One of the hard facts of the job market at the moment is that competition is fierce and even getting to the interview stage can be tricky. With more people than ever applying for every role, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. But are there things you can do to make yourself more appealing and increase your chances?
Before you even apply for a job, there are things you can do that will help you be more ‘interview ready’ when the time comes.
Social media is about connecting with people, having fun and keeping up with the latest news and trends. But it is also increasingly being used by employers to check out potential employees – and not just on the professional network LinkedIn. So, before you start applying, it is a good idea to make sure your social media profile is suitable for a potential employer to check out. It doesn’t mean you have to remove all of your personality from your accounts but just check for those risqué memes or slightly questionable jokes you have posted.
Get your CV spruced up
Your CV is your way to introduce yourself to the company and attract that crucial attention. This means it needs to be in top condition and should work for you, not against you. You also should remember to personalise each CV for the role you are applying for – this doesn’t mean rewrite it every time but do look for areas you can word to appeal to that specific job, rather than just any job.
As well as having preparation in place to help you appeal to potential employers, there are also tips for improving your application to help put you ahead of the competition
Understand the job
When you go for a job interview, there is an expectation that you understand the job – so make sure you can fulfil this. This means more than just reading the description – do some research on the company so you can show some knowledge about it and understand the role in the context of the larger company. Also, update yourself on any industry terms or trends that might be affecting anyone in the role, so you can show you have a complete understanding of what is needed.
The cover letter
Your cover letter frames your CV and is very important to ensure it works for you. Each cover letter should be very specific to the job in question and should catch the attention of the interviewer while not being a novel. Don’t forget in both your CV and cover letter to use keywords describing the job that are used in the job description as this can help with computerised job screening systems.
Finally, if you haven’t used them for a while, double check that your references are still happy to help if required. That way if you do get to the interview stage, things can progress smoothly when the company then goes to collect your references and other background checks.