How to tailor your CV properly

Friday, June 28th, 2019

We all know that to make the best impression on the interviewer, you should tailor your CV properly for each role you apply for – but how do you go about doing this?

If you’re applying for a very clearly defined role, then your CV might not need changing much each time, although you should make sure to update it regularly anyway.

But if you’re applying for a number of different roles within your chosen industry, and especially when applying for jobs where you’re slightly less experienced, tailoring your CV can help to present you as the right candidate for the job.

 

1. Start with an up-to-date CV

It doesn’t hurt to have a generic CV to use as a starting point, and choose the most relevant experience and qualifications from there. Take a look at our CV builder to get started.

You might want to make this ‘master’ CV longer, listing all of your qualifications, transferable skills, career experience and so on.

Don’t send this monster master to recruiters, but instead adopt a ‘delete as appropriate’ approach to trim it down to the requisite one or two sides of A4 for each application.

 

2. Structure it well

A good overall structure provides you with a framework within which you can change individual details to prioritise the most relevant information about you.

Our CV Builder is a great way to make sure you’ve covered all the important areas, from education and work experience, to transferable skills and relevant hobbies.

Just login to start building your CV today, and we’ll also make sure you don’t miss any of the basics like name, address, telephone number and email address so the employer can actually contact you.

 

3. Change the order

You can change the order not only of information in each section, but of the entire sections themselves.

So for example, if you think your transferable skills are particularly strong for one application, you might move them higher up the running order.

Alternatively, you might have directly relevant work experience to list first instead – or if you’re straight out of education, it could be your qualifications that take top billing.

 

4. Trim the dead weight

It can be tempting to list absolutely everything you can think of in an attempt to impress the interviewer, but an unwieldy CV is rarely welcomed by recruiters or employers.

At first glance amid a stack of competitors’ CVs, you have barely a matter of seconds to make your application memorable, so keep it simple and make good use of formatting to give prominence to your absolute best features.

 

5. Don’t panic

If you’re applying for a number of jobs, don’t spend weeks tweaking your CV – instead, learn to prioritise what you know are your best features and quickly put the most relevant ones up top.

Again, our CV Builder can help you to keep track of your core talents, career progression and all those elusive dates and full names of past qualifications.

That way, you don’t have to write entire sections of your CV from scratch each time, but instead you can quickly and easily build a new version of your master CV that shows only what you want to say.


Five of the best questions to ask in an interview

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Of all the common interview questions, there’s one that you’re likely to be asked no matter what job you’re applying for – and that’s “Any questions?”

You know it’s coming up at the end of your interview and it’s your last chance to leave the room with a good impression, so make it count.

Here are five of the best questions to ask in an interview, to show insight and enthusiasm, without coming across as if you think you’re the interviewer.

 

1. How does the role develop in the first year?

Show a long-term approach and a willingness to adapt to the changing nature of your role at one month, six months and a year.

It’s inevitable that your job will change in some ways as you complete your initial training, and it’s good to show enthusiasm for this part of the process.

This is also a good open-ended question so the interviewer will have to give you a full and engaged answer, and not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

 

2. What is the company culture like?

If it’s not already obvious from the company’s public persona or your time spent there during your interview day, this is another good, open and engaged question to ask.

You’ll also gain valuable insight into the kind of atmosphere you’ll be working in – which might even affect your own decision whether to take the job or not!

 

3. What is your own experience of working for the company?

Pay some personal attention to your interviewer and build some last-minute rapport by asking them about their own thoughts on the company they work for.

It’s best not to push this one – not all interviewers will feel comfortable having the tables turned on them – but it shows again that you are interested in the long-term company culture and potentially rising through the ranks to conduct interviews yourself in the future.

 

4. What are the company’s opportunities/challenges right now?

Gauge the current outlook for the company – are they working to overcome significant hurdles right now, or is everything looking rosy?

By asking this, you can also show a willingness to hit the ground running and join in your new team’s efforts to reach a common goal.

You might even have past experience of overcoming similar challenges in other jobs – and this could help to make you seem even more indispensable if your potential new employer is finding it hard to make progress.

 

5. Do you have everything you need from me?

You have an opportunity to tie up loose ends before you walk out, so it’s worth double checking that the interviewers are satisfied that they have everything they need.

For example, if you were asked to provide a CV, cover letter and references, make sure all of these were received and offer to follow up on providing further references if needed.

Depending on the role, you might also offer to provide proof of professional qualifications, as well as any other useful certificates – such as First Aid or Fire Safety – that you don’t think were mentioned enough in the interview.

 

Take a look at some other useful tricks, hints and tips to make sure you are prepared for anything, it never hurt to be too prepared!


Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day 2019

Friday, June 7th, 2019

This week we are supporting the Alzheimer’s Society and we hope that you will join us to raise money for this fantastic charity.  Here at Alexander Hancock, we know the reality of supporting a loved one with this terrible disease and also the toll that it takes on the family and friends who are supporting a loved one through this difficult time, therefore we know the importance of raising vital funds in order to support this amazing charity in raising awareness, research into the disease and also provide help and support to the people who are living with the disease.

 

Dementia can affect people at any age.  It is more common in people over 65 however there are currently around 42,000 people in the UK under 65 currently living with Dementia.  It is not a normal part of ageing.  A person may have problems with memory, language or concentration.  It may also lead to mood changes, emotions and behaviours.  Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms gradually get worse over time.  Dementia can affect many different areas of your life and the people around you which is why it is so important to help support this charity and the wonderful work they do in order to help prevent, cure and support the people who are suffering today.

 

We are supporting the Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day by holding a Cupcake week.  All week, we will have a host of treats available for you.  All we ask in return is for a donation.  All donations are extremely welcome and we will be incredibly grateful for your support.  £50 could enable the charity be there for five people, for five hours of in depth support from our Helpline team at a time of crisis.  £150 could pay for two people with dementia to attend Singing for the Brain® sessions for one year, where they and their carers can come together for an hour each week to sing and dance to music.  £610 would pay for a Doctoral Training Centre to run for one day, helping up to eight PhD researchers to carry out ground breaking study in dementia research.  Help us to help them.

 

Thank you for taking the time to help us support the Alzheimer’s Society.

 

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

 

In memory of Norman Rawlinson