Studied: Level 1 Working in Retail
Progression: Customer Service Host at Grosvenor Casino
A strong CV really can make all the difference to your job prospects. This is what Nicola Clarke has discovered through her Walsall College pre-employment course.
With some subtle but important changes to her own CV, she secured a new role after being out of work for 10 months.
Her role at Grosvenor Casino is a welcome relief after her career in hospitality and leisure came to a halt at the start of the pandemic and she looked for alternative roles.
“I had always thought my CV was pretty good, because I’ve got bags of experience,” said Nicola. “But I was being turned down for jobs. I wasn’t even shortlisted for a temporary job at a company I’d previously worked for.”
Nicola initially had doubts about signing up for a pre-employment programme in retail. With a vast amount of customer experience already under the belt, she felt there was very little the course could teach her. She soon saw differently when the class started using IT.
“I’m quite outgoing and confident,” explained Nicola. “When the course started and we were exploring employability skills and doing practical activities, I got really into it. I was even helping others in the group with the interview skills and CV writing.
“But when it came to doing things online, I hit a brick wall. I wasn’t used to doing things digitally, whereas others were.”
Although Nicola initially struggled online, she made use of her tutor’s support. She also put in extra effort to complete her studies.
In addition to gaining new IT skills, she also discovered a new way of creating a CV.
“Although my CV has always made a lot of my work experience and my personal skills, this information wasn’t jumping off the page the way it needed to,” said Nicola. “When my tutor, Yvonne pointed this out to me, I was gobsmacked.”
After updating her CV and uploading it to Indeed, Nicola received 14 expressions of interest. This was more than she’d had in a long while.
A week later she was in her role at the casino.
“I’ve now recommended this CV technique to my friends because it’s made such a difference for me,” said Nicola. “I’m in a completely new role and wouldn’t hesitate now to try something else different.
“I’d be more willing to do something IT-related. I cover reception at the casino so I’m expected to input and process things online. Yvonne gave me advice about other training I could do in this area, so that’s something I might do in future.”
Nicola added: “All in all, my training programme has been transformational.”