The Daunting Application Process

Here are some basic tips for you to keep in mind when applying.
Application Stage:

  • Apply to as many places as possible to increase your chances. You can apply online or even visit a few recruitment agencies on the high street, just talk them through what it is your looking for and they’ll keep your C.V. on file until something suitable turns up. If you do decide to visit the agencies try and dress casual smart so a smart shirt or blouse with trousers and shoes should do the trick, remember you don’t need to dress too formal, e.g. a suit and tie, you can save that for the interview stage.
  • Don’t lie although you can slightly exaggerate yourself, just remember whoever is looking at your C.V. has probably seen hundreds so make it stand out but don’t overdo it.
  • Make sure everything you put down on your C.V. is clearly spaced out and easy to read.
  • Your C.V. should ideally be one page but if you’re struggling to cut it down then the maximum number of pages should be two.
  • Make sure the email address you put down on your C.V. is sensible! You’d be surprised how many students can get this wrong. Try and keep it simple so you can use your name or initials for example sarahjones@studentfinanceadvisor.co.uk & remember your trying to create a good impression...even on paper.

Interview stage:

  • Dress smart.
    • Shirt/Tie with smart trousers and shoes for men.
    • Shirt with a smart skirt or trousers with shoes for women.

Dress to avoid:

  • Men: Don’t wear piercings and cover tattoos.
  • Women: Keep makeup and jewellery minimal and cover any tattoos.
  • Both: Avoid trainers, jeans and casual clothing even if this is their dress code on the job and first impressions are everything.

Interview Technique:

  • Start the interview with a handshake and a smile.
  • If asked how you are or how your day has been, stick to happy thoughts but also mention something like the weather or traffic and then mirror the question which will be a good icebreaker.

“Yes I’m fine thank you, the traffic was terrible on the way here, how about yourself?”

  • This tells the interviewer that you are confident. Remember they are not only looking at you as a worker of the company but also as a colleague, so its important for them to feel they can work with you.
  • Be confident, smile and ask questions when relevant. This shows you are keen as you are taking an interest in the job role.
  • Don’t be scared to ask about pay, everyone is there to get paid. Ask about commission where relevant, bonus structures and examples of how much bonus a top and average seller is getting. This shows you are aiming for average sales and above and not just the minimum.
  • End the interview with a handshake and positively. Ask when you can expect to hear from them.

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