This blog post reveals the 5 steps you need to take to get invited for an interview at the companies you’re most interested in working for.
You’ve decided you’re now ready for a new job. But … the downside is, it’s time you start making job applications.
And interviewing and applying for jobs can be stressful. You spend hours looking for job vacancies, sending applications, telling white lies to leave the office for interviews… only to in the end get one job offer that may not have been the one you wanted the most.
The last time you applied for a job, things didn’t go the way you expected. While some companies got back to you, some didn’t. And you don’t want to miss the opportunity to work for some of the best companies in the world this time around.
Big question is, what do you need to do differently to get invited for multiple interviews at the best companies.
In today’s blog post I’m going to reveal the 5 steps you need to take to become the one companies have to invite for an interview.
The art to becoming a no-brainer hire is to create a personal brand that makes you irresistible to interview and hire.
But what is a personal brand? And how do you create one?
In the simplest terms, a personal brand is how people perceive you. Think of it like your reputation. Your reputation is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room.
A mistake most people make is think they don’t have a personal brand.
This is a mistake because whether you consciously create your brand or not… people have a perception of you. They have a story in their head about who you are, what you do, how talented and experienced you are and how you make them feel.
These perceptions influence whether people think you’re the right fit for the company and are worth interviewing.
If people’s perception of you doesn’t reflect how you wish people saw you… you have a problem. Because no matter how hard you try, it’ll always be hard to get that competitive job you’ve been trying to get, to reach that senior level as early as you’d hoped and to make the impact you wish you could make.
If you want to stand out and immediately look like the right fit, you need to have your own personal brand. How others perceive you, what you represent and what you’re offering is the very thing that will make you stand out, even if other candidates are just as qualified for the position.
Here are the steps you can take to build a brand.
STEP 1: WRITE A KILLER ELEVATOR PITCH
Many hiring managers receive a ton of applications. And if you’re applying for a role that’s particularly competitive, I can guarantee you they’ll be swamped and bored going through the tons of applications they receive because they all look pretty similar.
Use this to your advantage. I repeat, most applications are boring and irrelevant. To stand out from the pack, all you need to do is write an elevator pitch that’s interesting to read and you’ll immediately grab the attention of a recruiter.
Your elevator pitch is your punch line bio which you put at the top of your cover letter, LinkedIn bio and CV. It communicates who you are, what you do and why you’re the perfect candidate for the job in 2-3 sentences.
If a recruiter can’t instantly tell you’re the right person for the role, your application will be ignored. Your elevator pitch immediately helps your application to appear worth reading.
STEP 2: WRITE A JUICY COVER LETTER
Some people think CV’s are the only important part of the job application. Well, they’re wrong. Many recruiters ignore CV’s if they don’t come with a cover letter. After all, cover letters tell the story of who you are, why you want the job and why you’ll be the right candidate for the role.
Your cover letter is your full blown pitch to get hired. It’s is your chance to make a strong case for why you want this job, what you’ll achieve doing this job and why you’re the ideal person to hire.
If you communicate why you’re the perfect person for the role in an honest, conversational way, you’ll look genuinely interested and suitable for the position.
Get this cover letter right and you’ll be invited for the interview. Screw it up and no one will call you back for an interview let alone hire you.
So whatever you do, don’t rush this step!
STEP 3: NETWORK BY ARRANGING INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS
The next thing you need to do is connect with someone that already works at the companies on your gold hit list.
While many companies say they like diversity, the reality is candidates that have a relationship with people already working for the company tend to be favoured.
This is because hiring someone off the street is a risky call for any employer. What if the person they hire doesn’t turn out to be kind or reliable or even skilled? It’s too costly a mistake to make.
To minimise risk, many companies incentivise staff to refer their talented friends or acquaintances. That way they can be sure their next hire is legit great.
Trouble is, what if you don’t know someone who works there and can’t get a referral?
Fear not my friend. There’s one small and simple thing you can do to do get a referral from someone on the inside. Simply reach out to someone working at the company doing a similar role to what you want to do and ask if you can do an informational interview.
An informational interview is where you ask someone about their job, what it’s like working there and the types of exciting projects they get up to. This is a super effective way to research the company and is the easiest way to make a connection and get a referral if you don’t already know someone that works there.
LinkedIn is a great tool for this because you don’t need to find peoples e-mail address. Connecting with people on LinkedIn is almost as easy as getting a swipe right on Tinder. Bingo!
STEP 4: WRITE A CV THAT PASSES THE SCREEN TEST
Your CV is the most critical part of your application. It helps recruiters decide whether you’re qualified for the role. Even if you have a kick butt cover letter and a referral, recruiters won’t move you to the next round if your CV doesn’t match the qualifications and experience listed on the job description.
Make it easy for them. Spell it out simply and clearly. With a quick glance of your CV, recruiters should get a clear picture of the relevant education and experience you have.
A trick for doing this that is often over looked is making your CV look as readable and fascinating to read as possible. Think clean design and clean font. And write your career history and accomplishments in no more than two pages (but preferably one.)
The easiest way to make your CV an interesting read is to imagine you’re explaining the amazing things you’ve achieved to your parents. Your parents may don’t understand every bit of industry jargon and they’d be bored hearing you go on and on about your daily activities. All they want to know is what do you do and what have you achieved. That’s all they’ll remember.
I always recommend avoiding using industry jargon because sometimes it can confuse the hiring manager. If the recipient is confused or bored they won’t clearly understand whether you’re qualified for the position.
Make it easy for yourself by making it easy for them to understand the impact and relevance of what you’ve done.
STEP 5: CREATE A BRANDED LINKEDIN PROFILE THAT TRANSFORMS YOU INTO AN INFLUENCER
The mission of LinkedIn is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. Use LinkedIn to help you connect with recruiters and companies. It’s a great resource to build your personal brand and grow your connections online.
Write articles about topics that are relevant to the work you want to do to make you appear like a thought leader. Engage in other peoples posts and show that you really are interested in working in this industry and role.
If you genuinely want to do this role (and you followed the first 4 steps) this will actually be fun and will help you evolve into an influencer in the industry, and more importantly make you a no-brainer hire in the short and long term.
And that’s it! Phew!
I’d love to know what you think. What have you done differently in the past to get invited for an interview? Leave a comment in the box below. This blog is read by thousands of people and your comment could make a difference to someone.
TO GET FREE TRAINING ON HOW TO STAND OUT & GET MULTIPLE JOB OFFERS, CHOOSE THE TRAINING MOST RELEVANT TO WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR CAREER
a) Training for Graduates – http://bit.ly/graduate3daygtjtraining
b) Training for Unemployed job seekers – http://bit.ly/jobseeker3daygtjtraining
c) Training for working professionals http://bit.ly/workingprofessionals3daygtjtraining
c) Training for working professionals http://bit.ly/workingprofessionalsgetjoboffers