Archive for the ‘Guest Blog’ Category

How to find work in payroll


Guest Blog this week is from Portfolio Payroll Ltd

Payroll is an extremely competitive industry, with a great deal of candidates searching for work in payroll and a lot of interest in the top payroll positions. As with the vast majority of careers, there is no substitute for experience. However, there are a number of top tips and hints which can be followed to give you the best possible chance of securing your ideal payroll position.

Interviews are daunting to many people, but they do not have to be. Learn to see an interview as a showcase of your skills, rather than a test. By following these simple tips to interview success, you give yourself an excellent chance of leaving a lasting impression on your interviewer and securing the payroll position of your dreams.


Confidence is especially important for payroll manager jobs, as you will have to successfully manage a payroll team through the many challenges the position brings. With strong competition likely for any payroll position, exuding confidence in your interview will help you stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on your potential employer.

Knowledge of the company

Researching in depth about the company you are applying to work for can help you to demonstrate your skills which are most relevant to their needs. For example, if the company has workers in several different countries, knowledge and experience of running an expat payroll would give you a significant advantage. Similarly, if you are applying to a smaller company, explain how your skills could help the business to progress and expand.

Demonstrate your experience

Stating your experience on your CV is all very well and good, but how does it demonstrate in practice? Come prepared with examples of how you have previously produced positive results, as well as how you dealt with any challenges or struggles which may have arisen over the course of your payroll career. Qualifications are important, but showing how you have been successful previously is certain to leave a positive impact on your employer.

Ask questions

Nothing demonstrates interest and knowledge of the company better than asking relevant questions about your position and the business. While you should always avoid salary related issues, positive and relevant questions demonstrate you care about the position and have put effort into the application process.

Standing out from the payroll recruitment crowd

Following the advice above should help to give you the edge in an interview for a payroll position. Getting an interview in the first place can be a challenge, but it is important not to get disheartened and give up. The overwhelming majority of businesses require a payroll department, and as such there are numerous opportunities for employment.

If you have made several unsuccessful applications, try making slight changes to your CV and sending them out to employers. This will give you an insight into which versions of your CV work best, helping you to impress potential employers and developing your CV into a more employable state.


Guest blog: How to write a personal statement

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

Three keys for a successful personal statement in a job application:

1) Focus (on the job)

2) Structure (your statement)

3) Sell (yourself)

Some top tips…

 Carry out a self assessment

 Look at the requirements of the job description and person specification

 Match your experience, skills and abilities to the employer’s requirements

 Be enthusiastic!

The employer is looking to buy some skills and experience – you need to demonstrate that you have what they are looking for.

Opening and closing paragraphs are key. Work hard to present a positive and punchy introduction to grab the reader’s attention. Use your closing statement to stress the personal qualities that make you an asset to the organisation.

Don’t make random or unsubstantiated statements – You might very well have excellent presentation and negotiation skills but to state these as mere facts will not convince the reader. However, if you provide evidence and examples to back up what you say, this will. An example – Setting up and chairing monthly meetings for all factory staff to report on management/strategic developments has developed my presentation skills.

Personal statements should usually be approximately 1200 words. Some people will use an extremely small font and think they can squeeze more information in. This will not help your application. The reader will have had enough at 1200 words and will know to stop! Keep it easy to read.

Refrain from writing long winded sentences. If your sentences consist of more than 32 words or more, then for the reader’s sake, reduce them!

Starting too many paragraphs or sentences with ‘I’ is off-putting for the reader. Consider alternatives: My ability to… During… When… Although…, Whilst… An example of…etc

Structure is key to a good statement, you need to take the reader on a journey. Start with a solid enthusiastic introduction and say why the job appeals to you. Continue with how you match their requirements, providing examples and evidence to back up any statements. You will often find that the personal specification has a structure to it and you can follow this to ensure you cover all of the key elements in it. Bring your statement to a good strong conclusion that shows off your personal qualities and commitment.

Check it, then check it again and then ask someone else to check it! A spelling error or silly mistake will spoil all of your hard work!

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: or visit


How to become your own boss


Guest blog: Freelancer employment company, Parasol offers advice on self employment and becoming your own boss. From the development of your business idea right through to financial management.


The current economic climate has resulted in a large number of people being made redundant, while it has also prevented many from even getting started on their career ladder. As a result of the downturn, more and more people are thinking about becoming their own boss.

If you are sitting on a good business idea, but believe that it is a risky time to make the leap to self-employment, you may want to think again. With reduced competition and lower prices for office space, marketing and advertising, a recession can often be a good time to get creative.

Where to begin?

There are a number of different paths you can choose to take in order to become your own boss. Whether you want to set up a limited company, become self employed or work through an employment outsourcing specialist, it is important to make a decision that is best suited to your goals and requirements.

Running a limited company or being self-employed means that you would be responsible for your accounts, invoicing and records, while an umbrella company would take care of all your financial management. Once you decide on the most suitable path, you should:

1) Develop your business ideas – you must research your idea to make sure that there is a viable place in the market for your product or service. It is important that you aren’t too precious about your initial idea as it may need to be tweaked to make it as successful and profitable as possible.

2) Construct a business plan – if you are setting up a business, you will need to construct a detailed plan that includes information about your business idea, strategy and objectives as well as your market and realistic forecasts regarding your finances.

3) Plan your finances – with a viable plan, a bank will lend you money for your business venture. Alternatively, you may have family or friends to financially support the project, or your own start-up funds.

If you want to become a contractor or freelancer, or use an employment outsourcing specialist, you may only need financial support or back-up savings at the early stage of your career as your pay may be sporadic. This will allow you to build a reputation and establish yourself in the industry, without having to worry about your outgoings.

4) Understand the legislation – this can often become a hindrance for new start-ups and the self-employed. Getting specialist advice on topics such as tax and employment can help you to avoid such stumbling blocks at the start. For example, contractors can look for the best umbrella company around for payroll support so that they can delegate tax calculations, National Insurance deductions and business expenses to the professionals, allowing them to rest assured that their pay is correct.

Completing these four tasks will stand you in good stead for success. However, the work doesn’t end here. Setting up a business or becoming self employed can require you to set up and manage a workplace, working schedule, workforce, partnerships as well as a marketing and advertising strategy. While becoming your own boss does require plenty of hard work, this effort is essential if you are to thrive in self-employment.


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