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CV and Interview Tips

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            CV Tips                                                                       Interview Advice


CV Tips

 

Do

  • Succinct sentences are easy to scan, especially given many recruiters have just 10 seconds to read it.
  • Use standard typefaces such as Arial, 11 or 12 points.
  • Check and re-check spelling do not rely on spell checker.
  • Ensure your personal details are printed by all printers ? not in the header/footer.
  • Dates and employment should be easily found and consistent.
  • Lead with achievements, use active verbs and positive language.
  • Follow up all claims with proven examples, be quantitative as well as qualitative.
  • Use email addresses where referees are abroad.
  • Include awards or recognition received for work well done, together with professional memberships and relevant training.
  • Keep your CV honest, factual and to two pages.
  • Ensure every line sells you at your best.
  • Prioritise relevant content.
  • Ensure you send your CV with a covering letter ideally to a named individual.
  • Take ownership and use words such as Determined, Implemented, Created, Devised, Coordinated, Conceived.
  • Include figures ie number of staff you managed or budget size.
  • Focus on what you have to offer the employer rather than listing what you have done.
  • Ask trusted colleagues and friends if this is an accurate representation of you.
  • Seek feedback if you are not achieving any interviews and if you feel your CV is not reflecting you at your best seek external advice.

Don’t

  • Date your CV.
  • Put your irrelevant personal details first ie date of birth and nationality.
  • Mention Salaries.
  • It is not necessary to put reason for leaving.
  • Include negative or irrelevant information.
  • Lie.
  • Use Reverse Chronological format if you have many gaps between employment.
  • Put education first if its 10 years out of date.
  • List every employer if you have been working since the seventies.
  • Allocate the same space to all positions, prioritise the content.
  • Quote unsubstantiated superlatives.
  • Modify your CV for every application unless you have a foolproof method of remembering to whom you sent which edition.
 

Interview Advice

 

Do

  • Check you have read the job advertisement and description if sent before your interview.
  • Ensure you meet the requirements and you have a positive answer for any areas you do not fully meet.
  • Research the company products, staff, culture, clients and competitors.
  • Ensure you know the correct name of your interviewer and job title.
  • Be sure you know the interview procedure; some companies have one-to-one interviews; panel interviews; assessment centres; psychometric testing.
  • View a map and plan your journey in advance, allowing for delayed trains and accidents.
  • Have your CV, references and any additional information requested, to hand.
  • Conservative dress is preferred but check with the culture of the office too - wear smart attire and ensure your shoes are shiny and well kept.
  • Layout your clothing the day before.
  • Read over your CV and make sure you know it back to front.
  • Focus on your achievements when asked interview questions and portray every response in a positive way.
  • Do not interrupt your interviewer and give a steady handshake when entering.
  • Prepare model answers for any tricky questions you believe they may ask you.
  • Prepare your own questions in advance, which might include - What is the department business plan for the next 1 or 5 years? What challenges do you foresee and how do you plan to overcome these? What challenges do you envisage in this role?
  • Unless prompted do not ask what the salary/benefits will be if this is the first interview.
  • You could ask if there are any areas they would like further clarification on at the end - just to be able to have a second opportunity if necessary.
  • Ask the follow up procedure; when you should expect to hear; 2nd or 3rd interviews etc if you are unclear and would like to know.



Second Opportunities

If you feel upon reflection you could have answered a question in a better way or failed to get an important achievement across, why not follow up with a letter thanking the interviewer for their time and reiterate your suitability for the post.

Unsuccessful
If you are unsuccessful in your interview, it is worth a call to request feedback - whilst they are very busy they might oblige and offer you some valuable tips as to where you could have improved.
 
Successful
Great you have secured a job offer, however, before rushing to resign it is worth requesting and receiving your offer officially by post.

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