Wokingham Job Support Centre Case Studies

First Meeting with a Candidate

Our first meeting with a candidate would make sure that the candidate has every opportunity to set out their needs and wishes. The Advisor would try to set out paths for going forward, identify what support would be most appropriate and work with the candidate as long as needed. Many candidates may just need re-assurance that they are doing the right thing and it needs time, others may need support from having never been in this situation before.

We research job requirements, ‘hot topics’ within a job and what is likely to be needed for a CV and interview. Below, we have set out some Model Case Studies that represent many of the typical candidate situations.

  • Applying for jobs, getting interviews but no job offers
  • Mother returning to the work scene after 10 years raising a family
  • Computer skills poor and having to apply for a job On-line
  • Wants something interesting to do following redundancy
  • Self-Employed now looking for a full-time job
  • Redundant after many years with one employer
  • New to the UK and looking a fresh start
  • Lost job in difficult circumstances
  • Young Person dropped out of College
  • Problems with speaking English, needs some work and income

Applying for jobs, getting interviews but no job offers

Candidate has had reasonable career success and offers strong skills in application, accuracy and reliability. Candidate has a well-presented CV and gets interviews however is losing confidence through receiving positive feedback from interviews but no offers: what else should be done to secure success?

With the Advisor, carried out a detailed review of interview techniques and how to focus on the important factor in matching own skills with job requirements. Also, how to stay within the discussion key points and avoid wandering with over-long answers. Carried out a series of practice sessions with the Advisor to improve concentration and listening skills.

Outcome: successful within next two interviews.

Mother returning to the work scene after 10 years raising a family

Candidate had used the time raising a family to complete a 3 year course for a professional qualification, this was on-line learning with examinations. Candidate is ready and qualified but felt that job opportunities kept asking for years of experience which they did not have. Candidate had real concerns as their value in today’s market and lacked confidence.

Discussions with the Advisor generated assurance to emphasis their talent as qualified and being a very quick and able learner. Recommended candidate to offer professional services to local Charity Groups and log the hours as experience; work would require all expected skills, legal and compliance matters and performance attributes.

Outcome a success as opportunities became available.

Computer skills poor and having to apply for a job On-line

Candidate was relatively inexperienced in computer use, became overly worried about making a mistake on application so has avoided this key route to potential new work. Candidate took the important decision in accepting that there was a problem and came to WJSC for advice.

With the Advisor, discussed the types of work that would be preferred and researched what types of IT use could be within the skill set needed. Also, the WJSC team would sit with the candidate to offer guidance and support in processing their online applications through the WJSC office. The Advisor and candidate researched appropriate local IT skills training courses to boost skills and confidence.

Outcome: attended a local course in basic computer use for messaging and internet. Skills improved and worked with WJSC in applying for jobs.

Wants something interesting to do following redundancy

Candidate is mature, healthy and wishes to do something that is interesting, has value to them and generates a fair pay for what is done. Wishes to reduce hours worked to about 25-30 hours each week.

In discussion with Advisor, the aspects of employment did not sit well with the desired new work/life balance therefore the focus moved to considering self-employment role. Candidate attended the WJSC Working for Yourself workshop. Gained full explanations as to how to become self-employed and helped clarify the best direction for the candidate.

Outcome: Set up as a Sole Trader, all in compliance with legal and HMRC requirements, won work and is getting going with a range of local customers.

Self-Employed now looking for a full-time job

Has run own small business for many years now looking for a less physical full-time job. Lots of experience in being practical and hands-on, enjoys the mix of customer contact and achieving good outcomes for the customer. Has good commercial and financial awareness.

Worked with the Advisor in looking at what would make up an interesting and stimulating role, how to build up new CV to set out the skills and abilities with good examples as evidence that present the candidate in a logical, clear and relevant light. The decision was taken to use a Functional style CV to bring out the talent and remove references to previous employers as there were not any.

Outcome was a success at first application. New career started.

Redundant after many years with one employer

Candidate was in late 40s and was concerned that their work history is restricted to one type of role and in one sector. Their sector is cutting back so the opportunities are likely to be very limited. Also, many jobs now are in London with the commuting and cost problems.

Explored options with the Advisor to look for a set of strong transferrable skills and researched the job profiles to seek out compatible matches. Candidate had worked in Facilities Management and had supervisory and budgetary skills. Highlighted how to set out a CV to bring out success in the form of Achievements that demonstrate planning, control and delivery of results.

Outcome: applied for a range of roles.

New to the UK and looking a fresh start

Very good background in administration with leadership and skills development for self and team. Candidate has decided to change career direction and focus on a path of learning towards a role in healthcare. Faced with no sector skills and experience, there was a challenge.

Worked with the Advisor on a functional CV that brought out the transferable skills and researched for evidence in applying those skills to support the desired change in direction. Set out an interview plan for an Assessment Centre day, follow-up tests and how to put yourself in the new role in answering questions linking to your evidence.

Outcome was a success for the chosen role: New career started.

Lost job in difficult circumstances

Candidate lost their job in difficult circumstances and now needs a new job quickly. There was the challenge as to what to say in the CV and at interview.

Discussions with the advisor helped clarify options in maintaining honesty in what is said and keep this event in context of a longer successful career. Decision taken to use a Functional Style CV to bring out the strong skills set with clear evidence of a longer successful track record and fold the disappointing last role into a longer pattern of work. Practiced interview questions to cover all potential aspects.

Outcome: success at second interview and now in a good job.

Young Person dropped out of College

Candidate is a talented musician and has wandered in and out of jobs with no real direction. Candidate has very good people skills, enjoys organising and is happy to work anywhere and being part of a team.

Discussions with Advisor brought out an option to develop two streams: one in a job that has the organising and people aspects and the second as potentially self-employed musician. Direction considered was to look for a role in an Event Management business. Candidate worked with Advisor on a CV for Event Management roles and attended the Working for Yourself workshop. For the CV, evidence of achievements was drawn from the wider aspects of life through activities in music, sport and other volunteering groups.

Outcome: new direction agreed and actions under way to achieve both.

Problems with speaking English, needs some work and income

Candidate is mature, in UK for 1 year, has family in support and is looking for some work to gain some income. Strong skills in raising a family and running a household but no employment experience at all. Level of English is very low in all aspects.

Met with an Advisor with a family member in support. The discussion focussed on drawing out the candidate skills and setting them out in a positive structure. Discussed the types of work that the candidate would be happy to do and looked for easy matches with the skills: literacy aspects would have to be at a minimum. Worked with the candidate and family member to learn how to set out skills on an Application Form, apply on-line and register with Agencies.

Outcome: candidate registered with several Agencies and secured work in a catering business.