1) Tailor your CV for each job – Simple yet people don’t do it, make it accomplishment driven.
When applying for jobs it is essential to tailor your CV to each individual job if you want to stand out against your competitors. This doesn’t necessarily mean wholesale changes, but can mean more information on a particular experience or skill, or inserting information on desired criteria for that job, ensuring essential criteria is fulfilled with examples. All CV’s must be accomplishment driven as this will give employers the best opportunity at understanding you and your personality.
2) Research company & interview panel – Understand what their interests & motivations are, speak their language.
In every interview you will be asked, “Can you tell me what you know about this company?” It’s easy to go on their website to look at the ‘About Us’ section but if you really want to stand out then put proper time into this, this extra mile will be more than worth it in the end. Go onto Google and see what comes up in the news or on other websites, see if you can find information on new products, contracts etc. This means you can relate your experiences and skills to their company in an easy manner, and further to this you will get a better sense of their culture and language. Researching a company can also give you better questions to ask at the end of an interview; which itself is a must.
3) Follow-up after your interview – Thank them for their time and reaffirm your interest.
Some people may have never done this but it is always advisable to either call the interviewer or send them an email the evening following your interview or the next day. This is not only good manners but it gives you an opportunity to remind the interviewer of your experience and highlight your interest in the vacancy. It shouldn’t be any longer than a paragraph of this size as it’s an informal discussion and information overload can be detrimental to your application.
4) Network, Network, Network – Online & offline; attend events and join groups on LinkedIn.
It may be an old suggestion but it certainly rings true to this very day. If you want to stand out against your competitors, being recognised in the industry by fellow professionals is a big way to do so. There are numerous events on a monthly basis that you can attend across Northern Ireland for your industry, and some are even FREE. There is always a period at the event where you can go around the room, meet new people, introduce yourself and gain some contacts. After the event you should add them on LinkedIn, which is used as a key tool for recruitment.
Networking isn’t just an offline tool, if you use LinkedIn correctly you will stand out easily. This means having an up-to-date profile, following relevant groups and companies, as well as engaging on posts.
5) Online Reputation Management – Ensure what you want shows up on a Google search.
This is an ‘upcoming’ method so if you start now you’ll be ahead of your competition in no time. Online Reputation Management involves ensuring you appear highly on search engine results, and that the results show you in a positive manner. You should repeat this method every couple of weeks or monthly to see how your search results are changing by following our guidelines below.
It’s advisable to create professional social media accounts such as Twitter and publish content on a daily basis and this will push down most results over time, as social media accounts show up highest in a search. It’s vital that you follow accounts that are industry specific and not just your friends, as this will allow employers to see you are truly interested in the profession. Next it’s a good idea to privatise all your social media accounts that aren’t professional as this is the most common place employers find something they don’t like about their employees or potential employees.