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WE WANT TO WORK: Gaining an edge on the rest
12:00pm Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News
PERFECTING a CV is just one of the many aspects job hunters have to consider.
Tailoring a covering letter to the job vacancy being applied for and researching what is needed for the role are essential, according to Littlemore and Blackbird Leys Job Club co-ordinator Judith Chen.
Ms Chen is in the process of organising a new free job club for Littlemore and Blackbird Leys residents that will offer information sessions, speakers and workshops.
She said: “It is a difficult time for jobseekers, but there are also some really good opportunities out there.
“It is a case of keeping eyes and ears open.
“Not all jobs are advertised – sometimes it is word of mouth.
“There are jobs out there, you have to be really persistent – keep going.
“Don’t get down about it – something will come up.”
She said there are some common mistakes made by jobseekers and said: “People spell things wrong like the person’s name they are writing to and sometimes they don’t have a name.
“They misspell things in a letter or they refer to the wrong job.
“Or they might have used a generic letter. But every time you do a covering letter it should be a fresh one so it is tailored to the job you are applying for.
“I know it is more work, but it will make you stand out.”
She added that jobseekers should home in on the area of work they want to target and do some research on what skills and experience are needed.
“Review your skills, know what you are good at and what you are not so good at. This helps with your CV, covering letters and it is also useful in interviews.
“Also make sure you have access to a PC. most people email out interview invites and so many people I know miss out on the interview because they have not checked their email,” Ms Chen said.
JOB HUNTING TIPS
Lee Woodley, A4e adviser, says preparation is key when searching for work. His tips are:
- The CV: This is your sales pitch. This is going to be the difference between an interview or being disregarded.
You need to highlight your skills and expertise without waffling. Remember time is money to an employer.
Always start with the most recent employment first, and the same with education as this is your most current and up-to-date skills.
I would also recommend a CV to be no more than two pages long. An employer doesn’t have the time to study your CV and one that is too long could be seen as imposing.
- The covering letter: This is your opportunity to tell the employer exactly why you would be good for the role, and why they should consider you above any other candidate.
This should not be a throw-away exercise. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Would you rather take someone who has just submitted a CV or someone who has taken the time to read through the job advert and has stated clearly why you should employ them? I know which one I would choose.
- Interview preparation: Now I would always recommend researching the company before attending an interview. This demonstrates that you have an active interest in the company and might even inform some of the answers that you give at the interview stage.
Plan ahead. Have a clear plan around how to get to an interview, press your interview suit the night before and prepare all documents, CVs and travel tickets in advance. You don’t want a mad rush on the day.
- The interview: Don’t panic! Minimal makeup and smells, what smells good to you might not smell good to the employer.
Always arrive to the interview a little earlier, as this will give you time to compose yourself.
Don’t waffle! Answer the question that is being asked and try not to over complicate your answers. Be clear and concise. Smile!
Tips from Judith Chen, Littlemore and Blackbird Leys Job Club co-ordinator:
- Make sure your CV is up-to-date.
- Keep your mobile phone credit topped up to make calls and to call people back.
- When you are invited to interview, confirm you are attending.
- Keep a list of all the employers you have contacted.
- Keep a diary with dates of when you have sent applications.
- Sign up to different recruitment agencies.
- Local newspapers are a good source of information to find out what companies are coming to the area and which are expanding.