A few weeks ago, Beamery launched the #Newhome community, to connect candidates that have been impacted by Covid-19, with companies who are still actively hiring.
Finding a job during the COVID 19 crisis is a challenge even for the best candidates, so we wanted to make our best resources and tools available to them, to help them focus their job search strategy and increase their chances.
In this blog we have collated Beamery’s “Top Tips” on how to ‘Beam’ your way to getting that new job. Take a look!
Freshen up your LinkedIn
It is important to consider your LinkedIn profile as an extension of your CV and a platform for the global community of hiring managers and organisations to connect with you.
Update your Experience
The first step in the beginning of any job search is to make sure your profile includes your updated, recent and relevant work experience. You should include specific skills, tools or training you have as additional information. LinkedIn is an extension of your CV that is available to the online community for networking and professional purposes. Make sure it represents your expertise and mirrors your CV.
Your Profile Picture
Update your profile picture. This should be a professional-looking photo of you. As much as we’d love to see pictures of your dog, the kiddos, or your family, this profile should represent you. Say Cheese!
Include your Location and Job Title in your heading. This is important information that recruiters will use to filter and sort candidates that meet the location or job requirements for roles they are hiring for.
The ‘About’ section
Underneath your profile picture and heading, there is an ‘About’ section, or a summary. This is a great place to give a high-level overview of your background, industry experience, expertise and a bit about you!
The 'About' section should not simply be a summary of your experiences, as those will be detailed below after all. It’s a place for you to display some strategic keywords, and to talk about where you want to go professionally.
Make sure you are ‘open to new opportunities’
If you are looking for new opportunities, make sure you switch on the “open to new opportunities” option in your profile. (You’ll find this option right under your name, job title and location at the top of your profile).
When you turn this feature on, it allows recruiters to see that you are active in your job search. You’ll also have the option to list any role titles and locations you are open to considering. It’s always a good idea to provide as much information as possible so recruiters can gain a better understanding of your preferences.
Recommendations & Endorsements
Ask for recommendations and endorsements. This is a great feature on LinkedIn and gives people you’ve worked with a place to showcase why you were an incredible colleague. Remember, if they take the time to write you a recommendation or endorse your skills, they might expect you to return the favor.
Spruce up your CV
Your CV is more than just a list of your skills and experience, it’s a marketing tool that represents the value you can bring to an organisation.
Keep it relevant. It can be easy to throw all of your experience on your CV and include an entire job description when listing your responsibilities, but that will drown out the relevant nuggets of information that should be immediately apparent to the recruiter. Be sure to highlight the accomplishments that are in line with the job you're applying to, as you’ll have plenty of time to elaborate on your additional responsibilities in your interview.
It’s important to note that the “1-page resume” rule does not always apply. It is okay if your resume goes on to two pages, as long as the information is relevant and provides value.
Easy on the eye
You’ll want to refrain from using any bright, neon or hard-to-read colors. Save those for your at-home crafts! You might consider using a template to help build your CV. For example, Canva is a great, free tool that provides access to thousands of resume templates. Templates can help you format your resume in a way that is concise, easy to read and aesthetically pleasing.
Flow of information
Your CV should have a simple and logical flow of information. Make sure to include crucial information:
- Contact details (phone number & email address)
- Summary - In a short paragraph, state the type of work you’ve done, the type of work you’re looking for, and any relevant or major achievements.
- Career History - List your experience in reverse chronological order. If you have over 10 years of experience, only include the last 5-10 years of relevant experience.
- Education & Professional Qualifications(Skills)
- Hobbies & Personal Interests
Companies and recruiters search by keyword, or using ‘boolean’ searches to locate candidates that are a potential match for their open requisition. These keywords can be technical skills, tools, job titles, or languages.
When writing your resume, you want to think about how it will be found in the recruiter’s database, and include keywords that you know are relevant.
Write your CV in the first person. You should avoid writing your resume in the third person because everyone knows it is your resume. First person will keep your resume ‘active’, personable and dynamic.
Your ‘Master Resume’
Don’t use the exact same resume for every job, and make sure to personalize it to cater to different roles. Remember that no two jobs are going to be the same. Therefore, why should your CV be static?
Creating a different version of your resume for different jobs doesn’t take as much effort as you would think, and that extra step is entirely worth it. You’ll want to highlight specific skills or attributes depending on what role and position you are applying for.
As you are writing your resume, try to think of your individual contributions to a company in the form of ROIs. An ROI could be time or money that you saved the company. It could also be a process improvement, an increase in efficiency or a new initiative that was successful. Projects or tasks that are directly tied to quantifiable or tangible results will stand out.
Include a link to your LinkedIn professional profile on your resume. You can include this at the top of your resume with your personal contact information. Make sure your online profile is updated and mirrors your ‘Master Resume.’ You can read more about LinkedIn best practices here.
Check your grammar!
We’ve all been there. You submit your resume to a few jobs and then you see it. That glaring spelling error in the second bullet point of paragraph two. Of course it was unintentional, but now multiple companies already have your resume in their hands. This is even more likely to happen if you often update your resume to personalize it for different jobs.
Remember, double, triple and quadruple check your resume for grammatical and spelling errors, and never send it right after you’ve finished working extensively on it. It’s always a good idea to give it a day, or sleep on it at least, and re-read one last time before sending. Show that you are that detail-oriented person the company needs.
If you can, it’s always good to have a second pair of eyes glance over your resume. Get a second, honest opinion on the readability, layout, grammar and appearance of your CV before you start submitting applications.
First, take a moment to congratulate yourself. You got invited to an interview! The company clearly sees something in you. Now what you need to do is prepare to confirm that impression.
Research, discover & learn
This is a great chance for you to take a look into the company’s history. Start at the “about” section on a company’s website. Make sure you have an understanding of what services or products they offer in the market.
What you’ve signed up for
Be sure you understand the job you are interviewing for. Take time to review the job description thoroughly and come prepared with any clarifying questions. A proper review of the job will help you to draw parallel examples from your own experience into the interview.
Go the extra mile
Dig up relevant or recent news articles on the company outside of the company’s website. This will show them you’ve dedicated the time and effort to learn more about the company. For example, have they raised any recent funding rounds with notable investors? Are there partnerships that the company has been involved with? Have they launched any new or updated products or services? These are good topics to take into the interview to demonstrate your interest in the organisation’s success.
Take a look at who will be interviewing you. Ask for the hiring manager’s name and do some research on them and on the team too. Take a look at their LinkedIn profile and review their professional background as well as interests. Perhaps you’ll find that you have something in common with them!
Prepare thoughtful and insightful questions that show your deep interest in the product, services, mission and values of the company. Make sure that the questions reflect your own priorities, so you don’t come off as rehearsed or inauthentic.
Virtual Interview Tips
On top of your usual preparation for interviews, you have to think about what it takes to make a great impression during a virtual interview, as that is probably how every recruiting process will go for the next few months.
Test your tech
Your device needs to be charged up, connected to the internet and ready to go. Make sure that you know which platform your virtual interview is going to be hosted on (i.e. Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.) and test your video and audio settings in advance.
Dress for success
Dress for the interview as if you were going to interview in-person. Avoid the “waist-up” look. Instead, dress head to toe in what you’d wear to the interview just as if it were onsite or in-person. On top of making you look good on camera, this will help you unconsciously feel “ready to go”.
Always early, never late
Hopping on a few minutes early is always best practice so that the interviewer is never waiting for you. This will also give you a great opportunity to triple-check that all of your technology is functioning properly!
Make sure you have reserved a spot in your home that will limit any potential interruptions, distractions or clutter during your interview. If you have roommates or housemates, inform them in advance that you have an interview. Keep the space tidy and remove any clutter from around you.
During a virtual conversation, it is important to enunciate and project your voice. You’ll also want to maintain consistent eye contact and body language just as you would in-person. Remember that video doesn’t convey body language as well, so try to show as much of yourself as possible, and to project your thoughts in your intonation, your hands, your facial expressions.
When you come to the close of your interview, remember to thank the interviewers for their time. It’s also best practice to send a follow up thank you email to your interviewer(s). A little appreciation can go a long way!
Presentation Do’s & Don’ts
Some recruiting processes ask for a project or presentations in the final round. Following your 1st and 2nd rounds of interviews, you should now have a fairly good understanding of what the company is looking for. This is your time to ‘practice what you preach!’
Understand the ask
Every final interview or presentation is going to look a little different. Make sure you have reviewed the task you are being asked to complete and ask any outstanding questions well in advance to maximize your time to prepare. You’ll want to enter the presentation with confidence knowing that you left no stone unturned.
Tasks to complete
Be sure to complete all of the tasks they have asked of you for the final. The last thing you want is to overlook something during the final presentation and have it cost you the position.
Structure your presentation
- Create a clear structure for your presentation that is logical and flows well.
- Start with your Introduction slide. Introduce yourself and walk the interviewer(s) through the agenda for your presentation.
- Keep it concise. Curate your bullet points so they are to-the-point and relevant.
- Want to add an extra touch? Try to use colours/logos that align with the company's branding.
Engage with your audience
This is very important regardless if your final is virtual or in-person. In many customer or client-facing roles, the interviewer(s) will be assessing your ability to actively engage with senior stakeholders, customers or even internal stakeholders. “Check-in” with your audience. This could be as simple as asking “Is everyone following along?” or “Does anyone have any questions?”
Even though you have probably had ample opportunities to ask questions by this stage in the process, come prepared with more questions. Focus on questions that show your passion for the product, service or industry.
Practice, practice, practice!
Always do a practice run (or two)! Ask a friend, a parent, or a housemate to act as your audience. Ask them to give you feedback on your delivery, structure and overall presentation. If you aren’t able to recruit someone to practice with, record or video yourself doing a practice run. You’d be amazed at what you can learn just from listening to yourself present!
- Don’t overload your slide with text and avoid “empty” statements.
- Don’t read word-for-word off of your slides
- Avoid rushing through your content. Take a deep breath, slow it down and try to relax!
- Don’t procrastinate. Even the best of us do this. Use your time wisely! And last of all…..
Don’t be so hard on yourself !
This is a great learning experience and make sure you soak it all up. You aren’t going to bag every job out there and there are many factors that will affect this. But do your best and always ask for feedback.
We already have many companies signed up to #Newhome and more joining each day! If you have personally been affected by COVID-19 and would like to learn more about this free initiative through #Newhome, sign up here.