As a jobseeker it is crucial that you invest time in searching for that ideal role and spend time in preparing for that all important interview. In our jobseekers resources section, we provide tips and advice on to how to ensure you are ready for the job market.
If you register with Goldteam, you will have access to all the jobseekers resources as well as support and advice from our experienced resource team.Register with Goldteam today
Finding the Right Job for You
In our adult lives most of us spend more time at work than we do at home, therefore it is important to select a job that we enjoy doing, in an organisation that you want to be a part of and rewards you. Investing time at the beginning of your job search will ensure you are on the right career path. Read More Read Less
- Review your skills and experiences – what has been your career path to date? What skills are transferable?
- Review your strengths and development areas – what are you good at doing and areas you might need to work on? Organisation skills, collaborative working, idea generation, analytical thinking?
- Review what you like doing in a job and what you don’t like doing – As we spend so much of our lives working, we may as well enjoy it! You might prefer to work in a team or you might really dislike working with numbers.
- Review what is important in a company – is it quality brands, or flexible working, a fun environment or an empowering organisation? Outlining what is important means you can filter the companies you want to work for.
- Once you have detailed all of these key areas, this should make it easier to define the type of job you want and the organisation you want to work for. Though you still need to be realistic; if you ‘like working with numbers’ you can’t expect to just go and be a maths teacher without the relevant qualifications. Detailing the above areas is a useful checklist to ensure you are being true to what is important and what you are good at as you review possible job opportunities.
- Review company websites – they provide a host of information that gives you a great insight into their working practices, values and history. If you have no Internet access, contact the company via telephone. Ask them for a company brochure or details that can be mailed to you, or collected personally.
- If you have been referred by Goldteam, we can provide background information on the company
- Use your network – do you know anyone that works there? Ask them what they think of the company. Linked in is a great tool to find individuals that are connected.
Work smarter not longer
- Finding a suitable job is not an easy task; it does take time and effort but can reap many rewards if you apply yourself.
- Manage your time effectively
- Create a schedule based on a short list of time priorities.
- Be realistic! Don’t allocate a three-hour slot to a task that you can only devote an hour to.
- Take regular reviews to this schedule. This allows you to prioritise and become up to date more effectively.
- Make sure you set aside some uninterrupted time where you can devote total concentration to the task at hand.
- Tackle tasks which are more important and urgent first, then move down the list.
- The fewer priorities you focus on at once, the more efficient you will become.
- Try to devote your concentration to the task at hand.
- Do not try to do more than one task at a time, complete one and then move on.
- Plan ahead
- It is always beneficial to plan and prioritise tasks ahead of time, whether it is a day or a week in advance. Remember, “Fail to plan is plan to fail”.
- Relax and stay healthy
- It is important to work hard and concentrate; however maintaining your health through healthy eating, regular exercise and making time for relaxation is also highly beneficial.
- Don’t let your work stress you out. Take regular breaks where you can be yourself and try not to think of the burdens of work during these times.
How To Get An Interview
Your CV is your first impression and the only way to enlighten prospective employers on your abilities and suitability for the job. Read our useful tips on how to ensure your CV stands out from the crowd.
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Creating a Standout CV
First impressions count and your CV is the first impression a prospective employer has of you. It is an extension of you; it represents your personality, your education/skills and your previous job experience. Remember your CV will be competing against many others so although you may be the perfect candidate for the job, if your CV is not superior you will be overlooked.
Suggested Content and Structure
Your CV should consist of specific information about you. Write a list of important headings and prioritise them in order of significance.
Here are some suggestions:
- Name, Date of birth, Address, Telephone number (evening and daytime)
- Employment history (start with the most recent and work backwards)
- Academic qualifications (i.e. GCSE’s/O-levels, A-levels, Diplomas, Degree etc)
- Other major achievements (i.e. charity work, bilingual abilities, or even climbing Mt. Everest)
- Hobbies and Interests
The structure of your CV depends on the type of job you are applying for. It is incorrect to expect to use the same CV for every job you apply for. You should make relevant changes to the information included and the way your CV looks for different job applications. An employer is more likely to notice a CV that is more personalized in regards to the job than one which is too broad.
A CV layout that is useful for more experienced candidates is to detail skills in groups such as ‘Commercial’ ‘Project Management’ etc. detailing all the key experiences within these groups before listing the roles that they were obtained in.
Structure your CV so that it is concise and to the point. Include information relevant to the job in a succinct manner. Always restrict to a maximum of two sheets of A4. CV’s that are longer than this are usually frowned upon. Interviewers are commonly very busy so they do not have time to read pages and pages of information.
For help with structuring your CV, use our CV builder (please note you need to be registered to use this facility)
- Use clean white/cream A4 paper
- Ensure it is typed with absolutely no spelling mistakes, look over the final piece to guarantee this. Spend time to produce a document that is professional and easy to read.
- Avoid using elaborate fonts, fancy designs or gimmicks. They will not get you noticed in a professional way.
- Avoid giving the impression that your CV is one of many that you have simply photocopied and handed out. A photocopied CV is the most likely to end up in the trash.
Include a cover letter
- Unless you have been specifically advised not to include a covering letter, include one with your CV.
- A covering letter is the first impression that a potential employer has of you, therefore it is important that as much effort is put into drafting the letter as your CV. Some top tips for compiling your covering letter are:
- Sell yourself
- Why you?
- Reference 1 or 2 of your key strengths that are also the most important for the role you are applying for
- Explain what attracted you to apply to the company, for example, they are brand leaders or you think their values are the same as yours
- Also explain why you are looking for a new role. For example you are looking for new challenges or you want to further your career.
- If you are sending a speculative CV, write a short note explaining the type of position you are interested in applying for.
Sending the CV
- Always enquire about the appropriate person to send the CV to. If it ends up with the wrong person, it is highly unlikely it will to reach the intended recipient.
- Your CV includes personal information; it is a confidential document so avoid faxing is unless it is very urgent and you have specifically been advised to do so. Send it via post, email or if requested, personally deliver it.
Don’t give up! Remember, you should not get disheartened if the first CV you send out does not produce the results you aspired. Be persistent, follow the advice given and try again!
Preparing For an Interview or Assessment Centre
Getting to the interview stages of the application process is a huge achievement so you must prepare yourself for the opportunity; this guide to the interviews and assessment centres aims to give you some helpful hints and tips to give you the best chance possible. Read More Read Less
What will the interviewer look for?
An interviewer simply wants you to show them that you are the best person for the job. You need to be able to demonstrate that either through past experience or through your initiative, you can provide solutions to their problems and fulfil the requirements of the job specification. Above all, be passionate and enthusiastic as the interviewer may overlook the experience you may be lacking for the job as they see something special in you.
Some general key skills to be aware that an interviewer will want you to demonstrate are:
- Driven for success
- Well organised
- Good communication skills
- Team player
What type of questions will they ask?
EVIDENCE/COMPETENCY BASED: This will be aimed at getting an understanding of what you have achieved or what skills and expertise you have demonstrated in the past.
“Can you give me an example of how you demonstrated you organisational skills for planning an event?”
HYPOTHETICAL: The interviewer will use this type of question to understand how you would deal with a certain situation that is required in the job role. They may also just ask to see how you handle the pressure of being asked an unexpected question.
“If you had to plan a major event, how would you go about doing this?
To really impress the interviewer turn any hypothetical question in to an evidence based answer by referencing an example of where you experienced it! Modern interview techniques tend to favour the evidence based approach. This is because hypothetical questions will results in hypothetical answers, often based on exaggerations and non-truths.
Be sure to answer questions in a logical manner. Using the following technique of ‘STAR’ helps your formulate your answer and avoids going off point:
- Situation – outline the situation
- Task – the task you therefore had to carry out ‘The what’
- Action – the action you took ‘The how’
- Result – what the outcome was
You can never foresee exactly what questions you will be asked on the day but here are a few popular examples that you are sure to come up against.
- What are your strengths? Don’t go through the dictionary listing every positive adjective, the interviewer wants to hear specific examples of how your strengths have been demonstrated. Keep the job description in mind and where possible link your answer to attributes the interviewer may be looking for.
- What are your weaknesses? This is a tricky one! The best way to handle this is to create a positive spin on your answer. So you may not have the best IT skills but you can explain how you have worked on overcoming this by enrolling on training courses in your spare time. This then leaves the interviewer knowing you a hard worker and dedicated.
- Why do you want to work here? If you have prepared for the interview properly you will have an understanding of the companies values, mission and objectives, this should be clear from your answer. The interviewer wants to know you will be a good match to the culture of the organisation and the team.
Below are some standard Interview Questions. It may be worth asking yourself which key skill the interviewer is looking for with each question
- What are your biggest successes to date and why are you proud of them?
- I’d like you to think of a time when your view has been the opposite of someone above you. How did you handle the situation? Did the person come round to your way of thinking?
- Can you think of an example of when you have worked in a successful team, what made it a success?
- Take me through how you plan your day and week.
- Has a customer (either internal or external), ever asked you to do something which is over and above what is expected? How did you handle this request and what was the outcome?
- Give me some examples of when you have been particularly motivated. What was it that got you motivated?
- In your present job what do you enjoy the most?
- What attracted you to this position?
- What was the last objective your manager / trainer set you and how are you progressing with implementing it?
- What gives you a buzz?
- Think of a time when you had to juggle various tasks at once, can you take me through how you did this?
- What do you find frustrating about your job?
- What do you understand by the term “customer service”? Can you give me an example of when you have gone the extra mile for a customer? What outcome did this have?
- What does success mean to you and why have you been successful in the past?
- What do you contribute to your current team?
- What is your greatest disappointment in the last five years?
- Can you give me an example of when your motivation and enthusiasm has positively affected others?
Types of interviews
Employers can use various interview methods, this will depend on the nature of the company and job role. The most popular type of interview is generally a one-to-one setting, however many companies are increasingly using different methods to gain a better reflection of the overall abilities of the candidate.
Assessment Days: The format is usually a one or two day visit, staying at a hotel, training-centre, conference centre, or the employer’s premises. This enables the company to see several candidates together in a short space of time, and to observe them in a more relaxed atmosphere as well as in more formal interviews and group tasks. It does mean, however, that for candidates their visit is packed with activities and will be demanding. Most students report that they have enjoyed the experience, and even if you do not get the job, you gain a great deal of information and expertise. Assessment Days can include the following exercises, read our tips to find out how to do well in them:
- Group Discussion
- As a group you may be presented with a business dilemma that you need to review and discuss as a group
- Be sure to be vocal in the discussion, but not over bearing. Justify your comments with constructive and logical reasoning.
- Don’t talk over people
- If there are candidates who are quiet, draw them in with ‘[name], what do you think?’
- If you are confident, and if you are a strong facilitator, offer to flip chart key points. Being the facilitator means you have control of the group, however, be careful not to lose this control which can be easily done as you concentrate too much on writing rather than contributing. You need to be proficient and experienced if you are to do this. If you are not up to it, let someone else be.
- Verbal and Numerical reasoning
- Can often be a daunting task, but with practice can be mastered.
- Visit www.shl.co.uk for example questions that will help get your brain engaged into the format of questioning. Practice does make perfect.
- Role Playing
- Remember role plays are tailored to the specific job you are applying for; therefore you should naturally do well.
- You will be given time to plan and prepare. Use the time wisely by reading all the key information first, then re-reading and taking notes.
- Think about the possible scenarios that might come up in the role play and how you would respond to them.
- Prepare plenty of questions and the course of action you propose to take to mitigate the situation.
- Be you! – The employer wants to see the type of person you really are, not an actor!
- Case Studies
- Are to test your business acumen by reviewing a case study and then presenting back with your thoughts and recommendations
- You will be given time to plan and prepare. Use the time wisely by reading all the key information first, then re-reading and taking notes.
- Draft your proposal into a structured and logical manner
- Setting – what is the situation
- Considerations/Complications – areas to be aware of
- Question – what is the key question to address
- Answer/Recommendations – what is your proposed course of action and recommendations
- Evaluation – how do you plan to evaluate the success of the recommendation
- Be confident as you present back, stand straight, use eye contact
- Be calm, breath slowly and pace your self – don’t talk too fast
- Ask if there are any questions once you have presented your proposal.
Psychometric Tests: Many companies use these to form a comprehensive picture of a candidate's qualities and characteristics. The tests will not be used solely as a selection technique but in conjunction with other methods e.g. group discussions and interviews. Although you are unlikely to be able to significantly improve your test score, familiarity with the tests will increase your confidence. In order to prepare yourself, it is worthwhile trying different puzzles e.g. word-games, and basic arithmetic.
An important lesson to be learned from psychometric tests is not to be tempted to fill in the answers you think the interviewer is looking for. If you appear to be perfect you will be exposed as a fraud and if you have to lie to get the job is it really the right career for you?
Other Top Tips to consider in Preparing for an Interview
- Dress in an appropriate manner.
- Whilst doing the research indicated in step two, find out what the company dress code is and stick to it!
- In an interview environment, it is always suggested to look smart and professional.
- Be punctual.
- Leave home in plenty of time to arrive ten minutes early. Cutting it fine or arriving late, sweating and stressed is not the outlook you want to portray.
- Be positive, first impressions are often last impressions.
- Offer a firm and confident handshake.
- Appear at ease by smiling. A clear smile ensures a positive first impression.
- Show interest and ask questions.
- At the right opportunity, ask questions about the job. These can consist of queries in regards to your potential prospects and personal career development.
- Enquire about the company’s commitment to training employees and their long-term view of the role.
- Be truthful, honesty is always the best policy.
- Lying never prospers; eventually the truth is always exposed. Stick to plain facts and your personality and honour will remain intact.
- Show your ability to work as part of a team.
- The ability to compromise and work as part of a team is a key element in a majority of jobs. Make sure you portray yourself as a team player.
- Have faith in yourself
- Don’t let yourself get down if you do not get the job. Have faith in yourself and your abilities. Luck usually plays a part in getting any job, pick yourself up and start back at step one.
Furthering Your Career
This short guide illustrates ways in which you can develop your career from settling into a new job to moving up the career ladder. Read More Read Less
Commencement of a new job
It is important to take into account what image you want to present of yourself. If you can try to talk to those that are working in the same field and probe them for information. Try to take into account your:
- Life-style (children or any other commitments)
Soon after you have started working in the organisation, try to gain knowledge on the following areas:
- The structure of the organisation
- Find out job titles and statuses of fellow employees.
- Identify the preferred communication networks within the organization, whether they are written, oral, via email or committees etc
- Understand the procedures of rules that operate in regards to health and welfare or discrimination etc
- Learn about the history of the organization
You most likely will have a copy or have read your job description, if not, request one from your employer. Read it carefully and try to make sure you are not neglecting any crucial areas of your job.
Some additional key points to consider:
- Concentrate not only on your work, but also on building good relationships with your peers. These are the people who can help you to establish yourself and make you aware of problems. Remember, they have the experience that you may need to learn from.
- Always try to make relationships a two-way process. Do not just take support but give it also. Your early interaction may be what helps you progress on the career ladder at a later date.
- On an early date, clarify your targets with your employer so that you know what is expected on you. Focus on achieving these targets to avoid wasting time and dealing with frustration.
- If you have any concerns in regards to your job, speak with your employer. Dealing with problems at an early stage is often easier than at a later date when a real crisis occurs.
- Try to keep a daily to-do list so important tasks can be given priority and smaller tasks are not forgotten.
Advancing your Career
- Performance Evaluation
- Performance reviews
- Once in role you are likely to have monthly and year end performance reviews with your line manager. Use these sessions effectively and ask your line manager for open and honest feedback on your performance. Knowing some of the areas you might need to improve on, means you can address them and become a star performer. Having development areas isn't a negative, we all have them, it is how we address them that counts.
- Continue to self-evaluate
- Take time to review yourself and how you think you are performing. Being self-aware is a useful skill as it means you can adapt and grow by addressing development areas yourself.
- Are you hitting all your work objectives? – If not, how are you going to ensure you deliver against them.
- Ask those you work with for feedback
- Do bear in mind if feedback is not an embedded culture in an organisation, some individuals may feel uncomfortable providing feedback. They might prefer to do it informally over a coffee, or send some thoughts via email.
- With continual self-review, come year end and possible pay review the conversation with your line manager is so much easier as there are no surprises and you can have a rational and accurate conversation about your performance.
- Career Path
- Think long term
- Most of us will spend 40+ years in work, so therefore think long term not short term. Don't be impatient about getting the next role or promotion. Be sure to do the job you are in now well, and that you have learnt everything you needed to know from it before moving on.
- Think about what your long term goal is. Do you want to be CEO or do you want to be middle manager in a different department? Once you know what your aspirations are you can plan your career path to help you get to the goal. For example, if you want to be a CEO, think about the skills and experiences you need to get there for example, managing a big team, or working in a sales role. Then map the possible jobs that might help you tick those boxes.
Why Temporary Work Leads To Permanent Benefits
Legislation came into effect on 1st October 2011, giving temporary workers the same basic employment and working conditions as their permanent counterparts.Read MoreRead Less
- Temporary employment misconceptions
- With the introduction of the Agency Worker regulations (AWR), the status and benefits of a temporary employee has vastly improved. The 2011 regulations give agency workers the same basic employment conditions after 12 weeks working for the company in the "same role" as those that would have been applied if they were recruited directly by the hirer.
From day one of the temporary position the worker is entitled to the same access to job vacancies as permanent members of staff and collective facilities such as staff canteens, childcare facilities and transport services.
- Know your rights
- Not only can you receive benefits such as paid holidays and access to pension plans, as a temporary worker you also have the opportunity to explore various positions. This freedom of movement allows you to gain experience with some of the most prestigious companies in the country! This is the vital experience that many permanent employees lack and thus are unable to advance in the work environment.
- Flexible options
- The flexibility and receptiveness that a temporary worker possesses means they are highly sought after. As a temporary worker you also have the ability and opportunity to successfully obtain permanent positions if you feel the need to. The freedom of temporary employment allows you to change your mind and not remain in a binding contract with one company for long periods of time. For example, if you are especially skilled in your chosen field, there is always the opportunity to command an excellent salary and benefits from various companies without being tied to a fixed contract.
Other Key Facts That Are Useful To Know
It’s important to know what you are entitled to working in the UK. We provide some useful information from the UK minimum wage to notice periods. Read More Read Less
National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates
Below is the minimum wage you are entitled to based on your age bracket. If you are of a compulsory school age you are not entitled to NMW.
21 and over
18 to 20
Your employer may offer more than that basic minimum paid holiday, the main things you should be aware of are:
- If you work a five day week then you are entitles to a minimum of 28 days holiday
- Part time workers receive the same level of holiday pro rata (so 5.6 times your working week e.g. If you work four days a week you receive a minimum of 22.4 days)
- Your employer can decide when you take holiday
- Public and bank holidays can be included in your minimum entitlement
- You are still entitled to your holiday leave throughout your ordinary and additional maternity/paternity/adoption leave
- When you leave a job you get paid for any holidays you have not taken
- You start building up holiday as soon as you start work
- You receive your normal pay when you are on your holiday
Regardless of what your contract says, your employer must provide you with the statutory minimum period of notice, which depends on the time you've worked for them:
- If you have been employed between 1 month and 2 years, then you are entitled to one weeks' notice
- If you have worked more than 2 years, then you notice period increases by 1 week per year e.g. 4 years equates to 4 weeks' notice (which applies up to a maximum of 12 years)
Usually your employment contract provides you with a longer notice period.Finding employment through a recruitment agency
Recruitment agencies work closely with you to find the job you're looking for. They have a responsibility to their clients to find the best suitable candidates hence why they will meet you analyse your CV and prepare you for interviews. Some more benefits of joining a recruitment agency are:
- Saving time – recruitment consultants will do a lot of the leg work for you since they have strict targets to achieve.
- Access to jobs – many companies recruit through recruitment agencies, so you will be given access to jobs that are not available in the open market.
- Recommend alternatives – consultants will analyse your CV and speak to you so they can also recommend jobs you may have the skill for but were not considering.
- Training – Recommendations to training that might benefit you and increase your employability.
Temp to Perm in Seven Easy Steps
Not only can temporary jobs allow you to learn new skills whilst earning, but they also provide an excellent opportunity to prove your worth for the future. Often temporary positions have the potential to develop into permanent ones. If your goal is to turn your temporary job into a permanent position, follow our guide: Temp to perm in seven easy steps.Read MoreRead Less
- 1. Be professional, proactive and prepared
- Always uphold or exceed the level of professionalism your employer expects of their permanent employees. Be proactive in your approach and always stay prepared. Though some temporary jobs stay just that – temporary, others have the vast potential to develop into something more permanent. It is important to be ready. If you are consistently professional and proactive in your approach, you will always be prepared.
- 2. Brush up on your skills set
- Stay current by enrolling in a class or taking an online course. If your goal is to turn your temporary job into a permanent one, having the appropriate qualifications is vital. Find out what qualifications are required and work towards building up your CV. Use your time as a temp wisely and gain on the job experience.
- 3. Get to know the company
- Show interest by researching your employer. Explore what they do, their history, market and their competition. Understand their brand, core values and codes of conduct. The more you know about them, the more valuable you become.
- 4. Network and connect
- As a temporary employee, you have the distinct advantage of already having one foot in the door. Being onsite gives you the opportunity to network with your potentially permanent colleagues. If you want to be a part of the permanent team, act like it. Put in the effort to get to know your colleagues and allow them get to know you.
- 5. Demonstrate flexibility
- Demonstrate flexibility by responding positively to change. Show your employer that you are open to new ideas and willing to try new ways of working.
- 6. Exhibit dedication
- Your employer will be far more likely to promote you from a temporary job to a permanent position if you have consistently exhibit your dedication to the company. Your entire temporary engagement is essentially one long interview where your employer can see exactly how you function and what your work ethic is. Become indispensable by showing a willingness to help and take on additional tasks or projects where realistically possible.
- 7. Speak to our dedicated recruiters
- Our dedicated recruiters are powerhouses of sector focused information and are here to help you. They are widely connected and have established ongoing relationships with all of our clients. Equipped with knowledge and connections, our recruiters can be the ideal advocate for your permanent position. Call us on 0333 444 0222 today to speak with a recruiter who can help you successfully start your journey from temp to perm.