Has the CBI got it wrong?

The original idea behind this article burst from my head in a torrent of frustration. After calming down a little the question still needs to be answered but the thrust of the question needs to directed at some of the people that have raised their heads above the parapets of the CBI Annual Conference. I like capatalism and I’m all for making some money. I qualify that statement by ensuring that delivery of satisfaction is key and I understand that during these tough times everyone needs to be conscious of how what we do and earn can affect others not only now but in the future. I would have thought that this would have been apparent to anyone in businesses small or large.

Not so.

Let’s begin with the President of the CBI and Chair of Centrica, Sir Roger Carr saying that we should all now stop demonising banks. Really? Is it time to let them of the hook or do we make sure the hook is still in and that they are aware of it. Last time I looked banks were not lending to small businesses and mortgages were rarer than a pot of leprechaun gold. To win back trust the banks need to take the foot of the jugular of the UK economy and relax lending to a sensible sustainable level. Sir Roger, we expect more informed comments.

Then we had Richard Evans, President of Pepsico UK telling us that unless we pay every CEO a huge salary the UK talent pool will empty itself and that we will not have the talent to run our corporations. Pull the other one. That is oldest trick in the book and goes back to our pocket money days when we would tell our parents that all our friends were having more pocket money than we were! The crux of the matter is, at least for me, is I do not care how much a CEO gets paid. What bothers me is the scrutiny that everyone is under and that our top people seem oblivious to this before opening their mouths. We have had the bankers and politicians on the ropes and now its the turn of our top executives. Do not be surprised if the Public turn up with their pitchforks and torches looking for fight or that the Occupy movement has run its course. Richard, you do not need to appologise for huge pay but you may need to mindful of how resentment can twist fortune. History is littered with corpses of people that lost the vote, Nero,  Louis XVI, Thatcher, Berlusconi were all heads of state but Gerald Ratner was not…

To cap it all, didn’t they know that the High Pay Commission was releasing a report?

We expect better than naive from the big pay lads.

Manager CV and qualifications

Managers, are you qualified?

The school of hard knocks and the university of life may be a couple of clichés but don’t scoff too much. Ponder for a moment your own experience and career. Subtract the lessons and what do you have left? Nothing much. Maybe that degree that had nothing to do with your career path? A smattering of work related training? The odd vocational qualification from the O.U.?

The reality, or your career success as it is commonly known, like many others of a similar ilk, is built mainly on hard work and a keen mind. You have to ensure this translates onto your CV as it is amongst the first impressions that the recruiter and employer have when reading your CV. Written correctly, it will speak volumes about your character.

Is this where qualification(s) stops? No. I’m going to have to give a you little bit of a heads up here and use an old adage to paint a picture; Be careful not to fall into the trap of saying out loud “I have xx years of experience at xxxxxxx level” without first taking stock of how the experience might come across. You would not want to intimate that you have repeated your first 10 or 20 years.

According to a survey commissioned by Croner and carried out by YouGov, management competence is being questioned and is of concern to your peers in the ivory towers of HR. To read the article click on the link at the bottom of the page. If we ignore my cynical observations that Croner are providers of HR solutions, that the sample size was a paltry 139 HR Managers and that we do not know the sizes of the organisations other than to say that they were companies of more than 100 employees what can we learn (< no pun intended)?

Our advice would be to look at qualifications that endorse your success and bolster your career prospects. Join professional organisations. Ask your business to sponsor your learning using the argument that it will help you improve and help the business; make sure that last part can be delivered! If they will not sponsor you then do it yourself. Finally do not become a cliché and not look at self improvement. It might just be the difference between you and the next person.

More reading:
Management CV
Cranfield University

The Secrets behind the CEO or Managing Director CV

It’s simple, to be considered the leading applicant for a new post you will need a great track record of success. True, to a point. Some will tell you that you have to show how you managed an organisation and increased margins while lowering overheads. You will also hear a raft of other obvious statements that includes strategic thinking, change management and financial acumen to mention just a few. What no other Professional CV Writer will tell you is that it is also about the psychology of self belief and the ability to convey how much of an asset you were but more importantly, how you are or will be (notice the obvious present & future tense) to a business.

When asking around the office this morning, what else is key, one reply was synonymous with a CEO/MD role; Achievements. When I asked for elaboration the reply became quantifiable achievements. Your CV has to have detail and it has to be as close to exact as is possible. This is understandable. We know the Zeitgeist is for due diligence to be performed on senior appointments – thus the fiery hoops have become smaller and hotter.

If you have a CV that shows progression and continued success then you are half way there but if your tendency is to orate during an interview then it is likely that you will not progress any further.

Brevity is another secret key that we can suggest you consider. Get to the answer of a question quickly, with precision and ensure the interviewer comprehends the answer. Keep the mood light and interesting and do not be afraid to discuss negative issues. When handled properly they can have a more positive effect than people realise.

The final secret for this article is: Let us take the strain.

When you use our Professional CV Services three things happen. You feel relief that you chose our service. You think harder, a lot harder, about who you are and about your career. You feel prepared to take your career to the next step.

To read more click here

Directors' pay rose 50% (But only for FTSE 100 people)

There it is folks, the glittering prize. Land yourself a roll with the FTSE Elite 100 and you could be earning a cool (average) £2.7 million. IDS claims that the poor (ahem) Directors’ pay packet (more like payload) rose by 47% in the last year. This means Fatcat fans, that these tax evading rotters could quaff through just over 0.5 million litres of Waitrose Jersey Cream Double Extra Thick, the lucky things. I bet they would be really annoyed if they had to pay tax on this amount? Where can I sign up?

If you would like to read more it will cost you £460.00 + vat. Bargain!

Liam Fox resigning as personal life and work distinctions blur.

A professional responsibility for the security of the UK? An improper use of status? A dubious friendship with undertones of self interest? Arrogance? Stupidity?

Another day in government?

Dr Fox resigned his position in government, but not in parliament, as he felt that he had allowed his personal life to interfere with his responsibilities. If this had been a role in a private enterprise he could have expected to have had a meeting with HR, which, would have resulted in either a verbal warning, written warning or asked to leave for gross misconduct.

Its not my position to judge Fox or his relationship with Adam Werritty but to pick through the corpse and find a correlation between this story and how it would unfold for anyone other than a politician.

I could not.

That is where correlation also stops.

Currently, being a politician does not compare to how the rest of the working population would be treated. It seems that, politicians, no matter which party, still believe they can do what they wish.

If we forget the expenses story, or the even the PM/Coulson episode and just take this current story of Dr Fox what do we find? Someone who has resigned for an error of judgement. As mentioned earlier, in a normal position this would have been a different process. That aside, Fox felt that it had become/was such an issue that he had no option other than to, “hold himself to his own standards” (sic).

But if this is the case – why does he (or in any other misfortunate) feel that they are still able to remain an MP and represent their constituency?

Not Enough Female Company Directors

Must be part of an earlier time warp> here. The Cranfield report has been welcomed by the IOD and referenced by the CBI. Curious to know why the CBI via voice, Katja Hall, Chief Policy Director, thus far have only referenced the report and not backed it. Anyone can pay a little midle ground lip service, so why not state full backing? The CBI seem of late to be just happy balancing on the fence of opinion and its this partisan attitude that is leaving some of the business community wondering is there a need for the CBI any longer?

How to write a Linkedin profile

Linkedin. Is it CV, Resume or Balancing Act and Business Card?

Beyond being just a cold callers dream come true, Linkedin has jostled and elbowed its way to the top of an unsteady pile of business networking sites. Often referred to as Facebook for grownups, what is its actual use?

Is Linkedin a Facebook for grownups?

From an outside perspective, it can have the appearance of a CV or Resume. But this is also what it is not. The owner of any profile controls their own page content, appearance and accuracy. This, quite regularly, becomes a long list which includes all sorts of information that should not be included:

1. Job descriptions
2. Business financials
3. Assorted other detail

Should you be using it and how?

Consider your audience.
Who will be trying to look at your Linkedin profile?
[list style=”list3″ color=”magenta”]

  • Competitors
  • Colleagues (including your management)
  • Like minded individuals
  • Researchers
  • Recruiters


You have to view the profile page as a Balancing Act, an extension of a Business Card . Give enough detail to entice and draw attention but be mindful about being to open with intrinsic corporate information, financials or even personal detail.

Never copy and paste your CV into your Linkedin profile. Think about it. Would you print off a couple of thousand copies of your CV and mail them to random people around the globe?

Use Linkedin as an extension into the digital business world but think about the content first.

Does an MBA equal a larger salary?

Does an MBA equal a larger salary?

I have over 17 years experience of working as a senior level ‘head-hunter’ and running an executive CV writing business, dealing with MBA graduates, and in my opinion, the short answer is ‘yes’.

If one read down the lists of business school MBA programmes under various headings, many institutions are promising salary increases around 100 %.  But is this really the case?

Reports released from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, outline that the average salary increase recorded by the 105-strong full time MBA course graduate who finished last September was an impressive 66 per cent. However, according to Cathy Butles, MBA careers director at Judge, this masked some real extremes which should be kept in perspective.

Does an MBA equal a larger salary?

In her interview with the Independent in February 2011, she explains; “If we look closely at the salary increase split by pre-MBA region, the results from other parts of the world outside the US and Europe feature figures as high as 200 and 300 per cent.  However, the averages of those from pre-MBA locations such as UK, Europe and North America, while not hitting former heady percentages, also reach beyond 50 per cent.”

Several factors that affect the statistics reported on salary increases are linked to the underlying reasons for embarking on an MBA. These include a desire to change career direction or geographical location, a desire to change industry, or a desire to change job function within a sector. To expect to achieve one or more of these by doing an MBA, and land a vastly increased salary at the same time, in my opinion would be ambitious.

Statistics from Cranfield School of Management show that the most recent group of MBA students, who graduated in September 2010 have seen their basic salaries rise by 33 per cent on average, which might appear modest. However, 82 per cent of the group in question achieved a complete change of career and job function and 64 per cent changed sector altogether. This puts weighting to my point above.

Diane Morgan, director of career services at London Business School (LBS) reports that salary increases are not immediate and graduate MBAs tend to see the largest growth in remuneration package around two or three years after an MBA.

She also reports, and I concur from my recruitment dealings, that there has been an observed a change in the mix of head –hunting firms and employers showing keen interest in hiring MBA graduates. As well as the usual interest from finance, accountancy and consultancy firms, there is now an increased demand from pharmaceutical energy and technology employers, seeking to fill board level gaps due to retirement.

In my experience, it appears that when students are considering firm job offers, the salary factor slips behind the exact nature of job and possibilities for the future. This matches the overall analysis of Simon Tankard, head of careers services at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

“It’s not just the salary component that’s important,” he concludes. “Candidates are equally concerned to look at their career prospects, job content and the relevant sector experience that the opportunity will give them. And recruiters know that these factors play a key role in securing the best candidates. The weight of evidence is that a student or applicant, and an MBA equal a larger salary.

Managers ask Staff to do the Unthinkable

Here’s a revelation (no pun intended) from the depths of the CMI with the headline “Managers ask staff to perform ridiculous tasks”; Apparently managers ask their underlings to do stuff they either can’t, won’t or don’t want to do themselves! In my day the evil fiends disguised this as delegation but it seems the PC brigade now call it exploitation but mask it under the synonym of “things you should not do as they are not in your job description”. Tell me if Im missing something but what are assistants employed for if not to assist? I have to rum a multi-billion pound business and I do not have time to run down to Boots for a tube of Anasol.

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