Going back to study involves a considerable amount of commitment, not only with your time but financially as well. Deciding to go back to education will have a significant impact on your life and your pocket but if you succeed, it comes with a number of benefits…
Career Progression and Salary
If you are looking to progress in your current role or looking to switch roles, then furthering your education can get you there. Many working professionals who don’t pursue a higher qualification often encounter a ‘glass ceiling’ when trying to progress in their careers. Management, strategy courses or an MBA can help you advance further up the ladder.
Obtaining another qualification will immediately put you at a competitive edge. Qualifications are not easily achieved and employers are aware of this and seek candidates who can demonstrate this kind of dedication and ambition. If you and another candidate are evenly matched for a position, that professional qualification can be the edge that secures you the role.
Build Professional Relationships
One of the benefits of studying is the opportunity to network. More than likely those on the course, with you, are in similar positions to you. Therefore, these people will not only be there to help you through the course work but potentially remain as valuable contacts throughout your professional career.
Update your Professional Knowledge
Returning to education will keep you on top of new developments and trends within your profession. While you study, you will become familiar with all the new and relevant progressions in your field, which you can then apply to your working life.
Returning to education can have an impact on your personal development as well. You’ll share your time studying with a student body pooled from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds. This can help with your social skills and confidence. Often when people study, one of the highlights is the experience gained and the enjoyment of doing something new and meeting new people.
Posted by Clare Reynolds on 4 April 2018
10 Signs You Are A Successful Person
10 Signs You Are A Successful Person
There are times in every person’s life when you feel inadequate, like what you do doesn't amount to much. It's very easy to criticise yourself and become clouded from your successes, but it's important to take the time to appreciate your accomplishments. You could already be successful and you just don't know it. Here are 10 signs that you are a successful person.. 1. You Love To Learn You have a burning desire to learn new things and improve on the things you already know. People who have an ambition to learn are most likely to succeed in life. Successful people never stop learning. If you enjoy upskilling and applying your new knowledge to your work and personal life, it’s a sign you are a successful person. 2. You Plan Ahead You like to structure your future. Making plans and setting goals is something you enjoy doing. Even setting small goals like a bed time shows you are determined and a go getter. Successful people always plan and achieve targets. 3. You Make Friends Easily You find it easy to get along with people and you always find people have good things to say about you. It may be hard to believe but sometimes just being a likeable person can get you very far in life. Kindness goes a long way and it can bring you all kinds of success in life. 4. You Have A Desire To Help People Helping people is something you do instinctively. You empathise with those around you and always offer a helping hand or a listening ear. Sometimes it’s not all about your successes but helping others to be successful. Helping others, in turn makes you a successful person. 5. You’ve Failed, But You’ve Kept Going You do your best to achieve something and when it doesn’t go your way you don’t give up. Being a successful person doesn’t mean that you are always achieving. Sometimes things go wrong, but it’s how you react that is the key to whether you are successful or not. Everyone makes mistakes and fails but it’s those who never stop trying, they’re the really successful ones. 6. You Understand The Power Of No You manage expectations well and know when you need to say no. A lot of unsuccessful people have a bad habit of trying to do everything themselves and never turn down any requests. Successful people understand that not everything is a priority and not everything can be done at once. Successful people know how to manage other people’s expectations of them. 7. You Wake Up Early You wake up early and sometimes even before your alarm clock goes off. “The early bird catches the worm” is the age old saying, but it’s still very true. Getting up early means you’re a go getter. Lazy people aren’t successful, people who get up and go are. 8. You’re Not Afraid To Ask For Help You know asking for help is a sign of strength and not a sign of weakness. Successful people know that it’s impossible to achieve everything by themselves. They know that sometimes it’s ok to ask people for their expertise. Getting help from someone else is also a great way to learn for future success. 9. You Know How To Manage Your Time Sometimes your work load can be very demanding but you know how to prioritise and divide your time effectively between your tasks. A truly successful person understands his/her workload and can prioritise what is to be done in an efficient way. 10. You Don’t Criticise, Condemn Or Complain Even when you are achieving your goals and feel like you’re becoming more successful, you never criticise other people and their work. You encouarge others to be successful too. No one can accept and approve of everything. There will be times when you won’t be able to accept/approve of other people’s work, but you know how to communicate and give constructive feedback. Successful people don’t put others down. Next time you're not feeling very positive about the work you do, make sure to remind yourself of these 10 things. You have what it takes to be successful, all that's missing may be your self-confidence.
20 Things Recruiters Want To See On Your CV
20 Things Recruiters Want To See On Your CV
We asked some of our recruitment consultants to tell us their key tips on what makes a good CV. Here’s 20 things to keep in mind before sending out your CV: 1. Details & Numbers The more detail you give about your work history the easier it is for a recruiter/hiring manager to understand your experience, and know if you are suited to a particular role. Fiona Joyce, Recruitment Consultant, Office Support says “Noting ‘Administration’ for example isn’t enough, you need to include the type, volume, systems used, deadlines/timeframes – go into detail. For example, admin support could be basic paper work (scanning, filing, shredding) or it could be high level admin support (diary/calendar management, correspondence and document preparation, report writing etc.). Not going into enough detail is selling yourself short and letting the competition supersede you.” 2. Specific Timeframes Hiring managers like to see exact timeframes on CVs. Dates on your CV should include month to month time frames, as opposed to year to year. Often people will avoid putting dates on a CV or will try to be vague about the dates. This can look suspicious to employers. It’s better to be honest and give reasons for any gaps instead of trying to hide them. 3. Achievements It’s a good idea to include what you’ve achieved in your professional career. Awards and certificates are very impressive to hiring managers. However, they don’t always have to be job related awards, they can be personal achievements too e.g. completed a marathon, raised money for charity, served on a community or student committee etc. It’s good to show on your CV that you achieve goals outside of work. 4. Key Skills The key skills area of your CV is very important. Alan McLoughlin, Recruitment Consultant, Insurance and Financial Services says, “Don’t just list your competencies. List your skills and beside each one, explain how you gained that particular skill”. 5. Professional Development If you’ve completed any online courses or have studied independently, please be sure to include this information on your CV. Hiring managers love to see this as it shows both an enthusiasm for learning as well as the ability to work off your own initiative. 6. Clarity & Structure Structure your CV so it is easy to read. You can do this by: Arranging your work history and education separately according to date and in chronological order. Keep education and work history in separate sections of the CV. Don’t use borders or tables or strange fonts or pictures/images. Always apply in word format, in standard text form. The formatting should be uniform and consistent If you’re using bullet points, they should all be the same style and alignment You should be consistent in your formatting. If you’re using italics font for each job title and bold font for the name for each organisation you worked for, make sure you do this consistently. 7. Leave Out Graphics & Images Leave out fancy graphics, complicated formatting and decorative pictures where possible. They just tend to make it more difficult for employers to read. Keep things simple, clear and detailed. 8. Visa/Employment Permit Status For foreign Nationals your visa Status is crucial! You must specify what visa you have and if there is an expiry date. 9. Professional Profile – Don’t waffle Your professional profile should be at start of your CV. Use this section to outline your technical expertise, years of industry experience and qualifications etc. Try to avoid saying things like, “I am hard-working and reliable”. 10. Bullet Points Always use bullet points where you can. In your duties section and skills section put the information in bullet points rather than a paragraph. This makes it a lot easier to read and for hiring managers to see quickly and clearly what experience you have. 11. Contact Details You may just assume that sending your CV via email is enough for an employer to contact you but often CV’s get forwarded around and saved on hard drives so the original email you sent could get lost along with your contacts. Always put your email address and contact number on your CV. 12. Targets Achieved Someone with a track record of achieving goals really impresses managers. Setting and achieving targets shows self-motivation and determination. If you have achieved targets in your work experience make sure to include them in your CV. 13. Practical Skills Make sure to list any practical skills like having a driving license, manual handling certificate or fork lift licence. These skills could be really attractive to an employer, depending on the role you are applying for. 14. Tailor your CV to every Job Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. Don’t regurgitate the same CV for every job. Use the job specifications to guide what you should be mentioning on your CV. 15. Extra-Curricular Activities If you play sport or music etc. (and you have space on you CV), include your hobbies because they can make you stand out. Alan McLoughlin, Recruitment Consultant, Insurance and Financial Services said “I once read a CV that had “I enjoy hill walking” 3 times. Don’t use irrelevant hobbies when you can use that space for something more useful”. 16. Personal Details – Not too Personal It’s good to show your personality through your CV and give the hiring manager a sense of who you are but some personal details are too personal for your CV. Avoid putting your relationship status on your CV e.g. married, divorced. It’s irrelevant information and it could affect you negatively. 17. Be Aware of Length The CV is a recap, not a life story. Keep it brief but comprehensive. Two pages is the norm, but thres is OK. Conor Ryan, Recruitment Consultant, Construction says, “If you’re running out of space, you’re either being too specific and waffling or you’re going too far back in your experience. The rule of thumb is that you don’t need to detail roles any further back than 10 – 15 years. Your cut off point will depend on how many roles you’ve had.” 18. Balance the Info Make sure you’re giving the right amount of information for each role. You’d expect to see more duties listed for a role that you’ve spent more time in. Always keep the information on your CV proportionally balanced. 19. Tools & Systems You should outline which tools/software you’ve worked with previously as most HR managers will run a keywords search so it is important they are listed on your CV. 20. Double Check Always double-check that the information provided is correct. It’s the last step because it’s always the last thing you do, but it doesn’t make it the least important! You could have followed all the above steps correctly but you left a typo on the first page all because you forgot to double check. Following all the steps but forgetting to double check it could cost you a job. Always double check! We hope you found these tips helpful. If you think you need help with your CV or job searching, you can upload your CV to our website and let one of our 125 specialist recruitment consultants give you the help you need.
Business Courses Make Their Pitch
Business Courses Make Their Pitch
Capitalism loves to bang on about competition and the value of the marketplace. So why do does a degree in business deserve your precious business, and what exactly are these colleges trying to sell you? Professor Anthony Brabazon is the interim dean of the college of business at University College Dublin. We asked him to make his pitch. “I’d always advise people to study what interests you the most,” says Brabazon. “But many do know when they’re filling out that CAO form that they want to pursue a degree in business. It provides an excellent education that prepares people for a wide range of careers and is proven to be a good choice.” Brabazon, who worked as a chartered accountant with KPMG before moving into academia, says that he has seen major changes in the world of business over the past 25 years and that a degree can prepare graduates for the changes that will come. “The biggest changes I’ve seen are globalisation, an increase in the role of technology in the workplace and a transformation in how people view their career with people no longer expecting to have one job for life. These changes have big implications for the design of business education. We need to prepare students for the world they will face so that they can thrive in this environment, so business education has moved from concentrating on the technical aspects of business to a broader focus on communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills. Cultural awareness is also really important, because careers are so global these days: if you are working for an Irish firm you will be competing internationally and will also work with different people from all over the world.” Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig is chief commercial officer and founding director of Sigmar Recruitment, which recruits hundreds of business graduates every year. He has a keen insight into what employers want, so are business graduates on their wish list? “The real benefit of a business course is that it uses case studies to give a broad awareness of a business, and it also helps students to build a network of contacts,” he says. “The world of business is broad, vast and varied and won’t always neatly align what is learned in a module. But what is being assessed when a graduate enters employment is their competencies in areas such as communication, teamwork and problem-solving. The ever-important soft skills are being developed. It’s less about what is learned than how it is learned: with case studies, complex problems to be solved, guest speakers and examples which help to develop an entrepreneurial subculture among students.” It’s not all about grades and academic learning, Brabazon agrees: a business course helps students to grow into the well-rounded people that employers value. “There is a war for talent, and companies want the highest-calibre talent they can get. If you are going to have an impact in the workplace you need to be able to communicate well, work in teams, lead teams and collaborate with international colleagues. The best way to show you can have an impact is to show that you have made an impact in the past, so I advise students to go beyond their academic studies: get involved in a sports club or student society, volunteer and take on part-time work. It’s about being able to show you have made a difference in what you have done, not just getting high grades for yourself.” Increasingly, major firms are less concerned about graduates having high grades and much more interested in assessing their competencies in these key areas, with a range of psychometric tests now common for job applicants. That said, Mac Giolla Phadraig is far from dismissive of the intrinsic value of the academic content on a business course. A broad business course may contain a selection of modules across a range of areas such as sales, marketing and supply chain management as well as more formulaic classes on finance and business maths, which can help students to pivot and multitask across the full range of a company’s operations. The alumni network which students build up on a business course is really important, says Brabazon. “As you pass through a degree, you are automatically building up this contact base of your classmates, and that alumni network will mean that you know people all over the world. In our courses, we offer a mentoring programme which connects every student with a panel of experienced alumni which can really help their career progression.” When it comes down to it, what makes one business course stand out over another? “An internship or placement can be really valuable,” Mac Giolla Phadraig advises. “It’s really helpful if a graduate has an understanding of what it is like to work in a certain industry, because it helps them to focus on the right fit once they have left. The more examples of experience and relevant skills that a job applicant can bring to an interview, the better. It’s particularly valuable when an applicant can show what they have learned on the placement instead of just coasting through it. We had a management buy-out of Sigmar about nine years ago, and I learned so much of that through doing; business learning does come from real experience.” No college graduate, of any discipline, can expect that graduation will be the end of their education. Continuous professional development is increasingly important and a good business course should help prepare students for a world where they need to constantly pivot, says Mac Giolla Phadraig. “I’d advise graduates to compete on merit and to show their merit through work, academia and extracurricular activity.” Would he advise students to opt for a broad, general business degree, or to hone in on a specific area like marketing or accounting? “Decisions are often driven by influencers such as peers and, in particular, parents. But if someone knows from a young age what they want to do, that is a gift, so they should go for it. For the other 95 per cent of us, it’s probably the case that a broader degree is better.” Panel: How a business course helped me: Julie Bothwell, National Used Car and Internal Fleet Manager at BMW Ireland “I decided on business and marketing because these were the subjects I really enjoyed in schools and where my strengths were. I wanted a course that would allow me to go into an area where I had lots of different opportunities, so I chose marketing at the Dublin Institute of Technology. “When choosing my degree, I researched a lot of courses, and I found it really beneficial to speak to friends and family who were already studying business or marketing; this can sometimes tell you a lot more about a course than any prospectus can. “A business course gave me an academic grounding in the field I wanted to pursue. It was an intense course which was challenging at times, but this gave me great experience on how to prioritise, plan and deliver in the timeframes we were given, and these are the foundations of what you need to do in your daily job. The course covered a wide variety of subjects with a great mix of theory and more practical case study projects. We worked as a team on a projects and this is valuable experience for the workplace. I was also grateful for the level of support and interaction we had with our lecturers at DIT, and lecturers pushed us hard but were always there to guide and support us. The course taught me prioritise, plan and deliver on work. “In 2008, I joined BMW Group Ireland as a sales and marketing assistant. In that role, I supported the various different sales and marketing functions in the business. Then, in 2010, I took up the position of product manager, which involved product pricing, communication, online management, product training analysis and organisation. In 2012, I became national parts manager which required me to manage all the commercial aspects and the strategic development of the retailer network parts performance and manage the marketing and promotional campaign for parts; most importantly, I ensured that customers were well looked after. From here, I took up my current position of national used car and internal fleet manager in 2015, and I’m responsible for the strategic development of our used car programme for the retailer network, retailer support and used car marketing. “I was lucky that I chose I course I loved and was able to do it well. The key is to have a consistent approach to working hard to ensure you keep on top of what you need to do. Some of the most important attributes in business are good logic and a lot of cop on. It also helped to have a strong network of friends around me on the course, because we all supported each other - and, in business, your personality and communication skills shouldn’t be underestimated.” Written by Peter McGuire in The Irish Times. Read the article here.
8 Social Media Mistakes that Could Damage your Career
8 Social Media Mistakes that Could Damage your Career
As managers become more tech savvy and social media increases to grow in popularity, it would be foolish to think that your online activity isn't being noticed by those you work with. This isn't to say you should delete all your socials and go live under a rock, but it is important to be cautious about what you are posting. Here are 8 things you should avoid doing if you want to keep your manager happy. 1. Logging on During Work Hours This is a big no no! Most of us have several social media accounts and have notifications popping up throughout the day but it is advised not to check these notifications during your working day. Your employer pays you to do your job and being seen using social media during the day could very easily cost you that job. Check your socials on your phone during break times and avoid social media during work hours especially on your work computer. 2. Using Text Language When you’re used to texting, it can be very easy to use text language in emails without even realising. However, attention to detail is important to employers and it is seen as unprofessional to use text language in important emails. Avoid using words like: “coz” for because “2” instead of to and too “u” for you 3. Posting Inappropriate Photos Everyone is partial to a night out every once in a while, but it’s important to remember on work nights out in particular, to avoid posting inappropriate posts and photos. It may seem like a bit of harmless fun but it could show you in an unappealing light to your employer. Even sharing photos of your friend’s drunken antics could be an issue to your employer. 4. Posting Tasteless Comments Social media is an open platform for all kinds of opinions. However, any comment meant to offend or discriminate will not be accepted by your employer or colleagues. Always be wary of how open you are with your opinions online and avoid posting any malicious or discriminatory comments, as well as sharing content of the same nature. 5. Complaining About Your Job/Boss Online Even if you dislike your job or your boss, you should never post anything negative about your workplace online. Doing this could affect you being hired by future employers. If you need to vent negatively about your job or work relationships, it’s best to speak face to face with someone you trust. You could even consider writing your feelings down on a piece of paper and binning it afterwards. 6. Posting Content About Searching For A New Job Unless your colleagues and employer are aware of your job search, like in an instance of redundancy or you’re in your final weeks of a temporary contract, you shouldn’t go public on social media about your job search. If your employer becomes aware of your plan to leave the company, they are in a position to find a replacement for you straight away. You could find yourself being replaced before you’ve even found yourself a new job. 7. Cyber Bullying This is never ok and it’s seen as a social media mistake in general not just for your career. Avoid any malicious activity with or against any of your colleagues. This could cost you your job and potentially future jobs. 8. Sharing Confidential Information With most employment contacts you sign a declaration to not disclose any confidential information outside of your workplace. It is particularly important to keep private matters off social media. This applies to good information as well. It can be very easy to share good news about your company but often companies like to announce their news publicly themselves. You could find yourself in trouble if you announce information on your own social media before the company wanted to share it.