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A recruiter's advice on landing your first job - Part 1

A recruiter's advice on landing your first job - Part 1

Are you about to graduate and eager to kick-start your career? We had the opportunity to speak with Lotta Saxe from Knack Konsulter & Rekrytering, who shared some valuable advice for graduates on how to create an impressive CV, common mistakes to avoid, and other helpful tips to increase your chances of landing your dream job.

 

What to include in your CV and how can you compensate for a lack of relevant work experience?

I believe that the best way to begin is by figuring out who you are, what you want, and what's important to you. When you don't have a lot of relevant work experience to list, your personality, values, and motivations become even more important. After you've gained a better understanding of yourself, it's a good idea to think back on your previous experiences, studies, and potential internships to identify skills or knowledge that could be useful in the job you're applying for. Focus on experiences that support your abilities and what you can bring to the job. 

 

What are the most common mistakes that job seekers make in their applications?

I would say that the most common mistake job seekers make is trying too hard to fit into a role and losing their personality in the application. It's important to showcase your potential and think of your application as a presentation of yourself. Highlight your digital competence, but don't assume that everyone has it. 

Another common mistake is trying to squeeze in all the information in your application and CV. The purpose of the application is to get you an interview, not to give you the job immediately. The application should generate interest in you so that the employer wants to meet you and find out more. Nobody, as much as I know, has ever gotten a job right after applying. Remember that the application is just the first step.

 

What qualities and skills are you looking for in a candidate who is applying for their first job?

Good self-leadership, a willingness and ability to learn. Also, ambition and passion. These qualities are essential for job seekers at all stages of their careers, not just those applying for their first job. In today's rapidly changing world, knowledge and competencies have a short lifespan and need to be updated constantly. Demonstrating that you can adapt to change and even enjoy it is a significant strength.

 

How long should a cover letter be, and what to highlight?

I belong to the team, like many people working with recruitment, who believe we should eliminate the cover letter. Those who apply for jobs through Knack instead answer a few questions when they submit their application. This decreases the tense a little, and we get about the same information from all applicants. However, some hiring managers still require a cover letter. Then it's important to keep in mind that it should support your CV but not repeat the same things. It is best to keep your cover letter short, no more than half a page, and ensure that it is easy to read. Highlight your strengths and explain why you would be a good match for the job. Avoid mentioning things that are not relevant to the job, such as your age, pets, or hobbies.

 

What to keep in mind when it comes to spontaneous applications?

If you have found a company where you would like to work, but there are no relevant job openings available, submitting a spontaneous application can be a good idea. In this case, it's important to explain why you are interested in the company and what unique skills or experiences you can bring to the table.

 

Thanks for these insightful tips, Lotta!

 

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