1. Make an Effort
Ensure you follow the application instructions on the advertisement and apply for roles as requested.
Take the time to amend your CV to ensure you are including and highlighting your relevant experience to the role.
Where you are asked to provide a written statement, do not ever copy and paste from your CV! The person responsible for hiring has already read your CV, they are seeking more detail if they’re asking for something else.
2. Be Available/Responsive
Recruiters and employers will want to get hold of you quickly. If you're not able to take a call when contacted, ensure you call back when you have a break, or send an email (or text if contacted by that method) to advise when you might be able to get back in touch.
Save the number of the recruiter/employer in your phone, keep an eye out for their calls and messages, check your voicemails, and be responsive!
Don’t ever be rude if an employer/recruiter takes some time to respond to you. While this sounds like a one-way street, they might be sifting through over 100 or 200 applications for one role and may be working on two or three roles. Be respectful of the time it takes for them to complete their process.
3. Be Transparent
Be upfront about your reasons for leaving, reasons for being interested in the role, reference check issues that might arise, and availability. You’ll be surprised at how much a recruiter or employer will respect your honesty. Requiring them to dig deeper or find things out on their own will likely result in you not being shortlisted for opportunities. Also ensure you only authorise one recruiter to represent you for each role. Being submitted twice for the same opportunity makes you look bad, not the recruiter.
Tell employers about anything that might affect your ability to do a job, including whether you are based outside of travelling distance from the role. Don’t assume you can work remotely in a post-Covid world, and if an ad states that you will need to attend the office (even if it’s once a week), only apply for it if you can do so.
Usually, employers will be impressed with your transparency and will try to accommodate (or at least the opportunity to consider) your requirements.
4. Don’t expect to be Chased
If it's taking time to apply for a role, gather documents, or write a statement, communicate this to the employer/recruiter so they know when to expect to hear from you. Silence will likely result in dismissal of your application from the shortlisting process. At the same time, be wary of contacting the person responsible for hiring too often. You know how busy you are? They’re busy too! Try to source answers for yourself in the information already provided, or by relying on your network or own experience.
If you decide the opportunity isn't for you, let the employer/recruiter know! Don't burn bridges - you never know when circumstances will change and when you will need a contact.
Similarly, if you are working with a recruiter and know the hiring manager, do not ever go behind the recruiter’s back and contact the hiring manager directly. This can be seen as highly unprofessional. Always discuss this with the recruiter first, so they can ensure the hiring manager is happy to hear from you. It comes back to transparency.