Job hunting can be hard work, and the more competition there is for the best role, the more important it is to stand out from other candidates. On average, recruiters take only about seven seconds to review your CV, and simple mistakes such as typing errors or lengthy paragraphs can keep you from getting the job – so you’ll want to make the right impression straightaway. From a finely tuned CV to a proactive follow-up after the interview, here are our top tips to get yourself noticed for all the right reasons.
Nobody should be applying for hundreds of jobs at the same time - by over-applying, you won’t have the time to research the company, thoroughly read up on the role and tailor your CV to the job. By limiting the number of applications you make, you can give each one the time it deserves. You’ll end up better prepared for the interview, and a well-thought out application and CV which is completely tailored to the role will show the employer how motivated you are to work for their company and exactly why you would be a great fit there. Instead of trying to apply for as many roles as you can, focus on a selection of roles and put the time into your application to ensure that your skills, relevant experience and personal traits shine through – this makes sure the recruiter can immediately see why you’re a strong candidate for the role and you’ll have an edge over those that have submitted ‘one size fits all’ CVs and hoped for the best.
Asking a few great questions in the interview can ensure you make the best use of your time and get all the information you need to make an informed decision, should you be offered the role. Prepare some questions in advance but try to think of a couple during the interview too, based on what you’ve covered – this helps to show how engaged and interested you are in what they have to say, which can set you apart from other candidates.
Here are a couple of example questions:
− What do you see as the most challenging aspect of this job?
− What do you like most about working at the company?
− What does success look like in this position?
− What would I be expected to accomplish in my first month/year on the job?
− What could you tell me about the company that isn’t widely known?
− Is there anything else I could tell you about myself that would help you make your decision?
Being able to make a connection with the interviewer during a meeting can improve your chances of getting a job when your skills and experience are similar to other candidates. Make sure you know the interviewer's name and remember to use it during the interview. Be aware of your body language; ensure you're maintaining good posture and really listening to what they’re saying. Being focused, in the moment and really understanding what you are being asked will help you to give a well thought out response to each question or scenario.
Following up after the interview is a great way to let your interviewers know you're genuinely interested in working with them, and it shows how proactive and motivated you are. Timing is important – following up just an hour or two after the interview might seem a bit over-eager, while if you leave it too long, you’ll lose impact. Get in touch the next day to make sure the interviewer remembers you – things move very quickly in the hiring process and the interviewer might have seen quite a few more candidates within 24 hours. Thank them for their time, share how positive you felt during the interview, and ask for feedback.
Following these steps will help you to stand out from the crowd and create a lasting impression with your potential new employer.
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