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Ten ways to get the job you want! (Candidate Blog)

1. Use the power of Linked In, and key words:
Whilst you can't always advertise that are looking for work, you can ensure that your profile is up to date, interesting to read and loaded with key words. Try rereading the profiles of the jobs you're interested in and pick out the key words and phrases used. Then include these in your own profiles. Recruiters will scan your Linked In profile and consciously or subconsciously they will feel that you are a good match! Go figure.

2. Really know what is expected:
Every job has a role profile and understanding this is an important step but your research should go much further. Really look into what is expected of you in the new role in terms of knowledge, skills and experience and then define what experience you have that demonstrates you're the right match. One way to do this is to search for similar role profiles in your industry to see what else is expected that your job profile has not covered. You could even use Linked In to reach out and connect with people and groups in the company or sector you are looking to join to find out as much as you can before applying. It is always obvious who has done their homework.

3. Use a professional:
So many of us 'go it alone' in the job hunt. Why not consider using a professional agency like Extension HR to help you find the right job and to secure it? Quite often they have strong links to companies and their recommendations can go a long way. Furthermore, they might have jobs on their books that aren't even advertised in the mainstream channels.

4. Go direct:
As above, many jobs are not advertised in the traditional way and remain in the 'hidden' jobs market. So, find a company you would really like to work for and email the head of recruitment your CV and covering letter speculatively saying you would love to come in for a chat in case an opportunity comes up.

5. Behave like you're already there:
When you give your answer in interview, talk like you're already in the role. For example, rather than saying 'if I am fortunate enough to make the cut I will bring', say 'in this role I will bring'. It's a small change with a big impact because recruiters want people who can jump into their new role and make an impact quickly, and independently.

6. Use a sales strategy:
We all know that people buy more on emotion and intuition than they do on logic. But, when justifying purchases, people explain using logic and not emotion. So, be friendly, smiley and human - get the recruiter to like you as a person - but, give them solid logical reasons to hire you. They might take you on because their gut says you're right for the role, but on paper they have to justify it. Bare this in mind.

7. Make a day of it:
A hap-hazard process to job hunting can be ineffective, drawn out and painful. Why not take one day off from work, holidays or hobbies and launch a calculated assail on the job market. Spend the morning searching the web and calling recruitment companies to find out what's out there and what's expected. Then spend the afternoon applying in order of priority. By doing this, you'll not only have a much better feel for what's expected but you'll be much more apt at tailoring your C.V and covering letter having compared and contrasted 10-20 jobs. Plus, you'll find those winning sentences coming into your head much more readily having been immersed in the subject for half a day! This approach can feel much less painful than an hour here and there for a week or more.

8.Make each application count:
A CV is more than your work history; it creates an image of you for the recruiter. Everything you include causes a potential employer to make assumptions about you which can either detract from, or add to your chances of getting the job. It's therefore really important to get this right by tailoring your C.V and covering letter to each employer. Poor "cut and pastes" from one application to another are a real pet hate of employers, and they're very obvious.

9. Names, glorious names:
Your own name is the most beautiful word in the world, isn't it? So, at every stage of your application get onto Linked In and find out the names of the people in the department and the people in the recruitment team. Address your emails etc. to the right person and by name. Never write 'to whom it may concern'.

10. Structure your answers properly:
When it comes to interviews, write a list of the top 20 questions you are likely to be asked including things like 'why are you applying to this role', 'what can you bring' and 'tell us about a time you have shown e.g. team working skills'. Then jot down your key points using this structure: (a) briefly explain the situation, (b) outline the actions you took and (c) highlight outcome of your actions. People always forget the last part but it is important. For example you might say 'as a result of these actions, we increased sales by 10%'. A tip here: avoid saying "we did this" and instead say "I did this". Using 'we' makes it sound like you were only part of the story and perhaps, not a part at all!

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