CV TOP TIPS
Employers can receive hundreds of CV’s when advertising for a job so, it is important to make your CV stand out… For the right reason!
There are thousands of CV templates free (yes FREE) to download from the internet. Use a template to help make sure you list all of the relevant information.
Employers often run checks on employment history, qualifications etc. so, always make sure you tell the truth.
It is ok to seek help from a friend however, do not copy and paste some one else's wording on to your CV. Make sure your CV flows nicely and is all your own work.
Your CV represents you and what you have to offer. If there is a spelling error on your CV it can deter a future employer. Make sure you use spell check and proof read before sending.
An email address on your CV should be professional, ideally your first name.last name@. An inappropriately named email address with deter employers straight away.
Using bullet points is a great way of listing details about your previous employment history. Bullet points keep it brief, are to the point, clearer and, will make the important information stand out.
Listing details of 2 different references on your CV puts confidence in the employer. If you are successfully chosen for employment your new employer will ask for references so, it is best to show that you have these in the first instance.
When applying for a job always submit a covering letter. Stand out from everyone else and show that you are genuinely interested in the job advertised.
Whilst you may be able to write numerous pages about yourself it is best to keep your CV to a maximum of 2 pages. An employer can usually determine from the first page if they are interested in you or not.
When stating your employment history make sure you list the month and year you started, along with the month and year you left. Employment history should always start with the most recent first.
INTERVIEW PREPARATION TOP TIPS
Preparation before an interview is important to give you the best chance of getting the job you have applied for.
Have a look at their website to familiarise yourself with the services and/ or products they offer. Most websites will often have a section “about us” so, reading this will often give you good insights into the company. If a question comes up at the interview and you have already done your research, it is a good way to impress your future employer.
Familiarise yourself with common interview questions (look online) and think of an answer for these prior to the interview.
This is a common interview question and, if you are not prepared, it is hard to think of something on the spot. When an interviewer asks what are your weaknesses this should be specific to your job role only. They do not want to know you have a weakness for chocolate or for you to tell them some deep dark secret. Think of a weakness that you have and how you plan on improving this. Turn a negative into a positive.
Make sure you know in advance where the interview is and how to get to there. If it is in a place that you have never been to, why not drive there a few days before to check you know where you are going.
Read over the job description and familiarise yourself with the listed skills required. If a key skill required is organisation, for example, make sure you mention in the interview how organised you are.
Interviews often end with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. It is always good to end with you asking questions to show your enthusiasm and interest in the job role. Write down some questions before the interview to prepare you.
If you are nervous, why not practise the interview with friends or family. Get them to ask you common interview questions and practise answering to these.
Have an outfit prepared so that you are not panicking what to wear on the day. Make sure you dress in a manner that is professionally appropriate to the position for which you are applying. If you are unsure, make sure you dress up and not dress down. It is much better to be dressed too smart than to be dressed too casual.
Interviewers will often ask you about things you have put on your CV. When put under pressure, you can often forget important things. Read over your CV before the interview to remind yourself and to be ready to talk about your employment history, qualifications etc.
Make sure that you get a good, early night’s sleep before your interview. Looking tired and yawning through your interview will not make for a good first impression.
INTERVIEW TOP TIPS
So, you have completed your preparation and now the main event is about to take place.
Make sure you get to your interview 15 minutes early. Use the 15 minutes to prepare yourself, look over notes and get yourself calm.
It is normal to be nervous during an interview but, try and relax and not let your nerves show.
It is good practice to greet your interviewers by shaking their hand and telling them your name. A handshake and name introduction shows that you are professional, polite and confident.
A smile can show that you have a pleasant nature; it can help to invite others to get to know and like you.
Have confidence in yourself. Not many people make it through to the interview stage so have confidence in yourself.
Communication is made up of 3 areas; words (what you say), tone (how you say it) and body language. You may be surprised to learn that 55% of communication is made up of body language. It is therefore important that during the interview you are conscious of your body language. Sit up straight, smile, make eye contact etc.
Employers can see through people who are lying. Don’t forget it is common for them to run background checks on employment history etc. so make sure you tell the truth.
Be enthusiastic throughout the interview. Show them that you are keen to work at their company and that you are the right person for the job.
Remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.
At the end of the interview, it is good practice to again shake your interviews hand and say goodbye. It is professional to remember their name and thank them personally.
SECOND INTERVIEW TOP TIPS
Second interviews are very common and usually include other key members of staff that were not there the first time around. They allow employers the opportunity to see candidates again before making that final decision as to who they would hire. The questions asked are usually based around personality and interests, to help determine who is right for their team.
Once you have reached the second interview stage it is tempting to sit back and think that the job is yours for the taking, however, it is common for 2 or 3 people to be called back for a second interview so, there is still plenty of work to do!
When being asked back for a second interview whether it be from the interviewer directly or, the recruitment agency try and find out what the second interview will entail. Who will the second interview be with? What type of interview is it, is there anything specifically they would like to discuss?
Think about your first interview. Where there any aspects that could have gone better? Was there something you wanted to say but forgot? Make sure you make a note of any improvements or questions to prepare you for the second interview.
Re-read the job description again to get everything fresh in your mind and remember to mention anything that will put you in good stead that you may have forgotten last time.
It is common for the interviewer to ask you questions about the company to see what you can remember from last time. Do your research to remind yourself and to prepare you for any questions you may get asked.
There is a reason they called you back so, be yourself. Don’t try and be someone you are not.
Like last time, there are hundreds of typical interview questions online. Look for common second interview questions to help prepare you for anything you may be asked.
A second interview gives you another chance to show them that you are the perfect person for the job. Have confidence in yourself. Tell them why they should hire you.
You may find that some of the questions are a little repetitive second time around. Make sure you smile and answer each question with the same enthusiasm as before even if you do find them repetitive.
It can be common to be shown around the building and introduced to other members of staff on your second interview. Make sure you show an interest in both the people and places you are being shown. Remember to be polite and friendly by shaking hands and introducing yourself to anyone you meet.
It is ok to ask at the end of the interview what the next steps will be. Feel free to ask when a decision will be made and when you will hear by.