Recruitment - Candidate Preparation

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What you need to know…

  • Finding a new role can be daunting
  • Be proactive – if you are looking for a new opportunity, you need to do something about it.
  • Make the time to do research and be patient.
  • The same job titles can mean different things in different companies, so make sure you do your homework.
  • You do not need to tick every box on the Job Description to apply for the role.
  • Use your network.

Your Cover Letter

  • Short – one page
  • State which role you would like to apply for
  • Adapt to the role you are applying for – explain how your experience would benefit the organisation
  • Explain why you are interested in the role
  • End with nice closure

Your CV

  • Not too long – ideally two pages but don’t sacrifice quality to make it shorter.
  • Tailor your experience to fit the role as much as possible, using similar language to the Job Description.
  • Grab their attention
  • Use colour – but not gimmicky (no photos!).
  • Cover: qualifications, current and previous roles, explain any gaps (e.g., travelling), career summary, key skills – again tailored to the role as far as possible.

Social Media Presence, such as LinkedIn

  • Update the summary section on your profile
  • Ensure it covers all your experience
  • Add your skills
  • Remember to add relevant volunteering or other interests

What you need to do…

  1. Understand your strengths. is a great website for you to use.
  2. Research the company and its background in advance – strategy / values / CSR – anything you can find.
  3. Review the JD and think of questions around the competencies they may ask you.
  4. Plan your schedule – confirm where the interview is and what time / date. Don’t be late but also don’t be too early! Aim for 5-10 minutes before. Remember to ask for directions if you need them.
  5. Prepare notes, it is acceptable to take these in with you.
  6. Do interview practice with friends or family – thinking about interview etiquette.
  7. Check the dress code for the interview and if you want to attend informally dressed due to not wanting to raise suspicions in your current role, let them know in advance.
  8. Have a non-work email address they can contact you on.
  9. Prepare some questions to ask at the end – make sure these are valuable and related to the role, training, career progression etc, but do not ask questions for the sake of asking.
  10. Follow up with a thank you note if you are keen on the role
  11. Remain positive, focus on the attraction of the new role and refrain from speaking negatively about current or past employees and colleagues.