Are you feeling fed up with your job search? Are you feeling stressed and wanting to just give up? Is your job search affecting your mental health? Searching for a new job can be both mentally and emotionally draining. We’ve put together these tips on how to look after your mental health during this period.

Be selective

Whether you’re looking for a job full-time or doing this alongside a current position, avoid just thoughtlessly applying to every job you see. Targeting your search and focusing on the quality of your application can improve your chances of success. Hiring managers can tell the difference between someone just applying for the sake of it, to someone really wanting the job. If you have put time, effort, and passion into your application this will show.

Finding a new job doesn’t happen overnight, so applying to loads of jobs and not getting a response can leave you feeling discouraged.

Rather than waste your energy on jobs you don’t really want, try to find something that will work for you in the long run.

Take a break

It can be easy to get lost in hours and hours of job searching! That could be searching for vacancies, completing applications, amending your CV or writing cover letters. If you’re applying for a job full-time, make sure you set yourself a schedule and take regular breaks. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be job searching all day long. Get some fresh air, exercise, and regularly eat healthy snacks and meals to keep your energy levels up.

Why not set up job alerts so that relevant roles go straight to your inbox? This streamlines some of the searching process and saves you time.

Positive Targets

It’s natural for job searching to feel negative, especially when you get rejection emails or even no response at all. This can lower your confidence and leave you feeling low, so find ways to give yourself a boost. It’s so important to not let your job search affect your mental health.

Each day, set yourself three tasks you wish to accomplish. Each time you tick off a task it will give you a sense of achievement. No matter how big or small, celebrate your wins!

Ask for help

Taking on this burden can be a lot for one person to manage and lead to feelings of loneliness. Why not enlist the help of a recruitment agency? An agency like Advance TRS will have a vast network of clients looking for staff, with some vacancies exclusive to that agency.

Our recruitment consultants have a strong understanding of the employer and jobs they are recruiting for, business culture and values. It is their job to work with you and align your ambitions, personality, and suitability.

Contacts Us

Searching for a job within the built environment? Having successfully placed hundreds of skilled candidates into major organisations at all levels, Advance TRS are best placed to find your next role.

Upload your CV and register an account with us to receive the following benefits:

  • Upload and manage multiple CVs
  • Set up personalised job alerts
  • Shortlist your favourite jobs
  • View your applications
  • Access to additional resources to support your job search
  • Work with our dedicated and experienced consultants

Job searching in 2022? You may find yourself wondering if writing a cover letter is still necessary, and our answer? Absolutely. It is thought that at least 56% of employers still expect a cover letter to accompany a job application.

A cover letter shows prospective employers that you’re committed to the job and willing to put in the extra effort. It can set you apart from other candidates and help you stand out from the crowd.

We conducted a recent survey and found that 34% of candidates least like writing a cover letter in their job search. So, we’ve put together some tips to give you confidence in submitting a cover letter and make the process easier:

Research the company

Before writing a cover letter, you should take some time to dig a little deeper into the role you’re applying for and the company. You can then use this information to tailor your letter accordingly.

Some things you want to find out are:

  • What does the company do?
  • Who are their competitors? (this develops your understanding of the industry)
  • Who are their target audience?
  • What skills and experience do they value?
  • What does the role involve and how does this sit within the rest of the company?

Start with a header

Include all essential information about yourself, including name, phone number, email, and the date you’ve written the letter on. Most of this information should already be on your CV, but this saves the employer having to go between the two documents.

Write an impactful introduction

It’s essential to catch the employer’s attention from the very first paragraph. Most candidates start with a simple introduction, stating who they are, their interest in the role and previous work experience.

For example, “With over 10 years’ experience at my current company, I wish to apply for the role of Creative Director being advertised on your website.”

As this is quite generic and a common opening from candidates, you could get lost in the sea of cover letters the recruiter is receiving.

To really grab their attention, start off introducing yourself and your top 2-3 achievements (most relevant to the company or role). This is a great way to impress the employer and shine the light on yourself.

Why you’re suitable for the job

In your second paragraph, describe your professional skills and how you meet the role requirements. Read the job description and identify which of the responsibilities are of high importance for the employer. You’ll need to demonstrate how you meet these and why you’re the perfect fit for the job.

If you’re trying to change role, industry, or struggling to meet all requirements, think about skills and attributes that are transferable.

Try to be specific and give examples of your skills in action.

For example, a statement like “I’m a team player” is very vague.

A statement such as “In my previous role, I worked with a team of 10 on a project and ensured everyone was working towards the same goal. This project led to a 12% rise in sales in first 3 months of completion” is more specific and showcasing what you can do.

What you offer the company

Now is your opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the company and that you’ll be a good fit for their business. This is also a great time for you to state exactly why you want the job and why you’re passionate about working for them.

Again, don’t be too generic just for the sake of writing something. It’s very easy to look up the values of an organisation and simply say these align with your own values. Instead, be as specific as possible, giving example of something they’ve done or detailed knowledge of their culture.

Closing the letter

Wrap up your cover letter by thanking the employer for their time or consideration and include a call to action. This could be the opportunity to discuss further or arranging an interview.

At this point, you should also double check the length of your cover letter. Whilst it is important to cover all the information we’ve advised; you don’t want to put off an employer because it is too lengthy. Aim for half a side of A4 or at a maximum, one A4 page.

Finally, make sure you proofread your letter before sending. Having put so much effort into producing the perfect cover letter, you don’t want to be let down by any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. There are some great online tools such as Grammarly that can help you check, or maybe even ask a friend or family member to look.

Our final checklist

  • Have you done your research into the company?
  • Have you provided all essential information?
  • Does your introductory paragraph make an impact?
  • Have you detailed why you’re suitable for the job?
  • Do you state what you can offer the company?
  • Did you close the letter with a call to action?
  • Have you checked the length of your letter?
  • Have you proofread and checked for errors?

Why Advance TRS?

We offer an in-depth candidate management process supporting you through interview, remuneration negotiation, resignation, counteroffer and notice period. Our consultants go out of their way to keep you informed throughout every stage of the recruitment process.

View our latest jobs and find your next opportunity!

While all interviews and interviewers are different, there are some common interview questions that are asked to find out more about the candidate and how they deal with certain situations. We’ve compiled a list of some of those questions and guidance on how to confidently answer them.

Tell me about yourself

Some interviewers will start the conversation by giving a little insight into the business and will then most likely ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself.

Give them a quick summary of who you are and what you have been doing and some insight on any experience you’ve had which is relevant to the job. It’s a great point in the interview to mention your top achievements and to say why you think you’d be perfect for the role.

The interviewer won’t want to hear your life story or about your family history here. Make sure to talk about experience relevant to the position instead. 

Why are you looking to leave your current role

Make sure you are honest about why you’re looking for work, but try not to talk too negatively about your current employer. Try focusing on something like you are looking for new challenges, possibly even highlighting aspects of the job you are interviewing for which aren’t available with your current employer.

Tell me about a tricky situation you have dealt with and how you solved it

When being asked this kind of question, the interviewers want to find out more about your negotiating skills or potential clashes with colleagues. The best way to approach these type of interview questions is to explain the situation, how you resolved it and what the outcome was.

Try to steer clear of describing a situation where you caused conflict as this might give them the wrong impression.

What are your weaknesses

Being asked this question can be quite daunting, but don’t let it scare you. We previously dedicated a blog to this question that you may find useful.

Talk about something you know isn’t your strongest point but which you are working on. Picking something that you can get training on and willing to develop will be the kind of answer the interviewer is looking for.

What are your career goals?

When answering these interview questions, it’s important to differentiate between your long-term and short-term career goals. Your long-term goals may be wider, overarching achievements that you would like to accomplish in the future. Whereas your short-term goals should be smaller, actionable objectives that may improve relevant skills or performance.

The salary question

Don’t undersell yourself here or say to the interviewer that you’re happy to take whatever they think will be best.

A lot of job adverts will include a salary band and if this isn’t the case, you can take a look at similar roles and get a good idea of an appropriate salary from those. There may also be some room for negotiation between you and the employer, so bare this in mind.

You can then justify what you are asking for by mentioning relevant knowledge and experience you will bring to the team.

Do you have any questions

Avoid asking about working hours and holidays here but instead, ask something about the business. Something you might have read about and you’d like to find out more. Maybe there is a new product or service they are launching which you can ask about. This shows the interviewer that you have done your research on the company. 

You could also ask what goals and objectives the company has over the next, 3, 5, 10 years etc. This will indicate your interest in their mission and longer-term commitment to the business.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS is growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. Find out more about our current opportunities or for a detailed and confidential conversation, contact our Talent Acquisition Manager Jess.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 

Benjamin Franklin

Never has the old adage been more appropriate than when thinking about interviewing. Many things about the interview process have changed or evolved in response to the global pandemic, including the inclusion and often used virtual interview. However, the importance of preparation remains a vital step. 

Whilst the interview is an opportunity to learn more about the role and your potential new employer, it is important to make a strong first impression.

Take a look at our helpful tips on how you can prepare for an interview and ensure that you stand out from the other applicants.

Understand The Job

Read through the job specification again and ensure you thoroughly understand any qualifications, qualities and background the employer is looking for. This will help you determine your previous experience and exactly what you wish to demonstrate in the interview.

Make notes on key points or where you have any questions about the role or company. 

Research

Look at their company website, key personnel, social media platforms and note down any relevant information to have with you for the interview. Find out about:

  • Vision / Mission / Values / Purpose 
  • Key selling points and differentiators 
  • Key specialism and area of expertise
  • Service offerings
  • Geographical coverage 
  • Key milestones achieved 
  • Key messaging on social media / current campaigns

Your CV 

To help you prepare for an interview, it’s good practice to read through your CV. Do this prior to the interview and make sure you are aware of the information you have included. The interviewer will likely ask you to talk them through your CV. Decide which areas you wish to focus on and which parts can be skimmed over if less relevant to the role.

Questions 

Come to the interview with some well prepared questions that demonstrate your interest and intent for the company and role. An employer will often ask if you have any questions, so make sure you have a list of about 3-5 questions (possibly more depending on the situation).

Pre-Preparation

Face to Face: Plan your journey beforehand and leave plenty of time to get there early. If you are unable to demonstrate good timekeeping, you will be on the back foot for the rest of the interview. It is better to arrive early, be able to grab a coffee and mentally prepare yourself for the interview ahead.    

Depending on your mode of transport, there are some great journey planner and travel apps to assist your preparation.

Telephone: Make sure you are somewhere quiet with good phone reception. Set up a space where you can focus and have a surface where you can keep any documents to hand or write notes. Make sure any other devices are on silent/do not disturb and make sure you pick up the first call.   

Video: Test your camera and microphone set up before your meeting. Do a couple of test runs with the specific software being used to become familiar with the software. Often you can open the interview link early to test your camera and mic. Make sure you are in a quiet location with strong wifi signal and good lighting so you can be clearly seen. Make sure your background is suitable and you are well presented. Click the link in good time to make sure you do not miss the meeting. 

First Impression 

First impressions are key in all walks of life, especially interviews. Ask the employer or recruiter (if you’re speaking with one) what the dress code is so you can dress appropriately. If it is face to face, be early for the meeting and enter with a firm handshake whilst maintaining eye contact throughout the interview. Non-verbal communication can be just as important as anything you say, so use confident, accessible body language. Smile frequently, maintain a good posture and stay relaxed.

If the meeting is virtual, even though you may not be able to be seen, your posture dictates a lot about how your voice is perceived. Make sure if seated, you are comfortable, and sitting upright (not slumped).

Consider your answers

Though it’s hard to know exactly what questions you’ll be asked, you can prepare for your interview by considering how you will answer. Ensure you respond truthfully, tying your answers back to any key skills and accomplishments. Keep your answers short and focused on the question you’ve been asked, to avoid rambling and going off topic.

As much as possible, avoid speaking negatively about your current or former employers/colleagues. Your new employer will be looking for a positive approach and ability to overcome challenges. Even if you’re feeling discouraged, try to explore the good things, what you’ve learned and what you’ve gained from your experience.

Closing 

The final part of the interview is a great opportunity for you to close the client/sell yourself so don’t be afraid to ask how they felt the interview went. Did they have any reservations? What are the next stages? These will give you clarity and further opportunity to shut down any of their reservations.


Advance TRS

For more helpful interview tips, and job search advice check out our other Advance Advice articles.

We have a variety of opportunities available on our job boards and a team of talented consultants to speak to on 01483 361 061.

Having a personal statement on your CV is the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective employers. It should be a short paragraph, around 5-6 lines, detailing your attributes, what you can offer the company, and your career goals.

We’ve put together some top tips on writing your personal statement:

What should you include?

You should think about the following points:

• A statement about who are you
• What you currently do? (if applicable)
• What are your career goals/what are you searching for?
• Your value to the company

As employers will only spend a short time reviewing your CV, it’s important to highlight your potential straight away.

Why you should vary your personal statement:

If you have time, it would be beneficial to adapt your personal statement each job you apply for. This allows you to make it as relevant as possible to the role you are applying for. Make sure you do your research on the specific requirements the employer is asking for, both for the job and personal skills. This shows potential employers that you understand the requirements for the role.

Employers may also use applicant tracking systems that analyse your CV for keywords and phrases. Having these included in your personal statement, increases your chances of being seen and progressed in the application stage.

Remember, your personal statement gives you a chance to sell yourself in one paragraph. The rest of your CV is your work experience and your qualifications, so this gives you the opportunity to add that personal touch.

How to structure your statement:

State who you are – Begin your statement by detailing who you are, your qualities and where you are in your career. Use of buzzwords can capture the attention of potential employers and help you stand out from the crowd.

Example: As an experienced project manager, I have over 10 years of experience across the rail industry. I am a reliable and well-organised manager, bringing a variety of expertise and knowledge to the table

Communicate your value – The second section should state why you are suitable for the role and what value you bring to the company. This is your chance to highlight any key achievements relevant to the position and distinct qualities.

Example: In my current role, my determination and proactive approach resulted in several successful completions of important projects. The combination of my time management, communication and decision-making skills ensured maximum productivity of each project and of those involved.

Detail your career goals – In the final part of your statement, you should explain what your career goals are and why you’re applying for this role.

Example: I am now coming to the end of my current role and am seeking a new challenge. I’m looking for a position which will allow me to contribute my skills and experience, whilst increasing my current knowledge.

Advance TRS

For more helpful tips and job search advice check out our website. We have various Advance Advice articles that cover all aspects of job hunting.

If you are looking for a new career in the built environment, contact us today on 01483 361 061. Alternatively, contact us via email at info@advance-trs.com. We have plenty of permanent and contract roles across all our sectors. Our recruiters are here to help!

Do you need an up-to-date CV? Remember your CV represents you to your future employer. Your employer wants to know why they should hire you and not any of the other applicants. So, how do you make your CV and experience stand out? Here are some top tips from our team that you need to think about when writing your CV.

Register on our website to get access to free CV template downloads, and other helpful resources. 

Presentation

When structuring your CV, remember employers see lots of applications for each role, so if yours doesn’t make the right information easily accessible it will go straight to the bottom of the pile. The simpler it looks, the easier it is to read.

  • Invest time to tailor your personal summary specifically for the job you are applying for. This is your primary opportunity to highlight your strengths and previous successes
  • Follow on from this with your qualifications
  • Keep the font to one standard type and size
  • Don’t begin each sentence with ‘I’. Unfortunately, it is not the way to create a compelling CV
  • Keep your education and job history in chronological order. It makes sense to put the most recent achievement or job at the top of the list as this is what the employer is interested in

Be truthful

Noting down truthful experience is essential. If you feel that you have to add in an experience you haven’t completed, this job is not for you! Note down all experience you think is related to the job you are wanting to apply for and you will find the perfect employer who wants to invest in you.

Employment history

Keep this short and sweet. Employers don’t need to know every job you’ve had throughout your life. If you think, on average, 50 people apply for every job on the market. If those 50 people all have 8 paged CVs, the employer will quickly become disinterested in reading through all of that information. Save the long explanations of your employment for your interview. Just note the job role, the company and the dates you worked there and add a little bit more information on what you’ve done in your most recent roles.

Check, check and check again – no typos!

Checking your spelling and grammar is essential. You might want to ask someone to look over your work as well as using spell check and looking up any words you’re unsure of!

TOP TIP!
Why not check out some brilliant spelling and grammar checkers to improve your writing? We particularly like Grammarly.

Make your CV role specific

Make sure you tailor your CV to suit the job you’re applying for. It’s very tempting to try to cut corners with a generic ‘one size fits all’ CV, but it is unlikely you’ll get away with it. Always read the role’s exact requirements and re-word your CV accordingly. This will involve you doing your research so you know exactly what the employer is looking for, it may take a bit of effort, but if it puts you one step closer to your dream job so it’s well worth it!

Once you are convinced that your CV meets all the job criteria and portrays you in the best possible way you are ready to search and apply!

Take a look at our Advance Advice for more help with CVs, interview preparation, and all things relating to your job search!

You’ve just finished writing your CV and ready to send it to prospective employers, but what is your CV really saying about you? Before eagerly submitting any job applications, we’ve put together some tips on reviewing your CV.

Personal Statement

This can be tricky to get right, but is also one of the most important areas of your CV. It is your opportunity to sell yourself to your employer and let them know who you are. Within this section you want to include your attributes, what you can offer to the company, and your career goals/what you’re searching for. We recommend that this is roughly 5-6 sentences long, save your detailed information for the interview stages.

It is also important to tailor your CV/personal statement to each role you apply for. This will show employers that you have put care into your application and understand the requirements for the role. Employers may also use applicant tracking systems that analyse your CV for keywords and phrases. This will look for words/phrases that match the job description or what the employer has instructed the system to look for. Having these included on your CV, increases your chances of being seen and progressed in the application stage.

Employment History

So that employers can get a better understanding of what you can bring to the role, fill your employment history with the skills you used whilst in this job. You can also include any achievements and positive outcomes within your existing roles.

Having a detailed section of previous responsibilities and achievements should be positively received by employers and help you stand out from other applicants. They will be keen to understand your transferable skills and how these will benefit them.

Hobbies/Key Achievements

Whilst it may be tempting to fill your CV with your hobbies and interests, you should think carefully about how this will be received by the employer. We’d suggest only including hobbies or interests that relate to the role you’re applying for or offer intriguing information about yourself. Don’t list interests just for the sake of it.

If you’re struggling with ideas on hobbies or interests, you could have a section for your key achievements. Have you taken part in a charity run? Gained any qualifications? Been promoted to a senior level? Your achievements could be both personal or professional, minor or major, as long as they portray you in a positive light and add value to your CV.

Key Skills

Have you thought about additional skills that could help your CV shine? There are plenty of courses online that are either free or only require a small fee to be. New certifications can then be added to your CV. This will show potential employers that you are proactive and take your personal development seriously.

For more tips and CV advice, take a look at our website and Advance Advice articles. We cover everything from interview preparation and CV writing to top tips for your job search. https://www.advance-trs.com/advice/

“Do you have any questions?” It’s asked at the end of every job interview, and your answer should always be yes. if you haven’t prepared for this interview question, it can catch you off-guard.

When preparing for an interview, you should always come up with a list of questions to ask the interviewer. They help to make you come across as interested in the business and the role, enthusiastic and engaged. Come up with about 5-7 questions to ask, just in case they have already been answered during the interview.

When preparing your list try to avoid asking questions that only require a yes or no answer, and steer clear of questions around salary and holiday allowance, at least for the time being – those points can be discussed once you receive a job offer. 

If you need some inspiration, we have listed some good questions to ask at an interview below.

Where do you see the company heading in the next five years?

Asking this should give you an insight into the company’s progression plans and its place in the market, and possibly give you an idea about any major upcoming projects. Asking this question shows a real interest in the organisation.

What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?

Asking these questions provides you with an opportunity to gain an insight into what skills and experience are needed. It will also give you an idea of what the employer’s expectations are, and ultimately help you decide if the role is right for you. 

Are there opportunities for further training? 

This shows that you want to expand on your knowledge and demonstrates that you’re serious about your career.

What are the opportunities for progression within the company?

If you are looking for a long-term career within the company, asking this question will help you find out whether this is the business for you. 

Can you tell me more about the culture of the organisation?

A good working environment is important and asking this question will give you the opportunity to find out whether you’ll fit in.

How could I impress you in the first three months?

This is a great one to ask at the end of a job interview. It shows potential employers that you’re eager to make a positive contribution to the organisation.

Join us! 

As a rapidly growing recruitment business, we have fantastic opportunities for career development. We pride ourselves on rewarding success and promoting from within. However, we are always looking for new talent to further strengthen and expand our teams.

As recruiters, we really understand that talented and motivated staff is the key to any successful business. To help us develop our team into the best they can be, all staff receive invaluable mentorship from our experienced senior leaders and are able to shape a clear career path bespoke to them, mapping out potential routes of progression within the company.

Our dedication to creating a fantastic working environment was recognised at the 2018 Toast of Surrey Business Awards when we were announced as Employer of the Year and Leadership Team of the Year.

Happy New Year! Many of us have had a Christmas break and you may have had time to think about your career. Maybe you decided that a job change is on the cards for you?

Or maybe you worked over the festive period and this has given you the drive to look for a new job.

Whatever your reason for wanting a new job, you need to know what to do next. So where do you start?

  1. Engage a specialist recruiter

Good recruiters will have a comprehensive understanding of your market and current opportunities. Engaging recruiters is a quick way of tapping into this knowledge to help you in your search. They can proactively represent you! Even better, they already have a relationship with the hiring managers. They will be able to guide you through the entire job searching process. From interviews and salary negotiation to job offer and onboarding they should be there throughout.

  1. Update your CV

It is very important to get your CV right. It is often the first impression potential employers have of you. Make sure you have a clean and clear layout and TRIPLE check your spelling and grammar. Get someone else to check it over for you as well. Highlight your key relevant experiences, education and certifications. Include all the details in your last 3 jobs, as this is likely to be how far your potential employer or a recruiter looks. Make sure your CV doesn’t exceed 2 pages if possible!

You can find our free CV template here.

  1. Update your online CV

Your social media profile can act as a virtual CV, it’s there 24/7 as your own personal advert to the job market. The sites you need to create or update are your LinkedIn Profile and chosen Joboard accounts.

Create a LinkedIn profile or update your existing profile. Detail your relevant skills and experience to maximise your online presence. The more experience you list, the more searches you will appear in. Share your profile edits to draw attention to your refreshed profile among your followers.

The number 1 reason people change jobs is career opportunity. A common way people discover a new job is through a referral. Social professional networks are the number 1 source of quality hires, followed by internet job boards and employee referrals. Now that LinkedIn has over 5 million members, businesses and recruiters are utilising this to look for new talent!

You can choose to show recruiters and hiring managers, who are searching for potential candidates, that you are ‘open to opportunities’ on LinkedIn. This will not be visible to your current company but will alert hiring managers and recruiters that you are open to approaches!

What is Advance TRS doing?

For more guidance as you consider your job change, take a look at our advance advice page. We have a variety of job searching articles available, from CV writing tips to interview techniques.

If you are looking for a new job in Rail, Water or Construction, contact us today on 01483 361 061 or head to our contact us page. We have plenty of permanent and contract roles across all of our sectors and our recruiters are here to help!

The year is coming to an end and it’s usually around this time that many of us commit to resolutions we want to achieve over the next twelve months. If a new job or career is on your list then read our recommendations on what you can do now to set yourself up for success in the new year.

Update your CV

A great starting point – having an updated CV listing your most recent experience and relevant roles is very important. Make sure you keep it short and sweet and don’t include unnecessary detail.

If you’re spending Christmas with your family or friends take advantage of having them around and ask them to check your CV. Some of them might have some great advice on what you can improve.

Don’t forget your LinkedIn profile

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date too. That way, any recruiters or potential employers coming across your page can get a good overview of your experience.

Time for new goals

Use the time you have off over the Christmas period to set some new goals. Make a plan of how you want to achieve them and in what timeframe. This can really help keep you motivated and on track. Remember to stay SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound for the best results!

Find a specialist recruiter

A great way to find a job you really like is to work with a specialist recruiter in your area. Good recruiters will have a comprehensive understanding of your market and current opportunities. Engaging recruiters is a quick way of tapping into this knowledge to help you in your search. 

Advance TRS

If you’re looking for roles in the rail, water or construction sectors, our specialist teams might have the right one for you.

You can contact our Recruitment Consultants for a conversation about your new career, our latest vacancies and to discuss any potential opportunities with them.

While maintaining our strong reputation as dependable, effective and honest, Advance TRS continue to grow. Therefore, we are always looking for driven and ambitious individuals to join the team. If this sounds like you and you’d like to work for a business that values its employees’ contribution, we would love to hear from you!

To find out more about our current opportunities, visit our careers page, or for a discrete conversation, contact our Talent Acquisition Manager, Jess.

Current times can seem daunting, especially if you’re looking for a new job. Despite the pandemic, new roles are being added to job boards on a daily basis and businesses are still looking to recruit new talent. There are steps you can take to help you stand out in the job market.  

Having a step-by-step list of things you can do can give you focus and make the process seem less overwhelming. Check out our guide to help you kick start your search.

Give your CV some attention

Updating your CV should be your very first point of action. Bear in mind that recruiters and hiring managers look at dozens of CVs on a daily basis, so you want yours to really stand out and be interesting for them to read. You can do this by writing everything down, condensing the information to a maximum of two pages and restructuring.

Start with your most relevant experience and achievements and make sure to tailor your personal statement to the role you’re applying for. When it comes to personal statements, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Putting a little effort into getting it right can go a long way.

When it comes to formatting your CV, go with a layout that looks professional and will keep the reader interested. This is your chance to sell yourself and making your CV easy to read and interesting will help you stand out.

You can download our free CV template here. 

Upskill 

Now is a great time to upskill and it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of courses online that are either free or only require a small fee to be paid and you can enrol and get started right away. New certifications can then be added to your CV. This helps you stand out in the job market, against others who may not have additional qualifications.

This will also show potential employers that you are proactive and take your personal development seriously. 

You might even want to think about reskilling and getting qualified for a new role or sector entirely. Maybe it’s something you have been wanting to do for a while but never found the time to do it. 

Keep it relevant

Once it comes to applying for jobs, try to stick with what is relevant to you and your experience. It can be very disheartening being turned down for a role, even if it wasn’t suitable for you in the first place. 

Take your time to really read job descriptions and decide whether you have the right skillset and experience for the role before you apply. You will be much more likely to stand out and you’ll have a higher chance at hearing back and being invited for an interview. 

Tailor your personal statement to the role

We already mentioned it above, your personal statement will be the first snippet of information recruiters and hiring managers read about you and it needs to be relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

It should be a short summary about you, to help employers see how you view yourself as a person and as an employee. Your personal statement should be one paragraph, aiming for a maximum of 150 words. 

You can find our guide on how to write a personal statement here.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS are growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

With the global pandemic, times have changed and so has the working world. With many of us working remotely we have become very familiar with Zoom, and not just because of the weekly family quiz nights. 

Businesses have had to adapt certain processes to ensure their employees’ health and safety, and one of those processes is the way interviews are conducted. 

Many companies have opted to hold job interviews via video call, which is a great way to ensure social distancing rules are adhered to, however, can bring different challenges for the interviewee. We’ve got some pieces of advice for you if you have a video interview coming up.

Dress for the job you want

Even though your potential new employer might only be able to see your top half, make sure to dress smart head to toe, rather than wearing a blazer and tracksuit bottoms. This will help put you in the right frame of mind, too. 

No matter what job you’re applying for, it is always worth dressing smart, rather than looking too casual. 

Do your research

Whether the interview is held in person or via video call, you should always be well prepared. Make sure to look up the business, find out as much about it as you can and also look up your interviewers. That way you can find out how long they have been with the company for and ask them about what they like about working there.

If you don’t know who is interviewing you, you can ask your recruiter or the person you have been in touch with to confirm the names. 

Switch off notifications

Whatever device you use for the video interview, make sure to switch off any notifications during the call. Having a constant beep of notifications coming up can be distracting for you and the interviewers.

Make use of your screen

You can write some notes about the company and the job on Post-Its and place them around your screen. It can also be useful to have some bullet points on answers to difficult questions you might be asked. We previously published a blog about commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them. You can read the article here. 

Disrupted signal

We’ve all experienced this – occasionally signal might drop and your screen freezes for a short period. If that happens during your interview stay calm, apologise and carry on with the interview.

Find a quiet space

While it is best to find a space without any disruptions for the duration of the interview, that might not always be possible. In case you have children or pets at home who can occasionally be heard in the background, apologise, briefly explain the situation to the interviewers and carry on.

Ask questions

Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview to show you are genuinely interested in the business and the role. Again, you can write these on notes and stick them to your screen.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS are growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Jess Wells, our Talent Acquisition Manager.

Searching for a job can be a daunting prospect; understanding your worth on the job market, navigating job boards, recruiters and social networks can all present barriers to finding the perfect role. However, new technology and algorithms on established platforms are geared to help you find your next role with minimum effort. Plus, using social media for your job search could prove an important aid.

So how do you find a job in the technological age?

Here are 3 simple tips to help speed up your job search.

Update your Virtual CV

Your social media profile can act as a virtual CV, it’s there 24/7 as your personal advert to the job market. Create a LinkedIn profile or update your existing profile by detailing your relevant skills and experience to maximise your online presence. Share your profile edits to draw attention to your refreshed profile among your followers.

Register for Job Alerts

Save time with your search by registering for job alerts. By registering with relevant job boards and setting up job alerts, you can receive notifications of new opportunities straight to your inbox. You can be as specific as you want to be, narrowing it down to location, salary, job title or industry. Targeting industry-specific job sites can be a good way of narrowing down the number of jobs sent to you.

Utilise Recruiters

Good recruiters will have a comprehensive understanding of your market and current opportunities. Engaging recruiters is a quick way of tapping into this knowledge to help you in your search. Even better, they already have a relationship with the hiring managers and can guide you through the process, from interviews and salary negotiation to offer and onboarding.

A great social media tool for your job search comes from LinkedIn. You can now choose to show recruiters and hiring managers, who are searching for potential candidates, that you are ‘open to opportunities’. This will not be visible to your current company but will alert hiring managers and recruiters that you are open to approaches!

Looking for your next career?

Advance TRS is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly-skilled technical professionals. Since establishing, Advance TRS has grown rapidly and now provides permanent, contract and temporary recruitment solutions to both candidates and clients across a number of key technical sectors, including Rail, Property, Construction, Water and Utilities.

For the latest opportunities visit www.advance-trs.com or speak to one of our team on 01483 361061.

The last few months have seen a lot of change. If you have found yourself looking for a new opportunity in the post-COVID world, here are some job search tips!

Engage a specialist recruiter

Good recruiters will have a comprehensive understanding of your market and current opportunities. Engaging recruiters is a quick way of tapping into this knowledge to help you in your search. They can proactively represent you! Even better, they already have a relationship with the hiring managers and can guide you through the process, from interviews and salary negotiation through to offer and onboarding.

Update your CV

It is very important to get your CV right as it is often the first impression potential employers have of you. Make sure you have a clean and clear layout and TRIPLE check your spelling and grammar. Get someone else to check it over for you as well. Highlight your key relevant experiences, education and certifications. Include all the details in your last 3 jobs, as this is likely to be how far your potential employer or a recruiter looks. Make sure your CV doesn’t go over 2 pages if possible!

You can find example CV’s and CV templates here.

Read our CV writing tips here.

Update your online CV

Your social media profile can act as a virtual CV, it’s there 24/7 as your own personal advert to the job market. The sites you need to create or update are your LinkedIn Profile and your chosen Joboard accounts.

Create a LinkedIn profile or update your existing profile by detailing your relevant skills and experience to maximise your online presence. The more experience you detail, the more searches you will appear in. Share your profile edits to draw attention to your refreshed profile among your followers.

The number 1 reason people change jobs is career opportunity and the number 1 way people discover a new job is through a referral. Social professional networks are the number 1 source of quality hires, followed by internet job boards and employee referrals. Now that LinkedIn has over 5 million members, businesses and recruiters are utilising this to look for new talent!

You can choose to show recruiters and hiring managers, who are searching for potential candidates, that you are ‘open to opportunities’ on LinkedIn. This will not be visible to your current company but will alert hiring managers and recruiters that you are open to approaches!

Read more guidance on our advance advice page.

If you are looking for a new job in Rail, Property, Water, Utilities or Construction, contact us today on 01483 361061 or contact us via email here. We have plenty of permanent and contract roles across all of our sectors and our recruiters are here to help!

WHAT IS IR35?

IR35 was introduced in 2000 to address concerns relating to individuals who supply their services via an intermediary (such as a Limited Company) instead of as an employee. Therefore, they avoid paying employee income tax and national insurance contributions.

Where an assignment is deemed ‘inside’ IR35, PAYE deductions must be made from the contractor’s pay. Any assignment ‘outside’ IR35 is classed as a genuine B2B service and is not subject to the same tax treatment as employees. Advance TRS are here to support you through these reforms.

We have partnered with IR35 experts Kingsbridge and Liquid Friday to guide our client and contractor communities through the changes in legislation. Browse our latest IR35 news, read our FAQs or get in contact with any questions you might have.

WHAT HAS CHANGED AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT ME?

From 6th April 2021, following changes in the public sector in 2017, the government extended the reform to the legislation to capture large parts of the private sector. The key change is that the responsibility of defining the IR35 status of the assignment switched from the individual’s Ltd company to the client, as the recipient of the services.

The legislation states that all companies must take ‘reasonable care’ when assessing if roles are inside or outside of IR35. Taking a ‘blanket approach’ to assess all roles won’t deliver this. We have spoken about the reasons in a recent blog article.

The potential financial penalties can be significant if incorrect steps are implemented, but there is support available to help.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO ENSURE THE CORRECT DETERMINATION?

We are working with clients and contractors to ensure everyone has taken the necessary steps. We’re also ensuring they have been given the correct IR35 determination for them.

  1. SPEAK TO YOUR CONSULTANT – If you are concerned about whether you have taken the necessary steps and want some guidance, the best place to start is by calling your consultant. They will be able to discuss how the reforms impact you and your method of engagement. 
  1. GET A SELF-ASSESSMENT – Next, you can use the Advance TRS free self-assessment tool to confirm your determination and which method of engagement is suitable for you going forward.
  1. CONFIRM YOUR METHOD OF ENGAGEMENT GOING FORWARD – Once you have completed your self-assessment you will need to confirm any changes with your client and agency to issue any new contracts/rate changes and agree your transition date.
  1. PURCHASE IR35 INSURANCE  – To ensure you and the supply chain are protected, we recommend purchasing IR35 Protection Insurance from our partners Kingsbridge who offer a Zurich underwritten policy

THE ADVANCE TRS APPROACH – Be prepared and proactive

Due to the scale of the impact of this legislation, we were prepared well before the Reform came into effect. This ensures our compliance and working practices facilitate confident determinations.

Listen and Learn – Our ability to gather intelligence from multiple sources allows us to learn at a faster pace and deliver the most informed approach to all parties.

Openly Communicate – Face-to-face meetings and regular bulletins provide clients and contractors with the most up-to-date information on how best to set out our working practices.

Free Self-Assessments We worked with Kingsbridge to offer free self-assessments for contracts.

An Insured Solution – We understand the importance of peace of mind, so have worked with Kingsbridge to offer a Zurich underwritten insurance product to protect the whole supply chain.

WHY ADVANCE TRS?

  • Offering free self-assessments and IR35 insurance to protect the whole supply chain
  • APSCO accredited engineering recruitment consultancy with sector specialist consultants
  • ISO18001, ISO9001, ISO27001 certificated and 5* RISQS since the inception of the scheme
  • Huge financial investment in contractual documentation reviews from recruitment expert solicitors
  • Robust contracts and terms of business that are compliant with current government legislation
  • Open book policy on working practices with contractors and clients
  • Excellent legal support from expert recruitment and financial specialists
  • IR35 guidance from FCSA accredited supply chain partners
  • Partnered with Kingsbridge Insurance, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of PSC insurance packages
  • Over 100 years collective experience of engineering recruitment
  • Dedicated business services team focused on contractual compliance and payroll excellence
  • A compliance-focused supply chain partner experienced in supporting all levels of project delivery

A LITTLE MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON IR35

HMRC IR35 legislation has been in place since 2000, but non-compliance is widespread.

HMRC estimate that only 10% of those who should be applying the rules do so, which will cost the Exchequer £1.3 billion in 2023/24. This deprives vital public services of important funds and is unfair to taxpayers who are complying with the rules.

Whilst the compliance of PSC workers has been a relatively mute subject for the last 20 years, HMRC have now realised there is a significant need for focus and attention on the management of this area of taxation, more specifically in relation to employers’ national insurance contributions.

With such significant growth in the number of £multi-billion engineering projects across the UK, there will always be a requirement for the engagement of a highly skilled and flexible workforce that is prepared and willing to move from project to project.

It is essential that this workforce becomes more educated on and compliant with the options that are available to them if they wish to remain off-payroll for the duration of their assignments. Advance TRS Ltd. are committed to providing the highest level of service and engagement throughout the recruitment process to ensure that workers and clients can deliver their services and their projects successfully in the knowledge that their status determination truly reflects their employment status.

It is important to learn from the public sector reform and ensure that we keep contractors fully briefed on their options whilst enabling clients to make confident and informed decisions.

It is essential to approach the private sector reform through the utilisation of all information and facilities available to each member of the supply chain. This offers the flexibility to evolve with HMRC decisions whilst retaining a common goal of providing resources to deliver projects.

It is clear that the public sector ‘blanket approach’ determinations should be replaced with the recommendation that contractor IR35 status assessments are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. This approach offers an assurance to valuable workers that their interests are treated fairly, in line with the legislation and not just for the benefit or safety of the end-user.

One of the key aspects of managing the implementation and impact of the IR35 private sector reform is to ensure that each party in the supply chain recognises their responsibility, communication is clear and processes of due diligence and compliance are auditable. Contractors must take responsibility for the management of their accounts and affairs whilst engagers must extend fair treatment or ‘reasonable care’ to their contractors by preparing diligently and not leaving off-payroll working processes and considerations to the 11th hour.

ADVANCE TRS

We have the operational capability to adequately deal with the extra administrative burdens and will work closely with all parties to manage a case-by-case approach.

Many people are finding themselves working from home for the first time, or with more family in the house than usual for a working week.

Maintaining focus when working from home can be challenging at the best of times and with all your family at home, it can test your focus to the limits! Here are some top tips for keeping productive whilst balancing family life during isolation. 

Working from home: with your partner

Set boundaries: Don’t pretend it doesn’t bother you when your partner broadcasts Skype meetings (or watches TV) while you try to answer emails. Also, don’t passive-aggressively work in the bathroom to hint that you’re not happy with the noise in the living room. Turns out a simple “Could you put on headphones?” is an effective way to get someone to, you know, put on headphones.

Designate private areas: Set up clear and separate areas for you each to work in your own way. Work out what works best for you. One of you needs the radio on whilst the other needs peace and quiet? Separation is probably best. If you like similar work environments carve up the dining table so you can work together. Need to take part in web meetings? Set up a meeting space where you can have uninterrupted quiet.

Come up with a schedule together: Sync up your work breaks to enjoy some quality time together in between the work. Share meals, take turns cooking and cleaning up, take a coffee break or agree a time to switch-off and plan a joint activity for the evening. Knowing when your next break is can help keep you focused on completing the task at hand motivated to get the job done before your break. 

Working from home: with toddlers

Get up early: The best way to work when your toddler is around is by getting as much done as possible when they aren’t. This means setting an alarm an hour or two before they are up for the day.

If you do your best thinking in the morning, tackle your largest projects sans distractions during this time. But if you’re not a morning person, getting up early can still be useful. Have a cup of coffee and use this time to organise yourself, respond to quick email requests, and plan out the rest of your workday.

Take Advantage of Nap Time: Enforcing a nap time each day is not only important for your little one’s health and development, but it’s also critical for you. If you can, encourage a long nap of two to three hours in the afternoon.

Encourage Independent Play: Independent play is important for toddler development and should be encouraged. For working parents, independent play can give mum or dad some much needed time to get work done. Busy bags are a great way to entice your toddlers to play by themselves. They’re exactly what they sound like: bags of simple activities designed to keep toddlers busy.

Give Your Toddler Undivided Attention: In these unprecedented times, take advantage of the benefits they offer. Leaving work behind physically is not possible, and it can be tough to let it go mentally as well. But if your toddler is trying to get your attention, chances are, they’re not going to stop until they succeed. Put your to-do list aside, log off the computer, and give your toddler the attention they need and deserve.

Set boundaries and make sure there are plenty of work-free times throughout the day. After all, the biggest perk of working from home is spending time with your toddler – so make sure you take advantage of it.

Working from home: with kids

Start off on the right foot: No matter how many tasks are on your to-do list, its important to create a schedule that includes time for your kids – ideally prior to hunkering down. Give them some undistracted time (no phone in your hand!) before you need to work.

By doing this, you’re giving them the attention they need to feel seen and secure, which should help prepare them to play more independently when you need to focus on work. Eat breakfast together, offer them your undivided attention and then set some clear expectations about the day ahead.

Adjust your schedule: If your job doesn’t require you to be on the clock at specific times, consider adjusting your schedule to work when your children are sleeping or less active. Doing your hardest work first is a good strategy for anyone, it allows you the freedom to be more present and feel like you can step away for an hour or so when the kids wake up and make breakfast.

Set up your workspace and set some boundaries: Even if you don’t have a home office, it’s important to establish a defined work area at home – and to let your kids know that when you’re in work mode, you’re not to be disturbed. Ideally, look for a quiet corner of the house where you can set up everything you need to work through your tasks as efficiently as possible. 

Prevent boredom for your kids by mixing things up: Kids of all ages appreciate having something new and different to occupy them, try a toy rotation to keep them immersed in play. Take a few minutes to sort through their toys, organising them into separate bins, then keeping only a select few out for them to play with.

The idea is that having fewer toys encourages deeper play. Guide your kids toward activities that don’t require your assistance or constant supervision.

Reserve some activities for special occasions: Got an important Skype meeting or rushing toward a deadline? Have some back-pocket activities at the ready that your child loves and can occupy them for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Embrace healthy screen time: No one will send you to parent jail for allowing your kids to hop on a tablet for a while – especially if you’re directing them to fun and educational resources. There are plenty of sites and apps that encourage physical wellness with an array of free activities, such as free games that teach maths, spelling and music skills.

For school-aged kids whose classroom routines have been disrupted, stay on track with learning resources. Many museums offer free virtual tours and zoos have camera feeds to watch the animals. 

Working from home: with pets 

Create A Separate, Pet-Free Work Space: The best way to ensure your pet isn’t going to put a kink in the flow of your workday is to keep them in a separate area. Yes, it’s nice to be able to cuddle your pet while you are listening in on a conference call, but doing this tells them they can get your attention whenever they want. Setting up a separate workspace is great, not just for you and your pet, but also for your work-life balance in general. It helps makes you feel like you aren’t actually living in your office.

Keep pets occupied: If animals are bored or anxious, it can lead to destructive behaviours like chewing, marking or scratching around the house. To avoid an interruption to your workflow – like stopping to scold your pup for chewed up shoes – make sure they have plenty of physical and mental stimulation for when you’re hard at work.

Give your pet some attention time: Be it taking your dog out for a nice walk, having cat cuddles on the sofa or teaching your pet parrot some funny new phrases, make sure to make time for your pet. Give them your full attention in some of your breaks to make sure they are feeling the love and they may be better able to keep themselves distracted whilst you’re on your work conference.

Far more people are working from home during the COVID-19 isolation period. Here are some top tips to help you settle into the new normal and keep productive!

1 Stick to your morning routine 

Get up and have a shower, eat your breakfast, make your coffee and get dressed. Try to stick to your usual routine where possible to keep yourself in a work mindset. Use your time saved from a shortened commute to get ahead with distracting tasks. Do something for yourself, get the kids set up for the day or push your routine back to catch a few extra Zzz’s, but keep to your usual routine where possible. 

2 Set up a work station 

If you do not have space for a home office, find a quiet corner somewhere to make your new office. Somewhere separate from the rest of the house where your isolation companions know not to distract you and you can focus on work. With the increase in web conferencing, you may want to have a think about your backdrop too! 

3 Keep your usual work hours 

Set a schedule, and stick to it…most of the time. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps maintain a healthy work-life balance. There are lots of apps out there to help you stick to timings and keep your focus so go and explore! 

4 Socialise with colleagues 

Loneliness, disconnect and isolation are common problems with work-from-home life, especially for extroverts. Take advantage of methods your company is offering you to stay in touch with colleagues. For example, they might have chat channels where remote employees can talk about common interests and virtual meetups for people in the same team.

It’s important to figure out how much interaction you need to feel connected and included. Even if you’re highly introverted and don’t like socialising, give a few interactive experiences a try so that you’re familiar with them if you ever decide you want them. Remember, things can get misinterpreted if all communication is via email so pick up the phone or video chat when possible. 

5 Make the most of your breaks

Don’t short-change yourself during breaks, especially your lunch hour. If this is challenging for you there are apps available to lock yourself out of your computer for 60 minutes. Or you can just launch a simple clock or timer on the screen when you take a break. If you return to your desk after only 40 minutes, walk away for another 20. Use this time to socialise with your household, do something creative, get some exercise, take a walk or catch up with some friends/colleagues via video chat.

Taking breaks improves your productivity, mental well-being and overall work performance. 

If you are finding yourself at home and with more time on your hands during the COVID-19 lockdown here are 5 home activities that can be done each day to keep you busy and productive with your time. 

Do something creative 

Creativity is a prerequisite for innovation, leads to feelings of accomplishment and pride and can improve your ability to focus. Let your imagination go wild and get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s journaling your isolation experience, getting creative with your kids’ craft time, doodling, colouring in a mindfulness book, baking, cooking or reaching for the sewing kit. Give yourself permission to create, open your mind and express yourself. 

Get some exercise

Do something to keep you moving each day, be it walking the dog, doing an online workout with your friends or favourite fitness guru. Whatever you choose, keep it fun so it’s something to look forward to. Try not to expect too much of yourself, keep it simple and doable. It could be as simple as dancing around the kitchen whilst making dinner or playing with your kids. Remember, 5 minutes each day is better than just one killer workout a week! 

Expand your knowledge 

With more time on your hands, it’s a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and learn more about the world around us. Be it deepening your understanding of your industry, learning about different perspectives and cultures or simply studying something that has always intrigued you, expanding your knowledge is a great way to stimulate your mind, improve your memory, expand your vocabulary and find tranquility. There are so many ways to get involved, from reading a book to listening to a podcast, watching a documentary or just doing a crossword. 

Learn a new skill 

What better time to learn that new skill you have always said you would do if you had more time on your hands? With so many youtube videos and apps out there to help you on your journey, seize the opportunity to try something new. Maybe you want to learn a new language, finally learn to play that guitar under the spare bed or pick up some knitting needles and give it a go – learning a new skill is a great way to explore what could be your new favourite hobby! These activities can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Tidy house, tidy mind 

With more time at home, there is both more time to make a mess and more time to tidy it up again! In order to not get overwhelmed, why not break it down into daily tasks. From usual chores like laundry and hoovering to deeper decluttering such as tidying cupboards or sorting through your wardrobe, split up the tasks and do a little each day for an easy win and sense of satisfaction.

The current coronavirus pandemic means that many of us are living in uncertain times and will be working from home for the foreseeable future. 

During this time it is very important to keep your focus and structure. Something that might help you with this is upskilling yourself. It’s a great way to gain skills that will be relevant to the new working world. 

Virtual meetings

Currently, most, if not all meetings, are held virtually using different video conferencing systems. And as this is a great way of saving time and travel costs it might not just be a temporary solution during the pandemic. 

Upskill yourself by getting to grips with different systems that are available, like Zoom, and become a pro at using them.

Make the most of working from home

In another recent blog, we spoke about taking time during quarantine to take a closer look at your CV and obtain some references.

This is something you might not normally find the time for, however, having a good-quality CV is a great way to make an excellent first impression on potential new employers. 

Knowledge gaps

Are there any parts of your job where you feel that you have knowledge gaps? Maybe there are programmes or systems you use on a daily basis and have been meaning to learn more about those but you never had the time to.

There couldn’t be a better time than now to upskill. The internet offers numerous tutorials you can watch and you probably have more time than ever before to try out your newly learned skills. 

Doing this will give you more of a competitive edge and provides you with a great selling point during interviews once we get past the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll be able to prove your fortitude and show that you are always looking to develop further.

Your CV is the first thing your potential new employer will see of you and therefore it needs to make a really good impression. Time to update your CV! We previously shared CV writing tips and you can also download our free CV template

In this post, we want to take a closer look at the finer details, rather than the layout and what to include.

Filling in the gaps

You could take this quite literally and check whether there might be any gaps in your employment dates that have been going unaccounted for. Update your CV by filling these in and giving reasons for why they are there. 

Other gaps to look out for might be knowledge gaps – anything you could do with having more of a competitive edge on. Maybe there are aspects of your skillset you have been a little hazy on for a while. Now is the time to upskill!

Your LinkedIn profile can act as your CV

Update your CV on LinkedIn. Most recruiters nowadays use LinkedIn when posting jobs and looking for candidates. Therefore, it’s good practice to pay as much attention to your profile on the platform as you do to your actual CV.

Make sure that the information you include on your profile matches up.

References

It might be a good time now to contact people and ask them for character references, ready for when you need them next. 

And taking another look at LinkedIn – there is the option to ask anyone you have worked with; whether it might be colleagues, managers, clients, the list goes on; for recommendations which are then shown at the bottom of your profile. This is another great way of giving recruiters looking at your page an idea of the kind of person you are. 

Less is more

Lastly, try to keep your CV to 2 pages where possible. You could achieve this by giving a little less detail on jobs that are further in the past or might not be relevant to the role you’re applying for.

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolation, household isolation and social distancing and maintaining educational provision.

And the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible. They have asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

Guidance for schools

It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings (including early years settings, childminders and providers of childcare for school-age children), colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

Schools, and all childcare providers, are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children. This includes those who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs. This includes those on child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children. Plus, those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties. Therefore, we will support headteachers to do so.

Guidance for parents

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care. Plus, other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

(For the full list of affected sectors visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Public safety and national security

This includes:

  • Police and support staff
  • Ministry of Defence civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel
  • Those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs (essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)
  • National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff
  • Other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

  • Staff needed for essential financial services provision
  • Workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
  • The oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)
  • Information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response
  • Key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications
  • Network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services
  • Postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

If workers think they fall within the critical categories above, they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

If your school is closed, then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend.

We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country. It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease.

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are to:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  • Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres, and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable.

We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:

  • Are over 70
  • Have an underlying health condition
  • Are pregnant

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.

This guidance is lifted from the gov.uk website and is for everyone, including children. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers. If you live in a residential care setting guidance is available.

Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

At tough times like these, it’s important to look after your mental wellbeing, especially during social distancing and isolation. Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.

It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help to look after your mental wellbeing during social distancing. In addition, staying mentally and physically active during this time such as:

  • Look for exercises you can do at home on the NHS website
  • Spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV programmes
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • Keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden
  • You can also go for a walk or exercise outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others

Understandably a key factor to support positive mental health is spending time with friends and family. 

What steps can you take to stay connected with family and friends during this time?

Draw on the support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.

Remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too. Or you can use an NHS recommended helpline.

Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

While all interviews and interviewers are different, there are some common questions that are asked frequently. This is to find out more about the candidate and how they deal with certain situations. We’ve compiled a list of some of those questions and some guidance on how to answer them.

You can read more of our interview tips in our Advance Advice section.

Tell me about yourself

Some interviewers will start the conversation by giving a little insight into the business. They will then most likely ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself.

Give them a quick summary of who you are and what you have been doing. In addition, some insight on any experience you’ve had which is relevant to the job. It’s a great point in the interview to mention your top achievements and why you think you’d be perfect for the role.

The interviewer won’t want to hear your life story or your family history here. Make sure to talk about experience relevant to the position instead. 

Why are you looking to leave your current role?

With this common interview question, you should consider how you word your answer. Here, it is important not to talk negatively about your current employer. Focus on mentioning that you are looking for new challenges. You could even highlight aspects of the job you are interviewing for which aren’t available with your current employer.

Tell me about a tricky situation you have dealt with and how you solved it

When being asked this kind of question, the interviewers want to find out more about your negotiating skills or potential clashes with colleagues. The best way to approach this question is to explain the situation, how you resolved it and what the outcome was.

Try to steer clear of describing a situation where you caused conflict. This might give the impression that you are a trouble-maker and might not be a good fit for their team.

What are your weaknesses

Being asked this question can be quite daunting and we have recently dedicated a blog post to it which you can read here.

Talk about something you know isn’t your strongest point but which you are working on, for example, your presentation skills. This is something you can get training on and will be the kind of answer the interviewer is looking for.

The salary question

Don’t undersell yourself here and say to the interviewer that whatever they think will be great. 

A lot of job adverts will include a salary band and if this isn’t the case, you can take a look at similar roles and get a good idea of an appropriate salary from those. 

You can then justify what you are asking for by mentioning relevant knowledge and experience you will bring to the team.

Do you have any questions

Avoid asking about working hours and holidays here but instead, ask something about the business. Something you might have read about and you’d like to find out more. Maybe there is a new product or service they are launching which you can ask about. That also shows the interviewer that you have done your research on the company. 

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS is growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website

Or, for a discrete conversation, contact Jess Wells our Talent Acquisition Manager.

As you may be aware, the Advance TRS team has taken on the challenge of walking 10k steps a day throughout March again this year. We’re excited to raise money for Surrey-based mental health charity Oakleaf. Team members are asked to donate money for each day they don’t reach the 10k steps target. At Advance TRS raising money for charity, taking on personal challenges and fundraising activities to advance others has been a core founding principle.

You can read more about the challenge in last week’s blog post.

It is well-known that besides the physical benefits, getting up and moving also has a big impact on our mental well-being.

Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety

You don’t have to go on hour-long hikes. Going for a 30-minute walk each day can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. The same can be said for stress. If you’ve had a busy day at work, going for a wander afterwards might help to clear your head.

Better sleep and improved mood

Going for regular walks will help you sleep better and leave you with higher energy levels throughout the day. The endorphins released into your body during a walk can help to improve your mood and make you feel happier.

Better memory

Daily walks also have a positive effect on your memory and your mind, cutting the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by around 45%.

Other health benefits associated with walking

Going for regular walks can drastically lower your risk of having strokes or developing heart disease or diabetes and can even add a couple of years to your life. 

Even getting in a few minutes of walking each day, whether it’s during your lunch break, before or after work or with a friend on a day off will greatly benefit your health and mental wellbeing. Time to get up and start moving! 

If you’d like to help us reach our target, you can make a donation to Oakleaf here.

At Advance TRS, we understand that reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to all. We take our obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees seriously. Our comprehensive wellness programme and mental health awareness training have recently been recognised as Advance TRS were shortlisted as finalists in the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing category in the Solent Business Awards 2019.

Follow Advance TRS charity and fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

For the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health in the workplace for further information.

#ATRS10KCHALLENGE

A question that is often asked during interviews and that can be difficult to answer: what are your weaknesses? This blog is dedicated to exactly this question, to give you some guidance on how to answer it professionally. 

Firstly, remember that there is no “one size fits all” approach to answering this question. We suggest you find the way that works best for you. When you prepare for the interview, sit down and tailor the answer to yourself. 

For more interview tips and other useful guides, take a look at our Advance Advice section.

Where to start

A good way to start is to describe your weakness to the interviewer(s). For example, you could start by saying “My big weakness is sometimes doubting my work.”

You don’t want to eliminate yourself from the race by mentioning something too negative. However, you also want to show that you’re human, and nobody’s perfect. 

Put it into context

This will help the interviewers understand why you perceive this particular habit to be a weakness of yours. You can also demonstrate whether or how it affects your daily work. So using the above-described example of a weakness, you could say “I hold myself and my work to a high standard and want to make sure that everything is done right. Sometimes this means that I don’t come forward with an idea or that I take more time to finish a task I have been working on.”

Your learnings 

Lastly, explain to the interviewer how you are dealing with this weakness and what you might have learnt from it. In the above example, it might be that you’re working on worrying less and voicing your ideas more often, while still putting a focus on delivering high-quality work.

If you go into the interview prepared, having come up with a suitable answer for you, then you have nothing to worry about. Remember that the main focus for the interviewers is to find out whether your skill set and personality are the right fit for their team. 

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS is growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Jessica Wells, Talent Acquisition Manager.

Many of us spend a big chunk of our workdays at a desk. So it might not come as a surprise that your workspace can make a big difference to your motivation and productivity. A tidy desk can equal a clear mind and help you work more efficiently. We’ve collated some tips to help you improve your workplace.

Plants

Having plants around you won’t just give your workspace a nicer look and feel, they also help to keep the air fresher and cleaner. 

Desks and chairs – quality counts

We spend big chunks of our days sitting at desks. This can have a significant impact on your posture and general wellbeing. A desk that allows you to adjust its height, so you can either stand or sit down while working can make a real difference to your health and productivity.

It is also worth investing in chairs that support the back and enable an ideal sitting position. 

Bright and breezy

It’s also a good idea to keep the office light and bright, using lighter shades for your walls instead of dark colours. The odd splash of colour here and there will give it a great look. 

Utilise and maximise natural daylight wherever you can as this, too, will help with productivity. 

Offer storage options

A cluttered desk means more distractions and can impact your productivity and concentration. Having storage options where you can put paperwork and utensils will keep your desk much tidier and in turn, help to stay focused. 

We hope these points give you some inspiration for improvements you might have been wanting to make to your own workspace!

Are you looking to take the next step in your career?

If you’re a driven and ambitious individual and you’re currently looking to take the next step in your career then we’d love to hear from you. 

Advance TRS is growing quickly, so we are always looking for new people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

While there are some definite parallels between sales and recruitment roles, if you’re a skilled salesperson there are many reasons why you might want to consider becoming a recruitment consultant. Take a look at some of them below. Could a career move be on the cards for you? 

Transferable skillset

As a salesperson, you’ll probably have learnt to deal with rejection, acquired some good negotiating skills and are used to picking up the phone to speak to strangers for a large portion of your day. All of these are deemed some of the most difficult aspects of recruitment, and as you’re familiar with them already, you’ll be able to hit the ground running!

Uncapped commission

Due to the uncapped commission structures in most recruitment businesses, the sky really is the limit here in terms of earnings. The more people you place, the more you bill and the more you will take home at the end of the month. What’s not to like?!

Career progression

If you’re a driven and hard-working individual, you’ll be able to progress quickly in recruitment, with potential to move from Resourcer to Principal Consultant in a comparatively short space of time. You’ll play an active role in the company’s success and might soon be a team leader yourself. An opportunity you won’t want to miss out on!

The focus is on people

If you enjoy working with people then you will enjoy a role in recruitment. You’ll speak to people for most of your working day, building relationships and with those, your network. If someone has had a great experience being placed in their ideal job by you, they’re likely to stay in contact and reach out to you again once they’re looking to make their next career move. 

These are just some of the reasons for considering a move from sales to recruitment. If you think you’ve got what it takes to become the next recruitment superstar and you’re driven and ambitious, then we want to hear from you! 

Advance TRS is growing quickly, so we are always looking for new people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

Recently, the ‘I’m a celebrity’ contestants were asked what percentage of adults think that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and the answer was only 34%.

While Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and peace, for many it is the most stressful time of the year, with overwhelming family and financial pressures.

We have collated our top tips to help you have a more relaxed festive period.

It’s ok not to do everything

While it can be nice to visit family over Christmas, for some it might mean it will make the holidays more stressful having to navigate traffic and travel across the country. Remember that it’s ok to stay home and have a few quiet days to yourself if that’s what you prefer.

Stick to your budget

Giving gifts is great, but we can all be guilty of overspending sometimes and this is a popular time for doing so. Setting yourself a budget for presents and sticking to it will help you not only feel less stressed about money but will also do your wallet a favour.

Look out for better deals

Check websites like eBay for better deals. You can buy unused or good as new second-hand items for a much lower price.

Do it yourself

You don’t always need to buy presents. It can be just as nice to gift something you have made yourself, for example, some homemade baked goods or jams.

Christmas cards – you don’t have to send them

Writing Christmas cards, making sure you have the right address for everyone and posting all of them on time can be stressful. It can also be quite an expensive affair. Save some time, money and the environment by either sending out a nice Christmas email to everyone this year or, if you don’t feel like it, not sending cards at all.

We hope that these tips help you feel calmer in the run-up to Christmas.

If you think a new career is on the cards for you then keep an eye out for our blog next week where we will talk about how you can make use of your time off during the festive season to be best prepared for your job search in the new year.

To find out more about our current opportunities, visit our careers page, or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

If you are looking for roles in the rail, water, construction or property sectors, take a look at our latest vacancies and apply!

HMRC is due to announce a Reform to the IR35 off-payroll legislation in the Private Sector. The Advance TRS approach to IR35 is being exceptionally well received by clients we have recently consulted with, mitigating risk for our clients with a compliant and insured solution.

Consultation dates are still available in 2019 – book your free session now.

Lessons learned from the Public Sector

Since the Public Sector Reform last year our Group Operations Director, Paul Merton, has worked hard to create a method of engagement that facilitates the continuation of supply of professional contractors in the correct manner via a professional services company.

He has attended a large number of IR35 seminars including several HMRC consultation meetings earlier this year. As a business rooted in the engineering recruitment sector, we are fully aware of the need to sustain a skilled workforce that can move freely from one project to the next without the need to be engaged as an employee.

Whilst IR35 in its initial form afforded many contractors significant tax benefits, the more recent changes have brought about a very clear definition of controls and the manner in which these workers must engage. Advance TRS has invested a great amount of time in understanding these controls and building them into our management system.

Rather than seeking to bring an end to contracting and force contractors into employment contracts that they do not necessarily want or need, we have dedicated our time to creating a contractual solution that demonstrates very clear processes and compliance with the guidelines set out by HMRC.

Whilst the reform requires the end-user to provide a determination, it also makes provision for the responsibility to pass to the fee-payer (agency) on the basis that ‘reasonable care’ has been shown in the determination. It is our intention as a business to ensure that all contractors are engaged correctly with a clearly defined control mechanism and auditable due diligence across Umbrella, PAYE, CIS self-employed and Professional Service Company.

Responsible compliance processes

The change in responsibility that is set out in the Private Sector Reform along with the opportunity to focus on the compliance of all parties in the supply chain has prompted us to review how we supply contractors to our clients.

The Advance TRS process of compliance will allow us to administer an honest and realistic ‘outside IR35’ determination that has been professionally assessed and insured to allow our clients to demonstrate ‘reasonable care’ in the eyes of HMRC.

Advance TRS is committed to partnering with any client who engages contractors through us and will provide full support and disclosure of associated documentation where required.

Managing costs and administration

The Public Sector Reform brought about numerous blanket ‘inside IR35’ determinations which saw large numbers of contractors increase their rates by 15-25% to accommodate the rise in taxation, HMRC have been clear in their guidance that they do not expect to see this in the Private Sector Reform.

Advance TRS provide a solution that not only facilitates the correct manner of engagement for these workers but will also allow clients to remove intermediaries from the supply chain who will become a cost to the business rather than providing a viable route to market. Whilst Advance TRS are unable to remove the responsibility for the determination from the end-user, we are able to provide an auditable and insured solution that will allow us to take responsibility for administering the determination itself. As a partner supplier, we firmly believe we can deliver the administration service for a nominal charge.

Contractor engagement – documentation and legislation

The end result of this process is to facilitate seamless and compliant administration and engagement of a contractor base who will each be determined and contractually engaged in the correct manner.

Due to the current political climate, the timescales for implementing these changes will become increasingly smaller once we enter 2020. The Reform also offers clients an opportunity to review their existing supply chain and the contracts of engagement that are in place with their contractors as well as the umbrella companies they engage.

The risk of poor compliance processes in the supply chain is that it can leave clients exposed if relevant legislation updates are not addressed adequately.

Don’t leave it too late, speak to us now about any questions or concerns you might have! Contact our IR35 Lead Paul Merton on 01483 361061 or ir35@advance-trs.com to book your free consultation.

Competition is rife; the current job market is flooded with candidates who could stand in your way to securing that perfect next career move, so how do you make sure you come out on top?

We’re taking a look at the tips and insight that Andy Ridout, Group MD of Advance TRS, previously provided:

Get your CV in shape

Over the course of my career, I have read hundreds of thousands of CVs and can safely say that employers have too, this is why it is so important to present yours correctly. You might find our CV writing tips useful to help you update it. We also have a CV template available for download.

Presentation

We are looking for CVs that reflect professionalism and to achieve this, presentation is key. A good CV should begin by listing your educational attainment, followed by your most recent, relevant jobs with dates of employment. Underneath each job include a short summary of the responsibilities and duties you were given whilst in the role, highlighting your achievements, strengths and expressing your ambitions.

Make your summaries to the point and relevant, this will ensure we can quickly access your best features and match you to a role as fast as possible.
It can be very easy to get carried away with fancy fonts and italics but in my experience, this rarely looks professional. I would strongly recommend that text is kept to a standard size (10/11) and a professional and clear looking font (Calibri is a favourite of mine).

Read the job description

Unfortunately, all too often we receive CVs from candidates who have not read the job description correctly; an absolute pet peeve for employers. So, before you apply, please make sure you have all the necessary qualifications and experience; if you don’t we will not send your CV to our client.

Make your CV role-specific

Once you have established that you meet the role’s requirements make sure you tailor your CV accordingly. It can be tempting to try to cut corners with a generic ‘one size fits all’ CV but unlikely you’ll display your abilities to their full capacity or get the intended response. Do your research; know the company and re-word your CV to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job.

Go Niche

I have made a successful recruitment career from understanding the specifics and technicalities of the Rail Industry. At Advance TRS, we deal with jobs in 4 different sectors, making us specialist recruiters in Rail, Property, Construction and Water. This allows us to be the first point of call for candidates who require a recruitment team who understands industry jargon and has solid relationships with the top employers in their field.

The interview

Once Advance TRS have secured you an interview we will do everything we can to help you through the process. Interviewers are looking for people who will fit in with the company’s current employees as well as the professional image and reputation they wish to portray. It is essential that your clothes, body language and conduct reflect this since first impressions definitely last.

It is a good idea to stage the interview with a friend or family member the night before. This will give you the opportunity to practice being put on the spot and allow you to prepare your answers to any tricky questions, undoubtedly boosting your confidence during the actual scenario.

Remember, the service we provide you with is free, we don’t get paid unless we find you a job so, if you suit our client’s requirements we will do our best to help you secure your dream job.

For your next career move get in touch with a member of the team at Advance TRS on 01483 361 061.

At Advance TRS we pride ourselves on being the best we can be and delivering a premium quality service to our candidates and clients alike. In order to deliver this, we look for people with the right qualities and habits so we can equip them with the tools to be the best recruiters. 

Personally, I didn’t pursue the academic route, but that definitely did not stop me. At my peak, I billed over £1million in a year. How? Because I am tenacious, determined, competitive and I work hard. 

This drive has taken me from a recruitment novice to million-pound biller, and from business start-up to successful business owner, founder and MD of a multi-million-pound business. 

Delivering premium recruitment solutions is not easy, it can be arduous and is hard work. However, as a successful consultant, the rewards can be huge. To rival the biggest billers there are a few qualities that are essential for success. 

Here are some we look for in new starters, see if you think you have what it takes. 

Ambitious

Top performers are ambitious and goal-oriented. We are looking for people who are not satisfied with simply plodding along. We are looking for those who will go above and beyond to chase down their goals and are hungry to push themselves to the next level. 

Hard-working

Inevitably the best recruiters simply work harder and smarter than everyone else. No one likes a busy fool, so implement time management strategies effectively to get the most out of your time, avoid the distractions, and get on the phone. The harder you work, the higher the rewards, your only limit is you! 

Focused

Focus is essential to running your desk. A successful 360 consultant will need to effectively multi-task to keep all the plates of the recruitment process spinning – so to make this easier, keep your desk and your plan focused and organised so you don’t fall into the trap of being busy doing nothing. 

Optimistic

Recruitment can be tough and full of rejection, so having a positive outlook is essential for success. Those who expect to succeed more often than not are the ones who are prepared to put in the time and the work to make it happen. Plus… some studies indicate that optimists outsell pessimists by up to 40%!

Competitive

Our top performers don’t want to just do well, they want to be the best. By pushing themselves and each other the whole team does better. We run regular incentives and competitions in addition to sharing league tables and company records to spur on a little friendly competition in the team. 

Clear communicator

Be it in person, on the phone, via email or social media, recruitment consultants are constantly talking to people. To be successful it is essential that you can effectively communicate with others, to ensure full understanding and effectively market yourself, the business and opportunities. 

Confident

In order to build relationships and networks, you need a little dose of confidence, however, don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. Your clients and candidates need to be sure that you are the right person for the job.  

Self-motivated

A career in recruitment gives you the unparalleled opportunity to build your own business and write your own paycheck if you are motivated to succeed. No one will do it for you, you need to have the passion and drive to get up in the morning and make your desk a success. 

Persistent

Never give up, ever. 

Personable

People buy from people, so we are looking for people with something about them. A character and personality that makes them stand out from the crowd. At Advance TRS we embrace each other’s quirks and look for likeminded people to fit in our band of misfits.

Do you think you have what it takes to give our big billers a run for their money? If you have the qualities we are looking for get in touch to see how we can advance your career. Visit our website or for a discrete conversation contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

We have taken a look at what can help you lower your stress levels.

In 2018/19 a staggering 602,000 workers in the UK suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety and 12.8 million working days were lost as a result, according to a Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Long-term stress can have big effects on an individual’s mental and physical health and therefore it’s important to take steps to alleviate it. There are simple things we can all incorporate into our daily routines to help us cope better.

Exercise

While physical activity won’t make stress disappear, it is proven to significantly improve mood and wellbeing by metabolising excessive stress hormones, helping you feel calmer. If you start to feel overwhelmed, going for a brisk walk can help you relax.

A good night’s sleep

Lack of sleep is a major cause of stress and unfortunately, when we feel stressed it can be difficult to fall asleep. Therefore, it’s important to take time to relax before going to bed. Taking a warm bath or reading a book can both help to calm your brain. Try to avoid having caffeinated drinks during the late afternoon and evening. You will soon notice how much calmer you feel after a relaxing night’s sleep.

Communicate

Talking to someone, whether a colleague, friend or family member, can make a significant difference in how you feel. It might distract you from stressful thoughts for some time or even release some of the built-up tension.

Avoid caffeine

Try to avoid over-consumption of caffeine or at least reduce it when you are already feeling stressed, as this might increase the stress response in your body. Instead, why not try herbal or fruit teas?

Make a to-do list

Prioritising your work will help you identify the tasks that make a real difference, so you can complete these first and leave less important work to last. Ticking tasks off as you go will also give you a sense of accomplishment. Just remember that your in-tray will most likely never be empty.

At Advance TRS, we prioritise our staff’s wellbeing and get together every week to practise relaxation techniques, go for walks at lunchtime or just chat. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub and have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders, who will act as the first point of contact for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places mental wellbeing and dealing with the causes of stress as a priority, send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Going for an interview can be a daunting experience, however, a little practice can make you feel much more prepared and at ease. Below is a list we collated of some of the interview dos and don’ts that go beyond doing your homework and researching the company.

What you should do

Arrive early

We recommend being at the place of the interview around 5 to 10 minutes prior. That shows that you have good time management skills. Be mindful that arriving too early can come across just as bad as being late.

Pay attention to your position

Make sure that you face your interviewer and are sitting up straight, not slumped in your chair. This will automatically make you feel more confident and help the interviewer form a positive opinion on you. It is also a good idea to make eye contact throughout, however, don’t overdo it.

Consider your answers

While you shouldn’t leave too long a gap between a question being asked and giving your answer (to the point where it gets uncomfortable), do take time to consider what you want to say and how to word it.

Be authentic

The interviewer, your potential new manager or colleague, needs to be able to get a feel for whether you will fit well into the company not only because you have the right skill set, but also the right personality. Be approachable and take time to smile.

Dress appropriately

If you’re not 100% sure what the dress code will be, it is always a good idea to dress smart. It is an interview after all, even if you will be able to wear more casual clothes on a day to day basis.

What you shouldn’t do

Don’t stress yourself out before the interview

Most people find interviews to be nerve-wracking, however, try not to stress yourself out too much before your appointment.

Don’t fidget too much

Try to keep your hands visible rather than starting to click a pen under the table. Interviewers will understand that you are nervous but fidgeting too much might not give a good impression of yourself.

Don’t forget that anyone you meet could be your future colleague

So be kind to everyone you encounter at the company.

Don’t speak ill of previous employers

It never comes across well to speak negatively about previous colleagues, managers or employers.

Don’t make up answers

If you don’t know the answer to a question it is better to admit it rather than trying to come up with one.

For more interview tips and techniques take a look at the Advance Advice section on our website.

If you’re a driven individual currently looking to take the next step in their career then we’d love to hear from you. Advance TRS is growing quickly, so we are always looking for new people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

There are many ways offices can become more sustainable and thus be more environmentally friendly. We have collated a list to name just some of the steps companies can take.

Turn off computers when they’re not in use

Make sure when you leave the office that you switch off your computer rather than just locking it. It’s also a good idea to set a relatively short time for your PC to go into standby mode when not in use, for example when you leave your desk to go to lunch.

Use fewer paper towels

Where possible, use hand dryers instead of paper towels and make sure that taps are turned off so they are not left running for a long period of time. Make sure they are turned off completely and don’t drip. A tap that leaks at a rate of one drop per second can waste more than 25 litres of water a day!

Turn off lights when you leave the room

If you’re the last one to leave the office, make sure to switch off all lights and don’t leave them on overnight. Ensure to do the same when you leave rooms.

Cut down on paper

While going paperless might not be possible for every business, try to cut down on printing and encourage paperless meetings, where the agenda and presentations can be displayed on a screen instead.

Recycle and reuse

Another great way to help the environment is to recycle any waste and go for reusables instead of disposables. It’s much better to give your plate and cutlery a quick wash than throwing them away – they will just end up in landfill!

There is much more that can be done but even if you can’t make all the changes, a few small ones can make a big difference!

We care about the environment

At Advance TRS we are making more and more changes, including the above, to make sure that we minimise our impact on the environment. We remind colleagues to print off only the necessary and use projectors instead where possible. To make implementing the changes more fun and get everyone involved, we are even looking at turning some of them into challenges. For example, if we see a colleague use disposable cups and cutlery on a regular basis and throw them away, they might be asked to put some change in a jar. The money collected can then go towards buying everyone Advance TRS branded travel mugs.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places the environment as a priority send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Mental Health issues are common, especially depression, anxiety and those associated with misuse of alcohol and other drugs. Research indicates that 1 in 4 people experience some form of mental health issue in a year.

There are many myths and misunderstandings about mental health issues stemming from a lack of knowledge. This may result in people avoiding or not responding to someone with mental ill-health or not seeking professional help themselves. With greater community awareness, people will be able to better understand their own mental health and feel more comfortable about seeking out professional assistance.

Early intervention initiatives target those with mental health issues or developing mental health issues to prevent difficulties from becoming more serious and reducing the risk of knock-on effects.

Take a look at our Mental Health Matters Magazine for more information.

What you can do to help your colleagues:

Look out for changes in their mood and behaviour

Are they late or absent from work more? Are they isolating themselves? Do they get agitated easily and often feel overwhelmed? These could all be signs that someone is struggling with their mental health.

Talk

If you are concerned about a colleague, check if they’re ok. Ask them if they want to go for a walk or a cup of tea. Create a safe environment so they can open up to you if they need to.

Invite them for lunch 

Especially in contracting, where someone might move roles and businesses regularly, it can help them to feel more included and maintain social contact at work.

Create an environment where mental health is spoken about openly

Let colleagues know that it is ok to ask for help and support and encourage it. An Intranet page with useful links and information on confidential support services that are available can also be useful. 

Do some physical or mindfulness exercises… 

…as a team once or twice a week during lunch. This might become a regular activity that helps your colleagues’ mental wellbeing and acts as a team bonding exercise at the same time.

If you or someone you know needs urgent help or support, there are a variety of services available. Your organisation may also provide you with confidential access to counselling and advice line services.

Remember, you are not alone! 

We take Mental Health seriously

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide a first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places Mental Health and Wellbeing as a priority send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Looking for a new job can be an exhausting and daunting prospect. What kind of salary can I get? Which companies are hiring? What are the people like? How do I update my CV? What do I say at an interview? These are all questions that can get in the way of you taking your next step in your career. 

It can also be a lonely process if you don’t want to let on to friends and colleagues that you are looking to move, you may be left feeling out on a limb. 

Recruiters can have a bad reputation, but fundamentally they can really help you to find your next role and hold your hand through the process, being a trusted advisor and confidant to help you make your next step the right one.

Here are just a few benefits of working with a recruitment consultant. 

1. Help with updating your CV

If you have been out of the job market for a while, the thought of updating your CV might be a scary one. By working with a recruitment consultant, they can help you through the process, giving you CV templates, tips and tricks or even writing it with you. Don’t hesitate to ask them for support and guidance – a good consultant will know how to make your CV stand out from the rest. Finally, remember this service is free for you! So make sure you get the full benefits of working with a pro. Read our CV writing tips or download our CV template

2. Bring you to life

No more battling to be the most eye-catching CV on the pile. Not only can a recruitment consultant help you look great on paper, but they can also bring you to life for the client. By getting to know you and understanding what you have to offer, they can sell you to the client so that before they have even seen your CV they want to meet you. This jumps you to the top of the pile and ahead of the competition. 

3. Finding hidden gems 

Good recruitment consultants have exclusive relationships with their clients, with access to roles that are not openly advertised on the job market. Simply put, your dream job might be out there but you may never see it unless you engage with a consultant well embedded in your industry, working with the companies you want to work for. So do your research to find the consultant representing these companies and let them unlock the hidden gem jobs you didn’t even know about.

4. Salary clarity 

From day one a consultant will know the salary information for roles you are applying for and will work to understand your expectations and value on the market. A consultant can also act as a great advocate in uncomfortable salary conversations to help negotiate on your behalf for the salary you are looking for so you won’t have to wonder if you could have got a higher salary in hindsight. 

5. Interview walkthrough 

Consultants know the client, the locations and their interview style. They are best placed to coach you through the interview process so you can put your best foot forward and feel confident and prepared. It is in the consultant’s interest that you perform well at interview stage if you’re the right person for the role, and having someone in your corner to coach you through the process can make it less stressful. Read our interview tips here

At Advance TRS our consultants work in a consultative manner and strive to act as your trusted advisor. Remember as a candidate our service is free and our team are here to help you through the process from start to finish. 

View our latest opportunities here or contact our team on 01483 361061 or info@advance-trs.com.

Awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace has risen dramatically in recent years, as one in four people suffer from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on a company. It is therefore important to recognise problems early and to implement initiatives to support staff and colleagues. The business and its employees will benefit from it.

There are different measures to be taken when wanting to improve mental wellbeing at work. It is a good idea to put in place a plan to help with this. Below are some points worth considering:

Mental health first aid

Mental health first aid courses are a great way to enable managers and team members to identify colleagues suffering from mental ill health and support them appropriately. Therefore, one of the first steps a business might choose to take is to select a number of ‘mental wellbeing champions’ to attend the course.

Educating staff

It is also a good idea to educate staff on what can be done to improve and maintain mental wellbeing. For example, taking up hobbies, being active and having a balanced diet might not prevent stress and anxiety but can help relieve them.

By enabling an office environment where staff can speak openly about issues they are facing with their managers (or mental wellbeing champions), team members are less likely to require time away from work, as the business will have created a culture of trust. This will help to alleviate any initial stress when a team member is seeking advice about their situation.

Mental health policy

Writing up a mental health policy for employees will provide them with the necessary information on who to speak to and where to look for further support, i.e. websites, charities and other organisations.

Mental wellbeing at Advance TRS

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide a first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.

Click here to view more of our tips or take a look at our latest live jobs here.

If you are well organised and have planned for your interview, your confidence will increase ensuring that you stand out from other candidates. So, before the interview process, ensure that you:

Know your CV

Familiarise yourself with your CV just before you meet with the interviewer. You are likely to be asked to qualify decisions that have led you to joining organisations on your CV. Make sure you highlight any achievements that will make a positive impression so you are able to emphasise these to explain how you will add value to the company.

Dress to Impress

Pick your outfit and try it on before the interview. Make sure everything fits well and is comfortable. Look the best you can, in attire that is appropriate for the role you are being considered for. If you can feel comfortable and confident in how you look, then this will show in how you present yourself.

Research the Company

Familiarise yourself with information of your potential employer, their culture and work ethos. Research any issues or opportunities within the industry and understand fully how you can contribute positively to assist in resolving or implementing them. As a general rule, the more famous the brand, the more the interviewer will expect you to have done your homework. Researching the company shows that you are serious about the job.

Know the role/job description

When it comes to interview preparation, the job description is your best friend. Not only will a thorough examination of the duties and required personal qualities help you to understand more about what the role entails, it’ll also help you to recognise exactly what the employer is looking for. Then, you can tailor your answers accordingly – coming up with tangible examples that prove you’re the best candidate for the role.

Plan your journey

Confirm the time and location of your interview the day before. If you are taking public transport, make sure you have an up-to-date timetable. If you are driving, allow time for delays and parking. If possible, you may wish to check the journey time by doing a trial run ahead of the interview.

Make a positive First Impression

The importance of making the right first impression cannot be overstated, particularly in the first 30 seconds. The interviewer will begin to form an opinion of you from the minute you arrive. Be punctual and greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile, but do be careful not to crush their hand! A little more pressure than they give is a good guide.

“A job interview is not a test of your knowledge, but your ability to use it at the right time”

Click here to view more tips from us.

Click here to view our latest live jobs.

Knowing how to answer competency questions can often be your key to success at an interview. Whilst we can’t provide you with the exact response you’ll be able to use, we can make sure you approach each one the right way, and it’s all about the technique.

What is STAR?

The STAR technique is designed to guide you through competency-based interview questions, often questions starting with ‘Tell me about a time you did X’.

Competency questions are generally used to find out how candidates would react to certain situations, by asking for real-world examples to back-up their claims.

Don’t let their open-ended nature fool you. There is a formula you can apply to keep your answers on track, which is where STAR comes in. Here’s a breakdown of how to approach each letter:

S – Situation

Think of this section as ‘setting the scene’. Provide the interviewer with a bit of background about the questions and give them some context. Try and be specific by including names and dates wherever appropriate, to help add credibility.

Example:

At Company Name Ltd, I was responsible for representing the firm at tradeshows. My second year there, it just so happened that three events we usually attended, were scheduled within a month of each other – generally, they were spread out over a much longer period of time.

T -Task

Build on the background you’ve given and outline the task at hand. Specifically, how did the situation relate to you? What were the major tasks you needed to undertake to resolve it? Include how important or difficult the situation was to overcome, as well as any constraints you came up against.

Example:

It meant a tremendous amount of work was compressed into a really tight window of time. These shows were a huge source of lead generation for the company, so it was essential we attended and presented our products in the best light.

A – Approach

Translation: What did you actually do to resolve the situation?

Outline the steps you took to ensure a successful outcome, without being tempted to take all the credit.

The key to effectively incorporating the ‘approach’ part of your answer is to identify what skills the interviewer really wanted to see and reinforce them throughout.

Example:

I hate to say I can’t take something on at work, but I took a long, hard look at the situation and realised preparing all three up to the standards I’d want was going to be impossible. So I sat down and prioritised the events. One, I realised was much less relevant to us, so I scheduled a meeting with my manager and we agreed to focus on only two events. Once that was settled, I could draw up a detailed to-do list with interim deadlines for each item so that I’d have all the materials I needed to really represent the company well.

R – Result

Finally, it’s time for the pay-off. What was the outcome of the situation? Remember, everyone loves a happy ending and recruiters are no different. Make your happy ending quantifiable and you’ll really have nailed your answer.

Example:

The two events were run effectively and I was really happy with them as no problems occurred. I was able to bring several really solid leads back to our sales department. One of them actually resulted in a £100,000 contract, so in the end, I was pleased I’d made the call to eliminate one event.

Final Note

It’s particularly important to prepare for this sort of interview. Put some concrete, quantifiable details down on paper, which could fit a range of situations. All jobs involve difficulties. The interview is trying to figure out how you’ll handle them.

STAR is a structured system, it can help guide your answers and calm your nerves, but don’t follow it too rigidly – you’re not a robot! Make sure your responses flow naturally.

Read more of our interview tips and other advice by clicking here.

A personal statement is usually the opening paragraph on your CV. It should be a short summary about you, to help employers see how you view yourself as a person and as an employee.

We’ve put together three simple tips for writing your personal statement:

How long should it be?

Your personal statement should be one paragraph, aiming for a minimum of 5 lines up to a maximum of 12 lines on a word document. If you’re looking for a word count, aim for up to 150 words.

If it’s too long, you risk repeating yourself and rambling too much!

If it’s too short, you’re not selling yourself enough!

What should it include?

You need to think about three key questions:

    • Who are you and what do you currently do?
    • What are your career goals?
    • What can you offer to your next employer, that could make you stand out above the rest?

Can I keep the same one for every job I apply for?

All job requirements are different. If you have the time, it would be beneficial to adapt your personal statement each time you apply for a job, so you can make it as relevant as possible to the role you are applying for. Make sure you do your research on the specific requirements the employer is asking for, both for the job and personal skills.

Remember, your personal statement gives you a chance to sell yourself in one paragraph. The rest of your CV is your work experience and your qualifications, so this gives you the opportunity to add that personal touch.

Here’s an example we’ve put together:

“As an experienced project manager, I have a proactive approach which has resulted in numerous successful completions of important projects across the rail industry. I am now coming to the end of my current project and am seeking a new challenge. I am a reliable and well-organised manager, bringing various expertise and knowledge to the table. I have extensive experience across the board and my attention to detail and communication skills is what makes me stand out from the rest.

TOP TIP

Make sure you ask someone to read through this for you to pick up any spelling or grammatical errors! You can’t always see these when you are writing yourself.

Not sure where to start with writing a CV or not fully happy with your one? Want to see an example to compare to yours to?

We have created a CV template that you can download to either fill straight in or just to use as a reference.

Remember

Your CV needs to:

  • Look smart
  • Be readable
  • Have clear and concise information

Try and keep your CV down to two pages wherever possible. When going through CVs, most recruiters or employers will look at the last three jobs that you’ve had. If you’ve worked in a number of jobs or on a number of projects, try including the summary of your duties in just your last three jobs and then list all other jobs with just the company, job title and the dates you were there. You can elaborate on any of your older jobs in an interview.

Register on our website to get access to free CV template downloads, and other helpful resources. 

Take a look at our Advance Advice for more help with CVs, interview preparation, and all things relating to your job search!

Have you got a job interview coming up? Thinking of looking for a new job in the New Year? Haven’t been to a job interview for a while? Is it your first interview?

If you’re not sure where to start with preparing yourself, or you’re not sure it’s possible to prepare yourself, here are five tips for making sure you are ready for that all important day.

1. Make sure you know the company

If you don’t know much about the company, start reading up on them before the interview. A good place to look first is on their website.

2. Have background knowledge of the Industry

If you already think you know a lot about the industry, then try to sharpen up your knowledge.

If you don’t have much knowledge about the industry because you’re making a career move – do some research! You can do this by speaking to people in the industry or you can do some online research.

3. Think about your strengths and weaknesses

This is a question that most interviewers ask. Some people become a little bit stuck or are nervous about what to say about themselves. It’s sometimes hard to tell someone what you’re good at and let’s face it, you don’t want to tell them that you’re not so good at anything, it’s a job interview after all! The interviewers are going to appreciate honesty. If you come across honest, they will appreciate it.

Think about what strengths you will be bringing to the table if they decide to hire you! These might be organisational skills, timekeeping, knowledge of the industry, knowledge about the job, experience, decision-making skills etc. If there is anything within those skill sets you aren’t 100% confident with, have a think about that too. Make sure that if the interviewer does ask you what your weaknesses are, you say, for example, ‘I would love to improve my decision-making skills’ rather than ‘I’m not very good at decision making’

Always keep it positive!

4. Make sure you know your CV

The only thing the Interviewers know about you is the information that is on your CV and on your application you filled out for the job. Make sure you know what experiences on your CV are relevant for the role you are applying for. This will help you prepare for any questions they might have for you.

5. Write down any questions you have

This might be about the job or even about the company. The interviewers will be impressed that you want to know a bit more about what they do as a company, and they will also appreciate that you have questions about the job you are applying for!

A few other things to think about:

  • First impressions are vital – dress smartly.
  • Plan your travel to be early to your interview, not just on time!
  • If you have any work or evidence that would support your application, bring it with you.
  • A good handshake is always a positive start.
  • Relax, smile often, be friendly and try to calm your nerves.

Looking for a job in the Rail, Property, Construction or Water & Utilities industry?

Click here to view our latest jobs!

Searching for a job can be a daunting prospect; understanding your worth on the job market, navigating job boards, recruiters and social networks can all present barriers to finding the perfect role. But all is not lost, new technology and algorithms on established platforms are all geared to help you find your next role with minimum effort.

So how do you find a job in the technological age?

Here are 3 simple tips to help speed up your job search.

Update your Virtual CV

 

 

Your social media profile can act as a virtual CV, it’s there 24/7 as your own personal advert to the job market. Create a LinkedIn profile or update your existing profile by detailing your relevant skills and experience to maximise your online presence. Share your profile edits to draw attention to your refreshed profile among your followers.

Register for Job Alerts

 

 

Save time with your search by registering for job alerts. By registering with relevant job boards and setting up job alerts, you can receive notifications of new opportunities straight to your inbox. You can be as specific as you want to be, narrowing it down to location, salary, job title or industry. Targeting industry-specific job sites can be a good way of narrowing down the number of jobs sent to you.

Utilise Recruiters

 

 

Good recruiters will have a comprehensive understanding of your market and current opportunities. Engaging recruiters is a quick way of tapping into this knowledge to help you in your search. Even better, they already have a relationship with the hiring managers and can guide you through the process, from interviews and salary negotiation through to offer and onboarding.

You can now choose to show recruiters and hiring managers, who are searching for potential candidates, that you are ‘open to opportunities’ on LinkedIn. This will not be visible to your current company but will alert hiring managers and recruiters that you are open to approaches!

 

Looking for your next career?

Advance TRS is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly-skilled technical professionals. Since establishing, Advance TRS has grown rapidly and now provides permanent, contract and temporary recruitment solutions to both candidates and clients across a number of key technical sectors, including Rail, Property, Construction, Water and Utilities.

For the latest opportunities visit www.advance-trs.com or speak to one of our team on 01483 361061.

Your CV represents you to your future employer. Your employer wants to know why they should hire you and not any of the other applicants. So, how do you make your CV and experience stand out on a word document? Here are some top tips from our team that you need to think about when writing your CV.

Presentation

When structuring your CV, remember employers see lots of applications for each role, so if yours doesn’t make the right information easily accessible it will go straight to the bottom of the pile. The simpler it looks, the easier it is to read.

  • Invest time to tailor your personal summary specifically for the job you are applying for. This is your primary opportunity to highlight your strengths and previous successes
  • Follow on from this with your qualifications
  • Keep the font to one standard type and size
  • Don’t begin each sentence with ‘I’. Unfortunately, it is not the way to create a compelling CV
  • Keep your education and job history in chronological order. It makes sense to put the most recent achievement or job at the top of the list as this is what the employer is interested in

Be truthful

Noting down truthful experience is essential. If you feel that you have to add in an experience you haven’t completed, this job is not for you! Note down all experience you think is related to the job you are wanting to apply for and you will find the perfect employer who wants to invest in you.

Employment history

Keep this short and sweet. Employers don’t need to know every job you’ve had throughout your life. If you think, on average, 50 people apply for every job on the market. If those 50 people all have 8 paged CVs, the employer will quickly become disinterested in reading through all of that information. Save the long explanations of your employment for your interview. Just note the job role, the company and the dates you worked there and add a little bit more information on what you’ve done in your most recent roles.

Check, check and check again – no typos!

Checking your spelling and grammar is essential. You might want to ask someone to look over your work as well as using spell check and looking up any words you’re unsure of!

Make your CV role specific

Make sure you tailor your CV to suit the job you’re applying for. It’s very tempting to try to cut corners with a generic ‘one size fits all’ CV, but it is unlikely you’ll get away with it. Always read the role’s exact requirements and re-word your CV accordingly. This will involve you doing your research so you know exactly what the employer is looking for, it may take a bit of effort, but if it puts you one step closer to your dream job so it’s well worth it!

Once you are convinced that your CV meets all the job criteria and portrays you in the best possible way you are ready to search and apply!

Ok, so you’ve spent hours weighing up your career options and found a job you just know would be perfect – now you’ve just got to get it!

First things first- your CV, despite the fact that this may seem the most gruelling task it is probably the most crucial, forget the interview, this is what will make up employers minds on whether you even get that far!

The trick is to make you shine, but how?

Step 1: Presentation

When structuring your CV, remember recruiters plough through hundreds every day, so if yours doesn’t make the right information easily accessible it will go straight to the bottom of the pile.

  • Always have your name and contact details at the top, followed by your qualifications.
  • Invest time to tailor your personal summary specifically for the job you are applying for. This is your primary opportunity to highlight your strengths and previous successes.
  • Keep the font to one standard type and size.
  • Do not write in the first person. Beginning each sentence with ‘I’ is a common mistake; unfortunately, it is not the way to create a compelling CV.

Step 2: Check, check and check again – no typos!

Poor spelling is a pet hate for most HR departments and a definite way to make a mockery of your perfectly presented CV. Ensure that you look up any words that you’re not certain of, making sure that you don’t rely solely on spell check; Americanisms should be steered well clear of- after all, it’s a CV you’re writing, not a resume!

Step 3: Make your CV role specific

Make sure you tailor your CV to suit the job you’re applying for. It’s very tempting to try to cut corners with a generic ‘one size fits all’ CV, but it is unlikely you’ll get away with it.

Always read the role’s exact requirements and re-word your CV accordingly.

This will involve you doing your research so you know exactly what the employer is looking for, it may take a bit of effort, but if it puts you one step closer to your dream job so it’s well worth it!

Step 4: Stick to the truth!

You must be able to support the statements made in your CV.

Avoid unnecessary exaggeration as any untruths will probably come to light during any reference checks.

Once you are convinced that your CV meets all the job criteria and portrays you in the best possible way you are ready to search and apply.

So you have an interview, congratulations, you are one step closer to securing your next job. Now, preparation is key, so follow our step by step guide to maximise your opportunity.

Step 1. Know what you’re wearing – dress for success!

First impressions last, so what you wear for an interview is essential.  Make sure you are aware of the company dress code before you arrive, some businesses prefer their staff to dress formally whilst others take a more casual approach. If you are in doubt over what to wear then always err on the side of caution and dress smartly. It is better to be overdressed for an interview than underdressed.

Step 2. Practice your performance

If you were an actor you wouldn’t go to the opening night of a big performance without having learnt your lines. Treat your interview in the same way; we advise rehearsing with a friend or family member the night before so you are fully prepared for being put on the spot.

Step 3. Do you know about the company? Research, Research, Research

There is nothing worse for a hiring manager than a candidate who knows nothing about his or her company, it demonstrates either a lack of care or regard for the job or just pure laziness.

Before you go to the interview make sure you have read the company website and taken the time to understand the size of the business, its services or products, history and mission statement. It is also worth printing out any material that could be of particular interest.

Know who you are meeting, search the company website and LinkedIn to get as much information about your interviewer as possible.  This will help you to anticipate what he or she will be looking for in an employee.

Step 4. Where are you going and how will you get there?

Always check the route and how long it will take, then plan on arriving early. If you are using public transport make sure you buy tickets in advance to save cost, time and hassle on the day of your interview. If you are driving, find out where you will park; having to walk miles unexpectedly could make you late and appearing flustered will not create the best first impression.

Step 5. What to take with you

At advance we recommend our candidates take three items with them to any interview:

  • A copy of the job description, use it to refer to during the interview.
  • Two copies of your CV, this demonstrates organisation and could assist the interviewer if they do not have a copy to hand.
  • And finally, a notepad and pen. Ask if you take notes, this demonstrates interest, shows you are eager to learn and take the job in question seriously.

Step 6. Questions and Closing

Prepare 10 questions.

This is where most people get caught out. Don’t be afraid to challenge the interviewer on why you should join their organisation.  If appropriate ask why they joined the company.  This demonstrates that you value your own worth.

And finally…

Ask the interview panel if they have any reservations about your capabilities, this gives you the opportunity to address any concerns they may have.

Good luck!

Know what you are looking for

Before you begin you need to know the position you are seeking and what titles these roles will be found under, be aware that the same job can be labelled differently. For instance, a Project Manager may be referred to as a Programme Manager.

Make sure you know exactly which sector you want to work in, where you want to work, how far you are prepared to travel, whether you are interested in permanent or temporary employment and the salary or rate you are prepared to accept.

If you are unsure of anything such as your market value then talk to a recruitment expert in your sector.

Searching for a Job

Use search engines to search for specialist recruiters in your industry. These specialists will have relationships with the key companies and employers; they will also have live jobs that are ready to be filled.

Advance-TRS are specialist recruiters with experience of over 40 years, they are preferred suppliers to the majority of employers within the rail sector.

Big online job boards can be useful, however, many allow a multitude of agencies to have access to your CV. This can result in mass CV mailshots by inexperienced recruiters to unsuitable employers, which may tarnish your professional integrity.

Preparation

Before searching for jobs make sure you have your CV prepared in case a role becomes immediately available.

Ensure that your Facebook settings are set to private! Many employers use social media to check up on candidates so any lurid pictures and expletives should be deleted and your LinkedIn profile kept up to date.

The decision to take a job abroad is a big one, so before you bite the bullet and begin the international recruitment process, carefully consider all the facts. Read our checklist to make certain you’re fully prepared for a new venture overseas.

Culture

Accepting Differences

Adjusting to a new culture could be a challenge. If you don’t agree with local attitudes to women and or children, racial, political or religious beliefs then perhaps you’re considering the wrong place. A new system of values will almost certainly affect your life, so do your research and make sure your location suits all your living requirements before you take the plunge.

Language

Learn the language. If you can’t speak the native language and the locals can’t speak yours then finding work will be tough!

Health

Healthcare entitlement

Some countries may have government funded health initiatives; however, most will require you to take out your own private cover. If you do need insurance be prepared for all eventualities; get it factored into moving costs and in place before you set off.

Children and family life

Partner/spouse

If you’re moving with your other half, what career implications will the move have for him or her? Dual career relocation is double the challenge.

*The most common reason listed for overseas assignment failure is a lack of partner satisfaction.

Know what you leave behind

When you emigrate overseas, I doubt you’ll be taking everyone you know along with you. How do you feel about that? How often do you plan on visiting home? Will visiting be financially viable? Leaving loved ones behind is tough, consider this realistically, especially if you have ageing or poorly relatives or rely heavily on your family support network.

Education systems

Schooling systems vary dramatically from country to country, so if you decide to move to France in the middle of your child’s A-Levels he or she will most likely find the French bachelorette system difficult to adjust to! However, international schools are available so do your research to limit any disruption.

Finance

Is the salary or rate in the chosen country acceptable for you?

Taking a job abroad could mean taking a pay cut and although the cost of living may be less, this could make visiting home a very expensive trip. Alternatively, your salary could be rising, if this is the case don’t be caught out;  investigate the true cost of living in your chosen location.

Work permits

Do you need one and can you meet the necessary requirements? Check out the local embassy regulations before you get your hopes up. Once you have obtained your visa make sure you know your rights of employment and are fully aware of the regulations under which you have been allowed to reside.

Counter-offers are becoming increasingly commonplace in today’s competitive skills market. The noticeable skills gap plaguing the engineering sector makes finding replacement staff an arduous and expensive task for employers. Not to mention the time it takes to find suitable candidates, interview them, negotiate terms and wait through their notice period, all before they can even start.

Understandably employers want to hold onto their best people and nobody can complain about a pay rise, so why should you think twice about accepting a counter-offer from your employer?

Our Guide:

  1. Firstly, there must have been a reason you were looking for a new opportunity in the first place. Take a moment to think over your current situation. Are the original reasons you wanted to leave going to be resolved if you accept? Remember, over 50% of employees who accept a counter-offer end up switching jobs within the next 2 years anyway.
  2. You may be planting a seed of doubt into your employer’s mind if you accept a counter-offer. They might privately question your loyalty or wonder if you’re still on the market for another opportunity. In time to come, you might find that you’re passed over for promotions or could even find yourself near the top of the list if the company makes redundancies.
  3. You might be burning bridges with your prospective employer and your recruitment agency. Your chances of ever landing a job with them in the future will be slim to none and going forward you’ll probably find the recruitment agency will be hesitant to pass your CV onto other clients.
  4. In more extreme circumstances, a counter-offer might just be your employer’s short-term solution whilst they find somebody to replace you. The increased cost of your salary in the short-term is a small expense compared to weeks of an empty chair at your desk. Whilst it might seem a little far-fetched, it has certainly happened to many people.

If you decide to decline the counter offer, be sure to keep your bridges intact by being polite and thankful to your employer. Assure them that you’ll do as much as you can to make the transition to your replacement as smooth as possible by providing a suitable handover. Send a thank you note around a week after you start your new job, it may just be the olive branch you need if things head south in your new role.

In the UK alone, more than 10 million workdays are lost each year as a result of work-related stress. In comparison, just over 4 million workdays are lost each year as a result of work-related injuries. Stress is the frequently overlooked silent killer of the workplace, chipping away behind the scenes, often with no visible symptoms or indicators.

Check out our top five tips to combat stress!

1. Eat well.

It can be quick and easy to pick up processed foods or ready meals but you’ll be lacking that vital nutrition that comes from fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables. Aim to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day and steer clear from short-term energy boosts such as caffeinated drinks. Caffeine blocks the neural signal that tells your body that it’s out of energy, leading to that late afternoon crash.

2. Get active.

Exercising for just 20 minutes per day can reduce stress and depression, simultaneously boosting self-esteem, energy and sleep quality. Not only that, but regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, by up to 50%!

3. Plan your day.

Prioritising your workload is essential to combating stress at work. Ensuring that you get the most important tasks finished first will go a long way to putting your mind at rest. If you can’t get everything done in your work hours, take solace in the fact that what’s left is less important than what you’ve accomplished.

4. Switch off.

The UK has the longest work hours in Europe and workers are commuting longer than ever before. This means people are spending less time doing the things that they enjoy. Take a couple of evenings a week to ignore your emails and spend time doing the things that make you happy.

5. Get social.

A problem shared is a problem halved. Having a supportive network of friends, family, and co-workers to discuss troubles with has been proven to reduce high levels of stress.

Competition is rife; the current job market is flooded with candidates who could stand in your way to securing that perfect next career move, so how do you make sure you come out on top?

Andy Ridout, Managing Director of the recruitment agency, Advance TRS, gives us an insight into what employers are really looking for…

Get your CV in shape

Over the course of my career, I have read hundreds of thousands of CV’s and can safely say that employers have too, this is why it is so important to present yours correctly.

Presentation

We are looking for CV’s that reflect professionalism and to achieve this, presentation is key. A good CV should begin by listing your educational attainment, followed by your most recent, relevant jobs with dates of employment; underneath each job include a short summary of the responsibilities and duties you were given whilst in the role highlighting your achievements strengths and expressing your ambitions.

Make your summaries to the point and relevant, this will ensure we can quickly access your best features and match you to a role as fast as possible.
It can be very easy to get carried away with fancy fonts and italics but in my experience, this rarely looks professional. I would strongly recommend that text is kept to a standard size (10/11) and a professional and clear looking font (Calibri is a favourite of mine)

Read the job description

Unfortunately, all too often we receive CV’s from candidates who have not read the job description correctly; an absolute pet peeve for employers. So, before you apply, please make sure you have all the necessary qualifications and experience; if you don’t we will not send your CV to our client.

Make your CV role specific

Once you have established that you meet the role’s requirements make sure you tailor your CV accordingly. It can be tempting to try to cut corners with a generic ‘one size fits all’ CV but unlikely you’ll display your abilities to their full capacity or get the intended response. Do your research; know the company and re-word your CV to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job.

Go Niche

I have made a successful recruitment career from understanding the specifics and technicalities of the Rail industry. At Advance TRS, we deal with jobs in 4 different sectors, making us specialist recruiters in Rail, Property, Construction and Water. This allows us to be the first point of call for candidates who require a recruitment team who understands industry jargon and has solid relationships with the top employers in their field.

The interview

Once Advance TRS have secured you an interview we will do everything we can to help you through the process.
Interviewers are looking for people who will fit in with the company’s current employees as well as the professional image and reputation they wish to portray. It is essential that your clothes, body language and conduct reflect this since first impressions definitely last.

It is a good idea to stage the interview with a friend or family member the night before. This will give you the opportunity to practice being put on the spot and allow you to prepare your answers to any tricky questions, undoubtedly boosting your confidence during the actual scenario.

Remember, the service we provide you with is free, we don’t get paid unless we find you a job so, if you suit our client’s requirements we will do our best to help you secure your dream job.

For your next career move get in touch with a member of the team at Advance TRS on 01483 361 061.