Looking to increase your chances of getting that new job? Over my 20+ years in recruitment I have seen far too many people make simple mistakes that will have had a detrimental effect on their chances of getting hired. Some of these might seem a pretty obvious, but they’re common mistakes so here’s some top tips to help keep your application in contention:
• Personalise it to the role you are applying to – I.e. if you are applying to a Depot Manager role in the building plastics sector elaborate on the relevant work experience by specifying the details that the hiring manager will be interested in. Include details such as the team size you managed, the sales growth and margin / P&L improvements under your stewardship. Showcase your relevant experience and trim down the details of the less relevant roles.
• Use the 'right' personalised CV for the right role – double check that your personal statement is appropriate for the job that you are applying to. For example if you are applying for a BDM position don’t send a CV that has a personal profile section with a statement that reads that you want to get into Finance!
• Use a good CV template that is clearly structured. If you google ‘CV templates UK’ there are a plethora of different formats that are free and ready made to use - or contact MacGregor Recruitment and we’d be happy to send you some suitable templates to use
• Stick to 2-3 pages and use bullet points for your experience section to make it clear and easy to read to ensure that your relevant experience is easily taken on board by the hiring manager reading your CV. Pages of solid text can be more difficult for a busy hiring manager to extract the relevant experience you have and your CV might not get the attention you hope for.
• Explain relocation situations in your application – if you are applying for a role clearly out of the catchment area of the job you are applying to make sure that you explain why you have applied to avoid being rejected in the first sift of applications. Put in the header section of the CV or in your cover letter that you are relocating to the specific area to answer that concern that will be in the recruiters mind when they are reviewing your application
• Spell check – Once you have written your CV always ensure that you use spell check and then re-read to spot any errors that you might have made, and that it reads back okay. Always useful to then ask someone else to re-read it in order to spot any mistakes that you might have missed before sending it off to the company
• Return phone calls promptly – Agencies are the worst at this I hear you shout!! Agreed, but it works both ways - if you have done the hard work of applying and the hiring manager is interested and wants to have a chat or invite you for an interview, do answer your phone or return any missed calls to make sure that you remain in the process. If the recruiter can’t get hold of you after a message or two have been left unreturned you will be rejected so reguarly check your phone, your emails and junk folders to ensure you don’t miss any messages in the days and weeks after applying for roles.
• Preparation, Preparation, Preparation - be the most prepared candidate in the room!
• Company research – read the website to familiarise yourself with the company, the products, size, ambitions, values and news to be able to demonstrate your knowledge and why you are interested in the role and potentially joining the new company. Also useful to check out company pages on Indeed, Glassdoor, Companies House etc for more insight
• Re-read the job advert and job description thoroughly to consider the key skills and experience that the company is looking for - think about all of the examples of where you have demonstrated this over the course of your career
• Re-read your CV – be on top of the dates of employment, think about why you left different roles, think about your achievements and challenges that you have faced and what you have learnt from it
• Critically review your CV and think about what the recruiter reading your CV might have concerns about and might ask you about? Short tenures at roles and why you left? Gaps in employment? Moving from a senior job to a more junior position? What is on the job description for the role you are applying to that is not on your CV? Why is this position of interest to you? Anticipate as many questions as you can and plan your answers
• An interview is a 2-way process but let the interviewer lead the conversation. The interviewer will likely have a list of questions prepared that they want to run through with you so build rapport, answer the questions in detail and then let the interview move on to the next question. Try to avoid the temptation to drive the conversation and answer questions that haven’t been asked yet. Of course if you feel that relevant information or experience pertinent to the role has not been discussed during the interview bring this up at the end of the conversation
Not an exhaustive list but a few pointers based on common mistakes to help maximise your chances of being shortlisted for roles and gaining that valuable interview!
Please feel welcome to send your CV to MacGregor Recruitment and let’s have a chat to discuss what role you might ideally be looking for in your next career step and how we can help!