When you apply for jobs, do you ever feel like you're sending your CV into a black hole? With no guarantee that anyone will ever get back to you?
You're not alone, most job seekers have felt this frustration.
However, if you understand what goes on behind the scenes in the recruitment process, you can start to overcome this problem, and gain a massive advantage over other job hunters.
Thanks to my years of working in recruitment, I know what happens to my CV when I apply for jobs, and I know exactly what will get the attention of the recruiters at the other end... Because I've been in their shoes myself.
So now I'm in a position to be able to share my experience with job hunters like you, so that you can gain some insider recruitment knowledge and use it to become better at job hunting and land the job you want.
Here are my 3 recruitment secrets that you can start using to your advantage today.
1. Recruiters don’t open every CV they are sent
Recruitment consultants will often receive hundreds of emails every day – their inboxes are usually bursting with unread applications from hopeful candidates.
For this reason, it is almost impossible for them to open every email they receive, let alone read every CV.
So what can you do to make sure they open your CV?
i. Send a compelling personalised cover note for every email and website application you make.
Each application will take a bit more time when you write a unique cover note, but it’s better to send one good application that stands out, than ten bad ones which all get ignored.
Read every job advert properly and make sure your cover note includes skills that the recruiter is looking for.
Here is an example of a good cover letter.
ii. Follow up with recruiters if you don’t get a response from them.
Just because you don’t hear back from a recruiter, doesn't mean they have rejected you. Sometimes they just haven’t got round to viewing your CV or they've simply overlooked it.
So be proactive and follow up politely by email or phone to get on their radar and get your personality across.
Even the best CV in the world is useless if it sits in a recruiter's inbox unread.
2. Recruiters will always look you up on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is no longer optional for job hunters in today’s market – it’s essential.
Once a recruiter has read your CV, one of the first things they will do is look you up on LinkedIn in to see if your credentials are backed up online.
So what are they looking for?
Having someone else say something good about you is ten times more powerful than saying it yourself.
If you have plenty of recommendations from previous managers on your LinkedIn profile then recruiters will have much more confidence in your abilities and therefore, they will put you forward to more of their vacancies...
So contact as many as your ex-employers as you can and get those recommendations in.
A professional appearance
Recruiters want to see a well-structured and highly polished profile with lots of reputable connections.
Make sure that your profile looks professional and that you've made the time to connect with colleagues and study contacts.
Don't think of your LinkedIn profile as an afterthought and rush to complete it. Spend some time and effort it making look professional and ensure highlight your core abilities.
3. If you become friendly with a recruiter, they will be more likely to forward you to their clients' jobs
I'm sure you've heard the phrase people buy people... Well it’s extremely true in employment.
As a recruiter; if a candidate was rude or abrupt with me, I felt much less inclined to send their CV forward to my clients.
But on the other hand, if somebody was always friendly towards me and we had built up a relationship, then I would feel much more motivated to get them interviews.
Now I’m not saying that I would put them forward to every job I had, but I would make sure that I got them as many chances as I possibly could.
Also, friendly people tend to perform well in interviews, which gives recruiters even more confidence in them.
Always try to be pleasant in your dealing with recruiters and try to build a rapport where you can.
Endeavour to speak with them on the phone when you get the opportunity and maybe even try to meet for a quick coffee when possible - it will help to strengthen your relationship.
This won't always be easy and some recruiters may frustrate you at times, but just try to remember that they could be the gateway to your next job.
Once you have built up strong working relationships with a few recruiters, you will find that your interview requests will increase greatly.
Adapt and succeed - land that job
If you want to land a new job quickly you need to make sure that you're covering all bases by having an appealing CV, approaching recruiters in a professional manner and using LinkedIn to backup your credentials.