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Tips for job interviews and CV's

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So I'm almost 16 therefore am job seeking. I want to know your helpful tips and idea when 1. Applying for jobs and making your CV's. Currently I have been offered a job as a support worker in a care home which is beneficial to my future career in mental health nursing. So I can't get the job until 1. I've made and handed in my CV and 2. Have had a interview. Obviously they want me to have the job but I have to go through the process like the others just I've got better qualifications and more prior experience with mentally disabled people.

So please give me tips and possibly help others.

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The only hard and fast advice I would offer is to keep it short and concise. Avoid making your CV a vanity project and remember that some poor sucker has a bunch of these on their desk that they need to read through, and they want to get home at a reasonable hour. Two pages of A4 max.

And don't big it down with personal interests. A line or two, just to show you have a personality. Proving how socially able you are is best left for the interview.

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Spell-check once you have put it together. ;)

 

Also, decent formatting so that it is easy to navigate and highlights relevant/worthwhile points is a huge help. 

 

It is much better to do that than just have

a big block of poorly formatted text which

doesn't really do any favours

when it comes to picking things out quickly

especially if their are grammar & seplling mistakes.

 

:up:

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Interviews

- Ask questions (take yourself mentally out of the interview environment for a sec and think what would you really like to know about working there)

- Don't focus on what you would do, talk about what you've done.

Dress smart but don't wear something you're not comfortable in. It'll show. (i.e. get a well-fitted suit)

- Don't waffle - get straight to the facts. 

- Don't be scared to take notes (depends on the job of course, but I always take out a notepad and a pen)

- Take materials along if they help put your achievements/skills across (worked on a school project that directly correlates to what you'd be doing in the job? take it along. Even if you don't 'show' it, you'll come across prepared)

- Ask for a business card when you leave (you'll be surprised how professional a simple 'have you got a card?' can seem)

- Always send a follow-up email (even if it's just to say thanks for the time. Keep it confident and open-ended e.g. 'I look forward to chatting more')

- An extra tip on the follow-up email - go the extra mile and show them how you work (if it fits the job). For example, if i'm a designer and i'm interviewing for a company that wants to re-brand, i'd perhaps work on a couple of logos and send them along saying 'I worked on a few ideas that'll show you my style, etc, etc'. That's perhaps an extreme example but you get the point. Do some work for them without having the job, particularly if you really want the job.

 

General job seeking

- Keep your social network shit tightened up. Stay private, don't get tagged in offensive stuff or have your nob out or whatever. Employers will google you.

- SEOify your Linked in

- If you're applying for loads of things online you'll have to re-enter loads of stuff in their forms. Keep a word doc with all your blurbs so you can just copy/paste that shit each time

- Do different versions of your CV if you want to keep your net wide in terms of types of jobs you want (e.g. one version focusses on your sales experience, the other focusses on your management experience)

- Don't just trawl through job sites all the time. Think about where you want to work, find a person to contact there and apply directly. You'll be surprised how often that can work.

- Keep an excel sheet with all the companies you've applied to, who the contact was, what the outcome was, etc. It's just plain handy.

 

That's all i can think of for now. Not all will be applicable to you i'm sure but hopefully that helps.

Edited by ca_gere

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to be honest at your age you are a blank canvas for working, 

 

key attributes, be punctual for the interview, know who you are asking for, give yourself extra time for travelling for unseen circumstances

 

employers recruiting younger people want enthusiastic people with a willingness to learn, you should be a sponge absorb everything around you.

 

you will be developing basic employee skills you use in the future ie, knowing what is expected of you, what things like heath and saftey in the workplace, personal protective equipment, clocking in and out, understanding playslips, tax national insurance, tell employers you wish to use the experience to cement this for your future.

 

don't approach employers saying you will be amazing and have lots of experience, you may come across as a know it all.  employers won't believe you.

 

As i said reinforce what employment will help you achieve not what the employer will gain other than what is already expected of you.

 

remember listen carefully to questions, think about answers, if you don't need to say it then don't. be clear and concise. 

 

Same goes when taking orders from employers in a role, remember it is their job to get you to do yours, bosses don't like back chat, they don't care for opinions on how you think things should be done, especially if its coming from a young employee.

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CV:

As mentioned above, not too long bu tbeing your age I wouldn' t think it would be that long anyway. I once so a CV from a guy offshore. It was about 6 pages long and it mentioned about 40 rig/platforms he had been on working. Or maybe landed on for a refuel who knows, but it was too much.

If you like music then write that, but don't go in to genre. Same with playing. you could write something like :Interests= listening to and playing music. If could strike up a conversation. I know I would ask what do you play etc. One other tip that I've seen working in use decent paper for your CV and think about using a pastel colour as it 'stands out' in the pile a little bit.

 

Interview:

Walk in and look them in the eye and give them a good firm handshake, and say your 'hellos'

Keep up eye contact during the interview. If there is more than one person, look at the one speaking, when you are speaking, try to give 50% eye contact with the person in charge, and share out the rest...if you know what I mean. If it's one on one then keep eye contact. If you feel strange doing that...then look at their mouth if it makes you feel easier....it will still look as though you are looking them in the eye. Liston to what they say. As someone said, tkae notes if needs be. I've never done this, but I can see how it would make you look like you want to learn. I suppose it would not be good to ask them to repeat something though just because you write too slow. Maybe a very basic shorthand. Try to have a couple of questions to ask...not "can I get every weekend off to go on the piss" though. At the end shake their hands again and thank them for the interview.

Be clean and well groomed and wear smart clothes, but don't be afriad to show your personality as well if your fav shirt is purple with yellow lines, then wear it....but nothing offensive like blood and gore t shirts. If they already know you then I don't think you need a suit, but be smart. If they know you, it doesn't mean you can be all pally and relax too much. 

 

Don't sound as though you know everything because trust me you don't. Neither will they of course, but that's for you to know and for them to think you don't know. They might end up being your boss, so they wnat someone that can listen and not put their knowledge in doubt.

 

On you could just try to wing it.

Edited by britheguy

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When going for an interview relax.

 

Do as much research about any company as possible as you will be asked what you know about them. What you can bring, And future goals?.

 

And ask questions when you are asked if you have any. Do not make the first question's about pay/Holidays. Ask what career developments lie ahead etc etc.

 

I interview many candidates and a strict no no if applying for an onshore position is stating you would love to work offshore lol... 

 

If its an oil/gas company you want to apply for read up and look into as much safety information as you can. Gas/Oil company's loooove young lads that are safety orientated. 

 

Keep Your CV to one page if your a school leaver.. Yes we love hearing about your football team captaincy and how many cups, badges scarfs you own...But we don't want to read about it...

If you have been the team captain for a debate committee do not put that on yer CV.. It reads yer like an argumentative kinda person lol... 

 

On a side note.

If you are going to apply for any oil company do not take advice seriously about paying for little courses yourself like forklift,Gantry Cranes, Or any workshop equivalents we do not care.. Its a waste of your time and money and we will not accept your certificates.

 

If you are joining an agency then said certificates may help you...

 

 

Aberdeen Agencies are very good.. Join as many as you can... Ask for more pay than you would expect. And only take the jobs you think you can actually handle...The amount of times we get agencies guys in who have blatantly lied on there experience and last 2 days :) . . .

 

 

 

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If you have been the team captain for a debate committee do not put that on yer CV.. It reads yer like an argumentative kinda person lol... 

 

 

 

 If this isn't a joke it's really bad advice. Taking the initiative and doing well in an extra curricular activity? Yeah most employers would definitely see that as a weakness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nope. I agree with JB. what that is sayhing is that not only to you like an argument.....you are the ring leader lol.

 

Yes, if it's something like Duke of Edinburgh or 'Rock Challange' type of thing then I think that would be good.

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I have no idea what SEOify means?

 

xx

 

search engine optimisation I'm guessing. Making sure it goes as far up Google results as possible.

 

I probably shouldn't be giving career advice to anyone, but concur with 1-page CV. Not just for school leavers, apparently Goldman Sachs likes them that way...

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Nope. I agree with JB. what that is sayhing is that not only to you like an argument.....you are the ring leader lol.

 

Yes, if it's something like Duke of Edinburgh or 'Rock Challange' type of thing then I think that would be good.

 

This is becoming quite hypothetical but if you involve yourself in something outwith your school day that develops any sort of skill, and are good at it, then this is definitely a favourable attribute.

 

If you're going into the type of job whereby communication is important (ie a support worker, any type of media, customer service...there are many relevant jobs) then being able to communicate and validate your point of view is a key skill. This might not be important for the type of position that JB recruits for, however to state that it is counter productive to put this type of information in a CV is counter productive in itself; extra curricular responsiblities are exactly the kind of thing most recruiters would look for in a young employee.

Edited by givemeasmile

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This is becoming quite hypothetical but if you involve yourself in something outwith your school day that develops any sort of skill, and are good at it, then this is definitely a favourable attribute.

 

I once wanked off 14 times in one day.

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Applying for an entry level job with offshore Oil and Gas is pretty much a crap shoot anyway.  They key thing to remember in those situations is that the person interviewing you is probably an utter neep.

  • Upvote 1

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Applying for an entry level job with offshore Oil and Gas is pretty much a crap shoot anyway.  They key thing to remember in those situations is that the person interviewing you is probably an utter neep.

 

e.g. see above

Edited by Adam Easy Wishes
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extra curricular responsiblities are exactly the kind of thing most recruiters would look for in a young employee.

What recruiters want to see is a clearly written, bullet pointed, easy to read CV that says what you've done before and what you want to do next. Use the same font throughout and go easy on bolding things.

Generally your CV will be looked at for less than a minute and the more extraneous information there is on it the less chance there is that someone will pick out the important things.

Unless you're a graduate trying to get onto a graduate scheme extra curricular activities are mostly irrelevant, put them on your CV but at the very bottom so that only people that are already interested will see them.

From the sounds of things YoungA is going for more hands on roles, so by all means make the most of the volunteer stuff at the nursing home but leave everything else to the bare minimum.

For a school leaver i'd put a short profile (three sentences max) that says what you want your job to be. Brief details of exams taken at school and projected grades if you have them.

A bullet pointed description of the most relevant role you've had (your volunteering) and then list the other jobs you've had, don't get into detail - dates, names and job title are enough, a paragraph on dealing with drunken customers might sound like it demonstrates good qualities and feel free to cover that at interview - wastes a lot of time writing it down though.

I'd probably not mention ad-hoc things like the removals if I was you. As a school leaver the important impression to leave from your CV is of someone that's worked hard at school and is ready to FULLY commit to your first "real" job.

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A good covering letter/ email can go a long way. Its usually the first thing a recruiter views.

As head recruiter for my work I will always look at a cv with a good covering letter before one that says:

Hi, seen the job advertised here is my cv.

Its not uncommon for me to have 60+ cv's waiting for me in the first couple of days after advertising depending on the position available which means time spent looking over cvs in the first instance is limited to a couple of minutes max.

So, like others have said look for subtle ways to make your application stand out from the crowd.

I agree with the social media tighten up too. If you choose to be publicly visible online then you have to expect recruiters will search for you.

Don't lie. I have withdrawn employment offers when it has come to light that someone has lied on their application.

Finally if you are applying via e-mail use a sensible address. Even if you have to create one solely for job applications. Professionalism goes a long way.

Edited by KSJ81

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Unless you're a graduate trying to get onto a graduate scheme extra curricular activities are mostly irrelevant, put them on your CV but at the very bottom so that only people that are already interested will see them.

 

 

I agree to a certain extent, but what does a school leaver have to set them apart from the rest of the applicants (presumably other school leavers) with similar grades? I agree that it shouldn't be the focal point of the CV/application, but stating this information even at the bottom of the page gives you the edge over other people who perhaps don't take part in extra curricular activities.

 

It's something I was always told to do anyway, as a graduate I wouldn't include the school stuff now but I agree that extra things done while at Uni (sports society, part time job etc) are pretty important to graduate employers.

 

 

From the sounds of things YoungA is going for more hands on roles

 

He may have changed his name to MoonMoon, but will forever be known as YoungA in our hearts.

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Finally if you are applying via e-mail use a sensible address. Even if you have to create one solely for job applications. Professionalism goes a long way.

 

Yeah, like princess_69@hotmail.com.

Edited by Adam Easy Wishes

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I agree to a certain extent, but what does a school leaver have to set them apart from the rest of the applicants (presumably other school leavers) with similar grades? I agree that it shouldn't be the focal point of the CV/application, but stating this information even at the bottom of the page gives you the edge over other people who perhaps don't take part in extra curricular activities.

 

It's something I was always told to do anyway, as a graduate I wouldn't include the school stuff now but I agree that extra things done while at Uni (sports society, part time job etc) are pretty important to graduate employee

TBH i'd be surprised if anyone really looked at CV's for School Leavers - if you want a trainee get a few in to see you and pick the one that's least annoying is how I imagine it works. YoungA's case is slightly different as he's been volunteering I suppose.

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