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Friday, 26 August 2016

5 things that every cover letter must have


Although greater emphasis is usually placed on the CV, a covering letter is equally important and should be written with care and consideration. Along with your CV, it will be the first thing a potential employer will see and can result in a call for an interview or being immediately dismissed from contention. In order to help you get it right, we’ve compiled a list of the five things that must be included in any covering letter.

A name







When you first apply for a job, it’s essential that you find out who is in charge of recruitment and who you should be addressing your covering letter to. By having a specific addressee, you show that you’ve done your research, comprehend the importance of a personal connection in business and understand the structure of the organisation in which you could be working.

Current role
Just as important as what you hope to do in the future is what you have done in the recent past. Providing details about your current, or most recent, job is vital in demonstrating that you’ve acquired transferable skills. Make sure the information you give is relevant to the new job and that you understand that employers will be looking for someone that can take all of their past experience and use it in their new role.

Brevity












Covering letters should be fairly short. Though people will often give different figures, a good length for a cover letter is around 350 words. Any longer and you run the risk of rambling on or, even worse, boring the recruiter. While the letter does need to be concise, it also needs to pack in all essential information, so think carefully about how you’re going to structure the letter and leave plenty of time for editing.

How you fit in










Potential employers want to know how you’re going to fit into their company and the existing teams they have working on various projects. This means doing your research on the company in question and looking for information regarding their vision, aims and goals. If you can relate your own skills, characteristics and attributes to those of the company, you’ll be in an advantageous position.

Proof

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Finally, it’s incredibly important that you provide evidence for any claims you make in a covering letter. If you give a list of personal skills, link them to situations in which you’ve used them historically. Potential employers want context to back up your claims and you won’t get far without it.



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

Monday, 22 August 2016

4 of the best ways to organise your working day


At some point, everyone becomes aware that they’re not quite working at full capacity and that they need to improve their productivity. One way of achieving this is by better organising your working day. Although most of us will approach working days in the same way for years on end, it’s often a good idea to think about ways in which you can shake things up and improve your organisation. Here we take a look at four of the best ways to make the most of your days.

Ritual
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Ritual is a very important part of everyone’s working routine. Whether you wake up five minutes before you have to leave the house, like to sit and relax over a slow cup of coffee or enjoy rising early and having a little alone time, it’s vital that you take a good look at your habits and change things that aren’t working. Regularly changing your routine can make settling into the day a little difficult, so it’s best to find out what works for you and to stick with it. Physical activity can put you in a good mindset, as it releases dopamine, so it may be time to start heading out for a run first thing in the morning.

Incentives
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Incentives are a great source of motivation and allow you to break up your day with special rewards. Whether it’s a short break, a nice meal, some time to play your favourite video game or fifteen minutes of reading your book, giving yourself a reward for hard work or completing a task will help you finish things off quickly and efficiently.


Dead Time
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Though our lives may seem increasingly busy and devoid of free time, there is still a considerable amount of dead time during the day. These are the periods in which we are not productive, such as the commute, early mornings and and lunch breaks. Making the most of this time doesn’t necessarily mean working through them, as relaxing or enjoying the time by giving it over to hobbies can be just as productive.


Space
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The physical environment in which you work is also critical to productivity. If your work space is cluttered, disorganised and untidy, it’s going to be much harder to work efficiently and with a clear mind. Make sure your work space is clean, comfortable and relaxing before you start in order to increase productivity.

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

Friday, 19 August 2016

5 thoughts you always have in the middle of an interview


Interviews can be incredibly stressful, challenging and, above all, important to your future career. Sitting in front of your potential boss or future colleague and being assessed is naturally a nerve-wracking experience and we all have different ways of dealing with it. However, there are some thoughts that race through our minds during the interview process that nearly everyone experiences. Here we take a look at five of the most common.

Why didn’t I prepare any questions?
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No matter what job you apply for, there will always be a moment in an interview when you are asked whether you have any questions. Whilst a lot of people genuinely don’t have any questions and just want to get out of the room as quickly as possible, it’s best that you have some prepared. Asking questions of a potential employer is the first step to building friendly rapport, makes you appear more open and suggests that you are engaged and interested in the business.

Do I look alright?
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This is an incredibly common question that troubles a lot of people. Many people will have experienced the sudden pang of panic as you ask yourself whether you’ve left your flies open, spilt something down your dress or have not done your tie properly, but most will just brush these questions off and continue calmly. If you’re prone to panic, make sure you do a quick, last minute check of your appearance in the mirror to reassure yourself.
   
I have no idea how this is going
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It is quite common to have absolutely no idea how an interview is going. Though interviewers may sometimes give hints that you’re doing well or not, they usually like to keep a tight lid on their true feelings. Often this is out of professional courtesy; they neither want to build your hopes too high nor knock your confidence too greatly by giving away how well you’re doing. If you don’t get the job in the end, remember that you can always ask for feedback.

I hope they ask me about…
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We all know how it feels to have the perfect answer to a question lined up, only for the question never to pop up. If you feel this happening in an interview, you could try to make your prepared answer relevant to another topic and smoothly adapt it to the situation. However, make sure you don’t force it into conversation out of context.


I wonder what my colleagues are going to be like…










If you’re anything like me, you’ll be wondering what your new office, colleagues, boss and job are going to be like before they’ve even given you the job. If you do find yourself getting carried away during an interview, try to bring your focus back onto the present moment and concentrate on nailing the interview first!

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

Monday, 15 August 2016

5 Tips for standing out in a crowd


When applying for a job, it’s often difficult to make yourself stand out among many other candidates. With a large amount of competition, it’s essential to create an interest in your application that ensures you’re remembered by potential employers and that gives you the opportunity to prove your worth in the later stages of the application process. However, it can be difficult to know exactly want an interviewer or recruitment specialist wants from an applicant. With this in mind, we take a look at five of the best ways to ensure you stand out from the crowd.

Get your CV right
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Though it may sound obvious, but submitting a good CV is essential if you want to be given an opportunity. In the majority of cases, employers will only take the briefest of looks at a CV, meaning it has to make an immediate impression. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure you’ve streamlined your CV, removing all non-essential information and, if you can, fitting it on to a single page. Employers want you to give them an efficient explanation of your work history, not a life story, so make sure your CV is relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Learn about your prospective employer
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Doing your homework and researching the history and current operations of a possible employer can go a long way to making you stand out. Not only does it show commitment and initiative, but it suggests that you’re an independent worker who will go the extra mile and understands the importance of quickly fitting into an established team.

Use your network
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Most of us build natural networks of friends, colleagues and bosses that we don’t even think about using to assist us in a job search. Making the most of these contacts can help a great deal, even if they don’t land you a job directly. By proving that you’ve established a strong and useful network of people around you, you demonstrate that you’re a social person and that you are able to successfully work in different environments with a variety of other people.

Be familiar
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Psychologically speaking, people respond more positively to things they are familiar with. This can be helpful to applicants that are able to make themselves familiar and approachable to an interviewer or potential employer. Try and relax as much as possible before a meeting or interview and ensure that you have questions to ask. Treading the fine line between personable and overly-informal can be difficult, but is a great way to help you stand out.

Avoid gimmicks










Finally, it’s essential that you avoid gimmicks in all stages of your application. Try and keep it simple and let your qualities and personality shine rather than trying to impress with tricks and novelties. More often than not, it will only detract from an application and result in the serious presentation of your skills and abilities being side-lined. 

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

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

What makes a great business leader?


Whether it be Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Lord Alan Sugar or Steve Jobs, business leaders are very much at the forefront of public life and remain recognisable to millions around the world. But what is it that makes the general public fascinated with these figures and what is it that makes them good business leaders? Here, we take a look at the latter part of this question and discuss a few of the qualities that constitute a good business leader.

Communication skills

Great business leaders have to be able to communicate their ideas, goals and overall vision to a diverse array of people in a clear, concise and interesting manner. If they are not able to do so, the likeliest outcome is confusion, inefficiency and poor results. These communication skills must be applied in the day to day running of the business with employees of every pay grade, as well as in a more abstract sense, when dealing with investors, the press and the general public when talking about their vision for the future and the business’ brand.

Know your team

Being able to recognise the strengths and weaknesses in your team allows you to lead them in a far more efficient way. Great leaders are able to recognise when someone is struggling, requires help or is overwhelmed, but also knows when someone is coasting or underworked. Knowing your team allows you to play to their strengths and utilise each of their unique abilities to produce better results for the benefit of the entire company.

Honesty

Honesty, integrity and authenticity are all buzz words that get thrown around a lot when it comes to discussions on leadership. However, they are all important qualities of a great leader. Employees will often be able to recognise the absence of these traits in a leader and will usually struggle to trust or respect someone they don’t consider honest, fair and understanding.

Ability to delegate

Great leaders need to be able to delegate in order to keep a business functioning. One of the most important things to learn as a leader is that, despite your seniority, a large number of people will still know a great deal more than you ever will. Being a leader isn’t about being the best or knowing the most, it is about bringing the best out of people and taking the right course of action at the right time. Consequently, being able to delegate effectively will often be your biggest asset.

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

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Where could a career in finance get you?


A career in finance can be challenging and demanding, but is also often incredibly well-paid and rewarding if taken far enough. There is a huge amount of competition in the finance sector and employees will have to prove themselves as more than proficient in order to reach the upper echelons of the industry. However, people find themselves excited, content and comfortable in finance jobs of all pay grades and not all pursue the big money and glamour so often associated with some parts of the sector. If you’re thinking of starting a career in finance, we’ve written a quick guide to the possible places the job could take you.

Career progression
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If you’re looking for a job that allows for career progression and in which it’s possible to rise quickly, the finance sector may be right for you. Though you will have to fight off a lot of competition and showcase your talents intelligently, it is possible to rise through the ranks in ways that aren’t possible in other industries.

A variety of industries
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A career in finance could see you working in a huge number of industries. After all, every business’ aim is to make money and every business requires someone that knows how to handle the financial side of operations. Whether you work directly for a company that requires your financial expertise or for a finance-orientated business that provides advice and services to many different businesses, you can be sure you’ll deal with a diverse range of clients.

A high wage job
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For many people, the biggest attraction to a career in finance is the high wage. Though this obviously isn’t true for all jobs in the finance sector, it is true that many positions in the industry boast a large starting wage and that there’s always a chance you’ll make your fortune.

Travel the world
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The finance industry is global in scale, with modern communications and technologies erasing barriers that would have previously prevented people from working abroad. A large number of finance’s biggest, most iconic and most important locations are found in exotic places around the world and many finance employees will find themselves travelling as a result of work at some point in their careers.

Anywhere
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However, the real answer to the question of where a career in finance could take you is anywhere. The finance industry is so large, diverse and integrated with all other types of business, that a career in finance is one of unlimited possibilities. So, if you like a challenge and are open to starting a career that could shock and surprise at every turn, finance could be the best option.

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



Wednesday, 13 July 2016

How do businesses ensure employees continue to be innovative?


In the modern business environment, the pace of change is so rapid that innovation is vital for survival. Consequently, companies are constantly trying to encourage their employees to think in different ways, work on innovative ideas and push the company forward. However, it can be difficult to sustain this drive. Here we take a look at five ways in which a business can maintain a culture of innovation amongst its employees.

Reward innovative employees

Though it may sound simple, rewarding employees that are innovative is one of the best ways to ensure others follow in their footsteps. Although the reward can take a variety of forms, be it monetary compensation, gifting, or some sort of public recognition, it will usually encourage and galvanise the employee, whilst also having a positive effect on their colleagues around them.

Provide them with innovative technology

If you want an employee to be innovative, they need access to the technology that allows them to be so. Though this is often expensive, it is an investment in the business that will be returned over and over, as long as it allows employees to push boundaries and work at the forefront of their field.  

Give them freedom to play

Innovation is all about sustained hard work, but some of the best ideas originate in play and the relaxed atmosphere that freedom of expression fosters. Try not to silence or disregard employees that are genuinely trying to bring something new to the company. By flippantly throwing out their idea or proposals, you risk making them wary of coming forward with other ideas, one of which may be perfect for the business.

Show trust

Trust between management and those working under them is paramount to a work culture that encourages innovation and new ideas. If employees don’t trust their managers, they’re far less likely to work hard for them, trust them with their ideas or show concern for the future of the company.

Hire a diverse range of people

In order to integrate different ideas into your business, you’ll need to hire people with a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. If you’re hiring employees with a similar mind-set or mentality, you'll struggle to create a culture of innovation. If you’re finding it difficult to make existing employees innovative, try importing those qualities by looking to bring in new staff that could see the business from a different angle.

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