Is Your CV Only Fit To Line the Bin?

Why is a CV important?

Unless you have spent a good amount of time creating such a wonderful CV, that your potential employer just gives you the job, it’s very likely that you’ve not done much with your CV for some time. What’s that you say? It’s not possible? Check out this guy who was given a job without an interview.
Let’s face it, most of us will not be in a position to do what that guy did. So let start with what your CV needs to be able to do. Most people think that it should contain every ounce of detail about their work history (or education if you are not in employment yet) so that it alone will secure the job. That’s not so. You only secure the job during the interview process.

Short Listing

Typically, employer’s short list 5-10 candidates for the interview stage, so the objective of your CV is simple – get you past the first hurdle to secure an interview. As the number of candidates can number hundreds or even thousands, your CV and covering letter have to stand out from the large crowd. Imagine sifting through CV after CV and they all look the same. You can see that a generic CV will not cut the mustard, if you are really serious about landing that perfect job. The reality is that the majority of employers and/or recruiters do not read in full the many CV’s which cross their desk every day. Dull generic CV’s are dull and boring and will only be consigned to the rubbish bin.
No two employers or two jobs are identical, so don’t expect a generic CV to work. The secret is to standout, but still be professional. So don’t put picture of you in swim wear in your CV, unless you are applying for a swim wear modelling job. You will certainly standout, but not for the right reasons. So what can you do to tailor you CV to fit the post you are applying for? Here are some tips that you may find useful….

Research is the key

Read the job description several times and use a marker pen to highlight any key words that the employer has used. Next distil the keywords into a list of the five to six important key topics that you consider are required for the role. Also, study the company website and any publications and again note five to six key words. Use this research to understand the mind-set of the target employer and job requirements.

‘Sex-up’ your CV

By all means start with a template as this will help you structure your experience and information in to an easy to understand format. To this basic content you can ‘sex-up’ your CV using the key words and employer mind set unearthed from your research. Use the key words to demonstrate to the reader how your previous experience and qualifications are a perfect match to the job advert and employer profile. Don’t be scared to leave out previous experience which does not match the job. An unmatched CV profile will only frustrate the reader and lead to the dreaded CV bin.

Genuine Interest

Employers receive so many ‘bland CV’s’, so use the opportunity to show real and demonstrable interest in the job and company. A couple of ‘attentive comments’ within your CV can make all the difference to ‘interview or rubbish bin’. For example, link some of your experience to a recent new product launch from the target company.

Friendly advice

Never be scared to ask for friendly constructive and impartial advice. Send a copy of the job description and your tailored CV to trusted friends and associates and ask for constructive advice. Rather a friend exposes an issue, which can then be simply addressed vs a potential employer, as your CV will simply be rejected.

What CV version

A serious job-hunter may have in excess of 100 tailored CV’s, so always remember to take along the correct version to your interview. If you are seen with a CV version which does not match the version you sent, you are likely to be toast.

Finally, never lie and never die

Whilst it may be a great temptation to ‘inflate’ your CV, never, never lie, as the consequences are generally not worth the risk. Job hunting can be a tough and frustrating business so be mentality prepared for rejection. Learn from the experience and improve your CV and cover letter tailoring skills.

A great source of job adverts are local ‘jobs boards’, and for Suffolk, a popular resource is

Essential – create an effective government workforce skill set

It is generally accepted that government employees who have solid people skills or actively develop people skills are usually happiest in their jobs. Ask yourself ‘how do people typically obtain promotion and develop their careers at local government?’ Simple answer, by demonstrating they care about the impact their actions have on others. Government jobs are very desirable, and Governments adopt formal recruitment policies and procedures. Without the required matching skill set, Government job offers are almost impossible. As you look to develop your skill sets through a range of training programmes, it is equally important to take inventory of your people skills. You will likely be working with people at all levels during various assignments. It is never too early to start developing and practising your people skills.

Open minded

Governments recruit from all corners of the country and society, as is evident in Therefore, you are likely to interact with people who come from a significant range of cultures, views and opinions. Approaching others regardless of your rank and or experience with an open mind demonstrates a tolerant, constructive and respectful attitude.

 A listener

To communicate to others our education, knowledge or opinions, it is easy to keep talking and forget that others need their chance to speak. Civil servants are supposed to be serving others before themselves and therefore it is important to practice speaking less and listening more, to ensure that others may feel valued. It is possible to learn ‘active listening’ with practice, and this approach can includes asking meaningful questions, making eye contact, providing constructive feedback, and avoid multi-tasking or becoming distracted.

Stress management

Dealing with people all the time can be difficult and strenuous, especially when working for local government authorities with formal and multiple departments. To relax and help you prepare for the challenges of the following day, consider engaging in activities such as yoga and regulated breathing to unwind. Try a couple of these stress relieving methods to uncover the discipline which one suits your work/life balance.

The art of negotiation

Negotiating is an important life skill, which can not only help you to save money at the grocery store, but it can also be beneficial in your job. Good negotiators not only manage to prevent and solve conflict among people, but also obtain improved terms for Government departments. Effective negotiation skills develop with practice. Over time most people can learn to negotiate effectively, don’t be scared, and keep practicing.

Be Courteous

People generally respond positively to respect and even if you think others do not deserve respect. You lose nothing and can only gain by being courteous. A work environment with mutual respect is generally harmonious, peaceful and productive. Unfortunately, not everyone is naturally respectful, but start small by saying thank you or sorry. With time courteous gestures will become a second nature. As a result your communication skills, value to the organization and promotion opportunities will significantly improve.

Frustrated With Your Current Job?

Bored and frustrated in your current job? Looking for a new direction?

Unless you really enjoy what you are doing, at some point in your job or career you will find that you yearn for something new. Most people starting out are usually excited but mostly relived to land their first job. Their thoughts are likely to be on what it will be like to work for the company that has just hired them and where and how they will “fit in” to the organization. As you grow in to the job you may find that the initial challenges that you faced with excitement have become everyday mundane tasks. Perhaps it’s time to think about moving on.

What you need to consider

There are a number of important components that you should be aware of while searching a new job. The first key component is ‘You’. Your ideal job should be something you like doing so ask yourself will this job give me a sense of accomplishment? Is it pleasurable to be doing the daily activities associated with this post? What makes you happy when you are working is major component that can make you more productive and help you achieving your career goals.

Other components include your skills, interests, abilities, motivations and your previous experiences. Your next job should align with things you have discovered you like doing to get a sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated.

Find out what you like doing

While searching for a job, it is important that the job you are looking for is not just means for you to earn more money. Although this is high on most people’s search criteria. You should also make sure that it allows you to utilize your skills, interests and your personality traits. Before surfing through internet for your ideal job, consider completing some career based quizzes to help you find your strengths and areas for improvement. Generally, these quizzes contain important questions that are designed to help you find out what you like and don’t like doing as well as what you are good at.

Found something you like doing? What’s next?

So you’ve found a job that you think will be a good fit for. What’s next? You now need to do some research on the company so you can prepare yourself for the interview and selection process. Your education, skill and experiences make you eligible for this job but interviews are the main hurdle which you have to overcome proficiently. Questions which are usually asked during an interviews revolve mostly around you. Why you want this job? What makes you different? Why should they hire you? In more senior posts they will also include what you have achieved and how you went about getting results.

Other areas that you need to consider are: What are your professional strengths and weaknesses and how efficiently you can use them in various conditions? What are your experiences and professional achievements in regards to available job? How extensively do you know about the company or institute that you are looking to join? You should be well read and have thorough knowledge so you are able to respond to questions confidently.

Preparation is key. This will show that you are motivated, confident and have what it takes to do the job. Top Suffolk jobs gives can help you – join here and start searching for your dream job.

TopSuffolkJobs contributes to the Brexit debate

You turn on the TV, read the newspapers, talk to your friends and so much fierce debate about the Brexit referendum. Like the majority of the nation, you probably keep asking yourself, who is right and who is wrong? To be perfectly honest, no-body really knows the answer to this difficult question. In general, big business appears to be favour of Brexit, but small businesses are against. Clearly, UK exports to the EU are also in favour of remain.

The founders of the premium Suffolk jobs board decided to enter the debate and offer an opinion on the possible impact of Brexit on the recruitment market. we are privileged that our article is published in the influential digital magazine The article covers the impact of Brexit from three key angles.

  • An amicable split and retention of free trade?

    A key economic and important question, will the Brexit divorce will be harmonious? Ultimately, the EU has to decide whether to co-operate with the UK during the leave negotiations.

  • More money for the recruitment industry?

    In the event of Brexit, arguably, the net UK contributions should release finance for UK industry. By association, the recruitment industry should gain from increased funding and activity.

  • The benefits for small businesses?

    Again, in the event of Brexit, the majority of small UK business should be released from the burden of EU red tape. As small businesses are a key driver for jobs creation, then any reduction in red tape will only help create employment opportunities.

To read the article in full, please check-out 3 ways Brexit would help the recruitment market. We would be interested in your opinions on this emotive topic, so please feel free to leave any comments. We welcome the referendum day, so we can remove the instability and the UK business community can move forward.

Don’t Have a Job? 5 Tips to Beat Unemployment Terror

In an uncertain jobs market, how can you beat the terror of unemployment?

In April, it was announced that unemployment in the UK had increased for the first time in seven months. From December 2015 to February 2016, the number of people out of work grew by 21,000 to a staggering 1.7 million. Unfortunately, the Brexit referendum is likely to depress the employment market in the short term. If you’re looking for a job, this sounds like bad news. How can you expect to find work if there are no jobs available? Despite worrying figures on a national level, the employment rates on a local level are a little more revealing. In Ipswich, unemployment rates fell to 1,550 (1.8% of the total unemployed). In Suffolk, it’s a slightly worse picture, with unemployment rates up to 358 in Mid Suffolk and up to 302 in Suffolk Coastal. So if you are unemployed, is there anything you can do to beat the terror and improve your chance of finding work?

Fortunately, there is. No matter what state of the jobs market, there are always jobs available. The main reason why people find themselves unemployable is because their application can’t compete with others’. Also, most people don’t know where to find jobs, or they’re looking in the wrong places. This guide will give you a run down of the tips and tricks you can use to make yourself more employable and help change those sad statistics.

Identify What Jobs are in Demand in Suffolk

Your best chance of securing work is identifying what skills are in demand. Our last blog post on the booming industries in Suffolk discovered that the care, NHS and healthcare workers are in high demand due to skills shortages. Also, consider what industries are always employing. Vacancies in sectors such as construction, agriculture, police, teaching and logistics are popular and always available, as there’s a constant need for these services.

Use a Suffolk Local Jobs Board

Job boards are a great resource as they collect every vacancy and make them available in one place. Chances are you’re looking for a job where you live, and national job boards don’t always have a large variety of positions relevant to you. This can mean there are plenty of job vacancies in London, but not a lot of jobs listed in Suffolk. The benefit of using a local jobs board is that they cater specifically to one locality, so if you’re looking for jobs in Suffolk, you’re much more likely to find a suitable vacancy on a local jobs board. Top Suffolk Jobs is a great example of this, where you can get the latest Suffolk jobs direct to your inbox!

Use an Up to Date CV

It’s crucial to have an up to date CV whenever you apply for a job. Any voluntary work or courses that you attend while unemployed are great additions to your CV and can make you stand out from the crowd; they also show that you weren’t just sitting around idle, waiting for a job to come along.

You should also be tailoring your CV to every job you apply for. If you’re applying for jobs in multiple industries, you’ll want a separate CV for each position. A CV for an administration job will allow you to emphasise your organisational skills and Microsoft Office proficiency, whereas a retail position will require you to focus on your ability to communicate with others and provide a quality customer service.

We’ll be covering how important tailoring your CV is in a future post. We’ll show you how you can alter you CVs design to make an impact and secure a job, so stay tuned.

Tailor Your Cover Letter

This is one of the most important steps to take when applying for a job. Companies might receive hundreds of CVs from applicants, so a tailored cover letter can really make a difference. This is your opportunity to show that you know the company and demonstrate what you can offer them as an employee. It’s wise to visit the employer’s website and gauge what skills and personality traits they ask of their employees. This is important, as it not only shows that you’ve done your research, but you can also see if you’d be a good fit for the company. There’s little point in working with a company whose values don’t align with your own. If you’re not as productive because you don’t fit with the culture of the workplace, it’s neither good for you nor your employer.

Reach Out on Social Media

Reaching out on social media is one of the best tactics you can use. Simply making yourself visible, by liking a post or commenting on a potential employer’s update for example, can help you stand out from the dozens of other applicants. This also allows the employer to put a face to your name and could convince them that you’re the perfect person for the job. Just make sure you keep it professional. You don’t want to make yourself look unprofessional by having photos on your profile you wouldn’t want employers to see (no drunken Photo’s)!

Finding work can be difficult no matter the state of the job market, but the principle is always the same: you need to keep trying and differentiate yourself from the pack. By following these tips, you’ll give yourself a much better chance of securing a job.

If you’re looking for work, why not check out the Top Suffolk Jobs board? Register today, see what jobs are available and new vacancies with the ‘job alerts’ option.

What’s Hot? Booming Job Industries in Suffolk

As the jobs’ market faces uncertainty, what industries are currently booming in Suffolk?

In recent years, the UK and jobs’ market has been a mixed bag with unemployment rates in constant flux. In fact, the number of unemployed people in the country has risen for the first time since July last year. However, the picture in Suffolk and its surrounding areas (Ipswich, Bury, and Felixstowe) is a lot more promising. So what’s the key to surviving the uncertain Suffolk job market? It’s having an understanding of the thriving industries and being able to identify where job losses are less likely even in years to come.

Ask Yourself “What’s in Demand?”

It doesn’t matter where you are in the UK, there’s always going to be demand for a decent hairdresser, doctor or dentist. The most secure jobs are those which aren’t likely to disappear in a hurry. There’s a reason why construction is one of the booming job industries. It serves the community and will always be needed, and not just in Suffolk but all over the UK. If you ask yourself “what’s indisposable?” and “what can’t I live without?” you might be surprised at the answers.

Consider Long-Term Growth

A recent report by PWC in 2016 outlined the projected growth rate of a variety of industries up to 2025. Job stability is a key factor in any job search. We all want to know that a job’s still going to be there for us further on down the line. A quick glance will tell us that the business services industry is set for massive growth up to 2025, having almost doubled from 1997 to 2015. The education sector could see growth of over a million jobs. These sectors are likely to be in demand on a national scale, so it doesn’t matter if you’re restricting your search to a certain locality like jobs in Suffolk. These figures can ultimately give us great insight into what industries are set to explode over the coming years.

What’s happening in the Suffolk job market

Watching the news and reading newspapers are great ways to find out what industries are in demand. Stories about companies going bust and businesses thriving are equally common, so the media is a great way of finding out where jobs could be. This is a good way to become aware of sectors that are more in demand in Suffolk.


The tech industry is experiencing massive growth in the UK at the moment, and it’s easy to see why. From the cloud storage we use to the security measures on our PC that protect our data, tech is everywhere. Organisation TechEast is taking it further by concentrating it in one place. Aiming to create a “unified tech cluster”, this could see 5,000 new jobs generated by 2020. Their ultimate goal is to make the East a hub for technology, a sort of technology capital. This year’s Tech Nation report already recognised Ipswich and Norwich as centres for technology and innovation and, with 15,000 jobs already in the sector, their potential is only set to grow.

Food and Logistics

Especially in the East of England, there are industries thriving that don’t see as much growth in other parts of the country. The East plays such a huge role in agriculture, food production, and logistics that we need experts to ensure the whole process runs smoothly. This is an especially important sector in Suffolk, with the container port at Felixstowe – the UK’s largest – employing around 2,500 people. If you’re looking for driving jobs in Suffolk, you might be onto a winner!

Other Industries

With ARM, Cancer Research UK, and the University of Cambridge all located in this region, research and development in medicine, technology, and IT are booming. And, according to Directgov, the caring and business sectors are high in demand due to skills shortages. They also employ the most people. Healthcare, caring services, and senior management are sectors set to grow over the next six years, with the health support sector alone foretasted to employ 22% more people. Employment rates in the East are also set to rise incrementally, with 20,000 people predicted to become employed over the course of next year.

The key to finding a job with staying power is to keep on top of industry trends and growth rates. We’ve seen that despite the uncertain job climate, there are plenty of job vacancies in Suffolk and the surrounding area. Ultimately, if you can find a job involving something we can’t live without (healthcare, food, our mobile phones!), you’ll have a job for life.

Search for work today on Top Suffolk Jobs and register online to get Suffolk jobs direct to your inbox!

What do recruiters look for in government employees?

If you haven’t noticed, local government like most organisations are having to find savings. This is due to reductions in budgets by the national government in what they hand out to the local public sector organisations.

Given this need to find savings it is clear that one quality that local governments recruiters will be looking for are people with new ideas. These new ideas don’t need to be earth shattering like advances that most people relate to when they think about new ideas.  They can be common sense things that are simple to implement. Not only that but they will be especially interested in people who have experience of seeing their ideas through to implementation. Don’t worry if you have children or elderly relatives that you have to look after then you may experience and ideas that may be useful. What else might a local government recruiter be looking for? Regardless of the nature of jobs that you will be interviewed for, you must be able to demonstrate the following key abilities.


Communication is one of the basic elements in building healthy working relationships. Apart from verbal and written communication techniques, in public facing jobs you will also need to be able to deal with people. Not only will your communications skills be put to the test but your ability to deal with people with tact and thoughtfulness will also come to the fore. Think of occasions where you’ve had to handle a difficult situation at work. What skills did you use to resolve the situation? How did you handle the individuals involved and did your handling of the event conclude successfully? Good examples with show you have experience in handling such situations and make you a desirable asset for any public service team.

Management Organisation

Whatever level of local government employment you enter each job will come with certain levels of responsibility. Considering that government works under budgetary guidelines, it is important to exercise your duties in a manner that saves time, funds and enhances quality of services. Time management, thought process organisation and application processing are some of the activities that will portray your style of management and organisation before and during the interview.


Having an impressive communication skill set is the greatest prerequisite for team work. Have you been in an environment where you need to work as a team to deliver goals? It does not necessarily mean you were a team leader but that you can accommodate and adapt to the working styles of other people. The best way to demonstrate team work is in a group exercise where the role of each team member has not been defined.

Problem solving

Working in a government office is synonymous to solving problems associated with the be an effective public official you need to be able to have strong analytical skills because basic information must be analysed to come up with possible solutions to a problem. Past instances of your role in problem solving are important and again think of examples where you have demonstrated this.

The above are some specific areas that you will need to consider when applying for a local government job. The first and foremost thing though is to research the organisation you are going to be applying for. Find out what services they provide. Go to their information or career days and go armed with questions. This is your opportunity to find out as much as possible and how they work. Above all you need to be enthusiastic about working in the public sector. Like anything else if the enthusiasm isn’t there then you will not enjoy the job and it will soon become a chore. No one wants that!

So if you’re looking for local government jobs in Suffolk aim at projecting how well you interact with others. It will form the biggest chunk of what you do when you get employed.

Here are some resources that you may find useful:

  1. How your council works
  2. The People’s Budget

Wondering what to do next? Register with Top Suffolk Jobs and find out what jobs are currently available….