Welcome to the twenty seventh bulletin
Last week’s Virtual Community WISH was an opportunity for us to meet up and catch up with how things are going. It was lovely to see a couple of ex-members of the Horsham WISH club who came along to share their experiences of going into work during lockdown. It was encouraging to hear how well employers are managing the induction process and helping new starters to feel part of the team, even though everyone is working remotely. We will be holding these sessions fortnightly from now on so if you are missing the company of others then come along!
This week we will be looking at LinkedIn as a tool for getting yourself seen by potential employers and why it is so important to have something on there for a wide range of job sectors.
To join us, you will need to register using this link then an email will be sent to you with everything you need to come along on Friday.
Online short courses that you might wish to consider
The WEA have added some more courses which are free to those in receipt of benefits. For more information you can enrol online or call 0300 303 3464. There are Personal Development ones but also some more relaxing ones called Enjoy and Explore – see below links for more details.
Online learning – Avail Learning Academy.
SETAS is trialling a partnership with Avail Learning Academy to offer their short online courses to WISH customers. They are all free to you and cover a wide range of courses. They aren’t accredited qualifications, but they are work-related courses that can be completed quickly and give you additional material to add to your CV and help you build your skills and knowledge.
Please take a look, use the voucher code listed and give me feedback if you do decide to try it out, if it is a success and the feedback is good, we’ll extend.
Click on this link to access the courses - Avail voucher link
Considering Self Employment?
If you have been considering self-employment as an option, either as your main income or as a side hustle, then Optivo will be running its course again online from 12 -16th October. A few of us from WISH club attended the last one and the training and information was excellent. Once you have completed the course there are regular live weekly support sessions and you can join the community and continue learning together.
For more information Click here
Or if you would just like to have a chat about what is involved and how it can help you, email us and we will be happy to do that.
Skill of the week - Showing your Appreciation
Following on from the mindfulness practices that we talked about a couple of weeks ago, you may have discovered a new appreciation of the simple things around you. Perhaps you have been out for a walk and noticed the changes in the seasons or as the temperatures drop outside you might be cooking and eating different things. Sharing your responses with others is a great way to spread some of those positive feelings and experiences.
How about trying to write a few lines of poetry or get out the paint brushes, pens or pencils? Or with the lovely colours of autumn starting to be seen all over our region, get yourself outside with your camera or phone and capture some pictures while the leaves are still hanging in there.
Many more people are having to reduce their time outside, either through self-isolation or just the weather. If you know someone in that situation they might appreciate you posting them a card or note, just to say that you are thinking of them. Or pick up the phone to someone who might be feeling lonely.
If you want to email anything to us, we can share it with everyone else!
Application question of the week
Once you have got your application form to the point where you are happy with it, there are a few simple things that you can do to give it an extra polish.
Leave it overnight before sending it off and re-read it again. You are much more likely to spot any typo or spelling errors or formatting issues and somehow your brain keeps working in the background while you are doing other things. You may have a lightbulb moment or remember something that you would like to include. If you struggled with keeping your word count down then leave the final cull until now, you will get a better feel for the way the whole application flows.
If you are sending an application by post (not so usual these days but sometimes requested) consider sending it by Royal Mail Tracked Delivery if it’s a job that you really want. It will ensure that the application arrives safely by the deadline but also makes your information stand out from the crowd, especially if you are applying to a very small organisation.
Print off and ask someone else to read the application and ask them what they think the job role is that you are applying for. Choose your critic carefully, everyone has their own preferences and you don’t want to end up getting disheartened or doing a full re-write but an independent opinion is often useful, again maybe not for every job but certainly ones that you are particularly interested in. Just by adding a few lines here and there can take your application from an obviously generic response to a properly tailored and targeted response.
Make sure that you save the application on your computer in a place where you can find it again easily together with a copy of the original job description and any other information. Once the deadline has passed, the information will disappear and if you get an interview you could find yourself without the original details which you will need to prepare. You can always delete it all after a couple of months if you don’t hear back. It will also mean that you can re-use your answers if they are relevant, in a future application.
Interview question of the week
How to approach recorded or video interviews
With face to face encounters still restricted, it is likely that most, if not all, the interviewing process will be taking place either over the phone or by video. Last week we looked at phone interviews, which are often used to do the first and maybe second sift of candidates, but most companies will require at least one interaction where they see you before offering the role and this is where the “new normal” is changing fast.
If you have not already looked at last week’s suggestions around telephone interviews then take a minute to go back now and read it. All the information is equally important to bear in mind but with the added complication that the interviewer can actually see you this time!
Being interviewed in this way is likely to be a new experience for you and so preparation is really key – make sure you know what type of interview you will be having and what the format will be, this is not an occasion for “flying by the seat of your pants” if you really want the job!
Since this is a new way of doing things, most employers will give you quite extensive instructions and often some examples of the kind of thing to expect. Go through these really carefully and don’t assume anything. Even if you have done online interviews before, check and check again what they are looking for. If there are sample questions or an opportunity to practice recording yourself using their system before the final event, take them and watch yourself back. If you have a friend who can be relied on for their kind but critical advice then ask them to help.
If your interview is live then it is slightly more familiar territory, but the recorded ones are a totally different experience, particularly because you will not get any feedback from the interviewer while you are talking. You may even be asked to speak to a blank screen, which can be very off putting. Again, practice is key and so if you are given a window during which you can record your answers - start early. Be aware that if you leave it until the last day to do your submission, their website might crash or yours, or any number of technical issues arise which will leave you a gibbering wreck and booking yourself onto a time management course!!!
Some even combine answering timed online reasoning questions and calculations with a short segment where you record your response verbally or in video format then carry on!
Once you have finished your interview and are happy with the final version that is being uploaded, make sure you have completed any post-interview instructions before signing off. Some employers allow you to re-record if you are not happy with your initial responses but not all, so make sure you know which type you are doing.
National Careers Service has more top tips so have a read of these too. NCS - video interviews
Royal Mail are advertising their casual Christmas posts based up on Manor Royal in Crawley, but other sites are available. Get online as soon as possible if you are interested as the shifts will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Click here
Maintaining good Mental and Physical Health
The Horsham District Council’s free, sociable and family friendly guided walks are returning in October - a great way to see more of the District, increase your activity and meet new people. Plus, they have introduced COVID safe measures for everyone’s safety. HDC Walks Programme
Its British National Food Healthy Eating week this week. There are daily challenges and lots of top tips here Click here
If you would like some one-to-one job searching support, then fill in your details on this link contact us and we will get in touch.
Link to businesses who have jobs with immediate starts available wish-live-vacancies
We are committed to helping you on your journey towards employment so please get in touch if we can help you in any way. It has been great to speak, text or email with many of you over the last couple of weeks and hear how you are getting on.
Richard and Mel
Richard Brooks FIEP - Director.
Mobile - 07783 222956
Office - 01403 627766
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Specialist Employment, Training and Advice Services
Mobile – 07855 634679
Email – email@example.com
SETAS Ltd. Bailey House, 4-10 Barttelot Road, Horsham, RH12 1DQ