Filling in application forms and redrafting your CV can be onerous and time consuming. However, a good application or CV will make the difference between the offer of an interview and an outright rejection so it is important to get it right.
Being clear about your strengths and attributes will make it eaier for your to tailor your application to the requirements of the recruiter.
When recruiters are viewing applications and making decisions about who they wish to shortlist, they are looking at a range of criteria which will enable them to decide who they wish to consider. Fundamental to this process will be:
- Reasons why you have applied for this specific position.
- Reasons why you have applied to this particular organisation.
- What you have to offer the organisation.
- Evidence of the skills and experiences you have gained to date and how these are relevant and transferrable into this setting.
- How you have developed personally as a result of your experiences.
- How you have taken responsibility for creating opportunities to further your learning and development.
Having identified what skills you already have, you can now establish what you may still need. If you have a specific job in mind, you can benefit by fine tuning the skills and experiences you require and increase your chances of success.
If you know what kind of job you are interested in, you will be able to research which skills you will need. For a particular job you are interested in applying for, check the Job Description and Person Specification that will normally be provided and select the skills and experiences required from this in order to see how you match up.
Would you be confident to answer the question: "Tell me about a time when you demonstrated your ability to lead a team?" Or perhaps "Describe a time when you coped particularly well under pressure." At interviews, employers will routinely ask what are known as competency-based questions. They are designed to enable you to reassure the interviewer that you can identify evidence of the skill they are looking for and to articulate it in such a way that you demonstrate not only the positive impact you had but also the ability to reflect on the experience where you demonstrated the skill and what you learned about yourself in the process.
Consider the S.T.A.R.E. Technique:
The advantages of following this process are:
- You start to develop a rich store of evidence for both online application forms and interviews
- Examples, as they are described, are like a mini story and so are easy to remember
- As you gain more experiences and develop your skills, you can add to your store of evidence
- As you become more experienced at articulating your skills, your self confidence increases
- You can feel more positive about the skills you have as you will invariably have more than you think
You develop your self-awareness through evaluating your experiences.
Taking the time before you start job hunting to get your CV right will save you a great deal of time, effort and energy. Even seasoned jobhunters can be disheartened by rejections, and getting your CV right can minimise the chance of this happening to you.
Increasingly recruiters are using the internet to search for candidates and candidates are using it to search for jobs. Therefore it is important to develop a professional online presence. It is a good idea to ensure that your personal Facebook pages are not visible to potential recruiters. Linkedln is the best place to create your online profile. Linkedln is free and instructions for creating a profile make the process straightforward.
Once on Linkedln you can search for jobs, link to other members, join appropriate professional groups and extend your professional network.
These Warwick Careers Blog posts can help you develop your online presence.