So, you’ve left University, you’re looking to start applying for jobs but you have no idea where to begin as it’s all a bit scary? Well great, because I am here to (hopefully) spread a little sunshine to you workforce newbies on how to win at all rounds of the job application process.
How Do I Get a Job? The Million Dollar Question.
The first place to start is undoubtedly with your CV, or Resume. Making a good impression is your number one priority in today’s current climate, and your resume is the fastest way to sell your skills, demonstrate your experience, and show you’re the right person for the job. While resumes aren’t always the most important part of hiring processes, they’re a great way to make a good first impression.
While exhibiting your experience, education and qualifications are important, the most crucial element of your resume is the summary, or personal statement. Included at the top of your resume, the summary is an overview of your specific skills and experience that makes you suitable for the role, and is an opportunity to sell yourself to the employer. No more than 150-200 words, your summary should be a short paragraph that summarizes your suitability and sets you apart from the competition. A well written summary can mean the difference between getting your dream job or your application being rejected. When writing your summary, you should focus on answering the following questions:
- Who am I?
- What is my experience?
- Why this role/industry?
- What I can offer?
- What are my goals/expectations of myself?
Remember, your resume should be a perfect representation of your worth, without overcommunicating to the employers/hiring managers – the more concise, the better.
Little tip: If you have specified the type of role or industry you are seeking work in, please remember to change this if you apply for roles outside of that. An easy mistake so often made when applying for multiple jobs at the same time.
The Application Process.
So, what job do you actually want? Before starting your search, you should already have in mind the type of job that you are looking for. Whether you are focusing on a specific type of role or a particular industry, it’s best to identify exactly where you want to be, and what you want to be doing before you even consider applying for a job. Analyze your skills and experience and see if they match the criteria for that particular role or industry. Look it up, read the advert and always remember to research the company before you apply.
Before starting the application process, it is important to consider the following questions:
- Does the role description & responsibilities align with your interests?
- Do you match the specific educational requirements?
- Have they stated that they offer training for this position?
- Does the company ethos, values and speciality interest you?
When researching the company, look for videos, case studies, blogs, or even employee testimonials, especially by other graduates that have been hired. This sort of content will allow you to gain a better insight into their company culture and allow you envision yourself working there.
Little tip: Check the company’s glassdoor reviews (trust me)!
Cover Letters – Do I? Don’t I?
Though these aren’t always required, they are an effective way to make a difference to your application. It showcases your true interest in the job opportunity, while conveying personality, and enthusiasm to the reader. Work on making these specific to the role you’re applying for, and don’t repeat information from your resume.
When you are applying for jobs online, make sure that you are making note of the company name, the job/role title that you applied for, and any other bits of information that you deem relevant. I often find it helps to keep a running spreadsheet with all this information on, and your date of application. It’s a great way to keep track of where your resume has gone and to hopefully keep track of your soon-to-be influx of interview requests!
The Interview Stage.
All companies will have a different interview process, some may ask you to attend a one off interview, others have assessment days (either virtual or non-virtual), some may be 3 stages long with technical tasks, presentations or even numerical reasoning tests – it really does vary. Once an employer gets in touch with you to set up an interview, ask them about the interview process for this role. You should know from the get go what is expected and the estimated timelines, you’ll need to know this information before heading into the interview room (or screen).
Always remember to communicate with the HR Recruiter through the process – we are the company gatekeepers and are usually the first point of contact. Be responsive, whether by email, text or call, even if you can’t get back to us immediately, let us know when you can – setting expectations only shed you in a good light. My two top tips regarding the HR Recruiter would be:
- Always keep that communication line open, they are there to guide you through the process.
- Always always always proofread your emails before sending them.
With any company that you are interviewing with, you need to make sure that you have researched them. Ideally you will have harnessed some information from the application process, but don’t be afraid to check out their website, visit their social channels and read their content. The more you know about the company, the better prepared you’ll be for the interview.
Little tip: Speak to a family member or friend about this company, the more you talk about it, the more comfortable you are when asked in your interview.
Whether you are at the 1st round of interviewing or in the final stage, be aware that you are in an interview. We know distractions like what you’re going to have for lunch, or your pet in the background might cross your mind, but try to remain calm and focussed to ensure that you can answer clearly. Read our latest blog, Top Tips for Virtual Interviews for more information.
- Be yourself and make sure you show your personality, in a professional way of course. Interviewers are looking for who you are as a person, not your career history.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions! We like to know that you are interested in learning more, even if you want us to elaborate on something that was said 20 minutes ago, we appreciate this.
Lastly, interviews are very much a learning process, you should try to attend as many interviews as you possibly can (maybe not at all once). We know the interview process can be long and at times, feel like an endless road. Think of every interview as a learning experience, the more experience you have, the more confidence you can gain and the closer you’ll be to getting the job.
If you’re currently looking for a new opportunity, why not have a look at the roles we currently have on offer here at Incubeta.