How to increase your chances of securing a job interview

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The war for talent in recruitment is rife and for every live role, a recruiter can receive anywhere from 10 to 100+ CVs, spending just 5-7 seconds reviewing them; so getting noticed is key. 
To help, we have compiled a short list of our top 6 tips to help you find your way to the top of the pile the next time you apply for a job and ultimately give you the best chance of securing that all important interview.

1. Take your time to write a killer CV

To secure an interview you must first get noticed with a great CV and understand what recruiters are looking for in the few seconds they will typically spend skimming it. A few of the mains things to remember are:

Write about your achievements, not just your responsibilities in your employment history
Tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for and include relevant buzzwords from the job spec; these are often used by recruiters when sourcing CVs on jobsites and candidate databases or when skimming the CV for suitability
Keep it short and relevant (2 A4 pages). Know your key selling points and make sure they stand out
Include a statement of intent to the reader that shows what you are looking to achieve from sharing your CV and ideally what you want to do in your career. Conveying clarity and a sense of clear direction on your CV will help recruiters match you with the right sort of opportunities.

For more tips on how to write a killer CV, follow this link to our website.

2. Build a great relationship with your recruiter

Often candidates only engage recruitment consultants when looking for a new job. While, it is a recruiter’s job to find and place candidates, to really have them work on your behalf and boost your chances of securing an interview it is important to build a strategic and proactive partnership over time.  With this in mind, be open and honest about your skills and let them get to know personally; regular meetings face to face or via video conference can help with this. A great recruiter will sell their candidate with conviction based on a relationship and is far more likely to secure an interview on that basis than selling CV of someone they have never met or invested time in. 
Don’t forget, a recruiter is often the best route to your next job so it is worth spending time building a trusted partnership that could benefit you throughout your career. Many companies rely on their recruitment vendors to source talent and won’t read speculative CV’s, so making sure you have a 3rd party on your side is a great way to get noticed.

For more tips on building a great partnership with your recruiter, click here

3. Apply for jobs that reflect your skills

When applying for jobs it is important to set goals and push yourself out of your comfort zone, however to secure an interview you must to be able to demonstrate experience that lends itself to the role your applying for. For contract recruitment this is especially true as clients are often paying a premium for an individual or team and typically seek those who can “hit the ground running.” For permanent jobs this tip still applies although companies may be more lenient in hiring a good attitude and work ethic with a view that certain skills can be learned over time, on the job or through training.

4. Secure meaningful testimonials

Many recruitment companies will claim to take “references”, but often all this really means is confirming your job title and dates of pervious employment to validate what is on your CV; it doesn’t sell you as a person. Our advice is to make sure your recruiter speaks to your former manager and gains some additional description around the role your performed but importantly; what you accomplished, what made you stand out and what additional value you brought to the team. This can then be shared with the hiring manager of the role you’re applying for and add further conviction in support of your application.

5. Identify warm links  

In recruitment, the people you know are often as important as the skills you possess.  With tools such as LinkedIn it can be relatively easy to identify mutual connections to the company you are targeting or even better the hiring manager themselves. By establishing connections to people who know you and can vouch for you, you’re more likely to stand out and be brought forward for interview. The next time you apply for a job, work in partnership with your recruiter to connect these dots. Once a link is identified then it’s about communicating the story behind this link to the hiring manager and making sure that this person (the link) will be an advocate of you if they’re asked; the chances are the first thing the manager will do is reach out to this person!

6. Work on your online brand

The majority of companies and nearly all recruiters will use a blend of the tools at their disposal to assess talent and make a selection for interview. While your CV is likely to be the first place recruiters and hiring managers look, they will often then explore other sources for validation.  According to RepuationVIP, 90% of recruiters will Google candidates before a job search and 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn for the same reason according to Jobvite. Keeping on top of your online presence can not only help you be found, but also support build a better picture of you as a person. It’s also useful to make sure that personal pages such as Facebook and Instagram are set to private or that you are comfortable with this content being publicly viewed and that it doesn’t compromise your professional brand. 

Summary

Just like writing the perfect CV, knowing how to secure an interview is more of an art than an exact science. However, following our top tips should help position you well the next time you apply for a job. Your CV will get you so far, but the rest comes down to reputation and personal brand you have and your ability to successfully partner with your recruiter and network the industry to the best contacts who can support your profile. If you imagine that you are a product looking for a buyer, consider recruiters and your network as the sales and marketing team who can effectively help strengthen your position in the market and get you in front of the right people.