News

Bid Solutions Black Friday Sale

Christmas can be an expensive time of year. Thankfully, with the Bid Solutions Black Friday Sale, you can tighten the belt on your recruitment costs and make a £1000 saving when purchasing the ‘Double Package’ from our Direct Sourcing solutions.

 

Direct Sourcing is a targeted candidate attraction solution that has a mix of proactive and reactive elements and will significantly increase your reach into a specialist market. For more information, click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/clients/direct-sourcing/

 

All of our customers that have purchased the ‘Double Package’ have found the right professional to join their team.

 

Take advantage of the largest global network of bid and proposal professionals today by calling 02089732461 or emailing enquiry@bidsolutions.co.uk and quoting BLACKFRIDAY.

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

The 2018 Salary Survey opened on Monday and with over 400 of you taking part in the first 24 hours, we have already had a greater response than the first survey in 2008. To take part in the largest ever salary survey of the bid / proposal profession, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6TM95L9

Strategic Proposals have published their 2018 calendar of APMP training, with events in Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and London. They’ve helped over 2,000 people to prepare for the Foundation exam, and have an unparalleled pass rate. If you’re looking to gain certification, or to move on to APMP Practitioner, you’ll find dates and booking information here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/strategic-proposals-limited-12072682327

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include:

Bid Manager Opportunity based in London for a leading software organisation. Salary is up to £55k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16809

 

Bid Manager / Writer Vacancy based in Dublin for a leading integrated security company. Salary is up to €45k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16804

 

Bid/Business Development Manager Role based in London for a leading charity organisation. Salary is up to £38k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16810

 

Bid Assistant Opportunity based in London for one of the UK’s largest providers of social welfare. Salary is up to £36k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16787

 

Bid Coordinator Position based in Birmingham for leading engineering consultancy firm. Salary is up to £30k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16808

 

For more information on these roles please contact the team on 0208 973 2461 / recruitment@bidsolutions.co.uk or for a full list of vacancies please visit – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

2018 UK Bid & Proposal Salary Survey – NOW OPEN

The 2018 UK Bid & Proposal Salary Survey is now open. Please click here to launch the survey. The survey has the following aims:

  1. Deliver the definitive salary report for the UK profession.
    2. Enable employees to confidently benchmark their salary and benefits.
    3. Provide employers with reliable information when hiring and promoting.
    4. Report on major disparities.
    5. Review market dynamics and future prospects.

A full report will be published in January 2018. Our online salary calculator will be updated to enable generation of customised salary reports.

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and no personally identifiable data is collected. Data will not be shared with any third parties.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

The BBC reported this week that the gender pay gap remains an issue in the UK, with men in full time, permanent employment earning 14.1% more than their female counterparts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-41805053

Bid Solutions reported a gap of 23.8% in 2015 and will investigate whether it remains as stark (or is closer to the national average) in the 2018 Salary Survey. As the definitive survey of its kind in the UK, we encourage you to participate when it is launched next week. To register your interest, email salarysurvey2018@bidsolutions.co.uk

We are also pleased to announce that Holger Garden has joined our panel of ‘Experts’, as our nominated specialist in Construction and Professional Coaching. To ask Holger a question (or any of our 17 experts), click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/experts/10426/


Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include:

Senior Bid Writer Role for a leading provider of engineering services in Manchester. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16799

Bid Manager / Writer Vacancy based in Dublin for a leading integrated security company. Salary is up to €45k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16804

Senior Proposal Manager Opportunity for a major real estate firm in London. Salary is up to £50k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16805

Bid Writer Position with a security firm in Woking. Salary is up to £45k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16802

Bid Assistant Opportunity based in London for one of the UK’s largest providers of social welfare. Salary is up to £36k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16787

Bid Coordinator Position based in Birmingham for leading engineering consultancy firm. Salary is up to £30k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16808

 

For more information on these roles please contact the team on 0208 973 2461 / recruitment@bidsolutions.co.uk or for a full list of vacancies please visit – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

Holger Garden joins Bid Solutions’ panel of ‘Experts’

Bid Solutions are very excited to announce that Holger Garden has joined our panel of ‘Experts’, as our nominated specialist in Construction and Professional Coaching.

 

Holger offers a wealth of experience that has been developed over the last 24 years in construction and professional services. As an accomplished bid consultant and established professional coach, Holger provides great insight into how to work with both your core and wider bid teams to win business.

 

As one of the most educated, experienced and personable professionals in the industry, we encourage you to draw upon Holger’s vast experience and utilise his advice to the benefit of your bid team.

 

To ask Holger a question (or any of our 17 experts), click here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/experts/10426/

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

We would like to extend our congratulations to Amanda Nuttall and Lorraine Baird of Strategic Proposals, who have been shortlisted as finalists in the 2017 European Women in Sales Awards (https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/5166117/). Amanda has been selected for her role as a mentor to so many in the bid/proposal profession. Lorraine is in the final two for the Women in Financial Sales category.

 

Aside from celebrating the achievements of women in sales roles, the awards programme is designed to bring a greater awareness of the need for gender diversity in sales and in executive leadership teams, as well as help grow the pipeline of sales talent in a very heavily male-dominated field. As you’ll know from our writing, these are issues about which both the Bid Solutions and Strategic Proposals teams are passionate.

 

Our latest Contract / Permanent Opportunities this week include:

We require an experienced Bid Director with Highways experience for a major contractor. The assignment starts January in 2018 and runs for 10-12 weeks. If you are available from January and have Highways experience please contact Danielle Flegg for more details: danielle_flegg@bidsolutions.co.uk

 

Proposal / Contract Manager Position on a 12 Month FTC for a leading recruitment firm in London. Salary is up to £50k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16795

 

Senior Bid Writer Role for a leading provider of engineering services in Manchester. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16799

 

EMEA Bids & Proposals Manager Opportunity for a leading office supplier, based in Chippenham. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16792

 

Senior Proposal Manager Opportunity for a major real estate firm in London. Salary is up to £50k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16805

 

Bid Writer Position with a security firm in Woking. Salary is up to £45k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16802

 

Bid Manager / Writer Vacancy based in Dublin for a leading integrated security company. Salary is up to €45k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16804

 

Bid Writer Vacancy for a leading health services provider in London. Salary is up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16794

 

For more information on these roles please contact the team on 0208 973 2461 / recruitment@bidsolutions.co.uk or for a full list of vacancies please visit – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

The 2018 Salary Survey has accumulated great interest so far and is due to go live in the next month. To find out how you stack up against industry averages; how qualifications affect your earnings; and which industries pay the best, register your interest now by emailing salarysurvey2018@bidsolutions.co.uk

 

This week we extend our congratulations to our Public Sector expert Peter Lobl from Sixfold who has become the first person ever to be asked to give expert evidence at a procurement trial: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sixfold-high-court-andy-haigh-ppm-apmp/

 

Peter has great experience in challenging award decisions. Should you ever feel a public sector procurement you are working on is not quite fair, be sure to give him a call or ask him a question through our website: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/experts/peter-lobl/

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include:

Senior Bid Writer Position for a leading engineering services provider in Manchester. Salary is up to £60k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16799

 

Bid Manager Position on a 12 Month FTC for a leading recruitment firm in London. Salary is up to £50k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16795

 

Proposal Writer Role for a leading banking organisation in London. Salary is up to £50k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16788

 

Bid Manager for a health services provider in South West London. Salary is up to £40k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16801

 

Bid Manager Role for a leading children’s charity in Rushden. Salary is up to £40k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16798

 

Bid Writer Vacancy for a leading health services provider in London. Salary is up to £35k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16794

 

Bid Executive Role for a leading law firm in London. Salary is up to £30k – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16796

 

For more information on these roles please contact the team on 0208 973 2461 / recruitment@bidsolutions.co.uk or for a full list of vacancies please visit – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

Last week’s APMPUK Conference saw an impressive number of ‘first-timers’ taking advantage of great networking opportunities and an interesting selection of speakers. We extend our congratulations to all of the award winners from the gala dinner, with a special mention to Blue Arrow for winning the People Development Award, which was sponsored by Bid Solutions.

 

You may have noticed that things have changed on our website. Further to your feedback, we have made it simpler to navigate and richer in content.

 

We have also created a dedicated space for you to advertise your vacancies in our ‘Featured Jobs’ section. By registering your advert with us, you can target a bid-specific audience, ensuring you receive highly quality and relevant applications. Find our more here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/clients/direct-sourcing/

 

This week we are also delighted to welcome Danielle Flegg to the team. With a background in bid recruitment, Danielle brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the profession, along with sheer enthusiasm for what she does. We are sure she will be a huge success and encourage you to connect with her, if you haven’t already!

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include:

Bid Lead Role on a 12 Month FTC for a leading health services provider in London. Salary is up to £60,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16793

 

Bid Manager Position on a 12 Month FTC for a leading recruitment firm in London. Salary is up to £50,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16795

 

Bid Manager Opportunity for a leading financial services organisation in London. Salary is up to £50,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-15745

 

Proposal Writer Role for a leading banking organisation in London. Salary is up to £50,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16788

 

EMEA Bids & Proposals Manager Opportunity for a leading office supplier, based in Chippenham. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16792

 

Bid Manager Role for a leading children’s charity in Rushden. Salary is up to £40,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16798

 

Bid Writer Vacancy for a leading health services provider in London. Salary is up to £35,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16794

 

Bid Manager Role for a leading business management consultancy in Milton Keynes. Salary is up to £35,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16797

 

Bid Executive Role for a leading law firm in London. Salary is up to £30,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16796

 

For more information on these roles please contact the team on 0208 973 2461 / recruitment@bidsolutions.co.uk or for a full list of vacancies please visit – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

News & Jobs from Bid Solutions

The APMPUK Conference takes place this week in Basingstoke, with Martin Smith presenting on Wednesday and Ben Hannon presenting on Thursday. It is sure to be a highly informative occasion, with great opportunities to network with your peers. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here: http://conference2017.apmpuk.co.uk/tickets

 

If you already have your ticket, please find us and say hello!

 

In other news, our Recruitment Director, Ben Hannon, has published an article exploring CV writing for bid professionals and the similarities with writing a proposal. In a competitive market, the need to differentiate yourself from the competition is more prevalent than ever. Read the article here: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/cv-proposals/

 

We will soon be moving our regular industry updates to our company LinkedIn page. If you wish to continue to receive these updates, you can follow our Company Page here – https://www.linkedin.com/company/137705/

 

Our latest Permanent Opportunities this week include:

Bid Lead Role on a 12 Month FTC for a leading health services provider in London. Salary is up to £60,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16793

 

Bid Manager Position on a 12 Month FTC for a leading recruiter in London. Salary is up to £50,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16795

 

Bid Manager Opportunity for a leading financial services organisation in London. Salary is up to £50,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-15745

 

EMEA Bids & Proposals Manager Opportunity for a leading office supplier, based in Chippenham. Salary is competitive – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16792

 

Bid Writer Vacancy for a leading health services provider in London. Salary is up to £35,000 – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs/?keywords=VAC-16794

 

For more information on these roles please contact the team on 0208 973 2461 / recruitment@bidsolutions.co.uk or for a full list of vacancies please visit – https://bidsolutions.co.uk/jobs

Is your CV as Compelling as your Proposals?

A winning CV is a lot like a winning proposal. It needs to grab the attention of the reader and effectively sell the benefits of rewarding you with employment (and in both cases, a contract). As with any bid, in order to get to the presentation (or interview) stage, you need to have a solid written document and this is exactly the same case with a CV.

Hiring managers typically spend 5 seconds looking at your CV before making a snap judgement. While Procurement Managers will (hopefully) spend more time than this reviewing your proposal, there is still a need to make an impact in a short time frame. We’ve seen some candidates that have had exceptional careers that fall at this hurdle as their CV is not compelling and lacks substance.

So what makes a good CV and how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

 

Basics

When writing a proposal, you should ‘Keep It Short and Simple’ (KISS). Rather than rambling on for an eternity in response to each question, you must always ensure that it is concise and contains the information that the customer wants to know. You should follow similar guidelines when writing your CV, ideally keeping it to 2 pages long and definitely not longer than 3. I always shudder when I open a CV and there’s a contents page…

Like a good proposal, your CV needs to be customer-focused – tailor it to the specific job that you are applying for and make it clear what you can bring to the prospective organisation. Consider the ‘left hand margin rule’ when writing your CV. Within proposals, the left hand margin should be all about the customer and should not be a sea of ‘we’, ‘our’, or your own company name. Try and do the same thing with your CV. It is very rare that we see a CV that has been totally customised that mentions the company by name. It is a small detail but goes a long way in the application process.

It is useful to have a couple of versions of your CV so that you can send the one that is most appropriate. Have you had a role that is a cross between a bid writer and a bid manager? If so, and you are applying for a position that is more one than the other, it makes sense to emphasise the skills that you would be using in the new role.

Don’t be creative with the truth on your CV and be sure to provide an explanation for any notable gaps. You will be asked about these, so it’s better to be up front from the start. This is particularly important if you are applying for a role that requires security clearance. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be preaching ‘fake news’ in your proposal as well…

Little mistakes can cause big problems in both proposals and CVs. Mitigate this risk by ensuring you proofread your CV as well as getting a colleague / friend to review the document – they may pick up on errors or inconsistencies that you have missed. I have seen so many mistakes during my time, some infuriating, and some hilarious (including the person who said they have been in their current job for a thousand years). Every good bid process relies on numerous review sessions. You need to make sure that the document is water-tight before it goes out to the customer. This is the same with your CV, particularly if you are a Bid Writer – this is your profession!

Reverse chronological is standard practice for your Employment History. Include the most detail at the front and less detail the further back you go. Much like with a proposal, the reader is interested to know that you have a strong track record without needing specific detail of what you did in 1989.

 

Executive Summary / Opening Profile

When writing an executive summary, it is important to avoid clichés like ‘we are delighted to be given the opportunity to respond to this RFP…’ This is dull and generic. Similarly with a CV, do not write that you are ‘honest, trustworthy and reliable’ – these character traits should be a given and it just reads like filler for the document. Your opening profile should provide a snapshot of why you are the right candidate for the role and invite the decision maker to read the rest of the document. After a short paragraph, we would also recommend including a collection of bullet points that illustrate your key skills or achievements.

For example:

  • 6 years’ bid writing experience within social care
  • Circa 20 bids completed in the last 12 months while maintaining a 60% win rate
  • £100m+ of new business facilitated through public and private sector bidding

This is all about making sure your relevant skills jump off the page and into the eyes of the reviewer.

 

Track Record / Employment History

In this section you should provide relevant information as to why the decision maker should choose you / your company. This is where you display that you are a credible, experienced and reliable provider of what the reader wants.

Your CV needs to be evidence based. Ensure any claim on your CV passes the ‘What? Why? Where? When? Who? How?’ test and be able to justify each line of your CV at interview. In a proposal document you can do this with the inclusion of relevant statistics and call-out boxes. Within your CV, sales figures and achievements (improvements of win rates, key deals won, reduced cost of bidding etc.), all make an impact and add weight to your application. These should be located within the role you are describing, as well as in your key skills / achievements section.

For each role in your Employment History, rather than have large blocks of text, use bullet points to provide an overview of your responsibilities and achievements. The temptation, particularly for writers, is to flow the words like a story. Your skills are likely to be lost in these large blocks of text because you don’t know where to look. Bullet points are much easier on the eye and will make an instant impression.

Carefully consider the use of keywords. Unfortunately there are a lot of ‘keyword matchers’ out there – people that will only look out for specific phrases in your CV, rather than get into the detail of each position you have held. Even worse, there is software that some companies will use to do this for them! To counter this, be sure to repeat certain words that are related to the role you are applying for. With over 300 job titles being used within the bid / proposal profession, it is vital to explain your role responsibilities, so that you highlight your suitability for the position and avoid confusion due to a unique job title. Consider also whether you are ‘responsible’ or ‘involved’ when listing your responsibilities. For example, do you lead kick off meetings and storyboarding sessions or are you a participant? By tweaking the language accordingly, you will make it much clearer as to where you can add value to the prospective employer.

 

Other Considerations

A contractor’s CV is typically different to that of someone looking for a permanent position. While there are always exceptions to the rule, a contractor’s CV will typically focus more on the deliverables (what is the customer buying?) than the personal elements of being a full time employee. A contractor’s CV is often very factual, with a list of recent projects, deal values and what tasks were performed within each particular bid. A permanent job-seeker’s CV is more likely to reference their character and what they can offer the team they are joining, rather than what they can offer the bid they are joining.

A final consideration is to remember that your CV is a personal document. Yes, it should be structured, however it should also be unique to you. Whether that means using a particular writing style or creating the document using InDesign (if you have the skills), this is a document that should reflect you and your individuality. A generic CV will get you so far, but a truly customised, standout CV will get you much further.

 

Conclusion

It can be challenging to cram your life’s work into a single, 2 page document. The key to a compelling CV is to not include everything but to keep it relevant and tailored to the client to whom you are applying, just like when writing a proposal. Within bidding, where organisations are looking to you to win business through written documents, a few sloppy mistakes on your CV will not inspire confidence in your ability to write a persuasive proposal.

While there is no magic formula for creating the perfect CV, this guide will hopefully provide you with a solid base from which to build upon. Of course, if you are still struggling and don’t know where to start, Bid Solutions offer CV services that can take some of the pain away: https://bidsolutions.co.uk/candidates/job-seekers-guide/cv-services/