Why self-improvement helps you stand out from the job hunting crowd
In such a competitive era, it’s vital that you make every effort to set yourself apart from all the others when it comes to attracting the attention of a potential employer. So let’s consider the basics of what you should be doing to make yourself attractive to employers.
Examine your Social Media footprint.
If your entire Google search is dominated by party-fuelled pictures of you, a good quality employer may have an image problem in bringing you on board their team. Be prepared to delete photos, posts and even entire accounts in order to present yourself in the best possible light.
Be prepared also for some images and posts to still show on Google / other major search engines even after you’ve deleted them – in which case you may need to seek expert guidance on removal techniques.
There are entire YouTube tutorials on preparing the perfect CV, and with good reason. A badly prepared, badly written CV will not only cost you the job but will likely cost you even the opportunity of an interview. Avoid falling at the first hurdle by ensuring your CV is short, relevant to the job you’re applying for, believable (no false claims of management experience or similar, for example) and presented in the proper format – most recent employment first is the format preferred by most recruiters, as it lets them see at a glance if you have the right background for the job. Finally, avoid making the most common faux pas in CV preparation: your personal details, including email and mobile telephone number, should be accurate and up-to-date. Think about how many job opportunities have been lost because someone forgot to update their mobile number…..
Be prepared (part 1).
If you’re sending your CV out there with your email address and mobile phone number on it, you need to make sure you’re checking your emails a few times a day and that you answer your phone when it rings – particularly if it o
rings from an unknown or anonymous number. Most businesses recruit from an anonymous or withheld phone number, so do make sure you pick up any and all calls placed to you during the time you’re accurately job hunting. It’s fairly routine now for the first contact to be an informal telephone interview, so if you’re not picking your phone up you’re falling at the first hurdle and you will never get that job opportunity.
Be prepared (part 2).
Keep track of what you’ve applied for, who the recruitment agency was, when the closing date was, when you can expect to hear back etc. By keeping a folder of all your applications you can easily find the job referred to by the recruiter or HR manager when they call you. There’s nothing more unflattering than a candidate who can’t remember, or doesn’t seem to care enough to remember, applying to you so avoid this outcome by keeping a good record of all your applications.
Be prepared (part 3).
Do some basic research on each company and job before your original application, and keep this information with your CV and application. That way, when you do get the telephone call for that first interview you’re already on your way to being prepared to ask and answer questions about the company and the role you’ve applied for.
You will need to look, dress and sound the part of the perfect employee to add to their growing team. Check out the company and its current staff online for a look at what to wear, what style of personal presentation they seem to favour, and then adapt your wardrobe to suit.
If you’re doing all of the above as a regular routine, you’re going to stand out a long way from the crowd in every job-hunting scenario. But above and beyond all, what employers want to see is self-improvement and a commitment to learning and bettering yourself. After all, what new staff member is easiest to train than one who is already showing the ability to learn new skills and to develop new understandings and routines?
Use your CV and job application form to highlight new and recent learning. Be honest about the challenges it presents, what you like about it, what its benefits have been for you; and don’t forget to highlight how your new learning techniques and the new knowledge you’ve gained can be used to help your potential new employer. Employers are going to be impressed by someone who can show a straight line from their knowledge to helping the company improve and develop, and that’s only going to help you to stand out even further from all the other applicants, leading to an increased likelihood of you being selected for interview.