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What to look for in a CV

Looking through CV’s and applications can be time consuming and a lengthy process which is why a lot of companies when recruiting opt to use a recruitment agency who can manage applications and handle the recruitment process for you, saving you a lot of time in the long run. 

However, if you are finding yourself having to spend time looking through application and CV’s it is important to ensure you do not rush as you would not want to miss any suitable candidates for the role. 

Take time to review candidate’s CV’s, focusing on grammar or spelling is not essential and I think we can all be guilty of the odd spelling mistake so try not to read to much into these minor errors but focus more on their experience and skill set for the role.  

Any candidates who are not suitable, make sure you go back to them politely to give feedback on why they are not successful to ensure a positive experience with candidates through your recruitment process. 

It is also to remember that CV’s are only a snip it of the candidate’s skills and experience and can not always tell you if that candidate is right or not, so bare this in mind when selecting CV’s and if you are unsure, having a brief telephone chat with the candidate may help. 

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Job Advertising Tips

A Job Description and a Job Advert often get mistaken as being the same but they are different in many ways, with a job description showing the duties and responsibilities of the job role whereas a Job Advert should focus on attracting candidates with the right skills and experience to that job and your company. 

It is important to ensure your Job advert includes the below. 

  • Key Responsibilities and Duties: 

You want to ensure you give an overview of the job duties so bullet points of the key day to day duties of the role is a must as a minimum. Remember you don’t want the advert to be to long but its important to let candidates know what the job entails so they conclude if it’s the right position for them and to ensure you are attracting the right skill set for the role. 

  • Overview / Introduction of the company:

Giving a brief overview of your company gives candidates a real insight into what it may be like working for you so include some general information about what the company do, include any information on any plans to expand or maybe how-to company has won awards for being a good company to work for etc. Let candidates know what a positive and great place your company is to work at and a feel for the working environment. 

  • Salary: 

You are more likely to attract more candidates by advertising the salary, on a recent survey 76% of job seekers missed applying for a job role due to the advert not detailing salary information. 

  • Benefits and Hours: 

Include information on the hours needed to work for the role, any flexibility in hours or remote working, holiday information and any other benefits such as discounts, Perks, cash back health plans or insurance. This may seem trivial, but benefits play a crucial part in candidates deciding whether the company is right for them or not. 

It is also important to ensure you include any information about development and career progression opportunities and ensure grammar and spelling are checked before posting.

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Interview Tips

When it comes to an interview, you can never be too prepared. 

Being selected for an interview is already a success – you have been chosen amongst many candidates, who applied for the position, so research and preparation is essential to for interview success.

To help you organise and plan ahead, we have come up with some useful tips to help you along the way and ensure your interview gets off to a great start.

  • Do your research.

Find out as much as you can about the company – start few days before the interview. Go on their website, find out what sector they specialise in, have they recently completed any major projects?

Does the company have a page on social media? If yes, have a look at posts, feedback, reviews so you can see what the company and its employees are talking about.

Make notes, read them couple of times before the interview and memorise the information. This will help you to be more confident when talking about the knowledge you have of the company.

  • Read the job advert:

Have a look at the job description again to refresh your memory. It is vital you explain why you think you would be suitable for the position and whether you match the qualification and skills required.

  • Common Interview Questions:

Google some of the most common interview questions and write down some of your answers, this will ensure you are prepared and ready to answer. Common questions such as describing yourself, focus on positive points and skills which are relevant for the job. Don’t go into too much detail just a quick summery is enough.  Ensure you write down your strengths for the role and any weaknesses, this is often an awkward question but think of positive ways to overcome these weaknesses to finish on a positive note. 

Some other important points include:

Outfit – many companies still expect interviewees to dress smartly, so make sure your outfit is suitable.

Punctuality – make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview to avoid your stress level going up and giving the employer a bad impression.

After the interview – give the interviewer a firm handshake and thank for the time and opportunity to attend the interview.

As you can see interviews can be less stressful if you take time and effort to thoroughly prepare. If you have any further questions, please feel free to comment below or email us.

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CV Writing Tips

Writing your CV is an important document when job hunting and its important that this is kept regularly updated and is written clearly and easy to read by potential hirers. 

We have included a quick guide to help you in getting your CV in tip top shape. 

  • Use bullet points.

This is a great way to break up text and make it more readable for employers. You do not want to end up with long and detailed sentences that take half of the page, so use bullet points to outline your duties/responsibilities in a simple and neat way.

  • Keep it to two pages.

The most effective CVs are not just informative, they’re also concise. Try and get straight to the most important points, and ideally take up no more than two sides of A4, 3 at the max. If you have had had a long career history focus on the last 10 years. 

  • Include a personal statement.

A significant number of people neglect to include this at the start of their CV which is a big mistake, as this can be the selling point. Write few sentences right at the top of the first page, illustrating your unique skills that make you a perfect match for the role. Ensuring you update this for every role that you apply for. Clearly outline the kind of role you are applying for and why and try to include the top three most relevant skills very briefly.

  • Work in chronological order.

Whether you are writing about your experience or your education, the most recent information is the most important. Always put it first.

There is also some common mistakes to avoid when creating your CV which we have detailed below. 

  • Do not choose inappropriate font and size.

Times New Roman is one of the most commonly used fonts, but you may find that Cambria or Calibri are better options for you. The ideal font size is 11 – remember, the hiring managers will be scanning your CV, so it needs to be nice and easy to read.

  • Do not Include irrelevant person information.

You don’t need to include your nationality and you definitely don’t need to mention your age. Although employers aren’t legally allowed to dismiss your application based solely on how old you are, you’ll never know if that’s the reason they rejected you, so it’s best to avoid mentioning these types of details.

  • Do not Include negative information.

If you are thinking of putting on your CV reasons why you left your previous positions, or perhaps that you have driving licence points or that you failed exams – forget it now. This is something you can explain in a job interview, so make sure you don’t include any negative information that would discredit you.

Once you have completed your CV, don’t forgot to read through and double check, use spell check to correct any spelling mistakes and ask a friend or family member to look it over. 

If you are struggling to write you CV there are services out their which can assist, most known job sites have a free CV builder tool or the national career services can assist for free. 

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Useful Links

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Benefits of Remote Working.

The Benefits of recruiting remotely. 

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is how much companies have had to adapt to a new way of working with the majority of companies having to opt for remote working. 

This was a change which a lot of employers and employees had to adapt to quickly and luckily for most it was a smooth process where we all adapted successfully. 

Although I myself have missed the social element that working in the office brings, remote working has proved successful and is increasing in popularity, so we have asked ourself, what are the benefits of working remotely and how do we go about recruiting remote employees. 

Remote working Benefits: 

Remote working has many benefits both to employers and employees and we have listed just a few of the top benefits below. 

  1. Attract a bigger pool of candidates.
  2. Remove Geographical barriers, being able to attract candidates nationally and globally. 
  3. Reduce Cost in the office such as utilising a smaller office space. 

Following a survey this year, 54% of workers would be willing to quite their jobs for one that offers remote working. 

Attracting the best talent. 

With any job advert it is important you make your advert stand out and provide as much information as you can, this way candidates applying have a good understanding if they meets your requirements  and would be a good fit on the get go. 

  1. Include a company brief about your company, what you do and your values and missions. 
  2. Job title that communicates the key role of the positions. 
  3. Key responsibilities for the role. 
  4. Required experience, education, and qualifications for the role. 
  5. Include key works in your advert to attract the right audience. 
  6. Salary ensure you include the salary and any benefits relation to the job and working hours. 

Based on a recent survey, a job advert which includes salary details gets 75% more views than ones that have no salary information. 

The Interview: 

Interviewing is an important aspect of recruiting and gives you and the candidate a good chance to get to know each other and to work out if it is the right fit, which is why it is so important to get interviews right especially now when video interviewing is now the norm. 

  1. Ensure you are in a quite place to carry out a virtual interview where you will not be interrupted. 
  2. Check Equipment prior to the video interview, check cameras are working and that your internet connection is in good working order. 
  3. Prepare interview questions in advance of the interview. 
  4. Make the employee that will be working with the candidate apart of the recruitment process. 
  5. Set a time limit for the interview, it is easy to get carried away especially on video call so ensuring you have a set time sets good expectations. 

82% of candidates who have had a negative or unprepared interview with a company can change their mind on the role and withdraw from the process, so you need to ensure you prepare as much as you would with face to face interviews and be engaging. 

Communication is Key: 

So you have found your new remote employee which is great but this means you need to ramp up on your communication with the candidate to ensure a smooth run throughout any notice period so they are all set for their intended start date. 

  1. Check in with the employee regularly to see how they are doing through their notice period via a range of channels such as phone, text message, emails, and social media. 
  2. Ensure the candidate is set up prior to their start with an email account, any log in details and with any equipment they may need. 
  3. Being remote often means you can sometimes feel you are not a part of team so to encourage you new employee send a card through the post welcoming them or have a quick video call with the team to introduce them. 

The main tip employers need to ensure when you have remote staff is communication and engagement if you are getting this right then you can guarantee a smooth and enjoyable relationship and really gain from the benefits of offering remote work.

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A Candidate Rich Market!

A Candidate Rich Market: 

For the last few years, it has very much been a candidate led market, with skills shortages across the UK and skilled candidates having the option to pick and choose, often more than 1 job offer on the table. 

Recruitment agencies have been relied on heavily to utilise on their knowledge, experience, database and sourcing techniques to assist companies through their hiring process, it is not only invaluable tool to be partnered with an agency but it saves time and in the long term money. 

Along comes 2020!

This year has been a very different year across the globe hitting companies financially and with a large number of people losing jobs and floods of redundancies across the UK. 

It definitely flips the job market around, but I think it is more important now to partner with and source help from a recruitment agency. 

With more people on the job market and the current unemployment rising has meant that one single job post advertised receives a significant volume of applications, often reaching the 100-plus mark. 

The Reality: 

This all sounds great but having a large volume of applications does not necessarily mean they are skilled and experienced in the area you are recruiting in and can often make the recruitment process harder and more time consuming. 

Let’s face it, do companies really have the time to sift through hundreds of applications carefully, reading through CVs and applications and ensuring each candidate is responded to respectively. 

It is time consuming and not cost effective to the business, not only that you want to ensure that during this pandemic or post pandemic world that you are finding the best talent to grow with your organisation. 

This is where we can assist, we take out all that time and stress when it comes to recruitment from managing the whole process for you. 

We can assist with the following:

  • Assisting with writing of job descriptions, bench marking salaries and general advice on the role. 
  • Full job advertisement across a wide range of job boards and social media channels
  • Short listing of candidates
  • Responding to unsuccessful candidates 
  • We pre-screen and interview all candidates prior to submission
  • Arranging interviews
  • Support throughout the whole offer staff along with handling rejections
  • Further support following a candidate starting. 

If you would like some advice on your recruitment campaign or want to find out more about working for an agency, then please get in touch as we would be delighted to discuss with you.