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4 extraordinary graduate jobs

Posted on: 30 May 2019, admin

If you're graduating this September, we're sure you've been hauling through application after application. Not everyone will find the process quick or straightforward, and that's okay, don't give up. Today, around 60% of graduate employers will recruit graduates from any degree discipline. This means that you can broaden your search, have a little more fun with it! Take a look at our list of extraordinary jobs and see if there’s anything that tickles your fancy!  Queue Sitter  According to recent research, the average person in the UK spends more than three months of their life queueing, but did you know it’s possible to make a living from standing in line? If you’re incredibly patient, happy to brave the elements and willing to sleep outside, you could earn up to £15 per hour providing a queuing service. You may find yourself filling in for people who want concert tickets, the latest hot gadget or access to the New Year sales but don’t have the time or inclination to line up themselves. Instead, they’ll pay you to queue!  Ash Portrait Artist  If you’re a skilled artist but you’re bored of using the traditional paints and pencils, how about crafting portraits using the ashes of cremated people? One artist has been doing it since 2008, using a scalpel to apply each particle of ash to a layer of beeswax, eventually creating a monochrome mosaic of the deceased person. Another artist grinds up ashes and brushes them over the top of pencil drawings of people and pets. Portraits start from around £200 and you’ll need to be a gifted portrait artist who’s not spooked out easily to consider this as a career!  Pet Food Taster  If you’ve ever enviously eyed up your cat’s breakfast, this could be the career for you! Much like when testing human grub, the Pet Food Taster is checking to make sure flavours are perfectly balanced and the texture is appealing. The tester will also check the food visually to make sure it’s enticing and sniff it to ensure it has an appealing aroma. In addition to wolfing down Fido’s dinner, the Pet Food Taster is also responsible for developing new recipes and flavours and keeping abreast of regulatory matters. With salaries ranging from £20,000 for an entry-level role up to £50,000 for an experienced taster, this could be a ‘paw-some’ job for the right candidate!  Snake Venom Collector  Known as ‘snake milkers’ these courageous people handle some of the most dangerous reptiles on the planet on a daily basis. Their role mainly involves extracting venom from poisonous snakes in order to create anti-venoms and other medicines, including treatments for high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. In order to extract the venom, ‘milkers’ have to encourage the snake to bite through a latex cover and inject venom into a jar, so it’s certainly a risky role. Collectors are also in charge of breeding snakes and ensuring they’re healthy, for which you’ll earn a ‘fang-tastic’ salary of around £30,000 per year.  We hope that this list has inspired you a little and given you a chuckle. We may not be able to help with the Snake Venom Collector or Pet Food Taster, but we do work with some of the best companies in the region, so click here to view our latest jobs 

5 reasons to support local businesses

Posted on: 17 May 2019, admin

As a local recruitment agency, we use any opportunity to spread the word about business in Milton Keynes - it’s our mission to help local businesses thrive! So, we’ve put together a list of five reasons on why you should shop locally:  Local economy: Research shows that just £10 spent with a local independent shop means £50 back into the local economy. This means that you can indirectly make a big impact on your local community without it costing you much.    Creating local jobs: When there’s an increase in demand, there always an increase in supply. Buying locally can boost the employment rates in your area by increasing the need for more workers.  The environment: The lure of next-day delivery makes it hard to resist online shopping. However, when you total the costs of that delivery on the environment, packaging and the fuel to transport the goods, buying local is much better for the environment.  Encouraging Entrepreneurs: Shopping locally supports local entrepreneurs and by helping their businesses to grow, you’ll be helping the local economy by increasing the number of jobs in your area. Local business for local charities: A lot of local businesses support charities that are relevant to your area. Not only are you helping your community thrive economically, but you are also increasing charitable donations.  We’d to love know the local businesses in your area that you support. Let us know the names of your favorite local business and what services/goods they provide! Find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and feel free to tweet, share and like this post.  If you’re unsure on where to find local independent shops in MK, we’ve got you covered, checkout this website! 

How outfit choice impacts the way you feel at an interview

Posted on: 15 May 2019, admin

We’re focusing this week’s blog on Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for 2019 is body image. First impressions are really important in job interviews – in fact, they’re regularly described as one of the top anxiety provoking situations in life!  Research shows that your moods can be affected by what you wear. So, we thought it’d be a great idea to give tips you on how outfit choice can help you feel better, and more confident in an interview:  Dressing appropriately – you want to make sure that your outfit matches up with the role you’ve applied for. ‘Dressing the part’ can help boost your confidence, which can potentially increase your chances in securing the position. The more confident you feel, the better you come across.   Make sure you’re comfortable - be smart, but feel comfortable. Interviews can be very vulnerable situations for most of us. The last thing you want to add to your list is uncomfortable clothing, that leaves you feeling unconfident (or worse, fidgeting with clothing which is really distracting during an interview!) 2Choose the correct footwear - This links in with tip number two - make sure you’re wearing comfortable footwear and for ladies, heels that you can walk in! Being late causes stress in all situations, don’t let the wrong pair of shoes be a reason to make you stressed on the day.   Be yourself - There’s always a way to express yourself. Don't feel the urge to conform to anything or anyone else but you - you are an expert on yourself. Employers love to see personality, and you’ll feel your best knowing that you’re being yourself.   Keep an eye out on the mental awareness week website, they’ll be releasing articles and research findings on body image and mental health all week!   If you you’d like to find out on stress and how it affects you in the workplace checkout our blog on minimising stress in the workplace.  If you want more interview and CV top tips, check out this blog post.  

Learning at work week

Posted on: 13 May 2019, admin

Learning at Work Week is an annual event that shows how important continuous learning and development is in the workplace. This year’s theme is ‘Shaping Your Future’ and there are loads of resources, courses, and schemes available to help you mold and create the future you desire.   If you’re keen to progress your career, we’d always advise you to find an employer that gives you the opportunity to learn and grow in a way that best suits you.  Here are a few examples of ways you can learn at work:  Apprenticeships - Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to combine work and study by mixing on-the-job training, where you’re employed to do real work tasks, alongside your classroom learning. By the end of the apprenticeship, you'll hopefully have gained the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your chosen career and a formal qualification!  On-the-job-training – Exactly as the name suggests - you train while doing the job. Generally speaking, a professional trainer (or sometimes an experienced employee) will be your mentor, guiding you through the processes of the job, which can also be supported with formal classroom training.  Online courses - Online courses are a great way to take individual ownership over your development and there are so many out there. Sometimes you will pay for your online course, or your employer may pay as part of your development programme. There are also some great free courses out there.    At Ascendant Recruitment we are honoured to partner with employers who believe in development and career progression. One of our major clients, Mercedes Benz, is big on career progression. Check out our blog on Chloe, - she explains how in the space of two years she went from working on the Customer Services Team to their Marketing Department doing what she loves.  Remember, that you have the power to shape the future you desire and excel in your career. We hope this blog has inspired you, check out our website to find the job for you! 

Four Top Tips for Writing a Great CV

Posted on: 09 May 2019, admin

Your CV should be a summary of your academic and professional history and achievements. It should highlight your education, qualifications and previous employment while selling yourself to a potential employment. Emphasise core skills, detail your key strengths, showcase your experience, and make sure you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of getting that job interview. After all, there’s a big difference between an average CV and a great CV, so here are four key ways to write a great CV. Structure This is an extremely important part of your CV. It should have a clear, easy-to-follow structure that the employer won’t have to decipher or re-read to make sense of it. Generally, you should structure your CV in the following order: Name and contact details; Personal profile; Key skills and achievements; Employment history; Education and qualifications. We’ve written more detail about each section below: Contact details This is the very first part of your CV. It should be positioned at the top of the page where it’s clear and easy for the employer to find. Don’t title your CV with ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’ as it’s a waste of space. Instead, use your full name as the title and write your contact details underneath it. Your contact details should include your hometown, phone number and email address. You can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile (but make sure it’s up to date!). Personal profile This is also known as a ‘personal statement’ or ‘professional profile’. It’s a short paragraph that sits underneath your contact details, and it should give an overview of who you are, your key strengths, your career goals and experience. Keep it short and sweet. Employment history This section should outline your previous jobs, internships and work experience. You want to put the most recent information first and then work backwards (reverse chronological order). Each position of employment should state your job title, the employer, the dates of employment (month and year), and a line that summarises your job role. Underneath this line, bullet point key responsibilities, skills and achievements gained within the role. Keep it short and concise. If you have years and years of experience, you can reduce the detail of old or irrelevant roles. If you have positions from more than 10 years ago, remove them. (Please ensure all past jobs are written in the past tense.) Education This should have a similar structure to your employment history section. It should have your most recent education first, so list everything in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions, dates you were there, and any qualifications and grades you achieved. 2. Consistency It’s important that your CV is consistent in every possible way. It should be consistent with your LinkedIn profile, have consistent fonts and word sizing, and have a generally consistent layout. Make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to trust what you’re saying and be able to read everything with ease. For example, if you write in the third person, make sure you do so throughout the whole document. If you’ve already got a CV and you simply need to update it, make sure all updates are consistent. The look and consistency of your CV is really important as it can either draw the potential employer in or annoy them if it’s hard to follow. Make sure it’s as clear as possible with good use of headings. 3. Give examples Instead of making generic statements about your past roles, such as ‘achieved good sales with lots of customers’, give examples of what you did and why it worked. Statistics and facts are a really effective way of ‘wowing’ the potential employer. You could say ‘achieved [x number] of sales within a five-month period, dealing with [x number] of customer accounts’, which is then more specific and an interesting example that highlights your strengths. 4. Proofread and feedback Once you’re satisfied that your CV is selling you and your skills effectively, proofread it. Look for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and inconsistencies. Then ask someone else to read through it. Ask them for some honest feedback about what works and what doesn’t. This is a great way of polishing your CV and making it the best it can be. Once you’ve completed these four key steps, it’ll be time to send off your CV to your chosen job vacancy! If you’re unsure what your next steps are, you’ve just started looking for work, or you can’t find the right job, contact us at Ascendant Recruitment. We have lots of temporary, permanent, part-time and full-time roles, and we’ll be able to find one to suit you!

Love MK Random Acts of Kindness Inspiration

Posted on: 02 May 2019, admin

Happy LoveMK day!  Ascendant Recruitment has spent just over 15 years based in Milton Keynes, we’ve been lucky enough to have met thousands of amazing local candidates and worked with many of the best employers in the area and we can confidently say that we love Milton Keynes.   This year's theme is ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ it’s an opportunity take a hold of the pride that many of us have for our great city.   In 2017, When Milton Keynes turned 50, we asked you to give us 50 reasons on why you LoveMK. This year, we’ve taken five of those reasons and provided you with examples of opportunities where you can do a random act of kindness and share the love in MK today.   Marathon - The MK Marathon and half Marathon are ranked amongst the top UK marathons, attracting thousands of people to take part in the run which happens in each May. This LoveMK day, why not sign up to help volunteer at the Marathon happening on the 6 May 2019. Good schools - Milton Keynes is home to the Open University which is the largest academic institution in the UK with over 170,000 students. With MK’s ever-growing population schools are now catering to this increase and are doing a fantastic job. This LoveMK day, get the kids involved! Ask them how they think they can show kindness to someone at school or at the park or even take them litter-picking with you. The shopping - Last, but certainly not least is the shopping. We are shopaholics in Milton Keynes, our City Centre is almost a landmark in itself. If you’re out and about in the city today why not treat yourself and the person behind you to a cup of coffee. Wildlife - One of the reasons given for loving MK was its thriving wildlife community. This LoveMK day, why not spend 5-10 minutes litter-picking. We’ve all seen the horrific images of animals trapped in old plastic bottles, today would be a fantastic opportunity to spend some time – whether it’s on your lunch break or after work to show kindness to our Wildlife. Restaurants - Milton Keynes’ diverse range of restaurants is one reason why many love the city.  From Indian to Italian, Chinese to Thai, Mexican to French and Spanish to Caribbean (not to mention the fantastic pubs you’ll find in the estates and surrounding villages), there’s definitely somewhere for everyone! Today, if you go out to eat, perhaps leave a tip for the waiter or waitress that served you.  We hope this gives you some inspiration for the day, if you have any other suggestions let us know! 

Meet Jo, our marathon running finance manager!

Posted on: 30 Apr 2019, admin

The team at Ascendant Recruitment want to say a massive congratulations to Jo Deller who manages everything finance related in our offices. Jo completed the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday in an impressive 5 hours 28 minutes.  A huge achievement and she’s raised £1,725 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Running a marathon is a massive personal challenge – the dedication to training and mindset on the day to get you round are not to be taken lightly.  Here are a few of Jo’s marathon highlights: Getting overtaken by someone in a Pea costume at mile 2 wasn’t the best start 😊The Lucozade stops were like a nightclub floor in the 90’s – sticky and slippery as everyone was emptying their bottles so that they could be more environmentally friendly. Luckily my feet didn’t get stuck!The Big Ben guy was brilliant – his video crossing the finishing line and getting stuck has gone viral. I was with him for such a long way – we all went crazy when he passed actual Big Ben! He had a last minute surge of energy at the end and he dropped me – I could have been on the TV!I had loads of support from the crowd – people handing out sweets, jaffa cakes and even pizza. And the team at Ascendant were all tracking me via the app so it was great to have their support too.I didn’t see any of the Eastenders crowd (lots of them were running for Dame Barbara Windsor) but I saw several of the Rhinos running round and the man in the dress!Despite an injury and not being able to train for the last six weeks, I’ve now got the bug and I’ve entered for next year’s 40th anniversary marathon. And Brighton!My post marathon treat was a pasty from Gregg’s – it was exactly what I needed!Thank you to everyone who sponsored me – it was great to raise money for a brilliant cause and to smash my target as I was going round! It’s the Rightmove Milton Keynes Marathon this bank holiday Monday (6th May). Our client Rightmove is the headline sponsor and they are calling out for volunteers to support the runners and to help manage the course. If you’re interested in helping out, please look at this page. If you’re a student or looking to get back in to work, some volunteer experience always looks good on your CV too!

Stress Awareness Month: Minimising Stress in the Workplace

Posted on: 25 Apr 2019, admin

An extremely important part of employee wellness is ensuring that stress levels are managed effectively within the work environment. This should be an ongoing task for all team members, managers, coordinators and directors in the workplace. From a business perspective, we all want our employees to be working at their best, most productive performance levels. When any staff members take time off work, this can have a negative impact on the business. You may even need to employ a temporary worker to cover the workload while the member of staff is absent, otherwise other staff members may feel stretched to cover the additional responsibilities or, even worse, work may start to pile up with no one to deal with it. This is a downward spiral that can lead to more stress and workplace anxiety. However, by effectively managing stress in the workplace, every member of staff can enjoy increased productivity and a happier environment.   So when does stress generally occur? There are many examples but three main scenarios are:  High levels of demand on employees Fraught working relationships Poor support from management  Therefore, we’ve put together our top recommendations on how to prevent and deal with stress in the workplace to manage it effectively and improve overall wellbeing in the work environment.  Flexible working  This is a highly sought after benefit in the workplace. By allowing jobs and working hours to be flexible, and by ensuring that you consult with employees about changes that are likely to affect them, you’re allowing them to give their opinion and be valued. Ask them whether they want more responsibility, ask them if they feel it would be beneficial to leave early on a Friday and make up that time earlier in the week – it’s all about communication and providing flexible working for all.  Give praise  This is a simple but effective way of reducing stress. Recognising your team’s efforts and achievements can positively impact morale and productivity. Offer words of encouragement and make sure employees feel valued, as this can go a long way towards managing stress levels.  Lead by example  All employees should be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle, but managers in particular should set a positive example by managing their working hours, ensuring they take breaks away from their desk and taking their annual leave entitlement. It’s important to promote a healthy work/life balance.  Talk about it  Ensure that you’re communicate and talking with staff regularly. These should be through a variety of informal and formal settings, such as face-to-face one-to-one meetings, emails, phone calls and team meetings. If staff have time off on sick leave, complete a return to work interview with them, as this will help to identify staff at risk of suffering from stress at an earlier stage. You can also take this opportunity to ask about the factors contributing to this stress, which you can then take steps to address and improve.  When our work environment is busy and filled with deadlines, it’s easy to put ‘stress management’ at the bottom of our to-do lists. But take some time this April, which is National Stress Awareness Month, to evaluate the levels of stress in your workplace. Talk with your colleagues about daily stresses and consider the little things that you can do and incorporate into your daily work routine to improve your wellness and wellbeing.  


Why An Agency Can Help You Find a Job

Posted on: 16 Apr 2019, admin

There are several things that you’ll need to do to prepare for applying for jobs, and this includes updating your CV, making your LinkedIn page ready to impress employers, and even organising your work into a portfolio. It can be a little overwhelming and sometimes exhausting – especially if you’re trying to balance raising a family and keeping up with your current job, too. An increasing number of job-seekers are turning to recruitment agencies for extra support, and there are a whole host of great reasons for relying on an agency to help you find a job.  Less pressure Signing up with a recruitment agency can definitely help to relieve some of the pressures and stresses related to finding a new job. A dedicated recruitment consultant is proactive, efficient and will work hard to match you with the right roles. 2. Be in-the-know A great recruitment consultant will have lots of regular inside information so they’ll often let you know about upcoming roles that aren’t visible yet. This means you’ll be in-the-know before anyone else! 3. Great advice A recruitment agency will be able to give you pointers about your CV and advice about interviews. At Ascendant Recruitment, we’re there every step of your journey, offering top tips and even suggesting skills that may increase your chances of employment. 4. Expert consultants Many recruitment consultants will have a niche or specific sector in which they’re particularly knowledgeable. From customer service and administration to warehousing and logistics, we always ensure our candidates are placed with an appropriate consultant with relevant experience and knowledge. 5. Competitive advantage Being represented by a credible agency will work in your favour, giving you a competitive advantage because the agency and company are likely to have a good working relationship, so the company knows that the candidate being put forward will already be a good match. Furthermore, the recruitment agency will often have a lot of inside knowledge about the business. It’s important to register with an agency that is a good fit for you and your situation. You should definitely do your research and try to meet the recruiter face-to-face if you can. Ask plenty of questions about the agency’s client base so that you can judge whether they have links with the types of companies you’d like to work for, and ask about the types of roles they generally have available. For example, if they usually focus on permanent roles but you’re looking for a temporary position, they may not be well-equipped to help you. At Ascendant Recruitment, we have permanent, temporary, part-time and full-time roles as we know how important it is to have a wide range of roles available at all times. Remember that most reputable agencies will pre-screen candidates. This is usually an informal chat about your background and work experience, plus any career goals you have. It may also include some basic tests to gauge your level and suitability for roles, too. Recruitment agencies allow candidates access to a wide range of clients. If you feel like job-seeking is taking up too much of your time or you want some support with your search, register with us today. We are actively recruiting, and we need candidates for permanent and temporary roles across Milton Keynes and Northampton. Please email your CV to or call the team on 01908 200270 (MK office) or 01604 439380 (Northants office).

Why Students Should Use Ascendant Recruitment

Posted on: 02 Apr 2019, admin

If you haven’t registered with a recruitment agency before, they’re a really great way to fast-track your job search. Even if you have a great CV and have worked really hard to tailor your cover letter to suit jobs you’re applying for, it can be difficult to get interviews and stand out from the crowd.  Many people think that recruitment agencies are only for those looking for senior positions, but at Ascendant Recruitment, we can help you find many different types of roles. From full-time and part-time positions to temping opportunities, there are lots of options to suit every job seeker’s requirements.  Being a university student, you may feel nervous about taking the first step towards finding a job, but we’re able to find great job opportunities for every type of candidate. From perfecting your CV to polishing your interview techniques, our consultants are here to guide and support students every step of the way. We work with leading employers in Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas, so we’re in a unique position to tell you about job opportunities before anyone else.  What can you expect from us as a student?  We listen  We understand that every student is different. We’re passionate about finding the right job for you so we take the time to meet you and understand exactly what you’re looking for. We’ll only put you forward for relevant roles and only with your permission.  We act in your best interests  We want to help you find your next job. From day one, we’ll always work in your best interests at all times. Don’t just take our word for it – we’ve got some great testimonials, too.  We’re honest  We give an honest, transparent service. If we say we’ll do something, we’ll do it! We know, as a student, you’ll be juggling study and job prospects, so we’ll be up-front and clear about what jobs we think will work for you.  We’ve got great advice  Being a student, you may not have written up a professional CV yet, or maybe you’re not used to interviews. Our consultants at Ascendant Recruitment can give you CV advice, guide you through interview processes and offer you tips, too. We also publish regular blog posts to give guidance and updates on job-hunting and more.  If you’re a student, contact us and register today to start your exciting journey to a new job.