Leoni Jay – #Interns – we do more than make coffee!

Leoni Jay

What do you think is the hardest part of looking for an internship?

Personally speaking, I think the hardest thing about finding an internship is deciding where to begin the initial search. Given the developments in technology over the years, there’s a wide range of options available today in terms of actually sourcing positions. Be it online
recruitment or job boards, company websites or social media channels, the search can easily become an overwhelming prospect. Thankfully, these options do exist and it very much comes down to the industry you want to work in and the type of internship you’re looking for. Through many trial and error attempts, you start to gain a fundamental understanding
regarding the optimal ways of how and where to search for internships.

Do you think there are enough internship programmes out there?

As the interning industry continuously evolves, more options become available. Companies understand the importance of offering work experience to young people and the value it can provide to both candidates and an organisation itself. With such an influx of students and graduates flooding into the job market, it’s vital that internships continue to develop in order to meet demand. It’s also not always a question of whether enough programmes exist, rather of taking the initiative to source opportunities. For example, if an individual is interested in
interning for a company and it doesn’t offer internships through it’s website, there’s nothing stopping you from picking up the phone and asking if you can do a placement with them. It might not occur to some businesses to hire interns, so it’s important you seize every
opportunity out there by actively chase after what you want.

You wrote your book #interns – we do more than make coffee but do you think we are really giving interns the chance to develop, and not just to make the coffee?

In the majority of cases, I’ve heard positive stories from former interns regarding their
accounts of work experience. More often than not, interns are given the chance to develop their knowledge and skills in a professional environment. I had a varied level of tasks
throughout my four internships, which are detailed throughout the book, and whilst some of the work was arguably mundane, a large chunk was invaluable. If an intern doesn’t feel they are getting the most out of the situation, it’s up to them to take the initiative and initiate change by speaking with their line manager and voice their concerns. Of course horror stories will continue to
circle, it’s sometimes easier to recall the bad over the good, but with stricter regulation on the work experience industry as a whole, companies are aware that they have to follow a code of conduct when it comes to the level of work interns are given.

Should interns be paid, or is the experience most important?

This is the question that’s posed to me most often, and the honest answer is that there is no straight answer. It’s an topic that has many branches and it would be difficult to provide a
simple yes or no. On the one hand, interns are providing companies with their time, and in the workplace, time is money. Arguably, there’s a grey area in terms of the work output that
interns are permitted as they’re technically not supposed to carry out certain responsibilities at the same level as a paid employee. In this case, the work is technically on a learning and
shadow basis, and so this is their return for the output. If all companies were made to, by law, pay their interns, the industry might well see a decline in opportunity and offerings, which is a
definite negative. I had four internships, totalling almost a year of my time, for which I
didn’t receive pay. However, I wouldn’t trade anything for the experiences that resulted from them as they ultimately led me to the position I’m in today. There’s nothing to say that you can’t intern and also work part time to fund this. With so many different structured
programmes available, companies are often very accommodating and willing to work around your schedule, so there’s always a way to fit it in and around your other responsibilities. I think
ultimately, all companies should at the very least offer expenses, be it travel pay, lunches or
coffee on tap!

Where is the best place to look for an internship?

There are so many routes you can explore when searching for an internship. Be it internet job sites, company websites, networking opportunities, or back to basics via word or mouth, no one method should necessarily be favoured over another. It’s about personal preference and exploring the options available to you depending on the type of internship you would like to secure. I personally chose a mixture of internet searching and calling companies directly to
enquire about what placements were available. Vocal communication is important and a
human voice goes a long way.

Are internships of a week or less not valued as much as a longer stint?

I’d always recommend you try and secure at least two weeks of work experience at a time. One week may not be enough time to settle in, adjust and experience everything that a company has to offer. However, there is still the potential to learn in that time, and as long as you can demonstrate that knowledge on your CV, there’s no reason it should be devalued due to length .


What happens if someone has work experience in a field they then decide to not go into? How do they still sell their experience as positive and relevant?

An internship doesn’t necessary have to be industry specific. Remember that many skills are transferrable, and as long as you can identify which ones are suited for a particular role, you can sell any experience to a potential employer. My internships varied across market fields, yet each placement taught me something vital that I could use in the next. For example, proper
office etiquette, and working effectively within a team. It’s about learning to function in a
workplace environment and putting in the effort to gain that exposure. Employers look for
someone who both tries and who is visibly confident, so as long as you can justify the
relevance, there is nothing to say you can’t explore various industries and pick up new skills along the way.

I hope you enjoyed reading what Leoni has to say, there is some really helpful advice in there!
Leoni’s blog is fantastic, Check it out: http://theinternwall.wordpress.com/

If you have any questions for me or Leoni, please contact me on
jobsearchingexpert@gmail.com

Enjoy!

Training and Development

training-program

When you are looking for a new job, it can sometimes be hard to stand out from the crowd.
Especially when there are more and more people applying for the same jobs every day.
However, have you thought about expanding your skills and using your free time to improve your career? Employers will love to see you have the drive and commitment to learn new skills and develop yourself.
Having a gap on your CV is not a bad thing, and it is easily turned into a positive! Like I have mentioned in previous posts, you need to explain in the interview why you have an
employment gap. Recruiters understand what the current job market and economy are like, and being honest helps. Whether its redundancy, end of a contract or personal reasons, it is still relevant.
Completing training courses gives you the opportunity to fill in the gap on your CV and to show how passionate and determined you are about your career and that you didn’t just sit around waiting for the jobs to come in, but focused on improving yourself to become more
employable!
There may be something you have always wanted to improve on and learn more about – well what a perfect time! It could be anything from PowerPoint training, a master class in Excel or presentation skills. Whatever it is, it is important, as it means you will be able to offer more to your next employer.
I know some courses can be expensive, but there are day courses, or even half day courses that won’t break the bank, along with many free online courses. I have included some links
below.
If training isn’t the way you want to go, the other way to keep yourself up to date with the
latest news is to read all the relevant papers, newsletters and websites surrounding your
career and industry. Sign yourself up to websites so your receive emails including relevant
articles. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for interesting articles. You can sign yourself up to
certain areas of interest and they appear at the top of your newsfeed so you don’t have to go searching for them – perfect!
The other great plus to developing yourself, is that you boost your confidence and attitude. This is extremely important when looking for a new job.

So get out there! Develop and grow and become more employable by the minute!

http://www.learndirect.com/

http://www.open.ac.uk/choose/change/?

http://www.cipd.co.uk/cipd-training/courses

KWCAMPAIGN=RAPP_GDN_England_-_KCT_+_Topics&keywordid=ggluk_GDN_mkwid=cvQ6IrLZ7|pcrid|35803783557|kword|university%20courses|mmtid|&gclid=COLa9fblhb8CFSjpwgodolYAsA

http://www.ecdl-training.co.uk/

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Job hunting over the age of 50

As we know job hunting is very stressful.. but it can be even harder the older you get.

As I have said before, in this economy it is becoming very common for people to experience unemployment more so than ever.
People find it harder to go to a new job if they are of a certain age, as they feel
they are competing with young graduates, who are fresh into the industry… and in some cases they may be correct, but this shouldn’t be the case.
Legally employers cannot discriminate against people because of their age, and companies need to be careful about this when turning people down for jobs. So give them a reason to hire you!

What some people don’t realise is that with age, comes experience, knowledge and loyalty. This is invaluable and should be treated that way.
Experience is very important for companies and means employees can come into a role and get started straight away, using their previous experiences to help and assist them in their new role, saving managers time on training and supervision. It is also great to use their knowledge from their previous roles, as they may know a great way to change the ways things are done in their new team and department.
The other trait of loyalty is very important when it comes to employment. It is very common to find people over the age of 50 with long service while they were at other companies. You need someone who is going to want to stay and grow with your company, and you can’t do that if people leave and move on within 2 years.

The other reason people may find job searching harder at a certain age, is that the world has completely changed and everything is run online and by social media. A far cry from posting your hand written application to the head office. This can take a lot of getting used to, and may require some training.
The need to having a LinkedIn profile and an online presence is greater than ever,
and is extremely important in the world of job searching.
This can be a very intimidating time for people, but everything needs to be used as a positive experience.

I have found some fantastic points to focus on when looking for a role over 50. I have included some of them below:

•Process the emotions of leaving your job
•Identify your hidden marketable skills
•Compensate for age discrimination
•Supercharge your resume
•Network in new ways that get results
•Talk your way past young HR screeners
•Ace the interview with confidence

Obviously this article is not to take the focus away from young job seekers, but to highlight the importance of the more experienced job seeker.

There are some fantastic websites and books that can help provide you with some
helpful information.
Here are the links to a couple I have found:

http://www.jobsat50.com/

http://career-advice.monster.com/in-the-office/workplace-issues/How-Old-Is-Too-Old-to-Work/article.aspx

Professional CV Advice – Guest post

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Following on from some of our posts regarding CV hints and tips, The Job Searching Expert is pleased to announce we have a guest post from Daniela Donatantonio.
Daniela is an experienced CV writer, and has years of experience reviewing CV’s and helping people improve them to get the job they want! Below are her hints and tips on what to do and not to do when writing your CV.

Layout:
The layout of your CV should be clear and relevant depending on your career path & what type of company you are applying to, i.e. within education, corporate or creative. The structure needs to be consistent, easy on the eye & highlight your key points.
This is a good point because it allows potential employers to see the key points and gain a clear understanding of where the candidates are in their career path. Start with your name, email address and telephone number as a header, and make it a bigger text size and centre it, so it is the first thing the recruiters sees and remembers.

What not to include:
You shouldn’t include pictures/photos, borders on the page, diagrams, date of birth or status as this is irrelevant. Pictures within UK legislation can be discriminated against. The reason why I suggest this is because we have to follow best practice under UK legislation and ensure that each candidate maximizes their potential without the potential opportunity for
direct/indirect discrimination.

What to include:
For the body of your CV, the main points to include are; all qualifications, your work experience (Current role first) containing your key responsibilities. As in previous posts from The Job Searching Expert, you should tailor each role to what the potential employer is looking for and what they need to know.
Make sure you really study the job description to highlight all the desired skills and
the company website to make sure you understand their culture and personality.
Dates need to be clearly laid out when the role started and finished.
The CV needs to sell the key highlights and achievements that you have achieved and what you have done in each role that matches the job they you applying for.

Common mistakes:
Some of the most common mistakes are a lack of clarity, employment dates that are missing or do not match. Not including grades on qualifications achieved. Don’t just leave this blank if you don’t want to disclose your grades. The employer will always find out when they request a reference and complete a background check. It then becomes worse if they found out you have lied or not disclosed the information and have already started, as this could result in a disciplinary or termination of your contract in extreme cases. And finally spelling mistakes. This is something that is very common and shouldn’t be! Especially with spell check on
every computer! Please re read your CV and re read again! I would suggest getting a friend or a family member to look at it, as they will look at it with fresh eyes, and may see something you have missed.

Hope this helps!
Daniela

If you have any questions or would like to ask Daniela to help you with your CV, please contact us at jobsearchingexpert@gmail.com or via the contact us page and we will happily put you in touch .

Kind Regards
The Job Searching Expert

Job hoppers – is it all negative?

oldjobnewjob1

This article really stood out to me, as it is something I have experienced myself.

‘Job hoppers’ as it refers to, are quite common nowadays. With the current economic climate it is understandable people don’t have long service. This is mainly due to redundancy, company merges or the fact that people cannot get permanent work and are taking contracts instead.

Years ago you would see candidates that had worked at very few places in their whole career and would have years of continuous service at any one place.
Nowadays that isn’t as common. However I do not think this is necessarily a bad thing.

The good thing about people that have been at one company for many years, is that they know the company inside out and have a great understanding of the way it works. This could also be a negative as they may not have any fresh ideas or different ways of working if they are used to one environment.

Candidates offering two or less years’ experience in any one place may look inexperienced, however they may have a lot more to offer. As the article states, these people can be more adaptable as they are used to different environments and working with different types of people. This means they should be able to settle into a new role with ease.

The article also mentions that job hopping could be seen as ambitious and risk taking. This can be a valuable skill in the work place as you need someone who wants to succeed in their role, as it helps the company succeed too!

I have found when I have moved jobs it has given me the confidence to get stuck in and really push my role in each company. I have also moved around industries which has also helped the way I look at my role and how I should approach things.

I think the way recruiters look at experience has changed, and having shorter years’ service in each company is proving more common and therefore more acceptable.
Use it to your advantage, and make it work for you and your next role!

Every experience is a positive one, so make sure you get that across.

What do you think? Are you a long serving employee or more of a ‘job hopper’? Let me know your thoughts on this!

http://www.recruiter.com/i/why-recruiters-should-not-ignore-job-hoppers/

Infographic CVs

Untitled-1

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140312234303-50813842-infographic-cvs-gimmick-or-useful-tool

Infographic CVs are slowly becoming very popular in an attempt to change the traditional CV layout.

Interesting CVs are always fun, but I think it is only appropriate for certain jobs and industries.

Inforgraphic CVs are a creative and can sometimes offer an interactive layout which can give you the chance to present your skills and experience in a more interesting way.

I have come across these types of CVs within the creative industry, but not quite sure how they would work in a corporate environment!

A few different things that you can do with Infographic CVs is show a ‘timeline’ of your work experience, instead of just listing your work experience in a text format.

I think this is a really interesting way to read about peoples experience, especially when the recruiter has so many to get through. It definitely makes you stand out from the crowd!!

Make it interesting and unique. Use your experience but maybe add in things that have happened in your life as well, this gives the recruiter an opportunity to get to know you as a person as well as a professional. These are meant to be fun after all!!

You can also create designs for your Infographic CV, which is a ray of sunshine compared to the plain CV recruiters usually get. This makes you stand out and can also portray your personality in an interesting way.

I do agree with the article, and I don’t think this type of CV should replace your traditional CV. Following in the authors footsteps, maybe upload your Infographic CV alongside your traditional CV. This gives the recruiter the opportunity to choose which they would prefer to read. One may be easier to go through in the interview for example!

Over all I think this a fantastic new way to express yourself in your CV and really get your personality and experience across in an fascinating way. This may also be a great thing for young adults and students to use for their first jobs and internships to make sure they really stand out from the rest.

As I said don’t forget about your traditional CV, but the times are changing so maybe it’s time the CV changed a bit too!

Below are some useful links to help you get your Infographic CV started!

http://careers.theguardian.com/careers-blog/stand-out-applying-work-infographic Tips on how to create your Infographic CV

http://www.wordle.net/ and http://www.tagxedo.com/ Web based platforms to assist you in designing your Infographic CV

http://www.coolinfographics.com/blog/2010/1/8/16-infographic-resumes-a-visual-trend.html examples of some cool Infographic CVs

Do you agree? Have you used an Infographic CV? Let me know your thoughts!

Is a gap on your CV a bad thing?

The person jumps on puzzles

This article really stood out to me, as it is something I have experienced myself.

‘Job hoppers’ as it refers to, are quite common nowadays.
With the current economic climate it is understandable people don’t have long service. This is mainly due to redundancy, company merges or the fact that people cannot get permanent work and are taking contracts instead.

Years ago you would see candidates that had worked at very few places in the whole career and would have years of continuous service at any one place.
Nowadays that isn’t as common. However I do not think this is necessarily a bad thing.

The good thing about people that have been at one company for many years, is that they know the company inside out and have a great understanding of the way it works. This could also be a negative as they may not have any fresh ideas or different ways of working if they are used to one environment.

Candidates offering two or less years’ experience in any one place may look inexperienced, however they may have a lot more to offer. As the article states, these people can be more adaptable as they are used to different environments and working with different types of people. This means they should be able to settle into a new role with more ease.

The article also mentions that job hopping could be seen as ambitious and risk taking. This can be a valuable skill in the work place as you need someone who wants to succeed in their role, as it helps the company succeed too!

I have found when I have moved round jobs it has given me the confidence to get stuck in and really push my role in each company. I have also moved around industries which has also helped the way I look at my role and how I should approach things.

I think the way recruiters look at experience has changed, and having shorter years’ service in each company is proving more common and therefore more acceptable.

Use it to your advantage, and make it work for you and your next role!
Every experience is a positive one, so make sure you get that across.

What do you think? Are you a long serving employee or more of a ‘job hopper’? Let me know your thoughts on this!

http://www.recruiter.com/i/why-recruiters-should-not-ignore-job-hoppers/

“I’ve applied for so many jobs but haven’t heard back from any!”

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‘90% of the common and average job seekers will never take action towards changing the way the look for jobs, despite being rejected time after time.’

I recently came across this quote whilst reading an article and unfortunately I am not surprised.

Many people mass apply for jobs and don’t realise that they are doing anything wrong, which in a way I suppose they aren’t.

However I do feel that this is not an effective way of applying for jobs, as you are not thinking about what you are submitting and therefore it may not be relevant for the role.

As I have said before in previous posts, you need to tailor your CV and application to each specific job you apply for. Sometimes you may not need to change much, but you need to go through the job description thoroughly and pick out the specific requirements for the role and make sure these skills stand out in your CV and application.

You also need to understand the type of company you are applying to, as this may change the way you set up your CV. (I will be posting an interesting post soon about new and exciting CV’s you can create).

When I hear people say, “I have applied for hundreds of jobs and haven’t heard back from any” something must be wrong.

Everyone can come across well on their CV if it is written properly and they have put some time into it.

Mass applying means you are submitting a standard CV that won’t be showing off your true skills.

Many companies can also tell you are mass applying, for example if you are copying the same text into every application you won’t be referring to the company by name, and if you do, you run the risk of mentioning the wrong company! (This is a really good tip! Personalise your application and include the company name and even the hiring managers name if you know it. This shows you are really interested in the specific company and have done your research.)

When people mass apply, it is usually through job websites. I found when I have been using these sites, I look on the job advert and find out what agency the job is with, and apply directly to them instead. This way they can help you tailor your CV but also sell you to the client in a personal way, instead of you just sending it all online. They may also have more roles, similar to the one you are applying for!

When you are next job hunting, limit yourself to 5 jobs a day, and really focus on your CV and application for each one and actually spend time tailoring your skills for the requirements, you may be surprised on how much it helps!

I have included some links below with tips on applying for jobs!

http://www.ehow.com/list_7536194_ways-apply-jobs.html

http://heathere.hubpages.com/hub/resumewritingservice

Do you agree with this? Have you applied to a lot of roles and had no response? Please let me know your thoughts today!

Monday blues…

Monday Morning

 

Do you wake up every Monday wishing the weekend back? Are you never happy to be going to work? Well maybe its time to look for something different?

I am not saying everyone should jump out of bed at 7am singing and dancing, however you are work most of the time, so you need to at least enjoy what you do!

Today I started a new job, and it was great. Lovely relaxed atmosphere and friendly people! A lot different to my previous role.

I find this very important, if you don’t enjoy where you work, you will stop caring about your work and not perform to the best of your ability.

You need to work somewhere which pushes your boundaries and skills and really challenges you on a day to day basis.

Maybe its the company or the people you work with, but whatever it is, you need to change it!

If the problem cannot be solved by speaking to someone and trying to change the atmosphere, look for a more challenging role. It is always good to try and change the type of company you work for as much as possible, as this offers a completely different working environment. For example I went from a corporate environment to a creative innovation company. Big difference!!

Do you agree? Does your job need to challenge you or are you happy just plugging away at the daily chores?