Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

Today we have another great post from Nate Miller, who is a part-time guest-blogger. Make sure to follow him on his business intelligence blog.

While in recent years it has had fewer visitors than London, Rome or even Bangkok, Paris remains a top tourist destination. Many first time visitors will be curious to discover if that old cliché about rude Parisians is true, particularly when it comes to shop assistants and waiters, although a huge amount of this is dependent on a customers attitudes and expectations. Many people don’t mind the sometimes brusque service on offer in Paris, which is prompt and efficient, although it’s often service without a smile. Some, however, find it so different than what they’re used to, that they actually find it rude, which is where the Paris cliché originates from. To win over visitors, the city authorities have produced a brochure for those who work in the service industries, entitled, Do You Speak Tourist? The brochure is full of handy tips like remembering to smile and wish customers a nice day when they leave, as well as the preferences of various nationalities (smiling for Americans, calling British people by their first names). Whether the brochure wins over the hearts and minds of visitors remains to be seen, but it can be argued that any attempt to improve levels of customer service is a good thing. Fortunately most people who are interested in high levels of customer service don’t have to implement a scheme across a whole city, but instead just have to concentrate on their own business. So what are some easy ways to improve customer service within your business?

Good Manners

This one might seem like a no brainer, but it’s as simple as giving a customer a smile and friendly greeting. It’s possible for overkill, and while customers want to feel important, you can easily lay it on a bit too thick- there’s no need to greet a customer like they’re a long lost friend. Simply greet customers how you would want to be greeted in their situation.

Respond Quickly

Many businesses set up a benchmark that a telephone must be answered by the third ring. This is perhaps not always possible in smaller businesses, but customers will appreciate you applying a sense of urgency to picking up the phone. The same goes for replying to emails, Facebook postings and Tweets.


While many customers seem to be laid back, not everyone wants to be talked to so informally. Avoid calling someone “mate” or “buddy” and try to use their name. You don’t have to enunciate each word like a Shakespearean actor, but speak clearly and avoid too many colloquialisms.

Be Reachable

Depending on the nature of your business, you might not always be at a particular location to serve a customers needs, so make sure you have a smart phone or tablet that allows you to stay in touch using all electronic mediums while on the go. If customers often have difficulty getting through to your office via the phone, consider running your phone systems through a Voice over Internet Protocol, which doesn’t get congested in the same way as a landline.

Keep Your Staff Happy

Your staff aren’t robots there to do your bidding. Certainly, they’re paid a wage in return for performing their duties, but

your customers are more likely to receive service with a smile if your staff are confident and happy in their roles, and this is all due to being in a positive work environment.

This has been a guest post from Nate Miller, a part-time guest-blogger. Make sure to follow him on his business intelligence blog.

Career Advancement: Advance Your Career Using Lifelong Learning, Part 1

Today we have another  guest post from Tamara M. Williams. Tamara publishes articles in topics such as Software and Marketing on EzineArticles which can be found  here

Lifelong Learning involves increasing your knowledge, skills and experiences throughout your entire life. Lifelong learning is important because of new or improved technologies, changes in market trends, increased competition from new or existing competitors, and changes in standards and regulations related to your industry. You need to be aware of what is currently happening in your company and industry.

Stay up-to-date in your career so that you can attract new customers and strengthen existing customer relationships. It also improves your overall job performance and gives you a better chance at getting a promotion, salary increase or pursuing your dream career. There are many resources available to help you to learn. In this article I explain learning through Company Training and Industry Training. In Part 2, I will discuss learning by getting College or University Degrees and studying Free Online Courses.

Company Training

Ask the HR staff at your current company about various opportunities to increase your skills and knowledge. They should be able to inform you of internal staff training for new or existing products and services offered. Attend the training sessions, watch training videos and study the related materials for the department that you are in. Ensure that your attendance is recorded on your employee file so that it can be added to your performance review.

By participating in training, you demonstrate to your supervisor and co-workers that you have an interest in the company. In addition, you have the opportunity to suggest new ideas or provide important feedback. This should also increase your chances of a promotion or salary increase by showing dedication to improving yourself and your company.

Industry Training

There are also many industry leaders which offer a variety of workshops, lectures, forums, conferences. These inform you of industry wide products and services that are available. Attending these training sessions allows you to expand your social and professional network by meeting employees from other companies. Sometimes, training is held at various locations so always check the schedule to find events being held close to where you live or work.

There are many free events that are held and these are great to attend. However, aim for multiple industry certificates related to your current career. The more qualifications you have the better the chances of climbing the career ladder.  This is the same for pursuing a new career or changing roles within the same field. The training sessions can be expensive so you should find out if your employer offers discounts or reimbursements. If not then you might have to put aside money in your budget for training. Usually training resources include classroom training, online training, DVDs, books and software so explore the different resources that you need and then save towards them.

In closing, Company and Industry Training can be challenging but in some situations you can arrange to attend training during office hours since it counts towards improving your performance at work. Some employers offer funding so it is always best to ask and choose the best option available to you. In Part 2, I will be discussing College or University Degrees and studying Free Online Courses.

About the Author:

Tamara M. Williams encourages you to contact your nearest Career Center or a Life & Career Coach for more assistance. Tamara publishes articles in topics such as Software and Marketing on EzineArticles which can be found  here.


Job Search Confidence!

Job Search Confidence!

Job Search and that magic ingredient – confidence!

Job search confidence – now first I have to admit to having an interest here. As a career coach I focus on working with clients who want to develop their confidence and self esteem – that is my “niche.” But I chose it for very good reasons. I would say that being able to maintain self confidence in the job search process is, as in the rest of life, key to success. You need to believe in yourself and your capabilities.

Of course you need to meet the requirements of the role for which you are applying, but also, you need to maintain self-belief through the anxiety ridden process that is recruitment. And that is not always easy! You have to have the confidence to present what you believe about yourself to strangers and that can be challenging.

Presenting yourself when you are already in a role at which you are succeeding, is quite different to doing it when something has gone wrong at work or if you have been made redundant. When you are simply looking for a career development move or a promotion then you have all the confidence you have built up in your present role to support you. You may be a little nervous or suffer from a little performance anxiety (stage-fright to you and me). But basically you can tell yourself with some degree of conviction that if you succeed they will be lucky to get you and, if you don’t, well it is their loss and you will do better next time.

Confidence to keep going

When you are already unemployed and having to deal with a market that is more likely to reject than accept you, you need to build up your resistance. You need the confidence to keep going until you get that precious job.

Fundamental to maintaining confidence is physical and mental fitness. Do you eat a good diet? Do you exercise? I know it is tempting to comfort eat – and you need get out there and move. At the very least take a walk each day. It is all too easy to get up and just slope into the home office interrupted only with visits to the kitchen to snack or to the sitting room to watch day time television. I know – I work at home. As well as that, take time out for meditation or at the very least relaxation time.

A strong vision

Most important, you need to develop of very strong vision of yourself as a successful professional with lots to give. Create an image in your mind of you doing well. For these purposes, suspend judgment about any doubts. Then spend time each day with that vision of yourself. Some people imagine their successful self standing right in front of them and they step into the vision, beginning to see the world through their successful self’s eyes.

The more time you spend with your successful self, the more that self becomes you. This helps a lot when you are preparing for an interview and again if you are unlucky enough to be rejected – remember it is their loss and you will do better next time.

But if you do feel yourself getting stuck or going further down, seek help. Career coaches and counsellors are there to help you. And I am always very happy to talk to you – get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link


Career Development: Learning to Influence – The Importance of Rapport

Career Development: Learning to Influence – The Importance of Rapport

In order to communicate well with others and to gain their cooperation, it is important to establish rapport. Rapport means being synchronised and in harmony with another person. This usually means making sure that you match their body language, voice tone and the language they use. You will find this may happen naturally with people whose values and beliefs you share! It happens too with people you like who are deeply engaged in similar activities to you at the same time and particularly if they are at the same level of skill. With others you have to do more work

Why is rapport important?

Rapport is important and it is a forerunner and provides a basis of the development of trust and understanding. This means it leads to connection and influence. It helps you see the other person’s point of view and them to understand yours. Successful interactions with others and the building of relationships that last, depend largely on our ability to establish and maintain some level of rapport. With rapport, resistance and antagonism will usually disappear and cooperation will be improved

How can you develop rapport with others?

First, it helps if you can begin to understand how they see the world, without being judgmental. Simply accept that for them this is how the world is. Then begin to match how they move and how they speak – you need to do this with care – don’t suddenly start to speak with a different accent. If you do it very obviously they are likely to think you are mocking them! All of this needs to be done in a way that is comfortable for you.

This kind of matching reduces both the difference and the distance between us and others at a subconscious level. For it to work you do not have to change your beliefs or values to accommodate someone else – only accept them as they are and that their views are sincerely held – respect them without judgment while being in rapport.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

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Things to Definitely Not Do if You Want to Become CEO

Things to Definitely Not Do if You Want to Become CEO

Today we have a guest post from Nate Miller, a part-time guest-blogger. Make sure to follow him on his business intelligence blog.

For every UK TV show that was successfully remade for US television, there are many that didn’t make the grade. Did you see the US versions of The Inbetweeners, Coupling or Skins? Probably not, since they were all abruptly pulled from the airwaves after just a few episodes after the concept failed to translate. But then there’s The Office, NBC’s comedy juggernaut that ran for a whopping 201 episodes, and was based on the BBC show of the same name, which had a far more modest 15 episodes. The US version of The Office detailed the exploits of the employees of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company and their hapless manager Michael Scott (played by the excellent Steve Carell). Michael Scott was an excellent example of what not to do when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder, with his endless smutty jokes and childish battles with his staff. The road to management and ultimately being a CEO isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, and there are many career trajectories that can land you at the top. There are, however, many things that can be done to ensure you’ll never reach the CEO’s office. So what are things you really need to avoid if you ever want to become a CEO?

Lack of Reliability

Sometimes life gets in the way, and despite our best efforts, there are missed buses and traffic jams, but chronic lateness is a most undesirable trait, and while management and co-workers might be sympathetic, they will definitely notice and note frequent late arrivals at work and to meetings. The same goes for delivering work on time – give a realistic time-frame as to when you can actually complete something, and if there needs to be any amendments to the deadline, let the relevant parties know! It’s not such a big deal to need more time to complete something, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.

Lack of Credibility

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Own up to any issues, rather than attempting to pass the buck and blame someone else. Working within a company is collaborative effort, and your superiors will be impressed if you take ownership of a problem and go above and beyond to rectify the issue. You need to be trustworthy within a corporate environment, and this goes to a personal level as well it’s never a good idea to gossip about a colleague, since getting a reputation as the office gossip is a great way to stop your career progression in its tracks.

Lack of Open-Mindedness

“No” isn’t a word that should be used unless absolutely necessary. Management doesn’t want to hear that something simply can’t be done, particularly when staff are dismissive of an idea without properly thinking it through and possibly finding an alternative path to the desired end result. Keep an open mind when presented with new tasks and challenges, even if it’s a vastly different issue or process than usual. It’s too easy to get caught in a corporate rut, and only think that there’s a single way to achieve goals. It’s a cliché, but you really should think outside the box.

Being a positive problem solver is really the best way to advance to your goal of CEO; being a negative drone who needs to be guided at each and every step goes against the mindset evident in most successful CEO’s.  Doing the best job you can will allow you to advance through the ranks, eventually landing that corner office and being able to pass on your wealth of information to those who now answer to you.

This has been a guest post from Nate Miller, a part-time guest-blogger. Make sure to follow him on his business intelligence blog.

What graduates can bring to your company!

What graduates can bring to your company

Today we have a guest post from JonJon Yeung  with a very interesting perspective and we’d love to have your views

Most entrepreneurs and SME owners don’t go into business thinking that they’ll remain on the bottom rung of the business ladder for long. The plan is to expand the customer base, build up loyal clients and increase the profit for potential. In other words, the majority of business owners know that, at some point down the line, they’re going to expand.

And expansion means taking on new employees. When it comes to the hiring side of things, employers are faced with that age-old question: do they hire someone with experience or do they hire someone fresh out of university?

Experience Counts

Let’s take a look at experience first. Hiring someone who’s been in the game a while does come with its advantages. They know standard practices, they tend not to make schoolboy errors and they’ll also be aware of tried and tested methods. However, on the flip side, they’ll be less adaptable – especially when it comes to things like technology. Business tools are emerging and developing all the time and, if you really want to be a contender, you or your staff are going to need to know their way around them.

New Minds; Fresh ideas

So what about graduates? Well, there’s certainly the potential for teething problems but, remember, graduates are fresh from a learning environment and are still programmed to keep on learning. In other words, you can put your stamp on them and encourage them to approach their jobs in the way that best suits you – with little fear of resistance. Plus, they may have knowledge that you don’t. But they’re not going to throw it in your face; after all, you’re giving them their first job.

However, you might find that they’re prepared to make intelligent and well-informed suggestions, using new information that seasoned professionals simply aren’t aware of.

Technical Problems

There’s also the question of technology. With companies such as Intuit continually updating and improving their business tools, you need someone who can cope with the ever-changing face of technology. What you’re using now may well be old-hat to a graduate. As an example, why do you need a team of accountants to run your finances when you could be using QuickBooks, from Intuit? Voted as one of the top 10 places to work, hire a tech-savvy graduate and they can transform the way your finances run, doing away with manual tasks and turning the majority of that time-consuming stuff into automated processes. Graduates know this field and it’s a field that starting to become very prominent in the business arena. With more and more business being done via mobile phones, apps and tablets, you need someone who can throw themselves into the tech-based side of things without batting an eyelid.

Finally, there’s the question of age. If you hang on to your old team, then there’s going to come a point where retirement beckons and if all your employees are of a certain age, there are going to be some fairly hefty gaps in your infrastructure.

However, give a graduate a good working environment with plenty of opportunity for advancement within the organisation and you could have a long-term employee who brings a great deal to the table. Graduates may need a little nurse-maiding to begin with, but the way we do business is evolving and they can help you stay ahead of the latest changes.

This is a guest post from JonJon Yeung  

New Career Directions – A New Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

New Career Directions – A New Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

Today on WiseWolf Talking we have the great pleasure of presenting another interview with award-winning novelist, Mariam Kobras.  Mariam is the author of the Stone Trilogy and the first book in the series, “The Distant Shore”, won the 2012 IPPY Bronze Medal for Romance. Guess what? She won a silver IPPY medal with her second novel, “Under the Same Sun”  in 2013.  The third book, “Song of the Storm”, has just been published! You can find our earlier interview at this link.

Hi Mariam

Since our last interview with you in October 2012 things seem to have moved on a lot for you – can you give us a quick up-date please.

Oh gosh, let me think for a moment.

In October 2012 my second book, Under the Same Sun was released and I began writing The Rosewood Guitar, which I finished this March. It will be published in spring 2014. It’s the story of young Jon (before Naomi) and his way to fame.

In April this year, Under the Same Sun won the Silver Ippy Medal, and I began working on Waiting for a Song, the companion book to The Rosewood Guitar. It’s Naomi’s journal of the months before she meets Jon for the first time.

Now we’re releasing Song of the Storm, the  conclusion of  the Stone Trilogy.

I know – a lot of book titles, and maybe a bit confusing. But we’re moving very fast, my publisher and I. With a bit of luck there will be six Stone Series books published  by the end of 2014. Which means, six books in three years.

I clearly don’t do a lot  except write books.

You are now publishing the third book in your Stone Trilogy – would you like to tell us a little about it please?

Song of the Storm was, at least so far, the most difficult book for me to write.

The main part of the story revolves around Jon and Naomi finally finding calm waters. They have just finished a world tour with Jon’s band and are settling into the house in Brooklyn that Naomi gave Jon as a wedding present. They are busy staging a Broadway musical they wrote together, are expecting a baby, and Naomi has begun writing a novel. So there’s a lot going on, but all of it is really good, and feels like they are seeing their dreams for their life together coming true.

But looks can be deceiving, and life has another twist in the road for the Stone’s, but this one they will share with thousands of other New Yorkers.

When I was in New York City two years ago, visiting friends, we drove all over Manhattan. You can see the new Freedom Tower from nearly everywhere. It’s huge, and at that time, it was like a tall, black finger reaching for the clouds.

One day, driving down to Battery Park, I asked my friends where they’d been when the World Trade Center was attacked. Their answers were shocking, painful, startling. These were people I love, and they’d been there. I could see the memories and the pain on their faces as they talked to me.

I have my own memories of that day. Everyone has a memory of that day. It’s one of those days   you will never forget. Ask anyone and they’ll be able to tell you where they were that day,  who they were with, and what they were doing.

When I first told my publisher that I wanted to include  9/11 in the conclusion of the trilogy, she wasn’t  crazy about the idea but we talked for a while, and then she said, “Do it. I trust you.”

So I made the Stones and their friends and families live through that day: some watch from far away, some are there, and others see it happen from Brooklyn.

My friends’ stories are the stories my characters tell. Some of them  almost verbatim.

Many congratulations on your second Independent Publisher’s Book Award. What difference do you think winning such an award makes to your career as a writer?

Thank you! I love those heavy medals, they have spots of honor over my desk.

The IPPY Award is an important award, a big thing if you’re published by a relatively small house. For the publisher, it means prestige and the confirmation that they’ve signed the right author, I think.

For me as an author, on a very personal level, it means security. Winning those two awards for my first two books means I’m on the right path. I can go on writing the way I do. It’s a kind of validation I guess you’d say.

And it made my publisher very happy!

How is life different now to how it was, say, two years ago before you published your first book?

The one thing that’s very important to me is that my own attitude toward my writing has changed. Back then I was working on my first novel, The Distant Shore, and I felt like a thief: I was stealing time from my family, my household, from what I felt I should be doing. I kept apologizing to my family for not having lunch ready on time, or not having ironed their shirts. My husband was actually very relaxed and cool about it. He never doubted for one moment that I’d find a publisher.

Now that I do have a publisher (Buddhapuss Ink) and see my books wining awards,it’s a lot easier to take that time to write. I’ve made it my job. It’s what I do: I’m an author. Life here at home has subtly changed: chores are more evenly distributed, and I don’t feel guilty anymore if lunch is late now and then.

That’s the most important change for me: I’ve accepted that I’m a professional at what I do.

Outside of writing what do you really enjoy doing? Do you have any non-writing ambitions?

Goodness, no. I’ve written three books in two years. Actually, three and a half, besides doing everything else that comes with this job, like guest blogging, promoting, marketing, blog hopping, tweeting and so on. There’s not a lot of room for anything else.

I like to knit, and I love watching some TV shows, like Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Bones. I’m also an avid Trekkie, and we own the Battlestar Galactica complete seasons box.

And I love traveling! The past two years I’ve been to the US twice, to visit my publisher and Facebook and twitter friends. It’s a great experience, traveling on my own. I never knew I was capable of doing that.

Your writing is loved by many different kinds of people all over the world but who do think your typical reader might be?

My typical reader is female, between twenty-five and ninety (or older), and generally well read. There are some men who really enjoy my books. A male friend from NYC said the other day that he’d “rather read Kobras than Tolkien” which is a staggering compliment.

I know I’ve disappointed some readers who bought my books and expected more steaminess, since they are labeled as “Contemporary Romance”.

Do you remember the movie “Sleepless in Seattle”? It was called one of the most romantic movies of all times, and there wasn’t even a kiss in it, let alone naked skin.

So yes, it’s possible to write romance and leave the bedroom to the reader’s imagination.

Do you keep your readers in mind when you write and what difference does that make to your writing?

I do keep my readers in mind, but I write where the stories take me.

There’s an old writers’ rule: write to please yourself. If you start writing to please readers you’re lost. I believe that to be true. To write your best you need to write with passion, make your own blood sing. If you can do that, readers will feel it.

I know I write best when I’m very happy, when my world is at peace.

When I’ve just had a lovely chat with my publisher, or listened to an inspiring piece of music. Twice now I have started writing novels on the couch in living rooms of friends, once in Washington DC and once in Jersey City.

You hear lots of writers talk about writer’s block. What keeps your creative juices flowing – what is your secret?

Writer’s block. There’s no such thing as writer’s block.

Let me rephrase that: I believe when you get stuck, your instinct is trying to tell you something. Either the story is going in a wrong direction, you picked the wrong format – whatever. Writer’s block is when you get bored with your own writing, and that’s a sure sign that others will find it boring, too. Go back two steps. Have the guts to delete a paragraph, a chapter, or all that you’ve written, and start again.

It’s only words. There are more where those came from.

When I get to that spot, I step away from the writing. Let it stew for a couple of days. I don’t even actively think about it. Sometimes I talk to my editor about it, and she often comes up with questions or ideas that will solve the problem for me.

The most important thing is to trust your instincts. Your subconscious knows better than your brain.

I suspect many of your female readers may feel just a little in love with your hero, Jon Stone, can you tell us a little about how you came to create him?

No, I won’t. That is one secret I’ll keep forever and ever. Not even my publisher and editor know about that.

That is disappointing but I understand!  Now that your trilogy is complete, what are your future plans as a writer and how would you like things to develop?

As I mentioned before I’ve finished a new Stone Series book, called The Rosewood Guitar, Jon’s Story. Right now I’m working on Naomi’s story—Waiting for a Song.

After that, I’ll return to the older Stones and continue their story. After living through 9/11 they retreat to Canada, where Naomi’s family lives.

Each of them has their own demon to battle:

where does the music and inspiration go when the soul is shattered?

I plan to write seven books about the Stones. What will happen after that I don’t know. One thing is certain though: I’m definitely not done with the Stones just yet, and I’m not thinking of switching publishers. I’m very happy where I am.

I want to thank you, Wendy, for hosting me today. I’ve enjoyed doing this interview with you. Thanks too to my readers, I hope we can share many more happy hours together in the future.

Thank you Mariam – you are a great subject for an interview and I love your books

This was the fourth stop on Mariam’s Blog Hop. For a chance to win a copy of her book, or other great prizes, please check the Buddhapus Ink blog

Tomorrow Mariam’s book, Song of the Storm, will be reviewed by Daria di Giovanni. We hope we see you there!

Make a recruiter take a second look!

Make a recruiter take a second look

CV Writing; How to make a recruiter take a second look!

Today we have a great guest post from Daryl Tomlinson who brings us advice based his long term experience of working with a job board

CV writing…

The art to writing a CV that get’s you a job has been documented more times than a Z list celebrities ever fluctuating waist line. Theories, fact, fiction, what to say, what not to say, all added to the mix of a thousand plus books. I think however that writing a CV is actually a simple procedure, once the don’ts are eliminated.

In a way you can equate a CV to speed dating, you only have a short time to impress. Of course with speed dating you are face to face, you can use speech, expression, whereas with a CV you are relying on the words laid out bare in front of a prospective employer, but essentially you are looking to get your skills, your personality and background ‘out there’ in a short amount of time.

Having worked with a job board for over twelve years, there are continuing themes that loops ever present from recruiters when it comes to CV’s. From layout to spelling, there are certain, defining areas that will ensure a recruiter will add your CV to the pile marked recycle. So with that in mind, here are just a few don’ts.

Surprisingly in this day and age, spelling seems still to be a problem and when spell checkers are readily available it does seem strange that CV’s are still winging their merry way to recruiters littered with errors. It is something that can infuriate a recruiter and whilst I don’t think many can profess to an immaculate spelling mind, it is still essential a CV doesn’t contain mistakes.

Layout is another fundamental problem. For a recruiter, they need a clear and concise theme, they need to grasp the very essence of who you are and what you could bring to their company as briefly and quickly as possible. So a CV that is all over the place will make a recruiter give up. In a way it’s a bit like a story, you want the reader to want to read more, get to the exciting conclusion.

So starting with who you are is a must, then the core elements that make you right for the job, your recent career history, skills and education. You can then expand your work life further on, give more detail before finally getting to the who you are away from work.

Stamping your personality on your CV is a hit and miss affair. You might attract a potential employer with a wacky, colour drenched encyclopaedia of your life and works, but you are also just as likely to put them off. It is better to layout your CV in a ‘traditional’ way, putting main points clearly and leaving that wacky bit for the interests part.

There is also something else recruiters cringe at and that’s the ‘obvious profile’, the kind of waffle that seems to go on for an ice age without actually revealing anything about the candidate. It’s easy to write how driven you are and clutter the surrounding space with metaphors that could have come from the corporate bible on how to say little by saying a lot, but essentially it is copy from a thousand CV’s that every recruiter has seen over and over again.

It almost goes without saying you are a hard worker, that you are honest, that you work until the job is done. When these descriptions are used all the time they become redundant and meaningless and can almost have a negative effect because the recruiter will simply bypass it. In my mind a profile should snap, it should say what you are, what you do, what you want. Yes! What you want! After all you are not blindly staggering to employment, you have a desire to work and you know what you want to achieve.

In essence you are looking to make a recruiter take a second look, a third look, an interview. They want to know what you can do, who you are, will you do the job, will you fit in? Substance, personality and requirement.

Substance – All you are and have done in terms of you career/work history
Personality – Who are you, not just in work but out as well
Requirement – Do you match the recruiters expectations?

The job market can seem a ferocious dog eat dog environment, so don’t you deserve to have an edge?

Daryl Tomlinson


How To Manage A Virtual Team of Employees (And Be Successful!)

How To Manage A Virtual Team of Employees (And Be Successful!)

Do you really need to be in the same building as your employees? Unless you serve customers face-to-face, there’s no compelling reason not to have virtual staff. But virtual arrangements can be fraught with pitfalls. This video from Denise OBerry provides some really useful tips.

If you enjoyed this video, you can sign up for Denise’s free weekly small business advice at

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

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How You Can Make Studying Suit You With Distance Learning

 How You Can Make Studying Suit You With Distance Learning

The current financial upheaval has caused no end of headaches for millions of people across the country. Unemployment and underemployment have remained stubbornly high, with the number of vacancies far lower than the number of people out of work or looking for a full-time role. With the situation in the Eurozone still causing many concerns and consumer demand sluggish at home, it seems as if there’s little prospect of a rapid turnaround in economic conditions. However hopeless things might appear, though, there is an alternative. A change of career could be just the answer you’ve been looking for, helping you get out of your own personal cul-de-sac. The question, of course, is how to go about taking up a new profession.

The ability to learn new skills is a valuable trait and can help you keep pushing on to new heights in your working life. Not only does it show employers that you’re willing to push yourself if you feel you need to, but it can also be rewarding for you – both financially and otherwise. However, the recent increase in student fees are likely to act as a major deterrent to those thinking of taking up a campus-based course. What’s more, full-time university or college courses simply aren’t an option for a lot of people. Many of us have existing work and family commitments to consider. Simply quitting your job to go into full-time education comes with a lot of risks attached, and if you have children to look after, you may find that this kind of arrangement simply isn’t flexible enough.

There is, fortunately, another way. Distance learning courses provide you with the opportunity to boost your knowledge and learn new skills, without disrupting the rest of your routine. You can learn in your own time, so you needn’t worry about your studying commitments conflicting with your job. Home learning has proven very popular over the last few years, and it isn’t hard to see why. The convenience and affordability offered by these courses makes them a great choice for anyone considering a change of career, but wary of taking the risks and incurring the costs associated with full-time, campus-based education.

By choosing to take a distance learning course, you can choose how and when you want to study. You can learn over the weekend instead of having to cram it in after work through the week, or whenever else happens to suit you. The key to home learning is that it puts you in control. There are no tutors breathing down your neck, and you don’t have to worry about having to stick to a rigid timetable of seminars and lectures.

Furthermore, distance learning can be particularly useful for those students who are perhaps a little socially anxious and feel they don’t work as well in face-to-face tutorials. There’s less social pressure involved – on campus-based courses, it’s easy to feel somewhat intimidated by other students who you perceive to be more comfortable than you when it comes to learning a particular subject. Distance learning courses also provide you with all the assistance you’ll need to get the right results.

If you’re thinking of distance learning, then consider NCC Home Learning where you’ll find an extensive list of courses suitable for your needs.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer