The economy is steadily improving, but the competition for employment remains fierce. People hoping to land their dream position must put their best foot forward when submitting applications and interacting with prospective employers. If you’re currently in the market for employment, here are some tips that may help.

Draft a Solid Resume

While there are many ways to draft a CV or resume, there are a few important elements to consider:

  • Executive summary. Use this space to summarise why you’re the best candidate for the position.
  • Relevant work experience. Applying for a job as an accountant? You probably don’t want to include that fast food job from your high school years. Try to include only applicable work experience.
  • Quantify accomplishments. Use specifics to convey your message. If you saved the company £5,000 by implementing a new form of software, indicate this in your position description.
  • Eliminate the reference footer. If you’re applying for a professional position, the hiring manager will assume you can provide this information at any time.
  • Resume length. One to two pages is ideal. Anything beyond that leaves room for unnecessary verbiage or rambling.
  • Other resume formats. Video CV or resumes shouldn’t scare you away. Assuming the employer requests this format, let your light shine and be sure to include business video clips from resources like Shutterstock. They can be great images for transitions or voiceovers.

Lastly, don’t forget the cover letter, which is a brief introduction of who you are and why you should be considered for the position.

Nail the Interview

Secure the call back for a second-interview—or even better, a job offer—with these tips:

  • Do your homework. There’s always a chance the interviewer will ask you to tell them about the company. If you’re unable to answer with an overview along with any relevant or current events, you can kiss the opportunity goodbye.
  • Prepare your elevator speech. You’re sitting in an interview and the hiring manager says, “Tell me about yourself.” How do you respond? Offer a brief description that includes your background, interests and goals.
  • Anticipate common questions. The employer may inquire about your weaknesses, but the idea here is to convert them into strengths. In addition, be prepared for the behavioural questions. For example, if you’re asked, “Tell me about a time when…,” explain the challenge, your approach to resolve the issue and the end result.
  • Go out with a bang. At the end of the interview, the floor will open up for you to ask questions. Don’t just say “no,” shake hands and dart out of the room. Instead, state a fact and a question based on that fact to demonstrate your intellect. Also, ask open-ended questions that allow employers to talk about themselves.
  • Dress the part. What you wear to the interview should align with the company and/or job description. If you’re unsure, Forbes recommends calling the company’s HR department and asking what they recommend you wear. When in doubt, err on the side of being slightly overdressed, rather than show up too casual, which could be interpreted as underprepared.

Follow Up

Send an email note within 24 hours to express your gratitude for the interview. Even if you don’t land the job, the interviewer may keep you on the radar for future opportunities.

Other Important Tips

  • Honesty is the best policy. Your attempts at fabricating your education, work experience or any other relevant details may be successful out the gate, but could come back to haunt you if your employer uncovers the truth later on down the line.
  • Be clear and concise. The interviewer’s time is limited, so rambling on in your resume or during the interview won’t do you any justice.
  • Clean up your social media accounts. Use Social Sweeper to eliminate any red flags that a potential employer may find on your Facebook page, Twitter account or through other social media outlets.


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