Your dream job just popped up on your LinkedIn feed with a 100% match to your skills. The description fits your experience to a T. That must make you a shoo-in, right?
Even when you’re a perfect match on paper, just blandly listing your abilities isn’t enough to electrify a potential employer. Every company has a hire who ticked all the boxes but still didn’t survive the probation period. They need convincing that you’re a good fit for their organisation.
If you can show a company that you understand their needs and wants, and prove that you are the best person for the job, you’re on your way to landing that ideal position.
Research the Company Culture
Everyone knows to read up on the company in advance. But it’s not just about researching their history and location. You need a handle on their company culture too.
Their website should mention the values and the culture of the company. Have a look at their social media accounts. Are they serious? Fun loving? Creative? Make sure to mirror this tone in your interactions. By the time you get in touch, you need to be note-perfect on their values and goals.
You can’t just list your skills and experience and expect a potential employer to be dazzled. Go the extra step and prove these abilities by backing them up with concrete examples from your career.
Anyone can say they are detail oriented. Stand out with an example of a project where your pin-point accuracy and sharp focus rescued a crucial deal.
Write a Targeted Cover Letter
Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to write a targeted cover letter to win that job. You already know hiring managers are allergic to generic cover letters, but how can you make your application unique?
By aligning your skills and experience with not only the job description but also the company’s values and culture. They already have your CV, so don’t rehash it in your cover letter — instead, show the hiring manager how you are a perfect fit for their organisation by:
Stating how and why you are ideal for the job in the first paragraph
Using statistics and measurables to back up your claims (KPIs, percentages etc)
Telling a story aligned with the job description and/or company culture to humanise your application
Rout out typos and nip formatting errors in the bud — even electronic applications must be error-free. Have a friend proofread your application, preferably a native speaker.
Prepare for the Initial Phone Interview
Many companies rely on an initial screening call before the face-to-face interview round. Don’t be duped by the informal nature of these chats — be professional right off the bat to keep that good impression alive. Have answers on hand for awkward questions like salary expectations, current employment situation and notice period.
Try to uncover the name of the interviewer ahead of time and study their profile on LinkedIn. You may have gone to the same university, or share membership in a local professional organisation.
If it’s a video call, do a dry run to check if the lighting is correct and the background is neutral. And make sure to dress professionally.
Research the Face-to-Face Interview Location
Congratulations, you survived the first round and you’re booked in for a face-to-face interview! Don’t heap more stress onto an already anxious situation by not doing your homework.
Even if you know the company’s address, the building you need might be a rushed trek across a vast campus, or road works bring traffic to a standstill at that time of day.
You don’t want to turn up a sweaty mess. Research the location beforehand and do a proper dry run at the same time of day as your interview. Google Maps is your friend — not just to research the location but also for transport options and estimated durations. And do your nerves a favour by booking an annual leave day from your current position.
Show Your Professional Face to Everyone
During the recruitment process, everyone you come into contact with is accessing you. That includes the receptionist that you snapped at from nerves, to the people who spied you as a sweaty mess because you got lost on your way to the interview.
You can’t unring a bell and you can’t redo a first impression. So be unfailingly polite to everyone you meet, make sure you’re dressed in a professional manner, and always maintain a calm exterior. Even if 100 butterflies are doing a jig in your stomach.
Interviews aren’t just about discussing your skills — the company wouldn’t have called you in if they didn’t already know your experience and abilities. Instead, hiring managers need to know you’re a good fit with their office culture.
So be enthusiastic and show a positive approach. Make eye contact, smile and try to be natural.
Anyone can answer a question robotically by just giving generic answers. Instead, give them concrete examples of your work experience to personalise your responses. Show them what you can bring to the job, how you can help them grow their business and meet their goals.
Don’t forget to bring up the company’s culture and values. Are they a multicultural business? Give them examples of working with international clients and coworkers. Show them that they will make a good investment if they hire you.
Over to You
It’s not enough to rely on your skills and experience to land you that perfect job. Companies are desperate to know that you can fit into their culture quickly and can hit the ground running from day one. You need to help them realise you’re the employee they need by targeting your application to their values and goals.
Ready to electrify a potential employer and land your dream job? Contact Saro Recruitment today for a personalised service with real results.
12 April 2019