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My day helping armed forces veterans

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160205 RBLIOn Thursday 17th March 2016 I attended a volunteering afternoon in Birmingham City Centre with Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI)  Lifeworks. I chose this opportunity because I have done selection interviewing before and felt I could offer something but this would also take me outside of my comfort zone as my previous volunteering had involved schools.

Lifeworks is a fully funded support service to help armed forces veterans get the job they want. It helps ex armed forces personnel

  • Identify their skills and abilities
  • Create a fully developed civilian CV
  • Prepare for interviews learn how & where to look for work and training
  • Understand what could be holding them back and how to overcome these obstacles.

I was sent through details of jobs, two people’s CVs and extra information about their worries and what they may need help with. For one they wanted advice on how to cover their dyslexia at interviews and how to cover gaps in their employment. The other person, with over 20 years operational  military background, wanted feedback on their performance and any tips I could offer. They were also considering voluntary work and wanted to discuss this.

I researched some of the areas I was going to be asked about and found some great tips to pass on such as turning a condition like dyslexia from what is perceived as a negative to a positive but talking about it openly and stating how having this condition could help others in the role he was applying for.

On the day I arrived, I met some HM Revenue and Customs colleagues and was given a brief and sheets to score the candidates. We saw the candidates individually which surprised me as I had only interviewed as a panel member. Thrown in at the deep end, I got on with my first interview. After a very confident performance I gave my feedback for which I was thanked. On with interviewee number 2 – a completely different personality and a different style. This person had  a real interview the next day and thanked me for the practice and the feedback which he took on board.

Overall, a very rewarding experience for me and hopefully a good experience for the two people I interviewed.  More courses will be run this year so if you’re interested in volunteering look out for opportunities through Civil Service Local.


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