Jane is self-employed and knew the value of networking events for her business – but she never felt she was getting the best out of them. She explained to me that she felt unsure how to describe her business to others, face-to-face, in a way that was interesting and understandable – yet concise. We spent an hour and a half identifying what she did (features) and how it helped others (benefits), gradually reducing the information to a few key sentences. Jane can now state these with confidence and feels that she is a much better ambassador for her business at networking events and elsewhere. Cost: £57.50.
James had the opportunity to pitch for some business for his company and wanted some objective comment. He spent some time with me restructuring his presentation and practising the “words, music and dance” until he felt confident and well-prepared. Four hours: £180.
Peter had a management job interview which involved making a ten-minute presentation to the interview panel (which he was asked to prepare in advance). We went through some of the questions in a practice interview but he also had several dry-runs for his presentation which was the thing he was most worried about. We filmed his presentation and he was able to fine-tune it and manage his time. This took around four hours: £180.
The cost for help with a job application is determined by the length of the application. Some are many pages and are competency-based which mean that a lot of personal information is required. Generally speaking, a short job application needs around two hours and a long job application around four hours, so £90 to £180.
CVs usually need to be concise – usually a maximum of two A4 sheets and often one sheet only. A CV also needs to be accurate. The skill is in knowing what to put in and what to leave out – and this can be time-consuming. With Alastair’s CV, we started from scratch, which took a total of four hours: £180. Editing and updating a good CV would cost less. Like most pieces of writing, we worked on and off with this over a few days – rather than doing four hours at once; the result is usually better this way.
Helen had a two hour session with me practising answering interview questions with video feedback. Some of these were technical questions relating to her subject while others centred around aspects of leadership, teamworking, communications, ethics, knowledge of the course and the university, and so on. I helped Helen gather a range of examples from her own experiences to illustrate her points. Total: £90.
Tom wanted help on his UCAS personal statement from scratch so we started with an hour together identifying his knowledge, skills and experience – and all other information about him that could be included in his application. We also gave thought as to why he wanted to study the particular course (law, in this case) and how he could best ‘sell’ himself in writing and make his application interesting to the university admissions officer. After agreeing a broad structure, Tom went away and wrote his statement (at this stage we didn’t concern ourselves too much with the length). Thereafter, Tom and I worked by phone and email and honed the statement to the most important points – ensuring readability, interest and impact – and within the 4000 letters and spaces permitted. This took three hours: £135
John had drafted a personal statement and asked for comments. He emailed it to me and I provided an A4 page of comments for him to consider. These ranged from where information was well-written to where there was too much information, too little information, lack of clarity, spelling or grammatical errors, and so on. The feedback took an hour. John submitted a second draft with his changes and feedback on that took 30 minutes. Total cost: £67.50.
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