THE INITIAL APPLICATION
So you’ve found a job that you want to apply for, but what next?
This article is designed to help you submit a strong application and give you the best chance of being shortlisted. There are many different approaches to submitting applications out there, but it all comes down to a few simple steps:
• Read the job description / advert carefully.
Do you meet the essential criteria for the position? If so, make sure this is highlighted in your CV / cover letter, along with any relevant experience.
• Make your CV clear and concise.
Generally speaking, it is advisable to keep your CV to a maximum of 2 pages. Think of it as your initial knock on the door. You want to sell your experience and skill set enough to get shortlisted and be invited for an interview. Once you are in front of the interview, then you can go into more detail.
• Always answer truthfully.
Honesty always goes a long way. Recruiters and employers spend hours looking at CV’s and applications and they can spot a lie. Remember references will be sought if you are successful!
• Proof Read
Check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Make sure that all contact information is up to date and you have provided a telephone number and an email address.
• Follow the application instructions on the advert.
If it gives you an email address or a link then submit your application in that format. You would be surprised how many times people call to ask how to apply when it is right there in front of them. By all means follow it up with a call to ensure receipt if you wish.
This is your opportunity to expand on your CV. If you are offered an interview then here is some advice on how to prepare:
• Do not underestimate the power of preparation.
This will help you to come across as organised and genuinely interested in the role. It also helps you to feel more relaxed when you are in the interview itself.
• Research the organisation.
The history, the products, any social media or websites. Look at as much as you can and make sure you have as much of an understanding of it as possible. If you are applying for sales look at the product catalogues, configurations, marketing and advertising.
• Review your application.
Make notes on any pertinent points that you want to make in the interview. Brainstorm some questions that you may be asked and think about the answers you would give. Always tailor your answers to the job you are seeking.
• Prepare questions.
The quickest way to show an employer that you haven’t prepared thoroughly, or haven’t really thought about the position in detail, is to not have any questions prepared. Think about what you want to get out of the job, think about what you wish you had known before you took your last job.
• Arrive prepared with the information you need.
Bring a copy of your CV, any evidence of relevant qualifications or sales performance. Have your driving license available (if required) or evidence of any other essential criteria of the position. Make sure that you keep the contact details of the interviewer handy in case you get held up. It is always better to have too much information than not enough.
• Introduce yourself to those interviewing you.
A confident handshake is a great opener.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
• Follow up.
Make sure you leave your interview knowing the names of those whom you have met and send them an email thanking them for the opportunity.
Finally, good luck! And remember , if you have any questions about the application process, the role or the recruitment process, ask the hiring manager or the HR department.