How to increase your chances of getting a job interview

8:25 AM

You’ve seen the job advertised that you’ve been after for ages. Excited and full of confidence you send off your CV, which of course you have tailored appropriately, along with a covering letter highlighting why you should get the role – and this is as far as you get.
A few weeks pass and you hear nothing back from the company, which these days would suggest that your application is being taken no further. So what could you have done to ensure that you were invited for an interview at the very least?
A positive and proactive approach to your job application process can improve your chances of getting interviews. Help to maximise your chances of success by following these simple steps.

Target specific companies
It’s one thing to say that you want to work in a particular industry, but it can sometimes be me pro-active to target your application at a particular company. This way you can find out as much as you can about the firm, such as who the manager is, how many people work there and what their hiring process is. From this you can then plan your application down to the final detail – increasing your chances of getting an interview.

Make your CV stand out from the rest
This is where a good knowledge of the company can come in useful. Tailor your CV so that the potential employer can see just what you could do for them, maybe even list areas where you think you could make improvements. This will highlight your enthusiasm for the business and ensure you are noticed among the hundreds of applications the company receives.
Try different methods
If you are approaching companies on spec, there are alternatives to the traditional CV. You could always send them a business card; alternatively, you could try designing a biographic. Though not intended to replace a CV, this gives you the chance to highlight your skills, training seminars you have attended and previous employment history in a simple one-page document. You could even attach scans, pictures or examples of your work – anything to strengthen your case.
Make Contact before Sending Your Resume
Try to contact the hiring manager before you send your resume. Even if you don't know the name of the person handling the search, you can do a bit of investigation to locate the correct person, if you know the employer.  If you do manage to speak them, be brief. The purpose of your call is to express enthusiasm about the opportunity so keep the focus on the employer, not you. 
Suggest a promise of action
When concluding your cover letter you might want to suggest that you will contact the company in a week or so to confirm receipt of the application. If you do suggest such action it’s advised that you do follow-up with your promise to show how keen you actually are.
Follow up
Follow up within three to five business days. You can always call the company and ask to speak to the person who is in charge if hiring, failing that the HR department. If you emailed your application, try sending an email to the same address, asking that if they can confirm that they have received your application.
Keep a log
If you are applying for many jobs, it’s definitely worth keeping a note of what the job was, the name of the company and the person you applied to. This will make it a lot easier when following-up your application and tracking which companies you are waiting to hear back from.
If you can, the best way of achieving an interview is to hand your CV and application letter directly to the employer, by hand. If you know someone that works for the company you are hoping to work for, or even know where they gather and socialise, it can be a vital tool in your job search to actually meet the person who is hiring.

This article post has been written by Matthew Crist who is passionate about the importance of purchasing training seminars for Oxford Management.

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