Getting the job you want is about having the right skills but also knowing how to present them correctly.
Our recruitment consultants examine CVs and interview your peers on a daily basis and they are always happy to share that knowledge. Click on the topics below for a brief summary of key points, or call them on 0844 4993398 and ask about setting up an interview after which you will receive honest and helpful feedback on how you come across.
The first page should contain your name, home address and contact details at the top.
This should be followed by a brief summary of educational credentials and qualifications.
This should then be followed by a skills and experience summary. This should include a summary of your experience within youth/criminal justice and the transferable skills that you can bring to your next position. Be brief and factual and do not undersell yourself. Be aware that this summary is your space to sell yourself so make yourself sound as attractive as possible.
Your employment history should be in reverse chronological order. If you have only worked for one company, break it down with an entry for each position.
For each position held, briefly describe responsibilities and work undertaken I.e. PSR writer, Court officer etc.
List your hobbies and interests in no more than three lines. Any voluntary or charity work or external posts you hold are worth including. Always include any languages, courses or training you may have done, or any professional memberships.
No long paragraphs please; bullet points are easier on the eye and will ensure your CV does not end up in the bin! You need to include enough information to create interest, but not so much that you bore the reader.
Three pages maximum, but less in this context is more. Every word must contribute to the overall message - so keep it brief and ensure that the content is relevant to the job you are applying for.
Ensure that your CV is well structured and well laid out; this gives the impression that you think logically and makes it easier to review.
Spell check spell check spell check – also check your grammar.
Include factual information or evidence and remember to focus on the benefits of your achievements.
Use plain fonts with no fancy graphics – particularly windows ones.
When applying for a job, the interview is a key stage in the process. It is very important that you approach your interview seriously as it is your introduction to a potential employer. Remember that you really cannot under prepare for an interview.
Below are some tips to help you prepare for your interview in order to give your very best.
Look at the employers' website, JD etc, and learn a few important facts about the YOT/Probation Office before you attend your interview. Ensure that your Consultant has prepared you for the interview, with details about the job, who you are meeting and what they are looking for. Do not underestimate the importance of asking relevant and pertinent questions about your place of work – something about policy for example. It shows initiative.
Arriving early gives you time to make yourself familiar with the surroundings, refresh yourself, have a drink of water…
First impressions are very important. Make sure you look smart and professional. Look calm, give a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and smile. Sit upright in the interview and try not to pick your nose etc!
If you do not understand what is being asked, ask for it to be repeated. Write notes if this helps focus your mind. If you think of a better answer later, ask to come back to the relevant question
There is little point in having an impressive-looking CV if you are unable to answer questions about it. Make sure you know every part of your CV and can answer questions about your employment history with confidence and conviction. Also, make sure that you can explain any time gaps in your CV.
Interviewers like to know how you felt about a particular success, so prepare examples of things you've done that you are particularly proud of, how you have solved problems and what you have learnt from difficult situations.
Make sure you are clear about why you would be ideal for this job and the qualities you can bring to the company and role. Interviewers love questions such as what are your strengths and weaknesses? Select weaknesses can be remedied and turned into an advantage.
Prepare an example of how you have tackled discriminatory practice in a work setting. It is not enough for this to stand alone though. You must demonstrate that a commitment to equal opportunities is a thread that runs through all of your practice, so bring it in at all opportunities
There is no point in lying about your achievements and skills; if you get caught out it can be embarrassing for you and the interviewer. If your skills do not match the needs of the job, the job is not right for you.