If the recent news about the “buoyant” UK jobs market is anything to go by, most people shouldn’t have trouble securing a new job or forging a new career if they’ve just finished school, college, or university.
However, some folks are sending out dozens of CVs and getting virtually no response back from potential employers. If that sounds familiar, it might be worth revisiting what you do to get prospective companies to give due consideration to your applications. With that in mind, the following points illustrate where you might be going wrong with your applications:
You use the same CV for everything
One of the biggest reasons prospective employers don’t give certain individuals any attention is because they submit very generic CVs. The golden rule of submitting CVs to anyone is they should get customised to the job and industry.
Most people have got several skills they can use or transfer across different industries and niches. It makes sense to create tailored CVs for each sector or niche and ensure the details on each type of CV is relevant.
You use the same covering letter for everything
Let’s face it: most people will have a covering letter template they will use to some degree. That’s fine for your purposes, but you need to ensure that you customise relevant sections of your covering letter and tailor them to each application. Again, as with your CVs, you could create cover letters tailored to specific industries and niche sectors. Doing so will mean you won’t need to spend much time adjusting it to suit each employer.
You aren’t using specialist recruitment agencies
It’s no secret you can register your details with recruitment agencies that cover a multitude of industries. But, you must also do so with agencies that specialise in your particular industry or niche sector. For example, if you primarily work in the packaging industry, it makes perfect sense to register with a packaging recruitment agency. If you’re a product designer, consider signing up with an agency that mostly headhunts product designers for companies.
You haven’t taken ATS into account
ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System, and it’s something that many employers, even small businesses, use to filter out prospective candidates for jobs. Put simply, ATS scans CVs and applications for specific keywords and phrases. If you use ones related to an advertised job, you’re more likely to get shortlisted for a manual review or an interview. Learn more about how you can “beat” an ATS to get a better chance of being considered for jobs.
The layout of your CV sucks
Lastly, if you search online, you’ll come across thousands of CV or “resume” examples you can use. Even programs like Microsoft Word come with CV templates. Did you know the one you’re using might be letting you down? You need to bear in mind that employers will only scan through CVs as they likely get hundreds or even thousands of applications each day. Make yours stand out from the crowd with the right layout, and do use bullet points to emphasise your skills and experience.