What's more important, job satisfaction or salary?

Most jobs take at least 40 hours of your life during the week. That number could double if you are desperate to earn money or achieve a burning ambition. So, even if you’ve survived a gruelling job search, impressed a prospective employer with your CV, sparkled at the job interview and received a job offer, it’s normal to worry if you are making the right choice. Take time to evaluate the most important aspects of a job.

Pay
Unless you have a private income or someone to finance your lifestyle, the salary from your job pays for your home, food and everything else. Whether you are a brain surgeon, CEO or supermarket shelf stacker, there is a minimum salary that you can accept, even in those jobs about which you’ve fantasized. Depending on your circumstances, add in the important retirement plans, insurance coverage and other benefits that you may depend on later. After you are sure that you can earn enough to support your lifestyle, other aspects of a job become important.

Location

Commuting can add many hours and lots of stress to the workday. People who work in big cities or national capitals around the world shrug off the daily commute as an unfortunate part of life. People who live close to their workplace can continue to work, make new friends, socialize, read or write books during the hours saved by their short commute. Sometimes the cost of commuting or parking can cut your effective earnings below your needs. Child care or other family considerations may make commuting to work difficult. If you decide to commit to a job that requires a long commute, investigate the possibility of working from home occasionally.

Satisfaction

Even with several varieties of job satisfaction, few people are totally happy at work. It’s important to be honest with yourself about your likes, dislikes and abilities. Decide if you want to work as a middle-ranking manager in a large corporation’s human resources department or if you would rather be a gardener. You may decide to take a well-paid but boring or menial job to pay off your student loans.

Only you can decide what's best for you so take your time and accept the job that's going to give you a good work / life balance with sufficient income to live a happy life.

1. Get sloppy with spelling and grammar, over 50% of recruiters highlight poor spelling and grammar as their number one reason to lose faith in an application.

2. Send the same CV time and again, here’s a very important and relevant fact: CVs are not one-size-fits-all.

3. Write too much, when writing a CV, some candidates are tempted to include as much information as possible in an effort to impress.

4. Use generic language, add value to your application, and use adjectives and active verbs to help back up your achievements.

5. Lose structure, never underestimate the importance of presentation. It’s all very well getting all the words right, but if you haven’t displayed them in the right way a recruiter is unlikely to give your application the time it deserves.

6. Forget your contact details, so you’ve written an engaging CV, put your personality across well and impressed the employer. Unfortunately, you haven’t included any way for them to contact you.

6 Things NOT to do on your CV

 

How confident are you at standing up and presenting?

Presenting information clearly and effectively is a key skill to get your message or opinion across and, today, presentation skills are required in almost every field.

Whether you are a student, administrator or executive, you may very well be asked to make a presentation. This can be a very daunting prospect. Bluebean offer training and coaching on presenting designed to help you.

Delivering an inspirational or captivating presentation requires a lot of preparation and work, and you may not even need PowerPoint at all! Many people feel terrified when asked to make their first public talk, but these initial fears can be reduced by good training and coaching which will also lay the groundwork for making an effective presentation.

Grammar and spelling are a key part of your CV

However as the human mind is so powerful as long as the first and last letter are correct, we can read almost any word in a sentence, if you don't believe me try reading the following text and you'll see what I mean.........

Can you read the following?

 

"I cdn'uolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg: the phaonmneel pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rseearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and you awlyas thguoht slpeling was ipmorantt."

So, what is the point of checking spelling and grammar in your CV? It shows an employer that you care and that this document means a lot to you, here's some tips.

 

1. Don't rely on spellcheckers

A CV shows your employer what effect you will have on their company. But it shouldn't show you're employer what affect you will have on there company. Both of those sentences will fly through a spellchecker without a problem, but one doesn't make any sense.

Spelling isn't everything; horrendous homophones can easily slip through the net and ruin an otherwise good CV. Carefully checking your writing could make the difference between a great new job and a grate knew job.

 

2. Don't over-use capital letters

Some People feel the Need to Capitalise every Important Word in a Sentence. OTHERS LIKE BLOCK CAPITALS, BELIEVING THAT THEY'RE CLEARER TO READ. In fact, research suggests that capitals are harder to read than lowercase. For employers who care about grammar, adding capitals incorrectly to random words could be a reason to bin your CV.

The rules can be debatable. Is David Cameron the prime minister, or the Prime Minister? The former fits with the Guardian's own style guide, which has long favoured a move away from uppercase. But the latter is not entirely incorrect.

When writing a CV, the crucial thing is to be consistent with your style, so if you've used a lowercase letter for a job title in one place, use lowercase each time you mention the job.

Never capitalise when it is incorrect to do so. For instance, it's never right to cap up the word "job" or "employer" in the middle of a sentence.

 

3. Get your apostrophes right

Famed for their misuse, apostrophes are a real demonstration of your grip on grammar. While some people forget about them altogether, others try to make their applications more impressive by littering them all over the place.

The truth is that the rules are fairly simple, so getting it wrong on your CV will not send a great message to employers. Use apostrophes to indicate missing letters, a possessive, time or quantity.

 

4. Use the singular for individual organisations

It's easy to write accidentally about a single company in the plural if you're thinking about the people who work there. But if you are talking about one company, use the singular. If you work at the BBC, for instance, you are part of its team, not part of their team.

 

5. Keep it in the first person

If I start my CV in the first person, he should not suddenly start talking about himself in the third person. Job applications are all about selling yourself, so using I, me and my is standard practice. Do not refer to yourself as he, she or they (unless it's a quote about you from someone else). If you do want to write in the third person, keep it consistent. Don't flip between the two.

 

6. Get your tenses right

Most likely, this will mean talking about old jobs in the past tense and your current job in the present tense. Of course, there may be exceptions to this general rule, such as talking about a past event that occurred in your current job. The key, however, is to ensure it makes sense and avoid switching between tenses in the middle of a phrase. Muddling up your tenses is not only grammatically incorrect, it also makes writing confusing and hard to follow.

 

7. Explain your abbreviations

Some abbreviations are best kept abbreviated, such as GCSE. Everyone knows what it is, so writing General Certificate of Secondary Education isn't an effective use of space. But if it isn't obvious, write it out in full to avoid confusing employers with jargon.

Add the abbreviation in brackets after you first mention it, and use it thereafter. For instance, you might say you work at the National Careers Service (NCS) in your first sentence and then go on to simply say NCS. And you don't need to put points between capitalised initials like this: N.C.S.

 

8. If in doubt, avoid semicolons

Semicolons can be used when a comma is not enough, but a full stop is too much. They can also be used to separate items in lists.

But littering your CV with semicolons in the wrong places can be distracting; it can also look try-hard. If you're using them correctly, go for it. If not, stop.

 

Hope these tips help, happy CV writing

What's BlueBean up to today?

 Self-Marketing tips

Designing your career brand will give you an image that portrays you as a strong player in your field, attracts your ideal employer, and reveals how you can help their business. How can you promote your career brand effectively, to stand out among increasing competition in the workforce?

Before you begin self-marketing, you need to understand:

1. What you are going to market about yourself

2. Who you are going to market yourself to

3. Why you are going to market yourself to them

Goals of Self-Marketing

1. Provide direction to help eliminate trial and error. As a result, save time and money.

2. Network with key industry players.

3. Identify your transferable skills. Marketing these skills, not just job history and accomplishments,

puts you in higher demand (i.e., more interviews).

4. Determine what other industries your transferable skills could fit into.

5. Resolve any setbacks that hurt your career and prevent you from getting interviews. Write your

CV so it brings out your core skills and achievements.

Tag! You Are "It"!

Self-marketing is not just about selling your specific skills.

Everyone has skills. They get you in the door, but not necessarily get you the job. There can be 100 or more applicants per job posting, and they all have the same or better skills as you. How can you stand out as "the one"?

So, don't be afraid to promote your career brand as it could very much attract your ideal employer!

 Career Planning insider information

Most people will find themselves searching for their first career job at some point in their lives. Perhaps they have just left school or graduated from university. If you are in this situation and contemplating your first career move, here are some tips to help you onto your new career path.

Be clear about what you want

Make a list of your priorities, including any practical considerations, such as pay and travel time, the type of work you want to focus on and the environment.

A new career path is usually built on stepping stones rather than one huge leap. Be realistic about the gaps that separate you from those who are already working in the roles you are interested in. Close as many of them as you can by acquiring the relevant skills, knowledge and qualifications.

Find some way to acquire relevant work experience to put on your new CV. For example, if you decide that you want to work in the charity sector, then your occasional donation to a good cause won't be enough. Look for opportunities that will give you some exposure to the operational challenges of the sector, such as joining a charity committee or actively lobbying for a cause.

Career progression, not change
Prospective employers tend to be wary about first time career starts. They may be concerned about your lack of experience, your motives for the job and your commitment to your new career. Position your career choice as one of natural progression as you discovered more about the things you were good at and plays to your strengths. Focus on your transferable skills and try to show how, even in unrelated roles, the seeds of your new career were already present.

A functional CV format tends to work better for a career start as they enable you to use the first page to highlight relevant skills and experience drawn from your life history.

Inside knowledge
Bring yourself up to speed with the trends and challenges relevant to your new career. Pay attention to the trade press and join relevant online groups so that you can learn the buzz words and prevailing concerns in your industry. When it comes to talking to prospective employers, aim to come across as someone in the know rather than a newbie.

Focus on networking, getting introductions to individuals who work in the field and contacting employers directly to offer your services. This more proactive approach takes effort, some luck and a persuading sales pitch to work. But it enables you to be considered on your own terms rather than direct comparison with lots of other candidates. It's also worth considering temporary work as another route into organisations you are interested in.

Brand Image

Do you "go with the flow" or are you one of those that likes to be different?

Being yourself and seeing the uniqueness in you will help you self-market your brand, and that brand is...........YOU

Don't underestimate how powerful your brand is and how you must market yourself as if you are the product, the same way as top supermarkets do.

Brand image is the view of how people see you. It can be defined as a unique bundle of associations within the minds of target customers. It signifies what your brand presently stands for.   In short, it is nothing but other peoples perception about product YOU. It is the manner in which a your brand is positioned in the market. Brand image conveys emotional value and not just a mental image. Brand image is nothing but an organisation’s character. It is an accumulation of contact and observation by people external to an organisation.

It should highlight your mission and vision to all. The main elements of positive brand image are a unique logo reflecting your image, a slogan describing your business in brief and brand identifier supporting the key values.

Brand image is the overall impression in consumers’ mind that is formed from all sources. Consumers develop various associations with the brand. Based on these associations, they form brand image. An image is formed about the brand on the basis of subjective perceptions of associations bundle that the consumers have about the brand. Volvo is associated with safety. Toyota is associated with reliability.

The idea behind brand image is that the consumer is not purchasing just the product/service but also the image associated with that product/service. Brand images should be positive, unique and instant. Brand images can be strengthened using brand communications like advertising, packaging, word of mouth publicity, other promotional tools, etc.

 Brand image develops and conveys the product’s character in a unique manner different from its competitor’s image. The brand image consists of various associations in consumers’ mind - attributes, benefits and attributes. Brand attributes are the functional and mental connections with the brand that the customers have. They can be specific or conceptual. Benefits are the rationale for the purchase decision. There are three types of benefits: Functional benefits - what do you do better (than others ), emotional benefits - how do you make me feel better (than others), and rational benefits/support - why do I believe you (more than others). Brand attributes are other peoples overall assessment of your brand.

Brand image has not to be created, but is automatically formed. The brand image includes products' appeal, ease of use, functionality, fame, and overall value. Brand image is actually brand content. When people want to come and work with you they are also working with your image.

Brand image is the objective and mental feedback of other people when they interact with you. Positive brand image is exceeding peoples expectations. Positive brand image enhances the goodwill and brand value of you.

To sum up, “Brand image” is other peoples net extract from your brand.

Help.......... What am I supposed to do!!

If you're at that stage in your life when you wonder what it is that your going to do next then you're not alone.  Being unemployed or in a job that makes you unhappy can have an effect on your health and mental strength, it also leaves you feeling the situation can't get any better.

If you care for yourself enough to change your life but don't have the slightest clue where to start, then try answering these 6 questions to help you decide what changes are needed.

The questions are designed to help to know yourself deeply and find what is truly important to you. We all have an unexpressed potential; the exercises are specifically designed to help you find yours.

1. What do I absolutely love in life?

List anything that you love about the world you live in and the people in your life. Think about any activities that get you excited and enthusiastic and make you feel most alive. This can be absolutely anything: music, sports, cooking, teaching others, learning, watching movies—anything. Within your love for these things lies deep passion.

2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

List all of the moments that you are proud of as well as the times that you’ve succeeded. To have accomplished these, you would have used some of your key strengths. See if you can identify why you succeeded. Also, list any activities, hobbies, or anything else that you do that you complete with ease. Within these lie your greatest strengths.

3. What would I stand for if I knew no one would judge me?

List everything that you would do if you weren’t afraid, even your wildest dreams. This will help you discover your greatest values.

4. If my life had absolutely no limits and I could have it all and do whatever I wanted, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Describe your ideal lifestyle. List what you would do throughout the day if you knew that you were bound to be successful, what kind of person you would be, how much money you would earn, and where you would live.

This question allows you to realise who you would truly want to be if there were no limits. By aligning with this you can begin working towards the life that you truly want to create. Know that you wouldn’t have a desire if you didn’t also have the ability to fulfil it.

5. What would I do if I had one hundred million pounds?

List everything that you would really love to do if you had all the money in the world. Okay, so you would probably travel the world, buy a house or two, and give some money to your family. Then what would you do with your time?

This question helps you to think without limitations. When we are able to remove limitations and boundaries, we can discover what we really want to do.

6. Who do I admire most in the world?

List your greatest inspirations and the qualities that you admire about these people. Think about what really inspires you in this world. What you admire about others is also a quality that is in you. Know that you admire someone because they have similar qualities to you.

Taking the time to answer these questions will change your life. The more that you can implement your passions, strengths, values, desires, and motivations into your days, the happier your life will become!

You can study to become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or anything else, but this knowledge will only take you so far. Meanwhile, discovering the deep wisdom of self-knowledge will ensure that your life is more meaningful and fulfilling.

I’ve got a feeling that is what Einstein meant when he said “Information is not knowledge.”

The most valuable knowledge that you will ever discover is, and always will be, within.

7 Sections to a CV

Did you know there are 7 sections to a well formatted CV?

 

Section 1 - Contact Details

You need to include your name, address, contact number and an email address.  It might obvious but it's amazing how many people enter an email address that isn't professional, something like peterisgeetmint@yahoo.com!!  Make sure you include an email address your comfortable sharing with an employer.

 

Section 2 - Personal Profile

Make sure every word counts it should be short and punchy, no more than 60 words. Its your chance to ‘sell’ yourself, and encourage the reader to want to read more about you.  Focus on the content and tailor it so it relates directly to the job role you are applying for.  Summarise what you can ‘bring to the party’.  Will the ‘hook’ you have used encourage the reader to look at your CV more closely?  Most interviews are the result of a strong personal profile on the CV.  This is the first impression an employer will get of you so it needs to 'bring you to life' on paper.  Let people know what your strengths and core skills are, and also your soft skills, things like attitude, punctuality etc.

 

Section 3 - Key Skills & Achievements

In a CV, it is generally recognised that the personal profile and the key skills section are the “Big Two”.  The personal profile sells you , while the key skills and achievements will highlight your specific abilities in relation to the work environment.
Achievements should ideally relate to the key capabilities advertised with the role.  Past evidence of success with those capabilities provides an indication of future potential in those areas.   Achievements do not have to be huge, heroic things: they can be modest, routine things in your work or personal life which you consider to be an achievement.  To help demonstrate your skills and achievements be prepared to give the reader practical examples.

 

Section 4 - Career History

List your most recent work experience first then work backwards.  Include detail of the roles and any skills you learned.  Include business name / job title or company.  Include start dates and end dates.
Use bullet points to show what you did and what you achieved.

 

Section 5 - Qualifications

List any certificates, diplomas, or qualifications relevent to the role you are applying for, make sure you include dates each one took place and the grade if necessary.

 

Section 6 - Interests

As with the previous section, do keep in mind the requirements of the job when highlighting your hobbies, interests and achievements.  Be prepared to to include activities that show you in a good light, like volunteering, charity work or helping others.  It’s also good to include information that highlights transferable skills like organising, planning, managing money etc.

In summary: 
List examples of where you have volunteered or shown goodwill.
Mention interests which demonstrate skills relevant to the job.
Highlight ‘transferable skills’ – organising, written communication, etc.

 

Section 7 - Referees

Only include strong referees who know you well and can promote you in a good light, if you can't think of anyone, leave thius out from your CV.

 

You now have the tools and  techniques to write a draft CV!
Read through and fully consider the 7 sections.
Type up/edit your CV and ask friends / family to have a look at it.
If sending electronically ensure your CV will open in print layout.
Keep it updated.