Make an impression!
Caroline gives us her top tips for a successful equine job interview.
Part 1 – Preparation
Going for a job interview is usually daunting, especially if you’ve never been to one before or they haven’t always gone to plan! As they say, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”, so it’s important you make the most of this first meeting. The key to success is in the preparation and this starts with your Jobseekers Profile and your CV. Your Jobseekers Profile is the first thing a potential employer sees and therefore gives the very first impression of you. Here are some key considerations in the process leading up to a job interview…
Don’t leave your Jobseekers Profile half-finished. If you haven’t taken the time to present your initial application to the employer you have already lost a key opportunity to impress them. Yours will not be the only Jobseekers Profile they will be reviewing, so if an employer is left asking basic questions about your experience, abilities and future work desires and requirements you have already lost out.
Don’t be frightened of CVs.
Your CV is the second opportunity to impress your potential employer. They don’t have to be elaborate all singing all dancing flashy, embossed documents. We have a cracking template which takes away some of the legwork for you. See our guide to writing an equine CV and download a free CV template here.
Don’t neglect your CV. An out of date or incomplete CV or no CV at all is a lost opportunity. Even if you are a school leaver looking for your first job, making a CV shows initiative, maturity and professional approach to work. Not having a CV is a lost opportunity to sell yourself.
Don’t present inconsistencies between your Jobseekers Profile and CV. The details on your CV and your Jobseekers Profile MUST reflect each other. If your Jobseekers Profile says you’ve worked as a Head Girl for 2 years at an event yard make sure this is detailed on your CV. If in fact you volunteered at a livery yard that had an event horse stable there and you took sole charge occasionally, you must certainly include this in your Jobseekers Profile AND your CV, but don’t make this out to be more than it was! Avoid that uncomfortable squirmy feeling as it is inevitable that you will be caught out, probably at your interview, and you will lose credibility with your potential employer.
Do read and reread your Jobseekers Profile and consider what impression it gives to a potential employer. Make additions and adjustments and make sure you are making the most of this first impression. The more relevant information you provide at this stage helps give an impression of someone who is prepared, open, consistent, and “on it”. If an employer has a thorough presentation of your experience, abilities and future desires and requirements they can crack on and start organising an interview with you. By this stage you are already creating a good impression.
Do spruce up your CV and make sure it is consistent with your Jobseekers Profile. Tell potential employers about yourself. Add all your work history, including part time work, voluntary work, work experience programs etc. Include your start and end dates, where you worked, your job title, what you did and why you left. Include non-equine jobs you’ve done. As we explain in our article 5 Top Tips to Get Your Equine Job Application Accepted, non-equine jobs ARE relevant to equine employers so do include these. Detail your equine and non-equine qualifications, and add a brief paragraph about your hobbies, especially your equine pursuits. Even if you are a school leaver looking for your first job, create a CV. Presenting a detailed CV always gives a good impression.
Do include some relevant photos. If you can, upload photos of your best plaiting results, your freshly clipped horse, photos from lessons and shows etc. Think about the impression these photos will give a potential employer and leave out any which are not relevant to work, or may need explaining. You can always take more photos to your interview IF they are relevant to work.
Do make sure you understand the job description. If the yard has a website and social media accounts spend some time looking through them all and get a feel for the yard, the team and the yard activities. You’ll feel more familiar with the yard and the people if you do your homework before arriving to meet them on the day!
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