Transcript #13. 6 powerful and simple ways to set yourself up for career success in 2020.

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Hello everyone and welcome. I’m Renata Bernarde and this is the Job Hunting Podcast, where I give you tips, advice and interview experts to help you nail your next job and have the career you want.


In this episode we will discuss 6 powerful ways to set yourself up for career success in 2020. You see, During the month of January 2020, I’m sharing with my followers on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, 31 small but very effective actions you can take to advance your career prospects this year. I’m using the podcast episodes in January to expand on each of these actions and share a bit more insight. I already shared on episode 12 which is called Two unexpected ways to boost your recruitment prospects and career advancement on a budget, the first 2 actions.


Today we will be discussing the 6 actions I shared from January 3 to January 8. My intention is to a short-term project for job hunters and career enthusiasts that can really shift the needle. My goal is for you to look back after taking these small steps and think wow, this has been a great month, I’ve made some important improvements, acquired new habits, tested a few new things I hadn’t done before. And that overall, it has elevated your game substantially. This project is supposed to be fun, easy, actionable, simple and the way I like things, that is, step by step. One day at a time.


Before we begin, a few announcements to make: First a reminder that there is a new episode every week of The Job Hunting Podcast so if you are looking for a new job, willing to advance your career and stay always in the loop about how to present yourself professionally, my advice is that you  subscribe to The Job Hunting Podcast. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube. I can also drop them in your inbox every week with my newsletter, which in addition to the podcast, included content that is exclusive to my subscribers. There’s a link to subscribe on this episode’s show notes.


And as I’ve said before I’m active on social media and the 31 Days of Action to Reset Your Career is happening daily on my Facebook page, Instagram account and on the Job Hunting Made Simple LinkedIn Company Page. Job Hunting Made Simple is my online course and group coaching program, which by the way launched this week, with the first week of content dripping on Tuesday. I’m so in love with the platform, content and how easy it is for my clients to access everything I’m creating for them. It’s seriously cool stuff. I feel like I’m delivering way more content than I expected, in a way that still feels very intimate, with the additional benefit that my clients can now consume it anywhere, anytime that suits them, and not be restricted by my availability. It’s truly awesome. Today I’m doing a live video on my Facebook page to show the platform in action. If you are curious, drop by later to watch the live replay, I’ll have it saved as a permanent video on my Page. Links to all my social media platforms are on the episode show notes as well.


Another thing I have to say is that, as you may know, I’m based in Australia and we are experiencing unprecedented fire destruction in mu country. Australian fire season has scared me from the moment I landed here in 2001. The day I arrived it was 42 degrees a beautiful park in central Melbourne burned down. Coming from the tropics, I was used to the heat but the Australian heat and flora is very different. Our summers are very dry and our bushland is also very dry, unlike the tropical forests I was used to in South America. In 2011 we had an absolutely tragic, horrific fire near Melbourne and 172 people died. It was again, very scary. This season the horror is in how early it started, how prolonged and out of control it has been, and again in addition to homes, bushland we lost 20 lives already and millions of animals. We are all doing our bit to help. So this is my pledge in support of the recovery efforts:

  • for every 5-star rating on iTunes the Podcast gets this Australian Summer, I’ll donate $10.
  • for every written review on iTunes during Summer, I’ll donate $25.
  • For every new Podcast subscriber on YouTube during Summer I will donate $5.
  • For every download of any of my episodes during summer, I’ll donate $1.


So, let's get this ball rolling! Click on the links in the show notes and we can both make a great contribution!!My podcast is new and we are just starting this journey together but every dollar counts, every dollar helps, and this is a great way for us as a community to support each other and support Australia to recover from this tragedy.


And may I recommend that you support the Animal Rescue Collective. I encourage you to check out their Facebook page, they are a hands-on group who needs both funds, supplies, help and there’s also stuff that they teach you to do to help the animals, like their recipe for  fauna wildfood balls which you can check online, do yourself and the volunteers will place them to feed surviving animals. I have left links to ARC on the show notes. ARC is supports wildlife and is organised by my wonderful friend Karan White. She is working non stop with her team of volunteers to protect all animals affected and I trust her judgement. She is very knowledgeable and has been an animal advocate for many years, so I know she will know what to do and how to support the recovery of the injured and the revitalization of their habitat. The reason I am making this suggestion is because this is a job hunting podcast and I assume not everyone listening has income, you may be in-between jobs atm, and ARC gives you the opportunity to help non-financially. So again, if you haven’t yet donated, please do so and I’m offering you a option that I know will make a great impact.


Ok so let’s dive into our topic shall we! Let’s talk about the 6 powerful ways to set yourself up for career success in 2020.


1.Update your email address

  1. Your personal email address should not be your work address, even if you have been with an organisation for a very long time.


  1. If you have an old provider, switch to (Google) or (Apple). It looks more modern, and shows you are keeping up with the times. Outdated providers are Yahoo, Hotmail, Bigpond, Optusnet and so on.


  1. It is a very good idea to buy your own name as an url and set up your own email. Your 12-year old niece can help you with that (that’s usually how I get tech things done!). But seriously, go to and search your and if it’s available, buy it. It shouldn’t cost too much -I’ve checked 3 friends’ names; they were all available for under AUD$20 per year.


  1. When setting up your email address for job hunting and career advancement, ideally it should be your [email protected] or something similar. Most definitely not a nickname, not include your date of birth (or any day), don’t add Mr, Mrs, Prof, or any title. So [email protected] for example, not a good idea.


  1. It’s cool you have an alumni email (e.g. [email protected] ), but my personal opinion is don’t use it. Sorry!


  1. Book a haircut and update your LinkedIn photo.

When you book your next haircut or go to the barber, remember to dress nicely and use that day to take a great picture for your LinkedIn Profile. Your hairdresser may even help you take a good photo.


Tips for photo:

- Remember to do it against a neutral background, but have some depth to it, as opposed to taking a picture too close to a wall, for example.

- Wear makeup if you are into makeup and have some. It does make a difference and you will look more polished.

- Take it near a window or somewhere where the light hits your face evenly.

- Smile!


Tips for editing:

- Use a free version of Canva and create a design that is 400 x 400 pixels.

- Upload your best photo in your highest resolution.

- Centre the photo so that the top of your head is almost touching the top of the square template you are using.

- Download as a JPG file, upload on LinkedIn so that the top of your face is again, almost touching the top of the circle.

- I prefer a bit of neck and shoulders showing.


No nos:

- Sunglasses

- A very serious face.

- Your wedding photo, or any social photo.

- Your face is tiny and there is a huge space between the top of your head and the top of the circle.



- Some people have interesting photos on their LinkedIn profile, of them snorkelling, flying a plane, I even have someone in my network who has a photo of her on the background against a bookshelf, while her toddler son plays in front of her. These are actually super interesting people with great jobs and they can pull it off. Maybe you can pull it off too, but your personality and confidence need to match your photo; the photo is then a reflection of your awesomeness. If you are jobhunting, it is a risk and it may be too high to take. Having said that I’ve hired the person snorkelling, so there you go!


  1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier for the rest of the month.

If you are committed to your career advancement, waking up 15 minutes earlier as of tomorrow will help you immensely. You can see by now I’ll be giving you 1 tip per day, and the next tips will require a little bit of your time each day. They will however make an exponential change in what you can achieve in 2020! So set the alarm clock for 15 minutes before you were going to, and let’s continue working together so you can achieve your career goals faster, without wasting time!


  1. Book Google Alerts with keywords about your sector.

Google alerts is a fantastic tool to build knowledge about a specific topic, develop your understanding about an organization or industry. It will help you find great articles about your profession, trade, sector, industry or targeted organizations.

Examples of how to set it up:

  1. I have a google alert for my name and the names of other people I want to monitor and follow their careers.
    2. I have a google alert for the name of my company, and other companies I monitor. If an organization is too big, you need to narrow down, for example KPMG + the name of a partner who is a great thought leader, or a topic of your interest.
    3. Consider keywords that are important in your sector, a piece of policy, legislation, technology, and add it to your search. You can do combinations of words as well, such as “artificial intelligence” + Trust.
    4. I set it up so that I get emails once a week, but you can choose every day, or less.

Why you should do it:

  1. It’s always good to track your name!
    2. You will find interesting reads about your sector, country, company you can read to develop your knowledge.
    3. When you find a great article, you can then share with LinkedIn.



  1. Browse LinkedIn posts, like 10 and write 2 comments.

If you are not yet familiar with the content being created and consumed on LinkedIn, now is a good time to start. Now is also a good time to re-start, if you have been on and off LinkedIn, and is not sure what the fuzz is all about.


LinkedIn posts are all about building your social leadership, your personal brand, and finding an expertise that you want to focus on. Your followers will then know to come to you for an opinion on your “thing”, be it:


- Women in leadership

- Diversity and inclusion

- Ethics in AI

- Energy infrastructure

- Urban planning and AI

- RPA for SMEs

- Trust and leadership

- Business transformation

- Creativity in the business world

- Drones

- STEM research

- Jobs of the future

- Etc. etc. et al you need to find your niche. It will attract followers, recruiters, hiring managers and job opportunities.


Researching, liking and commenting on posts is also the first step before you start creating your own content and/or sharing posts.

  1. Familiarize yourself with what is attracting interest in your sector/expertise;
  2. Do you agree, disagree, have any views about what’s being posted?
  3. Can you articulate your message in a couple of sentences in a way that will add value to the thread of conversation?
  4. Note that LinkedIn makes standard suggestions for you all the time. Avoid using them, or at least add your own words to the initial auto-generated sentence from LinkedIn. If you don’t care to express your ideas, then don’t write just anything!
  5. In sum, your comments should be interesting to read. It may take you a few gos to feel comfortable expressing yourself. Choose topics that are not too risqué to start off with. Always be polite, generous, and once again, add value to the conversation.


Ok, now go do this! You can start by liking and commenting on this post!



  1. Subscribe to 3 podcasts: 1 for business, 1 for personal development and 1 for fun.

When I started my podcast a couple of months ago, I was so surprised that many in my network had NEVER listened to a single podcast! Those with iPhones had never even opened the purple app icon! It seemed like I’d been living in a bubble, as I listen to podcasts ALL THE TIME!


There is a podcast for every mood, every interest and every sector out there. I’m actually VERY LUCKY: there’s not much in my field.


Podcast popularity is growing and correlated with our busy lives and the time we spend commuting. I often check on Waze how it will take me to drive, then find a podcast episode that is just long enough to get me there! I save the very long interviews for workouts and longer drives. I listen to chatty/funny ones at the end of the day to take my mind off work, and listen to news/business ones at the beginning of the day to get me inspired. There are also meditation podcasts, inspirational podcasts, cold crime podcasts and so on.


Find yourself 3 podcasts to follow. For example, if you are job hunting or really keen to develop your career, try mine, of course. Then have one that is your sector-specific, then another help you unwind.


Don’t forget to give them a 5-star rating, and write a review. This is free content for you, but a lot of work for those like me producing it, and we REALLY APPRECIATE you showing your support.


TIP FOR YOU LISTENING UNTIL THE END: before meeting someone or going to a job interview, do a search on your podcast app and check if the person has been interviewed on a podcast! You can also check if the company has its own podcast :)


Alright so this is all for now, folks, but next week we continue with the easy, small but very effective actions we can take move faster towards our career goals. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow The Job Hunting Podcast and subscribe to my newsletter. I’m happy to ensure you keep motivated and energized as you pursue your career goals.


Bye for now

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