Career-guide-2

5 Easy Everyday Networking Tips

Just the word ‘networking’ can make some people feel uneasy. Walking up to a complete stranger and making conversation? I’d rather go to the dentist!

But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can start incorporating networking into your everyday life. Remember, be courageous and try to make long-term relationships, not just business connections.

Melbourne blogger Marlee Wakeling shares five of her best networking tips picked up over the years of studying and working in marketing and event management.

1. Hand out those business cards

Buy 250 business cards at the start of the year and aim to give them all out by the end of the year. Don’t be afraid to hand them out, and don’t feel like you’re being pushy. It’s only a business card after all!

2. Use business cards wisely

Buy blank business cards to collect the details of people you meet that don’t have a business card. Make the effort to contact them, rather than waiting for them to contact you.

3. Facebook is your friend

Although Facebook may not seem like the most professional platform, there are often groups you can join that will help you keep up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry. As well as jobs on offer that don’t make it onto the usual job hunting platforms, and opportunities to attend networking events.

Search keywords related to your profession and location, chances are there will be a relevant group.

4. Take time everyday to work on networking

Spend 10-15 minutes a day working on your networks. Whether it’s following up on emails, giving someone a call or simply making sure your LinkedIn account is up-to-date, your efforts will surely be rewarded.

5. Use technology to make networking easier

Have you heard of the app CardMunch? It’s a serious timesaver! Basically, when you receive a business card, you take a photo of it through the CardMunch app. It then uploads the contact details to your address book AND finds the person on LinkedIn! The app is only available on iPhones, and there are similar ones for Android, such as CamCard. However, I haven’t found them to be as good.

If you want to read up on some more great networking advice, I’d recommend the book How To Master Networking by Robyn Henderson.

Share your networking tips in the comments below so we can all learn from each other!

Marlee Wakeling blogs about writing, fashion and music at String of Events.

September 3, 2013

What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

Don’t you just hate that moment in a job interview when you’re asked to reveal your strengths and weaknesses?As if you are going to answer truthfully. “My strengths include being a really good party host and my weaknesses include the fact that my mind often wanders to thoughts about my next party when I am supposed to be adding up figures.” Yeah right.

I know a sales consultant who told her interviewer point blank: “You don’t really expect me to tell you my weaknesses?” She got the job.

However, when interviewing with experts such as a recruitment consultant or a human resources professional using humour or candour is unlikely to get you anywhere but onto the reject pile.

Graham Smith of Heritage Recruitment said asking a candidate about their strengths and weaknesses is an important way to test his or her suitability

for a particular role.

“You are trying to see if the person has a sense of his or her own limitations,” he said. “You also want to know what the person is good at and

how that might fit into the role you are trying to fill.”

“The interviewer wants to make sure the candidate has the right ‘behaviours’ and skills for the job. After the interview, the interviewer will then verify that the candidate has the skills they claim to. For example, is the person good at problem-solving? Will they work well in a team? Do they have an eye for detail and are they a self-starter?”

Both Mr Smith and Nicole Gorton, Australian branch manager of OfficeTeam, said it was very important that candidates provide specific examples to demonstrate their “strengths”.

September 16, 2003

What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?(contd)

Known as “behavioural interviewing”, this is where the candidate is asked:

“Tell me about a time when you ….” So make sure you have specific examples to back up everything you relay in the interview. To do this you must

prepare for the interview and rehearse with a friend or family member. It works.A sales consultant who said a strength was the fact he or she was “driven by results” should follow with an example of a time when he or she achieved, let’s say, 110 per cent of their monthly target in three weeks.

Someone in retail or hospitality could be “passionate about customer service” and recall a time of going out of their way to fulfil a customer or guest’s request. Make sure your examples are truthful and can be verified by your referee.

Okay, now for your “weaknesses”. Simon Tobin, a director of Michael Page Finance and Ms Gorton both said you should relate “weaknesses” that were

really strengths and not to use the word “weakness”.

“Start the sentence with, ‘my area for improvement is’,” said Ms Gorton.

Also, nominate a skill you don’t actually need for the job like languages. Being able to say you are actively trying to change your weakness into a

strength is also a good idea.

For example, “My area for improvement is public speaking and I have just enrolled in a toastmaster’s course.”

My stock standard one is: “I’m too focused on work and need to develop some after hours hobbies.” Nauseating right?

Mr Smith has a different view.

“I ask. ‘Give me an example of a situation when you were not successful, what you did, and how you felt about it?”

“I want to know that someone can encounter a knock back and be robust enough to cope with it and get on with the job,” he said.

Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to www.careerone.com.au for more career related articles. Job hunting and workplace questions can be directed to CareerOne by emailing: editor@careerone.com.au.

September 16, 2003

Movers & Shakers – Kathy Buchanan


Our Mover and Shaker this week is Kathy Buchanan, Features Editor for B Magazine.

The women who appear on this page are selected by consensus of the SheSaid editorial staff and are duly invited to participate. If you wish to nominate an inspiring woman to appear in this ‘moving and shaking hall of fame’, please contact us.

Name Kathy Buchanan

Occupation/Title Features Editor, B Magazine

Company/Organisation B Magazine, Pacific Publications, Sydney

State NSW

Age 29

Star sign Capricorn

Describe your career progression and your current professional position.

When I was 23 I began working as the Advertising Assistant on Good Housekeeping magazine in London while simultaneously doing post-graduate media study. But after working on a glossy magazine and seeing what it was really like I realised that I had to be a writer. I had an empty ache in my heart and knew it wouldn’t go away until I made it happen. So when an internal job came up as an Editorial Assistant on an amazing men’s style magazine called Esquire it had to be mine. I snared it and worked incredibly hard doing everything and anything. I’d sort the post, write film reviews, organise parties, liaised with writers and PR’s, input copy and was the celebrity agency contact for the covers. A few months into the job I did my first ever interview with the musician Sting.

I don’t think they’d ever seen anyone work so hard for so little money, so opportunities came my way quickly. I was given several regular celebrity columns, started writing articles and was promoted within the features department. I had my own radio slot on Liberty Radio and did regular radio interviews promoting the magazine. I was working in the heart of London in Soho and constantly surrounded by creative people. At this stage I was also editing the company in-house magazine. After two years at Esquire I was poached to work as a writer and section editor on a women’s magazine called Company (the third top selling women’s magazine in the UK) where I worked for eighteen months. At Company I was sent to Greece and the Northern Territory to cover stories. But after seven years away and five years working for The National Magazine Company (all above magazines were with the same company) I decided to come back to Australia and settle in Sydney for the beautiful beaches and relaxed lifestyle. I then worked as a freelance writer for three months before being offered the Features Editor job on the glossy women’s magazine, B. I’ve been here for over a year and have already been sent on a work trip to London for ten days.

Describe a typical day? I catch the train and usually start work between 9am and 9:30am. Depending on what stage of the issue we are at I attend meetings, work on feature ideas, talk to prospective freelance writers, set up shoots, speak to readers and PR’s, write and edit copy. I often work through lunch. Depending on how busy work is I’ll usually attend a book launch, launch-party or work late a few nights a week. My job is full on and a constant juggling act. If it is quiet I’ll usually finish work at around 6:30pm otherwise I’ll work as late as I have to, to get the job done.

What’s the best part of the job? Meeting a truly amazing array of people every month and working with inspirational colleagues. What’s the worst part of the job? The stress of deadlines and the late nights.

January 3, 2001