Which Employability Skills Are Favoured The Most?

Whatever your age or experience level, you should make it a regular task to try and learn new skills and capabilities that can help you.

Careers are changing more and more every day, and you need to demonstrate a willingness to adapt any new task’s that might be given to you.

You need employability skills to ensure success in the workplace, and can be learned, developed and kept with you over your career.

In today’s post, we’re going to discuss 10 of the most important and sought after employability skills you’ll need if you want to succeed in your job search.

Communication / Interpersonal – You need to be able to explain what you mean in a precise and clear way, written and spoken. You also need to be able to listen and relate.

Problem Solving – You must be able to demonstrate a logical and analytical approach to solving issues.

Self-Motivation / Own Initiative – For this, you must be able to identify opportunities, act on initiative, come up with new ideas which can become a reality.

Working Under Pressure / Meeting Deadlines – If working to tight deadlines and under pressure, you must be able to take control of the stress that comes with these tasks.

Organisational – Employers will want you to be able to plan and organise your work, ensuring that it meets targets.

Team Working – You’ll need to show that you’re a team player, but can also manage, delegate, and take on responsibilities. You need to show that you can build positive, professional relationships.

Negotiation – You need to be able to put forward your ideas, but also be able to understand what the other person is saying, should there be any disagreements or suggestions.

Flexibility – For this, you should be able to demonstrate a willingness to adapt successfully in a changing environment, and to changing situations / tasks.

Computer / Technical Literacy – Most employers now require some sort of basic knowledge of computer software and hardware. Use of word processing software, spreadsheets, email and social media are the main things they will look for.

Commercial Awareness – This one is about knowing your industry and business inside out. You should be able to know how they both work and what commercial realities can affect them.

There are loads more employability skills that we could cover, but these are just the main ones we decided to feature.

We’ll have more on this subject for you soon!

Job Scams – How To Spot & Avoid Them

Is It Too Good To Be True?

So you’re browsing the job boards and an advert catches your eye. It’s got fantastic pay, work from home and it’s work you’re already doing! This sounds almost too good to be true, right?

As you read the advert a bit more carefully, you might spot a few things that just don’t add up; maybe it’s some typos or the reply-to email address.

There are hundreds of job scams posted on the internet every week, maybe even thousands! Today, we’re going to talk about how to spot these and make sure you don’t fall victim to them, let’s go:

No Experience Needed – Right off the bat, if the advert you’re looking at says “no experience needed, even if you’re a recent graduate”, then alarm bells should be going off in your head.

They might also try to lure you in by offering large salaries, bonuses, training and instant job offers.

If the advert is insisting that anyone can do the job, then you should be treading carefully.

You Need To Give THEM Money – So you’ve applied and received an email back saying “we need you to put £500 into this bank account for expenses and certificates”, this is when you should delete and block this ’employer’ completely. A real employer would never ask for your bank details, money or personal information up front.

Their Communications – Received an email from davidjon3s@yahoo.co.uk? It’s most likely a spoof address. Take a closer look at the way they spell their company names and website (e.g. Pay pal instead of PayPal).

As previously mentioned, re-read the job advert and scan it closely for spelling mistakes, scammers usually post adverts with very poorly written English.

SMS Interview – Skype and telephone interviews have become an incredibly common and effective way for recruiters to conduct interviews these days. If a recruiter has contacted you and wants to interview you via SMS (text messaging) or by via an IM service like Facebook, then that might be enough to prove that this is a scam.

What’s The Time Mr Scammer? – Take note of when this ‘recruiter’ contacts you. If you find yourself receiving emails and calls at 3am, then approach with caution. Generally, emails and calls will almost always be during normal business hours.

Research – Google the company or the contact name to see what you can dig up on them. Check their website (if one is available) and the contact information (again, if it’s available). Compare these details with the ones in their emails and Google Local / Maps results

If you’re struggling to find them, then I would highly recommend trying some of the Google Search Operators; if you can’t find them using these, then you’re never going to find them!

Try stitching a sentence together like “*Example Name*” AND “*Example Company*”, placing those quotation marks around the words tells Google to search exactly this word or phrase. The ‘AND’ will include both results within a close proximity of each other.

The consequences of falling for these scammers tricks and cons can be very severe, don’t fall victim to them.

Hopefully, you’re now a job scams spotting superhero and will be able to keep yourself safe when conducting a job search.

Lost Your Career Motivation? Let’s Get It Back!

So the time has come again, it’s time for….Monday!!!

A lot of you might absolutely hate me for saying that and genuinely hate Mondays with a passion, I apologise, it was uncalled for to mention…Monday.

However, some of you might absolutely love Mondays, and jump out of your bed every morning with enthusiasm and energy. Congratulations, this article isn’t for you!

If you’ve found yourself at a crossroads in you’re career where you wish the week away, and only want it to be Friday afternoon, then you’ve definitely lost your motivation.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, you can actually change this feeling right now and turn it all around! Take control of your career and life again with these tips we’ve put together:

Appreciate – This is probably the most important point on this list. People often lose career motivation due to not appreciating what they have, and what they’ve achieved.

You might feel that you’re not achieving anything worthwhile in your current position, or maybe you’re not earning enough, however, there’s got to be something that you’re grateful for!

Take a look back on what you have achieved / accomplished, and all of the good things that have happened in your career. How did you get into your current position? Was it because you did something fantastic in the past which was praised by your employers?

This will really make you feel better, and give you that boost you needed.

Do Something About It – Sure, you might have experienced some disappointments in your career, but is that an excuse just to sit back and give up? No! Absolutely not!

You can take the ‘helm of your career’ again by doing two things. You either find a new career, one where you know you’ll be able to accomplish tasks and feel good about yourself. Or, by putting yourself into overdrive in your current position.

The worst thing you can do is…nothing at all, your career motivation will plummet even further if you do this.

When you try one of these two things you will escape this hole that you’ve found yourself in, you’ll have something new and exciting to focus on.

New Challenges – Another way to escape this rut you’ve found yourself in is by challenging yourself with new skills and tasks.

If boredom at work is damaging you, then ask your boss or manager for some new responsibilities. Get trained in a new skill, apply for a new position (internally or externally), try something new that will make your work exciting again.

Gooooaaaaals – A lack of career motivation is often due to not having any goals or direction. Think about what would make you spring out of bed in the morning with a smile on your face and set that as your goal.

Get a plan in place as to how your going to achieve this; you have to set SMART goals if you haven’t already, they will help you out immensely.

Feedback – This is another huuuuge motivator which you must, must, must push for in your career if you’re not receiving it already. You’ll get an amazing boost when you know you’ve done a good job, and the feedback can also help you to focus on skills that need working on.

It’s incredibly easy to lose your motivation without feedback, as you have no idea whether what you’re doing is up to scratch or not.

Ask your manager for a monthly meeting to discuss your progress and what needs working on and what’s doing well.

I could go on for quite a while about this subject, but I’m going to unfortunately have to end it there!

I hope you’ve found this useful and now have a plan of action to get your career motivation back.

Resume Words To & To Not Use

We’re talking about the importance of utilising ‘powerful’ cv and resume words today! A strong version of either of these documents will be packed full of these words, they’ll help you create the strongest, interview (and hopefully) job winning resume around!

People often make mistakes and choose the wrong / redundant words, which will drag the resume down and reduce its effectiveness.

I’m going to give you two excellent infographics, one from a company called Careerbliss and another called workNet DuPage.

Careerbliss are up first, with 20 power resume words that you should absolutely use:

power resume words

workNet DuPage are now going to give us the best of both worlds; the best and worst resume words to use:

best and worst resume words

Both of these infographics are a few years old, but the words on them definitely still apply to resume’s these days.

Let us know which words you used; if you feel brave enough, then give us a preview of the sentence you used them in!

The Notorious “Why Do You Want To Work Here?” Interview Question

Strange question, right? You may think it odd that an employer wants to know why you want to work for them, but you really do need to persuade them and prove that you’re interested.

This is interview question favoured by most employers is one you will most certainly be asked from time to time, that’s why you need to master it.

The “why do you want to work here” question can sound easy to answer, sure, you could just go for the short answer which is “I just need a job”, but you don’t want to do that, ever. You need to stand out from the crowd when answering this!

Here are some tips to creating yourself a killer answer for this somewhat killer question:

Research – Check sources like Google for articles about the company, particularly any successes or awards they may have received. How about the industry they are a part of? Has that had any recent developments or boosts?

You could also visit websites such as Glassdoor, which allows current and ex-employees to publicly review the companies that they have worked for, this can give you some excellent insights into the company and should not be overlooked!

Topics To Use – there’s a load of topics you can discuss when answering “why do you want to work here”, the main ones include the company culture – what’s it like to be a part of their business, the (previously mentioned) company successes / awards / challenges, development opportunities and training offered, and the main one…their product and / or services and why they interest you.

Know the position as well and why you think it would be a good challenge for you and what you could be doing for them.

Topics To Avoid – Being too honest can sometimes guarantee interview failure, an employer isn’t going to be impressed if you sit there and say something like “I’m desperate for work, I’ll do anything here, I’ll take any wage”. You must also avoid saying something like “this just looks like a great company to work for, I’d love a job here”, that’s just generic and doesn’t demonstrate any evidence that you’ve researched the company.

The final one is to not give the silly unfunny answer such as “you may as well throw all those other CV’s away! I’m your Man!”.

In a way, you do want to get that final one across; you need to show off your skills and talents, just not in an overly cocky and annoying way like that.

Do YOU Want This Job? – You should take the time to think about the position and whether you really want it. Is this a company that you really want to represent? Do you really feel passionate about their product, service or industry? Is the position a step up or drop down?

You need to ask yourself the question “why do I want to work here?”.

Hopefully, now you’ve got a good idea of how to answer the “why do you want to work here” question.

If you think we’ve missed anything then please feel free to share it with us on here or our social channels, which can be found in the navigation bar on our main website.

How To Dress For An Interview

Dress To Impress!

When attending a job interview, it is crucial to get your appearance right. Not looking the part could play a large part in not getting the job, and whether the Interviewer wants to progress your application.

Here are some points to help you out when it comes to deciding on how to dress for an interview:

Ask Beforehand – It’s perfectly acceptable and normal to email or call the Interviewer or HR Manager prior to your interview, to ask what kind of interview it’s going to be (formal or informal), from there, you can make a judgement on what outfit you should be wearing. Whether it be a suit or a jacket with jeans and smart shoes.

What Do Their Employees Wear? – Research the company culture before the interview, and try to match what their current employees are wearing. Are you interviewing at Google? Might be best to go for that smart casual look! Accountancy firm? Suited and booted!

In most cases, it’s the done thing to go for the suited option, smart casual interviews very rarely happen.

Not Too Loud – It can be good to wear ‘louder’ colours in your outfit, it can show that your confident and are trying to stand out. Just don’t go for something completely over the top; you want to impress the interviewer, not distract them.

Keep any shirts as plain as you can, as well as ties and socks, the interviewer will notice otherwise.

Keep It Tidy – If your outfit is wrinkled and / or dirty, you need to get that fixed ASAP! The worst thing that you can do is show up to an interview with a dirty suit or wrinkled shirt, make sure you do this a few days before so that you can get it cleaned if needed. Ensure that your clothes are well-fitting, anything else might appear messy and you’ll also feel more at ease and comfortable during the interview.

Ensure that your clothes are well-fitting, anything else might appear messy and you’ll also feel more at ease and comfortable during the interview.

Oh and please, don’t forget to polish your shoes!

The Night Before – Prepare your entire outfit the night before! You don’t want to have to stress about finding that missing sock or tie on the day of your interview.

Overall, if you can’t work out what to go dressed in, I would play it safe and just go for an uncomplicated plain option, aka suited and booted.

Do you have any advice on how to dress for an interview? Stick it in the comments below or share it with us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook!

CV vs Resume – Differences & Which To Choose

So in today’s post, we’re going to be covering a question which I constantly see people asking online; the old ‘cv vs resume’ conundrum, what are the differences and which you should choose.

Let’s start this CV vs resume match off by talking about Britains most favoured type…

CV – A CV, otherwise known as the Curriculum Vitae, is an in-depth account of a person’s qualifications, education, previous careers, achievements and more. They will often be two or more pages long and will list the owners experience in a newest to oldest order.

Resume – A resume, often spelt résumé, is a brief but comprehensive overview of the applicant’s personal, education, professional qualifications and experience. It is designed to give a detailed summary of the owners qualifications for a particular job; the job seeker will often adapt the Resume for the position they are applying for.

A good resume will give the employer enough confidence to be able to want to bring the candidate in for an interview.

What’s the difference? – You’ve probably already worked out what the different between the cv and the resume are by what’s been said above. The differences that stand out the most are the length, format / layout and the purpose.

A resume is a quick summary of the owners skills and experience, carried across one or two pages, whereas a CV is more in-depth and is often longer than two pages.

A resume comes in a number of formats such as chronological, functional, and combination.

A CV is in chronological order, listing your entire career history; a resume’s order can be moved around to suit the job that the applicant is applying for.

The main difference between these two is the length; the resume is meant to be short, the cv is meant to be long.

The Internship and Career Center at UCDavis put together this quick and clear comparison table between the two:

cv vs resume table

Which should you choose? – A CV is the done thing over here in Britain, the resume is more favoured in countries such as America and Canada.

You can also tell which to use by reading the advert carefully, you’ll be able to tell by the way it’s written and quite often it will say near the end which to submit.

I hope that this CV vs resume article has been useful for you; hopefully, you’ll be able to choose which one to utilise in your job search!

We’ll have more on both of these documents in the future, so make sure you’re subscribed to our blog and following our social channels, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Top 10 UK Job Sites In 2016

Which Of These Job Sites Should You Choose?

With a growing number of Recruiters using job sites / boards every day, candidates must ensure that they are using the right ones to get found! 26% of Recruiters claim that job boards are their primary source for finding / hiring candidates.

It can be daunting and quite overwhelming to choose which job site is right for you, but that’s where the fantastic folk over at SocialTalent come in wielding this mighty list of the UK’s best job sites of 2016!

Top 10 UK Best Job Sites In 2016

Main Points

  • 26% of Recruiters claim job boards are their primary source for finding candidates who are ultimately hired
  • 31.4 million people were employed in 2015 (UK)
  • 2.0% the amount by which average wages, including bonuses, rose during 2015
  • 5.1% the current UK unemployment rate (dropping)
  • 42% of sourcers admit to making no effort to optimise their jobs to be found by job seekers….

I’ll just leave this here for those of you who fall into this category….

face palm

Want to compare this to last years one? Click here! It’s very interesting to compare it to the 2015 list, with websites like Fiverr, CWJobs, TES almost dropping and completely falling off the list!

Lets quickly look at some of the main points from 2015’s infographic as well:

  • 85% of recruiters use paid sources to advertise their jobs online
  • 1.7% the amount by which average wages, including bonuses, rose during 2014
  • 32% of sourcers admit to making no effort to optimise their jobs to be found by job seekers! Good grief! (to put it politely) That’s risen by 10% in one year, c’mon guys and gals, start optimising your posts!

I’m going to leave another one of these for you naughty ‘non-optimisers’, and this time, it’s a double…

double face palm

I hope that you have found this infographic useful, I’m almost certain you will get something positive out of it.

Bizarre and Weird Workplace Rules

Prepare yourself, we’ve taken to Reddit once again, but this time to compile a list of the most ridiculous and downright bizarre workplace rules around!

No Coffee After 2pm – One user described how their company weren’t allowed to drink coffee after 2pm and that the secretaries had to take it all away and lock it up! This rule has since been moved back to 12pm!

No Protection, No Problem – QualityOfMercy talked about how they were required to wear a fall protection harness to go up a scissor lift, however, explicitly it did not require you to attach it to anything….

Colour Of The Month – Kibblets worked at a restaurant where they held a “Colour Of The Month” rule, where they had to wear a specific coloured accessory that matched the rest of the front of house staff. Supposedly the colours never repeated themselves, so employees found themselves buying some expensive and never to be worn again accessories!

Colours

The Mystery Report – One user has to print a report every day (10-30 pages), reorganise it and check it for any errors, sign it, have someone else sign it and then send it to an installation 3000 miles away to be verified.

He assumed that the installation was the end of the line. Nope! That report is then manually typed up into an excel spreadsheet by a room full of people! If that isn’t wasteful then I don’t know what is!

License To Toast – Superstoreman’s wife worked at a University where you had to have a license to use a toasted sandwich maker! The license holder also had to ensure this ‘dangerous item’ was locked in a drawer, for use by only them.

toast

Arrive Early, Start Early – Thunder_bird had an HR Manager who enforced a rule that said, if you arrived at work early, you have to start work early, unpaid. You apparently couldn’t even wait outside until your start time.

Slightly illegal?

That’s the end of this post, I hope you’ve enjoyed it! Do you have any weird workplace rules that you want to share? Put them in the comments below or send them to us through our social channels.

How To Video Interview, Successfully

Need Help With Your Video Interview?

The video interview is becoming more and more popular by the day, a lot of companies and recruiters are starting to use them, mainly due to how cost effective and convenient they are.
Candidates must prepare themselves with new ways to impress the interviewers during these meetings, that wouldn’t normally be used during your standard face to face interview.

If you have a video interview coming up and need to prepare yourself, then you’ve chosen the right article to read! Let’s begin:

1. Test Your Tech – Whatever you’re using, be it a computer, tablet or even a smartphone (I would avoid this), you need to ensure that your picture quality (camera) and sound (microphone) are up to scratch! You must also make sure that you have a stable internet connection with a half decent speed, along with a well-lit area for you to sit in and the right software installed.

Test it before you begin the interview, ask a friend or family member to video call you and give you feedback. Also, turn off any applications that could interrupt the interview, ensure that your operating system isn’t going to update and restart halfway through the meeting!

2. Location, location, location – Avoid sitting in an area with any distractions or background noise. As mentioned above, make sure that the area is lit correctly, and that you’ve (ideally) chosen a plain generic background.

3. Dress like you mean it! – Just because you’re having a job interview at home, doesn’t mean that you can video interview wearing your favourite t-shirt and jeans. Dress and present yourself as if you were having a proper interview; that means a full suit, tie, tidy hair and clean teeth!

4. Smile for the birdy! – Don’t forget that this is a job interview, keep eye contact with the camera, smile, and don’t slouch or wave your hands around.

5. Q&A – You’re not the only one who’s going to be receiving questions! You can also give some to the interviewer, so get some prepared before the interview begins (keep them offscreen, of course).

That’s that! Your video interview is over and now what do you do? Maybe you should check out our ‘post interview survival guide‘, or if you want to polish up your interview skills a bit more, then you can read our ‘interview mistakes to avoid‘ article.