Author: Charles

Disappointing A-level results? What are the alternatives?

A-levels – what are the next steps?

I remember my A-level results day only too well. I was in Scotland on holiday. My time away was going really well, up until the point when I called my parents to find out how I did, and then everything changed. Instead of predicted B-grades, I got D’s. I was gutted, and all my plans came to a shuddering halt!

Looking back, I can now see that this was probably for the best, because only three years later I embarked on a degree course at another university to which I was better suited. However, at the time, I thought my life, my plans and my whole future held little for me. As it turned out, nothing was further from the truth.

Here are some fantastic sites that can offer some great help not only to disappointed want-to-be undergraduates but also to their bewildered parents! If you find you find you are in this position, then here are some alternatives to going to Uni.

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You want a killer CV or a CV that kills with boredom? You decide!

How to write a killer CVCVs, boring but important! Here are a few essential tips on how to write a killer CV.

How to grab an employer’s eye with a killer CV!

Let me guess – you’re not reading this blog on CV’s because you really want to, but because you have to? Let’s face it, even though CV’s are incredibly important they have to rank up there on the boredom scale along with party political broadcasts. I shall try to make this blog interesting, but even if I don’t, it will be far more useful than watching any party political broadcast!

To get started I need to find out a bit of information about you. Read the two descriptions below and decide which of them you fall into.


  1. I have a seamless work history with no or very few gaps.
  2. I’ve got some impressive job titles to show off.
  3. I can show off names of prestigious employers.
  4. I want to change jobs but also want to remain in the same sector or the same sort of role.


  1. My work history is patchy or has one or two gaps on it that I want to hide.
  2. I have experienced a long period of unemployment that you want to take an employer’s eye off!
  3. I have done lots of job-hopping or changes in career direction that I want to disguise.
  4. I want to start a new career or enter the job market but have little relevant experience.

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CV Top Tips that Will make a difference

A winning CV

Creating a winning CV is easy! Right? Well, if you have experienced many job rejections, a possible explanation could be that you are not ‘selling yourself’ effectively on your CV.

When you’re in the job market it’s good to view yourself as a shop, and your task is to lure people (i.e. an employer) in and buy stuff (i.e. your skills and experience). If you have an attractive shop front you stand a good chance of achieving this.

It’s a good idea to view your CV  as your ‘shop front’ where you can ‘sell yourself’ to an employer and get them into your shop and offer you the job. The trouble is that we often forget to lift the shutters to our shop front windows and allow people to check out what we have to sell!

Check out this info graphic that will change the way you write a CV forever!

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Volunteering – making a career by what we give


Looking for a career break? Volunteering is a great way to give and importantly to receive.

Volunteering – what a way to develop your career!

Before you think “boring”, hang on; this blog could do many good things for you – in fact, it could change the whole course of your life.

Join UK’s 13 million volunteers!

First of all, what do you get when you cross a CEO, a volunteer manager, and a cleaner? Answer: A situation that is not too uncommon in most voluntary organisations! There’s no doubt that this sector could do with your time and expertise; so why not join the estimated 19 million Brits who volunteer at least once a year and the 13 million-plus who do it regularly?

This is what the Bible has to say about giving our time to others: Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others … (1 Peter 4:10).

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Is there life after teaching?

Life after teachingSo is there life after teaching? I want to devote this blog to a profession that is in crisis in the UK

Teaching – one of the noblest professions

Similar to Martians and little green men, the question “Is there life after teaching?” is a hot topic in many school staff rooms. Recently I’ve met many teachers who all seem to be saying much the same thing – I want out! In fact, according to the Telegraph (Oct 2015) more than half are considering leaving the profession in the next two years, which is a tragic situation.

Teaching is one of the noblest, most affirming and life-giving careers that it is possible to find. It is a calling that can draw out the treasured potential from the depth of a person and change the course of history:

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but a person of understanding draws them out – Proverbs 20:5

So, if you are a teacher, I salute you and pray that God would renew, refresh and reinvigorate your calling during 2016.

Not necessarily a job for life

However, not all of us are called to remain in the same profession for a lifetime and if the prospect of continuing in teaching for another year fills you with dread then it may be just the time to consider a career change.

Here are a few ideas to help you transfer the wealth of experience gained through teaching into a complementary but different career. Is there life after teaching? Most definitely!

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Want a career change but you reckon you’re over the hill? Think again!

Over the hill

If you feel you’re ‘over the hill’ and a career change is impossible, then here are some top tips to help you apply your past experience & skills to a new venture

Time for career change?

As 1.00am approached the time for banter was over. The night was clear, the fire pit was homely and the cigars and whisky mellow, and I have to say that us chaps started to come out with some fairly wise reflections on life.

All of us were approaching a certain major age milestone that can only be said whilst coughing into your hand, and one of our wise men confessed that he now feared that he was over the hill. He was unhappy in his career, felt that God had something more in store for him and yet he didn’t know how to make the jump from one job to another and make that much needed career change.

We nodded sympathetically and puffed away, looking for more wisdom to tackle what is probably a common anxiety: Late career change syndrome.

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LinkedIn – a job seeker’s best friend!

LinkedIn as a job search toolThis is the 3rd in a series of three blogs looking at how to use social media in your job search. In this one we’ll look at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn as a job search tool

In can be argued that LinkedIn is not really social media because its emphasis is business as opposed to social links that you find in Facebook and Twitter. However, it is all about networking – knowing people and being known by people. And importantly, the right people.

LinkedIn will help those searching within a professional career. We’re talking about a big reach…

LinkedIn as a job search tool

Meet LinkedIn!
LinkedIn as job search tool

  • Over 238 Million professional world-wide
  • 3 million+ company profiles
  • Executives from every Fortune 500 firm
  • 64% outside the U.S.
  • 200+ countries

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A job seeker’s best friend is Twitter!

Twitter - a job seeker's best friend!

This is the second in a series of three blogs looking at how to use social media in your job search. In this one we’ll look at Twitter.

Question: If you are a job seeker, have you made Twitter your best friend?

Twitter as a job search tool

Twitter - a job seeker's best friend!With over 12 million users in the UK alone, like it or not – it’s where people and companies gather, and where this happens there you will find business and job opportunities!

The research (conducted by Nielsen @Nielsen) highlights how Twitter is now an everyday business tool for thousands of UK SMEs that use it for marketing, sales, and customer service, for starters. Increasingly UK businesses use it to advertise as well.

34% use Twitter in to find work – 67% of males use Twitter in for job search as opposed to 33% of women

Tip – You could put your job pitch in your Twitter bio including a link to an online CV or LinkedIn profile. Tweet about your work and experiences in your chosen industry – it may attract interest.

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A job seeker’s best friend is Facebook!

Facebook and job searching

This is the first in a series of three blogs looking at how to use social media in your job search. In this one we’ll look at Facebook.

Question: If you are a job seeker, have you made Facebook your best friend? 🙂

With a staggering 42 million people using Facebook in the UK (68% of population), 12 million micro-blogging on Twitter and over 4 million engaging on LinkedIn, like it or loathe it, it’s difficult to dispute the power and reach of social media. Interesting research (Jobvite) shows how people are using social media to reach out and find work, and many would argue that it’s something about which we all have to become familiar when looking for work or wanting to develop our career.

Some hard facts about Facebook:                

  • 69% of those in work are seeking or open to a new job
  • 61% of job-seekers say finding work has been more difficult in the last year
  • 1 in 6 job-seekers found their last job through an on-line social network
  • 88% of job-seekers have at least one social networking profile

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Career Research – what you must know before you commit to a career

Career Research

Career Research: Are you trying to work out what you want to do with your life? This blog will help you to discover the right job before you commit your time, effort and money!

‘Darling’, explained the husband calmly to his wife, ‘God gave all men instinctive navigational skills; that’s why sat-navs are called Tom-Toms and not Jill-Jills. Trust me, I know where I’m going…’

It was possibly the same driver who made a simple, but significant typing error on his sat nav for their holiday destination. Instead of heading for the golden beaches of Capri they were taken 400 miles off course to the industrial town in Northern Italy of Carpi! Upon arrival at an industrial estate, his wife’s words were never recorded, but it’s quite possible that she had one of Confucius’ quotes to hand: Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

At some stage in our lives many of us may have considered a particular profession, only to pull away in another direction due to lack of information and confidence. Whilst it’s vital to be realistic about our options and to understand what really suits our natural ability, personality and circumstances, it’s equally important that we don’t allow a lack of knowledge and confidence to dictate our next move. Make sure you do thorough career research before committing yourself!

‘Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.’ – Stan Smith

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