Getting a Job

 Getting a job requires that you complete a few steps successfully, including creating a CV and going for an interview.

Sometimes, having the right experience and qualifications is not enough to secure you the job you want, which is why it helps to know how to put together a great CV and give a great interview.

To view a sample CV click on the button below:

Creating a CV

Before you create a CV, it’s a good idea to think about all the qualifications and experience you’ve had up until now. For those with a lot of experience, creating a CV is as simple as finding the right template, but it can be tougher for those who have just left school, with little or no qualifications and no experience. For those in this position, it’s important to focus on all your strengths.

Creating a CV for those with Few or no Qualifications or Experience

Few or No Qualifications

If you don’t have a formal qualification, you can still look back on the education you have had to this point and think about the subjects you did the best in. Think back on your exams or particular projects you did and highlight these within your CV. If the job you’re applying for is related to these topics, that’s even better.

 Next, you’ll want to think about any extra-curricular activities you took part in, such as sports or hobbies. Including this on your CV will show that you’re motivated and dedicated to things you’re interested in. This is the same for any clubs you were a part of in school, whether it was the drama club or cross country running.

School Responsibilities

Additional school responsibilities are great to add to any CV because they show that you went above and beyond during your school years. This could be anything from library monitor to prefect. Remember, when you’re including these in your CV, make sure that you add in why you were chosen for these roles and what you learned from them.

If you had good attendance at school, be sure to add this in. Companies want employees who won’t end up missing work on a regular basis for no reason, so proving that you didn’t miss much or any school is a great way to show that you’re a committed person.

Achievements You Earned In School

Lastly, make sure that you add in any prizes, awards or achievements you earned in school. This might be anything from an award for great attendance to awards for excelling in a specific subject.

Top Tip: When writing your CV, make sure that you focus on a few, specific aspects that will show you’re a cut above the competition:

  • Include any leadership roles you’ve had
  • Any work experience, paid or unpaid, should be included – this includes voluntary work
  • Testimonials from others

How to Write a Cover Letter

When you’re applying for jobs, it can be tempting to use the same cover letter for all your applications, but this isn’t a good idea. A cover letter tells the employer why they should hire you and not someone else, so you need to make sure that it’s tailored to the job you are applying for.

Before you write a cover letter, make sure that you read the job requirements or person specification of the job. This will tell you what the employer is looking for (such as IT skills or marketing experience). Now that you have a good idea about what they want, use the cover letter to tell them why you suit the position. Make sure you not only mention past experience, but also your motivation for applying for the job. Basically, why do you want the job and why should they hire you and not the next applicant?

The Interview

Interviews can be really scary and nerves can often get in the way of allowing an applicant to put their best self forward. These tips should help you in putting your best foot forward in that next big interview.

1. Do Your Research on the Business

Make sure that you get to know a bit about the business before you go for the interview. Look them up online and read about what they do and why. Read about their values and the last big project they have been working on – this will show that you are interested in the business and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to impress them.

2. Dress to Impress

First impressions are important in job interviews and it starts with the proper outfit. If you can afford to wear formal clothing, then do so. If you can’t afford a new outfit, it might be a good idea to borrow something from someone else if you can.

If your clothing can’t be formal, make sure that it is clean and ironed. Clean and polish your shoes, if you can.

3. Be Polite

Be sure to greet everyone you meet and shake their hand if it’s appropriate. Be polite and courteous. Don’t forget to smile – everyone likes a friendly face.

4. Keep Calm

An interview can be a stressful experience. Before you walk in, make sure you take a deep breath and try to relax.

5. How to Answer the Interview Questions

You might not know what your interviewer is going to ask, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for these questions.

It’s common for interviewers to ask interviewees what they would do in certain situations. Each question should be answered in the following way:

  1. Problem
  2. Solution
  3. Outcome

Example:

Question: Tell me about a time you dealt with a customer complaint?

Answer: (Problem) Well, while I was working for “company x”, I had to deal with a particularly challenging customer who felt they were being overcharged for their service. They wanted me to know why their subscription charges had gone up from the previous month and they were angry. (Solution) I listened to the customer carefully, allowing them to voice their complaint. I then explained to them the reasons the charges had increased and offered them an alternative package that would reduce the cost. (Outcome) The customer was happy to make the swap and so we didn’t lose their service.

In this example, the interviewee shows that they are calm and able to problem solve in an effective way.

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