It can be disheartening to fill out multiple application forms or send out hundreds of CVs – only to be met with silence… The job hunt is so competitive that most recruiters will not get back in touch or even respond to your application! So how can you make sure you stand out during the application process?
Firstly, you have to understand where any potential problems stem from? Is it a case of you not even getting to the interview stage? If so, then you may need to look at your CV or application forms to start with. On the other hand, you may find that you are getting interviews, but are just not getting any job offers. In this case you need to assess your interview skills and ability to sell yourself.
No one is calling me back
Tip #1 – Tailor your CV and application for each role and company
This is probably the number one mistake I see with candidates when I review their CVs for roles I’m hiring for. Always ensure you have tailored your CV to the role that you are applying for. It’s very apparent when candidates don’t take the time to update their CV for a specific application. And whilst this may be time-consuming, it will certainly improve your chances of getting the attention of potential employers.
Ultimately, this is your first opportunity to make a good impression with a potential employer. And if you haven’t made any effort to tailor your CV then you haven’t made any effort to impress them!
They’re just not that into me…
Tip #2 – Review your online and social presence
So you’ve made it through the interview and are now on standby waiting for that call. But, nothing… The interviews may have gone so well, only for you to find that you’re just not getting any offers. This is another simple yet critical mistake I’ve seen candidates make. In this day and age, people will google you before they’ve even looked at your CV properly. Have you made sure that your online presence has reflected the best side of you?
One candidate I met with, did fantastically well in the interview and we came very close to making an offer. But I reviewed their recent tweets which consisted of many angry rants about their current employer. And yes, they had listed their Twitter handle on their CV. So there was no attempt to hide this either. I appreciate that not everyone will be positive about their current employers, and obviously one of the reasons why they were interviewing with me. But having those tweets visible looked very unprofessional and not the kind of negativity I would want in my team.
But I’ve done all of that and I’m still not getting job offers?
Tip #3 – Be creative
Ultimately, you may just be in a very competitive industry. This can be the case for some of the more “glamourous” industries. For example, the fashion world is rampant with internships and companies rolling out very poorly paid roles to junior team members. All because there are always a flurry of grads looking to get their foot in the door. So expect a lot of competition there.
However there are other things you can do in the application process to stand out against all the other candidates. For one, networking is key. You never know who you may be able to connect with or be introduced to when you network. LinkedIn is a good place to start for this, as well as old colleagues who may know of relevant opportunities.
Or perhaps you can review the format of your CV or application? This is where you can really stand out against the competition. I’ve yet to receive a really creative CV but have seen some great examples of this on Pinterest. This graphic designer went all out to showcase his design skills in the form of beer. The bottles and cardboard carrier formed his CV and highlighted both his skills and personality! I’m sure this would have stood out against all the usual print or digital portfolios he was competing with.
All in all, don’t forget to focus on what’s important in this process. And that is ensuring you always make the right impression. Be sure to make a good impression on your CV and in person at the interview. Also don’t forget to practice for potential questions you can ask at the end of the interview. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always as swift as some people make it out to be. So don’t give up!
Amanda is a digital marketing and PR professional with over 6 years experience. She is also a blogger and blogs over at ldnrose.com covering topics including career advice, travel and blogging tips.