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What to put on a HCA CV or Cover letter with no previous experience? watch

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    I'm looking to get into Healthcare Assistant work but I know it's quite difficult to break into with no previous relevant experience, I did a-levels at college and a non healthcare related degree and the only real jobs I've worked in are customer related, not caring roles. I don't hold an NVQ in care or anything like that, can anyone whose been in a similar situation advise?

    I'm struggling for inspiration on how to relate my current life experiences to a HCA role.

    EDIT: Been successful at gaining a HCA position, thank you everyone for your advice!
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    I'm looking to get into Healthcare Assistant work but I know it's quite difficult to break into with no previous relevant experience, I did a-levels at college and a non healthcare related degree and the only real jobs I've worked in are customer related, not caring roles. I don't hold an NVQ in care or anything like that, can anyone whose been in a similar situation advise?

    I'm struggling for inspiration on how to relate my current life experiences to a HCA role.
    If you can talk to customers, you can talk to patients. Talk about your customer service skills - these will be transferable as valuable communication skills. Did you ever talk to difficult customers? This could be relevant to talking to upset patients.

    If you want to take a course in healthcare, vision2learn offer free courses. They're only a level 2 so should be easy enough if you have a degree. They're not going to get you a job on their own but can show that you're interested in this area, and you can also talk about what you learnt in your application.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    If you can talk to customers, you can talk to patients. Talk about your customer service skills - these will be transferable as valuable communication skills. Did you ever talk to difficult customers? This could be relevant to talking to upset patients.

    If you want to take a course in healthcare, vision2learn offer free courses. They're only a level 2 so should be easy enough if you have a degree. They're not going to get you a job on their own but can show that you're interested in this area, and you can also talk about what you learnt in your application.
    Thank you, I will consider it. Will having a first aid certificate help too?
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Thank you, I will consider it. Will having a first aid certificate help too?
    Yes! It shows you've learnt a little bit but are still interested in the area, and you have some basic skills to improve on.

    There are different types of first aid certificate, so make sure you know what yours actually is - there's one that's a week long called First Aid At Work (or something similar) but you can also do a course for a few hours. It's still a first aid course, so definitely mention it if you've done a shorter one, but don't get confused and refer to it by the wrong name. It will be harmful to your application if they think you're trying to claim you did more than you actually did.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Yes! It shows you've learnt a little bit but are still interested in the area, and you have some basic skills to improve on.

    There are different types of first aid certificate, so make sure you know what yours actually is - there's one that's a week long called First Aid At Work (or something similar) but you can also do a course for a few hours. It's still a first aid course, so definitely mention it if you've done a shorter one, but don't get confused and refer to it by the wrong name. It will be harmful to your application if they think you're trying to claim you did more than you actually did.
    Thank you again
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    I'm looking to get into Healthcare Assistant work but I know it's quite difficult to break into with no previous relevant experience, I did a-levels at college and a non healthcare related degree and the only real jobs I've worked in are customer related, not caring roles. I don't hold an NVQ in care or anything like that, can anyone whose been in a similar situation advise?

    I'm struggling for inspiration on how to relate my current life experiences to a HCA role.
    Definitely talk about the customer contact you have had and how you are great at working in a team (on the shop floor etc) and have excellent communication skills, a people person, punctual and passionate about starting a career in healthcare! In fact if you have any relatives or personal experience of being in a hospital/having an op etc talk about this. Say how much you were inspired by the staff, how great the care was and that you see yourself in a more caring role. Even better if you have cared for a relative during an illness/old age and that you found this very rewarding.

    If you are struggling still to get an interview or a job offer... definitely do a first aid course! Even better... go volunteer for the British Red Cross as an event first aider! They give a free 5 week advanced first aid course (although this only covers first aid practice within there organisation no where else). I did this and loved it and it really helped me get a position as a HCA! If I wasn't full time health care assisting I would love to keep volunteering! You get to help people, dress wounds, complete documentation, learn CPR, treat patients from kids to the elderly and get access to various different events!

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Moonbrains)
    Definitely talk about the customer contact you have had and how you are great at working in a team (on the shop floor etc) and have excellent communication skills, a people person, punctual and passionate about starting a career in healthcare! In fact if you have any relatives or personal experience of being in a hospital/having an op etc talk about this. Say how much you were inspired by the staff, how great the care was and that you see yourself in a more caring role. Even better if you have cared for a relative during an illness/old age and that you found this very rewarding.

    If you are struggling still to get an interview or a job offer... definitely do a first aid course! Even better... go volunteer for the British Red Cross as an event first aider! They give a free 5 week advanced first aid course (although this only covers first aid practice within there organisation no where else). I did this and loved it and it really helped me get a position as a HCA! If I wasn't full time health care assisting I would love to keep volunteering! You get to help people, dress wounds, complete documentation, learn CPR, treat patients from kids to the elderly and get access to various different events!

    Good luck!
    Thank you, I already have a first aid certificate although it's from 2014. But great advice and very helpful I will definatly be putting what you said into practice Thank you so much!
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    I worked in a shop before I became a hca- In my application I wrote what inspired me to want to work in healthcare- I also mentioned transferable skills working with customers.
    I would also drop in each of the 6 c's and definitely memorise those for the interview- also write about your first aid - have you had to use it?
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    Just read about your a levels and degree too I am exactly the same have a degree that's completely unrelated but you could mention how you understand what it's like to work under pressure and how those skills were transferable.
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    What a coincidence, I just finished preparing a CV and personal statement for a close relative of mine wanting to get into this role as an assistant. But she has about 8 years of experience in looking after people, particularly the young and vulnerable - easy for me, just copied one of my tried and tested template layouts and filled it in. Never failed me yet.

    You're going to have to dig deep and draw your experiences from your education, personal life and any sort of work/activities/projects/charities/voluntary stuff that you may have done or been a part of, and then work on how to word it in the best possible light. Draft up a statement and a CV (no more than 2 pages), include your experiences, academia, professional certifications (first aid?), additional languages, references (usually on request though, unless you have people in the relevant field who can help you) and the statement. Stick your contact info and details at the top of the CV beneath your name. If you've got a driver's license, place that there too. Don't forget to mention your available. All this stuff should be at the top of your CV, perhaps in neatly formatted boxes. Hard to explain in writing really... the idea is for them to give the piece of paper more than one glance - knowing how to format and word your CV is incredibly important.

    Remember to include month/year - month/year when listing past roles, schools, uni, awards and certs etc.
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    (Original post by Paperflowersxx)
    I worked in a shop before I became a hca- In my application I wrote what inspired me to want to work in healthcare- I also mentioned transferable skills working with customers.
    I would also drop in each of the 6 c's and definitely memorise those for the interview- also write about your first aid - have you had to use it?
    (Original post by Paperflowersxx)
    Just read about your a levels and degree too I am exactly the same have a degree that's completely unrelated but you could mention how you understand what it's like to work under pressure and how those skills were transferable.
    (Original post by Final Fantasy)
    What a coincidence, I just finished preparing a CV and personal statement for a close relative of mine wanting to get into this role as an assistant. But she has about 8 years of experience in looking after people, particularly the young and vulnerable - easy for me, just copied one of my tried and tested template layouts and filled it in. Never failed me yet.

    You're going to have to dig deep and draw your experiences from your education, personal life and any sort of work/activities/projects/charities/voluntary stuff that you may have done or been a part of, and then work on how to word it in the best possible light. Draft up a statement and a CV (no more than 2 pages), include your experiences, academia, professional certifications (first aid?), additional languages, references (usually on request though, unless you have people in the relevant field who can help you) and the statement. Stick your contact info and details at the top of the CV beneath your name. If you've got a driver's license, place that there too. Don't forget to mention your available. All this stuff should be at the top of your CV, perhaps in neatly formatted boxes. Hard to explain in writing really... the idea is for them to give the piece of paper more than one glance - knowing how to format and word your CV is incredibly important.

    Remember to include month/year - month/year when listing past roles, schools, uni, awards and certs etc.
    Thank you both for some good advice, I will implement this into my CV
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    (Original post by Juno)
    If you can talk to customers, you can talk to patients. Talk about your customer service skills - these will be transferable as valuable communication skills. Did you ever talk to difficult customers? This could be relevant to talking to upset patients.

    If you want to take a course in healthcare, vision2learn offer free courses. They're only a level 2 so should be easy enough if you have a degree. They're not going to get you a job on their own but can show that you're interested in this area, and you can also talk about what you learnt in your application.
    (Original post by Juno)
    Yes! It shows you've learnt a little bit but are still interested in the area, and you have some basic skills to improve on.

    There are different types of first aid certificate, so make sure you know what yours actually is - there's one that's a week long called First Aid At Work (or something similar) but you can also do a course for a few hours. It's still a first aid course, so definitely mention it if you've done a shorter one, but don't get confused and refer to it by the wrong name. It will be harmful to your application if they think you're trying to claim you did more than you actually did.
    (Original post by Moonbrains)
    Definitely talk about the customer contact you have had and how you are great at working in a team (on the shop floor etc) and have excellent communication skills, a people person, punctual and passionate about starting a career in healthcare! In fact if you have any relatives or personal experience of being in a hospital/having an op etc talk about this. Say how much you were inspired by the staff, how great the care was and that you see yourself in a more caring role. Even better if you have cared for a relative during an illness/old age and that you found this very rewarding.

    If you are struggling still to get an interview or a job offer... definitely do a first aid course! Even better... go volunteer for the British Red Cross as an event first aider! They give a free 5 week advanced first aid course (although this only covers first aid practice within there organisation no where else). I did this and loved it and it really helped me get a position as a HCA! If I wasn't full time health care assisting I would love to keep volunteering! You get to help people, dress wounds, complete documentation, learn CPR, treat patients from kids to the elderly and get access to various different events!

    Good luck!
    (Original post by Paperflowersxx)
    I worked in a shop before I became a hca- In my application I wrote what inspired me to want to work in healthcare- I also mentioned transferable skills working with customers.
    I would also drop in each of the 6 c's and definitely memorise those for the interview- also write about your first aid - have you had to use it?
    (Original post by Paperflowersxx)
    Just read about your a levels and degree too I am exactly the same have a degree that's completely unrelated but you could mention how you understand what it's like to work under pressure and how those skills were transferable.
    (Original post by Final Fantasy)
    What a coincidence, I just finished preparing a CV and personal statement for a close relative of mine wanting to get into this role as an assistant. But she has about 8 years of experience in looking after people, particularly the young and vulnerable - easy for me, just copied one of my tried and tested template layouts and filled it in. Never failed me yet.

    You're going to have to dig deep and draw your experiences from your education, personal life and any sort of work/activities/projects/charities/voluntary stuff that you may have done or been a part of, and then work on how to word it in the best possible light. Draft up a statement and a CV (no more than 2 pages), include your experiences, academia, professional certifications (first aid?), additional languages, references (usually on request though, unless you have people in the relevant field who can help you) and the statement. Stick your contact info and details at the top of the CV beneath your name. If you've got a driver's license, place that there too. Don't forget to mention your available. All this stuff should be at the top of your CV, perhaps in neatly formatted boxes. Hard to explain in writing really... the idea is for them to give the piece of paper more than one glance - knowing how to format and word your CV is incredibly important.

    Remember to include month/year - month/year when listing past roles, schools, uni, awards and certs etc.
    Hi everyone, I would just like to say thank you for all your advice, I've managed to get an interview for a HCA role in a care home in my town.

    I guess the next thing I would like to ask is if anybody has any interview advice for me?

    Thanks in advance
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Hi everyone, I would just like to say thank you for all your advice, I've managed to get an interview for a HCA role in a care home in my town.

    I guess the next thing I would like to ask is if anybody has any interview advice for me?

    Thanks in advance
    Google STAR format. My phone is playing up so i cant give longer advice atm
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Google STAR format. My phone is playing up so i cant give longer advice atm
    Thank you (Again)
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Thank you (Again)
    Some general interview advice:
    • Read through your CV and application form (and anything else you've sent them). They will have read this, so may ask further questions on it. They're not going to say "regarding paragraph 4, can you expand?" but if you've said you've read something or learnt something they may want to talk about it.
    • Learn dates. I used to interview, although not for healthcare, and it always looked dodgy if people didn't know when they claimed to have done things. You don't need exact dd/mm/yy, but if you can't tell me that you did your GCSEs in 2002 I will think you're making it up.
    • Take in some examples of things you did. You don't want to over-prepare and be word perfect, but if you know that you can talk about the time you were in a marching band and use it as an example of team work then it will help to eliminate nervous pauses.
    • Look at the person specification. This should be on the NHS jobs website, but if not then ask them for a copy. This will tell you all the questions they will ask! Obviously it won't beexact, but it will tell you the areas they're looking for. If it says "must have an awareness of good hygiene" then you'll be asked about that. If it says "must be able to work under pressure" then you'll need to demonstrate that.
    • Turn up early. Care homes can be big, and many have door codes - so it might take longer to get in than you think.
    • Think about what the patients/care users want. If it's a specific type of care home (eg for old people, cancer patients etc) then it might help to look at a relevant charity's website - you might get tips on how to treat that kind of patient. For example, if your care home has people with dementia, they do not like being referred to as "demented" or "suffering" with dementia. Similarly, "handicapped" has now fallen out of use. You don't want to be offensive even if it was unintentional.
    • Don't wear high heels.This might just be personal preference, but I always think high heels show you're not prepared for the nature of the job. Low heels are fine, but leave the stilettosto Mrs Beauchamp.
    • Have a look on the CQC website to see if they have inspected the care home recently. You might be able to comment that they were praised for always having sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment in the home.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    I'm looking to get into Healthcare Assistant work but I know it's quite difficult to break into with no previous relevant experience, I did a-levels at college and a non healthcare related degree and the only real jobs I've worked in are customer related, not caring roles. I don't hold an NVQ in care or anything like that, can anyone whose been in a similar situation advise?

    I'm struggling for inspiration on how to relate my current life experiences to a HCA role.
    Work with what you have got.

    Talk about how these customer service skills helped you and developed as a person, inspiring you to take on a HCA or care role. ETC

    You don't necessarily need experience in care or an NVQ to get a job in that field.
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    (Original post by Blackstarr)
    Work with what you have got.

    Talk about how these customer service skills helped you and developed as a person, inspiring you to take on a HCA or care role. ETC

    You don't necessarily need experience in care or an NVQ to get a job in that field.
    Thank you for your advice Blackstarr, I've already got a HCA position now!
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Thank you for your advice Blackstarr, I've already got a HCA position now!
    Awesome
 
 
 
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