14 Sep 17:00 by Alejandro Rodriguez Garcia


Getting your CV in front of the Hiring Manager is critical.

For best results, spend time thinking about your particular skills, qualifications and experience and then do a little online research to find the job which fits best.

Look closely at the job advert. Try to understand what the employer is looking for. What does their ideal candidate look like?

Recruiters and Hiring Managers HATE to see bland CVs or application forms which pretty much look like clones of all the rest and look as if they’ve just been printed off without a care for the skills or aptitude required for the job.

They LOVE to see that an applicant has put the time and effort into their application/CV and have shown how their skills match the needs of the role.

Make your Cover Letter Count

If a job is being recruited via an agency, or if the company is recruiting directly, you’ll first need to get your CV in front of them.

If you’ve been asked to send a Cover Letter with your CV, it needs to be a strong hook to get them to read your CV. So often, Cover Letters are just ill-thought out notes or emails, telling the recipient that you’ve attached your CV. But don’t overlook the importance of making a really good impression at every stage of the game. Make sure your Cover Letter tells the reader why you’ve applied, what you have to offer to meet the basic requirements of the job and what you need them to do next, i.e. read your CV and contact you to discuss your application.

If it looks like you didn’t put much effort into the Cover Letter, why would they want to spend time reading your CV?

Selling Your Skills in Your CV

Make your CV all about YOU and the things YOU have done throughout your career.

Unless you’re selling your team-working skills, don’t include what you did as part of a team.

Show the reader what difference YOU made.

Don’t just list a load of duties and responsibilities but tell them about how you used your skills and what you achieved.

You may need to sell yourself to many people along the way to your new job: the initial recruiter, the HR Manager, the Team Manager or others.

At each stage, show you’re hungry for the job and the new challenge. Don’t just tell them verbally, but by your actions. If you want to present a really professional image, get professional help with your CV, Cover Letter, LinkedIn Profile and interview skills. Contact the recruiter/Hiring Manager before sending your CV to them. Make a good impression and start building relationships from Day 1. Follow up your CV with the recruiter or HR Department and make sure they’ve received it. Ask how it’s progressing. Keep in touch, but don’t STALK them!

Tips for the Interview

Well done! You’ve been short-listed and made it to the next step in the process.

Firstly know that people don’t tend to interview candidates if they don’t think they can do the job. You are there because they think you could be their ideal candidate – just like you told them in your CV!

As soon as the lift door opens and you walk through it, the interview has started. The receptionist will be assessing you and the team may be looking at you to see if they think you’ll fit in. Be professional, friendly and approachable.

Relax! You’ll get more out of the interview and your natural personality will shine through. (Hopefully, that will be a good thing!)

Take time to listen to the questions. Often the interviewer will open by asking the candidate to talk through their CV. Take the opportunity to sell your skills and show how you meet their requirements. Highlight where you have carried out similar work before and what you achieved.

Think about the standard questions beforehand and prepare answers so you’re not thrown off track: What are your strengths/weaknesses? What development areas do you feel you have? What training/support do you feel you’ll need if your application is successful?

As with most other things, the key to a successful job search is preparation, preparation and some more preparation. We all know what pre-planning and preparation prevents – right?

This will include:

  • Having your marketing brochures professionally prepared: Cover Letter, CV, LinkedIn Profile etc.
  • Preparing which jobs to apply for – which are the best match for your skills?
  • Preparing to send off your application & preparing to build relationships with recruiters/HR Managers/Hiring Managers etc.
  • Preparing for the interview day: researching the Company, contracts, clients, job and questions.

 Sian Richardson,

We specialise in providing advice and guidance on all aspects of Career Transition, Job Search, CVs, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profiles and Interview Skills to Service Leavers and Ex-Military.