We have collated a range of guides, tips and links that may prove useful to you depending on at what stage you’re currently in. Whether you’re looking for extra support, career advice or help with job applications there is something here for everyone.
If you’re looking to secure a job within your local area or would simply like to know what skills and abilities you could be expected to have, take a look at any of the following job directories covering Worcestershire:
Looking for some additional support in Worcestershire? We have acquired a collection of charities and support groups currently available in the area which can be found below.
Worcestershire County Council
The Worcestershire County Council have signposted a collection of issues for e.g. abuse, anxiety & bullying etc. with the necessary links and contact information.
If you’re currently out of full time employment, education or training you may want to think about claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). Speak to a Job Seekers advisor at your local Job Centre Plus today. Find your nearest Jobcentre branch:
Worcester Job Centre Address:
For opening times and map directions see: http://local.dwp.gov.uk/worcester/
Noah's Ark Trust
Noah's Ark Trust is a charity providing support to children, young people and their families who have experienced a bereavement within in the counties of Herefordshire & Worcestershire.
If something's troubling you, get in touch. The Samaritans listen to you and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles.
Call: 01905 21121 (local call charges apply) or 116 123 (this number is free to call)
Visit their Worcester branch:
10 Sansome Place
Usual hours open to receive callers at the door:
9:00am - 10:00pm Monday - Saturday
9.00am - 3:00pm Sunday
Traveling About Worcestershire
Worcestershire Buses - http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20021/buses
Worcestershire Bus Timetable - http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20021/buses/1001/bus_timetables
Community Travel - http://www.communitytravel.org.uk/
If you have never written a CV before there is no need to worry, there are a huge number of free online tools that you can use to help build a personalised CV, well suited to any role you intend to apply for.
If you would like to build a CV from scratch click here: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/tools/cv/Pages/default.aspx
If you want to learn more about different CV formats and when to use them click here: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/getajob/cvs/Pages/formats.aspx
To read up on frequently asked questions around making a CV click here: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/getajob/cvs/Pages/faq.aspx
Writing a CV may come across as a daunting task but that needn’t be the case, a CV allows you to summarise our skills, experiences and interests and when done right, can really you to outshine against your competition.
A CV is typically 1 to 2 pages long, depending on the skills and experience that you have so far acquired. CV’s are meant to be clear and concise so don’t add filler text just to try and get to the end of the page. You want to be able to get across your knowledge and experiences quickly as a potential employer will most likely be scanning your CV.
Be sure to tailor each CV you send around the job you’re applying for. Depending on the job description make sure that any skills and experiences you have that are relevant to the job role are clearly displayed. You want to be able to get across the impression that you have taken the time to tailor your CV for this job specifically rather than just sending across a generic one.
3. Keep your CV up to date
Have you recently undergone a training course, learned a new skill or achieved something to shout about? Be sure to update your CV to include these as soon as you can, this will help to ensure you don’t forget to add these details later on. Keeping your CV up to date will help you to be prepared as you don’t know when you could need your CV unexpectedly sometime in the future.
4. Triple check your CV
Be sure to go through your CV multiple times, with particular attention to your spelling and grammar. Any errors you make will be a bad first impression to have and could be fatal to your application. If possible when you have finished your CV ask a friend or family member to go through it with you, having a fresh pair of eyes may spot some mistakes that have remained unnoticed. You get one chance at a first impression, so make it a good one!
5. Make use of the online resources
On the internet there are even more tips and recommendations that you can apply to your CV, also there are a large number of free templates available across a variety of CV formats. CV formats are a style of CV’s that have tailored to meet a specific purpose. Some examples of CV formats include: changing a career, long term unemployment or going for your first job. Therefore be sure to take a look at what is available to you and if you can improve on the templates that are currently available.
6. Be Honest
An honest approach is the best way to connect with an employer, when creating writing your CV or filling out an application don’t fabricate any false achievements or previous jobs. You could be asked to evaluate further on this in an interview, which could result in you losing the job. Alternatively if given the job you could even be required to act upon these false previous experiences which can lead you into an extremely difficult and awkward situation. You are probably expecting the employer to be honest with you so you should do the same in return.
Are you currently applying for jobs, are you well versed in the process of interviews? Read up on the following tips to help you nail your interviews.
1. Be on time
Obvious and easily avoidable. Rushing to get there on time and then coming across as flustered can almost be as bad as turning up late! If you’re going to be late due to unforeseen circumstances such as a delayed train, it’s possible to turn this into a positive through good communication skills by phoning the interviewer and apologising for the delay and showing empathy for them upon your arrival. Be organised for a potential crisis by having the contact details of the interviewer readily available. Having said that it’s far easier though to turn up on time and mentally prepare yourself for the interview stress free.
2. Choose your appearance
Too casual or too smart… there isn’t really a too smart! Get confident wearing your clothes for the interview and make sure they are comfortable, interviews can be long. Even if the job you are applying for doesn’t require you to dress smart an interviewer will always look favourably at someone that has made the effort.
3. First impressions
When considering first impressions this is when having a smart appearance comes into play, first impressions are especially important as this will sit with the employer every time they think about you so make sure yours is the best possible. Start off the interview by introducing yourself and giving a good firm handshake to all those taking part. Interviewers want to meet confident well-mannered people so do your best to come across as one.
4. Body language and communication
Whilst in the interview make sure you sit up straight and make eye contact with those you are speaking to, try not to cross your arms as this can come across as a negative form of body posture and definitely ensure you don’t slouch or fidget too much. Maintain eye contact with those you’re talking to and smile when being spoken to, do your best to indicate that you’re listening attentively. In terms of speaking make sure you communicate in a clear and calm manner, those who are nervous tend to speak much quicker than normally. Whilst in the interview take a pause from time to time or consider how fast you are talking. A good tip is to ask for a glass of water if provided the opportunity, therefore you can take a drink when you need to pause or consider an answer you’re going to give, additionally this will help prevent your mouth from becoming too dry due to all of the talking.
5. Asking questions
Sounds basic right? Towards the end of your interview the interviewer will always ask if you have any questions about the role you’re applying for, it’s important that you have some questions pre-prepared. Questions you may wish to ask could be around the ethos of the company, potential opportunities for training in the future or specific questions around the job role you’re applying for. However try to not ask what the pay is as this is often looked down upon by interviewers. Asking questions about the role makes you look interested and can help demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on the job role.
If you “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, wise words once spoken and they were right. It would be beneficial to go through potential questions either in your head or with a friend or family member. Not knowing when you can start, not knowing how you would travel into work and not knowing what job you’re in an interview for are surprising common fails! You don’t need to read off a script or give the same answer you prepared, but just by giving the answer before will make you think about the ideal response. Conduct research on the organisation you’re applying to along with the role it’s for, knowing where the role will sit in the organisation can be a great benefit. Always take a copy of your CV to interviews and any supporting documents you have such as previous examples of work. You may not need them but this will help you come across as prepared and organised. Ensure that you know where the interview is located before the date you’re due to attend to help you get there in good time.
Struggling to choose a career or have no idea on how you plan to get there? Check out the information and links below to help give you a better idea.
What's the best career for you?
Do you already have a specific career in mind? Check out the following list of career profiles to determine whether you have the necessary skills and qualifications to begin your career or if you would like to learn more about what they can offer you.
Need help in choosing a career? Completing a “skills health check” could help to point you in the right direction or finalise a decision you have been considering.
A skills health check consists of a number of short quizzes which helps to identify what your strengths are, what motivates you at work and what you’re looking for in a job. Upon completion you will receive a report that will help to give you an indication as to what types of jobs would suit you best.
Some of the quiz types include solving mechanical problems, working with shapes and working with written information. If you don’t get the result you’re looking for don’t worry as the Skills Health Check should only serve you as a guide.
Finding the right course for you
If you have your heart set on a chosen career you may find that you could be lacking the necessary qualifications required to get started. If you think that could be the case check out the following database of courses offered in the UK. Simply list your postcode and add some keywords to limit the responses down, and take a look at the courses available. If a course catches your eye click on it for additional information about the course and also: eligibility requirements, details about the provider & start dates.
Creating an action plan
If you know where you would like to be in 6 months or a couple of years’ time, the best thing you can do is produce an action plan to focus on how you’re going to get there. The action plan breaks down your long term goals into smaller more manageable steps. This makes it easier for you to track your progress and determine whether your targets or goals are going to be achieved, if they aren’t you can then take the necessary steps to get back on schedule.
The link below provides a tool that will enable you to record the goals you wish to meet, when you would like to achieve them and what you plan on doing to get there. This could be taking on some volunteering work, undergoing a training course or even learning a new skill.
Have you ever considered becoming an Apprentice? Are you currently unsure what it concerns and what the benefits could be? Find out more below
What is an Apprenticeship?
An Apprenticeship is a training programme based in the workplace which helps individuals develop both theoretical and practical skills within a specific sector. This enables you to become more capable and efficient within their job role. Being an Apprentice means that you have a real job with on-site training, meaning that you’re able earn while you learn. Upon the completion of your apprenticeship you will have gained a nationally recognised qualification relevant to the apprenticeship that you have completed.
Why choose to be an Apprentice?
Apprenticeship are particularly beneficial to young people, typically those who have just finished full time education and left school with no real working experience. Apprenticeships allow individuals to acquire this necessary experience along with the skills gained through the training provided by industry experts, whilst doing all of this you will also be earning a salary. Apprenticeships aren’t just for the benefit of young individuals but also for the existing workforce which has proven to help improve & develop their quality of working and productivity within their job roles.
How long does an Apprenticeship take to complete?
The length of time to complete an Apprenticeship varies with each case, depending on the qualification you would like to gain, the industry sector that you will be working in and the current level of skills you possess. Typically an apprenticeship is completed within 1-4 years, with an average time of 12-18 months.
How much money will I earn?
All Apprentices are full time employed with a contract of employment. There is no set rate in terms of pay for an Apprentice apart from a minimum of £2.68 an hour for those aged under 19 and those who are 19 and over within the first year of their Apprenticeship. It is down to the discretion of your employer whether you’re going to be paid more than this figure. Ideally a wage should be offered that reflects the job role difficulty along with the skills and experience that the candidate possesses.
What are the entry requirements to become an Apprentice?
There are few set standards that must be met in order for you to become an Apprentice, they’re as follows.
What type of Apprenticeships are available?
There are currently three levels of apprenticeships on offer within a large variety of industry sectors. These are: Intermediate Apprenticeship (level 2), Advanced Apprenticeship (level 3), Higher Apprenticeship (level 4 and above). Typically the higher the Apprenticeship level the longer it will take to complete the course, however the higher level courses are better to have compared to the lower level courses.
How are the Apprenticeships funded?
The Apprenticeship you will be taking is funded in various ways. For those aged 16-18 an employer can receive up to 100% of funding. For those aged 19-23 an employer can receive up to 50% of the funding for the course. Finally for those aged 24+ an employer will have to fund the course themselves.
Can I continue with my education once I complete my Apprenticeship?
Yes, if you would like to attend university or undertake a course at college upon completing your Apprenticeship then you can.
Will I have a job at the end of my Apprenticeship?
Statistics show that upon completion of an Apprenticeship 85% of Apprentices will stay in employment and 64% of apprentices staying with the same employer. However there can be no guarantee as it will be down to your employer whether you are to be given a full time position at your company’s residence at the end of your course.
If you are required to undertake any Maths and English qualifications the series of links below will help you to prepare for your examinations through a series of learning materials and assessment quizzes. To make things easier for you the subjects have been broken down into smaller subject areas allowing you to focus on your weaknesses within each subject. We have also supplied a link to spruce up on your ICT skills if you feel that these could also need some improvement.
ICT Learning - http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zqmtsbk