Employers and recruitment agencies look through hundreds of resumes a day. In most cases, employers would like to interview candidates to make sure they get the best person for the job. However, there may be various rounds before a face to face interview. Today, candidates are being asked to complete aptitude and competency tests, phone interviews, Skype interviews, attend group interviews and finally a face to face interview. To make sure you get to the interview stage make sure you prepare yourself for all
1. Ensure you CV is Up to Date
Make sure your resume includes correct contact details such as an active e-mail address, current phone number with a professional voicemail set up and your address. Your contact details should appear on the top of your CV and if relevant you can input your name onto the footer of the document so if pages are separated an employer can see what CV the pages belong to.
Address, Tel, E-mail
Other essential job application must haves:
- Make sure your CV is easy to read by using bullet points rather than sentences. Also highlight goals achieved in past roles as well as important aspects such as degree marks and skills.
- Use an easy to read, standard format, like Microsoft Word to ensure the attachment will open.
- Attach your own cover letter which is clear and personalised to the job which you are applying.
2. Match your CV to the Job Description
As the amount of applicants can reach the thousands, most job applications are requestyed to be sent in online. An important thing to remember is online applications use software looking for key words to narrow down the amount of applicants coming in. These key words usually appear in the job description as they are essential to have to be eligible for the role. If your CV does not have the minimum amount of keywords required, the software system will remove your CV from the pile of potential applicants. There are online sources for ’employment keywords’. It’s worth doing a search, because there are literally millions of entries under that search.
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Below is a sample job description. The highlighted terms are the terms required to be considered for the role and should be inputted into your CV to maximise your chances of getting an interview for the sample job.
Job Description: Sales Careers Online
Title: Sales Manager
Department: Sales Division
Reports to: V.P. of Sales
Responsible for the development and performance of all sales activities in assigned market. Staffs and directs a sales team and provides leadership towards the achievement of maximum profitability and growth in line with company vision and values. Establishes plans and strategies to expand the customer base in the marketing area and contributes to the development of training and educational programs for clients and Account Executives.
- Develops a business plan and sales strategy for the market that ensures attainment of company sales goals and profitability.
- Responsible for the performance and development of the Account Executives.
- Prepares action plans by individuals as well as by team for effective search of sales leads and prospects.
- Initiates and coordinates development of action plans to penetrate new markets.
- Assists in the development and implementation of marketing plans as needed.
- Conducts one-on-one review with all Account Executives to build more effective communications, to understand training and development needs, and to provide insight for the improvement of Account Executive’s sales and activity performance.
- Provides timely feedback to senior management regarding performance.
- Provides timely, accurate, competitive pricing on all completed prospect applications submitted for pricing and approval, while striving to maintain maximum profit margin.
- Maintains accurate records of all pricings, sales, and activity reports submitted by Account Executives.
- Creates and conducts proposal presentations and RFP responses.
- Assists Account Executives in preparation of proposals and presentations.
- Controls expenses to meet budget guidelines.
- Adheres to all company policies, procedures and business ethics codes and ensures that they are communicated and implemented within the team.
- Recruits, tests, and hires Account Executives based on criteria agreed upon by senior management.
3. Action Words
Once you have applied for a few similar jobs in your area of expertise or interest you begin to see a trend of words used in job descriptions. These words can be turned into Action Words that you use when inputted into your own CV.
For Example: Common Words used in Software Engineer Job Descriptions
Analyzing Information, Software Design, Software Documentation, Software Testing, Teamwork, General Programming Skills, Software Development Fundamentals, Software Development Process, Software Requirements, Software Architecture, Coaching
If you know that these are traits needed in order to be a software engineer, make sure they are your action words. Make sure you have an example of teamwork and coaching from a college project or past job. Put down the relevant skills such as programming software testing and software design.
These words are essential in getting to the next stage when applying for a job.
When applying for jobs make sure you are networking with industry professionals, relevant groups and companies. If you are applying for a job and it is between you and another candidate, it would help if you had a connection to the industry.
It can be as simple as attending local events, registering for the local chamber of commerce, familiarising yourself with the company in question or participating in online groups where industry professionals interact.
5. Be Professional and Honest
Although you want to up sell yourself, do not lie and say you can do something you can’t just to get through to an interview. The interviewer will eventually find out and it will be a waste of time for everyone.
In all scenarios, even when handing a CV in to a manger, make sure your appearance is appropriate and you use professional language and be polite.
On telephone interviews, the employer may ring from a blocked or unknown number so answer with “Hello, Name Speaking” rather than “HI WHOS DIS?”
In an e-mail, always be overly formal using the person’s full name if you have it and correct grammar and spelling rather than text talk.