Careers Advice

There is so much to think about when you are deciding to pursue a new career opportunity. Please read through the following Careers Advice ‘top tips’ from Agricultural and Farming Jobs.

CV top tips

Your CV is your first opportunity to showcase yourself – it HAS to look good otherwise no one will want to find out more and you won’t 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. You need to show your potential employer how you could fit in perfectly with their company, what you can bring to the company and to the role, how you can add value to the business and how you could possibly resolve the problems that they may have.

2. CV layout

Employers and recruiters can typically spend less than 30 seconds scanning your CV so it must be clear, informative and easy to read. You must make sure the relevant experience is easy to find so that the reader doesn’t have to hunt for the information they need. Keep it concise. No more than 2 pages. Start your CV with a great Personal Profile. Your Personal Profile can determine whether or not a prospective employer will read any more of your CV so make it count! Use a confident tone and positive relevant language.

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

It may sound like a time-consuming process, but taking 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 is 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. Always tell the truth and 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 training courses attended and achievements logged on your CV. Don’t miss off something important that could put you ahead of all of your competition. Be sure to include your hobbies and interests as this provides important additional information to any prospective employer. Keep your CV up to date as often as possible to make sure you don’t miss adding anything that is majorly important.

Need professional help? Look at our CV Writing Service page!

Interview Tips

Be punctual, aim to arrive at the reception area or meeting point approximately 10-15 minutes before the scheduled interview time. Plan your route to the 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. Do a trial run of the journey if you can. If you are driving, make sure you know where you are going to park and how much it will cost you (take change if required). Being late will not only make you look extremely bad in the eyes of the employer, but it will make you stressed and detract your focus from the job interview. Always ensure that you leave extra early so that you have a couple of minutes to compose yourself in the car and go in as relaxed as possible 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. Don’t forget to smile. Employers want to employ 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 will start to make 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. 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. A good solid handshake says a lot about a person.

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 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. 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 employers 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 discussed 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-employers – 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 prepare specific examples to demonstrate how you did something.
  • Failure to ask questions about the job. (Always have x 3 questions prepared and don’t just focus on money!)
  • 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 are the key to all successful interviews – GOOD LUCK!

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