Aug 052018

Waiting to hear back after a job interview could be stressful. The waiting game may continue for what seems like forever. According to a recent survey among 1000 UK jobseekers, around 76 percent said recruiters did not even bother to inform them when their application was declined.

But don’t lose hope. Rather than sitting idle awaiting a call from the recruiter, take some steps to improve your chances. It is the time to follow up, show them that you are still interested. However, do not overdo it; or you may make yourself look too desperate. Here are some important steps to take after a job interview.


Ask them how to follow up

Do not leave the interview venue without knowing how you should follow up with the recruiter. Ask for a rough timeline for filling this position. When should you expect a call? How should you follow up? Whom should you contact? The more information you have, the easier it would be to deal with the post-interview silence.

Also, follow instructions. If the recruiter tells you to follow up by email, do not call them. If they say it would take around 3-4 weeks, wait for at least one month.

Get their business cards

At the end of the interview, request your interviewers to give you their business cards. If that is not possible, get their contact details, including names and titles of each person, from the receptionist. You’ll need this to follow up with them.

Analyze your performance

When you return home after an interview, take some time to analyse what you did right and what went wrong. Ideally, you should write everything down for future reference. Try to learn from your mistakes.

Send a Thank-You note

Sending a thank-you note is a chance for you to return to the interviewer’s mind one more time within 24 hours. Send your thank-you email on the same day. For the best results, consider including something specific in your email. For instance, you can include a link to a relevant article that provides additional information on the topic you discussed during the interview. You can also share your afterthoughts to follow up or correct one of your responses during the interview. This shows you are serious about this opportunity and still thinking about your answers. In addition, consider sending a handwritten note via mail. It should reach the interviewer within 3-4 days after the interview. Double-check your message for any spelling or grammatical errors. Keep it short and simple. If multiple people interviewed you, consider sending a personalized thank-you note to each person.


Some recruiters may not tell you how or when you should follow up with them. So you may wonder when the right time is. One rule of thumb is to wait for at least two weeks after the interview. Contact your hiring manager for 2-3 times over the next few weeks. If you still do not get a response, consider it as a sign to move on.

Be prepared

You never know when they may call you for the next round. The gap between your initial and final round of interview could be as lengthy as six months. So keep yourself ready. Do not stop researching about the company and keep yourself updated about any latest developments. If you finally get a call, your ongoing preparation will give you an edge over other candidates.

Alert your references

Inform your references that they might get a call from your prospective employer anytime soon. By telling them in advance, you will allow them enough time to get prepared. Tell your references how they should talk about you, what information to share and what not to disclose to the recruiter. If you have contacts with someone who knows the interviewer, it would be a good idea to tell them to recommend you.

Continue your job search

Even if you nailed the interview, keep your fingers crossed, but do not stop the job search. Remember the old adage – there is many a slip between the cup and the lip. Nothing is guaranteed, so keep your searches on until you get an offer.

Jun 062018

Around 64 percent of UK employees face stressful situations at work, with most of them working overtime, through the weekends and holidays, according to a recent YouGov study.

Workplace stress is common and it often affects employee productivity. Hence, most employers prefer hiring candidates who are good at handling stress. To that end, some employers conduct stress interviews. The idea behind a stress interview is to put the interviewee into a stressful situation and observe the outcome. That way, the employer gets to presume how the candidate would perform at work under pressure situations.

As an interviewee, you never know when you are going to face a stress interview. It comes unexpectedly and in different forms. For instance, some interviewers may suddenly ask you an out-of-the-context question, while others may adopt an aggressive attitude during the interview. Let’s first take a look at some common types of stress interview techniques.


Intimidating you with cold behaviour

Some interviewers may try to intimidate you with a silent treatment. For instance, instead of smiling at you after you’ve introduced yourself to them, they may simply pick up your CV from the desk and look at it with a serious face. Or the interviewer may take a long pause before responding to you. These are all techniques to destabilise you.

Asking oddball questions

This is one of the most common techniques used by interviewers to stress an interviewee. For instance, the interviewer may suddenly ask you, “If you could be an animal, which would you be and why?”

Asking aggressive questions

In an attempt to intimidate you, some interviewers may ask you aggressive questions, such as, “what made you think you are a good fit for this position?” and “why were you fired from your previous job?”

Adopting an aggressive behaviour

Even worse, some interviewers may choose to behave with you in a hostile manner. For instance, they can talk to you rudely, interrupt you in the middle of your answer, make a face, or simply tell you, “That’s the worst answer to this question I’ve ever heard.”

Asking the same question repeatedly

As if your answer to a certain question was not satisfactory – the interviewer may ask you the same question repeatedly until you get impatient with her.

Asking hypothetical questions

The interviewer may also present you a hypothetical business situation or dilemma and ask you to provide a solution. It is a test of your business acumen, analytical skills and decision-making skills.

How to Ace it

First things first, understand that the interviewer has nothing personal against you. It’s just an interviewing technique that they are using to test your ability to stay calm under pressure situations. Here are some useful tips to ace a stress interview.

  • Ask for clarification – Don’t hesitate or be afraid to ask for clarification. If you are not sure about the intent behind their question, ask the interviewer what exactly they want to know. That way, you not only get a clarification from the interviewer but also some time to prepare your answer.
  • Be yourself – Know that the interviewers have an agenda. They are trying to provoke you. The best thing you can do now is to stay calm and composed, be yourself. Do not try to perform. Take a deep breath and concentrate only on the question they are asking. If required, take a completely different line in your answer.
  • Act normal – Just because the interviewer has adopted an aggressive attitude does not mean you too should do the same. Instead, act normal. Counter them by facts and answer calmly. If the interviewer asks, “Why were you fired?” – do not get agitated or say something like “What the hell are you talking about?” Instead, keep your calm and say, “I am sorry sir but I was not fired. I resigned from my previous job because I wanted to learn new things…etc.”
  • Pull back when required – Before the interview turns into a heated debate, pull back. Tell the interviewer that you have nothing personal against them. Your agenda is to help them solve a problem. If they do not like the way you want to solve it, they can simply refuse to hire you.

If you find yourself facing a stress interview, do not get choked up. Keep your calm and act normal. If required, take some time to recollect your thoughts before you answer, but never lose your confidence and composure.

May 082018

Different employers may have different reasons to offer perks and benefits. According to the sixth Aon Employee Benefits and Trends survey, around 30 percent UK employers offer perks to ‘meet market norms’, 23 percent to retain talent, 11 percent to attract new talents, and another 23 percent to increase productivity and employee engagement. Whatever the reason, most UK employers admit that perks and benefits are important. Some companies even go beyond the usual benefits and offer some innovative perks.

For instance;

  • Skyscanner offers discounts at local salons and pubs;
  • Peninsula throws Christmas party for employees’ kids;
  • TransferWise offers annual company holidays; and
  • Airbnb offers $2,000 to each employee for an international tour

Today’s employers revise their benefits strategies more often than ever before to adapt to the fast-changing employee preferences. Perks never considered earlier such as flexible working, are now highly sought-after among most employees. Let’s take a look at the top four employee benefits trends in the UK.


1. Financial wellness

According to a recent survey by Barclays, more than 46 percent of the employee respondents said they are concerned about their financial future, while around 20 percent admitted that financial worries often hamper their work. And we know that financial concerns can go all the way to affect an employee’s emotional and physical health. So most employers in the UK now provide the necessary tools and resources to help their employees make better informed financial decisions. Some companies organise seminars on how to improve personal finance, while others provide online resources or face-to-face counselling. Experts believe this new trend is here to stay.

2. Health benefits

UK employers are now more proactive about providing health benefits to their employees. Over 75 percent of the UK employers believe they are responsible for influencing employee health and wellbeing, according to the Aon survey conducted among nearly 300 employers. The survey also reveals,

  • around 32 percent of UK employers offer on-site medical and general practitioner services;
  • 52 percent offer GP services over the phone;
  • 15 percent offer weight loss programmes;
  • 43 percent offer physical training programmes, and
  • more than 30 percent offer wellness programmes for stress reduction and smoking cessation

Some employers also provide wellness information and fitness monitoring tools or apps; while others go a step further to encourage their employees to improve health behaviours. For instance, online game developing company Jagex offers free bicycle repairs at an office in an attempt to motivate their employees to keep fit by cycling to work. Also, companies like Pentland Brands offer an on-site gym, football ground, tennis court and swimming pool.

3. Change in health and wellness tactics

Interestingly, there is a notable change in most UK employers’ approach to health and wellness strategy. More than 53 percent of UK employers now allow flexible working as part of their employee wellbeing strategy, while around 25 percent offer branded wellness programmes, and 12 percent offer location-based wellness programmes, according to the sixth Aon Employee Benefits and Trends survey. In other words, today’s employers are putting more focus on developing a holistic wellness strategy that would help improve physical as well as an emotional wellbeing of their employees.

4. Flexible benefits

Adoption of flexible benefits is another rising trend. Flexible benefits schemes allow employees tailor a benefits package to their individual requirements and preferences. For employers, this is a great way to meet the exact requirements of each employee in a diverse workforce, where one-size-fits-all schemes simply do not work. According to the latest survey, around 42 percent of the employer respondents have already adopted a flexible benefits scheme, while another 24 percent have plans to do so within the next few years. The study also found that the adoption of flexible benefits is more common in banking, insurance and finance sectors, while the adoption rate is comparatively slow in construction and manufacturing sectors.

Mar 162017

Past few years have seen more students enrolling in online courses, thanks to increasing acceptance of online degrees by employers. Also, more and more employers are training their employees through e-learning. According to a recent report by IBIS Capital, nearly 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies now use e-learning to train their employees. If you are not sure whether you should earn your degrees online or take the conventional route, here are some important things to know and the pros and cons of online education for your career.

Employers’ perception of online degrees

Even a few years ago, most employers had a negative perception of online degrees. They would be sceptical about hiring candidates who completed their education online. However, things have changed rapidly over the past five years. Recruiters now rarely question the quality of online education. In fact, having an online degree may earn you some brownie points during an interview. For instance, if you have been doing a day job while earning your online degree, it shows your ability to juggle multiple commitments.


However, some employers may still be hesitant about hiring someone with an online degree. So be prepared to face some common questions, such as, whether your online program is an accredited one, whether you are comfortable working in a team, how you used to interact with other students during your online program, and what made you choose online education over the conventional on-campus classes. Before you enrol in an online course, make sure you know why you are taking this route and what you want to achieve with this.

 Pros of Online Education

  • You can study whatever you want – Not all universities offer degrees in all subjects. This means you may have to move to a new city to study your favourite subject, in the case of traditional education. In comparison, online education allows you to study any subject of your choice from the comfort of your home. If you are living in Derby, you can still earn an online degree from the University of Cambridge, for instance.
  • You can save time and money on commuting – The average UK student commutes more than 18 miles a day for attending University lectures, says a recent report by Santander. You can save your time, money, and energy on commuting simply by choosing to pursue your education online. When you study online, all lectures and study materials will be sent to you electronically. So you don’t have to spend your time and money on transportation.
  • You can learn at your own pace – This is particularly beneficial for those juggling their work and study. Most online courses allow for self-paced studying. This means you can set your own study schedule. If necessary, you can even reschedule your online classes.
  • It’s affordable – Online programs are more affordable than traditional programs. The course fees vary depending on a number of factors, including, your specialism and the university, but usually you’ll save a good amount by choosing to study online. Plus, you can earn while you study, and thus arrange funds for your education yourself.

Cons of Online Education

  • You may not be an ideal candidate – Online education gives you a lot of flexibility. You can study anytime, anywhere, at your own pace. But too much flexibility can actually backfire, if you are not a disciplined, self-motivated person. You should be organised and avoid procrastination to be able to do well in online learning.
  • It may miss the social interaction – If you love the ambience of a classroom setting and the social interaction with teachers and other students, you perhaps should not opt for online education. You may develop a feeling of isolation while studying from home. Whereas most online programs have chat rooms and discussion boards, you may still miss the real-world social interaction of an on-campus course.

An ideal candidate for online education is tech-savvy, self-starter, and disciplined. If you think you have it in you, online courses could be really rewarding for your career.

Feb 162017

Due to a growing skill shortage in certain sectors, nearly 50 percent of the UK employers are likely to face difficulty finding suitable candidates for permanent job positions in 2017, says a recent study by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The demand for skilled engineers, teachers, nurses, and chefs may continue to increase; meanwhile new opportunities may open up in some unconventional sectors. If you are looking for a job in 2017, you should know about the following 6 hot & trendy professions in the UK.


1. Engineers

The UK has a shortfall of more than 1.8million engineers, according to latest statistics from The Royal Academy of Engineering. At present, around 22,000 graduates enter into this profession every year, while the country needs to train an additional 75,000 engineers every year until 2020 to meet the requirements of the industry, says The Royal Academy of Engineering. Opportunities are available in civil, mechanical, automotive, electrical, electronic, bio-medical engineering.

2. Corporate accountants

After Brexit, many UK firms are looking for seasoned accountants for advice on corporate tax and restructuring. The UK already has a shortage of skilled accountants. Vacancies for accounting jobs saw around 10 percent year-over-year rise last year, says a report by The Association of Professional Staffing Companies. The demand could increase further this year. An accountant earns anywhere between £25,000 and £45,000, per year. The salary range is even higher for corporate accounts, those who specialise in business accounting.

3. Data analysts

If you have excellent maths skills and an eye for details, consider entering into this profession. A data analyst analyses data to identify industry trends and any risks or opportunities for a business. With more and more UK firms looking for ways to securely store, monitor, and analyse their customer data, this profession is highly in demand at present. Entry-level jobs offer an annual salary of around £25,000. With 2-3 years of experience, you can expect £50,000 per annum or even higher.

4. Sales managers

If you are already working in sales, your next career goal could be to become a sales manager. It is also possible to acquire this position directly after graduation. However, you should have excellent academic background and a degree in business administration or related fields to get there directly. Sales managers are highly in demand in the UK, at present. They earn anywhere between £28,000 and £70,000. In addition to excellent selling skills, a sales manager needs good leadership skills, a helpful mentality, or an ability to prioritise the needs of the team members.

5. Software developers

Software developers work closely with system analysts and project managers to develop, maintain, and improve computer systems of an organisation. They usually need a degree in information technology, software engineering, computer science, or any related subject. As a software developer, you have huge scope for career development in the UK. You can find high-paying jobs in IT firms, market research firms, retail chain stores, manufacturing companies, banks, law firms, and even in construction companies. Average annual salary is between £30,000 and £60,000. Depending on your skills, qualification, and experience, you can earn even more.

6. Nurses

One in every 10 nurse positions in the UK remains unfilled, says a recent report by NHS. Also, one in three nurses are approaching their retirement age, and the government should import at least 15,000 nurses from outside the UK to fill the gaps by 2018, estimates the Institute for Employment Studies for the Migration Advisory Committee. The government will scrape the bursary scheme from August 2017, which could help provide around 10,000 additional nursing training places by 2020. If you are planning a career in nursing, you are definitely on the right track. To enter into this profession, you need a three or four-year degree in nursing, and a passion for helping others. Job opportunities are available in hospitals, NHS trusts, schools, prisons, and health centres. With experience, you can earn up to £45,000 or higher per year.

In addition to the above list, business analysts, financial managers, marketing managers, technical architects, and HR managers have promising career prospects in the UK in coming years.

Feb 012017

Did you know two new members join LinkedIn every second? With more than 21 million registered members in the UK alone, LinkedIn is undoubtedly a reliable source of new talents for recruiters. Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow your professional network, you should use this online recruiting platform. However, just creating a LinkedIn profile is not enough. Your profile should have the right keywords to get found quickly. Also, make sure it has an attractive headline, a persuasive summary, and a decent photograph, among others. Here are the steps to creating a killer LinkedIn profile that would make you stand out in the competition.


Use a professional-looking photo

They rightly say, “Seeing is believing.” A great profile photo can go a long way to engage the onlooker instantly. Wear a decent shirt and take your head shot, with your face in the middle of the frame. Look directly at the lens and smile. Also, make sure the background is clean, and the lighting soft enough to prevent any hard, distracting shadow. LinkedIn also allows you to add a background photo. Don’t miss this opportunity. Here, you can use a larger photograph that shows you in action, for instance, a medium shot of you at the workplace.

Do some keyword research

Before you jump into writing a headline and summary, make a list of keywords you want to include. This requires some research. Simply, look at recent job descriptions for your desired position. Look for commonly used words and phrases, and use them as keywords. You can also visit LinkedIn profiles of people already working in that position to see what keywords they are using.

Write a hungry headline

Your headline should have more than your job title and company name. Optimize it with the right keywords and make it attention-grabbing. Recruiters usually use keywords to search relevant LinkedIn profiles. If your headline does not include the right keywords, they may not even know you exist. It is also important to mention your specialism in the headline. For instance, instead of saying, “Sales copywriter, XYZ Pvt. Ltd.”; you should say “Sales copywriting expert, with experience in email campaigns.” The latter species your specialism, while also including the key-phrase ‘sales copywriting’ that most employers are likely to use when searching for a sales copywriter.

Make your summary stand out

One good idea would be to start your summary with numbers. Instead of just saying something, show them that you have experience delivering tangible results. For instance, a copywriter can write, “My email campaign last year helped convert 20 prospects to actual customers, bringing the company an addition £1000 in revenues.” Also, try to keep the summary short – not more than 3-4 paragraphs. Use relevant keywords and bullet points, wherever possible. It is also possible to attach your previous work samples in the summary section.

Fill out as much as possible

When your prospective employers visit your profile, they should get enough information about you to make a decision. The last thing you want is to turn off your visitors with an incomplete profile. Fill out all sections, including qualifications, skills, volunteering activities, accolades, and work history.

Get recommendations

Recommendations and endorsements help show your profile in a good light. Ask your current and previous employers/colleagues to endorse your LinkedIn profile, but make sure that the recommendations are coming from the right people and are stressing on the right area of your skills and experience. If you get a recommendation that does not reflect your true expertise, you can hide it from your profile.

Get your custom URL

LinkedIn assigns you a profile URL by default, but you can also create a custom URL. Opt for the latter option (could be something like name), as it would help promote your LinkedIn profile more easily elsewhere. The steps to set your custom URL are as follows; Go to ‘edit profile’ and you’ll be taken to your public profile page, where you’ll find your public profile URL. Click on it and now you can edit the URL and set a new Custom URL.

If you want to update your profile without letting your contacts know about it, simply turn off activity broadcasts from the ‘settings & privacy’ section of your profile.

Jan 182017

Overall, the UK job market remained buoyant in 2016 in the face of uncertainty, especially after Britain’s vote to exit from the European Union. The immediate aftermath of Brexit had many experts predicting a big gloomy cloud over the UK job market, but a new report shows available vacancies were up 17 percent year-over-year in the six months following Brexit. In fact, some cities, including Southampton, Glasgow, and Edinburgh saw double-digit job growth during the period, while industries, such as, graphic design, automotive, and manufacturing experienced nearly 30 percent job growth post-Brexit.

But, what about 2017? Will the job market remain strong this year? Or will the introduction of higher minimum wage, among other factors, wreck havoc on the job market? Also, what would be some notable job trends to watch out for in 2017? Here are some predictions.


Economic growth predictions

Before the EU referendum, most economists had been predicting that UK economic growth may take a major hit, should the country vote for Brexit. However, nothing of this sort happened so far. Still, PwC estimates UK growth may slowdown from two percent in 2016 to around 1.2 percent in 2017, as a result of decreased confidence in business investment in the aftermath of Brexit. Many investors may want to wait and watch the country’s trading relationships with the EU, before making any big decisions. However, this should not create any major problem for the job market. Economic growth is likely to continue, although at a slightly slower pace. The Bank of England, which earlier projected only 0.8 percent growth in Britain’s economy for 2017, has recently almost doubled its growth forecast to 1.4 percent.

Job market predictions

The UK job market is likely to overcome the Brexit fear in 2017. The labour market has already flattened out and is likely to improve further over the next few months. Almost all private sectors are likely to see increased hiring activities in 2017, according to the annual employment survey by the Confederation of British Industry. The survey conducted among 1.2 million people from more than 350 UK companies found that around 41 percent of the respondent companies are expecting workforce growth in 2017; while only 13 percent are concerned their payrolls could shrink this year. Information technology, science, and construction sectors are likely to generate maximum jobs in 2017, says the CBI survey.

However, predictions about individual firms are mixed. Japanese automotive manufacturer Nissan has confirmed they will stick to their plans to make new car models in the UK, while Lloyds Banking Group could cut 3000 jobs and close 200 branches this year – although the group said it’s a decision taken before the EU referendum.

In response to rising inflation, most companies are likely to increase their pay packages this year, while only 16 percent said they may make their salary packages less attractive in 2017, according to the CBI survey.

However, skill shortage will continue to remain a major concern in the UK employment scene, especially due to uncertainty about access to skilled migrants. Perhaps, it is too early to predict the long-term impact of Brexit on the UK employment scene. Employers will have to wait and watch how things turn out in 2017.

Job trends to expect

This year, more employers could turn to online job boards and social professional networks in search of suitable candidates, according to a LinkedIn report titled Global Recruiting Trends 2017. Also, when it comes to choosing a job, employees are likely to factor in work culture, retention strategy, and training policies of a company more than ever before, in 2017. Another trend could be in favour of recruiting contingent workers. So you can expect more and more companies to ‘rent’ talents rather than hiring them. Companies will increasingly adopt flexible and dynamic work environment this year. This means they may increasingly allow their workers to work from home, using new technologies. The criteria for performance evaluation could also change, with the focus shifting from how many hours you spent at the office to how much work you actually did.

Dec 192016

You deserve a festive break in December. After all, you waited for this opportunity all year long. But wait, are you done with your 2017 career plans? With the New Year only a few days away, now it is also the time to evaluate and guide your career in the right direction. You cannot afford to delay your career plans until January. Taking a few important steps now will help you jump-start your career right from the first day of New Year. You will feel more confident, prepared and organised while welcoming 2017. So here are five things you should do before the current year comes to an end.


1. Look back at 2016

Before you start planning your career moves for 2017, take some time to reflect back on 2016. If possible, make a list of your top 5 career accomplishments this year. Did you earn a new degree, learn something new, acquire a new skill, or receive any accolades this year? If yes, write about your accomplishments. Provide as many details as possible. For instance, rather than just saying “Learned Photoshop”, you should say, “Completed an online Photoshop course offered by the National Careers Service.”

It is important to list your misses or career goals that you could not accomplish this year. Also, identify the reasons for your failure. Perhaps, you wanted to launch your personal website, but could not do so in 2016. Was it because you did not have enough money or time? Did you fail to find a good designer or SEO expert? You need to find out the exact reasons and think how you want to address the same problems in the coming year.

2. Organise your email inbox and workspace

Spend some time organising your email inbox. Delete the unnecessary emails; send important but older emails to an archive folder. Use different search terms to look for different emails. For instance, if you are looking for emails sent by an insurance company, use the name of the company as your search term. Also, identify and unsubscribe from any unwanted mailing lists. Keeping your workspace organised is important as well. Clean the clutter on your work desk and label important files, so that you can find them quickly.

3. Send thank you notes

Make a list of people who helped you achieve your career goals in the past 12 months. Whether that person is your boss, employee, team member, or business colleague, do not forget to send them a thank-you note. A simple thank-you email would suffice. However, if you want to make a lasting impression, consider sending a handwritten note. You can also send a personalised gift with your thank-you note. These are nice gestures that help strengthen your professional relationships. It is even better if you can catch up with your network before New Year. For instance, you can invite them to a tea party or organise coffee dates with them. December gives you a nice opportunity to get closer to your boss and colleagues.

4. Update your resume and professional materials

Companies usually start recruiting in January, so now is an ideal time to prepare for job hunting. Update your resume to include your new accomplishments and skills. If possible, change the template and design as well. Also, redesign all professional materials – from your website to your business cards. Get new professional attires and if required, get professional help for resume writing.

5. Plan your next career moves

Depending on your career goals, you may want to do a course, look for a new job, or move up in your current organisation. Whatever your goal is, you need to plan how you want to achieve that in 2017. Think about 2-3 most important things you want to do in the next year. Now identify the challenges towards achieving those and plan your career moves accordingly. For instance, if the lack of money is holding you back from getting professional development training, check whether you are eligible for any apprenticeship grant. Otherwise, find out other ways to accomplish your goal.

Nov 132016

If you were not living under a rock recently, you probably heard about the European Court’s landmark ruling on a case involving a Romanian engineer. The court said employers have the right to read any personal messages sent by their staff during work hours.

So be careful when conducting a job search while you are still employed. Never do it during work hours or using a company-owned device. Keep your job search a secret until you get the final offer. Balancing your current job and your job search may not be easy, but that is perhaps the best way to go. Experts say having a job while interviewing for a better opportunity helps to show you in a good light. Here are some useful tips on how to look for a new job while you are still working in a company.


Don’t tell your co-workers

If you want to keep your job search discreet, you should not share the news with even one person at work. You never know who would leak the news. Even if your colleagues are trustworthy, sometimes they may end up revealing the secret unintentionally. Remember, loose lips sink ships.

Request the interviewer to keep it secret

Your prospective employer may know your current employer or they may call at your office to verify your claims at any point of time during the interview process. To avoid this happen, you should tell your interviewer upfront that you want to keep your job search secret until you get the final offer. Request them to keep it confidential and not to contact your current employer for the time being.

Choose your references carefully

Do not mention your current manager or co-workers as references in your resume. Instead, provide the contact details of your previous manager or one of your trusted colleagues.

Keep your current job and job search separate

To that end, you should refrain from using company time for any job search activities. For instance, it would be a good idea to schedule any interview before or after work. If it is a long commute, consider taking a day off from work for your interview. Also, do not use office computers, phones, or company email address for your job search activities.

Carry your interview clothes

Wearing interview clothes to work will only raise suspicion. So carry them with you in your bag. If you have to attend an interview after work, consider changing clothes in your car or at the rest room.

Continue to perform well at work

Looking for a new job while you are still employed could be time consuming and mentally exhaustive. At this stage, you may check out mentally from your current job even before you get a new offer. However, you should remember that you are still earning your salary from the current employer. Deceiving your current employer is not only unethical, but it may harm your reputation at work. You never know you might later decide to continue working at your current company if your job search endeavour fails.

Be careful with your online activities

If you are using social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, be careful about what information you are sharing there. Your current employer can easily track what you are doing online. Make sure you do not mention your job search on social sites. Also, avoid discussing your job search with any of your friends or colleagues on online platforms. There is no harm in updating your LinkedIn profile, but do not mention that you are looking for a new job. One good idea would be to update your social media profiles from time to time, rather than doing that suddenly when you are planning to start your job search.

What if your employer asks you directly?

Despite your best efforts, your boss may get to know about your discreet job search. If he asks you directly, don’t lie. Tell the truth. However, if possible, give him an explanation. For instance, you can say, “While I like to work in this company, it is a long commute to work. I was just looking for an opportunity closer to my place.”

Oct 232016

Hiring managers in the UK spend only 8.8 seconds looking at a CV to decide whether the candidate should be considered, says a recent study by The National Citizen Service. With the recruiters’ attention span falling, a modern CV must have this ability to make an immediate impression.

So what a modern CV should look like? How to optimise it for an automated applicant tracking system? What to exclude or include in the CV? You may have many more questions. So here are 6 tips on how to update your CV to make it stand out in the crowd in 2016.


1. Leave out the objective statement

If your current CV starts with a generic objective statement, such as, “Looking for a challenging job to utilise my skills and experience,” – delete it right away! Hiring managers care less about what you are looking for and more about what value you can bring to their organisation. So replace your objective statement with an executive summary. Talk about your relevant skills, professional experience, and achievements.

2. Make it easy to contact you

Hiring managers are pressed for time. Make it easy for them to contact you by adding a live link to your email address. That way, you can help them get in touch with you at one click. Also, hyperlink your website and other relevant social media profiles. Do not include too much contact information. Just one active phone number and one email address would suffice. You don’t even need to provide your full mailing address. Simply provide your city, state, and postcode.

3. Use the right keywords

Most recruiters now use applicant tracking software to filter out irrelevant CVs. If you do not optimise your CV with the right keywords, your CV may not even reach the hiring manager. If you are not sure which keywords to use, consider simulating the language of the job posting, as much as possible. You can also have a look at the company website, especially the “About us” and “Career” sections, to get an idea of the type of keywords they use. For instance, when you are applying for a managerial position, you may want to use phrases like ‘leadership skill’ and ‘team player.’

4. Focus on the future

While your CV should have a mention of your past experience, the focus should be on the future – or how you are going to use your experience in the next job. Think of your CV as a sales presentation, rather than a chronology of your past achievements. Customise the layout to your current career goals. For instance, a fresh graduate should highlight her academic credentials with dates, while an experienced professional should focus more on her relevant work experience. If you changed your profession recently, you don’t need to provide details of your earlier work experiences with dates. Just a recap of your previous career would suffice. The focus should be on your current career goals and future plans.

5. Keep it short

Ideally, you should have a one-page CV, with only the most essential information included in it. If, however, you have a long career history and varied work experience, you can use two pages, but remember every word counts. Avoid stating the too obvious, such as, “references available upon request.” Also, leave out filler phrases, such as, “responsible for” or “roles and responsibilities include….” One good idea would be to use bullet points, wherever possible. Also, consider starting each point with an action verb. Rather than using adjectives like result-driven, use real numbers to substantiate your claims. Also, present the numbers in a context. For instance, rather than saying, “Achieved an annual turnover of $50000,” say “Achieved an annual turnover of $50000, up 30 percent from the previous year.”

6. Don’t ignore design and formatting

Making your CV visually attractive is also important. Keep enough white space and leave out space between paragraphs. You can use colours, charts, and graphs as well, but make sure they go well with your industry standards. Also, format your CV to enhance readability. Hiring managers skim rather than read a CV. So consider using bolded words, short paragraphs, headings, subheads, and enough bullet points in the text.