We attended a careers evening at Thurstable School in Tiptree last week, and will be at the Colchester Sixth Form college careers fair next Tuesday too. Here are some of the tips we share with students who are interested in pursuing a career with Perrywood (or in garden centres more generally):
- Try and secure a weekend or seasonal position at Perrywood – many of our staff started off in these roles and are now full-time permanent members of staff. Our key recruitment periods are February and September.
- Consider further education options such as horticulture at Writtle or Otley colleges, or catering at Colchester Institute.
- If we don’t have any vacancies send in your CV anyway, you might have skills we don’t know we are looking for, and you’ll be at the front of the queue when we do have vacancies.
- We advertise for many entry level positions including till assistant, catering assistant and nursery assistant. These positions may not be what you want to do in the longer term but once you are employed by us, you may well get the opportunity to apply for other positions.
- Show an enthusiasm for the area you want to work in (e.g. gardening, retail, catering) through your hobbies and interests, or gain experience through voluntary or community work.
- Apply for positions yourself, and don’t rely on your parents to do it for you. We prefer candidates who show initiative.
When applying for a job at Perrywood here are some pointers of how to secure an interview, and to impress the interviewers:
- Use a sensible email address – ditch the ‘crazychick@hotmail’ or similar.
- In your application make sure you sound enthusiastic about the role, and have visited Perrywood recently, taking an interest in what is going on.
- Dress smartly. We might dress in jeans and shorts for work but we still expect you to make an effort for the interview.
- Turn up for the interview on time, ask lots of questions and demonstrate your communication skills. Most of our roles require you to have contact with customers, so you need to be able to make eye contact, smile and speak clearly.