Eastbourne Jobs Hub : Job Search & Career Advice

Published: 12 Sep 2015 By Eastbourne Jobs Hub

Finding a job or opportunity

Applying for a job or opportunity

Interview advice

Tips for your first day

Dealing with redundancy

Work Experience

Places to go for help and advice



Finding a job vacancy or opportunity
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So, you’ve decided to search for a job! But, where are you going to look? Whatever stage you’re at, the Eastbourne Jobs Hub can help.

Websites
Most companies will advertise jobs on their own website. So if there is a particular company that interests you then log onto their website and search for vacancies.

Local press
There are several local newspapers and magazines in Eastbourne and Wealdon. Some are free and most of them will have an online presence. Check out any vacancies they may advertise.

You may also want to contact companies directly, register with a recruitment agencies or visit the National Apprenticeship Service. 

Register with LoveLocalJobs.com to upload your CV and apply for local jobs on the site.

You will also get regular job alerts by e-mail and our weekly newsletter with all the latest information about finding a job in the local area.

You can also look for jobs online using social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Visit the Eastbourne Jobs Hub at Eastbourne Library to use local and national papers for free and access to computers.

What do you want to do for work?

The first step in getting a new job is deciding what you would like to do for work: what are you good at and what do you enjoy doing?

Gaining a qualification or getting some work experience will help you show your interest in a particular job.

Once you have decided what you want to do, you can get more knowledge by reading about the industry in newspapers, online or by following relevant companies and people on Twitter.

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Applying for a job or opportunity
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Writing a great CV 

Your CV should be an accurate and relevant reflection of your professional and personal experience.

Employers will spend 20-30 seconds scanning your CV so you need to make sure they can find the information they're looking for quickly and easily.

General CV Writing Tips

Your CV should:

  • Be two pages long
  • Be tailored to the job you're applying for
  • Be formal with no extravagant fonts or colours
  • Not use slang or jargon
  • Not have any spelling mistakes

Structuring your CV

Your CV should start with your name and contact details. Include your postal address, a professional e-mail address and a telephone number so the employer can choose how to contact you.

Your personal profile should be a brief explanation of your skills and objectives. It should be written in the third person, e.g. 'Jill Smith is an intelligent professional with management experience...' not 'I am an intelligent professional with management experience...'.

Next up is your career history which will outline your previous work experience. Start with your job title, the company you worked for and the dates you worked for them. Then add three or four bullet points to list your responsibilities and achievements.

List your educational qualifications starting with the most recent. Name the school or university where you took the qualification and include your grade.

Add a bullet point list of your additional skills such as whether you hold a driving licence or a first aid certificate. Include any computer programs relevant to the job you're applying for.

If you have space, finish with a bullet point list of your hobbies and interests.

Click here for a free CV template

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Writing a great cover letter

So you've got a great CV, but the first thing a potential employer will read is your cover letter.

Even though you will mostly apply for jobs online, your cover letter is still essential and is a great chance for you to sell yourself and highlight important parts of your CV.

When you apply for a job, attach your cover letter to the e-mail and make sure you use a professional e-mail address.

Formatting your cover letter

Your cover letter should be formatted like an official letter and should be no more than one page long.

Write your address in the top right-hand corner then leave a line and put the full date.

If you know the name of the person you are sending your application to, start the letter with 'Dear Mrs Jones' and end with 'Yours sincerely'.

If you don't know the name of the person you are sending your application to, start the letter with 'Dear Sir/Madam' and end with 'Yours faithfully'.

Writing your cover letter

When you write your cover letter, try to answer these questions:

  • What is your background?
  • Where did you find out about the job vacancy?
  • Why are you applying for the job?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • Why are you suitable for the job?

Then:

  • Summarise relevant points from your CV
  • State 'I am available for interview at your convenience.'

Click here for a free cover letter example

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Using e-mail like a pro

We use e-mail for many different purposes: keeping in touch with friends and family or finding out about the latest gigs.

But when you send your CV and your cover letter to a potential employer, it's important to appear as professional as possible.

Use a professional e-mail address

Potential employers won't be impressed by casual e-mail addresses like dan_the_man@email.co.uk or sexybeast89@email.co.uk.

Use your full first name and surname or your initial and surname to give your e-mail address a more professional sound like mikesmith@email.co.uk or msmith@email.co.uk.

You can set up a free address with e-mail services such as Google, Windows Live or Yahoo.

Make the subject line accurate

Potential employers will receive lots of e-mails. The subject line is the first thing they will read and could affect how and when they read the rest of the e-mail.

Be clear with your subject line. If you're applying for a job as a Sales Assistant, use a subject line like: 'Application for Sales Assistant vacancy from LoveEastbourneJobs.com'.

Keep your e-mail short and clear

You don't need to repeat the information in your CV and your cover letter in the e-mail.

Potential employers may receive hundreds of e-mails a day. A short and clear e-mail directing them to your cover letter will help them find the important information quickly.

End with an e-mail signature

Most e-mail services will let you write a signature to go at the end of every e-mail you send. These tutorials will tell you how to set up a signature on Google

You can put your full name and, if you want to, your telephone number in the signature. You may also want to include links to a social network like LinkedIn or Twitter if you use it for professional purposes.

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Completing an application form

You may be asked to complete an application form instead of sending your potential employer a CV and a cover letter.

Read the instructions carefully. You may be asked to only use black ink or to complete the form in block capitals.

It is a good idea to write your answers on paper first then transfer them once you are happy with what you've written.

Writing your answers

Do not copy and paste information from your CV. You can use your CV as a starting point but your potential employer will be looking for specific examples of your:

  • communication skills
  • time management
  • ability to meet goals and targets
  • flexibility
  • organisational and planning skills
  • problem solving ability
  • creativity and initiative
  • teamwork

If you are completing an online application form, make sure you save it after completing each answer.

When you have completed the application form, print a copy or take a photocopy which you can read before your interview. You may be asked questions based on your application form.

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Interview advice
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Preparing for your interview | Common interview questions | Asking questions at your interview

 

Preparing for your interview

Interviews can be scary and it's OK to feel anxious! You can calm your nerves by preparing well and knowing what to expect.

Before the interview:

What to expect from a face-to-face interview

First impressions are incredibly important. Dress in smart clothes even if you are not asked to do so. When you meet the interviewer, make eye contact, smile and have a firm handshake.

Spend a couple of minutes building a rapport with the interviewer. This will settle your nerves and give the interviewer a chance to see if you will fit into their team.

Be aware of your body language. Sit up straight, maintain eye contact when listening to questions and answering them and remember to smile.

Expect to answer questions about your previous work experience and the job you have applied for. Take a moment to think about your answer before responding clearly and confidently.

Be prepared to ask questions at the end of the interview. This will show the interviewer that you have done your research and you are genuinely interested in working for their organisation.

Watch this video on preparing for an interview from East Sussex County Council (aimed at apprentices but useful for all).

 

Competency Interviews

This type of interview is becoming more and more popular and requires you to provide specific examples or evidence in your answer.

‘Tell me about a time when you worked successfully as part of a team’.

‘Tell me a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation’.

The types of questions may well be linked to the person specification of the job (if you were provided with one). If you were not, think about what type of work you will be doing, what challenges you may face or what experience you may need; and make sure you have examples of when you have been in these situations, showed your skills or have examples of your experiences. 


Eastbourne Jobs Hub Competency Interviews

Other questions may include:

  • This job requires flexibility, could you tell us about a time when you have had to stand in for another member of staff?
  • Tell us a time when you have had to work to a strict deadline.
  • Tell us a time when you have had to develop a new system or project from scratch.

To help you structure your answer, you can use the STAR method as many people tell the interviewers lots about the situation and the task, but not enough about they did and what the result was.
S – situation, background, setting the scene
T – task or target, specifics about what was required, when, where and who
A – action that you took, skills and behaviour used
R – result-what happened as a result of your action (if this was not positive, it’s OK. Just make sure you say what you would do differently next time. It shows learning!)

Using this method will help you shine at interview as it will be clear what action you took and the results that you achieved. This does not have to be war and peace, but told with enthusiasm and energy about a real situation. These examples do not just have to be about work, you can use other examples too, e.g. volunteering, organising a sports team etc. 

If you need any more help, please feel free to come in to the hub for some more help or support.

What to expect from a telephone interview

Some employers will conduct a telephone interview to test how you conduct yourself on the phone.

Make sure you sound outgoing and enthusiastic from the moment you pick up the phone. Speak slowly and clearly and make sure you are in a quiet room with no distractions.

Keep a copy of your CV to refer to and make a list of your strengths, experience and a few questions to ask the interviewer.

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Common interview questions

Once you know what to expect from your interview, you can start to think about the questions you may be asked.

Tell me about yourself?

This is usually the opening question. This is likely to be a warm-up question so answer briefly and focus on your education, work history and recent career experience.

What do you know about our organisation?

As you have done your research, you should be able to answer this question.

You can talk about products or services, reputation, image, history and philosophy.

Let your answer show that you have done your research but also that you want to learn more about the organisation.

Why do you want to work for us?

Start by saying what you like about the company from your research. Mention the company's reputation and talk about the opportunities for learning from the company's success.

Talk about how you believe you can contribute to the company. You may have identified challenges they are facing in your research and have thought about a potential way of addressing those challenges.

Organisations may promote an ethos through their products, services and marketing. State that you share their ethos and believe you would fit into the company easily.

What can you do for us that someone else cannot? / Why should we hire you?

Mention specific accomplishments listed on your CV. Talk about how your skills and interests and these accomplishments make you valuable.

Mention your ability to prioritise, identify problems and use your experience to solve them.

Your CV suggests you may be over-qualified or too experienced for this position?

Suggest that, as you are so well qualified, your employer will get a fast return on their investment. Mention that experienced executives are always at a premium.

Say that a strong company needs a strong staff and can never have too much talent.

What important trends do you see in your industry?

Mention any trends or challenges to the industry you found in your research.

You can talk about technological challenges, economic conditions or regulation.

Why are you leaving you present job? / Why did you leave your last job?

Be brief and honest. If you were made redundant, say so. Otherwise, let them know that the move was your decision, the result of your action.

Do not mention personality conflicts and remember that your references will be checked.

In your current or last position, what did you like the most/least?

Be positive by describing more features you liked than disliked. Do not mention personality conflicts.

When talking about what you disliked, try to mention things that new job will offer. For example, you may have found your last/current job stopped challenging you and that the new job will take you out of your comfort zone.

How do you cope with pressure?

Describe the pressures in previous jobs using a recent example, e.g. how you coped with a changed deadline, completed a rush order and dealt with staff shortages.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

The interviewer will already know your strengths from your CV or application form. Briefly repeat them to show.

When talking about your weaknesses, explain how you have overcome them in the past. Employers value people who can admit their mistakes instead of blaming their failings on others.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Explain that you would ideally like to be working for the same company but to have developed within it.

What are your salary expectations?

Avoid stating a number straight away. You might say: “I understand the range for this job is between £x and £x and I think that's appropriate for this position”.

If the interviewer presses, you might say: “I'm making £x at present. Like everyone else, I'd like to improve on that figure but my main interest is with the job itself.”

If no salary range is given, you will have to respond with a number. Don't sell yourself short but say the job is the most important thing.

Once you reach the 'final' stage of the interview process, you will know the company is interested in employing. Here, you can discuss your salary in more detail.

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Asking questions at your interview

In most interviews you will be asked whether you have any questions for the interviewer. By asking good questions you are assessing whether the company and the position would be a good fit for you.

Here are some questions you could ask:

  • How would you describe a typical week / day in this position?
  • What are the top three objectives the successful candidate would be expected to meet, and in what timeframe?
  • How is success in this position measured?
  • What are the prospects for growth, training and progression?
  • Where do you see the successful candidate within the company in five years' time?
  • How do you evaluate success in your company?
  • How does the company see itself changing in the future?

Do not ask about holiday entitlement, flexible working hours or payment schedules. You will have the opportunity to talk about this in more detail at the end of the interview process.

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Tips for your first day
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Making a good impression

So you've got the job – congratulations!

On your first day you will meet many of your colleagues for the first time. First impressions are lasting impressions so here are some tips on what to do when you arrive for your first day:

  • Be punctual. Arrive at least ten minutes early and make a habit of it! Do not take too long for your lunch break and try not to smoke on company time as not all managers will approve of smoking breaks.
  • Be aware of your body language. When you introduce yourself, state your name clearly and confidently, make eye contact, smile and have a firm handshake.
  • Whatever the dress code, look your cleanest and smartest. Remember that not all people like tattoos and piercings.
  • Show interest in the work by asking questions and suggesting solutions. Your colleagues will expect to answer questions but you can show initiative by anticipating the answers.
  • Show interest in your colleagues by asking them about their jobs and their families. Do not criticise your managers and do not get involved in office gossip.

As you settle in to your new team and your new job, you will become more comfortable and confident about what is acceptable and expected in the workplace. However, it's always good to remember these first day tips and carry them forward.

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Dealing with redundancy
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How to deal with redundancy | What to do next
 

How to deal with redundancy

Unfortunately, redundancy is something that people may experience. It is important to remember that redundancy is not a personal decision against you made by an employer. The key is to stay motivated and remember that now is the time to really focus on your skills and experience as you have plenty to offer.

The Legalities:

Notice Periods

If your employer has selected you for redundancy you must be given a notice period before your employment ends. The notice period you are entitled is to be the higher of what is contained in your contract or statutory notice set in law. The statutory notice periods are:

  • At least one week’s notice if you have been employed between one month and two years.
  • One week’s notice for each year if employed between two and 12 years.
  • 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more.

If you are not required by your employer to work out your notice period, then you are entitled to receive a payment in lieu for it.

You should also check your contract of employment because your employer could have set out longer notice periods.

Redundancy Pay

If you are made redundant you may be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you have worked for your employer for at least two years. The amount you are entitled to will be based on your weekly pay, age and continuous employment with your employer.

You do not have to claim statutory redundancy pay from your employer, they should automatically pay it to you. If your employer does not give you statutory redundancy pay when you are entitled to it you should write to them asking for payment. If your employer still refuses to pay you or cannot make the payment you could make an appeal to an Employment Tribunal.

Redundancy pay is calculated by how long you have been continuously employed, your age and your weekly pay up to a certain limit.

Payment in lieu of notice

In some cases your employer may have included a payment in lieu of notice clause in your employment contract. This means that your employer can end your employment contract with no notice; however they must give you payment for all of the pay you would have received during the notice period. This covers basic pay and may include other matters such as the equivalent amount of pension contribution or private health care insurance.

Voluntary Redundancy

Sometimes an employer may ask employees if they want to be made redundant to avoid having to choose which person is made redundant. Voluntary redundancy is equivalent to a dismissal and all the same rules apply as a normal redundancy.

*Legal information from Gov.uk

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What to do next

Update your CV

Consider getting some advice on how to present your achievements in the best possible light by reading the CV advice section on this site or hiring someone to write your CV for you. It’s an investment for your future so the financial outcome far outweighs the cost.

Network

Speak to people you know about possible opportunities and ask everyone to keep an eye out for suitable positions for you.

Consider switching careers

You may have skills that can happily be transferred to another sector.

If you’re facing redundancy, find out how upskilling could boost your prospects by looking at what your local universities and colleges can offer.

Look for a new job as if it was a job itself

Finding a new job will take time so you need to spend as much time as you can searching. Send out copies of your CV to companies you would like to work for, register with employment agencies, upload your CV to LoveEastbourneJobs.com, and read as many articles as you can on interview questions and techniques to ensure you are ready for when an opportunity presents itself.

Find out what benefits you are entitled to

There is support and assistance to help people in this situation. You may be entitled to Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and Job Seekers Allowance whilst you are looking for a new position. Find out if you are eligible by going to Government Website or calling 0845 300 3900.

Change can be positive

It is scary now, but being made redundant is often the catalyst for people setting up their own businesses, going back to education or finally finding the job of their dreams.

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Work Experience
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Work placements and visits | How do you apply for work experience in your area? | Are you an employer thinking of offering Work Experience?


Work placements and visits

Work experience in Eastbourne is a great way to make yourself more employable offering you insight into a working environment whilst you study.

Now more than ever it’s important to start gaining work-related experience. It will help make your CV stand out in the crowd, help test your career choices, allow you to network with potential future employers and put your knowledge into practice.

Work experience can be paid or unpaid. Some employers may contribute towards expenses, to cover your travel and possibly lunch. The majority of placements are done on a volunteer basis, but think of this as an investment into your future.

By taking part in work experience, you will get hands-on experience of a variety of tasks. 

You will understand more about the skills needed for:

  • Different jobs in order to make a more informed choice about your career options.
  • You will gain a greater understanding of how businesses operate.
  • You will develop self-confidence.
  • Doing work experience looks great on your CV.

You may decide that a specific employment sector is not for you, meaning you can focus on other areas and possibly do another placement.

Employability skills you will learn include:

  • How to communicate and interact with various groups of people.
  • How to work as part of a team.
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Time-management and organisational skills.
  • Business and customer awareness.
  • Confidence and independence.


How do you apply for work experience in your area?

Either contact the employer directly, highlighting your skills and what you will bring to the employer - remember you are asking them for work, so they will want to see how this can benefit their business.

Or visit your local Jobcentre Plus - St. Anne's House, 2 St. Anne's Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3XX

Job Seeker information on Work Experience

Aged 18-24 and been claiming benefits for six months or more?

Treat applying for work experience exactly the same as applying for a permanent job in the East Sussex area. You will need to send your CV and a covering letter.

Some work experience placements can be organised with your education programme.

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Are you an employer thinking of offering Work Experience?

Whatever the size of your organisation, you could reap the benefits from taking on work experience candidates. They can offer fresh new ideas or develop projects that the company just hasn't had time to carry out. Overall work experience is a cost-effective flexible solution to your recruitment needs.

You will be influencing the quality of future employees, influencing career choices in Eastbourne, raising your community profile and will be part of the development of recruitment channels within the town.

If you would like to advertise work experience placements with LoveLocalJobs.com please post the opportunity in the same way as posting a job.

Or alternatively the Jobcentre Plus can help...

Work Trials - Give you the time to decide. Do you have a vacancy to fill?

Trial someone for free to see if they are the right person for your job! Work Trials offer you the chance to see what an applicant for your job can do before you decide whether to employ them. So why don’t you let an unemployed person show you they are the right person for your job. Check their skills, time keeping, attendance and if they fit in with your current team.

Work Experience - Get Britain Working
Is your business interested in supporting young people who are looking for work? Jobcentre Plus are looking for “community spirited” employers who are able to offer unemployed 18 – 24 year olds Work Experience, at no cost to your business.

Work Experience can:

  • Provide them an insight into the world of work
  • Provide them with a reference for future job applications
  • Support your business and the local community
  • Enable your business to find new staff

For more information on these Jobcentre Plus initiatives, please call:

Lee Hawkins - lee.hawkins@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk

Jackie Akehurst - jackie.akehurst@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk 



Places to go for help and advice
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Want face to face advice? Or just want to discuss your situation with someone? Why not look through East Sussex's local and national links that could give you the advice and guidance you want: 

Eastbourne Jobs Hub
Eastbourne Jobs Hub also offers recruitment support to local businesses such as supporting with person specifications and job descriptions, helping them with interview processes and matching their vacancies to appropriate people who are looking for employment.

Jobcentre Plus
Visit your local Jobcentre Plus in Eastbourne for advice: 
St. Anne's House, 2 St. Anne's Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3XX

Careers Information and Advice for Young People
National, government funded helpline for young people aged 13-19. They can ring 0800 100 900 between 8am and 10pm every day for free careers advice (also text/e-mail/on-line chat available)...

Gov.uk
Gov.uk pages which offer information about education and learning and advice on student finance for higher education funding...

UCAS
For everything you need to know about applying to university, who offers what and where. 

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