Do’s and don’ts: Applying for a job*

October 18th, 2016

"If you're gonna do it, do it right - right? (WHAM! - I'm Your Man)"

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First things first; check out the company and the position. Check the company webpage, the LinkedIn pages (both of the company and the people who work there), Twitter and whatever else you can think of. If it really is your dream job why don't you look up the number of the recruiter and give them a ring, ask questions about the function and tell them you will send your CV. Be proactive! When you are satisfied that the job/company is what you are looking for it is up to you to send your CV and, being a man/woman of the world, you wouldn’t mind a small checklist. In that case check this list:
  • Send a copy of your updated CV (do not forget the attachment to your mail).
  • Include contact details (oh, those CV’s without telephone numbers, what is the point in expressing your interest in a job if you cannot be bothered to talk about it on the phone). Include your LinkedIn page, Twitter (if you use it for professional goals) and other professional accounts (e.g. github?).
  • Include information about who you are, what position/responsibility you are looking for, what you are NOT looking for. Include this in a paragraph “About me” or put this info in a cover letter (if you believe in them).
  • Group the information on your CV: put your studies, trainings and certifications together, separate your professional experience from your internships, …
  • Provide names of companies you worked for, together with dates, roles, responsibilities and achievements.
  • Give all the relevant information. Do not worry about the 2-pages rule as long as the information on your CV is relevant, organized, well-written and to-the-point people will read it.
  • Take a moment to think about layout, colours, titles, etc., pass a spellchecker over it and ask someone to proofread it.
  • Include a picture on your CV if you have a good headshot lying around (not a must, but you can if you would like to).
Finally - adapt your CV for the position you are applying for. This is not meant to encourage you to lie, but think about putting certain experiences in the spotlight for certain positions (if you are lucky and you have a good job description, this will give insight in the things that the employer values). Again, do not lie - lying is a bad idea! When you have sent your CV follow up on it. If you are sure that your application fits with the job description contact the recruiter when you feel it takes him/her too long to reply. Best of luck and please comment if you feel that something important is missing from this list. * The original title for this blogpost was “do’s and don’ts: sending your CV”. But then I realised that we are in the year 2016 and the act of sending a CV might be outdated. People use “Apply with LinkedIn”, get into contact via Twitter and apparently even through WhatsApp. Whatever the medium you choose there are still some basic truths.
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