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We deliver the best recruitment news and advice to the Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing sectors, including market updates, CV tips, interview advice, and exclusive interviews.


May 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in May 2019: FRP Advisory have strengthened its St Albans team with the appointment of Simon Carvill-Biggs as a Partner at the specialist advisory firm. Joining from his position as a Director at Menzies where he spent more than 6 years. Carvill-Biggs brings with him more than 20 years’ experience having also held positions at UHY Hacker Young, BDO and Moore Stephens. Sam Mills has joined EYs Manchester office as a Director in their restructuring team. Mills has a background in financial services joining from PWC where his 9 years was spent as a Senior Manager in financial advisory and then as a Senior Manager in deals and advisory. David Rule has been appointed to the newly created role of Executive Director of Supervision at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The role will entail overseeing supervision and monitoring of audit and company reporting and will report to FRC CEO Stephen Hadrill. “[Rule] joins the FRC at a time of strategic importance and will play a significant role in driving further improvements in audit and reporting quality,” Haddrill said. Peter Smithson has joined BDO as an Audit Partner in the technology and media team of their London office. Peter has over 17 years of sector experience having worked for Baker Tilly, Grant Thornton and most recently as a Partner in the West End office of Kingston Smith. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>


12 Tips to Become a Successful Recruiter

As a recruiter, it's your job to get the best talent through the door and provide your company or client with the right candidates who will make an impact. While each recruiter has different specific strengths, there are numerous commonalities among effective recruiters. Becoming a great recruiter takes skill, intuition and lots of practice, and our recruitment experts here at Pro have put together 12 Top Tips on becoming and remaining a successful recruiter. So, what makes a good recruiter? 1. Answer/return the call The most successful recruiters will always get back to people whether it is good or bad news and offer full feedback, or even just a quick update call. Don’t be that ever-elusive recruiter who doesn’t get back to their candidates or clients! If you went for a job and no one got back to you, even if you were not successful, would you be happy with this? 2. Make the most of your day Recruiting is like juggling plates. You will have business development calls, candidate calls, interviews, meetings, adverts, applications and emails amongst a barrage of incoming calls. Plan your day to make sure you hit your targets and deadlines, even when you find one situation takes up most of your afternoon unexpectedly! 3. Network Building your network of both existing and potential clients and candidates is key. Keeping in regular contact with active job seekers and clients you have placed with will keep you fresh in their minds to come back to. Attending industry events and lunches, alongside social networking are all effective ways to increase your means of generating the best candidates. 4. Build your personal brand  Make sure you are delivering the best service to both clients and candidates alike! When you are generating business from a referral or placing candidates because you have been recommended, you know what you are doing is working! If you do a fantastic job, that candidate you placed last year will remember your excellent service and when they are recruiting for their own team, you will be the person they think of to contact. 5. Listen As a recruiter, you need to listen to both your clients and candidates alike to ensure that you fully understand every detail of what that individual wants. Just because you have recruited for a similar role for a competitor,  both the role and what another client wants from a candidate will not necessarily be the same. The same goes for your candidates - understanding their wants, needs and goals will help you to match them to their perfect opportunity. 6. Drive and Determination To be a successful recruiter you need the drive and determination to succeed. You will need to pick up the phone to make cold calls, call candidates, headhunt the passive market and be proactive in your approach. 7. Never stop learning Making sure you are up to date with your knowledge and methods of working will help you stay ahead of your game. As an industry, recruitment is always changing and developing. Trends in the markets change, and tools and techniques are ever evolving. It’s hard to imagine a time without LinkedIn and social media as a recruitment tool; yet not that long ago it was unknown. The way clients are now recruiting is also changing to suit their needs, especially as we are now in such a buoyant market. 8. Ask questions Every successful recruiter has managed to hone their questioning skills to ensure they are finding out more than their competitors and able to make the best matches. Ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to dig deeper to clarify the answers. Knowledge is power in recruitment. 9. Have a thick skin There is a lot of rejection, and some days you may not get the results you want. The important thing is to be able to bounce back, keep positive and stay persistent. If you continue to be proactive you will be a huge success! 10. Think outside the box The most successful recruiters show entrepreneurialism and innovation in the ways they can source and fill vacancies. There is a lot of competition out there from thousands of other agencies. Make sure you are finding new and clever ways to work with clients and candidates alike and show you are different and why. Don’t be afraid to change the way you work because you are comfortable with your processes. 11. Work as a team There is a wealth of knowledge and skills across your business. Work alongside successful recruiters and you will pick up tips and styles to help you improve. Even the most seasoned recruiter can learn from a junior member of the team, and sharing knowledge and best practices will widen your skill set to ensure you are a top performer. 12. Know your market If you work in a specialised vertical sector then make sure you are up to date with industry news and market knowledge - to be the best recruiter you need to know your market inside-out!   Here at Pro-Recruitment Group, our teams specialise in Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing recruitment. Each team prides themselves in being market specialists, who research and learn every day from a wide range of resources available to them. We hold events within these specialised areas to network with professionals and ensure our teams are up to date with their knowledge. We also source Consultants who have worked in these industries previously and so have hands-on experience within their sector, including Solicitors, Partners of Law Firms, Tax Seniors and Accountants. As a company, we are in a period of growth. If you are interested in becoming a market specialist and developing your career with Pro-Recruitment Group, contact our Head of Talent Loren on 020 7269 6358 or


April 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in April 2019: Julie Teigland has been appointed as EY's Area Managing Partner for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA). This is the first female EMEIA leader for EY and Julie will command more than 115,000 people across 98 countries with revenue in excess of £10.6bn. Julie has been with EY for more than 17 years and will also join the EY global executive committee. Baldwins accountancy group, a member of the CogitalGroup has made a further investment in Wales through the acquisition of MHA Broomfield Alexander. This South Wales firm has been established for over 100 years and currently employs more than 110 professional staff with an annual turnover of £7.5m Crowe has appointed Mark Allen as a Partner in its Corporate Finance Team based in the Thames Valley office. Mark joins from Deloitte where he led their Corporate Finance Team in Reading prior to moving to London as a senior member of the technology, media and telecoms team. The TC Group (previously Taylorcocks) has significantly expanded its presence in the south-east through a merger with Essex firm Jamesons. This Merger will provide TC Group with two more offices in Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea consolidating its position as one of the largest accountancy firms in the region. This brings the total offices of the TC Group to 13 offices nationwide.​ Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>


Never Underestimate The Influence Of Company Culture on Staff Attraction

Due to the competitive nature of the market, high-quality candidates are often presented with four or five offers of employment for their next position. As a result, clients are constantly asking my advice on how to attract and retain the best talent out there! Whilst excellent rates of pay and opportunities for progression are two of the most obvious ways to attract the right team members, there are various other more subtle and engaging ways to maximise your staffing potential. According to Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. With that being said, below we will explore some creative ways to motivate and reward your employees when they go above and beyond. Not to mention ways to create a company culture that'll be the envy of your competitors and attract the top talent in the market! So what can your company do to attract and retain staff? Social functions We spend between eight and ten hours a day with our work colleagues so having positive relationships is important for both productivity, employee relations and staff morale. Having regular social functions strengthens these bonds and leaves your staff looking forward to going to work! It is also beneficial to break down some of the hierarchal barriers that can unconsciously arise in a formal office environment.   Extra holiday allowance for charity and community work Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been a key areas of focus across various industries in the past year and what better way to engage with your team than support them in causes close to their own heart. Deloitte found that 76% of Millennials now regard business as a force for positive social impact. Whilst CSR benefits the employee directly they will feel that you as the employer see them as more than a body on a chair and are aligned with their motivations and ideologies. Flexible lifestyles need flexible working A common market misconception is that flexible working means an hour either side of rigid core hours in one location. In fact, flexible working is so much more than this, due in part to technological advances. According to a survey conducted by PowWowNow, 67% of employees polled wish they were offered flexible working. On top of that, 58% of people believed that working away from the office would help them become more motivated. Several of my key clients have implemented flexible locations whether this is working from home, regional offices or WeWork spaces. If you are reactive to your employees’ needs, chances are they will be appreciative. Let staff chose their own benefits and incentives Not every employee is the same and every individual will have key drivers as to what would make them feel rewarded. By allowing employees to have an input in their own personalised incentive scheme you again reinforce that you are a people focused company. Whether this is additional time off, financial reward or something more tangible such as a bottle of wine or meal with a loved one, allowing them to chose can really pay off. These are just some of the ideas that we at Pro-Recruitment Group have suggested to clients, which have been implemented across several offices. If you feel that your company does not value you as an employee, or indeed you are an employer looking to attract and retain the best staff in the market, please do get in contact with our industry experts!


How To Close That Interview

So you’ve got the interview- good start. But now it’s time to get the job, and everything you say in the interview is crucial, so don’t neglect the standard “Do you have any questions for me?”. It’s incredible how many people spend hours preparing for interviews, do really well during the meeting itself and then get to the end only to say, “No, no questions, I think we have covered everything”. What does that say to the potential employer? Because from a recruiter’s point of view, I think it says “I’m not that interested" or "I just have not prepared". In reality, you are interviewing the role and the company just as much as they are interviewing you! This process is a two-way street - you need to come out of that interview and think "that's the best place for me", and the best way to know that is to ask focused questions and find out as much as possible about the role you will potentially be accepting. In my opinion, there are always questions that you could ask, whether it be about the culture of the team you will b working with, the future of the firm, the firm's specific client base, or even the background and career journey of the person you are meeting. So what questions could you ask at the end of an interview? My advice would be to formulate open-ended questions that you know won’t be covered by most interviews. Try to steer clear of "yes" or "no" questions, and avoid asking too much about salary and benefits in the initial interview stages. The likelihood is that the main part of the interview will involve talking about you as an individual, your relevant experience and the role itself, which leaves plenty of questions to ask which leave a good impression and build rapport. The chances are that at least one of these questions will not be covered by your interview: “Can you tell me about the structure of the team?" “Can you give me an example of some recent projects you have worked on?" (this will bring the role to life!) "What would be my goals/objectives for the first 6 - 9 - 12 months?" “I see you have come from a larger/smaller company, what was the transition like?” “What would my career path be like with this company?” "Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?" "Can you tell me about the team's culture?" (this will give you a chance to find out about the fun stuff!) Questions like the above show that you have done your research, looked into who you will be meeting and show that you are genuinely interested in joining them. Fingers crossed you will have multiple interviews, so the above questions are going to help you determine that this is the right firm for you! Just remember- first impressions count but it is how you leave the meeting that will leave a lasting impression, and smart, well-thought-out questions may just show that you are the perfect hire. For more interview tips, or for jobs in London or Nationwide, contact Kevin on 020 7269 6321 or


ACA - What Next?

Congratulations on your ACA results! Now you have qualified you have most likely found yourself at a crossroads - this is the time for you to evaluate your career choices which can often be difficult for newly qualified accountants. There are many options available to you and no-one can tell you with certainty the right step to take; it’s up to you to use your judgement and make the decision that’s best for your future career. So what are your options once you qualify? We will explore: - Firms - Specialisms - Career Development 1. Firms There are a number of options from which you will make your decision - you may either progress within your own firm, move to another firm of a different size, or make the move into Commerce & Industry. Some newly qualified accountants will decide to move from practice into industry, which can be a very diverse career path offering a new challenge. The C&I list is vast, ranging from FTSE 100 companies to start-ups, and each option comes with its own pros and cons. Often, people see C&I as an attractive career path as opposed to practice, however this is often because they may not enjoy the nature of audit. It is important to consider that roles in practice are changing and becoming more advisory focused with the use of new technology and artificial intelligence. In practice, you can expect a fast-paced culture allowing you to maintain client interaction and potentially develop into an advisory role. Decide on where you gain most job satisfaction - is it in the variety of work and clients, or do you want to directly contribute to a firm’s strategy? Firms of varying size all have their own individual merits. For example, working at one of the Big 4 or a larger practice not only offers global reach but can provide alternative career paths through secondments. If you work for a small firm, you may consider moving to a larger practice which would give you more exposure to a wider variety of clients as well as the chance to get involved in roles outside of audit - whether this may be corporate finance or working with stakeholders - which is an excellent opportunity for career development. Alternately, choosing a smaller firm is the right path for some people. If you are in a bigger firm and not getting the experience or responsibilities you want, you have the option of moving to a smaller firm where you would get more managerial experience and the opportunity to progress to Partner more quickly. This is a route which would also allow you to have a direct input on strategy and growth due to the likelihood of a close Partner group. Whichever route you decide to take within practice, whether you choose a small independent firm or aim to work for one of the Big 4, be sure you want to pursue a career in practice and plan a route that ultimately leads towards your career goals. 2. Specialisms Obtaining your ACA qualification opens up exciting potential career paths - at the beginning decide if you want to specialise immediately or create a broader experience base to progress from later. Either way, make sure to grab opportunities to gain exposure to specialisms and different service lines early on! After all, expanding your knowledge and skill set can only further your career later on. Often, coming from an audit background means your most likely role within C&I would be very technical and usually based upon financial accounting. Whereas the progression on offer within practice often allows you to manage more people and move into a more client-facing, advisory position. Accounting is an option which gives you the opportunity to use the skills gained in your current role and is a good way to gain technical experience at specialised firms early on in your career. Audit is often used as a stepping stone into the wider business for many accountants, and with a career in audit you can also benefit from internal secondment opportunities within different parts of a business, such as Corporate Finance, ultimately expanding your skill set to the benefit of your future career. It can seem like an overwhelming task to decide so early on the right route for you to take, but getting advice from industry experts could help you make an informed decision! 3. Career development Whichever route you decide to take, make the most of any training and development facilities available to you. Many firms place importance on career development, offering yearly appraisals, learning and development departments for high-quality training and counselling managers. Accountancy practices are often eager to help staff reach their full potential, so make sure you have clear goals, objectives and a strategy laid out in your appraisals. Ongoing training and building up of experience are keys to success in every field. Use the early years of your career to differentiate yourself from your peers with diverse experience through secondments and if Partnership is your long-term goal, ensure you engage in Business Development early on. Stand out from your peers, and people will notice you and support your career ambitions! Passing your ACA opens up so many avenues, from becoming a specialist in a particular field, to working with large corporate companies or even launching your own enterprise. 83% of all FTSE 100 firms have at least one ICAEW Chartered Accountant on the board, which showcases the wealth of opportunities that ACA careers offer. Most importantly, you have the opportunity to shape your career to suit your own interests and aspirations. Ultimately, your decision will come down to culture, progression opportunities and professional development. As long as you keep these things in mind while considering your options once you have qualified, you will be well-equipped to make the best decision for your future career in finance. If you would like more information on this article, or to speak to our finance recruitment experts about your next step, contact Tom on 020 7269 6349 or


7 Steps To Getting A Promotion In Your Legal Career

Do you think it’s time for your promotion? The thing to note about career progression is that you’ll need more than simply the correct experience. Knowing what else you need to address with your employer, as well as how to bring the issue up, can be the key to getting your desired outcome from the conversation. Here are 7 handy steps you can take to get the promotion you’re after to propel your legal career. 1. Ask your employer The first thing to do is make sure you’ve stated your aspirations to your manager in clear terms. Set up a meeting with the appropriate authority to talk about your career, and the direction you’d like to take it in. Make clear how you see yourself progressing, and offer an ideal timeframe. Letting your employer know what your goals are may further incline them to move you up when the opportunity arises. An ideal conversation would also expose you to the opportunities currently available within your organisation. This should help you plan your next move. Generally, higher positions will involve greater freedom and autonomy, but also greater responsibility. You can’t go wrong by requesting greater responsibilities. Signalling a wish to do more important work should make your intentions clear in a non-obtrusive way. The old saying goes: ask and you shall receive. The first step, then, is to ask. 2. Sell yourself If asking alone got us the results we wanted, we would all be living out fully idealised lives. You need to do more than just ask – you need to display your credentials. Take notes of the work you’ve done to help your firm reach its strategic goals. Keep these achievements in a log, and make them prominent during your meeting with your manager. Beware: stating that you simply deserve to be moved up is by itself not a good tactic. Showing why you’re an important asset to the firm is better. Basically, you need to quantify your results. You might even show them some of your lesser-known accomplishments. Try to promote yourself in a way that also casts your colleagues in a better light. 3. Acquire additional skills Often, your current experience may not cover the requirements for a promoted position. Some positions you would like may require additional qualifications or skills, required even for internal applicants. Find out what these requirements are and take matters into your own hands by acquiring them. As technological skills change rapidly, you need an ever-increasing skill set to keep up and stay ahead of the game. Spending extra time to learn new things for a role you want is almost always worth it. If for some reason you miss the promotion, you’ll still have gained a new skill to add to your CV, which will help you if you choose to seek a new job. 4. Move sideways Instead of keeping your eyes on the role above you, perhaps try looking to the side. Sometimes a movement to a different but related niche or a different role at your same level may be a more lucrative career move. Not every promotion involves a direct movement upwards. This is especially useful in cases where someone directly above you is blocking your progression. Trying new responsibilities may even come with a pay rise or more flexible hours. You’ll gain new skills and expand your portfolio, which better equips you for when it’s time to move up. 5. Start asking questions Building a strong team allows managers to outsource expertise to their employees. As an employee, you should ask your questions to demonstrate your own value. There’s no creed that dictates employees must agree unequivocally with everything managers say. At times, it’s better to be inquisitive. But there has to be a balance: interested is not the same as irritating. Learn how to inquire with integrity, with the correct backup, and when to continue. 6. Realise your shortcomings It’s easy to take credit when things go well. Showing that you’re able to take blame when things go wrong, however, is a greater display of responsibility. It’s generally nicer to admit to your own failures and work on them, rather than hear about them from someone else. When things aren’t running smoothly, communicate this with your manager in a professional manner. The next step is to make clear how you’ll improve the situation, and show willingness to tackle it. Promotions are about accountability just as much as pay rises. Prove your accountability and maturity, and the rewards will come. 7. Keep working hard Amidst all this, it’s important to keep a cool head and remain focused on the work you’ve been currently delegated. Taking time to consider greater goals and larger-scale projects is useful, but not at the expense of your day job! Promotions are rarely certain. If you struggle with your current work, you’ll have a harder time convincing those above you that you’re suited for more senior responsibilities. If you feel like you’re stuck in a position with no progression, the industry experts here at Pro-Legal can help you find your next career move. 


London or Local? The Pros and Cons

So it's Monday morning, and once again we're pushing our way through half-asleep commuters on the daily travel into London. We are all packed into what seems like a human sardine can on our way to our jobs in London. It was on this morning, whilst I stood there being propped up by a businessman and a builder, I came to realise that I am not the first to have this thought, is the commute really worth it? Money, money, money Let's be honest, money is the reason a lot of people commute into London and probably the most important factor when considering where to live and work, but here are a few other things to consider: Salary bands are often higher in London Rent prices are often lower outside of the City The cost to commute into London There are clearly a few options here and depending on various factors such as salary and expenses, any of the following could work for you: Live regionally but work in London - rent is a lot cheaper and your salary will still be at a premium, although travel costs may be significant Live and work in London - save money on travel but use a lot of that top end salary on higher rent prices Live and work regionally - generally earn considerably less but benefit from cheaper housing prices. The problem is that with less public transport, comes the need to potentially own a car, another sizeable cost. Time is of the essence The next thing to consider is the time it takes you to get to work. Working locally gives you the flexibility to drive to work, but do the local roads become a huge jam at 8am and 6pm? Will finding that elusive parking space add to your morning stresses? The commute into London isn’t so straightforward either. Do you live near a rail station? Does that go straight into central London or do you need to change? When you get to Central London, how far from the office are you? Do you need to take multiple tubes to get to work from the rail station? The Verdict With everyone’s situation being different, it is clear that different routines work for different people but you can always make an informed decision if you know all the facts. My advice would be to gain an understanding of salary differences in London compared to where you live and then look at the financial impact that both options have on your life. If you're commuting, it may be worth examining your current salary to balance the time and money. Factor in commute options and you can start to build a picture of which option works best for you. Considering the amount of time that we spend at work, I am of the opinion that we should ensure that we are happy not just in our jobs but getting to and from them as well. For more information about this article, or if you'd like to discuss career options in Finance in London or regionally, please contact Tom Eagle on 020 7269 6349 or email him at


CMA and Kingman review: Where are we now?

Following on from my recent article, The Big Four: Are the auditors ready to be audited? , the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are working through their report, and Sir John Kingman has started to release his initial thoughts and findings. This has prompted the initial response from the Big 4 and several challenger firms. Here we will consolidate that information to give us a picture of where we are to date and how this will define the audit market for years to come.  The ICAEW have told the Competition and Markets Authority that they feel the current approaches to audit change are solving the wrong problem and will not solve the problems of corporate accountability. The ICAEW suggests that the proposed “ring fencing” of the big fours audit offerings would create difficulties since the integrated multi-disciplinary firms operate to a single standard of professionalism and ethics, and work within a consistent professional culture across their firm’s work. They have suggested the focus should be on strengthening the firms’ culture to ensure that auditors maintain objectivity when conducting the audit. However, were the CMA to go down the separation route that the requirement should initially only apply to the big four. To extend it to the challenger firms would be likely to act as a significant disincentive to joining the FTSE 350 audit market.  It is great to see some agreement from all of the big four on where we are to date and cohesion in their thoughts of how improvements can be implemented.  Leaders for PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY have all admitted to MPs that the quality of their audit work needs to improve. Speaking at the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee’s inquiry into the future of audit in the UK.  They have all agreed that a market share cap was a good idea but that other proposals would not help improve quality – namely joint audits or spinning off audit processes. Bill Michael, UK chairman of KPMG, broke ranks to say that separating the audit firms is the “right direction of travel” but not “an electrifying” ring fence.  The challenger firms however are mixed in their thoughts. Grant Thornton CEO David Dunckley said that the CMA recommendations “as a package” could open the barriers to entry for challenger firms auditing the FTSE 350.  Where the results will lead remains to be seen but all firms are reacting in a positive manner and looking to embrace the required change within the market.   For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or 


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 you're 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. For free fully editable and downloadable CV templates go to, a career advice website that gives job seekers access to 100’s of CV templates and Cover Letter examples. For more information on this article or to speak to Ashleigh about your recruiting needs or jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 020 7269 6324 or



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