On a monthly basis the JCI Southampton team organise and run a variety of training events for the city’s young professionals. On the 15th May at the Costa Academy in Southampton High Street, members and non-members were invited to attend our latest training event entitled “Getting Your Perfect Job & Interview Techniques”.
This training event was run by local award-winning recruitment firm Future Employment. Alicia Lidell and Frank Canonico, both experienced recruitment professionals, kindly took the time to impart their knowledge and experience to JCI Southampton members throughout the 90-minute event. Frank and Alicia focused on key areas throughout the evening including writing and developing your CV, the job application process and interview techniques.
CVs and the Application Process
Alicia described and demonstrated a CV template that outlined the key information employers look for and a simple structure for our guests to follow and apply to there own Curriculum Vitaes. She went into depth about the information you need to include, the best way to display it and the common faux pas candidates fall into when creating their CVs. After this initial demonstration she moved onto the topic that was most commented on and sought after – how do I get my CV in front of employers? This is the task that most find the hardest in such challenging times and here are Alicia’s top tips to get your CV out there:
- Use jobs boards and online recruitment portals such as fish4jobs.com and Monstor.com
- Get your CV into recruitment agencies
- Network with your friends and peers to identify potential job opportunities
- Be persistent and resilient
- Think outside the box, Billboards, Video CVs – anything at all that will help you stand out.
Frank led this section and immediately started to ask everyone in the group about their experiences and what they thought were the most important things to do at interviews. The obvious things such as appearance, turning up on time, firm handshake and being polite and respectful all came up immediately. However, the main thing that really stood out was that the guests really wanted to ask Frank how they could best communicate to an employer their skills and attributes. Interviews are nerve-racking and daunting, and many struggle to come across with confidence and fluency. Frank recommended a few simple ways to help bridge this common problem:
1. Take a notepad into interview with you. Firstly, you can have questions written down for the employer – this will allow you to show you’re prepared and are interested to find out more about the role. Secondly, it will allow you to take down notes and refer to examples you have already prepared on likely questions.
2. If they offer you a drink, use it to your advantage! If an interviewer throws you a hard question, or you need to think about it, by taking a drink you can pause and take a few seconds longer to come back with that perfect answer.
The one thing that really struck me about the whole training event was how interactive and inclusive Alicia and Frank made it. At all times they asked the guests to contribute with their individual experiences, questions and thought processes to ensure all the guests got as much out of the event as possible. This made for a really relaxed and informal atmosphere for a subject that can be quite rigid and boring.
The event was extremely well attended and the majority of our guests were young unemployed candidates looking for help and advice to get them into work. Guests enjoyed Domino’s pizza and free refreshments throughout the event to ensure no-one went hungry.
I must say I was very impressed to witness the positive impact that JCI Southampton is having on young people in the city through the training events we run. Overall, the event was a great success – it was great fun, very informative and helped achieve JCI Southampton’s goals of supporting the city’s young people and having a positive impact on the wider community.
Our next training event is on the 12th June, at the Costa Academy in Southampton. Former JCI Portsmouth President Jasmine Lambert will be discussing “How To Protect Your Wealth”. Back by popular demand the event is guaranteed to be great fun, very informative and will open your eyes to the world of investments and financial planning!
Josh Williams, Training & Events Director
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Drew Charman