Welcome to the Career Centre, where you can find a range of career tools, including tips and advice for all candidates, covering a range of topics from how to write a successful CV to interview tips and much more!
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How to prepare a successful CV
Preparing a strong CV is critical to your success in finding the right job. We have partnered with the best CV writing companies to help you get the CV that will win you your next job.
As an introduction to who you are, your CV needs to be easy to digest as you may only have 20 seconds to impress a potential employer reading your CV.
CV Writing Tips
- Write in report style (i.e. bullet points, short sentences and small paragraphs). Don't waffle. Your CV will be easier to read.
- Select a readable font when formatting your CV. Size 11 or 12 is recommended. Don't include a photo unless you are specifically asked.
- Always use spell check and grammar tools to check your CV. Simple spelling mistakes will put an employer off. Read your CV over and over again to ensure there are no mistakes. Show it to a family member or close friend to proof read.
- Include your personal details, name, address, telephone number and email address. Use a professional email address. Create a new one if necessary.
- List your Employment history and Education details. Start with the most recent.
- Give the name and address of two referees, along with your relationship tp them (eg former boss).
- Keep your CV to a maximum of 2-3 pages.
- Include a cover letter with your CV application. It should be short and relevant to the role you are applying for.
Creating a Covering letter
The main aim of a cover letter is to encourage recruiters to read your CV. It provides an overview of why you specifically are suitable for the job.
- Keep your cover letter concise and relevant.
- In the introduction state where you learned about the role. Refer to any specific job reference.
- Explain why you are interested in the job. Explain why the experience you have makes you suitable for a specific role.
- Convince the recruiter to look at your CV. Demonstrate you know about the company, who their clients are. Make sure you look at their website.
- Sign off on a positive note stating you would like to meet with recruiter and provide your availability for interview.
Cover letter examples
Job Interview Tips
Research potential employer
- You will be asked questions or what you know about the company so the more you know the better.
- Review the company website and gather as much information as possible (make notes).
- Google the company name and find out any recent news
- Spend time preparing for your interview
- Know the time, date and location of the interview and the name of the interviewer
- Plan your journey so you arrive in plenty time.
- Decide what you're going to wear the night before. Appearances do count!
- Organise any certificates you need to take with you to the interview the night before
- Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
Prepare for Potential interview questions. There are four main areas
- Questions about you
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- How would you describe yourself?
- How would someone you have worked with describe you?
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- Give an example of when you worked as part of a team.
- Give an example of when you led a team.
- Where do you want to be in 3-5 years time?
- Questions about work experience, skills and knowledge
- How do you think you would fit into our company?
- Tell me about your current job?
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- What do you dislike about your job?
- Give an example of when you used these skills ?(skills required for this job)
- Questions about why you want this job
- Why do you want to work for company?
- Why do you want this job?
- What can you bring to the business?
- If we offered you the job would you accept it?
- Competency based questions (Questions that relate to past situations)
What competencies you're tested on will depend on the job role you're going for. Look through a job description for key words that describe the skills and strengths needed to do a job. For example, "the right candidate will have excellent communication skills, attention to detail and personal drive"
Make a list of competencies you think will be covered and for each one try and think of two or three examples of when you used your skills and strengths in that area to achieve a positive result.
For example. If you think you'll be asked questions about communication skills, try to remember a time you resolved a disagreement, gave a presentation or taught someone how to do something.
Don’t have any work experience? Use examples from school, voluntary work, hobbies or even personal life. If the example highlights your competence then it's valid
Telephone Interview Tips
Selling yourself over the phone can be a difficult task. You can’t see the potential employer so you have no idea how they are reacting to your answers. If you prepare properly just as you would for a face to face interview then a phone interview is a great opportunity to demonstrate to an employer why you are a suitable candidate for the job and secure that face to face interview.
- Prepare like you would for any other interview.
- Have your CV and notes beside you.
- Find a quiet area away from any distractions.
- If using a mobile make sure you are in an area with a strong signal and that your phone is fully charged.
- Speak clearly.
- Smile, it will make a difference to your tone of voice as - you want to sound positive.
- Listen to what is being said and don’t interrupt.
- Remember the interviewer can't see you nod so say "yes" on occasion to show you are listening
- Remember it's an interview until the phone call ends. Its easy to get casual by the end of a phone call – Avoid that.