Writing an Effective Covering Letter

A Covering letter is a document which is sent along with your CV to the company you want to work for when they advertise a job vacancy.  It is a great opportunity to sell yourself along with the skills you hold, but many people make basic errors when they write their covering letter.  Here are our top tips for making your covering letter work for you.

  1. Make sure it is no longer than 2 sides of A4.  Any longer than this and you are likely to be waffling!  Stick to the point you are making and make sure your letter stays nice an short.
  2. Make it neat.  Keep your font size to around a 10-12, in a sensible font such as Ariel or Times New Roman.  These are clear and easy to read as well as look professional.
  3. Tailor your letter to the job – make sure you explain exactly why you suit that particular job!  Lots of people make their cover letter vague and able to use with all job applications, but since this letter could make the difference between the CV being read or not, it is always worth tailoring it to each and every job.

Developing a Good Study Space at Home

Want to transform your room into a study paradise? Try some of these tips.

1. Kill distractions

Your phone, TV or Facebook are not your friends when it comes to studying. Don’t rely on willpower: put obstacles between yourself and the distractions.

  • Turn your phone off – or at least put it on silent and leave it across the room, where you can’t fiddle with it mindlessly.
  • Use browser extensions like LeechBlock and Nanny to block distracting websites

Setting yourself regular breaks can help you avoid temptation during work time.

2. Tidy up your act

Clearing away the clutter from your study space should help clear your mind, allowing you to focus on the job at hand. You’ll also avoid losing important notes in piles of disorganized paperwork.

3. Light up your life

Ensure there’s good lighting in your study space. If it’s too dark to read, you won’t get very far. During the day, working by the window or even outside can give you the best light to work by.

4. Get settled…

A comfortable chair will keep you working more effectively than an uncomfortable one, a sofa or, worst of all, your bed.

5. …or get moving

Study doesn’t have to be still. If you are the sort of person who doesn’t like to sit still all the time, get on your feet and pace around while repeating what you’re studying aloud.

6. Find the right background noise

A little bit of background noise can block out distractions and help you concentrate – but the wrong kind can be a distraction in itself.

Instrumental music can be a good choice, as lyrics tend to be more distracting. Alternatively, there are many websites and phone apps that play rain noises, cafe sounds or white noise.

CPD – What Does it Mean and Do I Need It?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development.  It is the intentional maintenance and development of knowledge and skills which are needed to perform your job successfully.  This might mean brushing up on current skills, or increasing the knowledge you have, or even learning new skills which will allow you to progress up the career ladder.

Most professions require their employees to take part in CPD courses to ensure their staff are fully trained in the necessary skills they require.

A good CDP structure gives employees a clear path to success with their current role and shows the potential progression to future jobs.  If you work in a regulated industry such as the healthcare, accountancy or legal industries, employers can get in a lot of trouble if they do not keep their staff up with their CPD!

CPD activities could include formal educational activities like instructor led training courses, workshops and seminars, or CPD could include self directed learning through online courses and structured reading.

What Does LMS Mean?

LMS stands for Learning Management System.  This is a means for a course giver to manage the learning of their students.  An LMS allows the course provider access to information about the learning its students are doing, such as the progress being made and how many people are accessing the tools at a time.  It also allows the provider to add content to their courses and generally look after the way the courses run.

A good LMS will be flexible for the provider to add their own information and course content and will provide the useful performance information that the provider needs to see in order to adapt or alter the courses to better suit its participants.

The students themselves will often not see any part of the LMS, instead they will often be faced with learning through a Virtual Learning Environment or VLE, which is the ‘front of house’ of the online course.  It offers a place for the student to see their own progress and see which topics or modules they have taken or are yet to take.

What to Look for When Choosing an Online Course

Learning online is a great way to add to your qualifications whilst still keeping a full time job, or looking after your family.  It is a great option for people who don’t have the time or money to go to regular college courses or nightschool, but there are good courses and bad courses out there!  Here’s our guide for finding the perfect online course for you.

Focus on learning by doing: Practical courses are the best way to learn skills, particularly things like programming, or web design for example.  There’s not much use just reading about a topic, it won’t necessarily help you understand HOW to do the thing!  Think about the skills you want to develop and find courses which have an emphasis on actually doing those skills.


The course gets you in front of employers – For an online course to be really effective, it needs to directly connect the learner with the tools they need to gain employment.  This could be vocational skills, it could be actual employers or simple job ideas which could benefit from that course.


Less like lectures, more like tutorials – most online courses are made up of lots of reading followed by testing that knowledge.  This is ok, but it is better if the course offers a mix of lecture style reading, videos and clips which can help the learner to really dig into the topic.

What Makes a Great E-Learning Course? Things to Look Out For!

Good E-Learning usually features at least some of the below items, demonstrating it’s awesomeness!

It grabs your attention – a good course will let you know what you’ll be doing and what you’ll get out of it, to inspire you to take the course

It makes you think – a good course will get you to really think properly and feature interesting questions

It is presented in small chunks – if you’ve done online courses before, you’ll know that a large block of text just turns you off!  A good course will be broken down into bite sized chunks for you to read easily.

It frequently checks your knowledge – this could be through little questions or quizzes, but a good course will periodically check you understand what you’ve just learnt, that way you know you’ve got it!

It tells stories – everyone loves a good story, and a great e-learning course will deliver information through relatable stories

They summarise information clearly and show you where to look for more information – being able to clearly sum up the key points is a great e-learning tool, and even better if they point you in the direction of further reading on the topic!

What Are The Main Benefits of E-Learning as An Educational Tool?

There’s no doubt that e-learning or online learning has changed the face of education!  We think it is a great way to get more people qualified and accredited.  Here are the main reason e-learning is such a booming subject.

  1. It is a quick way for students to learn, scalable to different organisations
  2. All learners have access to the same materials, and subjects can be covered thoroughly
  3. There is a high knowledge retention rate among e-learners – you can go back over topics if need be
  4. Save time and money!  There’s no travel costs and expensive tutors to pay for
  5. It’s possible to track leaning activities, ideal for monitoring your progress on a given topic
  6. Reduce your carbon footprint!  Online learning and testing cuts down on paper use which means less waste overall
  7. It’s flexible!  Online learning allows people who might not be able to get to face to face courses a chance to partake.  It also means you can work at your own pace, since there aren’t other people in a class to worry about