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Top 3 Questions Job Hunters Ask Recruiters


Leigh Gillatt  •  Careers Advice

Top 3 Questions Job Hunters Ask Recruiters


So you’ve written a great CV and it’s time to set out on the job search. Finding a job is tough, and like most job hunters you probably have some questions about how to get the most out of your job search.

To help you get started, we rounded up the top 3 most commonly asked questions we as recruiters get asked by job hunters, and answered them below.

Read on to learn which are the top 3:

1. Should I Apply For A Job Even If I Don’t Have The Required Experience?

Although for the vast majority of the requirements listed in a job advert are necessary to fulfil the job role effectively, unless they are highlighted as essential, they are more like a wish list the employer would like the ideal candidate to have. Employers naturally have an ideal employee in mind, but they are also realistic about the likelihood of that candidate actually existing. They understand that the successful candidate who eventually fills the role may not meet every single item listed in the posting.

But, before you race off ad apply for every single job you come across, you should assess each role to how well your experience level matches that of the job on offer. Don’t apply for roles that are far beyond the scope of your current experience level, its will inevitably be a waste of your time and energy, which could be spent more wisely on something for attainable.

An employer looking to fill a high-level management position is not interested in an applicant fresh out of college. If, however, you have some but not all the requirements, and the role truly seems like something you can thrive in or grow in to, go ahead, “you got this”, apply.

Your skills and experience may not meet the precise criteria laid out by the job posting, but they could have prepared you for the role in some other way, or at least prepared you to learn quickly. Many professional skills are transferable and sometimes an eager and dedicated employee is better than an experienced one.

Customise your application to show that despite not meeting the requirements exactly your experience and enthusiasm have prepared you to excel in the role, lets face it, how many of the other candidates will exactly meet all the listed requirements!

2. Should I Write A Cover Letter?

A cover letter is one of the most important opportunities you will get to connect with an employer or HR manager. It is the one and only opportunity you are likely to have to grab their attention and make them want to meet you instead of many of the other CVs they may have piled up in front of them.

Typically, sent alongside a CV, a cover letter is a short document containing a few paragraphs that introduce you to the employer and describe what individual qualities you can bring to their organisation. The format of a cover letter also allows you to clearly present a description of your career to date, really letting your character shine through in ways that a CV can’t accomplish.

A cover letter can also present you with the opportunity to account for possible red flags your CV may highlight to a hiring manager. This may include topics such as rapid job-hopping, or long periods of unemployment.

For these reasons, we believe where possible you should always write a cover letter for each of your job applications, despite some continuing to state that employers don't really value cover letters, spouting statements like,

“Cover letters, do they actually get read?”

- the truth is that many of them actually put a large amount of value on cover letters as a means of gaining a clear insight into the type of person you may be and your suitability to their requirements; miss this opportunity and they'll have moved on to the next candidate!

3. How Do I Look For A New Job While Am Still Employed?

When you decide to leave your current job and begin looking for new opportunities you may instantly be tempted to quit your current job and begin looking for new work while unemployed. The freedom to dive into your job search unimpeded by work responsibilities is tempting but quitting your job before you have a new position lined up is unwise.

Other than the financial risks doing so may pose, hiring managers also tend to prefer candidates who are employed. Additionally, there is no way of knowing how quick you’re going to find a new job, as we’ve already discussed above, employers soon question large gaps in employment, so it’s always best to minimise the amount of time you spend being unemployed.

That said, embarking on a job search while employed does however, come with a few difficulties. You don’t want your boss or colleagues to know that you have sights set on elsewhere and scheduling any interviews you’re invited to can become an absolute nightmare to juggle around your work commitments with your current employer.

If you are looking for a job while employed, here are a few top tips for getting it done the right way:

  • Be discreet: Don’t let any of your colleagues know that you are looking for a new job. People may resent you for leaving, start eyeing up for your position for themselves, or the worse possible outcome – inform your manager. Simply keep your search to yourself until you have accepted a job offer.
  • Don’t look for your next job on company time: When you are at work, your focus has to be on the job you currently have, not on your search for your next position. It is important to continue to complete your work duties to the best of your ability, even if you will soon be leaving that role.
  • Don’t use any work equipment: Use your own phone and computer for any job search-related tasks. Never use your work email or company-issued phone to apply for jobs or correspond with potential employers. Company property is intended for work use only, and in the digital world we all live in now, your use of work equipment will more than likely be monitored.
  • Schedule interviews outside of work hours: Scheduling a job interview can be difficult when you are working full time. Many hiring managers will be understanding of your circumstances and schedule the interview for after work or during a lunch break, but this isn’t always possible. If you can’t arrange the interview during out of work hours, you may need to take a day off to accommodate it.

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