Tips to help you build your confidence

Here are 6 Tips to help you build your confidence for a presentation.

Whether you’re due to perform a presentation for your future employer, pitching your services to a prospective client or even representing your company at a networking event, having and projecting confidence is probably the single most important aspect to get right.

  1. Visualise yourself

‘Role play’ your way into the scenario several times, beforehand.

Close your eyes, visualise yourself in front of your audience. Let the words run through your mind. Envisage how good you will sound, in front of an appreciative audience as they engage with you. Avoid speaking out loud – just let your mind do the work.

When you get out there for real, you’ll have visited the place so often in your mind, it won’t feel so intimidating.

  1. Wait

Whether it’s 3 people or 300 – wait until your audience settles and you gain their full attention. You are now in control, not your nerves or your audience. When you begin in control, you’re likely to stay in control.

  1. Leading the way

At a conference remember your audience has come to hear you because they want you to lead them and enrich their knowledge. If you are pitching to a new client, remember you are the person who has the answer to their problem. So think: “What can I give these people, how can I help them?” They will be looking to you to help them. What will they – and you – lose, if you don’t speak to them? What will they – and you – gain, if you do?

  1. Image matters

Just like a job interview, how you look, feel and dress has a direct effect on both the way you project yourself and how the audience perceives you and relates to your topic. Your image must establish a rapport with your audience and help them to feel you’re ‘one of them’. Your image should reflect the occasion. It should be appropriate to both the speech theme and the audience.

  1. Meet and greet

If appropriate and if possible arrive before any guests. As people come through the door, greet each one personally. Your audience will appreciate that you are already one of them and they will instantly warm to you as you begin your talk because they have already ‘met’ you. In the same way, you will feel your confidence rise because you will have shaken hands, broken the ice and seen that they are thoroughly nice people, ready to listen to what you have to say.

  1. Eye contact

When you rehearse at home cut out a selection of faces from magazines or newspapers, including some famous ones. Attach blue tack and stick them around the room. This is your ‘audience’ and you can use their faces to practise eye contact. Maintaining good eye contact is one of the golden rules to boosting your confidence when speaking in public.

Build your Facebook audience


Top 5 tips to help build your Facebook audience

Here at Very Important Personnel, we have looked into ways that can help your business grow within social media. There are many factors to consider when using Facebook for business. To make things a little easier we have provided 5 tips that we consider to be the most important when it comes to building your Facebook audience.


  1. Make sure your Facebook business page is filled out properly.

This is not only key to improving your company image but also informs your Facebook audience about your organisation. Nowadays, you are more likely to be noticed on social media than search engines such as Google: so in theory your Facebook information has to be as informative as your website.


  1. Invite existing contacts to like your page.

In doing this you are sharing your page with an audience already prepared to like and share. By asking them to share it then creates a pyramid that keeps on growing. Each like or share within this pyramid will result in more and more likes and shares for your page.


  1. Factor Facebook into your online and offline communication channels.

That famous Facebook like button can be added to websites, business cards, email signatures, flyers, banners and just about anywhere where your company has a presence. Doing this generates more likes because it increases the audience awareness and promotes that you have a presence on Facebook. Providing links to your Facebook page also makes it a lot easier and user friendly for your potential audience.


  1. Create value with the content you create and share.

Creating posts and sharing relevant content will increase the chances of others sharing your material. There is nothing wrong with posting content that is completely irrelevant however the majority of your posts should be relevant if you are looking to attract your target audience. For example: If you have a business that sells ladies shoes and clothes, post articles or messages related to women’s fashion or online shopping. It also helps to advise your audience of offers. Using the same example, share a post that is providing a discount or offer. People will then like your page as a result because they will be keen to see your future posts.


  1. Never buy likes. Instead consider using Facebook Advertising.

Buying likes will only result in a short term gain. It provides an image that your page is liked by hundreds, eventually these paid likes will dissipate but more importantly they are not people in your target audience. One of the main reasons we use social media, is to connect and share with our relevant customers, companies and potential business.

Instead consider Facebook advertising. This is a much more beneficial, it provides you with an advert tailored to your requirements and costs as little as £1 per day in some cases meaning no matter how much you spend, it is spent only on the most relevant audience.

Should I leave my job?

Should I leave my job? I’m always amazed when people tell me that they have left their job or will be leaving their job without anything to go to or even an idea of what they want to do next. So many people give very little thought to major career decisions.Work is one of the most important parts of our lives and most of us forget that we probably spend more time with our colleagues in the office than we do at home with our family and friends. I always encourage people to think long and hard before making any major career decisions, normally I recommend allowing 3 – 4 weeks before throwing in the towel.

Very few people actually go to work and are satisfied and fulfilled with the job in hand which can make a huge difference to your frame of mind and to the way you feel.If you have decided that the time has come to move on to new things then the first question you should ask yourself is why you are looking for a new job. I would also recommend reading the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson, this will at least put things into perspective for you and is a great way to find out if the decision that you are making is a wise one.

You need to trust your own judgement. Anybody can advise you, and many will try to talk you out of it but you are the only one who can benefit from the advice and take action, so think it through carefully. Make sure that you are moving for all the right reasons. Make the wrong decision and you could be making a big mistake and run the risk of seriously damaging your career in the process. Don’t cut your nose off to spite your face. If you have had a disagreement with a colleague or client, always give yourself time to think things through and reflect on the bigger picture – these sorts of decisions should be taken with an analytical rather than emotional view.

The grass isn’t always greener. Greener grass is normally a result of a combination of good decision making and hard work. You need to look at the long term effects of your decision, not only at what you’ll be doing a few months, but a year or more down the line. What are the opportunities for progression and development, and how much more responsibility will you be able to take on?

Having clear goals is important. If you haven’t set yourself any personal goals or a 5 year plan – Do it. This gives you a reference point for where you should be along your career path. If you have been in a role for many years and haven’t progressed in terms of responsibility and pay, you need to ask yourself why you are standing still. That is the time to start thinking about moving on.

Applying for a job with a CV and covering letter

How to improve your chances of Success – Cover letter and CV

Providing a cover letter and CV is a great way to be noticed and understood. Being prepared for your interview goes without saying, and of course, for certain positions, having a particular skill may be a necessity. But what else does it take to actually get the job? The answer might actually be more obvious than you think, in some cases you may just need to make one key change to your approach to dramatically improve your chances of success: It’s all in the mind.


What’s your Mind-set?

If skill set is about what you can do, then your mind-set is about what you see, think and believe. Used correctly, it can make any one of us stand out from the others. As technology develops, certain skills are becoming redundant, faster than ever before. However, whilst nobody can predict the skills needed to succeed in the years to come, your mind-set stays constant.


So which do you favour? Mind-set or skill?

Here are the top five characteristics of successful job seekers according to recent surveys:


  1. Accountability

The most accountable people are those who go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. (ABCD) and without thinking carry out tasks that are not necessarily in their job description. These people generally tend to take responsibility for things that go wrong and/or attempt to improve the current situation in any way they can.


  1. Adaptability

Candidates who can demonstrate flexibility usually make a good impression on employers, showing willingness and capability to rise to any challenge they face will always leave a lasting impression. Try to maintain a dynamic approach and respond positively to interview questions, this will automatically increase your employability. Relate to previous employment; perhaps explain a situation where you have taken on a workload that was meant to be completed by a senior member of staff, maybe even called upon to help with other areas of the business.


  1. Trustworthiness

Many employers chose trustworthiness as their next essential characteristic when hiring. Whatever line of work you find yourself in, people will always require a sense of trust in you and others around you, especially in a smaller workplace. To demonstrate this on your CV, make sure you have mentioned a time where you have been trusted e.g. operating tills, cash handling etc. If you have established your trustworthiness successfully your half way there.


  1. Honesty

You may think that honesty is linked to accountability and trustworthiness and to a certain degree, it is; but adopting it as a fundamental part of your mind-set and being able to demonstrate it in your persona is something else. To emphasise this in an interview I would recommend giving examples of times you have had to confront a member of your team and used constructive criticism to help them achieve higher. That way you are not only exhibiting honesty to others but a level of authority and initiative. Or, if you’d prefer, just a few words to display your morals are in the right place should be more than enough.


  1. Commitment

The most important trait for successful jobseekers is commitment. In fact, over 90% of all employers said that this was absolutely essential for all team members and potential candidates. Commitment undoubtedly has an exceptionally powerful effect. If it’s there, it generates trust and earns respect. Actively exhibit your commitment, and you’ll set yourself apart for all the right reasons. (Warning: Stating you always give 110% is not necessarily the most effective way to do this. It’s also impossible…).

Example of how to use commitment in your CV: During a recent project, I undertook over 40 hours of overtime, making sure all commitments made to suppliers were met on schedule, and personally overseeing all creative changes were implemented right through until the assignment’s completion.

Lord Sugar

Stand out- Lord Sugar won’t carry passengers!

The Apprentice candidates and viewers of the show were left shocked last week after Lord Sugar pointed the finger and said the famous line “You’re fired” to three of the hopeful contestants. Lord Sugar followed this with a warning to the rest stating “I’ve been telling you all along, I will not put up with any dead wood in this process.”

Last week’s episode certainly demonstrated that in this highly challenging and competitive market, you need to go above and beyond your job role to excel and make yourself stand out in order to be successful.

Within every organisation there are employees who feel that they should do the bare minimum and not contribute to the Company beyond completing the least work they feel they can get away with. This week we saw how three such characters; Steven, Ella Jade and Sarah were FIRED by Lord Sugar for that very reason. Meanwhile, some of the more passionate and driven candidates who are willing to take a chance such as Roison, have survived the wrath of Alan, despite not leading her team to victory.

You can’t be a winner every time, however you need to have the confidence to stick your neck out about a new idea/ concept in order to be noticed and be offered that pay rise or promotion you so desperately crave.  Sometimes not getting it right the first time actually helps us grow as a person and as an employee. Learning by your own mistakes is the most effective way- and you never know next time it may not be a mistake!

In order to make yourself stand out try to do something outside of your comfort zone which will show your boss a totally new set of skills and another side to your personality. Don’t be a Robert and fail to take on the role as Project Manager if it’s something you are passionate about and feel you could add value. Whether it be making a suggestion on how to work more efficiently, standing up in front of 100 employees delivering a presentation, or volunteering for a Company fundraising event, you will be noticed by Management as someone who goes that extra mile and who they want to keep within the Company.

If you become the “go-to” person within your team or Company who is known for helping others and always willing to spare 5-10 minutes of your lunch break to show a colleague how to input a certain formula on to excel or how to how to word an email, then naturally when the Management team are looking for the next Team Leader, they will unsurprisingly think of you first!

Good things don’t come to those who wait, but instead those who work hard and show assertiveness.

Interview Do's and Don'ts

Interview Do’s and Don’ts.

We have tried to create a valuable list of interview Do’s and Don’ts to help you achieve success at interview stage of the job hunting process. By taking note of these simple Interview Do’s and Don’ts, you WILL increase your chances of being hired.



Take a practice run to the location where you are having the interview before hand, or at least be 100% sure of where it is and how long it will take you to get there. Turning up late to an interview is as good as telling them that you don’t want the job. If you are going to be late, phone the company to advise them and hope that they understand.

Research and know the type of job interview you will encounter. Depending on the type of interview you have, tailor your approach. Be prepared – research interview questions they may ask (see our Interview tips for some commonly asked interview questions) but never over-rehearse your answers.

Dress to impress! Or at least appropriate for the job, the company and the industry.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Greet the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect. This could be one of the most important things to remember and could also be the reason you have the edge over others. First impressions count.

In the likely event that you are presented with a job application or questionnaire, fill it out neatly, and accurately without leaving anything unanswered. This could just be a test of your attention to detail.

Take extra CV’s to the interview, or even better, a job-skills portfolio if you have one. This not only shows that you are prepared but also shows that you are proud of your achievements. Show enthusiasm to demonstrate your hard work.

Greet the interviewer by title (Mrs, Mr, Dr) and last name if you are sure of the pronunciation. (If you’re not sure, do ask the receptionist about the pronunciation before going into the interview.

A good handshake says 1000 words. Shake hands firmly. Don’t have a limp or clammy handshake!

Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested at all times.

Make good eye contact with your interviewer, a shy and cagey approach will put the interviewer right off you.

Make sure that your strengths and strong points come across clearly to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.

Show off the research you have done on the company and industry when responding to questions.

Show enthusiasm in the position and the company.

Close the interview by telling the interviewer that you want the job and asking about the next step in the process. Some experts even say you should close the interview by asking for the job.

TIP: Another good way to close is replying to their last question which is normally “Do you have any final questions?” by answering – “No, I think you have covered everything, do you have any concerns or reservations about me?” This will reduce the chances of negative feedback at a later date and also gives you a chance to handle any objections there and then.



Don’t smoke prior to your interview, a bad smell is enough to put anyone off.

Don’t be over confident, walking in like you own the place will not work. Simply putting any nerves to one side and speaking clearly is enough confidence for an interview.

Don’t fidget or slouch.

Don’t use poor language, slang, and pause words (such as “like”, “uh”, and “erm”).

Don’t act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment. You have to be more specific with your s and aspirations.

Don’t say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, employers and of course yourself!

Don’t tell jokes during the interview. Understanding someone’s sense of humour can take weeks.

They are interviewing you – Not your CV. Don’t rely on your application or CV to do the selling for you. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer.

Don’t ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly.

Don’t chew gum during the interview.

Don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no.” Try to answer each question with at least 2 or 3 sentences to showcase your skills, experience and .

Don’t bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.

Don’t respond to any questions, no matter how unexpected or irrelevant with an extended pause or by saying something like, “boy, that’s a good question.” A short pause is ok, or even repeating the question aloud should give you enough time to think of a suitable answer.

Don’t answer your mobile phone during the interview, turn it off (or set it to silent) before the interview.

Don’t inquire about salary, holiday entitlement, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you’ve received an offer. Chances are they will tell you but asking about them makes it seem like you are only interested in what they can offer you.

Choosing a Career

For some people, choosing a career is accomplished by the end of school life – but for most people, choosing a career that best fits you can be one of the hardest life decisions to make. Despite this, there are many sources to help you. There’s online advice where you will normally be asked to answer a questionnaire or quiz. Then there’s school or college councelors who will guide you in the right direction and then of course your family and friends, who are the people who know you best. While all of these can be useful and can help you decide, it’s important for you, as an individual to take on board what you want to do. You know more than anybody what you feel most comfortable doing and what sort of career you want to pursue.

First, you’ll want to think about your personal interests. After all, you can get all the career advice in the world from a job coach or a career aptitude test, but if it tells you you’d do best working as an Aerial Engineer when you can’t stand heights, they serve practically no purpose. It helps if you start by brainstorming the activities you like to do, select a handful of your main skills such as writing or reading or even practical activities like fixing things or DIY. This way, when you research various professions, you can determine what they have to offer that satisfies your personal enjoyment of the job. Relate your skills or interests to each job that you look at.


Next, you should review your educational background. Looking back at the classes you liked and those you succeeded at can give you great insight into your capabilities for the future. For example, if you liked or was good at Art, pursuing a medical career may not be for you. Your grades tell you a lot about what you are good at or enjoy doing. Another example, moving in the right direction this time would be: enjoying History at School and pursuing a career as an Archaeologist. This is not to say that you can’t choose a career in Pharmaceutical if you got a D in Science, it just means that you may be more skilled in other things, or that the path to this career could be more difficult than another interest you choose to pursue. There is no reason not to choose a hard road, as long as you are willing to work hard at achieving your Goal.


Your personality plays a huge part in helping you choose a career. For example, if you are an outgoing and energetic type, you may despise the idea of working in an isolated environment or being stuck behind a desk. Being a “people person” and knowing how people think and act, you may find a career in Retail or similar much more suited to your personality. Another example being: If you have a passion for DIY or fixing things, a career in sales isn’t the way forward. In this case, pursuing a career in Carpentry or similar would be a sensible option.


Another consideration when looking for career advice is what your future looks like in your mind. Is money a very important matter to you, or are you more interested in making ends meet so you can be comfortable while also thriving on what you do? Some careers are obviously more lucrative than others, and determining how you rate money in your idea of success is essential to making the right decision for your future career.