Tag Archives: employment

You can’t poke, tweet or email a handshake

Never a truer adage when looking for a job not what but who you know.  Your network is key to a successful job search strategy.   Growing your network has never been easier.   Social media has taken care of that.

No matter how extensive your virtual network, no matter how advanced and extensive your use of technology, nothing beats good old-fashioned face time.  Pressing the flesh, shaking hands, eyeballing, getting up close and personal, this is how and when things happen.

Whilst building your network online is certainly of value, building your network in the good old-fashioned way is still the best way to real results.

You can’t email a handshake.  It will cost you, time, shoe leather, cups of coffee, a round of sandwiches, dinner, a glass or two, some good questions, lots of listening and conversing, following up, staying in touch, but make the investment.  Get out from behind the desk, get away from the screen and get in the room.  It might just change your life.

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Filed under Careers, Social Media

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

Never knowingly underdressed

A couple of articles over the weekend focused on the decline of the business suit.  One such article on the BBC website highlighted a recent poll of 2,000 British workers by online bank First Direct that “found that only one in 10 employees wears a suit every day, more than a third of staff opt for jeans and only 18% regularly wear a tie”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12418046

This got me to thinking as to the impact of the ever-changing face of workplace attire on the interview process.  Knowing your audience is crucial to interview success.  Doing your homework as to the culture, the people, the environment in to which you are heading is a crucial part of your interview preparation.  So, what to wear?

A simple rule of thumb applies.  You are unlikely to be criticised, to lose out on a job opportunity, for being overdressed.  You are however very likely to be ruled out for being under – dressed ( in every sense of the phrase ).  So don’t hedge your bets.  Once your through the door you have earned the right to sit alongside your colleagues in board shorts and flip-flops if that’s de rigueur.  Until that happens, step up, smarten up, sharpen up.

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Filed under Interviews

Work / Life Balance; Fact or Fiction

So just what is this thing we call work life balance?  Does it even exist?  Is it something that deep down we all know that we should aspire to, or even better should actually achieve?  Are we scared to try?

In this last couple of years its gotten harder for sure.  The work place has gotten tougher, business has gotten tougher, just hanging in there has gotten tougher.  Technology has advanced to such an extent that the line between work and home has gotten ever more blurred.  Will we ever find the answer?

There is no such thing as perfect work life balance.  Don’t let anyone ever tell there is.  This is not something that can be answered in a text book.  Do your best to do what works for you.  Do your best to do that which leaves you fulfilled.

Regular Readers now my views on TED talks.  Simply awesome.  Here Nigel Marsh, Author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” gives his take on the ongoing battle for work / life balance.  Give this a look, it leaves you asking some challenging questions as to just how you spend your time and why.

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Filed under Corporate Governance

Permanent Recruitment rising at its highest rate in 6 months

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation / KPMG Labour Market survey is published today.  It evidences the number of people securing permanent employment rising at its fastest rate in 6 months.  Permanent hiring grew to 57.4 on January’s index (anything above 50 represents growth), up from 54.9 in December (no surprises here, December has always been a slow month for permanent hires).  The previous high had been 56.3 in August 2010.

The number of people securing permanent employment has been rising for 18 months.  What this report doesn’t tell us is what percentage of these hires are full-time versus part-time.  However the number is growing.  Sure, if you are out of work it is not growing fast enough, but it is growing.  Sure we have yet to feel the impact of the Governments Austerity measures on public sector employment, but the number of people gaining permanent jobs is growing and has been for 18 months.

So who is hiring?  IT, Accounting, Engineering and Construction were highlighted as those sectors growing permanent hires at the fastest rate and in the highest numbers.  Boardroom Hiring was also evidenced as on the increase.  So business is hiring.

The more we hear about a jobless recovery, the more we are likely to have one.  The more people hear the economy is weak, the less confidence they have to hire.  I am not suggesting that the media should lie ( heaven forbid! ) I just think more attention, column inches and air time needs to be given to the positives when they appear.

On the strength of this survey, there is good news to be found in the employment market.  Lets not hide our light under a bushel.  We don’t know for how long it may last but for now, shout it loud, permanent employment is rising at its fastest rate in 6 months.  Long may this trend continue.

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Filed under Hiring, Job Creation, Recruitment