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Tellin’ stories – how to answer the “Why do you want to be a…” question

For those of us born in the 1970s and 1980s the past week has been a momentous one. Chiefly due to the return of Jackanory in which well known celebrities read childrens stories. That’s it. Nothing complicated. Just the thrill of hearing people who know how to deliver their lines in captivating ways bringing these stories to life.

In fact stories are inherently captivating. There’s a reason why the John Lewis’s and M&S’s of this world don’t just produce Xmas videos showing goods in their store and instead try to create an emotional connection with you by story telling instead.

What’s this got to do with finding a job, you might ask? Continue Reading

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How to NOT get hired – just follow these steps!

“There are no jobs out there” is a common belief among students and graduates nowadays.

But is that actually the case? Or is it that the quality of applications is rapidly decreasing?

Or maybe, because there really are no jobs out there, students rush to apply for anything that is made available and forget to double-check their applications?

In this blog post, I want to show you how you can definitely ruin your chances of getting a job, and provide you with some real examples of unsuccessful applications:

Step 1. Don`t check your grammar or spelling – the employer will understand you anyway.

“hey my name is ******** and i was wanting a career in audio recording. and i would like to get a job from you so i can get to know what i am doing in this career i have a little back ground in the recording section but that is at home and i am using sony tools.”

Step 2. “Keep it real” and get personal.

“I’m keeping this short ’cause I’m on my crackberry. OMG, The job looks dope, I’m in if you are”

Step 3. Don`t include your contact details – after all, the employers should put some effort into looking for ways to contact you.

Employer : “I recently received 3 emails for an internship position where the resumes included absolutely no contact information at all. Two of them didn’t even have their names on them!”

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Great Podcasts to Develop your Commercial Awareness

Demonstrating commercial awareness is vital for whatever sector you are hoping to go into –  law, technology, politics, health, for example, not just business. Yet every year,  graduate recruiters frequently tell me that graduates  lack commercial awareness at interview or assessment centres. I find this too when I carry out mock interviews and assessment centres with students at City. Questions like“What do you think are some of the key issues affecting our sector at the moment”? or “Give me an example of an  article or programme which has interested you recently” (a typical question to test how you keep youself up to date with sector issues) are frequently met with blankness or hesitation with lots of ums and ers!

Of course an  internship, placement,  or voluntary work experience is the ideal way of gaining or dveloping commercial awarness, but a lot can be achieved by thoroughly researching specific organisations you are interested in and keeping up to date with the sector in general. There are lots of ways of doing this, but a good start can be finding out about  organisation’s culture, values and goals via their website and signing up for their newsfeeds. Some professional bodies also provide good resources to develop commercial awareness. The ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) has excellent podcasts on its dedicated graduate website about how to develop your Continue Reading