career change Tag

[caption id="attachment_18573" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Have you updated your profile lately?"] [/caption] How long has it been since you updated your LinkedIn profile? If your answer is months or years (shame on you), now is the time to turn the spotlight on your LinkedIn profile and give it the shiny New Year’s makeover it deserves. Here are ten ways to make sure your LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd: 1. ADD A RECENT PHOTO If your LinkedIn profile photo is more than 2 years old, it is out of date. Make sure your photo is not one of you out on the town holding a wineglass, but one that portrays you as the professional you really are. 2. MAKE YOUR PROFESSIONAL HEADLINE WORK FOR YOU Although your entire profile should be keyword-rich, making your Personal Headline as keyword-rich as possible will go a long way towards getting noticed. When someone searches for someone using key words...

[caption id="attachment_18577" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The portfolio career life"] [/caption] Career portfolios, also referred to as professional portfolios, are a valuable career development tool. Here's a guide to help you understand what a career portfolio is, how to create one and how to use it to help you get ahead in your career. What is a career portfolio? A career portfolio is a collection of materials evidencing your qualifications, skills, experience and personal qualities. Used as a marketing tool, your career portfolio is a powerful visual aid which allows you to showcase your career accomplishments and provide insight into your capabilities. It can be used to apply to jobs, apply to college or training program and to justify seeking a pay rise. In addition to demonstrating your skills and abilities, it allows you to keep track of your own personal and professional development. What does a career portfolio look like? There are two types of career portfolio:...

[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_18588" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Working mum Shellon returns to work with 5 month old Mahdka  Photo: BBC Two"] [/caption] Addison Lee, a London based mincab company recently ran an interesting workplace trial allowing parents to bring their babies to work. The trial was documented by BBC Two and made for fascinating television as we watched the trials and tribulations of mothers, babies, co-workers and management. The trial of the scheme was prompted by the apparent success of similar schemes in the USA where a growing number of companies successfully run babies-at-work schemes. Aired over two nights, BBC2 Two’s Babies in the Office highlighted the plight of working parents struggling to afford rising child care costs and maintain a work-life balance. It also turned the spotlight on organisations and their managers who face the growing challenge of staff retention and curbing the associated costs of recruitment and training. Shellon, one of the mothers who participated in...

[caption id="attachment_18593" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] You have less than 8 seconds to create a good first impression[/caption] You might already be aware that you have less than 8 seconds to create a good first impression during a job interview. What you might not know is how to create a good first impression and be remembered a smartly dressed, well-presented professional. The Basics Avoid eating strongly flavoured foods before your interview. This is particularly important if your interview is scheduled after lunchtime. Stick with a simple sandwich or salad minus garlicky spreads or dressings. Be sure to check your teeth before the interview, that you have no food or lipstick stuck to them. Hair should be freshly washed and neatly styled. If you're a woman you might find wearing your hair in an up-style more manageable with the added benefit of removing the temptation of fussing with it before or during the interview. Women should stick to...

[caption id="attachment_18628" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Even in tough times you can advance your career"] [/caption] You might think tough economic times mean that any plans for advancing your career are on hold. In fact, the current economic climate provides an ideal opportunity for you to take advantage of the situation. Here are some ideas to help you advance your career: Gain new skills We have all heard the countless stories about dwindling numbers of workers and the increased workloads within organisations. If you find yourself in this situation, rather than seeing it as an overwhelming threat, try looking at the opportunities the situation presents. Taking on extra duties could enable you to develop new skills which will make you more marketable or provide leverage to ask for a pay rise and higher status. Grasp any opportunities that arise to job shadow or receive on-the-job training and mentoring from other staff members. Be on the lookout...

[caption id="attachment_18631" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Tips for the best cover letter"] [/caption] Many job seekers struggle when writing a cover letter. Here's my top ten cover letter writing tips to help guide the process. Your cover letter should be in a standard business format. Don’t use borders or fancy fonts, stick with a standard business font such as Arial or Times New Roman; Include your name, address, telephone numbers and email at the top of the letter; Address the letter to a specific person if possible paying special attention to make sure you use the correct spelling of their name; Include any position reference numbers and the position title; If responding to a job advertisement, use it as a guide to help you write your cover letter being sure to give examples of how you fit the requirements mentioned in the advertisement; Try and keep your cover letter to one page in length. Use plain English and...

[caption id="attachment_18641" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Volunteer to help your career"] [/caption] It's Volunteer's Week and I thought now would be the perfect time to discuss the benefits of volunteering and how it can boost your career. There are so many advantages to volunteering but here are the main ones: Gain work experience It’s a fact that employers look more favourably upon candidates with a combination of qualifications and experience than they do on those with qualifications alone. One of the most common questions I'm asked by graduates and career changers is how to gain practical work experience when no one is prepared to give you a go? Short of finding an entry-level role or internship, volunteering is one of the best ways to gain practical work skills and experience. Professional development As a volunteer, it's likely you'll gain access to professional development opportunities since many hosts provide free training for volunteers. This could take the form...

[caption id="attachment_18644" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Outplacement can be a positive change"] [/caption] Outplacement is a term used to describe the provision of support services to employees facing redundancy or early retirement. Employees are made redundant for a number of reasons including organisation restructure, downsizing, or due a business closing down. Who pays for outplacement and what’s included? Organisations often fund outplacement services for employees who are being made redundant although some redundant employees who have not been offered outplacement services as part of their redundancy package choose to purchase outplacement services for themselves. The level of assistance provided by an outplacement company will vary depending on the package negotiated by the organisation or the employee. Some outplacement companies deliver their services in groups, others on a one-to-one basis or a combination of group and one-to-one support. The kinds of services offered by outplacement companies vary but might include: Information about the labour market including how identify and...

[caption id="attachment_18647" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Being prepared means having less stress"] [/caption] So, you’ve submitted your application and landed yourself an interview - congratulations! It’s not uncommon to feel a sense of panic set in as you realise you need to prepare for the all-important interview. But what exactly should you be doing in the lead up to the interview? RESEARCH THE COMPANY It’s important to research the company before the interview so you can prepare yourself to answer any questions. Adequate research will give you some insight into the various aspects of the company including its history, culture, aims, objectives and future plans. There are a number of ways to research a company but by far the easiest way is via the company’s own website. Seek out as much information as possible eg. read the company’s annual reports, published articles, reports, conference papers and marketing materials. You can also research a company via social...