Wednesday, January 23, 2013

5 Tips to Maintain Credibility When Under Fire

Your Personal Brand is one thing. Your Personal Brand under fire is another.

The true test of your Personal Brand comes when you're faced with a crisis:

  • Perhaps you have been challenged on a report you have written
  • Maybe someone has questionned your leadership technique
  • Or someone seems to be trampling your values

Whatever the crisis, it's important to check in with yourself to decide how you want to respond.

And that's the important thing, to check in with yourself first.

All too often, people respond in an empassioned knee jerk way: do first, think later (or not at all).

To maintain your credibility it's vital that you think first and then respond.

Even if you're under pressure to make a decision... you just have to think very, very quickly.

Here are 5 steps to get you focused:


1. What are the absolute facts here?
2. What assumptions am I making?


3. Ask your counterpart for specifics: you don't want to react to a generalised statement.

So, for example: if the challenge you were faced with ran something like this:

"I think this report you've written is littered with errors."

Instead of assuming he means the entire piece is littered with errors, ask for some more information:

"Ok, to be clear, can you point out exactly what the errors are?"

4. Now, based on his reply, reassess the facts and ask yourself if your counterpart is justified in his claim?

5a. If so, offer to correct the error quickly - speed is important; you don't want an issue lingering on.

5b. If no, push back assertively!

When have you felt challenged and how did you respond? Did you think and then do? What were the outcomes?

- Rebecca

New Product Launch! Is Your CV Doing You Justice?

Are you:

* someone who has emailed your CV to many recruiters, only to have heard nothing back?

* aware your CV needs to stand out and be a sales tool, but you don't know how?

* keen to leverage LinkedIn too, but don't know which buzzwords to avoid?

* unsure how to position yourself as an expert in your CV?

* starting to realise that your job prospects and future salary will both be limited unless you have an engaging and competitive CV that opens doors?

...then you're not alone!

So many of my clients ask me for help with their CVs.

And despite them being both highly-talented and highly-employable individuals, their CVs simply don't reflect this reality.

And it saddens me enormously because I know these clients have been missing out on opportunities. And often opportunities that they really, really want.

Well, the great news is there is a way to craft a CV and LinkedIn profile that effectively demonstrates the depth of your offering and helps you get those crucial interviews.

I'm pleased to announce the launch of my brand new product:

'Complete CV Building System' 
67 Strategies to Successfully Promote Your Value & Expertise to Land Your Dream Job!'

What you will learn:

Module 1: Content

Module 2: Formatting and Layout

Module 3: The Marketing Module! Sell Yourself Effectively

And there's a BONUS LinkedIn module too to ensure you position yourself effectively online as well.

Read more about this step by step CV building product here!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Women & Their CVs: Their 5 Most Common Mistakes

I read a lot of CVs and I've noticed that women seem to make the same mistakes again and again.

Download for free the 5 most common mistakes women make on their CVs here.

You'll also receive my fortnightly ezine 'Presence' which is crammed with useful strategies and resources to help you raise your profile and get ahead in your career.

- Rebecca

What's The Difference Between a CV and Résumé?

A CV is essentially an in-depth chronicle of your career to date and should be focused largely on your achievements throughout that time. Visit a post I wrote about how to sell the benefits of hiring you here.

Your CV details a reverse chronology of your current and previous roles; the results of your work; and an insight into your training and educational background.

A CV is usually 2-3 pages long.

A résumé on the other hand, will be shorter - usually a single page - and is designed with a specific role in mind. As a result, it will 'cut out' any superfluous information that is not relevant to the specific role being applied for.

Which should you use?

Here is Australia, the terms CV and Résumé are used interchangeably.

I use 'CV', partly because it's simply a more globally recognised term and partly because I am a big believer in capitalising on the real estate that is your CV to capture the depth of your offering.

Either way, make sure whichever document you provide is achievement / accomplishment / results focused!


Read related posts written by Rebecca:

The 5 Common Mistakes Women Make On Their CVs (you'll receive our fortnightly ezine 'Presence' too)

Has LinkedIn Superseded 'the CV'?

So do I need a CV when LinkedIn is 'where it's at' thesedays?

According to a survey by Jobvite, 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to screen candidates. This isn't surprising. Before LinkedIn, recruiters had to keep manual lists and client books to keep track of where candidates were.

Thesedays, they simply have to run a 'search' in LinkedIn for the keywords they are looking for (read my post on LinkedIn keywords here). LinkedIn has made their lives considerably easier.

In Human Resource Executive Online ('Goodbye Resume? Not So Fast, Experts Say") a number of recruiters are quoted on the topic:

Jennifer Hoffman, a principal in Winter, Wyman's Human Resources Search, says this: "A Résumé (Editor's note: they use that term in the US) conveys several layers of information about an individual's background as well as being equally important for a hiring manager in learning about an individual's experience and comparing candidates side by side."

Revi Goldwasser, managing partner of Wall Street Personnel (financial recruitment) says, "For the actual component of 'hiring,' you still need a resume 100 percent of the time. When we submit a resume to a client we need a resume - when the job seeker goes to an interview, we need a resume."

Recruiters in Australia agree:

In January 2012, Human Capital Magazine Online ("The Résumé is not dead; It's just evolving") quoted a number of senior recruitment executives:

Guy Cary, managing director, First Advantage – Australia & New Zealand, said the resume is still important because it allows a candidate to present themselves to an employer the way they want to.

“While the employer may have seen a candidate’s profile on LinkedIn, it may be somewhat generic and not appropriately targeted to the company or job in question,” he said. “A strong resume that represents what a candidate brings to a particular organisation or role is still critically important.”


The fact of the matter is, you need both an online and 'offline' presence - which basically means you need a LinkedIn profile as well as a paper version of your profile - in other words, a CV.

The question isn't so much whether you need one or the other.

The question to ask should be: are BOTH your online and offline profiles (LinkedIn and CV) demonstrating your expertise, knowledge and credibility... that's all that matters in the end.

- Rebecca

Read other related posts Rebecca has written:

3 Questions To Help Your CV Stand Out from The Competition
The Number 1 Mistake Women Make On Their CVs
What's The Difference Between a CV and Resume?
The 5 Types of Keyword To Use in Your LinkedIn Profile
The 5 Common Mistakes Women Make On Their CVs (with this download, you can receive our fortnightly ezine 'Presence' too)

The 5 Types of Keyword To Use in Your LinkedIn Profile

What is a 'keyword'?

Essentially, ‘keywords’ are the words that recruiters type in when they run a search on LinkedIn.

When you're considering which keywords to add to your profile, it helps to get into the mind of a recruiter. What words is he or she likely to be looking for? What kinds of candidate would be connected to those keywords?

A simple way to work this out is to ask yourself,

‘What words have the greatest relevance within my industry?’

For example:

1. Are there particular experiences that a recruiter would need to see in your profile?

e.g. pitch work; leading new business projects

2. Might certain skill sets be important?

e.g. Advanced Xcel

3. Or specific knowledge perhaps?

e.g. risk analysis

4. Maybe she's looking for someone with particular process or product knowledge?

e.g. Software; processes; equipment

5. Companies?

e.g. the fact that you have worked for a particular company already could be very relevant to a recruiter looking for someone with your experience

Scatter these keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile and CV.

Don't over-do it and repetition is fine.

- Rebecca

Read other related posts by Rebecca:

The Number 1 Mistake Women Make on Their CVs

3 Questions To Help Your CV Stand Out From the Competition

The 5 Common Mistakes Women Make On Their CVs (with this download, you can receive our fortnightly ezine 'Presence' too)

3 Questions To Help Your CV Stand Out From the Competition

Your CV is a marketing tool. Plain and simple.

Marketing is about selling benefits - so what are the benefits of hiring you?

Too many people shy away from this question, but in many ways it is the ONLY question you need to ask and answer.

Take a bottle of water.

How would I benefit if I were to drink this specific bottle of water?

Benefit 1: Well, for starters, it's smooth. And I prefer smooth, over sparkling, mineral water.
Benefit 2: It's Evian. It has that gorgeous pure taste that I love.
Benefit 3: It's cold. It's come straight out of the fridge. Tick.

There we have it. Three clear benefits. I'm sold.
So what about you? What's on your package? What are you offering that's different or special? What would make a recruiter choose you over the stream of competitors out there?

Here are some questions to help:

1.What special knowledge or expertise do you have?

2. What experiences have you had that set you apart from your competition? These could be personal or professional experiences that enrich the breadth of your offering.

3. How can you make a difference / add value?

Answer these questions and your CV will start to sell benefits, benefits, benefits.

I'd love to hear some examples of benefits you have delivered (or are continuing to deliver) in your workplace!

- Rebecca

Read other posts from Rebecca:

The Number 1 Mistake Women Make On Their CVs

Read all 5 Mistakes Women Make On Their CVs (and you'll also receive a FREE subscription to our fortnightly ezine 'Presence')

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Number 1 Mistake Women Make on Their CVs

In my time as an Executive and Career Coach I have reviewed umpteen CVs – from men and women alike. I’ve noticed that women tend to commit the same errors time and time again.

The most problematic of these, in my view, is focusing too heavily on the 'Responsibilities' they have had throughout their careers.

I think this stems from the fact that women, in the main, want to do 'a good job' or rather, they want to be seen to be, or thought of as, doing 'a good job'.

I fell foul of this when I used to work for major international organisations – my driver was doing my job to the best of my ability, which meant diligently dotting the ‘Is’ and crossing the ‘Ts’ every single day.

Taking your responsibilities very seriously is important (dotting Is and crossing Ts can be tough going) but unfortunately, when it comes to your CV, those responsibilities are meaningless by themselves.

What recruiters, and potential employers, want to understand is how those day-to-day responsibilities delivered results.

Doing your job is not enough.

They want to know what happened as a result of you doing your job.

Action: Review your CV. Is it crammed with responsibilities? Or is it packed to the rafters with accomplishment, after accomplishment, after accomplishment?

- Rebecca

Read other related posts written by Rebecca:

Read all 5 of the Most Common Mistakes Women Make On Their CVs (you can also receive a FREE subscription to Rebecca's fortightly ezine 'Presence')
Why Your Experience To Date is Just Not Enough
3 Questions To Help Your CV Stand Out From the Competition
The 5 Keyword Types To Use in your LinkedIn Profile