How can young people be sure they are the right candidate?
This is the first in a series of articles for young people aged 18-24 starting their careers after leaving full time education. The full series can be found at monarchpersonnel.com.
If you are interested in a job vacancy, but unsure what the company is looking for in a candidate, how can you be certain you are the right person for the role? This is the conundrum faced by many college and university leavers looking for their first job.
Yes, there will always be an element of uncertainty about what an employer wants because we’re all human. Employers will have criteria that you’d never guess in a million years, unless you’re skilled at mindreading. But to understand the nuts and bolts of what a strong candidate looks like, and if that’s you, you need to do some groundwork.
Read and fully understand the job advertisement
This may seem obvious, but it can be tempting to make a job vacancy fit you perfectly if you really like the sound of what’s on offer! Instead, you need to methodically absorb the detail in the advertisement to gain a thorough understanding of what the company are looking for.
Once you’re happy that you would be a strong candidate, you should ensure that your CV and covering letter refer to all the role requirements. Each job will have a different set of requirements, so your application should be tailored to accommodate them. For this reason, you should never send the same CV and covering letter to different companies.
Do your research
To get a clear idea of what an employer will be looking for in a candidate, you need to understand more about the company. What is their ethos? What are their goals? Who are their customers? Where do they trade? Companies recruit on mindset and character as much as on skillset and experience. They will need you to fit in.
There are some simple steps you can take to research a potential employer:
Look at the company website
Here you will get a feel for the company’s values, work, success and aspirations, all of which will be indicators of the kind of person they will be looking for. Consider the tone of the content and, if possible, tailor your covering letter to use the same.
Research the company
Go beyond the company’s own website, and research their wider activity. This will help you to identify their audience, customers and competition, and where the company stands in the marketplace.
Check out the company’s key people
A bit of stalking never goes amiss when researching a company. The website may have a team page, or you can research some key managers on LinkedIn to view their backgrounds and see if theirs is a career path you can relate to.
Assess your strengths
How others perceive you can give great insight into your strengths, and therefore suitability for some roles. Ask family, friends and colleagues what they consider your strengths to be, and check those against the person specification in the advertisement.
Leave no doubt that you want the job
Don’t hold back! Tell the company how much you want the job and why. Show enthusiasm for the role, the company and its values at all stages of the process.
Look out for our next article in this series, later this week. We will be looking at protecting your social media profiles and your reputation!
In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about Monarch Personnel, you can read our latest articles by signing up for our newsletter . You can also follow us on our social media channels: LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook, or visit our website www.monarchpersonnel.com.