Job Search – Tips for Applications

Published on 24.07.2017

Job search made easy – application tips

As a freelancer, writing an application is somewhat more challenging than it used to be. Bearing in mind how long an HR employee will spend looking over the application, freelancers have to make sure that the most important information is evident in the text as quickly as possible. The application only has around 60 to 120 seconds to make a lasting and convincing impression. Even if you have the perfect profile, can demonstrate professional experience and have spent several years abroad, an invitation to an interview is far from a sure thing. In the job search, the creativity displayed by the applicant in formulating and designing their application portfolio is crucial. How does this work? Westhouse is launching a series of useful tips for applications, especially under the recruitment agency aspect. How will you be found? How do you have to present yourself to be noticed by recruiters? But it also contains general tips for applications. Today’s article is about dealing with weaknesses and the topic of honesty in this context.

Honesty is the best policy in the job search: What can I do, what can’t I do (yet)?

It’s no secret that we only want to show our best side in our applications. It’s no wonder: after all, HR employees and career counsellors are always saying that you should only focus on your professional and personal strengths in your CV. Instead of “I can’t form a decent sentence in English” we dutifully write “I have strong English skills”. There’s hardly room for weaknesses, courage and honesty. But career counsellors advise from their own experience: honesty is the best policy. So the category “What I can do”, where you list your strengths, could be complemented by a section called “What I can’t do”. For example: “Promoting myself, programming, speaking French with business level fluency”. This expresses what you can’t do in an honest but not negative way, and it will be well received if this section is included in an application, for instance in a Xing or LinkedIn profile, for a freelancer especially. Because recruiters too select who could be a good fit based on the information provided. It is of course an advantage if the weaknesses are those things you want to improve on. This could score you extra points for the interview. And if you are a freelancer, the “weaknesses section” could protect you from false expectations from headhunters in terms of the service you offer. Lots of companies use outsourcing and like to give certain projects to external workers. So the more detailed your profile, the more suitable the job is ultimately likely to be, and the more successful the job search.

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