Tips from the best candidates who landed their dream job in 2021
2021 saw many happy job seekers land their dream job, so in this blog, we thought we would share some of their secrets to success. Feel free to use these ideas yourself!
1. Try a broad range of job title variations
Finding the advert so you can apply for your dream job is an important first step. Now that many of the big job boards deliver you results based on relevant search words, it’s important that you consider all the titles that your new boss may have chosen for your role. For example, Office Administrator, Office Manager or Administration Manager? Unless your role is universally defined in every organisation (ie: Nurse), you may miss that perfect opportunity if you don’t use the right search words. Try all possible combinations to ensure that you are delivered as many options as possible.
Sales Consultant/Sales Representative/Account Manager
Freight Forwarding Coordinator/Supply Chain Officer/Logistics Coordinator/Transport Officer
2. Research the company before you apply
60% of candidates research the company before applying to the role. This helps you to not only decide whether it’s a good fit, but it puts you in a stronger position to answer the question ‘why do you want to work for us?’ if you are called for a phone interview.
Unsuccessful candidates have answers like: ‘I have applied for dozens of jobs, I don’t remember your company”. Successful candidates have answers like: “I saw the ad and then looked at your website and really liked ….….. I feel like this would be a great move for me because….”
3. Customise your application for each job
It’s a real turn off for an employer to receive a cover letter applying for the wrong job or addressed to the wrong company. You would be surprised how much that happens and it’s a guaranteed ticket to rejection. The best candidates customise their applications to each role, including their resumes. If the advertisement calls for specific experience, (for example, managing air freight), then make it clear in your resume that you can deliver this. The easier it is for an employer or recruiter to see you as a good fit for the role, the more likely you are to get an interview.
(Check out our tips on how to maximise your energy for customising applications here.)
4. Ask questions to help you engage with the company
It’s common to have questions about a role that you want answered before you apply. Some job adverts will give you a contact person to contact to discuss the position and where you can, this is a good way to build rapport and stand out. It’s also ok to call the company to find the right person to speak to.
If you are in an interview, then it’s advisable to have 1 or 2 questions ready to ask too. Our tip: questions that indicate you have an interest in helping the organisation succeed are best. Example: ‘What does success look like for you in this role?’
Keep the ‘What’s in it for me?’ questions to a minimum. A list of queries about how many holidays, whether you can leave early, what benefits are on offer and how bonuses are calculated may turn off the interviewer.
5. Answer your phone or make sure you have voice messaging activated
Not responding to unknown numbers is a dangerous strategy when you are applying for jobs. Reaching out by phone is still the number one next step for an employer when they have received a resume they like. So, if you won't answer an unknown number, at least ensure you have a professional voice mail activated and check it often!
6. Respond promptly
If you receive a phone message or email about your application, it’s imperative you respond quickly. Waiting 3 days until the recruiter calls you again and saying ‘sorry I didn’t call you back, I have been busy’ generally does not sit well. Employers across the board are looking for motivation and being prompt is a key part of that. Dozens of candidates with great resumes have not made the shortlist because they appeared slow and disinterested.
7. Follow Up
If have had an interview and are keen to progress, don’t be afraid to follow up after the interview with a short email thanking them for their time and confirming your interest. It’s also ok to call them directly to follow up, as this demonstrates you are enthusiastic and motivated for the role. (For more tips on how to follow up, click here).
That’s it. Follow this advice and you have the best chance of making a good impression.
Best of luck with your job search in 2022!