Getting the dream job is a daunting experience. In this episode of WTD we dive into the practical advice on how to get a job with a Danish recruiter in mind. Join our guest Karey-Anne and hear her best advice on everything from writing the application, to the etiquette after the interview.SpotifyApple Podcasts
Getting the dream job (or indeed any job) can be a daunting experience.
In this episode of What The Denmark we dive into the practical advice on how to get a job.
Whilst this is through the lens of getting a job in Denmark, as you'll hear the tips and advice that Sam and Josefine discuss (a lot coming from Karey-Anne from The Welcome Group in Copenhagen) are applicable to anyone seeking employment.
We get tactical, including:
- Planning which applications to make
- When to call the hiring manager and what to say
- How to follow up after an interview
We also talk about alternative forms of employment and how, for example, freelancing first becomes a much easier way to get a foot in the door before landing a dream job.
If you haven't already, you may enjoy listening to Getting a job (Part 1) for some of theory, and additional ideas around finding employment.
Before you send your application, it is important that you have done your research in advance. Try to find the company's values and ideals, and figure out how you could help make a difference to them. Doing your research shows that you are invested and can bring passion and dedication to the company.
When you have done your research, try your best to incorporate it into your application. Show them who you are and why you would fit that role well.
It is important that you spend extra time on customizing each application. By tailoring the application to the specific position, you will usually have a higher chance at getting a call back. If you have one cover-letter that you copy-paste to every application, you will usually not get a response. Try to aim for the bullseye rather than shoot with a blindfold on and hope something sticks.
But that is not the only way you can improve your application. You should always try to let a little bit of your personality shine through. Let the recruiters get a sense of who you are.
“You need to have something in there that shows the personal aspects, show a personal side of who you are.”
Having outside interests and including them on the CV is a brilliant way to stand out. Especially if you can find an interesting way they can incorporate them into improving any of the 3 nuggets. Try to demonstrate how your experience can be useful. Our guest Karey-Ann uses baking as an example. It is a nice hobby, it is both de-stressing and creative, and you could bring home baked cookies to the lunch break. A win for everyone!
But that is not the only upside to having hobbies:
“If you’re all work, work, work, then at some point you're potentially going to go down with stress”
By showing that you have other interests in your life you are not only doing yourself a favour. If you feel overwhelmed and overworked, it is going to affect the whole team. Having different outlets helps evade these situations in the long run. It helps you to stay healthy and de-stressed.
Another thing recruiters will be looking for is whether or not you already know Danish or you are in the process of learning it. It might not seem necessary, especially if the company is international and most Danes can communicate in English just fine. But if you are in the process of learning Danish, you show commitment and that you want to engage in the Danish culture. It is more about sending a signal, than becoming fluid in the language. It shows openness and interest.
“You need people who want to embrace the place they’re in. I think it's a matter of understanding culture because you learn culture through language.”
So when you have done your research and have readied an application, it is time to get the interview. A way to get your application noticed is to call the recruiter before you send the application. You will often find a phone number on the jobsiting or on the company’s website.
When you have found the phone number you should prepare a few questions to ask. We recommend staying precise and relevant to the position. Here is a few suggestions to questions you can ask:
The key thing is to be friendly, memorable and specific.
Finish the conversation up by thanking them for their time, let them know that you will be sending your application, and finally ask if you can add them on LinkedIn. This way you have created a connection, and they will now have an idea of who you are, before even reading your application.
This point is especially relevant if you don’t necessarily meet all of the recruitments in the job description. By calling beforehand you show interest and initiative.
When you are doing your research into the company, you should also keep an eye out for the dress code. Practical, casual or formal?
When you go into the interview you should try to match the style of the company. This leads into the fit advice. But more importantly, you should wear something that makes you comfortable and confident.
“We know that people are going to be nervous, but try and bring your personality out. Because that's what we're going to remember and ultimately, that's what we want.”
The final piece of preparation you can do is figuring out where or how the interview is taking place. Is it on location, or over a phone or video call? If it is done remotely, make sure you have tested out the link, your sound, video and connection. Try to avoid any interruptions that might occur.
When the interview starts it is pretty informal. It will be led by a short introduction, who you are, who the recruiter is. Then the interview will move into questions rounds. The questions can come from both you and the recruiter, or it might be more back and forth, almost like a casual conversation.
By the end you will get another chance to ask questions. If your questions have already been answered make a point of stating it. A quick, “Actually, no, we've covered everything in what we just discussed. Thank you.”
You should always have a couple of questions ready, again, try to show an interest in the company and the role you are trying to fill. Make them feel special
“Think of recruitment and the process of recruitment, like dating. You've got to make the companies feel special. ”
During the interview you should avoid mentioning looking for other positions. Talking about your job search in a way that suggests you are looking in other places, could make the employer disinterested. Keep the third nugget in mind, you should try to demonstrate that you want to stay with the company as long as possible.
Josefine has been on the other side of the table for a while. The candidates who stand out to her are the ones who are good at asking questions. By asking relevant questions and bringing up anecdotes and examples you get the chance to show an interest in the company and your personality and experiences.
“It is really important to have examples of how you create value, whether it's a part of your hobbies, or as part of your previous job. But doing so without bragging”
Once the interview is done, you can show even more engagement by sending a short follow-up message, email or note to your recruiter.
Here are a few suggestions on what you can include in a follow-up note. You can use any combination of these depending on what fits the interview:
In the episode, Sam suggests finding 5 to 6 companies that you would be interested in working with. Target your research on these companies and try to figure out how you and your skills can be valuable.
“Whilst this might seem like a lot of work. Remember that this is potentially your dream job. And it's very likely that no one else would have gone to the effort that you had.”
Today the job market is increasingly changing, and finding jobs can be challenging. But there are alternative approaches that you can take. Full-time work is becoming increasingly broken down into individual tasks, and so you might have an easier time getting a foot in the door by starting out doing freelance part-time work for the company.
Another way to keep your eyes open, is to use social media. There are a lot of freelance groups on Facebook where recruiters will post open positions, before they even reach the traditional job posting sites.
A unique challenge to finding work in a new country is the language barrier. In Denmark, most of the population is able to speak and communicate in danish. But a lot of jobs are still inaccessible if you do not speak the language. Karey-Ann, our main guest this episode, works for the non-profit organisation English Job Denmark, an organisation that helps non-natives find positions and jobs in Denmark. They also have a Facebook page which you can follow to get more advice from Karey-Ann and the rest of her team.
The last bit of advice Sam gives us is to try the lifestyle of the digital nomad. In our digital age, it is possible to live in one country, while working digitally for a company on the other side of the planet.
“While I was living in East Africa it was easier for me to work remotely for a couple of UK companies, just to get some money coming in and it then gave me the space to not be stressing and go, “Oh my God, I've got to take any job that I can”
So if you find the language barrier hard to overcome, there are alternative ways to earn a living and stay afloat. While you work these freelance or digital positions, you could get the chance to work on you Danish skills in the meantime.
In summary, there are a number of things you can do to be tactical in how you present yourself to organisations in Denmark, and indeed around the world, to help ensure you get the job you want.
What resources have you found useful in finding jobs in Denmark?
Are there other alternative ways of finding a job that we haven’t covered in this episode?
What are you looking for when you research a company you would like to work with?
Let us know by heading over to our Facebook page where you can discuss your experiences with us and other listeners.