Help getting into work

Create a winning CV

When applying for jobs many employers will require a CV. CV stands for Curriculum Vitae which means "history of life". There is lots of advice available on how to write a CV, for example the National Careers Service

School and college leavers may have little or no employment experience to put on their CV, however you may have gained skills from hobbies, school, college, sport or voluntary experience that would really interest an employer.

Interview skills

Interviews can be a daunting prospect, but with the correct preparation, skills and techniques you can make them a breeze.

If you have to give a presentation try to use pictures rather than words because they’re easier for people to remember; try to stick to three main points because this is the amount of information that most people can remember.

Practise beforehand, either by filming yourself or in front of a mirror, to make sure it fits the time available and that you look and sound good. Try to anticipate questions and prepare your answers; some common ones are:

  • "Why have you applied for this job/course?"
  • "How do you think your skills and experience relate to this job/course?"
  • "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"

Have some questions of your own to ask, perhaps about opportunities for training or promotion, or further study. On the day, have something to eat even though you may be feeling nervous because it will give your stomach something to do.  Dress smartly - usually jeans are too casual but trousers are OK.

Take a deep breath, smile, make eye contact and say "Hello" when you walk in. Listen to the questions so you can give the right answer.  If you don’t understand anything, ask them to repeat it. Try not to give one-word answers.  If you’re asked about your hobbies or interests don’t just say “cycling”, try something more like - "my main hobby is cycling, especially on dedicated trails; it’s a challenge and it keeps me fit." At the end of your interview say "Thank you" and “Goodbye, I hope to hear from you soon.”

If you would like help, get in touch with us for confidential information, advice and support.