Education and training will help you require the ‘hard’ or ‘specific’ skills for your CV and career, but what is a soft skill and why are they so important? A soft skill relates to a more generic personal trait, and without them you would be unable to put your hard skills into good use. Take communication for instance – this is without doubt the most common and important soft skill to master for any business. Continue reading “The top 5 soft skills for your CV”
Most hopeful candidates show up to a job interview with smart clothes, a firm handshake and a smile. Whilst this will make a good impression it will fail to compete with other candidates who have thought outside the box.
If you want to make an even better impression in a job interview you must bring these 2 things.
Pen and notepad
“The notebook-pen combo is both a signalling item and an instrumental tool. This is where you can keep any questions you’ve developed, important facts and figures, or information you are given while at your interview.” – The Interview Guys
If you want the interviewer to take you seriously you should bring some pen and paper. It will demonstrate how serious you are about the role and allow you to take notes. This doesn’t mean to say you should be staring at your lap the entire time, but take a few notes now and again on anything really important – hours, wages, specific duties, and so on.
You should also prepare some questions in advance to ask the manager. Here are some great questions to ask in an interview to give you an idea:
- What would be the biggest challenge I would face if hired?
- Can you tell me more about the company’s working culture?
- What would make a successful candidate?
- Where is the company heading over the next 5 years?
- What do you like best about working for the company?
Here are some more ideas for questions you could ask:
You may of course have more specific questions to ask, so jot them down and you won’t forget. In addition to looking professional and interested in the role, asking questions that you’ve brought in will make an even better impression.
“You will develop smart and useful questions to ask the interviewer(s) by researching the company you’re going to interview with. Read their website and the LinkedIn profiles of their leaders — especially the leader who will be your boss if you take the job. Google search the company name to learn about what’s happening in their industry.” – Liz Ryan, Forbes
Copies of your CV
Print out 3-4 copies of your CV to take to the interview. You can use a copy to read on the journey there (if you’re not driving of course), and make sure you know every word, every skill, and every flaw in your credentials.
Even though you wrote your CV it still needs revising a few minutes before you enter – it’s easy to forget the small details. It will help you to prepare for questions about your career and you can also pick up on any weaknesses. Preparing answers in advance will help the interview to flow better. For example, if you don’t have much relevant work experience it’s likely the interviewer will question you about that. Lacking in a few skills? Again, you are likely to be grilled on how you are going to be efficient without those skills.
Make sure your CV looks highly professional – if it’s stayed the same for years, think about downloading a new fresh CV template and reformatting it before the big day. There are lots of free Word CV templates here.
Additional copies of your CV can also be handed out to whoever is taking part in the interview. There are a few different interview formats but the two most common are panel and one to one. A panel interview is typically 3 people, whilst the one to one interview format will always be your ‘soon to be’ manager. They may forget to bring a copy of your CV into the room which is where you can step in and save the day.
Having both a pen and notepad along with extra copies of your CV will look very prepared and very professional. It shows you are taking this whole process seriously and clearly want the job. You may be the only person throughout all the interviews that takes notes, asks questions and hands out a CV. Assuming you answer the questions well and have the relevant attributes; you have a great chance of being hired!
The success of your career hinges on a successful interview. With so many job seekers underestimating the importance of this stage, it’s not hard to see why so many still fail to impress.
Preparation is the key to success with anything, and a job interview is no exception to this rule. You cannot simply turn up to a job interview without any prior planning or research and hope to give it your best. Although you may have many years of work experience and have attended countless interviews, there really still is no substitution for planning and preparation. Continue reading “10 things to avoid in a job interview”
Writing a CV is easy, but writing a great CV is not. If your approach to CV writing is to simply list all of your achievements and skills, you are not going to stand out from the competition. You are firmly sitting in the ‘easy CV writing’ category! Continue reading “7 tips to help you write a great CV”
Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the most potent forms of marketing available and making this connection work for you at events like the Curry Club can make it even more valuable. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and colleagues are still the most influential for gaining business. Continue reading “28 ways to ask for referrals”
Here at Networking In The City we stage networking events for a range of business sectors across the UK. We find that our clients keep coming back to our events because they quickly appreciate the new contacts and ideas that they pick up whilst attending. But how do they make sure that they get the most out of the event? Here are our top 5 networking tips to help you make the most of business networking. Continue reading “5 Top Tips for Networking”
This is a guest blog for Networking In The City by “the UK’s leading etiquette and royal protocol expert” William Hanson.
We judge people within seven seconds of meeting them. That’s a fact: it’s been proved by psychologists. We look at how people are walking, standing, how they greet us, but – perhaps firstly – what they are wearing. We are more likely to gravitate towards those who are dressed in similar clothes to us. The slick suited accountant is less likely to want to talk to the un-ironed t-shirt wearing media hotshot. Continue reading “How To Dress To Impress At Networking Events”
You could be making a huge mistake if you think your skills, qualifications and extensive work experience is going to carry you easily to an interview. There is also one more aspect which will dramatically boost your chances – and it’s a LinkedIn profile. Continue reading “Your LinkedIn profile will boost your chances of an interview by 71%”
Reviewing the spelling and layout of your CV is not the only thing you should check before applying for a job. Social media accounts and your general online profile are often checked by employers on receipt of a CV, and should also be inspected before you apply. Continue reading “A guide on how to check your social media before applying for a job”
One of the most common problems an employer will encounter on a regular basis is a mistake on a CV. The candidate could have a great set of skills and qualifications, but the mistake will overshadow anything they have to offer. Continue reading “Don’t make these 3 shocking CV mistakes”