The legal way…
It’s a concept that has always sounded… odd to me. It sounds dirty, like your selling your soul or a part of your body, but it’s actually the opposite. Well, not really but it’s certainly not as bad as it sounds.
Selling yourself is all about knowing how to appeal to employers. It’s about making sure you sound like the best candidate for the job on paper so they take the next step and offer you an interview (sometimes, even the job!)
1. Buzzwords are your new best friend
I know, I know. It’s the same tip everyone gives. “Make sure to say you’re ‘reliable’ and ‘efficient’ on your CV!” But there’s only so many times an employer can read ‘leadership skills’ and ‘IT proficient’ before they’re trying to gouge out their eyes.
Of course they are looking for these skills, but they’re also skills every average Joe looking for a job has. You need to be throwing out buzzwords that will draw their attention in.
Now that doesn’t mean throwing out random skills and terms in order to sound awesome. They’re not going to care if you can cook crème brûlée like nobody’s business if your applying for an office job! What the are looking for is someone who’s passionate, hard working, friendly, and can multitask their way through various projects.
The best way to make sure you are selling yourself is to read the job description. Then read it again. Print it out and highlight the skills if you must! The point is to know what kind of person they are looking to employ and then trying to make yourself sound like that person.
2. There is no such thing as the perfect CV
When I was in my final year of secondary school, we covered CVs. They taught us that we would only ever need one CV throughout our life, only updating the education and job section whenever we took on something new.
That was biggest load of bullshit I have ever heard.
Currently, I have about 6 CVs (more if you count the odd ones that are tailored to specific jobs). Each highlight a different skill/a different career I could apply for. In fact, even the ‘general’ CV I have that covers most admin jobs gets touched up every time I apply for a new job.
The point is, be prepared to write a billion CVs when job hunting because one will definitely not work for all.
3. The company’s ideals
Another one that sounds completely and utterly obvious when someone tells you, but not all of them think the way you thought they did.
I recently learnt from a friend who works at Primark that their only survey prioritises employees sticking to their designated sections. For example, if you were walking through another section back to your own and you spotted clothes on the floor, the correct response is to find the manager on the floor and alert them of the mess before retiring too your own. I was a little surprised at the revelation because, surely, you it would be quicker and more time efficient for you to clear the mess and retreat to your own section?
Long story short, it wouldn’t. In the eyes of Primark, staying to your section is key for keeping things on track. If you were to clean up all the messes you passed in Primark, you would never make it back to your own section meaning your section then gets behind.
It’s one of those things that make complete and utter sense when it’s explained to you, but when you’re applying for jobs you want to make the best possible impression and helping out where ever it’s needed is one of our automatic responses.
Of course, trying to figure out what the company actually want from their employees is a headache of itself. You’ll second guess everything and sometimes your answers will still end up with your application in the rejection pile before anyone actually gets to see your application.
The answer here is to research. If you come across a company asking you to fill out one of these surveys, make sure to google to application form. More often than not, you’ll find chat-rooms discussing just that topic.
You never know, you might just find the answer to getting through the application process.
4. Seek help
If, like me, you are currently unemployed and job hunting, the job centre is a god send. Not only do they help financially whilst you’re unemployed, but they guide you through the process of getting the job.
At the moment, I visit my local job centre once a week and sit down with my adviser. We sit and discuss what jobs I have applied for, what jobs I should apply for, and ways I can improve myself in the process.
Before signing on, I would have never considered it. In fact, I was quite content on never doing so and going about it solo. Whilst the tactic works for some, I quickly realised that it wouldn’t for me. I didn’t know what I was doing, or where to begin my quest for permanent employment. I was, and still am, completely out of my depth.
So I grit my teeth and sought help. And it is worth it. Not that long ago I went to a job fair at the job centre. It was far my beneficial to my quest than I thought it was going to be.
5. Make an impression
When you finally do get that interview, you need to leave a good impression on everyone you meet. From the moment you step into the building, turn the charm on. Smile, be polite, and most importantly, be friendly.
Some employers do not just go by their feelings on you in the room. They seek the impressions of those working on reception. Anyone you meet in the building could be a test, so you have to make the best impression.
When you walk into the room to meet your interviews you must make sure you smile, meet their eyes, and shake their hands (if possible) before you sit down. By smiling your showing you are friendly. Most people respond to a smile with their own, and it helps in remembering you. Eye contact is one of those subtle listening techniques, but it also shows that you are confident. of course, you don’t want to over do by staring at one person for too long and coming across like a serial killer.
Lastly, the hand shake. It is well known that a good, firm handshake says more about your character than anything else about you.
And that’s all the advice I can muster up for one blog post!
Why not leave your own advice in the comments below?