Jobs and Training

What we Do

Careers Advice

CITB Site Safety Plus

This Site Safety Plus course is for you if you’re considering, or already, working within the construction and civil engineering industry.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships allow you to combine work and study by mixing on-the-job training with classroom learning.

Click more info to find out where you can search for available apprenticeships.

Training

Whether you’re a school leaver looking to advance your qualifications and career prospects or an adult returning to learning to start a new career, take a look at some of the local training providers and what they can offer.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

What is a CV?

A CV (curriculum vitae) allows you to summarise your education, skills and experience, selling yourself to employers.

How long should a CV be?

A standard CV in the UK should be no longer than two sides of A4.

Only include the main facts; if your CV is just one page, that’s fine, as employers only want to read relevant information. 

What to include in a CV

  • Contact details – Include your full name, home address, mobile number and email address. 

  • Personal profile – Placed at the beginning of the CV, a profile is a concise statement that highlights your key attributes or reasons for deciding to work in a particular field. Pick out a few relevant achievements and skills, while clearly articulating your career aims. It must focus on the sector you’re applying to, as your cover letter will be job-specific. You should keep it short and snappy – 100 words is the perfect length.

  • Key skills – This is where you list all of your unique selling points – personal qualities that will make you stand out against your competition and make you more desirable to the employer. These are also the assets you can bring to an organisation.

  • Work experience – List your experience in reverse chronological order, making sure that anything you mention is relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

  • Education – List and date all previous education, including professional qualifications, placing the most recent first.

  • Interests –  Your interests can provide a more rounded picture of you and give you something to talk about at interview. 

  • References – You don’t need to provide the names of references at this stage. You also don’t need to say ‘references available upon request’ as most employers would assume this to be the case.

CV Format

  • Avoid fonts such as Comic Sans. Instead, choose something more professional such as size-10 Arial.

  • List everything in reverse chronological order so the recruiter sees your most impressive and recent achievements first.

  • Keep it concise and easy to read by using clear spacing and bullet points. This type of CV layout allows employers to skim your CV and quickly pick out the important information.

  • If you’re posting your CV, go with white A4 paper. Only print on one side and don’t fold your CV – you don’t want it to arrive creased.

How to write a good CV

  1. There should be no spelling or grammar mistakes in your CV. Use a spell checker and enlist a second pair of eyes to check over it.
  2. Take a look at the company’s website, local press and the job advert to make sure that your CV is targeted to the role and employer.
  3. Don’t put the term ‘curriculum vitae’ at the top of the page.
  4. Provide a professional-sounding email address.
  5. Never lie or exaggerate on your CV or job application. Not only will you demonstrate your dishonesty to a potential employer, but there can be serious consequences too.
  6. If you’re posting your CV online don’t include your home address, as you could be targeted by fraudsters.

For more information please visit Barclays CV builder 

Job Searching

Where can I search for jobs?

Spread your job search as wide as possible, as there are lots of places to look including the internet, newspapers and job centres.

The internet

When looking for work online:

  • Check the closing date for applications – employers can leave closed vacancies online by mistake
  • Browse related job categories and search by alternative job titles
  • Widen the geographic area of your search
  • Beware of recruitment sites with jobs that seem too good to be true, or that ask for money
  • Be sure that a site is secure and reputable before posting your personal details
  • Draft your applications offline so you can check spellings and keep a copy
  • Unsubscribe from job alerts that aren’t relevant and check your spam folder if job alerts don’t arrive in your inbox

Job sites include :

 

Newspapers

You can find jobs in national papers as well as local and regional papers. Ask your local newsagent to find out which papers are available in your area.

job centres

Most Jobcentres offer access to computers to search for jobs online. Universal Jobmatch is the government’s job vacancy search site.

Personal advisers can help you find the vacancies that are right for you. They can also tell you about available government training schemes. They’ll take into account any additional needs you might have, like childcare or if you have a disability.

National Careers Service

Staff at National Careers Service offices offer careers advice interviews, and they may also know which employers in the local area are recruiting. These may be job vacancies or training vacancies, such as apprenticeships. 

Contact a National Careers Service adviser to find out where your nearest office is and make an appointment. 

Recruitment Agencies

Organisations employ recruitment agencies to find suitable people for their vacancies. They may specialise in temporary work, permanent work or specific sectors.

Agencies can be useful to help you find jobs that aren’t advertised to individuals online or in the press. They take a fee from the company that hires you, so they should be motivated to find you a role.

When choosing which agencies to approach, check their websites to see if they have the type of vacancies you’re interested in. You can sign up with more than one agency – this way you’ll get access to more jobs.

When using an agency:

  • Ask if they commonly deal with vacancies in the kind of work you’re looking for

  • Treat an interview with the agency like an interview with an employer

  • Ask for feedback if you’re not placed in a job

  • Keep in touch with the agency regularly and let them know your availability

  • Be open to temporary work if you can, even if you’re looking for permanent work, as temporary jobs can lead to permanent work

  • Depending on the job, the agency might check your typing speed, your ability with computer packages and your spelling accuracy

Recruitment agencies include:

HART RECRUITMENT

IN PLACE RECRUITMENT

MIDAS RECRUITMENT

BROOKLYN RECRUITMENT

ALMA PERSONNEL 

Interview Skills

Types of interview

Got an interview coming up? Boost your chances of success by following this advice on interview techniques.

Types of interview

There are several different types of interview:

  • Telephone – Some employers use a telephone interview to immediately eliminate unsuitable candidates. Successful applicants are usually then invited to a face-to-face interview or an assessment centre. Telephone interviews usually last for around 30 minutes. Make sure you are alone somewhere quiet where you can concentrate and have no distractions.
  • Video – An alternative to the traditional telephone interview, some organisations will screen candidates via Skype, FaceTime or YouTube. Video interviews usually last for around 30 minutes. 
  • Face-to-face – The most common type of interview, face-to-face encounters can take place with either one interviewer or, more commonly, a panel. In some rare cases, you may interview alongside other candidates and questioning can either be strengths-based or competency-based. Face-to-face interviews usually last for between one and two hours.

Before the interview

Before the interview

Regardless of the type of interview you’re preparing for, doing plenty of research and planning is key. Generally, you should:

  • Consider how you’ll explain problematic aspects of your career, such as gaps in your work history.
  • Plan your journey in advance, aiming to arrive ten minutes before your interview is scheduled and ideally completing a ‘dry run’ beforehand.
  • Prepare answers to common interview questions, as well as your own questions to ask at the interview.
  • Research the organisation
  • On the night before your interview, avoid alcohol, prepare your outfit and get plenty of sleep.

On the morning of your interview, eat a healthy breakfast and don’t consume too much caffeine. You can combat nerves by exercising – if you have time, of course – as this creates feelings of wellbeing.

What to take

What to take:

  • a bottle of water

  • a pen and notepad

  • money

  • photo ID (e.g. your passport or driving licence)

  • the job description and person specification 

  • your academic certificates and work examples

  • your CV, application form and interview invitation.

What to wear to an interview

What to wear to an interview

The typical interview dress code is usually fairly straightforward for men: a dark suit and tie combination is the safest option. However, things are slightly more open for women. You could wear a dress, trouser suit, or a skirt and blouse; black, navy or brown are the safest colours.

Need help finding that affordable outfit …

Suited for Success believes helping unemployed men and women with interview skills and a suitable interview outfit will give them the confidence they need to make that positive first impression and get a job that could change their life…’ 

4 ways to make a good impression

4 ways to make a good impression

Winning interview techniques include:

  1. Positivity – Be well-mannered with any staff you meet before or after the interview and, if you’re feeling particularly nervous, remind yourself that the very worst thing that could happen is you simply not getting the job. During the interview, avoid talking about any personal problems unless completely necessary, and never badmouth your previous employers.

  2. Body language – Give a firm handshake to your interviewer(s) before and after the session. Once you’re seated, sit naturally without slouching in your chair or leaning on the desk. Throughout the interview, remember to smile frequently and retain eye contact.

  3. Clarity – Answer all questions clearly and concisely, evidencing your most relevant skills, experiences and achievements. It’s perfectly acceptable to pause before answering a difficult question to give yourself thinking time, or asking for clarification if, at first, you’re unsure what the question means. When answering, don’t speak too quickly.

  4. Enthusiasm – It’s important that you allow your personality to shine throughout, as well as ask thought-provoking questions at appropriate moments. Both of these strategies will demonstrate that you’re genuinely interested in the role and listening closely to the interviewer.

After the interview

After the interview

When leaving the organisation, let the interviewer know that you’re available to answer any follow-up questions. If you feel things went particularly well, you could email the interviewer the next day, thanking them for their time.

In most cases, the organisation will now have enough evidence to make their decision. In some cases, however, you may be asked to attend a second interview, which aims to more closely scrutinise what you and any other remaining candidates can bring to the role. Prepare for your second interview just like your first, but you should also:

  • Request feedback from your first interview, before addressing anything that caused you difficulty.

  • Research the organisation in even greater detail than for the first interview, preparing examples that demonstrate how you can benefit the organisation.

Please visit Barclays ‘Skills for life’ Website for more interview tips.