As part of its Skills for Tomorrow initiative, BT has launched a 28-day online Stand Out Skills programme to help you stand out in your job search, and enlisted the help of experts from the entertainment world.
Shining in interviews and using engaging writing to create a CV, application letter or LinkedIn presence all get you noticed, so BT has teamed up with the voice of Love Island, stand-up comedian Iain Stirling, to guide you through writing a CV or application letter that really hits the mark with potential employers.
Meanwhile, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Divina de Campo has shared tips for making a memorable impression when it comes to the interview.
As a primetime presenter who has spent almost two decades in front of the TV cameras, Anita Rani has interviewed everyone from politicians to showbiz stars.
So it may surprise viewers to learn that the One Show and Countryfile host still suffers from the odd bout of nerves in high-pressure situations, despite all her experience on television.
But there are things you can do to handle challenging moments, she explains – whether it’s keeping a cool head on screen or acing that all-important job interview.
“I get asked a lot how I deal with nerves and my advice is practise, practise, practise,” says Anita. “I try and do a run-through with a friend so I get used to saying the words.
“And always try and build a connection with the interviewer – things like smiling and looking them in the eye do the trick.”
Breaking the ice can help you stay calm and collected in an interview, and that could make all the difference in creating the right impression. In fact, making your mark and standing out from the competition when looking for work is more important than ever right now.
With the UK in another national lockdown, a new study by BT has revealed that the average job-hunter has unsuccessfully applied for 16 roles within the last 12 months.
The survey also showed that the overwhelming majority of jobseekers have been negatively affected by their employment search in the past year, with four out of five attributing a downturn in their mental wellbeing to looking for work.
Almost half added that rejections and the job search had knocked their self-confidence and self-belief throughout all stages of the hunt for work.
And just 22 per cent are confident their CV and covering letter will stand out, while even fewer believe in their ability to make their mark and leave a lasting impression in an interview.
As someone who’s been on both sides of the interview process, Anita says one of the most important things to remember is to really listen to the questions you’re being asked – and don’t panic if you lose your way a bit.
“Taking a deep breath and focusing on the specifics really helps, and it’s fine to ask them to rephrase the question if you’re not sure,” she advises.
“It actually gives you a few extra seconds to think of a good answer.”
You can access helpful hints and inspirational advice at BT.com/StandOutSkills.
Being nervous in an interview is entirely normal, says Anita, but however you feel on the inside, just do your best to finish on a high.
“Always be open and sincere and end the interview as positively as you started – so remember to smile!”
‘BT webinar helped me win grad role’
Through its Skills for Tomorrow programme, BT is helping 10 million people to make the most of life in the digital world. It’s completely free and designed to help everyone – from school children and teachers to parents and those with no or low digital skills, as well as job seekers and small businesses. Through the scheme, BT has helped thousands of people like 21-year-old Aoife get into work. She explains how…
“Before applying for placements in my second year of university, I was rejected all the time. My CV was holding me back.
“Graduate roles are so competitive, but I felt my CV was stronger after taking part in the Work Ready webinar on CV writing, which is part of BT’s Skills for Tomorrow programme. This webinar helped me change my CV around, which meant that for all the roles I applied for afterwards, I didn’t get those rejections. Ultimately, it helped me secure the role I’m in now.
“I thought the BT Work Ready webinars were very informative and delivered really well. I’ve done many other webinars and I wasn’t able to engage with them, but what I loved about this was that I was able to talk to the presenters and ask questions.
“The webinars prepared me for various situations like the assessment centres, which seemed daunting at first, but gave me a good insight as to what to expect and meant I was able to perform at my best.
“I don’t think I’d have been offered my graduate role if I hadn’t attended the webinars. I felt more confident when I went for interviews and more comfortable when I was selling myself to the recruiters. I don’t think I could have done that without the preparation I’d done beforehand, and the hints and tips I gained through the Work Ready webinars.”