All about you, help and advice.
Without the right candidates we aren’t a recruitment company, and we put in a great amount of time and effort to ensure we advise and assist our candidates at every turn. Identic’s team are skilled in advising the best steps for your career, we will assist in helping develop, present and coach our candidates through every step from your CV to interview techniques and what our clients high expectations will be.
We will put the best candidates forward to our clients and ensure that every aspect of you matches the DNA of our client. We want candidates that not only meet the requirements but exceed them. Your career is of utmost importance to us and we will ensure that we carry out every aspect of our high standards to ensure that the next step on your career ladder is the correct one!.
Each area in Identic has come from personal experience of real practice in that sector, our staff is hand selected to ensure that Identic is precise with who we talk to about you.
You can contact our office and consultants anytime for a friendly and unbiased discussion on all areas of your career search. Below we have outlined some initial advice on CV’s and interviews. Spend sometime with our consultants to really benefit from experience and advice that will prove invaluable.
CV Help and Advice
Your CV is you on paper, it is the first thing anyone will see, so make it you! So many CV’s do not portray the person you meet. By following some simple tips you can create a truly amazing first impression, and there is plenty of competition. Imagine turning up to a meeting in scruffy clothes… that’s how a poorly portrayed CV can come across.
Follow these simple tips and don’t forget to speak to us if you need some extra advice.
Usually a CV should be no more than two pages (that’s two A4 pages). Employers spend on average, just 8 seconds looking at any one CV, and a sure fire way of landing yourself on the top of the no pile is to send them your entire life story. Keep it punchy, to the point, and save the little bits for the interview.
Send us your CV to email@example.com for a free appraisal.
We’ve all done it. Shot the CV out to loads of employers to save time….STOP! You should take the time to change your CV for each role and company that you apply for. Research the company and use the job advert to work out PRECISESLY what skills you should highlight to the them. Employers will see and appreciate the effort made.
Don’t just assume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, use a short personal statement to explain why you are the best person for the position. This should be reflected in your cover letter as well.
We are a cynical bunch and leaving obvious gaps on your CV immediately makes employers suspicious – and they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been out of work it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it. Did you do a course? Voluntary work? Develop soft skills? or Learn something new? If so shout about it.
You should keep your CV up-to-date whether you’re looking for a job or not. Every time something significant occurs in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that could be important.
Employers DO look for mistakes on CVs and if they find them, it makes you look really bad. A good warning is, ‘With most employers experiencing massive volumes of applicants right now, giving them the excuse to dismiss your application because of avoidable errors is not going to help you secure an interview.’ If you’re unsure then use a spellchecker and ask someone else to double-check what you’ve written. And don’t ignore the most common CV mistakes!
Everyone lies on their CV, right? NO! Stop! Blatant lies on your CV can land you in a whole heap of trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references, especially with the evolvement of social media. The last thing you want is to start work and then lose your new job for lying. You also may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly can’t answer questions on what you claim to know. And that can be VERY awkward! Remember you never know who knows someone else.
This may sound dull but by backing up your achievements with numbers it makes selling yourself much easier. When writing your work history, don’t just say that you increased sales; tell them you increased sales by 70% over a six month period. Get it? Big numbers are especially good (although don’t forget point 7 of our list!).
We live in a world where image is everything, and that also goes for your CV. Take some time to make it look attractive… Use bullet points and keep sentences short. Use the graphic design trick of leaving plenty of white space around text and between categories to make the layout easy on the eye. Alternatively, get creative with your job application!
If you’ve uploaded your CV to a job site so recruiters can find you, keywords are very important. Job titles and job buzzwords will help a search engine pick out your CV from the pile. Confused? Don’t be. A marketing candidate might mention SEO (Search Engine Optimization), direct marketing and digital marketing among their experience and skills, for example… If you’re not sure, have a search online and see what words are commonly mentioned when you input your job title.
This is where the process gets serious, its you against a select few and meeting with the decision makers that will decide if you are a good fit. There are a number of different ways to get the head start on others, below is a start to follow some simple steps to ensure a solid interview performance.
Other areas can include rapport building, negotiation and others, however the basis for an interview is very simple and should be followed!
Have a read through below and ensure you tick the boxes, for a pre-interview discussion then our team of experienced consultants will brief you and help with any research where we can.
Consider the most likely questions that you are going to be asked before you even get to the interview. This way you are ready and won’t get stuck for something to say. The most frequent interview questions can all be prepared for.
Knowing a thing or two about your potential employer will assist you in the interview. It will help you to tailor your responses and to show you are keen. Spend some time reading the corporate website at least.
In most businesses looking smart is a given so you should think about what to wear carefully. True, some places take a more relaxed attitude to attire, but you cannot go wrong with conventional office wear to create a professional first impression.
On the day of an interview, allow plenty of time to get there without rushing or being stressed by delays. Take everything you might need such as notebooks, pens and a copy of your CV. Remember to look your interviewer directly in the eye, focussing on what they are saying.
A smile can be a powerful tool at a first meeting. Even if you feel nervy, make sure you smile because it will make you come across as friendly and relaxed.
Never say you have nothing to ask at the interview. It makes you seem disinterested so always have a few questions to ask your interviewer planned in advance.
Even if you are taking everything in, making a note creates the impression that you are paying full attention. This is one of the best interview techniques for people who want to come across as conscientious.
When the interview is approaching an end try to conclude on a positive note. This could be as simple as saying something like, “I look forward to hearing from you.”
If you have succeeded in getting to final interview for a professional job, the chances are that you will be asked to deliver a short presentation to a panel. You will usually be given a specific topic to prepare: typically this might be to address a current issue and make recommendations on how you would tackle this issue in post. For some positions, you may be asked to deliver to an invited audience or to the panel.
The panel are usually judging:
- The quality of your ideas
- The clarity of your thinking – for example if you are able to take a strategic perspective
- Your verbal communications skills, especially your ability to influence and engage your audience.
- Your organisation skills: how well you prepare beforehand and manage your time within the presentation
- Your formal presentation skills where this is a key part of the job.
Quite a tall order in 5 or 10 minutes!
Here are our top tips for how to prepare effectively and deliver a presentation with impact.
Work out what you want to say in two or three sentences before elaborating your ideas. In order to make an impact you need to have clear recommendations, backed up by convincing arguments.
Make sure the structure of your presentation is clear. You need:
- A short introduction explaining what the presentation is about and what you are going to cover.
- Clear sections or themes within the presentation (there might be one slide per theme), ensuring your argument has a logical structure
- A summary of your arguments
A clear conclusion with specific recommendations, identifying the resources required to deliver them.
It is better to keep your presentation succinct and allow the audience to ask follow-up questions at the end rather than rushing through a mound of information. It is especially important that any slides you use are visually clear and not text-heavy. Restrict slides to 3 or 4 for a 5 minute presentation, and 6 or 7 for a 10 minute presentation.
Remember, you don’t have to put all your points onto your slides – it is fine to put some top-line points on a slide but then elaborate on them verbally. If your presentation requires more detail, this can be given as a supporting hard copy handout.
It is important that your presentation lasts the amount of time you have been given – too short and you can appear a lightweight candidate; too long and you seem poorly organised – and you may be cut off halfway through. It is always a good idea to have a timed run through of your finished presentation but this is not always fool proof (nerves often lead people to speed up). Give yourself some flexibility by having an extra slide or two up your sleeve to add in if you are running ahead of time and/ or decide in advance on a slide which you will be able to skip if you are running over.
Make sure you have researched your topic thoroughly. Find out how the institution or department have handled this issue in the past. Research what their competitor institutions are doing in this field. And have some relevant facts and figures to illustrate key trends at your fingertips – this can enhance your credibility and show impressive levels of preparation.
Before writing your presentation, consider your panel members. What are their job responsibilities, priorities, professional backgrounds and interests? You can find out a lot through online research on sites such as LinkedIn, or ask others who work for and with those individuals. Think about your presentation from their individual perspective and consider what aspects of the topic will most interest them. Give some thought to any internal politics between members of the panel and how you might deal with these diplomatically.
Go through your presentation and work out what questions the panel might ask, especially given their job roles and personal perspectives. Make sure you have an answer ready for these questions. Typical follow up questions might include: Why are you recommending x option and not y? What resources would be required to implement this? How would you go about getting sign on to your recommendations with key stakeholders? What are the risks of this plan of action and how would you minimise them? How do your recommendations fit with the institution’s wider activities and strategies?
It is a good idea to run through your ideas for the presentation with colleagues who are well informed about the topic before you finalise the content. Gathering views can help you discover if there is something obvious you have neglected to mention and to ensure your ideas are well understood by others. Ask your colleagues to test you with follow up questions and see how well prepared you are.
Always make sure you have a Plan B if the technology is not working or a vital piece of equipment is not available. If you are delivering a powerpoint presentation, email it to yourself as well as taking it on a stick just in case. It can also be helpful to print off some hard copies in case there are problems with the projector. You may wish to take a small clock in case the room doesn’t have one, and you don’t wish to keep checking your watch.
The more familiar you are with your material and the more thorough your research, the more confident you will feel. The best way to engage your audience is to maintain strong eye contact; avoid looking at the screen or reading notes. Use keywords on a card as prompts rather than memorising sentences as a ‘speech’ as this will appear more natural. Remember to smile and to pause at key points. Address panel members by name when answering their questions. Remember to take your time and enjoy it! It’s not often you get to be the centre of attention and are able to put your views directly to senior members of staff.