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First of all you need to keep in mind that each application should be tailor-made according to the position and the employer. This means that you will need to have several slightly different resumes based on which of your skills and earlier achievements you would like to highlight. As soon as you’ve got your personalized marketing tool (i.e. your resumes) at your hand you can start thinking about the channels of selling it.
Advertisements: Sending your resume via emails in response to an advertisement is probably one of the most common and simultaneously the most competitive way of application. In order to reach your target person it is essential that you include in your application the job title as well as the source, the reference number and the date of advertisement. Also it is wise to address your e-mail and cover letter to the contact person mentioned in the ad. Practical tip when you apply is to remember the advertised position so that you avoid unpleasant situations not being able to recognize your own application.
Recruitment companies: you can directly upload your resume to the database of recruitment companies. In such cases you resume and motivation letter should include more general information about your career path and preferences than in the case of replying to an advertisement. As recruitment consultants often make searches in databases for the different positions based on key words it is important that your resume contain the key words related to your skills and experiences (e.g.: SAP, chartered accountant, fluent English) needed for a particular role.
Companies: visiting the website of companies you are interested in is the best way of gathering information about the company culture and available opportunities. You often need to fill in company specific registration forms which can be time consuming therefore always leave enough time to go through the different questions they might ask.
Networking: one of the best resources of information available is the people you know. Let others know about your values, skills, and qualifications. At the university, at your earlier companies, amongst friends you can always find people who know people that might be able to offer you a good opportunity. Participating at professional events or being a member of committees related to your current/desired profession is also a very good tool to get to know relevant people. However, always consider that any networking you do to find a new job must be discrete.
And last but not least if you apply, be prepared to be contacted either by the company or a recruitment agency. So make sure you know for which positions you have applied, can answer questions concerning your experience and objectives as well as be prepared to speak in foreign languages you mentioned in your application.
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Use our top tips to ensure the employer chooses your CV above others.
Choose a clear layout
- Keep it clear and concise.
Use the following headings to plan your layout:
- Keep it to about 50 words, highlight relevant experience, key attributes and goals.
- Include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail.
- List your most recent position first and focus on the outcome of your work;
- Include role, organisation, dates, main responsibilities and achievements;
- Provide specific details on your personal role rather than the team;
- Include factual information where possible on size of project, any values etc;
- Include all roles over the last 10 years particularly if you have been at an organisation for a long time.
- IT packages you’ve used, foreign languages etc.
Education & Professional Qualifications
- List your most recent studies first.
Hobbies and interests
- Optional but gives the interviewer an insight into your personality.
- Optional to provide full details.
Keep it simple
- Steer clear of long paragraphs, bullet points are easier to read.
Tailor your CV
- Making the effort to tailor your CV to highlight relevant experience for the role you’re applying for will increase your chances of securing an interview.
Show what makes you unique
- There could be hundreds of candidates applying for the same job as you. As well as looking for skills, employers are looking for solutions. So don’t just explain what you’ve done, stand out by letting the employer know how can you make a positive impact, highlighting notable achievements in previous roles is one of the best ways to do this.
Keep your CV up-to-date
- It’s often difficult to remember projects you have been involved with and achievements you have made. To avoid missing these out revisit your CV every month, adding anything of importance and cutting out unnecessary information.
Check and re-check
- It’s easy to make mistakes on your CV so check it for spelling and grammatical errors as these are one of the first things employers use to filter out candidates. Finally get someone to look over it before you send it to an employer or upload it onto a website.
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If you are well prepared for a personal interview, no events can take you by surprise.
The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake (no “dead fish” handshake), good eye contact and smile.
Remember you are given an opportunity to “sell yourself” therefore qualify and ensure that you understand the employer’s requirements, sell yourself against these requirements.
As the interviewer checks your personality next to your experience, how you fit into the organization, especially into the department, establish rapport with the interviewer.
Be familiar with your resume and the job description. Think of ways in which your experience will benefit the employer.
Always listen, not only talk. Listen to the interviewer what is being asked of you. If you answer, answer the question asked and not the question you wanted to be asked.
Keep your answers concise, create well structured sentences. Avoid one word answers, however don’t talk too much.
Show your enthusiasm for the position, even if you have some reservations (you can discuss them is a later stage). Your motivation can overcome many failures.
As you prepared well for the interview, ask your questions and any others they appear during the interview.
Make sure how much you are worth on the market. Don’t start the interview with your salary expectation, reveal it only if you are asked.
The most common interview questions asked by the employer:
- What are your greatest achievements?
- What do you like at your present job?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why do you want to leave your current employer?
- What is your main motivation for this position?
- Give an example of when you had to solve problem you successfully solved?
- Give an example of when you had conflicts with your colleagues/boss?
- What are your future career plans?
- What do you expect from your next employer?
- How could you convince me that you are the ideal candidate?
- What can you bring to the company?
Example questions for candidates to ask on the interview:
- What will my team be like?
- Who will be my boss?
- What possibilities will I have to develop myself professionally?
- Why is the position open?
- Will I have to use my language knowledge?
- Who will train me?
- What are the official working hours?
- What is the organization structure?
- How long is the probation period?
- What do you expect from the employee in this position?
- Will there be a second round interview? If yes, who will be the interviewer/interviewers?