Quality in practice…get the best out of job hunting
Paul Marriott, managing director of Hays Social Care, shares his top tips for CVs and interviews
When applying for your next role, it is important that your CV highlights your experience relevant to the job. Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to writing a CV, following some simple guidelines will improve your chances of standing out and securing an interview.
Include all relevant experience Highlight your background in social work and include vital information, including social work qualifications, including DipSW and CQSW as well as GSCC registration. Include management or leadership skills and any applicable training.
Format your CV It should be two pages in length, unless it’s for a senior social work position. Only list relevant skills and training and keep to the previous 10 years’ work experience. Focus on the personal statement and try to summarise your technical and interpersonal skills. Your CV should be accompanied by a covering letter, which must emphasise your skills in relation to the employer’s competences.
Present yourself well Interviews tend to be informal so a smart-casual look is appropriate. During the interview, ask for more time and request to come back if you can’t think of a suitable answer to an awkward question.
Prepare for interview questions Ensure you are up to date with the latest legislation because you could be asked how it will affect your role. You may also be asked questions like, “what steps have you previously taken to manage your caseload effectively?”. Or your tact, patience and empathy could be tested. If applying for a managerial role, the question might be, “what measures have you introduced to improve the quality of service provision?”. Other topics might include assessment and action plans, teamwork, building effective relationships and managing caseloads effectively. Research is always essential and there is plenty of material online.
Ask the right questions Your focus should always be on the role and your desire to work for that organisation. Ask about the organisation’s structure, caseloads, support network and the key challenges ahead. Ensure you are briefed about all stages of the recruitment process. At the end, thank your interviewer for his or her time and remember to say a personal goodbye to each person you talked to.