If you are out of work and are job-hunting for non-academic university positions, or if you are simply looking for bigger and better things, I hope you find these tips useful. They come from my experience, as well as from discussions I have had with friends and colleagues.
Are recruiters in the sector looking for specific things?
The answer is yes, although these specific things obviously vary among different positions. Here are some of them:
- Good fit for the role. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many applications hiring managers receive that fail to illustrate how the candidate is a good fit for the role. If you were on a very similar position to the one applying for, things become easier for you, but you still need to make an effort to demonstrate the relevance of your experience and qualifications to the position. If your background is not exactly similar, don’t give up. Focus on the value you can bring to the position and organization. It’s often the case that recruiters decide to hire candidates with a different background to benefit from their fresh perspective on things.
- Good interview skills. If you’re invited to an interview, make sure you are aware of the requirements of the role and be prepared to address each and every one with specific examples of past achievements. However impressive your background may be, it’s unlikely that you will get selected if you fail to get your point across in the interview.
- Personal rapport. This is an equally important factor which you should try to establish with your interviewers. At the end of the day, they could become your colleagues, and they are also trying to assess whether they could see themselves working with you on a daily basis.
- Good recommendations. Or networking. If you are in the industry and are looking for a position in a certain organization, try to think if you have any contacts who are already working there. This will give you a valuable insight into the organization, and maybe information that other candidates don’t have. If by any chance those contacts know any of your interviewers, try to get them to give a personal recommendation to your hiring managers for you. If they do, your chances of getting the job are significantly boosted. This is because there’s a certain amount of risk involved in every hiring process, and a personal recommendation from someone the interviewers already know and trust reduces their own risks of making a bad choice.