Job Hunting

Thinking about changing jobs? Think about these questions first.

1. Are there due diligence gaps?

Nobody wants to join a company that is going to go bust. What can you find out about the company:

  • Financial health – are they a listed company – what is their share price?  Is it rising? 
  • What have you heard about them in the news?  Did you do your Google search?
  • Could they be a merger or takeover target – what would this mean for your new job?
  • Are there career paths and development opportunities – what do their staff say about them on forums such as LinkedIn or Seek Company Reviews.

2. Do you correctly understand the role being advertised?

  • What is the role really about?
  • How can you clarify what the performance expectations of the new role are?
  • Have you called or emailed the contact officer?

3. Can you really get results in this new job?

  • Can you hit the ground running and perform to the desired expectation in the new setting or will you need to time to find your feet and then prove your capability?

4. What support will you get?

  • You’ve probably built up a strong network of positive work relationships in your current job including managers, peers, and direct reports.
  • Will you be able to find out where any resistance to your appointment will come from (such as an internal staff member that may have missed out on a promotion); and how will you deal with that?

5. Should you change jobs just because of the money?

  • More money and an attractive proposition or fancy new job title doesn’t make up for lack of job satisfaction or greater pressure.

6. Are you feeling pushed or being pulled?

  • Are you moving ‘from’ a situation or going ‘to’ the right opportunity.  Are you leaving you job for the right reasons?  Being unhappy or stressed or desperate to get out leads to poor decisions.
  • Being stressed also starts to close-off lateral thinking and you may miss other possibilities that might exist in your current company.

7. Will a quick-fix backfire on you?

  • Being overly influenced by short-term pressure can significantly cloud your job search.  You may no longer strategical assess options, but jump around from application to application just wishing one would land.

8. Are your blind spots closing off other options?

  • Sometimes the best strategy is to say where you are.
  • Find out what needs to change in your current situation.
  • Explore how to enrich your role, move laterally or take a transfer.
  • Initiate some changes yourself or start learning some new skills to make yourself more job ready and marketable.

Need some help with your resume or interview coaching? 

Contact me for assistance.


If you have enjoyed this article please tell a friend and send them to my site.

If you have any questions or suggestions for a blog post drop me an email.

Cheers for now, Kate.

Job Hunting

What can a resume writer do for you?

Resume writers either create an entirely new resume (if you have never had one before) or will re-write (and reformat) your existing resume.  Generally a reformat is necessary to bring your resume up-to-date and present it in a professional, consistent and coherent way.

The starting point for achieving a new resume is to begin with a review of your existing resume.  If you don’t have one, then I will provide you with a worksheet that you can use to capture all the information needed.  There will be a conversation to clarify any information such as dates or to gain more information about a particular job or company where you have worked.

A good resume writer does not embellish your roles or achievements but presents your success and accomplishments in the best possible way.  Your resume should reflect who you are and your personal job story. 

A good resume isn’t going to be over stylised – the formatting is important because any overcomplicated formatting – too many boxes or multiple fonts – is not going to help your resume get successfully past the applicant tracking system (ATS).  Resumes must be easy to scan by the ATS software as they read from left to right and top to bottom.  So fancy boxes located in the middle of your document may mean that any important information in that box might not get read correctly and appear jumbled.

The ATS can also act as a filter, reviewing every resume submitted and selecting only the most relevant, qualified applicants to go forward in the process.  As a resume writer I will tailor your resume to ensure that it includes the right keywords for your job or career sector

Getting your resume right is a partnership – we work together on the content and ensure that it accurately reflects your career journey.  This means I listen and learn from you to understand what your professional journey has been and what you need from your new resume.  There is a full development phase and a comprehensive revision process.  This will result in a professionally written resume that showcases your most relevant experience and achievements.

How to decide if you need a resume writer.

If you fall into any of these categories then I believe you need my help.

  • Time poor, overwhelmed or stuck and don’t know where to start.
  • You have been with your current employer for a while and haven’t applied for any roles recently.
  • You’ve decided you want to make a career change.
  • You’ve had a long gap between jobs.
  • You need help to clearly state your job tasks and achievements.

To get started contact me for assistance.


If you have enjoyed this article please tell a friend and send them to my site.

If you have any questions or suggestions for a blog post drop me an email.

Cheers for now, Kate.

Job Hunting

Jobs on the Rise in 2021

Following on from a previous post about skills shortages – I would now like to share the findings of a LinkedIn report with you.

Just to recap – in my previous post I talked about skills shortages occurring in the following industries:

  • Health care and social assistance
  • Education and training
  • Construction
  • Mining, and
  • Transport, postal and warehousing.

The LinkedIn report outlines 15 emerging jobs of 2021 and I am pleased to say that it very much echoes the content from my previous post.

A snapshot follows but you can read the full report at Jobs on the Rise Reports | LinkedIn Talent Solutions

Covid-19 has put the focus on health care workers with special focus on nurses, doctors, paramedics, clinical specialists and mental health professionals.  This group also extends to social workers, youth workers and child welfare workers as the pressures from Covid have had an impact on social issues, such as housing, child care and general wellness and well-being.  People need the assistance of professionals to help them navigate access to support and services. 

Other health care and medical support roles are also emerging as professions in demand.  These include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, home care assistants and patient services staff.  Admissions to hospital continue and the population continues to age, all factors that are driving demand for services and the need for specialist health care services.

Next on the LinkedIn list are construction workers.  As outlined in the previous blog post his has been driven in Australia by the Federal and State government stimulus packages both in domestic housing and nation building infrastructure projects.  Site Managers, estimators and equipment operators are all in high demand.

There has also been a rise in demand for what was once considered a humble occupation: customer service – finally they are getting the recognition that they deserve. Their strong interpersonal and communication skills should never be underestimated.  How many times have we been grateful for a customer service agent who does their job well and solves our problem?   They are subject matter experts in their area of expertise – so don’t undervalue the service you get from a customer service professional.

Now here is a group that I haven’t mentioned before but can relate to on a personal professional level – and that is personal coaches.  Specifically LinkedIn discussed the changing world of recruitment and the need for specialised resume writing and coaching services.  Need I say more?  This is my passion and I have seen an increase in coaching clients during late January and early February. 

The next group on the list is real estate specialists.  This should not come as a surprise with Australia’s super low interest rates there has never been a better time to enter the real estate market.  The only concern for many is that property prices are rising fast as well.  The rush to escape from the city has also impacted the property market.   In demand professionals also include mortgage brokers to help navigate the plethora of loan options. 

Financial services specialists are also in demand, partly driven by the recent Banking Royal commission.  However, the focus here is on uncovering fraud and risk analyst.  So if your skills fall into the field of forensic accounting, risk analyst, taxation consultation then you may find yourself in demand.

Following on from fraud is the rising demand for cyber security specialists.  The increase in online scams and security threats has seen the demand for better and stronger detection and response by businesses grow.  The need to detect and eliminate is stronger than ever. And within this category there is a growing demand for data managers, web developers, IT engineers and specialist programmers.

Covid’s impact has also affected the way we buy so it is no surprise that e-Commerce skills are in demand.  Businesses are looking to transition away from bricks and mortar stores to online offerings and need savvy IT specialists to help them develop their sites.  But, along with that – products still need to get out the door so warehouse supervisors and inventory management professionals are in demand too.

Along with going ‘online’ businesses recognise that you can’t sell a secret so they are turning to social media to get the word out, using digital content specialists to do the job for them.  However, the draw back here is such specialists are usually freelance, servicing a number of clients across a range of categories.  Skills in demand are social media marketing professionals, web content writers, audio editing specialists and copy writers, as well as digital marketing experts, content designers and search engine optimisation specialties.  Every business wants to be at the top of the ‘Google’ search.

I also mentioned in the previous blog that educational workers were in demand and LinkedIn have confirmed that indeed they are essential workers.  Roles include early childhood educators and school principals.

If you want to progress your career and to take advantage of these career hotspots get in touch with me today so that I can help by developing your cover letter or selection criteria.


If you have enjoyed this article please tell a friend and send them to my site. If you have any questions or suggestions for a blog post drop me an email.

Cheers for now, Kate.

Identifying Your Skills Job Hunting

What Employers Want – Adaptability

Regardless of the type of job that is on offer, we all know that employers are looking for a fairly standard set of skills that allow candidates to be productive and work with colleagues and clients.  Knowing this information gives you, the candidate, the edge.  But how do you use this information to your advantage.

I am going to deliver a series of short posts about these skills?  Read on to find out more.

Today’s skill is Adaptable

What does being adaptable mean?  It is when an individual, team or organisation is able to adjust to changes.   It is

  • where adjustments happen easily, and a new course of action can be identified and followed
  • being open to change and taking action to make that change occur. 
  • having a flexible mindset to allow us to consider alternative options and propose new ideas.

We are all fairly familiar with how changes in workplaces and technology have required us to adapt.  Evidence of this is in the number of workplaces that have transitioned to an agile workplace and moved away from desk top computers to individual laptops that get put away in lockers or taken home at the end of the day.  In the face of Covid-19 there has also been the mastery of Teams and Skype. 

During Covid-19 many businesses changed their operating mode rapidly transitioning from sit down café culture to take-away only.  Who would have ever thought that McDonalds would be selling bread and milk from their drive-throughs?  Or restaurants creating ‘make it at home’ packs of their most popular menu items.

As customers could no longer come into an office or a branch to perform their transaction they were obligated to go online.  For many, this was a new experience, so companies had to empower their call centre staff to coach and train their customers on how to create on-line accounts, place orders and make payments.  These may be things that many take for granted, but some in our communities are not so savvy and need additional assistance.

So, what is your adaptable story?  When during the last year have you needed to be flexible and adapt to changes? How do you make a story from these experiences?

Use the SAO method to develop your experiences into a great story which you can recount at interview or place into your cover letter or selection criteria.  Your story should be specific enough that it provides sufficient detail for the interviewer/reader to understand:

  • S = What the situation was
  • A = What action you took; and
  • O = What the outcome was.

Write it down and refine it.  Then save it away in your interview question database. This response can be used to respond to a multitude of ‘tell me when or how questions’.   For example:

a) Tell me about a time when you participated in a change at work?

c) How do you adjust to changes you have no control over? [Think Covid-19]

b) Tell me when you needed to respond to unpredictable changes at work, for example a sudden resignation?

d) How do you re-adjust your schedule when your manager asks you to prepare some information for a report within an hour?  How do you make sure you don’t fall behind your regular tasks?

Your activity has two components.  After reading the post I would like you to reflect on how you have demonstrated that skill during 2020; and then turn that reflection into a story for you to use during your job search.

If you need help to develop your cover letter or selection criteria – contact me.


Identifying Your Skills Job Hunting

Where are these skill shortages anyway?

This is a continuation of previous blog post – Have you heard about the skills gap?  You might like to read that article first.

Before I start please be advised that I am writing about this topic from an Australian perspective.  The comments and points I discuss in this article may not apply to your particular location if you are not currently living in Australia.

A caution: Labour markets are fluid and a skills shortage does not guarantee you a job even if you have trained or re-trained in a particular field.  This is because shortages are often in occupations that need specific skills, qualifications and experience.  So, any job or training decisions you are making should not be made just on predicted skill shortages.  Make sure that you are interested in the field you are entering and have the capability (intellect, physical and emotional) to stay the course.

It would be an understatement to say that Covid-19 has had a major impact on jobs and employment.  In April 2020 we began to see jobs being lost and vacancy rates fall dramatically.  Now in December 2020 we can see a significant rebound with jobs returning to the hospitality and retail sectors and a strong demand for construction trades.

The period between March and now has seen a shift in focus to those occupations that are considered resilient.  Australia’s National Skills Commission has a formula for identifying these occupations and the list of the most resilient jobs include:

  • Professionals such as speech pathologists, audiologists, medical practitioners and mid-wives.
  • Community and personal service workers including aged and disabled carers, as well as security officers.
  • Machinery operators and drivers working in agricultural, forestry and horticulture, as well as plant operators and delivery drivers.

And the industries that these jobs fall within are:

  • Health care and social assistance
  • Education and training
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Transport, postal and warehousing.

You can see from these lists that many of the ‘essential’ workers fell into these categories, along with public administration and emergency services.

Let’s take a closer look at three categories.

Health Professions – Around 45% of employers had unfilled vacancies in 2017-18 with strong shortages in audiologists, sonographers, optometrists and medical diagnostic radiographers. Part of the demand is the need to service an increasingly ageing population as well as the need to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Growth has meant that bachelor degree graduates are highly likely to obtain a job soon after graduation.  Employment in the health care and social assistance industry is projected to expand at double the pace of all industries over the next few years to May 2023.

Food Trades – In 2018 one third of employers did not have any suitable applicants for their vacancies with major shortages for pastry chefs, bakers and butchers.  Only 31% of vacancies for bakers were filled.

Almost all employers required applicants to have at least a Certificate III qualification and were expected to have two to four years post apprenticeship experience.

Initial demand was due to international tourism which has now declined as a result of Covid-19 but demand is now growing because more Australian’s are holidaying at home and taking staycations. 

While supply is declining partly due to a decrease in available apprenticeships, employment in the food trades is expected to grow by over 14% in the next few years to 2023.

Construction trades – The Australian federal and state governments have fast forwarded their infrastructure projects and this, along with the HomeBuilder program which supports jobs in the residential construction sector, is a strong source of jobs growth.

Even before the pandemic only 44% of vacancies were being filled.  Glaziers and wall and floor tilers were in demand the most, with only 24% of glazier and 21% of floor and wall tiler vacancies being filled.  Other trades in high demand include painters, carpenters and joiners, bricklayers, plumbers, cabinet makers, plasterers and stonemasons. 

85% of the vacancies required candidates to be trade qualified. 

Demand is driven by the value of building work in the pipeline.  National employment of construction trades is projected to grow by 6.5% in the period to May 2023 and there are some indications that apprenticeships are on the increase.

So, where does this leave you?  Are you looking for your first job or changing careers?

Let me help you to develop your resume or craft your cover letter. 

Please contact me now.


Job Hunting

The Great Debate – Cover Letter or No Cover Letter?

Firstly, a quick ‘did you know’. 

The cover letter is so called because it was the cover page for resumes.  Its purpose was to entice the reader to continue reading and seek out more detail contained in the resume.  Back in its day (the 80s and 90s) the cover letter was a detailed self-promotion of career history and skills for the writer – a work life history.

Now a days, the resume is the hero!  And the focus on the cover letter has dropped away, with it being more the support act to supplement your resume story

What this means for you

When you submit a cover letter it has to be relevant and highlight your specific skills and experience.  It is also a useful tool to explain any exceptional circumstances such as gaps in employment, career transitions or something relevant that isn’t stated on your resume.  Your cover letter should also be a solid example of your written communication skills AND your attention to detail.  So this means, you have to get it right – the grammar, the spelling and the layout.  Your resume will get you over the line if it is well written, nicely laid out, contains relevant skills and experience and highlights your work accomplishments. If the recruiter or hiring manager reviews your resume and believes you are a good match for their job, they will then review your cover letter to reinforce their opinion; so essentially, your cover letter has a stronger chance of being read if you are a close fit for the vacancy.  At this point you don’t want to spoil your chances by having irrelevant or duplicate detail in your cover letter.  It is necessary to make sure that it is tailored and customised to the specific job.  It is important that it looks and reads professionally.

So, back to the question – should I submit a cover letter?

To answer this question you get your first clue by reading the advertisement.  If it asks for a cover letter then provide one!  Otherwise it appears that you don’t follow instructions and this creates a poor impression.

If the advert is silent – then you need to use your judgement.  Ask yourself ‘what value (to the business) am I adding if I include a cover letter’?  If you want to differentiate yourself, show off your communications skills, explain something unique about you or highlight some relevant experience or skills in more detail than that contained in your resume – then the answer is probably ‘yes’.

Just be sure to write it well, read it twice or more and polish it before you hit the submit button.

Don’t know where to begin?  Writing a cover letter too hard?  No time?  Let me help you!  Please contact me now.


Job Hunting

Get a head start on your job search for 2021

Yes, we all know it is Christmas and holiday time but should that stop you from being organised and getting a head start for 2021? No way.

Resolution – find a (better) job!

Here are a few tips to get your New Year’s resolution started early.

Action steps – get prepared.

1. Understand what you are looking for – review your favourite job boards and identify the jobs you are interested in.  Even if they aren’t an exact match – don’t worry – read the job detail closely to understand what the employer wants and what you have to do (read responsibilities of the role). Use these snippets of valuable information – include them in your resume or your cover letter.

Utilise this analysis to identify what the gaps are in your own experience or skills.  Is there a recurring them – for instance – a certain programming language (think python) or project management.  If this is a gap – start planning how to minimise that gap.

2.  Use the holiday time to give your resume a refresh – are you working from an old resume that no longer reflects your current job or newly acquired skills, is the format looking tired, old-fashioned and just plain messy?  If so, it is time to brush it up and get it glowing.

3. And ….. what about your referees – firstly are they current?  Do they really know what your current skill set is / what your job aspirations are / what projects or activity you are currently working on?  If not, maybe it is time to bring them up to speed or perhaps even replace them with someone who is more contemporary and knows your current value.

4. Next, your LinkedIn profile – is it up to date, have you been making any relevant posts?  Have you been networking?  Give your profile the once over and bring it into 2021.

5.  Finally, get some discipline and stick to a job search routine. Committing to a routine gives you a sense of accomplishment, even if you are getting a few knock backs along the way.  Make sure you devote some time to review job sites and connect with people in your professional network.  Often doing these things in the morning, when you are fresh, is best and has the added benefit of you being able to ‘tick’ them off your ‘to do’ list.  Maybe even limit the time you spend searching so that your mental health stays intact!  Look after both your physical and your mental wellbeing.

Is updating your resume too hard?  No time?  Let me help you!  Please contact me now. Email:

Job Hunting

Looking to Apply for a Government Role?

Do you know the biggest mistake that so many applicants make when applying for a government job?  Truly – it is such an obvious mistake that it will SHOCK you!

Are you ready? Want to know the answer? OK – here it is. 

They don’t read the full advertisement or FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!

I liken it to buying all the ingredients for a great meal and ending up with a failed dinner because nobody followed the recipe!

There is a really simple method.

Step 1 – read the advertisement – at least twice.

Step 2 – if there is a contact officer – ring them.  Find out more about the job – but ask sensible questions.

Step 3 – understand what you have to do to apply – just uploading a resume to a government job ISN’T GOING TO GET YOU SHORTLISTED!

Step 4 – understand what selection criteria you are required to answer.  Yes, it is a bit like a school test – read the question, break it down into its various parts and write a response.  Make your corrections.

Step 5 – have somebody look at your responses – check for meaning, check for grammar and check the spelling.

Step 6 – review your resume and update or refresh it as necessary.

Step 7 – once all your documents are looking and sounding professional – upload – but make sure you apply well before the cut off time – you just never know if you might have a technical glitch.

Is this all too hard? Need help?


Cheers, Kate