Tag Archives: cv tips

Should Graduates Register with Recruitment Agencies


Why Graduates Should Register with Recruitment Agencies

For many graduates leaving university and entering the job market is a daunting time. Due to the rising university fees and academic prowess of modern graduates, many students have to rely on part-time casual work while studying, and as such don’t have the time or opportunity to build up significant work related experience while at university.

This is just one reason why registering with a recruitment agency can be key to the successful job search of many graduates across the UK today. Recruitment agencies have in-depth knowledge about a range of different employment areas, often with dedicated personnel and teams to each area. They also have an understanding of each of their employer client’s needs and, therefore, are able to identify which employers have opportunities best suited to new and recent graduates.

While at university, most students are required to focus on academic achievement and assessment. This means that, unfortunately, graduates haven’t invested a great deal of time networking with companies and employers, or developing job search techniques. This is where a recruitment agency can act as a very efficient tool for more inexperienced graduates by utilising employer databases and specialist recruiters.

Whether a graduate is currently working or not can also be a significant reason to use a recruitment agency. Searching and securing your first professional level job can be very time consuming, if a graduate is unemployed then they might be able to commit to several hours of job search a day, however if they are working they might not have enough time. A recruitment agency will carry out the time intensive job search on behalf of the graduate, meaning that they are freed up to work or develop their career in another way.

When searching for their first post-university job, many graduates can get discouraged. If a graduate applies for jobs on their own, they will most likely experience having to apply for a large number of positions directly. This means that they are also quite likely to experience a number of rejections, or even being ignored by employers altogether. This experience can be quite demoralising and make people feel like giving up, and although a recruitment agency can’t guarantee an employer’s interest, they can act as an important filter between the employer and graduate and are often able to give more time and feedback to the applicant.

Finally, there is nothing to lose and much to gain. Registering with a recruitment agency only takes a few minutes and can usually be done over the phone. It is also free to register with almost all recruitment agencies, and they will keep clients on their databases until they are no longer job searching. This means that even if a graduate does not intend to use recruitment agencies as a primary access route to employment, being registered with one or more can significantly enhance their chances of finding and securing a job.

You can search Jobsball recruitment agencies directory to find an agency to register with.

New Year – New Job

New Year New Job

New Years resolution – I’m getting a Job

So Christmas is over, you’ve been to the sales, bagged a bargain and are now looking ahead to the New Year. Wishing a fresh start or a change of career. You’re mulling over your new year resolutions and they include

I’m going to get a job in the New Year


Simple, I need a job, I don’t care what job it is, I’ll take it, I’m working in 2015.

To help you keep the resolution and help in your preparation to bag a job in the new year, we’ve put together some ideas.

Smart Targets

Get clever by setting S.M.A.R.T targets. Think S.M.A.R.T

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound


You are more likely to find a job by achieving specific goals which you set for yourself. Focus on what you are trying to achieve and how you will accomplish it. What jobs you are actually willing to do and how you apply for them?

Ask yourself

What will the outcome be? What’s suitable?

  • Full time (P/T)
  • Part time (F/T)
  • Flexible hours
  • Type of occupation e.g Retail assistant or warehouse operative

Write down a list of possible job goals

Why am I doing this? Your reasons to work

  • To earn a wage
  • A better life
  • Support my family
  • Go on a holiday abroad

Who should be involved? Its all about networking

  • Recruitment agencies and employers
  • Career advisers and coaches
  • Family and friends

Where will it be? Location, can you and are you willing to relocate?

  • Local
  • National
  • International

Which? Solutions you can employ

Identify the restrictions and limitations, thus enabling you to find solutions to overcome any barriers preventing you from finding work.


Each step taken towards finding employment should be measured by establishing some criteria. This is essential to keep you on track.

Ask yourself

  • What is it you intend to achieve? Employment
  • By when? 1st April 2015
  • How will it happen? Creating a CV

So the criteria is:

Create a current CV and buy appropriate clothing for job interviews by 2nd Feb 2015.

By writing a CV to apply for vacancies and having clothing for an interview will you be on course to be hired.


How does the dream come true? Is it possible?

Identify the attitudes, skills, abilities, training and finances required to get the job or run a business.


  • Where can I find the funding for my self employment idea ?
  • Do I need to up-skill and retrain to secure employment?


How often in our day to day conversations do we say to someone or think “be realistic”.

Are you applying for the right jobs?

Take advice and feedback from family, friends, businesses and professionals within the recruitment industry.

By thoroughly delving into your skills and experience you can discover the jobs you are capable of doing. Transferable skills are the key to what you can do.

Also remember:

You only get what you put into it, the greater the effort you exert the more likely you are to succeed. Everybody has potential and the sky is the limit. You can retrain and up-skill yourself which will open new avenues into the world of work.


The idea is to stay on track until you succeed. Think of bite size, small steps which lead to the main objective. Create a plan with timely goals

Time-bound goals can be:

  • Short term goal – Create industry specific Cover letters and CV
  • Medium term goals – Complete Digital IT course
  • Long term goals – Get a job

Create an action plan, this can be in the form of a calendar diary system. You can set reminders on your mobile phone using apps, internet diary system such as outlook calendar, a hard back diary purchased from a pound shop or notes stuck on your fridge.

By breaking up big chunks into bite size tasks which then can be completed over set periods will make it easier to find work.

More Ideas

So you’re S.M.A.R.T. Here are some additional ideas which can be part of your SMART goals

Transferable skills

What else can I do?

You may think you’re only capable of doing one or two job roles because all of your past jobs were the same or you have only worked in one industry. The reality is that everybody has a range of skills which can be transferred into a various sectors and many job roles.

When you start searching for a job, read the job specification and you will quickly realise that you already match the criteria. A job title can be misleading.

Subway advertise vacancies for Sandwich Artists, the role involves front of house sandwich preparation and face to face customer services, another employer may word it differently. A call centre operative’s transferable communication skills can be used in face to face advocacy work, sales and retail positions.

Tip: Use spider-grams to unearth your hidden skills. They help you visualise your abilities on paper.

Update and Freshen up your CV and Cover Letter

How old is your CV and Cover letter?

  • Is it months or years?
  • Are they targeted?

You should have multiple versions of your CV and Cover letter which can be quickly edited to target any job role specification. A generic document won’t match the criteria set by the employer. It’s essential you get the recruiter’s attention.

Professional Presence and  Digital footprint

Professional presence is becoming an increasingly important factor in recruitment. HR  professionals are increasingly researching candidates online as part of the sifting process.

Have appropriate email addresses and voicemails. Think about your digital footprint, you’re only on facebook and twitter, what about linkedin? make public what you want them to find and where.

Buy an new outfit, something nice and presentable

Remember: First impressions count.

Mock interview practice

Employers can ask you anything but you should prepare yourself to answer the most commonly asked questions

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What will you bring to our business?
  • Why do you want this job?

Research the companies you apply to.

  • What are their core values?
  • Any company announcements?
  • What’s the latest industry news?
  • What questions are they most likely to ask?

Practice mock interviews will increase your confidence by preparing you for the interview stage

Happy New Year to all our readers

CV Do’s and Don’ts

my cv

CV Tips and Tricks

We’ve put together some simple yet effective tips which will assist you in writing your CV. It’s amazing how we over complicate everything when trying to impress the recruiter. The key to a great CV is simplicity.

Keep it simple, easy to read and to the point. You will succeed.

CV – Do’s

  • Use a legible font.
  • Use an appropriate font size, 12pts
  • Use positive language, remember this is your ad marketing your skills and experience
  • List transferable skills from your life, past activities and experience which could give you the edge over  the competition
  • Write an industry specific and job targeted CV including a personal statement explaining what you offer. Yes, you can have more than one CV, as many as you want.
  • Spell check and then check again, twice, thrice, incorrect spelling and grammar are knockout factors.
  • Include links to your online profiles and portfolios; LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest and other social media. Employers are researching candidates online before hiring. Your digital footprint is becoming an increasingly important in the sifting process.
  • Presentation in key. Keep it simple. Tables, graphs, charts and images take time to create and can confuse the reader rather than impress them. Remember Solomon Akhtar’s business plan (pics of boats) and Claudes reaction on The Apprentice. Google it.
  • Prioritise relevant information on the first page to gain the attention and impress the recruiter, don’t bury it. First impressions count.
  • Save the document in a format which the recruiter can open, preferably MS word.

CV – Don’t

  • Don’t include your date of birth (DOB)
  • Don’t include your National Insurance Number (NINO) or it’s equivalent
  • Don’t include your bank details
  • Don’t include your sexual orientation
  • Don’t include your marital status
  • Don’t include your photo
  • Don’t depend on just one generic CV
  • Don’t be negative

First Impressions – Not just any AD – Your CV is Your AD and Brand

The CV is an integral part of the online and offline recruitment process. It is first document along with the Cover Letter that the employer sees. It isn’t just any document.

Think of your CV as

  • The first impression you give to the recruiter
  • Your personal ad
  • Your CV is you branding and marketing you
  • Your CV is you


How would you spell the title of this article

  • Dos and donts
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Dos and don’ts
  • Do’s and don’t’s
  • Donuts

Check out Grammer Girl’s article about her ideas on the subject

Good Luck and Happy New Year


The Perfect CV

Perfect CV

The Perfect CV – The Perfect Curriculum Vitae

The perfect CV is the CV that gets you the job. No matter what anyone says or how good you think your CV is, if employers aren’t responding, then the penny should drop, it’s time to create a new CV.

Targeted CV – First impressions count

You can have and should have more than one CV, a common misconception is that one size CV fits all, it doesn’t. Targeting your CV to the sector or job you are applying for will increase your chances of landing the position. Industry and job specific personal statements, key achievements and skills at the beginning of your CV are attention grabbing and more likely to impress the reader. The top half of the first page of your CV is the first thing the recruiter will read, make sure it contains relevant information. General copied and pasted statements from the internet aren’t the solution.

CV Ad – Market yourself

Your CV is your advertisement marketing you to potential employers as the perfect candidate to fill their vacancy. If the marketing is right then you will be hired. First Impressions count. An employer, on average will spend 30 seconds reading a CV, they should be able to browse through it and pick out the specific information they are looking for; how you meet the job spec and match the criteria they have set out. It should be an effortless read

CV parts or sections

A CV can have a number of sections which can be arranged and re-arranged in any order you like. It is important to remember that the layout should be logical and it should flow (easy to read). Each section should be distinguishable, this can done by enlarging the font size, underlining and bolding the section header text.
The CV section headings can be worded how you want, just make sure you keep them professional.

Here are some headings, you can add more, take some out, rearrange and reword them

  • Personal Profile
  • Objective
  • Key achievements
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Training
  • Education
  • Languages
  • Additional Information
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • References

Repeat or not to repeat, duplication of information

You may have worked at three different retail employers as a customer service agent doing the same job.

Do you write all three jobs separately listing the same duties under each job, copy and pasting the same information over and over again?


Do you list all three jobs and then write the duties underneath just the once?

Our advice is to start by listing all three jobs and then write the duties underneath, no need to repeat or copy and paste the duties. If your layout is correct, the employer will understand that you have done the same duties with all three previous employers.

How long should a CV be?

Keeping in mind

  • Recruiters spend 30 seconds reading a CV
  • Don’t bore the employer with repeated information

One or two pages is enough, anything more is pushing it.

Types of CV

Here is a list of the most common types of CV

  • Chronological
  • Functional – also known as Skills CV
  • Student or Graduate
  • Creative or Visual
  • The Perfect CV – Any of the above or a combination of them – The one that gets you the job

Chronological CV

The Chronological CV is the most widely used and recognised CV. It highlights your career, work experience and education in date order. You start with your most current job role working backwards to your first qualification.

You can create a Chronological CV using Jobsball CV builder tool. It allows you to view, edit and download in MS word, PDF and HTML

You can also view a Chronological CV example and download editable templates here

Functional CV or Skills CV

Not as popular as the above but a Functional Skills CV can be extremely effective. It can be used if you have lots of gaps in your work history or a number of previous similar job roles. As a Skills CV the emphasis is on promoting your skills. The skills can be grouped together as sections and sub-sections.

You can create a Functional CV using Jobsball CV builder tool. It allows you to view, edit and download in MS word, PDF and HTML

You can view a Functional CV – Skills CV example and download editable templates here

Student CV or Graduate CV

Any of the above or a combination of both with and emphasis on promoting your education and skills gained during your studies.

You can use Jobsball CV builder tool. It allows you to view, edit and download in MS word, PDF and HTML

You can view CV information and download editable templates here

Creative CV or Visual CV

A graphically eye catching CV to show off your creative skills. Any basic CV can be turned into a visual CV by representing the data in an eye catching format. This is done by including backgrounds, images, graphs, charts and timelines.

Try out the Jobsball wordclould tool to create a visual representation of buzz words which describe your skills, experience and education. Not only can you download the image and add it to your CV, you can also share it on social media sites such as Pintrest, Twitter and Facebook.

Jobsball Top Tip for Cover Letter and CV

Use MS word or any other document software that can save your cover letter or cv in .doc or .docx format

Why Microsoft word?

It’s simple, MSword is the most widely used document creation software application across the world. Employers will always be able to open your MSword .doc or .docx cover letter or cv document. OpenOffice free software will open MSword created documents. If it can’t be opened, it can’t be read, if it can’t be read then you won’t hired. Increase your chances of a      successful application by using a Microsoft word compatible software application.


In a nutshell, the perfect CV is the one that gets you hired. It should be targeted, have a logical flowing layout and it can be a combination of any types of the classical CV. Its content is only as good as what you write in it.

Good luck with creating your CV