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New Year, New CV!

2020 is fast approaching and you may be thinking of changing your job in the early months of next year, but have you thought of updating your CV?

 A common New Year’s resolution for many of us is to land a new job that we love. However, in a highly competitive jobs market, it’s vital you have a strong CV and a positive attitude.  The goal here is to give whoever reads the document the best understanding of who you are professionally. If ever there is a time to tell everyone how good you are then this is it! We’ve put together 5 tips which we hope will help your New Year job search.

  1. Make it SIMPLE.CVs should be no longer than two pages of A4. You may not know, but statistics show employers spend on average just 8 seconds looking at one CV. Keep it short and sweet and remember the most important information lies in your education and experience. Your choice of font and layout are a key to making sure a potential employer carries on reading your CV. Simple formats work best – we recommend choosing Calibri or Arial as a safe option. 
  2. Don‘t be generic.Take time to update your CV with a relevant skill set when applying for different positions. Don’t send exactly the same CV when applying for jobs. Research the company and use the job advert to work out exactly what skills you should point out to them. They will appreciate the obvious effort. 
  3. Update and check.Make sure you update your CV, add relevant skills and experience. Ideally only include 2-3 previous employers, unless you have older jobs relevant to the position you’re applying for.Double or triple check your CV for spelling, grammar and punctuation. If you’re unsure then use a spellchecker and ask someone else to double-check what you’ve written.  
  4. Avoid jargon and buzzwords.It can be tempting to chuck in what we consider to be great personality traits, for example – team player, passionate, motivated – you get the drift. Instead use words such as: trained, accurate, achieved, managed etc. 
  5. Last but not least – NO LYING!

Putting incorrect information on your CV is not a good idea at all. It will only put you in a very awkward situation when it comes to employers checking your background and references or when you get asked a question during your interview and you won’t be able to answer it.

Updating your CV can be an easy process as long as you know what you want to do with it. But, the best idea is to review your CV regularly – usually up to every 6 to 12 months. This way, you don’t risk forgetting any important information that needs to go in it.

If you need help with updating your CV, contact us now and we will be able to help.

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Say ‘Yes’ to Job Hunting in December

With Christmas fast approaching with just three weeks left, you may not have thought of job hunting in December. 

Many people think December is the worst time of the year to look for a job, as companies slow down and can take a little bit longer than usually to get back to you regarding your job application, interviews or offers.  Also, candidates are often found winding down for Christmas and pledging to find a new job come January.

However, this provides a big opportunity for job seekers, who want to secure a new position before the New Year. 

Here are some reasons why you should consider looking for a job in the exciting month of December and not wait till January.

  1. CompetitionAs mentioned above, people don’t tend to look for a new job in December, so if you’re looking for your new job in December, you’re up against less competition.  While everyone else waits to start their job search in January, start your job hunt now. Fewer applicants mean more chance of your CV being noticed and a quicker hiring process.
  2. Start work in JanuaryJanuary is often a very busy time of year for many companies and so managers may struggle to fit in interviews and training of new staff members promptly.The end of the year, especially just before the holiday period, can often be calmer in terms of workload, making it easier for teams to consider their recruitment for the year ahead. This makes it an ideal time for you to get in touch with companies and to start applying for jobs.  Ignore the myth that hiring managers are not looking for candidates at the end of the year.
  3. Evidence of Determination

When looking for a job in December, you will impress recruiters with your determination. It’s easy to take December slow, but if you are one of those who doesn’t lose motivation and stays proactive, that will definitely shine through.

The holidays are a great time to take a break—and many do. But, if you want to stand out in your job search, you may want to consider being more active than most people and keep pushing your job search forward. Now is the time.

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How to make a temporary job a permanent one

Temporary employment has seen quite an increase in the last couple of years. Employers in various industries are hiring temp workers to fill positions for a few days, weeks or months at a time. Businesses are using recruitment agencies to help them when the demand for staff is higher (holiday, sickness or peak periods cover) or when they need someone with a specific skill set. It gives them the flexibility as to when and for how long they need the temporary workers for. 

Temporary assignments have plenty of benefits too – they offer a great way to develop your current skills, supplement your income while looking for a different position, gain experience in a completely new field or fill in the gap between other endeavours without committing to a permanent contract.

So, how exactly do you turn a temporary job into a permanent one?

  1. Reliability at 110%One of the most important attributes employers are looking for is reliability.Approach your placement as if you are a permanent employee by keeping the standard of your work and enthusiasm levels high. Make sure you arrive on time, do the tasks to the best of your ability and show that you can be trusted. This will boost up your chances when the opportunity for a permanent position arises.
  2. Build relationshipsBecoming a familiar face is part of any role, but particularly important when you are looking for a new role. Building and maintaining relationships with everyone you interact with can pay off in the long run, as well as give you an insight into company movements.As a temporary worker make sure you observe the environment and develop understanding of company rules and policies. Your colleagues can help you settle in, make you feel more comfortable and answer some of your questions. 
  3. Make yourself clear 

If you’re interested in a permanent position, speak with your consultant in a recruitment agency. They may already be aware that the company is recruiting for permanent staff and they would be happy to put your forward for the position.

Second person to speak to would be your manager or supervisor. If you’re working on temporary basis your manager may not realise that you would like to join the company on full-time, permanent basis. Make sure your boss knows how happy you are to be working here, and that you’d be open to making this a longer-term opportunity.

Be cautious, though, of asking for the world too early or too often, as this may place a strain on your working relationship. Patience is the key!

Take control and start turning yourself into the employee they won’t be able to survive without. By asking for extra responsibilities at work, after all if your boss will need to re-train other staff to fill your role once your contract ends they may consider offering you a longer term position instead.

There may not be a possibility for you to become a permanent member straight away, but stay positive and patient.

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Where to start with a career change.

Switching jobs is a difficult decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It could majorly change your lifestyle and routine – but may also be the most rewarding thing you do.

There are plenty of reasons why people change careers – you may have reached your limits, you would like to gain experience in another field or perhaps you would like to be your own boss. Whatever the reason is first thing you need to do is think whether you actually need a career change or you just need a new job. 

Before you make a career change, here are steps you can take to increase your chances of success:

1. Think about your talents and interests.

First thing to do is to evaluate yourself – your skills, values and personality – BE HONEST. Ask yourself some questions and note the answers down, these will be useful when looking at potential new careers.  Some questions will include: 

  • What am I good at? What are my strengths?
  • What skills and qualifications do I have that can help me with this new career path?
  • What are my interests, could I connect them with my new career?You may be thinking that you want a complete change, away from everything, but be sensible. Think about other roles or jobs where you can use the knowledge, skills and capabilities that you have built up. 

2. Research

Now think about jobs. What occupations require your talents?

Search the Internet. Try terms in such as job skills, career skills or skills assessment to find the most suitable one for you and your background. For each occupation on your list, you will want to look at the job description, educational and other requirements

Narrow the list to a few possible careers — no more than three or four. Keep changing your list until you feel confident that you’d love a job in those fields and that you would do it well. 

3. Choosing the right career

Narrow your choices to one career and focus completely on that one.

You now need to gather more in-depth information. Your best source of this information are people who have first-hand knowledge of the occupations you’re interested in. Identify who they are and conduct informational interviews with them if possible. If you don’t know anyone personally, LinkedIn can be a great resource. You can find people with your desired job title and connect and reach out to them in regards to your interest in their field.

Do you need more training? Check out vocational schools and colleges in your area. Learn about specific training and what job placement services they offer. Ask about classes you can take while still employed. Night and weekend programs are often available.

4. Take action

When you have the skills and training you need, polish your resume and start your job search.

It could take a while for the transition to happen, so don’t get discouraged. 

When you’re considering how to switch careers, remember it isn’t over once you’re searching for jobs in the new field. Rather, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to talk about your career change to potential employers. After all, your career change will be apparent to the people you’re interviewing with. Make sure you have spent time reviewing how you can relate success in your previous career to success in your new career. Also, be prepared to discuss how the skills you have will translate to this new career path.

We wish you the very best of luck!

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What to wear for an interview.

You only have one opportunity to make a first impression… so don’t ruin your chance!

We understand that interviews make us feel stressed out and it’s very difficult to banish that feeling.  Not only you have to remember what to say, answer questions in a professional manner, but also present yourself in the best way possible. The night before your big interview you should fall asleep knowing that a professional, appropriate outfit is laid out waiting for you.

Here’s a guide to make sure you choose the winning outfit for the job you’re applying for.

  1. Research the company Before you even start going through your wardrobe – do your homework. Find out what dress code is appropriate by looking at the company website or social media. Perhaps there are videos, where you can see what the employees are wearing at work. You can also check, if there is ‘Meet the Team’ or ‘About Us’ section. This will give you a good indication of the dress code and the company standards. If you’re still unsure of the company expectations simply call the HR department and explain you have an upcoming interview and would like to know the appropriate dress code.
  2. Not too many colours and accessories please!Classic is generally the best across all the industries and positions – black, white, navy or nude are an excellent option for both females and males. It’s also a good idea to avoid short hemlines and skin-tight fits altogether.With jewellery keep your choices as simple as possible. Avoid chunky, large or distracting bracelets, necklaces and earrings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, sorry, you’ll look a bit boring. That’s the point. Let your personality shine, not your clothes.
  3. Details make a differenceMake sure you iron your shirt and trousers/skirt, and keep perfume and make-up to a minimum.If you are wearing heels keep them moderate. Another option is wearing flat shoes – it’s up to you what you feel more comfortable with.  
  4. Some sensible examples may include:

Remember – you will be judged on your presentation, personality and your answers. But if you feel comfortable and good in your outfit it will definitely give you a confidence boost.

We hope we have made it a little bit easier for you to pick the best outfit and should you have any further questions please feel free to comment below.

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Declining a job offer gracefully

In the current labour market, employers are more likely to make a job offer today than they were several years ago. If you are carrying out your job search actively and you submit consistently good applications, the chances are you will be invited to several interviews.

But what happens if you are offered more than one job, or you change your mind about a position you have been offered? 

Here’s how to craft a gracious “thanks but no thanks.”

Step by step 

Our advice would be to take a sensible approach: draft an email or letter (either is fine) but before you send it, call the person who interviewed you and let them know your decision by phone. This demonstrates professionalism and shows that you care how much effort they put in selecting you.

Be prompt

The first point is about politeness really. Don’t sit on a decision for days, or hold off deciding on one company over another because you’re nervous about saying ‘no’ to one of them.

As an employer we know it’s best to receive a quick rejection rather than wait days or even weeks to receive a response. 

Say ‘Thank You’

Thank all the people you interviewed with and wish them and their company continued success.

Ideally, pick something specific to thank them for, so your comment doesn’t come across as overly generic. For example, if you asked a lot of questions relating to the role and they answered all of those candidly and in detail, you could mention that.

Be honest

You may be hesitant to explain why you’re turning the job down, but doing so will keep the company from wondering what went wrong, and may even help them improve their hiring process moving forward. Be careful with what exactly you share, though. Some useful examples may include:

  • After much thought, I’ve decided that now is not the best time to leave my current position.
  • While this position seems like a great opportunity, I have decided to accept another role that will offer me more opportunities to pursue my interests in marketing and social media.

Finish by Leaving the Door Open

Try to be positive throughout. Many industries are a small world, so you don’t want to burn any bridges by being negative. When declining a job offer, tell the company that you look forward to running into them or seeing them in the future. This point is especially important if things should go wrong at the company where you’ve accepted work.

Declining a job offer will never be something that anyone will look forward to. But, fortunately, there is a way that you can handle it politely and professionally. Whatever you decide, honesty is always the best policy.

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Trick or treat!

It’s here! It’s here! No, not the snow, but Halloween! You already know that Halloween is celebrated across the world on the night of 31st October. But how did it all start and what’s its meaning?

The origin of Halloween

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

Spooky!

So why do we dress up on Halloween?

As for why a lot of Halloween decor is a bit haunting in nature — that can be traced back to the fact that October 31 was once a day to both honour spirits, and ward off the less-than-desirable ones. This can explain why many of the costumes we wear are on the spooky side. Back then, most people dressed in super scary costumes to honour the tradition and to also scare away demonic spirits.

Today, Halloween costumes are a big business for companies. Some of the most popular Halloween costumes of 2019 include:

  • It‘s lead character, Pennywise 
  • Spider-man
  • Clown
  • Fortnite characters

Drawing from different traditions from various countries across hundreds of years, Halloween really is a night in which things rise up from the past to mingle with the present.

Happy Halloween and let the magic begin…

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Brexit and the labour market

With Halloween coming up very soon, you may not have noticed what’s going on in politics.

On Tuesday evening (22nd of October 2019), MPs have voted to allow the government’s bill to go forward to the next stage in the processHowever, they have rejected the rapid timetable, which leaves everyone uncertain about what’s going to happen on the 31st of October. 

Impact on businesses

Brexit unpredictability hit the jobs market with employment falling. Also, according to new figures from the ONS, the unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.8% to 3.9%. 

Since Brexit was confirmed, the recruitment industry has seen a significant increase in demand for workers to fill temporary jobs. As an employer we can confirm we are experiencing a high proportion of hard-to-fill vacancies in certain sectors.

Statistics show that 67% of organisations have reported they were having difficulty in filling at least some of their vacancies. This is compared to 51% during Spring 2017.

At the moment it’s very difficult to state what will happen with UK labour market in the near future. There are a number of events scheduled to take place across the UK where you can get help and advice to get your company ready for Brexit.

Frequently asked questions: 

How will my salary be affected?

Unfortunately, the impact of future salaries for employers is hard to predict and will be largely dependent on the state of the economy, along with the industry and role that you are currently based in.

I’m from the EU, what will happen to my job in the UK?

Information from the Government has stated that any EU National who are currently legally working in the UK (under the legal rules at the time of entry) are welcome to continue to work and live within the UK.

What is the situation for families of EU nationals? 

Family members who are living with, or join EU citizens in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for settled status, after they have accrued five years’ continuous residence or pre-settled status if they have been in UK for less than 5 years.

Close family members (ie spouses, civil and unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependant parents and grandparents) will be able to join EU citizens following the UK’s exit from the EU, where the relationship existed on 31 December 2020.

For those worried about their job, Direct Response will be here to help and should you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

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Anti-Slavery Day 2019

Hi Everyone!

Did you know that today is Anti-Slavery Day (18th October 2019)? 

Although, we may think that this topic is not relevant to us or our surroundings, slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century. Instead, it changed its forms and continues to harm people in every country in the world, some examples include forced labour, child labour, human trafficking or forced and early marriage.

There are estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery around the world.

Modern slavery can affect anyone, but vulnerable people are mainly at a risk. A victim is usually used and exploited for someone else’s gain, without respect for their human rights and involving some element of coercion, such as threats, use of force or abuse of power so that the victim performs acts or services against their own will.  

10 million children are in slavery across the world.

There are series of signs to watch out for when it comes to victims of modern slavery.  Some examples to look our for are listed below.

  • They may look scared/uneasy
  • Someone is speaking for them
  • They are picked up and dropped off from work at unusual times 
  • They may not be sure of their own address
  • Someone is paying for them
  • They may not have access to their identity documents or bank cards

Some are more obvious than others, but if you have any concerns please report them to local authorities as soon as possible. 

The shocking statistic states that only 1% of victims of slavery have a chance to see their exploiter brought to justice.

If you have any suspicions, or you think you are a victim please call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or fill out an online form.

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World Mental Health Day 2019

Hi Everyone! 

Today, we would like everyone reading our Blog post to focus on the importance of our mental health and see what we can do as a community to raise awareness. 

Each year the World Federation for Mental Health has a different theme and this year’s focus is suicide prevention. Every year close to 800,000 people globally take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide.

Our aim as an employer is to draw everyone’s attention to the topic of mental health and make the society realise it’s happening around us.

Did you know?

  •  1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year.
  • Mental illness is the largest single source of burden of disease in the UK.
  • Men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in Great Britain.
  • Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and a major contributor to suicide and coronary heart disease.

There is help out there – if you are in need speak to your family member, or closest friend. They will help you to find information, come with you to appointments or simply give encouragement and support. Start with booking an appointment with GP or a trained therapist, they will then advice you what to do next. 

We can do it – together!