Monday, 28 February 2011

Monday Digest: Job Search

Kicking off the week with a look at improving your job searching...

A post from the end of last year on speeding up your job search.
Followed by an article written this month on improving those job searching techniques.
Finally, if in doubt, break the rules!

How Can Your Passion Land You a Job?

First off this week, here's a link to our Career Rocketeer article on the subject of passion in the job search. Get it while it's hot!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Saturday Digest: Exploring Your Options

In this week's Saturday digest, we take a look at the possible scenarios, post-interview...

There are three basic outcomes to an interview:
  1. you don't get the job,
  2. you're offered the job and accept,
  3. you're offered the job but you turn it down.
For the last digest of the week, here are 3 articles that deal with those specific situations:
  1. Job Interview Autopsy
  2. Questions About Job Culture
  3. Why Turn Down a Job Offer?
Finally, look out for an article appearing with CareerRocketeer this weekend -- this is why I haven't been posting here more frequently than the usual digests! Normal service will be resumed next week.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Feet-Up Friday

Several interviews in one...

This week's FUF takes a single interview and includes many different answers, with Family-Fortunes-style sound effects. Some of the 'positive' answers aren't actually that helpful, but it's quite fun to watch:

Bizarre interview

Happy Friday, and check back tomorrow for the last digest of the week.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wednesday Digest: Getting Started

What to do to make sure your job search really gets off the ground...

1. Stop being a job voyeur! Lurking won't get you a job.
2. Stop procrastinating. Easier said than done -- which is sort of the point...
3. What do you need to do before you think about getting an interview? Here are some recommendations.
4. Finally, think about promoting yourself: what are your marketable job skills?

Monday, 21 February 2011


Years of experience behind you, yet can't get into the job you want? Finished schooling, only to find out no one's that interested in your academic success?

Here's a heads-up for all job-seekers who've had a response along the lines of 'we think you're great, but you're just overqualified for this position'. TeneoTalent are offering the following:

Free webinar, Wednesday 23 February 2011.

It starts at 4pm GMT. Do come back here afterwards and let us know how it goes!

Monday Digest: Thinking About the Job You Want

This week, start by considering your motivation for job searching...

While many people just want a job -- any job -- you don't want to come across as desperate in the interview room. So do some thinking about the sort of job that you're looking for, so you have an answer about this ready for when the interview panel ask the inevitable 'why do you want to work here/in this industry' question.

Firstly, where are you looking for your ideal job? This article discusses the 'hidden job market'. 
Think about what it is you really want to be doing. What is your 'career calling'
Finally, here are some thoughts on getting a job to drive you forward in your job search. Happy hunting! 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Saturday Digest: More Resumés/CVs

Today's digest sees IIS return to a popular topic for job-seekers...

This Saturday, we think more about how to brand yourself and your resumé or CV. Remember, an interview is, ultimately, about selling a product: you.

Are you thinking about a resumé interview to help you write your resumé? 
Some techniques for using social media marketing in your resumé.*
Finally, here are some thoughts on personal branding. 

Check back next week for more specially written articles and regular digests.

*If you're interested in thinking more about the power of social networks in your working life, do read our Academy28 blog post on the topic, here.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Feet-Up Friday

Three different ways to answer a fairly standard question...

These are from a series called 'The GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY', focusing on job interviews. (There are plenty more -- why not spend a Friday half-hour taking a look? If you can bear listening to the saccharine/contrived/ridiculous voiceovers that get played at the end of each one, that is...)

The GOOD answer.
The BAD answer.
The UGLY answer.

(Apologies for the spelling of some of the subtitles -- not their strong point!)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Six Tips: What Comes Before the Phone Interview?

In a more in-depth look at the world of careers than that of the regular digest, we look at 'pre-communication communication'...

It's all very well being prepared for an interview conducted over the phone, or making sure that you know how to behave in the interview room, but what if someone at the company you're applying to calls you beforehand, to check you can make an interview time, or confirm an offer, or for a pre-interview 'screening'?

If you're actively involved in a job search, you need to be aware that this could happen at any time -- you always need to be on your guard...

So keep the following things in mind:
  1. Never allow a potential interviewer to know s/he is interrupting your work. If you are too busy to answer the phone, don't do so until you can give it your full and dedicated attention.
  2. Don't answer the phone when you're upset or angry. If you don't recognise the number, it might be that important call -- it's better to miss the immediate opportunity of speaking to a potential employer than blow a long-term opportunity by coming over aggressive or depressed.
  3. Having said that, make sure you return all calls promptly! You don't want a reputation for tardiness before you've even been interviewed...
  4. A potential interviewer doesn't want to know what you're doing, right now, even if you're actually engaged in some pre-interview research -- you want to come across as enthusiastic, but not pushy or needy.
  5. Conversely, if you're asked about your life, don't 'clam up' and refuse to talk about yourself: if you are asked to say more about yourself, the potential employer wants to know you're a communicative, engaging individual, not just a voice attached to a CV.
  6. Finally, treat the caller with respect -- that means using appropriate language and vocabulary. Choose your words carefully: if in doubt, leave it out.
Remember, any incoming call could be a potential job, screening, or invitation -- so answer the phone wisely!

Wednesday Digest: Unusual Jobs

Today's digest is all about new and unusual jobs...

Why are you in business?
What unusual jobs do other people do?
Read about the 10 best jobs of 2011. 

What's the reasoning behind the job you want?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Monday Digest: Communication

Starting the week with some tips on presenting yourself and relating to others...

This site has lots of general communication tips.
And here are some ideas for dealing with phone interviews.
Finally, for those of you with an MBA/HR background, this article is worth a read.

(If you have no interest in HR and you want to see more information from other sectors, why not leave a recommendation in the comments?)

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Saturday Digest: Thinking Graphically

Giving your CV/resumé a visual or online twist...

To start with, here's an interesting article on a possible development in the tried-and-tested CV format:

Will Your Next CV Be an Infographic?

And how about leveraging another form of technology?

Your Facebook Resumé

Finally, while this may not be particularly relevant to you if graphic design isn't your industry, it may give you some ideas about just what to do to elevate your CV/Resumé above the 'herd':

Creative CVs/Resumés

Have a good weekend, and do drop in next week: as well as an exclusive 'teaser' from the IIS e-book, we'll be expanding the blog to include full-length articles on top of the regular digests.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Feet-Up Friday

Take a break from work, and let us show you how not to tackle an interview...

After last week's Monty Python sketch, the second Feet-Up Friday is another video about less-than-perfect interviews, although this time it's those being interviewed who behave inappropriately...take a look for yourself:

How Not to Handle Interview Questions

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Wednesday Digest: Audiovisual Resources

Want an alternative to static internet sites and impersonal lists of tips?

Today's digest is all about 'sounding out' the options for podcasts and webinars focused on interviews:

(in the UK)

Guardian Careers
~ a directory of podcasts from the Guardian online

Secretarial Careers: Podcasts and Vodcasts
~ some useful links on body language in interviews and tailoring a CV

Stopgap Marketing
~ in their own words, 'marketing talk and careers advice'

~ 'The Secret Jobhunt' is a useful source of information

(in the US)

Job Talk Radio
~ a weekly radio show from Northeast Connecticut

Two Geeks and a Girl
~ a light-hearted look at careers

And finally: we've linked to them before, but the folks at Career Realism are worth taking another look at it. Here, there's a list of free career-focused webinars, the first of which starts this evening, Wednesday 9 February, 6pm GMT:

Career Realism Webinars

Monday, 7 February 2011

Monday Digest: Interview Behaviour

Starting the week with some thoughts about how to behave in the interview room...

And an interesting article on stress in the interview room:

The IIS digest will be back on Wednesday. Recommendations of your own? Add them in the comments.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Saturday Digest: Resumés/CVs

Rounding off the week with another set of useful links...

Today's digest is all about resumés or CVs. The following links address various aspects of this tricky subject:


Have a good weekend, everyone -- come back on Monday for the latest IIS digest.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Feet-Up Friday

A more light-hearted look at the interviewing world...

Instead of the usual IIS digest, celebrate the fact it's Friday with a not-so-serious look at the world of careers and job interviews. This week, it's the tried-and-trusted Monty Python gang, from long before John Cleese had sold his soul to the AA advertising devil:

What not to expect from a job interview!

There'll be another digest tomorrow, and look out for a 'teaser' from the e-book, coming soon.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Are you feeling lucky? How can you make your life happier?

One action you can take, right now, is go and check out the Switch to Success website - the website for The Book of Luck: Brilliant Ideas for Creating Your Own Success and Making Life Go Your Way and The Book of Happiness: Brilliant Ideas to Transform Your Life, co-authored by Heather Summers and Anne Watson.

On the Switch to Success website you can do the Luck and Happiness Questionnaires to find out just how lucky or happy you are. You will receive an immediate email with a personal feedback profile which will also give you tips on how to improve different aspects of your life. The really good news is that all of this is a *free* resource for anyone visiting this site. While you are there, why not check out the Downloads page where you will find interesting articles and tips free of charge?

You can also sign up to receive Switch to Success ezines that are sent out occasionally.

The Luck Questionnaire

With this Questionnaire, you will discover more ways to make your life luckier than it already is. Thousands of people have already completed it and have gone on to find out how to create their own luck through the brilliant ideas to be found in The Book of Luck.

The Happiness Questionnaire

By completing this Questionnaire, you will receive new insights into how to make your life happier in every way. Read The Book of Happiness if you are really serious about bringing more happiness into your life!

Wednesday Digest: Interview Tips

The latest installment of the IIS digest...

Thinking of changing career?
All about the job questions you want answering
Branding yourself (no red-hot pokers in sight)

As always, do get in touch with your own recommendations.