Ways To Boost Productivity at Work

Keep calm and stay productive!

It’s time for some more Wednesday Wisdom, today’s post is all about productivity at work and how we’re going to help you to ‘skyrocket’ it!

There’re two ways to increase your productivity, either by working more hours to ensure you get your tasks done or (the way myself and 99% of the population like to do it) by working smarter!

It’s time to time! – Timing / tracking and then limiting your tasks in my opinion is the best way to increase your productivity at work. You’ll often be surprised at how much time your spending on something and should then figure out a plan to more effectively get that task done in a shorter space of time.

I can vouch for this working, we implemented this at my last company and we saw a huge increase in productivity from the day it began!

There’s plenty of tools out there to help you such as WorkTimer, Toggl and Project Timer.

Have a break, have a [famous copyrighted catchphrase] – It might sound like the wrong thing to do, but scheduling in a break here and there really can help. This article posted on ScienceDirect discusses how brief mental breaks keep you focussed.

Give yourself a 5-10 minute break in the morning and afternoon if you can and see how it affects your performance, or be prepared to crash and burn!

Say no to multitasking – We usually think that multitasking is the way to be more productive, but it actually may be pushing you backwards rather than forwards. Researchers found that trying to do multiple tasks at once can actually result in losing time and productivity, so make sure you focus on one task at a time.

NOtifications – Try to ignore those personal phone and email notifications when they come in during work hours, instead, try to schedule in times to check them.

Prioritise for productivity – This is something else I can vouch for working, getting your tasks scheduled and prioritised! It will keep you focused and coordinated throughout the day. Even if you are assigned a random task during the day which isn’t on your list, you will still know what else needs to happen once you’ve finished it.

You also get that satisfaction of putting a line through something or checking a box once something is done.

Try out a tool like Asana or Slack and watch your productivity soar!

A tidy desk is a productive desk – I covered this in a post I wrote about stress the other week, it simply talks about getting your desk tidied up and to try and give it some colour.

Often we find ourselves with stacks of paper, stationery, and other things cluttering our desks; that’s not going to do anything for your productivity. Give yourself something interesting to look at, get a plant, a picture, anything to increase your happiness and productivity at work!

I hope this article has helped you, if you have found any of these tips useful then please leave us a nice comment below!

Rid Yourself Of Stress In The Workplace

Stress Begone!

Stress in the workplace is not uncommon by any means, everyone suffers stress in the workplace environment from time to time!

If it’s been bothering you for a while, then it’s definitely time to take action, your career shouldn’t ever make you angry, to the point where stress starts digging in! It could be affecting your productivity, health and personal life.

We’ve compiled a list of tips on how to rid yourself of stress in the workplace once and for all, let’s make your career fun again:

1. A Well Rested Employee Is A Happy Employee – I can’t begin to tell you how important sleep is when it comes to the whole ‘beating stress’ subject! Getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night can and will help you almost immediately.

If you find it difficult getting to sleep, then try to go to bed earlier and earlier every night, until you hit that ‘sweet spot’ that fits in with you and your busy lifestyle / schedule.

2. Thank You For The Music – Blasting your favourite music at home (make sure you sing out loud), on the way to work (maybe don’t sing out loud for this one), and even whilst working (if your boss allows it) has an incredible effect on our emotional health, our focus, and even our decision-making process!

Determine your current listening habits, identify your preferences, establish your anchor song and get it going!

3. Clean Desk = Happy You – It’s one hundred percent true that a clean work environment is a happy work environment; if your desk is cluttered up with paper, stationery, etc, then get it off and keep only the essentials!

4. Let’s Chat – This should be one of the first things you do when you start getting stressed at work, talking about it with someone! Whether it be your Manager, a colleague, a family member or a friend, it makes a big difference getting it out in the open.

5. Hit The Gym – Exercising releases endorphins, which makes us feel happy and positive! Try exercising in the morning before you go to work and see how it impacts your day. Try to get in around 30 minutes+, 3+ times a week.

6. Eat Away The Stress! – Take a step back and look at what you’re currently eating on a regular basis that is considered unhealthy. Have a McDonalds for lunch every day and feeling awful? Swap it out for something healthier like a salad, (healthy) sandwich or pasta.

7. Smile And Say Good Morning – I’m hoping you already do this, otherwise you might be the unpopular one in the office! Make a conscious effort to smile when you come into work and say good morning to everyone; ask them how their evening was, have a nice chatty conversation before your day begins.

8. Leave Work At Work – Getting a healthy work-life balance will help you immensely; enjoy your weekends and time away from work, don’t spend it checking up on your emails / notifications every five minutes!

Try not to stay too late (if at all), as a recent study has shown that people who work late in the office have an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack; get yourself home and relax!

If there’s anything I’ve missed off here then feel free to stick it in the comments below, it would be interesting to hear how you keep yourself calm and collected within the workplace.

The Job Interview Has Finished! Now What?

The Post Interview Survival Guide

You’ve done it! Well done! You survived the job interview and have hopefully impressed the Interviewer enough to either secure a 2nd / 3rd interview or maybe even the job (depending on what stage you’re at)!

Now this is where the scary part comes in, surviving the post interview wait. There are still some important things that you should do and keep doing as soon as you’ve left the interview, let’s discuss:

Say Thank You & Follow Up

You might be thinking “hey, the interview’s over, I just have to play the waiting game now!” Wrong! Now it’s time to prepare your thank you note and get it sent out. Make sure you get this out within a day or ideally on the same day as your interview.

You can choose between handwriting one, typing one (and then sending in the post) or by email. Play it smart, if for example your job requires email skills, then send one by email. If it’s for a formal organisation then a handwritten letter is going to be your best choice.

I would personally go for the handwritten or typed, printed and posted / hand delivered option. This is really going to help you stand out and be different to what others are doing!

The above can and should also be applied to following up; make sure you show the employer how grateful you were for them giving you their time, and to ask any questions you may have thought of afterwards.

Don’t Hold Your Horses! – 

Yes, the interview could have gone incredibly and you may have even secured yourself a new job, but it’s imperative that you don’t stop searching until you have an offer letter in front of you! Continuing your search and having other interviews will also ease the pain of receiving interview and job rejections. Hey! You might even find something better than the role you previously applied for!

A good idea might be to tap up the hiring companies competition to see if they have something similar which you could apply for.

What Worked And What Didn’t? – 

Take a bit of time after the interview to think about what went particularly right or particularly wrong. Compare it with a list of interview mistakes (like ours) and see what you can improve on next time! Turn yourself into an interviewing Jedi!

Feeeeeedbaaaaack

This is a very important point which people often neglect / forget about. If you didn’t get the job this time round, then make sure you ask the employer for some feedback, this will help you to improve and develop yourself for future interviewers. Ask them what was particularly good about the interview, so that you can make sure you do it next time!

interview feedback

Taking on these tips will help you develop a fantastic post interview strategy and will ultimately and hopefully help you find that perfect job!

We often share articles like this on our LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages, so make sure you’re following us so that you don’t miss out!

We’ll have more on this subject in the future, thanks for reading.

Does A Designers CV Need To Be Well Designed?

Let’s create a Designers CV to win you the job!

So you’ve seen a creative / design based role online that you would like to apply for and now it’s time to give your CV a touch-up, but now you’re worrying about how creatively designed it actually needs to be!

As the need for more experienced and creative Designers rises, job seekers looking for a role in that arena will need to up their game when it comes to putting together a CV. You need to fight off the competition to ensure you get shortlisted for an interview!

You need to drum up interest in your CV by really putting your creative skills to the max, this CV needs to ideally be the best piece of ‘work’ you’re ever going to create.

If you are going to put something unique together, then you need to remember to include easy to read and informative details about yourself and your skillset. Don’t just put together something colourful and visually attractive; don’t forget that this is a CV, give it a good balance!

I thought I would show some of the most creative CV’s I’ve personally come across online whilst working here, they might even inspire you to create something similar:

This is a great one; Sid created this as a concept, but it was unfortunately never physically created, but it still demonstrates his skills and proficiency with graphics editing softwares. His 2004 CV isn’t too shabby (putting it lightly) either!

designers cv

This one is my favourite of the lot! Robby Leonardi, a multidisciplinary designer put together this video game themed CV to showcase himself to the ‘player’. If you’re a Designer and coding expert like Robby, then you need a CV like this!

designers cv

Zhi Liang has put together this excellent infographic CV, it’s definitely another excellent one that stands out from the crowd; it catches the readers eye straight away and (importantly) showcases his qualifications and skills without it looking messy and ‘crammed’.

designers cv

Here’s another infographic CV created by Gary Corr, which neatly unfolds into three different sections; one side pulls the reader in and then tells them to turn over, where they can find his education, work experience and more!

designers cv

This is another unfolding / folding CV that was put together by Amber Van Mieghem. If this fantastic opener doesn’t get the employers attention, then I don’t know what will!

designers cv

This final one features a great design on a milk carton! This is another concept creation, which (to my knowledge) I don’t believe was ever physically created, unfortunately.

designers cv

That’s it for this one! Hopefully you’re now inspired to create a glorious Designers CV which will win you the interview, and maybe even the job!

If you want to see more of these, then just go to somewhere like Pinterest and search for ‘CV designs’ or ‘creative CV’, for example, there are thousands more of these great creations out there!

The Best Websites For Your Job Search #TechTuesday

It’s Tuesday and It’s Time For Some Tech!

Today, I’m going to be going through some of the best websites that you should be investing your time in while conducting your job search!

Oh and yes, the titles below (almost) all link to our pages within those sites, so make sure you check them out!

Let’s begin:

1. LinkedIn – We’re big advocates of LinkedIn, I’m sure you’re already aware that you should be using LinkedIn as a resource when job hunting, but if you’re not, then you’re really missing out!

Use it to directly contact / connect with Recruiters and Hiring Managers, follow companies to find out what positions they are currently trying to fill, showcase yourself through your personal profile (recommendations are a must have), and to network with others in groups and on company pages. We post on it multiple times a day, often with new vacancies that our clients have assigned to us (that’s a good reason to check us out, right?).

2. Twitter – “Twitter?!” you might be saying or thinking. Yes, Twitter! It’s quite similar to the LinkedIn strategy above; create a good looking profile with relevant keywords in the bio section (limited to 160 characters), follow as many Recruitment / career accounts as you can (industry relevant as well), tweet smart and be someone worth following!

3. CV-Library – The big kid on the ‘job board block’! You’re very much missing out if you’re not signed up for CV-Library. Make sure you use their ‘jobs via email’ alerts to make sure you don’t miss anything that’s posted!

4. Jobsite – Another good’un that you should be signed up with! I don’t have much to say about it, apart from that it should definitely be in your job search arsenal!

5. Indeed – Indeed may actually the best of the job boards! Think of it as a ‘job search engine’, it essentially crawls hundreds of thousands of careers websites every day (including ours) for new vacancies, and then automatically posts them. It is literally overflowing with fresh jobs!

They also have a very powerful jobs by email service; if you’re only interested in receiving jobs such as (for example) a Mechanical Design Engineer, then make sure you wrap that text in speech marks, this will tell Indeed to only search and send jobs which have exactly “Mechanical Design Engineer” in them.

6. Facebook – I wasn’t actually going to put Facebook on to this list until I remembered something invaluable about it! Local groups! Recruiters and Hiring Managers love using these to advertise vacancies, but they aren’t the only ones, you will often find if you join a group with a large member base, that there will always be a few people in there who will proactively share jobs that they spot online!

Try searching for “jobs in …..”, replace the dots with whatever town or county you’re looking for a career in, and you’ll usually find something almost straight away!

BONUS WEBSITE https://www.mansell.co.uk – The best of the lot. Period!

That’s it for today’s post, I hope you’ve got something to take away from it, and if not..well then sorry for wasting 5 minutes of your time! Remember, these are just a small collection of websites which in my (almost) two years of experience working here I have seen; there’s plenty of others out there which you could and should be searching on!

Remember, these are just a small collection of some of the websites which in my (almost) two years of working here I have seen; there’s plenty of others out there which you could and should using in your job search.

10 Things You Should Never Say Or Do In A Job Interview

Some things in the job interview process should be left unsaid and undone, they’ll damage your reputation, your professional image and mainly all hope of getting the job will just go out the window!

You normally won’t be given a second chance to redeem yourself, once you’ve said or done whatever it may be that has turned the Interviewer against you, that’s it! Game over!

We’ve put together a useful little list of things that you should never say or do in a job interview which you’ll hopefully put to good use, let’s go:

1. The Interviewer asks “where do you see yourself in five years time”, you come back with “in your seat” or “I’ll have your job” – Sure, it’s all well and good to be confident during your interview, but throwing out over the top / cocky statements like this will just annoy the interviewer and lose you the job.

2. *Ring ring, ring ring…* “hello?” – Do not, I repeat, DO NOT answer your mobile phone if it should start ringing in an interview! Keep it on silent or even better, off.Bush_Oval_Office_phone_call

3. “So what do you guys do again?” or “I literally have no idea what your company does” – Failing the question “what do you know about our company” is very hard to do and can sometimes be an instant interview fail. Do the research! It’s so easy, just take 10-20 minutes to read up on them!

4. The Interviewer, “so what did you get up to in your last job”. You, “oh you know, stuff…” – Stuff? Stuff?! Really? Just tell them what you currently do / have done, it’s another ridiculously easy question to ace!

5. “Feedback, now! (please)” – Everyone likes feedback, it’s what helps us to improve and ultimately succeed at whatever it is we’re trying to accomplish, but asking for it there and then at the end of an interview is NOT the place! If you don’t succeed in the interview, then feel free to ask for it.

6. “Yes, that was a *!^& project” – Swearing is a huge no-no in a job interview, even if the person you’re talking to starts throwing down some colourful lingo, doesn’t mean you have to as well. Express your experience / skills by using proper words.

16344894265_ba84b29de4_b

7. *Yawwwwn* – If you’re bored, or tired, try not to show it! You will never be taken seriously by any Interviewer ever if you’re like that! Sit up straight, lock onto the Interviewer and take an interest in what they are saying. (alternatively, learn to yawn with your mouth closed and drink a few Red Bulls before the interview begins).

8. Suited and booted! – Sure, it might be really tempting to put on those new jeans, t-shirt and trainers that you bought the other day, but I’m afraid professional attire is what you will always be expected to wear at an interview. Remember, it’s all about those first impressions!

9. “What’s cooking good looking?” – Avoid saying anything like this at all costs! This is a job interview! Not an opportunity to flirt with the Interviewer, no matter how stunning they may appear!

10. “Do you have any questions?” – show the Interviewer that you’re interested in the role by asking questions! Make them confident! Ask them some good’uns like the ones found here.

That’s it for another post from us! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and found it either useful and / or entertaining! This is just a very small collection which we will expand on at some point in the future.

4 Killer Cover Letter Tips #WednesdayWisdom

In Need Of Some Cover Letter Tips?

You’ve done it! You’ve found a job you would like to apply for, you’ve got your CV in order and you’re ready to send your application! But wait! You’re missing something! Something incredibly important….a cover letter!

The cover letter plays such a big part in the job application process; it’s the only weapon you have (apart from your CV) that you can use for making a good first impression on the Hiring Manager.

Follow these 4 cover letter tips steps to create a letter that stands out from the crowd:

1. The Opener – you must, I repeat, must have a decent opening line! I would start a letter by talking about your experience briefly and then asking to be considered for said job. If the vacancy requires experience with specific pieces of software (for example) like SolidWorks for design, then get it in there! Include any qualifications as well!

E.g. “Dear Mr / Mrs Hiring Manager, I have a broad knowledge of CAD design and have used the SolidWorks package extensively. I would like to be considered for your Design Engineer vacancy in London”. You could also try “You will see from the attached CV that I meet your specifications. I have worked in **** industry for over **** years and have done this, that and the other”. You get the picture…

Be specific and make it clear that you meet their requirements!

2. Dear Mr Whats-Your-Name.. – I read a lot of applications on a daily basis and I can’t tell you how good it feels when someone actually addresses me by my first name! Sure, “Dear Hiring Manager” is fine, but if you can say “Dear Chris” then that is really going to get my attention! I’m going to call someone out that sent me their CV yesterday and called me “m.r hiring person”. Please, for the love of everything, do not address anyone like that…ever.

If their name isn’t displayed on the advert, then have a search on a website like LinkedIn for example. If the company has 2+ Recruiters / Hiring Managers, then maybe play it safe and just put “Dear Hiring Manager”. Give the reception a call if you still can’t find their name. Don’t be scared, they won’t bite!

Oh and please spell it correctly. I’m going to call someone else out who’s application I replied to yesterday, who called me “Cris” despite my name being all over the email AND despite me highlighting and underlining it!

cover letter tips

3. Me, me, me, no. – don’t make the cover letter all about you, make sure you talk about the company as well. The Hiring Manager needs to feel confident knowing that they can hire you and that you are committed to their goals and objectives. Take some time to research and talk about their industry, clients and brand. This will demonstrate that you have got a genuine interest in the role and company itself!

“If you want to succeed you need to put the effort in” – Dwayne Johnson.

4. Keep it brief, keep it tidy! – make sure your letter is no longer than a page; the last thing that a Hiring Manager wants to do is read through three pages which are either a complete copy / reflection of your CV or is just a load of waffle.

Then take some time to read through your letter to check for spelling and grammar mistakes! Have someone else read through it as well.

That’s it! Good luck with your job application and good luck compiling a fantastic new cover letter!

We’ll have more cover letter tips for you in the future, in the meantime, you can check out our other posts here and can also follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

10 Motivational Quotes For Job Seekers #WednesdayWisdom

Who doesn’t like a good quote here and there?

So today is Wednesday Wisdom, a day of sharing wisdom, knowledge and useful information! In following the tradition of Wisdom Wednesday (we’ll call it WW from now on so I don’t have to type Wednesday Wisdom every time I want to mention it, oh wait…) we’ve put together a small collection of motivational quotes for job seekers that we have scoured the internet for, tirelessly might I add!
Let’s begin:

“Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.” – Audrey Hepburn

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” – Author Unknown

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”Winston Churchill

“To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

“There is a way to do it better…find it” – Thomas Edison

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder

That’s that! Good luck to all you job seekers out there! Don’t give up!

Feel free to share any of your favourite quotes for job seekers with us on here, or on our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages.

We also have a collection of other blog posts which you can also check out, such as “What To Consider Before Accepting The Job Offer” and our most popular post “Your LinkedIn Profile, Your Second CV“.

10 Very Useful Career Infographics

Infographic for your thoughts?

I love a good infographic (career infographics to be precise) and frequently post them to our social channels; they provide quick and extremely useful pieces of information in a clear, precise and (usually) pleasing-to-the-eye way!

So, here are 10 career infographics which I felt were worthy of featuring; let’s begin: (please note that these aren’t in any particular order)

1. The Hottest Skills of 2015 on LinkedIn

If you’re wondering what to do with your life, be you a school leaver or even an experienced professional looking for a new career path, then this list will definitely point you in the right direction!

2. Modern Ways to Job Search

career infographics

It’s a few years old, but this post still provides very relevant and detailed information on how to go about searching for a job at present!

3. What’s Your Career Type?

CareerType-Holland

Take this one with a pinch of salt (maybe even a big spoonful, haha) as it may not be entirely accurate, BUT, it’s still fun to read and go through the different branches to see where you end up.

4. 10 Tips to Master The Phone Interview

10-Tips-Master-Phone-Interview1

Hopefully, most of these should be a given to you already, but some of you may not have become a phone interviewing Jedi yet. Don’t despair though! Give this infographic a good read!

obi-wan-job-interview

5. Interview Preparation – The Decisive Factor

Interview-Preparation-Infographic

Did you know that 93% of employability is determined by preparation and that only 1 in 10 candidates spends 2 hours of more preparing! I know that because I stole it from the article, haha. But seriously, interview preparation is EVERYTHING; it’s worth it, I promise you.

6. 17 LinkedIn Profile Must-Haves

17-Steps-to-a-Perfect-Linkedin-Profile-Infographic

I’m a big advocate of LinkedIn (as you can tell by this one and some of my other blog posts) and why on earth wouldn’t you be?! It’s the largest business to business network in the world at your fingertips..for free! If you want to get noticed on LinkedIn though, you need to put in the hard work – again, this is worth it in the long run!

7. The Do’s and Don’ts of The Modern CV / Resume

1427479015-resume-info

Here’s another modern-themed career infographic covering all of your cv need to knows and do’s! Despite being a published a while ago, it’s all still very relevant information that you should heed!

8. 15 Ways to Beat Procrastination

1417534655-15-ways-overcome-procrastination-get-stuff-done-infographic (1)

Go on, admit it, you might have come across this article whilst procrastinating! It’s fine! It happens to the best of us! However, you wouldn’t be procrastinating if you were either in a job / in a job that you enjoyed. I personally found numbers 2, 4, 6 and 9 very useful.

9. Keep Calm and Beat Job Interview Nerves

Stay-Calm-in-Job-Interviews

As Siofra mentions in this post, “it doesn’t matter how many job interviews you undertake” or what the level of position is, every single job interview you attend will be a nerve juddering experience. So that’s why EssayTigers came up with this great infographic to help you out!

dont_panic_dads_army_t_shirt-d235728038985568146tdq8_210

10. The Habits of Successful People Vs Unsuccessful People

habits

Want to succeed in life? Of course you do! Well, then it’s worth implementing these everyday habits into your routine! Transform yourself and see where it takes you!

That’s that! Finito! Remember that these are just a small selection of my favourite career infographics, I’ll have some more for you very soon! In the meantime, you can visit our LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages for more!

Job Offers – What To Consider Before Accepting

Job offers aren’t meant to be scary, are they?

Well done, You’ve done it! You’ve been offered a job! Now before you go ahead and accept that offer there are a few things which you should take into consideration…

First thing to consider is..the people; your new Manager(s) / Boss(es), Co-Workers / team. Yes, it’s going to be very difficult to judge what these people are going to be like in a working environment after only having a quick discussion with them, BUT, have a good think about what it was like being around them, how they came across and how they treated you. E.g. what kind of questions did they ask (professional and personal?), how friendly were they?

The above could reflect on how your new colleagues will treat you, so really give this one some thought! Visit their company page on Glassdoor to see if they have any reviews or if anyone interviewing there has posted the questions asked.

One other important aspect to take into account is the environment that you’ll be working in. It’s very important to come to a conclusion as to which environment you’ll succeed in (e.g. non-profit, startup, agency, etc). Think about if you want to work in a fast paced environment, or maybe you want something a bit more arrangement and competition.

job offersI also highly advise (from personal experience) researching the physical
location of the office before even applying; you have to find somewhere that is commutable! Spending 1 hour+ of your morning sitting on a train can get quite boring unless you’ve got some interesting sights to see! Having somewhere to eat at lunch is also a nice benefit and can really help your attitude for the rest of the day, so maybe research if there are some shops or cafe’s nearby.

Are you also aware of how stable this company is? Take some time to research them on how many people they have been hiring recently and what their recent success has been like. Take a moment to also read about how well that particular industry is also performing. You have to make sure that it’s a stable job and that you’re not going to be a telling “I was the last in, first out” story in a years time…

Now we’re going to talk about…the money! Often, if you find yourself comparing two job offers, the route people tend to go down is the ‘more money’ path, which sometimes isn’t the right one to choose. Think about the salary that you could live on, as well as the number that would make an offer irresistible! Try to negotiate first and think more about the whole package, rather than the numbers on your payslip.

Well, that’s all we’re covering on job offers for today, we’ll have some more for you soon!