I WAS BROWSING THROUGH my contacts on LinkedIn and found an advertisement by a company that was looking to hire people.
They were in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) space and their headquarters were in Europe.
However, the ad looked like it could be for any company including trades, professional services etc.
Here’s what the ad contained:
Executive Assistant / Office Manager
The Executive Assistant / Office Manager will be primarily responsible for helping to keep everyone (and everything) working at peak performance. We’re a growing company, and there will be new and interesting challenges every day. Ideal candidates are curious and interested in learning more about what we do, and always interested in learning new skills and taking on new challenges.
Manage all aspects of office administration
Coordinate team schedules and events
Manage executive schedules
Handle payment of invoices and associated bookkeeping
Order supplies and equipment
Excellent verbal and written English communication skills
Strong organizational and time management skills
Ability to work with minimum supervision, prioritizing work as needed
Strong knowledge of office applications, including Word, Powerpoint, and Excel
The training you need
Apart from the soft skills like good time management, communications, speaking and writing the software skills you can learn to apply for this job are:
Why I’m sharing this ad is that I reckon it encapsulates “the perfect” administrative or executive assistant, or office manager. What I mean is that anybody possessing all the skills and capabilities listed above would be well qualified for almost any job in this area — for pretty much any type of company.
And they wouldn’t be limited to any particular industry either. Any intelligent person who is a quick learner would be able to pick up the nuances for various different industries and apply their skills as necessary.
In our recent post about recommendations we suggested that you ask a friend, relative or colleague if they’ve ever had experience with a business you’re thinking of using — chances are, if your friends live locally they may well have; or if the business is a chain or franchise operating over a wide area.
Also ask other businesses
When seeking a professional recommendation you can also ask other businesses. Find out what their experiences have been, if any. Often businesses will have a relationship with each other even if it is not, at first, apparent.
For instance, a symbiotic relationship tends to exist between real estate agents and tradespeople. Agents will regularly draw up a list of preferred tradespeople that they work with and recommend to their tenants, landlords and vendors.
And there are plenty of tradespeople who do the same for real estate agents that they’ve had professional dealings with. There are plenty of other examples of these sorts of professional recommendations.
Beware professional bias
Of course, just as you should be wary of overly positive or negative ratings and reviews online, you should be likewise when soliciting professional reviews. If one business regularly referred work by another, even if they don’t think they’re a great business to deal with, neither party will necessarily say anything bad about each other.
In the end, when looking for a tradesperson, real estate agent or some other professional service, be sure to do all your research. Ask around for personal referrals, check them up online, and get in touch with each business directly to see which one is the best fit for you.
Real people, real locations
At EzyLearn we provide testimonials from our students, which include their full name and location, and why they chose EzyLearn to study in the first place. We also offer a money-back guarantee and free samples of our course content, so students know they can trust they’re making the right choice. Visit our website for more information and to see our wide range of courses.
DO YOU KNOW THERE is no reason to find a job interview nerve wracking, even though so many people do. It’s simple enough to understand why. People put a lot of pressure on themselves to give the best impression and come out as the successful candidate. And look, these things are important, no argument there, but together the pressure to give a good impression AND win the job itself, can conspire to turn you into a “yes man” (or woman).
A job interview is about finding a suitable candidate for a position available at a company. This is not a one way street. As much as you need to give a good impression, so does the company, and if you look at it that way — that you’re interviewing them as much as they are you — it takes the pressure off A LOT.
I don’t just mean at the end when they ask if you have any questions — honestly, you’re probably not likely to have any questions by this point, because if you’ve been paying attention, you should have covered any of questions you had going in.
When you’re asked how you would handle a particular situation or what your approach to something might be, ask for more information if you need or qualify the situation they’re referring. People are often afraid to do this in case they look silly, when actually it makes you look quite smart, and show that you’re not afraid of authority.
Take your time
Don’t rush to answer a question. There’s no real way to prepare for an interviewer’s questions, and they know that. However, your answers should also be rooted in some previous experience you’ve had, so while it may take you a while to wrack your brains for a previous example, you shouldn’t be unable to answer either. If you can’t think of an exact experience, discuss a similar one and how you handled that.
Be yourself and relax
This is so important, because as much as the interviewer may be looking for the most skilled candidate, they’re also looking to make sure you’re not a robot. Show your personality, show you’re a human, establish some rapport with your interviewers. Some of the interview process is confirming you are what you say you are, but mostly it’s finding out if you’re someone they want working for them.
In the IT and engineering industry, interviews aren’t even set up to determine skill sets, but rather personality traits, because many companies today are looking for programmers and engineers who can communicate to stakeholders in plain English, rather than tech talk.
Remember, who you are in the interview should reflect and expand on who you are in your resume and cover letter. You can learn how to use PowerPoint to create a resume in our PowerPoint training courses. For more information, visit our website.
You can also brush up on Word for your resume presentation by enrolling in our Microsoft Word online training courses. You’ll be amazed at the things you can create with a comprehensive understanding of Word.
Gone are the days of excruciatingly dull PowerPoint slide presentations… Nowadays PowerPoint is the hidden gem used to generate animations, videos, movies, advertising and graphics. It’s a great ally to the marketer or social media person in your organisation. This creative program can also be used to conjure up the most beautiful and modern pictorial slides to enhance any presentation or induction.
And the truth about being a freelancer or contractor is that you’ll most likely spend the rest of your working life applying for work. If you don’t like the idea of this, well then maybe being self-employed isn’t for you! Why? Because in order to find the best work; the kind that you’ll love, you need to be always looking for it — or always be closing, if there any fans of Glengarry Glen Ross in the house tonight.
The truth about being a freelancer or contractor is that you’ll most likely spend the rest of your working life applying for work.
Do pay attention to design
I’m choosing to exclude the “grammar, spelling and punctuation” portion of this list, because if you don’t already know that’s important by now, then oh boy, I can’t help you. But formatting and design are important, whether you’re looking for work in a creative industry or not.
The key is to grab attention in less than half a minute. You can use different fonts, for instance, a larger plain font for headings and a smaller (perhaps serif) font for the body text. You can type your resume up in Word or use PowerPoint or some other design tool. But just don’t get ahead of yourself and use something too fancy that you don’t have a proper grasp of and end up with a resume that is hotchpotch and messy.
These days, some recruiters will even upload your resume into their own “system” which “parses” your content and basically re-formats it all into plain text. If this happens, your gorgeous CV will look very different on the screen of the employer. The simpler the design and layout of the original resume, the easier it will be for them to read if they indeed use this system for getting through the applications of hundreds of job applicants. But don’t feel disheartened, there are others ways to get spotted amongst the crowd.
Don’t use jargon
The next hurdle, once you’ve got the recruiter or hiring manager reading your resume or cover letter, is to urge them to call you. Do not, I repeat, do not use jargon of any kind in either your resume or cover letter. The minute someone reads a sentence that starts with or contains “experienced in”, “team player”, “responsible for”, etc, etc, they switch off.
These phrases mean literally nothing. Nothing. Telling someone you’re a team player: redundant. Everyone should be a team player, and there is no one, not a single person ever, who has written on their resume that they’re not one. Instead, tell the employer what you like about working in a team. (On a similar note, also avoid the term “able to work autonomously” by explaining the times you’ve had to and how that’s gone.)
When you go to use the words “experienced in” try to remind yourself that this is something that happens to you — not something you proactively go out and do. Instead refer to your background in terms of achievements. Search “typical jargon to avoid on a resume” for more.
Do show your personality
Remember that employers are people too. Work culture is important to lots of businesses, so they need to know that any potential new hire, freelance or otherwise, will be able to fit in and work with them. And if you can make the person reading your resume laugh, oftentimes you’ll get a call back.
Don’t list silly interests
I should add a qualifier to that, which says that it’s okay to list a really silly interest if you know and make a point of noting that it’s a silly interest. This makes you seem thoughtful, and definitely not as dumb as a person who says they like reading or sports on their resume. Reading what? It implies novels, but it could also mean signposts, Aldi catalogues, Post It Notes. And if you like playing cricket more than once a year on Boxing Day, then for the love of all that is holy (cricket on Boxing Day), say that. Otherwise, put down interests that you actually are interested in — they reveal a lot about the type of person you are, which again, goes to help with the point above.
Our PowerPoint online training courses will show you how to create your own persuasive and compelling PowerPoint presentations. In this PowerPoint case study, we’re going to show you what our partner, EzyAccess, included in their sales presentations. These sales presentations were then shown to chief executive and senior managers at some of Australia’s largest hospitals.
Explaining “The Problem”
Hospitals are busy places that have lots of people coming and going every day, and a very ad-hoc way to manage them. In most cases, few hospitals policed their visitor and contractor management policies, which exposed them to many risks.
Explaining “The Risk”
Almost anyone could walk into a hospital and have access to its most sensitive areas — operating rooms, for example.
Likewise, contractors hired to perform work could subcontract it out to a person or entity unknown to the hospital and unqualified to perform that work. If that subcontractor or someone else — a patient, say — was injured, the hospital would held responsible.
Explaining “The Solution”
EzyAccess provided a cloud-based safety and compliance system that businesses could use to track visitors and contractors who were visiting their premises. It enabled businesses to stay compliant with Australia’s WHS laws, and to also ensure each person was familiar with the business’s own process and procedures to eliminate the business’s liability if someone was injured.
Chief executive-level presentations
Directors and chief executives are primarily interested in increasing their business’s efficiency and reducing financial risk to the company.
EzyAccess’s chief executive-level presentations explained how the EzyAccess safety and compliance system helped hospitals stay compliant with Australia’s WHS laws, kept their hospitals safe from unknown, unqualified entities, increased employee efficiency and reduced the financial risk of litigation.
Senior manager-level presentations
Unlike chief executives, who could be held personally liable if the business was found in breach of Australia’s WHS laws, senior managers were concerned with how implementing a new system would help (or potentially, impede) their direct reports.
Every business is resistant to change, particularly the implementation of new technologies that could require more time and effort on the part of their staff than the previous system. If this were to occur, there’s the additional risk that adoption would be slow.
The EzyAccess presentations to senior managers explained the adoption strategy in full, and how the system improved staff efficiency by eliminating the need to contact contractors about compliance documents.
Tailor presentations to stakeholders
Just as it’s important to target your ideal customer with your PowerPoint presentations, it’s also important that you target particular stakeholders within a business to ensure they see the value your product or service brings them.
It’s no use focusing an entire presentation to a chief executive on how easy the system is to use — this will certainly be a consideration for any chief executive, yes, but it won’t be the primary one. Just as it’s no good telling the staff on the frontline — the employees actually using the system — how much money and potential litigation it’ll save the company.
Our PowerPoint training courses will teach you how to create persuasive PowerPoint presentations that you can use to target key stakeholders within a business, to help you make a sale or get hired. Alternatively, our sales training courses will show you how to identify and target your ideal customer.
At EzyLearn we are constantly refreshing the content of our online training courses. Where possible, we draw on real-life case studies as examples, to help you learn, and apply your skills, in a relevant way that makes sense. Visit our Micro Courses page to learn more.
An on-boarding presentation created in PowerPoint can be used to deliver Work Health and Safety (WHS) training — which is mandatory for all businesses employing staff, whether they’re permanent employees or freelance contractors — induction training, and also explain how your business operates.
Modern employee training for modern times
In the past, on-boarding training — be it WHS, induction or otherwise — has been delivered in person. Sometimes a new employee would be sat in a room to watch a company video and complete a written test on their own.
Other times, companies would gather all new hires (often people who’ve been working at the company for as much as three months, by this point) and have someone from their HR department lead a day of training.
However, both these methods come with flaws because neither one shows much commitment to workplace culture, safety or operating procedures.
Train staff in-house or offsite
EzyLearn offers induction training packages for businesses keen to use our learning management system to deliver training, quizzes, short courses, etc. But you can still use PowerPoint to train staff at your premises, as well as remote workers.
Creating an on-boarding training course in PowerPoint will increase employee engagement, and also ensure each employee understands their role in the business and how it operates. Or for more help on figuring out what you need to include in an online induction, read here.
If you’re a bookkeeper or real estate agent or someone else who sells professional services, rather than products, providing valuable information about your business or explaining the way it operates can help convert more visitors into customers.
People scan for valuable information
Most of the time, when someone comes to your website for the first time, they’re scanning it to see if you meet a certain criteria they have for a potential supplier.
This could be based on price, services, turnaround times, or something else. If they can’t find this information quickly and easily, they’ll generally move on somewhere else.
Use PowerPoint to convert visitors
Creating a PowerPoint presentation that contains this information, which you can upload slide-at-a-time, or altogether as a video, is an excellent way to present this information to visitors of your website.
This is very useful for bookkeepers and other businesses that have a particular way of working with their clients. Take prospects step-by-step through your process, so they know exactly how your operate and what to expect before they even contact you.
This helps demystify the process, which makes people feel more at ease with the practice of hiring you, and also shows you’re transparent about process, and that makes you trustworthy.
The fewer questions prospects have about you and your business, the more comfortable they will feel about contact and hiring you.
You can use PowerPoint to explain any of your business’s processes that involve the customer, whether it’s your returns or refund policy, setup procedures, or technical support.
Xero is a great bookkeeping program for tradies who are on the go and using their phones (or a tablet) all the time. From receipts scanning to creating quotes and invoices, receiving payments and keeping track of project costs.