These 5 skills on your CV help you stand out from the rest.

These 5 skills on your CV help you stand out from the rest.

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Imagine for a moment that you are the hiring manager and you have placed an advert for a job. It’s a popular advert and you are inundated with CVs. This is great news, you are sure to find a candidate…it’s just going to take a while and a lot of reading.

Now, imagine you are one of the many CVs on the desk. How are you going to stand out? Before you start altering fonts and borders let us give you a few tips.

To stand out you need to display the key skills that make a stellar candidate.

1. Team player

It’s great to be able to work on your own initiative. It’s a fantastic quality to be able to work independently but it is crucial to show that you are a team player. Essentially a company thrives when everyone, no matter their role, is pulling toward the one goal. By demonstrating that you work well with a team helps employers see that you buy into the company and respond well to positive company culture and that you would fit in with the existing team.

2. Drive and ambition

We are not saying you should be threatening to take the CEOs place but displaying your passion and drive, whether it’s within your career or accomplishing a goal within your role helps show that you are not only capable but actively achieve to meet your targets.

3. Executing a strategy

How do you operate? You have a list of tasks, how do you tackle them? Showcasing on your CV your ability to create a strategy and planning helps demonstrate how you best deal with practical tasks. One point to remember is when highlighting your ability to create a strategy you should also show how doing so impacted results.

Example: “by creating a 3-month content plan I was able to increase social engagement by x% while freeing up time to work on  Project Z.

4. Problem Solving

Planning gets you so far, but life often throws little curve balls at us to keep us on our toes. One fantastic quality in any candidate is to have the ability to think on their feet or to think outside the box. Where possible, try to highlight that you are able to deal with alterations in a plan and successfully execute the task.

5. Building Relationships

I know we have covered being a team player but this is a little different. How are you at dealing with the external clients? How do you deal with customers? Can you demonstrate your ability to have a rapport that creates a long-lasting relationship? Showing your strengths in this area helps demonstrate you are capable of working independently, and that those you deal with trust you as a company representative. Employees act as brand ambassadors. If you are proven to be a trustworthy brand ambassador you stand out as a vital member of any team. It’s a very sought after quality to have. As the saying goes “people buy from people” 

Now you have the amazing CV why not check out our Interview Tips? If you found this article of interest please share it with your network.

 

Murray Recruitment| 01698 501130 | www.murrayrecruitment.co.uk

5 tips on what NOT to do at your interview

5 tips on what NOT to do at your interview

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All job interviews are different. Some have a panel of people asking you questions, some are done as part of a mass team. Some have problem-solving games, others get straight to the nitty-gritty. There are lots of tips out there on how to get the best out of your interview (including our fantastic blog ‘5 Top Interview Tips’) but more interestingly are the things NOT to do.

Working within the recruitment industry, we encounter these interview no-nos more often than you would expect. It was therefore only natural that our next blog should cover what not to do during your interview.

         1. Don’t have your phone on display.

Phones are a massive part of our daily lives, our handheld encyclopedias are always just a thumb swipe away waiting to burst news headlines and gossip into our lives. The illuminating screens and the constant pinging notifications- let’s face it they are a massive distraction.

However, it’s not the notifications that are the issue. The problem we face time and time again is the interviewee answering the notifications!

“I just need to get this” or “two seconds sorry” and answering a call mid-interview happens time and time again. Nothing screams bad manners and shows a lack of interest more to the interviewer than this action so to err on the side of caution – put your phone on silent and put it away.

 

      2. Don’t bad mouth your employer.

A very common question asked during the interview process is “Why are you leaving your current position?”. This question is a fantastic opportunity for you to show your ambitions, your skills and your personality in a subtle way. Statements such as “I’m looking to develop my skill set further” or “I’m looking for a new challenge” are great. The reality, however, is that many people use this question as a way of displaying the negatives.

“I hate my job!”, “my boss is awful” “I just hate the place”

Answers like this are a giant red flag. Your interview is a means of showcasing not only your skills but your attitude to work. Bad mouthing your current/previous employer is not the way you want to present yourself.

     3. Don’t overbook your day.

“How long is this going to take, I have an appointment in half an hour” – Fitting interviews in around your busy schedule can be difficult but if it can be avoided try not to overbook yourself at the time of interview.

 

       4. Don’t avoid answering the question.

Your CV acts as an introduction to who you are. It should present a summary of skills, experience and goals. The keyword here is ‘summary’. When it comes to the interview process the interviewer wants to give you the opportunity to delve into your summary further. It’s a golden ticket to have your opportunity to shine.

So why do so many people take it the wrong way?
Interviewers and recruiters are often faced with the statement “it’s on my CV” – If you are attending interview after interview it can be tedious going through your history but this is a sales pitch – you are selling yourself, whether it’s written on your CV or not, take the opportunity to explain just how good you are!

       5. Don’t leave without having a question up your sleeve.

Finally the parting words “Do you have any questions for us?”. Many people panic with this which can mean they ask something that can be deemed inappropriate; such as asking how soon they can take a holiday. Questions of this nature before you have your foot in the door, doesnt leave the best impression. Instead, it is always a good idea to have something up your sleeve to show you have taken an added interest in the company or role. Make the question less self-orientated.

Murray Recruitment | 01698 501130     Follow us on Twitter      LinkedIn      and Facebook

 

Exam aftermath | Top tips on choosing the right career path for YOU

Exam aftermath | Top tips on choosing the right career path for YOU

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I remember it well. The nervous anticipation of my next move. I felt like my future was marked out by what results were delivered.

At the moment thousands of pupils are eagerly awaiting their exam results. Thousands are waiting for their letters of acceptance from Colleges and Universities. I know that dread, I have felt that dread but here is what I have learned.

There is no wrong path

There seems to be a standard path we are expected to follow, school, Uni, work, retire. This path is a myth. There is a reason why so many students either drop out or switch course in their first year and the reason is quite simply that time and experience are what mould us. When I was leaving school I remember many of my friends had a clear plan. I want to be a teacher – I’m going to study teaching, I want to be an electrician so I am going to do an apprenticeship.

Me? I knew what my skills were and what I was interested in. Unfortunately, a career path didn’t jump out at me. I was creative, I loved art and I loved business, absolutely rubbish at maths. So what career would you pick?

My top tipask your careers advisor or Google jobs that match your skillset. My careers advisor suggested Marketing and Advertising, an area I had never considered and it turns out I loved it.

So what happens if you don’t love it? Don’t stress! If you decide to go to college why not do an HNC (one year) if you like it great take it further…if you don’t you have at least you have a qualification to show for your time. Go explore your options, and if you want to revisit studying a few years down the line, that’s ok too. This is your path.

No job is a waste of time

You know the common phrase ‘you learn something every day” – well it’s true, no matter what job you are in and no matter what the circumstances are I guarantee you can take positives from it that will help you throughout your career path. Another important point to remember is you have to be prepared to work your way up. Living in a world consumed by social media, it can be difficult to not compare your circumstances to others. If you are comparing your part-time job at Morrisons with an 18-year-old Instagram influencer on a yacht you are going to be severely disappointed with life. Be realistic and focus on YOUR path.

My top tip – One of the best ways to get your foot in the door of a new industry and try to build up some good contacts is through temporary work – check out this link for more info on the benefits of temp work.

Experience VS qualifications

I am not going to say qualifications aren’t needed or beneficial. Going on to higher education offers a wealth of benefits and for many career paths are a necessity. That being said, more and more employers value the level of experience you have gained over your qualifications. This links to what I mentioned previously about working your way up in a company. If you are interested in reading some success stories of those who worked up why not click here …after you finish this blog of course!

 

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

This is one of the most valuable pieces of information I can give you to set you off on your career path. You never know where or when you will cross paths with someone again especially if you are going to work within a particular industry. The best advice is to keep in touch and never burn your bridges!

 

Murray Recruitment | 01698 501130 | www.murrayrecruitment.co.uk

 

Top tips on how to maximise productivity at work.

Top tips on how to maximise productivity at work.

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Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, finding the motivation and really get the best out of your day can be a tricky task.

Our office is a tight-knit group who all work very well together, but we all work very differently. I decided to carry out a little survey to find out more about the routine of the Murray Recruitment team. By doing the survey we have arrived at some crucial points of how to get the best out of your day, no matter which category you fit into.

wake up happyThe early riser

I do not fall into this category, but I am in awe of those who spring out of bed raring to go. Our early risers in the office have common routines, they don’t snooze their alarm, they prefer to exercise in the morning, they go to bed before 10 pm and they start to dip in productivity by mid-afternoon.

If you are part of the early riser crew, to get the best out of your day you have to structure it a certain way.

Creating an evening list

Get a jumpstart to your morning it’s best to have a list waiting for you so that no time is wasted.

Start with your hardest task

Your battery power is on full, use this to your advantage and get stuck into that tricky task.

Know when to move on

You have your list, you are working through it…it’s 10:30 and you have hit a wall with one of your projects. Move on! If a task isn’t getting anywhere it is eating up your precious energy, jump to the next task and come back to this one later.

Working late at night The night owl

This is my category. This isn’t to say I am useless at 9 am but my productivity boost seems to hit me later in the day. Those in the Murray Recruitment team who join me in this category also have a similar routine. Firstly we snooze that alarm …more than once, and we exercise after work to burn off the energy and stresses of the day. We may be slow burners but then the productivity boosts in the afternoon;

If this sounds more like you, here are some tips on structuring your day to get the most productivity.

Morning prep the night before.

You know you are going to hit snooze, no matter what your intentions are at night…you do it every morning. So; while you have that excess energy, make your life easier for the next morning.  Pick out what you are going to wear, wash your hair, make your lunch for the following day – think of it as more time in bed!

Write a to-do list, but don’t overfill it.

You are going to add to your list as your day progresses so the best approach is to write a small essential list and watch it develop as your brain starts ticking over.

Work backwards.

Keep your more challenging tasks to later in the day. One thing to be wary of though is that you leave yourself enough time to complete a task especially if you work to strict deadlines.

Both are needed

Have you noticed that the strengths and weaknesses of both types of people help balance each other out? There is no right or wrong way, but it is important to use your time as constructively as you can. Our office is pretty even in terms of which category people fit in to and both help motivate the other through their slower hours.

It can be difficult to get yourself into a habit of restructuring your work-load but by making these small changes you will find you get the best use of your day.

Murray Recruitment Logo Murray Recruitment| 01698 501130 | info@murrayrecruitment.co.uk

 

The importance of company culture

The importance of company culture

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What is attracting your employees? 

Times have changed. No longer is dangling the carrot of the attractive salary enough. If you want your business to thrive then you have to invest in your employees.

Two-thirds of British millennials (those aged between 18 and 34) ranked culture above salary.

So, what does that mean? Beanbag chairs and massages for all? Not quite. The phrase ‘company culture’ is one that may have originally been thrown around by HR managers but is rapidly becoming one of the biggest factors to employees when carrying out their job search and/or staying within a company.

So, what is company culture and why is it so important?

Company culture is the identity, values, beliefs and customs of a company. Essentially, it’s the personality of your organisation.

By creating an environment where all employees ‘buy in’ to what the company is trying to achieve you are on your way to having a loyal happy and productive team. By minimising micromanagement, allowing employees to develop their skill via training and being aware of any internal issues arisen – all contribute massively toward sustaining a highly productive, happy and sustainable team.

Word gets around – the power of social media

News has never travelled faster than it does in the age of Social Media. When employees are happy within their environment, they talk about it. They tell their friends; they swap stories and they post about it – word gets around and people pay attention.

Let’s take Google – Did you know that Google receives over 2 million job applications per year? Why? Google doesn’t sell its potential employee an income. To be honest I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an article about the average wage of a Google employee. They sell a lifestyle. A way of life for the modern employee to achieve so much more than enough to cover the bills. 

What benefits will you see?

Understandably the number of perks etc a company can offer differs depending on size and money available, we can’t all afford to run a company that takes the whole team to a spa for a wellbeing retreat. That isn’t what culture is about. It’s about having a support network that recognises the value of the employees. If you are bringing in experts in a field, then trust they know what they are doing – allow them to have a say – give them a voice.

Have a think about the company you are in. If you are management do you believe your employees buy into your company mission? Do they want to watch the company flourish and flourish with it? If your employees are there for the pay-check and haven’t bought into what your company does, then there is nothing keeping them there if a better offer comes along. Loyalty, productivity and passion all build around the culture of the business.

Loyal, productivity and passion are what drives a company to succeed. So have a think about the personality of the company you are in. Can anything be improved?

In the long run, the reward is priceless!

 

Murray Recruitment| 01698 501130 | info@murrayrecruitment.co.uk

Hiring? Are your expectations matching reality?

Hiring? Are your expectations matching reality?

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One of my friends who is at University told me when she got her degree she was planning on working 3 days a week and earn around £40k per year. I was gobsmacked that such a magical job existed and when I finally managed to stop laughing I tried to manage her expectations.

I know, I know…in the current climate, building people up to believe they should reach for the stars seems to be the way forward – but it’s unrealistic.

Many people say it is a “millennial” trait to expect everything now and where I fully support ambition and having goals to aim toward, I find that expectations DO NEED to be managed. Many people aren’t prepared to start at the beginning and work their way up.

The same principle also applies to those hiring.

How many job adverts and specifications do you come across which ask for at least 5 years’ experience for minimum pay?

A large part of our job as a Recruitment Consultancy is to manage expectations for both clients and candidates alike. Being Industry experts, we know what the market rate for a job/industry is and are therefore able to advise what kind of candidate you would be looking to get for the salary offered.

One of the key buy-ins for companies using Murray Recruitment rather than hiring in-house is that we provide expert guidance.

We recently met a client who wanted an Office Manager at £18k, with us we took three candidate CVs all different experience to show a comparison. When presented with our comparisons the client could see that for those with greater experience and a more developed role (office manager) the salary they were originally offering would not be enough to entice this calibre of candidate.

Much like my friend, when looking from the outside your expectations can be too high or even too low. The easy thing to do for both would be to nod and agree but without managing expectations, we are setting someone up for disappointment. This is the true purpose of being an “expert” of an industry, not to have a title to show off on LinkedIn but to offer guidance to those who may need it.

 

Murray Recruitment | 01698 501130 | info@murrayrecruitment.co.uk

A happy referral – Adele

A happy referral – Adele

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“So today I received my love to shop voucher for £250 for referring one of my friends to Lynsey McCormick who works at Murray Recruitment. They offer such a good referral scheme and I did it without even realising they did and was made aware afterwards! that’s how simple it is. I saw a job advertised and literally told my friend to contact Lynsey as I knew she was looking for a new job. After my friend was successful in getting the job and being employed for a matter of weeks I was asked which voucher I would like and received it shortly afterwards 👌so if you know anyone looking definitely worth it to refer them, folks, 👍 now I’m off to shop online, thanks to Murray Recruitment!

How to leave a job without burning bridges| Tips for leaving your job

How to leave a job without burning bridges| Tips for leaving your job

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Being offered a new job is an exciting time, but for many the thought of handing in notice to your work is a nerve-wracking thought. If you are leaving to go on to pastures new, it is common to feel guilt at the thought of leaving your team. If you are leaving because of a negative factor at work, it can be tempting to shout from the rooftops that you are out of there and strut straight out the door.

As tempting as the latter may be, leaving on the best terms possible is the best move. Burning bridges is never the way to go, and when they are burnt it is very difficult to repair should you ever need a reference or help in the future.

The right time

There are so many different circumstances when looking for a new job, so we understand that sometimes the luxury of choosing when you are leaving your job isn’t there, sometimes an opportunity just presents itself. If, however you have some control over your employment timeline, pick your timing wisely rather than smack bang in the middle of a huge project.

Leaving mid project can leave colleagues resenting you. I know what you’re thinking; “I don’t care, I won’t have to see these people again” right? Wrong. You would be surprised especially in a world easily connected by social media, how often your paths will cross throughout the years, or the opportunities someone could present you with down the line.

Make sure you have the job

This may seem like a silly point to make but trust me it’s important – make sure you have the job! You should always be issued with a contract of employment from any employer, only when this is signed, or you have written confirmation should you hand in your notice.

Tell your boss first

We all have our work ‘besties’ who we can’t wait to share the latest news and gossip with but news travels fast! You know how it begins “don’t tell anyone but…” and so the chain of Chinese Whispers begins. Always speak to your boss first, if the shoe was on the other foot you would expect the same respect and opportunity to discuss matters further. Speaking to your boss can be a daunting task but if you are honest and direct, they will appreciate your professionalism.

Work your notice 

When offered a new job the temptation to say you can start right away can be great, however working your notice has positive effects on both sides. Your new employer will see that you are a trustworthy, professional and considerate employee. It can also give them time to prepare for your arrival. For your current employer it means you aren’t leaving anyone in the lurch. That you are happy to leave the company on good terms …and let’s not forget the ‘sorry you’re leaving gifts!

Training others

This can be a tough one to swallow if you are leaving on unhappy terms but the right thing to do. If the company have hired a replacement and asked you to train them on your duties, try not to taint their experience of the excitement of a new job. Making things difficult or uncomfortable won’t do anyone any favours especially you.

Remember your social media

People can be very quick to spill their frustrations, or big news on social media. If announcing that you have a new job, avoid doing so until after you have handed in your notice. This comes back to telling your boss first… news travels fast and premature posts about new jobs, or company/ employee frustrations have managed to get many people in hot water. Imagine getting sacked before you hand in your notice? It happens!

Social media plays such a big part of our daily lives, for more information on how social media plays a part with employers, check out our other blogs

Stay in touch

This isn’t a must but it is a handy tip. You never know where other people’s influences can get you in the future. Remember the well-known phrase of it’s not what you know, but who you know‘ well it’s true. Luckily it has never been easier to stay connected so get friending, following and connecting!

Murray Recruitment | Specialising in Commercial, Engineering & Technical Recruitment

T: 01698 501130 | W: www.murrayrecruitment.co.uk

 

 

 

How to deal with rejection during your job search

How to deal with rejection during your job search

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Knock backs happen all the time. That doesn’t mean the sting gets any better each time it happens. When looking for a new job you are essentially selling yourself. Your CV is a mini brochure of your achievements and when you are rejected by a potential employer it is hard not to take it personally.

So, what happens when you get knock back after knock back when searching for a job? Suddenly you begin to question yourself, are your achievements not enough? Are you aiming too high? Before you know it, you are ready to accept anything that comes your way even if it isn’t the right fit for you.

The competition 

The job market is getting far more competitive. There was a time when you could leave a job and walk into a new position a week later, but those days seem to be a thing of the past. The good news is there are a lot more variety of job out there.  The key is to be more selective with what your skills are and narrow down your search to the right jobs for your skill set.

Ask for feedback on your interview.

If you have applied for a job and are unsuccessful, don’t be afraid to ask ‘why?’ …well maybe not as bluntly as that but ask for feedback. By doing this you achieve a few things;

  1. Putting your mind at ease – like I said earlier, when you get a knock back your mind can go in to overdrive. Where you see a failure on your part the truth may be that someone just pipped you to the post.
  2. You learn from your previous mistakes. There may be a habit you are unaware of, maybe your spoke too much during an interview, maybe you didn’t give enough information, but how do you change this behaviour if you don’t find out in the first place? For interview tips why not check out our blog? 
  3. It shows your willingness to learn and improve which is a great quality and one that leaves a good impression with the employer. (you never know another position could come up with them).

 

 

There are always new job opportunities out there.

what’s for you won’t go by you‘ – This isn’t everyone’s ideal way of thinking, but really if you take in to consideration all the good things that you have that wouldn’t have occurred had you chosen a different path. There are other opportunities out there and you will be successful. It is hard when you have you heart set on a dream job, but another dream job could be just around the corner. Never lose sight of that.

Something to remember

We often look directly at the job description and match our skills up with each bullet point, however there are more factors at play than you might have thought. On past occasions I have applied for a job, been rejected and left confused as my skills seemed to be a perfect match to what they were looking for. It’s important to remember that you don’t know who you are up against or how close you came to the finishing line; a no doesn’t mean what you have achieved isn’t good enough.  

Top tip!

More and more employers are looking at people who will fit in to the culture of their company. Have you ever come across a job description that says ‘Do you want to work in a lively vivacious office?‘, don’t discount statements like this as just their sales pitch, it’s a probe for you to highlight your ability to interact with the other employees.  For more CV tips why not read our blog? 

Murray Recruitment| 01698 501130 – Specialising in Commercial & Technical Recruitment 

 

 

Do employers look at social media? | our guide to avoiding common mistakes!

Do employers look at social media? | our guide to avoiding common mistakes!

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Does your social media matter when looking for a new job?

Do you remember when you first joined Facebook? I remember most people, including me, used it as a digital diary – a way of alerting those back at high school that I had ate a delightfully average dinner that everyone MUST know about it.

I know, what you are thinking …I didn’t do that, but I would bet when your Facebook memories pop up anything you wrote circa 2008 -2010 makes you want the ground to swallow you up out of embarrassment.

Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has not only grown in popularity but has become a major tool for businesses to promote their company and to aid the recruitment process.

Social Media has become an employer’s playground to get a true insight into who you are, and if you think it doesn’t influence their decision making…think again.

Interviews show one side; social media shows another.

When we come in to an interview we present our best selves, well dressed and well-spoken with a plethora of fantastic skills on offer, so let’s imagine the hiring manager has narrowed it down to you and another candidate, your name is a quick click away and voila we have entered the world of [insert your name]

Your profile photo and cover photo are visible to the public, which means it may be better keeping the wilder side of your personality hidden from these areas. If you have recently applied for a job it’s  maybe not best to have the photo of you dancing on the table after your 8th tequila, sure it shows you can enjoy a good night out, but maybe not the image the hiring manager wants to have of their potential new accountant.

Content on social media is everything!

Many people who are looking for a new job are doing so because they aren’t happy (for whatever reason) with their current employment. If your potential new employer is looking at your profile and is met with negative comments about your current employer, it isn’t going to sit well. There are cases where people have been fired because of the comments they have made about their job/co-workers/pay/company.

While on content, 40% of employers have admitted to being put off by a candidate over seeing inappropriate content on social media.

Not all future employers turn in to CIA agents and go into in-depth scouring of your profile, most will have a quick look at what you’ve recently posted and a few of your pictures, but some will go in a little deeper and have a look at your Biography where you have written previous employment and education history, so don’t be one on the 27% who have been caught out lying about their qualifications!

The power of going viral.

It takes minutes for a post, whether it’s a photo, video or your opinion to be passed from pillar to post and before you know it your post has reached the attention of Radio 1 and you have become a national talking point. Okay maybe I am being melodramatic, but you know what I am getting at, news travels fast and it travels even faster through the wonderful world of social media so even though you have 150 trusted Facebook friends, all it takes is for a share or screenshot of a post to be passed on and before you know its reached their 150 followers and so the cycle goes on.

It isn’t all negative, as mentioned before your social media is an insight into your wonderful life. It can show your creativity, your sense of humour, your interests and your personality which can demonstrate how you will fit in with the company.

The best advice when it comes to Social media is really to be mindful of what you are posting. Ask yourself, would I want my mum to read this, if the answer is no, chances are your new boss shouldn’t be reading it either.

Murray Recruitment | 01698 501130 – Specialising in Commercial, Engineering & Technical Recruitment