Five top tips on finding a job – from our employment team
Hints on succeeding in applications and interviews if you're looking for employment
Looking for a new job can be as equally exciting as it is daunting!
In this guest blog, The Brain Charity’s employment team share answers to some frequently asked questions on how to write the best job applications and do well in interviews.
Q: How can I make my CV or job application stand out from the crowd?
- Firstly, check how the employer wants to receive applications. Do they want to see a CV or do they have an application form you need to fill in? If you have difficulties with these methods, it is worth asking the employer whether they can accept applications in other formats. We can do this on your behalf. More companies are accepting audio or video applications, which show confidence and innovation.
- Whatever format you send, ensure your application addresses the job description as much as possible. You should describe how you meet the job criteria through any previous roles or responsibilities, and give examples if you have them.
- Finally, talk about the ways you can make a difference to the employer and how they will benefit from hiring you – this will make you stand out.
Q: What if I don’t have much professional experience?
- Be open and honest, but also realistic. If you’re keen to work for a particular organisation but don’t think you have the experience, why not see if you can volunteer or complete a work placement first? This shows the employer your commitment, while you gain first-hand experience for later down the line.
- Consider taking a course to brush up on your skills. The Government’s National Skills Fund offers adults who are 19+ free, level 3 qualifications to those that don’t already have a qualification. Speak to The Brain Charity’s employment team to find out what is available!
- If you don’t have much professional experience, you can always talk about your personal experiences, and relate them back to the job description. Here is an example:
Tell me about a time you had to multitask in the workplace. How did you prioritise your tasks?
“I recently volunteered at a busy social event. The team looked really stretched getting the event set up in time, so I asked the event organiser how I could help best. I listened to the instructions I was given and laid out event materials and greeted guests. I prioritised welcoming guests as they arrived as I believe excellent customer service should come first. This meant we were able to manage the arrival of attendees and long queues were avoided.”
Q: I’m worried about my interview. What interview tips do you have?
- Come and have a practise interview with The Brain Charity, or one of our partners! The employment team run mock interview sessions where we mimic the questions you may be asked at interview and work on your body language and confidence. We can also organise these with our project partners, so you feel ready yourself to meet somebody new in a different environment.
- Remember to be yourself in an interview and let your personality shine through. Be sure to sell your best qualities and capabilities. Don’t forget to smile!
- If you are asked a difficult question or something you don’t understand, you can ask the interviewer to repeat or re-word the question. It is OK to not know all the answers.
Q: What if I don’t know what I want to do?
- Come and speak to The Brain Charity’s employment team in our centre. It is so common to not know what you want to do, but everyone has hidden talents. We will work with you to unlock them and help you map out a potential career.
- Thinking about what you enjoy and what you are good at could steer you in the direction of finding work. Do you love learning new things and are skilled at helping others? Maybe a career in education could be for you?
Are you unemployed and looking to change your situation? Do you need help with employment confidence or are you looking to improve your CV? If you’re unemployed, aged 18 or over, in receipt of a benefit and reside in the Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St. Helens, Sefton and Wirral), contact our friendly, approachable employment team: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0151 298 2999. You can also click here to find out more.