10 Things not to put in your CV

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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.

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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

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Putting irrelevant work experience on your CV will dilute your key message and fill up needed space!

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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)

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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.

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Stay away from negative words such as; mistake, awful, bad, nothing even if they’re used in a positive sentence (e.g. awfully good)

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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.

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A long CV is boring and gives the impression that you’re unable to distinguish important and irrelevant information – stick to 1-2 pages.

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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.

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How to use Google Alerts to find a Job

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
T
o 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

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To search for jobs within selected business insert jobs followed by (“insert company name” OR “insert another company name”) see the example below

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Need a little help finding work?

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

How to write an amazing cover letter

Why?

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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

5 Reasons your Job Interview was Unsuccessful

  1. 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.

7 Brilliant Questions to ask in an Interview

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!

How do I get into the Care industry?

If you enjoy helping people and want to make a difference in their lives then maybe the care industry is for you. In the event that you lack experience and training within the Health and Social Care industry then the road to getting a job may be difficult but that’s where we come in!

Steadfast Training Ltd offer two options into care, the first being an Apprenticeship. A Health and Social Apprenticeship is for anyone aged 16 or over looking to work in the care industry or eager to develop their skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to earn a wage and build experience! Find out more about our Health and Social Apprenticeships and take a look at our Health and Social Vacancies!

The other option would be to attend our ‘Level 1 certificate in Preparing to work within the Adult Social Care Sector’ a short course designed for people who want to work within the Adult Social Care Sector with little or no knowledge about the industry. The course will cover information, types of care and the skills and attitudes required to work within the industry. This award is a strong stepping stone towards the qualifications required within this sector & will allow you to move into an entry level job in the Adult Social Care world. For more information give us a call on: 0845 223 2401 or speak to your Jobcentre Advisor.

The Hardest Interview Questions: Answered

No one knows what you’ll be asked in an interview but we can have a good go at guessing! We’ve compiled a list of the most common interview questions that leave us feeling like this:

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Question 1: Why should I hire you?
Answer 1:Study the job description before your interview! Stress why you’re the most qualified candidate for the job role, link your skills and experiences to the skills & knowledge they’re looking for, make sure you keep it relevant.

Question 2: What are your greatest weaknesses?
Answer 2: Try to answer this question with skills you have improved whilst at your previous job, however try to pick a skill not directly related to the job you’ve applied for.
Example: Being organised wasn’t my strongest point but I implemented a time management system that’s really helped my organisation skills.

Question 3: Tell me about yourself
Answer 3: Don’t get personal. Keep your answer short and concise (about 2 minutes max) stick to early years, education, work history and recent career experiences. Don’t waste all your best points here this is only a warm up!

Question 4: Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Answer 4: Do not say the interviewer’s position; you don’t want to make them feel threatened. The interviewer wants to gain an insight into your career goals and how this position would fit into your plan. Stress your interest in a long term career at the company and emphasise your interest and eagerness to learn.

Question 5: Do you have any questions?
Answer 5: You should always ask questions at your interview, this is usually your last chance to prove you’re the right candidate. Try asking about company culture or about the role you’ve applied for.
Example: Where will the job fit into the team structure?
Example: Why has this role become available?

If you need help on your interview skills then join us on one of our employability short courses!