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How to improve your performance from CV to Acceptance

At Select Recruitment we are of course on hand to help you through every stage of the application process, from help with CV preparation to interview tips and etiquette. We believe personal contact is the perfect way to guide you through these issues, however, we appreciate that we give you a lot of information, and so for your reference we have compiled the following guidance notes which we hope you will find useful.  

Firstly check your social media / online present, employers will look at the online version of you, so make sure what they see helps solidify their impression of you as a candidate.

Preparing your Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Your CV must provide a concise and accurate summary of your qualifications, skills and employment experience.
A badly prepared CV will challenge the credibility of its contents and could jeopardise your chances of getting selected for an interview.

  • Your CV should be no more than three pages long, think quality, not quantity. 
  • Bullet points help to break up the CV. Employers are able to get straight to the salient points and bullet points will help direct them there. Break duties / tasks down into specifics. 
  • Communicate your strengths, your initiative, your personality and your achievements.
  • List any courses attended that are relevant to the position you are applying for. 
  • List other skills that could raise you above the competition such as languages, driving licence, IT skills.
  • List your most recent employer first putting the greatest emphasis on your most recent employment position. 
  • Summarise older positions. Each position should include, your employers company name, your title and dates of employment.
  • Ensure that there are no gaps in dates on your CV; if you took a year out of employment to travel, say so. 
  • Tailor your CV to each position you are applying for. 
  • Remember to include all your contact details and home address on your CV.
  • Do not be tempted to embellish your CV as employers have ways of checking details. Falsifying information may not only disqualify your application, if you are offered the position it could lead to grounds for subsequent dismissal.
  • Finally, check and double check your CV thoroughly for correct spelling and grammar. Spotting errors is a quick and easy way for a potential employer to weed out weaker candidates when reviewing CVs.

Covering Letter / Email

When applying for any position, employers will expect you to include a cover letter / email with your CV.

An effective and professional covering letter should draw together all the facts in your CV, and register your enthusiasm and interest in the specific vacancy. 

  • Your letter / email must be well presented, brief and concise. 
    Introduce yourself, confirm your contact details and availability for interview. 
  • Remember to highlight your relevant qualifications. 
  • If your handwriting is poor it is best to type your covering letter. 
  • Finally, check and double check your letter thoroughly for correct spelling and grammar.

Prior to the Interview

  • Research as much as you can about the company, including looking at their website, reading media articles and speaking with anyone you know who has worked there.
  • Plan your route, ensure you know exactly where the interview is being held and allow sufficient time to get there.
  • Read through your CV ensuring that you can supply more information if the interviewer needs it. 
  • Where a job description has been supplied ensure you have read it carefully. Have the confidence that you are technically qualified to do the job. Ensure that you can meet the criteria, and have examples from previous roles that prove this. 
  • Try to anticipate questions you may be asked and have answers prepared in advanced by practising with someone before your interview. 
  • Turn off your mobile phone before the interview.

During the Interview 

  • Arrive for the interview on time. If you are unavoidably delayed, notify the company or agent immediately giving the reason and your estimated time of arrival. 
  • Dress smartly and be courteous to everyone you meet, from the reception area onwards; imagine you are being interviewed from the moment you enter the building and remember, first impressions last.
  • Introduce yourself clearly to the interviewer and express yourself throughout the interview clearly. 
  • Act professionally throughout the interview. 
  • Be confident and try not to appear too nervous. Being aware of your body language and how you are sitting can help you appear and feel more confident.
  • Be prepared to show how your experience could benefit the company. 
  • Ask questions about the business and about the position for which you are being interviewed. 
  • Think before you speak, take time to answer questions, constructing your answers before rushing into a vague reply. 
  • Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.
  • Do not say unfavourable things about previous employers. 
  • Be able to discuss your goals and career aspirations.
  • Ask well-informed questions. Do not show any reservations you may have about the role or the company. These can be addressed should you proceed to the second interview stage. 
  • Listen to the questions and answer them directly. 
  • Do not talk too much. Answer the questions as asked; do not answer a question with a question. 
    The interview is a two way process, this is your opportunity to ask questions too, and to find out if the company is right for you Open questions (i.e. the ‘what, how, where, who or why questions) will encourage your interviewer to talk and provide you with additional information. 
  • Remember to smile and make eye contact throughout the interview with everyone on the interview panel. 
  • Finally, do not leave the interview without finding out when you will hear if you have been chosen to proceed to the next stage of the interview process and what the process entails.

You’ve made it through the interview process! Your Select Recruitment Consultant will contact you for your feedback on the interview and ensure that you receive feedback from the interview as soon as possible.

Staying Positive And Motivated While Job Searching

5. Doing something on the side while unemployed.

When the job search begins to feel like it’s dragging on, look to do something on the side that may help you maintain your skills or help you build new skills that will be helpful on the next job. Whether it’s volunteering a few hours a week, taking on temp work, or taking a class, it can help give you a lift or inspiration to stay motivated. It also gives you something to add to the CV demonstrating how committed you are.

Finding a new job takes effort, and finding a new job that you will love will take extra patience. Utilise these tips to help keep you going. Soon before you know it, the right job offer will come through!

4. Networking with others.

Job networking has a great effectiveness rate at helping you find a job and can also help you stay motivated. When you talk to others in the field asking for advice, it can feel like you’re getting closer to where you want to be because you have connections with insiders. Often, your job network can also share with you similar challenges they may have faced and offer insight to how they went about the situation, which in turn helps you reflect and react appropriately.

3. Re-examining your CV and LinkedIn profile.

If you haven’t updated your CV in a while or it’s not bringing in results you want, it’s time to re-examine it. Same goes with your LinkedIn profile. When you do, you build stronger tools to work with in your job search and you will feel a greater sense of confidence.

2. Do Not get lazy.

Just because you don’t have a job to go to doesn’t mean you should lounge around. Aim to make things happen! Treat job searching like your full-time job. Before getting the day started, freshen yourself up as you would for work and stick to a routine for job searching.

You may start the day with checking email, making phone calls, then applying to jobs by lunch and leaving the afternoon to networking with others and researching for other job opportunities. When you stick to a schedule, you work more efficiently and there’s less of a chance for you to get lazy.

1. Coming up with job search goals.

Treat your job search as a project with tangible goals. Figure out how many hours per week you will be focusing on the job search and assign the hours to specific tasks with related goals. Having weekly tasks and goals keeps you focused.

Select Recruitment can help you make the right career move, assisting with writing your CV and giving advice on how to conduct yourself in an interview. We can also give advice on how to professionally accept a position including negotiations on salary.

Contact one of our friendly professional consultants on 88 88 66 to arrange an appointment for your free recruitment seeker’s consultation.