Competition for new opportunities can be fierce and so it’s increasingly important that you, as the applicant shine in front of both recruiters and recruiting managers alike. This guide will give you a step-by-step process to follow, giving you the best opportunity for success in your next job role application.
YOUR COVER LETTER Your cover letter will accompany your CV and therefore is most likely to be the first read by the recruiter/recruiting manager:
1. First paragraph: Set the scene – what job are you applying for and where did you find it?
2. Second paragraph: An overview of your relevant experience. Explain concisely why you are the best person for this job.
3. Third paragraph: Of course, it can be extremely tempting to list every single achievement. However, instead, pick your top specific achievement. What have you done and achieved, relevant to the role you’re applying for, which will really impress the recruiter?
4. Fourth paragraph: Re-iterate why you’d be a good fit for the role. Make it genuine.
5. Fifth paragraph: Express that you are keen to move forwards to interview stage.
6. Closing: Ensure you close in a relevant manner to the way you initially addressed the recruiter. You could even go as far as preparing a cover video, so that a recruiter can see you, get a feeling for your communications skills and really stand-out from the rest of the applicants.
YOUR CV Your CV is the first port of call to demonstrate your skills and capabilities, so here are our top tips to help your CV stand-out:
Your personal statement: Focus on who you are, what you can offer and your career goals. Make it succinct, unique and sum up the specific skills and experience you have for the particular role you’re going for.
Your experience: Throughout your CV, ensure your experience matches up to the keywords used within the job advert and job description.
Utilise proactive descriptions: As well as detailing your experience, back it up using tangible examples for each skillset. Try and use the STAR model: Situation, Task, Action, Result.
A tailored read: One size does not fit all where CV’s are concerned and it needs to be doctored to each and every role applied for.
Attention to detail: A good CV should have no spelling or grammar errors. The layout should be readable, clear and concise. All in a logical order.
FOLLOW-UP Once you have applied for the role in question, don’t just leave it to chance that your application has been received. Follow-up with a phone call to ask if this is the case and find-out when you will hear back as to whether or not you have landed an interview. If you aren’t successful, ask for feedback as to why.
INTERVIEW PROCESS Many people feel quite daunted by the interview process. One of latest blogs covered the new online world of interviewing and this is extremely relevant to this process. Whether your interview is face-to-face or online, make sure you are completely prepared:
Research: Make sure you know all about the company and the role. Demonstrate how you can help improve the business, using facts, figures and numbers associated to previous experience. If you’re presented with a complicated question, don’t be afraid to answer with more questions to enable you to effectively answer.
Practice: Practice interview scenario questions. You could even go so far as practicing this as a role play with a friend or family member. Saying things out loud can really help. Be conscious of your body language and how you are communicating.
Prepare questions in advance: You’ll always be asked if you have any questions. At the end of the day, the interview isn’t about you, it’s about how you can make a difference within the company and so have relevant questions of this ilk prepared.
Be yourself: There’s no point putting on a front. An interviewer wants to see the real you and you would be working as part of a greater team. Personality and sense of humour should all be demonstrated to the appropriate degree.
Dress appropriately: Interview attire will depend on company culture, but if you’re unsure, always lean on the more conservative side.
Post-interview: Again, always follow-up with an email and/or a phone call. Thank the interviewer for their time – This opens up a whole new channel of communication, so even if you weren’t to be successful on this occasion, they will have more opportunity of remembering you for future roles.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE It’s likely that any recruiter will have a search for you online on the plethora of social media channels. LinkedIn will be the most obvious first port of call. So, make sure your profile is up-to-date and aligns with your CV. Ensure you post relevant content and interact with relevant discussions.
Remember, recruiters spend countless hours scouring LinkedIn even before a job advert goes live. So your profile really does matter. Also ensure previous colleagues, managers, clients provide you with a recommendation.
It’s imperative that all of your social media accounts are professional and show you in a positive light. Yes, Instagram and Facebook pages are for personal use as well as business usage, but if your accounts are public and an employer were to read/see something inappropriate, they may be less inclined to hire.
If you have business pages available on these platforms, make sure they form part of your CV and/or cover letter. If the content is relevant to your work and the available role, this is another way of effectively selling yourself.
PERSONAL WEBSITE Many applicants will have their own personal website in addition to social media pages. Again, include this in your CV and/or cover letter. Include work examples, testimonials, case studies and suchlike. You may even want to create some short videos and create a winning online portfolio.
As you can see, each and every stage of the application and interview process gives you the opportunity to stand-out and shine. Use this space to give you the best chance of demonstrating your experience and achievements relevant to the role. Don’t be afraid to be different and to show your true personality. If you’re looking for your next role, please contact us now: 01453 827333 or [email protected]