By Lilian Wamaitha
How long have you been job searching? How many CVs have you sent without hearing back from the employer?
The questions on your mind now would probably be “What is wrong with my CV?” “Is my CV being seen?” “Am I less qualified for all jobs I apply for?”
I sat down with Ms. Muthoni Ndegwa a Recruitment Manager at Corporate Staffing to shed more light on why employers reject CVs without even reading them.
At the end of the day, it could be that you are qualified for a job, but your CV is a total turn off. Here is how;
1. You don’t name your CV appropriately
According to Ms Ndegwa, a majority of CVs fail to get the employer’s approval because of how they are saved.
Think about it; if an employer is receiving thousands of applications on a single position with no proper naming, how are they going to keep track of all the CVs?
To be on the safe side, name your CV accordingly. For this she recommends that you name your CV by your first and last name.
“This will give the recruiter an easier time when short listing and even keep track of all the applicants,” she says.
For instance, you could name your CV as ‘Lilian Wamaitha CV’ or ‘WamaithaCV’.
It’s that simple.
2. Sending your CV as a “forward”
I am not a recruiter but I have had so many of our readers send their CVs to me for a job.
However, the problem is not sending the CV but how you send it.
If you are in the habit of forwarding your CV and I mean from the last one your sent, I am here to tell you that this is one of the mistakes that recruiters don’t forgive easily.
It not only shows a lack of focus but it brings you out as lazy.
I mean, how simple is it to create a completely new email when applying for a job?
3. Sending your CV accompanied by lots of attachments
Often employers have about 7 seconds to scan through your application to determine if they will shortlist you for a job.
One of the mistakes that job seekers make is sending so many attachments for a single job application. This will include a CV, cover letter, all their certificates and some even take it to the extreme by attaching their birth certificate as well as health records.
Go through the job description and note what the employer wants. If they say send your CV only, kindly do not send a cover letter along. If they say to email your applications, a CV and a cover letter will do.
Avoid attaching your certificates when applying for a job unless the employer has specifically asked you to.
Chances are, they will tell you to bring the other documents along when they shortlist you for an interview?
What does this means then? It means that your CV should be comprehensive enough and tailored towards the job you are applying for.
4. Saving your CV In the wrong format
Word and PDF format should be the only systems to use when sending your CV to potential employers. Avoid sending your CV then saving it in a format that cannot be accessible.
The end result? Employers will not get a chance to have a look at it and it is your entire fault.
“I have had applicants sending CVs by sharing it on Google docs where I have to have permission to view the file, something which is impossible,” says Ms Ndegwa.
To be on the safe side, just save it as a word document since it’s the easiest.
5. Your CV is too long
The length of your CV depends on your working experience but having a very long CV runs the risk of an employer discarding it before getting a chance to read it.
You can’t have 2 years experience and afford to write a 10 page CV. The recruiter has 100 more CVs to shortlist so chances are that your 10 page document will be rejected. An employer will simply move on to the next, more shorter and organized CV.
In this competitive job market, applying for a job and getting invited for an interview is quite a big challenge. However, if you stay away from these mistakes, you will increase the chances of a recruiter considering your CV for a job offer.
Your CV is the first step that gets you the job.
It determines whether you get shortlisted for an interview.
Now, when you look at your CV and honestly critic it, does it increase or decrease your chances of getting shortlisted?
Perhaps your CV formatting is wrong or you have included unnecessary things in your CV.
It has now been revealed that there are 5 main things Nigerian employers are looking for the minute they open your CV.
1. Your Career Objective
A career objective is a summarized account of who you are as a professional. It MUST be tailored to the job description.
At this point you also state your total years of experience, your achievements and finish off with your enthusiasm for the job.
Also be sure to include your soft skills such as result driven and tenacious professional.
A career objective should however not be too lengthy. The secret is to keep it short and sweet.
2. Academic Qualifications
Academic qualifications should not be listed randomly.
Always begin with the highest level of academic excellence and proceed to the lowest. Kindly include your class if it is a strong one (First Class, Second Class Upper)
Additionally, avoid indicating the grades you scored.
NEVER breakdown the units you did in school. This is wasting much needed space on your CV.
3. Your key skills and Competencies
This is a very important component on your CV. It should be the point at which you sell yourself.
When listing your KEY skills and competencies, ensure they are related to the job description.
List both technical and soft skills in order to ensure that as an employer reads your CV he can be able to discern you have a good grasp of both.
AVOID giving one word vague pointers here such as saying; accounting skills, communication skills, Computer literate.
ALWAYS give statements e.g. “Communication Skills: Excellent oral and written communication skills acquired throughout my career.
Your key skills and competencies should always come immediately after your academic background.
4. Your Achievements
What have you achieved in the last few years or months working that will boost your chances of getting an interview?
If you do not have any work experience, what were you able to achieve in school?
Ensure that you list relevant achievements. Be very specific as you do so as well.
List 1-3 achievements.
5. Your referees
Did you know that you MUST always have 3 referees in your CV?
These can be people you know professionally i.e. people you have worked for, interacted with at a professional level etc.
NEVER include referees who you know personally.
You need to know that employers always make follow ups with referees and in the event they call them up or email them and find out you lied, you will not get shortlisted.
You are a fresh graduate and you have never set your foot in an interview, but you have always heard of the popular question that everyone who has every attended an interview always talks about.
The tell me about yourself for fresh graduates is a tricky one for candidates considering they do not have any prior experience in the industry they are seeking a job.
The goal of higher education is to prepare one for the workforce, yet time spent in the educational system is time not spent creating real world experiences and accomplishments.
In today’s economic times, employers value known commodities over unknown risk. They are looking for achievements instead of possibility; experience over knowledge.
Interview questions are designed to highlight these achievements. Yet as a recent college graduate, you are not going to have very much work experience.
Few graduates have improved sales by 150% or created organizational structures that improved efficiency from top to bottom.
Luckily, you can implement interview strategies that will allow you to effectively answer these personal job interview questions and prove to employers that your skills are more than suited for the position.
Below are some sample interview questions to graduates and how to answer them.
Q: Tell Me About Yourself
This is another interview question designed to spot weaknesses in college graduates.
You should answer this question with your education and accomplishments, and stay away from answers about your personality, your social life, what it was like growing up, etc.
No matter how friendly the interviewer seems, ask yourself, “If the company was a person, would the company care about what I’m saying?”
Companies only care about how you will contribute to the organization and what proof you have that you would be a model employee.
Tell me about yourself for fresh graduate should simply highlight on ways you prove valuable to the organization.
Q: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?
Perhaps one of the most common interview questions to recent graduates is their five to ten year plan. It is also the question that most graduates fail.
Though employers may encourage personal or truthful answers, the company’s only true interests are themselves.
If you plan to further your studies, plan to travel, plan to get married – these are all interesting on a personal level, but none of them reflect well on your potential to stick with the company.
Your answer should resemble “My goal in five years is to have garnered enough experiences that I can take on a managerial or supervisorial role within the company.”
Q: Why Do You Think You Are a Good Fit For the Company?
Interview preparation is vital for these types of answers. Research the company in full. Employers are not going to be expecting graduates to provide detailed, complete answers about your specific qualifications for the company and the role.
Q: What Made You Choose This Job?
Graduates are often asked this question when seeking entry level positions at jobs that are unrelated to their area of specialization.
You should answer this question as though it was your plan all along, “I studied communications because I was passionate about the topic, but working in graphic design has always been my career choice.
Indeed, though journalism may not relate directly to computer programming, it does relate to working within the corporate world, and it will allow me to recognize, understand, and adapt to new skills. I am confident that my degree will prove invaluable to working within the design department in your company.”
It is guaranteed that for a first time the tell me about yourself for fresh graduate question is likely to come up and therefore for a first interview it is really important to ensure that you are ready for these personal questions that revolve around you.
You would be surprised about how most people go blank the moment they are asked to talk about themselves.
By Kibet Tobias
Every job interview comes with different interview questions depending on the field. There are those tricky and tough questions that will make you sweat profusely especially if you did not prepare well for the interview.
‘What are your strengths and weaknesses? is one of the most common interview questions that many candidates do not know how to appropriately answer.
Employers normally ask this question to find out the qualities you have that will help you succeed in the job if you are considered. Are you going to be problematic to the organization if hired?
So what are the best ways to answer interview questions about strengths and weaknesses?
How to Answer What Is Your Greatest Weakness
You will never avoid this question however much you try to.
Remember to be honest when answering this question. The worst mistake is lying. Recruiters already know that you are not perfect. They also have their own shortcomings.
A good candidate can’t deny that they have real weaknesses. However, the weakness you discuss should not put you in bad light.
For example, “My biggest weakness is my inability to work well with others. I spend a lot of my time alone.”
This answer sounds good, right? But it indirectly explains to the employer that you don’t like working with others. In short, you don’t have team work skills yet most potential companies require them in the office environment.
Therefore, you have disqualified yourself.
The appropriate approach is to recognize the weakness and explained how you have worked to improve it in the previous job.
For example, “My greatest weakness is inability to share responsibilities. I want to be in control because I don’t trust others with projects I know I can do better. However, I have discussed this with my supervisor on ways to improve. I’ve engaged myself in several team building workshops and a volunteer group and I love the progress. I’m learning to trust others.”
In other words, it’s always important to avoid giving any weakness that would show you are a poor fit for the job opportunity. You don’t want to give the employer a reason not to hire you.
How to Answer Interview Questions About Your Strengths
This interview question may seem easier to many candidates but it is the most important one that will sell you the interviewer.
Probably the interviewer wants to know if your strengths match with the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for. Hence, this question helps the employer decide whether or not you are the strongest candidate for the job.
So how do you perfectly answer this question? It’s important to discuss skills that will qualify you for the said job to help differentiate you from the other candidates in the competitive job market.
You can explain the skills; achievements and experience that you have which directly corresponds with the job you are interviewing for.
For example, “I have excellent strong writing skills. Having worked as a content editor and writer for three years, I have a strong attention to detail when it comes to writing. I have also written for a variety of websites and publications, so I know how to shape my writing style to fit the target audience. As a digital marketer, I will be able to effectively write and edit articles and update web content with accuracy and ease.”
However, as much as you want to be the strongest candidate, you should never discuss vague strengths.
You can review more interview questions related to your strengths and weaknesses here.
Growing up it was always drummed into you that you will need to do well in school and go to university if you want to live a good life. You are led to believe that once you complete your studies you will get a well paying job automatically and start to live the life you want.
However, after graduation, reality tends to set in and all those dreams fly out the window for some people.
This is because the promised jobs are nowhere to be found and you are stuck job searching for years. This means that most people end up going back to school to do a different course or get a masters degree.
In this article see some of the things you could be doing wrong and how to improve your job search process.
Here are some of the mistakes graduates make when job hunting
- Applying only for jobs that you are skilled in
Most times you are told to apply only for jobs you qualify for but this doesn’t mean that you don’t apply for jobs where you only miss a few skills.
Take for example, if you don’t have knowledge in Excel and a Diploma in Communication yet the job requires that you do, you can still apply for the job if all you are missing is knowledge in Excel.
Some companies are willing to train new employees if they think they are good enough and as such you might end up getting the job.
So don’t limit yourself when it comes to making job applications but you also have to be realistic and honest with yourself.
- Ignoring low paying jobs
A common mistake graduates make is only applying for well paying jobs. This is mostly because they want to live a good life and the fact that in school you are always told that studying will get you a well paying job. The problem with this is everyone has to start somewhere and some have to start lower than others.
You need to be willing to gain experience first because that is what will determine your pay. You cannot expect to be paid the same as someone with 3 years experience yet you have none. You need to earn it, so you have to be willing to work hard to prove you deserve the high pay.
- Using the same cover letters
This cannot be stressed enough; you need to stop using the same cover letter for every job application you make.
You need to tailor your cover letter to fit the job and organisation you are applying to. This is because every job advert is different even if they are for the same position. What one organisation is looking for might be different from what another one is looking for.
By sending the same cover letter for each you are not really showing the company how you qualify for that particular job and the recruiter will notice this which ruins your chances of getting the job.
- Not preparing for the interviews
This is one of the biggest mistakes graduates make when job hunting. It is completely unacceptable to go into an interview blank. You need to have done your research and practised your answers to the very common interview questions.
Before walking into any interview you need to have proper research on the company be it what it does, its products etc and you also need to ensure you are up to date on the latest trends in your field of profession.
You need to have an idea of what your answers to the common interview questions will be. this does not mean that you give robotic answers you spent cramming but you have a general idea of what you want to say.
You need to show the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job and this can only be done if you are well prepared.
- You don’t want to relocate
This is sometimes a touchy subject for some people. Are you willing to leave your home and friends for a job? If you have ever turned down a job just because of the location then you need to become more flexible.
In the current job market getting a job is not easy, you should therefore, take any chance to gain experience as long as it is safe and it makes sense. You need to be smart when it comes to deciding because you might be missing out on a great opportunity.
- Accepting the very first job offer
Another common mistake graduates make when job hunting is running to take the very first job offer they get. Sometimes this offer isn’t really the best but because you do not want to be jobless any longer you end up taking it.
It is always better to consider your options especially if you have interviewed for various positions. You never know, a better offer might just come up and you will very happy that you waited. You need to be careful though and only do this within a reasonable time frame.
Remember, this is the time for you to discover what you want and what your skills are you should therefore be open minded and don’t give up even though you have been jobless for a while. Job hunting is never easy and you should be prepared to put in work, however, if done correctly you will not have to stay jobless for very long.
Normally starting a job search is something you should want to do not have to. But, the world we live in is anything but ideal so you cannot always start a job search because you want to.
So what do you do when you have lost your job and are forced to start looking for a new job? How do you ensure that your job search is successful and it doesn’t take too long to find a job?
Here are some useful steps to a successful job search after losing your job
1. Take a few days to think about your career path
Most people make the mistake of starting to apply for jobs immediately after losing their job. Unless you are 100 percent sure the career you are on is what you want to do for years to come, it is better to wait before you start applying for other jobs.
Before you start sending in your application, it is important that you take a few days to reflect and decide which career path you want to follow.
A career coach can also help guide you if you have no idea where to start. They will help you figure out what it is you truly want and give you tips on how to achieve it.
After you have decided what you want to do and where your career is headed then you can focus the job search process in terms of the positions to apply for and at what organisations.
2. Update your CV
When was the last time you used your CV? Because you have been working in the same organisation for a while you probably never felt the need to update your CV. It is important you focus on this now before you start your job search.
In order to apply for new positions your CV must be up to date and relevant. CV’s are very important when you are applying for a job. It is what determines whether you get shortlisted for an interview or not.
Because it is how you introduce yourself to the hiring manager, it is important that you put your best foot forward, you need to have a CV that showcases all your capabilities and looks professional. If you have no idea how to go about achieving this, you can get help from a professional CV writer.
3. Fix your LinkedIn profile
If you do not have one then this is the time to get a LinkedIn profile. Nowadays, most organisations are looking for candidates through LinkedIn. Having a profile then makes you visible to potential employers and increases your chance of getting a job.
How your LinkedIn profile looks is very important because potential employers will judge you according to what they see. Your profile should sell your skills to all potential employers in order to better your chances of landing the job.
4. Start looking for Jobs
After doing all the above, then you can start actively looking for open positions in your field of interest.
This is where you check what positions interest you and which ones you are qualified for without necessarily applying for any of them.
This will be a great opportunity for you to get a feel of what is out there and who is hiring in order to know how to go about applying.
5. Contact your networks
After you have figured out who is hiring for which positions, then it is time to reach out to the networks you made.
For example if you know an employee of a certain company that is hiring you can reach out to them and inform them of your plans to apply for the position.
This will better your chances because the person might recommend you to the relevant people and land you an interview in the process.
This is the time for you to take out your contact book and start chatting up your networks or start making new ones.
After ensuring that your CV is well written , your Linked profile is on point and you have done enough research on the position, you can go ahead and apply for the jobs you want.
All in all you should embrace this new chapter in your life and see this as an opportunity to better yourself. Just because you lost your job doesn’t mean you will never find another one. It is also important to remember that job search can take time and you should not give up if it doesn’t work out immediately.
A CV is a proposal or a pitch that goes before you to sell you to a potential employer. It is meant to speak for you and present you as a professional absolutely capable in carrying out the job you are applying for.
For the CV to act as the perfect pitch, it needs to present the picture of a perfectly capable professional with unmatchable experience and expertise.
An unimpeachable CV needs to foot the ability of being professional bringing out meaningful and relevant information regarding your career such as your education background, experience in your area of specialization and the track record of accomplishments you have acquired.
Very few CVs meet these criteria. The mistakes a candidate makes on the CV are what make a potential employer think twice about calling you for that interview.
1. Having a peculiar email address
There is nothing that screams unprofessionalism than having an email address that looks funny. The email addresses outlined in the contact details on your CV or ones used to send out applications need to be professional. An email like [email protected] or [email protected] is definitely not professional.
Seek to use your official names for email addresses with dots and commas and numbers to make it more unique. An email like [email protected] is a lot better.
2. Obvious spelling mistakes
There is nothing as off putting as a CV that has obvious spelling and grammatical mistakes that can be easily avoided. It is important to read and reread your CV to rid it of these errors as such present you as careless and one who cannot take keen interest on the little things. As such you might miss out on job opportunities.
3. Using unusual styling
Thinking that one needs to make the CV stand out by all means, there are candidates who add all sorts of colors to the template of the CV and use very unprofessional font types when doing it complete with images.
It is important to use a very professional font like Times New Roman, Calibri or Palatino Linotype and corporate colors like Blue or Purple can be used subtly be used to kill the monotony to present you as a serious and professional candidate.
4. Being to brief on the CV
In a bid to make the CV short and ‘concise’, there are people who think that doing away with important elements like duties and responsibilities and only having the position, the place of work and duration of work is what makes it more presentable.
On the contrary, this presents you as a laid back individual who is not serious about what he or she is looking for.
It is very important to have the duties and responsibilities clearly outlined. However, there is a catch. Not all roles need to be outlined in the CV.
Instead, capitalize on the most specific duties relevant to the career you are in as opposed to including even the most general ones like “Offering help to my team members when required to.
5. Having an overly long CV
Individuals with over 10 years of experience and have worked for more than 5 organizations tend to have a longer CV than those who possess an experience of between 1 to 9 years. In most cases, these CVs go to over 5 pages which are very unnecessary.
Most employers tend to look at the three most recent experiences and ignore the rest. What one has the most recent experience in is what is considered to be an expert in.
Avoid the mistakes above and your CV will most definitely land you the interview that will edge you closer to that dream job.
Research has shown that having poor interpersonal skills is why people don’t get promoted or even worse lose their jobs. This is because most workplaces depend on team work to get the job done.
Which means it is important that everyone masters a few social skills in order to survive in the work place.
Employers are looking to hire people who will work well with the rest of the team because poor relations between employees will lead to poor productivity.
1. A Great Attitude
A great attitude will improve your overall productivity at the office. This is why most employers would rather have an employee who is jovial and can handle stressful situations in the correct manner than have an employee who is always gloomy or angry.
Never allow any situation at work ruin your mood because it will strain your relationship with co workers and also reduce your productivity. Always smile even when things are hard and remember to take a break in order to relieve some of the pressure.
Empathy is basically the ability to understand and relate to other people’s feelings. This will go a long way in improving your work relationships and ensuring you are able to work well with your colleagues.
This is a very important quality to have because it will ensure great team work in the office which then translates to higher productivity.
Every employer wants to have employees who get a long and work well together because it will mean more profits.
So from today try to understand where your work mates are coming from and act accordingly.
3. Active Listening
Active listening means you are fully engaged while listening to someone talk. You’re completely focused on what the person is saying. You are giving them eye contact, nodding, and occasionally asking them to clarify things you do not understand.
Instead of always be the one talking, make it a point to listen to your workmates, you will end up understanding what is required of you and will make your job much easier.
Next time a colleague or manager is talking to you. Put your phone, computer, or notebook away and fully listen. This will also better your relationships at work.
Respect is very important in the work place without it there will constantly be squabbles and no work will be done. However, you cannot expect to be respected if you do not respect others, regardless of your position, you should not look down on your co-workers or disregard their contribution.
This will ensure that everyone in the office feels like they offer something and that their ideas are considered.
Being polite is also important in the office words like please, thank you, excuse me etc should always be at the tip of your tongue. This will go a long way in ensuring you are respected and liked in the office.
5. Taking Initiative
Don’t just be content, a good boss would want you to seek growth because it means the company will grow as well. Take the initiative to learn new skills and work on your weaknesses. An employee who betters themselves is a great asset in an organisation.
It is important to remember that although your papers got you the job, your social skills and your work place dynamic is what will help you keep the job. No employer wants to have an employee who is making life difficult for everyone else no matter good they are at their job.
Looking for a job can be very tasking. It takes a lot of time and energy because it is not something that can be done in a day.
For some, it is as simple as sending in their first application. But for others, the job search takes longer.
In this article, I will give you tips to help you jump start your job search in case it has stalled and how to improve your chances of landing a job.
1. Give Your CV a Makeover
Sometimes not being able to get a job might be because your CV does not really show how qualified you are for the position.
Just having a CV that states your qualifications is not enough; you need to indicate how those qualifications match with what the employer is looking for.
You can even go as far as having your CV reviewed by professions who will help you package your qualifications in an attractive manner.
2. Refresh your interviewing skills
Have you gone for an interview and you think you did well only to never hear from the hiring manager again?
No matter how qualified you are for the position, if your interview skills are lacking you might end up missing out.
Therefore it is important that you improve your interviewing skills in order to boost your chances. If you feel the need to get professional help, then you can even get interview coaching.
3. Build your image online
Having no online presence is just as bad as having a bad online presence. Whether you like it or not, most employers will Google you. What they find will determine whether you are considered for the position or not.
It is important that you ensure you have a good and an active online presence. Get a LinkedIn profile it will help boost your jobs search. If you are a writer, it is important that you have a blog or something similar.
4. Approach Your Search from a Different Angle
We get so many calls from people who have been applying for jobs they feel qualified for but they still don’t get positive results.
The strategy is to change strategies. Instead of applying for jobs in just any industry, pick an industry you are interested in if you have no work experience or if you do have work experience apply for jobs in the industry you have worked in.
For example, if you have been working in the manufacturing industry, it is best to apply for jobs in the same industry as opposed to applying for jobs in the banking industry.
This is because most employers specify that they want candidates who have worked in that particular industry.
How does your network look? Is it full of people working in your industry or not? It is important to remember that networking is an important part of any job search.
As such you should ensure that you have people in your network, who can help you with your job search.
You Might Like Reading Networking 101: Utilizing Internal Networks
6. Don’t get comfortable with the online platform.
The internet has made it easier for one to apply for jobs online without having to walk all over town. This is a good thing however; it is important that you get out in the world and attend events or seminars.
This will not only increase your network but it will also ensure that you are visible to potential employers.
You never know you might just meet someone who might end up connecting you with a job.
7. Review Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is what the recruiter will see first. What they see will determine whether your CV gets looked at or is thrown out.
This means your cover letter should communicate that you are indeed the best candidate for the position.
Therefore, to prevent your job search from stalling, you should stop sending generic cover letters because they end up hurting your chances of getting a job.
You might want to consider having your Cover letter professionally done to ensure it is well written and can get the employer to look at your CV.
No matter what, it is important to remember that job searching takes time and it is important to stay positive throughout the process. Try some of these tips to revive your job search, you never know your next job might be around the corner.
By Michelle Wanjiku
When I was a recruiter, I was asked a lot of smart questions that made me say, “Wow, this candidate is on top of her game.” But I also heard a lot that made me wonder who the person had taken interview advice from—or if that person had ever sought out help at all.
The truth is that while hiring managers expect you to come with questions, there are plenty of topics you shouldn’t ever bring up. For starters, here are a few that might sound exciting to you, but won’t endear you to the interviewer.
1. “How Often Does the Team Hang Out After Hours?”
It’s only natural to want to work with people you’d have a drink with after work. Because as you know, the reality is that you spend more time with your co-workers than you do with most other people in your life. But asking a recruiter to talk about what goes on after-hours makes it sound like you care a lot about the happy hour scene. And again, you should care about the culture, but phrasing it like this doesn’t do you any favors—even if it’s at a company known for having a good time.
What to Ask Instead
Rather than asking to hear about how hard the team parties, try something like this: “I’d love to hear more about how the team works together here, how would you define the company culture?” This answer will often lead to discussion about fun traditions or weekly happy hours, but it makes you sound far more concerned about finding the right fit than the original phrasing.
2. “Do I Have the Job?”
OK, you might not be as blunt as the wording here, but back in my recruiting days, you’d be amazed at the lengths people would go to get me to say, “You’re amazing!” But here’s the thing: Even when you think you’ve forged a bond with your interviewer, it’s important not to start digging for compliments or reassurances that you’re going to keep moving through the process.
What to Ask Instead
Again, digging for compliments is a good way to turn a recruiter off. Instead, ask this:
“In an ideal world, what should the person in this role do to make his or her manager’s life easier?” By asking this, you’re not getting the answer to your question—sorry!—but instead you’re keeping the focus on what you can do for the company. And at the interview stage, it’s key to make it all about how you’ll be an asset. (The negotiation stage is when you get to start making it about you!)
3. “If This Doesn’t Work Out, Would You Consider Me for Another Opening?”
I’m on the record multiple times for saying the interview process isn’t over when the hiring manager takes a pass. In fact, I’d often bring people back in for new openings because they really were awesome, it’s just that at the time, the role in question wasn’t a good fit for them.
But there’s one thing those people had in common: They never asked me during the first interview to do that. Because those who outright begged me to keep them in mind for other positions made it tougher for me to imagine forcing another person to meet with them, let alone consider them for a full-time position at our company.
What to Ask Instead
There isn’t a great way to ask, “I’m desperate to get my foot in the door any way that I can. Will you put me in the running for another job?” That is unless you want to sound like a crazy person. Instead, at the end of the interview, reinforce your interest in the company one last time.
Say something as simple as, “As a long-time admirer of your organization, I’ve been thrilled to meet with you today.” A brief statement that sums up your passion for the company can leave a positive impression even if the interviewer knows the job isn’t right for you. Throw in a quality thank you note and you make it easy to be considered for other positions.
Credit : themuse.com
How many jobs have you applied for and not heard from the recruiter? Next question….What job search methods are you using? If you been job hunting without success it could be because of you are using one of these outdated job search techniques that are hindering you from getting invited for interviews .
Here is a list of some of the outdated job search techniques
1. Relying on just one job search technique
In this digital era it is very foolish to think you will find a job using one technique. By there are so many places you can find job adverts such as, Facebook , Twitter, Linked in, company websites, job websites, and Recruitment agencies.
This is because just because a company is hiring does not mean they have put it up on their website. Most organisations are using Recruitment Agencies to hire people anyway. Therefore vary your options you may be surprised.
2. Having only one standard CV and Cover Letter
We have heard this so many times but for some reason people still make this mistake
You cannot assume that the cover letter you wrote when applying for a job at company A one year ago, can still be used to apply for a similar position at company B.
This is because every position varies no matter how similar the titles. This is due to different company policies as well as expectations.
A generic Cover Letter or CV will be obvious to spot and the recruitment manager will most likely throw your application out.
Sit down and write a specific cover letter for every job you apply for and tailor your CV to highlight the requirements of the job as well. You could also have these professionally written and save yourself the hustle.
3. Applying for advertised jobs only
Most people assume that because an organisation has not advertised a position then there is no opening available.
Do not limit yourself by believing that the only jobs out there are the ones advertised. Sometimes companies may not know they need someone with your skills and your application may show them that you will be a great addition.
4. Applying for many (or just any) jobs to increase your chances
Why do you need to apply for over 20 positions? Most people believe this will increase their chances of getting an interview. Sadly this is a misconception.
While you are applying for all these jobs, you are probably sending the same CV and cover letter. This as discussed earlier will not add any value. Instead pick a few jobs you truly are interested in and fit your qualifications and spend all your energy and time on them.
Zeroing in on a specific target offers you a better chance as opposed to applying for every job you see. Not to mention this can even lead to demoralization especially if you do not get any interview.
5. Not applying for jobs during the holidays.
We all assume that during the holidays no one is hiring. Which is mostly true, however if you happen to apply for a job when a majority of people are not doing the same, you increase your chances of getting picked.
Think of it this way, if you apply during the holidays, then there is minimal competition and your application will definitely get looked at. But if you wait to apply in January, there will be hundreds of applications and yours could get swallowed by the rest.
Do not take a break just because it’s a holiday. That is the perfect time to apply.
Landing a job might be as simple as you changing your ways. All the best in your job search.
By Michelle Wanjiku
An application letter or cover letter is the most important part of your job search and as such it needs to be done well and in an attractive manner. The application letter is the first thing an employer looks at and if you do not convey why you deserve the job properly then they won’t even look at your CV.
Here are a few things to help you when writing an Application Letter
1. Tailor it to your industry
Whenever you write a cover letter it is important to remember to tailor it to the industry you want to work in. For example if the job is a Human Resource position then there is no point in you mentioning your sales experience.
This is because the cover letter is supposed to show how you are qualified for the position which means you only need to put experience relevant to the position you are applying for. The rest can appear on your CV
2. Address the Hiring Manager
Your application letter should be addressed to the hiring manager. If you can find out his/her name and use that in the salutation. This goes a long way in showing that you were truly interested in the position and took time to do some research especially if the name was not indicated in the job advert.
3. Keep it short
It is important to keep in mind that the recruiter has to go through a lot of applications therefore if you want yours read it should be brief and clear. There is no point in writing two pages or even more than six paragraphs. The shorter and clear it is the better.
4. Be passionate
When writing an application letter it is important that you show that you truly are interested in the position and working for the company. This will help impress the recruiter and better your chances of getting an interview.
No one wants to hire someone with no real interest in what they do.
Below is a sample cover letter for graduate trainee accountant jobs.
Graduate Job Seeker,
P.O. Box 10678- 0100
5th January, 2016.
The Human Resource Manager,
Box 34567– 00100,
Dear Sir/ Madam
RE: APPLICATION FOR GRADUATE TRAINEE ACCOUNTANT POSITION
I am writing to express my interest in the position of accountant graduate trainee as advertised in STU newspaper. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting and Finance from Kenyatta University and have a CPA 4 qualification.
I am particularly attracted to your firm because your graduate training programme will help me gain hands on experience in the banking industry. During my time as a student I have had part-time jobs and an internship, all of which have given me a chance to work as part of a team and meet deadlines.
Working at FGH company gave me a chance to inspire and motivate others while at the same time invest in my integrity and accountability skills.
In addition to my formal education, I grasp fresh concepts quickly and can easily adapt to new changes. My first-rate communication skills will assist me in building a professional network of clients and colleagues.
I have also learnt to give positive feedback, and to use it to set my own personal goals for self-improvement I welcome the challenge of working with you in a bid to build on my professional skills while upholding your dedication to exceptional customer service delivery.
I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss my interest further with you. You can reach me at 07XX 123456 if you need further information and clarification.
Graduate Job Seeker