By Susanne Flaherty, Government Selection Panel Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment
Selling yourself to the employer is the name of the game right?
Obviously the point of applying for roles and going to interviews is to sell yourself, your skills and background to the employer. Similarly employers are wanting to sell their business, their opportunities and the benefits of employment with them to the right candidate. From an employer’s perspective it is frustrating how frequently the right employer and the right candidate are not face to face in the same discussion.
Interviews with candidates with the wrong skills sets and background for the role at hand are pretty horrendous places to be. Candidates in the wrong seat at the wrong table typically are not able to answer the questions and the employer is not able to get the information they need to make an informed decision.
These are my current tips for applying for any role:
- Apply for roles that are consistent with your skill set and background. If you are looking for a career change, plan it; do some study, look for entry level roles or roles that combine your existing skill set and new ones you are looking to develop. Look for opportunities to cross over into new fields taking some of your skills and hard work with you.
- Always research the company, ask around and see if anyone in your network has experience with them. Search up the role title too, this can bring up ideas about the things you might need to consider when applying.
- Always try to speak to a contact person. This is pretty tricky sometimes, but do your best. Plan your questions ahead of time and make sure you are not asking for information you should have read from the job posting or the career page of the website. Practice your phone call out loud to yourself beforehand or better, practice with a friend.
- Be selective – this is really important. It wastes your time and the employers time if you are trying to sell something that they are not buying. There may be a role you are interested in and it’s a stretch for your skills and background. Approach asking about these roles from a developmental perspective, try to speak to someone about it, ask them what they would see as the ideal candidate and skill set.
It does happen that employers will be so impressed at interview that they offer the job to someone who has a totally different skill set from the one they set out to find. Realistically though, this is more likely to happen in the movies or to the friend of a friend of a friend. When it’s you, think through and plan your approach, remember the employer’s time is valuable and so is yours. People land amazing jobs, including the job of their dreams every day. Plan your approach, think about what you are selling, research options and don’t just wait for job ads.
Eden Ritchie Recruitment can help with roles in a number of amazing fields including IT and Government. Sharpen up your CV, plan your approach and find the right buyer.