From #topperformer

Charity careers: how to get a job in the third sector

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | The third sector (also know as not-for-profit organisations or registered charities), is a sector that I am a huge fan of, and regularly promote as an amazing sector for under-graduates and graduates to experience, as part of their career development whilst at university, in the forms of volunteering, internships, work experience, graduate schemes and entry level roles. The sector can offer so many types of opportunities and professions. Whether you are just keen to dip your toe into the third sector to enhance your CV, and find out what the sector has to offer, or maybe you are keen to develop a long and successful career within the sector, this article will hopefully get you inspired.

Offices workers ‘should stand for four hours a day’

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Hands up who spends a large chunk of their day sat staring at a computer screen, and regularly skips lunch to catch up on emails, because they have rushed back to their desk following on from a two hour meeting. I know I can personally identify with this scenario.

The exercise guilt tends to sink in, after the dash to the train station, to hopefully find a seat (yes, another opportunity to sit down) on the commute home, and I realise that I have been stationary for the majority of my working day. So, little things I have done to try and improve this is, by getting an earlier train in the morning, and fitting in a 40 minute city walk before work; running up two/three flights of stairs for comfort breaks; and forcing myself to go for a lunchtime walk (this is my weak area at the moment). I have also become a weekend runner, you can’t beat those early morning runs to bring a huge smile to your face (well it works for me anyway).

I have always been a big fan of stand up meetings, they are effective, and wherever possible, I organise my meetings/appointments in other buildings, which encourages me to walk. All it takes is little changes to our working days, but the results can be huge, inside and out.

How to avoid the top six most common job interview mistakes

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | For most of our final year students, exams have now been completed, and dissertations submitted, and the joys of graduation is waiting just around the corner. What follows is the exciting graduate career journey. For some, this journey began back in Autumn, with career fairs, online applications, online testing, skype/telephone interviews, assessment centres and formal interviews. For others, the journey is just about to begin. What ever stage you are up to in your job search, this article will really help you understand the importance of interviews, how to build your factual story board of supporting evidence, understand what interviewers want to get from your interview answers, and how you can be confident with your interview delivery.

Keep workers with the four steps to happiness

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Do you work for a company who supports ’employee happiness’ or are you a business owner who is pro ’employee happiness’. Having a positive and successful career and workplace is so simple, and the key ingredients for most of us is job/team satisfaction, and to have supportive senior management.

The #1 Tip for Writing a Compelling, Makes-People-Want-to-Share-it Blog Post

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Many of my students are now starting to see and understand the benefits of creating a blog, and how it can add value to their personal brand, as well as reaching out to a large audience.

One of their concerns are the time investment in running a blog. Personally, my feelings are that once you have your blog theme, and the creative layout all organised, the management of your blog requires minimal time investment.

Regularly keep up to date with current news, ideas and opinions, through various forms of research. Allowing you the time to enjoy the fun part, writing your blog. Blogging is a creative and rewarding activity, and the days you don’t blog, are the days that you will miss the creative process of blogging.

Eight things we learned about standing out in a job interview

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | There is so much preparation you can do leading up to an interview or assessment centre, and for me it is all about feeling comfortable and confident with your supporting evidence. Start building your factual story board of experiences, and really getting to know them. That way you will be at ease for a large variety of interviews questions, which will include scenario and competency questioning. As interview candidates, we can never know 100% what the interview questions will be, but once you have worked on your resources, you will be ready, confident, and prepared for interview.

What’s the secret of career happiness?

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | I am a great believer in reflecting on ‘you’, & your strengths – and that means thinking about your skill set, and your personality when you make a start on your job search. It’s not just about scrolling through lots of vacancies and applying, it is about asking yourself do my qualities compliment this sector/profession? Make your search personal to you, and just see how rewarding your job search and future career can be.

Do speculative cover letters work?

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | Speaking on behalf of undergraduates and graduates, seeking work experience, this could be in the form of an internship, paid and unpaid work experience, voluntary work and work-shadowing experience, the answer is YES!!  However, my comments come with a but…..your speculative cover letter will only produce successful results, if you take the time to invest research time, identify your skills set, unique selling points, personal and professional achievements, and this is very important what type of opportunity you are interested in.

A speculative cover letter is just as important as a tailored cover letter for an advertised position.  You need to convince the employer that you have qualities and experience that will add value to a team/company.  Just asking them for the opportunity to work for them will not suffice.  So a balance of confidence (not arrogance), genuine interest in the company, sector/profession, with a positive summary on what you could bring to the company would be a good place to start.

How to answer competency-based questions on job application forms

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | As most of my students know by now, I am such a big fan of the STAR process, and is an ideal application and interview tool to use to ensure that you clearly explain your answers, and that it provides an introduction (Situation), an overview (Tasks and Actions) and a conclusion (Result).  It’s that easy, and I guarantee that the quality of your answers will improve considerably.

Why should we hire you? How to answer the dreaded interview question

Kirstin on Fullback and Friends | If you have invested quality time in your application (which should always include researching the employer), you will have alread started to build the foundations of your supporting evidence for these typical types of interveriew questions, before you have even heard back from the employer with an invite to interview.

This type of interview question, should not be feared, and in fact, should be one that you should be proud to answer, as it is an opportunity to showcase your strengths, and work background.  You need to be convincing the interview panel that your skills, and experience is complimentary to the opportunity available, and that you have a genunine interest in the company role (consider your personal values and compare them to the companies.  By researching the companies, corporate social responsibility, will help you address this).

Make your answer personal to you and your achievements, background and interest, and you can’t go wrong.