Friday, 29 July 2016



If you're counting down the days till your next meeting for an assignment, these helpful hints will help you get in the right frame of mind in order to leave a lasting impression in the meeting and secure the assignment.

1. Do your research 
Preparation is the key to a successful meeting and to getting that assignment you desire.  It is the little things that make the big difference.  Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail.  You are certain to be asked specific questions about the company, so make sure you've done your homework on things like their last year's profits, employees, competitors and recent successes, contract losses, latest product launches etc.  Also take a look at the latest developments in the industry so you can converse with confidence if it’s a sector you are unfamiliar with. Doing some research on the individuals you are meeting is always a good idea to find common ground you can build on to quickly build rapport.

2. Practice key interview questions & answers 
Although there is no set format that every client meeting will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up. You should prepare answers to some of the most common questions about your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as being able to explain why you would be the best Interim for the assignment.  Build on past successes and what you did in a similar situation, what you delivered and the return on investment for the client.

3. Look the part 
Appearances shouldn't matter, but the plain fact is that you are often judged before you've even uttered a word. Make sure your shoes are polished; you have a smart business suit on with a crisp shirt and business tie.  After all you are in a business meeting and should dress appropriately.  

4. Stay calm 
Good preparation is the key to staying in control. Plan your route, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays, and get everything you need to take with you ready the night before.  Don’t oversell yourself.  Let your achievements speak for themselves but don’t come across as someone who is desperate for the assignment.  If you have been off assignment for a while, it’s not their fault.

5. Ask questions 
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the business. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the assignment, some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the company and some that help scope the assignment brief and map out key objectives.

Good luck!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Top 10 CV Do’s & Don’ts

Top 10 CV Do’s & Don’ts

A Curriculum Vitae is an essential marketing tool and getting a meeting can depend on how good your CV is. The way you present your CV can have an overwhelming influence over whether your CV is even read, let alone get a meeting. You need to consider what to include, how much detail is needed and how to make your CV stand out from others.

1. Construct your CV with your prospective client in mind. Look at the assignment advert or specification and think about what the assignment involves, and what the client needs. Find out about the client, culture, operating style and make your experience relevant.

2. Tailor your CV to the assignment. Your CV shouldn't be your life story but should be tailored for the assignment you're applying for, focusing on the aspects that are important for that role.

3. Make it clear and tidy. Check your spelling and grammar and read it through carefully. It’s amazing how many CV’s have spelling mistakes in them.

4. Place the important information up-front. Put experience and education achievements in reverse chronological order. Include experience and interests that might be of use to the client: IT skills, voluntary work, foreign language competency, driving skills, leisure interests that demonstrate team skills and organisation/leadership skills.

5. Quote concrete outcomes to support your claims. For example, ‘This reduced the development time from 7 to 3 days’ or ‘This revolutionised the company’s internal structure which led to a reduction in overheads from £2.3million to £1.7m per year’.

6. Include information which may be viewed negatively – failed exams, divorces, failed business ventures, reasons for leaving an assignment. Don’t give the person you want to meet any reasons not to meet you.

7. Make your CV more than three pages long. You can free up space by leaving out or editing information that is less important. For example, you do not need to include referees or include a detailed account all of the assignments you have held since school. Place more emphasis and detail on the recent and most relevant ones. Add details about your most recent qualifications, which are more relevant, but summarize the rest.

8. Dilute your important messages. Don’t bother with a list of schools you attended or a long list of hobbies. Such things like this and school grades can be summarised. Concentrate on demonstrating the skills they require, what you have achieved and what benefits your clients have gained from your work.

9. Use jargon, acronyms, technical terms - unless essential.

10. Lie – In this era of the “Information economy” people and clients have many ways of checking what you say is true, and may dismiss you from the process or at worst employment if they find this is untrue.