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Looking for a job? Here's 10 tips to help

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Hi, I’m Luci, I am currently on my placement year from The University of Kent as a Resourcer for HR GO Recruitment. Over the past 5 months I have learnt many new skills and experienced lots of different opportunities which I wouldn’t have done at University. I would now like to share a few of the things I have picked up along the way… here are my ‘Top 10 tips to candidates'.

1 Make your CV stand out

As a resourcer, most of my day is spent sifting through copious amounts of applications and CVs for various roles. Obviously, the most important thing in the CV is content such as education and experience, however, when a CV looks different to the rest and catches your eye it can often make the hiring manager take a second look.

2 Read the job advert at least twice before applying

Sometimes it can just be second nature to read the title of the advert and think it's for you then click apply. However, my second tip to make sure you read what the job entails as well as the main responsibilities before you commit yourself to applying for it. In addition to this, ensure your CV is relevant to the role you are applying for, if necessary be sure to tweak the CV according to requirements specified on the advert.

3 Use appropriate language

Be sure to always use professional and appropriate language while you are in an interview and on your CV. Stay away from abbreviated words and under no circumstances use slang words! A CV is to showcase the best of your abilities and experiences, so by using slang words this will undermine your experiences and qualifications.

4 Always research the company before an interview

This is paramount for any candidate going to an interview, as the interviewer will want to see that you have the time to research the company and that you know the organisation which you are wishing to work for. This may also help you to understand the job role more if you put in context of the firm itself, this also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your research skills to the employer.

Key topics for you to research include the company’s mission statement, values and culture, also any recent successes or awards they have won. If the company also has social media accounts then this would also be a good place to look for any recent news or to get to know the staff members.

5 Be sure to have questions to ask the interviewer after your interview

When your interview is over, you must ensure that you have some pre-prepared questions to ask the interviewer afterwards. This always shows keenness and the interviewer will see that you are interested in the job role and company, it mostly always gets you extra brownie points!

6 Arrive early to your interview (but not too early!)

Arriving late to an interview can be both embarrassing and rude, it also shows the interview that you are willing to try to arrive on time.  It can also put you at a disadvantage trying to recover whatever the reason was why you were late. If possible do a dummy run so you know the exact route you are going to take and can overcome any logistical issues.

However, arriving too early can also be an issue, as it may cause problems for the reception area or make the interview feel under pressure to finish their current interview early, this would not be a good start!

Answer the question you have been asked, do not go off on a tangent

Listening to the question you have been asked and answering this question can seem simple but under pressure it can be surprising how your answer can differ from the question you have been asked.  If you are unsure of the question or did not hear the question right first time, always ask if the interviewer can repeat the question, they would prefer to repeat the question than listen to the candidate answering a question they did not ask.

A tip for answering the question is to use the acronym STAR, this stands for Situation, Task, Action and Reason. It should help keep on the right lines when giving your answer, as well as this the employer will like to see that you are giving examples.

8 Be confident…but not too confident

Employers like to see people showing confidence in their interview, nerves can sometimes hold you back and stop you from saying the things you want to say in an interview. Ways to improve confidence in interviews can include making eye contact with the interviewer, smiling and trying to enjoy the interview and having a strong handshake. All of the above options are ways to calm your nerves and appear confident in an interview, even if you are not feeling confident try to hide your nerves as much as you can as they will show to the interviewer.

9 Build a rapport with the interviewer

Getting to know the interviewer and using their name in the interview will look good and show the interviewer you are taking an interest in them. Building a rapport with them can higher your chances of a job offer or a second interview, often candidates will get hired depending on if they are a good fit in the office and the company’s culture.

10 Thank them for their time

It is good practice to write a follow up note to interviewer thanking them for their time and also to register your interest in the position. Within this email you may also state things which you may have forgotten to say during your interview, you may also wish to ask when you will expect to hear back by. The sooner you send your email the better, as it demonstrates eagerness which interviewers are extremely fond of.

I hope these top 10 tips have not only helped you but have given you some inspiration for your interview. I wish you all the best in your job search!

Luci

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