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Modern Business Essentials – Our Favourite Tools & Resources

It’s essential that you look the part and have practical tools to succeed. Here’s my hand-picked list of favourites, every one is a tried and tested star-performer.

My new Ultimate Assessment Day Guide

A new addition to the list! The guide contains everything you could possibly need to succeed at your interview or assessment day. Download the guide here.

You can practise real assessment day exercises and the psychometric tests that employers use here and here.

1) A high-quality folio

There’s no need to spend a fortune on a Lucrin (unless you want to work in the City of London, in which case they’re practically essential to fit in!) – my favourite is the Masters Executive which offers a great balance between style, function and value. The Swiss Alpine range is also excellent. These things look great and are built like tanks. It will last for your entire career. Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

Masters Leather Folio

2. Kensington Presentation Pointer

PointerAn genuine ‘must buy’ for anyone who has to perform an important presentation.

One of the most powerful things you can do to enhance the way you are perceived as a presenter is to use a presentation pointer. This allows you to trigger the next slide without having to stand next to your laptop, frequently clicking buttons. This is huge because it frees you to move around and gives your presentation a level of professional polish that I guarantee your audience will notice.

My favourite is this Kensington model which is well-made and beautifully simple to use. It’s perfect: Amazon (USA) | Amazon (UK)

(You can also use this to draw your audience’s attention to specific points as it has a laser pointer built in.)

assessment centre3.  Microsoft Office

The standard software suite of the business world. Contains all of the most frequently used Microsoft programs: Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, Access, Publisher & Onenote.

Another genuine ‘must-own’.

Office for PC: Amazon (USA) | Amazon (UK)
Office for Mac: Amazon (USA) | Amazon (UK)

assessment centre

4. Dropbox

Dropbox keeps all your files in sync across all your devices. Desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, you name it. It’s brilliant.

It works perfectly, it’s fast, secure and has transformed the way people access their information and documents. And it’s completely free! Click here to visit the Dropbox site.

assessment-day

5. A Moleskine Notebook

Moleskine Notebook

Moleskine established themselves as the business notebook of choice many years ago and their heritage goes back a long way (Hemingway and Picasso were Moleskine fans). There’s a reason these things have been popular so long; the superb build-quality and beautiful acid-free paper are still winning them new fans today. Moleskine notebooks are simply the best. Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

assessment centre6. The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People

A business classic which contains a wealth of proven techniques that will not only make you better at your job but will also teach you how to enjoy a balanced and fulfilling life. Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

7. iPad Mini

assessment centreThe iPad has rapidly become the go-to business tablet and its impact has been revolutionary. The ‘Mini’ model is small and light enough to fit into a folio/handbag and a must for those who want to be at the forefront of modern business. Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

8. iPad TV connector

A very effective way to deliver and present information to small groups is by connecting your iPad to a TV.

Your iPad will have one of the following two types of connection, depending on how old it is.

How To Connect Ipad To TV

Older iPads (iPad 1,2 and 3) use the ’30-pin’ style and newer iPads (iPad Mini & iPad 4 onwards) use the ‘lightning’ style.

You can connect an older (30-pin) iPad to a TV with this lead: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

For newer (lightning) iPads you’ll need to use this lead instead: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

Regardless of your iPad connection style, you will also need a cheap HDMi lead to plug into the TV itself: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

 

Four excellent books for further preparation

assessment centre‘Now you’ve been shortlisted: Your guide to being successful at interviews and assessment centres’

This is a fabulous book by Denise Taylor that’s packed with useful information and advice. You can find it here: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

“This book is essential-reading for anyone that wants to feel more confident and prepared for their forthcoming interview or assessment centre.

It covers the different types of psychometric testing companies use, the various forms of interviews they employ, from first interview to panel interview to competency-based interview, as well as other more subtle aspects of performing well at interviews and assessment centres.”

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Verbal Reasoning

‘Practise & Pass Professional: Verbal Reasoning Tests’

I often recommend Alan Redman’s excellent book to candidates who are particularly worried about their verbal reasoning tests or those who have struggled in their practice tests. You can find it here: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

“Written by business psychologists and packed with hundreds of real-life tests. Know what to expect and maximise your chances of passing.

Don’t let the verbal reasoning test jeopardise your job application; with the advice and tips in this book you’ll be well-prepared to perform at your very best and win the job you deserve.”

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Psychometric Testing“You’re Hired! Psychometric Tests: Proven tactics to help you pass”

This excellent book by James Meachin and Ceri Roderick is a good read and will give you a deeper understanding of psychometric testing, what to expect and how to succeed: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

“This unique guide is written by two business psychologists who specialise in recruitment. Packed with practice questions, sample tests, tips and expert advice you can be reassured that it will equip you to handle any test thrown at you with confidence.”

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Numerical Reasoning

‘Practise & Pass Professional: Numeracy Tests’
This book was Written by business psychologists who specialise in recruitment, it’s packed full of hundreds of real-life tests so you A) know what to expect and B) can practise numerical reasoning tests to your heart’s content: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

“The tests are supported with tips and advice so you’ll be completely at ease with the process and can take your numerical reasoning test feeling confident and capable. Don’t let a numeracy test jeopardise your job application!”

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What are your recommendations?

Do you have any suggestions for additions to this ‘essentials’ list? If you know of a great tool or resource or have something that you just couldn’t do without get in touch and let me know – maybe it’ll make its way onto this ‘A’ list!

More articles of mine that will help you

I’ve written tons of other articles that will help you succeed at your interview or assessment centre:

  • Lastly the Tools and Resources page is packed with useful equipment and ‘A’ List recommendations that will make your life easier.

Good luck!

I hope you enjoyed this article? I’d love to hear your feedback so please do get in touch and let me know. Thanks and good luck for the future! 🙂