News

Commuting image

By Dallas Sherringham

CENTRAL Coast workers of the future workers won’t be driving all the way to their jobs.

They will be catching state-of-art public transport, riding bikes or even walking the final stage according to a key advocate for smarter cities

Three quarters of Coast workers still commute by car, but a new strategy from the Smart Cities Council outlines six essential steps to greater urban mobility and better cities.

Mobility Now, released as part of the recent Smart Cities Week, was prepared by the Council’s Urban Mobility Task Force, a group which advocates for sustainable and inclusive mobility solutions that build livable cities.

Smart Cities Council Executive Director Adam Beck is leading the charge to make the workforce more mobile.

“Advancing technological capabilities, new service delivery models and unprecedented city growth create great opportunities as well as urgent pressures to deliver new mobility solutions,” he said.

“Australia’s population is projected to grow by 24%, reaching 31.4 million by 2036. Nearly 80% of this growth will be accommodated in our four largest cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

“At the same time, Infrastructure Australia estimates that that road and public transport congestion could cost the economy $40B by 2031.

“We know half of all commuters in our capital cities live within 10 km of their workplace – and as much as a third live within five km. And yet most still drive. Our challenge is to boost transport options that help people overcome the first and last mile hurdle.

“If just five per cent of driver-only commuters shifted to micro-mobility – cycling, scooting or walking in combination with public transport – we would remove 300,000 cars from Australia’s daily commuter traffic, while helping people’s wallets and waistlines,” Mr Beck said.

The Mobility Now strategy outlines six clear steps:
1. Adapt and re-design the urban built environment.
2. Develop a new urban mobility operating system.
3. Introduce more accessible and equitable mobility.
4. Embrace a global 21st century urban mobility data system.
5. Create a new mobility incentives regime.
6. Implement new decision making and strategy development practices.

“These six actions must be taken now to address the challenges associated with the ‘first and last mile’ problem and enable uptake of more sustainable transport modes,” Mr Beck said.

“Mobility Now is not about pitching cars against bikes or pedestrians, but about curating a more balanced mix of transport modes to enhance the livability, sustainability and workability of our cities – not to mention the health and wellbeing of our citizens.”

About the Smart Cities Council

Smart Cities Council is the world’s largest network of smart cities companies, practitioners and policy makers. It envisions a world where digital technology, data and intelligent design are harnessed to create smart, sustainable cities with high-quality living and high-quality jobs. www.smartcitiescouncil.com

SOURCE: https://www.coastba.com.au/people-news/item/1853-the-mobile-workers-of-tomorrow

Cover Letter image

by Alyse Kalish

We love having examples. It’s so much easier to follow a recipe, build a puzzle, or yes, even write a cover letter when you know what the end product should look like.

So that’s what we’re going to give you—all the cover letter examples and tips you need to make yours shine (we’re unfortunately not experts in recipes or puzzles).

Want to get right down to business? Skip ahead to:

Why Bother With a Cover Letter at All?

Before we jump in, it’s worth emphasizing why cover letters still exist and are worthy of your attention. I bet when you see a job listing where one’s “optional” you gleefully submit a resume and move on. But you’re truly doing yourself a disservice by not creating one (or by writing one that’s super generic or formulaic).

“When you’re writing a resume you’re oftentimes confined by space, by resume speak, by keywords—you’re up against a lot of technical requirements,” says Melody Godfred, a Muse career coach and founder of Write in Color who’s read thousands of cover letters over the course of her career, “whereas in a cover letter you have an opportunity to craft a narrative that aligns you not only with the position you’re applying to but also the company you’re applying to.”

When you’re writing a resume you’re oftentimes confined by space, by resume speak, by keywords—you’re up against a lot of technical requirements, whereas in a cover letter you have an opportunity to craft a narrative that aligns you not only with the position you’re applying to but also the company you’re applying to.

It helps you explain your value proposition, stand out from the stack, and create “continuity between your application and the person you’re going to be when you walk into the room,” Godfred says. If there’s a gap in your resume, you have the opportunity to explain why it’s there. If you’re changing careers, you have the chance to describe why you’re making the switch. If your resume’s pretty dull, a cover letter helps you add personality to an otherwise straightforward career path.

Convinced? A little less worried? Maybe not sold on the idea but now know why you need to spend time on it? Either way, let’s get started—we promise this will be painless.

The Elements of a Perfect Cover Letter

Let’s go back to puzzles for a second. They’re made up of bits and pieces that fit together a specific way to complete the whole, right?

Cover letters are a little like puzzles. When you put each component in its proper place (and remove any parts that don’t fit), you create a complete picture.

Every great cover letter includes the following:

An Engaging Opening Line

Not “I’m applying for [position].” Not “I’m writing to be considered for a role at [Company].” Not “Hello! How’s it going? Please hire me!”

Your opening line is everything. How you start a cover letter influences whether someone keeps reading—and you want them to, right?

“Starting with something that immediately connects you to the company is essential—something that tells the company that this is not a generic cover letter,” says Godfred. “Even if your second paragraph is something that doesn’t ever change, that first intro is where you have to say something that tells the employer, ‘I wrote this just for you.’”

It can be a childhood memory tying you back to the company’s mission. It can be a story about the time you fell in love with the company’s product. It can be an anecdote from another job or experience showing how hard of a worker you are. Whatever you decide to open with, make it memorable.

A Clear Pitch

The next few paragraphs, Godfred explains, are where you include one of two things: “If you’re someone who’s transitioning careers, and you need to explain that transition, you do it there.” But if you’re not a career changer, use this section to “hit them with the strongest results you have that are aligned with the opportunity,” she states.

Ryan Kahn—Muse career coach and founder of The Hired Group—calls this your pitch. In other words, the part where you’re “selling yourself for the position and why you’re qualified for it.”

Godfred emphasizes that this section should have a balance of soft and hard skills. Talk about your experience using Salesforce or doing SEO work (and get those job description keywords in! More on that later), but also highlight your ability to lead teams and communicate effectively.

“Companies are embracing authenticity, they’re embracing humanity, they’re looking for people who are going to fit their culture. So what are your values? What do you stand for?” says Godfred. These values should be as much a part of your cover letter as the nitty-gritty.

A Great Closing Line

Kahn explains that your closing line could include your next steps, such as “I welcome the opportunity to speak with you more about how I can contribute to [team]” or “I would love to schedule a time for us to discuss this role and my experience.”

But more importantly, “you want to make sure that you’re gracious and thanking them,” he says. While seemingly cliché, it never hurts to end on a simple “thank you for your consideration.”

You can, however, exclude the “references upon request” line. “If an employer wants your references, you better believe they’ll ask for them,” says Godfred.

A Few Other Cover Letter Essentials

First off—please, I beg you, address your cover letter to a person. No “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” People don’t talk that way, so why would they want to read it?

Secondly, keep the applicant tracking system, or ATS, in mind. This robot will be sifting through your cover letter much in the way it does with your resume, so you’ll want to scatter relevant keywords from the job description throughout your cover letter where it makes sense.

Third of all, get your contact information on there, including your name, phone number, and email (most of the time, your address and theirs is irrelevant)—and on every page, if yours goes over one.

“Imagine you come across a cover letter and you print it out with a bunch of applications to review and it doesn’t have the person’s contact information on it,” states Godfred. “You never want to put yourself in a situation where you’re the right person and they can’t find you.”

And know that the ATS can’t read crazy formatting, so keep your font and layout simple.

How to Get Started Writing a Cover Letter

Overall, says Godfred, “when you’re up against dwindling attention spans, the more concise you can be the better. Make every single word count.”

To get started, she always suggests that her clients do a “brain dump.” Once you just get your ideas onto the page, then “ask yourself how you can cut half of it.” Through this process, “you’ll find that those very generic phrases oftentimes are the first to go,” she says. You only have so much space to get your point across, so focus on the information that isn’t stated elsewhere rather than simply regurgitating your resume.

This can feel like a lot to do on one cover letter, let alone several, so Kahn likes to remind his clients that quality comes first. Target the jobs you’re most closely drawn to and qualified for and give them all your energy, rather than try to churn out hundreds of cover letters. You may not be able to apply to as many jobs, but you’re guaranteed to have better results in terms of response rate.

Cover Letters Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Whether you’re writing a cover letter for a data scientist or executive assistant position, an internship or a senior-level role, a startup or a Fortune 500 company, you’re going to want to tailor it to the role, company, and culture (not to mention, the job description).

Don’t fret! We’ve got examples of the four basic types of cover letters below: a traditional cover letter, an impact cover letter, a writing sample cover letter, and a career change cover letter. We’ve also included the exact job descriptions they’re written for—to help inspire you to tailor yours to a specific position.

One note before you read on: There’s a difference between your cover letter and the email you send with your application. If you’re not sure whether to copy and paste your letter into your email or attach it as a document, common practice is to pick either/or, not both.

Example #1The Traditional Cover Letter

A traditional cover letter, is, as you guessed it, based on your average cover letter template. You’ll most likely write this version if you’re applying to a very traditional company (like a law firm or major healthcare company) or a very traditional role (like a lawyer or accountant), or when you’re just looking to lean more conservative and safe.

The Job Description

Let’s say you’re applying to a paralegal job opening. The job description might look something like this:

Responsibilities

  • Draft routine legal documents for review and use by attorneys
  • Coordinate and organize materials and presentations for board meetings
  • Research legal and related business issues and report findings and conclusions to team
  • Provide overall legal administrative support of the legal team
  • Maintain calendars and ensure timely filings

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent of relevant education and work experience
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written)
  • Strong organizational, multitasking, and prioritizing skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Trustworthy, positive, energetic, and optimistic attitude with a willingness to roll up your sleeves

The Cover Letter Example

Under the constraints of keeping things strictly professional, here’s what you could write without sounding too boring or jargon-y:

Dear Ms. Jessica Tilman,

In my five-year career as a paralegal, I have honed my legal research and writing skills, and the attorneys I’ve worked with have complimented me on my command of case law and litigation support. Spiegel Law Firm’s 20 years in practice proves that the firm has strong values and excellent attorneys, which is why I want to be a part of the Spiegel Law Firm team.

I currently serve as a paralegal for Chandler LLC, where I work closely with the partners on a number of high-priority cases. During my time here, I implemented a new calendar system that ensures timely filing of court papers. This system has prevented missed deadlines and allowed for better organization of internal and client meetings.

Previously, as a paralegal for the Neuerburg Law Firm, I received praise for my overall support of the legal team and my positive attitude.

My further qualifications include a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a paralegal certificate, and training in LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Microsoft Office Suite.

I would love the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to your legal team. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Chase Broadstein
chasebroadstein@emailcentral.com
(222) 222-2222

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Why This Works

It’s short, sweet, and to the point. It shows both a knack for getting things done in a thorough and timely matter and an energy for helping out wherever it’s needed. They also toss some important keywords in there: implemented a new calendar system, My further qualifications include a Bachelor’s Degree…, training in LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Microsoft Office Suite…

Finally, it expresses a genuine interest in this specific firm in its opening lines.

Example #2The Impact Cover Letter

The impact cover letter works best for roles where you’re expected to deliver on certain goals or results. Maybe you’re in sales and the job calls for hitting a certain quota each quarter. Or maybe you’re an event planner looking to show you can run X number of conferences or create Y number of marketing campaigns. The key for this, then, will be to put your accomplishments front and center.

The Job Description

You’ve come across an opening for an email marketing manager. The job description states the following:

Responsibilities

  • Manage email marketing strategy and calendar, including copywriting, optimization, monitoring, reporting, and analysis of campaigns
  • Improve campaign success through conversion optimization, A/B testing, and running experiments
  • Measure and report on performance of campaigns, assessing against goals
  • Collaborate with the design team to determine content strategy and ensure brand guidelines are followed in emails
  • Partner and collaborate cross-functionally with sales, product, product marketing, and data teams

Requirements

  • 3+ years in email marketing or equivalent field
  • Experience with Google Analytics, HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, and SEO a plus
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written) and an eye for copyediting
  • Team player with strong interpersonal, relationship-building, and stakeholder management skills
  • Excellent project management, problem solving, and time management skills, with the ability to multitask effectively

The Cover Letter Example

Your personality can shine more directly through this kind of cover letter, but you’ll want to make sure your hard skills and successes stand out:

Dear Russ Roman,

I have a problem. See, my inbox currently (and embarrassingly) hosts 1,500 unread emails—including newsletters from at least 50 different brands.

But this problem only fuels my passion for creating emails that are worth opening. Because from my perspective, as someone who can barely get through their own stack of mail, that’s a true win.

I’ve been following Vitabe for years, and can proudly say that I open every single email you send to me. I’m a sucker for a good subject line—“Take a Vitamin-ute—We’ll A-B-C You Soon” being my favorite—and the way your email content feels both fun and expert-backed really speaks to me. This is why I’m thrilled to submit my application for a role as email marketing manager at your company.

I have over four years of experience working in the email marketing space. In my current role at Westside Bank, I was able to implement new email campaigns centered around reengaging churned clients. By analyzing data around the types of clients who churn and the engagement of our current email subscribers, as well as A/B testing headlines and newsletter layouts, we were able to increase email subscribers by 15% and convert 30% of those subscribers to purchase our product, a significant increase from the previous year. I also launched a “Your Credit Matters” newsletter focused on educating our clients on how they spend and manage their credit—which became our highest performing campaign in terms of open-rates and click-through to date.

Previously, as a member of the marketing team at Dream Diary Mattresses, I collaborated with the sales and product team to understand how I could best support them in hitting their quarterly goals. One specific project involving creating personalized emails for customers drew more people to come back to our site after 30 days than direct paid ad campaigns, leading to a 112% increase in revenue from the last quarter.

I take the content I write and the calendars I manage seriously, editing and refining to the point beyond being detail-oriented into scary territory, and I feel my experience and drive would greatly help Vitabe further develop their email program for success.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Lad Miller
lmiller@inboxeseverywhere.com
(987) 654-3210

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Why This Works

This sample cover letter concisely highlights the person’s significant achievements and ties them back to the job description. By adding context to how their projects were created, monitored, and completed, they’re able to show just how results-driven they are.

One thing worth noting: This person didn’t include skills such as Google Analytics, HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, and SEO—all of which are listed in the job description. The reason they decided not to was simply because those skills are most likely in their resume, and they wanted to use the space they had to discuss specific projects and tell a story not visible on other parts of their application.

infographic of cover letter example impact cover letter

Example #3The Writing Sample Cover Letter

Often for roles where communication is king, such as PR, copyediting, or reporting, your cover letter will either substitute for or complement your writing samples. So it’s just as important to write eloquently as it is to showcase your skill set.

The Job Description

Let’s take the example of a staff writer position. The requirements might include the following:

Responsibilities

  • Pitch and write editorial content and collaborate with teams to report on timely issues and trends
  • Evaluate content performance and digital trends on a daily basis to constantly adjust pitches and packaging
  • Utilize CMS tools, strategically select photos and videos, and request original graphics to optimize all written content for maximum engagement

Requirements

  • At least 2-3 years of experience creating content at a digital-first outlet
  • Strong writing and reporting skills, and the ability to write clearly and quickly
  • Familiarity with working in a CMS and with analytics tools such as Google Analytics
  • Deadline-driven, strategic thinker with a knack for crafting click-y headlines
  • Strong collaborator who thrives in fast-paced environments

The Cover Letter Example

Have fun with this one, but make sure you’ve tripled-checked for spelling and grammar mistakes, and are showing off your best writing tactics:

Dear Mr. Kolsh,

Since I could walk, I’ve been dancing. And since I could read, I’ve been glued to Arabesque Weekly.

At one point, you featured one of my local heros—a ballerina who struggled with an injury early in her career and went on to become a principal at Pacific Northwest Ballet—and I plastered the article above my childhood bed. It’s still there today.

Of course, I never became a star myself, but it was that article and so many others you’ve published that taught me that dancing was about more than just pirouettes and arabesques (sorry, I had to)—and that the right kind of writer can shed light on aspects of the art that make it surprising, impactful, and universal. I can be that writer.

As an editorial assistant for The Improv Group for the past two and a half years, my main responsibility was to get all of our content ready to go live. This included a final round of proofreading, adding in HTML where necessary, fact-checking, and finding photos, videos, and GIFs that would complement the content and optimize audience engagement. As I tinkered with each post, I became intimately familiar with our internal CMS and what makes a piece perfect.

But, by far, my favorite aspect of this role has been writing. Each week, I pitch and write at least one article, from 250-word news items to 900-word advice pieces to even longer personal essays. I love the challenge of developing pitches that align with the trends we see in the data, fit in with the company’s brand and mission, and allow me to flex my creative muscles.

Collaborating with my team to form the best content library we can has been a dream come true. I am ready to use my experience to help Arabesque Weekly achieve all its big and small goals. And I hope to one day write a story that another child tapes to their wall forever.

It would be an honor to be a part of your editorial team, and I look forward to the possibility of discussing the opportunity with you.

Hoping to be your next staff writer,
Marlee Wood
marleew@mailplace.net
(555) 666-4433

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Why This Works

This candidate is clearly passionate about this specific publication and leads with a unique personal anecdote tied to the company’s mission and further showing their ability to tell stories in a compelling way. There are relevant keywords and phrases, sure, but they’re not just thrown in there. Every sentence carries a specific voice, proving this person knows how to communicate effectively.

Example #4The Career Change Cover Letter

Like I said earlier, cover letters can play a big part in helping career changers prove their worth—especially when it’s unclear how your skills transfer over to this new field.

Writing a career change cover letter requires a bit more strategy. You’ll want to highlight the obvious skills you have that relate to the job description, but you’ll also want to draw a line between experiences you’ve had in the past and responsibilities you might have in this new role. Finally, you’ll want to explain, if not emphasize, why you’re making the switch and what’s driving you toward this specific industry, company, or position.

The Job Description

Let’s say you’re someone who has experience supporting a sales team as an administrative assistant, and you’re now looking to become a sales representative. You come across the following job posting:

Responsibilities

  • Develop new sales techniques and strategies to build pipeline and hit team goals
  • Coordinate with other teams to increase lead generation efforts
  • Assist in the processing of new business, including contacting customers to finalize sales and service transactions

Requirements

  • 1-3 years of successful sales experience
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written)
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment
  • Ability to work independently to plan, set priorities, and effectively organize work
  • Proven ability to be persuasive, persistent, and confident in closing a sale

The Cover Letter Example

Here’s how you might translate your past experience over to this new (and exciting) prospect:

Dear Maria Ross,

The head of sales at Sunshine Inc. was in a bind. She needed six client meetings scheduled, 18 service transactions processed, and a summary of the team’s new lead generation campaign drafted before getting on a flight to Austin—in three hours. So, she turned to her cool-headed, sales-savvy administrative assistant for help. That assistant was me. Not only did I execute everything on her to-do list, I did it all before her plane left the ground.

For three years, I worked in lockstep with a busy, growth-oriented sales leader to support the business development team. As the sole administrative assistant in the department, I balanced a swath of competing priorities, ranging from data entry and meeting coordination to contacting customers, finalizing transactions, and creating promotional materials. This role helped me to develop a comprehensive understanding of the sales cycle, sales strategy, and pipeline growth.

Like many others, my career path hasn’t been entirely straightforward. After leaving Crabapple Media, I enrolled in a local coding training program. Six months later, I emerged with a certificate in computer programming and a certainty that I did not want to be a coder. But education is never wasted. I’m now an aspiring sales representative with experience supporting a thriving sales team and extensive knowledge of the tech space.

Here’s a little bit more about how my experience would translate into this role:

  • At Crabapple Media, I assisted in coordinating three annual sales strategy rollouts, each yielding a 26% increase in pipeline YoY.
  • At Sunshine Inc., I supported 12 independent team members in their lead generation efforts. I also assisted in processing an average of 300 sales transactions every quarter.
  • I thrive in busy, ever-changing environments that require me to communicate clearly and concisely. Supporting a high-volume team and a busy executive helped me to hone these skills—I typically sent more than 200 emails a day!

I would, of course, love to schedule a time for us to discuss this role and my experience, and I truly want to thank you for considering me.

All the best,
Jaclyne Dean
jdean@iloveemail.com
(123) 456-789

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Why This Works

The opener draws you in, leading you to want to learn more. It toots the person’s horn, but in a way that’s traceable. Then, the next couple sections explain both their experience in the sales space and in roles before, eventually tying that back to why they’re applying to this specific job. Similar to the impact cover letter, the author lists some of the more important qualities they bring to the table, doing a bit of keyword stuffing and resume gap explaining along the way.

Hopefully these cover letter examples help as you go to tackle your own. Remember: This is just one small step in the process! Take your time, but learn to move on when you’ve given it your all.

To further guide you, read some of the best cover letters we’ve ever encountered and check out this cover letter template.

And, don’t forget to edit! Read about how to cut a cover letter down to one page (because any longer and no one’s reading), plus everything you should double check before pressing submit.

SOURCE: https://www.themuse.com/advice/cover-letter-examples-every-type-job-seeker

Interviewing Image

by The Muse Editor

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview?

We can’t read minds, unfortunately, but we’ll give you the next best thing: a list of more than 40 of the most commonly asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.

While we don’t recommend having a canned response for every interview question (in fact, please don’t), we do recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for in your responses, and what it takes to show that you’re the right person for the job.

Consider this list your interview question and answer study guide.

  1. Tell Me About Yourself.
  2. How Did You Hear About This Position?
  3. Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?
  4. Why Do You Want This Job?
  5. Why Should We Hire You?
  6. What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
  7. What Do You Consider to Be Your Weaknesses?
  8. What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?
  9. Tell Me About a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It.
  10. Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills.
  11. What’s a Time You Disagreed With a Decision That Was Made at Work?
  12. Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake.
  13. Tell Me About a Time You Failed.
  14. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?
  15. Why Were You Fired?
  16. Why Was There a Gap in Your Employment?
  17. Can You Explain Why You Changed Career Paths?
  18. What’s Your Current Salary?
  19. What Do You Like Least About Your Job?
  20. What Are You Looking for in a New Position?
  21. What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer?
  22. What’s Your Management Style?
  23. How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?
  24. How Do You Deal With Pressure or Stressful Situations?
  25. What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work?
  26. Are You Planning on Having Children?
  27. How Do You Prioritize Your Work?
  28. What Are You Passionate About?
  29. What Motivates You?
  30. What Are Your Pet Peeves?
  31. How Do You Like to Be Managed?
  32. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
  33. What’s Your Dream Job?
  34. What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?
  35. What Makes You Unique?
  36. What Should I Know That’s Not on Your Resume?
  37. What Would Your First 30, 60, or 90 Days Look Like in This Role?
  38. What Are Your Salary Requirements?
  39. What Do You Think We Could Do Better or Differently?
  40. When Can You Start?
  41. Are You Willing to Relocate?
  42. How Many Tennis Balls Can You Fit Into a Limousine?
  43. If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?
  44. Sell Me This Pen.
  45. Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us to Know?
  46. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?
  47. Bonus Questions

Classic Questions

These frequently asked questions touch on the essentials hiring managers want to know about every candidate: who you are, why you’re a fit for the job, and what you’re good at. You may not be asked exactly these questions in exactly these words, but if you have answers in mind for them, you’ll be prepared for just about anything the interviewer throws your way.

1. Tell Me About Yourself.

This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. Here’s the deal: Don’t give your complete employment (or personal) history. Instead give a pitch—one that’s concise and compelling and that shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Muse writer and MIT career counselor Lily Zhang recommends using a present, past, future formula. Talk a little bit about your current role (including the scope and perhaps one big accomplishment), then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant. Finally, segue into why you want—and would be perfect for—this role.

Read More: A Complete Guide to Answering “Tell Me About Yourself” in an Interview (Plus Examples!)

2. How Did You Hear About This Position?

Another seemingly innocuous interview question, this is actually a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for and connection to the company. For example, if you found out about the gig through a friend or professional contact, name drop that person, then share why you were so excited about it. If you discovered the company through an event or article, share that. Even if you found the listing through a random job board, share what, specifically, caught your eye about the role.

Read More: 3 Ways People Mess Up the (Simple) Answer to “How Did You Come Across This Job Opportunity?”

3. Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?

Beware of generic answers! If what you say can apply to a whole slew of other companies, or if your response makes you sound like every other candidate, you’re missing an opportunity to stand out. Zhang recommends one of four strategies: Do your research and point to something that makes the company unique that really appeals to you; talk about how you’ve watched the company grow and change since you first heard of it; focus on the organization’s opportunities for future growth and how you can contribute to it; or share what’s gotten you excited from your interactions with employees so far. Whichever route you choose, make sure to be specific. And if you can’t figure out why you’d want to work at the company you’re interviewing with by the time you’re well into the hiring process? It might be a red flag telling you that this position is not the right fit.

Read More: 4 Better Ways to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?”

4. Why Do You Want This Job?

Again, companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job, so you should have a great answer about why you want the position. (And if you don’t? You probably should apply elsewhere.) First, identify a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you (e.g., “I love customer support because I love the constant human interaction and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem”), then share why you love the company (e.g., “I’ve always been passionate about education, and I think you’re doing great things, so I want to be a part of it”).

Read More: 3 Steps for Answering “Why Do You Want This Job?”

5. Why Should We Hire You?

This interview question seems forward (not to mention intimidating!), but if you’re asked it, you’re in luck: There’s no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager. Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things: that you can not only do the work, but also deliver great results; that you’ll really fit in with the team and culture; and that you’d be a better hire than any of the other candidates.

Read More: 3 Better Ways to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?”

6. What Are Your Greatest Strengths?

Here’s an opening to talk about something that makes you great—and a great fit for this role. When you’re answering this question, think quality, not quantity. In other words, don’t rattle off a list of adjectives. Instead, pick one or a few (depending on the question) specific qualities that are relevant to this position and illustrate them with examples. Stories are always more memorable than generalizations. And if there’s something you were hoping to mention because it makes you a great candidate, but you haven’t had a chance yet, this would be the perfect time.

Read More: 3 Smart Strategies for Answering “What’s Your Greatest Strength?”

7. What Do You Consider to Be Your Weaknesses?

What your interviewer is really trying to do with this question—beyond identifying any major red flags—is to gauge your self-awareness and honesty. So, “I can’t meet a deadline to save my life” is not an option—but neither is “Nothing! I’m perfect!” Strike a balance by thinking of something that you struggle with but that you’re working to improve. For example, maybe you’ve never been strong at public speaking, but you’ve recently volunteered to run meetings to help you get more comfortable when addressing a crowd.

Read More: 4 Ways to Answer “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?” That Actually Sound Believable

Questions About Your Work History

The meat of any job interview is your track record at work: what you accomplished, how you succeeded or failed (and how you dealt with it), and how you behaved in real time in actual work environments. If you prep a few versatile stories to tell about your work history and practice answering behavioral interview questions, you’ll be ready to go.

8. What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?

Nothing says “hire me” better than a track record of achieving amazing results in past jobs, so don’t be shy when answering this interview question! A great way to do so is by using the STAR method: situation, task, action, results. Set up the situation and the task that you were required to complete to provide the interviewer with background context (e.g., “In my last job as a junior analyst, it was my role to manage the invoicing process”), then describe what you did (the action) and what you achieved (the result): “In one month, I streamlined the process, which saved my group 10 person-hours each month and reduced errors on invoices by 25%.”

Read More: How to Knock Your Next Interview Out of the Park

9. Tell Me About a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It.

You’re probably not eager to talk about conflicts you’ve had at work during a job interview. But if you’re asked directly, don’t pretend you’ve never had one. Be honest about a difficult situation you’ve faced (but without going into the kind of detail you’d share venting to a friend). “Most people who ask are only looking for evidence that you’re willing to face these kinds of issues head-on and make a sincere attempt at coming to a resolution,” former recruiter Rich Moy says. Stay calm and professional as you tell the story (and answer any follow-up questions), spend more time talking about the resolution than the conflict, and mention what you’d do differently next time to show “you’re open to learning from tough experiences.”

Read More: 3 Ways You’re Messing Up the Answer to, “Tell Me About a Conflict You’ve Faced at Work”

10. Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills.

You don’t have to have a fancy title to act like a leader or demonstrate leadership skills. Think about a time when you headed up a project, took the initiative to propose an alternate process, or helped motivate your team to get something done. Then use the STAR method to tell your interviewer a story, giving enough detail to paint a picture (but not so much that you start rambling) and making sure you spell out the result. In other words, be clear about why you’re telling this particular story and connect all the dots for the interviewer.

Read More: The Best Way to Answer “Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills” in a Job Interview

11. What’s a Time You Disagreed With a Decision That Was Made at Work?

The ideal anecdote here is one where you handled a disagreement in a professional way and learned something from the experience. Zhang recommends paying particular attention to how you start and end your response. To open, make a short statement to frame the rest of your answer, one that nods at the ultimate takeaway or the reason you’re telling this story. For example: “I learned early on in my professional career that it’s fine to disagree if you can back up your hunches with data.” And to close strong, you can either give a one-sentence summary of your answer (“In short…”) or talk briefly about how what you learned or gained from this experience would help you in the role you’re interviewing for.

Read More: How to Answer “Tell Me About a Time When…” Interview Questions

12. Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake.

You’re probably not too eager to dig into past blunders when you’re trying to impress an interviewer and land a job. But talking about a mistake and winning someone over aren’t mutually exclusive, Moy says. In fact, if you do it right, it can help you. The key is to be honest without placing blame on other people, then explain what you learned from your mistake and what actions you took to ensure it didn’t happen again. At the end of the day, employers are looking for folks who are self-aware, can take feedback, and care about doing better.

Read More: 3 Rules That Guarantee You’ll Nail the Answer to “Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake”

13. Tell Me About a Time You Failed.

This question is very similar to the one about making a mistake, and you should approach your answer in much the same way. Make sure you pick a real, actual failure you can speak honestly about. Start by making it clear to the interviewer how you define failure. For example: “As a manager, I consider it a failure whenever I’m caught by surprise. I strive to know what’s going on with my team and their work.” Then situate the example in relation to that definition and explain what happened. Finally, don’t forget to share what you learned. It’s OK to fail—everyone does sometimes—but it’s important to show that you took something from the experience.

Read More: 4 Steps for Answering “Tell Me About a Time When You Failed”

14. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?

This is a toughie, but one you can be sure you’ll be asked. Definitely keep things positive—you have nothing to gain by being negative about your current employer. Instead, frame things in a way that shows that you’re eager to take on new opportunities and that the role you’re interviewing for is a better fit for you. For example, “I’d really love to be part of product development from beginning to end, and I know I’d have that opportunity here.” And if you were let go from your most recent job? Keep it simple: “Unfortunately, I was let go,” is a totally acceptable answer.

Read More: 4 Better Ways to Answer “Why Are You Leaving Your Job?”

15. Why Were You Fired?

Of course, they may ask the follow-up question: Why were you let go? If you lost your job due to layoffs, you can simply say, “The company [reorganized/merged/was acquired] and unfortunately my [position/department] was eliminated.” But what if you were fired for performance reasons? Your best bet is to be honest (the job-seeking world is small, after all). But it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Frame it as a learning experience: Share how you’ve grown and how you approach your job and life now as a result. And if you can portray your growth as an advantage for this next job, even better.

Read More: Stop Cringing! How to Tell an Interviewer You’ve Been Fired

16. Why Was There a Gap in Your Employment?

Maybe you were taking care of children or aging parents, dealing with health issues, or traveling the world. Maybe it just took you a long time to land the right job. Whatever the reason, you should be prepared to discuss the gap (or gaps) on your resume. Seriously, practice saying your answer out loud. The key is to be honest, though that doesn’t mean you have to share more details than you’re comfortable with. If there are skills or qualities you honed or gained in your time away from the workforce—whether through volunteer work, running a home, or responding to a personal crisis—you can also talk about how those would help you excel in this role.

Read More: How to Explain the Gap in Your Resume With Ease

17. Can You Explain Why You Changed Career Paths?

Don’t be thrown off by this question—just take a deep breath and explain to the hiring manager why you’ve made the career decisions you have. More importantly, give a few examples of how your past experience is transferable to the new role. This doesn’t have to be a direct connection; in fact, it’s often more impressive when a candidate can show how seemingly irrelevant experience is very relevant to the role.

Read More: How to Explain Your Winding Career Path to a Hiring Manager

18. What’s Your Current Salary?

It’s now illegal for some or all employers to ask you about your salary history in several cities and states, including New York City; Louisville, North Carolina; California; and Massachusetts. But no matter where you live, it can be stressful to hear this question. Don’t panic—there are several possible strategies you can turn to. For example, you can deflect the question, Muse career coach Emily Liou says, with a response like: “Before discussing any salary, I’d really like to learn more about what this role entails. I’ve done a lot of research on [Company] and I am certain if it’s the right fit, we’ll be able to agree on a number that’s fair and competitive to both parties.” You can also reframe the question around your salary expectations or requirements (see question 38) or choose to share the number if you think it will work in your favor.

Read More: Here’s How You Answer the Illegal “What’s Your Current Salary” Question

19. What Do You Like Least About Your Job?

Tread carefully here! The last thing you want to do is let your answer devolve into a rant about how terrible your current company is or how much you hate your boss or that one coworker. The easiest way to handle this question with poise is to focus on an opportunity the role you’re interviewing for offers that your current job doesn’t. You can keep the conversation positive and emphasize why you’re so excited about the job.

Read More: What Interviewers Really Want When They Ask, “What Do You Like Least About Your Job?”

Questions About You and Your Goals

Another crucial aspect of an interview? Getting to know a candidate. That’s why you’ll likely encounter questions about how you work, what you’re looking for (in a job, a team, a company, and a manager), and what your goals are. It’s a good sign if your interviewers want to make sure you’ll be a good fit—or add—to the team. Use it as an opportunity!

20. What Are You Looking for in a New Position?

Hint: Ideally the same things that this position has to offer. Be specific.

Read More: 4 Steps for Answering “What Are You Looking for in a New Position?”

21. What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer?

Hint: Ideally one that’s similar to the environment of the company you’re applying to. Be specific.

Read More: 3 Steps to Answering “What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer?”

22. What’s Your Management Style?

The best managers are strong but flexible, and that’s exactly what you want to show off in your answer. (Think something like, “While every situation and every team member requires a bit of a different strategy, I tend to approach my employee relationships as a coach…”) Then share a couple of your best managerial moments, like when you grew your team from five to 15 or coached an underperforming employee to become the company’s top salesperson.

Read More: How to Answer “What’s Your Management Style?”

23. How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?

First of all, be honest (remember, if you make it to the final round, the hiring manager will be calling your former bosses and coworkers for references!). Then try to pull out strengths and traits you haven’t discussed in other aspects of the interview, such as your strong work ethic or your willingness to pitch in on other projects when needed.

Read More: 3 Strategies for Answering “How Would Your Boss or Coworkers Describe You?”

24. How Do You Deal With Pressure or Stressful Situations?

Here’s another question you may feel the urge to sidestep in an effort to prove you’re the perfect candidate who can handle anything. But it’s important not to dismiss this one (i.e. don’t say “I just put my head down and push through it” or “I don’t get stressed out”). Instead, talk about your go-to strategies for dealing with stress (whether it’s meditating for 10 minutes every day or making sure you go for a run or keeping a super-detailed to-do list) and how you communicate and otherwise proactively try to mitigate pressure. If you can give a real example of a stressful situation you navigated successfully, all the better.

Read More: 3 Ways You’re Messing Up the Answer to “How Do You Deal With Stressful Situations?”

25. What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work?

Interviewers will sometimes ask about your hobbies or interests outside of work in order to get to know you a little better—to find out what you’re passionate about and devote time to during your off-hours. It’s another chance to let your personality shine. Be honest, but keep it professional and be mindful of answers that might make it sound like you’re going to spend all your time focusing on something other than the job you’re applying for.

Read More: 5 Secrets for Acing Your Next Interview

26. Are You Planning on Having Children?

Questions about your family status, gender (“How would you handle managing a team of all men?”), nationality (“Where were you born?”), religion, or age are illegal—but they still get asked (and frequently). Of course, not always with ill intent—the interviewer might just be trying to make conversation and might not realize these are off-limits—but you should definitely tie any questions about your personal life (or anything else you think might be inappropriate) back to the job at hand. For this question, think: “You know, I’m not quite there yet. But I am very interested in the career paths at your company. Can you tell me more about that?”

Read More: 5 Illegal Interview Questions and How to Dodge Them

27. How Do You Prioritize Your Work?

Your interviewers want to know that you can manage your time, exercise judgement, communicate, and shift gears when needed. Start by talking about whatever system you’ve found works for you to plan your day or week, whether it’s a to-do list app you swear by or a color-coded spreadsheet. This is one where you’ll definitely want to lean on a real-life example. So go on to describe how you’ve reacted to a last-minute request or another unexpected shift in priorities in the past, incorporating how you evaluated and decided what to do and how you communicated with your manager and/or teammates about it.

Read More: A Foolproof Method to Answer the Interview Question “How Do You Prioritize Your Work?”

28. What Are You Passionate About?

You’re not a robot programmed to do your work and then power down. You’re a human, and if someone asks you this question in an interview, it’s probably because they want to get to know you better. The answer can align directly with the type of work you’d be doing in that role—like if, for example, you’re applying to be a graphic designer and spend all of your free time creating illustrations and data visualizations to post on Instagram.

But don’t be afraid to talk about a hobby that’s different from your day-to-day work. Bonus points if you can “take it one step further and connect how your passion would make you an excellent candidate for the role you are applying for,” says Muse career coach Al Dea. Like if you’re a software developer who loves to bake, you might talk about how the ability to be both creative and precise informs your approach to code.

Read More: 3 Authentic Ways to Answer “What Are You Passionate About?” in a Job Interview

29. What Motivates You?

Before you panic about answering what feels like a probing existential question, consider that the interviewer wants to make sure you’re excited about this role at this company, and that you’ll be motivated to succeed if they pick you. So think back to what has energized you in previous roles and pinpoint what made your eyes light up when you read this job description. Pick one thing, make sure it’s relevant to the role and company you’re interviewing for, and try to weave in a story to help illustrate your point. If you’re honest, which you should be, your enthusiasm will be palpable.

Read More: 5 Easy Steps to Answer “What Motivates You?” in an Interview

30. What Are Your Pet Peeves?

Here’s another one that feels like a minefield. But it’ll be easier to navigate if you know why an interviewer is asking it. Most likely, they want to make sure you’ll thrive at their company—and get a glimpse of how you deal with conflict. So be certain you pick something that doesn’t contradict the culture and environment at this organization while still being honest. Then explain why and what you’ve done to address it in the past, doing your best to stay calm and composed. Since there’s no need to dwell on something that annoys you, you can keep this response short and sweet.

Read More: 6 Tips for Answering “What Are Your Pet Peeves?” in an Interview

31. How Do You Like to Be Managed?

This is another one of those questions that’s about finding the right fit—both from the company’s perspective and your own. Think back on what worked well for you in the past and what didn’t. What did previous bosses do that motivated you and helped you succeed and grow? Pick one or two things to focus on and always articulate them with a positive framing (even if your preference comes from an experience where your manager behaved in the opposite way, phrase it as what you would want a manager to do). If you can give a positive example from a great boss, it’ll make your answer even stronger.

Read More: 3 Easy Steps to Answer “How Do You Like to Be Managed?” in an Interview

32. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

If asked this question, be honest and specific about your future goals, but consider this: A hiring manager wants to know a) if you’ve set realistic expectations for your career, b) if you have ambition (a.k.a., this interview isn’t the first time you’re considering the question), and c) if the position aligns with your goals and growth. Your best bet is to think realistically about where this position could take you and answer along those lines. And if the position isn’t necessarily a one-way ticket to your aspirations? It’s OK to say that you’re not quite sure what the future holds, but that you see this experience playing an important role in helping you make that decision.

Read More: How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

33. What’s Your Dream Job?

Along similar lines, the interviewer wants to uncover whether this position is really in line with your ultimate career goals. While “an NBA star” might get you a few laughs, a better bet is to talk about your goals and ambitions—and why this job will get you closer to them.

Read More: The Secret Formula to Answering “What’s Your Dream Job?” in an Interview

34. What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?

Companies might ask you who else you’re interviewing with for a few reasons. Maybe they want to see how serious you are about this role and team (or even this field) or they’re trying to find out who they’re competing with to hire you. On one hand, you want to express your enthusiasm for this job, but at the same time, you don’t want to give the company any more leverage than it already has by telling them there’s no one else in the running. Depending on where you are in your search, you can talk about applying to or interviewing for a few roles that have XYZ in common—then mention how and why this role seems like a particularly good fit.

Read More: How to Answer “What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?”

35. What Makes You Unique?

“They genuinely want to know the answer,” Dea promises. Give them a reason to pick you over other similar candidates. The key is to keep your answer relevant to the role you’re applying to. So the fact that you can run a six-minute mile or crush a trivia challenge might not help you get the job (but hey, it depends on the job!). Use this opportunity to tell them something that would give you an edge over your competition for this position. To figure out what that is, you can ask some former colleagues, think back to patterns you’ve seen in feedback you get, or try to distill why people tend to turn to you. Focus on one or two things and don’t forget to back up whatever you say with evidence.

Read More: A Simple Way to Answer “What Makes You Unique?” in Your Job Search (Plus, Examples!)

36. What Should I Know That’s Not on Your Resume?

It’s a good sign if a recruiter or hiring manager is interested in more than just what’s on your resume. It probably means they looked at your resume, think you might be a good fit for the role, and want to know more about you. To make this wide-open question a little more manageable, try talking about a positive trait, a story or detail that reveals a little more about you and your experience, or a mission or goal that makes you excited about this role or company.

Read More: The Right Way to Answer “What Should I Know That’s Not on Your Resume?”

Questions About the Job

At the end of the day, the people on the other side of the hiring process want to make sure you could take on this role. That means they might ask you logistical questions to ensure that timing and other factors are aligned, and they might have you imagine what you’d do after starting.

37. What Would Your First 30, 60, or 90 Days Look Like in This Role?

Your potential future boss (or whoever else has asked you this question) wants to know that you’ve done your research, given some thought to how you’d get started, and would be able to take initiative if hired. So think about what information and aspects of the company and team you’d need to familiarize yourself with and which colleagues you’d want to sit down and talk to. You can also suggest one possible starter project to show you’d be ready to hit the ground running and contribute early on. This won’t necessarily be the thing you do first if you do get the job, but a good answer shows that you’re thoughtful and that you care.

Read More: 3 Interview Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer

38. What Are Your Salary Requirements?

The #1 rule of answering this question is doing your research on what you should be paid by using sites like Payscale and reaching out to your network. You’ll likely come up with a range, and we recommend stating the highest number in that range that applies, based on your experience, education, and skills. Then make sure the hiring manager knows that you’re flexible. You’re communicating that you know your skills are valuable, but that you want the job and are willing to negotiate.

You can also try to deflect or delay giving a number, especially if you get this question very early in the process, by saying something like, “I was hoping to get a sense of what range/band you had in mind for this role” or, as Liou suggests, “Before discussing any salary, I’d really like to learn more about what this role entails.”

Read More: Q&A: The Secret to Giving Your “Salary Requirements”

39. What Do You Think We Could Do Better or Differently?

This question can really do a number on you. How do you give a meaty answer without insulting the company or, worse, the person you’re speaking with? Well first, take a deep breath. Then start your response with something positive about the company or specific product you’ve been asked to discuss. When you’re ready to give your constructive feedback, give some background on the perspective you’re bringing to the table and explain why you’d make the change you’re suggesting (ideally based on some past experience or other evidence). And if you end with a question, you can show them you’re curious about the company or product and open to other points of view. Try: “Did you consider that approach here? I’d love to know more about your process.”

Read More: How to Answer the “How Would You Improve Our Company?” Interview Question Without Bashing Anyone

40. When Can You Start?

Your goal here should be to set realistic expectations that will work for both you and the company. What exactly that sounds like will depend on your specific situation. If you’re ready to start immediately—if you’re unemployed, for example—you could offer to start within the week. But if you need to give notice to your current employer, don’t be afraid to say so; people will understand and respect that you plan to wrap things up right. It’s also legitimate to want to take a break between jobs, though you might want to say you have “previously scheduled commitments to attend to” and try to be flexible if they really need someone to start a bit sooner.

Read More: 4 Ways to Answer the Interview Question “When Can You Start?”

41. Are You Willing to Relocate?

While this may sound like a simple yes-or-no question, it’s often a little bit more complicated than that. The simplest scenario is one where you’re totally open to moving and would be willing to do so for this opportunity. But if the answer is no, or at least not right now, you can reiterate your enthusiasm for the role, briefly explain why you can’t move at this time, and offer an alternative, like working remotely or out of a local office. Sometimes it’s not as clear-cut, and that’s OK. You can say you prefer to stay put for xyz reasons, but would be willing to consider relocating for the right opportunity.

Read More: The Best Responses to “Are You Willing to Relocate?” Depending on Your Situation

Questions That Test You

Depending on the style of the interviewer and company, you could get some pretty quirky questions. They’re often testing how you think through something on the spot. Don’t panic. Take a moment to think—and remember, there’s no one single correct answer or approach.

42. How Many Tennis Balls Can You Fit Into a Limousine?

1,000? 10,000? 100,000? Seriously? Well, seriously, you might get asked brain-teaser questions like these, especially in quantitative jobs. But remember that the interviewer doesn’t necessarily want an exact number—they want to make sure that you understand what’s being asked of you, and that you can set into motion a systematic and logical way to respond. So take a deep breath and start thinking through the math. (Yes, it’s OK to ask for a pen and paper!)

Read More: 9 Steps to Solving an Impossible Brain Teaser in a Tech Interview (Without Breaking a Sweat)

43. If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?

Seemingly random personality-test type questions like these come up in interviews because hiring managers want to see how you can think on your feet. There’s no wrong answer here, but you’ll immediately gain bonus points if your answer helps you share your strengths or personality or connect with the hiring manager. Pro tip: Come up with a stalling tactic to buy yourself some thinking time, such as saying, “Now, that is a great question. I think I would have to say…”

Read More: 4 Steps for Answering Off-the-Wall Interview Questions

44. Sell Me This Pen.

If you’re interviewing for a sales job, your interviewer might put you on the spot to sell them a pen sitting on the table, or a legal pad, or a water bottle, or just something. The main thing they’re testing you for? How you handle a high-pressure situation. So try to stay calm and confident and use your body language—making eye contact, sitting up straight, and more—to convey that you can handle this. Make sure you listen, understand your “customer’s” needs, get specific about the item’s features and benefits, and end strong—as though you were truly closing a deal.

Read More: 4 Tips for Responding to “Sell Me This Pen” in an Interview

Wrapping-Up Questions

When it comes time for the interview to wind down, you might have a chance to add any last thoughts and you’ll almost certainly have time to ask the questions that will help you decide if this company and role might be great for you. In fact, if they don’t leave time for you to ask any questions at any of your interviews, that might be a red flag in itself.

45. Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us to Know?

Just when you thought you were done, your interviewer asks you this open-ended doozy. Don’t panic—it’s not a trick question! You can use this as an opportunity to close out the meeting on a high note in one of two ways, Zhang says. First, if there really is something relevant that you haven’t had a chance to mention, do it now. Otherwise, you can briefly summarize your qualifications. For example, Zhang says, you could say: “I think we’ve covered most of it, but just to summarize, it sounds like you’re looking for someone who can really hit the ground running. And with my previous experience [enumerate experience here], I think I’d be a great fit.”

Read More: How to Answer “Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us to Know?”

46. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

You probably already know that an interview isn’t just a chance for a hiring manager to grill you—it’s an opportunity to sniff out whether a job is the right fit from your perspective. What do you want to know about the position? The company? The department? The team? You’ll cover a lot of this in the actual interview, so have a few less-common questions ready to go. We especially like questions targeted to the interviewer (“What’s your favorite part about working here?”) or the company’s growth (“What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?”)

Read More: 51 Great Questions to Ask in an Interview

Bonus Questions

Looking for more interview questions? Check out these lists of questions (and example answers!) for different types of interviews.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/interview-questions-and-answers

Opal-card-tap-760x437

Central Coast residents are encouraged to have their say on projected rises in Opal fares, to take effect mid year.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking community views about future Opal fares for the Central Coast and other locations.

IPART is looking at how to best set maximum annual fares to apply from July 2020, with the latest proposal for a maximum annual increase of 5% (about 30 cents) for single trips across all train, bus, light rail, metro and ferry services.

The proposed rise in single trip fares is intended to provide the government with more options to provide discounts to more regular transport users and off-peak fares to bus and light rail services without impacting the sustainability of transport services.

Fare revenue accounts for around a quarter of the cost of providing public transport.

The remainder is funded by taxpayers, the equivalent to $4,900 per household in 2018-19.

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2020/02/rises-in-opal-fares-expected/

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by ALYSE KALISH

Your resume is arguably the most valuable piece of paper for your career. But this document can be daunting for many. Maybe you’re not sure how to fit in all your information onto one page. Maybe you’re not sure about the right way to format and write your resume. Maybe you don’t even know what the heck a resume is!

Whatever your concern, we’ll break down everything you need to know about making the perfect resume, from scratch.

What Is a Resume?

A resume is a summary of your career, whether yours is just getting started or has been going on for years. Coming in at around one page in length (two only under specific circumstances), it showcases the jobs you’ve held and currently hold, the responsibilities you’ve taken on, the skills you’ve developed, and the qualities you bring to the table as an employee. Together, those things make it super easy for any hiring manager to see your qualifications and fit for a role.

For all the work you may put into writing one, hiring managers actually spend very little time—mere seconds in many cases—looking at your resume. But despite this sad fact, it’s safe to say that creating a great resume (rather than hastily throwing one together) still matters.

“If you miss the mark, your resume may never be read. Even worse, you might be removed from the applicant pool by a computer before a human even knows you exist,” says Muse career coach Heather Yurovsky, founder of Shatter & Shine. So you want to get it right because, as she explains, isn’t the goal to “spend less time looking for a job and more time in a role you love?”

You might be wondering if you can lean on your LinkedIn profile instead of writing a resume. The answer, sadly, is no. Most hiring managers still expect you to submit a resume, even if they also look at your LinkedIn. Even if you don’t need a resume for a job you’re applying for now, you’re going to need one at some point in your career—they’re not anywhere close to going out of style. So it’s best to always have one at the ready should an opportunity pop up.

And although LinkedIn has plenty of benefits, a resume has one clear advantage: While your LinkedIn is usually a broader picture of your career trajectory, your resume gives you the opportunity to tailor your career story to a specific role or company (more on that later).

Oh, and you’ve probably heard of something called a CV? It’s slightly different from a resume, and usually more common with academics and job seekers outside the U.S.

What Are Employers Looking for in a Resume?

Hiring managers look for three things on your resume, “What did you do? Why did you do it? And what was the result?” says Muse career coach Martin McGovern, owner of Career Therapy. “If you can answer all three of these questions in…your resume bullet points, you’re going to be on the right track.”

Clear, easy-to-understand language is key. “The truth is that most resumes make no sense. They are stuffed with jargon, they are too technical, and they are filled with redundancies. Try to read a resume that isn’t yours and you will quickly realize that it feels like an alien wrote it,” McGovern adds. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter who has no idea how your role works—how can you make your resume accessible to them?

The hiring manager also cares about more than just you and you alone—they care about you in relation to them. “Hiring managers want to see if a candidate matches the requirements” of the role they’re hiring for, Yurovsky explains. “Your resume should paint this picture so the hiring manager not only knows what day-to-day responsibilities you can handle, but why you, above other[s], bring value to their organization.”

How Do You Write a Resume?

Whether you’re someone who’s never written a resume in your life, or you need a nice, thorough refresher on the process of creating one, follow these steps to go from a blank page to a complete—and dare I say beautiful—document.

1. Pick Your Format

Before you start typing one single thing, you have to decide what you want the overall resume to look like.

Resume builders can be helpful for this step—they’ll take all your basic information and organize it for you, eliminating some of the legwork. You can also use a pre-made outline, such as one of these free Google Docs templates.

But it’s often safest to start with a clean slate all on your own and eventually upgrade to a more advanced layout. This allows you to course correct, edit and re-edit, and choose a resume format that best fits your particular situation (after all, not everyone has a career trajectory that’s easy to compartmentalize).

In general, you’re most likely to cover and/or include sections on the following:

  • Your work experience
  • Your non-work experience, including professional organizations, community involvement, or side projects
  • Your education and certifications
  • Your skills (specifically hard skills) and interests

So how do you format and organize all of that information?

By far the most common (and safest, if you’re not sure which route to take) option is reverse chronological order. This means you organize your experiences from most recent to least recent. So your work experiences would go above your education, and your current role would go above previous roles you’ve held. This of course has its exceptions—maybe you went back to grad school between jobs, or your most recent role is irrelevant to the job you’re applying for. So the whole page may not be exactly in reverse chronological order depending on your situation. It’s just a guideline.

There’s also something called a functional or skills-based resume. This is used pretty rarely, mainly with career changers and those with limited or complicated work histories. It gets its name because it’s primarily about listing your skills rather than experiences, and showcases them above your work history and education.

You can also opt for a combination resume, which is a mix between a reverse chronological resume and skills-based resume. It highlights your skills at the top, but allows just as much room below to cover your job and school experience.

Use caution when choosing these two formats: “Combo and skills-based [resumes] can be hard to follow, because [they force] the reader to hunt for connections between your skills and experience, and [don’t] provide the full context of your work,” says Muse Career Coach Angela Smith, founder of Loft Consulting. “I’ve also heard a lot of recruiters say that they automatically discount skill-based resumes because they feel the candidate is trying to hide something. I don’t necessarily believe that, but I think it’s important for job-seekers to know that perception is out there.”

2. Start With Your Basic Information

Your contact information should always go at the top of your resume. In this header you’ll want to include anything that could be helpful for a recruiter to get in touch with you. Usually, this means adding in:

  • Your full name (preferably the name you use across the web)
  • Your phone number
  • Your personal email address

You might also choose to include other basic information, such as your LinkedIn or personal website URL, your GitHub (for technical roles), your social media profiles (if relevant to the job), or your address. If you’re looking to move for a job, you may choose to leave out your address or write “open to relocating” to better your chances of getting an interview.

The key is to make this part as clear as possible. If a hiring manager can’t reach you, there’s no point in perfecting the rest of your resume.

3. Add in Your Work Experience

This section will most likely be the bulk of your resume. Even if you’re changing careers, employers still want to see where you’ve worked, what you’ve done, and the impact of that work to get a sense of your background and expertise.

Your “Work Experience” might be one entire category, or you might choose to break it up into “Relevant Experience” and “Additional Experience” to highlight the jobs that are most important for hiring managers to focus on. Either way, you’ll almost always want to have your most recent experience at the top and your older experience down below.

Within your work experience, you’ll want to include each official job title, the company (and possibly its location), and the years you worked there. Below that, you’ll add in two to four bullet points explaining what you did in that job, the skills you built and exercised, the tools you used, and the results of what you did. If you accomplished a lot during your time there, focus on the responsibilities that made the most impact or you’re the most proud of, as well as the ones that best align you with the job you’re applying for (more on that in the following sections). It’s key here to list, if relevant, quantitative as well as qualitative accomplishments.

For example, you might write:

Associate Accountant, Finances and Co., Ann Arbor, MI
September 2017 – Present

  • Manage billing and invoicing for more than 50 clients, ensuring the deadlines and needs of our enterprise partners, including Big Company and Super Star Org, are met
  • Collaborate closely with sales, account management, and project management teams on project setup, maintenance, and invoice management
  • Assist in the streamlining of invoicing guidelines and procedures through documentation and the implementation of new software, resulting in an average two-week decrease in total time spent per client

Your resume bullets should be in past tense if you’re referring to past jobs and present tense if you’re talking about your current roles. In addition, your bullets should always start with a strong action verb that best describes what you did. And if you have examples of your work, consider hyperlinking them here as well.

If you have a ton of experience and this category is starting to run long (read: over one page), consider kicking out your oldest jobs unless they’re super relevant to the job you’re applying for, or extra impressive for your field.

Not sure where to start? “It’s helpful to do a brain dump and create a document that has everything and anything you consider as experience or an achievement,” says Yurovsky. From there, she explains, you can start to whittle down what is and isn’t important. And you can refer to this document later if you ever decide to update your resume for a specific role.

Need more specific advice on listing your work experience on your resume? Check out these additional resources:

4. Consider Including Volunteer Work or Other Experience

Anything you’ve done that’s not work experience—your side gig, volunteer work, special projects—can be hosted under clearly-labeled sections (“Volunteer Experience” or “Activities,” for example). Depending on how robust your work experience is, these things may be worth including, particularly if they’ve helped you level up your skill set or better align you with your dream job. Plus, they make you look that much more well-rounded, passionate, and hardworking.

If you’re a recent grad, you might also build out a section for on-campus activities, such as clubs, organizations, or leadership experience. This can be a great supplement if you’re lacking in the jobs department. You can frame these just as you would professional jobs—including your title, the organization’s name, and bullets describing what your role was and what you accomplished.

Read More: This Is Exactly How to List Volunteer Work on Your Resume

5. Don’t Forget Your Education

If you’re still in school or just graduated, your education can go at the top of your resume, but for pretty much everyone else, this goes near the bottom. Most people include their school, graduation year (for folks less up to about a decade out of school), major, and degree. Brand-new grads might also write in their GPA, honors and awards, study abroad, thesis, or other notable achievements. But keep this section super simple, as you don’t want it to take up too much space over your work experience.

It’s possible you have unique education experience, such as taking an online course or certification. If you did this specifically as a way to boost yourself within your industry, definitely include it. Again, list everything more or less reverse chronologically—so a grad school degree would go above an undergrad degree, and a more recent relevant online course would go above that.

Learn more about the ins and outs of listing your education on your resume:

6. Top It Off With Some Skills and Interests

The skills section of a resume gets a bad rap, but it’s just as important as the rest of the stuff you include. It’s a quick list a recruiter can scan to see if your skill set aligns with what they’re hiring for. And it’s super ATS-friendly (ATS stands for “applicant tracking system,” the robot that in some cases reads your resume before a human does) because it allows you to add in keywords the machine is scanning for.

Usually this section goes at the bottom of your resume, but in special cases—such as a skills-based resume or when someone’s switching fields—you may place it further up.

What exactly do you throw in here? You’ll want to list any hard skills and applications you’re familiar with (Photoshop, SEO, JavaScript, to name a few examples), and, if relevant, your level of expertise. Avoid including soft skills here, like time management or public speaking—save those for your bullet points instead.

Be strategic when filling in your skills. Don’t list things you actually couldn’t do at a high competence level (I’m looking at those of you who say you’re “great” at Excel), and maybe nix skills that are completely irrelevant to the job you want. For example, you may not even need to include Excel if you’re applying for say, a design position, unless it’s listed as a job requirement.

Maybe you’re thinking, I’m a really good volleyball player, but that’s not a “skill,” right? No, it’s not, but it is a hobby. Adding in a hobby section at the bottom of your resume is underrated, and frequently a smart choice. It can be a great conversation starter with a hiring manager, and it can show that you’re a good culture fit—or a culture add—for the company. Also, it’s just a nice way to add in some of your personality. So tack on a bullet point listing out some of your interests, such as hiking, rowing, or crafting (no more than five to seven work-appropriate verbs), and you’re all set here.

7. Write a Resume Summary Statement (if Relevant)

You may have heard of a resume summary statement. They’re not super common, but they can be useful to include near the top of your resume if you’re looking to add clarity or context to your resume. If you’re a career changer, you might find a summary statement helpful in explaining your leap and tying your experience to your new path. Or if you’re a more experienced professional, you can use a summary statement to highlight a theme that brings your career trajectory together.

Overall, you probably won’t need a summary statement if your career is pretty linear and your bullet points do a great job of emphasizing what you have to offer in terms of skills and experience. But if you think it makes sense to include one, “Take the time to think about what the person reading your summary wants to know before you write it,” says McGovern. “Good summaries explain why you do what you do and how it can help. For instance: Merging a background in ABC, I help companies improve XYZ through 123. Summaries shouldn’t be any more complicated than that.”

So, taking McGovern’s example, you might say:

Merging a background in social media marketing and PR with seven years in the consumer tech space, I help companies improve their internal and external communication and brand awareness through data-driven, quality content and strategies that align with the modern trends of the space.

Yurovsky adds that “you don’t want your summary statement to be a dense paragraph with too much information. You want it to be easy to read, concise, and memorable. Almost like a tagline.”

Read More: 3 Resume Summary Examples That’ll Make Writing Your Own Easier

8. Tailor It to the Job (and the ATS)

Once you have your resume written out—you’ve broken down your work experience, tagged on some activities and additional experiences, and listed out your skills—it’s important to go back to the job description (or multiple job descriptions, if you’re applying to several similar jobs) and make sure that what your resume says matches up with the kind of candidate the employers are looking for. In other words, tailor it.

Let’s explain further. You’ll want to begin by tackling the ATS. This means combing the job description to see if individual words and phrases line up. What skills are they asking for, and have you listed them (so long as you actually have them)? What words are they using to describe their ideal hire, and do you use similar language in your resume?

Next, take a bird’s-eye view. If you were the hiring manager for the role, where on your resume would your eyes be drawn to? And what would you be looking for? Whatever you think will be most important for the recruiter, make sure it’s near the top of your resume, or otherwise emphasized.

Finally, dig into the role and responsibilities of the job. Does your resume reflect similar experience? If not, is there a way you can spin it so that it’s clear you’re capable of doing the job (and doing it well)?

These articles can help you if the word “tailoring” makes you start to sweat:

9. Edit and Refine It

Please, please don’t just write your resume and shoot it out without giving it a second glance. Hiring managers may not spend hours browsing it, but if there’s one thing that sticks out more than anything else it’s a glaring typo.

The best approach? Write a rough draft, then leave and come back to it later with fresh eyes to give it an edit.

Cover the basics: Is your contact information correct and updated? Are you using the right verb tenses? Does everything look consistent and accurate in terms of spelling and grammar?

Then do some cutting if your resume’s quite long. It’s no longer a hard-and-fast rule that all resumes must be only one page—but consider it a smart guideline for most applicants, especially if you’ve got less than 10 years work experience. The exception is if you’re very senior or very established in your career; in this scenario, a two-page resume isn’t completely out of the question. Everyone else, read this article for advice on how to cut your resume down.

Formatting-wise, it’s key to consider a couple things. First, what font are you using, and is it legible (for a human and a robot)? When in doubt, go with one of these simple, but sleek, options: Arial, Arial Narrow, Calibri, Cambria, Garamond, or Helvetica.

Second, are you going to save it as a Word document or PDF? Neither option is wrong, although a PDF helps ensure that your formatting is maintained, no matter what type of computer the hiring manager uses to open the document.

Third, is your resume formatted in a way that it’s skimmable? If it’s feeling crowded or overrun with words, read this: 12 Tiny Changes That Make Your Resume Easy for Recruiters to Skim.

Once you’ve given it a few good looks, it may be worth sending it to a friend or colleague (or even a career coach) to get a second opinion. Don’t just have them edit it for spelling and grammar—they should dig into your bullets and offer feedback on whether or not your resume is showing you in the best possible light (it’s smart to also send them the job description for something to compare it to).

What Are Some Examples of a Good Resume?

Here’s the thing: Your resume won’t ever look exactly like someone else’s, nor should it. How you choose to format it, organize your information, and talk about specific experiences depends not just on your career path, but on your field, the job you’re applying for, the company that job is at, and more.

So there isn’t a universal way to do a resume. But there are common themes. To give you some context as to how yours might turn out, here are three examples of different kinds of resumes.

The Most Popular: A Reverse Chronological Resume

As previously mentioned, a reverse chronological resume is preferred by many coaches and HR experts, mainly because it’s super readable. When everything’s in a clear order, it’s easy to skim and even easier to draw lines between experiences.

Who it’s good for: Just about everyone—from students applying to internships all the way up to senior-level executives (with an optional resume summary statement)

Download an Example Chronological Resume for a Software Engineer

Example of a reverse chronological resume created in Google Docs using the resume template Swiss.

The Unorthodox Route: A Functional or Skills-Based Resume

Rather than listing out your experience in reverse chronological order, a functional or skills-based resume has bullet points that reflect how each of your skills is demonstrated by the work you’ve done over the course of your career. At the bottom, you’ll include everything else, such as your education, job history, professional achievements, community involvement, and other technical skills. This is a good option if you have a somewhat all-over-the-place work history and want to tie everything together neatly.

Who it’s good for: Career changers whose work experiences may not appear to be relevant and people with an abundance of temporary jobs or gaps in their work histories.

Download an Example Functional Resume for a Project Manager

Example of a functional or skills-based resume created in Google Docs using the resume template Spearmint.

The Creative Angle: An Infographic Resume or Resume Website

This resume type is characterized by how it’s formatted visually. You may choose a reverse chronological order or skills-based style to organize your information, but also use graphics, colors, unique fonts, and even multimedia elements to help that information pop. Keep in mind that any creative resume is still likely subject to an ATS—and certain elements may be unreadable by a robot. So consider going this route only if you know a human will be reading your resume (and that said human might enjoy it).

Who it’s good for: People applying to creative roles (designers, editors, writers, marketers, video producers, for example), startups, or fun companies, or to jobs where a creative resume is encouraged, if not required.

Download an Example Infographic Resume for a Designer

Example of an infographic resume created in Canva.

Not a designer but want your resume to look just as pretty as this example? Check out these articles:

Your resume is a living, breathing document. So while you won’t go through this whole process every time you apply for a job, you should be thinking about all these things as you go to update your resume for your next career step. You might decide later on to switch up the order, or remove or add things, or even get creative and try out a whole new format. If you’re not getting the calls back you expect, you may decide to scrap it and start over—and that’s totally OK.

Regardless of where this piece of paper goes and how it grows, when you give it the care and attention it deserves, you set yourself up for success. And you’ll make it that much more likely that you’ll land an interview and get the chance to prove to the hiring manager—over the phone or in person—what you’ve got to offer.

SOURCE: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-make-a-resume-examples

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Happiness is the success formula
DALLAS SHERRINGHAM

THE legendary song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is the perfect anthem for career aspirants seeking success in the workplace.

The song made Bobby McFerrin famous worldwide, but it also sparked a new attitude to life for many Babyboomers striving to enjoy life while carving out a career.

Now the “happiness” message is back with experts claiming it is the key to success in the 21st century.

While many people believe that career success will result in happiness and that having strong ambitions in our careers leads to fulfillment, psychological studies have shown that workers may have this the wrong way around.

Insights from the author of “The Happiness Advantage” Shawn Achor argue that while we may think success will bring us happiness, the lab-verified reality is that happiness brings us more success.

Recruitment expert Ineke McMahon said basing career satisfaction on ambition and status purely for the sake of it might work for some, but it had been proven that happiness in the workplace was a key component to career progression and career longevity.

“Happiness and deriving meaning from our professional and personal actions has significant positive effects on our productivity and motivation,” Ms McMahon said.

“The importance of meaningfulness in driving job selection has grown steadily, particularly for Millennials, who are searching for jobs that offer a sense of meaning and provide work life balance, not just a pay-check.

“It can be easy to see your career has a number of checkboxes according to various levels of aspiration, but this approach to the workplace can result in burn-out and ultimately a lack of direction because there isn’t any room left for finding meaning or happiness.

“There is nothing wrong with having ambition, it’s a key step in obtaining goals, but it’s the reasons behind that ambition that are so important.

“More and more workers, particularly younger workers, are realising that work-life balance and happiness are just as important, if not more important than that next promotion.”

A study by the Harvard Business Review has shown that inspired employees are almost three times more productive than dissatisfied employees.

“Annually evaluating your own decision making matrix and figuring out what’s important to you is a form of career self-care, because it can be easy to fall prey to our human programming that suggests – ‘when I get that promotion’, ‘when I lose weight’, ‘when I marry that person’ then I will be happy,” Ms McMahon said.

“Happiness and career progression are not mutually exclusive. When we look for work that sparks happiness, whether we desire work that is stimulating, benefits communities or centres around creative thinking, the outflowing benefits occur in more than just our professional lives.

“This isn’t something that has to be done alone. Finding training and support that can help you better understand your career goals is a great first step.

“I’ve developed a tailored 8-week course, Path to Promotion, which focuses on seeking clarity within
our professions and helping arm the workforce for the future.”

For more information on Path to Promotion, visit:

 

SOURCE: https://www.coastba.com.au/featured/item/1868-keys-to-a-successful-workplace

 

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Central Coast Council is moving forward with the Gosford Regional Library and Innovation Hub at the Parkside site, Donnison St, Gosford, but construction is not set to start until 2021.

Mayor, Lisa Matthews, said she was thrilled to see the catalyst project proceed. “There is an urgent need for the delivery of the Regional Library to provide contemporary and future multi-use spaces where our community can meet, connect and learn, ” Cr Matthews said.

“The community has significant investment and interest in progressing this project, so it is essential that we now put our energy and efforts into making it a reality.

“To ensure that the project moves as quickly as possible, planning of the tender process for design and construction has commenced and we anticipate the development application will be lodged as early as June next year.

“Following discussions with the current Parkside tenants, demolition and construction works have been pushed back to February, 2021, so as not to disrupt the stability of the services and provide ample time to relocate. ”

Budget allocations of $1.115M for the Gosford Cultural Precinct have been reallocated for the design and development stage of the Regional Library and staff are finalising discussions with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development to secure $7M in Federal funding.

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2019/12/regional-library-to-proceed-but-not-until-2021/

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The irony of job search advice: There’s so much available that you don’t have to spend more than four seconds Googling before you land on some nugget of wisdom or another.

Yet, at the same time, there’s so much available (some of which completely contradicts other advice you’ll find) that it can easily overwhelm you. Which, in fact, is probably the exact opposite outcome you’re looking for when you go sleuthing for genuinely useful counsel in the first place.

So let’s do this: Let’s boil things down to a short list of sound, timeless job searching tips that’ll help you fine-tune your strategy so that you may sail through the process (or at least cut out some of the unnecessary time and frustration).

1. Make Yourself a “Smack-in-the-Forehead” Obvious Fit
When you apply for a job via an online application process, it’s very likely that your resume will first be screened by an applicant tracking system and then (assuming you make this first cut) move onto human eyeballs. The first human eyeballs that review your resume are often those of a lower level HR person or recruiter, who may or may not understand all of the nuances of that job for which you’re applying.

Thus, it behooves you to make it very simple for both the computer and the human to quickly connect their “Here’s what we’re looking for” to your “Here’s what you can walk through our doors and deliver.”

Tip
Study the job description and any available information you have on the position. Are you mirroring the words and phrases in the job description? Are you showcasing your strengths in the areas that seem to be of paramount importance to this role? Line it up. Line it up.

2. Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Applications During Your Job Search
You want that job search to last and last? Well, then continue to rely solely on submitting online applications. You want to accelerate this bad boy? Don’t stop once you apply online for that position. Start finding and then endearing yourself to people working at that company of interest. Schedule informational interviews with would-be peers. Approach an internal recruiter and ask a few questions. Get on the radar of the very people who might influence you getting an interview. (More on that here.)

Tip
By lining up with people on the inside of the companies at which you want to work, you will instantly set yourself apart. Decision makers interview people who come recommended or by way of a personal referral before they start sorting through the blob of resumes that arrives by way of the ATS.

3. Remember That Your Resume (and LinkedIn Profile) Is Not a Tattoo
Yes, your new resume is lovely. Your LinkedIn profile, breathtaking. However, if they don’t position you as a direct match for a particular role that you’re gunning for, don’t be afraid to modify wording, switch around key terms, and swap bullet points in and out. Your resume is not a tattoo, nor is your LinkedIn profile. Treat them as living, breathing documents throughout your job search (and career).

Tip
If you’re a covert job seeker, remember to turn off your activity broadcasts (within privacy and settings) when you make edits to your LinkedIn profile. If your current boss or colleagues are connected to you on LinkedIn, they may get suspicious about all the frequent changes.

4. Accept That You Will Never Bore Anyone Into Hiring You
Don’t get me wrong—you absolutely must come across as polished, articulate, and professional throughout your job search. However, many people translate this into: Must. Be. Boring.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Realize that few people get hired because they had perfect white space on their cover letters, memorized all of the “correct” interview questions or used incredibly safe, common phraseology (i.e., clichés) throughout their resumes. All of this correctness is going to make you look staged and non-genuine. Instead, give yourself permission to be both polished and endearing. Memorable, likable candidates are almost always the ones who go the distance.

5. If You’re Not on LinkedIn, You Very Nearly Don’t Exist
Considering that more than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary search tool, this is not an understatement. If you’re a professional, you need to not only be on LinkedIn, you need to be using it to your full advantage. Don’t believe me? Think about it this way: If tomorrow morning, a recruiter logs onto LinkedIn looking for someone in your geography, with expertise in what you do, and you’re not there? Guess who they’re going to find and contact? Yes, that person’s name is “not you.”

Tip
If you figure out how to harness the power of no other social media tool for job search, figure out LinkedIn. It’s (by far) the best resource we have available today for career and job search networking, for finding people working at companies of interest, and for positioning yourself to be found by a recruiter who has a relevant job opening.

6. Thank You Matters
I once placed a candidate into an engineering role with a company that manufactures packaging equipment. He was competing head-to-head with another engineer, who had similar talents and wanted the job just as badly. My candidate sent a thoughtful, non-robotic thank you note to each person with whom he’d interviewed, within about two hours of leaving their offices. The other candidate sent nothing.

Guess why my candidate got the job offer? Yep, the thoughtful, non-robotic thank you notes. They sealed the deal for him, especially considering the other front-runner sent nothing.

Tip
Consider crafting, original, genuine thank you notes (one for each interviewer) the moment you get back to a computer, following the interview. The speed with which you send the notes, and the quality, will make an impact.

And finally, remember that the interviewer cares much more about what you can do for them than what you want out of the deal. Certainly, they’re going to care a bunch about what you want once you establish your worth. But during the interview, you must demonstrate why you make business sense to hire, period.

Now, go forth and show your job search exactly who is the boss.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-job-search-tips-that-are-so-basic-people-forget-them

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Gosford Erina Business Chamber (GEBC) is pushing for a new parking facility to be established near the corner of Erina and Albany St North, Gosford, with the eventual demolition of the Kibbleplex building set to rob the CBD of 600 car parking spaces.

The Lederer Group, which owns the building on Henry Parry Dr, has a Development Application under assessment with the State Planning Department which would see Kibbleplex demolished as the first step in the development of a $345.4M five tower residential and retail development on the site. Chamber President, Rod Dever, said the subsequent loss of parking in the heart of the CBD would put additional stress on commuters and local business people needing long term parking.

“Parking in Gosford and surrounds is always a point for discussion and one where members of the Chamber have requested appropriate actions to alleviate issues with access to business and access to parking for local businesses, ” Dever said. “One of our core issues is presently the number of commuters who leave the Coast daily for employment who then need to take up all day parking to facilitate their travel by public transport. “Gosford is a major transport hub but long term parking is limited.

“In 2018, the Chamber undertook a survey of parking and noted that local parking is filling up early. “In 2019, the introduction of parking sensors in the city seems to stop people overstaying in time limited parking, but it is not addressing the need for all day parking for city workers and commuters.

 

“With 600 spaces in the Kibbleplex building, the Chamber has for almost two years been engaging with Council for solutions to the eventual loss of this facility. “We understand that there is an extended lease on the facility.  “However, we imagine now that the DA is progressing, that this lease would not be renewed.

“The Chamber has recommended that a new facility could be built near to the corner of Erina and Albany St North, which is less than 60 metres away from the Kibbleplex site. “Council already owns some land in this area but may have to acquire other land holdings. “The public and business (people) already park in this area so it has proven that this would be used but there also needs to be consideration to more than 600 spaces as the current parking is full most days now.

“We need to think for the future and have better facilities to support the city and our increasing population. “To create 1,000 spaces would allow for some growth and additional parking which is then not in an intrusive location and detracting to the city. ” A Central Coast Council spokesperson said that Council was investigating parking options, with a report expected to be handed down to councillors early next year.

“As a short-term strategy, Council has constructed a 190-space same level carpark at 10 Racecourse Rd and has line marked a 170-space carpark at Adcock Park, ” the spokesperson said. “These 360 spaces will be connected to the Gosford CBD through a Park and Ride (shuttle bus) service which is currently at the tendering stage.

“Once the tender process is complete, Council will promote the availability of these spaces and the shuttle bus service to the community. “Council is currently undertaking a Central Coast Parking Strategy which includes medium to long-term strategies to deliver additional parking stations.

“Council is conducting investigations into the feasibility of constructing additional parking stations within walking distance of the CBD and on the fringe of the CBD (as a Park and Ride station). “The Central Coast Parking Strategy and recommendations for new parking stations will be presented to Council in February/March 2020 for endorsement. ” Dever said transport services into the city also needed to be investigated.

“We need the Erina to Somersby corridor to have better point to point bus services to support park and ride options, ” he said. “This may also sit alongside paid parking and be acceptable, but we would not accept Sydney City rates for parking. “Action needs to commence sooner rather than later and be proactive rather than the typical reactive approach with a band aid solution, which fixes nothing. ”

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2019/12/chamber-calls-for-a-new-parking-facility-to-replace-kibbleplex/

council

Are you a community organisation, business or individual seeking funding for a project? Or are you keen to learn how to make your project more inclusive and accessible for the Central Coast community?

Council is providing a series of free workshops to improve your grant writing skills and learn how to access funding for inclusion and access enhancements.

The workshops will help community organisations increase their chance of securing much needed grant funding.

Each year Council implements a Community Grants Program to provide funding for eligible projects within community development, events, place activation, social and creative enterprises, community infrastructure and heritage.

Participants will learn:

How to strengthen their funding application and ensure it matches the criteria
Necessary skills to write a quality funding application
How to identify potential grant funding opportunities not limited to Council’s community grants program
The Grant Writing Access and Inclusion workshops will cover:

Strategies for local disability sector organisations and/or individuals with lived experience of disability that can be used to convey the intent, objectives and desired outcomes of their project idea in their application.
Strategies for community organisations and businesses who are not disability specific on how to apply for funding to make their services more accessible and inclusive.
Strategies for writing a more inclusive grant application to maximise your chances of grant success.
Register to be part of a workshop by clicking here. Places are limited.

 

Source: https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/council/news/free-community-grant-writing-workshops

Tarragal-Glenn-housing-project

Central Coast Council has approved a new $19.5M four-storey building housing 54 assisted living apartments at Erina’s Tarragal Glen Retirement Village, despite concerns raised by the adjacent medical practice.

The project will also see a two-storey maintenance/staff building erected on the site at 6 Tarragal Glen Ave. Dr Natalie Cordowiner, from the Your Family Doctors practice in Terrigal Dr, told councillors at a public forum prior to the November 11 meeting that the business had concerns over possible disruptions, with eight power disruptions this year already having disrupted vaccine storage.

A submission from the practice said it had no concerns over the larger building, but feared that the ancillary building would be overlooked in the larger part of the Development Application.

“This is a small area in which the ‘maintenance area’ will be sandwiched between our property and the currently being built KFC premises, ” the submission said. “It will overlook the fence at the rear of our property at which there are three consulting rooms, in which patients are seen, that will be affected.

“This will affect privacy as there are proposed secondary story windows on the new building. “In addition, there will be some shadowing and effect on the sun aspect of our building … (and) there will be inevitable disruption to our business during this build as our patients exit via our right of way through to Tarragal Glen Ave cul-de-sac. ”

The practice was also concerned about possible damage to its own building and noise and disruption to power or internet during the build. Councillor Louise Greenaway said she empathised with the medical practice but the development had the right to go ahead and she was sure they would work with the Centre to alleviate any concerns.

Councillors Jeff Sundstrom and Chris Holstein also supported the motion and spoke about conditions of consent which addressed the medical practice’s concerns. Approval was unanimous.

 

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2019/11/four-storey-building-housing-54-assisted-living-apartments-approved/

ourimbah

The Ourimbah Land Use Strategy and Masterplan has been sent back to the drawing board, because Central Coast Mayor, Lisa Matthews, says “we haven’t got it right yet”.

Ourimbah residents packed Gosford Chambers for the Central Coast Council meeting on October 28, and speakers on their behalf gave comprehensive presentations against the Masterplan.

They say the Masterplan is poorly planned, prerequisite planning is not finalised, community consultation is lacking, feedback and concerns have been ignored, building height and yield bonuses plus parking concessions are unacceptable, bushfire and flooding issues are not addressed and Ourimbah’s character, history and natural beauty is not retained.

Ourimbah Region Residents’ Association (ORRA) is calling for an independent review. “It is flawed and will destroy the village”, says resident Greg McGill, who addressed the meeting. “The key to the whole Masterplan is the extension of Jacques St to the north. “Council says it will not acquire properties but will let development occur as properties are sold and developers choose to develop, this is absurd.

“The whole concept is flawed. “The ink isn’t yet dry on our submissions to the draft Urban Spatial Plan … those submissions should be given a fair hearing. “We know the community is strongly opposed to the plan for Ourimbah. ” McGill said Council had sought submissions from the community but then totally ignored them and that no consideration had been given to existing residents, only to new development and developers. He said planning officers had rejected requests for a public meeting and invitations to attend the ORRA meetings.

“With regards to parking and shops, the devil’s in the detail here, ” McGill said “There’s no specific information about which sites have relaxed parking requirements and there’s no mention about the future of the existing shops that need highway exposure to survive. “Are they going to be demolished or allowed to continue?

“The Masterplan does not include any bushfire maps or proper risk evaluation for several areas, including the village centre. “Council says the character and natural beauty will be preserved but obviously, again, not true. “Please send this illconceived plan back to council staff to reevaluate and prepare a realistic plan. ” Brian Davies also spoke at the meeting against the Masterplan, citing a serious flooding problem not addressed.

“The draft Ourimbah Creek flood plan says that the rail facility (at Kangy Angy) will have no impact on floods but we have photos from residents who live in that area showing floods across that land and testimony to show that the site does flood now, especially since it’s had hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of fill put on the site.

“There are concerns that the whole of Ourimbah basin is going to be badly impacted by the damming of the channel that the floods go through. “Council’s flood plan as it currently stands shows the whole of that Kangy Angy site as a flood storage and so, with the fill on it now, that water has to go somewhere else and we’re concerned it will back up into Ourimbah Creek and back up Burns Rd and effectively back up to the university, ” Davies said.

Davies’ comments prompted further debate later in the meeting on another matter before Council, the report on Wyong River and Ourimbah Creek Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, and ultimately those plans were also put on hold for further investigation in order to align them with the Ourimbah Masterplan. (See separate article)

The aim of the Masterplan is to present a 20-year vision for growth while protecting the area’s unique character and sensitive setting, yet it has been met with continuing opposition including a petition organised by The Entrance MP, David Mehan.

He told NSW Parliament in September that he was “surprised” that Council’s Masterplan for the region did not give due regard to the preservation of the heritage of the area and the opportunities for tourism. “Instead, Council’s Masterplan promotes higher density for the area, including four storey buildings throughout the Ourimbah village precinct where there are heritage dwellings, ” he said.

He told Parliament that Council needed to revisit the masterplan because there was an opportunity to preserve the heritage and “do something good for the Coast”. Mayor, Lisa Matthews, told councillors that during a meeting that day “the State Member thought we were on the right track but still has some concerns”. The Mayor gained unanimous support for her Motion to defer adoption of the Masterplan.

“It is clear that the community is seeking more input and for us to revisit some of the issues that they have presented to us”, she said. Council will now review the plan and its correlation to the draft Urban Spatial Plan, the Local Strategic Planning Statement and the Ourimbah Creek Flood Plan.

The history of this plan goes back to 2011 when the former Wyong Council entered into an agreement with the University of Newcastle and TAFE NSW to prepare a masterplan for the future growth of Ourimbah with the view of developing “the town centre into an education, training, research and recreational precinct in order to deliver significant economic and social benefits to the region”.

The Ourimbah Land Use Strategy and Masterplan was a key planning project in the Wyong Shire Strategic Plan 2014-15. A first version of the plan went public in 2016 and following many submissions, the document was significantly revised and the draft final plan went on public exhibition earlier in 2019.

There were 140 formal submissions and about 22,000 online visits through social media or website, with the most common concerns being the town centre heritage and character, building heights, retail, traffic, parking as well as hazards such as bushfire, flood and biodiversity.

Over the years, ORRA has successfully battled various plans for out-ofcharacter developments, most notably, a four storey, 101 room boarding house in 2013 which met with two Land and Environment Court cases and the developer losing on both counts.

 

 

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2019/11/ourimbah-land-use-strategy-back-to-drawing-board/

Aged care

The sudden closure of two aged care facilities on the New South Wales Central Coast has shocked a large group of vulnerable older residents and their families and renewed concerns about the financial viability of Australia’s private aged care sector.

Key points:

  • The operators of two NSW aged care homes say they do not have the resources to maintain a high standard of care
  • Advocates are calling for reform in the sector, saying the care-for-profit model does not work
  • Residents and their families have been given little more than a month to make new arrangements

By the end of the month, one of the region’s most established homes, the Henry Kendall aged care facility at Wyoming, along with a dementia unit at The Orchards in Lisarow will both close their doors, affecting more than 80 people.

The private operators of each facility have cited financial reasons for the closures as well as the ongoing impact of the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

In correspondence with one affected family, The Orchards operator, the Astoria Group, outlined why its dementia ward will shut down on October 30.

“The new quality standards, the royal commission, staff education and resourcing, and research and advice received with regards to what a well-designed dementia environment looks like,” it said.

“For us to be able to provide this in to the future at the high standard that we set for ourselves, we just don’t have the resources to be able to do that.”

Down the road in Wyoming, operator Allity defended its decision to close the Henry Kendall facility after 34 years because it could no longer be “modified extensively enough to meet the accommodation needs and expectations of residents”.

About $2 million was recently spent on improvements to the aged care home, which has been sanctioned for the past six months over a series of non-compliances.

Five weeks’ notice for five-year resident
Residents from both facilities were given five weeks notice to find and move into alternative accommodation with new carers, neighbours and routines.

Leanne Fitzroy’s 85-year-old mother, Shirley Keenan, suffers from dementia and has been living in The Orchards’ Kumquat dementia ward for the past five years.

Ms Fitzroy said getting news of its unexpected closure was devastating.

“I think it’s the hardest thing that a child can do is to put their parent into an aged care facility and when you do, you do it with trust that you think that this facility is going to look after you, and certainly that is what they indicate they’re going to do at the time,” she said.

“They will bend over backwards to get your money through the door and tell you how wonderful they are but they don’t tell you, ‘oh well we may close down a ward’.

“Five years ago I had to sell my mother’s house and pay a bond to move her into this facility.

“I set it up believing that was going to look after her … I don’t know what people do who can’t make other arrangements.

“It has been so distressing.”

Traumatic for older people
Independent aged care advocacy group Aged Care Crisis said closing homes and forcing residents to find new accommodation can have serious effects on the elderly.

“These closures have really had a detrimental consequence for frail vulnerable people especially those with dementia or at the end of their lives,” spokeswoman Linda Salterelli said.

“Being forced to transfer homes can be quite disorientating and very traumatic at a time when stability and consistency can be really important.”

The Central Coast Federal Member for Dobell and Shadow Assistant Minister for Carers Emma McBride said the sector was being starved of resources.

“We have an ageing population on the Central Coast, and we also have a shortage of particularly dementia specific care,” Ms McBride said.

“This is a crisis in our community and I don’t think the government properly recognises it.

“I don’t think they … properly understood the nature or the scale of the problem in regional centres.”

Ms Salterelli said the sector needs a complete overhaul.

“I think we really need to bring back community responsibility in aged care,” she said.

“I think we’ve just gone too far down the road of making it into a profitable business and I think at the end of the day caring for our loved ones is a community responsibility, and that is being eroded and removed.”

 

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-24/central-coast-aged-care-closures/11634788

CC 201019

The old Kibbleplex building in the heart of Gosford will be transformed into a $345.4M five tower residential and retail development within 10 years if the Lederer Group is successful with its latest Development Application, lodged with the State Planning Department for consideration as a State Significant Development.

The Lederer Group has developed a masterplan for the site, which would be developed in six stages, with the DA for the first stage, which involves site and vegetation clearing at a cost of $3.6M, on exhibition until November 7.

The plan is a revisited and slim-lined version of Lederer’s initial 2016 Gosford Alive project, which involved redevelopment of the Kibbleplex site and the Imperial Centre and was withdrawn in March 2018, with planning restrictions for the CBD in a state of flux.

In October 2018, planning for the site recommenced, with the core project team of Lederer (proponent), Buchan Group (architect) and Mecone (planning) considering a range of options for the Kibbleplex site.

The preferred option would see five residential towers housing more than 700 apartments sited above and behind layered retail podiums fronting Kibble Park, providing a gradual transition from the park to the ridgeline behind Albany St North.

The towers would range from 20-30 storeys and would be topped by elevated gardens. DAs for the construction of the towers themselves will be lodged in increments following clearing of the site. Documentation lodged with the DA estimates that the project will provide 500 direct and indirect jobs.

Basement and above-ground carparks would provide around 1,014 parking spaces with access points in William St, Donnison St and Albany St North. The masterplan says the project aims to: support the growth of the Gosford CBD; help meet the region’s projected housing demand of 41,500 additional dwellings by 2036; and help create a more attractive and safer city centre.

Great care has been taken to prevent overshadowing of Kibble Park in the design process, with at least 60 per cent of the park to receive four hours of direct sunlight between 9am and 3pm on the winter solstice.

 

 

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2019/10/kibbleplex-to-be-demolished-as-stage-1-of-345m-development/

ING

An $11 million ING bank call centre has been approved for Wyong, with the potential to house 600 staff.

Central Coast Council has voted in favour of the four-storey development at 4 Dulmison St, north of the Pacific Hwy, opposite the Wyong Golf Club.

The land is currently occupied by a car park, as well as the North Grounds Cafe.

The creation of jobs and attraction of high-profile business to Wyong was the clincher for approval, despite the building exceeding height limit restrictions by 4.1 metres.

ING will relocate the bank’s 350 staff from the existing ING operations in the Tuggerah Business Park, while making room for an extra 250 staff at the premises.

ADW Johnson senior planner Adam Crampton told councillors ING had outgrown the Tuggerah premises it has been based at since 2002.

He said the bank was attracted to the Wyong site due to its space for carparking and the nature of the vertical building was to keep staff close together and ensure tight security.

“They are choosing to remain on the Central Coast providing employment for up to 600 people, an investment of $11 million with an extremely long lease,” he said.

Councillor Kyle MacGregor said the development “is in the public interest” however there needed to be a traffic management plan for the area.

“It’s important that we are attracting high quality businesses, but it is important we are looking at traffic concerns,” he said.

Councillor Greg Best said approving the ING development would ensure council could “land these economic giants”.

The applicant, known as Dulmison Ave Pty Ltd, indicated public art would soften the impact of the height and tell the industrial story behind North Wyong.

The ING office and call centre is intended to operate 24-hours a day in three shifts.

 

Source: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/ing-call-centre-to-house-600-staff-approved-for-wyong/news-story/cd281a2e94bf6a6ede166aa81d6810a6?fbclid=IwAR3PfdSCO4HYINoMa9vewk3C2Bkzy57fLioJMhTHx_QUAJoQLaX1kOiZ5cs

CC 06.10.19

Central Coast Council has placed its draft Cultural Plan 2020-2025 on exhibition, for the community to have their say.

The draft Cultural Plan supports the Central Coast achieving its potential as a creative destination and provides opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to participate in, and contribute to, the cultural life of the Central Coast.

Council’s Director Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan said that creativity and cultural identity was a large and important part of our region.

“A thriving arts and cultural sector is important for the health and wellbeing of our community and for regional economic development,” Ms Vaughan said.

“The draft Plan is based on the vision of building on our creative strengths across our community and establishing our region as a hub for the wider creative sector.

“Creativity is a major part of who we are on the Central Coast. The draft Plan will assist us with building a welcoming and lively region to showcase our diverse and inclusive cultural identity.

“This includes the development of dedicated locations to host the creation and showcasing of rich artistic offerings and the telling of the stories of our past and present.”

Mayor Lisa Matthews is calling on residents from across the Central Coast to add their voice to the discussion and help shape the Plan.

“Over many years Council and the community have made a considerable investment in arts and cultural development,” Mayor Matthews said.

“This Plan builds on this substantial platform and provides a framework for further investment around a shared vision.

“It outlines the direction for a vibrant, creative, welcoming community brimming with cultural vitality.

“I encourage everyone to contribute.”

The draft Cultural Plan is available for comment before 15 November 2019.

The community is also invited to register for information sessions on Wednesday 30 October at The Erina Centre and Thursday 31 October at The Art House.

To have your say and to register for an information session visit yourvoiceourcoast.com

 

Source: https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/council/news/media-releases/central-coast-cultural-plan-draft-on-exhibition

1

We’re all looking for ways to improve ourselves—at least that’s what the thriving $10 billion self-help industry seems to imply.

But as popular and alluring as the principles of personal development may be, many of us still have only a fuzzy understanding of it. Even fuzzier: How to turn personal growth into professional gains.

At the same time, there’s an undeniable overlap between the two—after all, our personal strengths and weaknesses affect us at work, too. And there are ways in which growing personally and working on ourselves can make us more effective at work.

If that still feels a little murky, we get it. Read on to learn exactly what personal growth is and get concrete ways to leverage it in your career.

What Is Personal Growth Anyway?
Personal growth or development is difficult to define, in part because it’s, well, personal. Broadly speaking, personal development is an effort to improve yourself, the outcomes in your life, or how you experience life, explains Sumayya Essack, a career-change coach and founder and owner of Curate the Future.

“Personal growth is the process of growing stronger, more confident, and more effective as a person and an agent of change for your own life,” says Kathy Caprino, a career and personal growth coach. More specifically, it relates to “how you see and perceive yourself, interact with others, engage with the world, and envision your future and your possibilities.”

It affects you in both concrete and more abstract ways, including emotional regulation, communication abilities, well-defined boundaries, decision-making, and personal satisfaction and positivity.
Where Personal and Professional Development Meet

At first glance, personal growth can seem a little vague compared to professional development goals. “Career growth tends to focus on tangible performance-related goals, such as raises [and] promotions,” Essack explains. It may also emphasize hard skills, which depending on your field could include things like data analysis or proficiency in a certain language or type of software.

However, if you think of personal and professional growth as two circles of a Venn diagram, there’s a healthy overlap between them. “Your career success and enjoyment of your career aren’t just the result of domain-related skills and knowledge. It’s also a result of what you bring to the table as a person,” Essack says.

Things we think of as soft skills—such as communication style, self-motivation, and how you relate to other people—fall into the area of overlap. And these skills greatly impact our ability to get things done at work. Developing them can help you become more effective in your career, and maybe even nab a promotion.

4 Personal Development Goals That Can Help You Get Ahead at Work
Even if you’re sold on the benefits of personal growth for your career—where do you start? In large part, it’s up to you.

“At the root of all personal development is becoming aware of what’s happening in your own mind and becoming aware of how the thoughts you’re thinking affect your emotions, behaviors, and results,” Essack says. If you can identify a result you’re unhappy with or, conversely, one you want to achieve, you can work backwards from there to determine the underlying thoughts, emotions, and behaviors you should address to make the change you desire.

For example, are you constantly struggling to get tasks done? Maybe you need to work on focusing better on the task at hand in order to become more efficient. Eager for a promotion? Perhaps you need to build better relationships to get there. Whatever area you choose, work on it in small doses.

While there are many ways you might implement personal growth into your career development, here are four examples of areas to improve, as well as advice for tackling them:

1. Build Emotional Intelligence
Solid emotional intelligence can help you forge strong working relationships with colleagues and clients, which in turn promote productivity and strengthen your professional reputation.

The ability to deal with people and conflict is important in most any job, but perhaps especially so when you take on a management or leadership role. “Emotional intelligence means being able to understand where someone else is coming from,” Essack says. “People want to work for someone who understands them.”

How to tackle it: Focus on becoming a better active listener, which helps others feel heard and understood. “We get caught up in saying what we want to say, but communicating effectively is also about being a great listener,” Essack says.

First, show the speaker that you’re paying attention. “Put away your devices, make eye contact, and fully concentrate on them rather than mentally preparing what you will say next,” Essack says. “Then, show that you’re listening with verbal cues such as ‘uh huh’ and body language, such as nodding, smiling, and leaning forward.” Finally, ask clarifying questions or reflect back with paraphrasing. Try starting with: “So what you’re saying is…,” or “What do you mean by…?”

2. Feel Confident in Your Talents
Building confidence is a common goal of personal development, and one that has a clear line to career gains. Developing your confidence can help you land a better job, negotiate for a raise or promotion, earn credit for your contributions, and be seen as a leader, Caprino says. But confidence isn’t something that’s easy to just switch on.

Instead, look for a path to confidence by working on recognizing your talents. If you don’t fully grasp what you’re amazing at and aren’t able to speak confidently about these talents, you won’t be able to fully leverage your unique abilities, Caprino adds.

How to tackle it: Many people struggle to look inward to discover where they shine—especially if they grew up hearing that they shouldn’t brag. So instead, look outward to colleagues and mentors for help identifying your unique talents. Ask them to name any contributions that have stood out to them as well as elements of your approach to work they consider particularly effective.

3. Grow Your Motivation
Wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle up motivation and consume it like we do our morning coffee? Imagine the benefits! At work, being more motivated can of course make you more productive, but it can also help you be seen as more driven and ambitious.

How to tackle it: Until motivation is sold by the bottle, you can work on building it little by little, Essack says. Think of motivation not as a mindset or mood that randomly descends on you outside of your control, but as a behavior. We tend to assume that when we’re motivated, we’ll take action—but the reverse can be true. “First you do the behavior and have a mini success, and that’s what makes you feel motivated again. Success builds on itself,” Essack explains.

For example, if you’re intimidated by holding performance conversations with employees, you might be tempted to avoid them until the last minute. But when you successfully commit to a small action, such as holding shorter, less formal performance check-ins, you may find more motivation to improve your skills and take on longer talks.

So instead of waiting for motivation to strike, try structuring your big goals into small achievable tasks to build momentum. This way you’ll help yourself experience each one you complete as an invigorating success and feel motivated to take the next step toward where you want to be.

4. Become More Mindful
Mindfulness is a term that’s thrown around a lot today, and its meaning can be as blurry as the concept of personal growth as a whole. Essentially, mindfulness is the act of training your brain to focus on the present moment, rather than racing ahead to the future, or drifting to the past.

Research has linked mindfulness to reduced stress, improved focus, and better working memory. At work it could help you zero in on the task at hand and filter out some of the surrounding noise, allowing you to become more efficient.

Mindfulness has emotional benefits too. Mindfulness can help you respond more thoughtfully to someone instead of having a knee-jerk reaction or snapping, Essack says. “You become more aware of what’s happening in the moment, so you choose a conscious response.” Building this skill can help keep you from burning bridges with clients or colleagues when tension rises or tempers flare.

Let’s say you receive some criticism that you don’t agree with or that injures your ego. “The tendency is often to react automatically because we feel defensive, but when we cultivate mindfulness, we’re able to take a step back in the moment and respond intentionally,” Essack explains. In this instance, a more mindful approach could help to de-escalate conflict and make feedback discussions more productive.

How to tackle it: Develop a daily mindfulness meditation practice, which over time, can help you become more mindful throughout the day. Set aside five or 10 minutes a day to do a guided meditation, with help from an app like Calm or Headspace that will talk you through the process.

As difficult as personal development may be to define, investing in it can help lay the groundwork for professional success. As Caprino says, “If we don’t do the work to strengthen ourselves as people first, our careers will be a dismal disappointment.”
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/personal-development-growth-goals-at-work-examples

1

Tourism expenditure in the Central Coast region has topped $1 billion for the first time ever, a 22% increase on the previous year.

The unprecedented figure was generated through 672,000 extra day trip and overnight visitors, 666,000 additional visitor nights and $185,000 in additional visitor spending.

The latest National Visitor Survey results report that the number of Australian overnight visitors to the Central Coast grew by 15% to 1.618 million visitors for the year ending March 2019, outpacing 6% growth to regional NSW broadly, and outperforming competitor destinations the South Coast, North Coast and Hunter. Similarly, strong growth was seen in the number of day-trip visitors (4.09 million, +12.7%).

Although off a lower base, international visitor nights grew by 34.7% to 974,000, or an average of 14 nights for each of the 69,000 international overnight visitors.

This followed good growth in the Central Coast’s tourism visitation metrics in the year ending December 2018, when a total of 5.3 million day and overnight visitors came to the region, 259,000 more (5.1%) than December 2017.

Since July 17, Tourism Central Coast has set about improving perceptions, intention to travel and tourism spend to the Central Coast among the region’s largest and most accessible market, Sydney.

The Have a Little Adventure campaign ran from 24 June 2018 and finished 10 October 2018. This has been sustained by our “always-on” social and native campaign which started in December 2018.

The proximity of the key Sydney market to the Central Coast makes it much more responsive to marketing messages. Sustained campaign activity from June to March dovetails with the period of growth. This, along with post-campaign research showing increased desirability and intent to travel to the region show that our destination marketing is working to achieve increased visitation and tourism expenditure.

We’ve also worked hard to galvanise and engage the region’s tourism business community with the need to work together to revive tourism growth. That has been demonstrated by over $250,000 in cooperative campaign investment and more and more businesses engaging with us at our monthly industry networking events.

 

 

Source: https://www.tourismcentralcoast.com/news-item/2864/how-effective-marketing-is-reviving-tourism-growth-on-the-central-coast

1

Local dental practice, Warnervale Dental has partnered up with mobile dental services provider Teeth N Smiles who deliver free dental care to students at schools. The dental practice will offer continued care for Teeth N Smiles patients requiring further dental treatment following their initial oral health assessment.

Australia’s fastest growing mobile dental services provider, Teeth N Smiles provides on-site oral health assessments for students, workers and aged care residents. Their mobile dental clinics are fully equipped dental surgeries on wheels and comprise of a team of qualified dentists and dental professionals. According to the founder Ramy Morkos, the “Teeth N Smiles team are eager to bring happy smiles to students”. “Our mission is to keep students’ beautiful smiles bright and glowing by providing regular and free-of-charge dental services”, says Morkos.

Warnervale Dental share a similar vision to Teeth N Smiles and are also dedicated to improving the oral health of Australians. Practice Principal, Dr David Bassal is a major contributor in the local community and is delighted to be able to support the Teeth N Smiles Schools program. Bassal and his team are also able to offer free dental care and treatment for eligible children. “For kids who qualify under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) we are able to provide up to $1000 worth of dental treatment which can mean the difference between healthy teeth for life” explains Bassal.

Warnervale Dental and Teeth N Smiles considers prevention of dental disease as a priority. The experienced Warnervale Dental practitioners also provide dietary and oral hygiene advice to ensure a healthy oral environment from the start. Bassal explains that “by delivering positive dental visits, we believe your child will become familiar with our team and embrace their visits”.

The Teeth N Smiles van is currently visiting a variety of schools across the Central Coast and is inviting further schools to participate in this fantastic community program. The service is focused on being agile and mobile, which gives greater flexibility. The team can also arrange to visit schools for students, workplaces for employees or even residents at aged care facilities.

 

Source: https://www.centralcoastaustralia.com.au/news/mobile-dental-van-keeping-local-kids-smiling/?current-news

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The Food and Wine Festival is a one day festival of fine food, amazing wines and live entertainment for all ages to enjoy!

The annual Festival is held this year on Sunday 4 August at Mt Penang Parklands, Kariong.

The Food and Wine Festival is aimed at young people, adults families who have an interest in gourmet food and wine. You can expect to find a range of food, ciders, beer and wine vendors as well as live entertainment and kids activities.

The upcoming festival is unique as it is a collaboration between a range of local businesses to support business growth and socialisation on the Central Coast.

Source: https://www.tourismcentralcoast.com/news-item/2758/the-annual-food-and-wine-festival-back-at-mt-penang-parklands

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When you’re getting ready for a job interview, it’s always good to try to predict which questions an interviewer might ask. If you’re like most people, you’re fully prepped to field queries about what you know and the experience you have, like “Tell us about your responsibilities in your current job” or “Explain the strategy you used for [project on your resume].”

But don’t stop there! Recruiters and hiring managers also often ask behavioral questions, which can help them get a better idea of your personality and your soft skills. This could include questions like, “What type of work really excites you?” or “Tell us about a time you were frustrated by your colleagues.”

An even more sophisticated example that may not initially seem like a behavioral question is “What do you like least about your job?” Because it can be a bit of a “gotcha” question, you’ll want to craft your response with care. We talked to a few career experts and got their insights to help you avoid the pitfalls and answer it the right way.

Resist the Temptation to Vent
Even for those of us who genuinely love our careers, “What do you like least about your job?” is a question that we could easily wax poetic about over a few rounds of drinks with friends. But an interview is not the time to dish about, for example, how your boss is not nearly as smart as you.

That’s because this question isn’t really about discovering what you dislike, points out Conrad Woody, a partner at Odgers Berndston, an executive search and recruitment firm. More likely, it’s a test of how you would respond to an invitation to vent. “The interviewer wants to know if you’re the type of person who will go negative when given the opportunity,” says Woody.

Your answer should not leave the interviewer believing they could be your next gossip victim if things don’t go well. Speaking negatively of your current employer ends up reflecting poorly on you, not the company. If you must vent, save that for your friends—ideally not ones you work with.

Focus on New Opportunities
A great way to answer this question is to talk about a responsibility or duty you’d get to have at your new job that your current role doesn’t offer. For example, if the job you’re interviewing for requires that you deliver presentations to large groups, you could share that you wish your current job gave you the opportunity to flex the public speaking skills you’ve honed at your local Toastmasters club.

Alternatively, you can speak about a responsibility at your current job that simply isn’t challenging you any longer because you’ve mastered it. Just make sure that whatever it is, it isn’t a duty that’s integral to the job you’re interviewing for!

Frame the Answer in a Positive Way
No matter what you talk about, always take the opportunity to turn the negative into a potential positive with your new employer. “You don’t want to focus too much time on something you hate or don’t like,” says Tamara Rasberry, an HR Manager in Washington, DC. “Even when you briefly mention something you don’t like, highlight that you are well-versed in it but that it simply doesn’t challenge you anymore or utilize all of your strengths.”

By quickly pivoting to how your current role was a necessary and informative building block for your next career move, you show your ability to find the silver lining and do what needs to get done.

What This Looks Like
Need some inspiration? Consider these sample answers:

The “It Was Fun While It Lasted” Answer
By concentrating on the positives of the new employer, you can avoid mentioning anything explicitly negative about your current job:

“While I enjoyed working for a large law firm because I was able to gain experience across several subject matters, I’d prefer to bring all those learnings to your firm because I believe that your singular focus on the entertainment industry would allow me to have deeper impact.”

The “I’d Rather Be Doing Something Else” Answer
This answer briefly mentions a current responsibility, but focuses on the opportunity the new job would provide:

“In my current role, I’m responsible for drafting media lists to pitch. While I’ve developed a knack for this and can do it when it is necessary, I’m looking forward to a job that allows me to have a more hands-on role in working with media partners. That is one of the things that most excited me about your Account Supervisor position.”

The “You Asked, So Here Goes” Answer
There is of course, always the bold option, which is to speak more bluntly and directly about something not-so-great about your current role or company. But again, you’ll want to end on a positive note that spotlights your enthusiasm for the new job:

“My current company acquires new business through traditional methods like cold calling and direct mail. I’m impressed with the digital, email, and social acquisition campaigns you have implemented and how they reflect a more modern, innovative approach. While I am flexible enough to succeed in a diversity of work environments, I’m eager to work for a company that embraces change.”
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-do-you-like-least-about-your-job-interview-question-answer?ref=carousel-slide-0

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BRISBANE Waters Private Hospital is celebrating the efforts of its volunteers, who have collectively clocked up 76 years of service.

The acknowledgement coincides with National Volunteer Week from May 20-26, the annual celebration of the outstanding work of our nation’s volunteers.

Hospital CEO Kathy Beverley said: “This year the theme for National Volunteer Week 2019 is ‘Making a world of difference’, such a true statement for our community members who volunteer at our hospital.”

Thousands of events will be held across the country this week to say thanks to the six million Australians who volunteer their time, with Brisbane Waters Private Hospital honouring its volunteers with a special morning tea awards ceremony in the Memorial Gardens at the hospital.

“Encouraging our volunteers to remain with the hospital is important, and providing recognition of their contribution is equally important,” Kathy said.

“We value our volunteers, which is evident in the number of years they have remained with our hospital.”

She said research showed that 96 per cent of those donating their time for the greater good found more happiness in their own lives.

The benefits are numerous, from improving volunteers’ health and happiness to promoting a sense of belonging, boosting mood and making friends.

“Volunteering is a great way to promote strong social networks,” Kathy said.

“Research also suggests volunteering is a beneficial way to connect with your community and build positive relationships through creating social capital, building bonds of trust, cooperation and respect for diversity.”

 

 

Source: https://www.seniorsnews.com.au/news/hospital-volunteers-clock-up-combined-effort-of-76/3733273/

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NRMA Parks and Resorts announced it will further expand its portfolio to manage four additional locations across the Central Coast.

The four parks on the Central Coast will see the NRMA Parks and Resorts stable of owned and managed parks grow to 48. The NRMA is one of Australia’s largest tourism providers with a portfolio valued at over $800 million.

The four parks to be managed by NRMA for Central Coast Council are:

– Budgewoi Holiday Park

– Canton Beach Holiday Park

– Norah Head Holiday Park

– Toowoon Bay Holiday Park

NRMA Parks and Resorts CEO Paul Davies said the organisation was committed to providing guests a world-class experience at every one of their owned and managed holiday parks.

“Tourism isn’t just about the traveller, it’s about the communities they visit. Communities like the beautiful Central Coast offer unique experiences for domestic and international travellers and the NRMA is committed to unlocking these experiences for everyone,” Mr Davies said.

“Our philosophy is to provide exceptional holiday experiences, with a combination of fantastic locations, great hospitality and excellent facilities and we are looking forward to working closely with Central Coast Council, local tourism operators, and eateries to attract tourists to the region,”

“The Central Coast is a real hot-spot for holiday makers throughout the year, but local communities still have so much to gain from encouraging more visitors to the area. With kilometres of pristine coastline, cultural events and friendly locals; we’re positive each and every guest will have a fantastic experience in the region.”

NRMA Parks and Resorts already owns and operates NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort at the beautiful Umina Beach. The NRMA also operates Fantasea Cruising, running regular ferry services to the Central Coast between the Ettalong, Wagstaffe and Palm Beach.

 

 

Source: https://www.tourismcentralcoast.com/news-item/2417/nrma-parks-and-resorts-to-manage-council-holiday-parks

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Work-life balance can be elusive under the best job circumstances, but when you work non-traditional hours—whether you’re in a client-facing role, you have a busy season (hi accountants!), or you’re facing a big project deadline—finding time for the people and things you love can be even more difficult.

After all, early mornings, late hours, and limited breaks aren’t exactly conducive to balance. Still, it’s possible to carve out time for what’s important to you even when your work life seems crazy. And adopting one (or more) of these expert tips can help.

1. Rethink Work-Life Balance
If you feel like you can’t find any work-life balance thanks to your non-traditional schedule, rethink your definition of the phrase, says Samantha Ettus, a work-life balance expert and author of The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction.

“Work-life balance is not about having balance every day,” she says. “It’s about creating a balance that feels manageable over the course of time—a week, a month, a year.” The problem comes when you expect balance every day—and judge yourself accordingly. “That’s just not how life works,” Ettus says. “We all know there are days when you start at 7 AM and end with a client dinner at 10 PM.”

2. Set Boundaries When You’re Less Busy
Even the most demanding work schedule likely ebbs and flows—an off season or a time between projects. Take advantage of these slower periods to set personal boundaries, as much as possible, with clients and co-workers.

Will you have to stay later sometimes? Yes. Is an occasional 5:30 PM meeting inevitable? Of course. But in general, once you start setting boundaries, people will respect them—and it may be easier to keep them going when things pick up again.

3. Embrace Micro Actions
If your work schedule doesn’t allow for blocks of personal time, embrace what LoVerde calls “micro actions”—activities that fit into bits of time during your day that are so small it’s easy to discount them. Don’t.

For example, LoVerde says, maybe you can’t fit in a 90-minute yoga class when you’re on a project—but can you do 4 minutes of tabata? Or program your wearable activity tracker to remind you to take a 2-minute walk every hour and drink a glass of water?

Individually, those don’t seem like much, but when you add them all up, you may find you’ve gotten 20 minutes of exercise and downed 10 glasses of water by the end of the day. Not too shabby!

4. Think of Your Life as a Pie
Ettus recommends imagining your life as a pie sliced into seven pieces: career, children, health, hobbies, friends, community, and relationship. Write down how much time you spend on each slice (be honest!), and set a goal for each one.

If you’re already struggling to balance a couple of “slices” (say, career and children), adding five more can seem counterintuitive—but stick with us. “It doesn’t have to be a hobby that you do every day of your life—a once-a-month book club still contributes to balance,” Ettus says. “People who live in all of their slices are the ones who feel more productive and fulfilled, so make sure you set goals for each area.”

5. Become a Quitter
As busy as you are, you’re probably wasting time each day on things that don’t contribute to your work-life balance in a meaningful way. LoVerde recommends quitting the things that get in the way of what you want. Who among us hasn’t lost 20 minutes mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, when we could have been texting a friend or meditating?

6. Build in Rituals
The findings of a 75-year Harvard study show that good relationships are the key to keeping us healthy, happy, and successful. Of course, relationships may occasionally take a backseat due to a busy season at work. But if there’s no down time in your future, then you must build in ways to stay connected with family and friends, Mary says—and the way to do that is to build in rituals, such as FaceTiming with your kids when you miss bedtime or a daily lunchtime text with your partner.

“You have a limited amount of willpower every day,” LoVerde says, “so building in rituals that help you stay connected to what’s really important will help you when you have to work strenuous stretches.”

We can’t promise that you’ll be able to find the perfect work-life balance all the time. But if you follow this advice, you’ll be on your way to creating more time and space for yourself and those who matter most.

 

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-maintain-work-life-balance?ref=carousel-slide-1

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Kariong Neighbourhood Centre has long been recognised as a community hub for Kariong and surrounding suburbs. A not for profit organisation, it not only runs Out of Hours School Care and Vacation Care, but also acts as a meeting place for locals, offering play and craft groups, The Over 50’s Friendship Group, Tai Chi and Yoga, as well as specialised programs.

To further increase their connectivity to the community, Kariong Neighbourhood Centre has retained the team of specialists at One Direct Advisory to assist with general and financial advice on a Board and Management level. This general advice includes Governance, Corporate documentation, legal reviews and Centre management.

“We are already seeing value in working with One Direct Advisory and their team. Their expertise in dealing with matters relating to not for profit organisations has seen an immediate beneficial result to Kariong Neighbourhood Centre,” said Dennis Taylor, relieving Manager of Kariong Neighbourhood Centre.

“Kariong Neighbourhood Centre is a vital resource to locals, and we are keen to welcome One Direct Advisory to our team, so we can further explore how we can assist our community.

“We look forward to learning from and being supported by their expert advisory team,” Mr Taylor said.

One Direct Advisory has a great deal of experience in the not for profit area, being a subsidiary of Meals on Wheels Central Coast. One Direct Advisory is an advisory firm with an underlying philanthropic purpose.

 

 

Source: https://www.centralcoastaustralia.com.au/news/kariong-neighbourhood-centre-engages-advisory-team/?current-news

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A major new private hospital and health precinct is earmarked for Racecourse Rd, Gosford, and should be up and running within a few short years.

A joint project by AA Crown Holdings and Northside Group, the $350m Northside Private Hospital and medical precinct will deliver world class medical services to complement Gosford’s existing public hospital.

It is the brainchild of Northside Group, comprising developers Commercial HQ and the Gibbens Group. “We had a vision for a medical precinct close to the existing public hospital,” Commercial HQ Managing Director, Tim Gunasinghe, said. “There is a growing demand for medical facilities on the Coast, with continued population growth. “We bought the land late last year and hope to be in a position to start construction within 12 months.”

Gibbens Group CEO, Matthew Gibbens, said that as a State Significant Site, the development, on the 3.1HA former Ausgrid site, would not need to go through Central Coast Council for approval.

It will include: 14 state of the art operating theatres; 224 inpatient beds; an intensive care unit; a radiology department; food and retail tenancies; a pathology centre; a pharmacy; physiotherapy and rehabilitation clinics; a geriatric unit; and, a mental health unit.

Gunasinghe said it was possible a nursing home would also be included, as well as an on-site carpark. The project team will include Development Manager, Colliers International, Project Manager, Donald Cant Watts Corke, and architects, Health Project International.

Marcelo Ramirez, of Colliers International, said it would employ around 2,200 people during the construction phase. “Once completed, it is anticipated that upwards of 460 permanent jobs will be generated, bringing an economic benefit of $54m per annum to the region,” Ramirez said.

The hospital itself is expected to be completed by 2022, with the rest of the precinct to be added behind it, to the west of Gosford Hospital.

AA Crown is also looking to partner with Australian universities to create training facilities for local students within the medical profession, increasing health research and development opportunities.

 

 

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2019/02/350m-private-hospital-medical-precinct-announced/

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Students at Gorokan Public School are learning new skills in healthy food production and preparation thanks to the support of their school community, volunteers and local business.

On February 22, students, staff, members of the Gwandalan Community Gardening Group and Bunnings staff, finished off the creation of a kitchen garden and covered outdoor kitchen and dining area at the school.

“The school has a well-established veggie garden and chicken pen, and wanted to expand the program to include garden to plate learning opportunities for the students.

“The school paid for the construction of the outdoor kitchen and appliances, and Bunnings have generously provided food preparation benches, furniture and garden supplies,” said Principal, Jesmond Zammit.

“With the help of students, the Gwandalan Community Gardening Group finished planting out the kitchen garden, while Bunnings staff helped to complete the kitchen and dining area.

“Once our crops have grown and our chickens start delivering, students will be learning how to produce healthy food sustainably, and we’ll have a terrific space to enjoy school grown food, as well as somewhere to share with school community members,” Zammit said.

 

Source: http://www.centralcoastnews.net/2019/03/11/garden-to-plate-learning-opportunities-for-students/

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One of the region’s worst bottlenecks will be upgraded to dual carriageway in both directions after the government pledged $387 million for Central Coast Highway.

The 3.8km section of the Central Coast Highway — between Bateau Bay and Wamberal — will be upgraded to two lanes in each direction.

NSW Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey announced the $387 million upgrade on Tuesday.

This will result in a dual carriageway along the full route between the M1 at Kariong and Bateau Bay.

Ms Pavey said up to 26,000 drivers used this section of the highway daily.

Terrigal state Liberal MP Adam Crouch said initial planning work would include concept designs, geotechnical investigations and utility adjustments.

“The Central Coast Highway has been progressively upgraded to a four lane divided road and the section from Tumbi Rd to Bateau Bay Rd is the missing link we will build,” Mr Crouch said.

Liberal candidate for The Entrance Brian Perrem said the NSW Coalition had invested $4 billion on more than 2,100 road projects across the Central Coast and Hunter regions since March 2011.

“Better roads on the Central Coast are vital for families, whether it is to access schools, hospitals or sporting activities,” Mr Perrem said.

 

Source: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/central-coast-highways-387m-upgrade-from-bateau-bay-to-wamberal/news-story/b7215ee5b2dad03d040e66802fa26e23

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At Jobs On The Coast we are keen to help our customers find ways to maximise their quality of life and disposable income, which can be achieved through increasing your income (e.g. finding a higher paying job) or reducing your expenses (e.g. reducing the money spent and time absorbed on the daily commute to Sydney).

As a mortgage payment is often our largest financial commitment, many of us also recognise the importance of making sure we regularly check we are getting the best deal from our lender.  A great way to help you do this, is by contacting a Mortgage Broker.

If you’ve ever used a Mortgage Broker to “keep your bank honest”, find the best deal, or navigate the complicated rules to get your loan approved, you may wish to join the campaign to save their business model.

The proposed changes from the Banking Royal Commission mean that you will not have access to a mortgage broker’s advice in the future, without having to pay fees for service.

As the value of a Mortgage Broker’s business is based on their trail commission revenue, the proposed changes will force first-class brokers out of the business, having the opposite effect to what most of us want to see.  Without Mortgage Brokers, the banks will have reduced competition, allowing them to Increase their fees and interest rate margins.  Ultimately resulting in us, the customers paying more!

According to the Credit Industry Ombudsman you are 760% more likely to have a complaint about your bank than about your Australian Credit Licensed Mortgage Broker.

Mortgage Brokers trailing commissions have been portrayed as “ money for nothing” and but here are some important facts:

  1. Trailing commission provides a menu of services that the banks would otherwise struggle to provide – such as rate reviews to ensure you are still getting a competitive deal on your loan, help with ongoing matters such as transactional assistance, removal of guarantees, swapping properties over whilst retaining the same loan when buying and selling, and such forth. These services are hard to leverage from the bank directly and the services are not able to be provided free of charge by brokers as for good brokers it accounts for 25% of their working hours. Trailing commissions pays for these services. Without trailing commission these services will be either be charged for by brokers or we can approach our bank and see how we go with getting through to the right department in the bank to get help with matter at hand.
  2. When a loan goes into arrears, trailing commissions cease until the loan is back in good conduct. Subsequently, the broker makes contact with the borrower and assists with getting the loan back into good conduct. This is an important trigger in our economy – banks are risk-rated according to a number of parameters but most importantly on loan delinquencies. The banks risk rating affects how much it costs them to raise capital to lend to us. The more loan delinquencies, the higher the cost. In summary it’s realistic to expect that more loans will stay in arrears for longer when trailing commissions are removed- and we could all end up paying a higher rate solely due to removal of trailing commissions.

The following graph shows the fall in banks net interest margins since 1989 and a significant contributor to this has been the increased competition brought about by mortgage broking:

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If you want to show your support for the future if Mortgage Brokers, follow this link and it takes less than a minute to sign the petition and send an email to your local MP …

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Central Coast residents are set to be part of the biggest Seniors’ Festival in the southern hemisphere, with Coast OnScreen receiving a share of $200,000 in NSW Government funding for events and activities across the State.

Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, announced that Coast OnScreen has received $5,000 to bring the NSW Seniors’ Festival (February 13-24) to the Central Coast in 2019. “The annual Seniors’ Festival brings people together on the Central Coast and encourages older people to try something new and foster a strong community spirit,” Crouch said. “I’m delighted that the State Liberal Government is supporting seniors through the Seniors’ Festival, particularly with a Seniors’ Film Course and Film Festival to be hosted by Coast OnScreen in our region,” Crouch said. Minister for Ageing, Tanya Davies, said the 2019 NSW Seniors Festival theme is.

Love Your Life, which encourages seniors to participate in the community and live active, healthy and social lives. “The Festival will give seniors the opportunity to participate in exciting activities with friends and family, meet others, and share their insights and experiences,” Davies said. The seniors’ filmmaking series workshop, entitled Silver Screen, will take place in four parts and culminate in the Film Festival. Persons aged 50 plus who would like to learn how to create a short film will have the opportunity to participate in the series of half day workshops, which will cover short film basics, film editing and production, and storytelling.

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2019/01/coast-onscreen-to-feature-at-seniors-festival/