How to rule out the competition when applying for a job position: Motivation

Nowadays the job market has gotten more competitive and less and less employers look solely to the education background during the selection process. Yet, it is still one of the most significant watershed when preferring one candidate over another, ceteris paribus. Then, which are the most important traits a jobseeker needs to show (even show off, at least in the most competitive environments) in order to stand out from the sterile bulk of CVs piled up on the recruiters’ desk?

Having the privilege of a close point of view to recruiters’ preferences, we exploited our data to gain insights on their recurring behaviors regarding the recruiting process and we asked them to comment some of these intuitions. Therefore, here is the first of a series of insights about what the current job market requires to candidates.

MOTIVATION: Almost all agree about this aspect! Regardless every endogenous or exogenous factor that can lead the HR to look accurately to a résumé, showing motivation to work in that specific company make the candidate gain a thumb up. The mundane motivational letter is not enough, even though at least 70% of big companies still require one. The motivation can be shown from the very beginning throughout the CV itself, for example highlighting the skills that mostly fit the vacancy description and selecting the information to show, prioritizing the most relevant ones. If, during your studies, you have worked as entertainer and organizer of birthday parties for children and you are applying for a position in finance, I doubt this would be of any relevance! On the contrary, for a marketing/PR/event-related position, if properly justified, this experience might show relational and communication skills, organization and leadership. After all, it is not that easy to convince a bunch of kids not to pull each other hair and to sit politely to see your balloons show!

During the interview, showing motivation is fundamental! It is not only about knowing the names of the founders, the story of the firm and the industry. These only show that you know how to browse internet! Try to deeply understand the needs the firm has, which are hidden in the description of the vacancy. Try to combine these hints with the trends in its industry. Then, during the interview, show the skills acquired during a project for a class in University or a previous position, which would fit those needs! A wannabe social media manager for a big company who has monitored the social networks of the firm and shows to understand some trends and try to give some ideas, gives the impression to the recruiter to be motivated to improve the firm’s performances.

After all, if you didn’t scatter CVs like Hänsel and Gretel with their crumbs, you should have some degree of motivation to work for that specific company. If so, be confident and show how badly you want to work for them, and if it doesn’t work out, well at least you’ve tried!