CASE STUDY: Andrea's story

Andrea moved to the UK from Romania in 2015 and had recently left employment to study part-time for a degree.

She had worked in customer service roles in Romania and had her own business, but since coming to the UK, had been working in a factory-based role.

Andrea wanted to get back into customer service/retail but believed that employers would reject her because she hadn’t worked in retail for a few years. In addition, she attends university on Fridays and Saturdays – peak times for retail roles. Andrea’s CV was also tailored towards factory roles as this is what she had done for the previous eight years.

The first thing that the team looked at was Andrea’s CV. We made a referral to the National Careers Service (NCS), and we were able to get Andrea an appointment within a week.

We explained to NCS that Andrea’s CV needed tailoring more towards retail/customer service roles. Andrea had a lot of transferable skills from her time in retail in Romania as well as from her factory-based role, so we emphasised these skills on her CV and explained the reasoning behind wanting to move back into retail so that it was clear to employers upon application.

We also arranged weekly job searches with Andrea so that we could sit with her and go through the applications for roles that she was interested in. We would help her match her skills to those listed in the job description so that she had a better chance of securing an interview. Andrea was invited to interview for a retail role a few days after one of our job searches.

We booked Andrea in for a mock interview, where we practiced retail-based interview questions and we also looked at areas to improve so that Andrea had something to work on before her next appointment. We would also quiz Andrea on the company that she was interviewing for, so that she was better prepared for interview, and we also discussed interview attire.

Andrea attended her retail interview and informed the team a few days later that she had been successful at interview stage and had been offered a start date.