Experts reveal their top tips for bagging the job you really want

Want to get ahead at work? Experts reveal their top tips for bagging the job you really want

  • Candidates need to rethink the cover letter, instead crafting a mission statement
  • While an AI chatbot can be helpful when writing a CV, it should be used sparingly
  • Skills and experience aren’t enough to make your applications shine
  • Companies are also looking at how candidates align with their values 

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Whether you’re considering changing jobs in 2024 or actively looking for a new role, how you approach the process – and not necessarily your skills and experience – will determine your success.

At a recent tech roundtable event at Indeed’s London HQ, HR leaders highlighted that while layoffs have been widespread in 2023, the UK job market remains in robust health, and downsizing appears to be tapering off.

However, that doesn’t mean bagging a new job is foolproof.

On the contrary, if you really want to secure a new opportunity in 2024, you’ll need to approach the job application process in a clear, considered way, as the market is increasingly competitive. 

Read on for top tips from those who are doing the hiring…

Want to secure a new opportunity in 2024? You’ll need to approach the job application process in a clear, considered way

Your mission starts here

If you feel like you’re constantly being stonewalled by recruiters or your CV never secures an interview, it could be because your cover letter is lacking.

Amy Hobley, Executive Recruitment Manager at Sopra Steria, (a software company that employs 46,000 people worldwide) says that instead of cobbling together a cover letter that reiterates the key information contained in your CV, candidates should prepare a mission statement instead.

This should detail what you are looking for, what’s your purpose, and what you are hoping to achieve from your next role.

‘You might not have all the experience, but if you’re willing to learn and grow and develop and pick up new skills, that sets you a good foundation,’ she elaborates.

Her other top tip? Don’t be afraid to show recruiters what you’re passionate about and how this relates to the position you’re applying for.

Hobley explains: ‘We always ask how their experience aligns to our values. That tends to bring out what’s important to them. We’re very passionate about culture and empathy and doing the right thing, as well as social values, how we differentiate ourselves in the market against our competitors.’

Don’t cobble together a cover letter that reiterates the information in your CV: Candidates should prepare a mission statement instead

Keep it real

Authenticity is also a major sticking point when it comes to job applications, and while AI can be a highly efficient tool to speed up the process, an over-reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots will hinder rather than help your efforts.

‘You can really tell when somebody has done an AI CV,’ shares Monica Berry, Talent Acquisition at a leading UK e-commerce business. 

‘I was looking at a couple of CVs that had come through and there was a candidate who was a £22k-a-year candidate, and they had written their CV like they were a head of department.

‘I’m asking, respectfully, to send pre-AI, real CVs, because it gives a truer reflection of what you’ve done and what you’re like. Candidates are being pushed to use AI to come across as more professional, but what you end up with is people with minimal experience using AI to bulk up their CVs. 

‘It’s probably working for them in terms of getting interviews, but then you get to the interview and they’re not as good as they say they are.’

AI can be an efficient tool to speed up the process of writing a CV, but an over-reliance on chatbots will hinder rather than help your efforts


For a lot of job candidates, highlighting skills and experience seems like the most important aspect to convey on both a CV and during an interview, but it’s important to highlight how you see yourself functioning within the company you’re interviewing for, and that you understand what it does.

‘Great candidates show that they appreciate our customer experience in tandem with having a growth mindset, focus on continued development of our products, engineering capabilities, processes and systems,’ says Denise Hayes, Chief People Officer at DigitalWell, a full-service IT and communications provider.

Ready to put this advice to the test? The Mail Jobs Board features thousands of openings in companies that are actively hiring and is the perfect place to start your search. Check out the three below or head to the Mail Jobs Board for more.

Job openings in the UK

Demand Planner, ghd hair, London 

A trusted and loved brand, ghd sells two million stylers every year and five iconic ghd products are sold every minute. The company has an opportunity for a Demand Planner to join its team and directly support and contribute to profitable growth and the delivery of financial targets for the UK and Ireland across all business channels. 

Reporting to the Head of Commercial Finance, the role of Demand Planner is to lead the creation of the monthly S&OP (demand planning) cycle and ensure the right products are forecast in the right quantity in the right month. 

If this sounds like the kind of opportunity you’re looking for, you can get more information here. 

UK Regional Sales Executive – UK Remote, Gateway Ticketing, Remote 

For over 30 years, Gateway Ticketing has been providing innovative software solutions to amusement parks, museums, attractions, and zoos and aquariums.

As the UK Regional Sales Executive, your primary responsibility will be to engage in consultative selling to promote and sell Gateway Ticketing Systems’ products and services. This involves coordinating sales efforts with the corporate office to ensure timely and accurate delivery of systems and services. In addition, you will play a crucial role in driving corporate revenue by increasing the number of qualified leads and opportunities. 

See the full job description here. 

Care Manager (Domiciliary), Bluebird Care Newmarket and Fenland, Ely 

Bluebird Care Newmarket & Fenland are seeking a Care Supervisor / Customer Care Manager to support its customers and field teams. 

The successful candidate will be responsible for ensuring that the company is providing a safe, effective, high-quality care service that is unique to each customer’s specific needs and preferences. You will also be tasked in making sure services and plans respect customers’ choices and promote their dignity and privacy at all times by creating plans that are focused on the individual and the outcome, not just the task.

 View additional details here.

Search through thousands of job openings and find your ideal fit today on the Mail Job Board

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