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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

4 ways you can enhance your CV to start the New Year with a bang


The New Year is a great opportunity to start afresh and shake up your job hunt – but in order to do this you’ll need to make sure your CV is up to scratch. In order to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of four ways you can enhance your CV to give you the best possible chance of landing a job in January.

Keywords

One of the newest ways big businesses whittle down the number of candidates for a position is by first running a CV through word recognition software that searches the text for keywords relevant to the role. If you’re CV doesn’t contain the right language, it may be discarded before a human ever sets eyes on it. However, this doesn't mean you should just stuff your CV full of keywords without a thought for context. Make sure you know what buzz words are popular in your particular industry and try to work them into your CV without forcing it.

Simplify the design

A good CV is simple, easy to follow and attractive to the eye. It’s all too easy to create a document that’s messy, poorly formatted and full of different fonts, text boxes and columns, so take some time to redesign it. Think about what a recruiter will look at first, how their eye will scan the page and what sections stand out in particular. It is worth bearing in mind that heavy internet usage has changed the way many people read a document and, at first glance, the reader’s eye is much more likely to jump around the page than go from top to bottom.

Cleanse your social media profiles

For many jobs, maintaining a strong social media presence will stand you in good stead. Apart from the obvious sites that focus on professional networking, such as LinkedIn, you’ll often be expected to be active on Twitter or Facebook. This is particularly true if you’re applying for a communication or marketing role. By providing your social media profiles in your contact information, you show that you have nothing to hide and understand that social media is a big part of the way companies communicate with their customers. However, it’s vital that you first cleanse them of anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see so they’re sanitised for the professional environment.

Edit ruthlessly

Finally, it’s a good idea to use the New Year as an opportunity to edit ruthlessly, cutting all unnecessary information from your CV and creating a more efficient and direct document. Don’t be afraid to shorten your CV but make sure it has all the information you think it necessary to communicate. Be clear and concise and you should enhance your chances of starting the New Year successfully.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Why is January considered the most popular time for change?


Among employers and job seekers alike, January is often considered a time of change and renewal. Many businesses will have employees leave for different jobs and will be forced to take on new staff, while many bosses will look to inject new life into the teams under their control. Here we take a look at a few reasons why January is considered a month for change.

Budgets reset

Many companies see their hiring budgets reset in January and have the cash to spend on finding and employing new staff. This is especially important if the business has had to hold off on hiring during November and December due to a lack of funds. This sudden injection of money can result in a lot of new faces in the office and a large amount of change in the workplace.

Fresh faces, fresh thinking

One of the key reasons January is a popular time for change is that many people consider the New Year a time to start again and freshen things up. The bosses may want to introduce new faces into their teams to get a fresh perspective, while employees may start to think about a change in the direction of their career.

Decision makers are together

Throughout the rest of the year, getting all the big decision makers in a business together in one room can be an almighty challenge. This can make it tough for job hunters who rely on the nod from the bosses if they’re to successfully apply for a position. However, January often sees all the head honchos in the office together as they try and organise new recruits, get their teams functioning, and make sure the year gets off to a good start. This makes it a good time to be in the job market.

December bonuses

It’s often the case that annual bonuses are paid in December, so many employees wait until January to quit so that they can collect that extra bit of cash before Christmas. Businesses know that this is a regular occurrence and understand that they’ll have a number of positions to fill in the New Year. This means they often start looking for replacements in December so that they can hit the ground running when work starts up again in January.

Time off from work

Time off from work gives many people an opportunity to step back and reappraise their situation. While they may have thought themselves content with their career, a little time to relax and retreat from the office environment can put things in focus and employees will discover that what they really desire is change.

As you can see, there are any number of reasons why an individual might decide it’s time for a fresh start. But the key for those that do, is to ensure they are prepared for the situations they may face…starting with CV updates!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

All I want for Christmas is a brand new job: The top 4 CV tips


Christmas is a great time to look for a job. Although it may not be how you expected to spend the festive season, there’s often a lot of vacancies up for grabs for those willing to invest some time and effort into the process. To make the most of the holidays, it’s a good idea to have your CV polished to perfection. Here, we take a look at four ways you can improve your CV to ensure it gives you the best popular chance of getting the job you want.

Tailor your CV

When it comes to CVs, one of the most common mistakes is not tailoring it to the job you’re applying for and instead sending out a batch of identical documents. Employers want to know why you’re perfect for their vacancy, not why you fit some abstract, generalised position that doesn’t exist in reality. Take the time to personalise each CV and you’ll increase your chances of landing the perfect job that suits your skills.

Use templates as a guide

There are an incredible number of CV templates out there on the Internet and they can be a great way for you to work out what’s expected from your CV, how it can be formatted, and whether you’ve missed anything in your own efforts. However, it’s best to take them as guides only, picking and choosing the parts you like from various examples rather than taking a template and simply filling in the gaps with your own specifics.

Keep sending them over Christmas

Christmas is a good time to be searching for jobs for a variety of reasons. Not only are vacancies popping up left, right and centre, but it is also one of the only times all of the key decision makers in a business will be in the office together and thinking about hiring for the New Year. Make the most of this opportunity and keep on sending CVs throughout the holidays – someone of importance somewhere might just pick it up.

Follow them up

Christmas is also a good time to make sure you’re following up your CV with a phone call or email. You’re much more likely to speak to someone in charge or receive a considered response from a manager who isn’t as busy as they would be at other times of the year. If you can start a dialogue with someone in management, you’ve got a much better chance of selling yourself and your skills.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today!

5 things you should definitely avoid doing at the work Christmas party


It’s all too easy to go a step too far at the work Christmas party and do something that you’ll later regret. With everyone letting their hair down, having a few drinks and getting into the Christmas spirit, it might seem like you can stretch the rules and get away with things that you wouldn’t in other circumstances. However, making a mistake can have dire consequences for your professional reputation and lead to an uncomfortable return to work after the holidays. Here, we take a look at five things you need to avoid if you’re to survive the work party without embarrassing yourself.

Drinking too much

This is the easiest mistake to make and can result in a lack of perspective and control that allows you to commit further errors. Though it’s a time to enjoy yourself, take it easy with the alcohol and pace yourself. If you really want to let go, save the heavy drinking for when you go out after the party.

Office romance

Getting together with a co-worker can seem like a little bit of harmless fun, but you’ll have to deal with the consequences when you return to work. Though it’s not impossible that your Christmas fling will turn into a long and meaningful relationship, it’s far more likely that one of you will regret the decision, be embarrassed when the story inevitably spreads around the office, or that a professional relationship will suffer because of your actions.

Be sensible with Secret Santa

Secret Santa is an opportunity to get a colleague a little gift that shows you know and respect them, not the chance to give a wildly inappropriate gift that might get a few laughs at the time but may also make people feel awkward. Keep it simple when deciding on a present and play it safe.

Only talking about work

Although your Christmas party may be held in the office, it’s a chance to socialise with your colleagues without having to talk about work. If you’re only going to talk shop while everyone’s enjoying themselves, there’s a good chance people will find you a bit of a bore.

Flee too early

Finally, though it may be the most boring party on the face of the planet and you may have somewhere a lot more interesting to go, don’t leave the party too early. Your absence will be noted and it doesn’t help you look like a team player if you flee at the first opportunity. 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Why you shouldn't let the Christmas break disrupt your job search


The Christmas break is often a time for relaxing, drinking and eating too much, being with the family, and taking some time off from the frustrations of searching for a job. However, for the dedicated job seeker, it can be time a fantastic opportunity to get your foot in the door with a new business before the New Year rolls around. Here we take a look at four reasons why you shouldn’t let the holidays interrupt your job hunt.

January is good for jobs

While the Christmas period can be good for a short-term, seasonal contract if you’re looking for work, January is a great time to land yourself something more long-term. Many businesses will want to fill spots on their teams during this period and will prefer new faces that can offer a fresh perspective on things. It’s also the time when many departments’ hiring budgets will reset and they’ve got plenty of money to be spending on new hires. Searching for jobs over the Christmas break could make all the difference by the time January arrives.

There’s less competition

Over Christmas, many job seekers decide to take a little break and enjoy themselves before getting back to the search in January. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a short break, it does mean that there’s less competition for those who are committed to continuing their search right through the holidays. Make the most of the reduced numbers of applicants and keep applying throughout the festive season if you want to improve the likelihood of landing a job.

Managers may have more time

In many cases, though not all, the period leading up to Christmas is one where things start to wind down and relax for managers and their employees. It’s a time to tidy up loose ends, make sure all the paperwork is done and prepare for the year ahead. This can mean that recruiters have a little bit more time on their hands and are more willing to speak to you in depth and give you an extended opportunity to sell yourself. 

People are happier

Finally, people are generally happier over the Christmas break. This makes individuals much more likely to respond to your inquiries and applications in a positive manner, give you the benefit of the doubt if they’re not yet entirely convinced or at least give you some advice and helpful tips if you didn’t quite make the grade. Try to make the most of people’s improved moods over the Christmas period and your hard work might just pay off.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Four essential things you’ll want on your LinkedIn profile


Having a brilliant CV is no longer always sufficient when it comes to finding, applying for and receiving the job of your dreams. Instead, job seekers or professionals interested in a change of career need to have a flawless CV, excellent interview technique and a well written LinkedIn profile.

As social media becomes an increasingly important part of business networking, making sure you have a flawless profile could make all the difference. With this in mind, we take a look at four essential things you’ll need on your LinkedIn profile if you want employers to take you seriously.

Gap-less work history

Ensuring that you have no unexplained gaps in your employment history is vital if you don’t want to arouse suspicion or have employers questioning why you didn’t work for a period of time. Even if you did take time away from work, it’s better to offer an explanation, as it allows you to shape and dictate any discussion about your work history. For instance, rather than just leaving a six month gap, think of ways to justify your time out. Perhaps you took a break between jobs to take advantage of training or educational opportunities or to develop your foreign language skills. It is better to spin such breaks in your favour than to leave them unexplained.

A professional photo

If your photo isn’t right, it doesn’t matter how perfect the rest of your profile is, you won’t make an impression. First impressions are incredibly important and, fairly or not, many employers will make judgements based only on your appearance. As a general rule of thumb, your LinkedIn profile photo should be a headshot and you should be dressed to impress, alone and stood in front of a plain background that won’t distract.
   
Recommendations

It’s important that you get colleagues and bosses to provide you with some recommendations in order to legitimise your profile. Don’t be afraid to tell them how you’d like to come across or give them some ideas as to what to write, as it’s your profile and you need to be calling the shots.

Visibility

Finally, your profile needs to be visible to anyone who may be interested in it. This means making sure your privacy settings are set to the right level and that all the right people can access your information at any time. However, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t include information that you don’t want to be widely known.

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

4 ways you can enhance your client facing skills


More than ever before, businesses are concerned with providing excellent customer service and developing long term relationships with their clients. This requires teams and individuals who understand the importance of client facing skills and who are willing to work to improve them. With this in mind, we take a look at four ways you can enhance such skills.

Become an expert

Though clients do want to work with someone who understands how to communicate clearly, concisely and in a friendly manner, they NEED to work with someone who is an expert in their field. One of the best ways to improve your client facing skills is by working hard to ensure that you’re up to date with the latest developments in the industry, that you comprehensively understand those areas of key interest to the client, and are prepared to confidently answer any of their questions.

Think about your choice of words

If you want to over-simplify things, the difference between good and bad communicators comes down to their choice of words. While there are obviously a variety of other factors involved, such as body language and the ability to read other people, the essence of effective communication is being able to use the right language at the right time. Think carefully about what words you regularly use when dealing with clients and consider whether they need to be more positive, clear or direct.

Get feedback

Being able to receive and learn from feedback is an essential skill in any profession, but is especially relevant to roles with a strong emphasis on client facing skills. It’s often difficult to take a step back and impartially appraise your own performance in customer service situations, so an ability to take feedback and use it productively is vital to well-rounded personal growth. Don’t be afraid to ask a colleague or boss for tips on how you could improve your communication techniques.

Take training opportunities

Most modern businesses offer various training opportunities to their staff, particularly to those involved in client facing roles. It’s important to take advantage of these training and education programmes if you are to understand exactly what your bosses want from you and how to go about achieving it. This doesn’t mean attending every training and team building event your business holds, but instead taking a methodical approach to your personal development while always keeping your long-term career aims and objectives in mind. 

Think you've got what it takes to make a great employee at Capita? Check out our vacancies and apply today!