Before applying for your next job ask yourself these 3 questions
When you are job searching it can be typical to apply for lots of jobs but rarely be invited for an interview. In an ideal world, every application would receive a response. In reality the majority of employers and recruitment agencies simply don’t have the resources to do so. Always make the shortlist by answering these 3 questions before you apply.
Making that shortlist!
Depending on the job you’re applying for, it’s not uncommon for a single job advertisement to receive 100 + applications. The recruiter will sift these quickly and efficiently to make a shortlist of suitable applicants. To improve the chances of your application making it through to the next stage, before hitting the ‘apply’ button, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I really want this job?
If you genuinely want a job, you will find it far easier to express passion in your CV and interview. Before clicking "apply" read the duties and responsibilities – do they excite you? Just because you can do the job, doesn’t mean you would want to! Where is the location, is it a place you want to get to in the depths of winter? What is your specific reason for leaving your current job, will this job address the limitations of your last job - honestly, will it? By eliminating whimsical job applications, you’ll have more time to spend on applications that interest you. Rather than doing what everyone else does, and apply for everything, do the opposite. Imagine each application is going to cost you £10 - and ask yourself, "if it cost £10 to apply, would I?" If the answer is no, you are probably best to keep looking.
2. Is my application targeted?
Quality will generate better results than quantity. It can be tempting to send your CV to 50 jobs and hope for the best, but your time will be better spent applying to fewer jobs with a more targeted application.
For example, it’s a good idea to adapt your CV to showcase your most relevant experience for a particular role. There is nothing more off putting for a Recruitment Consultant than receiving multiple applications from a person for a variety of unrelated positions.
3. Do I have the required experience?
Job advertisements will often include screening questions as part of their application process e.g. ‘do you have a minimum of 2 years’ administration experience?'. Although screening questions should instruct a job seeker what the employer is seeking, they are often ignored. Read them thoroughly and let them guide you into making an informed decision. Implying you have the experience when you haven't isn’t going to increase the chances of your CV the shortlist. Only apply to jobs when you have the skills and experience the employer wants - use the time saved to practice your interview technique, learn more about the person you will meet at interview and generally become better prepared for your interview.
Top Tip - if you know you have the experience the job requires, ensure it is clear and present on your CV.
By targeting your applications you will increase your chances of making the shortlist and being called for interview.