Candidates

Here at Durham Professional Services we understand that you, the candidate, would like to be treated as an individual, with your own needs, desires and requirements. It is our aim to provide you with an effective and ethical service which will assist you in securing the best opportunity possible and building a long lasting partnership with us. Whether you are in the early stages of your career or are at a crossroads in your development, it is our aim to offer you impartial advice and encouragement throughout the search and subsequent recruitment process. We will engage you to determine your aspirations; what motivates you and explore the criteria you have for your new role. We understand how important it is to get the right company fit which will meet your career and personal ambitions, and also take great care in identifying the best potential employers and opportunities for you. We then work closely with you to develop your own personal plan and objectives which will enable you to achieve these aims and keep you informed of relevant opportunities.
 
Top Tips
The CV or Curriculum Vitae is primarily your sales tool - it's an advert of yourself targeted at getting you an interview and increasing your chances of securing your “dream job”.

CV's are used by employers to determine your suitability to the role and subsequent shortlist as such it is one of the most important documents you will ever use. It is therefore vitally important that you get it right, without a “Tip Top” CV, you may never get recognised and make the all-important shortlist. 
 
Points to Consider in writing a CV 
What do you wish to convey to you audience;
What, do you feel, are the strengths you have that will make you so employable to a new company?
Think about:-
  • the skills you have learned;
  • educational excellence;
  • project experience;
  • previous employers you have worked for.

What job are you going for?
Target your CV to suit the position you are applying for - “one-size” doesn’t always fit all. For example; focus on the particular facets of your skills and experience which you feel makes you a suitable candidate for the role.
Consider things such as:-
  • your technical skills;
  • projects you have worked on;
  • the type of company you have previously worked for;
  • Personal qualities you bring to the workplace etc.
 
Presentation
A well-presented CV is essential to the application process. As such you should consider the following when starting, tailoring or updating a CV.
  • black ink, typed on A4 white paper, the same font and size throughout the document;
  • embolden headings to heighten visual impact;
  • use space to highlight certain points;
  • be grammatically correct, check spellings etc;
  • eliminate the use of boxes where possible (recruiter’s nightmare!);
  • introduce yourself with a strong succinct overview of your skills;
  • no photos (very European) and we will see your personal qualities when we meet you.
 
Length
Keep it to the point and ask yourself, will this help me get an interview? Don’t worry if it runs over more than 2 pages. Focus strongly on your most recent roles and highlight your achievements and where and when you achieved them. Try to avoid having to cross reference your achievements on multiple pages. It’s also worth considering what is it about the role you like and what skills have you used most recently.
 
Style
Keep it simple, eliminate as above!
 
Get your dream job with DPS
Now onto getting that Dream Job with the company of choice. First of all consider what the best job you have ever had was and why was it the best job?
 
When candidates are asked this question, they often talk about a job where they worked with great people or where the job was really interesting or where they were well-paid. With DPS, we want to focus on getting you all three: a great position, working within an organisation where you will fit in and where you will be financially rewarded.

How is this achieved? We do it by working in partnerships with you. We take the time to understand your individual needs and then focus on matching these to the right kind of jobs and organisations. This involves us working with you to determine the kind of positions and working environments that you most value, why this is so, and then concentrating our efforts into finding you a career you will love that won’t just be a job.

Regardless of which area of Professional Services you work in, we will endeavour to make sure it's the right position for you.

To find out more or if you have any questions, call us on 0141 244 0246 for an informal chat. Alternatively, contact us here and we can be working on finding you the job of your dreams right away.

Interview Preparation
You now have that killer CV, you have been shortlisted for interview, what happens now. Well first of all don’t panic, we are here to work with you throughout this process and beyond, so don’t worry. In the meantime here are some points to consider when preparing yourself for interview.
Please take the time to read this information as it may help you in gaining the knowledge you need to get the job you want.
 
First Impressions Count
Think first date, it may be a long time ago but studies have shown that 4 minutes is all it takes for lasting impressions to be made. It is essential therefore to...
 
Look Your Best
Smart appearance is generally considered a must in an interview situation. Prospective employers generally consider well-presented, smart looking people more attractive. This means, be attractive in the way you dress, in your gestures, facial expressions and the way you speak. It also means be on time. You do not want to appear at the interview having run up 10 flights of stairs or look like you have been dragged through a hedge backwards. It also means making sure you know where you are going at what time and if you’re on public transport check out the latest travel updates.
 
Tune into Your Own Body Language
Ever watch the Apprentice? No, well researches have determined that body language, the way we speak and the gesture we make are extremely important at this stage so here are some do’s and don’ts that can be practised in the mirror beforehand.
 
Do:-
  • identify the little things you do when tense, for example twirling of a lock of hair, or playing with a pen;
  • try and train yourself to correct these behaviours; they undermine the strength of what you are saying. For example as a close friend or colleague how you react in stressful circumstance, be aware of these and train yourself not to do them. For example, facial expressions are a real giveaway to your mood, oh and try not to leave toothpaste anywhere unsightly;
  • sit squarely in the chair, feet on the floor and shoulders straight. Attention!
 
Don’t:-
  • slouch or jiggle your feet, that’s a particular annoyance;
  • fidget;
  • scratch (out with the bounds of normal behaviour!).
 
Work on Your Handshake
In the business world the handshake conveys crucial messages about power and status, a good firm handshake is what is required, not too hard mind you don’t want to crush fingers or appear too “alpha male”. PS not too sweaty either, watch that one!

Establish Good Eye Contact
Eye contact is the most remembered element in forming an impression of someone. Try to sustain direct eye contact with the interviewer(s). But be sure not to make it too intense, the interviewer may believe you to be a crazy stalker and you don’t want that

Say What You Mean
Your goal is to exude confidence and be believed. However, do not lie, no not ever. You can be rest assured DPS will not alter your CV in anyway, that way the CV the interviewer has is the one you gave us. Be constant with your body language and what you're saying, for example most people move less when they are lying and their body language becomes less fluid, check that one out the next you think you have been told a little white lie Use a person's name when talking and avoid talking for too long. The best communicators speak in short sentences and sometimes even in highlighted points, think Obama. Do not seem too eager to please, or too desperate for the job, don’t take flowers or chocolates to the interview that is just wrong.

Be Prepared
Read up on the company and relevant industry news. Also be aware of any recent news worthy events so make sure you read a paper or the news online. Be prepared and ready to discuss their business. Your advising consultant at DPS will be happy to provide any company information that you may require. It is also always worth preparing some questions to ask at the end of the interview, don’t ask about the holiday entitlement or when you expect to get a sabbatical.

Be Yourself
Last but not least be yourself. To improve your body language, be comfortable within yourself. People who know that they have a relaxed way of talking and moving usually come across well.

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