Whether you’re applying for your first job, you’ve been out of work or it’s just time for a change or progression, job seeking can be daunting. If you haven’t applied for a job before, or it’s been a while since you’ve been in this position, things could be completely new to you or different to any previous experience.
At The Outsourced Recruitment Company, we support several clients across a range of industries with their recruitment. In order to support you to confidently apply for a role with one of them, we’ve created a job seeker toolkit, designed to provide information and support you through the process.
Our job seeker toolkit covers three important stages of the application and interview process.
- Support with writing and updating your CV
- Guidance on phone screening
- The interview process
Updating your CV
How should I structure my CV?
We’ve received thousands of applications, which means we’re basically experts in what makes a CV and how to support job seekers. Here’s our suggested structure:
Personal information – include your name, telephone number and email address.
Profile – background and context about your application and your motivations.
Experience – List your experience in chronological order, starting with the most recent. This is a great place to include your work history, as well as relevant volunteering experiences that demonstrate key skills. Be sure to include details of your career breaks and dates.
Skills – We recommend including a brief section to highlight transferable skills you’ve acquired during your career as well as during any career breaks.
Education – List your education/qualifications history in chronological order, starting with the most recent, ensure your include dates.
Should I review my skills and experience?
Be sure to read the job advert thoroughly. Think about how your skills and experiences match what we’re looking for, particularly noting the ‘essentials’ and ‘desirables’ sections.
Match your previous experience against what we are looking for – remember you don’t need to tick every box!
Consider relevant and transferable skills that you may have acquired in your personal life as well as during your professional career.
Gather the information you need in relation to your qualifications, past jobs, volunteering experience (if applicable), previous employers and training courses you have completed.
CV writing top tips for job seekers
Keep it simple and concise – a good CV should be no longer than 2-3 pages of A4 with clear headings. Ensure it is easy to pick out key important information and achievements.
Quantify your successes with figures where possible. For example, if you’re in sales you might include how your work has impacted overall revenue: ‘Exceeded sales targets, resulting in 60% revenue increase’.
When highlighting your experience, list key achievements rather than a full description of duties.
Use proactive language such as ‘developed’, ’organised’, or ‘achieved’.
Focus on what you have achieved specifically, rather than what your team did.
Proofread your CV! Check punctuation, spelling and grammar. Consider asking a friend or family member to read it before you submit it and always use spell check.
What not to include in your CV
We’ve already given you what you need to include, but we also need to highlight what you shouldn’t.
We always advocate for our candidates, but we can’t speak for everyone else out there. Please only include personal information that is relevant (as we listed above).
If you include a photograph or details around your gender, race, sexuality or age, you could be subjected to unconscious bias or discrimination. Despite the fact this wrong and unacceptable, unfortunately we have heard that this does happen.
Only include qualifications that you have achieved. If you are working towards a qualification then you can include this, but you must make it clear.
Remember, your relevant skills and experience are also considered.
Phone screening – what to expect
Once you have submitted your CV, you may be invited to a phone screen.
This will be with a member of our recruitment team and will be a chance for us to discuss your CV in more detail, allowing you to bring to life any key experience or skills. This takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Don’t worry if you finish in less time, some phone screens can cover more areas than others.
We will have a few questions for you that will help screen your application further. Telephone screenings allow the hiring manager to make an informed decision on whether you will progress to the next stage.
During this time, you will have the opportunity to ask any initial questions about the role and company.
You won’t need to prepare anything in advance, but it’s always a good idea revisit the job advert and do some basic research on the company, as this will help set you up for success.
The interview process
What does the interview process look like?
Should you be invited to an interview, a member of our recruitment team will confirm the details with you. This will include whether this will be face-to-face or virtual, usually using Microsoft Teams or Zoom. You will be advised if there are any documents you need to take with you.
Don’t worry, pre- interview nerves are normal when job seeking!
Why not try doing a mock interview with family or friends? This can help you prepare so that you feel more comfortable on the day and help identify areas where you may need a little more preparation.
If you require any reasonable adjustments during the process, please let a recruiter know.
Before the interview, take time to review your evidence and CV and remind yourself why you’re a great fit for the role.
Please use this opportunity to prepare and highlight why you are the perfect person for the role. Remember to talk confidently.
Most importantly, relax and be yourself. We look forward to speaking with you.
How will I be kept updated throughout the recruitment process?
The team at The Outsourced recruitment Company put candidate experience at the top of their list. Keeping you in the loop is just one way for us to make sure you have the best possible experience through the process.
We appreciate the time that it takes to apply for a new role and that job seeking can be a dauting process for many, so we do our best to let you know what’s happening every step of the way.
The applicant tracking system (ATS) we use ensures that you are updated each time you are moved through the recruitment process, this is via email or text message.
Our friendly recruiters will call you if anything needs to be arranged, or you we need to let you know something.
Even if your application is unsuccessful, we will provide feedback and are on hand to answer any questions you may have.