Tag Archives: Business and Economy

Strike a pose with your CV

Standing out from the crowd with your CV is incredibly difficult to do.  As I have said on many occasions in this blog the best way to put your CV together divides opinion.  There are lots of them.  Today’s Google count on “CV” numbered 301 million!

A little inspiration goes a long way.  I like therefore to showcase people who are doing things differently in their attempt to secure the job they want.  I have seen some great examples, hugely innovative, creative, striking even.  First up was the Employ Kyle campaign.  Brilliant.

https://transcendexecutivesearch.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/kyle-clarke-job-search-genius/

And there was the exceptional video resume campaign from Greame Anthony

https://transcendexecutivesearch.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/the-best-job-application-ever/

The latest to stand out is this campaign from Celine Cavaillero who is looking for a job in Fashion.

http://www.celineislookingforafashionjob.com/

I loved it.  It’s relevant for her target audience.  It showcases her creative skills and talents, qualifications and experience, likes, passions and hobbies.  It’s smart, clever, innovative.  On the premise that your CV is simply a catalyst for conversation it leaves me wanting to meet her, to know more, to ask questions.  It does the job.

From the perspective of a potential employer, this strikes me as someone who has gone to great lengths, time and effort to get the career of her choosing.  She is committed.  I want that on my team.  Who doesn’t?

So what do you think?  I for one congratulate Celine.  I am sure on the strength of this evidence she will enjoy much success.  Thank you for the inspiration.

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Filed under Hiring, Recruitment

A little thanks goes a long way

After Birthday parties, Christmas or any other times of celebration my children sit down and write thank you notes to all those who have sent them a gift.  It’s time-consuming ( they are lucky kids, too often spoiled rotten by doting Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles ) but I think it important that they acknowledge the time and effort people around them have gone to.

This is not a lesson in parenting, nor am I trying to extol my virtues ( there are very few! )  It did however get me thinking of the values of saying thank you and the part that very simple yet enormously valuable expression can play in the job search.

How many of you ever write to say thank you after an interview?  Have you ever considered the value were you to do so?

Think of the impact on your application.  You may be one of three, five, ten invited in.  That process is often protracted ( it ought not to be but invariably is ).  Standing out from the crowd is tough.

Success is in the margins, the small things can make the biggest difference.  We are all human.  Anything that can help you to remain at the forefront of the hiring managers mind is to be recommended.  How long would it take you to write a note to thank your interviewer for their time and to re – affirm, politely, succinctly, your interest in the job?

Even if you have made the decision that this particular post isn’t for you, what impact a short note of thanks?  If another job was to arise in that organisation that is more in line with your ambitions, how would such a note impact your chances of success in a future job application?

It takes a second to say thank you, minutes to write an email to express your thanks.  Think of the potential impact on your job search?  What harm can it do?

Manners cost nothing.  Think about that next time you apply for a job.

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Filed under Careers, Interviews

Want to get ahead in your career? Some examples of what not to do!

Looking for a job is a serious business.  If you are out of work it’s no laughing matter, finding employment can be an incredibly stressful experience.  From time to time to shed a little humour,  to offer a little light entertainment can help.

A survey published by career site www.careerbuilder.co.uk offers fascinating ( and indeed entertaining ) insight in to what not to do on your job application.  Some of the highlights include ;

The job seeker who cited God as his referee!

One job seeker who boasted that he was a direct descendant of the vikings!

An Applicant who gave only a name and number and the phrase ” I want a job ”

A CV written in rhyme!

An application sent from the email address ” loves beer”!

Standing out from the crowd is incredibly difficult.  However there are some basics that you should apply that will greatly enhance your chances of success.  Like all good advice, there is little by way of startling revelation.  The simple consistent application of best practice gets results.

Want to know what employers want to see?  Careerbuilder.co.uk surveyed 700 employers.  The following link will take you to the newspaper article highlighting the key findings of the report.  There is some great advice to be found here.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/8339278/CV-howlers-revealed-by-employers.html

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Filed under Careers

Is this the worst recruiter ad ever?

I promise you I have a sense of humour.  ( Many may argue otherwise, but I can assure you I do ).  I mention this if only to assure you that I haven’t lost that sense of humour before you go on to read what I have to say about this advertisement from job site www.TheLadders.com

Finding a job is a serious business.  If you are out of a job it becomes yet ever more serious.  Arguably a sense of humour can be a great asset in the face of tough circumstances, but if you are going to engage with someone, whether that is online or face to face, you want to know that you can trust that representation.

You want to know that the person with whom you are engaging is going to represent your career aspirations with professionalism and integrity.  If online, you want to know that the jobs board you are using is able to attract employers to the site that are consistent with your aspirations.  Even more so if you are paying for it.

www.TheLadders.com is one such site that you as the job seeker pay for access.  Google The Ladders, you get the following;

“With Career advice, Job postings, and Job search tools for professionals”,

www.TheLadders.com lays claim to offer  “Job search for professional jobs in the most comprehensive source of £50k+ ($100k+ in the US) jobs on the internet”.

Surely if you are offering job search tools and opportunities for professionals your employer branding should reflect such professionalism?  If you want to attract the very best employers to advertise their very best vacancies on your site, you have a responsibility to promote a professional image to ensure those paying for your site (the job seekers) can expect the very best in professional vacancies behind the pay wall?

Like I say I have a sense of humour.  Have a look at this advertisement from The Ladders.  Would you pay to join a site that claims to offer the cream of opportunities after having watched this?  Does it reflect the way you feel about your career?

I would love to hear your comments.  Is this the worst recruiter advertisement ever?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Filed under Careers, Recruitment

On the road to recovery – the outlook for the jobs market.

A number of good signs for job seekers and recruiters alike this week.  On Monday Michael Page, the UK’s second largest recruiter, announced gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2010 of £119.8 million, up 32% on 2009.  When you dig in to the numbers, there is yet more encouragement to be found.  Permanent job vacancies were up 40%, with temporary vacancies up 10% in the same period.

Further investigation suggests confidence slowly returning to the jobs market.  Interesting to note comments from Steve Ingham, CEO at Michael Page, talk of the increase in permanent job vacancies being driven by “churn” in the employment market place, that is employees moving jobs, as opposed to new jobs being created.

Why should this be cause for optimism?  This points to people being less concerned about moving jobs.  Taking the leap to a new employer and the “last in first out” fear that can engender in tough times appears to be on the wane.  That’s a good sign.  Confidence has a huge part to play in the employment market just as it does in all areas of the economy.

This morning we had the results of the KPMG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation Jobs Market Survey for December.  Demand for permanent staff rose at the fastest rate for four months.  Demand for temporary staff rose at its fastest rate for six months.

The greatest demand for permanent staffing was in IT, professional services, engineering and accounting.  One of the areas to evidence skills shortages, sales, offers yet further encouragement.  Demand for Executive Talent amongst Transcend customers has been greatest for Sales and Marketing Directors.  Typically these have been newly created appointments in circumstances where employers, having cut back on sales and marketing during the recession, now feel they have opportunities to grow but realise they lack the talent to fulfil them.

Other areas where talent is in increasing demand but skills are short include project management and engineering.   Both evidence good signs.  So many projects over the last 3 years, unless under the auspices of “business critical”, have been shelved.  Companies are starting to re – invest, slowly but surely, to spend money again, having horded cash in tough times.  Projects are being kicked off and once again talent is needed to fulfil requirements.  An increased demand for Engineering talent endorses the positive results being enjoyed by the manufacturing sector.  Long may it continue.

We have yet to understand the full impact of the austerity measures on the employment market.  Public Sector job losses we know are inevitable.  More needs to be done in to encourage jobs creation in the private sector if the impact on overall unemployment is to be minimised.  At least the rhetoric from government supports this, we now need to see the evidence.  More needs to be done from a legislative viewpoint to encourage employers to hire staff, indeed to make it easier and cheaper to hire staff.  A reduction in the rate of Employers NI would be a good start.

I am encouraged by what I see, what I read, what I hear from customers.  There is real cause for optimism, cautious optimism maybe, but optimism nonetheless.

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Filed under Hiring, Job Creation, Recruitment

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

A follow-up from my post from Tuesday this week

Relocate, or wither and die on the corporate vine

The sense that a global perspective is an essential quality for Business Leaders in 2010 is further endorsed by a report out this week from Regus Consultancy.

Relocating, in particular to emerging markets, is considered by 80% of Executives surveyed as being “essential” for those who aspire to climb  the corporate ladder.  40% of those companies surveyed plan to send staff overseas over the course of the next five years, in particular to Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe.

Very few companies will openly promote the idea to employees that a move overseas is a necessary part of career progression.  What is clear is that ambitious employees will study how the company makes promotions and draw their own conclusions.   They will look to the experiences of their role models and conclude that to reach the C – suite in a multi – national organisation, experience of working in other countries and cultures is essential.

Why wouldn’t it be.  Business is global.  To survive, indeed to thrive, you need to understand the needs of your customers.  Your customers are global, mobile and flexible.  Different cultures have different needs, buying habits, product and service requirements.  We live in a multi – cultural world.  Globalisation has happened.  For many businesses the drivers of growth are in emerging markets.

Talent is not defined by border or culture.  Talent will move from East to West, from West to East.  The more experience business leaders from all cultures have then the better for us all.  The enriched experience for the individual can only be a good thing.  Greater ties, links, jobs, wealth creation, opportunities exist for all.

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Engage your employees with a little for tomorrow

Estimates suggest that nearly 7 million people in the UK are not saving enough for their retirement.  Putting a little aside (or indeed a lot as increasingly that is evidenced as what is needed) to save for the future is hard and getting harder.  The retail price index evidences true inflation at 4.6% in the UK.  The cost of living is rising, as the economy improves inflation will increase and the cost of living will rise again.  The average full-time salary in the UK is c£25,000 per annum.  How and where can you find that little extra you need to save for retirement?  Whose responsibility is it?  Yours?  Your employers?  The Government?

We are sitting on a pensions time bomb with an ageing population that the state can no longer afford.  Something must be done.  According to a government review published today, every UK business should be made to offer a company pension scheme from 2012.

Already small business groups are coming out against such a move, arguing that the burden on business is too great at such a fragile time.

Rather than dismiss this out of hand as too costly, this should be looked upon as a great opportunity for Employers of all shapes and sizes to really engage with their employees.  As the economy recovers, the war for talent will heat up.  Those employers who truly value their employees, who truly understand their employees wants, wishes, needs, ambitions, motivations, reasons for turning up each day will be the ones who thrive.  How many employers regularly survey their staff to ask them what they want in a benefits plan?

The Government tells us we need to put something aside for tomorrow and they are right.  Rather than Government impose such regulation, why not let the people decide what it is that they want to be rewarded with for turning up each day?  Ask them.  You might just be surprised by the response.

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Filed under Employee Engagement