Whether you’re a seasoned job seeker, or a newly graduated year 12 student (congratulations!), there are many steps available to increase the chances of winning your next role. This week, we’ll start with the basics everyone should follow, before you get to an interview. These little tricks make all the difference at the outset of the recruitment process, and in the process, help you to WIN THAT JOB!
- Determine the jobs you want to apply for and create personalised criteria to match. Use keywords from the position vacant ad within your resume. I.e. if the job requires a hardworking, team player; find a place for that within your application (assuming it’s true!)
- Personalise the cover letter for each role. It’s frustrating to read an introduction that says, ‘I’d love to work as a plumber.’ when the position applied for, is as a carpenter. Extra points for addressing the cover letter to the appropriate person
- Spell check, spell check, spell check. Unless you’re submitting a video application, which may happen occasionally, your resume is the first introduction to ‘you’. A busy recruiter won’t always forgive spelling mistakes because you’re a nice person…odds are, they don’t know you and are looking for reasons to reduce their pile of resumes. Don’t let poor grammar get in your way either. Don’t ever submit a resume that says you have great attention to detail, and then confuse there, their and they’re!
- Address any gaps in your employment history. If you were a stay-at-home mum, own it! You have used a wealth of skills in that role. If you’ve had time off for other reasons, such as sickness, address it briefly, but don’t over-elaborate. If it was due to unemployment, mention any community involvement, volunteering or education you completed during that time
- Unless you’ve left high school in the last 5 years, don’t include your after-school job/s, unless it’s extremely relevant to the role you’re applying for. The same rule applies for roles you held 25+ years ago
- Make LinkedIn your best friend. Ensure your profile is engaging, with details of all your work experience and education. Use the platform to ask for recommendations from previous employers, colleagues and mentors. You can add your LinkedIn profile to your resume to encourage recruiters to check it out
- Ensure your contact information is up to date. If you’ve moved, change your address. Applications are often rejected because of perceived travel time issues. To ensure your application makes it through the email server and into an Inbox, review your email address; firstname.lastname@example.org is hard to take seriously
When you do land an interview, ask who you’ll be meeting with. A quick search of LinkedIn or Google, can help you to find out more about the interviewer, so they’ll feel less like a stranger, when you start answering all their tricky questions. It may also help you build rapport prior to the interview by connecting with them or seeing groups that they follow. Every little bit helps!