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7 Tips to Get Your Job Application Noticed

By Guest Author
Posted on

Getting your job application noticed

Many of us have experienced sending off a job application, only for it to disappear into the depths of the internet. The lack of response is frustrating, as you end up without answers, meaning you can’t learn from where you went wrong.

Getting your application noticed by recruiters or hiring managers is the crucial first step in landing yourself a new job. However, it’s no easy task, especially if you’re after a competitive role.

To land your dream job and get noticed, You want the recruiter to know that you’re the best person for the position. Read on for advice on how to stand out from the crowd.

1. Get ahead of the game

If you’re lucky enough to have contacts at the company you’re applying to, ask them to refer you. This is the fastest way to get an interview. While a contact can’t always vouch for your professional skills, the hiring manager will be able to get an idea of your character.

Hopefully, this will mean that your application is put straight at the top of the pile. Unfortunately, sometimes it comes down to who you know – not what you know.

2. Add a headline or profile

With the amount of applications employers have to read, why not make their job easier for them? Include a brief headline or profile at the top of your application to catch their attention.

This shouldn’t be more than a few lines, focusing on what you can bring to the team. Think of it as a test to show that you’ve researched the company. Then, tailor your best attributes to the role.

If it’s a social care role, for example, you could mention that you’re compassionate and communicative.

3. Prioritise your most important qualifications

Look at the job advert and find the minimum qualifications that are listed – do you meet the criteria? Reconsider your application if you don’t meet the specification, or you’ll only waste your own time!

If you do have the qualifications, then you can move forward with your application. For each of your past roles, be sure to clearly state your relevant competencies so the employer knows you’re not wasting their time too.

4. Use keywords

Include keywords mentioned in the job advert. For example, if it’s an advert for a software developer role, you might be required to know python.

These keywords will optimise your application for Applicant Tracking Systems, which reject up to 75% of CVs before they even get a chance to reach a human! Finding and noting keywords used in the job overview will help you to beat the bots.

5. Keep your accomplishments fresh

When you get comfortable in a job, it can be easy to forget what you’ve achieved on a day-to-day basis. However, this will be essential in making your application stand out and proving that you don’t just sit back in your day job.

Make a running list of any accomplishments at work, so that you have them ready for when you need to make an application.

6. Use the STAR approach

You might come across applications which require you to fill out competency questions. Competency questions are designed to test you on your real-life experiences and how these have prepared you for the role you’ve applied to.

These can often make up a large part of an application, so it’s vital you get your answers right. However, these questions can be tricky as you’re required to remember a lot of information.

To avoid forgetting important information, employers recommend using the ‘STAR’ technique. STAR stands for:

  • Situation – describe the background and context
  • Task – describe the task or challenge you were faced with
  • Action – explain the action you took and how and why you did it
  • Result – ideally, the result will be a positive one and ideally one that can be measured. If it’s not positive, highlight what you learned from it. Always relate the skill or ability you demonstrated back to the role you’re applying to!

7. Save it as a PDF

Candidates forget that employers’ devices may not support the format of their CV.

As such, the recruiter or hiring manager will be faced with a jumbled mess when they go to open your application. They won’t bother getting in contact to ask you to send it again, and your CV will be cast aside.

To avoid the worry of this, simply attach your CV as a PDF! Simple.

Get your application noticed!

Your application will get noticed – Focus on making it the best it can possibly be and only apply to jobs you’re really passionate about. With the help of our useful tips, your application will be noticed by more employers. Start applying for jobs on the ASC Jobs Portal today!

Why is Personal Branding Important For Your Career?

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

Why is personal branding important and how will it help my career?

pin board with post it notes. One reads 'make things happen'

Did you know, since the year 2000 attention spans have decreased by 25%? This means gaining the attention of potential employers is even harder for jobseekers. This is why personal branding is important as it can really give your career a boost.  It allows employers to see the real you which builds trust, credibility and confidence in your ability.

Find out what personal branding is and the reasons why it’s important below.

What is personal branding?

When you think about branding, I bet your first thought is that a brand is a company and what you associate with that company? You’re not wrong however in recent years the same theories behind company brands can be applied to people.

Personal branding has shaped how we think about celebrities, politicians and has even helped ordinary people rise to fame as branding influencers.

How?

Just like companies, branding helps shape people’s perceptions of you through your opinions, ambitions, the way you look, how you communicate, act and treat others. It’s packaging your best bits and telling it as a story to differentiate yourself from others.

Now you may think that your CV is enough to cover the points made above but your personal brand is online as well as offline. Yes it includes your CV but also your social media accounts, how you respond to emails, talk on the phone and when you meet people face to face at networking events or interviews for example. It encompasses everything you do.

In a nutshell you can form the way you want people to see you.

So why is personal branding important?

Builds trust and credibility

Trust is built on getting to know the real you. Your personal brand will showcase your motivations, ambitions and what you believe in. If potential employers understand this, they will get a clearer picture about who you are and if you are someone they’d like to hire.

Credibility demonstrates your expertise and willingness to self-develop. It can be built through the actions you have taken to achieve your goals, mentoring others and making a difference. Shouting about this online, on your CV and when you speak to employers will help build credibility.

Develops your network and opens doors

The more employers see and hear about you, the more you are likely to be offered:

  1. Interviews
  2. Jobs that may never have been advertised or you may never have heard about
  3. Jobs that could be created just for you
  4. A promotion
  5. Opportunities to use your expertise to help others (which will further build your credibility and network)

Furthermore, it’s not just about developing your offline network. Did you know 56% of employers won’t consider you for roles without an online presence? By using online platforms to your advantage, you can show employers more than just your image and online work history.

It shows the authentic you

blocks of light which read this is who i am

The one thing you can’t do with personal branding is fake it and you definitely can’t buy it! But this is a good thing, it means you can’t be anything other than authentic, it comes from the heart and is driven by the things you are passionate about such as your goals, morals and values. It could emphasise the type of company you want to work for.

Imagine if an employer had loads of great CVs, including yours but had to shortlist them. If your personal brand was showcased elsewhere other than your CV, the employer could see you’re being authentic and is more likely to ask you in for an interview.

Example of personal branding

In 2010, Leonard Kim was homeless and unknown online. Now he is recognised as one of the top digital youth marketers by Forbes and has over 500,000 followers on Twitter.

Leonard didn’t achieve success by just showcasing what he does, he got there by telling his story. As a result of sharing his experience and what he learnt on the way, it made him stand out. The thing that made him stand out the most was, he talked about the mistakes he had made rather than what he did well.

He was being honest, this meant people could relate to him which built trust and credibility. He made people realise, it’s OK to discuss your downfalls online if you can learn from them.

By sharing his story and building a network of people he’d never met, people then approached him to write for their magazine, speak at conferences and work at their company.

How can you build your personal brand?

To develop your personal brand you need to take steps to understand what story you want to share with people.

  1. Understand what your key strengths are by assessing your skills, experiences and qualities
  2. What are your goals (i.e where do you see yourself in 1 years’ time, 5 years’ time etc. or what sort of company do you want to work for)
  3. What are you passionate about (do you want things to change in your industry, do you want business as a whole to work together to save the environment)

Most importantly, rememberOnce you have a good idea about who you are and what you’re trying to achieve you can start to shout about it.

Ways to promote your personal brand

  • Like, share and comment on posts from your social media account about things related to your goals and passions
  • Create your own posts (including video posts) voicing your own opinions and sharing your own knowledge
  • Attend networking events
  • Write posts about the topics you’re passionate about or the industry you’re in
  • Offer to attend schools, colleges and universities to share your career experiences
  • Attend industry events or become involved in action groups related to your passion

Hopefully that has given you an introduction to personal branding and how it can help you. Watch out for a more in depth post about how to build your personal brand. If you want to hear about this first, make sure you subscribe at the bottom of the screen.

If you’re looking for a new job, pop over to our jobs page and don’t forget to register your details.

How to succeed at interview

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

So you’ve got an interview coming up… it’s not easy to stand out from the crowd in today’s busy job market but you’ve done it! Now it’s time to prepare but don’t worry we have put together a 4 step guide on how to succeed at interview.

Before you do anything else you need to recognise that being invited for an interview is an achievement and realise that, even if your application doesn’t go any further this time, you’ve clearly got a strong selling point. Being properly prepared is going to pay off massively!

4 Step Guide: How to Succeed At Interview

1 – The Interview Process

Get yourself in the right frame of mind by becoming comfortable with what to expect from the interview. This is straightforward information but if you forget to think about it you could come unstuck. Do you know where the interview is and who it’s with? Have you got a route planned and do you know how long it takes to get there? What format is the interview going to be; may there be aptitude or technical tests?

how to succeed at interview | ASC Connections

2 – Understand the Job

You need to be confident that you understand exactly what they’re looking for so you can demonstrate how you’re a good match. It’s a mistake to assume you know this based on a job title or a description so take some time to study the job description properly. Have a few thoughtful questions to ask about the job such as where it may take you within the company.

3 – Research the Company

How do you feel when someone pays interest in you? Good, right? Do the same in your interview. Companies want to hire people that they believe really want to work with them and will therefore stick with them. Find out as much as you can about their business and have a few good questions to ask. Maybe found out a little about the manager too – it won’t hurt.

4 – Be Yourself

This one probably sounds a bit odd. Surely you know yourself? Well let’s hope so! But step outside the box and think about how you look to someone else. Are there gaps on your CV that you need to explain? Are you going to be asked to talk about something you only mentioned as an aside? It will be really embarrassing for you if you can’t answer a question about yourself!

Trust us on this advice! You will interview very rarely throughout your career but as recruitment professionals we interview candidates and receive feedback from hiring managers every day so, with that in mind, here are a few other things we’d suggest:

  • Arrive a little early – yes, you’ll be seen as punctual but there’s another benefit in that you’ll give yourself more time to relax and get in the right frame of mind.
  • If you have a question you can’t find the answer to then just ask them. They really will appreciate your interest.
  • Maintain positive body language throughout your interview and start by greeting your interview with a handshake and a smile! You’ll also want to remember that managers often ask colleagues what their impressions were of you too so be polite and friendly to anyone else you speak to starting with the receptionist!
  • Lastly, make sure to follow up the next day with a simple email thanking them for their time and reaffirming your interest in the role.

Hopefully you have found the how to succeed at interview guide useful and it brings you success at interview.

If you’re looking for an answer to a question that will help you advance your career? Why not contact us and talk to one of our team who will be happy to discuss your needs.

You can also register your details to recieve the latest jobs, news and careers advice relevent to you, straight to your inbox.

How to write a good CV

By Rebecca Crowther
Posted on

Can you write a good CV?

When you apply for a job, the first and maybe only thing that a hiring manager or recruitment professional is going to see from you is your CV.  Therefore, this is your chance to tell them who you are, what you’ve done before and what you can do for them – so the question is can you write a good CV?

Did you know that the average amount of time spent reviewing a CV is less than 10 seconds?

It makes sense to maximise on this document and here’s a really simple way to do just that! Write out your CV as you would anyway, then take what you have and put it into three distinct sections: About you, your work history and your education and skills.

To find out if you can write a good CV follow our simple CV structure below and we’re sure the answer will be yes!

About you:

  • Have you put your name and not ‘CV’ as the title of your CV?
  • Are all your contact details clear?
  • Have you written a short personal statement?
  • Does it use keywords about your skills and experience?

Your work history:

  • Have you put it in reverse chronological order?
  • Is the job title clear?
  • Did you make it obvious exactly how long you worked there? Include the month!
  • Describing your responsibilities is great but have you listed your achievements?

can you write a good cv? ASC Connections

Your education and skills:

  • Is your education listed in the order of highest award first?
  • Have you grouped together school-level qualifications? (But specify English, Maths and Science!)
  • Have you included non-academic qualifications or skills? Languages? First aid?
  • If they show genuine achievements or responsibilities have you included hobbies/interests?

Finally, if you can make sure you’ve done all these things then you’ll have a CV that’s ready to be put in front of even the most experienced eyes. When you’re ready to go, follow these extra top tips:

  • Get someone else to read it and ask for their opinion!
  • Spell check won’t show you when the word is spelled correctly but not the right word (in/inn, of/off or to/too)
  • Have you thought about the appearance? Use bullet points and spacing to highlight what’s important!
  • Use one, professional font in one size throughout – and not comic sans!

Don’t forget to search through our jobs and send us your CV so we can contact you with the latest job opportunities that match what you are looking for.

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