Graduate CV’s, Interviews and Selection - What are Companies Looking For?
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So, you are a fresh Graduate, finished your final year and ready to go into the job market. It can be tough out there. For example, Lane Crawford who have a very comprehensive Graduate Recruitment Program and fantastic career prospects had around 900 graduate applicants last year and took 6 people onto their Graduate Recruitment training program.
How do you differentiate yourself from everyone else?
I have been speaking to Industry Recruitment Leaders in Hong Kong and across Asia to find out what they look for.
Thanks to Greg Morley, Regional Human Resources Director APAC Moet Hennessy and Bernard Ng, Talent Acquisition Manager, Lane Crawford, for participating.
When you graduate and create a CV you often you will have little or no competitive advantage. Greg Morley, Regional Human Resources Director Asia Pacific, for Moet Hennessy believes that your differentiation comes from how you present your personality. Content of your CV which shows you have been engaged in the world is very important.
“Have you been involved in organisations? Have you travelled the world? What makes you more interesting than the next person? What kind of person are you?”
On average companies will invest 6-12 months before they make a return on the investment in you. Can you demonstrate that you may have the ability to add value to the organisation long term?”
Bernard Ng at Lane Crawford Talent Acquisition Manager for Lane Crawford says they have a range of jobs and large number of applicants, with the ability to hire from abroad for diversity. They do look at academic background for some impact. Bernard does highlight other areas are important.
“Personality and characteristics as well as a strong communications background is important. We will also look at people from backgrounds with Psychology and Political Sciences, if they can demonstrate they may have the ability to make an impact”.
Keep your CV brief and relevant. Ideally one page. Cathay Pacific and adidas both want to see very specific relevance and passion for not only the company are of expertise, but also the area you are applying for. Not necessarily specific work experience, but an obvious passion for product and the job you will be doing. Along with relevant qualifications.
Greg Morley importantly highlights:
“Your interview starts as soon as you leave your apartment/ house. The person you are meeting could be on the MTR. First impressions count. Come into the interview smiling and with eye contact. Be genuine and sincere. Also research your Interviewer. It is important to have some background knowledge about the person you are meeting. Remember this is an exchange on a personal level as well.
Don’t over prepare. This is a discussion and a conversation. Not a meeting full of facts, figures and data memorised to burden yourself ”.
Bernard Ng reiterates that communication during interview is important.
“How do you deliver and phrase? Are you willing to learn? Collaboration is important and the ability to be flexible and agile fits in with Lane Crawford values. If you are not flexible it may be tough for you.
Passion and positive vibes are important. What interesting stories do you have? Have you researched us? Do you understand our vision and mission? Do you know what is happening in your wider environment?”
Practicing your interview technique via videoing yourself or with people out loud helps a lot and is important. How do you sound? How will the the person hear your responses?
First impressions when you are a Graduate are important. Whether in writing, on the phone or in person. Think carefully about the company you are applying for. Look for synergies and similarities with your values and requirements. This will then also help your research and also show your true passion for the actual company itself, when you approach them.
Why join Lane Crawford Bernard?
“Lane Crawford is a one of a kind luxury department store in Hong Kong. We have big support from the group and are a stable leader for this fashion market. A lot of stores have their own premises with lots of advantages to tap into markets easily and are flexible in economical times.”
Why Join Moet Hennessy Greg?
“The people care. Our organization is in the process of a significant transformation based on our redefined values, mission and vision. We are committed to creative positive impact from nature to our communities. Many people who join us have a personal connection with the product. We are part of the very big group (LVMH) with many career opportunities to develop and grow.”