Since being back at university for my third year I’ve had hours of lectures for ‘How to prepare for interviews” and what makes a great CV.
My lecturers and the helpful hands at the Careers Network ripped my CV apart and helped me put it together again more times than I can count.
However I firmly believe that I wouldn’t have got any of the opportunities I’ve had without the help and support of lecturers and those at the Careers Network.
I thought I’d put 5 tips together for coping with interviews, applications and CV’s without losing the plot!
1. Before you go to any interview for any job the first thing you need to do is do your research. If they ask you a question about their company, or what their branding is you need to know what it is, or your out.
2. Make sure you remember what’s on your CV and that you can back it up. If an interviewer asks you about your work experience at X and you can’t answer, it wont fill them with confidence.
3. Keep your CV clear, concise and simple. Don’t bother bogging it down with the weeks work experience you had when you were 16 – unless its relevant scrap it off.
Likewise with your qualifications, you don’t need to list every GCSE you got, just sum it up simply as – 11 GCSE’s including Maths, English and Sciences.
Check and triple check to make sure there are no glaring mistakes on it – one error can be the decision between interview and bin.
4. If possible take examples of your work with you, a portfolio. Art, design, writing, blogging and examples that show off your skills and abilities will be of great help to you. Even if it doesn’t specify to bring anything with you, it cant help to be prepared.
5. Be confident, but not over confident. Show your confidence in yourself by knowing your audience, and what your own weaknesses are.
Waving your arms about when you talk, or talking over the interviewer are all things that could play against you. Don’t over compensate to mask your nerves, that can also be un-helpful in the long run.
My last piece of advice is don’t wait too long to start applying for jobs, grab any opportunity you can with both hands!
Hopefully this will be helpful to any of you who have to start thinking about life after university, or even to those who are just applying for part time jobs.