The ongoing market trends keep on changing and so do the requirements of the organizations, hence they keep on looking for emerging talents and the best fit for their team. Jobseekers on the other hand lookout for opportunities and with the sudden turmoil in the market with COVID-19, it is difficult to switch or apply for a job. How to make sure that even in these times, we can keep going and achieving our goals with the dream job? How to get our profiles listed?
In this course book, you will be given a brief understanding of what the HRs look for in the candidates and how to get a job in just 30 minutes! Well, we understand your curiosity about the main part of the course! We will quickly jump to the key pointers, hope you are all set and the time starts now!
Focus on your strengths
To start with, it’s important to understand your positives and to build confidence. List down your plus points and abilities that you have recognized in yourself over the years and make a note of the soft skills or personality traits that you can see in yourself. These strengths will play an important role during your interview and in resume building. You can also do a quick SWOT analysis to understand your strengths better.
The first impression is the last impression! The resume speaks about yourself on the first go, it’s your first impression, and to make it impactful, it’s important to work on the minute detailing of the resume. The HR team considers those resumes that are well-formatted, have a proper content flow, and aren’t lengthy.
We have already taken notes of our key strengths in the previous step! In case you haven’t, make a quick note of it, as you need to compile all the key strengths to create a powerful cv. To start with, we need to first work on the summary as it gives an overview of your profile.
Image Source: Zety
To start with, have a look at the basic layout and the sections required while writing an effective resume.
The summary gives the first impression about the candidate as it is at the top of the resume and it is advisable to keep it crisp and not beyond (2-3 lines). The first line of the summary should have the highlights of the profile including the qualification and expertise. The summary should have few adjectives to describe the strengths. These adjectives should be chosen as per industry expectations. Relevant information and no repetition in the resume makes a good impression. Also, exaggeration might not be helpful because that might give a wrong impression.
Here is an example of a lengthy resume that has a long summary.
The summary gives the first impression about the candidate and it is advisable to keep it crisp and clear (2-3 lines). Even the rest of the sections should be as short as possible. Adding relevant information and not being repetitive while writing can work.
Let’s see an example of a good resume where the summary is short.
In the image above, the summary section is short and the relevant information has been fitted in 2-3 lines. The recruiter would get a clear idea about the candidate within fraction of seconds.
A well formatted CV has more chances of getting selected!
The information on the resume should be well formatted. Recruiters choose a simple resume over a cluttered one as they don’t have much time to decode. Also, it is advisable to opt for a simple template to give it a more professional look. Avoid too much detailing as it makes the information look cluttered and it is not easy on the eye. Keeping the resume structured is one of the golden rules, it helps the recruiters in understanding the information better and is less time consuming.
Let’s have a quick look into an example for better understanding. In the image given below, you can see that the contact number is missing. Also, the section for education and employment history, the information looks cluttered. The recruiter might get confused about the information provided and would want to reach out to the candidate to redo the resume or could even reject the application.
Now let’s have a look at another example:
In the above example, you can see that the information is precise and structured, it is easy to read and understand it. Also, the contact details are clearly mentioned at the top which helps the recruiter to directly get in touch with the candidate.
Describe your previous roles properly as it speaks about your experience. While writing this section you can write the company name, designation, grade and Key Responsibility Area (KRA). You can also include the responsibilities you had while working on that particular position. It is advised to keep the role description crisp and clear as this section is very important for the recruiter.
Let’s have a look at an example where the role description for Java developer is too lengthy and isn’t well structured.
Now we look at an example where the role description is precise and structured.
Achievements and skillset
These two sections are important because they give a clear idea to the recruiter about your efficiency and it should be added to the cv in the end. For achievements, you can even include the team awards you have received in your previous organization. Make sure you add the required skill sets that also give some weightage to the job application, they should match the requirements. YOu can also mention your key skillset as “Top 3” or “Top 5” deliverable of their current job role.
The languages mentioned (in the above image) could have been consolidated together.
Make sure you mention your phone number and email address at the top of the resume. It’s advisable to have it at the top right corner so that it is easily visible to the recruiter and they can contact you. You can also include your website/blog and link to your LinkedIn profile so that the recruiter can get more details about you and chances of your selection gets higher.
Foreign languages become an add on to the resume and get the help you get more opportunities within the company. As per a study by Zety, the 10 most common foreign languages that are listed in cvs are as follows:
- Spanish: 5.7% of resumes
- French: 4.1%
- Arabic: 3.6%
- Hindi: 2.9%
- German: 2.8%
- Russian: 1.5%
- Italian: 1.2%
- Portuguese: 1%
- Mandarin: 0.9%
- Tamil: 0.8%
Once the cv gets shortlisted the next stage is of the interview and it’s often difficult to crack it. But there are certain key points that can help you in cracking these interviews.
Understand the profile you have applied for and read about the company
Make sure you understand the details about the profile you have applied for. You need to list down your abilities based on the requirements as per the job description. A lot of questions are asked on the basis of the job description so you need to be thorough with it. You need to know about the organization you have applied for. The interviewers usually ask some questions around the company, so it’s important to know about the organization in detail.
Tell me something about yourself!
You can expect this as your first question, you just need to be confident enough! Make sure you cover up all the highlights from your profile and your experience. Don’t panic out, instead have a glass of water and just relax for some time. The glass of water will rejuvenate you and you will be more confident this time.
Answer the questions you know!
The interviewer might ask you some difficult questions but you need to answer the ones you know. Don’t end up bluffing because that gives a wrong impression, instead you can tell them that you aren’t much aware of it but will be interested in knowing more about it.
Amidst the COVID-19 scenario, a lot of organizations are now conducting remote interviews considering the lockdown situation. It’s a sudden switch from in-person interviews to a digital one or telephonic interview, which might be a little difficult to manage for a few of the candidates. The reason could be comfort zone, it is easier to express in-person than over calls or video calls. Secondly, the nervousness is more because everyone is used to giving interviews in person than video calls. Now how to crack these remote interviews? Don’t worry we have a guide that can help you crack these interviews.
Check the video and audio settings
The audio and the video settings on the platform that has been chosen by the organization for your interview should be checked before the interview starts. Download the required application and test it out atleast once to understand the functionality. If you think the video doesn’t appear to be good enough because of your surroundings, try to adjust and sit somewhere else.
That background noise could be a problem!
Let your family members or roommates know in advance that you are going for a telephonic/video interview. Close the door of the room and keep the pets outside the room where you are giving the interview.
Good internet connection
A poor internet connection will lead to frequent call drops and bad video quality, this way it will become difficult for the interviewer to judge you and might lead him/her to a confused state. Remember that the interviewer is supposed to interview many so frequent call drops might hamper his interest. Check the internet speed before the interview and in case the internet connection is poor, make sure to update them, their time is valuable as well. They might switch to a regular call instead but you need to inform them prior to the interview.
It’s a remote interview but still dressing matters as it gives the interviewer the impression that you are taking the interview seriously. We know that you are super comfortable around the loose t-shirts and pjs at home but make sure you are all set when it comes to the interview.
Keep the important files ready
The interviewer might ask for your resume or certain documents, make a file of such important documents in advance and place them in a folder on the desktop. In this case, if the interviewer asks you regarding those documents, you can directly share them. This would give an impression of how systematic and organized you are.
Eye contact matters
You might end up looking everywhere on the screen so it’s important for you to maintain eye contact with the interviewer and remain alert throughout the interview. Looking here and there might show how confused you are.
Can you manage to work from home?
The interviewer might expect you to work from home for the first few initial days in case of immediate joining (and if the lockdown continues at the place where the office is). In this case if the interviewer finds you the right fit then might ask you about managing work from home and you need to speak about how confident you are and how systematically you are going to work. You need to give the interviewer an assurance about your deliveries and work efficiency, you can always describe your work plan and strategy to go about it.
Commonly asked interview questions
- Walk me through your resume
Recruiters usually ask a question to most of the candidates, “Can you walk me through your resume?” With this question, the recruiter wants to understand your experiences in brief and wants to make sure if you will be a good fit for the company. The answer shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes, you should highlight the important parts of your resume including some of the achievements and your job history. While giving the brief about your job history, details about the two recent jobs should be enough. Let the follow-up questions come and you can answer and give further details, accordingly.
- Why do you want to switch?
You need to talk about the transition and mention your experiences there that led you to decide on the switch. Don’t put a lot of negativity while answering this question even if you had a very bad experience at the previous firm. Make sure you don’t speak too much against your previous manager and the company. You can rather say that you are looking for some growth and learning experience as your reason for the switch.
- Why should we select you?
Here’s your chance to sell yourself and your abilities to the hiring manager. Here you need to answer in a way that conveys the message about your abilities being synced with the requirements. You need to convince the hiring manager that you are going to come up to the expectations and also deliver good results. You need to make them understand that you will comfortably adjust around the new work environment, team, and culture and that you’d be a better hire than others.
- Talk about the biggest difficulty you faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
While answering this question, you need to keep the STAR method in mind: situation, task, action, results. Describe the situation and the task details to make the interviewer understand the background context, then further talk about the action you took and the results. While explaining the situation, you can give an example of one of the struggles you faced at your previous company. The detailed explanation will also help the interviewer understand your strengths and your abilities.
- Are you willing to relocate?
This might sound like a very simple question but being blunt enough might not go in your favor. Be straightforward about what you think but at the same time give the reasons for the same. In case you can relocate after a year or so, you can make the interviewer understand that because of XYZ reason you can’t relocate for now and will consider it in the future. Such an answer also shows that you are open to change and a new environment.
How to use job portals?
Job seekers need to create a complete profile including all the details about the work experience, salary, updated resume, educational background, etc. It’s advisable to keep some strong keywords for your work summary so that when the recruiters are searching for a particular designation, your profile might pop up in the first search. Users will get some job recommendations and might get some notifications from recruiters’ end. It is important to keep the profile updated and keep on checking emails and the page for notifications.
You can check for jobs on the portal based on location, designation, skills, company, category. You can also look out for recruiters on the portal, get complete company details, and look for salary trends, these details can help you apply for the dream job! Interestingly, few of the portals also show the hiring trend that shows the hiring percentage and the percentage of layoffs.
The portal also has an additional tool for salary prediction that gives you the data about what your salary should be based on all the details you feed in. That can help you put across the expected salary data whenever asked.
LinkedIn, an effective tool for your job search!
LinkedIn is a powerful platform that can prove to be very useful for finding jobs! As per a report by @99Firms, there are over 610 million members on LinkedIn. You can imagine the number of candidates your profile is competing with. And recruiters usually check the LinkedIn profile to get a better idea and they scan through your profile in a couple of minutes. So you need to make that one shot, right! Well, you need not worry, here is a quick guide to making a good impression of your LinkedIn profile on recruiters:
A professional headshot
Well, LinkedIn is not Instagram, so let’s stick to a professional headshot, it gives a good impression. Update your profile picture as it plays an important role because it conveys a message that the user is legit, it is basically the first impression.
Work on the headline
The headline is the first thing after your profile picture, make sure you keep it updated and it gives a clear idea about the position you are working at. You can choose what you want to highlight there. So if previously you have worked with a well-known organization, do mention it, it puts a great impact.
Update your profile
Update your profile with a relevant bio describing your expertise, experience, and skillset. Make sure your headline on your LinkedIn profile is very specific because that’s what people look at first when they visit your profile.
Summary says it all
Keep your summary short and talk more about your roles. For example: If it is a writer’s profile, the candidate can include ‘Writer, editor, content manager…etc’ depending on the experience. Remember the recruiter doesn’t have much time to read everything, keep it short.
Ask for endorsements
Ask your managers from previous organizations or your co-employees to endorse you for relevant skills. Endorsements do grab attention, so keep working towards it.
Work on the number of connections and networking!
Make sure you have added influencers and people from your domain in your circle. Also, add the recruiters from your domain and get in touch with them. You can also start sharing some news pieces as posts on your page to get some good traction and engagement which will in turn help in networking.
After updating your profile, now you can search for a job by title, skill, or company. You can also use the location filter for better results and apply for the job accordingly.
Hope this article will help you find your dream job! Keep following us for such interesting posts and trends!