Advice to applicants

Advice to applicants

 

Aiming to be even more useful, we extend several pieces of advice regarding the application process:

Preparation

Preparation is the deal-breaker. Spare time to think through your best skills, knowledge and what satisfies you. Do you possess specific skills, do you speak foreign languages and which sectors of the economy are of particular interest to you. Having decided on the area where you would like to develop, find out more about it. Research the specifics of the industry and the companies operating in it, which could offer good prospects. Follow media and look out for new projects in the field to be able to invest in the most profitable way your time and efforts.

Information sources

Career events: They offer opportunities for face-to-face communication with potential employers and getting hold of first-hand beneficial information about the company.

LinkedIn: The biggest international network in English speaking countries, related to professional realisation.

XING:  The most influential professional network for the region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Advice on LinkedIn and XING:

-             Keep your profile up-to-date;

-             Provide a detailed description of yourself, your professional experience and strengths;

-             Use the Jobs function, making you more visible for recruitment and assessment professionals.

Facebook: The social network is used not only by individuals, but also by all big companies, maintaining a Facebook profile. You may follow the companies you are interested in joining in order to receive not only information on the open positions, but also to gather impressions from the working environment.

Twitter: Almost every big company has a Twitter account. You may follow the companies of interest to you to be up-to-date with the latest information on different industries. The most loved functionality of is the hashtag #, allowing you to search for specific key words, for example #EasyConsult.

Google+:  Google+ uses a very similar to Facebook’s approach – from the very beginning you must choose which information to be visible and which not. You may choose to create different circles of people.

Application documents

Cover letter: Lay out your motivation regarding the job and explain what makes you the most suitable candidate for the position. Make sure to avoid generalisations and do take the time to write a tailor-made cover letter for each different position. Be specific and prove your knowledge, relying on your professional experience. What could you achieve if you are part of the company? Express gratitude to the company for the attention and point out you are looking forward to the interview.

CV: The CV must not be shorter than one page and longer than two-three pages. It is straight-to-the-point, informative and highlighting your strengths with relation to the job you are applying for. Format is a matter of taste, but you must always include the following: names of previous employers and periods of employment; responsibilities in three to four lines at each employer/position; other relevant skills; contact information, including mobile number and e-mail.

Photo: If you wish to add a photo to your application, it must be representative and appropriate for your new position. Casual or blurry photos leave a bad impression. The photo is best to be made by a professional photographer. It is perfectly acceptable to leave the CV without a photo.

Invitation for an interview

If you receive an interview invitation, you should do your best to respond within a couple of days. If you received it over the phone it would be a good idea to inquire if you need to confirm it in writing. In some cases you might need to reschedule a meeting you have already confirmed. Acceptable official reasons for such a change might be a business trip, sickness or personal issues.

In such a case it is imperative to inform the company as soon as possible. Confirm you are still interested in the opening and desire another meeting. It would be inappropriate to disclose that the reason for rescheduling the meeting is another interview or personal plans.

During the interview

Dress code: You might ask in advance about the appropriate attire. The underlying principle is to go to the interview dressed as you would dress for work. If in doubt, you will rarely be wrong to wear formal attire.

Arrival: When arriving at the reception, greet the receptionist, introduce yourself and name the person you have a meeting with and the reason for your visit. Do not show up too early, but do not be late either. Be punctual. Being late is inacceptable, because the interviewer normally would have other appointments besides yours.

Handshake: Research shows that body language is often more important than verbal. The hand shake is the first sign of self-esteem. The hand should be steady, not jerking too much. If several people participate in the interview, you should observe the hierarchy – first greet the most senior person from the company.

Business cards: If the interviewer gives you a business card, have a look at it before placing it in you pocket. It is disrespectful to put it away immediately, without looking at it. During the interview you should not hold it and fidget with it, because this might cause the impression of nervousness.

Ice-breaking questions: It is normal for the interview to start with questions such as “How are you today?” and “Did you find us easy?” Besides small talk, such questions might have another specific purpose – to find out if you are punctual or have sense of directions.

Introduction: After receiving initial information about the company, it is your turn to introduce yourself and convince the interviewer that you are a suitable candidate for this job. Feel free to spare time for the details, because the general info is already in your CV. Avoid unreasonable statements, but give concrete examples, illustrative of your experience.

Questions: You may ask all the questions that pop up during the interview and to take notes, which indicates your interest. If does not create a good impression if you ask right away about the remuneration, because normally the employer asks about your expectations.

At the end: Ask about the next steps in the recruitment process, including the deadline for receiving feedback. It is a good idea to check if you could call back the company if you do not receive feedback by the said date. Double-check who is your contact person.

After the interview: Within 24 hours of the interview, send an email to the interviewer appreciating their interest in your application and thanking about the interview. Also point out that you would be happy to answer any further questions, which they might have.