Times are interesting in the current market. On the one hand, because unemployment is so low, the control is, to a large extent, in the hands of the applicant. But employers still want the best candidates and the right person for the job. Applicants still need to do the same amount of work to ensure that they pitch themselves at the right level and demonstrate their skills. So, going back to basics, don’t forget the following essentials during the recruitment process:
Look at the job description
Yes, this really does sound very basic, but it’s surprising how many people don’t do this. Many organisations now use applicant tracking systems, and, although they don’t all work in the same way, they do all require you to use certain keywords. Make sure that you look carefully at the advert and job description. Reflect back the same words and phrases that are in the JD. Most job descriptions start with the most important aspects at the beginning, so make sure you include these first.
Online is not everything
It’s important to find a role and an organisation that fits your skills and values. We all want to be happy at work so thoroughly research prospective employers. Of course, it’s important to know about the organisation’s history, turnover, and so forth, but don’t stop there. Research people who work there and get to know them, but keep it professional. Most people will be flattered to think that you want their help so ask them if they have time to talk to you about their employer. If you make the right impression and choose the right people, they may be able to influence the decision to give you an interview. The rest is down to you.
Fit for the Job?
You need different CVs for every job for which you apply. Yes, you need a baseline CV, but you also need to tailor it to the role for which you are applying. Think of the job description as an exam question and treat it as such. And remember that lots of employers check your social media profile too. If you have a CV uploaded on LinkedIn, it might be a good idea to remove it or update it every time you apply for a job. If you are going to update your CV on a regular basis, change your settings so that people don’t know you are doing this. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; you just don’t need everyone to know every minute detail.
Prepare but don’t over-rehearse
Preparation is everything and you do need to think about the types of question you will be asked at interview, what presentations you may have to give, and so forth. What you don’t want is to become robotic or revert to using management-speak and buzzwords that everybody uses and nobody really understands. You want your personality to shine through in interviews to ensure that any prospective employer gets to know the real you. After all, who wouldn’t want to hire you!