the beach most days.
and it's been an absolute pleasure and a joy to enjoy summer after such a long couple of years of pandemic and lockdowns and before that we had fires and for the past year we had so much rain and flooding and it seems that at least in the south of Australia, we're starting to get, the hang of it and back to our normal, blistering summer weather, which, has been lacking in the past couple of months.
Renata: We started summer here with a lot of rain, and during my break I received a few questions, so I'm slowly going. my inbox. As you know, when you take a few weeks off , your inbox piles up, doesn't it? And I found a few questions that I, received from followers, from listeners, from clients, and I've compiled them.
And these are real questions, but they are also a good example of. Common questions about job hunting that I often get from you listeners, from, social media followers and from early clients. I find that all of these questions, beginners questions in many ways, you know, if you are trying to work things out on your own, which you.
Very well be, early in the year. we know recruiters know, career coaches know, and employers know that people are, you know, most likely to rethink their careers, rethink their job hunting, look for jobs, not necessarily apply, but certainly go to job boards and, and have a good look around. it could be because of New Year's resolutions and just that reset and restart with the new year.
Everybody's fresh and, you know, keen to move ahead with their careers and, and start tackling some of those plans that are, have been gathering dust, during the pandemic. If that's you, this episode is a good one to start, we're gonna work with seven questions that I received that I believe are common questions for people that are trying to job hunt on their own.
By that I mean people that are not. actively working with a career coach and don't have yet a very sort of mature understanding of the recruitment process. And a lot of professionals find themselves in that situation. That's very common. You could be super, experienced in the work that you do, you know, if you are in marketing or accounting or engineering, or you are a teacher consultant, but you know, that doesn't mean that you have been job hunting much
It could be that you've been in the same job for years, sometimes decades. And you know, that's, a muscle that you haven't used recently and a lot has changed in the, recruitment world. So these, seven questions, may be just what you need to get started in 2023. Okay. So, first one. those are all anonymous, but those are real questions, so, and I had to make sure that I read them with care.
I am in job search mode. I have a state government job, which I've been in now for one year, and I'm not wanting to stay. I am just now starting to seriously look for opportunities and to work my network connections. Do you have recommendations on how open to be about my dissatisfaction with my current employer, with folks I am networking with?
my thought is that I have been open about whether I am looking to change jobs, but not about the details behind why, because of the sector that I'm in or the profession that I'm in, she mentions here what profession it is, but I'm not gonna mention here, saying that this is kind of a small network and my boss is very well network.
Okay, so this is a very common question. How much do I share when I'm in job search and I'm talking to recruiters or I'm talking to my network? How much do I tell about how unhappy I am with my job? The interesting thing about this person in particular is that at the beginning of the question, there's a very interesting clue here about her knowledge of, job hunting and recruitment.
Because she says she's been in this job for one year. So we are the beginning of 2023. This person has applied and being recruited during the pandemic in 20 21, 20 22. In which case, you know, she's quite aware of, you know, the job hunting in the sort of post pandemic world. So that's good.
So there's a lot here that she may already know about. Looking for work in 2023. So, here's my advice to this specific question. I don't believe that you need to be open about your dissatisfaction with your current job or your current boss. I am assuming here that you want to change jobs after being in this job for one year because it's not working for you.
Either you're not working well with your boss or you don't like the current work that you're doing, or maybe it's a combination of both. It would be interesting for you to reflect on why you are unhappy where you are. There is an episode coming up next week that will be 170 where I will share with.
Some, tips and strategies on identifying, in developing some sort of career reflection and design. Because this is not only important to you, but it's important for you to discuss that with recruiters and with your network. So you mentioned at the beginning that you're working, for example, and in state government, right?
State government jobs are usually very bureaucratic. Are you seeking a different type of culture? Could that be the reason why you are unhappy where you are? So think about those. Sit down and reflect and take time to identify what are the little things that are getting in the way of you being happy where you are so that you don't repeat the same issues by just changing jobs without having that analysis and strategic thinking done before you move.
but you don't necessarily need to be too open about your dissatisfaction with your current boss or current job in that way, because even though, it's probably the strong reason why you want to move in general, professionals should be in control of their careers. They should have a robust career plan, and they should be working towards their career goals step by step.
And changing jobs is part of career advancement. It's part of, your professional and leadership development. So right now you're kind of naval gazing and thinking, oh, I'm so unhappy in this job. I need an urgent job. But externally, people will look at you and think, oh, you know, it's normal for somebody, who is a professional and ex sector or industry and, you know, at that age or a stage in their careers to be looking and to be interested in, what else is out there and other opportunities in the market.
So I don't feel like you need to overshare information about your dissatisfaction because this is important to you and you kind of in this situation right now. But externally, people will think it's pretty normal for you to be looking for work. So, I don't think anyone would question that you would be looking for a career advancement and looking for better opportunities as part of taking control of your career journey.
One thing to be careful about is that, when you're doing networking and connecting with your folks, you mentioned your colleagues, they could be coworkers, they could be people that you went to university with, they could be former bosses and people that you know from your professional, connections that this.
communication with them should never be transactional. What I mean is that networking should be ongoing. See, people have this idea that, going to work and doing your job is what you need to do as a professional, but in fact, that's only 70 to 80% of what you should be doing as a professional. You also need to be developing your skills learning, and not just by formal learning environments, like enrolling in a course, but it could be reading a professional book or a magazine.
Renata: It could be going to a conference, it could be catching up with your network, and that should be ongoing. It shouldn't be just transactional. When you are looking for a job, that's when networking feels icky and people don't like it. You don't like doing it, and people that you're connecting with can sense and can feel that you're only meeting with them because right now you need a job.
So my advice is to seek the advice of others and not the help of others. Listen to what they're doing and how their career is going. Ask questions about, you know, what they think about the job market, what they think about specific industries or areas of expertise or areas of growth within, you know, both of your sectors or industries or professional.
Try to gather that intelligence that will make your career planning and design so much richer by having that connection with people. And then ask for their advice. I mean, if you were in my shoes, what would you do? What do you think my next steps should be? So do that in a very gentle, not to needy, not to transactional way, and always seek for advice.
Try. to reduce the amount of times you reach out for help. I think advice and asking those great questions, make people feel really, good about themselves, people love mentoring, and I think that that would be the best way and always make that part of your routine to contact those people that matter to you, that are important for your career on a regular basis, not just when you need them, but when you think of them, when you find something that you think that they will enjoy reading or knowing about.Send them a note when it's their birthdays or a special, festive, holiday that they, follow. So make sure that you are always in touch with your professional network, regularly. And, you haven't mentioned this, but I wonder if you are concerned that one year is not too long and this is why.
Maybe you feel like you need to explain your dissatisfaction. but look, during the pandemic, a lot of professionals accepted less than desirable roles because there was a lack of opportunities out there. And now a lot of professionals are self-correcting that they either accepted roles that they, on a normal job market they wouldn't accept, may have been lower pay, or it may have been, you know, in an area.
that they don't necessarily like, but it was what was available. I have had many clients like that, and it goes both ways. You know, sometimes employees just hired without a lot of, due diligence and thought in the process and it kind of backfired both ways. So I feel like people, changing jobs a year in is not uncommon in this day and age, and I don't think you.
have to overexplain that either. But, you know, if there are other things that you feel I haven't addressed here, it's because it's very hard. And so many things may be very tailored to your situation or to your profession or area of expertise. And this is why sometimes the best thing to do is to book a consultation with a career coach to, unravel all of that and brainstorm ideas.
and even,sort of do some, and even, look at, some answers, common questions that you think you may get or you are already getting from your network so we can, review those answers and see what works best. and I can can give feedback on that. So, you know, it's sometimes it's worth the investment, right?
Renata: It will save you time and money to workshop with an experienced career coach. And if you want to know, how to book a consultation with me, you can go to my website, renatabernarde dot com and, my services are all listed there for you.
Okay, now we have a second question. Again, it's a real question, but it's a very common one. I have several versions of this from podcast listeners, from social media followers, from clients, people that book consultations with me, clients in the group coaching program, and so on. And this is a question related to when and how should I contact the recruiter.
after an interview because a lot of you feel like you've been ghosted by recruiters. And, funny story, recruiters, when they talk to me, they also many times complain that they are ghosted by the candidates. So if you think about, you know, a situation where you are applying for lots of jobs, maybe you got, you know, an offer and then the recruiter is trying to reach out to you for another opportunity and you're not answering back recruiters, you know, you may not have seen it yet or experienced it, but it also happens to them.
So, you know, it's, an interesting process. The recruitment process. ISN. But in this case here, the person is saying that I sent an email to the HR contact at name of the organization. So I'm not gonna say, and I got a bounce back email saying she is out of office. I've now called and sent an email without a reply.
Is it a case of just waiting or do I follow up with the hiring manager who interviewed me and who I know from my days working at such and such? So, okay, so this is the situation here. This person was interviewed and they were interviewed by the hiring manager, after potentially a phone screen or a previous interview with the.
person. So there's no recruiter involved. There's no agent involved. It's all in-house. They know the hiring manager because of a previous work experience where both of them worked in, same organization. you know, a different version of this question is, you know, after my interview with X, I haven't heard anything.
Renata: Should I follow up with HR to get clarity on the next steps? Okay. So let's, unpack this longer version of this question line by line. Okay? And this is the reason why doing one-on-one coaching when you are job searching is so good and so important. Because at every, Step at every interaction. You have a coach on call and you know, clients can have me as on a retainer for three months, six months, or a year.
And, during their recruitment, I am there for them. They can call me anytime, , they can say, you know, what do I do next? You know, what happens next? And I can also, most importantly, prep them before they have, interviews from screens and so on. So, if you don't understand how career coaching works in that sort of, scenario, at least for me, how I do it and my philosophy, that's how I do it.
I am on call for my clients supporting them as they play the game. So imagine if you're, you know, very much like an athlete. If you're playing and you're competing, I'm there coaching you along the way. because there is no one size fits all for these types of questions. A lot depends on how the process went from the get-go and the sort of rapport that you built with the recruiter and what the instructions were about the next steps.
There's not a lot for me to work on here when I get this sort of question without a lot of context around it, but I will give you the rule of thumb. You know, in my experience, you have to use your intuition and your experience to kind of tailor this and tweak it and pivot it to make sure that it fits what's happening to you.
It's not a one size fits. But when I think about, the recruitment process and your interactions with the recruiter, be it over the phone, be it via zoom, via face-to-face,it's important to, first of all, always thank the recruiter for the time, during the time you're with them and immediately afterwards via email.
This is common etiquette. You know, you would do that if you, if you go to someone's house. I recently had a lot of friends here at my place over for my birthday. They came, they said thank you as they were walking out the door, and the next day I got all of these text messages, you know, people thanking me again.
And that's the sort of thing you do. Like if a recruiter calls you and books a time to talk to you, you say, well, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for, , you know, including me in your shortlist or whatever, you know, stage you're in. And then immediately afterwards send an email. Most importantly, during that conversation, when you have that person with you, it is an excellent opportunity for you to ask what the next steps are.
Make sure that you do that, you know, before the call ends. Okay. Tell me what the next steps. and I think it's important for you to know that, so that you don't then have to reach out and ask, because when the recruiter hangs up with you, I mean, it's exciting for you because you have that one connection.
The recruiter will be calling about 10, 15 people . So there will be lots of people. I think that, you know, it gets so busy because then they have to write a report and send it to either their client, if it's an, an agent or to the hiring manager if it's in house. But there's a lot of work that that, HR recruiter person need to do.
if you are connected well with the recruiter, if you feel like you built great rapport, keep in touch, not just because of this role, but because of what it means for your career sustainability, right. I have a recruiter, her name is Libe. today's my first day back at work, , and I was checking my LinkedIn and Libby, I, I posted, sort of an end of year post, you know, saying Happy New Year to everybody, and Libby said, oh, happy New Year to you too.
Renata. Guess how long I've known Libby for? we are in 2023. I've known Libby since I kid you not 2009, I think, . So you know what I mean? Like these people should be part of your network. I've only been a career coach for three years. I mean, I started coaching in 2016, but nobody knew about this. So Libby has been in my network.
You know, when I was. professional when I was looking for work, when I was referring, friends to her, you know, and, and vice versa. So you, have to build those great connections with recruiters if you feel you've gelled well with them during a conversation. Connect with them on LinkedIn. You know, sometimes I say to people, don't connect with recruiters on.
What I mean by that is you shouldn't connect to like 60 recruiters on LinkedIn, because it's too much of a red flag for other recruiters and people that are, you know, like me, and I'm like, oh, why? I don't know. Like, it feels like it's too many. But if there are a couple of recruiters that you really have enjoyed working with, they are in your area of expertise, they will be, people that you most likely will have to work with again in the future.
Here in Melbourne, you know, there's a handful of recruiters that during my time as an executive, I had to know and I had to work well with you know, like it or not, , I had to kind of work well with them. And I think it's important to make sure that you keep in touch and keep connected if you don't hear back at all.
Okay. And there's nothing else to do. Sorry. you have to move on. Okay. Stalking and insisting and, sending too many messages may not be the best move for you career-wise. Remember, this is not just a transaction for this role. This is about the reputation that you live behind for other opportunities and learn how recruiters work.
Understand how they work day to day. There are several episodes of the Job Hunting podcast where I interview recruiters. I will list them below in the episode show notes. So go and check them out and listen to how they work, what they like to see in job applications. They are very candid episodes here and, and interviews that I've done with these recruiters.
And even if they're not in your country, it doesn't matter. you know, I have interviewed recruiters in the us have I interviewed in the uk, maybe US and Australia for sure. So have a look at those, episodes and you will see that they're very similar and there are lots and lots of So, there is also an episode called How Recruitment Works, and this episode is in fact, one lesson out of my group coaching program, job Hunting Made Simple.
And that lesson I felt like I could share more widely so that people understood, you know, what's inside the program. It's actually a sandwich lesson. It's I think week four of job hunting Made Simple. It's, one out of two or three lessons for that week and That topic. So, you know, because job Hunting Made Simple is a very comprehensive program and I just wanted to kind of, give people a sneak peek on, on what I teach.
So that episode, how recruitment works is very interesting. I think, shows you how, things happen when you are not seeing it. Because usually if you are job hunting, you are all by yourself at home , and you don't see. All the things happening, behind the curtain. So have a look at, that episode as well.
It's in the episode show notes. I hope that this, answers a little bit of your question, but again, you know, sometimes you really need to tailor it to your situation. And if you want to save time and headache, you know, consider doing something like job hunting made simple because it's coming back again in late February, 2023, and I, offer it twice a year.
Or, you know, private coaching for that time that your job hunting, let's say three months or six months of you working with a career coach can really speed up results for you and save you a lot of time and money and stress from not knowing how to, act and the best strategy at each stage of the job hunting process.
Okay, here is another real question, but also a very common question. I get this all the time, and thankfully a lot of people have been booking consultations with me to workshop these issues that I'm going to discuss right now. So here's the question. I have been looking for a job for about three months.
I've had three interviews and got to the last stage. In two of those roles, I'm also getting shortlisted to be interviewed, subject to the hiring manager wanting to interview me. Unfortunately, I am not making it through the process for a lot of these situations. Do I need to change anything? Okay, so the short answer is of course, yes, right?
But we are going to do a step-by-step analysis of all of these interesting statements from this question. So this is how it begins. I have been looking for a job for about three months. I've had three interviews and got to the last stage in two of those roles. With that, I cannot tell if the conversion from job application to interview is good or bad.
Okay? So when people book consultations with me to review their job application process, I always ask, you know, how many applications have you sent? Because if you got in the past three months, three interviews, but you sent a hundred applications, or you sent 10 applications, or you sent three applications, your conversion has varied a lot, right?
So if you have sent three applications, your conversion is a hundred percent, you sent three applications and you got three interviews. So your conversion from job application to job interview stage is a hundred percent. It's fantastic. But if you. 10 applications and you got three that's, you know, not the same.
it's like 30%. Right? And if it's a hundred, then it's very bad. It's 3%. So you want to be looking at your conversion rate. And of course you want to know that these jobs that you are applying for, what is your suitability for those jobs? And that I teach. and reset your career. So reset your career is such a great way of working with me.
It's a ready for you online course you pay, you access it straight away. And it has a masterclass on how to apply for jobs and how to figure out if you are the best applicant for that role or if you're a dark and those things do matter, right? And how to make the best possible job application.
if you are a straightforward person, let's say you are a financial controller and you want to get another job as a senior financial controller, research or career is perfect for you. You know, there's not a lot of guessing. You don't have any sort of, career design self-reflections that you need to do.
You're just going from A to B very sort of linear career thinking. Go and get research a career, and you will know very quickly how to apply for jobs. People that do it and send me results, it just, makes me so happy, right? So those little things you can definitely learn how to do with, a ready for you online course, like researcher career.
Now, the second part of this is I've had three interviews and got to the last stage in two of these roles. Now, this is a very good convers. , right? Two out of three is great. You are the, that last stage is great. Now you need look at how to go from converting from last stage to getting a job offer.
So you have a few bottlenecks here that you need to figure out. So think about, so we are in Australia now and it's January and, the Australian Open Qualifying Week has just started. so, Very much love making that analogy between job hunting and tennis. If you followed me for a while, you're probably bored with, my, my analogy.
But it's very, good to kind of understand how job hunting and the recruitment process works. You need to qualify at every stage. So think about all of the different stages and what is your conversion, and each stage requires specific talents and specific strengths from you and how you present yourself.
And yes, you have to be consistent throughout, in and out of that competition, but you are going to use specific techniques at each stage. So the, muscles that you use, for example, in the interview process are different from the muscles that you're using to write your job application. Right? so you, need to kind of, some people say to me, once I'm in the interview, I feel like I can do this.
What I hate is doing the job application. So again, you need to kind of be a little bit good at everything or have a career coach that can support you, and step in to, to help you build those muscles when they're not, at their. another part of this, question is this. I'm also getting shortlisted to be interviewed, subject to the hiring manager wanting to interview me.
Unfortunately, I am not making it through the process for a lot of these situations. So you have identified a bottleneck here. This is the conversion between the phone screen interview and the job interview with the hiring manager, the employer, the recruitment client. Depending if the process is in-house or outsourced to recruiter, it doesn't really matter.
All good. talent acquisition professionals, they will do a phone screen and they will do a, a long list or even a short list for the hiring manager or the client. So you know here that you have a bottleneck, that there is something you can work on during that phone screen interview to help you convert better at that stage, right?
Again, every stage requires a different technique, a different muscle that you need to work on and strengthen to allow you to go through this qualification process all the way to the end, all the way to the prize, which is getting a job. So what do you need to change? You asked, do I need to change anything?
And I'm like, yes, of course you do. . So first thing you can do is review your application conversion ratio. If the job is suitable for your skills and experience, why aren't you converting to the next stage from, let's say, job application to phone screen? Is it HTS compliance? Is it cover letter? Is it the resume format?
Are you addressing the dot points in the selection criteria in your cover letter, in your resume? Is your job application and your LinkedIn and reputation, are they all aligned? Can the person reviewing your application see how you fit into this role? Are you applying the right way? Are you following the instructions?
Follow what the job ad is asking you to do. . And again, you know, those are the things that, there's a masterclass in researcher career that can help you. There's actually more than one. There are four master classes in researcher career, but all of them are really designed to support you in applying for roles successfully.
Review your phone screen to interview ratio. Okay. You have already identified that the phone screen is not converting to interview. You will need to work on how you present yourself against the position description, how you answer the tell me about yourself question. That's the pitch question. How much you know about the role, you know, how much you, understand about the position.
if they're calling you and identifying you as a good candidate and you're not progressing for the next stage, there is something that you're saying there, that may be bottlenecking you. and if you're saying, I mean, the question is a bit. hard for me to read. If you're saying that you're getting a good vibe during the call, that they're going to shortlist you and then they don't, could it be that it is your job application that's not convincing the hiring manager, the client, could it be that your LinkedIn presence and reputation is not convincing them?
So if the recruiter is saying, oh, I think this is a great candidate, but they look at your resume in the cover letter and the LinkedIn and they say, well, don't feel it, then, you know you need to go back to the drawing board. this is a very interesting situation. I have a few clients that have been in this situation where they had such strong networks that they were always sort of put forward for interviews, but then I would look at their resume and think, Dear , the resume was really out of date in the formatting and the styling, and it gets to a point where the advocates and the champions can only take you so far.
And then from that point onwards, there is a panel of people that will be designing ultimately in, which,candidate they will put forward for the role. And they will be sitting down at a desk with all those papers, with all the resumes and the cover letters. And if your presentation is not professional enough and not align with the role, if your LinkedIn is not professional enough, when they check you out on linked.
you're gonna mess out. Okay? So that's the thing that you need to think about. Everything needs to be consistent. Every, layer of that onion needs to amplify and add on to your reputation and not, remove, or add any doubts to your reputation. So consider, you know, booking a consultation with me for those really important pivoting times so you can get feedback tailored to your needs.
If you feel like, you know, you're going to go through job hunting process for a couple of months, consider investing in working with somebody like me or another career coach specialized in job hunting and recruitment. Okay? Now, oh, well by the way, you can go to, episode show notes and see all the services there.
Or you can go to my website, renatabenarde dot com. Okay. Let's look at another question.
What if one's house cannot be reconfigured to allow for bookcases, paintings, and sofas, et cetera, to be in the background for job interviews? I know how important you think backgrounds are for job interviews. Well, well, well, okay. If you haven't heard this before from me, , here I go again. Backgrounds are very important for your professional.
Presence and built up of your reputation for job interviews. And as you start a new job, I think after you've been in an organization for many, many years, it doesn't really matter anymore. People know the value of your work. They know how good you are as a professional. These things still sort of, external layers and first impressions are not so important.
But if you're going for a job interview with people that you do not know, first impressions the matter. Now, if you, remember back four or five, six years ago, people were going for job interviews. They were buying a new suit. They were making sure that they had the right attire. I mean, even if it wasn't a suit, depending on the sector that you work, it could be something completely different and more casual, and that's fine, but you would put an effort into, making sure that first, Look at you.
You know that, the first impression counts and adds to, The case that you're trying to make, that you will make a great professional for that organization. Now the background is the same. That's what it means especially if you're going to be working from home, you're going to be representing that organization from your home.
Making sure that you can tell with those cues that I have a space here at my house dedicated. My work, I can work here and I can talk to your clients. If you're, you know, you're sort of, this is the message, right? You're not gonna say this, this is just the message that you're trying to convey by having a natural good background behind you.
When you're going for job interviews, I can sit here and I can talk to you, I can talk to your clients, I can lead teams, I can be part of a team in this environment that looks very professional. So, you know, I've said this many times, it's part of reset your career and definitely part of job hunting made simple, to help people, present themselves well in interviews and networking conversations.
And so, and a lot of, my clients at first have been kind of, oh, I don't know that I can do this. And in the end, they found a way. They have found a way to add a very thin, you know, not too deep Ikea bookcase and add books and a pop plant and something. And that made a difference. So I remember talking to a client who was applying for a chief research officer position and, a poor guy.
I felt bad for him cuz he was going through renovations at home and, you know, it was, everything was upside down at his house. but I explained to him, look, you are excellent at your job and so is. , you know, John and Mary and Peter, right? they will be interviewing four people. If John, Mary, and Peter are sitting behind a bookshelf filled with books and not just any books, you know, the books that matter, you know, books about economy and business, and all of the things that chief economists or chief research officers should have.
I can't remember if it was a chief economist or a chief researcher. doesn't matter that these things make a good impression. It makes those candidates look more smarter, more put together than you. So we need to fix this before you go into interviews. Right. so this is something that you have to figure it out.
It's hard to believe that nothing can be done. So sorry, but I don't buy that. And I do believe that there are little things that you can do. I have a client and, she, didn't had a, blank. Wall, like a white wall like many people do. And very quickly, you know, she was so good at like, yes, yes, I will do everything I can to find a job.
She really wanted a new job. She got a, a low, I think it was an Ikea, Billy, one of those half Billy, bookcases. And she had a photo of her girls, you know, a family. So she had a few girls, and her husband and a lamp, a little pot plant and a pile of books just sitting on top of each other.
And it made such a difference, you know, her room was completely changed by that and. You know, she got a job very quickly, after looking for work. I mean, we'd worked on several things, so it's hard to say it was that, you know, when you work with a career coach like she did, you know, we do lots of things. We update her resume, we update her cover letter.
We make sure that she's prepared for every interview. And, and look, she did all her homework and she got a job, but I just, you know, she was reluctant at the beginning, but very quickly figured something out and it made a difference. So please don't underestimate the power of, of first impressions and, at least get a very good camera and a very good microphone and a light.
And those things are, expensive at all these days. You can buy a good camera and a good microphone for, you know, very cheaply on Amazon and lights. I don't like ring lights. I think that they're horrible on your eyes. And, and it, you know, it's just, they're too bright. I have, two IKEA lamps and they're just nice and soft and
Renata: provide good lighting for me and they will do the same for you.
Look, I have more questions, but I think I'll stop here. Should I keep going? Okay, let's keep going. I have, three more questions and I need to, sort of be quick with those because it's 47 minutes already and I don't want to keep you for too long. One is very short. Where can we find the ATS compliance rules?
So, ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System and there are several softwares that companies have or most companies have, you know, but especially big ones if you're applying for banks and consultancies and manufacturing companies and places like Amazon. Or Apple or Google, or even smaller medium size organizations, chances are the first thing that will read your job.
Applications, not a person is a bot. It's a software, and we call them ats. Applicant Tracking Systems. There are several different times. Some of them are expensive, other others are free. And the best thing to do is for you to watch an episode of this podcast, the Job Hunting Podcast with Michael Inga.
It's in the show notes. The link to it is in the show notes. Michael and I, I mean, . It's a, it's a difficult one for me to, to recommend because unfortunately the sound was so bad. Oh, I felt so bad. And I will invite Michael. I told him, look, I'm so sorry the sound was terrible and, oh, you need to come back. I need to have you again, cuz the message and what we discussed is so important.
So if you can be patient with the sound, it's worth enduring the bad sound. that unfortunately from time to time, you know, when you're recording podcasts, with, guests overseas, sometimes things don't go, the way we, we expect them to go. But it's worth checking out that episode and it varies a lot, but you need to play safe.
So the best thing to do to avoid big issues with ATS compliance is avoid, columns, avoid. Tables, avoid hyperlinks, avoid images. and basically just do a very simple black and white, word document, resume and cover letter, or both if you need to, to submit both, as part of, your job application, right?
So be careful with,people out there that sell you your, oh, you know, I'm gonna design your resume for you. Last year, I kid you not, like, very recently, I had a very senior client working in banking and finance who asked someone to do her resume for her, and it came back, I, it came back purple just terrible and filled with, issues that are not.
compliant with hs, and we had to redo it all again. So it was a waste of money for her. So be very careful, with people that don't understand them. If you want to ask people to do the resume for you, make sure that you ask them, is your resume, going to be h hes compliant? And if not, don't work with them.
Another question, so this is number six, is I have, trouble identifying suitable referees and who to recommend as to be my referee. You may find that based on the required skillset for a job, some of your former supervisors or team leaders are not the best people to be a referee for that job that you are applying for.
Sometimes they have moved and, or they don't understand the sector. finally, I always struggle. I also struggle with the fact that depending on the country, sometimes referees are contacted earlier in the process, and other times they are contacted at the, tail end. You know, only when you have a final short list.
Now, this was a specific real question that I received, but again, this is a problem that I have with many, many people coming to me discussing issues to do with referees. Most important thing that you need to do to have a, a sustainable career and career progression is to have good referees, right? . If you have burnt bridges at your previous work, then it is important for you to work with a career coach to minimize and find ways to explain and mitigate the issues that you will find when you get to that tail end of the recruitment process.
And you need specific referees that are required for the due diligence process. So recruiters and organizations will not hire people without checking their references. I mean, sometimes that happens and it ends up in the news . So there's a, you have to, you work with the assumption that you will need at the tail end, a strong couple of referees to, say you can walk on water and like you can really do the job that you said that you can do.
So this is something that if you feel like right now, what I'm telling you is giving you anxiety, , you have to calm down and make sure that you know, for the next couple of years ahead that you form those important connections with former coworkers or in fact actual, coworkers that you have right now.
Managers, also clients or suppliers, avoid being transactional with people in your network that could potentially be your referees, contact them often. Send them Christmas cards and birthday messages when you think of them or when there's something that you know that they will be interested in.
Write to them. Write them a note. You know, I don't need a reference anymore. And still at the end of last year, I called my referees and I said, you know, Merry Christmas. How are you doing? Tell me about yourself. How are the kids? , you know, these are my connections. They are important people.
I really like them and I know they like me too. And you know, those sort of, milestones throughout the year. It could be your birthday, it could be festivities is a good opportunity for you to reconnect with. So make sure that you don't burn the bridges and, and if the bridge hasn't been burned, it just has been forgotten, make sure that you step on that bridge and reconnect with that person.
Okay? and like I said, you know, if there has been issues at work where you really, you know, had to leave work, did not connect with your, employer or manager, it makes the situation harder for you. And those of you that find yourselves in that situation, consider working with a career coach, at least book a consultation with a career coach.
If you want to work with me, go to my website and, we can have a chat. . So, okay, so let's say you are job hunting, right? and you have your, referees. Make sure that you keep your referees in the loop about what's happening in your career from time to time. Let's say every year, every couple of, or every, you know, six months, send them an update on what's happening to you.
If you are thinking about job hunting in 2023, or if you're currently job hunting, send them your resume and say like, do you have any feedback from me? This is my most recent Updated resume. I just wanted to make sure you have one. I hope that you can be my reference, when the time comes and if you have any feedback on my resume, please let me know.
Let them know what you are looking for, you know, what you're trying to achieve. And when you know, they will be contacted. Send them the job ad, send them the pd, send them some pointers. You know, the, the brief of, what a summary of what you know about the position, what you heard from the recruiter, you know, the things that you've done already to get to that stage during the recruitment process.
Send them a little note. Don't send them an essay, but just a little note. And of course, send them your complete job application. You know, your cover letter, your resume, the, PD so that they have everything in place. Because you know, if you've worked with that person five, 10 years ago, they may not know what you've been doing.
And these people are busy. Like I was a reference for somebody just this week, right? And I haven't worked with her in a little while. So, , look, it's important for you not to give your referee too much work. Make that the job of being a reference as easy as you possibly can for them. Then, of course, thank them.
Ask how you can help them and help them. Even if they say, oh, there is nothing. Even make, send them a note. If you get the job, send them flowers. Like, make sure that you are appreciative of the work that they've done for you. Not that they've said nice things about you, but that you appreciate them championing your career and mentoring you and supporting you along the way.
Okay, final question. I have received quite a few of those. in this sort of end of year and early January, I want to do the job hunting Made simple program with you in February.
Renata: Do I need to do anything? Do I need to register? Look, I'm assuming, if you're wanting to do it, you already have registered, your interest, but if you haven't, you can go to my website to the job hunting made simple page and register your interest in participating in the next group coaching program.
So, the group coaching is great because A, it's a group, group is fun. and B, it's cheaper than doing private coaching. So that is a very, good reason for you to do a job hunting made simple. It's seven weeks long, so that's enough to give you a good, time with me.
Even though it's in a group, it's so wonderful to, you know, get questions that you hadn't thought of from other people in the group. It just adds to your knowledge bank of you know, how recruitment works to see how other people are doing it. So register your interest on the website as soon as possible, and there will be more news about the program in the weeks ahead.
I'll keep everyone posted, and if you haven't yet signed up for my newsletter, of course people in my newsletter are always the first people to know about everything. So go to the episode, show notes and sign up for the newsletter. Or you can go to my website, run out of my website, renatabernarde dot com and you can sign up.
All right everyone. What a long episode. Thank you so much for sticking around and staying here with me. If you're still here and you think that this episode will help someone else that you know, make sure that you forward them this episode, let them know that it's here. You can also follow the podcast if you're not yet following it on iTunes or Spotify or like wherever you found this audible.
also YouTube and, yeah. I look forward to seeing you again next week. Bye for now.