Our inhouse Employer Engagement Team hosted their first live Twitter Q&A on Wednesday 3rd March.
We received, and were able to answer, 21 pre-submitted questions within the half hour session! Thank you to everyone who participated and helped us spread the word about this event, we found it really useful and hope you did too. For those who were unable to join us live, or are interested in what we were asked and the answers given, then you can see a round-up below:
Question 1 – How can I make my CV stand out from the crowd?
Our top tip would be to start your CV with a personal statement about who you are and what you can offer to the particular job you’re interested in, stressing the skills and experience that you have. This is what will catch the eye of employers. Make it unique, and keep it relevant to the job. Another top tip is to tailor your CV to each job application, don’t just send one version for each position. Use Key Words taken from the job/person spec and keep it simple – avoid fancy fonts and keep to 2 pages.
Question2 – Do businesses actively get in touch with opportunities for your (MOTW) participants?
Yes! We’re very lucky that we have good relationships with many organisations across the region and we value the support that they give to our participants. However, we are always keen to build our employer network further so if any business would like to discuss working together, please get in touch.
Question 3 – What key skills do you think employers are looking for?
Employers look for different skills depending on the roles they’re recruiting for, however there are some transferrable skills they all value such as being hardworking, showing a flexible approach and being willing to go that extra mile. The Employer Engagement Team can help you identify what skills your chosen job/profession would require and talk through any skill you have, to match the two.
Question 4 – How many MOTW participants have you helped find work?
MOTW started in 2017, and since then we have helped 304 people find employment across a variety of sectors – a number we’re incredibly proud of!
Question 5 – Does MOTW continue to support the participants after they have started work?
MOTW can provide up to six months of in-work support once a participant gains employment – this will be based on participant individual needs to help them overcome any problems and sustain their employment.
Question 6 – Has your approach changed as a result of the pandemic?
We have all had to adapt to a more digital way of working since the first lockdown in March 2020, yet our focus remains the same – to support those who need us get closer to the job market. Despite the lack of face to face contact we have still been able to help people develop their skills and find volunteering, training and employment.
Question 7 – I’m unemployed, how could you help me if I joined MOTW?
We’d start by establishing your goals and aspirations and begin working with you to devise a plan. We offer support and guidance throughout, helping you find the right career and job for the future.
Question 8 – I currently have no staff vacancies, but I run a business that would like to support MOTW in helping people with long-term health conditions to improve their employability and ultimately gain work. What can I do to help?
There are a variety of ways to help – you could offer short work placements; site visits to demonstrate the variety of jobs available; talks about your business/sector; help with mock interviews and CVs; and one to one support to help participants consider what might be the best route into work.
Question 9 – How do you ensure that MOTW participants are job ready?
Our Navigators and Employer Engagement Team work together to ensure that participants have all the relevant skills and qualifications in place to prepare them for their chosen area of work. The Navigators will also ensure that the participants are able to provide a full history of previous employment through their CV. Where possible, we also arrange work placements to provide them with on-the-job experience, so if you are able to help out by providing work placement opportunities, this is always welcome.
Question 10 – What do you enjoy most about your role and working on MOTW?
Meeting a wide variety of people! We get to work with participants to help them find sustainable employment opportunities, whilst also working with Employers to grow their workforce. The role is so varied and it’s great to see participants on the programme move on. Everyone’s needs are different, so every day is different.
Question 11 – What support is available if I need to make adaptations to accommodate MOTW participants?
Our Employer Engagement Team can advise on reasonable adjustments that you might make. Most will be simple and affordable. But if an employer cannot afford a reasonable adjustment, the MOTW Employer Engagement Team can provide advice on how to move forward – for example the employee with a disability might be able to apply for funding through the government’s Access to Work scheme.
Question 12 – Can MOTW help me with my finances, and get me out of debt?
MOTW currently offer participants access to Financial Capability sessions. These are one-to-one and non-judgemental, designed to help you understand your finances better, understand how employment may affect your benefits, address any debt issues you are facing, and prevent future money worries / debt problems.
Question 13 – My downfall is always interviews – I get so nervous! What are your top interview tips?
Everyone gets nervous its normal, just remember it’s a conversation between people. If you’ve got to interview stage then the employer has liked your CV or application form and is looking forward to finding out more about you. To help you prepare we can give you some interview practice by having a mock interview (making it feel as real as possible!) geared around the industry you’re looking to go into. We’ll then explore with you what adjustments (if any!) can be made to give you confidence for the real thing.
Question 14 – If I do have any staff vacancies that might be appropriate for MOTW participants, can I approach MOTW directly to see if there is anyone interested in the vacancy?
Certainly. You can contact one of our Employer Engagement Team and they will liaise with the Navigators who support participants to see if there are any suitable candidates who might be ready to take up your vacancy.
Question 15 – Where do you see future opportunities for paths into work?
IT is going to be a major player going forward. A lot of services are shifting to online services as a result of the pandemic so having IT skills is often essential. MOTW can help with this by finding, and funding, training to enhance your IT skills.
Question 16 – What do you say when you recommend MOTW to other people?
That we’re a great team, with lots to offer and joining our programme is an opportunity not to be missed as it can be life changing.
Question 17 – I’ve read so much about what should and shouldn’t be in a cover letter – what do you think I should add in?
A cover letter should be a prelude to your CV and should be short and direct – don’t send in pages of information as it won’t be read. We’d recommend 3 short paragraphs covering the following: WHY you are writing, WHAT skills and Experience you have to the vacancy and your desired OUTCOME.
Question 18 – I have heard mention of “job carving” to customise duties for people with differing abilities. I am unsure whether this would work in my business. Is there anyone I can talk to about it?
Our Employer Engagement Team will be happy to explore with you about whether there are job carving opportunities and can signpost you to examples of where this has been successful.
Question 19 – What can I do to get myself interview ready?
Do as much homework as possible! Look at the website and their social media accounts to find out their values, their objectives and get a sense of what their culture is. If possible, go and have a look at where you’re hoping to work so you get a feel of the place (this will also help you understand the travel time so alleviate any unwanted stresses on the day). Look at any new ideas that have been announced in their particular sector as it shows them you’re keen and interested. And practice some standard interview questions – what do you think they’ll ask you? We’d also recommend having a few questions for the end of the interview, but make sure you don’t ask them something that has already been answered within any introductions made by the panel!
Question 20 – I had to leave my last job due to poor mental health, but I don’t want to be unemployed forever – can you help me figure out what my next job could be?
Of course! We can offer support and advice based on your previous employment and aspirations for the future helping you move back into sustainable employment when you’re ready.
Question 21 – What is different about the support that MOTW provides to that provided by other support programmes?
We provide innovative, person-centred employability support to people who have a health barrier. We work on a one to one basis, around the skills, experience and needs of each individual, working with them throughout their time on the Programme to ensure that they are able to overcome their barriers , undertake appropriate training and get work ready.
If you’re interested in learning more about MOTW, would like further advice or guidance based on one of these questions, or have a question of your own then please get in touch. You can contact us via 0191 217 3206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.