Preparing for your career is a vital step in creating the path to one. Despite critics, traditional tips still contribute towards making an impression on employers. Here you will find an insight to how to implement traditional tips into modern applications.
We will start where you start: the application. In recent years, reports have gained momentum in the fight against CVs. The diagnosis? The CV is dead. Nowadays, many employers curate their own application systems. For this reason, it is important to refer to transferable skills that work with multiple vacancies. Examples of these include:
- Commercial Awareness
For the employers and Recruitment Agencies that require CV’s, you should not only detail the before mentioned skills, but also present them in a simple and neat manner. Having too much information on one page can lead to an employer dismissing your application as they are on a time limit to find an employee. Short and to the point, your CV should illustrate your capability of the required skills for the job at hand. Leave out your hobbies – employers don’t care that you prefer swimming over Netflix! Also, gone are the days of a profile summary. Now, you are expected to provide a Cover Letter. This means taking your original profile summary and detailing it to last one full A4 page. Your cover letter is your chance to encourage employers to meet face-to-face. Discuss how previous work contributes to the vacancy you are interested in. And if you have little work experience, discuss personal experiences! Show your employer that you have interpersonal skills both in and outside the workplace.
Now we come to part two, the big Kahuna: the interview.
This is the part where most nerves begin to rack up. But don’t worry too much! Remember that employers are people too – they want to see your personality. Being stiff and awkward doesn’t bode well for either side. So relax and take your time with it. The majority of interviews last a minimum of 30 minutes. This is your time to shine. Put your best foot forward – starting with how you look. Appearance is everything, it determines the first impression you make. You have less than 10 seconds to make your first impression. So look good! This doesn’t mean you should save up for a Gucci suit. Simple yet formal work-wear can be purchased at low prices from high street stores. Finding the balance of comfort and professionalism is key for creating a great impression, and is more likely to expand the time spent with each other too!
Next, you have to talk. It isn’t as scary as it sounds. Remember: comfort is key. Explain your experiences in more detail, show your personality and convey your willingness to support the company with your skills. Bring copies of your qualifications and certificates in a folder. Give your prospective employer the option to look at them, even if they have not requested you bring them. It provides more incentive from them to look further into you as a candidate. Sell your strengths. This is also the case when discussing weaknesses, a new strategy used by interviewers in an attempt to have you think on the spot. Don’t answer the question “what is your weakness?” with a flawed strength. Instead, detail your weakness with an experience. Show that you are willing to work on personal development. Discuss how you combat your weaknesses.
Speaking of weaknesses, try to leave them at the door when you enter an interview. Keep slang to a minimum. No swearing. And if you can, do your best to stay clear of tangents. There is nothing worse than being asked why you want the job and going off on a spin about how you know someone in the industry and they own a tabby cat that purrs under the Christmas tree. It might be cute. It might be funny. But if it isn’t relevant? Forget it!
Now we look at the big question. This is the one you should prepare for most. It happens in the same room, at the same time, and the question could be asked at any moment, in any way. The most basic one of all: what do you know about this company? If you can’t answer this with ease before the interview, then there is no hope for during. Research as much as possible. Not only does it show your initiative and motivation to gain a career with the company, it also gives you an insight to the company itself. If it sounds like a place you wouldn’t enjoy working, then cancel the interview. There is no need to feel obligated to it – or waste anybody’s time. But always remember to contact them! Agencies and employers frequently talk amongst themselves, and the last thing you need is a poor reputation due to poor communication.
Building a great relationship with your recruiter can also come from your curiosity. Always have your own questions to ask an employer. Show you are keen. Coming in with references at hand will boost your chances as well. It cuts down the time the employer needs to spend in chasing them up, and shows that you are already a reputable candidate. Even better if they are from the industry too!
Lastly, you must keep in mind that preparing to secure a job also requires preparation for rejection. Here, persistence is key. Keep your online applications up-to-date. Research what more you can do to make yourself more suitable, whether that includes more work experience or qualifications.
We leave you with this quote, attributed to Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
If you would like to know about Influx Recruitment and what we do, please give us a call on 0131 331 1500 or 01224 050600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.