You don’t have to spend money
I didn’t pay a penny on
recruiters or paid advertising.
But it’s hard work
I didn’t realise how much time I’d end
up putting into pushing the advert. Or how difficult it is to come up with new
ways to share the same thing without people getting sick of it.
Let the advert do some of the work
It turns out that if it’s
a bit different and stands out, the chances are it will be seen and shared.
Turn to your contacts
Social media networks, clients and colleagues past and present, family and friends. It’s amazing how far you can share
I’ve been on the other side, invited to an
interview but not really knowing what’s in store for me. Particularly in the early days when I didn’t have any interview experience. I tried to put my applicants
at ease with answers to the questions I'd probably have: number of people shortlisted,
how long it will last, number of questions I’m going to ask, what we'll cover,
opportunity to ask me questions.
Calendly for the win
Rather than setting specific
interview times for each candidate, they could pick a time that suited them using Calendly. It
also meant no admin work for me with the interview slots dropping straight into
my inbox. And no hassle re-arranging times/dates people couldn’t do.
Zoom also for the win
I'm as surprised as anyone by this one. I’d got a bit fed up
of it in recent months, where everything seems to involve a Zoom* call. But my
faith has been restored. Interviewing was more efficient for me and it felt
more informal and relaxed than face-to-face. It also takes away the stress of
travelling to and finding interview location for candidates, something I always
*Other video conferencing platforms are available
Give some bloody feedback!
It was sad to hear so many applicants
come back to me to say thanks for simply giving any kind of feedback. One applicant replied "I am very grateful for the feedback as this is the first position I have been given feedback for!". That’s not right.
Everyone is putting time into the process
Of course it
takes time to hire and that multiplies if you get a big response, but I think it’s
important to remember that applicants have put the time in too. Some decent
communication and feedback is the least they deserve.
And I mean all applicants
Feedback should be given at all stages
of the process, not just those who get to the end. How will someone know they’re
not helping themselves with the way they approach applications if they don’t
get past that hurdle and never get any feedback?
Giving feedback is hard
Well, I found it hard anyway. And it
seems to get harder the further through the process you get. Applicants have
invested more time, you’ve spoken to them, got to know them a little bit,
heard how much they want it. And often the difference between getting a job/role
or not at that stage can be small margins.
Make it useful
Comments like “you weren’t right for it” or
“your application wasn’t strong enough” aren’t very helpful. Tell them why and
be specific. Maybe send them a useful resource to help them in the future.
10 tips when applying for jobs
Make of these what you will, but hopefully they might help if
you’re new to job applications or just find it hard work.
1 I need more than a CV
know some recruiters or adverts will only ask for a CV, but some kind of
covering letter or supporting statement always helps for me. As the pool gets
bigger, I have no idea how you can shortlist confidently from just a brief CV.
2 Make my life easy
process is hard enough as it is. Trying to map your skills and experience to
the role from a CV and general email is tough. It’s much easier to work with
applications which really clearly state how you meet each of the points in the
advert (formal jobs tend to call these ‘essential criteria’).
3 Use the application as an
opportunity to show off your skills (if you can)
If you’re someone who is
really organised and methodical, get that across in the way that you structure
your application. If you’re someone who is creative, how can you demonstrate
that in the format of your application?
4 Take your time
It might just
be my approach, but you don’t get extra marks for banging in a rushed application nice
and early. I’d much rather wait to see something more developed and considered.
5 If you get to an interview, relax
I know that’s easy for me to say and I always get nervous, but remember that you’ve been shortlisted for a reason. Whoever is interviewing you wants you to do well, they’re on your side. What’s the worst that could happen?
6 It’s not all about your
I’m sure you worked hard for your grades and scores, but
I can see that in a CV. When it gets to an interview I’m more interested in hearing about what you’ve learnt, what
motivates you and what you do outside of education to develop your skills and
7 It’s better to talk a bit
too much than not enough
Your interview is your chance to show off. Give
examples. Go into detail. Explain why it’s relevant to the role. It might be
worth checking out the
8 Ask questions
is not a one-way street. It’s your opportunity to find out if the role and/or company
is right for you. Whether it’s the way they work, the type of projects they
take on or their values. Better to find out at this point if you can.
9 Don’t beat yourself up
know anyone who hasn’t been unsuccessful in applying for a job at some point. You’re
not on your own.
10 Learn from it
Take feedback on board and learn. It might be
something simple you can work on. It might be a bit of experience you can develop
in your own time. If they don’t give you any feedback, ask for some. And if
they still don’t give you any, then shame on them.