Business man racing and hand lifting cup

The repetitiveness of applying for jobs continuously can sometimes feel like running a race; drawn-out, tiring, painstaking and seemingly never-ending. However, using the right tools and going about it the right away can turn a marathon into a 100-metre sprint.


Have an up to date CV and cover letter ready to go. It should be well-written, neatly formatted and include all of the key information for obtaining the role. This is a crucial first step in your preparation. Just like an athlete tailors her preparation to maximise her chances in each race, your CV and cover letter should be tailored specifically for each job you apply for. Don’t send out the same old tired, generic CV over and over. Application forms require a lot of attention to detail so make sure you fill these out carefully. A mistake can harm your chances of being progressed to interview stage.

Performance under Pressure

Once you have gotten past the application stage next comes the interview. This section is down to your performance on the day, but with proper preparation success is achievable. Remember, failing to prepare means you are preparing to fail. Take an athlete’s approach to preparation and practice your answers again and again until you can perform them without hesitation. Being able to perform when the pressure is on is what separates good athletes from great athletes and good job candidates from great job candidates. So, as part of your preparation, know who you will be meeting, practice your interview questions and competency questions to make sure you won’t stumble and fall along the way, and dress for success.

Post-Performance Review

Your post-race/interview work will involve providing good references after successfully completing the interview. Make sure to check in with your referees, a quick courtesy call to let them know they may be contacted by potential employers. Remember to give as much information about the role you are applying for so they can be aware of what to highlight for you.

Review your performance. If you don’t get the job, politely follow up with the company to find out how you can improve on your performance the next time. Until you know what you are doing wrong you will be unable to correct it. No athlete wins the first time they enter a race, and people rarely land the first job interview they do, it’s all about finding ways to improve so that you can eventually beat the competition.

The Finish Line

If you put in the work now, in no time you will be up on the podium in your ideal role being a champion employee!!

Colin Byrne

Senior Consultant

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group