How to secure your dream job

Category: Candidate

There is nothing worse than a missed opportunity. Regret can hurt. Losing out on a new job – when you needn’t have done – can eat away at you. One thing that candidates often don’t do is sell themselves correctly - and a few tips can make all the difference.

When you ask for advice on finding a job it can often seem daunting with so many different opinions about how you should go about it. Writing a CV, for example, is something that everyone has an opinion on. But who is right?

“There is a lot of advice out there,” says Michelle Merritt, MD of Wild Recruitment, “and it can be confusing.

“Our consultants know what they want on a CV and they will be able to guide you about what to include and what to omit. After all, they know the employers best.

“But essentially, all relevant information must be included. While some experts will rightly say that concise CVs are best, all the important details must be included.”

This means tailoring a CV for the job you are targeting and not necessarily sending the same one out every time. If you are sending out the same CV over and over again and you are making no progress, it might indicate an issue with the content, or how it is presented.

Modesty is not a virtue when going after a job. Neither is boasting. You must make clear what your relevant skills and qualifications are, and always include your experience.

It is always worth putting yourself in the position of the employer, and asking yourself what they’d want to see from a candidate.

“Our consultants will write a profile based on your CV and an interview,” added Michelle. 

“This is the ‘highlights package’ that the employers will read first and which summarises the most important details about you. We will ask you to familiarise yourself with these details and be able to speak about them at any interview.”

Once you have been invited for an interview, your technique is something to consider. This includes making sure you say everything that you planned to.

“Unlike our consultants, not everyone is a trained interviewer,” added Michelle. “They won’t necessarily ask the right questions. So you must be prepared to tell them everything that is important, even if you are not asked directly.

“You must also have examples of your relevant experience. And it is always worth using the first person rather than the third person.
“For example, it is better to say ‘I installed a new system’ rather than ‘we installed a new system’. This tells the interviewer that you are capable of carrying out a task on your own, rather than just as part of a team.”

Researching the company you hope to join is something that should always be done. And not just a cursory Google examination, but a deep dive.

You ought to have questions prepared about that company to show you have done your research and have enthusiasm.

Good questions impress people. First impressions do count so appearance is important and is something a good consultant will advise on.

“Interviews can be daunting,” admitted Michelle. “Some people become a bag of nerves and others are too full-on.

“One problem some candidates face is an inability to articulate themselves properly; the words just don’t come out.

“It could be due to a lack of confidence or innate modesty, so it is worth preparing forms of words to use. And practicing.

“Asking friends or family can also be helpful. They are more likely to be honest and their advice can be valuable because they will see things that you won’t see in yourself.”

Confidence is important but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. However, preparation and practicing can make a real difference. Finally, an interview is not over until you have left the room – so you should keep it professional until the very end.