Lily: "Cows' bums didn't do it for me"

"So, you're applying to join our marketing department Lily? Could you tell us how you came to be here today and what led you into this field?"

They clearly didn't want to know that I'd caught the number 15 bus that morning, nor that I'd followed the map and directions kindly provided.

I thought I'd use this question, asked at a recent interview, to help me set the scene for my blog posts and then bring you up to date with what's happening now.

Lydia says, "Grit your teeth, fill it in"

“Applying for job after job is so tedious! Application forms are all the same, the information’s already on my CV, why should I bother repeating myself when it’s already there?”

That’s a very valid concern Sylvia, but put yourself into the mind of the company you’re applying to. If you’re being asked to fill in a detailed form, not just send over a CV, the likelihood is that your application’s not going straight to the hiring manager.

Jon says, "Don't wrink & drite!"

"I've recently cleaned up my Twitter and Facebook accounts as I'm on a job-hunt, but how much difference does my online presence really make? Recruiters are still human, aren't they?"

Well Vicki, if your Twitter handle is @SexWithAnimals, your bio says you're looking for a relationship with something hairy and your latest tweet is asking where the nearest animal shelter is, how well do you think your application for the job of social worker is going to go? (Assuming you're not putting on a show at the Fringe :) )

Dress to thrill, hunt to kill

"My friend and I were going together to a careers fair. He turned up in a smart jacket and trousers and I was wearing an old pair of cargos and a sweat shirt. We were both surprised, so I thought I'd ask - does it matter?"

It might matter, Andrew. There are risks in talking to potential employers when you're not dressed appropriately. This question crops up regularly so I thought I'd review the issues for everyone.

Learning from a bad interview ...

“So what was your first ever proper career-related interview like? I bet it was breeze for you, it’s much harder for us today, isn’t it?”

Heavy sigh, Kim. Let me tell you a story - I still remember the first ever 'real' job interview I attended. By that, I mean the first job I tried for, that was a crucial step along the road toward a career. It was for a six month work placement, part way through my four year thin-sandwich degree. It was a nightmare.

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