On average, companies will receive over 80 applications per job vacancy, with some top employers seeing over 650 CVs per role. It’s therefore important to differentiate and stand out amongst others going for the role. So, how should you go about this?
Do your research before rushing in
Whilst it’s not essential to have any prior experience in recruitment for an entry-level position, it’s important to have a good understanding of the industry. Along with this, you should research the specific sector that you’re going into. In our case, educate yourself on the life sciences industry and try to get as much knowledge under your belt as you can. Moreover, do some research into who’s going to be interviewing you. There’s nothing wrong with a little LinkedIn stalk to find out a bit about their role and responsibilities within the business. This will give you some good insight and help you prepare the relevant questions to ask at the end.
Proof-read, Proof-read, Proof-read
Did you know that around 60% of employers will reject a candidate’s application due to poor grammar alone?
Given the average recruiter spends just 7.4 seconds reading a CV before making a decision, it’s crucial to make your writing as concise and engaging as possible. Ideally, this should be no more than 2 pages long, including a cover letter and only the most relevant information such as past jobs and qualifications. Stick to a simple layout which doesn’t distract the reader and make sure to update all contact details. Finally, read through your application at least 3 times and ask someone else to check for any spelling or grammar mistakes before submitting.
Stand by your words
Although it’s easy to sugar-coat most things in your CV, don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Of course, you should mention all the different attributes and skills that you could bring to recruitment, but don’t blatantly lie in your application. And be prepared to back up your claims, too - there’s no point in writing about how good you are with people if you can’t demonstrate this in the interview. Don’t oversell yourself unless you’re going to commit!
Make the most of your free time
We all have hobbies outside of work, and 9 times out of 10 potential employers will ask what you get up to in your spare time.
Do you have any interests? Are you part of a sports team? How did you get into that?
This is a great talking point in your interview, but your interviewer is also looking for potential skills you might use at work, like collaboration. If you’re actively involved with a club or you have an interest beyond the office, then employers will be able to see what motivates and drives you - a key indicator of your work ethic. This also shows a level of productivity, so you might not want to admit that all you do it stay inside watching Netflix!
Show your passion
To be a successful candidate for recruitment, you need to show initiative and a real sense of passion for the job. Moreover, because experience isn’t necessary for an entry-level role, it’s important to prove your willingness and enthusiasm about working in a sales environment in both your application and interview. Be open to learning new things and listen to all feedback that comes your way.
Finally, ask yourself why
Why did you apply for this role in the first place? Why life sciences in particular?
The last thing an employer wants is a brilliant CV but a terrible interview in which you can’t answer the basics. Think truthfully about why you want to work in this industry and why you’re so passionate about the role. You should also take the time to look into the values and overall culture of the business to help you prepare the best possible answers.