“How do I stand out?”
Is a question that recruiters hear almost daily, and let’s be honest, it’s also something we all potentially ask ourselves in our everyday lives. But specifically, when going for their dream job, people want to create a great impression and be remembered, out of potentially hundreds of applicants.
So, we’ve got you covered! Below are 10 top tips to stand out from the crowd and get the job you’ve always wanted.
Split into two parts: we focus on pre-interview – how can your CV lead you to the interview phase? Then we focus on what to do during your interview. Not only do you need to impress your interviewer in person, but it is equally important to impress them on a page.
Your CV is the first impression of you that your potential new employer will have. It needs to make an impact straight away. If your CV doesn’t captivate, then let’s face it, the chances of you progressing to the interview stage are slim.
Here are our 5 top tips for having the perfect CV:
1 – Perfect your CV design – This doesn’t mean have loads of pretty colours and pictures galore, it’s not a children’s story book. Your CV is a document that paints you in a professional way, I’m not saying don’t make it attractive but be subtle with it.
Your CV needs to be readable above all else. Ask yourself: “Is my CV easy to read? Would I understand the timeline?” If the answer is no, then chances are the person deciding whether to take you forward to interview process, probably doesn’t either. Have structure, make it clear. Have the important and most relevant information at the top.
2 – Make sure it’s up to date – As a recruiter, the most frustrating thing is receiving a CV that isn’t up to date. If you are actively looking for a new role, you want to be on the front foot. If you send in an out-of-date CV to a recruiter, they will most definitely ask you to bring it up to date – This adds more time to the process and delays your CV getting in front of your potential new employer.
Another point to add to dates – don’t just put the years! Make sure you include the month your started and finished each position.
3 – Include voluntary experience and hobbies – “Why?” I hear you ask. It’s simple, your voluntary work and hobbies say a lot about you as a person. I remember speaking to a candidate once and noticed her hobbies at the bottom of her CV – She enjoyed baking, crocheting and karate! This was certainly a talking point. So, if I noticed it, her interviewer would have done so also – this gives the interviewer an insight to her interests and who knows, they may have had something in common!
4 – Tailor it to the specific role you are interviewing for – This point ties in loosely with point 1. Keep the information you are giving on your CV relevant to the position you are going for. If there is a particular skill you have that matches one in the job description, then try to intertwine it and make it a focus. You are basically saying “Here Mr/Mrs Interviewer, this is WHY I am good for your job!”
5 – Check for spelling and grammatical errors – Please, please, please do this! Use spellcheck, it’s there for a reason.
You now have the perfect CV and have been asked to interview. In essence, the hard part is over. It’s far easier to make a connection with the interviewer in person.
You’re nervous, I get it. Check out our following 5 tips, and your interview should be a walk in the park!
1 – Do your research – This is your dream job with your dream company right? Then show the interviewer that you really want to work for them. Find out about the companies’ history, what achievements have they had recently and what they have planned for the future. You will also have the name of the interviewer, take a look at their LinkedIn profile, you may have something in common.
2 – Body Language and personal brand – Be relaxed, well, as relaxed as you can be! You don’t want the interviewer to see straight away how nervous you are. Sit comfortably and confidently in your seat. Really cement the impression you want to be there.
What do I mean by a personal brand? Is there something about you that will make you stand out? For example, I’m a woman with short hair and glasses, imagine Sue Perkins (UK comedian). Every day I spike my hair up, this is a a part of my personal brand. I would certainly not change this for an interview because I think it wouldn’t fit the company’s aesthetics.
LinkedIn is also another great way to build your personal brand – not only from your content that you post, but also how you engage with other people in your network. Being an active person on LinkedIn is a great way to not only build your brand but build your network. Engaging in conversation and showcasing your knowledge with likeminded people is a great way to get yourself out there.
At the end of the day, be you. Stand out!
3 – Ask questions – Remember, an interview works both ways. You want to find out as much as you can about the role and the company before you can make an informed decision to take the position if offered. The more questions you ask, the more you find out BUT it also shows the interviewer how much you want to learn about the company and what you will potentially be doing. It’s win-win!
4 – Show how you’ll add value to the company and role – Of course you have done your research into the company and the role – so this part will be easy! If it’s a role that you are familiar with and have had achievements in before, tell the interviewer about them and demonstrate how these wins and you could also benefit their company.
5 – Leave a lasting impression – If you have followed the first 4 points, then you are already on your way to leaving an impression. However, once the interview is over – it’s not the end. Maybe consider sending the interviewer a “thank you for your time” message on LinkedIn. This small gesture will go a long way. Or if you are working with a recruiter, ask them to pass on a message following your interview.
So, there you have it, 10 top tips to consider during your pre-interview and interview process! Follow these, and hopefully you will have a smooth process and will be celebrating securing your dream job!
But you know what, we will not stop there! We spoke to our Head of Biometrics and Medical, Harry Wooff, and asked him if he could give advice to anyone currently in the job search process, what would it be?
Harry’s Top Tip
“Focus on your achievements as this is the only thing that sets you apart from someone else who has the same experience. Plenty of times we see candidates that have 10 years’ experience with X and have a PhD blah blah blah, but the achievements are key elements of your profile that make you different from others. these factors also provide an insight into how good you really are at what you do.”
If you are still wary about the process and would like more advice, contact our Recruitment Team here at Focus on LifeScience. We will be happy to guide you through the process and help you become the candidate companies can’t wait to hire!