Make your jobsearch foolproof  

The 1st of April is April Fool’s Day and, if you haven’t been caught out already, best beware of jokes and japes. There are many theories to explain how this strange custom of pranking became such a strong tradition across the UK. 

The most popular blames the move from the Julian calendar whose year began on March 25 – as this fell in Holy Week, New Year festivals were celebrated on the first day of April. The adoption of the Gregorian calendar moved New Year to January 1 – and so those who could be tricked into believing April 1 was still party day earned the title April Fool.  

Another theory insists tricks and traps are linked to the arrival of spring, when nature can often fool us with fickle weather. Whatever the truth of its origins, April 1 is known to have tackled and tripped up even the most cautious. 

And celebrity pranksters got into practice early this year when TV presenter James Corden left David Beckham red-faced and speechless. 

After learning LA Galaxy were planning to present the famous footballer with a statue of himself, Corden set to work with designers to build a fake version – complete with a huge chin, enormous behind, only three teeth and a lazy eye.  

He then invited Beckham, his friends and family and international journalists to an unveiling and rolled hidden cameras.  

To be fair, Beckham handled it all well – even when the forklift driver ‘accidentally’ destroyed the statue.  

Thankfully, not all important life moments go quite so embarrassingly wrong – and, with a little preparation, this even includes the process of finding a new job. 

In fact, most candidates make a positive impact, as is reflected in new figures from the Office for National Statistics. These show the number of employed people in the UK has risen again to a new record number of 32.7 million people between November and January.  

The 76.1% employment rate is the highest since records began in 1971. Unemployment fell by 35,000 to 1.34 million in the period, putting the rate below 4% for the first time since 1975. 

That’s positive news for job seekers but if you really want to land a new role, you’re going to have to avoid making big blunders. The best advice is to get off on the right foot right now – even if it is April Fool’s Day – and this starts with a foolproof CV. 

This all-important document needs to be clear and to the point yet reveal everything a prospective employer needs to know. Remember there’s no need to list your favourite TV shows or childhood hobbies – and no one relishes the task of sifting through every qualification achieved or volunteering course undertaken before they reach information relevant to the job on offer. 

So be selective and match your skill sets, qualifications and experience to those specifically asked for in the wm1 jobs vacancy. Don’t forget to draw attention to them by putting them on the very first page and highlighting them as your main points. 

The biggest mistake to avoid is exaggerating talents – surveys show most employers routinely reject CVs they suspect of ‘enhancement’. 

Finally, before sending or emailing your CV, ask a friend or family member to give it a once-over for spelling and accuracy: every new pair of eyes is an extra safeguard against making a big April Fool’s-style boo-boo. 

And don’t ruin a great CV by sending a generic cover letter. An application headed Dear Sir/Madam – or worse has the wrong name entirely – and reads like a cut-and-paste from a website is a no-no. 

Instead, find out the name of the person you should be addressing. Research the company and its history – this means you can customise your cover letter. The cover should also let your potential new boss get a feel for the real you, so write using your own words and your own voice. 

When you get to the interview stage, it’s important to get the dates and times spot on. Set week, day and hour-before alarms in advance! 

During the interview, don’t let yourself be fooled by unexpected or sudden questions – if you want to be remembered for all the right reasons, stay calm and focused. 

If against all the odds, you do slip up, don’t take your mishap too seriously. Relax, smile and show you can overcome interview hiccups by having a sense of humour rather than a habit of panicking. 

Finally, remember wm1jobs is the best place to start your career quest: instead of being an April Fool, find a career that’s very real and seriously rewarding.