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how much should I keep trying?

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how much should I keep trying? 17/06/2016 at 14:27 #83100
killakanz
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As someone trying to get into a signalling job, I'm curious as to how much you guys applied before being accepted.

So far, I'm on my 8th application, they've all been crossing keepers or signalers upto grade 3. The first 6 didn't even make it to interview/assessment stage, and I'm still waiting to hear back on the 7th and 8th but I'm going to keep trying.

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how much should I keep trying? 17/06/2016 at 16:12 #83101
Steamer
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I think the answer to your question is "As long as you want to"!

As you've applied a few times without getting an interview or other assessment, you might want to look at your CV, Cover Letter and anything else the application form requires. Consider the skills needed in signalling, and make sure you provide plenty of examples of those skills. Things like making decisions and following procedures. If you have experience of safety-critical duties, make sure those feature, and any other times where you've had responsibility for something. Also, if you've said you're an enthusiast in the application, don't make a big deal about it- unfortunately, some people within NR will view this as a negative. A brief mention should be OK, but nothing more unless it involves something major, like volunteering in a safety-critical role at a preserved line. Finally, ensure that the basics are right: there should be no spelling or grammar errors in any part of your application.

The above is general advice which can be applied to any job application, I don't work for NR so I can't give any specifics of what they look for in applications.

Best of luck!

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
Last edited: 17/06/2016 at 20:53 by Steamer
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how much should I keep trying? 17/06/2016 at 18:16 #83102
madaboutrains
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Sometimes if you fail the SJT you will have to wait a year or just open a new account and do the SJT again.
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how much should I keep trying? 17/06/2016 at 20:46 #83105
headshot119
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" said:
Sometimes if you fail the SJT you will have to wait a year or just open a new account and do the SJT again.
The online SJT is valid for 6 months. And you don't have to open a new account to retake it.

If you are replying to a thread like this please dont respond unless you are sure of the Information you are posting.

"As the last track dropped, and the route became free, came the cry BROMLEY " - Opinions are my own and not those of my employer
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how much should I keep trying? 19/04/2020 at 12:04 #126015
jc92
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I applied for a number of roles back around 2010 and got to interview multiple times (I beleive I just didn't have the work experience or interview experience back then) however I can remember my first first applications didn't make interview so I reviewed what I'd put on my CV and application and made everything more relevant.

I'm currently applying for several roles again having had a long break due to family etc and I've made sure to tailor my CV and application form to suit the qualities NR openly state they're looking for in a signaller, namely the 8 non technical skills. On the forms I've demonstrated how I have current experience in my work role with all 8 of them.

I second steamers comment. Being enthusiastic about trains isn't really relevant because they're looking for someone with skills not interest. Everyone's interested thats why they're applying. If you've worked on a heritage line I'd mention it but from the point of view of what skills or experience you've gained, for instance I've explained that working as a heritage signaller taught me lone working, safety critical responsibility and concientious decision making as well as dealing with safety critical pressure during degraded working.

Keep trying though. I know several simsiggers are professionals who didn't make it on the first application!

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how much should I keep trying? 19/04/2020 at 13:01 #126016
ajax103
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headshot119 in post 83105 said:
" said:
Sometimes if you fail the SJT you will have to wait a year or just open a new account and do the SJT again.
The online SJT is valid for 6 months. And you don't have to open a new account to retake it.

If you are replying to a thread like this please dont respond unless you are sure of the Information you are posting.
What is the SJT and what does it consist of?

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how much should I keep trying? 19/04/2020 at 13:11 #126017
jc92
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ajax103 in post 126016 said:
headshot119 in post 83105 said:
" said:
Sometimes if you fail the SJT you will have to wait a year or just open a new account and do the SJT again.
The online SJT is valid for 6 months. And you don't have to open a new account to retake it.

If you are replying to a thread like this please dont respond unless you are sure of the Information you are posting.
What is the SJT and what does it consist of?
It's an online aptitude test. Mine consisted of:

a verbal/written comprehension test - read various paragraphs of information then read statements about it and either agree with them or disagree with them if you think they're right or wrong. It tests your ability to absorb and understand information promptly.

A maths test. Basic stuff to check you can deal with charts, graphs percentages etc.

A characteristic test - a number of questions which put you in a situation and ask what your response would be.

Personally I found the maths really easy and the verbal to be the more intensive however there are online practice tests and a practice test provided. It's basically to ensure you have a good level of mental aptitude.

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how much should I keep trying? 19/04/2020 at 13:33 #126018
Splodge
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Is the SJT test the same as for the drivers - as in they take your responses and then use them as part of a face-to-face interview?
There's the right way, the wrong way and the railway.
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how much should I keep trying? 20/04/2020 at 21:05 #126064
bfcmik
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Make sure your CV and covering letter reflects back the language they use in their job description(s) and any other covering information they send as well as any research you have done into the role. Your opening personal statement and skill set must be full of reflected keywords and values. This demonstrates your particular interest in their position rather than it being just another generic application.

Even though I did not work within the railway industry the principles are almost always the same. You have to catch the shortlister's eyes very quickly or your application ends up on the discard pile.

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how much should I keep trying? 20/04/2020 at 22:11 #126065
Hap
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Have you ever requested feedback from the previous applications? That's really the starting point. How well do you deal with constructive criticism if it wasn't the feedback you expected, can you grow from that feedback?

If one thing I have learned in the railway is not claim to know things that you shouldn't know. A general idea of the role, some homework into things that you are able to get access to that doesn't breach the rules of the company from which the information/knowledge came from.

A CV is your paper self. No point in lying on it and in my opinion, no point changing to meet the language criteria of what is described in the job description. My CV had nothing to do with the railway on it, no idea of railway operations and my passed work experience was hospitality and retail.

I'm now 14 years in now.

Selling yourself on your CV should be in your "qualities" area and "work experience"

You aren't expected to know the job, you've never done it.

So you ask.... how can you sell yourself to the expectations of the company that you are applying for?

Concentration, calm, patient, punctual, follows company rules and regulations.
It's easy to assume that the job could be intense, stressful, tiring etc. You can get the info from homework by talking to someone who is a NR signaller, you can see that from news reports on train disruptions etc. So, can you sell yourself in your CV that you can handle these challenges, how you have dealt with these challenges in the passed in previous employment. all can be detailed in the above mentioned areas in your CV.

Again with relation to what Steamer has said, hold off on the enthusiast side of things. you can have an interest in the railway but then going off on tangents about trains etc can and does have a negative effect. You don't want to come across that you just want to play trains (of course, not saying that is your intention at all. It's just a general point).

When applying, I answered no to a lot of direct signaller questions. I suspect most would if applying externally.
The questions that you are asked you have to use your passed experience that you've outlined in your CV, but also some questions can be answered outwith a working environment. It's how and when you've had an experience and what you done to remedy it. they are looking for how you put your skills to the test and so on.

If it's not to be, then maybe find another way in and work up. I started from the bottom and got myself to where I am now through the working experience.

I hope some of this of help to you. this is entirely from my own point of view and not discrediting the other replies that you have had here, it's all helpful for you.

Good luck.

HAP
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how much should I keep trying? 21/04/2020 at 08:50 #126067
kbarber
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I would underline this. When I was in recruitment (my last job on the railway), I would look for anything that indicated a relevant skill regardless of where it was acquired. At the time (early 1990s), the railway was still a heavily male environment; I didn't hesitate to include applications from 'housewives' who were able to see that the multiple challenges of running a household gave them a substantial list of transferable skills. Unfortunately, some of the managers were just a little too dyed in the wool, and I think we lost a number of good candidates. But a few made it through and, last I heard, were doing quite well.
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how much should I keep trying? 21/04/2020 at 09:15 #126068
postal
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If anybody is interested in following this up (a topic that was re-opened 4 years after it first saw the light of day by a post that has now disappeared) there is a lot more discussion about applying for the job and then working as a signaller from a 2012 thread here.

Working backwards from people describing the job should give lots of clues about what capabilities you need to have and to emphasise in your application if you are trying to convince a potential signalling employer - and try and keep the application brief enough to hold the recruiter's attention rather than having it discarded as too long to bother wading through.

“In life, there is always someone out there, who won’t like you, for whatever reason, don’t let the insecurities in their lives affect yours.” – Rashida Rowe
Last edited: 21/04/2020 at 09:17 by postal
Reason: None given

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how much should I keep trying? 21/04/2020 at 15:17 #126084
Hap
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Wow, I failed the attention to detail section. DID NOT see the OP date. *face palm*
HAP
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how much should I keep trying? 21/04/2020 at 15:31 #126085
jc92
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Hap in post 126084 said:
Wow, I failed the attention to detail section. DID NOT see the OP date. *face palm*
Do did I. It appears I revived this thread but I honestly don't understand how as this came up top of my list of threads on latest posts hence me replying to it!

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how much should I keep trying? 21/04/2020 at 17:25 #126093
Sacro
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jc92 in post 126085 said:
Hap in post 126084 said:
Wow, I failed the attention to detail section. DID NOT see the OP date. *face palm*
Do did I. It appears I revived this thread but I honestly don't understand how as this came up top of my list of threads on latest posts hence me replying to it!
You didn't revive it, a spam account did

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The following users said thank you: postal, jc92, Hap