The job application process can be time consuming, draining, and sometimes demoralising, when, having put a lot of effort into crafting what you thought was the perfect application, you are met with silence from recruiters. Unfortunately, due to the number of applicants, you are unlikely to get feedback from recruiters about why you were unsuccessful, even if your application landed in the ‘maybe’ pile, rather than the ‘definitely not’. So what little changes can you make to give your application the nudge it needs to make you ‘interview worthy’?
Ensure that all the parts of your application are present and accounted for
When heavily focused on crafting the perfect application it stands to reason that, although you feel as if you have checked and double checked everything, small things that are just enough to hold you back could go unnoticed.
Remember to make sure that all the required files are present in your application; CV, Cover Letter, Work Samples, Portfolio, etc. Also, take the time to ensure that said files open correctly, and are in universal formats that no recruiter will struggle with. In doing so you will remove the possibility of your application landing in a recruiter’s ‘maybe’ pile simply because of a corrupted work sample file that wouldn’t open correctly. Although the recruiter may have the best intentions, planning to look you up on LinkedIn to find alternate work samples for example, due to time restrictions, it is unlikely they will get round to it, and your application will simply be lost to the ether.
Ditch the ‘To whom it may concern’ and address your application to an actual person
In our modern day society, where the world’s information is at our fingertips, and you can find out anything with the click of a button, addressing your application ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ is no longer acceptable.
By taking the time to research who will actually be looking over all the applications for the role you are interested in, and addressing yours to them directly, you are showing initiative, interest, and willingness to research, in one simple move. It should be fairly easy to find the appropriate recruiters name through a little Googling, whether the results be via LinkedIn, or the company’s website. Failing to take the time to uncover who you are addressing may be the sole reason your otherwise perfect application ends up on the ‘maybe’ pile.
Ensure that your online presence has personality – but not too much
Are you Googleable? You need to be Googleable. What do I mean by that? Well one of the first things a recruiter will do when receiving your application is to put your name into their search engine of choice and see what comes up. You need to have an online presence, not only active social media accounts, but possibly a personal website, and online portfolio too. By doing so a recruiter can see that you are an actual person, more than just the sheet of paper that is your CV.
Your online presence should show more than just your work, it should demonstrate your personality where appropriate. LinkedIn may be a place for professionalism, but with other, personal social media, like Facebook for example, this is not the case. Here you can show off your personality, who you are and what you do outside the work environment, demonstrating that you are more than just a robotic employee. However, be cautious, there is a difference between giving your online presence personality, and showing too much of it. You don’t want to come across completely carefree, the person that’s always out late partying, with a drink in their hand, as this may come across negatively to prospective employers.
It is admittedly difficult to know what you might be doing wrong when your applications go unanswered by recruiters, especially when you have spent time and effort crafting one you think is guaranteed to land you an interview. Sometimes it’s the small things that doom your application to the ‘maybe’ pile, and with just a few adjustments, you could quickly graduate to ‘interview worthy’.