Last week I shared a post entitled “Have you got what it takes to be a Foundation employee?” which considered the values that each of us believe in. If you’re reading this, hopefully it means that you think you’re made of the right stuff to join our dynamic, ambitious team and are ready to apply for one of our vacancies.
As I said before, we like to recruit slowly because it’s essential that we find ‘great people’ to hire. Having been involved in the recruitment for a couple of position over the last few months, I’ve seen my fair share of questionable CVs, and sat through some bad interviews. So to help you shine, I thought I would share my top tips.
Good spelling, punctuation and grammar
At the very least you should run a spell check. Ideally get someone else to take a look and provide feedback. We’ve received CVs that are confusing, difficult to understand, and where people have spelt their name incorrectly!
Only list relevant education
Make sure you highlight the qualifications that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. We don’t need to know every subject you studied for. Also, make sure you say what level you studied to – eg GCSE, A level, degree – and don’t forget to list additional courses you’ve done. Finally, we’re only interested in your higher education, we don’t need to know what primary school you attended (sounds obvious, but we’ve seen it!)
If you’ve listed lots different technologies on your CV you need to actually know something about them, and be able to give examples of when you’ve used them, because we are going to ask you questions.
Tailor your CV
Don’t be lazy and send us the same CV you’ve sent ten other employers. Take time to tailor your CV and demonstrate that you’ve read our job description by highlighting things we’re interested in.
Don’t forget layout is important too
Make your CV interesting rather than a big blob of text. Use boxes / lines to break up information, and bold headings to highlight different sections. And if you’re active on social media, don’t forget to direct us to your blog/LinkedIn profile/Twitter account…etc.
Write a cover letter
A cover letter looks professional and allows you to convey a bit of your personality. It should guide us towards and through the relevant areas of your CV to give us an idea of your current situation and availability for interview.
Do your research
Don’t just turn up and expect to blag your way through the interview – we will catch you out. At the very least you should Google us, look at our websites, read some of our articles, and do a LinkedIn search for the person/people interviewing you. Again, sounds obvious but we’ve spoken to people that have no idea who we are.
Don’t just ‘turn up and throw up’. Look at the job description again and prepare the key messages you want to get across to us. Identify areas that are important to us and demonstrate your knowledge and share scenarios with us to prove you know what you’re talking about.
Answer the questions well
When responding to a question, it’s ok to take a few seconds to compose your answer. We’ll appreciate that you’re putting some thought into it. But make sure you give a proper answer, not just ‘yes/no’. In the interview, you should be eager to demonstrate you’re right for the position and therefore do most of the talking.
Everyone at Foundation interacts with our customers and partners so you need to be presentable, and our office dress-code is ‘business attire’. Wear a suit, comb your hair, have a shave (more for the men than the women!) and don’t forget that strong, firm handshake.
Before you come to your interview, make sure you’ve prepared some questions for us. Hopefully a lot of things will be covered in the job description, on our website, and during the interview itself. But surely you’re interested in what it’s like to work at Foundation, and what the people are like that you’ll be working with?
Finish the interview
It’s really important if you want to get through to the next stage. We had one person walk out after 20 minutes because they were having a bad day – not a great impression to give your potential future employer!
Are we asking too much?
I’ve heard this question a lot. Everyone involved in our recruitment drive is always worrying over whether we’re being too picky, and if we’re looking for a ‘perfect’ person that just doesn’t exist. But looking at the above, it’s all pretty obvious stuff, and everyone at Foundation has satisfied the criteria.
Author: Alice Cambata, Marketing Manager
Alice takes care of our brand, and supports the sales team. Before joining Foundation IT, she worked as a consultant for a number of IT and technology companies, helping to increase their brand awareness and launch new products. Alice also manages the marketing for our sister company, Foundation SP, ensuring close collaboration between both companies and their partners.