A desire to help others tap into their full career potential was what inspired entrepreneur, Vicki Clothier, to start not one, but two businesses – Clothier Careers and Resume Writers Australia – that successfully service job seekers and writing professionals all around the nation. Vicki, who has recently relocated back from Adelaide to Townsville with her husband, spends her days assisting people in finding the confidence to make bold career moves. We sat down with Vicki to learn more about the personal challenges associated with job applications and how best to navigate the tumultuous world of the workforce.
1.You are the owner and Founder of Clothier Careers – a document preparation and career consult service, helping Australian job seekers to apply for their next role with confidence. What is the biggest challenge people tend to encounter when it comes to expanding and exploring their options in the workforce?
The biggest challenge is definitely marketing themselves. People find it hard to speak boldly about their achievements and strengths – fearing it will be interpreted as big-noting or arrogance. Finding a way to articulate this without feeling silly is important. I also find people struggle to figure out what their valuable and transferable skills are – when you’ve been working in an industry or a role for a long time, you become an expert and forget how important the basics in your role can be. Part of my role is helping to identify key skills that you bring to the table, even when it is not obvious to you. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes on your career is all you need to find the obvious valuable traits that you have.
2.You are also the founder of Resume Writers Australia, a training organisation designed to support Australian resume writers in their business and professional development journey. Why is it important to provide education, motivation and support for professionals who are wanting to grow and evolve their skill set?
I identified a gap in the industry training and developed a startup program for sole traders to begin a resume writing business. Since then, it’s become about professional development and short courses to improve technical writing skills and business strategy for resume writing professionals.
In Australia, the service of resume writing is unregulated. This means that there are no governing bodies stipulating minimum training requirements or registrations, which can sometimes give the industry a bad reputation. I believe that perspectives and lived experiences are key to creating a diverse and knowledgeable industry and giving people a supportive and inclusive foundation from which to launch their career services business is central in setting and raising the standards in resume writing. My motto is community over competition – every single time.
3.You deliver quality bespoke recruitment services for family-owned small businesses and SME’s helping to ensure a great cultural fit for quality business outcomes. Why is it important that small businesses have tailored access to necessarily skills and training?
Small businesses don’t often have a dedicated HR team to do the recruitment and selection process of onboarding new staff – and so often it gets put on the backburner because it feels hard, overwhelming or takes too much time away from customers or money-making activities. I have created a fixed price recruitment service so that small businesses can confidently hand over that administrative burden, knowing that I have their best interests at heart. I am passionate about finding a great match – for both the business and the job candidate – because I know and understand the importance of a great workplace culture, not only for happy employees but also for optimal profit. Great employees are priceless in a small business and finding the right person does require a bit of research, asking the right questions and an eye for talent.
4.As a career consultant, what is your number one tip you often share with others?
My #1 tip at the moment, given the way of the world and tough job markets, is that when you are job seeking you MUST tailor your resume to each and every job application. When I’m recruiting, it is so obvious when candidates have thrown a generic resume in the ring for multiple roles – which doesn’t make the recruiter or hiring manager feel like they truly WANT this role. Think about WHY you want this job and HOW you will do a great job and write your resume accordingly. Address things like, what is your motivation? What will you bring to the table? How does this job suit YOU, as well as YOU suit the JOB? This will make all the difference when you’re applying for jobs.
5.What advice would you give to those wanting to explore other options in the workforce, but are unsure of where to start?
You will need to figure out two things. The first is, what is making you look elsewhere? Sometimes identifying what you don’t like is easier than working out what you want. Then, what are you actually looking for? What is it that you feel is missing in your career? Knowing the answer to these questions is, most of the time, the information you need to figure out your next step. Sometimes, you need to work through a bit of trial and error. This is a really daunting concept, but many people who have seemingly ‘fallen’ in to work that they absolutely love to have done so because they’ve been willing to try, and willing to learn. Opportunities will present themselves when you open your mind to them. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind or direction when it comes to your career – happiness and satisfaction is SO important to your wellbeing.
Image Credit: Fiona Cochrane Photography.