Tag Archives: tips

AllAboutLaw’s helping hand for finding that coveted training contract!

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As we’re sure you clever people know, securing a training contract is the final hurdle to becoming to a solicitor. If you land one, you’ll spend two years training with a law firm, becoming a fully qualified solicitor at the end of it!

AllAboutLaw.co.uk want to help you to secure that coveted training contract, so they’ve put together a handy list for you to feast your eyes on. Generally speaking the deadline is 31 July but it is advised to submit your application before that date as many firms will close their applications early.

As you might expect, there are a lot of opportunities on offer, so AllAboutLaw have made it easy for you to narrow down the training contracts available at city firms, international firms, regional firms, US firms and Scottish firms, so you can race ahead with your applications.

Whatever type of training contract you’re after, they’ve got it covered.

Take a look today!

Content written by: http://allaboutlaw.co.uk/

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9 Tricks to Write a Blog Post in Less Than 30 Minutes

For all you bloggers out there, our regular student contributor Sam has written this helpful post with some tips for getting a blog post out fast!

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Writing a blog post can be notoriously time-consuming. In the present era, with ever tightening deadlines and increasing expectations, time is a precious commodity. So to help in your writing, here is a handy list of 9 ways of how to write a blog post in less than 30 minutes.

1. Let it come naturally

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Although it’s useful to have a plan of some sort prior to writing a blog, it is good to be flexible and not stick to rigidly to it. The key to doing this is letting things come naturally and just writing what you feel without thinking about it too hard.
This way you are not overthinking what you write and you can always correct any errors in flow or consistency later on. Writing naturally is often more fun than sticking to a pre-defined plan and normally results in a more genuine response than something which is artificially constructed. Just let it come…..

2. Write a bullet pointed plan before you start

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Following on from the previous bullet point, it is useful to have some sort of plan before you start. A simple bullet-pointed plan can be much more effective than copious amounts of planning. All you need are a few key words to get your writing juices flowing and you’re away……..

3. Give yourself a time limit

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It’s well-renowned that humans work better under a deadline. From personal experience, this is true! All those all-nighters I pulled writing my essays at University worked well. Well, they certainly boosted my productivity, knowing the essay had to be in the next morning!
On a serious note, having some sort of deadline to work towards (say 30 minutes……) can really focus your mind and get you bashing out the words at an accelerated speed. It gives you a target, an end-point, but most importantly a finishing line, which necessitates that you say everything you want to before time runs out. Hurry, the clock is ticking!

4. Have a list post

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These types of posts normally have the title of ’10 weird food combinations’ or maybe ‘9 tricks to write a blog post in It may be as simple as summarising the fundamental points of a topic or something like ‘Everything you need to know about Banking in 60 seconds’. A blog post like this can also be of a high quality as it is concise and gets to the point straight away. Furthermore, you might be more motivated if you are crossing of each bullet quickly, thus accentuating your efficiency.

5. Have a definite beginning, middle and end

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Linking with tip 2, it is useful to have some sort of structure if you are writing a blog post. It is only a rough idea of a beginning, middle and end. This can help focus your writing, whilst making sure you don’t waffle on too much. It can also improve the flow of your writing.

6. Eliminate all distractions

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Procrastination is almost a sport these days, it is that popular! It is unsurprising with the amount of distractions around, Facebook, games consoles, mobiles, TVs… the list goes on.
However, if you want to write a blog post in less than 30 minutes, you are going to have to make a conscious effort to get rid of these distractions.
Your blog post should be the only tab you have open on your computer. Furthermore, if the place you are working in is tidy that can also help as your mind goes into efficiency mode and there is no excuse to tidy things if they are already tidy…..

7. Check all your typos and errors at the end

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Everyone makes typos, it’s just a fact of life. Even the most experienced writers will make plenty of errors in writing a blog post.
However, correcting all your errors at the end of a text is a lot less time-consuming than editing your blog constantly all the way through, which becomes a bit laborious. So if you make an error, just keep typing and correct it at the end.

8. Chunk the paragraphs up

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Just as having a definite beginning, middle and end of a blog can help the speed of your piece, having that for each paragraph is useful to. You know the structure you are following, which makes compiling a blog post a lot easier.
If you keep to the same structure all the way through, it can increase the lucidity and coherence of your post and ultimately make it more readable.

9. Write from the heart

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Bloggers often write about the things they are passionate about, whether it be politics, food or sport, everyone has got a passion. If you are writing about something you care deeply about, the words tend to flow faster and more naturally, with a more heartfelt response.
Often if you write from the heart about something you have more to say which reduces time planning and allows you to be more spontaneous and subsequently faster in writing a blog.

Hopefully all these tips will boost your productivity and allow you to write a blog post in 30 minutes. If you combine all this advice with hard work and desire, there’s no telling how far you could go.

Remember, everything seems impossible until it actually happens…… you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it, including writing a blog post in less than 30 minutes!

By Sam Curran

Sam has his own proofreading business. He charges from £3.00 per 1,000 words. He can help with style and content as well as grammatical and formatting issues. Sam has proofread for 6 years and has proofread pieces of work from Undergraduate to PHD level as well as editing CVs, job applications and personal statements. The business has its own Facebook page ‘Efficient Editing’ which you can contact Sam through. You can also get in touch with Sam by emailing him at samcurran@live.co.uk

Top five interview tips to help you land that job!

Interviews can be scary, especially if you have never had one before. The most important thing to do before any interview is to make sure that you are well prepared. Take some time before your interview to research the company, prepare answers to common interview questions, and make sure that you have everything you will need on the day to hand.

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Tip 1: Research the Company

Ideally you will already have done some research before applying for the role, but if not, now is the time to do it! You don’t have to memorise all of their annual reports or become an expert on their products, but if you haven’t done any research at all, it will reflect poorly on you during the interview. You should aim to know something about the products and services they provide as well as a brief overview of their history – you can also search for news articles about them, for added points.

Tip 2: Plan Ahead

You will normally be told in advance the location of the interview, so make the most of this advance knowledge and plan your route to get there. Being late for the interview means getting off on the wrong foot at best, and will have a strong negative impact on your chances of getting the job. Aim to arrive around 10 minutes before the time stated on your invite to interview. Build in time in your route for traffic jams, roadworks, public transport issues and so on. Take a spare copy of your CV with you, as well as the job description, your application, and some information on the company. Then when you arrive early, you can read through your pack while you are waiting.

Tip 3: First Impressions

When you arrive for your interview, make sure you switch off your mobile phone (or at the very least make sure it is on silent with the vibrate turned OFF). Take some mints or chewing gum to freshen your breath, but make sure you finish/dispose of it before going into the interview – you don’t want to be crunching mints or chewing gum in your interview!

Tip 4: Be Confident and Enthusiastic

Confidence is one the most important traits to creating a positive impression. Smile, be courteous and address the interviewers by name whenever possible. Keep in mind that you have already impressed the employer enough with your application/CV for them to want to see you. This is no small thing considering the volume of applications most employers receive. Therefore, you have already made a positive impression on them. Your task at the interview is to allow the employer to learn more about you and to see if they like your personality. This is hard to do if you clam up with nerves so take some deep breaths and try to relax.

Tip 5: Follow-Up To Your Interview

After your interview, write to the employer and thank them for their time in seeing you – do this if you are offered the job or not. This will make sure that you stick in their minds as a polite and proactive candidate, and will also confirm to the employer that you are still interested in the position. Sometimes you might need to check a fact or clarify a point raised during the interview. You can use the follow-up email or letter to relay this information to them.

Post adapted from http://www.jobcentreguide.co.uk/job-interview-tips/23/job-interview-tips

5 Questions to ask yourself when writing your CV

This article has been adapted from the Careers Service’s CV Guidelines handout, which will be available from the Careers Stand at the Refresher’s fair tomorrow in the Gateway building from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm – come and say hello!

You use your CV to show employers what knowledge, skills and experience you have. An effective CV will not only show your current abilities, but demonstrate the potential you have to be successful in a working environment.

http://careers.theguardian.com/work-blog/cv-covering-letter-advice-online-chat

How long should a CV be?

Ideally, a CV should be no longer than two sides of A4. CVs that exceed this may not be read to the end or at all. For part time work (during studies), a one page CV would be sufficient.

Do I need to include a personal profile?

It’s not essential to produce one, but some may like to use this as an opening introduction. If you do decide to include one it should ideally be no more than four lines long and follow immediately after your personal details at the top of your CV. Personal summaries should introduce who you are, what skills you can offer and generally what you are looking for in your next role.

Do I list work experience or education first?

This depends on the type of CV you are creating and how much work experience you have. If you have recently graduated and don’t have much work experience it is probably best to start with your education.  For part time work, employers will be looking at what key skills and experiences you have in a working environment (customer service skills, teamwork etc)

Should I include my interests?

It’s not necessary to include interests in a CV. If you do, use them as examples of specific achievements, such as teamwork roles, personal achievements, leadership roles etc.

How should I present my CV?

Ideally, aim to put your strongest and most recent qualification/experience towards the beginning of your CV, where it will be noticed by an employer. Remember that the information on your CV needs to be readable to anyone accessing it.

Avoid cramping your CV with irrelevant information. Instead, concentrate on what important aspects need to included, backing it up with experience. It is always important to remember where you are applying and for which position. Keep your information short, snappy and to the point.

Bonus Tip!

It is important to have your CV proof read for spelling/ grammar mistakes by someone you trust. Bad spelling or computer typo’s can often put an employer off instantly by demonstrating lack of care/attention.  It is not necessary at this point to provide details of references, but ideally you should inform that references can be made available on request.

For advice on your CV, email it to careers@cumbria.ac.uk and an Adviser will send you some feedback.

Are job interviews decided in the first minute?

The ‘Making an impact’ DVD from the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) attempts to answer this question.

Interviews are nerve racking affairs but the main message from the DVD is that if you come prepared there is nothing to fear.

Interviewers are interested to know what you can bring to the organisation you are applying for and so will analyse how you sell yourself from what you say. It is important you have researched the company you want to work for as they will check for career motivation, enthusiasm and an understanding of their business.

Key Tips:

1: The interview is a natural extension of the CV you have sent to an organisation and you will be expected to give more detail of it at the interview.

2: Employers test you on competency based questions at interviews. A competency based question is when you give specific examples of past behaviours that show how you behaved in certain situations in an interview setting. Do not be general in the answers you give to a competency based question.

3: Maintain eye contact and answer the questions as quickly as possible. Silence is ok but not prolonged silence.

4: Before the actual interview check the competencies that the organisation looks for on their website and practice examples of them using the STAR approach*.

5: When answering questions never say ‘we’. Interviewers are interested in how you handled each scenario as you will be the one they will hire.

6: Research the company and get the dress code correct by understanding the ethos of the organisation.

7: Telephone interviews are a low cost initial screening of candidates in some companies to take through to a face to face interview and you must treat them seriously and come across as confident, articulate and give clear detail.

8: Build rapport with the interviewer at all times and make sure you leave a good first and lasting impression.

*  P.s. The STAR approach is:

S – Situation, background set the scene
T – Task or Target, specifics of what’s required, when, where, who
A – Action, what you did, skills used, behaviours, characteristics
R – Result – Outcome, what happened?

If an interviewer starts probing you, this is a clue you are not giving enough information (such as names, role, project, feedback, who, what, when, outcome).

Thanks to Cheryl Copeland for providing this article.

Note:  University of Cumbria students can access the “Making an Impact” video via the Jobs&Careers tab on Blackboard.