Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Five Essential Movies To Inspire The Salesperson in You

Sometimes, being a salesperson can feel like one of the hardest jobs in the world especially when nothing seems to be converting and you’re under constant pressure to perform.  

So if you’re struggling to hit this month’s target take heart and learn new tactics from these movies!  We hope that there is something in all of them to inspire you to some degree.

We've deliberately left out ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and a couple more obvious ones but make no apologies on leaving in ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ and ‘Boiler Room’ because if you haven’t seen them yet they’re well worth a watch because if for nothing else there are always salespeople finding things harder than you at the moment! 

Glengarry Glen Ross
This has to be the number one movie for salespeople. Is it possible that just like the boss here that nothing else matters to you except sales? He offers as an incentive unique prizes: a Cadillac El Dorado as the first prize, a set of steak knives as the second and the third prize is the sack! Would you be able to handle the high pressure sales environment here?  The movie teaches salesman to push harder and harder to make the kill. But would you go so far as to commit a robbery just so you could close deals so you didn’t get the sack?!?

The Pursuit of Happiness
This real life story is a pick me up and can inspire any salesperson to never let go their dream. Christopher Gardner, the protagonist, has invented a medical device and invested heavily in it but it does not sell as it is priced much higher than a similar product but with little more benefits than others like it. He loses his house, bank accounts, credit cards and wife. What he doesn't lose though is his dream. Would you be able to pursue your dream even when you feel like you have lost everything?

Boiler Room
We all love closing deals otherwise why would you be in sales? Sometimes it can be relief, sometimes exciting but it can be motivational as well. Will you, like the protagonist, realise that success not only maximizes your friends but your enemies as well. The movie could inspire you to lead your business to success.  Maybe like the protagonist the salesperson in you could then realise that getting rich is not the answer to a lot of things despite the fact that it feels like all everyone around you just simply wants to be rich.

Tin Men
Here’s one I giggled all of the way through as sleazy business practices pop up one after another as the movie progresses. It may be comically presented but the movie does shows you many shady sales tactics that are probably best avoided. The two stars have no virtues and the revelations about shoddy business practices hit you again and again.

Door to Door
This is a little-known inspirational true tale and, as the name suggests, is about walking from door to door to make the sales. Bill Porter suffers from cerebral palsy and spends a lifetime selling Watkins Products.  Right up until his dying day he was closing sales even though he was badly injured when a bus ran over him.  Could you, like him be able to mark your territory so dominantly that no one else could make a sale there but you?

So here’s our top five and we hope there’s a couple here that you may not have heard of.  We’d love to hear what films have inspired you when you’ve had that tough month so which ones would you add?

Friday, 14 November 2014

How to Explain Gaps in Your CV

Keeping your fingers crossed in the hope that employers will not notice the gaps in your CV is not the right strategy. If there are gaps in your CV that aren’t explained then employers will often assume the worst as detailed in the cartoon here!  Instead, you need to explain CV gaps in a way that allows you to focus on the positive things that you’ve learned during the gap and how it has perhaps enhanced your personality or professional profile. It is better to explain gaps in a cover letter, and ideally in your CV itself, especially if the gap is for educational purposes or travel. Don’t give employers a reason to discard your CV as most gaps are explainable and if communicated correctly could potentially enhance your application.

Illness Gaps
Mention only recent illness. However, employers may wonder if you could be ill again so assure them in your CV that you are well recovered, job ready and looking forward to work related challenges.

Termination Gaps
If you have been redundant explain what you did in the interim to add to your skills. Did you add to your educational qualifications, or undertake training or do volunteer work? If your services were terminated, then stick to the truth without showing the company or yourself in bad light. Explaining a gap may not harm your employability chances but lying or extending the employment dates to avoid gaps could. 

Voluntary Gaps
Everyone, at some point, needs to take time off to care for parents, children, recover from accidents or simply because there is going to be an addition to the family. If you have applied for the job, then you know that it means that these reasons no longer exist; however, employers, regrettably, may assume differently. Employers aren’t allowed to ask questions about your family, children or marital status, but it could work in your favour to take pre-emptive action and detail on your CV that you have made the adequate day care and other arrangements for your children, etc. so they know that you are fully committed to rejoining the workforce.

Travelling Gaps
These can be explained more easily in the CV by detailing specifically where you travelled to and the objectives behind your travels.  You could emphasise how the new gained perspectives could be beneficial to the role that you are applying to. Furthermore, if there was a bit of adventure travel, you could mention why it was important for you and the lessons learned from overcoming various challenges.

Long-Term Unemployment Gap
This is the toughest of the lot. Most employers will think the worst if your unemployment gap is more than a year. However, if during that time you did something to qualify you better, like being a full-time student, doing volunteer or freelance work, or you built a website or blog, did consultation work or were a full-time parent or needed time to manage/refurbish the home, then you can explain the gap with positive reasons.

Be prepared to explain rather than hide the gaps. Have references readily available from your previous manager and colleagues. Take time to upgrade your knowledge about companies or your area of work so that the interviewer understands you have kept up with your profession despite the gap. 

If you've found this useful then you may want to visit our free career tools section at

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Just Simply Straightforward Job Searching Tips

Get The Job That You Deserve With These Simple and Straightforward Job Searching Tips

Searching for a job can be one of the most frustrating experiences a person can go through; especially in an economy that is still feeling the effects of the recent recession.   Whilst it is once again becoming a ‘candidates market’ the job market continues to be fierce, with many candidates vying for the most attractive posts.

Even though the job market has dramatically improved over the last few years, whether one is a seasoned professional or a recent graduate, it can still be incredibly difficult to get hired. By using a defined and directed job search strategy, job seekers can find positions that they are ideally qualified for, meet their criteria, and that they stand a good chance of getting.

Map Out Your Plan:

When embarking on a serious job search, your first step should be figuring out what your personal career goals are and the types of roles you are truly interested in pursuing. Take some time to make a list of what your own criteria are when it comes to job description, growth potential, and compensation. It may help you to download our ‘job search checklist’ as part of this plan.

Establish a time frame for finding a new job and make a list of achievable goals along that timeline. Start with polishing up your CV or having a fresh one written for you if it has a number of years since you applied for a job.  Finding a job can be a bit of a full-time job in itself so determine how much time you are able to devote daily or weekly to applying for jobs and stick to your schedule.  

Keep a careful record of all the responses you receive and stay organised when it comes to scheduling interviews.   If you are serious about finding a new role, you will simply have to find the time to attend interviews. 

Specialist Recruitment Agencies:

There are thousands of recruitment agencies out there so channel your energy into one that is right for you. Are they a specialist or a generalist agency, i.e. are they regularly advertising the kind of roles that you are looking for and do their consultants have links to workers in your industry sector within their LinkedIn profiles? 

If so, they will probably have access to a mine of terrific jobs that are not available on the ‘open market’.  Recruiters, including ourselves, get inundated with applications so make the difference by detailing in a cover note exactly why you are the ‘stand out candidate’ and detail precisely what you are looking for in your next role in terms of industry sector, role types and salary (and indeed if you’re prepared to work for a competitor). Then recruiters can quickly see whether they have the roles that will be right for you. 

Traditional Networking:

Networking is still one of the best ways to get a new job, with studies showing that over 50% of all hires are made through referrals and recommendations. However, if you are a recent graduate, or school leaver, you may not yet have this 'work-network' so start with your University alumni association or career office. Speak to friends and family members and even your old teachers about any jobs they might know of in your field of interest. 

Social Media Networking:

Use your social media accounts to highlight your career accomplishments and goals, especially on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, all of which are routinely used by recruiters to announce job openings and scout for potential candidates. If you are unemployed or your current boss knows that you are hunting for a new job, it is alright to mention that you are actively looking for a new position in your status, and can help drive more interest your way from hiring managers.  

Regularly update your LinkedIn profile as this will signal to recruiters that you are proactively looking.  Whilst managing your social networks remember to ensure that they show you in your very best light! 

Direct Your Energies:

The old-fashioned techniques of cold calling for jobs can still be a very effective way to find job openings in sales.  What better way to experience your sales prowess than to actually pitch yourself in to gain an interview!

However, it is important to make sure that you are directing your energies towards companies in which you are seriously interested and know something about. Take the time to research companies in your industry and make a list of those that appeal to you, both for what they do and how well you think you might fit in.  Make the call to the hiring managers, send an updated CV and write a short bullet pointed cover letter, which specifies why you are particularly interested in their company and why you would be a good fit for them. 

Follow Up:

Whether you approached the company proactively or responded to an advertised opening, make sure to follow up with the human resources department or hiring manager, either by phone or email.

Let them know why you are interested in the job and briefly re-iterate your skills. Hiring managers often sift through hundreds of CV's a week and taking a few minutes to check in on the status of your application will go a long way towards making you stand out from the crowd.

The job hunt can certainly be a frustrating experience, but by employing the right strategy, you can make your search that much more successful and rewarding. Perseverance is also essential – don’t give up if it takes a bit of time. Finding the right job is simply a matter of patience, research, and following a solid plan.


We’re in the process of overhauling our Career Tools section for candidates in preparation for 2015. Why not take a look at it for more career advice that has been specifically written for sales professionals.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

How to Dress for Success at a Sales Interview

Let’s face it – interviews are a nerve-wracking experience at any time, with candidates being judged not just by what they say but also based on their appearance.  

The general rule of thumb is to dress in a manner that is professional, conservative, and appropriate to your prospective work environment then no one can make ‘gut judgements’ on you based simply upon appearance.  

      Corporate Sales:

Working in corporate sales requires a somewhat more formal version of business attire than a retail or call centre sales job would require. Employees who work in such settings often come into contact with clients and suppliers and will sometimes work in an office setting alongside senior management staff.  Therefore, the most appropriate attire for a job interview for this type of sales position includes dark suits with light shirts, dark ties, and formal shoes for men. Women should also dress conservatively, in dark two-piece business suits with a colour coordinated or neutral blouse and wear minimal jewellery. Any body art should be covered up and both men and women should present an overall well-groomed appearance.

      Telesales and Call Centre Sales:

Many applicants for sales positions at call centres or telesales jobs make the mistake of dressing too casually for their interview. However, despite the somewhat more informal work setting of most call centres, candidates for such sales positions still need to make a good impression on prospective employers. While applicants need not wear business suits to their interviews, they must still present a neat, professional experience.  Personally, I would recommend still wearing a suit if you own one; if not trousers/skirt and a smart shirt/blouse.  Then none can make judgements based upon the logo of your top or the brand of your chosen trainers.  Jewellery and make-up should still be kept to a minimum, and all facial piercings and tattoos should be concealed.

      Retail Sales:

Working on the sales floor of a retail outlet is a far different cry from working in corporate or telephone sales. Sales people are always in direct contact with the customers and have to maintain a professional appearance at all times that is in keeping with the tone and ambiance of the store. For instance, a sales assistant at Harvey Nichols will typically be required to dress on trend with the department they are looking to represent.  In contrast if the interview is with a more traditional department store, you should  dress more formally. What you should wear to a retail sales job therefore depends almost entirely on what type of company you are applying to work at.  For instance, a woman who wears no make-up for a sales job at a cosmetics store has little chance of being hired. Conversely, dressing in a manner that is overly fashion forward might not be the best move if you are interviewing for a job at a traditional department store.

If you are completely dumbfounded as to what to wear to your interview, take some time to research how employees at the company usually dress, either in person or by contacting someone in the HR department and simply ask what is acceptable/preferred.   

Some stores, such as John Lewis, also have a formal dress code which can help applicants narrow down their choices. Whatever outfit you choose to wear, it is important to make sure that your clothes are clean, pressed, and in good repair, and that you wear your clothes with confidence – after all, it is one trait that all good hiring managers are looking for.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Aaron Wallis Increases Advice Library to Over 500 Articles

We’ve always been pretty proud of the advice that we offer across which we believe to be the most comprehensive, freely available advice offered by any recruitment agency. 
We’ve just undertaken a massive overhaul of the Advice Library which now contains over 500 articles, each written by industry experts, covering every imaginable business area from sales and marketing to finance to taxation to doing business in other nations.
To access it’s simple – follow this link:

Then either drop down on the theme that you’re looking for advice upon and hit search and it will bring up every topic in the category.
Alternatively type your query in the search box and the search engine will chose the articles it feels most relevant.
We hope that you find it useful.  If so please bookmark or post to facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn using the user-friendly buttons on the page.