1. The Art of a good CV


    [This Post originally appeared on the GM Chamber of commerce website as a Guest Blog post by Tom Linn, Thomas Cole Project Manager]

    During my time as project manager I have had to spend time when hiring employees looking over multiple CVs sent in applying for various roles we have had advertised.

    One thing that has always surprised me is the quality of some of the CVs that come in. I thought I would put together a checklist of tips and things to avoid when sending in your CV for a job application.

    Things to avoid:

    - Misspellings and grammatical errors
    - No examples of work (if possible to provide)
    - Irrelevant content at the top – get to the point, if you are applying for a job as a designer put your design experience at the top and examples of work along with any qualifications.
    - A lengthy CV – don’t make it five pages long, sometimes too much information can go against you, so condense where possible by removing irrelevant information.
    - An unprofessional email address – keep it professional! Not something like “ibizamassive2012@hotmail.com”
    - Sending the same CV to multiple jobs without tweaking to fit the job spec.

    Tips for a good CV:

    - A well set out page so it is easily readable.
    - A bit of colour where relevant can sometimes help to break up the text
    - Add relevant experience at the top
    - Add your contact details
    - Send examples of work (if applicable)
    - Get somebody else to read over it and give their opinion
    - Write a covering letter
    - Add on any additional training you’ve undertaken
    - Keep it up to date

    You may be surprised how you can find yourself at the top of the pile by following these simple steps.

    On a recent job I advertised, only 4-5 of the 40 applications matched the above and naturally they were all offered interviews.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Social Media – Keeping it Social

    Tom Social Media

    [This Post originally appeared on the GM Chamber of commerce website as a Guest Blog post by Tom Linn, Thomas Cole Project Manager]

    Social media can sometimes be an area that businesses know they should be getting involved in, but just don’t know where to start or how to use their time effectively. For lots of organisations, what they also have to realise is that social media is an extension of your brand online and not necessarily a direct sales tool.

    The key to social media is to be social. By that I mean if you have social profiles on Twitter or Facebook then to get any response from them at all you have to interact with other users. Adding a tweet now and then and expecting a barrage of phone calls will not happen.

    Interaction can be done in different ways. Below are ways to interact on three of the main platforms.

    - Twitter – Re-tweet, favourite tweets, tweet other users, reply to users.
    - Facebook – Like status updates, message users, add interesting updates to gain likes, comment on updates.
    - Linkedin – Connect with people you know, connect with possible sales targets, like posts, comment on posts.

    Here are some key points to think about when working with social networks:

    - Research and understand the different social media platforms. There are lots of them out there and they all work in different ways. The graphic at this link gives you a tongue in cheek quick run through. https://twitter.com/TomLinnUK/statuses/453821305553309696

    - Think which platforms would suit your business more. Also look at what your competitors are using and how they use them.

    - If your competitors are not using them then maybe you should be? Have a look around to see if they look like the kind of tool your customers would use.

    - Nobody knows your customers better than you and your organisation so although you can outsource social media, the person or company doing the social media needs to have an in depth knowledge of your business as anything they say/do is a reflection on your brand.

    Once you get a better understanding of how the different platforms work that is when you can make the decision on which to use and how to interact with others.

    If you would like any more information or a quick chat connect with me below:

    Linkedin – http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomaslinn
    Twitter – @tomlinnuk
    Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/+TomLinnuk/posts
    E-Mail – tom.linn@thomascole.net

  3. Microsoft Pulls Windows 8.1 Update 1


    Microsoft has withdrawn Windows 8.1 Update 1 from its Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) platform over reports that it causes client systems to ignore future patches, even as it warns that machines without the update will be left behind at the end of the month.

    A major update for Windows 8.1 or Windows ‘Blue’ – Windows 8.1 Update 1 adds a number of enhancements and improvements to Microsoft’s flagship operating system.

    Many of these address criticisms regarding the user experience, which many still claim is weaker than Windows 7 when used on a device without a touch-screen display.

    Although some enhancements are being held back for future release – in particular the reintroduction of the Start Menu, dropped in Windows 8 in favour of the tile-based Start Screen – it’s considered a major update for the platform.

    No Updates without 8.1 Update 1 – Microsoft is mandating its installation: all computers running Windows 8.1 without Update 1, the company has advised, will cease receiving updates at the end of the month. Including critical security updates; Those who want to remain protected, then, are gently encouraged to make sure that the update has been installed before the month is out.

    That’s easier said than done for corporate customers, however: Microsoft has pulled the update from its WSUS platform, which allows for distribution of approved software patches within an internal network, following reports of a serious flaw. When installed on a Windows 8.1 system, the computer loses the ability to check the WSUS server for future updates.

  4. The difference in a Hard/Soft E-mail Bounce

    1394731376_stock_mail-importSince a few of our Maxomail clients have been asking about hard/soft bounces I felt it would be a good idea to make this post…

    The difference between a hard and soft bounce is a hard bounce indicates a permanent reason and a soft bounce a temporary reason.

    In a hard bounce the mail can’t be delivered for reasons such as:

    • Recipient email address doesn’t exist e.g. anne.clark@ instead of anne@
    • Domain name doesn’t exist e.g. domain.com is no longer active.
    • Recipient mail server blocked the mail delivery; SPAM filter or server rules.

    A soft bounce indicates a temporary issue in delivering the mail; the first delivery failed and then it is tried again over a period of three days.

    If multiple campaign sends result in a soft bounce then the e-mail address will eventually hard bounce. Common reasons for a soft bounce include:

    • Mailbox is full (over quota)
    • Recipient mail server is down or offline.
    • Email message is too large (typically files with large images/attachments).

    If you have any questions or queries about Hard/Soft bounces and the effect it may be having on your e-mail marketing campaigns you can contact us to find out how your e-mail marketing can be improved.

  5. The Internet turns 25 today


    Today marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, which started on the NeXT cube machine via the hands of Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

    At the age of 34, Tim was working as software engineer at Cern, after a obtaining a physics degree from Oxford University. He wrote a paper title “Information Management: A proposal”, which stated hopes of “a pool of information to develop which could grow and evolve with the organisation and the projects it describes”.

    From This, Tim went on to write the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer) Protocol, HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and the first web browser, simply called “WorldWideWeb”. Previous names for the web included “Mesh” and “TIM”, or The Information Mine, obviously based on his own name.

    The World Wide Web has completely changed our lives, with millions of jobs and services being created, as well as a completely new form of communication. It’s important to note that Sir Tim has always fought for a web that is free and accessible to all, in a situation in which monetization could have given him untold riches.

    Sir Tim now has a website celebrating the 25th anniversary, asking for suggestions as to what they would like the web to be via webat25.org, or social media using the hashtag #web25