The ABCs of Job Applications, Learning and CVs

Apply – don’t just think about applying, go for it! If you’ve got the skills, the knowledge and the experience – PLUS you like the look of the job there is no harm in sending in an application.

Believe – how often has self-doubt stopped you from applying for a job? Instead of letting fear dictate your job choices, why not take a moment to review your skills and abilities, and recognise how talented you really are? By believing in yourself and acknowledging your strengths, this renewed self-confidence will positively influence your interview responses and leave employers feeling impressed.

Catalogue – keep a record of everything. From new jobs to new skills to new qualifications, catalogue it all. This will make it easier for you to recall information when necessary.

Detail – detail is everything in a job application. Not only will it prove that you’ve read the job description correctly, you can use this additional information to improve your application and make it unique, interesting and specific to their requirements.

Education – all qualifications matter, even small ones so make sure you list them all in your CV.  Should you find that you’re lacking in a particular skill, you can easily enrol onto an online course and complete it at a time, place and location of your choosing.

Focus – make sure your application is detailed and to the point. Whilst you might want to showcase every skill in your arsenal, it is essential that you remain focused and only outline the experience that they’ve asked for.

Grow – you are never too old to learn something new, so keep on growing and developing your qualifications.

Harness – even the most obscure of jobs will equip you with skills that could prove beneficial in a new job. For that reason, don’t push them aside, but instead harness and use them to prove just how versatile you are.

Investigate – before any interview, it is vital that you investigate the company and learn everything that there is to know about them. This will show them that you are serious about the role and that you really want to work there.

Job specification – these are not to be taken lightly, but should be used to guide you as you fill in your job application. In fact, the whole point of your application is to prove that you can meet every requirement listed in this spec.

Keep at it – don’t give up or let bad experiences deter you from applying for a job. Instead, keep at it and use these experiences to improve your applications.

Location – before you apply for any job, you should consider its location. Is it accessible? It is convenient? Will you need to move or spend ages travelling?

Motivation – it would be easy to let failed interviews and rejection stop you from trying, but don’t. Instead, take these moments for what they are, learning curves and use them to keep yourself motivated towards achieving your goals.

Notes – from making notes during your studies, to tracking all of your achievements, to even keeping notes on everything you learn and do in your jobs, these notes will prove useful when applying for a new post as it will ensure you don’t forget to mention anything.

Organise – similar to keeping notes and doing your research, being organised will ensure that you never miss an assignment deadline or the closing date for a job. Instead, you will always be ahead of the game.

Practise – practising potential interview questions will not only stop you from stuttering/pausing during the actual interview, but will ensure that every answer you give is precise, to the point and exactly what they are looking for.

Question – you should always come to an interview with questions. Not only will this show that you’re serious about the job but the right questions will also show that you’ve researched their business.

Research – job specs will only tell you so much about a company or a job. They won’t give you the full picture. This is where researching the job/business will aid you in your interview as you’ll be able to feed this additional information into your answers.

Shadow – the more experience you have, the greater your odds of getting the job. Shadowing has the dual advantage of allowing you to see what the post entails, while boosting your knowledge/skills.

Technique – the ability to interview well all stems down to technique. For instance, by learning how to avoid repetition, long pauses and going off on a tangent, you can ensure that your answers come off as detailed and professional. A good way to achieve this is to do your research, practise/rehearse the most common questions you’ll encounter and memorise the job spec.

Understand – it is important that you understand that you won’t always get invited for an interview or automatically get the job you want. Instead, you should appreciate that every experience is a learning curve that will aid you in the future.

Volunteer – similar to shadowing, volunteering can boost your skills, knowledge and experience. At the same time, it will look impressive on your CV as it shows your willingness to grow and develop without pay.

Wait – it can be tempting to apply for every job you see, however, this will just cause you to rush and make mistakes. Because of this, you should choose your applications wisely and be prepared to wait for the right job.

eXplore – you should never be afraid to explore new areas of your chosen industry and try something new. This will help you to unearth new strengths and discover where your true passions lie.

Yearn – we all yearn for something more, and there is nothing wrong with that. Just be careful that you recognise your yearnings for what they truly are and don’t misinterpret your feelings.

Zoom – the current pandemic has changed the way businesses operate and perform interviews. For instance, it is not uncommon for companies to ask you to interview remotely via Google Teams or Zoom. Because of this, not only do you need to be knowledgeable of the latest tech and how it works. You also need to recognise how this method of interviewing may affect your interview – both positively and negatively e.g. on the one hand you will be in the comfort of your own home (which will feed your confidence levels), however on the other, interviewers will have a harder time reading your body language and physical queues.

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