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Candidates

We provide professional and technical recruitment services to candidates covering an array of sectors and disciplines, supporting contract, permanent, executive search and fixed price engagements.

Our consultants are industry qualified recruitment professionals, each specialising in a niche sector, with the domain knowledge and market awareness to provide advice and guidance on the most appropriate opportunities for our candidates.

We encourage you to meet with our consultants to discuss opportunities and enable us to understand your aspirations in respect to your next project or employer.

Our well established client base in the UK and Europe is testament to our commitment to building long lasting meaningful relationships. We provide open, honest and timely feedback to all our candidates throughout the recruitment process and have a successful track record of providing continuity to contractors.

Contact us and speak to one of our consultants now to explore our range of opportunities.

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Candidate Advice

Security Clearance

Writing your CV

Interview Advice

How to Resign

Your CV should be laid out in such a way as to enable ease of reading and updating. Try to keep information as short and concise as possible, using bullet points to list skills, responsibilities and achievements. Use a professional font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman and ensure you select a size that is legible.

Length

The length of a CV will vary greatly between individuals but it is expected that contractor CV’s will be longer due to the number of contract assignments to cover. A CV doesn’t need to be 2 pages long although it’s best to keep it within 4 pages and not to sacrifice important information to keep to a page limit.

Example Layout:

  • Name & contact details
  • Profile – A brief summary of your skills and experience
  • Professional qualifications, memberships & any relevant licences or accreditations
  • Career history in chronological order (recent first) with start and end dates and a description of key responsibilities and achievements in each position.
  • Interests and hobbies. Keep this section short and only identify activities that enhance the qualities outlined in your CV
  • References - Most employers do not check references until the interview stage but make it clear they are available on request.

Cover Letters

It is always good to include a covering letter or email with your CV to put your application in context and to explain why you are interested in applying for the particular position. It is also useful to demonstrate how your skills are a good fit for the role and to highlight the relevant experience you have acquired.

Tips

Don’t expect whoever is reading your CV to be an expert, more CV’s are now read by external recruiters, internal recruiters and HR departments so try to get the balance of skills, duties and achievements right and don’t forget to set out what makes you special.

Incorrect spelling and bad grammar can immediately highlight your CV for all the wrong reasons. Make sure you spell check and ask a family member or friend to proof read it for you.

Be sure to include a cover letter with your CV

Major successes, projects or achievements are a great way to demonstrate your abilities, and any facts and figures you can include to substantiate your statements could make you appeal more to a perspective employer.

Try to account for any gaps in your employment, for example if you have been on maternity/paternity leave, recovering from illness or travelling include it in the career history section of your CV.

Save your CV in MS Word to ensure it is in a usable format, if using PDF format avoid saving your CV as an image.

An interview is about demonstrating you have the ability to succeed in the role and will suit the culture and philosophy of the company. Each interview process is different but is likely to involve one or more of the following:

  • Phone Interview
  • Face to Face Interview
  • Panel interview (interview with multiple people, sometimes including HR)
  • Sequential interviews (multiple interviews with a different interviewer each time)
  • Group interview (several candidates present at the same time, can also involve group activities)
  • Assessment based (usually involving an aptitude test)
  • Competency based (behavioural questions requiring situational examples)
  • Portfolio based (for creative roles this would normally require submission of a portfolio, for marketing or sales roles it could involve demonstrating skills on the spot)

Our consultants are knowledgeable in all these interview styles and can provide guidance on how to approach them. It’s important that whatever the format of the interview, you are as prepared as possible. The advice below is what our consultants consider to be the most important points to remember.

  1. Prepare mentally

    If you have an interview then the employer has already short listed you and thinks you are a good match to the requirements for the position, so be confident. Take the opportunity to review your best traits and affirm these to yourself. Being in a positive frame of mind will shine through at interview.

  2. Review your CV

    Know your CV in-depth, you need to be prepared to discuss your CV and experience at length. Know the company. Once you have an interview, spend some time researching the company. Browse the website, read news articles and follow them on social media. It helps to have a good understanding of the wider structure of the company and the industry it serves. With social media it is even possible to research your interviewer for example by visiting their LinkedIn profile. This will help alleviate nerves and it is likely that they will have reviewed your social media presence too. Look the part appearances count and you want to make the best possible impression so make sure that you are appropriately dressed and well presented.
  3. Be punctual

    Ensure you arrive in plenty of time, if you’re going to be late call to let them know in advance and once you’re there apologise for the delay.
  4. Give a good lasting impression

    Your handshake says much about your personality, give a firm, full handshake and use eye contact. Follow the interviewers lead in terms of the formality of the conversation and consider their body language and yours. A good posture is important but try to also be relaxed,
  5. Ask questions

    You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you have about the company. It is a good idea to prepare some questions before you go and remember questions as they occur to you throughout the interview. This will demonstrate that you have thought about the interview in advance and enable you to have all the facts in order to make a decision should you be offered the position.
  6. Relax

    Although it may seem easy to say and rather harder to do try to relax as you will have been well prepared by your consultant as to the specifics of the meeting and the company. This puts you in the best possible position to be yourself and go to the interview feeling positive and calm.
  7. Closing the interview

    If you have questions about the company that would affect whether you would want to spend further time interviewing, ask them now. If the interviewer has failed to elicit some important information about you, make that information known before you close. Reiterate your interest in the position and find out what the next step will be and when you can expect to hear from them.

    It is important to speak to your consultant after the interview process to provide your feedback. We can manage your application appropriately from there and give your feedback to the client when discussing the outcome.

We understand that leaving a job can be extremely difficult and stressful, especially if you have good relations with your colleagues and have worked there for a long time. Our consultants have significant experience in helping candidates to leave their current employer and the best ways in which to do so.

Most employers are understanding and respect your decision to leave, bad reactions to resignations are few and far between. You need to be absolutely sure that the new role is open and available for you. It is advisable if possible to have a formal letter in writing from your new employer prior to handing in your resignation.

There will never be a perfect moment to resign, particularly in fast paced industries, a formal face-to-face meeting is the preferred option. This should be accompanied with a letter of resignation, including your notice period as per your contract and stating the date of your last day of employment. It is best to keep the letter concise and there is no obligation to justify your decision to leave. It is nice to conclude the letter on a positive note, for example how you are appreciative of the opportunities you have had in your current employment. However, there is no need for the letter to be more than a formal written notification of your resignation.

Once you’ve confirmed your finish date and finalised a settlement for outstanding holiday or other benefits you may be asked to take garden leave. If this is the case, during your notice period you’ll be asked to stay at home but you will still be under your normal contractual obligations. In some industries this is standard practice and is a way of protecting company sensitive information.

Counter Offers

Counter offers are a flattering incentive to tempt you into changing your mind and may come in the form of a pay rise, greater responsibility or a change of office. Counter offers shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a vote of confidence and it is important to remember the reasons you started looking for a new job in the first place. Having made the decision to resign, gone through the tough interviews and landed a role with a company that clearly want you, consider the following; Will the counter offer resolve all your earlier frustrations and reasons for wanting to leave? It is important to remember the motives that first made you look for a new opportunity, rarely will a counter offer address these. Accepting a counter offer can impact your career development, your future and your reputation.

Every situation is different so for more advice on counter offers and why an employer may make such an offer speak to your consultant.

Over the past 30 years we have developed a niche position within government, defence and national security and are well placed to support you with working within these specialist markets. Our in-house recruitment experts hold security clearances enabling closer partnerships with clients to provide a constant high level of delivery.

What is security clearance?

Security clearance is a status granted to individuals so they can undertake certain jobs and carry out tasks that need national security clearance. This usually includes access to classified information or restricted areas after the completion of a background check.

Security cleared jobs are located across a range of sectors including Government, Defence, National Security, Nuclear and Health.

Security clearance must be requested by an employer and is conducted by government agencies. It is granted for a set period of time according to the project length or employment term and must be in place prior to employment commencing.

What levels of security clearance do we work with?

We have extensive experience in recruiting and placing candidates with SC and DV security clearance across a range of organisations in the UK.

What is Security Check (SC)?

This is a transferable clearance between government departments and covers a range of jobs in both the public and private sectors. It is granted to allow people substantial access to ‘secret’ or occasional access to ‘top secret’ assets and information. It usually takes a minimum of 6 weeks to complete and is reviewed every 10 years.

The clearance includes security checks, credit reference check, criminal record check, security questionnaire and a company records check.

To gain SC clearance you are usually required to have been a UK resident for a minimum of 5 years.

What is Developed Vetting (DV)?

This is the highest level of security clearance and is required for working in the intelligence or security agencies. It is the most comprehensive, usually taking a minimum of six months to complete and as such the most expensive form of UK vetting. This provides substantial unsupervised access to top secret assets and only a small number of clearances are granted and renewed annually.

The clearance includes a security check, completion of a DV questionnaire, criminal record check, company records check, financial checks, reference checks, medical and psychological checks, interviews with family and friends and a detailed interview with a vetting officer. Once clearance is granted it is valid for a pre-determined period of time, subject to remaining on a DV assignment/ DV site, after which a review must be conducted (usually after 5 years).

To gain DV clearance you are usually required to have been a UK resident for a minimum of 10 years.

If you are interested in working in the Government and National Security sector, find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants by email contact@rtc.co.uk or call +44 (0) 117 917 1500.