Unemployment figures at a six year low as job market booms

Everyone loves a bit of good news, and what could be better than to hear UK unemployment figures have fallen to their lowest in six years?

This week, major news sources such as the BBC have reported a substantial drop in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance and declaring unemployment.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a decrease of more than 120,000 in the number of unemployed, meaning there are now only 2.1 million UK residents declaring this status. The drop occurred during the three months leading up to May when the figures were assessed.

CV-Library have been analysing monthly and quarterly data related to the UK job market, and have noticed an upward trend in the number of job applications across all employment sectors since this time last year.

Jobs boom

Job applications are on the increase!

Sectors such as Administration, Retail, Sales, Construction and IT have been doing particularly well – especially in the capital – and it must be noted that the number of job applications have increased substantially in all areas of the UK since June 2013.

The number of jobs being advertised have also increased during the last 12 months – job postings in London alone are up 70% on last year’s figures. This indicates a higher demand for candidates as the job market expands and businesses recover from the recession.

To read CV-Library’s analysis of the London job market in Q1 of 2014, click here: http://www.cv-library.co.uk/reports/cvlibrary-job-market-report-april-2014.html


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Lee Biggins Mentors Pupils at Annual Careers Day

I recently took a trip back to my secondary school, Court Moor in Fleet. I have been taking part in the school’s annual Careers Day for the past four years. The event sees Year 10 pupils take a day off from regular classes to learn about breaking into the world of business, which is an important consideration for this year group in particular as they’re at the age where they’re thinking about what to do next. Myself and a number of local business people attended the event as mentors, to guide pupils through the process of creating job applications and going to interviews.

Lee Biggins Court Moor 2

It is imperative that the children of today are better prepared for entering the working world, whenever they choose to leave education. Learning how to build your own CV and sell yourself in person are important skills. By providing the opportunity to practise interview techniques, chances of success in the future will be increased.

It’s not a secret that I didn’t get on with the academic side of things when I was younger. I had my mind set on joining the family carpet fitting business from a young age. I know what it’s like to not really have an interest in school, and looking back I can honestly say that the most important thing is figuring out where you want to go in life. If you’re academically minded then great, but if not then there are still loads of options out there for you. Having clarity on what you want to achieve is important. School is a good foundation but it is possible to build on what you learn there – I’ve discovered that there are routes to success which don’t just revolve around the grades you achieve.

For me, the best thing about attending events like this one is that occasionally I will come across a student who reminds me of myself when I was younger. When this happens, I make it my mission to plant a seed of inspiration in their mind. It’s also nice to think my advice can make a lasting impression on school-leavers – I often see ex-pupils in the gym or around town who make a point of coming up to me and letting me know how they’re getting on with their chosen career.

I will definitely be going back to take part in next year’s event, and would urge any other Hampshire-based business people who may be interested in finding out more to get in touch with Rob Ellis on r.ellis6@court-moor.hants.sch.uk

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Phrases in Your CV Employers Love


In this new blog from Career Savvy, the team look at phrases in your CV which employers love to see. Check out the suggestions below to maximise the effectiveness of your CV.


OK so this isn’t technically a phrase, but recruiters and hirers love statistics. Anything that counts as tangible data evidencing your achievements is great. It gives them a concrete idea of what’s good about you, turning you from a risk to a sure bet. And when you’re up against a ton of other applicants, being a sure bet is essential. Think about aspects such as grades, profit you helped to turnover, number of projects/tasks you completed in your previous role, months you consistently hit your targets, and so on.


Employers don’t want to spend money on recruiting you for you to leave soon and find another job – that’s money down the drain. In the current job market, it is candidates with staying power that everyone wants to snap up. You can express your long-term goals in your CV – but only if they match up to the job you are applying to. If you don’t feel it’s appropriate, be sure your experience includes instances where you worked on a project for a considerable period of time. This could even be a personal goal, such as training for a marathon, if you don’t have many professional or academic examples to draw upon.


If there is one thing employers want out of a candidate, it’s initiative. Why? In today’s job market fitting the bill isn’t always good enough. In order to go above and beyond, it’s great if you can present evidence in your CV of opportunities that you created for yourself by using your noggin. This could be events that you helped to organise, ideas you contributed to projects, or similar


It seems that this is the new favourite word for employers and recruiters everywhere. Creative individuals are highly sought-after for a variety of roles these days – but you don’t have to be good at watercolours or pottery to claim to be creative. It does work in your favour if you can include a time that you created something, be this an idea, a project, a new way of working on something, etc. Rather than talking about personal skills like being hard-working or enthusiastic, it’s better to point out examples where you actually did or made something. Actions speak louder than words, after all.

As a general rule, employers want to see verbs instead of nouns on your CV. This means that words like ‘hard-worker’, ‘team-player’ and ‘driven individual’ get the boot, replaced with ‘achieved’ and ‘worked successfully on’, followed by the example of your experience.

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How To Attract Recruiters

CV-Library is home to over 7,000 recruiters. Here are some tips on how to make your CV stand out and how to attract recruiters to you.

It’s all about the key words

Including as many relevant key words as possible near the top of your CV will mean your profile could rank higher than others in recruiter searches. If you’re not sure what your key words should be, think about using the most basic terms to describe your job and industry. You could also look at job adverts for the type of role you’re looking for and try to mimic the language utilised there.

Make your aims explicit

If you are only interested in looking for a specific type of role, then state this at the top of your CV. If there’s something you’re really not interested in, make a note of that, too. Write down your salary requirements, the locations you could work in, and whether you’re looking for contract or permanent roles. This will save you – and potential recruiters – a lot of time, as many preliminary conversations are aimed at identifying basic requirements before discussing specific job opportunities.

Think about your contact details

If it’s generally not going to be viable for you to pick up your phone during the working day, then maybe it’s best to keep your phone number off of your CV. If you’re available to take calls in the morning or over lunch, state the hours of your availability so interested recruiters can know when to call you. Creating a new email address for your job hunt can be a good way of keeping on top of written communication, too.

Don’t spread yourself too thin

If you’re planning to join job boards, it’s a good idea to try one at a time and see what results you yield. It is easy to underestimate the volume of recruiter contact your profile may attract. Think realistically about the amount of time you have to dedicate to job hunting and whether it could be best to aim for quality over quantity.

Be nice to recruiters, even when they’re wrong

Maintain a friendly demeanour whilst on the phone to all recruiters. If they’re not hitting the mark with the roles they’re suggesting, politely explain what it is you’re looking for so they can get a better idea. You can save their number into your phone and then decide whether you want to speak with them directly next time they call – they will leave a message if not. There’s no use in burning bridges as you never know who will get in touch about that perfect role.

If you’ve done all of this and you’re still getting contacted about irrelevant roles, then maybe it’s time to reassess how well your CV reflects your experience and goals. Check out the CV-Library guide to writing a successful CV.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Notice Period

Once you’ve handed your notice in at work you may have anything up to three months before you leave the business. You’ve still got work to do but now your mind is starting to wander to how you can best prepare for your next challenge! Here’s how to make the most of your notice period before you move on.

Tie up any loose ends

If you’re in the middle of a project you should endeavour to tie up all of the loose ends. It’s good practise to see things through and will be appreciated by the colleagues you’re leaving behind. Say your goodbyes to regular contacts, too. By letting people know you’re moving on it will make your transition from the business easier on everyone.

Make a note of contact details

It’s likely you’ve built a strong network of contacts during your time in your current role, and you never know whether these could be useful for the future. Make a note of the people you’d like to stay in touch with, and keep their details somewhere safe. Add people on social media or business networks where relevant.

Ask your boss/ colleagues for recommendations

Whilst you’re still on site at your current job, it will be easier to ask your boss for a letter of recommendation. Sites such as Linkedin have informal means of requesting and providing recommendations, too.

Prepare for your next role

It’s a good idea to find out if there’s anything you need to prepare for your next role so you can get a head start on that before your first day. Perhaps there will be reading material, or a new tool to get to grips with. Do ask if there’s anything you should be looking at in advance.

Relax – a bit!

Depending on the type of work you do, you may find your workload winding down in the lead up to your last day. Now’s the time to de-stress your mind, maybe get a little extra sleep (if you don’t have to be in so early) and enjoy the prospect of an exciting new challenge on the horizon.

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My Boss Added Me On Facebook! Social Media at Work

The use of social media at work is fast becoming the norm, with employees connecting up on professional networking sites such as Linkedin and XING, and even using social hubs such as G+ to maintain intra-business communications.

However, there are many social networking sites which are best kept separate from work!

Facebook – the, ‘look at this hilarious photo of me doing shots through my eye’ offender, Twitter – the, ‘look what I had for dinner, again’ network and Instagram – the ‘look how attractive I am’ app are all fantastic fun when utilised for non-professional purposes.

However, when the lines between work and social media become blurred, the consequences can be dire. So, if you have fallen into the trap of (either willingly or begrudgingly) acquiring your bosses’ online friendship, here’s how best to manage that relationship!

Follow suit

It’s a good idea to figure out your bosses online behaviour toward you, and follow suit. If they’re posting links on your wall, commenting on your statuses and re-tweeting your nuggets of wisdom, then feel free to reciprocate. If they’ve not gone out of their way to interact with you online then it’s best to keep that “Which Game of Thrones Character Are You?” quiz to yourself.

Hide as much as you can

We’re not saying delete all your holiday snaps and funny videos, but do make use of the settings which allow you to choose who sees what. Similarly, if you’re creating an event and inviting work colleagues – but not your boss – make sure it’s set to private to avoid causing offence.

Only discuss work positively

If you’re usually one for having a little moan about how tough your day was, it’s time to nip that behaviour in the bud. If you want to rant about any aspect of your working life then keep it to private messages between friends.

Watch out for sick days and late nights

Not that we’re suggesting you’d ever pull a sickie, but if you are taking legitimate time off work make sure your online presence doesn’t suggest otherwise! If you’re at home with the flu don’t spend your day playing Candy Crush (and publishing the results) – you’re supposed to be recuperating. Similarly, if you’re out late on a Sunday night don’t let the world know about it – if you’re a little off your game on Monday morning it’s best your boss thinks this is down to working – rather than partying – hard.

Review all tags

As well as the content you upload, you must also be wary of what your friends are adding to your profile. Sod’s law dictates you’ll be tagged in something incriminating on a day you have no internet access. You won’t notice it going up, but by the time you log in that evening you’ll be cringing and wishing you’d been able to review that tag ASAP! There’s a setting which allows you to review every photo and status you’re included in before it appears on your wall. Best use it.

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How To Build an Effective Sales Team

If you’ve been in sales for some time you may now be looking to take on a managerial position within the industry. Below you will find our top tips for becoming the best sales team manager you can possibly be. So, don’t forget – with great power comes great responsibility – and great success!

Figure out your team’s individual strengths

Your team are most likely a varied bunch with a wide spectrum of skills. By identifying individual strengths you can build an efficient team and will be able to identify which tasks suit which team members best.

Figure out how to get through to them

People respond to different types of leadership. Being able to adjust your managerial style for the type of personality you’re dealing with is a trait which separates the good from the great. There are people who like to work alone, and people who like to check in after each task. There are people who thrive on praise, and people who are motivated by improving on their failings. If you can, figure out how best to get through to each of your team members.

Motivate them to win

Employ the use of prizes, leaderboards and competitions to motivate your team members to do as well as they can. A little bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone, and taking a moment to celebrate a high achiever can break up the day in a nice way for you, and for them.

Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns

If something isn’t working out with one of your team members, the best thing you can do is have a chat with them to flag the issue in a friendly way. Doing this when you first identify a problem will mean the issue can be rectified sooner rather than later, and you will feel better getting it out in the open rather than stewing over it.

Have a plan for growth

Being realistic, look into your options for team growth and have a plan in mind for what’s achievable. It’s good to see where you’re going, and also exciting to see what your team could be doing this time next year!

Remember, you were there once

In an ideal world, everybody in your team would hit 100% of target every day! However, if someone has made a mistake or is not performing to their best, just remember you were in their position once. Give advice from experience.

Search for our Sales Manager job opportunities here.

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First Time in A Sales Team? Here’s What To Expect

Whatever your motivation for joining a sales team, the below information can help prepare industry newbies for what’s to come.

It’s fast paced

Sales environments can be very fast paced. In a lot of cases where cold calling in required, it’s often sheer volume of calls which will bring in results. Depending on the focus of the business you choose to join, you may be required to speak with a certain number of potential clients each day. If you’re selling a specialist product or have a warm customer base it is likely you will have more time to dedicate to each sale.

It’s competitive

Whilst most businesses promote team spirit, working in sales can often involve some level of competition with your colleagues. It is common practise for team managers to utilise leader boards or competition prizes to celebrate those who are doing well.

It can be loud

Walking out onto a sales floor for the first time can be a little bit overwhelming – imagine fifty people on the phone in one room at once! Once you get used to it, though, the noise becomes more of a background buzz.

It can be rewarding

Doing well in sales often means earning lots of money! If you need any further motivation, sales can also be a rewarding career choice for those looking to work alongside bright, chatty people and for those who enjoy working to targets. Seeing your name at the top of the company leaderboard can also give a great sense of satisfaction.

It can be varied

Working on the road in a specialist salesperson or business development role can mean you get to eat your lunch in a different town every day! This type of role could suit anyone who feels they’d be better at selling in person.

It’s great for making friends

One of the best things about joining a sales team is all the great people you get to meet. If you’re not bonding over the product you’re selling or that one grumpy customer, you’ll be looking forward to the next night out – sales teams often socialise outside of working hours.

Now you know what to expect – why not check out our current sales job opportunities here.

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The Perks of Working in Retail

Thinking about a career in retail? If so, there are many plus points to working in retail which you may not have considered. In retail you will…

Meet lots of people

Majority of retail jobs are highly sociable. Unlike other working environments, in retail you not only get to meet lots of people, but you get to talk to them, too! If you’re a chatty person, the level of face to face interaction that a retail role entails could be perfect for you. If you’re not shop-based, many other retail careers require good communication skills, too.

Do lots of exercise

The last thing you’re going to complain about after a day in retail is that you’ve got loads of energy to burn! Retail is a fast past environment – whether you’re selling, managing, buying or merchandising. If you’re not running around on the shop floor you’ll be on the phone or in meetings, giving it your all.

Learn to love what you’re selling

When you start a new job in retail you will soon find yourself learning everything there is to know about the products you’re selling. This can work both ways – if you have a particular passion (such as music, sport or shoes) you may choose to embrace this by working within that specific environment. Your knowledge and love of the product will shine through and help drive sales for your brand!

Get great discounts

This is an obvious one, but definitely worth mentioning! Employees of retail brands will often receive a percentage discount or monthly allowance to purchase in-store goods.

Make friends across the country – and the world!

If your role includes UK travel you will make new friends as you move from site to site.
Similarly, when working for a worldwide brand at a high level, there are often requirements for international communication.

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Exciting Jobs In Retail You May Not Have Considered

Wondering where your career in retail can go next? Check out our top jobs in retail suggestions below for some inspiration!

Fashion Buyer

Entry level assistant positions can be a great way to get your foot in the door within the fashion industry. By learning to identify product opportunities and merchandising strategies, you could one day find yourself in a senior buyer position for a top firm. Imagine being in charge of deciding which handbags Harrods has in stock!

Photography sales assistant

Hundreds of bespoke photography studios are in operation across the UK, with a handful of well-known brands standing out as big players in the market. Put your sales skills to good use with a job in a photography studio. Not only will you have the opportunity to work with a variety of different customers, you may also have the chance to help out with the creative side of things.

Window Dresser

If you’re an arty type and understand the world of retail, utilising your aesthetic talents could secure you a role as a window dresser for a fashion firm or department store.

Pet Shop Assistant

If you love animals but aren’t qualified to become a vet, the next best thing could be a retail role within a pet shop. National chains often have vacancies for sales assistants, with the main duties being organising and selling stock – if you can tear yourself away from the fuzzy bunnies for long enough!

Independent Store Manager

Whatever your interest– hats, comic book memorabilia, fishing – there’s always the option of running your own business selling products you’re passionate about. If you’ve been in retail for a while and understand the ins and outs of customer service, merchandising and organising stock – why not think about going it alone? If you have an audience willing to buy what you’re selling, it could be the start of something big!

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