Of all the things said about looking for a graduate job, one thing everyone can agree on is that it’s not easy. From writing your CV, applying to vacancies and trying to get interviews, every stage of the job search process has its own challenges and difficulties – especially when you consider all the competition from thousands of other graduates also eyeing up the same job you are.
To get a good headstart over all those others, you need to know something that will help you stand out from the crowd. Something you need to ask yourself before you start applying.
What if I told you there was one question that would help you smash interviews and get the job offers rolling in?
You probably wouldn’t believe me, but there really is one question that will make your graduate job search so much easier.
It will help you pinpoint, write a killer CV and keep interviewers interested.
That question is: ‘What Value Can You Add’
Asking yourself this question before you start applying as knowing the answer will give you a massive advantage over other job seekers.
It will help you recognise your strengths, what kind of career you are better suited for and it will assist you in selling yourself in interviews and standing out from other graduates.
Most importantly, it will let employers know why they should hire you.
How Should You Answer This Question?
To answer this question, focus on what differentiates you. Look over your your work experience, education, extracurricular activities or anything else and figure out the following:
a) What makes you stand out
b) Your successes – relevant to the role
c) What strengths and skills you have that could be considered an asset in your new career
Think of all of that and summarize it in 3 short points.
“I believe I could add value in 3 ways: I’ve got initiative, I’m self-motivated and I’ve have a positive attitude.
In terms of initiative– I was Student Representative on my course, where I used my initiative by delegating meetings between teachers and students and helped to increase student participation by 40%.
Lastly I believe I could add value, not just because of my skills and my experience but also because of my positive attitude to my studies and work; I believe that what you put into a job is what you get out of it and I think that this approach adds great value to the company and to the job itself.”
How To Add Value In Your Interview
For extra bonus points, once you get to interview stage, think about what value you can specifically add to a company.
For example, if you go for an interview with a PR company known for having an innovative and enterprising company culture, you should bring up experiences and times where you’ve been innovative and enterprising – which will be relevant to them as a company and tick extra points for you as a candidate.
Questions To Keep In Mind:
Some questions to keep in mind on how you can add value:
-How are you going to help the company solve problems
-How will you help the company create profit or save money
-How will you increase or maintain productivity
It pays to think about these issues before your interview, as most companies care about productivity, making and saving money, solving problems and coming up with solutions.
If you can provide answers to the above questions and explain to employers how you will help the company move forward, I promise you, that you will beat 95% of the competition to a great graduate job.
Consistency Is Key
Hiring managers check for consistency. So make sure to present the same message of value in your CV as in your interview and elsewhere
For example if the core two strengths on your CV are your leadership skills and your work ethic, but you only talk about other skills such as creativity in the interview and don’t mention your aptitude for leadership and hard work ethic, you’ll sell yourself short.
So keep you story straight and your message of value consistent.
What about you readers? What do you think you should know before you start applying to jobs?
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