You finally graduated and are now seeking your first job.
You’ve found a few interesting positions at companies you’d like to work for. What now? Where to from here?
Sure, this experience is all new to you and can be a bit daunting at times.
Competition is tough out there. So many other job seekers are applying for the same vacancies.
Employers are seeking employees that can add value to their organisation.
How do you stand out from the crowd? Prove to your prospective employer that you can be a valuable asset to their company.
We’ll tell you how to ace your application and get that job. Here’s how:
- The Curriculum Vitae:
First, make sure you are a match. Look at the job advertisement carefully.
Take note of the requirements listed in the job description.
What specific skill sets, education level, experience, character traits and core competencies is the Human Resources hiring manager looking for?
Tailor-make and adjust your CV according to these core requirements.
What are the mandatory minimum requirements? Only apply for jobs where you have these ‘must have’ requirements.
Here are some top tips to make your CV sharp and professional:
1. Replace blocks of text with lists in bullet-point form. This makes it easier for your prospective employer to skim-read.
2. Keep your CV brief - under 2 pages. The shorter the better.
3. Don’t exaggerate and use too many buzzwords. (eg. ‘motivated’, ‘innovative’, ‘dynamic’). Exaggeration damages your credibility.
4. Proofread your CV well. Correct or remove any typing or grammatical errors and unnecessary information. Check and double check.
5. Add recent contact details, including your email address, phone number and LinkedIn profile.
6. If relevant, insert a link to your online portfolio.
- The Cover Letter:
Now that you have identified what the requirements are for position and adjusted your CV. It’s your time to shine with your cover letter.
Look at the job description requirements again.
Elaborate on your:
character traits and personality.
Practice discussing situations in which you used or demonstrated these strengths.
Did your efforts boost sales, customers etc? Describe how your unique abilities positively benefited the team and company where you used to work.
- The Interview:
Congratulations you landed the interview but your job hunting journey is not over yet.
The key to a successful interview is good preparation. Practice makes perfect.
However, avoid sounding too robotic by giving stiff, scripted answers. Rather remember a brief outline of what you want to say.
Look at job description requirements again. Now, read your finished cover letter.
Choose 4 of your top strengths to highlight as valuable assets. Talk about the most important strength first.
Transferable skills or experience (leadership, management, communication and problem-solving abilities) are a bonus in most industries.
character traits and personality.
These are your strengths. Describe them.
To increase your hiring potential, discuss how these strengths will benefit your future employer, team and company.
Describe situations in which you used or demonstrated them.
'Sell' these strengths. Convince your prospective employer you are a valuable asset. THE only person for the job.
Describe how your experience, skills etc. enabled you to accomplish an achievement.
You’re all set.
Before the interview; relax. Take a deep breath. Be yourself.
You can do it!
Pic Credit: Ray Blush,OI Partners Blog