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At Vital Careers we believe that a major part of our role is to help you market yourself so that you succeed in landing that perfect role! Read on for some handy hints and tips to help you in your job search…

Apply for positions

Your CV is your foot in the door. It needs to sell you sufficiently to get you that call to interview, succinctly and accurately tell the recruiter why you fit the bill and engage them from the off! Focus on your last 5 years of career history as this is what will sell you. Make it clear, easy to read and free from too many acronyms or unnecessary jargon.

It sounds obvious but make sure your CV is free from spelling or grammatical errors as a CV full of mistakes is one sure fire way to find yourself screened out of the running! Use a spelling and grammar checker on your PC and if you know this isn’t your strongest area, get someone else to check your CV for you. Remember that spell checkers won’t pick up errors where an incorrect word is also a real word – think ‘which’ and ‘witch’!

Your CV needs to be consistent and to flow in a logical order. Start with your most recent job and work backwards chronologically. Explain any gaps and be prepared to provide more information on your reasons, should you be called for interview.

Make your CV relevant to your experience - however make it concise.

Tailor your CV to each position – even if you are applying within the same industry, no two jobs are the same. Look at the job description for the role and then make sure you highlight the areas of your experience that fit what the position is looking for. This may be a simple as re-ordering bullet points on your CV to make the most relevant ones top of the list.

Check your contact details are up to date and accurate – no recruiter is going to come looking for you if you have mistyped your phone number. Email addresses need to be sensible – the email address you chose when you were 16 may no longer be suitable for use as a serious job search email address!

Be careful with Social Media. Whilst an online presence is often a necessary and very useful part of life, companies can and do use social media as a way of informally checking out someone they are considering for employment. Check your settings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter are private and think about refraining from posting anything that you wouldn’t want your nan to see!

Be honest – never lie on a CV about where you have worked, for how long or your reasons for leaving. It is very likely to come back and haunt you.

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The Interview

Preparation is key! Re-read the job description for the position, re-read your own CV so that you can talk chronologically about your experience and can accurately explain any gaps when you are (inevitably) asked to do so.

Research company website to sound knowledgeable and it will help you to formulate questions to ask at interview.

Arrive 10-15 minutes early – and definitely do not be late! Make sure you know where you are going, factoring in traffic and that you know who to ask for when you arrive.

Wear formal business wear to an interview – you only get one chance to make a good impression!

When your interviewer greets you, smile and shake hands!

Before the interview, think about the questions you are likely to be asked. Many interviewers use ‘competency based’ questions which require you to answer with real life examples. If you are in a competency based interview remember the STAR model – answer with a Situation from your own experience, talk about the Task you had to accomplish, tell the interviewer what
Action you needed to take and explain what the Result was. Try not to ramble and keep to the point!

Have some questions prepared and ready to ask. Don’t go overboard and interview the interviewer, but do consider up to a maximum of 3 concise, relevant questions that show your interest in the role and the company.

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