Chris Croft's Personal Blog

February 8, 2014

PS Collection part 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — chriscroft @ 7:36 pm

Taken from my tip of the month, (and these are only the extra bits on the bottom) – add yourself to my mailing list, for free, at …

PS – What we can learn about customer care from airports: this is a gr3et article from one of the great current thinkers on management; I love his blog:

PPS – The delight factor: one of the hardest things about customer care is to think of ways to delight the customer that are unexpected, and haven’t already been done by your competitors. There is a limited amount of cross-pollination where you can pinch ideas from say a hotel and apply them to say a car dealership or a cleaning company (chocolate on the pillow becomes chocolate on the passenger seat or chocolate on the office desk after cleaning) so I’m always looking for delight ideas. The other day I was in a pub, for research purposes, and I noticed that you are invited to try a bit of the various ales before choosing a pint – that‘s a great idea!

PPPS – How to survey your customers – this is me on the radio, (all my previous weekly snippets are stored on this site as well)    …And for the impatient people, my bit is 17 minutes in.

PPPPPPS – Google Play seems pretty amazing – you can store thousands of tracks of your own music in the cloud and then listen to them on any computer, for free. That could be useful! They even play on your phone, though I think you need to make sure you have a wifi connection of you’ll be using up your data allowance.

PPPPPPS It is the 40th Anniversary of Dark Side Of The Moon, still one of the best albums ever released. Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:

Kicking around on a piece of ground
In your home town
Waiting for someone or something
To show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today

And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run and you run
To catch up with the sun
But it’s sinking

Racing around
To come up behind you again

The sun is the same
In a relative way
But you’re older

Shorter of breath
And one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time

Plans that either come to naught
Or half a page of scribbled lines

Hanging on in quiet desperation
Is the English way

The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I’d something more to say

(Clearly what Roger Waters is trying to say is “Have clear life goals and personal efficiency, probably in the form of a master list, a daily list, and a diary”)

PS   I think I’m gradually getting better at making videos – this latest one has my new BBC-sounding microphone and my new-found ability to add pictures and text – it tells you everything you need to know about project management in under 8 minutes!  Sorry if you’re not allowed you tube at work, you’ll have to wait till you get home!



February 3, 2014

CV writing – my top tips

Filed under: Careers, Lists — Tags: , , , — chriscroft @ 9:25 pm

…and these are the same for on-line or paper CVs…

  1. No typos – use spell check and get a friend to check it
  2. Make it look clean and clear – all paragraphs lined up, with decent margins, easy on the eye, not jumbled, or you’ll look like a jumbled disorganised thinker.
  3. Don’t fold it – post it in an A4 envelope, on white paper, ideally 90gsm
  4. No quirks – the employer’s first step is to filter the CVs, so anything odd gets you binned, e.g. dates missing, odd spare time activities, pictures, attempts at humour, etc.  Have nothing that might get you filtered out.
  5. Don’t look high maintenance – no flowery language, criticism of previous employers, or anything too pushy
  6. Maximum 2 pages, ideally just one – otherwise they won’t read it and you’ll like someone who takes too long to get to the point
  7. Tailor it to the job – mention related experience and skills to whatever they have said they are looking for.  Mention something about the company to show that you have researched them and tailored it to them.  But…
  8. The upper middle of page 1 is the place the reader looks at most
  9. When listing experience and achievements put real facts (problems you solved, improvements you made) ideally with real numbers (increased sales by 17% in 2 years), rather than waffle.  “Committed’, “Hard working” “Team player” mean nothing without evidence.
  10. Don’t lie!  You will get found out at the interview, or when you’ve got the job – and both of these are disasters
  11. Put your age – if you omit it they’ll only imagine it’s worse than it is, and anyway they can work it out from your history – or if they’re ageist they’ll reject you when they meet you anyway.
  12. Interests and hobbies – don’t put reading or socialising.  But social, team and outdoor activities, just very briefly.
  • Send a tailored covering letter with the CV – and getting that right is a whole other subject…
  • Keep your CV up to date and ready at all times.  You never know what opportunities or disasters are just around the corner…

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