Stand out from the crowd as a graduate in 2022!29th June 2022
As part of our graduate support month and following on from our previous advice blogs. We’re continuing our top tips on how you can use your time effectively to enhance your CV, knowledge and interview techniques to become more employable.
A cover letter is essential. It’s your chance to put your personality across and tailor yourself to a specific role. Cover letters are a great way of introducing yourself, explaining why you’re perfect for the role and what you can bring to the organisation. It’s a way to highlight any skills or experience you have which may be of interest to the organisation. Many people make the mistake of keeping their cover letter the same for each position they apply for but cover letters tend to get more attention when they are tailored for each opportunity and organisation. However in preparation you can produce a template to remind you to put anything you think makes you stand out.
Do your homework
It’s worth reviewing adverts for the kind of jobs you’d like to apply. Pay close attention to any key skills they are looking for and write a list of how you could example these, if there are skills you can’t demonstrate then think about actions you can take so you are able to, such as an online course or work experience. A common interview question is: what is your biggest weakness? If you can answer this by giving an example and then saying what you have done to improve this skill you will demonstrate self-awareness and perseverance which is important to employers. A big mistake is applicants not understanding the job they have applied for, followed by not having researched the company. It is very important you do both to get ahead!
Recruiters can open up a large network of clients who are looking for staff so they are a great way to apply for roles. It’s better to use a consultancy who specialise in the sector you wish to work in because we have well established industry partnerships, which can make your job search easier. We also offer support throughout the process including CV and interview advice. Recruiters offer a free service to job seekers and we will guide and prepare you to ensure the process of your job search will be tailor-made, specific and targeted for you, giving you every chance of success.
Write a winning CV
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the perfect CV, it should always be clearly formatted and short enough for a recruiter to scan quickly – and most importantly – tailored to the role you’re applying for.
Your CV is a chance to get across your key skills and experience. When preparing your CV think about who is reading it and the time constraints they have; pay close attention to hierarchy of information, use headings, subheadings and make sure it’s easy for someone to pick out your key skills and experience.
A virtual interview is an interview that takes place remotely, over the phone or video conference and during COVID-19 it was the chosen method of first interview. We are however now seeing a return to in person interviews.
Whether you are attending a virtual or in person interview, you should plan accordingly and practise in the mirror or with someone else and prepare your questions for the end of the interview. Typical interview questions may include ‘Why are you interested in this role?’, ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?’ and ‘What steps have you taken to improve your skills and knowledge in the last year?’ With questions such as these the interviewer will be expecting you to back up your answers by providing examples. To maximise your chances of success make sure you have carefully reviewed the job description and carried out in depth research into the company prior to your interview. If you’d like more in-depth advice on preparing for interviews we have more information in the advice page of our website.
The more of the points you can demonstrate, in our series of four blogs, the better chance you have of standing out from the crowd. Try taking the positives (and negatives) from each application. It doesn’t hurt to ask a recruiter why you were unsuccessful. You might just learn something.