How to secure a job according to top recruiters in the Netherlands
In the last couple of weeks, I went to various conferences such as the Rise & Lead Summit and WIT Regatta, where I met and talked with recruiters from top companies in the Netherlands. Based on the information they provided, I gathered a couple of crucial tips for all of you who are looking for a new job or are ready to take the next step in your career.
Think about these things when updating your CV:
Highlight your skills
In case you are changing your job, industry or position, make sure to highlight your transferable skills. You might not have the right industry-related experience, but you must show that you have the right skill set.
The recruiter's shoes
Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. Remember that recruiters are also humans, are very busy and get tired as well – use simple and clear language. Think from the perspective of a recruiter and make sure your CV shows that you are the one to solve their problem, being – finding the right candidate.
Be aware that more and more CVs are first scanned by special software, which checks if there is a match between the job and your CV. How does this software work? By looking at keywords! You can use free software (Wordcloud, for instance) to check which keywords are used most in the job ad and make sure to include them in your CV and cover letter.
Don’t forget about LinkedIn
Social media can be useful for your job search, especially LinkedIn:
Make sure you can be found on LinkedIn, so use the right keywords. Check the profiles of the jobs you are after and highlight the skills and keywords that are used there and make sure they are also sprinkled all over your LinkedIn profile.
Make sure your photo is up to date, so when you connect with someone offline first, the person will be able to recognise you online.
Continuously work on your network, reach out to people, connect and contribute. Share relevant information, comment on other people’s post. You want to get noticed and you want your profile to get ranked higher, so it comes up in the searches the recruiters are doing.
Yes! You got an interview. Now what?
Always prepare to ask questions. It will show the interviewer how you think, whether you are prepared for the interview, and how you feel about the position and the job. Asking questions is crucial in every interview but especially if you are applying for senior positions.
Strengths and competencies
Find out what kind of strengths and competencies are required for the job and make sure you have a good understanding of your own strengths and how they match up.
If asked to talk about certain situations: “So, can you tell me about the time you had a conflict with your boss etc...” use the STARR model: Situation, Task, Action, Result and Reflection. Do not forget to mention the two last ones.
The growth mindset
Be prepared to talk about your failures! Although we often prefer to talk about our successes only, failure and being able to admit it shows that we have a growth mindset - something companies are looking for more and more often.
Adapt your style
If going to an interview, dress yourself according to the company’s culture. Don’t wear a three-piece suit when you go to a gaming company and don’t wear jeans to a bank.
Networking is key
Networking is important when looking for a new job. Some tips:
Networking and referrals are key. Some companies pay their employees a referral fee for new hires and research shows that the referred colleagues stay longer in a given position than the ones without.
Online and offline
Network both online (LinkedIn) and offline. Visit relevant conferences, talk to people and then connect with them online.
The recruitment process
The recruitment process can be tough. Hopefully, these tips will help you out!
The process can change
Be aware that sometimes the hiring procedure can change during the process, for example, a company was looking for a candidate with 5+ years of experience, but they realised during the interviews that they actually needed someone with 10+ years of experience. Nothing personal.
Be aware that there are different ways of sourcing talent: buying talent, building talent and borrowing talent. Make sure you understand which one applies to you.
In the case of buying talent, the recruiters expect you to have most of all the required skills and experience. In the case of building talent, the recruiters are aware that they will need to invest in you, so they do not expect you to have it all yet. They do expect you, however, to have basic strengths, skills that match the position and the ability to learn. When it comes to borrowing talent, recruiters often hire consultants or ad-interims - people who have lots of experience within certain areas and who are ready to “plug and play”.
Be ready to stand out! Especially when the competition is tough. For example, shoot a video message and send it to the recruiter, prepare a presentation showing how to solve some of the company’s issues.
What was the most surprising or handiest tip for you? Share in the comments below!