When we are faced with the daunting task of applying for jobs, often it’s easy to think we can send off multiple applications with the same generic CV. Wrong. In today’s economic climate there might be hundreds of people applying for the same job as you, and you need to make sure you stand out and use your CV to market you. It’s really important to focus your CV or application to the specific job you are applying for. Go through the job description and specifications thoroughly and tailor your CV or application to meet these criteria. It’s worth creating multiple CV’s to suit different job roles you are applying for. For example, you might have a Marketing Executive CV and a Marketing Officer CV; the two will vary depending on the job specifications. Customise your CV’s to suit the requirements of each job role and the industry sector. You will find that companies aim to hire people who are specifically interested in their industry and their company. If you send off a generic, vague application, you aren’t going to stand out to the employer and it won’t convey any passion for the job.
Always attach a covering letter to your CV for every job you apply for. Ensure you stay to the point and be specific to the job role. Fine tune your covering letter to match the desired specifications for the job, and ensure the qualifications and experience you highlight is entirely relevant to the position. Your covering letter is a way of marketing yourself and making you stand out from the crowd. You need to show enthusiasm for the company and the job itself. If you send over a CV with a generic covering letter, or even worse no covering letter at all, there will be no element of personal touch to your application.
The job market is highly competitive; remember you aren’t the only person applying for the position. You need to make sure the employer remembers you. You can do a fantastic CV and a perfect covering letter, but what if it gets lost in the pile of applications? You can always make a call to the employer to check they have received your CV and to show your enthusiasm for the position; you aren’t simply applying because you need a job, you want their job specifically.
Preparation is essential when going to a job interview. Research the company, how long they have been established, the type of industry they work in, how many employees, have they been in the press recently? etc. You also need to research the latest industry news; there might be some major problems affecting the sector, and you need to be aware of them in your interview in case you get asked related questions. It’s always better to have over researched and have a vast amount of knowledge, than to not have done enough research.
Make sure you appear professional at the interview. Dress smartly, even if you know it is an informal office. Be polite, shake the interviewee’s hand and be friendly and approachable. Arrive to the interview in enough time to find out where you need to be, and to prepare beforehand. Never be late to an interview. Do not use any bad language or act in an over friendly manner to your interviewer. Make sure you know everything that is on your CV before the interview, it might even be helpful to take a copy of your CV along with you for reference.
You need to show the interviewer that you are interested in their company and specifically their vacancy. Companies are looking for enthusiastic, passionate jobseekers that they can see potential in. They want an employee who wants to work hard and stick at a job, not someone who is going to leave after a few months. You need to be passionate about what it is the company do, and ask intelligent and relevant questions to the sector and the job role. If you aren’t quite sure about the job, do not show this in the interview, focus on securing the job first then make the important decisions.
Make sure you pick the right people to reference you. You want to be sure of their professional opinion of you and are going to be reliable sources. You don’t want to have to be chasing up your references after you have been offered the job. Contact them before hand to be polite to them and that way they will also be expecting someone to contact them for a reference.