How to Balance your Career with Kids

careerbalancing picIn this new blog from Career Savvy, the team look at how to balance your career with kids.

A recent study carried out by 4Children found that 47% of the parents asked had considered leaving their jobs to care for their children full-time. If childcare is a concern for so many, what measures can you take to help balance your working life and parenthood?

Kids Clubs

Kids normally finish school when the majority of people are still in work. Fortunately, most schools run after-school activities, ranging from sports, to art and music. The majority of children will attend an extra-curricular club each week anyway, so doing so straight after school will not mean less time spent together. Plus, you’ll have more quality time with your child in the evening if they do their activities while you are at work. Also consider the benefits it will have for your child: they can learn a new skill, make new friends and develop in a multitude of ways.

Flexible Working

As new regulations allow any employee of at least six months to request flexible working (read more here) more parents are finding it easier to arrange their career around parental responsibilities. Flexible working can involve re-arranging your hours or working from home. You can potentially organise a later start so you can take your kids to school/nursery or an earlier finish to collect them. If flexible working isn’t currently on offer in your workplace, you’ve got nothing to lose by asking your employer whether it can become an option.

Working From Home

With many offices making the transition to cloud-based computing, working from home is easier than ever in a technical capacity. Of course, working from home doesn’t allow you to give your undivided attention to a child, so it’s a lot to take on when looking after a baby, for example. But as kids become slightly older, it can be the perfect solution. A combination of office and home working during the week is preferable to many, as those with small children can synchronise their office days for when their children are at nursery.

If you’d like to find out more on this topic, read our blog on getting back into work after maternity leave.

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Top 10 Awkward Office Moments You Won’t See On The Apprentice


Are you one of the thousands of people across the UK working in an office job focussing on anything from administration, to sales, to finance, to customer service? If so, you’ll probably agree with us that real life is nothing like The Apprentice!

Working in such close proximity with the same people day in, day out, can lead to some pretty cringe-worthy situations! Below is our list of top awkward office moments you won’t see on The Apprentice. How many can you identify with?


1 –Walking behind someone down a particularly long corridor, and having to say thank you every time they hold one of the many doors open for you.


2 – Being asked to transfer a call but having no idea how, so having to randomly mash buttons until you completely cut the caller off. Maybe you should just avoid answering the phone altogether.


3 – Having no choice but to stubbornly hover behind the person using the microwave, because you’d really like to heat your lunch up next and there’s no way you’re going to let anyone else nip in there before you.


4 – Receiving an unmarked birthday card on your desk and having no idea who it’s for, so writing the most generic message possible – “Good luck, you.”


5 – When someone uses your pen and forgets to bring it back. What do you do? Stay silent and rue the day you let them borrow anything of yours, or make a point of going over and asking for it back – even though it seems incredibly petty? Of course, you could easily go and get a new one from the stationery cupboard– but it’s the principle of the matter!


6 – When you friend request a colleague on social media and they don’t respond, ever… but you can clearly see them logging into their account every day.


7 – Realising that you’ve been saying someone’s name wrong for the whole time you’ve known them. Like really, really wrong. Like calling Jennifer ‘Helena’ kind of wrong. There’s no going back from that!


8 – Being forced to make small talk with that person you really don’t like because you both got up to make a round of tea at the same time. So how are the kids?


9 – Accidentally touching someone’s hand at the photocopier/ water cooler/ paper towel dispenser.


10 – Spraying a considerable amount of water up yourself at the sink and then having to do the walk of shame back to your desk looking like a messy child.


If you’re looking for your next office job, check out top job board CV-Library’s current vacancies, or visit our blog!

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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 in high contrast’ 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 boss’s online behaviour towards 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 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 timeline. Best use it.


For more workplace nuggets of wisdom, visit top job board CV-Library’s blog or browse our vacancies.


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Managing stress in the workplace

Work can get a little stressful for everyone at times. Whether it’s pressure from your boss, impending deadlines, or a new responsibility you’re not quite up to speed with, the causes of stress are many and the result affects everyone differently.

If you – like millions of others across the UK – have a tough time keeping your cool, you might like to read CV-Library’s advice on managing stress in the workplace.


Recognise that you’re stressed

Stress can manifest itself in many ways, from a raised heartbeat or temperature, to increased perspiration, to anxiety (butterflies in your stomach) to a tangible feeling of upset or anger. Stress can even make you ill, and can hit suddenly or build up over time. The first step to overcoming the feeling is to recognise the signs which are unique to you.

Figure out the cause

The cause of tension may be obvious. Is your workload too much to handle? Is a colleague grating on you? Is a situation at home causing your mind to wander? If you can’t put a finger on the cause of stress then it is likely to be a number of little things building up. Hormones, tiredness and health can also play a part – if you’re not on top form, the daily trials and tribulations of the workplace will be harder to bear. It’s a good idea to write everything down which is playing on your mind so you can figure out the likely causes.

Take downtime

Stress is not going to remedy itself if you keep doing what you’re doing. Take a walk away from your desk or station, outside if possible. Have a drink and snack to ensure your energy levels return to normal. If your work breaks are flexible, take yours now and do something you enjoy – whether a spot of shopping, checking social media, or reading a book. If you need to justify it to yourself – think about how productive you’ll be when you’re de-stressed, versus how much work you get done when you’re in a bad mood.


Talking is one of the best remedies for relieving stress. Speak with a trusted family member, friend or partner about what’s upsetting you. If relevant, have a conversation with your boss. Do not bottle things up as that will only make it worse. You never know, by inviting help from others, you might find an answer to your problems.


Taking deep breaths and counting to ten really does help; but counting to 60 might be even better. For a whole minute, focus on your breathing and slowing it – and your heart rate – down to normal. Your mind and body are strongly interlinked so if you can trick your body into acting like everything is fine – your mind should follow suit.

Control re-occurrences

Once you’ve identified the causes of your stress, take steps to nip it in the bud next time. Understand what your triggers may be, and if you can – remove them from your life! If that’s not possible, tell yourself that next time you’re in the same situation you will take downtime, talk, breathe – and get through it!

We hope you’ve found CV-Library’s tips on stress busting as useful as we do.

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The Week in News: UK Employment Round Up – 17/10/2014

Time for a break from your job search? Check out our run down of the news which caught our attention from the UK employment industry this week.

Royal Mail creates 800 new jobs in anticipation of festive period

Over 800 temporary workers will be taken on by the Royal Mail to cope with the additional strain of postal requirements over the festive period. From November until January, the additional staff will work in Staffordshire and the Black Country.

Report suggests better information could boost unpopular apprenticeship applications

A report by the National Apprenticeship Service (NSA) has found that poor information surrounding application processes could be partly to blame for a lack of candidates in some areas. Subjects such as plumbing and music can attract up to 40 applications per apprenticeship, however others remain comparatively unpopular.

Former The Apprentice contestant launches new recruitment firm

The Apprentice 2013 semi-finalist Neil Clough has launched a new sales recruitment firm. His business, Prime, will tackle not only recruitment, but training – with the aim of providing a full service for sales firms looking to hire.

cv library in the newsData from CV-Library has shown a significant boost in the London job market, with industries such as construction and finance taking the lead. Read all about it in the Global Recruiter here!

Governments to take back recruitment power for public sector roles

Restrictions on public sector recruitment will soon be over, with next year seeing a reversal on the freeze which has seen Government departments forbidden from making hires unless sanctioned by a minister. In 2015, departments will be able to take back the power in this area and make hiring decisions within specific budgets.

Amazon distribution centres will see 1,000 new UK jobs

Up to 1,000 new jobs are to be created across the eight Amazon distribution centres in the UK. The permanent jobs will be created across Gourock, Milton Keynes, Doncaster, Peterborough, Dunfermline, Hemel Hempstead, Rugeley and Swansea Bay.

NHS pay strike first in 32 years

Monday 13th saw the occurrence of the first strike by NHS staff in 32 years. The dispute over pay saw some NHS facilities across England close down for four hours from 7am-11am.

And some news from across the pond…

700 iPhone jobs will be cut as glass manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies announce plans for lay offs. The Arizona-based company, who make the sapphire glass used in iPhone camera lenses, has been forced to eliminate the jobs due to bankruptcy.

see you next week

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Selling Yourself vs. Being Yourself

careerselling picIn this new blog from Career Savvy, the team look at the conundrum of selling yourself vs. being yourself at interview.

An inevitable part of the job hunt is having to sell yourself to the employer to demonstrate why you’re the best pick of the bunch. How can you strike the perfect balance between presenting the best version of yourself and not forgetting what makes you unique?


Selling Yourself:

Be the missing piece – The employer is hiring because they require someone to take on a certain role in their business and help them resolve any issues the company is currently facing. Your job is to explain how hiring you will solve these problems. This will involve conducting some research to discover exactly what the company’s issues are and giving examples of how you’ve solved similar ones in the past. You must explain how you plan to use your experience to deliver similar results for them. Make sure you’re specific!

Use positive body language – Mehrabian’s research found that an incredible 93% of a message is conveyed via nonverbal communication, so it’s important to ensure yours is positive throughout your interview. Make sure you’re sat upright, you smile politely throughout and that you keep eye contact with the interviewer. This will give the impression of confidence and assertiveness. If you relax (not too much!) and appear comfortable, you will help the interviewer to do the same.

Give specific examples – You’re never going to convince the employer that you’re the best person for the job unless you can give them concrete evidence of why you’ll be a success. This is why it’s so important to make sure you prepare five statements that detail your past achievements, including figures or percentages as proof. These should be relevant to the requirements in the job role and/or any problems the company is currently facing.


Being Yourself:

Know what makes you unique – For you to stand out to the employer, you need to be aware of what makes you unlike anyone else and make sure you promote this. Get into a routine of noting down your strengths, weaknesses, what drives you and what you’re afraid of every day. This will help you to gain a good understanding of your personality and how you can best present this in a professional environment.
Consider other perspectives – Once you’ve compiled a list of what you believe to be a true description of your individuality, present this to those who know you best to receive their opinion on it. Explain what you’re trying to achieve and ask if your self-evaluation is accurate in their eyes. Take on board their suggestions and add relevant ones to your list. This will give you a more rounded understanding of who you are so you have a better chance of impressing potential employers.
Learn from your research – Once you’re happy with the results from your self-assessment, it’s time to apply this to your job hunt. You need to express your uniqueness and strengths in each stage of your job search including your LinkedIn profile, blog, CV, cover letter and during interviews. If you’re continuously using your research to project the best image of yourself throughout your job search, the quicker and easier it will be to understand your strengths and passions.


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In House Recruitment Expo 2015 – Sign up for free!

CV-Library is looking forward to attending and exhibiting at the first-of-it’s-kind In House Recruitment Expo; taking place on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st January 2015.

logoThe free event is designed for In House Recruitment leaders and teams responsible for sourcing and recruiting candidates within Corporate and SME businesses.

So, if you’re an In House Recruitment Consultant, Head of HR, Recruitment Director or similar – you can register for your free ticket in advance here!

Visitors can look forward to:

- Networking with over 70 exhibitors
- Meeting suppliers of recruitment specific products and services
- Enjoying presentations and demonstrations from industry experts
- Attending free seminars covering the hottest topics of the day

All of the above will take place in a pressure-free environment designed to inform and educate, helping you to discover and compare products at your own speed.

You simply cannot afford to miss this industry gathering of the year! To find out more about the event, visit the In House Recruitment Expo website. We look forward to seeing you there!

Opening times: Tuesday 20th January 2015: -09:00 – 17:30
 Wednesday 21st January 2015: 09:00 – 16:30

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Recruiters: Learn this one, simple trick for being the best you can be!

Alongside those warm, fuzzy feelings you’ll get helping job hunting professionals find their next role, another benefit of working within the recruitment industry is that you’re able to manage your own time; and your own success. The trick to being the best recruiter you can possibly be is keeping yourself highly organised as you go along.

Read on for CV-Library’s top tips for achieving better organisational skills, and how having impeccable organisation can translate into a more successful recruitment outcome.

1385890930z9igjCreate your day plan the night before…

It’s imperative to create your plan for the next day while everything is fresh in your mind. Creating a to-do list before you leave for the evening will not only allow you to get everything important down, but will also help your mind switch off and relax. You’ll be able to achieve better productivity the next morning as you can arrive at work and jump straight on your first task, or, if you prefer to ease yourself into the day, having a to-do list means you can choose something relatively easy to do whilst you warm up with your morning coffee!

…and stick to it!

One good idea is to prioritise your tasks. Once you have identified your most pressing work to complete the next day – do not deviate from your plan come hell or high water! If more work comes in, make sure it is prioritised immediately and you continue to spend your day doing the most important tasks. Remember – if a new job is called in, qualify it well and ensure it’s worth spending your time on before pushing anything else aside.

Utilise reminders and follow-ups

Most email and recruitment database software will come with a built-in calendar and alerts system. Use these to your advantage, and input follow-ups for candidates, clients and business development opportunities whenever you can. Eventually, this will give you a go-to list of leads every day, and you’ll never miss a trick. Being in the right place at the right time can be the key to recruitment success!


Make notes religiously

Whatever kind of filing or database system you have, endeavour to keep notes about all of your contacts and recruitment processes. This will keep you, and others using the same system, informed about the most up-to-date interaction you’ve had with a certain client or candidate, meaning you can spend less time going over the same ground and more time using the information you do have to your – and your clients – benefit. It’s amazing how much you can forget when you’re speaking with hundreds of people a day, so it’s important to make notes of every conversation you have.

Track your processes

It’s a fact of life that having targets to aim for factors heavily into a recruiters’ mindset, and by tracking or visualising your recruitment processes from start to finish, you should get a good idea about when each process is coming to an end. Be realistic about your pipeline based on what you know about the companies you are recruiting for – are their processes long or short? How many stages of interview are there? How urgently do they want to make the hire? Are they likely to be happy with your recommended shortlist or will they interview candidates from other sources, too? By keeping a keen eye on when campaigns are likely to reach completion, you will be able to identify any potential pipeline dry spells and ultimately remedy this by focussing on faster-moving processes or winning new business to bridge the gaps.

Make the most of your tools

In your job, it’s likely you will have use of one, if not a number of, recruitment tools such as job boards or CV databases. If this is the case, make sure you receive full training for the products you’ve purchased, and you’re making the most of how they can help keep you organised. Signing up for CV Watchdogs, saved searches and new candidate notifications can make all the difference in being the first recruiter to call that great candidate about the perfect job.


There you have it, CV-Library’s top tips for better organisation and recruitment success. If you like what you’ve read, keep checking back for future recruitment tips and tricks!

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The Week in News: UK Employment Round Up – 10/10/2014

Time for a break from your job search? Check out our run down of the news which caught our attention from the UK employment industry this week.

Boost for Telford jobs as sports retail store opens doors

A new Sports Direct store in Telford is set to create 56 new jobs. The huge sports retailer has over 400 branches in the UK, with the newest due to open in Telford Shopping Centre next week.

Siemens searches for hundreds of new workers in 2014/15 recruitment drive

South Tyneside job hunters may be interested in a new recruitment drive from Siemens in Hebburn. The manufacturing plant makes components for Thameslink trains. There are 160 posts available which Siemens hope to fill by next Spring.

Double the manufacturing jobs for firm in Stonehouse area

An international manufacturing firm in Stonehouse plans to double its UK operations – thus creating up to 60 new jobs. Sartorius Stedim Lab is one to watch for manufacturers in the area.

Employment Charity turns 14 lives around

Plymouth-based charity Tomorrow’s People has secured work for 14 long-term unemployed locals. Representatives from the charity helped secure staff for a new Subway franchise located inside a Spar outlet in North Hill.

cv library in the news

CV-Library is supporting the Stoptober challenge, where smokers up and down the country pledge to quit the habit for 28 days. Find out more information here.

Youth event embraces employability around Worcester

University of Worcester students and other local youths are being invited to an event today (Friday 10th) aimed at discussing issues regarding enhancing employability. Robin Walker MP is due to attend, along with representatives from O2 Think Big.

Encouraging results seen from Disability Confident campaign

A recent report from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed that 2013 plans to help disabled people find work have shown encouraging results. The July 2013 Disability Confident campaign was aimed at employers looking to become more confident about employing disabled people. To read the report and the DWP’s continuing plans, click here -

Care work boss celebrates industry opportunity

A healthcare boss in Lowestoft has spoken out to say that the care industry prevails over other sectors such as the energy sector, in the East Anglia area. Daya Thayan, of Kingsley Healthcare has said that whilst the industry is still not seen as an attractive career path, the number of jobs available and opportunities for career progression make the care industry one of the most viable choices for job hunters.

And some news from across the pond…

Huge US Superstore Walmart are set to cut health benefits for over 30,000 employees in a bid to control spiralling healthcare costs. The part-time employees who are no longer covered by their employer will now be eligible for Obamacare subsidiaries.

see you next week

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Alternative Approaches to Achieving a New Career

careeralternative picJob searching can be tough and sometimes you need to think outside the box in order to capture the attention of employers. To give you some inspiration, Career Savvy has put together their top four alternative approaches to achieving a new career.

Get published

After attending university no doubt you’re a fountain of knowledge in at least one aspect of your degree subject. Content is extremely valuable nowadays and with the introduction of digital content, it’s somewhat easier to get your work published. Search for publications that are related to your industry and write an article that is on topic and engaging. Send this off to the relevant publications and if they publish it, make sure you promote this via social media, as well as linking it to your CV. If you’re struggling to get published in an online or print magazine, set up a blog and update this with regular content. Having your work published and recognised by others will encourage employers to view you as an expert in your field. Furthermore, if your writing is notable it will impress potential employers as they’ll have good evidence of your skills and experience.

Sell yourself

In order to get your CV on to the ‘yes’ pile and pass each interview with flying colours, you need to understand how to present your skills to the employer in a way that encourages them to hire you for the job. By taking a marketing course you can learn how to do just that. It will also help you focus your job search, as you learn how to target the best companies for your skill set. In addition, you’ll learn how to explain your prior experience in a way that shows exactly how you’ll benefit the company and speak in measurable terms to back up your statements. Once you nail this technique you will have more success as you will better present yourself to the employer and the increase in your confidence will help you shine through.

Attend job fairs

Whether you attend one which is targeted to your industry of preference or a more general one, job fairs can open your eyes to the many opportunities out there. Research ones that are happening near you and take a look at the list of companies attending and assess whether it would be worth your while going along. If you come across any names of interest, visit their website and research their latest news and find out more about the company. Make sure you bring plenty of copies of your CV so you can hand them out to employers you’re interested in, ideally also asking for names and email addresses to send an electronic version to. They’re also a great opportunity to network, so even if the perfect role isn’t on offer there, simply getting to know professionals in your industry will help your job search by providing you with relevant contacts. Maybe even connect with the people you meet on LinkedIn while you’re there. Some companies may also be providing on-site interviews, so it can also be good practice for this element of your job search – it may even lead to a job! See our events page here.

Become your own boss

If you genuinely cannot find your ideal role, then why not create it yourself? Self-employment is becoming a popular option especially for those who don’t want to lose sight of their innovative career aspirations. If you have a creative side, then look into producing your own merchandise. If you don’t, then consider any roles you feel are missing from your industry and strive to provide this service. There are plenty of risks involved in self-employment, so if you’re seriously contemplating this option then make sure you research extensively and you’re prepared to work extra hard at making your business idea a success.

If the standard job search process fails to inspire you, consider trying something a bit different via these alternative approaches. It’s important to do whatever suits your skill set and personality best in order to achieve the right results from your job hunt. The more effort you put into your search, the more impressed potential employers will be by your drive and determination to reach your goals.


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