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Peak Performers - Benchmark Recruit, Sheffield

Peak Performers

How To Get A Job

In need of help getting a job? We’re thrilled to present our ultimate job guide, full of tips and advice from some of Sheffield’s most experienced and expert recruitment consultants. We’ve personally tackled the four most important things everyone can improve about their job search and the ways in which they can do it. Click on each tab to find the answers to the most vital questions asked about each category of your job search. Our team have provided in-depth answers from years worth of knowledge and experience, ensuring you the best possible advice you will find.
job-guide

 

How do I write a C.V.?

Your C.V. is the blueprint of your career. It outlines your skills, experience and interests in one concise document, giving an overview of you as a worker. Yet, there are many mistakes to be made on an C.V. and we’ve tackled the most common problems here to help you improve it.

How Long Should My C.V. Be?

  • A C.V. should be about 2 pages long.
  • It should begin with your personal profile, followed by recent work experience & then education.
  • Your hobbies & interests should then make up a part of the second page, with references coming at the end.

What Should I Put In My Personal Profile?

  • Your personal profile is a snapshot of you.
  • They normally are skim-read by employers, so keep them short and punchy.
  • Include key facts about your experience and you as a worker.

How Many Jobs Should I Include On My C.V.?

  • Include your three most recent positions in bullet point form.
  • Use facts and stats as evidence of your influence in each role.
  • Ensure you highlight positions and duties that are relevant to the role you’re applying for.

What Interests Should I Include On My C.V.?

  • Don’t use generic or non-descript interests (e.g “T.V.”)
  • Use this as an opportunity to showcase your personality.
  • Include things that you’re passionate about, as this helps paint the picture of you.

What References Should I Include On My C.V.?

  • Always obtain permission from the people you include as a reference on your C.V.
  • Include two forms of contact for each reference – preferably email address and mobile number.
  • If you would rather not place references details on your C.V., you can state “References available on request.”

What Are The Biggest Mistakes People Make On Their C.V. & How Can I Avoid Them?

  • Not proofreading your C.V. and missing spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Not including enough detail in describing your previous roles and not using evidence
  • Using an unprofessional font or design elements like a border. Keep it simple and clean

What is the best way to write a cover letter?

Cover letters are an opportunity to showcase your personality. You can get down to brass tacks about how you yourself are the right match for any particular role and this alone can set you ahead of the pack in getting an interview. It’s for this reason that a cover letter is important and we’ve asked how best you can use it to improve your job application process.

What Is The Main Purpose Of A Cover Letter?

  • A cover letter is an opportunity to put across your personality, in addition to your skills.
  • The cover letter gives you the chance to explain how you as an individual can fit in with the firm and add value to the firm.
  • Whereas a C.V. is a diagram of you, a cover letter paints a picture of you.

What Are The Main Points To Get Across In A Cover Letter?

  • Before writing, always read the job specification the employer has posted and ascertain what specific skills they are asking for.
  • Use your cover letter to explain how you can and will fulfill these skill requirements prospectively in that company.
  • Use anecdotes and past examples to back up these claims, showing why you’re the best person for the job.

Should I Write A General Cover Letter Or One For Each Job I’ve Applied For?

  • You should always write a cover letter tailored specifically to a certain role.
  • Generic cover letters are unremarkable and will not distinguish you from any other candidate.
  • Writing a job specific cover letter means you can explain how you are suitable for that particular role – which is always a rankable factor in being chosen for an interview.

What Are The Typical Mistakes Made In A Cover Letter I Should Avoid?

  • Using templates. These stand out very easily, as they contain little sense of personality and are usually scarce on detail.
  • Poor spelling and punctuality. Always have a friend or family member proofread your writing and use a spell-checker.
  • Not writing a specific cover letter for each role. As discussed in it’s own question, writing a generic cover letter you submit every time is a big mistake.

How do I prepare answers to interview questions?

This is a question in of itself which has been asked many a time and we’re here to provide the answers! Whether it’s preparing for interviews, your interview technique or the best questions to ask towards the end, we’re here to provide you the answers to how to ask the right questions.

How Early Should I Arrive For An Interview?

  • We recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early before your interview. Anything more can actually be an inconvenience for the employer, so keep it under 15 minutes.
  • Do a dummy run of your journey in the build up to your interview – this way, you can make sure you find the building and account for any traffic.
  • Communicate with your consultant if you need advice – they will have been to the building and will be able to advise.

How Smartly Should I Dress For The Interview?

  • It depends on the job you’re applying for. You should look to match the environment of the workplace you’re applying to.
  • Speak to your consultant to find out what the dress code is. They can advise you on what to wear.
  • Ensure your hands, fingernails and shoes are clean and show pride in your appearance.

Should I Bring A Portfolio Of Work?

  • It is a very good idea to take examples of your past work – especially if they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • Discussing through your portfolio can help you relax at an interview, as you’re discussing something you know well.
  • You can also print off items from the employer’s website to discuss. This shows a level of initiative to learn about the company and puts you in good stead.

Do Recommendations Help & What Should I Bring?

  • Online recommendations are always helpful to support your claims of what you’ve done.
  • If you have physical testimonials or hard copies of recommendations then also take these into your interview.
  • A nice range of testimonials from previous employers will help showcase the kind of worker you are.

Should I Be Afraid To Showcase My Personality?

  • You need to strike a balance between showing your character & enthusiasm and being diplomatic & professional.
  • Consider your environment and your interviewer(s). Mirror their behavior and tone of voice.
  • Don’t try and be something you’re not. If you’re employed off of this and the employer doesn’t like the real you, you can create an unpleasant working environment for yourself.

Do You Have Any Tips To Manage Nerves?

  • Accept that it’s perfectly fine and natural to be nervous.
  • Don’t be afraid to voice to your interviewer that you’re nervous. It shows a level of honesty and can mean they’ll take steps to help you relax.
  • Be prepared. Have your route, outfit, questions to ask, etc. all ready the night before – so you’ll have no extra stresses to throw you on the day.

What Kind Of Questions Should I Ask At The End Of The Interview?

  • Do some research on the company website. Ask about departments, company goals, sector news, etc. Show that you’re taken a keen interest to the company.
  • Ask about your interviewer’s personal experiences and challenges in the role – and what they look for in a candidate to overcome these challenges.
  • If all your prepared questions get answered during the interview, clarify at the end what questions you had and as and when they were answered.

What Are The Biggest Mistakes People Make In Interviews & How Can I Avoid Them?

  • Making a poor first impression. Be slightly early, smile, be clean; offer a solid handshake and strike up a conversation with your interviewer as you settle in.
  • Not clearly answering the question asked. If you’re not sure, ask the interviewer to clarify, but don’t waffle or answer around the question.
  • Not summarising at the end. Always have a strong closing statement, where you thank the interviewer, reaffirm key points, show enthusiasm for the role and finish on a confident high note.

How to use LinkedIn for my job search?

LinkedIn and social media have never been more intrinsic to our job search activity, which is why it’s never been more important to get it right. Whether it’s how to write your profile, what connections to make or how to manage your social media accounts, here are our top tips to using social media to enhance your job search.

  • It’s often the first port of call for potential employers.
  • You can use it as an extension of your C.V.
  • You can display interests that support the industry of the job you’re applying for.

How Should I Write My LinkedIn Summary?

  • Be personal. Talk about you and your interests and your motivations.
  • Don’t just list a set of skills – your skillset is the dedicated part of your profile that you can use to do this.
  • Discuss work you’ve done for your current company. LinkedIn is very useful as a business contact network and presence of company activity in your summary can help bring new work to your company.

What Tips Do You Have For Using LinkedIn As Part Of Your Job Search?

  • View the profile of your employer if you have an interview. Often, they will see that you’ve done this – showing initiative to learn about the company you’re applying to work for.
  • Follow the company you’re applying for. You will be able to see activities and industry related news relevant to them, giving you an edge for the interview.
  • Join relevant sector communities and share articles related to the sector of the company you’re applying for.

What Are The Biggest Mistakes I Can Avoid Making On LinkedIn & How Can I Avoid Them?

  • Using an inappropriate profile picture. Use a professional headshot and not photos with family, friends or during a night out.
  • Posting personal messages. LinkedIn is a professional business platform, so use it in that vein and don’t post personal status updates.
  • Only like, comment and share in a way you’d be happy for peers to see – as all these engagements are visible to others.

  • It’s important to remember your social media accounts are an extension of yourself.
  • Public social media accounts are a reflection of your work self – so consider the things you are liking and pictures you are tagged in.
  • If you want to distinguish between yourself and your work self, you should set your profile to private.

Meet our team of career advisors!

Our team of advisors and consultants are here to meet your every needs. All of our consultants specialise in their individual sector, guaranteeing you expert service in your chosen career path.


Ellis
Specialist in Creative & Digital


Born and bred in Sheffield 6, Ellis started in humble beginnings at Benchmark as an apprentice in the autumn of 2012. She has since climbed the Benchmark ladder and grafted to secure herself a role as Senior Consultant at Benchmark. She is now busy helping fill people’s ambitions in the I.T, Creative & Digital world. With a fiery personality, it’s no surprise she is the most competitive person in the office, and a big football fan – and player! Ellis proudly wears the Sheffield Wednesday shirt for the ladies first team every weekend. With a huge love for music, she can find common ground with almost anyone, with everything from The Smiths to Notorious B.I.G found in her music collection.

Keren
Specialist in Sales


As a child Keren liked to be in the spot light spending many hours at drama classes and playing the violin. Keren also loved to play dress up and developed a passion for fashion, heading to Manchester to pursue a degree in Fashion. She then went on to be a buyer for a menswear fashion retailer before her head turned to recruitment and she settled back in her home town of Sheffield. After her stint as a fashion buyer, Keren has a natural affinity to sales and is thriving as a recruiter. Keren is our resident fashionista and brings to the team an eye for style.

Rebecca
Team Manager and Specialist in Office Support


Rebecca moved from her rural home town of Herefordshire to the bright lights of Sheffield to study in 2007 – she loved it so much she hasn’t left since! Falling into a career in law, Rebecca decided that whilst she loved her clients drafting Wills wasn’t the feel good factor she was after – luckily Benchmark swooped in and tooled her to be a Recruitment Consultant. Rebecca has since progressed to take the role of Team Manager focusing on supporting the team and delivering a quality Benchmark experience. She is also proud Mummy of two cats Marmite and Mabel – she is described in the office as a ‘crazy cat lady’ which she wears like a badge of honour.

Kieron
Specialist in IT


Kieron is our chezz-vegas lad who returned to his roots after a stint of recruitment over the hills in Manchester. After enduring the Chesterfield to Manchester commute for 18 months he wanted to be closer to home to be with his family and see more of his son. Kieron is also a keen animal lover, those of the scaly variety – to date he has four snakes. As well as reptiles, he loves his classic cars and is working on trading in his Clio for a classic – a 1989 3 series BMW or a Mk 1 escort would do nicely!

Richard
Specialist in Executive Search


Richard’s route to recruitment isn’t conventional as he comes from a military background where he served as a medic in Iraq – naturally he’s now our resident first aider! More recently Richard worked in the property industry where he got a taste for business development. Richard loves his sport and recently caught the running bug after doing the Sheffield half marathon. If there’s hint of good weather, and he’s not running, Richard will be firing up the BBQ – he acquired a taste for BBQ’s after visiting the States. On his radar is getting a reservation at Red’s True BBQ – seemingly Sheffield’s hottest table in town!

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Benchmark Recruit

The Workstation
15 Paternoster Row
S1 2BX

0114 221 0550

info@benchmarkrecruit.co.uk