• Barry Moroney

How To Get An Interview For Any Job

Updated: May 7

Universities have a lot to answer for. They teach us so much irrelevant sh*t and completely fail to prepare us for the real world in so many ways. For the most part, and unless it is something very technical, we don’t really go there to learn as there are far cheaper and more effective ways to do this - we go so that we can get a piece of paper that will allow potential employers to feel comfortable hiring us afterwards.


One of the most obvious examples of this is how alarmingly bad the general public is at applying for jobs. I have seen countless applications and CV’s in recent years and, unfortunately, would be able to count the number of really good ones on one hand. If you are looking for a new role or are thinking about moving companies soon, follow the below steps to open doors you might not have thought possible.


Note: If you are a copy / paste merchant who applies for ten jobs in an hour, this process will be radically different for you. The focus here is on quality over quantity as I strongly believe that it is better to spend your time on one great application instead of ten bad ones.



Tailor Your CV To Each Job


Hiring managers get hundreds, if not thousands, of CV’s for every worthwhile job that they post. The competition for attention is phenomenal and you need to do more than everyone else to get noticed. There are a few simple touches that you can add which will guarantee that they won’t skip past you:


  • Personalize it: Your opening statement on the CV should mention the company and you should list a few reasons why you would be an asset to them. These points should be in direct response to what they have mentioned in the job description.

  • Brand it: Alter the colours of certain elements in your CV to align with the companies branding and download a PNG image of their logo to place on the CV (just search for {{company name}} logo PNG on Google).


It might sound like a lot of work, but if you build the template in the right way, it will be easy to repurpose for different applications. Below is an example of the top section of my CV in an application to Uber a year or two ago; I didn’t get the job (no wonder their share price is in the toilet) but I did get called. All of the black elements and bold fonts are this colour to align with the Uber brand (if the application was with Facebook, for example, all of the bold black elements would be blue).


Tip: Use the ColourPick Eyedropper extension on Chrome to find the colour code for the brand and build your CV template in Canva.




CV Design


Regardless of the industry that you work in, it is no longer acceptable to send out a CV that looks like it was designed on a potato. For non-tech people, use a tool like Canva (linked above) to find a template CV and add your information to it. If you can set up an Instagram account, you will be more than capable of putting together a modern CV which will stand out from the crowd.


When you are designing it, remember that a human being is going to look at it, so think about how short our attention spans are. There is absolutely no reason for it to be more than one page. Nobody is interested in what you did ten years ago. Be concise with bullet points and focus only on the major wins that you have had in your most recent roles.


Needless to say (I hope), it should be sent as a PDF.


Note: If you are applying for a sales or marketing role, the hiring manager is not going to trust you to sell from them if you can't do a good job of selling yourself.


Tip: Build a template CV in Canva and then make a duplicate for editing for each job you wish to apply for. Also, add a note at the end of your work experience section stating that your full work experience is detailed on your LinkedIn profile and hyperlink to your profile.



Contact The Hiring Manager Directly


I cannot stress how important this is. HR portals are supermassive black holes and you can’t rely on your application being found anywhere near them. Regardless of whatever internal process the company might have when it comes to recruitment, the hiring manager is the one who will make the decision and this is the person who you need to impress.


They will typically be the head of the department which you are applying to. For example, if it is a sales role, you need to find the Director of Sales (or similar). Do your research on them and mention something specific to show them immediately that you have invested time into applying and that this isn’t a generic email that has gone out to 30 companies. It is also important to show that you understand the challenges of the role and have done something similar before.


Tip: Find the person on LinkedIn and use a tool like Voila Norbert or Hunter to find their email address.



Cover Letter


Though the cover letter becomes a little bit redundant when your CV and email has already been personalized to the hiring manager, it is still important write one specific to each application. Bear in mind that your CV and cover letter may be shared internally without the email you sent to the hiring manager, so you can't just rely on the email to explain why they need to hire you.


Brevity should be the #1 focus here as the days of long, formal cover letters are behind us. I can assure you that nobody will read it if it is longer than one page. Use the job description as your foundation to write 3-4 paragraphs explaining why would would be a good fit for the role.


Tip: Be personal in your writing style. The person who will be reading it wants to hire someone who they will enjoy interacting with, so leave the 'To whom it may concern' at the door.



If you are in any way qualified for the positions that you are applying for and you follow this simple process, I guarantee you that you will get interviews.


It’s on you to impress from there.



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