Self Employed Interview

From Self-Employed Back into Employment

There’s a big trend at the moment towards being the entrepreneur, having your own business and being your own boss and in the previous article, we looked at how this might be right for you. But this isn’t right for everyone and there may come a time where you decide to go back into employment having been self-employed. For recruiters, this can be an unusual proposition where you can easily fall into the trap of thinking someone ‘failed’ and now need a job. So how do both sides handle going from self-employment back into employment?

As a Candidate

When you are the one seeking a job after a period of self-employment, then you need to prepare your CV accordingly. One of the important things to include is what CV writing experts call a mission statement – this is a paragraph that deals with why you want to come back into employment. Make it positive and accurate so if you found that working for yourself meant you missed the team environment, use this. Or maybe technology meant your business idea didn’t work so you want to return to work and test yourself in a new area.

Being self-employed means you have a range of skills that are very appealing to employers. For starters, you can work on your own, are self-motivated and can organise your own schedule. You can work without supervision and achieve aims without someone standing over you. You can also build client relationships and have a range of skills from the type of business you were running that might include IT, software, online skills or even bookkeeping.

As a Recruiter

There are lots of reasons that a person can return to employment after a period of self-employment and few are negative. Maybe they found working on their own all the time demoralising or not suited to their personality – which means they will be a good team member and work well with others. Maybe they found working all those hours left no time for a life – so a job with a reasonably set working pattern will suit them.

Never assume someone’s business failed and that they weren’t good at what they did just because they return to employment. There are lots of reasons why someone would choose to do this and several these can be entirely out of their hands. A spouse’ redundancy meaning they need a guarantee wage is just one example – they are still good at what they were doing but need a steady income.


For both parties, returning to employment can be a bit strange. Some recruiters fall into the habit of thinking there is something wrong with the person for not wanting to be self-employed but this is rarely the case. Being self-employed doesn’t suit everyone and it is better to realise this and make the move than to simply continue in a bad situation. This shows good judgement and a responsible attitude that will make them a good employee for any business going forward.

Start Your Own Business

Should You Set Up Your Own Business?

For some of us, our ideal job is found by following a certain career path. But for many more, we find ourselves doing a job but not always with complete passion. There is a nagging feelings that this isn’t ‘it’ or the thing that we really want to do. More and more people who have this feeling are turning to starting their own business – but is this a path you should consider?

Personality Traits

One of the things to look at when considering starting your own business is your own personality traits. Not everyone is suited to becoming a business owner. For example, if you have trouble motivating yourself or sticking to a schedule you have set, then you might find it difficult – when there’s no boss telling you what to do, you might end up watching the TV rather than working. Self-motivation is important in a business owner, especially if you are a sole trader.

If you are a highly stressed person who worries about everything, then being self-employed might not be ideal for you. There is definitely more stress when you don’t know if there is a pay packet at the end of the month and if this would make you ill with worry, then maybe it isn’t the right career path for you.

Organising Your Business

That said, for many people the idea of being your own boss, setting your own schedule and doing what you love is highly motivating and instils in you the confidence to get down to it. When you have an idea for a business, product or service, you can then start organising the business to see what you need before diving in.

Software, hardware and online resources are three of the big areas that apply regardless of the product or service you will be offering. You might need to secure some initial funding to purchase these items and don’t forget to keep records of everything you spend in order to record it for tax purposes.

Getting the Right Advice

Being a business owner can be a bit lonely but it doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. There are lots of ways to get help and advice on different areas of the business, depending on what you need.

There are plenty of things to think about if you decide to start your own business, and tax advice for the self-employed is one big area to get the right advice about. Many small businesses fall foul of the tax man in their early years, either through a lack of record keeping or a lack of awareness of the system. Talking to Accountants for contractors and self-employed people can be beneficial to understanding this maze and making sure you start your business in the right way.

There are also coaches, advice groups and even Facebook groups that can be a great place to get help and tips from other business owners. You can even use them as networking opportunities, showcasing your business in line with group rules. This can be a great way to meet other businesses to work with and even find clients while getting great advice and moral support.

CV Writing

How to Write a Good CV

Even someone who has a way with words can find writing a CV intimidating. You want to highlight your best features without seeming boastful or bragging. You need to keep all the information up to date and relevant without adding too much and making it into a novel. So, what are the best tips to write a good CV, according to the experts?

Before You Start

Before you start writing the CV, you should do a little research into the role you are applying for. Every time you submit a CV, it should be tailored for the job in question, even if they seem much the same. There are lots of tactics that people use to get their CV past that first hurdle and in front of someone who matters but one of the ones that works is to use keywords relevant to the role. Don’t stuff the CV with key terms to make it seem weird but show your understanding of the role. And those keywords can be picked up by automated job systems and give your CV a boost too.

Five Tips for Writing Your CV

When it comes to the actual writing, always have a go yourself but if you feel you can’t do the job justice, don’t be afraid to use a professional CV writing company. These are people who write CVs for a living and can create one for you that highlights your best points in a good, natural way. But if you are tackling the job yourself, here are five key points to remember.

1. Make it specific to the job – If you have done your research on the keywords and key phrases relating to the job as well as understanding what the role entails, keeping all of your content relevant to it should be easy. It never hurts to show a touch of research on the company in question either.

2. Ensure all information is job relevant – That gap year to India might seem a highlight of your life so far but if it doesn’t impact the role you are applying for then leave it out or drop it down under the interests section. Ensure that the information you provide is what is most relevant to the job in question.

3. Keep it minimal – Save the stories for the interview or when you work with people – keep the information on your CV minimal. If you send in a 10-page document, no one has the time to read it. Two pages is ideal.

4. Keep it honest: Never lie, embellish or tell inaccuracies on a CV nor should you hide things that might have a relevancy if you are required to divulge them

5. Proof read! – Once you have written the document, go over it with a careful eye and look for mistakes. Get someone else to read it for you to ensure it makes sense. Mistakes on a CV will completely get you thrown out of consideration, no matter how impressive the content.

This has been a very quick look at how to create the ideal CV, but if you follow these five tips, you’ve got the foundations of a CV that should serve you well in your job search. You can also take a look at the video below, for a little more advice.

University of Manchester Video Image

CV Writing Skills & Tips

It seems that while our earlier article offering some useful tips on how to write a good CV was useful, some more detail and advice might be helpful.

So as to avoid a post that could run to thousands of words, in order to cover all of the various aspects of what constitutes a good CV (and yes, it is relative, and typically also differs from job to job), we though it would be better to highlight an excellent video from the University of Manchester.

This way, those who want to study the topic in a bit more detail, before they put pen to paper as it were, should have all the info they need.

Criminal Record Background Check

Pre Employment Screening Checks

Finding a new employee is always a big thing for a business of any size. You want the person that you feel has the skills and talents your company needs as well as the personality you feel will blend in well with the team. While CVs, interviews and other tools are crucial, there is one part of the process that can almost be the most important – pre-employment screening checks. But what are they and what checks are allowed?

Right to Work Checks

The first check that you should carry out as an employer is the Right to Work checks. These are designed to ensure that the person you are considering for the role has the right to work in the UK. Employers are required to make this check including seeing original documents that are valid and keep copies of them. If any of the information is incorrect or indicates there may be an issue, you need to make further checks before employing the person.

DBS Check

Formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), the Disclosure and Barring Service provides information via a number of comanies who will carry out a DBS check for employers, to allow them to see if someone has a criminal record. Only employers can apply for a DBS check unless you are screening someone for a voluntary role working in certain areas.

The process involves giving a DBS check form to the potential employee which they complete and this is submitted to the DBS or an umbrella body. A certificate is then sent to the potential employee and you have to ask for this from them. there are three levels, depending on the type of professional you are screening the person for and they take around 8 weeks to complete.

Other Background Checks

There are other background checks for individuals that you are allowed to make although you do need to get the person’s consent before performing some of them.

One of the checks commonly done across a wide range of industries is a credit score check. While this doesn’t always tell you whether the person is right for the job, it can give you insight into their lives and any situation that might affect their ability to do their job. In the most extreme cases, financial pressures can lead to problems at work although a poor credit score doesn’t mean someone is a bad employee – don’t read the results as black and white.

If candidates are worried about a potential employer going checking out their financial history, there are plenty of online services where they can get a free credit check done first so that they know what their credit score is (and can also get some information on how to improve it), and are prepared for what any check by a potential employer might reveal.

If the person has any qualifications that are relevant to the job, then it is always a good idea to check these before employing them. It can even be a requirement in some jobs, such as checking a lorry driver has the correct license before allowing them to drive a company vehicle. Failure to check certain qualifications can be very serious.

DBS Checks – The Employer’s Perspective

In our earlier article on background checks that might be carried out during the recuitment process, we included a video from the Home Office with some more details on Disclosure & Barring Service checks from the employee’s perspective.

To complete the overview of one of the most common background checks carried out, here’s the complementary video that looks at these checks from the employer’s perspective.