Roop Bhumbra, Director at Hays Social Care, offers advice to care workers and care managers when job

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When starting your search for a new care role, firstly, it is important to identify the skills and competencies that you have and research care roles in your field. You need to be armed with all this information to know where you need to target your search.

Ensure your CV is up to date

It is important to ensure that your CV is up to date with your experience and training and your previous employment dates are accurate. Remember that your CV is your sales pitch to a potential employer so ensure there are no spelling or grammar errors and that any gaps in your employment history are explained so you are well prepared to start your search with an expert recruiter such as Hays Social Care or apply for a suitable role.

Employers and recruiters will be looking to see that your mandatory training is up to date and that you hold the new Care Certificate in particular as this is now very desirable training. If your area of expertise is working with children or young people all employers and recruiters will be looking to see that you hold, or are working towards, a QCF level 3 in children and young people, so be sure to detail this on your CV and job application. Furthermore, at management level, employers will be looking to see that you are well versed in current legislation and list a QCF level 5 on your CV to demonstrate your experience.

Demonstrate your experience and competencies in your application

The most important point to remember is that your CV and application need to be tailored to each individual role. This means ensuring that you demonstrate you meet all the required competencies as outlined in the job and person descriptions.

Employers looking at your CV or application will want you to demonstrate your experience and a number of key competencies and characteristics, so include keywords to meet the job specification criteria. It is important to reference the demographics and service users that you have worked with as well as the care environment you have worked in. For example, it is important to specify if your experience is in mental health or dementia care, where you would have experience working with potentially challenging behaviours, or if your working environment was community or residential based with shift patterns to show the type of working environment you have experience of. Referencing your knowledge of safeguarding your service users is also essential as local authorities and employers will want to be confident that you will be able to support them in this key area.

If you are of management level, include evidence showing how you led your team keeping the service user in mind and, if suitable, your experience of leading a team with a good Ofsted or a good CQC inspection result.

Prepare for your interview

If you are successful in your search and initial application process you, your prospective employer will then invite you to interview.

Before your interview, it is important to prepare in advance. Research the organisation in detail and check their website to familiarise yourself with things such as their ethos, staff structure and recent news or developments within the organisation or local authority. It is likely that you will be asked to give examples of your work, or discuss examples of situations you have had to cope with, so it is essential that you have prepared these examples to use during your interview. Use the job and person specification to assist you in doing this and your preparation will also show your commitment to the role and organisational skills. In your preparation, also plan some questions to ask your interviewer about the role and working environment.

After your interview, don’t forget to follow up with your recruitment consultant to receive any feedback from your potential employer that can further help you in your search or to act upon any successful news to secure your new role.

For further information on Hays Social Care please visit: www.hays.co.uk/socialcare

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