Getting knock backs from every job that you apply for can feel soul destroying. Whilst there could be 101 reasons that you’re not making the cut, some are more common than others.
Here are some of the top mistakes that make job seekers fall at the first hurdle.
You’re taking the scattergun approach to job applications
In a competitive job market, quality is the key and you can’t achieve quality if you’re applying for dozens of jobs at a time. If this sounds like your approach, stop! You need to become the sniper of the job seeking world and hone in on 2 or 3 positions a week. This will give you the time that you need to tailor your CV.
When tailoring your CV the key is to match it to the job description of the position in question. Be sure to give examples and include quantifiable information that shows how you meet the requirements.
We often see candidates make the mistake of saying they can do something without giving any actual proof. Quantifiable information such as “responsible for cost savings of X” shows the positive effects that you’ve made, rather than forcing the employer to guess at what you may have done.
Your CV doesn’t contain the right keywords
Modern day recruiting involves screening, whether that’s done by the trained scanning eye of a recruiter or by automated software.
If your CV doesn’t contain the right keywords there’s every chance it won’t make the cut. Study the job description of the post that you’re applying to as well as similar job postings for synonyms and ensure that these words are present in your CV or applications. Equally though, make sure it still reads fluidly and highlights your accomplishments, as if it just ends up being a bulleted list of key terms that won’t do you any favours either.
Your CV isn’t up to scratch
Your CV is the first thing that a recruiter or potential employer gets to see and it needs to make the right impression. Even one error can be enough to land your CV in the ‘no pile’ so why risk it? Make sure that you’ve checked and double checked your CV to ensure that it’s completely free of errors.
Once it’s free of errors and it matches the job description, the final step is to ensure that it sounds good. Your written document, especially the personal profile should flow like poetry. Read it aloud to make sure that it reads well. If you stumble over the words, it probably needs tweaking.
You’re applying for positions that you’re not qualified for
When we see candidates applying for lots of different jobs, we often notice that they are applying for jobs that they aren’t qualified for.
If you’re going to apply for a job that you aren’t qualified for, you’re going to need to show why you might be a good fit for the role. This will involve proving that you have similar experience, as well as all the transferrable skills that will allow you to make the transition.
Unless they’re very similar in nature, applying for multiple different roles at one time also creates the impression that you’re not taking your job search seriously and are desperate for a new position, which isn’t the impression you want to create.
You lack an online presence
As recruiters, we proactively search to find candidates for open positions. This includes finding candidates that are actively looking for a new job as well as those passive candidates that may be open to a new role if the right offer comes along. If you don’t have a visible presence online it’s impossible for recruiters to find you. This is why having an active and updated LinkedIn profile is a must.
The first step is to develop a profile detailing your experience, qualifications and current responsibilities. To take it to the next level you should also consider maintaining an active presence in relevant industry groups, posting interesting sector content and perhaps publishing your own posts. Respond to industry questions and discussions to help you develop a reputation as a thought leader and gain the attention of recruiters and employers on the lookout for talent.
You have a negative online presence
The only thing worse than not having an online presence is to have a negative one! Many employers and recruiters will search your name online to see what comes up.
To see what they see, firstly log out of all your social accounts; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Then type your name into Google and see what comes up in the top search results. This is what an employer will see. If you see anything that makes you cringe, the best thing to do is to lock down your accounts. Go into your privacy settings and change them so only friends can see your content.
You’re limiting where you look for opportunities
This has to be one of the most common job searching mistakes that we see on a day to day basis. When you’re searching for positions, you need to cast a wide net or you’re going to miss out on a plethora of positions. Some employers prefer to use job boards, some like to advertise in industry publications, some use recruiters and others are turning to social media to promote their positions. Use every tool in your job searching arsenal to keep abreast of the opportunities available.
It’s also worth mentioning at this point that around 30% - 40% of jobs are never advertised. Networking with employers, colleagues and recruiters can help you to find out about jobs before they are advertised putting you at the front of the queue. We even have an app that allows you to search for jobs whilst you’re on the go.
Written by Financial Staffing Solutions, specialist financial recruiters covering all accountancy and financial roles. If you’re looking for a new position within this sector, or need to hire a finance professional, then get in touch:
020 8532 2644
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