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The early part of a New Year can be a good time to focus on your career and your personal goals for the coming year. You may be thinking of either looking for promotion within your current company or you may be thinking of applying to another company. Is there anything that you can do in order to increase your chances of being offered your dream job? The answer is yes, however it does need considerable input from you...
Last Updated: 27-Aug-2010
Of course before getting that crucial job offer there are the following hurdles to clear; your CV requires careful writing, there is pre-interview research to do and then the interview process itself to go through. You could stumble at any one of these hurdles. Checking these simple tips from the Vacancy Management Company can help you improve your chances of being offered that “Plumb Job” and give you handy hints on job search skills and interview techniques. If you want to know more read on...

The advice we give to anyone thinking of applying for a new position is to remind them that your career is long term and that you must make the right move at the right time. Applying for a new job should not be done without careful consideration. In order to perform to your highest potential you must only apply for those jobs that you know that you will be happy and successful in. So many good sales people automatically feel that they should apply for a Marketing position or for a Sales Manager’s role as their next career move. Remember just because you are a good sales person it doesn’t follow that you will make a good Product Manager or Sales Manager. Some of your current skills may be transferable however there are several extra skills that you will require in order to be successful in either of these roles.

Hint No.1 -The Role Specification
Before applying for any job ask the recruiter for a full job specification. Thoroughly read the job description and then be objective about your own skills. Ask yourself, do your skills and experience really match the requirements of the new job? Consider getting third party feedback from your line manager or perhaps your training manger about your current skills. Then assess the potential gaps in your own skill set compared to the job that you are applying for. If the gaps are reasonably trainable then this is generally acceptable by the employer. If however these gaps are due to lack of fundamental aptitude or experience then the job is probably not suitable for you.

Hint No. 2 – Your CV
Remember that your CV is the document that promotes you to potential employers. It must therefore provide the reader with everything they want to know about you and your achievements in a clear and concise manner. Potential employers don’t want to read a version of War & Peace. They want a punchy and interesting CV that satisfies their needs and says to them “I really want to know more about this person”. Below are the key things that should be in your CV.

  • A personal profile; experience, skills and attributes aligned to the job specification that you are applying for.
  • Your key successes over the last 3-5 years.
  • A chronology of your previous roles together with a brief description of the positions and your successes. List your most recent job first and give more information on your last two or three roles than on previous roles.
  • Education, relevant qualifications and key development courses. (Remember to seek out the originals and take copies of your qualifications as employers will want to see these).
  • Personal contact details including mobile numbers and a home E-mail address.
  • Details of your UK driving licence and any points.

If there are any gaps of employment in your CV put a brief explanation of why the gap is there, as most employers will want know.

Most importantly, remember to spell check your CV and to check it for poor grammar. Remember that your CV is your marketing tool and that means that it must be perfect. It can be your passport to that all important interview.

Hint No. 3 - Interview Preparation
Once you have achieved an interview what’s next? First try to network with people in the company or the department where the job is to be based. For external roles try searching the internet for the company values or for internal positions use the company intranet or the company magazine. Ask around amongst your friends to find out more background. Speak to the Human Resources Department and enquire who will be interviewing you. It’s also a good idea to find out what the current business strategy is for the company and the department.

  • For preparation of progressing your career, reflect on your recent successes and key achievements. Compile your own Brag File showing your achievements.
  • Practice explaining within a minute why you thought the achievements were good. Think about how you achieved your successes and remember to include anyone else who contributed to your achievements. This shows good teamwork.
  • The interviewer is also likely to ask about your strengths and what you consider your development needs are. So try practising your answers.
  • If aptitude tests are part of the process ask for some practice papers so that you can do them at home.
  • Practice answering questions in front of a mirror at home.
Overall it’s better to be over-prepared for an interview than not to be prepared at all.

Hint No. 4 - The Interview
Needless to say, plan your journey to the interview carefully. Be early rather than late. Being late for any appointment tends to put you in a negative light. Your dress code should be suitable for the job applied for. If you are uncertain what to wear it is generally better to wear a smart suit as you can always take a jacket or tie off if it is smart casual when you arrive.

  • During the interview try to relax and listen carefully to the questions that you are asked. Most interviewers are trying to find out how you do your job they are not trying to catch you out. Take time to consider your answers and try to be concise. If you waffle you are likely to lose the interviewer’s attention.
  • In terms of body language remember to give good eye contact to all those present not just the person asking the questions. Try not cross your arms or legs. A friendly smile together with a relaxed body stance can go a long way in creating a conducive atmosphere during the interview.
  • Remember to be enthusiastic about the job you have applied for and show that you have done your own research.
  • If you need to give a presentation, ensure that you not only have the right IT equipment available but that you also know how to use it. Have printed handouts for all those present and have a printed back up of the presentation too, just in case your computer lets you down.
  • At the end of the interview there is generally time for you to ask questions. Make sure that you have a list of questions that you want to ask. It may be the only time you have to ask about terms, conditions and company culture. Use it well.

Remember the personal interview is the most important part of any interview process. Make sure that you have done everything possible to show yourself in a good light. Don’t worry if you are asked to do psychometric assessments these assessments are carried out to support the interview process they are not generally used as stand alone recruitment tools. The interview is generally the most important in making the final decision.

In summary:

  • Only apply for jobs that match your personal profile and potential.
  • Write an accurate, informative and concise CV. Check for spelling mistakes and grammar.
  • Make as many enquiries about the position you are applying for as possible. Research the culture and business strategy of external companies.
  • At your interview be on time, listen to the questions, reply with well considered and concise answers. Relax, smile and enjoy the experience.
  • After the interview whether you are successful or not, ask for feedback as every interview experience should be a part of your ongoing development.


The Vacancy Management Company offers an all encompassing vacancy management service, whether you are looking for permanent or contract positions. We work with a diverse range of pharmaceutical / healthcare & veterinary companies on an exclusive basis to resource a wide range of personnel including sales, management and marketing.
We also provide training and development programmes for people within the industry to enhance your career progression.
For further details on all our range of services click here or visit