Work

How to get headhunted for the best jobs

You’ll have heard the maxim that the really top jobs are never advertised, and its who you know… but what if you don’t know the right people? You do the next best thing – you make sure the right people know you, and make yourself a target to be headhunted. Try these simple tips:

 

Polish your resumé

It sounds obvious – but most people’s resumés (CVs) are barely edited from year to year. Look again at yours – does it ramble on? Make it short and pithy, no more than 2 full pages, and make it relevant. Don’t talk about your adolescent sporting victories, talk about you work – and make it a victory parade by listing your achievements. How you transformed your business, quadrupled sales or launched a new product. Use facts, especially numbers and make sure your area of responsibility is highlighted.

 

It’s all about the timing

Headhunters pay attention to the dates on your CV and notice candidates who jump from job to job. The best time to make the jump is just after a big success – you took on a brief or a project and you’ve just delivered it. You’ve never look so smart and it’s a logical time to move on to a new challenge.

 

See also: Seven Essential Tips For Landing Your Dream Job

 

Get a high profile

People love ‘trophy hires’, attracting those who have been visibly successful in their industry. So look successful – that includes actual delivery in your current job, of course, but being good on digital media helps too. You can also try writing in the press or on influential blogs, including your own, and always try to take up those invitations to speak at conferences.

 

Seal the deal

At some point, you’re going to have to meet the headhunter and the company you want to work for. Do the research on both – they will both be flattered that you know what they, and their company is about. So understand the specialisms of the headhunter and get to know the target company inside out. Know what they do, get a feel for what they lack – and understand what difference you could make.

 

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Work

Six ways to use Snapchat to promote your business

The announcements of the death of Snapchat look more than a little premature from where we’re sitting. While it’s recent, well-catalogued, troubles look like they may cause shares to fall and its user base is grumbling about changes to the way the app works, if you’re in business, Snapchat remains a great way to keep in touch with consumers.

So try the following – experiment and see what works, and what doesn’t:

Give exclusive deals
This may not work if you have an enormous Snapchat following (it could be too expensive), but if you have a relatively small number, then special deals can incentivise those people into action and keep them on the ‘inside’. It will encourage users to monitor the account, and encourage others, by word of mouth, to join up. You could also reward the more dogged followers by offering a discount or promotional code at the end of a Snapchat Story. Only those who watch until the end will have the information and instruction they need to get the prize. Then they’ll have to listen to you…

Share milestones
You might be on the verge of something significant – launching a major project or hitting a particular milestone (your one millionth customer perhaps). It’s key that you don’t let these moments drift away in the kerfuffle, but that you use these signifiers of success to remind everyone what a great company you are. Snapchat Stories are a pretty good way to deliver some swift (and easy) marketing without having huge meetings to check if everything is ‘on brand’. It’ll feel immediate and relevant to your audiences, without huge effort on your part.

Also see: 3 Ways To Use The Snapchat Discover Function In The Classroom

Use micro-influencers
Quite rightly, the idea of influencers is often mocked. But they can be helpful in making a business grow. ‘Micro-influencers’ is an annoying name for a bunch of people who have small, knowledgeable audiences in just your market. These are people who can help. So build a relationship with these people (the ones with a Snapchat presence at least) and see if they would like to try your products or services, or who might even take over your channel for a day, if you trust them.

Share live events
Snapchat is perfect for real-time marketing since it can give audiences direct access to live events, so consider using it for product launches. It’s a great way of providing a sense of occasion and excitement and providing an ‘authentic’ experience.

Promote your other social media
You can encourage cross-fertilisation of your social media accounts by, in the first instance, simply asking them to follow your business on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook, but you can also take a more hard-line approach and ask them to post the Instagram with a hashtag to gain entry to a competition, or to tweet with that discount to earn a discount. Or comment on a Facebook post for access to unique content… You get the idea.

Drive traffic to your website
Snapchat, like Instagram, makes driving traffic cumbersome. It doesn’t allow clickable links, so you have to drive people to memorable links, rather than clickable ones. Something that people can remember well enough to type into their browser (or cut and paste). Encourage them to do so by asking them to perform an action – download something special, or comment on a blog post.

So don’t listen to the doomsday predictions about Snapchat (not unless you have shares, anyway). It’s still a useful way to inform and engage your audience. Used well, it’s another way to grow your customer base and its loyalty. What will you lose by trying it out?

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Education Health

How universities can do more for students with food allergies

For many youngsters, studying at university is the time of their lives – independence, new friends and learning about something they are passionate about. But for students who suffer from food allergies, this can be their most vulnerable time.

For an awful lot of students, it’s their first time away from home – which means that someone else needs to step in to take that ‘parental’ role seriously. Leaving home for the first time is life-changing for any young person but for those suffering from food allergies it can be a very dangerous time because they are having to manage their allergies for themselves. Prior to this moment, their parents probably cooked for them and did the food shopping, checking labels to ensure things are free from specific allergens.

Peer pressure also has an influence as some allergy sufferers don’t want to feel different and may not take life-saving medication out with them. It’s a significant problem at this stage in young lives, and it’s not looking like it’s going to improve any time soon:

  • Teenagers and young adults are most at risk of severe reactions
  • 50% of children and young people have one or more allergy within the first 18 years of life
  • Each year the number of allergy sufferers increases by 5% half of all affected are children and young people
  • In the last decade, the cases of food allergies have doubled and the number of hospitalisations caused by severe allergic reactions has increased seven-fold

But there’s a number of things that universities and colleges can do (and that parents can be vigilant about):

  • Make sure they have allergen accreditation. It’s a key part of the process of educating your organisation.
  • Have a stand at Freshers Week to talk about food allergen awareness
  • Meet with residential advisors on campus to identify students with food allergies
  • Produce a daily allergen chart for all the dishes being served
  • Hold a briefing before service to educate the counter staff
  • Colour code utensils and allergen-free dishes (I use the colour purple)
  • Publish an online menu cycle
  • Salad bars can be an area of cross-contamination so offer bespoke salad bowls for people with food allergies  
  • Train all staff in the use of epipens
  • Ensure that full nutritional and allergen information is available
  • If the recipe of a dish changes, ensure customers are informed

Get those steps right and the institution will be well on the way to make food safe for students. So that they can get on with enjoying themselves. And studying, of course.

 

Jacqui McPeake is founder of JACS Allergen Management, giving advice and consultancy on food allergen and intolerance management in the catering industry.

 

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Education

Video: How language learning may be simpler than you think

We’ve talked before about how we should all set aside a little time to improve ourselves, and language learning is one of the best ways to do that. And for more reasons than you might think.
Now, many of us may look to find the easiest option and learn the languages that are easiest to succeed in, or at least avoid the hardest…
But it might all be a little simpler than we think. These characters in this TEDx video may not be the most charismatic, but they took on the ambitious challenge of learning four foreign languages in a year, while many of us struggle with just one, ever. The secret to success as it turns out is simpler than you think. This is worth a watch if you harbour the forlorn hope of being fluent, one day…
Scott Young is a blogger, speaker and author. He previously spoke at TEDx EastsidePrep about his project “The MIT Challenge” to self-test MIT’s undergraduate computer science curriculum in one year, using their freely available information. His most recent project was with Vat Jaiswal, traveling to four countries, learning languages, with the goal of not speaking English for an entire year. He writes about learning and self-education at his website.
Vat Jaiswal is a graduate student, aspiring architect and filmmaker. His most recent project was with Scott Young on The Year Without English, where he traveled through Spain, Brazil, China, Taiwan and Korea creating four short documentaries on language learning and cultural immersion. His website seems to have collapsed through not renewing his domain, but you can follow him on Twitter.

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Work

Video: How to start your own business

The glamour of the entrepreneur is embedded in the public eye. People who start their own business are innovators. People at the cutting edge of imagination. They are bold. They are visionaries, pushing new kinds of businesses, by creating a wholly original offering, usually through the help of an innovative piece of technology. It isn’t enough to build a company, you have to build a dream.

In short, Elon Musk.

But perhaps it’s all a little simpler than that. What this video from The School of Life tells us is that all we really need is to LOVE something a little more than most other people do: that will be enough to help us stand out from the competition. You don’t have to sell a vision to the rest of the world, you just have to believe in it just that bit stronger than everyone else.

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Work

The 5 best apps to help concentration

There’s all sorts of barriers to productivity, none more so that the gadget in front of you. Apps, games, messages and more on our devices make it difficult to concentrate and really focus on work and get things done. But there are some great concentration apps which can help, rather than distract, so try some of these:

Freedom

Freedom is an app which takes you good intentions and turns them into actions. It allows you to block websites and apps so you simply can’t access them, and therefore have no choice but to get on with your work. It works on desktop and mobile devices as well, so you can even stop yourself from picking up your phone every five minutes.

SoundCurtain
IOS

A loud office can be distracting – noise annoys. Or there’s conversations you can’t help joining in. SoundCurtain tackles this with this by playing ambient sounds, such as rainfall, wind and piano, to block out the external kerfuffle. Get some noise-cancelling earphones for the full benefit.

FocusWriter

If you’ve got one of those cluttered desktops with document icons here, email alerts there and pings all around, then FocusWriter can hone in on what you need, leaving you with nothing but a simple writing area and nothing else. Useful for writing that report, or the novel you always said you had in you…

RescueTime

You may think you’re doing OK and being productive, but it’s unlikely to be true. RescueTime could help nudge you into good habits. It’s an analytics software that tracks all that you do on your laptop and shows you what’s productive (and what isn’t). It’ll nudge and nag you if you’re idling too long. A benign boss on your shoulder.
For more about Rescuetime, check this detailed review

Brain Focus Productivity Timer
Android
IOS

This one accepts that your mind will drift. It’s a time management app allows you to set a length of time that you would like to work for, then take a break, reckoning that you should work for around 25 minutes, take a break and repeat. This way, they reckon, you’ll be more productive than trying to power through. Comes with graphs and stats and everything…

 

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Work

The three best Chrome extensions for Gmail

Gmail is a pretty successful product, obviously, and when you couple it with Google Chrome you can make it even better. There are a bunch of extensions out there for Gmail. Chances are you can find what you are looking for.  These are the three that I like the best, and use the most:

Just a note, I do not believe any of these work with Google Inbox.

The Top Inbox for Gmail

This performs quite a few features for you but the two I use the most is the ability to schedule an email to be sent at a certain time and the ability to see if the email was opened or not (better known as a read receipt). All you have to do is install the extension and then when you open Gmail and create a new email message you will notice a little toolbar at the bottom.

 

Gorgias Templates: Email Templates for Gmail

 

Ever have to send the same email to different people? This makes that task a little easier. You can create a template – give a shortcut word and then type that word in your email message and hit the tab key. Bam! Your template will populate the message.

 

Gmail Append HTML

Gmail offers a bunch of ways to customize your email, but sometimes, just sometimes, you will want to embed something in the email. There is no way for you to currently do this in Gmail so in comes this little guy. It allows you to view your email in HTML and then make changes. Now Gmail does strip out some code regardless of how harmless it is. Yet, I still have found it helpful for embedding instructions or other content into the email.

 

 

More from Tony DePrato here.

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Health

5 Mental and Physical Benefits of Plogging

From the makers of ‘hygge’ and ‘lagom’, a new trend from Scandinavia has arrived, and it is called ‘plogging’ (from ‘jogging’ and ‘pick up’, or ‘pluck’). This new fitness trend involves picking up litter while running – effectively jogging with squats. With concern escalating over the looming environmental crisis of plastic waste, and obesity continuing to be a growing threat to public health, the plogging trend is undeniably timely.

We at the global health app, Lifesum, became the first health platform to allow its users to log and track plogging, while also promoting the initiative through a partnership with Keep America Beautiful and encouraging users to #plogging on social media as they exercise and to get the full benefits, such as:

Stress relief
Plogging is a high-intensity activity, making it a great stress reliever. When you go for a run your heart rate accelerates and, as a result, your body releases chemical endorphins that elevate your mood. As well as releasing these feel-good endorphins, running is a form of exercise that requires less active thinking, allowing your mind to switch off and helps to let go of the troublesome thoughts that may be weighing it down.

Interval training
Similar to interval training, ‘plogging’ combines a quick running step for short periods with focused lunges and squats. Interval training boosts endurance and burns more calories during and after a workout than normal running, improving fitness and fat burning for best results.

Anti – winter blues
In the darker winter months, we tend to not get enough vitamin D due to the shorter daylight hours, which is why bringing your exercise outside instead of a gym is great for getting both fresh air and some vitamin D (provided it’s not pouring rain). Going outside can also bring you closer to living a friluftsliv lifestyle – a mantra of connecting to nature which is partially responsible for making Swedes as content and healthy as they are.  

But these aren;’t just my tips. David Brudö, CEO and co-founder of mental wellbeing app, Remente, has other ideas on how ‘plogging’ benefits your mind and happiness:

Grows confidence and self-esteem
Part of the reason behind self-consciousness is a lack of control, so combining rubbish picking with running can offer a sense of control over your commute, neighbourhood, and life, which in turn builds your confidence. Regardless of weight, size or gender, exercise can quickly offer evidence of resilience and determination, not to mention weight loss, developing confidence in attractiveness and boosts feelings of self-esteem and worth.

Supports happiness and anti-depression
A big part of anxiety is being overwhelmed by too many thoughts, and if these thoughts are negative, the anxiety can switch over to a state of depression. Focusing your mind on finding, and picking up, rubbish on your run can help get your thoughts in order and deal with any negativity quickly and efficiently.

Running and helping others, the community, and environment also produces endorphins, which is the body’s natural anti-depressant. These endorphins are hormones that block pain and encourage feelings of euphoria. In other words, these hormones can make you feel more energetic, alert and happier.

 

Frida Harju-Westman is the in-house nutritionist for Lifesum, a Stockholm-based digital health company with over 25 million users. Using tech and psychology, it creates a tailored plan to help people live happier, more balanced lives. Whether the goal is to lose weight, build muscle, or just live a healthier life, Lifesum shows how changing small, everyday habits can transform your life. The app is available on iOS and Android.

Remente  is a free-to- use personal development platform for individuals and businesses. The app combines psychology with brain and mental training to help users reach their full potential, complete personal and professional goals, and lead a healthier lifestyle. Users can track their mood through the app, as well as undertake courses on stress management, goal setting, memory, and many others. Available to download on iOS and Android.

 

Health, Lifestyle, Diet, Health and Fitness Trend Predictions for 2018


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Health Work

Learning to look up again – controlling your smartphone addiction

Why do our mobile virtual homes take precedence over our real physical homes? Does our obsessive behaviour make us less interactive and engaging with real people? Are we becoming less human and morphing into ‘smombies’ (smartphone zombies)? And if so, what can we do about it to break our habits, change our behaviour and instead of spending our time looking down bathed in the reflective glare of our 5 inch screens learn to look up again?

Ross Sleight has been involved in digital media for over 20 years. He’s founded four award-winning digital agencies, was a founder of Virgin Games and today is the Chief Strategy Officer for Somo – an accelerator that delivers rapid, actionable innovation for its global clients. Here he explores both the personal and social impact of our addictive smartphone use.

Can you really ban smartphones from schools (and is it a good idea anyway) ?

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Education Work

Can you really ban smartphones from schools (and is it a good idea anyway) ?

My good friend and fellow IT Babbler Tony wrote a piece called Mobile Phone Shutdown about how his school is banning students from using their smartphones during certain hours of the day. It’s good (please give it a read). In the post he identifies some problems that his school is dealing with and outlines a solution to ban phones for students and the hope of the outcome. It is sound. It is a levelheaded response to a problem and, let’s not forget, this is an experiment. It may yield results that are unexpected maybe even unwanted, but no matter what happens, Tony and the people he works with will observe, analyze and make another rational decision later on if needed. It’s not just a plan, it is a process.

There is a lot of talk out there about how terrible these devices are to children. There is an article in the Wall Street Journal that talks about parents trying to grapple when to buy their child a smartphone. Then there is the article in the New York Times that calls out Apple to make a “Less Addictive iPhone”. There is a lot of emotion and reaction in these articles and these topics. You often hear these words when discussing smartphones and students:

– Addiction
– Distraction
– Diminished social skills
– ADD or ADHD
– Harmful for developing minds
– Disconnected
– Leads to unhappiness and/or anxiety
– Sleep deprivation

Then there are other articles such as this one from Wired that talks about how smartphones are being demonized and may not be that bad. Then there is this article from Doug Johnson’s The Blue Skunk Blog(great blog and well worth your time if you’re an educator). He says that we might as well learn how to leverage and manage smartphones in schools. Both Wired and Doug Johnson’s blog are written by very well respected professionals like the authors of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Here is the bottom line. There is no missing puzzle piece that will solve this issue for all schools. We have to remember that the iPhone is only ten years old and I am not exactly sure when a majority of students started coming to schools with smartphones but I would take a stab and say 5–6 years ago. So the long term report isn’t in about how bad/awful/great/awesome these devices are to students.

I’m not for or against smartphones in schools. I think that should be a decision made based on a school by school basis and not by a single person.

What I am for are experiments. Trying out solutions, analyzing and discussing the results with the community and moving forward and using a process.

I am not for rash and knee jerk decisions. These are often not so thought out and when results come back that are unexpected, then it is too easy to call the fix it a failure and abandon a policy for another one.

What do you think?

More from Tony at TonyDePrato.com

At what age should students get a smartphone?

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