5 Key Skills To Look For in Every CV

As an employer, you will be looking to hire candidates that have a perfect mix of hard and soft skills.

Hard skills are technical abilities specific to the industry, job or task required. They focus on practical abilities of skills.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are less tangible and harder to teach. It comes down to the candidate’s personality, soft skills are an extremely valuable attribute.

Looking for new employees? Here are 5 key skills we recommend looking out for on CVs to help find the perfect addition to your business.

  1. Teamwork Skills

It might seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people are unable to work in a team.

This doesn’t just mean working in a company with more people, but also being able to be involved in projects that require strong coordination between the parts. It requires trust, communication, and the ability to delegate while taking on responsibility at the same time.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a skill that everyone has mastered.

If your company requires an employee that can harmonise with the rest of the team and deliver results, teamwork is a skill that you should be looking for.

  1. Organisational Skills

All jobs in every industry will have to meet certain deadlines, however, there are additional benefits of an individual with good organisational skills.

Good organisational skills provide effective time management abilities. As a result, this will ensure employees are able to manage their time and balance their tasks successfully.

Excellent organisational skills will help ensure that the communication and coordination with the rest of the team run smoothly.

  1. Communication Skills

Strong communication skills are crucial for working in the business world.

Effective communication skills are key in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships at every level of an organisation (from co-workers to managers or directors).

Ensure that any potential new employees can communicate competently over a variety of channels to meet the demands of the modern business world, this should include, the ability to communicate face to face, in email, video, phone and in writing.

An employee with excellent communication skills will be an exceptional investment in your workplace.

  1. Problem Solving Skills

In every sector, problems, challenges, and unexpected situations will arise, you need to feel confident your employees are able to identify and solve any problems appropriately.

Problem-solving skills also demonstrate a range of other competencies including creativity, determination, responsibility, logic and resilience, all desirable skills for employees to obtain. Always check CVs to provide evidence of competent problem-solving skills.

  1. Adaptability

Being able to adapt to any situation is a highly desired skill in employees.

Good skills and experience are brilliant, however, if an employee is unable to adapt to different situations, teams, tools or tasks they will not be as successful as other members of staff.

Identify candidates who are flexible to adapt to change. The ability to adapt will be essential for them to progress within the organisation or workplace.


If you need help finding the perfect candidate, look no further.

With over 15 years of experience and over 5000 candidates, we will find you the perfect candidate to complement your business.

We assess skills, experience and personality ensuring we find you the best potential employees for your workplace, saving you precious time, and allowing you to focus on other important aspects of running your business. Finding the perfect employee can be hard, but we make it easy.



From furlough to redundancy. How to apply for new jobs during furlough

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was introduced to minimise the number of people made redundant during the pandemic.

Despite all the efforts, a lot of people will unfortunately still lose their jobs. It is estimated that 42% of gross staffing reductions will result in permanent layoffs.  

For some employees that haven’t had the call to return to work, it might be worth it to start considering the possibility of looking for another position. 

A lot of companies are hoping to bring the workforce back, but they can’t promise that will happen. So, the safest move if you have been on furlough is to start researching for new positions available. You always have the chance to stay where you are if they offered your job back!   


42% of recent furloughs could become permanent

Why does it make sense to job-hunt during furlough? 

After all, furlough periods are the best time to find another job as it reduces the financial stress related to unemployment.  

Imagine that in a month you are told your furlough is becoming a permanent layoff, what would you wish you’d done during this time? 

What can you do to find a new job while on furlough?  

Like at any other time, you should start by determining what you have to offer to employers.  

  • Work on your skills: as you are on furlough, you can use it as an opportunity to work on your skills and achieve new ones.  
  • Define your skillset: What skills do you have? Which of your skills is more applicable to the job? Are you including your soft skills as well as your hard skills?   
  • Have a look at the job opportunities available and make a list of the ones that could be the right fit for you.  
  • Before applying to a job, it’s advisable to research the company, their personality and culture. After all, the company has to be the right fit for you too! This will also be extremely valuable for the application process, as you will have a more detailed idea of what they are looking for.  
  • Work on your interview skillsIf you haven’t been in a job interview for a while, it’s a good idea to practise in advance. A job interview can make it o break it. You don’t want to blow your opportunities of getting a job in just five minutes, right?  

Don’t be scared of asking questions yourself, after all, you also need to find out if the opportunity is what you are looking for!  

  • Get comfortable with the idea of a remote hiring process. Expect to do multiple video or phone interviews, so you might want to explore the most used video technologies and use them to do practice interviews.  

Also, check your background! You don’t want your possible employer to see your messy room while you talk up about your organisational skills.  


Write your CV  

Your CV will highly depend on the job you are applying for, your experience and your qualifications. If you are a highly qualified person with not much experience, you will focus on the prior. If, on the other hand, you have a lot of experience, explain what that’s taught you!  

If you already had one CV, update it and tailor it to the different companies and job positions you want to apply for. They will need different information, skillset, tone of voice… Don’t just create a ‘one size fits all’!  

Here are some tips on how to write your CV. Once you have that, get in touch for a FREE CV review from a trained careers advisor.    

9 In-demand Jobs For 2022

We are aware of how challenging the past year has been for a lot of industries and job seekers and how it has changed the way the world behaves.

The impact of the lockdown on the UK job market has been dramatic. Jobs in retail, hospitality, leisure and travel haven been hit hard.

Businesses have had to adapt to this new era in order to survive, but that’s not all. Factors such as automation, urbanisation and the older population paint a picture of what the job market will look like in the next years.

However, there have been areas of growth too, mainly in the health and social care industry. For obvious reasons, online grocery shopping and retail have also experienced an expansion.

We’ve outlined some of the jobs that will be in high demand in the next few years:

1. Health professionals

Last year has made even more evident the need for qualified health professionals. The national health emergency has thrown the NHS under a new spotlight, with universities reporting unprecedented interest in health degrees.

The government has announced nearly 4000 extra university places for nurses as hospitals continue to experience shortages.

2. Social workers

The demand for social workers is expected to rise in line with the UK’s ageing population. Many care providers are already struggling to find professionals to fill up the vacancies.

3. Caring and personal service occupations

Jobs like care workers and dental nurses will be in high demand in the future years.

4. Mental health counsellors

One job that has significantly increased is mental health counsellors, with vacancies going up by 671% in the past year.

5. Web developers

Computer programming skills are the most demanded area of expertise in the UK. They are needed everywhere!

6. Teachers

The number of children moving into secondary schools is growing, but teachers are in short supply. Jobs in education are in rose, especially with last year’s shift to online learning for prolonged periods.

7. Digital content

The creation of digital content has gone over the roof! With people spending so much time at home, both the quantity of content and the number of creators have increased massively. Graphic Designers, Podcasters, Editors and Content Writers are now in high demand.

This is also due to the nature of the job, as it can be done entirely from home.

8. Construction

As we mentioned above, due to the ongoing urbanisation and growth of the world’s population, constructors, carpenters and joiners will be always in demand.

The UK construction industry needs thousands of people every year.

9. E-commerce roles, delivery drivers and warehouse operatives.

The fact that online shopping has increased its popularity in the last year shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The good news is, there are a lot of professionals involved when people purchase online. From warehouse operatives to delivery drivers, this opens a wide job market that will be buzzing in the future.

Temporary jobs

The future is also temporary. That seems to be the takeaway for the coming years, as the cost of hiring temporary workers is often cheaper than permanent employees.

Not only that, but there has also been a shift in the perception of this temporary work, More and more people seem to find the great advantages of working in the gig economy, as it gifts them with more flexibility and freedom than a full-time, permanent position.

As it is cheaper and easier for employers, and more convenient for employees, temporary work is the perfect opportunity to access the job market in the future years.

Recruitment keeps evolving to meet its hire purpose

It’s safe to say 2020 has been an unusual year for all industries. From the start of Big Fish Little Fish, the recruitment industry and especially the job application process has changed dramatically. This year has propelled the evolution of the recruitment and hiring process, making it more important than ever for employers to partner with a recruiter in order to secure talent.

Our Managing Director, Claire, has written an article for the Chamber Connect Magazine highlighting how recruitment has evolved to keep up with the ever-changing climate of 2020.

Read the full article here: https://content.yudu.com/libraryHtml/A442pe/ChamberConnectAutumn/reader.html?page=60&origin=reader

New Job Agreement

How to Use Body Language Effectively at Interviews

When going for a job interview, your body language can make it or break it. From the second you walk in, to the moment you leave, your body language can say a lot about you as a person. How you sit, talk and shake hands can be a deciding factor in whether you get the job or not. Your body language will create potential employers’ first impression of you, so you want to cover the nerves and show off your personality in the right way.

Try to initiate the first handshake, this will make you seem confident and ready for the interview. Make sure to give a firm handshake, not too soft which could make you appear unsure and nervous, and not too strong which could make you seem aggressive. Always make sure to give a handshake with a genuine smile.

Don’t Slouch
How you sit at an interview is important in making a good first impression. Sit up straight, leaning slightly forward to show that you are engaged in the conversation. Don’t slouch or slump in your chair, you want to look comfortable, but not too comfortable.

Eye Contact
Having good eye contact with your interviewer(s) will show that you are interested in the conversation, as well as making you seem approachable and engaged. No eye contact can make interviewees seem nervous or distant. It is important not to stare but to make eye contact every couple of seconds instead.

Nod Your Head
When being asked questions or spoken to about the company by your interviewer, nod your head, but not constantly. This will show attentiveness and will also reinforce to a potential employer that you are listening and understand what is being said.

Hand Gestures
When people are nervous, they tend to either do nothing with their hands, or use them too much. Use your hands subtly to emphasise the points you are making or place them comfortably on your knees with your palms slightly facing upwards. Don’t cross your arms across your body as this may make you come across as defensive instead of open when talking to your interviewer.

Place Your Feet Firmly on the Floor
Once sat, place both feet on the floor. If you would naturally cross your legs, try crossing your ankles instead so if you want to move during the interview, it creates less of a movement and prevents you moving your legs a lot throughout.

One of the most important things to do in an interview is smile. Having a genuine smile will show off your personality to interviewers, and make you open and warm, someone a potential employer would want to hire. However, it is important not to smile too much and appear false or that you are trying too hard. Relax, and let your natural smile follow.

Using body language effectively can show off your personality and help you make the perfect first impression to potential employers. If you’re looking for your next job or to find out more, give us a call.


10 Perfect Interview Questions to Ask Engineers

When preparing for an interview with an engineer, it’s important to plan your questions carefully. As well as delving into subject-specific questions to find out about the skills and passions of a candidate, asking common interview questions is equally as vital. Enquiring about an interviewee’s interpersonal communication skills, teamwork and work ethic will ensure you are hiring the best applicant.

What has been your most challenging project?

This question will cause a candidate to think about a past project and allow you to see which part of their field of work they find challenging and why. It will highlight how they overcame a problem within the project and what the outcome was, showing their problem-solving skills.

Tell me about a demanding written technical report you have completed.

Again, this question will make a candidate reflect on a challenging part of their job, but this time focusing on their written and communication skills. A candidate should be able to go into detail about a report and describe why it was demanding, whilst highlighting their strong communication skills which are vital to any job within a team.

What processes do you have in place to check for mistakes and errors?

A strong engineering candidate will have their own system in place to reduce their margin of error. This question will highlight candidates’ own specific ways to check for mistakes, whether they write down a checklist when starting a project or discuss their process with a colleague. Asking this question is important to ensure your company hire someone who will be conscientious and will avert losing time and money on mistakes that could have been prevented.

Tell me about a time when you have demonstrated leadership skills.

Asking a candidate about a time they have stepped into a leadership role is a useful question to ask candidates applying to roles not only at a leadership level. This question will ask a candidate to describe how they define leadership, as well highlighting how they have demonstrated leadership qualities even if just from working on a small project with a team. It is important to have colleagues who can step up and steer the way when needed.

How do you ensure you stick to project deadlines and schedules?

Any candidate should be able to display strong time management skills. In the field of engineering, sticking to project deadlines is imperative to save your company’s time, money and resources from being used unnecessarily.

What has your workload been like in previous experiences?

This important question will establish a candidate’s expectations of workload within your company. It will also show how well they can handle a heavy workload and get tasks done to a deadline.

What do you enjoy most and least about engineering?

In any job, there are parts that not everyone will enjoy. This question reveals more about the passions and skills of a candidate, and how they deal with the parts of the job they don’t enjoy as much – a fact that is good for an employer to know.

Tell me about a time you became aware of a hazardous workplace condition. How did you handle it?

Asking a candidate this will show their respect for workplace safety, as well has how proactive they were about removing the hazard. This question is relevant to most engineering jobs, but especially to manual engineering.

As there are 6 branches of engineering – mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, geotechnical and management – it is always worth asking subject specific questions.

Why did you choose your specific strand of engineering?

This will show an interviewee’s passions and why they chose to go into their specific strand of engineering. Again, this is a question that will highlight a candidate’s interests and focus, making it clear if they’re suitable for the job they’re applying for.

How much oil is necessary to pollute the ocean? Describe a process for writing a piece of code.

Questions similar to these, for environmental and electrical engineers etc, are perfect to nail down a candidate’s expertise, as well as get them thinking to show their logical reasoning and how they communicate processes and hypothetical queries.

For more information on the perfect questions to ask candidates at an interview, please call us.


Supplying positions for geotechnical engineering

Big Fish Little Fish has been involved within the construction recruitment industry for several years, more recently we became involved within the Engineering industry supplying an array of different positions, which has been a large success to various different engineering companies both large and small.  We are now pleased to advise we are heavily involved within Geotechnical Engineering – working with some industry specialists sourcing excellent calibre candidates.

Geotechnical Engineering has large synergies with both our construction and engineering recruitment, and we are very excited to now be part of a fast-growing industry.

Currently, the roles we are looking at are as follows;

  • Drilling Roles – Management/Hands-on
  • Geotechnical Testing
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Technician
  • Cable Percussion Lead Driller
  • Geotechnical Rotary Driller
  • Assistant Driller
  • Senior Site Investigations Manager
  • Senior Engineering Geologist
  • Groundworker
  • Engineering Geologist

Above are a selection along with various national locations, with key employers within the Division.

We look forward to speaking with both prospective clients and candidates.


The benefits of hiring temporary staff

The Benefits of Hiring Temporary Staff

The cost of hiring temporary workers is often cheaper than permanent employees. A boost of manpower at your business has many benefits. Whether you’re stocking up for a seasonal rush or bringing on extra talent for a special project, short-term hires can help your company in a number of ways.

Access to New Skills

A temporary staff member can bring a variety of new skills and abilities to your company, thereby improving the efficiency of the business. It keeps things moving smoothly if the worker is occupied on a project outside of your present teams own skills.

Morale Boost

Assigning your current team with too many tasks can be quite a burden at times, often decreasing their morale. By hiring temporary staff to assist them, it improves their spirits and lets them focus on assignments that need their talents rather than doing multiple tasks at once.


There are bound to be times when one of your team members goes on holiday or is off sick. Taking on a temporary staff member is an easy solution to this, as they will be able to cover whoever’s off and help out with any further projects.

Faster Recruitment

It’s all very well employing a permanent worker. However, if your business is focusing on a project that requires certain skills, all you would need to do is hire someone with those skills. It’s a quick process, helps benefit your team and spares you from looking for a long-term worker.

Test Drive

The benefit of employing a temporary worker gives the employer a chance to test the worker and see what they can deliver. That way, you can assess the employee’s skills before deciding on whether to keep them on. It is also a good way of seeing what happens when you want to expand your team.

Possibility of a Permanent Post

If the employee manages to do well in their role, there could be the potential of a permanent contract. That, therefore, reduces the cost of interviewing another person.

Big Fish Little Fish is an independent recruitment consultancy with a difference. We care about getting the right people in the right jobs, whether that be a permanent or temporary position.

If you’re looking to recruit a new role for your business, get in touch 0845 0943694


Questions to ask at an Interview

Successful interviews aren’t just about having the right answers. As an interviewer, being asked good questions shows interest and an eagerness to know more about the role. The interview process is about you getting to know the business you may potentially be working for, as well as them getting to know you. Make the interview work for you so you can make a smart career decision based on what you hear.

Can you tell me more about the responsibilities of the role?

This is an ideal question to consider asking. Not only does it help you learn more about what the job role (and the company) is asking for, but you can also prepare yourself for whatever skills are required, as well as how the business works.

How would you describe the working culture?

Linking back to the responsibilities of the job title, this question will help you understand more about the workplace, and whether you feel you are best suited for working there. You should consider asking the interviewer what a typical day at the company is like, and whether there are any out of work social activities.

What skills do you feel make an ideal candidate?

Understanding what makes a great worker is crucial for whatever job you’re applying for. Once the interviewer lays down the requirements for the role, you’ll immediately have a good picture of what you should be striving to achieve if you get the position. Listen carefully to what the employer wants from you.

How can I impress?

Asking this question shows the interviewer a great deal of confidence in you, potentially signalling that you may be the person they need. Pay attention to what they say and if the job becomes yours, you’ll know what to offer them.

Are there any further training opportunities?

Enquiring about training opportunities is a good sign, showing that you’re keen to improve on any of your strengths and that you want to put a lot of effort into the workplace. You might want to ask them what potential projects you would be working on, in case the job is offered to you and then you can prepare yourself.

How are work performances reviewed?

Delivering great results are what matters when it comes to a new job. By asking about how your work is assessed, it indicates to the interviewer that you understand the importance of hard work and that you’re eager in bringing forward excellent quality to their projects.

When do I hear back if I’ve got the job?

This is an archetypal question that most applicants save until the end of the interview. In a way, that’s a good thing. It displays that you’re enthusiastic about starting work and it puts your mind at ease after all the stress of preparing for the interview.

An employee to employer relationship will not work if the employee doesn’t feel they fit, or the employer doesn’t believe the employee is a good candidate. Interviewers often speak to dozens of candidates, who will answer their questions and talk about themselves. Asking questions about the role has a good psychological impact as it helps you to become memorable.


Six signs that it’s time to change jobs

If motivation is dwindling or you feel like you’re not moving in the direction you want to anymore, it may be time for a fresh start. Your interests and goals naturally change over time, but how do you know if you’re ready for a job change? We’ve outlined six signs that indicate it’s time to change jobs.

1.     Not the Right Job

It’s easy for us to start a new job and enjoy it at first. However, if after a while you start to lose your passion for the job, then it’s possibly time for you to contemplate looking elsewhere. Don’t be tied down by a job that doesn’t satisfy you. Think of a career that you are passionate about and go after it.

2.     Feeling Underappreciated

Let’s say that you have great working skills, but none of your colleagues appreciates them. Other workers are being promoted ahead of you, and you’re receiving constant negative feedback from your boss. If you feel this way, then perhaps you need to find another job where you will be valued like everyone else.

3.     Negative Environment

A nasty environment isn’t exactly the ideal workplace. Your colleagues are complaining all the time, your boss is in a bad mood, and it’s all affecting your state of mind as well. It’s important that, if this is the case, you should find another workplace that won’t be so hostile.

4.     Boredom

It’s quite common to feel bored in a job. Unfortunately, feeling bored can be frequent, especially if you’re thinking about working in an area that fulfils your needs. Don’t be ashamed if you feel like that. Focus on what you’re passionate about and start finding a career based around that passion.

5.     No Room for Advancing Skills

Not every job offers you a chance to improve your skills. Even if there is an opportunity, it may be in something that won’t benefit you. Staying in this scenario will only hinder your career, so feel free to find a place that will allow you to grow.

6.     Health

This is the most crucial thing to contemplate if you’re not happy in your current workplace. You end up feeling stressed about coming into work, your sleep patterns are affected, and it can often lead to being ill all the time. Please think of your health. You must consider finding a new job that won’t take such a toll on you.

Sometimes it can be hard to accept that a role, however much you like the company, is just not substantial enough for you anymore. If it’s time for something new and you’re actively seeking new roles or just want to have a chat about your career options, give us a call.