See Yourself through Employers Eyes

At Clean Slate, we work with jobseekers to explore what employers want. We have workshops where we get together and work through situations where everyone takes the role of the employer. It really helps see things from a different point of view and often people pick up tips on ways to improve the way they present themselves to employers.

Personal Statements: Next time you’re somewhere boring, like a GP’s surgery or the Job Centre, imagine yourself recruiting the staff there. Make a list of what would be important to you as the boss and what the ideal candidate would be like. Write a statement in 50 words or less that would tell the employer you’re the right person for the job. Do you have a statement that tells an employer you’re the right person for the dream job (or the next job) you’ve set your sights on?

CVs: It’s easy to write a list of things you have done but if you were the employer, which CVs would you throw out? Get hold of a few sample CVs and decide who you would employ and why. Pretend you’re a ruthless manager and tear the CVs apart. What is the worst you can make up about gaps in the job history? Do they tell you things you don’t need to know and does this mean they’ll waffle on the job? Does every line tell you they want the job on offer? For Clean Slate, CV should stand for ‘Clear Vision’, just telling the employer how well you meet their needs. More info

Interviews: People say ‘imagine the interviewer you naked, then you’ll feel less nervous’. That might put you off. Just imagine yourself asking the questions. What would you want to know? Do you want be tough or make the candidate relaxed so you just find the best person? Don’t you just have a list of tick boxes? Now, list all the ways you can prove you tick those boxes. Get it right and the interview won’t feel like a tug of war – you’ll feel like you’re pulling in the same direction.

‘What if’: Before attending an interview, think about what the job entails. In the past year, Clean Slate recruited stewards and handymen (and handywomen) and we all discussed incidents that an employer might have to deal with: lateness, bad attitude, personal hygiene. Then we took the role of the boss dealing with issues relating to the jobs we were recruiting for – being asked to take responsibility for things beyond the role, for example. Having seen why it’s important to an employer, you can put this across in an interview situation. It shows you’re a safe pair of hands.