Job hunting and want top tips on getting your next job?
As a coach and author of books such as How to Succeed at Interviews, I often get asked to help clients with their job hunting. I often see two big mistakes happening. Firstly, too many people send out the same CV to dozens of different jobs – they’re almost guaranteed to get rejected a lot. Secondly, many people don’t make a great impact at interviews and end up being turned down.
To make sure you don’t fall into those traps, here are my top five tips for getting that next job:
- Tailor each and every application you send out. Job hunters who send out dozens of CVs and covering letters in a day may feel that they’re making progress but they’re actually getting nowhere. Successful job hunters write slightly different covering letters and CVs to send out to each different employer.
- Related to the first tip, invest time researching the companies you apply to. Find something about them so you can show in your application that you’ve done your research. Employers want to know why you want to work for them; they hate feeling that people are just looking for a job and would work for anyone.
- Write your CV to paraphrase what the employer is looking for. If an employer is looking for ‘initiative and adaptability’ and ‘teamworking skills’ be sure to use those exact phrases early on in your CV.
- Remember that interviewers want to hire people who are confident as well as competent. To help you appear confident, be sure to think through your answers to the most common questions they may ask. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why do you want this job? What are your biggest achievements? If you need help thinking through your responses to typical questions, you could pick up a book such as my Answering Tough Interview Questions for Dummies.
- Remember that interviewers aren’t just looking for technical skills and experience. They want to work with someone they like – who is warm, friendly, enthusiastic and (appropriately) fun. I always say that you need to think of an interview as a performance on a stage. Even if you don’t feel it, you have to behave as if you are warm, friendly and so on. So rehearse your interview answers out loud with a friend beforehand.
During an interview, you’re evaluated not only for what you say but also how you say it. So do you sound positive and energetic? Do you appear confident and professional?
Anyway, if you’d like further advice, you can listen to a discussion and live phone-in I did on BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show on the topic of job hunting: how to write a compelling CV and how to come across well at interview. (That’s the presenter Jeremy Vine in the photo with me).
If you listen to the interview, I hope you’ll be both entertained by some of the callers’ questions and also pick up something that you can use if you’re job hunting too. Just hit the play button on the bar below.