When your job applications are not getting the response rate you are hoping for, you may begin to realise the demons of actively seeking a new job – and really, they are demons! Feeling as though you are hopelessly firing your CV into the abyss is time-consuming & disheartening to say the least.
Here are a few points to position yourself better, which will help to improve your chances massively:
How does it look at a glance?
How well is it written?
Do you “tweak” it for each application?
Does it offer a clear insight into your experiences and the skills you can offer a business?
The harsh truth is that a lot of work needs to go into your CV, despite the fact the content may only be skimmed over – make it easy for the reader to learn about you quickly and engage.
Where suitable, avoid large passages of text and summarise key responsibilities, skills & achievements. Where paragraphs are more suitable such as a personal profiles or objectives, make sure the messages you are communicating are succinct and effective.
Think of the first page of your CV as prime real estate where you only want the best information.
CVs tend to only be 2-3 pages, without work samples.
Present your career history in a way that showcases your most relevant work experience or qualifications at the beginning – this may differ for each role, so be prepared to reorganise your CV for different jobs and make sure your CV is as relevant as possible – never put your first job at the top.
Don’t tell, show! If you’re a design professional, get on InDesign or Sketch Up and put something visual and eye-catching together. If you have proof of a project or successful results, include visual aids such as screenshots or graphs to help communicate your successes.
Put together a portfolio of your work to accompany your CV if possible/appropriate.
If you haven’t given your profile or your applications your best effort, maybe it is obvious to hirers?
Are you discoverable and contactable?
The best way to ensure you are visible is to have an up to date LinkedIn profile – LinkedIn makes it easier for employers or recruiters to find and contact you about new opportunities, taking a large portion of the leg work out of the job search for you.
Make sure your profile is informative and check your privacy to ensure you are discoverable. If you want potential employers and recruiters to reach you without becoming a connection, to avoid your current employer noticing, make sure you have some form of contact information available in your summary/additional information or headline (and make sure it’s correct!).
Is your CV uploaded where employers and recruiters can find you, or are you being coy with your CV?
We understand that not everyone likes to upload their CV to a job board and deal with the flurry of eager recruiters.
Put your trust in a selected specialist recruiter, who is credible and knows their industry. It’s free and you can be sure that your job search is taking place around the clock. Alongside this, recruiters with great networks will know clients who have ongoing searches for certain skills, this will give you an advantage and the ability to showcase your CV to top decision makers in the industry which may be unavailable elsewhere or to the wider job-seeking audience.
It is not possible to take all opportunities, but being aware and analysing every opportunity with short and long term perspectives can help you to identify which ones you can and should take. If you aren’t faced with lots of opportunities to develop, seek out and create your own opportunities.
When undergoing a job search, it is important not to rule out job opportunities or interview requests at face value, speak to employers/recruiters and dig deeper for more information about vacancies, interviews or chances for professional development.
Contract work is an excellent way to hone particular skills quickly and strengthen your skillset, for future applications to permanent positions. Or, maybe consider doing a course and learning something new, to give you an extra rung on the career ladder.
When you are applying for a job, you are competing against other applicants – their experiences play a massive role in the outcome of your application and for candidate-short markets, competition and employee requirements are still surprisingly rife – particularly at the bottom of the career ladder.
Maybe you would consider a slightly different line of work, possibly with different project types or required software skills – rather than limiting the number of available roles?
Growing your professional profile with relevant experience is less of a quick fix in a job search but an important one nonetheless, and one that can help you achieve the best roles.
Take all opportunities to gain more experiences in the workplace and in education and become a specialist in your field.
Don’t be afraid to keep a record of all your applications and follow-up after a number of days.
Human error, technical glitches and changing circumstances are all reasons why your CV may need to be pulled out of the pile and put back on the top and without chasing, you could be missing out on an opportunity for no other reason than bad luck.
Not all businesses will be able to inform you of an unsuccessful application but some will, especially when you ask for it. It may be an opportunity to get some valuable individual feedback that you can take on board for future applications elsewhere.
Following up in a professional manner is an opportunity to demonstrate enthusiasm, diligence, thoroughness and professionalism – all qualities that prospective employers will value in a potential hire.
If you are lucky enough to be gaining numerous interview requests but they aren’t converting into job offers, try your best to acquire some honest feedback that can help you with your onward search or, if you are unable to, focus on your interview skills to improve your future chances of success. Ask your chosen recruiter for interview tips – they can offer a wealth of valuable help in this regard.
Feel like you need some individual feedback? Get in touch to discuss your situation and see where we can offer you support in achieving your job seeking goals!
For more information, or to be informed of more advice pieces like this as they become available, please Get in touch