Yearly Archives: 2022

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

How can you better support your staff’s mental health in the workplace? Keep reading for ideas on programs, resources and considerations for supporting your staff with such an important issue.

What is ‘Mental Health’?

Before we get started, let’s clarify what we mean by mental health. Mental health refers to the condition of an individual’s psychological and emotional well-being. Whether we are experiencing work-related anxiety and stress or suffer from specific mental health disorders, mental health and well-being are extremely important.

Mental Health is Not Just a ‘Personal’ Problem

Separating personal life from work life has never been, and will never be, a realistic concept; it’s simply easier said than done. It is difficult for humans to assume a new character based on our environment, despite what Erving Goffman may have to say on the matter.

Our emotions and mental state affect our bodies and minds every second of every day. Not only is it nearly impossible to dictate the condition of your emotional and mental health and well-being, but it is also simply unhealthy to do so. Fortunately, we are moving towards an employment environment where working from home and the pandemic have fostered flexibility and the understanding that work and personal life are intersectional.

This understanding of intersectionality is a newer way of thinking, so the thought of fostering an environment that rejects stigmas surrounding the topic of mental health and incorporates a supportive and educational environment may seem overwhelming. When starting your journey to mental health enlightenment in the workplace, there are a few things to consider that we have listed below to try and make this process seem less daunting.

For Individuals Who May Be Struggling:

Ideally, you need to know how to manage your mental health at work – this means understanding your mental state and being mindful of any diagnoses you may have and how your workload may impact your emotional health. Whether you ask your therapist for help locating resources or do some research based on your specific condition(s), the most important thing is to ensure that you are prepared to take a step back and practice actions that help keep you grounded and de-stress you.

A few suggested practices are:

  • Saying mantras when in high-stress or anxiety situations – A study in 2016 concluded that mantras help to improve attention and reduce depressive symptoms, stress and anxiety.
  • Deep breathing helps when you are feeling anxious or if you may be having a panic attack. Deep breathing is a simple technique that’s excellent for managing emotions. Not only is deep breathing effective, but it’s also discreet and easy to use at any time or place.
  • Regular and consistent self-care assessments. During periods of stress, self-care sometimes takes a back seat to other responsibilities. Combat this by planning regular check-ins to ensure you stay on top of your physical, mental, and emotional health.
    • Read our blog about burnout to see if you may be suffering from this difficult condition in the workplace.
  • Speak up! Talk to your boss about what’s going on. It may help you if you explain the situation. Having the conversation may feel anxiety-producing but try to think of it as reporting a physical health problem. Stick to the facts and how your mental health may impact/is impacting your work and productivity.
  • Have an idea of how to reach out to a colleague when you may need support. Try to have one or two colleagues you can reach out to when you need mental and emotional support.

For Management Providing Support:

According to the Workplace Mental Health Institute, mental disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion due to declines in productivity, quality of work, as well as absence. Mental health is not an individual problem; rather, it is a communal issue.

A few things to consider when supporting mental health in the workplace:

Going beyond “Are you okay?” is one of the most important investments an organisation can make. Mental health impacts everyone and remembering that you employ human beings and not robots is a necessary step in the right direction to protecting your greatest assets – your employees.

How Connect by Nova Can Support Your Efforts

Connect by Nova offers a free Burnout 101 training for employers, please reach out to if you’d like to schedule this for your teams to benefit from – we can also build bespoke trainings to fit the needs of your team, so please reach out if you have a topic that you feel would be especially relevant to supporting your staff further.

5 Common Mistakes Made When Starting a New Job

Have you just started a new position? Congratulations! The days of job searching, emailing your resume out, meeting with recruiters, prepping and attending interviews are done, but now the real work begins. Avoid these common mistakes when you’re first starting to make sure you set yourself up for long-term success.

The first few weeks in your new role can set the tone for your future in the company, where you fit in, and the relationships you will build with your colleagues and teammates. When starting a new job, most individuals might dive head-first into proving their competence in their new role but may not realize they are making crucial mistakes that may follow them as time goes on.

As a full-time recruiter, I have had the unique opportunity to work directly with hiring managers and HR teams across 100+ companies in Cayman as they look to find the perfect fit for their teams. This list summarises some of the most common mistakes made that make a difference when new starters are looking to develop a stellar reputation when starting a new position.

Being Afraid to Ask Questions

Sometimes you start a new position, and it all seems to fall into place, but if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help. New starters often feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness in showing you aren’t as competent, but nobody expects you to know it all on day one. Without asking for help when needed, that is a fundamental weakness, and it will only hurt you more as time goes on.

Now, I’m not saying you should ask every question that comes to mind; sometimes, you have to take the initiative to figure things out on your own, but everyone was new at some point, so reach out and ask when needed. Asking questions can help you gain clarity on work, improve your colleague’s perception of you, and ensure that you know what is expected of you moving forward.

Taking Criticism Personally

Criticism can be a difficult pill to swallow sometimes, especially when you’re in a new position, and you haven’t entirely found your footing yet. Even though this may feel uncomfortable at times, it is almost always said to help you become a fully functional part of the team and used as a training/development tool. So, if your team lead or supervisor offers you a critique, accept it with grace, make a note, and keep it in mind for the future when conducting similar tasks again and learn from your mistakes.

Talking Excessively About Your Previous Job/Company

Previous work experience has shaped you; you have learnt from it, and often it is why your new employer hired you, but it doesn’t mean you should spend all your time comparing your former workplace with your current. There is value in your experience, and if you can apply that to your new work and projects, you should share your knowledge and thoughts but keep negative thoughts and comments to yourself.

Forgetting to Mingle

When a hiring manager looks for someone to join their team, they look for a fit for the team and not just the position. So, it’s essential that when you start your new role, you keep this in mind, find ways to meld in with the company culture at your new organization and start cultivating relationships with your coworkers outside the realm of email and Microsoft Teams.

It might feel like extra work, but taking the time to get to know your colleagues will lead to a more enjoyable workday and show that you not only have the expertise and knowledge to do your job but that you are motivated to be a part of the team and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Feeling Like You’re Above Performing Specific Tasks

When you’re in a new position, you’ll likely be assigned some smaller tasks to help get you up to speed. Don’t scoff at this work; take it as a chance to show how well you can perform and build trust with your colleagues. Without that, future assignments may go to someone else.

Even after your first few weeks, I have noticed that one of the most significant indicators of an individual’s success is their willingness to step out from their job title and help get work done. Being a team player doesn’t just mean chatting over some coffee in the breakroom; it also means assisting on tasks where maybe you wouldn’t traditionally. It means being part of the solution.

Starting a new job is daunting, no matter if it’s your first position or a strategic next step in your career. You will make mistakes, and there is always more to learn, but I hope this advice can help you settle into your new role with more confidence.


Rosie Ryan is a Recruitment Consultant with Nova Recruitment, one of the primary partners of Connect by Nova. If you are currently located in the Cayman Islands and are looking for a dedicated recruiter to help you love your work, Rosie and the team at Nova Recruitment are here to help.

For more tailored career development advice, feel free to email and speak to a member of the career team about training and bespoke services offered to help you #AchieveCareerSuccess.


cml partner

10 Top Tips for Salary Negotiation

For most people, just the thought of a salary negotiation can be intimidating, and the process can be awkward and uncomfortable if you’re not prepared.

Whether you’ve just received a job offer or you’re up for a promotion at your current employer, you should be considering the importance of salary negotiations and what that means for your future.

According to a study by global staffing firm Robert half, only 39% of candidates tried to negotiate the salary with their last job offer. Of those people who did negotiate, they were able to increase their salary by over 7%.

Now, I know 7% doesn’t really sound like all that much when you think about it without context so why is this significant? Well, first off it is important to note that often raises and promotions are calculated as a percentage of salary, so if you’re starting at a lower salary, you’ll grow slower too. Example: if you were hired at $100K per annum and your colleague managed to negotiate their salary 7% up to $107k, presuming you and your co-worker are treated the same from that moment on it will take you 8 years to be as wealthy as them at retirement.

Moral of the story? Salary negotiation is important and it’s time to learn how; that’s where Nova comes in as we’re here to help to get you prepared for that courageous conversation!

Before the Salary Negotiation:

1. First and Foremost, Speak to Your Recruiter

If you have a job offer on the table and you’ve been speaking to a recruiter throughout the process, speak to them about what you’re looking for in a salary and if you’re wanting more than the offer reflects. Recruiters have developed a relationship built on trust and market expertise with both their candidates and clients, so will be able to give you some insight as well as be a great mediator to negotiate on your behalf, so always go through your recruiter!

2. Know Your Value

If you’re you’re thinking about salary negotiation, first you need to know the value of your skills in the current market. You need to know what the benchmark looks like for your position in your specific industry in your specific geographic location, because all of this can make a difference to what a salary might look like! Confidence is key in these conversations, and without being fully prepped and knowledgeable, you’ll never have the confidence that you need to have this conversation with the outcome you’re hoping for.

Here are some questions to consider as you begin your market research:

• What is the national average salary for the position?
• How much do similar companies in your area pay employees in this position?

Some of the best ways to look into this salary information is to look on search sites like Glassdoor, look at recent positions posted in the Cayman compass (or whatever your local job posting site/newspaper is) and by speaking to other individuals in your field (ideally both men & women to avoid any gender pay gap that may exist).

Another easy way to gain insight into the current market is to speak to recruiters like our team here at Nova! Recruiters have a really good insight into the market and know what people with your experience and expertise are worth, so use it to your advantage! We work on positions with clients all across Cayman and have a great insight into what the going value for skills is currently and what competitive benefits packages look like for someone with your experience and expertise. Some recruiters even pull together salary surveys on an annual basis and may have this data publicly available to see.

3. Prepare a Highlight Reel of Your Contributions to the Company

Our next piece of advice is to pull together a brag sheet, or a one-page summary that highlights all of the things you do as an employee that makes you amazing. Have some key achievements ready to mention alongside that market research that you found – this will help to back up your findings on a more personalized level and tailor it to how you add continued value to the company.

List any accomplishments, awards, and customer or even co-worker testimonials that you’ve received since your last review. You want to demonstrate your value to your boss or whoever it is you’re meeting with about this negotiation. You don’t necessarily need to give them this brag-sheet, but by pulling this together, you will have consciously thought about it and feel more prepared and confident when negotiating.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice, practice, practice! We can’t stress how important this is, because if you are nervous about negotiating salary (which most people are!), the only way to feel more confident is to feel prepared and that happens through practice! Write down what you want to say, and practice to a mirror, on video, or with a friend until you’re comfortable having the conversation and know your major points by heart.

5. Set the Meeting for a Thursday

Studies show that you’re more likely to get a raise if you ask on Thursday. Why you may ask? Well, psychology of course!

We tend to be a little less flexible and agreeable at the beginning of the week, probably because we’re wishing it was still the weekend and that we were watching Netflix. As the week goes on, we become more flexible and accommodating, we stray away from choosing a Friday as often they can be a little hectic trying to wrap up work for the weekend, so Thursday is the perfect choice!

Note – If you’ve received a job offer and want to see the salary a little higher, don’t make your potential new employer wait a whole week to hear this because you’re waiting for a Thursday. Use your best judgement on when to mention this to them as they will be impatiently awaiting your decision, so don’t put them off!

The Main Event:

6. Treat it as a Collaboration, Not a Fight.

Never approach a salary negotiation as an ultimatum — an either/or — but rather as a collaborative process and a unique opportunity to create a compensation package that makes sense for both you and for them.

7. Demonstrate Your Value

Before you start talking salary you need to talk about what value you have added to the company and more importantly, what value you can continue to add in the future! Remember that highlight reel? Now’s your chance to walk through your accomplishments with your manager or your potential new boss to really show your worth – the key here is to have proof that you’re indispensable to your organisation.

8. Say an Exact Figure!

You should never use the word “between” when negotiating. When it comes to salary, that means don’t give a range like “I’m looking for between $60K and $65K.” If you say this, it makes you seem as though you’re happy with any number on that scale so why would the person you’re negotiating with not immediately jump to the smallest number?

By saying a precise number, you are more likely to get a final offer closer to what you are hoping for. Why? We’re glad you asked! Psychology shows this is because you will seem to have done more extensive research into your market value to reach that specific number (which you should have if you read #2 on this list).

9. Don’t Get Too Personal

While it might feel logical to explain your personal financial situation as your reasoning for needing to earn more money, this can also ruin your salary negotiation. Remember you’re negotiating for a better salary, but they are still a business and so they will be much more engaged when you focus on your performance and achievements and make it business-related.

10. Think Beyond Dollars and Cents

What if your boss (or the hiring manager) really won’t budge on salary? Try negotiating for flex time, more vacation time or other benefits that would be competitive for you.

Other possible benefits:

  • Child and Eldercare benefits
  • Higher pension contributions
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Professional development programs
  • Tuition reimbursement

Putting All Of This Into Practice

So, you’re probably thinking this is all great – but how do you actually say all this in reality? What are the words you actually should say in a salary negotiation? Read below for a possible example!


“Thank you for sending over the job offer package for the Senior HR Manager position. I am excited about the opportunity and would like to reiterate how grateful I am you’ve considered me for this role. I believe in your firm and know I could help you drive even greater results in employee engagement, recruitment campaigns and develop policies and procedures to further refine the firm.

However, before I accept your offer, I want to address the proposed salary. As I shared during the interview process, I have more than twelve years of experience in HR, including eight years of experience at the leadership and management levels. In my role at my current employer, I have reduced time-to-fill on recruitment efforts by 50%, increased offer acceptance rates by 23% and implemented a regional benefits strategy for the firm that has been regarded as ground-breaking in this industry here in Cayman.

Given my experience and expertise, I am seeking a salary of $125,575. However, I am open to discussing alternative compensation, such as opportunities for additional stock options, increased performance-based bonuses or a guaranteed salary review after a short probationary period.”

If you’re interested in learning more about salary negotiation please check out our upcoming trainings tab as we host training on how to navigate these difficult conversations on a near-monthly basis. If you are looking for the current market value of salaries feel free to check out our most recent salary guide made in partnership with Nova Recruitment. 


Louise Reed is the Co-Founder & Board Member at Connect by Nova, as well as the Managing Partner at CML Offshore Recruitment, one of the primary partners of Connect by Nova. If you are currently located in the Cayman Islands and are looking for a career move, Louise and her team at CML Offshore Recruitment are here to help.

We hope that this post has been a helpful insight into planning for career progression. If you are looking for more tailored advice about progression or new career opportunities, feel free to email and speak to a member of the career team about training and bespoke services offered to help you #AchieveCareerSuccess.

Advice from the Experts: What Career Advice Would You Give A Young Job Seeker?

Are you a young adult feeling like you need a bit of career advice/direction to help you get where you want to go in your career long-term? If yes, then look no further – our team has pulled together some of the top career advice from leaders in Cayman to help do just that.

The Connect by Nova team were proud participants at the 2022 CISHRP HR Conference. It was an incredible day with speakers and panelists including Cayman’s top HR experts, including our very own board member, Louise Reed.  The topic throughout the conference was the ‘Great Re-Design’ of the global workforce, with conversations covering topics from employee engagement to reskilling.

During the conference, our team took the chance to tap into the HR leaders of Cayman’s inner thoughts by asking them to answer a fundamental question:

What career advice would you give a young job seeker in Cayman?

Career Advice from the Experts

Here are the top ten responses from experts at the 2022 CISHRP HR Conference:

  1. Don’t be afraid of failure. Embrace your weaknesses, your strengths and your uniqueness! Be you! Make your mark! Stand out!
  2. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. People may discourage you, but it would not be a dream if it were easy to reach.
  3. You don’t need to figure everything out up-front. Just learn from each experience and don’t stop trying.
  4. Learn how to take feedback, especially negative/constructive criticism, to grow yourself.
  5. Every disappointment is not a misfortune! Chin up! Shoot for the stars!
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
  7. Don’t care what other people think! You do you.
  8. Every rejection is a redirection!
  9. Knowledge is power!
  10. Never ever doubt yourself. You got this!

Soak up more career wisdom with some top tips for job searching.

Our team here at Connect by Nova would like to share a final piece of career advice with you:

Life is too short not to follow your dreams. If you believe you can, then you definitely can!

We hope this post has been helpful.  If you are looking for career advice feel free to email Connect by Nova at

Why Team Training is Important

How do organizations stay relevant in their industry? Through team training.

Closely following our ability to innovate is our ability to learn. When organizations support their people with strategic training and learning opportunities, they become agile, ready to respond to change or pioneer change ourselves.

How To Be Strategic About Team Training

  1. Create a learning culture

Most companies that don’t engage in a lot of training blame high costs for their lack of learning opportunities. It’s no excuse! You can create a learning culture that encourages your staff members to be proactive about their growth.

Of course, there is a time cost for in-house training, but lunch and learn sessions, job shadowing, mentorship, and projects are all effective, low-cost options to up-skilling and teaching your team on a regular basis. Of course, your culture must support this learning focus. Show your staff through your practices that learning is a priority.

  1. Use data to set priorities

Do you know which positions in your organisation are business-critical? Are you able to effectively identify your high performers and high potentials?

When it comes to training, you want to be conscious of return on investment. Your dollar will go furthest with the employees who are already succeeding or those who have the ability and opportunity to succeed with some support. You also want to be sure that you’re thinking about what jobs are critical to revenue generation and eliminating risk. Focusing on the employees in these business-critical roles will help you drive profits or cut costs. A great first step is to complete a SWOT analysis that will help you identify your training needs!

  1. Attach learning to specific objectives

Failure to set post-training objectives is the easiest way to waste your budget. You want to make sure that the learning on which you’ve spent money has an impact to business, otherwise, what’s the point? The courses or learning your employees undertake should have an evaluation component so that you can measure their improved skills and use those to drive business results.

Your employee should have short-term and long-term goals that will demonstrate their improved abilities – go ahead and build this into your performance management process. Your finance team can help you track your training spend and may be able to give you advice on how to put a dollar figure to increased productivity that has resulted from your training.

Our team here at Connect conduct free training constantly for the Cayman community, but if you would like to organize a speciality training for your staff please do reach out to and we would be happy to help you organize something. 

5 Interview Tips to Always Remember!

Here are our 5 top tips to remember for any interview!


This is something so obvious that it shouldn’t even be included on the list! But you would be very surprised to learn how many times people fail to arrive on time for an interview.

Consider how it looks to any employer, when a candidate who should be trying to sell their qualities to them, can’t even get the first basic step right and be available at the time that was arranged. Do not even aim to be there on time, aim to be there early! Then, you can sit and compose yourself before being called in for the interview

2. First Impressions Count…

It is vital to create a great first impression; firm handshake (no need to squeeze!), smile, and maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Give a brief introduction about yourself, and your professional background. Your attitude should be positive and friendly, speak with enthusiasm, and stay focused.

Oh, and turn off your phone! And if by chance you have forgotten to turn it off and it rings during the interview, never ever ever ever answer it!! Again, this should be an obvious one, but some people fail to recognize how bad it looks to an employer when they are more concerned with who is calling or messaging them instead of the job they are trying to obtain. In fact, just leave your phone in the car!

3. Do Your Research

When you know a bit about the company, the role, and the interviewer, you are going to feel a lot more confident and at ease. The more research you conduct, the more you’ll understand the employer, and the better you’ll be able to answer interview questions.

Ask your recruiter for as much information as possible, scour the organization’s website and other published material online and ask around in your network – you may know someone that has worked at the company and your recruiter for as much info as possible.

4. Be Aware of How You Are Speaking

Nerves can get the better of us in interview scenarios and that is natural. Consequently, we can end up talking far too quickly. Take deep breaths before the interview and try to moderate your pace throughout the interview.

It is vital that you do not interrupt the interviewer either; nothing is more irritating than someone cutting you off mid-sentence so try not to be impatient when wanting to get your point across. Nobody wants to interview someone who the information has to be dragged out of but it is also important as the interviewee that you do not talk too much! Yes, you’ve got so much to say and an array of experiences to shout about, but the interviewer will be looking for a concise, knowledgeable answer.

5. Ask Questions in the Interview

When the interviewer asks if you have any questions at the end of an interview, never ever say you have no questions!

Studies show that employers make a judgment about an applicant’s interest in the job by whether or not the interviewee asks questions. If you have questions to ask it shows the employer that you have followed point three and researched the company and role as much as possible which already shows a level of engagement and interest that other applicants may not be showing.

As mentioned in point two, first impressions count and you want to present yourself as keen, engaged, enthusiastic, and curious about the opportunity. So, ask about different aspects of the job/company and express interest and excitement in the opportunity, the company, its culture, and people.

Looking to take your interview prep even further? Try downloading our interview cheat sheet to help you be prepared and confident going into every interview!


Rosie Ryan is a Recruitment Consultant with Nova Recruitment, one of the primary partners of Connect by Nova. If you are currently located in the Cayman Islands and are looking for a dedicated recruiter to help you love your work, Rosie and the team at Nova Recruitment are here to help.

For more tailored career development advice, feel free to email and speak to a member of the career team about training and bespoke services offered to help you #AchieveCareerSuccess.

At Any Age, a Career Change is Daunting!

In March 2020, the world turned upside down, and with the closing of the airport in the Cayman Islands, it marked the end of the tourism sector for the foreseeable future.  While tourism and hospitality employees waved goodbye to the last of their visitors, they were left wondering what to do next!

For others and me with careers in this sector, it left us (especially those in their 40’s & 50’s) considering a midlife career change.  And in Cayman, this only proved harder due to the uncertainty of the re-opening of the Islands.  Already in my 40’s, I was settled into a career in tourism and a way of life that was comfortable and familiar, leaving me with an intimidating decision to make a career change during a global pandemic.

Tourism employees are undoubtedly passionate about their products and invested in their success and the destination they promote. So, the thought of starting or moving into a new industry meant taking a risk with something new.

In any industry (not just those affected by COVID-19), employees suffering from burnout or even boreout (lack of fulfilment) realise that it may be the time to take a risk and make a career change.

For me, the thought of starting afresh was indeed a daunting prospect.  But with careful research and leaning on those all-important transferable skills and contacts, I made the effort and the decision to begin searching for a new career.

How do you decide to make a career change?

If you’re at a point in your life and your career that you’re thinking maybe it’s time for a change, you can start by writing a list of the pros and cons of your current job and use this as a base to help you in your decision making and potential transition later on.

First things first, you need to ask yourself some difficult questions:

  • What do you like/hate about your current job?
  • What is pushing you towards a change?
  • Are you bored at work?
  • Are you sick of who you work with?
  • Is it possible to do what you do but for someone else? Or are you ready to make a more significant change?

Asking yourself these difficult questions can help you with the ‘why’ and move you forward towards a change.

The fear factor

Earlier, we mentioned risk, but what about the fear factor?  There are three main fear factors that hold people back from making significant career decisions.

Fear of failure:

Perhaps you are thinking of making a move but feel you will be no good at the new position or worried that you won’t be able to learn quick enough or have the competency to fulfil the responsibilities of a new role.

Fear of what others think:

You might be worried about what others think regarding your decision to pursue a new career after years of being in another.

Fear of making the wrong choice:

What if you regret your choice?  Are you afraid to take the leap, realising that you might miss your previous career path?

Fear is normal; it’s natural to have reservations and feel anxious about uncertainty.  Take time to reflect and understand why you are scared. It’s unlikely that somebody can’t overcome fear.  The first step is to acknowledge it.

In most cases, those 40 and over would have family and financial commitments, adding another layer of fear or risk, especially if the career shift comes with a pay cut and no guarantee of success.

Pushing through the fear

Fear and caution are natural, especially when making such a big change in your life but it doesn’t have to hold you back. Follow some of the tried and tested tools below to help you navigate this decision so that you can feel confident in the change you’re making.

Use your support system

It’s important to discuss your desire to change your career with those it will impact.  Remember, this affects all parts of your life, not just your finances.  A discussion with your spouse or partner and family members allows everyone to be on the same page, be supportive and prepared for change.

Make a Plan – Network, Research and Volunteer

How long have you been thinking about a move or career change, have you made a plan?  Think about what a new career in your desired sector might entail.  Make connections through networking opportunities, like Leadership Cayman or other similar interest groups.

Speak to people in specific roles that interest you, ask questions and learn about the ins and outs of their job.  If you are struggling to know anyone in an industry you are interested in then you can use resources like LinkedIn.

Research, gather information and perhaps even seek out opportunities to volunteer or intern to ‘test out’ your possible new career.

As an example, if you were transitioning from a career in hospitality to sales and marketing, you could volunteer with a local charity that is looking for help with their publicity and other marketing needs.  This can also introduce you to the opportunity of meeting a mentor, that can offer your help and advice in your exciting transition.

Transferable Skills

Many feel that by moving careers later in life you lose all the time and money invested in your current position.  Stop and think about all the transferable skills you have honed over the years in your current and past roles – where can those add value in a new career path?

Look carefully at job descriptions and compare them to duties you are doing every day in your current role.  Identify the transferable skills.  If you are over 40, you’ve probably been working for a couple of decades and have a host of skills you have never thought about, let alone added to your CV.

Perhaps you’ve been in sales for a substantial time and are interested in transitioning to marketing, you have skills that will help you succeed.  Think about what they are and make a list:

  • Collaboration skills
  • Presenting skills
  • Communication skills
  • Data Collecting/Analysing
  • Customer Relations
  • Revenue Generation
  • Networking

Nothing from your career history should be considered a waste, it’s all valuable.  Review your list and curate it to suit your new career path.

Revamp your Resume/CV

It might have been some time since you revamped your CV, remember that list you just created, use it to recreate your CV.  Consider listing your most relevant skills near the top of the page and age-proofing the rest of your resume, like deleting dates from your education and removing positions that you held more than fifteen years ago, (unless you have experience that’s relevant to the new role).

Sell yourself in your cover letter, explain briefly about your career change, but focus mainly on how your past experiences have prepared you for this new role.

Reach Out – Help is Freely Available

Recruitment consultants (like those here at Nova) are passionate about your career. After an initial confidential and relaxed chat, they can help you re-work your CV to suit a specific role and prepare an introduction to the prospective employer.  Remember recruitment consultants are working for you, as well as on behalf of their clients.

Free career advice and training is also available from our career partners at Connect by Nova.  Each month Connect by Nova offers online career training on subjects like:

  • LinkedIn Optimisation
  • Resume Writing
  • Soft Skills, Hard Impact
  • Foundations of Interviewing
  • Long Term Career Success
  • Salary Negotiation

You can sign up for free on their website.

When many of your peers are committed to staying the course in their current careers, making that change can be scary.  You may have come to feel that you are alone and that no one around you can relate to the choices you are making, however, remember there are plenty of people out there waiting to help you with your transition.

By researching, planning, networking and attending training programs, you will be ready to move forward in your search for a new career.

Reach out to our experienced recruitment consultants at for a confidential chat and to find out more about the job postings and career advice we can offer.

If I can do it in my ‘mid-40’s’….. then so can you!


Emma-Jane Fisher is a Communications Specialist & part of the Marketing team at Nova Recruitment, one of the primary partners of Connect by Nova. If you are currently looking for a career move, Emma-Jane and the team at Nova Recruitment are here to help.

We hope that this post has been a helpful insight into planning a career change. If you are looking for more tailored advice about progression or new career opportunities, feel free to email and speak to a member of the career team about training and bespoke services offered to help you #AchieveCareerSuccess.



Virtual Networking: Advance Your Career From Home

In a world where in-person networking is no longer the norm, virtual networking takes center stage. But how do you build a virtual network and leverage it effectively?

Networking creates long-term relationships with mutual benefits and is central to a successful career. For many successful professionals, when asked what is at the core of their success, many cite the strong networking connections they have created over time.

You don’t have to wait for a networking event to make meaningful business connections.

Traditional job searching has seen a bit of a change recently due to COVID-19; how you search for jobs, how you interview, and now how you network all look a little different but not necessarily more difficult! With many professionals working from home and a cut back in business travel, many are spending more time on their laptops and networking sites such as LinkedIn, giving you the perfect opportunity to try your hand at virtual networking.

Who Should Be in Your Virtual Network?

The most important question when considering networking is who you network with and their relevance to your career; this ensures you aren’t putting time and effort to nurture something that won’t add value in the future. So how do you figure out who you should build these relationships with?

Identifying the Right People

Think of a person in your network who could help with your job search. Who can make an introduction or connect you with someone at the company you’d like to work at? Who can help you brainstorm or provide you with perspective from their career journey?

Highlighting What You Have to Offer

Forging a strong relationship can’t be a one-way street; it needs to be mutually beneficial. Now that you have identified someone, next write down a list of things you can do for them. Even if it’s a minor gesture, it can still jump-start your networking — as long as the act is genuinely meaningful to them.

The key to building resilient networks is to identify individuals where you can both contribute to their success and also stand to benefit from their knowledge; It’s both a give and take.

Virtual Networking Made Easy

How To Approach a Potential Networking Connection?

You’ve followed the guidance above and have identified the ideal connections to build your professional, virtual network, but what’s next? How do you reach out to them?

Email is one of the most effective ways to connect with people, but if you don’t have access to someone’s email, you can always send an InMail on LinkedIn. To help guide you, here are a few tips for crafting the perfect networking email:

  1. Be human.

Whatever you do, don’t start your message with “To Whom It May Concern” – by choosing this as your opener, you destroy all aspects of personalization before you even start. Virtual networking is meant to create new relationships and connections, so you need to personalize the content to who you are speaking to and keep it friendly.

  1. Flattery goes a long way

It’s a proven sales tool that flattery leads to success in the long term, and while you’re not trying to sell anything here, it’s worth taking a page out of the sales guide book. Don’t make the first email you send be all about you, instead show that you have a genuine interest in the recipient and the expertise they possess. Again, this ties in the personalization concept we mentioned above, which is at the core of a successful networking email.

  1. Keep it short & sweet

Even in a pandemic where you’re confined to the limits of your home and seemingly have ‘more time,’ I can guarantee you, no one has time for reading an email the length of a harry potter novel. Be concise.

When sending a networking email, you must keep it short and sweet. It should get your point across and leave the recipient able to respond within a few minutes without much reading or work on their part.

Networking emails are an excellent strategy for any job search. By following these tips, you’ll spark more relationships and even make connections that could lead to future job opportunities.

Sample Emails for Virtual Networking

Even with all this knowledge, actually writing a powerful and effective networking email can be daunting and feel awkward. To help, here are two sample emails that you could tailor to fit your needs – you would just need to swap out the bracketed areas with what fits your needs.

Reaching Out to a Stranger

Hello [Rosie],

I hope this message finds you well.

My name is [Hannah], and I work as a [Recruitment Resourcer] at [Nova Recruitment]. I became familiar with your work when I [saw your recent article on LinkedIn outlining how the job market has changed during the COVID-19 period] and wanted to reach out to tell you how much I admire your [career development experience and insight into the Cayman employment market].

If you’re open to it, I’d love to [grab a virtual coffee] to speak more about [what you’re seeing as trends in the market currently].

I am looking forward to connecting!



Reaching Out to a Friend of a Friend

Hello  [Bailey],

My name is [Hannah], and I work alongside [Louise Reed] at [Nova Recruitment], who passed along your contact information to me.

[Louise] mentioned that we share a passion [for helping young professionals identify and realize their career potential] and said you’d be a great person to get to know! So, I thought I’d reach out, introduce myself, and let you know that I’d love to find out more about you and your experience with [recruitment in the professional accounting space here in Cayman].

I am looking forward to connecting!

All the best,


How to Effectively Tailor Your Resume

If you’ve been following Nova for any amount of time, you’ve probably read or heard one of our team members telling you to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. But how do you actually do this?

Every job is different and what is valued by one may not be valued by another, and by supplying the same resume for every role you apply for, you are cutting yourself out of showing how you can add specific value to a job and company. If every job is different, then each resume you send out should be different as well.

Especially in the current employment market where there are more job seekers and fewer jobs available, it’s more important than ever to show future employers your value and stand out from the crowd.

Understand the Job You’re Applying For

To effectively tailor your resume, you’re going to need to understand the role and what the hiring manager is looking for, so get out a copy of the job description and get ready to read it a few times.

There are a few questions that you should be thinking when reading the job description: What responsibilities are mentioned first? What specific requirements or qualifications are they looking for? Are any themes repeated throughout? (things like strong communication skills, leadership, attention to detail, etc.)

To make it easy, follow these steps and make sure you’ve answered the above questions during this process.
1. First, just read through the job description without making any notes and take time to ensure that this is a role that is suited to you and that you’re interested in.
2. Next, make a note of anything that seems essential for the role (often, these items are mentioned a few times throughout). Another way to do this is to copy your job description into a cloud generator like this one and let the system do this for you manually.
3. Lastly, go through and make a note of all of the points in the description that you can speak to with your background and experience.

Begin to Tailor Your Resume

Now that you have pulled out the relevant information in the job description, it is time to look at your resume and figure out how to incorporate the skills you’ve pulled out from the job description.

It may seem like a lot of work to tailor your resume for each particular job you’re applying for, but this is proven to be the most effective and efficient way to job search, and will be worth the time and effort. You can use your current resume as a ‘core’ and then just tweak and tailor individual sections that are relevant per job.

Which sections should you look at when you tailor your resume?

Your introduction/summary section: Not everyone includes this section on your resume, but if you have this section, it is prime real estate to make your first impression immediately relevant as to why you’re applying. You want to showcase the most relevant accomplishments and experience here that you identified in the exercise above.

Your work experience: Generally, we would recommend using a reverse-chronological resume format for your resume as this is the most widely accepted and expected resume format in Cayman by employers. That said, if the hiring manager is looking for skills or qualities that you have not been actively using for a few years, it may make sense to break out your experience into sections.

For example, the leading quality of the job is calling for marketing experience, and you have this experience but not in your two most recent roles. Instead of listing your experience chronologically, you could break it into two sections labelled “Marketing Experience” and “Other Work Experience”.

The Bullet Points for Each Job: The work experience section of your resume is one of the first places a hiring manager’s eyes first gravitate to on a resume, so make sure you have the most relevant information listed first.

For example, if the job description emphasized the importance of social media marketing, don’t mention your experience planning company events first. Instead, list your experience managing multiple social media channels and creating a content calendar for the company. Even if this was a small portion of your role, find a way to demonstrate your experience!

Provide compelling evidence

Not all points are created equal. You can have two that are both written about the same core skill/experience, but one will be far superior and more likely to hook the hiring manager.

Option 1 “Frequently required to conduct sales pitches to a varied portfolio of clients.”
Option 2 “Liaised with management and developed a customer-centric sales pitch that was implemented company-wide to improve new lead conversions, ultimately leading to an increase in 32% of new client onboarding.”

Option 2 is the better option here as it highlights your expertise, paints a realistic picture of a scenario that hiring managers can envision in their organization, and shows results. Facts, figures, examples, stories. Show them proof that you can come in and get the job done successfully.

Ideas of facts and figures to include:

  • Percentages (led to an _% increase in XXX)
  • Dollar amounts (managed $___ worth of XXX)
  • Number of people (Managed XXX client accounts, Trained a team of XXX new employees per month, etc)
  • Double Check Your Work

Did You Include Everything Relevant?

Once you feel like you have ticked all the boxes, included all of the keywords, and tailored your resume to the best of your ability, check it all over one more time.

You can use a site like JobScan to do this for you and take the legwork out. Upload a copy of the job description you’re working with alongside a copy of your resume that it is ready and let the system scan to see how well you’ve matched up.

Save Your Updated Resume

This may seem like common sense, but if you put a little organizational magic behind this, it can be advantageous down the line!

Think about it: if you tailor your resume every time you apply to a job, and you are applying for several roles, you’re going to find yourself with multiple versions of your resume quickly, and it can get a little overwhelming.

  1. Have a folder on your computer just for your resumes and then have a sub-folder for the different versions of your resume organized in a way that makes sense so you can find them later if needed. Maybe think about saving them in a folder that is the name of the organization you’re applying to.
  2. When you save your resume, make sure that it is named something appropriate and professional as chances are the hiring manager will see the file name when you attach.


Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Over half the population of the Cayman Islands are active on LinkedIn – are you one of them? Whether you’re just getting your profile set up, or have had one for quite some time, it’s essential to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Why Use LinkedIn?

What’s the deal with LinkedIn? You’ve probably heard it coined a ‘professional network’, but what exactly does that mean, and how is it any different or better than using Facebook?

Let’s start with the fundamental difference between LinkedIn and Facebook:

LinkedIn is different than most social media platforms as it was designed to help build business connections and for professional networking. Facebook, on the other hand, is designed as a personal social media platform to connect you with friends and family.

LinkedIn is a professional networking base that can be used for:

• Building and nurturing a strong network
• Finding like-minded individuals and groups
• Making and seeking out recommendations
• Showcasing your personal brand
• Finding work and for looking to hire

Whatever your personal and professional goals are, it is likely that with the right effort, attention, and care, your LinkedIn profile will help boost your career.

Let’s Look at the Stats

44,000 job applications are submitted through LinkedIn daily across the globe
87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates for jobs
94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet job candidates

It’s not enough just to have a LinkedIn profile, though; you need to optimize it. By optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you will rank higher in searches by recruiters and hiring managers, resulting in more job opportunities.

Specifically, by having a fully optimized profile, there is a 132% increase in LinkedIn profile views and 3x the amount of search appearances.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Our team here at Nova have done all the hard work for you and pulled together everything you need to know to better optimize your LinkedIn profile. Read on for expert-tested tips and tricks to make your profile stand out from the crowd—and start getting noticed by recruiters.

Technical Things to Consider

  1. Choose Your Photo

It’s best to use a high-quality, professional headshot (no selfies allowed!), and for size, the recommendations are 400x400px to ensure it comes out crisp.

When we say professional headshot, that doesn’t mean you need to go out and book yourself a photoshoot with a photographer, but it does mean you shouldn’t be putting up a selfie from the beach. For tips on taking a professional headshot with just your phone, watch this tutorial here.

  1. Get a Custom URL

When you sign up for LinkedIn, it will assign you a URL, which is a combination of your name and randomly selected numbers and letters. This makes it difficult to remember and to publicise/share, so do yourself a favour and create a custom URL.

Need help creating your custom URL? Watch our tutorial here.

Work On Content

  1. Write a Star-Studded Headline

Your LinkedIn headline is prime real estate, so don’t pass up the opportunity to optimize it! Your headline is arguably the most visible section of your LinkedIn profile: it is at the top of your profile page, it introduces you on newsfeed posts when you share/like/comment, it appears in the “People You May Know” section. It also introduces your profile to recruiters on LinkedIn job applications.

By default, if you don’t set it, your headline will be your most recent job title and company name. While that can be okay, it doesn’t say much about YOU, does it? Make sure you include in your headline the most relevant keywords to your target jobs, as it makes you easier to find when someone is looking for a specific skill set.

  1. Craft a Strong Summary

Think of this section as a professional bio that builds on what you mentioned in your headline above. Take some time and consider what you do and why you are good at it. Spend the time to make your summary informative and engaging and put into words what your personal brand is and what you want to be known for.

  1. Include important Keywords

When you’re crafting your headline and summary, utilize job descriptions to help guide you by including essential points and keywords (note: we said keywords, not buzzwords!)

Find a few job descriptions for roles that you are targeting in your job search (if you don’t have an exact one, google samples) and dump them into a word cloud tool like Wordle.

See those words that stand out and are larger than the rest? Those are more likely than not the terms that recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in their next hire for that type of role. Take note of those words and make sure you have them sprinkled thoughtfully throughout your profile and you’ll be well on your way to a more optimized profile.

  1. Inject Your Personality

It’s easy to look at LinkedIn as a digital version of your CV or Resume, but don’t forget this is still a social media platform, and people want to get a sense of you. Inject your personality. Let people know your values and passions. One of the members of the Nova team here has in her profile highlighted that she is a tea lover and Friends tv show addict!

  1. Include a Current Job Entry

Did you know that you score lower for jobs on LinkedIn if you don’t have a current position in your LinkedIn Experience section? Why? Because when recruiters are using LinkedIn to search profiles, it often looks at their current job title exclusively.

But what if you’re currently unemployed? Our best advice is to create a current position which includes the job title(s) you’re targeting (Marketing Specialist in Training/Aspiring Marketing Specialist) followed by a phrase like ‘In Transition’ or ‘Seeking New Opportunity’ in the ‘Company Name’ box.

  1. It’s Not Always About the Job

Do you speak another language? Do you have an industry-specific qualification? Do you have a passion for volunteering and work at the humane society on the weekends? While it may not seem like much, having these seemingly small details on your profile is a great way to showcase your unique skills and experiences and helps to differentiate you from the rest.

Utilize & Build Your Network

  1. Get Recommendations!

When you’re working with a customer/client/colleague on a project, and they say something like ‘Wow, you did such a great job!’ don’t be afraid to ask them to write you a recommendation. Our recommendation to you (ha! Get it?) is to try and get one new recommendation per month if you’re actively job seeking.

When you’re asking for a recommendation, try to be specific (it can seem awkward asking for this, but it’s vital in the long run). When asking for a recommendation, don’t be afraid to point someone in the right direction and ask them to comment on a particular skill – that will be much more valuable than “Jen was great to work with!”

  1. Manage Your Endorsements

On LinkedIn, you can list your skills, and people can ‘endorse’ you for those skills. An endorsement on LinkedIn is a great way to have your skills validated by others and is something that recruiters will take notice of.

Anyone can visit your profile, read your skills list, and hit the “endorse” button for the skills they know you possess, and this will immediately update on your profile. Your skills list should always be evolving as you develop your skills, so make sure you have the top skills you want to be known for listed, and anything that is no longer relevant can be removed.

Combined with recommendations, having high-quality endorsements will make you look like a superstar in your industry.

  1. Join a Group

Are you part of a group on LinkedIn? If you aren’t, you should consider joining one for your niche. It’s a great way to meet like-minded individuals, build your brand, and gain insights into industry trends.

Another benefit of joining a group is that on LinkedIn, by default, you cannot send messages to people you don’t know other than when requesting them as a connection. This changes if you share a group in common! The ability to message someone who is NOT a connection becomes available when a part of the same group and presents a significant benefit for virtual networking.

  1. Start Connecting (500 is ideal)

Once you have optimized your LinkedIn profile following the steps above, it’s time to start building your network and connecting. Start by sending connection requests to your colleagues/coworkers, your friends, and your family. Next, begin to map out the rest of your network with individuals you went to school with, previous coworkers and individuals at companies of interest. If you need help figuring out who to connect with, check out our tips here.

Ideally, you want to have 500 connections on LinkedIn – that’s the magic number. Why? LinkedIn will label on your profile how many connections you have up until you have 500, and at that point, it changes to 500+. This will showcase to recruiters you have a strong network, are social and tech-savvy, and that you aren’t a complete recluse.

Turn it On!

BONUS – Let Recruiters Know You’re Looking!

To take it one step further to optimize your LinkedIn profile, you can switch on the ability for recruiters to know you are open to new opportunities.

You can set this only to individuals who have a recruiter profile on LinkedIn (read more about this, here) or to anyone on LinkedIn, depending on your current circumstances. You can also specify the types of job opportunities that you’re interested in, and your preferred location and LinkedIn will then help showcase your profile to recruiters when looking for those skills.

Need help on how to turn this setting on? Watch our tutorial here.

Let Technology Help Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

We’ve dedicated an entire blog to technology and job searching, but these are some of our favorites to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile and user experience.


Jobscan is an incredible tool for multiple reasons, but one of the best services they offer is the ability to scan your LinkedIn profile and see where you could benefit from further optimizing. You input three target job descriptions into their system, along with your LinkedIn profile, and it analyzes to see where you rank and what more you could do to fit those job searches better so that recruiters are more likely to land on your profile.

Learn more about JobScan and use the tool here.


We’ve spoken about CrystalKnows before, but we love it so much we wanted to mention it again. CrystalKnows is a personality AI that can read someone’s LinkedIn profile or resume and predict specific things about their personality.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know – it sounds like a load of hoopla. But honestly, it works! We tested It against all of the staff here at Nova using their LinkedIn profiles, and it was pretty much spot on.

So how does this help with LinkedIn? This tool is excellent for when you’re reaching out to someone you don’t know to join your network – you can analyze their LinkedIn profile and find out the type of language and communication style that will resonate best with them.

Learn more about CrystalKnows here.

We hope that this information has been helpful so that you can better optimize your LinkedIn profile. If you would like some more tailored advice, feel free to reach out to the Nova team at, and our team will gladly assist!


Jennifer Moseley is the Operations and Marketing Manager at CML & Nova Recruitment, one of the primary partners of Connect by Nova. If you are currently located in the Cayman Islands and are looking for a career move, Jennifer and her team at Nova Recruitment are here to help.

We hope that this post has been a helpful insight into planning for a job search or career progression. If you are looking for more tailored advice about progression or new career opportunities, feel free to email and speak to a member of the career team about training and bespoke services offered to help you #AchieveCareerSuccess.