27. October 2009 09:08
Job seeking takes time. Updating your CV, filling out applications,
tailoring your covering letter, finding email contacts, or applying for
vacancies online... all of these aspects of your job hunt are very time
consuming, and this can quite frankly, be a bit of a pain. But are you
making the most out of your job search? And are you following the rules
of a good applicant?
Is this you?
your time sourcing out jobs from loads of different places, you have
newspapers with jobs circled, email addresses of companies, of
recruitment agencies, of jobs websites, vacancies to apply for- and
after finding the jobs and the contacts, it can be quite easy to take a
shortcut at the final hurdle. So you just send your CV packing, with
its generic covering letter, and a few choice words on an email about
how you hope you'll be considered for their vacancy. Because, to be
honest- you're kind of sick of the sight of CV, and of all of the bits
of paper cluttering up your desk. It's best to just get your CV out
there to as many employers as possible, to fully increase your chances
of getting an interview.
You're feeling pretty pleased with
yourself, you've done all the hard work and your CV is now out of your
hands, on the tremendous journey to sail into the inbox of potential
new employers. How exciting. It would probably surprise you to hear
then, that all of your hard work is about the equivalent of printing
out your CV, crumpling it into a ball and throwing it into the nearest
waste paper basket.
But it's true. A thoughtless, non specific, rushed application that you send en masse
to employers, recruitment agencies, jobs websites, and anyone else you
can think of is NOT going to secure you a job anytime soon.
How to break the 'bad applicant' cycle
the art of applying for jobs is, just that, an art form. Every part of
the process from the email that accompanies your attached CV to your
covering letter will be scrutinised. There are so many opportunities
for a company to quash your application before it is even seen by the
person who makes the employment decisions, that it really should be
flawless to stand any reasonable chance of securing you an interview.
for a job isn't a numbers game. Some candidates believe that the more
jobs they apply for, the more chance of securing a job. However the
reality is that a few well-crafted, thoughtful applications, suitably
tailored to each job and company are worth ten thousand randomCV's emailed to any old employer.
good application will involve research into the company hiring. You
will need to find out by looking at the job description what key skills
and attributes they are looking for, and ensure you highlight your
skills in these areas on your covering letter. Your covering letter
absolutely must be tailored for each job you go for- generic letters
with cliched phrases will just not be acceptable- the employer will not
see your enthusiasm or passion for their business- instead you will
just be another drone, sending in your CV with little thought to the
A good application can take from a few hours to a whole
days worth of work, so it really isn't something you can replicate
hundreds of times. Be selective, choose roles that you really can
succeed in, and take the time to think about the whole process- this is
your first impression to a company; you owe it to yourself to get it
The key things to remember when applying for jobs are:
Know who you are sending your CV to.
I'm not a recruiter, but yet my inbox gets inundated with applications
for vacancies within my 'esteemed organisation' that we don't even
have. Learn the differences between a jobs website, a CV distribution
service and a recruitment agency and use all of them to your advantage.
Find out what each can do for you and how best to get the most out of
their services. By all means inquire with a company as to whether they
have vacancies, but fully understand the role of the organisation, and
whether you'd fit into it before you do so.
Do your homework.
Find out who you need to send your application to and write a well
crafted covering letter personal to each vacancy you wish to apply for.
Take the time to find out the exact person or department that you need
to be in touch with when applying for vacancies, because another member
of the company might not pass it on.
Take your time. Yes
it's time consuming, yes it's a little boring and a lot frustrating-
but the payoff could be fantastic. Spend time on each application you
send, put yourself on the other end of your email or application- and
ask yourself; would you hire you?
Happy Job Hunting!