Candidate Tips
7 things to do before you start a new job

 

 

New year new job? If this is you, then we understand it can be an exciting - but equally scary - time in your life. It’s a big life change, as you may be climbing the career ladder or venturing out of your comfort zone to explore a brand new work opportunity. You’ll naturally be feeling a little anxious as the first day approaches, but there are some things you can do before starting a new job to put your mind at ease and reduce any unnecessary stress. 

 

As with all new things, there’s always an element of uncertainty, but with some careful preparation you can start off on the right foot, make a great first impression and settle into your new workplace and position. 

 

 

Take Time Out

 

If you can, it’s always great to try and schedule a break between leaving your previous job and starting a new one. And when we say break, this could just be a long weekend or a week off. Use this time to reset yourself, take some me time and catch up on life admin, before you become engrossed in your new work life. Use it as a mental break and  a way to establish a separation between your old job and your new one. 

 

Plan Your Route

 

Sounds obvious, but make sure you are familiar with your commute to your new place of work before your first day. And ensure you have a plan B incase your preferred route somehow doesn’t work out. Know the drive or the train lines you’ll be taking and have a good idea of how long your commute will take. Always allow extra time for getting lost or facing unexpected events, like rail strikes or traffic jams! 

 

Understand the Dress Code 

 

Every workplace is difference, your new office dress code won’t necessarily be the same as the last. And probably won’t be what you wore to your interview there either. We suggest getting in touch with HR and finding out what you will be expected to wear for your position. As you settle in you’ll get a better idea of dress code, but it’s always a great idea to have some go to outfits ready for the first few days to avoid any unnecessary stress and time wasting in the mornings. 

 

Get to Know Your Co-workers

 

You’ll be introduced to most people you’ll be interacting with on a daily basis within your first few days there, but it doesn’t hurt to try to familiarise yourself with colleagues before then. You can easily get to know the names and roles of your future work colleagues on LinkedIn. 

 

Revise 

 

Even if you’re moving into a role that’s very familiar to the one you just left, it doesn’t hurt to freshen up on the skillset your role requires. Use the time in-between jobs to re-visit and revise the skills that got you hired. We’d also suggest reading up on any news or events within your new company too. 

 

Arrive Early 

 

Last but not least, it is important to arrive early for the first day of your new job. Arriving exactly on time may be considered late by some and you only get one chance at a first impression. 

 

Good Luck!

 
The Top 14 Graphic Design Terms Commonly Misused by Novice Creatives

 

We all have to start somewhere right? If you're just starting out in graphic design, or your a marketer in a design agency, you might find a few graphic design terms leave you a little bewildered. 
 

Tracking versus kerning? Lettermark versus wordmark? 

In this digital world, we all end up wearing many hats, which makes it all the more reason to know your stuff.
 

Well help is at hand thanks to Think Design who have created an awesome infographic to shed some light on a number of frequently missunderstood graphic design terms, with their handy side-by-side explanations. 

 

 

 

via Think Design

 
10 Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals in 2018

 

 

New year new goals! Whatever your resolutions or aims are for 2018, we’ve put together some steps to help you on your way to achieving them - whether it’s finally choosing a new career path or moving up the career ladder.


1. Set Your Intention 

 

Where do you want to be one year from now? Think of it as a promise to yourself, that you will do everything to get there. Everything you do will you focused on obtaining this. An intention is less about the specifics of what and how, and more about who you are and your why. For example, your intention might be “to be truly free from the 9-5 world.”

 

HOW TO ACTION: Say it to yourself and right it down somewhere so you can see it daily. Use all your emotions and feelings that you have about your present circumstances to help you make this commitment to your intention. 

 

2. Brainstorm Ideas

 

It’s time to start thinking about the what and how. What are the requirements and resources you need to reach your intention? How can you get there and what do you need to accomplish? Maybe there are people in your life that can help you. Try to keep these ideas as natural and intuitive to you, your experience and interest, skill set and knowledge as possible. Now is not the time to completely reinvent yourself. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: Brainstorm your list of ideas of how you can reach your intention. Whether on paper, in a documents or in your notes. Using digital lists such as Trello are great because you can take them with you and just add new ideas when they come to you. 

 

3. Set 3 Smaller Goals

 

What are the milestones or major steps that can lead you to get there? For example is there any knowledge or skills you need to obtain, any certifications you might need, resources to save for or purchase, connections to make, sales goals to hit, skills to utilise and so on. You’re looking to identify these MAJOR milestones. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: Use your list of brainstormed ideas from step 2 to set 3 smaller goals for yourself. Be as specific and quantitative as possible to keep focus. Avoid fluffy adjectives. If it helps, think about setting SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

 

4. Schedule To-Dos 

 

What timely tasks do you need to do and when? You’ve set yourself goals, now it’s time to dig deeper into the requirements of meeting that goal. Think of yourself as a pyramid with your intention at the tip, then your 3 smaller goals in the middle, now you’re scheduling your to-dos for said goals at the bottom. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: Break own your 3 goals further into timely task. Schedule time into your calendar to work on these to-dos. It’s best to find ways to incorporate your to-dos into your daily or weekly routine. Establish your time-line and set deadlines for yourself. It’s important to keep reminding yourself of them to create a routine and habit of accomplishing them. 

 

5. Prioritise 

 

This is a two-fold step: determining what is a priority for you to accomplish to reach your intention and also to prioritise your resources to get it done. What needs to be done first? You need to be able to determine the difference between what needs to be done and what would be nice to do. Your path towards your intention needs to be as direct as possible. 

 

Also think about how you need to prioritise your three resources of time, money and energy. How much of that is required? You only have so much of each so choose to-dos that are doable. Prioritise what is essential, for the best cost and has the greatest potential outcome. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: Take your to-dos and cut or move anything that isn’t a must to the bottom of your list. Also, remove any to do tasks that are not achievable because of time, money or energy required. 

 

6. Be Accountable 

 

Think about those who can help you stay on track. Just as if you were planning on losing weight or getting fit, those who are more likely to achieve their end goals do so with other people, who provide moral support. Use a family member, partner or friend for private accountability or think about using a business partner or mentor for professional accountability. Social media and blog posts are also great to broadcast your intentions for more public accountability. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: Establish all three levels of accountability. Tell them your immediate goals and ask them to help keep you on track. It’s also helpful to find someone who understands your industry that you can check in with regularly. 

 

7. Find Your Focus 

 

What is it that helps you to focus? This is something you are going to need to figure out to get your to-dos done. Sometimes you need to remove or deal with what’s preventing you from focusing. Maybe it’s a change in environment and setting aside a quiet time in the week to dedicate to working towards your goal. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: You’ve already scheduled in your time, now it’s about getting it done. figure out your routine. Think about tidying your workspace, or finding a quiet spot. Implement whatever it takes to help you get it done.

 

8. Get Started

 

What can you achieve TODAY? A new year gives you 365 days of opportunities, but the hardest part is just getting started. Don’t try to be perfect, aiming for perfection hinders progress. You don’t need to have it all together to put yourself out there and accomplish something. Just get going, worry about improving later. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: You’ve prioritised your to-dos and scheduled in your time, you have accountability and you’ve found your focus. Start with an easier, less time consuming task that can give you a quick win to encourage you onwards and upwards. When you reach a difficult task keep talking to those keeping you accountable to help you get it done or to give you advice to help you get through it. 

 

9. Stay Motivated 

 

What is it that motivates you? If there’s nothing to motivate you, the likelihood is you’ll never achieve those goals you’ve set out for yourself. Think about your internal motivation - the thing that keeps you going when you’re tired and overworked. And also your external motivation - such as a song that inspires you, or a TED talk that inspired you. Whatever it is, use it to stay motivated. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: Discover your internal and external motivations. Consider what it is that gets you going and stirs up the motivation. Put on that song, watch their talk and do this every day! 

 

10. Review and Adjust

 

Did you accomplish what you set out to achieve? Don’t put yourself down when you experience set backs, just make adjustments for the next month, or create a few extra tasks. Always try to keep moving forward. If you find yourself struggling week by week, review and adjust your goals and to-dos. It could just be that you’ve been overambitious or created a path that’s a little bit too complicated. A smaller win beats no progress any day. 

 

HOW TO ACTION: At the end of each month review your progress and make adjustments where you need to. You should always be keeping track or what you’ve done and what you haven’t. Also hold quarterly reviews with your accountability partner if you can. 

 
10 Easy ways to upgrade your CV

 

 

Whichever industry you’re applying for, a CV will always matter. And even if you’ve managed to secure a job interview thanks to networking and connections, you’ll still have to hand over a piece of paper that formally lists your experience and credentials. Here’s 10 easy ways to upgrade your CV, so you can concentrate on nailing your job interview.

 

1. ALWAYS proofread and then proofread again! 

 

It’s a total no-brainer, but there’s nothing more off putting to a hiring manger than a typo in a CV. So always proofread it. And then have your mum read it, your best friend read it, your flatmate read it, and your uncle read it. Typos and grammar mistakes happen, even with spell check turned on! But they don’t need to prevent you from getting a job. 

 

2. Always save as a PDF

 

Lots of hiring managers say that their biggest pet peeve is receiving CVs that are oddly formatted. Saving and sending your CV as a PDF is the bare minimum of professionalism, so if you haven’t got into the habit of doing this yet, we recommend you start now. 

 

3. Include appropriate links 

 

In this digital age, you should expect recruiters to asses you based on your digital life. It’s always helpful if you add a link to your LinkedIn profile, as well as your twitter handle or Instagram account, especially if you’re an influencer who has built up a big network. Including this information on your CV shows you understand that your online life is one more part of how you present yourself. 

 

4. Delete the year you graduated 

 

Employers may see that you graduated a decade ago and consider you too experienced for a position, regardless of whether you changed career paths. Less than five years after graduation may still place you in the novice category. Removing this small detail will help keep the focus on what you can do and how you can benefit the company. 

 

5. Include your name in the file name 

 

Very obvious point, but people frequently send out their CVs without their full name in the file name. It’s really unhelpful to recruiters when they receive a file called “CV2017” or “BusinessNameCV.” Make yours easy to distinguish from others. We suggested including your full name with an underscore, and the word CV (FirstName_LastName_CV.pdf) so that whoever is looking for the file knows automatically just what they’re going to get. 

 

6. Get keyword savvy 

 

Many CVs will be scanned before they even get into the hands of an actual human being at a company. Choose SEO-optimised words for your industry. We suggest looking at the job profile and using as many of those words as possible. For example, if you’re applying for a position as a marketing manager and the job descriptions states it’s looking for a candidate that has CMS and marketing automation experience, make sure the CV you’re submitting contains those words. When it comes to an in-person interview, you can hand over a more creative, less jargon-driven version. 

 

7. Delete “references on request”

 

It takes up space on your CV and it’s pretty obvious. If they want a reference, they’re going to request one if you’ve spelled it out on your CV or not. Other obvious lines to delete include: The fact you’re familiar with Microsoft Word or Excel - in this day and age, that’s like saying you know how to use a smartphone. CV experts are split when it comes to lines offering hobbies or interests. If you’re going to include them (or to fill in this part on LinkedIn) make sure you choose something that shows you’re a great candidate. For example, marathon training shows dedication. Seeking out the best food truck burger? Not so much. 

 

8. Use hard numbers

 

Grew web traffic by 30%? Increased a Facebook audience by 200,000? Whatever it is, using numbers has much more of an impact than just words. 

 

9. Never go to page two 

 

This goes without saying, but your CV should never be more than one page, especially if you’re a new uni graduate. But even if you’re 10 years or more into your career, you should still be carefully editing your CV so it still fits on a single sheet of paper. Your current job should get the most room on the page, and you should provide fewer and fewer details for those first jobs and internships, eventually removing the least relevant ones altogether. 

 

10. Add variety to your verbs

 

In 2013, Careerbuilder conducted a survey of hiring managers and asked them to identify which CV words and phrases are cliche and which ones get their attention. Do you have “think outside the box” on there? Time to delete that one! Among the top 15 most liked phrases are action verbs like “create” and “achieve.” While “manages” isn’t the most thrilling of words, it does clearly state what you did and is much better than “worked.”

 

Just remember the golden rule, don’t rely too heavily on a thesaurus and fall into the trap of misusing a word. Nothing will turn a hiring manager off quicker!

 
10 Things Ridiculously Successful & Productive People Do every day

 

 

 

You might not be an entrepreneur, a billion or successful athlete, or even want to be! But the secrets of the successful might help you to get more done in less time and help to stop you feeling overworked and overwhelmed.

 

1. They focus on minutes, not hours

 

Most people will look at the day in hour or half an hour blocks; highly successful people know that there are 1,440 minutes in every day. There is nothing more valuable in this world than time. Money can be lost and made again, but time spent can never be bought back. If you can master your minutes, you can master your life. 

 

2. They focus on only one thing

 

The most productive and successful people will always know what their most important task is and focus just on that for one or two hours each morning without interruptions. What’s the one thing that will help you get that new job or that promotion? It’s what you should dedicate your mornings to every day. 

 

3. They don’t use to-do lists 

 

Perhaps this comes as a surprise, but maybe not when you hear that only 41 percent of items on to-do lists ever get done! All those undone items can lead to stress and even insomnia, which means that uncompleted tasks will always be on your mind until you complete them. Highly productive people will do away with the to-do list and schedule everything into a calendar instead, and then work and live by that calendar. 

 

4. Make time for their family 

 

Successful people know what they value in life. Yes, work, but also what else they value. It’s different for each individual, but for many, these values include family time, exercise and giving back. They will consciously allocate their 1,440 minutes a day to each area they value, and then stick to that schedule. 

 

5. Carry a notebook 

 

Ultra productive people will clear their minds by writing everything down as thoughts come to them. As Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis said, “Always carry a notebook. Write everything down…That is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school!”

 

6. They process emails only a few times a day 

 

The most productive people don’t check their emails throughout the day, and they definitely don’t respond to each ding to see whose in their inbox. Like all aspects of their day they schedule time to process their emails quickly and efficiently. It could be once a day, or for others, it’s morning, noon and night. 

 

7. They say “no” to almost everything

 

Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Remember with only 1,440 minutes in a day, you don’t want to give them away easily. 

 

8. Follow the 80/20 rule 

 

Known as the Pareto Principle, the idea is that in most cases, 80 percent of result comes as a result of 20 percent of activities. Productive people know which activities drive the greatest results. Focus on those and forget the rest. 

 

9. They touch things only once

 

How many times have you read an email and then close it and leave it in your inbox to deal with later? How many times have you opened your post, a bill maybe, and then put it down, only to deal with it again later? Really successful people try to “touch it once.” if it takes less than five or ten minutes, whatever it is, they deal with it then and there. It reduces stress, since it won’t be lingering in their minds, and it’s efficient, so they wont have to re-read or re-evaluate that item again in the future. 

 

10. Energy is everything 

 

You can’t create more minutes in a day, but you can help to increase your energy to increase attention, focus, and productivity. The highly successful will never skip meals, sleep or breaks in the pursuit of more. Instead, they view food as fuel, sleep as recovery and breaks as opportunities to recharge in order to get more done.

 
How to Sound Polished and Professional

 

 

Before heading off to job interviews it’s important to spend some time knowing what you actually sound like, to ensure you sound not only confident but also polished and professional. Listening to your own voice can be a little off putting for some, but hear us out on this one !

 

Grab your phone and record yourself having a conversation on a voice memo app, listen back and prepare to be surprised! If you are guilty of any of the below, it may be time to work on those bad vocal habits you’ve acquired. 

 

 

1. Lose the uptalk 

 

Do you speak as though every sentence is a question? It makes you sound unsure of yourself and to an interviewer, could be a little distracting. To practice speaking without it, here’s a little trick - grab a book, hold it at arms length and start reading out loud. Whenever you reach a full stop, drop your arm and your voice along with it. 

 

2. Speak slower

 

Rushing when speaking gives the impression you don’t value what you’re saying, and it doesn’t give people a chance to absorb what you’re saying. To practice slowing down, talk or read out loud to yourself and clap your hands at the end of every sentence to train your brain to stop for punctuation marks. This is a great one to practice as most people will naturally speed up their speech when they are in a nerve wracking environment, like a job interview. 

 

3. Eliminate fillers

 

We can hear our mums saying it now, “stop saying like after every word!” 

“Like,” “um,” “you know,” “sort of,”- they all make you sound like you don’t know what to say, like you need to qualify all of your statements. Replace these filler words with pauses, which allow you to gather your thoughts and think more clearly, while giving meaning to the next thing you say. 

 

4. Make yourself heard 

 

If your voice is barely audible, chances are whatever you’re saying will come across as equally unsubstantial. Unsurprisingly, speaking up will make you sound more powerful. Visualising your voice as a ball you can bounce off the walls will help you project without feeling unnatural or overdoing it. 

 

5. Work on losing the vocal fry 

 

This point is particularly aimed at the ladies! Vocal Fry is the technical term for the throaty, creaky sound of, for example, Kim Kardashian’s voice. Studies are showing that more and more women are mimicking it in their own voices without even noticing it. It causes people to perceive you as less competent and trustworthy, plus it’s terrible for you vocal cords. Simply being aware of it will make a big difference. 

 

 
How to make yourself employable and a land a job as a graduate.

 

 

Fresher’s week has come and gone and before you know it summer exams will be creeping around the corner. The time will soon come to think about what you’re going to do after university. 

 

The immediate post-university period is crucial. Some who are on the ball may already have graduate schemes and jobs lined up, while for others the attention is focused on other things like festival season! But your future is worth thinking about, especially as figures released last year show that a third of graduates were working in unskilled roles after leaving university. 

 

There’s a number of things you can do to make yourself more employable, and some of them are a lot easier than you think. Here are our tips to help you land your first job as a graduate. 


1. Write your CV like a story 

 

Forget the boring templated CV if you want to land a top position after graduating. Tell recruiters like us your story, letting your CV answer questions which focus on

 

  • Why they should employ you?
  • What’s your experience? 
  • What makes you stand out? 

 

Always remember to tailor your CV to each job that you apply for, focusing on the skillsets required for that particular role. 

 

And don’t rush an application. If you don’t want to spend the time to land an interview, you probably don’t want it enough. 

 

2. Google Yourself 

 

More than 80% of employers research a candidate on google, so it's worth taking ten minutes to run a google search on your name to see what comes up. You won't want prospective employers seeing your drunken photos from your freshers week! Moving forward, keep those types of photos off of your social media, and think about deleting historical ones. 

 

We would suggest tailoring your online presence to your chosen industry, and make sure when someone searches you, what they see makes you stand out; look at it as an opportunity to impress. 

 

Thank about which social media channels reflect your interest in a subject and spend some time on LinkedIn building up your profile on there. 

 

Ensure your online presence portrays you as an individual with a keen interest and understanding in your field. 

 

3. Get Social 

 

Social media, when done properly, can help you to land interviews and showcase opportunities. 

 

Once you've built up your profile on LinkedIn, use it to connect with employers and recruiters as well as to showcase your expertise. 

 

For creatives, use channels such as Creative Pool and Behance to publish your work. 

 

Use twitter to engage with a company ahead of applying for a role. Showing a keen interest in them before an interview will always help your application. 

 

4. Network, Network, Network

 

Just like entrepreneurs must network to win work and generate leads, you must do the same to land your dream job. Use both online and face-to-face networking approaches, get to know as many influencers within your industry as possible both locally and nationally. 

 

Ways you can build these relationships include social media networking, attending career fairs, undertaking work placements and apprenticeships and volunteering. 

 

Remember, it’s not what you know but who you know. 

 

5. Learn the Art of Selling Yourself

 

We understand that this doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but selling yourself is just like marketing yourself as you would a business. Start by putting yourself in the shoes of a recruiter and ask yourself whether you stand out from a crowd of CVs and applicants. If not, spend some time working out why. 

 

But never lie on a CV application to make yourself look better. Not even the little white lies. You will be found out and it won’t do you any favours. 

 

6. Boost Your Confidence 

 

Trust us when we say that a confident individual is a far more attractive candidate to employers than a shy one. Display your confidence by being prepared for your interview armed with good research about the company and the job role you’re applying for; be positive throughout and learn from your mistakes. 

 

By organising a few dummy run interviews with friends and family will really help you to prepare and allow you to speak comfortably and confidently in front of an interviewer without felling nervous. Just avoid coming across as cocky and over-confident, as it’s often seen as a mask for someone who is hiding something. 

 

7. Gain Industry Experience

 

Regardless of whether it’s paid or unpaid, an internship or a summer job, do all that you can to gain industry experience. Employers will want to see more than just your qualifications and are more likely to interview a candidate who has actively sought out previous work experience. It will help set you apart from those who have none. 

 

8. Research Companies Before Applying 

 

It’s really helpful to spend some time researching and getting to know companies that are of interest before applying for a job role there. Follow them on social media and subscribe to their company blog. This will give you helpful insight into the company culture, not just what service they provide and the clients they provide for. After all, you want to make sure you work for a company that fits your needs as much as you fit theirs. 

 

Never assume that you can research a company the morning before an interview. The candidates that really stand out are the ones who have clearly done their homework researching the company in detail. 

 

9. Never Stop Learning 

 

We know you have just finished your degree, and learning is something you’re hoping to leave behind. But in reality you should never stop learning. Knowledge is very powerful and the more you know in your chosen industry the more employable you become. 

 

It takes people years to reach the top of their game, and those that do have continued their learning and understanding. We suggest subscribing to relevant blogs, watching helpful webinars and attending conferences to help build on your knowledge. 

 

10. Believe In Yourself 

 

There’s a lot to be said for someone who believes in themselves. You’d be surprised how much this can impact your ability to sell yourself. Never doubt yourself and your ability to succeed in your chosen career. Negativity is never good and those who focus on positives will go further than those who don’t. 

 

Justify in your head why you should be selected for a role and you’ll find it far easier to convince recruiters and employers.

 

11. Be Flexible 

 

Whilst this is easier for some than for others, always try to be flexible. An application for one role may see you offered an interview for another or perhaps on a slightly lower than expected salary. Being flexible on specific job roles, salary and working hours will help you to get your foot in the door of the company you want to be part of. 

 

Heading into an interview or applying for a role with a fixed mindset is never a good idea, as things don’t always go just as you expected them to. 

 

Being flexible sets you apart from those who aren’t.

 

 

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The best way to answer “Why Should We Hire You?” in your interview.

 

 

Most hiring managers will close out an interview asking you point blank why they should hire you. If you’ve ever been stumped when it comes to this question, the painful truth is you likely failed that interview.

 

If you want to impress you potential employer and demonstrate your desire to work for them, you will need to have done your research on the company and position well in advance in order to close the interview on a positive note.

 

When you are prepared and have completed your research ahead of time, it will be easy for you to address the key reasons why you are perfect for the job.

 

 

Point out your skills.

 

When you have a solid understanding of the position’s job duties and requirements, this should be an easy sell to the employer. Take a look at what they want and need from the position you’re applying for. 

 

  • What are the key skills and requirements? 
  • Are there any additional experiences or skills that you have which would be a plus for the position? 

 

For example, if the company is searching for a finance manager for their global staffing company, it would be a huge bonus if your financial experience is on a global basis or in the staffing industry. This is something that you would want to point out to them as a reason why they should hire you for the job.

 

Being able to establish the connection between your skills and the job requirements is necessary if you wish to have a successful interview.

 

Establish your ability to learn.

 

As always, it doesn’t matter how much experience you have in the position at hand. You must also be willing and able to learn a new business, new processes, or even a new industry.

 

If you have had successful experience learning and picking up new skills in the past, be sure to bring this up during the interview. This proves that you not only have the key skills they are looking for, but that you also have the initiative and desire to learn more.

 

Don’t forget about the culture.

 

If you have done your research prior to the interview, you will be very familiar with the company’s culture. No longer is it satisfactory for HR to just find someone with the skills and experience to hire for a job. Today, hiring managers are searching for individuals who will transition smoothly into their company’s culture.

 

Make sure that you establish your knowledge of the company culture. If you have worked in similar cultures in the past, talk about this. State how your attitude and beliefs will fit in well with the company’s established culture.

 
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