3 recruiters, who between them have selected 100s (probably 1,000s) of graduates for a wide variety of jobs, came to campus and told us what makes candidates stand out. Here’s what you need to know:
- Know how their business works: If you can put yourself in the shoes of one of their customers you’ll be ahead of the competition. Many applicants don’t succeed because they don’t show a grasp of the basics of:
- what the organisation does
- what matters to its customers
- what makes it successful
It really is worth spending the time to get your head around this. No one’s expecting you to know as much as the Chief Executive, but an interest in the basics will get you a long way.
- Know how YOU work: A selection process is NOT like ‘The Apprentice’ on TV! Being able to talk about your abilities AND the areas you can improve and build on will impress employers. They are seeking awareness and potential, not arrogance or perfection.
- Use Facebook and Twitter to get to know the organisation: Employers are keen to get to know candidates this way and look out for people who are motivated enough to engage with them and who ask questions. Having a positive social media presence will help your application (tweets that criticise the recruitment process or tell everyone how you winged your interview will NOT!)
- Little things count: 1 recruiter present receives about 15,000 applications each year. Of these, only around 500 (under 5%!) will convince the employer they that could do the job in initial screening (before interview!). If you want to be in the successful 5% do yourself a favour and do these three things:
- Check your spellings and grammar carefully on your application
- Pay attention to deadlines – don’t miss them
- Practise numerical and other tests before you do the real thing
The Careers and Enterprise Centre can help you with all of these things. For example, get free online access to Kenexa numerical reasoning tests. Call on 020 7882 8533 or drop in to WG3 (Queens’ Building) to find out more.