Applying for a Job? A Talent Partner's Tips on Communication as a Candidate


Communication as a candidate – what part does this play when you're applying for a job?

Answer: a HUGE part!

Communication of who you are and why you should be considered for the role underpins the entire recruitment process. It is a key factor in getting you that step closer to your dream job.

With the exception of a few very niche positions, gone are the days when 'technical' fit trumped ‘team/company/cultural’ fit.

Who you are as a person goes hand in hand with your technical ability. How you communicate this when you're applying for a job is paramount - on paper, online and in person.

First Impressions: Your Cover Letter & CV

Let’s start with your Cover Letter and CV. Communicating well in print is crucial as this is often your first impression when applying for a job.

In a recruitment process where you are one of multiple applicants, this is your chance to highlight yourself as a serious contender.

Tangible detail

Two important words to keep in mind when crafting your Cover Letter and CV… tangible detail.

Recruiters and prospective employers want to read these documents quickly, easily source and digest the important information and finish up with very few questions at the end.

Include tangible detail in your working history – dates, facts, figures, any information that sets a scene and gives the reader insight into the scale of what you were doing.

For example, you were employed 2016-2017. Was that January 16 – December 17, or December 16 – January 17? A small detail, but possibly a big difference in work experience.

A lengthy and laborious CV will lose most audiences. So will reading ‘attention to detail’ and ‘ability to build rapport’ repeatedly under each job heading. Let’s stick to the facts and not duplicate anything unnecessarily.

What are your interests?

Yes, a CV needs to demonstrate your work history, technical capability, fit for the role in question, qualifications, and eliminate questions. However, I wouldn’t underestimate the power of an interests section.

Are you sporty – team or solo sports? Daring and into skydiving, a volunteer firefighter or perhaps you breed miniature horses? Family are your big passion and/or maybe you enjoy trying a new winery for lunch once a month.

Keep it brief and to the point, but a few bullet points that give the reader some idea of YOU can really communicate how you differ from the pack.

Social media

Social media cannot be overlooked as this is playing an ever-increasing role in our day to day lives, the recruitment process being no exception.

Any of your online profiles are bound to get a look-over from a prospective employer at some part of the process - so when you're applying for a job, have a think about your communication online too. Are you portraying yourself accurately or in the best light possible?

Communicating at the Job Interview

Nail the Cover Letter and CV and you are one step closer to a face-to-face interview. The interview is your chance to put your best foot forward in person and could be the deciding factor as to whether you’re offered the job.

Communication on all fronts – presentation, talking through your CV and experience, what you know of the position/company you’re applying for, your body language and being able to describe who you are as a person and what you’re looking for in a role are all important so be sure to consider the full package as you prepare.

Here's some useful tips on how to prepare for a job interview.

Remember, it's okay to be nervous!

You don’t have to be a whizz at public speaking to communicate well in this process – I most certainly am not! Everyone is different and let’s face it, interviews can make even a confident communicator want to run for the hills.

As long as you are trying and can show that you have a genuine interest in the process, I want to get to know you. Tell me you’re a bit nervous if you like! Or if you like working in large teams, or in the office out the back solo. That’s fine by me.

As a Talent Partner, I’d have to say that a part of my job I thoroughly enjoy is getting to know so many different people. I want to know the real you so that we can work out the best path forward to finding you the best possible fit in a role/team/company.

Last but not least… there is no such thing as a stupid question. If you’re unsure of anything in your job search, please communicate this! We’ll do our best to help 🙂

Written by Intepeople Talent Partner, Tania McCaa

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