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Communication Etiquette

While we might be used to texting or Whatsapping, when it comes to the world of work, you’ll need to communicate with other people in different ways. Here’s how: 

Emailing Someone

Find out who your email is for – if you aren’t sure many companies have contact details on their website.  If you can’t find this then you can begin the email with “To whom it may concern” 

If you know the person’s name, make sure to spell it correctly or use the name they prefer to be known as (for example, if a person’s name is Christopher but they prefer to be called Chris, use Chris)

Something else to be mindful of when emailing employers lots of names can be used for different genders, so make sure not to assume that someone called Taylor is a man, or that someone named Aubrey is a woman. 

Emails shouldn’t be too long, say what you need to say briefly. Nobody likes reading paragraphs upon paragraphs of text!

End the email with Regards, Kind Regards, Yours Sincerely, whatever you think suits best and your name. Leave other forms of contact if you won’t be able to access that email address for a reply.

Using the Phone

If you get nervous on the phone then you can have a script prepared for what you are going to say. You can rehearse this if you like.

Make sure to have a pen and some paper nearby whenever on the phone to take down notes, numbers, etc. 

Introduce yourself on the phone when answering or if a call has been transferred to you. If someone has helped answer a question for you, remember to say thank you and always say goodbye at the end of a call!

If you are in a new job, ask to find out how the phone works, how to put the phone on hold, how to transfer a call to another phone, how to put it on speaker etc.

Face to Face Interaction

Face to face communication is one or thee not, most important forms of communication. It is extremely important to maintain a high level of professionalism during business conversations. Address the other person with their proper name. Remember the name and do not ask the name repeatedly. 

Posture is key in a face to face meeting as you a representing yourself and the business you work for. Make sure you are not slouching or fidgeting a lot as this can become distracting to the others in the meeting. Foul language should never be on the mind in a professional face to face meeting as you are representing a business, stick to the subject of the meeting and do not drift off to general chit chat to the other members of the meeting, only do this is there is time after the meeting.

Posting a Letter

Write the name and the address on the recipient on the front of the envelope. If you already have stamps then the stamp goes on the top right-hand corner of the front of the envelope. You can put a return address (home/company address) on the back and the post office will send your letter back if it wasn’t delivered to the recipient.

If you already have your envelope stamped then just pop it into your nearest Post Box.

If not, pop into your Post Office who will calculate the cost of posting your letter/package. They’ll also ask if you want to send it first or second class. First means they aim to deliver it within the next working day, second means they aim to deliver it within 2-3 working days. If your letter contains expensive/important things there are different versions of recorded delivery you can use to make sure it’s delivered to the right person – plus some offer compensation if anything happens to your package. 

Think Before You Tweet!

Millions of people tweet every day and the consequences of over-sharing on social networking sites may lead to serious matters with colleagues, your boss, and in serious cases, the police. Below, are some examples that you should consider thinking about before you send it out for the world to see!

Inviting Twitter to the Party

Your parents are away and you’ve got the house to yourself for the night. You might have thought of having a couple of people over or perhaps your friends have convinced you to have a small ‘gathering’ of people from school. However, putting an invitation out there on social media can, unfortunately, end pretty badly.

In 2012, a girl on Facebook created an event for her 16th birthday. Having not made it private, it resulted in over 30,000 people turning up to a small village in Holland to celebrate in what was classed as a ‘Project X’ style party, ending in riots and several individuals injured.

So, next time you’re planning on having some people over, make sure you invite the ones you trust and stress an invite-only policy if the word spreads. It’s best to stay clear of promoting your get-together on Twitter or Facebook entirely and remember to get your parents’ permission first to prevent serious consequences happening.

Posting a Tweet about your Boss

Your Twitter account may be private and may not mention the company you work for or follow any of your colleagues, but the consequences of being reported to your boss by a colleague can end badly and result in serious outcomes.

Keep in mind, once your tweet is public to others, they can easily retweet what you said or you might have forgotten that someone you work with follows you and they could easily pass it on.

Avoid tweeting about work troubles completely. If you are experiencing problems at work, make sure you speak to your manager or someone in your company’s HR department so that the issue can be resolved.

Alcohol on a Work Night

Although going out with friends after a long day at work can be tempting, going out and then posting a few tweets about it during or after the gathering when you’re supposed to be working could be regretful.

Doing this at a constant basis and turning up to work unwell or hungover can be a serious matter as it can affect your ability to work and could lead to disciplinary issues with your boss. 

Guilty of the Over-Share

If you’re chosen for jury duty, more than likely you’ll be desperate to tell your friends and family about your day in court, people will be asking you to give them the details of what went down, however, once you are a juror, the jury room is the only time you may discuss the case when every juror is present.

It is a serious criminal offence for anyone to try gather details from a juror about anything discussed by the jury surrounding a case, even when the trial has been concluded.

If there is anyone outside the jury that is trying to get information about the case, this should be reported immediately as this is also a criminal offence.

Tweeting or sharing your verdict anywhere online, even if it’s true or not, will not be taken softly by court officials or the police, so do not take any risks!

Apprentices’ Skills Become Priority

Apprenticeships are resulting in fulfilled employees and employers as the training has helped benefit their organisation and future-proof the business.

A survey designed for over 5.000 apprentices conducted by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has resulted in over 95% would recommend an apprenticeship to friends, family and others.

A result of the 79% of individuals that completed the survey, 8 out of 10 showed a high level of delight with their apprenticeship training and the overall majority of candidates that completed the survey are intending to continue working with their current employer. A previous SDS survey involving individuals at the six-month post apprenticeship stage supports this as the majority of the candidates confirmed they were still working for the same organisation.

Skills Development Scotland’s ‘In-Training’ survey was created to learn the current apprentices’ awareness of their experience in training and employment. The survey also resulted in the majority of individuals wanting to take on an apprenticeship as there is an opportunity to achieve new skills in the workplace rather than going to college or university.

The quality of the apprenticeship training was rated very highly by the majority of the apprentices shown by the results of the survey.

Continual Work Development

Katie Hutton, Director of National Training Programmes at Skills Development Scotland said: “The in-training survey forms part of our continuous improvement work, ensuring that we gain feedback from apprentices on their level of satisfaction and the quality of their apprenticeship.”

“The results provide some interesting insight into apprentices, in terms of aspirations and what motivates them. Most are satisfied with their job, indicating that apprenticeships can help businesses effectively manage employee retention.”

Conducted by Skills Development Scotland, an Apprenticeship Wellbeing Survey was launched at the beginning of 2019 to understand the former apprentices’ continual outcomes, the individuals completing the survey reported high levels of satisfaction and well-being.

Succeeding with the Correct Skills

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn has embraced the results of the survey and said: “I am delighted to see the results of this survey and the high satisfaction scores from Modern Apprentices which reflect the partnership between apprentices, employers, and training providers to ensure the success of Scotland’s Apprenticeship system.”

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for young people to achieve the skills and experience they need to succeed in the world of work and I am particularly heartened to read that 96% of Modern Apprentices would recommend Apprenticeships to others.”

Are you an employer that is interested in implementing this for your current staff members or looking to hire a brand new apprentice for your business? Or are you a young person that is looking to kickstart your career with a modern apprenticeship? We can make that happen! Get in touch on 01355 698011 and turn that consideration into a reality!





Interview Skills: Listening

One of the most important skills required in the workplace during a modern apprenticeship is active listening. Active listening means listening intently and responding to what the other person is saying. We have compiled some tips to help improve your listening skills. These tips are useful for both interviews and during your apprenticeship:

Be Relaxed and Calm

Women at interview listening to each other

Take a breath and try to imagine what the other person might be thinking and feeling before you respond. How would you feel in their position?

Remember, good communication is key for successful relationships and friendships.

 Let them Know You’re Listening

Listening Splash- Sixth Sense Training

Acknowledge the person speaking with a nod, a smile or a “yes” every now and then to let them know you are paying attention to what they are saying. 

Pay Attention!

 

Concentrate on what the person speaking is actually saying. It may change how you wish to respond when it is your turn to speak.

Give Eye Contact

Listening- Rainbow Room International Modern Apprentices

Try to maintain regular eye contact while they’re speaking, without continuously staring. You don’t want to intimidate or put off the person speaking.

Good eye contact is one of the most important tools for effective communication. 

Give the Speaker Regular Feedback

Chalkboard with "Feedback" written.

Show that you understand where the speaker is coming from by reflecting the speaker’s feelings such as, “I can see why you are frustrated” or “That is great you are so happy”

Make Sure You’ve Understood what they have Said 

A good way to ensure that you have understood the main points of a conversation is to repeat what they’ve just said in your own words. An example of this would be “So, what you’re saying is . . .”

Remember to only repeat what was said and not to form your own conclusions.

Wait for the Speaker to Pause to Clarify any Questions

If you don’t understand a part of a conversation, of course you should ask the speaker to elaborate or re-explain. However, rather than interrupting it is more effective and polite to wait until a gap in the conversation before speaking.

Don’t Interrupt

It is important not to interrupt the other person when they are speaking.You may strongly agree or disagree with what they’re saying but you should listen to all points made, let them finish, and then respond in a respectful, constuctive manner.

 

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What do the Managers Think?

Sixth Sense Training can only produce the outstanding modern apprentices that we do with the support of great managers. We spoke to some of these managers about their experience with apprenticeships in their business and the benefits they have gained.

Concept Northern – Barbara Borthwick

“Josh has settled in really well in his role at Concept Northern, he’s become a very integral part of the team, he’s very dedicated to his role and he’s absolutely loving his modern apprenticeship.”

“Sixth Sense Training has brought another dimension to Josh’s job role, as well as learning everything he has to within the tech workshop he’s also got the support of his assessors, the assessors have been fantastic.”

“We’ve seen Josh grow, his confidence grow, he’s much more proactive and he’s been putting himself forward for things he has never done before. It’s been an amazing difference to him.”

“We’ve found an ideal situation with Sixth Sense Training as they were able to recruit and place an apprentice with us, I would highly recommend them for any of your apprenticeship needs.”

 

The Art of Upholstery – Paul Mulrine

“I’ve seen a massive improvement in the business, it’s made a massive difference to us with Andrew just being able to tune into modern technology.”

“Sixth Sense Training made a massive difference to my business and I can’t imagine going back to the way we were before. I can’t do anything but recommend them to anyone else.”

 

Young Enterprise Scotland – Mark Armstrong

Our colleague, Scott decided to focus on videography when he started with YES and through Sixth Sense Training with his online courses, he developed a real skill base and focus on videography for YES.”

“As a training provider, Sixth Sense Training really focused on Scott’s requirements to assist him with his job at Young Enterprise Scotland, he got regular check-ins every couple of weeks from his assessor and helped him through his course work.”

“Working with Sixth Sense Training has really enhanced Young Enterprise Scotland’s knowledge of what they do, but also enhanced Scott’s opportunities for the future.”

 

Cailean Property – Colin Storrie

“I decided to take on a modern apprentice from Sixth Sense Training as we identified a gap in our team where we felt that we had to get ourselves up to the digital age that’s coming now and I wanted to get Mathew’s skills involved in the company.”

“I found Sixth Sense Training to be very helpful, I was very impressed with the candidates Sixth Sense Training supplied. Mathew has progressed very well with his apprenticeship training, he now uses the skills that he’s learned during his course in his day to day tasks.”

“Would I recommend Sixth Sense Training? Yes, I would and hopefully, we can find another good quality candidate by using them again.”


If you would like more information on implementing Modern Apprenticeships in your business, fill out the form below.

Trending on MyMA… Market Segmentation

Market Segmentation

When we talk about you or your organisation’s market, we’re talking about all customers and potential customers. This means that any time you’re doing or saying anything which could possibly promote your business, this is classed as marketing. It makes sense then that all types of marketing endeavors should be well planned and understood so that they are as effective as possible.

A Market Segment is a group of customers with shared characteristics. Market segmentation is the process of establishing different groups of customers and potential customers with a shared characteristic. For example, a sports retailer might segment their customers into different groups with a shared interest in specific sports like football, golf, tennis etc.

 

Other shared characteristics which are different from a business’ other customers are…

  • What they want from a product or service
  • The amount they are able to or willing to pay for it
  • The quantities they buy
  • The types of media that they use
  • The time and place that they buy
  •  
Market Segmentation

Customer Classification

Customer Classification is the process of assigning a label to your customer based on how ‘good’ they are. For example, a regular customer of yours might be classed as a ‘valued’ customer and is therefore eligible for certain benefits.

Customer Classifications are generally used at the discretion of each business, however, common types of customer classifications are Valued Customer, VIP, Premium Member,  Founder, Gold, New Customer etc.

It’s important to remember that these two types of groups are different and usually unrelated. For example, your own business may have many ‘good’ customers, but they are probably from a variety of market segments. Your valued customers probably live in different areas, buy different products and respond to different types of marketing. So, customers although in a different marketing segment, can have the same customer classification.

Identifying Characteristics, Motivations, and Behaviours of Potential Target Customers

There are many different ways of getting this information. Some companies ask for feedback after doing business with their customers. This allows the company to find out what made them buy from them at that point in time.

Another way of finding out what characteristics your potential customers may have in common is to hold a focus group. This is when a group of consumers are gathered together and then given the opportunity to share their opinions on a product or service. The information is then taken back to the company and analysed.

However, the most common way of gaining this information is to simply ask your customers for it! Surveys, or questionnaires are cheap and they allow you to find out exactly what your customer’s needs and expectations are.

 

These are all effective forms of market research and allow you to cluster your customers based on their characteristics.

For more information on our Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship or our short Marketing ITA courses, get in touch using the form below:



Spotlight on Lee Fyfe

Spotlight on Lee Fyfe: Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

My Career Journey Before Sixth Sense Training

In March I started a Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship at Sixth Sense Training. Before deciding to become a modern apprentice I was a Sales Advisor at Superdrug working part-time. Although the experience was good, it was not a job I wanted to pursue as a career. I had also recently completed an HNC in Events Management at college and decided to look for an apprenticeship, as I wanted a full-time job and income.  Digital Marketing looked like a great area to continue to improve the skills I had learned at work and college.

I wasn’t the best pupil at school, struggling with some classes, although I was much better with creative classes. I went to Calderglen High School and I enjoyed the experience overall. School was my first experience handling stressful situations and complete work with due deadlines. Unfortunately. my 4th-year exam results were poor and I only passed one exam. It dawned on me that I had to work hard in my final years in High School in order to achieve the grades I wanted to. I then chose classes I had a keen interest in such as Drama, English and Media Studies.  This worked well and I left High School with 2 Highers and a variety of National 5 qualifications.

When I left High School, I was unsure as to what I wanted to do as a career. I had no path to follow and it started to become a worry. That’s when I started looking at college courses and I struck an interest in the Events Industry. So I started the Events Management course to further my learning experience.

Beginning My Apprenticeship

When I graduated from college, I began looking for apprenticeships and discovered Sixth Sense Training online. They were advertising a Full-Time Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship. This was the moment I was waiting for, the job was something I was interested in doing. I applied online and I received a call from them a week later. I was invited for an interview and it was explained to me apprenticeship would entail and it went well. Thankfully, Sixth Sense Training came to a decision to make me part of their team as a Digital Marketing Modern Apprentice.

Before becoming a Digital Marketing Modern Apprentice with Sixth Sense Training, all I knew was that it’s a great opportunity to earn a wage and also a qualification at the same time but wasn’t really sure how it worked day-to-day I thought that you would just sit and learn about Digital Marketing like it was some form of school/college work but it’s nothing like that. You do have outcomes and units to complete, but you work on them at your own pace and there is also practical work involved, so there is a variety of ways to learn in a Modern Apprenticeship. My accessor meets with me every 2 weeks to evaluate my work and leaves feedback. The structure of a Modern Apprenticeship is fantastic and much better suits my style of learning!

My Roles and Responsibilities

As a Digital Marketing Assistant, I have a variety of roles and responsibilities. Some tasks I do on a day to day basis is schedule posts on Social Media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin using specialist software like HootSuite. I create content incuding advertising images, videos and GIFs for our website and social channels.

I also take part in events and Career days where we go to venues and schools to promote Sixth Sense Training modern apprenticeships and learning opportunities. These fairs have also a good opportunity to use my Events Planning skills as well as my customer experience to talk to the people interested in doing a Modern Apprenticeship.


Lee Helped film and edit (and stars!) in this short promo video.


I now regularly work with Podio, Hootsuite, Kickresume, and Adobe CC. I’ve been taught how to create content for our website and also post live vacancies and reviews. My team can now produce Testimonials and Promo videos. It’s an amazing experience learning the ways of a Digital Marketer with hands-on work. If I’m not shooting and editing videos or updating social media, I’ll be working on my e-learning work which builds my theory and knowledge of the marketing industry.

My Apprenticeship So Far

My experience so far has been amazing, I have enjoyed every minute of my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship so far. At first, I thought it was going to be a case of just sitting, working on my coursework until I completed it, but every day is different. There is great variety in my workload and you can work at your own pace ensure you understand everything. There is no pressure at all when undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship.

I am enjoying my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, it’s a great experience and I am adapting new skills. I love being part of the Sixth Sense Training team and I now have taken my first steps on my career path and further my knowledge and skills in the Digital Marketing Industry.  Overall my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship has been great and anyone who is unsure about a career path should consider a Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship.

My Next Steps

I want to complete my modern apprenticeship, and further my career and experience in digital marketing.



If you would like more information on implementing apprenticeships in your organisation, leave your details and we will get in touch.

 



Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship Splash

Spotlight on Jazz Fernandez: Females in Tech. #ScotAppWeek18

ScotAppWeek18

As part of #ScotAppWeek18, we sat down with Digital Marketing Modern Apprentice, Jazz Fernandez. We asked her about her apprenticeship and her advice for any other women looking to join the world of tech.

What is your job role at Sixth Sense Training?

I’m the Recruitment and Marketing Assistant at Sixth Sense Training and I’m currently completing my Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship. I work with the Recruitment Manager to help employers find candidates for other modern apprenticeships. My role involves posting job adverts on our website and advertising our job roles on social media sites. I also assist in interviewing candidates. I work with specialist social media marketing tools such as Crowdfire and Hootsuite to promote our roles and grow our audience.

Why did you choose to do a Modern Apprenticeship?

I chose an apprenticeship because when I was at school, I had struggled with the learning environment and my confidence was low. When I left school I didn’t have the grades I needed for college and had no work experience. A modern apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to gain a qualification in an environment that I enjoyed. My apprenticeship allowed me to find full-time employment and grow as a person and become an effective part of a team at the same time. I found the one on one tuition to be much more suited to my style of learning and it really helped with my confidence in my abilities.

What do you like the most about your apprenticeship?

#ScotAppWeek18 Jazz Fernandez I love the confidence and skills my apprenticeship has given me. Before I started my apprenticeship, I had suffered from really bad anxiety but there has definitely been a massive improvement in my mental health and my overall well-being since starting my apprenticeship. My managers have told me they have noticed a huge difference in my personality, and I am now more assertive. Hence, I’ve become happier to perform tasks well independently and much more competent at my job.

What would you say to other females thinking about an apprenticeship?

I would say do it! There’s nothing stopping you from doing an apprenticeship and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. The skills I’ve learned and the support I’ve had throughout my apprenticeship has been incredible and therefore I’d love to see more women working in S.T.E.M subjects too.

Apply Now

Jazz is currently completing a Diploma for Digital Marketing SCQF Level 6. If you would like to find out more about our range of modern apprenticeships, submit your C.V here.

If you would like more information on implementing apprenticeships in your organisation, leave your details and we will get in touch.



#ScotAppWeek18

Top 10 Interview Tips

After carefully following our ‘10 Tips For Creating a Great C.V. ’ the next step is to get prepared for interviews. In our line of work, we interview a wide range of candidates for a variety of roles within a vast number of organisations. Therefore, we see a lot of good and bad examples of interviews. The interview stage is the employer’s way of getting to know more about you so it is vital you prepare. However, interviews also give the applicant the opportunity to impress and to find out more about the job role and the organisation you would be working for. We understand that interviews can often be daunting experiences so follow our top 10 tips to ease your fears and show why you are the perfect candidate.

Do your research

It is always encouraging to speak with proactive candidates who have taken the time to research the job role and have a rough idea what will be expected of them. Most businesses have an online presence, so have a look at their website, social media, and even any online news articles to see what you can find out about the company, what they do, and their company ethos. Also be sure to have a copy of the job advert and try to match your skills and strengths with the job duties they are looking for.

Practice your responses

In an interview, you will be asked a series of questions in regards to your C.V. Interviewers are always interested to see what you can bring to the role, your skills, and your aspirations. These questions can seem scary, however by practicing your responses before attending the interview, you should be able to highlight your skills and provide evidence of how you might have previously used these skills to get tasks completed. Taking the time to practice really does pay off.

Dress for the job you want

First impressions are important and interviewers always like to see candidates making an effort rather than turning up in their jeans and trainers. Now, we understand that not everybody owns a business suit. However, a smart outfit and good personal hygiene are essential to show the interviewer you are professional, ready to work and be conscious of the employer’s environment and expectations of their workforce.

Don’t just talk the talk

We love receiving C.V’s highlighting a variety of skills and achievements. But reading about them is not enough for us to put you forward to an employer. We’re not expecting candidates to carry out a series of tasks like The Apprentice, but we need want to know why these skills would be beneficial to the position you are applying for and how you implemented such skills in previous roles. Don’t just say you are good at something, justify it.

Interview the Interviewer

Often, job adverts don’t mention the salary or the company we are recruiting for. We always try to fill the candidate in on these factors during the interview, but it’s good to see a candidate being proactive and preparing questions for the interviewer. This demonstrates your interest and level of research on the role.

Be early

But not too early. We don’t want you lingering around aimlessly waiting to be seen. Arriving five or ten minutes before your scheduled time is perfect. As a recruiter, there is nothing more annoying than a good candidate who turns up late for their interview slot. Or doesn’t turn up at all. Being early shows the employer that you are serious about the position and sets a good example. Be sure to factor in travel time and if you are running late, contact the employer to inform them. Use Google maps to plan your journey, know the building you are going to and allow extra time.

Employers love passion

There is nothing better than speaking to somebody who is genuinely passionate about the position they are applying for. Show why you are passionate and don’t forget that body language and tone are great indicators. Be as honest, open and positive with your interviewer as possible.

Use Professional Language

In Scotland, many people tend to use slang in normal conversation- “aye, naw, ken, yous” etc. However, no boss wants to hear this when they’ve just met you and if you are applying for a job that involves answering phones, dealing with the public or other businesses. Practice your interview voice and correct terminology. Remember that your interviewer is a professional and not one of your mates or family.

Breathe

Interviews can be a stressful experience, but try to relax and remain as calm as possible. Bring a bottle of water into the interview and take time to regroup if you are nervous. Try to use your body language to exude confidence by maintaining eye contact and shaking the interviewer’s hand at the beginning and the end of the interview. If you prepare correctly then you should be confident of your chances.

Follow Up

Although you don’t want to pester the interviewer for days after your interview and bombard them with phone calls when they are still trying to make their final decision. Instead, send them a short email within 24 hours thanking them for seeing you, reiterating your interest in the job and highlighting any additional details that may have been overlooked in the interview. It’ll keep you at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind and let them know you are serious about getting hired.

Good luck and remember that everything takes practice. If you aren’t successful at your interview, don’t get disheartened. You will get better with practice and eventually the right opportunity will come along!

If you would like more information on implementing apprenticeships in your organisation, leave your details and we will get in touch.




Interview Tips