Hire a Hero have teamed up with The Square to provide employment opportunities in the construction industry.

Many companies today are using social media to advertise positions and find new employees. Using social media effectively in a professional manner should be a key part of your search for employment.

Social media profiles give you the opportunity to advertise yourself to potential employers, but they also serve as a space where employers can find out more about you. Being conscious of what you post online is really important and particularly if you’re seeking employment, you should be using social media channels with a professional head on.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most valuable social networking tools if you’re searching for employment. LinkedIn provides an online professional network of employers where you can approach individuals directly and likewise they can get in touch with you. If you’re on LinkedIn then make sure you’re profile is up to date with all experience, career information and transferable skill sets. Think of LinkedIn as an online CV which employers across the country can access at any time. Your profile can also include endorsements from previous employers so the more you can network and connect with people the more your connections will grow.

Twitter

Many people now use Twitter in a professional manner, having short conversations and sharing information. It’s very easy to be informal on Twitter given its nature however always remain professional if your profile is open to the public. Twitter gives you the opportunity to follow companies to keep up to date with what they’re doing, which is really useful particularly if you have an interview coming up and want to know all the latest information. Your bio on Twitter can even include a link to your professional LinkedIn profile which gives people the opportunity to find out more about you, your skills and expertise.

Facebook

Facebook is still one of the largest social media networks and while predominantly set up and used to connect with friends and family, it is increasingly becoming a platform which can be used more professionally. As with Twitter, Facebook is largely informal but don’t get caught up in this, particularly if you have a profile which is open to the public. Generally, Facebook is the least friendly social media platform to openly network but again offers a great opportunity to find out more about companies you apply for vacancies with.

If you’re not using social media as a mean to find employment then you should keep the following in mind:

  • Is your personal profile private? Are you sure? Check the privacy settings of your profiles to ensure that, even if they are personal they don’t portray you in a bad light.
  • Many employers now have a look at online profiles to find out more about candidates. Have a think about how you’re portraying yourself in a professional and personal sense.

If you are looking for support with networking and finding employment then a Hire a Hero Career Coach could help. Find out more: Work with a Hire a Hero Career Coach or get in touch with our Military Liaison Officer, Jinty: jinty@hireahero.org.uk, 01495 366670.

No matter what stage you are at in your transition to civilian life, we’re confident that one of our Career Coaches could help you.

We believe that key to a successful transition is good friends, good networks and good luck. Our Career Coaches provide just that and work with you on an individual basis to provide support tailored to your needs. All contact can be carried out over the phone or by email, so no need to take time out of your week to arrange meetings. This also means that we can put you in contact with the best Career Coach, suited to your career goals no matter where they are in the country.

Good Friends

Everyone needs good friends in their transition, and working with a Hire a Hero Career Coach puts you in touch with people who are genuinely interested in what’s best for you and your career.

Good Networks

Our Career Coaches open doors to opportunities and can help you to explore new options that you may have never considered before.

Good Luck

The transition is all about making your own luck, by working hard to achieve your goals. By working with a Hire a Hero Career Coach, you’ll explore more opportunities, think outside the box and increase your chances of a successful transition. Hire a Hero and our Career Coaches do all we can to increase your luck.

Whether you’re still serving and looking to gain some insight to what Civvy Street is like, or already made the transition and looking to explore more career opportunities in civilian life then get in touch and begin working with a Hire a Hero Career Coach: info@hireahero.org.uk.

 

Hire a Hero have teamed up with Veterans Next Step to bring you all the benefits associated with their membership.

Veterans Next Step are a dedicated team of ex-military personnel with a passion of making the transition into civilian life as easy and rewarding as it should be. After creating your own personal profile, you become a member, have access to their job board and will receive notifications of the latest vacancies and training opportunities best suited to you.

By working in partnership with Hire a Hero, Veterans Next Step are offering a free 12 month membership who sign up using our unique code: VNS18.

Find out more about Veterans Next Step by visiting their website. Details below:

 

As someone who has served in our Armed Forces you stand out for a number of reasons to civilian employers.

Quite often, we hear of service leavers and veterans thinking that they stand out for negative reasons but at Hire a Hero, we and our job board employers believe that you stand out for all the right reasons. Knowing what makes you different from other candidates could be the key to civilian employment success, as you’ll know how best to market and sell yourself.

Here are some of the things that we believe make you stand out to Civvy Street employers. It’s important to not only understand how these fit with you as an individual and to your experience, but also to be able to give real-life examples to a civilian employer of you utilising these skills to be benefit of your employer.

Teamwork and Leadership

As someone who has served, you’re very used to working as park of a team in a variety of situations. Not only that, no matter what your rank in the military, you also possess leadership skills. Both of these are really valuable and giving your best examples of both will really help you to demonstrate to civilian employers that you can not only work effectively as part of a team, but also on your own and taking ownership of a team.

Specialist Skills

What’s really important when thinking about specialist skills is how you explain and translate these to civilian employers. Often it can be difficult to translate specialist military experience and roles in to civilian speak, but a Hire a Hero Career Coach can help you do this. Sometimes words or phrases you use may not seem like military speak, but to a civilian they don’t portray well enough the specialist skills you have. If you’re unsure, have a civilian family member or your Hire a Hero Career Coach look over your CV. This is a really effective way to ensure that, if the person who receives your CV has no military experience they still understand how highly skilled and qualified you are.

Transferable Skills

With military experience comes a number of transferable skills. Often these may not stand out to you as they come naturally and you use them day to day but things like precise communication, impeccable execution, accountability as an individual and working under pressure and in stressful situations and environments. Again tell the employer about these skills and give real-life examples of them in use to impress.

Enthusiasm and Drive

Civilian employers, like all employers like employees to be driven and enthusiastic. By having dedication in your military career and being passionate about your experience from this will show your drive and enthusiasm. Though you may be daunted by the transition, express your desire and motivation to succeed in your new civilian life and career. You can show your enthusiasm in a number of ways, but a key way to do so is to know the business you are applying to work for. Having done your research and being knowledgeable demonstrates a keen interest in the company and being part of it.

If you’re unsure what makes you stand out as an individual them a Hire a Hero Career Coach can help. Find out more: Work with a Hire a Hero Career Coach, and contact our office team to get involved: info@hireahero.org.uk, 01495 366670.

 

 

Writing a CV can be a stressful task, especially if you’re starting from scratch…

And although there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the perfect CV, it should always be clearly formatted and short enough for a recruiter to scan quickly – and most importantly – tailored to the role you’re applying for.

Not sure where to start? Here are some basic rules on how to write a CV:

What information should I include on my CV?

CVs should never be completely formulaic, but there are a few things they should always contain:

Personal details: It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to include their name, email, contact phone number, and address. To avoid any awkward moments, make sure these are clearly presented at the top of your CV. ‘Curriculum Vitae’ is an unnecessary title – your name is not.

Personal statement: As it’s the first thing that’s shown on your CV, a personal statementis an essential part of standing out from the crowd. It explains who you are, what you’re offering, and what you’re looking for. Aim to prove why you’re suitable for one short and succinct paragraph.

Work experience: This section should include all of your relevant work experience, listed with the most recent first. Include your job title, the name of the organisation, time in post, and your key responsibilities.

Achievements: This is your chance to show how your previous experience has given you the skills needed to make you a suitable candidate. List all of your relevant skills and achievements (backing them up with examples), and make it clear how you would apply these to the new role.

Education: Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here, along with dates, the type of qualification and/or the grade you achieved – although the specific parts of education that you include in your CV will depend on your individual situation. For example, if you have more educational achievements than work experience, placing an emphasis on this section is a good idea.

Hobbies and interests: You don’t always need to include hobbies and interests in your CV, but mentioning relevant ones could back up your skills and help you to stand out from the crowd – not to mention give you something to talk about at an interview. Just don’t say you enjoy socialising with friends just for the sake of including something. If it’s not going to add value, leave it out.

Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history should also be included as required. 

What words should I include in my CV?

Figuring out what words to use in your CV can be tough – especially when you’re trying to fit a lot of skills and experience into a short document.

Appropriate keywords for your CV could include:

  • Accurate
  • Adaptable
  • Confident
  • Hard-working
  • Innovative
  • Pro-active
  • Reliable
  • Responsible

In addition to using the right words, you should also back up your attributes up with genuine accomplishments. Not only will you stand out from others with identical skills, you’ll also be able to prove your suitability more effectively.

What should I leave out?

When it comes to your CV, there are certain words and phrases you should try to avoid – and they mostly consist of overused clichés.

Not only could using them risk mildly irritating the person in charge of hiring, you could also end up blending into a sea of similar candidates.

Although all recruiters will have their own pet peeves, here are just a few of the worst CV words:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Goal driven
  • Flexible
  • Motivated
  • Multi-tasker
  • Independent
  • Detail oriented
  • Self-motivated

Obviously, exceptions can be made if any of the above were included in the job description as an essential skill – but using examples to back them up is still crucial.

How should I present my CV?

Your CV is the first thing an employer will see when hiring for a vacancy, and how it looks at first glance will be the reason they decide to read it in more detail. Even if your skills match the role perfectly, a messy and confusing CV probably won’t even get a second look.

To ensure you’re painting yourself (and your skills) in the best light, you should always:

  • Keep it short and succinct – two sides of A4 will almost always suffice.
  • Choose a clear, professional font to ensure that your CV can be easily read (leave Comic Sans and Word Art back in the 1990s where they belong)
  • Lay it out in a logical order, with sufficient spacing and clear section headings (e.g. Work experience, Education)
  • Order your experience and education in reverse chronological order to highlight your most recent experience and achievements
  • Check your grammar and spelling thoroughly

Final thoughts

Once you’ve put together your CV – don’t assume it’s finished.

Every job is different and tailoring your CV accordingly is vital to standing out. Edit it in line with the job description whenever you make an application, and you’ll be able to ensure it matches the specifications every time.

Highlight that you’re the right match for the job by outlining:

  • The specific skills you have to offer the employer
  • Relevant accomplishments and achievements
  • The work and educational experience you have in their field
  • Personal qualities that will make you right for the role
  • An understanding of the job requirements
by Amber Rolfe – reed.co.uk

Searching for new employment is a daunting process, particularly if it’s new to you. Today’s job market is full of competition and as someone who has served in the Armed Forces, you’ll find yourself now also competing with civilian counterparts. 

It’s so important to keep in mind and understand what extra qualities you have to offer from your military service and how you can use these to your advantage in the job searching process. Here are some of our top tips of what you need to be doing to make yourself stand out from the crowd. 

Make it ‘I’ not ‘We’ 

As someone who has served in the forces, you’re very adaptable and know how to work in a team. On Civvy Street working in a team is just as important, however employers need to know about you as an individual and your achievements. It can be difficult to move from a ‘we’ to ‘I’ mindset, but you need to sell what you’ve done as an individual to employers. Yes, we’re sure you worked very effectively as a team, but think about what you personally brought to the challenge or task set to you. The more you think like this, the more natural it will become. 

Write an unforgettable CV 

You’re CV is your first impression on Civvy Street so make sure it isn’t pushed in to the wrong pile. CV’s are notoriously difficult to get right, and as employers are looking for different things, you need to make sure you adapt your CV to each of them to make sure it tells them everything they want to know and hear. In terms of format and layout, you’ll hear lots of different advice, but make the CV writing process less complicated by seeking support from one of our Hire a Hero Career Coaches.

Tailor your application – know the business, know the role 

Just like your CV, any job application you send needs to be tailored. Having a generic overview is great, but there’s nothing worse for an employer than reading an application that clearly doesn’t address or meet the job description or person specification. These are a great place to start to make sure you know what the business wants from their new employee. You should also get to grips with the business and demonstrate an understanding of them. These are sure fire ways to make you stand out and have the best chance at success. Though time consuming, it’s a must. 

Engage and network online 

We’re living in a digital age and more and more opportunities are becoming available online, particularly through online networking opportunities. Professional social media outlets such as LinkedIn are very useful in growing your networking, interacting and engaging with people in the industry you are interested in working in and also having you be the first to hear about employment opportunities. Again one of our Hire a Hero Career Coaches can help you to get this right if it’s something you are unsure about. 

Be open to options 

Those who are open to options stand a better chance of success and are also very appealing to employers. While it’s really important for you to have a goal and an aim, it’s just as important that you don’t get so tied up in this, that you miss out on opportunities that are on the path that lead you to where you want to be. If you’ve been consistently applying for specific vacancies and getting nowhere, thinking about why this might be and potentially exploring another pathway to get there is advisable. Remember, you’re working toward an end goal. It might take you a while to get there but you will get there! 

No matter where you are in your transition, get in touch with Hire a Hero for an informal chat. We do whatever we can to support you in whatever way you need and our high trained and career specialist Career Coaches offer fantastic support in a variety of ways to those who have served. 

info@hireahero.org.uk 

www.hireahero.org.uk/career-coaching 

01495 366670 

The Army Families Federation are working in partnership with the University of Warwick on a research project, investigating the barriers to employment military partners and spouses face.

Army Families Federation state: ‘Spousal employment has been an important focus for AFF for many years, and we’ve worked hard to discover the main difficulties that families face when trying to secure employment for the non-serving members. However, we believe there is still more we can do, and a fresh tri-Service approach is needed to dig deeper into this ongoing issue. ‘

University of Warwicks, Institute for Employment Research (IER) will examine employment statistics, making comparisons with civilian counterparts to gain a better understanding of the similarities and differences faced by military families, as well as surveying and interviewing military spouses, key stakeholders and employers.

If you are the spouse or partner of a serving member of the Armed Forces you can participate and complete the survey by clicking the link below. It will take only 10 minutes to complete.

Barriers to Military Spousal/Partner Employment Survey.

We’re so pleased to share with you that Hire a Hero have received a Silver Defence Employer Recognition Award. 

This is the second Silver Defence Employer Recognition Award we have received as a charity since the scheme began in 2014.  

The scheme aims to encourage employers to support our Armed Forces and their families as well as inspire others to do so too.  

As a charity which aims to support those who have served in their transition to civilian life by doing whatever it takes for as long as it takes, we are always pleased to be recognised not only for the work we do day-to-day but also to raise awareness of how we can support anyone who is struggling in their transition and finding employment. 

Our Military Liaison Officer, Jinty Morgan received our Silver Award at the official Defence Employer Recognition event in Cardiff last week. 

Thank you to all those who voted for us to receive this award and for your on-going support. 

It’s that time of year again! Applications are now open for the Farmfoods Management Development Programme, perhaps a career you’ve never considered but one you really should! 

Hire a Hero works in partnership with nationwide retailer Farmfoods as they recruit to fill positions on their Management Development Programme (MDP). 

We are now in our third year of working exclusively to promote the position to and support those who have served through the various stages of the programme. 

WHAT IS MDP?  

The 12 month programme will allow you to experience almost every part of the business. You will have all of the support and training you need to fulfil this demanding job, requiring excellent organisational skills and an ability to work efficiently. 

After nine months you will have acquired the necessary knowledge and management skills to enable you to take on the challenge of running one of the Farmfoods branches. This, the climax of the year, will see you running your own business for three months, managing a team of up to 40 people. 

You will have to draw on all of the knowledge and experience gained to date as well as your transferable skills from the military to work effectively, adopting a positive attitude as you motivate your team to overcome the daily challenges of running a successful business. 

Once you have this experience successfully under your belt you will be equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and management experience to take on a permanent role managing a branch and at your final review & sign off meeting towards the end of the programme you will discuss opportunities for progressing your career with Farmfoods. 

Whether for you that means into larger branches, multi-site management, training, distribution, administration, commercial or any of the many other opportunities within Farmfoods you can be sure that the skills you have gained during your training will leave you well equipped to succeed. There really is a wealth of opportunities available by taking part in the MDP. 

THE PROCESS  

APPLY – Your application should be your CV – demonstrating all you have to offer and your covering letter – explaining why you are the ideal candidate. 

CONTACT – Initially you will be contacted by a member of the Hire a Hero team to discuss your application during which time you will be offered the support of one of our individualised Career Coaches for ongoing support while you wait for your application to be processed. Your application will then be forwarded to the Farmfoods recruitment team. 

PREP – Ongoing support will be provided by your group career coach at all stages of interview with Farmfoods. 

INTERVIEW – Farmfoods MDP is a three stage interview process. This involves: a phone interview, a group assessment centre and an individual face-to-face interview. Preparation for all of the above will be provided by specialist Hire a Hero Career Coaches and supported by the Farmfoods MDP team. 

If you wish to discuss in more detail please contact a member of the Hire a Hero team: info@hireahero.org.uk, 01495 366670. 

Find out more about the programme and APPLY NOW.

Application close date: 31st January 2018 

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