Here is where you will find all the useful candidate Information, whether is writing the perfect CV or resigning gracefully, we have it covered.
By way of explanation, phrases written in italics are there as commentary on content and should obviously not be included in your CV!
Two points about a CV – firstly, no one ever got a job on their CV alone. CVs get you interviews; you get the job from the interviews. As such, less can be more with a CV and try to keep it relatively succinct. That said, think of a CV of being a document you can use to frame your experience in the way in which you want it to be presented – so use it positively.
In terms of style – use bold, capitals and underlining effectively and consistently in order to make content easy on the eye and to break information up into “bite sized chunks”. Use bullet points for the same reasons.
It goes without saying, but always tell the truth!
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Keep It Concise
Employers have lots to do, so don’t make the mistake of asking them to read through an unnecessarily long CV. A long, wordy CV will put off someone who is already short on time. CVs should be one to two pages to describe relevant work experience. A two page CV is no advantage if it’s full of information that isn’t reasonably applicable to the position you’re applying for. Use the space only if you need it to fully disclose your accomplishments.
Make Your Words Count
Your use of language is extremely important; you need to sell yourself to an employer quickly and efficiently. Address your potential employer’s needs with a clearly written, compelling CV.
- Avoid large paragraphs (over six or seven lines). CVs are often scanned by hiring managers. If you provide small, digestible pieces of information you stand a better chance of having your CV actually read.
- Make sure you use a standard font that is easy to read.
- Use action verbs such as “developed,” “managed,” and “designed” to emphasise your accomplishments.
- Avoid passive constructions, such as “was responsible for managing.” It’s not only more efficient to say “Managed,” it’s stronger and more active.
- Make The Most Of Your Experience
Potential employers need to know what you have accomplished to have an idea of what you can do for them.
- Don’t be vague. Describe things that can be measured objectively. Telling someone that you “improved warehouse efficiency” doesn’t say much. Telling them that you “cut requisition costs by 20%, saving the company £3800 for the fiscal year” does. Employers will feel more comfortable hiring you if they can verify your accomplishments.
- Be honest. There is a difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified CV can be easily spotted by an employer (if not immediately then during the interview process), and if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the job, it can cost you the job later on.
Don’t Neglect Appearance
Your CV is the first impression you’ll make on a potential employer, and a successful CV depends on more than what you say; how you say it counts as well.
- Check your CV for proper grammar and correct spelling this is evidence of good communication skills and attention to detail. Nothing can ruin your chances of getting a job faster than submitting a CV filled with (easily preventable) mistakes.
- Make your CV easy on the eyes. Use normal margins (1″ on the top and bottom, 1.25″ on the sides) and don’t cram your text onto the page. Allow for some breathing room between the different sections. Avoid unusual or exotic font styles; use simple fonts with a professional look.
Target. Target. Target.
Emphasise what you can do for an employer. Be specific. If you are going after more than one job opening, customise your CV accordingly. It helps to tailor your CV for a specific position. Remember to only include the experience that is relevant to the job. Eliminate Superfluous Details.
Unnecessary details can take up a lot of valuable space on your CV.
- List your hobbies and interests only if you can relate them to the position you’re applying for. If you need room to describe your work experience, avoid this altogether.
- The phrase “References available upon request” should be left off if you need room to describe your work experience. Most employers assume you have references they may contact, and will request them if there’s a need to do so.
- Avoid the “Objective” statement – your objective should be clearly articulated in your cover letter. If you do include an objective, be specific. Vague statements, such as “Looking to utilise my IT skills” or “seeking a rewarding position”
Research The Company And The Position
The more you know about the company and the job you are applying for, the better you will appear in the interview. An interviewer will be impressed by your interest and motivation, and you will be able to explain what you can do for the company. Find out as much key information as you can about the company, its products and its customers. If possible, talk to people who work at the company. There may be other sources of information on the Web, especially if the company is publicly traded.
Search for the following:
- Office locations
- Products and services
- Recent news
- Financial information
Prepare for the actual interview
- Practice your answers to common questions. Likewise, prepare a list of questions to ask the employer. Most interviews follow this pattern: First, you answer questions about your experience and qualifications, then you ask questions about the job.
- Rehearse your interview with a friend. You should be able to convey all pertinent information about yourself in 15 minutes. Tape yourself to check your diction, speed, and body language.
- Prepare your interview materials before you leave. Bring several copies of your CV (even though they would have received this from Morgan Healey), a list of references, and, if appropriate, any work samples. Make sure they are all up-to-date.
- Dress professionally and comfortably. You will be judged in some respects by what you wear. When in doubt, dress conservatively.
Asking Questions During A Job Interview
At most interviews, you will be invited to ask questions of your interviewer. This is an important opportunity for you to learn more about the employer, and for the interviewer to further evaluate you as a job candidate. It requires some advance preparation on your part.
Here are some guidelines for asking questions:
- Prepare five good questions. Understanding that you may not have time to ask them all. Ask questions concerning the job, the company, and the industry or profession. Your questions should indicate your interest in these subjects and that you have read and thought about them. For example, you might start, “I read in Computer Weekly that … I wonder if that factor is going to have an impact on your business.”
- Don’t ask questions that raise warning flags. For example, asking “Would I really have to work weekends?” implies that you are not available for weekend assignments. If you are available, rephrase your question. Also, avoid initiating questions about compensation (pay, holidays, etc.) or tuition reimbursements. You might seem more interested in money or time-off than the actual job.
- Don’t ask questions about only one topic. People who ask about only one topic are often perceived as one dimensional and not good candidates.
- Clarify. It’s OK to ask a question to clarify something the interviewer said. Just make sure you are listening. Asking someone to clarify a specific point makes sense. Asking someone re-explain an entire subject gives the impression that you have problems listening or comprehending. For example, you can preface a clarifying question by saying: “You mentioned that at ABC Company does (blank) . . .Can you tell me how that works in practice?”
- Making A Good Impression At Job Interviews
Here’s what you should keep in mind the day of the interview and immediately afterward.
Before the Interview
- Be on time. Being on time (or early) is usually interpreted by the interviewer as evidence of your commitment, dependability, and professionalism.
- Be positive and try to make others feel comfortable. Show openness by leaning into a greeting with a firm handshake and smile. Don’t make negative comments about current or former employers.
- Relax. Think of the interview as a conversation, not an interrogation. And remember, the interviewer is just as nervous about making a good impression on you.
During The Interview
- Show self-confidence. Make eye contact with the interviewer and answer his questions in a clear voice. Work to establish a rapport with the interviewer.
- Remember to listen. Communication is a two-way street. If you are talking too much, you will probably miss cues concerning what the interviewer feels is important.
- When it is your turn, ask the questions you have prepared in advance. These should cover any information about the company and job position you could not find in your own research.
- Do not ask questions that raise red flags. Ask, “Is relocation a requirement?”, and the interviewer may assume that you do not want to relocate at all. Too many questions about holidays may cause the interviewer to think you are more interested in taking time off than helping the company. Make sure the interviewer understands why you are asking these questions.
- Show you want the job. Display your initiative by talking about what functions you could perform that would benefit the organisation, and by giving specific details of how you have helped past employers. You might also ask about specific details of the job position, such as functions, responsibilities, who you would work with, and who you would report to.
- Avoid negative body language. An interviewer wants to see how well you react under pressure.
Avoid these signs of nervousness and tension:
- Frequently touching your mouth
- Faking a cough to think about the answer to a question
- Gnawing on your lip
- Tight or forced smiles
- Swinging your foot or leg
- Folding or crossing your arms
- Avoiding eye contact
- Ending The Interview
End the interview with a firm handshake and thank the interviewer for his or her time. Reiterate your interest in the position and your qualifications. If they offer to contact you, politely ask when you should expect the call.
If you want the job then ASK FOR IT! Yes, that’s right, tell them that you want to work for their company – be positive and show your interest. Good luck!
Firstly, let us define a counter offer: a counter is when your current employer offers to improve your remuneration, terms of employment (e.g. status) or undertake to change something such as management style following the submission of your resignation.
In many ways, a counter offer can be very flattering – it shows your employer might value you more than you expected or that they are genuinely looking to change things for the better now that they realise you’ve been unhappy. However, here are some reasons why you should think twice before accepting a counter offer:
1. Does the counter offer address the real issues?
Whilst remuneration and status are very common reasons for someone decided to leave an employer, there are often other reasons which enter the equation. Reasons such as culture, quality of work, reputation, management style, work/life balance often factor and are often more important and profound reasons for someone looking to move on. The counter offer nearly always addresses remuneration and status, but all too seldom does it address those more profound issues (how can it?). As such, counter offers deal with the superficial reasons but not the deeply held ones.
It’s for this reason that studies show that most people who accept a counter offer end up leaving their employer in any case within 12 – 24 months. The counter offer merely saw that you were paid more for tolerating issues which were becoming intolerable – ultimately, time catches up and those deeper set reasons for leaving come to the fore again.
2. In whose best interest is the counter offer made?
Whilst you are valuable to your firm in so many ways, you are also a profit centre – harsh, but true. Your resignation has a negative financial impact on your employer in terms of lost fee income and the cost to replace you. Furthermore, your resignation may hurt your Line Manager in terms of their career development – it may impede them from hitting their target, it may show that they have a problem with staff retention. So, whilst there may well be some valid and noble reasons for counter offering, given the above, ask yourself if the counter offer is being made in your best interest or in the best interest of your Line Manager and your firm?
3. Is the counter offer you’re getting just an early pay rise?
Let’s say you earn £60,000 and you resign 5 months prior to pay review. Let’s say you were offered £63,000 by your potential new employer and that a counter offer comes in at £65,000. Is it realistic to expect that you will get a further rise in 5 months’ time when salary review comes around? If not, you may have sacrificed an opportunity to move to a firm whose offer was good enough to make you resign for an extra £166 a month before tax. If the suitor’s offer ticked all of the boxes in terms of the non financial aspects, then one has to question if it was worth accepting the counter offer.
4. Your cards may be marked.
No one likes having a gun put to their head. In some ways, your resignation, if you do accept a counter offer, is putting a gun to your Line Manager’s head (metaphorically speaking!). So if a situation like a promotion or a round of redundancies were to come up and you are being compared to peers who did not resign and have remained loyal, they may be viewed more favourably due to their perceived loyalty.
5. You were being deliberately underpaid.
If your employer can afford to offer you improved terms following your resignation, they could afford to do so before hand; they just chose not to do so and in that light, you were being deliberately underpaid. Now one could say “So what? The situation has been remedied now.” However, it might be worth questioning what kind of employer you have if it takes your resignation to get the remuneration you merited.
6. They are buying time.
This takes us back to the first point. Opinions and surveys vary, but something like 75% of people who accept a counter offer end up leaving anyway within 18 months (Why? Because the counter offer did not address the deep seated reasons for your original resignation). Your Line Manager may know this; HR will almost certainly know this. Many counter offers are made in the full knowledge that you will leave in the near future, it simply buys your employers time to build a contingency plan for when that happens.
So what should you do?
Plan your resignation – plan what you are going to say, keep it simple and do not let the resignation become emotionally charged or a forum for recriminations. Plan so that you cannot be derailed from your intended course.
Most importantly, get it clear in your own mind why you are leaving and recognise that many of those reasons will not be rectified by a counter offer (perhaps it’s quality of work, or the firm’s standing, or management style). Also, clarify which positive aspects of the firm you are joining really resonate with you and make you feel good about moving on. It might be an idea to write these down and keeping the document.
The reasons for you leaving may be like gaping wounds; a counter offer is merely a sticking plaster used to cover them up when what is really needed is surgery!
In the final analysis, the cold truth is that counter offers are not really about you. They may be about your current employer protecting the revenue they gain from you; they may be about your firm not wanting to hand an advantage to a competitor; they may be about your Line Manager’s professional and personal needs; but they are probably not about you and your career development.
If you need a helping hand when resigning then speak to your consultant at Morgan Healey who will be more than happy to provide assistance and guidance when the time comes for you to move onto your new opportunity.