Why now is a good time to apply for a job in IT

Hand Write Computer

With the IT industry growing at such a rapid pace, over 500,000 IT candidates are now turning to CV-Library to help them source their next perfect role. As a company that is recognised for its strong technology, having recently been awarded as the best job site on mobile and ‘Best Mobile App’, naturally candidates are turning to the most user-friendly and accessible job board when they conduct their search!

Whether you are a graduate looking to source your first role, or an individual with a wealth of experience, there are a number of IT vacancies advertised on CV-Library’s website. Within the last year, we have noticed a growth of 22% in the number of job roles posted within the IT sector – this a rapid growth when compared to 2012-2013 which saw a growth of only 7%. With roles ranging from IT Administrators to IT Managers, to more specialised roles such as IT Buyers and IT Analysts, there are vacancies that cater to a variety of abilities.

Lee Biggins, Managing Director of CV-Library: “IT is an industry which is currently expanding at a rapid pace, and this has been reflected by our record-breaking number of candidates that are looking for a new role in the IT industry. With the constant changes and advancements in technology, almost every company has a need for an IT employee – whether this be an individual or a whole team.”

If you are looking to apply for a job in IT, take a look at our current IT roles and find your next position with CV-Library.

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Going green this Earth Day (2015)

Planet Earth on a beautiful green meadow

Today is Earth Day, a worldwide initiative to support environmental protection. In honour of the day we’re sharing some tips to move toward a greener workplace! You may not be in control of everything that happens in your office environment, but there are always some small changes you can make to improve your impact on the environment.

So where can you start?

  • Green up your commute. Start your day the environmentally friendly way by walking, cycling or carpooling to work. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint and may even get a little more exercise or make new friends in the process.
  • Go paperless. You’ve heard this before, but taking an extra moment to consider the environment before printing anything out could have a big impact. Adding a footnote to your emails asking others to do the same will help spread the word further.
  • Turn off your equipment. We’re all guilty of leaving the computer on for a quicker boot-time in the morning or forgetting to switch off the lights before leaving in the evening. Leave reminders for yourself to turn off all equipment every night to help save energy – this could save you or your employer some money as well!
  • Swap out the disposable plates, cups and cutlery. Think about how many cups of tea you drink every day – do you really need to use a disposable paper cup for every single one? If you switch to reusable plates, cups and cutlery in the kitchen there may be more cleaning responsibilities but it could have a big impact on the environment.
  • Consider your travel. Before booking your next work trip think about how necessary the travel is and if you can, opt for video conference meetings instead. If you absolutely must travel consider environmentally friendly options, such as public transportation over driving.

You may not have control over all of these things in your office, but consider what you can do as an individual to help create a greener office and inspire others to do the same.

Learn more about what you can do this Earth Day: http://www.earthday.org/

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Top Tips: How to Ask for a Pay Rise (and Get it!)

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Unless your company is really on the ball with providing regular opportunities for pay reviews, you may feel the need to take matters into your own hands and ask for a pay rise. This can be a tricky conversation to negotiate, so we’ve come up with our top tips for preparing yourself for – and going through with – asking your boss for more money.

 

Conduct market research

It may not be possible to find out what your immediate peers are earning – it’s not overly professional to pry into people’s earnings, and your colleagues may be wary about sharing this kind of information! However, you can look online – on comparison websites and job boards – to get an idea of the market salaries for your industry and experience level. Decide on a number before you talk with your manager, don’t leave it open ended. It’s best to discuss your desired salary in specific terms.

 

Create a case for success

Ask yourself why you’re asking for a pay rise. Have you recently had some great achievements within your role? Perhaps you believe your contribution has been fantastic since day one, or maybe you’ve recently taken on some new responsibilities. Whatever your reasons, you should endeavour to back up your request with tangible evidence of why you deserve a pay rise. Simply saying ‘because I’ve been here a year’ may not cut it, you should prepare a solid reason regarding why you deserve more of the businesses’ profits. Talk in money terms if relevant, for instance – ‘I made the company X amount of money in the last six months’, or ‘I’ve made several decisions which have saved us money’. Remind your employers about any awards or prizes you have won, too.

 

Pick the best time

Don’t try and speak with your manager when they are busy or about to leave for the day. You need to pick a time when they will be able to dedicate their full attention to you. If necessary you should book a meeting in advance, to ensure that they have the time to discuss the issue with you. This will also give you more time to prepare.

 

Begin the conversation

It doesn’t pay to beat around the bush here! You need to enter into the conversation with confidence and a sense of purpose. To set the scene, you can start the conversation with something like, ‘I’d like to talk about reviewing my pay’, or ‘In light of my performance at work, I wanted to ask you about a pay rise’. Then, after giving them a chance to respond, tell them what amount you’re looking for, and back this up with the reasons you have previously prepared.

 

Don’t make it all about you – make it about your business

The fact you may be asking for a pay rise because you want to afford a better car or save up for a house is irrelevant. Enter into the conversation with the mindset that your contribution to the business is worth a higher reward. Discuss your request in business, rather than personal, terms.

 

Nerves of steel!

Negotiations around money can sometimes become a little tense, but don’t back down under pressure or let your mouth run away with you! Don’t take back your request, or suggest a different amount, keep your nerve and wait for your manager to respond to your initial request. Breathe, remain calm, and remember any awkwardness is only for the short term (and will hopefully result in a long term gain for you). Don’t, whatever you do, leave the meeting without knowing what the next steps are. If your manager says they cannot talk to you at this time, or they’re not the best person for you to be having the conversation with, ask them directly what the next step will be and when you can expect for this to happen.

 

For more career tips visit the CV-Library Career Advice Centre.

 

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When interviews go bad – How to recover an interview after a bumpy start

Dismissal or failed job interview concept

Picture this: You spend hours preparing ahead of your interview with Company X; you wake up extra early, have a hearty breakfast and refresh your memory on last night’s research. But somehow, when you walk into the room, shake your interviewers hand and ready yourself for the first question, your mind draws a blank and suddenly all the valuable research you’ve done is gone from your memory.

Interviews are one of the biggest unknowns in the process of looking for a job and unfortunately they don’t always go in your favour. But just because an interview is off to a bad start, doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around.  Whether you freeze up like a student before an exam, stumble on your words, or make a mistake in your answer, you still have a chance to recover the meeting.

The very first thing to do is take a deep breath and give yourself a minute to think – it’s perfectly acceptable to take a few moments to think before answering a question and no interviewer will penalise you for doing so. If you haven’t quite gathered your composure then ask the interviewer for a glass of water or take a moment to sip from the glass they provided you already. Taking deep breaths and sipping on water can have an immediate calming effect and should offer some clarity.

If you’ve misspoken, or incorrectly answered a question, just relax and address the situation. You’re only human so you’re bound to make mistakes but how you deal with them can say more about you than the mistake itself.  If something minor happened lighten the mood and joke about it, this will break the ice and allow you to relax before continuing with the interview.

When you’ve made a more serious error in an interview, use it as an opportunity to show how you handle challenges in your work. Showing, in a real-life situation, that you’re able to maintain your composure and correct a mistake can prove your value. The trick is not to dwell on it and shift the conversation to a more positive topic.

If at the end of the meeting you still feel the interview didn’t go very well, take some time to reflect on what went wrong. If there are valid reasons for your poor performance that you’d like to share with the interviewer, then use the follow-up ‘Thank You Note’ as the place to do so. Just be sure to only address mistakes you’re absolutely certain the interviewer noticed. Don’t use the ‘Thank You Note’ as an apology for a bad interview; instead use it to explain specific slip-ups such as misunderstanding a question, or sharing why you may have been distracted due to a serious life event.

At the end of the day, all you can do is prepare as best you can and remain professional through any uncomfortable moments. If things didn’t quite go your way then use it as an opportunity to learn – it could make your next interview that much better!

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April is National Pet Month: Can pets at work reduce stress?

Business Admin

April is National Pet Month so we’re taking this opportunity to talk about the impact our furry friends can have on our working environment. If you work from home with your pets around or have a pet-friendly office, does the presence of pets actually help or hurt your productivity?

It’s almost impossible not to smile when a sweet puppy enters the room, but beyond this, there is actually evidence to suggest that having that puppy around can help you be more successful at work.

Reduce stress

There is proof that having a dog in the office while you work can drastically reduce stress levels. An office pooch puts workers at ease and their presence in the office can stave off unwanted stress as the day progresses. The theory here is that the calm and loving nature of dogs can help put work-related stress into perspective. Additionally, for the owner of the dog there is less stress about leaving their loved pet alone all day.

Increase communication

Having dogs in the office can help to energise communication among employees – they tend to spark conversations between people who don’t typically speak to one another. While the conversations focus on the dogs themselves or life with/without pets, it fosters a more open and collaborative environment. This means that employers feel more socialised and happier, while also improving communication for better workflow throughout the office.

Improve productivity

Interestingly, through reducing stress levels in the office the dogs will also impact productivity. Increased stress levels result in employee absenteeism and burnout. By reducing stress, employees are less likely to overwork themselves and therefore will be more productive each day.

 

And the humans aren’t the only ones happy about having pets at work, the benefits go both ways – the dogs themselves are seen to be much happier being in an office than home alone for most of the day! So celebrate National Pet Month by inviting pooches into the office this April.

 

Source: http://www.inc.com/john-mcdermott/study-office-dogs-reduce-work-related-stress.html

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Make the most out of your lunch break and enjoy the nice weather

Friends During A Lunch Break

The majority of UK employees say they aren’t always able to stop work and eat lunch for 20 minutes. Whether you’re entitled to 30 minutes or an hour, having a proper break can not only improve your mood but it is also shown to increase productivity. With such glaring benefits, finding the time to get out of the office is critical and even more enjoyable now that the weather is improving.

Finding the time

The biggest challenge most full-time workers have is finding the time in their busy schedules to take a real lunch break. When you have a big workload and you strive to leave the office at a reasonable hour, it’s easy to eat at your desk while working away. Here are a few tips to help you find the time for a mid-afternoon break:

  • Plan! The simplest solution is to plan your day around your lunch break. Give yourself a timeline of activities to tackle each day and assess new tasks by their urgency as they come in. This means you shouldn’t be caught in the middle of task when hunger strikes.
  • Communicate with your team – whether you simply need to block the time in your calendar or pop your head over the cubicle, letting your team know when you are and are not available will make taking a break much easier. Remember, you’re entitled to a break so don’t be afraid to tell everyone when you’ll be away from your desk.
  • Experiment with different times. Taking lunch at the same time everyday might work for your schedule, especially if it works for the rest of your team as well. But often times your workload and meetings will dictate when you’re available. Try taking a break at different times of the day to determine what works best for you each day of the week.

Getting outside

Nearly half of employees say they rarely leave the office during their lunch break. Sitting in front of your computer while munching on a sandwich might seem like a more sensible use of your time, but there’s evidence to suggest that staying in during lunch can negatively impact your productivity and happiness. Here are a few ways to get out during your break, whether you work in a bustling city, quite town or empty business complex:

  • Walk – no matter where you work, you should be able to find at least one place to stretch your legs, even if it’s just the car park. Exploring the area will not only give you a nice break from the office but should give you a few shops or cafes to check out in the months ahead.
  • Eat outside. Often times bringing your lunch to work leaves you with little choice but to eat in the office. As the weather is warming up, find a nice place outside to sit and eat – a picnic bench, stoop or grassy patch will do the trick.

Remaining productive

It’s claimed that 2:55pm is the least productive time of day. By taking a break away from your desk during lunch you’ve already set yourself up for a productive afternoon. Still, there are steps you can take to boost your focus and power through the 2:55pm slump.

  • Picking a healthy meal for lunch can dramatically improve your energy levels. This doesn’t mean you have to force down carrot sticks and rice crackers, use resources such as Pinterest to explore healthy lunch options that will satisfy your taste buds and improve your afternoon focus.
  • Get some exercise! Whether you go for a stroll or hit the gym during your break, getting your blood flowing can have a massive impact on the rest of your day. A regular workout schedule, in addition to promoting good health, has been shown to reduce stress and increase focus.
  • Socialise – find a buddy in the office, or set up lunch meetings with people from across the business. This will force you to find the time for lunch and will give you a welcome break from work to socialise. By befriending your colleagues you could even give yourself a leg up in your career.

Make the most of the spring and summer months ahead by getting out and about during your lunch breaks!

 

Sources

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11326076/British-workers-are-skipping-lunch-and-thats-hurting-productivity.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-successful-people-spend-their-lunch-hour-2014-3?IR=T

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Picking yourself up after a poor appraisal

Customer Service Evaluation Form With Tick On Poor

You probably don’t spend much time looking forward to your performance appraisal. Whether it comes once, twice or four times a year, it’s a stressful experience for most employees – especially if you’ve experienced a negative review before.

So how do you turn things around after receiving a poor performance appraisal from your manager?

Don’t react with emotion

No matter what, never react to the situation with emotion. While it’s natural to feel defensive or angry during a bad review, acting on these emotions can actually worsen the situation.  By the time you receive a negative appraisal it’s typically too late to try and explain your way out of it – your performance has been reviewed and now you must move forward.

Listen as best you can during the meeting and take notes of specific criticisms, ensuring you maintain poise throughout. Following the review, give yourself time to calm down and reflect on the feedback you received. Often times it is worthwhile scheduling a second meeting with your manager once you’re clear-headed, this gives you an opportunity to ask thought-out questions and request specific examples about your performance.

Remain calm, listen carefully and take notes.

Be honest with yourself

It may take a few days to soak in all of the information you’ve received in your review, and even more so if you requested a second meeting to discuss feedback in more depth. But once you’ve had time to reflect, you absolutely must be honest with yourself about the situation – honestly consider what you’ve been told and determine whether criticisms of your performance are accurate.

Often speaking with other members of your team about specific concerns and asking for honest feedback is a great place to start. Be sure to not put anyone in an awkward situation, but having their opinion will allow you to more accurately assess the situation.

If you can figure out what might be causing problems then you’ll be in a much better position to move forward.

Make a plan of action

The entire purpose of feedback is to help you grow and improve in your career, while negative feedback doesn’t make you feel good it can be a sign that you’re taking on new challenges. In order to succeed in anything, especially a new task, you must have a detail plan of action.

Make an initial assessment on what you need to do to improve – this could mean learning new skills, changing your behaviour or reprioritising your tasks. Agree everything with your manager in advance and set small, achievable goals that can help showcase your progress.

Make an honest apology for your poor performance and share your plan of action with your manager – simply showing willingness to improve will put you in good stead for the months ahead.

Staying on track

Now that you’re ready to make a change in your performance you must make every effort to stay on track. Here are a few ways to stay motivated to succeed:

  • Arrange frequent meetings with your manager to discuss your progress
  • Reassess your goals on a regular basis to ensure they remain attainable
  • Keep a record of your accomplishments and praise you receive for your work – if someone offers a verbal compliment, ask them to repeat it in writing!
  • Ahead of your next review share your journal of accomplishments with your manager to highlight your positive contribution to the business

Stay motivated to improve and don’t be afraid to highlight your accomplishments along the way to give yourself an advantage ahead of your next review. 

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Top Tips: Update your CV with a spring clean

Vector original minimalist cv / resume template - creative doodl Spring is in full swing and for many that means cleaning out the house and starting fresh for the warmer months. So why not extend this into your professional life? Now is the perfect time to give your CV a spring clean, but tackling an outdated CV can be quite the challenge.

Here’s an easy guide to help you spruce up your old CV.

First and foremost, how old is your CV? If it’s been 10 years since you were last on the job market it may not be worth trying to salvage such an old document. That being said, it’s always a great refresher to look back on your key responsibilities at previous positions, especially if your current role has changed over time. If your last CV was written in the last two years, then your best bet is to start with this version and begin updating.

Redefine the focus of your CV. If you’re re-entering the job market then you’re likely looking for something a little bit different, or new. Take the time to really define what the change is and consider how you might amend your CV to reflect your new career goal. This will allow you to set out they keywords, skills and experience that will be essential for your desired role.

Revaluate your old content. Now that you know exactly what you’ll need to include in your CV, you’re ready to go through all of the old content and decide whether it needs to be deleted, amended or if it can stay the same. Use different colour highlighters or the highlight tool in your word processor to colour code what you’d like to do with each section of the old CV. This will give you a visual idea of how much work lies ahead. Then you can sit down and start making changes with your new career goal in mind.

Add your most recent experience. The biggest change to your CV will be adding your most recent position. It can be tricky to boil down exactly what you do on a daily basis into a few sentences, so think about your position from a high-level – don’t get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks and be sure to position yourself in the best light possible.

Consider the look of your old CV – does it need a facelift? Don’t be afraid to experiment with the layout and design of your CV, especially if the version you’re working with is quite old! Consider the best format to save documents for employers, often times a PDF is the safest option.

Finally, proofread over and over! Once you’ve made all of the necessary changes to your CV, take the time to read through everything and ensure it flows and focuses on your career goal, then it’s time to proof. It’s always advisable to have a friend or family member take a look as they’ll offer a fresh perspective.

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Didn’t land that interview? Blame your Facebook page

Ostersund, Sweden - April 13, 2014: Facebook website under a mag

Wondering why you didn’t get offered an interview even though your CV was tailored to the job, your covering letter was perfect and you have the ideal experience? Perhaps it’s worth double checking your Facebook privacy settings.

Recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly turning to social media to pre-screen candidates before bringing them in for an interview and they’re looking at more than LinkedIn. If your name is connected to any social media account, a determined recruiter will find it! So what can you do to ensure your social life is employer-friendly?

Start with the privacy settings – if you can, make your pages as private as possible. If your page can’t be found, then you have nothing to worry about! Unfortunately when it comes to the likes of Twitter, having a private account is quite unusual and you may not be willing to make the change. If you’re keeping your profiles public, here are a few tips to keeping the content employer-friendly.

  • Delete the party pics and watch your language! If every other picture features a pint in your hand captioned with a slew of swear words, then you’re in trouble. Be cautious about which pictures you upload (and those you’re tagged in!) and ensure you use sensible language. No one expects you to have the perfect image on the internet, but don’t give a potential employer reason to think you’ll be inappropriate in the workplace. If you’re a recent graduate looking for your first job, it’s definitely worth reviewing your pictures and posts from your university days!
  • What you post is important, but how you post can matter just as much. Whether it was an auto-correct error or simply sloppy grammar, a potential employer will not be impressed by your mistakes. If your profile is public, make sure you’re using full sentences and proper grammar!
  • Share more of your employable qualities. Now that you’ve removed any inappropriate posts and pictures, think about what to share moving forward. Keeping your profile up to date with your more employable qualities will put you in good stead. For example, share photos from any volunteering you do and comment on industry news.

Remember that what you do online is never truly private – keep this front of mind when applying for your next job!

Register your CV with CV-Library for free.

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Three tips to employing an apprentice

LOW SIZE EMPLOY APP

Apprenticeship schemes are an increasingly popular way for young people in the UK to join the workforce. Through such schemes it’s not just the apprentices who benefit, they also bring advantages for the employers. Northern Apprenticeships are sharing their top tips on employing an apprentice:

1. Decide on what skills your business requires

Apprenticeships are real jobs that enable your employee to learn theory in the classroom and then apply it to their jobs in the working environment, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. This allows an individual to excel at their current job by developing the right specialist skills and competencies needed for the sector rather than just a generic set of skills.

Firstly you should begin by looking at what skills gaps are present in your current business, or anticipate what skills may be required in the future. You can then decide what type of apprentice you need so you can mould, train and develop him or her into the required role. If you need assistance, try using a specialist recruitment agency that has a free service for employers.

2. Take advantage of grants and funding

You may be entitled to grants, both nationally and locally, to help fund an apprentice programme which generally range from £1,500 to £14,000. You can find out more about the government’s Age 16-24 Grant by clicking here and viewing the employers’ fact sheet, but there may be other grants available to you depending on location, sector and type of apprentice. There are free recruitment services that can help you to identify the right grants for you.

3. Commit, support and empower your apprentice

According to the National Apprenticeship Service, a whopping 92% of apprentice employers believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce. The benefits extend far beyond satisfaction and into increased productivity, improved staff retention, reduced staff costs and improved bottom lines.

However, to achieve these benefits you must fully commit to the apprenticeship; provide a mentor to guide and support your apprentice in order to allow them to flourish in their role. You must motivate and include your apprentice in business activities and ensure they are acquiring useful skills in the workplace, not only to improve their experience, but to benefit your business as well.

By committing to, supporting and empowering your apprentice you will be rewarded with a loyal and motivated employee who will grow to become a vital part of your business.

 


This article was contributed by Dino Georgiou of www.northernapprenticeships.co.uk.

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