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What should you do after you choose a profession and find an offer that interests you? Most of the time, a potential employer will ask for your CV. According to statistics, graduates who find a job outside their field after finishing school and stay there for a few years have a minimal probability of returning to the area they graduated. Focus on yourself when looking for job opportunities. Try to think like this: What am I looking for? Why this company? How can I contribute to her? The biggest mistake is if you don’t know what exactly you want.

Before you respond to the offer

An offer that catches your eye is one thing; the second is the understanding of this offer. Always first answer the question: What interested you in it? Was it the company, salary, position, job description, benefits, or skills? Remember that the selection process is like a date – you are trying to impress and present yourself in the best possible light, but at the same time, you want to build a long-term relationship, so there is no room for lies.

Always read the ad to the end! Find the essentials in it, i.e. what knowledge and skills the position is based on and what is required of the candidate. When you find what is a priority for the offer and what the employer expects from the applicant, include it in your resume. Many advertisements are written in the wrong direction, and it is difficult to determine which applicant they are looking for. How to prepare then? Don’t be afraid to speak up! Call and ask who they are looking for and how they will invite applicants for an interview.

Three habits that will help you choose the right offers:

  • select – do not respond to everything,
  • understand – understand what the requirements are, what you need to know, what you can learn,
  • devote time – especially to the CV, motivation letter and preparation for the interview.

Graduates often have a lack of experience, which tends to discourage employers. With a resume without experience, it is sometimes difficult to attract attention, but it is not impossible. If you do not have experience, it does not mean you are not a suitable candidate. Click on the following link, and you will learn how you can gain experience in the field already during your studies.

Last but not least, focus on your worth. Everyone is good at something, but sometimes you don’t know how to express and sell it. If the employer perceives your value, they will often comply with your requests. It is essential to believe in yourself. If you want a quick tutorial, watch Silvia Skalická’s video How to sell yourself in 30 seconds.

How to respond to an offer

Each company is unique, so it rarely happens that you can successfully approach different companies in one way. The employer specifies the method of communication in the offer and monitors how applicants comply with it. “Don’t send us resumes, call if interested” is one example of how the company monitors compliance. The same applies to a cover letter or photo.

Curriculum vitae and letter of motivation

A resume is a fundamental component of what makes the first impression about you. It is usually part of the response to the offer. Sending the same resume to a hundred companies is not news. Better respond to the specific offer you choose and adapt your CV to it.

A resume often becomes just statistical data about previous positions, which is relatively imprecise and empty in the case of a graduate. The structured CV was created in 1984 and is no longer functional today. First, the resume should be about you, your abilities, results and skills. Whoever reads it should know what you are good at, where you feel your strength, and where you can move. Mention only relevant information – your education, courses or experience that relate to the field you are interested in. Don’t forget to look at the given job offer and its keywords.

A resume should also have an informative value – it tells about who you are and what you know, what you enjoy, where and in what area you believe in yourself, and where you are heading. It can contain all of this, as long as you are a graduate and don’t have the results yet. In large companies, HR programs evaluate resumes and make HR staff’s lives easier. Sorting resumes can be fatal for you, so don’t forget to work with keywords from the ad!

Since the resume talks about experience, the cover letter tells why you are responding to the offer and why you think your experience will benefit the employer. A cover letter is a lure for the employer to want to meet you.

How to handle a job interview

The interview headline is – the employer is interested in you, your experience and your skills, not the universal advice you find on the Internet. The introduction of the interview should be engaging. Don’t start by dumping information from your resume. Less is indeed more. Talk about why you are responding to the offer.

If it is the first interview, base it on your experiences during school: projects, term papers or organising occasional events. Use what you can to present how you solve problems.

As for interview questions, you don’t need to know the answer to every one of them. React naturally, calmly admit that it’s human if you haven’t met something before. Give yourself time to think. You don’t have to answer right away. This is how you build trust and leave a good impression. Show interest in the topic rather than a contrived answer. There are no right or wrong answers – there is only your perspective.

Show an example of a complex problem that you managed to solve. Tell about a mistake that you successfully corrected or corrected by your actions. You can talk about a problematic situation that you managed to handle. Tell us about your new skill. Talk about a specific problem. Explain the situation in which you want to solve things differently. What is your most outstanding professional achievement, and why?

The interviewer intends to know how you solve situations, how you think, how you evaluate priorities in team management, how you overcome challenges, what your motivation is or how you feel in teamwork. If you want to check such communication, see the STAR method (situation – task – action – result).

Of course, there is room for your questions during the interview, so ask what the company expects from the applicant, what will be a priority for this position, and whether it is a new position or a substitute. Show interest. It will bring you another positive point.

At the interview, state your requirements, agree on the terms of cooperation and, based on that, decide whether or not to accept the job offer. Evaluate your expectations and preferences.

If you don't get a job offer

Selection procedures do not always end successfully. However, if, even with a negative answer, you still want the job, call in a few days (for example, 7 or 10) and ask if the position is already filled. You may receive an invitation to the second round of the interview.

You can also respond repeatedly to the same offer. The selection process is a living organism that changes depending on the registered applicants on the one hand and the employer’s requirements on the other. Both sides are changing and evolving.

Don’t take rejection personally – in the current situation. There was another applicant who had a different experience. It’s a common thing. If you feel that you do not know what to do next, that all options have been exhausted, and there are no solutions, seek advice.

We created this text in collaboration with expert Silvia Skalicka, who offers a lot of advice on this topic through her platform Interview without stress. You can also listen to our podcast.

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