You want to change jobs, and you have applied to several positions but you always get that automatic reply that nicely mentions you were not chosen this time. Does it sound familiar?

I’ve been hiring people in technology companies for over 5 years now, and I have seen all types of job applications and candidates. In this blog, I’d like to share with you, as a job applicant, some strategies you can use to get through the door, and come across as an exceptional candidate the recruiter will want to move forward asap, even if you are missing hard skills for the specific role 😉

First, let’s talk about your CV. Recruiters work against the clock. There are so many things recruiters need to be involved in, we do not have time to “guess”. With this I mean, make our lives easier by providing a well-organized, simple, easy to read CV. Choose whatever format you want, but make sure your CV includes; name, email address, phone number, location, and what you’ve done over the last 5-10 years. It is fine if you add more information, but make sure this one I just mentioned is there. Ideally, your CV should not occupy more than 1 page. I know this is hard but you can manage by describing just the most important achievements.

My own CV

I’d like to share what my CV looks like, just for inspiration. It is not perfect, but the last time I used it I got an interview with 85% of the companies it was sent to 😉

As you can see, I just mentioned the last 5 years in detail, the rest I explained in just 1 small paragraph as it is not that relevant but still I wanted to mention it.

Also, see what I mention in each of the experiences: title, dates, industry, markets I worked on, and specialization. Of course, I did so many other things, but I know in my field, that is what the recruiter wants to understand first.

Also, on the left column I added some nice touches; email, location, what is my gift, languages, psychometric test results, and my own website (the “more about me” is a link to my personal website).

You can as well, shape your CV for different roles. If, for example, you are applying for a Project Manager role, and in your last role you were working as a Sales Manager, but implicitly you did mostly project management work, go ahead and change the title to Project & Sales manager 😉. In this way, a busy recruiter may pay more attention to your CV than if there is no “project manager” listed on your recent job titles.

Your own website. To start with, this is not a must, definitely NOT. I created my own website as I found it a good way to explain how I work, my specific approach, my specialization, what I’ve done so far, how I can help businesses, and how they can benefit. This is something you cannot include in a CV (mainly if you want to keep it in 1 page!). Besides, I think in my field it is very important to explain the methodologies used, as recruiters work in many different ways and not all are suitable for everyone. I suggest if you think it is beneficial, create an informative website! It is a super fun thing to do, you learn new skills and it is not expensive to maintain (I use WordPress for mine, it costs around 40 Euro per year).

Linkedin profile. Having a well-built Linkedin profile is key. I suggest that you add a professional profile picture and a cover picture that relates to your industry or specialization. Write a nice summary about yourself, explaining what makes you unique. Add every relevant job experience, the title you had, the dates you were in, and also a compelling description of what you did. The same with your educational background. The more keywords you have in your profile, the more findable you will be for recruiters. Remember, here is where you should go into detail. While the CV we want to keep it short a sweet, on Linkedin, the Recruiter will want to see specifics. Take a look at mine here.

The job search. Searching for jobs will depend a lot on your basic requirements; the location you want to be in, the type of job, the salary you are expecting, the industry, and responsibilities. However, I can give some general guidelines. My suggestion is to first do a small research on what companies you are interested in, depending on the basic requirements mentioned above. Once you have a list of companies check them out on Glassdoor (reviews), see what other employees are saying, and also check the salaries they are offering to get an idea if they could match your expectations (you can see this on Glassdoor sometimes). Once you find places matching your requirements go to their careers page to see if they are looking for someone with your skills and apply! You can sometimes create an alert for when they open a role related to your skills or apply for an open role so they can keep your details.

Also, you can use direct job search engines, like Linkedin Jobs, Glassdoor Jobs, and many other job portals. This way is much faster to come across jobs in your field.

Your application. When it comes to applying for jobs sometimes the application is straightforward, and sometimes you need to write a small intro or cover letter. Use this opportunity to shine 💫 ! I suggest you speak about why you want to join that specific company, how you can contribute, and what benefits you could bring to the company. A tip I can give is to read about the companies’ values, and principles and relate to them. Make sure the grammar is perfect (Grammarly 😉).

The job interview. If you are called for an interview, well done! Believe me, it means a lot that you pass on to the first round of interviews. Get ready for it. This is the moment when you really need to put in some work. Read everything you can about the company, its product, the stage they are in (round of investment), and its road map for the near future. Prepare good questions based on your research. Read about the founders, and the team you will join. Find these people on Linkedin and check their backgrounds. Also, it is super important you read the job description of the role you are interviewing for again, understand the role as much as you can, and ask questions about it. During the interview, refer to the information you read before. After doing this, you will come across as a very well-informed candidate and we love that. Find other tips here!

This information is a good starting point to get you ready to find the perfect job. Let me know how it goes, and happy to hear feedback!