Career Consulting Services

BLU RIPPLES CAREER COUNSELLING & CONSULTING SERVICES – WE ARE OPEN AND OPERATING DURING THE PANDEMIC

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Planning, Resume Writing Services    |    Comments Off on BLU RIPPLES CAREER COUNSELLING & CONSULTING SERVICES – WE ARE OPEN AND OPERATING DURING THE PANDEMIC
Blu Ripples Career Counselling and Consulting Services - We are Open during the Carona Virus Pandemic

Blu Ripples Career Counselling & Consulting Services (including Resume Writing Services) is open and running as normal through the Corona Virus pandemic and offering you or your loved one career services through the comfort and safety of your home via telephone or Zoom consultation.

So if you are considering your career options or maybe you have been made redundant and are seeking help to:-

Write or update your Resume or employment documentation
Explore your career options and pathways
Undertake some career or academic planning
Research the job market now and into the future; or
Provide outplacement services to your employees

Call us today and start a career conversation, there is no judgement here – just listening and support.

HELPING YOU THROUGH REDUNDANCY AND THE PANDEMIC

As an individual, I have been through redundancy myself and have also helped helped thousands of individuals over the years through career transition be it voluntary or forced (through redundancy or employment separation).

All I can say, is reach out and make the most of this time with a Career Counselling or Career Consulting session. Together we can analyse where you are now where you want to be in the future, develop a plan, take action steps so that you are ready to capture opportunities as they prepare themselves.

LABOUR MARKET CONSIDERATIONS

Remember the labour market maybe tighter now because so many individuals are out of work but it does not mean that there are no opportunities out there for you it just means need to be resourceful and possibly look at different options until the pandemic is over.

OTHER SERVICES AND RESOURCES

Finally, I believe it to be beneficial to mention that as a nationally registered Counsellor (with the Australian Counselling Association), I am also in a position to provide Personal Counselling Services to clients who maybe struggling with fears, worries or general anxiety as a result of the changes that are occurring as a result of the pandemic – so if you are struggling and want to talk – I am here

For those in the Defence Force – I am able to provided Career Counselling and Employment Assistance Services to Defence Spouses and Partners through the PEAP Program so make use of this program through your self-isolation or lock-down time and be ready to jump when opportunities present themselves.

You can contact me on 1300 300 557 or via e-mail at info@bluripples.com.au

Stay safe everyone and if you do get the virus please self-isolate.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW. Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type.


WHERE AM I GOING WRONG? RESUME WRITING SKILLS 101

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Resume Writing Skills 101 - Blu Ripples

RESUME WRITING SKILLS 101 – Providing you with Resume insights, hints and tips to help you out of your Job-Search rut

In March 2018, I wrote a popular blog article entitled “Resume Writing Services – The Low Down” in which I shared 5 Hints and Tips for sourcing a professional Resume Writer.

Over the last few days, I was contacted by an acquaintance in one of my social media groups seeking some career guidance as they felt they had hit a brick wall with regards to their job search.

Been the professional helper that I am, I encouraged this individual to send me through a copy of their Resume to see where they were going wrong.

In addition to the above social media acquaintance, I also provided some Resume Critiquing Services to a new client whom stated they were not receiving any responses to their existing employment document and sought my feedback as to the possible cause.

The key aspect where these two individuals went wrong is in my professional opinion was both the layout and content of the document; which truth be told is not that uncommon.

IMPROVING THE LAYOUT AND CONTENT OF YOUR RESUME

From my perspective, “the layout and content of a Resume – CV is like the perfect little black dress or suit; that is, the Resume should be designed to highlight your best assets in terms of your professional experiences, strengths, achievements and functionalities”.

Now just like the perfect little black dress or suit, your Resume-CV can be accessorized to suit the occasion; that is not every single piece of employment and academia needs to be included on the document; rather you should carefully strategize which pieces of information you include on your Resume or CV with the sole purpose of providing enough information to capture the readers interest but not so much that you overwhelm them and cause them to loose interest and dump your application because it lost its appeal.

Providing the right balance of information in a smart professional document is an art form in itself.

5 TIPS TO WRITING A COMPELLING CV-RESUME

As outlined in my blog post entitled “Writing a Clear and Concise CV- Resume (Part 2), posted in September 2010; there are 5 Key aspects to writing a compelling CV-Resume; been: –

  • Keep it to an optimal 3- 5 pages (never more than 5)
  • Do not include discriminatory information e.g. dates of birth, marital status and interests
  • Keep it clean clear, concise and consistent (ones 4 C’s approach)
  • Highlight your assets in terms of qualifications, skills, achievements, projects, affiliations etc.
  • Always clarify your statements to quantify your achievements

In today’s world when there is so many so-called professional Resume Writers, Job Coaches, Career Counsellors, Consultants and Development Specialist spruIking their wares it is hard to sort the chaff from the wheat in terms of quality Resume guidance.

FOCUS ON TELLING YOUR NARRATIVE IN A PROFESSIONAL MANNER

My philosophy has always been to keep it simple (layout) and professional so that it flows easily and to follow my 4C’s approach; you see as an individual with a background and qualifications in Human Resources coupled with nearly 2 decades in writing Resumes for individuals (from first casual positions through to global management) I know and understand that management, Human Resources and Recruitment Consultants base decisions on facts – cold hard black and white facts, utilizing a skills matrix system.  That is, there is a high degree of detachment when making recruitment and selection decisions based solely on how you meet and/or exceed their criterion. 

Therefore it is imperative to understand that if you fail to present yourself in a professional manner with the likes of clip art, photos, multi coloured fonts and borders etc – employers, HR and recruiters are going to start focusing on what you are trying to hide or where you do not meet their standards in terms of criterion rather than what you can do and have achieved; in short this will put you on the back foot and do you a disservice.

So forget the tacky clip art, pictures, fonts, borders and information that will discriminate and focus on telling the professional narrative (story) of you; that is: –

  • What are your 3 to 4 key areas of expertise
  • What are your key transferable skills in relation to the position
  • What makes you stand out from the rest of the candidates; and
  • Why should they hire you

Focus on this and you will be in with a chance; provide them with a tacky and ill-written Resume – expect to be discarded or at the very best be put at the bottom of the pile and only looked at when other quality candidates have be reviewed and eliminated – don’t be someone’s’ last resort – make yourself shine and encourage the reader to call you because you can demonstrate how you meet their criteria.

In closing, I hope that the above Resume Writing Hints and Tips and have provided you with some meaningful Resume guidance and direction; if you have any questions or seek some feedback in relation to your existing Resume please contact me via e-mail or telephone – listed on the contact page.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW. Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.


Key Transferable Skills Report – A New Career Counselling Service

    Posted in Aptitude Testing, Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Planning, Key Transferable Skills    |    Comments Off on Key Transferable Skills Report – A New Career Counselling Service

Key Transferable Skills Report - Blu Ripples

INTRODUCING OUR KEY TRANSFERABLE SKILLS REPORT

As part of the Resume Writing Process, I frequently ask clients to identify their Key Transferable Skills and their perceived areas of expertise.

Regardless of the clients’ career life stage, I frequently find that they stumble at this point.

The principal reason for this pertains to objectivity; and whilst we may undertake a role for a particular period of time there is little time for reflections or as clients so frequently state “Katherine, I just get on and do the job; I don’t think of my role in these terms”.

And there in lies a major issue when it comes to the job search and interview process.  That is, regardless of your title and the number of years you have been in the work force it is imperative to know who you are, what you bring to the table and your development requirements in order to effectively pursue and achieve your career goals.

Whilst, I have previously created Key Transferable Skills Reports for Spouses of Defence Force personnel; and I have helped thousands of individuals identify their transferable skills through my Career Consulting – Resume Writing Services (since 2003); one has identified a niche area and is excited to launch our Key Transferable Skills Report which is accessible to all individuals of legal working age and above whom have held at least one position.

To find out more – click on Key Transferable Skills Report

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW.  Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.


CAREER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT FOR REGIONAL AND RURAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Career Planning, Key Transferable Skills, Labour Markets, Psychometric Profiling (Testing), Resume Writing Services    |    Comments Off on CAREER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT FOR REGIONAL AND RURAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS

Career Planning and Development

CAREER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Career Guidance and Advice, for Regional and Rural Community Members

As a Career Development Specialist and Counsellor whom lives and works in Port Stephens, a regional area on the NSW North Coast, one has facilitated numerous regional and rural clients since 2012 to identify and explore career options and pathways and as such understands the challenges and opportunities that come from living in areas outside of major CBD locations.

Whilst it is true that the volume of opportunities is not the same as a major CBD location such as Sydney; it does not mean that opportunities do not exist.  It simply means that regional and rural community members need to dig a little deeper, explore labour market statistics in more detail, identify and respond to opportunities and possibly make a few more compromises in relation to their desired outcome(s) for example embracing portfolio careers (having several part time or casual positions) rather than traditional full time 9 to 5 positions.

Career Planning and Development – Where to Start?

Like their major city counterparts regional and rural community members need to: –

  • Establish baselines
  • Expand and challenge their mindset
  • Think outside the square
  • Determine their career interests, employment needs and wants
  • Determine the needs, current and future employment opportunities of the local and/or surrounding communities
  • Ask themselves a variety of career and employment related questions such as: –
  • Are my career and/or academic objectives realistic?
  • Will my actual or intended academic pathway provide a return on investment?
  • Do I really want to work in this position – industry? Why?
  • Am I willing to relocate (intrastate, interstate or overseas) to achieve my career goal?
  • What are my alternative career options and pathways?
  • What are the top employment industries and employers in my area?
  • Am I willing to work for myself or would I prefer to be employed by someone?
  • Do I have the skills, knowledge, qualifications and experiences to start my own business or work as an independent contractor?
  • What are the niche employment markets in my area and how can I capitalise on these? That is ask yourself – what products, services, industries are over or under represented in your area and how can you market yourself to capture appropriate opportunities
  • Is it best to market myself as a generalist or a specialist my chosen field?

Where are the employment – job opportunities?

Just like each individual, each regional and rural area across Australia has its strengths, areas of growth and opportunities for community members.

In the 7+ years one has lived in Port Stephens NSW with ones’ husband; over this timeframe we have noticed a lot of change and growth in our suburb and surrounding area; in fact, we have seen the area progress with: –

  • New Shopping Centre Complexes
  • New residential and commercial building lot releases; subsequent construction of establishments
  • Expansion of the nearby RAAF base
  • Procurement of land for aged care and educational facilities
  • Commencement of construction of a local sporting complex
  • A Customs facility been built and utilised at Newcastle Airport and over the Christmas period (18/19) saw the trial of direct flights to New Zealand from Newcastle NSW – the facilities are there now – so what does this mean for the longer term? Is this a possible new international airport base in NSW ( even if it only services Pacific and Asia)– if so just imagine the jobs this will create for the area not only in Tourism and Transport but in other supporting and/or complementary industries

All of this within a 10 or so minute drive of our home; thus, when reading the above information – what does this tell you about this particular region?

From ones’ perspective, when analysing these changes in terms of employment industries the obvious industry that is booming in the area at the moment is Construction; which just so happens to be a top 3 industry across Australia and within Port Stephens (based on latest labour market statistic information).

Occupations that fall within the construction industry include Electrician, Painter, Tiler, Project Manager, Construction – Site Manager, Labourer, Excavator Operator, Fencer, Surveyor, Plumber, Building Estimator, Building Inspector, Pest Inspector, Carpenter and Joiner.

However, just like any other industry there is a myriad of occupations and industries that complement and/or support the Construction industry both during the planning and construction phase and post construction (in terms of providing products and services to residents and the border community) for example: –

  • Administration, Secretarial and Bookkeeping Services
  • Architects and Landscape Architects
  • Engineers and Draftspersons
  • Medical and Allied Health Professionals e.g. Doctors, Psychologists, Counsellors, Social Workers, Mental Health Professionals, Rehabilitation Therapists
  • Retails Managers and Shop Assistants
  • Personal Services e.g. Handyman and Cleaners
  • Tourism e.g. Accommodation for workers whom live out-side the region
  • Business Services – Human Resource Managers, Accountants, Marketing Professional, Information Technology professionals, safety specialists
  • Education – Teachers, Childcare Workers, Librarians, Career Guidance Advisors, Teachers’ Aides, Lollypop (Traffic Control) professionals.

Sometimes we become so stuck in our particular mindset of I want to be this, I want to earn so much per week, I don’t want to work in that location and/or even that we are above a particular position or industry that we fail to see the opportunities right in front of us.

As one highlighted through the above summary, opportunities do exist in regional and rural areas; it may be that we just need to take a step back and clearly look at our marketplace (what is happening in our region) in greater detail – to do a little more digging (research) and analysis to find out what the opportunities are in order to ascertain where you fit – be it marketing yourself and your unique skill base as an employee or independent worker to capture the market or better yet the niche in the market.

Digging a Little Deeper

As previously discussed, opportunities do exist in rural and regional areas however a little more digging maybe required to find out where you fit in the grand scheme of things.

One way to start, digging a little deeper, is to research your regions labour – employment market statistics; there is a wealth of free and paid information on the internet.

In fact, in researching data for this article, one found (online) a letter dated 10th March 2017 from Port Stephens Council to Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee – Parliament House Canberra; supporting the relocation of government bodies to regional areas.

In the aforementioned correspondence the author (Mr. Wayne Wallis) stated that “the Hunter Region has been experiencing economic restructuring with a shift away from traditional goods-producing sectors like mining and manufacturing to high value added knowledge based service sectors”.

Ones’ interpretation of this commentary is that councils in the Hunter region are strategizing and actioning change management plans to shift the employment market, of their respective areas, to a high quality knowledge base sectors such as Information Technology, Accounting, Counselling, Business Management, Medical and Allied Health, Education and Training and moving away from sectors such as Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity and Gas.

Thus, whilst the current labour market in this region maybe goods-producing at present; those considering their career options and pathways would be wise to take this commentary on board and plan for the future rather making decisions based on todays’ (current) needs.

Remember it takes time to study and gain experience and when you have completed any training it is important that the jobs are available in your region, a region close by or that you can develop online services to target the wider community in order to support yourself in your preferred residential location – community.

In closing, as one has clearly articulated throughout this article; each regional and rural area in Australia is different.  However, if you are prepared to do some research and analysis, observe the current services and industries in your area, identify the shortfalls and develop a service or product to meet these needs as an independent worker; or conversely if you can tailor your training and employment documentation (Resume-CV) to the needs of employers through the clear representation of your key transferable skills, knowledge and experiences you will be in front of the competition.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW.  Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.


Career Counselling – Understanding Labour Markets in the Job Search Process

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Development Report, Career Planning, Labour Markets, Resume Writing Services    |    Comments Off on Career Counselling – Understanding Labour Markets in the Job Search Process

Career Counselling - Understanding Labour Markets - Job Search

Labour Market Statistical Analysis, once the domain of Human Resource departments and recruitment organisations for the purpose of identifying, exploring and capturing talent, to structure remuneration (pay) and benefit frameworks to obtain and retain talent; to identify current and emerging labour market trends to navigate an organisation forward in an ever-changing workforce. Labour Market knowledge and the application of same was and still is an imperative functionality of the recruitment, selection and talent management process.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND

Thus, it is imperative that individuals particularly job seekers understand the fundamentals of labour markets in order to effectively identify and capture opportunities and negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment.

Whilst many may be aware of the current national unemployment rate, 5.4% (June 2018), and that currently more jobs are been created thus consistently decreasing the unemployment rate over a period of time. That is usually where the average individuals’ knowledge stops with respect to labour market knowledge.

AVAILABLE LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION

Did you know that it is possible for the average individual to source and review a wealth of labour market statistics at the click of a mouse for example it is easy for you to:- Read More


Finding the Right Career Path for You

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Development Report, Career Interest Testing, Career Planning, Psychometric Profiling (Testing), Resume Writing Services    |    Comments Off on Finding the Right Career Path for You

Have you ever wondered what it is like to find the right career pathway for you, to find your passion?

Over the last couple of weeks I have had the privilege to work with two such individuals.

The first soul whom cam to see me, came to have a Career Development Report produced.  The individual soul in question came to me with some firm ideas about what they wanted to do but at the end of the psychometric assessment process had their interest piques in a totally new area; you could say their perspective or awareness was awakened.  So much so that the individual soul telephoned me a copy of time before the delivery of their report and told me that they had discovered a firm interest in Primary Education as a result of the psychometric profiling session and had subsequently taken action and applied to university to do a bridging course in preparation for study next year; and now was just waiting to have the report delivered to put the final pieces of the puzzle into place.

The second soul whom came to see me, had already transitioned into her passion (new career) a couple of years before hand and sought help to prepare her employment documentation for the next strategic career move.

Interestingly both souls were in their 40’s, the first in their early 40’s the second in their late forties.

At a time when most of us can become stuck nay bogged down in our career and life, because of life circumstances and/our mindset. These two individual souls broke the glass ceiling or pushed their way through the mud and reached new peaks, dispelling fears about starting over and/or not gaining employment because they were “too old” they simply established their goals and moved forward with confidence, determination and vigour.

So looking back at both of these souls what are the 3 qualities they displayed and how can we learn from them Read More


Career Counselling – Coping with Employment Termination and Redundancy

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development Report, Career Interest Testing, Career Planning, Labour Markets    |    Comments Off on Career Counselling – Coping with Employment Termination and Redundancy

According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) media release dated 19 April 2018, the national labour force participation rate is at an all time high of 65.7% which means that more individuals aged 15 to 64 years are working now more than ever before.

Whilst the above is good news for our economy there is also the flip side of employment and the world of work.  That is, the need to address underemployment, retrenchments and terminations and the associated impact of same.

In the most recent ABS – Labour Market Statistics Report (July 2014) it was noted that 2 million individuals ceased their job in the 12 months to Feb 2013.  Of those 2 million individuals, 19% or 381,000 were retrenched or made redundant.

Thus, over the course of your career life cycle it is inevitable that at some point in your career you will experience this transitional period.  In fact, many clients have reported that they have experienced this period 2, 3, 4 or more times over the course of their career.

Thus, whilst you may perceive redundancy and/or termination to be taboo, embarrassing, humiliating or a hush hush topic in fact Read More


Resume Writing Services – The Low Down

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Resume Writing Services    |    Comments Off on Resume Writing Services – The Low Down

In the early 2000’s when I first started my then HR Consultancy specialising in Employment Documentation (Resume, Selection Criteria and Cover Letter), Personality Profiling and HR Consultancy Services for individuals and small businesses the internet was in it’s infancy and I remember Google contacting me at the time trying hard to sell advertising on this new platform for approximately 20c per click; at the time there was not even 1 full Google page of Resume Writers listed in the Sydney region.

Fast forward 15+ years and Google advertising has significantly increased from these emerging market pricing structures and as for the volume of Resume Writers advertising on Google well now there are frequently 10+ pages of advertises for one suburb or region let alone nationally or globally; not to mention other online platforms and traditional advertising sources.  The Resume Writing Services market has boomed over this period; but with this boom comes consumer confusion in relation to the quality of services, relevance, ethics and qualifications of professionals in the field.

Thus, the question becomes: –

How can the average consumer determine the value and merit of a Resume Writing Service? Read More