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Welcome to this blog from Jopp Students & Graduates. Here you will find tips and tricks that are useful for every job application. It is important to present yourself during the application procedure in such a way that your motivations and skills are clearly visible. Jopp finds it important that your talent is not lost due to a poorly prepared application,  lack of experience or know-how.

Whether you apply at Jopp or elsewhere, the application process will be more or less the same. Here we discuss the different steps of the application process and explain what is important at which step and what you will be assessed on.

Preparation is key!

Step 1: the vacancy

An application naturally starts with the vacancy. A vacancy works both ways: an employer is looking for suitable new colleagues and vice versa, as a jobseeker, you are looking for a challenging position and suitable employer. By means of a vacancy, an employer wants to enthuse and inform readers about a certain position and the organization, but also sketch a clear picture of what they are looking for in candidates. It is therefore important to be critical! What information can you extract from the vacancy and what is unknown yet, but would you like to know? What are requirements and do you meet them? Write down your questions and ambiguities. Then start your own research. Google and the employer's website are a good starting point. The contact details of the responsible recruiter are often listed in the vacancy. If you still have questions after your own research, you can always contact the recruiter and ask your questions.

Step 2: create or update resume

The last time you applied was probably a while ago. Moreover, you applied for a different position, probably with a different employer. Therefore, it is smart to update your resume and take a critical look at both the form and content. You want to make sure that the resume you submit matches the vacancy you are responding to. That is why it is so important to read a vacancy carefully and to research a position and employer! If your resume connects seamlessly with the vacancy, you will make a better first impression. In addition, it is important that your resume has a neat and clear appearance. Both your resume and motivation letter are the first impressions an employer will receive from you, so don't miss out on this opportunity to make it a good one! The end product should be a clear and visually attractive summary that reflects who you are, what you can do, what your experience is and what sets you apart.

Step 3: writing a motivation letter

Why is the position you are applying for your ideal next challenge? Why are you going to make this position a success? Why would you like to work for this employer? Motivations and interests can differ enormously. Everyone has different reasons for applying. You want to be challenged, learn and develop, have fun and hopefully a combination of all of that. The research you conducted in step 1 comes in handy now. Recruiters like it when they recognize you have studied the employer and position. Moreover, this research enables you to match your motivations, qualities and interests to the position and employer. Try to put as much energy and enthusiasm into your motivation letter as you would in a face-to-face conversation. This increases your chance of an invitation for an interview.

Invitation further acquaintance

Step 4: phone call

Nice, you have received a response from the recruiter! Usually he or she will invite you for a phone call for further acquaintance. Please note: just like with the vacancy, the phone conversation works both ways. The recruiter wants to learn more about who you are and confirm whether you are indeed a suitable candidate who has studied the position and the employer. Conversely, you want to show that you are the most enthusiastic and suitable candidate, but at the same time this is also an opportunity to learn more about the employer, position and other matters that you are curious about. So don't just try to answer questions, but also ask them! Show your curiosity and get information that can help you in the following steps of the application process.

Step 5: test or assessment

The level of certain skills and competences are difficult to assess by means of a CV, motivation letter or even during a conversation. That is why you may be asked to take a certain test or assessment. This way, your capacities can be qualitatively assessed and the results can be compared with those of other candidates. Make sure that you know in advance which components you can expect in an assessment or test. Many parts of a test or assessment can be practiced online, whether or not for free. Don't underestimate a test or assessment! It can be a decisive part of the selection procedure for suitable candidates.

Step 6: Job interview(s)

First of all, it is important to map out who you are going to have conversations with and how many conversations it concerns. This can tell you a lot about what the focus will be on during the conversation. You have already been in contact with the recruiter several times by now, but you will probably also talk to a manager or colleague during one of the conversations to see if there is a match with the team. Since it is a face-to-face meeting (or video-meeting), dress for the occasion.

Every job interview is unique because every candidate is unique. For the employer, the objective of the interview is to learn more about the candidate: how he / she stands in life, how he / she fits within the organization, how he / she reacts in certain situations and whether he / she shares the vision of the organization and the team. To find out, you may get unexpected questions during the conversation. Stay sharp, answer honestly and try to answer the questions as best you can. Keep in mind what you would like to convey about yourself and try to include that in your answers. Don't make yourself dependent on the questions you get. It is allowed to take initiative during a job interview; it's a two way street!

Step 7: Feedback

As a result of your application you will be notified with the news whether you are the new employee or whether you unfortunately did not make the cut. Whatever the outcome, always ask for feedback! You want to know how your application was experienced, what your strengths were and where you can improve. Whether you agree with the feedback or not, remember that the feedback reflects how the other party has experienced your application. Don't see it as a value judgment, but as food for thought. If certain points in the feedback are not clear, always ask for an explanation.


Maarten Schram