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Newhampton Consulting

Professional Career & CV Support

Career Advice Blog

Career Advice Blog

Expert Career Advice Blog - Helping You to Navigate Your Career 

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You Get 2 Minutes to ask Questions at Interview End But - What Killer Questions Should You Ask in 2017?

Posted on May 5, 2017 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (2729)


This is the ultimate killer question for you to prepare for at the end of an interview, because it could be the difference between securing the role or not. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; it is absolutely essential to say YES and ask some worthwhile, well researched questions.

If you don’t ask any questions, this illustrates that you don’t want to know anything else about the business and you’re not interested enough to carry on the conversation. So ahead of the interview think about what you want to ask and use it to your advantage.

Here are some good ones to consider:

  1. "If you (CEO / MD / Manager) were to name the three most important priorities for this role / the successful candidate is to achieve in the first six months, what would they be?”
  2. “And how would they be measured – what would a successful outcome look like?

These last few minutes at interview are your “Closer”. Use this time to sell yourself and why you’re the perfect person for the role.

So for example, if you know the business has just launched a new product, show you’ve done your research – Ask about it.

And if you’re feeling particularly confident, ask straight out what they thought of you and if they have any reservations about hiring you.

This way, you can gauge their reaction and perhaps overcome any assumptions they may have made incorrectly.

But let’s not forget that first you have to get the right interviews (and that's all about having an outstanding CV)!

So firslty ask yourself "am I currenlty in the best possible role, with a dynamic employer who rewards me with a great salary and bonus scheme"

In short - Could YOU DO BETTER (especially if you have not had a fair pay rise)?

We strongly recommend you at least test your value in the currently market place with a few prospective job applications. With some planning and preperation you will be suprised at how straight forward this can be (message me and ask how). 

Make 2017 the time you take action. Get your CV optimised to target the next step of your career and perhaps ask a professional about how to prepare for interviews. 

And if you think these questions are helpful, imagine the difference we could make to you or some one in your network who wants to move roles. We can advise on optimising your professional CV so it puts you on the right short lists.

I hope this helps and please do get in touch via LinkedIn or the contact page on this web site for speciic advice on a key career move.

John Hodgkinson

Ten Ways to Better Employ LinkedIn During a Job Search

Posted on March 23, 2017 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (5118)

Key Steps to Better Employ LinkedIn During a Job Search

Searching for a job can be slow if you constrain yourself to the typical tools such as online jobs boards, trade publications, Craigslist, and networking with only your close friends / contacts.

In today’s job market, you need to use all the weapons that you can, and one that many people don’t—or at least don’t use to the fullest extent, is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has over 330 million members in over 140 industries. Most of them are adults, employed, and not looking to post something on your Wall or date you.

Executives from all the Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn. Most have disclosed what they do, where they work now, and where they’ve worked in the past. Talk about a target-rich environment, and the core service is free. Here are ten tips to help use LinkedIn to find a job. If you know someone who’s looking for a job. Before trying these tips, make sure you’ve filled out / optimsied your profile and added at least twenty connections. 

 1. Get the word out. If you can tell your network that you’re looking for a new position because a job search these days requires the “law of big numbers” There is no stigma that you’re looking right now, so the more people who know you’re looking, the more likely you’ll find a job. Recently, LinkedIn added “status updates” which you can use to let your network know about your newly emancipated status to recruiters. LinkedIn updates can also be withheld from members of your existing network or company (ask us how if you don’t know via LinkedIn).

2. Get LinkedIn recommendations from your colleagues. A strong recommendation from your manager highlights your strengths and shows that you were a valued employee. This is especially helpful if you were recently laid off, and there is no better time to ask for this than when your manager is feeling bad because she laid you off. If you were a manager yourself, recommendations from your employees can also highlight leadership qualities.

3. Find out where people with your backgrounds are working. Find companies that employ people like you by doing an advanced search for people in your area who have your skills. For example, if you’re a web developer in Seattle, search profiles in your zip code using keywords with your skills (for example, JavaScript, XHTML, Ruby on Rails) to see which companies employ people like you.

4. Find out where people at a company you want to target came from. LinkedIn “Company Profiles” show the career path of people before they began work there. This is very useful data to figure out what a company is looking for in new hires. For example, Microsoft employees often worked at Hewlett-Packard and Oracle.

5. Add your LinkedIn profile URL to your signature file on email – And anywhere else you have an online profile (Facebook, MySpace, etc)

6. After two weeks, re-invite the people who did not respond to your initial invitation - As any experienced recruiter will tell you, recruiting is a numbers game. If they have not replied/deleted/ignored your invitation to connect – send them another one!

7. Personalise the invitation - This is a must, in any e-mail / in-mail you send. If you can’t take the time to write a personal email (not cut and paste), why should anyone take the time to read it?

8. Do not use the “ask for an introduction” feature - It’s a waste of time! And it makes you lazy. If you have a name, city company name and title, you should not need any more information to pick up the telephone and ask for this person by name. Besides, if you still need an introduction to speak to someone, once you have all of their work information…then perhaps it’s time to reconsider professions!

9. Be nice - Recruiters tend to hoard contacts and keep them locked away. Don't operate like this. Power is no longer measured by the contacts or information that you horde for yourself. Rather, power is now measured by the number of people who come to you for help, and the people who you help, so share your network.

10. Be visible to your network & groups - A relationship is like a muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes. Once you have grown your network, don’t just sit there, ping it with content that is valuable and demonstrates your ability. This will help keep your name and your expertise at the forefront of everyone’s mind going forward.

Remember job success is not about luck – it is about connecting with the top employers or recruiters and providing them with the information they need (and of course your profile must fully describe your knowledge, skill set and experience aligned to the role you are targeting - again contact me to ask how). Use these tips and your professional impact and visibility will greatly assist your job search. 


(What do you think? Please join the discussion by leaving a comment below).

John is the Head of Newhampton CV- the London based CV Experts, and is one of Europe’s leading CV writers. He is also a Partner at Aston Hill Selection, an international Executive Search Consultancy. His work includes advising on key career moves, CV writing, interview coaching and LinkedIn Profile optimisation. He has worked with many leading corporate firms to ensure they appoint the best possible team or a key executive. John has both worked and lived in the UK, France and Sweden. He enjoys blogging as a way to share his up to date knowledge of the modern recruitment process and related topics.

Please Follow this blog by asking to connect with John on LinkedIn, or simply save this page onto your Browser if you would like to hear more from John in the future. Feel free to also connect via the NEWHMPTON CV Web site: where you can request his expert feed back on your own CV and LinkedIn profile.


Online Help For Psychometric Testing

Posted on December 2, 2016 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (631)

Online Help For Psychometric Testing

There are several professional organisations that provide on-line support for these tests and you can practice them for Free.

Most also offer a deeper level of support and analysis (but they expect you to pay a small fee for this).

So please try the free tests listed below. 

They include*:




We recommend you save a link to this page for your future reference - practise will often improve your performance significantly. 

And if you are finding it hard to get interviews and are unsure why, arrange to talk to someone at Newhampton who can advise you on how to change your CV to work with modern ATS systems HERE

Return to the main LinkedIn article please use your browsers Back Button

*newhampton recommends you review each and then descide which works best for you. we can take no responsibility for the performance of organisations opperating outside of newhampton group.

Five Professional Tips for Career Advancement & a Better Salary.

Posted on November 11, 2016 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (1721)

The 5 Key Tips for Career Advancement From a Seasoned Head Hunter  

I often get asked "If I am motivated to move up the career ladder what actions should I take"

Whether you want to progress in your current career, or change tack, it can often be difficult to secure your own career progression at the pace you want (glass ceilings, lack or head room, your boss takes all the credit etc).

Achieving your career goals is not an overnight job, but making sure you plan effectively, set realistic time lines, create clear objectives, and perform well in your role plays a significant part in securing good annual pay increases and moving up the career ladder.

To assist you with your own career plan, here are the habits of the people I know who have achieved significant career progression:

1. Don’t Flog a Dead Horse – It Won’t Win the Race!

Many people continue working within companies or sectors that are failing or have long term issues. Remember Ericsson Mobile phones and Block Buster Video. Both examples of market leading organisations that needed to change their business strategy or product, but just didn’t. I am not sure how many petrol stations we will need in ten years, with the new legislation that will only allow the sale of Zero emission (electric) cars. So if your current employer is not one that is likely to do well in the next 12-36 months, find one that is.

2. Promote Your Successes & Manage Your Weakness

The ability to take responsibility for your actions at work is essential, whether it’s for the successes or for the failures. Taking credit for positive outcomes makes your accomplishments clear to your superiors and your sector, and don’t forget to include the most important ones on your LinkedIn Profile page (or better still secure a pier or client recommendation highlighting the benefits you bring).

3. Test Your Value (Your employer wants you to achieve goals – why not set them some)!

Set aside time to ask your boss about your career progression, and discuss the potential ways you could develop within the business. Share your career goals with your employer, and let them know exactly where you’re planning to go in the future. If you’re stuck, consider talking to me about creating your own career development plan to help show succinct objectives and actions. This will give you a much better view of your value to you employer and if they want to keep you on board. You can agree progression targets and dates with your boss, so your career keeps moving in the right direction. You only get one career and waiting several years for a gap to develop will often lead to disappointment.

4. Are They Investing In You?

Also ask yourself if your employer is interested in improving your skill set to support high performance. The world is going to change a great deal in the next ten years with artificial intelligence and technology playing an increasing role in high performance. Are they up-skilling you - are you prepared?

5. In Summary, Don’t settle for Second Best.

If the company you’re currently working for doesn’t allow career progression in your preferred direction, it might well be time to move on.

The last thing you want is to be stuck in a dead end position, just because you had some hope that it might, possibly, someday, turn into the career you actually want. So, consider better options, make a plan, and if you can’t move forward where you are, see what else is out there. Quite often the people I work with are missing out on pursuing their dream career path without even realising it.

Whether you want to stay in your current industry, but you’ve reached your peak at the company you’re at, or you want to change careers completely, finding a new position might well be the best way to fulfil your career goals and prevent you from being let behind.

One thing is sure - You need to make YOU a priority and getting a clear 5 year career plan (with financial goals) is key. I hope this helps and it you want a confidential chat about your next step and the best way to achieve it, please message me and I will arrange a call in or outside of office hours.

John Hodgkinson is the Head of Newhampton CV - the London based Career Experts, and is one of the UK's leading CV writers. He is also a Partner at Aston Hill Selection, an international Executive Search Consultancy. His work includes advising on key career moves, CV writing, interview coaching and talent management. John has both worked and lived in the UK, France and Sweden. He enjoys blogging as a way to share his up to date knowledge of the modern recruitment process, career planning, advancement and related topics.

Contact John at: [email protected]

Or Linkedin: https/

The CV BLACK HOLE Does it Really Exist & How Can I Avoid It

Posted on July 19, 2016 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (1790)

The CV BLACK HOLE! Does it really exist? How can I avoid it?

 So you have been on holiday and you have decided the company you work for is no longer right for you and you could secure better money / head room / promotion / flexibility or even a better line management relationship elsewhere (code – your boss is holding you back).

So how do you now make a move happen and secure interviews with quality employers?

Many job seekers today will tell you that the most frustrating part of the job search is after they hit "send" and their CV’s are sent out into application oblivion -- never to be seen again.

It's the common perception of the CV black hole -- a place where, instead of stars and planets, CV’s and cover letters are just floating around, waiting to get sucked back to Earth and into a hiring manager's hands.

If a recruiter posts an attractive job, they will now get a few hundred responses. So what happens to your application materials when you apply for a job online? Who sees your CV? And, most importantly, what can you do to ensure that your CV doesn't fall into cyberspace?

Does a black hole really exist? All major employers and recruiters will now have a fully automated applicant-tracking system (ATS). Candidates would submit a CV and the ATS would import it automatically to the database. The ATS will then mine the CV against current openings using keyword searches. So ultimately, there is no guarantee that your submitted CV would be viewed by a human at any point if it doesn’t hit the score needed to get past the software’s minimum requirements.

So let me describe an ATS system: An applicant-tracking system is a software application designed to help organisations recruit employees more efficiently. Its primary function is to automate and streamline the recruitment process. ATS also provides the ability to track applicant statuses per job and enables users to streamline and automate application tracking with online employment applications, electronic candidate and recruiting forms, and configurable applicant flow reports and metrics. In short every one has them but very few candidates realise this.

 So How Can You Avoid the "Black Hole"? (and turn ATS to your advantage).

 Simply put, don't apply to jobs for which you are not qualified and make sure your CV works with modern ATS systems. Like any thing, if you invest in getting a CV that puts you on the top ten people on the ATS short list the recruiter is going to read your CV. Recruiters are doing this for their livelihood. If they receive your CV from the ATS system as a top ten application and think that there is a chance that you'll get hired, they'll respond -- usually right away. So how do you achieve this?


Optimise Your CV. "Most of my work as a CV expert is spent getting optimised data from the best ATS systems on the top 50 – 100 key words needed for a clients CV (to reflect the role(s) they want to apply for).

I then work with the client to understand how best to integrate the skills, knowledge and expertise they have within their own high impact CV. Most are just two pages long – but they jump off the page.

This ensures that when they apply their CV skips through the ATS de-selection process and gets them seen by a descision maker – and guess what - this transforms their success rate.

I cannot emphasis the advantage you get with the right keywords, keywords, keywords and content. To give you an idea of how smart ATS is, it will weigh more heavily those keywords which appear on the front page of your CV, because it thinks you're currently enacting those key terms.

So maybe now is the time to stop using a DIY CV and consider investing in a CV that markets you in the best way possible to secure the advancement and salary you deserve today.


I hope you find these suggestions helpful - please share your own tips below - and do contact me for specific feed back via email or see me on LinkedIn HERE

John Hodgkinson is the Head of Newhampton CV - the London based Career Experts, and is one of the UK's leading CV writers. He is also a Partner at Aston Hill Selection, an international Executive Search Consultancy. His work includes advising on key career moves, CV writing, interview coaching and talent management. John has both worked and lived in the UK, France and Sweden. He enjoys blogging as a way to share his up to date knowledge of the modern recruitment process, career planning, advancement and related topics.

Please book mark this blog or ask to connect with John on LinkedIn if you would like to hear more from John in the future. Feel free to also connect via the Newhampton Web site: Where you can request an expert review of your own CV. If you are thinking about an important career move - do feel free to get in touch with John to get some direct advice for a key application or to optimise your CV.