Morris Clarke Recruitment

Career Planning

Planning your career is one of the most important activities but one that so few people do well or at all.

So why is it so important? You wouldn't build a house without a plan so don't build your career without one.

  1. Well not least because you will spend between twelve and fifteen thousand days at work in your lifetime.
  2. "If you don't know where you are going, any road'll take you there" - George Harrison.Know where you are going - take control
  3. Having a solid plan of not only what industry you would like to work in but what your ultimate job will be, will help:
    1. plan your ongoing education and training requirements
    2. spot opportunities that would ordinarily pass unnoticed
    3. meet the people that will influence your career
  4. A plan helps you focus on what you should do when thinking about a new career or progressing in your career.
  5. In short, a plan helps you to recognise and then realise your ambitions

Your CV

Your CV is your 'Shop Window'. It is what will ultimately entice someone into your 'shop' to purchase your services. The most successful shops are those that put a lot of effort into designing their window display.

The basic approach

  • At the top of course, put your name, address and contact details and if the job requires you to drive show your license status e.g. Full UK
  • Next, one or two paragraphs of you. This should be a concise summary of the rest of your CV. Take this opportunity to hook the reader into bothering to read on. Most people will decide within the first half page whether they are interested in you. Think shop window
  • Ok, now your career summary starting with your most recent. Mention your key responsibilities and achievements. Keep it relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Lastly, training that is relevant to the position that you are seeking and your education, again starting with the most recent.

Remember, don't put something that cannot be substantiated or that will unravel in an interview. Don't be too 'British', sell yourself, you are almost certainly better than you think

Tip - Every time you alter your CV for a different job, save it in a sub-folder of that job name. This way it is easy to have a common CV file name but to be able to quickly find the version that you want to use.

Key Words for your CV and Covering Letter

Action Verbs

accelerated activated adapted administered analysed
approved assisted completed conceived conduced
controlled coordinated created delegated developed
directed eliminated established evaluated expanded
expedited experienced expanded facilitated generated
implemented improved increased influenced initiated
interpreted launched lead lectured maintained
managed mastered motivated organised originated
participated performed pinpointed planned prepared
programmed proposed proved recommended reduced
reinforced revamped reviewed revised scheduled
set-up simplified solved streamlined structured
supervised supported taught trained worked
removed reorganised repeated responsible

Self Descriptive Words

accurately active adaptable adept aggressive
alert ambitious analytical assertive astute
attentive aware broad-minded challenging competent
conscientious consistent constructive contributor creative
dependable determined diplomatic disciplined discreet
diverse dynamic easily economical efficient
energetic enterprising enthusiastic exceptional experienced
expertise extensively extraverted facilitator fair
forceful foresight high-level honest imaginative
independent initiative innovative instrumental insightful
leading logical loyal mature methodical
objective optimistic participated perceptive personable
pioneering pleasant positive practical productive
readily realistic reliable repeatedly resourceful
responsible responsive self-reliant sensitive sincere
sophisticated strongly systematic tactful talented
unique versatile vigorous will travel will relocated

Interview Tips

  • The more you prepare, the more confident you will be at the interview.
  • Research the company that will employ you. Extremely important
  • Understand the role that you have applied for.
  • Think of and rehearse as many real examples of your capabilites relative to the job...SOARA
    • Situation - e.g. How I dealt with a difficult Customer Complaint
    • Objectives - e.g. My objectives in this situation were...
    • Actions - The actions I (not we) took to resolve the situation were...
    • Result - The result of the actions I took was...
    • Aftermath - What you did to ensure that this failure doesn't happen again.
  • Look the part - make the effort to look like you are taking it seriously, no matter what the job.
  • Have some questions to ask in the interview and then use them to engage the interviewer

Interviews are not always carried out be people who are trained to interview. The interview may or may not be very structured. Be prepared for either extreme.

Accepting Feedback

Whether of not you are successful at interview, constructive feedback is important. The interviewer owes it to you to provide you with any learning points that come from the interview. Try to establish how that feedback will be delivered but without sounding like you know that you know that you haven't done well

You could establish this at an early opportunity. Or simply say 'regardless of whether I am successful I would welcome some feedback on my interview performance'.

Accepting the Job

Ok, well done, you were successful. Now you have to decide whether you still want the job and if so you need to think about negotiating your terms, agreeing a start date, handing in your notice at your current employer.

Clearly you are what the company is looking for. If the salary and benefits are negotiable consider carefully what you are prepared to accept and what you feel the company may be prepared to offer. It is important to remember your value to the company and how much you want to be employed by them.