Hiring managers usually love to see signs of excitement and high interest in a potential candidate. Though job skills and hard credentials are important to the selection process, attitude can also play a key role.
And in fact, an increasing number of HR pros and hiring managers are now giving attitude, interest levels, and cultural adaptability even more weight than job skills and degrees. Over the long term, studies show that the most successful candidates are those with high levels of engagement, not necessarily relevant experience. And as it happens, many employers now offer on-the-job training at the entry level that can close basic knowledge gaps.
So what does this mean for you, the candidate? It means youll need to express your energy, enthusiasm, and desire for the job in your cover letter and CV. If youre dialled inheart and souland youre ready to give this job everything you have, now is the time to make this clear. Heres how:
1. Explain your desire timeline. If youve loved this field since you were four years old, thats terrific. Tell your employers how your grandmother inspired you, or how you used to pick up the tools of the trade and drag them around everywhere you went. On the other hand, if you developed your passion in the middle of your life, after a specific experience or a random conversation with a stranger, tell this storey. Explain what moved you to set your sites on this industry and this job.
2. Use concrete self-descriptors, not abstract ones. For example, dont call yourself a committed worker. This says nothing specific and doesnt set you apart from the crowd. Instead, explain exactly what youre willing to do and how far youre willing to go to express your level of commitment. Use hypothetical scenarios if you need to. Consider statements like: Im available nights, weekends, and any time Im needed. This is my dream job, and Im just eager to help out whenever needed.
3. Describe past occasions in which you threw yourself fully into your work. Your CV can list awards youve won and projects youve completed, but use your cover letter to describe the hours you spent in the office, the miles you travelled, the sleep you lost, and how youd do it all again in a heartbeat.
4. Explain how your personal interests overlap with the interests that make you great at this job. For example, for an archaeology job, describe how youve always loved solving puzzles, resolving mysteries, or imagining life in the past. For a sales job, explain how youve always loved meeting new people, or the pride you feel when youre standing behind a product you trust.
5. Explain how you intend to equate the success of this company with your own personal success as a teacher, a scientist, an industry expert, or an honest, hard-working person. Be clear that this job means so much to you that youre ready to tie your own fortunes to the fortunes of this company. Needless to say, if youre hired, youll stay here for the long haul.
A Great CV Starts with Strong, Clear Presentation
To create an attention-getting CV and cover letter, start with clear formatting, and dont let your medium get in the way of your message. Visit LiveCareer for samples and templates that can help you let your positive energy shine through.