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January 13, 2014
Dear Reader,


On behalf of Personal Assistant Tips I wish you a happy and prosperous 2014. January is often the time of year when people decide to look for a new job so I decided to start the year with 3 articles that can help PAs significantly improve their personal brand.


Your appraisal meeting is an important developmental event and should be treated as such. This means that you should prepare thoroughly for appraisal meetings. Apart from ensuring that you turn up on time for the meeting and that you have achieved your set objectives for the appraisal period, what else could you do to illustrate the many ways you have been productive and have added value over the appraisal period? Consider the following suggestions if you really want to impress your boss and get the best possible score.

Highlight Special Recognition
Have you received any awards or certificates as a result of training you completed during the appraisal period or as a result of other personal development or sporting accomplishments.

Measure Your Added Value
If you have reduced costs in your organisation in some way, make sure your boss knows about it. Present evidence that shows the degree to which you have, for example, reduced the amount the company spends on stationery.

Present Yourself as a Problem Solver?
Did you solve a difficult problem during the year that resulted in an improvement in systems in the office? If so, prepare to tell or remind your boss what you did, why and how you did it and the results of your actions.

Show Off Your Communication Skills
Did you produce a special report or write a good work-related article during the year? If so, take a copy of the special report or article with you to the meeting to remind your boss just how good it was.

Customer Relations
You can't go wrong if you spend time improving customer relations; customers are the reason we have a job. Make the most of opportunities to show your boss that you have over-delivered on customer service. For example, if customer complaints have decreased as a direct result of something you did, explain what you did to achieve that outcome.

Provide a comparison of the number of customer complaints received before and after your intervention. Perhaps you have worked hard to develop a special relationship with an important customer which has resulted in additional business. If so, be sure to remind your boss about your efforts.

LINKEDIN RECOMMENDATIONS: An Essential Resource for Personal Branding

If you are looking for a new job this year, it's important that you use all the tools available to you for creating and improving your personal brand. LinkedIn is an essential resource that provides a number of tools specifically for this purpose. It is said that up to 89 per cent of companies now use social media to check on applicants so it's important that you join LinkedIn and create a profile. This will enable you to connect with the wider business community and link in with other experienced PAs. Your profile also acts as an online CV. A fully maximised profile includes recommendations. Recommendations are mini references that help to authenticate you and complete your profile.

Maximise Your Profile
You should always maximise your profile, that means filling in your profile to at least 75 per cent. If you are a PA and you are not on LinkedIn, you are essentially invisible to the business community. Part of the process of maximising your profile is to connect with other professionals that you know, including people you have worked with and have done business with.

Always include a professional looking photo because there will come a time when you will want to connect with someone that you don't know. Most people ignore connection requests from strangers with no picture in their profile. When you have maximised your profile you are ready to request recommendations.

What Is a Recommendation?
A recommendation on LinkedIn is a short statement from someone that knows you. It should say positive things about you and your level of professionalism. You can ask for recommendations from past/present colleagues, managers, business associates, tutors and even clients. The person recommending you must also be on LinkedIn and must be in your network of connections. This is why it's important to maximise your profile and start building your network immediately by connecting with others.

To ask for a recommendation click on the small icon with your photo on it (located at the top of the page). Click on the link "Privacy and Settings", then "Make Your Recommendations", then click on the link at the top of the page that says "Ask for Recommendations". You can either ask your connections to write a recommendation for you or you can write it yourself and send it to them asking for approval. Writing the recommendation yourself is helpful because you take all the effort out of the process so that they don't have to spend time thinking about what to say.

Recommendations should say things like how effective, efficient and flexible you were when you worked for a particular boss. They could also say how helpful and easy going you were when you worked with a particular colleague or they could highlight your "can-do" attitude and professionalism when you over-delivered in providing service to a particular customer. A good profile has at least 4 recommendations.


Interviews can be nerve racking but thorough preparation will give you the edge you need to appear confident. You should see interviews as literally "your time to shine". This means, in as far as it's possible, saying only positive things about yourself and backing it up with a confident stance. For some people this is a struggle because it sounds too much like bragging. Remember that what you are saying about yourself is true and the interviewer expects you to sell your talents and abilities.

One way to make sure you never run out of positive things to say about yourself is to use the following list to prepare what you will say when the interviewer says "Tell me about yourself". This list will help you to highlight your talents and capabilities in the area of negotiation, creativity, verbal and written communication, professionalism, qualifications and personal branding.

Topics for Discussion

- Discuss your membership of a professional PA organisation and say how it has assisted you in your career.

- Demonstrate your influencing skills by telling the interviewer about a time when you successfully persuaded your boss to give you a pay rise. Be sure to explain why you deserved it.

- If you pulled together an amazing presentation that your boss was really pleased with, say what your boss liked about it.

- Have you successfully studied for a degree? It is always interesting to hear how people managed to study for a degree while holding down a full time job.

- Mention any new and successful systems you engineered.

- If you saved your company money by, for example, negotiating cheaper prices with your stationery provider, mention how much money you saved the company.

- Last but not least, mention any promotions you received and explain why you were the best candidate for the promotion.

Thursday 27th & Friday 28th February 2014
Rydges Kensington Hotel, Kensington, London, England

The next Advanced Executive PA Masterclass is fast approaching. This is an excellent course for Executive Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants and Senior Administrators. Learn practical strategies and soft-skills that are essential for the professional development of a world-class PA.

Book your place now for the next course which will take place on Thursday 27th & Friday 28th February 2014 in central London, England.

What Others Have Said About the Masterclass

“For the PAs who think they know it all, think again! Would highly recommend all Executive PAs attend this masterclass. You'll come away with valuable tips and knowledge."
Julie, EA to President, Alstom Renewable Power, Paris

“An extremely good course for senior PAs, with good practical exercises, which were well delivered."
Corinne, Marks and Spencer, London

“Anyone thinking of doing this course should definitely go ahead and book! Marguerita is the fountain of knowledge and really knows how to get the best out of you! Very useful course content that I will carry with me throughout my career."
Project Manager, Leeds, England

More Course Dates
Tues 29th & Wed 30th April 2014
Thurs 19th & Fri 20th June 2914

Visit our website to review the course outline and to download a brochure:

Friday 14 March 2014
Rydges Kensington Hotel, Kensington, London, England

This PA refresher course is for PAs who have not attended a PA training course for a while or have picked up their PA skills along the way. It's an excellent resource for those who would like to fill in gaps in their knowledge and optimise their skills. This course is taught at intermediate level. It also introduces some advanced-level themes using a number of practical case studies. You can expect to learn the latest PA best practice in the following subjects.

This Course Covers:

- Working productively with management

- An in-depth look at the email & diary management process

- Comprehensive meeting planning techniques

- Tips for taking actions points at meetings

- Practical suggestions for producing well written minutes

- Strategies for time managing & prioritising your workload

- Going the extra mile when planning executive travel

- Practical business writing skills

What Others Have Said About the Course

"Extremely useful course which has provided a high level of information which I could use as a launching pad in my career. The information was so poignant and will enhance me as an individual."

"Very pleased with the course and new tips/thinking outside the box."

"Very informative information on PA duties and detailed lists of ways to progress myself and improve my skills."

Visit our website to review the full course outline and download a brochure:

A tailor-made solution for developing your PA skills

PA mentoring is an excellent choice for PAs who would like to develop specific aspects of their PA skills-set. It is also a good resource to use if you feel that your work performance is slipping. We offer a number of PA mentoring programmes to suit every pocket and experience level.

What Others Have Said About our PA Mentoring Programmes

"My coaching session with Marguerita has changed the way I approach my work. She has given me some excellent tips on time management, managing working relationships and making the most of my role. I came away from the session with new-found enthusiasm and an eagerness to put into practice the advice she shared with me."
Anya, Senior Administrator, London

"...I have to say since the moment I got in touch with Marguerita she was very helpful. A plan was put together and the months mentoring support started in November. I found the action plan created for me a great benchmark to help me be more successful in my role and it was invaluable to have an outside, independent person who understood the pressures and work required from the role..."
Dawn, EA, Fujitsu, Ireland

Visit our website for more details:

We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you have any questions about our services please contact Marguerita King on +44 (0)845 862 2687 or at the email address provided below.

Marguerita King,

Managing Director,

Personal Assistant Tips,

Suite 16413, 145-157 St John Street, London, EC1V 4PW,

Tel: +44 (0)845 862 2687,

Mobile: +44 (0)7771 648521,

Fax: +44 (0)207 183 9899,



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