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UK Job Search Competition is at its Fiercest
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 22nd February 2017


It turns out, among the top New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 is to find a new job, otherwise referred to as the New Year, New Job phenomenon that tends to happen every year; similar to other resolutions like stopping smoking and losing weight, etc.

This year though tops the charts for the New Year, New Job seekers. Its put Britain on the map as the country with the fourth largest global spike for people wanting a new job this year according to one of the largest job search sites globally – Indeed.

One of the surprising spikes would have to be the role hotel managers. Specifically, night managers as that’s seen a surge of 126% reported to be an effect of the BBC One hit drama “The Night Manager”.

Another role to see a spike in searches is for job coaches. Turns out a number of job seekers would like to be job coaches. If that sounds like you, since it’s among the job roles with stiff competition, you might want to consider narrowing your new career choice by asking who you would like to coach.

  • Do you want to coach students?
  • Do you want to be a job coach for adults with learning disabilities?
  • Perhaps a job coach for the hotel and catering sector? Like coaching the people who want to become hotel night managers?

 

No matter what your career choice is, there’s likely a way to narrow it further and find an easier opening into a new sector.

The top sector with the largest demand (is once again) – the Tech Sector!

For years now, the UKs tech sector has been the most in demand for job seekers. It’s great news for tech firms, many of which are firmly aware that the best time to get a massive response for any tech job advert is in January when the industries top talent is more likely to jump ship in line with their New Year’s Resolution to advance their career.

February isn’t too late either.

If you don’t know, the UK is Europe’s leading technology hub. Perhaps the reason for the huge surge in demand for tech jobs is the amount of technology and FinTech start-ups, along with major corporations such as Amazon and Google finding the London Tech Hub the location of choice to attract and retain some of the world’s best tech talent available.

If you’re after a job in the tech sector, there is stiff competition therefore you cannot take a laid-back approach to your job search.

It’s reported for tech jobs on Indeed.co.uk, the amount of job searches for the tech sector in January was three out of every five searches.

Curiously Smart Metering Work is being sought out more

The bewildering query on the rise was that of the Smart Metering work. The reason that’s surprising is eventually smart meters will have been installed across the UK. The government’s target is to have all homes installed with a smart meter by the year 2020.

Is it really a smart career move? Worth asking, but more to the point…

Why are job-seekers who want to get involved in smart metering work searching on a job search website?

Seriously… think about this!

Who installs smart meters? It is of course energy suppliers.

Are there so many energy suppliers that they need to use broad job search websites?

There’s limited employers in the smart metering field, so you may as well go to the source.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to move into Smart Metering work, with a view on green energy for the future, a good starting point would be:

http://www.britishgasjobs.co.uk/careers/apprentices-and-trainees/trainee-smart-metering-expert

That’s right. Go to the largest of all energy suppliers (British Gas) which runs a trainee scheme to develop Smart Metering Experts.

There are certain jobs that employment industry reports can point you to, which will also highlight the errors that your potential competitors are doing - so while everyone else who wants to be obtaining Smart Metering work ponders around Indeed.co.uk, you can jump to the source and apply for a traineeship with British Gas.

Or, go one better, and find out which companies have contracts with energy suppliers to supply the smart meters and apply to train with them.

 



4 Things that Create a Lasting Impression (Better than a First Impression)
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 16th February 2017


From the entire meet and greet advice there is, first impressions are all the rage. Fact is first impressions don’t matter if it’s not a positive lasting impression. For that reason, your interests would be better served focusing on being remembered rather than how you’re first perceived.

A great first impression is enough to get you through an interview, but when it comes to decision time, you need to be top of mind.

With that in mind, here is…

4 Things to Focus on That’ll Help You Be Remembered Positively

1: Punctuality means planning

A quick look-up on google maps for directions will give you the approximate travel time you need to know to arrive on time. Just select your mode of transport such as driving, public transport, cycling or hiking it and you’ll get an approximate length of travel time. Always add extra to that because things happen. Drivers pile up on motorways creating diversion havoc, councils have a thing for digging up the road you need to travel on the day you need to use it, and the weather is so unpredictable you’re as well just planning for traffic at 20 mph.

With today’s travel pace, you need to plan for every eventuality because the one you miss is likely to be the one that’ll cause you to be late. And the reason doesn’t matter to the person you’re meeting. Just the fact you were late is what they’ll remember.

Think of all the possible things to go wrong, and plan around them. If you’re super stoked to get an interview with a company that you really want to score a position with, you might even go above and beyond by checking into a local B & B the night before you’re due. That’s on the extreme side but if it’s a great salary package, and a company with a stellar reputation behind them, it might just be worth the effort.

Asides from the travel on the day, you also need punctuality to score the interview. If there’s a deadline for applying, be sure you make it. If not, don’t embarrass yourself. If you miss an application deadline, you won’t have to worry about the interview because you’re not going to get an invite.

2: Speak with confidence, despite despising your voice

Accent doesn't matter, so long as you speak clearly. If you've ever recorded yourself speaking and listened back, you'll not be alone if you feel uncomfortable. Get over that because you need to be comfortable with your own voice and accent in order to speak with confidence.

Practice alone.

Write out a script for a conversation you'd expect to have and read aloud off the page. Another thing you might want to try is actually recording yourself speaking and to then listen back to your voice regularly. The more you hear your own voice, the more accustomed you'll become to it that you'll eventually lose any awkward feelings attached to how you feel you sound, which for most is exaggerated anyway.

3: Call them cheesy but follow ups are necessary

When you meet with someone that’s been pre-arranged, there’s a reason for it. When there’s a reason to meet, there’s a reason to follow up after the meet.

It might be a job interview, in which case follow up if you haven’t heard from the interviewer or HR. If it’s a networking event that you got someone’s card, follow up with them even if it’s just to check in and say you’ve sent a connect request on LinkedIn or Twitter.

There’s no point creating any type of connection with someone if you’re not going to follow up after the fact.

4: Arm yourself with the knowledge you need or don’t bother showing up

Whatever you’re meeting someone for, be sure you turn up knowledgeable on the basics. Like researching a company before you go for the interview because when asked what you know about the company, you’re going to look a peach saying you haven’t the foggiest.

Same goes for those in work. If you want to grab a promotion do not turn up to team meetings without documents or presentation props that you should have, leaving you fumbling around through stacks or folders of papers as the rest of the room sit nodding their heads in frustration.

Think of all the things people do that you meet that tick you off and be sure that you don’t come across as that type of person.

Organised, punctual, professional, well turned-out with a clear spoken voice that people can understand what you’re saying and that you’re comfortable saying it.

First impressions do matter, but even great first impressions can be forgettable.  



If Your Career Plan Is Not Working Out Here’s Where It Might Be Going Wrong
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 15th February 2017


Career planning is something that many people go about in the wrong way and is why so many people go way off track and wind up jumping ship into a different sector.

Here is what career planning really is:

Your personal management plan for learning.

This is because if you’re not learning you’re not growing. Your personal development becomes null and void!

Not good.

Do you remember being taught about career planning in school?

Many don’t because it’s pretty much just to get you onto the right courses and ready for the job market, or at the minimum – onto the right course for further education. Once in further education it doesn’t seem to form part of the curriculum for some reason.

Guess everyone’s in a hurry for new talent.

Fresh job-seekers from school, college or university will only last so long though. Once you’re in the job, you can’t very well expect your employer to carry you. Besides, if you’re like most, you’ll likely not be so bonded with your colleagues that you’d never think about taking on a better role with another company.

Most dream about career progression, strolling along; head in the clouds without actually taking action.

Do you know the term used to describe those types of people?

The Dreamers

Be honest with yourself when you’re starting or revising your career plan.

Ask yourself this:

Is it a pipe dream that makes you feel all gooey inside?

Or

Does it give you goose-bumps thinking about it so much so that you can feel the fear in your chest?

If you’re of the latter and near paralysed with fear it’s the fear of failure that’s hitting you so hard.

And that’s a good thing:

Without fear, you’re in your comfort zone. That’s when you know your career plan isn’t going to take you anywhere further.

If you’re ready to take action, forget what you thought about career planning.

If what you thought you knew were true you wouldn’t be still here reading this - so here is…

The Missing Link in Career Plans

Here’s the secret you’ve been missing…

Individual preferences!

Not what you think the job market is crying out for. If you were to go with the economy noise, you’d be studying to become an engineer.

Why?

At last count, the Royal Academy of Engineering reckoned the engineering sector was short of 1.8 million skilled engineers. Last year, Sir James Dyson really hammered it home when he was quoted for calling it what it just might be “Economic Suicide”.

That’s relating to the UK not creating more engineers. That comment came on the back of the launch of an all new Engineering Centre at Cambridge University, backed by an £8 million grant courtesy of The Dyson Foundation.

Guess Dyson really needs some new engineers.

Speaking of Sir Dyson, look up his presentations on YouTube. You’ll see how passion shows through on video. Does your video CV show you speaking with that level of depth?

Here’s the thing with this field though:

If you’ve thought about this field for a career, you may have heard of STEM. If not, it’s the acronym for

  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics

To study engineering, you need to be interested in all four.

If you’re not, well,

You might graduate with a BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) or a Meng (Master of Engineering) which depending where you study and what field could take three or four years… then you might not even be interested. If you’re not interested, you might get a job if you can persuade a firm to hire you while you lack the enthusiasm at the interview stages, but chances are you’d hop into a different field if you didn’t like engineering.

That’s the importance of personal preference.

The start of a career plan begins by thinking about what you’d prefer to do. Not what others want you to do and that includes the media and careers advisors recommending courses based on what businesses are telling them.

When you put your efforts towards learning and personal development in a field you’re super passionate about, you’ll be motivated more to keep on pushing yourself further.

Careers are born when you choose one that you’re interested in working in. Not one you accidentally stumble into.

Getting a job isn’t a lifestyle choice. It’s one of those necessary evils, but it doesn’t need to feel like a chore. Think about your personal preferences for what you’d love to do every day, then begin career planning focusing first on what you’d love to learn about and then all the courses you could take, researching each one to find out the possible positions they can lead to.

Without the learning, there probably won’t be promotions. If your career plan’s not working the way you expected, give some thought to what you really want to be doing. You might be putting off something life changing.



3 Preposterous CV Omissions That When Fixed Will Open Doors
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 2nd February 2017


It’s no secret that the land of recruitment is incredibly competitive. Most job seekers are a world apart from employers, left lacking the insight into what modern day business owners regard as talent.

In fact, if you really scrutinise your CV, you might find you’re not as talented as you think you are.

You see, there’s a few things that remarkable CVs have that the vast majority of resumes just fail to deliver:

  1. Tenacity
  2. Resilience
  3. Discipline

It may only be three words but what you’ll find is that when your CV proves you have those three qualities, employers will be falling over themselves to interview you.

Revamp your CV to prove you have tenacity, discipline and resilience - it’ll change your job hunt entirely.

How to prove you have the qualities employers need

  • Use extracurricular activities to prove tenacity

Within your personal statement, right at the start of your CV, don’t just list the generic stuff like you love to read books or bake. That’s what people write down when they haven’t even the creativity to think of anything they enjoy doing.

What you do outside of your professional life has a direct influence on how successful your career is.

Do nothing asides from work, you’ll get nowhere fast.

Unique talents are developed and refined through extra-curricular activities. Not work-related mundane stuff that anyone getting a salary can and will do.

Think about how you spend time outside of work that will benefit you in work. That’s what employers are looking for; a correlating link between the two.

  • Like sports – requires teamwork.
  • Musician – shows creativity.
  • Fundraising – It’s a people-person thing. It shows you’re interested in contributing and not afraid to get involved.

If you’re an introvert, that’s not to say that you can’t find something that’s going to boost your CV a bit.

Take bodybuilding for example. It’s something that takes commitment, extreme motivation and shows you’re enthusiastic about self-development. As does cycling, and running, provided it stands out by following on with some cycle tours or mini-marathons you’ve done.

Instead of stating an interest, make it compelling.

Since this is your opening personal statement, you need to command attention, sticking the eyes to the page.

See the difference in action in this example:

I like cycling in my spare time.

Vs this…

I’m a devout cycler and longstanding member of the LSE Cycling Club (part of the British Cycling Federation). Having achieved a #24 ranking in the Road and Track Rankings for 2016, my goal is to improve my National Rider Ranking to the Top 20 in 2017.

The point: When you’re passionate about something, you pursue it. It shows self-discipline, motivation, hard work and a commitment to improvement.

It proves you’ve got tenacity!

Whatever you love doing, find a club, a way to gain recognition, and/or make your hobby into something that’ll read much more impressive than ‘in my spare time I like reading.’

  • Courses are evidence of self-development and proof you’re disciplined in your career

You can’t very well go looking for courses about self-development in general and expect it to be an enhancement to your CV. That’s just too broad.

Self-development is a lifelong process, something you should always be striving to do. Learn more every day.

“The quickest way to become an old dog is to stop learning new tricks.”

– John Rooney

Of course, you can’t go learning martial arts and expect that to tie into a career in finance. In order to know you’re studying the right courses, you’ll need to take a look at your career progression plan.

What’s a career progression plan?

It’s your personal agenda for your career. You map out your career with the steps from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future.

What are your ambitions?

Example: To go from being an office secretary to a personal assistant? If so, what do you need to get to the next step in your career? Identify the gaps between the two job requirements and study the courses to gain the credentials you need to progress your career.

That’s the self-development courses to be looking at. The ones that show you’re determined to make a success of your career by striving to get whatever position you want to be at.

  • Prove resilience with one strategically placed paragraph

Standalone attributes like ‘I work well under pressure’ can be a turn off for employers. It’s easy to state but can you need to be able back your claim up because if you can’t, you’re not going to be believed.

What you need to include with each job you list is an achievement statement. Think about your current or latest job. Probably any job because every job you’ll have had will have had some problem, and (hopefully) you dealt with it. If you run screaming “I Quit!” to your manager, dismiss this. For your previous work history, add within your job description section an achievement statement highlighting:

  • The Problem
  • Your Actions
  • The Outcome

Example: Working beside the division manager, I was responsible for payroll processing. On one occasion, several employee timesheets weren’t available. I contacted the employees who would have been affected, got a provisional number of hours worked, and verified those with line managers. The BACS deadline of 3 PM was met, after which I consulted with management to develop a timesheet policy for payroll processing, preventing mishaps in the future. 

Naturally, you’d be looking to keep each statement short as your CV should only be two pages in length.

The point is that the more you can show you’re resilient, the more employers will be interested in getting you in for an interview with a view to hiring.

When you see a job advert that states in the description ‘must be able to work under pressure’ its resilience employers want. When you can prove that on your CV, you’ve beat out the majority of other applicants who dumbly state – I work well under pressure, when it’s clearly a copy and paste text grab from the job description.

Prove you have the resilience to cope in a demanding role because not many applicants bother to carefully construct their CV to match what employers are hinting at in their job listings.

Let your CV tell employers you have tenacity, discipline and resilience and it’ll begin to get employment opportunities being thrown your way.