Careers Education and Guidance
Elaine Walker and Rob Stokes are Calder High School’s C&K careers Advisors and provide an invaluable service supporting students with their decisions regarding future progression.
All Year 11 students will automatically receive an interview with either Elaine or Rob. Lunchtime drop-in sessions are held for all 13-19 year olds in the Careers Office in the LRC. Students in Years 12 and 13 can also email for informarion, advice and guidance.
- School Offer
- School Careers information
- Calderdale & Kirklees Careers service
- Government advice for young people
Applying for Jobs (Advice on CVs / Letters / Application Forms and Interviews)
When you apply for jobs you will generally need to send a CV. (Curriculum Vitae is Latin for 'life story'.) Your CV is designed to give the employer a quick overview of who you are, your education, work experience, plus other skills and interests. Before you apply, read the job specification carefully to make sure that you feel comfortable with all aspects of the job (you feel that it's something you can do - either you've had previous experience or it's something you're interested in learning - the employer may be willing to give training).
Leaflets available online from the Workabout website:
Notes on CV Writing (Sample CV)
Your CV needs to be clear and concise. Employers receive hundreds of applications for jobs and any CV that looks messy or disorganised won’t even be considered.
Two pages is the maximum length for a CV. You don’t need to give your life story. You will be able to give more information at the interview stage (so don’t give it all away before you get there).
Don’t be tempted to use fancy fonts – just because you can (and whatever you do, don’t use Wordart). 12 pt Times Roman is fine. A well laid out CV will say more about your computer skills than how many different fonts you can fit into a sentence.
Make sure the information you give is correct. It can be checked and you will be caught during an interview if you’ve made a claim that isn’t true. You might also be tested, particularly on computer skills.
Once you’ve done your first CV, remember to update it when you change jobs and to add on any courses completed or skills acquired. As you get older, you may need to adjust your CV to reflect your experience. What you did at school becomes less important than recent work experience. Your hobbies and interests might change as well.
Although it doesn’t show it on the sample CV, it may also be good practice to give telephone numbers and email addresses for your referees. When you leave a job, it’s a good idea to check that your employer or manager is happy to give you a reference (And always a good idea to leave them with a good impression!)
With some jobs, you will need to get an application form. In the job advert it will tell you to ring or write to receive an application pack. You should also send a covering letter with the application (and include your CV, unless told not to).
There a several basic rules to follow when filling in application forms:
Use black pen - the reason for this is that it photocopies well
Write neatly and clearly
Write out what you want to say first on a separate piece of paper. Only complete the form when you have done this to your satisfaction - it may take several attempts to get it right and it may be a good idea to get someone else to read it through first
Tailor your answers to the company - make sure you cover the points in the advert. Some adverts will have a 'job specification' and a 'person specification'.
Don't refer to your CV. In some cases they don't want you to include a CV at all. They will only consider the answers on the application form.
Take a copy of the form so that you know what you've said and if you're called for an interview, take the copy with you.
Letter Writing (Sample letter)
Another important part of applying for jobs is writing a letter - either a letter to go withyour CV or with the application form you've been asked to complete. As with the CV, the letter should be clear and to the point. Don't ramble on for three paragraphs. Check the spelling (and check it again - not just with a computer spell-checker). Check the grammar and punctuation.
If you are applying 'on spec' (ie. a job's not been advertised but you think you would like to work for a particular company), phone first and get the name of the person who would deal with applications or CVs and address your letter to them. It's important to get their job title as well. In a small company, it will probably be the Managing Director or Proprietor, in a medium size company they may have heads of departments or sections, and in a large company there will be a Personnel or Human Resources department.
In your letter, say clearly which job or area you're interested in, tell them why you want a job with them (if you're not replying to a job advert). If you saw the job advertised, say where you saw it and start your letter with an underlined heading - giving the job title as advertised.
If you've written 'on spec' it's worth following up with a phone call after a week or ten days to find out if they would be interested in seeing you.
You've sent out a number of CVs and letters and now you've got an interview. What do you do next?
Read the job specification again. If there's anything you're not sure about, ask someone.
Look up the company on the internet if you can. Find out more about them. It shows you have initiative and that you're interested in them.
Write a list of questions. When they've finished asking their questions, they will probably ask if you have any.
Do some role playing with a friend. Get them to ask questions you think the employer will ask so that you can rehearse your answers. This will help you to give clear answers without a lot of hesitation and repetition.
Be positive and confident (but not over-confident)
Make sure you know where the place is and how to get there. Leave plenty of time, especially if travelling by bus or train. It's better to get there an hour early than to arrive late and flustered.
Get your clothes ready the day before. Make sure they're clean and ironed, shoes polished. (If you're applying for a manual job, it's still important to make sure your appearance is neat.)
If you're not accepted, try to be positive about that too. Each interview is good experience. Some employers will take the time to go over their interview notes and explain to you how you could improve your CV and interview technique. If they don't, you can ask. It shows you are prepared to develop and learn and leaves a good impression with the employer. There's always a chance the person they've selected will turn the job down and you may find you're next on their list.