How can I best market myself to an employer? By Matthew Coppola


Employers are interested in what you have to offer them and so they are looking for a justifiable reason to invest in you by providing you with employment. Their investment for a 40 hour work week is to obtain productivity out of you and in turn make more money and grow their business.

So the question you may ask yourself is:

How best can I market myself to an employer and show them that I have the skills that they need to perform the required duties?

First step is to work out exactly what kind of requirements needs to be fulfilled for a particular position that you want to apply for. Most job advertisements these days will list these. You should at least try and qualify for 90% of those requirements, but of course circumstances vary.

“try and qualify for 90% of those requirements”

Next step is to work out exactly what it is you have to offer to meet those requirements. Best way to approach this is to think about all the transferrable skills and relevant experience you have developed over the course of your working life together with the skills/aptitudes gained from your studies. This is why work experience/voluntary work and undertaking courses and education are great ways you can develop some valuable skills and experience you can put on your resume.

The final step is to match your skills and experience that you have come up with to the requirements of the position and make sure most of these are explained in your covering letter and at least highlighted in your CV.

Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions is an Australian based business that assists with CV/Resume writing, addressing key selection criteria and covering letters to help you with give your best foot forward to an employer. Please feel free to visit their website: www.clientcentric.com.au

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Just add egg: What successful Project Managers can learn from Betty Crocker Written by Andrew Fisher of Velrada


BettyCrockerLogoYes, I am indeed talking about the Betty Crocker who makes cake mixes; the packets you sneak off the shelf into your trolley, mix in a bowl with water and an egg, toss it in the oven, then smile like the Cheshire cat as your guests tuck into your perfect, velvety creation and coo about “how much effort you’ve gone to…”.

Now, the fact that I allow my guests to think I deserve a place on the next round of Masterchef is not the point of this post.

The point, lies in the egg.  Let me explain…

In 1952, General Mills (owner of Betty Crocker) released Betty’s first cake mix.  The business world was abuzz with what was thought would revolutionise the way people baked and would fast become “the next big thing”.  But when sales didn’t take off, the execs hired business psychologists to conduct research to find the source of the problem.  And the problem, according to the experts, was the egg.

At a breakthrough focus group, it emerged that housewives felt that they were cutting too many corners; they felt guilty, almost as if they werecheating,because the products were just too easy. In response to this, Betty Crocker’s business psychologists came up with a plan… they took out the egg.  Yes, they simply removed the powdered egg from the mix, put an instruction on the packet that the housewife should add one freshly beaten egg, and suddenly the product began flying off the shelves. Today, amazingly, we still have to add that darn egg.

So, what can we, as successful Project Managers, learn from Betty Crocker’s story?

1.  Understand the user experience

Often what seems obvious to management or decision makers is very different to the end users.  Be thorough in your analysis, facilitate open discussions and assume nothing!

Don’t underestimate the value placed by a person on their role and their processes.

Enabling the housewife to add eggs made the process feel more authentic and so enabling her to feel successful as a homemaker and cook.  A small change in the workplace can make a big difference to employee feelings of stability and security.  Be perceptive, monitor behaviour and closely manage change.

2.  Involvement is critical

Greater client involvement, across all key sects of the business, increases their buy-in and therefore their sense of loyalty and ownership of the product.  If you want real business adoption, think about how you are involving the user and leaving them feeling engaged.

3.  Be adaptable

It’s not enough simply creating a goal, developing a plan and executing it.  Business and market conditions are often variable, especially during the course of large-scale projects.  Project managers should frequently review and revise the project plan, to ensure team learnings are integrated along the way and performance remains on track to meet the greater objectives.

And next time you’re rolling out a project, remember the story of Betty Crocker’s egg. She’s proven that if you can always keep the end user in mind, you can have your cake and eat it too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Fisher is the Information Management Director at Velrada, and has over 20 years of experience in ICT enabled IM transformation project work. Andrew has a strong consulting and services delivery expertise across specialities such as Portals & Collaboration, Information Management, Enterprise Content Management, and Document and Records Management. He is currently leading a team to implement a number of integrated case management and business intelligence solutions in both the public and private sectors.

What Does The “Generation Gap” Mean?



The phrase “generation gap” implies that a great chasm exists between the old and the young, and that it must be immensely difficult to overcome. Kingsley Davis first wrote about it (in a business sense) in 1940. He thought that rapid social change was responsible for this parent-child-youth type of conflict. His initial article spurred a massive amount of research about the generation gap, with a range of results.

There is a perception that one generation is vastly different from the other in terms of values, attitudes, and lifestyle; that cross-generationally, we do not have things in common. When we step back and really examine the situation however, although the conditions do exist, they are actually not that common. What we see are the ways that previous generations have great influence on younger generations despite also having differences, and the ongoing idea that each generation cannot possibly meet the needs of the other.

As a result, we need to view the gap as something that is far shallower and less confrontational than the media or business writers generally portray. In reality, both in the workplace and at home, there is lots of reciprocity between the generations, especially once they come to know and understand one another, even just a little.

The presence of difference comes out of several things that we know for sure. For example, there are currently four, and sometimes even five generations, working in one place. Each generation has specific defining characteristics about how they approach life, not just work.

Here is the breakdown:

Silent Generation (sometimes called Radio Babies), born 1930-1945.
Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964 in the US, to 1966 in Canada, to 1971 in the United Kingdom.
Generation X, born 1965-1976.
Generation Y, born 1977-1985.
Millennials, born 1986 and later.

There was a period in the late 1990s when managers would hire just about anyone with a heartbeat to fill a position. At that time, the United States was short approximately three to four million workers. By 2010, they will be short 10 million workers because the shift of Baby Boomers out of the workforce will continue, and there are far less people coming behind them.

In addition to what is a purely physical numbers game, there are other things to consider. About 80% of people in the workforce don’t want to go to work at the beginning of their workweek, and 97% of them would change occupations if they became financially independent.

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Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.

Don’t Gossip at Work


Let’s face it. We all love a good gossiping session. We love to talk about what other people are doing or what they have done when it has nothing to do with us. It is what workers do when they have nothing better else to do or they are in a mindless job. Because they are in a job that doesn’t require much thinking, they need something to stimulate their brain and so they occupy themselves with innate chatter and malicious stories.

The problem is, if you find yourself in a gossiping session and you don’t join in, your coworkers may see you as stuck up or taking sides. But really, the gossiping needs to stop with you. If you see something or hear something, don’t spread the gossip at all. And if you find yourself in a gossiping session, look as though you are gossiping without ever doing it. Don’t add to the conversation just say “Oh ok, I didn’t know that” and leave it there.

The problem with gossiping is not only that it can all be false information and is far from the truth, but if others see that you are gossiping, they are less likely to trust you. But if you don’t go about spreading gossip, your colleagues will see you as a loyal friend and someone that they can confide in and who wont go about spreading the information.

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Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.

Why it isn’t worth arguing at work


One thing I have learnt in my career is that arguing with someone, especially when you know all too well that your right, just does not work. I’m not referring only to your colleagues, but also to senior level management, key stakeholders and your clients. There may be a number of instances when your at work, and you completely disagree with what someone says or proposes to do and vice versa.

Unfortunately in our society, people have adopted this attitude that the world revolves around themselves and that admitting to being in the wrong displays a sense of weakness. Therefore naturally what do we do? Well we argue back ofcourse! This creates tension and distrust in the office making it ever more difficult to work further with someone you have had a disagreement with and both parties remain stubborn.

Is it really worth arguing at work with someone? Really? Is it? Well, the short terms gains may be you prove the other person wrong and you walk away with your head held high. But there are no long term gains. Do you think that person who you humiliated and proved wrong by arguing with them, is going to back you up when the boss asks for referrals for a promotion? Well, unlikely.

Dale Carnegie once said in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People:

“A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still”

Even if you prove to someone that they are wrong, but more importantly you do it against their will by arguing, they will still walk away thinking that they were still in the right. It really isn’t worth arguing,. You end up making the other person even more convinced than ever, that they were right.

So, what should you do instead of arguing? Well firstly hear the other person out. Commend them on their idea/opinion/plan whatever it may be. That is, acknowledge them. Then say that adding on from what they say, you feel/believe (not your opinion is) that…….then say but I could be wrong, I usually am. And there you have it, humility shown at its finest. The other person will see the humility shown and you have already boosted their ego by actually acknowledging them, therefore they will be more likely to hear your opinion and may even be persuaded.

Why we feel nervous on the first day of a new job, by Matthew Coppola



Yesterday I started my first day on the job at a job find company in Victoria. Although it was only an internal transfer for the same position with the same company, I still felt nervous, timid and shy around my new fellow colleagues. I understand now just what its like for my job seekers when they start a new job. The emotions that they would be going through and how hard it can be to get back into the workforce especially if they have been out of work for quite some time. It is a big change and can be a stressful period in ones life.  Similar to the emotions involved in moving houses, changing jobs is just as stressful, if not worse. But why is it that we feel nervous on the first day on the job?

There are number of reasons why we feel nervous on the first day of our new job. Even today I had first hand experience with what it felt like to start working in a new office with new coworkers I have never met before until today. It was extremely nerve racking. I made the biggest mistake in the beginning. I accidentally arrived to work late and so I was stressed in the morning to begin with. I now see why it is extremely important to go visit the new workplace before a job start, say the day before, so then in the morning you wont be stressed and will know exactly how long it will take to get to work and where to park. But thankfully I soon forgot about being late after apologizing and explaining my reason why. I was also nervous because everyone knew eachother and they had built up this team culture and felt so comfortable around eachother. But I realized that they werent going to change to fit in with me. I had to change to fit in with them. I made sure that I introduced myself to everyone in the office and that I joined in with conversation and laughter the team were having. Because I made the effort to be part of their team culture, they made the effort to warmly welcome me.

Then by the end of the day it struck me! I finally realized why we always feel nervous when starting a new job. Its because it means change for us and moving away from what we are familiar with. In Psychology, we learn that the brain loves the familiar. When we move out of our comfort zone it can create a real shock to our brain. For instance, why is it that we always feel comfortable in our own bed then in someone else? And its for that very reason. So to really overcome the tensions and anxieties in starting a new job, we need to make an earnest effort to get to know our fellow colleagues and show interest in the workplace environment and culture.

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Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.

Why do business development professionals struggle with administrative work?



Put me in the spotlight in front business professionals and I will flourish. Put me on the phone to a prospective client and I will organize a meeting with them. Put me in front of a client who wants to order 10 of your company’s product and I will persuade him to order twice as much. But put paperwork and administrative duties in front of me and I wont be able to cope. Does this sound like you?

If you answered yes, well your not alone! Most salespeople and business development professionals struggle at coping with admin work. This part of the gig usually makes up 30% of a salesperson’s role, however some positions may require more time depending on the industry and the level of compliance required.

Despite this being shortfall of most people in sales, it is something that needs to be done and unfortunately wont go away. I for myself will admit this is something I need to work on in my personal development including having effective time management skills. There are sales roles out there that do not require much administrative work, just as long as you can talk the talk, you will be fine. However, there are some jobs like I mentioned earlier which require more of your working week dedicated to administrative duties,. These can include positions in semi Government companies and also roles where everything needs to be documented and compliance is king.

But if you find yourself in a sales role where you are struggling with the level of administration work required, then it is best to resign and find another role which  you can sell and build business relationships till the cows come home and still be on top your admin work.

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Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.