We met a promising candidate called Laura* recently, who was struggling to find the right administrative role, as she had no office experience. This is Laura’s story:
“Having worked with children for the past 7 years, I was ready for a new challenge! I felt I wanted to use my love of organising in an office-based environment but my CV was not office-focused and therefore did not stand out from others to get me shortlisted for an interview. I explained the problem I was finding to Nicki and although she did not have the budget to increase her team at that time, she was able to offer me 6 weeks of work experience at Calibre Candidates. This included training and help with my CV and applications, which opened the door to exactly the kind of roles that I had hoped for.
Wow, the office at Calibre is busy! There were so many aspects of the business I could experience including elements of HR, recruitment, customer service, sales, marketing, administration and reception. I chose to do a combination of reception work and administrative tasks, to broaden my skills and build my confidence. Day to day, I was involved in meeting and greeting visitors to the office, liaising over the phone with clients and candidates and passing on messages, updating the CRM system, drafting advertising, processing and matching prospective candidate CVs for the consultants to follow up on. I now have lots of experience working as part of an administrative team and appreciate first-hand the importance of clear communication. I quickly got used to having to multitask and regularly reprioritise my workload, important skills that can transfer into many different roles. Through dealing with different CV styles, I quickly came to appreciate the layouts most preferred by clients and received coaching in how best to highlight the relevant skills on my own CV!
One of the biggest revelations in my time at the Calibre office, was that so many of my existing skills were ones I could use in an office-based environment. Looking back through my work history, I could identify many times when I had to meet tight deadlines for the children’s reports, worked as part of a team to complete projects and customer service interactions with parents and other professionals. The work experience gave me a much-needed confidence boost in my own ability and experience.
After a few weeks gaining valuable work experience, Nicki my Manager suggested two roles that she thought I would be suitable for, and after chatting them though with me, contacted these clients and promoted me to them over the phone and then forwarded my CV. With even a few weeks of office-based work experience now on my CV, I was offered an interview for both positions and was offered a role within a few days of interview! I would thoroughly recommend considering work experience to anyone finding it a struggle to get an interview. I start at my new role on Monday!”
We loved having Laura as part of our team and wish her the very best in her new role. If you are considering swopping career direction, are a returner to work, are a graduate who would value some commercial office experience on your CV, perhaps looking for a stepping stone in to HR or an office role and want to boost your CV or your confidence, we may consider offering a 6 week placement as a potential route in to your dream job (subject to availability). Please feel free to ring Paula or Nicki on 0118 9882118.
*name changed for data protection