With every job that you apply for, you’re essentially asking the employer to take a chance – to trust that you have the right set of skills and that you’ll be worth the salary that they have budgeted for the role. You can build this trust during the interview process of course, but you won’t get an interview unless you have an attractive and accurate profile in the first place.
For care roles, it’s even more important to create a good first impression as care companies tend to fast-track candidates based on the quality of their profile rather than how much experience or qualifications they have.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to make your profile stand out from the crowd and make yourself a star candidate when applying for care roles.
Get the basics right
Attention to detail – it’s very important in care. And you’d be amazed at how many candidates make sloppy errors in their application and don’t check things before they send them off. And even if you’ve already applied for the role you want, it’s never too late to fix your profile as there’s a good chance the employer might not have got to yours yet.
Let’s start with spelling and grammar. Do you need to be a brilliant writer to work in care? Absolutely not. But bad grammar and spelling mistakes definitely won’t help your application either. The same applies for weird formatting and spacing.
It’s also important to make sure that your profile is factually correct. Double-check any dates that you have listed and that your preferences (desired salary, length of experience etc.) are up to date.
Top tip: If spelling and grammar isn’t your strong point, then run your application text through sites like Grammarly or even just Google Docs (which flags mistakes) before you send it. Or do it the old-fashioned way and send it to a well-qualified friend or family member to check over.
Show (don’t tell) your skills
Good candidates list all their relevant skills, top candidates demonstrate their impact in real-life situations and previous job roles. In other words, don’t just talk about what you’re good at – back it up with relevant, relatable evidence.
For example, if you consider yourself a people person (which, as we wrote in this blog, is one of the essential qualities needed to work in care) talk about some times that you have demonstrated that skill. Maybe you helped someone in their time of need or go round to your grandparents’ house once a week to keep them company. They don’t have to be major achievements, just something that shows your suitability for the role.
Top tip: Another good way to back-up your skills is by taking an online course – many of which offer an end of term certificate that you can put on your professional profile and reference in applications. Read our blog on free online courses for more info.
Make your experience count
Wait, but the reason you applied for a role in care is because you didn’t need any experience, right? Correct, but just because you’ve never worked in the sector professionally doesn’t mean that you don’t have any relevant experience.
Look back at your other professional experiences or even your time at school and make a note of anything you did that would be relevant to the care sector. Then mention it in the experience section of your profile and explain what skills you’d be able to transfer.
Here’s an example of how that might look:
Educational mentor, 2018-2019
Over the course of six months I mentored and tutored children from younger year groups in the lead-up to their exams, helping them with reading and comprehension tasks. This taught me the value of ‘active listening’ and how to connect with people from different backgrounds.
Top tip: When you include information about a previous job role, don’t just list a few tasks that were involved. That’s boring. Instead, include at least three responsibilities and go into detail on what each involved and more importantly what impact your work had.
Bring your personality to life
Want to know a secret? Getting a job in care isn’t just about demonstrating your competency, it’s about standing out and making yourself memorable to employers. Which is why the most successful care candidates find a balance between clearly demonstrating their skills and showcasing their personality.
When applying through Placed, make sure you have a good fun fact for your profile that will spark the curiosity of employers and give you something fun to talk about in your interview. Extra points if it links back to the care sector somehow. You should also think about how you can bring across your personality in the Experience and Skills sections.
Top tip: Remember employers in the care sector want to hire people not PDFs, so don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some details from your personal life if it’s relevant to care. If you’re the one everyone goes to for love life advice then mention it! Although it’s important to be professional in your written communication for care roles you don’t need to be overly formal. Write like you speak and if that doesn’t come naturally to you record yourself saying the things you want to write and go from there.