Top three tips to securing an interview

By Rachel Poon – Consultant, Accountancy & Finance, Links International Hong Kong

There is no doubt that the job market is becoming increasingly competitive. When people apply for jobs in Asia, many of these job applications don’t even make it onto the initial shortlist for interviews.

Let’s go back to square one and revisit some very basic but key points that could help to secure you an interview and get you your dream job!

  1. Don’t apply for every single Job

This is one very common mistake that candidates make during the application process, and one that may get your CV disregarded right from the start.

Recruiters receive a high volume of CVs on a daily basis. Don’t feel like you need to apply to a high volume of jobs to get our attention. I personally receive “spam applications” from the same applicant and have been receiving them from the first day I became a recruiter. We remember you, your name and your profile. We also remember that you apply to jobs that are obviously not suitable for you.

Unfortunately, this shows a lack of regard for requirements and expectations, rather than displaying your proactive approach.

  1. While we’re on proactivity…

The most direct way to find a suitable role is still to send your CV over or apply for a job online. However, on top of this, one way to show your proactive attitude is to call recruiters, and we welcome that. If you would like to call, here are a few things you can do to make your call count and avoid leaving a very bad first impression:

  • Ask if this is a good time to speak. Recruiters by nature have a very busy job. We appreciate anyone who shows politeness and consideration.
  • If you have the recruiter’s email address, send your CV over before you call, or apply to the job advertisement directly. When you do call, introduce yourself first. Many people call and start demanding jobs, but when we don’t know who we are speaking to and have no CV to look at, how can we know what jobs would be suitable for you?
  • Remember, good manners and etiquette apply! Candidates’ interpersonal skills are as important as professional experience and technical skills.
  1. Including a photo and cover letter

It’s not essential to include a photo and cover letter, but if you are going to, you should make sure they boost your application rather than the opposite.

  • A resume without a photo is perfectly acceptable, although it could be nice to know what you look like. If you are including a photo, make sure that your photo is recent, and that you look presentable and professional – no selfies please!
  • Most recruiters do not have time to carefully read through Cover Letters or Introduction/Achievements paragraphs, since your professional experience listed on your CV is the most direct and relevant information we can obtain. However, if you do include any kind of introduction, make sure all grammar and spelling is correct. These are very easy ways for recruiters to spot carelessness or weak language proficiency.

You might be sitting here thinking “thanks, Captain Obvious”, but any recruiter will tell you that these three key things are some of the most common areas in which candidates can slip up. First impressions matter just as much as your hard-earned skills and experience, so don’t let these simple mistakes put you on the side lines!

For advice on how to take your career to the next level, please contact us now.