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Tips for Success: from application to resignation

Application and CV

The importance of a CV cannot be stressed enough – it is all the potential employer has to go on when deciding whether to invite you in for an interview. You should take the time to tailor your CV to each role - focus on the experience and qualifications you have which compliment the requirements in the job description. Make it concise, focused and aim for two pages max! Where possible focus on ‘results statements’, e.g. “Increased efficiency in the team by implementing a new process for updating the website”; “Grew business by 23% in the first year” etc.

Make sure there are no gaps in your CV in terms of time – even if you went travelling for a year or similar. That kind of experience is quite valued by employers!

Submitting a cover letter is always a good idea, if you have the opportunity. The covering letter is your chance to show a bit of your ‘personality’. Keep it to one page and focus on key points that show you know a bit about the company and have the experience they are looking for.

  Example of a good CV

The Interview

When it comes to the interview stage, it is very important to remember: Always be prepared! The more prepared you are for an interview, the better chance you will have of being successful.

  • Research the company and the people you are meeting with (a search on Google and LinkedIn is helpful!)
  • Know the job description inside out and note down some examples from your experience that support the requirements.
  • Find a friendly person to act as interviewer so you can rehearse out loud.
  • Make sure you have the basic information you need to get to the interview location on time and without stress.

Here are more helpful pointers to help you through the stages of an interview:

  • Before the interview
  • Dress smartly and conservatively: a formal dark coloured suit (no leather or denim garments), neatly manicured nails and smart, clean shoes. Keep jewellery to a minimum.
  • Take your CV and a map. Leave for the interview in good time. Running late is never acceptable for an interview.
  • When you meet your interviewer, shake hands firmly, look them in the eye, call them Mr, Miss or Mrs unless they invite you to do otherwise, and smile.

During the interview


  1. Put your handbag, briefcase, or elbows on the interviewer’s desk.
  2. Slouch, sit on the edge of your seat, shuffle your feet, or tap fingers.
  3. Interrupt.
  4. Smoke, even if you are offered a cigarette.
  5. Criticise former employers, employment agencies or anyone else.


  1. Answer questions concisely, honestly and avoid getting side tracked.
  2. Ask them to repeat or clarify a question if you do not understand it.
  3. Explain your reasons for changing jobs in a positive way.
  4. Smile!
  5. Maintain eye contact.
  6. Ask questions.
  7. Be confident in yourself. At ROC Recruitment we have tested your skills, assessed your attributes and understood your requirements. We have also discussed with you the job you are being interviewed for. If we did not think you were suitable for the position, we would not have wasted your time sending you for an interview.

After the interview

As soon as the interview is over, contact your consultant with your feedback. This will help when we contact the client.

Any interview is a valuable experience. Use it to your advantage by going over the interview with your consultant to see if there was anything you would have liked to have handled better, or anything you forgot to say that you would like to be conveyed to the interviewer.

Here's a very helpful presentation to coach you through the interview process.

 Here's a very helpful presentation to coach you through the interview process.

Accepting a job offer

An offer of a job will be presented to you by your consultant, usually over the telephone. It is important that you know exactly what to do when the happy event occurs!

Discuss the offer and be certain it is what you want.

Your new employer will confirm the offer in writing, and in most cases will include your contract of employment for you to sign and return.

It is courteous to reply to the letter as soon as possible after receiving it. Return any necessary contracts and paperwork.

Having made your decision, cancel all other interviews you had arranged and then notify your current employer. Sign and return the vacancy acceptance form to ROC Recruitment.

Handing in your notice

Starting a new job is always exciting. However, the prospect of handing in your notice to your current employer can be daunting. Don’t worry, you are not alone - most people are understandably apprehensive. A good deal of time and effort, along with a fair amount of soul-searching has gone into you making your decision to accept a new job.


  1. Notify your employer of your notice.
  2. Confirm your leaving date.
  3. Depart on good terms.
  4. Keep us notified at every stage.

Your letter

Your notice should always be given in writing and you should keep a copy for your own personal records. The letter you write needs to convey only your intention to leave and the date you are leaving. There is absolutely no obligation to state your reasons, although many people add a goodwill tag.

Always date your letter. Ask to see your manager/supervisor privately; and give them your letter. If you are asked why you are leaving, keep it positive (you may need them for a reference). “I felt it was time for a new opportunity” is quite sufficient if you do not wish to disclose any other reasons. You may want to add more, but above all avoid a confrontation. If all goes well, your boss will accept your resignation and wish you good luck.

Notice period

Your notice period will be stated in either your contract of employment, or the original letter sent to you when offered the job. Remember, even if you are asked to stop coming into work before your notice period is up (and this is not uncommon), you will still be paid to the end of the period, so you won’t lose out!

Handling resistance

In most cases, managers will be disappointed at losing a member of staff, but will accept the situation graciously and begin to make arrangements for your leaving - they may even compliment you by asking for your assistance in finding a replacement (If so, contact ROC Recruitment!). It is likely that your boss will be disappointed and this could make your predicament more uncomfortable especially if you have a good relationship. So be prepared to stick to your guns. An employer may encourage you to stay by offering more responsibility, an increase in salary (remember this will cost considerably less than replacing you), a complete change of position, or the opportunity for further training. However, generally most people who give in and stay in their role are invariably on the job market again in around three months time because the reasons they were looking for alternative employment are still there.

Do not be bullied into submission

You looked for a new job in the first place because you were unhappy with your current position, and it has taken for you to hand in your notice for your boss to wake up to the facts and realise your worth. On the other hand, your new company has recognised your strengths straight away. At the end of the day, it is your life and your career, so it is your decision. Do not be persuaded to withdraw your notice to mull over things, as this will only delay your start date and will not impress your new employer.