Tips on what we look for when hiring

3 March 2019. Thoughts in Featured, Industry by

You should stand out and not just your hair.

After many years of intense, sleepless nights you finally have your degree or diploma! Yay! Or not? It’s time to look for employment. With our current unemployment rate, that can be a nerve-wracking experience. You’ve sent a few CVs and perhaps even attended a couple interviews here and there, with no luck.

Below are some tips to help you stand out during the application process and interviews:

The Application Process

1. Email etiquette

“Please find attached”. Please find attached what? The rest of the sentence? When applying for a job, it is important to draft a proper email with a greeting. Your subject line should include the advertised job role, e.g. Creative Director Position. Include a short profile about yourself, this is an opportunity to share a little something about yourself that is not in your cv. No slang. No emoticons. Keep it brief and professional, then end off with a sign-off and your signature. Don’t be too quick to click “send”, read your email to identify any possible spelling errors.

2. Your curriculum vitae

Your cv is your marketing tool and plays a vital role in you landing an interview. Do not send the cv you drew up two years ago when you were looking for vac work. It is essential to continually review and tailor your cv for the job you’re applying for. You need to keep it simple, clear and concise. Anything longer than two pages is way too long. Employers don’t want to know about the time you worked at your uncle’s tuck shop in the Eastern Cape when you were 17. Once you have completed your cv, get someone to have a look at it to check for spelling errors and whether it flows correctly (always place the most important information first). Nothing turns a potential employer off, like spelling curriculum vitae wrong. Yes, it happens.

3. Your portfolio

Your portfolio is your career calling card. This is your opportunity to showcase your talent and best work. Nothing is as important as presenting your work in a professional and accessible portfolio. Google Docs that require a request for access or PDF’s that need a password are a definite no. Your portfolio should include appropriate examples with a wide variety of work, demonstrating all-round experience. On projects where you collaborated with other team members, always mention what your role was in that project. We’ve come across portfolios that only have work from the ice age, what have you been doing the past few centuries? It is therefore essential to give your portfolio a regular spring clean and include your recent work. I mean, your skills have definitely gotten better, and it’s only right that you don’t misrepresent yourself.

The Interview 

Well done! You have landed an interview with the top agency you’ve always wanted to work for! Your dress code is very critical. Yes, people judge a book by its cover. Don’t wear crop tops, boob tubes, caps, shorts, flip flops, your favourite hand painted t-shirt, etc. Look professional without losing yourself. Don’t be late for your interview, and if you are late, be courteous enough to call your potential employer and inform them of that. Do your homework, be well prepared and take some time to read up on the company. Understand the position you have applied for. Equip yourself with as much knowledge as you can get. When you’re prepared, you gain more confidence. Be mindful of your body language. Slouching on the chair will definitely not get you a job. Employers read energy. Breathe and stay calm.

The most important thing during this process is to always be yourself. Well, you might not need to have the yellow hair but personality and being great at what you do is key to landing that job!