Job Seeker Tips

CV Writing

There is no one right way to write your CV. Try running a search for “CV writing tips” and you will find a whole host of good, bad and often contradictory advice. The tips below are simply based on our experience of what works.

  • Consider your audience. Often employers will receive dozens or even hundreds of applications for a role. This makes it almost impossible for them to read and absorb every CV in detail, so you will need to demonstrate suitability in the first few lines. The best way to do this is to write a profile. This is a summary of your experience in one or two paragraphs.
  • Your CV – and particularly the summary – should be accurate, but should also reflect the role you are applying for – it’s smart to tailor your CV to the job you are applying for!
  • Broadly your CV should include from top to bottom: Summary, work history and/or experience (relevant skills to the job in question), education and qualifications, interests, hobbies and some references. Your name and contact information should form the header.
  • Keep your CV concise, clear and avoid repetition – aim for pith! Your CV should be 3 pages long at most and shouldn’t bore the reader!
  • The content should be specific and meaningful. For example, if you manage a group of clients, describe your portfolio in detail – assets under management, income, number of clients, asset classes etc. This will help to demonstrate relevance.
  • Make sure your spelling and punctuation are perfect!


The key to a successful interview is preparation, whether you are a seasoned professional or early on in your career. Interviewers vary hugely as do the questions you might be asked, but here are some questions that will often come up.

  • Give an example of when you have dealt with conflict in the team/with a client.
  • What would you say are your main strengths and weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years’ time?
  • Which parts of your current role do you feel are transferable to this position?
  • Why do you want to work for us?

The new University Challenge: Justify top fees as only half of graduates get graduate-level jobs

Research shows that a third of recent UK graduates earn well below the national average wage, while women are paid less than men six months after graduation

• Just half (52%) of graduates are in graduate-level jobs six months after graduation

• Almost a third (29%) of graduates are on a salary of less than £20,000 six months after graduation, well below the UK average of £28,300

• Women on average are paid £21,500 six months after graduation, compared to an average salary of £24,000 for male graduates

• STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates are more likely to be unemployed after six months than the average graduate, despite the Government focus on encouraging people to pursue those subjects

UK universities should be prevented from charging the maximum level of tuition fees unless they deliver better graduate outcomes, a new report from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has recommended ahead of the Budget next week.


‘The graduate employment gap: expectations versus reality’ shows that just half (52%) of graduates secure a graduate-level job six months after they finish their course. The Government’s official figure is inflated to 77% by including ‘associate professional and technical occupations’ such as dancers, choreographers, fitness instructors, youth and community workers, despite the ONS stating that these jobs ‘do not require a degree’.


The findings call into question the current balance between the Government’s investment in university education relative to the investment in the UK’s under-funded vocational and adult skills education pathways.


The report also shows that the continued focus on boosting graduate qualification rates in the UK appears to have had little effect on productivity, with the UK languishing in sixteenth place in GDP per hour among OECD countries, despite having the fifth highest proportion of residents educated to degree level.

Lizzie Crowley, skills adviser at the CIPD, said:


“As we look ahead to the Budget next week, the Government should consider linking tuition fees to graduate destination data in order to prevent higher education institutions charging top rate fees while delivering bottom rate outcomes.


“This report shows that the preoccupation of successive governments with boosting graduate numbers is leading to high levels of over-qualification and potentially skills mismatches, which the OECD suggests undermines productivity growth. Many people in ‘graduate jobs’ are actually in roles that don’t require degrees, and with the spiralling costs of university students need to ask themselves whether a degree path is the best route into their career.”


“We need much better careers advice and guidance to ensure that young people are equipped with the information they need to make informed decisions, alongside high quality alternative vocational routes into employment that offer routes other than university education.”


The research also finds a clear gender pay disparity for recent graduates, even if they study the same course at a top ten university.


The findings were consistent across subject area, with male graduates enjoying a higher salary regardless of the areas of study looked at in the research. The research showed that, six months after graduation:


• More than a quarter (28%) of male law graduates were earning £30k+, compared with just over one in ten (14%) female law graduates


• Nearly three-quarters (71%) of male medicine and dentistry graduates were earning £30k+, compared to three in five (62%) female graduates


• More than half (54%) male veterinary sciences graduates were earning £30k+, compared with just two in five (39%) female graduates


• Female graduates who managed to secure a job in the top occupational band (managers and senior officials) were almost twice as likely to be paid less than £20,000 as their male counterparts, with 25% of women in this category compared with 15% of men


Lizzie Crowley continued:

“It has long been claimed that the differential in pay between male and female graduates was to do with their chosen subjects of study, but this data proves that the gender pay gap is baked in from the point of graduation. Regardless of what women study, or indeed where they study, they are paid less than their male peers.


“If we are going to eliminate the gender pay gap then employers need to ensure they are paying fairly right across their organisation from day one, including among recent graduates.”


Finally, the research also reveals that, despite a strong government focus on boosting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, STEM graduates are more likely to be unemployed six months after graduation than graduates from other disciplines.


Compared to a national unemployment rate of 4.9%, STEM graduate unemployment rates are:

• 8.6%% for computer science graduates

• 6.5% for physical science graduates

• 6% for engineering and technology graduates

• 6.5% for mathematical science graduates

Lizzie Crowley said:

“The Government has continually focused on boosting STEM skills, and encouraging graduates to pursue those subjects at university, but that investment doesn’t appear to be translating into better graduate outcomes.

“Until we address this problem, and do more to identify the core skills that make STEM subjects so valuable, additional investment in STEM risks being wasted.”

Offering the right employee package is key for recruitment

Whilst the UK is reeling in uncertainty following Brexit, many recruiters have seen a decline in applications, says Raj Lal, sales manager, Totaljobs. However, it is innovation that will lead the way to 2018 being a productive year for the industry.

Lal explains that the introduction of a technologically advanced workforce has meant that employers need to be more aware of the brand and offering the right package is of the utmost importance.

What has been the most innovative thing you have seen from the industry this year?

Online advertising techniques are constantly evolving and improving. That’s why we employ 200 tech professionals at Totaljobs to ensure that we’re ahead of the curve.

One success story we’ve been particularly struck by in recent months is programmatic advertising. With huge pools of eligible and committed candidates using websites like ours, the ability to follow their journey online and expand the impact of recruitment advertising on them is hugely beneficial to all. Being able to re-direct potential candidates back to relevant jobs can hugely boost candidate delivery and is a fantastic reward for great innovation.

What are the key recruitment trends right now?

With employment rates in the UK at the highest since the mid-1970s, we are operating within a candidate-led market. This means that advertisers have to prise skilled candidates from their competitors during a period of full employment. The result is that attraction must be smarter, adverts need to be bolder – and benefits need to stand out.

This combined with the introduction of a more tech-savvy workforce has meant that the importance of the employer brand and offering the right package has never been higher. It looks as though, heading into 2018, simply ‘posting a job’ will no longer be sufficient.

What do you think the current mood is in the industry?

With lingering uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure from the European Union, many recruiters have seen a decline in applications. From our conversations with clients, the search for quality, skilled and relevant candidates is more important than ever. We are, however, seeing the benefits of innovation, alongside an increasing confidence in candidates, suggesting that 2018 will be fruitful for recruiters.

Where do you see the recruitment industry going in the next 12 months?

ONS data shows that while UK unemployment continues to fall, wages have stagnated slightly. Those investing in the packages they can offer candidates will have an opportunity in the next 12 months, as more candidates may look to capitalise on a more secure employment rate.

Full employment also means greater competition for candidates, suggesting that recruiters will further explore alternative recruitment methods such as referral schemes, while adopting innovative interviewing practices such as virtual interviews – all with the aim of streamlining and improving the process.

Record High Employment Rates

Record high for employment rates. The new figures published by the Office for National Statistics published today show that the Unemployment figure fell by 53,000 in the three months to March 2017.

There is still a growing skills crisis in the UK and this was commented on by Recruitment and Employment CEO Kevin Green as it backs up the REC data which shows that there are not enough Candidates to fill all of the posts.

One of the only ways to secure a pay rise these days is to change jobs as real wages are falling now which is never a good thing. The one good thing for Candidates is that Companies are offering higher starting salaries to attract them and changing of jobs is made easier with the skills shortage. The issue is that people are a little reluctant to change jobs right now as the economy is being put under strain.

This issue will have to be handle by Government as it will be a huge challenge to keep the job market on course and address the skills shortage. Of course Brexit will be another challenge to negotiate to allow foreign workers to come and work in the UK to fill the skills shortage.

There is an increase in Permanent Employment which is a good sign that business confidence is growing. This comment was made after Self Employment figures fell slightly. We are starting to see difficulties ahead, the CIPD’s survey results which were issued recently  suggest that there will be a wage freeze announce by approximately 19% of companies or organisations and wages will stagnate or only rise by around 1% for this year.

The Job Market is very robust as the UK’s unemployment falls. This was commented on by John Salt from Totaljobs. Brexit and other Global issues have not caused the job market to falter and we are sure that after the elections on June the 8th things will continue to improve.

Should Employers be required to provide interview feedback?

Global companies (incl 02, Fujitsu, Network Rail,) are backing a campaign which aims to force employers to provide feedback to interviewed candidates.

Research shows that a staggering 4 in 5 job seekers who are interviewed in person do not receive any feedback whatsoever from the interviewing company.

Some companies claim a lack of time is the reasoning for not providing the candidate with any feedback. This can be very disheartening for job seekers never knowing any positive or negative aspects of the interview. Some hold out and potentially lose out on other jobs as they wait to hear back from an employer they really wished to work for.

What are your thoughts on forcing an employer to provide an interviewed candidate with feedback on how the interview went?

Figures show that UK employment growth is largely driven by foreign nationals

Figures show that UK employment growth is largely driven by foreign nationals News

The vast majority of employment growth was driven by non-UK nationals in the final three months of 2016 compared with a year earlier, the latest official figures on the labour market revealed.

Of the 303,000 more people in work between October and December compared with a year earlier, 233,000 were non-UK nationals, taking the total to 3.48 million according to the Office for National Statistics. UK nationals working in Britain increased by 70,000 over the same period to 28.44 million.

Over the past two decades, the number of non-UK nationals working in Britain has increased by more than a million, taking the proportion of the workforce from 3.8% to 10.9%, partly reflecting the expansion of the EU as new member states were admitted.

The figures are likely to be seized upon ahead of the Stoke-on-Trent and Copeland by-elections next week. Both constituencies voted decisively for Brexit in the EU referendum last June.

The latest jobs report also revealed that Britain’s workers are struggling to get pay rises despite record levels of employment, with commentators warning that UK families are facing the prospect of a fresh squeeze in living standards over the next year.

Pay growth excluding bonuses slowed unexpectedly to 2.6% between October and December, from 2.7% between September and November, despite a record employment rate of 74.6% and a labour market that is “edging towards full capacity” according to the ONS.

Real pay growth of 1.4% was the slowest in two years, as the gap narrows between inflation – which is rising – and the rate of wage increases.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “With prices rising faster, real pay growth is now slowing down. This will be worrying for families whose have still not seen their living standards recover following the financial crisis. Next month’s budget must set out a clear plan for preventing another fall in living standards.”

James Smith, economist at ING, said the latest report would “ring alarm bells” for consumers.

Fuel and food prices pushed up the headline inflation rate from 1.6% in December to 1.8% in January, the highest in more than two years.

Inflation is expected to reach about 3% over the next 12 months as the sharp fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote drives up the cost of goods imported from abroad.

Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The encouraging news on jobs isn’t feeding through into earnings, which have shown no sign of responding to fast-rising inflation. Unless this changes Britain is set for a fresh pay squeeze later this year.”

The number of people in work rose by 37,000 the final quarter of 2016 compared with the previous quarter, to 31.8 million. The employment rate among women hit 70% for the first time since records began in 1971.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, tweeted: “Encouraging labour market stats out today; record high employment rate and youth unemployment at its lowest level for more than 12 years.”

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at an 11-year low of 4.8% between October and December, with the number of people out of work falling by 7,000 to 1.6 million.

In January, the number of people claiming jobless benefits fell unexpectedly by 42,000 to 745,000. Economists had predicted a small rise of 800.

Debbie Abrahams, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, welcomed the rise in employment but said it was worrying to see that rising living costs were catching up with wage growth.

“If this trend continues, the government’s abysmal record on living standards will get even worse,” she said. “With wages set to be lower in 2021 than before the Tories came to power, they must now act to stop the growing pressure on low and middle income families.”

GoJobSearch UK Excited about new site launch – 1st May 2017

With GoJobSearch now reaching thousands of candidates and employers every month, we are excited about the launch of our new website. The launch date is scheduled for the 1st of May 2017 and it is all hands on deck in preparation.

Get in touch with us at any time if you have any questions:

Lloyds Bank announces locations of 100 branch closures and 325 job losses

Lloyds Bank has announced the locations of 100 branch closures that will lead to 325 job losses.

The announcement affects 54 LBG branches, 22 Halifax branches and 24 Bank of Scotland branches.

The job losses form part of a wider cost-cutting programme that will see 12,000 jobs go by the time it is complete.

A spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group said the latest closures formed part of a plan first announced in June 2016, adding that branches would continue to play a “vital role” in meeting its customer needs.

“We will further expand the mobile branch fleet across Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank, with the addition of nine new mobile branches,” the spokesperson added.

“This will provide continuity of services in some of those areas affected by branch closures, alongside other ways to access banking locally.”

Unite the union, which represents Lloyds staff, expressed anger over the decision to close the branches.

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer said: “The continuous stream of branch closures announced by the UK’s retail bank branches appears to show no signs of ending. The loss of a further 100 local banks will be painful for high streets across the country to absorb.

“Lloyds Banking Group’s rationale for branch closures is the claimed customer preference towards the use of technology across banking. However this simply doesn’t ring true when it’s clear that many customers still value the face to face engagement with experienced and knowledgeable bank staff.

“The industry must halt these endless branch closure programs and open their eyes to what these closures are doing to rural communities, their disabled customers and the small business customers who depend on access to a local branch.”

Last month the Royal Bank of Scotland announced it would close over 150 bank branches and cut 470 jobs in response to changing consumer behaviour and a surge in the popularity of online and mobile banking.

Citing similar reasons, HSBC said in January that it plans to close 62 branches this year, resulting in up to 180 job losses.

Thousands of jobs at risk as Tesco announces plan to cut shifts and opening hours

Thousands of jobs at Tesco are at risk after the supermarket announced plans to cut back on night shifts and trading hours at its UK branches.

The retail giant said the move was part of “further improvements” to customer service.

Around 3,000 staff will be affected by the changes, which will see restocking shifts at 69 of its shops change from overnight to daytime hours, and trading hours at eight of its 24-hour stores cut back to 6am to midnight.

It will also merge different services desks, “so that customers can get everything they need in one place”.

A consultation will be launched over the coming weeks, and the supermarket expects the majority of staff will stay on with Tesco in some capacity.

The changes are expected to come into force by summer 2017.

Tesco’s UK chief executive Matt Davies said: “We’re committed to improving the way we serve our customers and this week have discussed making further changes in a number of UK stores with our colleagues.

“These changes will help us run these stores more simply and deliver the best possible service for customers.

“We appreciate these changes will impact the roles of some of our colleagues and we will work with them to ensure they are fully supported throughout this period.”