Ever wanted to know how you can maximise your chances of getting a job? We speak to a multi-award winning recruitment specialist who gives us some top tips on how to differentiate yourself from fellow graduates in the job market.
Warwick University graduate, Andrew Armes, was voted one the top 100 most influential HR professionals by HR magazine in 2006 and again in 2007. Before setting up his own business – Sixth Patriarch Ltd – Andrew was Global Vice President, Talent Management and HR Strategy at Invensys PLC, and previous to that Head of Talent and Resourcing and Head of Career Development at AstraZeneca. Here, he shares with us some of his top tips for job-hunting:
What advice do you have for graduates starting out on their job search?
Work out who you are and what you have to offer employers specifically, and then look for a company/job opportunity that fits the bill. Don’t apply for things just because they sound good or pay a lot of money, if you know what makes you tick and what you are passionate about then you won’t waste your or other people’s time.
What are the biggest blunders you have seen in CVs/covering letters?
A lot of graduates (and people in general) think more is better – they fear leaving something critical out. It’s a cliché but unfortunately quite true that if you haven’t inspired the reader in the first twenty-seconds of your CV or covering letter to read on then you’ve blown it. So say the most important stuff straight up and concisely. If they read that and they still aren’t interested then this can save you as much as them plenty of time.
How should graduates approach interviews?
Be yourself at all times. You’ll be kicking yourself in a few weeks/years time when you get the job based on pretending to be something you’re not – you’ll hate it!
What would be your single best piece of advice on how to stand out of the crowd?
Work on being able to articulate who you really are skilfully in a MAXIMUM of sixty-seconds. The more you know yourself and practise this the easier it will be to achieve. You will essentially refine all your passion, experience and potential into something impactful, meaningful, and irresistible to others. If you don’t get the job it won’t be because you didn’t stand out from the crowd it’ll be because you made it really clear to others what you are about, and that might not be right for them at that point in time. You’ll also inspire others as well to think about who they are when you can do this. Finally, you’ll be able to use this insight to make great decisions not only about your career choice, but your life in general.
What can students do at university to make themselves more employable once they graduate?
Demonstrate how they have taken the knowledge about who they are and applied it in the skills and experience they have gained both academically and in post-curriculum activity. Show them that you behave in a consistent manner with your words. They’ll believe you!
Andrew is looking for volunteers to help with his campaign in the East of England. If you are a student that would like to know more about and gain direct experience in the European Parliamentary elections and have a passion for improving upon the current political systems, and the subsequent policy decisions it makes, then please contact Andrew directly at email@example.com.