Monthly Archives: September 2011

Not Perfect

Back in 1999 – yes last century – was a great song released by Baz Lurhman. For those who haven’t heard it check it out on YouTube: Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).

It turns out it was written by a Chicago columnist, Mary Schmick who indulged herself by writing a graduation speech that went viral!

The Perfect Model

Now with my own kids, I consider the advice that I pass on to them … especially in light of the blitz they’ll receive from media and peers.

The constant chase for unattainable perfection – and I’m not talking about a pursuit of self improvement, but perfection of image. A constant chasing of societal perfection – an exterior paint job rather than an inner working in making the most out of the clay that’s been given.

Why are we so compelled to chase perfection? Why do we wish our lives away wanting a different this or that? The “if only I” syndrome … if only I had more money, a different nose, a better job, more confidence.

We’re forever wishing to be something or someone else, not realising how blessed we are in what we’ve been given.

There is no perfect model, no Mr or Miss Right, there’s no human that is flawless, just some flaws are more easily hid.

Not Perfect

I came across a song that I felt worth sharing – written by comedian, Tim Minchin.

I love the line, this is my life and I live in it – but unlike Tim, I think my life is perfect … perfectly flawed, perfectly imperfect!

Australian Blogs

All too often us Aussies have to venture overseas to truly appreciate what an extraordinary country we live in.

Australian Wildlife - The Emu

In fact, for many travellers it’s only when you get somewhere o/s that you understand how many people would love to live here.

The Australian Blogging Community

Similarly, the Aussie blog sites also offer leading commentary, insights, and opinions.

The Australian culture is trained in understated, we’re renowned for supporting the under dog, for chopping down “tall poppies”, yet at what expense.

Through traversing the web, joining blog sites on LinkedIn and Facebook, I’ve come across some great Australian blogs – which shouldn’t be surprising!

But obviously many of the Aussie authors reflect the culture of understatement which emanates in Australian blogs.

Throw it out there

So to the sheilas, the blokes, the dinky di’s and true blue’s … what are some of the great Aussie blog sites that appear on your blog roll?

The Résumé

Need a job

Previously in The Interview I discussed the process of hiring staff and the perspective from an employers point of view.

Too often in my own job search I gave minimal consideration to the person on the other side of the table. In fact, after constant searching, short listing, applying and following up numerous opportunities it left little time to think about the prospective employer.

The first blog addressed the approach, the preparation for making you stand out from the crowd. If you have the same formatted résumé as all the others, don’t attach a cover letter that shows you read the job ad and expect your skills to jump off the page – think again. There’s simply no time for a detailed read the first pass through.

If I’m looking to shortlist 8 to 10 résumés, then it works out around 1 in 10 get read thoroughly.

Prospecting for Gold

Don’t expect a résumé to get you a job, it’s purpose is to get you an interview.

I don’t pretend to be the preeminent expert on résumé writing nor know what works best, but can relay a few things that made me look twice.

Well Written Cover Letter

First and foremost for me, can you write a cover letter? Formatted correctly? Correct spelling and punctuation?

Well that’s a huge tick already, last round of résumés over half didn’t add a cover letter and less than 20% bothered to format it correctly. This is after I bolded it in the job ad … I thought that would be sufficient but obviously not.

Other tips for cover letters:

  • Research a company and show a unique interest – so the employer knows you’ve done your homework
  • Come up with a spin – it may be a quote, a verse of poetry, an image or embedded cartoon – it should be relevant. But including something different will pique my interest to meet you. Remember that’s the sole purpose.
  • Quote specific details that highlight you – concisely. Also shows an effort to tailor to THE job not a job.
  • Keep to one page – don’t dribble for the sake of it. Well spaced, 3 – 4 paragraphs and you’ve nailed it.

Well Crafted Résumé

Don’t take my word for it, but the cover letter to me is more important, personal and insightful than the résumé.

Your résumé is important, and will be absolutely critical once you’re shortlisted, but for first shortlist it’s still only a relatively cursory glance.

Being succinct, well crafted and styled to the industry in which you’re applying should be factors in design.

In terms of content, the front page is more relevant that the second page, the top of the page more relevant than the bottom.

Think of your résumé as real estate, you have the header which is beachfront property and the footer which is utilities. Near your header you want stuff that stands out, is well spaced and easy to read. Below is the fine print.

THE Job Not A Job

There are tons of resources on the web to help create a résumé and I can’t add to that, but when applying for a role consider your audience, consider your content and focus on the beachfront property to highlight why you are right for this role.

Remember an employer wants to feel you want THE job not just A job.

Evaporating Time

Oh, to find more time, way too busy for posts, updates, notes and pithy tirades!

Just a short post to say moving tomorrow, will kickstart blog again in the coming weeks.