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!

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 We have plenty of permanent and contract roles across all our sectors. Our recruiters are here to help!

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.

Looking back at the past year, it seems a good time to remind ourselves to not only look after our physical but also our mental wellbeing. That being said, those two very often go hand in hand, so going for a walk or hike in nature, for example, can help you boost both aspects of your life. 

While some had more time than ever before to pursue their hobbies and live a much slower life during the past 12 months, it has been a struggle for others. Some may have had to face uncertainty, felt lonely or experienced a decline in mental wellbeing. 

It is important to remember it is okay to not be okay, and there are lots of people, friends and organisations out there who want to help. So if you are finding things a little tough at the moment or if you are feeling good and want to keep it that way, why not try some of our top tips for self-care! 

Reach out

If you feel that you are struggling, please reach out to either friends or family, or one of the brilliant mental health charities like Mind, but also the Samaritans. Get whatever you’re dealing with off your chest rather than bottling it up. 

Take time for yourself

Do something you enjoy, whether that’s an activity or simply relaxing and reading a book or watching a film.

Start journaling

Having a gratitude journal can make a big difference to your thoughts and help you focus on the positives, rather than the negatives. Before you go to bed, sit down and write down 3 things that made you feel good that day. It might be as simple as your cup of coffee in the morning, that really helped you wake up. 

Do some yoga

You might be surprised how much a few simple yoga stretches can help calm your mind and keep stress at bay. A quick 10 minutes will already make a difference. 

Spend time outside

Now that it’s autumn, you can spot some amazing colours when you’re outside for a walk. Take some deep breaths to fill your lungs with the crisp autumn air.

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.

Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and peace. We get to spend some time with friends and family, eat good food and enjoy ourselves. 

However, it can also bring stress and financial pressures. On top of that, this year has been a very different one and we might not be able to spend Christmas the way we want to due to the pandemic. 

It is important to look after yourself and your mental wellbeing during this time and we have collated some tips to help you with this.

Stay connected

If you are unable to spend much or any time with loved ones for Christmas, make sure to stay connected with them, for example via Zoom or Facetime. That way you still get some interaction with them. Why not enjoy a cup of tea or coffee together or maybe even open presents while you speak to each other. 

Don’t bottle it up

If you feel that you can’t get in the festive spirit and that the past few months have had a bigger effect on you than you might have realised, confide in a friend or family member. Speaking about your fears and what is making you feel anxious can help you clear your mind and even lift those feelings. Make sure you don’t bottle it up.

Have some me time

If you are seeing family, allow yourself to still have some time for just you. Take a relaxing bath or read a book. The past year has been intense and this time is all about letting go of those pressures.

Do it yourself

Maybe you discovered some new skills during lockdown and it might be a great idea to put them to good use. If you got into baking or cooking, why not gift some homemade baked goods or jams. Discovered your love for knitting? You could make some lovely, unique hats which will come in really handy during the cold months. This can save you money and is a good way to give more personal gifts.

We hope that these tips help you feel calmer this Christmas.

If you think a new career is on the cards for you then keep an eye out for new opportunities on our website. Visit our careers page or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email

The UK has now officially left the EU and rules will be changing as of next year. If you are an EU citizen, you will need to apply for settled status in order to continue living and working here. It is free of charge and if you find the idea of starting the process daunting, we’re here to help and we know from experience, it’s quicker and easier than you might think! 

The deadline for completing your application is 30 June 2021.

What you will need

First of all, you will need to download the app “EU Exit: ID Document Check” which is available for Android phones or iPhone7 and above. If you do not have either of these, you can use a friend’s or family member’s phone. You will also need to have the following to hand:

  • Valid proof of identity which can be your passport or national identity card

Note: you can only apply using the app if you have a biometric passport or ID document. You can find out by checking for this symbol:

You will also need to ensure that NFC (near field communications) is enabled on your phone. You can find this in settings – connections, or if you drag down the screen on your Android phone.

If you cannot complete the process via the app, you can either find a list on the Home Office website of places including registry offices you can visit to scan in your documents, or you will need to post your documents to the Home Office.

If you are using the app to complete the application, it will give you step-by-step instructions on what you need to do. 

First, you will need to take a photo of your passport or other proof of identity and add the information to your application. 

You will then be asked to scan the biometric chip to confirm that all details are correct. If you are using your passport, you will need to take off any cover, close it, remove any phone cover and slide your phone over it slowly, until it recognises the chip. As mentioned above, you will need to ensure that NFC is switched on for this. This step can take a while, try not to rush. Once the app recognises the chip it will beep.

As the next step, you will need to take a scan of your face to ensure it matches the photo on your proof of identity. And lastly, you will be asked to take a photo of yourself. 

Once you have completed these steps using the app, you will be asked to return to the website to finish your settled status application. 

There, you will need to fill in details including your name and address and set up security questions in case somebody needs to call you with regards to your application.

Once finished, you will need to verify your email address and you will then receive an email confirming submission of your application. 

Depending on the volume of applications the Home Office receives, it should take around one week to hear back. If you can prove that you have lived in the UK for more than five years, you should be granted settled status. If you get pre-settled status despite having lived in the UK for five years or more, you can apply again.

If you can’t use your phone to complete your application and have to send your documents by post, it’s highly recommended that you use recorded delivery. 

To recap, you need to apply for settled status if:

  • You are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • You were born in the UK but are not a British citizen
  • You have a UK permanent residence document
  • You are a family member or carer of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who does not need to apply
  • You are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British citizen family member.

You need to apply if you do not have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. If you do have indefinite leave to remain, you’ll usually have a stamp in your passport or a letter from the Home Office saying this.

Visit the Government website for more information on who needs to apply and the application process.

The job market is constantly changing now more than ever, we have discussed the soft skills required to succeed in a post COVID world, but what about the hard skills that are in demand right now? In this monthly update we review the job roles in high demand right now. 

Principal Civil Engineers 

What does a Principal Civil Engineer do? The Principal Civil Engineer will lead the project team throughout the design and construction process, adapting civil plans according to budget constraints, design factors or client needs. Leadership skills and communication skills are crucial in their work. They also need to be creative to come up with innovative approaches to their projects and any issues that arise. 

What are the benefits of working in civil engineering? Being a civil engineer is an exciting career choice. Civil engineering is about shaping the world and civil engineers work on some of the biggest and most high profile projects in society. From building new roads, railways, airports, sports stadiums, ports or off-shore oil platforms, a civil engineer will be involved from start to finish on these large scale projects. These projects can usually be multi-million or even multi-billion pound programmes so the pressure is on to make sure they are delivered on time and within budget. From early on in the career civil engineers are provided responsibility for certain aspects of a project. Furthermore, no two days in this job are the same. One day you could be in the office working on CAD designs then the following day you could be dealing with contractors, physically constructing work or undertaking site surveys.

What are the current opportunities for Principal Civil Engineers? As specialist recruiters for the built environment we recruit civil engineers at all levels of experience across a wide range of sectors. Currently, our water and environment team are urgently seeking Intermediate to Principal Civil Engineers with experience in river and/or coastal engineering and flood risk management projects for a client working on the Environment Agency framework. Particularly candidates with a design consultancy background (optioneering, outline and detailed design) of flood defences, fish passes, weirs, river and coastal embankments, ports and maritime in the Haywards Heath, Peterborough and Leeds areas. 

If you are looking to take your next step in your civil engineering career, browse our latest Principal Civil Engineer jobs which offer excellent career opportunities and competitive salaries in the market. Here are a couple of our hottest jobs this month:

Property Managers 

What does a Property Manager do? A property manager oversees and performs the daily operations of a real estate property. As a liaison between the property owner and the tenants of the property, a property manager ensures that both parties are satisfied with the property and its daily operations.

What are the benefits of working in property management? Property Managers have a diverse role with exposure to a huge range of tasks, which can quickly strengthen your skill base and value as an employee. It also provides an incredible opportunity to establish a wide and varied knowledge of the real estate sector.  This job will give you insight and experience within the real estate world that will benefit you in future property management jobs or allow you to invest in real estate for yourself.

What are the current opportunities for Property Managers? At Advance TRS our Property teamwork with some of the leading hirers of property managers in the country. A key focus for our clients at the moment is finding Property Managers that have dealt with EWS1 forms (evaluating the fire risk of the external wall system and assessing whether remedial works are required) and have experience of dealing with High Net Worth Individuals.

If you are looking to take your next step in your property management career, browse our latest Property Manager jobs which offer excellent career opportunities and competitive salaries in the market. Here are a couple of our hottest jobs this month: 

Permanent Way Supervisors

What does a Permanent Way Supervisor do? Permanent Way Supervisors lead, direct and motivate staff within the Permanent Way team. They are responsible for maintaining all tools, plant, vehicles and other equipment of the Permanent Way Department, ensuring they are safe for use, returned to storage, and ready for the next job.

What are the benefits of working in Permanent Way? Maintaining the physical system of rail tracks, or permanent way, is more important than ever for the UK’s complex and far-reaching rail network. As the network expands to meet increasing demands for more convenient and faster travel routes, the permanent way division must enlist a workforce that delivers high-level results. With the continued expansion and maintenance requirements of the rail network, nationally and internationally, permanent way engineers are in high demand, with opportunities to transfer skills to international rail networks. 

What are the current opportunities for Permanent Way Supervisors? As specialist recruiters for the built environment, with an expert focus in the rail industry, we recruit permanent way engineers at all levels of experience on leading projects across the UK. If you are looking to take your next step in your permanent way career, browse our latest Permanent Way Engineer jobs which offer excellent career opportunities and competitive salaries in the market. Here are a couple of our hottest jobs this month:

Other roles in high demand this month: 

Technical Engineers 

Depending on their industry, a technical engineer may build or set up equipment, conduct experiments, make models of new equipment, test products, collect data, or help design and develop products. In all areas, they find ways to make things work efficiently.

Contractors Responsible Engineer (CRE)

The Contractor’s Responsible Engineer (CRE) is the person within a design and/or construction organisation with the responsibility for the day-to-day management and coordination of the technical and engineering activities for a specific engineering discipline / project and is responsible for ensuring the Construction and Installation teams follow the project approved Inspection and Test Plan (ITP) Process. 

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

The COVID pandemic and events of 2020 have required everyone to adapt and change throughout the workplace in just about every industry you can imagine. But change does not have to be a negative, and can be a catalyst creating opportunities to find improvements and drive forward positive transformation. 

Here are some of the key skills to help people succeed in this new time of uncertainty. 

1. Adapting to change

An ability to accept and adapt to change is essential, change has always been inevitable but more than ever before, those who can think quickly and embrace the new normal (at every phase) are those who succeed. Employers are increasingly looking for people who can move out of their comfort zone and see change as an opportunity for growth and innovation.

Through the pandemic, you’ve likely faced and overcome new challenges that you didn’t foresee. So, although this may have felt difficult and uncomfortable at times, you will have been building up your resilience, adaptability and ability to deal with change in the process.

You should take time to acknowledge how your mindset may have shifted in recent weeks and months. If you’ve noticed that you’ve managed to adapt to the changes quickly, it’s likely that you will have done so using a growth mindset, which is a great attribute to highlight in interviews with employers. 

2. Creative problem solving

With a rapidly changing world of work comes the demand for people who are quick to adapt and solve problems efficiently and effectively. As leaders involve their teams in problem-solving discussions, they are looking for professionals who can come up with creative ideas and solutions to ensure deadlines are met and results achieved, despite limited or perhaps strained resources.

Chartered occupational psychologist Dr Maggi Evans explains some ways to help yourself to get your creative problem solving juices flowing;

  • Giving yourself some space; many people come up with their best ideas when they’re doing something unrelated, such as walking their dog
  • Be curious and playful; take fresh perspectives on a problem by asking yourself questions like, ‘What would my superhero do?’, ‘What if I had more time or limitless resources’, or ‘What if I had to find a solution today?’
  • Create a positive environment; if you’re working with a team on a challenging project, spend some time chatting or doing something positive first

3. Enthusiasm

People from all backgrounds and seniority levels will likely be feeling the pressure at the moment, from tough decision making to lingering uncertainty, by embracing the best and being enthusiastic to adapt, compromise, support and even upskill, you can set yourself apart. Your positivity and enthusiasm can be contagious and may just help set the tone for your team or be the positive kickstart someone needs to their day. 

Furthermore, we now live in a world where everything can change almost overnight, and with this change comes demand for different skills. As a result, upskilling should have moved up your priority list. By devoting time now to upskilling and learning, you will be demonstrating to future potential employers your willingness to learn through how you used this time to better yourself and grow your knowledge base.

Regardless of the industry, a willingness to learn and a desire to stay on top of current trends and changes relevant to your profession is valued by employers both large and small. Showing that you are willing to learn is key to learning about and understanding any new developments from a technical point of view, ultimately helping your organisation to progress. 

4. Effective communication

These above-mentioned skills are all well and good but get lost if you’re not able to communicate and demonstrate them successfully to others, such as a potential employer in a job interview.

For example, stating that you are adaptable to change isn’t enough; you need to use your strong communication skills to illustrate just how adaptable you are, perhaps by providing examples. After all, employers favour jobseekers who possess exceptional communication skills and are comfortable speaking with people at all levels of an organisation in a professional manner.

It’s worth acknowledging, too, that communication has now changed substantially and as we transition to a hybrid working world – with team members split between home-working and office-working – strong interpersonal and communication skills are only going to become more important as we learn and adapt to building and maintaining relationships, collaborating and sustaining productivity virtually rather than in person.

Video calls, virtual conferences and online presentations also require new levels of self-confidence you might not currently possess, but will be able to develop in time.

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