So you’ve got past the CV stage, the company is interested in your credentials and experience! So with you over your first major hurdle don’t then stumble at the second one.
Number one on your to do list is to research the company. You will almost certainly be asked on your knowledge of the company; what they do, when they started, the latest industry developments. You don’t want to be stuttering and trying to remember facts from that notice board you saw in reception, researching the company is essential. As will be knowing how you are getting to the interview! You will want to get to the interview at least 10 minutes early, but what are the practicalities of this? Are you taking public transport? Have you got the timetable? Are you taking a car? Where is the nearest car park? Do you need to pay and display? This will mean you need change on hand. All of these individual variables are uncertainties that must be controlled!
Polish your shoes, iron your shirt or blouse and wear business attire, it’s important to make a good first impression and you will only get one of these. How you present yourself throughout the company’s premises is critical, so from the minute you enter the building act as though you are being interviewed. The interviewer may ask their colleague’s opinions after you have left; did you smile when you came in, were you approachable etc. So make sure the way you handle yourself whilst within the organisation’s building is as formal and as friendly as you would be whilst in your interview room. Make sure your body language is confident and positive, so please make sure you’re not slouching in your chair and don’t fold your arms.
Know what you’re talking about: this part is mainly down to you and the company you will be interviewed by. But there are a few generic factors that you can assume will happen such as the ability to ask questions at the end. If this opportunity arises, grab it with both hands! It will show your interest in the company and your astuteness as an individual. Think of some questions to ask before hand such as; what would be my day to day activities? What’s the management culture like at this organisation?
Questions like these will not only give you an opportunity to find out more about the company but in actual fact enables conversation from your side of the table, instead of you just answering questions you may have been asked.
It’s a competitive job market across Europe right now so make sure you’re fully prepared and give yourself the best chance of landing that dream job.
There is an old saying that states “don’t talk politics or religion”, this is as it seems to evoke a sense of passion in a person that is rarely seen elsewhere. Never the less, this saying is usually reserved for business and pleasure rather than society as a whole; however this week the British government decided it would not give the option to discuss the politics surrounding the EU debate to their citizens.
In the UK, no one under the age of 56 has ever had the option to say what they think about the EU in a vote, that means 53% of the UK population of voting age, 18+, has never had a say; that’s almost ¾ of the UK population if you count all under 56 year olds, including under 18’s.
Here at Euro London we have a multitude of different views from all of our staff who themselves come from around Europe; we’re a multilingual recruitment agency after all! So we find ourselves with a very encompassing approach to political views from across the spectrum and around the EU, but we wanted to gauge your views from right around Europe. Do you believe the European Union gives us as nations greater security, opportunity and prospects or has it evolved to far to infringe on national identities and actually a drain on our economies?
For those of you who may not know how the EU came about, here’s a little blast from the past. The EU started life as the EEC, European Economic Community, a free trade agreement between the 6 countries of: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany in 1957 and has gradually expanded over 50 years to now include 27 member states, many of whom are integrated through departments, law systems and the Euro, which sees 17 nations in Europe linked through a singular currency.
However, in a recent European poll across member states, it was found that only 28% of the UK population thought that EU membership in its current capacity was a “good thing” compared to 66% and 69% in Germany and France respectively.
So should a countries government block its citizen’s right for a discussion on a topic? What are your views on the EU?
Across Europe the jobs market is as competitive as it has ever been and it can be hard to get yourself noticed. So here at Euro London we’ve taken the time to combine our 21 years of knowledge to produce what we believe are the three most critical factors when writing a CV.
We’ve heard all the gimmicks, from the cringe-worthy to the inventive to make a CV stand out. These include sending a brick in with a CV to “make an impact”, or applicants including a photo of themselves so the interviewer “doesn’t forget their face”, (which is slightly disconcerting if you read it in the voice of a movie super villain). So our first tip piggy backs off this…
Number one and perhaps the most obvious and often spoke about, Simple Sells; Now we’re not talking about writing your CV on a post it note, but keep your CV clean and clear and under control! Use a professional, modern font with business size lettering between 10 and 12, use segments to outline your education, work background and of course how to contact you… and please stay away from word art, however pretty that it may be.
Number two; don’t let time pass you by: In a recent survey of employers, the first priority they checked was work history and recent employment. So if you have been out of work for a prolonged period of time, think about volunteering or temping through an agency to gain some valuable experience. This will keep your work history up to date and although it may not be something you would have seen yourself doing in the short term, in the long term it may give you that competitive edge over another candidate and get you that job you love.
Number three; sell yourself: It can be human nature to be reserved when talking about your achievements, preferring to state as part of a team we did such and such. But the company won’t be looking to hire you and your old team; they’ll be looking to hire you! So in your CV say what YOU did at your previous employer and state how YOU made the measurable difference. Quantify and qualify your achievements and don’t just simply state your duties, everyone has duties, but it’s the effects of these duties that will win the day.
In this competitive job market, it will be important for you not only to stand out, but also to fit in with your prospective employer’s expectations. On average a prospective employer takes 60 seconds to read a CV, so make it count!
With the latest party political conference season over and the Conservative’s speeches out of the way, one of the main keynote speeches to stand out was from Michael Gove, Minister for Education. His speech  outlined what he said has been a decline in education standards throughout the UK, and made the announcement that every child attending primary school was to learn a modern language, however, the debate still continues on whether learning a language at a young age is advantageous or damaging to a child’s cognitive and social skill set. Michael Gove’s announcement came the day before the University of Cambridge published their findings that learning a language enhances a child’s education rather than hinder it as previously believed by some people.
Historically, bilingualism was thought to detrimental to a child’s ability to communicate effectively and that teaching two languages at the same time would lead to “language confusion”, therefore the native tongue of the country where the child was raised would not develop as quickly as the child’s peers and this would therefore be harmful not only to their cognitive abilities, but also affect the way they act socially. However the recent study released on Tuesday from Cambridge University , claims that this is not the case and that far from having a negative impact, teaching a child a second language is actually a great advantage to a child’s development. The findings showed that children who speak more than one language are more advantaged over their monolingual playmates, with Dr Alexopoulou stating, “Studies show that a bilingual child is better able to cope with tasks that involve attention, memory and concentration.” Preliminary research  also shows that long term effects may shield the brain from the ageing process including age-related memory loss, which will always come in handy.
So has the take up of learning a modern language hit the trough of its decline and is it about to have resurgence?
Were you taught a second language from a young age? We’d like to know your thoughts.
Last week saw Carlos Tevez’s career cast into doubt at Manchester City, as it seems that the communication between several parties at the club has broken down, through what is claimed as mistranslation between languages.
If you want a prime example of a multinational company, you need look no further than a premier league club. Take Manchester City for example; the club is owned by a Sheikh from the United Arab Emirates, managed by Roberto Mancini from Italy and the team is composed of players from all four corners of the globe; not to mention the number of backroom staff, stewards and stadium officials involved. This is a truly multi-national workforce and like any business for it to function it requires good communication, which can be even harder when there are a multitude of languages involved.
So when Carlos Tevez didn’t play for Manchester City against Bayern Munich, it was originally believed he had refused to play and in the news conference after the game Tevez reportedly said “I did not feel right, so I did not play”. This saw an array of sporting stars and pundits rush into the breach to attack Tevez with Mancini himself stating that “he will never play again at the club.”
However, Tevez’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, is now claiming that he was mistranslated when being asked why he refused to play, stating, “I listened to the questions in English and the interpretations in Spanish. Both questions were interpreted incorrectly and both answers of Carlos were then misinterpreted”.
Just goes to show that good interpreting can make or break a business relationship.
Last week saw the 10th anniversary of the European Day of Languages “celebrated” throughout the European Union. If you didn’t realise, don’t worry you probably weren’t the only one.
The day which is officially organised by the Council of Europe and has a budget of 30 million euros was launched in 2001 to alert the public to the importance of learning a language, as well as promoting Europe’s rich and diverse linguistic heritage.
But in an era where every day seems to celebrate and promote an idea or cause, we ask the question, is the European Day of Languages even worth the paper it’s written on?
This year being the 10th anniversary we think it could have been the perfect opportunity to promote the importance of learning a language and the benefits it can bring to an individual. Unfortunately the well financed day passed by with a general lack of acknowledgement from the media and with few people knowing about it, the day faded into near obscurity. In the United Kingdom there were a small number of libraries that ran events and a few primary schools that held assemblies, but with a lack of a central organisation within the UK, it seems to have been but a drop in the ocean.
Elsewhere in Europe there was a greater attempt to celebrate the day, in Belgium there were poetry readings on the Metro and in Poland a gala dinner was organised to highlight the advantages of knowing a second language.
Here at Euro London we’d like to see the importance of learning a language championed every day by the European Union and not just one day a year, however well meaning it may be.
We’ll leave you to make your minds up on whether the day was worth the 30 million euros that were spent on it.
Following the release of the 2011 A-Level results, the subject of modern language education has once again come to the fore. In previous blogs we’ve highlighted the often confused attitude towards languages in the UK, with languages removed as a compulsory subject on the one hand, then reintroduced as part of the English baccalaureate on the other. However, it appears that this approach may have taken its toll, with negative consequences for the student uptake of foreign languages.
While the number of students studying maths and science have seen a welcome increase this year, traditional modern languages such as German and French have continued to decline. But why are teenagers abandoning language subjects in their droves? Is it because they are perceived as difficult? Or that students simply deem them as unnecessary? After all, English is the international lingua franca, right?
Wrong. Here at Euro London, we have always championed the studying of languages above and beyond the age of 16 – something we believe is essential for students to have the best future job prospects. This is a view also supported by the CBI, the UK’s top business lobbying organisation. In response to the 2011 A-Level results, the CBI reiterated the need for more people to study languages to fill demand created by emerging global markets. Capitalising on these new markets was pinpointed by the organisation as a crucial element in driving the UK’s economic recovery.
We think the key to getting more students involved with languages is the greater promotion of language careers outside of the traditional routes of translation and teaching, focusing on the increasing demand for languages within global businesses. Drawing attention to the wealth of job opportunities available in all sectors may just be the incentive for teenagers to hang on to those precious language skills.
Check out our website http://eurolondon.com to see the range of employment possibilities that learning a language could open up for you.
Here at Euro London we applaud Kent’s mystery spelling superhero, dubbed ‘Grammar Man’ in a recent article. Ok, so he may have a loose grasp of capital letters but his campaign to correct the bad spelling and grammar of Kent’s graffiti is nothing less than admirable. On a similar theme, and following on from our blog Spelling Faux Pas, we wanted to bring you the funniest, silliest and most bizarre bad spellings that we could find.
Our main sources for misspellings were the many CVs sent into our offices everyday. Although candidates know that their applications are going to be scrutinised, spelling slip ups still manage to sneak their way in.
Here’s one way to make a bad impression – a candidate once boasted of ruining the sales department as opposed to running the sales department, proof that one letter can drastically change the meaning of a well-intentioned sentence. Another claimed celery reasons as the rather novel explanation for why she could not accept a job role –she must have had her weekly food shop on her mind. The list goes on, with one of the most common mistakes being costumer services instead of customer services. If an applicant is unable to spell their own job title, it is a definite way to set alarm bells ringing regarding their employability.
So here is some advice for when you’re sending off your next CV…
Firstly, please don’t rely on your phonetic understanding of language to determine its spelling – this can only lead to spelling disasters such as qcumber instead of cucumber and noledg instead of knowledge. Not only is it confusing to read but it can also undermine any claim made to fluency in English and good attention to detail.
Instead, use a reliable English dictionary to verify all spellings or grab a friend to proof read your written work. Often having someone to take a fresh look can uncover mistakes you may have overlooked. Sticking to these principles should help you avoid any spelling set backs and ensure your CV makes the best first impression.
Looking for a job opportunity that will utilise your language skills? Then visit our website www.eurolondon.com for all our vacancies. Just remember to proof read that CV!
Social networking is the talk of the town and more and more companies are jumping on the metaphorical bandwagon to reach customers in new, innovative ways. Whether it is via Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube, the methods are constantly diversifying. But while we support the social networking revolution and its importance in relationship building, here at Euro London we also believe that it is vital to meet people face to face to build lasting connections.
After all, we should not forget that all business, especially recruitment, is all about people. And while a tweet, a Facebook message or a Google+ post can keep you in touch, building a solid and long-lasting relationship requires a good old-fashioned personal meeting. This is why at Euro London it’s not all about social media and networking 2.0!
Our Munich office has been holding its candidate networking events regularly ever since it opened back in 2006 and this July saw the launch of its first ever “International IT Networking Event”. The event was a huge success and saw Munich IT specialists from all industries come together to network. It was the perfect opportunity for those involved to relax with a beer, build relationships and catch up on the latest industry news. The candidates who attended emailed us the day after to say what a successful networking event it was and even asked us to exchange their contact details so they can stay in touch with each other.
Euro London will now continue to hold it’s newly established “IT Stammtisch” on a regular basis to expand Munich’s Information Technology network.
When we came across this story at Euro London, we couldn’t help but read on. A British student winning the French X Factor?! It sounds absurd, but Matthew Raymond-Barker touched the European nation’s hearts with his renditions of pop classics in the native language. Although admitting being less than perfect at the language when he arrived in the country, with the X Factor winner’s crown at stake Matthew quickly found his fluency with French.
The story is a perfect example of how language learning can open up opportunities that you may never have dreamt possible. Ok, this is a rather exceptional example but nonetheless illustrates that you do not need to let language be a barrier to your ambitions.
Learning a language may just be the X Factor you need to find your dream job!