We all know how difficult and stressful job applications can be, with all the resume writing and interview preparation, and it can be especially tough if you’re applying for the first step in your career path. But fear no longer, we’ve created a collection of tips and tricks that will help you throughout the recruitment process to make sure you’re in the best position to land your dream job!
But before we dive into the meat of this article, it’s always good to remember this advice: you only get one chance to make a first impression! It’s always good to keep this in the back of your mind as it may be your resume, cover letter, or a formal email you send that may give an impression you don’t want to convey to a possible employer.
Tip #1: Your resume or cover letter should be to the point
You are not writing your own personal life and times. With something that’s too long, you run the risk of a potential employer not reading everything you provide (and important information or accolades being lost) or key parts being washed out by unnecessary text. As a rule of thumb, a resume should be at most 2 pages of A4 (that’s about 2 minutes of reading time) and a cover letter, half a page of A4 (30 seconds of reading time). This is why it’s important to understand what information is important to a potential recruiter and why you should adapt your CV to match the job you’re going for. For example, creative copywriters and copywriters are both writing positions; however, their daily duties are different and you may want to highlight different things in your resume when you apply for one position over another.
Tip #2: What to do if you don’t have experience
Everyone’s got to start somewhere, right? Students and graduates might not just have experience in the industry they’re looking to get into, but you can always focus on other aspects which will interest a potential employer, such as training courses or internships and your educational and social experiences.Training courses and internships, even if they weren’t long, are obviously good to note; however, you might be wondering what we mean by social and educational experience. Social experiences could be holding a position of responsibility at a university society or that you helped organize events while studying. This will show a potential employer that you’ve got good organizational skills. Educational experience is where you can explain a bit more about what you did as part of your course: what was your thesis/dissertation focused on or did you help fellow students in a PASS-style (peer-assisted study sessions) scheme. This experience shows an employer that you’re proactive, interested in self-development, and willing to help others.
Tip #3: A good structure is key
While there are no strict rules for composing a resume, CV or cover letter, a good structure in all aspects will leave a better impression. Which looks better?
|Option A||Option B||Option C|
|Job #1 2012-2015||Job #3 2016-present||Job #2 2015-2016|
|Job #2 2015-2016||Job #2 2015-2016||Job #1 2012-201|
|Job #3 2016-present||Job #1 2012-2015||Job #3 2016-present|
The answer: Option B. When talking about your education or previous employment, it’s customary to show it in reverse chronological order. Additionally, while you might want to make your CV stand out, going against the grain by having your name at the end (rather than the header) isn’t probably the best idea. The point is to make it as easily readable as possible!
Tip #4: Leave a good first impression at all stages
Whether it’s in your cover letter or if you’re invited for an interview, you should leave a good impression everywhere you go. For example, in your cover letter, be formal: don’t use words like “Hey” or “Hi” when greeting them. In this modern day and age with Zoom calls in abundance, technological hitches can happen which may delay any online interview you have. In this case, or if something comes up which means you will be late, you need to let your contact know as soon as possible. It’s unprofessional not to let your potential employer know the current situation, and most, if not all, will understand.
Tip #5: An interview is as important for you as it is to the employer
An interview is an important stage of the recruitment process, but not just for the employer. Of course, this is a great way to get to know a future employee. However, it’s also your chance to get to know the people you’d be working with, the culture of the office, and what the job you’re applying for will involve. At this stage, you may realize that the position you are interviewing for is just not for you.
Bonus Tip: Use a formal email address
Your email should be a combination of your first and last name or initials, (e.g.,firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), not Xx_360noscope_xX@emailprovider.com.
These are just a few of our tips and tricks to help you land your dream job. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our website to get more tips, hear about open vacancies and more.
Good luck, we’re rooting for you!