Bringing Best in Class Banking Services to Sierra Leone

Rokel Commercial Bank Ltd

It would be an understatement to say that banking was a competitive environment to operate in. Newcomers have to quickly find ways to mark themselves as fundamentally different to their competitors in order to flourish. As Corporate Vision’s ‘Most Outstanding Commercial Bank in Sierra Leone’, Rokel Commercial Bank has certainly showcased an exceptional dedication to the customer experience. We spoke with the Rokel’s Millicent Cole to find out more about its services and expertise.

The banking industry is, by all regards, a global goliath. Yet, as we’ve seen numerous times over the last two decades, smaller banks are seeing an intense period of growth through an unrivalled dedication to client centricity. Innovating where old brick and mortar stalwarts stale, too large to swiftly jump on the ever-changing needs of its customers, these newer, more agile banks are shaping the very future of the industry.

By every definition, Rokel Commercial Bank fits that mould. Specialising in wholesale and retail banking, Rokel was founded to provide futureproof financial services across Sierra Leone, as Millicent explains in her opening comments. “Ultimately, our core values and central mission haven’t changed since our establishment. We aim to build strong, long-lasting and satisfying relationships with customers, employees, shareholders and the communities in which the bank operates.”

These core values have made Rokel the fastest growing bank in Sierra Leone and firmly reinforcing its position as a brand name to trust for those looking for a bank that values their sincerely custom. After all, client-centricity is where Rokel looked to distinguish itself, and where it continues to distinguish itself to this day. Few banks on the greater African continent, let alone Sierra Leone itself, can rival the client-based culture that Rokel has nurtured over the years.

Millicent firmly believes that this alone has secured Rokel’s enduring success, and certainly offers a cornerstone for further success in the future. “One of our focus areas is in ensuring that the customer always feels valued, and always comes first. Our staff are essential to this and, naturally, are drivers for all of our values. Our staff ensure that we continuously improve and are dedicated to our customer’s satisfaction with our institution.” Millicent is keen to emphasise Rokel’s culture and team from the outset, as she continues “Our institution has a loyal and dedicated work force committed to serving its numerous customers. It also has a strong management team that is among the very best in the industry. We aim to recruit those that have the best skills on the market, so we can maintain our high standard of service. Rokel’s culture relies on hiring people that add value to the greater business.”

But it would be remiss to gloss over the challenges that Rokel have faced since its inception, and especially with consideration to the constant technological advancement that has occurred on the greater banking landscape. Client expectations are constantly changing, and banks of all sizes are having to change to accommodate. For Millicent and Rokel in particular, the challenges have been less on the client facing front, and more of a fact of operating in the financial sphere. “One of the largest issues we’ve faced is that of non-performing loans and advances. We quickly realised that we needed to re-position ourselves to curb further occurrences and get ahead of the game in that regard – to bring it to minimal levels. However, that challenge is far from unique to our institution, and many of our competitors are also constrained in this area.”

Yet, with this problem handled, Rokel is seeking to capitalise on the goodwill of its client base by expanding its digital options, as Millicent describes in her closing comments. “The future for Rokel lies entirely in the digitalisation of our operations. We want to ensure we stay contemporary, and that our customer enjoy a flexible, convenient and personal way of transacting business with us.” Rokel’s future, then, seems destined to be one of refinement, as it continues to improve its customer experience and demarcate itself from competitors in the region. With its focus on client-centricity, it remains the de facto banking leader in Sierra Leone, and the obvious choice for recognition in the Corporate Excellence programme.

Rokel Commercial Bank Ltd
Contact: Millicent Cole
Telephone: +23276660415

How To Construct Effective Advertising & Marketing Strategies

If you’re interested in making profits from your business, you should market your shop effectively. This means promoting your business through various marketing avenues. You can also resort to free or paid advertising programs, which are available online these days. Essentially, choose the method that’ll work best for your business’ promotion.

There are several methods and tools you can use to market your business effectively. For starters, you can check these marketing strategies can help your vape shop if you’re running one. In addition to that, you may also want to continue reading this article as it presents different advertising and marketing strategies applicable for any types of businesses:


  1. Use SEO

If you’re thinking of using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to market your shop, then make sure you understand everything about it. Here’s how you can use SEO to make an effective marketing strategy:

  • Utilize Relevant Keywords – When making your marketing campaign for your shop, you should focus on keywords related to your business. Make sure that your website contains keywords that your customers might use when searching for your products. If you’re selling women’s clothes, for example, your website should use keywords like “dresses” and “women’s shirts”. That way, you can show up more on search engine results looking for your products or services.

Keywords should also appear in your meta descriptions, page titles, and content. You should also make long-tail keywords–containing three or more keywords. With such, you can generate more traffic to your website.

  • Write Quality Content – People searching for your products are also looking for quality content that can solve their issues or answer their queries. That’s why you should also create content that can help your visitors stay on your website.

Furthermore, you can use articles to convince your visitors that your products are worth buying. Moreover, you can use SEO marketing strategy to drive more traffic to your shop.

  • Create Fast-Loading Pages – Nowadays, more people are getting more engaged with websites that load fast. Even if you have excellent products but your website loads slow, you can lose potential clients who visit your site. When this happens, your SEO ranking will go down since search engine crawlers consider such loading speed as a negative signal.


  1. Post on Social Media

Most retail establishments are now using social media to promote their businesses and their products on the internet – and you can hop into the bandwagon and do the same.  

You can post images on your homepage and use social networking platforms to share information regarding your products and services. You can also use social media platforms as a marketing platform because many people use these to search for their needs.

With social media posting, you can connect to more audiences. You can even use social media to establish long-term relationships with your existing clients. You can do this by featuring your shops’ products, promos, discounts, and even feedback. What’s even exciting is you can use social media to interact with potential clients using the messaging system.

When you establish your social media presence, more people will know that your shop exists and they’ll be encouraged to do business with you are your business is accessible online.


  1. Create Live Videos

Another way to market your shop is creating live streaming videos. This method is famous and one of the most effective forms of marketing.

As a tip, you should record all the happenings in your store so more people will get to know your vape shop. For instance, if a celebrity visits your shop or orders from you, feature it via a live streaming video. That way, the celebrity’s followers will see your shop, too. With such, you can attract more potential customers.

Here are more ways you can use videos to market your shop:

  • Focus on Stories – Instead of purely promoting your brand, you should create a valuable video content. For instance, create stories that can connect to your potential clients. Take note that the video shouldn’t be too long or too short but must be concise.
  • Do Vlogging – Another way to use video for your marketing strategy is to vlog relevant content to your products or services. You can use YouTube or Facebook to post your video content so you can reach more audiences.
  • Collaborate with Influencers – To make your video marketing more effective, you should collaborate with influencers. That way, you can connect to their followers.


  1. Connect with Industries

Another effective marketing strategy you can use is to connect with industries related to the niche of your business. By doing the simple tips below, you can build network to help grow your clients:

  • Attend Conference and Trade Shows – One of the things you can do to connect with industries related to your business is to join conferences and trade shows. Not only can you use the events to promote your shop, but you can connect with other businessmen related to your industry. By building your network, they can refer your business, as well.
  • Be Active on Business Sites – You must also have an online presence on business sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and others. That way, you can use it to build your network as well. Your contacts can be great resources to enhance your credibility and authority in the vaping industry. This is beneficial for your shop because the followers of your contacts will also see you as reputable.



There are many ways to advertise your shop. However, you need to choose the one that’ll give you more earnings. Once you decide what marketing strategies will work best for your shop, you must also fully understand how it works and how it can be beneficial.

One of which is to learn SEO and how it can benefit your website. When you optimize your website, you’ll be more likely to rank high on search engines. More people will probably visit your site since it appears on the first pages of the search engine results. You must not also neglect social media marketing’s power since more people are into their social media accounts each day. Post on your social media accounts and consider live streaming videos as well.

Moreover, let other reputable sites market your vape shop via affiliate marketing. That way, you can reach to more target audience.

Issue 12 2020

Welcome to the December issue of Corporate Vision magazine, providing you with all of the latest news and features from across the corporate landscape. For the last edition of 2020, we have collected a diverse selection of insightful pieces which reflect and celebrate the accomplishments many businesses have achieved during the last 12 months, despite all that has happened.

From a gigabit internet service provider for recreational spaces which has established a reputation for being an influential leader in wireless technology, to a successful platform that holds billions of data points on millions of UK companies, that can be used by investors, advisors and corporates as information and insights to make faster decisions – all of these businesses share common traits such as optimism and success which has enabled them to reach extraordinary heights during these times of uncertainty.

Taking time to provide us with an insight into how businesses can achieve excellence by incorporating three core pillars into their practice, is Mr Rodney Peyton, OBE MD who features on the cover of this month’s issue. Mr Peyton has outlined how Vision, Culture and Branding are key factors in achieving Corporate Excellence.

The only thing left to say, is that I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year, and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2021.

Corporate Vision Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2020 Corporate Coaching & Recruitment Awards


United Kingdom, 2020– Corporate Vision Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Corporate Coaching & Recruitment Awards.

The Corporate Coaching & Recruitment Awards returns once more in this most unusual of years. Yet, perhaps this year more than any other, the need for guidance and leadership has only grown as companies seek support in a situation that many would never thought to have encountered.

Recruitment, equally, has been in an unusual position, having to adapt to strange new procedures and best practices. A once very personal process became more distant, and – in many cases – demand for recruitment services skyrocketed. All in all, the space has seen disruption and challenges that, just a year ago, would have seemed very alien indeed.

Yet, coaches and recruiters remain unsung heroes of the global business community. Guiding and teaching, growing and innovating, they are accelerators of change and the drivers of improvement. Here at Corporate Vision we celebrate those that “drive the future of better business”, and who else fits that criteria more than corporate coaches and recruiters?

Awards Coordinator Gabrielle Ellis spoke on the success of this year’s programme and winners: “It’s been a challenging year for businesses across the world, regardless of size, location or industry of operation. As such, the work of coaches and recruiters has been an essential one, offering guidance and tools to whether difficulty and drive their company ever forward. In this, I offer a sincere congratulations to all recognised in this year’s programme and hope you all have a better, more productive and more successful year ahead.”

To learn more about these illustrious winners, and to find out the secrets behind their success, please visit



About Corporate Vision Magazine

Corporate Vision is published monthly with the mission to deliver insightful features from across the global corporate world. Launched with an eye towards bettering business practices across the board, Corporate Vision focuses on spotlighting advances in the HR, marketing, coaching, and recruitment spheres, with the goal to shine a light on the gatekeepers of better business. Those that help build, through no small amount of creativity and expertise, to develop an altogether more productive and more efficient world of work.

Corporate Vision is bought to you by AI Global Media, a B2B digital publishing group founded in 2010. The group currently has 13 brands within its portfolio that include luxury lifestyle, construction, healthcare and small business focused publications. AI Global Media is dedicated to delivering content you can trust.

Setting Up a Home Office During COVID-19

home office

If you’re required to work from home during the current coronavirus pandemic, you may find it a bit of a challenge to set yourself up to work without finding that your environment feels cluttered, disorganized and disruptive for the other members of your family. In this article, we explore a few ways in which you can set up a practical, functional home office.


Find the Right Space

This first step is absolutely vital. Consider what you need to do your work well, then think through the areas of your house to decide which is the most suitable. A good view and natural light always help with mood and morale, so think about setting up near a large window if there is one. Do you need privacy? Quiet? A lot of space? Enough sockets? You may not get everything on your wish list, but aim for at least a few. Don’t limit yourself to areas with suitable surfaces; furniture can be moved or a new desk purchased if need be. Wherever you set up your home office, you should try not to get in the way of others at home, as squabbles are the last thing you need when you’re all trapped indoors together.


Consider Health and Comfort

Crouching in an armchair or perching on a stool at a kitchen island may be fun and novel for the first few weeks, but you’ll soon start to notice discomfort, particularly in your back and neck. It’s definitely worth thinking about a new office chair and desk. Preferably, both should feature ergonomic design elements to help you maintain a good posture. You can also find accessories to attach to your existing desk and chair, such as lumbar cushion, mesh back supports and desk height converters.


New Tech

Is your current internet connection fast enough to run all of the programs and systems required to do your job? Is your computer of the right standard? Of course, your employer should be able to provide you with all of the tools you need to keep up with their demands, but this isn’t always possible. Upgrading your set-up can be expensive, but it’s possible to take out a personal loan in order to finance everything you require, or just to cover your costs until you receive reimbursement from your employer. You can get matched with loan options in less than 60 seconds with favorable interest rates and terms.



It’s difficult to know how long it will be before things can return to normal, so it’s a good idea to get comfortable and create a working environment that you can enjoy long-term. You might consider redecorating the whole space, or simply decluttering and adding a couple of attractive features such as plants or pictures. We highly recommend working with the curtains open, or even the window if it’s warm enough, to stay connected to the outside world. The effort will definitely be worth it. After all, a pleasant workspace can help to relieve stress and make you far more productive.

Starting an Online Business: The Must-Haves Before You Start

ecommerce automation

Firing up a brand-new business online can be incredibly exciting, and it is easy to want to dive headfirst into its launch. However, there are a handful of tasks you should have completed or essentials you should make sure you have before you do.

Being properly prepared for the launch of a new business will make you more likely to succeed and more capable of avoiding setbacks. As everything moves so quickly in the digital age, this is particularly important for businesses that are mostly or entirely online.


Why start an online business?

Over 4.5 billion people around the world now use the internet, meaning an online business has a quite remarkable potential reach. This is compounded when one considers that more than half of the world’s population also uses social media. A business with a solid and functional online wing is, therefore, one that can tap into markets a standard high street small business can only dream of.

However, businesses are springing up online at a rate of knots, and it is possible to get lost in the market saturation. To avoid this, one must ensure they have a well-designed, good-looking website, along with the following “must-haves”.


Fast Wi-Fi

Technological advances are making internet speeds in the United Kingdom better and better, with incredibly promising developments coming from university researchers in the field. This can be used to the advantage of online businesses as it means they have fewer hold-ups, less downtime, and more hours in the day to be productive. 

Ensuring you have the best possible Wi-Fi for your business and its budget will stand you in good stead for a smooth start to life as a business owner.


Good Utility Rates

An underlying expense that many new business owners forget to include in their grand plans is their utility rates. On top of Wi-Fi, essential business utilities such as water and gas can fluctuate in terms of how much they cost and how reliable their providers are.

For that reason, it is essential you get the best price for them nailed down as early as possible. A quick and simple way of doing this is by using comparison and switching websites.



Experience in some aspect of the business you are starting is a true “must-have” to help guarantee success.

Whether that is in sales, marketing, social media, or budgeting depends on your background, but going in entirely blind can be a risky move. If you do try this, do as much research as possible beforehand.



Always go into business having started to make contacts. Contacts are one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship as they can give you advice, more reach, higher sales, and lower prices on overheads.

The minute you decide you will be launching a business, put your feelers out in the local area and over social media. Networking can be a drawn-out process, so avoiding having to do too much of it once you are managing your business full-time is preferable.

Futureproofing your workforce through personalised learning & development


By Matt Gilbert, Strategy Director at Fenturi

In such uncertain times, planning for the future of a business is more challenging, yet more critical than ever. Research shows that almost half of UK businesses fear job cuts may become a necessity before the close of the year, while 86 per cent worry they won’t be able to retain top talent due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In this environment then, planning for the future needs of a business with regards to employee skills and development, and therefore what learning and development (L&D) programmes need to be put in place to support this, could be a key factor in helping to future proof many businesses.

Rather than reducing costs by scaling back employee training, companies with an eye on the equally uncertain future should be considering how investing in L&D programmes that can flex to train staff remotely and maintain high levels of engagement in professional development, can give them a competitive advantage.

This advantage includes making the company increasingly attractive to highly skilled employees and prospects, with research from Deloitte showing that millennials cite training and development as the most important workplace benefit, while LinkedIn data highlights that 94 per cent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in L&D. So, what should you be considering from an L&D perspective if you’re planning for the future of your business?


Learner-led learning

Too frequently, L&D is viewed purely through the lens of direct business benefits, with leaders often posing questions around how it can improve the stature of the company.

  • If you use X approach, how will it improve the bottom line?
  • Will you witness business growth as a direct result of investing in this training?
  • Can you reduce L&D costs while increasing operational efficiency?

While all of these questions are valid, positive results are only possible when training is placed in the context of the learner journey. If the sole purpose is to help business growth, will that truly engage your employees? Some yes, but certainly not all. The trick is to find what works for the employees themselves, and not assume that everyone will respond to the same form of learning.

For example, providing 20 minutes of engaging digital learning is of no use to the learner if they have too many modules to complete, don’t have capacity to focus on the training within the working day or are forced to go through the same content year after year. The key often lies in offering flexibility and adopting technology that allows employees the opportunity to engage with learning, rather than viewing it as a tick-box exercise. So what are these new technologies you should be considering and are they right for your business and employees?


Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) technology has developed rapidly over the last five years, becoming part of daily lives in some areas – most notably gaming, with the success of Pokémon Go which launched in June 2016 and has since racked up over one billion downloads.

It’s this ease of access which will be at the heart of AR’s uptake in the L&D space – modules can be present on the user’s mobile devices which the vast majority of professionals will have on them at all times during the working day, whether at home or in the work place. This can result in micro-learning modules which provide the users with key information in a visually stimulating way that they can interact with when capacity allows.

Take the onboarding process for example. This can be a very time-intensive process, especially in large-scale, complex businesses. Using mobile-based AR, new starters can be provided with a virtual tour of the premises and informed of important information related to particular areas of the shop floor whenever suits them. Imagine a Health and Safety course designed to help people with their home office set up, with the AR data overlaying chair and desk positions.

The downside to AR is the investment required, whether it’s app development, the need to continuously update content as and when it becomes outdated, or the sheer amount of content that could be necessitated by having a disparate workforce which have very different L&D requirements.


Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is another tech buzzword that has worked its way into conversations in the business world after becoming relatively common in gaming. It’s therefore no surprise that you might be wondering how VR can be adopted in the training of your employees.

There’s no doubt VR offers unique experiences that can be hugely engaging, but it’s still a long way from being a viable offering within many workplaces. Hardware is the first limiting factor, as buying VR headsets is a financial burden, while the development of VR environments is both time and cost-intensive, especially when compared to 3D environments that can be just as impactful within a standardised video format.

However, the use of 3D environments, relevant audio and realistic effects can make learning very impactful. This is especially true for training employees who need to be conditioned for hazardous or stressful environments. By recreating scenarios in which there is risk to life, VR can offer realistic training in how to work safely in environments they would only access in extreme conditions.


Social media

It might not be the first platform that springs to mind when you consider L&D, but social media is constantly evolving and there’s huge potential for learning in many platforms. Take TikTok for example. The app first introduced to allow users to upload lip-synching videos of themselves now has a hashtag (#tiktoklearn) which has more than 20m views with topics covering baking, drawing, DIY and even medical content.

While it may not be the platform on which you’d be comfortable sharing micro-learning content, it does highlight the wider trend of attention spans reducing. Hour-long e-learning courses may feel ancient, cumbersome and dreary to the majority of the team, when we are all used to the bite-size content served up on social media. That said, YouTube data shows the average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes while searches for ‘how to’ content is growing 70% year-on-year. Clearly, there is a real hunger for this style of easy to consume, instantly available content and L&D can take inspiration from such trends. 


Power of personalisation

When it comes to L&D the good news is that there are a variety of options for deciding which technologies will work to futureproof your business, the key is ensure you have the right mixture that engages the entire workforce. This is why hyper-relevant content will prove so important. Have the L&D team and your e-learning provider talk with a broad cross-section of your employees, find out what their specific requirements are and tailor content in direct response. Deliver that personalised content, across platforms your employees are comfortable using and interaction with learning and the benefits of investment will be clear to see.

Corporate Vision unveils the winners of the 2020 Small Business Awards

small bus

United Kingdom, 2020– Corporate Vision Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Small Business Awards.

When you think of the business world, your mind might be drawn to the brick and mortar goliaths that dominate city skylines. Yet, in many ways, these leviathans do not represent the future of business. Not at all. Success in the modern world relies on agility and dynamism. It demands an entrepreneurial core, a spirit eager to learn, innovate and grow. Those qualities, surely, lie more commonly in small businesses.

Small business is the very lifeblood of a functioning economy. While all eyes are drawn to the lumbering efforts of the largest businesses, small business is looking to reinvent the paradigm, and establish new best practices. If you’re after change, you need to look at those that are working every day to change business for the better. It is for that reason that Corporate Vision launched the Small Business Awards years ago, and why we continue to spotlight the work of those that truly drive the greater business landscape.

Awards Coordinator Steve Simpson took a moment to comment on the success of those recognised in this year’s programme: “It has been an extraordinarily tough year for small businesses all over the world. As such, it has been important to double down on our efforts to acknowledge the successes and achievements of those who are continuing to thrive and grow in an environment that seems particularly challenging. With that in mind, I offer a sincere congratulations to all of our 2020 winners. I hope you all have a fantastic new year.”

To learn more about the businesses recognised in the 2020 awards programme please visit



About Corporate Vision Magazine

Corporate Vision is published monthly with the mission to deliver insightful features from across the global corporate world. Launched with an eye towards bettering business practices across the board, Corporate Vision focuses on spotlighting advances in the HR, marketing, coaching, and recruitment spheres, with the goal to shine a light on the gatekeepers of better business. Those that help build, through no small amount of creativity and expertise, to develop an altogether more productive and more efficient world of work.

Corporate Vision is bought to you by AI Global Media, a B2B digital publishing group founded in 2010. The group currently has 13 brands within its portfolio that include luxury lifestyle, construction, healthcare and small business focused publications. AI Global Media is dedicated to delivering content you can trust.

How to manage your workload during the Christmas break, according to an expert

uni work

University students have been allowed to travel home to spend Christmas with their families now that the national lock down restrictions have ended. Due to the ‘student travel window’ which took  place from the 3rd December to 9th December, most Universities moved learning online by the 9th December so students can continue with their learning from home.

During these unprecedented times, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed at the thought of managing studying at home. Although it can be easy to place your University workload low on your priority list during Christmas, you shouldn’t steer away from it altogether at the risk of falling behind. Of course, it is important to take some time away and clear you head, but the last thing you want is January panic. To help you manage your workload during the Christmas break, we’ve asked education expert, Richard Evans at The Profs to share his top tips.


1. Set clear goals

Before you even leave university, set a list of objectives that are achievable in the time you are home. Make a list of tasks you need to complete and find a way to break these up into smaller daily tasks. Make sure you prioritise any crucial tasks such as assignments with an early January deadline. If you manage to complete these in your time frame, near the end of your break, plan to re-read any lecture notes so the information is fresh in your mind when you return in January.


2. Enjoy your breaks

As important as it is to stay on top of your schedule, you need to set times to recharge your batteries. Your Christmas break is ultimately a chance to be surrounded by home comforts and spend time with your loved ones. Time away will also improve your attitude to revision and coursework as you will feel more optimistic. Whilst you’re setting your objectives, you should note down any fun activities you have planned which will motivate you to accomplish tasks. Make a conscious effort to limit your screen time during these breaks to get some clarity and organise your thoughts.


3. Keep in contact with course friends

Speaking to those in the same position can ease your tension. Arrange a weekly video call with course friends during the Christmas break to discuss assignment related questions, queries and tips. You might find that you have the answer to someone’s question which can even ignite a new idea of your own. Offer and seek support from one another, you can even ask a friend to help test your knowledge on a subject area. Always remember that everyone has different study methods that work for them.


4. Talk to someone    

Let’s face it. 2020 has been a stressful year. It’s OK – in fact, it’s normal – to be feeling that additional stress. When there is such uncertainty in the world, as there has been this past year, these stressors can manifest in unexpected ways and are likely to make university life feel even more challenging. This is especially true for first years; the stresses of university are typically alleviated by the enjoyment of meeting new people and embarking on new adventures. Lockdown has made it much harder to see or make new friends, and so we lose our best defence against the stresses of a typical university workload. This holiday period, sit down with someone you trust – a family member or friend – and talk about your experiences and the difficulties of first term. Hopefully, you can think of ways to make next year better and new ways to combat the stress.


5. Be positive

When you’re in a good mood, you will find it much easier to challenge yourself and complete a task you’ve been putting off. If you’re in a bad mood, you will find it increasingly difficult to concentrate and beat yourself up if you’re having difficulty. If you find yourself getting consistently frustrated, take a little break away from your workstation, before returning. Also, take the time to see what study method works for you, this could be listening to audio versions of lectures or highlighting keywords in a book. You might find that your original method wasn’t bringing out the best in you.

How to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in the Covid job market, according to an expert


LinkedIn is a professional networking platform focused on keeping everyone connected in their different sectors. When used correctly, LinkedIn can provide you with different options to network with your industry. There are many things you can do to increase the visibility of your profile. It can be all the difference between a recruiter quickly glancing at your profile to spending time reading on what you have to offer them and reaching out to you.

The current climate has resulted in a lot of casualties in the business world, leaving people struggling to cope financially. We also have those who are fresh out of University finding it hard to even climb onto the career ladder. Figures for June to August 2020 show that an estimated 1.52 million people were unemployed, up 209,000 on the year and up 138,000 on the quarter. Job searching during a pandemic can be an increasingly frustrating time, especially since the announcement of lockdown 2. You might have perfected your CV and applied to every job you can, but have you been overlooking something?

LinkedIn rolled out their story feature across the UK this summer, making now the perfect time to up your game. We’ve enlisted David James, management consultant and educational expert at The Profs. With employability skills and competencies a key subject area for David, he knows exactly how to translate your skills onto your profile and get noticed.


1. Make your summary interesting

Your LinkedIn summary is chance to tell your own story. Don’t waste this opportunity to list everything you’ve achieved in the past, instead offer a prospective employer a chance to match your skills to their company. You have 2,000 characters to work with so it’s best to utilise this is a way that captures you as interesting and insightful, think of it like a sales pitch. Attention spans are short these days so ideally use less than half of that and be very specific. Keep in mind that keywords are crucial and avoid any generic statements that can be tied to anyone. Do your research and use words that you want to be connected to in your field. Be creative and show who you can be as a professional.


2. Be up to date

With over 722 million members, LinkedIn holds steady as the world’s largest professional social platform. When your network is filled with potential clients, employers, competitors and business professionals, it’s vital to be up to date. If you’ve been in a new role for a few months and haven’t updated your profile, it can look outdated and you may miss out on networking with important connections. When you are job seeking, potential employers can sweep your profile at any given point, before or after an interview or even before reaching out to you at all. The shape of your profile can sometimes serve as a decision maker. Be organised and consistent. Even if you feel like nothing has changed in your professional career since lockdown, you can share new side projects or skills you’ve picked up.


3. Use the new story feature right

LinkedIn announced in June that the new stories feature is now available in the UK. Stories, like other platforms, disappear after 24 hours and consist of 10 second video or photo clips. You can add in text, GIFs, filters and music, making it unique to you. As the world has changed this year, showing who you are in the professional world is considered the new normal. LinkedIn is about showcasing your career and skills to get noticed and build connections with the right people. Use the story feature right by creating a selfie video to talk to your audience and explain any personal achievements such as starting a hobby. Job seeking in the current climate is competitive, stand out by creating a video CV. This method can highlight your enthusiasm and allow your connections to understand your personality. By being relatable, it will encourage and inspire others to do the same.


4. Quality not quantity

Your LinkedIn experience will improve when you focus on the type of people you want to connect with. If your sole aim at the moment is to find a job, it would be wise to link with people who have the job title of recruiter or talent acquisition professional in the companies you wish to work in. Always send a message explaining why you want to connect; this will come across personal and justifies why they should form the new connection.  You should also join LinkedIn groups applicable to you, there will be hiring managers and other individuals, your competitors, looking for advice. Once you are in suitable groups, you can check to see if a potential connection has any groups in common. Connecting with quality groups and active individuals will bring more traffic to your profile. Effective networking can position yourself to meet others in your industry, share knowledge and exchange ideas. If you send connection requests to anyone and everyone, this can attract the wrong people and lower the quality of yourself as a candidate.


5. Key word optimise your profile

LinkedIn is a very large database of profiles that uses key fields to order the entire collection of data. So how do people make it to the top of the list? Their profile is optimised with the right keywords, and they are most likely posting with keywords and publishing articles with keywords too. The job title is a highly indexed field so start with this, if it’s too vague then you can miss out on more traffic. For example, ‘Senior Consultant’ can be ‘Senior Consultant, IT Project Management’. The second version provides more keyword detail and a clear explanation of the job. The ‘extra’ sections on LinkedIn are often overlooked but they are great for more detail and keywords. Here, keep your wording short and keyword dense. In the awards section, you can add in accolades that begin with your desired job title, for example ‘Social Media Manager winning Increased Engagement Award for 3 years’. The terms you add into your skills & expertise are included heavily in your searchability when you are endorsed for them. Add keywords and obtain/accept endorsements for maximum results.


6. LinkedIn recommendations

We live in a business world in which relationships and reputation matters. LinkedIn recommendations validate your presence and skills you have listed. Recommendations helps you stand out from the competition. Many users don’t take the time for ask for recommendations as they don’t know how to, or they don’t want to bother people. Use this simple script below to ask people for a recommendation:

“Hi ____. I’m working on improving my LinkedIn profile and one of my goals is to get a couple of recommendations from colleagues that know my work well. Would you be able to write me a LinkedIn recommendation in the next couple of days to help me improve my profile? I could do the same for you if you’d like, just let me know.”

Recommendations can be tricky to write, especially if you worked in a big company. Remind the person about the specific details, skills and projects you want to be endorsed to help them be concise.


7. Monitor your presence

Recruiters and potential employers can take it upon themselves to Google your name after reading your resume and see what comes up. Ensure you keep an eye on what is displayed publicly, and if you find something you wouldn’t want a professional body to see, explore ways to remove it. Check your privacy settings and ensure you have full control over who sees your posts. Removing yourself from the online world altogether won’t help. Given the digital age, some employers won’t even interview candidates if they can’t find them online. Recruiters aren’t looking for content to disqualify you. Most are looking for evidence to back up your CV, so it’s important your LinkedIn profile is polished and professional to display a good online persona.

5 ways to support long-term remote working post COVID-19

remote working

By Kevin Thomson, Corporate Healthcare Director, Nuffield Health

Companies like Twitter and Square announced earlier this year, that their employees could work remotely forever. But, while remote working can provide many opportunities for the companies of today, longstanding adoption is only beneficial if the transition is completed in the right way.

Here are the vital steps leaders should take to ensure successful, long-term remote working:


Develop a culture of trust

Culture is more important than ever in a virtual environment, not only because staff should feel connected to their teammates, but also so they know when to ‘clock-off’ after a day working from home.

Businesses should consider offering a flexible, remote workday schedule, outside the traditional 9-5. One benefit is this provides flexibility to meet personal needs and family responsibilities conveniently. Being granted an environment where staff can better balance work with personal demands ensures improved concentration and productivity on tasks during work hours.

If you’re looking to further align your remote working goals with employee needs and satisfaction, keeping regular dialogue and seeking feedback from employees can help a company better understand the sentiment of staff and which benefits they’d most appreciate during prolonged home working.


Encourage exercise related activities, at work, at home and in the community

It’s essential to ensure musculoskeletal health is protected while employees work from home. However, research shows more than half of employees receive no employer guidance on how to set up a workstation that supports healthy posture, despite employer’s having a legal obligation to look after the health of long-term desk workers.

Employers should issue and check Display Screen Equipment assessments are completed and if possible, provide access to face to face and remote physiotherapy services to help both prevent and treat musculoskeletal issues.

With more employees becoming engaged with fitness during lockdown, there is also an opportunity for businesses to capitalise on this momentum. Companies should help staff maintain enthusiasm for keeping active by making benefits available that facilitate this like access to both onsite and remote fitness services.


Continue to support virtual mental health offerings

Following the first lockdown, many companies reported online video counselling sessions became more popular among employees, showing many now feel comfortable accessing support for mental wellbeing via technology.

Whether you do or do not already have emotional wellbeing services, it is an important time for all businesses to see which options are available that could make a real difference to your workforce. While those returning to the office may have access to face-to-face offerings, there are also plenty of wellness options that can be offered to staff remotely.

These include cognitive behaviour therapy, which can be delivered safely and effectively by phone, video or email for flexibility and privacy. Other types of therapy, which are also safe, effective, and accessible remotely, include counselling (e.g., relationship, bereavement), interpersonal therapy, and access to psychiatric assessments.


Expand staff healthcare support

Many of today’s offices are filled to the brim with the latest technology, from standing desks to tech which enhances connectivity and workflow patterns around the office.  If these are available for those when in the office, businesses should extend the same courtesies to its remote workforce.

Consider offering or expanding employee allowances to subsidise work-related purchases. Whether you find a way to provide the same office set up to your remote employees or provide a fixed regular sum paid as a salary or as expenses, so they can purchase what they see fit, assisting them in setting up a home office is a key perk.

Some options for staff could include ergonomic chairs, extra monitors to help them process computer tasks more efficiently and access to high-speed, adequate broadband. Not only are these helpful to staff but improving workstation ergonomics can reduce symptoms associated with musculoskeletal disorders and shows you are a responsible business, who cares about the health of your employees.

Marketing During the Pandemic: Time to Adapt and Double Down

marketing covid

This Pandemic has flipped the world upside down. Compared to last year’s revenue, if your business is struggling to keep up, you are not alone. However, if your business is still up and running, you are better off than 100,000 businesses that had to shut their doors due to the Covid outbreak.

The biggest mistake most businesses are making is cutting back on their marketing expenses. Which means there’s an opportunity for you to shine brighter than the competition.

But times have changed. Marketing campaigns that were a hit in 2019 have become redundant or, perhaps, insensitive in 2020.

We had a chance to interact with the core team of Odyssey New Media who are a digital marketing agency in Birmingham, and here are a few do’s and don’ts that we’d like to share with you. You can implement these insights right away and save your business from getting lost in oblivion.


Don’t go off the grid

While it’s natural to stay low-key under such circumstances, that is only going to keep you out of sight, which is not good for your business. You are no health expert to advise people, but you can at least acknowledge the situation, talk about it and let your customers know you are always there in case they need you.

In short, don’t slash your marketing budget. Instead, find cheaper and organic ways to advertise your business. Which brings us to the next point.


Focus on Organic SEO

Running paid ads on Google requires a lot of capital, which is in short supply these days. But that doesn’t mean you cannot reach your prospects in the virtual world. Where every business is calling off their SEO campaigns to save pennies, this is your chance to double down. By the time everything returns to normal, your business will be on top of the SEO game. 


Rethink your automation activities

Automation has become an integral part of online marketing, and it might be a great aid in driving your revenue. But it’s time to rethink your automated activities to reflect changes that this pandemic has caused. Review and adapt your automated email response, chatbots and other activities to the current scenario so that your business does not come across as insensitive or profit-oriented during these trying times.


Reintroduce Your Brand

Your customers know who you are, but do they know what you stand for? Consciously or subconsciously, people love to buy from businesses with whom they can connect on a deeper, emotional level. And the best way to trigger emotions is to weave stories around your vision and how you are responding to this pandemic situation in order to reinforce trust with your customers. 


Establish Your Employer Brand

With the effect of the pandemic fading and the supply chain getting back to normal, businesses are going into hiring mode. You can leverage your marketing campaigns to communicate your company’s culture and encourage like-minded people to work with you. Fun and creative campaigns will show that your company is a cool place to work at. And who doesn’t want that?


Participate in Virtual Events

People can’t gather in auditoriums but there are no restrictions on virtual events. See it as an opportunity to make yourself visible to your future prospects and talk about your organisation, product launches or anything of value to your prospects. This can also be a great way to collaborate with other businesses for mutual benefit. 

Nobody knows when this pandemic will be over. So, instead of looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, adapt and improvise. Ask yourself, what you can do at this moment. Even if you can’t take a big leap forward, take one small step at a time. Stop for nothing!