Use your STAR quality to shine at Interviews

Use your STAR quality to shine at Interviews

When you sit at an interview, you have a very vague idea of the type of questions that will be asked, but the problem begins when you are asked a competency question. Master the STAR technique and you will really shine!

Competency questions make up a significant part of most interviews and they enable employers to assess the level of experience you actually have. They can be asked in many different ways and normally relate to the job in some way, shape or form. Thankfully, there is a tried and tested technique you can use to overcome these situations:

The STAR Technique

best-interview-technique-star

This step-by-step technique will allow you to answer each question in a manner that really showcases your skills and what you did. Often the types of questions that will require this technique are:

  • “Tell me about a time when…..”
  • “Describe a situation where……”
  • “Have you ever experienced a time when…..”

Listen carefully to the question being asked as it will inform your answer.

Remember:
When in an interview, you should always keep the answers personable. When explaining the task, if team orientated, you can mention that you were part of the team but focus exactly on what YOU contributed to achieve the end result. You have to SHOW your ability to carry out the tasks highlighted in the job description.

Be Prepared!

You should always prepare before an interview and, in particular, for competency based questions. Have a look through your experiences and compare with the job description. If they are looking for Project Management skills then be sure to choose an example that illustrates your time management, prioritising, delegation and communication skills (as these are also implied)

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Impress Employers with this 6 Step Guide to Interviews…..

Impress Employers with this 6 Step Guide to Interviews…..

After submitting your application, you get asked to an interview. You are thrilled but then you become nervous – especially if you are out of practice. We have put together 6 of the best interview tips that will help you prepare for your upcoming interview.

1. Dress Accordingly

You should always dress according to the job that you are applying to. That doesn’t mean that you should turn up in shorts and sunglasses, but rather you should always ‘dress to impress’. Normally the dress code is stated.

2. Bring Notes

If you have any additional information that you want to show the interview panel, bring that with you. If you have made edits to your CV, be sure to give the updated version to the panel. Only show documents like transcripts and certifications if you are asked. There is no point overloading the panel with information when they want to speak with you.

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CV Writing Workshop – Learn to Optimise your CV

CV Writing Workshop – Learn to Optimise your CV

Take this opportunity to learn how to write the perfect CV. In an hour long cv writing workshop you will understand:

  1. How to write an impressive Personal Profile & Skills section
  2. The importance of Action Verbs
  3. The general Structure and Layout of a CV

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/cv-writing-workshops-tickets-42357572640

Please note: You can register your interest via eventbrite and don’t have to pay anything. Only when a certain number has been reached, or if you would prefer a one-to-one session, will payment be requested.
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Cost: €20 (incl. material & free CV review). Bring a friend and pay €30 for both.
TBC: The date of the workshops

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/cv-writing-workshops-tickets-42357572640

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FAQ:

What if the minimum number isn’t reached?
We will contact you directly to see whether you would like to have a one-to-one workshop.

When can I expect an email to confirm attendance?
After 2 weeks on receipt of interest or once minimum number has been reached.

What is the minimum number?
Up to 10 people per workshop. This may vary depending on the demand.

Do I need to bring anything to the workshop?
If you wish to avail of the free CV review included in the price, please make sure to send a copy of your CV before the date of the workshop. You can also bring your CV on the day of the workshop as a reference to the material delivered.

How long are the workshops?
Ideally 1 hour in length. However, this may vary depending on the size of the workshop and whether people wish to avail of CV reviews afterwards.

The Ultimate 3 Step Formula for Perfect Cover Letters

The Ultimate 3 Step Formula for Perfect Cover Letters

So you’ve written your cover letter and are ready to send your application. But WAIT! You should always review its contents before sending to employers.

3 Things to Remember when Writing your Cover Letter:

  1. Is it short, concise and to the point? Does it accurately summarise your CV and relate to the job?
  2. Is the information relevant to the position? Have you 3 achievements that really make you stand out?
  3. Does the cover letter SHOW the employer the skills you will BRING to the company if successful?

If you answered ‘No’ to any of these points, then maybe you should check out our Cover Letter writing service.

It’s Simple

Get yours for €15 or as part of a package….

Missed our other blogs about Cover Letters. Check them out here:

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Structure your Cover Letter in 3 Easy Steps

Structure your Cover Letter in 3 Easy Steps

In our last blog post, Stand Out From the Crowd, we discussed what employers want to read in a cover letter. In 3 easy steps, we will show you how to write an impressive cover letter!

First, The Introduction

A cover letter is the first impression and employer reads of you, so when introducing the letter, make sure to position yourself. State what job you are applying for, mention the company and briefly explain what you can bring.

how-to-write-an-impressive-cover-letter

Second, The Strengths

This is the MOST important part of the cover letter. It is the section employers are drawn to. Use this as an opportunity to showcase your potential. Take some measurable achievements from your CV, preferably any that have percentages or numbers, and include them in your cover letter. They don’t have to be chronological, but the content MUST be different to the CV. Ideally you should include 3 and place them in bullet points.

Third, The Conclusion

This is the final chance to impress employers. Include some additional skills that will benefit your application. You can include the fact that you are capable of working on your own initiative or in a team environment, or the fact that you are a highly productive and adaptable individual. Keep it short and concise. hot-to-write-an-impressive-cover-letter

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Stand Out From the Crowd….

Stand Out From the Crowd….

If you really want to stand out from the crowd, then you need to create the best Cover Letter and really impress employers. Too often, this piece of paper is a job seeker’s Achilles’ Heel.

Many people ask ‘Do I need a cover letter?’ and the reply they receive is always a resounding YES! Your cover letter is the first impression of your abilities, qualifications and what you can BRING to the company.

So, what are they looking for?

  1. Who you are and what job you want
    This might appear obvious, but state what job you are applying for, where you heard it and give the company a mention. If you were referred by someone, include their name as it will catch the eye of your future employer.
  2. State relevant skills, achievements or strengths
    You should outline the key factors of your CV that really emphasise your abilities and promote the interest of the company. Bring in the job description and align your own skills with what they are looking for. If possible, use quantifiable results i.e. saved €100,000 per annum and DON’T copy and paste from the CV.
  3. Insert additional skills
    These might be skills that are not requested by the job description but can contribute greatly to the success of the company or transfer into the role.
  4. Be positive
    Try and refrain from including negative aspects of employment or gaps in your cover letter. Focus on the positives and incorporate some personable factors.
  5. Keep it consistent
    Preferably, your cover letter should be one page in length and kept separate from your CV. Make sure to use the same font style and size as your CV.

Remember that you should always sign off your cover letter with:

“Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I look forward to hearing from you and I am available for interview at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,”

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Why Hire A Professional CV Writer?

Why Hire A Professional CV Writer?

Did you know that a CV is more than a piece of paper? It is a marketing tool designed to promote your skills, experience and achievements; making YOU the best candidate for the job.

Benefits Of A Professional CV Writer

Due to the experience and ability of many CV writers, there is a sense of objectivity that they can bring when developing your new CV. They have the ability to:

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Why Having a Strong CV will Boost your Chances of Graduate Employment

Why Having a Strong CV will Boost your Chances of Graduate Employment

2017 has seen a substantial increase in the number of graduates across Full-Time, Part-Time and remote courses around Ireland. In fact, the total number for 2016 / 2017 academic year is a whopping 69, 633! So, what does that mean for you and graduate employment?

For the third year in a row, graduates who are fresh out of third level institutions have better prospects for getting a job than ever before. With the exception that some industries are demanding more than others, there are still plenty of vacancies available in all industries. In Ireland, the youth unemployment rate has dropped from 19.5% in December 2015 to 14.5% in February 2017.

With jobs readily available there is still the need for attending third level college – the higher the degree, the better employability will be. But, with 35% of degree holders going to study at postgraduate level, the chances of getting an interview for an advertised job with a bachelor’s degree, diminishes each year.

Graduate Employment is Highly Competitive – You Need a Strong CV

Even if you hold a level 8 degree, don’t despair. Often, graduates have an advantage over more experienced professionals, simply because they understand the latest technologies. With the technological evolution, the IT and digital marketing skills graduates possess are highly sought after, particularly for companies searching to grow their online presence.

However, like everything, the graduate jobs market has become very competitive. Many companies have launched their own graduate programmes in search of the top-talent. There may be jobs available, but you need to show that you are the best.

With this in mind, graduates NEED to be able to sell themselves well and have a strong CV and cover letter that really strengthens their capabilities, highlights their skills and focuses on their achievements. There is nothing worse than having a nicely written CV only to be cast aside for another graduate who has taken the time, spent the money or requested the assistance to write a strong CV.

Elements of a Strong CV
  • Action Verbs
  • CV Formatting (italics, bolds, headings etc.)
  • Correct and Appealing CV Design
  • Keywords (Industry Focused)
  • Error Free
  • To the Point

Have You Got What It Takes?

It can be disheartening to apply to multiple graduate employment programmes and jobs only to be turned down time and time again. Sometimes it is luck of the draw. Sometimes it is your CV. But, most of the time you have simply been out-manoeuvred by candidates who realised they need help.

We are currently running FREE CV Review workshops locally in Sligo Town, every Wednesday from 12 – 3pm until 30th August. You can book your place here. If you are outside of Sligo, still book an available time slot and send your CV to cvreview@cvtipsandtricks.com.

Also, we are offering a Back to School promotion where our CV Services are greatly reduced and, if you order before the 18th August, you will receive an additional 10% discount. Find out more here.

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Source: Irish Times, HEA

15 Tips to Create the Perfect CV

15 Tips to Create the Perfect CV

You found the ideal job and are preparing a CV to send to the employer. But, you realise that it isn’t as attractive as you thought it could be. If you fail to market yourself, you won’t be successful in grabbing that interview. Although a tedious task, you should always set aside some time to really plan out your CV, making it look professional and eye-catching to employers. That 2 hours spent on your CV could make our break your career.To get started, here are 15 Tips to help you create the PERFECT CV:

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CV Writing Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

CV Writing Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

Imagine when writing your CV that you are placing an advertisement online or in the newspaper. Each word costs you money, so you only use the words that add value. The same applies here. We have composed some CV writing tips Do’s and Don’ts to help you add value to your CV.

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