career planning

Write a winning cover letter There's no doubt a well written cover letter can boost your chances of being invited to an interview. In contrast to your CV, your cover letter enables you to explain why you are a good fit for a position and your reasons for wanting to work for an organisation. If you’ve never written a cover letter or it’s been a while,the following guide will take you step by step through the process of writing a winning cover letter. First things first Your first task is to understand what the employer is looking for. Identify the key criteria which you’ll find in the job ad and in the job description. List all the skills, experience and qualities they have mentioned so that you can be sure to include these in your cover letter wherever possible.   Writing your cover letter Your information:  Your name, address, email address and telephone numbers. You...

[caption id="attachment_18497" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Don't make these common LinkedIn mistakes"] [/caption] Are you using LinkedIn effectively? With more than 546 million users (*as of 24 March 2018), LinkedIn is one of the world's largest on-line communities. It's important that you use it responsibly so it can continue to be the powerful professional networking tool it was designed to be. Here's five things you shouldn't do on LinkedIn: 1. Don’t send random connection requests Send connection requests in a mindful way. Think about why you want to connect with the person and personalise your connection request message by explaining why you think you should connect. 2. Don’t give fake endorsements You should only endorse people for skills you know they have and generally speaking only for those skills you have witnessed first-hand. Don’t feel obligated to endorse your connections just because they have endorsed you or if LinkedIn suggests an endorsement. 3. Don’t be an over-poster We’ve all seen them, the LinkedIn addicts who...

[caption id="attachment_16775" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Thinking of changing career?"] [/caption] Changing jobs is challenging enough but changing to a whole new career can be overwhelming.  One of the biggest hurdles faced by career changers is how to make a smooth and successful transition to their new career.  To help, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to make the transition to your new career an easier one. Research A vital first step in changing careers is to research your new career. Speak to people in the industry to gain a realistic insight in to the culture, conditions, opportunities and challenges. As part of your research you should aim to identify any skills gaps, transferable skills and any qualifications or certifications required for your new career. Find out what others in your chosen new career have done for example, what are their backgrounds? What was their progression route? What qualifications do they have? Develop a plan A good...

[caption id="attachment_18663" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Brand You - The most important brand of all"] [/caption] Personal branding has become one of the biggest buzz terms in recent years. If you haven’t bought into the hype but now wonder if you should have, here’s an overview of personal branding and why it could work for you. What is personal branding? Personal branding is about creating a brand for yourself just as a you would when marketing a product. In personal branding, you are the product. Why do I need a personal brand? By developing your personal brand, you set yourself apart from others. How do I develop my personal brand? Personal branding guru Dan Schawbel has developed four-step personal branding process to help you develop your own personal brand: Four step personal branding process: Discover – figure out who you are and how you can brand yourself Create – create a personal branding tool kit Communicate – communicate your brand regularly Maintain – maintain...

[caption id="attachment_18683" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Since we are fast approaching Christmas, it seems the perfect time to turn our attention to the job opportunities the festive season brings. Target industries with high seasonal demand"] [/caption] Although most companies put off taking on new staff just before and just after Christmas, there are industries where the Christmas period may be the busiest. Industries like retail and hospitality for example, typically become very busy around the Christmas period and are likely to take on extra staff to cope with the increased demand. It’s true that much of this work will be temporary in nature since once the Christmas frenzy is over, the work will be too. Foot in the door However, seasonal work can be a great foot-in-the-door opportunity for someone wanting to join a company with a view to securing a more permanent role. This Christmas, Sainsbury's are taking on an extra 15,000 workers, the largest number...