1. Do your research
Know the company and the role inside out. Use your research skills to find out what the company is looking for and what the role responsibilities are. Use the internet to learn about the company’s history and values.
Research will help you understand what the employer wants. Employers are impressed when they can see you’ve dedicated time to learn about them. You’ll get major brownie points!
2. Use social media
In this digital age, social media is a powerful tool. Employers are increasingly using social media platforms to source candidates.
Whichever career path you choose, create an online presence so your future bosses can see you’re dedicated to the industry. You can do this by:
- Connecting and networking with industry figures
- Following companies on social media
- Uploading your portfolio online
- Writing an industry related blog
Include the above in your application so employers can see them, it can sway the balance between you and other candidates.
3. Tailor your CV and cover letter
Tailor your application to the job description. Using a generic CV and cover letter for multiple applications is a rookie mistake and it’s not cool. Employers can tell when you’re doing it and they won’t be impressed
Read the job description and role requirements carefully to work out what the company wants. Then highlight which of the desired skills and experience you hold in your CV, cover letter and application.
4. Keep it simple
Ditch the waffle and get straight to the point. Employers get flooded with applications, the last thing they want is to read your jargon filled autobiography
Make your application easy to read, something recruiters can scan read. Use short sentences and paragraphs, include keywords from the job description and feel free to use headings and bullet points.
5. Use STAR
The STAR framework will help you deliver concise answers, it’s especially useful for competency based applications and interviews. STAR stands for:
- Situation (what was the issue?)
- Task (what did you have to do?)
- Action (how did you do it?)
- Result (what was the outcome?)
Use STAR to keep your examples short and sweet, employers love it!
6. Get creative
CVs, cover letters and applications can be boring. To make an impact, think outside the box. Telling employers why you’re right for the role is all well and good, but showing it is a whole new level of awesome! Think about:
- Using a CV design
- Delivering an interactive presentation
- Making a video
If the above are suitable and appropriate for the role you’re applying for, why choose to blend in when you can stand out?!
7. Check your grammar
Your application and supporting documents might look great, but one typo can end the game. For a perfectly polished application:
- Start your application a few days early
- Read it several times
- Take breaks between checks
- Ask someone to look over it
Correct spelling and punctuation are basic expectations. It’s not a good look if you claim to have “high attention to detail” but your CV is riddled with errors.
8. Follow up
After an interview, send a simple thank you email to the interviewers. If you haven’t heard anything after a few days, it’s worth giving them a call to check for an update as it’ll show you’re keen about the role.
If you’re unsuccessful, ask for feedback and use it to improve next time.
9. Don’t give up
Whatever happens, don’t give up! Rejection can be disheartening but you have to be in the game to win it! Be persistent and determined, it’ll pay off!
Stay positive, try your best and learn from the experience.