From the importance of keeping things concise to why motivation matters, Recruitment Consultant Nabila Jamal Rusha shares insights from the Talent Acquisition team on what makes a great application. Read on to discover insider CV pointers, the real value of cover letters, and why first impressions are everything.
We asked Nabila Jamal Rusha, Recruitment Coordinator at GetYourGuide, to share key factors her team recommends keeping in mind throughout the job application process. From polishing resumes and creating a cover letter, to how to prepare for an interview, these are tips to help candidates shine.
This will be the first in a two-part series: look out for the next installment when Nabila will share an invaluable insider look into GetYourGuide’s recruitment process.
Make sure that the CV is a maximum of one to two pages. Formatting your resume is important as most recruiters have a limited amount of time for reviewing applications each day. So it is better to format a CV in a way that recruiters can quickly see your achievements and impact within the first few minutes of reading. For example, use bullet points instead of long paragraphs.
Keep the content clear, concise, and to the point. You should tailor your CV to the job description of the role you are applying for. Do this by highlighting areas in your experience which match the job description. Metrics to describe your achievements also help enhance your qualifications. Rather than focusing on the day-to-day activity of your current or previous roles, you should focus on impact: highlight why you were great in that position, as compared to simply listing what the role consisted of.
Your CV should share relevant information about the role that you are applying for. Incorporate links to complement the information recruiters receive, like Portfolio, GitHub, Dribble, Behance, or a personal blog.
You should connect with the recruiters on LinkedIn after applying for a position. Drop them a message showing your interest and telling them that you have already applied for the role. Trust me: this definitely makes you stand out.
Make sure that the candidate experience is listed in reverse chronological order. Keep your educational background at the bottom or on the side of the page. Ensure that the spelling and grammar is correct. It is recommended not to use too many colors in your CV; ultimately, the emphasis should be on your experience and expertise and not on the way your CV looks (unless you are a designer, but even then, within reason).
Looking into our company, values, and culture demonstrates that you are really interested in the company and shows motivation.
Asking questions that are detailed and well thought out shows a strong understanding of the role. The core focus of the first call is to understand if there’s an alignment of expectations on both sides. Candidates that have no questions can give the impression that they are not actually interested in the role or the company, or that they personally don’t know what they want out of this role. It can be a concern for us – as we cannot be sure that we can provide the right role and environment for you.
It is always a plus to express why you are interested in working with the company. Think about questions such as: How and why is this role exciting for you? What impact will you have on the company or the particular field that you are interested in? Are there particular responsibilities that stand out to you in terms of development of your skills? What about competencies that you have mastered: would you be able to coach and mentor others? Be sure to refer to work examples when answering questions or talking about your interests.
With all the above points in mind, think of the ways your skills and experience solve the skill gap we are looking to fill. Share demonstrable examples or real world situations where having used your skills, you have solved a problem, made an impact, or otherwise affected the company in a positive way.
In addition to skill, motivation is also very important! Firstly, it helps the hiring team to understand why you are passionate about the role and company. But it’s also incredibly important for you to understand your motivation to ensure that the role you take on and company you work with resonates with your personal values.
I would advise you to spend time reflecting before you jump into sending applications or partaking in interviews to really understand your own internal motivations. This can go a long way in building your confidence when you do start having first interviews.
We highly appreciate and recognize when candidates have taken the time to look at our blog, Inside GetYourGuide. I advise candidates to use the search function to look for people you might be speaking to throughout the process: you will find that many of us have shared stories about our path to GetYourGuide, including recruiters, coordinators, hiring managers, and various key stakeholders. You can also search by team and role to get an insight into who we are and what we are looking for.
Good verbal communication and confidence goes a long way. Try to be concise while answering questions so that there’s enough time to cover all topics. Have a positive attitude and be respectful. It will leave a very positive first impression.
There is also nothing wrong with being nervous – it’s a sign of motivation and is completely natural. If your nerves are getting the better of you, don’t be afraid to mention this – we will put you at ease. It is, after all, just a conversation between two people.
It may sound smart to you and we understand that candidates want to show they know enough about a role to use tricky language. But unless the recruiter understands what you are talking about, it will just be frustrating.
In the end, every team is looking for people who are passionate and proud of their work. Highlighting team collaboration, structured communication both up and down your management line, as well as accountability will make more impact.
Finally – be yourself!
Cover letters are not mandatory. That said, in certain circumstances, a cover letter explaining why a candidate is suitable for the job or an explanation on how they can contribute to the team can definitely help. Cover letters are more of a secondary source of information; resumes act as a primary.
A good cover letter can actually be a great thing when your resume doesn’t exactly match the role you are applying for or if your resume has some question marks. However, it’s important that a cover letter really focuses on the right things. Often cover letters just repeat what the resume tells us but in a lengthier format. In that case they don’t serve much purpose.
Good cover letters are usually more focused on motivation and clarifying the qualities you mention in the CV. It can be a beneficial process for a candidate to think about and formulate answers to questions like why do I want to work there, what makes me excited about this opportunity? Looking deeply into your CV in this way can help ensure that you are applying to places where you are happy and comfortable to work.
A cover letter can also help to clarify why you left a company, or any gaps in your resume. In the case of career change, it can explain why you decided to make that shift.
If you are going to send a cover letter, it should be specific to the job and company for which you are applying. This does not mean you need to draft a new one every time you apply – just don’t forget to tailor it. If your cover letter is something that you can send out to multiple companies in bulk without any adjustments, then it most likely isn’t going to add any value. Recruiters receive hundreds of cover letters addressed to the wrong person, the wrong company, the wrong job title, and so on. Such a faux pas would immediately undermine the proudly stated “attention to detail” skill set on your CV!
The last bit of advice I would give any candidate is that if you are going to do a cover letter, absolutely DO NOT make it generic. It is better to have no cover letter than to provide a bad one.
Thanks Nabila, and best of luck to all candidates! Stay tuned for the next instalment of this two-part series, where we’ll share an insider look into GetYourGuide’s recruitment process.
Thank you to you to the Recruitment team for sharing their insights and tips for this article
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