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

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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.

Tip

  • 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.

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!

What to Do After A Job Interview

Nothing is more frustrating than going to an interview, for a job you really want, and not hearing anything back for what seems like a lifetime. Sadly, after you’ve prepared for the interview and attended the interview you can’t just sit back and relax, you’ve got to follow up!

During the Interview

During the interview try to get a timescale of when the company will make their decision also make sure you ask for your interviewer’s business card – it will come in handy!

Straight after the interview

Thank them for taking the time to meet you! Send your interviewer(s) a thank you note as soon as you’ve had your interview, start composing the email whilst you’re still leaving the building (or at least in the next 24 hours). Most people tend to go for an email as it’s quick and efficient however some employers prefer ‘snail mail’ as it’s more personal and shows commitment – the choice is up to you, think about the industry you’re applying to work in, a technical company might prefer email. When writing to your interviewer ensure that you are using the correct titles and names (this is where the business cards come in handy!)

You should also make notes about your interview whilst it’s fresh in your mind, note down any questions you found tricky and a brief explanation of what went wrong and what went well – this could help with a possible second interview and future interviews.

After the time period has ended

If it has been longer than the expected timescale you were given, or it has been at least a week since your interview then it’s time to be proactive, follow up from the interview with an email or phone call, don’t overdo it though! The employer may miss one email but it’s a very slim chance he/she will have missed two emails. If you don’t hear back, or don’t hear the answer you wanted to hear then learn to move on – don’t burn bridges with the employer though as they could come in handy as a business connection or even refer you to somebody else!

If you do receive a job offer then reply as soon as possible, playing hard to get doesn’t work well in the business world!

Do Not:

  • Use personal details to contact them, or connect with any of their personal Social Media profiles, this is seen as intrusive!
  • Criticise the company on Social Media, it’s very likely someone within the company will be searching for use of their company name and it’s becoming very common for the company to check potential employee’s Social Media accounts before hiring!
  • Call or e-mail relentlessly, you don’t want to annoy the interviewer or give off a bad impression before they have even come to a decision.

10 Reasons to become an Apprentice

1) Gain relevant Qualifications

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Steadfast Apprenticeships allow you to gain a Qualification while working in your desired industry with on-the-job training.

2) Get Experience

As Steadfast offer ‘on-the-job’ training you not only gain a qualification you also gain experience.

3) Earn a Wage

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Whilst your friends are racking up massive debts at Uni you’ll be earning a wage while still learning!

4) Build your CV

You are adding to your CV – not only with experience and qualifications but also showing you are employable!

5) Become more employable!

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You’re increasing your employability! ICM Research revealed that employers in England rate qualified apprentices as 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.

6) Gain Responsibility

A third (32%) of all former apprentices had received a promotion within 12 months of finishing, and of those in work, three quarters (75%) reported taking on more responsibility in their job.

7) Become Independent

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Nothing makes you feel more independent than earning your own money and having your own responsibilities!

8) Get Support

Steadfast Training Ltd assigns you your own assessor who will support you throughout the Apprenticeship programme.

9) Develop Workplace Ethics

Training in the workplace allows you to work alongside a variety of people from different roles, ages, genders, religions and races – Our Apprenticeships also cover Employment Right and Responsibilities (ERR)

10) Start your Career

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What are you waiting for?

Contact Steadfast Training Ltd on 08452232401 or visit us at steadfasttraining,co.uk to find out more on Apprenticeships.

Interview Etiquette

Appearance

The first thing the interviewer will notice is your appearance so remember it’s better to overdress than underdress! Dress conservatively and don’t let your clothes steal the show (P.S. don’t overdo it on the perfume/aftershave – you don’t want to choke your interviewer)

Good interview etiquette tells you to arrive at your interview 10 minutes early and always make sure your phone is turned off!

Non Verbal Communication

Always maintain eye contact with your interviewer – try to avoid staring at them though!  If you have more than one interviewer then always address the person who asked the question.

Interviews are nerve wracking but try to crack down on your nervous habits such as playing with your hair, giggling or gazing around the room; employers want confidence not a bag of nerves.

And of course there is the handshake, a lot of stress is put into the handshake but don’t overthink it! A nice firm handshake will please all employers but don’t go over the top and crush your interviewer’s hand.

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Body Language

There are a few body language tips that you should put into practise the first is DO NOT fold your arms, folding your arms will make you appear unfriendly and disengaged, the next rule is DO NOT slouch, slouching will give the impression that you are uninterested. However you SHOULD sit up straight and lean slightly forward to appear interested.  Checking your watch throughout your interview will also give the impression you’re eager to leave – try to avoid that!

Thank you

After your interview don’t forget to say thank you, either by Email or Post – post gives a more personal touch!

Top Tips

  • Don’t Slouch
  • Maintain Eye contact
  • Turn your Mobile Off
  • Don’t check your watch
  • Say Thank you!

Thanks for reading,

Steadfast Training Ltd.

What to wear to a job interview.

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“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”

This saying could not describe the interview process any better, although you will be judged on many factors such as experience, attitude and qualities, your appearance affects the interviewer’s first impressions of you before you’ve even sat down!

So, what do you wear?

Check out the company culture. Do employees of company wear suits or jeans to work every day? You should try to match or be slightly dressier than the normal work attire of the company. Make sure you dress appropriately, whether this is professional, business casual or casual, don’t go OTT – if you turn up in shorts and flip-flops while everyone else is in shorts you will stick out like a sore thumb and highlight the fact you may not fit in within the company.

Top Tips

  • Your image is your personal brand, let your personality shine through but not overpower you – dress accordingly.
  • Attention to detail – Make sure your make up, perfume or aftershave is natural and not overpowering. Your hair nails and facial hair should be neat and tidy – due to the recent popularity and fashion in facial hair this does not mean you have to be clean shaven.
  • It may be a good idea to remove all facial/visible piercings before your job interview.
  • Make sure your clothing fits well, is clean and neatly ironed.
  • Dress accordingly to the season.
  • Stick to smart yet comfortable shoes, make sure you can walk in them – wobbling around on sky high heels is not a good look!

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Steadfast’s Top 5 Interview Tips

No one likes interviews but the team at Steadfast Training Ltd want to make the process as painless as possible, follow our tips, be yourself, add in some confidence and you will be ready to ace any job interview!Image

Tip one; Research

Ever heard of the saying ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’? It couldn’t hold any more truth in this situation – going to an interview with no knowledge on the company, industry or position you’ve applied for is setting yourself up for a huge fall.

Before your interview make sure you research the company, find out what they do and try to find their objectives or mission statement. Researching about the industry the company is in may also help you answer any industry specific questions the interviewer may throw at you – remember it’s always better to be over prepared than under prepared!

Tip two; Plan your answers

We know you can’t plan for every question the interviewer will ask you but practising your answers to common interview questions such as ‘What can you bring to the company?’ or the dreaded ‘Do you have any weaknesses?’ will boost your confidence and prevent you from making something up on the spot – not everyone works well under pressure!

Tip three; LImageook the part

You don’t need a designer suit to look the part, you just need to look smart and professional – make sure your outfit is washed and ironed the night before your interview to avoid any wardrobe induced panic. Ensure your nails are clean (no chipped nail varnish, girls!) and you look presentable- remember to do that last minute spot check before your interview, you don’t want to go in with your lunch stuck in your teeth! Keep your outfit, makeup and hair simple, nothing OTT.

Tip four; Body Language

You want to pull off a good first impression and slouching in your chair with a look of boredom over your face is not the way to go about it. Sit up straight and maintain a good posture throughout your interview, make eye contact and try not to fidget. The interviewer is going to pick someone who is strong in social situations and good body language is the way to show it!

I’m sure you’ve all been told interviewers like a good, firm handshake so don’t give them a limp one! Keep it firm and try to mimic the handshake you receive, don’t go over the top and crush their hand though.

Tip five; Ask Questions

Nearly every webpage giving advice on interviews will tell you to ask questions but we understand it is not that easy, sometimes you just don’t know what to ask. We suggest asking a question related to the position you applied for such as; ‘where will the job fit into the team structure?’ or ‘In what way is performance of my role measured and reviewed?’

There are some questions you should avoid such as asking a question about the company that can be easily found through a bit of online research.

Just remember to speak clearly, arrive on time (plan your route before you leave), sit correctly and stay calm!

Good Luck!

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