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How To Stand Out In A Job Interview

Do you want to know how to stand out in a job interview? Here at Three Q Recruitment we are celebrating our 19th birthday so we know a thing or two about job interviews. You may feel relatively confident about the interview process, but if you are like most people and want a few extra tips on how to impress that interviewer, read ahead.

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CV Checklist with Three Q

Here at Three Q, we know a thing or two about CVs, so we’ve put together our ultimate CV checklist.  You may be interested in a job but does your CV have what it takes to get you through the application stage? Most recruiters won’t spend long looking at your CV, and research shows us that there is only a 16% chance of them reading your cover letter.

Employers receive hundreds of CVs for some positions. However, getting through to the interview stage is not quite as tough as you think. If you have your CV in order, you’re a step ahead- most CVs will be disregarded almost immediately if they’re not up to scratch. With just a small amount of time and commitment you can elevate your CV above the average. So with no further a-do, here is Three Q’s ultimate C.V. Checklist.

cv checklist with three q recruitment

Layout

  • A CV should never be longer than two A4 pages. The exception to this of course is if you are a senior executive with decades of experience. In this instance, you are allowed to stretch to three A4 pages. However, even though we want to keep our CV short and sweet, make sure there isn’t a lot of white space at the end of the second page- this makes it look as if you don’t have much to say about yourself.
  • When you’re working with Word Documents, go to the Page Layout menu and make the Page Margins are 1cm all around. This makes your CV look neater and easier to read.
  • Does it pass the ‘arm’s length’ test? This means it should be aesthetically pleasing and professional when you hold it at arm’s length in front of you.
  • Keep paragraphs are condensed to a few lines each. 5-6 lines are usually enough, this will help to keep you focused while writing too.
  • Instead of adding blocks of text, try using bullet points to list your attributes.
  • Keep the most relevant information on page one of the CV so that the recruiter glancing over it will add it to the interview pile.
  • Ensure all information about any particular topic is kept together and not spread out over the two pages- this just keeps the reader clear and focused.

 

Structure & Style

  • Begin your CV with a Personal Profile then talk about Key Skills, Employment History, Education and Hobbies and Interests in that order. It may be a good idea to swap Employment and Education around if your academic career is more impressive than your employment history to date or if you’ve just recently graduated.
  • It seems trivial, but there are certain fonts that look best on a CV. Arial and Times New Roman are generally considered best. Size 12 is recommended and size 14 and 16 is advisable for headings. Don’t use more than two fonts and stick to one if possible- your CV is supposed to be formal, not artistic.
  • Always boldunderline or italicise important information that you wish to be highlighted.
  • When listing information, use bullet points. This is especially useful under Key Skills.
  • Use positive, proactive language throughout your CV. For example, “Created a database to analyse and interpret the subject matter” instead of “Used a database to track the collected data.”- make the most of all your experiences.

 

Spelling & Grammar

  • It is recommended to not rely solely on Spell Check. If recruiters spot any mistakes in your CV it will be rejected. While Spell Check helps you find actual spelling mistakes, it doesn’t help find mistakes in context; i.e. ‘What is over their?” Some recruiters may see poor grammar as a sign of a sloppy worker which ruins your chances of being offered an interview. As well as reading through it yourself, ask someone else to cast their eyes over it. They will probably see things you’ve missed and might remember something about yourself that you forgot to include.
  • Be careful when using capitalisation. A common mistake people make on CVs is to write ‘Bsc’ instead of BSc when adding their Bachelor of Science degree. Also, remember that the names of roads, streets, places and companies should have the first letter capitalised.

 

Personal Details

  • Make sure that your name is at the top of the page in bold.
  • Make sure that you have your postal address and your email address clearly on the page. Use an email that looks professional that doesn’t include slang.
  • Add your mobile number. We recommend to only include your house telephone if you have added a proper answer machine message or else you have a housemate you can trust to take a message.
  • Social media information should also be added; particularly your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to ‘clean up’ your Facebook and Twitter accounts if necessary, make sure that you haven’t got posts including offensive or unprofessional behaviour or language.

Personal Profile

  • This should be placed beneath your Personal Details. A Personal Profile is used to prove you are qualified for the role and that you are the best candidate for the job.
  • Keep the profile short; 3-5 lines should be enough.
  • Get to the point but also showcase your experience and special skills in what is essentially a marketing pitch to the employer- you need to sell your skills.

Key Skills

  • Use this section to point out your main strengths.
  • All skills included MUST be related to the job opening in some way.
  • Stick to skills which are job-related and transferrable.
  • Some employers tend to focus on candidates with soft skills such as Teamwork, Communication, Leadership, Friendliness and Problem Solving. Try to add a brief sentence demonstrating your skill after each one has been listed.
  • If you have specialist knowledge in a field related to the job or if you speak a foreign language then include the details- extra skills could be the difference between you and the next candidate.

 

Employment History

  • List your past jobs chronologically with the latest role first- it is probably the most relevant to the one to the job that you are applying for now.
  • Include job title, name of company and the dates you started and finished.
  • While it is best if your dates include the months you began and ended the jobs,  just include the years if there are gaps of a couple of months between roles.
  • Given difficulty in the job market at the past few years, most employers understand that there may be small gaps between jobs.
  • Include the key responsibilities you had in each role.
  • Always look to be specific when adding in the achievements and outcomes of any job; quantify the results if you can. Instead of saying you helped the company make a profit; specify the level of profit: “Implemented cost cutting procedures that reduced the company’s stationery bill by 22% per annum.”- hard facts show that you can get the job done and know how to do it.
  • Include the new skills you learned in each job.
  • List your 3-4 most recent jobs only.

Education

  • List your qualifications/certificates/professional awards.
  •  Name the educational institution, full name of the course and the start & end dates of where you studied
  • Add the grade/degree classification where applicable.
  • Recent graduates should include the modules on their latest degree along with the name of their dissertation project- this will show your interest in the field where you can’t back it up with work experience.

 Hobbies & Interests

  • It is a good idea to include a wide range of interests as this suggests you are a well-rounded individual with the ability to relate to different people.
  • Do NOT stick to one or two interests as recruiters often see this as a sign of someone unable to mix in different circles; this is a problem as most Irish workplace consists of diverse cultures.
  • Make sure you include some active, group and social interests; it is important that you give the impression you’re able to get along with others. Too many ‘solo’ interests mark you out as an introvert, which isn’t overly helpful as an employer when you need a candidate to work as part of the team.
  • Show that you have a serious interest in at least one hobby as this suggests you have determination, concentration and willpower.
  • Try and include anything which shows the ability to lead others. If you want to climb the ladder, you need to be willing to take responsibility. An example of this is stating if you were were ever a team captain of a sports team, or a leader in a volunteering role.

References

  • You don’t need to add references unless they are specified on the job opening. ‘References added upon request’ is usually sufficient. If you are asked for them , keep them on a seperate sheet.
  • Always ask referees first to seek their permission- you don’t want to surprise them with a phone call from a stranger. Include their name, job title, address and phone number.

cv checklist with three q recruitment

Always include a cover letter with your CV, this provides insight into your personality and enables you to add details that are not on your CV. Make sure that you personalise it to each job opportunity which will also show the employer that you are really interested in working for them. Ensure there are no gaps in your employment history. If there are significant gaps, you can address them in your cover letter. Try to be positive about the gap; perhaps you were studying a course, travelling or else you needed to take a break to focus on a career change. You don’t need to be too specific at this stage; that can wait for the interview. Assuming you are sending your CV by email to an online recruiter, make sure that all the hyperlinks work.

If you go through the above checklist carefully, you should have all the information you need to create a standout CV. Once you have it written up, take a look at our listings to check out all of the job posts that we update daily.

Experienced Nurse Recruiter Role – Remote & Office Based Job

We are currently looking for a candidate to fulfil an Experienced Nurse Recruiter for a remote and office based job. Here at Three Q we don’t just recruit for other companies, but we often need to find people for our own team too. If you’ve ever wanted to work with a company who values teamwork, and their employees we’re the place for you. Three Q cares about its team, has a huge emphases on CSR and believes in people helping people.

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Job Interview Tips For Chefs

Job interview tips for Chefs is something that is regularly asked by candidates coming to Three Q.  Because there is generally a skills test along with the formal interview that candidates have to go through, it can be daunting to Chefs.  However, Three Q have been helping to match job-seeking Chefs with Employers for years so we know a thing or two about job interviews. Any job interview can be a nervous time for candidates so we’ve put together our list of top tips in preparing for that Chefing job interview in confidence.

 

Before the interview

Preparation is key for a great interview. If you know that you’ve got everything ready to go before you have to go to the interview itself you will feel much more confident and it will come across to the interviewer.

chef interview preperation tips 3 q recruitment

  1. Visit the company website and social media pages to get a feel for the business and think of some questions. This will also help you for  when the interviewer asks what you can bring to the business as a chef. Maybe you’ve noticed that you could do a better job at the presentation of the dish or even maybe they don’t have a great social media account that you could offer to help with.

 

  1. Plan your route to the interview. It may seem like a simple task to get to the location of the interview but don’t forget that you may get stuck in traffic in a certain area, or if you’re walking to the interview it may start to rain. Check bus times, cycle routes, book train tickets in advance, you don’t want to be stressed for the journey or turn up late to your interview.

 

  1. Prepare your clothes the night before. Chefs should look neat and tidy so check and double check that your clothes are clean and neatly iorned.

 

  1. Look at the existing menus. This is an important one. Have a look at the current menu belonging to the restaurant. Look at what you like and don’t like about it, think about new dishes that you would add if you worked there.

 

  1. Have the interviewers phone number saved. In such a digital era we tend not to save numbers that we can find on the internet. However have a number saved incase you get lost on the way or something happens which means you’ll be late or unable to make it to the interview. It’s always when we need to make an important call that you run out of data or can’t get internet signal.

 

  1.  Aim to be there 10 minutes early. This will ensure that even if you are running a few minutes late or get lost, you should still make it on time.

 

chef interview tips 3 q recruitment

During the interview:

  1. When the interviewer enters the room stand up and shake their hand. It may seem trivial but shaking someone is a great way to show that you are polite and professional.
  2. Have your mobile off and put away. Turn off your phone and place it in your handbag or pocket. You don’t want to distract yourself or the interview with a flashing or vibrating phone while you’re trying to have a conversation.
  3. Listen to everything the interviewer says and never interrupt them. Be polite and don’t interupt the interviewer. Remember to listen closely. Sometimes when we are nervous we might hear something slightly different to what the interviewer asks and you don’t want to go off on a tangent about something you weren’t asked about.
  4. Always say please and thank you if you are offered something like a class of water. It’s polite!
  5. If you are given a tour of the kitchen, walk alongside the interviewer, not on front and not behind. This will show them that you think of yourself as equal, not above or below them. It will also show them that you are listening to them while they talk.
  6. Don’t be too informal. Keep slang and abbreviations for more casual conversation- you’re not a CDP you’re a chef de partie, unless they use the former.

Questions:

You don’t get away with not having to answer questions about your career in a chef interview so we suggest you think about the following questions and how you would answer them for the formal part of the interview.

  • Why do you want the job?
  • What has been your biggest achievement in cheffing?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • How do you manage time during busy periods?
  • What do you think you could add to our kitchen?

working interviews tips for chefs with three q

Working interviews:

Some chef interviews require the potential candidate to showcase some of their skills in a “working interview”.  They are usually in one of the following formats.

Ready Steady Cook: Sometimes an interviewer will give you some ingredients and ask you to cook something within a certain amount of time. Don’t panic! This is just a test of your creativity and skills and to see how well you can work under pressure with limited resources.

 

Trial: Some businesses will ask you to work a shift (or maybe half a one). Ask the staff questions if you are unsure of something and make sure that you become part of the team. The interviewer will often ask the other staff how you got on. Look interested and ask for jobs or to help out if you run out of things to do.

 

Menu: Some businesses will ask you to prepare a menu prior to the interview and cook it there. Ensure that the dishes on your menu fit into the theme of the restaurant- don’t cook enchiladas if you are interviewing for an Italian restaurant.

 

Trade test: This one is favoured by a lot of places. You might get asked to cook a classic or basic dish with your own twist. The purpose of this is test out your knowledge of how different foods work together and how they can be amended for modern tastes.

 

After the interview:

When you leave make sure you thank the people who have interviewed for their time and for asking to meet with you. They are giving you an opportunity to work so you should be polite and mannerly.

 

Follow these tips, and you’re sure to have a great interview. Remember to do lots of preparation before your interview and stay calm and mannerly towards the interviewer at all times. If you are currently looking for a job as a chef keep an eye on our listings that we are constantly updating with new job opportunities in the industry. If you are an employer and are wishing to advertise your job in our listings, please email sales@3reqruitment.ie or phone +353 1878 3335.   

 

5 Tips To Make Your Job Hunt A Little Easier

 

job search job hunt

Here’s 5 tips to help you on your job hunt!

Looking for a new job can sometimes become so time consuming that it’s a job all on its own! But, if you plan your search correctly, you could be on your way to a great new career sooner than you think.

 

Look for hidden vacancies

Sometimes, companies don’t advertise their vacancies at all. They hire through word of mouth or head hunting. Identify companies that you would like to work for and apply to them directly. If they are not currently hiring for your role, then you may be kept in mind for when they are.

 

Get employers to come to you

Headhunting is not that uncommon anymore. With Linkedin and other online CV database websites, it’s easier than ever to put your profile in front of employers everywhere. Make sure you have your profiles up to date and relevant to the jobs you want to hear about. For more information on how to use Linkedin to find a job Click Here! 

 

Target the right companies

Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or would you rather have the safety of a large organisation with job security and a clear career path? Knowing what you want allows you to narrow down your search and spend more time on applying for the jobs you really want.

 

Build a network

Networking is getting to know people who can help you develop your career prospects. Connect with college alumni on Linkedin, reach out to professionals who have a career path similar to the one you desire. Ask for advice or share some common interest. Go to job fairs and events and meet people in your industry. Start the conversation and get your name out there.

 

Reach out to a recruiter

As I said, sometimes job hunting can become a full-time job. So, why not reach out to someone who recruits for their full-time job? Once you identify what it is that you’re looking for and what your requirements are, recruiters will do the rest for you. Don’t let yourself get stressed out about job searching. Leave it to the professionals who are always happy to help!

 

If you are tired of searching and would like one of our recruiters to contact you then register your interest here.

 

Take a load off, you work hard enough!