So after much soul searching and careful consideration you have decided to enter the job market in search of the perfect new job. You have applied to numerous positions, had a couple of interviews but you still have not managed to secure that dream job. Why is it so hard to find a new job? What are you doing wrong?
When we look at the recruitment process, the most important step would be the interview. The saying: "You only get one chance to make a first impression" could not be more relevant.
Says Frances Visser from RecruitGroup: "As a specialist financial recruiter I am faced with these questions on a daily basis and there are no easy answers to these questions because finding a job is no easy task. But there are a couple of changes you can make to increase your chances of securing a position and make yourself a more 'hireable' candidate."
Frances suggests the following:
- Your CV is your most valuable tool in securing an interview:
I cannot emphasise the importance of a well structured CV enough; this will act as your ambassador until the employer gets to meet you in person. Your CV will determine if the potential employer would even consider inviting you to an interview so take care in structuring your CV. Add biographical information that is relevant to the job and make sure that your employment history makes chronological sense, state reasons for leaving to avoid any confusion.
- Prepare for your interview:
When you get invited to an interview you have to take time to prepare for the meeting. The potential employer took time out of his diary because he saw potential in your CV so you need to convince them that you have something special to bring to the table. Do research on the company that you will be interviewing with, know what they do and in what industries they operate in. Do research on their competitors and what problems the industry might be facing in general. This will show your interest in making a career out of this opportunity and that you have a passion for what you do.
- Take care in your personal appearance and attitude:
When meeting a potential employer for the first time you need to make sure that you make a lasting positive impression in order to stand out from the other candidates interviewing for the role. Dress professionally, be on time and be polite to any personnel that you encounter when on their premises.
- Pay attention to the questions being asked:
If you do not understand the question being asked, ask the interview to explain or repeat because you do not want to ramble on and miss the point completely. Do not answer with 'one word' answers; you need to make them aware of your skills and experience so elaborate where you can. Answer with a scenario where you used a certain skill or came across a certain problem. This will give the interviewer a good idea how you would tackle a task or go about your daily duties.
- Do not be afraid to show your personality:
When you are being interviewed by the person that you will be working with on a daily basis it is important to not only present yourself as a professional but also show your personality. This will help the interviewer to see if you would be able to fit into their culture.
- Ask the tough questions:
It is important to bring up any difficult questions that could affect your decision to accept the role. Remember that you are interviewing the potential employer just as much as you are being interviewed by them. If you are working with a recruitment agency, you need to make your agent aware of any personal or professional requirements that need to be met so that expectation can be managed.
- Show your excitement about the prospect of working for the organisation:
Be enthusiastic when answering your questions and show your passion for what you do!
Remember that you are a risk to any potential employer, regardless of your qualifications or experience. They need to see that you are committed to your career and invested in their company because they will be investing in you.
- Thank the company for considering you:
There is a fine line between being confident and being arrogant. You know what you are capable of but you are also up against a number of candidates that might have more experience than you so being humble about your achievement and showing your appreciation for the opportunity will go a long way. I always advise my candidates to write a personal "thank you" letter to the person that interviewed them reiterating why you are interested in the company and the role and what you can bring to the table, but also thanking them for their time.
- If you were unsuccessful, find out why:
If you are actively looking for a new job, disappointment is a part of the process. Handle these disappointments with grace and try to establish why you were unsuccessful. Use the information to your advantage and avoid those mistakes in your next interview.
- Keep on trying:
Remember to stay positive, even if you have been declined for numerous roles. If you have been burned in the past by interviews not turning out the way you hoped they would, do not let it affect your outlook on the prospects of securing a new role. The interviewer will pick up on these negativities and it could affect the outcome of the interview.
It is very easy to get disheartened by the interview process especially if things don't go your way. However your dream job will eventually find you if you put in the time and effort and when things don't work out, then perhaps it's just not the right thing for you. Stay focused and stay positive.