Category Archives: Friday Snippet

If I had a crystal ball – looking forward to your next career move

Ever wondered what it would be like to be able to look into a crystal ball and see where you will be in 5 or 10 years time? I remember when I was at Uni fresh faced to the world and its offerings, worried about whether I was making the right moves with job applications and cautious about opportunities that seemed too good to be true. The truth is that we have an idea in our minds where we want to be in the future but do we really put together a plan of action.

I have spoken with a great deal of project professionals at varying levels of seniority and all said the same thing – you may have a plan but it is often the case that you deviate due to life or economical changes. However with a strong plan and determination you can succeed in your chosen path with a little effort. The issue tends to lay by those not being clear in articulating what it is they want and not knowing where to go to actually get it.

We offer a service which not only assists you in clearly defining your skill-set to employers, we also advise how and where to go to once you have a strong application. For those out there who really research and put the work in, they are yielding great results and the jobs you could only hope for as you continue using tried and tested (but bulging) resources.

Take time out to let someone who knows the industry well and has a great deal of experience in indentifying opportunities coupled with a wealth of experience in turning CVs into something which works. Having worked with HR staff and senior management in all industries from financial services, IT, engineering to healthcare and digital media to name a few we understand what it is that grabs the attention of employers for the right reason and we also understand how these roles come about so we can advise a backdoor approach which gets you ahead of the competition.

Drop us a line today with your CV and we’ll talk through how we can best help you and we will give you a free CV review to help you understand how your CV is coming across to others.

Council signs saying what we are all thinking – Friday snippet

Whilst walking the dog recently I came across a new sign in the cemetery – now it may not sound like the best place to walk the pooch but there is a rather lovely “outer” walkway which is very popular for dog walkers and families, a must for town centres! The sign is an official council notice, but rather than signs of times past which might state; “Dogs must be kept on leads at all times” and “£xxx fine for dog fouling” etc this sign says so much more. On reading it initially I thought, wow that can’t be official but I also completely agree with it. From factual to explaining why we should comply actually struck a chord with me – perhaps a new way of reasoning with those who consistently break the rules.

I am one of few responsible dog owners that always cleans up after my dog and always has him under control. I do “tut” a lot at owners who let their dogs run a mock over graves and do swear under my breath when I step into faeces (who doesn’t right!).

I can see this approach to tapping into people’s consciences to deter bad behaviour could really work. Similar to project communications – we are often told not to do this or must do that but how often is there an explanation for the reasons behind the “rules” in place?

I have worked with a fair few colleagues and stakeholders who didn’t want to rock the boat by pushing back on decision makers and asking why!?

As much as we encourage questions and expect them – it doesn’t usually happen that way, so why not take a different approach to working and talk about reasons / affects as much as you would benefits!

Making your CV as good as food

Just making my lunch I stood away to admire what I was about to eat and it made me think about CVs – before you ask, I don’t eat, sleep and live CVs but I am always thinking about new ways to bring a professional document to the forefront of a recruiter/employers mind.

So, my comparison comes down to how you draw-in a potential employer. Often hiring managers have little time to review CVs and lunchtime proves to be a good time to run through a short-list, it will have to be good to gain uninterrupted attention!

Your CV is next to be reviewed, have you thought about what your USP (unique selling point) is? Have you made a sandwich of all your skills and experience which would spur a hunger to want to try it? Your CV can work just like this, looking attractive from a distance and containing all the ingredients to satisfy the palette requirement that day. The sandwich looks so good, anyone being shown it would want to take a closer look.

Life is about choice and some jobs require more or different meat, some require a great deal of salad with the right amount of mayo whereas mustard is key for other roles (or rolls). This is why it is important to make sure that you have a truthful CV which showcases your actual skills and abilities in an attractive and easy to identify way. By producing a well written piece which clearly contextualises your skills rather than a dull list which tells the reader nothing, you are starting to make the document interesting.

Put yourself in the hiring managers’ shoes – busy and needs to create a shortlist for interviews. Is he/she going to pick a CV which out of hundreds looks the same and doesn’t tell him how you work or what your true skills are or will he/she pick a CV which shines above the rest because it intrigues him/her by ticking the boxes of requirements AND says so much more? Do not be fooled that a lengthy CV will do this either – no one wants to be over-faced by a large meal right! Keep it to a size which will say all the right things in a clear and concise way.

On the rubbish tip

I was out walking with the dog recently when I walked past a skip which was crammed with rubbish, I noticed at the top of the pile was a rather sad looking teddy bear, wet through and looking a little worse for wear. It struck a chord with me as I felt sorry for him – I could imagine him in his original glory and wondered how he’d gotten to be in such a sorry state. I took a photo of him (see below) and posted it to facebook and had a fair few comments about how sad it was etc. which got me thinking about other things we once cherished and eventually discarded as rubbish.

One of those things I used to love and then hated was my Blackberry Storm – it started out like a fantastic user friendly and reliable piece of technology and soon became dated, clunky and to be fair – thrown about in frustration. It was soon superseded by an iPhone which was like a dream come true in comparison – which gets discarded as every new model is released. The same goes for laptops and old tablets etc but we can argue that we do not have an affinity to a piece of technology whereas a teddy bear is something we use as soothers for children and sometimes as declarations of love in relationships. However, I know a fair few people out there who almost have a relationship with their Smartphone and feel like their limbs have been severed if they get separated from them.

Taking it back to the workplace – sometimes it is good to revisit systems and processes we have previously used as going back to basics is an effective way to re-evaluate how we work. That trusty old excel spreadsheet which got superseded by a shiny new software package etc. not all old, seemingly outdated things are ready for the rubbish heap yet. After all if it worked once before then there may be something there which could work for a new initiative moving forward. So please don’t throw out your teddy bears – recycle them!