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Tips for NHS application.(13 Posts)
I was given notice of redundancy consultation yesterday and so am now on the hunt for a new job. I haven't actually returned to work since maternity as I was put straight onto furlough. I'm going to focus on NHS and public sector jobs due to the pensions and have heard it is better job security, but am looking for a role that I will enjoy and be able to do well.
I currently earn £29k in an assurance role, however, the types of role that I am thinking of applying for seem to be band 3 admin roles for around £20k. I don't mind the drop as I would rather do something I enjoy and am comfortable doing, plus the pension would offset some of this as my current pension is the minium required. I would love to have the opportunity for promotion in the future but generally prefer to start in a lower role and really learn the basics before moving up. My issue is with how an employer would view this. Especially in the current climate I don't want them to think I'm applying for anything and everything and will then leave if a better offer comes up. I have heard that some employers will not take staff who seem over qualified possibly for this reason. I wouldn't apply for anything that I wasn't interested in and am confident I would do a very good job as I pick things up very quickly. I suppose part of it is confidence, I work better when I am confident in what I am doing and like to know the details of how things work and systems etc. Once I have mastered the basics I am more than happy to take on additional roles and responsibilities. I have been burnt in the past by accepting new roles with very poor training where the company expect you to jump in and I'm not the type of person who deals with this well.
I'm looking for a bit of advice on how to word this if asked, plus any tips for the application/ interview process. I have read all the the information on the NHS jobs site and like to think I come across reasonably well, so I suppose what I'm looking for is if anyone has any insider info that would help me such as whether they use keywords to filter applications etc. Thanks in advance.
Sorry this did have paragraphs before I posted!
There is post on here dated 3rd June by Little Poppet asking for help with NHS interview. It helped me massively secure a Band 4 post. I don't know how to link posts - sorry.
Thanks so much. I've just submitted an application so I'll have a look for if I'm lucky enough to get an interview.
I retired from a senior nhs manager position earlier this year.
Anyone I felt wanted to work for the nhs for the pension I would reject from the word go. It's not reason enough.
Additionally don't be fooled by the media saying the pensions are good. Work for the nhs for 40 years on a salary of 20k and you'll retire with a pension of 10k.
Admin roles rarely exceed band 5.
I should have added you'd need to work full time for 40 years too
A 10k pension on a £20k salary For life IS good! - And let’s not forget the lump sum on top.
The pension isn't what it was but it is still much better than many workplaces. NHS staff who say it isn't generally don't have experience of life outside the NHS and tend to assume the grass is greener!
I think NHS admin is a bit of an odd one. Lots of roles have been downbanded in recent years so lots of jobs will carry a fairly significant amount of responsibility for not a lot of money. It also seems to be quite hard to progress and very few band 4 roles. Lots of training given to clinical staff but next to nothing for admin staff.
Lots of service manager/business manager type roles also want people to be clinically qualified so you can be a bit stuffed if you are looking further up the ladder.
Give it a go but be aware that it might be a bit of a disappointing experience if you are in any way keen to progress.
Thanks for all the responses. The most important thing to me is finding a job that I enjoy doing, doing it well and being happy in the role. However I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to favour the roles offering better benefits. But I wouldn't be happy taking such a large decrease in pay if benefits were the only consideration.
Some very good points to consider, especially regarding opportunities for progression and bands. Again at the moment that isn't the most important factor for me but it is definitely worth bearing in mind when looking at options.
@Brunilde I was at a similar position to you at the start of the recession (nearly 10 years ago). I had just been made redundant for the third time and wanted a job with more security. The benefits (pension/flexi etc) of the NHS appealed to me - not necessarily the salary.
After temping and gaining valuable experience I eventually secured a part time B3 position - I am now several bands up in an area I enjoy so my own personal experience is very positive. I agree with earlier comments - my B3 position was in some ways more stressful and challenging than my more senior, current position.
Regarding personal development, I see a lot of B3 colleagues gaining admin experience who are now B6/7 in project management - that may be an option for you. I myself applied for and got a lot of secondments when in post and this helped enormously with gaining valuable experience.
I'm currently band 3 admin in the NHS and have just been offered a band 4 role after doing well at interview. In the band 4 job description there wasn't a huge amount of extra responsibility, just audio typing, taking minutes, arranging meetings. I've been band 3 for 2 years and it surprised my colleagues when I got band 4. Have faith in yourself, if you feel you can do something just go for it xx
Not specific to NHS roles, but a few tips from me right now are:
1) all jobs are getting waaaay more applicants than normal, so make sure your CV / application is perfect. I’ve read >300 CVs in the last 2 weeks and my tolerance for poorly written ones is very low
2) if you’re changing industry due to covid then make sure you identify your transferable skills. So we’ve had lots of cabin crew apply for an office job, some are really good at explaining their transferable skills and they get a second look.
3) tailor your application to the job, if they’ve asked for specific key skills go out of your way to highlight that you have those in the first paragraph. Spend lots of time on a few applications rather than little time on loads
I spent such a long time on my application. I have been furloughed though so had plenty of time to do this and make sure it was right.
I took a lot of tips (also for the Interview) from the post I mentioned earlier but also from the job description. I mentioned transferrable skills everywhere I could. I'm changing from legal secretary to medical secretary. Am really looking forward to finally get started.
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