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10 Easy ways to upgrade your CV



Whichever industry you’re applying for, a CV will always matter. And even if you’ve managed to secure a job interview thanks to networking and connections, you’ll still have to hand over a piece of paper that formally lists your experience and credentials. Here’s 10 easy ways to upgrade your CV, so you can concentrate on nailing your job interview.


1. ALWAYS proofread and then proofread again! 


It’s a total no-brainer, but there’s nothing more off putting to a hiring manger than a typo in a CV. So always proofread it. And then have your mum read it, your best friend read it, your flatmate read it, and your uncle read it. Typos and grammar mistakes happen, even with spell check turned on! But they don’t need to prevent you from getting a job. 


2. Always save as a PDF


Lots of hiring managers say that their biggest pet peeve is receiving CVs that are oddly formatted. Saving and sending your CV as a PDF is the bare minimum of professionalism, so if you haven’t got into the habit of doing this yet, we recommend you start now. 


3. Include appropriate links 


In this digital age, you should expect recruiters to asses you based on your digital life. It’s always helpful if you add a link to your LinkedIn profile, as well as your twitter handle or Instagram account, especially if you’re an influencer who has built up a big network. Including this information on your CV shows you understand that your online life is one more part of how you present yourself. 


4. Delete the year you graduated 


Employers may see that you graduated a decade ago and consider you too experienced for a position, regardless of whether you changed career paths. Less than five years after graduation may still place you in the novice category. Removing this small detail will help keep the focus on what you can do and how you can benefit the company. 


5. Include your name in the file name 


Very obvious point, but people frequently send out their CVs without their full name in the file name. It’s really unhelpful to recruiters when they receive a file called “CV2017” or “BusinessNameCV.” Make yours easy to distinguish from others. We suggested including your full name with an underscore, and the word CV (FirstName_LastName_CV.pdf) so that whoever is looking for the file knows automatically just what they’re going to get. 


6. Get keyword savvy 


Many CVs will be scanned before they even get into the hands of an actual human being at a company. Choose SEO-optimised words for your industry. We suggest looking at the job profile and using as many of those words as possible. For example, if you’re applying for a position as a marketing manager and the job descriptions states it’s looking for a candidate that has CMS and marketing automation experience, make sure the CV you’re submitting contains those words. When it comes to an in-person interview, you can hand over a more creative, less jargon-driven version. 


7. Delete “references on request”


It takes up space on your CV and it’s pretty obvious. If they want a reference, they’re going to request one if you’ve spelled it out on your CV or not. Other obvious lines to delete include: The fact you’re familiar with Microsoft Word or Excel - in this day and age, that’s like saying you know how to use a smartphone. CV experts are split when it comes to lines offering hobbies or interests. If you’re going to include them (or to fill in this part on LinkedIn) make sure you choose something that shows you’re a great candidate. For example, marathon training shows dedication. Seeking out the best food truck burger? Not so much. 


8. Use hard numbers


Grew web traffic by 30%? Increased a Facebook audience by 200,000? Whatever it is, using numbers has much more of an impact than just words. 


9. Never go to page two 


This goes without saying, but your CV should never be more than one page, especially if you’re a new uni graduate. But even if you’re 10 years or more into your career, you should still be carefully editing your CV so it still fits on a single sheet of paper. Your current job should get the most room on the page, and you should provide fewer and fewer details for those first jobs and internships, eventually removing the least relevant ones altogether. 


10. Add variety to your verbs


In 2013, Careerbuilder conducted a survey of hiring managers and asked them to identify which CV words and phrases are cliche and which ones get their attention. Do you have “think outside the box” on there? Time to delete that one! Among the top 15 most liked phrases are action verbs like “create” and “achieve.” While “manages” isn’t the most thrilling of words, it does clearly state what you did and is much better than “worked.”


Just remember the golden rule, don’t rely too heavily on a thesaurus and fall into the trap of misusing a word. Nothing will turn a hiring manager off quicker!

Hays reveals 2018 Hiring Trends



We’ve reached December and 2017 is drawing to a close, and so it’s that time of year when we look ahead to what changes 2018 will bring and the recruitment trends we could expect. 


Recruitment giant Hays has laid out what they think the top recruitment transformations will be next year. They include; recruitment fuelled by data and science and digital technology; Virtual Reality that enhances a job seeker’s profile; and upskilling as a benefit. 


Nick Deligiannis, MD of Hays added that these changes were unsurprising. As the demand for professionals with digital skills grows, so too shall the digitisation of the recruitment process. 


He said: “The overall theme is that of technology changing history norms in recruitment, from using data science analytics to help identify the most suitable person to the virtualisation of the screening process and the growing demand for high-skilled professionals in response to digitalisation technologies. 


“These changes present opportunities for adaptable and innovative employers and jobseekers to stand out and secure top talent or their next job.”


As well as these evolutions in recruitment, Hays as also laid out ten likely changes that will happen in recruitment next year. 


  1. Recruitment driven by big data
  2. Artificial Intelligence to screen candidates
  3. Virtual reality to enhance jobseeker profiles 
  4. Augmented reality to give candidates a proper experience i.e. walkthrough of a new workplace
  5. Jobseekers enhancing their personal brand with videos on their CVs 
  6. Automation will impact temp jobs
  7. Roles with ‘upskilling’ become increasingly popular 
  8. Low-skilled jobs in lower demand; high skilled in higher demand 
  9. Fintech professionals in huge demand 
  10. Diversity remits and increasing hiring priority 


Do you think these changes will happen in 2018? 

10 Things Ridiculously Successful & Productive People Do every day




You might not be an entrepreneur, a billion or successful athlete, or even want to be! But the secrets of the successful might help you to get more done in less time and help to stop you feeling overworked and overwhelmed.


1. They focus on minutes, not hours


Most people will look at the day in hour or half an hour blocks; highly successful people know that there are 1,440 minutes in every day. There is nothing more valuable in this world than time. Money can be lost and made again, but time spent can never be bought back. If you can master your minutes, you can master your life. 


2. They focus on only one thing


The most productive and successful people will always know what their most important task is and focus just on that for one or two hours each morning without interruptions. What’s the one thing that will help you get that new job or that promotion? It’s what you should dedicate your mornings to every day. 


3. They don’t use to-do lists 


Perhaps this comes as a surprise, but maybe not when you hear that only 41 percent of items on to-do lists ever get done! All those undone items can lead to stress and even insomnia, which means that uncompleted tasks will always be on your mind until you complete them. Highly productive people will do away with the to-do list and schedule everything into a calendar instead, and then work and live by that calendar. 


4. Make time for their family 


Successful people know what they value in life. Yes, work, but also what else they value. It’s different for each individual, but for many, these values include family time, exercise and giving back. They will consciously allocate their 1,440 minutes a day to each area they value, and then stick to that schedule. 


5. Carry a notebook 


Ultra productive people will clear their minds by writing everything down as thoughts come to them. As Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis said, “Always carry a notebook. Write everything down…That is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school!”


6. They process emails only a few times a day 


The most productive people don’t check their emails throughout the day, and they definitely don’t respond to each ding to see whose in their inbox. Like all aspects of their day they schedule time to process their emails quickly and efficiently. It could be once a day, or for others, it’s morning, noon and night. 


7. They say “no” to almost everything


Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Remember with only 1,440 minutes in a day, you don’t want to give them away easily. 


8. Follow the 80/20 rule 


Known as the Pareto Principle, the idea is that in most cases, 80 percent of result comes as a result of 20 percent of activities. Productive people know which activities drive the greatest results. Focus on those and forget the rest. 


9. They touch things only once


How many times have you read an email and then close it and leave it in your inbox to deal with later? How many times have you opened your post, a bill maybe, and then put it down, only to deal with it again later? Really successful people try to “touch it once.” if it takes less than five or ten minutes, whatever it is, they deal with it then and there. It reduces stress, since it won’t be lingering in their minds, and it’s efficient, so they wont have to re-read or re-evaluate that item again in the future. 


10. Energy is everything 


You can’t create more minutes in a day, but you can help to increase your energy to increase attention, focus, and productivity. The highly successful will never skip meals, sleep or breaks in the pursuit of more. Instead, they view food as fuel, sleep as recovery and breaks as opportunities to recharge in order to get more done.

Have Designers Lost Control Of Design?



Design is everywhere and more influential than ever. But that power has come at a cost, says designer and technologist Matt Webb.


Do designers have an ethical responsibility toward their users? It’s a question that designers struggle with, as the products and interfaces they help bring into the world can have unintended consequences, from spreading fake news to exacerbating mental health problems. Even tech luminary and Nest founder Tony Fadell has expressed regret about the products he brought into the world.


But for Matt Webb, managing director of R/GA’s IoT Venture Studio in the U.K. and founder of the now-defunct influential London-based design studio Berg, the conversation about ethics is focused on the wrong question: How can you talk about ethics if designers aren’t the ones making decisions about how products and interfaces work in the first place?


“The gap between what the designer creates and what the people who use it actually touch has gotten really big,” Webb says. That’s a problem because designers are trained to base their work on empathy for the user and the user’s needs. When products and interfaces are persuasive, engaging, and maybe even psychologically manipulative, they haven’t been designed with empathy. They’ve been designed to be so user-friendly that they take advantage of the user’s weaknesses.


This is a unique problem of the software age. Historically, design was about making physical things, whether it be office chairs or album covers. Now, designers are coders–or at least working within the constraints of code–typing inputs into a computer that conjure up an interface that lives across millions of screens.


That shift has occurred in tandem with a new design process. Designers create the parameters that dictate interfaces, which are then A/B tested and optimised based on how users interact with them. (Designers have always done user testing, of course, but it’s much harder to change a physical object than it is a piece of code.) Now, the constant tweaking of software creates a never ending design process, where every click is another piece of data to optimise. “The thing that generates the most money or that people use the most wins,” he says. “So who actually designed that?”


One example: the Amazon Echo ecosystem, which consists of “skills” that other companies and individuals can create so users can access their products through the Echo. Designers of these skills–which can do things like give you a recipe, guard your secrets, and even tell you about the flat Earth conspiracy–work within constraints so that their skill fits within the Echo interface. But there’s no guarantee of the quality or usefulness of any of the 15,000 skills that the Echo currently offers–the only measure is popularity. “It’s more like a scaffolding [where] loads of creators can throw an interface at the wall and see what’s most popular,” he says. “And then that’s what everyone uses. Who’s actually designed that user interface?”

Engagement becomes the chief metric, and just because something holds someone’s attention doesn’t mean it’s good for the user. Take the Facebook Newsfeed, which has arguably been optimised to hold your attention within an inch of its life. Facebook boasts that its users spend an average of 50 minutes on its various platforms per day. But the same algorithms that enable this incredible amount of user engagement also enable sensationalist fake news to spread like wildfire. The problem was so bad during the lead-up to the 2016 election that it may have contributed to Donald Trump’s win.


Call it a design paradox: More than ever before, designers are sitting on the C-suite of companies. Large corporations are investing in design because it makes good business sense, both through hiring and through “innovation labs” that have become a crucial part of how companies grow and adapt. But as design has become integrated into the heart of companies, Webb believes there has been–ironically–an unintended consequence. Designers themselves, beholden to business interests that demand the most optimised, most persuasive version of something as opposed to the most useful and helpful for the user, have decreased agency. In other words, with power has come less responsibility. “Designers have less control over what they put out, in some cases,” he says.


Webb likens this conundrum to how engineering as a discipline has evolved. Engineers used to be the only ones who made the devices and appliances that people used, but as more things have become integrated into the internet, engineers now also create the constraints of systems–whether they’re game systems or AI systems–and a fully optimised world emerges within. These engineers, who Webb calls “the debuggers, the AI whisperers, the people who know how to do the robot psychology of the future,” no longer code the systems. They code the code that builds the system.


Webb sees a similar trajectory within design. Design as a whole has greater influence over organisations–even as it has ceded agency over the intricacies of interfaces to optimisation and A/B testing. As Webb put it, “individual designers can wield the supply chains of China.” But that also has made it harder for designers “to deliberately create something which is going to have the effect that we want.”


What does this mean for designers? If they have little power in this ecosystem where A/B testing and optimisation are the kings of the hill, what is their true responsibility? What ethics should designers adopt, if any, if they don’t have the power to deliberately create things that will actually serve users? Can designers keep their position of power within organisations while maintaining their agency? What does a revised design process for the digital era look like? Do chief design officers have a role to play? How can organisations address this problem?


These are not easy questions and Webb doesn’t pretend to have answers, but we’d love to hear what you think.


Sourced from Fastco Design 

How to Sound Polished and Professional



Before heading off to job interviews it’s important to spend some time knowing what you actually sound like, to ensure you sound not only confident but also polished and professional. Listening to your own voice can be a little off putting for some, but hear us out on this one !


Grab your phone and record yourself having a conversation on a voice memo app, listen back and prepare to be surprised! If you are guilty of any of the below, it may be time to work on those bad vocal habits you’ve acquired. 



1. Lose the uptalk 


Do you speak as though every sentence is a question? It makes you sound unsure of yourself and to an interviewer, could be a little distracting. To practice speaking without it, here’s a little trick - grab a book, hold it at arms length and start reading out loud. Whenever you reach a full stop, drop your arm and your voice along with it. 


2. Speak slower


Rushing when speaking gives the impression you don’t value what you’re saying, and it doesn’t give people a chance to absorb what you’re saying. To practice slowing down, talk or read out loud to yourself and clap your hands at the end of every sentence to train your brain to stop for punctuation marks. This is a great one to practice as most people will naturally speed up their speech when they are in a nerve wracking environment, like a job interview. 


3. Eliminate fillers


We can hear our mums saying it now, “stop saying like after every word!” 

“Like,” “um,” “you know,” “sort of,”- they all make you sound like you don’t know what to say, like you need to qualify all of your statements. Replace these filler words with pauses, which allow you to gather your thoughts and think more clearly, while giving meaning to the next thing you say. 


4. Make yourself heard 


If your voice is barely audible, chances are whatever you’re saying will come across as equally unsubstantial. Unsurprisingly, speaking up will make you sound more powerful. Visualising your voice as a ball you can bounce off the walls will help you project without feeling unnatural or overdoing it. 


5. Work on losing the vocal fry 


This point is particularly aimed at the ladies! Vocal Fry is the technical term for the throaty, creaky sound of, for example, Kim Kardashian’s voice. Studies are showing that more and more women are mimicking it in their own voices without even noticing it. It causes people to perceive you as less competent and trustworthy, plus it’s terrible for you vocal cords. Simply being aware of it will make a big difference. 


How to make yourself employable and a land a job as a graduate.



Fresher’s week has come and gone and before you know it summer exams will be creeping around the corner. The time will soon come to think about what you’re going to do after university. 


The immediate post-university period is crucial. Some who are on the ball may already have graduate schemes and jobs lined up, while for others the attention is focused on other things like festival season! But your future is worth thinking about, especially as figures released last year show that a third of graduates were working in unskilled roles after leaving university. 


There’s a number of things you can do to make yourself more employable, and some of them are a lot easier than you think. Here are our tips to help you land your first job as a graduate. 

1. Write your CV like a story 


Forget the boring templated CV if you want to land a top position after graduating. Tell recruiters like us your story, letting your CV answer questions which focus on


  • Why they should employ you?
  • What’s your experience? 
  • What makes you stand out? 


Always remember to tailor your CV to each job that you apply for, focusing on the skillsets required for that particular role. 


And don’t rush an application. If you don’t want to spend the time to land an interview, you probably don’t want it enough. 


2. Google Yourself 


More than 80% of employers research a candidate on google, so it's worth taking ten minutes to run a google search on your name to see what comes up. You won't want prospective employers seeing your drunken photos from your freshers week! Moving forward, keep those types of photos off of your social media, and think about deleting historical ones. 


We would suggest tailoring your online presence to your chosen industry, and make sure when someone searches you, what they see makes you stand out; look at it as an opportunity to impress. 


Thank about which social media channels reflect your interest in a subject and spend some time on LinkedIn building up your profile on there. 


Ensure your online presence portrays you as an individual with a keen interest and understanding in your field. 


3. Get Social 


Social media, when done properly, can help you to land interviews and showcase opportunities. 


Once you've built up your profile on LinkedIn, use it to connect with employers and recruiters as well as to showcase your expertise. 


For creatives, use channels such as Creative Pool and Behance to publish your work. 


Use twitter to engage with a company ahead of applying for a role. Showing a keen interest in them before an interview will always help your application. 


4. Network, Network, Network


Just like entrepreneurs must network to win work and generate leads, you must do the same to land your dream job. Use both online and face-to-face networking approaches, get to know as many influencers within your industry as possible both locally and nationally. 


Ways you can build these relationships include social media networking, attending career fairs, undertaking work placements and apprenticeships and volunteering. 


Remember, it’s not what you know but who you know. 


5. Learn the Art of Selling Yourself


We understand that this doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but selling yourself is just like marketing yourself as you would a business. Start by putting yourself in the shoes of a recruiter and ask yourself whether you stand out from a crowd of CVs and applicants. If not, spend some time working out why. 


But never lie on a CV application to make yourself look better. Not even the little white lies. You will be found out and it won’t do you any favours. 


6. Boost Your Confidence 


Trust us when we say that a confident individual is a far more attractive candidate to employers than a shy one. Display your confidence by being prepared for your interview armed with good research about the company and the job role you’re applying for; be positive throughout and learn from your mistakes. 


By organising a few dummy run interviews with friends and family will really help you to prepare and allow you to speak comfortably and confidently in front of an interviewer without felling nervous. Just avoid coming across as cocky and over-confident, as it’s often seen as a mask for someone who is hiding something. 


7. Gain Industry Experience


Regardless of whether it’s paid or unpaid, an internship or a summer job, do all that you can to gain industry experience. Employers will want to see more than just your qualifications and are more likely to interview a candidate who has actively sought out previous work experience. It will help set you apart from those who have none. 


8. Research Companies Before Applying 


It’s really helpful to spend some time researching and getting to know companies that are of interest before applying for a job role there. Follow them on social media and subscribe to their company blog. This will give you helpful insight into the company culture, not just what service they provide and the clients they provide for. After all, you want to make sure you work for a company that fits your needs as much as you fit theirs. 


Never assume that you can research a company the morning before an interview. The candidates that really stand out are the ones who have clearly done their homework researching the company in detail. 


9. Never Stop Learning 


We know you have just finished your degree, and learning is something you’re hoping to leave behind. But in reality you should never stop learning. Knowledge is very powerful and the more you know in your chosen industry the more employable you become. 


It takes people years to reach the top of their game, and those that do have continued their learning and understanding. We suggest subscribing to relevant blogs, watching helpful webinars and attending conferences to help build on your knowledge. 


10. Believe In Yourself 


There’s a lot to be said for someone who believes in themselves. You’d be surprised how much this can impact your ability to sell yourself. Never doubt yourself and your ability to succeed in your chosen career. Negativity is never good and those who focus on positives will go further than those who don’t. 


Justify in your head why you should be selected for a role and you’ll find it far easier to convince recruiters and employers.


11. Be Flexible 


Whilst this is easier for some than for others, always try to be flexible. An application for one role may see you offered an interview for another or perhaps on a slightly lower than expected salary. Being flexible on specific job roles, salary and working hours will help you to get your foot in the door of the company you want to be part of. 


Heading into an interview or applying for a role with a fixed mindset is never a good idea, as things don’t always go just as you expected them to. 


Being flexible sets you apart from those who aren’t.



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The best way to answer “Why Should We Hire You?” in your interview.



Most hiring managers will close out an interview asking you point blank why they should hire you. If you’ve ever been stumped when it comes to this question, the painful truth is you likely failed that interview.


If you want to impress you potential employer and demonstrate your desire to work for them, you will need to have done your research on the company and position well in advance in order to close the interview on a positive note.


When you are prepared and have completed your research ahead of time, it will be easy for you to address the key reasons why you are perfect for the job.



Point out your skills.


When you have a solid understanding of the position’s job duties and requirements, this should be an easy sell to the employer. Take a look at what they want and need from the position you’re applying for. 


  • What are the key skills and requirements? 
  • Are there any additional experiences or skills that you have which would be a plus for the position? 


For example, if the company is searching for a finance manager for their global staffing company, it would be a huge bonus if your financial experience is on a global basis or in the staffing industry. This is something that you would want to point out to them as a reason why they should hire you for the job.


Being able to establish the connection between your skills and the job requirements is necessary if you wish to have a successful interview.


Establish your ability to learn.


As always, it doesn’t matter how much experience you have in the position at hand. You must also be willing and able to learn a new business, new processes, or even a new industry.


If you have had successful experience learning and picking up new skills in the past, be sure to bring this up during the interview. This proves that you not only have the key skills they are looking for, but that you also have the initiative and desire to learn more.


Don’t forget about the culture.


If you have done your research prior to the interview, you will be very familiar with the company’s culture. No longer is it satisfactory for HR to just find someone with the skills and experience to hire for a job. Today, hiring managers are searching for individuals who will transition smoothly into their company’s culture.


Make sure that you establish your knowledge of the company culture. If you have worked in similar cultures in the past, talk about this. State how your attitude and beliefs will fit in well with the company’s established culture.

Does a creative's CV need to be creative?

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Getting a job has always been competitive and candidates are doing all they can to give themselves an advantage. So is there a need to get creative with your CV?

Let’s first consider the purpose of a CV; to portray important information in a concise and informative way which allows the reader to quickly scan and take in the relevant information. So how do you make yours stand out?

In the creative industry people want to show their creative potential, are making CVs their own by expressing themselves through their unique presentation and layout. But can this get in the way of the sole purpose of a CV? Is it not the job of the portfolio to show creative talent and potential?

I guess it can be quite subjective; one employer may be impressed with your creativity, whilst another may not be prepared to spend the extra time needed to actually find the relevant information on your CV. But it seems getting the balance right is crucial. If you can keep it easy to read whilst showing some unique creative flair, then it will probably make a good impression.

Have a look at these creative CV’s below. Which ones have got the balance right, and which ones seem to have forgotten the aim of a CV? Let us know what you think…

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