As someone who’s gone through the process of applying for jobs recently, after a nine-year career. I’ve read every bit of useful, up to date information Google has to offer.
I’m sharing this with you in the hope it may be of use to someone out there in the same position.
What it was like job hunting after nine years
I won’t lie, it was a daunting process. Simply because so much has changed since the last time I applied for a job. It’s clear businesses use technology and match keywords in applications to weed out great candidates. Whilst I don’t blame companies for doing this, it means you need to be vigilant when matching your experience to the wording in the role profile. You have to put quite a lot of work in just to get past the initial selection stages and it’s brutal.
The current job market
My rants about the state of the job market in the UK are for another post. We are told there are lots of jobs on offer. However, having gone through the process of making regular contact with the DWP, I have grave concerns over whether they are correctly helping people. Essentially, I took a lot of initiative when applying for jobs, predominantly because I am an organised person and I enjoy working. But what about the people who are unable to do this? They need the correct support and I don’t think they are currently receiving it.
Watch this space for a blog post about my experience of dealing directly with the DWP!
What information will I find in this post?
Because I’ve done my research, I will be including useful links to help you build your CV and apply for jobs. I will also be including some practical tips which worked for me and resulted in a successful application for my part-time job.
Let’s start with a cover letter
There is mixed information online about whether a cover letter is required. For all the applications I recently sent, I included one and tailored it to the employer in question. There are some tips for how to write a cover letter and also how long your CV should be.
Useful links for building your CV
If you need a CV template to get you started, click here. Maybe you want to change careers? It is exactly what I did recently and you can too. There are several resources online if this is the route you want to take.
Because I was changing careers from financial services to the charity sector, it was vital I took my skills and made them transferrable, in absence of experience.
To give some background, I previously volunteered for a charity and was part of their befriending scheme. Since then I wanted to change my career and work in the third sector but honestly, I had the lack self-confidence to do it.
Redundancy and a mental breakdown forced me to change my circumstances, to avoid a negative impact on my mental health moving forward.
Here is a list of skills which are transferable to any role:
Able to work independently
Performing complex calculations
Attention to detail
Dealing with finances
Working as part of a team to reach an end goal
Troubleshooting and testing skills – IT
Communicating with various partners
Fast-paced office environment
Working as a team
Maintaining quality in my work
Download the PDF version of this infographic
Because I started my first blog in July 2021 and this one recently, I was also able to discuss the skills I had picked up from completing a range of tasks:
Managing time effectively
Search engine optimization
Writing and editing
Download the PDF version of this infographic
Including personal experience on a CV or in a job interview
As my situation drove the change of career, it was a bit difficult not to mention it. However, I would say it depends completely upon the role you are applying for and your personal preference about how much personal information you share with a prospective employer.
I touched on my financial difficulties and the struggles of juggling parenting in my application, but only because it was relevant to the role profile. During my interview, I also talked about these aspects and professionally explained what had gone wrong in my last role.
It’s completely your call on whether you mention your circumstances. However, the feedback I received was that my personality shone through in the interview and I think being open and honest helped me get the role. And I am so happy employers are interviewing people in this way.
We are all just people, experiencing difficulties and working to pay bills. Everyone is in the same boat and it is about teamwork, but also selecting and working with the correct team. A job has to fit your needs as well as the employers.
After working in a toxic work environment for so long, it’s refreshing to speak to lovely people and I am excited about my new role.
Check out the earlier posts in this series:
Let me know your thoughts on this series so far, or whether you are going through a similar, job-hunting process at the moment – I would love to hear from you 🙂
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