5 Ways You Are Killing Your Job Search
December 05 2014 , 0 Comments
Let's face it - job hunting can sometimes be a bit soul-destroying.
Applying for countless job vacancies and getting no positive responses in return - we've all been there and it's very frustrating.
However, job hunting is a skill that can be learnt like any other - so you can quite easily improve your job hunting skills, get better at it... and achieve better results for yourself (e.g, more interviews and offers)
In order to do this, take a look at the following mistakes that I see a lot of job seekers make and see if there's anything you can fix
If you're making any of the common job hunting mistakes listed here - you can fix them now and you will quickly see a big increase in job interview requests.
1. Don't send the exact same CV for every role you apply for
Although you are likely to be applying for similar jobs throughout your job hunt; no 2 jobs are exactly the same. You may have the required skills and experience for a role but it’s no good if you hide them at the bottom of your CV or omit them completely.
Knowing the requirements of a job before you approach the company puts you at a massive advantage so make sure read the job advert thoroughly and adapt your CV accordingly. Look at what the most important requirements for the job are and make sure you move them to the top of your CV, making them prominent to recruiters when they open it.
Take a look at this example below to see how this works in practice.
Joe is a project manager with some IT project experience - his standard CV profile below describes a lot of his project management skills and mentions his IT project experience (only briefly) which is probably fine for a lot of the generic project management jobs he is applying for.
But when he applies for this job below - it's asking specifically for IT and a few other skills - he's going to need to make a few tweaks to the top of his CV if he really wants to make an instant impression on the recruiter here.
Take a look at some of the important requirements in the job advert that I have underlined in red - can you see them above in the top of Joe's CV? no - certainly not in abundance.
He has the skills but they are only mentioned further down in the body of his CV. The top of your CV is the very fist thing a recruiter will see, so it needs to make an instant impact.
If this job is receiving lots of applications then Joe's standard CV won't be good enough - the recruiter may just take one look at his profile - decide there isn't enough of what's required, and move straight on to the next CV without even reading Joe's in full.
That's bad news for Joe because it will certainly not lead to an interview for this job.
Joe simply needs to edit his CV profile and core skills section to make sure he's including more of the job advert's requirements (provided he has them of course).
So here's how Joe's CV should be tailored before sending it forward for this job (with additions highlighted in yellow). He's simply added more of his experience that relates to the requirements in the job advert.
Now the recruiter will open Joe's CV and instantly think "wow this guy has a lot of the things we are looking for" before he's even started reading it properly
This simple CV tailoring tactic will massively improve your application response rate and therefore land you more interviews. It takes a bit of time and effort to do this for every application but it's better to send 2 or 3 good applications in an evening than 50 bad ones.
2. Don't use the same search term for every job search
Different company’s often use totally different titles for the same job, which means you can massively increase your chances of finding suitable jobs if you mix your search terms up.
If you’re seeing the same old jobs week after week when searching “Sales Manager”, then try “Business Development Lead” or “Head Sales Executive”.
Do some research into your market by browsing through industry peers on LinkedIn – you’d be surprised at the range of terms used to describe one job type.
Try it now on Reed's job search: run 3 different searches for "Sales Lead", "Sales Manager" and "Head of Sales" and see how many different results come back in each one.
3. Don't forget to give them a reason to open your CV
This is really basic tip but a lot of people don’t bother with an introductory note these days, which comes across as lazy and impersonal.
You may well be firing off lot of applications in one sitting but you don’t want to appear that way.
Take 2 minutes to introduce yourself properly with a well crafted message; address the recruiter by name and explain why you are suitable for the role - it will go a long way in encouraging the recruiter to look at your CV.
Remember you're dealing with people too - so treat them the way you would want to be treated.
Every recruiter's inbox is full of scores or even hundreds of emails that look like the one below - dull, insufficient messages that are automatically generated by job websites.
When you apply for a job via a job website and don't take the time to edit the pre-written message; this is the type of message you are sending to recruiters.... Doesn't look great does it.
If you want to stand out from the crowd and start building a rapport with the recruiter in question - edit the pre-populated text, to send a friendly, professional, tailored message like the one below.
Remember to focus on what you have to offer, rather than what you want to gain.
4. Don't stick with the same old job boards
Don’t just rely on the big well-known job boards with the huge TV advertising campaigns. Yes, they will have a lot jobs on them but search around for some niche, industry specific job boards to find some real hidden gems.
You will find companies who don’t advertise on the big job boards and side step the completion to some lesser known vacancies.
5. Don't forget to chase up job applications
In an extremely competitive job market it can be difficult for employers to tell candidates apart on paper, so the strength of your CV alone will not always secure the interview.
Your CV may be sitting in an inbox of 20 other equally qualified candidates; all waiting for a response.
So if you haven’t heard anything for 2 days or more, make a well prepared call to the recruiter to check if they've seen your CV - it may just get you ahead of the competition and will certainly give you more chance than a CV sat in an overflowing inbox.
Conclusion - It's easy to fix your job search once you understand what you are doing wrong
If you want more job interviews and offers then try to fix even just one of the above points and you should start to see some results.
Some of the strategies may take a bit more time and effort but it's worth investing in your career if you really want a job that's going to keep you happy and well paid in the long run.
If you have success using any of the tactics above then please come back and leave a comment below to let us know how you got on.