If you are in the 29% of people who haven’t looked for a new job in the last 5 years, it’s important you know how the process has shifted. Because of this we have decided to provide an update on some of the major job searching trends in 2015.
They are always mentioned as a necessity in every application, but the fact is most cover letters don’t get read anymore. This is due to the influx of applications received for vacant positions. Due to how time poor hiring managers are they are now relying on Application Tracking Systems (ATS) in the screening process. For this reason it is more beneficial to tailor your resume and ensure it is packed full of keywords.
The reasoning here is similar to cover letters… Each resume only gets a short span of hiring manager’s attention, why waste that valuable real-estate on a paragraph which doesn’t include anything they really want to hear at this point in time.
References on Resume
It is no longer necessary to finish your resume with references. Hiring managers assume that you will provide your professional references at the appropriate time if you are successful during the interview.
Handwritten Thank You Notes
A lot of people find it creepy nowadays to receive a hand written thank you note, that myth has definitely been busted and it is far more appropriate to follow up with a simple email.
Due to the application tracking systems being deployed by large organisations it is imperative every resume job seekers send out is tailored. Don’t ditch the cover letter all-together it is still a nice touch, it’s just a matter of shifting focus to ensuring your resume nails the job description.
Have replaced the old-fashioned objective statement at the start of a resume. Start your resume with a punch by outlining all key skills that you possess, especially those that are relevant to the job description. This shows the hiring manager straight away what you are capable of bringing on board in a digestible format.
Listing your responsibilities is great, but not as important as what you accomplished and achieved within your role. It is now far more desirable to include achievements rather than stating responsibilities.
We hope this blog has helped those job seekers who have been off the market for five years or more get back up to speed. For more advice please follow us across social media.
These days the competition in the job market is fierce; especially between graduates who tend to all possess similar degrees and experiences. I started my career as an intern, although you may not have some of the benefits of full time employees, the experience and lessons learnt are invaluable, not to mention the opportunities that can be unlocked.
Here are the top 3 reasons why you should take an internship:
1. Erase all doubt
An internship will provide you with a taste of the working world; this will erase any doubt in your mind about whether you want to work in the industry. It will also give you first-hand experience with the expectations in entry-level roles and the gap you must bridge to really excel and make an impact in your next role.
2. Accelerated Learning
An internship will accelerate your learning and provide you with unimaginable lessons. As someone who has interned, I can tell you with the right mentoring and attitude within a few months in the workforce you will refine and develop skills both within and outside your degree. The benefits of learning in the workforce are outstanding and provide unique experiences not possible in the typical classroom environment.
As noted earlier, it is difficult to distinguish yourself so early on in your career, as all graduates lack experience and have a great degree. A degree alone isn’t a guaranteed job, and shouldn’t be sold as that. A degree is the backbone but experience will bring your career prospects to life. The experience gained during an internship, will make you a stand out when applying for entry-level roles. It shows initiative, drive and above all else you’re ready for the workforce.
We hope this blog has helped all graduates understand the role that internships should play in your development. We hope all students seek out opportunities whilst at university as it will only improve your chance of hitting the ground running when you graduate.
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It’s great to know the most common questions to be hurled your way in a job interview. But we wanted to go one step further and actually help you build the perfect answers. So strap yourself in, here are the 8 most common job interview questions and how to conquer them.
1. Tell me about yourself?
Meet the #1 opening interview question of all time, “The Icebreaker”. This question has no tricky component and purely exists to help candidates settle in and get into a rhythm to master more technical questions.
Nail this question by keeping your answer succinct and direct. The hiring manager is really just after a brief description entailing your educational and professional background.
*Bonus Point – If you can clearly align your education and professional background with criterion mentioned in the job advertisement.
2. Why are you interested in working here?
Building in complexity, this question is straight to the point still and your answer should mirror that. The interviewer basically wants to know what attracted you in the job advertisement. Whether it was their brand image, culture, products or the responsibilities outlined. You want to convey your passion and excitement about the opportunity and get specific.
3. What do you know about us?
Please, don’t blank out on this question. It’s imperative you research the company you’re interviewing with, in anticipation of this common question.
You don’t need to understand the company inside and out that takes time and will come. It is important though to be able to outline the organisations history, industry and products or services they’re renown for.
*Bonus Point – If you can reflect how the organisations values and culture resonate with you. For example, the organisation is innovative and invests resources in R&D to remain in front of competitors. Show how this aligns with you and the work you deliver, as you remain on the cutting edge of your niche’s trends.
4. What are your strengths?
It’s your time to shine; you have the interviewer hooked after nailing the first three questions.
We all know what our strong points are; it’s simply selecting the right strengths to highlight. The aim is to pick 3-4 strengths that are directly relevant to the job criteria and get across how these strengths will lead to you excelling and making an impact straight away if given the opportunity.
Q.5 What is your greatest weakness?
Meet my most dreaded question to be on the receiving end of, as well as ask candidates. So often people get untied, or answer generically with, “My weakness is that I am perfectionist and can spend a lot time ensuring a task is absolutely perfect”. Masking strengths as a weakness is an old trick now, and risks ruining the rapport and trust that has been developed with the interviewer.
Mastering this question takes a bit of self-reflection and hard work, but you will reap the rewards. Try to find a real weakness that is not detrimental to the role you are interviewing for. Then showcase how you have worked towards addressing it through various actions and finish positively on the progress you have made.
*Bonus Point – For avoiding generic answers and “I don’t have any weaknesses”. This response will raise eyebrows for two reasons, it suggests a potential inability to self-reflect and identify areas where improvement can be made. As well as concerns on your ability to receive constructive criticism.
Q.6 Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Naturally, every reader’s answer to this question will vary depending on your personal aspirations and level of role. Begin by highlighting your passion for the current role on offer and how it is the perfect foundation. Follow up by saying your focus is on learning, developing and refining skills and all you hope is that your career naturally progresses as you do.
*Bonus Points - Avoid sounding overly ambitious or suggesting this role is a stepping-stone for bigger things.
Q.7 Why are you leaving the job you currently have?
You are almost there; usually interviewers don’t fire this question out until it is close to closing time.
Here is what not to do:
- Be negative
- Trash talk ex employers or colleagues
Instead try to highlight the exciting parts of the new role and the reasons why you are willing to leave a good job for this opportunity. This question is another opportunity to demonstrate your positivity and passion for the role on offer.
Q.8 Do you have any questions?
The best way to tackle this job interview question is before the interview even begins. Compile a list of questions you would like to have answered during the job interview. If at this point there are still gaps in the information you would like to obtain, fire away. If you are unsure about what sort of questions to ask, try asking about the culture, vision and where your role fits in with that.
We hope this blog post has been informative and gives all our readers confidence going into their next interview.
Please drop a comment below and share a question you need help conquering and the team will reply. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.