It’s important to understand the recruiter’s needs. What are they looking for?
A job vacancy within a team communicates to a specific situation. Either a staff member has left, or the company is growing. A lot of different circumstances can generate the need.
First, work to understand the job offer through the words and expressions used: what type of applicant is expected, what skills are necessary, etc.
Then, take enough of a step backwards to decide if you are the ideal applicant! Should you apply? Do you have a realistic chance of meeting their needs?
Now put yourself in the employer’s shoes!
Read the job offer again and ask yourself the question:
What is the employer looking for?
The most important thing in this step is not to think about yourself or your skills, but to focus on the employer’s needs. The employer is looking for a specific candidate to complete their team, bring in new skills, succeed in new challenges. Try to understand the reasons why they are recruiting - to take on which responsibilities within the company?
When you read the job offer, pull out all the words or phrases that represent the different criteria they are looking for.
Identify the skills that define the desired profile
Here, identify what skills are expected by the recruiter. Some may be obvious, while others will require some thinking and a good understanding of the job and its missions.
It’s rare for an applicant to meet all the criteria a recruiter is looking for. Be reassured, the ideal applicant doesn’t exist.
Different criteria can offset another
For example, operational experience may be more important than a qualification. Digital tools skills could make up for an inadequate command of English, etc.
Only the recruiter really knows where the limit is, so it’s sometimes worth taking a chance!
Aim specifically at what is expected
The objective of a job is to be effective and productive as quickly as possible.
There are three possible situations:
The job offer explicitly lists the required skills. In this case, simply copy them.
Certain skills are implied, and you’ll need to deduce them from the list of tasks.
Both of the above situations are listed together, and you’ll need to think about the two of them!
Now it’s your turn!
Read this job offer carefully:
Assistant Community Manager
Reports to the Community Manager
Assist in improving our reputation and contribute to the growth and retention of customers through implementing our social media marketing strategy and monitoring our communities.To do this, you will :
Moderate website pages (messages and content)
Carry out actions to lead our communities and identify influencers
Increase the brand presence and its offers on social networks
Create the relevant content (visuals, videos, texts, etc.)
You have a minimum of 2 years’ post-A-level higher education specialising in communication or digital marketing, and you have had initial experience in a similar field.
You are enthusiastic about digital / the web and are very familiar with social media and running communities.
You have good writing skills and are a good listener.
You are diplomatic, thorough, proactive, curious, creative, and like working as part of a team.
You want to be part of a unique adventure.
Familiarity with platforms like Google Analytics, Photoshop, etc. would be a plus.
Now list all the elements corresponding to the desired profile: both essential and bonus skills, experience, qualifications and qualities.
Don’t forget to read between the lines!
In what ways am I suitable for the post?
Once you understand a job offer, check if this is the right job for you. If you're not a fit, don’t waste your time - move on to the next one!
You've identified a promising job offer - now what?
Compare the desired profile with your profile
To submit a convincing application, go through your job analysis and list the ways your skills meet what they’re looking for.
Desired technical skills
What are the skills that I have and what level am I at in each?
What experience can I highlight in my CV?
What are my qualifications, levels of training achieved?
Languages and levels
What is my level? Certificates/time spent abroad, etc.
Tools to be mastered
For each one, how operational am I?
How can I make the most of my knowledge of the sector, as a customer or from working in it? Otherwise, have I still got time to learn more about it?
Type of customers/ partners
When and in what ways have I been in contact with this type of customer/partner?
When have you worked in this type of team? What are your key assets?
For each quality, which ones correspond to you, and in what way? What proof do you have?
On each line of your CV, note the way in which you correspond to the job! This will help identify your strengths, make the most of your CV, write your cover letter, and then structure your interview.
For example, how do you prove:
your knowledge of the business sector? You have five years experience in large-scale retailing.
your command of Spanish? You lived in Spain for a year.
Adapt your CV to the job on offer
It may be useful to adapt your CV to the job being offered! Apply for a position if your profile meets at least 70% of the requirements. Highlight this in your CV and make sure that it's clear to the recruiter.
Make the most of your strengths in your CV!
Be honest but keep in mind that it's a good idea to re-use the recruiter’s own words. In this way, you give the impression that you are speaking the same language and “matching to” what they’re looking for.
So go back over your CV and check each section!
For example, what have you put into the “Position sought” section? Make use of the job title as advertised.
if you are at a junior skills level:
In the job offer:
In your CV:
Junior web developer
Junior web developer
Experienced salaries manager
Salaries manager (that’s all… when requesting someone “experienced”, they often need just a “junior”)
It’s not necessary to give your address, but it’s useful if it’s within a reasonable distance of the job location.
If you live further away:
either indicate the region within which you are able to travel;
or use the address of a friend or family member;
otherwise don’t give one… just a phone number and e-mail address will do at this stage.
Highlight your most recent years of experience and detail those that have a direct link to the post or business sector.
If the job offer stipulates among the main missions: “Analysing user requests and proposing technical solutions - Developing new websites - Performing tests…”
Detail an experience where you have carried out this type of mission! If you are just starting out, use the projects completed during your training.
Similarly, highlight the qualifications and certificates that are relevant to the post. Be specific about the title of the qualification.
Front-end developer: OpenClassrooms, Paris ("Web developer" bachelor's-level diploma, Level 6 on the EQF, registered with the French national directory of professional certifications)
Your technical skills
Here again, highlight the skills sought for in the job. Specify business experience, include a link to your ePortfolio, explain something you’ve achieved, and give figures where possible:
size of the team you supervised
budget allocated to the project you managed
Be prepared to give details when called for an interview!
In your CV, check the qualities outlined. It may be useful to adapt them, without selling yourself short!
Use at least two of the qualities highlighted in the job offer. Explain and prove in what ways you are, for example, organized and creative. Don’t be tempted to try and bluff your way through – otherwise your trial period may only last a few days!
For example, if “team spirit” is mentioned, don’t hesitate to highlight your experience as a trainer for a football club for five years, or as a rowing champion!
It’s common practice to add a section listing your involvement in the arts, clubs and associations, sports or hobbies, etc.
The CV is your business card for employers. Therefore, it must highlight your career to date as it relates to the type of job you’re applying for.
If you want to be shortlisted, give yourself every opportunity and optimize it!
Read your CV through carefully and adapt it to the job offer in a realistic manner so that your best qualities and strengths stand out! 😁
Keep a record of the applications you submit: the jobs you've applied for and the specific version of your CV that you sent.
File all applications carefully. You might apply on dozens of occasions, and therefore gradually build up a portfolio of CVs: using this portfolio, you'll be able to adapt existing CVs to a new job offer.
Now that you know what an ideal candidate looks like for a particular job offer, let's look at deepening your understanding of the company.