Generic CVs, spelling mistakes, and lack of preparation for the interview. These are just some of the blemishes that can ruin your chances with a new employer, according to Any—a team leader of the talent acquisition team at Applifting. But how do you shine in an interview and stand out among other candidates? Find out the details and practical advice from Any in the interview.
On average, how many resumes do you go through in a month?
There are three of us who handle recruitment at Applifting, and on average, we each manage to go through about 100 CVs a month. But every month is different. There are times when we get more applicants all at once, especially after community events—which we organize almost every month—or student events like the iKariéra or COFIT job fairs. For example, based on last November's backend meetup, we had two people join us this year.
What do you look for in a CV?
For both the CV and the cover letter, the first thing I'm interested in is the candidate's motivation for applying for the position. Only then do I look at hard skills and past jobs. They are important but not always crucial for us at Applifting. We have very good experience working with juniors, who we are able to work with and guide thanks to our mentoring and training system.
Do you see any shortcomings in the CVs? If so, what are they?
Oftentimes, CVs are so creative that they become cluttered. Personally, I recommend not sending out one identical CV for all positions, it’s better to go through the trouble of tailoring it to the specific job advert. After all, we recruiters can tell pretty easily when a person sends the same generic resume and cover letter to everyone, and it'd be a shame if a lack of effort blew your one chance.
What would you recommend to candidates when creating a CV? What should they focus on?
I know I’m repeating myself, but it's really important to mention the motivation, why you’re doing the job, and why you want to work in that particular technology. I also recommend to be clear and to highlight important information in bullet points so that they don’t get lost anywhere. One of the most common pitfalls is a long-winded paragraph detailing what the candidate’s current company does. However, this is rarely important to a prospective employer. What matters more is the role and personality of the candidate.
How important is a cover letter?
It is always very important. There are even cases where it is more relevant to us than the CV itself, which is good news for trainees and juniors who don't have much previous experience. The reasons why candidates want to work at Applifting and what they have found out about us are always crucial to us.
It's great if they also mention their personal characteristics, interests, or student jobs. Involvement in various school clubs and participation in school/sports teams are also good; it tells us that the person is a team player.