So, you’re desperately looking for a job and you’re responding to every Gumtree, Pnet, Careerjunction, Careers24 advert you can find. You submit your CV to every company with an online admissions function and bulk-send your CV to every recruitment company you can think of and apply to every vacancy they are advertising.
Then you wait, and wait, and wait, and you hear nothing back. Sound familiar? Well, there is a very good reason for this, and that is that very few people are actually reading your CV.
So many candidates seem to think that by submitting their CV to as many roles as possible, they are increasing their chances of being considered for positions.
However, that little delete button on every recruiter, hiring manager or HR staff member’s keyboard is more often than not the only action taken when your CV comes in.
You need to remember that these people receive dozens, if not hundreds, of applications for each role they work on, and it is impossible to read through every one of them. So what generally happens is that recruiters use a strict process of elimination to decide which CVs to consider.
So what can you do to improve your chances of getting that call?
Read the requirements
- If the advert states that they are looking for someone immediately available in Cape Town and you are listed as being in Johannesburg – you probably won’t be considered.
- If they are asking for someone with a minimum of two years similar working experience and you are a graduate – you probably won’t be considered.
- If they require someone with a degree and you don’t have one – you probably won’t be considered.
- If they are offering a salary or R10 000 and you are currently on R30 000…
…well, you get the picture.
If you meet all the compulsory requirements then make sure you highlight these on your CV. If there are one or two non-essential requirements that you do not meet you may still get a call, but only if you have the majority of what is being asked for. Instead of wasting hours responding to every advert you come across, rather spend that time outlining your experience for the few roles that you do qualify for.
Address your email to the right person
If you are applying through a recruitment company and declare ‘I would love to work for your company’ in the opening line, or if you have every agency under the sun cc’d in on one email, you are causing a magnetic attraction toward that delete button.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg, but nevertheless, these points are crucial. A good rule of thumb whenever you are getting ready to hit the send button is to ask yourself:
“Will the hiring manager see my application and in 3-6 seconds know that they want to give me a call?”
If the answer is not a resounding “yes!” you may be better off just deleting the mail yourself.
By spamming your CV under the guise of ‘the more applications I make, the more likely I am to get a call’, you are simply making your job search harder than it needs to be. Take the time and care to ensure every application is meaningful and you will stand a far better chance of getting that phone call.