Category Archives: Career advice

How to get a pay rise

Posted on April 25, 2014 by allmumkind | Comments (32)

Pay rises ideally should be asked face to face. Email is a no go.

It isn't advisable to provide reasons which are of no direct concern to your employer, however do plan and prepare your reasons in a positive manner.

Here's how to go about asking for a pay rise;

It must be face to face. This will give you the chance to stand on your platform and negotiate confidently and provide personal and business reasoning. Ideally, the best approach would be after a positive phase of delivery through a piece of work or after the completion of a successful project.

Do arrange a meeting to discuss this and a gentle agenda point as to what the meeting is actually for. It will help you employer instead of them guessing that you could be resigning or other news.

Organise your chat when the business is positive or after some news surrounding a contract being won, growth in profits etc. Probably not wise to talk money when the company may be under performing or have just lost a major account.

By demonstrating you have done some research is always welcoming. Perhaps do some research in the marketplace to benchmark your role against similar businesses doing similar responsibilities. Evidence around your personal contribution to the performance of the company and what you have achieved will place you in a better position.

Don't get emotional. Separate the discussion as a business conversation. Negotiating your role and pay increase is not deemed too personal. If you bring in why you feel the pay situation is unfair and compare yourself to the outside world this is perceived as negative. It is about creating a case and discussing what is fair and deserved.

Probably not a great idea to threaten you will resign if you don't like what you hear. This will place you in a negative space and will demonstrate a lack of commitment.

Posted in Career advice

Things not to put on your CV...

Posted on November 1, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

Things not to put on your CV....

Most of us are aware as to how to present a CV, but are you aware of maybe what not to feature?

Here are some tips;

1. Negative expressions
Instead of expressing that you are "unemployed" you may wish to express this as "job seeking"
. Anything which gives room for negativity, steer clear of.

2. General phrases
Use clear vocabulary where possible and don't rely on vague impressions. This could be part of your opening profile statement, so don't waste the opportunity. "Good interpersonal skills" are very general. Use punchier, more eye catching vocabulary to back up what you are really good at.

3. Providing our age or date of birth

Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, age discrimination can and does occur during screening processes. Don't provide your age or date as birth as you don't need to disclose this. Your CV is a reflection of you and your skills and your capability of performing a job not your age!

4 Salary expectations

All mentions of money should be set aside when applying for a job, unless the job advert asks you to state salary expectations. There’s no reason to list your previous salaries for roles, an employer wants to see how well you fit the job, not how much money you have in your bank account.

5. Typos
Your opportunity to catch the eye of the employer could be over in an instant with any spelling and grammatical errors. Read over and over again before you submit. It could cost you that job you are wishing for.

6 A picture
Your CV is about your skills and experience and NOT to show the employer what you look like. Leave the photo off it won't get you any further to an interview.

Posted in Career advice | Tags: CV, Skills, Experience

How to shine at that interview

Posted on September 4, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (1)

No matter how confident or well researched you are, nerves may always be a part of any interview. It is completely normal to feel nervous and in fact studies show that the more humane you come across the more you will demonstrate if you are right for the job.
Confident or not, here are some key points to consider when communicating which may make you shine above the rest….

Do your research
When meeting with a potential employer they will be interested to know how much you actually know about their company. You really should be able to understand their culture, growth plans, financial news and history. Knowing the headcount size isn’t really enough. Demonstrate that you have done your homework by reciting some facts and figures and show you understand their services/products.

Demonstrate your achievements
In today’s market employers are going to take their time in looking for the right person. With costs conscious businesses, investing in the best person for the job is key. You may be one of many attending an interview so ensure you stand out.
Being able to measure your success by examples will be more valuable than providing phrases, which tell the employer what you have done. If you feel that your management skills are a real strength, then you may wish to explain how you led a team and perhaps how they achieved high results compared to previous performances.

Promoting your skills
Your CV is a snapshot of your working history and credentials and it isn’t always possible to fit everything you have achieved on there. Even if you have taken a career break to raise your family you will probably have been acquiring skills along the way without even realising. For example, apart from working in a corporate environment, you will may be involved with groups at school, church, volunteering for organisations etc. They all require a level of skill when making a contribution, so remember what these are and have on you CV and on a list to hand when preparing for your interview. Again, if you haven’t a specific skill required for the job i.e systems, projects etc, think of a scenario to demonstrate a comparable example where you can confidently transfer the experience.

Smile and be positive!
Did you know, that a positive attitude and ability to smile, can often sway an employees decision to hire, even if there are candidates who have more skills for the job? In this climate, businesses need people they can rely on and are willing to add value to their role. If the role offers flexibility this is your chance to offer willingness and in return create a role that provides you with the balance you are looking for.

Posted in Career advice | Tags: Interview, success

New Year resolution tips for a better work-life balance….

Posted on January 10, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

You have blinked and the New Year is upon us! The stress of Christmas is over and as we thunder into the first full working week of 2012, are you ready to address the great intentions you had planned for your career and work life balance in 2011? Finding the motivation to put those plans into action can be hard, but now it is the best time to begin. You will be surprised as to how effective you can be what you can achieve. Here are some friendly allmumkind tips to help you on your way…

- Time to review your CV?

Always a task which you find hard to sit down and concentrate on. Get organised and set time aside to start reviewing what needs to be enhanced. Before you start editing and writing, it may be worth compiling a list of all the achievements you have accomplished since you last wrote your CV. You may not have worked for some time, however by looking at how you filled your time since your career break you may be surprised as to what you have achieved – voluntary work, supporting your school, taking part in fund raising for school/activity groups. These skills all add up.

If you are working but are looking to move, do some research on suitable positions which you are interested in and fit your skills/experience. You can compose your CV around the needs and requirements of those roles. Also, look as to how you will market yourself. Again, list all your current skills and experiences and used these to write a professional CV. Remember concise and to the point.

- Connect with your network

You will be surprised as to how many people you know or have known whether through working or simply involving your day to day life. Even since having children your network will have evolved further without you even realising. If you currently use or have previously used a Linked-in account this may be a great place to start. It’s an extremely useful tool for reconnecting with previous colleagues/associates and sharing your current skills and experiences in a professional network. Have the confidence to connect with previous employers and ask them for recommendations/testimonials about you and your work. This can be a great way of highlighting your achievements and openly marketing yourself within a network.

Apart from social network sites catch up with other mums and friends to share knowledge about what you are looking to do as they may have useful contacts and other networks to forward you onto.

Alter your work pattern

- You may be thinking of reviewing the job market in search of a new and more family friendly position. Before you do, is there an opportunity within your organisation for you to alter your working pattern in anyway? I think some companies are not as well versed as others with regards to their working options which they could build around their business. Also, this is where businesses perhaps lose great talent because they have not fully explored a flexible option.

Obviously before you launch into your managers office you need to build your case. Observing the mechanism of your department and how the work is distributed is a good start. Are there any other working mum’s itching for more flexibility? Are there any internal structural changes about to take place? Are there any large projects to be launched?

If you can create a supportive case to your seniors with suggestions and thoughts from your findings then you may have an opportunity. They may be so absorbed in their day to day duties that they haven’t ever thought of the possibility, so if you don’t ask you may never know. Explain your business case offering clear solutions rather than offering a list of problems and needs. You may be quite surprised at the outcome. A business which does have some capacity for flexibility would be short sighted to let go a working mums talent and experience.

- The art of delegation – learn how to..

It doesn’t matter how efficient you are I am sure we all have room to delegate. This can be wherever you need it most. It could be that you need more help at home with the children or with the domestic chores. If you have been stressing about a situation last year then its time to change it. You may find you could be slightly more effective at work if you do delegate a part of your workload which may enable you to achieve your own workload. Suggestions here within your team may help or if you are a decision maker it may be simply the time to make some small changes.

- Apply some “me” time

Away from the demands of your domestic/work life you need to find time for yourself. If you think you can’t find the time, you must create time. Exercise, evening classes, hobbies, reading or even pampering!  It doesn’t really matter what it is, but what is key is that you have time from the demands of children, home and work….

Posted in Career advice

National work-life week – 26th – 30th September 2011

Posted on September 26, 2011 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

Did you know it is National Work-Life Week? www.workingfamilies.org.uk, sponsored by Unum, will take place from 26th to 30th September.

This is organised by the UK’s work-life charity Working Families, the week will shine a light on the growing importance of family-friendly and flexible working.

How can this work for you and your company…

As an employer

This is a perfect opportunity to review work-life policies. Companies can use this chance to demonstrate commitment to their staff by choosing ways to retain their staff and become an employer of choice.

As an employee

A week dedicated to work-life balance can be used to motivate fellow staff by raising understanding and involvement in network groups and staff associations. This is a great opportunity to spread the word on diversity and the promotion of flexible working for carers and parents.

As an organisation

Companies can use this opportunity to demonstrate and practice work-life balance. Competitions for voting for the “best boss”, “bring you child to work day”. Some organisations go as far as launching well being initiatives – fitness, stopping smoking, healthy eating and promoting more home-working to assist families when there is illness and a need for flexibility etc. Some of these ideas and more give companies a chance to stand out and become desirable employers.

Is you company taking part in National work-life week? If so, what are they focussing on?

As the world in which we live is going through such a change organisations would be worth adopting new policies and moving with the times. I think we will see the working pattern shifting towards greater flexibility and home-working for instance as companies looks to retain top talent and reduce costs. These are only a few examples where businesses can demonstrate best practices.

Posted in Career advice, Flexible working | Tags: Balance, Best practice, Work-life

Points to consider when at an interview….

Posted on August 1, 2011 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

A recent survey carried out by Careerbuilder.co.uk found some very interesting findings when they questionned 100 UK businesses…

In a market which is so competitive employers are not only observing verbal communication of potential employees but behaviours and actions. Some of these will actually be considered when making a hiring decision.

Of the employers questioned, 83% said that lack of eye contact was an interview turnoff. This was followed by a weak handshake at 54%.

A real dislike from employers came when candidates crossed their arms over their chest. This was 41% of the employers thoughts followed by fidgeting with an object on a table which came in at 40%. Fidgeting with hair was 36%.

Additional feedback from employers which they considered a turnoff was bad posture, use of hand gestures and an overly strong handshake.

On a positive note if a potential employer had to compare candidates with similar skill-sets required for the role, then 34% said that they would chose the candidate with a sense of humour. This was considered a big factor. If you are well presented, then 28% of employer would offer you the job.

One final point to be aware of is dressing “too casual”. This is deemed a common complaint and tailoring yourself to the business you are interviewing for is a must.

The final research is summed up by Tony Roy – President of Career Builder EMEA “Employers are evaluating the whole package during job interviews and the non-verbal cues job candidates give can be very influential on the hiring decision”

If it has been some time since you have interviewed in the market or are considering another career avenue then perhaps ask trusted friends and family about your appearance and maybe run through some questions to gauge an opinion as to how you come across? Some honest and constructive feedback may help you get that job!

Posted in Career advice | Tags: Candidate, Communication, Employers, Famly, Influential, Interview

Thinking of returning to work?….How to make your CV stand out!

Posted on July 20, 2011 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

I know the feeling. You really want to start working on your CV, but you keep putting it off as you don’t know where to begin! You haven’t had to compose a CV in years. You are even not too sure of the CV styles which work these days and how to remember your previous skills and experience history in any great detail? If you can, simply remove any fears and remember this is your sales pitch. You are selling yourself……

I do believe CV styles change over time, however, you can be sure that this market is an entirely different place than before. Employers behaviours towards hiring has shifted enormously during this economic downturn making the environment unfamiliar not just for returning parents but for all potential employees.

You have a good chance as any other person applying for the job you feel suits your experience/skills. Here is some guidance on how to make yours stand out!

In today’s world I firmly believe a “good attitude” is an essential quality. It’s not just all about a skill-set. Employer’s would rather hire the right mindset who is a doer over a toolkit of skills. You must be able to demonstrate “commitment”, “trustworthiness”, “adaptability”, “accountability”, “loyalty” and “honesty”.

I am not suggesting a set format for your CV but my top advice is to “keep it simple”. These are some key points to consider;

A personal profile/summary

This should be the opening paragraph and needs to be short and succinct statement at the top of your CV. Here it is all about you selling yourself with your skills, experience and personal qualities. Be positive! Use words like “adaptable”, “competent”, “tenacious”, “multi-task”…Make it interesting and set the scene….

Allmumkind tip – You could compose several different statements here to tailor towards each application. Use this an opportunity to highlight you are the best person for the job!!

Career history

Put your most recent jobs in chronological order so that employers can view your career to date  – Title, Company and include dates. NO GAPS.

If you have been out of the workplace for several years then you need to clearly provide the dates since leaving employment. Don’t feel that you have to highlight in bold – FULL TIME MUM! This is your moment to demonstrate your non-employment years to your absolute advantage! As a mum you will have been building and gaining new skills without even realising. My advice is to use them!

Time-management, budgeting, multi-tasking, organisation skills, project planning, meeting deadlines, administration, computer skills, writing skills, fundraising, problem solving and not forgetting negotiating. You may have been performing a lot, if not many of these skills without even thinking about it! Have you helped organise a school fare? fundraised for your local school, club, charity? Do you offer your time voluntarily for different causes? Have you contributed your time/skills to an event which you took sole responsibility for a task? Have you completed a new course or learnt something new?

If you have helped out with school, baby groups, activity groups, community groups, small businesses, charities, committees etc– any voluntary work you must highlight. It all counts!

Organise your post employment experience/skills in clear order. Provide as many examples as possible how and where you achieved these.

Allmumkind tip - Take a step away from your CV and imagine you are actually the employer. Would you employ yourself for the job? Ask yourself some questions..

Key CV tips

  • ­­Simple format
  • Profile is key. This is your opening paragraph highlighting your achievements, experience and skills. Remember you are selling yourself.
  • Keep to around two pages, no more.
  • Keep to clear bullet points – Paragraphs of rambling information can be boring!
  • Before you start write lists of strengths, successes, achievements so that you can cross reference to.
  • Write a constructive list of positive words to describe your experience eg “Leader”, “Negotiating”, “Time management” etc.
  • Get a friend, ex colleague to critique your CV. You may not like the feedback but it could be the best feedback you receive!
  • Finally, be confident!

 

Posted in Career advice | Tags: career, CV, Full time mum, Multi-tasking, Negotiating, Time management