On the couch with the Chairman : Face-to-face Interviews versus Phone/Skype Interview

Face-to-face interviews versus phone/Skype interview Both have their advantages – the key is to be prepared for either scenario – that is, do your research and have key questions ready when it’s your turn to ask.   Pros for phones or Skype interviews: Why? You can’t attend a face to face interview due to time …

How to get over the post-summer blues

So summer’s over, you are back at work with a fading tan, feeling gloomy as the nights draw in. This can make getting out of bed to get to work the morning harder. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one and we completely feel your pain! We have come up with a list of ways that you can use to stay upbeat at work this autumn.

  1. Book next year’s holiday – Give yourself something to look forward to by booking next year’s holiday early. You can bag the dates you want before your colleagues and get the best travel deals by booking early.
  2. Give yourself a winter break – You don’t have to wait a whole year to have another holiday, why not give yourself a treat this winter and escape to a log cabin for a long weekend?
  3. Reassess your job – It might not be the weather that’s the only thing getting you down, maybe it’s your job that’s the problem. You may need to look at your current employment situation and ask yourself if you’re achieving everything you want to. If you find that it is your job getting you down, you’ve raised the subject with your boss and had no joy, now is the perfect time to job hunt. If you leave it until January a lot of the best jobs will have been filled already and the competition will be stiffer.
  4. Exercise – Get outside for a walk or a run through the autumn leaves and feel those exercise induced endorphins kick in. It’s amazing the difference it makes, keeping you cheerful even whilst sitting in yet another meeting.
  5. Get inspired – Hopefully you already have an inspirational boss at work, but you can also find inspiration elsewhere. It can be easy to slow down when the winter months hit, so to ensure you don’t stop altogether, make a list of things that inspire you or things you want to achieve. You might also include searching for people who inspire you professionally on sites such as LinkedIn, to see how they got to where they are now and read their success stories online.

 

5 Ways to Make Friends at Work

  1. Introducing yourself – This may seem obvious, but being the first to introduce yourself, gives a great first impression of a friendly and approachable personality, instantly making the other worker feel they can easily strike up a conversation with you.
  2. Showing an interest/small talk – This again may feel like an obvious one, but engaging with small talk, asking questions and showing a genuine interest in your colleague’s life can go a long way. You may find that you have a lot in common and similar interests.
  3. Going for lunch – Lunchtime is the perfect time to get to know a fellow colleague, asking if they want to go for lunch with you instantly makes them feel included and part of a team.
  4. After work drinks – This is also another great way to get to know your colleagues in a more relaxed and informal environment. You’ll be amazed at the stories you’ll hear!
  5. Local events – Similarly, have a look to see if there are any events taking place near to your office. This could be as simple as a film showing at a local cinema, a comedy night at a local pub or a BBQ in the park to bring workers together to know each other.

Why and How to Boost Your Social Media Profile

If you are a bit half-hearted about the whole Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn thing, think carefully. In the same way you wouldn’t go to an interview without looking up and researching the people you are going to meet, potential employers can and absolutely WILL be checking you out too.

It’s not just about creating a first impression, but also ensuring you don’t blow your chances. For example, your beautifully crafted CV might say you want to be a pharmacist, but if your social media profile is all about your plans to set up your own upholstery business or disappear off travelling for 12 months, you are less likely to get the pharmacy job you just applied for. No matter how brilliant your academic background, if your social image is poor companies are not likely to want to be associated with you. According to Press Room, more than half of employers today have found content on social media which caused them not to hire a candidate. It also shows that 70% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates during the hiring process, 49% check up on current employees, as well as 34% having reprimanded or fired an employee based on content found online.

On the plus side, used correctly and responsibly, social media platforms can help you stand out from the crowd and enhance your professional image.

Here are some tips:

  • Use the same profile image across all networks. Consistency is key; the more you look the same in feeds across sites, the more you’ll stay in people’s minds.
  • Delete any unwise posts and bad photos. Think, ‘Would I want an employer to see this?’ and review tags regularly.
  • Make sure you are discovered in searches by finding out what people search for when looking for professionals in your sector and mirror the keywords.
  • Fill in all the fields in your profile so that you appear professional and committed, rather than not bothered and lazy.
  • Build your social trust by asking past and present colleagues and clients for reviews, endorsements and recommendations. Write recommendations for others too, without them having to ask.
  • Write clearly, succinctly and in the first person. This is your chance to showcase your career highlights and ability to communicate.
  • Make yourself contactable. Add links to your other social profiles, website and contact details. Then test those links.

 

Job Hunting Tips for Grads

Dear Media Contacts, I graduated this year and although I’ve been applying for jobs since April, I am no further forward. What am I doing wrong? Jane, Sussex

 

Dear Jane, we completely understand how frustrating and disheartening it can be to not find employment after spending a considerable amount of time and money on studying for a degree. However, there are so many graduates looking for jobs that competition is always incredibly stiff. It’s important to step back and think about re-structuring your job search and changing your approach.

Start by asking yourself not just ‘What job do I actually want?’ and, ‘What do I want to gain from the job?’ but ‘What have I got to offer?’ You can begin by searching for many useful tips on commencing your job search if you are partially struggling to find a job after graduation.

If the problem lies with the interview process, there are many websites available which provide useful interview confidence boosters.

Then there are a range of factors to consider, from where you are searching for jobs to how you interview. Here are some ideas:

  1. University job boards – These job boards will have the latest job vacancies advertised where you can easily apply and speak to careers advisers about all aspects of the process.
  2. Contact recruiters – Reach out to people like us! Our team can match your skills and experience with companies currently hiring staff.
  3. Widen your job search – You can easily do this through signing up to sites such as targetjobs.co.uk where you can receive job alerts for relevant positions.
  4. Network – The old saying, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ holds water. Go to as many career events as you can and make the most of all the networking opportunities on LinkedIn.  You can also search for advice on the best ways to make the most out of the job fairs.
  5. Work experience – If you can do an internship it will speak volumes for your commitment and give you a head start over other applicants.
  6. CV – Arguably, your CV is the most important document you will ever write. It is the sales aid that will get you an interview, so make sure it’s perfect. That means ensuring perfect attention to detail and absolutely no spelling or grammatical errors. Ask a recruiter for a free professional critique. Your accompanying email creates a first impression, so make sure you’ve spelled the name of the person you are sending it to correctly.
  7. Interview – Everyone hates being rejected, but constructive criticism is invaluable and the way you respond to rejection will make a huge difference. Asking for feedback from interviewers will allow you to identify areas you need to improve on. You may find that there is a recurring issue, which you can then address.
  8. Social media – Be conscious of what you are posting on social media channels, as employers can and WILL check. In the same way that you check the company out before attending your interview, they will be looking at your social media footprint. Ensure your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn doesn’t contain any untoward pictures or comments. Also, if you’re a blog writer, ask yourself ‘Would I want a future employer to read this?’ because they almost certainly will.