We spoke with one third of Willow & Blake and one half of Sidekicker.
Last week we gave you some tips on taking control of your career - but we know that while it’s great to have big dreams and big plans, there are a few things that are crucial to getting you in the door and on the way to making careers dreams a reality.
So we spoke to a couple of girls who are kicking butt and showing that you’re never too young to sit at the big kids table. We asked them their advice on two little things that can make all the difference; emails and interviews.
Erika Geraerts (25) is one of the boss ladies at Willow & Blake, co-owner of Abbottsford cafe Little Big Sugar Salt and one of the masterminds behind the coffee scrub which has girls the world over getting down and dirty with a dude named frank. She is one busy lay-dee, and a great chick to boot. Her attitude towards business is direct; she is what can only be described as a doer and you get the feeling this isn’t one to suffer no fools. But it’s this no bullshit and ‘get shit done’ attitude that is exactly the thing that has brought her such tremendous success so far - frank by product, frank by nature.
Jacqui Bull (24) is the co-founder of Sidekicker, an online platform which connects businesses to talented people with the skills they need, on demand. Basically, for employers it’s like having a skilled workforce conveniently at their disposal. For the freelancers it provides access to flexible hours in their industry which are manageable and can be tailored to suit their timetable. It’s also a great tool for GenY's to break into the corporate chains and the perfect stepping stone for those of you looking to branch out on your own. In a nutshell, Sidekicker’s got the whole flexible working thing totally down-pat. And it should come as no surprise that Jacqui’s mastering this really, as a one time senior national standard gymnast, flexibility has always kind of been her thing... (#SorryNotSorry)
Two very different businesses, two very different girls - but the message from both is the same; be honest and take the time to get it right...
WHAT GRINDS YOUR GEARS WHEN HIRING?
Mostly just entitled 20-somethings these days, who make no effort in showing that they either want or would work hard to get a job and presuming they’ll get paid the same amount that you do. Or when the interviewee doesn't confirm their meeting time until the day of, emailing ‘hey, i’m here.’
As we provide handpicked talent for businesses I’ve spent a lot of time interviewing individuals applying to become freelancers on Sidekicker. Unfortunately, no matter how rigorous you are in your pre-interview application process, people are often a lot different in person to how they come across on their resume and application questions. I've had a few situations where I’ve known 5 minutes into an interview that they won’t be a suitable freelancer on Sidekicker (due to their attitude or embellishments on their resume for example) but you have to make sure you give everyone equal amounts of time in their interview!
AND EMAIL DEAL BREAKERS?
Lack of punctuation. Or any. People who don’t know the difference between ‘your' and ‘you’re’. People who open with the word ‘babe.' Clients who want things ‘asap'. Clients who don’t have a budget in mind until you write a proposal and quote and then tell you they had a budget in mind. People who can’t pick up a phone to deliver feedback or confront a problem, and prefer to do so passive aggressively in an email. People with unsightly email signatures. Email signatures that contain email addresses.
I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing Sidekicker job applications and you would not believe the number of times people apply referring to the wrong company, the wrong job or the wrong person. Sending a generic template email for 30 different jobs you’ve found is not the way to stand out to employers!
These days it takes a 2 second Google search to find the name of the right person you should be contacting at a company, so there’s no excuses – both for applying to jobs or reaching out to potential customers.
Want help with building a personal brand you love and a career that rocks? Learn to build your personal profile and tools to get your career moving in the direction you really want it to go! Join our Personal Branding Masterclass at the Australian Institute of Management on 12-September here in Melbourne. Spots are limited so get in quick and register here!