CV vs. Resume: What’s the Difference?


Have you ever applied for a job online that asked for a “resume/CV”? Or perhaps your future employer requested a CV outright? Depending on where you’re from, you may be unfamiliar with either the resume or the CV.

You may be wondering, “What is a CV? What is the difference between a resume and a CV? When should I use each type of document? Do I need both?” We’ll answer these burning questions below.

Check out this website for more information on the differences between CVs and resumes.

What Is a Resume?

If you grew up in the United States, you are probably more familiar with the concept of a resume. The term “resume” comes from the French word for “summary.” A resume is a short document that summarizes your skills, education, and work background. It can also include optional sections like volunteer work, hobbies and interests, or licenses and certifications.

Resumes are typically written in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent experience.


What Is a CV?

The term CV is short for curriculum vitae, a Latin phrase that means “the course of life.” CVs are detailed documents. According to the Indeed Editorial Team, CVs may include “your career history… education, awards, special honors, grants or scholarships, research or academic projects and publications… professional references, coursework, fieldwork, descriptions of research projects or dissertations, hobbies and interests and a personal profile that lists your skills and positive attributes.”

CVs usually follow a chronological order, starting with your education.


CVs and Resumes – What’s the Difference?

CVs and resumes have a lot in common. Both serve as advertising media for your skills and experiences. They advertise you to your potential employer.

The basic layout of the CV and the resume are also the same. They have similar sections, such as contact information, a list of skills, work experience, and education. Most often, they are written in chronological (or reverse-chronological) format. In each, functional and hybrid/combination formats are also available.

There are some distinct differences between CVs and resumes.

  • Length. Resumes are short. Generally, they consist of just one page or two pages at most. CVs, on the other hand, can be quite lengthy. Most are at least a few pages in length; they are as long as is necessary.
  • Tailoring. Resumes should be tailored to each job you apply to. Because space is limited, you may want to adjust your skills and job descriptions to best fit the job at hand. CVs, on the other hand, include most if not all of your experiences. They are added to over time, but seldom tailored. 

Having a CV can make tailoring your resume easier, as you’ve already committed to paper (or a computer screen) the descriptions of every experience you’ve ever had.

It should also be noted that in some countries, the terms resume and CV are used interchangeably. This is the case, for example, in Australia, India, and South Africa. In New Zealand, the U.K., and some other parts of Europe, “CV” refers to a short document like the resume described above.

In the United States, however, resumes and CVs are distinct as described above. Typically, CVs are only used by those in academic or scientific roles such as master’s and doctoral students, professors, or academic researchers.


Should I Use a CV or a Resume?

When deciding which type of document to submit, consider the following three areas:

  • What was requested? Pay attention to the wording of the job listing or application. It may specifically request a resume or a CV, or it may indicate that either is acceptable.
  • Where is the company based? Especially if you are applying for remote work, pay attention to where the company is located. If it is outside of your home country, do your research to find out which document type is generally expected. As a general rule, countries in Asia and Europe prefer CVs.
  • What is the industry? In the United States, resumes are used for most industries. With high volumes of applicants, these short documents allow hiring managers to consider candidates quickly. In academic or scientific fields, fewer candidates generally apply for the available jobs, allowing hiring managers more time to dig into the details. These details also play a greater role in the decision-making process than in other industries.

If you are in doubt as to which type of document to use, don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter or hiring manager for clarification. If you have both types of documents on hand, you will always be prepared.


In Conclusion

Resumes are most commonly used in the United States. These brief, one-page documents summarize your skills and abilities. Longer CVs are used in some other countries and in academic or scientific circles within the U.S.








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How to Boost Sales Through Visual Merchandising

floating puzzle pieces

As some high street stores are well aware, operating within the retail industry can be testing. The good news is that with the right approach, retail chains can weather the storm. One way of boosting sales and bringing in customers is through the art of visual merchandising. Visuals are key to catching the eye of a potential customer and coaxing them to enter the store!

Where The Trade Buys, service providers of postcard printing, have put together this handy guide to tell you more:

Why do we use visuals?

Understanding visual merchandising is crucial to a successful marketing strategy. The visual merchandising process involves strategically designing the layout of an entire shop floor — right down to the shelves and product displays — to provide a more engaging, exciting and ultimately profitable consumer experience.

There is more to visual merchandising than just putting products in a certain place just because they look good there. There’s actually a science behind why certain presentations, structures and even colours deliver a better experience than alternative arrangements. It has been proven that a strong visual display can raise turnover and strengthen your brand, inspiring customer loyalty in the process.

As the Retail Doctor’s CEO, Bob Phibbs put it: “Visual merchandising is everything a shopper sees at your store that hopefully leads to a remarkable shopping experience. It is the unspoken language retailers use to communicate with their customers.”

A successful visual merchandising strategy could help you avoid a similar path that was suffered by Maplin and Toys R Us.

Tempt your customer with their wants, not their needs

Retail sales are on the rise with global retail sales predicted to hit an amazing USD 27.73 trillion by 2020. This provides plenty of scope for brands to maximise their profits and get a share of this growth in the next few years. The first step to achieving effective visual merchandising are the products you will use to attract consumers. A handy piece of advise is to opt for what you think your customer wants — not needs. According to a study by Raj Raghunathan and Szu-Chi Huang, emotional responses are influential in our purchasing choices. This is the reason why you should focus on giving the customer something to desire.

Tempt your customers by displaying your luxury items. Using banners presenting promotional offers for luxury items alongside these displays will get the customers to take notice — and buy!

Group products together

Grouping products together can affect the effectiveness of visual merchandising.  Exposing shoppers to the maximum number of products is one of the tactical methods used when brands carrying out visual merchandising. However, take care to ensure the displays don’t look crowded and cluttered.

Utilise a variety of different display furniture best suited for displaying the products you are merchandising. Keep focal points as a priority when planning where to direct your customers – it has been reported that they boost sales by as much as 229%.

Implement systems such as the ‘Pyramid Principle’ and the ‘Rule of Three’. To set up the Pyramid Principle, create a triangular display with the biggest item in the middle, and the smallest on the outside. This set-up ensures the  display looks attractive to the eye and not flat and boring.

Another effective visual display method is the ‘Rule of Three’. Within this, you create attractive asymmetry that shoppers will find engaging. Apparently, humans see asymmetry as normal meaning they pay less attention if presented with it. By placing product in groups of three, you can create a noticeable imbalance. This forces the eye to take look at each product individually, rather than the display in its entirety — a perfect way of effectively advertising each item.

Be clever with colour

Stylist and retail merchandiser Jessica Clarke, gives the following advice on using colour in visual merchandising: “Things that are easy to look at will be passed over, and things that are too outlandish will be offensive to the eye.” And this goes for colour. Contrasting colours at the opposite side of the colour wheel can help grab attention — think black and white or scarlet and jade — but creating a multi-coloured display of uncoordinated colours may turn people away. Selecting one of the free svg files on offer here gives you plenty of choice.

Take note of the decompression zone

The area of a shop found just a few feet inside the main entrance is known as the ‘decompression zone’. Psychologists believe that this area elevates a shopper’s mood, acclimatises them to the store’s surroundings and prepares them for the shopping experience.

An effective decompression zone should help your consumer make the transition from the hustle and bustle of outside to a calmer, more focused environment that encourages browsing. Here are some tips to set up an effective decompression zone:

  • Minimum of 10-15 feet.
  • Based at shop entry with a full view of store.
  • Created using contrasting furnishings and colours from outside area to signal new atmosphere.
  • Use mannequins, attractive stands and specialised lighting to highlight your newest ranges.

Customers can also be targeted by the journey they take around the store too. Research has shown that 98% of people turn right after entering a store, so using your decompression zone to create a ‘circulation route’ from the right side that leads around your store will create a smoother customer journey – and higher sales in the process. Alternatively, you can position your best products at the right of your decompression zone.

Consider all of the senses

As well as the focus on visuals, it’s important to take into account the other four senses. Reportedly, 75% of emotions come from smell with our moods enhancing by up to 40% when we detect pleasant aromas. If you run a fragrance, soap or food retail establishment, are you harnessing the power of smell effectively enough when it comes to merchandising?

Carrying out marketing tactics that appeal to the smell can trigger particular memories and feelings for customers. If you run a bakery and want to evoke a feeling of home cooked warmth and cosiness, make sure your customers can smell your products baking from the kitchen as soon as they set foot inside by setting up the area to waft aromas into the main shop.

Likewise, products such as soaps and toiletries should be placed strategically around the shop floor to avoid scents from clashing unappealingly with one another. For example, put all the citrus products together to evoke a sense of energy and rejuvenation and keep these far away from lavender and camomile scents, which are more relaxing.

Review your strategy regularly

Keep your visual merchandising up to date with changing times. Move existing presentations as new stock comes into prevent customer boredom. Changing displays regularly makes it look like you’re constantly replenishing your stock and bringing in new and wonderful items that simply shouldn’t be missed. Similarly, promotions and seasonal goods only last for a certain time so changing displays frequently will avoid the impression that your brand is behind the times or lazy and will give the impression of innovation instead.

Shopping habits are always changing, however, and retail experts predict that shopping is forecast to change towards becoming more of an experience. Visual merchandising ensusre that your shop offers something consistently engaging, keeping consumers interested. If you haven’t already, why not start planning out your shop’s next visual merchandising campaign today?


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How to Run an Effective Fundraising Campaign


pound coin balancing on pound coins


Unfortunately, nobody has unlimited money. If you do, hello, Bill Gates, it sure is lovely to see you here. For the less financially encumbered, you may need some other ways to achieve those lofty dreams of yours, like “steady incomes” and “financial security”. Wow, just shoot the last rhinos while you’re at it, so demanding. Like the ancient philosopher Jon “Socrates” Bon Jovi said, “These days the stars seem so out of reach, /These days, there ain’t a ladder on the streets”.

Unless, of course, you know how to run a successful fundraising campaign. Many businesses know how to do it (from corporate giant Amazon in its early days to Bekins Moving Solutions), and how hard can it be, really, if you read these four simple tips?


Manners maketh man

Nobody will give money to you if you’re aggressive, rude, dismissive, demanding, or negative in any way. Put yourself on the other side of the fundraising equation: if someone comes to your door rudely demanding money, will you give a single penny to them? You would not. Unless you didn’t want to go to prison for a very long time for tax evasion, but that’s a completely different can of worms that we’re not going to get in to right now. Basically, be polite, it really gets you places.


Find a decent middleman

There’s no way you can collect any substantial amount of cash by yourself. Fortunately for you, there are people you can talk to, for example the Global Faces Direct not-for-profit fundraising company. Many hands make light work, and the more work you can do in the time you have equals more money for your latest endeavour. Choose well, check as many reviews as you feel you need to, and do your homework.


Advertise as much as you can

Thanks to this beautiful thing called the Internet, we have this ability to easily and instantly connect with other humans from all over the world, watch videos of cats falling down staircases, be insulted by celebrities, watch remixes of videos of cats falling down staircases, watch the slow decay of society as we know it, and bring attention to the causes we believe are important at that point in time, specifically, in this particular case, the “I Need Money” cause. More donators mean more donations, and more donations means you get more money in the end. No downsides!

Be engaging

If you don’t enthral your future donators, they will not be your future donators. Captivate them with an in-depth description of what exactly you hope to achieve with the donation you are asking them for, go into detail, and be as descriptive as possible. Don’t fall into the old trap of only giving a sentence or two of vague background as to what you’re doing. Write paragraphs, if you have to. Pack in as much detail as you possible can, and try not to repeat yourself too much.







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How to help your business continue when a power cut strikes


people in meeting black and white

The erratic weather of late due to climate change is to blame for the number of power outages the UK has faced. In July, Thorpe Park was hit by a series of power outages. This resulted in some visitors becoming stranded on several rides because of the sweltering temperatures of the region’s heatwave, while more than 15 power cuts were reported in 24 hours in Cambridgeshire at the end of the month, which lightning strikes partly to blame.

A power cut at home is bad enough, but they can have a much more severe effect on your business. With costs to consider, including lost productivity and wasted running costs, it’s important for any business owners to fully prepare for these events to make sure they can keep their operations functioning as effectively as possible during power cuts.  Here, with gas cylinder suppliers, Flogas, we look at what causes power cuts and how to prepare your business for them:


Power cuts in the UK

It’s no secret that we’re used to power outages in the UK. In 1972, the miners’ strike caused major power issues and even a state of emergency to be declared, while Storm Frank in 2015 caused the loss of power to around 40,000 properties. Considering the UK has more than 17,000km of electricity cables, there’s a great deal of maintenance to keep on top of, which means a sudden storm or unexpected heatwave can cause significant issues.

Although everyday operations can be harmed by all, power outages can include:


  • Transient fault: lasting only a few seconds. This is a temporary fault, but power is automatically restored.
  • Brownout: reduction in mains power supply that can last for a few days (e.g. lowered light levels) and cause machinery malfunction.
  • Blackout: absolute power loss. As the most severe case of power outage, blackouts are often the most costly and difficult to recover from.


According to Climate Central, approximately 80% of all power outages between 2003 and 2012 were caused by weather. Considering its unpredictability, it may be worth preparing your brand for future power cuts today.


How power cuts can affect your business

Of couse, in 2018 we rely significantly on power to run our business, so any disruption or cut-off of energy is extremely damaging. But how do power outages usually interrupt and harm a business?

Even a short interruption can lead to data being lost. This may affect your company’s ability to achieve client deadlines on projects, if work and information is irretrievable and thus forcing your staff to start again. Blackouts and brownouts that last one or more days can mean your production lines simply cease to exist in practice. Of course, your staff are there and willing to work, which means they need paying regardless. However, your business won’t be able to create the products it needs to make a profit that day or even break-even. Similarly, if your business relies on a sales department, think of how much revenue you could lose if your team can’t contact people via phone or email to clinch new customer accounts.

A single hour of downtime can cause a small business to lose up to £800, with bigger companies experiencing more significant losses. When Google lost their power in 2013, they experienced losses of £100,000 per minute! The reasons behind the losses vary. Not having access to electricity can mean that employees cannot communicate with customers and are therefore losing out on potential sales. For an ecommerce company, they do not have access to their website to monitor sales and client requests. There is also the risk of losing unsaved material, which can be costly to small businesses.

According to research, 23% of IT professionals surveyed believed that an IT outage can cost them in the region of £10,000 to more than a £1 million an hour! In fact, IT downtime in the UK costs around £3.6 million and 545 productivity hours a year. To work out the average cost of downtime an hour, this is the general formula:

Employee cost per hour x fraction of employees affected by the power cut x average revenue for each hour x fraction of the revenue that was affected by the outage

If you can’t afford this scale of losses in productivity and profit, there are things you can do the alleviate the issue.


How to minimise losses during a power cut

Each company is likely to have different priorities when it comes to machinery and processes that need to be safeguarded in case there’s a power cut. If your brand relies on computers and data — as do most in 2018 at least to some degree — install a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) for all your computers. This will let the device run via its battery and will give the staff enough time, if a blackout happens, to save crucial documents and properly shut down the computer to ensure data is not damaged and can be recovered to keep projects on track. Saving on a cloud is also a great way to keep critical files safe.

In a power outage, it’s likely that crucial connections to the web will be lost. By setting up a MiFi — a device that can operate as a Wi-Fi hotspot — your employees’ devices can connect to an ‘ad-hoc’ network to help you stay online and working in the event of a power cut.

It’s also worth purchasing a surge protector so you can protect electronic devices and machinery hardware because any sudden rush of energy can cause your data to become corrupted. Industrial generators are robust and designed to comply with legal obligations for optimum efficiency in times of need. If your brand relies on the continuous operating of equipment and machinery, it’s vital that you invest in a generator to protect from major productivity and revenue loss as a result of power outages.

To try to minimise the damage that a power cut can cause to your brand, you should come up with a business continuity plan that outlines exactly what management and workers are required to do if one occurs. Do this by creating a team or committee that will determine the specific risks to your business — a small IT company will have different points to consider compared to a large factory — and then draw up a detailed process for mitigating these risks.

Also, be sure to always unplug your devices if your business has an interruption of electricity supply and only use your electrical equipment if it adheres to the strict regulations set out by the British Standards Institution.

Yes, power cuts are unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean they have to have a devastating effect on your business. Follow these steps and prepare your company for a blackout situation.










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How should you ask your employer for education funding?


pound coin balancing on pound coins


Many employees deem their success at work would improve if they were given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and receive additional training. Yet, there’s a possibility that a number of them don’t feel confident about speaking to their employer about asking them for education funding. Maybe they don’t think this is an appropriate thing to ask, or they simply believe that their employer would disagree. The truth is, those employees that have been invested in by their workplace often show both higher levels of productivity and well-being – bringing benefits to both themselves and the business.

So, what’s the best way to approach your employer? Is there a particular right or wrong way of asking for education funding? It’s true there are a few things to bear in mind. The following guide produced by members of the Newcastle College adult learning department aims to answer this by proving some useful hints and tips on the issue.


Do your research

Take time to learn about the education area that you want to go into before speaking to your employer. With many training and education providers, you’ll find that there are a range of courses and options available. From night courses to part-time degrees, to higher apprenticeships, you can find a course that will fit nicely around your work/life balance.

Some people believe that university is their only option when looking to go into further education, but this isn’t the case. Speak to your local college and visit their website to see what they have to offer — it’s likely that they run a course related to your field or around a topic that you’re interested in.


Demonstrate your flexibility

Show your employer how training can be flexible in fitting around your job. Again, this is all about doing your research and demonstrating to your boss that there are flexible courses out there – designed for workers like you!

Were you aware that you can actually be examined on-the-job to achieve your qualification? This means that you wouldn’t be sacrificing any working hours for exams and your ability to complete tasks at work shouldn’t be affected.

Have a word your local college or learning centre for a comprehensive list of modules and assessment methods for whichever course you wish to apply for.


What are the benefits?

Completing additional training has the potential of bringing a wide array of benefits for not only yourself but for your employer too.

Widening your knowledge could help to fill in a gap in the business where this knowledge may be absent. You can then share with your colleagues. It’s also possible that after your training, you could be bringing in financial benefits for the business, for example if it means they don’t have to employ somebody else to fill a role or an external company to pick up that area of work. Think about what your new qualification could allow you to do and present this to your employer when asking the question.

For the majority of employers it is important that their employees are satisfied in their jobs. Let your employer know what this training would mean for you. Will it make you feel more confident in your role? Or, more valued and empowered? If so, express these feelings to your boss.


Provide the necessary information

Make sure that your employer has all of information required for them to make an informed and fair decision. This allows them to fully review all the information at a later date and saves them from doing in-depth research themselves.

What kind of information should be covered? Module overviews, assessment methods, course testimonials and information about websites or open days would all be useful. With these, they can find out more if they want to.

It’s also worth noting that when undertaking further education, there’s a certainty that you’ll have to give up some free time as well. Make sure your employer knows the sacrifices you are willing to make to improve your performance at work.

Reflect on the above if and when you decide to approach your employer for educating funding. Don’t be afraid to ask the question — you and your employer can both enjoy the many benefits.






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Should your business make the smart meter switch?


business ecology puzzle

Smart meters have become a common fixture in many people’s homes. If you don’t have one yet, you have probably read about them.

Smart meters have been predominantly geared towards residential addresses. But small business owners may be interested to know that smart meters can also provide numerous benefits to them too.


Smart meters in the UK

There is currently an energy plan in place. The government has set electricity and mains gas suppliers the target of making the technology available to every home in England, Scotland and Wales by 2020 – that’s 26 million households in total.

So, what is the long-term plan for smart meters? To phase out imprecise estimated readings in favour of up-to-the-minute digital energy usage recordings, taken by smart meters. These measurements are then sent directly to energy suppliers and used to generate fully accurate bills, based on actual usage.

You should be aware that it’s not just homes that can pick up a smart meter. Run a small business with fewer than 10 employees? Then, chances are, you’re entitled to a smart meter too. If in doubt, simply ask your energy supplier or broker. If your energy bills are included in the rent you pay for your commercial premises, it’s the bill payer who needs to make the request for your smart meter – so ask your landlord.


Why should I get a smart meter for my business?

Can smart meters offer any real business benefits? The short answer is yes, and these are just some of them:

  • Accurate bills  

Your bill is your bill – no more projections or estimated bills means you can manage your overheads.

  • See what you’re paying for

Smart meters show you when you’re using the most energy. Are those 3 o’clock office tea rounds causing a spike in usage as the kettle goes into overdrive? Is your business wasting energy outside of normal working hours because computers are being left on overnight? These are issues a smart meter can help you identify and, more importantly, act on – whether that means investing in a hot water urn or reminding employees to switch off their machines at night. Developing a heightened awareness and understanding of your energy usage also makes you more likely to make smarter money and energy-saving decisions across your business.

  • Meter readings are a thing of the past

Smart meters don’t need you to manually send off meter readings. It does its thing, you do yours. Simple.

  • Less downtime  

As the UK’s energy network upgrades along with smart meters, power cuts will be dealt with faster.

  • Getting greener

Smart meters are part of a greener future for Britain. Put simply, the long-term plan is to create a fully integrated smart grid linking different hardware, communications and other technologies together in something of an internet for gas and electricity. Smart meters are a crucial step towards this vision, which will eventually serve homes and businesses alike with greener, more efficient, less wasteful and more cost-effective energy.

  • Competitive tariffs

Smart meters show your supplier what you need. It’s this kind of information that suppliers need to develop new, innovative and increasingly competitive tariffs.


Sounds goods! How do I get a smart meter?

You’ll be happy to hear the process is pretty similar to when you arranged your business gas installation.  Once you’ve made the initial move of speaking to your energy supplier or broker (or your landlord, in the case of rented premises), here’s what will happen:

  • Arrange a visit

If you’re eligible, your supplier will contact you to arrange a time and day. They will work with you to ensure this is a time that works for both parties, and causes minimal disruption to the running of your business

  • Make sure someone’s in

Be sure to have someone available to let the installer in.

  • You’re all set!

With the smart meter installed, the installer will show you and your staff how to use it. They can also field any questions.

All done! As soon as your smart meter is in, your business can start reaping the benefits.



Post-installation surveys have shown customer satisfaction levels to be high. For example, the Smart Meter Customer Experience Study carried out in August 2017 by the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy revealed that 80% of those surveyed were satisfied with the technology itself, while 89% were pleased with the installation visit.

Want to be a part of the smart meter revolution? Talk to your supplier today, or visit for more information.






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Top Home Improvements for this Summer Season



Get ready for the heat wave. Whether it’s your favorite season or not, summer is coming and in some places it feels like it’s already here. With the hottest season of the year often comes a list of home improvements every homeowner wishes to tackle. Some tasks may be those you hire professionals to help with, while others have do-it-yourself written all over them.

People all over the country make an effort to get the most of the warmer months by enjoying their homes and properties as much as possible before winter creeps back in. Grab a fresh, cold glass of lemonade, or sweet tea, or iced coffee, or your beverage of choice and see if any of the items on your summer to-do list are listed among the top home improvements for the upcoming season.


Build a deck or expand your current deck’s footprint.

Nothing provides the best of both worlds for relaxing and entertaining like that of a deck off the back of your home. As a fairly straightforward improvement, deck construction always ensures you’ll get the biggest return on your investment, and the biggest impact as far as practicality is concerned. Decks are a space where family and friends can gather, or it can be a place where you retreat once the kids are tucked in and the heat of the day has settled.

Regardless of how you use it or when you use it, the fact remains that decks are an easy home improvement that sits at the top of everyone’s list. If you wish to take your deck to the next level, install an outdoor kitchen. It doesn’t have to be large to be successful; a small kitchen and grill area is all you need to make the most of warm nights.


Power wash all outdoor surfaces.

Since spring is on its way out and summer is on its way in, now is the perfect time to wash away all the pollen and pesky coat from the colder months. Pressure washing the outside of your home including sidewalks, decks, and patios, is a quick way to breathe life into your property.

Similar to how we feel after a fresh bath, looking and smelling our best, a power wash can do the same for your home. Walkways are brighter and more defined, vinyl siding and brick appear to be new again, and decks are free of Mother Nature’s debris.

When tackling this home improvement yourself, make sure to read and follow all necessary instructions regarding proper technique for power washing to prevent damage.


Upgrade your air conditioning for a retreat from the heat.

An air conditioning upgrade is the perfect treat during the summer months. Whether you had central air installed in your home or are thinking of having it installed, explore the option of upgrading to an energy efficient condenser that will save money on your energy bill.

Nothing says rest and relaxation like cool air that doesn’t make a dent in your wallet. If your home uses a traditional AC system or window units, they may be working harder than you realize to keep your home cool. Now is a good time to consider installing a ductless system that cools your home faster without working as hard.


Create a space for the kids.

While installing a pool is more of a wish list item than a home improvement item, don’t forget about the kids and what keeps them busy in summer. Since our children are out of school during the summer months, it’s important to keep them active. Designating a space specifically for them will ensure they’re not in and out of the house throughout the day.

Sure, they can enjoy the deck and air conditioned spaces just like the adults do, but we were all kids once and know the importance of having our own area to explore. A playhouse or trampoline, or a fun seating area somewhere on the deck or in the yard, is an easy improvement that incorporates their use of your home as well.

There are numerous improvements for any home and they change with the seasons. By taking advantage of the warmer weather and checking a few off your list while you can, you will get the most enjoyment during your downtime. Cheers to the loud laughs, cool refreshments, and warm nights that come with summer.


About Joanne Aubuchon

Joanne is a resident writer for SERVIZ, an on-demand home services company offering everything from Plumbing repairs to Carpet Cleaning across the US. Joanne is a writer by day and reader by night. Joanne loves writing about saving money, raising kids and improving the quality of our lives. When she is not writing, you can find her trying out new salad recipes, playing ball with her kids, or cheering in the stands at her son’s soccer games.




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How are the latest smartphones helping the emergency services?


office desk smartphone laptop pen

The benefits that come with owning a smartphone are endless. The concept has taken a mobile phone from being merely a device for making calls and sending text messages to gadgets which serve as nimble handheld cameras, portable TV screens and on-the-go internet browsers — to name just a few of their features.

But, it’s not only individuals that reap the benefits of smartphones — the devices also help the emergency services. Join TORRO Cases, suppliers of stylish and practical genuine leather phone cases and iPhone 8 cases to Cleveland Fire Brigade, as they explain a few reasons why…


Recording fingerprints

As you know, fingerprints are a key way of identifying someone — though this process can be troublesome. This is because officers who wanted to clarify someone’s identity were required to take that person into police custody, where they can then take fingerprints.

This process can take several hours, but smartphone technology has helped reduce this time to minutes. It can also be completed on the street as opposed to taking an individual to a police station.

The technology works by police officers recording scans of two fingertips. This is then checked against more detailed scans that the police have on record — a cross reference of approximately 12 million records found in national criminal and immigration fingerprint databases. Should a match be established, the police will receive details of a person’s name, their date of birth and other information crucial to their identification.

The system has been in development since 2017 and was trialled by West Yorkshire Police before being rolled out to officers with 250 scanners. Clive Poulton, who helped manage the development of the system at the Home Office, states that officers will only use the system when they are unable to identify someone by any other means, though the technology could also be applied to identify an individual who is unconscious, requiring medical treatment or deceased.

Ian Williams, who is Chief Inspector at West Yorkshire police praised the system, saying: “Most of the people we deal with from a criminal point of view tend not to carry anything with them that would identify them.”


Samsung and the emergency services

It’s possible that emergency services across Britain could be provided with a Samsung to help them in their job. This is because the South Korean technology firm signed a contract with the government in November 2017 which will grant them the opportunity to supply 250,000 handsets to establish a new emergency communications network for the country.

The three-year contract could be worth £210 million. It involves the country’s emergency services being provided with toughened, water-resistant 4G smartphones. As a result, police officers can feed live video back to their headquarters, fire crews can download building blueprints ahead of tackling a blaze, paramedics can access patient records and all emergency service personnel can access the internet while on duty.

In addition to this, the smartphones will have a “push to talk” button that grants users the opportunity to communicate instantly without being required to dial a phone number.


For members of the public

Although smartphones have been developed to help the emergency services, they can also help members of the public in an emergency.

The Emergency SOS feature is something that you may not know about but is built into many modern smartphones. This feature allows you to call for help discreetly, share your location or lock down your device.

How can it be activated on iPhone devices with the iOS 11 software?

  1. Go to the Settings app on your smartphone and select Emergency SOS.
  2. Enable Auto Call.
  3. Switch on Also Works with 5 Clicks if given the prompt.
  4. Select Set Up Emergency Contacts in Health and state who you want your location sent to.

When you’ve completed these actions, you can contact the services by 112. You can also send out your location to emergency contacts and deactivate your smartphone’s Touch ID feature just by pressing your device’s power button five times when it’s locked. For iPhone 8 users, these features can be accessed by holding down the power button and one of the volume buttons at the same time.

How can it be activated on a Samsung Galaxy?

  1. Going to the Settings app on your smartphone and selecting Privacy and Security.
  2. Selecting Send SOS Messages and ensuring it’s toggled to ON.
  3. Switching on both Attach pictures and Attach audio recording.

After this, you only need to press the power button on your smartphone three times to send a text or voice message to emergency contacts, as well as informing them of your precise location and sending them a photo directly from your device’s camera.





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Making a Clinical Negligence Claim – Where do you start?


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You may be entitled to take legal action to receive compensation in the manner that you’ve been injured from negligent medical treatment, for instance. Clinical negligence claims can be made for a variety of reasons.

If you’re the next of kin of someone who has either died as a result of negligent medical treatment or are unable to take legal action themselves because they don’t have the capacity, you can take legal action for compensation on their behalf. You don’t need to be the person directly affected, which is a misjudgment of many.

This guide by Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm can help people when they wish to make a medical negligence claim and lays out the necessary steps you must consider…


Considering your claim

The the sum of the clinical negligence payments which are being made across the UK have always been a concern for medical experts.

Senior members making up the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the British Medical Association and the NHS Confederation stated in a letter to justice secretary David Gauke that the costs of these payments are now close to double those recorded in 2011. They also calculated that if all claims which are currently in progress were to be paid out, then it would cost £65 billion. This is a sum which they fear could bankrupt the NHS and so have requested caps on compensation payments to be put into effect.

NHS Confederation’s chief executive Niall Dickson said: “We fully accept there must be reasonable compensation for patients harmed through clinical negligence. Yet this must be balanced against society’s ability to pay.”


Can you determine that you’ve definitely suffered as a result of clinical negligence?

There are certainly instances when patients are harmed as a result of clinical negligence and are therefore entitled to a reasonable amount of compensation as Mr Dickson states. Answer yes to any of these questions and you may certainly have a case:

  • Did your condition or that of your next of kin not get diagnosed?
  • Did you or a next of kin get the wrong diagnosis for a condition?
  • Was a mistake made during a medical procedure or operation?
  • Were you or your next of kin given the wrong drug for a condition?
  • Did you or your next of kin not get informed consent to treatment?
  • Did you or your next of kin not get warned about the risks which were related to a certain form of treatment?

One thing you must be aware of is that injuries suffered due to medical treatment may not strictly mean that your treatment was negligent. A compensation claim will be brought to order if it’s established ‘on the balance of probability’ that both;

  1. The treatment you or your next of kin received was performed negligently in the manner that the care provided was below medically acceptable standards, and;
  2. The treatment itself directly caused you or your next of kin injury as a result.



If you’re now satisfied that you’ve suffered from clinical negligence yourself or on behalf of a next of kin, here’s some examples of what you can claim for:

  • Compensation for psychological damage.
  • Compensation related to the pain and suffering you or a next of kin have endured.
  • Compensation when you or your next of kin have been unable to perform certain activities or enjoy selected hobbies.
  • Loss of earnings.
  • Payments that you or a next of kin have had to make for ongoing treatment.
  • The costs of adapting your home or the property of your next of kin.
  • The costs of any extra care or equipment you or your next of kin may have required.


Clinical negligence claim limits

A very important note however to consider when making a claim, is the time limits which are attached to them.

A legal claim for clinical negligence must begin within three years of the incident in question occurring. This time limit can be extended if any of the below apply to the case:

  1. The victim was unaware that a negligent act had been committed. In this case, the three-year time limit will begin from the date of knowledge that something went wrong.
  2. The victim was a child when the incident occurred. In this case, the three-year time limit will begin on their 18th birthday.
  3. The victim has suffered from a mental disability and has been unable to manage their own affairs. In this case, the three-year time limit will begin once they have fully recovered from the disability. Also in this case, a parent or another individual close to the patient can make a claim on their behalf.
  4. (Linked to point 3) The victim never recovers from a mental disability and is unable to manage their own affairs. In this case, the victim has a lifetime to begin their claim. Also in this case, a parent or another individual close to the patient can make a claim on their behalf.

After reading this guide, If you believe that you have a claim for clinical negligence for yourself or a next of kin, it is recommended that you seek out a solicitor who specialises in such cases. Two recognised panels for these solicitors exist in the UK — those administered by the Action against Medical Accidents charity, and those administered by the Law Society.

We wish you the best of luck with your case.






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Social Media Company Controversial Decisions


social media icons

With more than 39 million users recorded on these hubs at the beginning of 2017, social media is huge across the UK, according to research by statistics portal Statista. Regardless of how many of us enjoy using such social media platforms, there will be times when companies make changes to their hubs which confuse, shock or sometimes even anger us – some of which may even lead to people no longer using the platform.

Here to demonstrate this point is TORRO Cases, which can provide customers with a genuine leather iPhone case so that they can browse their social media profiles on-the-go and in style, as it explores three controversial decisions made by social media companies over the past few years…


2018 redesign of Snapchat

One story that has been making the headlines a lot recently has been Snapchats decision to redesign. Their aim was to promote more intimate sharing among friend groups while pushing content which is professionally produced into a separate feed.

The company pointed out in an official blog post “Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators. While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.”

A lot of Snapchat users have not shared the positive vibe however, to the point where some people have even used a VPN app or downloaded other risky apps in attempts to get their old versions of Snapchat back.

Nic Rumsey, a Snapchat user, took matters into his own hands, however, by setting up a petition on titled ‘Remove the new Snapchat Update’. As of March 23rd, the petition had received more than 1.25 million signatures. Even Snap Inc. responded to the petition on February 20th, with the key elements of its reply being:

  • Snap Inc.’s goal with the app redesign is to make it easier for users to connect with people they care about the most.
  • The new Friends and Discover pages are designed to adapt to each user and will get smarter the more someone makes use of the feature.
  • Tabs are being introduced to both the Friends and Discover pages through an upcoming update to make finding Stories even easier and quicker.
  • This upcoming update will also enable users to sort their Stories, Group Chats and Subscriptions to make the app even more customisable.

They concluded by stating: “This new foundation is just the beginning, and we will always listen closely to find new ways to make the service better for everyone. We are grateful for your enthusiasm and creativity. We are very excited for what’s ahead.”

Mr Rumsey replied in kind by first thanking Snap Inc. for its official response and by informing users of the impending update to the redesign. However, he was keen to add: “If we are satisfied with it and you’ve listened to our cries then we’ll end the petition, and any boycotts being planned. If users are still unhappy with the update, we’ll push the petition forward once more until you have fully listened to our wants and everyone is happy with the way the updates have been handled.”

The petition remains open and the storm surrounding Snapchat’s redesign has yet to calm down fully with the company continuously making changes.


The Facebook Explore Page

The aim was to remove all direct Page posts from the main News Feed and transfer them to what was deemed an ‘Explore Feed’ when Facebook set up their new explore page in October 2017. The social media giant’s News Feed chief, Adam Mosseri, acknowledged: “People tell us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family. We are testing having one dedicated space for people to keep up with their friends and family, and another separate space, called Explore, with posts from pages.”

It was only tested in Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka however, and never made it’s way to the UK, however it still saw many social media managers express concern. This was since splitting content made it more likely that Facebook users would be left less informed. A case in point of this was demonstrated when Filip Struhárik, a writer for Slovakian publication, Dennik N, claimed that its traffic on Facebook dropped by close to nine per cent between November and December 2017.

social media managers could breathe a sigh of relief when Facebook revealed that its Explore Feed experiment was coming to an end in March. Mr Mosseri reflected: “In surveys, people told us they were less satisfied with the posts they were seeing, and having two separate feeds didn’t actually help them connect more with friends and family. We also received feedback that we made it harder for people in the test countries to access important information.”


The Terms Of Service of Instagram

A company’s Terms of Service is usually a legal documentation which many people will choose to either ignore or quickly skim over before signing up for what the brand is offering.

Instagram tweaked its user agreement and caused quite stir when including the following paragraph:

“To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Many users reacted in anger by claiming that the wording gave them the impression that Instagram was set to begin selling their pictures to other businesses, and were filled with many negative responses over such strong concerns.

Within a week of the reveal of the new Terms of Service, Instagram co-founder, Kevin Systrom, had released a blog post to reassure users that the social media giant was amending the advertising section of the user agreement “to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010”.



Snapchat sources:

Facebook sources:

Instagram sources:




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