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Interview Preparation - 13-06-2018 - Admin - 0 comments
Application Groundwork

If you're about to start searching for a new role it can be tempting to launch straight into the application phase; simply adding your current position to your existing CV and firing it off to recruiters and adverts. Whilst I admire the energy and drive, it's not the best approach. Taking a little time at the start of the process to complete key foundational stages will pay dividends in the form of; greater responses, more interviews, more choice and better offers.

Here are three stages which help to:

  • Refresh your memory and clarify your thinking so you can write a high impact CV with confidence.
  • Tailor your approach and applications in the most effective way possible to your future employer.
  • Leverage one way communication via social media, your CV, cover letters, application forms etc. presenting information, swaying opinion and creating a desired response, all before "hello".

Stage one: Identify experience and competencies

Spend time thinking about your competencies. What are you really good at? Reflect on the challenges you've faced throughout your career and life. When did you surprise yourself and others? Why? How? What are your unique traits and 'super powers' that will make you stand out in the interview crowd? What do you routinely get asked to do by friends, family, colleagues? When you leave your current role, what sort of hole will be left? What will be hard to hand over because you were just so awesome at it? Consider what you know about your ideal future role and where you can add value.

Top Tip: think about what you do brilliantly and with ease that perhaps you take for granted.

Action: start a success brainstorm, write key words and short paragraphs to collate this information as you go along.

Stage two: Due Diligence

It's likely you already have a job title in mind, possibly a top list of ideal employers and an idea about the sector. So, it's time to ask yourself. How much do you know about the role you're applying for? What sort of people does the organisation you really want to work for hire? Do their values align with yours? If there's a specific job you're interested in read the description thoroughly and prepare to tailor your promotional writing to both the job and the organisation. What can you find out about the workplace and culture. Talk to people in the same field with the same job title. If you haven't seen your ideal role yet, focus on the sector and the type of organisations you'd like to work for. Invest time now to ensure you fully understand the requirements and you'll be able to present yourself confidently in writing and in person.

Top Tip: listen out for key characteristics, skills and sector related jargon. Pay attention to your dream organisations branding. Keep an eye on sector news and up-dates about relevant companies.

Action: Fold a piece of paper into 2 columns, make a list of what's required and next to each point write your most relevant experience to date.

Stage three: Leverage one way communication

So, now you've clarified your value and you know what your future employer will likely want and need, It's time to distill that all down to a few key sentences. What could you write as your intro / bio on the likes of Twitter or Instagram that only allow a handful of words? What sort of profile photo/s would present you appropriately and consistency across the various platforms?

Top Tip: Given that when you commence your job search you will have a very narrow window to deliver your message. It makes sense to capitalise on this opportunity as much as you can.

Action: Take a look at your Linkedin profile and anywhere else you might be promoting yourself or providing information. Cross check everything and ensure that you're selling yourself effectively, sending out a professional and consistent message.

I hope this helps with your application process, interview preparation and most importantly to secure a role that makes you truly happy. There's no reason why your job can't be a joy in your life.


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