“Thank for a great experience from the time I walked in the door”

Ellen-Maree Gadd
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For more information:
Stephen Crowe

Managing Director

Ph: 02 8042 8907

[email protected]


When it comes to your resume, what does it really say about you?

Chances are if you have whipped together your resume in haste with no structure, not enough information or without your most up-to-date contact information, your application will go no further than a rejection email. The employer will review the resume and see your feeble attempt, and make the assumption that you don’t care about the role you are applying for.

I remember when I was applying for jobs, before I began my role at Challenge, I was not getting as many calls as I would have liked. I asked a colleague for their feedback on my resume. And wow did my resume get dissected! Because I hadn’t kept my resume up-to-date, it now looked like a hodgepodge of information chucked together without any consistency. I made the recommended updates, and my goodness did it make a difference. It felt like a whole new me, a fresh start, which was perfect as I was changing my career path. So now even though I don’t plan on changing jobs anytime soon, I keep my resume up-to-date, to ensure I am ready to put my best foot forward and sell my skills.

In my role at Challenge Consulting I see many, many people making the same simple careless resume mistakes that I did. I think these simple mistakes were based summarised in a recent post by Heather R. Huhman on Careeralism

1. Forgetting to proofread – Typos, misspelled words, and bad grammar mistakes can make a hiring manager think you’re careless or won’t pay attention to details on the job. Don’t get overlooked for something that you could have changed in the first place by taking your time to proofread and carefully select the words that best describe you and your experience to date.

2. Including too much information – Including too much information can make employers think you aren’t able to write clearly and concisely. The purpose of the resume is to share your skills and achievements that are relevant to the job you are applying for, you do not need to tell your whole life story. Include the essential information, for the most relevant positions, and keep it clear and succinct.

3. Poorly organised – A busy, cluttered resume may make others think you are unorganised and scatterbrained on the job. Make sure your information flows – include a summary, your educational history (putting most recent education at the top of the list), your employment history in date order from most recent as well as any skills, hobbies and references at the end.

4. Sending the same document for every job opening – This shows you aren’t great at adapting. Show the future employer you know what they need and you are the one who can help them fill that need. Tailor your resume to include the skills and attributes that are suitable to the role you are applying.

5. Using an inappropriate name for your email – it is incredible how many people make this careless, rookie error. What may seem funny or harmless for your friends, how do you expect the employer to take you seriously for a role? I actually found it easier to manage a personal email and a corporate email address so that I could better manage responses that were related to employment opportunities.

6. Including incorrect or false information – As stated before it can make the employer assume that you haven’t updated your resume information or even worse, they may assume that you are not being entirely honest.

When was the last time you looked at your resume or had someone else give you the critique you need to stand out in the crowd? Take the chance today to look at your resume with fresh eyes, and ask – what does your resume say about you?

Need more assistance with your resume? Did you know Challenge Consulting offers a CV Writing service – click here for more information.

What have you done to your resume to promote your brand and help you get your foot in the door for an interview? Or have you been in a situation where you have been told to update your resume?


Earlier this year I covered an article on Getting Outside Of Your Comfort Zone Is Often How We Grow which I think applies to the theme for this month on change. I also covered an article last year on What are your transferable skills and how can you sell them? Which I think is important especially if you are thinking of changing careers. But what happens after the change takes place? What are the next steps once you have made that career change?

Sometimes we get caught in the trap of believing once we have changed jobs, taken a promotion, or been given greater responsibility or a pay rise that suddenly it will all be “happily ever after”. Fortunately, or unfortunately, life does indeed go on.

I made the decision to change careers, which was definitely the right choice for me. But what do I miss?

  • Being a very fast-paced industry I always enjoyed knowing what was going on and the multiple social and networking events that resulted from that.
  • Checking out the latest and greatest of great venues for food, wine and events.
  • That feeling of knowing that you helped an individual or organisation bring their event into fruition and the guests have had a memorable experience.

Often after a career or job change we start to look at the “old” job through rose-coloured glasses. Especially if it is taking longer to achieve the success that you ached for and imagined you would achieve in this new job. However, those glasses are not so rose-coloured yet, that I don’t forget the cons:

  • The events industry was something that I lived and breathed, and I still struggle with adapting to having ‘down time’ as I am always keeping in a busy state of project and activity.
  • I also struggled with balancing a personal life and relationships which I am now thankful to have.
  • Hours were often long and demanding, and you did need to make yourself available on weekends if need be.

I can now say that I have more balance in my life to be able to do more of what I want to do. I will always enjoy planning but I have utilised my past experience on events for friends and on travel/adventure opportunities instead. I am also very privileged to have a manager and organisation that support my external goals and interests and openly allow me the flexibility to balance both.

Even a year into the new role I am learning new things. I am still developing my blogging skills, researching new ideas in the social media world in terms of branding and networking with clients and candidates. I still have a lot to learn about recruitment and what trends are important to our industry. But I didn’t apply for this role because I knew it all.

Isn’t it that sense of mystery and unpredictability that often drives us to want to pursue something?

I think we go through periods of wanting something so badly that we often get ahead of ourselves and try to predict the outcome (whether it’s good or bad) of where we will end up without letting the process happen naturally. We tend to want everything to be perfect immediately. However, life is unpredictable and doesn’t always go according to plan.

So how far are you prepared to go to make the change?

Do keep in mind that with success sometimes comes failure as well. We will make mistakes and we will stumble. But this does not mean that we ultimately fail at life. Even the greatest of inventors and theorists and scientists all had to fail and take a step back before achieving greatness. It is all the process of learning to grow, and we NEVER stop learning.

For example you may have started a new role or new career and it feels like you have to start from the bottom again and work your way up. You may be unfamiliar with new tasks and may have to keep asking your manager or trainer the same questions again and again to get it right. Your manager may even throw you in the deep end to test you on what skills you have learned and you may not achieve the outcome in your first attempt.

So what do you do? You get up and try again. Maybe not the same way you have tried before, and you may need help along the way but you will get there. Sometimes it can feel like a stretch for your patience and willpower, but persistence is the key. Wouldn’t it be boring if everything in life didn’t involve us doing anything at all?

What is your story about change? How did you achieve your success story?


I recently saw an article on www.recruiter.com about ‘What Motivates People To Jump’, and it had me thinking why in today’s climate would someone be motivated to change their current career path to pursue something completely different? Is it a generational thing? Did the career you strived for not end up being what you had hoped it would be? Or do the current conditions of the workplace cause you to throw up your hands and say, ‘That’s it! I’ve had enough!’

In one of my previous blogs, ‘Are more people today settling for any job as opposed to finding their dream job?’ I found that most people were settling more for a job that pays the bills as opposed to actively pursuing their dream jobs, so again this has me wondering, are we actively thinking this through if we are volunteering our resignation, whatever the reason may be? Is it that easy to find another job just around the bend?

I came up with some possible reasons as to why I thought someone would volunteer to leave their current job, and this is what you voted:

  • Lack of motivation – Only 8% of you agreed with this
  • Poor relationship with higher management – 50% of you agreed to this
  • They want more money – Only 8% of you agreed with this
  • No opportunities for career advancement/ No job security – 33% of you agreed to this

It’s good to see again that you consider the relationship factor more important than the money when it comes to workplace sustainability, and another website I observed http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com confirms:

  • Employers who think their people leave for more money: 89%
  • Employees who actually do leave for more money: 12%

It also goes on to say that four out of the seven hidden reasons why employees choose to leave is because of ‘Little or no feedback/coaching is provided in their roles, they feel devalued and unrecognized, they feel overworked and stressed out or lack of trust or confidence in their leaders.’

Uh-oh management, are you reading this?

That is not to say we need to point the finger at one cause, but to be successful as a manager you need to understand the needs of your employees before any growth within your organisation can take place. And with an environment that is constantly changing in terms of trends and needs, are you being adaptable? Are employees approaching you for advice because they know you will listen to them? If you are investing all of that time and money into your organisation, why not invest it in your employees?

With that said, the attitude of staff members also need to be positive when dealing with constructive feedback and guidance from managers within the workplace. You may not be an identical personality type to your current manager, but as long as you can find an understanding in each other when it comes to the focus of the business then you can at least create less tension in your day to day activities. If you haven’t already, I found the Myers Briggs Personality Profiling to be quite advantageous in terms of finding out what personality type you are , as well as reviewing other personality types in the workplace and how you can best interact and co-exist with different personalities.

A website called http://voices.yahoo.com also points out that a lack of clear direction because of the company structural changes can also cause frustration amoungst employees because they feel a lack of security as to what the future holds for them. I can relate to this, however, this can always depend on an individual’s viewpoint on change.

Most organisations that I can remember working for have gone through some sort of structural ‘change’. Either changes in management or procedures, or just overall adapting to more modern methods of completing daily tasks. I have been offered full time roles as a result of theses, been promoted to then brought back to the same position again, I have been made redundant, you name it! And even recently our organisation is undergoing change. But when you can see the change overall affecting the greater good of the company, and you get to take part in that, that is when I find change to be good. It’s new, challenging/exciting and motivating is it not? That’s certainly how I see it now.


A less dramatic reason to leave the current role would be because the job does not fit the talents or interests of an individual, or that the role was not what the candidate expected it to be. We have all been there one way or another, and each new role we take on is a stepping stone in the path to our future careers.

One piece of advice that I would like to give any individuals that may be changing roles on a more frequent basis, from a recruitment perspective, would be to try and maintain a decent level of time within an organisation, as this will show company loyalty and commitment when reviewing your resume. Unless you are on a working holiday visa, if it appears that you are moving around every couple of months within organisations, employers who are looking for longer term commitments from applicants may question investing there time in you for the long haul.

Do you have any feedback on this blog or anything else that you would like to add? Please have your say below. Don’t forget to check out our latest poll as well, Do you believe that the measure of success is through a dollar figure? You could be in the draw to win a Hoyts Cinema Double Pass!