This is a section dedicated to informing, guiding and educating youth on specific skills to further engage with employers in a professional setting.
Sandy's Top 10 Interview Etiquette Tips
Research, research, research, always make sure to research the company history, employer, role, and company ethics before heading into your interview. This shows a level of commitment, genuine interest, and a hunger to learn.
Prepare common interview questions and answers on the particular role, your experience/qualifications, how you would add value to the company, and how you would respond to conflict. These steps in preparation are essential to navigating common interview questions with a well-spoken and eased demeanor.
Practice answering questions using the STAR method. Situation + Task + Action + Result This method is a clear and concise way of answering questions about past experiences in your previous job and a great way to give insight and clarity to an employer without over-explaining.
Plan appropriate attire depending on field and company requirements while minding your grooming. For hair, makeup, and nails, a neutral and polished look is always a great choice. For attire, clean and pressed suits or dresses with polished shoes are a safe way to come across professionally and prepared. Along with planning attire, plan to print out copies of your CV to bring along with a pen and notepad.
5- Time Management
Arrive (or log on) at least 10-20 minutes early to ensure you're not late and to show respect for the employer's time. If your interview is digital, be sure to check your internet connection and software to be sure nothing needs to be downloaded or updated. While waiting, be sure to stay off your phone as much as possible and sit with a proper posture to maintain professionalism.
Be sure when greeting employers, receptionists, and other employees of the establishment, be sure to greet them properly by shaking their hands, maintaining eye contact, asking how they are, and introducing yourself. Maintain a relaxed and professional demeanour to give them a polite first impression.
Taking the time to think before you answer is crucial to navigating an interview calmly and efficiently. Blurting out answers or cutting an interviewer off while speaking is a sure way toallow room for error and miscommunication. The best way to answer a question with confidence is by allowing the interviewer to see your critical thinking process and giving relevant information to support your answer.
Be sure to ask the interviewer for any clarification on questions that aren't clear. Don't feel intimidated to ask. Interviewers prefer to see your interest and attention to detail compared to an answer that shows a lack of direction or misunderstanding.
When giving answers to in-depth questions, make sure to link your answers back to the question to show a clear line of communication and thought. If applicable, link your answers to your qualifications/ accomplishments to show how you can fulfill the role with your experience and drive.
10- Be Yourself
Be yourself and don't try to oversell yourself. Be kind and show a genuine interest which can shine brighter than any person who leads with arrogance or ignorance. After the interview, send a formal thank you note expressing interest in the role and your gratuity for the opportunity.
Sandy's Top 5 CV Tips To Get Noticed
1- Personalise Cv
To Role Only include relevant experience and skills to the role you are applying for. Utilizing company information, keywords, and specific requirements in the role throughout your CV will stand out to employers because there's a distinctive link to you, the role, and the company.
2- Use Power words
Avoid using cliché adjectives like "hardworking" and overused phrases like "results-driven". Instead, start using power words and action verbs like "accelerate", "achieve", and "execute".
3- Include Digital
Links Including digital links to your portfolio, achievements, documents, websites, and social links can boost your chances of standing out by offering a more personalized look into your experience and adding a layer of credibility.
4- Cover Letter
Write a powerful cover letter summarising how you will utilize your skills in the role to drive specific results. Utilise this space to show how you can drive previous numbers or fill a specific gap they need to fill.
5- Grammar and Spelling
Nothing looks worse than a misspelling or clear grammatical errors as the first impression to an employer. Make sure to run your content through spelling and grammar-correcting platforms before finalizing and sending off your CV.
Sandy's Top 5 Linkedin Tips
1- Profile Photo
Optimise your professional image by using a clean and clear high-quality photo with appropriate attire and a crisp white background to invite connections to your Linkedin profile. Depending on your field, consider using a black-and-white headshot for a polished and refined look.
2- About Section
Consider targeting this area to summarise your values and unique selling points to grab job recruiter's attention to your page. If possible, target this area to the specific company and their values by using keywords that represent the role and your experience.
Prioritise building your network of connections by reaching out to professionals who work in the same industry and companies you are applying to. Make connections at all levels including interns, HR managers, and employees within the branch you plan on applying into. When hiring managers look into your Linkedin they will see your network of individuals in their company (or to their surprise see that they're connected with you), this shows a sense of social credibility.
4- Direct Messaging
When sending messages to hiring managers, job recruiters, or employee's within a company, make sure to highlight something that you like about their previous experiences or projects and flow into asking them questions. Show your appreciation for being able to connect with them and highlight how you can help them as well.
5- Linkedin Premium
This is not an essential step to building your LinkedIn but can be a valuable asset in your job searching journey. Premium options allow you to see who views your profile while allowing you to stay anonymous. Another perk is being able to send messages to non-connections. This is especially valuable to be able to connect with professionals who don't connect with people they don't know or isn't within their immediate network.