March 13, 2013

breathe new life into your career

Today I am very excited to feature as guest writer in the Feb 2013 issue of CareerSeek e-Magazine. It has been a fun article to write and I hope that you all enjoy it!

It's so easy to get stuck in our careers, and very important that we make some adjsutments along the way to keep things fresh and interesting. So without further adue, please head on over to their cool e-mag and let me know your thoughts about this post - over here...

March 6, 2013

improving your career prospects while travelling

I'm very excited to feature a new guest writer, Ruth Hinds, all the way from the UK. More and more young professionals trade full-time positions for freelance agreements, allowing them to travel and juggle multiple roles at a time. Let's have a look at Ruth's top tips for travelling while keeping your career on track.

Travelling is something that many people aspire to do, and for a few lucky ones, it can become a reality. While you’re away though, how will you ensure that you continue to improve your career prospects? It can be a serious concern, and it’s certainly something that you should consider before you pack your suitcase and fly off to sunnier climes.
Take a look at these tips to point you in the right direction.

Seek out temporary jobs that will build your skills

Unless you’ve had a recent lottery win or you’ve done some very savvy saving, you probably need to work while you’re on the road. Traditional jobs for travellers include bar work and low-level roles, but lots of other opportunities are available if you’re willing to seek them out. If you think you’ll be looking for IT jobs in Cambridge when you return home, there’s no reason why you can’t search for similar temporary positions during your time away.

Write a blog about your experiences

Having a blog is a brilliant way to boost your career prospects. It shows off your writing skills, and it also shows dedication and initiative. No one is forcing you to write a blog, and as all bloggers know, it can be a difficult task to come up with fresh and exciting ideas for new posts. While you’re away, make a point of updating your blog each and every week. It’s a great way to document your memories, as well as having something to show off to future potential employers.

Consider freelancing on the move

Freelancing has become really popular in recent years, and the good news is that it’s remarkably easy to do while you’re travelling. Consider your skillset and think about what services you could offer on a flexible basis. It could be copywriting, admin, graphic design, and anything else in between. If you manage to secure some regular work that you can do on the move with just an internet connection, you can build a reliable income stream to fund your adventures, while also keeping your foot in the door of employment.

Learn some language skills

In the global business world, language skills are always valuable. Though you can learn a lot from books and tapes, there is nothing quite like immersing yourself in another country and picking up the language as you go along. It gives you the opportunity to practice every day, and it’s a fantastic addition to any CV.

With some forward planning and a bit of ambition, you could find that travelling actually improves your chances of finding work once you return home. How do you improve your CV while you’re exploring the world?

This article was brought to you by Ruth Hinds on behalf of AllTheTopBananas. ATTB allows you to search for and browse through UK jobs in one place, from engineer jobs to IT jobs. You can also upload your CV to increase your chances of being headhunted.

February 11, 2013

how to lose a job offer in one day

Welcome back to the office everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you're ready to take charge of the week ahead. I am excited to share a new guest post that I've written for CareerJunction today, thanks so much for everyone's great feedback on the previous post I wrote for them.

With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought it might be fun to approach interview advice from a different angle. It may take ten days to lose a guy (or girl for that matter), but one day is all it takes to lose a potential job offer - so let's have a look at a few pointers over here...

February 8, 2013

making the most out of your career choice

Please join me in welcoming our guest writer for today, Paul Taylor. I think this article is very relevant for modern-day professionals, seeing as you really need to put as much into your online presence and professional branding than what you put into your CV. Thanks for sharing Paul!

Although the market for your specific skills may be lacking, there are still plenty of ways to make the most out of your chosen career. You don't have to bind yourself to a specific commitment if you are able to expand in other areas. While you may have a degree under your belt, you shouldn't let it go to your head. There are millions of people out there who have degrees but are doing menial jobs in order to pay the bills. This doesn't make them any less of a person. The problem with most of them is the lack of motivation to keep putting as much effort as they can into what they want to do.

1. Locations - If the opportunities involving your specific career choice is limited in your locale, maybe it is time to move on. The world is larger than you may realize, and moving to a new location in order to practice your specific skills may be lucrative beyond your imagining. A fresh start in a new location could be the best thing for you in nearly every aspect of your life. It is a way to erase the proverbial slate and try things in a new way.

2. Freelance - While working those menial jobs in order to keep your lights on, offering your skills to those who need immediate help without hiring a full-time employee could have great benefits. Freelancing for businesses could give you the needed experience in your field to help your resume rise above others. In today's world, it's not enough to have a degree if you don't have experience to back it up in most cases. The more work experience you receive, the more your resume will shine.

Many people will offer their skills online using freelance assistance programs such as This will connect you to a client who is in dire need of your specific education and skills to accomplish a task he or she may have. As this doesn't intrude in your regular full-time job, you can further your abilities by offering them online as a freelancer.

3. The Internet - For less than $140 per year, you can build your own website surrounding your chosen career path. From this website, you can offer a wide range of valuable information and promote yourself as a freelancer. It is a way to market yourself as a professional in your field and could also look good on a resume. This is completely aside from how you can monetize your website if it's built well enough.

You don't have to become a website designer in order to market yourself online, however. If you have a web designer build the site with Joomla or Wordpress, you could add your own content very easily. Even becoming a guest blogger on sites tailored to your specific career choice could emphasize your professionalism in your field. Tools like Google+ Authorship could open a variety of opportunities as others see you as a reliable source of information. Regardless of your method, it is all about proper marketing of yourself in order to make the most out of your career.

The market for your specific talents may be quite competitive. You may not get your foot in the door of your career choice until later in life. You shouldn't be discouraged by being held to a job that is of lower quality than what your goal is. As long as you keep vigilant about doing the best you can and keep an eye out for opportunities that better fit your choice career, you will eventually become what you are meant to be.

Paul Taylor started which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families easier than ever. He loves writing, with the help of his wife. He has contributed quality articles for different blogs & websites.

February 1, 2013

things you really don't need to mention on your CV

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you've had a super productive work week so far, and that you have wonderful plans for the weekend. But before you go, a quick career boost to end your work week on the right note.

For today's post I'll be sending you over to, where I have contributed as guest writer for the first time. Most South Africans know that CareerJunction is the place where some of the country's most reputable employers advertise their vacancies, and the site also has a platform where you can find useful career related tips and articles on a daily basis. I was so stoked when they invited me to write an article for them.

I really enjoyed writing this post, and I'm sure these tips will be helpful if you would like to ensure that your CV is modern, relevant and to-the-point - have a look over here!

January 31, 2013

ways to boost your CV while looking for work

Today's guest post is written by Marie Warren and reminded me that we should never be passive in our career planning. Whether you are actively looking for a new position or not, it's always a good idea to keep your professional development alive and consider other ways of broadening your skill set and experience. Thanks for these great ideas Marie!

Recent economic instability has driven unemployment up, forcing a large number of workers to reconsider their prerogatives and qualifications as they look to maintain a strong profile even amid high unemployment statistics. This is a crucial way to remain active and involved during periods of unemployment and, if done right, boosting a CV while looking for work can actually lead to much better employment prospects and outcomes as economic conditions improve. There are a few crucial ways that a standard resumé can be made over, improved, and turned into something far more marketable for a wide range of employers.

Consider Volunteer Work
While it's true that volunteer work won't pay the bills, it will pay dividends for workers who are looking to polish their skills and network with like-minded professions. Whether it's volunteering as a party planner, as a musician, or even as the manager of a local organisation, these experiences make for great resumé boosters. Their volunteer nature will only elevate their stature, and the networking opportunities they afford could be the difference between landing a job or continuing as an unemployed worker.

Pursue Professional Development -- or a Career Change -- via Higher Education
Education is one of the key ways to stem the tide of rising unemployment numbers. Workers who are driven to head back to a university can pursue either a more advanced degree in their current field, making themselves a more desirable hire, or they can pursue an entirely new career via a different degree program entirely. Given the rise of things like high-tech jobs and so-called "green collar" jobs in eco-friendly industries, this is a great way to learn new skills, train for a changing workforce, and end a period of unemployment with a rewarding new career.

Turn a Hobby into a Profitable Position
The digital economy of the 21st century has made it possible for the entire workforce to be revolutionised in terms of where it's centred, who drives it, and which skills are most marketable. With wide proliferation of the Internet and an increasingly all-online marketplace, it's actually possible for unemployed professionals to turn one of their favourite hobbies into a marketable business. Whether that means writing for profit, producing and selling craft items, or even turning a love of fitness into a personal training enterprise, it's possible to defeat unemployment with personal interests.

Best of all, these opportunities are self-managed, leaving behind corporate structures and office settings. They can later boost a resumé and lead to a great position with companies who value self-starters, entrepreneurs, and proven managers of both time and resources.

Leverage the Power of Social Networking to Boost Marketability
Just over a decade ago, a resumé was largely a static, printed document, and nothing more. In the present decade, that could not be less true. The proliferation of social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, and especially LinkedIn, have digitised the resumé and taken applicant profiles firmly into the Internet age. If an unemployed professional is looking for nearby employment opportunities, one of the first things they should do is turn their resumé into a digital profile on a site like LinkedIn. Their skills will immediately be offered up to those in related industries, and networking will become a breeze.

That ability to network will introduce the unemployed worker to volunteer opportunities, local social groups, and even potential employers. As they build these relationships and compile new experiences, both their online and offline resumés will become more marketable and notable among those doing all of the hiring in today's rough economy. That means more potential positions and an easier time at interviews for connected professionals.

Seek an Apprenticeship to Boost Skills
One of the worst things an unemployed professional can do is to simply sit at home and let their skills "stagnate." Even as full-time positions become harder to find, there are plenty of apprenticeships available that can help teach new skills, keep existing ones fresh, and show employers that merely accepting the fate of unemployment was never an option. These positions give workers an added boost for their CVs upon seeking new employment and, perhaps best of all, they keep workers busy when they might otherwise find themselves stuck at home, searching endlessly for positions, and becoming quite miserable with their situation.

Lots of Great Ways to Keep a CV Competitive During Unemployment
A large number of unemployed workers view unemployment as a major setback, and something they'll find extremely difficult to recover from. That simply does not need to be the case. Instead of merely accepting unemployment as a setback, workers should remain proactive and view it as an opportunity: An opportunity to pursue additional education or a career change, to volunteer for local organisations, or to start their own business and boost their own skills. With the right attitude, and the right pursuit of CV-boosting opportunities, workers can enjoy only a brief period of unemployment before a new, and more rewarding, professional career.

Marie is a avid careers adviser and keen blogger who works for an online recruitment agency -