6 things you should never do on LinkedIn

BY: Tracey Mesken12/03/2014

​There's no doubt that LinkedIn is firmly established as the social network of choice for professionals around the world, with over 277 million registered members at the last count.  It is undeniably a worthwhile channel to invest time in as it can provide you a valuable network for business and employment opportunities.That said, as with any social media channel, LinkedIn comes with some unspoken etiquette that users should try to practice in order to maintain professionalism and, importantly, credibility.If you want to avoid looking like a social networking amateur or worse, a social pest, try to avoid these six key blunders when it comes to using LinkedIn.​1.  Connecting with total strangersAlthough having an extensive network can be a boost to your professional credentials and make you appear very well connected, you should never give into the temptation of sending invitations to everyone whose names you've vaguely heard of (or worse never heard of).  Yes this is a networking site but it helps to find some common ground or a mutual contact to create a warm link rather than a cold contact.When you are inviting people to join your network, make the effort to send a personalised message, putting the request to connect in context.  This is especially important if you are trying to connect with someone you have never met.2.  Blatantly lying about or embellishing your professional experienceYour LinkedIn profile is akin to an online resume, except it is instantly visible to the world.No matter how well you think you can withhold information from your peers or make up accomplishments, you will be found out and look the worse for it. Honesty is always the best policy, so make sure you stick to the facts and present an accurate picture of your career.3.  Limiting the information you include in your profileYour LinkedIn profile is just that – your professional profile.  The less information you include, the less opportunity you will have to generate quality connections.Including your education, past roles and memberships gives you a credible means to reach out to new connections (particularly if you share mutual connections)Likewise, leaving out your summary statement might seem like a minor oversight but you're missing out on a great chance to sum up your career in a nutshell and craft a snapshot of yourself to the world.  If you are reaching out to people what are they going to see when they come to your page?  Is it what you would expect to see on someone else's page?4.  Using an inappropriate profile photoDon’t make the biggest mistake of all; treating LinkedIn like Facebook. Yes they are two of the biggest social networks today but they differ immensely in purpose.As already mentioned, your LinkedIn profile is your online CV, so resist uploading that photo from last Friday's office party or of your favourite Simpsons character. Don't use a photo of your cat or your baby, one that looks like it belongs on a dating website and certainly don’t use a mug shot that makes you look like a criminal either.Use a clear, good-quality profile photo that reflects the professional image you want to portray.  It may sound a little boring, but will support you when you're making connections or applying for a job as potential employers do look at this.  A “creative” profile picture will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons.5.  Endorsing people you have never worked or done business withThe idea behind endorsements is valid but the reality is a little different.LinkedIn endorsements have quickly lost street cred given that many users are spruiking skills of connections that they cannot actually vouch for.  An endorsement is a very short form style of reference.  If you are really not sure if someone is good at something, don’t endorse it.  Ignore the temptation to tick a box or do someone a favour in the hope they will return it and endorse you.  It’s simply not good practice.6.  Accepting endorsements for skills you don’t haveLikewise, if you are a receptionist and someone endorses you for corporate strategy, don’t accept it.  If you are a registered nurse and happen to be endorsed for marketing strategy, don’t accept it.  You may be looking to develop skills in areas or change careers but if you can’t say that you have done it as part of your employment, then you can’t really call it a skill because a skill can be demonstrated.Again LinkedIn is very transparent.  It’s not going to make you look any better having a list of endorsements for irrelevant and inaccurate skills.Similarly, don't deliberately ask people for recommendations either, especially if you're not close with them or haven't worked with them before.LinkedIn can certainly seem like a tricky field to navigate, as one little error can cost you important credibility points.  However, by keeping in mind these tips, you can step out with the confidence you need to grow your online network.Looking for more social networking and career tips?  Subscribe to our blog and receive updates directly into your inbox.

2 simple tips to make your resume stand out

BY: Tracey Mesken03/03/2014

​Sell yourself..improve your marketability...stand out from the crowd.  You may have heard similar advice at some point during your job search, but this is often easier said than done, especially when it comes to your resume.If you can learn how to better sell yourself by promoting desirable skills, highlighting your achievements and backing it up with demonstrable evidence - all in a succinct document - you may well find it delivers you greater cut through and make your job search a little easier.Here are two simple tips to help you rethink the way you sell your abilities to a potential employer.​Tip #1: Remember it's more than a just list of where you have been.A resume is more than a timeline of previous workplaces and roles.  Employers or hiring managers not only want to see what you did, but what you did well and how the company benefited.  This can be as simple as introducing a new system that improved productivity or completing tasks ahead of schedule.  Consider:What did you do really well in your previous roles?What did you have to do to accomplish it?How did the organisation benefit from the result (ie measurable results)?If you are struggling to come up with past achievements, take a broader look at your daily activities. You may see training a new employee on your team as a simple favour or even a regular task, but you could list this as an achievement by saying you "served as a mentor to bring a new employee up to speed in less than three months".Again, it's all about demonstrating value delivered to a past employer through measurable results and specific examples.Tip # 2: Be more specific with your skillsMany job applicants still take a broad brush approach to outlining their skill set without considering whether they are aligned to the position description/job advertisement.The skills you list should tell a company that you have the experience and wherewithal to handle the exact tasks outlined, whether it's for an engineering role, business administration or even a trades or operator role in mining or construction.For example, rather than simply listing "time management skills", you may want to expand and include further context around the statement, such as "ability to prioritise tasks and meet agreed deadlines" or "experienced in producing high volume, quality output within tight timeframes".  Your achievements can help act as evidence to support this.Remember one size resume does not fit all job advertisements.In today's competitive market, job seekers simply can't afford to take a mass market approach to the job search and apply process.  Always ensure you tweak your resume in response to what an employer is looking for.Your resume is the true first impression a company has of you and often your only chance to get noticed.  By learning how to concisely and effectively list your achievements and skills, you will significantly improve your chances of making the first cut and getting that highly desired interview.Want more job search tips?  Subscribe to our blog and receive advice direct to your inbox.

When the going gets tough: 5 actions for a competitive job market

BY: Tracey Mesken04/12/2013

​Without a doubt it is really tough going at the moment for the thousands of unemployed Australians seeking full time work.  The unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 per cent in October, thought largely because fewer workers are looking for jobs.This equates to approximately 709,300 people are seeking work, leading to a job market that is now more competitive than it has been in a long time.Another concerning feature of the current Australian labour market is the workforce participation rate of 64.9%, the lowest level in seven years.  Workforce participation refers to the share of the working age population who are either in a job or actively looking for work.Low workforce participation has a negative impact on Australia’s economy; the lower the number of people employed or looking for work, the less hours worked and therefore reduced output potential as a country.  And reduced growth means less jobs.  Quite the conundrum.That said, it’s not all doom and gloom though, with the latest Fairfax Employment Report predicting that business and consumer confidence will continue to rise and 193,000 new jobs will be added by August 2014.​Whilst it is really hard to not fall into the discouraged job seeker trap after a run of disappointments, it is really important that you don’t give up and keep trying to find work.Here are some positive actions you can take to keep your chin up and stay in the fight for employment.1) Consider part-time or contract workWhile full-time employment figures were down in October, the number of people who gained part-time employment increased.  This is a great way to keep some income coming in whilst you work towards full time employment.  Part-time employment will:Keep your skills and knowledge sharp while you're looking for a permanent position;Give you the opportunity to network with others in your industry; andPrevent your resume from containing any large employment gaps.2) Ask for feedbackIf you find your resume isn’t getting you a phone call or you don’t make it through a job interview process, ask the recruiter or company employing why.  This can only help you improve for your next interview.You may need to simply tweak your resume or practice your interview technique to ensure you are positioning yourself as a highly desirable candidate.3) Consider enhancing your skill setIf you're repeatedly hearing that a "more qualified" candidate has been chosen for a position over you, maybe it's time to hone your skills or learn something new.  If you enroll in a training course, you can:Show employers that you're motivated and want to further your career;Enhance your resume and give yourself an edge over the competition; andFeel positive and more confident because you've achieved something.4) Target your job searchWhen it comes to a job search, less is more.It's common for job seekers to cast a wide net and fire generic resumes out to as many employers as possible in the hope that one will stick.  This approach could find you interviewing for jobs you're not right for, that you don’t really want (so have no long term plans to stay in) or getting no responses at all.Tailor your resume to suit each individual job advertisement/position description - employers need to know if you're the right fit for the position they're offering, not just an all-round good worker.  Yes it takes time but it will benefit you in the long run.5) Get in touch with a recruitment companyRecruiters are often frowned upon by frustrated job seekers.  You may have had a couple of bad experiences but don’t put all recruitment companies in the one box as there are some very good ones out there that really do deliver job seekers good advice and support.A recruitment agency can help you find part-time or contract work, contact employers on your behalf and get feedback, offer advice on a wide range of training courses and coach you through your job search.Staying positive in a tough job market is easier said than done but staying motivated to find work is exceptionally important to your personal confidence and, in the bigger picture, to our country’s economy.  And don’t forget that every ‘no’ brings you closer to a ‘yes’.Do you have any good tips for keeping your chin up in a tough job market? Please comment or share below.  Also don't forget to subscribe to our blog and receive updates direct to your inbox. 

The DOs and DON'Ts of job interview body language

BY: Tracey Mesken28/11/2013

​We've all heard the saying "actions speak louder than words". This cliche is especially prevalent when it comes to job interviews.Most people will devote a significant amount of time and energy to practicing what they will say in an upcoming job interview. But we should also spare a thought for what we convey with our mannerisms and poise as this can speak volumes to a potential employer.How aware are you of your own body language in the office, with friends or in job interviews?Here are some basic tips to help you use body language to your advantage.​Body Language No-No's...FidgetingMany employers associate this with a lack of self-confidence, and it can be extremely distracting. It's best to keep your hands in your lap, or on the table in front of you.Touching Your FaceThis is often interpreted as a sign that you're lying.  In particular, there's a position known as the "mouth guard" - covering your mouth and putting your thumb on your cheek - that is associated with dishonesty.Orientating Your Body Away From Your AudienceThis displays little interest in the person you are speaking to.  It will make you look impatient and desperate to leave the interview room.Avoiding Eye ContactIf you don't look at your prospective employer in the eye enough, you will appear self conscious or disinterested in what they are saying.  Traditionally "shifty eyes" has also been associated with lying however it is now commonly known to be linked to anxiety. Either way, try your best to hold your audiences gaze as it will go a long way in creating a positive impression.Folding Your ArmsThis can make you seem closed off, disengaged and unfriendly.  It can present as a barrier between you and the person you are speaking to.Body Language Do's...Sit Up StraightThis will not only make you look confident and prepared for the job interview, but can also increase testosterone levels and decrease cortisol (the primary stress hormone) levels.Mirror Your AudienceThis technique helps build a rapport with your potential employer, and makes them feel comfortable in your presence.  This doesn't mean you copy your interviewer, you simply reciprocate their body language.GestureThis is often taken as a sign that you're enthusiastic about a particular subject, and can also help your brain access information more easily.Maintain Eye ContactThe rule of thumb is to acknowledge every question you're asked with appropriate eye contact. You may want to pair this with a simple nod to indicate that you're listening and understand the what your interviewer is saying.SmileA great, genuine smile is a force of nature.  By smiling at someone, you have the capacity to ignite a chain reaction of other smiles and good feelings. Smile when relevant, show your genuineness to your potential employer as the results can be surprising.Are you ready?Remember, practice makes perfect. Set aside some time to walk through your job interview - literally. This will boost your confidence and help you avoid making body language mistakes.Want more job interview and career advancement tips? Subsribe to our blog and receive updates direct to you inbox.

Not landing a job interview? Check your resume for these call back killers

BY: Tracey Mesken08/10/2013

​A good resume is your golden ticket to exciting new job opportunities.  It is a personal advertising statement that, when done well, will deliver cut through and land you at job interview.  On the flip side, there's only one place a bad resume is going, and that's on the 'thanks but no thanks' pile.If you find yourself firing off resume after resume with limited success in landing that crucial face to face interview, it could be time to assess where things might be going wrong.Here are three resume blunders that can prove a major barrier to a potential employer viewing you as a hot candidate.​Blunder #1: Lies and empty statementsOK, sure, it is safe to assume that many people pad out their resume a little in the pursuit of looking really good "on paper" but if there are downright false statements on your resume, you can be guaranteed they will come back to bite you eventually.Social media and the internet makes it increasingly difficult to hide from your past.  Adding to this, anything that a quick web search doesn't turn up can be quickly uncovered with a simple phone call or background check.Your best bet is to be honest with employers about your employment history and qualifications.  Don't alter job titles or the tenure of employment and don't claim any experience that you don't have.  That said, there's nothing wrong with leaving irrelevant information off your resume.   If a past position doesn't add any value to your application, it's better to avoid it completely.Blunder #2: Spelling and grammatical errorsYou would think the need to proofread and spell check your resume goes without saying right?  Not so apparently.  A study published by CareerBuilder in September 2013 has revealed that typos and spelling errors are still the most common resume mistake, leading approximately 58% of employers to automatically dismiss a candidate.Take the time to read, re-read, and re-re-read your resume for grammar and spelling. Then get a friend or family member to read it as well.  Don't forget about formatting either - make sure that everything looks neat and tidy on the page, both when on a screen and when printed.Blunder #3: Lack of focus or strategyWhen sending your resume to a apply for a job, remember that you are just one of many, many applicants for the position.  If your resume  is generic and lacks any sort of alignment to the job you are applying for, it's not going to be able to compete with a resume that has been specifically tailored to the requirements of that role.Make sure your resume addresses the specific needs of the job you are applying for.   Most job advertisements come with a summary of the key role functions that you can use as a guide.  For example, if you're applying for an administration job that requires knowledge of particular software programs - highlight the fact that you know how to use those, providing examples where possible.It's also a good move to align your digital resumes - such as your LinkedIn profile - with your paper one to make sure everything is consistent and up to date.  A prospective employer these days is highly likely to go digging into your online identity so ensure that you go to the same effort to look just as good "on screen" as you do "on paper".With tougher market conditions meaning more active candidates seeking employment it is important that you take a little extra time to ensure your one shot at cut through is your best.

3 steps to get social in your job search

BY: Tracey Mesken17/09/2013

​Social media is continuing to boom and with no signs of slowing down, perhaps it is time you considered ways to use it to your advantage when on the hunt for your ideal job.According to the latest social media statistics published by Frank Media, there are 12 million monthly Facebook users in Australia,  3.4 million people are logging into LinkedIn, and Twitter has an active Australian user base of of almost 2.2 million.  Facebook recently announced that 9 million Australians use Facebook on a daily basis alone!Employers are getting more savy with social media too, using it as a proactive candidate sourcing tool.  You could actually be benefiting from having the jobs come directly to you if you are persistent and treat your social media profiles like your personal advertising page.It’s time to get more social in your job search. Here are three simple steps to help you get started.​Step 1: Make yourself visible (that means searchable)Build your profiles and complete them to the fullest extent.  A half completed LinkedIn profile is of no use to you when potential employers are conducting a proactive candidate search. Make sure your profile is as complete as possible with relevant skills and experience and optimise your profiles for SEO by using well-placed keywords and phrases.Have your 'elevator pitch' down pat and make sure you are ready to deliver it to new online contacts. Your elevator pitch should be a short, snappy introduction that sums up who you are as a worker and what you can offer employers.BUT…being visible doesn’t mean overdoing it.  Don’t fib or embellish the truth or harass people to connect with you.  Be relevant and professional at all times.  A good profile will appear in more searches and give you good exposure to start building your network.Step 2: Think outside the LinkedIn boxLinkedIn is the most popular platform for professional networking and job hunting, but it's not your only social media tool. Get a bit creative and look at other options.Someone pursuing in-demand engineering jobs might establish a Twitter account in order to follow key employers and experts in their industry, as well as share knowledge and interesting stories. This demonstrates they are active and engaged in their field.Try WordPress or Blogspot to create your very own website and blog, from which you can share interesting, professional and insightful thought pieces on topics of interest.An individual hunting for admin jobs might use YouTube to create a video resume that they can distribute to prospective employers. This shows that you are switched on and offers a point of difference between you and other applicants.Step 3: Don't make comments or post images that might turn a potential employer awaySocial media is dangerously deceptive in that it feels temporary. However, social media posts, like just about everything else on the internet, can last for a long time. Even posts that you delete, or accounts that you close down, can come back to haunt you further down the line.The best policy is to always use common sense when maintaining your professional and personal social media accounts. If you wouldn't say something in a job interview, don't say it on LinkedIn. And if you wouldn’t say something to a co-worker, don't put it on Twitter or Facebook.Remember dream jobs don’t just land in laps…it takes time and effort. Social media can work to your advantage if thought through and used right.

4 steps to job interview success (and the one thing that could ruin it all)

BY: Tracey Mesken13/09/2013

​Job hunting is almost never easy, but one of the most difficult aspects of this process can be the dreaded face to face interview.A job interview can be like the final hurdle in a 110 metre dash. You've done all the hard work, polished up your resume, and made all the right impressions. But now that you have your foot in the door, it's more important than ever not to trip up.With that in mind, here are four secrets to mastering the job interview - whether you're applying for key management positions or entry level factory jobs, these tips will help you dazzle your employer and maximise your chance of success.​1. Have specific examples preparedBefore you arrive at the interview, make sure you have done your homework. Read the job listing carefully and pinpoint the key characteristics your employer is looking for. Use this knowledge to put together some examples from your past experiences that show you are a good fit for the job. Employers love facts, so any hard statistics or detailed anecdotes you can provide will be an asset.2. Be active and ask questionsInterviews are a two way street. Don't just sit there twiddling your thumbs and answering questions, try to get involved and engage with the interviewer. Ask questions about the position and company, and show you've done your research. This will demonstrate your commitment to the role. Feel free to prepare a list of questions beforehand, as it's OK to refer to notes in your interview.3. Don't take anything for grantedToo often, job applicants jump ahead of themselves and start asking inappropriate questions before the interview has even wrapped up. Try to leave questions about salary and start dates until after you've been offered the position, unless you think there is something your potential employer needs to know.4. Follow upAlways follow up your interview with an email note to the company. Make sure you express your appreciation for the opportunity. Follow up emails are also a good way to address any concerns you might have had or ask any questions you forgot to bring up. Keep things appropriate and use the right medium - a txt message reading "Thnx for the chance! Hope I get da job" is a sure fire way to put yourself out of the running.BIGGEST MISTAKE TO AVOID AT ALL COSTSYou've read this far and now you want to know - what is the one mistake that can cost you your dream job?The biggest mistake that people undergoing job interviews make…is losing confidence in themselves. You have to believe in yourself if you're going to win over employers and convince them of your abilities. So regardless of how poorly your past interviews have gone, remember that your dream job is just one great interview away.

Will a criminal record prevent me from working in the mines?

BY: Tracey Mesken12/09/2013

​So, you want to work in the Australian resources industry but worried about a couple of past slip ups with the law? Fair enough.  Mining jobs all across the country can offer a rewarding and exciting career opportunity for those willing to work hard and commit themselves. However, before you start sending out job applications, it's important to consider whether employers will see you as a safe and worthwhile hire.​In the past, mines had a reputation for being seedy places filled with criminals. But today, most mining employers prefer to fill their roster with safe, reliable and sensible people.What sort of crimes will prevent me from working in the mines? A criminal record won't necessarily prevent you from securing employment in the mining industry, but there are certain crimes that many employers will take seriously. Different mines/employers will have restrictions on their employees. Generally, most mining companies will not be concerned about small former infractions on your record. However, many maintain a zero tolerance policy for offences related to violence or drug use.Should I disclose my criminal history to employers? Yes. At the end of the day, honesty is always the best option. You will have a far better chance of overcoming your criminal record if you are willing to discuss it openly with your employer. Many mining employers do a thorough background check on employees before hiring anyone, so it is likely that your past will come to the fore regardless. Lying about your previous infringements will almost certainly put you out of the running. If you are unsure about any crimes that may have been marked against you, consider contacting your relevant state or territory police service and asking for a formal summary of your police record.

So You Want a Job in the Mines

BY: Tracey Mesken05/06/2013

​We appreciate you want to do everything you can to put yourself at the front of the queue for Entry Level positions. These positions are at the discretion of clients and are sometimes not advertised externally so it is important to register with an agency such as WorkPac in the first instance. It is important that you also only apply for positions that are suitable for your skill level. For example applications for positions that require experienced Operators will not be considered.  The number one reason for this is safety. Mine Site Requirements Each state differs slightly in the minimum requirements for mine site employment. In in general terms, the following are the usual minimum requirements. Note that this does not guarantee you will be successful in securing mines site employment.Physical fitness for the intended role (as determined by a pre-employment medical)Ability to pass a Drug and Alcohol TestMining industry Generic Inductions and/or mine site specific inductionsFirst Steps The real key to obtaining a job in the mines is persistence. Here are some steps to take:Register with WorkPac (you can do this before you have your relevant medicals and advise us once complete).Keep an eye on our website as well as mining company websites for entry level jobs and apply.Network. Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know.Stay in touch - keep us informed of your availability and qualifications.Continue to develop your skills and qualifications in complementary industries such as construction and infrastructure projects.Frequently Asked Questions Here are a few answers to some of the more regular questions we get asked about joining the mining and resources industry as an entry level operator. How long will it take for me to get a job in the mines? That depends entirely on you. How bad do you want a job and how much effort are you prepared to put in to getting the job? There is no definite time frame but reward comes to those who are persistent. What is the lifestyle like when you work in the mining industry? The mining industry offers diverse lifestyle opportunities depending on the role and location. Residential roles will require you to live near the mine in a regional or mining community. Accommodation and transport to site is not always included with Entry Level positions however, so you may be required to arrange your own. Some roles are also offered on a bus in, bus out basis. Buses will usually travel from the nearest urban centre to and from the mine location. Such roles will usually also supply accommodation and meals in a camp near to the mine. For experienced workers, certain mine sites may have an option for Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO) work. This is particularly prevalent in WA due to the remote location of most mine sites. A few interstate mine sites do also offer these positions though. Shift rosters vary between sites, however they will generally operate on an “even-time” cycle with either a four days on/four days off or seven days on/seven days off basis. Some sites do also have roster cycles that require people to be away for extended periods of 2-3wks before returning home on a break. Shifts will rotate throughout a roster cycle between day and night shifts. Each shift is approximately 12 – 13 hours long, with rest/ meal or “crib” breaks included. Are there any websites you would recommend looking at? Relevant State Mining/Minerals/Resources Department website http://www. resourcesrto.org What if I have a criminal record, can I still get a job in the mines? It depends. Most minor incidents are no concern, but there is zero tolerance to violence or drugs. I am over 50 and have no experience, is that a problem? Not at all. Pending your meeting of all medical requirements, mining companies are looking for good reliable people who are punctual, responsible and prepared to work. Are there jobs for women in the mines? Yes. We have placed many women into roles in the mines. Our clients are equal opportunity employers. Still Have More Questions? Call us on 1300 967 572 or register online with WorkPac today so we can get you started on a road to a rewarding career in the mines.