I’m a Bookkeeper – How Do I Find Good Work?

As mentioned in an earlier post, job boards offer the best-quality jobs for people in professions that translate to any industry; and this includes bookkeeping and accounting jobs.

And as another post showed, there’s a vast number of bookkeeping jobs posted to those sites every day, be it for casual, part-time or full time work. In this post I’m going to explore some ways to do well in the job market. Continue reading I’m a Bookkeeper – How Do I Find Good Work?

What Do Employers Want From Bookkeeping Job Sites?

THE ULTIMATE GOAL of a job site (and they are not all created equal!) is to deliver the highest volume of candidate applications to the job poster (the recruiter or employer), while also providing candidates (job-seekers) with access to the highest volume of top-quality job listings.

Since recruitment classifieds moved online more than two decades ago, the ease with which job-seekers could apply for jobs increased.

Job posters went from getting a handful of applications over the course of a few weeks to hundreds all at once. This spawned the need for businesses to best manage and dare I say it, automate and systemise the hiring process. Continue reading What Do Employers Want From Bookkeeping Job Sites?

The Best Job Sites for Accounting & Bookkeeping Jobs

JOB SITES ARE IN ABUNDANCE in Australia. The market leader is Seek, which controls 85 percent of the online recruitment market. Most job site advertisers use Seek because they will get the widest and potentially best range of job applicants and job seekers.

Typically, if you’re looking for a good-quality job that doesn’t tie you to a specific industry — the way journalism ties journalists to the media industry, or construction work ties builders and plumbers and cabinet-makers to the construction industry — you’ll find it on Seek. But here are 8 more website you can use.

Continue reading The Best Job Sites for Accounting & Bookkeeping Jobs

Want to Earn a Thousand Bucks for Giving a Referral?

referral marketing
We’ve come across a great new referral marketing website that will pay you a grand for referring a colleague.

We’ve published numerous posts about referral marketing, which is an invaluable and cost effective way of marketing your business. In particular, we talked about LinkedIn. This is something that I, Steve Slisar, CEO of EzyLearn, am a big believer in — and so is small business marketing guru, Michael Griffiths. (You can learn more about using LinkedIn for referral marketing by attending one of Michael’s Sydney workshops.)

Peerbrief – One Grand up for Grabs

Recently I came across another great tool independent contractors can use to find work, and it’s based on referral marketing. It’s a new crowdsourcing recruitment and candidate referral website called Peerbrief, which was founded by Rob Fanshawe, a recruitment expert with 15 years industry experience, and who previously founded and directed 33 Talent in Sydney.

Peerbrief offers two services. The first is free for referrers – that is independent contractors, consultants, remote workers, and so on – to join and you’ll receive job alerts matched to your professional experience from potential employers. If, however, you know someone who is better matched to that job, you can refer the job to them – if they’re hired, the employer pays you $1,000 for your trouble.

The other service offered by Peerbrief is a subscription-based software service, which allows companies to set up closed referrals so their employees can refer candidates for jobs.

Referring the People in Your Sphere of Influence

If you’ve ever worked in a large company before, then you’re probably aware of the incentives they give employees for referring friends or colleagues for positions going vacant. Peerbrief works off same principal, and rewards people for referring their contacts for work.

At the moment, Peerbrief is working with three industries – tech, media, and marketing and advertising – so if you have previous experience in any of these industries, I recommend you (and your colleagues) join today and get referring!

All of that being said, I would caution not to put your eggs all in one basket. As these types of services gain more popularity, the work tends to become harder to come by as employers have a greater pick of potential hires. This is why I still recommend LinkedIn and face-to-face networking events as a way to grow and develop your business.

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As always, I think it’s best if you have a number of marketing strategies on the go at once, as often, it takes a while for them to gain traction. If you have many plates spinning at once, so to speak, you’re less likely to find yourself in the midst a dry spell. If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively market your business, there are two marketing modules in our Small Business Management Course. Visit our website to enrol or learn more today.

 

Referral Marketing: LinkedIn is a Free Website and Resume

Michael Griffiths is holding a series of referral marketing workshops in Sydney.
Michael Griffiths is holding a series of referral marketing workshops in Sydney.

When you start a new business, it’s incredibly important that you consider how you’re going to market your business to gain new customers. We cover the more traditional marketing strategies in our Small Business Management course, such as print advertising and even Google Adwords, but you shouldn’t only focus on these methods of marketing, as there are other, more powerful ways to market your business to customers.

I’ve written about referral marketing on this blog before, where I said that having a blog was a very effective way of getting people to talk about your business. If you frequently publish blog posts that your readers find valuable, they’re more likely to refer you on to their contacts. This is a form of referral marketing.

Have LinkedIn?, Need a Website?

Some people use their blog as a way to drive traffic to their website, but if you have a LinkedIn profile, I would say you don’t even need a website, since LinkedIn already gathers your professional information and then recommends you to other LinkedIn users with similar interests and professional experience.

I used to have my own personal website at the domain www.slisar.com.au, where I used to write and publish blog posts. I wrote a couple of blogs on it and tried to make myself seem amazing. After all, I had this domain and I thought, what on earth will I do with it if I don’t fill it up with stuff about me?

Sometime later I discovered the benefits of a LinkedIn profile, and I did away with my personal website. Now if you type in my domain name it directs to my LinkedIn profile (feel free to try it and connect with me, if you’d like) where you can see my online resume.

For many independent contractors – home-based bookkeepers, virtual assistants, etc – this is all you need to get started working in the digital age. You can still keep a blog, just as I do with the EzyLearn blog, which is connected to my LinkedIn profile so that when I write something, my LinkedIn connections can read it, like it, and start a conversation about it.

However, I probably don’t use LinkedIn as much as I should, but someone who does is Michael Griffiths, a small business marketing guru. He has helped companies with their online marketing for several years, and with a background in sports coaching, it’s little wonder he started teaching people about online marketing.

He now mostly focuses on referral marketing, and LinkedIn is a powerful tool he uses a lot. In fact, he’s created a training workshop that’s being held this coming Tuesday, August 19 in Milsons Point (in Sydney). That only leaves you with a few days to register, but if you’re serious about finding new ways to market and grow your business, it’s worth it.

Otherwise, if you don’t think you can make it on Tuesday, he’s holding another workshop in November. To register or find out more about Michael Griffiths’ referral marketing workshop click here.

Free Video: Michael Griffiths explaining the benefits of having a live and active website

Here’s a video of Michael talking about the value of having a blog and an active website that is regularly updated with new content. When you hear Michael in action during a presentation you realised how freely he shares his knowledge and experiences, enjoy.

Do You Get Other People to Talk You Up?

referral marketing
Using your clients to refer you is a great way to generate new business.

Marketing and referrals are essential components of any successful business. We cover marketing in the Marketing Action Plan and Undertake Marketing Activities of our Small Business Management Course, where we talk about the ways you can market your business to get those first few customers.

Referral marketing is a great way to gain new customers, and involves encouraging your existing client base to promote your business and its services.

A lot people do this already without even knowing it – when they like your Facebook page, retweet one of your tweets, or recommend your services to their friends, for example.

Blogging and Getting Referrals

Having and maintaining a blog is one of the best ways to get people talking about your business. The more you write about topics that are relevant to your readers, the more likely they are to refer you to their friends and colleagues – just as we’re doing right now!

Referrals Via Social Media

In the last few years, social media has come to replace some of the ways we communicate with our customers – or at least the way we keep in touch with them.

Using social media platforms like LinkedIn is another fantastic way to not only stay in touch with your clients, but to also promote your skills as a business owner at the same time.

LinkedIn is your online CV that represents you, the business owner. It shows prospective clients how well-skilled you are to carry out work for them.

But it also allows your current clients to see what you’ve been up to, and for this reason, it’s a powerful marketing tool.

We’ve written about some of the do’s and don’ts of LinkedIn previously, but one of the most important things to remember about LinkedIn is that, even though it is a social media platform that can be changed or updated whenever you like, you should still keep your profile as professional and consistent as possible.

Referral Marketing and Networking Events

So far we’ve talked a lot about the virtual world – but what about the real world? Going to networking events is one of the best ways you can connect with other business owners, who are looking to connect with you too.

Join meet-up and get amongst it with other business owners in your local area – you’d be surprised how many people didn’t know that it was your business they were looking for!

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Referral marketing is an exceptionally powerful marketing tool, providing it’s done right. Make it one of your daily goals to always devote some time to maintaining your referral marketing activities. So whether it’s your blog or social media feed, spend a few minutes each day getting others to talk about your business. Find out more about our comprehensive Small Business Management Course.

LinkedIn Profiles: What Not To Do

620_300_cropIf you are like me, or pretty much any other living, breathing person on the planet with access to the Internet, then you’ve probably Googled someone in the last 24 hours.

Actually, I Googled someone while writing this post; had a gander at their LinkedIn profile and then went about the rest of my business.

I’ve mentioned previously how a LinkedIn profile works in shaping a person’s opinion of you, but how do you ensure it’s shaping a person’s opinion of you in the right way?

Getting Mileage Out of Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re a jobseeker and you need to overhaul your LinkedIn profile, then some things to avoid:

Lying: Lie on your resume à la ex-Yahoo CEO, Scott Thomson, and you’re running the gamut of being found out at some point; lie on your LinkedIn profile and you will definitely get found out (either by a colleague or former employer), but lie on your CV and not your LinkedIn profile: now you’re not only a liar, you’re also a stupid one!

It’s simple: don’t lie. Ever.

Too many recommendations: if a prospective employer is scoping you out — perhaps to verify some of the claims in your CV or interview — and you don’t have any recommendations it’s likely they’ll consider you a dud networker, or worse: a dud employee.

To remedy this, send out a few recommendation requests. But don’t overdo it (when you’re job hunting, for example) — a slew of recommendations all at once makes it obvious you’re job hunting, which your current employer may not think too highly of.

Your job description is vague: maybe you think it’s mysterious, but vague or ambiguous statements in your job description is just plain elusive, and it makes you seem as though you’ve something to hide. Like maybe you’re not as fabulous as you let on you are.

The statement “assisted with the grand opening of a new store” could mean anything. For all we know, you could have put out the plastic cups people were drinking their complementary bubbles from. Instead, write what you actually did. No matter how small the task was.

No photo: this isn’t a beauty contest, nor is it the correct medium to post a picture of yourself drinking from a seven-foot beer bong. But the option to upload a picture is there for a reason.

A picture tells a thousand words and like it or not, visuals are important. If they weren’t, we’d never have to go for an actual job interview.

Ambiguous keywords: choose your keywords wisely; avoid overused buzzwords like “proven track record” or “team-player”. They may sound impressive (to you) but they really aren’t.

Instead of saying you have a proven track record in sales, show people what that proven track record was — if you pitched and won a multi-million dollar account for your company, say that. This turns an empty statement into a quantifiable accomplishment.

We work with professional partners that help combine our online training courses with services that help you to improve your chances of employability, or hone their talents and skills for running a small business. If you’re new to LinkedIn, we’ve discussed in a previous post how you can use your LinkedIn profile as your resume to find work. If you are looking for opportunities to become an independent contractor and operate your own business from home see the business opportunities at Workface.

CIA Provides Secrets about Linkedin

LinkedIn: The Living CV

I’VE WRITTEN A NUMBER of posts about the power of LinkedIn to replace the traditional resume, but after speaking with an expert from CIA (Sydney-based company, Computer Information Agency or CIAOPs) I learnt some new secrets about Linkedin. Robert Crane, CIA’s Director, shared some tips as to how and why LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to help you get a job AND find more customers.

Robert-Crane-Digitar-web-linkedin-secrets
Robert Crane is the Director of Computer Information Agency

Here’s what Robert had to say…

One of the greatest advantages that Internet based technologies can provide is leverage. Nothing could be more the case than with social media. Unfortunately, too many businesses and professionals fail to see the potential that it can provide themselves and their businesses. Probably the most effective social network for business is LinkedIn.

You may be surprised to know that LinkedIn in has been around for over a decade. It was around long before Facebook and Twitter as a source of connecting business people together. LinkedIn allows you to create a personal or business profile to which you can add all kinds of information.

[quote]Many professionals use LinkedIn as a “living CV” where they can post their career and achievement records for others to view.[/quote]

Sharing that information with others help them grow their potential network and makes it easier for others to locate people with the right skills.

The True Power of LinkedIn

This is where the key technology of search begins to reveal the true power of LinkedIn, for not only can you share your information with others, independent parties can search LinkedIn and locate individuals with the skills they need. This is reason why so many HR people use LinkedIn to locate and target individuals with the skills they require.

[quote]Posting resumes and trawling employment website is now ‘old school’. Indeed, the highest quality applicants are signed up via Linkedin even before a job is offered.[/quote]

Is It Too Late for You?

This means that if you are not using Linkedin your competition probably already is. So what can you do to catch up?

  1. Firstly, you’ll need to create a LinkedIn account and then fill in the information about yourself. The more professional information you provide the better. It is also important to include a professional headshot as part of the profile so if you don’t have one of these go out and get one.
  2. Once you have all your information entered start looking for people and associates you know who are already on LinkedIn. When you find them send them an invite to ‘connect’ with you on LinkedIn.
  3. Once you network starts to grow make sure that Linkedin becomes an ongoing part of your business strategy. Don’t let the information you have entered get stale. Revisit your account regularly and ensure it is always as current as possible. As you meet new contacts look them up on LinkedIn and ask them to ‘connect’ with you. Always be looking to grow your network and don’t be afraid to ask people in your network for introductions to others on Linkedin.
  4. When you start to feel comfortable with Linkedin use the testimonial feature to ask business contacts and clients for referrals. These referrals can be directly posted on your profile for all to see.
  5. Nothing lends credibility like endorsement so always continue to seek them out and grow the number that you have. Once the endorsements start to flow make sure you direct other information about your business to your LinkedIn information. Use it on your website, business cards, etc.

Other Powerful LinkedIn Uses

The more you work with LinkedIn, the more powerful you will find it. When you need something you can ask your network of contacts, you can search their skills for what you need, and you can join any number of special interest Linkedin groups on the very topic that you are seeking assistance on. Because Linkedin has become such a worldwide tool for business, chances are you’ll find the person or business you’re looking for, if you know how to use it.

Jump On the Social Media Bandwagon

I went to a seminar recently and heard Nick Bowditch from Facebook speak. He said that the businesses engaging with, and using, social media will be the ones still around in 5 years. Perhaps it’s arrogant to think that social media is so mighty, but given the speed with which technology is moving these days, and the ferocity of competition, it’s better to build a profile, reputation and brand that people know, like and trust — and social media is the opportune way to do this.


Social Media and Digital Marketing online training course_comp

Are you in business as a bookkeeper, tradesperson, retailer, trainer or real estate agent and want to stand out from the crowd? We can teach you the online marketing techniques to help you do just this! Check out what’s included in our comprehensive Social Media and Digital Marketing online training courses.


 

Could Linkedin replace the written resume?

Linkedin hands searching for potential bookkeeping employeesI’ve written a series of blog posts about various aspects of resume writing and other tips you can use to help secure the next great job and it’s fitting that we explore why Linkedin is a serious place for you to promote your MYOB Bookkeeping skills.

I was fortunate enough to attend a social media club (Sydney) education event that was presented by the managing director of Linkedin and he went to great lengths to explain just how deep the company wants to go into the recruitment and talent market. Upon visiting various parts of the LinkedIn website I found some links that might further encourage you to recognise the importance of Linkedin in your employment or business building journey.

Linkedin has a page for talent departments and case studies for companies that have used their services and employers can even place recruitment ads within the site to clearly target the right job applicants.

We found a great article written by Susan Heathfield about how Linkedin is being used as a recruitment tool for the HR team at many businesses. Do you need help in your job searching strategy? Stay tuned.


We will shortly be announcing a fantastic special offer regarding Linkedin and resume writing for all students who take advantage of our forthcoming Bookkeepers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program. This program is a new service as part of our MYOB training courses. Make sure you subscribe to receive this information in your email inbox.