Redundancy advice: top five tips

Published: 19 Mar 2009

1. Sell yourself through your CV

Your CV and accompanying covering letter are your first point of contact with a future employer. Keeping your CV up to date is one of the best ways to be prepared for a career opportunity. Here are some basic tips to help you prepare a professional CV:

Do your research
Find out what employers are looking for. Read through job pages and scan the internet for the kinds of skills organisations are looking for in your specific role.

Tailor your CV
When you have found a job you want to apply for, it is important to tailor your CV to fit the role. You should always be honest about your experience, but you will appeal to employers more if you use their terminology and can demonstrate the relevance of your skills.

Include the basics
Include only relevant information on your CV. Always include the basics such as name, location, date of birth, contact details, availability or notice period, whether you have a clean driving licence, and your nationality or working visa details.

Structure your CV
A good solid educational background, relevant qualifications or chartered memberships are desirable to new employers. Then provide details of the previous companies you have worked for and a brief synopsis of the duties carried out for them. On your most recent role(s), elaborate upon this by describing the types of projects carried out.

Cover core skills
You need to make a brief list of core skills that would be relevant to a potential new employer. Using the same adjectives and ordering as used in the advertisement is a good start.

2. Prepare for an interview

First impressions are everything. Make yourself stand out from other candidates. Here are some tips to prepare you for an interview:

Be punctual
Make sure that you give yourself enough time to get to the interview early. Punctuality is an important first impression for any potential employer.

Be sensitive
During an interview, your interviewer will subconsciously give you a lot of information on how to behave, which you should use as a guide for the rest of the interview. Observe their style and pace and try to match it. Listen to what they are saying, and let them know you've been listening by asking good questions and making insightful comments.

Create a dialogue
Create a dialogue with the interviewer so that the interview doesn’t become an interrogation. If you don't ask questions, you will force the interviewer to ask you more. When you respond to a question you should ask a question of your own to make sure you have accurately understood and provided enough detail.

Say enough and smile
Don’t talk too much in an interview and especially don’t give too much personal information. Listen to the question asked and answer it accurately and succinctly. Be relaxed, attempt to stay positive throughout the interview and remember to smile.

Be honest about yourself
Try to bring up a weakness before you are asked for one, and make sure your weakness can also be seen as a positive.

3. Take legal advice if needed

Get legal advice from a professional if you are not sure where you stand after being made redundant or need advice on your rights.

4. Search for work on the internet

The internet is a good place to start as it will enable you to access thousands of jobs from across all sectors and look for work on a wider regional and international scale.

Upload your CV and covering letter on the relevant job sites so that potential employers can find you.

5. Learn new skills

Losing your job could mean time to learn new skills and perhaps reassess your working life to make improvements where necessary.

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