branded.me review

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I recently came across a new platform called branded.me. I was very interested to see what this was all about and update the job searching world!
branded.me is a platform in which you can create an online CV of yourself.
It has a great, cool look about it and is a great alternative to the traditional paper CV…. And maybe even LinkedIn (yes I said it).

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The idea behind the site is to enable people to create a personal website in seconds, for free.
For us non design people out there, making our CVs look interesting is hard. Especially when you don’t have a creative role.
However with branded.me, anyone can have a cool design!
It is very easy to upload your information and to start building your site!
Of course, it links to LinkedIn meaning all your information is there ready to go!

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If you don’t have LinkedIn, you are also able to log in and start your page just by using your email address and inputting the information in manually. It is still very easy!!
Once you are all logged in you will see all your information has been transported into your very own site! And it looks fantastic!

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You get your very own home page, which shows your photograph, name and current role. Giving the viewer a great first impression.
Moving down the page, you can start to edit your bio and employment history.

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I really love the timeline look that appears for your employment history. I think it is a very interesting and unique way of looking at someone’s past employment.
To get a glimpse of your role in more detail, all you need to do is click on the job title and it will automatically take you to your job description.

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As you make your way down the site, you can edit every last piece of information.
From the page headings, to the tag lines underneath. Everything is personalised.

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There is a really handy toolbar on the left hand side, which lets you change the style and layout of your site.
You can choose from three different themes, which changes the layout and look of your site. You can also edit the colour of your page, and the photo in the background to make it specific to you and your look.

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Once you have your site exactly the way you want it, you can start managing and tracking your statistics!

Membership

Free and Pro membership:

The main difference between free and pro currently is allowing the users to connect their custom domain (leilamehio.me) to their branded.me site. Having your own domain name makes you appear much more professional and also is a very important factor for SEO purposes in search engine results. Pro users also remove all branded.me branding from their site. You also get advanced analytics with the Pro membership.

Hire-A-Pro
Users work hand in hand with one of our professional designers to create the site that they desire, using our platform. This is an excellent resource for people who don’t have the time to create a site or just do not have the technical or design skills to create the site they are envisioning.
Also included, a custom domain and with a year of hosting, 1 year of branded.me pro subscription.
They have a very quick turnaround with the hire-a-pro sites as well, you can have your professionally designed site up in a couple of days.

You can upgrade at any time to a Pro site from just $7 per month if you pay annually or $9 a month if you pay month by month.
You can also get a professional at branded.me who can help you build your site, and make it look that extra bit special!!

Hope you enjoy creating your very own site!!

JSE x

Candidate experience

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We have been lucky enough to speak to Aliya Vigor-Robertson and Sue Shaw from JourneyHR.
They have been telling JSE how important it is to make sure a candidate has the best experience possible during the recruitment process. Enjoy!

When recruiting new staff it’s sometimes easy to forget that not only are you assessing whether the candidate will be right for the role and the company but the candidate is also assessing whether the company is right for them.

Keeping this in mind, at JourneyHR we would recommend that you do a few simple things so that the candidate has a good experience during the recruitment process:

· Manage their expectations on timings and when they should expect to her back from you
· Acknowledge every application
· Keep candidates in the loop – give timely and specific feedback to candidates that you interview. A huge 60% of candidates don’t receive regular feedback on the status of their application
· Ensure they feel welcomed and that they take away a good impression of the company
· Make them feel important – give them your full attention during the interview
· Ask for the candidates feedback on the process to improve for future candidates

Did you know that candidates who had a bad recruitment experience are 38% less likely to use your services in the future? Something to bear in mind as you never know when a candidate could one day become a potential client.

There is also a 61% chance that a potential candidate won’t apply to a role if they have heard negative things about the candidate experience from friends so you could be missing out on great candidates purely from what they’ve heard about you from others.

We understand that recruiting can be a very time consuming task but by making a few simple changes to the way you communicate with candidates can make all the difference to how they feel at the end of it and will only benefit the Company and its employer brand in the end.

If you would like to find out more, check out JourneyHR here: http://www.journeyhr.com

Thanks!
JSE x

Summer jobs

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The summer is here! Whether you have finished School, College or University, you may be thinking of a summer job.

This can prove difficult if you do not have any experience, but fear not! The JSE is here to help you make sure all your skills shine through in your CV.

Make it relevant

No matter what you have or haven’t done you will have something that you can relate to the work place. Below are some examples.

Time management –

You can talk about how you manage your time between all your subjects and create a homework plan to keep on top of all your homework deadlines.
This then can lead onto you talking about handing in your school projects and coursework in on time.

Responsibility –

You would have had some responsibility during your education. Talk about when you were head girl/boy, led the debate club or even the football club. This all involves responsibility and you can make sure these skills are transferred into the work place.

Organisation –

Being organised with your school homework can be mentioned under organisation as well as time management.
If you did run any clubs or societies then discussing your skills at organising these events will help tremendously with getting different skills across on your CV.

Give examples

It is a lot harder when you are starting from scratch, but it is best to give examples of what you have done and why you feel that can be transferred to the work place.
For example:

I was the head girl at my secondary school. This involved me organising weekly meetings with students and teachers to discuss issues and events within the school. I would send a weekly email to attendees, and take notes during the meeting which I would send to everyone after the meeting.
This took a lot of organisation to make sure everyone could attend the scheduled time, and if they couldn’t I would rearrange it.

There is also a great deal of responsibility as I was privy to a lot of confidential information and attended meetings with very senior members of staff.

This helped improve my confidence and organisational skills tremendously and I feel these are fantastic traits to bring to the HR Assistant role.

This is a great example of taking something not related to the work place and transferring the skills.

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Get good references

Even if you haven’t had a job yet, you can still get some good character references which will support your application.

This could be from your head teacher, vicar, close family friend, or someone respected in the community.

This will give the employer the opportunity to see what you are like and what people think of you. Giving them a positive view of you, and see what you could add to their work place.

Having a fantastic CV

Make sure your CV stands out. It needs to be tidy, neat and clear.
Make sure you look at the job description of the role, or if there isn’t one think about the required skills. Then you need to make sure you have examples of each required skill.

I find it easiest to list my experience in order that the job description mentions them. This means I can make sure I have covered every skill required, but it also makes easier reading for the employer.

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Good luck with your applications and let us know what summer jobs you get!

JSE x

A Day in the Life of an HR Recruitment Consultant

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After our really successful Q&A session, we have Alex back for a guest post!
Here she is telling us exactly what ‘A Day in the Life of an HR Recruitment Consultant’ is really like!

6.15am – I wake up, have a mug of hot water with lemon and make sure I feed my dogs and let them outside. Once they’re in and have had enough of a fuss made, I get ready, and leave home in time to catch the 7.45(ish) train into London. Now that our office has moved to Farringdon I have a short jaunt on the tube from Liverpool Street, or walk if I fancy it, over to the office and arrive about 8.30am.

8.45am – I always check my emails on the way into work, so there are rarely any surprises by the time I arrive at my desk. As soon as I get to my desk I respond to urgent emails and return any phone calls received overnight. It’s then time to have breakfast at our new breakfast bar.

No one day is the same at Career Moves. Generally, I’ll meet three or four candidates each day who are looking to register and work with us to find their new role. I spend around 45 minutes with each candidate (having spent 15 minutes chatting to them on the phone beforehand) and make sure that we talk about all areas of their experience, and also really dig into what they’re looking for in their next role. At Career Moves, we feel that face-to-face meetings are the best way to truly get to know someone and be able to gauge what they’re looking for so that we can find them the perfect next step.

1pm – I’m a late luncher, so I won’t usually pop out until at least 1pm. I like to do this as I prefer to feel like I have a short afternoon. I tend to pop out with one of my colleagues to Leather Lane or Exmouth Market, which are both close by, as they have the best street food around…often followed by a small sweet treat for after lunch. I usually make this a sharer bag of something – so I can split the chocolate guilt with my colleagues!

2pm – In the afternoon I’ll take a briefing call from a client, where we’ll discuss job specifications and requirements, or I’ll organise a client meeting to talk about upcoming job roles. I will always try and go to their offices to meet them (especially if we haven’t worked with them before). It’s important for us to meet our clients to establish the ‘must have’, and ‘nice to have’ traits of the candidate. It’s also really beneficial as a consultant to see the office so that we can talk through what it’s like with candidates.

3.30pm – The rest of the day is made up of informing candidates about roles that we’re working on, or updating them on current opportunities. This also gives me the chance to get feedback, and catch up with candidates that I haven’t spoken to in a while. As well as this I’ll be sourcing new talent, using my network and scouring Linkedin to speak with people who are perhaps starting to look at new opportunities. It’s always really important not to push passive talent into things. We like to have really informal chats with the people we approach to give them a sense of the market and see if the clients we work with resonate with them.
I’ll often have a quick meeting with a colleague or two in the afternoon to discuss projects we’re working on, whether it’s a marketing project, talking through blogs (like this one), a business development meeting, or 1:1 with the Junior Account Manager on my team or our receptionist who I buddy for support. I like to make the most of our new acoustic sofa area, as it’s a nice little retreat and bit different to sitting around the big table in the boardroom when there’s only a couple of you! We also have a pool table in our new office, so there’s a chance to get beaten at a game or two throughout the day.

4.30pm – Late afternoon I go through my live jobs list and check that I’ve actioned something for all my roles that day, whether it’s sourcing, booking interviews or just checking in.

5.30pm – Now honestly, I start getting the itch to leave the office by 5.30pm, so I make sure my emails aren’t out of control, check my diary for tomorrow in case I have an early/off-site meeting to go to and then shut down everything at 5.45 and head on out. If I’m heading straight home, I catch the train by about 6.10pm and am home about half hour later. I give my emails a once over at about 7pm, then try not to check them again until I get up the next morning. I like to go to the gym a few evenings a week, and I often stay around the City come Thursday/Friday and head for dinner or have drinks with friends before heading home.

11pm – I try to hit the hay by 11pm, getting a bit of TV in before bed before getting up to do it all over again tomorrow!

You can connect with Alex on LinkedIn here

The gender pay gap

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This has been a very hot topic for years, with numerous amounts of research being conducted on companies all over the world.

The Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970, after years and years of protesting for equal rights.
However, even though this has been introduced, we still struggle with achieving equal pay in 2015.

This varies a lot from each profession, however it is very obvious we still have a very big difference with women only earning three quarters as much as their male colleagues.

A CMI survey on male and female managers of all ages, said that the pay gap stands at £9,069, with men getting an average salary of £39,461 where women get £30,392.

It used to be a rare sight to see a woman on the board of a company or even in a senior management position, let alone be paid the same as men. Nowadays that is changing!

We are finding more and more women in senior positions and therefore causing a stir in the gender pay gap discussion, such as:

Marissa Mayer – CEO of Yahoo
Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook
Ginni Rometty – Chairman, CEO and President of IBM
Mary Barra – CEO of General Motors
Indra Nooyi – CEO of PepsiCo

However the pay gap is still obvious throughout all levels, not just at the top.

Fortune.com published a fantastic article, talking about the top 50 most powerful women. This is a great article to show us how women are changing the working world, especially in technology companies which have really struggled with women employees in senior positions. http://fortune.com/most-powerful-women/

The government has now ordered companies who hire more than 250 people to report on pay and gender. This will be a great way to see the full extent of the pay gap. It will make sure employers are aware of their own issues and start to address them internally.

Companies need to complete research into all their salaries and analyse how different the salaries are between men and women.

Recruitment companies offer annual reports on salaries and grades, which can be helpful to use as a benchmark.

Companies should then look at job descriptions and make sure everyone in the same roles and at the same levels are paid the same, no matter what sex they are.

The government have recently released new figures which shows the gender pay gap has narrowed, to 9.4% compared with 10.0% in 2013. This is the lowest since records began in 1997, and despite a relatively large increase between 2012 and 2013, there is an overall downward trend, from 17.4% in 1997.

I think it is moving in the right direction, let’s hope each year the figures improve!

Have you been affected by the gender pay gap? Let us know!

Related articles:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33515629
http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/gender-pay-gap/
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/aug/19/gender-pay-gap-women-bosses-earn-35-percent-less-than-men

JSE x

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Turning Monday into a positive day!

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Have you woken up with those Monday morning blues? Dreading your day at work? Well you are not alone!

A survey has shown that 1 in 3 people hate Monday, and spend most of Sunday dreading it.

This could be for many reasons, but the main reason is their job.

Monday can be a positive day, use it to change something in your life to make it better.

Here are a few things you can do today, to make your Monday a positive day:

Start updating your CV

Add your latest experience to your CV and start making it look fabulous! It will help you look at your current role and see where you want to go next.

Start looking on job sites

Again this will give you an idea of your next step in your career and what you need in order to achieve it. This will highlight what you need to focus on in your current role, to gain more experience or just how you reword your CV in order to make those skills shine on your CV.

Sign up with a recruiter

They will be able to tell you what roles are out there at the moment and what sort of level you will be pitched at. This is a great way just to asses the market and to see what your next perfect role will be.

So, as you are reading this on your commute or at your desk with your morning coffee, think about how you can change your Monday into a positive day!

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JSE x

Balancing work and study

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For many different reasons, a lot of people have to work while they are studying, and it can be hard to balance a work and study lifestyle but the benefits make it worth while!

Any job you are doing whether it is in a bar, a shop or in something relevant to your course and career, it is all amazing experience.
Remember I have said before, all experience is good experience and you can make it relevant to the full time jobs you apply for.

Showing that you’ve held down a job while studying full time is a fantastic trait to show a
future employer, It shows great work ethic, time management, organisational skills and a lot of
determination!

However I do understand that it can be difficult to manage. I would never suggest to get a part time job if you cannot cope with the study as well.

Make sure you put your studying first, as while you are at university or college, you really need to focus on getting the qualifications you want and need.
Getting a temporary job during holidays will also help you expand your CV, giving you the
opportunity to discuss your extra skills and knowledge.

To make sure you are managing your time, you need to be organised. The best way to do this is to have a study plan. This will help you get focused and organised.
You can plan your day and make sure you do everything you need to for that day.
I have created a brief study plan below. However you can make it as complicated as you feel you need to. You can have it by the hour or by the coursework title. Whichever works best for you.

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Plan every day! Even down to each hour. You need to be strict and make sure you get in enough studying before your shift starts.
If you need to do less shifts or even take some holiday to get an assignment completed, then do it.

If you are lucky enough to get a job relevant to your studying then you can use it to help you progress in your studies.
I was lucky enough to get a part time HR role during university. This helped me relate my course to a real job.

This advice also works when you are working full time and studying part time.
It is all about balance and managing your time. A lot of careers need people to take part in
further study. For example accountants. However other people do it to move into a new career or just to further the one they are in already.
I think in some ways this can be harder to balance, as you have to plan your study around a 9-5 day.
A lot of companies will offer study plans, so you have time away from the office to focus on your course.
Again make sure you plan your holidays and study days to get the most out of your course. It is a fantastic opportunity to broaden your career!!

Do you work and study? What is the best way you cope?

JSE

How to structure your CV

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It is really important to get the structure of your CV correct.
Even if you are designing a really fancy, all singing all dancing CV. It still needs to flow.

As a HR professional who regularly looks at CV’s, I know how important it is for you to stand out without making it hard for the recruiter to understand what you have done.

One of the main problems with CV’s is repetition. I completely understand this is hard, as I know I struggle not to repeat myself on my CV, as you want to make sure you cover everything and not miss anything off.

The best way to start structuring your CV is to list everything you have done under categories. For example: Admin, training, reporting, design and systems etc
This will make sure you are not repeating yourself.

Once you have a list of categories and all your tasks listed underneath, then you can really
concentrate on how to write and structure it.

Structure

Again… avoid repetition.
Obviously your jobs will have some overlap and therefore some repetition. However you can avoid this by making sure you write it differently.

You need to make sure you show clear progression as you go through your roles. Your first roles may start with ‘Assisted my manger with…’ but as you develop throughout your career, you need to start showing management and ownership. So wording it ‘Managed full project…’ will be a better way of expressing your experience.

If you feel like you haven’t developed enough to express that sort of change on your CV, you can still make sure that you are writing things differently so they read better.
For example:

Working with the design team on the new website’

Or

‘Collaborating with the design team to create a brand new identity for the website’

This way you have made it sound different and more exciting.

When you have your lists of your responsibilities, you are able to eliminate all the repetition.
You should be able to merge some of your points together, which removes the repetition and also the length of your CV.

For example if you are taking about administration, you don’t need to identify all the different areas individually.
You could say: ‘Ownership and management of all admin, including X, Y and Z’.

Writing

Make sure you word your skills and responsibilities in a strong and positive way. For example:
You could say ‘complete all admin tasks’
However if you worded it like this: ‘Manage all administration tasks in an accurate and timely manner’.
This makes the task sound a lot more impressive, and also sells many skills, not just one.

Remember to keep it simple and clear.
Your name, phone number and email address at the top.
It is also good to include a brief profile about you and your skills. Nothing too detailed, it just has to give them an overview of you, your experience and what you are looking for from your new job. A small paragraph is enough.
Then include your employment history. It goes without saying, always have your most recent job first, with your oldest job last.
At the end you want to include your qualifications and maybe your interests.

Try and keep it to 2 pages, however I would say 3 is the maximum as I know it is hard to keep a lot of experience to 2 pages!!

Hope this helps and give you a clear idea of what recruiters and HR professionals look for.

Let me know how you structure your CV and if it works?

Thanks
JSE

Finding your perfect job using social media

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Social media has become the main focus of recruitment for the last few years, so we need to make sure we keep on top of it and use it to its full potential.

As we have spoken about previously, LinkedIn is an incredible platform for job seekers.
Offering a whole section dedicated to your job search.
You are able to search for job you would like in the location of your choice.
Once LinkedIn has populated your search, you can then filter it down even further by industry etc.
This is a perfect and easy way to find your perfect role.

The other great thing about LinkedIn is that you can form connections, even if you don’t know the person directly you can connect through joint interest or role. You never know what may come of that connection!

Make sure you check out their new job search app here, it is perfect for on the go job
searching to fill the morning commute!
Check out our review here: http://jobsearchingexpert.com/2014/10/13/linkedin-job-search-app-launch/

Twitter is also jumping on the job searching bandwagon.
However it is slightly different and maybe not as easy to see the roles advertised.

The main aim on Twitter is to make sure you follow all the relevant people. This can be anyone from recruiters to companies themselves or job search websites.
People are posting jobs on their Twitter accounts more and more these days, so it is important to make sure you are keeping a professional and informative social profile.
Follow relevant people in your industry and share articles and views. Make sure you get seen!

You can also do a search for specific jobs and words that come up in tweets. This helps refine your search.

Facebook is also catching up with advertising jobs.
Like Twitter you need to make sure you follow the relevant companies. Most companies have a presence on Facebook, so like their page and see what they are up too!
I feel Facebook isn’t the best place to search for a new role, but it isn’t something to be
disregarded.
It is good to have all bases covered!

As we have said before on JSE, it is important to have a complete and professional social media profile. Obviously LinkedIn is completely professional. This should have a professional
photograph and all of your experience to date. Include everything! You can’t have pages and pages of CV but you can make up for it with your LinkedIn profile!

Twitter and Facebook are completely different, and we get that. However, you need to make sure that if you are going to have a social media profile, it isn’t going to affect you getting that perfect role.
Some employers do check you out on social media, and unfortunately they can use it to form opinions of you.
Be careful with what you put online and think about how that would be interpreted by a future employer, or even your current employer!

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Let us know what social media platform you use and how successful have you found it?

JSE