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 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!


The Interactive Team reviews the 5 signs you should start your own business




When The Interactive Team started in 2012, it was Gilles Baudet, a couple of mates, and an office with bad carpeting. Gilles had moved cities to be closer to his wife’s family (not to mention country!), he had a baby on the way and he’d just left a well paid job with clear career progression. It was a risk, a big, big risk. But he didn’t choose to start his own business and risk everything without doing his homework first – he had a clear vision of what he wanted to create and a clear goal of where he wanted to end up. So once you’ve decided you want to start your own business – well – what else do you need?

It turns out there are certain qualities that every entrepreneur has in common; signs that the risk they’re taking might well pay off. So here is our list of some signs that you too should start your own business.



1 You want to be your own boss


Let’s be real – there is no reason starting your own business unless you truly want to be your own boss. If you hate working for someone else or are sure you could run a company better than the one you’re in at the moment it’s a sure fire sign you should start your own. But you’ve got to want to be at the helm of it all. Unless your business becomes the next Apple, the fact is that for a very long time you will be where the buck stops. Even if you do get the chance to retire from the frontlines and take a position on the board – well, Steve Jobs couldn’t stay away and creatively drove the business in what was technically his retirement. So if you can’t handle the limelight then maybe being an entrepreneur isn’t for you. But being your own boss is a lot more involved than it sounds and often decidedly less glamorous than it looks. Sure you can set your own hours, and maybe even get a few tax breaks, but every decision you make will directly affect the success of your business. Which brings us to our next point.



2 You’re a thrill seeker


Now you don’t need to go base-jumping every weekend to be an entrepreneur, but a sense of an adventure definitely helps!

If you’re risk averse then I’ve got bad news for you – starting your own business is not for you. Being an entrepreneur is the career equivalent of a rollercoaster. Your stomach will flip more than once – and if you don’t enjoy that feeling you’ll want to get off the second things get too bumpy. But starting your own business has ups and downs, and you’ve got to learn to ride them out. But if you can thrive on the uncertainty – and enjoy the thrill – then you’re more likely to succeed than your counterparts.

Tolerating ambiguity is an essential part of starting and running your own business. You have to get a kick from the tension of not knowing if you made the right choice until the outcome plays out.

Entrepreneur calls risk “the admission fee” of being an entrepreneur – so the question is, are you willing to pay that price?



3 You have thick skin


It takes guts to start your own business, there’s no doubt about it. There will be doubters along the way, sometimes it will feel like everyone around you is a naysayer but you need the ability to stand on your own two feet and rise above it.

When starting your own business having a thick skin is more than an asset, it’s a must. You need the ability to pick yourself up, brush off all the negativity and get on with it. If thick skin isn’t something that comes naturally to you then there are a few techniques you can try to improve your resilience.

One such technique is a simple meditation: imagine a valley, see how the light travels down the valley, from the tops of the mountains, down into the glen the light comes to rest on a river, winding between the rocks and the trees the river flows peacefully by. Its calm but has a strong current. Leaves from the trees have fallen into the river; they float gently and rest on the surface of the water for a moment before the current takes the leaf away. Focus on just one part of the river, just one section, see the leaves come into view and then in time, pass out of sight. Just observe them, nothing more; just let the leaves flow past you. Imagine your worries, your concerns, your preoccupations are the leaves, flowing past you, one after the other the river takes them out of sight and out of your mind.

Resilience is like a muscle the more you practice the stronger it becomes, take the time to develop it by meditating. By letting other peoples negativity just flow around you not only will you resilience grow but your ability to start and runyour own business will grow too.



4 You’re motivated


No one is going to make it happen but you. Thems the facts! You need motivation like you’ve never had before. What was the most motivated you’ve ever been in your life? Was it studying for exams? Was it running a marathon? Was it asking that hottie at the coffee shop out? Double it. Then triple that. That is just a touch of the level of motivation you’ll need to succeed in starting your own business.

Do an experiment: set yourself a goal, something you’re really unlikely to do – for me its waking up early – I can do it, I just never do, getting up at the first alarm is deeply unlikely. Then tell three people about your challenge, make yourself accountable to them by putting money on it – 20 bucks a pop? If you don’t achieve your goal by the end of the week you have to pay out. If you do succeed they’ll each give you – say £10 – or something else you find valuable. And there you have it, a pretty accurate model of how running your own company will be. If you can’t be motivated to stop yourself losing money, even in a silly bet with mates – well 50% of new businesses fail within their first 6 months – and now you know why.



5 You have self-belief


There’s more to being an entrepreneur than motivation, you have to believe, beyond any doubt, that you have what it takes to make it. And it’s a different quality to motivation, motivation can help you get up in the morning, but you need that voice in your head at night before you fall asleep saying “you’ve got this, tomorrow is going to be amazing” – if you don’t have self-belief then, like a soufflé, your business will fall flat. But more to the point, if you don’t start your business with the belief that it will succeed then why start one at all?

Self-belief can come from a number of places to give you the confidence you need to see your business succeed – maybe you’ve had a light bulb moment and thought of the next cool app or you’ve spotted an industry with low supply and high demand, or maybe your mind is always racing and you’ve spotted potential in one of your ideas – but the key in all this is to believe not only that your business will make it, but that you’re the one to make it happen.




And there you have it, while this list is by no means exhaustive, what you see above is the building blocks to starting your own business. So, do you have what it takes?