You’re done with school or college, and you’re ready to enter the job market, start your career and earn your own money. Or, maybe you’ve been in the game for a while and feel it’s time for a change?
Putting yourself out there can be quite daunting and maybe even depressing, as the job market is tough and people are hustling for vacancies. This is why it’s crucial to stand out, make sure your CV catches the attention of your future employer, and be interview-ready when you get the call.
To help get you there, we’ve put together four steps to follow to give you the employment edge and get you job ready. Let’s go:
- Make your CV’s first impression count:
Your CV is the first thing a prospective employer sees, so make sure it is professional, compact and to the point. TIP: Use this easy-to-follow CV template. Also try to:
- Keep your CV short – maximum two A4 pages
- Be consistent with your format and ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors as this can deter employers (ask a friend to proofread if you’re not feeling confident or try a free online tool such as Grammarly)
- Tailor your CV for each application, to make it as relevant as possible to the role for which you’re applying)
- Keep your cover letter sharp
Yes, sending the same cover letter to many companies saves you time in the short-term, but it also decreases your chances of getting a job fast. Customising your cover letter for each application will help you stand out. Be respectful, polite and remember to focus less on what you will get from the role, and more on what you will bring to the role.
- Show them your best self
Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview thanks to your compelling CV and cover letter, but your job isn’t done (but, if all goes according to plan, it will soon begin!).
Let the interview prep begin! Momentum Metropolitan suggest the following tips:
- Dress the part: The accepted attire differs across industries – for example, the dress code in an advertising agency or tech company might be more relaxed than in a legal firm or large corporate. That said, always err on the side of caution and aim for smart or smart-casual, making sure hair and nails are neat, shoes are clean, clothes are ironed etc.
- Know your stuff: Do your research on the company beforehand, know your CV back to front and practise your answers to the questions likely to be asked, finding ways to marry your experience and knowledge with the job requirements
- Be respectful: Arrive 10 – 15 minutes early, put your mobile on silent, and know the name of the person interviewing you. When you meet them, shake their hand firmly and greet them warmly and confidently, while looking them in the eye
- Interview time!
Finally, it’s the day of the interview, and you’re worried your sweaty palms and quivering voice will get the better of you? Not with these calming tips:
- Slow down and breathe – take your time in answering complex questions.
- Stay calm – listen carefully and be careful not to spiral into a monologue where you’re talking at the interviewer rather than with them – this phenomenon is a by-product of nerves but by being aware of it, you are less likely to fall victim to it
- Be careful of your tone – Remember, there’s a fine line between confidence and overconfidence. Be friendly, courteous, concise, and above all, honest
- Ask questions – it shows interest in the company and helps to keep things conversational.
Once you’re done, send a thank-you email following the interview, with any job references or materials you promised to share. Good luck!