There is so much to think about when you are thinking of a new career opportunity. Please read through the following top tips on Career advice, CV tips as well as interview tips. GOOD LUCK!
CV top tips – Your CV is your personal shop window – it HAS to look good otherwise no one will want to find out more………
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 the rest! Employers don't just buy skills, they buy experience, enthusiasm, and many other attributes so you need to show how you can fit in perfectly with the company, what you can bring to the company and position, how you can make the company money and how can you resolve the problems that they 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 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.
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.
Be punctual: 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. Don’t presume you know the way to the interview and always allow extra time for traffic 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. So leave extra early so that you have a couple of minutes to compose yourself in the car and go in relaxed.
Personal Presentation: That first initial contact during the interview is crucial. Although few words may be exchanged, a rapport develops - You want that 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 a lot, people want happy 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 judgments about you, and the best way to impress them is to pay attention to your appearance. This means dressing professionally and being well-groomed and having impeccable hygiene, stubble, chewed or dirty finger nails, stains on clothes and shoes are a disaster. If you don’t make an effort at interview they will have no confidence you will do so with clients.
No limp/wet handshake: Have a firm and dry handshake. Many people’s impression of others is 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 affects you have some tissue hidden in your pocket to dry your hand for the start and end of the interview when handshaking will take place. Remember to smile too!
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.
Eye Contact is Key: Eye contact during the interview is fundamental. People with shifty eyes who look everywhere but at the person make interviewers uncomfortable and distrusting. The right amount of eye contact is just a sign of respect that you are paying attention to them and you are interested in the conversation or topic at hand. Make sure if your interview is in front of a panel of people to address all of them with your eyes. 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 for example. “I have had a great 3 years with XYZ 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.
Main reasons people do not get a job offer at interview:
- Overbearing – 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 – nervousness
- Lack of tact – maturity – courtesy
- Failure to ask questions about the job
- 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 you think about your key strengths, particularly in relation to the job you are going for, together with your weaknesses. Make sure with weaknesses: that they are not too negative and that you can turn these into positive points.
Preparation is key to all interviews – GOOD LUCK!