Interview preparation – You have to GET an Interview first
Interview preparation is all very well. But first, you have to GET an interview!! Many clients come to me saying that they want interview preparation but often ask: “How do I get to interview in the first place?” The ‘paper sift’ is the most extreme – often reducing hundreds of applicants down to a shortlist of may 10 to 20 people. This is also the stage where generally ‘they’ are looking for reasons to exclude rather than include. You should spend at least as much time on your CV and your covering letter as on your preparation for the interview.
What is the best CV format?
There are millions of gurus who claim to have the perfect CV for a format. I don’t think there is one – but it should be clean and simple and easy to read. No use of block capitals for a start! Then it should outline skills and abilities and achievements rather than just listing job titles.
Key words in your CV – are they the secret to getting interviews?
The other thing you should think about when writing your CV is whether you are using the key words relevant to your industry – the jargon and the trigger words – in your CV. These should emphasise your soft and hard skills.
Of course, you first need to know what industry and which type of job you are targeting. Do some research in existing or old job adverts and identify the works that are being used. Remember functions and skills count as much as titles and positions. Use these key words in your CV, not excessively or unnaturally, but visibly.
You can use these keywords in a headline profile summary as well as in the main body of the CV.