How to Increase Your Chances of Securing an Interview
A recruiter can receive over 100 applications for each role that is advertised and will spend just five to seven seconds reviewing them; so, getting noticed is key. Here are our six top tips on getting noticed and securing an interview.
Take your time to write a stand-out CV.
To secure an interview your CV must get noticed.
- Write about your achievements, not just your responsibilities in your employment history.
- Tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for and include relevant buzzwords from the job spec; these are often used by recruiters when sourcing CVs on jobsites and candidate databases or when skimming the CV for suitability.
- Keep it short and relevant (keep to two A4 pages).
- Know your key selling points and make sure they stand out.
- Include a statement of intent to the reader that shows what you are looking to achieve from sharing your CV and ideally what you want to do in your career.
- Conveying clarity and a sense of clear direction on your CV will help recruiters match you with the right sort of opportunities.
For more tips on how to write a killer CV, click here.
Build a great relationship with your recruiter.
Often, candidates will only engage with recruitment consultants when looking for a new job. While it is a recruiter’s job to find and place candidates, to really have them work on your behalf and boost your chances of securing an interview it is important to build a strategic and proactive partnership over time. Be open and honest about your skills and let them get to know you personally - regular face-to-face or virtual meetings can help with this. A great recruiter will sell their candidate with conviction based on a good relationship and is far more likely to secure an interview on that basis over someone they have don’t know very well.
Don’t forget, a recruiter is often the best route to your next job so it is worth spending time building a trusted partnership that could benefit you throughout your career. Many companies rely on recruiters to source talent and won’t read speculative CVs, so making sure you have a recruiter on your side is a great way to get noticed. For more tips on building a great partnership with your recruiter, click here.
Apply for jobs that reflect your skills.
When applying for jobs it is important to set goals and push yourself out of your comfort zone. However, to first secure an interview you must be able to demonstrate experience that lends itself to the role you’re applying for. For candidates this is especially true as customers are often paying a premium for an individual or team and typically seek those who can “hit the ground running.” For permanent jobs, this tip still applies although companies may be more lenient in hiring a good attitude and work ethic with a view that certain skills can be learned over time, on the job, or through training.
Secure meaningful testimonials.
Many recruitment companies will take “references”, but often all this means is confirming your job title and dates of previous employment to validate what is on your CV. This won’t sell you as a person. Our advice is to make sure your recruiter speaks to your former manager and gains some additional description around the role your performed and, importantly, what you accomplished, what made you stand out and what additional value you brought to the team. This can then be shared with the hiring manager of the role you’re applying for and add further conviction in support of your application.
Identify and leverage your connections.
In recruitment, the people you know are often as important as the skills you possess. With tools such as LinkedIn it can be relatively easy to identify mutual connections to the company you are targeting or even better the hiring manager themselves. By establishing connections to people who know you and can vouch for you, you’re more likely to stand out and be brought forward for an interview. The next time you apply for a job, work in partnership with your recruiter to connect these dots. Once a link is identified then it’s about communicating the story behind this link to the hiring manager and making sure that this person (the link) will be an advocate for you if they’re asked - the chances are high that the first thing the manager will do is reach out to this person!
Build your online brand.
Most companies and nearly all recruiters will use a blend of the tools at their disposal to assess and select candidates for interview. While your CV is likely to be the first-place recruiters look, they will often also explore other sources for validation. According to Jobvite, 87% of recruiters will check LinkedIn. Keeping on top of your online presence can not only help you be found, but also support and build a better picture of you as a person. Just like writing the perfect CV, knowing how to secure an interview is more of an art than an exact science. Your CV will only get you so far - the rest comes down to your personal brand and your ability to successfully partner with your recruiter.