I get asked by people all the time, what am I doing wrong? I am applying for loads of jobs and not getting any responses. I have been involved in recruiting people for more than 17 years and as part of my role, I have been sharing my experienced advice on how to improve CV's to ensure they get noticed.
Below is a list of Do's and Don'ts when it comes to applying for a job. These CV tips you will significantly increase your chances of getting called by a recruitment consultant and may even land your next dream job.
- Get a friend to look over your CV to check it for mistakes such as grammar, spelling and dates.
- leave notes beside a job on why you have left a company such as redundancy, career progression.
- Tailor each CV for the industry you are targeting.
- Keep it relevant. Your CV is a representation of your skills and experience and suitability for the job you are applying for. If you were to put down everything relevant to every industry that might be transferable it could look like a book.
- Have a few CV's tailored to the industry you are interested in; with the experience you have that is transferable and required (getting this from the Job Specification) will help the recruitment consultant envisage you in the role.
- Include key achievements you had in the companies you worked for. For example, if you reduced inventory loss by 15%, or you were awarded with a commendation or promotion these are all relevant and extremely important.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches exactly with your CV and bulk it out with as much work-related pictures, links to projects you have done and recommendations. I can’t stress this enough if I’m putting your profile in front of a hiring manager, think of how much credibility you will have if I can attach a recommendation from former employer of line manager. This is a professional platform where you can really sell your brand and that brand is YOU.
- Send your CV in a word format not PDF or as an image like the new and cool CV format that is out there at the moment. The reason for this is the applicant tracking system can’t process them and it scrambles them trying to format them for the data. Also, when viewing it on our job posting tools it is near impossible to read. Any reputable recruiter won’t make changes to your CV without getting your permission and approval on the amended version before submitting it.
- Request recommendation from current/Former line managers.
- Have a professional photo on your LinkedIn profile (get a friend to take a photo against a plain wall in a suit.)
- Create a narrated summary on your LinkedIn profile and your cover letter explaining your drive motivations and an insight into your professional life.
- Connect with your friendly FRS Recruiter in the industry you are interested in.
- Network constructively with connections, online and in person at industry specific events.
- Attend networking events and career fairs in person a lot of hiring managers and Recruiters are there and it’s an opportunity for you to make an impression on us.
- Put your age, marital status, Photo or number of kids. None of this is relevant to you being able to do your job and could lead to you being subject to unconscious or conscious bias.
- Put referees on your CV, ideally you should contact your referees before a reference check and give them a chance to have a think about you and be able to talk about you with clarity and conviction.
- Assume everyone knows the companies you have worked for. Include a one liner on the industry, size of the company, products they produce, and a helpful tip is including a hyperlink to the company’s website if we need more information, we can skip onto the web site and have a look.
- Send a CV without making it specific to the job you are applying for. You can do this by giving examples and a list of duties you have done that match the job specification
- Leave your social media public. Hiring managers and some recruiters look at peoples Facebook pages. I wouldn’t but I know friends that would deactivate of hide their profiles while they are job searching in case something, they posted from 6 years ago impacts a decision today about your suitability for a new role. They shouldn’t and I wouldn’t personally look at this, but we don’t live in a perfect world and people can be nosy.
My last piece of advice is for after you have put in all the hard work Formatting and updating your CV. Once a recruitment consultant has reached out and they get you in front of a hiring manager, don’t go to an interview unprepared, research the company and the hiring team you’re meeting with. Use your recruiter to find out where other people have fallen down at interview level with this company. Ask what are the key skills the company are looking for in this role and ever more important what type of culture and personality traits do well in this company. A handy tip for answering questions at interviews is to use the S.T.A.R method (situation task action result) this will stop you from rambling.
Don’t give up, looking for a job can be a hard and difficult task. Looking for a job is more about timing than your value, it can be a tough road. Keep focused eat well, sleep and exercise to stay positive. I hope this bit of wisdom helps you in a positive way for more interesting blogs please click HERE and remember
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