We’ve been in hiring mode at Sphere over the past couple of months. In that time, we’ve read a lot of applications and attended a bunch of interviews and with that comes some insight into what traits make successful candidates stand out. With that in mind, here are five tips to consider when applying for a new job.
First impressions matter
When it comes to hiring, your first impression will be your CV or cover letter. Make it count. If you’re really keen on the job, do your research on the role and agency. Tailor your cover letter or CV to show off why you’d be a perfect fit – this could be highlighting particular skills or how you share the agency’s core values. Of course, a generic approach won’t automatically rule you out, as long as it doesn’t contain information that makes it clear this isn’t your dream job. For example, we had many applications for a graphic designer role where the applicants’ CVs talked about how passionate they were about finding a job in a different occupation, such as architecture or photography. That’s an automatic red flag.
Research pays off
Read up on the agency you’re applying for. Make sure you know what sort of work they specialise in. This will allow you to tailor your talking points to them precisely. For example, say you were applying at an agency that has a lot of FMCG clients. When they ask you what interests you about the role, you could always reference that you love working on FMCG brands (or dream of working on them) and admire the work they have done in that space – and give examples of their work that you find particularly inspiring (flattery never hurts!).
Check your email regularly and follow up
Occasionally, we would email potential candidates to set up an interview time and then wouldn’t hear back from them. Once, we got a reply a couple of weeks later apologising that they hadn’t been checking email but were keen to chat. Unfortunately for them, the job had already been filled. Likewise, if you want to stay fresh in people’s minds, there’s no harm in sending a ‘nice meeting you’ email after an interview or following up with any additional questions a few days later to show how keen you are.
Make contact details easy to find
Of course, it doesn’t matter how often you check your email if you forget to include it in your CV. The same applies if you’re wanting people to review your folio – make sure you attach the pdf or make the link easily visible.
Just be yourself (unless you’re a jerk!)
When it comes to the interview stage, you don’t need to be perfect. Just be yourself. Generally, people aren’t looking to hire a robot. Interviewers typically want to get a sense of who you really are. Importantly, we want to see that you’re friendly, you’ll fit in and don’t have red flag traits, such as excessive negativity.Write a comment