Work Experience

What do you need in order to land your dream job? One word: experience.

Recent studies show that two thirds of employers seek graduates with relevant work experience, as this better prepares them for working life and helps to develop their general business acumen. Additionally, one third of employers reportedly feel that job applicants do not possess enough knowledge about their chosen career.

But developing your business skills and career knowledge isn't the only reason why work experience is important. There are several other advantages the you can gain from getting a taste of working life before seeking a permanent role.

Why work experience is important:

  1. Exploring your options - If, like many people, you are not yet sure what career path you'd like to take, work experience provides a great opportunity for you to see what it's like to work within a certain industry. This can be a deciding factor in the role you eventually choose for yourself.

  2. Displaying your enthusiasm - If you already know what career you'd like to pursue, gaining work experience within your chosen field will demonstrate your passion and interest to potential employers when you send them your CV. Employers like to hire individuals who want to work for them because they're genuinely interested in the role, not just because they need the money. Gaining work experience in your preferred industry will show a high level of commitment, which can increase your chance of future success.

  3. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses - Work experience can be a great teacher. While working within a real-life work setting, you'll have the opportunity to assess your abilities more clearly. Skills that you developed in school and university can be put into practice; you'll also be able to learn what skills you do not possess, and perhaps begin working to develop them.

  4. Networking - Work experience will give you many options to network. You'll get to know a number of potentially useful contacts, and they'll get to find out what you have to offer. Even at this early stage of your career, networking can provide benefits that will last throughout your working life.

  5. Discovering opportunities - Frequently, employers who take on individuals for work experience end up offering those individuals permanent positions within the same organisation. Neither employer nor worker can really know how well the candidate is going to perform prior to the beginning of the placement, but after some time, the employer may realise that the worker can bring lasting benefits to the company. This is particularly common among undergraduate students whose courses include a placement year; once the placement is finished and the student has gained a considerable amount of knowledge, their employer will often offer a full-time role for after graduation.

As you can see, work experience comes with a number of important benefits, all of which can help you to secure your dream job.

If you are interested in working with the science industry. Hyper Recruitment Solutions can help you to take the next step in your career. We work with the biggest and best organisations in the UK science industry, helping talented individuals to fill vital roles and drive the sector forward. Click the link below to see a full list of current vacancies.

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Graduate writing CV

You've graduated from university, and now you're on the hunt for your dream job. But having the right degree, the right skills, and even the right work experience means nothing if you don't know how to lay it all out on your CV!

A good CV needs to make a lasting impression on the person reading it. The average employer spends mere seconds scanning each applicant's CV, so it's crucial to make sure that yours really grabs their attention. Follow our graduate CV guide to make sure your document hits all the right notes.

Personal Information

This section should include your key personal details, such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact number
  • Email address
Feel free to include other information - such as the fact that you have a clean driving licence and access to your own vehicle - if you think it may give an edge over other applicants. If you are currently employed, mention this here (along with the notice period you will need to serve before leaving).

Skills & Expertise

This is where you should talk about your skills as they pertain to the job you're after. It is crucial to highlight skills that are relevant / transferable to the position - examples may include:

  • Strong problem solving skills
  • A good understanding of relevant regulations / legal matters
  • The ability to work in a team
  • Good communication skills
This is your opportunity to show off the skills and expertise that make you the perfect candidate for the job! 

Experience & Education

This is the juiciest and most important part of your CV. List all of your past work/education experiences in chronological order, starting with the most recent and working backwards. Include start/end dates, a brief description of each role, a brief list of what you achieved or learned in that role, and any qualifications/grades earned.

It is again important to focus on experience and education that is relevant to the job in question, as this will look good to your potential employer. For example, if you're applying for a scientific position, make sure you list your most impressive scientific experiences and qualifications. If you do not have any relevant work experience, try to focus on education and any transferable skills you've picked up over the course of your life thus far.

Interests & Hobbies

This is where you can detail the activities that you enjoy in your spare time. Remember, though: the employer does not want to read your life story! Ideally, the activities listed here will complement the information you've given elsewhere in your CV; for instance, if it's a scientific position that you're applying for, you might state that you like to read the latest science news and keep up with trending topics. This reinforces your interest in the position and will look better than saying 'I like playing video games and watching Netflix'.

References

It's common practice to state 'References available on request' at the end of a CV. That said, if you have strong, relevant references available, this is another opportunity to stand out from the other applicants. Some positions may state that references are required, so be sure to know exactly what is expected of you before proceeding.

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Including all of the above on your CV should get you well on your way to securing the job you want! Remember not to waffle and to focus on what's really important at all times. Also, check for spelling and grammar mistakes, as these will really take the shine off what you've written. Finally, consider tailoring your CV to each job you apply for - different roles will require different skills, and a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't always pay off!

If you need help with your job hunt, please don't hesitate to contact Hyper Recruitment Solutions for expert assistance.

Further Reading:

Why Didn't I Get a Job Interview?

Virtually every job seeker experiences rejection at some point in their journey. No matter how much time you spend fine-tuning your CV...no matter how much effort you put into writing your cover letter...no matter how much you really really want the job...there's sadly no guarantee that you'll make it to the interview stage. Sometimes you'll get a politely-worded rejection email from your prospective employer, but sometimes you just won't hear back from them at all.

In either case, you'll probably end up asking yourself:

Why didn't I get an interview?

Today, we'd like to suggest some possible answers to that question. Of course, there are all sorts of reasons why an employer might choose not to offer an interview; it might be that other applicants were more experienced, or that the position had been filled before you even expressed an interest. Sometimes it's just out of your control.

For the purposes of this post, however, we're going to focus on things that you can control. Take these five things into account the next time you apply for a job, and with any luck, you'll be rehearsing answers and picking out an outfit for that big job interview before you know it!

1. Your application was too long and rambling.

It's important to keep your CV and cover letter reasonably concise. When an employer has a huge stack of job applications to go through, they generally won't want to spend too long on each one, so make sure your documents are easy to skim-read. The important details—relevant qualifications, impressive achievements, similar positions you've held in the past—should leap off the page, and that won't happen if they're buried in paragraphs and paragraphs of waffle.

2. Your made spelling / grammar mistakes.

You don't need us to tell you that spelling errors and bad grammar can torpedo even the most qualified candidate's chances of securing a job interview. Always double-check your documents for typos before sending them (and ask a friend or family member to check them too, just to be sure).

3. You didn't tailor your application to the job you were applying for.

Employers can usually tell when you send them the same generic cover letter that you've sent to dozens of other companies. Writing a new document every time you apply for a new job is tedious and time-consuming, but ultimately, you're more likely to get the interview if the employer feels like you're specifically interested in (and suitable for) the role they're offering. Consider tweaking your CV each time you send it, too – you may want to highlight different experiences / achievements for different jobs.

4. You didn't make a convincing enough case for yourself.

The main aim of any job application is to argue that you are the right person for the job in question. When you get rejected for a role you really wanted, go back and read the job description – did your CV and cover letter convincingly argue that you meet the stated requirements? Could you have done a better job of explaining how your previous experiences made you a better prospective employee? Did you shout about your unique talents and skills, or could you have made them clearer?

5. The employer wasn't able to view your application.

It doesn't matter how sensational your job application is if the hiring manager can't open it. When submitting a CV / cover letter, make sure it's in a common file format, and send it to yourself first to make sure it opens without any issues. You might want to view it on a few different devices, too.

Need more job application advice? Read our CV & Cover Letter Checklist, or contact the HRS team to find out how we can help you to get the job you want!

Image from pixabay.com

Handing in your notice

If you’re in the process of looking for a new job, you may not have considered how you will go about handing in your notice to your current employer. But searching for a new job while working is a big hurdle to get over first!

However, handing in your notice at the correct time and in the right way is incredibly important to your long-term career goals. The thought of having to tell your employer that you’re leaving them may make you uncomfortable, but keep in mind that companies are accustomed to this - it's all part of running a business.

Good references from past employers are paramount to your career progression, so here’s a brief guide to when you should hand in your notice and how to resign professionally.

The best time to hand in your notice

It is vital that you do not hand in your notice until you have received a formal job offer in writing. If something falls through with your potential new job before the written offer and you have already handed in your notice, you may be left jobless. Even if you think your new job is near enough secured, background checks or even company changes could affect your verbal offer.

If you have not yet received a formal job offer from the company and seem to be waiting a while, ask them politely if they know what date you may be starting and if they know when you will receive the formal job offer.

The best time to hand in your notice is when you have your formal offer in writing and when you know your manager will be available to talk.

It is best to hand your notice to your manager in person if this is possible. They will appreciate it much more than an email or a letter left on their desk. It will also give you a chance to express your gratitude to the company and ensure that it is an amicable parting of ways.

Prepare for all outcomes

Handing in your notice may come as a shock to your employer, so be prepared for their reaction. They may be upset as they now need to start looking for your replacement, which could be a costly undertaking. If this does happen, it is important to maintain composure and be professional throughout.

You do not have to go into your reasons for leaving, but if you would prefer to let them know why, try to not get too personal. Try to be as neutral in the conversation as possible and do not direct anger towards your manager. Upsetting your manager further is not a good way to gain a good reference.

You should also be prepared for a counter-offer. If your manager can’t bear the thought of you leaving the company, they may offer you more money or a promotion. To be prepared for this outcome after handing in your notice, make sure you measure up the pros and cons of both businesses prior to your meeting.

Furthermore, you should be prepared for your manager to ask you to leave with immediate effect. In some jobs, this may actually be an easier transition than you working out your notice period. If you are dismissed, you can ask why but try not to get into an argument. You will still be paid for the notice period time.

Stay professional at all times

In case we haven't already made this clear, it is very important stay professional when you hand in your notice and during your notice period. Even if you absolutely hate the job you’re in, now is not a good time to express your contempt. You’re already leaving the company, there’s no need to make it more awkward for your employer.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Your notice should be worded professionally and should not go into specifics
  • Be sure to work out your notice period and offer to tie up any loose ends
  • Prepare yourself to train someone else to fill your role
  • If you want to tell your colleagues, be respectful
  • Continue working as usual up until your leaving date - don’t slack off

If you follow these steps, your resignation should go smoothly and you should be well on your way towards your new job with a good reference in hand.

If you are currently looking for work, take a look at our latest jobs here. Hyper Recruitment Solutions are a leading recruitment agency specialising in science and technology and we’re here to help.

New Year Fireworks

An article recently published on Buzzfeed offered a number of suggestions for job seekers who are hoping to land their 'dream role' in the new year. The tips were fairly wide-ranging, touching on everything from cleaning up your social media accounts to choosing the right interview clothes.

Even so, we believe that we at Hyper Recruitment Solutions can add a few extra tips to the list - if you're serious about getting a new job in 2018, here are 5 more things that you should keep in mind:

1. Ask somebody else to read your CV.

Before you send your CV to any potential employers, give it to a trusted friend or family member and ask them to give it a quick read-through. Your proof-reader will hopefully catch any spelling / grammar mistakes that you failed to spot yourself, but more importantly, they'll be able to tell you whether or not the document is a fair representation of your abilities and experiences. It may just be that you're selling yourself short!

2. Tailor your CV to each job you apply for.

Once you've finished writing your CV, it's easy to just send exactly the same version to every prospective employer. But tweaking your CV each time you send it - tailoring it to the specific role you're applying for - can be a very worthwhile endeavour. You don't have to start from scratch every time you begin a new job application, but you should assess each job description and make sure that your CV is emphasising the right skills and focusing on the most relevant parts of your career history in each case.

3. Eliminate all filler from your cover letter.

When applying for certain jobs, you will be required to accompany your CV with a cover letter that explains why you're applying for the role in question (and what makes you a good fit for it). Your cover letter is a great opportunity to make a glowing first impression, but no matter what you decide to put in this document, it needs to be concise and to-the-point. Once you've written your cover letter, read back over it and make sure that every single sentence has a point - if it doesn't add anything to the picture you're trying to paint, delete it! Employers won't enjoy reading a lot of pointless waffle that wastes their precious time, and a shorter, punchier cover letter will likely make more of an impact anyway.

4. Know how you're getting to the interview.

Showing up late for an interview is almost always a surefire way to not get the job. Once you've been told where you're being interviewed, take the time to plan your journey carefully: will you be walking, driving, or taking public transport? What time will you need to set out in order to arrive on time? Do you have an umbrella in case it rains on the day? Planning is key if you want to be sure of arriving on time (and not looking too dishevelled because you had to rush!).

5. Didn't get the job? Ask for feedback.

Even an unsuccessful job application can be valuable if you're able to learn from it and improve your approach for next time. If a prospective employer tells you that you didn't get the job, thank them for their time and ask them if they would be willing to provide any feedback. Did your answers leave something to be desired? Could you have dressed more appropriately for the interview? Was it simply a question of experience? You can't control every aspect of your job application, but constructive feedback can give you a better idea of what employers are looking for and how to present yourself in the best possible way.

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