From the moment you send in your application, to the moment the application process is over, the main goal of your job search should be impressing potential employers and recruiters. While each company has a slightly different approach to how they do things, here are 8 easy ways to make a good impression.
1. Make sure you thoroughly read and understand the job spec
Instead of just sending in your application for the sake of sending in your application, make sure that you know what the job entails by carefully reading the job spec or advert. Employers and recruiters often spend a lot of time going through applications that don’t fit the criteria they’re looking for. Only applying if you’re confident you’re what they’re looking for saves them valuable time.
2. Target your application
When applying, don’t just send the same CV and cover letter. See how you can tailor them to fit what the employer or recruiter is looking for. This extra attention to detail shows that you are taking your application seriously and are interested in the role.
3. Highlight your strengths
You only have a short window to sell yourself to the employer or recruiter, so make sure that they know your strengths as soon as possible. Make them as visible and easy to read as possible on your CV so that the employer or recruiter can see them at a glance, and be sure to highlight them again in your cover letter.
4. Avoid calling for updates
It’s tempting to call to hear if your application was received, but you’re rarely the only one following up. Employers and recruiters often have to deal with hundreds of applications at a time and if every one of these applicants calls for an update, it takes a huge portion of their day. If you would like an update, it’s far better to send an email that the employer or recruiter can read and respond to when they have a moment.
5. Prepare for ALL interviews
If you’ve applied for a job, make sure you’re prepared for the interviews that might follow – this includes screening interviews. The best way to make a good first impression is to have thoughtful answers ready when talking to recruiters and employers.
6. Make time for your interviews
Some interviewers may agree to see you late in the afternoon, but are rarely willing to extend past 6pm. You can’t expect recruiters or employers to make time to meet you after working hours. Make sure then that (as ethically as possible) you’re able to slip away during work hours to make your interviews.
7. Follow up your interview with a thank you
Send an email to thank your interviewer or recruiter for the opportunity once the interview is over. Showing that you have good manners speaks to your character and will influence the way employers and recruiters see you.
8. Accept “No” well
If, for whatever reason, your application is unsuccessful, make sure that you remain polite when receiving the news. Recruiters and employers understand that the news is disappointing and are not trying to purposefully upset you. The way you react will affect your likelihood of being considered for roles in the future.
Ultimately, the qualities employers and recruiters are looking for may vary from place to place, but these steps should give you a good foundation to start from.
Happy job hunting!