When taking the next step in your career, we understand that applications, interviews and assessments can be daunting. In 'Our Recruitment Commitment' we talk about providing full support for candidates through the recruitment process - that’s why we’ve compiled some top tips and advice from our recruitment teams to help you along the way.
1 Before you apply
Keep track of what you're doing
All of our roles require you to submit details about your skills and previous experience, whether that’s through a full application form or a CV and cover letter. Think about the key moments in your career so far that stand out to you and keep a note of them - it’s much easier to think about those key moments if you’re keeping track of how you’re developing yourself. Think about keeping a regular diary that you’re able to revisit and pick out key points from.
If you’re applying for multiple roles, make sure you track your applications too. You’d be surprised how many times we call a promising candidate with an excellent application, only to have them ask us who we are and what they'd applied for.
2 Finding a role that fits
Make sure it’s the right one for you
Effectively applying for a role can take time and effort – make sure you can see yourself in the role before you hit the apply button. We include lots of detailed information for every vacancy, but if you need to ask for further information or have particular questions simply contact the team using the details at the top of the page – we’ll happily answer them in any way we can.
Track what’s available
Keep an eye on the website; when suitable roles become available you’re then able to apply straight away and get to the top of the pile.
3 Applying for your chosen role
Complete our application form
All of our roles require at least your basic details through a short form when applying with us. This allows us to standardise your application so we make sure we give everyone a fair opportunity. Here are some tips on providing us with information through our application form:
Read the form thoroughly
Take some time to read the whole form before you write anything – this helps you get a full picture of the information you need to give us. Although you’re able to save your progress and revisit your application at a later date, it can be frustrating for you to have to do it any more than a handful of times.
Get your details together
Once you understand what information you need, assemble lists of key dates, previous employers, qualifications and training, achievements and contact details so it’s all ready for you to enter into the form. For extra help with tracking your achievements see the ‘Before you apply’ section above.
Although you should take plenty of time to apply, don’t wait until the last minute. We reserve the right to close vacancies early if we receive a lot of applications – if you leave it right up until the posted closing date, it could be gone by the time you get round to it.
Keep it appropriate
Follow any instructions carefully, use only the most relevant information for the question and use the space you have. If a question gives one line, make your answer one line. If there is more space available, go into more detail. Be smart with what information you give us and where.
Create an excellent CV
Some of our roles require you to submit a CV with your application. You need to ensure that your CV is a clear, accurate and unique representation of who you are and what you’ve achieved. Here are some key points to remember when creating your CV:
Choose a clear structure and layout
Your CV needs to be clutter free and easy to read. When reading through your CV, we want the information we need to jump out as us and don’t want to have to search high and low. Keep it brief, be concise and to the point.
Update and tailor your CV
It’s not just about including as much information as you can possibly fit on the page – we only want to see the most up-to-date information that’s relevant to the role. It may seem like a lengthy process to tailor your CV to each role you apply for, but it can make a huge difference and really help make your application stand out from the rest.
Check and check again
It’s very easy to make mistakes when writing your CV, but even harder to correct them once you’ve sent it to us. Take some time after editing your CV to go back and look through it as critically as possible to polish it off - it may even be useful to leave it for a while and revisit it later on. Allow yourself a break so that when you come back your eyes are fresh enough to spot that spelling mistake or that sentence that doesn’t quite make sense.
Show us what makes you exceptional
When you apply you could potentially be up against hundreds of other candidates, so you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Don’t just give us a list of your achievements; tell us how those achievements would help you add value as an employee.
Top it off with a cover letter
A cover letter is an important part of a comprehensive CV application but is surprisingly underutilised by many candidates. Here are a few pointers to help you ensure your cover letter adds value.
Always send one
A cover letter performs a simple courtesy function. It’s a socially acceptable way of introducing yourself to us and explaining what you’re applying for and why. It also allows you to add that extra bit of detail and originality to your application.
Don’t rewrite your CV
Your cover letter should highlight the most relevant areas of your CV – it shouldn’t just repeat what you’ve already written somewhere else, but rather compile the key areas into one main collection. Pick out the top 3-5 qualities we’re looking for and provide evidence as to how you have them.
Beginning, middle, end
Similarly to a CV, structure is also important for your cover letter. Start with a clear direction and don’t waffle. Make it clear why you’re writing to us and sell yourself; what makes you better than the rest? Finish with a sentence that brings the letter smoothly to a close.
Show us what you know about Eddie Stobart
Do your research into who we are and what we do. Don’t regurgitate our entire company history back to us, just pick out what most interests you about the way we do business and tell us what specifically made you want to apply.
4 Interviews and assessments
Telephone interviews are a useful way for us to find out a little bit more information if we like your initial application. Although not as in-depth as a face to face interview, the way you present yourself over the phone can still reveal a lot about your character.
Location, location, location
Find a quiet, comfortable (and suitable) place to conduct your interview; try to shut out any distractions for the interview period. Use a desk if you have one, or try sitting at something similar like a dining table or breakfast bar. Lying down in bed may be comfortable, but you may be surprised by how much of a positive impact an upright body position has on your voice.
Smile as you dial
Similarly to an upright body position, smiling can help you sound much more positive on the phone. Combine it with a friendly tone and it will help you come across as an approachable person.
Keep a steady pace
Nerves can sometimes get the better of you and cause a huge increase in the speed of speech. Try to relax, remember to breathe and give yourself a few seconds to collect your thoughts. Also make sure you give us a chance too; it’s easier to end up talking at the same time over the phone, and short pauses allow space for everyone to have their say.
Practice interviews by recording yourself answering some questions or ask a friend to help you – either way is useful for providing feedback and can help you tidy up those “um” and “ah” fillers in your speech.
Face to face interviews
Face to face interviews are one of the best ways for us to really understand more about how you might fit the role you’ve applied for. Here are some tips to help you really impress us in your interview.
Learn all you can about us
Do some research into Eddie Stobart – learn about who we are and what we do. This will help you recognise where you may fit within the business and help you provide that extra understanding about how your skills would benefit us.
Revisit your CV / application
Make sure you know your application inside out – read over your information again, remind yourself what you told us. We will likely ask questions based on your application, so be prepared.
Plan the day ahead
Make a plan for the interview – ensure you know where you’re going, allow plenty of time for the journey and arrive early if possible. Plot the location on a map or put the postcode into your sat-nav. Decide on some appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes and get a good sleep the night / day before.
Nerves can make you forget simple courtesies such as smiling and shaking hands. Breathe, stay composed, take a moment to think before each question and answer honestly. If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification. Take your time.
For our more technical roles, such as drivers, we may also carry out a short practical assessment. Here are a few extra tips to remember if you’ll be completing one.
Come dressed appropriately for the day – a suit and tie is smart but not appropriate for every role. If you’re a driver, come dressed to drive. Remember your personal protective equipment such as safety shoes and a hi-vis jacket.
A practical assessment is your opportunity to show us your skills in action. The best way to do that is to be yourself and not worry about trying to impress us – do what you usually do.
One of the key things we look for in new recruits is a positive and committed attitude. Even if you are not the most qualified candidate in the world, you can learn the skills you need to be a high performer if you have the motivation and the willingness to learn. Since the best indicator of your future success is not skills but attitude, this is a key factor in our assessments and they are designed to reveal your character traits.