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  • Stirling Careers Consultancy believes that once you have been offered and accepted a new job and all the formalities have been processed and you have agreed a start date it is now time to start preparing for your first day.

    Top Tips before the Day

    • Re-read your job description/person specification
    • Re-read your application form, CV and covering letter
    • Re-read your interview preparation notes and notes that you made after the interview
    • Prepare any documents such as bank details etc.
    • Think about what you will do on your first day
    • Visit the website, social media sites, read any literature the organisation has sent you or you have picked up
    • You may wish to consider meeting with your line manager beforehand for an informal chat to discuss how you can hit the ground running
    • Think about what you are going to wear on your first day as your image is important.  First impressions count!


    Top Tips on the Day

    • Arrive Early
    • Come along with your own ideas
    • Take a notebook and ask questions
    • Try to ascertain how the organisational politics work
    • Hopefully, the organisation will have mapped out an induction procedure for you and this will help settle you in to your new role
    • Be tactful, calm and diplomatic

    Many job offers come with a probationary period and this can vary between three months and twelve months.  It is important to understand at the earliest opportunity what your objectives are as your line manager will be looking to see if you can do the job and meet your objectives.  Failure to do so could mean that your probationary period will be extended and you may be asked to undertake further training or you could be dismissed.

    Remember that they have chosen you from a number of applicants as they believe that you can fit in well and make a valuable contribution to the organisation.

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    Preparing for Interview Assessments

    More and more employers are using testing as a recruitment tool to assist them in deciding whether you are the candidate they are looking for.  These assessments can take place in the Employers' own offices, or at an alternative venue such as a Conference Centre or hotel.  Assessments can last from a couple of hours to a couple of days.  

    Assessment Centres can use a range a different techniques.  Tests can range from psychometric assessments where there are no right or wrong answers to:

    • Group Exercises
    • Individual Exercises
    • Group Discussions
    • Presentations
    • Role Play
    • Written Tests
    • Physical Tests
    • Job Replica Exercises
    • Auditions


    Some Top Tips

    It is important to practice aptitude tests and rehearse presentations.  It is important to treat them as if you were going into an exam and make sure that you get a good night's sleep and arrive early.

    Always remain friendly, calm and polite to other candidates and to the interview panel.  In group exercises make sure that you contribute.  Make sure that you do not dominate and allow others to contribute. Keep track of time and complete tasks on time.
    If you are asked to lead the group make sure that you involve everyone and delegate.  If you are presented with lots of information skim read first. Remember if you eat lunch with your potential employer remember that they will still be assessing you and it is still part of the interview process.  

    Assessments can be challenging but also can allow you to show off your strengths. 

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    Job Offers 12 January 2015 | Comments (0)

    Job Offers

    Job offers can be made in a variety of ways:

    • At the end of the interview
    • They may contact you by telephone
    • They may contact you by e-mail or in writing a few days later

    Congratulations, all your preparation, research and practising has helped you.

    You now have to decide: 

    • Is this job right for me now?
    • Do you want the job subject to negotiations?
    • You are not sure and would like a better offer or would like to meet with them to discuss the offer further.
    • The job is not suitable.


    Do not worry.  Call the organisation and ask for some feedback but do not argue with them. It maybe that the interview panel felt rightly or wrongly that:

    • You did not demonstrate that you had the skills, personal qualities or experience for the job.
    • You did not show that you understood what the job entailed.
    • You did everything well but there was a better candidate.

    Thank the organisation for their feedback. Dust yourself down, take the positives out of the negatives and keep on applying.

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    Job Search 02 January 2015 | Comments (0)

    Stirling Careers Consultancy introduces some top tips gained from personal experience and research to help you gain your next job.

    The job search cycle is broken down into the following stages:

    1. Pre Job Search
    2. Job Search
    3. Using CVs/ Application Forms
    4. Interviews
    5. Job Offer

    Pre Job Search

    Looking for employment is a full time job in itself.  Before applying for jobs it is important to step back and understand your strengths and weaknesses and be self-aware. It is important to:

           1. Understand your core skills
           2. Ask yourself what do you enjoy doing?
           3. How much do you need to earn?
           4. How far do you want to travel each day?

    Once you have answered the above you can start to put a job search plan together.

    Job Search

    Six Top Tips

          1. Targeted approach
          2. Having an effective CV
    3. A combination of applying online and speculative approaches
    4. Volunteer
    5. Network
    6. Build an online presence

    It is also important to take regular breaks and reward yourself appropriately. Keep a positive mental attitude because you never know who you may come across whether in person on the phone or online. 

    Curriculum Vitaes

    Six Top Tips

    1. Check and double check grammar and spelling.
    2. Keep it concise and clear. Less is more. Aim for two pages, maximum.
    3. Tailor your CV – Don’t be tempted to send the same CV to a large number of      employers. Tailoring it will give you a better chance of success.
    4. Highlight achievements – Remember the purpose/goal of the CV is to get the interview – it needs to stand out and help you sell yourself.
    5. Back up with examples – Try to include examples of any skill or achievement.  This will give your employer an idea of how you have used your skills.
    6. Keep it fresh – Update your CV whenever you’ve gained more experience.

    Application Forms

    Six Top Tips

    1. Read the application pack thoroughly before you fill it in. Decide whether you want to work for the organisation.
    2 .Photocopy or print the form and write it out in rough first.
    3. Answer all the questions thoroughly
    4. In the supporting statement, make sure that you address all the criteria requested but don’t exceed the word limit (if there is one).
    5. Give examples.
    6. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes.  If doing it online make sure that you save it regularly.

    Interview Techniques

    Six Top Tips

    1. Confirm that you will be attending the interview.
    2. Research the organisation. What do you have to offer the organisation?
    3. Anticipate and prepare possible answers to likely questions. Practice your answers. Prepare your own questions.
    4. Plan your interview outfit and make sure it is smart and that there are no buttons missing or threads hanging loose.
    5. During the interview make sure that you have positive body language such as sitting up straight, looking interested and not fiddling with anything.
    6. Listen to the question, give examples and don’t waffle.


    After an Interview

    After an interview it is a good idea to evaluate your own performance thinking about what went well and not so well, the types of questions asked and make notes for future reference.  If you were given the same situation again would you do anything differently? 

    It is important to ask yourself if you were offered the job would you accept the job or not.  In either case you need to start preparing your response and be prepared for when the organisation contacts you.  If you are undecided, one useful technique is to do the pros and cons.  Also, if you want the job, start thinking about your salary negotiations in advance and know what you are worth.    

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