How To Stop Putting The Brakes On Your Career

How To Stop Putting The Brakes On Your Career. We look at why some candidates don’t make the most of their careers – and how they can boost their earning potential and job satisfaction.

Taking the next step on your career ladder can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor. From the despair of finding the right role and self-doubt on application to the agonising wait to hear if you’ve been deemed acceptable, it’s easy to imagine that you’ll only get your hopes up, only to have them dashed.

Far from setting yourself to fail, if you go about your job hunt the right way, you’re actually setting yourself up to succeed. Talk to a professional recruiter, who can help you identify your strengths and where you can successfully apply them, from industry sector down to specific roles – and even individual companies who are looking for… well, you.


 Would You Rather Be Comfortable, Or Fulfilled?

If you’ve been in your current role for some time, then you know how it works. You know what the company wants from its employees; you know what to expect of your boss; and you know how and when you get paid. Even if you’re not happy with any or all of these things – and a hundred more – you know what to expect. And that familiarity can be comforting.

Which is exactly why it’s called the comfort zone. Nobody does their best work from inside their comfort zone, as evidenced by research in 1908 by two psychologists that has become known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Their data shows that performance increases – up to a point – with interest. If your work is not sufficiently challenging, or stimulating, then you are quite simply not working to your potential.


Fear Of Rejection

Nobody likes being told they’re not good enough, so why put yourself in a position to be hurt if you don’t succeed? Because the alternative is to never find out what you’re truly capable of – and isn’t that the larger failure?

The key to overcoming this fear of rejection is to measure yourself against the industry standard so you can accurately assess your status and potential. Again, a good recruiter can help you to realistically measure your chance of success and crucially, how you can improve it.

If you don’t ask, the answer will always be ‘no’. If you do ask, sometimes, it might just be ‘yes’…


Lack Of Qualifications

This is possibly the easiest objection to overcome. If you’ve identified your ideal job, but lack the paperwork, invest your time and money to achieve it. And it will be an investment – in your future – and as such, you can work out the time or money put in and the projected return on investment.

Whether that’s through on–the-job learning, night school or distance learning, you can do it if you really want to. It may take longer than you’d like, but that will only heighten the sense of achievement when you make it.



Lack Of Experience

This one’s not so easy. It’s the old Catch 22 that you need experience to get the job, but you need the job to get experience. It’s time to think laterally and identify the skills that are key to the role, then work out how you could acquire them in other areas.

You might be able to find a job that requires relevant skills, or you could look at hobbies and volunteer work that demonstrate an interest and a willingness to learn in those areas.



Big Fish, Little Pond?

The transition from apex predator to dither fish is a daunting proposition, but once you’ve reached the top of the food chain in your current environment, where else is there to go? Enter the big pond as a little fish and you’ll have room to grow.


What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

The human brain is very good at tricking its owner into sleepless nights over unfounded fears. This is called catastrophic thinking. Don’t listen to those nagging doubts in the darkest hours of the night; or rather listen, understand and file them. Then apply your rational brain in the cold light of day to identify unfounded fears or potential problems. Fear can’t hurt you and problems only need the right solution.



Today IS The Day

If you’ve ever postponed progressing your career because the time isn’t right, today’s headline news is – it’s never going to be the right time. If you’re waiting to get your ducks in a row or the right celestial alignment, then you’re going to get very good at one skill… waiting.

Not being ready is just an excuse. If you have an ambition to make more of your career, then today is the day to sit down, identify any challenges – and, most importantly, how you can overcome them one by one.


Don’t let today get away; this is your time to act. Take the initiative for the rest of your professional life by talking to us today about how we can help you to make the most of your career potential. Call us on 0117 325 2233 or email us at

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Why You Should Use A Recruitment Agency

Every business tries to reduce spend to increase profitability. But there are some corners you should never cut – and recruitment is one of them.


Time Is Money – Don’t Waste It!

Many hiring managers just don’t have the time to sift through hundreds of applications and piles of CVs for every single position available. While the right candidate may well be in there somewhere, you can guarantee that a large proportion of entries are from hopefuls who aren’t qualified, experienced or suitable for the role.

Instead of the inevitable and interminable CV sift, a recruitment agency will present you with a pre-screened shortlist of suitable applicants for you to focus on. This frees up your time not only to give those CVs the attention they merit, but also to get on with the rest of your job.



How Much Is Too Much – Or Not Enough?

You doubtless have a budget for the role, but do you know how that compares with the competition? How do you work out what the going rate is for the role? You could look at current job ads for guideline figures, but they can’t tell you the actual salaries that are being offered and accepted after interview. You can’t exactly ask your competitors what they pay their team…

Nobody wants to overpay – especially in today’s market – but don’t underestimate the damage you could do to the future of your business by trying to pay as little as you can get away with to fill the role. You know the old saying, ‘Pay peanuts, get monkeys?’ It’s a cliché because it’s true…

Recruitment agencies have access to the information you need, because they spend all day, every day placing people with multiple companies and as a result, they know how much is being paid by whom and for what. Working with a recruiter – and their hard data of the marketplace – takes all the guesswork out of the equation.



Positive Branding

It’s easy to think you don’t need to market your company to candidates – if they want a job, they should be grateful for the chance to work for you – but it isn’t that straightforward. Believe it or not, candidates may not be aware of your firm and if they are, they may have misconceptions of the brand, or remember previous problems that have since been addressed.

The right recruitment agency will give candidates real insight into your business, what it stands for, how it works and where it’s going. That’s just one reason why we like to work closely with our clients; so we understand their core values and what they’re looking for in new hires to help grow the business.

Of course, any company will portray themselves as being good employers to applicants and candidates may find it hard to ask direct questions in an interview that may perceived as difficult. Candidates trust that a good recruiter will accurately portray possible workplaces and they value the opportunity to ask searching questions that may not be acceptable at interview. Recruiters can sell the role to the right person for the job, who might otherwise look elsewhere.



Short-Term Need, Long-Term Gains

With experienced professionals in short supply for this fast moving industry, many companies find it hard to identify, attract and employ the right recruits when they need to. This applies to permanent positions, but it’s especially true for short-term contracts.

Take control of the situation by talking to the people who have an extensive contacts database of experienced skilled professionals who specialise in short-term engagements. A professional recruiter will not only be able to identify individuals that match the needs of your business, but they’ll also have a good idea of who’s available in the timeframe you need. Having access to this kind of resource could keep your project on target.


Access Our Pool Of Talent

Many of the candidates we work with simply don’t check job ads. Many of our contract specialists rely on us to identify potential roles for them and point them in the right direction.

Because we’re industry specialists, we understand the value these people bring to the role, which is why we’re proud to represent them on the job market. Securing our services grants you instant access to this pool of talent that would otherwise be off the table. You might find another candidate who is their equal, but would you find them in the same timescale?

3d rendered copyspaced image with a man sitting on a pedestal with a fishing rod in hands fishion in a crowd of customers


How Can We Help?

If you want to find out more about how we could help your recruitment needs, call us today on 0117 325 2233 or email us at

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The Top 10 CV Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Recently, we looked at our Top 10 Tips For CV Success, so today we thought we’d look at the other side of the story and talk about the 10 things to avoid on any CV if you want to get the job.


Crazy Fonts And Careless Layout

Nothing is guaranteed to land you in the ‘reject’ pile quicker than a CV that’s hard to read. Quirky design choices might make you stand out from the crowd – in all the wrong ways. We’ll spend a bit of time on this one because it’s so important…

According to New College of the Humanities, most employers look at a CV for just three minutes, while one in five make a decision on a candidate in under a minute. National Citizen Service (NCS) research goes even further, showing that recruiters review each CV in an average of just 8.8 seconds. Don’t make these people work harder than they need to see what you can offer their business.

Avoid unusual fonts or confusing layouts; don’t mix fonts; condense long paragraphs into bullet points and don’t allow page breaks to come mid-flow. Instead of jumping from point to point, present your career in reverse chronological order, with clear sections for your employment history and academic qualifications.


 Life In Black And White

Colours aren’t clever. If you email in a CV that means the hirer has to hunt in the stationary cupboard for a new magenta print cartridge, then they will forever associate your application with that hassle.


It Just Goes On And On…

…And on! Don’t be the drunk guy at the bar or the nerd in the coffee room that nobody can get away from fast enough. This isn’t a university dissertation and there’s no word count to hit, so make your point as fast as you can and get out leaving them wanting more. Aim for no more than two sides of A4.


Upsetting The Tone

Recruiters may be wary of CVs that are packed with corporate speak and jargon, but some applicants overcompensate with language that is too informal. Write in plain English, avoid casual terms and save the jokes for the interview when you can gauge the room as you work it.


The Cookie Cutter CV

Don’t fire off a generic CV and expect to be invited to interview. Instead of rattling off your every good quality or achievement, your CV will be far stronger if you cherry-pick aspects that your prospective employer can see will benefit their business.


 Empty Boasts

Anyone can say they’re a natural leader or excel in their job – and every CV makes those claims or similar – so recruiters pay particular attention when a CV highlights specific instances that back up the claims you’re making. Your CV is your first opportunity to demonstrate your credibility, so take the time to distinguish yourself from the competition.


Teh Slopppy cV

You might think the quality of your written English has nothing to do with being able to lay a straight row of bricks, but you’d be surprised. This isn’t about your eligibility for Poet Laureate; this is all about your attention to detail. A sloppy CV suggests that you’ll do sloppy work too. When even web browsers can point out writing mistakes – even if you aren’t using wordprocessing software – there’s simply no excuse for spelling mistakes, bad grammar and typos in such an important document.


Out Of Date, Out Of Luck

If your CV gives your most recent role short shrift and focuses instead on previous achievements, any hirer will assume one of two things: 1) You didn’t spend much time updating your CV before applying, or 2) Your performance isn’t what it used to be. Either way, you won’t make it onto the shortlist.

It’s a small detail, but your email address offers clues about the person behind the CV. If your address is embarrassing – or even worse, incriminating – take five minutes to set up a new one with any of the numerous free online suppliers. FirstNameLastName@EmailCo is a safe format.


 What’s In A Name?

Another detail that can offer insight into the applicant is the way that they’ve chosen to name the CV file if attached to an email. Would you hire from a file called ‘SloppyJoesCVDatedLastYear_UseThisOne’ or ‘FirstNameLastNameCV_NameOfCompany’? Exactly.


Sanity Check

And those are just the top 10 mistakes that candidates make on their CVs! We could write a book covering the rest, but why not just speak to us directly instead? With so many CVs crossing our desks every day, you know that we’ve seen our fair share of stinkers and we understand what will put our clients off. We can help you fix your CV if it isn’t up to scratch, so that you won’t miss out on your dream job because of a silly mistake.


Talk to us today to find out how we can help on 0117 325 2233 or email us at

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Top 10 Tips For CV Success

 Top 10 Tips For CV Success

Your CV is arguably the most important element of any job application. Get it right every time with our top 10 tips for success.

Think of your CV as an advertisement that attracts attention and sparks interest in the product, which in this instance is you! Of course, you still need to convert that interest into a sale – or in this case a job offer – but it’s your CV that brings you to the attention of a prospective employer. These two sheets of paper will place you into one of three piles on a hirer’s desk: ‘Must interview’, ‘Maybe’, and ‘No’. Follow these 10 tips to make sure you’re a ‘Must interview’ candidate when you want to take your career to the next level, whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience.


1) Start With A Summary

Recruiters spend an average of only 20 seconds reviewing your resume, so put your best foot forward. Serve them everything on a platter that’s easy to digest with a 100-word summary of your experience, results and qualifications. This is the appetizer that whets the appetite for the main course – the remainder of your CV.

Recruitment, CV, Bristol, Construction, Jobsearch


2) Play To Your Strengths

Shape the structure of your CV to work for the stage your career is at. If you have years of experience, then lead with that. List your positions starting with the most recent and end with your qualifications. But if you’re a graduate, then open with your academic achievements and the quality of training you received.


3) Less Is More

Your CV should fill no more than two sides of A4; three if you have a lot of positions to cover. This isn’t the time to go into everything in detail up front; that’s what an interview is for. Space means value on a CV, so spend more time talking about things that are directly related to the position you’re applying for because that’s what a recruiter is interested in.


4) Tailor Your CV

If your CV doesn’t deliberately target the job you’re applying for, then you won’t get the job. Pick out the key requirements from the job ad, then address each of them on your CV. A hirer isn’t interested in everything you’ve done, but they ARE interested in what you’ve done that means you’ll be good in the job they need you to do.

Recruitment, Construction, Bristol


5) Speak English

This is not the time for corporate-speak. It’s off-putting and also takes more words to say the same thing. Not only are recruiters are blind to buzzword bingo, but it also blinds them to the rest of your message. Instead, explain in human terms how you believe you could contribute to the business.


6) Be Specific And Prioritise

Anybody can say they’re good at what they do, but ‘Must interview’ candidates can demonstrate that in cold, hard facts. Don’t list every achievement, but where you can show an example of a time when you helped a present or previous employer to meet the same kind of targets that are expected of the position you’re applying for, do it. Include specific projects, dates and specific results for maximum effect.


7) Relevant And Recent

Figure out what’s relevant to the position you’re applying for that you’ve achieved in the last five years or so and focus on that. Historical achievements are great, but proving that you’re still hitting the mark is gold.



8) It’s All In The Presentation

Present your CV as you would present yourself at interview; clean and professional. Use a legible font and avoid quirky design elements that might get you attention for all the wrong reasons. If your CV is hard to read, then recruiters just won’t. And Comic Sans? Just no.


9) Check It!

When you think you’re done with your CV, read it again. Preferably aloud. Even better, get someone else to read it. Take the time to fix every single typo, grammatical error or confusing phrase. You want to make your CV as easy to read as it can be because recruiters are busy and short of time. Don’t make them work harder than they need to understand what you can offer in the role.


10) Talk To The Professionals

Who sees more CV’s than the head of HR? A recruitment agency. They can spot a stinker a mile off – and help you turn it into a winner! If you’re looking to make your next career move, Kingston Barnes will invest their time to understand your requirements and give you every chance of landing in the ‘Must interview’ pile. Get in touch today to find out how we can help on 0117 325 2233 or email us at

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