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Career Advice

Morgan Jones is here to give you the best advice available and help you achieve the success you desire. All our resources are completely free and offer proven methods on how to create the right impression when applying and interviewing for a new job.

At Morgan Jones our consultants are fully trained in providing professional advice to you and would be happy to have a chat if you require some further encouragement or help.

Writing a CV+

Writing a CV can be a difficult task, especially if you have not done so before. Here at Morgan Jones we like to help you with our range of clear, concise cv tips. Each one is carefully designed to ensure you make a great impression when writing a cv, thus giving yourself a real chance of success. So, why not write a CV today and send it to us?

Constructing a CV+

Your CV is one of the most important documents you will need throughout your career. If it is too long or lacks impact, it is unlikely to stand out amongst the competition. According to recent research, recruiters receive on average 200 applications per job and in reality your CV will generally have between 30-60 seconds to make an impact.

So, how do you ensure your CV is at the top of the pile?

A clear, well laid out CV certainly has advantages over a scruffy and lengthy document. The issues you will face are what to leave in and what to take out in order to create the impact that is required whilst still getting the breadth and depth of experience across to the reader. Not only that, your CV has to appeal to a wide and varied audiences ranging from a junior recruitment consultant to possibly a CEO.

Questions To Ask Yourself:

  1. Does my CV inspire the reader to contact me for more information and invite me to the interview, or is it boring to read?
  2. Will someone scanning this CV be able to easily extract the relevant information relating to the role I am applying for?
  3. Are the skills that I have to offer highlighted enough in the CV and are they easy to pinpoint?
  4. Have I included too much detail which could close doors rather than open them?
  5. Will recruitment consultants and HR personnel understand what I do and how I meet their job requirements?
  6. When I am at the interview, will my CV prompt the interviewer to ask me the right questions which will allow me to further 'sell' my relevant skills.
  7. Ultimately, will my CV generate interviews for jobs I know I can do and help me get through the interview stage, or will it end up in the bin?

CV Tips

  1. Ensure your contact details are on the first page at the top and at the bottom on any subsequent pages. The pages could become separated and this can be very frustrating. Don't forget to include a sensible e-mail address.
  2. Don't use unnecessary words. A long, drawn out sentence may make you look inefficient. Try being short, sharp and to the point. For example, instead of 'I was the sales manager and I recruited and managed a team of 12 sales staff across UK, France, Germany and Switzerland' you could put ' Hired and managed a team of 12 sales staff across several European locations'.
  3. Don't be afraid to have several versions of your CV. This is perfectly acceptable and the more focused your CV is for the role you want, the better chance you have of securing the interview.
  4. Many candidates are found through keyword searches on huge CV databases. Ensure your CV contains all of the relevant keywords.
  5. Try to avoid having date gaps in your CV.
  6. Don't lie. This could damage your credibility beyond repair.
  7. Include your highest level of education. Unless you are starting your career, you do not need to put down details of your secondary school.
  8. Do not include salary details, which are very sensitive information and should only be put in a targeted covering letter if requested.
  9. Don't forget recruiters and HR personnel are specialists in their fields, not specialists in yours. Ensure they will be able to easily build up a mental picture as to what you do and how relevant you are for the role they are recruiting for.
  10. Presentation and formatting is just as important as the content in your CV. This is where you have the opportunity to create impact with good use of fonts and white space. Don't 'clutter' up your CV with unnecessary graphics and too many words.
  11. Check thoroughly for spelling and grammatical errors.
  12. Last but not least - keep your CV on the short side. Two pages is ideal, however, three pages is just about acceptable for senior executives and highly technical staff.
Interview Advice+

Some people enjoy the challenge of interviews, but most of us can find them a daunting prospect, particularly if we really want the job. Here's some interview advice that will enable you to sell yourself and do your best.

Interviews: A 10 Point Plan of Action+

Plan carefully. Do you know where you are going and how to get there? Who are you seeing?

Make sure you know the names of the people who will be interviewing you. If they are difficult to pronounce, then practice saying them.

There's no such thing as enough preparation for an interview. Find out everything you can about the company and what it makes or does. Look for current news - show you are up to date.

Why does this job exist? What problems will it solve? What are the Key Result Areas?

Remember: employers buy experience. Think about what evidence of achievement you can talk about in the interview; rehearse your success stories.

Work out what is appropriate in terms of everything you present, including yourself. Look the part, and you will feel it. Dress as if you are already doing the job.

Second guess the employer's "shopping list" from the job details - what skills / qualities / experience do you have to match?

Be your own worst interview nightmare. What is the most difficult question you might have to face? Practice the answer. Practice again.

Be upbeat. Employers latch on to negative messages, so don't give them any.

Prepare for rejection. On balance you will be rejected more times than accepted. Even if you don't get the job, you can learn a huge amount about your perceived market value. Remember - there's a job out there for you somewhere - more people are working in the UK than ever before.

Preparing for the Interview of your Life!+

You rarely get a second chance to make a good impression on a prospective employer, so at your interview it is important that you get it right first time.

Below is some advice on how to prepare for that all important first meeting.

Preparation+

Prepare yourself, interviews are two way meetings. They are both an opportunity for the interviewer to find out about you and whether you are a suitable candidate - and for you to find out about the organisation and if the position will provide you with the challenge and job satisfaction you are looking for.

Think about your skills, qualifications and experience and ensure that you can talk confidently about what is written on your CV. Particularly ensure that you can talk about the skills relevant to the position you are going for.

Prepare some questions to ask at the interview. At the first interview it would be wise to restrict your questions to the details of the job and the organisation. Salary and benefit discussions are best left until a second interview or a job offer is made.

Do your homework+

Find out as much as possible about the company prior to the interview. A good starting point is to look up their website and find out about the products and services they offer, the location of the office/s, and the number of employees. Ask the consultancy if they have any extra information on them. You could also phone the company and ask them to send you an annual report.

Dress code and appearance+

Ask your consultancy what the client's dress code is. For office work, smart business dress is a must.

Ensure you are well groomed with tidy hair, clean shoes and clothing. Do not wear too much perfume or aftershave and keep make-up, jewellery and nail polish simple.

Travel and timing+

Plan your journey beforehand to ensure you arrive a few minutes early. Allow for possible travel delays. Just in case of a major hold up, make sure you have your contact's telephone number so that you can call if you suspect you will be late.

Answering Tough Interview Questions+

You can't prepare for every question that will come up at interview, but you can anticipate most of them. Here are some of the deadliest questions, and ways of handling them:

"Tell us about yourself". Prepare for the worst - a classic opener that can really throw you. Plan ahead by having a presentation statement to cover this.

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?" - If your answer doesn't ring true for you, it won't for anyone else. Talk about career plans, and what you want to learn and achieve in the future.

"Why do you want this job?" Have a clear answer to this (even if, privately, you're not sure - you only have to decide when the job offer is in your hand).

"What kind of person are you?" Handle questions about personality carefully. Rather than say "I'm an idea's person", talk about a time when you changed things with a good idea.

"Why did you leave...?" Employers will probe for reasons for job change. If you are currently out of work, they will probe this, too. Rehearse short, simple, positive "stories" to cover these points. This is not telling lies, just a simple, positive summary.

"How will you cope in a crisis?" Have a couple of good examples of past triumphs up your sleeve.

"How will you..." questions are beginning to create a future which includes you - so welcome them. Describe what you would do within the organisation as if you are there already. Create the right picture, and the employer won't be able to imagine a future without you...

"What would you do if...?" Some interviewers ask fantasy questions not related to reality, but watch out for questions that are like verbal in-tray exercises. You might be asked to "sell me this pencil sharpener/ paper clip/ biro" - prepare to think on your feet.

"What do you need to earn?" Wrong question! Focus on the value you can add to the employer, not your basic needs. Find out what the company is willing to pay, or work out what similar employers pay for good people. Always throw pay questions back to the other side of the net.

"What are your weaknesses?" Remember that the recruiter gives far more weight to negative information. Talk about weaknesses that are also strengths, e.g. being demanding of your team, being a perfectionist, pushing hard to get things done...

The Interview - What to expect+

Interviews come in many forms - panel interviews, one to one interviews, group interviews etc. Ask your consultancy what form of interview it will be beforehand. You may be asked to take a test before the interview, depending on the type of organisation. These might consist of psychometric or aptitude tests.

There are many different interview styles and each interviewer will have their own personal style. Some interviewers will fire questions at you while others will start off with an open question such as "tell me about yourself" leaving you to do most of the talking. The majority of interviews will be somewhere between the two. Be prepared for any style of interview.

Two-way communication

Make sure the employer knows the benefits of employing you. It is important to sell yourself by telling the employer details of your relevant skills and experience that you have to contribute to the organisation.

Try not to monopolise the meeting - let your interviewer talk.

Find out what the key parts of the candidate specification are so you can show how you meet them.

Ask how the job contributes to the success, efficiency and profitability of the organisation.

Show that you have done some research.

Don't give negative information or bad news if you are not asked for it and don't criticise previous employers or jobs. The key is to turn negative information into positive information.

The next steps+

Agree exactly what the next steps will be, such as who will contact you to let you know if you have been successful and by when. You should also find out whether there will be second interviews and who will conduct them. If you are really interested in the position make sure you tell the interviewer.

After the Interview+

Tell the consultancy how the interview went and get feedback from them.

Negotiation+

Everything is negotiable. If the final offer is not what you had hoped for, ask the consultancy to talk to the client. Say that you like the job but the package is not up to your expectations and ask if the company can be at all flexible.

Starting a new job+

Congratulations on starting a new job. This is a crucial moment for you to make the right impression to your employer, co-workers and the company as a whole. Morgan Jones is pleased to offer you specific advice for a new job. This will ensure you get off on the right foot.

  1. Get an early night! Make sure that you feel bright and full of energy, ready to take on board anything your new employer will no doubt throw in your direction.
  2. Dress smartly on the first day, shoes polished, shirt/blouse ironed, suit pressed, hair groomed. Wearing the right clothes on your first day when starting a new job will make you feel more confident and ready to meet your colleagues.
  3. Arrive early, this will undoubtedly make the right impression and show your employer how you mean to go on.
  4. Get to know your colleagues as quickly as possible, let them know you are friendly and approachable and willing to be a team player showing a conscientious attitude. An important piece of advice for a new job is ensure all your work priorities are managed effectively and make sure you know exactly what is expected of you early on. If in doubt, ask questions. Good luck!

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For additional information on the areas we cover and the range of services we provide please contact us or call us on 0808 168 1474.

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