People First Personnel

How to be the perfect candidate


Being in the jobs’ market isn’t easy and it is natural to worry about how you may measure up against other candidates for a role. While all jobs and all applicants are different, there are certain ‘rules’ to follow to secure some ‘ticks’ when applying for positions and going for interviews.
If you’re struggling to secure the job you want, it could be that you need to tweak your application. As always, People First Personnel is here to help, with the following tips on how to be the perfect candidate.

Perfect your CV

Most job openings start with a CV, so make sure that the CV you are submitting does you justice and makes you stand out.
CVs should be concise, ideally no more than two or three pages long. It should cover your education, previous experience, main achievements, and responsibilities.
In the personal profile section, make it clear what you are wating to get out of your next role so that recruiters are in no doubt about which roles you are suitable for.

Consider volunteering

Volunteer work impresses employers, showing dedication, commitment, and empathy. If you are in between jobs, now could be the perfect time to take on some volunteer work. You might want to help run a food bank or man the phone of a crisis hotline. As well as looking great on CVs, and doing a good thing, these types of volunteer jobs can help improve communication and decision-making skills.

Prepare, prepare, prepare and prepare!

It might sound obvious, but one of the best ways to show you are a serious contender for a job is to go to an interview well prepared. Your interviewer will be able to detect ill-prepared candidates, so ensure you shine above the rest showing your vigilance. As well as being knowledgeable about the position you are applying for, do some research on the employer. During the interview, drop in comments about the company, such as its history and its ethos, to show that you have done your homework.
The recruiting manager is likely to ask you about your career goals, motivations, and what you want out of your next position, so make sure you are suitably prepared for answering such questions.

Think about salary expectations

Renumeration can be an awkward topic, but it is one that will need to be addressed when applying for a job. The perfect candidate will be decisive in their salary expectations, as well as fair. Ask yourself what value will you be adding to the company, and why and how you can justify that salary. Explain to the hiring manager your salary expectations and why you deserve the remuneration you are asking for.

Culture fit

All employers have their unique cultures, and they will be looking for candidates who are likely to fit into their culture. Again, doing your homework about a company and learning about their culture is the best way to determine whether you will fit into that culture, and then sell the fact you will to the hiring manager. For example, if the employer offers a free cycle to work scheme and cycling is something you enjoy, make the interviewer aware of your passion and that you would jump on the chance of cycling to work.

A team player

Being employed means you are part of a team, and even if a job is carried out remotely, it will still require some liaison with colleagues. The interviewer is likely to ask you about your ability to work as a team, so ensure you are prepared to answer questions about a team project you have previously worked on and what your contributions were to the success of that project.
Inform the hiring manager of the personal qualities you possess that make you a team-player, such as being patient, being able to compromise, getting along with people easily, and being able to mediate conflict within a team.

Be honest

Lastly, when applying for any job, the perfect candidate is always honest. It can be tempting to exaggerate experience and skills, but being dishonest about your suitability for a job could backfire later down the line, as it could mean you are not able to successfully do the work, which would be a waste of your own time , as well as the employer’s.

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