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Steps to Employment: 5 Ways to Improve Your CV


When sending your CV into an employer, it is easy to slip

under the radar among other applicants for the same

position. The most important thing for a candidate to do is

to stand out and be memorable in the RIGHT way. Here

are senior consultant Paddy Steele’s top five tips for

what makes a successful candidate CV:


Make it Your Own

The term ‘CV’ actually stands for ‘course of life’, so make sure to tell yours! Make sure that your CV represents how you see yourself as an employee, and who you want your potential employers to see you as.

Keep it Simple

Here at Black Fox Solutions, one of the first things we ask our candidates for is a CV so that we can gain a comprehensive understanding of what experience they have, and what skills they can offer.

If it is difficult to read, or unclear what roles you have accepted in the past, we are unable to gain a holistic view of your experience and qualifications.

For example, as a graphic designer you may feel like a bright and colourful CV would best represent your skill set, however this could seem busy and distracting.

Part of our responsibility as recruiters is tailoring your CV for the positions that we put you forward for, so if it is difficult to read then it is difficult to edit!

Less is sometimes more, and the added bonus of applying through Black Fox Solutions is that you let us do the work for you!


When discussing tips for a successful CV, Paddy immediately recalled a candidate with a CV that was almost five pages long, and how he reduced it to just two and a half pages before he sent it to potential employers.

As well as being straight-forward to read, your CV must also allow employers to know within a short space of time whether you are suitable for their position!

Target your CV Towards Each Position you Apply For

It is common knowledge that employers sometimes look for specific words within your CV in order to assess your capability for the position.

Therefore, when applying for each job remember to reference the key terms and requirements that the position needs!

This means that the employer will be able to clearly pick you from the other applicants, as you have marketed yourself as specifically suited for the position!

SPG is More Important Than you Think

Not every role requires a candidate to have a perfect grasp of the written English language, but it is important to try and make sure that your CV is free from misspellings or accidental typing errors.

A CV is the first impression that an employer will have of you, and spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes can give the impression of carelessness.

Ask another person to read over the document, or if you have applied with a recruiter, we can do this for you!


As professionals in the recruitment industry, an integral part of our job is to ensure you, our client, are fully prepared for all aspects of a job application, including helping to prepare you for an interview, and applying for jobs on your behalf.

For further help in your pursuit of employment, contact Black Fox Solutions on 02890994111, or Follow The Fox on social media:




Black Fox Solutions


Black Fox Solutions

Has Our Increased Independence On The Online World Caused Today’s Rise In Mental Health?

Fifty years ago if you had asked someone what the year 2019 will look like, they would probably have said that people would be happier, working professionals would work less and everyone would have better lives because of inventions like Jetpacks, 3D television/gaming, Robotics and so on.

They wouldn’t have guessed that communication and online technology would have created such a massive increase in mental health issues, ones which are continuing to grow. Many people would agree that it’s hard to be an individual in today’s digital driven society, but it was also difficult years ago, when society adopted a more ‘tough love’ approach to life.

There was something to be said for this tough love type of attitude. There are a lot of lessons we can learn from driving on and learning for ourselves. For example, a 20-year-old would have been a bit more naive but a lot more resilient in the year 1969 than 2019. As nowadays when someone is down, they are sat down and asked if they want a hug, a stark contrast from the previous response which would have been to get on with it.

Of course, there are positives to an increased awareness of mental health, and this should continue to help those who are in need. The problem is that social media has swept in and put those with milder mental health issues on the same level as those with severe problems, something that needs to be sorted. It starts with people not allowing them to care so deeply about what others think of them and their life, because it’s more than likely that the influencer profiles they are admiring aren’t always what it seems. However, social media has made perfect look realistic, so now normal has become disposable.

Everyone is completely obsessed with what others thinks of them, today’s culture seems to live by the motto ‘it’s better to be liked, than to be right.’ Why is this? Because people are too afraid to speak their mind in fear of being disliked. Most millennials put more emphasis on looking happy on their profile’s than actually being happy, which is negatively impacting their mentality. What should society be doing to help a generation who are constantly becoming more concerned with getting a social media ‘like’ than being their own person?

In this age of distraction, it’s vital to pause and pay attention to what’s truly important. We live in a world focused on phones, internet and emails. As a society we must ensure that we don’t lose the ability to experience. If you want to live a creative and content life, the first thing to do is start paying better attention to it …

Guide Dogs NI Urge For More Support to Help Increase the Amount of Dogs Available

BlackFox Solutions joined forces with Reactive Recruitment to help Guide Dogs Northern Ireland by giving them a substantial donation. This is to help with the availability of guide dogs available to those in need and are encouraging others to do the same.

Guide Dogs NI are encouraging people to make donations to improve the decreasing percentage of dogs and emphasise that every little counts. There are around 1,4000 guide dogs trained in the UK every year, and many considerations that go into the matching process between a dog and their owner, including details such as tone of voice and age.

Kerri McCartney, Marketing and Events Manager at BlackFox Solutions and Reactive Recruitment commented, “I came across an online article highlighting the long wait that those in need of guide dogs have to face before being matched. I felt something needed to be done so I mentioned this to BlackFox & Reactive CEO Max Mackin and within minutes we had decided to make a sizeable donation to help try and make a difference. This is one of the great things about working for a company that has such a strong moral compass, that we can help charities like Guide Dogs with the fantastic work they do. I hope our donation will urge other companies to raise awareness of the importance of their social obligations and to donate also.

The Guide Dogs volunteers work tirelessly to help those in need, and we have massive respect for them and what they do.”

Paul Armstrong, Group Director at Reactive Recruitment said of the experience, “It was humbling to see the fantastic work Guide Dogs NI do and we are delighted to be able to support them as they support so many locally.”

Guide Dogs Northern Ireland have many options for you to offer your support, donations, volunteering and signing up to My Guide. This is a guiding service that matches trained sighted volunteers to people with sight loss who need support getting out and about. While someone is waiting for a guide dog, or may not wish to have a guide dog, a My Guide partnership focuses on achieving a set goal, this could be around building confidence, increasing physical fitness, working towards a guide dog partnership, or tacking social isolation by assessing local communities, hobbies or pastimes.

If you would be interested in doing your part, get in touch with them at or find out more online: My Guide

There is also the ‘Use Your Senses’ 5K run in Stormont Estate on 1st June. For more information, see here:

CEO of BlackFox Max Mackin Part Of Judging Panel For 40under40 Competition

Our CEO Max Mackin had a great time deciding the winners of Business First’s 40 under 40 with the rest of the judging panel.

Max commented, “It was extremely interesting to gain an insight into different characters working in Northern Ireland and what they contribute to the economy. It has also been very inspiring to see so many professionals working within different industries achieve so much!”

The event is organised by Business First Magazine and there will be a networking event on the 7th of June for all winners and judges to enjoy! To find out further details and gain access to the full list of winners, click here:

Northern Ireland Foodbanks Seeking Support! #ThisCanChange

We teamed up with The Trussell Trust Stewartstown ​Foodbank, to help by giving a sizeable donation and urge others to do the same.

Charities such as The Trussell Trust, are urging people to make donations and emphasise that every little counts. Recent statistics from the organisation show the percentage of people needing to use food donations has drastically increased. They revealed that December was the busiest month for foodbanks across the country last year, with some individuals claiming they could not live without the foodbank services.

The Trussell Trust network provided 159,388 emergency food supplies last December, a 49% increase on the monthly average for the 2017-2018 year. These statistics show the demand for foodbanks are significantly rising year by year.

Founder and CEO of BlackFox Solutions, Max Mackin commented: “It’s upsetting to think of the amount of people in need and it is admirable to see the work Edel Diamond and her team are doing to stop people going hungry. They do an amazing job and genuinely help a lot of people who need it.

Hopefully these circumstances won’t be the same next year, but for this to be the case, the government really needs to decrease the waiting time for benefits, the more people receiving their money, the less living in poverty. We are delighted to have played our part and hope many others will do this as well.”

Foodbank Manager, Edel Diamond, believes there is a lot more that can be done to help, she states: “All of our clients are referred for various reasons such as sickness, ill health, loss of job, loss of wages, benefit changes and benefit delays, any crisis at all which means they aren’t able to put food on the table.

“Since the introduction of Universal Credit, we have seen a 50per cent increase in footfall as clients are often waiting 5/6 weeks for their benefit without any money during that time.  So were before we might have had on average 3 families in each hour and a half session – that has now doubled and more.

We would love a society where foodbanks did not exist, however I fear they will be here for quite some time and if we can show compassion and offer a glimmer of hope to those in need then we are doing what we set out to do.

We could not function without our wonderful volunteers who give of their time freely and willingly.  They are the backbone of the foodbank and further to that the generous public and organisations and businesses like yourself.  Without food and financial donations, we wouldn’t be able to operate.”

Something needs to be done before this situation gets worse, to find out how to contribute visit The Trussell Trust for foodbank locations in your surrounding area and help make a difference.

Make New Recruits Feel Welcome in Your Company

When a candidate accepts your job offer it’s extremely important to make them feel welcome from the get-go. This starts with phoning the recruit to express your delight that they have decided to join your team and that you are looking forward to working with them. After the phone call send them an email, this email should include the company handbook which gives an insight into the policies they need to be aware of.

You should also mention benefits that will be offered, such as commission, holiday pay etc, include their start date, start time, office dress code and any other details that the new employee needs to know sending this information will help establish the employee’s role before they start.

Make a list of tasks that need to be completed before the new employee starts, this includes assigning a new computer or buying a new laptop. Installing any programmes and setting up a company email, LinkedIn page and so on.

Delegate a current employee to act as a mentor, this should be a manager or experienced employee that has some authority. Ask the assigned mentor to take the recruit on their first day for a coffee to chat about the company, this will help the new hire settle in.

Leave a welcome pack on their desk, this will make them feel appreciated. This may seem like a small gesture but it’s a fantastic strategy to help them get started, giving them high motivation levels from the get-go. This can include a company mug or notepads, pens with the logo on it.

After they have received their welcome pack, give them a tour of the company premises and introduce them to their colleagues. Organise a work lunch or after work drinks to help the new employee get chatting to the rest of the team and start building up work relationships.

Have a catch-up with them after their first week and then again after a month, this will give them a chance to express any ideas, concerns or queries they haven’t been able to.

It is worth your time to make the effort to help the new employee’s welcome positive and exciting. As it will help them feel comfortable and start their working journey in your company with a motivated and productive attitude.

Five Top Tips For Success in Recruitment

This article explores five secrets to success that all recruitment professionals need to know in this fast-paced industry.

1.) Know your product

A strong knowledge of how the recruitment process works will help a recruiter to adapt their sales presentation skills to a candidates or a client’s needs. There are a million things that can happen or go wrong during a recruitment process. Recruiters are there to fill a need that the customer is struggling with, whether it’s looking to employ someone or helping someone find a new role, you have to be able to listen to what they want and adapt your service to their needs.

2.) Repetition is fundamental

It’s extremely important to remember that practice makes perfect. If you ever watch a professional sportsperson and marvel at how they achieve such high standards, it’s because of years of practice. So when it’s time to deliver , it looks effortless. The same applies to the recruitment process, you have to learn your stuff before you start making money. You have to work hard at the little things, canvassing, prospecting, passive candidate selection etc. You need to be good at the basics before you start winning placements effectively, which will always take time, there is no short cut to success in recruitment.

3.) Be prepared for setbacks

Working in the recruitment world varies from day to day, some weeks everything will go wrong. Other weeks you just need a few wins to make it a good week. To be successful in recruitment you must positively and pro-actively be able to deal with setbacks, so if things go wrong, use it as a learning tool, (ask yourself ‘what could I have done better? Or ‘what could I have done sooner?) Every job has setbacks, so always shake it off and move on.

4.) Learn from your mistakes

Maintain the mentality that a mistake is not a failure if you have learned something from it. There will be plenty of people and situations that will try to knock you back. Being easily demotivated in this type of work is not an option, it’s how you react that will determine your overall, long-term success. Expect knock backs, they do happen, but also try and learn why they happened and apply what you learned to future deals.

5.) Success is a journey and not a destination

It’s extremely important to not get complacent, always strive to do more than the guy next to you. If you have had a few successes and earned money from commission, it’s easy to let complacency set in. So it’s extremely important to keep evaluating how proactive you are, if your aim is to earn more money, then you need to remain productive. Getting too comfortable is when things will go south, always maintain a work ethic that involves doing the basics, but always doing them often and to a high standard.

Are you a millennial feeling the effects of ‘Brexit Anxiety’? Here’s what to be aware of as the countdown continues.

Brexit, the controversial word that is on everyone’s lips right now. Does the mention of it make you stress? Are you sick and tired of hearing the countless online Brexit debates? Do you roll your eyes at the possible effects it may have on our economy? If so, you are suffering the dreaded ‘Brexit anxiety.’ You’re not alone, most millennials are feeling the same way, here are some aspects you need to know before it’s impending arrival.

Studying Abroad

Britain’s current EU membership allows citizens to live in over 28 countries, but Brexit is about to change this. Recent years have seen a surge in students studying abroad to experience the laidback and usually cost-effective lifestyle of cities such as Berlin and Amsterdam. Although studying abroad will still be possible, it will become 10x harder to get visas and will more like increase in cost.

Housing Opportunities

It’s thought that the housing sector will see a positive side to Brexit, with people stating the millennials and other generations alike will be able to get on the housing ladder easier, due to the many limits being brought about with Brexit. However, there are others who believe that the housing market will go the other way and that credit controllers will tighten, which in turn will make it harder to get a mortgage. We will have to wait and see what will happen when the 29th of March arrives.

Saving Options

If you have savings with a bank that happens to go bust due to the new regulations brought in, you will be compensated by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS.) The state of the economy is concerning as the countdown gets closer and therefore the Bank of England have decided not to increase interest rates. There could be an increase with inflation, which would be bad news for people saving. It is recommended to start looking at other easy access dates as the date for Brexit nears closer. There are also discussions about bank rate’s rising, this would result in higher savings rate for savers. There is also the risk that the euro will collapse, this currency has been in trouble for the past few years as countries including Greece, Spain and Italy have struggled to keep going.

Phone coverage

EU regulations confirm that mobile roaming will continue until the transition period ends, this date is the 31st December 2020. If the UK leaves without a deal, all mobile networks have the option to implement roaming charges and they decide how much. However, all customers must be notified when they have nearly used their data allowance and exactly when they have used it all up.

Driving License Opportunities

A no deal Brexit may require British expats to take their driving license again. Currently, expats living in the UK can drive freely but this rule could be able to change, forcing some residents to reach for the driving theory books again.

It’s not just millennials who will suffer, although I do sympathise with this generation the most. We have to remember it was the younger people in Northern Ireland who voted to stay in the EU in their masses. Some of the aspects highlighted are clear red flags for anybody in this day and age, mainly with the concerns around careers and trying to get onto the property market, which let’s face it, are important issues. This shows millenials are bound to face a bleak Northern Ireland, than anyone who was banging the Brexit drum two years ago could have ever imagined.

Dealing With Different Employees In The Workplace

Every workplace has many different employees with diverse backgrounds, cultures and personalities. With all these different types of people it’s inevitable there will be clashes from time to time, this article explores the top five most common personalities you are likely to find in the workplace and how to ensure all employees work as a team, no matter what their differences might be.

1.)   The Extrovert Employee

The extrovert employee often drowns out the voices of those more introverted personalities by loudly speaking their mind. You will notice in meetings and team project discussions when a certain employee continually speaks. You must be straight with this type of worker, let them know you are happy with their input but that they must allow others to have their say.

2.)   The Introvert Employee

The introverted employee usually prefers to blend into the background and go along with what other people decide. You must make extra effort to encourage them to come out of their shell and get to know their colleagues. This can be done by organising team get-togethers, such as dinner or after work drinks. Even though they may not say as much, this doesn’t mean that the quieter workers don’t have fantastic ideas. Pay attention to them and what they say, it just may be exactly what you need to hear.

3.)   The Gossiping Employee

If you hear an employee constantly gossiping about others, then it’s up to you to bring attention to this issue as it will get worse. Arrange a face to face meeting with them and warn them you won’t tolerate this type of behaviour in the office.

4.)   The Determined Employee

Even though having a driven employee is beneficial to productivity, they can sometimes become too focused on getting ahead and try and step on their colleagues to get there and this will destroy the teamwork ethic that you must try and keep up in your company. Keep an eye on them or delegate a manager to, be direct and reinforce to them daily that teamwork must be maintained throughout the workforce.

5.)   The New Employee

Arrange a welcome activity for your new hire when they start, this can include taking them for a coffee and chatting about the office environment or asking a manager to give them a tour around. Organise a team lunch or event within their first few weeks, this will help them get to know their team and settle in faster.

Hiring may different personalities will be beneficial to your company as they will all bring different ideas and attributes. Try to become familiar with their behaviour and try to echo that when speaking to them. They will appreciate the effort and will be more content in the workplace. Be observant and aware, some people will require a direct approach while others will need you to be more considerate.