There can be a lot to remember when applying for jobs, as if the process isn’t stressful enough already! Thankfully, the Internet is awash with do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing the best CV, conducting the best interview and everything else in between.
There are plenty of ways in which you can improve your CV, or polish your interview technique, but advice can sometimes complicate the process, instead of simplifying some of the most common pitfalls that jobseekers fall into.
So keep calm and follow these SF rules, then the job application process will feel much smoother.
Preparation is key – whether it’s filling in an application form, writing a covering letter or attending an interview. Don’t just rely on information from the job advert; read up on the company and conduct thorough research around it. Look around the website, visit the blog (if they have one) and get up to speed with the social network accounts.
On the subject of social media, if you have a contact name then search for them on LinkedIn and read their profile. It may all feel a bit stalker-ish but knowing a bit more about to whom you are writing, the company’s ethics and its mission statement can help you create a covering letter that gets you noticed. Equally, advance research will give you plenty to draw from when the interviewer asks you the infamous question: “What can you tell us about the company?
Before typing anything, make sure you have read and fully understood the job specification. Read up on any terms you don’t understand, and make notes on any remaining (relevant) queries, as they will be handy to have ready at the interview stage.
Next, ensure you tailor your responses to the questions, covering all the important points and the reasons why you fit. The better understanding you show of the job and the company the better chance you have of being shortlisted. This also comes under the previous category of ‘be prepared’!
The statistic that around a third of jobseekers embellishes their CV with exaggerated qualifications (guardian.co.uk) is shockingly high. That said, the penalty for lying on a CV or job application can be pretty high as well.
Lying on a CV can get you in a whole heap of trouble. Even if it’s something as seemingly small as adding an extra language to your repertoire or claiming you know a computer program to put yourself ahead, it’s not worth it. The law aside, if you get asked a question about something you claim to know about in the interview and you can’t answer, you’re going to feel pretty daft!
It may sound obvious, but it’s a key concern. Time management in jobs is an important factor and turning up late for an interview – whatever your excuse – doesn’t make it look like you can manage it! Plan your route in advance and make sure you set an alarm – two if necessary. If you’re able to, take time to scope out the location, it may sound like overkill but knowing exactly where you need to go on the day will take the pressure off and help you remain calm.
Ensure you allow for traffic and leave extra time for unexpected delays. If you’re early this will allow for some extra time to go back over your notes, but if you’re late it’s likely you’ll arrive flustered and stressed, which is not conducive to showing your best side.
This is your ONE chance to make a good impression. How you present yourself both verbally and visually will have a big impact on the interviewer so don’t forget the basics: smart suit, clean shoes, minimal jewellery and firm and confident handshake.
There may indeed be an abundance of CV tips and help online, but just following these five simple SF rules should put you in good stead to secure that dream job.