When considering applying for a position first make sure you read the job description thoroughly and ascertain your suitability i.e. are you a good match? You do not need a 100% match with all of the skills and experience listed but the more you have the greater your chances are of being shortlisted.
Is the position right for you? Ask yourself appropriate questions. Do you like the sound of the work? Are there any limitations or drawbacks? Is the commute to work practical for your personal and family circumstances? Be honest with yourself upfront as this will save you anguish later on if you have not thought through your commitment to applying for the position.
Adjust your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to highlight the matching requirements. Your CV should contain all your direct relevant experience for the position. Focus on aspects of your skills and experience that best match the requirements of the position you’re applying for, and diminish those topics that seem irrelevant. This can take time but it is highly beneficial to your chances of progressing further, as it will by definition promote your profile. The more concise you can be the better. Be clear about what you are stating and take out any unnecessary wording. Your CV should ideally be no more than 3 pages long, unless there is accumulated history of direct relevant experience that needs to remain.
There are many CV formats available. Each with its benefits and drawbacks. Choose one that best suits you. However, there is some basic information that needs to be included within the CV. Listed below is what your CV should contain.
Personal details: Name, Location, Contact Details
Work experience: List the companies you have worked for including job title, roles and responsibilities and duration in chronological order (most recent first). Include a brief description of the role and duties carried out.
Education: This should include all tertiary education, qualifications and any training, certified or not, that are relevant to your IT education.
Relevant skills: List out all your IT and soft skills applicable to the application
References: Include the names and contact details of at least 2 of your previous employers so that they can be contacted for references.
When applying for a position forward your CV in Word or PDF format. These are standard accepted document formats across the recruitment industry.
Plan ahead & do your research: Give yourself time to prepare ahead of the interview. Be sure to know as much as possible about the industry, the company and your interview partners. Understand the job description and key skills required.
Telephone interview: Make sure you have penciled in the date and time and that you are ready and waiting. Take yourself away to an area that is quiet and make sure you have a good signal on your mobile.
Virtual interview: Ensure that you have a stable internet connection, test the technology you will be using. This includes testing both video and audio ahead of the interview time. Speak to the camera. Eliminate any potential distractions or interruptions. Pay attention to lighting (no backlighting) as well as your background.
Face-to-face interview: Make sure you know where and when the interview is and how to get there on time. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before the interview. Consider what to bring – show, don’t tell.
Dress for success: Make sure you are not too casual and not too smart. Not even politicians wear ties these days. Unless you are applying for a senior management position in which case executive dress is more appropriate.
Be prepared: Practice your answers to commonly asked questions, especially behaviour-based interview questions. Have a situation in mind that you’ve been through in your work or life that demonstrates the skills relevant to the job at hand. Anticipate potential questions and concerns.
Act with enthusiasm and energy: Let your interviewer know that you’re keen, willing to work hard and confident to carry out the work. A great way to show enthusiasm is to ask questions. Keep your energy level up to the end.
Be authentic and stay calm: If you are really enthusiastic and genuine, you’ll make a good impression.