Top 10 tips for securing an interview
This list is geared to individuals whom are actively looking for a new position. It’s not rocket science but as with everything in life, balance is crucial. In this challenging market ff you are able to do a bit of everything on this list you should increase your chances of securing an interview and hopefully a new role.
1)Create a professional, simply formatted yet interesting CV. There are thousands of books and articles available to give you some direction however in short, it should be no more than three pages, have accurate contact details and have a summary of both your responsibilities and achievements for each of your roles (include full details of your most recent roles and just job title and company name for positions beyond the last ten years).
2)Keep a record of all your applications and where appropriate follow up! Emails will generally suffice; however call agencies/in-house recruiters where you are particularly passionate about a vacancy.
3)Register with roughly 3-4 key agencies. Ask for recommendations from your network. If you want the best from an agency it is better to be introduced via a contact. This places a greater level of obligation on the consultant to look after you in a market where they may be an excess of candidates. Ensure the agencies cater for vacancies in your job function, industry and seniority level.
4)Meet people. This might be virtually or face to face. Re-connect with old contacts from your network, consultants and potential employers. Speculative meetings may seem a waste of time initially but you never know where it will take you. With such uncertainty in the market, many clients are risk averse and therefore the opportunity to hire a verified and recommended candidate can be appealing.
5)Work your Linkedin Profile. Linkedin can be enormously time consuming and somewhat of a rabbit hole! However it is essential that you spend at least 10 minutes on various activities per day. In short, make new connections and get involved where possible, this will increase your visibility to agency recruiters, in-house recruiters and other individuals within your industry. This will also raise 2nd and 3rd degree connections’ awareness of you.
6)Make direct approaches and applications. Many businesses have reduced the budget for agency hires and as a result they actively look to source candidates directly, particularly at mid management level. Draw up a target list of businesses that interest you and contact their resourcing team. It is wise to check with your network before doing this to ensure you are not missing a ‘warmer’ introduction.
7)Apply for roles where there is an obvious and direct fit. The number of applications per vacancy is currently so high that employers will tend to choose the candidates who are the closest match for the position. If you are keen to apply for a role where there is not a close fit you should write a concise covering letter explaining why you are interested. It is often better to focus on why the business interests you rather than why you think you could do the job. This will enable you to stand out from other applications and adds personality to your approach.
8)No matter how frustrated you get do not allow this to come across when dealing with contacts. Your contacts will work a lot harder for you if you come across positively in all your conversations.
9)Set up email alerts and ‘favourites’ lists for vacancies. Do this with job boards, agencies, LinkedIn and a select group of target employers. Check this daily and apply the moment the role appears. I have noticed recently on a number of LinkedIn adverts for example where it says they encourage early application as they may choose to close the vacancy once they have a suitable pool of applicants. Certainly our own experience is that for senior roles you are likely to receive applications in the hundreds when posting online adverts.
10)Prepare an ‘elevator pitch.’ You never know when you will receive that all important call about an application and you only get one opportunity to make a good first impression. Keep it short, informative and structured. Ensure that when you have the opportunity, however brief, you build rapport quickly with the recruiter or hiring manager and ensure they leave with the best impression of your personality and attitude.