Archive for November, 2012

Why marketing yourself is important

 

The days of leaving school and working for a company your entire life are long gone. These days, even the most qualified of individuals and professionals, will work for several different companies and brands during their working life. This is why for most people, those career minded or those merely trying to maintain a decent standard of living, are constantly marketing themselves.

You are an individual and no one can sell yourself better than you can. You’ve got to constantly be putting your best foot forward and advertise yourself, because the guy standing to next to you in the queue…well, he could be the key to your dream job, your Mr. Right, whatever you are looking for right now.

You never know where that next opportunity is going to come from. It could be from your boss offering you a simple promotion, it could be from a person you meet on your lunch break, or it could be from the employee who works for you and then goes to set up his own company. This means you have to sell yourself and let your facets gleam and let everyone know what you’re about, what you stand for and what you can offer. You have to believe what you are saying and conduct yourself with professionalism at all times, even in relaxed settings.

That is an insight into why it is important to market yourself… but how does one go about it?

Firstly, if you look the part on the outside people will generally believe you ARE the part. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, as my old dad used to say! Looking the part can indicate how professional you are, how organised you are and that you believe in yourself and therefore the company, product etc. Dress appropriately. By this I don’t mean wearing a skirt suit with heels when you are working as the head swim coach of the county. Perhaps add a smart/casual blazer over your sports uniform and don the suit when attending annual meetings. Just take stock that  it is important you look the part at all times, whether at work or elsewhere.

Once you look the part you have to sound the part. With every email and newsletter you send you are constantly selling yourself. Even as the head teacher of a school  sending letters to parents regarding the developments of the school. The parents have to trust in the head teacher that their child will obtain the best education whilst in their facility. Even the head teacher sending  internal emails to staff members has to be professional and informative to gain respect. So, writing properly is key. Avoid text speak and so forth.

Professionalism is of utmost importance. You must try to remain professional at all times as well as remaining approachable and social. Try to come across well and communicate with your peers, your subordinates and superiors. Generally speaking, this means not saying a bad word about anyone! By all means have an opinion and don’t ever be afraid to have one, but opinions and judgments must always be based on sound experience and know-how. This mean you should always do your research and never base your work or opinions on hear say!

For example, a person who writes a website/blog for a living will work daily on several social media sites, building relationships and a rapport with potential clients. Every tweet, or Facebook status will have a cause-and-effect on their social standing status and give PR companies an insight into whether they could work well together. If a person didn’t write coherently and remain proficient at all times they wouldn’t get any work.

You are always you and always individual. You never know when an opportunity may arrive!

 

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How to write a winning CV

 

 

It can be really difficult to translate your skills to a concise but attractive CV but our tips should be able to give your CV the head start it needs to get an interview.

Make sure your CV is organised and in a good reading order. It is really important to ensure you elaborate your experience to what each individual job requires. So what should you start with?

1        Name, address and contact telephone number

2        Make your format eyecatching, not too busy and easy to read

3        Skill set: make sure you put qualifications and any relevant self learnt skills in this area

4        Summarise what life experience you have had in relation to the job. A short course or internship as well as self learning can show initiative.

5        Employment history: make sure that you showcase the skills relevant to each are of employment and emphasise those in relation to the job you are applying for.

6        Start with the most recent job first. Ensure you carry on the same format when listing. Employer, Job title, dates and then a short explanation of your role.

7        Education: remember to include any short courses or relevant qualifications gained through employers.

8        Personal Interests: any hobbies that can be used to support your work experience. Obviously socialising is a no, but playing at open mics shows a creative flair.

Your CV should be tailored to the employer. By keeping it individual to the application it shows that you have thought about how you will fit in to their work environment.

How you present your CV is extremely important. You want it to be easy to read and easy for the reader to find the relevant information. Poor presentation will only leave your application at the bottom of the pile.

So what are our do’s and dont’s?:

Do:

1        Be clear, concise and jargon free

2        Use short well thought out sentences in each part of the CV.

3        Try to keep to 2 pages of A4

4        Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. Do a spell and grammar check and get a friend to proof read.

 

One of the best ways of ensuring that your CV is perfect is to know what you should not do:

Don’t:

1        Over elaborate. Use short sentences that are punchy and easy to read.

2        Be too simple. Make sure that you showcase your experience.

3        Don’t cut your experience down if it is relevant to the job.

4        Use various fonts and typography throughout.

5        Enclose a photograph, unless it is required or your have asked for one.

6        Give referees at this point unless specified. You can do this at interview stage.

7        Give salary details. Think about what your are worth and have a figure in mind for when you are asked.

 

These are just a few tips to get your CV looking great!

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How to prepare for interview

 

So you got that interview! Congratulations!

Now you are wondering what next and how to prepare. There is no need to worry we have put together this guide for you.

Before the interview make sure you know where it is, how long it will take, if you will have to participate in any tests and if you are required to take anything additional along such as proof of identification. Usually the interview letter will list out all the requirements of interview. If it doesn’t then don’t be afraid to call the department to find out what you will need.

In the week leading up to the interview make sure you have the correct date and time of the interview, plan your travel arrangements in advance such as public transport or car parking. Do a quick check to see if there are going to be any disruptions to your journey.

Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than your interview time. this will give you chance to take a moment to collect your thoughts and breathe before your interview. In turn being prompt will reflect well on your application.

On the day of your interview make sure that you have a list set up of what you will need. Take you invitation to interview letter as well as a copy of any documentation that has been requested. Try and make notes of any questions that you would like to ask during the interview. It is better to be totally and a little over prepared that left feeling nervous on the day because you are not.

Use the job specification as a means to research and go over possible questions. Rehearsing answers may help nerves but will make you feel confident and help you to be concise.

Research the company to ensure you are aware of what they do and how they do it. Look at their website as well as any documents they may have produced online. Look for relevant news items or reports that give you an overview of where the company are now.

Choosing your interview outfit can be really difficult for some people. Our advice is to keep it simple and smart. Try your outfit on a few days before, iron and hang. Now is also the time to get a hair cut if needed.

The night before the interview remember to check of the list of items and information you need to take.

Finally get a good night’s sleep and good luck!

 

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Quick Tips for CV Presentation

 

Here are our top tips for laying out your CV in the best way possible:

1. Do not write “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae” across the top of your CV. It’s blindingly obvious what the document is!

2. Use either Arial or Times New Roman font. No comedy or swirly fonts. They look naff. Make sure your font is consistent throughout and all of the same size. Ensure headings are a font size larger.

3. Do not use both sides of the paper. People may forget to photocopy or scan both sides of the paper. It’s wasteful, I know, but it’s the way people are.

4. Do not use clip art or cartoons in your CV. It makes it look like a 12 year old has written it.

5. Use high quality white paper. Coloured paper doesn’t photocopy so well.

6. Do not use coloured fonts in your CV.  It looks childish and, again, does not photocopy very well.

7. Don’t fold your CV and covering letter. Make sure you put it in an A4 envelope.

8. Don’t put a photo on your CV. Let your credentials speak for themselves, rather than letting the employer potentially form an opinion about you before you’ve even met.

9. Do a spell check!

10. Don’t underline headings. Again, they can get blurred when photocopied/scanned. Make sure they are a font size larger and in bold

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