Getting your CV in front of a recruiting manager is half the battle when looking for the next step in your career.
To get the best results, spend time looking through the job advert or agency brief, really try to understand what it is the employer is looking for and then tailor your CV to meet their needs. For every skill they have highlighted make sure you address it within your CV or application form, make it all about you and tell them what skills you have and why you’re right for their role.
Recruiting managers HATE to see a bland vanilla CV or application form that has not been prepared, just been printed off and that does not match the job in terms of skills or aptitude. On the other hand recruiting managers LOVE to see that an applicant has put time and effort into their application and has thought about how their skills match the needs of the business.
Make your application all about YOU and sell yourself, don’t include details about what was done as part of a team (unless you are selling your team working skills!!), show the recruiter what YOU did and the difference YOU made.
Once you have your tailored-all-about-YOU-CV, get it in front of them; if you are going through an agency talk to them about the role, the team and the recruiting manager. Show them that you are interested and hungry for the challenge; if they are any good at their job they will pass all this onto the company who will no doubt be impressed with your enthusiasm. If you are applying direct, follow up with the HR department and ensure that they have received your application and find out how it’s progressing. Just be sure to tread the fine line of enthusiasm versus stalking applicant!
OK, so your CV is through and you have been shortlisted for interview, well done, but here is the other half of the battle.
As soon as you walk through the door the interview is on, the receptionist will be assessing you, as you walk through the offices all the team will be looking at you to see if they want to work with you. Be professional, friendly and approachable. Don’t start by telling the person on reception that parking here is a real beast, and if you get the job you want your own parking bay – this won’t go down well.
In the interview take time to try and relax, you will get more out of the interview this way and your natural personality and abilities will come across more. Ask questions about the company, although you should have fully researched the job and the company before hand to show your interest in the role. Gain from the interviewer why the vacancy has come about, if it is down to internal promotion that is a great sign that it’s a company that develops its own.
Along with asking the right sort of questions, take time to listen to the questions that you are being asked. A common opener for interviewers is to get the candidate to talk through their CV. Take this opportunity of really selling yourself to them, tell them where the skills they are looking for and yours overlap. Highlight where you have done things before that they are looking for in the role and tell them how competent you are.
The interview may have standard questions like why you want the job, what are your main strengths/weaknesses, what would you change about xyz, etc. Have a think about these sorts of things before hand as these are the questions that tend to throw people off track.
As with most things, preparation is key. Take time with your application, understand the job and company that you are looking to work in. Think about your skills and abilities and how they link into the role. If you have any development points talk about them and what you will do to up-skill yourself in that particular area. And try and enjoy it!
Head of Human Resources, Workplace Law
Workplace Law Human Resources specialises in HR and employment law. We are an established licensed CIPD training provider. We provide advice and support for employers on all aspects of HR and employment law, including representing you in Employment Tribunal proceedings.
Image source: the italian voice
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