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EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS (Or, properly preparing to find and get a job) A one hour Workshop which will cover: What Employers really want Writing your CV(s)

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Presentation on theme: "EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS (Or, properly preparing to find and get a job) A one hour Workshop which will cover: What Employers really want Writing your CV(s)"— Presentation transcript:

1 EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS (Or, properly preparing to find and get a job) A one hour Workshop which will cover: What Employers really want Writing your CV(s) Researching Potential Employers Analysing a Job Advert Writing an effective Application Letter Preparing for the Interview Attending the Interview Followed later by a Practice Interview 1 Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed

2 What Employers really want: 1. A positive, “can do” attitude, enthusiasm & willingness to follow instructions. 2. Reliability, dependability, & willingness to work. 3. Good verbal and written communication skills. 4. The ability to learn fast & regularly do pieces of intensive work. (Few jobs have a consistent work-flow...) 5. A friendly approach, good manners & the ability to get on with others, a real team player. 6. Intelligence & the ability to think on your feet. 7. Imagination, creativity and use of initiative. SHOW them that you meet all or most of these 7 criteria, and they should be willing to train you in everything else. (Not all of these apply equally to every job) Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide2

3 Human Nature Employers are normal people like you and I, & people make friends with, hire or do business with people who they Like, Respect or Trust. The challenge for you is to persuade them that you have the 7 essential attributes, and that they Like You. Respect & Trust need to be earned, and take a little longer. PEOPLE HIRE PEOPLE THEY LIKE it’s human nature....! Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide3

4 Basic Types of CVs (Résumé) Chronological Outlining your career history in reverse date order, beginning with the most recent items first. This usually works well for students with a good all- round mixture of education, work and work experience. Skills Based Highly-focused CVs which relate your skills and abilities to a specific job or career area by highlighting these skills and your major achievements. These work best when your education and work experience is not directly relevant to your application. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 4

5 Every CV should have Personal details - name and address, telephone number and Education Experience There are additional sections that you could also decide to include: Personal statement Skills Hobbies and interests Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 5

6 Writing your CV (1) What is a CV for? Is it a list of facts about you? OR is it your personal sales document? Your CV should be: Short (preferably 1P x A4, 2 at Max) Easy to read, visually attractive, & interesting Free of spelling & grammar errors Free of slang, abbreviations & “txt spk” NOT just a list of bare unexplained facts It should include a short personal statement which emphasises your strengths & skills and says something positive about yourself. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide6

7 Writing your CV (2) Ideally, have more than just one CV, different versions should emphasise different qualities, skills or experience that you offer the employer. Try to match the CV you send to the requirements of the job. Edit and amend your CV to match what they need (after you’ve found out...!) Keep it short and to the point, your CV should be on 1 page of A4 (max 2 pages). Try to always be interesting, and seem interested. What makes your CV stand out from the crowd ? Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide7

8 Writing your CV (3) You should mention ALL the relevant skills and experience you’ve got, and try to maximise the perceived benefits to the Employer of these: If you’ve done The Duke of Edinburgh Award, say this taught you resilience and initiative. If you’ve (eg) been a paper boy/girl, say this taught you to be reliable, dependable and an early riser. (Mention any part-time jobs or work experience in the same positive way.) If you’ve been on a Team at school, say (eg) that you learned to work with others, to never give up and to obey the Team captain/coach. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide8

9 Writing your CV (4) Focus on clarity, simplicity and economy: Selectors often take about 6 seconds before they make an initial 'fit or no fit' decision" on a CV. The best CVs have a lean, mean, clean, crafted look with the use of every inch of space carefully considered, so don't make your CV too busy: if in doubt, leave it out ! Use font, font size, straight lines and alignment to organise your CV to be as clear & simple as possible. If you put absolutely everything that you think might sell you in your CV it will be less appealing than one that just focuses on your strongest selling points. KEEP IT SIMPLE…! Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 9

10 Essentials Your CV should have a clear visual hierarchy and no distracting visual elements. These hinder the selector’s ability to find relevant information. Research has shown that All deviations from the formal format reduced the chances of an interview. Coloured paper had a clearly negative effect, while the “creative” format was worst of all: the same candidate had almost twice the chances of being offered an interview with a formal CV as with a “creative” one. Whatever else you do, ALWAYS CHECK your spelling, grammar and the consistency of the information you’re providing. Illiteracy or Inconsistency = An instant NO. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 10

11 Remember, Presentation is All...! The woman is saying “ ‘R. Sims, A Man of Conviction’ sounds better than ‘R.Sims, Prison Parolee’ “ Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 11

12 Researching Potential Employers (1) THE BASIC THINGS TO FIND OUT Google them. Do they advertise? What do you think of their Ads? Would you buy from them? Do they have a web-site ? What does it say about them ? How large are they ? What is their turnover (annual sales ?) What is their annual profit? Who owns the company? What do they do? Where do they do it? Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 12

13 Researching Potential Employers (2) Who & where are their main customers ? What industry are they in ? What do the media say about this industry ? What problems does their industry have? What are they doing about these ? What COULD they do about these ? Are they (eg) fully exploiting the Internet and Social Media ? How do you think they might do better ? Could you help them do it better ? How ? Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 13

14 Sample Job Advert (1) Job title: Contract Manager Location: Midlands, Coventry Salary: Negotiable We are recruiting a Contract Manager for a major aerospace engineering company based in the Midlands. As a Contract Manager you will be the primary liaison for your assigned customer accounts with responsibility for purchase order requirements and contractual obligations. You will communicate frequently with various departments and management on customer’s behalf regarding purchase orders and/or contract issues. You will negotiate with customers, draft contracts, and travel to customer's sites, conferences & seminars to represent the company. You will be educated to at least A level (with good grades) with GCSE Maths and English, and have some understanding of Commercial Contracts. Experience in administering contracts and a background in contract negotiations and knowledge of technical products are preferred for this role. Organization and Computer skills are essential & the ability to demonstrate problem solving techniques would be a distinct advantage. You will be a good communicator, easy to work with and a team player. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 14

15 Sample Job Advert (2) Key Accountabilities: Liaise with selected customers for PO requirements & contractual obligations. Provide quotations. Sales Orders - order entry, changes, expedites, cancellations, status. Troubleshoot customer problems, credit collection assistance. Communicate with Management and all departments on the customer's behalf. Customer Negotiations. Draft contracts, amendments. Travel to customers, conferences and seminars Develop excellent customer service, with prompt and accurate responses. Qualifications, Knowledge and Skills: Minimum of 2 good A Levels (plus GCSE Maths & English). (Essential) Experience in administering and negotiating contracts/PO's (Preferred) Knowledge of aerospace technologies (Preferred) Good organization skills and problem solving techniques (Essential) Computer skills; sound knowledge of Word and Excel for daily use (Essential) Ability to work well with others, and be part of a team (Essential) Friendly approach, the ability to form good relationships with customers. (Essential) Excellent written and verbal communication skills. (Essential) Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 15

16 Analysis of the Job Advert (1) This advert has been placed by a Recruitment Agency – it says “We are recruiting a Contract Manager for a major Aerospace engineering company based in the Midlands”. There are very few of these, so an internet search will probably give you a list of possible firms and locations. They ask for an experienced Contract Manager with knowledge of Contract Law, they want an Account Manager, to be responsible for customer service, liason and interaction and to represent the company at meetings and seminars, and they’d like someone who is familiar with aerospace technology and requirements. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide16

17 Analysis of the Job Advert (2) In large companies, these are 3 different jobs. They appear to be trying to cover all the bases, however they may really want someone young and relatively inexpensive (HINT: It says Salary: Negotiable) to hire and train. There is a clue to this at the bottom, they’re only asking for 2 good A levels (such jobs often ask for a degree), and Experience ( shown under Qualifications, Knowledge and Skills ) is only shown as Preferred and not as Essential. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 17

18 Writing your Application Letter (1) Your Application Letter and the CV you send should always be a carefully matched pair. They need to be consistent with each other, and not disagree. ASK A FRIEND TO CHECK THIS !! Analyse the Job Advertisement. What do they REALLY want ? Make sure your letter highlights what you think they really want. Most Applications end up in the bin because they don’t match the requirements in the Job Advert. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide18

19 Writing your Application Letter (2) First impressions count. Use good English, correct spelling and grammar (avoid jargon or “txt spk”), nice presentation and quality white or cream paper. Never use fancy typefaces or coloured paper. Always use spell-check..! (And ask a friend to check it as well) If you’re applying by , the same rules apply. It’s just an electronic letter. Check how attached documents will appear on a printed page before sending. [PDF it?] Avoid unrealistic or frivolous claims, aspirations or content. Wanting to be a pop-star, win the X Factor, be a premier league footballer’s WAG or win the lottery and retire to Hawaii lessens your credibility in the real world. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 19

20 Writing your Application Letter (3) Make sure you “Tick ALL their boxes” – check and then double-check this. Remember to SELL your strengths and good points. Remember, it IS a sales document. The layout and appearance of your letter should be clean and professional, and easy to read. It must not be too long (under 1 x A4) and should look attractive. It must be easily readable, so use at least Arial size 12 Typescript (the over 40’s can’t cope with small print, and if they can’t read it, they’ll bin it !). Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 20

21 A few final hints Whatever you do, ALWAYS CHECK your spelling, grammar and the consistency of the information you’re providing. Ask a friend to check it for you. Remember, Illiteracy or Inconsistency = An instant NO. If you ring them, remember that first impressions always count. Be polite and friendly to whoever answers the phone, even if you’re only asking them to send you a form. (If you’re rude or abrupt to someone at the firm, they may tell the recruiting manager...) A useful hint when using the phone is to stand and smile. They can’t see you, but if you always stand and smile when on the phone you transmit “I’m friendly but business-like” and it does come across in your voice. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 21

22 Preparing for the Interview Now we’re going to discuss both the Art and the Science of attending a Job (or any other kind of) Interview, and doing all you can to ensure a successful outcome. Art, because the biggest part of an interview is in your body language, appearance and attitude. Science, because you need to carefully prepare your “base” answers in advance, and use these as the basis on which you build your actual Interview answers to popular questions. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 22

23 Before you attend the Interview (1) Find out as much about the Employer and the potential job as you can. Check them out on the Internet, social media, ask friends, parents, extended family or anyone else who may be able to tell you something useful. If they have a web-site, check their “employee friendliness” – do they have family-friendly policies (eg: a creche or child care vouchers), are they (eg) enrolled in the Investors In People programme ? I’m always amazed at how many interviewees arrive knowing nothing about either the company or the job – naturally, they don’t get a job offer....! Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 23

24 Prepare, learn and practice out loud standard, carefully designed answers to the most popular interview questions ( see our web-site ) – these include: Tell us about yourself ? What are your strengths & weaknesses ? Why should we hire you ? All these questions are an open invitation to sell yourself. No-one ever admits to major weaknesses, but if you’re impatient, say “I’m sometimes impatient with poor customer service or quality”. Always try to turn weaknesses into strengths. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 24 Before you attend the Interview (2)

25 Before you attend the Interview (3) Prepare (and practice !) one-liners to “evidence” your strengths & weaknesses. For example: Strength – Hard Work – “I spent 3 weeks picking apples at harvest time on my uncle’s farm in Devon, often working from dawn till dusk” Strength – Communication – “I’m regarded by my friends as the person to negotiate difficult issues” Weakness – Impatience – “When my sister and I had bad service in (shop’s name?), I asked to see the manager and persuaded her to fix the problem” Weakness (?) – Attention to Detail – “I sometimes resist pressure to hurry up and finish when I feel it’s more important to get it correct than to get it quickly.” Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide25

26 Before you attend the Interview (4) An Interview is a (structured) conversation, and employers will expect you to ask relevant questions. If these are intelligent and/or useful, so much the better. Prepare a few questions (at least 1 or 2, 3 at the most) to ask them at the interview. Ideally, these should show you’ve researched the firm, and thought about the firm and the job. If all else fails ( and they haven’t already told you ) ask when you will be advised of the result of the Interview. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide26

27 Attending the Interview (1) Before you go into the Interview Room: Ensure you’re well turned out and presented, clean, tidy, alert and well rested (Partying the night before is definitely NOT advised...!) Take a few deep breaths before you enter the room, and RELAX. Remember, they’re human too, and an Interview is a Conversation. They have a job to fill, so they do need you too...! Imagine the interviewers are future colleagues and good friends that you are just about to meet. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 27

28 Attending the Interview (2) Body Language & Attitude – Do’s and Don’ts. Don’t Eat, Chew, Drink or Smoke (not even E-cigs) Do keep your hands by your side or on your lap, never behind your head or folded. Don’t fiddle or keep touching your hair, body or face. Do sit (when you’re invited to do so) and try to adopt an alert but relaxed posture. Don’t slouch, put your feet up or rock in the chair Do have your hair short or tied back. Don’t try to hide behind your hair or hands. Do practice giving a nice, short but firm handshake. Do dry your hands on your skirt or trousers first....! Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 28

29 Attending the Interview (3) DURING THE INTERVIEW ITSELF Be polite, friendly, and try to be engaging. Stay calm and logical. Smile when you can. It helps people to like you. Listen a lot, and don’t interrupt the Interviewer(s). Even if you’re bored, appear interested and alert. Keep your answers short (but not abrupt) and stick to the point. Don’t ramble. Stop and think before you speak. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 29

30 Attending the Interview (4) DURING THE INTERVIEW ITSELF Be thoughtful and considered in your answers. You’re allowed a few moments to compose your thoughts and address the question that they’ve asked. Use this time to ensure your answer presents you in the best possible light. Use your pre-prepared (and therefore positive) answers as the basis for many similar questions, if you’ve prepared your personal statement well you can use it in many different ways. Have your CV in front of you to prompt you Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide30

31 Attending the Interview (5) DURING THE INTERVIEW ITSELF If the Interviewer uses a long silence to try and stress you, smile nicely and wait for them to speak again. If you think you’ve dug yourself into a hole, stop digging...! Pause, breathe, smile, regroup your thoughts and start your answer again in a more positive way. AND FINALLY Always end on a positive note. Firmly shake hands with the Interviewers, thank them for their time and the opportunity, and for goodness sake, SMILE...! Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide 31

32 What to do next Think what to say at your interview, & why ? A really useful information source is at You can download today’s slides from: enian-secondary-schools-initiative/schools- initiative-documents/ or just Google “North Warwickshire Catenian” and follow the links. enian-secondary-schools-initiative/schools- initiative-documents/ Practice your pre-prepared Personal Statement. We’ll see you at the Practice Interviews. Delivered by The Catenian Association to help Catholic youth succeed Slide32 END OF WORKSHOP


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