17-Feb-2016 Düsseldorf / Germany
Application: The first impression counts
No matter which phase of application you are in: the letter of application, a telefone interview or a personal interview – a first impression will always be made. More importantly though, this impression happens unconsciously and instantanously. Can a few seconds really change the course of your career? Here are a few tips on making a good first impression from Dr. Lena Christiaans, Head of Employer Branding and Recruitment at Henkel.
What to consider?
It all starts with the letter of application and CV. During this phase of application, you should catch the readers attention: Key components include layout, clearness and structure – all the relevant information must be evident at first sight. Any gaps in the CV should be explained. Pay close attention to the desired characteristics in the job description and link them back to yourself. This shows the employer that you have engaged with the job and are eager to meet the criteria. Also, an easy template found on the internet leaves a bad first impression. Take into consideration that a cover letter should be clear, precise and no longer than one page.
Once you have convinced the employer with your cover letter and CV, they will invite you for an interview. In this phase, preparation is everything. Practice the conversation beforehand and receive feedback from peers. Pay close attention to your posture, a calm voice and an appropriate outfit. When in doubt, dress classical. When greeting the interviewer, a firm handshake and eye contact are crucial. Show that you are confident, stay in eye contact, listen actively and ask suitable questions when appropriate. At the same time, make sure to be yourself. After the interview, you will have time to ask questions – make sure to have a few questions prepared. It shows your interest in the job. Use the company website, their social media platforms and local news channels to gather information on the company to help formulate questions.