There is so much contradictory job search advice out there that you might have got to the point where you’ve jumped through all the hoops without any tangible results. Sometimes it’s best to go back to basics: to remember the key elements of searching and applying for jobs that will really make a difference.
Make it obvious that you’re the perfect fit
Some job search advice suggests making your CV and application forms as memorable as possible using various tricks of the trade. While it’s important that your documents don’t simply blend in to all the others, the most important aim is to show that you can do the job; that you are, in fact, the perfect candidate.
First, study the job description and any information you have about the company. How would you fit in? What relevant experience do you have? Can you give examples? Don’t just tell them you have a key eye for detail, explain how you have proved this in your current or previous role. If you’re filling in an online application form, it is likely that it will be screened by an applicant tracking system before anyone actually sees it. So make it abundantly clear that your skills and experience match the job and person criteria.
Don’t forget to update your information
You may have written a glorious CV and LinkedIn profile explaining who you are and what it is you’re looking for. However, your skills and experience are likely to change over time and even your desired role may evolve. It’s important that these tools demonstrate who you are and what you have achieved recently as well as covering important past experience.
If you’re actively looking for a job, try to update this information once a month, adding that training course you took, that fundraising drive you led, that new hobby you’ve taken up or anything else that might be relevant. If you’re currently employed but are keeping an eye out for new opportunities, aim to update it at least once every six months. Remember that 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary search tool, so if you’re not already on there, now’s the time!
Make it interesting
Ok, you may think this is backtracking on my first point. It’s essential that you demonstrate that you are a great fit for the role and that you come across as being professional, polished and articulate. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Avoid clichés wherever possible and be yourself. Show that you have a genuine interest in your chosen field or mention a hobby that sets you apart. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate that you are a real person with a successful career and an active social life.
Remember to say thank you
If you attended an interview and felt it went reasonably well, it’s worth taking the time out to thank your interviewer(s) personally. This might sound like a bit of a sneaky thing to do, but be genuine about it. Thank the people involved for offering you an interview and for their time. Explain why you think it went well and thank them for considering you for the role.
If you’re up against a bunch of candidates with similar skills and experience, this could just tip the balance. And if you’re not the chosen one this time round, they may bear you in mind for a future role. The key is to send well-written thank you notes as soon as possible after the interview.
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Joy Tibbs is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to Premier. Find out more at joyofediting.co.uk
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