Careers Advice

There is so much to think about when you are deciding to pursue a new career opportunity. Please read through the following top tips from Agricultural and Farming jobs and our Careers advice, CV tips as well as interview tips.

CV top tips

Your CV is your personal shop window – it HAS to look good otherwise no one will want to find out more and you wont be selected for interviews.

1. What makes you stand out above many other candidates?

For every job you apply for you could be up against hundreds of other candidates so you need to make sure you stand out above your competition! Employers don't just buy skills, they buy experience, enthusiasm and many other attributes, therefore you need to show your potential employer how you can fit in perfectly with their company, what you can bring to the company and the role, how you can bring value to the business and how can you possibly resolve the problems that they may have?

2. CV layout

Employers and recruiters spend up to 30 seconds scanning your CV so it must be clear, informative and easy to read. You must make sure the information is easy to read and the relevant experience is easy to find to save the reader time hunting for the information they need. Ensure relevant qualifications/experience is clear and the information is relevant and easy to read. (Please call us to book your CV in to be revamped by our CV writing expert! 01527 878550).

3. Tailor your CV to the role & company you are applying to

It may sound like a time consuming process, but making the effort to tailor your CV to suit the requirements of each particular job role that you are applying for can greatly increase your chances of securing an interview. There’s no point giving extensive details about a job you did 20 years ago that has nothing to do with the job you really want.

4. Keep it professional

It's so easy to make mistakes on your CV and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer gets it. As well as checking your spelling and grammar make sure your employment dates match up and that you've provided the right phone number and email address. You want people to be able to get hold of you once you’ve applied for jobs don’t you!?

5. Keep all of the information up to date

Ensure you have all of your current courses attended and achievements logged on your CV. Don’t miss off something important that could put you ahead of all of your competition. Keep your CV up to date as often as possible to make sure you don’t miss adding anything that is majorly important.

Interview Tips

Be punctual to your interview: Aim to enter the office and reception area approximately 10-15 minutes before the scheduled interview time. Plan your route to interview using a route planner such as Google Maps or AA route planner. Do not just presume that you know the way to the interview and always allow extra time for traffic and weather conditions. Being late will not only make you look extremely bad in the eyes of the employer, but it will make you stressed out and detract your focus from the job in hand. Always ensure that you leave extra early so that you have a couple of minutes to compose yourself in the car and go in relaxed and prepared.

Personal Presentation: That first initial contact during the interview is crucial. Although few words may be exchanged, a rapport should develop - you obviously want the rapport to be as positive as possible. Here are some tips that will help you to be as presentable as possible during the interview. Don’t forget to smile, people want happy, enthusiastic and positive people working for them.

Dress to impress: It sounds obvious but many candidates let themselves down with their appearance. It is very important that your appearance is professional, as first impressions do last. The moment you walk into the room, your interviewer is going to start making judgements about you. The best way to impress them is to pay attention to your initial appearance. This means dressing professionally and being well-groomed and having impeccable hygiene. Unwashed clothes, dirty finger nails, stains on clothes and dirty shoes are a disaster. If you don’t make an effort at interview they will have no confidence that you will do so with their clients.

Strong confident handshake: Have a firm and dry handshake. Many people’s impression of others can be grounded on that first initial handshake. A limp, loose or sweaty handshake is not good. Nor is trying to break their hand with brute force, but a good solid handshake says a lot about a person. Wet sweaty palms are very off putting, so if this does affect you, do ensure that you have some tissue hidden away in your pocket to dry your hand/s for the start and end of the interview when handshaking will take place. 

Sit Down when Asked: As you are invited into the interviewer’s office wait until he or she asks you to have a seat before making yourself comfortable. This is just the more polite thing to do. Follow the guidance of the interviewer.

Eye Contact is Key: Eye contact during the interview is fundamental and critical to building a confident rapport. People who look everywhere but at the interviewer make interviewers very difficult, uncomfortable and distrusting. The right amount of eye contact is a simple sign of respect that you are paying attention to them and that you are interested in the conversation or topic at hand. It also massively helps to build a rapport. Make sure if your interview is in front of a panel of people to address all of them with your eyes and keep a good shared eye contact. Even if only one individual is doing the asking, they are all there to evaluate you. You want to make sure that you make them all feel as if they are a part of the interview process.

Do not talk about your current or old employees in a negative light: Even if you are working for the world’s worst employer or you are completely desperate to leave, ensure that your reasons for leaving are spoke about in a positive light. E.g “I have had a great 3 years with X company, I have been extremely successful and have learnt so much in the role and without a shadow of doubt my sales skills have been finely tuned, however I now feel that in order for me to continue to grow and continue to learn – it is time for me to move on and seek a new challenge.” Many a job offer has been lost through being negative about current or ex-employees – it is one of the biggest turn offs for a future company and yet “Why are you looking to leave?” always comes up in interview. Be as positive as possible.

Main reasons people do not get a job offer at interview:

  • Overbearing - over confident – over aggressive – conceited “superiority complex”
  • Inability to express thoughts clearly.
  • Lack of planning for a career – no purpose or goals.
  • Lack of interest and enthusiasm – passive and indifferent.
  • Lack of confidence – too nervous.
  • Lack of tact – maturity – courtesy.
  • Failure to ask questions about the job.
  • Failure to show genuine interest and enthusiasm.
  • Failure to close for the job! If you want the job - tell them! Your competition will!
  • Persistence attitude of “What can you do for me?”
  • Lack of preparation for the interview – failure to get information about the company resulting in inability to ask relevant questions.

Make sure that you think about your key strengths, particularly in relation to the job you are going for.

Preparation and passion is key to all interviews – GOOD LUCK!

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