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How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Stands Out To Employers 

When it comes to selling your value to a recruitment company like Clayton Recruitment and the clients we work for, there are a few pivotal documents required to draw attention to yourself. 

The humble CV is one, followed quickly by your LinkedIn profile. 

As LinkedIn is the biggest social business network outside China, with 850 million members listed, it is more crucial than ever to leverage the opportunities your LinkedIn profile provides as a positioning tool for your career. 

Your LinkedIn profile has many positive attributes. Unless you share a name with a well-known person, it is highly likely that your profile, if created properly, will appear on the first page of Google. 

Even though your CV/Resume is a standard document that demonstrates your career journey, a LinkedIn profile can deliver even more insight about you as a potential recruit in an interactive and engaging style that a CV alone cannot achieve. 

In today’s post, I want to share why your profile is so important and the easy, quick wins to ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd. 

Headlines and Pronouns

Your headline is often the first piece of text a recruiter or potential hiring manager will see, so make it count. Paraphrase what you do, and the good news is LinkedIn now allows 220 characters, including spaces. Here is an example of a headline that works.  

“Marketing Manager at IKEM Solutions building B2B business and brand growth across the North West” 

With D.E.I. being on most workplace agendas, LinkedIn now allows you to add your preferred pronouns on your profile. The use of pronouns will let hiring managers, colleagues or online connections know how to address you to prevent any misconceptions.  

A Professional Photo

LinkedIn produces numerous reports that demonstrate the power of imagery and media on your profile. Profiles with a professional photograph can get 14 times more profile views vs those with selfie style images or group pictures. 

Phone technology today means there is no excuse not to have a professional LinkedIn profile picture. Ask a colleague or friend to take a photograph with their smartphone in good lighting where you shoulders and face are visible to give an honest and accurate perception of who you are professionally. 

Head and shoulders are the best shots. Your face, preferably smiling in appropriate business attire, makes the best impact. Remember, recruitment consultants viewing your profile are imagining how you will fit into their client’s organisation, so this is an easy way to make an impact.  

How To Get In Contact

As a first start, do you have all your contact details visible?  

Make sure you have a mobile number and a Gmail/Hotmail address that is your most active and professional email account. Try to avoid the likes of 90sbaby@hotmail.com or something with your birth year in as this can indicate age bias subconsciously.  

A professional url demonstrates your attention to detail, for instance, LinkedIn.com/in/Andy Gold as opposed to LinkedIn.com/in/Andy-Gold-2671c567. 

It’s also important to include links to your blog where you share knowledge related to your sector which is a great feature a lot of LinkedIn users forget to utilise.  

Featured Section

Have you written papers or presented at an industry conference, or recorded any work-related videos?  

If the answer is yes, add them here, and this will certainly make you stand out from the crowd and gives recruiters or potential businesses the chance to see more of what you can do rather than just reading it on a CV. 

Your About Section

Please do not add only your essential skills or paste sections from your CV into your summary section. Use it to catch people’s attention as you share relevant information about who you are and your skills and abilities; you have 2000 characters, so make them count. 

In this section, talk about the value you will add to an organisation alongside your skillset. Be different and stand out by explaining how you might help a potential new employer solve their problems while being genuine and authentic. 

Our experience as recruiters is this attracts our attention, plus it makes it easier for us to ‘sell’ the fact you are a ‘must see’ candidate for our client and pick out your best attributes towards their needs. 

Here are some examples from LinkedIn themselves as to what they see as great profile summaries. 

Add to Profile and Open To

On the right-hand side of your profile, you will see a button that says ‘add to profile’. When you click this, it reveals all the additional sections you can add to your profile.  

From featured items to licenses and certifications, and courses and recommendations the list is endless to really boost your profile against your competitors.  

If you are open to work and currently not employed, you can add this to your profile picture by clicking the relevant button. This lets recruiters know instantly without even clicking on your profile that you are a potential candidate for their client and therefor you are most likely to be seen.  

In the ‘add your profile’ section under background, share details of all your work experience that will communicate your capability. Then list all your education and volunteer activities. Today, organisations have an active CSR programme that they love to promote to new starters; therefore, this area is essential to share too should you have experience in those departments. 

Under accomplishments, you can list publications, certifications, patents, courses, projects, honours and awards, test scores, languages and how you are involved with communities that are important to you. 

This makes it easy for a recruitment organisation to identify your skills and expertise as a potential match for their client. 

The big question is, does your profile: 

  • Help your standout? 
  • Communicate your value, including providing supporting evidence? 
  • List your work achievements? 

Share Useful Content

Depending on your current organisation and their social presence, you can share and like content until your heart is content. This unconsciously communicates to everyone how connected you are and what is important to you. When someone arrives on your profile, it is one of the first sections they can see. 

You can now share an article or even upload a compelling image or create a video on your LinkedIn profile. All of which enable you to communicate your personal brand and show recruiters areas of your work you are particularly interested in the most. 

List The Skills You Know Are Important in Your Industry

When it comes to skills, you can add up to 50, which could help you stand out to a recruitment consultant and your future employer. You don’t have to add all of them as only your top ten will be profiled, so make these the most important. 

The UK is in the grip of a skills shortage. Therefore, if you know you have in-demand skills, communicate them on your profile wherever you can. You would be surprised that this is an area often forgotten by even the best of candidates. 

Endorsements and Recommendations

We all now live and work in the review society. Social proof is a significant influencer in our current community. Who has not viewed Trip Advisor before booking a restaurant or holiday with their significant other? It is the same in the business world. 

Therefore, collecting recommendations and endorsements is crucial for your career. If you have not got any, ask for them from your contacts. All too often, people are shy about asking for validations of their work. The good news, which might surprise you, is that many people are more than willing to give you a recommendation as long as you offer to give one back in return. 

Finally, Complete Your Profile in Full

A question for you? Are you using all the features we have mentioned? 

Do you have a presentation or video on your summary? Have you got a link to a paper you have written? 

It is interesting the impression people get from reading a full LinkedIn profile. It sends a message to recruitment companies that you are a person with attention to detail and take their career and work-life seriously – a great candidate for their clients.  

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Time To Move On? Top 10 Tips On How To Resign Gracefully

With the prospect of a new role on the horizon, arguably the hard bit is done. You have aced your interviews, impressed your new employer, and are no doubt looking to the future and the next steps in your career.

But even with the excitement of a new position looming, there is still an incredibly important step to take in making that move – handing in your resignation to your current company.

Here we offer our top tips on how to address this often-uncomfortable conversation – and ultimately remain professional, and on good terms as you exit the business.

1. Communicate To Your Manager First

With an exciting new role to look forward to, it can be tempting to tell close associates and friends, however the first person who should hear about it is your reporting manager. If a senior partner, or even your Manager themselves hears about your intention to leave from another colleague, it goes without saying that it won’t leave a favourable impression which is ultimately what a well-thought our resignation is trying to achieve.

Arrange a time to speak to your Manager and let them know the situation first. Face-to-face is ideal as it minimises any misunderstandings or miscommunication, although video call would also work well for those who work remotely or in order to expedite the process.  It is best practice to verbally tell your Manager of your intention to leave along with the reasons that have led to that decision as it is highly likely that you will be asked both why you are leaving and where you are going to – so it’s wise to have a response planned.

2. Be Prepared For Conversations Around Negotiation

Whatever the reason or reasons for leaving your current company, it is always worth having a preliminary conversation before you start looking for new opportunities, to see if those initial reasons may be overcome. If, however that conversation didn’t take place, you should nevertheless consider what you would do should a counter-offer be on the table once your make your intention to resign clear.

In the current market, where demand for talented professionals is outstripping supply, this is exceptionally common, so you need to at least be prepared for such a scenario and ask yourself, would you actually accept a counter-offer?. The answer to that lies in ultimately revisiting the reasons you wish to leave in the first place.

Counter-offers take many forms including increased pay, a promotion, enhanced benefits, or a combination of all of those, and there is no doubt that it can feel flattering to be in that position. However, research suggests that 80% of people who accept a counter-offer tend to leave within 6-12 months of accepting. Is it likely you’ll also be part of that statistic?

3. Prepare Your Resignation Letter

Once the decision to leave is final, you must put this in writing. When it comes to your resignation letter, it should be short and polite. Within the letter itself, it is not necessary to justify your reasons for leaving your current company or go into lengthy explanations as you can are likely to have (or have had) a more informal chat about this with your reporting Manager. The document is simply to cover the legalities of ending your contractual agreement with your employer and will be kept on record, so details like the date of the notice, confirmation of notice period, and last working day should be accurate.

You may wish to use the formal communication as an opportunity to highlight things you are grateful for – skills you have learnt, help and advice you have received, and opportunities to boost your career that have been offered, but that is not mandatory. Do, however, avoid the temptation to criticise your colleagues, boss, partners or clients.

4. Discuss Those Finer Details

Your Manager will mostly likely want to discuss with you the finer details around how and when you will let colleagues know you are leaving. You may wish to inform them individually, or as a group, or have your Manager tell them for you.

You also need to confirm your notice period and how this effects your new role start date. This should be communicated clearly in your contract of employment, but it is always worth a conversation on whether it is realistic to shorten this (if desired by any party) or even extended on request.

Whether your notice period is 2 weeks, 2 months or anything in between, its important you are aware of this before giving your new employer a start date that you may not be able to commit to. Be prepared that in some cases, you may be placed on gardening leave rather than working your notice period.

Garden leave (or gardening leave) is when an employer tells an employee not to work either part or all of their notice period. This could be because the employer does not want the employee to have access to sensitive or confidential information they could use in a new job (Source: ACAS) In this case, you are still employed by your employer, just not working for them and therefore you are still entitled to your salary and contractual agreements in this period of time.

5. Plan A Robust Handover

Scheduling time to plan for a smooth transition shows you to be a true legal professional and not someone who leaves a business or an employer in the lurch, or projects unfinished. Think about your specific areas of responsibility – current caseloads, unfinished assigments, urgent jobs and upcoming commitments, as well as information on your clients that your successor or wider team will need.

If possible, invest some time in training up your successor, or at least making formal handover notes, to ensure you minimise the impact on the company when you leave and once again, keep the working relationship positive.

6. Start Clearing Your Desk

Once colleagues are aware that you are leaving, you can start to clear your desk so that it’s ready for the next occupant. Removing paperwork, filing and archiving, binning wastepaper and taking personal items such as photographs home will ensure your workplace is ready, clean and welcoming for the next person.

7. Stay Committed

It may be tempting to spend time planning what you will do in your upcoming new legal role (and if time permits, there is definitely merit in keeping in touch with your new employer during your notice period – following their social media accounts to keep track of the latest news, be aware of any networking events etc) but nevertheless, you are still being paid to do your current job – so it’s important to remain committed to that role until the very end.

Remaining an active team player, working hard up to the last minute and completing casework where possible will be noted by colleagues and your employer and will ensure you leave on a positive note – and your professional reputation within the working community follows you as you move on.

8. Embrace The Exit Interview

If you are offered an exit interview by your employer, it’s always a good idea to take that opportunity while you can. These usually take place between yourself and a HR manager and are aimed at establishing any way in which they can improve the firm or addressing issues of which they may be unaware of.

While you can, at this point, bring to light any concerns you might have, keep your observations professional and your criticism constructive, always keeping in mind not to burn any bridges.

Taking these steps will not only provide closure on your previous role but will ensure you leave your company a well-respected and professional ex-colleague, with whom your former team and senior partners will be happy to network with and recommend in the future.

Next Steps

If you’re reading this article because you are looking for the next move in your career, call one of the Clayton Recruitment team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help and market insight, your transition can be smoother and quicker – and get you the outcome you’re looking for.

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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5 Key Ways To Reduce Stress In Your New Role

You’ve just secured your new role at one of the best businesses around, and life is good. But life is also stressful.

Wait. What life?

Starting any new job can be stressful, especially if it’s one that you’ve been working towards for a long time, because you’re eager to make the best possible impression. Being faced with numerous new challenges, combined with the pressure to impress, will naturally cause you a certain amount of stress.

However, while occasional stress might push you to meet important deadlines, constant stress and anxiety can leave you feeling exhausted and frustrated. In addition to reducing your productivity, this can lead to career burnout.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to both relieve stress and combat its negative effects. Here are 5 ways you can reduce stress in your new role.

Get/Stay Organised

Getting and staying organised is not only essential for keeping your stress-level down; it’s also a key to your career success and longevity, especially if you are aspiring to carve out an exceptional career for yourself.

Set up a system for categorising your emails as well as scheduling any ongoing tasks and projects. Most companies nowadays use a form of task-management software, ensure that you get adequate training on how to use this as it will enhance to your role and then get in the habit of using it – it will show your employers that you’re an adaptable team player and will also make your life much easier in the long run.

If your new business doesn’t use a dedicated task-management software, implement your own system. This might mean using your own planner app, or if you’re not the most tech-savvy, you could always do things the traditional way with a daily planner. Regardless of which system you choose, get yourself in the habit of coming up with a rough schedule for how you will go about tackling your tasks.

Another important aspect of staying organised, of course, is maintaining a physically tidy workspace. By keeping your desk neat and free from clutter, you will feel less overwhelmed, while being more efficient and productive.

Set Realistic Goals

It’s natural to want to impress when you’re starting a new role, and employers will often expect you to go above and beyond in your first few months. While it can be tempting to take on more than you can handle, try to be realistic with yourself about your limitations.

If the goals you’ve set for yourself are beyond your current capabilities, you’ll start to get frustrated and discouraged when you keep failing to get things done – this is a sure recipe for a career burnout. Even the most experienced employee is bound to fall short of a goal now and then; as a new hire, it’s going to take you time to learn the ropes of your new workplace. So, allow yourself the chance to learn during this transitional period and try to view your setbacks as a way to become a more efficient and knowledgeable employee.

Rather than cluttering your to-do-list with an excessive number of tasks every day, try to take things slow and celebrate every accomplishment. If you take on too much too soon, you’re likely to get buried and behind on the tasks that really matter, which will only add to your stress. By focusing on your top few priorities each day, you will feel a sense of accomplished when you’re able to clear your to-do list on a daily basis.

Find The Right Balance

When starting a new job that you really like, it can be tempting to throw yourself in headfirst. However, as with setting realistic professional goals, it’s just as important to establish realistic life goals. Don’t lose sight of your work/life balance. In other words, if you don’t make time for the things and people you love outside of work, you won’t be loving your new role for very long.

Finding the right balance between work and family is one of the most important ways to reduce job-related stress. Making time for yourself and your loved ones, as well as disconnecting mentally from your job, will allow you to return to work refreshed. Try to schedule out your week in advance to ensure that you have time blocked out to unwind with family and friends. Setting this time aside will help ensure that you don’t get overly stressed or exhausted in your new role.

Take Care Of Yourself

Just as crucial as finding the right balance between work and play is maintaining your physical, mental and emotional health. You should never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet. Eating poorly and not getting enough sleep will only cause you to be tired and less productive, which will only lead to more stress.

In addition to maintaining a proper diet and sleeping routine, one of the best ways to manage stress is by staying active. Exercise is not only advantageous for your body; but it also has a positive impact on your mental health, as well. This doesn’t mean that you have to join an expensive gym or punish yourself with an extreme workout. A simple routine of either a short yoga session or a quick run before you go to the office in the morning can simultaneously boost your confidence and improve your performance at work.

Make Use Of Workplace Resources

Your first couple of weeks at a new job can often go by in a blur; the combination of meeting and learning to work with a new group of people, as well as adjusting to new ways of doing things, can leave you feeling overwhelmed with information overload. It’s normal to not remember something that you might have only been showed how to do to once on your first day.

While your new workplace likely will have an induction program, you should never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand how to do something. It’s possible that you will be placed with a mentor or someone you can go to with questions – don’t hesitate to seek out their help when you need it. While asking your co-workers or boss questions may feel like it shows weakness, actually lets your colleagues know you’re serious about understanding how things work, rather than trying to do something you aren’t sure of on your own.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.

If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.

If you would like to access our free guides, view them all here.

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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How to handle a counter offer situation

  • January 22, 2018

You’ve found your ideal person for the role: they tick all of the right boxes and you can’t wait to get them on board. But after you’ve offered them the job, they suddenly aren’t sure. Their current employer is equally keen to retain them and has made a counter offer to incentivise them to stay. What should you do next?

Of course, all firms want to retain their best talent and a last-ditch attempt to encourage highly in-demand candidates to withdraw their application, is not an uncommon scenario. However, there are several steps that you can take to minimise the risk and ensure the role you are offering, remains a viable option.

Determine why they want to leave

Preparing for a counter offer needs to begin at the very first stage of contact with prospective employees. Asking ‘Why do you want to leave your current job?’ is an important part of understanding the candidate’s motives and aspirations. If their only reason for looking for a new role is to get a pay rise or a little more responsibility, their current employer can easily address this with a counter offer which includes a salary increase or a change of job title. During the interview process, consider which job seekers are interested in the full opportunity that you’re offering.

Cover counter-offers at interview

It’s totally fine to ask a candidate during the interview stage what they would do if their current employer asks them to stay. It may be uncomfortable, but if it is clear at this point that they aren’t totally sure that they really do want to leave, question them further to find out the full picture.

Get them engaged with their future colleagues

The onboarding process can start from the moment that a candidate accepts your offer and can also be extended to include candidates who are still weighing it up. It’s a good idea to invite them in again to meet with key colleagues, such as line managers, peers and the leadership team. Personal connections can make it easier for people to envision themselves as part of the team.

Keep in touch

When recruits are seeing out their notice periods – which can be as long as three months – their excitement at getting a new job can fade a little. Plus, of course, their current employer still continues to see them each day and may well be doing all that they can to dissuade them from leaving. Be sure to stay in contact with your new hire until they join you on their first day. Invite them to team events, where possible. This will help you keep the momentum going and cement your company in their mind as the place where they can’t wait to be.

Sell your strengths

If you’ve done all of that and a potential new employee still is having a moment of uncertainty about switching jobs, remind them of the opportunities in your organisation. Pinpoint what initially made them apply for a job with you – career progression, improved work/life balance, an appealing organisational culture or more challenge – and reassure them that those benefits exist if they make the move.

Use a recruiter

A good recruiter will ascertain why the applicant is searching for a new role before putting them forward for interview. Often, jobseekers reveal information to recruiters that they don’t at interview and some do say that they are really only looking for a bargaining tool! Recruiters will be well-versed in scenarios where counter-offers emerge and they’ll be able to prepare candidates for the possibility that their current employer may try to dissuade them from leaving.

Know when to walk away

The recruitment process works both ways. Even in a skills-short environment, you still want to attract the right person who has enthusiasm for the job: a candidate that needs endless persuasion to join your organisation is unlikely to be right. So, make your first offer your best one: sell the benefits of your company and role throughout the process and let it be the opportunity of working for you that attracts the right talent – not extra perks added to the salary package in a last minute attempt to get them to choose you.

If you would like specialist advice from experts, get in touch today to find out how we can help you find the right talent.

For more advice from the team, check out our other posts.

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How can you tell if a job is right for you

  • January 15, 2018

Being offered a job is undoubtedly exciting: not only do you feel relief at having secured the position, but you have a new challenge to look forward to as you start a different stage of your career. However, as tempting as it is to quit your current post and accept the offer on the spot, it’s vital that you have done enough research to be as sure as you can that the position is right for you. Switching jobs can be life-changing: after all, you spend a significant amount – if not the majority – of your time at work. Here are our top tips for deciding if a role is a good fit.

Practicalities

At the absolute minimum, check that you are genuinely satisfied with the working hours, holiday entitlement and benefits package before accepting. It’s also important to consider the location and any additional commuting time as studies show that longer commutes have a negative impact on health. Also factor in the cost of the journey, including petrol, public transport and parking. Other expenses – such as the need for specific workwear or an expectation that you will pay for equipment – are worth considering as these can easily eat into a salary.

Who will you work with?

Before accepting a job, you should have met – and felt that you can happily work alongside – the boss. Be wary of an interview conducted by someone from HR that prevents you from meeting the person that will set the precedent for your working environment. You should also know who your co-workers will be and ideally, have met them too. Pay attention to what they reveal: how do they speak about one another and the company? Do they seem happy?

How do they treat existing staff?

You can glean a lot about how you’d be treated as an employee from the way people in the firm behave towards you during the recruitment process. If you contact them, are they helpful and polite? Do they seem organised? Are people friendly towards you or are you unacknowledged as a visitor? Is there an element of openness- for example, are you offered an opportunity to informally discuss the role before applying and are you given a tour when you visit?

If you can find out information about the company’s retention rate, this will be illuminating. Try to establish why the vacancy for your position came about: expansion or promotion are good signs; the former post-holder walking out is clearly not.

Finally, use your network and research skills to find out what kind of reputation the company has. Does anyone know somebody who has worked there or had other direct experience of them? Sites such as Glassdoor can also give insights into a company from people who have worked there.

Workplace culture

Organisational culture – the behaviours, values, norms and beliefs of a workplace- permeates everything, so it is vital that it aligns with your core values and beliefs. For example, working in an environment that places high value on working long hours in order to make profit will energise and drive some people, but others would be utterly miserable. Firms often outline their own view of their culture in their mission statements, but none are going to admit to running a place like some sort of Scrooge. Instead, observe it through the actions of employees when you meet them. Consider how the environment feels to you and if it is comfortable.

Future prospects

Finally, remember that a new job can be a big upheaval. Is it going to offer long term prospects and opportunity for progression, or is the position only right for now? You should have a solid understanding of what the post entails from the job description and discussing the role at interview, but once you are settled and those elements become more routine, will it continue to satisfy and challenge you? Find out about the training available and the employer’s approach to supporting your educational and professional advancement. Also ask about the company’s structure and how that lends itself to promotional opportunities.

For more tips, see our other career advice posts.

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How to shortlist Candidates effectively and efficiently

  • January 3, 2018

The New Year is an ideal time for a fresh start and, as a result, more people decide to make a career move than at any other point. So, with companies likely to see a significant increase in the amount of applications from which they must shortlist, how can they ensure that they pick out the right candidates? Here are our top five tips.

1) Before you begin to look at the applications, it’s vital that you define your ideal candidate. Use your job description and person specification to create two checklists: the essential criteria and desirable criteria needed to do the job. The standards are likely to relate to all of the following key areas, plus any others that are relevant:  education, work experience, skills and knowledge, competencies and personality traits. Be very strict about the criteria you term ‘essential’: these should relate to the qualities and traits of top performing employees in the role.

2) The next step is to begin the shortlisting process. At this stage, some employers choose to utilise the services of a specialist recruiter that knows the market inside out: they can identify the right talent quickly and may already have people among their network of candidates that might fit the role.

3) If shortlisting in-house, do so in stages.

Stage 1: Go through the applications and discard any that don’t meet all of the essential criteria. You now have a list of candidates who can all do the fundamentals of the role. At this point, it is also worthwhile noting where applications have come from so that you know where to advertise future vacancies.

Stage 2: Decide how many candidates you want to interview. Go through the remaining applications, weigh them against each item in your list of desirable criteria and record the number of criteria they meet. Some recruiters like to use a spreadsheet as this helps them to rank candidates at a glance. During this stage, you should also check that there are no inconsistencies in their CV and that spelling, punctuation, grammar, presentation and attention to detail are in line with your expectations.

4) You can now decide who to select for interview. It is important to think outside the box here: you may have a list of desirable criteria, but it’s unlikely that an individual will meet all of them, so decide which combination will have the most impact. Also, if you are replacing a current post holder, don’t have a vision of replacing like with like: think about what they could do when they joined, rather than what they can do now.

5) In addition to notifying the candidates selected for the next stage, ensure that you also contact everyone who applied –even if there were hundreds- to thank them for their interest, but letting them know that, unfortunately, this time they have not been shortlisted for interview. A superior candidate experience is crucial in today’s skills short environment. After all, a candidate that isn’t the right fit for now might just be, in the future.

If you have a vacancy and would like to talk to us about how we can help you shortlist the right person for the job, contact our specialist team of recruiters.

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New Year, new job?

  • December 5, 2017

It is very common for job seekers to wait until after Christmas and the New Year to look for their next career opportunity, perhaps assuming that the festive period will be quiet and employers won’t be looking for new staff. However, there are a number of employers currently seeking the right candidates, with particular opportunities for those seeking temporary seasonal roles, so don’t risk missing out!

Analysis from a recent study, which we conducted by comparing levels of vacancies across Lancashire, highlighted a number of key areas, where professionals are in particular demand.

Fork Lift Truck Drivers:

We have seen increased demand for professionals with a relevant license to operate forklift trucks in warehouses, and unload and load the vehicles. Drivers who are able to demonstrate an ability to pay attention to detail are particularly sought after as roles usually involve accurately allocating stock, before gathering and wrapping orders. The hourly rate for such roles is typically in the region of £7.50 – £8.65. We expect demand to rise further as Christmas approaches and businesses increase their stock levels: forklift operators will play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth movement of these goods.

Purchase Ledger Clerks:

The continuing growth of business activity in Lancashire has resulted in many companies expanding their finance departments and hiring additional Purchase Ledger Clerks to help manage their accounts. Consequently, well-organised professionals who pay attention to detail and possess excellent communication skills are sought after by a range of companies across the region. Clerks with some prior experience can anticipate salaries in the range of £17,000 – £18,000 per annum.

Telesales Representatives:

We are seeing consistent demand for Telesales Representatives across the region as firms continue to need the skills of excellent communicators to reach customers via the telephone. There are vacancies across a range of sectors for positions operating from both within call centers and smaller offices. Employers are looking for professionals with excellent communication skills, persuasiveness and patience. Salaries typically range from £13,500 for entry level positions to £30,000 for Telesales Managers.

Heavy Goods Drivers / Multi-drop Drivers:

The trend for online retailing continues to drive demand for drivers to move goods from warehouses to consumers. Consequently, many employers are seeking additional drivers, particularly those who possess a Class 2 Heavy Goods licence and CPC card. This type of role often has a customer-facing element so interpersonal skills are a must. We are also seeing increased demand for drivers to transfer large industrial equipment safely and securely from many of the region’s employers.

Account Managers:

With more and more companies investing in Lancashire, rising competition means firms are increasingly seeking expert Account Managers to help them create strategies to secure the loyalty of existing customers and acquire new ones. Experienced B2B professionals can command annual salaries in the region of £30,000.

So, if you’re seeking a role for Christmas or looking for a new challenge in the New Year, get in touch today to see what opportunities we have available. And, if you’re a firm seeking talent in the festive season and beyond, we can help find your next hire.

You may also like to download our guide on How to Develop Your CV.

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How to answer the interview question: “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

  • November 29, 2017

When an interviewer asks, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” many interviewees find themselves flummoxed. They haven’t thought that far ahead. All they know is that, right now, they want this particular job. Where it will have taken them in 1825 days is anybody’s guess. And, after all, how can they possibly say what they’ll be doing then when they don’t even know what they’ll be doing this weekend?

So, why do interviewers like asking this question? The aim of the interviewer is, of course, not to test your psychic ability, but to dig deeper and find out more about you as a potential employee. In particular, they want to find out what your mid-term career goals are to see if they align with both the role and what they are able to offer you as employers. Will you be satisfied with the position and prospects, work hard and stay in their employment for a long time? They want to hire someone who is genuinely excited about the job and who sees it as a great career move.

Let’s start with what not to say.

  • Don’t joke about wanting to do your interviewer’s job. Nobody wants their own job prised from them by a competitive new hire.
  • Don’t go into a very detailed plan about how you will get promoted. It can look over-confident and inflexible.
  • Don’t mention unrelated dreams such as writing a novel or owning a business. An employer is interested in what you will do for them. Don’t joke about winning the lottery and retiring, either.
  • Don’t ponder for ages, suggest a few different things or – worst of all – say that you haven’t thought that far. It will make you look directionless.
  • Don’t make any references to their rivals. Some interviewees think that mentioning an aspiration to gain the skills to work for another notoriously selective or popular employer makes them look ambitious, but why would any firm invest in you just so that you can go to a rival?

When you give your response, the ideal answer will portray you as ambitious but not entitled; forward-thinking but adaptable; realistic but aspirational. The main thing to do is show that you are excited about this position and what you will learn over the next five years: you have a desire to succeed and be the best you can at it. The interviewer will be looking for evidence that this job will meet your goals for several years and that you will stay in it long enough to repay any investment – of both time and money – in you. Then, rather than focusing too much on where you want to go next, present a vaguer and more flexible desire to progress and develop, should opportunities arise. If you can do a bit of research into your employer’s long-term goals and show that your personal career goals align with them, even better. They’re looking for nurses to mentor new staff as part of a recently introduced induction programme? Great – that suits your ambition to guide and eventually train others.

Finally, be prepared for one or two follow-up questions which might be used to see if your answer is a rehearsed one or if it genuinely reflects who you are.

For more interview advice from the team, check out our posts here.

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The top five interview mistakes

  • November 13, 2017

You’ve applied for a series of new jobs, and finally secured the all-important interview for your dream role. While it may seem like you are just steps away from hearing the words ‘you’re hired’, the hard work starts now. You need to be fully prepared for the interview to ensure you have every chance of success. Often candidates will have worked really hard on job applications but let themselves down at the interview stage by either not preparing adequately or presenting a bad image. So what are the top five interview mistakes you need to avoid?

Not doing your homework

With the internet at your fingertips, there is absolutely no excuse for not doing your homework before an interview. Despite this, however, clients often tell us that a candidate didn’t get the job because they didn’t know even the basics about the company and role they applied for despite having all the skills required. Take the time to thoroughly research the business – look at the website for information about the history, values, and culture. Seek out information on social media to glean an insight into the type of work and activity the business does. It’s also worth researching the person who will be interviewing you – you will be able to source information about their role and length of time at the business which will help you establish a rapport at the outset.

Too much talking, not enough listening

 

Another big mistake candidates make – often due to nerves – is talking too much and not listening to the questions being asked. Take the time to really take in each question and, if you are unsure of how to answer, ask the interviewer to repeat it. This will buy you some time and enable you to prepare an answer better. Candidates often go wrong by responding too quickly and going off on a tangent which means they haven’t given the interviewer the information they are seeking. Often this happens due to a combination of nerves and a failure to prepare. If you have researched properly you will not only be less nervous, but you will likely be able to answer the questions asked.

No questions

 

Another big no no is not asking any questions yourself. Almost every interviewer will factor in time at the end of the meeting for the candidate to ask anything about the role and company. Don’t make the mistake of not preparing questions in advance. Think about what queries will demonstrate that you are serious about the job and your progression within the company. Could you ask about the training and development opportunities or about the team you will be working with, for example? Don’t, however, make the mistake of asking about when your first pay rise will be or how many sick days you are entitled to!

Moaning about your current employer

 

Most interviewers will ask you about your previous role and employer. And regardless of why you left the company never make the mistake of criticising the people or business you worked for. No prospective employer wants to hear a potential staff member bad mouthing people they have worked with before – not only will it cause concern that you might do the same at their business, but it will also almost certainly move your application to the no pile!

Wrong attire

 

Even if you know that, if you secure the role, you won’t be expected to be suited and booted every day, don’t turn up to the interview in jeans and a t-shirt. Don’t however, go to the other extreme and turn up looking like you are about to go on a night out!

The interview is often the last stage of a lengthy application process. Don’t ruin your chances of securing the role you deserve by making the mistakes listed above. Preparation is key and remember, if you have been invited in for interview, it is because you have already demonstrated your suitability for the role. Good luck!

For more advice from the team, check out our other posts here.

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Are you stuck in a rut?

  • November 6, 2017

As the New Year approaches, you might be one of the many professionals reassessing your career. Do you feel like you’re not motivated in your current job? Do you feel that your skills and experience are not being maximised where you are now? Or perhaps you are unsure about what career you should be embarking on?  If this all sounds familiar, you might want to consider recruitment. Not only is it an incredibly fulfilling career, but it is also varied – no two days are the same – and the rewards are endless. So if you’re seeking a new challenge, take a look at our top reasons to work in recruitment.

Changing lives

While many might see this as cliché statement it really rings true! A recruiter can literally change a person’s life. When you consider the big life events – such as buying a house or getting married – landing a great job that offers security and satisfaction is right up there at the top. And while you may not be able to place each and every person you meet, recruiters also have the opportunity to help candidates reassess their own career goals which can be instrumental in their quest for the illusive perfect job.

Varied

If you’re the type of person that likes variety and doesn’t like the idea of sitting in an office day in day out, then recruitment could be just right for you. Each day is different – you could be interviewing candidates, meeting new clients, or you could be at a conference or careers fair offering advice to jobseekers. Because of the varied nature of recruitment it is, however, very fast paced. Consequently an ability to multi-task and react quickly to client demands is crucial.

Career progression

While it might be true that the recruitment sector is a saturated market, individuals that are at the top of their game can climb the career ladder very quickly. If you can demonstrate that you are eager to progress and consistently meet your targets then the chance to move from consultant to management level in a short space of time is easily achievable. Furthermore, the very best recruitment agencies will give you the freedom to shape your own career path. So whether you want to rise through the ranks as purely a biller, or if you want to bill and manage people, your employer will create a path that suits your aspirations.

Huge earning potential

While money alone shouldn’t be the reason anyone goes into recruitment, it is a sales role and consequently the ability to earn commission and bonuses on top of your base salary are there for the taking. So if you’re keen to change people’s lives, while simultaneously taking home a lucrative pay packet each month, recruitment could certainly be right for you.

Perks

Many people incorrectly assume that because of the attractive earning potential in recruitment, there a few other perks to the job. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Good recruitment companies will ensure that their staff are rewarded in other ways than money alone. And here at Clayton Legal, for example, we offer an annual car incentive, raffles for super prizes, corporate days out and a company profit share system. However, we also strongly believe in the power of CPD and provide plenty of training and development opportunities – along with study leave – to all our staff.

If this all sounds appealing then the good news is that we’re looking for people to join our close knit team here at Clayton Legal. We’re seeking consultants to work alongside our ever growing team that works with some of the best firms in the market and the very best legal talent. So if you think you have what it takes speak to us today. Could you be the next member of the team? We hope so.

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