September 6, 2013, by Jemma Utley
What Do Recruiters Look for in Your Application?
By Pablo Costa, Careers Adviser (Faculty of Engineering)
When I was graduate recruitment adviser, most Mondays involved me peering over a mountain of CVs trying to find one that stood out and matched an employer’s requirements. Tuesdays would see me creating a candidate shortlist and by Wednesday I would be on the phone arranging interviews, “Hello, thank you for applying… are you free to discuss your CV with us next week?”
It’s not just about the role
Recruiters often consider if a graduate is a good fit for the company as well as the position. Many organisations have their own cultures and defined ways of working, often reflected in the competencies they ask for, and should be researched in order to assess whether the company is a right choice for you. This will also develop your commercial awareness which will help throughout the application process.
Customise your CV
Don’t send generic CVs because recruiters can spot them easily. It can take a little longer to write but recruiters would strongly recommend that you tailor your application specifically to the company and vacancy and use the position requirements as a template to write it. If they want someone with strong communication skills, make sure this is demonstrated with appropriate and positive examples.
How to improve your chances
Many recruiters will expect to see your profile on LinkedIn because it is a professional networking site and companies often use this platform to advertise their vacancies. Some even conduct profile searches to find individuals that match the roles they are looking to fill. Recruiters expect job applicants to be familiar with LinkedIn simply because it has become an industry standard. Being able to use it effectively also shows that you are proactive and able to network.
All organisations are looking for graduates who are active in improving their skills such as communication, team work, leadership and analysis. You can develop these skills through work experience, volunteering, being active in a student society, learning new languages and attending company presentations and events.
The application process
For many companies, it is no longer just about your academic record. Graduate recruiters will expect you to be familiar with the different stages of the selection process. Do some research using our online resources, and then talk to our careers advisers about preparing for an interview or an assessment centre. You are more likely to succeed if you are well prepared.
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