Candidate, how do you apply for a job successfully in 5 key steps?
We’re here, it’s summer! Sunshine, long sandy beaches, a total change of scenery far from the office. So far so good. Although this won’t last forever. In fact, it doesn’t last long at all and before you know it, it’s time to go back to the office. If right after the “.” there’s no smile on your face, its time for a change. Don’t panic, we’ll give you a few tips on how to apply and maximise your chances of getting successful interviews.
As you may already know, the job market has become dynamic once again. Companies are hiring and candidates have more opportunities available to them. However, recruiters are demanding and you’re sometimes one of ten, or even a hundred candidates, applying for the same position. Don’t rely on luck. If you want to stand out from the crowd, the preparation stage is crucial.
Assess the situation
If you’re ready to leave your current company today, it means that you’ve arrived at the point where it’s time for you to leave. Asking yourself the right questions is the first thing to do. Why this desire to leave? To do what? Is my current company, office, study, etc. able to offer me where I want to go (a career development for example, a desire to deal with other types of cases, to manage a team…)?
“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still”
At this stage, you have to know if your desire to change isn’t just temporary (after all, grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side) or if it’s a real desire which you will benefit from once it is realised. Therefore its important not to rush. Don’t give up right away, wait at least until the end of the article.
Don’t be afraid of change
You’ve decided, after careful consideration and asking yourself the right questions, that it’s time for you to change and fly off to new horizons. You completed step 1. Now its time for the famous “Not afraid”!
The fear of change, or rather the fear of failure, is sometimes a restraint for many. After spending X years in the same company or office, it is sometimes difficult to decide to “start over” elsewhere. Leaving dear colleagues and clients behind… In short, leaving comfort. What if it were worse after? Deciding to leave your company for another is never easy. We are often scared of making the wrong choice, and therefore of failing. But we’ve never told you to jump without a safety net. A well organised change is quite often a guarantee for success. And don’t forget, it’s sometimes better to take your time and then take the step when you’re actually ready to do it.
You have taken stock of your career desires and you have put aside your anxieties about what all this might entail. In the end, having an eye on the market or sending your CV won’t oblige you to anything. However if you really wish to maximize your search and your chances to evolve within a new structure, the CV step is essential.
Your resume must be up-to-date. An English version is crucial if you’re applying internationally or to opportunities requiring a perfect command of English. Some may say that a cover letter has become a Has Been! In TeamRH, we don’t all share this opinion. A cover letter of around 15 lines, personalised to the offer marking your particular interest for the position, is a plus for us. However, a generic letter sent identically to all will be uninteresting, except to confirm to us that you’re ok (or not!) at spelling.
And last, but not least, don’t forget to enhance your LinkedIn profile and add your photo. Nowadays, all recruiters and companies will consult a profile via LinkedIn. Appearing as a dynamic person is important. A good posture, a nice photo, a little smile and everything will turn out alright. Don’t hesitate to fill in the description section that describes you, what you’ve done or would like to do (and not about your company). Keep this under 5-8 lines. Be clear and coherent.
Ultimately, assess your skills, strengths, and what you’re able to bring to your next employer. Practise presenting yourself in 60 seconds (or so!), be concise, clear and relevant. Trust yourself, it’s essential.
Your CV and LinkedIn profile are now ready. It is now time to apply, and not just in any way. You must look for offers and companies that match what you’re looking for. Target job boards specialised in your activity sector and respond to offers that match your expectations. The website Le Village de la Justice is the reference site for professionals in the legal sector. Most businesses and law firms, or even recruitment agencies, post all of their offers here. Take the time to go through it on a daily basis.
You can also approach companies directly by sending a spontaneous application. As a matter of fact, it is not because they haven’t published any offers that they don’t need anyone at the moment, or that they haven’t planned to integrate a new employee or associate in a near future. Try to think in the mid and long term.
In an excel spreadsheet, target all companies, law firms, notary offices, etc. who could answer your future career project, according to the criteria you’re looking for (the importance of the company’s structure, reputation, quality of files, remuneration, etc.). After having learnt about each and every one of them, send them your CV along with a personalised cover letter. Try to address the person or the partner in charge of the department you wish to join directly, this will add more value to your application.
You can equally target the recruitment agencies which are specialised in your sector. TeamRH, active since 2002 in Paris, both nationally and internationally, is specialised in recruitment for legal and fiscal professions. Therefore, our team is here to provide you with informed advice on your approach and to be able to offer you many professional opportunities.
Finally, network! Participating in events related to your industry is a wonderful opportunity to meet people, create a network, and avoid missing any opportunity to showcase your profile.
Prepare your interview (and open a bottle of champagne ;)! )
You’ve got an interview? Good job. Its time for you to inform yourself on the profile of the person in the company or firm that will receive you. They may have already published some articles in specialised journals, so you’ll know some of their interests better. Don’t forget to prepare your questions while trying to be “original” (but not too much). Work one last time on your presentation in order to give it your best shot during the interview. Don’t leave it to improvisation, although you should leave room for some spontaneity. Good luck!
Who we are:
TeamRH, Recruitment Company located in Paris, is a crucial player in the legal and financial sector. We provide services for our national and international clients, aligning ourselves with their pursuit of excellence. Our consultants benefit from an in-depth knowledge of the market and legal professions in order to fully understand the missions entrusted to them. In addition, each CV is carefully studied in order to give the candidate every opportunity in the position he/she applied to, or even on another position that we could propose.
Find all of our available positions here. Apply now!