Top 5 worst fictional bosses of all time

No one gets through their career without encountering a boss who seems to make your working life a bit of an ordeal. But before you start planning your escape route, perhaps you should take a moment to read through our top 5 five worst fictional bosses of all time:

5. Basil Fawlty- Fawlty Towers

Basil FawltyTactless, misanthropic, arrogant- these are all words you could use to accurately describe Basil Fawlty. As the owner and manager of the farcical guesthouse Fawlty Towers, Basil spends most of his time intimidating his customers, beating up his clumsy Spanish waiter, Manuel, and creeping around anyone he thinks might be of any ‘importance’. When things go wrong Basil takes out his frustration on his staff, usually armed with a frying pan.

“A satisfied customer- we should have him stuffed”- Basil Fawlty on Customer Service


4. Charles Montgomery Burns- The Simpsons

MR BURNSMr Burns is the antagonist in The Simpsons and is also arguably one of television’s most villainous bosses. Owner of Springfield’s Nuclear Power Plant, he takes great pleasure in tormenting the residents of Springfield. His insatiable desire for wealth, power and fortune overlooks any regard he has for health and safety or the wellbeing of his staff. Not only does he forget the names of his employees but, like an evil puppet-master, he also takes great pleasure in monitoring them via closed circuit cameras and subjecting them to gruelling labour in inhumane conditions.

“Smithers, release the hounds…”- Mr Burns on Leadership


3. Miranda Priestly- The Devil Wears Prada

miranda priestlyThe fashion industry is notoriously ruthless and when you work for tyrannical fashion editor Miranda Priestly it’s just about as bad as it gets. When she’s not pitting her staff against each other, she’s making endless, impossible demands and generally trampling over the spirits of her young, aspiring fashion journalists. If they say you need thick skin and a strong backbone to work in the fashion industry, then to endure Ms. Priestly you’d probably have to be Godzilla.

“Is there some reason that my coffee isn’t here? Has she died or something”- Miranda Priestly on People Management


2. David Brent- The Office

David BrentWhen it comes to worst bosses, David Brent tops the cringe-ometer. Not only is he socially inept, but he also seems to be oblivious to how his staff really see him. Brent likes to promote himself as a comedian, musician and philosopher much to the displeasure of his staff. Arguably HR’s worst nightmare, he bears an unwittingly offensive attitude, particularly towards women and ethnic minorities and has on several occasions compared himself to a cross between Jesus and MC Hammer.

“Avoid employing unlucky people – throw half of the pile of CVs in the bin without reading them”- David Brent on Recruitment


1. Darth Vader- Star Wars

darth vaderWorking for an Evil Galactic Overlord is a pretty stressful job, expect long hours, non-existent holiday pay, and if you were hoping for a company Imperial Star Destroyer this year you may as well forget it. When he’s not choking his staff to death, Darth Vader is annihilating entire planets so you might want to keep the fact you lost the company’s budget reports to yourself…

“When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”- Darth Vader on Career Progression

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Top 5 things to avoid when writing a CV

Spelling Mistake CVYou’ve spent hours trying to create the perfect CV and have considered everything from layout to font size, yet you still can’t seem to land yourself that dream job. But before you throw in the towel, have you considered that you might be dropping a serious CV clanger that’s costing you an interview. Take a moment to read through our top 5 things to avoid when writing your CV:

Generic CV– Try not to use the ‘one size fits all’ approach when applying for jobs. We know it’s probably tempting to use a generic CV, especially at 2am when you’ve just finished completing a company’s 20 page application form, but tailoring your CV to suit the role you are applying for can be the difference between getting an interview and not. So make sure you do your research about the company first and try to sum up the key qualities that you think you could bring to the specific job. This will demonstrate that you are serious about the role and eager to work for the company.

Spelling mistakes– It might sound like an obvious one, but this really is one of the most costly errors you can make on your CV. There’s a special place where employers file these grammatical gaffes…the wastepaper bin. So read, and read again and remember that spellcheckers are not always a fail safe, some mistakes can slip through the net so if you’re not sure, get a family member or friend to have a read for you.

Lying/ misleading– While it might be tempting to embellish your CV slightly, potential employers will pick up on this- remember that companies do background checks and might ask for a reference from your previous employer. So bear this in mind when you claim to be a word-renowned lion tamer or fluent in Pig Latin.

Ditch the embarrassing email address– might have been a cute email address when you were 15 but it doesn’t really scream professionalism. Keep it simple, and make sure your email address resembles your name. After all this could become your point of contact for the next few years of your career, so you might want to check that your online identity is something you would feel comfortable using. That includes you beerlover99….

Don’t just list qualities- There’s a reason why your teacher drummed the Point, Evidence, Explain essay method into your head: because it’s relevant to any kind of persuasive writing- that includes your CV!  So be dissuaded from just listing that you’re a “good communicator”, “great team-player” or “enthusiastic”- what you need to be doing is explaining how you have demonstrated these qualities in your previous job role and what positive impact you made.

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Flexible working – know your rights

jobs24 blog flexi contractsSince the 30th of June 2014 employees are able to request flexible working from their employers, as long as they have been at their place of work for more than 26 weeks. Flexible working allows employees to fit their work schedules around their lives. Examples of a flexible request could be to work flexi hours with unstipulated start and finish times, to work from home or to condense your five day week into four. Before the 30th of June 2014 the ability to make these requests was only open to parents and carers; however this has now been expanded to cover everyone.

Making a request is known as making a statutory application*. In the first instance the employee must write to their employer stating their request. The employer then has 3 months to make a decision unless a longer period is agreed with the employee. If the request is approved, the employer must change the employee’s contract. If the request is denied reasons for the refusal must be provided in writing. In this circumstance the employee may then be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

If you decide to make a request for flexible hours there are a few things to consider:

1) You can only make one request per year so make sure you’ve thought your situation and needs through before proposing any changes.

2) You must make the request in writing; this ensures you have proof of request if your case were to go through to an employment tribunal.

3) Your employer must consider your request in a rational and professional manner.

4) You should be offered a meeting with your employer to discuss the request.

5) If you wish to withdraw your request at any point you need to notify your employer in writing.

6) If your request is refused you have the right to an appeal process.

*Source: Please note the content in this blog is not written legal advice, but a jobs24 adaptation. July 2014. For more information on handling requests in a reasonable manner click here.

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5 of the best film careers

Professor at Hogwarts

Let’s face it the ability to perform magic would be an incredibly useful skill. All those mundane boring activities would no longer be a problem. Plus working at Hogwarts would never be uninteresting, and you get to eat some of the most amazing foods without going through the effort of preparing them. Dumbledore

Iron Man

There are a host of superheroes we could have chosen to be on this list but Iron Man is our favourite. He’s smart, intuitive, funny and extremely wealthy plus he gets to fly round the world on a daily basis. On the downside we think it might get a little heavy wearing that suit all day, but unlike some other superheroes Iron Man doesn’t have to hide his identity, which makes saving the world a whole lot easier.Iron man

Richy Rich

To put it simply anyone with their own McDonalds and private roller-coaster is going to make us a little jealous. Could you imagine waking up everyday to a host of entertainment waiting in your back garden?Richie Rich

Indiana Jones

Would you like a job that allows you to travel around the world? Are you an avid adventurer? Do you like excitement and discovery? Then Indiana Jones might have the perfect career for you. Indiana Jones

Toy tester – Big

Tom Hanks has one of the most enviable and fun jobs as his character Josh Banks in the film Big. He gets paid a large sum of money to test toys on a daily basis. Although this dream job is perfect for Josh as he is only 13 we can still relate to the excitement of finding the perfect toy. No matter how old we get we still have a childish side. Big

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How to write a resignation letter

resign letterChoosing to leave your current job position can be a stressful and daunting decision. You can make the transition easier by providing your employer with the proper notice period and leaving on good terms. Most positions will require a written letter stating your decision to leave the intended company, however even if you are not required to provide a letter, for clarity and legal reasons it is still a good idea.

Make sure you are brief and to the point in your letter. State the date you will leave the company and whether or not you are happy to work your notice period. Avoid writing anything negative or damaging to your relationship with the company in your letter. Saying thank you will increase your chances of receiving a positive reference. You don’t need to go overboard but highlighting the way the company, job or people have helped you and where they have influenced your career is advisable.

The following is an example of a resignation letter:

Dear xxx,

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my current position at xxx. I am willing/ not willing to work my notice period of two weeks, therefore my leaving date will be the 20th November 2014.

Thank you for the training and experiences you have given me throughout my time at the company. I have learnt xxx from working for you over the last 3 years and the advice you have provided me with over this time has been invaluable.

This letter serves as my formal resignation from today’s date, however I will continue to work to my full capacity and ability for the next 14 days and ensure that my work is finished to the highest standards.

Kind regards,


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How to interview like a STAR

Stary skyWe all know that interviewing for a new job can be stressful, so preparing yourself beforehand is essential. However, knowing how and what to prepare can be confusing, so one technique you can use to counteract this is to follow the STAR method.

In most interviews you will be asked to relate your past experiences to aspects of the prospective job role. You may be asked questions such as ‘describe a time when you worked in a team and what would you have changed?’ By approaching these questions using the STAR technique you will ensure you provide a comprehensive and well structured answer.

STAR stands for:

Situation – identify the situation and context to your interviewer

Tell – provide more detail about exactly what it is you did

Action – describe what the experience taught you and the consequences

Result – show the positive impact of the situation/task

Begin answering the question by briefly identifying the situation that you were faced with. Touch on who you were with, the timescale of the task and what needed to be done. You will also need to relate your situation to the given question, so if you are asked to describe a time you overcame conflict explain who was involved and how the situation arose.

Once you have briefly identified the situation you need to build on the question and relate it to yourself. Tell the interviewer how you acted in the situation; explain which skills you used and who was affected.

In some ways this is the most important area of STAR. After identifying the situation and telling the interviewer more about it you need to expand on what you personally learnt, how you were affected and how the experience will aid you in the proposed position. At this point you should have already explained what you did. So you will now need to tell the interviewer why you did it.

Finally you need to summarise your experience. What went well? What would you change if you were to do it again? This is your chance to conclude your explanation and show you are able to reflect.

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Looking for a summer job? Don’t leave it too late!

summerYou may feel like summer is still a long time off but starting your job search early can be critical to your employment success. We’ve come up with a few top tips to help you find the perfect summer placement.

1) Apply early- This will give you a head start on your competition as summer jobs are popular with the student market. Also many employers are already looking ahead to the summer months and accepting applications.

2) Try not to bust your budget- When you secure your summer role make sure you take the time to plan your budget. It can be all too tempting to spend your pay check as soon as it comes in, but remember you might not be so happy when the summer ends and you realise you’ve saved nothing for the winter.

3) Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – You may want to be a Chef, Pilot or Nurse when you leave education but this doesn’t mean you’ll be able to secure a summer job role in these sectors. Be open to all opportunities, even if the role isn’t ‘glamorous’ it could provide you with key skills.

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Young jobseekers, why you should consider a career in the farming industry!

Author Amy Watts -

Emily Rout FarmBuyer Manager –

When most people think of careers in agriculture, a mud splattered man in wellies and a flat cap springs to mind. This is however a common misconception. There are many a mud splattered farmer out there but the Food & Farming industry is massive with a wide variety of mud free jobs. In fact the food and farming sector employs 3.5m people in the UK, which is nearly 1 in every 7 jobs.

Jobs that you would never associate with farming, in IT, Marketing, Trading and Accountancy are all available in and funded by the farming industry.

At just 22, Emily Rout is a perfect example of a young person having found a career in the farming industry. Emily, like a lot of others wasn’t aware of the jobs available to her in agriculture “not until I had left school. I had no idea that Agriculture was such a global business when I was picking a career.”

Emily graduated from EastonCollege with a BSc Hons in Agriculture in 2012. During this course she completed a placement year at Anglia Farmers as a Livestock Assistant, after graduating she was offered a full time position and was later appointed as FarmBuyer Manager.

FarmBuyer is a buying group that offers a personal buying service offering members savings on a range of products. Managing such a large project gives Emily a lot of work, it doubled in size in the last year. On a daily basis Emily is in charge of all aspects of the business “Sales, Marketing, member communication, relationship building with members, contractual business, accounts and risk management…to name a few things!”

At just 22 and already a manager, Emily is somebody worth listening to and she says she would encourage anyone to get involved in the farming industry, “Whatever your passion is, whether it’s graphic design, journalism, crop production or even accounting there is a role in the agricultural industry for you. The opportunities are endless”.

Don’t forget there are always the mud splattered options too; there are hundreds of on farm careers, working with crops, livestock and machinery!

Richard Self, EDGE Apprenticeships in Food and Farming project manager, said: “It’s great that so many employers are keen to source bright, young staff and provide them with brilliant career opportunities. It’s estimated that the agricultural sector will need at least 60,000 new recruits over the next ten years so the number of great jobs available in the industry will continue to grow.”

So if you’re stuck on plans for the future why not look further into farming & foods. For more information, including details of employers looking for apprentices, visit or call EDGE on 01603 881966.

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How to create a jobs24 job alert

Do you ever find yourself getting confused whilst searching for jobs? Here at jobs24 we want to ensure our users get the most from their online search so we’ve created this step-by-step guide on creating the perfect job alert.

A jobs24 job alert sends you emails about the latest jobs posted to the site which match your specific criteria. Job alerts are free to create and you don’t have to be a registered user to set one up, however bear in mind that if you don’t have an account you can’t view or sort your alerts.Search
To create your job alert follow these simple steps:

  1. jobs24 categoriesVisit, if you have an account log in at this stage.
  2. You’ll see a large blue box titled job search. In the ‘Keyword’s’ box enter the job type/position you are looking for. In the ‘Location’ box add the county, city, town or village you are looking to work in, being as broad or specific as you like.
  3. On the new screen you will see another blue box titled email me jobs like these. Before you name your alert and enter your email address make sure to use the fields on the left hand side to filter your search. The fields are as follows:
    1. Category – This field allows you to select the specific job sectors you are looking for. Tick the sectors you want to receive job details for.
    2. Region, County, Town/area, and Locality – These four sections allow you to ensue your job alert is location specific. Depending on your original location search you may not be able to alter some of the fields.
    3. Job type – This section allows you to identify whether you are looking for a full or part-time role or a variation.
    4. Salary, per hour/pro rata – If you would like to receive wage specific jobs you can adjust these categories.
    5. Age of listing – This category doesn’t work with job alerts as all the jobs we send you are our most recently added positions. Please leave this section blank.
    6. Search from location – This is an alternative field to the location search boxes. If you would like to centre your search on a specific postcode then this feature is the best option for you.
  1. Once all of your criteria have been specified and you’re happy with your selection it’s time to create your alert! Simply enter your job alert name and email address and click ‘save job alert’.
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From graduate to manager – how to succeed in the Hospitality sector!

Harriet“I often get asked – ‘Where’s the Guv’ner? Imagine their shocked faces when I tell them that they’re looking at her,” said Harriet Teague, the 24-year-old manager of the Fuller’s pub The Pilot in Chiswick.

“There is a common misconception that young people can’t progress into a managerial position, or find rewarding employment. I am proof that determination, drive and ambition is what you need to succeed in business.”

Harriet graduated from Durham University with BA in Modern Languages and the ambition to manage a business. Careers fairs offered routes into banking, law and marketing, but the hospitality sector wasn’t represented, leaving her to search for a graduate programme online.

“I’d carried out work experience in offices and sitting down for eight hours a day just isn’t for me – I like to keep busy and take on responsibility.”

Harriet found the ‘Fast Track to Pub Management – Development Programme’ offered by Fuller’s. The tailored 24-36 month programme teaches graduates how to successfully manage a pub business.

Candidates on the programme rapidly work their way up from a team member into a supervisor role. Their next move to an assistant manager is supported through coaching by a successful and experienced manager. Throughout this period graduates work towards managing their very own pub, this typically can see a successful graduate running a business with a turnover in excess of £1 million per year, within two years.

Linda Horner, training manager at Fuller’s, said: “We choose graduates to join the programme who have a passion for the business, a flair for management and impressionable personalities. We don’t have a quota of graduates to meet, we take on those who we see potential in on the assessment day.”

“Harriet has demonstrated her entrepreneurial skills and passion for the customer experience throughout the two years of development, and during the six months that she has been a general manager at The Pilot.”

Almost half of Fuller’s managers are grown internally thanks to the scheme, which attracts future leaders and provides a talent pipeline for the company. Graduates have the opportunity to develop flourishing careers and become great ambassadors of the 178 managed sites.

“I am accountable for The Pilot and I really enjoy the responsibility – I’m doing it for myself as well as Fuller’s,” added Harriet.  “Our pubs are unbranded and we have a lot of autonomy which gives me the freedom to project some personality into the business.

“The role is very interesting and varied, unlike the view of many who see it as a role of chatting and serving customers. As a young manager, I am trialling my own business activity plan. I’ve already organised a handful of events including a garden BBQ on fireworks night. It was a hugely successful event and our food was so popular we sold out!”

The Pilot has a regularly changing menu which offers fresh food, creating seasonal dishes throughout the year. Harriet works closely with the head chef to plan the menus, research competing food offers and monitor costing.

“I’ve had to learn a lot of business skills, which you wouldn’t expect to be involved in running a pub. I have to market the business, manage the administration and motivate my team of up to eight bar staff and six kitchen staff on a daily basis.

“My role is challenging yet extremely rewarding. I would recommend the Fuller’s graduate scheme to any one who find themselves in the same position I was two years ago. The programme is solid and teaches an invaluable amount of transferable skills. The industry offers incredibly fun career paths. If you’re passionate, driven and keen to muck in you will achieve a lot.”

Looking to the future, Harriet has her hands full with growing the business.  The combination of planning the pubs activity, developing a top quality menu, organising successful events and maintaining a happy team will ensure her success.

Applications are now open for the ‘Fast Track to Pub Management – Development Programme’ in October for 2015. To find out more about the programme click here.

If you want to check out The Pilot for yourself get directions here.


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