Public Advice Centre
Job Search Advice
The first thing to sort out when applying for jobs is the details that sell you as a person and a potential employee. This is your CV and it needs to be spot on to stand above the crowd. Of course, you then need to post it in the correct places and create the right impression to improve your chances and speed up securing a position.
How to build a successful CV
Everyone seems to have a different opinion on CV’s and they’re probably not wrong. Look at this example of our
Internet Intelligent CV™. Afterwards we will explain the reasons we have used this style.
Location: Hastings, East Sussex. TN38
Phone: 07807 058 006
Car: Own car, clean licence
I am a hard-working individual viewed by my peers as one who is trustworthy and reliable. I enjoy working with people and have a natural ability to communicate well with my colleagues and management. I am conscientious in all tasks I undertake and strive to perform to the utmost of my abilities.
Capabilities & Aspirations
Retail Assistant • Front of House
Store Operative • Bar & Waiting
Customer Services • Hospitality Staff
Receptionist • Administration
Education & Qualifications
NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Customer Services • Ascentis Award in Equality & Diversity
Ascentis Award in Business & Enterprise • Ascentis Award in Health & Safety
8 x GCSE’s including Maths, English & ICT
Excellent Communicator • Professional Phone Manner
Responsible • Good at Problem-Solving
Excellent IT Skills • Innovative
Best Practice People Ltd
June 2016 – July 2017
Best Practice People are a leading Training Provider, specialising in helping people improve their employment opportunities. This is achieved by providing high quality training leading to work related qualifications.
My role was to support the Centre Manager in the day to day running of the office. My duties included;
Taking incoming calls • Booking Venues
Offering advice to customers • Supporting Tutors
Sending course booking confirmations • E-mailing Learning Materials
You should not include full address after all you don’t want anyone getting you out of bed
for an interview!
Date of Birth & nationality should be left off to prevent people deciding on whether to interview based on either of these factors.
Keep it short, not many people read it. If they do they know you wrote it, so don’t go
overboard stating how completely amazing you are (unless of course you are).
Capabilities & Aspirations
This section is CRUCIAL! Most CV’s are found on the web using key word searches. If you want to be a receptionist but have never done this, here is an opportunity to get the key words on your CV.
Remember, all you’re stating is;
Capabilities – “I am capable of doing this job”
Aspirations – “I would like to do this job”
Use ‘columns’ to shorten the length of the CV
Education & Qualifications
Only put what is relevant to the reader and what will make them think positively about you. You can go in to more detail at the interview.
If your education isn’t important to the job, put it at the bottom of the CV!
These should be about you as an individual and used to give the reader confidence about
Stop and have a think. By this point the reader has seen a nice short profile, seen the right ‘buzz’ words relating to the job, seen that you have qualifications, and that you have good skills.
THEY’RE ALREADY HAVING A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE!
Put a line or two explaining what type of employer you worked for. Don’t worry about this if
it is a household name like Tesco or Hilton Hotels.
Use bullet points rather than sentences, unless your role needs an explanation. Say for example, you were a Marine Biologist!
Try and get at least one job on Page 1
Don’t bother unless your hobbies can be a talking point in the interview, or is related to the job. for example, if you’re applying for a gardening job and your hobby is gardening then yes… or if your hobby is sky-diving!
Reading, Cinema, Socialising doesn’t quite cut it!
Where to place that CV
This is pretty straight forward and it is important
to have an open mind. There are only a few
places you can put your CV. The goal should be
MAXIMUM coverage. The more places your CV is,
the more chance you have of being found by
an employer or a recruitment agency…
Beside are some of the places, and later we
will point you in the right direction…
Below is each place in detail.
A bit obvious but so important. Take time to identify potential employers in your
area and find out how to apply, you can look at their website and even phone
them, start with reception. Employers love people that really want to work for them!
Just google employers in (your town) and see what comes up! Below are
some examples for Hastings…
Your local council website may have information on large employers
Many employers use Recruitment Agencies and it is worthwhile sending your CV to
them and asking for it to be added to your database… if you can visit their office
and build a relationship with the Recruiter, even better!
You can find agencies here…
Job Centre Plus
Naturally the Job Centre is an important player in the employment sector. They also
have their own web site used by thousands of employers called Universal Job Match.
You don’t need to be unemployed to get help from Job Centre Plus
Training companies, including College offer not only Training but Apprenticeships too.
They often have strong links with employers and will always recommend you if they
think they can go on to train you in the work place.
Alternatively, they will contact you to discuss how training might improve your
employment opportunities. Often this is free to you as the government will pay.
There isn’t really a central web site, so just google training providers in your
Here are some examples;
Using job boards, or job sites, is imperative. The benefits of using job boards is that
everything is automated and makes job searching more efficient.
When you upload your CV it gets sent to hundreds of agencies and employers
You can set up ‘Job-Alert’s and receive relevant jobs by e-mail daily, or as they are
Your CV is stored and you can apply with virtually one click
Trouble only trouble is there are hundreds, if not thousands, of them.
The main ones we use are;
Here are the top 100! www.splashfind.co.uk/Top_100_UK_Job_Websites.html
Everyone is on Social Media these days! There are some sites such as LinkedIn that
are specifically used to target job seekers and for people to target employers! It is
a bit of a minefield though… see how you get on!
Then of course there is Facebook... you can let friends know you are looking, they
can share your post with their friends and before you know it your
job search has gone viral!
Friends & Family
You would be surprised about how many people find work through word of mouth.
Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work! Even tell
people you don’t know, at the till, in the pub, at the skate park! Anywhere!
What jobs should you apply for and why?
Perhaps the golden question! You need to look at this from an Employer’s perspective. You may think you should be a Formula 1 Driver but if an employer cannot see that you have the skills, experience, qualifications or training they cannot invite you to an interview.
So where shall we start… well why not with those four things, skills, experience, qualifications and training. When applying for a job be honest with yourself and ask yourself. Do I have the skills, experience, qualifications or training the employer is looking for? If you look at these four skills as percentages, you can make
a direct link to how likely you are of securing a position. It may be that you can go and get some of the skills, qualifications and training before you apply. Have a think about how you rate your chances of each application – remember this as it important later!
Now, try this simple exercise. For each job and for each ‘tick’ you score 25%. This gives you an indication of how successful you will be… just don’t think that if you score 100% it means the job is guaranteed – nothing is.
Why you shouldn’t feel rejected.
I often hear people complaining that they have applied for jobs and never had a response. As an ex-recruiter, I totally get this from both sides, but there are some important things to understand and once you understand it can prevent feelings of rejection…
Let’s take a couple of typical scenarios.
You’ve applied for a job via a Job Board…
So have two thousand other people. If the employer or recruiter
spent just two minutes to reply to each applicant it would take
sixty-six hours, or two full working weeks!
They just don’t physically have the time… it’s not
personal – it can’t be they don’t know you
You’ve applied for a job that (according to the table above)
you have scored a zero or 25% chance of getting it…
applying for jobs you are highly unlikely to get is arguably a waste
of your own time but it is definitely a waste of the employers’ time.
It is just unfair to expect them to take the time to reply with a rejection letter
Then of course there are jobs you apply for that you can absolutely do!
I have a great example. Tesco were advertising for Trolley Pushers. I thought
“I can defo do that” so I apply, and I even get an interview, something like this;
Employer; “So what makes you think you would make a good Trolley Pusher”
Me; “I am fit and healthy, I understand how a car park works, I can push trolleys”
Employer; “OK Great! How do you think you could add value to the job?”
Me; “I am really sociable, I can give people directions, I will know the available car parking spaces and can show people to them, I could carry heavy shopping”
Employer; “OK thanks, we kind of want someone that just wants to push trolleys, an introvert, a bit of a
loner, you know the type”
Conclusion: I can do the job but I am just not the right person, and frankly as much as I want a job I am pleased I have been rejected because it wouldn’t have lasted…
What you can do to improve your chances?
OK, let’s go back to the core things required for securing the job you want;
Skills can be learnt. Developing a Skill usually occurs through practice. There will be opportunities for you to practice skills even outside of the work place. You can include this in a CV.
For example, let’s say you want to work in a warehouse, you could practice calculating dimensions, working out weights, so on.
Or in Hospitality, you could practice a sliver service style serving of meals at home, or with your friends.
Probably the most difficult to acquire. How do you get a
job that wants experience, without having any?
The easy answer is to try volunteering. This is a great way to gain valuable experience which can often be like the
work place. However, you don’t always need an
organisation. You can just offer to do stuff for free.
On some occasions, the employer advertising might even offer work experience, if you offer it for free and meet the other requirements of the job
Qualifications and training
Getting qualified and trained requires time and commitment and can cost money. Although, there are a massively wide range of options.
If you are aged 16-24, you can usually get your qualifications funded by the government.
If you are over 24 years of age you can get a loan for qualifications (just like at Uni) you only start to pay it back when you are qualified and earning over £21,000.
If you are not working you can usually get training paid for by the government. But you don’t have to do anything. Just ask Job Centre Plus or a Training Provider
Did you know…
Ed Sheeran cured himself of a serious stammer
through practising the skill of rapping Eminem lyrics…
What is available to you in terms of qualifications and training is an absolute minefield.
The best thing to do is to talk to us and we will give you free and impartial advice.