Congratulations on making the first steps towards your new career. We’ve all done it before and know what you are feeling like at the moment-Honestly we’ve all been there!
As a candidate you can expect the following approach from us:
- Consultative- We’ll listen to you first and foremost before offering advice and guidance.
- Honest- We’ll give as much feedback as we can along the way to you and ensure that we manage your expectations.
- Supportive- We’ll help you along each step of the way providing as much interview coaching and support you feel necessary to support you through the process.
Most of all you’ll be delighted to know that we will actually communicate with you! We’re flexible in our working hours so happy to talk to you after work or over the weekend if that suits you better by phone, text or e-mail. We endeavour to provide feedback to all applications at all stages of the process- From experience there is nothing more demotivating than applying for a role and never hearing a thing back. We try really hard to ensure that this happens for each application we receive.
The first step is to register with us, simply attach your CV and complete our initial registration form so that we have all of your contact details and experience. If your CV is not quite updated or needs some professional advice let us know- We’d be happy to take a look at this for you and provide constructive feedback to ensure it does you justice. Once we have your CV we can then have an initial conversation to understand your needs and assess suitability for roles.
Whenever you apply for a new role you will have no doubt conflicting advice from friends, family and Colleagues perhaps as what to wear for interview, what to say, what not to say how to fill an application form in etc. which can be very confusing- WE KNOW!
Let us help you see the wood from the trees- We will coach and support you through the process end to end and if you let us help you we will guarantee a more positive journey through the whole recruitment process.
When it comes to applying for a new job, your CV could be just the ticket to get you that initial foot in the door and secure an interview – but how do you ensure your CV is added to the interview pile rather than thrown straight in the bin?
Whilst there is no ‘official’ right or wrong ways to write your CV putting together a ‘successful’ CV is easy once you know how. It’s a case of taking all your skills and experience and tailoring them to the job you’re applying for which believe it or not most people don’t do-One size CV does not fit all!
So where should you start?
A good CV is clear, concise and makes every point necessary without waffling. You don’t need pages and pages of paper – you just keep things short and sweet. A CV is a reassurance to a potential employer, it’s a chance to tick the right boxes. And if everything is satisfied, there’s a better chance of a job interview. Also, employers receive dozens of CVs all the time so it’s unlikely they’ll read each one cover to cover. Most will make a judgment about a CV within sections, so stick to a maximum of two pages of A4 paper.
Understand the job description
The clues are in the job application, so read the details from start to finish. Take notes and create bullet points, highlighting everything you can satisfy and all the bits you can’t. With the areas where you’re lacking, fill in the blanks by adapting the skills you do have. For example, if the job in question requires someone with sales experience, there’s nothing stopping you from using any retail work you’ve undertaken – even if it was something to help pay the bills through university. It will demonstrate the skills you do have and show how they’re transferable.
Tailor the CV to the role
When you’ve established what the job entails and how you can match each requirement, create a CV specifically for that role. Remember, there is no such thing as a generic CV. Every CV you send to a potential employee should be tailored to that role so don’t be lazy and hope that a general CV will work because it won’t.
Create a unique CV for every job you apply for. You don’t have to re-write the whole thing, just adapt the details so they’re relevant.
Making the most of skills
Under the skills section of your CV don’t forget to mention key skills that can help you to stand out from the crowd. These could include: communication skills; computer skills; team working; problem solving or even speaking a foreign language. Skills can come out of the most unlikely places, so really think about what you’ve done to grow your own skills, even if you take examples from being in a local sports team or joining a voluntary group – it’s all relevant.
Making the most of interests
Under interests, highlight the things that show off skills you’ve gained and employers look for. Describe any examples of positions of responsibility, working in a team or anything that shows you can use your own initiative. For example, if you ran your university’s newspaper or if you started a weekend league football team that became a success.
Include anything that shows how diverse, interested and skilled you are. Don’t include passive interests like watching TV, solitary hobbies that can be perceived as you lacking in people skills. Make yourself sound really interesting.
Making the most of experience
Use assertive and positive language under the work history and experience sections, such as “developed”, “organised” or “achieved”. Try to relate the skills you have learned to the job role you’re applying for. For example: “The work experience involved working in a team,” or “This position involved planning, organisation and leadership as I was responsible for a team of people”.
Really get to grips with the valuable skills and experience you have gained from past work positions, even if it was just working in a restaurant – every little helps.
References should be from someone who has employed you in the past and can vouch for your skills and experience. If you’ve never worked before you’re OK to use a teacher or tutor as a referee. Try to include two if you can.
Keep your CV updated
It’s crucial to review your CV on a regular basis and add any new skills or experience that’s missing. For example, if you’ve just done some volunteering or worked on a new project, make sure they’re on there – potential employers are always impressed with candidates who go the extra mile to boost their own skills and experience.
The interview is an opportunity for both the company and you to evaluate whether you are a good fit for the job so expect questions relating to your ability, work history, future goals, and whether you fit the company culture.
Apart from the obvious – dress to impress, know where you’re going and getting there early, you should spent some time preparing for the type of questions you’re likely to get.
These are common, general questions you should prepare to answer:
Tell me about yourself
This, or any of the alternative introductory questions (‘What sets you apart from other candidates?’ or ‘Why should we hire you?’) is an ideal opportunity for you to talk about how you’re a good fit for the job. You can almost guarantee you will get a question like this, so prepare an answer, but be careful not to sound too rehearsed. Concentrate on how your experience, successes, or personal characteristics make you a strong candidate and avoid irrelevant information. Aim to talk for a minute or so, then check with the interviewer that s/he has enough information. Don’t describe yourself using cliches like ‘I’m a team-player’, but demonstrate through examples how you match the job description or ideal candidate profile.
What motivates you?/Why do you want this job?
For this type of motivational question, you’ll need to know what inspires you and keeps you happy at work. Select a couple of aspects that also highlight your abilities: winning new business; training people in new skills; identifying new markets; discovering new talent for example.
Why do you want to work for us?
Do your research, know the business its values and goals and a little bit of its history and current makeup. It is important that you can answer this question as it demonstrates how you’ll ‘fit’ within the business and the existing teams.
What are your strengths/weaknesses
Expect a question relating to your personal characteristics. Alternatives could be ‘How would you describe your personality?’ or ‘How do your employees/managers perceive you?’ Choose the most relevant strengths to the job you’re applying for. When answering the ‘weakness’ question, avoid cliches like ‘I work too hard/I’m a perfectionist’. Instead, choose a real area where you’re aware you could do better, and say what you’re doing about it. For example, ‘I tend to clam up in meetings, but if I go in with prepared points, I find I can contribute much more effectively.’
Where would you like to be in the next three/five years?
This is a good opportunity to talk about your career goals, and link them to what the company offers in terms of promotion and career development.
What did you like the most/least about your last job?
Knowing what the role involves is important, as it’ll help you frame your answer. Saying you disliked working for a disorganised manager will be counterproductive if you’re interviewing for a similar position. Try to emphasise the positives. For example, ‘I enjoyed being able to help my manager be more efficient by organising his diary and correspondence’ would be more appropriate in this instance. Although you need to show self-awareness of what you really dislike, it’s not an invitation to criticise your previous company. A safe approach is to stick to generalities: ‘I like working with supportive colleagues/in companies which promote openness and transparency’ or ‘I dislike office politics’.
Always prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview- We’d be happy to help you tailor these specific to the role and the organistaion.
Finally, at the end of the interview thank the interviewer for their time and always end with a confident handshake and exit by saying that you will look forward to hearing feedback in due course.