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Michael McCourt Promoted to Campaign Manager

The Interactive Team are thrilled to announce that 2015 has seen the official promotion of Michael McCourt to the position of Campaign Manager.

We cannot believe that 2015 is nearing to an end already, and what a year it’s been! After just over 3 years in business, we’ve seen nothing but success and we couldn’t be more proud of what our team have achieved in such a short space of time, and it just keeps getting better.

At The Interactive Team, we pride ourselves on giving average people – with the above average desire to succeed – opportunities to build strong, long-lasting, high yielding careers and we are thrilled to announce that 2015 has seen the official promotion of Michael McCourt to the position of Campaign Manager.

Michael joined our Glasgow branch in May of 2014 with an incredible drive to succeed as a young entrepreneur. As a team, it has been inspiring to see how Michael has developed both personally and professionally over the last 18 months.

When Michael first came to us, he was shy and quite introvert and needless to say, we did wonder how long he’d last in fast-paced, target-driven, entrepreneurial environment but we were shocked, surprised and pleased to see Michael grow and flourish as an integral part of The Interactive Team.

In just under 18 months, we saw Michael go from strength to strength. He quickly came out of his shell to build and drive a successful sales force at our Glasgow office, while continuing to educate, motivate and inspire the people around him.

M1The Interactive Team’s CEO, Gilles Baudet, commented on Michael’s promotion, saying: “I am so proud of what Michael has achieved. He is the first person to be promoted on our new business sales model: He didn’t wait around for others to take action, he took massive action himself and that’s why I’m so excited every day. People’s lives are changing right in front of our eyes and it’s refreshing to see so many people working together towards one common goal. Michael’s new and exciting chapter is only the beginning of his career in the industry and we’re all inspired by how far he has come. The best part is that he still has a long way to go but we’ll be sure to give him the tools, the finance and the training he needs to succeed!”

Massive congratulations Michael. You have proved that with hard work, determination and an incredible attitude that anything can be achieved! Michael will now be the official Campaign Manager at our Glasgow office. He will be solely responsible for the profitability of the branch, and driving the sales force to generate outstanding results for our clients. Good luck Michael, we’re all behind you!

 

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CEO Gilles Baudet “Why We’re Creating Something Special”

CEO Gilles Baudet “Why We’re Creating Something Special”

It’s no secret as to why The Interactive Team stands out from the crowd. It’s because our Chief Executive Officer, Gilles Baudet, believes that our business is changing peoples’ lives and the proof is there.

The Interactive Team all began with our CEO, Gilles Baudet, and his vision to revolutionise the outsource marketing industry and ultimately, create something special that everyone involved could be proud of. In just 3 short year, we have seen massive changes within our company – the business model, the locations, the size, the culture and more significantly, in the team. I am a strong advocate of our ideology and I am proud to be play an integral role in creating something special but I couldn’t help but wonder as to why we were doing this. I asked our CEO Gilles Baudet and here’s what he had to say…

“As the business has grown over 3 years, it’s clear to see we are changing people’s lives, and the proof is there, you can see it right in front of you! This is why I’m so excited every day. This business gives average people, with the above average desire to succeed, the unique opportunity to build strong, stable, long-lasting, high-yielding, exciting careers and ultimately, lives. I can’t believe the changes I’ve seen since day one, it’s just incredible.

Take Huw and Karl for example. When we started the business in March 2012, they were sharing a room in hostel, but never lost sight of their goals. They continued to put all their efforts into working hard, learning, developing and more importantly, never giving up.

Now, 3 years on, Huw is running a successful business in Manchester, and not to mention he’s living in a luxury apartment in the prestigious Hilton hotel, and Karl is managing his highly profitable business in the city of Newcastle, and living the high life in a penthouse overlooking the River Tyne. How things change! In just 3 short years, their lives have changed and not just financially. They have acquired valuable experience and developed their business acumen to a massively high level, and they now have choices they never had before.

This business is so fast-paced, and if the business is moving quickly, so are people’s careers and lives. Look at Jonathan and Joel. Both began working with our Glasgow office and now, they are running successful businesses in the UK’s capital city of London. Things are changing, people are changing, lives are changing, and it’s all because of the business. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an easy ride for anyone when it comes to success, but it’s definitely worth it!”

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A message from our CEO, Gilles Baudet

It’s crazy to think we’re in August of 2015 and already, we’ve achieved so much in such a short space of time. Over the last year or so, I have had the unique opportunity of working closely alongside The Interactive Team’s Managing Director and CEO, Gilles Baudet. Lately, we have been discussing the exciting changes to our business, whereby we are now operating on a pure sales model. Here’s what the man at top – Gilles Baudet – had to say about these new and exciting amendments to The Interactive Team’s front end business model…

“One of the biggest things I’ve learnt so far, or what’s really stood out to me, is that in order to be successful, or to run a successful business, you have got to be the best in your field. We are engineering our business model to fall at the forefront of the lead generation and data industry. We are not a normal company (which I’m sure you’ve figured out by now) because our business model allows our people to grow from the ground level up. We are revolutionising the way we do things because it brings us back to the Four Partners, and what people have got to understand is that we’re in the business of doing things right, and doing things for our long-term careers!

Our goal is to become the number one lead generation company in the entire United Kingdom, and we’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it because we’re willing to do what others companies won’t so that we can create opportunities like other companies can’t. If we are able to achieve this, we will have built the foundations for a strong, long-lasting, successful business, with strong, long-lasting, successful careers within.

This is why I’m so excited every day, because our new sales-focused lead generation model will definitely split the average from the average with the above average desire to succeed, not to mention separating those in it for the long term with those looking for the short term.

We’re building a business for longevity, and we work to create opportunities for long-lasting careers, and our pure sales model will take us there as long as we continue to show off a relentless work ethic and powerful attitudes towards revolutionising our industry and work together towards our one common goal.”

Think Tank

The Interactive Team’s 4 key components to a Think Tank

In the reconfiguration of our office space to accommodate our Head of Media’s move up from Glasgow we moved desks around in the newly crowned Media Team room and now with extra space we’ve installed whiteboards and a spare chair – aptly named the Gilles Chair.

Our CEO, Gilles Baudet, despite having a corner office, with an enormous desk (which I’ve been not so subtly coveting) spends the majority of his time when he’s in the Glasgow HQ and not visiting our other branches in the Media Team room – so much in fact that we have a designated chair for him.

But there’s a good reason for it, while overseeing the media accounts of every branch, organising our nationwide conferences, and master classes, training material and – well everything in between, we need direct access to the CEO Gilles Baudet to make decisions.

It’s become a really fun atmosphere, and one I suspect few offices would be able to replicate. Due to the importance CEO Gilles Baudet places on the work we do there is a ripple effect of respect across The Interactive Team. When people need to solve a problem they now come into our office, they bounce ideas off us, and its seen as a space to get things “sorted”

Now, while not every business out there needs a dedicated Media Team, The Interactive Team is quite lucky in the sense that through CEO Gilles Baudet’s vision we’ve inadvertently created a Think Tank – which we can safely say from experience – every business should have.

Baudet says “I love it, every single day I’m excited because of the energy that’s generated from this room” – and from a CEO of a company with over 150 team members nationwide that’s a pretty glowing endorsement!

 

Contrary to what you might think, a Think Tank truly doesn’t require a great deal of resources, so from our research and from our own experience we’ve compiled a list of the 4 key components of setting up your own Think Tank!

 

 

1/ Key members

In order to achieve results from your Think Tank it is crucial that you gather key members to be a part of your team. You need a manager: someone in a position to make financial decisions, someone that has a definitive say over what happens going forward. At The Interactive Team we’re fortunate in that the CEO of the business, Gilles Baudet, is in our Think Tank. If we’ve got a deadline, you can guarantee Gilles Baudet will give us what we need to get things done.

It’s also essential to have someone deeply practical on your Think Tank. Who is it in your office that keeps track of everyone’s birthdays? Usually the person who keeps track of all the important dates and figures is a good person to have sitting in on your Think Tank sessions. They’ll be level headed enough not to run away with an idea before you’ve looked at the logistics. Sometimes they’ll end up being ‘the bad guy’ because it will be their job to say if something is feasible or not, but if you want your Think Tank to make cost efficient decisions you simply can’t skip this member.

And of course you need the creative types, the ones that will come up with whacky ideas, the bright sparks to solve problems you hadn’t even seen coming (not that I’m tooting my own horn here!). The other people are there to rein them in and the creative types are there to drag the others along to the overall vision. Luckily in The Interactive Team we’ve achieved a balance in our Think Tank members, everybody has a good balance of practicality and creativity – but we make room for each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which is why we’ve really come into our own with the business.

 

 

2/ Equipment

You don’t need a smart board (although if you have the budget for them they’re a dream for sharing your progress later on and saving your ideas!) to have a Think Tank but what you do need is some way to put your ideas up in front of the group.

Psychologists will tell you that visuals are a crucial aid to helping humans organise and analyse. So the bigger the board the better. In The Interactive Team we have whiteboards lining our training room. There’s only one office that doesn’t contain a whiteboard and that’s Gilles Baudet’s own office. In the Media Team we’re considering taking down a beautiful black and white 4 by 3 foot image to make way for another whiteboard. But if your budget doesn’t stretch to wall-to-wall whiteboards, a mounted flip chart can work just as well, or even an overheard projector if your office is old school.

Obviously a good supply of whiteboard markers is crucial. The Interactive Team has a standing order with our stationers because we use them so frequently. Something we’ve now instituted that I can personally recommend is a perpetual calendar, laminated and placed in a prominent position. This way when we’re planning a master class, a road trip to another branch, or coaching sessions we can pop it on our visual calendar as well as on our phones so everyone can see what we need to keep in mind before making more plans.

 

 

3/ Time

Putting something truly great together doesn’t happen overnight. There’s nothing worse than realising that you need to prepare booklets for a conference happening the following day. Thankfully we’ve never had this experience at The Interactive Team, because with so much going on everyday it is paramount that you schedule your days to stay on top of your tasks with enough room leftover for anything unexpected.

Now that you have your perpetual calendar prominently displayed, if you can see something coming up that you need to be prepared for it is essential to give yourself the time to prepare for the day. Set up a Think Tank session well ahead of the day, some people will need to make room in their dairy for sessions with the Think Tank, so if you can all get an app to share calendar dates that would be useful too.

But not only do you have to schedule a session, you also have to manage the time you have effectively.
At The Interactive Team HQ, especially on days CEO Gilles Baudet joins our sessions, its easy to get carried away with having a laugh – and while you don’t want to stifle that fun, creative energy, you also don’t want to leave yourself running late for another appointment. With Gilles Baudet’s busy schedule in mind we always leave an extra 15-minute cushion time to make sure we never run over time.

Finally another piece of advice on this matter is to schedule a deadline. If you’ve created an exciting new project there’s nothing worse than not setting a realistic time scale on it. If you don’t learn to schedule a deadline, you may find that your ideas never get off the ground – which leads us to our last key component of setting up your own Think Tank.

 

 

4/ Follow-ups

There’s no point coming up with an amazing idea if you don’t follow it up with progress and completion of the task – which is why incorporating follow-ups into your Think Tank game plan is crucial. Just a five-minute follow-up is all it takes to make sure everyone is on the same page and heading in the same direction.

If you all agree at the session to the dates and times, then space out your follow ups between then and the deadline you have a clear set of expectations for progress. Using follow ups as a means of reporting your progress can also be a means of demonstrating your return on investment to management should you need it in future. You will have a ready-made list of when key components of your project were completed.

 

Well, I hope you can use the experience of The Interactive Team Think Tank under the direction of CEO Gilles Baudet as a guide to setting up your own company Think Tank. Genuinely I can’t recommend the process more highly. Through formally recognising and placing an importance on the meetings that take place in the Media Team we’ve created a powerfully positive group within the business that has the tools and motivation to drive significant change for the company overall – if that’s not something you want for your own business then I don’t know what is!

If you want to share your own Think Tank experiences or see what The Interactive Team and CEO Gilles Baudet has been up to why don’t you visit our Facebook page here.

The Interactive Team

The Interactive Team’s tips to handling responsibility

This week our Managing Director of The Interactive Team, Gilles Baudet, is taking a very well deserved break. Naturally on Friday about a million things were popping up, but as my colleague Stacey pointed out, the holiday wasn’t just for Gilles, it was for his family, so it went ahead – much to his wife’s relief no doubt.

Now, even though The Interactive Team is very much built around Gilles own ability to drive the business forward, it doesn’t stop just because the boss is away. In the meantime the Glasgow HQ is being handled by one of our Campaign Managers, Joel, who, pending promotion will be launching our branch in Birmingham.

I grabbed Joel for 5 minutes inbetween his duties and asked him what its like stepping up to the plate, and shouldering the responsibility of running the branch on his own, this is what we discussed.

 

“Its exciting, it gives you an opportunity to prove yourself” he said instantly.

Wasn’t he scared of the responsibility, I wondered out loud.

“No, Gilles has been personally training me for a while now, so I’ve learnt what is expected of me and what it takes. He wouldn’t have left me in charge if I couldn’t do it.

The biggest challenge while Gilles is away is being prepared for everything – but I’ve learnt to have a plan A, B, and C because in this business there’s always something that can happen.”

 

This goes back to that old adage – proper preparation prevents – well, you know the rest. It’s a hallmark of this company to be hyper prepared. We have a Dropbox full of learning material to help not only our Events Team, but our Management Team too. With daily management meetings and training sessions, it is beyond crucial to be prepared for every question, every outcome, every possible thing that could happen. We work in the moment, live data uplinks mean live decisions, which equals live results, results that directly effect our clients – and our customers too, and so without proper preparation anything could happen.

 

“When you’re running an office,” Joel says, “its important to set the tone, and the bar, high so people know what your standard is – when people are looking to you for an example they’ll do 70% of what you do right and 200% of what you do wrong”

Whether I agree with those statistics or not, he has a point – and I don’t like those odds.

“Everything you do has to be above and beyond of normal standards,” Joel says of coping with that responsibility. That sounds pretty tough I say, “doing all the easy things correctly, that’s the hard part,” Joel laughs.

While Joel might have been having a laugh, again, he has a point. Leadership is a myriad of smaller tasks that goes together to make a larger whole. While each task in and of itself might seem inconsequential or be fairly easy or simple to perform, each action has an impact on the people around you, and each one has to represent The Interactive Team at its best.

With that kind of responsibility stacking up I wondered what Joel’s goals for this week were, personally and for The Interactive Team.

“I guess what I’m most looking forward to is proving to Gilles I’m ready to open the Birmingham branch” he replies.

The Interactive Team operates on merit-based progression, so this is the exactly the chance a Campaign Manager can use to earn a further promotion.

Professionally Joel’s goals for the week were concerned with motivating the Events Team.

“I want to show people you can achieve your goals, whether they’re your own performance, or financial – I’m going to lead by example.” Joel continues, “it’s easier than you think to progress in this business if you just set your goals and achieve them step by step every day.”

 

As someone personally trialing different ways to hit my goals I dug a little deeper. How does Joel go about hitting his own goals?

“You know, you’ve got to facilitate your pathway to hit your goals,” he paused.

“I prepare every single day. I’m ahead of my day by getting up earlier so I have more time to do what I’ve got to do, I’m focused because I go to bed early,” Joel finished.

My mind leapt to last weeks experiment in ways to wake up earlier, and the advice was consistently, start as you mean to go on, ie go to bed early to wake up early (you can read more of my morning routine experiment here).

 

“And I always have back up plans” Joel smirked.

 

So the key lessons from Campaign Manager Joel this week will be to lead by example, to take care at every step so they add up to a good whole, and if you want to hit your professional and personal goals to prepare for every outcome.

 

For the rest of the week I’ll be continuing my goal setting and visualisation experiment I started here – if you have any advice or want to share your own experience head on over to our Facebook company page here.

The Interactive Team

The Interactive Team reviews the benefits of visualisation

While I was interviewing one of the Team for an upcoming article we got to talking about mood boards. He was planning of making one to hang on his wall for daily inspiration – I refrained from telling him that I had a million online versions on my Pinterest account – but it did get me thinking.

When we have goals in mind, whether it be a promotion and the lifestyle that comes with it, or the way that you want you wedding to look (the reason for my Pinterest obsession) humans naturally seek out visuals to help motivate us towards that goal.

The fact is, that very few of us are capable of processing information without a visual element to it. Think about it, when you read a book you imagine the characters, you form a mental image of how you imagine the characters would look. Or say your pal calls to tell you they’ve dyed their hair from blonde to black – you immediately demand a photo because in your head that person has blonde hair and your brain needs visual help changing that information.

The human brain is wondrous, but the way we think can actually be quite limited. When we learn new information our brains immediately seek to categorize it and file it away with similar information. When we go to remember that new information we retrieve it via synaptic relays, the strength of that neural pathway determines how capable we are in using that information. So now you know that scientific explanation behind why practice makes perfect – how can this help you visualize and achieve your goals?

Well visualization might seem similar to daydreaming or fantasizing but there are crucial differences that makes visualization a powerful tool for goal setting. When you fantasize you only experience the euphoria of the end of the goal, the reward or accomplishment phase, you’re on the stage performing for thousands, you’re on a yacht in the Seychelles, you’re looking trim and fabulous in your wedding dress – but what makes visualization different and powerful is that you imagine the processes you require to get you to that reward.

 

Sports psychologists have long been encouraging athletes to use the power of visualization to enhance their performance, athletes from Wayne Rooney to Muhammed Ali – and you can bet Floyd Mayweather is visualizing winning his fight tomorrow night every punch, every duck and every weave.

It’s undoubtedly a multi million dollar business, with books like The Secret and How Winners Win topping best seller lists the tricks of visualization have gone from psychologist strategy to mainstream media.

 

So I asked around The Interactive Team HQ to see what people visualized throughout the day and how it helped them.

Suzanne, a colleague in another office, had been working towards a target all week, and when she hit it the office erupted into cheers “you can only do your best,” she said modestly. What did she visualize when working towards her target this week? “I have a Mulbery handbag that I really want to get, that’s my long term goal at the minute, every time I hit a target I think of that.”

Our Head of Recruitment, Stacey Smith, has this tip “when I’m having a bit of a dip in my day and things are just getting a bit nuts, I shut my eyes for a moment and I picture my house. I walk through the halls of my five bedroom dream home, I put my Chanel clutch down on the granite workbench in my kitchen and I make a coffee from my shiny coffee machine”

 

Managing Director, Gilles Baudet, shared a more business focused visualization that he focuses on frequently “I see the people that I brought on Top Gun as Directors, I think about what steps going forward I need to take each day with each person to get them to that stage. It absolutely motivates me, and I hope it motivates them too to know I take their careers so seriously.”

 

My visualizations are nowhere near as progressed as my colleagues, and not even close to that of Managing Director, Gilles Baudet’s, but I’m getting there. Instead of fantasising of fitting perfectly into that wedding dress I’ve begun acknowledging the process of getting there. To whit I now have a graph beside my desk where I can check off every glass of water I drink, so I can say to reach my fantasy, I need to do x, y and z and it will become a reality.

With visual reminders, both mental and physical I’m that much closer to making it a reality, and you could be too. Good luck!

Good Morning The Interactive Team

The Interactive Team guide to becoming a Morning Person

Our Managing Director Gilles Baudet has a phrase he likes to say in the morning: “beast mode on”

He is notoriously and quite enviously regarded throughout the company as the type of Morning Person few of us can even dream of (geddit?)

Now a couple of weeks ago he gave us some of his daily habits for success and a lot of them were related to his morning routine – which got me thinking – what other habits are out there that help people turn “beast mode on” in the morning and hit the day running?

So after asking around HQ and scouring the internet I’ve put some of the best wake-up routines to the test…

 

Start the night before:

How can you get better at waking up before you’re even gone to sleep you wonder? It’s a concept called sleep hygiene and it covers everything from bedtime to whether your phone should be beside you or not (hint: it shouldn’t). It stands to reason that if you’re better at falling asleep then logically you should be better at waking up, let alone more rested and ready for the day ahead.

For instance – always make sure to go to the loo before bed – if your body wakes you up for a 3am trip to the loo you can throw off your whole sleep cycle and ruin your attitude for the next day.

Start turning off the lights above you and opt for softer lamps instead – we often spend all day flooded in artificial light meaning your body is tricked into thinking it should be awake when it shouldn’t.

And another aspect of sleep hygiene is putting down your electronics an hour before you go to bed. This was definitely the hardest part of the experiment for me. I’m always clutching my phone, and appallingly feel lost, sometimes literally (thank you Google Maps!) without it. But an hour without your phone before bed can be surprisingly useful. I started moisturizing before bed (a first for me), and picking the next day’s outfit before laying in out ready to go in the morning. Knowing I didn’t have to waste time the next morning uhming and ahing over an outfit made a nice change to the routine.

 

Do something that makes you want to get out of bed each day:

This seems pretty obvious but if you loathe your job, chances are you’re not bounding out of bed every day to get to it. Your ability to get out of bed depends on how motivated you are for the day ahead of you, so if you have zero motivation you have zero desire to get out of bed.

This was Gilles personal recommendation, “I love what I do, I love the energy, the atmosphere and the industry, that’s why I’m so excited every single day” so find what it is that you love doing and then that daily struggle out from under the bed covers won’t seem so bad!

Now I do love my job, The Interactive Team HQ is a terrific environment to work in, we have in-jokes, and parties, and genuinely care about each other and the work we do but I still couldn’t attack the day with the same vigour as the Managing Director, Gilles Baudet. Instead what I started doing was scheduling one really exciting task for each day, giving me something I was just dying to get into work to do – and I’ve been early to work every day this week.

 

Exercise in the morning:

Now, I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t managed to do this one yet! But I’m assured by the girls in the adjacent office that it is a must for becoming a Morning Person. A gym has just opened around the corner from our Glasgow HQ so I know a lot of the other staff in the office have joined so I suppose I’ll drag myself along – but the science behind it is sound.

The logic is that, by exercising first thing in the morning you’re kick starting your metabolism and signaling your body that it needs energy for the day ahead. Also, by the time the end of the day rolls around – who has the energy for a workout – let alone the motivation?

Other benefits are that allegedly an early morning workout encourages you to eat healthier throughout the day, so its really win-win – so now I really don’t have any excuses for skipping the morning gym sessions with the rest of the office!

 

Resist the temptation of the snooze button:

I told a lie earlier, this was the hardest part, but while I managed to put down my phone each night I did not manage to swear off hitting the snooze button every day. Rationally I know I can, but it was very hard changing the habit of a lifetime.

You see, when that first alarm rings out, truly, how good is the quality of your sleep for an additional 10 minutes? Rubbish. Now if you’re like me your body has learnt to sleep through the sound of your alarm, despite it being beside my ear, and when you do eventually wake up you’re still groggy. Well there’s an explanation for that. If you wake during your REM (rapid eye movement) cycle you’ll remain tired as your body hasn’t completed the sleep cycle.

To tackle this common issue there are a plethora of apps out there that monitor your breathing and movement while you’re asleep, waking you at the best possible time to maximize wakefulness for the next day – meaning no more snooze button!

 

 

So which technique worked best for me? Well, surprisingly the phone free zone had a very large effect on me, though maybe a whole hour was pushing it! Having a task I was looking forward to each day waiting for me at The Interactive Team HQ also made a difference in my motivation for getting out of bed – but as for exercise and eliminating my snooze button – the jury is still out.

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My Top Gun Experience – Gilles Baudet

As you probably know last weekend we took our quarterly Top Gun Weekend in Cumbria; it was massive fun and a terrific chance for some of the best performers in the business to network with people from every office across The Interactive Team. I’ve received a lot of questions about the trip, so I wanted to take the time this week to give my thoughts on the long weekend and share some of my experiences.

 

11203112_629347747165652_23448825850582038_nI think from a business perspective, probably the most beneficial aspect of our Top Gun trips is that with people there from every office you start to realise that the company is bigger than just the city you work in. You see that other people are going through the same Professional Development Programme as you, its comforting and its motivating to know that they’re going through the same stages, the same struggles and the same triumphs as you. It really gives you a sense of the bigger picture of the company, there are a lot of people up and down the country that are working towards our company goals.

I think its really great that after a Top Gun trip people can take that sense of perspective back to their own office, take that scope and that realisation back to their own teams and share their renewed enthusiasm and motivation.

 

Another thing that was great for The Interactive Team was that the activities we chose to do were completely based on team-work and that can only strengthen the business as a whole. The whole weekend was down to teams, we had this terrific competition where for every person that participated we got awarded points and whichever team had the most at the end of the day won. We really had to stick together, at every stage and every obstacle it was always about the team – team spirit was essential, and I have to say Team DWD totally rocked it!

 

Personally I think every single one of us benefitted from the trip. Everyone got to know each other on a personal level, you know doing non-work related team activities really brought people together on a different level – and it was an absolute blast.11201885_629347373832356_2998032484069049371_n

I think everyone really liked gorge walking in particular. It got us out of our comfort zones, doing things I certainly don’t normally do like jumping off cliffs into water – it was really “conquer your fears” type stuff.

I honestly can’t wait for the next trip, I don’t know where it will be, or when we can squeeze it in, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll have had a positive effect on every single person that was chosen to attend.

I expect the people that attended this time to take the lessons they learned about leadership and team spirit back to their offices and gear everyone else up and teach others those lessons – which I don’t doubt for a second that they will.

 

And one last thing, I keep being asked what will it take to get on the next trip? Well this business is a meritocracy, so if you work hard every single day, hit your goals, display a powerful positive attitude that changes the attitudes of the people around you then you’ll have more than earned your place next time – and I can’t wait to spend the weekend with you when the time comes.

The Interactive Team resume

The Interactive Team’s 4 best ways to get your resume noticed!

 

On Monday Bloomberg Business released an article stating the best and worst fonts to use on your resume having interviewed top typographers about the subject. Some conclusions came as a surprise to no one – ie that fonts like Zapfino were unsuitable, and that Comic Sans was right out. But what did come as a surprise was the analogy of one expert, Brian Hoff, who stated that using Times New Roman in your resume was the equivalent of “putting on sweatpants” and showed a lack of care or interest in getting the position you applied for.

So with that mental note made for future, the question is how can you show a future employer that you’re motivated to get that position?

The resume is a very tricky format to get right. With fistfuls of statistics stating the average number of job applications sent out before a graduate lands a job, and the 6-second rule (recruiters say they only take 6 seconds to look at a resume before deciding if the candidate will get an interview) it’s no wonder executive resume writing is a multi-million dollar industry.

Now, very few of us can afford the services of a professional resume builder, but there are a number of things to consider that will help get your resume top of the pile.

I asked the Head of Recruitment at The Interactive Team Head Stacey Smith for some of her top tips to get your resume noticed.

 

1. Get past the gatekeeper:

What a lot of people don’t realise is that the manager, or the person conducting the interview is not the first person that sees your resume.

In every medium to large company there is a gatekeeper, whether it be software that filters out those with spelling errors, or an HR manager – almost all companies have a way of choosing the best candidates before showing it to the person who has the final say. Often the person looking at the resumes has very little idea of what their manager is really after and 9 times out of 10 the actual job description will be inaccurate because it wasn’t written by an expert in the field. For instance HR managers don’t typically have the knowledge to say what experience will make you a good mechanical engineer.

The job of a good resume is to get you past the gatekeeper to show off your talents to the person that can appreciate your skills and expertise.

Ideally every resume you write should be tailored to the company you’re applying to.

While this may seem obvious, Stacey states “its startling how often we get resumes that haven’t been written with The Interactive Team in mind”

A good idea is to hit on keywords from the job ad, that way if they’re using software to filter out candidates you’ll get through, and if an HR manager or recruiter is reading it they’ll know you’ve taken the time to tailor your resume to their company – leaving a good first impression before you’ve even stepped through the door.

 

2. Length and formatting :

Unless you have particularly extraordinary experience, that you just have to include, the rule of thumb for resumes is one page only. That is not to say you can’t include a lot of information in that space. With some creative formatting and a good typeface choice you can fit a surprising amount of information into one page. If you head on over to Behance you’ll find hundreds of downloadable, and often free resume formats created and shared by graphic designers keen to show off their own imaginative ways of displaying their resume. For a graphic designer a creative and beautiful resume is a must, but for the rest it’s a nice perk that really helps you stand out from the pack. A quick scroll through the top performing templates and you’ll find people are increasingly turning to the principles of infographics to make a visual impact in a resume, examples include bar graphs displaying your expertise level of different software, and timelines showing the length of time spent at previous jobs.

“I remember receiving an application for our Events Team, and right away it stood out, the different sections were divided with coloured boxes and she’d chosen different fonts to make headlines pop – that resume belonged to our now Head of Media Naomi Lewis,” Stacey recalls. She continued “don’t be scared to set yourself apart from the crowd, if someone has a vibrant side of their personality we want to see it”

 

3. Profile yourself:

While on LinkedIn a photo means you’re 14 times more likely to be viewed, the same is rarely the case with a paper resume. Instead resumes with photos are often put aside because employers are concerned that they might positively or negatively discriminate against someone based on that photo. Say you’re wearing a pale blue colour in your photo, but another candidate is wearing an orange tie in theirs – it just so happens that the HR managers favourite colour is orange, and they think baby blue is tacky – wham, your six seconds are up and you were dropped for choosing the wrong photo. So, its fair to say it’s safest to skip a photo where you can and force the person viewing it to look more deeply into your resume.

If you still want to get a part of your personality across instead include a profile or About Me section in your resume. With a profile front and centre on your resume you get a chance to put your best foot forward straight off the bat. Think “versatile software engineer with 10 years experience across dynamic client briefs” for a profile, or a little bit of humour in your About Me ie “an undying love for Jaffa Cakes”

According to Smith a humourous line in an About Me section can make all the difference, “it gives us a sense of the person and whether they’ll suit our corporate culture, which is really important to us”

 

4. Show Ambition:

This may not be true for every job but over at The Interactive Team we like candidates to show us they’re looking for a career they can shine in. Managing Director Gilles Baudet goes through our handpicked candidates and selects the ones he wants to personally interview “I love seeing a candidate showing that they want to make something of themselves, that’s what I look for and that’s what I hire on, average people with the above average desire to succeed,” Gilles says.

In a more general way, a show of ambition can demonstrate to a potential employer that you’re looking to stay in that job role for some years – a company doesn’t want to hire a job hopper because all the time they’ve put into training you is effectively lost money if you leave within a few months. So saying you’re dedicated to growing with the business you’re applying to says to an employer that you won’t jump ship the first time things get rough.

 

 

Finally I asked Stacey what her pet peeve was “someone that doesn’t give detail, I want to get a sense of the person I’m recruiting before I give them a call,” she says. And what is her personal recommendation to any jobseekers out there? “I’d recommend an objective statement, so we know what you’re looking for out of the role, it shows we’re on the same page and is a sure fire way to get to the next stage of the interview process”

 

So there you have it, The Interactive Team’s review of the 4 best ways to get your resume noticed!

 

If you’d like to learn more about careers with The Interactive Team, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us or give us a call. Good luck with your search!

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The Interactive Team April Top Gun Weekend

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Long before The Interactive Team was founded, Gilles Baudet had a vision. Now that might sound a little twee but hear me out. The formation of a business can happen in many ways, sometimes you have an idea of a terrific product or service, sometimes you have a vision of the sort of company you want to build, one of principles and innovation, or sometimes you start with a great name and you go from there. Now Gilles Baudet had two out of three, but he didn’t have a set name that encompassed everything he wanted his new business to be. So he went back to the fundamentals, what did he want the business to be about? Well Gilles Baudet wanted it to be dynamic, adaptable and cutting edge and so he chose Interactive. And then he wanted his new company to reflect what was at the heart of his business – people – and so he chose Team. If a business name is to truly reflect who you are as a company it should hit on the things most important to you – and to Gilles Baudet the Team is one of the most important things in his life.

 

10422553_629348150498945_6319728089282066312_nAs the company grew Gilles Baudet made the conscious decision to continue investing in the Team – recognizing it as a central aspect of the business. It’s now become customary to place importance on team building and networking exercises, everyday we take time to learn from each other – in fact new Team members are often surprised that a company our size would sacrifice so much of the day to it – but the truth is our Team is pivotal to our success. To CEO, Gilles Baudet, this investment is a no-brainer – which is why every quarter we select the top (and the up and coming) Team members across the whole company to go away for a Top Gun long weekend. Its always massive amounts of fun – but every activity, though seemingly innocuous, is specially picked and designed to maximize team building and trust.

Last weekend, from the 24th to the 26th the best performers from all the offices, from all the cities we operate in across the UK came together in Deneholme Country House in Nothumberland for three unforgettable days.

 

Our Head of Recruitment Stacey Smith said, “everyone arrived excited, but understandably nervous for the days ahead, but by the end of it we all left the best of pals”

 

Some of the most fun was had on the second day when the group was split into two teams for an adventure competition day. For every person that participated in the activities the team would gain a point – so to win the trophy at the end of the day it really required everyone to muck in and have a go. By having such directed activities with clear goals, it really gave everyone the chance to open up and get into the spirit of the trip. With every encouragement and every pat on the back the bonds of team-work and trust grew, it was a terrific trip and many Team members are already planning their next quarterly goals to ensure their place on the next Top Gun weekend.

Below are some snaps of the Team enjoying some of the activities, to view the whole album, please visit our Facebook page here

 

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