The global pandemic has meant more employers than ever look online to find candidates and use digital assessments and virtual interviews to make hiring decisions. While these methods might feel daunting or impersonal, there are some easy ways to make sure you shine during online recruitment processes.
1. Optimise your CV/resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs)
It’s usually your CV which gets you to the crucial interview stage. However, before a hiring manager even looks at it, it often goes through an ATS. This is an automated system that sifts through large numbers of CVs and sends the most relevant ones to a real person. If you want yours to make it into the hands of a real person, it’s important to:
- Make sure it’s a Microsoft word document as other file types often can’t be read.
- Avoid including images and graphics as ATSs can only read text, so any information in these will be lost.
- Stay clear of text boxes and tables too as these may end up being scrambled, and don’t use any unusual fonts.
- Save your CV as a recently modified file because ATSs will filter out older files.
- Keep the file size small as many large docs will corrupt before the ATS can read them.
2. Ensure you have a strong online presence
Before recruiters offer you an interview, they will do some research to see what they can find out about you online. It’s important that your online presence gives a professional and memorable impression. You can achieve this by:
- Ensuring you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile that highlights your key skills and experience.
- Hiding any inappropriate or out-of-date content and setting any personal profiles to private.
- Actively engaging and using your professional profiles to like and comment on relevant content.
- Managing a personal website or blog to showcase your skills or examples of your work.
3. Prepare yourself for online interviews
When it comes to online interviews, you’ll either be asked to take part in a live interview or an on-demand one (in which you record answers to pre-set questions). For all virtual interviews it’s important that you observe good online meeting etiquette:
- Make sure you’re in a quiet well-lit spot with an uncluttered background.
- Check your internet connection is stable and the camera and microphone are working properly.
- Dress smartly.
- Familiarise yourself with the tool that the interview is being conducted over.
- Log onto the video call slightly early.
- Send a polite follow-up email thanking the interviewer for their time.
4. Get to grips with online assessment centres
Virtual assessment centres are similar to in-person ones – they involve a mixture of group and individual tasks such as case studies, role-play exercises and presentations. In preparation for these, follow the guidance on online etiquette above and read through in advance all of the instructions and information that you’ve been sent. Ensure you’ve got the right software downloaded and have familiarised yourself with it.
The virtual recruitment world might seem different at first but the principles remain similar to in-person processes. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll stand a good chance of achieving your job ambitions!