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Nov 012010
 
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Image by DaveBleasdale via Flickr

What’s the most important part of a typical job application? Is it your CV / Resume? Is it the  years of experience you’ve built up? Is it your unique blend of skills and expertise? The correct answer is none of the above! While all of those things are crucial components of the perfect job application, a really successful application is about getting you invited for interview. The For that, the single most effective weapon in your job-seekers arsenal is your covering letter. Why you need a great cover letter for your job application The term “covering letter” implies that this is perhaps a less important document than the material it accompanies. Not so! You see, when you’re applying for a job, your covering letter is much more than just a note to accompany the enclosed documentation. It is what the recruiter is going to read FIRST. It’s not so much a covering letter, it’s more of a sales letter.

Sell yourself with your covering letter

Your cover letter is the first opportunity you have to really shine… and to impress upon your employer just how perfect you are for the job. It’s worth spending a bit of time getting this right: Continue reading »

Sep 212009
 
Cool Blog Sociale - 10 July 2008 - Creative hi...

Image by SOCIALisBETTER via Flickr

Finding a job, any job, in today’s employment market is tough. As a job seeker you need to make sure every weapon in your arsenal is honed to deliver the maximum possible value in your job search, and the most crucial weapon at your disposal in your quest for work is undoubtedly your CV.

Your CV is one of the most powerful, personally relevant documents you’ll ever produce. Essentially it should encapsulates who you are, what you’ve done with your life to date, where you’re heading in the future and why a prospective employer would be crazy want to discover more about you. It’s a marketing document designed to sell the best product in the world: you!

Thinking of your CV as a marketing tool can be useful in a variety of ways. Before embarking on any campaign a marketer needs to know what the aim of the campaign is (what they want out of it) and the target market. The better they know that market — its wants, needs and preferences — the better they can tailor their marketing campaign to deliver the result they want. It’s the same thing with your CV — the crucial thing is to know what you want (an invitation to interview), and the more you know about your prospective employer, the easier it will be to tailor your CV to address their specific needs.

Continue reading »

Jun 092009
 
Success

Image by aloshbennett via Flickr

After the undeniably stressful experience of an interview, it’s only natural to feel relief washing over you: relief that it’s over, that you’ve survived the ordeal, that you did your best and now the ball’s in their court. But before you relax there are still a few things that can enhance your chances of success and help you hone those all-important interview techniques for next time.

  • It ain’t over ’till it’s over: just because the formal process of the interview is complete, don’t assume you can let your guard down. You’re still being evaluated – maintain your professionalism until you’re well outside the employer’s building.
  • Contact details: get business contact details for each of your interviewers. Ask for business cards at the end of the interview, or call reception once you get home and ask for them.
  • Say thank you: always send an individual thank you letter or e-mail to each of your interviewers within 24 hours. This is a great way to appear professional and courteous. It also gives you another chance to reiterate your strengths, and puts your name squarely in front of them again while they’re still making their decision.
  • Don’t appear overeager: you want to look professional and courteous, not desperate. Send a thank you e-mail or a letter, not both, and avoid picking up the phone and ringing the interviewer immediately after an interview – it smacks of desperation.
  • Review your performance: within a few days of the interview review your own performance: what went well, what not so well. Make a check-list of things you can improve on for next time.
  • Keep looking: even if you’re feeling confident about the outcome of the interview, don’t stop applying for other jobs. Maintain your momentum, so that if this job offer doesn’t come you already have other things in the pipeline.
  • Follow up phone call: although you should avoid the phone immediately after your interview, it’s perfectly acceptable to call and ask for a decision if you haven’t heard anything a week to ten days afterwards. Remember to be professional and courteous, and to build on that rapport you established during the interview itself.
  • Don’t burn your bridges: even if you don’t get the job this time around, be sure to keep your options open. The successful candidate may turn the job offer down, or the company may be hiring again in the near future.
  • Ask for constructive feedback: this probably wasn’t your first interview, and it’s unlikely to be your last. Whether you’ve been successful or not, contact your interviewers for feedback on your performance. What were your strengths and weaknesses, was there anything in particular they feel you need to work on? A lot of interviewers are happy to volunteer this information if asked, and it can do wonders to improve your interview technique for the future.

If you get the job, congratulations! If not, remember there’s always the next time, and by applying what you’ve learnt this time around, you’ll be in an even stronger position to succeed.

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