Tips & Advice
TOP TIPS for writing a CV
- Ensure your CV is no longer than 2 pages long.
- Make your headings between 14 and 18 points and your main body of text between 10 and 12.
- Ensure your CV reflects who you are, it allows your interview to go more smoothly.
- You don't need to include a photo, let your skills and experience speak for you
- Include interesting hobbies that require a level of dedication such as team sports.
- Target your CV to each different job you apply for, these small changes can make a big difference in how your CV comes across.
- Use keywords that companies will look for in your CV.
- Space out your text, this makes it more appealing to initially look at and read.
- Avoid clichés as this will not allow you to stand out against the competition.
- Use numbers and statistics where possible, to back up your achievements.
- Remember that on average it takes 7 seconds to decide on whether a CV goes into the Yes or No pile…. grab their attention at the start!
10 COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Tell Me About Yourself.
- How Did You Hear About This Position?
- Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?
- Why Do You Want This Job?
- Why Should We Hire You?
- What Can You Bring to the Company?
- What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
- What Do You Consider to Be Your Weaknesses?
- Tell Me About a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It.
- Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills.
Be ready to ask questions yourself at the end, this is just an example however there are many more. It shows you are prepared and are making sure it’s the right fit for you.
- How would you describe your organisation's culture?
- Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
- How do you see this company evolving over the next five years?
- What are the biggest challenges the company is facing right now?
- What is your timeline and what are the next steps?
- Research the company – you are not expected to memorise everything but it helps if they ask if you have researched them or to drop it into a response.
- Make sure you really read the job description well, your responses should show that you have considered the skills, qualities and experience required and that you can meet them.
- Practice with a friend or family, preparing your answers for common interview questions.
- When giving examples you can use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action and Result).
- Plan your interview outfit, don’t leave it to chance on the day, interviews are rarely casual, so think smart.
- Don’t be afraid to take your CV, it can act as a prompt, also a pen and notebook in case you need to make any notes.
- Take a bottle of water in with you, if you need a moment, calmly take a sip of your water while you collect your thoughts.
- As easy as it is to say, try to stay calm, remember they may have never interviewed before so they could be nervous too.
- Be polite at all times and think about your body language, thank them at the end of the interview for their time.
- And most importantly make sure all mobile devices are switched to complete silence or off as this can spoil the best of interviews!
- First day impressions are always so important, be friendly and welcoming, smile and feel its ok to engage.
- Timekeeping is essential – delays can happen, buses can be late but always have your line managers details so you can let them know on the way.
- Show a positive attitude, be interested, take notes if in meetings and stick to deadlines.
- Don’t bottle anything up, if you have any concerns its always best to talk them through, calmly explaining what they are.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions, everyone was new at some point and had the same nerves. Remember no question is silly, just not asking it is!
- Interact with your colleagues, a work environment can be a great social environment too.
- Preparation is key – prep for meetings, your reviews, your training assessor visit, think in advance.
- Its never too early to be thinking of what your next steps will be, is there promotion for the future? Maybe a different department that you think you would like to be in. Progression is fantastic and showing your commitment and enthusiasm and making a positive impact with the right attitude can certainly move you up the career ladder!
A - Z of Apprenticeships
A guide to higher and degree apprenticeships
Create an account on gov.uk to start applying for apprenticeships
NUS Apprentice Extra – discount card for Apprentices
Got a question?
Still not sure if it’s the right path for you? We will be happy to meet with you to discuss this in more detail so please feel free to either contact us direct on 01782 711927 or fill in an enquiry form.