The world and beyond – Surviving in the economic jungle

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market and commercial environment, from a female executive's perspective

Archive for January 2015

Guide to Job Hunting: 7 most common CV mistakes

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Applying for a new job can be daunting, especially if you have been out of work for a while or are unfamiliar with technology and uploading a CV online.

Here are seven CV dos and don’ts:

1. DON’T make your CV too long.

Many recruiters will form an opinion based on what is in the top third of the first page, so put the most relevant information first.  Two pages are more than adequate to get all your points across. You can always bespoke your CV with more relevant information once you have made the initial contact.

2. DO Use key words.

Many companies are now turning to technology to help them sift through all the applications and CVs they receive. If key words don’t appear your CV could be missed. Examples of key words would include the name of your industry (E.g. Automotive, Oil and Gas, etc), your job title (Keep it generic!) and specifics about systems or industry jargon (E.g. SAP, diesel engine, CAD, etc.)

3. DO keep personal statements short.

Research by found that recruiters preferred short personal statements and recommended that job-seekers avoid waffle such as “works well individually or as a team” at all costs. Only include it if you can be specific, if its highly relevant and if it will set you apart from the next candidate.

4.  DO deal with potential problems.

A CV is devised to help you get an interview, don’t lie on your CV but tailor it to get key info across, if you have a big gap in your employment history be prepared to explain why. Skimming over or being devious is likely to get you discounted.

5. DON’T include irrelevant content.

Information about hobbies and interests don’t need to be included unless they make you more marketable for the role (or it is your first role)

6. DON’T supply reference names on your CV.

You want to be in control of your job search, the last thing you want is a prospective employer calling your current boss.

7. DON’T make spelling or grammatical errors.

Just don’t!

Written by Cathy Richardson

January 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

Posted in Recruitment

Dealing with the top 10 behavioural interview questions

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Employment interview


Behavioral interviews are based on the premise that a person’s past performance on the job is the best predictor of future performance. When a company uses behavioral interviewing techniques, they want to know how you act and react in certain circumstances. They also want you to give specific “real life” examples of how you behaved in situations relating to the questions.

In fact, behavioral interviewing is said to be 55% predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only 10% predictive.

The interviewer identifies desired skills and behaviors for the job, and the questions you will be asked will be geared to finding out if you have those skills. The interviewer wants to know how you handled a situation, rather than just gathering information about you.

Top 10 Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
  • How do you handle a challenge? Give an example.
  • Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
  • Describe a decision you made that wasn’t popular and how you handled implementing it.
  • Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
  • Give an example of how you worked on team.
  • What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
  • Have you handled a difficult situation? How?

How to formulate your answers

Keeping to the STAR (Situation,Task, Action, Result) method is a very effective tool to answer competency based questions as it should make your answers structured and yet succinct:

  • Think about a Situation that corresponds to the question in hand. State it clearly and succinctly.
  • Then explain the Task you had to undertake to resolve the problem
  • Tell them the Actions you took to break down the task and get the job done
  • Explain what the Result was, and where possible quantify it e.g. % cost savings, how many new customers, etc

Written by Cathy Richardson

January 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

Posted in Recruitment

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