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Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.


Looking for a new job? Create The Perfect CV

An interactive guide to creating the perfect CV has been launched as the UK heads into the busiest job-hunting period of the year.




The visual highlighting the dos and don’ts of resume writing has been created to help guide job seekers in January as they look for a fresh start.

It was designed after a study found just under a tenth of CV-readers hate layouts which are too complicated to actually read, while one in five would be turned off by a rude or inappropriate email address.

The research polled 1,000 UK adults who oversee hiring at their company and found it takes them just 34 seconds to decide if someone’s CV is worth closer inspection.

Commissioned by Adecco Retail, the insight also found including a selfie, rambling across more than two pages of A4 - and sharing unusual hobbies are among the biggest CV faux pas.

Other no-nos include using clichés like ‘I always go the extra mile’ and having inexplicable gaps in your career history.

Shelley Preston, head of Adecco Retail, said: “Your CV is your door opener and it has to be accurate.

“Recruiters will see dozens - if not hundreds - of applications and while it’s important your CV stands out, you want it to be for the right reasons.

“The first step is making sure everything is spelt perfectly, because errors like that show you’re likely to have similar low standards in your career.”

The study also found more than a third said telling an obvious fib on a CV will see it filed in the bin, and just over one in 20 don’t want to see social media handles included.

And a fifth have even been amazed after an applicant got their company’s name wrong when applying for the job.

However, just under six in 10 have made an initial negative judgement on a CV, only for the candidate to turn out to be better than expected.

On the other hand, three quarters have had an applicant turn in a brilliant resume, only to be hopeless once they’d landed the job, according to the OnePoll research.

Half of those polled admitted that a candidate who had a perfectly written CV but didn’t seem like a perfect fit for a job would most likely be invited for an interview anyway.

But four in 10 say a single typo on an otherwise perfect application would hold them back from offering that person an interview.

And on average, for every 10 CVs the average employer looks at, four of them will contain a typo or spelling mistake.

The problem could be generational, as 53 per cent agree that young people today are more likely to have a ‘terrible’ CV, compared to a decade ago.

Around half even admitted to having a CV come their way with an error on it so hilarious, they were moved to print it out and show it to their colleagues.

It also emerged one in 10 experts in perusing job applications describe themselves as ‘extremely good’ at spotting a lie on a CV, and 55 per cent have called someone out on a fib.

As many as four in 10 of these truth-benders admitted to the falsehood, while 55 per cent attempted to blag their way out of the situation.

Adecco Retail’s Shelley Preston added: “Your CV needs to be a true and accurate reflection of yourself and your work experience.

“It really does make the difference between securing your dream role and not, so it’s integral that it only contains relevant detail, is kept concise and includes no grammatical errors.

“Many jobs are in high demand, so you need to ensure you stand out from the crowd right at the start of the hiring process, and a well formatted CV is the way to do it”.

The interactive CV can be viewed here – 


  1. Telling lies
  2. Spelling errors
  3. Including a selfie as a picture
  4. Having a rude or inappropriate email address
  5. General typos
  6. Punctuation or grammar mistakes
  7. Using clichés like 'always go the extra mile'
  8. Including a picture generally
  9. Never holding a single job for more than three months
  10. No contact details
  11. Getting a company's name wrong
  12. Suspiciously long gaps between jobs
  13. Going across more than two pages of A4
  14. CVs which aren't CVs such as a website or blog instead of a printed CV
  15. Layouts which are hard to understand/read
  16. Having hobbies which don't constitute as hobbies such as 'hanging out with friends'
  17. Including social media profiles/handles/links
  18. Not having any references included
  19. Using big fonts or strange layouts to make the CV look longer than it is
  20. Including part-time jobs which are no longer relevant

New Business Wants To Help Business Owners Develop and Grow

A New Dawn is the name of the brand new business which is looking to Support Business Owners, Executives and Individuals who are looking to develop their businesses and themselves to Live the Life they wish to Live.




June Watters; Owner of A New Dawn, was born and lives in Dumfries and Galloway with her husband and son. June is a  multi-talented individual with a wide range of  business experience having worked nationally and internationally as a senior executive both in the private and public sectors.  She combines her passion of supporting  individuals and teams ‘to be the best they can be’ with her experience and expertise of transforming and managing complex businesses and her excellent interpersonal skills to inspire and encourage others achieve their business and personal goals.

June worked for Marks and Spencer plc as a senior manager both in the UK and Europe she led business transformation through the use of improvement science, operating at Board level and led broad reaching organisational transformational projects thriving on achieving targets and making things happen. Responsible for the development of new operational, financial and staffing strategies to support sustainable growth.  She drove the integration of Finance and Buying teams within the multi-million pound business improving stock management and profitability through introducing the  co-location and cross functional communication between teams. Leading and facilitating workshops enabling leaders to develop shared objectives and action plans.

An Area Manager for New Look Retailer Ltd June was responsible for the organisational development of retail outlets across the south of England where she maximised sales and profit through the effective delivery of the New Look brand to customers.  She developed managers and staff to focus on their customer through analysis of sales, product mix and improvement of visual merchanting standards which drove a substantial increase in sales.

An expert in building capacity and capability in improvement science across NHS Scotland she ensured delivery of high quality patient focussed services.  Known as an outstanding leader with drive and vision.  Holding an unconditional positive regard for others she is naturally collaborative in  her style and known for being warm, open, realistic and optimistic in her approach.

June inspires and encourages business leaders, individuals and teams to create the conditions for change enabling them to achieve both business and personal goals. A strategic thinker and a financial planner with an ability to quickly build relationships she is politically astute and able to make difficult decisions whilst delivering operationally challenging targets.  She is logical and precise in her thinking using evidence to persuade and influence others when discussing the achievement of financial budgets and targets. Using different approaches depending on the situation e.g. business and workforce development, reduction in funding or business planning.

A New Dawn provides bespoke programmes to support Business Owners, Leaders and Executives to develop their businesses to achieve both business and individual ambitions.

(A)  Business Coaching A New Dawn will support business owners in discovering their business potential and support them to achieve and implement their plans to move the business from where it is currently to where they want it to be.

A New Dawn will:

•    Work in partnership with you to clarify the vision of where you want your business to be and your desired timescales

•    Support you to develop a business plan to take your business from where the business is now to where you want the business to be

•    Support you to consider your current life and reflect on how you wish to live your life as part of your business ambitions

•    Support you to implement and monitor the changes required to achieve your business and personal goals

(B) Executive Coaching A New Dawn will support Executives, Business owners and Business leaders to successfully achieve their desired goals through the development of themselves and their teams.  Assisting them to develop their leadership and management styles enabling them to perform, learn and stay healthy and balanced  in their life and career.

A New Dawn will:

•    Work in partnership with you to clarify and focus on what you wish to achieve in your career such as: improve your self confidence, strike a better work/life balance, consider and plan for new career opportunities, become a more effective leader

•    Support you to consider your current life and reflect on how you wish to live the life you wish to live and guide you to make, meet and exceed personal and professional goals.

•    Support you to rediscover your beliefs, strengths and abilities

•    Support you to increase your confidence to develop a plan for your future

•    Support you to implement your plan

(C) Transformational Life Coaching  A New Dawn will support individuals to see their life from a different perspective giving them the confidence to move forward providing an objective, empowering environment to enable them to explore their dreams and aspirations without direction or judgement.

A New Dawn will:

•    Work in partnership with you to gently encourage you to explore how to make positive changes in your life based on your aspirations.

•    Support and guide you to make , meet and exceed personal and professional goals.

•    Support you to rediscover your beliefs, strengths and abilities

•    Support you to consider your current life and reflect on how you wish to live the life you wish to live

•    Support you to increase your confidence to develop a plan for your future

•    Support you to implement your plan

For further information on A New Dawn and how June can support you and your business please contact her on 07393284894 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


South Scotland Labour MSP and Scottish Labour’s Rural Economy Spokesperson Colin Smyth has urged the newly appointed “interim” Chief Executive of the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency to give an early commitment to ensuring the new Agency will be locally accountable.

The comments come after the Scottish Government announced today (9 January 2020) that Nick Halfhide, currently Director of Sustainable Growth at Scottish Natural Heritage in Inverness, will take up the post of Interim Chief Executive of the new Enterprise Agency from 3 February. The move follows the failure of the Scottish Government to appoint a permanent Chief Executive for the Agency following an open recruitment process last year.



South Scotland Labour MSP and Scottish Labour’s Rural Economy Spokesperson Colin Smyth said,

“ I wish Mr Halfhide well in his interim post. I know there is concern locally over the failure of the Scottish Government to appoint a permanent Chief Executive last year and the fact we face the bizarre situation of an interim boss setting up a new team and structure and making the appointments to the Agency they want, but  then a new person coming into the post inheriting someone else decisions with little room to shape the team they want. However, given that Mr Halfide is a handpicked appointment by the Government in Edinburgh rather than appointed locally, it is important that he gives an early commitment to the new agency being accountable to the South of Scotland. We need local solutions to the local problems facing our economy so that means having a new agency rooted firmly in the South of Scotland. One way to help achieve that is to ensure the new board has a breadth of experience and skills from across the region when those appointments are made. I would therefore encourage people who can make a real difference to apply to the board before the deadline which is fast approaching.”

Interim CEO of South of Scotland Enterprise Appointed

Nick Halfhide, director of sustainable growth at Scottish Natural Heritage, has been appointed interim chief executive of South of Scotland Enterprise, the new agency regenerating the economy of the South of Scotland.

Nick Halfhide image from LinkedIN

Mr Halfhide will take on the role from 3 February until a permanent appointment is made.

Fergus Ewing, rural economy secretary, said: “Today’s announcement marks an important step in our commitment to delivering the new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland.

“With his understanding of Scotland’s rural economy as well as his organisational and leadership experience, Nick Halfhide brings the right mixture of skills to the role of interim chief executive. Nick will help to ensure SOSE is effective from the outset and able to deliver on our ambitions for the future of the south of Scotland.”

Mr Halfhide added: “I am delighted for this opportunity to serve the people and businesses of Dumfries and Galloway, and the Borders. I am determined to build a new development agency that listens and responds to what the communities in the South of Scotland need.”

Russell Griggs, South of Scotland Enterprise chair, commented: “I want to welcome Nick to this key leadership role as we continue to progress our ambitious aims for the South of Scotland. With a strong track record in building teams and engaging with communities, Nick has the skill and knowledge we need now to turn the new agency into reality.

“I look forward to working with Nick to build a capable and responsive organisation, providing the support that businesses and communities across the south of Scotland so richly deserve.”

What is Burns Worth?

South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine will be speaking at the launch of a major new report into the economic value of Robert Burns to Scotland which will be taking place on Saturday.


The report, titled ‘Robert Burns and the Scottish Economy: A New Model of Wealth, Worth and Potential' has been put together by a research team at the University of Glasgow led by Prof Murray Pittock. It looks into how the worldwide appeal of Burns is already supporting Scottish business and jobs as well as examining the future potential to boost the tourism, hotel and restaurant industries across south west Scotland and beyond.

The report was funded by the Scottish Government and it’s believed to be the first to look into the economic benefits of Burns to the Scottish economy in such detail.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,

“I’m looking forward to finding out what this new report is saying about the current global value of the Robert Burns brand. In 2018 I led a debate at Holyrood on the economic value of Burns and spoke about earlier research that had estimated Burns had generated £157million for Scottish economy back in 2003. That figure will be much higher now.

"Scotland is already a world-leader in cultural tourism, attracting more heritage visitors than anywhere else in the UK outside London. This new report will give us a greater understanding of our cultural economy which will then enable us to maximise returns for the tourism sector and the jobs that depend on it.  It is particularly important to the South of Scotland, in particular Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway, where Burns lived and worked. "

The launch will be taking place on Saturday at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway as part of the annual conference of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies.