brain workoutLearning: the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience or being taught.

As the UK faces a nationwide skills shortage, ask yourself: How often do you do training or learn something new? If you aren’t stretching yourself regularly, are you adding to the problem?

As children we are constantly learning, evolving, developing…but as adults that learning curve seems to tail off. We get wrapped up in our roles, completing daily tasks, meeting targets – that we forget to learn. The consequences? Employees’ skills are becoming outdated and getting left behind as technology advances at a rapid pace.

I have recently been coaching a team of three developers. Each of them has a different approach to learning.

Developer 1 waits to learn from others, complaining when their colleagues are too far ahead and he can’t keep up. Developer 2 has the ability to learn, however feels threatened by Developer 3, who spends hours learning new things in his own time. Developer 3’s approach to work is that he will teach himself what he needs to know, in order to solve the new problems that technology is bringing.

Now, there is no right or wrong approach here. Perhaps Developer 3 has lost sight of a ‘work-life balance’! Or perhaps he loves his job so much, that learning is actually a pleasure for him. Some may call Developer 1 lazy, or say that Developer 2 is jealous. But that’s not the point! Learning shouldn’t stop when we become adults and get sucked up into the world of work. In fact, learning becomes more important than ever (unless you want to find yourself on the job scrap heap).

Learning is key to accelerating your career

Think about the three developers. Which camp do you fall into? Do you wait and complain? Or are you capable but worried about being shown up by someone more confident? Or do you just go for it, and lead the way? Which of those developers is most likely to get a promotion, be given greater responsibility, or retained if redundancies are to be made? Developer 3. The proactive self-learner, who really loves what he does.

A company who is getting learning right: C3 IoT 

This American technology firm offer their employees $1000 for every training course they take. This means that not only can they hire employees with the potential to learn (rather than searching for candidates who tick all the exact requirements), but they also ensure that their employees keep their knowledge up to date. In fact, the desire to self-learn is one of their key requirements when hiring. For the employees – these training bonuses are not just financial, they feel more valued by their employees and appreciate the support given to their own personal and professional development. Read more about C3 IoT in this Case Study.

 What can we learn from this? Learning should never stop

This approach to learning isn’t just limited to the technology industry. It applies to every role, in every industry. Change is so rapid that if you aren’t thinking about the redundancy of your skills or what you are doing, by the time you wake up you’re on the scrap heap! Across the UK companies are restructuring, shifting and evolving ahead of Brexit. Employers will be looking for candidates who are open to adapting, learning new skills and taking on new roles and opportunities. Are you open to a new career opportunity or challenge? Positioning yourself as open-minded and ready to learn will make you a whole lot more attractive to companies managing change.

Finding time to learn

So many of us find it hard to carve out time to learn things that don’t fire us up. The trick to staying relevant in today’s job market is to find something you believe in, something that you’ll love doing, and that ticks several of the criteria you set yourself that your work needs to contain.

While we would love to see all companies embracing the C3 IoT approach and giving their employees financial incentives to learn, that’s not likely to happen. But learning doesn’t need to involve expensive courses or costly resources. So often what we learn is free! It’s available online, in books, by talking to people, asking questions, attending events. All that costs is time and a little effort. And when it comes to learning, time is never wasted.

By doing this, the next time your employer is considering restructuring, you might just find yourself top of the ‘must retain’ list, rather than bottom of the pile. 

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funny-1836098_1920Research has found that levels of competition in the job market have dipped dramatically. This means that there are less candidates fighting for each job, and the chances of you getting hired are higher than ever.

Job seekers rejoice! Last month, for every job advertised there were just 0.38 people applying (according to data released by Adzuna). That’s a historic low, increasing a candidate’s chances of securing that dream role.

Don’t spray and pray.

As a jobseeker, it can be tempting to go for the spray and pray approach to job searching. You create a CV and a generic cover letter, then send it out to as many jobs as you can find… that’ll do! Unfortunately, this approach never gets great results – even when competition for jobs is as low as it is. Recruitment managers are still looking for the right candidates who will be a good fit for their business. Trust us, they can tell when an application has been rushed! It’s likely you won’t even get a response, and that can leave you feeling demotivated and frustrated.

Don’t just apply for any old job! Now is the time to find your ideal role.

Make the most of this slower-paced job market. Refine your search. What do you really want to be doing? Which roles will leave you feeling motivated, passionate and challenged? If you haven’t yet figured this out, don’t despair, you’re not alone! In fact, we found that 80% of candidates still haven’t found out their ideal career – read our tips on the blog here. It’s never too late to find your perfect job, and now is the best time. There’s less pressure and fewer candidates as competition if you’re considering a change. Once you’ve identified what kind of role you’re most suited to, it’s time to get your job applications perfect.

Take your time with job applications.

There may be fewer candidates competing for roles, but that doesn’t mean you’re the only one applying! There will still be competition out there to beat. But with a more relaxed pace, you can afford to put more time into your applications, read the job descriptions carefully and do your research.

What are the organisations looking for? Do they want someone who can grow within the business, or someone who can get their head down and get on with the job at hand? Tailor your application to echo their language and position yourself as a strong candidate with relevant skills, experience, and the ability (and drive) to learn new skills and succeed. Recruitment managers will be able to tell whether you really want the job, so don’t hit send on a lackluster application!

Review your digital footprint (before potential employers do).

Now is the time to review your digital footprint too. There’s no point having a fantastic CV and job application, if your online presence lets you down. Work through our checklist to ensure potential employers only see the best of you:

  • Google: Start by Googling your name. It may seem vain but you can guarantee that employers will do it. What comes up? Work through all the pages and make sure there’s nothing appearing that you would rather not be public
  • LinkedIn: Your LinkedIn page is like an interactive, online version of your CV, only with a lot more klout. Use our LinkedIn guide and work from top to bottom to make sure it’s presenting the best version of you
  • Facebook: When it comes to job seeking, remember the mantra ‘facebook is for friends’. Keep it personal, and set your privacy settings to private. Recruiting managers don’t need to know (or see) what you get up to in your free time!

It’s a candidates market, and the perfect opportunity for you to identify and secure your ideal job.

If you need any help with your career, whether that’s a change of direction, getting your application polished up, or a career crisis… get in touch!

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human-3131802_1920Earlier this month, Career Ambitions was a guest at the Cambridge Network Recruitment evening. Based in the Career Zone, we had the opportunity to talk to Cambridge’s candidates about their career motivations… and the results were clear.

80% of the people we spoke to said they had not yet found their ideal career. What’s stopping them? Most replied that they simply didn’t know how to assess whether a job would be right for them or not (or what they were looking for).

According to research by Investors In People, almost half of the UK workforce will be changing jobs in 2018. A fantastic opportunity for candidates to re-evaluate their career path, and find a role that challenges and motivates them, leaving them excited to go to work each week.

How can you identify your ideal career? 

  1. First, think about what motivates you. What makes you tick and gets you out of bed in the morning? When are you “in flow” completely absorbed in what you are doing?
    If money was no object, what would you do in life? Go back to your childhood, what were you obsessed with, fascinated by, interested in? 100% of candidates told us it is ‘very important’ to enjoy what they do for work, yet we seem to forget this when looking for work.
  1. Think about what others applaud you for too. What do your friends and family say you are good at? Ask them! What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  1. Try a good old-fashioned job list. Scribble down all the jobs you’ve worked in so far. What did you enjoy about them, and what didn’t you enjoy so much? What jobs have you always wanted to try, and why haven’t you tried them?
  1. What do you look for in a job? Think about the essential things that a job must have for you. Candidates we spoke to listed career development opportunities, a great workplace culture, and team communications as important when looking at job opportunities. What’s important to you? 

Evaluating your job motivations and interests.

What jobs would fit with the interests, passions and motivations you’ve highlighted? If you’re a very sociable person, perhaps you would be best suited to a job in events, hospitality, or one that works closely with people. If you’re more strategic, think about working with figures and planning. Or perhaps you’re more creative and need to find a role that allows you to flex that grey matter in more colourful ways? 

The secret to finding your ideal career is to forget about work-life balance. As Confucius said, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Over the course of your lifetime, you will spend 90-100,000 hours in work. Find a job you enjoy, and don’t waste a single hour. 

If you’re still struggling to identify your ‘ideal career’, email Katherine for a chat! Using the LAB Profile technique, we can help to uncover your subconscious motivations and discover what really makes you tick – and then get you that dream job.

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You’ve secured your dream job and the next hurdle is just around the corner… what should you wear on your first day of work? 

We chatted to style advisor Lesley Clarke, who has more than 20 years experience in the fashion industry, to find out how to impress with your first day fashion. 

What’s your style? Getting it right for work.

If you haven’t been in the job market for a while or have been in academia, the transition to the world of work can be challenging in many ways. One such challenge that many give insufficient attention to is how your wardrobe is going to fit into your new lifestyle and career choice – especially on a tight budget.

At home or as a student you can be pretty carefree; jeans, T-shirt and trainers can see you through most situations but when you make that leap into employment, what’s acceptable (or expected) is often ill defined. If you’re in a job that requires formal attire it’s not so bad, it’s easier to interpret smart corporate wear – you can’t go far wrong with a suit and scarf or tie. However, when you have a more flexible remit, things can get a bit tricky. What does ‘smart casual’ look like?

Here are some guidelines to help you on your way and navigate what’s considered acceptable in your chosen field of work.

Most people will tell you to research your company, to find out the dress code and their expectations…if only it was that straight forward. And then you’ve got the added challenge of your budget, especially when you’re coming back to work after a career break or have that student debt hanging over you!

So here goes:

AccessoriesIf in doubt – go smarter.

Be cautious with black– for several reasons, it can be seen as overly authoritative and quite harsh so can create barriers. The idea of building your new work wardrobe round a neutral colour is a good idea but go for a navy or charcoal grey instead – it’s a safer bet and can work well with so many other colours.

Yellow jacketAdd a splash of colour– to let your personality show through. Best to do this with your accessories and base this around your body shape.

The idea is to use colour to draw attention to the areas you want to be noticed first. For example, if you’ve got elegant hands, paint your nails; wear an interesting ring to draw attention to this feature (but make sure your nails are never chipped!).

 

Men's outfits For the men, if your six pack isn’t looking as honed as it used to think about avoiding contrast colours in this region!

Think about your shoes– it’s one of the first thing women notice.

Think too about your accessories – a good watch can complement your image.

What about a hankie in your jacket breast pocket? Or have you ever considered a waistcoat – less formal than a jacket but you’d look more distinctive! Of course your personality will be influential here – just because the other people you work with don’t wear a tie, there’s nothing to stop you; but if everyone else in the office is a bit more casual think about wearing it more casually, perhaps with a chambray/denim shirt?

Experiment beforehand– try out new outfit mixes at least in front of the bedroom mirror, preferably with a reliable, honest friend in tow. Don’t leave it till you’re flying out the door in the morning to catch the bus/train! Check yourself in a full-length mirror before you walk out of the door, not to be vain, but to make sure you haven’t got toothpaste down your top or forgotten to put your earrings in (that one always frustrates me and is so easy to do when your morning routine is changed).

Pick one thing that might stretch your budget – that says you know what you’re about. For example, a quality pair of shoes, handbag or jacket. If it’s something that will help you demonstrate your individuality and you can wear it regularly, it can make you look more styled. And ladies, a necklace can change the neckline and focus, transforming an outfit.

Timeless, classic pieces – have a few of these in your arsenal. These can be mixed in a contemporary way with more ‘fashionable’ pieces.

Keep it minimal with garments you can mix and match, then gradually add to this in time when you develop your ‘feel’ for what works best in your working environment.

If you feel good in what you’re wearing, you’ll naturally stand taller and express yourself more confidently. 

Still having those first day fashion worries? Get in touch with Lesley Clarke Style Advisor.

m: 07969516390
w:http://www.lesley-clarke.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/LesleyClarkeStyleAdvisor

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bridge-2892681_preview

An Award-Winning Success Story

I recently heard Paralympian Georgie Bullen talk at an event celebrating International Women’s Day.

Wow, what a woman. Georgie is one of five people in the UK with a rare form of macular degeneration, meaning that she has just 12 degrees of vision. When Georgie was told that she wasn’t going to be able to continue her A levels due to the dangerous straining of her eyes (which could have lead to complete blindness) she was devastated. Her dreams of going to University were shattered. Having been at a mainstream school all her life, for the first time Georgie felt disabled. Entering the world of work, she found that she couldn’t get a job as employers didn’t know how to adapt the role (or the workplace) to her needs.

Not surprising when you learn that 73% of blind and partially sighted people in the UK are unemployed.

Eventually Georgie picked herself up and thought perhaps I’m focusing on the wrong thing? Why do employers find it so hard to employ blind or partially sighted people? The misconceptions around blindness mean that employers often think you are blind, not realising that there is a spectrum. Why should everyone be labeled and assumptions made?

At that moment, Georgie decided to start her own business, introducing her sport (Goalball) into the workplace as a team building experience. With the support of Prince’s Trust, Georgie now uses her disability to enable others.

Turning Adversity into Opportunity

Instead of giving up, Georgie found a way to turn adversity into opportunity. As the saying goes, there’s always a window open when a door shuts!

There are over 2 million people living in the UK with sight loss which is a lot of talent currently being overlooked or turned away by employers. And 7 million people of working age are disabled or have a health condition.

As a candidate with a disability, you are able to request that employers make reasonable adjustments’ to the role (such as changing working hours or providing equipment) to ensure that you’re able to do your job. The costs of which are usually low!

Candidates need to help educate employers so that we can overcome the barriers to employment that disabled people so often face. Employers shouldn’t turn away candidates just because they are different. Awareness is key there are many organisations working in the UK to help overcome disability bias within the workplace the world of recruitment just needs to embrace them.

Inspired by Georgie Bullen’s story? Read more about how she overcame adversity in the workplace.

Support for Disabled Candidates & Employers

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choose-the-right-direction-1536336_1920Career gaps happen for many reasons. From unexpected redundancy, to parenthood, time out, health issues or a change in career direction… Many jump to the conclusion that a career gap will look bad on their CV, but that doesn’t have to be the case!

The world of work is changing and careers are shifting and transforming more than ever. No longer is someone expected to stay in the same job for their whole working life. Flexible working patterns, transferable skills and freelancing are more common than ever. It’s up to you to own your career gap, use it as a positive time for reflection or even change, then head back into the job market ready to sell yourself to potential employers.

Avoiding The Careers Gap Trap

For many, taking a careers gap is not in ‘the plan’. Whatever the reason for your careers gap, realise that you are in charge! As Antoine Tirard and Claire Harbour-Lyell write in their book Disrupt Your Career: How To Navigate Unchartered Career Transitions and Thrive, “The difficulty with transitions is that most people are not well prepared for them… Transitions are seen more as exceptions, and are mostly viewed as negative events.”

Let’s take a moment to rewrite the age-old stereotype that career gaps are bad:

CAREER GAPS ARE NOT BAD!

Career gaps are only bad if you don’t manage to navigate this new landscape in front of you and find your way through.

Making the Most of your Careers Gap

If your career gap was involuntary, why not make the most of this time? Whether that means travelling to a country you’ve always wanted to visit, doing some voluntary work, retraining or just dedicating time to hobbies. Turn it into an opportunity for positive growth and development, which will give you energy and something to talk about when you re-enter the job market.

Going Back to Work after a Careers Gap

Going back to work following a careers gap can be daunting. Here are our top five tips to make sure your return to work goes smoothly…

  1. Embrace change. Your careers gap happened for a reason. Perhaps it’s time to change direction and find a new role that will leave you motivated and excited by work? Consider the parts of your previous jobs you’ve enjoyed, or not enjoyed. Talk to a careers coach, or ask me to do your LAB Profile! Use your careers gap to find a more fulfilling career.
  1. Be curious. It may be a long time since you were last applying for jobs. The job market, the world of work and the language changes all the time so don’t be afraid to seek help and advice. Attend events in your sectors of interest to get inside the heads of potential employers. What are they talking about? What challenges are they facing? What language do they use? Being curious is a great weapon and will give you amazing insights that will advance your job search.
  1. Grow your mind (and your mindset). Have a look at your CV. What’s missing? Maybe it hasn’t been updated in a while! Are there skills or experience gaps that you could use your time to fill? Open your mind to change. Don’t think about ‘when I did this’ or ‘when I worked at’. That didn’t work then, so why would it now? Have a growth mindset, you’re never too old to learn! 
  1. Tackle your career gap head on. When applying for new jobs, be up front about the reason for your careers gap! Employers are often put off by a gap on a CV but if you’ve already provided an explanation then you will overcome the first hurdle.
  1. Sell yourself (and your careers gap). How did you use your careers gap and what did it teach you? What did you learn about yourself and your motivations? People returning to work after a careers gap often have a clearer vision of where they’re going and what job they want to be doing, making you a strong candidate! Let the employer know.

If you’re facing a careers gap, look at it as a positive opportunity for change! It might be the push you need to go in a new career direction… 

Struggling to find your ideal career? Get in touch with Katherine to discuss how the LAB Profile could help you to find a job that leaves you feeling motivated and excited about work. Yes, that’s really possible!  

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jens-johnsson-205843Within 10 years, research predicts that 4 million UK jobs will be lost to robots. Robots have already become well established in many industries, taking over simple, more mundane workplace jobs as well as complex tasks.

They manage our stock rooms, farm our lands, vacuum our home. Robots can disarm bombs, operate our telephone systems, deliver our parcels and even perform complicated surgery! Technology is mind blowing.

As automation and artificial intelligence gets increasingly sophisticated, robots are going to be able to step in and complete more tasks more efficiently and more cost effectively than humans.

How can we compete with this new wave of super-candidates?  There is something we’ve got that they haven’t got!  Robots will never have soft skills…

What are soft skills? 

Soft skills are the personal attributes you have. Things like, being a good listener, or a team player. They’re the skills we have that are interpersonal, and ultimately affect how well you will get on with people both in and out of the workplace.

The most sought-after soft skills (according to Recruitment Buzz) are:

  1. Management skills
  2. Examples of responsibility
  3. Experience of training others
  4. Communication skills
  5. Planning skills
  6. Organisational skills
  7. Ability to be flexible
  8. Being competitive
  9. Being motivated
  10. Friendly! 

Why are soft skills so important when job searching? 

Job adverts often focus on the hard skills required to fill a role – technical skills that are directly relevant for the job advertised.

But employers are increasingly looking for candidates who have a mix of both hard and soft skills. They need to get an idea of HOW you do what you do as well as WHAT you do.

Soft skills will allow you to fit in with the organisation and excel in the role. What’s the point of an employee who can write software, but can’t listen to his manager and therefore doesn’t know what’s required? Or an employee who can speak fluent French, but can’t build relationships with clients?

No employer wants to hire a candidate who won’t get on well with their existing team. Soft skills are the key to finding the right fit, and avoiding unnecessary workplace issues.

How many soft skills are you demonstrating on your CV?

It’s astonishing that on average only 1 in 5 CVs mention soft skills, so most candidates are missing out on being considered for positions. I see a lot of technical CVs that don’t reference a single soft skill. No wonder employers aren’t interested in interviewing those candidates!

Next time you’re applying for a job, don’t forget to think about what soft skills might be required to successfully fill the role. Do you need to be a good communicator? A team player? Quick to make decisions? A strong leader? Great at networking? A strong negotiator? Confident when presenting? Or love to teach or train others?

Go back to the top 10 most sought-after soft skills we listed above. How many of those do you have? Which would be most relevant to the role you’re applying for? Now find a way to demonstrate those on your CV and showcase why you would be perfect for that role.   

By adding soft skills to your CV, you can stand out from the crowd and become the 1 in 5 who actually make it through the to the interview stage.

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Work-life balance is to blame for almost 30% of employee departures. Has a lack of balance ever forced you to resign from a job? 

In 2017 we’ve seen a lot of change, from Prime Ministers to Presidents and everything in between… and of course, the world of work is changing too. Brexit uncertainty has significantly impacted the European job market, with more people seeking jobs closer to home.

With change comes opportunity, and we believe that in 2018 there’s going to be huge change in the UK job market. Employees are demanding more flexible working opportunities and employers are starting to respond.

How could flexible working opportunities benefit you?

For many, work-life balance is something that seems unattainable. But that’s not the way it has to be. Sara Horsfall of Ginibee, has created a platform that allows employers to open their roles (however senior) to talent partnerships. Think job-sharing, but without the chaos!

Talent partnerships allow you to take on a full-time, high-level role but to share that responsibility with another talented professional. Meaning that you can retain a healthy work-life balance, without sacrificing your career.

How do talent partnerships work?

Two talented professionals choose to take on one full-time role and share it between them. This allows them to deliver more than full-time, and ultimately more than a single employee ever could (in terms of productivity, efficiency, skills and experience). So employees get a work-life balance, while employers get great value for money!

What are the benefits of entering into a talent partnership? 

Talent partnerships offer a fantastic opportunity when you have other priorities besides career, whatever they may be. You don’t want to give up your career, and you shouldn’t have to! By forming a talent partnership you are offering employers two for the price of one. However you will also gain from this setup:

  • Better health (mental, physical and emotional)
  • The opportunity to continue your career and development, at whatever level
  • A fulfilling role that leaves you mentally stimulated and feeling motivated
  • The chance to work alongside another talented professional who may have complementary skills or experience – learning from one another on the job
  • A healthy work-life balance.

Our Christmas message from Career Ambitions to you…

In 2018 there will be increasing demand for flexible working opportunities, and in response more opportunities. Be open-minded to these, and find a career that really works for you.

Ginibee infographic

 

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If job applications were reviewed as a series of tick boxes, we would all be out of work.

Why? Employers don’t always know what they’re looking for. Job descriptions often become a list of skills and requirements that put the right candidates off, and no perfect match is found.

It’s time to look beyond the lists, beyond the labels, and see that we are more than all that. The key to securing your ideal new role? You need to learn to S.U.R.F.

S = SkillfulAldara surfing

U = Unconscious

R = Relevant

F = Flexible

What does S.U.R.F.ing have to do with your job search?

Read on, and we really hope you enjoy the ride…

S. = Skillful

If someone asked you “what do you do?” how would you answer? You will probably answer with a label. “I’m a teacher” “I’m a scientist” “I’m a….” But does that label really describe all that you are? Labels narrow down our options and often stop us from applying for jobs that could actually be a perfect fit.

We need to be skillful at identifying our skills! One of the main reasons I see for people being unmotivated in their careers is because they neglect to see half of the skills that they have. If they can’t see them, how will a potential employer?

It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you’ve got!

S.U. = Unconscious  

We all have skills that are innate. Those things we do without even thinking about it – that we wouldn’t necessarily add to the skills section on our CV (and that’s where the problem lies!). What motivates you at a deeper level? Knowing yourself and what makes you tick is an extremely attractive quality in a candidate.

Ask yourself what’s important to you? What gives you the greatest buzz at work and makes you excited? If money was no object, what would you really love to do?

Remember, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you’ve got!

 S.U.R. = Relevant

Now that you’ve identified those hidden skills and motivations, you need to make them relevant to the job market. They may not match the exact skills listed on a job description, so it’s time to delve deeper and discover what your unique skills and experience could bring to an organization.

Step into the shoes of the employer and try to read between the lines of their job description. You may not be a perfect fit for the skills they’ve listed as ‘required’, but how could your skills actually provide answers and solutions to their problems?

What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are the external opportunities and threats for the organisation? Now do the same exercise on yourself. What are the strengths you have that might minimize their weaknesses and threats? What have you got that will enable them to take advantage of an opportunity.

Tailor your CV and cover letter accordingly, and send it off with confidence. By offering a solution to the initial problems posed by the job description, you are going above and beyond and demonstrating to the employer how skillful you are.

Always remember, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you’ve got!

S.U.R.F. = Flexible

The key to S.U.R.F.ing your way to a new career, is to be more flexible. Whilst job descriptions can often appear rigid with a list of non-negotiable skills and expertise, you don’t need to be the same! Experiment with new career ideas, try new roles and embrace change. Your skills are far more flexible than you may think! Keep your mind open to the possibility that you may be suited to a role that you would have previously dismissed.

One last time, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you’ve got!

Learning to S.U.R.F. is easier than you might have thought!

It doesn’t have to be sink or swim. Ride the waves of the job market and find a career that leaves you excited, motivated, and looking forward to Monday mornings…

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Lately, I’ve attended a number of recruitment events. Sadly, I wasn’t amazed by how many fantastic candidates, enthusiastic employers or amazing job vacancies there were. Instead, what struck me most was how unprepared many attendees were! Both the candidates and the employers.

As a candidate, recruitment events can be invaluable. A chance to get face to face with employers who have real jobs, and show them who you are. But are you ready to grasp that opportunity?

JobFairQuiz

This is where the 6 Ps come in! As the saying goes, “Prior Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance” and here that certainly applies! Don’t waste your time attending recruitment events until you are ready and can put your best foot forward through that door.

After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression. 

If you follow these steps and are prepared to network your socks off, you’ll leave a lasting impression at your next recruitment event!

Be Prepared! As you approach a stand, an employer may ask you… 

  • What could you bring to our organisation?
  • What motivates you?
  • Where do you see yourself in 1, 3, 5 years time?
  • We need someone who can XXX. Can you?

How would you respond?

Have some questions for them! This is a good way to demonstrate that you’re proactive and keen to know whether the company would be a good fit for you and your personality. Prepare questions such as: 

  • What are you looking for in a new employee?
  • Are there training / development opportunities?
  • Are you looking for skills or attitude?
  • What is your policy on work-life balance?

Next, complete our essential job event check list: JobFairChecklist

  • Get your Elevator Pitch right: Prepare a clear, concise pitch that you’ll be ready to present to potential employers. Remember, jobs fairs are essentially just networking events so prepare accordingly! Read more in our Career Ambitions Club (you can become a member for free!)
  • Go armed with an up to date CV and LinkedIn Profile: It’s important to have a current CV on hand at jobs fairs. But don’t neglect to update your LinkedIn profile too! If an employer finds discrepancies, they’re unlikely to hire you. Follow our tips to optimise your LinkedIn profile.
  • It’s not just your words that count! Your body language can give a lot away to a potential employer. Make sure that you are confident, open and make a good first impression. Read our guide to getting your body language right.
  • Know what you want. There’s no point wasting time attending recruitment events for the sake of it. The key is to know yourself, your innate motivations and what makes you tick. That way you’ll find a career that suits you – so you don’t have to repeat the process! This is where the LAB Profile steps in.

Now, scroll back up and give that quiz another go… what’s your goal this time? 

If you’ve followed all the steps in our guide, then you will be ready to impress those potential employers at your next recruitment event! Check out our events calendar to see what’s happening in the Cambridge area in the next few weeks. Good luck!  

If you’d like to have an informal chat with Katherine about preparing for your next career move, email her or call her on 01223 633535.

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