We’ve all been there: you spend hours in front of your laptop browsing at jobs and sending through applications and more often than not, you get absolutely no reaction or reply from the other end.
This might sound awful but I’ve actually read somewhere that in today’s market, each job post receives on average 118 applications (which in my experience, it sounds about right!).
So whether you like it or not, nowadays it’s more about getting the right attention rather than having the right skills.
You might have heard the term “ build your personal brand” before – it refers to marketing your profile and skills in the job market and building a brand around yourself – which is exactly what thousands of people who are looking for a job, are doing right now in this vast global market.
But to save you from a moment of panic, there is also an upside to this: the demand is so big that, thankfully, there are tons of ways and tools you can use to help you get noticed!
And to be more specific, here are some tips to get a call from at least one recruiter (me!)
- Resumes that stand out: who said that a CV should just be a word document filled with information about your past jobs?! In fact, there are tons of hiring managers out there who claim that the traditional CV is dead! So how about a video resume? Or a box of donuts sent to the hiring manager with a note “do-nut forget about my application” and your CV pasted on the inside of the box? Trust me, in the recruitment industry, we’ve seen it all! Now, this tip might not be applicable in certain job fields such as banking but if you have a chance to be creative, go for it!
- Templates that are easy on the eye: even if you can’t opt for a video resume, I guarantee that you can find a CV template out there that is different, interesting, well-structured and easy on the eye. This is really about doing the recruiter a favour and allowing their strained eyeballs to take a break from screening resumes all day long.
- Keep it short & to the point: a recent research revealed that the average adult’s attention span is around 8 seconds. So read your own resume after you’re done editing it – does it take you longer than 8 seconds to scan through the entire thing? If the answer is yes, you need to do more editing! The perfect size for a CV is a 2-pager with short description and 2-3 achievements listed in bullet points for each role. Resist the temptation of being too analytical, you are writing a resume and not an autobiography!
- Devil in the details: I can’t stress this enough but it’s really extremely important that you don’t have any spelling mistakes on your resume. It makes the worst possible impression! Additionally, if you are applying for a job within the EU, make sure to avoid including personal information such as marital status, religion, gender etc. – it is frowned upon due to discrimination. Your employer should be interested in your skills, experience, match to the company and nothing else. And remember, your CV is screened by people who have been trained to do that job and can spot things like that in a split second so don’t let your application end up in the Rejected pile over the little details!
- Custom-build your cover letter: I can guarantee that nobody will spend time reading a cover letter that was copy-pasted from a template you found online. Hiring teams will be looking for that something special that explains why you’re a good fit for the role, what you find interesting about the company and just a few things about you in a tiny nutshell. This is an amazing opportunity to add a personal flavour to your application and show who you are so use it wisely!
- Networking is key: this is undeniably the era of social media so it makes sense that you build a large part of your personal brand online. Especially important to use LinkedIn for all that it has to offer – you can add more details about your experience, samples of your work, articles, interests, volunteering experience and more. LinkedIn is also a fantastic tool for getting to know people, directly reaching out to the hiring team and finding out about opportunities that aren’t always listed on job posts.
- Always be professional: and speaking about social media and personal profiles, online savoir-faire dictates a professional profile photo, posts that are focused on your job/ industry, commenting on posts in a non-offensive/ positive manner and in general, try to think about your personal brand before posting anything online. Needless to say that you it’s important to sustain a respectful and consistent online activity at all times while applying for a job as your profile views will definitely be increasing at the time.
- Be kind: this should go without saying but unfortunately it doesn’t! Being polite and respectful truly goes a long way – after all, we’re all just trying to do our jobs the best way possible. Even when you are not happy with the way your application has been handled by an employer, make sure that your complaint is made in a professional and inoffensive manner – you never know where you might come across these people again in the future!
So good luck, stay positive, have faith in yourself and stay near your phone because you will sure be getting that call!
Article by Cristina Ioannidou