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Emily Kennon

How to support your employees during lockdown

By Blog, Employer

Lockdown is an uncertain time for everyone, and each time it happens it brings huge changes to every part of our lives. Depending on your business, there’s a chance your staff are working fully from home – or are required to adhere to a bunch of new working practices if they are on site.

This shift brings both physical and social challenges for your employees and it is critical that you show your staff extra support to get through this lockdown successfully.

Try our top 5 tips for supporting your staff during lockdown:

Tip 1: Keep communication lines open

Maintaining regular communication with your staff during lockdown will let them know that you’re still supporting them, even from afar. Try to check-in with each team member via text or email, or organise a team zoom meeting or two as a chance to catch-up on both work and life. Chatting to your staff face-to-face, or screen-to-screen, via an app like zoom allows you to maintain a great connection with them without physically seeing them in the office. If they are working on site under Covid-safe restrictions, make sure they fully understand what they are required to do and feel comfortable with it.

Tip 2: Ensure your team is work from home ready

If you haven’t done so already, check your staff’s working-from-home set up is suitable and allows them to work effectively. Working from home comes with physical challenges as your staff must move their permanent work setup to a more temporary working space at home. If your staff work on laptops then this is an easy fix, but for employees that need to access a monitor or multiple screens it’s important that these are relocated to their home, or alternatives are arranged for them. Keeping employees’ home setup as much like what they had access to in the office will allow them to continue working productively and bring a sense of familiarity to such an uncertain time.

Tip 3: Respect work-life balance 

Remember that being at home for a lot of your staff means extra responsibilities such as teaching or looking after their school-aged children, and making extra meals for their family each day. And that is hard work. You may think that your staff will have extra time to smash out their work, but it’s important to respect that they still have busy lives outside of their work duties and work-life balance is more important than ever for lockdown survival. Encourage your team to continue taking their designated lunch break, get outside for a walk in the sunshine and to log off from their work computer after working hours.

Tip 4: Focus on the positives

While lockdown certainly brings its fair share of challenges to the workplace, it’s important to remember that there are some benefits to both you and your staff working from home. Your staff will save time not having to commute to and from work each day, the usual distractions of the office won’t be present and the flexibility of working from home will allow your staff to manage their own time, while spending more time with family. In fact, 78 per cent of Australian staff believe they’re just as (or more) productive working from home.

Tip 5: Keep an eye on your own mental health

Finally, it’s impossible to support a team of staff without making sure that your own mental and physical wellbeing is on track. This is a tough period; be gentle with yourself. Maintain catchups with your own manager, or other members of staff, for a chance to check-in on how you’re going during this uncertain time. Get outside, spend time with family, and make sure to step away from work each day to just relax.

How to use hashtags on Instagram to grow your small business

By Blog, Employer

Using hashtags on Instagram is a quick and easy way to reach new audiences, increase engagement and expand your business potential. Business coach Alison Morgan shares her top six tips on how to use hashtags to grow your business.

Tip 1: Use 15 hashtags per post

Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags per post, with 15 being the recommended amount to use. Whether you place these hashtags in the body of your Instagram caption, or in the comments of your post, does not matter: it won’t affect engagement. However, many businesses choose to place them in the comments in order to keep their captions looking clean and professional.

Tip 2: Create business-specific hashtags to increase your reach

By creating and using hashtags that are relevant to your business you will be able to reach a whole new audience – even those who are not following you. This is because Instagram allows users to search for specific hashtags and then view posts under that hashtag in their own feed, similar to the Instagram home page. By making use of hashtags that are relevant to your brand and what you are posting you will be discoverable to the right audience.

Tip 3: Produce 7 bundles of hashtags and use them on rotation

Instagram can penalise you for repeatedly using the same hashtags on your posts. To avoid this, Alison recommends creating seven bundles of varying hashtags that can be used on different days of the week – so one bundle of hashtags per day. These bundles can contain up to 30 hashtags each, and preferably should include a minimum of 15. By creating these bundles, you will be able to reach new audiences and grow your presence across Instagram.

Tip 4: Ensure your hashtags are specific

Using hashtags that are too broad and used often can mean that your posts get lost among others. Instead, it is important to keep your hashtags specific, so that your audience can easily find you. For example, if you run a café and use the hashtag #cafe, you will be competing with cafes from around the world. Instead, use more specific hashtags such as #cafesydney or #sydneycbdcafe. By making sure your hashtags are specific to your industry, location or community, your audience will be more likely to find your business.

Tip 5: Understand your target audience and create hashtags relevant to them

Alison emphasises the importance of understanding your target audience in order to get the most out of Instagram, and using hashtags to grow your business. The target audience of your business is those who are interested in your relevant industry, so it’s likely that they would follow hashtags related to the industry. This gives you the opportunity to take advantage of these hashtags, to make sure you are reaching the right people. For example, if you work as makeup artist, it is likely that your target audience would be interested in makeup, and may follow hashtags such as #makeupinspo, #makeupartistsydney or #sydneymakeupartists. Be specific when we can.

Tip 6: Use online hashtag generators

Online automated hashtag generators are a great resource to find hashtags relevant to your business. These generators allow you to search for a broader hashtag e.g. #cafe and will then give you similar, more specific hashtags to use. Make sure you pick the most relevant hashtags from your list and include any standout hashtags in your hashtag bundles moving forward.

Fun fact: The most popular hashtag on Instagram is #love, with over 2 billion posts.

How to get a job in Sydney with no experience

By Blog

Finding a job in Sydney with no experience can be challenging task, because your experience is one of the main things employers look at when hiring.  Yet regardless of your experience levels – even if they none or minimal – by properly presenting the skills you do have to a potential employer, and maximising on work experience opportunities available, scoring a job in Sydney on limited to no experience is still absolutely possible. Here’s how to do it.

Volunteer where you can

Volunteering proves to employers that you are dedicated to your chosen field – so much so that you are willing to give up your valuable time to improve your skills, broaden your knowledge and dive into the work itself. It’s estimated that approximately 3.6 million Australians volunteer for a non-for-profit or community organisation, equating to countless hours given back to the community. If you’re lacking experience, volunteering is an outstanding path to travel, and one that can help you make connections within your industry, seek practical advice from people employed in your desired field, and demonstrates to employers your ability to work cooperatively with others and seek new challenges. It is a credible way of adding real work experience to your resume.

Structure your resume to emphasise the skills you do have

So, you don’t have the experience that the job role seeks. Don’t let that stop you! When sending through your resume to a potential employer or creating a profile on a job site, make sure you structure your CV in a way that promotes what skills you do have. Capitalise on any qualifications you have, and also any secondary skills or experience in related fields that might be of benefit to the role – and there’s more than you might think! Relevant industry experience is anything that closely resembles the skills required to complete a job; in simpler terms, it is a credible example of you displaying the skills of the job itself. Be sure to highlight what soft skills you have – think of transferrable skills like time management, communication and teamwork to name a couple. While experience can be gained, these interpersonal skills are less easy to suddenly develop, and are often crucial in maintaining a proper workplace culture.

Look into the NSW Government’s work experience opportunities

To gain valuable experience in your chosen career path, consider looking into the NSW Government’s work experience opportunities available. Presented via career type, employment-seekers in Sydney can visit the New South Wales working and business website, and filter through the verified proposed opportunities available – from Department of Defence opportunities, through to Fire and Rescue work experience, or even experience at the Sydney Cricket Ground. This hub of information is valid, reliable, and state government-verified to help you add that all-important experience to your resume. The National Work Experience Programme is also another excellent opportunity and option to consider when seeking quality work experience. The program places participants in real-life, unpaid work experience placements, allowing jobseekers to demonstrate their skills to future employees, while gaining confidence and refining their skills. Something worth considering, and also a great initiative to pitch to potential employers, who can enjoy subsidies and benefits for participation.

Finding a job in Sydney – or anywhere for that matter – is achievable. By being proactive; volunteering where you can, emphasising your existing and secondary skills in related fields, and considering taking part in state and national work experience opportunities and programs, you’ll be in an excellent position to snap up the job you have always wanted, and be left in the mind of employers for future opportunities.

Create a profile on iwant2work.com to maximise your chances of finding a job.
Make sure your profile is complete, includes a headshot and sells your skills.

Is it hard to find a job in Sydney?

By Blog

Finding a job, particularly in a city as densely populated as Sydney, has often being dubbed a difficult task – especially when you are aiming to stand out among so many other job hunters. But is it really hard to find a job in Sydney? The short and simple answer is no. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, of Sydney’s approximately eight million people, only 5.6 per cent are unemployed. Even despite the turbulence of a global pandemic, there were around 82,700 job vacancies recorded in New South Wales in the November 2020 quarter, and new jobs continue to be created in 2021. The real test is navigating your way to one of those jobs available. Here’s what you should know.

There are more jobs than meet the eye

A study from the Wall Street Journal has found that around 80 per cent of job vacancies aren’t publicly advertised – meaning just because you think a company isn’t hiring, doesn’t mean they don’t have a position available. It’s known as “the hidden job market”, and this is where available positions are not formally posted online, and instead filled internally or by word-of-mouth recommendations. With this knowledge in mind, consider contacting an employer directly to introduce yourself, and outline how your knowledge and experience will be of benefit to their company. Career coach and speaker Nancy Collamer suggests that directly contacting an employer shows initiative, and makes you more likely to be remembered for future jobs. “Even if the place currently has a hiring freeze, you’ll be top of mind when positions do open up,” she says.

Work for a small business

Statistically and geographically speaking, small businesses reach far further than any other; making up a huge 98 per cent of all businesses in Australia. So if you’re finding it difficult to find a job in Sydney, turn your focus to the small business sector. An article from People 2 People suggests that small businesses are likely to market available positions a little differently to the larger corporations because they have a smaller pool of employees to consider promoting internally, so they often need to do so externally. Small businesses may advertise positions on their individual websites, local newspapers, Facebook or other social media platforms, or may even place a sign for an available job in their window – so keep your eyes peeled.

Network to find a job in Sydney

With Sydney’s beautiful cityscape and bustling streets comes ample opportunity to network and make connections with your own personal brand. In Collamer’s career guide article on Forbes, she says that networking operates on the cardinal rule of “give before you get”, and by making authentic connections with like-minded individuals, these people will be more likely to consider you for future job leads and share their personal industry knowledge. “Networking is about building genuine relationships, not asking for favours,” Collamer explains. Another simple way to keep growing your personal network within your desired industry is through LinkedIn; which is also the perfect avenue to market your employment experience in a clear, user-friendly way that shows your employer know that you are serious about a job in your preferred field.

While it is unlikely that finding a job in Sydney – especially your dream job – will ever be something considered ‘easy’, it is certainly not as hard as you may believe. By reaching out to companies directly, improving your networking skills and considering working for a small business, you are sure to leave yourself in good stead to land a job you enjoy in Sydney.

Want to know the easy way to find a job in Sydney? Sign up to iwant2work.com, create a profile, and let the employers come to you. You’ll also find plenty of other job hunting tips and advice.

 

 

how to take professional headshot on iphone

How to take a professional headshot (even with a phone)

By Blog, Job Seeker

If your professional profile has a headshot, you are 18 times more likely to be noticed by a potential employer. That’s why adding one to your profile is so important – but not everyone has a stash of professionally shot images ready to go. Fear not: it is possible to take a polished photo yourself at home, with these expert tips. You can even take a professional headshot with an iPhone.

Step 1: Enlist help from a friend

The first step in taking a professional headshot is figuring out the logistics of who is going to take the picture and how they will do it. Have a friend with a quality camera? Ask them to come over and take your headshot for you. It’s a great way to receive immediate feedback and saves time and the frustration of constantly changing camera angles. If you are creating your headshot solo, don’t panic. You can still ace the perfect picture by setting up your camera or smartphone on a tripod and using the timer feature.

Step 2: Find a location with great lighting

Lighting can make or break a headshot. Finding a location that makes a good backdrop and receives a great amount of natural light is crucial, because a cluttered background (think furniture or patterned wallpaper) can distract from your headshot. Our tip? Take your headshot in front of a window, and choose a clean one that lets in plenty of natural light. Set up your camera directly in front of the window and position yourself in front of the camera.

Step 3: Use make-up that compliments your skin tone

Your headshot should represent the real you. “For headshots, and especially for work, you need it to look like you,” professional makeup artist and hairstylist Melinda Wenig says. “It’s important not to go too heavy or glam when it comes to using make-up.” Steer clear of artificial light when applying, as it will affect your look. “Applying your make-up in front of natural light, as opposed to the harsh light of a bathroom, ensures your make-up works with the light and setting of where you will eventually be taking your photo,” Melinda explains. She also recommends matching your foundation to your chest rather than your face or neck for the best colour match. And keep it neutral. “Stick to neutral and earthy tones, such as browns, blush and peach colours,” Melinda says. “These will work to enhance your natural features, without becoming distracting.” Products with glitters, sparklers or highlighters can give off an unwanted shine in your photographs and produce flashback. “Instead, utilising matte products, such as a matte foundation, is a great option,” she says. Most importantly, wear make-up that makes you feel confident, because – as Melinda says – “make-up shouldn’t be the focus, it should be you”.

Step 4: Decide on styling

It’s important to dress for the setting of the headshot. For a headshot for a corporate setting, it’s best to keep it professional. A button-down shirt or blouse are suitable options and may be paired with a blazer or fitted jacket. Sticking to a simple neckline assures the attention is drawn to your face. Plain colours such as blues, greens and purples are your best choice, as they are universally flattering and won’t wash you out. Your hair should be styled neatly. “For your hairstyle, keep it smooth and simple, as too much texture can cause flyaways and can come across as messy,” Melinda says. If you’ll be wearing jewellery for your headshot, keep it simple and understated as statement jewellery can become a distraction.

Step 5: Get shooting

Once you are all ready and set up to take your headshot, it’s time to get into taking the photographs. Remember that it’s unlikely you’ll get the perfect shot the first time; practice makes perfect. Play around with different poses and angles, and opt for a photograph from your chest up. Your personality should be the main focus of a headshot and can be brought to life with some movement to achieve a candid, yet professional shot. “You want it to be a good representation of how you present in your everyday life,” Melinda says. Try standing at a slight angle to the camera and then turning your head towards the lens to achieve eye contact. If you’re taking your professional headshot on an iPhone, don’t forget to use a tripod if you can.

Step 6: Select the perfect picture

Now the photoshoot is complete it’s time to select your favourite photos and start the editing process. Once you have narrowed down your favourites, load them on to your phone or computer and use an editing app to enhance them if needed. You want the photo to be light and bright, focusing on you. “Your headshot should be framed from the chest up, with your face being the main focus,” Melinda says. Asking friends and family for their opinion is a great idea before selecting your final shot to use. Finally, load your new and improved professional headshot to your I Want 2 Work employee profile.

hiring employee for small business

How to find good employees for a small business

By Blog, Employer

Choosing employees who are qualified and committed to their role is of top priority to every employer – regardless of the size and scope of their business. But finding good employees for a small business is crucial, because a small team needs quality input from every member. Any business with less than 20 employees belongs to the small business sector, and a recent report found that small businesses account for a whopping 98 per cent of all businesses within Australia – and they employ 44 per cent of the country’s workforce. Despite such a vast number of businesses competing for good employees, marketing your small business to stand out, and finding reliable, quality employees can be easier than you’d think. Here’s how to do it.

 

Make your business alluring and motivating to potential employees


The first step to find good employees for your small business is to make sure the role you are advertising not only emphasises its benefits, but also what employees can gain from being part of your company as a whole. The What’s In It for Me’ strategy (otherwise known as WIIFM) is a simple and effective way of making your business more alluring, as it operates by clearly stating what someone stands to gain by the object or role that you are offering. In this case, the strategy would highlight how working for your small business would improve an employees’ skills in their field, provide future career progression opportunity and benefit an employee’s overall quality of life. Internationally recognised executive recruiter and search consultant, Stacy Pursell, attests to the importance of knowing what motivates and makes an individual feel valued, particularly when it comes to the hiring process within an organisation. “You should make it a priority to know what motivates those around you, especially those with whom you work,” she says. By emphasising the benefits and value of working within your small business, you are more likely to attract better employees who are eager to work for a company that values its staff.

Offer clear employment incentives

If you’re looking to attract high-quality, motivated staff, it’s important that the job you are offering is also high-quality, values the individual performing the role, and has room for career progression. An employee incentive plan is an excellent way to do this, as an employee can experience tangible benefits which are directly proportionate to being part of your small business. While there is an array of different incentive programs available, such as ‘share option plans’ or ‘performance right plans’, as a general rule, the employee incentive program works to provide equity between the employer and employee. If the employee’s position is one which values KPIs – Key Performance Indicators – then outlining the tangible rewards when numerous KPIs, such as sales, are achieved is an effective way to attract good employees. These employees would be eager to meet strategic objectives, and potentially climb the career ladder within your company when said objectives are met.

Nail your advertising strategy for the role

There’s no question that good employees who match your small business’ ethos and values are available, but finding them can be time consuming and tricky. According to a recent Forbes study, 86 per cent of consumers trust word-of-mouth marketing as opposed to any other form, so it’s a good strategy to get networking within your industry to source credible recommendations for good employees. Social media can also be useful to advertise the role, as can online employment marketplaces (tip: if you want to find your next employee for less than the price of a cup of coffee, create a job brief on IWant2Work. We’ll send the ideal candidates straight to your inbox).

There are myriad ways to find good employees for a small business, from offering clear employee incentives to emphasising your business’ motivating features. You’ll find more advice, including what questions to ask when conducting a job interview, at iwant2work.com.

job profiles group of young friends laughing

The new way to job search

By Blog, Job Seeker, Recent Articles

Hands up if you remember the last time you enjoyed a job search? Searching for a job is a long and tiring process that tests your self esteem (rejection letters, we’re looking at you. And that’s assuming you even hear back from the employer). And if you’re an employer looking to hire someone new, wading through CVs and fielding endless calls and emails is exhausting.

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Phone interview tips how to prepare I want 2 work male in suit holding mobile phone job interview business

The phone interview cheat sheet

By Blog, Job Seeker

Prepping for your upcoming phone interview and not sure what to expect? These five handy tips will help you nail it.

Phone interviews are typically the first stage of the interview process that you will go through when applying for a new job. Not only is it where you want to make a good first impression, it also solely relies on your verbal communication skills. Without face-to-face contact, body language and visual cues, a phone interview is vastly different and requires different prep.

The main purpose of a phone interview is to discover which job candidates are suitable to take to the next round of interviews. They are used to narrow down job candidates before more time and resources are invested by both parties. Employers don’t want to waste your time as much as they don’t want to waste theirs. So, if you find yourself approaching a phone interview, keep in mind that it could either get you to the next round or it may end your chances. For most of us this can be pretty daunting, but as long as you are prepared, you will be on your way to having a successful phone interview.

Here are our tips to help you succeed in a phone interview: Read More

6 Christmas themed jobs you never knew you wanted

By Blog, Job Seeker, Lifestyle, Seasonal

With Christmas around the corner, we thought we would get into the spirit and have some fun! It’s a great time of year for job seekers to land themselves a festive themed casual role. If you are one of those people who absolutely LOVE Christmas you need to listen up. We’ve done some research and found the best Christmas themed jobs in the world. Here are 6 Christmas themed jobs you never knew you wanted:

1. Christmas light detangler

Depending on what kind of person you are, you may love this job or hate it! We all know that packing away decorations is no where near as fun as putting them up. Therefore, getting the lights tangled is inevitably going to happen to pretty much all of us. It is so common that a Tesco supermarket in Wales put up a job advertisement for a ‘Christmas Light Untangler’ to offer untangling services for customers who brought in their Xmas lights!

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how to answer what are your weaknesses

How to best answer ‘What are your weaknesses?’

By Blog, Job Seeker

In your next job interview, there is a high possibility the interviewer will ask you about your strengths and weaknesses. Typically, an interview is where you are trying to impress someone to land a job, so why would you ever want to talk about your weaknesses? Unfortunately, it’s often just part of the process. When an interviewer asks you to talk about your weaknesses it not only is a question used for them to get to know you more, it also shows them how well you know yourself. This can be a tricky task, so when someone asks the dreaded question “what are your weaknesses?” here are our tips on the best answers to give.

Tip #1 – Reflect on your past work experiences to identify your weaknesses.

The first thing you’ll need to do is identify a few of your weaknesses to prepare for a job interview. This can sometimes be tricky. A good place to start is by looking at your responsibilities and tasks and ask yourself a few questions such as:

  • Do I struggle with anything?
  • Did I need to ask for assistance or help?
  • Am I stressed about any task in particular?
  • Did I make any mistakes?
  • Does something take more time for me to do than others around me?

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