How To Boost Your Chances Of Being Hired?
Looking for a job is never easy. After receiving too many rejections and the majority of applications being ignored, it is difficult to stay sane and motivated.
However, some people seem to have it easier than others. They need no more than five interviews to get hired. Such an example in your life may discourage you even more: what do they have that I do not? Are they better professionals? Are they charming and can talk their way into the company?
The possible answer to these questions: they know that getting hired is an art itself, and they mastered it. In this article, we will highlight three ways of how you may improve your applications and interviews. They do require effort and time investment on your side. However, you will be more productive in the long run and spare some self-confidence.
Create A Strong CV
A CV does seem to be a simple document: you just write down your contact information, previous experience, education, and skills. However, this simplicity is misleading.
The first sign of a strong CV is its variety. Many candidates create one document and send it to all employers. However, such an approach may significantly reduce your chances to get the invitation to the interview. Firstly, a CV usually contains all experiences and education one has passed, and some may not be relevant for some positions you are applying to. Recruiters will see that you cannot keep it to the point and will rather go for someone with a tailored CV. Secondly, many recruiters use special technology that sorts out relevant candidates by keywords. Consequently, you will have better chances to grab the attention of the company using those keywords in the CV. But how do you choose keywords? They are usually included in the job description and requirements. It does not mean that you have to create a new CV for every position, but it will make sense to adapt it a little and make it more relevant for certain companies.
You should also check the design and spelling. Reread the CV and look for mistakes or sloppy constructions. In order to create a better design, use no more than three colours, go for one font, and apply headings and subheadings.
The next step towards a stronger CV is making sure to not exaggerate and getting rid of overused phrases. Exaggeration may secure you an interview. However, if you do not possess the skills you have mentioned, it will become obvious during the conversation or test. Your other skills or charming personality will not matter if you try to start your career path with a lie. Overused skills like “team player'' and “great communication skills” or hobbies like “reading and listening to music” litter the space but also create an impression of commonness.
The Headshot Dilemma
While including a headshot in the CV has been the norm in the world of employment, companies are implementing a new approach to make the hiring process less biased. Therefore, headshots are no longer required. If, however, the company you are applying to requires a headshot, here are some tips to help you:
For a good professional headshot, you need the following:
- professional outfit, hairstyle and makeup
Clearly, no one will know whether you are wearing pants but they will probably notice whether you wear a shirt or a tank top. Combed hair and neutral makeup will do your picture justice as well.
- plain background
The headshot should put the attention on your face rather than on magnolia trees or crumbling buildings behind you.
- good lightning
Good lightning will boost the quality of the picture and will help you avoid bad shadows and the impression of an overly tired face.
Professionalism is no longer connected to seriousness. A friendly smile will make you seem more approachable and human. Do not overdo it though, it is not a dentist appointment.
Get Ready For An Interview
Supposedly, you followed our tips and were invited to the interview. It means you are only halfway there (if not quarter of the way) because the interview decides everything. It may either save a somewhat floppy CV or ruin all the efforts.
Many people find it quite random and impossible to get prepared for it. Even though some questions will be personalised, there will be plenty of standard ones. Preparing for an interview has three simple steps.
First of all, learn more about the company. You will appear more engaged and interested in the company what recruiters appreciate. At the same time, you will get an idea about what their values are and what they actually look for in their employees.
Secondly, think about the possible questions and answers to them. We recommend giving a thought to this list:
- Could you please tell me a bit about yourself?
- What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you want to work in our company?
- Where do you see yourself in 1/5/10 years?
- What was the biggest challenge in your life and how did you overcome it?
- Why have you left your previous position?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What is the most important thing for you in the job?
- What can you bring to the company?
At last, it is important to come up with questions you want to ask the recruiter. There is no worse response to “Do you have any questions for me/us?” than a short “no”.
You may ask these questions:
- How will a typical day look like for me and what will be my daily tasks?
- How is the team organised and with whom will I work together?
- How would you describe the team atmosphere?
- What is the onboarding process like?
- What do you value in your employees?
- How does the company cope with conflict situations?
- What are the company's goals for the future?
- Why did you choose to work for this company?
The competitive job market requires effort, even before one has started to work. However, effort means better chances for jobs you actually want to have, rather than grabbing whatever is left. It is up to you to decide, whether you aim for a dream job or a regular one.