Being at risk of redundancy can be an anxious time. Where at all possible, the University wishes to retain the skills, knowledge and experience that many employees at risk of redundancy have.
Across the University each School is committed to supporting staff with the process of finding alternative employment, whether as a result of an ending of fixed term/open-ended contract or due to organisational change.
The purpose of this webpage is to summarise how the School of Clinical Medicine can provide assistance with redeployment, direct you to further sources of guidance and provide some practical advice in relation to applying for jobs and attending interviews.
The Redeployment policy applies to all employees of the University who are coming to the end of their fixed term contract. These services can be started in the first consultation meeting by asking for information on redeployment or by continuing to read this webpage.
Redeployment support is provided by the Clinical School HR Team or the Careers Service and these webpages refer explicitly to the support that School of Clinical Medicine employees can access. If you are not based in the School of Clinical Medicine please contact your HR Schools Team for further information.
If you are on maternity leave and your contract is coming to an end then by law you have enhanced employment rights and therefore would be entitled to our enhanced redeployment services. This means you have a right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancies that exist within the University before they are offered to other employees, including those also at risk of redundancy.
The University of Cambridge redeployment services will usually operate until either alternative employment is obtained or the existing employment has come to an end.
Redeployment Support Service
Within the School of Clinical Medicine the Redeployment Support Service is managed by the School’s HR and EDI Coordinators. The service is employee led and relies upon the employee actively engaging with the services provided.
Typically the timeframe during which redeployment support is available is until either alternative employment is obtained, or the existing employment contract ceases. You can notify the Clinical School HR Team that you would like to access redeployment support through your department completing a CHRIS 43/44 form at your consultation meeting or by emailing CSRedeployment@admin.cam.ac.uk. The team will make contact with you within 5 working days of receiving this notification.
Support is offered on a one-to-one basis and consists of five key services;
We all know that interviews can be daunting when all you want to do is demonstrate to the interview panel that you are the best candidate for the position. It may be that you haven’t attended an interview in several years or it may be that you have applied for a post that will take you one step further up the career ladder and you simply want to practice your interview skills before attending an interview. Whatever the reason, preparation before an interview is always recommended and a mock interview can often improve your confidence.
Typically mock interviews are scheduled after an individual has received an interview invite in order to tailor the mock interview to the further particulars for that post; however a more general mock interview can also be arranged if preferred.
For Assistant and Academic-Related staff this element of the redeployment service is managed by the HR and EDI Coordinator and you should contact them directly if you wish to book an appointment.
For Post Doc’s and Research Staff you should register on the Careers Service Platform called Handshake. You do not need to complete a full profile but a basic one is needed to access certain areas of support such as confidential 1:1 appointments, attend live career sessions and events/fairs. More information can be found here.
Your CV is the first opportunity you have to make a good and lasting impression on a potential employer therefore it is worth taking the time to ensure that your CV is up to date and well presented. It is often an advantage to have a second pair of eyes sense check your CV for you which is why we offer everyone at risk of redundancy with the option to have their CV reviewed.
For Assistant and Academic-Related staff this element of the redeployment service is managed by the HR and EDI Coordinator and you should contact them directly should you wish for them to review your CV.
Departmental email circulars
An email circular is a useful tool for proactively ensuring that your profile gains as much exposure as possible. The circular typically consists of an up-to-date copy of your CV and a short supporting statement (one or two paragraphs) which should provide a snapshot of your skills, interests and specific details in relation to the type of position(s) you are looking for. Once finalised the circular is then sent to departments of your choosing and they will contact you directly if they feel they have an existing or up and coming vacancy that may match your skills. You may choose to focus on departments solely based in the School of Clinical Medicine however you can also choose to include any departments from across the wider University if they are of interest to you.
This element of the service is provided by the HR and EDI Coordinatorr for all categories of staff.
We would recommend having your CV reviewed prior to requesting an email circular in order to ensure the most up-to-date version of your CV is used.
Application support letters
Another service available to all staff groups is application support letters. These are letters which are sent to the hiring team to compliment your application. The application support letters detail that you are receiving redeployment support and therefore, subject to you meeting the essential criteria for the post, your application should receive due consideration when shortlisting for interviews.
The process for accessing this is after you have found a vacancy of interest you should apply for this directly and then inform the HR and EDI Coordinator of the vacancy details i.e. reference number, position title, recruiting department and closing date. The team require 2 workings days’ notice before the closing date to ensure the letters are sent across to compliment your application.
Please note that this service is only available for University vacancies. For current University vacancies please visit the University’s Job Opportunities webpage.
Unfortunately there are occasions where individuals are invited to interview but are not successful in securing the role due to any number of reasons. Where this is the case the HR and EDI Coordinator will liaise with the relevant department in order to obtain constructive feedback that will hopefully help the individual in future interviews. The HR and EDI Coordinators are able to do this for all staff groups and the individual would just need to email the HR and EDI Coordinator the details following the notification of being unsuccessful in that role.
The University offers free online self taught personal and development training programmes (PPD) to help you develop in areas you may not be as confident in, such as communication skills or time management skills. The courses are encouraged and are worth detailing on your CV as they may improve the chances of finding alternative employment within the University.
For more information visit the PPD site.
General Recruitment and Interview Advice
Applying for a job (within the University of Cambridge)
All job vacancies within the University are advertised on the Job Opportunities webpage. You are able to sign up to weekly emails providing the latest list of vacancies. In addition to viewing the current vacancies within the University, you can also search for opportunities available within the 31 independent and autonomous colleges which form part of the Collegiate University, as well as institutions closely affiliated with the University, such as Cambridge Assessment. Please note Colleges and affiliated institutions are separate employers from the University of Cambridge and offer their own terms and conditions of employment.
All applications should be made via the Web Recruitment System. If you are applying to a role within a University department you may be eligible for an application support letter to compliment your application. For more information please check out more details in the tabs above or contact CSRedeployment@admin.cam.ac.uk.
Before applying for any vacancy, make sure that you find out as much as you can about the Department / Institution itself. The University website is a good source of information, but it may also be useful to ask to speak to someone within that particular area. This not only demonstrates your interest in the role, but can also give you useful information to help in preparing your application.
Applying for a job (both internal and external to the University)
Once you’ve found a job you wish to apply for, use your application as your “shop window”. It is your chance to show to a potential employer why they should invite you for an interview, bearing in mind that you are in competition with other candidates. You need to take this opportunity to showcase your abilities. We would recommend focusing on how you can add value to their organisation, and less on how the job would benefit you (but it is worth thinking about this when applying). Below are some tips to help your application stand out from the crowd:
- Understand the job. Study the job description, person specification, and selection criteria. If these are not provided, contact the employer/agency to request the information. This simple step can give you an immediate advantage over candidates who apply for the role without fully understanding it.
- Understand the organisation. It’s vital to find out as much as you can about the organisation to which you’re applying. Look at trade journals, do a Google search, talk to people who know about the organisation. Also, visit specific websites where you can find existing and past employees’ reviews of what it is like to work for a particular organisation, and even what the interview process is like. The following sites are particularly useful: Glassdoor and LinkedIn.
- Tailor your application to the job requirements, highlighting your relevant skills, experience, personal qualities and measurable achievements. Too many people make the mistake of using one generic CV for every job application, thus missing the opportunity to explain what they can bring to the specific vacancy for which they are applying.
- If using job sites such as Indeed make sure you upload your CV rather than using the one they are able to generate for you. This allows your application to stand out over others as well as showing your personality. This also gives you control over presenting your future employer with accurate information.
- For Post Docs and Research staff the Careers Service have some useful videos and live workshops to help with applying for roles within the University or in industry.
Points to remember when preparing an application
- Check your CV/application form thoroughly for spelling, grammar and factual details e.g. that the dates in your CV match those in your application.
- For work experience and education sections, the standard practice is to list the most recent things first. It is also received more positively if your work experience is more relevant/ recent than your education then put that first however if your education is more relevant/ recent than it is recommended that you put that first.
- If you do not have an extensive employment history, be sure to include part-time jobs and work experience, and what you learned from them.
- If a personal statement is needed to support your application, be sure to explain how your skills match the selection criteria (particularly those which are deemed “essential”). This can make a big difference to whether your application is successful. It is useful to take time to get the statement right, including everything you think is relevant. It is important that this doesn’t become a ‘brain dump’ and that the information is organised in an appropriate, easy to read way for the recruiting manager.
- Highlight any relevant skills you have that would be over and above what is required to meet the essential criteria. This enables the recruiter to consider what additional skills you have that would enable you to develop further in the role; this can help your application to stand out, particularly where there are high volumes of applications.
- If there are gaps in your employment and education, it can be good to include a brief explanation as to why. Try to express this in a positive light whilst being honest, for example “I was actively seeking employment” sounds better than “I was unemployed”.
- If you have changed jobs in a relatively short amount of time, include a brief explanation as to why. As per the point above, try to express this in a positive light whilst being honest.
- Always include a covering letter. This is an opportunity to summarise why you are applying and to briefly highlight the skills and experience which make you the best candidate. If you know the recruiter’s name, address your letter to them and make sure the letter is no more than one side of A4 paper. It is always received positively even if it not requested as part of the application process. It is important to tailor this to each role that you apply for.
- Don’t be shy about following up your application with a telephone call after two or three days (but prepare in advance what you want to say on that call).
Making a good first impression is crucial at interview stage and below are just a few suggestions to help you with this:
- Double-check the interview arrangements in advance of the interview. Do you know where you are going, how you are getting there, where you will park your car, who you are meeting and at what time, what information/documents have you been asked to take with you?
- Get a good night’s sleep before the interview, to ensure that you are alert and on top form.
- Arrive punctually. It’s better to be early and relatively calm than late and flustered. Arriving late sets a negative tone before you’ve even walked into the interview so avoid this wherever possible and if you are unavoidably running late call ahead in order to make the organisation aware.
- Familiarise yourself with the surroundings while you are waiting for your appointment. For example, what is the building like, what do the staff seem like? This is all useful information as to whether the organisation/department is the right fit for you.
- Dress appropriately for the job in question. “Smart but comfortable” is a good guideline.
- Smile, adopt confident body language and use appropriate eye contact.
- Ensure that your answers come across as positive, and support your statements with specific evidence. Try to end your answers on a “high note” wherever possible and keep your answers to the point.
- If you have forgotten what the question you had been asked was or would just like to hear the question again it is ok to ask them to repeat it. It is better to answer their actual question rather than the one that you think you heard.
- Structure your answers – Take some time beforehand to think about the questions you might be asked (people often say that they struggle with the question “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”). It is natural to get “interview nerves” (most people do) but you will feel much more confident if you’ve thought about the answers/examples you might give to demonstrate your abilities. Many people find the STAR and CAR models useful in structuring their interview answers in relation to specific aspects of their experience and responsibilities:
Using these models will help you to keep your answers focused in relation to the specific aspects of the job responsibilities.
- Remember to sell yourself. The interviewer will only know you are good at something if you tell them, and whilst you should not over inflate your abilities or experience, it is also not the time to be modest.
- Think from the employer’s perspective rather than your own. Tell them what you can contribute to the organisation rather than how it can benefit you.
- It is acceptable to take along physical evidence of your work, to bring your competency examples to life. These should be snappy and visual, for instance a copy of a poster or journal article that you have produced, rather than a long report which the interviewer cannot be expected to read there and then.
- Have some questions of your own. This demonstrates genuine interest and enables you to clarify any points on which you are unclear. Always keep your questions job-focused, such as “How would my performance be measured over the first six months” rather than housekeeping questions like “Would I get my own parking space”. Save the latter type of question for when you are offered the job.
- Take a note pad with you so you can note down key pieces of information that you think will contribute to your decision making process. This also shows the employer that you are prepared and organised.
Key Contacts and Useful Links
HR and EDI Coordinator (School of Clinical Medicine)
The Clinical School HR Team can be contacted on CSRedeployment@admin.cam.ac.uk
Further contact details can be found on the Contact Us webpages.
Website: http://www.careers.cam.ac.uk/ Telephone: +44 1223 338288
University’s Personal and Professional Development site (PPD) providing support to all staff
University Careers Service site providing support for assistant and academic-related staff
University Careers site providing support for research staff
Glassdoor – Job and recruitment site with a database of company reviews
LinkedIn – Professional network platform