Make your CV stand out in a blizzard of applications
Job hunting can be elating. It can also be thoroughly dispiriting. The first stage is often the most frustrating as you fire your CV out in response to 30 different roles and then hear nothing back! This scenario is particularly common in January as New Year’s resolutions result in hiring managers overwhelmed by the volume of CVs on their desks.
There is no way around it – job hunting takes time. However, by investing time up front your search will be more efficient in the longer term and you are much more likely to achieve find a job you want.
Tailor your CV and covering letter for EVERY application
This is the most important factor in avoiding your CV disappearing into a black hole. At this time of year hiring managers have an abundance of CVs on their desk. They are unlikely to have time to review each and every CV in detail so you need to make it easy for them to see how your qualifications and experience match the role(s) they are hiring for.
Review each job description and then in each covering letter highlight how the experience (and achievements) listed on your CV matches what the employer is looking for. On your CV prioritise the most relevant experience for the role you are applying for. By keeping your CV short you will draw the hiring manager’s attention to your relevant experience.
This may sound like a time consuming approach but it will save you time in the long term as you will get far more interviews from fewer applications. To minimise the time each application takes, create one “master CV” which contains all your experience and your achievements and get it perfect. Then you can simply edit it for each subsequent application.
Be selective in your applications
Applying for every relevant role on the jobs boards will often backfire. Not only will your response rate be low and your enthusiasm quickly wane but roles will often be advertised by the employer and multiple agencies across numerous jobs boards leading to wasted effort. This scattergun approach can also make you seem unfocused, even desperate in your job search if your CV appears multiple times in front of the same person.
Like most consultancies, we advise registering with between one and three recruiters. If a recruiter knows you are only registered with a couple of recruitment companies and their chances of a successful placement are therefore higher then they are more likely to prioritise your CV. Between a couple of specialist recruitment teams you should cover a lot of the market. We hope we will be one of the specialists you choose.
If you have not heard back from the recruitment consultant or hiring manager within a few days of submitting your CV then follow up with a call.
Work to a plan
A vision of what you want from your new role will focus which jobs you apply for, resulting in a FAR HIGHER success rate.
Write down a vision of what you want your life to look like (realistically) in three or five or even fifteen years’ time – money, work-life balance, type of work etc. No one will hold you to it but you will know you are working towards a vision you are happy with. Think about the experience and skills you need to maximise your chances of turning that vision into reality and plan backwards to identify what you need from your next role. While this may sound like a drag, many people find it an energising and liberating process. If you need coaching on this please get in touch.
This positive approach to your job hunt will transfer in every part of the process.
Be realistic & honest
Finally, your job hunt will be frustrating unless you are honest and realistic about:
what you are qualified to do – employers’ red lines; and
what you will accept – i.e. what are your red lines.
Good luck with your job hunt and if we can support you then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.