Applying for a job in a new industry or when moving from military or public sector employment into the private sector can be extremely daunting.  Whilst there are a number of organisations specifically available to help support your next career move, we have provided some basic information to try to make this step a little less intimidating.  The information particularly focuses on a general approach and industries relevant to the training we provide – don’t forget some of our courses may be mandatory for certain roles but regardless, completing them can help enhance your prospects of finding your new dream job!

Each company’s own internal recruitment policies and Human Resource (HR) departments will influence the specific steps in any particular recruitment process – from the decision about where to advertise to the final recruitment of a successful candidate.  In general terms, the more senior or technical the role, the more challenging and complex (long!) the recruitment process will be.

General recruitment websites are used by both agencies and direct recruiters (i.e. the Company wanting to recruit) and almost 100% of jobs advertised will in the first instance require an up to date CV to be emailed or uploaded, or for an application form to be filled out. Many recruitment agencies will want to meet with an applicant first to understand your background, experience, core skills and aspirations to ensure that when they put you forward for a vacancy, that they know it is a suitable match for both you and the Company.

We’ve listed below the most frequently used steps in a recruitment process to give you an overview of what you might expect – this will not normally be confirmed by the Company advertising the job vacancy until after they have short-listed your CV, or sometimes only at the end of the first interview.

  1. Recruitment / Vacancy Advertised – look out for specialist forums, websites and papers or trade magazines which may advertise in addition to the general recruitment websites
  2. Submission of CVs, covering letters & application forms – this may be electronically or by post (make sure you always submit exactly what they have requested and in the right format otherwise they are unlikely to even consider you)
  3. First Stage Interview – if you’ve been short-listed from all of the applications, then normally you will be invited to interview.  These first stage interviews are normally to help create a further short-list to enable the company to understand your CV, your experience and just getting to know you.  In some cases, if these are the only interviews with no further short-list then the interview is likely is include many of the elements of the second stage interview.
  4. Second Stage Interview – this is normally the final stage before a decision is made.  They can include specific tasks or tests which may be written, face to face or practical activity based depending on the job requirements.  It may also be that you have to complete a presentation, for example, with a specific theme or problem and more often employers are using competency based questions.  These are sound very complicated but actually are just a way of getting you to demonstrate what specific experience you’ve got (always using examples) and to understand how you behave or think in certain scenarios.  When you are invited to interview the specific requirements and any special preparation will be explained to you as part of the invitation – if not, then it is perfectly acceptable (and highly recommended!) to ask!
  5. Successful & Unsuccessful Applications informed of the outcome – if you’ve been successful then ‘Congratulations!!’, you’ve probably got an induction training and agreed a start date, however, please remember the golden rule and never hand in your notice to your current employer until you have received the offer letter in writing!  If you have been unsuccessful, then make sure you ask the person who interviewed you for some feedback, this is to help you understand what you could learn, change or improve and although it can be difficult to hear, ultimately it can help you be successful next time!