A description about what you look like or even images of yourself should never be included on a CV. It isn’t professional and will be viewed as a mockery if it includes this information.
Proofread your CV, twice and then get someone else to do it! Spelling and grammar mistakes can be a huge turn off to an employer! REMEMBER: Spellcheck isn’t always write
Putting irrelevant work experience on your CV will dilute your key message and fill up needed space!
If your hobbies will show you in an unusual light it is better to leave them out, stick to a short and precise list (e.g. writing, reading, etc)
If you have an inappropriate or embarrassing email address, don’t use it! – Think about creating a more professional email specifically for your job search.
Stay away from negative words such as; mistake, awful, bad, nothing even if they’re used in a positive sentence (e.g. awfully good)
You should never include this information on your CV! If this info gets into the wrong hands you could be in trouble! Have it ready for your employer when they ask for it but don’t include it on your CV.
A long CV is boring and gives the impression that you’re unable to distinguish important and irrelevant information – stick to 1-2 pages.
Clip art, too many distracting colours and strange fonts will make your CV hard to read. Make a good impression with your CV and don’t distract from the information with bold designs.
For more information on CV and employability take a look at our Job Seekers section on the website.
Entering a workplace for the first time can be overwhelming for everyone; you’ll start to find yourself in new situations and meeting new people from all roles and rankings. Workplace Etiquette may be something you’ve never even thought of, we all know we should be polite and well-mannered but a little help on knowing what you should and shouldn’t do will go a long way.
- Sit and stand up straight – keep a good posture, slouching makes you appear uninterested and unprofessional.
- Learn names, learn them quickly – Write them down, keep business cards. Being unable to remember a person’s name may be interpreted as a sign that you don’t value them.
- Shake hands – firmly shake the hand of the person you are meeting/being introduced to, it comes across polite.
- Try to return emails/phone calls within 24 hours, a fast response is polite; you should also always include something in the subject box of the email.
- Respect other people’s space –e.g. knock before entering someone’s office.
- Interrupt someone, especially when they are on the phone, you could endanger an important phone call they may be having.
- Send inappropriate emails, or anything that you wouldn’t say face to face.
- Talk down to anyone – show everybody respect and don’t make judgements on peoples role in the workplace, no matter on their level of role.
- Be late for work or for meetings – it makes you appear uninterested or unprofessional.
- Criticise anyone publicly – no one likes being humiliated
- Get distracted – appearing distracted in meetings or conversations is rude, 27% of CFO’S cited this as the biggest offence.
Have you ever left a job interview and thought it went badly? The chances are it probably did but hey, sometimes things go wrong. Beating yourself up about it won’t change anything but these tips might!
- Shake it off – We know this is easier said than done but focussing on one bad interview could stop you having more good ones
- Learn from it – Make a list of the things that you thought went wrong and reflect on how you could avoid these mistakes with your next opportunity
- Carry on – Don’t just give up, it may of not been as bad as you thought! Send a thank you note to the interviewer and follow up as you usually would.
Sometimes amazing job opportunities come up but you just don’t hear about them – Google to the rescue!
Google Alerts will help you stay up-to-date with job vacancies and news from your desired industry – which is great knowledge to have for interviews!
What is Google Alerts
Google Alerts will send you an email when new entries are added to search results for the terms you asked Google to monitor.
What to search for
There are two ways to search for vacancies – either search for the companies that interest you or to research jobs in your location.
How to use Google Alerts
To set up Google alerts got to: https://www.google.co.uk/alerts
To search for Jobs in a specific area insert the name of your desired location followed by (“new jobs” OR “new businesses”) see the example below
To search for jobs within selected business insert jobs followed by (“insert company name” OR “insert another company name”) see the example below
If you need a bit of help finding a job then enrol onto our Employability & Personal Development course and leave with the skills needed to land you a job!
Throughout the course, one of our friendly tutors will support and help you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding, and raise your awareness of a range of employability skills.
During the course you and your tutor will cover;
- Self-management skills
- Assessing myself for work
- Making informed career and progression choices
- Preparing for an interview
- Effective team work
- Applying for a job
- Interview Skills
Speak to your Jobcentre advisor about booking a place onto one of our courses, or call us on 0845 223 2401
1. I sound absolutely ridiculous
Everyone uses buzzwords in interviews, ‘networking’ ‘long-term career goals’ and calling yourself a ‘great self-starter’ are things you’d never say under any other circumstances but hey, the interviewer will love it – you gotta do what you gotta do.
2. This isn’t actually what I’m like
We all over do it in interviews, from the false smile to the over thinking of body language is stuff we feel false for doing but things we’ve got to do to help us secure that job! Don’t worry the cheek-ache will be worth it in the end
3. Am I sounding too ‘full of myself’?
In any other circumstance boasting about yourself for over an hour to a total stranger is not ok but it’s what you’ve got to do secure that job, so sit down and show off like the star you are!
4. OMG, how many questions?
You’re not prepared for this many questions. The only weakness you can think of is the struggle you have getting out of bed in the morning but you can’t answer with that because you actually want this job! (to avoid this thought again read our Hardest Interview Questions: Answered post)
5. So, have I got the job or what?…
Unless your interview was catastrophically bad you won’t really know if the job’s yours until you hear back. While you wait sit back, relax and read our tips on what to do after an interview.
A Cover Letter gives you the chance to show recruiters why you’d be good for the job before they’ve even looked at your CV. A bad cover letter could mean that the CV, you’ve spent hours perfecting, won’t even be seen.
- Write individual cover letters for each position you apply for, every single one should be different.
- Explain to the recruiter why you’re what they’re looking for i.e. explain how you fit the Job Description.
- Demonstrate why you’re the best choice with examples to back you up.
- Keep it simple – your cover letter should be 300 words max. Don’t overdo it!
- Try to find out the contacts name so you can personalise your letter/email.
- The first paragraph should explain why you’re writing to them.
- The next paragraph should outline your qualifications and match them to the Job specifications.
- Use bullet points to get maximum impact with minimum words.
- Be Specific – use numbers!
- Be enthusiastic – show that you’ve done your research on the company.
- In the final paragraph point them to your CV and thank them for their time & consideration.
- You weren’t on time
This is more common than you think! Showing not only makes you look unprepared it also makes you look uninterested. Show up on time, or better yet, early.
2. You didn’t dress to impress
Remember to dress for success! The recruiter will judge you on your outfit before you’ve even opened your mouth, make sure you look the part – we’ve got a great blog post about it!
3. Your body language let you down
Your handshake was weak, you fidgeted way too much, and you made virtually no eye contact. Each of these things can harm your chances. Sit up straight, look interested be aware of your body language! Give our post on Interview Etiquette a read for some useful tips.
4. You didn’t ask any questions
Asking no questions at the end of an interview shows a lack of enthusiasm for the position on offer – if you do ask questions, ask about important aspects of the job role rather than holidays, salary or employee perks. We’ve got some great questions you can ask here.
5. You never followed up
It’s important to follow up your interview with a thank you note, this will make a great impression & reiterate your interest in the position. We have loads more useful tips on what to do after an interview here.
Asking questions at the end of an interview is a must, it shows enthusiasm and reiterates your interest in the role but since we shouldn’t ask about salary, holiday or employee benefits what on earth are we meant to ask?!
- Do you have any doubts whether I’m suited to this position?
This is a brave question to ask but it shows that you’re confident in your skills and abilities, it gives you the ability to emphasise your strengths and one last chance to ‘fight you corner’. This question will show that you’re open to constructive criticism and will give you the chance to address and concerns the employer may have.
- How is performance measured and reviewed?
This question will show that you appreciate the importance of delivering results.
- What are the most enjoyable and least enjoyable aspects of the role?
This could show that you like to be prepared for what challenges you’d face but it will also allow you to get an insight on the least enjoyable aspects of the role too!
- What types of training opportunities do you offer?
A common yet effective question; asking about training opportunities shows you’re keen to develop your skills and add value to the organisation.
- Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?
Another common yet effective question which emphasises determination to be successful and progress
- What’s your favourite thing about working here?
Asking questions about your interviewer shows you’re interested in them and builds a great rapport – as well as getting an insider’s view!
- What are the current goals the company is focussed on?
Don’t just show interest for the interviewer, show it for the company too – this will show loyalty and enthusiasm as well as proving your interest for the position.
Bonus question: How has the company changed since you joined?
This question allows you to show an interest in the interviewer and the company, as well as gaining an insight into how the company is developing!