Get on Board
So, you’ve had a look around and now it's time to get down to business. Here's a few helpful hints and tips to get you through the door and past the interview.
A good CV is not only a way to highlight your skills and experience to an employer but your ticket to gaining that all important interview.
Remember your CV has about seven seconds (yes 7) to make a first impression. You can dramatically boost your chances of getting an interview by making your CV look and sound special.
Here are a few of the essentials:
• Fiddle with the layout to make it easy on the eye.
• Edit it ruthlessly (avoid putting in too much detail).
• Highlight the bits that relate to the job you're applying for.
• Put "Who you are now" at the beginning of your CV. Describe your work experience in short sentences or bullet points highlighting your achievements, general responsibilities and skills required in the role. Always be truthful and accurate when describing your experience and don’t over exaggerate.
• Leave education and qualifications for the end. List details of any qualifications gained (ie GCSE, A Levels or Degree) including your grades. You may also wish to include details of any additional qualifications or courses that you have attended which would be relevant to the role that you are applying for.
• If you don't have the amazing educational qualifications, don't worry. Tell us something interesting and intriguing about who you are now. Tell us about your personal qualities, your relevant skills or experience. A short statement about what you're looking for can also go down a treat.
• Highlight your achievements and not just your responsibilities.
• Describe facts about your experience for example, revenue figures; size of budget; size of teams or number of customers you deal with etc.
• Make your most relevant experience and skills prominent to assist us in understanding your suitability.
• Stay focused and concentrate on the quality of your achievements, not the quantity.
• List other skills that could raise you above the competition such as languages, driving licence and IT skills.
• Check your CV thoroughly for correct spelling and grammar.
• Get someone else to read it.
• Make it clear and easy to read. Avoid fancy fonts and colours. Always use a readable font and select a sensible size.
• Never ever lie! All qualifications and work experience will be checked through our referencing & vetting processes.
• You may wish to include a brief overview of your interests and hobbies outside of work to give us a bigger picture view of yourself.
Preparing For a Job Interview
If you have been invited to an interview, it means someone has looked at your CV and something about you, or the way you have presented yourself has felt a good enough 'fit'.
Whoever is interviewing you will want to know if they will like you, if you're someone they could spend working time with, if you'll get on with other people in the company. But the important thing to remember is, you're in the door.
The key to a brilliant interview lies in the preparation, so it’s worth doing your homework before the event.
• Research the organisation. Before you turn-up, do your homework. You can find out a lot about a company on the web, so check us out before coming to the interview. Annual reports and marketing materials are ideal sources for finding information of their short and long term plans. You might even want to suggest how you can help us reach our goals.
• Think of a few questions for the interviewer you would like to ask.
• Dress appropriately. Obviously this will depend on what role you're applying for, but a good rule of thumb is smart, clean and presentable. If in doubt, always wear a smart business suit.
• Read through your CV and application letter and take additional copies with you.
Check directions, parking or public transport timetables to the location of your interview.
Ask yourself some typical interview questions:
• What attracted you to this job?
• Why are you leaving your current job?
• Why do you want to work for us?
• What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses?
• How do you see yourself in 5 years time?
• How do you like to work?
• What can you bring to this company?
• Why should we employ you?
• What do you do outside work?
At the interview
• Turn up on time – ideally arrive slightly early. Don’t be late. Please.
• Be aware of your body language, for example try not to fold your arms – it is negative and gives the impression that you're not interested.
• Try and maintain eye contact with all of the people in the room not just the person asking the questions.
• Make sure you try and talk to everyone if there is more than one interviewer.
• When asked a question, don't waffle! Or go on too much! Speak clearly and answer in appropriate detail.
• Be enthusiastic and motivated about the role at all times.
• Sell your brilliant self! Show yourself in the best light without appearing boastful. Demonstrate your abilities for the role without showing off.
• Smile! Always!
• If you’re unsure about anything or lack experience in a given area, own up and admit it. Just show us that you are keen to learn.
• Don’t ever criticise current or previous employers. It doesn’t sound good.
• Try not to interrupt or cut across the interviewers.
• Avoid getting distracted – focus on the conversation at all times.
• Whatever you do, don’t assume the role is yours. This could be a real own goal and spoil all your hard work.
If you do not have a CV you can use our CV template to help you
Finally, good luck out there!