By Deirdre May, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers, Limerick
Many times I have been asked the question: “how do I get that job?”. My answer is always the same: “preparation”.
It can never be emphasised enough how important it is to be prepared when applying for a position, writes Deirdre May, Career Coach.
You must ensure firstly that your CV is properly prepared. If you are applying for jobs in different fields, because you are qualified or proficient in a number of skills, it is important that you prepare your CV so that it best highlights the skills required for the advertised position.
Your CV is your calling card. It must be designed to ensure you secure an interview for the job. It is important that you know your CV and can stand by all the information contained within it. Never put in something that you can’t back up.
Remember when you are in front of an interview panel you must be able to, if required, elaborate further on what you have put into your CV. Remember your CV gets you the interview so for this reason it is also likely to become an important part of the interview process.
It is always important to keep your CV updated with any further skills you have gained. Think about your previous role: have you included everything you achieved? It could be that you were in an acting position, or in a team leader role within the company, for a period of time.
It always helps to research the company you have applied to in order to learn about their ethos and value systems. Matching your CV with the requirements of the company is vital to securing that all-important interview.
Remember when you are applying for a job it is through your CV that you sell yourself. Your CV becomes your calling card and must best communicate what you are about as an employee and also as a person. If you obtain an interview it is because the company, through your CV, is now interested in discussing your application face to face.
On a related point, in times of economic difficulty, such as this country has experienced over recent years, there can be a temptation to go for each and every job – but it is rarely a good idea to jump on any, or every, passing train.
If your application is generic, the employer is likely to see as just that not be stimulated. We have talked here before about the ‘surgical strike’: your CV must fit the exact requirements of the job.
Better to send out one tailored and focused CV per day or week than 20 random broadcasts.
So take time to make sure your CV is tailored and focused.
I hate to hear a candidate say “I will take any job”. It means they are not likely to match their CV to the job at hand and will rely on quantity rather quality. “I sent my CV out 55 times last week” might sound like a proud boast, but my fear would be that all 55 made a swift trip to the waste basket.
Think quality. Think about the job at hand. Think about the company. Thing about their ethos. Think about the managers you know in there. Then, and only then, can you craft a CV that hits the spot.