Job Search Advice Page
CV (Curriculum Vitae)
First step in
getting the job you want is getting your CV right! A better CV
means more Interviews, guaranteed...
Free CV Template is available for you to use free of charge. Simply
copy and paste the below CV Template into a word document, follow our
guidelines and amend it to add your own personal information. That’s
it you’re then ready to go get that job you REALLY want.
Template (Curriculum Vitae) starts below;
Example Street, Example Town, Postcode Example SW7 8HJ
personal statement is perhaps the single most important part of you
CV. Get it wrong and your chances of being invited to interview are
aim is to highlight your professional attributes and goals,
summarising why someone should consider your application and your
Title Company Name –
Location Dates of Employment
that you have the relevant knowledge required to succeed
computer software or skills you have used during this period
Use Keywords that you think employers will search for
Title Company Name –
Location Dates of Employment
Title Company Name –
Location Dates of Employment
Title – Grade – Date
Title – Grade - Date
how your course helped you develop your knowledge in the areas that
are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
you have switched direction from the topic you studied, you may want
to briefly explain the reasons behind this decision.
some of your main attributes that are vital to the role, maybe you
are a fluent German speaker or a great administrator
solving abilities, good communication and creativity are qualities
that all employers look out for
you are changing career these transferable skills will add weight to
Title – Grade
– Period – Rank (member, president)
interests enable a potential employer to gain an understanding to
what motivates you, what personal skills you may have and how you
will integrate into the team.
at how job advertisements stipulate certain personality traits
required for positions. Identify what they are and show how your
hobbies can relate to their requirements.
are available on request.
above CV Template is provided free of change by apply4U.co.uk and
available for all to use as a general CV Template. However, we do
suggest you add specific sections and information based upon your
industry and career. If you don’t exactly know how to write a CV,
check out our How to Write a CV
& CV Writing Tips or maybe
you’re in need of more professional help. Well, you’re in luck
because we got Professional CV
Writing services as well.
to Write A CV? Our Free CV Writing Tips
best way to start to know how to write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) is to
break the CV writing process down into three simple steps …
applicants undersell themselves by not ‘targeting’ their CV
towards the industry in which they are seeking employment. How to
write a CV well is to do your homework; read about the jobs you are
targeting, talk to friends in similar jobs.
yourself, “how can I add value to this company?”, “how is my
previous experience relevant to the job I am applying for?” For
example, an ex bar manager seeking a job in marketing will
demonstrate competence by listing supervision and cashier roles, but
detailing ways in which he increased beer sales by arranging a quiz
night, darts team or a ‘happy hour’, will show an understanding
of how promotions can boost sales (an essential skill in marketing!).
your research complete. You should make quick lists under each of the
following headings: ‘Profile’, ‘Career History’, ‘Education’,
‘ Skills & Qualifications’, ‘Hobbies & Interests’,
and ‘References’. The lists will ensure that you don’t miss
anything out when you come to put your CV together. Also a good CV
- Targeted (demonstrating the relevance
of experience, skills and qualifications to the job you are seeking).
- Concise (graduate/school leaver CVs
should span no more than 2 pages).
- Correctly organised (sections
labelled and ordered).
visual layout (do the
- Free from spelling or grammatical
personality traits, attributes, ambitions (ask yourself, “how are
these suited to the job I am targeting?”)
a short paragraph outlining your previous job title (20 words max),
then list the roles and achievements
related to this employment (use your research to expand on these
roles, how are they relevant to the job you are targeting today?)
each institution, list all course programmes, subjects studied and
grades achieved (if the grades were poor, or not relevant because it
was such a long time ago, then leave them out). If applicable, you
should also list
(e.g. school prefect, captain of the hockey team – anything that
demonstrates skills that might help you add value in your new job
role – refer to your research!).
& Qualifications: These
might include languages, a driving license, health & safety
& Interests: You’re
there to work, the employer doesn’t care what you do in your spare
time, right? Wrong. Sporting interests, socialising, and family
values are all relevant and will play a role on how well you fit into
the team. Be as honest as you can.
no more than three. Previous employers are preferable. If you are new
to the job market, or have a poor relationship with your previous
company, you could use a teacher, or an acquaintance with a
senior/respectable job within a well-known company.
Putting it all togetherOur Free
will help you through all of the below points, but here’s a quick
rundown on how to write a CV if you’d rather start from scratch.
name should be at the top of the document, preferably in larger text
(this is, after all, what the document is trying to sell). As a
minimum, you will need to add your address, date of birth (optional),
and contact details.What next? ‘Education’ or ‘Career
History’? Choose whatever is most relevant, a university graduate,
with limited related work experience, should almost certainly place
‘Education’ before ‘Career’, whereas a 30 year management
veteran should always begin with ‘Career History’. To make it
easier for you to compose the sections we’ve put together a list of
for you to use.
should be dated and placed in chronological order (starting with the
most recent). Refer to your plan. Give a brief description of the
course studied (add your grade if beneficial) and add a list beneath
to illustrate points of interest.Career
should be dated and placed in chronological order (starting with the
most recent). Refer to your plan. Give a brief description of your
role within the company and add a list beneath to illustrate points
final sections, ‘Skills & Qualifications’, ‘Hobbies &
Interests’, and ‘References’, should be presented in a similar
manner to the above. Your CV should be no longer than two pages (from
picking your CV up, a recruiter should know within 20 seconds if they
want to read more, a short CV packed full of information will ensure
that the reader sees all of your key selling points straight away).
that’s all there is to it! To help improve your confidence, why not
send your new CV to friends and family for proof reading or if you
want a professional opinion we are there for you. Just click
CV Writing Services
to find out more details.
luck! Hope our how to write a CV section helps you get that job you
How to write a Cover Letter
is a cover letter?
Basically a cover
letter is a sales tool that allows you to personalise your approach
to an employer. A cover letter enables you to explain why you are
applying for a job and to highlight the particular skills and
experience that help make you the perfect candidate for their job
What should I
The key points that
an employer is interested in are:
Why are you
interested in seeing them?
What are your
relevant skills and experience?
With a cover letter
you have an opportunity to explain to the hiring manager your
interest in their company or the job vacancy. One approach that
people often take is to describe why your background is a good fit
for the organisation’s ethos, goals or future plans. For example,
if the company is an innovator and well known for their ground
breaking products you may want to explain how your background matches
this. Remember that it is not enough to say you are an innovator. You
must back this up with evidence from your background.
“XYZ is a
company I have long admired for the way its innovations constantly
change the way consumers view everyday products. In my own career I
have sought to achieve a similar outcome, such as introducing Web 2.0
applications in client presentations that have helped to demonstrate
the breadth of our company’s technical expertise.”
Think about why you
would like to work for Company A and then review your own skills and
experience. This should help you to find a match for the cover
You can concentrate
on specific areas that are relevant to the situation. Your CV might
mention some of the relevant tasks among your other activities but
when you know what the key criteria for a job are you can highlight
it clearly for the reader.
As a tip, if you
are emailing your CV or application, you can paste the content of
your cover letter in the body of an email. Obviously remove the
Remember, use the
cover letter to match your skills and experience with the company.
Keep it under one page and make sure the tone is professional and
you can find some Cover
to help you get a better understanding.
TO WRITE A COVERING LETTER
If you decide to
write a cover letter, then it becomes equally as important as your
often being the first document a prospective employer sees and better
demonstrating your writing skills. Rather than a generic letter for
all prospective employers, your covering letter should
be targeted towards
a specific company or position, showing that you’ve researched and
put some time into the application process.
cover letter should be set out much the same way as a standard formal
letter. From the top:
name and address (where applicable) set to the left margin.
- ‘Ref: Insert
role targeted‘ (optional).
‘Sir/Madam’ or ‘name of individual’.
you are interested in this job.
the prospective employer should be interested in you.
- Sign off: Use
‘Yours faithfully’ if addressed with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.
Otherwise use ‘Yours sincerely’.
- Why have you sent
the enclosed CV? “I write in response to a recent advertisement for
the vacancy of Mortgage Advisor”.- Relevant background: “My
previous experience in IFA roles (Independent Financial Advisory) and
experience of successfully selling related products make me a good
candidate for this vacancy”.
Paragraph 2: Why
you are interested in the job.
- Why do you
want to work in this role?
- Why do you want
to work for this particular company?
- Why do you want
to work in this industry?
you’ve done your research – you need to convey extreme interest,
motivation, and hunger, for the job you are applying for.
Paragraph 3: Why
the prospective employer should be interested in you.- Sell
yourself. How do your experiences, skills and achievements make you a
suitable candidate for this role? Demonstrate to the employer how you
might add value to his or her company, that you tick all the boxes.
- For clarity, you
may want to use bullet points to make a brief list.
- Be careful not to
exaggerate or sound arrogant – be modest, support your statements
with brief evidence.
- Be careful not to
use the exact wording of your CV.
- Be positive, “I
thank you in advance for taking the time to review my CV, I look
forward to discussing my application further with you.”
Your cover letter
should be kept to a maximum of one A4 page. If sending via email,
place the cover letter in the body of the email (rather than as an
attached document) and omit the address.
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If you already have a CV
and want a professional opinion we can review it and maybe optimize
it if necessary. Or maybe you don’t know where to start and you
just don’t have the time and patience to put together all the
things you need for the CV. If that’s the case don’t panic, don’t
worry, Apply4U is here to rescue you!
Buy your credit now and
book a time when you’re free to receive a call from us in order to
get the details about your work experience, education, skills,
hobbies and interests, etc. Thereafter you will receive a draft from
us that will need your approval and then you’re all set!
you’ve got an amazing CV and have interviews lined up. What now?
Interview Questions & Good Answers
for answers to the interview questions below and practice your
responses with a friend / family member. Practicing interview
questions helps you be more confident and relaxed when it really
counts. Don’t be mistaken, each interview is different but most
will ask the same or similar interview questions. More importantly,
there is no right or wrong answer to interview questions, so you can
use your rehearsed answers to which ever interview questions they may
you enter the interview put a smile on your face. Keep interviews
conversational but don’t sound rehearsed. Remain relaxed, calm and
avoid fidgeting in your seat.Listed below are some interview
questions you will probably be asked:
Q) Why do you want this job?
The interviewer wants to know that you
have researched the company and know what they do. Focus on what you
can do for them. Show knowledge on areas such as;
- what the organisations products or
service is- history, image & goal of potential employer-
latest turnover figures, awards, facts etc.Good example
answer:"Apply4U has a solid reputation for their quality
work & results. I’d like to be part of that success and add
value to the team."
Q) What qualities do you think will be
required for this job?
Mention transferable skills relevant to
the job description advertised.Communication, Leadership,
Supervisory, Interpersonal, Problem Solving, Analytical skills. But
don’t just list them off, explain from where you have gained these
skills and give examples.Good example answer:Communication
skills are key, I’ve been successfully dealing with customers now
for 3 years at Company A. My consistent top 5 performances, landed me
a promotion into a Leadership role, which will help me manage the
team you mentioned..."
Q) What can you contribute?
Interviewer will want to know how you can
benefit the company. Talk about your accomplishments in the past and
relate experience of what you can do for them in the future. Relate
your abilities to the employer’s goals.Good example
answer:"I work effectively to meet goals & deadlines.
Challenges are faced every day in my current role and I am not the
type to shy away. We were recently faced with losing 3 of our 5 major
accounts and I knew the only way to keep going was to replace them
like for like, therefore I worked on closing new business with 2
other major firms which are known growing in value month on month"
“I am native German, which means, I can
help you grow your business into Europe, some of my new business in
my last role was from Germany.”
Q) Why do you want to work for this
The interviewer wants to know that you
are seriously interested in the job. Be prepared with knowledge about
the company. Let the interviewer know how you can be an asset to the
company.Good example answer:"My findings found that
Apply4U are an innovative company looking to expand its sales within
the IT sales arena. My previous experience of selling IT into
Investment Banking and my expansive network in this space can be used
to find niches in the market place.”“I’m always looking to
challenge myself and I feel that my can do attitude will be a major
asset to your company”
Q) What do you know about this
Research the company. Interviewer will
ask this question to test your knowledge about the company. (Give
them a run-down of their product/services, sales figures, news,
company figures. size of company/operations, ethics, goals etc.)
Research the company first…Good example answer:"I’ve
read that your organisation has 6 offices and plan to open more.”
Show you are interested and let a conversation around this topic
Q) Tell me about yourself?
A frequently asked question in
interviews… Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held
that relate to the position you are interviewing for. (e.g. examples
of skills and achievements to date) Keep it short. Sometimes the
interviewer will specify what you should say. Never lie
Q) Why did you leave your last job?
Never speak negative about previous
employers, co-workers or the organisation. Stay positive and be
confident with your answer. Focus on the benefits, opportunities &
development.BE CLEAR & PRECISE – Don’t over
complicate your reason. The interviewer just wants to know the honest
answer.Your interviewer will want to know:a)what you have
done in you previous joba)what your hoping to gain from moving to
Q) How ambitious are you?
Show your enthusiasm for the job. Short
term goal should be in getting the job and long term goal is to
progress higher. Don’t give the impression that you are after the
Q) Why are you looking for in a new
Stay positive and be confident with your
answer.Good example answer:"I have experience
bringing new business for high profile companies’. ‘I’m looking
for an opportunity to repeat this success or do something else. Talk
about your career and accomplishments.
Q) Tell me about your last job?
Try to relate your previous job
experience to the current job description. Don’t lie or exaggerate
Interviewer wants to hear detailed answers (e.g. sales skills –
examples how you have done the job already)Good example
answer:"I spent 3 years in telephone sales, mainly business
to business and recently I have looked after a team of 10 working on
differing sales types…. Ranging from… I achieved….
Q) What are your key strengths and
Mention strengths that are relevant to
the job your being interviewed for (assets that employer desires for
the position). Employers look for good: communication, team working,
IT, Problem solving etc skills. Recruiters want to know why you think
it is strength and where it has been demonstrated.Turn your
weakness into positive statements: Interviewer will want to know that
you have learnt from your weakness.Interviewer will want to
know:1. What risks are they taking in hiring you?2. How you
deal with this stress question3. They do not want to hear that
you weakness cannot be corrected4. Interviewer does not want to
hear of a personal trait (e.g. being messy at home) that is not
related to the jobBe honest about your weaknesses & turn the
negative (weakness) into a positive. (I.e. Interviewer wants to see
that you are aware of your weakness & doing something about
it.Good example answer:"I can be over enthusiastic
and work quickly and I have now learnt to work at other peoples
paces, ensuring we all deliver the best work possible.’I used
to have bad time management skills now I have learnt to priorities my
projects/workload every time ‘‘During busy times I can become
unorganized & now before I leave work I make sure that I organise
itineraries for the next day’
What were your greatest success / achievement?
The interviewer wants to gain an insight
into your previous role or role’s. Try to keep your answers focused
on your work. Keep discussion to work related issues.A problem
you had overcomehistory, image & goal of potential
employerIdeas that were implementedGood example answer:I
set up a sales accounting system that reduces costs by 30%I
improved sales by 45% throughout Europe & America by
restructuring the sales team … Tell them how….
Q) What motivates you?
Interviewer wants to understand what
inspires you in work situation. Try and relate answers to work
experience rather than personal (E.g. career progression, opportunity
to learn more skills, work ambience, competitiveness, working in a
team, etc)Good example answer:‘I have always worked in
sales/recruitment and was motivated to hit targets ahead of
schedule’‘I always ensured that Apply4U’s clients got the
best customer service’‘I’ve have always worked within sales
and hitting record breaking results in my last 2 firms’
Q) Are you competitive?
Interviewer will want see how you handle
this question. Your answer depends upon the requirements of the job
advertisement & company goals. Interviewer will want to see an
indication that you can work within a team & not just for
yourself.If you say very highly competitive (interviewer perceive
you as highly aggressive)If you say not very competitive
(interviewer may perceive you as weak & not proactive)Put a
positive spin in how you answer the question
Q) Are you a leader?
A leader or team leader generally sets
targets and margins and possesses good conversational skills.
Interviewer wants to gain in insight to your experience in leading
projects or managing people.Good example answer:‘I
managed a team of 3 and devised a motivating day once a week every
Monday morning to keep everything in order & to increase energy
Q) What problems did you encounter in
your last job?
Keep it brief. Talk about job experiences
that you may have solved.Good example answer:I’ve
experienced a problem with the sales accounting system and I managed
to resolve this by devising an account system that increased
Q) What are your career goals?
Your answer should relate to professional
goals not personal goals. Short term goals would be getting the job
and long term goals would relate to progression within the
company.Good example answer:
My long term goal would be to grow with
the company where I continue to learn with added responsibilities and
contribute as much value as I can to companies aspirations.
Q) How would you describe yourself?
The answer should relate to the job in
which you are being interviewed for. The interviewer is looking to
see how you can benefit and add value to the company. Centre your
answer on what you have to offer and why you would be a good for the
job.Good example answer:
My ideas have led me into introducing and
implement new procedures such as a new accounting system for the
sales department that increased production for the company. I can use
these ideas to improve production within the company.
My enthusiasm and energy influences those
Q) How could you improve yourself?
Try not to be too negative. Interviewer
wants to know that you are always looking to improve yourself.
Q) What level of salary are you
looking for now?
You can ask to discuss this later on
after discussion of job responsibilities. You don’t want to be seen
as greedy & emphasis you’re potential. Final remuneration
package could include (pension, company car, private health care
specific interview questions:
Q) Why do you want job in recruitment?
Interviewer will want to know:If it’s
a career change they will want to know Why you have chosen
Recruitment as a chosen career. If you have experience in
recruitment, interviewer will want to know why you have chosen their
sector (i.e. media recruitment, recruitment agency etc.)Good
example answer:If it’s a career change stress what skills are
transferable to recruitment job objectives“I love recruitment
as I enjoy meeting & getting to know different people.
Recruitment is a varied career & I don’t believe there are many
careers as rewarding….”
Q) Why do you want job in sales?
Interviewer looks for your eagerness and
attitude. Keep a positive attitude. A sales person is in a position
to make things happen. Recruiter intends to hire people who possess
their core competencies and have a desire to sell. Process of sales
is problem solving for potential buyer or enhancing business.Good
example answer:I enjoy challenges and interacting with people.
Selling is a challenge and each day is different from the other…
Other Interview Questions
Are you considering any other positions
at the moment?
Do you consider yourself successful?
How do you handle criticism?
What is the biggest challenge you have
faced so far?
Can you act on your own initiative?
What do you think of the last company
you worked for?
Why are you leaving your current
What interests you about our product (or
Why should we employ you?
Can you work under pressure?
What problems did you encounter in your
Why did you choose a career in …?
Why are you changing careers?
What would your ideal job be?
Are you considering any other positions
at the moment?
How would you describe yourself?
How would others describe you?
Are you considering any other positions
at the moment?
How would you describe yourself?
How would others describe you?
What were your greatest success /
How did you achieve it?
What has been your biggest failure?
What is the biggest challenge you have
faced so far?
What motivates you?
Do you know how to motivate other
Can Are you competitive?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’
Do you How do you handle stressful
What have you learnt from your previous
Why should we hire you over all other
What have you done since the last job?
What qualifications do you have?
appearances count: Always
dress and look your best. Immaculate shoes, a clean shave or a
freshly pressed suit are easy ways to pick up extra points. Maintain
eye contact as much as possible and avoid the obvious pitfalls of
slouching, folded arms or hands in pockets.
about the company you are interviewing with is essential, but your
research doesn’t have to end here… Who are the company’s main
competitors? What are the industry trends? How might this company
improve its current product or service offering? Are there any
opportunities for revenue growth?
level of knowledge will play a large role in determining how much
value you can add to a given company (exactly what the interviewer is
trying to assess!).
for difficult or common questions such as:-
Why should I hire you?- Why haven’t you found a job yet?-
How many jobs have you applied for? Why didn’t you apply for
more?- Why did you leave your previous employment?- What did
you dislike about your old job?- There is a gap between these two
employment entries, what did you do in this period?- How can you
add value to our company?- Aside from financial reward, what do
you hope to gain from this employment?- How would you describe
our brand to a person that had never heard of us?- What attracts
you to this job?- What are your weaknesses?- Tell us about a
role you performed badly in.- What are your strengths?- What
is your biggest achievement?- Describe yourself in three words.-
How would your friends describe you?- What do you get up to in
your spare time?- Where do you see yourself in five years?-
Where do you see yourself at the height of your career?
Click here for more
questions and answers
and maybe make a visit at the ‘Questions
to ask & not to ask in an interview’
your CV: Employers
will often use your CV as a loose structure for the interview, so be
ready to speak extensively about every point you made on it. Be ready
to talk about any unexplained gaps in your career history (a common
line of question), any specific achievements, and the circumstances
surrounding each of your previous jobs. Don’t expect the
interviewer to know your CV, don’t be afraid to mention and
re-mention the key points you have already highlighted on your CV.
don’t have to be one-way: Have
at least three well-researched questions ready for the employer. The
quality of the question will demonstrate interest, level of knowledge
and encourage the interviewer to interact with you on a less formal
your time: Pause
and think before answering difficult questions.
aware of current affairs: A
good way of finding some common ground.
- Begin your
preparation well in advance (24 hours before if possible).
- Get a good night
- Leave yourself a
few hours before to go over your interview checklist.
- Get to the
- Avoid caffeinated
always WHAT you say it’s HOW you say it!
learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget
what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel"
WHAT YOU SAY =
VOICE & TONE
BODY LANGUAGE = 55%
body language is a
reflection of your level of confidence, and a candidate with a lack
of confidence isn’t one that can be an asset to the company. It’s
actually very simple. Your body can betray your words if you aren’t
careful. I’m not saying control all you movements and the way your
body acts, but you have to pay more attention to the ones that can
give away ‘inside information’.
if you are confident and strong you will most likely keep the
eye-contact, but if you lie or you are unsure about your chances you
will look away.
a smile can make a big difference especially at the interview, can
relax the tensioned atmosphere and it shows the others that you are a
warm opened person.
sit up straight: do not slouch, it shows insecurity
hands and legs calm and relaxed:
don’t start playing with your fingers or bounce your leg, just act
normal and natural.
don’t get in the face of your interviewer; I know that you are
excited and all but it will become like a threat, just leave some
space between you and him/her
you want to see how you react in these kinds of situations just
repeat with a friend and ask him to pay attention at your body
language; you might be surprised.
don’t forget about the tone of your voice. Don’t be monotone and
boring, be enthusiastic, motivated, interested, after all your
talking about yourself, if you not excited about yourself why should
are 2 things that you MUST take into account at an interview:
talk in first person
believe me, they are crucial!
1) Talk in FIRST
person… Sell YOURSELF
What can YOU bring
to the company?
people will slip into a type of conversation called “second person”
when they are really talking about themselves. Use “I” or “my”
instead of “you/your” as this simple word shifts the story from
being about us to
being about the person listening. You run the risk of losing the
interviewer’s interest in the story–because they feel
spoken at rather
than spoken to.
have to be able to get into work on time and you need to hit your
always the first one into work and haven’t missed a sales target
this shift in language may not seem like a big deal, becoming a
skilled communicator is. If
you talk in second or third person, your prospective employer will be
waiting for that ‘other’ person to walk through the door.
STORYTELLING… Be specific & give examples
answers as a simple Yes or No is not impressive.
interviewer’s questions as if you were in an exam
- Repeat the
- Use full
sentences and avoid bullet point answers
- Use examples &
explain your reasons
For e.g: What
are your key strengths?
Determined… Passionate…A winner
My key strengths include my determined attitude and passion for my
work; most importantly I strive to win.
when giving an example Getting
the weighting right
- Outline of what you faced
- What you decided to do the
- Detailed description of the process - 70%
What you did
- The outcome
For E.G: “Describe
a time when you demonstrated creative thinking”
“It was last
summer, summer 2008. It was the GM group. I helped them
made it a lot better than it was and people really liked it.
They’re still using it.”
I worked at the GM group in Summer 2008 and
assisted in the development of their new website.
conducted an audit of similar sites and presented my findings to the
development team, recommending the use of ‘pop-ups’ to advertise
forthcoming events. Mindful of industry scepticism regarding their
use, I researched available data and prepared visual design ideas.
Despite their initial concerns, I persuaded them to allocate funds
for an initial trial period.
rates were encouraging & the pop-ups are now a permanent addition
to the website.
Be specific… Give
examples… You are the STAR of
the story so remember that!
10 INTERVIEW TIPS
use positive words
say: I am quite strong at new business
I am strong at new business
say: You need to be resilient in recruitment
I am a resilient person that’s how I have managed to be successful
Present or Past tense
say: I will work hard
I have been working hard in my current / last position where I ...
your Unique Selling Points - What makes you different?
Languages / Achievements etc...
the Feature + Benefit Rule
= I speak fluent German to business level “Which means” Benefit =
I can help build strong relationships with both candidates and
clients in Germany)”
you say I have the skills for the job, then be specific about WHAT
SKILLS you bring. Always explain yourself in as much detail as
possible, using facts and figures
work and life experience to prove what you are saying is accurate
I am hard working, currently I start work at 9am and don’t finish
till 8/9pm everyday...
a relationship, make them like you... get them involved in your story
– Practice around 5 stories before your interview and then use them
as and when possible
Answers on a High
a strong point or example to the end of your answer so that the
interviewer remembers you. Normally the first point that comes to
mind is your best, save it to the end so you know what your ending
on. Let the rest be natural and when you can’t think of anything
else or you feel it’s time to end. Drop in your “killer ending”
and end your answer with a bang!
importantly remember – IT’S
NOT WHAT YOU SAY... IT’S HOW YOU SAY IT!
be energetic, enthusiastic and confident – you have nothing to
THAT CAN COST YOUR JOB
are six factors that can help you remain in the unemployment zone:
Being unprepared for the interview. Prepare,
plan, and practice! In today’s tough job market, you MUST do
everything you can to give yourself an edge… preparation is the
Not being able to communicate clearly and effectively. This
is important during the interview and on the job. Being nervous can
really mess up your communication skills, so being well prepared and
practicing what you’re going to say are always your best bet.
Being aggressive, arrogant, or acting in a superior way. No
one wants to hire or work with people who think they’re better than
everyone else. Be careful with your attitude, even if you think
you’re surrounded by incompetent fools. Being confident is good.
Being an arrogant jerk is bad.
Making excuses for failings. Your
teacher never bought “The dog ate my homework!” and your boss
isn’t going to buy “The finance department gave me the wrong
figures!” In the grown-up world, you have to take responsibility
for what you are responsible for! You’ll never earn respect by
blaming others when things go wrong.
Saying unfavourable things about previous employers. Even
if you left a job because the boss was an egomaniac who took credit
for all of your hard work, verbally abused you in front of others,
and poisoned the plant on your desk, don’t say anything bad about
him/her during an interview. When asked “Why did you leave your
last job?” say something like “My manager and I both agreed that
my advancement opportunities were limited there and obtaining another
position was the best option for me and my career goals.”
Having a poor/limp handshake. Why
do people think you’ll be a lousy employee if you have a lousy
handshake? That’s not really logical, is it? Doesn’t matter. It
just turns people off and gives them a bad impression of you. So make
your handshake firm and confident but not bone-crushing. (It’s not
a competition to see who winces first!)
you DON’T want to be unemployed, don’t let any of those traits
apply to you!
TO ASK AND NOT TO ASK AT AN INTERVIEW
to ask in an interview:
How many other
people work in the team? What are their job roles?
If the job is in a
new department, ask about the reason for establishing the department
and what the plans for growth are.
If the job is an
old one, ask who you are replacing and why they have moved on.
appraisals and performance reviews – how often, will they be tied
to pay increases or bonuses?
How will my
performance be measured?
Can you describe
your ideal employee? This is a great one – use it early on to find
out what they are expecting so you can tailor your later responses
to suit them!
A slightly more
subtle approach than the last point would be to ask, “what skills
and experience would you say are necessary for someone to succeed in
Not suitable for
senior management really, but asking interviewers what they like
about working at the company can be a good way to start a
conversation about your new workplace.
your interviewer when they started with the company and why they
have stayed with the company? In a polite way – try not to ask
this with a grimace on your face! You want to get them talking a
little – it strengthens your relationship with them just that
little bit more which can make a difference.
(If you are being
interviewed by the MD / owner) Hypothetical question – if you had
to leave, how would you like to see the company be managed?
What scope for
progress and promotion is there within the company?
What kind of work
will I be responsible for over the next year?
Will I be expected
to work late nights or at the weekend?
Can you describe a
typical day or week in the job?
What makes this
company stand apart from the competition?
In your opinion,
what is the most important attribute / achievement / quality you
would like to see from me within my trial period?
Do you have any
questions about my ability to do this job? This one ain’t great
most of the time – they would have brought any questions they had
already. However, the point you are trying to make with this is to
show them your proactive attitude and confidence. This could add a
positive to your interview if other areas haven’t been great (lack
of experience, etc).
Having reviewed my
CV and interviewed me, what qualities do you see in me?
interviewing more people for this position?
Are there any
areas you feel I would need to work on in order to become your top
choice for the job?
Do your employees
socialise outside of the workplace? OK, with this one you don’t
want to seem like you will be out of the door 4pm Friday and
straight to the pub! But it is worth getting an idea of how the
office life will be – perhaps ask if they have any company sports
teams, etc. Basically ask them to quantify the atmosphere of the
How would you
describe the core responsibilities of the position? Only if this
hasn’t been covered – you don’t want to seem stupid!
Will the job
involve much travelling? If so, how much?
When are you
looking for someone to start?
When can I expect
to hear from you?
Would you like a
list of references or any additional information from me?
Does the job
involve any form of training? How will this be implemented and
(If there are
other people in a similar job role to you) What attributes / traits
would you say are necessary for someone to be successful within this
Could you explain
the company structure to me? This lets them clarify the management
and departmental structure within the company. It will also help you
get a better idea of how your role will fit into the company.
Does the job role
have any pressing concerns that you will need me to tackle as soon
as I start? This could refer to accounts / clients that need managed
because someone left, or it could be asking them for a timeline of
priorities if you are setting up a new department.
Does the team or
job role I’ll be working in have any specific weaknesses right now
that you would like to be address? This is a softer version of the
previous question really.
What software /
systems does your company use? Know your industry so you know how to
ask this question properly.
What are the
company’s plans for the future? This can be a great question –
it will allow management to boast and you can nod and seem like you
are interested. Try to keep this discussion going with some follow
up questions about the interviewers answer.
might I face in this position?
Have any previous
employees failed to perform in this position and what would you say
was the reason for that?
misconceptions do people have about the organisation?
What are the
company’s core business goals?
have these goals been communicated over the past 12 months? These 2
questions are great although they can throw off less organised
managers and could work as a negative!
How does the
company reward or recognise outstanding work and excellence?
Will my roles be
limited to what has been outlined in my job description or will I be
expected to take on other tasks as needed? If so, to what extent do
you foresee this being the case? This is good for you – you need
to know if you are going to sign up to be a shoe maker and
eventually end up being a belt maker or not!
Questions NOT to
ask in an interview
Can I do this
job from home?
If this is a
telecommuting job, the job description would have said so. Asking to
work from home implies that you dislike working with others, you do
not work well under direct supervision, or you have a difficult
schedule to work around. Occasionally, employees who have held a
position for a long period are allowed to telecommute, but this is
not a concession you should ask for on a first interview.
What does your
Avoid asking any
questions about the company that you could have researched beforehand
on the company website. These questions demonstrate that you have not
done your research, and imply that you are not interested in the
When can I take
time off for vacation?
Do not discuss
previous commitments before being offered a position. Asking about
time off before getting a job offer implies that you are not going to
be a fully committed employee.
Did I get the
This question puts
employers on the spot and makes you appear impatient. Instead, you
could ask for more information on the next step in the hiring
process. For example, you can ask, "Do you generally do multiple
rounds of interviews with job candidates?" However, if they are
interested in you, most employers will give you this information
before the end of the interview.
How many hours
will I be expected to work each work? Will I need to work on
about hours and extra work imply that you are hoping to work as
little as possible. A better question would be, "What is a
typical workday like?" The answer will likely give you insight
into expected work hours.
How long would I
have to wait to get promoted?
implies that you are not interested in the position for which you are
applying, and that you are merely waiting to move on to something
better. Instead, you could ask the employer, "What are some of
the opportunities for growth at this company?"
What type of
health insurance does this company offer?
Wait until you are
offered the position before you begin asking questions about
benefits. However, if there is a benefit that you require from a job
(such as a particular type of health insurance, a daycare program,
etc.), bring it up with human resources rather than the interviewer.
Not to Ask
What is the
astrological sign of the company president?
Can I see the
How late can I be
to work without getting fired?
How long is lunch?
Can I bring my dog
Will I have to
take a drug test?
Does this company
monitor Internet usage?
How many warnings
do you get before you are fired?
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The whole job
search process can become a little more complicated than it looks.
Don’t forget, the most important part of your day, is your job!
1. Choosing a career (Careers Advice)
Deciding on which career path to enter
may seem daunting, but it is also an exciting new beginning that you
should embrace. Remember that the careers path you choose could
account for the majority of your working life – investing your time
and effort in making the right careers choice here will pay dividends
First, set aside some time to focus on
choosing a career, when you are alone and stress free, perhaps at the
library or your home. If you’re short of inspiration, a good way to
start is to make a list of your skills and interests (what
are you good at? what do you enjoy? what is important to you? what
makes you happy?) – writing
ideas down and comparing notes with friends and family can often lead
to career paths that you may never have considered.
With a short-list in mind, you can begin
your careers research – there is a wealth of resources online and
now you are on one website that has great information. Essentially,
you need to answer the following questions:
- What does the job ask of me? e.g.
time, travel, focus, responsibility
- What are the good points?
- Do these outweigh the bad points?
- What else is important to you (e.g.
friends, family, hobbies)?
- Will your new career infringe upon
- Is there opportunity for
personal development and career progression?
- What will the job give me aside from
- Am I being realistic?
the more research you do, the better informed your careers decision
you have narrowed your career options down, try getting some work
experience to gain some first-hand insight. A single day working
within an organisation can be far more insightful than anything you
will find in books or online (and you’ll meet some great contacts
Applying for a job
Persistence, research, and some more
persistence! ‘How do I
apply?’ ‘What are they looking for?’ ‘How do I get them
interested in me? The key
to success is perseverance and learning as much as possible
about the company or industry you are targeting – not only will
this approach help get you noticed, it will help you get hired –
companies actively look for people who have ambition and want to
So where do I start?
This will of course largely depend on the
job you are targeting. If the employer is advertising a
position than simply reply with your CV
and cover letter. If there is
no contact address, always begin with a phone call (this gives you a
chance to gain an edge on other applicants; find out exactly what the
company are looking for, who you should address your application to,
what you might do to improve your chances).
In some cases, you may be required to
complete an online
application. This is
relatively self-explanatory so we won’t dwell on it too much
but a good exercise is to use your CV to ensure you cram as much as
possible into the form and always support
your answers with evidence (‘I am a team player because…’,
‘My role as cashier demonstrates that…’).
Other companies are much less formal.
Often restaurants and bars will require you to drop
by in person for an
informal chat (these companies are much more concerned with finding
someone who is presentable, friendly and outgoing rather than finding
out where they went to school). When meeting an employer, make sure
that you are presentable and have all of the information they may ask
of you, ‘do you have any
relevant training?‘, ‘
When are you available? Do you have any holidays booked in the next 6
months?’. It’s a good
idea to take a couple of copies of your CV along to the meeting.
In cases where there is no vacancy
advertised you will need to cold
call. This may seem daunting
at first but just bear in mind that the only people you’ll actually
have to meet in person are the ones that want to meet you (rejection
is just part of the process, smile and move on).
The follow up…
Follow up all job
applications with a phone call or email (if nothing else, it
shows that you care and gives you a chance to gain valuable feedback,
good or bad!).
Get a head start and Job
Lack of career progression?
to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), a
significant proportion of employees are dissatisfied by the pace of
their career development and feel that it is not where they would
like it to be. In a survey of 2,000 employees conducted last year,
the CMI found that 42 percent of respondents felt that their careers
were stalling. The most common complaints were: being overlooked for
promotion or not receiving pay increases.
your organisation has frozen promotional or sideward opportunities
then you have two basic choices. You can accept the current situation
and wait for an improvement, or else consider options externally.
if colleagues are being promoted ahead of you it is a clear sign that
opportunities exist but that you are not being considered for them.
Why is this? Possibly it is because your line manager is
unsupportive, but often the answer lies in an employee not having
enough of the skills required for the targeted job.
you are looking for a move upwards or across then you need to take a
look at your current skill-set and review what is missing that you
need in order to progress. This could be a lack of qualifications, IT
or language skills, or experience in key areas.
to identify what’s missing?
progression means promotion into a more senior role then your
performance appraisals can help you to identify your development
areas.If you are seeking a move into a different type of role then
try to obtain a job description. Job descriptions are very useful in
helping us to identify the qualifications, experience and
competencies that are required.
on internal positions may be available from HR or the company
intranet, while information on external roles can be found on company
websites and job boards. Full or abbreviated job descriptions are
reasonably easy to find and this will help you to identify key areas.
good news is that there are plenty of resources available. Firstly,
your employer may be willing to provide you with internal or external
out what training is available – from the Internet, company
intranet or from HR or training officers – and ask to be allowed to
participate. If your employer is reluctant to give the time off you
can always offer to make up the time or even use your holiday
may find that external training is your best option. Of course this
often has a cost attached, but if the accompanying qualification will
help you to progress in your career, it may be seriously worth taking
on the cost, even if your employer is reluctant to fund it.
look at informal training opportunities. Can you strengthen your
experience by helping colleagues? People with knowledge in areas you
are lacking can be a source of expertise that will benefit you if you
are prepared to learn. Are there possibilities for participating in
projects with other teams in the business or even outside the
you have identified the areas that you need to improve, your next
step will be to put in place an action plan of how you are going to
work on these. The four steps are: ‘What?’, ‘How?’, ‘Plan
it’, ‘Do it!’
What is your greatest need?
How can you address it?
Put a plan in place – contacting the relevant people, signing up,
making the time and travel arrangements and doing any preparatory
Choosing a new career
Deciding on a new career is a tricky
decision to make and it’s important to distinguish why you are even
considering making a switch before you begin your search… Is
it something you feel you need to do because you need a new
challenge? Are you bored at work? Do you need to change your
work/life balance? Have you reached your ceiling at work and
feel there is nowhere else for you to go in your current role? For
some people the choice is obvious – a burning desire to accomplish
something they have always wanted to do but for others maybe it’s
just time to take a different path, but what path? It can
be a hard and somewhat confusing choice, which may be marred by
limitations you place on yourself and on your self-confidence. Most
people’s reasons to change their job is purely for job satisfaction
rather than economic reasons, but remember that either are valid
reasons to undertake this challenge.
Once you have made the decision to change
your professional life, you need to ‘Think Big’ and base your
choice on what you think you will enjoy and can grow within. Be
bold and rule out no career or profession. While this may seem
like a huge statement to make, with confidence, motivation and a
desire to change, you will be surprised at what you can achieve. OK –
some of these career choices may be a daydreams, but by allowing
yourself to do this, you are not ruling anything out. Think
back to childhood – what did you want to be? Are you envious of
other people’s jobs that you think you would also like? Do
you have a hobby, passion or skill that could be built upon?
Confidence and Motivation
Without confidence in yourself and a
motivation to change and succeed doing it, you are fighting a losing
battle. Once you have narrowed down some new career choices, a
good way to boost both these essential traits is to write down next
to each new job choice what is holding you back to achieving it (be
it economic, emotional or practical). Now write down what
is motivating you to change your job and compare the two.
Hopefully, the motivation list will be longer than the other list.
Keep this document and once you have started to apply for new jobs in
your chosen field, and you feel your confidence start to waver about
if you have done the right thing or not, look at this and remind
yourself what you are striving to achieve.
Be Practical and Proactive
One way to find out if a new career is
for you is to undertake some voluntary work or work
experience in the
sector you choose before you take the plunge. Not only will
this give you a taste of what the job may be like in reality, it will
also impress prospective employers on your CV.
The key to a successful job-hunt is to
adopt a multi-pronged
approach, both in terms of
where you look and how you promote yourself…
1. Online Job Boards
Job boards are a great place to start. A
quick Google search will reveal hundreds of public forums through
which employers advertise positions. Often seekers can sort by
industry, salary or level of experience. Many websites also offer
email alerts for new jobs matching your criteria. You can search
for jobs in
universities, studentships and more at jobs.ac.uk.
You will also find specialist websites
focusing on specific industry types (e.g. efinancialcareers.co.uk).
Again, Google is a great place to start, and at Apply4u.co.uk you can
find it ‘all under one roof’, from jobs adverts to companies
profiles, reviews and job search / recruitment services. If it’s a
job you want, there are hundreds of jobs we got! ….
2. Upload your CV to a directory
Let recruiters find you by uploading your
CV to one of the many online directories. Often job seekers can
specify a criteria (targeted roles, salary, distance) which will make
it easier for the right recruiter to find them. Upload
your CV Now!
3. Recruitment consultants
Let somebody else do the leg work for
you. Consultants often specialise within a particular sector,
building up a wealth of contacts and knowledge (particularly useful
for job seekers with considerable experience within a certain
specific sector). One word of warning however; recruitment
consultants are often motivated by fees alone (not a candidates job
satisfaction) so be sure to do your research on the companies that
you are introduced to.
That’s why Apply4u.co.uk is unique. Not
only that we are the middle ground between you and the company, but
we are interested in the happiness of both parties. Also, here’s a
tip: we do the leg work for you but you are still in control and
Employers don’t pay a placement fee for you!
Family, friends, friends of friends –
they all count! Having an introduction to an individual working
within your target company can be a great head start (however junior
that person may be). Of course, industry contacts aren’t a luxury
enjoyed by everyone but if you have them, use them!
5. Cold calling
Just because a company isn’t actively
hiring doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t consider the right person
– cold calling shows courage and persistence, traits that
most employers look for. Again, Google is a great place to start and
be sure to do your research on every company that you call or you can
appeal to one of our Apply4U specialists to do that for you.
6. Other job boards
Job search is increasingly moving online
but many local companies, such as restaurants, shops and bars, will
advertise locally. Great places to look are job centres, public
notice boards, local newspapers and magazines.
Finding the perfect job is not easy, it
could take one week, it could take six months. The key is to stay
focused and to never give up searching. New jobs come onto the market
every day, by adopting a multi-pronged approach, one of those will be
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