Office Behaviour To Avoid When You’re New

You’ve secured your next role in admin. Time for a quick refresher of the types of office behaviour to avoid while you’re settling in!

Don’t be late

Not at all, not even by one minute. This includes coming back from lunch!

Don’t wear anything too casual

It’s better to dress smartly on your first day and work your way backwards from there. You don’t want to rock up in completely the wrong clothes and make a bad first impression!

Don’t use your phone

If you haven’t been told specific rules about using your mobile, don’t get yours out on the first day! Check to see if your colleagues are openly texting or taking calls, and if so it may be OK to follow suit when you feel comfortable. If you have a direct manager then check with them to see what their preference is.

Don’t gossip

Talking about other people is natural human behaviour. No matter how innocent your comments, passing judgement on your colleagues or boss in your first few weeks is a bad, bad idea. You may feel pressure to go along with the office gossip, but try not to say anything which could potentially come back and bite you!

Don’t eat all of the cake (straight away)

Offices = Cake. Or biscuits. Or sweets. Or all three! Whilst you may be a chocolate monster at home, be reserved in your level of snacking to make sure you don’t take an unfair amount. Better yet, bring your own treats in to say thank you for a great first week! Something else to look out for is that anything hidden away in cupboards may belong to someone in particular, so it’s best to ask before you eat just in case.

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Amazing Stationery To Make Your Administration Role Rock!

For the experienced administration professional, this list of luxury goods has been designed to appeal to the desk-dwelling purveyor of fine office equipment. Shall we?

Voice Memo Recorder

Trying to do ten things at once? If you like to create lists and organise your work priorities then take things one step further with a voice memo recorder. If you’re in the middle of a number of tasks you may find it beneficial to have this gadget to hand to quickly and easily make a note of your thoughts.

Desk Vacuum

Keeping a mini vacuum cleaner on your desk will be a godsend for any cake crumb-related incidents, plus you’ll be able to get those pesky morsels out from between your keys without employing the ‘tip your keyboard upside down and bash it with your fist’ method.

Desk Recycling Bin

If you don’t fancy making the trip to the recycling bin every five minutes, get a mini desktop recycling collection going. Receptacles can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes, and will ensure you don’t chuck away any perfectly re-usable paper.

Novelty Hole Punch

Bored of your regular hole punch? Did you know you can now purchase devices which create a variety of funky shapes in your paper? Whether you’re looking for hearts, stars or flowers, this can be a fun way to jazz up your filing.

Personalised Stamp

If your job requires signing a lot of documents, imagine how important you would feel if you had a personalised stamp and ink pad to sign your name!

Novelty Staple Remover

We all have a stapler, but only the elite few have a staple remover! When you want to detach some paper or unpick some staples for recycling purposes, these devices are highly useful and much more efficient than trying to use your nails. You can buy these in a number of novelty shapes, too.

USB Fan

One of the coolest desktop stationery accessories available, the USB fan runs off your PC’s power unit and will keep you comfortable when the summer finally arrives.

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Skills of a great summertime job seeker

Summer is a notoriously difficult time to motivate yourself to take action in your working life.

Commonly job seekers take the attitude that their search can be put on a hiatus over the summer period, but Europe’s top eLearning provider, The Learning People, explains why this is a bad strategy.

They’re savvy

Jobseekers often make the assumption that there won’t be many people around in the office over the summer period.

However, the best summertime job seekers know that if an office is quieter there is more time for employers to think carefully over candidates before offering interviews.

Investing in the myth and leaving your job hunt until the end of the summer, means job seekers often find themselves up against more competition as graduates return from their travels, and weary workers resolve to start afresh and find a new role having had time to think on their career and recharge their batteries.
Remember a lot of work begins in earnest once the summer season is officially over and people are less likely to be on vacation, so a Project Manager will look to put together a strong team during this time so it’s settled in, brought up to scratch, and fully briefed for the project beginning.

They socialise

It’s not exactly a hardship – everyone knows that one of the perks of summertime is the networking possibilities it offers, whether that’s meeting new people at parties and BBQs, helping out at a festival, or getting to know other people on the holiday you’re on.

Networking opportunities of any kind open doors – someone might know of a vacancy at their company, someone might be able to give you tips, or you could shadow someone to see if you had a realistic picture of what they do.

They’re disciplined

Although a silence from employers can be discouraging, showing patience and perseverance over the summer will mean your CV and covering letter is at the top of the list when employers are ready to begin selecting candidates.

Dedicate a structured two hours a day to job hunting and applications to keep you in the right mind set and help you feel proactive and therefore empowered by the ownership you have taken over your career path.

They’re motivated

To keep motivated look for forums and stay in touch with friends and acquaintances who are also job searching – you may learn from them, and you’ll be able to share your frustrations, successes, and concerns.

Lastly, a CV always looks more dedicated when it is enriched with work experience.

If you are an unemployed jobseeker, looking for one or two weeks work experience over the summer period is a great way to stand out from the competition.

If businesses are running slower than usual due to staff being away, they may be more likely to take on work experience candidates, and provide you with insights into the industry you’re interested in – you may even find there may be a job offer at the end if they are impressed by your attitude, commitment, and willingness to learn.

They say there’s no time like the present – that’s our job seeking motto.

Source: The Learning People

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How to Plug Gaps in your CV

plug gaps

There can be many reasons behind gaps in your CV and you may have heard they’ll inevitably damage your chances of securing a new job. However, when handled in the right way, these gaps can actually have a positive effect on your job prospects. The key is to be honest, put a positive spin on it and explain how you’ve learned from your experience, and Career Savvy tell you just how to do that.

Attitude

If you’re currently on a career break then take some pre-emptive measures to make sure you’re able to fill any potential gaps in your CV. Be proactive by signing up for a voluntary position, taking a relevant course, reading industry publications or getting creative and starting a project such as a blog. If you can show your interviewer that you’ve made a conscious effort to improve your skill set, gain experience and keep up to date with the latest industry news, then you’ll have a strong CV behind you. If you wait for opportunities to come your way, you’ll be waiting a long time and this will fail to convince the employer that you’ve used your time out wisely.

Format

Note that you’re not expected to include every single experience you’ve ever had on your CV. Especially if you’ve had a variety of jobs, it’s perfectly acceptable to omit details to make room for more relevant experiences. It’s worth remembering that you don’t have to display the month you started a job but only the year. Therefore simply taking the time to format your CV could potentially remove gaps in your CV. However, you must be prepared to explain any career breaks even if they’re not present on your CV: the employer may question you on your employment history in the interview.

Honesty

There’s no need to tell the employer your whole life story, but honesty is most certainly the best policy when it comes to gaps in your CV. Don’t try and trick the interviewer by extending the dates on your previous employment to try and cover the gap up. Employers aren’t stupid, they’ll probably check any information given with your previous employers. They will respect you far more if you address and explain the gaps maturely rather than lie about them.

Positivity

No matter the reason behind your career break, it’s important to put a positive spin on your experience. What skills has your experience helped you to develop? This will encourage the interviewer to view the gap in a positive way, therefore it has less chance of being a hindrance. For instance, don’t say you took a gap year because: ‘I wasn’t ready for full-time employment when I came out of university, so I had one extra year of freedom’. Try this: ‘I used my time abroad to broaden my horizons by immersing myself in different cultures. I’ve obtained valuable life skills and truly tested my organisational skills. Now I feel I can use these new skills to focus on my career development’. If you emphasise what you learned and that you’re excited about new opportunities to be had in your career, you will effectively turn a negative situation into a positive one.

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Recruitment Agency Expo Birmingham – it’s back!

One of the biggest recruitment events is taking place later this year, and places are already filling up fast.

For the second year running, the Recruitment Agency Expo comes to Birmingham! A change of scenery from the earlier London-based event, come to the NEC on 1st-2nd October for the event of the season. With over 60 exhibitors, 28 seminars and 14 training sessions, it is a perfect opportunity for recruiters to meet up with a vast number of industry suppliers in one place, and it’s free of charge.

With free seminar sessions taking place from industry experts, including CV-Library’s very own Mike Powell who will be talking about the future of online recruitment and the role that job boards play in this, it’s definitely an event for your diaries.

Find out more about the event or book now for free to reserve your place today.

rec_expo14_90x728_ani

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So, you have a project management interview?

If you have been successful in obtaining a project management interview, firstly, from Europe’s top eLearning provider, The Learning People, congratulations.

With 15.7 million project management roles being created across the globe with an increasing economic footprint, this is an excellent time for job seekers and professionals to build their project management skills and experience.

As specialists in project management and IT, The Learning People share three main tips to prepare for a project management interview.

Research

As simple as it sounds researching common project management interview questions and practising your responses should be a key part of your preparation.

Developing and formulating concise interview answers in relation to projects you’ve worked on with clear examples – including timeframes, team, budgets, and size – will ensure you avoid any hesitation in the interview.

Researching the company thoroughly including the project management methodologies they work to, previous success and failures of their projects, and ethos is also an essential thing to spend time on, so you can be sure you really want the role and are not taken by surprise in the interview.

Preparation

Prepare by conducting a mock interview using your list of common project management interview questions.

Make this a two way interview by thinking about relevant questions you can ask the interviewer.

This will show you are inquisitive, eager, interested and engaged.

When putting together your interview portfolio, ensure you include two copies of your resume, a copy of any references you have received from previous work or studies, an employment list, and relevant evidence from any previous projects you have worked on.

Communication

One of the principle soft skills every successful Project Manager must exhibit is communication – both verbal and physical.

As well as choosing the appropriate interview outfit to wear on the day, be aware of how your body language could be interpreted.

If you sit with folded arms you might be psychologically be giving off defensive vibes to the interviewer.

If you fidget you look nervous, and if you avoid eye contact you look anxious and perhaps untrustworthy.

Try to practise sitting comfortably in an open demeanour without slouching and without fidgeting – don’t worry, this may take some time to get used to!

Similarly, practising good verbal communication by asking questions, speaking clearly, responding to comments, and looking engaged and interested at all times will also depict you as a strong communicator in a leadership role.

From everyone at The Learning People – best of luck!

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How to be Indispensable

how to be indispensable

In the workplace it’s a great feeling to be needed and relied upon. Why? It shows you’re good at your job and that everybody wants as well as needs you to stick around. Being indispensable is the difference between filling a role and making it your own. It also puts you in great stead for a promotion or progression within your current role. So how can you make yourself indispensable?

Put Your Own Stamp on Things

The company you’re working for may want or expect things to be done a certain way, and no doubt you’re trying your hardest to fulfil this. But if you know a way tasks can be completed more efficiently then don’t be afraid to introduce this. After all, you’re the one doing the job, which should make you the voice on how best to do it. Consider suggestions such as implementing new filing and organisational systems, new processes or making the existing ones more effective. Anything that saves you time and gives you the chance to get more done will surely impress your employer. Once your colleagues or employers learn to appreciate your way of doing things, they’ll either adopt it or look to you to help them make their workload more efficient. A sign of becoming indispensable is when you’re called upon to share your knowledge, instead of just being a human sponge.

Show Initiative

Becoming indispensable isn’t about being given piles of work to do. It’s about taking the initiative to make your role one that the team couldn’t go without. Most jobs may increase in terms of responsibilities taken on, but it may not happen at a rate that is satisfactory to you. It’s important that you aren’t afraid to initiate taking on more tasks, being a part of meetings/discussions and making new suggestions. Your determination will also help you to impress your manager/employer, as well as making your efforts more memorable.

Have a Specialism

Regardless of your role within the company, ensure you get the chance to share what you know. If you know a lot about a certain topic, don’t sit in the background just because your input hasn’t been called upon. It may be the case that no one really knows how much you have to share, and they will not know until you offer it. Showing that you’re a specialist on a certain subject will lead to your input becoming more and more sought-after. It’s important that in your current role you don’t remain a passive ‘seat filler’ and step into the part of an active team member. This includes contributing ideas, sharing previous experiences and giving your opinion on matters. If you can give your input from a specialist point of view, it will be even more valuable to the team.

Extend Your Responsibilities

If you don’t feel indispensable in your current role, it could be because you’re capable of taking on more work than what you’re currently being given. Have a look around and think of anything that needs doing. Is a co-worker swamped? Is there something that has needed to be done for a long time which no one else has gotten around to doing? These additional duties you pick up will soon become part of your daily role, which will see you become more and more relied upon. In this respect, you can make a basic role into one that is a lot more crucial to the company.

Attempting to become indispensable is vital for career enhancement, as a way of ensuring you are fulfilling your role to the max. Once this has been achieved it becomes easier to move on to a higher role and puts you in better stead for a promotion.

Enjoyed this post? Read similar stories in the latest Career Savvy magazine!

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Four Top Summer Jobs for Graduates

 

4 summer jobs

If you’re unable to secure an internship or a voluntary placement relevant to your career path, then don’t just abandon your attempt to use your summer wisely. Here are Career Savvy’s top four in terms of giving you the best potential to develop your skill set and still enjoy your summer.

 

1.Private Tutor

If your knowledge resides in maths, English, science or a language, your services in tutoring will be highly sought-after. You can earn a decent amount of cash and even organise sessions around your search for a relevant full-time role, as this job is extremely flexible. Services can include revision sessions, refresher courses for the following term/year and even a long-term service throughout the year if you can fit it in around a job or postgraduate study. You will develop key workplace skills such as organisation and communication, thus improving your CV. Promote your services around the local area, particularly in schools/colleges, or on websites. Here are some examples of tutor work currently available on our job board.

 

2. Summer Camp

Have fun as well as earn money this summer! This is a great option if you want to work with children in the future, but the variety of skills you gain are transferable thus relevant to many industries. You could work in the UK or abroad with a focus on education or sports, or perhaps at a special needs camp. Also choose from a range of roles, from activity leader to sports coach or kitchen staff. Food and accommodation are often provided. Summer camps look for staff from June-September, but if you make a good impression the organisation may want to hire you for future holiday breaks.

 

3. Au pair/Nanny

As an au pair you can get involved in a variety of activities and experience a new location at home or abroad. Busy parents will welcome your help entertaining their children during the holidays. You’ll need to organise and plan your days as well as keep the children amused, therefore this job requires responsibility and creativity. Problem-solving skills will be tested as kids will not always behave – unless you’re very lucky! The relationship you build with the family will enhance your interpersonal skills and if working abroad your language skills too as you immerse yourself into a different culture. View some au pair and nanny roles near you!

 

4. Freelance

Particularly if your aspirations lie in the creative industries such as writing or photography, this could be a great summer job. It may not be particularly high paid, as high earning jobs are reserved for those with significant qualifications/experience, but the experience you gain on top of a reasonable rate of pay will help you no end with your career development. Employers often look for hands-on experience, and if you’ve taken the time to organise this yourself, then your CV has a strong chance of being shortlisted. You must be aware of where your strengths lie and only apply for jobs that are relevant to these skills, for instance don’t offer your services to a golfing magazine if you have no interest or knowledge of the sport. CV-Library has over 500 live freelance roles right now, check them out!

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Ten Steps Closer to a Promotion

So it’s time for you to edge out of your comfort zone and start moving towards that goal on the horizon. As much as you want a promotion, there is no doubt that you will have to work hard to receive one. Luckily, there are steps you can take along the way to improve your chances of success thanks to the digital magazine Career Savvy!

10 steps towards a promotion

Assess your current role

To truly know where you want to progress to, it helps if you’re aware of exactly where you are now. It seems simple, but knowing the specific skills and strengths that have enabled you to achieve and excel in your current role will help you to make a strong case for a promotion. If your boss agrees that you have outgrown your role and you are valuable to the company, then they will find it difficult to refuse you.

Excel at your job

No matter how much you want an advanced position, if you try to gain it by doing the job you’re striving for rather than the one you should be doing, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. If your employer believes you’re unable to handle your current role, then why should they grant you a promotion? Instead, review your job description and ensure you’re completing each requirement at a high standard. In particular, make sure you’re not ignoring any mundane tasks as even this could hinder your chances of a promotion.

Identify your goal

You need to know exactly what role you’re aiming for before you approach your boss, so you can present a good argument. Know exactly what the position involves and how you will need to expand your skill set in order to achieve it.

Expand your knowledge

Although you’re not able to do the job you’re aiming for just yet, there’s nothing holding you back from learning as much as you can about the position, your company and industry in general. This will enable you to build up a sufficient knowledge base to support you when you eventually make that step up the ladder.

Gain an insight

You may think you want a higher role, but how do you truly know? Speaking to someone who actually holds the role you desire is a great way to discover whether you could actually handle it. Ask to shadow them or meet up once a week to discuss the requirements for the position and what you need to achieve it. Check out mentoring sites such as mentormatchme.com to find people who can help you to reach your goal.

Gather your evidence

You need to be able to show your boss exactly how you have already made an impact both within your department and the company as a whole. Think back to previous projects you’ve been involved in, particularly if you have led them, and analyse them. Did they generate revenue? Create a best-practice document and bring it with you to your meeting. This will show your boss exactly how you have already progressed in your role and your potential to do so further with a new opportunity.

Spot a gap

If there isn’t currently a role for you to move into, perhaps it doesn’t exist or the current holder is unlikely to leave, then try to think of a position that is missing but needed by the company. If you educate yourself in this role then you can specialise in it and present your idea to your boss. If you can prove that the role will have financial benefits for the company, then you may have just created yourself a job.

Flaunt your skills

If you don’t make your employer aware of all of your efforts to shine in your current role, then it’s unlikely you will receive a promotion. Without gloating, make sure your boss is aware of your achievements so they are given the opportunity to take note and provide you with positive feedback. If you do this tactfully, you may even be rewarded with a promotion.

Make connections

Networking both within and outside of your company will allow you to establish relationships of trust with important people who can help your cause. The truth is, someone will only support your mission for a promotion if they have faith in your ability. Therefore good relationships need to be established first in order to receive this trust and encourage people to recommend you.

Just ask

‘If you don’t ask you don’t get’ as they say. Although this may be intimidating in this situation, it’s most likely essential if you really want this promotion. As long as you have followed all the steps above to ensure your argument is fully prepared, then there’s really no harm in asking. In fact, your boss may be impressed by your confidence to approach them and make a detailed argument. Make sure you do your research for what’s needed in the higher role, so you can formulate some solid reasons for why you should be promoted.

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Why Connectivity means Productivity – the mobile day

There was a time when humans walked the earth without being constantly connected. A time when calling someone whilst out meant finding a red box and using coins. A time when you weren’t aware what your friends were constantly up to, or what was trending in your area at that very moment. They were dark times. They lasted until the late 90s.

Then things changed. Everyone became connected. Information was available at our finger-tips. Texting took over our lives. The human race discovered ring tones.

Today’s world of mobile technology moves fast and everything is set up with constantly connected users in mind – emails on the go, sharing pictures with the click of a button, checking your favourite sports team’s results from the pub or ordering a summer dress sat in a park – all very much a given in a modern day setting.

jobseekers mobile

Thankfully for professionals looking for work, the job searching and application process hasn’t been left behind in the dark ages – quite the opposite. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that mobile visitors to our website are given the same comprehensive experience as their more traditional desktop brethren. The website responds to whatever screen size you are using – a 3.5 inch iPhone screen looks as complete as a 9.7 inch iPad screen, job applications can be made with one tap of the finger and cover letters and CVs can be modified and uploaded in an instant.

34% of all traffic to www.cv-library.co.uk is now made up by those on a mobile phone or tablet, and nearly one fifth of all applications come from users on a connected device. The whole job seeker ecosystem has embraced change, and if you want to maximise your chances of securing your next role, it is essential that you go mobile.

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