Not getting those interviews? Getting interviews, but falling at the first hurdle? Then today’s Q&A Wednesday’s for you.
This edition we ask our expert consultants what you could be doing wrong and, more importantly, what to do about it.
1. You’ve been unemployed for over a year
If you’ve been a jobseeker for over a year you’re considered long-term unemployed. And like my mum always says, “It’s easier to get job when you’ve got a job.” Which isn’t that helpful when you need to find work!
My top tip: If you’re long-term unemployed show how proactive you’ve been while you’ve been out of work. Tweet: If you’re long-term unemployed show how proactive you’ve been while you’ve been out of work @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel https://goo.gl/pA035u
● Make sure your skills are up-to-date – your local Jobcentre Plus should be able to help you, or sign up with somewhere like Vision2Learn online
● Take a relevant course to expand or develop your skills – try FutureLearn or Hotcourses
● Volunteer via Do-It or temp with an agency – both these activities show you’re proactive, can develop skills and help keep you motivated
2. You’ve changed jobs numerous times
The day of the job for life is over, but job hopping can raise a red flag to recruiters. Tweet: The day of the job for life is over, but job hopping can raise a red flag to recruiters @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel https://goo.gl/pA035u
Put yourself in their shoes – employers want to hire loyal people who’ll be committed to helping them reach their business goals. Job hopping doesn’t exactly convey commitment. Tweet: Job hopping doesn’t exactly convey commitment @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel https://goo.gl/pA035u
However a benefit of changing jobs more often is that you will have gained a variety of skills, sometimes across various sectors.
● Try writing a CV centred on your skills and achievements
● Use facts and figures to show your value – this helps employers visualise how you might help their company now
● Give a reason for your job moves – explain how each one helped you in your career
● Emphasise your commitment to this company – show you’re aware of their concern and reassure them
3. You’re overqualified for the jobs you’re applying for
Whether you’re looking for that dream graduate role or you’ve been made redundant you may find yourself applying for roles you’re overqualified for.
Like the job hopper the overqualified candidate can be perceived as a liability by employers. Will the candidate be bored? Do they understand what the job entails? And, so on.
● Explain why you want the job – the cover letter or your personal statement are great places to do this
● Highlight relevant skills and experience – demonstrate a sound grasp of the knowledge and skills required to fulfil the role
● Edit non-relevant work and academic achievements – by all means list them, but only emphasise those examples which support your ability to do this particular job
So, you’re getting through to interview, but you’re not receiving the job offers…
4. You’re failing to show how you match up to your CV claims
Your CV or application form has indicated that you’d make a good match for the role. Now the recruiter is looking to confirm this is the case.
Unfortunately the best of us can get rattled at interview, so it’s vital to prepare. Tweet: Unfortunately the best of us can get rattled at interview, so it’s vital to prepare @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel https://goo.gl/pA035u
● Ensure you have have examples ready to back up your CV claims – make notes and rehearse it beforehand, so you can easily bring evidence to mind
5. You’re not demonstrating how you’ll fit into an organisation
Over 70% of large UK organisations regularly use assessment tools to interview candidates. Why? Because it helps them get an idea of how well the applicant should fit into their organisation.
You might think a job is a job, but working with a bunch of 20-somethings in an energetic start-up will be very different from working in a long established corporation.
Making a hiring mistake is expensive and time-consuming business – in short, the recruiter wants to make sure you’re right for each other.
● Get an overview of the company’s culture – from the job ad to the company website, and beyond, there will be many clues about how the company works and whether you’d thrive there
● Ensure your interview answers reflect your cultural suitability – if you’re applying for a team-centric role, say, emphasise: cooperation, communication and listening skills rather than your love for lone working!
6. You’re not showing you understand the role
We’ve hit on this issue when it comes to being over qualified for a role, say. But you’ve got this far, so the recruiter must think you’ve got potential.
At interview it’s vital to show you understand what the job entails and what challenges you will face.
● Research the company and the role thoroughly – check them out online and get an idea of issues someone in a similar role might face by looking at LinkedIn
● Pair your research with your own experience – so when you’re asked a question you can align your experience with this specific role
7. You’re not making the right impression
You might fit the role like a glove, but if the recruiter doesn’t take to you, then, it doesn’t mean a thing.
We all know first impressions last, right!? So ask yourself, what impression am I making?
● Dress the part – smart and appropriate to the sector
● Arrive a little early – but never late!
● Turn off your phone – if you’re interrupted during your interview it’ll look bad on you, as well as being distracting…
● Smile – but don’t joke or be sarcastic
● Appear engaged – they want to see you’re interested and a good listener
● Speak with enthusiasm – be clear and concise, but don’t waffle or dominate the conversation
● Show personality – sounds like a tall order! But, if everyone ticks the job boxes then you need to show why you’d be better…
Now over to you:
Have any thoughts on what you’ve read? Are you searching for a new job? Want to ask about your CV or interview issues? Got any burning questions we could put to future Q & Angel guests? As ever, we want to hear what you’ve got to say!
Some next steps:
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