Archive for June, 2013

Guest blog: How to shine at an interview

Guest blog from Debbie Gingell, Career Coach at Leg Up Careers

The keys to a successful interview are: a positive attitude and preparation

First impressions:

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so stand tall and believe in the person you are:

 Every applicant will experience some form of nervous tension – this is normal. Breathe deeply and tell yourself (audibly) that you will be an asset to the organisation – they will be lucky to get you!

 Look the interviewer/s in the eye as you greet them and smile! Shake hands firmly – not limply and not bone crushingly.

 Always keep in your mind that, you’ve been invited to an interview because, on paper, the employer believes that you might be the person they are looking for.

 The Employer wants to like you – wants to fill their vacancy

 Interviews are a two way process and you are approaching it as an equal.

Preparation:

Employers will formulate a list of open ended questions in order to find out what they want to know. This type of questioning does not allow you to answer yes or no so you have to be prepared to talk about yourself. The best way you can answer their questions is to be thoroughly prepared. Solid preparation will increase your confidence on the day, so do your homework:

 Research the company – look at their website, competitors, trade magazines, annual report etc.

o What appeals to you about the organisation?

o Be prepared to provide a brief overview of the company and what they do

o Why would you like to work for the company?

 Study the job description/personal specification

o What skills or experience are they asking for?

o How do you meet the criteria?

o Prepare evidence and examples to back up your skills and experience

 Anticipate the questions you might be asked and prepare answers

o Rehearse your responses OUT LOUD – it really helps!!!

 Consider any weak areas in your application

o Prepare positive responses – how you plan to develop specific skills etc.

 Prepare some interesting questions that you could ask at the end of the interview

o How many people work in the department/organisation?

o What training or induction is given?

o Why did the vacancy occur?

o Who do you see as your main competitors?

 

About Debbie Gingell:

Throughout my career, I have worked with people from a variety of backgrounds including: students, senior business executives, refugees, mums returning to work, ex-offenders and long term unemployed. I have worked hard to support people who need to secure their first/next job or University place and genuinely love what I do!

We are all unique individuals and I believe that it is important for us to secure the right job because it can lead to a sense of worth and personal satisfaction. My freelance work involves professional CV writing and career coaching for the Times Education Careers Department in London. Providing local and on line career advice and support via Leg up careers, and working with students at an Independent School in Cambridge, supporting students with their University applications and career decisions.

I am extremely committed to helping people to overcome barriers to employment so that they can move forwards and become more successful!

Feel free to email me on: dgingell@legupcareers.co.uk or visit www.legupcareers.co.uk

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Top 6 Fastest-Growing Industries to Look for Jobs

IBISWorld, the market researcher who each year produces an extensive report on the fastest-growing industries, suggests that this year there will be a great number of job possibilities in a selection of diverse sectors. It is not surprising that the Internet commerce is constantly on the rise, and nowadays so popular, business sectors surrounding personal fitness and green living have also made it into the researcher’s top list of the fastest-growing industries in 2013. With this in mind, perhaps you will want to hop on the bandwagon and consider looking into job opportunities in some the following business sectors.

1. Online Optical Industry

Today it is possible to purchase more or less anything online and it is predicted by market experts that sales of eyewear and contact lenses online will continue to boom in the upcoming years. New technologies are enabling customers to upload their photos and virtually try on glasses in order to better understand how they will look with their new purchase on. All these technological advances are opening many new job opportunities for tech-savvy employees, as can be seen by the jobs currently open at companies like Luxottica .

2. Game development for Social Networks

Social networking is one of the biggest crazes of our time and online games offered by social networks like Facebook are currently giving the gaming industry a valuable stake in the hype. They offer free games in a period in which game consoles are a luxury for many. These free games then conveniently profit from on-screen advertising placed on their websites. Experts suggest that industry will continue to expand at a rate of 22% annually. So if you are a IT specialist or a software developer consider looking into job openings in this fast-growing industry, for example in companies like King.com or Zynga .

3. Sustainable Building

Experts suggest that the demand for “green” buildings will continue to rise greatly in the years to come. Energy-efficient buildings are both fashionable and crucial to our environment, and many government incentive programs enable corporations to design, construct and maintain their buildings responsibly. Green building industry is expected to grow at a rate of 22.8% on an annual basis, so although the construction industry has suffered after the global economic crisis, there will be a significant increase in job opportunities in this specific sector. .

4. Pilates and Yoga

These days Pilates and Yoga are both very trendy exercise regimes. The popularity has also increased due to pregnant women seeking an affordable way to keep fit alongside the many companies that offer incentives to their employees should they join fitness clubs. It’s suggested that this industry’s revenue will increase by 4.8% annually. So if you are a yoga or Pilates instructor you have a pretty good chance in finding a job in a local gym.

5. Solar Power Industry

Solar panels are a great way to help preserve the environment whilst saving money in a more long-term scale. This “green” industry has so far grown at an average annual rate of 32.3% in the last decade and experts predict that it will continue to grow. So there is a job increase expected in all the sectors of the solar power industry.

6. 3D Printer Manufacturing

3D printers have a great number of advantages and possibilities in the modern age. Led by the famous Replicator, these machines allow for the conversion of digital files into three dimensional objects that can then be used by architects, healthcare therapists, and fashion and jewellery designers. Experts suggest that this industry will grow at around 14% pace annually in the upcoming years.

If you’re currently looking to enter into the world of work then is it well worth considering exciting job opportunities offered by these fastest-growing industries.

Bio:
Emily Jones is a recent graduate of London Metropolitan University with a great interest in career development and education. She enjoys writing for the Web, and hopes one day she will make the big jump to top-level printed press.

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Five Resources To Help You Secure Your First Job

Securing a job in today’s employment market is a numbers game. The more applications you send out, the more likely you are to hear back, secure an interview and hopefully land your first job. Although at times the whole process of searching and applying for work might seem a little demoralising, it’s important to remember that persistence will definitely pay off.

If you’ve just finished college or graduated from university, then chances are you might be feeling a little apprehensive towards the world of work. So, to make your life easier and to help you during the application process, here are five top resources to use the next time you continue your job hunt. With the correct tools at your disposal, you will find it easier to secure yourself the position you’re after.

1. Social media

About ten years ago, social media was only really in its initial development stages. Even when most people were getting used to this medium, they wouldn’t have used it to seek job opportunities. However, times have changed and using social media today could just be the resource you need to land your very first job.

One of the most common social networks, Twitter, allows you to follow recruitment agencies and companies that you’re interested in working for. It also allows you to search for specific industries, influential people, and keep an out for relevant vacancies as soon as they become available.

LinkedIn also incorporates similar functions and in addition allows you to display your skills, experience and previous employment on your profile page (which essentially acts an online CV). Start using these two social networks alongside Facebook and see if you can find vacancies to apply for.

2.   Mobile apps 

As you won’t always be sat at your desk, constantly waiting for new job offers to appear, why not stay updated on the latest opportunities through mobile apps? There are plenty of recruitment companies and agencies that offer mobile apps to download straight to your smartphone. In doing so you can look for work on the move and even apply for jobs with your latest CV, all at the touch of a few buttons on your mobile phone.

Mobile apps are a great resource to keep checking on a regular basis when you have a spare few minutes during your day.

3.   Recommendations

The reason why this resource is mentioned time and time again is because it’s still incredibly valuable during your initial job search phase. Asking friends how they managed to secure their own job, what resources they used and generally asking for advice will allow you to refine your own search techniques.

Seeking advice will also allow you to network and find out about potential positions. If you connect with people then they can also pass on recommendations directly to you, so the process can work both ways.

Remember that there’s no harm in asking and doing so could result in a few extra ideas that you’ve never tried before. As mentioned the whole process is a numbers game, so the more resources you are aware of and using, the better.

4.   Create job alerts  

Where possible, create job alerts to notify you when a specific position is available. This can be done through job board sites and in addition a great tool to use is Google Alerts. The latter will allow you to enter a search query and then receive emails relevant to that specific term on a frequent basis. So for example, entering ‘electrician job Surrey’ will potentially allow you to receive the latest opportunities for this particular position in Surrey.

As you will already be checking your emails for any replies to your applications, it will be easy to see if Google has sent you any new notifications. Again this is another great resource you can use to find the very latest vacancies and get your application in early.

 5.   Professional and industry associations

Finally, work out if there are any specific associations relating to the industries that you are looking to work in. It’s likely that there will be and if you do come across any, be sure to keep a close eye on their websites and follow them on social media in order to spot the most up-to-date opportunities first.

Although there are individual jobs sites and even graduate specific websites, professional associations are sometimes the best places to look because they are industry focussed. They are also trusted resources, meaning that other companies connected with that industry are likely to use them to promote their vacancies.

Final thoughts

Whether you are just about to start the jobs application process or you have already sent out a handful of CVs, don’t forget to use the above resources. If you are set up to receive and view offers from more than one primary source then more opportunities will be presented to you.

From here it’s over to you to ensure that you create an engaging cover letter and CV prompting an employer to invite you along to an interview. Best of luck in your own applications, remember that hard work pays off and you will be able to secure your first job if you stick at it.

This post was created on behalf of Ageas 50 Careers who offer specialist career opportunities in sales and service, claims handling and other disciplines.

 

 

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Guest blog: The 5 most typical interview questions

Guest blog from Debbie Gingell, Career Coach at Leg Up Careers

The 5 most “typical” interview questions:

1) Tell me about yourself….

This is usually a warm up question to give you the opportunity to shine! Resist giving your life or work history, the interviewer is looking for a brief overview. Keep it relevant to the post – give a very brief career history and state why you are applying for the position

2) Why should we employ you?

What the interviewer is really asking you is what can you do for my business? – your response needs to answer that question…

An example… As I understand your needs, you are looking for someone who can increase your advertising sales and manage a small team. I have a proven track record in successfully managing a sales team of 3 and have increased Jasper Co.’s sales from £150,000 to 210,000 during the last 2 years.

3) What are your strengths?

Pick out your key strengths and where possible match these to the job description/person specification

4) What are your weaknesses?

Always and only state something knowledge based and include how you intend to improve the weakness. For example, I did feel that my knowledge of Excel was not what it should be, so I recently signed up for an advanced level evening course at the regional college.

5) Why do you want to work for our company?

In order to provide a good answer to this question, you will have researched the organisation and the job well.

About Debbie Gingell:

Throughout my career, I have worked with people from a variety of backgrounds including: students, senior business executives, refugees, mums returning to work, ex-offenders and long term unemployed. I have worked hard to support people who need to secure their first/next job or University place and genuinely love what I do!

We are all unique individuals and I believe that it is important for us to secure the right job because it can lead to a sense of worth and personal satisfaction. My freelance work involves professional CV writing and career coaching for the Times Education Careers Department in London. Providing local and on line career advice and support via Leg up careers, and working with students at an Independent School in Cambridge, supporting students with their University applications and career decisions.

I am extremely committed to helping people to overcome barriers to employment so that they can move forwards and become more successful!

Feel free to email me on: dgingell@legupcareers.co.uk or visit www.legupcareers.co.uk

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