The early stages of your career play a key role in defining the path you take and too often candidates are applying for any and every role with little success.
The current approach fosters desperation and as the fruitless search continues, the quality of applications drops due to time-saving multi-application platforms sending generic CVs and cover letters. This approach is ineffective. I am sharing my experience of online job applications from both my time as a candidate in the early stages of my career and from a recruiter’s viewpoint, in the hope that it encourages people to be selective and reduces the number of applications being sent that are destined to fail before they have arrived. Here are my five top tips that can help you to negotiate the online application process and improve your chances of getting an interview. I certainly have been guilty of these at some points. Have you?
I think the overall summary of the advice I can give as a candidate is unfortunately not the easiest. You need to put a lot of effort into applying. You should be fully aware of the scale of competition for jobs. We had over 300 applicants for a single junior position earlier this month. Every single CV was read but 85% were rejected at first read, mostly over the above reasons. There are jobs in the marketplace and there will be more as the economy recovers. You need to ensure that your applications hit the right pile and to do that you have to take time and care over how you go about applying.
Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and imagine what the perfect CV and cover letter would be, look at the keywords used in the post, and address them whether you have those specific skills and experiences or not. If you do not have those skills or experience and want to apply, you need to still answer why you could and want to do this job with even more conviction than someone that meets the requirements whilst demonstrating you bring different but relevant skills to the table.
Matt Thomas currently looks after marketing communications and social recruiting for Recruitment Process Outsourcing company Quarsh. Please feel free to leave your comments.