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The Effects of Social Media on Employability

Posted on 23 Apr 2018 by

In the world of Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram our online presence is becoming more and more important, crucial some might say, to consider before embarking on a job search. Potential future employers are able to screen people on social media — both job applicants and existing staff. If you take a day off sick it is a possibility that your employer may check your social media posts for the days in question to see if you are in fact ill. They can also be quick to examine an applicant’s profile and postings to check their credentials and how genuine they are in the way they portray themselves. This is a common practice in companies across the world and it may even surprise you to find that it is all totally legal. As a recruiter, I know a few candidates who have missed out on great opportunities because of something they put online. Unfortunately, the information remains forever in the ether and came back to scupper any chance of getting a job that they could have been a really good match for. Common errors that I have come across include silly spelling mistakes on LinkedIn profiles and “Likes” on Facebook condoning a movement which was in conflict with the potential future employer’s main sponsor. In these cases, the candidates had secured interviews with potential future employers or had been to a first interview and were booked in to go back for a second interview, unfortunately, when the businesses looked into the candidates on Facebook and LinkedIn they quickly changed their minds. The legalities over the use of social media by employers to track candidates and clients is a hotly debated topic. However, it is fair to assume that people will review your online presence, so there are a few things it would be worth bearing in mind before sending your CV to a recruiter or potential future employer; - Make sure any online bios and your LinkedIn profile match in terms of dates and the content is written to the same standard that you would expect your CV to be written. - Always be mindful of what you're about to post. Take a step back and think long and hard before posting that picture whilst on a night out on the town. It may be funny at the time but it may not be so funny when sat in an interview. - Increase the security settings on all of your social media and cleanse it of anything you wouldn’t want your current boss to see – as it is fair to say your new employers wouldn’t want to see it either. Find out more about how Sarah Baker can help with your recruitment needs by contacting her on +44 (0)20 7269 6317


Job interview Disaster Stories

Posted on 23 Apr 2018 by Jennifer Nelson

You’ve secured the interview, researched the company and dusted off your slickest suit ready to impress, but have you planned your journey? With readily available apps and technology tools at our fingertips, we no longer need to go through the hassle of google mapping, printing a map or even doing a trial run prior to the big interview date. With that said so many of us are still failing to prepare! These are some of the most disastrous journeys to interviews our team have encountered: Fore! Back in the day when I was but a wide-eyed graduate eager to step into the 9-5 working world, I registered with a local agency who secured me my first ever interview for a notable financial services organisation in their Hampshire office. Leaving the house that morning in the slickest suit I could afford, a Filofax (I know right?!) and importantly the map the agency had supplied (this was way before smartphones!) I set out determined to impress with a spring in my step. 45 minutes into my journey I learnt I had made a grave mistake as the map had lead me through a wood complete with a bog-like marsh, finally leading me onto a golf course! I finally got to the interview 20 minutes late caked in mud with foliage in my hair. I didn’t get the job…. You Spin Me Round-Round My colleague once worked with a candidate who’d had a bad run of luck with interviews, however when an opportunity arose with a Top Accountancy Firm in their Leeds office he jumped at the chance and secured an interview instantly. Determined to put his best foot forward the candidate researched the firm and set out that morning confident his luck was set to change. However, he hadn’t quite anticipated the complexities of driving through a city centre and managed to drive around the roundabout nearest to the office 8 times before admitting defeat calling my colleague and sighing ‘I can see the office, but I just can’t get to it….’ Call the Doctor!! A candidate I represented recently secured an early morning interview with a boutique firm and keen to be on tip-top form ate his breakfast on the train journey there. Arriving on the dot he went straight through to meet the MD mentally rehearsing some of his most impressive prepared lines. Walking into the boardroom he went straight in to shake the MD’s hand only be met by a completely aghast bewildered expression on the MD’s face. After an awkward introduction, the candidate dived straight into the interview finally coming to the end of the hour confidently asking if the MD had any questions. ‘Well yes...’ replied the MD ‘Are you alright? Do you need any medical attention?’ In his haste of wolfing down his breakfast en-route, the candidate had managed to spill most of his red smoothie on his shirt which appeared as a huge spreading blood stain… I’m Just too Tyred Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much you prepare yourself, disaster can creep up at any moment. One candidate who had his sights set on working for a particularly big name in finance and keen to explore options regionally, secured an interview within their Poole office. With the added plus that he could flexibly work from his home in Stratford (East London), it seemed to be the perfect role. The candidate set out early that summer morning with ample time to complete the 150-mile journey; petrol tank full and excited for his interview. Halfway through temperatures had risen to 33 degrees and perspiration was starting to become an issue. All of a sudden, he heard a loud bang to discover his tyre had exploded. An hour later waiting on the hard shoulder for the recovery services he was near to giving up and turning around. However, in the face of adversity, his tenacity and determination to make it to the interview saw him continue his journey, eventually getting there 45 minutes late. Following a very flustered and unsettled interview, it was enough to put the candidate off the role, and perhaps going to Poole too soon again. It just goes to show fail to prepare and you really can prepare to fail. For more tips on how to put your best foot forward at any level interview please take a look at some of our other articles here. Best of Luck!!


7 Tips for Trainees Approaching Qualification

Posted on 24 Apr 2018 by Jonathan Smyth

Writing this article in May, September seems like a distant dot on the horizon. In reality, only sixteen weeks remain for the Autumn trainee intake of 2016 before qualification. With all of the pressures facing trainees, the temptation to push the idea of where to start your post-qualified career to the back of your mind is understandable, however experience suggests that the “NQ season” has a habit of sneaking up on us and that addressing your situation early usually leads to better results in September. With that in mind, we at Pro-Legal have produced the following tips for trainees who are about to embark on one of the pivotal periods of their career. 1. Decide what you want to do Are you happiest advising on premium M&A deals? Litigating? Or was Private Client the seat that you enjoyed most? Whatever the answer to this question is, deciding on what you want your post-qualified specialism to be informs every other aspect of the process. Some trainees have a clear idea of what they want to specialise in on qualification, others are less sure, but prioritising the area(s) that you are keen to move into is key to creating a plan of action for both internal and external NQ opportunities that arise. If you are unsure about your external marketability in certain areas, meeting with a recruiter to obtain an overview of the market is always a useful first step. Similarly, discussing the current trends in your chosen disciplines can also help inform you as to what the likelihood is that there will be opportunities in this area in the run-up to September. If you feel that these conversations lead to you thinking more about external opportunities than internal roles, it may be time to commit to leaving. Be honest with your recruiter and yourself about this - are you genuinely keen to move into a fresh situation post-qualification? Or are you testing the waters out of curiosity? Once that question has been answered, deciding on which recruiter(s) to work with is the next logical step. 2. Work with a recruiter you feel you can trust The London market is teeming with legal recruiters, so picking the right one or two to work with can be a tricky decision. Choosing a recruiter who you feel understands your needs is crucial. You should feel able to trust your recruiter to be honest with you and also with their clients when it comes to discussing your experience and requirements. Check out our article on the best way to choose a legal recruiter to help you decide on the one that is right for you. 3. Create a CV Given that almost two years have elapsed since you previously prepared a CV, and considering the amount of experience gained in a relatively short space of time, utilising your recruiter’s knowledge and experience to create an effective NQ CV should be priority number one. Your recruiter will be able to help you avoid the pitfalls associated with this in order to create a clear, concise, and well-presented document that maximises your chances of securing interviews. Make sure that your CV emphasises your experience in the discipline that you are applying for. Include tangible examples of the work done during your seat(s) in this area and include as much detail as possible. The common myth regarding NQ CVs is that they should be no more than two pages, which is outdated and wrong. Your CV should be as long as it needs to be to include all information that is relevant to the role that you are considering. If you are struggling to decide what to put in or leave out, talk to your recruiter and ask their opinion. Remember that your recruiter sees dozens of CVs on a weekly basis, and knows their clients’ requirements, so asking for help in deciding is the logical thing to do in this situation. Remember that once a CV is sent for a role, the implicit understanding is that partners can ask about anything included in the document. Do not oversell and try to impress by putting matters/transactions on the CV if you are not going to be able to discuss these confidently at interview. Similarly, be aware that if you and one of your interviewers share a similar interest outside of work, they may ask you about this in order to get a better idea of your personality. You should, therefore, assess all areas of your CV with the same rigorous approach. If you can have a confident conversation about it put it on, if not then leave it off. 4. Decide on a POA and target your approaches accordingly Once the CV is created, discussing the type of firms that would best fit your experience and requirements with your recruiter will help to create a target list of potential employers that are likely to appeal. Your recruiter can make anonymous enquiries at these firms to establish their level of interest in external NQs, tailoring the approach to fit the agreed POA. Being proactive in this sense will afford you the greatest degree of visibility on potential openings at your target list of firms, whilst also keeping your powder dry in the way that firing off a CV in a scattergun approach will not. Always ensure that you give written consent (e-mail is fine) for your recruiter to submit your CV to any potential or active openings and keep a record of the firms that have been approached on your behalf. It is also worth keeping a record of who has submitted the CV to a particular firm if you are working with more than one recruiter. This will avoid any unnecessary duplication, which can lead to issues. 5. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail (at interview) Preparation for an interview is key when applying for an external role. In addition to the overview of the interview format that your recruiter can help you with, the onus is on you to ensure that you are as well prepared as possible for each particular meeting that is arranged. We've devised a useful guide to preparing yourself as effectively as possible in order to succeed at interview. 6. Manage your offers sensibly Always keep your recruiter informed of how your other processes (internal or external) are progressing. The more knowledge your recruiter has, the more effectively they can manage yours and the client’s expectations. Timeframes are not set in stone and some processes will advance more quickly than others, but by keeping the lines of communication open throughout the process you will ensure that there should be no unpleasant surprises at any point. Ensure that you are aware of what the likely salary is for each role. NQ salaries are fairly well-publicised at City and International/US firms, so a Google search will provide you with the information you need on this front. It is not uncommon for NQs to hold multiple offers in the run-up to qualification, whether these be a number of external opportunities or a combination of internal and external offers. Managing your offers is a potentially tricky business, as the temptation to allow newly released opportunities to affect existing offers can lead to uncomfortable situations. Avoid complications by assessing each new opportunity that arises in the following way: Is it a firm that was on your initial wishlist? Is this opportunity better than the offers you currently hold? Can you justify affecting your relationships with firms that have already made you an offer in order to enter a new process? If the answer to these questions is yes, then it may be worth making a further application. If not, it is probably better to focus on the bird in the hand. 7. Enjoy your success! You’ve qualified! And in a significant number of cases with an exciting new firm and role to look forward to. Take the time to enjoy that before moving on to the next chapter of your career, and do keep in touch with your recruiter from time to time, as we are always happy to lend a hand with advice on the market and any other queries you may have. Find out more about how Jonathan Smyth can help with your recruitment needs by contacting him on +44 (0)20 7123 5057


Phone Interviews - 10 Foolproof Tips

Posted on 25 Apr 2018 by Mark Bailey

Phone interviews are a great tool for saving time and are very different to being able to read body language in a face to face meeting but, with phone interviews around for the foreseeable future, it’s still wise to prepare for the preventable. While some of these points seem obvious, it’s still surprising as to how often a client or candidate’s feedback has mentioned an unfortunate misstep. 1. Location Avoiding anywhere noisy may sound obvious but if you’re taking a call at lunchtime and the only place to do it is in a coffee shop at peak time, you may not have the interviewer’s full attention and vice versa. Noisy pets and family members are also worth taking into consideration. Consider a meeting room, a quiet room at home or even a (parked) car. 2. Consider the signal That black spot can always be useful when receiving unsolicited calls but avoid talking in locations that you are particularly bad for reception. If a landline isn’t available, phone a friend or a member of your family beforehand, just to ensure the signal is at its strongest. Should you wish to keep it confidential, call your mobile phone company and say you just wanted to check everything was all okay with the signal in your area. 3. Familiarise yourself with the role and company While we are all adept at multitasking in our day to day lives and at work, you are putting yourself at risk by trying to read the company website and/or job specification at the same time as interviewing. Unfortunately, with only your voice to focus on, a seasoned interviewer is able to easily spot when they do not have your full attention. 4. Make sure you are ready early You may be expecting a call at 3 pm so be ready at least 5mins beforehand. With the possibility of both parties’ timepieces being slightly out of sync, you could easily miss that initial phone call and, while hitting redial takes no effort at all, you run the risk of ruining that first impression. 5. Do not answer immediately Allow yourself 2-3 rings to compose yourself, the interviewer will be doing the exact same thing. While answering immediately shows you are keen to talk, it can also be slightly startling to the person calling you, leading to a moment of hesitation or fluster. 6. Expecting urgent, life-changing news or a knock at the door? Tell this to the interviewer at the top of the call. It’s much better to make them aware (if you did not have time to ask for the call to be rescheduled) than cutting someone short out of the blue, to take an all-important call or answer the door for a long conversation. 7. Avoid cutting the interviewer off We all have a tendency to get over-excited therefore talking over one another happens more frequently on the phone (we all do this when we talk to friends and family, don’t we?). Be aware that this behaviour over the phone comes across as much more abrupt and aggressive. 8. Ask questions An interviewer will always ask if you have any more questions; ensure you have a few to hand as opposed to ending the conversation with a “no”. This is your chance to show how interested you are if you like what you have heard so far, otherwise, it’s quite an anticlimax for the interviewer who has taken time out of their diary to discuss the role with you. Even better, have a notepad ready to jot down notes to refer back to. 9. Allow an extra 30-45mins after the scheduled interview time Should the conversation flow, having the opportunity to further affirm your interest and leave a deeper impression on the interviewer, can only be a positive. Those extra few minutes could make all the difference, showcasing your ability to build rapport. However please ensure you don’t stray towards filling the conversation, just to keep the interviewer on the phone. 10. Practice As obvious as all the points may seem, sit down and work with your recruiter in a mock interview scenario. Having to spend a lot of time on the phone interviewing people, we can help you avoid pitfalls such as “dead air”, construct concise yet informative answers and ensure you are getting as much out of the conversation as an interviewer would expect to. Find out more about how Mark Bailey can help with your recruitment needs by contacting him on +44 (0)20 7269 6365


Interviews – What not to do!

Posted on 30 Apr 2018 by Richard Grove

There have been several articles on our newsfeeds such as “good interview tips”, “how to prepare for an interview” or “how to get over the line at interview stage” – Whilst these are all extremely helpful, I haven’t seen too many pieces that identify the things that drive interviewers up the wall... Remember, the hardest part of the job process is getting an interview – Why go through all that hard work to shoot yourself in the foot? Here are my 10 tips of things not to do at interview stage. 1. Probably the most obvious one but DON’T BE LATE! Yes, there are certain things that happen in everyday life that are out of our control but do try to manage expectation. Whether you need to call the organisation or call your consultant, make sure that you have done everything in your power to alleviate the disappointment when you’re not on time. Plan your journey the day before. 2. DON’T TREAT THE RECEPTIONIST POORLY! Not to say you are this kind of person but even if you are having a bad day, be polite - the interview starts the minute you walk through the door. No matter what level you are, if you treat the receptionists with minimal respect then this will go back to the hiring manager and could be the difference between a yes or a no. 3. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF/ON SILENT Don’t be that person that gets a call mid-interview. No matter how much you love Gangnam Style, it is not going to help your cause! 4. AWKWARD SMALL TALK Again, this is another part of the interview process that is often overlooked. I have worked with several clients in the past where they will collect candidates from reception and take them up to the 15th floor to interview. The walk from reception to the meeting room is prime time to build rapport and, on most occasions, will set the tone for the interview. No weather chat... 5. APPEARANCE You would think that this is also straightforward... You would be wrong. These days, there a lot more organisations that are adopting casual dress in the office, which is great, but should be seen as a treat once you’re through the door in my opinion. You only get one chance at a first impression so; dress smart, do your hair, brush your teeth and just be presentable. If you are part of the bearded population like myself, make sure you have a trim – nobody will be impressed if you walk in looking like Tom Hanks in Castaway. 6. BODY LANGUAGE It is a tried and tested theory that body language will have a huge effect at interview stage. Sit up straight Don’t fold your arms Smile Look directly at the interviewer​​ 7. DON’T BE DULL Firstly, don’t be afraid to show your personality. Drop in a joke, have a laugh (to an extent) but just enjoy the process - I interviewed with a recruitment agency a number of years ago and during the interview, the internal recruiter said to me: “what would make me remember you? What makes you interesting?” At the time, I hadn’t been asked that question before and I completely froze, scrambling around for ideas. It was only when I left that I thought “I should have said X or Y” – Have a think before your interview about what makes you different? What are your interesting facts? Yes, you’re being interviewed to see if you can do a job but I would say 70% of the interview is the organisation trying to gauge who you are as a person. SELL YOURSELF! 8. “WE”, “THEY”, “THE TEAM” You probably won’t even realise you are doing this but it is definitely worth thinking about, so you can consciously make an effort not to. I have interviewed many candidates over the years and have gone through countless competency based questions and it’s surprising how much it happens - when you are asked to give an example, make sure you use “I”, not “we” or “they” or “the team” – the interviewer wants to know what you’ve done specifically! What was your role in this? It’s your interview, make it about you! 9. DON’T POINT THE FINGER Even if your previous boss or colleagues were the worst people on earth, try not to feel the need to share this information. Line managers want to hear your motivators for why you’re looking to join their organisation, not why you’re leaving the last. Positivity is the key! 10. DON’T WAFFLE/LIE Simple, if you don’t understand a question or do not know the answer, be honest with the interviewer. Don’t feel like you need to have the perfect answer for everything, hiring managers would rather see honesty from you rather than watch you fabricate something out of thin air. Just ask them to repeat the question or ask them to explain in another way.


9 LinkedIn Tips You Should Be Using To Boost Your Profile

Posted on 08 May 2018 by Josh Jezard

LinkedIn is an invaluable tool of the trade for recruiters. With a few carefully selected keywords a whole host of potential candidates is immediately at the recruiter’s fingertips. With so much choice readily available how do you stand out in the crowd? There are a few top tips that are often overlooked that will help boost your profile and make you a LinkedIn superstar. 1. First impressions count With your picture featuring prominently at the top of the page a snap judgement will be made on the quality and context of your photo. Get somebody to take a photo of you. You want to make sure it is well lit, in focus and with a neutral background. Professional attire is recommended as it instantly gives off the right message. Finally, you don’t want a clinical picture so try and relax a little and remember to smile. 2. Next up is your headline While the LinkedIn default will be your job title you can leverage this box to make yourself more noticeable as it shows up in searches. Firstly, customise it to your audience. Include your value add. Use your prospects language. And most of all don’t brag. For example Director – Tax Recruitment (Commerce & Industry and Practice) | Helping Tax professionals find their ideal job 3. The summary This is a great opportunity for you to recap who you are and what you do. Keep it succinct and to the point, but be sure to include those keywords that people will use to find you. 4. Do some housekeeping on your network. LinkedIn is eerily good at recommending people you may know. Whether they be professional connections, family or even old school friends make sure you connect with them, you never know who they could introduce you to. Look up industry leaders and follow them to keep abreast of current trends. Add a quick note when connecting as it is more personal and increases your chances of them accepting. 5. Career history Ensure that your experience and job history matches that of your CV. LinkedIn is often used to examine applicants and having inconsistencies doesn’t reflect very well even if there was an honest mistake. 6. Good job description Following on from this, include a description of your work. You don’t need to give as much detail as you would on your CV, but a few bullet points of key responsibilities and accomplishments will give a good indication of what you have accomplished and what you can do. 7. Get personal with your URL A trick that is often missed out is the personalised LinkedIn url. This allows you to put your name in the url in place of the randomly assigned numbers and letters. This is a nice touch as when the link to your profile is shared with recruiters, clients and hiring managers your name is clearly displayed in the Link and makes it more recognisable and professional. 8. Stay active on your LinkedIn. An active LinkedIn account demonstrates that you are up to date with the current trends and it also displays that you are contactable and likely to respond. Those with a large network and regular posts/likes/shares is much more appealing to recruiters. 9. Remember to note contact details Although it may sound simple be sure to include your contact details in your profile. There are countless great candidates out there but when it comes to actually reaching out to them recruiters are tied to using LinkedIn’s messaging service. Some opportunities are easier to convey through email or over the phone. Don’t miss out on that opportunity but neglecting this small feature. These may seem like small changes but they make the world of difference when they are compared to hundreds of other professionals of similar position and experience.


5 Movies with Unbelievable Scenes About Interviews

Posted on 14 May 2018 by Josh Jezard

The thought of a job interview can put even the most seasoned professional into a mild panic. The number of things that can and will go wrong hangs heavy over many people’s preparation. Whilst Hollywood can be quick to revel in the comedic hilarity of others misfortune in interview situations, there are some valuable lessons to be taken advantage of in the most unbelievable interview scenes in the movies. 1. Step Brothers The titular characters have been unemployed for their entire adult lives and upon reaching middle age it’s decided that it is time for them to grow up. What follows is a series of disastrous interviews highlighting their complete ineptitude and how out of their depth they really are. WHAT WE LEARNT - Whilst it is safe to say that all of these interviews are absolutely calamitous, you should always make sure you get the interviewers name right. Not only does it show that you’ve done your research and know who they are, it’s just common courtesy too. Also, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t wear a tux, but you already knew that. 2. The Internship The unusual and often surreal questions that have been widely reported to be used by the likes of Google to screen potential candidates have the potential to perplex even the smartest applicants. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are posed a brain teaser and ultimately wing it, ramble on and avoid the point in their interview for Google during The Internship. Whilst amusing to watch, we don’t think they’d get very far in the interview stages. WHAT WE LEARNT - These questions are devised to test the way you tackle problems on the spot. Whilst it is unlikely that you’ll encounter these abstract questions it is important that you are prepared. Research common questions that interviewers like to ask, Glassdoor often has users posting specific questions that they were asked by companies at interview. Compile a few concise thoughtful answers and practise them until you are well versed. 3. The Wedding Singer Adam Sandler portrays a very desperate character in this scene from the wedding singer. Whilst he is up front and open about his experience and main motivations for applying for the job it is safe to say he falls flat on his face. Money is a big motivation for many people when looking for a new role and his brutal honesty strikes a chord with many. WHAT WE LEARNT - It is considered very unprofessional to talk about money straight away in a first interview. That conversation should be left until later in the interview process and is normally prompted by the hiring manager or interviewer. Your recruiter should be able to give you an indication of what the position is paying before you apply. Also, when asked about your experience it’s never advised to appear to offer absolutely nothing! 4. Devil wears Prada The fashion industry has long been known to be cut-throat. Many have serious ambitions to make it big and unfortunately many fail. Anne Hathaway’s character shows a shocking lack of interest in the role that she’s applying for and is promptly put in her place by Meryl Streep’s character. WHAT WE LEARNT - Andy Sachs comes across as very unenthusiastic, uninterested and completely unprepared. When attending an interview you should have done your research. Research the company, what they do, who they work with, what they’ve previously done, what they’re going to be doing, who’s in charge, who’s interviewing you etc. Look up as much as you can, the more you find out the better your chances. Interviewers like people who show an interest in actually working for them. 5. Me Before You The nightmare interview plays out in this movie and boy does it have it all. Louisa concludes her interview with the lines “When I’m nervous I just say stupid stuff”. Remarkably her bumbling, loveable and awkward characteristics manage to secure her the job despite her lack of knowledge, experience or aspirations. Unfortunately, this is movieland and we’re pretty sure a genuine interview wouldn’t play out the same way. WHAT WE LEARNT - To cover her nervousness Louisa begins answering the interviewer's questions with dad like jokes. Dodging the questions with humour is a red flag to an interviewer, it shows that you haven’t fully prepared and gives the impression that you aren’t really taking the process seriously. It's ok to be nervous but answer the interviewer's questions directly, clearly and concisely. When prompted give more details to support your answer. Also, make sure you have given your career path some serious thought. Not knowing what you want to do is a warning to employers as it demonstrates a lack of direction and aspiration. People who have something to work towards are driven to reach their goals and make great employees.


10 Facts About Recruiters Everyone Thinks Are True

Posted on 15 May 2018 by Josh Jezard

Recruiters get a bad rap, unfairly so in my humble opinion. I’ve worked with, been headhunted by and got to know some amazing recruitment consultants. So to defend their honour I’ve decided to dispell the 10 most common misconceptions that are thrown around about the industry and the people that work in it. 1. That we all lie We don’t. Well, not the good ones at least. It doesn’t benefit the candidate, the client or ourselves. Reputation and relationships are a huge part of the recruitment industry and you don’t get very far building up a negative reputation. 2. That we are all sharks This is one we get all too often. There are a few that give the whole industry a bad name. These guys message any potential candidate as soon as they get a hot job. They don’t really give much thought into who they’re messaging and usually employ a generic “I’ve found the perfect role for you” and quickly disappear without a trace when you do get in contact and your experience doesn’t match what they’re looking for. Onto their next target. This is an extremely ineffective way of headhunting and a waste of our time so we don’t do it. 3. That we work for our clients and not our candidates Ok so technically we are paid by our clients but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our candidates best interests at heart. Ensuring that candidates have a positive experience and secure the job that is right for them is one of our top priorities. Making sure that we are transparent throughout the entire process is key to keeping candidates and clients happy. 4. That we are worse than estate agents and are only after a quick deal Nobody’s worse than estate agents, nobody! Just kidding…. Again, we’re not after a quick deal. We’re keen to build lasting relationships with clients and candidates. A huge part of the industry is built on referral and reputation and it’d be impossible to build either of these if we just rushed deals through. 5. That recruiters dodge your calls if you aren't on interview for them Why would we go out of our way to dodge a call that if a candidate is not an interview for a specific job? Recruiters can be incredibly busy, juggling clients, candidates and leads take up a lot of time. Drop your consultant an email and let them know you’d like to speak with them and they should get back to you. If they’re still ignoring you one of the consultants here at Pro will happily speak with you! 6. That we are second-hand car salesmen, we’ll sell you the dream and ruin your life We’re specifically contacting candidates because we think that they’d be a great fit for a role that we’re working. Recruiters present all the information, including benefits and incentives, that the client has given them. When a candidate is asked for an interview it is a great opportunity to ask the right questions and gauge for themselves whether or not they think they’d be a good fit for the role and the company. 7. That we take a % of the basic salary that the candidate is offered FAKE NEWS. It is 100% free at every stage for the candidate. We agree all our fees with the client prior to the actual hiring process and it is the client who pays the fees NOT the candidate. 8. That we are just 'sales people’ This is incorrect as we act as consultants who advise both candidates and clients on the current market to ensure we find the best people for the role and that candidates are aware of their worth in the market. In addition, we guide and coach candidates through the recruitment process to ensure they are successful through the process to hopefully receive an offer. 9. That all we care about is money Well, recruitment is a business like any other but to say that we solely care about money is a bit unfair. We act as an ARM for our clients to ensure we reflect their brand and their values in the best way possible to attract suitable candidates. Overall, we provide a valuable service to both our clients and candidates that goes beyond simply just caring about money. 10. That we are all KPI driven Every job has targets and KPIs, Traffic Wardens to Teachers to Doctors. Working towards a target isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we’re not going to throw a candidate under a bus just because we have to make a target, this isn’t Wall Street. We want to and need to be successful, meaning we’ll work hard to succeed by placing candidates with clients. Which can only benefit the people that we’re working with.


Falling into my career as a Finance Recruitment Consultant

Posted on 24 May 2018 by George Tatnell

Two and a half years ago, I was working in a bank; bored, unmotivated and unsure of where I was going with my life. I decided finding a role in the city would be the best thing for me and I was interviewing with several other financial institutes when I was invited to an assessment day at Pro-Group where I must have applied for by mistake! This was an assessment to join the Associate Consultant program here at Pro-Finance. I had no intention of finding a sales focused role and thought I would be terrible at it! After succeeding in my application, I fell in love with the company and industry and smashed it out of the park. Fast-forward two and a half years, I am now Senior Consultant here at Pro-Finance and still progressing in my role. I broke the company record of quickest promotion from Associate Consultant to where I am now, and this was all due to the support provided and determination to succeed. Last year ended with me in the top 3 out of our 60 consultants last year. I was nominated as best newcomer of the year in the coveted Institute of Recruitment Professional awards and celebrated all of this success by earning a place at Pro-Group's annual spring break ski trip in what's been voted the worlds best ski chalet in Les Gets. Naturally, I've earned far more than I could have imagined and have loved the incredible journey I accidentally fell on to. If you are hungry to make something of yourself, with some self-motivation and a good work ethic, you can succeed in this incredible role and do far more than you can probably imagine. Not to mention, this 360-degree position will train you in marketing, sales, branding, pitching, presenting, advertising, negotiating and many more skills to mention. All of which are needed to succeed in almost every profession, a best-selling author is just an author without the sales support behind it. If the above makes sense to you please contact Loren von Sternberg to discuss your move into recruitment at or call 020 7269 6358


Tax Market Intelligence Q1 2018

Posted on 30 May 2018 by Alison Keogh

It’s been an interesting start to the year in tax recruitment. A very slow yet steady 2018 so far…but are things about to change? In Q1 of 2018 we were down 20% vs Q1 2017 on the number of vacancies that we were instructed on and 17% down on the number of new candidates that registered with us. When doing this analysis, we explored what these changes meant and forecasted whether the same pattern would continue as we entered the halfway point of Q2. The decrease in opportunities available to tax professionals could be due to a number of reasons; many of our clients delayed thinking about recruitment until at least the second week in January. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the scepticism around the post-referendum recession that never really materialised, along with the poor weather, alternatively named the “Beast from the East”, had everyone sitting tight, sounds slightly odd that recruitment was affected by the weather, but it has been a very long winter, people have been snowed in, taken ill and many meetings with clients and candidates alike were postponed or cancelled as a result. Most of the recruitment in Q1 was based on replacing existing people and just doing the necessaries, as opposed to organisations hiring for growth. When looking at new candidates registered with us here at Pro-Tax, we saw a 17% decrease compared to Q1 last year. This has a lot to do with how well people are looking after their staff in the current climate. Wellbeing in the workplace is a huge talking point, in fact here at Pro we ran a successful webinar about this in Q1. Organisations are improving their offering with more flexibility, less pressurised environments, openness and support as well as more benefits such as holidays and ways of working as opposed to monetary. With millennials in the workplace, things are changing. Looking ahead Upon further analysis and as we step into Q2, it has been a far more positive. Our figures show that the market is looking to offer a similar number of vacancies in Q2 2018 as in Q2 2017. Q2 2017 was one of Pro-Tax’s strongest ever quarters as a company and therefore with the sun shining, business coming in thick and fast, we are extremely positive about the prospects for the rest of the year. We are only 5% down on new candidates registered compared to Q2 of last year, so with the winter out of the way are people coming out of the woodworks, are their green shoots waiting for us in H2 of 2018? We certainly think so, there is a completely different feel in the market in Q2 compared to Q1 and we are delighted to see the tax recruitment market turning back to is buoyant self.



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4 Tools to Amp up Your Job Search

Finding a new job can be tough. There are so many aspects to the whole job search process, writing a killer CV, preparing for your interview and even dressing appropriately, that it can often at times be overwhelming. But did you know that there is a wealth of tools out there on the web to help you nail that job search process and land your dream job? Here’s a breakdown of our top 4 tools to amp up your job search. 1. Glassdoor It’s reported that 83% of job seekers are likely to research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job. Glassdoor is an invaluable tool for any job seeker. Essentially it’s an online company review platform and the best part is the reviews are anonymous. Without fear of repercussion, employees (and ex-employees) are able to give honest, unfettered and revealing information. This site is a goldmine for a number of reasons. Firstly, you are able to screen any prospective company that you may want to work for. One star out of five and a particularly scathing review from Terry in accounts? Probably best to give it a miss. Once you’ve found an employer you actually want to work for and have been invited for an interview you are able to dig deep and find out some juicy nuggets of information that are going to help you when it comes to your interview. Company culture, values and competitors are all things that you’ll probably be asked in your interview. Wow, your interviewer by not only answering each question without hesitation and confidence but by formulating a few of your own questions based on your knowledge of their company. Guaranteed brownie points. 2. LinkedIn Ok, ok this may be an obvious one but there are a few tips and tricks that you may or may not have used to amp up your current job search. First off, head to your LinkedIn profile just under your basic information you’ll see this box: Boom! Three amazing tools that are going to supercharge your job search. The first, Career Advice is a nifty addition to LinkedIn. By filling out a brief form and a short paragraph on what you’d like advice on you’ll be connected with industry leaders relevant to your sector who are happy to advise. Next up, Career Interests. Now you’re going to want to switch this one on if you’re actively looking for a job, don’t worry they don’t advertise your status to anyone who you're working with. You can update your information on what you’re looking for, when you’d like to start and how interested you actually are in a career move. This information can then be picked up by hiring managers and recruiters. Now you have relevant people directly approaching you based on your LinkedIn profile and experience. Finally, Salary Insights. This is great for understanding what you are actually worth. Based on your job title, location and sector LinkedIn can tell you the average salary of your peers, which companies pay the best for your skillset and the top paying locations too. Whilst LinkedIn is trying to become a one-stop shop for all your job needs we suggest you use it in conjunction with a few of these other tools. 3. Google for Jobs The new kid on the block. Many are predicting Google for Jobs to be a major turning point in the advancement of job searching. If you haven’t come across it yet we suggest you check it out. Being one of the biggest companies in the world and processing an obscene amount of data it was kind of inevitable for Google to enter the realm of jobs at some point. With this aggregator, Google scrapes job boards from across the web and presents you all the options in a tidy little dashboard ready for you to go through. An added bonus is the alerts feature. Setting up alerts means you get an email digest delivered straight to your inbox based on your search specifications. A piece of cake. 4. A recruiter So to clarify, not strictly a tool but a very useful asset nonetheless. Recruiters do the legwork so you don’t have to, saving you time. Recruiters ask the questions that you don’t want to and a good recruiter knows their client and knows what that client is looking for, this allows our consultants to prepare you prior to interviews for everything that the interview process involves. Whilst job seekers looking to apply directly have to wade through the internet looking for companies that are hiring for live roles, recruitment agencies have spent years building relationships with the decision makers of these firms, meaning we know what they want, even if they aren’t publicly recruiting for it. Give some of these tools a go and your job search journey should be much more efficient and maybe even enjoyable. And as always, feel free to contact us if you would like to speak with one of our expert recruiters about the opportunities available.


My First Two Weeks In Recruitment - Heather Ragoonanan

I’ve been with Pro for two weeks and I am absolutely loving my experience here so far. The assessment day enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of what my life and career would be like at Pro – as it gave me some insight into the tasks and duties related to my role. This was particularly helpful as I had no previous knowledge or experience of what recruitment entailed before the assessment day, and this was an influential factor in deciding whether I wanted a career with Pro or not. I did, and I could not be happier with how things are going, regarding everything from the training, amazing support and guidance received and ‘family-feel’ environment. I believe that because Pro is so dedicated to nurturing and supporting their staff - even their more senior employees, which means that the company is constantly evolving and developing. This is hugely important to me as I take comfort in the fact that I can grow personally and professionally as well. The whole team has made me feel comfortable and at ease, from the outset, which is significant, as I believe that a person really needs to feel happy and valued within a company, and that is exactly what Pro has done for me. The training process has been detailed, thorough, manageable and fun. I am learning something new every day, in appropriately sized chunks – which allows the information to digest properly. The other ACs and I recently had a course with Jim Atkins (from Enabling Change) and it allowed us to gain an idea of how one process of recruitment affects the next, which is invaluable information. During my first week, I was quite nervous to pick up the phone and call candidates due to the fear of messing up, but as the days have gone on, I have learned from my colleagues that it is alright to not know everything, and I will grow with experience. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and the main thing I have taken from my experience at Pro thus far is to try my hardest, work smart, and be myself. If you're looking to make a move into recruitment, I highly recommend you speak to Loren von Sternberg, who can offer a great insight into opportunities available at Pro-Group.


My First Two Weeks In Recruitment - Marianne Wills

In comparison to me walking into the office on my first day at Pro, to sitting at my desk on the second Friday here I feel like I have learned a lot already. I stepped into the recruitment world knowing next to nothing – seeing recruitment as simply finding someone a job, but not knowing the ins and outs of how you get to that stage. I have been in and out of different training sessions, learning about the recruitment process in its full circle and going into detail about the different skills and knowledge you need to know about each stage. Calling candidates has been great, speaking to different people and understanding their wants and needs for their career. With this, I really can see that practice does make perfect – with an initially shaky start, I now feel a lot more confident picking up the phone and even excited around the outcome of each call. As well as training from everyone internally especially Pat and Ali, we have also had sessions given by external trainers. We had a session on how to write the perfect job advert with Lisa Jones, this gave a lot of new ideas on how to attract people to your advert. We have also had external training with Jim Atkins or Enabling Change, who came into Pro for two days. This session was with just the Associate Consultants – he gave us a really detailed look at the recruiting process – following the 30 steps (Tony Byrne) and also the characteristics of a good candidate and client. This was so helpful as it confirmed what we have already learned but in further detail. It was great to get a fresh outlook from these two external trainers. From my interview and assessment day I already got a good feel for the company culture and being here on a day-to-day basis has confirmed that it is a fun place to work that I can really see myself staying at. Everyone has been really welcoming and helpful (and patient with my questions of how to do this and that). I am really looking forward to learning more, so I can reach a consultant level. I am specifically looking forward to having my own candidates in for internal interviews, going on client visits and really building up my own network. The experienced consultants will be inviting me on their client visits and also their internal interviews – I’m excited about this as I can pick up techniques and learn from those who are more experienced. If you're looking to make a move into recruitment, I highly recommend you speak to Loren von Sternberg, who can offer a great insight into opportunities available at Pro-Group.


My First Two Weeks In Recruitment - Ethan Bresnett

From the get-go at Pro I’ve been very busy! The days have been jam-packed with training, getting the hang of the do’s and don’ts and getting stuck into the role. The interview process for Pro-Group gave me a great insight into the role I would be undertaking, so thankfully nothing has been a massive surprise for me starting off this role. I’ve been carrying out a range of tasks, primarily surrounding candidate management, really getting to know people and understanding their current and future career goals. It’s been enjoyable getting in touch with people and is very rewarding once they are receptive and genuinely need your help, so I’m looking forward to progressing and being able to manage the entire process. At this stage, I’m more of a master of voicemails but I am growing in confidence with every single call and interaction. When I haven’t been on the phones I’ve been in a rigorous but exciting training process, that’s given me a great start to my recruitment career, and lots of tips and tricks to get me going. I’ve learned so much in my first few weeks here and I can’t wait to get involved with client interactions to start fully understanding the 360-recruitment process. The people here at Pro have been so welcoming, and its clear that the constant support and encouraging atmosphere extends beyond the Associate Consultant days. While we have been thrown in at the deep end up somewhat, it has never felt overwhelming and I’ve always had a clear idea of what I should be doing and who to go to for help (which is basically anybody!). The office is in a great location, ideally located next to Leather Lane food market where there’s almost too much to choose from! There’s a real sense in the company that everybody works with a collective goal in mind, and I’ve loved seeing the support people have for each other and the pride they have in Pro and the work they do. As I am constantly learning about different markets and industries I’m not currently sure which markets interest me the most, and my options are very open going forward as to where I specialise, so over the next few weeks I will be looking to learn more and more to find my niche across tax, finance, legal and HR. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Pro so far and I am very excited to grow professionally, start contributing and find my feet in an exciting and sociable company. If you're looking to make a move into recruitment, I highly recommend you speak to Loren von Sternberg, who can offer a great insight into opportunities available at Pro-Group.


My First Two Weeks In Recruitment - Aaron Scott

Well, what a start to my recruitment career it has been! I joined Pro-Group two weeks ago and I haven’t looked back since. The assessment day during our interview process gave me a real understanding of what to expect on a day to day basis here at Pro. Since I joined It’s been hectic, intense but most of all fun all similar to what I experienced during my assessment day, I believe I’ve made the right decision to make the move from insurance and I couldn’t be happier. Over the past the couple of weeks I’ve been in and out of training learning the whole 360 cycle of recruitment, how to write adverts, source candidates and plenty more. The training at Pro has been fantastic. For someone who is such a beginner and really opened my eyes to the world of recruitment. The training has been external and internal, we’ve had Jim Atkins from Enabling Change come into the office for two days and it was fantastic. It really helped me to understand how to move forward when speaking to candidates and clients. Also, we had Lisa Jones from Barclay Jones, who hosted a great session on advert writing with us and how to make the most of the advert. I would highly recommend both trainers to anyone who is starting out in recruitment. One of the main reasons for joining Pro was the culture has a real family-orientated atmosphere and the people are great! They do really value their staff and make you feel so welcomed into the Pro family as soon as you join, which is great. I’m so excited to continue to keep learning and move forward within the company, I’m still quite open in terms of which team I will go into, I’m sure over the coming weeks this will all fall into place. If you're looking to make a move into recruitment, I highly recommend you speak to Loren von Sternberg, who can offer a great insight into opportunities available at Pro-Group.


Charity Times - Tuesday, 7th August 2018

GOVERNANCE Regulator takes control of troubled animal charity The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager at Capricorn Animal Rescue and Sanctuary following concerns around the Welsh charity’s management and governance. Guy Hollander of audit firm Mazars will assume full control of day-to-day management and administration from the current trustee until the regulator makes a further order. The Commission had previously opened a statutory inquiry into the charity in February 2017 to assess regulatory concerns. Harvey Grenville, the commission's head of investigations, said the regulator is “not satisfied” with the working of the current governance procedures and practices and these are unlikely to be improved by the existing trustee board. “A decision . . . to appoint an interim manager is not taken lightly and reflects the seriousness of our regulatory concerns,” he said. Charity Times STRATEGY Merged charities relaunch as Bowel Cancer UK The new charity formed from the January 2018 merger of Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer will be called Bowel Cancer UK and be underpinned with the strapline Beating Bowel Cancer Together. The charity partnered with The Team, a brand and communications agency, to create a visual identity consisting of a new logo, font, tone of voice, colour palette and a refreshed website as well as the new name and strapline. Dan Dufour, creative brand strategist at The Team, said: “There are lots of cancer charity brands in the UK market, so we’ve had to dig deep to differentiate the new Bowel Cancer UK brand. The combination of community action and human authenticity, with hope for the future, will help the new Bowel Cancer UK brand stand-out to inspire more support.” UKFundraising Third Force News Charity Times Health charities announce merger Reminiscence arts charity Age Exchange has merged with health and social care charity Community Integrated Care in a bid to increase the newly-combined entity's reach. Community Integrated Care currently supports over 3,500 people with a range of support needs including learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism, dementia and age-related needs. Age Exchange supports people through outreach projects in the Blackheath community in south London and at its hub, a centre for reminiscence-based arts projects, exhibitions and education work, plus cafe and library, which is visited by 180,000 people every year. Charity Times REPUTATION No more annual bashes for young farmers The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has announced it will no longer hold the Annual Convention for its young farmer members. After 50 years of hosting the event, the Board of Management has said it is time to bring its programme of activities more in line with its charitable aims to meet the needs of rural young people. The decision comes in the wake of reports of bad behaviour when the event was held earlier this year in Blackpool. The NFYFC has advised members not to host their own events. "NFYFC would strongly advise YFC clubs and county federations against doing this . . . Counties who knowingly support any non-official event organisation will also be held responsible for any resulting reputational damage," the organisation said in a statement. DevonLive Farming Online FarmingUK Macmillan tops YouGov’s CharityIndex again Macmillan Cancer Support has topped YouGov’s annual CharityIndex rankings for the second year in a row. The index has tracked 32 charities over four years, measuring overall brand health amid consideration of perceptions around quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation and whether consumers would recommend the brand to others. Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation were placed immediately behind Macmillan, while RNLI was in fourth place, and Guide Dogs came fifth. RSPCA saw the greatest increase in its Index score, with a change in score of +2.2. UKFundraising RISK Amnesty International is target of cyber attack Amnesty International has been targeted in cyber attacks that appear to have been launched by a state in the Middle East. The human rights charity said the attack wasn't successful but indicated the increased threat faced by campaigners and charities in the UK. Amnesty's tech team identified a link to a surveillance tool developed by Israel-based NSO Group, which is known to only sell its spyware to governments. Joshua Franco, the charity’s head of technology and human rights, said: “We . . . believe that this was a deliberate attempt to infiltrate Amnesty by a government hostile to our human rights work," adding "This chilling attack on Amnesty highlights the grave risk posed to activists around the world by this kind of surveillance technology.” Civil Society Online donation triggers terror alert A £2 online donation sent through PayPal for a rescue dog named Isis triggered a terrorism alert. The 11-year-old golden retriever is being looked after by Dunroamin K9 Rescue in Worksop. Lynda Owens, who volunteers for the rehoming charity, said: “I found out PayPal had got in touch with the woman making the donation and thought she was sending to a terror organisation." PayPal scans for all terror-linked words. The dog is now known as Alice. Third Force News PEOPLE Relate has a new chief executive Relationship support charity Relate has named Aidan Jones as its new chief executive. He replaces Chris Sherwood, who left the charity last month after three years as chief executive to take on a new role as chief executive at the RSPCA. Simon Wilson, chair of Relate, said: “This is an exciting time for Relate as we focus on delivering social justice by supporting more people from low income and vulnerable groups. I have every confidence that with Aidan leading the organisation we’ll continue to make great strides for those we exist to serve.” Civil Society RETAIL British Heart Foundation's first pop-up store The British Heart Foundation has opened its first pop-up department store in Kingston upon Thames. The 17,000 sq ft outlet, which is expected to be open for two years ahead of a local regeneration project, is one of the charity's biggest stores and stocks furniture, homewares, clothing, accessories and books. The charity saw a net closure of 11 stores in 2016/17 but nevertheless aims “for everyone in the UK to have a local British Heart Foundation shop.” Civil Society DIGITAL Charities hit by competition for paid Google searches Competition for paid Google searches is diminishing the effectiveness of charities’ online fundraising campaigns by restricting the amount that goes to good causes, writes John Onion, managing director of digital marketing agency upriseUP. He says the problem is at root due to the cost of an ad in paid search being effectively calculated in an auction - with charities having to bid against one other for each click. He says a model whereby some competing charities seek to maximise on donation revenue achieved for their own organisation increases the associated costs for everyone and hits the amount raised for charities. He wants the matter discussed within the sector and ideally with Google and the Charity Commission involved. Charity Digital News CAMPAIGNS Push back school start age, urges charity Sue Palmer, chairwoman of children’s educational campaigning charity Upstart Scotland, has urged the Scottish Government to raise the age that children start primary school “as a matter of urgency” to help prevent a surge in mental health problems. Ms Palmer has called for the introduction of a “kindergarten” stage from ages three to seven, with the final year to be completed in Primary 1. In the wake of concerns raised over the stress caused to Primary 1 pupils by the Scottish National Standardised Assessment tests, Ms Palmer said that: “All the research I’ve seen very clearly shows our children should not be put under these pressures . . . Indeed, countries with a later starting age achieve better results in the long run. Those starting school at seven very quickly catch up,” she added. Falkirk Herald The Scotsman Dementia should be at heart of NHS priorities Dementia charities have told the new Health Secretary Matt Hancock that they are "deeply concerned" he is ignoring the "greatest health challenge of our time."Alzheimer's Research UK, Dementia UK and Alzheimer's Scotland have accused the health secretary and Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, of failing to prioritise dementia in their 10-year plan for the health service. In an open letter they urged Mr Hancock to make dementia a priority, as well as asking the Government to end inequities faced by those with the disease by reforming the social care system in a consultation paper due this year. The Daily Telegraph App will identify signs of modern slavery Anti-slavery charity Unseen has designed an app to help identify signs of modern slavery and enable concerned users to quickly contact in confidence its Modern Slavery Helpline. Andrew Wallis, chief executive at Unseen, said: "this isn’t just a gimmick . . . We know that apps work in the fight against slavery.” Meanwhile, Eric Anderson, Head of the Modern Slavery Programme at BT, said: “The Unseen App makes it easier than ever to help people spot the signs and report concerns, because it’s there in your pocket when you need it." Charity Digital News Call for law on production method labelling Campaigners are set to demand a law change that will force food manufacturers to label products with information about the conditions the animals used in their products were kept in. Campaigning charity Compassion in World Farming say companies such as Dairylea and Bernard Mathews are giving consumers the impression of high animal-welfare standards with graphics showing cows in fields, for example, when in fact they are raised intensively indoors. The Independent Primark criticised over Pride shirts Campaigners have criticised Primark and LGBT charity Stonewall for printing Pride T-shirts in Turkey, a country with a poor record on LGBT rights. Steve Taylor, co-founder of the UK Pride Network and the communications director at EuroPride, said: "The Primark T-shirts are printed in Turkey, where Pride is illegal, so that is deeply unethical.” The Daily Telegraph


The 6 Biggest CV Mistakes

Writing a CV can be a daunting task on the face of it. You have to concisely summarise your entire working life into a few short pages and hope that your personality shines through enough that the HR manager will pick up the phone. With so much time and effort going into covering every single detail and crafting that perfect paper representation of you, are you missing the bigger picture? Our expert recruiters breakdown the six most common CV mistakes that may be killing your chances at success. 1. “I have good attention to detail” Ahh, one of the most frequently used terms in a CV when describing personal attributes, and what a great attribute to have! However, word of warning, if you are going to use this term make sure there are absolutely no typos in your CV. There’s nothing worse to be claiming to be something you’re not when it comes to applying for jobs. Always proofread your work, then proof it again and then get another set of eyes over it. Simple mistakes say a lot about a person and a huge 43% of hiring managers said they dismiss a CV because it contains typos! 2. Order, Order! It’s always a great idea to put the order of your previous jobs in chronological order, even better when you date them so it’s obvious where you worked, when and how long for. What’s confusing is when there is no order or reason behind the ordering of the past experience. It instantly sends out a bad message and reflects badly on your organisational and communication skills and almost immediately disqualifies you from progressing further. 3. Me, Myself and I One of the biggest bugbears that hiring managers have when looking at CVs is the use of I. Your name is at the top, it is implied that the document is about you and nobody wants to go through the repetition of “I did this” or “I did that”. It’s a surefire way to getting the reader to dismiss your CV almost instantly. Your CV is a factual representation of you be sure to keep it impersonal, concise and accurate. Instead of using “ I automated the hiring process...” opt for “Automated the hiring process…” 4. Tailor Made When writing a CV it’s always a great idea to tailor it to the role or firm that you’re applying to. Unfortunately, when it comes to CVs, one size doesn’t fit all. Whether you’re using a CV template or writing a CV from scratch, to really maximise your chances you need to really spell out the reasons why the hiring manager should choose you and the best way to do this is to match your experience up with the ideal candidate specification. Although it may seem like this may take a long time it is definitely time well spent. 5. OTT While it’s fine to show a bit of personality in a CV do not go over the top. Nearly 40% of respondents in a YouGov poll put poor design down as a reason to disqualify an applicant. So what counts as over the top? Unusual fonts for one. Stick with Arial, 11pt in black. Easily read, smart and formal it’s always a winner with recruiters. What paper should you use? Easy, white A4, that’s it. Do you need any snazzy borders to jazz it up? Absolutely not. Remember this is a professional document with the aim of selling you in a few seconds. You’ll definitely stand out using unusual formats, fonts and colours but not in the way that you want. Bullet points are your friend here. They’re to the point (no pun intended), easy to read and are great for people who are reading in a rush. 6. Honesty is the best policy Nobody likes being lied to. However, with one-third of CVs and job applications containing falsifications, it seems that the majority of applicants feel it is permissible to embellish their experiences to some extent. Now, by no means are we here to judge you, no, no, no we would just strongly advise against it for these reasons. Applicants tend to big up their CVs out of fear that their experience is not impressive enough. However, dishonesty is always risky, whether it is a small fib or a whopping great lie, chances are you will get found out. Companies usually carry out their due diligence and more often than not your white lie is uncovered and your reputation is left in tatters. Who wants to hire an ousted liar? If by some chance you don’t get caught out and get the job you now have to perform at the standard you perpetuated on your CV. This can get extremely awkward and embarrassing… There we have it if you are already avoiding these mistakes your a CV superstar. If not, then why not? If you’re able to follow these simple steps your CV will be infinitely better. Remember if you need help or a professional point of view then our expert recruitment consultants are always happy to give you a few pointers.


July 2018: Legal Movers & Shakers

Emmie Jones- Joined White & Case from Macfarlanes White & Case has expanded its global mergers and acquisitions practice and global private equity industry group with the appointment of partner Emmie Jones in London. Jones was a partner at Macfarlanes where she trained and has more than 13 years’ experience advising private equity sponsors, corporations and management teams on acquisitions, disposals, management equity deals and distressed situations. She has advised on more than 150 deals and her experience includes traditional cross-border private equity transactions and advisory work for portfolio companies. Elisabeth Bremner- joined CMS from Norton Rose Fulbright: CMS has appointed Elisabeth Bremner as a partner in its financial services regulatory team in London. Bremner joins from Norton Rose Fulbright and has more than 20 years’ experience. She focuses on regulatory investigations in the financial services sector, including those carried out by the Financial Conduct Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and Securities and Exchange Commission. She has particular experience in undertaking independent internal investigations in relation to market abuse, insider trading and trader mis-marking in the investment banking and hedge fund sectors. She also advises the retail industry in areas such as fraud, sanctions breaches, mis-selling and complaints mishandling. Lucas Moore- joined Payne Hicks Beach from Jones Day: Payne Hicks Beach has expanded its dispute resolution team with the recruitment of partner Lucas Moore. Moore joins from Jones Day and has more than 15 years’ experience in international disputes. He has particular experience in multi-jurisdictional disputes arising in financial services and international trade. He also advises on contentious insolvency, fraud, corporate governance and shareholder matters. His clients consist of high-net-worth individuals, funds, banks and corporations across jurisdictions including the Cayman Islands, Mauritius and Guernsey. Nicola Fulford- joined Hogan Lovells from Kemp Little: Hogan Lovells has announced that privacy lawyer Nicola Fulford will be joining the firm as a partner in the privacy and cybersecurity practice, and will be based in the London office. Fulford will be joining Hogan Lovells from Kemp Little, where she headed up the data protection & privacy practice. Prior to her appointment to Kemp Little in 2013, she worked in-house at UBS and undertook secondments to Google and IBM. Tom Duncan- joined Ashurst from Mayer Brown: Ashurst announces the appointment of partner Tom Duncan in its dispute resolution team in London. Duncan joins from Mayer Brown where he has been a partner in the construction & engineering and international arbitration groups since 2012. He advises on all aspects of construction and engineering law with a particular focus on complex disputes. He has represented clients in a number of different jurisdictions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia and has wide experience of all forms of arbitrations, adjudications and other forms of alternative resolution. Linzi Bull – joined Penningtons Manches from Harbottle & Lewis: Penningtons Manches has expanded its family practice with the appointment of partner Linzi Bull who joins from Harbottle & Lewis. Bull has a particular interest in LBGT family matters, including international surrogacy and often advises on pre-conception agreements. She has significant experience in all areas of family law and has worked on a number of complex divorce cases or high-net-worth clients, and advises on complicated cross-jurisdictional pre and post-nuptial agreements.


Why employee benefits are the best thing since sliced bread

One of the biggest problems facing companies is the attraction and retention of top talent. And let’s face it, with companies clamouring over each other to offer ever more enticing benefits and perks, competition is hotting up. So how important are workplace benefits and how do you stand up and be counted when competing to attract new talent? Millennials have impacted the UK workplace This is no secret. It is their increasing influence that has led to a shift in attitudes towards employer/employee relationship. In a study conducted by PWC, it was found that Millennials are placing a greater emphasis on being supported and appreciated than previous generations of workers. As a result, companies are looking for ways in which they can show support and appreciation to their employees that take a step away from the traditional method of remuneration and holiday time. This has given rise to the boom of employee benefits that employees are increasingly expecting when looking for a new role. 84% said that company culture is key Having surveyed Pro’s recruitment consultants, a large majority mentioned that company culture and benefits were one of the key factors in influencing a professionals decision on whether they would apply for a job or not. At this juncture, it’s important to point out that these benefits aren’t exclusively for Millennials, older and more traditional professionals are benefitting from this cultural shift too. For example, popular offerings such as flexible working time give parents more opportunity to spend time with their families without the need to take holiday or unpaid time off. It has also been noted that 2018 has seen employers recognise healthcare, both physical and mental, as a key driver for employee benefits. Employee wellness benefits are mutually beneficial with a healthy and happy workforce resulting in increased productivity whilst reducing presenteeism. So how do you get in on the action? Well, whilst there is no one size fits all package available it is important that a benefits package is carefully designed and supports the business’ goals by attracting the right type of talent. You also need to ensure that you work within your parameters both financially and logistically. If you’re thinking of rolling out a benefits package it is really important to think of who you are trying to target and what their wants and needs will be. Once you have done this, time to build an attractive plan and watch the applications roll in and your existing employees high five you and tell you how happy they are!



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