Should you Try to Negotiate a Higher Wage?

Wages – it is never an easy subject to talk about, especially before you begin a job! You never know whether you will be overstepping the mark if you try to negotiate a wage, and whether or not it will be detrimental to you being offered the job.

If the salary you are looking for is a long way above the amount the company is offering, it is probably best not to try to negotiate a higher wage. However, it might also be worth considering whether you should, in fact, apply for the job in the first place, because you could well be over qualified.

If you are looking for a slightly higher wage, it is often worth asking if the company will be willing to pay it. This shows confidence, and shows that you know your worth in the market. If applying via a recruiter, you could first ask them for their opinion on the wage.

How to Sell Yourself in an Interview

An interview is your chance to show what you can do and also let employers know about your unique personality. You will be able to sell yourself and give yourself the best possible chance of getting the job. Here are some ways to make sure you show yourself off to your full potential in an interview:

  • Be friendly and personable. A potential employer needs to know that you will fit in with the existing team. Show that you are a people person.
  • Prepare for the interview. The interviewer will be impressed with your company knowledge and will be pleased that you have carried out plenty of research.
  • Ask questions. This will make you look genuinely interested in the role. Don’t ask generic questions – ask the questions that occur to you throughout the interview, as well as the questions you have formulated beforehand that show your knowledge and passion for the role and the field.

Good questions to ask at interview

For many interviewees, there is a dread which comes towards the end of a job interview, when the interviewer and, hopefully potential new employer, asks “Have you any questions you would like to ask?”

It doesn’t look good to make up something just to ask a rather pointless question. Don’t forget that an interview is a two-way process. Obviously, the employer needs to find a candidate who is suitable for the job advertised but it is just as important that the candidate discovers as much as possible about the post too.

If you haven’t found out already, then you could ask about your everyday roles and responsibilities, whether there are training schemes on offer and about promotion prospects. You could ask how many people you will be working with and whether they have specific roles in the company. Do make sure that you know how much you will be paid (as this is not always obvious from an advert) and finally, ask when you are likely to hear (and how) whether you have been successful (or not). This will hopefully prevent you sitting by the phone, constantly checking your e-mails or waiting for the post to arrive every day.

What to include on a CV

It can be difficult knowing what exactly to include in a CV, especially if you haven’t ever written one before.

Start off with your personal details: name, address and phone numbers.

Then include a short paragraph of approximately 50-60 words for your personal profile.

The next section should include employment history and work experience. List your current job or most recent job first and then work backwards.

Next include education and training details. Like the employment section, you should start with most recent qualifications first and then work back to school exams and results.

After this, you can write about your interests and achievements. Try to include items which will be especially relevant to the job you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for work in hospitality where you will be meeting and greeting the public, it is advisable not to dwell on lone activities!

The next section is for any additional information. Here you might want to explain any employment gaps, perhaps for travelling or for family reasons. You could use this section to mention holding a clean driving licence or the ability to speak any foreign languages.

The final section is for References. It is perfectly acceptable to write “Personal references available on request”. However, if you do list referees, state their relationship to you. For example, department supervisor or Year 11 tutor.

What is a personal statement on a CV?

A personal statement or personal profile is usually sited just under your name and contact details at the top of the first page of a CV. This is the first section that a prospective employer will read and it’s important that you get it right and that it makes a good impression on whoever is reading it.

The personal statement paragraph should be no longer than 3 or 4 sentences long, a maximum of about 50-60 words, and it should advertise your main selling points in a nutshell. Give a brief overview of who you are and the personal qualities that you are able to offer. Refer to skills which are necessary for the position advertised – it’s a good idea to cross reference with the job specification. Finally, give a brief outline of any previous experience which will be relevant to the job on offer.

The personal statement should be concise, not rambling or waffling, and it should entice the reader to want to continue reading and find out more about you by reading the rest of your CV.