Get the basics right – your CV
Most recruiters or HR managers spend less than 3 seconds glancing at a CV so if your key information does not stand out, you won’t be seen.
Make sure your CV is clean, well laid out and kept to 2 pages. Have your most recent work experience and achievements first and tailor your CV for every role that you are applying for.
Have an online presence
You may not have an online presence or use social media, but recruiters and HR managers do. It is the norm now for them to use social media like LinkedIn to actively search for candidates.
So make sure you can be seen where people are looking. Create a profile that promotes your skills and experiences. If you already have a profile, double check it, update your previous descriptions to make sure it is up-to-date and informative. Also sanity check other social media like Facebook and Twitter and get rid of any posts which may not reflect who you are now or how you want to be presented.
Get your CV out there
Upload your CV on to Job boards and recruitment sites so that you can be easily found. Even if you are not actively looking, recruiters may have a job which is perfect for you.
Just remember which sites you have uploaded your CV on to so that if you do make further amends to your CV, you can replace all old versions with the new one.
Be selective on what you apply for
If you apply for everything going, recruiters may not take you seriously and your CV may not be read when you do apply for the right role.
So be selective and just apply for the roles in which you are interested in and that you have the right skills and experience for.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
If you get an interview, think of the type of questions they will ask. They want to know about you, your achievements and what you can bring to the role. So have examples of what you have achieved and think of answers to the questions they are likely to ask.
Also think of questions for them. Make sure they are relevant and demonstrate an interest in the role and the company.
Research the company
When you do get an interview always research the company; who they are, what do they do, what are their values, etc. Interviewers can quickly turn off a candidate who fails to answer the standard ‘what do you know about us’ question competently.
Dress and act appropriately
This is your one chance to sell yourself so make it count. A smart suit should be standard wear for most interviews although some sectors may be less formal. You may need to temporarily remove visible body piercings and tone down hair styles if it conflicts with the image perception of the firm you have applied to work for.
Act like you want to be there, be engaged and have positive body language.
Don’t ring your recruiter all the time
The recruitment process can take time and good recruiters will always keep you updated and feedback information when they get it. It’s good to show enthusiasm and actively speak to them, just don’t ring them unnecessarily.
Don’t lose motivation
There may be many reasons why you did not get the job, even if you thought you were perfect for the role. Keep motivated and work with your recruiter to search for another vacancy.
Try not to blame others for not getting the job or things that were out of your control. Use each rejection as a learning curve to make you better for the next time.