Everyone has career points, career changes in their lives. You might be a graduate looking for that first all-important real job, or an established executive facing an unexpected new road.
Perhaps there is a vacancy higher up the ladder where you work and you’d like to get it. Whatever the stage you are at, the most important thing is not only to give it plenty of thought — you will probably do that anyway — but get yourself plenty of guidance and advice.
Today’s job world can be a minefield of challenges, from Skype interviews to online applications, the need for good instant replies to presenting yourself in the best light.
"Going cold to an interview is a terrible idea!"
That’s the frank advice from Sinead English, founder of Hilt, www.wearehilt.com, an energetic organisation which works with individuals and companies to help them navigate their way through the career planning and employment maze.
“Everybody needs to practise for an interview,” she said.
Sinead English’s own career pattern is living proof of the fact that you can create success from life’s many sharp corner turns.
“From university in Dublin, I went to work for an investment bank in London which involved its senior staff very much in the recruitment of graduates each year. I learned a lot from that. Then I came back to Ireland, had children, made that my career for a while. Once the youngest was at school, I needed to get back to work but this time wanted flexibility while the kids were still small.”
Recalling her recruitment experience in London, she saw a niche in the Irish market for good advice and training, on both sides of the coin, for potential employee and employer.
“I thought it would be good to explain to graduate students what employers were actually looking for. To test the idea, I went round to a few universities and asked the management. They all liked the proposal and so Hilt got going.”
(Its subtitle, incidentally, is ‘Back Yourself’, which is the key to the service it provides — giving people confidence and belief in their abilities.)
That was about 13 years ago. At first, Hilt focused on the graduate level, but gradually extended the services it provides to work with candidates from graduate up to senior executive.
“It’s how you do it: start small, and end up somewhere quite different.”
She tells this story at many workshops, reveals Ms English, “because people need to know that you can change directions, and do it successfully”.
The team at Hilt has now swelled to four, and clients get one-to-one treatment.
“When they come in, with an interview looming, we work with them right up to that date.”
It is no longer the case that going for a job automatically involves a face-to-face interview, she says.
“It is more and more commonplace for employers to cut down on costs by preliminary screening online and applicants need to be aware of the form this can take, and how to achieve best results.”
So often, people have no self-confidence, she says.
“We help clients at all stages on the job search process, whether right at the beginning, deciding what they want to do, getting a CV together, or working up the interview.”
A glance at its website, www.wearehilt.com, shows the wide range of services to support your job search: from CV preparation and review, as well as profile writing to interview training, for face to face and online. And much more.