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CV and
Interview
Guide
UK & IRELAND
3	 How to write a CV
5	 CV template
6	Writing a covering letter
7	 Covering letter template
8	 Interview preparation
10 	g...
3
To ensure you have the best chance of getting your ideal job,
your CV needs to stand out. Remember that your CV’s primar...
4
II Use a variety of font sizes and underline, bold or italic
words to make important information stand out.
II Avoid giv...
5
This is a general guide for presenting your CV:
First name Last name
Address
Phone number
Email address
Brief personal s...
6
A good covering letter, more likely to be an email nowadays,
will make your CV stand out from others. The following poin...
7
This is a general covering letter template:
Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss {Last name},
In response to your recent advertisement for ‘...
8
Preparation is the first essential step towards a successful
interview. Interviewers are continually amazed at the numbe...
9
Interview checklist
Do:
II DO arrive on time, ideally 15 minutes early. Always leave
plenty of time. Late arrival for a ...
10
The short time you spend in an interview could have a
dramatic effect on your career prospects. Therefore, it is
import...
11
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
You need to know where you are going. This demonstrates
focus and directi...
12
Example 1 - PLANNING and ORGANISING
The interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate the
following traits and beh...
13
Example 2 - JUDGEMENT and DECISION-MAKING
The interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate the
following traits a...
14
Negative factors to watch for
During the course of an interview the employer will be
evaluating both your positive and ...
15
II If you are interested in the position, make your feelings
clear. You could do this by voicing your desire to meet th...
16
Lastly and most importantly, call the consultant who referred
you to the position after the interview and explain what
...
17
Contact us
Birmingham
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham
B2 4AJ
Tel:  +44 121 633 0010
dublin
10 Lower Mo...
Hudson cv and interview guide
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Hudson cv and interview guide

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Hudson cv and interview guide

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Hudson cv and interview guide

  1. 1. CV and Interview Guide UK & IRELAND
  2. 2. 3 How to write a CV 5 CV template 6 Writing a covering letter 7 Covering letter template 8 Interview preparation 10 general interview questions 15 Closing the interview 16 Following the interview 17 Contact us CONTENTS
  3. 3. 3 To ensure you have the best chance of getting your ideal job, your CV needs to stand out. Remember that your CV’s primary function is to secure you an interview, so you should forget graphics and gimmicks; instead, opt for clean, white paper and easy to read presentation. It is very important to sell yourself on the first page. Highlight your achievements and responsibilities in bullet points. Your CV needs to grab the attention of its reader within seconds if you’re to stand a chance of progressing to the job interview stage. Hiring managers can receive hundreds of applications for a role, and tend to only have the time to scan CVs before deciding whether to progress further with a candidate. Make sure the prospective employer sees the value you can bring to the position. II Do NOT include a title page or a photo as it takes up unnecessary space. II Including your full address is very important, particularly in large cities where it may take some time to travel to and from work. II Make sure you state the details of any relevant work visa. PERSONAL SUMMARY If you are going to include a personal statement or your objectives, avoid using too many generic adjectives: everyone perceives themselves to be self-motivated, proactive and a team player, so include some skills and characteristics that are more unique to you personally. If you do include this section it can be on the front page or at the end, it is your choice. How to write a CV EDUCATION Include details of your education; state the level and the year of any degrees you have obtained. Also include your A-level subjects and results or equivalent. Do not include university transcripts. You should also list professional education after school/university details. Ensure you highlight relevant educational qualifications, particularly when they’ve been listed as essential or desirable on the selection criteria. EMPLOYMENT HISTORY If you have room you can talk about your most recent role on the front page, but only if it all fits in. Otherwise start your employment history on the second page. You’ll need to tailor your CV to each particular job that you apply for, so it’s vital that the job titles and the responsibilities you include in your CV are relevant for the role on offer. Consider the following when writing this section: II As a guide, cover the last five years of your career; prior to this only provide details of any positions that are relevant to the type of work you are applying for. II Lay your work history out in chronological order, starting with your most recent position. II Cover any gaps in employment by giving reasons for times of unemployment, such as travel or study for example. II Include the name of the company you worked for, the position you held, the dates you were employed from and to (month and year, NOT just the years), and brief details of your responsibilities.
  4. 4. 4 II Use a variety of font sizes and underline, bold or italic words to make important information stand out. II Avoid giving too much detail of your positions; long- winded explanations of previous day-to-day tasks may lose the readers’ interest. II Detail any results and key achievements which are relevant to the role you’re applying for. Make sure you state your targets as amounts or percentages, and demonstrate how you’ve overachieved. II Add in your skills. This will complement your experience and should ultimately illustrate your suitability for the job on offer. REFEREES Here you can either list details of your referees or simply put ‘details available on request.’ If you are going to include name and contact details of your referees, ensure that you include address, phone and email address. PERSONAL INTERESTS Under personal interests include anything relevant to the application or culture of the company. For example, charity or volunteer work and sporting achievements may be relevant to some companies. Keep this section brief. Finally, ensure that you update your CV regularly. CV CHECKLIST Do: II Keep it brief, no more than two pages II List your career history in chronological order II Cover all gaps in employment II List educational institutions and qualifications in chronological order II State the month and year that you started and finished each role II Start sentences with verbs, stick to the same style of writing II Include achievements and responsibilities II Detail your computer skills, language skills and any relevant training II Check for typos and ask a someone to check over your CV II Clearly label the file name of your CV to include your name i.e. Smith,Chris-CV in the saved title. Don’t: II Exceed five pages II Include graphics or gimmicks II List personal detail such as age, religion and sex etc II Format your CV in such a way that the recipient won’t be able to open it easily, they will not want to download software to view a CV.
  5. 5. 5 This is a general guide for presenting your CV: First name Last name Address Phone number Email address Brief personal statement: a summary of your experience to date and what you can offer the employer. Try to make this concise and tailor to your specific skill set. Career history Starting with your most recent employer, list your previous roles in chronological order: Job title, company name Date from and to: •• Key responsibilities •• Key responsibilities •• Key responsibilities Skills and achievements A few short bullet points describing relevant key achievements and skills from your career to date. •• Achievement •• Core skill •• Achievement •• Core skill Education and training Starting with your most recent qualification, list your education in chronological order: Date from and to, institution •• Subject, grade achieved •• Other relevant awards / achievements Interests and activities Give prospective employers an overview of your personality by writing a short description of your interests outside of work. References Details available on request. CV template
  6. 6. 6 A good covering letter, more likely to be an email nowadays, will make your CV stand out from others. The following points will help ensure your CV is opened: Writing a covering letter 7. Make sure it’s clear, brief and has no typos or grammatical errors. 8. Finish by expressing interest in discussing your application further. 1. Address the email to the contact mentioned in the job advert and quote the reference number. 2. Briefly describe your current job situation and your reasons for looking to move on. 3. Show you’ve done your research on the company and why you are interested in them as an employer. 4. Explain why they should be interested in you as an employee. 5. Tailor your information to reflect the job requirements. 6. Outline your transferable skills and achievements.
  7. 7. 7 This is a general covering letter template: Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss {Last name}, In response to your recent advertisement for ‘Job Title - UK123456’ on uk.hudson.com, please find attached my curriculum vitae for your consideration. I have the following experience which is relevant to the requirements of the role: •• Successful {area of expertise} specialist with {number} years’ experience •• Thorough understanding of {your market} •• Experience of working in {sector(s)}. In my current role, I have achieved the following: •• Established relationships with {relevant functions/clients/suppliers} •• Increased productivity and revenue by 30% YOY {key achievement statistics} •• Managed multiple projects alongside day to day activity; {achievements outside of your normal role}. I feel that my experience to date and achievements are well aligned to the requirements of this role, and I am confident that I will be a valuable asset to the company. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me, and I will look forward to hearing your thoughts. Kind regards, [Your name]• [Phone number]• [Email address] Covering letter template
  8. 8. 8 Preparation is the first essential step towards a successful interview. Interviewers are continually amazed at the number of applicants who drift into their offices without any apparent preparation and only the vaguest idea of what they are going to say. It is important to: II Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer’s full name, the correct pronunciation and their title. II Check the location before the day and explore alternative options of transport. II Dress conservatively and preferably in darker colours, paying attention to all facets of your dress and grooming. II Ensure complete understanding of the company you are going to see. It is essential to conduct thorough research. Look out for all relevant additional information including newsworthy items. Also, talk to friends or colleagues that work(ed) at the organisation, read through press releases highlighting recent successes. II Highlight on the job specification the skills required and essential responsibilities, know where your role will fit into the organisation. II Refresh your memory on the facts and figures of your present or former employer. You will be expected to know a lot about the company for which you currently or previously worked. II Read through and know your CV inside out, including highlights and/or challenges overcome in relation to each project. II Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview. The employer will try to determine through questioning if you have the qualifications necessary to do the job, and you must determine whether the company will give you the opportunity for the growth and development you seek. Interview preparation Probing questions you might ask include: II Is there a detailed description of the position? What is the structure of the team and why is the position available? II What is the culture of the company? II Why is the position available? II What is the anticipated induction and training programme? II How do you see this role developing over the next two years? II What is the staff retention rate like? II What are the company’s growth plans? You are being interviewed because the interviewer wants to hire somebody, not because they want to trip you up or embarrass you. Your CV has impressed the interviewer, and now you need to support this in your performance at the interview. Through the interaction that takes place during the interview, the interviewer will be searching out your strong and weak points, evaluating you on your qualifications, skills and intellectual qualities. They will probably probe deeply to determine your attitudes, aptitudes, stability and motivation.
  9. 9. 9 Interview checklist Do: II DO arrive on time, ideally 15 minutes early. Always leave plenty of time. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable. II DO read any marketing literature in reception, as there may be some useful information in it, and it shows genuine interest in the company. II DO shake hands confidently and firmly. II DO wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright in your chair. Look alert and interested at all times. II DO be a good listener as well as a good talker, and remember to smile. II DO look a prospective employer in the eye. II DO follow the interviewer’s lead but try to get them to describe the position and the duties to you early in the interview so that you can relate your background and skills to the position. II DO ensure that your strengths are transmitted to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner. Make them realise the need for you in their organisation. II DO be prepared to answer technical questions. Hopefully you will know the answers but if not DON’T guess. If you are unsure, then be honest and say, “that is beyond my experience but this is where I would go to find the answer” or “I haven’t encountered this situation before, however, what I would do is...” II DO include all the interviewers present, even if one of them is more of an observer. Their opinion on you will be sought after the interview. II DO conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the specific job you are discussing, even when applying for a number of roles. It is better to be in the position where you can choose from a number of options rather than only one. Don’t: II DON’T answer questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Offer an explanation whenever possible, giving succinct, practical examples. II DON’T lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and as directly as possible. II DON’T make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers, companies, colleagues, industry or culture. II DON’T enquire about salary, holidays, bonuses, at the initial interview unless you are positive the employer is interested in hiring you and raises the issue first. However, you should know your market value and be prepared to specify your required salary or range. Liaise with your Hudson consultant regarding your market value if you are unsure.
  10. 10. 10 The short time you spend in an interview could have a dramatic effect on your career prospects. Therefore, it is important that you perform well because no matter how good your career record is to date, the job interview remains key towards fulfilling your ambitions. These tips, combined with the guidance provided by our consultants, will equip you with valuable information on how to conduct yourself during interviews. typical Interview Questions Tell me about yourself? Delivering a mixture of professional and personal experiences are important. Talk about your background, interests, degree, where you lived, why you liked it and why you chose the career path you have. Answer no longer than five minutes on this question and no less than three minutes. How would your friends describe you? Answer this question with confidence and conviction – either give your answer followed by a brief example or bullet point your three and then follow up with examples. Examples – sociable, loyal, committed, honest, fun, determined etc. Remember the question is how would your ‘friends’ describe you so think about more ‘non-work’ related words. What are your top three strengths? The most important question. You MUST perfect this answer. Most people have five key strengths – select your top three. Remember it should reflect your career path, so if for example you are a project manager then organisational skills, General Interview Questions collaboration, time management, stakeholder management, ability to motivate others and general communication skills are important. Choose three, stick with it and practice delivering examples. What is important to you in your career over the next two years? Know what you want from your career. For some people developing IT skills or achieving a specific qualification is important over the next two years. For others it is greater responsibility or overcoming particular challenges. Talk about growth and development and how you want this to be achieved. Try not to talk about where you want to be in two years but rather what you would like to see happen in your career over the next two year period. Give me one weakness you have? This could be either a personal or professional weakness which could also be a strength. Explain how you are combatting this weakness, for example - i’ve had some challenges in the past with work-life balance but i’ve taken the time to learn better time and project management processes. What motivates you? Think about why you work and why you selected your chosen career path, and match it against the reasons for wanting to be good at it. Some examples of drivers are recognition, challenges, success and making a difference.
  11. 11. 11 Where do you see yourself in five years time? You need to know where you are going. This demonstrates focus and direction. Where will you be? Size of company, location, job title, responsibilities, management position and in which industry. Be clear on this before you go to interview. If I were to call your boss, how would they describe you? Compared to the friends question answered previously, think of more professional adjectives such as committed, hard working, sociable, tenacious, team player, goes beyond the scope of duty, reliable, regularly exceeds expectations. Be prepared to answer questions such as: II Why did you choose this particular role? II What do you really want to do in your next career move? II Why would you like to work for this company specifically? II What style of management brings out the best in you? II What interests you about our products or services? II What have you learned from some of the jobs you have held? Which did you enjoy most and why? II Give an example of a difficult situation you experienced at work and how you overcame it. II Give an example of where you went out of your way to help a colleague. II What does ‘teamwork’ mean to you? II Are you willing to relocate? II How do you spend your spare time? What are your hobbies? II What type of books do you read? What was the last one? II Who else are you applying to/interviewing with? Telephone Interviews II At the very minimum you should brush up on the company’s business structure, clients, products, industry terminology, or anything else that may relate to the position you are applying for. Spending an hour or two researching these things before you do an interview can make a great impression and possibly land you a second interview or even a job. II Keep a glass of water handy. II Smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice. II Speak slowly and enunciate clearly. II Keep your CV in clear view, near the phone, so it’s at your fingertips when you need to answer questions. II Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review. II Have a pen and paper handy for note taking. II Turn call-waiting off so your call isn’t interrupted. II Make sure your phone is charged and you are in an area with reception. Be prepared for different interview styles. II Competency-based II Panel II Technical II Formal/informal
  12. 12. 12 Example 1 - PLANNING and ORGANISING The interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate the following traits and behaviours when answering questions on this competency: II is personally well organised and keeps focused on priorities in own and others’ work II develops and monitors clear and realistic action plans to accomplish given objectives using given resources. Questions you may be asked: Describe a time when you had to organise the implementation of a plan. II What were the key stages you worked through? II How did you ensure the plan was followed? II How did this work in practice? Tell me about a time when you were unable to deliver what you promised to deliver. II Why did this happen? II To what extent were you responsible? II What did you do to try and overcome the problem? Tell me about a situation when a number of projects needed your attention. II What were the projects? II How did you manage your limited resources? II To what extent did the different projects succeed? Give me an example of when you had to work towards an important deadline. II What measures did you take to ensure you met the deadline? II What did you find most challenging in respect to planning and organising? II Why were these elements challenging? COMPETENCY-BASED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Competency-based interviews involve a specific style of questioning. Although not commonly referred to in such a literal way, it is a modern style of interview that you should be aware of and prepared for. This style of interviewing is used so that you can best show how you would demonstrate certain behaviours and skills in the workplace, by answering questions about how you have reacted to and dealt with previous workplace and personal situations. By using past experience, a potential employer can predict future behaviour. You will be asked to give an example of a situation or task that led you to take a certain course of action. Probing questions will then be used to determine the course of action you took, what changes were facilitated by those actions and the effects of those actions on others. To prepare yourself for competency-based questions, use the STAR method of structuring your answer. Situation - describe the situation or problem you have encountered. Task - describe the task that the situation required or your ideas for resolving the problem. Action - describe the action you took and obstacles that you had to overcome. Result - highlight outcomes achieved, results should be your focus.
  13. 13. 13 Example 2 - JUDGEMENT and DECISION-MAKING The interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate the following traits and behaviours when answering questions on this competency: II selects and uses relevant information to make sound and balanced judgements II evaluates the risks of alternative options and makes confident decisions in the face of uncertainty or incomplete knowledge. Questions you may be asked: Tell me about a time you took responsibility for making a key decision. II What was the decision you made? II How did you justify your decision? Sometimes we have to make decisions that are challenged by others. Describe a situation when you made a decision that was challenged. II What was your decision? II How did the people who were affected react? II How did you respond to people who challenged your decision? Describe a time when you referred an urgent decision upwards? II What was the background? II Why did you need help? Tell me about a decision you made that involved an element of risk. II Why did you need to make the decision? II What were the consequences? Example 3 - DRIVE and COMMITMENT The interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate the following traits and behaviours when answering questions on this competency: II has the determination, effort and enthusiasm to deliver results II is energetic, takes the initiative, originates action and keeps things moving. Questions you may be asked: Give me an example of when you set yourself a challenging target. II Why did you set yourself the target? II What made it so challenging? II What was the outcome? Give me an example of when you took the initiative and made something happen. II How did you progress the idea? II How did you gain support for the initiative? II What was the impact of your initiative? Tell me about a time when a project you were working on did not go as planned. II What didn’t go well? II How did you feel? II How did you react? Give me an example of when you did more than was asked of you. II What was the situation? II What did you do? II What was the result?
  14. 14. 14 Negative factors to watch for During the course of an interview the employer will be evaluating both your positive and your negative traits. Listed below are negative factors frequently evaluated during the course of an interview and those that most often lead to rejection: II poor personal appearance II overbearing or aggressive, conceited superiority complex, or know-it-all personality II inability to express thoughts clearly and poor diction or grammar II lack of career planning with no purpose or goals II lack of interest and enthusiasm, passive and indifferent demeanour II lack of confidence or signs of nervousness II over-emphasis on benefits or salary II acting evasively when challenged about aspects of your CV or application II lack of tact and courtesy II over-critical comments of previous employers II failure to maintain eye contact II poor posture II lack of preparation for interview or failure to obtain information about the company II overbearing perfume, aftershave or smell of smoke II lack of intelligent and intuitive questions.
  15. 15. 15 II If you are interested in the position, make your feelings clear. You could do this by voicing your desire to meet the team. II Don’t be too discouraged if a definite offer is not made, or specific salary discussed. It is usual for the interviewer to want to communicate with their office first or interview more applicants before making a decision. II If you get the impression that the interview is not going well and that you have already been rejected, don’t let your discouragement show. Once in a while an Closing the interview interviewer who is genuinely interested in your skills and experience may seem to discourage you in order to test your reaction. II Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. You have done all you can if you have answered the questions uppermost in the interviewer’s mind, which are: - Why are you interested in the job and the company? - What can you offer and can you do the job?
  16. 16. 16 Lastly and most importantly, call the consultant who referred you to the position after the interview and explain what happened. They will want to run through your initial feedback before the interviewer calls them back. It is helpful to follow up in an email, as the consultant will be able to forward this to the appropriate contact at the organisation. If you are interested in progressing further it will help if your feelings towards the position are known, together with your perception of what the interviewer’s reaction is likely to be. Following the interview
  17. 17. 17 Contact us Birmingham Victoria Square House Victoria Square Birmingham B2 4AJ Tel:  +44 121 633 0010 dublin 10 Lower Mount Street Dublin 2 Tel:  +353 1 676 5000 edinburgh Caledonian Exchange 19a Canning Street Edinburgh EH3 8EG Tel:  +44 131 555 4321 uk.hudson.com hudson.ie glasgow 130 St Vincent Street Glasgow G2 5HF Tel:  +44 141 221 8182 London Chancery House 53 - 64 Chancery Lane London WC2A 1QS Tel:  +44 20 7187 6000 manchester The Chancery 58 Spring Gardens Manchester M2 1EW Tel:  +44 161 832 7728 Milton Keynes 500 Avebury Boulevard Milton Keynes MK9 2BE Tel:  +44 1908 547 995 reading Greyfriars Gate 5 - 7 Greyfriars Road Reading, Berkshire RG1 1NU Tel:  +44 118 939 1003 Aberdeen 4 - 5 Golden Square Aberdeen AB10 1RD Tel:  +44 1224 620 262

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