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We’re all guilty of it: getting far too involved in beer gardens, barbeques and basking in the fabulous sunshine. Recruiters actually see a huge drop in job applications when the sun comes out, so why not beat the others to it this year and make career hay while the sun shines? In this issue we’ll show you some excellent options for summer jobs including graduate opportunities, interning and volunteering, a checklist for the graduates amongst you and some unique insights to the world of a sports lawyer, a paramedic, the care industry and how to get into a career in recruitment. For your spare time we’ll also help you to pursue hobbies and interests alongside your job and, if you fancy a change of scenery, we’ll show you what it’s like to live and work in Liverpool. Our career-enhancing section will show you how to make yourself indispensable, figure out what you’re worth, and keep your motivational levels brimming full with inspirational help and advice from serial entrepreneur, and all-round good egg, Bev James. Oh and, for the spare five minutes here and there (when you’ve done all of your work, obviously), maybe try our office dares for a giggle. DAVE MORGAN EDITOR

Regular features 4 your stories

Blunders made by other people so you don’t have to.

24-25 how to get into...recruitment The world of hiring, firing and inspiring people to join up.

26-27 inside the hiring process at...

Download issue 9 and read on the go

One of Britains oldest and most successful corporations, BT.

6-7 world’s most interesting jobs 28-29 coolest offices Spend your career in the fast lane as a racecar instructor.

A few snapshots from the quirky, hipster interior of Instagram.

8 connectivity means productivity

31 know your rights

9 the public perspective

40 how to...

Speed up your job search process with CV-Library Jobsgopublic clear up some misconceptions.

14-15 a day in the life of...

It’s all hustle and bustle for top sports lawyer, Max Eppel

news 5 Industry update

The latest developments in the adult care sector.

10 job vacancies soar

Positive job market news to report yet again.

features 16 interning and volunteering

Want to spend summer getting a step ahead in your career?

What are your rights for taking care of dependants? Speak and sound more confident for a winning impression. .

42 moneymaker

Obscure yet easy ways to make and save cash

lifestyle 11 pursuing your hobbies

How passions from your spare time can boost your prospects.

12-13 moving to the city

Become an honorary scouser in the culutral hub of Liverpool.

23 rewarding careers

Becoming and working as a paramedic.

30 make yourself indispensable

The ultimate guide to excelling in your job - they’ll want you to stay!

17 4 great summer jobs

32-33 reach your potential

18 Your graduation checklist

34-35 knowing your worth

19 top graduate employers

36-37 10 steps closer to a promotion

20-21 applying for a job in europe

38-39 5 apps for being career savvy

At a loose end this summer? Discover how you could spend it. Make sure you’re prepared for life as a graduate with some vital steps. A few of many companies offering good prospects. Navigate the differing formats for job applications abroad.

22 plug gaps in your cv

How to ensure gaps in your CV are covered properly.

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A chat with entrepreneur/life coach Bev James on how to succeed. Is your salary what it should be? Find out!

How to get yourself a better job, and get it fast.

Jazz up your smartphone with our top picks of mobile apps.

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Amy, 18, Southampton On my first day working in a nursery, I was told to go and interact with the children so they could get to know me better. The first toddler ran up to me, threw his arms around me, and then preceded to vomit all down my back. Within an hour of being there I had to go home and change.


- not as a bin cleaner ng ki or w er m m su I spent a e times. at the best of th b jo ng ti ci ex ry find a ve ked on a door to oc kn I y. da e on t with a Apart from his wife in the ac ht ug ca d ha d r an a husb to break up thei ng vi ha up d de en r got neighbour. I rden. And I neve ga t on fr e th in fisticuffs ng the bin. my quid for cleani

ITi’Sst PU RR - SO N A L L g Fiona, 26, Worcester n i p p Sho ouI wors rked in an office where D OyaGn,’ S30D, NIorNwNicEhR - Appoflecabostsss anwadsowa nemadssivfivee.faHen R eimes used to bring them in som g et n a r e sit g O with him, and let them climb all a buildin I was working on n e be ovesrta e. I'd our desks. I got in trouble as an apprentic a e m so in ll P fi to fo r 'letting' one d List -Shopping knock a drink left unsupervise view re to d e id ove c r on de my ilk keyboard. foundations so M this is what s a ns Apples a pl g in the build . do in the future I really want to d boss' dog rippe - Oranges Next thing, the d e w e h c s, nd a them from my h h. t out the mulc a sp nd a - Pasta p u m e th situation e th in la xp e I had to ame back from - Milk when my boss c Free monthly lunch. career advice, Click here to subscribe!

1.5 million people in the UK currently work in the adult care sector. This is a popular route to go into as it is always in demand and there are plenty of opportunities.

have learning disabilities, working in care is one of the most rewarding careers out there.

To get in, you don’t necessarily need any formal qualifications, which Whether it’s working with the elderly, means it can be a great option those who are unwell or people who for school-leavers. Graduates or

In 2013

1.3 million adults in care Roles

• Care Coordinator • Independent Living Advisor • Support Worker • Care Worker • Elderly Care Worker

those with some qualifications/ experience may find a management or coordinator role more suitable to their skill set. Studying health and social care can be a great route into a care role, as well as taking up practical voluntary work in a care home.

Combating High Staff Turnover in the Care Sector The care sector often experiences problems with staff retention. This has been attributed to factors such as lack of experience or formal training for new staff. As a result, it’s more difficult for new hires to settle into a new career within care, as opportunities become limited. Training is a key aspect of staff retention as it gives new recruits something to strive for, as well as leaving them much more knowledgeable and competent at the end of it. The sector has therefore developed a ‘recruitment and retention strategy’ as a framework for organisations to follow. This means more emphasis will be placed on the training of staff, including practical skills.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) Prioritise the Safeguarding of Adults The CQC, NHS and partner organisations have set out new plans on how to further prevent the abuse and neglect of adults in care. This comes after issues raised by BBC Panorama’s documentary and undercover filming by concerned relatives of those in care. Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC says: ‘Putting the person at the centre of all we do is vital’. Proposed changes to the regulation of treatment of those in care is set to come in soon, affecting current and new care staff up and down the country. The overall aim is to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable adults and anyone in need of care.

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With the majority of racing/sports car schools offering a range of courses, an instructor’s day consists of performing a variety of driving techniques with customers of varying ability. Their expertise and previous competitive racing experience qualify the instructors to provide lessons for those training to become professional racing drivers. This can involve tuition in basic fundamental skills such as skid control and braking, as well as coaching the client on how to hone their racing skills ready for competitions. Alternatively, a day can involve offering the best experience for a customer who has purchased a Performance Driving Course. Instructors provide theoretical-based learning about the


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Being a race instructor is so satisfying when a customer comes off the track with a huge smile on their face


oes a high-energy, thrillinvoking and exciting career path sound like the stuff of dreams to you? Well Career Savvy has discovered that it doesn’t have to be! By becoming a racecar driving instructor, you can work in a stimulating environment every day. So if you’re sick of the monotony of the office and you need some excitement injected into your career, then why not seek to qualify as a racecar driving instructor?

vehicle dynamics and driving line, before they take customers through the different rotations and teach them how to master a variety of techniques. James Dowding, a racecar driver and instructor, explains his passion for the career: ‘I have always been into Motorsport, competing in and winning numerous championships in various disciplines... Being a race instructor is so satisfying especially when a customer comes off the track with a huge smile on their face…it gives me such a buzz passing on my years of experience to help them improve their skills.’

Instructors need to have a sufficient racing and/ or instructing background. This is obtained through their own experiences as a racing driver and completing a specific training course at an ARDS member school. You are assessed on your circuit driving skills and your aptitude to teach others to become better track drivers. You’ll complete both practical and theoretical learning to develop instruction techniques and the knowledge to provide an adequate level of training. After completing the course, you achieve a First ARDS Instructor Licence which you can then strive to improve from Probationary Grade C to the highest level, Grade A. Completing this level of training will provide you with the confidence to excel in your role and enable you to provide a high standard of training for your clients. This is a popular career choice for motorsport lovers therefore you’ll have to prove your commitment, ability and passion for the job. Training courses can be completed at these ARDS member schools and make sure you’re aware of the licensing system used by

ARDS. If you don’t have some significant race history, it’s worth gaining some as this will enable you to empathise with your future clients and improve your skills. Customer service is important as you must be able to communicate effectively with people of all ages and abilities. Salaries will vary according to the size and reputation of the organisation you work for, so work hard and aim high. So if you need more excitement in your life and you’re passionate about driving, why not indulge in your need for speed? Your skills and knowledge will be appreciated every day as people come to you to learn the tricks of the track.

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PRODUCTIVITY There was a time when humans walked the earth without being constantly connected. A time when calling someone whilst out meant finding a red box and using coins. A time when you weren’t aware of what your friends were constantly up to, or what was trending in your area at that very moment. They were dark times which lasted until the late 1990s. Then things changed. Everyone became connected: information was available at our finger-tips, texting took over our lives and the human race discovered ringtones. Today’s world of mobile technology moves fast and everything is set up with constantly connected users in mind – emails on the go, sharing pictures with the click of a button, checking your favourite sports team’s results from the pub or ordering a summer dress whilst sat in a park – all very much a given in a modern-day setting. Thankfully, for professionals looking for work, the job searching and application process hasn’t been left behind in the dark ages – quite the opposite in fact. Leading job boards like CV-Library have gone to great lengths to ensure that mobile visitors to their website are given the same comprehensive experience as their more traditional desktop brethren. The website responds to whatever screen size you are using. Furthermore, job applications can be made with one tap of your finger and cover letters/CVs can be modified and uploaded in an instant. 34% of all traffic to is now made up by those on a mobile phone or tablet, and nearly one fifth of all applications come from users on a connected device. The whole jobseeker ecosystem has embraced change, and if you want to maximise your chances of securing your next role, it is essential that you go mobile.


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The Public Perspective AN INSIGHT INTO WORKING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR When asked recently about their impressions of working in the public sector, a group of graduates painted a verbal picture of a sleepy council office, where the aging employees are all gathering dust and the internet still works on that dial-up system that makes all those funny noises. The reality is a world away from this and the public and not-for-profit sectors now offer a wide range of exciting employment opportunities that you may never have considered. Over the coming months we at Jobsgopublic hope to remove any misconceptions that you may have of working in the public sector and give you the real picture. The public sector has changed, the number of vacancies being advertised is higher than ever before, and organisations are in need of ambitious individuals to contribute towards exciting and prosperous futures. So rid your mind of the image of that sleepy council office, it is a thing of the past. Instead, embrace the reality of dynamic organisations offering fantastic prospects to those that take the time to consider them. Roles in the public sector can include sales, law and finance, as well as health, education and other postions that offer hustle and bustle, a good salary and career prospects. Taking the public route also gives you the potential to carry out rewarding work, or roles that are essential to the lives of others. So while job vacancies are rising across the board, take advanatage of the growing teams in a huge array of companies and organisations.

A little about us... Jobsgopublic have been working with public and not-for-profit sector clients for the past 15 years. We regularly advertise vacancies within sectors such as local government, social work, housing, education, charity and the emergency services. These range from entry-level positions to senior management and are spread across the UK.

For all the latest public and not-for-profit sector vacancies, head to

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Job vacancies soar F

inally some good news for jobseekers everywhere! We’ve had a positive start to the year in terms of the number of job vacancies in comparison to previous years. In fact, since last year there’s been an 8% increase in vacancies for the UK, as well as competition for jobs decreasing by 29% year on year. So which sectors are seeing the best growth, which cities are offering the best employment statistics and how can you take advantage of this positive shift in the job market? A recent study has revealed that new permanent jobs are also on the rise, with an increase of a fifth since the start of the year. confirm this rise as their site has seen more than 500,000 permanent jobs advertised thus far this year, which is a 16% increase from the same time last year. This rise in the number of permanent positions offered is proof that employers are feeling more confident about the economy and the future of their businesses as they start to think about how to encourage growth. As the economy continues to strengthen, we can expect a further boost in the confidence of employers and this will lead to a greater increase in the number of permanent positions available. Hooray! There are a number of industries that have experienced substantial growth in the past year, such as customer services (29%), education (22%), property (19%) and graduate jobs (11%). Other sectors have seen little


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improvement, such as banking and finance jobs (1%), or even a decrease in opportunities such as catering and hospitality which has witnessed a 10% decline since last year. Now you know which industries to target, which areas currently offer the best opportunities? Well the East Midlands is the place to be as the area has witnessed a 19% increase in the number of job vacancies since last year. Furthermore, graduate and trainee jobs in this area have also risen by 29%. The rise in graduate and trainee jobs has also been considerable in Scotland and Wales with increases of 32% and 19% respectively. In terms of competition for jobs, the top five best cities for employment opportunities are Cambridge, Guildford, Reading, Aberdeen and Winchester. The jobs growth experienced during the first three months of this year hit a 43-year high and it’s important for jobseekers to take advantage of this surge in opportunities. Particularly if you are still unsure about your career path, consider the industries mentioned above and explore roles that match with your interests. Or if you have already decided on your focus, consider relocating to areas which hold the highest percentage of job growth. We know how tough it is out there and no doubt so do you, so give yourself the best chance of finding employment by targeting areas and industries that are more likely to provide you with the results you need.

Pursuing your


Fitting in hobbies or a social life isn’t always an easy task to manage if you’re busy with work, study or life in general. But as it turns out, getting involved in activities and pursuing your passions can very often enhance your prospects. So how can you turn your hobby into a tool for helping your employability?

Take on Responsibility All clubs and societies need organising and running therefore a lot of behind the scenes work needs to be put in. Depending on what kind of role you see yourself working in, you can practise a few work related skills at the same time. Consider a role as president, treasurer or secretary. All involve a good deal of organisation and admin skills, as well as hard work. Volunteering to take on roles and get stuck in also looks great as it shows you don’t shy away from getting involved. This all gives you great experience to talk about in interviews, which is valuable if you don’t have a wealth of workplace based experience.

Make a Difference It’s a great idea to use your skills or hobbies in a voluntary context. If you enjoy needlework or photography at home by yourself, you don’t have too much to show for this that you can put on a CV or use in an interview. However, if you were to take these hobbies outside of your living room and share them with the world you could really expand your potential. This could involve offering classes or demonstrations at local community centres, or joining a group that works on collaborative projects. This will enhance your teambuilding skills and leadership skills too – all valuable traits that a lot of employers require in their staff.

Make Money Putting more time and effort into your hobbies can often make you much more likely to develop it into a career. If you have something to offer, offer it, for free at first if need be. If you can slowly start charging for photographing weddings or running the social media of a company, next thing you know, you’re a freelancer. This makes it a lot easier for you to move into a full-time role and make a living from your passion. Have a look at some more money saving tips from Career Savvy here.

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Moving to the City: Liverpool I

f it was good enough for The Beatles then it’s good enough for us! Liverpool is known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant lifestyle and of course its famous accent. As well the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, Liverpool offers living costs that are 30% cheaper than the capital. So become a scouser and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere and dynamic lifestyle of the city, without having to pay an arm and a leg. Liverpool’s economy was previously centred on its strengths in manufacturing and its port, partly due to its significant role in the slave trade during the eighteenth century. Since its revival in the 1990s, the city’s economy is now one of the largest in the UK, dominated by tourism and the creative industries. Liverpool is the sixth largest city in the UK and it attracts 52 million day visitors and 4.6 million staying visitors annually. Between 2011 and 2012 there was an 8% increase in tourism supported jobs, reaching 29,833 in 2012 and this figure continues to rise. Those in hospitality roles in hotels, restaurants and bars must maintain their high standard to support the city’s annual increase in tourism. Job opportunities can be found working for the multiple tourist attractions and famous annual events.


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With creative and digital firms supplying 48,000 jobs and providing £1.4 billion to the local economy, it’s easy to see why the creative industries are so dominant in Liverpool. The gaming industry is particularly successful, with the city being recognised by the whole of Europe for its prominence in this sector. Many opportunities can also be found in media and broadcasting as well as design. With over 7,000 firms to choose from, there is a wealth of opportunities within this sector. If you’re looking for luxury living then the waterfront properties, consisting of modern apartments converted from warehouses and dockland buildings, can offer you impressive accommodation. However, their style and proximity to the city’s amenities results in a hefty price tag. Therefore the suburbs of Liverpool are often a cheaper and popular choice. The average rent prices in Liverpool (per calendar month): £345 for a room in a house or flat £562 for a flat £563 for a house The suburb of West Derby is known for being steeped in history with its cottages and churches, as well as the

enjoy the buzzing atmosphere and dynamic lifestyle of the city, without Elizabethan courthouse. Its having to pay an great leisure and educational arm and facilities, road links and grassy wide open spaces make this an incredibly a leg.

For young professionals looking for somewhere a bit more lively, consider Childwall where the ‘Childwall Fiveways’ offers an array of restaurants and bars. This area also has plenty of greenery and a range of housing. Semi-detached properties cost on average £204,313 and detached £324,478. The average rent for a property in Childwall is £619 pcm.

Attractions: There is so much to see and do in Liverpool, from its impressive collection of museums, to the array of amenities at the Albert Dock and the famous Cavern Club where Merseybeat was born. The city is famed for its strengths in music and this is celebrated at the Liverpool International Music Festival. For more information about attractions, click here.

sought-after area for families. For semidetached properties you’re looking at an average cost of £153,777 and for detached the average is £298,384. The average rent for a property in this area is £581 pcm.


Random Facts about Liverpool

1. It has the largest cathedral in Britain: Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral is also the fifth largest in the world. 2. Cities it is twinned with from around the world include Shanghai, Cologne and Dublin. 3. Thanks to the number of artists originating from Liverpool the city holds the Guinness Book of Records title of the Capital of Pop. 4. Scouse is actually a type of stew. 5. With 2,500 listed buildings, Liverpool has the most Grade II-listed buildings outside of London.

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A Day in the Life of... We all know that sports stars live fast-paced and exciting lives, but what about the people that support these stars? Professional athletes need assistance with tasks such as negotiating salaries and sponsorship deals, as well as resolving any contract disputes. Chloe Franchina spoke to Max Eppel, a sports lawyer and football agent, to discover the responsibilities involved in this intriguing career.

How did you become a sports lawyer? Did you need any specific training or education? To become a qualified lawyer I studied a three year law degree at the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales) and completed one year at Bar School at the Inns of Court School of Law (now The City Law School) in London. I also completed one year’s pupillage in a set of barristers’ chambers. As far as being a football agent is concerned, I had to study for and pass the agent’s exam and thereafter ensure that I have the requisite professional indemnity insurance cover in place each year.

What personal qualities do you think are essential to be good at your job? A thorough technical knowledge of FIFA’s, UEFA’s, the FA’s and Premier League/Football League’s rules and regulations is important for obvious reasons. But beyond that, the ability to forge relationships with clubs, players, other agents, and the various characters that inhabit the world of football is vital!

what does a typical day consist of? My days are often not defined as I work until the task is completed. In general however, I arrive at the office between 9am and 10am, and I leave anywhere between 7pm and 11pm. During the transfer windows, it gets even crazier with winning new business, attending meetings and court, drafting documents, advising clients and chasing fees all on the agenda. As for dealing with players and clubs, there is no substitute for getting in front of them and attending games when it comes to scouting players and deciding who to sign. It’s my job to


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take care of my clients’ off-field activities which involves getting a team of professionals (lawyers, accountants, etc.) in place to handle their lives efficiently.

What is the best thing about your job? It has to be working in a field that I love. Of course it’s also great to attend the games and do business with the powerbrokers of the game of football.

What is the best advice you have ever received? It’s an old one, but the best advice is that nothing worth having ever comes without hard work. You need to put in years of effort sometimes to see any tangible reward. You don’t see it at the time but you are learning each day. Experience is key.

What would be your biggest tip, for someone looking to follow your career path? Don’t bother unless you are prepared to make a lot of sacrifices (both personal and professional). If you think it’s for you then feel free to get in touch and arrange a coffee with me as I am always happy to devote time to the next generation. You don’t get much help getting into football and I always think that’s wrong. If there are some bright young people who want to break into the industry then they should be encouraged as it will only benefit the industry as a whole.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? Making partner at the law firm was of course an important achievement of mine. It’s also great that I’m able to work with globally recognised, international premier league stars.

Sports Lawyer MAX


What’s been the most challenging part of your career so far? Staying in love with football. When you work in the industry, you see a very, very different side to the game.

If you could spend one day in a different career, what would it be and why? I honestly wouldn’t change careers. Working in sports is where I want to be and, for me, anything else would feel like a concession.

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INTERNING & VOLUNTEERING As your days at university draw to a close and summer finally arrives, you may be tempted to push your anxieties about the future to the back of your mind and simply enjoy what you consider to be your last summer break. However, not using this time effectively could be the difference between a relatively short job hunt and a painstakingly long one. There’s no doubt that your degree will impress employers, but hands-on experience goes a long way when you face tough competition. An internship or voluntary placement relevant to your career path are the best ways to gain this experience, as they offer a valuable insight into whether this is really the right job for you.



Internships offers experience of a role, therefore they’re a great option if you know what job you’d like to pursue as they test whether you’re truly suitable for it. A big advantage is that the majority of internships are paid (even though the sum is often modest), which is why competition for placements is so fierce. Internships can last a few weeks, months, or even a year depending on the company. You’ll be assigned to a project during this period and maybe even a specific role.

If you’re still unsure about the right career path for you, and you’re looking for something rewarding, then a voluntary placement could be a better option. You can develop life skills which will be transferable no matter what career you decide on. For example you’ll improve your communication, organisation and teamwork skills. A placement abroad can also see you learning a language.

The completion of an internship is attractive on a CV and a great talking point in an interview. You can highlight exactly how you’ve developed specific skills required for the job on offer and talk about your exposure to this particular working environment. Perhaps the most significant advantage of an internship is that a good impression can lead to you being offered a permanent role in the company, once you’ve completed your placement. To secure an internship you’ll probably face an assessment centre or interview once you’ve submitted your application. The employer will want someone who shows real passion for the industry, company and role on offer, so be sure to display your dedication.


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Give some thought to your choice of voluntary placement because there are many opportunities to choose from and you’ll need some focus. What do you enjoy doing? Once you’ve identified the type of experience that suits you best, start exploring your options. UK voluntary placements are often flexible so you can fit one around other commitments. Placements abroad can last weeks or months depending on the project you’re involved in. Unfortunately, you will not be paid (although some offer accommodation or food/ transport allowances), but the rewarding feeling you receive when helping others will certainly help you to overlook this aspect. In addition, employers will acknowledge and respect your efforts to gain valuable experience.

Useful Links:

1.PRIVATE TUTOR If your knowledge resides in maths, English, science or a language, your services in tutoring will be highly sought-after. You can earn a decent amount of cash and even organise sessions around your search for a relevant full-time role, as this job is extremely flexible. Services can include revision sessions, refresher courses for the following term/year and even a long-term service throughout the year if you can fit it in around a job or postgraduate study. You will develop key workplace skills such as organisation and communication, thus improving your CV. Promote your services around the local area, particularly in schools/colleges, or on websites like


2. SUMMER CAMP Have fun as well as earn money this summer! This is a great option if you want to work with children in the future, but the variety of skills you gain are transferable thus relevant to many industries. You could work in the UK or abroad with a focus on education or sports, or perhaps at a special needs camp. Also choose from a range of roles, from activity leader to sports coach or kitchen staff. Food and accommodation are often provided. Summer camps look for staff from June-September, but if you make a good impression the organisation may want to hire you for future holiday breaks. Discover your options here:

Summer Jobs


If you’re unable to secure an internship or a voluntary placement relevant to your career path, then don’t just abandon your attempt to use your summer wisely. Here are Career Savvy’s top four in terms of giving you the best potential to develop your skill set and still enjoy your summer.

3. AU PAIR/NANNY As an au pair you can get involved in a variety of activities and experience a new location at home or abroad. Busy parents will welcome your help entertaining their children during the holidays. You’ll need to organise and plan your days as well as keep the children amused, therefore this job requires responsibility and creativity. Problem-solving skills will be tested as kids will not always behave – unless you’re very lucky! The relationship you build with the family will enhance your interpersonal skills and if working abroad your language skills too as you immerse yourself into a different culture. Click here for more information.

4. FREELANCE Particularly if your aspirations lie in the creative industries such as writing or photography, this could be a great summer job. It may not be particularly high paid, as high earning jobs are reserved for those with significant qualifications/ experience, but the experience you gain on top of a reasonable rate of pay will help you no end with your career development. Employers often look for hands-on experience, and if you’ve taken the time to organise this yourself, then your CV has a strong chance of being shortlisted. You must be aware of where your strengths lie and only apply for jobs that are relevant to these skills, for instance don’t offer your services to a golfing magazine if you have no interest or knowledge of the sport. Start by advertising your skills on:

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We would all like to have our next career move mapped out for us by the time we leave university. But in reality, amongst deadlines, dissertations and all-nighters, it’s difficult to do extensive career preparation while you’re trying to complete the final stages of your degree. Now you’re graduating, how do you achieve your first rung on the career ladder?

S T E P 1. PERFECT YOUR CV Once your university work is all done and dusted, it’s time to crack on and create a winning CV. Now that you’re a graduate and soon to be professional, your CV needs to reflect this, so now is a great time to give it an entire restructure and rebuild. You need to make sure you’ve picked the best achievements you’ve accomplished during your degree to include on your CV. You also want to display any examples of work experience, voluntary work or involvement with societies.





Unfortunately, your degree isn’t necessarily enough to get you a job ahead of other graduates. If your CV is currently bursting with academic achievement but lacks examples of experience, it’s not too late. Now that your term is finished most of your schedule has probably been freed up, enabling you to spend some time shadowing someone or volunteering. Don’t feel too disappointed to be working for free at this stage as it will increase your chance of getting paid work significantly. Start calling round companies pronto and get yourself some sort of placement.

Whether you’ve got your mind set on a destination for after you graduate or not, now is the time to make sure you know exactly what you need to do to get there. If you want to get straight into a job, look into what kind of credentials the current employers are looking for. If you feel further training, postgraduate study or perhaps an apprenticeship would suit you, make sure you’ve researched all the requirements for applying. Crucial information for you to identify at this point is any deadline dates. The application deadlines for most graduate schemes have now passed, but this doesn’t mean that you cannot apply for the next one available if you wanted some time to relax before starting your career.

Surveys show that the average graduate applies for 12 jobs before landing one. Whether this gives an accurate reflection of the job market or not is unclear, as some graduates will apply for many more jobs than this, while others may only apply for one. What is clear is that you should be applying for as many opportunities as possible. Now is the time to decide on a plan to get yourself where you need to go. Ask yourself when you want a job by, how many jobs you aim to apply for each week and what kind of jobs you will apply for first. This way you will not be at a loss as to where to get started once you do become a graduate.

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Top Graduate Employers

After throwing your mortar board in the air and having a few glasses of bubbly to celebrate your graduation, it’s time to start getting serious about your career. You’ve probably already started your career quest, but perhaps still don’t have concrete ideas of what you’ll end up doing. If you cannot wait to kickstart your career, a wealth of companies look for talented graduates that have the makings of their future business leaders. Graduates also reap the benefits, as salaries are often a lot higher than many entry-level jobs. In addition, further training is available, enabling you to become a specialist in the area you’re interested in. So where are you most likely to find a great graduate job?


Teach First

One of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, there’s always room for more employees at GSK. A good pull factor for this company is that there is a bunch of areas you can go into. These include communications, engineering, HR, IT, procurement and more. To apply you need to be on track for at least a 2.1 degree. Graduates from a variety of academic backgrounds are invited to apply. For an overview of all areas, click here.

If you fancy a career in the public sector, and something a little more rewarding, Teach First could be a great option for you. Their aim is to make education more accessible to all and to teach in challenging circumstances. Joining their schemes could see you gaining your PGCE and getting hands-on experience in school placements. There is also a chance for you to study a master’s. For more information, click here.



IBM also offer a range of roles in areas such as business, consulting and technology. With starting salaries from £30K, graduate positions at IBM can be a great way to kick off your career. Fill out the online role finder to see how you might fit in.

2013’s sixth largest global corporation also boasts a wealth of opportunities and in a variety of locations too. They offer graduate programmes in engineering, science, as well as business and trading. You can match your degree to one of their roles using their online quiz. Handy!

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Looking for a change?

get a job in europe

Many of us are tempted by jobs abroad so we can spread our wings and discover a new culture. Due to its close proximity, Europe is a popular destination. But the hiring process is not the same for every country. Career Savvy has explored the ins and outs of the application process in some of the most popular countries, so you can feel confident about applying.





• Extensive attention to detail: every achievement, qualification and experience needs to be documented in reverse chronological order. • Any gaps will be judged unfavourably therefore you need to explain them; even if you were unemployed. • Sign and date it, as well as attach a photo. • Send copies of your degree/qualifications, certificates and references from former employers with your CV.

• There are no strict rules, but it’s best to keep it brief and in chronological order. • There’s no need to mention your hobbies or include a photo. • It should be no longer than two sides of A4. • There’s no need to include your degree certificates or references but make sure you bring them to the interview.

Cover Letter

Cover Letter

• A conservative model is preferred over one that stands out. • You MUST discover who to address your letter to – both name and title. • Keep it to one A4 page and avoid repeating any details from your CV. • Send all of the required documents in a neat package in the following order: cover letter, CV, copies of degree(s), references, etc. • Speculative applications are uncommon and unlikely to be successful.

• A brief explanation of why you want the job and to work for this company. Don’t go into too much detail as Italian employers prefer to discuss this in the interview. • Speculative applications are successful if they’re formal and your references are strong. Networking is the best way to job hunt in Italy – it’s very much who you know here, perhaps more so than in any other European country.

Interviews • Try to avoid exaggerated responses: German employers prefer you to be precise and clear about your experiences. • Be prepared for psychometric tests as they have become popular in Germany.


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Interviews • Expect around three to four interviews and possibly some psychometric tests too. • The whole process will be slow – even up to three months! • Italian recruiters will focus on your personality and the way you present yourself. • Build a rapport with the interviewer and make sure your appearance is immaculate. Italians take pride in their appearance: the interviewer is likely to believe how you dress represents how you work.





• No longer than two A4 pages. • The personal details should include your passport/ID number. • Include a recent photo as well as copies of your degree/ qualifications certificates. • Spanish employers very rarely request references.

• Either reverse chronological order or functional - where experiences are grouped thematically. • A maximum of two A4 pages and include a photograph. • Only include the highest of your academic qualifications. • Language skills are highly sought-after so emphasise these. • Include a ‘Projet Professionel’: around five lines informing the employer about what you want to achieve in the future. • There’s no need to include references or degree certificates, but bring these along to the interview.

Cover Letter • Explain work experience placements in detail: what were your responsibilities and achievements? • Despite not needing to provide references do include former employers of both work experience and previous jobs. • Keep it short and to the point. • Speculative applications are often successful because Spanish employers prefer to have many candidates to choose from. Personal contacts are the most effective way of obtaining a job - particularly if you’re applying to a small or medium-sized company.

Interviews • Short introduction interviews are often followed by psychometric tests. • Be prepared to face a lot – as many as six or more! • Motivation is an important quality for Spanish employers; personal qualities are more valued than professional ones in Spain. • The discussion of salary doesn’t take place during the interview process, but after the offer has been made.

Cover Letter • This should be handwritten because graphology is often used in France. • It should be very short and succinct - about twenty lines max. • Speculative applications are far more common and successful in France. In fact approximately one third of jobs are obtained via this method.

Interviews • You will most likely have to pass some psychometric tests as these have become more popular in France. • Be prepared to face two to four interviews that will focus on your personality.

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How to plug gaps in your CV There can be many reasons behind gaps in your CV and you may have heard they’ll inevitably damage your chances of securing a new job. However, when handled in the right way, these gaps can actually have a positive effect on your job prospects. The key is to be honest, put a positive spin on it and explain how you’ve learned from your experience.



If you’re currently on a career break then take some pre-emptive measures to make sure you’re able to fill any potential gaps in your CV. Be proactive by signing up for a voluntary position, taking a relevant course, reading industry publications or getting creative and starting a project such as a blog. If you can show your interviewer that you’ve made a conscious effort to improve your skill set, gain experience and keep up to date with the latest industry news, then you’ll have a strong CV behind you. If you wait for opportunities to come your way, you’ll be waiting a long time and this will fail to convince the employer that you’ve used your time out wisely.

There’s no need to tell the employer your whole life story, but honesty is most certainly the best policy when it comes to gaps in your CV. Don’t try and trick the interviewer by extending the dates on your previous employment to try and cover the gap up. Employers aren’t stupid, they’ll probably check any information given with your previous employers. They will respect you far more if you address and explain the gaps maturely rather than lie about them.

Format Note that you’re not expected to include every single experience you’ve ever had on your CV. Especially if you’ve had a variety of jobs, it’s perfectly acceptable to omit details to make room for more relevant experiences. It’s worth remembering that you don’t have to display the month you started a job but only the year. Therefore simply taking the time to format your CV could potentially remove gaps in your CV. However, you must be prepared to explain any career breaks even if they’re not present on your CV: the employer may question you on your employment history in the interview.


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Positivity No matter the reason behind your career break, it’s important to put a positive spin on your experience. What skills has your experience helped you to develop? This will encourage the interviewer to view the gap in a positive way, therefore it has less chance of being a hindrance. For instance, don’t say you took a gap year because: ‘I wasn’t ready for full-time employment when I came out of university, so I had one extra year of freedom’. Try this: ‘I used my time abroad to broaden my horizons by immersing myself in different cultures. I’ve obtained valuable life skills and truly tested my organisational skills. Now I feel I can use these new skills to focus on my career development’. If you emphasise what you learned and that you’re excited about new opportunities to be had in your career, you will effectively turn a negative situation into a positive one.

Rewarding Careers: Paramedic Dangerous and sometimes life-threatening situations are faced by paramedics on a daily basis. It’s the great responsibility that comes with the job that encourages such admiration and provides a rewarding feeling. Becoming a paramedic means your actions in emergency situations can have a significant impact on the lives of those involved, therefore you can feel great pride in your work.


Skills Required

As the first to respond when a 999 call is received, you’ll deal with a variety of situations that require immediate medical attention such as road and rail casualties, sudden illness, criminal violence and fires. Specific treatments may need to be applied such as resuscitation or spinal and traction splints. Each patient is different so even if you’re dealing with the same illness or injury, each scenario will require a slightly different response. On the scene you must assess the patient and provide an immediate course of action. A decision will need to be made on where the patient needs to be transported to and you’ll be responsible for monitoring their condition during this process. You’ll also interact with other emergency services and deal with the reactions of the public present at the scene.

The want to care for others as well as great interpersonal skills are essential. Teamwork is also important as this will enable you to interact with other professionals efficiently, in order to provide the best care for your patient(s). You must possess the ability to remain calm and be decisive during a crisis. Finally, a good standard of fitness is required so you can handle heavy equipment and lift patients.

What Makes It So Rewarding? How you respond to emergency situations could determine whether someone loses their life or not, so the stakes are high and you need to be able to handle this. Nessie Hunt, an emergency-care practitioner, told The Independent: ‘It’s nice to feel that you make a difference through what you do to someone’s life. Your skills can improve the outcome of a dangerous situation’.

Salary & Entry Requirements There are two routes into this career: attend university or train as a student paramedic through an ambulance trust. You must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and your course has to be HPCapproved. Entry requirements of each service vary for student paramedic roles. Training can take up to five years of part-time study alongside work. Requirements for university courses differ according to the level of study and on top of qualifications you’ll need examples of relevant work experience, such as working in a care home or with St John’s/Andrew’s Ambulance. Salaries adhere to the NHS Agenda for Change pay scales, with starting salaries sitting in Band 5, £21,176-£27,625 and further training can see this increase to Band 6 which ranges from £25,528-£34,189.

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How to get into Rec The recruitment industry is one that’s constantly in demand, and now that job vacancies are on the up, it’s seeing an even bigger surge. The need for staff is universal in every form of business, meaning that recruitment and HR services are steady career options. Recruitment is an industry that transfers into every sector, meaning that it gives many graduates the chance to work within an area relevant to their degree subject. For example, a recruitment company covering scientific jobs would employ graduates with a scientific background, as it enables them to source and assess roles and matching candidates more effectively. As well as working for a recruitment agency, many large companies run graduate schemes within their own direct recruitment teams, including British Airways, Deloitte, Tesco, the NHS and many more.

Why Recruitment? Salary With the average starting salary of £24,375, there’s definitely potential to earn a decent wage in recruitment. As a recruitment consultant, there is commission to be made on each position you successfully fill – usually a percentage of the candidate’s salary. Commissions are often uncapped, offering you the potential to write your own pay cheque. Chance to Shine Recruiters quite often have to be all-rounders, managing relationships with clients, candidates and colleagues in different departments. Many roles draw on a range of different skills including sales, negotiation, admin,


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marketing and more. This means there is good scope to show what you’re made of and gain lots of skills that transfer well into a range of roles. Challenging As recruitment is a busy industry, there’s always something to do. Regardless of what role you’re in there will always be more clients to work with, candidates to find, different staffing issues to manage and teams to build. If you want to work in a field where your career will not stagnate, recruitment could be a solid option.

Roles/areas Human Resources and In-House Recruiters: In-house recruitment teams are needed in the majority of large businesses, running the use and organisation of staff within the company. This includes assessing who is needed in which teams and at what skill level, etc. It also involves ensuring the current methods of recruitment are working and managing the process efficiently. Training and Development: A task that needs overseeing in most large companies is the process of training and development. From schoolleavers to graduates, new recruits require learning and training. It also involves organising training for existing employees to expand their skills. Consulting: Within recruitment companies, staff need to match clients and candidates together. Tasks include using sales techniques, assessing the needs of clients and businesses, identifying suitable candidates for a vacancy and selling vacancies to candidates. It also involves resourcing staff and headhunting.

cruitment Transferable Skills

People Person


Analytical Skills

Whether it’s clients, HR managers or candidates, you’re sure to be interacting with a variety of people on a daily basis. Interpersonal skills come in handy in many situations, including maintaining client relationships and negotiating fees or a candidate’s salary. A role in recruitment probably isn’t for you if you prefer to work quietly and resent your phone ringing.

When you’re juggling several roles for several clients, or handling large amounts of applications, it’s important to be on top of things. Organised people are better at handling several tasks at once and are able to pick up where they left off if they’re needed elsewhere. So if you have a good head for multi-tasking, plus strong organisational skills, you could thrive in recruitment.

Assessing the needs of others is a crucial part of the recruitment process. This may come into understanding the requirements of a company in terms of staff. It is also pertinent when reviewing candidates’ CVs or conducting interviews. If you think you’re someone who is able to judge people fairly and objectively, you could be a great recruiter.

Want to Read More? • How to get into sales • how to get into real estate

• how to get into the police • how to get into teaching

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Inside the Hiring

Process at… BT is the leading provider of telecommunications networks and services in the UK, which means they have a reputation to uphold. Therefore they use a tough hiring process to acquire the best candidates for the vacancies they have to offer.

There are two different graduate routes offered by BT, which each offer a variety of roles: Technology

suitability for BT. If your application form is shortlisted, you’ll then be invited to complete some online psychometric tests.

• Software engineering • Network engineering • Network and IT operations management • Research • IT & systems security • Managed services & design services, technology solutions

If your scores are impressive on the online tests then this will lead to a telephone interview. You will be questioned on your incentives for applying to the graduate programme and BT in general. Your interviewer will also test you on the knowledge of the particular area you’re applying for, as well as trying to ascertain your personality and whether this would be a good fit.


A good telephone interview will lead to an invitation to an assessment centre. This will require a great deal of preparation and plenty of hard work as this will last a full day and involve the following components:

• Marketing • Sales • Project management • Business improvement • Business analysis • Operational team management • Client engagement • Legal (for law graduates only) Once you’ve completed a graduate programme, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue roles that exist worldwide as BT offer opportunities in the Americas, Canada, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, as well as Europe. Before you fill out an application form, BT ask for you to complete a questionnaire to discover whether this is the right company and opportunity for you. If your answers match up, you will be permitted to fill out an application form where you will need to provide evidence of your relevant skills, experience and technical ability. Make sure you attach your CV and that it highlights your


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General Interview This will further assess your passion for the position and industry in general. The interviewers will also be looking to determine whether you will be a good fit for the programme as well as the company culture. So be sure to present your best self and really showcase your suitability for the role. Business Case Study You will be given a hypothetical business issue or opportunity and the interviewers will assess your ability to handle it. This will include assessment of your approach and your plan of action. Presentation After you’ve been provided with some background information you’ll have to prepare a presentation on this

particular subject to a senior member of staff. You will have to do this within a certain time frame. The interviewer will judge you on your performance and the quality of the findings you present. Group Exercise Similar to the business case study, you will have to show the interviewers how you would respond to an issue or opportunity relevant to the job role. However, this time you will be working in a team, therefore your interpersonal and teamwork skills will be tested. The results are less important in this exercise as it’s more about how you reach your answer and your justification, as well as how you handle a team environment. If you attend an assessment centre then BT will provide you with a feedback session so you can see where your strengths and weaknesses were. Unfortunately, if you didn’t reach this stage then you will not receive feedback.

Examples of BT Interview Questions: • Why did you apply to BT? • What makes you suitable for this role? • Which BT product do you like best and why? • Tell me about a time when you were faced with a challenge. How did you solve it? • Describe an instance when you helped cut costs or generate new revenues. • How would other people describe you?

Three Facts About BT 1. It’s the world’s oldest communications company. 2. It provides services for 170 countries worldwide. 3. Hull is the only place in the UK to not be served by BT.

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co ol es t OF FIC ES San francisco, usa

If It’s true that a good office should reflect the brand of the company then it’s clear to see how photo-sharing social networking site Instagram’s office couldn’t BE more Instagram. From the wooden gramophone to the wooden… everything, if you like rustic and vintage, you’ll love this. It’s also heavily decked out with retro Polaroid cameras in keeping with the photography theme. The square shelving pays homage to Instagram’s love of all things square – from the shape of their photos to the tiled layouts of an Instagram user’s page. You have to wonder whether it’s company policy that the staff take a picture of their lunch before they are allowed to eat in the canteen. We also imagine the bathroom has a special mirror reserved for the purpose of taking a selfie. Whether you’re addicted to Instagram or not, you have to admit their office has a great mix of pastoral and modern decor.

all images © geremia design

More sneak peeks of cool offices: • Pinterest • three rings • Mind candy 28

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Indispensable In the workplace it’s a great feeling to be needed and relied upon. Why? It shows you’re good at your job and that everybody wants as well as needs you to stick around. Being indispensable is the difference between filling a role and making it your own. It also puts you in great stead for a promotion or progression within your current role. So how can you make yourself indispensable?

Put Your Own Stamp on Things The company you’re working for may want or expect things to be done a certain way, and no doubt you’re trying your hardest to fulfil this. But if you know a way tasks can be completed more efficiently then don’t be afraid to introduce this. After all, you’re the one doing the job, which should make you the voice on how best to do it. Consider suggestions such as implementing new filing and organisational systems, new processes or making the existing ones more effective. Anything that saves you time and gives you the chance to get more done will surely impress your employer. Once your colleagues or employers learn to appreciate your way of doing things, they’ll either adopt it or look to you to help them make their workload more efficient. A sign of becoming indispensable is when you’re called upon to share your knowledge, instead of just being a human sponge.

Show Initiative Becoming indispensable isn’t about being given piles of work to do. It’s about taking the initiative to make your role one that the team couldn’t go without. Most jobs may increase in terms of responsibilities taken on, but it


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may not happen at a rate that is satisfactory to you. It’s important that you aren’t afraid to initiate taking on more tasks, being a part of meetings/discussions and making new suggestions. Your determination will also help you to impress your manager/employer, as well as making your efforts more memorable.

Have a Specialism Regardless of your role within the company, ensure you get the chance to share what you know. If you know a lot about a certain topic, don’t sit in the background just because your input hasn’t been called upon. It may be the case that no one really knows how much you have to share, and they will not know until you offer it. Showing that you’re a specialist on a certain subject will lead to your input becoming more and more sought-after. It’s important that in your current role you don’t remain a passive ‘seat filler’ and step into the part of an active team member. This includes contributing ideas, sharing previous experiences and giving your opinion on matters. If you can give your input from a specialist point of view, it will be even more valuable to the team.

Extend Your Responsibilities If you don’t feel indispensable in your current role, it could be because you’re capable of taking on more work than what you’re currently being given. Have a look around and think of anything that needs doing. Is a co-worker swamped? Is there something that has needed to be done for a long time which no one else has gotten around to doing? These additional duties you pick up will soon become part of your daily role, which will see you become more and more relied upon. In this respect, you can make a basic role into one that is a lot more crucial to the company.

Attempting to become indispensable is vital for career enhancement, as a way of ensuring you are fulfilling your role to the max. Once this has been achieved it becomes easier to move on to a higher role and puts you in better stead for a promotion.

more career development tips: • The power of gratitude

The Law:

Know Your

Rights Dependency Leave

Time off for dependants is leave you

would take in order to care for somebody else. A dependant is defined as a spouse, partner, child (including adopted and foster children), grandchild, parent or someone you care for.

All employees are legally allowed reasonable time off to deal with people who depend on them in the event of an unexpected illness or injury. Dependency doesn’t usually cover events that are foreseen, such as scheduled appointments. The terms of how much you’re entitled to are defined by your employer, and should be set out in your employment contract. While there may be a maximum amount of leave allowed, there may not be a set procedure and the extent of leave permitted may vary on the circumstances affecting the dependent in each case.

Advice: Many workplaces will have different policies for parental leave and compassionate leave (in the event of a death). If you’re relied upon to care for a family member, it’s worth ensuring there are sufficient provisions for your situation. If you have any concerns about your entitlement, talk to your manager.




Inspirational Advice from

Serial Entrepreneur & Business Coach

BEV JAMES With over twenty years’ experience transforming businesses in a variety of sectors, including coaching and recruitment, Bev James has established a great reputation as a successful and inspiring entrepreneur. Her titles include: MD and Head of Training for both The Coaching Academy and The Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy, Director of Mentoring for the government’s scheme Start Up Loans and best-selling author of Do It! Or Ditch It! Bev’s huge commitment to helping people realise their potential to succeed in their career has led to her being referred to as the PeoplePreneur. Career Savvy has been fortunate enough to speak with this inspiring businesswoman, to not only discover the benefits of coaching and mentoring, but to also gain her advice on the best mindset to adopt during your job search and throughout your career.


hilst training to be a coach herself, Bev James attended a course at The Coaching Academy where she is now the managing director. Straight away Bev spotted the massive potential for coaching in the workplace. ‘If a manager is a coach and used to goal setting, then this encourages their employees to be both goal and action orientated. Coaching is about thinking about what you’d like to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. There must be a call to action: “what are we going to do, who’s going to do it and by when?” A coaching culture enables you to set an end goal with an idea of how to accomplish it, giving clarity to the whole team’.

and acting on it. You may have outgrown it, but that’s no excuse to be negative!’ Job seeking can become incredibly frustrating, especially when you face continuous rejections. Maintaining a positive attitude is tough, but Bev believes determination is the key to success. ‘Whenever you go into an interview you have to believe that you’re going to get the job. Over a period of time you get disillusioned, so you stop doing the same amount of research before the interview. But one day that bit of research you failed to complete could have secured the job. So don’t lose faith and always be the absolute best version of you, as this gives you the best chance of success’.

To progress in your career you must be don’t able to understand the importance of And if at first you don’t succeed, try and lose faith and coaching, as it enables you to manage try again… always be the absolute others effectively. ‘Sometimes things just aren’t meant best version of you, as ‘The first person you coach is always to be and you have to trust that this gives you the best yourself. You do this by looking at something better is around the corner. chance of your values, goals and any limiting Brush it off and don’t take it personally success beliefs about yourself and what you because somebody might have genuinely know. Imposture syndrome is rife, with been more suitable. Don’t forget to ask for many people believing luck is responsible for feedback!’ them achieving certain roles. For me, coaching is about self-awareness: if you cannot manage to lead yourself, What if you want to change careers? Bev explains how then you shouldn’t be in a position to lead others’. self-awareness is crucial in terms of making this lifechanging decision. The popularity of mentoring schemes has increased as ‘It’s about being aware of your own personality in terms their ability to support employees through their career of change. Some people operate very much in their development has been realised. Bev James is very aware comfort zone, whereas others instinctively like to try of the power of mentoring. different things. If changing careers makes you feel ‘It’s not about just telling somebody what to do, but uncomfortable, ask yourself: “Is this because I’m out of giving them the guidance they need to develop. It works my comfort zone?” If so, is there anything you can do to for both the mentor and mentee: the mentor can feel make it more comfortable? Perhaps you could put some proud that they’re capable of advising someone and the money aside or complete some training first. Again it’s mentee has a specific person to air their ideas/issues to about self-awareness, if you’re feeling anxious take the safely’. time to write down your fears. This helps you to see how many are actually likely to happen or whether they’re just It can be difficult to keep a positive mindset during your things you’re creating in your mind’. career development. Being negative can have serious repercussions, so how do you remain optimistic to achieve success? ‘Remember why you wanted the job in the first place. It’s about thinking, “What could be good about this?”

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Knowing your


Salaries: they’re not the be all and end all, but they certainly matter a lot.

A recent YouGov survey showed that 50% of UK employees believed salary to be more important than job satisfaction. Whether you value salary over job satisfaction or not, there’s little doubt in our minds that you would turn down a pay rise. So how do you ensure you’re receiving your earning potential? Knowing your worth means identifying which salary bracket you fall into and benchmarking how much you should or could be earning. There are a few ways of doing this, so here are our top tips.

Assess your current role

Look at your Location

Compare Yourself Laterally

Take a step back and have a good objective look at your current role to assess whether your salary reflects your efforts. For instance, do your days feel hectic or are you constantly looking for jobs to complete? If you’re a graduate struggling to find your ideal role, then you’re probably well aware that you could be earning more. However, you could be in a position where you’re taking on a lot of tasks and completing the workload of a more senior role. Although, this doesn’t automatically mean you’re being paid unfairly as many factors affect the amount you receive. These include experience and the amount of time you’ve been at the company – both factors which cannot really be helped.

A huge factor affecting salary is location, so where you’re working needs to come into play when understanding your worth. The average salary for the UK is £26,500 but in London it reaches £35,530. Where the cost of living is higher, employers must offer salaries that reflect this. Also, jobs are much more competitive in heavily populated areas, meaning higher salaries are used to attract top talent. If you’re positioned in a more rural area, your worth in terms of salary will generally be lower.

When finding out the right price tag to put on your head, it’s time to start comparing yourself to others (normally something we would advise against). You might be intrigued to know what kind of salary your peers are receiving, this means asking people who have the same level of academic qualifications and work in the same sector. However, tread carefully as some people may not want to discuss this and avoid asking your colleagues as this could see you breaching your contract. You also need to find out the difference between large companies and small companies, as the amount you receive will differ between these too. Depending on what industry you study or work in, you could earn more in a larger company than if you had the equivalent role in a smaller one. A great way to research the average salary is to look for the same job as yours being advertised on job boards and careers websites, etc.

What Can I Do? If you’re young and inexperienced, it’s safe to say you will not be able to earn over a certain amount at the moment. If you’ve discovered that you could be earning more in a higher position, then there’s nothing stopping you aiming for a higher role, be it in a new company or within your existing one.

What Can I Do? If you’re living somewhere a little further out, it’s inevitable that job opportunities will not crop up quite as rapidly as they would in the city. To boost your earnings, consider relocating. The cost of living in a large city such as London is considerably higher, meaning that you’d get less for your cash in terms of living space. However, the enhanced job prospects make the move worthwhile for many people.

What Can I Do? If you discover you’re not achieving the industry average for your role, you can try and negotiate a pay rise – which we featured some tips on last issue.

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1 2 10 4 5 7 8 Assess your current role

To truly know where you want to progress to, it helps if you’re aware of exactly where you are now. It seems simple, but knowing the specific skills and strengths that have enabled you to achieve and excel in your current role will help you to make a strong case for a promotion. If your boss agrees that you have outgrown your role and you are valuable to the company, then they will find it difficult to refuse you.

Expand your knowledge



a Promotion

So it’s time for you to edge out of your comfort zone and start moving towards that goal on the horizon. As much as you want a promotion, there is no doubt that you will have to work hard to receive one. Luckily, there are steps you can take along the way to improve your chances of success.

Although you’re not able to do the job you’re aiming for just yet, there’s nothing holding you back from learning as much as you can about the position, your company and industry in general. This will enable you to build up a sufficient knowledge base to support you when you eventually make that step up the ladder.

Spot a gap

If there isn’t currently a role for you to move into, perhaps it doesn’t exist or the current holder is unlikely to leave, then try to think of a position that is missing but needed by the company. If you educate yourself in this role then you can specialise in it and present your idea to your boss. If you can prove that the role will have financial benefits for the company, then you may have just created yourself a job.


Make connections

Networking both within and outside of your company will allow you to establish relationships of trust with important people who can help your cause. The truth is, someone will only support your mission for a promotion if they have faith in your ability. Therefore good relationships need to be established first in order to receive this trust and encourage people to recommend you.

2 3 5 6 Excel at your job

Identify your goal

No matter how much you want an advanced position, if you try to gain it by doing the job you’re striving for rather than the one you should be doing, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. If your employer believes you’re unable to handle your current role, then why should they grant you a promotion? Instead, review your job description and ensure you’re completing each requirement at a high standard. In particular, make sure you’re not ignoring any mundane tasks as even this could hinder your chances of a promotion.

You need to know exactly what role you’re aiming for before you approach your boss, so you can present a good argument. Know exactly what the position involves and how you will need to expand your skill set in order to achieve it.

Gather your evidence

Gain an insight

You may think you want a higher role, but how do you truly know? Speaking to someone who actually holds the role you desire is a great way to discover whether you could actually handle it. Ask to shadow them or meet up once a week to discuss the requirements for the position and what you need to achieve it. Check out mentoring sites such as to find people who can help you to reach your goal.


Flaunt your skills

If you don’t make your employer aware of all of your efforts to shine in your current role, then it’s unlikely you will receive a promotion. Without gloating, make sure your boss is aware of your achievements so they are given the opportunity to take note and provide you with positive feedback. If you do this tactfully, you may even be rewarded with a promotion.


You need to be able to show your boss exactly how you have already made an impact both within your department and the company as a whole. Think back to previous projects you’ve been involved in, particularly if you have led them, and analyse them. Did they generate revenue? Create a best-practice document and bring it with you to your meeting. This will show your boss exactly how you have already progressed in your role and your potential to do so further with a new opportunity.

Just ask

‘If you don’t ask you don’t get’ as they say. Although this may be intimidating in this situation, it’s most likely essential if you really want this promotion. As long as you have followed all the steps above to ensure your argument is fully prepared, then there’s really no harm in asking. In fact, your boss may be impressed by your confidence to approach them and make a detailed argument. Make sure you do your research for what’s needed in the higher role, so you can formulate some solid reasons for why you should be promoted.



Cloud sharing of files made easy. Dropbox is a super useful tool for the sending and sharing of pictures to important documents. Ideal for things that are too big for email.

Joe Bloggs

Full Contact Business Card Reader


Never lose a business card again! This is the ultimate tool to make your networking super organised. All you need to do is scan a business card and it saves the contact information in your phone via LinkedIn.

Best apps




for being


The TED app allows you access to inspirational and educational talks on the go. Archived content from the conferences across the globe is available, and you can create your own playlist of your favourite talks.




A social networking tool for questions and answers. Post your questions and other users share their opinions, answers and experiences to help you out! Handy for career related questions too.


Allows you to electronically sign PDF and word documents by saving your signature. Just drop it onto the dotted line to save printing and re-scanning. Makes handling paperwork much easier and more efficient.

Walk the Walk Body language is a big deal. They say that 80% of communication is visual, meaning that what you say is only part of the impression you leave on people. When meeting someone for the first time or trying to make a certain impression, make sure you hold your head up high, make eye-contact while you talk and avoid touching your hair, ears or self in general.

Speak Up

the words you use. Don’t use too many ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’. Instead, offer your opinion with a simple but strong ‘I think’ or ‘I feel that’.

Have an Opinion Whether it’s true or not, ‘I don’t mind’ can sometimes sound like you’re sitting on the fence or copping out of a decision - especially if you say it often. Offering an opinion might require a bit of confidence in itself, but people will appreciate it and take you much more seriously afterwards.

How to: sound more

Muttering or speaking too quietly gives off the impression of shyness, regardless of whether that’s how you’re feeling or not. Try turning the volume up a little bit. You might be surprised at how people take what you say with more gravitas. Just be careful NOT TO SHOUT.


Be Assertive During a conversation, don’t be too tentative about putting your point across. This mostly resonates itself in

Do Your Research

You probably already find that you speak about things you know a lot about much more confidently. So if you’re anticipating a situation where you want to be able to project confidence, research as much as you can about the topic at hand so you can wax lyrical to those around you.





yourself & LEARN & STRETCH

Marissa Mayer


Favourite Office Dares Even if you love your job, day-to-day life can become a little monotonous at times. Fortunately, Career Savvy has searched the web and uncovered some fun office dares to help you and your colleagues get through the day. So next time you feel like the atmosphere needs lifting, test out the following dares...

Give each other buzzwords before a team meeting. The winner is whoever says their word the most, with extra points rewarded if you get the boss to say it too. When in the lift, gasp every time the doors open.


For an hour refer to everyone as ‘Dave’ no matter if they are male or female. Unless their name is Dave, in which case call them ‘Steve’. For an hour after every sentence say 'Mon' in a really bad Jamaican accent. For example:

'The report is on your desk, Mon'


01 6 Shout 86random 3 numbers2 1 8 9 3

0 when someone

7 is counting. 6 3

165 2 7 2 9


Every time somebody asks for something, ask:

‘Do you want fries with that?’ During the course of a meeting, slowly edge your chair towards the door.


Wrap every item on a colleague’s desk in newspaper, Clingfilm or tin foil. If possible, watch from afar to witness their reaction.

Every time you send an email, shout

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ou Our fav

tweets of the month

Callie Jacobson @Calliejacobson

So apparently in a job interview, if the interviewer asks you to choose one word that describes you, the correct answer is not fergalicious Chris Young @CYComedy

This Job Fair sucks, it doesn’t even have rides Tamela Lewis @MattersofSmart

be quids-in while looking for work.

Leaflet Distribution There are a lot of jobs out there that people resent having to do themselves and will pay to have it done for them. This includes leaflet distribution. How do you think all those charity collection bags, Lib Dem posters and takeaway menus arrive in your hallway when you get home? Some dedicated bods go round delivering them all, and you could do the same to make some easy cash. It may not be the most thrilling of tasks, but you get to have a walk and catch some fresh air, all while getting paid. You cannot say fairer than that!

Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it. Tom Lehrer #career #entrepreneur

You can earn up to about £50 a day, and hours can be flexible, allowing you to attend job interviews or spend a bit of time working on your career development.

Michael Spicer @MrMichaelSpicer

To get involved, search for vacancies on your preferred job boards, or have a look at

Want to deter cats from your garden? Easy! Just hang CDs on your trees! Your apparent refusal to modernise musically will confuse them Brent @murrman5

*nervously plays with tie* “I’m sorry. I’m no good during job interviews.” That’s ok, just let go of my tie and go on your side of the desk

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team Savvy Dave Morgan Editor

• Phrases in Your CV Employers Love

Jon Druitt Director

• Should I go to University?

sean curtis Director

• Stand Out in a Group Interview

Greg Pendleton Head of Sales Jessica AUGARDE Designer

• World’s Most Interesting Job: Events Planner

Chloe Franchina Writer & Editorial Samantha hacker Production & Editorial Graeme Dunn Marketing Manager Career Savvy is published and managed by

• Resolving Conflict at Work • Budgeting on a Basic Income


• Interview Body Language

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Career Savvy Issue Nine  

The latest issue of free careers advice, including CV tips, interview advice and getting a graduate job.

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