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Career Development Quiz

Phil doesn't have skills gaps or weaknesses.

Well that’s what he thinks… Don’t bury your head in the sand. Take our career development quiz now, and see how you can pick up the skills to get noticed by the boss – and get ahead of Phil – now.

LAUNCH! LAUNCH!


100 ways to beat Phil

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #1


Pick 5 skills or responsibilities you want to have and mention them (but don’t claim to have them) on your LinkedIn profile – you’re much more likely to show up in employer search results.
You probably shouldn't add ‘fire-breathing’ or ‘responsible for NASA’s next mission to Mars’ though.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #2


Involve yourself in projects that might make you feel a little out of your depth – you could pick up new skills and showing enthusiasm never hurts.
Don’t volunteer to be a crash test dummy though – that kind of enthusiasm does hurt.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #3


Never take credit for others’ work – stealing ideas won’t go unnoticed.
Besides, you never know who’s going to be the next billionaire social media guru.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #4


Create a professional Twitter account to show you have industry knowledge, and actually gain some in the process.
Just resist the urge to follow Kim Kardashian.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #5


Find your boss’ LinkedIn profile so you can talk to them about something they’re interested in.
Unless it’s line-dancing. Never talk about line-dancing.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #6


Follow companies that you want to work for on social media sites. It’ll help you learn more about them – and what they like – bit by bit.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #7


Keep up-to-date with industry trends by signing up to relevant newsletters/social media posts.
Don’t worry, they probably won’t try to sell you Viagra.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #8


Ask 5 colleagues to describe you. Knowing what others perceive as your strengths and weaknesses can help you improve yourself and make the most of what you have.
Giving good relationship advice isn’t necessarily the type of strength employers are looking for.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #9


Take our 5-day Islamic Banking and Asset Management course to get a foothold in a rapidly growing sector.
Business trips to Dubai can’t be a bad thing…

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #10


Impress the boss by saving the company some money, using budgeting skills picked up on our Financial Planning and Analysis.
You never know, he or she might even find room in the budget for a staff trip to Hawaii. Then again, maybe not.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #11


If you’re managing people, take a glance at their CVs and see what they’re good at – people like being asked to use their expertise.
Asking people to relive their days as paperboys probably won’t go down too well though…

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #12


Identify your skills gaps, or better yet, let our career development quiz tell you where they are. Then you can take a short course with LSBF to fill those niggling little gaps letting your CV down.
Just remember that we don’t offer courses in ostrich racing – sorry!

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #13


Figure out what makes you different to others with your job title, and highlight it on your CV, your LinkedIn profile, everywhere!
But think twice before getting this wonderfully unique trait tattooed on your forehead.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #14


Learning to speak another language will open up a load more career opportunities. And guess what…we offer courses in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Arabic.
Klingon there isn’t so much demand for, so we don’t teach that – sorry!

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #15


Learn to drive a hard bargain and improve your bargaining position. Our short course in Negotiating Tactics for Win-win Outcomes won’t just look good on your CV – it’ll also help you get yourself a bigger pay-rise.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #16


Don’t despair when you see a job advert with a few skills you haven’t got – make a note of those skills and train up! Our courses cover a range of skills as wide as erm…our smiles?

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #17


Earn the big bucks by getting a Certificate in Trading and Analysis.
The Wolf on Paternoster Square probably isn’t the catchiest name for a film though…

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #18


Take one of our week-long courses to tart your CV up. Topics covered include managerial finance, portfolio management, risk management and hula-hooping.
OK, hula-hooping may have been a lie.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #19


Step up with a short course in management. We’ve got loads of them!
Just remember the little guy when you’re bathing in gold.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #20


Don’t use buzzwords and jargon: they devalue your opinion and make you sound inarticulate.
Anyway, no-one likes someone who talks like this: ‘Going forward, factor in the business-critical deliverables before any offline thought showers’.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #21


Start your own website to centralise your career accomplishments.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #22


Stop multi-tasking. You might think you are good at juggling, but studies show that chronic multi-taskers often work much less effectively. Finish that spread sheet!

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #23


If you’re thinking of starting a part-time business, make sure it’s something you’re passionate about. It doesn’t matter how much money there is in something, if it’s boring, the work will grow old fast.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #24


Proofread everything. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a spelling mistake.
Except novelty ties. But you knew that already right? …Right?

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #25


If you really want to stand out, nothing opens up more doors than a second language.
Don’t be daunted, we know you’ve said “dos beers, por favor” before. You’re clearly a natural.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #26


Observe how you react to colleagues. Snap judgements can colour our opinions of people forever – take a step back and you could learn to appreciate someone you previously had issues with.
(If they still look like plonkers from your new vantage point, that’s fine too.)

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #27


Humility can go a long way. Give others a chance to shine and they’ll remember you for it.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #28


Notice how you react in stressful situations – the ability to stay calm under pressure is prized by employers, and identifying whether you become panicked or emotional is key to eliminating these flaws.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #29


Think long and hard before you add your boss on Facebook. The vast majority of managers aren’t comfortable befriending their employees, and the ones that are don’t need to see photos of the BBQ they weren’t invited to.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #30


Get more face time (and no, we don’t mean on an iPad). In this age of emails, conference calls and IMs, face-to-face interaction is incredibly undervalued.
Make sure your boss can put a face to your email signature.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #31


No matter how much free booze there is at the Christmas party, never, ever breakdance. Ever. No-one needs to see that.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #32


Be sociable at work. If people don’t know who you are, how are they going to ask you to work on the best projects, accept a massive pay rise and be godparent to their children?
Okay, perhaps you won’t be pledging to look after the firstborn of Joanna from sales.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #33


Sincerity is the key to successful networking. Go beyond the superficial and really get to know the people you network with.
Phil just nods and smiles.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #33


Make sure your ideas and input are heard but ensure that you have something valuable to contribute.
Phil just wants to hear his own voice.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #35


Be on the lookout for new ideas and concepts with potential but make sure they have your individual touch.
Plagiarism isn’t a good look, Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #36


Looking the part is important but make sure your outfit projects the right image.
Phil’s massive Rolex and velvet tie speak volumes.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #37


Consider taking your own career aptitude and personality tests. The better you know yourself, the better you’ll be at steering your career in the right direction.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #38


You can’t put a price on forming genuine relationships with your colleagues. You will increase your productivity and make your work far easier.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #39


Commit to doing the best job you can do, even if your job sucks and you work for Phil. Be as good as you can be in your current role and Phil will soon be a distant memory.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #40


Be clear about your main goals for the work day before you turn on your computer every morning. Going in with a clear direction will help you get the essentials done.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #41


Avoid jargon and keep your communication as simple as possible. This will ensure that you’re easily understood and will help you avoid becoming the subject of ridicule in a nationwide advertising campaign.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #42


Get up and away from your desk frequently – when you return you’ll be refreshed and ready to focus.
There’s a reason why the world’s top companies have nap areas.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #43


Try and make your communication face-to-face when possible. It’s far easier to communicate and build relationships in person.
Accounts probably won’t be too keen on funding your trip to the Bahamas to meet your coconut water supplier though.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #44


Business is fundamentally about making money but expressing your appreciation for help from a colleague will help you create a better work environment.
Straddling Brenda’s desk Phil-style isn’t exactly what we mean though.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #45


Find the aspect of your job that you enjoy most and work on getting better at it. You will perform better, enjoy your job more and develop faster.
It could be a problem if your favourite thing at work is making tea though.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #46


Show Phil up by having all the answers. Our Structured Problem Solving course will help you come up with logical, speedy solutions.
Obviously there’s still the problem of how to avoid sitting next to Phil in the canteen though.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #47


Upload your CV below and it will be sent to our Careers Department for free feedback, bespoke career advice.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but we promise - this feedback is professional and free!

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #48


Recruiters don’t want to see your duties on your CV, they want to know the numeric impact you’re having on a company through your work, such as increasing revenue or decreasing costs. The eyes are drawn to numbers!

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #49


Always be thinking of ways to measure your projects and keep track of the results because that’s what’s going to help you justify promotions.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #50


Get on your dream company’s radar by following and engaging with them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #51


Make sure your profile pictures on social media sites are professional-looking. Employers search for your name; do you want that photo from Ibiza to be the first thing they see?

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #52


Appear on more recruiters’ searches by adding 5 more industry-relevant skills to your LinkedIn profile.
The number of press-ups you can do isn’t industry-relevant.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #53


Save your successes in a desktop folder at work - even the little ones. It’ll be a goldmine for appraisals.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #54


Always admit your mistakes. No one expects you to be perfect, but backpedalling and blaming everyone but yourself won’t get you ahead.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #55


Don’t wait for a promotion. Start performing the role you want now, then ask for recognition for the work later. Evidence is always better than theory.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #56


Quit handing business cards to everyone. They won’t remember who you are, or what you can do. Instead, gather a list of companies you want to work for and send targeted emails to people in the right positions.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #57


If you don’t have the name of a hiring manager at the company you are targeting, check your LinkedIn connections to see if you can ask someone for an introduction!
It might not be six degrees of Kevin Bacon, but you could be surprised just how large your network is.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #58


Always stay open minded about your colleagues - sometimes the new intern will know a thing or two! Take this on board as a positive addition to the team, and your achievements as a group.
That doesn’t mean you can bring your 7 year-old nephew to work and expect miracles.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #59


Keep hold of old notebooks or writing pads, it’s amazing how much a scribble can help when you can’t find that email from two years ago.
They are also great as source material for paper airplanes to chuck across the office.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #60


If you are project-managing a team, try to find out which challenges your colleagues are facing, or what is blocking their work flow. These are extremely effective questions to ask during your ‘catch-ups’ and will really push your project forward.
Even Phil needs help sometimes.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #61


Keeping your workspace neat not only avoids awkward moments when your boss shows the new partners around, but also helps you keep all your snacks out of reach - sometimes you want your Graze™ box to last more than three hours.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #62


Getting involved in a work-related sports team can open many doors.
It can also mean you get to kick Phil in the shins every so often.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #63


Enjoying your job is the key to career success. Take the time to discover where your interests and skills lie before committing to a course or career path.
Phil’s heart is probably really in stationery management.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #64


LSBF’s Professional Development Programme and its focus on proposals, presentation skills and problem solving is the key to staying at the front of emerging trends in your industry.
Phil tries to blag his way through - you shouldn’t.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #65


Each course in our portfolio of 10 Executive Development Programmes takes a practical approach to giving you skills and knowledge you can immediately apply in your workplace.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #66


Get to know what everyone in your department actually does. This will help you understand the challenges each person faces on a daily basis.
It might also have helped Phil avoid telling a new partner that the cleaning lady was the head of HR.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #67


Phil didn’t enroll on our Emerging Leaders Programme. If he had, he would know a lot about leadership, business development and marketing.
Instead he’s just really familiar with the coffee machine.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #68


If you have been given a task and you're not sure where to start, speak up! Often those around you will be happy to assist.
If this is a line-dancing related question, don't speak up.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #69


Learning to manage yourself is a vital first step to being able to successfully manage others and become an exceptional leader. LSBF’s miniMBA Executive Development Weeks will teach you to do exactly that.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #70


Keeping up-to-date with new technologies is useful in every industry.
Unless you are in catering, instagram-ing your lunch isn’t.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #71


Interested in finance? Our Islamic Banking certificate can give you a foothold in an exciting, incredibly profitable sector.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #72


No matter what your educational background, you can choose to study on one of our ACCA courses.
Ideal if you fancy a career change.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #73


Want to advance your marketing career? The sky’s the limit with our certificate in Global Marketing Strategy.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #74


Take 5 days out of your schedule to top-up your skills, our Advanced Certificate Programmes are ideal for gaining practical skills to take back into work the following week.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #75


Our 1-week Succeeding As a New Manager short course will give you the boost you need to step up to the next level.
It’ll also steer you well away from Phil’s faux-pas.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #76


These days your team can be at work anywhere in the world. Our 1-week Leading Remote Teams Effectively short course will ensure that you make the most of this while avoiding Phil’s micromanaging tendencies.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #77


Going into meetings and potential partnerships with a concrete plan will help clear the way to rapid success. Our 1-week Business Strategy will guide you in the right direction - and away from Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #78


Don’t pair red trousers with a green shirt in the office. In fact don’t pair red trousers with a green shirt anywhere.
Phil would call the combination ‘funky’, we call it ill-advised.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #79


Social media is an invaluable tool in promoting your skills and getting the word out.
Phil spent the last twenty minutes trying to find and tag himself in a picture from a club. Not really what we meant, Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #80


Technology offers great ways to keep on top of your schedule, tasks and career development but it’s easy to get bogged down by productivity apps and multiple devices. Try to limit yourself to a few that make a genuine difference.
Phil, the days of three mobiles are coming to an end.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #81


TED Talks are a great way to get inspired, discover new ideas and stay on top of trends both in your field and in the world of business in general.
Slightly better than flexing in the bathroom mirror to Eye of the Tiger eh, Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #82


Financial Trading is one of the most fast-paced and dynamic industries around. Our Professional Financial Trading Programme will put you in the very heart of it.
Pretending won’t cut it here, Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #83


Career success is dependent on constant self-improvement. Allow yourself to stagnate and you’ll find yourself surrounded by the Phils of the world.
Stay ahead of the pretenders with our short courses, certified by the CPD Certification Service.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #84


Attending career fairs to meet and network with representatives from leading companies is invaluable, whether you’re a graduate or already established in your career. You’ll discover new opportunities and may make great contacts for the future.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #85


Multitasking really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It has been proven that focusing on one key task at a time is the most effective way to quickly and efficiently complete tasks to a high standard.
Being ‘rushed off your feet’ isn’t an excuse, Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #86


Take the time to work out a basic outline of what you’d like to communicate when networking but avoid reciting a list of your interests, skills and needs in person.
This isn’t speed dating and you aren’t a robot. No cookie cutter jokes either, Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #87


It’s a good idea to allocate a specific purpose to your social networks. If you’re going to keep Facebook for personal use only, set your privacy settings accordingly.
That way employers are more likely to find you in a suit, and less likely to find you in something more resembling a birthday suit.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #88


Consider joining a professional association. You’ll have the chance to interact with people in your field, find out about new developments and even hear about job openings that wouldn’t otherwise be advertised.
Phil probably won’t be a member either.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #89


You should try to set yourself apart from the crowd when submitting your CV, but you still need to follow certain standards. Go easy on the design effects and avoid coloured paper, photographs and unusual fonts.
Save those for your ‘zany’ party invitations, Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #90


Management expertise is priceless no matter what industry you work in. Our Postgraduate Certificate in Management will boost your earning potential and put you streets ahead of Phil.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #91


Create and frequently update an online portfolio on a hosting site such as Carbonmade, Behance or Shown’d. That way you’ll be prepared for both appraisals and job interviews at short notice.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #92


Taking the time to update your CV on a regular basis will minimise the time and effort required when it comes to applying for a new job or looking for promotion within your current organisation.
Phil’s CV is a 3 page, out-of-date disaster.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #93


Taking a short course in a separate discipline will help you improve your transferable skills and give you deeper insight into the workings of your organisation. We offer a range of 1-week short courses that will help you do just that.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #94


No one likes writing cover letters. Employers don’t particularly enjoy reading them either so make sure that yours is clear, tailored to the employer and crafted for a specific role.
Phil sends speculative cover letters from a template.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #95


Set realistic expectations. Big claims may be eye-catching, but just remember you’ll have to back them up!
Like that time Phil claimed to have written 100 career tips from scratch.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #96


Interviews are getting progressively tougher as employers attempt to find the right person for the job, first time around. Do your research into the role you’re applying for and spend the time you need to prepare for any eventuality.
Except for earthquakes. Don’t prepare for them.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #97


Take intelligent shortcuts.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #98


If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results. Shake things up and change your approach by taking one of our career-specific short courses.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #99


Without being too critical, think of constructive ways to improve the company you’re interviewing at. It’ll show that a) you’ve done some homework and b) you’re someone who has useful ideas and opinions.
‘You need more Phil’ is definitely not a constructive suggestion.

WAY TO BEAT PHIL #100


Avoid jargon and keep your communication as simple as possible. This will ensure that you’re easily understood and will help you avoid becoming the subject of ridicule in a nationwide advertising campaign.


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CV advice

The point of your CV is to present your relevant achievements and skills to a recruiter in less than 30 seconds, so that you are selected for the next round of the recruitment process.  And no Phil, how many bench presses you can do isn’t relevant. Your CV must be an honest representation of your skills, knowledge, professional experience and proven competencies (no fibbing like Phil), so as to indicate your potential for a job.


Make a good first impression – everything you do and do not say in your CV, the language you use, the clarity, legibility and style of your document – will shape the reader’s opinion of you, so attention to detail is vital.



Ultimate CV guide: How to create the perfect CV


A CV guide compiled of advice from recruiters and hiring managers.

Expert CV Tips Expert CV Tips

Don't do a Phil: How not to write a CV


Here are some valuable lessons on what not to put on your CV.

Phil's CV Phil's CV




Phil doesn’t have our expert careers consultants to help him perfect that all-important CV. Fortunately, you do!


Click the button below, attach your CV, and our lovely careers services team will respond with bespoke feedback.
We can also pass your details to one of our programme advisers to consult with you on your career aspirations; let us know in the email if you'd rather have just the CV review.


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We’re full of useful ideas on how you can beat Phil. This is just the start.

If you want more careers advice, more information on one of our short courses, or just updates on Phil’s latest tricks, just fill in the little form below or call us on 0203 535 1272.

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