Creating the perfect CV

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The world of work is becoming increasingly competitive, so as well as experience, bags of enthusiasm and a ‘can do’ attitude, you also need a CV that sparkles and shines.

In essence, your CV needs to be an evolving document that develops and grows as you do.

Whilst you might spend hours getting it right, a potential employer will have moments to read it and decide whether you can do the job and are you the right fit for their business.

Harsh but true, so you need to make that first CV moment matters so you get that interview.

Stick to the facts
The most important thing with a CV is to be 100% honest. A white lie here and there might not seem a big deal, but it can be a total deal-breaker so keep it real.

Layout and structure
Keep your CV clean and uncluttered and aim for no more than two pages and number each one. Use a font such as Arial, Courier or Times New Roman in font size 12 for the body text and no larger than 16 for bold headings. Keep the copy short and sweet and avoid lengthy sentences and fluffy words. Don’t refer to yourself as ‘I’ or by name and use the past tense to describe your career and the present for skills.

Personal details
Start your CV with your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Be aware that including your date of birth is no longer needed thanks to age discrimination rules. Some people add a photo but this a matter of choice. Your website and blog can be listed as well as any relevant social media details but be aware of what you write on feeds as the world can see it.

Personal statement
This is an opportunity to really sell yourself and ensure you stand out from the crowd. Approach it is a sales pitch where you need to capture the reader’s attention and keep them interested and wanting to know more. The statement needs to be succinct and snappy and reflect your professional qualities and personality. It can be hard to write about yourself, so ask a trusted friend to read your statement and offer feedback.

Work experience
When it comes to your professional experience the protocol is to start with your most recent position and work backwards. Include the title, start and end dates, company name as well as a brief description of the job for each position you have worked in. It is a good idea to include the responsibilities and scope of each role as well as any achievements and promotions.

Gaps
If you have had any significant career gaps, include these and add reasons why, for example travelling and maternity leave. It is better to be honest about these periods of time and you might even highlight learnings whilst you were away or looking after a young family.

Education
Including your education and qualifications is essential. List academic achievements first then professional qualifications complete with dates, grades and establishments. You can also include additional skills such as languages, technical know-how and vocational training.

Check, check and check again
It is vital that you check your CV for spelling and grammar mistakes as sloppiness could cost you your dream job. Get a colleague or friend to read through because a fresh pair of eyes can spot errors you have missed.

References
You can either add the details of your referees on your CV or say they are available upon request. Whichever you go for, ensure you have the permission of the people you use and only give permission for them be contacted when you are ready.

As well as references you can include client and internal endorsements that reinforce what you have said about yourself.

Updates
Once you have your CV ready, date it for that months and then update it as you go along. Not only will this mean you have it to hand at anytime but also keeps experiences, dates, details and successes fresh and included.

You may also want to slightly tweak and tailor your CV for different jobs to ensure you really bring out your strong points and most relevant experiences and skills.

Good luck and happy job-hunting.

Easy Prom Hair You Can Do At Home

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Go back a couple of decades and “proms” were something that most people only heard about through American TV shows and films, but fast forward to 2016 and proms are big news here in the UK. The end-of-year ritual has become a tradition with kids in either year 11, once they’re done with their G.C.S.E’s or sixth form leavers once they’re ready for Uni or the big working world, and it’s becoming an expensive business.

Kids are expecting snazzy outfits, hair and make-up, professionally done nails and even limos to arrive and leave in. We thought we’d take a look at some stunning hairstyles for girls which are actually really easy and can be done at home, so you can save some money on the big day! Don’t forget to prep the hair by washing with Dermalogica Shine Therapy Shampoo and finish with Dermalogica Silk Finish Conditioner for great results.

Statement Pony

Statement Pony

It’s good to remember that you’re young enough to get away with fun hairstyles and at 16 (or even 18) something age-appropriate can look so much cuter than straight up Hollywood glamour. This statement pony works on hair of almost all textures and is SO easy to do. It actually works better on hair which hasn’t been washed for a day or two and can be achieved with little more than a brush, a couple of elastics and a can of hairspray.

Side Twists

rolled updo

Another super simple look is this updo which simply twists the hair away from the face and needs to be secured with bobby pins. Don’t twist too tightly as it will look quite severe and stuck to your head, so make sure you keep the twists semi-loose and gather in any stray hairs as you go.

Curly Bun

curly bun

This style works really well if you have curly or afro hair – it’s a simple bun but instead of scraping the hair back so it’s flat against your head, the texture of your hair is allowed to shine through, giving a relaxed but pretty look. Apply a curling cream or serum to your hair, allow it to dry naturally and then use a statement hair accessory which matches or accents your dress to make this simple hairstyle really work.

Sleek Pony

Sleek Pony

By contrast, a super-sleek ponytail can look totally glam when paired with a beautiful gown but it takes a little work to get things really smooth. Use a smoothing serum on your hair while it’s wet and then once you’ve dried your hair, straighten it with straightening irons. Use a paddle brush to sweep the hair back, and secure with a hair-band, then wrap a section of your hair around the brush for a sophisticated look. Finish with a good spray of hairspray to keep everything in place.

Loose Bun

Loose Bun

This is probably the easiest hair-do on the list to do as it literally just involves some back-combing, sweeping back with a hair-band and some bobby pins, and can even be done on unwashed hair. However, the final look is all in the accessories and this is a great hair style if you’re wearing a tiara and want to make the top of your head ALL about your bling!

It’s never too late to book a holiday

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Pexels.comIt’s seems that the holiday season has already started.

Passports are being renewed.

Dog-sitters are being booked.

Bikinis are being chosen.

People are sharing their sunny snaps on social media.

However, if you are still undecided, do not worry, it’s never too late to book a summer break.

Whilst many people book up months, even years, ahead leaving things a later isn’t a disaster, you might just need to do a little more leg-work.

First things first, set dates. If you don’t want to get caught out by the biggest price hikes and busiest times, try to avoid going away during Whitsun half term week in May and the second half of August.

If you love it to be hot, going away in June might not give you the tan you want and if you have toddlers you might want to avoid the blazing sun in Greece in the middle of the summer.

Decide what kind of holiday you want to go on. Is it adventure, beach, spa, cycling, cooking, yoga or just sitting by the pool with a good book? Whatever it is, this is your time away so be sure you do what will make you happy.

Be aware of the world around you, this pretty key at the moment. If you are considering a country where there is political instability and terrorist threats, there may well be great deals but they might not be the best choice. Check details with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and take their advice.

Ask for recommendations. We can all look at glossy brochures and daydream over images on the Internet, but getting recommendations and feedback from family and friends about a hotel, town or villa could be more valuable than any online review.

Don’t forget Spain. If you’re looking for guaranteed sunshine, perfect sandy beaches and amazing food – Spain is a great choice. This country has destinations for everyone, and every budget. There are many flight options and the range of accommodation is as overwhelming as the welcome families receive.

Don’t be caught out by the promise of massive savings. Prices are changing all the time in response to demand making the original price of a holiday pretty meaningless.

What you do need to look at is what is actually included in the price you are quoted. To compare prices you need to factor in flights, meals, transfers and all the other elements of a holiday. You need to ensure you are comparing like with like. If there is a massive difference in prices, try to find out why – for example flights are included but baggage and reserving seats is extra.

Consider going for the all-inclusive option. These are perfect for families who want to know what they will be spending and are looking for excellent facilities, good food, sports as well as value for money.

If you like nature, how about camping? Camp sites across the UK and Europe offer a range of facilities and prices and this can be a fantastic way to take a last minute break that everyone will enjoy.

No one says you have to take the traditional two-week summer holiday. How about splitting up your time off? You could have a week by the Italian lakes early in the season before it gets too hot and busy, followed by a weekend at a holiday park and then a city break in the early autumn.

If all else fails, try a ‘staycation’. Without the stress of airports, passports, foreign currency and sun burn, you can still have a great, relaxing time at home with you and yours.

Whatever you do this summer, have fun.

Healthy Barbecue Alternatives

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It’s that time of year where the sun shines, barbecues are being dusted off, friends and family invited over and food is being cooked in the garden rather than the kitchen, which is great for your social life but not so much for your waistline. However, barbecues don’t always have to mean fatty meat and sugar-laden sauces. Here we look at five foods which are delicious when cooked on the barbie but won’t make you pile on the pounds (although we can’t do anything about the jug of Pimms!)

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is very low in calories, as well as being packed with vitamins and minerals, and tastes delicious when cooked on the grill. Corn is a great source of fibre and antioxidants and digests slowly, giving you a lasting burst of energy. Either wrap them in tinfoil and cook for at least 20 minutes, or parboil them first and finish on the grill for a lovely smoky finish.

Salmon

A lot of people are scared to cook fish because they think it’s complicated but salmon steaks are one of the easiest things to cook on a barbecue. Marinate with lemon and dill before placing on the grill for a lovely summery taste and serve with salad and cous-cous. Just 100g of salmon offers 20g of protein, as well as a massive 53% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin B3.

Chicken

Chicken is a hugely versatile meat and as long as the skin is removed, it’s low in calories and saturated fat. It can be marinated overnight in a whole host of different seasonings and takes on a wonderful flavour when cooked over charcoal. Olive oil and red pepper flakes make a tasty rub if you like a little heat and Jerk seasoning offers a huge amount of flavour for those of us who like a LOT of heat!

Asparagus

Asparagus is one vegetable which works really well when cooked on a grill and is unbelievably nutritious – 100g of asparagus offers 15% of your RDA of Vitamin A and 11% of your daily iron. The great thing with asparagus is that it also makes a fantastic delivery method for tasty dips – we love to dip grilled asparagus into hummus or cooling tzatziki.

Steak

If you’re going to go for red meat on the grill, opting for a good, low fat cut such as sirloin is far better for your health than processed burgers or sausages. Steak is something which can be cooked quickly over the high heat of the grill and although it may cost a little more, the actual value per pound is far higher in terms of health and nutrition…as well as taste!

National Vegetarian Week

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food-salad-healthy-vegetables peels

Did you know 16th – 22nd May is National Vegetarian Week 2016?

Whilst we often hear the word ‘vegetarian’ being used, what does it really mean?

Well, a true vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat, poultry, game, fish or shellfish and instead eat a diet based on grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits.

Some people follow a ‘semi-vegetarian’ diet, which is primarily plant-based diet but includes dairy, eggs and fish on occasion, or in small quantities.

There are various reasons why people choose to be a vegetarian from animal rights and environmental concerns to religious beliefs and health issues.

Vegetarian diets tend to be naturally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher in plant nutrients than most meat-based diets and include:

  • At least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, more if possible.
  • Wholegrain bread, rice and pasta, organic options are always preferable.
  • Beans, pulses and other proteins.
  • Dairy alternative products such as almond soya and rice milks.
  • Unsaturated oils and spreads.
  • At least eight glasses of water a day.

By understanding what makes up a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet, it is possible for your to get all the nutrients the body needs without adding in supplements.

Vegetarians can be low in iron, which isn’t great as this can cause anaemia and a weak nervous system. To get enough iron you need to eat a variety of:

  • beans, lentils and peas
  • nuts
  • dried fruits such as apricots and raisins
  • dark-green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and spring greens
  • whole grains, such as brown rice and brown bread
  • cereals fortified with iron

Vitamin B-12 is also needed to produce red blood cells and prevent anaemia but is almost exclusively found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 and this is where taking supplements might be considered a good idea.

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for heart health, but are mainly found in eggs and fish so add vegetable oils, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and walnuts into your diet mix mix.

Getting started can be daunting but we have some tips to help you:

  • Each week cut the number of meat meals you eat so you slowly move over to being a vegetarian. You might find before long you don’t miss meat and it is an easy switch.
  • Add greens, such as spinach, kale and Swiss chard into your diet by adding into soups, salads, stir-fries and smoothies.
  • Try your favourite recipes without meat. Make a vegetarian chilli by swapping the mince for extra kidney beans. Make fajitas using tofu rather than chicken and go for pasta with a thick organic tomato sauce packed with peppers rather than beef.
  • Scan the Internet and library for vegetarian cookbooks and recipes.
  • Check out ethnic restaurants and look in your supermarket for new ideas on what to cook and eat.

Regardless of whether you choose to be vegetarian, it’s always good to eat a variety of foods so why not cut out meat this National Vegetarian Week and see how you get on?

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