Below are some recent articles we have written on a variety of topics. You may also like to visit our Blog page for some tips on recruiting staff, applying for a job, resumes and more. We also have a  Media section to view our articles published in national travel & tourism industry publications. 

Any comments or questions you may have on any of our articles are welcome, please jobs [at] inplacerecruitment [dot] com [dot] au (subject: Comment%20on%20your%20article) (email )us or call us on (02) 9278 5100.

8 things I wish I knew about me...

before applying for a new job! Looking for a new job can be a daunting and emotional journey.

Depending on the reason why you are now job searching; due to redundancy, re-entering the workforce or knowing you need to move on to progress; we can be in a rush to apply for jobs without considering certain questions about the job, the company and most importantly about yourself.

The inPlace team were discussing this recently and decided we should always start with questioning ourselves  - a little self tak never hurt anyone! We have put together a list of the top 8 questions we think all job seekers should ask themselves before applying for a job.

1. What is my ideal job? What will make me get up and go to work everyday with a spring in my step?

2. What type of role and industry am I seeking? Be targeted in your job search instead of sending resumes off 'willy nilly'.

3. Am I really looking to move - or just testing the waters?

4. Why am I looking to leave my current position? Think about your future, where do you want to get to and create a plan how to get there. Specialist recruitment agencies can help you with this because they know the natural progression paths within companies really well.

5. What role am I looking for? Am I happy to do the same position within a different company or am I looking for a step up in my career eg. to a managment position.

6. What money can I realistically live on? You need to consider if you are happy to take a drop in salary if there is opportunity for growth and development.

7. Am I realistic in the salary I want for the job I am looking for? Do an honest self assessment of your skills and experience. Do you have the suitable or transferable skills to match your salary expectations?

8. What are my key skills and strengths?

Once you have answered these questions you will have a clearer picture of the type of job and company you are really looking for and can be more targeted in your job search, saving you time, energy and sometimes dissapointment.

Happy Job searching!

The inPlace Recruitment team

Commonly asked interview questions

During an interview you will be asked many questions, so be prepared...

It’s a well known fact that you will be asked questions during an interview to establish if you are the right person for the job. You should spend some time before the interview constructing honest and precise answers to questions you can expect to be asked to avoid stumbling. Being prepared for such questions will help raise your confidence and ensure you are expressive in your response. Below are some examples. 

  • What is it about the industry that appeals to you? Why did you decide to join it?
  • Why would you like to work for our organisation?
  • What appealed to you about this role? What can you bring to this role?
  • What style of management do you work best with?
  • How would your past managers and colleagues describe you? How would your friend’s describe you?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Describe a situation where you had a deadline that needed to be met.
  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer or situation? How did you handle this?
  • What has been your biggest accomplishment in your career?
  • Where do you see yourself in 1 year? Where do you find yourself in 5 years?


Forget past thinking, we need an organic workforce for the future

Are we still trying to recycle the same people throughout the industry without planting the seeds for a new crop of travel professionals.

MEDIA RELEASE - 23.05.2011

After 30 years recruiting for the travel industry Sandra Chiles, Managing Director of inPlace Recruitment, believes we are still limiting the people we attract to our companies. “Our job ads have changed very little. We state our demands for a minimum number of years travel experience as a must and we still reference our preferred age with phrases such as ‘join this young fun team’, says Chiles.  

To develop an organic workforce for the future Chiles promotes taking a fresh look at what our needs actually are as opposed to wanting more of what we had in the past.

“Break down the inherent competencies for the role”, states Chiles. Do you need 5 days a week, 9am to 5.30pm or would 4 days per week 8am to 6pm or a job share arrangement work just as well for your company?

What is the difference between six months or three years experience as a Domestic Corporate Consultant? If someone has a travel course and relevant computer training, can experience be substituted with transferable skills, aptitude and attitude, work ethic and enthusiasm?  

At what age are you mature? At what age are too young? At what age do family responsibilities cease to affect a person’s work?” All questions Chiles believes we need to revisit the answers to.

“To produce a fresh organic workforce that will meet the future staffing needs of the travel industry we need to plant the seeds now by attracting quality people and nurturing them with a rewarding, enthusiastic environment that includes regular training, appropriate remuneration and stimulation. An environment that caters to their needs as well as the industries, Chiles says.”

For further information call Sandra Chiles on 02 9278 5100.

How much does it cost to get a Job?

Sometimes we are asked by candidates being interviewed by a Recruitment Consultant – how much does it cost to get them a job? Wouldn’t I be better answering the clients ad?

Let me answer some of the questions in advance so you know what to expect of your recruitment consultant:

  • Candidates do not pay a fee to be placed in a job – the client pays us.
  • Sure you can apply direct to the client but what about all the other roles that you may be interested in
  • Confidentiality- you may be still employed and you don’t want your CV floating around on someone’s desk
  • You want to know which company your CV is being sent to. Tell your Recruitment Consultant that you want to control where your CV goes. This is your right – it’s your life and career. inPlace Recruitment has a policy to obtain your permission for every role and company before forwarding your CV.  Do Not sign a blanket form agreeing to your CV being sent to a company without your express permission for that role.
  • The Recruitment Consultant has in-depth knowledge or our clients and the role and therefore is in a position to advise which role you are better suited to.
  • We know the culture and background of the company – ads can’t tell you this.
  • We can advise on how best to present yourself – you may not have applied for a job before or it was many years ago
  • Be honest and open with your recruitment consultant – build a relationship of trust, after all they are trying to help you
  • Keep in touch – return phone calls,sms andor emails – it could be good news.

Please don't hesitate to call me 02 9278 5100 if you have any further questions about our job search and recruitment process.

Sandra Chiles
Managing Director

How to Dress for Success

Dress code varies from office to office, however an interview requires you to look professional and confident.

It’s been said many times but it’s true, first impressions do count.

When attending an interview dress conservatively, of corporate style and importantly be comfortable in what you are wearing. If you are comfortable you will feel more confident in presenting yourself and won’t need to fidget.

Oh, and don’t forget to smile!


How to ask questions in an interview

Searching for and securing a new job can be a little overwhelming but with the right amount of determination and preparation getting a new job will be an exciting and energising experience.

Questions to ask in an interview queston mark symbolA job interview is not only for the interviewer to decide if you are the most suitable person for the job. It is also a great chance for you to get to know the position and company. Asking questions shows initiative and confidence and will be fundamental in helping you decide if this is the right career move for you. 

Questions to clarify responsibilities of the role and enable you to assess if you have the right skills are important to ask. Just as important are questions that help you gain an insight into the company's culture to help you decide if you could see yourself working there.

Questions about the company are welcome. Most interviewers are proud of their organisation and will respond well to a candidate who has taken the time to research their company and asks questions that validate this research.

These may relate to the future business direction of the company or to new products products and services. As well as visiting the company website review news items and conversations on social media platforms such as twitter, facebook or Google+ to see what the companies current issues are.

Keep in mind as each company and role differs so too will the appropriate questions. You will also need to use your discretion to judge what questions to ask based on how the interview is flowing. 

One question you may consider asking the interviewer if appropriate is 'what do they enjoy most about working for this company?'

If you are attending your second interview don't assume it will be more of a casual chat, be prepared for an interview as formal as the first and use this opportunity to ask any questions you may have thought of since the first interview. 

And keep in mind: If you are attending an interview at a recruitment company first, treat this interview as important as a client interview, don't forget the client has engaged them to select only the most suitable candidates to be put forward so ask relevant questions that give you the opportunity to give an answer that will sell yourself.  

How to prepare the case for a pay rise

Achieving better rewards for the work you do needs careful consideration...

Has it been some time since you’ve had a salary review? Perhaps you’re now finding yourself working longer hours and managing increased workloads or growing responsibilities, all of which seem “just expected” by the boss.

When you start wondering if you’re being paid enough there’s usually some aspects of your job and company that are bothering you.

It’s important to acknowledge this because if you’re dissatisfied with other things about your job a pay rise will only be a temporary fix.

There should be an equity between your pay and the other intrinsic benefits your job offers you that keep you both happy within yourself and with your company.

So when deciding if you are being paid enough first ask yourself “will a higher salary resolve all my work issues?”

So how can you find out if you’re being paid your worth?

If you suspect you’re being short changed on your current salary you need to do a reality check to see if there is a genuine disparity with what is being paid in the marketplace.

Start by conducting research into industry salaries. Search the generalist online job boards such as Seek, and Mycareer as well as industry publications and website such as Travel Daily, e-travelblackboard and Travel Weekly. This will give you an idea of advertised salaries for your role. It’s important to compare ‘apples with apples’ so make sure you take into consideration the responsibilities of the advertised role as well as other terms and conditions of the salary package.

For a more detailed comparison discuss your role and salary with a travel recruitment agency. They can advise you of current salaries that are being offered by employers for your specific range of skills and experience. This will enable you to set realistic salary expectations.

The rate of inflation and the period of time since your last salary increase is also important information to consider.

How do you tackle that sensitive request for a pay rise?

The ideal opportunity to address your salary is during a performance appraisal. If you have an appraisal due prepare to address your concerns then. If it’s been some time since your last performance appraisal ask for one to be undertaken as a platform to reviewing your salary.

Prepare to demonstrate your market value to the company at your appraisal, use your industry research to assist you with this. Prepare your thoughts on the following:

  • what you feel you contribute to the business
  • your position’s scope and responsibility
  • the worth of your qualifications and experience
  • the salary you feel you should be on
  • the pay rise that would be acceptable to you

Be flexible and take into consideration environmental factors that may be affecting the business at present. Be prepared to compromise, this may entail a better lifestyle package rather than a better salary package.

If you feel you can’t approach your boss with your salary concerns or they are not willing to discuss your request for a review it may be time to consider employment elsewhere.

Sandra Chiles

How to stand out in 30 seconds

Tips on how to make your resume stand out in the pile...

Tips on how to make your resume stand out in the pile

As employers usually have many resumes to look through, and have set criteria of specific skills and experience to consider, they will spend an average of just 30 seconds scanning each one.

Taking the time needed to create a stand out resume is time well spent. Remember, it’s the first important step in your job search. Your resume will determine if you're invited for an interview or culled at the first stage of the process. So how can you ensure your resume stands out?

Look at your resume from an employer's perspective. Does it make a good first impression? It needs to be relevant for the job you are looking for and clearly laid out to make finding relevant information quick and easy.

Sandra Chiles, director of travel recruitment firm Travel People, said the use of sub-headings, clear sparing between sections and bullet points help make a resume easy to read.

"Keep your resume no longer than two or three pages in length, and remember to target your information to the position and company you are applying for."

Always proofread your resume, run a spell check on the document and get a friend or relative to read over it for you with a fresh eye before sending it off.

Chiles said spelling and grammatical errors leave a less than professional first impression.

A good structure to your resume helps employers gather the information they need quickly. Put personal information in the first section, remembering to indicate your preferred method of contact.

List qualifications, starting with the most recent. Include the type of award achieved (degree, diploma, certificate), the educational institution you attended and date of completion.

Start your employment history with your current job and work backwards.

Include the job title and duration of employment, making sure you include actual dates of employment not just the year. Also include key responsibilities, notable achievements and accomplishments and quantify these where possible.

Expand on skills used which may be relevant to the job you are applying for, and keep details brief and relevant. Explain any gaps in employment, eg travelling or family commitments, and if you've been in the workforce for many years focus on your roles over the last 10 years in detail. Include your earlier roles but only elaborate if they are relevant to the position you are applying for, Personal interests, hobbies and travels can help emphasise any qualities or destination knowledge you have which may be relevant to the Job you are applying for.

Invest in yourself

Further education is an investment in your employment future...

Keep Learning – Keep Earning!Invest in yourself for your travel career

Most of us invest in a home, superannuation and maybe shares. Very often, however, we overlook the most important investment opportunity we have, namely ourselves.

Investing in our own self-development through further education and training is an investment in our employment future, not to mention our financial and personal well-being.

The travel industry continues to evolve with improved technology and an ever changing environment. With this so do the trends for travel by our customers and therefore the roles required within the industry.

Self development plays a key role in enabling us to keep up with these changes as well as providing us with the skills needed to achieve our career goals.

Generally there is a career path available within your current organisation. Employers want to keep their staff and are usually happy to help you achieve your goals within their company. Talk to them about your ambitions.

Regardless of where you start in the industry, once established, people sometimes see an area that appeals to them more. To be successful in changing to a different career path you firstly need to research the knowledge and skill sets required and then position yourself to obtain these.

For example, to make a move from the retail travel sector into marketing you will need to undertake specific studies in this field.

If your goal is to progress to more senior positions within the industry continued learning and updating of skills is a must.

Employers are looking for people who have the knowledge and skills to provide them with solutions and innovations to keep them competitive in the environment in which their business operates.

At one level it’s as simple as being aware of world events through the various media outlets. Taking note of changes in the business environment, emerging trends and recognising the impact they will have on your company. 

Most employers would have a development programme in place. Discuss this with them and express your interest. With a wide range of courses offered on a part-time basis you can continue to build your career while undertaking the required study to take on a management role.

Updating your skills not only demonstrates initiative and commitment, it improves your current work performance, your personal satisfaction and your personal bottom line (pay cheque). The result? You are likely to realise greater opportunities (and rewards) from your current employer and you are more marketable to future employers.

Is your company getting onboarding?

A good orientation process can ensure long-term success

Reading an American article on the topic of onboarding it started me thinking about to what degree is our industry successful at onboarding? What impact does an organisation’s onboarding program have on recruitment? How does a company’s onboarding program relate to the success of a new employee we have placed with them?

According to David Lee from HumanNature@work the term onboarding refers to “the process of integrating new employees into the organisation, of preparing them to succeed at their job and to become fully engaged, productive members of the organisation. It refers to the initial orientation process and the ensuing 3-6 months.”

In our experience few of our smaller travel industry companies have a structured orientation program. New employees are told where things are then given guidance as they go, the approach of ‘learn on the job’. Some larger travel companies and hotel groups have orientation programs which can run up to one week.

Unfortunately we have experienced candidates leaving their new job within a few weeks, and sometimes even days, because of a non existent or poorly structured orientation program. A common reason is the lack of guidance and instruction led them to feel lost. New employees hate having to interrupt their busy new colleagues to ask simple questions that would help them get started in their role. They also lost confidence in their decision to join the company, sensing their new employer to be unorganised and unprofessional.

We all know what it’s like starting a new job and this should assist us in designing our orientation programs from a new employee perspective.

Some onboarding mistakes noted in the article that I could readily identify with include:

Information overload on day one

Trying to cram too much information into a short period of time, learning everything about the company in one morning session. This leaves the new employee feeling overwhelmed and negative, with the impression the company doesn’t do things properly. We should break information down into bite sized chunks and select the most appropriate medium for them to access information, be it the company intranet or website etc.

Believing that a hurried, second rate, disorganised orientation program has no negative effect on employees

This sends the message that you run a less than professional company. New employees experience great anxiety when they don’t have a good understanding of what is going on or why something is done in a particular way. This leads them to feel vulnerable and thus insecure and they come to hasty conclusions based on their minimal information. It also sends a negative message to all existing employees.

Making your orientation program dull and boring

Filling out forms, speakers droning on about rules and regulations is not the way to go. One of the most important roles of the orientation program is to create an inspiring experience that reassures new employees that they have made the right career choice and lay the foundation for high employee engagement. Your orientation should include messages along the lines of: “we’re happy you’re here; you’re part of a great company; this is why your job is so important; you’re part of something great; you matter.’

Using the sink or swim approach to onboarding

Throwing a new employee into the job without appropriate support and training. It dramatically increases the odds of an employee leaving. It also communicates to all employees two damaging messages. Management doesn’t care about their people and management doesn’t have common sense.

Using the ‘no news is good news’ approach to follow up.

Providing a level of support to new employees after their orientation is most important. Establishing a mentor and periodic check-ins communicates that you care and value the employee and this leads to engagement and loyalty. Actively seeking them out to find out how they’re going – this is critical as it makes it easy for them to tell you what’s on their mind.

Research has shown the benefits of successful onboarding to be a reduction in staff turnover, improved attendance, increased productivity and the highest levels of employee engagement.

I think that is definitely worth working towards. I wish you every success with your recruitment. 

Sandra Chiles

Outsourcing Recruitment

Let the specialists recruit your staff, but play by the rules

Using a recruitment agency to find staff can save time and money. But don’t bother calling the professionals unless you can be frank, flexible and have the funds.

What advantages does a recruitment company offer?

First impressions:

For a start a recruitment specialist offers a level of professionalism that can set your business apart from competitors. The recruitment process is a candidate’s first experience with your brand and it can determine the type of talent you attract.


Employers are too busy running their companies to dedicate the time to a comprehensive recruitment process. As a result they aren’t able to build the expertise to identify and select the best performing employees.


Most companies don’t want their competitors to know what their current staffing situation is or to flag any future expansion plans. It may also be inappropriate for existing staff to know their company’s staffing plans (especially if the business is looking to recruit some outside experience).

Market Intelligence:

It’s recruitment companies’ business to know what’s happening out in the labour market. They can tell you who’s available and guide you to realistic expectations.


Extensive databases and networks of industry contacts enable recruitment companies to find the right person quickly. They can also assist with a temp to keep your business operating smoothly while filling your vacancy.

As an owner of a recruitment agency for the last 28 years I would love to say that we can always help any client, but the truth is there are circumstances where we can’t.

When can the process encounter problems?

Closed shop:

A recruitment company needs to know detailed information about a business (including office culture etc) in order to promote it to appropriate candidates. An employer has to be open and frank throughout the process. Inflexible: If as an employer you have a set criteria and lack flexibility, it is going to be difficult to help given the current skills shortage.


Sometimes there can be a disparity between the skills an employer requires and the capacity to pay for those skills. Don’t look for a Call Centre Manager who requires operational, technical, leadership, sales and customer service skills if your budget will only cover a supervisor or team leader without those talents.


Don’t use a recruitment agency if you are not prepared to commit to the financial cost involved. However, agencies usually offer a range of service levels to suit most budgets. Just remember any good investment takes planning, research and time.


Tips on how to handle rejection and still come out on top...

Everyone hates hearing those words "you have been unsuccessful", especially if it was for a job you really wanted. However, being ‘unsuccessful’ can be taken as a rejection – or an opportunity.

If there’s more than one other person going for the job, remember the chances of you being unsuccessful are greater than your chances of getting the job.

All feedback is good feedback. Some rejections are based on personality fit: not being a good fit for the company culture or team. You can’t do much to change this, however chances are you wouldn’t have enjoyed working in an environment that was not a good fit with you.

Other rejections, based on skills or experience are ones you can do something about. Such as your interview technique, further development of skills or knowledge in a particular area.

Typical feedback I’ve heard includes: not prepared enough for the interview, not sales focussed enough & not confident enough for the role.

This feedback may highlight the need to research the company/product more or to gain further experience or knowledge. It’s a good idea to prepare and practice some answers to possible interview questions. A good recruiter can help you with this.

Wasn’t J.K Rowling rejected several times in her efforts to publish her novel about a boy named Harry Potter? Didn’t Channel 7 reject a program called Neighbours?….enough said.

Sandra's 30 Tips for Successful Recruiting

The strength of a professional recruitment process is key to a company's success in attracting quality staff and engaging them for the long term.

After 30 years of recruiting and listening to feedback from candidates on their experiences with interviews, salary negotiations and role expectations I know first hand how important a professional recruitment process is to a candidate's decision in accepting a job offer. Here are my Top 30 Tips for successful recruiting.

The Role

  1. Clearly define the role - Ask your team what are the essential criteria for the role. 
  2. Identify what skills are essential and what skills are desirable.
  3. Don't be set on a specific number of years experience, focus on the knowedge and experience needed to do the job.

The Recruitment Process

  1. Set a realistic timeframe for the recruitment process. 
  2. Give ownership to one person. 
  3. Ensure the interviewer is trained to interview. 
  4. Be flexible with interviewing times, schedule before and after work interview slots, set aside times when you will not  be distracted.
  5. Research market salaries so you know the going rate for the role.

The Interview

  1. Give 100% attention to the interview and be prepared, candidates respect this. 
  2. Make the candidate feel welcome; use a few 'soft' questions or comments to relax them.
  3. Structure the interview; include open ended and behavioural questions. 
  4. Manage the candidate's expectations of the role and it's opportunities; give them a job spec so they fully understand the role before they consider accepting it. 
  5. Find out a bit about their personality to see that they are going to enjoy your role, fit into it and not want to leave.
  6. Do not ask for personal information that is not relevant to the job; be careful of questions that could be construed as discriminating eg. marital status.
  7. Trust your instincts; if something doesn't feel right, dig deeper.
  8. Welcome questions from the candidate, remember they are interviewing you and the company as well.
  9. Find out what other roles they are interviewing for and how they rate their interest in your position. Also ask your Recruitment Consultant.

Promote your Company 

  1. Be enthusiastic during the interview and promote your company, candidates want to know why they should work for you. Sell the company culture, personalise your experience and why you enjoy working there. 
  2. Promote the job and the opportunities it opens up for the candidate; it has to be worth moving for.

The Follow Up 

  1. Conclude the interview with the next stage - when will they hear from you or the recruiter, keep to your promise to contact them by certain date and advise unsuccessful candidates as soon as possible. 
  2. When using a recruitment agency keep in contact with your Recruitment Consultant and give feedback on how the suitability of the candidates they have put forward for the role. 
  3. Don't change the role after the candidate has been for the interview.
  4. Reference check thoroughly, be objective, tailor questions to the candidates suitability to the role. 
  5. Uphold your integrity. Do what you say, when you say you are going to do it.

The Offer 

  1. Don't keep good candidates waiting for too long - they will go elsewhere. 
  2. Don't offer a salary below what the candidate has advised they are looking for - this is a big turnoff. 
  3. Once you have made an offer and the candidate accepts, follow up with a letter of offer or contract.

Your new Employee 

  1. Ensure you have a structured induction program in place for when your new team member starts - the first impression will be key in engaging them with your company. 
  2. Hold quarterly reviews with your new team member to check that all is working out for both of you as planned, actioned any concerns immediately. 
  3. Constantly review the salary and that of the market place so you don't lose your employee over a salary structure being too low compared to the market average.

If you would like any further information on implementing an effective recruitment process feel free to call me on
02 9278 5100.

Happy Recruiting!

Sandra Chiles
Managing Director

Sandra's Fresh Recruitment Recipe

It's been said we need to look at energising the way we recruit staff for the travel industry.

It's not a case of how you go about your recruiting it is a matter of recruiting new people into the industry that bring a fresh enthusiasm and desire to succeed. Like the old saying goes, "if you want a different result you have to do something differently." If your current strategy isn't giving you the results you want try my recipe for a fresh approach to recruitment.

First Steps

-  Identify/break down the inherent competencies for the role
-  Relook at what you actually need vs what you had in the past
-  Did you need 5 days per week, 9.00 – 5.30pm or could you        have 4 days per week 8 – 6pm
-  What is the difference between 6mths and 3 years experience    as a Domestic Corporate Consultant?
-  At what age are you mature?
-  At what age are too young?
-  At what age do family responsibilities cease to effect a              persons work?
-  Do they have to tick every box on your wish list?


-  Travel course
-  Transferable skills
-  Fresh ideas
-  Aptitude and attitude
-  Can they do the job, will they do the job, will they fit in
-  Hire for attitude, train for skills
-  Enthusiasm, passion, desire for success, work ethic
-  Life skills and experience


-  Mix liberal amounts of enthusiasm with natural skills/ability
-  Blend in regularly with training
-  Reward with weekly amounts of remuneration
-  Place in a nurturing environment
-  Stir in fun and stimulation
-  Leave to rise in a sunlit airy workplace
-  Check frequently on level of engagement
-  Add a dollop of appreciation and feedback

Result: Enjoy an award winning, loyal and happy employee

Helpful Hint /Tip
Don’t use stale ingredients

Sandra's Insider tips

Take the time now to create your opportunities.

Below are some tips that I have learnt over the last 30 years in travel recruitment where I have experienced many up and down economic cycles.

  • Keep a long term perspective and plan for growth.
  • Keep open dialogue with your staff - be transparent and keep them informed. Most of our clients have found their staff very supportive and this communication helps maintain good staff morale. Happy staff will be your best ambassadors and help promote your company. This is the best publicity you will have to attract future staff and your cheapest ROI in recruitment.
  • Surround yourself with strong business relationships, work with people you like and trust and know will support you and your business. Relationships are the key to your staff, your customers and your business partners.

Sandra's insider Temp tip

Lock in your preferred temp!

I've noticed that ongoing temps have become more and more popular. A lot of clients are realising the benefits of advance bookings of the same person for their busy periods. The benefits are many as they know the business, they have a full understanding of the internal systems and processes and they know your clients.

So if you have built a good rapport with a particular temp and want to be assured they are available to cover scheduled busy periods book them in advance.


Sandra's insider interview tip

Do your homework before attending a job interview.

Never go into an interview without having first researched the company you are applying to.

Getting to know about a company and their products is so accessible today with all companies having a corporate website with an 'About Us' page for a look behing the scenes.

It is also good to read the news items on their website or do a search in Google to see if there are any articles that might give you an insight into their corporate culture and future direction.

It's obvious in an interview if you know little about the company, it looks unprofessional and it can cost you the job!

Save your Resume from Delete

Are you getting frustrated with applying for jobs online without getting any response?

Do you find yourself saying "I know I can do this job, if only they knew me?

Does your resume stand out? If not it will most likely be a victim of the delete button.

Ask yourself if it answers these two important questions:

1. Does it address the selection criteria outlined in the job ad?

Don't have a "one size fits all" approach to your resume. When getting started in your job search prepare one resume to save as your template. As you apply for a specific job you should do a "Save As" on this template and develop it further to ensure it addresses each of the specific skills and experience asked for in the job ad.

Don't fall into the trap of making your resume a series of job descriptions including every duty you have ever performed.

When employers are receiving large numbers of resumes they don't have the time to look at anyone who doesn't demonstrate how they meet the selection criteria. You may apply for several different types of roles and so should end up with a bank of resumes that are concise and highlight your claim to each individual role as well as a bank of Selection Criteria responses.

Also be honest with yourself. With many people looking for jobs at present you are simply wasting your time if you are applying for jobs that don't match your skills, knowledge and experience.

2. Does it highlight your achievements?

When addressing the selection criteria you need to keep in mind that chances are there are many people out there who have the same foundation of skills and experience as you. However they are not you!

The best way of demonstrating who you are in your resume is to provide good examples of how you have used your skills to exceed expectations and achieve for your past employers.

An achievement doesn't have to be spectacular but must be applicable to your role. For example, as a Travel Consultant you converted an enquiry into an $80,000 european booking or you secured a group booking one year and they were so thrilled with your service and professionalism they continue to book with you each year.

It is even better if these achievements are relevant to the role you are applying for. Remember your achievements are unique to you.

Warning: Your resume should be an honest representation of you, don't be tempted to make up any skills, experience or achievements. They must be real or they will come back to bite you when reference checks are carried out with your past employers.

A resume that is written concisely and addresses the selection criteria with good examples of achievements will stand out and increase your chances of being invited for an interview.

Note: If you are not confident in writing your own resume have it professionally prepared for you. Look at it as a worthwhile investment in your career. However be sure to give it your individual twist. You don't want it to look exactly the same as every other professionally done resume in the pile.

If you would like professional assistance with your resume please jobs [at] inplacerecruitment [dot] com [dot] au (subject: Resume services) (contact us).

The 6 Thinking Hats Theory

They say that at the heart of every problem lies an opportunity. But do you find it hard to see the opportunity sometimes?

Is it hard to always be innovative and creative? We’re all guilty of becoming too focused on the problem and we can struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Using the Six Thinking Hats you have the potential to;

  • Teach your organisation to be more open minded and creative
  • Stimulate innovation by generating ideas quickly
  • Separate fact from opinion
  • Get the most out of a team or teamwork exercise
  • Use the full range of everyone’s thinking power
  • Facilitate conflict resolution
  • Improve how employees think for a more competitive advantage
  • Run creative and effective meetings
  • Turn problems into real opportunities

The truth is, every problem really is an opportunity, it’s how we approach and think about the problem that makes the difference.

For organisations and employees alike, innovation is important to remain ahead of the rest. Innovation requires creativity but thinking creatively is a difficult thing to do because we have to ‘think laterally’ and cut across our normal thinking patterns. This style of thinking is not a normal behaviour of the brain which is why creativity sometimes seems unnatural or difficult.

Edward De Bono is regarded by many to be the world’s leading authority in the field of creative thinking. De Bono developed the Six Thinking Hats Theory as a way of encouraging lateral thinking and to deliberately generate creative thinking in individuals and organisations. The Hats theory can help to make creative thinking a part of ordinary thinking.

The Six ‘metaphorical hats’ are the White, Yellow, Black, Red, Green and Blue hats. The thinker can put on or take off any one of these hats to indicate the type of thinking that is being used.

White Hat

Facts, figures, information, asking questions and defining information needs and gaps. E.g. "My job ad isn’t attracting anyone. I have only received 2 applications for the month the job has been with job board X. Advertising is expensive, the skills shortage is at crisis point and I really need someone to fill this position. Job board X offers a better rate but has not been around for as long.

Red Hat

Intuition, feelings and emotions.

E.g. "Our staff are feeling the stress of having to cover the additional workload created by being one team member down. Morale is low and they feel we’re not doing enough to fix the issue. We fear that more staff will resign. We really appreciate all the extra work everyone is doing."

Black Hat

The logical negative. The hat of judgement and caution. E.g. "We’ve already exceeded our recruitment advertising budget but if we don’t continue how will we find someone?"

Yellow Hat

The logical positive. This hat looks at why something will work and what benefits it may have. E.g. "As opposed to ongoing advertising spend, we can put the job with a recruitment agency and they will advertise the position and work to find the right person and we will only have to pay them when a suitable person has been found."

Green Hat

The hat of creativity alternatives, proposals, what is interesting, any frustrations and changes that may be involved. E.g. "What are other effective ways of filling this position? Should we promote from within? Should we consider Facebook or MySpace? Should we adjust the hours to attract people seeking flexibility, I.e. return to work, semi retired etc?"

Blue Hat

The overview or process control hat. E.g. "We will do more Red Hat thinking and get the staff’s opinions and feedback on the situation. We will also do more White Hat thinking to answer any questions generated while ‘Green Hat thinking’."

Deal with a problem, meeting or teamwork exercise using the Six Thinking Hats technique and you will work at and/or solve the issue using all approaches. You will encourage co-operation, exploration and innovation using this technique.

Your decision will ultimately be creative - one that has looked at every angle of a problem and discovered the opportunity that lies within.

*Source: De Bono, E. 1995, ‘Serious Creativity', The Journal for Quality and Participation, vol.18, no.5, p.12-19.


Working in travel is a professional career choice not just a job!

I am continually frustrated when I hear people undersell their work in the travel industry, referring to their role as a 'job' not a professional career.

Some refer to the fact that they don't have or require a degree and seem somewhat in awe of others who do.

I feel they undervalue the enormous amount of knowledge, skill and responsibility that comes with every role in the travel industry.

Travel consultants, for example, offer professional advice based on their knowledge, experience and training. They plan and structure, research, liaise, negotiate and calculate, providing consultations and recommendations. This is not unlike a financial planner and how much importance do we place on them?

Travel Consultants are responsible for 'getting it right' on how someone spends their hard earned dollars and precious leisure time.

Some people may think they can do the job of a travel consultant themselves, just like others think they are an expert health specialist or a builder, but in the end they are only amateurs. Sure they will do ok but what did they lose out on by not employing a trained professional? They will never know.

Many travellers will have regretted the decision to 'DIY' recently when stranded during the volcanic ash disaster. During this event the skills and professionalism of the travel industry were amazing, many working long hours to keep their clients informed and assist them with best options for reaching their destinations.

It is up to the travel industry to raise its own perception of itself. I am qualified, I am a professional. My consultation is worth paying for.

If we don't believe in our value how can we convince someone to buy from us.

Perhaps, along with our qualifications we should have a photo collage on our walls of every place we have travelled, our degree of first hand knowledge - invaluable. Would you agree?

Sandra Chiles

Working in travel is a professional career choice not just a job!

I am continually frustrated when I hear people undersell their work in the travel industry, referring to their role as a 'job', not a professional career.

Some refer to the fact that they don't have or require a degree and seem somewhat in awe of others who do.

I feel they undervalue the enormous amount of knowledge, skill and responsibility that comes with every role in the travel industry.

Travel consultants, for example, offer professional advice based on their knowledge, experience and training. They plan and structure, research, liaise, negotiate and calculate, providing consultations and recommendations. This is not unlike a financial planner and how much importance do we place on them?

Travel Consultants are responsible for 'getting it right' on how someone spends their hard earned dollars and precious leisure time.

Some people may think they can do the job of a travel consultant themselves, just like others think they are an expert health specialist or a builder, but in the end they are only amateurs. Sure they will do ok but what did they lose out on by not employing a trained professional? They will never know.

Many travellers will have regretted the decision to 'DIY' recently when stranded during the volcanic ash disaster. During this event the skills and professionalism of the travel industry were amazing, many working long hours to keep their clients informed and assist them with best options for reaching their destinations.

It is up to the travel industry to raise its own perception of itself. I am qualified, I am a professional. My consultation is worth paying for.

If we don't believe in our value how can we convince someone to buy from us.

Perhaps, along with our qualifications we should have a photo collage on our walls of every place we have travelled, our degree of first hand knowledge - invaluable. Would you agree?

Sandra Chiles