The job market is as competitive as ever, and when applying for a post you could be up against any number of highly qualified candidates. Sometimes you may think you performed excellently in interview, only to find someone else was offered the job, leaving you asking yourself what sets people apart in a crowd all vying for the same job. Not to worry; we at TM have a great deal of experience in what makes a good candidate, and although requirements of course vary from post to post, there are some golden rules to go by:
- A good CV
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. They say first impressions count, and for the vast majority of job applications your CV will be the first thing the employer sees. Luckily for you, some simple superficial tweaks will help you get noticed. Of course the usual advice of making sure everything is clearly presented on one or two sides of A4 applies here, and an additional tip is to place the most important information in the top middle section of the page, where the eye naturally falls first. If you’re stuck, ask someone who has experience in CV selection to take a look at yours and polish it up.
- Relevant experience
This goes hand in hand with a good CV, and is also extremely variable based on the post you’re applying for. It’s not enough to simply have the experience, you have to know how to present in correctly on your CV and relate it to the job applied for in the interview. If you’re lacking in experience directly relevant to the post, or if it’s your first job, you can consider how your other experience and qualifications taught you transferrable skills that will make you more attractive.
Make sure you’re available and responsive when making interview plans. Get email alerts on your phone or make sure you’re by a computer so that you can reply promptly, and if it all possible prioritise the interview over other plans.
This one is so simple and yet so many can get it wrong! Make sure you’re clean and wearing something simple and professional when you arrive for interview; the level of formality will depend on the company, but as a general rule leave the jeans and t-shirt at home. Also, this isn’t the time to make any bold fashion statements, play it safe with something classic and understated.
- Good etiquette at interview
This means showing up at the right time, preferably around 5 minutes before the interview is due to start. Don’t worry too much if you’re 5 or 10 minutes late, interviewers understand that problems can arise with transport etc., but under no circumstances should you show up early! It can be quite irritating as your interviewer may well have something planned beforehand. In addition, make sure you remember your basic manners, like standing up to shake your interviewers hand and good eye contact.
These are just some of the simpler steps you take to increase your chances of success when applying for a job, and now you know all of this, why not take a look at our offers and send an application in now? And if you enjoyed this and would like to read more of the same, head over to our blog now.