Applying for a job with a CV and covering letter

How to improve your chances of Success – Cover letter and CV

Providing a cover letter and CV is a great way to be noticed and understood. Being prepared for your interview goes without saying, and of course, for certain positions, having a particular skill may be a necessity. But what else does it take to actually get the job? The answer might actually be more obvious than you think, in some cases you may just need to make one key change to your approach to dramatically improve your chances of success: It’s all in the mind.


What’s your Mind-set?

If skill set is about what you can do, then your mind-set is about what you see, think and believe. Used correctly, it can make any one of us stand out from the others. As technology develops, certain skills are becoming redundant, faster than ever before. However, whilst nobody can predict the skills needed to succeed in the years to come, your mind-set stays constant.


So which do you favour? Mind-set or skill?

Here are the top five characteristics of successful job seekers according to recent surveys:


  1. Accountability

The most accountable people are those who go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. (ABCD) and without thinking carry out tasks that are not necessarily in their job description. These people generally tend to take responsibility for things that go wrong and/or attempt to improve the current situation in any way they can.


  1. Adaptability

Candidates who can demonstrate flexibility usually make a good impression on employers, showing willingness and capability to rise to any challenge they face will always leave a lasting impression. Try to maintain a dynamic approach and respond positively to interview questions, this will automatically increase your employability. Relate to previous employment; perhaps explain a situation where you have taken on a workload that was meant to be completed by a senior member of staff, maybe even called upon to help with other areas of the business.


  1. Trustworthiness

Many employers chose trustworthiness as their next essential characteristic when hiring. Whatever line of work you find yourself in, people will always require a sense of trust in you and others around you, especially in a smaller workplace. To demonstrate this on your CV, make sure you have mentioned a time where you have been trusted e.g. operating tills, cash handling etc. If you have established your trustworthiness successfully your half way there.


  1. Honesty

You may think that honesty is linked to accountability and trustworthiness and to a certain degree, it is; but adopting it as a fundamental part of your mind-set and being able to demonstrate it in your persona is something else. To emphasise this in an interview I would recommend giving examples of times you have had to confront a member of your team and used constructive criticism to help them achieve higher. That way you are not only exhibiting honesty to others but a level of authority and initiative. Or, if you’d prefer, just a few words to display your morals are in the right place should be more than enough.


  1. Commitment

The most important trait for successful jobseekers is commitment. In fact, over 90% of all employers said that this was absolutely essential for all team members and potential candidates. Commitment undoubtedly has an exceptionally powerful effect. If it’s there, it generates trust and earns respect. Actively exhibit your commitment, and you’ll set yourself apart for all the right reasons. (Warning: Stating you always give 110% is not necessarily the most effective way to do this. It’s also impossible…).

Example of how to use commitment in your CV: During a recent project, I undertook over 40 hours of overtime, making sure all commitments made to suppliers were met on schedule, and personally overseeing all creative changes were implemented right through until the assignment’s completion.