Interview with the #WeekGenC employability panel

Check out my recent interview with the #WeekGenC employability panel, when I was joined by Holly Johnstone from @Hypixel and Stephen Sheridan from the @careersnwrc @mynwrc, where we shared tips and advice on job applications, CVs, interviews and a whole lot more!

New job for HR Officer based in Derry/Londonderry

HR Officer – c25K- 28k – Derry/Londonderry ( flexible hours)

Opportunity for P/T or full time hours for HR officer/Administrator who can stand alone .

This role would suit a HR Professional who is assertive and confident in their ability. You will be self-motivated with good organisational skills.

As HR Officer, you will provide day-to-day advice to line managers and staff on HR policies and procedures. You will also take the lead on HR administration tasks, including employment documentation, recruitment, training, performance management and employee relations.

The role is key in continuous improvement of HR processes to ensure that we support and build our team effectively.

  • Managing all employment documentation; issuing offer letters and employment contracts, contract variations, policies and Company Handbooks, developing new policies as required
  • Manage the recruitment process, writing and advertising job roles, shortlisting candidates, preparing interviews and associated administration
  • Induction of new employees; providing Company information, new starter packs and probation documents
  • Training; new start training plans, implementing training plans for each job role, sourcing courses for development
  • Maintaining manual and electronic employee records accurately, ensuring confidentiality and GDPR compliance
  • Absence Management; implementing Company policy ensuring absence is supported and managed
  • Performance Management; scheduling probation and performance reviews, ensuring creating action plans and ensuring opportunities for development are taken
  • Annual leave scheduling and recording
  • Payroll and pension administration and processing
  • Employee Relations; contact for employees with general HR queries and responding appropriately
  • Employee Relations leading and supporting disciplinary and grievance procedures as required
  • HR Data; collection and analysis for decision making and reporting

Essential Experience

  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience working in a stand-alone HR role, demonstrating a sound understanding of HR practice.
  • Demonstrable experience of implementing HR policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of employment legislation and application of same
  • CIPD Level 5 qualification or working towards this qualification.
  • Experience of processing payroll will be advantageous.

Key Skills

  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Self-confidence and self-motivation with the ability to work on initiative
  • Sound decision-making abilities, with strong influencing skills
  • Ability to handle sensitive situations and data and maintain confidentiality

 

What are competency based interviews?

What are competency-based interviews?

Different styles of interview techniques

Have you ever thought you were prepared for an interview and then been taken aback by the interview questions?

It is important to make sure you prepare for interviews. One of the first things you need to find out is what style of interview questions are going to be asked.

There are many types of interviews. Some are more common than others.

1.The general /casual type where they want to find out about you and your work history.

This style of interview is more relaxed and casual and smaller to medium sized companies usually take this approach.

The interviewer will ask you an open-ended question e.g., ‘Tell me about yourself’, or ‘Take me through your work history’.

This allows for a more casual approach where you can lead and highlight your achievements

2.The competency-based type. This style of interviewing is used mainly by larger companies and public sector organisations.

Competency-based interviews are becoming increasingly popular as a way to predict a candidate’s future performance, as they are essentially a series of behavioural questions.

The interviewer will ask you to describe a situation which demonstrates your abilities that will be integral to the role you are interviewing for.

Competency-based questions can sound a little scary as they are so involved.

However, they are just a way for employers to make sure you know what you are talking about, complete with detailed explanations.

Key competency-based questions

Drawing on over 20 plus years of recruitment experience, I have put together a comprehensive list of key competency questions, grouping them into five bite-sized areas

  • Individual
  • Managerial
  • Analytical
  • Interpersonal
  • Motivational

 1.Individual competencies

Your personal attributes; your decisiveness, tenacity, knowledge, independence, risk taking and personal integrity.

Q1. Tell me about a time when your work or an idea was challenged.

2.Managerial competencies

Your ability to take charge of other people, leadership, empowerment, strategic thinking, corporate sensitivity, project management and managerial control.

Q2 Tell me about a time you led a group to achieve an objective.

3.Analytical competencies

Your decision-making abilities; innovation, analytical skills, problem solving, practical learning and attention to detail

Q3. Tell me about a time when you identified a new approach to a problem.

4.Interpersonal competencies

Social competence. Many workplaces function on the basis of project teams and the more collaborative they are, the more likely they are to thrive.

Q4. Describe a situation where you got people to work together.

5.Motivational competencies

The things that drive you, resilience, motivation, result orientation, initiative and quality focus.

Q5. When did you work the hardest and feel the greatest sense of achievement?

The trick to answering competency-based questions

Answers to competency-based questions are very structured, so I would recommend the STAR technique, describing:

  • the Situation
  • the Task required as a result
  • the Action you took
  • the Result of that action

It’s all very well having a technique for answering questions, but I think you would benefit from having a deeper understanding of what is required of you, along with examples of the questions themselves.

Finally

Remember, be yourself when answering competency questions, use real life examples and relate them to your experience, how you reacted or how it made you feel. These are not trick questions, they’re designed to create the best match between an individual and an organisation.

A little bit of preparation and you’ll quickly realise that competency-based interviews represent an unprecedented opportunity to describe some of your finer moments to a captive audience.

For more information contact Cathy on 07751 856436 or email cm@cathymoranrecruitment.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New job for Graduate Software Developers based in Derry/Londonderry

Graduate Software Developer

c22k – 26k + additional benefits

Based in Derry/Londonderry

A new opportunity has arisen to work with this technology company who has expanded their office to Derry. The company is built by and for Technologists who pursue the best innovative solutions for the marketplace. They value their staff and offer a flexible working environment.

Currently staff are working from home, however, there is flexibility to work in the office if required. This is a great opportunity for a Graduate with at least 1-2 years’ experience in .Net and Javascript.

If you are a Graduate/Junior Developer looking to join a winning team with 1-2 years’ experience in .NET and Javascript then this could be the role for you.

The role

  • As a Graduate Developer you will be an essential part of a small growing software development team helping to bring innovative ideas to life.
  • You will be involved in collaboration on the development and testing, technical backlog and Agile estimating.
  • You will design and develop software for internal and external facing Azure cloud and hybrid cloud applications.
  • Design and develop UI web components with VueJS, .NetCore, REST based services, API development & management, Single Page Applications, Google material design and other leading edge technical innovations.
  • Establish software best practices, norms, patterns, and libraries to enable consistent and quality development across distributed teams and vendors
  • Be involved in the design, development, debugging and testing of software for exciting technologies.
  • Take an active role lead in ensuring that the companies software maintains its ISO27001 information security accreditation by implementing best practices across the delivery lifecycle

Experience and qualifications required

  • Bachelor’s degree in the field of Computer Science or Engineering. Equivalent combinations of education and experience will be considered.
  • Minimum 1- 2 years software development experience ideally using .NET and JavaScript, must be proficient in Javascript
  • Ideal software development experience (JavaScript*, VueJS, * .Net Core*, Knockout*, JQuery, Angular, GIT/GITHUB, TFS, .NET, C#, others) *- Most important skills/experience.
  • Excellent communication skills with technical and non-technical stakeholders
  • Attitude with a positive can-do attitude is key.
  • The successful candidate must be passionate about building the best technical solutions with a willingness to constantly keep up to date with new technologies.

The package

  • Competitive salary
  • Health Insurance
  •  25 days holiday + bank holidays
  •  Free car parking if working in the office
  • Team building lunches
  • Social environment, with nights out, all before Covid restriction, but this will return
  • Flexible working environment, including remote working options, outside of Covid time
  • A positive, proactive company who value their staff as assets and a great place to work.

New job for Sales/Business Development Manager with packaging or food manufacturing experience

New job for Sales/Business Development with packaging or food manufacturing background

Sales / Business Development Manager- Northern Ireland

c35k-40k + bonus + company car + mobile phone + laptop

A well-established, successful, packaging company have a new opportunity for a highly organised, commercially focused, Sales professional looking to further their career.

This is a great opportunity for someone working, within the packaging or food manufacturing industry looking for the next step up. Your role will be to identify and grow sales of the companies packaging solutions throughout Ireland, North and South and the UK.

The company are offering the successful candidate the opportunity to grow and progress within the company to a senior level.

If the thought of sitting behind a desk all day gives you itchy feet, this could be the job for you as you’ll be required to spend a large amount of time visiting clients.

This is a field-based role, however, you will be required to work in the office a few days each week.
An excellent renumeration package is on offer to the successful candidate. You will be well rewarded financially, as well as having long term career opportunities with the company.

The role

• Your job as a Business Development Manager is to identify sales leads, pitch goods or services to new clients and maintain a good working relationship with new contacts.
• Your key responsibility will be establishing and successfully closing new business opportunities and delivering a high level of customer service and feedback at all times.
• To develop an annual sales and marketing plan to maximise revenue / profit and meet budgeted targets.
• Undertake in-depth account management to develop strong customer relationships and carry out all duties with high levels of customer care ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction from start to finish.
• To establish and manage sales systems ensuring details of all client enquiries, requirements and relevant sales activity are kept up to date.
• Developing and delivering sales and marketing presentations and pitches to potential new clients.
• To work to targets and achieve agreed sales KPIs.
• Attending conferences, meetings, exhibitions, and industry events.
• Communicating new product developments to prospective clients.
• Reviewing all inhouse marketing opportunities and come up with a marketing plan for the company.
• Manage and delegate leads from the website to the internal sales team.
• Lead, manage and motivate a team of Inside Sales professionals.
• The ability to plan ahead to build the sales team.
• Liasing closely with internal departments.

Qualifications and Skills

• The ideal candidate must have previous field sales experience, in packaging or food manufacturing, this is an essential requirement.
• You must have a successful track record in business development within the packaging or food manufacturing industry
• The successful candidate must have the ability to identify and seek out new opportunities and close sales.
• Experience in developing and maintaining excellent customer relationships that lead to sales success.
• Self-motivated and highly organised and well disciplined, are skills that are essential to this role.
• Proven track record of achieving/exceeding targets.
• Experience working in a target orientated environment to KPIs preferred.
• Previous experience managing and leading a sales team ideal.
• Ability to delegate, however, lead by example is critical.
• Working on own initiative, prioritising work, and working to deadlines are key attributes.
• Experienced using computer technology and managing a CRM system.
• You must be highly organised with good time management skills.
• The ability to be proactive and resourceful in prospecting and winning new business.
• Personal qualities required are great communicator with the ability to build rapport with clients.
• Strong business acumen with commercial focus.
• Excellent communication skills both written and verbal.

 

 

 

Six words to avoid on your CV

Six words to avoid on your CV

When writing your CV, you need to make sure you are creating a document which not only demonstrates your professional skillset and attributes but one that gives a sense of who you are as a person. It should highlight your experience and explain why you should be the successful candidate.  I encounter the same words daily when reading CVs as a Recruiter. If you want your CV to showcase your best attributes, be memorable and unique and avoid these six words and phrases.

Tips on how to get your CV to stand out.

1.Punctual

Punctuality is expected in every job. There are no rewards for meeting the base standards when you are applying for competitive roles. If timekeeping is one of your primary skills and it is relevant to the role you are applying for, include an example of how you have met a target or deadline, rather than state it.

2.Motivated

Describing yourself as motivated comes across as cliché and is extremely vague. Instead, try outlining an example of a time you went above and beyond your expected role. Try including words like proactive, fervent, or impassioned in your example.

3.Hard-working

Like ‘punctual’, employers expect job candidates to put a lot of effort into the role they have applied for – there is no prize for this one either. If you genuinely are a person who is extremely passionate and dedicated to your role, then show, don’t tell. Recruiters and employers need proof of how hard-working you are, rather than a vague assurance. Include an example which demonstrates this attribute, incorporating words like dependable, energetic, and innovative.

4.Can’t / Won’t / Any negative words!

You’ve heard it before CVs should showcase what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T do. Home in on your strengths and experiences, there is no need to declare weakness on your CV.

Note: You should always remain honest if you are asked about your weakness during an interview or application. Turn a negative into a positive. The truth always comes out in these scenarios!

5.Managed

Again, you want your CV to be as specific as possible. Use precise verbs when outlining your experience to demonstrate leadership skills, as well as management skills. This is a much more efficient use of space which allows you to include more information in less words, trust the Recruiter to decipher which skills you possess through the examples you give. Try using words like developed, delegated, trained, influenced, supervised, or organised in your examples.

6.Team-player

This phrase is meaningless unless it is backed up by a solid example, as it is so over-used. Colleague-cooperation and strong communication skills are essential in practically every job, which is why people aim to slot these attributes into their CV. Use an example of when you worked collaboratively, specifying the role you played, and what you helped the team achieve. Words like networking, liaising, collaborating usually work well when demonstrating team-work skills.

If you enjoyed this blog, you should read my recent two-part blog called How to Make Your CV Shine.

Also, keep an eye-out for my upcoming blog, what is the STAR Technique, and Why Will it Help Me Get Hired?

For further information please contact me on 07751856436 or email cm@cathymoranrecruitment.com

 

 

Top 5 Tips to succeed in recruiting, during and post the pandemic

Top 5 Tips to succeed in recruiting, during and post the pandemic

Check out my recent presentation for Enterprise week 2021 under “HR Top Tips: Surviving a Pandemic”

https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Enterprise-Week-2021/EWCatchup/EW2021-HR-Top-Tips

To recap on top 5 tips to succeed

1.Appearances count

  • Check out your CV and covering letter if you are constantly finding you are not getting interviews have a look at it and make changes.
  • Shop front and website, does it need a new look, is it up to date.
  • Does your LinkedIn profile have a picture, or can you add new skills recently learnt to it?

2.Upskilling

  • Do you need to update your skills to secure the job you want?
  • Learn new skills e.g., software developers/IT Technologists using Coursera and Udacity to get micro credentials and certificates- use this for gaps that you may be lacking in.
  • Digital marketing certificates /diplomas through the CIM, check out these courses.
  • Nano degrees- to build up to a degree in bits and pieces.
  • Use of online meeting e.g. Zoom, Microsoft teams and Google meet, add these to your CV and do not assume companies know you can use it.

3.Agility

  • Remember the early bird catches the worm and same applies when applying for jobs or hiring staff.
  • For candidates, always take the 1stavailable interview opportunity as things can change.
  • For companies, start interviewing early taking into account, people have notice periods, don’t delay on making offers and don’t make assumptions.

 4.Keeping your brand alive

  • Use your website to update and refresh your brand

5.Creating your own job

  • Look at what skills you have and all the various social media platforms you can use.
  • Could you create your own job?

If you need any help recruiting or finding the perfect job, please email me on cm@cathymoranrecruitment.com

 

New job – Mid level Software Developer based in North West

New Job opportunities for Software Developers based in the North West

Mid-level Software Development Engineer

c35k  depends on experience + additional benefits 

Derry/Londonderry

An opportunity has arisen for a Mid-level Software Developer to work and assist the Lead Developer with this technology company.

This is a great opportunity to work for a fresh new team with long term opportunities.

Minimum requirement is 3 years + commercial experience and ideally 4 years .

The role

  • The 3 key elements of your role will be development and testing ,technical backlog and Agile estimating.
  • You will design and develop software for internal and external facing Azure cloud and hybrid cloud applications.
  • Design and develop UI web components with VueJS, .NetCore, REST based services, API development & management, Single Page Applications, Google material design and other leading edge technical innovations.
  • Provide vision and technology leadership based on strategic goals and industry best practices
  • Establish software best practices, norms, patterns, and libraries to enable consistent and quality development across distributed teams and vendors
  • Provide leadership to the software development teams in the execution and completion of ongoing projects
  • Work closely with the Architect to ensure alignment of goals and technology objectives to the Company Strategy.
  • Take an active role lead in ensuring that the companies software maintains its ISO27001 information security accreditation by implementing best practices across the delivery lifecycle

Experience and qualifications required

  • Bachelor’s degree in the field of Computer Science or Engineering. Equivalent combinations of education and experience will be considered.
  • Minimum 3 years and ideally 4 years’ experience in Software development experience (JavaScript*, VueJS,* .Net Core*, Knockout*, JQuery, Angular, GIT/GITHUB, TFS, .NET, C#, others) *- Most important skills/experience.
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills with technical and non-technical stakeholders
  • Most importantly, a genuine interest in building ‘the best’ technical solutions. Your attitude to technology and your willingness to keep up to date with emerging technologies will be the key differentiator

The package

  • Competitive salary
  • Health Insurance
  • 25 days holiday + bank holidays
  • Free car parking if working in the office
  • Team building lunches
  • Social environment, with nights out, all before Covid restriction, but this will return
  • Flexible working environment, including remote working options, outside of Covid time
  • A positive, proactive company who value their staff as assets and a great place to work.

ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS POSITION

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

New job Accounting Technician/Bookkeeper based in the North West

Accounting Technician / Bookkeeper c24k Derry /Londonderry

A well-established, successful company are seeking an individual to join their busy accounts team. The ideal candidate will have previous Industry experience of 4 years + within a busy office environment.

You will be self-motivated with the ability to work within a team, with little mentoring and high level of accuracy. You must be reliable, trustworthy, and dependable. Overall, you must be a good all-rounder in an accounts/bookkeeping role who can easily adapt

This role would ideally suit a self-motivated and experienced Bookkeeper looking for full time work.

Your role

In this role, you will be required to work closely with the Financial Controller on a variety of accounting duties within the group using SAGE line 50

  • The role will see you undertake bank reconciliations, maintain the sales and purchase ledgers for the client whilst bringing the accounts to trial balance.
  • Other duties required are processing and paying invoices, recording receipts and payments, and dealing with any accounts queries
  • Processing payroll.
  • Credit control duties
  • Experience of VAT an advantage although not essential.
  • Banking duties and other administrative duties as required
  • Reporting to the Financial Controller
  • Hours of work Monday – Friday, 9am – 5.30pm.

Criteria

  • At least 4 years’ experience working as a Bookkeeper/Accounts Technician in a busy office environment
  • Experience of SAGE line 50
  • Good knowledge of bookkeeping procedures
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Strong IT skills using Microsoft word and ability to use excel and spread sheets.
  • Reliable and trustworthy and good timekeeper

Enquire about this position

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

 

 

How to shine on your CV

PART TWO: How to Shine on your CV

My recent blog covered what to include in the perfect CV. Let’s move on to what you can do to be unique and memorable when discussing your educational and professional achievements.

 1.Be Creative

  • Regardless of what your previous job was/is, use your creativity to emphasise your abilities and skills. You weren’t stacking shelves; you were replenishing stock, easing the customer shopping experience. Give yourself and your role credit. Your employer would not have paid your wage if your job was not important!
  • TIP: I can help with your CV: As the mediator between employers and applicants, I know exactly what skills and attributes employers are searching for and can help you think of ways to demonstrate them.

2.Be Interesting- Would You Employ You?

  • No matter what your role was, employers and recruiters want to see what steps you took to innovate, save time and money, and think outside the box.
  • If you come from a background in retail/sales, did you achieve any special sales targets? Have you ever been employee of the month?
  • Have you ever been trusted to lead a project/ manage the company’s Instagram page/ organise special events within your store?
  • Tell us what extraordinary steps you took in an ordinary job.
  • Tell us why YOU made it a better place.

3. Make it Personal

  •  Use the ‘Hobbies’ and ‘Achievements’ sections to tell me about why you are an interesting person who would fit well into the job you’re applying for.
  • Recruiters are trying to find out who you are as a person, and whether or not this role is something you’d enjoy and thrive in, not just a job to pay the bills.
  • If your hobbies exemplify why you’d enjoy and excel in the role, tell us so!

4.  Be Specific

  •  With that said, you should always be truthful. Use exact figures when discussing your achievements: ‘Supervised a team of four’, ‘Increased online traffic by 31% in two weeks’. It boosts credibility, and often looks more impressive than a vague statement.

5. Show and Tell

  • The same words pop up over and over again when reading CVs: motivated, enthusiastic, hard-working. Be sure to read my up-coming blog on words to avoid on your CV, and what to replace them with. Some better adjectives include versatile, proactive, innovative.
  • That being said, these words are ALL meaningless unless you can demonstrate these skills through your education or work experience.
  • How will a recruiter know you are a strong communicator, if you don’t give an example of when you participated in groupwork, or led your weekly department meeting?
  • Make the statement with pride if it is true but be sure to always back it up.

6.The Perfect Order

  • Now that your content is lined up, it’s time to put it in order. Successful CVs usually follow this order:
  1. Personal details, name, and contact details
  2. Summary Profile: 3-5 summary points
  3. Education
  4. Work Experience
  5. Skills
  6. Awards and Achievements
  7. Hobbies/Interests
  8. References
  • To ensure your CV is perfect, take a copy of the checklist below and make sure you can tick EVERY BOX before submitting it for a job application. Good luck in your job search!

If you need help updating your CV, please contact Cathy on 07751856436