Why Should People Hire You?
The question in this title sounds like something a bored employer would ask a candidate during a job interview. He doesn’t seem to be impressed with your CV and he’s looking at you with a blank expression as you talk. You’re starting to wonder whether all he’s thinking of at the moment is what to cook for dinner once he gets home. Sad truth is, those are highly likely to be his actual thoughts.
Many people are unsure what to include in or exclude from their CV. To add insult to injury, employers are often looking for completely different criteria to what a fresh grad has put on paper.
It’s not about grades
If you’re currently pursuing a degree, you may have already met those students who believe they must pass a subject with a high grade or they’ll never get a job. Good news: grades aren’t everything. In fact, in many cases, they’re not something employers look for.
The Independent states that the top two qualities companies examine in a potential employee are a candidate’s experience and personality (58% and 48% respectively). If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. A candidate who already has had some involvement with the surrounding they’re going to work in is preferable to someone who’s only a vague inkling of what they’ll have to work with.
What about personality? If you Google ‘what to look for in employees’, the results will contain a plethora of articles and answers. So why is personality relevant criteria for employers?
The answer’s simple.
Personality equals drive. And drive equals quality. Hence, you’ll be the one to push yourself to work hard and complete your job. The only person who’ll have to give you a pep talk’s yourself. That’s always handy for employers.
Intelligence =/= Grades
After a few minutes of surfing the web, you may notioce that articles put different levels of importance on various traits. Some praise enthusiasm, confidence, quirkiness but overall – after a few more texts collect in your browser’s tab as well as your memory – you hopefully start to see a pattern. Generally, it’s preferred to be intelligent. This is the quality that shall be responsible for up to 76% of your success.
Don’t bash your head against the keyboard. Yes, it was written earlier in this article that grades aren’t all. But intelligence doesn’t equal good grades.
It’s common for people to assume this. After all, how could you graduate with honours if you weren’t intelligent? But employers are only human and tend to forget that there are tons of reasons why some may fare worse than others at certain subjects. Some straight A students don’t even do their own homework!
Research seems to have straightforward answers. You need fitting personality and relevant experience. Easy. Well, the personality bit is all up to an individual, there aren’t really classes on that. But where to get the said experience?
Any experience is good experience
It really is. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never worked at a managerial position before. If you’ve done something where you were required to display responsibility, punctuality, had to organise an event or lead people, go for it. Send off that CV.
Remember, it’s important to know what qualities are required for a position. Even if your experience wasn’t a paid one or if you worked for only a few months, you still know how to perform certain tasks. With that in mind…
No one likes volunteering. Why should you put effort into something you won’t get a reward for? However, it gives you necessary skills that you can later add to your CV. And a good CV means good chances to get noticed by companies.
Volunteer everywhere and anywhere, whenever you get the chance to. Whether it’s working in a kindergarten, washing cars, or organising an event. You never know which skill might come in handy and volunteering’s essentially that: gathering know-how. The more you know and are capable of doing, the better are your chances of earning that extra cash or getting a full-time employment.
Sell yourself on paper
Receiving employment is all about how you present your skills. Let’s say you’ve a very good pen, and the customer can see that it’s above average. But if they ask you what this pen can do and all you say is ‘it’s pretty and writes well’, they won’t buy it. Because you’ve just created an illusion that this pen isn’t all that special after all and is quite superficial. The same mistake many make with their CV’s. Don’t be that pen!
Not allowing your experience to shine bright in a CV is a common mistake graduates make. Sure, no one likes an arrogant person. But throw that logic out of the window when composing a CV. Write in third person if it makes you comfortable and change the ‘she/he’ for ‘I’ once you’re finished (don’t leave it in 3rd person). We tend to undervalue our successes with an ‘anyone can do that’ attitude. But this isn’t anyone, this is you and your time to shine.
Brag, point, shout – do all it takes to make your achievements look exactly that. But never worry about sounding full of yourself. Chances are, you’ll come off as a person who knows their worth. And even if you do sound like a show-off, the employer isn’t allowed to point it out. So, in the end, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.