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Things Recruiters Look For

Everyone goes through this at some point: applying for a job. It can be an intimidating process, you could be in the situation of applying for your dream job and think "how do I do this?” The purpose of the interview and application processes, is for recruiters to get to know who you are, what makes you tick, your capabilities and most importantly, why you are the best person for the role. This stage can be dreaded and stressful but it can also lead to success, that is if you keep some of these things in mind. Take our small bits of knowledge and let them help you make the most of your chances.

1. CV and Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter represent the first step in your application. It is the first point of contact between the recruiter and yourself. You should therefore prepare both documents carefully and highlight certain things that are unique to you and important to recruiters.

Talk about your educational background, your professional experience and your skills but in a way that highlights your experience in a specific way. For example, you completed a degree in Marketing but also what your dissertation focused on and what drew you to it, or societies that you part-took in and what your role was within them.

Additionally, it is essential that you quantify your professional experiences. It is not enough to say that you produced campaigns or dealt with costumers but give an idea of how many in a given period or how much work you were able to produce. CV's that are too general can often get looked over and forgotten, so make sure they show how special you truly are.

Your CV displays how you are qualified, the next step is then your cover letter. The important thing here is to show your personality and motivations for applying to work with this company (and not another!). It is important that your real self comes across, and that you stay away from lies, as the recruiter will be able to see through them it during the job interview. You should be authentic, as this is your strongest tool!

For both, be careful of grammar and spelling mistakes which are really not appreciated by recruiters. This is your first impression, and careful work is appreciated and representative of how you will perform in the role. Try to have someone else proofread your resume and cover letter before you send them, since a second pair of eyes can come across things you might have missed.

Finally, make sure you carefully curate your online persona. Recruiters can and might Google your name and find additional information about you. Having a LinkedIn account, can present you as a more serious individual. Being active professional social networking and for going in-depth into your professional career and your accomplishments. Remember to make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date!

2. Career and Experience

In any job application, you should always be able to describe your education, work experience and achievements. Recruiters like to know what goals you have achieved in your career. For this, do not hesitate to use figures that will prove the effectiveness of your accomplishments, your commitment and your professionalism. Recruiters also like to know what goals you would like to achieve within their company, be prepared for questions regarding what expectations you might have for both the position and how those will tie into your hopes for your career.

If you are in retraining, or looking to change your career path, you need to show the recruiter that your change of career is well thought out as well as your motivations to do so. To do this, specify in your cover letter the reasons why you do this and the transferable skills that you can bring from your previous experiences. You can say things like: I want to give a new meaning to your professional career, or how you have developed new skills by completing a professional training course and how you are looking to apply them... The most important thing is to be honest and to embrace these choices.

Do not forget to tailor your application to the vacancy you are applying for and the company that it is with. Be specific and to the position you are applying for and the tasks described in the job posting, you should be adjusting the main tasks in relation to your skills.

3. Soft Skills and Qualities

Of course, the hard skills that recruiters are looking for are not always the same, and are very much based on what the job entails. However, a number of soft skills are very often appreciated by recruiters. Here are some examples of qualities you could mention in a job interview or put forward in your application, i.e. in your CV or cover letter.

Autonomy is a quality that is increasingly in demand since the development of teleworking. You must be autonomous and know how to cope with distance. Show that you can take initiative, manage your time, set relevant priorities and that you have strong organisation skills.

Another important quality in a candidate is adaptability. Recruiters are looking for professional profiles capable of adapting to any type of situation (i.e. a pandemic and the shift to Work-From-Home). An adaptable candidate is not destabilised by the unexpected; therefore, their performance and productivity at work are not affected.

A third skill can be your ambition to succeed: ambitious people are of special interest to recruiters as these people can represent fruitful talent of today and tomorrow. To do this, show that you are determined, that you have the skills to get the job and that you are willing to do anything to achieve your goals and grow within the company.

Some other important soft skills, not only for a professional environment by in life, are leadership and teamwork, which is why they are often asked about when you are looking to join a new company. Although they might seem contradictory, the flexibility to be able to move between the two in a swift and efficient manner can make you a valuable asset to any company.

4. Job interview

So your application has been accepted by the recruiter, this means that they are ready to meet you to learn more about you. Congratulations! A job interview is an essential exercise for recruiters as it allows them to know if you are the ideal candidate. So you should prepare thoroughly! Here are our tips for increasing your chances of being hired.

First of all, you need to know as much information as possible about the company, i.e. who it is and what it does. This gives the impression that you are prepared and truly interested and might give you a leg-up in relation to other candidates. You should also prepare answers to general questions that recruiter might ask you, for example, "What appeals to you most about the job?" or "How do you see your career in our company?". At this point you need to show the person in front of you that you are not there by chance and that you are willing and able.

During an interview it is important to illustrate your skills and responses with concrete examples. Anyone can say that they have people skills, but can you bring up a specific detailed situation and how you approached and solved the problem? This might be essential in whether you make it to the next round or not.

Another things to keep in mind is your non-verbal language; for example, do not cross your arms or look away from the person you are talking to. Throughout the interview, the recruiter will be trying to find out more about your personality and you should try to come across as a social, honest and open person.

If you would like help to in finding a job or furthering your career, Mentor Her offers courses in interview techniques, CV development, leadership, mentorship and many other areas. Click here to find out more.


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