News

September 2017

Tesco agrees pioneering deal with suppliers to halve food waste

Tesco has struck a deal with its largest food suppliers for them to adopt the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to halve food waste by 2030, on the same day a new global initiative has called on major international food producers to reduce food loss and waste.

Partnership agreements with 24 suppliers, representing more than £17bn worth of Tesco sales, will see the producers publish food waste data for their own operations with 12 months.

The suppliers have pledged to reduce food waste in their supply chain, and to innovate to ensure less food is thrown away by consumers. The pledge comes after Tesco launched an innovative online food waste ‘hotline‘ to help the retailer work directly with suppliers and producers to identify and prevent potential supply chain food waste.

Speaking at a meeting of Champions 12.3 in New York yesterday (20 September), Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “Great progress has been made, but the reality is that we need many more companies, countries or cities committing to halve food waste by 2030, measuring and publishing their data and acting on that insight to tackle food waste.

“I am delighted that many of our major suppliers have taken this important step so we can work in partnership to reduce food waste.”

Tesco has also revealed its businesses in the Republic of Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary have published their food waste data, following four years of publication in the UK. The move will help the retailer to redirect its surplus food to the likes of redistribution organisation FareShare.

Welcoming the new pledges, food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart said: “We have been challenging Tesco and other supermarkets on transparent reporting of food waste for years now. This commitment to ensure that supply chain waste is measured and reported makes Tesco the world-leading supermarket on transparent food waste reporting, and represents a significant step towards meeting the global goal to halve food waste by 2030.

“It’s time for other businesses to follow suit, and for Tesco, along with the rest of the world’s supermarkets, to demonstrate, if they can, that their businesses are not inherently wasteful.”

Producer pledges

Tesco’s announcement comes as a new global initiative has called on private sector members to halve their own food and agricultural losses by 2030, and work with suppliers and customers to the same end.

Launched by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in New York, the voluntary resolution has received support from the coalition Global Agri-Business Alliance (GAA). WBCSD highlights that a third of all food produced each for human consumption is never consumed, costing the global economy $940bn.

“This is very significant because it’s the first ever global initiative addressing food loss supported by major agri-businesses, committing to halve their own losses by 2030,” said WBCSD vice president Peter White.

“WBCSD is extending support across the whole supply chain, by involving other food and agriculture initiatives, and this engagement by companies is vital, since almost all food is produced by the private sector.”

Food date labels

These developments come a day after 400 consumer goods firms top multinationals including Tesco, Kellogg and Walmart committed to simplify food date labels globally by 2020. The proposals call for retailers and food producers to use one label at a time, either “use by” for perishable items or “best before” for non-perishables.

The commitments came alongside a new SDG food waste report which highlighted progress to date and included a roadmap of required actions by companies, countries and cities if the world to halve food waste by 2030. The report suggested that not enough companies or governments are measuring and reporting food loss and waste, a key tool in analysing whether strategies are paying dividends.

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May 2015

Estrella Damm Brings La Boqueria from Barcelona to London

IMG_4641

L-R Gianni Stocco from Estrella, our consultant Louise and Jose Pizarro a critically acclaimed chef

 

Over the May bank holiday weekend, Estrella Damm brought La Boqueria from Barcelona to London in what was a great event to showcase the brand and its origin.

It was an amazing event that brought the brand to life – and celebrated the start of an exciting time for Estrella as they really start to up their game within the UK with a brand new sales team behind them. The event was the perfect opportunity to show exactly why it is the UKs fastest growing premium lager brand.  Over the weekend, many new faces from the new Estrella Damm sales team attended the event to network, alongside masterclasses from the world famous chef Jose Pizarro, showing off his cooking skills whilst incorporating the Barcelona based beer to compliment his menu!

Here at The Oval Partnership, we feel very proud to continue working with Estrella Damm to build and complete their brand new sales team for the UK, with what we are sure will be a strong and successful team moving forward.

 

 

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September 2015

Finding a job with facebook

Facebook may not be the most obvious place to find a job and probably won’t replace LinkedIn anytime soon however, if it’s something you use every day you may as well put it to good use.

Make sure you have a complete profile and fill in all education and job history pages, make your profile like a CV and remember, companies will look at your Facebook so bear in mind that potential managers will be looking at your posts. Have a look through your previous posts and remove anything that may have a detrimental effect on your job search. Make lists and group friends into “work”, “professional” and “personal” categories, this enables you to hide your job search from current work colleagues by posting only to those in a specific list.

You can join groups as you would on LinkedIn which creates a forum for you to post news and start discussions about a particular topic or industry. Join in conversations, post links to relevant articles and once you have interacted a few times with individuals send a friend request (they will be more likely to accept you as a friend if you have had previous contact) Getting yourself noticed is vital to attracting the attention of those companies looking for their next hire.

As with all job searches the key is speaking to the right people. On Facebook you will find that hiring managers, HR managers and companies are advertising their vacant roles. Look for friends of friends and ask to be recommended or contact hiring managers directly. Just be aware that some people keep their Facebook profiles separate from their professional life so be aware that this method is useful when LinkedIn has not been so fruitful.

Remind your friends that you are looking for a new role. Update your network and make them aware you are looking as this may lead to a recommendation being made or someone may notify you of a position that you haven’t heard about. Post regular status update telling people what you are looking for including locations and salary bracket.

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August 2015

Using Twitter for your jobsearch

 

Following on from our previous blog on using social media for your job search we have put together a guide to getting the most out of twitter.

Twitter is a great tool for connecting with people and companies you wish to work for which may be difficult to connect with on LinkedIn, Facebook and in real life. It’s also great for keeping up to date with the latest news and trends in your industry all in manageable bite size pieces.

Online business card

When setting up your twitter account choose an appropriate username. Compose your Bio using keywords and a short statement that confirms you are available and interested in new opportunities. Link your Twitter with your professional website and LinkedIn profile this will help people get to know you better.

Most importantly don’t hide your profile, make it public as the more people who see you the more followers you will gain and you will increase the odds of your feed being seen by the relevant individuals.

If you don’t wish to mix your private life with your professional one you could set up and manage two accounts or alternatively you can use the lists feature to separate friends feeds from professional feeds.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Follow profiles you find interesting and relevant to you and your job search there are many specialist news feeds that are industry specific. Most large corporate companies will have multiple twitter accounts, try to find a recruitment/careers/jobs specific account for job postings. If you can’t find one try searching for tweets with keywords relating to your job search and follow the user who posted it as they will be likely to tweet any future job positions that become available.

Other profiles that are useful are hiring managers, engaging with these individuals will give you the edge and you will become more than just a CV. On the other side of the coin you can follow people who are in roles that are of interest to you, they may tweet that they are leaving a company which will instantly alert you to an open vacancy giving you a head start on the competition.

Be professional but interesting

With a solid network you can continually engage and respond with other Twitter users by joining chats, starting conversations and using hashtags to get noticed. Here are a few pointers on what to tweet:

  • When tweeting don’t rely too heavily on self-promotion the twitter platform is the perfect opportunity to showcase your talents, personality and interests.
  • Find out your industry specific hashtags and use these in your tweets.
  • Share content that is valuable by tweeting relevant news articles, blog posts
  • Retweeting industry specific topics from those you follow.
  • Make it known that you are currently looking for a job this will reach followers of followers just as word of mouth would in real life.
  • Make your followers aware of your work experiences and achievements you are proud of.

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July 2015

Using LinkedIn to get Noticed

When looking for a job most candidates register on one or all of the many jobsites available, however this can be a long and arduous task; filling in endless forms over and over again, then scrolling through pages and pages of adverts.

As we all know social media has become a worldwide phenomenon in the past decade and with so many to choose from it can hinder your search if you do not use each of them to the best of their ability. Employers and Recruiters are using social media more and job sites less, the most popular are LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter. In this Blog we will look at how to get noticed on LinkedIn.

When recruiters look at individuals on LinkedIn they can get an indication of:

  • Their experience and skills within the workplace
  • Their knowledge of the industry
  • How well they communicate
  • Their ability to communicate ideas

First Impressions

As with any social media profile you can add a photo and as this will be your first impression to anyone looking at your profile, it needs to be sensible and professional, non relevant images can be off putting for companies. Research has shown that profiles are more likely to be looked at if they have a photo.

Make sure you give yourself a catchy headline and include your job title, the company you currently work for and the industry you work in. Most prospective employers will be looking at companies similar to them and their industries to find suitable candidates for their live roles.

Note: Keep it professional!

Content

The summary gives you a chance to give a description of your best attributes, experience and also add a little personality to your profile. Make this your cover letter summarising your skill set using keywords and language that will target recruiters and employers, but don’t dwell too much on the past also write about what you want from your future career and next role.

When adding your work history don’t be afraid of detail the more information and specific you are here will give any potential employer a good idea of your responsibilities and experience in the workplace. You can also add different media to your page for example add a copy your CV or a video clip of yourself or publish a post which all help towards getting noticed. Adding any voluntary experience can be just as important as any paid work so make sure any are added along with any fundraising and challenges you have completed for charities and causes.

Note: Keep your information current and up to date!

Networking

Joining groups can help to build your network. Find groups that pique your interest and are relevant to your industry and post relevant discussion topics in these groups. Don’t be shy get yourself out there and make connections, the more people that you connect to will make you more visible.

One major thing people tend to forget is to add contact details, you can receive messages from people on linkedIn but sometimes it’s better to have a conversation verbally rather than by text.

Note: Keep growing your network!

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June 2015

ON NOW (1)

Earlier this month four of our team members took part in the Samworth Challenge, a biannual triathlon.  This year the course was reviewed by the Olympic medal winners Alistair and Jonny Brownlee. We chose to support our local charity Bluebell Wood Childrens Hospice and spent many weeks fundraising and collecting sponsorship with the total to date standing at £1500.00. Team Shots

After months of training and preparation the team set off with the sun shining and the top down on route to Lake Vyrnwy. After arriving at the location they were met with wonderful views and stunning country side. Little did they know that the following day would require brute strength and determination!

The section on foot was 8km with a height gain of 274m and with plenty of plasters, thick socks and a howling gale, off they went through fields and forest with only a compass and map to guide them to the 37 checkpoints hidden off track to gain much needed points to for the leaderboard.

After the orienteering tasStartk it was time to take on the Obstacle Course and keeping clean was not an option. Climbing over Hay Bales and log walls and multiple river crossings the team spent most of their time up to their necks in muddy water.Tractor tyres had to be moved to certain points and the team had to work together to complete given tasks. Once they had dried off and with a quick change of clothes it was time for the cycling route.

The route was 30km long including a height gain of around 798m and with the route looking more like a motocross track than a bike path they set off (after a thorough brake test!). One of the team suffered a puncture on the start line which wasn’t the best start but once this was fixed they were on their way dodging branches and tree roots and riding up some of the largest hills ever seen. This section also included finding checkpoints off the beaten track with 38 to find in total and mini tasks such as Archery & Shooting which all helped to gain extra points. Finishing in 23rd place the team were proud of their efforts and after a heavy sigh of relief they headed back to base for a well-earned rest and a hot shower!

Later that evening after dinner gave the team the chance to meet with the other teams and event organisers and they managed to have a chat with Olympic gold medallist Alistair Brownlee.

Untitled design

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March 2015

Interview Questions

Here are a few common interview questions that may be asked during your meeting, here we have outlined how to deal with them.

Interviews are an opportunity for an employer to make sure you are a perfect match for their business. Their main objectives are; gaging suitability, confirming CV details, and observing how you handle pressure.  They will need to explore your past, present, and future in order to assess whether or not you are going to be a good fit for the company/team.

Tell me about Yourself

Usually asked at the beginning of the interview this is your chance to give a great first impression. Sharing too much information isn’t a good idea as the interviewer doesn’t want to know everything about you and being too vague can leave the interviewer wondering why you aren’t being more open. Try sharing a few personal interests/hobbies but avoid politics, controversy and personal information relating to spouses, partners, or children.

By now the ice should have been broken and you can now share some of your key professional skills explaining your strengths and expertise, talk about three or four in detail as you will be able to discuss any others as the interview develops.

Why do you want to work for/with us?

This question allows the interviewer to gage how much you know about the company and if you have done your research. Use this opportunity to highlight your goals and ambitions linking them to the company’s mission statement, ethos and values. You also need to make sure your passion and interest in the position are conveyed whilst clearly standing out from the other candidates in the process. Avoid any negative comments about your current/previous employers or colleagues. Concentrate on the positives.

What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?

Brilliant! it’s time to start selling yourself, choose a couple of your biggest attributes and give examples of how these have been used in the workplace, match them with the information provided in the job description and your CV/Cover Letter. Try not to appear as a know-it-all, adding a bit of modesty to your answers will make you more likeable and engaging.

Uh-Oh! Nobody likes talking about what they are bad at. Weaknesses are not to be feared, these are what help you hone your skills and develop your career. Speaking about your flaws and how you will improve them and any steps you are taking to correct them will put a positive spin on a negative question.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

This question is strictly career focussed keep it ambitious and realistic leaving out any personal issues. Don’t scare your interviewer by stating that you want their job as this will make them think you are a threat and they ultimately won’t employ you. Talk about long term, short term goals and your ultimate goal and how you will get there whilst relating these to the job you are being interviewed for. Taking the most out of every position you have held to get you where you want to be will show determination and ambition.

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February 2015

Interview Preperation Tips

So you’ve managed to write a killer CV which has been selected from a pile two storeys high to be shortlisted for interview. The date, time and location have all been agreed and now all you need to do is attend the interview and land yourself your dream job. Easier said than done right? Here we will give you some preparation tips to help you on your way to a successful interview.

Failure to Prepare – Prepare to Fail

As always preparation is key, take some time to research the Company, look at their website, blogs and social media pages. Set up a Google alert so that any news will be sent direct to your inbox. This exercise will help you find out the Company’s opinions and culture. You can also use LinkedIn to find out about the person who will be interviewing you. Most importantly make sure you read the job description and prepare further by knowing your CV inside out as this will more than likely be referenced during the interview.

So you know the company inside out, what next?

Prepare your journey, make allowances for traffic, roadworks, Sunday drivers etc. Try a test journey around the same time of day as your interview is booked and make sure you you know where car parks/Train Stations or Bus Stations are as these can mean the difference between 5 mins early or 5 mins late. Showing up late to an interview will give your interviewer the impression that 1) you didn’t prepare or 2) you don’t value your interviewer’s time. Don’t arrive too early if you do find a coffee shop and practice your winning smile and calm your nerves. An appropriate time to arrive for your appointment would be 15-10 minutes early which will show willing whilst not being a burden on the receptionist/interviewer.

No jeans. No trainers. No T-shirts!

Unless otherwise stated an interview will require a smart or casual business dress code. A smart formal dress code is probably an outfit that is given more effort than your day to day attire. Subtlety is key in this instance, suits never go out of fashion for both men and women and will help you to portray a professional image. However be aware that garish and neon colours with busy patterns can be off putting to an interviewer so hold back on the bold fashion statements and over the top accessories, low key accessories and small flashes of colour can help you stand out from other candidates and help to put you in the forefront of the interviews mind long after you have gone. Casual business wear is smart but informal so ties can be left at home and shoes can be less formal but make sure they are clean. Just remember the simple rule No jeans. No Trainers. No T-shirts!

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January 2015

2014 Review

In 2014 with the Food and Drink sector in the UK responsible for 3.5 million jobs and 7% of the UK’s overall economy we take a look back at some of the biggest news stories from last year.

The beginning of the year saw calls for a new food crime unit to be set up after a government report hinted that supermarket price wars, complex and vast supply chains, and Public Sector cuts were to blame for the Horsemeat scandal of 2013. The scandal, which saw retailers including Tesco, Asda, Aldi and some manufacturers withdrawing beef burgers, ready meals and packs of mince from their shelves due to contamination, hit those companies involved hard as consumers turned to other meats such as Poultry and Pork and even prompted them to go meat free (Quorn saw a dramatic rise in customers). Moving forward the industry will need to regain consumers’ confidence in the supply chain and clear and concise product labelling will need to be implemented to give greater transparency.

Major Supermarket Tesco’s year culminated in a total reshuffle in the boardroom as Philip Clarke stepped down as CEO and some executives were suspended pending a financial enquiry amid several overstatements of Profits. 2014 saw the market leading supermarkets worse performance in 20 years which lead to falling share prices and market share. What will it take for them to balance the books? Major decisions have been made to sell off assets, land and halt opening new stores on proposed sites. Another cost saving measure Tesco have taken is to close 43 of its unprofitable stores throughout the UK which will help with the deficit but the road to recovery will be a long one and we shall wait to find out if Tesco will enjoy the successes it has had in previous years.

A controversial retail survey found most supermarket chicken was found to contain the food poisoning bug Campylobacter. Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and consumers have been advised not to wash raw chicken to limit contamination within the home. With the highest percentage of highly contaminated chickens was 28% and the government has issued an official target for supermarkets of 10% by the end of 2015. A key factor in tackling this issue will be better bio-security and innovations in packaging. Industry wide developments have been implemented such as ‘roast in the bag’ products which limit cross-contamination by minimising the handling of raw products.

It was a good year for discounters Aldi and Lidl with both seeing increased profits and gaining market share from their larger competitors. People’s perceptions of Aldi and Lidl have become more accommodating, some may attribute this to changes in shopper attitudes due to the last few years seeing them watching the pennies and opting for the cheaper brands available in the discount stores and more consumers habits changing to ‘top up shops’ where fresh produce an convenience items are picked up in between monthly ‘big’ supermarket shops. 2015 looks to be another period of growth for the discounters, however it remains to be seen whether this growth will continue.

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December 2014

CV Writing Tips

A CV is the first time a potential employer will see you and so presents the perfect opportunity to tailor your first impression to your advantage; here you will find some tips to grabbing attention and leaving a lasting impression.

The most important tip is to take your time, maybe have a brainstorming session before you start and recall all relevant achievements/sales figures/positions/customers or clients, from here you have a foundation on which to build your CV. Also speak with any referees and make sure they are willing to give you a reference before listing them on your CV.

One rule of thumb is to keep your CV short and concise, it should be a window into your skills and experience not an in depth employment history. 2-3 pages are sufficient to give enough information and not lose the reader’s attention. With a more general outline of job responsibilities you will prompt the reader to ask questions at interview stage which you can answer and convey more effectively in person. (make sure whatever you declare in your CV, you are able to back up should you be questioned on it).

One bug-bear for those reading CV’s is inconsistent formatting (an untidy CV is likely to be put on the reject pile) make sure when composing your layout that all headers are in the same font and format along with paragraph text. Headers are a good tool to use to title your document however this does not need to be on every page just the first is sufficient.

In regards to content you should never omit any of the following:
Dates (Employment & Education)
Job Titles
(even if you obtained a promotion let them know what position you progressed from)
Company Names
(add a brief description of their business)
Personal contact details
(telephone numbers and email addresses) Make sure your email address is not too informal or offensive as this may deter potential employers to take you through to interview stage.

Try to spend more time writing about your last 2-3 positions as these will be the most relevant rather than a job you left many years ago, this will engage the reader to your most up to date skills and achievements, most vacancies ask for a certain amount of experience in the chosen field so anything before this is less important but still needed to give a thorough history.

When adding a job description paragraph focus on what you have done and any achievements you have obtained or assisted with, this will make your CV stand out from those that just give a general description of duties, also adding the job title of who you reported into can speak volumes.

Now we are coming to the end of your CV add a short paragraph on your hobbies and interests, this does not need to have great detail it’s just a small insight into your spare time and the opportunity to show your personality.

Once you have written your CV it’s time to review it. Check for spelling mistakes and read it through to ensure it makes sense, maybe leave it for a day and read again as a final check. Our final piece of advice is always make sure you know where your CV is being displayed and who can see it (especially if you are looking whilst in employment). If you are using a recruiter be sure that you can trust them to keep your CV to themselves and not show it to anyone without your prior permission. If you are using a job board be aware that many of these sites do permit (for a fee) organisations to scour their database for CV’s, once published on these sites your information is easily accessible to any companies using this CV service.

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August 2014

UK graduate job market to be strongest in 2014 since financial crisis began

The number of graduate jobs among biggest employers is set to rise by nearly a tenth, a survey shows

Britain’s class of 2014 can look forward to the strongest graduate jobs market since before the financial crisis savaged the economy, according to the latest research.

Some of Britain’s biggest employers including Google, British Airways, John Lewis, the police and the civil service are planning to hire a total of 18,264 graduates this year, an increase of 8.7% compared with 2012.

If employers fulfil their targets, it would represent the highest level of graduate recruitment since 2007, and the biggest jump in four years according to the survey by High Fliers Research. Even so, the growth in the number of graduate job applications received by Britain’s top employers in the early part of the 2013-14 recruitment round were 9% higher than a year earlier, outpacing the growth in vacancies. Around 350,000 students are expected to graduate in 2014.

It follows a tough backdrop for students leaving university over the past few years, after graduate opportunities took a hammering in the early years of the crisis, dropping by 6.7% in 2008 and by 17.8% in 2009. Vacancies rose just 2.5% last year at the 100 organisations surveyed.

Starting salaries are expected to remain unchanged for an unprecedented fifth year, at a median of £29,000. The lowest salary offered is expected to be around £16,000, rising to £50,000 for graduates in some investment banking positions.

Graduates from UK universities hired by the European commission can expect to receive salaries of up to £41,500, while Aldi will pay trainee area managers £41,000.

Read the full article here

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July 2014

Second Interview Presentation Tips

The below is designed to provide a framework for a successful second interview in all areas from demonstrating effort and ambition to the structure, lay out and detail of the presentation. This helps in ensuring you use the time wisely so that at every step in the process you are demonstrating where you will add value and the difference you will add to the business.

Demonstrating effort, ambition to land the role & “going the extra mile”

  • Trade visits to relevant outlets
  • Pictures taken of relevant categories to showcase a point
  • Testimonials from consumers \ shoppers
  • Purchase of relevant products to help make a point on the day

Saying you want a role is one thing, give the interviewer an insight into the lengths you have gone to beforehand to make the presentation relevant and upto date so that the words are backed up by actions.

Timing

  • One of the first objectives is delivering to the brief on time.. does the presentation when run through hit the time the interviewer has set. Make a point of taking your watch off and setting it down and saying at what point you will be finished. Gives confidence that you are taking ownership and accountability of that part of the interview.
  • Questions. Don’t get sidetracked as this could affect your timing. Take ownership and say when you will take questions, whether they are questions for clarification or whether you have left time at the end and please make note of any and you will deal with them then.

Not just what you say but how you say it

  • Consideration as to whether you present from handouts or from a PC projector.
  • Stand up or sit down when presenting, relevance v the numbers in the room 
  • Know your audience, try and find out more about them and their styles. One presentation will not fit all. 
  • Eye contact, make everyone be part of the presentation and feel involved
  • Language – avoid being monosyllabic, vary tone at the appropriate time
  • Use of hands to emphasise a point

Relevance – make the most of the time you have

  • You have a limited time to impress & so don’t fall into the trap of presenting something the audience will already know. A market overview for example relevant to the interviewers business. They work in the category and will know what is going on.
  • You can’t know all the details of the business you will be joining but that is not an excuse for highlighting what you don’t know and not answering the questions set. Make assumptions, be clear of the assumptions. You need to use the time demonstrating how you will add value not what you don’t know about the interviewers business.

Structure of presentation

  • Make every page relevant and has a flow from the previous.
  • “tell them what you are going to say, say it and then tell them you have said it”- a good intro \ agenda , a strong presentation and a clear summary at the end

Presentation tips

  • The title of each page should be the main point you want the audience to take from it. The body of the page is the evidence to support the headline. “budget” or “actions” are not telling the main point of the page. Be bold and succinct. “£1m brand spend is critical to 2013 success”… or “winning at the point of purchase is vital to 2013 success”… and then drop the evidence in to support the statement.
  • If you just read the headlines for each page and none of the content you should get the flow and the main points you are making without actually looking at any of the page content.
  • Bullet points – no more than 4 bullet points, 4 words to a bullet point. No need to use full 
  • Sentences just effective words to use to talk around.

Be prepared

  • For all eventualities – for the PC not to work (take a memory stick)
  • For the projector not to work – take print offs, even if you don’t use them leave them behind for the audience.

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June 2014

7 seconds

You meet a potential employer for the first time…. The moment that stranger sees you, his or her brain makes a thousand computations: Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you friend or foe? Do you have status and authority? Are you trustworthy, competent, likeable, and confident?

And these computations are made at lightning speed — making major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting.

In interview interactions, first impressions are crucial. While you can’t stop people from making snap decisions – the human brain is hardwired in this way as a prehistoric survival mechanism – you can understand how to make those decisions work in your favour.

First impressions are more heavily influenced by nonverbal cues than verbal cues. In fact, studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.

Here are seven nonverbal ways to make a positive first impression:

1. Adjust your attitude. People pick up your attitude instantly. Before you turn to greet someone, or enter a meeting room, or stand up to make a presentation, think about the situation and make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody.

2. Straighten your posture. Status and power are non-verbally conveyed by height and space. Standing tall, pulling your shoulders back, and holding your head straight are all signals of confidence and competence.

3. Smile. A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome. It says, “I’m friendly and approachable.”

4. Make eye contact. Looking at someone’s eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye colour of everyone you meet.)

5. Raise your eyebrows. Open your eyes slightly more than normal to simulate the “eyebrow flash” that is the universal signal of recognition and acknowledgement.

6. Shake hands. This is the quickest way to establish rapport. It’s also the most effective. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake.

7. Lean in slightly. Leaning forward shows you’re engaged and interested. But be respectful of the other person’s space. That means, in most business situations, staying about two feet away.

You’ve got just seven seconds – but if you handle it well, seven seconds are all you need!

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May 2014

Welcome to our new and improved website

Thanks for taking the time to read this, our first Blog, we would like to welcome you to our updated website which now offers you the opportunity to send us your CV and apply for any of our fantastic opportunities at the touch of a button.

If you are looking for a new member for your team you can get in touch with us, we provide a full service to our clients which includes interviewing, screening and headhunting. We like to get to know our clients so we can find the exact person who will stay and prosper in your business becoming an asset and adding value. We are always eager to meet up just give us a call or drop us an email to arrange a visit.

Our Team News

Our fully trained and experienced consultants can help you find the right match be it a new job or a new employee, you can have a look at each members bio here.

Our Head of Drinks, Consultant Dan has recently called time on his 12 years as a professional rugby player. During his career he played 2nd row, blindside flanker and left wing whilst enjoying much success throughout his time in the sport. His sporting career highlights include making his debut for England U21’s in the Six Nations along with his Premiership debut at Bath Rugby.

And finally…

We would like to give our congratulations to Melissa who is getting married and wish her and her partner Gareth all the best for the future!

Here at The Oval Partnership we are always looking for people to add to our team so if you are interested in working for a dynamic, successful, forward thinking business then we would be delighted to hear from you, contact us here.