You’ve written a cover letter, attached your CV and applied for the position advertised on time. But, for days and weeks later, you hear nothing back.
This is a predicament many job seekers in Britain face and at a growing rate, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic making demand for roles fiercer than it has been for years.
A large reason why many aren’t getting a call back from recruiters is because they are being flooded with hundreds if not thousands of applications and simply don’t have the time to respond.
Earlier this month, This is Money reported how the most sought-after jobs on Reeds’ website have seen more than double the average number of applicants. Office assistant jobs, for instance, now see an average of around 267 applications per vacancy.
Have you come across as desperate or divulged too much personal information on your CV? These are just some mistakes that could be holding you back from getting hired
Amelia Brooke, founder of ABCV Solutions, says recruiters can afford to be picky: ‘The entire market has shifted on its head.
‘This time last year if a candidate had to jump through hoops they wouldn’t have bothered.’
Brooke adds that they are making more requests during the application process to reduce the number of applicants to choose from.
She points out: ‘Last year employer branding was big business, there was a shortage of engineers, for example. But all of that has gone out the window as the shift of power has gone from employees to employers.
‘That’s why employers are making people jump through hoops as they can’t cope with the masses of candidates who were applying for the role.’
But there are a whole host of other reasons why recruiters are not getting back to you and one of them could be that you’ve done something in the application stage to put them off.
This is easily done, especially now when people are desperately applying for multiple jobs at the same time.
Here the latest Interview Cheat Sheet highlights eight common mistakes people make at the application stage and offers tips on how to avoid making them.
1. You haven’t adhered to the instructions: A business owner recently ranted on LinkedIn that the majority of applicants had failed to follow the job adverts’ instructions.
Amelia Brooke says it’s important to highlight why you’re suited to a role
Ryan Irving, owner and lead strategist at Ri Web, said: ‘We recently ran a job ad which attracted 183 applications which, unfortunately, is symptomatic of the current job climate.
‘Within our ad, we asked applicants to respond to a few simple questions instead of sending a CV and do you know how many responded as we’d requested? Six.’
He added: ‘We’ve just had to immediately decline 177 applications because those applicants didn’t bother to read the ad properly.
Brooke says: ‘Right now, the employers have the power and if we like it or not we have to jump through hoops if we want that job.’
2. You haven’t written an effective cover letter: The most effective CVs and cover letters are written with a specific vacancy in mind.
Outline why you’re worth further consideration.
A Glassdoor job expert explains: ‘Make sure to address the recruiter or hiring manager by name if you can find it out, and get your job title and accomplishments in the opening line, along with an indication of why you are excited about this opportunity.’
3. You’ve littered your CV with too many cliche words: If you sound like every other CV applicant, chances are you’ll be ignored.
A Glassdoor job expert says: ‘You don’t want to sound like everybody else, so avoid words like “hardworking, responsible and passionate,” and instead be specific and use quantifiable examples to demonstrate your skills and traits in action.’
4. You’ve applied for an unsuitable role or not made it clear why you’re suited: Brooke says you shouldn’t apply for roles that you don’t qualify for or, if you do, try to demonstrate why you can do the job early on in the cover letter or CV.
She advises: ‘For example, you may be a waitress that really wants to be a teaching assistant, where soft skills can be transferred.
‘Rather than sending a CV with a run-down of restaurants you worked at rather give your CV a title like “Aspiring teaching assistant.” Then underneath that you can do “About me.”
James Innes says way to ensure that you get a call back from a recruiter is to design a CV that would make it through an ATS robot
5. Leaving your name off your voicemail: It may sound like such a simple mistake, but many are put off leaving a message if they aren’t sure whether they’ve reached the correct person and just hear ‘We’re not in right now’.
Brooke says: ‘Not having a voicemail is unacceptable in this day and age.’
6. You didn’t create a CV designed to beat the ATS robot: James Innes, founder of James Innes Group and author of several best-selling career books, says it is crucial to beat the robots sifting out CVs and mistakes: ‘An ATS is a software application to identify suitable candidates for a specific job role.
‘Every time a candidate applies they are uploaded on the system and passed by the ATS. It then leaves the human recruiters with access to the successful ones.
‘ATS proof your CV by researching the ATS being used by the recruiter and use keywords that match the job description.
‘You can use a word cloud generator to identify keywords. Also save your CV as the most appropriate file type for the ATS.’
7. You’re appearing too beat up: If you’ve been unemployed for a while or lost your job due to the pandemic, it’s understandable that you’ll be feeling desperate or cynical.
But letting these feelings show during the application stage could put a future employer off.
Employers are more likely to hire you for your skills and talent than out of sympathy.
8. You’ve offered too much information. According to the Harvard Business Review there’s research that shows that he hiring process is biased and unfair.
There’s unconscious racism, sexism and ageism that can all prevent you from getting hired.
Creating a blind CV could go a long way in reducing any unconscious bias a recruiter may have.
Brooke says: ‘Strip out unnecessary things like date of birth. Take out any excuse for bias to kick in.’
By Angelique Ruzicka
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The British Heart Foundation currently has 733 positions advertised. Jobs include sales assistants, stock room assistant and store managers.
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Ikea is currently advertising 19 roles on Indeed. Roles include kitchen design/planners, a home furnishings business leader and an accounting & reporting team leader.
British rival to Amazon, Onbuy, is currently advertising 22 roles, including a promotions specialist, social media manager and is also searching ‘online shopaholics’.
Shopaholics will get a competitive salary just by helping to improve the user experience by making lots of orders through the website. The added perk? You get to keep all the items purchased!
Royal Mail currently has over 100 jobs on offer advertised on Indeed. They include positions like a post person driver, Parcelforce collection and delivery driver and a cleaning operative.
The health and beauty retailer has 12 roles available on Indeed and are recruiting a number of advisor, administrator and even a Christmas sales advisor role.
Ufurnish.com is currently looking for a PPC executive as well as a social media manager. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if your CV matches the criteria.
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Sources: Indeed, LinkedIn, Ufurnish, Onbuy
Correct as of 9 October 2020