5 career advice tips from films

The Pursuit of HappynessPoster-pursuithappyness

Don’t give up, no matter how many times you are knocked back. Rejection can be a demoralising and upsetting experience, but don’t let it faze you. Instead ask for feedback, question why you were unsuccessful and use the comments to help you build on your experience for future applications. Hard work and persistence will pay off.


No matter how daunting the task may seem there is always a solution. You just need to take a step back and think about the situation methodically.

Good Will Huntinggood-will-hunting-1-1024-747268

Follow your heart, when everything seems stacked against you stop and think about what really matters. Why are you applying for a particular job role or sector? What is it about that role that appeals to you? You should never do a job/career just because someone else says it’s right for you- ultimately it’s your choice.

The A-Teama-team

Always have a plan; and a back up plan. Understand the importance of being able to rely on those around you. When it comes to applying for jobs, you should always start with a clear plan. Focus on sector, frequency and personalising applications.

The Shawshank RedemptionShawshankRedemptionMoviePoster

Always stay true to yourself, don’t forget who you are. When we start applying for job positions it can sometimes seem that the best way to get noticed is to tailor ourselves to what we think other people want from us. However bending the truth will always come back on you, instead be yourself. Confidence will impress your employer.

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CV formatting: use the best layout for you

Do you ever look at your CV and wonder how it will stand out against everyone else’s? Trying to sell yourself in a condensed way on a sheet of A4 paper can sometimes feel like an impossible task, but if you take the time and effort to plan your CV style it can take away some of the worry.

There is no correct way to write a CV, your style and format depends on the type of position you are applying for and the aspects of yourself that you are looking to sell. However every CV should be clear, concise and relevant. You may want to bring across your personality in your CV and sometimes it can be beneficial but if your personal hobbies section is larger than your experience and skills you may need to rethink your strategy.

Formal CVs
A formal CV format is one of the most common and regularly used formats; however this doesn’t mean that you can’t make it your own. In this case it’s the content not the format that helps you stand out.  Formal CVs have a simple format which is easy to read and concise.  They include sections such as education, skills, and previous employment and usually begin with a heading stating the candidate’s name, email and address.

Creative CVs

This type of CV is one of the hardest to define on the basis that its nature is to stand out and be different. Although creative CVs can often be eye catching they are not always suitable for the company you are applying for so make sure your creativity is going to be viewed appropriately. A CV in the format of a menu might not help you get that accounting position.

Also what you think is creative may not match the views of others around you so make sure to get your friends, family and objective acquaintances to look over your idea before you send it out.

However if you feel that a creative concept is right for your intended company then it can be a great way to showcase your style.

Functional CVs 
If you’re are looking to change careers or your job sector then you may want to use a functional CV. Often employers look for people who have had experience in a similar sector, but if you want to completely change your role this could work against you.

Instead by using a functional CV you can highlight your skills and experience set, rather than your career history. As an alternative to using headings such as ‘past employment’, a functional CV allows you to create sections on specific skills for your desired positions. For example if you are applying for a role in sales you could name a section on ‘customer relations’.

Academic CVs
Academic CVs are another alternative to the standard formal CV format. They focus on your academic achievements rather than your employment history, and unlike other CVs they have no formal page limit. However this doesn’t mean you should include irrelevant information, remember all CVs should be concise and to the point.

You will notice an academic CV has more sections than a formal CV as people including their professional memberships, publications, teaching experience and research experience. Finally many academic CVs will also have appendices where the author has cited other relevant information or mentioned their own work.

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Why young people should pay attention to the hospitality industry

We caught up with Adam Hyman, the founder of the restaurant consultancy CODE, hospitality fanatic and most recently, the man voted one of the UK’s 100 Most Connected by GQ Magazine. He believes the hospitality industry and pub trade is a good career option for young people.

How did you originally decide that it was the industry for you?

I have always loved the hospitality industry. My mother has been in hospitality all her life – she was a general manager of Richoux before she had children and my father has always been associated with restaurants – he was on the board of Groupe Chez Gérard. I grew up with them talking restaurants and we always went out to eat at nice restaurants. I always knew that I’d end up working in the industry and after a little detour to become a chartered surveyor I set up CODE in late 2011.

What would you say is your biggest career success in the hospitality sector?

Setting up my own business has been a big point in my career – although we’ll have to wait to see if it is a success. I would say having the opportunity to work with Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, two of the most influential restaurateurs in London and who have been leading the industry for over 20 years. I learnt a lot in the 8 months I worked for them.

You spend day-in and day-out talking about restaurants, pubs and bars. What has kept you engaged?

I am lucky enough to have found something I love and make it a career. Keeping engaged is the easy and fun part. The hard bit is keeping up with all the news in the industry and what is happening.

If you could give one good reason why a young person should join the hospitality sector what would it be?

One day is never the same as the next. You are dealing with different people every single day and you are not stuck behind a desk in an office doing a 9-5.

Give one reason why the hospitality sector is the best industry to work in.

The people. That is one of the things I love the most about hospitality – you meet people from all over the world, from all backgrounds and in a sense everyone is on a level playing field.

It seems that there is a common misconception that hospitality jobs are short-term summer roles. What prospects do you think that careers in hospitality actually offer?

I think it is important to note that hospitality will always have that element of high staff turnover – it is the nature of the business. However, we need to change people’s mentality in this country that working in a restaurant, pub or bar is only something you do on a school holiday or in between ‘proper’ jobs. It needs a government-backed scheme that educates children and, possibly more importantly their parents, that going into hospitality is just as respectable as teaching or becoming a lawyer. You can make a very good career in this industry.

What qualities do you think young people need to make themselves standout in the industry?

It goes without saying- you need to be hard-working and dedicated. You also need to like people and understand people; that will serve you well in this people orientated industry. You should also respect your colleagues.

Why do you think that the industry needs the next generation of serious, well trained and qualified staff?

We are very close to hitting a tipping point. There are not going to be enough trained staff to service the number of bars, restaurants, and hotels opening. A maître d’ friend of mine said just how important it is to train staff and train them properly because one day some of these staff may be training people. If they haven’t been trained to a certain level then they won’t be training people to a high standard.

Have you got any final word to say to the next generation of workers entering the industry?

Have fun – whether you are working in hospitality or elsewhere. Don’t be scared to take risks if it is something you believe in.

Source: Pub & Bar Careers programme

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Bullying in the workplace, don’t become a victim

The concept of bullying in the workplace is often overlooked, as many people view bullies as the childhood nemesis they said goodbye to after high school. Those who are facing a workplace bully often overlook the offenders’ behaviour, putting their actions down to stress, volume of work and other injurious factors. However age and environment do not mean that bullying is a factor we can ignore in our working lives.

So what can be classed as bullying?

Before you go around accusing your colleagues of misconduct you should first identify whether the behaviour you are experiencing can be classed as bullying. Being reprimanded by your boss for making a mistake is not inappropriate behaviour. However on the other hand experiencing a prolonged period of unsuitable behaviour unrelated to your generic performance reviews could indicate that you’re the victim of a workplace bully.

A few forms of bullying you may encounter include; threats or harassment including unwanted sexual advancements, insults, rumours and unjustifiable criticism.

What are the consequences of workplace bullying?

Bullying has been linked to many negative factors including depression and stress. Victims of bullying often endure the behaviour on their own as many people feel to embarrassed or worried to open up to those people around them. Alongside the mental factors victims of bullying face they can also experience health complaints. All of these factors affect an employee’s standard of living and work performance.

What can you do if you are being bullied?

Bullying in its own terms is not against the law however harassment is. If you are being bullied you should take the time to quantify the category of harassment you are experiencing. In the first instance you should approach your manager, HR department or trade union representative to resolve the issue. However if this is unsuccessful you can make a formal complaint using your employers grievance procedure, or take legal action through an employment tribunal.

For more help and information call the Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) helpline on:
Telephone: 08457 47 47 47
Minicom: 08456 06 16 00*

*source: https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment

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4 foods to aid your job search

41848586-salmon1) Oily fish
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain and body function. The omega-3 fatty acids are compromised of three components that the human body can not produce by itself, these being EPA, DHA and ALA. These three acids are thought to benefit our bodies in many ways, including reducing inflammation around our joints and blood vessels.

2) Blueberries
Many medical studies have proposed that the consumption of blueberries can help to prevent memory loss and aid brain function. Plus they are super healthy and readily available so they make the perfect 3pm snack.

3) Nuts
Like oily fish nuts also contain essential composites, including vitamin E which helps to maintain cell structure by protecting cell membranes.* Of course these aren’t the best idea if you are allergic.

4) Leafy greens
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli include the vital vitamin K, which helps cognitive functions. Vitamin K is also used to aid blood clotting, to help you heal properly.

*Source www.nhs.co.uk

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3 ways to help you start your work day

you snooze you looseStay away from the snooze button
Waking up with your alarm will increase your alertness and mood throughout the day. You may think a few extra minutes of sleep will make you feel better but in actual fact you may end up resetting your sleep cycle and as a result you will wake up during a deeper period of sleep than before. The harder it is to wake up in the mornings the worse we feel throughout the day.

breakfast-heart-eggsEat breakfast
The whole point of breakfast is to break your fast after a night’s sleep. Simply put, your body has undergone a substantial amount of time without any food and food gives us energy. Eating breakfast also helps increase your cognitive functions, which are linked to your memory skills.

Listen to lively music to lighten your mood
If you’re feeling sluggish when you wake up put some music on. It will lighten your mood and help you to keep your eyes open. Stay away from any dulcet tones though, the idea is to stimulate your senses, not lull them into a stupor.

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Interview quiz:

It’s the New Year and the perfect opportunity to start afresh with a new career, but are you set for the perfect job interview? Do you need to re-evaluate how you conduct yourself? Take our simple quiz below to find out.

How should you dress for the perfect interview?

a) It doesn’t matter what I wear to a job interview, all that matters is what I say.

b) I would research the company before hand and base my clothing on their business.

c) I would always dress smartly for an interview, in business attire.

d) My casual clothing as that’s when I feel most comfortable.

There are two correct answers in this category, B and C. Before you attend an interview you should always research the company, doing this will allow you to plan your outfit around their company dress code. Although you may think a three piece suit is always the best option, you may feel out of place if your interview for a carpentry position takes place on a building site. On the other hand if you are unsure about what the company dress code is, it’s always better to veer towards smart dress.

When is it ok to be late for a job interview?

a) If you have a valid excuse, for example your alarm didn’t go off.

b) On purpose to show up fashionably late.

c) Never.

The correct answer is C. If you answered A or B you need to re-evaluate the importance of time and being prompt in an interview situation. Showing up late will make you look unprepared and uninterested, there’s nothing fashionable about it. Try to get to your job interview 5 minutes early, plan your outfit the day before, set two alarms, find out where you need to go and allow for traffic.

It’s ok to stay silent or avoid a question if?

A) You’re unsure of what you are being asked.

B) You are not confident in your work.

C) You have something to hide that you think would harm your chances of landing the job.

D) Never.

E) You can’t remember the answer.

In short it’s never a good idea to stay silent in an interview. If you’re unsure about the question ask the interviewer to clarify for you. If you don’t know the answer it is better to be honest and tell the interviewer rather than make up an answer or lie. It is always better to speak the truth as any lies you tell in an interview could be revealed when you start at the company.

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3 New Years resolutions to help your job search

Refresh your resume
Sometimes when we are searching for a job we can forget that keeping our CV’s updated and relevant is important. In the New Year plan to look over and alter your CV once a month, it will not only remind you to add anything you have accomplished for example an online short course, but it will also refresh your memory for any upcoming job interviews you may have.

Make a plan
Searching for a job can seem like an endless task, and ensuring you complete each application properly is critical. Making a plan of action will allow you to look ahead to what needs doing and set yourself a list of timed goals. For example, you may plan to apply for at least 3 different positions a week on a staggered basis. A plan will also reduce your stress by making you feel in control.

Write a new cover letter for each application
You may think that changing the name on your standard cover letter is enough to personalise your application. However taking a few extra minutes to write a new targeted letter for each company will make your application look more serious. It also allows you to highlight how your skills and experience match those that your potential employer is looking for. For more tips on writing a cover letter check out our post here.

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5 Christmas jobs that seem more glamorous than they actual are

1)  Pantomime actor
If you love the spotlight and have an abundance of Christmas cheer you may want to try your hand at becoming a pantomime actor. However the position comes with a high level of stress, late nights and spade loads of stage makeup. You also need plenty of athletic ability to be able to sing and dance for an extended period of time.

2) Christmas cracker joke writer
You may think a job role that involves creating and cracking jokes all day long sounds enjoyable, and if you have always been an aspiring comedian you may suit this job perfectly. However coming up with Christmas one liners all year long can become tedious and irritating. Especially as many of the Christmas ‘crackers’ are cheesy jokes.

3)  Christmas decorator
Most of us love hanging our Christmas decorations and take a secret pride in seeing our Christmas tree dressed and ready to go (no matter how long it takes you to untangle the lights). So creating winter wonderlands as a career choice may seem a desirable. However you have to do a lot of heavy lifting and you’re expected to work outdoors in the coldest months of the year. Also it’s not your taste you are trying to impart on the properties, instead you need to be able to visualise the scene from your customer’s point of view.

4)  Elf
What could be better than making and wrapping presents all year, living alongside Santa in a winter wonderland? Well when you take into consideration the level of work and type of toys children now expect, plus the freezing arctic working conditions, being ‘Santa’s little helper’ looses its charm.

5)  Santa
Our final position, is arguably the most Christmas oriented job you can find. Santa Claus is admired by hundreds of children all over the world. He can fly, he is magic and he gets to eat a worlds worth of cookies in one go. However on the flip side, despite popular belief Santa doesn’t just work one night a year. Coordinating Christmas doesn’t happen over night, it’s a full time occupation. Also he has to do an extreme amount of travelling in a short space of time through the hottest and coldest climates across the world.

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Why you shouldn’t let your job hunt slip over the holiday season

For many of us carrying on the job hunt over Christmas can seem like a pointless task, as we assume companies stop recruiting over the festive period. Well it’s time to change your ways: instead of putting your search on pause across Christmas, kick it into gear. The festive season is actually one of the larger periods for recruitment, with many people choosing to change career in the new year and a growth in retail positions being available thanks to the increase of shopping and sales. We’ve come up with a few reasons why you should be ditching the chocolate and hitting the keyboard instead.

Companies run down around Christmas.
With the pre-December rush over, many companies use the festive period to look toward the New Year. This provides the opportunity to examine their employee structure which may bring new opportunities.

Get a jump on your competition.
You won’t be the only one shutting down over the festive period to focus your efforts on mince pie making and present wrapping; your job competition will also be preoccupied. So use the opportunity of reduced competition to boost your likelihood of finding a job.

Christmas work brings increased opportunity
The festive period provides the perfect opening for those looking to work in the retail sector with an influx of shoppers hitting the January sales. Just because the positions you are applying for are listed as temporary doesn’t mean they will always be. Check out our article on Christmas work, to find out more.

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