Ajay Pinto has seen it all. He looks after hiring in Accenture Digital and is the Social Medial Recruitment Lead at Accenture. He speaks to us about easily avoidable mistakes and how to get noticed for all the right reasons.
Address the right person/company
This might seem trivial, but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve got cover letters or emails addressed to either someone else other than me, or to the Googles and Deloittes instead of Accenture.
I totally relate and empathise with job seekers having to send so many applications that you mix it up, but paying attention to those little details can help push you ahead of others.
Practice if you’re shy or nervous
Interviews are nerve wracking even for the best of us but if you are unusually shy or nervous, you’ve got to practice. Like with most things in life, it’s a skillset you want to perfect.
Reach out to people you’re comfortable with, family or friends, and try a few mock interviews. Alternatively, do it yourself. It sounds like a cliché, but actors do it all the time. Stand in front of a mirror and go through the “dialogue or script”. Trial a few different scenarios to the point that you’re willing to go to the next level, maybe someone at work.
Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet but keep practicing and remember, if one interview hasn’t gone well, learn from it, add that to your skillset and move on. Keep learning and don’t let a knock back hold you up from applying and attending further interviews. You will only get better with the experience you gain. It’s only going to get better with time.
Network the right way
Quite often people jump into networking with one thing in mind - what are they going to get out of it. Shift your mindset to what value you can add. Always try and help the other person out. This can be highly beneficial, but you’ve got to be genuine about it.
Networking is not just about events, think long term, and stay active online. Contribute to forums and blogs and wherever you can establish a professional online presence.
Follow up with purpose
Don’t follow up for the sake of following up. Do it with purpose. I definitely encourage follow-ups as I see less of it these days but it’s worse when you follow up with nothing to say.
Pick up the phone or send a quick email saying, “Hey, thanks for your time, I enjoyed our catch-up, just wanted to understand what the next steps are” or “I read about work-life balance on your website, can tell me a bit more about that?”
Follow up to either learn more or have a good discussion, not with a closed-ended question that goes nowhere. It all comes back to adding value again, and that leaves a great impression.
Be creative, when relevant
Infographic or Youtube/video CVs are certainly memorable but do them only when it’s relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Our hiring managers do ask for online portfolios for creative jobs, and not having one can be disadvantageous. If there is no specific call out for a creative CV, be smart about it. If the role is at an executive level, or focused on strategy, then make the judgement call to avoid out-of-the-box CVs. A simple, well drafted and formatted CV never goes out of style.
When in doubt, there’s no harm in picking up the phone to ask. It’s not often I get these call but when I do, I find it refreshing.
Don’t rule yourself out
There is a misconception that you need to have a technical background or qualification to join Accenture. It’s not all about coding and engineering here. It certainly is one aspect of it, but the job market and landscape is changing and there are broader opportunities in IT and digital.
Digital encourages people with varied backgrounds to come on board. We hire psychologists, statisticians and people with business and marketing backgrounds. Don’t rule yourself out before you even start. Research us, and ask us questions.