Watching the new series of The Apprentice on BBC1 on Wednesday night got me thinking about what not to do when seeking your new role, and conversely effective strategies for finding employment in a recovering economy.
Be confident, not arrogant
It’s really important to be motivated and enthusiastic about new opportunities, but ensure that you don’t undermine your application by coming across as proud. In the graduate market particularly, employers are looking for a combination of skills including confidence and humility. In entry level positions it’s important to demonstrate that you don’t mind getting on with some of the ground work whilst also showing that you have the skills and spark necessary to progress.
Always be professional
It’s crucial to maintain a clear level of professionalism throughout the hiring process, as it demonstrates that you can keep a clear head and are able to leave personal issues aside. Outbursts likes this obviously http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jLRaXjLRtU hugely undermine your credibility in front of an employer.
Start with the end in mind
Think about exactly what you want to achieve – what is your end goal? You’re looking to bag your dream role so think about exactly what you need to do in order to get there. Having a good understanding of the recruitment process is key so that you can prepare for each stage. You also need to demonstrate the right balance of harder and softer skills for the role, so prepare relevant examples of team and project work. When have you demonstrated leadership? Present examples of relevant case studies or analysis you have done in a previous role or internship. Think about where you’ve demonstrated drive, examples where you stand out from the rest of the crowd. But more than this, you need to demonstrate commerciality. You’re applying for a role in the business world after all. Stay up to date with the business news, take up reading the FT or Economist regularly. Practice talking through a recent business story in the news that’s caught your attention. Prepare for case studies if you’re interested in consultancy, or practise numeracy tests if banking is your thing. Whatever you do, get ready now before it’s too late.
Helen Donnelly is a candidate manager for FreshMinds Talent Graduate team.