Using our years of experience, we know that we're well placed to offer our candidates sound advice when it comes to finding a new role. Which is why we have put together our recruitment A - Z - which is your guide to securing that next interview and your dream role in fashion or retail. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to view the whole series - we'd love to hear your suggestions and tips too!
A is for....Attitude - and a great attitude is essential throughout the recruitment process! Remember that there will be several applicants for each job that you apply for and when you meet with a recruitment consultant or a company, you need to shine above the rest and leave them feeling confident in your ability. Always be open, honest, enthusiastic and show your interviewer why you're the best person for the job!
B is for....Breaking down your CV into small, interesting chunks which make it easy for people to understand what you do. Your CV is your first impression on a company and so the easier the information is to digest, the better! We have a CV builder on our website which can do all this for you providing you with a winning formula which is sure to impress at every stage.
C is for....Career path. When applying for jobs and looking for roles on our website, think about your long-term strategy. What is your ultimate goal and where do you want to be? You may not be able to get there straight away, but you should look at your next career change as a stepping stone to get to where you want to be. Our top tip is to look at LinkedIn and find out who is doing your dream job. Look at their experience and what they did previously - then you can start planning!
D is for....Dress to impress, and although it's always the first thing people think about when they find out they have an interview, it can still go terribly wrong! All you need to remember is to mirror the brand or company you have your interview with. If you are going for a retail position, visit a store and look at employees and what they are wearing. If it's a head office role, look at the company's website and what they sell and how they present the ranges - then plan your outfit around that.
E is for ....Excellence. You may think that you've got your CV all sorted, but why not pass it to a friend and see if they understand what it is you do? Can they point out your strengths and can they spot any weaknesses that you might have? We know you're excellent - you know you're excellent - you just need to make sure that your CV tells your future employer too! If in doubt, speak to one of our experienced recruitment consultants who can help steer you in the right direction for that dream role.
F is for....Fashion & Retail Personnel (of course!) We know that there are loads of consultancies out there, but we also know our industry inside and out. Not only are our consultants experienced, but more importantly they care about each and every candidate that they meet. We believe that honestly with both our candidates and clients builds a strong working relationship and we'll always listen to your needs - a new job is a big thing, and you can trust in us for 100% support!
G is for....Graduates. If you've got some market knowledge and plenty of passion but no experience, starting out on the shop floor in retail gets you into a brand and can be a great start to your career. However, it's worth noting that transferring from working in a store to working in a head office is not easy. If you're looking for a head office role, internships or a graduate recruitment scheme at a large retail name would be better. Places are competitive though - go in with a great CV and attitude!
H is for....Head Hunting. Although a call from a head hunter or an email through LinkedIn can seem flattering, make sure that they really listen to your needs. The role may not be one that you would have applied for or considered, but it could be a great opportunity for progression or to explore a new area of fashion or retail. We know that changing jobs is a huge decision and we will always fully discuss our roles with you and fully answer any questions that you may have.
I is for....Interview Preparation. It may sound obvious, but you need to prepare for every interview you have - and each one will be different. Research, analyse the brand and think about what it is that YOU can bring to the role which no-one else can. Imagine that you are interviewing - what would you like to see from the perfect candidate? Practice interview questions with a friend to make sure you know how you will respond and always get a good night's sleep before - it will help you relax!
J is for....Job Specification. Most of us apply for jobs online now, which can be a massive advantage as the space the company have to write about the role is often unlimited. The advert is your greatest tool so make sure you read through it several times. Can you do the role? Does it sound like something you would enjoy? Will it help you advance in your career? If you've answered yes to the above, tailor your CV to highlight what the advert is looking for - and start applying!
K is for.... Killer Questions. When you have an interview, whether it's for your first or third, you need to think about what questions you might be asked so you can prepare your answers in advance. However, its also important to work out what you might ask your future employer. Asking how much holiday you get may not give off the right impression! Think along the lines of career progression within the company, finding out more about the team you will working in and future plans for the brand.
L is for ....Listening in the interview. It sounds pretty obvious but listening is essential! You'll find that by listening to what the interviewer says to you and the questions they ask, you can tailor your answers to reflect your skills in the best light. For example if they say team they are recruiting for is small, talk about how well you work without supervision and that you love being proactive and getting involved in all areas of the business. It shows that you understand their needs.
M is for....Making your self available. When you need to send your CV to a consultancy such as Fashion & retail Personnel, if we can help we'll phone you for a face to face interview. This helps us find out all about how can help you and really listen to what you want from your career. Always try and make your self available for these interviews that follow. The recruitment market is still competitive so the more you make yourself available, the better chance you have!
N is for....News. We know that researching a brand before an interview is essential, but did you know that we can make the whole process really simple all you need to do is visit the following page: http://fashionpersonnel.co.uk/fashion-news/latest-fashion-news and you can sign up to receive fashion and retail news straight to your inbox. You can also search through previous articles to find out more about the different companies and what they have been up to - and its all totally free!
O is for....Being on time. Always plan ahead when meeting a consultancy or a future employer - being late to an interview is a terrible first impression! However, being too early can also be a pain so aim to arrive 10 minutes early and you should be fine. Always check your route in advance and if something does happen (we all know trains and busses have a mind of their own sometimes) make sure you have the phone number of the person you are meeting so you can call them.
P is for....Perseverance. We know that searching for a new role is a really daunting experience, especially when there are so many people applying for the roles! But they key is persevering - the more you put into your job search, the more you will get from it. Keep looking for roles whenever you have the chance and make you CV as strong as possible so you a good shot at each role. To make things even easier, you can sign up on here on our website for our Jobs by Email alert - its easy and free.
Q is for....Quality over quantity. And this rule should be applied across everything in your career search! When applying for roles, don't just submit your CV for every role you see - really think about the role; can you do it? Is it the right step for you? The same goes for your CV too, don't try and pack every but of information you can. Make it succinct and to the point so a future employer instantly knows what you're all about - they will be very busy so your quality will shine through!
R is for....Recruitment consultancies, which can really help you with your job search but there are a few things to remember. You want to be selective about who you work with - research the consultancy and look at their clients. When you meet them, really think about whether they have your best interests in mind. Do they listen to you or do they try and push you into the roles they currently have? We guarantee that at Fashion Personnel, you'll never just be a number.
S is for....our Salary Survey. This is a great tool, in conjunction with Drapers, helps you to work out what you're worth and more importantly - if you're getting it! The ethos of our business is to be as open and honest with our clients and candidates as possible, and sharing our insight with Drapers in order to create this piece of research is just one way of demonstrating this.
T is for....Telephone Interviews. These may be carried out as first stage of an interview process or if you cannot physically attend an interview with a recruitment consultancy or employer. You should prepare as you would for a face interview and make sure you have your CV in front of you at all times. Find somewhere quite (so evict any children and pets, and turn the TV off!) to take the call, make sure you are ready to answer on time and have a pen and paper to take notes.
U is for....Using your contacts. On LinkedIn you should always look to grow your network and connect with people you know. The more people in your network, the more opportunities you will hear of. This is also the case when at your current job and when you attend the industry events. Network and keep in touch with the people you meet - a high percentage of new roles are found though word of mouth and personal recommendations will put you ahead of the crowd in your career search.
V is for....Verifying details. When you have an interview - whether it's face-to-face or on the telephone, make sure you double and triple check all the details. Who will you be speaking to? Will they be your potential manager or are they from the HR team? Where will it be? What time? Knowing all these details will ensure that you don't miss anything out and can give the best performance possible at your interview. There is nothing worse than turning up late because you didn't check!
W is for....Websites. Which are great source of information when it comes to your career search. All our latest jobs go straight onto our website, plus we have our CV Builder and jobs/news by email services. It's also a great way to keep track of companies who might be recruiting and learn more about each brand and what they offer. Visit the 'Our Clients' section of our site to view our clients and work out where you would be best placed in your next career move. We'd love to hear from you!
X is for....X-rated!! You would be surprised how much research employers do before they interview a candidate. And with the internet and social media making information so readily available, it's worth going through your online presence and making sure that you only show the information you want to the public. Think about what your photos and comments say about you - do they make you look like an employable candidate? You might want to hide that cocktail-fuelled night out photo!
Y is for...Yourself. And as with anything, it's important to take time for yourself when searching for a new role. It can feel like a long process and you're certain to experience highs and lows. Make sure you persevere and find time to relax in between searching and applying for jobs. Plan an evening where you spend half an hour improving your CV, two hours applying for 5 - 6 roles which really appeal to you, and then relax - it will seem less daunting applying in chunks with breaks in-between!
Z is for...Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....which is you getting a good night's sleep! This works hand-in-hand with taking time for yourself. If you run yourself into the ground applying for roles, you won't be able to perform at your best when it comes to your interview. Relax before your interview, plan your outfit and get everything you need prepared before getting to bed early. The rest is easy and all you need to do is talk about how much of an asset you are - we know you'll be great!