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Be Prepared for that dream job

Too few job seekers do the basics, say the experts

The majority of jobseekers are poorly prepared, have not done their research and are in desperate need of advice according to an authoritative new survey by specialist recruitment company Hays.

As jobless figures soar over 2.3 million, the research found that only 14 per cent of employers felt job candidates were much better prepared than they were before the recession began.

Almost everybody uses the company's website to research the organisation, but only four per cent make full use of all sources, including annual reports and industry contacts.

As one employer put it: "Interviewees rarely demonstrate that they have spent time finding out about the firm. With so much available on the internet, frankly when they say they haven't had a look, I know at that point they will not be suitable."

Only 42 per cent of jobseekers look for recent news articles to prepare for an interview, although more than half of employers expect this.

Another common mistake is not highlighting transferable skills - only one in ten job seekers only highlight transferable skills on a CV if they have time.

But it's not all bad news. Just five per cent of jobseekers turned up to interviews not looking the part whilst seven per cent were late. Turning up on time and looking smart seem to be the two things that candidates do right. But is it enough to land that all-important job?

"Given how many people are now competing for each job, it is surprising that candidates are simply not giving themselves the best chance.

"Employers tell us that turning up on time and looking the part is futile unless the preparation has been good. The message is do your homework.

"There is no need to panic. It is a competitive jobs environment, but with the right advice jobseekers can give themselves the edge.

"People should do their homework on the company they are applying to and make sure they have a good question up their sleeve to ask at the end of the interview. Always make sure transferable skills are flagged up - employers place a huge emphasis on these core skills"