3 What we hope you gain from today – cv advice How to ensure your CV wins you interviewsHow to get your CV read and responded toKnowing what to include in your CV and what not to put in itHow to market and sell your work history, skills and experienceHow to format your CV to suit different vacancies, employers, agencies and personnel departments.Ensure your CV is grammatically correct and free of spelling or formatting errors.
4 What we hope you gain from today – interview advice Preparing for, practicing and performing successfully and confidently in an interviewUnderstanding different employee selection techniquesBody language – how you can say so much in an interview without saying anything.How to present personal experience as evidence of capabilityThe importance of understanding what the employee is looking forSuitable questions for interviews
5 Helpful Hints towards the perfect CV…. Remember that you want your CV to be read and responded to.Include enough information to stimulate interest, but not so much that you bore the reader. If you provide small, digestible pieces of information you stand a better chance of having your CV read.Three pages maximum is preferred, but keeping it to two pages is even better!Every word must contribute to the overall message - so keep it brief and ensure that the content is relevant and targeted to the job you are applying for.Ensure that your CV is well structured and well laid out; this gives the impression that you think logically and makes it easier to review. Remember - a CV that is hard to read is often put aside and forgotten. It is often said that an employee takes only 30 seconds of reviewing a CV to decide whether to interview or not!When writing the CV, remember that self-opinion is best avoided. Aim to include factual information or objective evidence and remember to focus on the benefits of your achievements.Pay close attention to spelling and grammar - nothing can ruin your chances of getting a job faster than easily preventable mistakes.Avoid coloured paper or fancy fonts, if you plan to fax or your CV, you'll get a much better result with clean fonts and a simple lay-out.
6 Writing a CV – Personal Profile Start with a brief personal profile or summary which should include experience, skills and abilitiesYour profile should be honest, confident and positiveIt should include 5 to 7 high impact statements that describe youOrientate it towards the type of job you are applying for.Use powerful words and professional business vocabulary.Encapsulate your strengths in punchy, impressive statements.Use active not passive descriptions i.e., where you have made things happen, not having things happen to you.If you have a relevant qualification, include it here.
7 List experience and abilities to include in your profile ____________________________________________
8 Writing a CV – Key Skills and experience These are best presented in bullet point formatAgain use positive, strong languageInclude all skills and experience gained from all aspects of your life, your college, university experience, hobbies or social experience and work experience, which bring out the aspects that will be relevant to the way you would work. These are your transferrable skills and may include:Integrity Initiative Determination passionPeople skills organisational ability technical skillsreliability teamwork or leadership skills problem solvingnumeracy adaptability & flexibility interpersonal communicationnetworking enthusiasm cost management planning
9 List your key skills____________________________________________
10 Writing a CV – transferable Skills Organise your transferrable skills in to the areas of people, data and thingsPeople skills (Individuals) (Groups)Following instructions CommunicatingListening Persuading and motivatingCommunicating verbally Formal public speakingCommunicating in writing Managing and supervisingInstructing and training Negotiating and resolving conflictData skills Things skillsRecord keeping and filing OperatingSearching and researching RepairingOrganising, systemising, prioritising AssemblingProblem solvingDesigning / inventing
11 List your transferable skills ____________________________________
12 Writing a CV – achievements A CV looks very impressive if it includes a few quantified and relevant achievements.These achievements should back up your Personal Profile claims earlier – they are evidence that you ca do what you say and be relevant to the role you are applying forNot all achievements need to be work based, bringing up a family or overcoming a personal difficulty are achievements too.Ensure you refer to facts, figures and timescales – prospective employers look for quantities information – hard facts, not vague claimsConcentrate on areas where you have made an impact - reduced costs, increased sales, achieved new business, improved systems or processes or reduced staff turnover.Employers want to find people who are a ‘safe bet’; people who have a proven and impressive track record and/or written evidence of appropriate capabilities. The more evidence you provide that you are a reliable and safe choice, the better.
13 List your Achievements ____________________________________
14 Writing a CV – Employment history List your employment history in reverse chronological order start with the most recent or present job and end with the first.Show starting and finishing years – not necessarily the months.Show company name, city or town address, not necessarily the full address.Show your Job Title – use a generally recognised job title if your actual job title is misleading or unclear. Do not include a job title if you feel it will ’pigeon hole’ you in to very specific positions and therefore narrow your options.Highlight your duties, responsibilities, skills, qualities and achievements within each role.If you have a very long career history it may be more relevant to only include the most recent 10 years or only go back to a natural career break.
15 Write a short paragraph describing the last company you worked for and list 10 duties you performed ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________
16 Write a short paragraph describing the company you worked for prior to this and list 10 duties you performed________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________
17 Writing a CV – Education and Personal Details Depending on the person and the job vacancy and the employer’s expectations it is sometimes better to show education and qualifications in a separate section, rather than with personal details, as a way of giving them greater emphasis.Whilst your Name and contact details are prominent on the top of your first page the remainder of your personal details should be included at the end of your CV.Use sub headings to provide only relevant details. It is not necessary to include Date of Birth, age, marital status or number of children as it should not be relevant to the position you are applying for.Include names of any referees who you are happy for a potential employee to approach or simply state that they are available on request.
18 Write the dates of your education and qualifications and any personal details you would like to include________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________
20 Writing a Covering Letter While your CV sets out the skills you have for the vacancy applied for, the covering letter should show your motivation and adaptability. A covering letter should:Demonstrate to the employer why you are interested in the role and your knowledge of the company;Highlight particular parts of your CV that are your unique selling points;Qualify your skills and suitability for the job;Well-written covering letters are also particularly effective for speculative applications.StyleAddress your letter to a named person – preferably the decision maker. This will ensure that it reaches the right person and gives you a contact name for a follow-up call or .Put yourself in the Employer’s Shoes! Tell them what you can contribute to the organisation rather than how it can benefit you.Keep it clear and to the point – one page is perfect - with short and clearly themed paragraphs.
21 Covering Letter Content The following format provides a useful overview for a letter:Briefly introduce yourself, state what position you’re applying for and where you saw it advertised. For a speculative letter, specify the type of work you’re looking for.Explain why you’re interested in working for this particular employer. Demonstrate enthusiasm and evidence of research into such aspects as their successes, involvements, values or clients.Highlight the ways in which you’re suitable for this position. Provide evidence of your key strengths by referring to experience listed on your CV. Aim to show that your key strengths reflect the requirements of the employer and position.Indicate your availability, when you can attend interviews and when you could start a new position, Indicate whether you would be willing to start on a temporary or contract basis initially also.
22 Preparing for Interview Research the employer – prepare sufficiently so that you enter the interview with a good understanding of the interviewer’s needs.Research the industry this company works inThe company with which you are interviewingThe interviewer you will be meeting withShift your focus on to the needs of the employer – what does he/she need? What does he/she want? What are the problems he/she is facing? That way you are better able to present yourself as the solution and how employing you will benefit his/her organisation.Remember most interviewers have no formal human resources training are full time something else: engineers, managers, financiers, accountants, anything but professional interviewers. More often than not, interviewers feel awkward or uncomfortable in the role of interviewer.Regardless of the role, most employers are looking for;A solution, not a problemSomeone who can do the jobSomeone who will stick aroundSomeone who will fit inSomeone who is likeableSomeone who will return the investment
23 Dressing for Interview Wear a suit - it shows respect and first impressions count for allot. If you get a second meeting you can then dress more like those you observe around the company's premises.Try on your 'interview outfit' in advance to make sure you are comfortable and make sure you have everything cleaned, pressed and in good repair in advance.Don’t wear loud colours or patterns, be conservative.Keep accessories to a minimum.Keep cosmetics simple, neutral and well applied.Don’t Over dress – a morning suit is probably to much!Don’t wear too much perfume or after shave.Men - do not wear earrings!Don’t have a cigarette just before you go in to the interview.Make sure you remove any chewing gum from your mouth.
24 Body LanguageEye Contact – This is very important and you must avoid looking around the room. Without consistent eye contact the interview will think you are not interested in the job.Smile - Practice a strong, sincere, smile. A good smile has the power to say, “I’m a happy, confident person and I’d love to work here”.Open Body Language – Practice and get feedback from someone. Open body language is important when the interviewer is talking. It demonstrates that you are receptive to the question and actively listening.Don’t slouch - Try not to appear too relaxed. Not sitting right back in the seat is a good idea. By simply sitting forward, makes you look more attentive and more interested.Don’t be too upright - Try to relax… but not too much!Make sure that your eyes shine/sparkle - Make sure that you have a good night’s sleep. If required eye drops help revitalise tired eyes.
25 Body LanguagePractice your handshake – This is the first and last impression you make. A dry, firm hand shake reflects a strong personality and is what most employers are looking for. Limp, sweaty hands are definitely a no. This is the first body language in the interview that your interviewer will "read".Accept an offer of a glass of water – By taking a glass of water gives you an opportunity to get used to your surroundings and gather your thoughts.Breathe deeply – It helps you relax, slows your heart rate and increases the amount of oxygen getting to your brain helping you think clearly.Engage your interviewer - You need to subtly demonstrate that you’re actively taking part in the interview. By simply nodding in the right place shows that you are listening, interested and want to be part of the organisationFidget - Simple - do not fidget. Avoid playing with your hair/jewellery clicking pens and the like.
26 Employer’s Selection Techniques Competency Based InterviewUnstructured Interview (An Informal Chat)Telephone InterviewPanel InterviewGroup InterviewTechnical InterviewAssessment Day
27 Competency Based Interview For interviewers these are powerful and effective questions. These questions let the interviewee tell how they would approach, handle, deal with, solve, etc., a particular situation, problem, project or challenge that is relevant to the job role in question. The situation could be from the interviewee's past experience, a hypothetical scenario, or a real situation from the interviewing organisation.Unstructured InterviewUnstructured Interviews are a method of interviews where questions can be changed or adapted to meet the respondent's intelligence, understanding or belief. Unlike a structured interview they do not offer a limited, pre-set range of answers for a respondent to choose, but instead advocate listening to how each individual person responds to the question.The method to gather information using this technique is fairly limited, for example most surveys that are carried out via telephone or even in person tend to follow a structured method. Outside of sociology the use of such interviews is very limited.
28 Telephone Interview Panel Interview Telephone interviews are usually fairly straightforward and are mainly used to screen poor candidates out of an interview process, rather than to test high quality ones. This will include clarification of minimum qualifications and a basic understanding of the job role. Often, all recruiters will be looking for from candidates during a telephone interview will be a calm, confident telephone manner and an intelligent set of responses.Panel InterviewThis kind of interview is conducted by an interviewing panel that usually includes Managers and HR. The interview panel can also consist of top level CEOs although this depends the kind of position you are applying for.The panel interview is a way for the organisation to judge the communication level, interaction with a group and to assess the skill level of the candidate. You will be asked questions from all the panel members, sometimes the same question by different panel members. It is difficult to build the kind of connection with the interview panel as you can in a one on one interview.You can buy time by asking questions. You should always remain calm and composed during a panel interview.
29 Group InterviewIn a group interview several candidates/job seekers will be in the same roomduring the interview.The group interview will show -Leadership qualitiesHow you deal with stressCommunication with possible team matesHow the candidate will face the public and customersWhat level of knowledge candidates haveHow knowledge is used in a discussionKey Tips -Show your opinion but let the other candidates speak. Ignore any candidates who are too aggressive or make any personal remarks. Try to avoid getting in one to one conversations. It is always a good idea to have the final statement in a group interview.Generally this is not the final interview and short listed candidates will have a panel or one to one interview.
30 Technical InterviewIf you are applying for a technical or specialist position in for example, an engineering or insurance company, the chances are you’ll get an interview containing technical questions. Some employers favour a separate technical interview, whereas others prefer to include technical questions in a general interview.This type of interview allows the interviewer to gain a good feel for your specific technical knowledge relevant to the role.Key Tips -Brush up your technical knowledge before the interviewIf you don’t know the answer to a question say so BUT add how you would go about finding out the right answerResearch and understand the company, products and market place
31 PresentationIt is becoming increasingly common for presentations to be delivered as part of the recruitment process, enabling employers to assess your organisation skills, communication skills, and your ability to collate and analyse information.Usually, you will be given a specific topic for the presentation and allowed time in advance to prepare.You will also be given an indication of how long the final presentation should take to deliver and it is extremely important that you adhere to this as you will also be assessed on your ability to follow instructions.Sometimes, an employer may even surprise you on the day of your interview by asking you to deliver a short presentation.As you have not been given the opportunity to prepare, it is most likely that you will only be expected to deliver a presentation on a subject you are already familiar with.
32 Psychometric TestA psychometric test is a way of assessing a person’s ability or personality in a measured and structured way. Organisations believe tests help them recruit the right people with the right mix of abilities and personal qualities.There are 3 main types of test - ability, personality and interest.Some tests are used by employers to help them in their recruitment process while other tests can help people with career decision making. They are also useful for "sifting out" large number of applicants at an early stage and so saving the employers both time and money. Tests can be administered by pencil and paper or computer. You may be asked to take them in as part of an assessment centre, test centre or online. Employers may set a particular score which you need to achieve to proceed.Different employers will analyse results differently and may compare results with those completed by their own employees.
33 Assessment DayAssessment days (also called assessment centres) allow companies to assess candidates over an extended period of time, whilst offering candidates the chance to find out about an employer in greater detail.An assessment day also usually provides an opportunity for a candidate to meet with current employees at a firm.Assessment days can be long, time consuming and highly mentally demanding.A well structured assessment day is generally considered to be amongst the fairest and most objective means of selecting employees for jobs. This is because they give a number of different interviewers a chance to assess candidates over an extended period of time, enabling assessors to see what you can do, rather than what you say you can do, in a wide variety of situations.