Candidate Tips

From that first call from the recruiter you know you’ve found a winner. A great job can change everything. It’s that new challenge you’ve been looking for – a chance to enhance your skills. It can mean more money and a better lifestyle. But how to land your dream job? Our guide takes you through each exciting stage.

Stage 1 – Make Contact

Find out if your recruiter is retained or contingency. A retained recruiter will be working closely (and exclusively) with the hirer to fulfil a specific set of requirements, and will keep working until the position is filled by the right person. This means that you won’t receive several calls from different agencies about the same job. A contingency recruiter doesn’t get paid until the position is filled, meaning that she is under more pressure to deliver a shortlist before other competing agencies. Retained recruitment says a lot about the company that’s hiring, and makes a difference to your experience.

Stage 2 – Apply

Update your CV – Use Lauren’s guide: The Dos and Don’ts of CV Writing to understand how recruiters view and process your CV. Make sure the important information is clear and easy to find, but don’t use tables, as these can’t be read by the software used by many recruiters. Do include links to past projects if that helps to trim your CV down to just one or two pages – and check the links regularly to make sure they still work! To shape the very best CV to meet the employer’s requirements, ensure that you highlight where you feel you are an exact match for the employer’s needs, by bolding important words or phrases. At KTP, we always give applicants the opportunity (and the guidance) to enhance their CV and make sure it contains only the most relevant information for a particular role.

Stage 3 – Prepare

We all know that it’s vital to research the employer ahead of time, as well as preparing for the kinds of questions you might be asked at an interview. But making sure the logistics are in hand can make the difference between arriving stressed or even late, and getting to your interview in plenty of time with a cool head. Plan your journey and, if travelling by car, decide where you’re going to park. Remember, your recruiter’s knowledge of the company is a valuable resource for you to use! If in doubt, contact your agent for a few friendly words of advice. Remember to take a copy of your CV with you, along with anything else that the interviewer might have asked for, such as copies of your ID or qualifications.

Stage 4 – Meet

It goes without saying that you should be well turned out, even if the company you’re applying for doesn’t insist on smart dress. That said, don’t make the mistake of choosing clothing you’re not comfortable in. If you’re too hot in your jacket or struggling to walk in too-high heels, it’ll affect your confidence on the day. Dress well, but be ‘you’.

Stage 5: Deliver

You can never be too prepared, but it’s important to make sure you thoroughly understand what’s expected of you during the interview. Sometimes you’ll be asked to create a presentation or project, but don’t make the mistake of giving over all your preparation time to this. Make sure you stick to the time-limit given, and pay attention the other requirements of the interview. Remember to devise a few questions of your own for the end – these will show that you are enthusiastic and engaged with the role and the company. Don’t forget this great question: ‘What happens next?’

Stage 6 – Follow Up

The great news is, if your application is being handled by a recruiter then you’ll be able to receive updates and feedback without bugging your potential employer. If you’re dealing with the employer directly, think back to your interview. Did you ask that all-important question? If so, you’ll know exactly when it’s acceptable to get in touch. Whatever happens, try to handle it well. If your application is accepted, be enthusiastic and state your thanks. If you’re not accepted, be gracious, no matter how disappointed you feel. Your good impression may pay dividends later down the line when the company is hiring again. Remember, you may be right, but not right now.

Finally, if you have any questions about your application – don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lauren and the team. We’re here to help you at every stage of the process. Drop us a line if you feel you need that individual advice and attention that KT Personnel provides. And good luck!