How to land the job you really want

What exactly will get you on a shortlist and make you sparkle in a job interview?

Obviously your skills and personality should win through, but the recruitment process is never straightforward. Here’s how to perfect your CV and improve your interview technique to land the job you want.

Don’t be put off by the job title or by thinking that you are not suitable for the role. Consider what the organisation needs from the position being advertised and how you can help. Be open to anything. Look at the skills and attributes being sought in the job description and consider real life examples of how you can demonstrate you have them.

Mariah Thompkins, managing director at WKM Accountancy Services in Derbyshire, is a big supporter of helping younger people into the accounting profession.

“Ultimately it comes down to finding the right candidate,” she says. “I am looking for an individual who can demonstrate they have an interest in accountancy and are not just looking for a job. They need to be committed and willing to learn. I also ask people about their hobbies, as this tells you a lot about someone’s personality.”

The CV

  • Your CV must be up to date, clear, and relevant for the job you are applying for.
  • The shorter the better is the advice from employers and recruiters – two pages at most. Focus more on your recent experiences rather than something from your distant past.
  • Highlight your skills and interests. Your hobbies say a lot about you and your personality. It can reveal, for example, if you are a leader, a team player, or well-organised. Do not just say what you like to do, but explain why and how you do it. This is much more interesting. What makes you different from other people applying?
  • Before you send your CV, check for spelling mistakes and embarrassing errors.

The interview

  • For the time being, many interviews will be conducted on video conferencing platforms like Skype or Zoom. Think about what you wear, the room you are in, what is behind you, and the lighting.
  • Your tone of voice, body language, and energy will have an impact too. Look and sound professional and consider the height of your camera so your eye line is correct. Try to remember to smile.
  • It is important that you really listen to the questions being asked, then take a second to compose yourself and think about the answer.
  • Try not to speak too fast despite your nerves.

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