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5 Tips To Help You Get Your Dream Job

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Whilst cruising into London on the train last week, sipping at ma coffee and mulling at how unfair life was that I’d booked a train in advance and hadn’t realised it was one of the ahem, slightly shitter stopper trains, I had this post idea.

I realised that it might be nice to put together some tips on nailing your dream job. It’s something I’m not too shabby at, y’know?

I don’t know how to make it as a kick ass full-time blogger, but I DO know how to pull together a seriously bangin’ CV and how to be pretty swank and impressive at an interview.

Blowin’ my own trumpet and that. Soz.

I got a graduate entry job at a top fashion mag during a recession, and those bad boys basically don’t exist. I also wooed Jo Elvin via Twitter and bagged myself work experience at Glamour and I once interviewed for Digital Editor at Stylist and mate, I was SO BLOODY YOUNG AND I DON’T KNOW HOW I GOT THAT INTERVIEW IN THE FIRST PLACE.

So, without further ado, let’s get cracking.

 

1. YOUR CV

I used to have the same sort of CV I’m sure a lot of you have, some Times New Roman document a few pages long that showed off my waitressing skills and a load of other excess info no-one gives even the tiniest crap about. Soz, just being blunt and to the point.

My uni lecturer was like WHERE IS THE COLOUR (you what? You can put COLOUR on a CV?), and why have you used Word when you have access to InDesign?

Point being, your CV shouldn’t look like a dullsville legal document, it should be professional and yet still represent who you are. And it can be made on any fancy schamancy computer programme (or program?)you have access to.

Take off your date of birth, it’s insignificant, DO NOT attach a photo of yourself, and never go over more than one page. I’m serious about that one, it’s so uneccessary.

Put your name and contact details at the top, write 50 words about you and who you are and why you’re a cracking employee and what you like, then list your relevant employment.

If you’re applying for a marketing role, no-one cares that you spent a summer serving pints in your local village pub. Keep it short, sweet and to the point.

Finish off by reeling off a bit about your education (again, no-one needs to know that you got an A in GCSE history, a B in Art and a C in PE) and list some relevant skills – the computer programs you have knowledge of, whether you’re social media savvy, can use WordPress etc etc etc.

 

2. COVER LETTER

Or, more likely, the cover email.

If the email address you’re applying for a job to is a name, for example like sophiewood@blahblahblah, make sure you address it to Sophie, and if it’s a standard recruitment email then it’s fine to be a bit more vague with sir/madam.

Again, keep it short, sweet and to the point. Whoever is on the receiving end doesn’t have days to mull over your life story.

‘I’m writing to apply for the position of xxxxx.’ And then a few lines about why you’re bloody awesome. Name some of your career successes, big yourself up, boast a little bit.

You won an award at uni? SHOUT. You got published in a magazine. SHOUT. You helped your company grow a social media following by 100%. SHOUT. You launched something new that benefited your previous work place because blah blah blah. SHOUT.

You are ace.

Let them know you’re looking for a fresh challenge to build on everything you’ve already achieved and learnt. Be full of enthusiasm and excitement.

Whether it’s right or not, I’ve always tried to add a chatty slice of personality at the end of the email. ‘I also think I’d be perfect for the job because I have an insane knowledge of red carpet dresses, absolutely adore composing perfect Instagram shots and have a secret skill for finding Topshop look-a-likes in Primark’. >>> Obvs only relevant if you want a job at a high street fashion mag, lol.

Attach your CV, thank them for their time and tell them you look forward to hearing from them.

 

3. INTERVIEW APPEARANCE

You want to be comfortable, professional and yet look like you. I have a ‘lucky’ pair of bright pink Kate Spade kitten heels which are incredibly comfy and add a flash of colour to an otherwise smart, monochrome outfit.

Dress like an adult, especially if it’s your first job out of uni or you’re going for a role that you feel *might* be a bit of a leap up. Own it, you successful, clever, strong woman, YOU.

A well-fitting pair of cropped black trousers and a grey roll neck, or a smart black blazer and a knee-length dress in the summer. Team it with a trench coat or grown-up jacket, don’t spoil it with like a parka jacket more suited for a country walk and all-you-can-eat carvery.

Don’t go INSANE on all the colour – save that for the accessories. Keep it classic and profesh.

Make-up wise, play it cool too. Don’t choose your interview day to experiment with your Urban Decay palette for the first time and don’t wear a new bright lippy that makes you feel anxious because omg is it on my chin and is everyone laughing at me?

Be you, but be the polished version of you that your mum would want to show off to all her yoga mates.

 

4. ACTUAL INTERVIEW

I’m gonna leap right ahead here and say the most important thing above all else is eye contact. I used to get hideously told off by my dad and step mum for my eye contact skills during parents evening at school and it’s something that I’ve noticed myself struggling with again now I live like a hermit in my Etsy-decked out office cave without real-life human interaction.

Look your interviewer(s) in the eye, look like there is nothing more you want to do than hear their autobiography read aloud and omg such exciting interview questions. Nod like you’re really captivated and hooked on everything they’re saying and try your very best to hide your resting bitch face until your post-interview latte. BABE, YOU A SMILEY, WARM, FRIENDLY BRIDESMAID RIGHT NOW.

It’s always good to spend even 15 minutes doing research on the company or the role – talk about the things you like about the company and where you see it moving forward with the help of your skill set.

And always, ALWAYS have questions lined up at the end – avoiding pay and annual leave and all the things you secretly want to know above all else.

I like to throw in a ‘and what’s your favourite thing about working for the company?’ because BLOOMIN’ HECK after hours and days and a lifetime of interviewing other people, most interviewers love an opportunity to talk about themselves instead.

Ask if there’s opportunity for growth and promotion within the company. And, if you know who’s going to be interviewing you, shock them with some knowledge and research about their time at the company. ‘So you helped develop the blah blah blah after you’d been here for two years. I think that’s something that really stands out against your competitors and I’d love to hear more about it’.

Being clued up and paying honest compliments will legit get you anywhere.

Most of all, be confident and be you. What’s the worst that will happen? You won’t get the job and then oh no, another one will come up and everything will work out in the end. Take the pressure off yourself and you’ll find you come across lots lest nervous and awkward.

 

5. AFTER THE INTERVIEW

Send an email to your interviewer a few hours later or the next day after your interview and thank them for their time.

Keep it short and sweet and finish off with a sentence that cements the relationship between you that the interview itself would have started.

Something like ‘I checked out the new campaign/article/software that you mentioned and I totally get what you were saying because xxxxx’.

Remind them of who you are, keep yourself fresh in their mind and remember to always come across as interested and enthusiastic, like you’re forever willing to keep learning and improving from everyone around you because for real, that’s an incredible skill to have whether you’re starting from the bottom or becoming a manager.

 

GO GET EM TIGER.



33 comments so far.
  • Think u need to have a word with my school careers advisor.
    She loved times new roman
    Xxxxxxxx
    http://Www.fashionnomads.com

  • Great advice! I work retail but I’m almost finished with a paralegal degree so I really need to step up my A game when it comes to job searching. I’m not sure if they have this website in the UK but in the US there is a website called GlassDoor. Employees can review companies and get advice about specific hiring processes and interviews. It’s helped me to get my last two jobs!
    Kiersten @ Autumn Country Girl

  • People forget that the person viewing your CV is also skimming over another 100! There has to be something that stands out. My college teacher advised me to do this when I was 17 and I’m 20 and still add a little bit of colour to my CV.

    Natasha Kendall | Beauty and Lifestyle

  • Aaah thank you so much this is exactly what I need!!! You’re a genius!

    Erin Lian <3

  • Miranda

    Perfect!

  • Love this! Thank you for the tips Hannah! 😉

    Frankie x

    joieandthevivre.com

  • The first time I ever came across the pure thought of adding anything other than one black font & maybe a few different font sizes occurred to me when I was doing an internship and had to sort applications for a Graphic Designer position. All the colourful CVs! All the creativity! OMG!

    Obviously, as I’m probably never going to be a Graphic Designer, I’m not going to go all out with my CV, but I switched it up a little, with different fonts & font sizes, and a little blue here and there, and it made all the difference already!

    Lisa x

  • Great tips & advice!

  • Sophie

    Can I add a quick point? If you are applying for a job through one of those online systems (I work in marketing for HE and HE jobs are nearly always done through a robotic system) then make sure you send an email to the person listed in the job description as the contact before your application goes through and ask an insightful question relevant to the role. It means your name rings a bell when they look through the (hundreds) of applications they have and they know you are actually interested in the role not just applying for every job going without thinking about it! It’s always worked for me anyway!

    xxxx

    • Absolutely this! if there’s a name or contact you can drop an email to than YES, YES, YES!

  • There’s some beautiful cv designs on etsy!!

    Great tips :) Although I think some of these are more apt for media jobs, some points may not go down so well at a more corporate old school business (like the one I’m at). For example, at certain jobs it’s mandatory for them to know your GCSE grades. I was told by a recruiter not to wear any bright nail varnish/make up and to keep accessories to a minimum.

    x

    • Oh really, that’s interesting. I was told you don’t need anymore than the classic ’10 GCSEs grade A-C’ line was enough rather than individual grades. Unless someone doesn’t have any further education after GCSEs in which case SHOUT about your strongest subjects. x

  • Love this Hannah – I totally needed this advice like 6 years ago x
    Laura | collectinglabels.com

  • Nikki

    Unfortunately in many professions colour and jazzy text on a CV will cost you an interview! Which sucks because I’m a recruitment consultant and CVs ARE SO DAMN BORING! A little pizazz would make my life so much better.

    • Haha I’m not talking anything overly jazzy, just maybe a chic Calibri 😉

      I guess in some industries it’s not so much colour, but making use of bolding up text and having an eye-catching, glossy design rather than just something that makes your eyes bleed. I’ve also used touches of pale grey on some friend’s CVs who have been going for more corporate roles rather than creative! x

      • Nikki

        Oh yeah man calibri and tones of black that shiz up!

  • LOVE this post! I’m terrible at interviews! I always get really sweaty hands and armpits which makes me conscious about whether they can see how much I am actually sweating!

    I’ve deffo picked up a few great tips from this though, especially that interview question, that was a cracker!!

    Thanks for the tips :) xo

  • This is so incredibly helpful. Thanks Hannah. Great tips!

  • Totally agree on thanking people for their time after the interview; either via email or a card in the mail. I was offered a dream job because of this.
    Lisa x
    Lisa Villaume | Career Growth. Office Fashion. Lifestyle.

  • LJ

    Some really helpful tips here thanks!

  • Great post -especially about leaving your date of birth of your CV! I always feel I should leave it on so potential employers aren’t having to work out my age (nearly 28!) from when I left school or, even worse, the inevitable social media picture stalk!

    Ruth | Ruth-writes.co.uk

  • I’ll take your word for all of the above! Reading this has made me realize it’s been about a decade since I’ve done the whole resume/interview thing (aside from a brief bout of interning a few years ago). I wouldn’t have a clue, lol.

  • I seriously needed this post. I’m in the process of writing my CV because I should *probably* start applying for grad jobs since I’m going to be finished with uni in a few months. Why can’t I just be paid to lay in bed and eat Dairy Milk all day?

    This is actually loads of help and I’m going to put it into practice right after I’m done binge watching youtube (can I get paid to do that as well?).

    Sophie x | Essential Twenty

  • I’m applying to jobs at the moment and getting bloody nowhere! This post came at the perfect time, thank you Hannah! :) x

    Polly Cat Contemplates

  • Emma

    If you are applying for a role through a job board (Reed, Total Jobs etc) keep your CV plain and simple. Working in HR I deal with the applications that come through from these ads and they all come through into one centralised program. Quite often these programs will mess with your CV layout and make it unreadable if you’ve tried to add extra coloums or boxes.

  • Totally with you on the eye contact front! I suck at it with a lot of people but in any kind of interview, or stuff with ~profesh~ folks, I make sure it’s the one thing I do without a doubt!

  • Kirsty

    This is great advice!

    I am a student journalist, getting ready to graduate next year and applying for internships bla bla bla this summer. I use InDesign every week at uni and never before thought about using it for my CV so thanks for that tip, loved it! xox

  • Oh this is FANTASTIC Hannah – I seriously need to brush up my CV and I’ll keep all this in mind, eye contact is usually my worst it’s usually all or nothing!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

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