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Getting that dream job particularly in today's market requires a professional approach from start to finish and the more prepared you are the better your chances against other jobseekers.  There are two key stages to getting that job.  the first is securing an interview with a well presented and relevant CV and the second is how you perform in the interview.  We have compiled the below information to help you through each stage.

Your CV

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT: Clients take around 20 seconds to read your CV so make sure your relevant abilities and potential stand out immediately. The skills and experience you have that make you perfect for the job need to be visible at first glance. Try to use language that is to the point and active and animated.

KEEP IT SHORT: A good CV will never be more than a couple of pages of A4. If you write your CV well you can get that knowledge across in a really crisp, snappy way without missing anything out.

CHECK FOR MISTAKES: Check, check and recheck every single word and every punctuation mark, then give your CV to somebody else to read. If there are errors in your job application, how are potential employers going to know you won't make mistakes if they give you the job?

MAKE YOUR CV RELEVANT FOR EACH JOB: When looking through a pile of CVs, an employer is looking for those where the applicant has not only prioritised the information specific to the vacancy, but has also put in that extra bit of effort.

QUALIFICATIONS: Arrange your qualifications to illustrate ongoing career development. Think about what qualifications the employer will be looking for as essentials and highlight them accordingly. Remember that a CV isn't an official form. You can put in (or leave out) whatever you like, in whatever order. If you're applying for a Project Manager role, then it doesn't really matter if you got a C in GCSE geography.

SHOWCASE YOUR EXPERIENCE: As with the qualifications, each rung on your career ladder should be laid out so that it clearly shows the most recent and most relevant parts first. Make the descriptions of your experience full of your achievements. For instance, instead of just saying: "I was in charge of a $10 Billion project", highlight what you actually achieved, for example: "I was responsible for a team of 20 people on a $10 Billion mixed-use project and successful delivered the project on time and within budget." Employers like to see quantitative as well as qualitative achievements.

EDIT PERSONAL INFORMATION: Most employers are looking for experience rather than personal details, so if your hobbies have no relevance to the job vacancy, don't feel obliged to include them.

BEFORE YOU SEND: Once you have completed your CV, leave it for ten minutes and then go back and re-read it. Always do several drafts, edit it down. Keep rearranging it and rewriting until you're happy with it. Show it to a couple of friends and listen to what they say.  You can always ask us for advice as well!
 

Preparing for the Interview...

Getting the job you want requires more than just a good Resume. In other words, you can’t just sell yourself on paper. You’ve also got to be able to do it in person in a face-to-face interview. First things first, remember that it is the company who invited you to the interview; your Resume has got you this far and now it is your turn to confirm that you want this job and that you are right for the job!

While the ultimate purpose of an interview is to get an offer for the position, the more immediate objective is for the company to get to know you better, and for you to get to know it better. Everything you do with regard to an interview should have this as the dual objective. The basis of the interview is two parties seeking a mutual solution to each other’s needs. Never forget this. Generally, the interviewer is interested in determining the following 3 things:

1. The reason for your interest in the job.
2. Your skills and qualifications.
3. A feeling for your personality - particularly how you act and think in everyday situations.

Remember – You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression take the time to read through these important guidelines’.

RESEARCH THE ORGANISATION/WEBSITE: Find out as much as you can about the company (products, services, clients, company growth, prospects of growth in the future). This kind of preparation will help you answer some specific questions and may suggest some questions you would like to ask. It also shows your interest in the company and this will influence the employer's interest in you. Being able to converse intelligently about the company will create a very favorable impression.

PREPARE: Have confidence in yourself, however don’t come across over confident. Make sure that you have the confirmed date and time of the interview and you know the full name of the person/people you are meeting. Have you read through the Job description? Do you understand the role completely? If you don’t ask the questions! Prepare answers to common interview questions ahead of time, and practice saying them, so you aren’t stumped during the interview.

BE ON TIME: Plan your journey, leave earlier to avoid delays and if you arrive early, find a café to wait in. A general rule is to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before your interview time. This will allow you to present yourself to the receptionist in a relaxed and composed manner.

KNOW YOUR OWN RESUME: It’s important to be familiar with your resume and be able to answer any questions relating to your previous roles and the work you have done. Be prepared to demonstrate why you are the best person. Take a copy of your Resume with you for reference. It’s important to listen carefully to the questions, and think through your reply before responding. Try supporting what you say with examples of a situation, your task or action and the result.

APPEARANCE: Present yourself professionally and conservatively. In other words, "dress for success". Remember, the interviewer is interested in finding someone who will fit in well with the culture fit of the company and the team. Make sure your hair is neat and tidy and you pay close attention to your appearance from head to toe. It is natural and sometimes good to be nervous in anticipation of an interview, however if you have a cigarette to calm you nerves be aware of the smell that lingers on your breathe and fingers. If you have a chewing gum to refresh your breath, remember to REMOVE IT BEFORE THE INTERVIEW the first impression is a lasting one!

GREETING: Good eye contact, a strong handshake, and a confident smile will get everything off to a good start. Remember, the interviewer liked your resume or you wouldn’t be there. Maintain energy, enthusiasm, and excitement throughout your interview and express your answers clearly.

COMPOSURE: Remain standing until you are offered a seat. Once seated, sit upright, do not slouch. Place your arms and hands on the armrests of the chair or comfortably in your lap. Try to maintain eye contact with your interviewer(s) and be certain that your body language is natural and you feel as relaxed as possible. For example; leaning back could give the impression of a lax attitude. Sat with your arms folded across your chest can give a defensive impression. Be a good listener as well as a talker and smile!

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Indicate the impact you have had while working for your current and previous employer(s). This would include any major accomplishments and organisational changes that you have created/implemented. This is a good time to share ideas about what you can do for the interviewer's company. Think about what you will say before the interview.

NOTES: Take a pen and notepad, but avoid taking notes during your interview. If you need to remember something, immediately following the interview, write down the key points.

YOUR QUESTIONS: Remember an interview is a two way meeting and you must be prepared to ask questions yourself. Have at least 3 questions prepared for the end of the interview and written on your notepad. Remember they may have offered up this information during the interview and you don’t want to ask again! Examples of some impressionable questions are: * Why is the position available?* What skills or attributes are required to be a success in this role?* What type of training is offered in this role/the company?* How would I be measured in this role?* If I was successful, what challenges would I face in the first 6 months?

INTEREST & FOLLOW UP: Even if, during the interview, your instincts tell you that the position isn’t right for you, try to maintain your interest and enthusiasm as sometimes there are other opportunities within the company that you may be right for. If you are interested in the position indicate that you want to pursue this opportunity and ask what the next step will be. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time and leave with a firm handshake goodbye.

Contact your consultant straight away and let them know how the interview went and if you want to pursue your application. Finally relax; you have now done all you can!