None of us like lagging behind in our careers. Promotion means more than just a pay rise. It’s a sign that the boss appreciates what we do for the business. All our hard work is recognized. Most importantly, it shows that we’re good at our job and we’re making a real difference. So if you’ve been overlooked for promotion yet again, what do you do? Chances are you’re looking to make a move to a new company!
The trouble is, finding a new job can take months of hard work and hope. For every application, you’re weighing up the pros and cons of working there. The application deadline comes and goes, and you hear absolutely nothing – it’s heart-wrenching. Why are you being overlooked for an interview? Check out each of these things you need to be doing to ensure you’re picked up as the best candidate for the job you want:
Never trust the job ad. It’s likely to have been written by an agent rather than someone working at the company you’re interested in. Instead, spend time checking the company website. You need to know the business is financially viable and genuinely experiencing a growth period to do a check on their returns. The more you know, the better because you’ll be able to see where you can fit in and make a fresh contribution. Last, but not least, find out who the line manager might be or a contact name in HR. This gives you the chance to address a real person, and you can have a chat with them about the role on the phone direct.
When you speak to a potential employer, you need to find out what you need to be doing to be considered as an employee. Is there a particular culture they like to promote in the workplace? Do they prefer qualifications over experience or vice versa? Is industry knowledge a must? If you really like this company, you should ask what it really takes to get that foot in the door. What do you have to bring?
Your covering letter is the first thing the company will see. It needs to stand out from the rest. Use formatting, bullet points, and a formal style of writing to ensure it looks as professional as possible. You want it to contain the details needed to prove you’re the perfect candidate, but you need it to be concise and easy to digest. Address it to a real person. Highlight your most recent education and training. Confirm you already the experience and skills to jump straight in with this role. Don’t forget to add a paragraph that highlights your knowledge of their business and how you can help take them where they’re looking to go.
Again, this document should be professionally laid out. It needs to be detailed yet concise. It is very difficult to know just how much of your past should be here. Should you restrict it to just your most relevant work experience or fill in every date gap you can? If you’ve not been having much success at getting interviews, it could be best to use professional resume writers to tidy up your document. Chances are you’re heading in the right direction, but it just needs that little bit more to get it to sparkle.
If you’re not regularly attending seminars, events, and networking opportunities, it will be difficult for you to find the best jobs going. If you’re good at what you do, then networking will make potential employers head hunt you. Use social media targeting the professionals you want to be associated with. Use your own accounts as a portfolio opportunity (your current company allowing). Don’t be shy when you go to training events. Instead, be helpful, hand out your card, and invite calls to discuss things.
Training and Education
If your career has stalled, or you’ve been out of the loop a while, taking on some extra training and education is essential. You can bolster your resume as well as ensuring your knowledge is as up to date as possible. Once your course is over, you can even publish your papers and make a name for yourself as a subject matter expert. Keep up with trade papers, and contribute to online forums whenever you can.
There is nothing wrong with following up your application with a courtesy call. It can be difficult to speak to the right person without a direct line number but be patient. You can ask if they have received enough information to consider you as a candidate. There is every chance you’ll be brushed off, but at least they’ve heard your name again.
Got An Interview?
If you are considered a candidate, then it’s time to bring your best game. Sometimes companies are obliged to hold interviews even though they’re considering an internal candidate. This is really tough for outsiders, and it can feel like a big waste of time. However, this is your opportunity to prove you can bring far more to the role than internal knowledge. What you have from the outside needs to be shown to be more valuable to this company. So what do you have?
You will be better suited to the role if you’re already doing a similar job in the same industry. If you have the latest qualifications and training, this too can be beneficial. Most importantly, you need to bring fresh ideas that are backed up with your recent experience and success. You’ve got a new perspective to share that an internal candidate simply doesn’t have. You’ve been doing things in different, innovative ways that could take this company in new directions.
Dress for the job you want. Look smart, “clean-cut,” and professional. Keep your posture in check, so you appear confident even if you’re shaking with nerves. Speak clearly, and try to slow your speech down if you tend to rush under pressure. Consider each answer when asked a question. Most importantly, show them who you are and enjoy being at their company. Good luck!