We have said quite a lot about interviews already. But it is always helpful to see advice from elsewhere. Jane Furniss has quite a lot of experience in the world of interviews and appointments. With her permission, for which we are grateful, we publish her take on how to do it. This was originally tweeted – so follow @MaryjaneFurniss and you won’t need this.
What follows is not based on my experience @becomeajudge. This thread of advice is based on 35 years selecting candidates for public, third & private sector roles of all kinds. Lots of organisations now use various online tests; this thread does not address those. It’s about how to succeed when submitting written applications/CVs and making sure your application jumps out from others and you’re called for interview.
Read the recruitment pack carefully. (Sounds obvious? Doesn’t seem to be.) Read it twice and do what it says: i.e. if it says submit CV & 2 page supporting statement or complete this application form … ahem … do what it says or you’ll get put on the no pile.
Don’t do what one actual candidate did: i.e. write in response to application form questions “To be answered at interview” – they won’t be, because you won’t get one.
If job is attractive to you it will likely be to many candidates so make your application easy for those selecting to assess, and make it stand out. Best way to do this? List the skills/qualities/competences the Job Description says are required, and identify specific examples of how you can demonstrate you possess them. Provide evidence & avoid assertion. Provide several examples & cross refer to your CV. Never simply submit supporting statement, and CV you’ve submitted for previous roles … particularly if you weren’t called for interview.
Applying for jobs requires time and effort, and a tailored application will maximise your chances. Do your research on the organisation; it’s so much easier now than past. Look at website and social media accounts, read annual report, 5 year strategy, latest press releases, publications etc so you understand what they care about and can make application relevant.
Use CV/application form to make clear your skills and qualities: i.e. your suitability for role; use your covering letter to emphasise your motivation, and what you’d bring to the organisation. Don’t overdo the passion word but do tell them why you’d like the job. But … don’t waste words on what you want to GET from the job; they’re going to employ the right person for what they’ll bring. Of course, you’ll learn, develop and get paid if you’re appointed, but at application stage you need to show your fit with Job Description/organisation. And please PROOF READ what you’ve written, check for spelling and typos, if possible ask a critical friend to read your application and comment before you submit.
And finally, if you’re not successful be disappointed/cross privately. Tell your Mum/bf/whoever but don’t display it. How you behave publicly will prove Panel correct or help determine your future success.
We couldn’t have said it better. We didn’t…