Career Advice for Job Seekers

How To Give Yourself The Best Possible Chance of Landing A Job

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
February 10, 2014

Smiling man and woman finding a job online, using a laptop computer

Smiling man and woman finding a job online, using a laptop computer. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 3 years, you’ll know that job hunting is tough. In fact, in general the world of employment is rocky and is something that has affected people massively over the past couple of years. With people being made redundant, companies cutting back on new intake and less opportunities being made available, people are stuck.  This has resulted in massive numbers of people applying for vacancies when they do become available – which means that the recruitment process is tougher than ever! Does this mean you need to be stuck in a job you hate or living a life on benefits? Not at all. It means you need to be inventive, organised and well informed on the ways of recruitment, to give yourself the best possible chance of being given any job that you apply for.

Keep At It

It can be disheartening when you’re looking for a job and nothing seems to come up of. The first thing to remember is that climbing a career ladder is tough and you’ll be up against some stiff competition. Companies can only see a limited number of people during their recruitment process so are often very picky when it comes to who gets to the interview stage. You need to bear this in mind and don’t give up when it seems like you’re just not getting anywhere at all.

Instead make sure that you look in different places for job adverts and keep applying for any that peak your interest. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket and apply for one job at a time – get your application out there to as many companies as possible in order to give yourself the best possible chance of being successful.

Think Outside The Box

Sometimes you need to take the initiative and contact a company, even if they aren’t advertising jobs. It’s not recommended that you simply spam every company in your local area with letters, but if there is a company that you would love to work for – why not let them know? Companies generally like people that are passionate about a brand or product, so if they can see this passion in you then you never know they might give you a chance.

Sometimes the initial offer will be a work experience opportunity, but you should grab this with both hands if you can because you never know what this will lead to.

Brush Up Your CV

Before you start applying for jobs you need to make sure that your CV is on-point. Don’t just assume that because it was good enough a few years ago that it is good enough now, because trends change. It is a good idea to contact a local recruitment agency and ask them what they look for in a decent CV. You’ll also find loads of information on this online. It might not be necessary to start your CV from scratch, but you’ll probably need to make a few tweaks to the layout to make it perfect.

It goes without saying that your CV should have no spelling errors and be grammatically correct. Generally speaking your CV should be 2 pages long, with your work history and experience at the top of this. Remember that recruiters usually have lots of CV’s to read through, you don’t want to give them any excuse not to read yours.

Think about the layout of it – you want it to look crisp and easy to read. They will usually skim read a bunch of CV’s to see how they match and then spend longer reading the ones that they liked and thought suitable. A messy layout could mean that they dismiss you and your CV at the first stage and of course this is something that you want to avoid.

Interview Techniques

If you get through to the interview stage then firstly give yourself a massive pat on the back. We have seen how tough the world of recruitment is, so to get to this stage should be seen as a massive positive.

There are loads of places you can get interview hints and tips, so there is no need to go into one unprepared. One of the best pieces of advice that can be given to you about interviews is to make sure that you are organised and prepared. Don’t assume you can just read up on the company the night before – this will just leave you feeling stressed and anxious, which is not the best approach for a job interview.

Read up about the company before you go and write down a couple of questions that you would like to ask them. This could be to do with the company, its growth, its plans or even specific to the job role you are applying for. It is important that you show an interest, so asking questions is essential.

You also need to think about what they are likely to ask you – prepare answers for questions about your strengths, weaknesses and experience. You’ll usually be allowed to take interview notes in with you so have buzz words written down to remind you of your answers. Interviewers will generally allow for nerves but you still need to come across as confident as you can.

Remember, as well as assessing your suitability for the job role they’re also looking at how you are going to fit in with a team. They want someone that is out-going, friendly and confident so that they don’t have to worry about how you are going to fit in with the people you are working with. Even if you’re shaking on the inside, try and project positivity and confidence as much as possible.

Sealing The Deal

End the interview on a high note so that you feel positive. Ask them when you’re likely to hear from them and encourage them to contact you should they have any more questions that they want to ask you.

Remember, just because you have had a good interview that doesn’t mean you should give up looking. If you miss a couple of days job hunting, you could miss out on your dream job. Instead, keep at it and carry on applying for jobs until you land your dream job role!

Author Bio

Craig Daniel writes on behalf of who also have a very strict recruitment policy.

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